Biden’s Gaffes and Rumsfeld’s Law

Friday morning, Joe Biden said something stupid on live national television. Well, on the internet. Most weeks, this would typically only be recognizable as "Friday," given the gaffes-per-day pace of ol' Gaffe Machine Joe. But this time, it was about the real third rail of American politics -- not Social Security, as the original formulation had it, but race. On a radio interview with popular...

What White Privilege (and Black Fear) Looks Like

If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. ~ Unknown It goes without saying that Ta-Nehisi Coates is an exceptional writer, perhaps the greatest of our age at what he does. It’s not just Coates' skill with the language that makes him great, or even his obvious intelligence: those just allow him technical mastery of the craft. It’s Coates' ability to perceive, and to convey,...

No, There’s No Race Problem in America, Why Do You Ask?

I’m far from the first, but this may be one of the best takedowns of today's truly awful New York Times profile of Michael Brown. It’s a comparison of how the Times spoke of Brown (“no angel,” “problems,” stealing cigars, pushing a convenience store clerk, etc.) vs how they described Ted Bundy (“never a shred of evidence...to hint at any aberrant behavior,” “Boy Scout, B-plus...

Ferguson Absurdity, Media Edition

The images and news coming out of Ferguson, MO in the wake of Michael Brown's death more than a week ago have been heartbreaking and maddening. I haven't had a lot to say about it, because first, I'm not there. Also, frankly, I feel somewhat overwhelmed: what is there to say, after all, when something you read about in history books as something that happened in the past - armed police and...

War On Blacks

As sad as Robin Williams' succumbing to depression made me, the unfolding horror show in Ferguson, MO has made me even sadder - and sick at heart. Less than a week after the backwaters of the internet exploded with a ginned-up fear of a "war on whites" based on Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks' now-infamous assertion to FOX host Laura Ingraham, yet more evidence of a genuine, continuing war on...

Uppity Negro Should Mind His Manners

At least that’s what the wingnut coalition seems to be thinking nowadays. Wonkette catches the teabaggers in the act of overt - if unthinking - racism: This is a few days old now, and many outlets have featured it, including Countdown and others, but it's been hanging around in the back of my mind persistently, which doesn't usually happen with items like this which are - at first glance,...

Welcome JUSTICE Sotomayor!

I know I'm coming late to this (hey, whaddaya want: I'm on vacation!), but as everyone knows by now, the US Senate yesterday confirmed Sonia Sotomayor to be the 111th Supreme Court Justice of the United States. Nobody - including the Republicans - finds this a particularly large surprise, given Sotomayor's even temperament and unparalleled-in-70+-years record. But Sotomayor is only the third...

Sotomayor, Bias, Race and Gender

Digby has a must-read post on the subject of how the Sotomayor nomination has brought to the forefront (again) questions about race, gender and what's considered "normal" vs. what's considered "biased." She notices a New York Times article from June 3rd entitled "Debate on Whether Female Judges Decide Differently Arises Anew" which goes into detail on the question of whether female judges (and...