Showing posts from July, 2008

Turn The Tables Of The American Racial Order By Properly Naming The Main Problem: Racism

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Oakland in the wee hours of the morning (coming from the east coast to the west coast has me wide awake at 4:00 am) as I write this post to my blog. Riding to my hotel from the airport, I got an opportunity to get a small glimpse of the urban landscape of the city. I was struck by just how similar Oakland is to my hometown, Detroit , and any other post-industrial city I’ve visited across the country – a decayed (or decaying) infrastructure and a whole bunch of disadvantaged people. Concerned as I am with promoting racial justice, I tend to be preoccupied with thoughts about how to lift up the mass of people of color I see in these once great American cities. To turn the tables of the American racial order, it is important that we properly name the main problem: racism. Although it is less malicious and intense than it was in the pre-civil rights era, racism – in all its variations, including silent racism, everyday racism, color-blind racism, an

Reverend Jackson Was Right: Uhhhhhh, His Point That Senator Obama Talks Down To Black People

By now, everyone knows about Reverend Jesse Jackson’s hot mike comments about Senator Barack Obama. Of course the Reverend was wrong for joking about emasculating the brother. But, Reverend Jackson was right about one thing: Barack Obama has been “talking down to black people.” Not everyone has taken Reverend Jackson’s critique of Senator Obama as seriously as they should. Instead, the Reverend has come under attack. The critics of Reverend Jackson accuse him of being a “Playa Hater.” They contend that he and other civil rights leaders of his generation – those who risked life and limb to end de jure segregation – are jealous of Senator Obama, resenting his rapid rise to political prominence. Reverend Jackson, in particular, is thought to be envious of Senator Obama because he believes that he, not the Senator, should be the nation’s first black president. Reverend Jackson is also believed to be angry at Senator Obama because the Senator fails to give him and other civil rights leade

The Looting of Black People’s Wealth: From Land Grabs to Subprime Loans

“For generations, black families passed down the tales in uneasy whispers: ‘They stole our land’” began an award winning 2001 Associated Press series titled “Torn From the Land.” The culmination of an 18 month investigation, AP’s three-part series revealed a systematic pattern in which blacks were “cheated out of their land or driven from it through intimidation, violence and even murder.” The looting of black wealth began shortly after the Civil War and continues to this very day. Tracking more than a century of land cases by searching through deeds, mortgages, tax records, estate papers, court proceedings, oil leases and Freedmen’s Bureau archives, the AP reporters were able to show how everyone from US government officials to Southern segregationist got in on the act of stealing land owned by blacks. Notably, the reporters make a compelling case that the government either approved of the theft of black land or took part in the thievery. This first phase of the looting of black wealt

Silky Smoothing it all the way to the White House

I never thought that I would see a politician slicker than ex-president, Bill “Slick-Willie” Clinton. Well, you might ask, “How slick was Bill Clinton?” “Slick-Willie” was so slick that he sweet-talked black folks into calling him the first black president. Up until his white privilege meltdown during the South Carolina Democratic Party primary, it was not unusual for black people – from pulpits to barbershops – to refer to the ex-president as “Fam (short for family for some of my un-hip readers).” Who is slicker than my “Fam?” The answer is Barack “Silky” Obama. “Silky”… Is… SMOOTH! Like Clinton, “Silky” is one hell-of-an orator. And, like “Slick Willie,” Senator Obama is as much a politician as the rest. The warning signs are all over the place. Take, for instance, his steady march to the right. Uhhhhhhhh, I mean the middle. There are, of course, the flip flops: he opposed NAFTA, now he is not against NAFTA; he would take public financing, now he won’t take public financing; he would