A new study out this week from the US Department of Education’s civil rights office (yes, Republicans, This Is A Thing) shows some depressing disparities in our educational system involving race and the way students are disciplined, as well as what courses students are offered.
Some of the most striking findings involved discipline: one in five African-American boys – and one in 10 African-American girls – was suspended from school during the study period, the 2009-10 school year.
Overall, African-American students are 3-1/2 times more likely to be suspended or expelled than their white peers. And 70 percent of students arrested or referred to law enforcement for disciplinary infractions are black or Latino, the study found. Other researchers have found that students who are repeatedly punished by being barred from campus are far more likely to drop out.
The rehabilitation of Andrew Breitbart is proceeding at the speed of ‘net.
On a day where President Obama’s late mother is said to be copulating with a dog in an awful joke spread by a Montana federal judge, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona is holding press conferences on national TV to announce the President’s birth certificate is a “forgery” we have Andrew Breitbart’s death, as covered earlier by ABL.
Here’s my problem. Andrew Breitbart did truly awful things. But his rehabilitation into a great guy begins with crap like this from David Frum:
Because President Obama was black, and because Breitbart believed in using every and any weapon at hand, Breitbart’s politics did inevitably become racially coded. Breitbart’s memory will always be linked to his defamation of Shirley Sherrod and his attempt to make a national scandal out of back payments to black farmers: the story he always called “Pigford” with self-conscious resonance.
Yet it is wrong to see Breitbart as racially motivated. Had Breitbart decided he hated a politician whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower, Breitbart would have been just as delighted to attack that politicians with a different set of codes. The attack was everything, the details nothing.
No. See, no. This is equivocating, self-serving, puerile bullshit of the highest magnitude right here, and it’s the major reason why the ruined wasteland of American journalism that Andrew Breitbart helped to create was allowed to happen because the people who clearly knew better gave him a pass anyway.
If It Looks Like A Duck And Quacks Like A Duck…
Melissa Harris-Perry wrote a very thoughtful piece exploring the reasons why President Obama, with his many successes in the face of great opposition, is struggling in the polls with white liberals. It is something I’ve been frustrated with since before the President was sworn in — when people on the left began attacking him about his appointments to various cabinet positions.
At first, I didn’t want to believe that race was a large part of that equation and chalked a lot of it up to “bitterness” left over from the contentious primary fight with Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and the others. But as his presidency progressed and more evidence continued to pile up, I, as a white liberal, began to see that the source of a lot of that disrespect and vitriol clearly was coming from an elitist and superior attitude, much of it rooted in race.
If you haven’t been following the story, I recommend you read Joy Reid’s piece at The Reid Report. She gives some background on the reaction to some on the left to Harris-Perry’s powerful post.
My first instinct whenever I come across something that is clearly over-the-top rhetoric is to attempt to find out the source of that vitriol. Strong opinions don’t usually materialize out of thin air, they come from somewhere and I like to find out where. Using the Google machine, I decided to go back and read some previous writing by Gene Lyons as it relates to race and particularly, President Obama. What I found was quite shocking, in my opinion. You decide for yourself.
On matters of race, I’ve learned as a white, 49 year old male to listen and defer to those who have a closer connection to the effects of racism. What the hell do I know about suffering from racism, other than what I can learn from those who have suffered through it. It’s impossible for me to completely understand what it is like without having experienced it. I’ve accepted that fact and when a person of color speaks about it, I listen and try to internalize it.
One person that I listen to very intently is Melissa Harris-Perry, a very wise and thoughtful person who always makes sense to me whenever I hear her speak or read her words.
Actual KKK members with an actual burning cross
Gather ’round, Angry Black Readers. There’s an elephant in the Democratic Party room, and no, I am not referring to a Republican spy, though I wish I were. I’m talking about racism and race and, yes, I know it’s an uncomfortable topic among us liberals. Racism in the GOP? We can talk about that freely because it’s so damn blatant and ugly. Plus, it’s them doing the racializing, so there’s none of our own skin in the game. We can judge from a distance and feel smugly superior because we are above chimp pics and questioning whether that Kenyan Islo-Fascist Mooooslim was born in America or not, despite all evidence that PBO was, indeed, born in the United States (Hawaii, is a state, despite what some rightwingers believe). Oh, yes, there is racism on the right, but we, we the members of the Democratic Party, we are post-racial and all that shit ‘coz we elected the black guy and watch Oprah and listen to Jay-Z. WE would never hunt at a place called Niggerhead* or carve a backwards B on our cheeks and say a black supporter of Obama did it. WE are above all that!
(Click for more ranting on race)
Herman Cain is going to need a bigger shovel for this hole he’s in.
Look, I know Republicans have a pretty terrible opinion of African-American voters, but it’s just another thing entirely to see African-American Republicans with terrible opinions of African-American voters.
The one African-American running for the GOP presidential nomination said Wednesday the black community was ‘brainwashed’ for traditionally siding with liberal politicians.
“African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view,” Cain said on CNN’s “The Situation Room” in an interview airing Wednesday between 5-7 p.m. ET. “I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it’s just brainwashing and people not being open minded, pure and simple.”
Ho boy. Yeah, see…some free political campaign advice there, Herman. When you’re trying to convince a voting bloc to back you, it’s best not to insult them as “brain-washed” and “not open minded”. In fact, I believe that’s the chief complaint I hear from the Tea Party about how liberals supposedly feel about them. Given this evidence, I’m going to say that particular complaint is projection, plain and simple.
Joan Walsh and David Sirota will *never* get it, and I am giving up.
This week’s comment of the week comes not from this blog, but from Salon.com. It was submitted in response to Joan Walsh’s meandering and defensive article on Melissa Harris-Perry’s suggestion that maybe — just maybe — race is a factor in the seemingly relentless (and often fact-deficient) criticism of President Obama.
Salon commenter Jcwtts1 writes:
Let me begin in the simplest way. Race and Racism are two different things. What happens in discourse, especially internet discourse, is that those two issues become conflated.
This is dangerous for both sides. On the one hand, you have the dismissive white response that is typical. “Just because I criticize the president doesn’t make me a racist.”
[This post is last in a series of four posts about the Melissa Harris Perry Kerfuffle. The other posts are here, here, and here.]
Last week, in response to the outcry at Balloon Juice over my posts about Michael Moore’s racist comments about President Obama (you can read them here and here), John Cole wrote a powerful post and instructive post.
While it is not in response to any of the furor over Melissa Harris-Perry’s posts in The Nation (about which I have written in the three posts prior to this one), it nonetheless should be read by every progressive and/or Democrat, irrespective of color.
He nails it, rips it up, and then nails it again:
[This post is third in a series of four posts about the Melissa Harris Perry Kerfuffle. The other posts can be read here, here, and here.]
Nobody asked you. Put your hand down.
I made the mistake of reading John Aravosis’ take on the furor induced by Melissa Harris-Perry’s articles in The Nation. I don’t know why I bothered.
After all, John Aravosis rarely (if ever) has anything nice to say about Obama; never has a word of understanding to offer; and — on the day that black Americans watched in horror as President Obama “prove to the man” that yes, he is an American citizen born in this country, actually had the temerity to wonder why President Obama “took so long” to release his birth certificate. With that in mind, John Aravosis’ “good show, old girl” post in defense of Joan Walsh is unsurprising:
Posted in LGBTQ Shenanigans, Miscellany, Now That's Some Racist Bullsh*t, Puritopians
Tagged Americablog, Clueless, John Aravosis, LGBT, Melissa Harris Perry, nobody cares, racism, Salon, Salon.com, The Grand Conversation on Race