See this excellent blog post about the book publishing industry and its cover art decision-making process. No number of white people on the cover of a book is too many, but too many people of color … Oh no, we can’t have that! We already had a picture of an Indian woman on a cover this year!!
What it is. Very well put.
Left unsaid in Obama’s Philadelphia speech, and rarely mentioned if ever in our country, is that slavery and its aftermath were a Holocaust for African-Americans. When you use that word, you can begin to re-frame the matter and begin to understand why a church would want to “never forget” and can refer to “the black community” and “black values” and not be “racist” or “separatist”, but post-traumatic. America doesn’t tell Jews to “get over it” and for good reason. The effects of such a calamity on a people remain and remain deep for generations.
Some of the comments i’ve read lately about Obama and Clinton and ‘the race card’ and South Carolina are really mind-boggling. My favorites are from people who claim to be “just like MLK” but say that obama played the race card first, and he did this by having the support of Oprah Winfrey. I suppose if Regis Philbin came out for Hillary it would be because she’s white? Someone endorsing you is *not* “playing the race card”, people.
Now it’s “he only won the primary because he’s black”. Next it will be “he’s only president because he’s black”. I hope.
His opponents say, what has he done? Don’t they see? He is doing it. Every day. If you read his words and listen to his words, what he is doing is important on many levels.
nothing in this country that was worthwhile ever got done before somebody somewhere decided to hope
Everyone’s familiar with DWB – ‘driving while Black’ – but now there’s ‘RWB’, or ‘Running for President while Black’. There really are right-wing commentators out there saying that people are only voting for Obama “because he’s Black”! A curious twist on an old dilemna. Then there are people who are only voting for Hillary because she’s a woman. As a fifty-year old American, all I can say is, man, never saw this kind of thing coming when I was a kid!
Still, I’m frustrated that Senator Clinton is getting away with the claim that she represents “experience” as opposed to Senator Obama. It’s simply not true. They have to take that away from her.
“Clinton also said Obama and Edwards have acted like hypocrites during the race and appeared to diminish the role Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. played in the civil rights movements, saying it wasn’t hope that King inspired that made the difference but President Lyndon Johnson’s decision to fight for and sign the Civil Rights Act into law.”
I’ll think of this next time we celebrate LBJ Day and listen to his famous “I have a pen” speech!
so romney teared up remembering how he wept when his church decided in 1978 that black people aren’t inherently evil and wicked after all. good for him. now, you know that mormons have historically believed (whether or not they all do today) that every planet has its own god, a god that used to be a person who was a mormon, and every current mormon person has the ability to become a god of their own planet someday, so maybe planet romney will be a really nice place without segregation or discrimination of any kind. wait a minute, i think i hear him being summoned already:
paging mr. romney. mr. romney. please come to the white courtesy telephone, your planet is ready and waiting for you
or, some background as to why i tend to think of violence as a widespread problem of america and humanity, which has to be dealt with at the broadest possible level, not broken down into ghettoized components like video-gamers, crazy-white-loner-teens, black-on-black gangsta hip-hop, italian mafia, east coast west coast whatever.
self, formerly skinny (now medium-sized) white guy, usually taken for a jew.
age 11, riding around on my bike in the lily-white philadelphia suburbs, stopped by gang of lile-white kids, led by bully (irish-american) – pushed down, kicked around, crap beaten out of, et cetera
age 12, junior high, all new bully (italian-american) breaks both of my thumbs besides numerous other pushing, hitting and kicking incidents.
age 14, walking around downtown philadelphia, inside city hall to be precise, run over, kicked and punched by gang of young teen black kids.
age 15, walking home from school across from villanova university, blocked by a much bigger (white) kid, a total stranger, who proceeds to beat the living shit out of self for no reason whatsoever. kid won’t stop until subject (self) bleeding from pretty much every angle.
age 17, living in bogota, colombia, ear grazed by bullet wildly shot in the street by a shopkeeper chasing a thief.
age 18, bogota, colombia, lost while walking with girlfriend in desperate neighborhood, stopped by two men, two small boys, four long knives at our throats, merely robbed. for some unknown reason, not murdered.
age 19, living in mostly black washington d.c. neighborhood, only incident in six years, robbed by two young boys (age nine at most) with knives, in elevator of own apartment building.
age 24, in ten years living in mostly hispanic neighborhood, san francisco, chased by gang with baseball bats. mistaken for gay thanks to haircut.
it’s where you are. where you go. where you live. nobody’s got an exclusive lock on this one.
reproducing (and expanding upon) my comment on yet another excellent plezWorld post
The current gangster mythology is not exclusive to hip-hop or african-americans, yet everybody hastens to isolate it as such. It has a mainstream american history (from billy the kid through al capone, the godfather and sopranos). it’s not clearly divisible by ‘race’ or ethnicity – it’s appeal across the culture is wide and deep. a lot of what i’ve been reading about “hip-hop” culture over the past few years seems to assign both ownership and blame exclusively to african-americans, and it isn’t helpful, neither to that community nor to america as a whole.
you see the same kind of thing in sports, where every time you hear about “today’s athlete” being greedy, selfish, lazy, et cetera, it’s a not so subtle code for african-american athletes. we know that professional sports are popular across america and we know that hip-hop music is popular across america – don’t fall into the trap of assigning everything negative about those industries to african-americans.
gangsterism is as american as football and apple pie. the recent movie ‘american gangster’ goes a way towards uniting those strands, giving us a black ‘scarface’ to go along with the rest of our outlaw legends.
gangster culture of every flavor is a culture of violence and cruelty, and its glamorization only makes it worse, but the hip-hop variety cannot be separated out as a black problem or a black-on-black problem, and it cannot be “solved” by some effort isolated to any one community, any more than the mafia was a problem only for italians that had to be dealt with by italians and them alone. it can’t even be separated from the proliferation of “lone gunmen” that almost every day are popping up in shopping malls to assassinate strangers in the process of committing their own suicide. the culture and acceptance of violence, especially gun violence, all throughout america has to be confronted as a whole.
the urge to blame music for its role in crime reminds me so much of frank zappa’s testimony to congress on the tipper gore crusade against heavy metal: There are little technical difficulties here, and and you have the problem of having somebody in the position of deciding what’s good, what’s bad, what’s talking about the devil, what is too violent, and the rest of that stuff.
there’s something deeper at work, an american infection. the violence in our movies and music is one of the symptoms of this fever, and it isn’t a black thing, and it isn’t an italian thing, and it isn’t a white thing or a puerto rican scarface thing. for all the talk of america as a “force for peace” (quoting oprah in her obama speech this weekend), we are a warlike people, with a history of genocide, slavery, oppression and colonization. when we think nothing of invading countries on shabby pretexts and leveling their cities, destroying their very societies, who the hell are we to wring our hands about the violence here at home?
someday maybe america will get to the root of its gangster love, but i’m just seeing the hip-hop variety as the latest flavor of a long american trend. have gun, will travel.