Tag Archives: Racial Attitudes

Bundy, Sterling and the Supreme Court

Affirmative Action Okay, here we go again. Right on the heels of the Supreme Court’s deplorable affirmative action decision we have more comments from old white men who apparently have a very low opinion or downright hatred of black people. Are we surprised?

The Roberts Court essentially ruled that racism no longer exists, then here comes Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling. I continue to ask the question, if people could choose to be black in the United States of America, would they do so? Until the answer to this question becomes, “it doesn’t matter what your color…”, then affirmative action will be needed. Affirmative action does not only address inequities of the racist past, it addresses ongoing race inequities and perpetuated race hatred.

The recent shootings of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis substantiate the risk of being black in America. Then there is Renisha McBride shot by a homeowner who thought her to be an intruder. Her car broke down at 2:30 a.m. in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, and because her cell phone was dead she knocked on a nearby door and was shot in the head and killed. Her family claims she was racially profiled. How about two black men in their sixties shot and killed in West Virginia while inspecting a newly purchased property. The shooter, Rodney Black, shot them at 2:30 p.m. because he thought they were breaking into a shed on a property that his family had previously owned. How about Roy Middleton, a 60 year-old black man shot by Florida police 15 times in his own driveway (13 bullets missed). He was mistaken for a car thief at the age of 60 ? He survived, but his leg was shattered. Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., a 68 year-old, Marine veteran was killed by White Plains, New York police. He had a chronic heart condition, and the police were called by LifeAid, a medical alert service, to the public housing development where Chamberlain lived alone. He was shot with a stun gun and a bean bag gun and later died as a result. Police are recorded calling Chamberlain a “nigger” on a LifeAid tape. One of the worst incidents is the eight year old boy shot by a Dallas man, Brian Cloniger, simply because “he wanted to”. The child was playing tag outside a Dallas apartment complex and was shot by Cloniger who was arrested and held on $2.2M bond for the shooting, but he has admitted shooting the child. The child has undergone multiple surgeries and suffers from nightmares as a result of this hate crime.

How much evidence does the John Roberts led Supreme Court need to conclude that race hatred in America is still alive. The real-life stories are some of the more overt and blatant examples of this hatred, but every day there are incidents and examples in corporate America, in sports and in society. Cliven Bundy is just an old, ignorant racist who was given a platform to spew his ignorance on FOX news. Sterling was simply caught on tape, but there was plenty of prior evidence to back up his ugly comments about black people. Many have disavowed Sterling for his comments and several sponsors have dropped their relationship with the Los Angeles Clippers. Bundy has had his 15 minutes of shame, so we’ll leave it at that.

The Boston Globe termed the recent Supreme Court 6-2 vote to uphold Michigan’s 2006 ban on affirmative action in higher education admissions as upholding the tyranny of the majority. Justice Sonya Sotomayor’s 58 page dissent (pp. 51-108) has been, of course, attacked and maligned by conservatives on the right. Sotomayor detailed the long history of racial discrimination in the United States by documenting the many ways that southern states, primarily, manipulated laws to ensure that black people were disenfranchised from the vote or remained separate and unequal. Justice Kennedy indicated that he could find “no infliction of specific injury” to restrict Michigan voters from banning affirmative action. In 2006, a majority of white Michigan voters voted in favor of the ban on affirmative action while the majority of blacks in the state voted to uphold affirmative action. Michigan is 80% white. The tyranny of the majority has indeed been upheld.

L. Jackson/04.28.2014

Trayvon Martin: One Year Later

Trayvon Fear Poster

Sadly, today is the anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, and the parents of Trayvon Martin will hold a hoodie vigil to commemorate the tragic anniversary of their son’s death. One year later, the Stand Your Ground law remains in Florida, and it will likely be in force for the foreseeable future. The Zimmerman trial is set for June, 2013. Oddly enough, the Zimmerman legal defense is no longer using the Stand Your Ground law in his defense. Zimmerman’s lawyers know that they cannot defend their client under that law.

The Trayvon Martin murder is just another sad reminder that black life in America is not valued. Yes, I think he was racially profiled by George Zimmerman and murdered. I am convinced, as well, that if Trayvon Martin were a white male killed under similar circumstances, the Sanford, Florida Police Department would have handled the murder suspect very differently. The Zimmerman case is riddled with the racial dysfunction that plagues this country.

What also must be addressed as part of this country’s racial dysfunction is black on black murder. Everyday, murders occur in the Hood. No, the media does not cover it because it is not considered newsworthy. After all, it’s just black people killing each other, right? All these murders, whether mass or one-on-one are all the more reason for gun control.

Stand Your Ground is law in Florida thanks to the scurrilous influence of the gun lobby and other wealthy advocates. This law only promotes vigilantism which puts all Floridians at a greater risk of gun violence. Those most threatened by this kind of law are black men, and black people in general. After all, the Second Amendment was written in part to appease southern militia whose sole purpose was to control the black slaves.

Rest in peace, Trayvon Martin and condolences to the family once again.

The New Republic: Original Sin

Failed GOP

Sam Tanenhaus writes a compelling article in The New Republic about the inevitable decline of the GOP if it remains the party of just white people, which is its current trend. The GOP not only needs to change its messengers, it needs to change its message. The Republican Party of the present day is certainly not the party of Lincoln, but, more apparently, the party of John C. Calhoun. Conservatism has become the code word for bigotry with many Republicans channeling Jim Crow Dixiecrats. I’m happy to say that the Southern Strategy is exposed and failing.

…the GOP is in jeopardy, the gravest since 1964, of ceasing to be a national party.

The article offers a great history lesson of conservatism and the GOP in America. During the 20th century, liberalism is equated to communism. Sound familiar?  But Tanenhaus details that John C. Calhoun, pro-slavery politician and author of “nullification” (also known as state’s rights) influenced countless conservatives for more than a century, including William F. Buckley, Jim Crow proponent and the founder of National Review magazine, Barry Goldwater and the GOP icon, Ronald Reagan.

The politics of “nullification” is nothing new yet it is veiled in the rhetoric and claims of “big government”. It is simply the desire of some conservatives, to no longer be a part of our democratic collective. Tax avoidance is the ploy used to “starve the beast” or make sure that certain groups or factions that are deemed undesirable by the extreme right-wing do not benefit from taxpayer dollars.

We hear the echoes of nullification in the venting of anti-government passions and also in campaigns to “starve government,” curtail voter registration, repeal legislation, delegitimize presidents. There is a strong sectionalist bias in these efforts.

As Tanenhaus asserts, the GOP strategy is a losing strategy stuck in a bygone era of white supremacy. The country has changed both philosophically and demographically, but I surmise the GOP will be the last to acknowledge that fact.

Racial Views: Poll Shows Majority Harbor Prejudice Against Blacks

Race Relations

Post-racial America…I think not! This article was written just prior to the 2012 Presidential election, but the results of the poll regarding racial attitudes in America were not at all surprising to me. The excerpt below from the article is revealing:

“As much as we’d hope the impact of race would decline over time … it appears the impact of anti-black sentiment on voting is about the same as it was four years ago,” said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University professor who worked with AP to develop the survey.

 

Read the full article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/27/racial-views-new-polls-sh_n_2029423.html

By SONYA ROSS and JENNIFER AGIESTA  10/27/12