Showing posts from April, 2013

Black People Are Like Canaries In A Coal Mine

On Monday, April 8, President Barack Obama will be visiting the University of Hartford. The buzz around campus since the email went out announcing that POTUS will be coming to our little campus has been electric. As I start typing this blog post, hundreds of students, faculty, and staff have been standing in line for hours in front of the student center to get one of the highly coveted tickets to hear him speak. Although I like President Obama, I'm not a fan of how he marginalizes the impact of white supremacy in contemporary American society or his preference for colorblind solutions to socioeconomic inequalities that are deeply rooted in longstanding racial and economic hierarchies. His pending visit to campus made me think about a book I read about 10 years ago by Critical Race Theory scholars, Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres , The Miner's Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy . In their very excellent book, Guinier and Torres, cogently and forcefu

Time To Dismantle, Not Tinker, With Political And Economic Hierarchies

David H. Ikard and Martell Lee Teasley write in their book, Nation of Cowards , that "structural inequalities are systemic material, social, political, and economic factors that individually or in combination facilitate individual and group disadvantages." Structural inequalities are firmly entrenched in American society. According to Ikard and Teasley, they "manifest themselves in inferior housing, health services, education, and employment opportunities." The continuing problem of joblessness is an appropriate place to start in trying to understand how structural inequalities work in America. Nationally, the unemployment rate is 7.7 percent , down from its Great Recession peak of 10 percent in October 2009. This figure only tells part of the story; roughly 20 million Americans are either out of work or underemployed. To make matters worse, the Federal Reserve reported last year that US corporations are sitting on about $1.7 trillion which they keep in treasuries,