Archive for the ‘race’ tag
I’ve never seen anything Tyler Perry’s done — I keep meaning to but not doing it — but what little I’ve seen leaves me desperately curious about what his goals are. When linking to an annoyingly superficial article I begrudgingly read — if you won’t let me see your whole article on a single page, I’ll generally not read it — MOLT said this:
“Tyler Perry is simply reflecting the thinking of a lot of uneducated, working-class African-Americans.” Anecdotally, I know that sentence to be untrue, I work with plenty of educated African-Americans who love Perry, but ever since we moved to Atlanta, the center of his “empire,” I’ve been fascinated by him. His show “House of Payne” comes on 2-3 times a day here on a local affiliate and it is amazingly bad. It is quite literally the TV equivalent of a train wreck and I can’t look away. The man is a genius. He filmed 100 episodes of the show in a year, doing almost 3 a week so that he could get into syndication faster and make the real money. The cast was showing up to the set and seeing their dialogue for the first time on the day they were filming. And believe me, you can tell. Horrible acting, dreadful writing (not, mind you, horrible actors or writers, but people being asked to do the impossible) - you would think it was farce if it didn’t take itself so seriously. The man is making money hand over fist and seems to be a gaming the system to perfection.
(Can you tell I’m trying to clean out my really old tabs?)
A bit of history was Twittered into my lap today. Jourdan Anderson writes his former master in 1865 to decline — or more accurately, ask for more details about — an invitation to return to his plantation. This may be my favorite part:
…we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty- two years and Mandy twenty years. At $25 a month for me, and $2 a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to $11,680. Add to this the interest for the time our wages has been kept back and deduct what you paid for our clothing and three doctor’s visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams Express, in care of V. Winters, esq, Dayton, Ohio.
It’ll only prove that America is too racist to elect a black man. So says Slate’s Jacob Weisberg:
If it makes you feel better, you can rationalize Obama’s missing 10-point lead on the basis of Clintonite sulkiness, his slowness in responding to attacks, or the concern that Obama may be too handsome, brilliant, and cool to be elected. But let’s be honest: If you break the numbers down, the reason Obama isn’t ahead right now is that he trails badly among one group, older white voters. He does so for a simple reason: the color of his skin.
Proof that adults always underestimate the young. In this case, their racism (emphasis mine):
Over the course of the last few months, Rasmussen has been tracking attitudes about voting for a black candidate for President. What they have been finding is that the public is gradually becoming more willing to support such a candidate, but what is most striking in the three surveys they have done is how constant and relatively great the unwillingness to support a black candidate has been in the age group you probably least expect. According to the three surveys, 18-29 year olds are now relatively less willing to support a black candidate than voters from other age groups. While resistance to supporting a black candidate has dropped in every other age group since February, and overall stands at just 8%, it remains basically unchanged among the youngest voters.
Steven Levitt explains and considers:
Blacks who “sound black” earn salaries that are 10 percent lower than blacks who do not “sound black,” even after controlling for measures of intelligence, experience in the work force, and other factors that influence how much people earn. (For what it is worth, whites who “sound black” earn 6 percent lower than other whites.)
Daniel Engbar makes a provocative suggestion: they’re three times whiter than the Celtics.
Last spring, economists Joseph Price and Justin Wolfers published a careful analysis (PDF) of league statistics and found evidence of racial bias among the referees. According to their research, the numbers of fouls called against white and black players varied depending on the race of the referees for that game—when there were more white officials on the floor, fewer fouls were called against white players. And since the majority of the league’s referees are white, this puts minority players at a disadvantage. (To be exact, the data showed only a relative effect—so it’s impossible to know which direction the bias went. White refs may favor white players, or they may discriminate against blacks. Or, black refs could just as well be favoring black players or discriminating against whites.)
The Washington Post has an interesting story about the black experience in Utah. I thought this quote were rather humorous and illustrative:
“I’ve had so many weird experiences like that,” said Griffin. “I went to San Francisco, and people didn’t stare at me. And it made me very uncomfortable, because everyone always stares at me.”
Arriving in the same city, Doriena Lee, 59, phoned her mother. “Guess what,” she said, “there are lots of us here!” Raised in Salt Lake, a city with so few, “I didn’t think there were very many black people in the world.”
There’s good reason to find Colson Whitehead’s piece “too clever by half,” but I enjoyed it.
People think I have it easy, but it’s surprisingly difficult being The Guy Who Got Where He Is Only Because He’s Black, what with the whole having to be everywhere in the country at once thing. One second I’m nodding enthusiastically in a sales conference in Boise, Idaho, and the next I’m separating conjoined triplets at the Institute For Terribly Complicated Surgery in Buchanan, N.Y., and then I have to rush out to Muncie, Ind., to put my little “Inspector 12” tag in a bag of Fruit of the Loom.
It’s exhausting, all that travel. Decent, hard-working folks out there have their religion and their xenophobia to cling to. All I have is a fistful of upgrades to first class and free headphones. Headphones That Should Have Gone to a More Deserving Passenger.
I know admittedly little about the black leader Marcus Garvey, but I found this quote — from Paul Devlin’s review of Negro With a Hat — striking:
Garvey is quoted as having said: “We were the first Fascists. … When we had 100,000 disciplined men, and were training children, Mussolini was still an unknown, [and] Mussolini copied our Fascism.” Garvey’s “we” was his Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.), an organization that spread like brush fire from Harlem to black communities across the United States, the Caribbean and Central America, acquiring hundreds of thousands of members. The quotation about Fascism, in the context of Italy’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, sheds light on the befuddlement of both Du Bois and J. Edgar Hoover, neither of whom knew quite what to make of the anti-union, non-Socialist, non-Bolshevik, non-Democrat, non-Republican organizer and orator with (in Grant’s words) a “haunting and melodious voice.”
Roger Cohen asked an interesting question in today’s column:
Why, I wondered as I viewed the exhibit, does the Holocaust, a German crime, hold pride of place over U.S. lynchings in American memorialization?
Let’s be clear: I am not comparing Jim Crow with industrialized mass murder, or suggesting an exact Klan-Nazi moral equivalency. But I do think some psychological displacement is at work when a magnificent Holocaust Memorial Museum, in which the criminals are not Americans, precedes a Washington institution of equivalent stature dedicated to the saga of national violence that is slavery and segregation.