Monday, July 27, 2015

Studying the " empirical reality of racism in the United States."

"It's all the same thing, man. People don't understand that songs like "Fuck that Police" are 400 years in the making. It's a constant racism that affects black people in this country that's never stopped." ~ Ice Cube!~

The Field Negro education series continues.

I think that the following article/interview from The New York Times is timely:

"This is the next installment in a series of interviews on race that I am conducting for The Stone. This week’s conversation is with Joe Feagin, a sociologist, and a leading researcher of racism in the United States for more than 40 years. He teaches at Texas A & M University and is the author of more than 60 books, including the forthcoming “How Blacks Built America: Labor, Culture, Freedom, and Democracy.”

George Yancy: To what extent does your work as a sociologist overlap or pertain to what we might concern ourselves with as philosophers?
Joe Feagin: I have been deeply concerned with issues of social and moral philosophy since college. I majored in philosophy as an undergraduate and then went to Harvard Divinity School, where I worked with philosopher-theologians in social ethics, European theology and comparative religions. I studied with Paul Tillich, Richard R. Niebuhr, Arthur Darby Nock and others. When I switched to doctoral work in sociology at Harvard, I studied with the theoreticians Talcott Parsons, George Homans, Robert Bellah, Charles Tilly and Gordon Allport. Allport and his young colleague Tom Pettigrew got me seriously interested in studying racial-ethnic theory in social science as well as the empirical reality of racism in the United States. During this decade (the 1960s) I was also greatly influenced by major African-American social analysts of racism, like W.E.B. Du Bois, Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton. More recently, my work has been used by philosophers of race including Lewis Gordon, Charles Mills, Linda Alcoff, Tommy Curry — and yourself.
G. Y.: In your book “The White Racial Frame,” you argue for a new paradigm that will help to explain the nature of racism. What is that new paradigm and what does it reveal about race in America?
J.F.: To understand well the realities of American racism, one must adopt an analytical perspective focused on the what, why and who of the systemic white racism that is central and foundational to this society. Most mainstream social scientists dealing with racism issues have relied heavily on inadequate analytical concepts like prejudice, bias, stereotyping and intolerance. Such concepts are often useful, but were long ago crafted by white social scientists focusing on individual racial and ethnic issues, not on society’s systemic racism. To fully understand racism in the United States, one has to go to the centuries-old counter-system tradition of African-American analysts and other analysts of color who have done the most sustained and penetrating analyses of institutional and systemic racism.
G.Y.: So, are you suggesting that racial prejudices are only half the story? Does the question of the systemic nature of racism make white people complicit regardless of racial prejudices?
J.F.: Prejudice is much less than half the story. Because prejudice is only one part of the larger white racial frame that is central to rationalizing and maintaining systemic racism, one can be less racially prejudiced and still operate out of many other aspects of that dominant frame.That white racial frame includes not only racist prejudices and stereotypes of conventional analyses, but also racist ideologies, narratives, images and emotions, as well as individual and group inclinations to discriminate shaped by the other features. Additionally, all whites, no matter what their racial prejudices and other racial framings entail, benefit from many racial privileges routinely granted by this country’s major institutions to whites.
G.Y.: The N.A.A.C.P. called the murder of nine African-Americans in the historic Emanuel A.M.E. Baptist Church in Charleston, S.C., an “act of racial terrorism”? Do you think that definition is correct?
J.F.: According to media reports, the alleged murderer Dylann Roof has aggressively expressed numerous ideas, narratives, symbols and emotions from an openly white supremacist version of that old white racial frame. The N.A.A.C.P. terminology is justified, given that the oldest terrorist group still active on the planet is the Ku Klux Klan. We must also emphasize the larger societal context of recurring white supremacist actions, which implicates white Americans more generally. Mainstream media commentators and politicians have mostly missed the critical point that much serious anti-black and pro-white framing proclaimed by supremacist groups is still shared, publicly or privately, by many other whites. The latter include many whites horrified at what these white terrorist groups have recently done.
G.Y.: I realize that this question would take more space than we have here, but what specific insights about race can you share after four decades of research?
J.F.: Let me mention just two. First, I have learned much about how this country’s racial oppression became well institutionalized and thoroughly systemic over many generations, including how it has been rationalized and maintained for centuries by the broad white racist framing just mentioned. Another key insight is about how long this country’s timeline of racial oppression actually is. Most whites, and many others, do not understand that about 80 percent of this country’s four centuries have involved extreme racialized slavery and extreme Jim Crow legal segregation.
As a result, major racial inequalities have been deeply institutionalized over about 20 generations. One key feature of systemic racism is how it has been socially reproduced by individuals, groups and institutions for generations. Most whites think racial inequalities reflect differences they see as real — superior work ethic, greater intelligence, or other meritorious abilities of whites. Social science research is clear that white-black inequalities today are substantially the result of a majority of whites socially inheriting unjust enrichments (money, land, home equities, social capital, etc.) from numerous previous white generations — the majority of whom benefited from the racialized slavery system and/or the de jure (Jim Crow) and de facto overt racial oppression that followed slavery for nearly a century, indeed until the late 1960s.
G.Y.: What then are we to make of the concept of American meritocracy and the Horatio Alger narrative — the rags to riches narrative?
J.F.: These are often just convenient social fictions, not societal realities. For centuries they have been circulated to justify why whites as a group have superior socioeconomic and power positions in American society. In the white frame’s pro-white subframe whites are said to be the hardest-working and most meritorious group. Yet the sociologist Nancy DiTomaso has found in many interviews with whites that a substantial majority have used networks of white acquaintances, friends and family to find most jobs over their lifetimes. They have mostly avoided real market competition and secured good jobs using racially segregated networks, not just on their “merit.” Not one interviewee [out of approximately 150 to 200] expressed seeing anything wrong with their use of this widespread system of white favoritism, which involves “social capital” passed along numerous white generations.
G.Y.: Can we talk about race in America without inevitably talking about racism?
J.F.: No, we cannot. In its modern racialized sense the term “race” was created by white American and European analysts in the 17th and 18th centuries in order to explain how they, as “good Christians,” could so extensively and brutally oppress, initially, indigenous and African Americans. There was no well-developed American hierarchy of “races,” a key feature of systemic racism, before white Europeans and white Americans made that the societal reality in the Americas by means of the Atlantic slave trade and the genocidal theft of indigenous peoples’ lands. Whites were soon framed as the virtuous and “superior race,” while those oppressed were dehumanized as the “inferior races.” [More]
*Pic from

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Legitimizing racism and the end of journalism.

Patrickjbuchanan.JPGWelcome back Pat Buchanan;  the poster boy for your racist xenophobic American.

And shame on Chuck Todd and NBC for bringing him back. This is just what we need in this current political climate; more ignorant and unenlightened thoughts from Richard Nixon's former inside man.

This is what John Amato, writing for Crooks And Liars, had to say about the aforementioned Mr. Buchanan:

"Buchanan has repeatedly defended Adolf Hitler and once labeled him "an individual of great courage." He claimed "in a way, both sides were right" during the Civil War. He declined to disavow the idea that minorities have inferior genes. He defended a school's ban on interracial dating. He opined that "this has been a country built, basically, by white folks" and falsely claimed only "white males" died at Gettysburg and Normandy. He once claimed "conservatives are the niggers of the Nixon administration" and urged President Nixon not to visit Martin Luther King Jr.'s widow because King was "one of the most divisive men in contemporary history."


Anyway, speaking of Adolf Hitler, it seems that yet another right- wing politician thought that it was cool to  refer to a time in our history when Adolf Hitler was committing atrocities in Europe, while talking about the policies of the president of the United States.

"Hyperbolic analogies to Nazis or the Holocaust are hardly a new feature of American political rhetoric, but Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee got weirdly specific about concentration-camp crematoriums yesterday when denouncing the Obama Administration's nuclear deal with Iran. In a Breitbart interview, Huckabee declared, "This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven."' [Source]

What is it with these guys and their love affair with all things Nazi?

And Huckabee in particular seems to be enamored with the whole Nazi thing.

He does it, for instance,  here, and here, and here.

Anyway, I know that Mike Huckabee is a "religious" man, so I am going to give him a quote from a book that I know he reads:   "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he".

Pic from Wikipedia

Saturday, July 25, 2015


I need a caption for this pic.

*Pic from

Friday, July 24, 2015

Rebranding "white privilege."

After hearing about the liberal golden boy, Jon Stewart, having an epic meltdown towards a black writer after he (the writer) called him on his "white privilege",  I thought of an interesting article written by a Hispanic writer that I read a couple of days ago about the subject.

I like to educate and inform, so I thought that I would share it with you.

"Marketing is everything.

For example, witness the well-documented phenomenon of many Americans despising Obamacare while still liking the Affordable Care Act (FYI: They are the same damn thing).

Or consider the worst branding decision of all time: "global warming". As we all know, climate deniers just scoff and say, "Then why was it so cold this winter?" Such idiotic assertions are easier to dismiss with a new and improved term (i.e., "climate change").

We are seeing the same pushback, the same dismissal of reality with the phrase "white privilege." Now, for those who are unclear about this concept, white privilege refers to societal privileges that benefit white people beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people. We can nitpick this definition, but that would be a whole other article.

The problem with white privilege is that the concept is painfully easy to refute. I'm not talking about right-wingers who insist that racism is dead or that white people are actually the disadvantaged class in America. There's just no reaching those people.

No, I'm referring to white individuals who hear the word "privilege" thrown at them and interpret it as an individual attack rather than as a societal fact. Their reply is frequently, "There's nothing privileged about my life."

Indeed, as the wealth gap increases, plenty of white people are being left behind. And many of those struggling individuals come from ethnicities that endured their own struggles in the past (and occasionally, in the present). Under such circumstances, it's galling -- even ludicrous -- to be told that you are privileged.

And what have good liberals done when confronted with this response? We stammer that privileges are often invisible, or that white people are less likely to be harassed by the cops, or that we're not implying white people have had everything handed to them on a silver platter.

That's all true of course. But it's also true that if you're explaining, you're losing.

And that's why we need to drop the whole thing -- not the concept, mind you, which is crucial to our understanding of racial inequalities and American culture itself. We need to rebrand.

This has been pointed out before, but so far we have failed to come up with a good alternative.
So let's begin the discussion in earnest. Let's make it a real goal to replace the needlessly confrontational term "white privilege."

I'll get it started. How about "white advantage"? It's still racially loaded, but the idea of "advantage" is much easier to accept than "privilege."

Hey, just take it as a first draft. I'm sure working together, we can come up with something better.
Because we really need to." [Source]

You could call it white edge, or white lead for all I care. As long as there is an acknowledgement that it exists, that is fine with me.

The thing is, though, no matter what you call it some folks will never acknowledge its existence. It's deeper than just packaging or "marketing" the phrase in the right way to have the discussion. I suspect that if we call it something else and try to have a discussion about it we will meet with the same obstacles to a better understanding of each other when certain folks are confronted with the reality of their societal status.

"Producers at “The Daily Show” said on Friday that the argument between Mr. Stewart and Mr. Cenac went well beyond the usual disagreements that can flare up in preparing the show.
Steve Bodow, an executive producer, acknowledged in an interview that there were “blind spots” at the program when Mr. Cenac worked there, “and I’m sure there still are now,” he said." 
Hmmm, racial "blind spots". That must be what you get when you are unaware of your  "white privilege", or "advantage", or whatever you want to call it.
Sorry Mr. Cubias, it doesn't matter how you package the food, if you don't change the ingredients that go into it the taste will still be the same. 


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Guns everywhere, and Marco needs a lesson about "class".

Image result for guns image*As we keep seeing more sad and horrific stories like this ;and this ;and this; and this; and this; and.... ah you get the point. You have to wonder why this is happening in America.

I think it's time for that great Gyp Rosetti quote:

"I got a gun. He got a gun. He got gun...EVERYBODY GOT GUNS!"

Meanwhile, out in LA, they just found some poor stiff (literally) with an arsenal of over 1,200 guns.

I wonder how Wayne LaPierre sleeps at night.

Finally, Marco (I need water) Rubio says that the president doesn't have any "class".

Image result for rubio images   ** This is the same Marco Rubio who did all kinds of sleazy things while Speaker of the Florida House, and who spent big money on a speed boat and a luxury SUV even though he was deep in debt.

"Rubio's history of risky financial decisions has been well documented since he was a young Florida state assemblyman.
  • In 2006, the Tampa Bay Times described Rubio as "barely solvent." 
  • During his run for Senate several years later, the Florida senator was forced to defend his record after revelations that he put thousands of personal charges, including hair cuts, liquor-store runs, and a $10,000 family vacation on campaign and Florida Republican Party credit cards.
  • According to The Times, in the early 2000s, the now presidential candidate bought several homes, putting no money down.
  • On the eve of his presidential announcement, Rubio cashed out his $68,000 retirement savings to pay bills for a broken refrigerator, air-conditioning unit, and his kids' private-school tuition. The transaction incurs a significant tax penalty that could cost Rubio $24,000.
  • Last week, Rubio's camp announced that the senator finally sold a Tallahassee home that he'd bought with Florida state Rep. David Rivera. The house proved to be a bad investment — Rubio and Rivera sold the home for $18,000 less than they paid for it.
Rubio's troubling spending habits are well known within Republican political circles. According to The Times, when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's team vetted Rubio as a potential vice presidential candidate, they found that the Florida senator's financial decisions were bad enough that they could damage the campaign."

Marco, I think you might need a lifetime supply of   Windex®  for all the glass it took to build your house.

No wonder Sheldon wanted his money back.

*Pic from

**Pic from

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Open thread night.

Image result for the field negroI was thinking about a couple of stories from the news today.

This one, and this one , really got my attention.  

I don't have time to write a post right now, so I am going to make this an open thread and read what you have to say about everything in the news. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

When black votes can no longer be taken for granted.

Image result for black lives matter netroots images     Given the "Black Lives Matter'' protest that jumped off at the Netroots Nation convention, recently, I believe that the following article is apropos.

"We are now in the midst of the 2016 presidential election, which means both parties are pandering to their bases as well as to unlikely voters who may be swayed to their respective sides. Although it’s early, this election cycle has already been dominated by questions of which candidate will garner “the black vote,” as if black people are monolithic. Given that thousands of black people are currently leading a social justice movement across the nation that the media has dubbed the “Black Lives Matter" movement,  the black electorate appears to be at the forefront of politicians’ minds.
There is a history of black communities voting Democrat — that is, when we are actually allowed to vote, as we were historically targeted for explicitly racist disenfranchisement in the 20th century and felon disenfranchisement in the 21st century. During the 20th century, the Democratic Party was well known for instituting anti-black policies in the South such as Jim Crow, poll taxes and literacy tests. Since then, the Democratic Party has shifted its image to racial indifference, while the Republican Party picked up its racially hostile characteristics.

Today black communities continue to be betrayed by both sides of the aisle in this toxic political system, which prioritizes exuberant campaign spending over protecting human rights. Both Ferguson and Baltimore saw uprisings in the face of police terror in the last year. And each city watched Democratic city and state politicians lead violent militarized occupation in response to protests, including the National Guard, tear gas, rubber bullets and riot police. The fact is that neither political party is “for black people,” but white liberal and moderate voters continually impose upon black communities the candidates they feel are most sympathetic to black experiences.

A bizarre phenomenon has developed out of this — Bernie Sanders supporters lurking in the dark trolling shadows of Twitter to condescendingly tell black people what’s best for us inside a system designed to crush us.  One person even went to so far as to call Sanders “one of the first Black Lives Matter Activists.” Others juxtapose his image with captions of Martin Luther King Jr. quotes, and thrust such egregious depictions at black Twitter users. Sanders supporters list his involvement with the civil rights movement as though they have now come to collect on his debt — black people must repay Sanders for his service by voting him into office.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton supporters practice the “it’s time we’ve had a woman president” method with black women, as if Hillary’s supposed feminism has ever been intersectional or inclusive between supporting her husband Bill Clinton’s mass incarceration policies and spewing the blasphemous “All Lives Matter” phrase in Ferguson, Missouri.

White supporters of both candidates appear to share one common fear: losing the black vote. Above all, these supporters seem to be most concerned about black voters not supporting whoever ends up the Democratic nominee, thus ceding the White House to a Republican candidate. Bernie’s and Hillary’s rabid bases shake in their boots at the idea that black people could vote Republican, or for a third party — or simply not vote at all. “Do you really want the clown car in the White House?” they warn of the Republican candidates, as if they are unable to view life outside of the liberal-vs.-conservative political dichotomy. Black people don’t have such a privilege — we have been fighting simply to be treated as humans for centuries.
This entire culture of white people feeling as though they know what’s best for blacks is rooted in paternalism. It is pervasive throughout history and founded in slave-master ideologies, it ignores the autonomy of black people and continuously disrespects our intelligence. When blacks were organizing around the 15th Amendment, some white peers believed black people weren’t educated enough for enfranchisement and feared they would potentially offset liberal power. The truth is that the left has always used black communities to fuel their political power, without ever truly prioritizing black issues. The right remains blatantly racist, but while the left has chosen not to ascribe to outright racial hostility, it still continues to practice racial indifference while stepping on the backs of blacks to protect its privilege and political influence.
White liberals generally do not want to be racist, although not many truly understand systemic racism, but they fear how they will protect their white and class privilege in the event that the blatantly racist political party takes power. How will they sustain policies that benefit the white middle class without the black voting base? Will they need to shift their racial attitudes to align with the repugnant right in an attempt to infiltrate the Republican Party? Either way, they are surely not concerned with the opinions or experiences of black people, as they chastise and attempt to bully us into supporting their candidates. Black people are lambasted for daring to vocalize our disillusionment with the political system — and it doesn’t take long for the white liberal who once posed as an ally to employ the “black people don’t vote” negative stereotype to back us into the corner of choosing to either refute the trope or investing time into invalidating it." {More}

For the record, I welcome the idea of making progressives accountable when it comes to their positions as it relates to black issues. I despise the paternalistic politics of some of those on the left as much as I despise the racist and exclusionary politics of those on the right. I blogged about this years ago, and my position has not changed.

There is nothing wrong with making liberal politicians accountable for their positions on certain issues as it relates to black folks. They have long been able to rely on our votes, it is long past time that we make them stop taking it for granted.    


Monday, July 20, 2015

When outrage gets selective.

I have a question for conservatives: Why did it take Mr. Bad Hair making light of John McCain's time as a prisoner of war for you to see just how despicable this charlatan truly is?

Where were you when he was telling anyone who would listen that the president of the United States was not born in this country? Or when he sent investigators down to Hawaii to look into all aspects of the president's background? Or when he bought into crazy conspiracy theories, and publicly declared that president Obama is a plagiarist? 

Now, all of a sudden, he is a "jackass". 

I guess I shouldn't expect anything better from the same folks who were, not long ago, "Swiftboating" another war hero for political gain.

I find it interesting that of all the crazy and outrageous things that this clown has done, this is the thing that is causing the most consternation among republicans and conservatives.

For instance, those outrageous statements about Mexican rapists to kick off his campaign got a response  that reminded me of a certain Simon & Garfunkel song. 

"It's not just absurd, it's offensive. It's ridiculous. And I do think it's a disqualifier as commander-in-chief..." ~ Marco Rubio~


*Pic from


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Leroy's act of kindness.

Image result for leroy smith nazi images I must be a terrible person, because the picture that you see above is generating all kinds of kumbaya buzz, and I, unfortunately, don't get it.

Yes, I see the black man who happens to be a police officer helping the old klansman suffering from a heatstroke. Good for Mr. Smith. That was a very kind and professional thing to do. I suppose that as a first responder his professional instincts just kicked in.

Sorry, I would have had to call someone else to help the old fella.

But this is the thing with most black people that folks in the majority will never understand: we are such a forgiving people.  No matter how much you crap on us we are still willing to help you and show you compassion. Eve if you are a virulent racist whose death in the South Carolina heat would not have been a big loss to humanity.

Field, you are such a cynical asshole. Why can't you find it in your heart to love even those that hate you?

Sorry, I wasn't built like that. When it comes to the good book I am not down with Matthew 5:39, I am more of an eye for an eye kind of guy.

Anyway, not surprisingly,  Leroy Smith is getting all kinds of twitter love.

"@bijancbayne @RobGodfrey @robgreeneII This kindness chokes me up. How do SC people find that well of caring in the midst of so much hatred?"
"not an uncommon example of humanity in SC: Leroy Smith helps white supremacist to shelter & water as heat bears down."
"@imraansiddiqi @RobGodfrey I hope he changes his ways after this episode of humanity at its finest. Well done to the police officer."
Mr. Vegas
I would do the same as the police officer! Love conquers all! "Black police officer, assisting KKK member, after heat stroke"
Kyle Skoumal @kyle_skoumal
"Lets take a moment to respect and try to be more like this black police officer helping a KKK member with sun stroke. "

And on and on it goes.

Nothing like turning the other cheek, showing "humility", and taking the high road to make you a hero in the eyes of your fellow Americans.

Mr. Smith is a true son of the South. His fellow South Carolinians should be proud.   

*Pic from



Saturday, July 18, 2015



I need a caption for this pic.

Play nice.

*Pic from

Friday, July 17, 2015

Another young black female dies in police custody.

18yr-kindra-chapman-suicide-al-jailI am still trying to figure out what happened to Sandra Bland. I know what the police in Texas say happened, but you will have to excuse me if I don't believe it.

You see, I happen to be a black man in America, and I have been paying close attention to what has been happening to people of color when they come in contact with law enforcement over the past few months.

So anyway, while we are still trying to figure out what happened to Sandra Bland, the sad and horrific story of Kindra Darnell Chapman (in picture) got my attention.

Here is how the story was told by a "main stream" website which is run by a major newspaper in the state of Alabama:

"An 18-year-old girl hanged herself in the Homewood City Jail Tuesday night.

The Jefferson County Coroner's Office identified the inmate as Kindra Darnell Chapman. Chapman was booked in the jail at 6:22 p.m., on a first-degree robbery charge. Homewood police said she robbed another person of a cell phone in the 1600 block of Lakeshore Court.

Jailers last saw her alive at 6:30 p.m. She was found unresponsive at 7:50 p.m. Authorities said she used a bed sheet to hang herself.

Chapman was taken to Brookwood Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available." [Source]

Yes, and I am sure that we will get the truth from law enforcement in Alabama.

My first thought about this incident was that we have been down this road before.

Remember Sheneque Proctor? She was also 18 when she was found dead in an Alabama jail cell.

Being hung in a jail cell should not be a right of passage for young women of color in Alabama.  Sadly it seems that it might not be such a stretch to say that it is.

#IfIDieInPoliceCustody is currently trending on black twitter.

Because if we don't bring attention to these cases, no one else will.