Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General, Leaps to Forefront of Senate Race

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-03-30 17:52Z by Steven

Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General, Leaps to Forefront of Senate Race

The New York Times
2015-03-27

Adam Nagourney, Los Angeles Bureau Chief

CASTAIC, Calif. — When Kamala D. Harris, a Democrat, was the newly elected district attorney of San Francisco in 2004, she walked into a firestorm after deciding not to pursue the death penalty for a man accused in the killing of a police officer — drawing attacks from law enforcement leaders and even Senator Dianne Feinstein, one of the most respected Democrats in the state.

Six years later, when Ms. Harris ran for state attorney general, national Republicans poured more than $1 million into the race, trying to defeat her with charged advertisements invoking the death penalty case. Ms. Harris barely defeated her Republican opponent, the district attorney of Los Angeles.

But now, at age 50 and after winning a second term, Ms. Harris has suddenly established herself as the dominant candidate in the race to replace Senator Barbara Boxer, a Democrat who announced in January that she would retire next year. With a speed and efficiency that startled many in her party, Ms. Harris has appeared, at least for now, to dispatch what most people had expected would be a sprawling generational battle with powerful ethnic overtones, given that Latinos now make up nearly 40 percent of California’s population…

She herself would be a pioneering figure, if elected — simultaneously the first black and the first South Asian senator from California

Read the entire article here.

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The Rock Obama Cold Open – SNL

Posted in Arts, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2015-03-29 19:36Z by Steven

The Rock Obama Cold Open – SNL

Saturday Night Live
National Broadcasting Company (NBC)
2015-03-28

After the actions of Rep. John Boehner (Taran Killam), Sen. Ted Cruz (Bobby Moynihan) and Sen. Tom Cotton (Kyle Mooney) make him lose his cool, President Obama (Jay Pharoah) turns into The Rock Obama (Dwayne Johnson).

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Nevada GOP lawmaker to ‘colored’ colleague: Racism is over because the president is black

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2015-03-19 01:42Z by Steven

Nevada GOP lawmaker to ‘colored’ colleague: Racism is over because the president is black

Raw Story
2015-03-18

David Ferguson

The Nevada state Assemblywoman who believes that cancer is a “fungus” that can be flushed from the body with saline solution has now said that she believes that racism in her state is a thing of the past.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, State Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore (R) said that racism is over, now, so people of color should stop “using the race card” about voter ID laws and other Republican policies that unfairly impact people of color and the poor.

She also congratulated an African-American colleague for being the first “colored” person to graduate from his college.

Fiore is one of the cosponsors of a proposed voter ID law in Nevada which — like all such laws — has been predicted to have an adverse effect on voter turnout by blacks, the elderly and students, all traditionally Democratic voting blocs.

Addressing “peers that are concerned with color,” Fiore went on to congratulate Democratic Assemblyman Harvey J. Munford — an opponent of the voter ID law — for being “the first colored man to graduate from his college.”

“We’re in 2015 and we have a black president, in case anyone didn’t notice,” she added. “So the color and the race issue, I think it’s time that we put that to rest.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Millennials Are More Racist Than They Think

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-03-16 02:28Z by Steven

Millennials Are More Racist Than They Think

Politico Magazine
2015-03-09

Sean McElwee

Just Look at the Numbers

News about race in America these days is almost universally negative. Longstanding wealth, income and employment gaps between whites and people of color are increasing, and tensions between police and minority communities around the country are on the rise. But many claim there’s a glimmer of hope: The next generation of Americans, they say, is “post-racial”—more tolerant, and therefore more capable of easing these race-based inequities. Unfortunately, closer examination of the data suggests that millennials aren’t racially tolerant, they’re racially apathetic: They simply ignore structural racism rather than try to fix it.

In 2010, a Pew Research report trumpeted that “the younger generation is more racially tolerant than their elders.” In the Chicago Tribune, Ted Gregory seized on this to declare millennials “the most tolerant generation in history.” These types of arguments typically cling to the fact that young people are more likely than their elders to favor interracial marriage. But while millennials are indeed less likely than baby boomers to say that more people of different races marrying each other is a change for the worse (6 percent compared to 14 percent), their opinions on that score are basically no different than those of the generation immediately before them, the Gen Xers, who come in at 5 percent. On interracial dating, the trend is similar, with 92 percent of Gen Xers saying it’s “all right for blacks and whites to date each other,” compared to 93 percent of millennials.

Furthermore, these questions don’t really say anything about racial justice: After all, interracial dating and marriage are unlikely to solve deep disparities in criminal justice, wealth, upward mobility, poverty and education—at least not in this century. (Black-white marriages currently make up just 2.2 percent of all marriages.) And when it comes to opinions on more structural issues, such as the role of government in solving social and economic inequality and the need for continued progress, millennials start to split along racial lines. When people are asked, for example, “How much needs to be done in order to achieve Martin Luther King’s dream of racial equality?” the gap between white millennials and millennials of color (all those who don’t identify as white) are wide. And once again, millennials are shown to be no more progressive than older generations: Among millennials, 42 percent of whites answer that “a lot” must be done to achieve racial equality, compared to 41 percent of white Gen Xers and 44 percent of white boomers…

…There is reason for an even deeper worry: The possibility that the veneer of post-racial America will lead to more segregation. The post-racial narrative, when combined with deep structural racism, leads to what sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva calls “racism without racists,” a system where racial gaps persist less because of explicit discrimination and more because of structural factors—things like the passage of wealth from generation to generation or neighborhoods that remain segregated because of past injustices…

…And the irony is that having a black president has made this failure to acknowledge structural barriers to opportunity worse. Numerous studies find that the election of President Barack Obama has made whites, particularly young whites, sanguine about racial disparities in America…

Read the entire article here.

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IRRPP Annual Bowman Lecture: Fatal Invention: Why The Politics of Race and Science Still Matters

Posted in Health/Medicine/Genetics, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-03-11 16:52Z by Steven

IRRPP Annual Bowman Lecture: Fatal Invention: Why The Politics of Race and Science Still Matters

Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy
University of Illinois, Chicago
Student Center East
750 S. Halsted St, Room 302
Chicago, Illinois
2015-03-12, 16:00 CDT (Local Time)

Dorothy Roberts, Professor of Law and Sociology
University of Pennsylvania

Co-sponsors: Medical Education, Institute for the Humanities Health and Society Working Group, Gender & Women’s Studies, Sociology, Biocultures, Racialized Body Cluster, African American Studies

An acclaimed scholar of race, gender, and the law, Professor Dorothy Roberts is the fourteenth Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, George A. Weiss University Professor, and the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights at University of Pennsylvania. She holds appointments in the Law School and Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology. Professor Roberts received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Harvard Law School.

This lecture was established to honor Phillip J. Bowman’s contributions to UIC during his tenure as Director of IRRPP and Professor of African American Studies. It features national scholars of race, ethnicity, and public policy who provide timely analysis of issues of critical importance to the field and to communities of color.

For more information, click here.

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Don’t Starve the Census

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-03-11 16:48Z by Steven

Don’t Starve the Census

The New York Times
2015-03-10

The Editorial Board

Some Republicans in Congress are calling for cuts to the Census Bureau’s budget that would impair the agency’s already strained ability to gather basic data.

An accurate census is essential to determining the correct number of representatives from each state, the effectiveness of voting laws and the allotment of federal aid to states. In fact, information from the census and other surveys by the bureau is crucial to anyone — policy makers and businesspeople, researchers and citizens — who wants to understand the United States, assess where it is headed and influence its course on the basis of hard data.

The White House has requested a slim $1.5 billion for the bureau for fiscal year 2016. Much of that would be for the 2020 census, the planning of which is already behind schedule because of previous budget cuts. Next year is critical for the testing of data-gathering technology; Congress’s failure to provide timely financing to try out hand-held computers before the 2010 census forced a last-minute reversion to paper forms, which proved costlier than an orderly roll out of the computers would have been…

Read the entire article here.

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Signifying without Specifying: Racial Discourse in the Age of Obama

Posted in Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-03-10 15:20Z by Steven

Signifying without Specifying: Racial Discourse in the Age of Obama

Rutgers University Press
November 2011
218 Pages
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8135-5143-2
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8135-5144-9
eBook ISBN: 978-0-8135-5210-1

Stephanie Li, Professor of English
Indiana University, Bloomington

On the campaign trail, Barack Obama faced a difficult task—rallying African American voters while resisting his opponents’ attempts to frame him as “too black” to govern the nation as a whole. Obama’s solution was to employ what Toni Morrison calls “race-specific, race-free language,” avoiding open discussions of racial issues while using terms and references that carried a specific cultural resonance for African American voters.

Stephanie Li argues that American politicians and writers are using a new kind of language to speak about race. Challenging the notion that we have moved into a “post-racial” era, she suggests that we are in an uneasy moment where American public discourse demands that race be seen, but not heard. Analyzing contemporary political speech with nuanced readings of works by such authors as Toni Morrison, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Colson Whitehead, Li investigates how Americans of color have negotiated these tensions, inventing new ways to signal racial affiliations without violating taboos against open discussions of race.

Table Of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. Violence and Toni Morrison’s Racist House
  • 2. Hiding the Invisble Hurt of Race
  • 3. The Unspeakable Language of Race and Fantasy in the Stories of Jhumpa Lahiri
  • 4. Performing Intimacy: “Race-Specific, Race-Free Language” in Political Discourse
  • Conclusion: The Demands of Precious
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Obama, at Selma Memorial, Says, ‘We Know the March Is Not Over Yet’

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, History, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-03-08 00:44Z by Steven

Obama, at Selma Memorial, Says, ‘We Know the March Is Not Over Yet’

The New York Times
2015-03-07

Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent

Richard Fausset


Doug Mills/The New York Times

SELMA, Ala. — As a new generation struggles over race and power in America, President Obama and a host of political figures from both parties came here on Saturday, to the site of one of the most searing days of the civil rights era, to reflect on how far the country has come and how far it still has to go.

Fifty years after peaceful protesters trying to cross a bridge were beaten by police officers with billy clubs, shocking the nation and leading to passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, the nation’s first African-American president led a bipartisan, multiracial testimonial to the pioneers whose courage helped pave the way for his own election to the highest office of the land.

But coming just days after Mr. Obama’s Justice Department excoriated the police department of Ferguson, Mo., as a hotbed of racist oppression, even as it cleared a white officer in the killing of an unarmed black teenager, the anniversary seemed more than a commemoration of long-ago events on a black-and-white newsreel. Instead, it provided a moment to measure the country’s far narrower, and yet stubbornly persistent, divide in black-and-white reality…

Read the entire article here. Read President Obama’s transcript here.

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Urging Persistence on Racial Gains, Obama Recalls Sacrifice in Selma

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2015-03-07 21:22Z by Steven

Urging Persistence on Racial Gains, Obama Recalls Sacrifice in Selma

The New York Times
2015-03-06

Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent

Julie Hirschfeld Davis, White House Correspondent

COLUMBIA, S.C. — For the nation’s first African-American president, it was a week of two documents that told the story of a country still grappling with its own history.

The first was a draft speech that President Obama was marking up with his distinctive left-hand scrawl to deliver in Selma, Ala., on Saturday to celebrate a half-century of civil rights gains. The second was a report he received accusing the police in Ferguson, Mo., of systematically discriminating against African-Americans.

More than once, Mr. Obama has credited the courage of protesters in Selma who were confronted by club-wielding state troopers 50 years ago for clearing the way for his own barrier-breaking election as president. But the path from Selma to the Oval Office has also led to Ferguson and back to Selma, a path littered with hope and progress and disappointment and setback…

Read the entire article here.

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Gordon Fox Pleads Guilty in Rhode Island Corruption Case

Posted in Articles, Gay & Lesbian, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-03-07 02:38Z by Steven

Gordon Fox Pleads Guilty in Rhode Island Corruption Case

The New York Times
2015-03-03

Richard Pérez-Peña

The climb took decades, but the fall was swift. Less than a year removed from his reign as speaker of the Rhode Island House, Gordon D. Fox pleaded guilty on Tuesday to taking bribes, wire fraud and filing a false tax return.

Mr. Fox, 53, took $52,500 in bribes to help a bar and restaurant get a liquor license and illegally diverted $108,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal expenses. He made the admissions in Federal District Court in Providence as part of a plea agreement that calls for a three-year prison sentence — though a judge will ultimately decide the penalty — and will almost certainly cost him his law license.

Outside the courthouse, when asked by reporters whether he felt remorse, Mr. Fox said, “Absolutely, absolutely, without question.”…

…Mr. Fox, a Democrat, was the first openly gay person and the first mixed-race person to lead either of the state’s legislative chambers, and he led the drive to legalize same-sex marriage in 2013.

He grew up as one of six children in a blue-collar family, with a black mother and a white father, and he liked to recall how he had worked in an ice cream shop to help pay his way through law school. He became a lawyer and part owner of a nightclub, and in 1992 he was elected to the House. He became the majority leader in 2002 and the speaker in 2010…

Read the entire article here.

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