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Race & Ethnicity

Race & Ethnicity

Series | Considering the Problem of Race in America, Part 4: Black Lives: Between Grief and Action

This is the fourth in a series of interviews with philosophers on race that I am conducting for The Stone. This week’s conversation is with Joy James, a political philosopher who is a professor of the humanities and political science at Williams College.  She is the author of “Seeking the Beloved Community: A Feminist Race Reader.”  — George Yancy

George Yancy and Joy James, The Stone / New York (NY) Times

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Dec 23, 2014 | George Yancy: There are times when I’ve asked myself if philosophy can console in times of pain and suffering. Among my friends and colleagues of all races, the killings of Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner and so many others like them have caused emotional pain —feelings of being sick and hurt, feelings of depression, angst, hopelessness. It’s crazy.

Joy James: That’s grief. And yes, it is crazy. Welcome to black life under white supremacy.

Grief as a painful historical trajectory is one thing; to grieve intensely in the misery of the present moment is another. Ferguson, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Cleveland (we can add Detroit for 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, and Bastrop, Texas for Yvette Smith) — these disparate sites have forced diverse people around the country and internationally to huddle closer together as we scrutinize laws and policies that reward police violence with immunity.

George Yancy and Joy JamesThe Stone New York (NY) Times

The Stone is a forum for contemporary philosophers and other thinkers on issues both timely and timeless.

George Yancy is a professor of philosophy at Duquesne University. He has written, edited and co-edited numerous books, including “Black Bodies, White Gazes,” “Look, a White!” and “Pursuing Trayvon Martin,” co-edited with Janine Jones.

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Part 3: White Anxiety and the Futility of Black Hope

This is the third in a series of interviews with philosophers on race that I am conducting for The Stone. This week’s conversation is with Shannon Sullivan, a professor in the department of philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She is the author of “Good White People: The Problem with Middle-Class White Anti-Racism.

”Part 2: Lost in Rawlsland

This week’s conversation is with Charles Mills, the John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at Northwestern University and the author of several books, including the influential 1997 work “The Racial Contract.”

Part 1: What ‘White Privilege’ Really Means

This week’s conversation is with Naomi Zack, a professor of philosophy at the University of Oregon and the author of “The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality After the History of Philosophy.”

Series | Considering the Problem of Race in America, Part 3: White Anxiety and the Futility of Black Hope

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This is the third in a series of interviews with philosophers on race that I am conducting for The Stone. This week’s conversation is with Shannon Sullivan, a professor in the department of philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She is the author of “Good White People: The Problem with Middle-Class White Anti-Racism.” — George Yancy

George Yancy and Shannon Sullivan, The Stone / New York Times

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05stone-blog427.jpgConfrontation during the second night of protests over the Eric Garner case, in New York City. Credit James Lawler Duggan/Reuters  

December 5, 2014 | George Yancy: What motivated you to engage “whiteness” in your work as a philosopher?

Shannon Sullivan: It was teaching feminist philosophy for the first time or two and trying to figure out how to reach the handful of men in the class — white men, now that I think of it. They tended to be skeptical at best and openly hostile at worst to the feminist ideas we were discussing. They felt attacked and put up a lot of defenses. I was trying to see things from their perspective, not to endorse it (it was often quite sexist!), but to be more effective as a teacher. And so I thought about my whiteness and how I might feel and respond in a class that critically addressed race in ways that implicated me personally. Not that race and gender are the same or can be captured through analogies, but it was a first step toward grappling with my whiteness and trying to use it.

Many white people never acknowledge the benefits that accrue silently throughout their lives.

What really strikes me now, as I think about your question, is how old I was — around 30 — before I ever engaged whiteness philosophically, or personally, for that matter. Three decades where that question never came up and yet the unjust advantages whiteness generally provides white people fully shaped my life, including my philosophical training and work.

The Stone is a forum for contemporary philosophers and other thinkers on issues both timely and timeless.

George Yancy is a professor of philosophy at Duquesne University. He has written, edited and co-edited numerous books, including “Black Bodies, White Gazes,” “Look, a White!” and “Pursuing Trayvon Martin,” co-edited with Janine Jones.

Full story … 

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Part 2: Lost in Rawlsland

This week’s conversation is with Charles Mills, the John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at Northwestern University and the author of several books, including the influential 1997 work “The Racial Contract.”

Part 1: What ‘White Privilege’ Really Means

This week’s conversation is with Naomi Zack, a professor of philosophy at the University of Oregon and the author of “The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality After the History of Philosophy.”

Special Project | The Problem of Race in America: Week Ending January 31, 2015

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  • We should honor the sacrifices of the heroes of the civil rights movement, the courageous men and women who risked their freedom and even lives in the battle against racial discrimination. 
  • Their vision for a society of genuine social progress and economic opportunity can be achieved only if we recognize the inherent worth of the individual and we follow in their footsteps to enshrine the principle of individual rights. 
  • 9 New Items including:
    • Clip: Ronald Reagan’s Racially Tinged Stump Speeches
    • The Problem of Race in America
    • Series: Considering the Problem of Race in America | Part 1: What ‘White Privilege’ Really Means
    • City's failures on North Side are the overlooked outrage
    • America’s modern political nightmare: Two electorates, separate and unequal,
    • This Is Wrong: On Race and Class and Unassailable Privilege
    • Holder: Subtle Racism Is Greater Threat Than 'Outbursts Of Bigotry' 
    • For Black Men in America, There Is No Break From Racism
    • Mark Twain, His Mother, and Slavery

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

156695_600.jpg J.D. CroweJ. D. Crowe

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Clip: Ronald Reagan’s Racially Tinged Stump Speeches, Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company

“We used to understand that the biggest threat in political life was the power of concentrated money… but now, Republicans for fifty years have been telling voters the biggest threat in your life is minorities are going to hijack government.”

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The Problem of Race in AmericaCompiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • In 1964, at the height of the civil rights movement, the great organizer Ella Baker said: “Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother’s sons, we who believe in freedom cannot rest.”
  • Part 1: Cold Anger in Restless Times: The Growing Movement for Racial and Social Justice
  • Part 2: These Eight Charts Show Why Racial Equality Is a Myth in America

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Series: Considering the Problem of Race in America | Part 1: What ‘White Privilege’ Really Means, George Yancy and Naomi Zack, The Stone / New York Times

This is the first in a series of interviews with philosophers on race that I am conducting for the Stone. This week’s conversation is with Naomi Zack, a professor of philosophy at the University of Oregon and the author of “The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality After the History of Philosophy.”  — George Yancy

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City's failures on North Side are the overlooked outrage, Brandon Ferdig, Minneapolis (MN) StarTribune

While it’s good to defend against shoddy journalism, the overall result of the “Pointergate” uproar will simply be to help keep north Minneapolis in the distressed condition that it’s in. This outcome is a product of our political system and ideologies, and it paralyzes urban areas everywhere.

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America’s modern political nightmare: Two electorates, separate and unequal, Joan Walsh, Salon

The glee with which the GOP relies on Obama-hate to turn out its base shows the disturbing racial reality of 2014.

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154926_600.jpg Bill SchorrBill Schorr

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This Is Wrong: On Race and Class and Unassailable Privilege, Abby Zimet, Common Dreams

  • “Just because he’s black, it doesn’t mean he’s here to rob a house,” bristles Westby. "This is wrong. Now please leave our neighborhood."
  • For Black Men in America, There Is No Break From Racism

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Holder: Subtle Racism Is Greater Threat Than 'Outbursts Of Bigotry' Eyder Perlata, NPR 

  • "We must not 'wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society. ... The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race.' " --Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in an insightful dissent in the Michigan college admissions case
  • For Black Men in America, There Is No Break From Racism

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For Black Men in America, There Is No Break From RacismSonali Kolhatkar, Truthdig

  • The events of this summer in Ferguson, Mo., highlighted an ugly truth to mainstream Americans: Black men in this country are viewed as so suspicious by law enforcement that they are often shot first and questioned later. 
  • Fox News’ divisive race strategy: How O’Reilly, Hannity, and Coulter intentionally tore America apart
  • 'Dear White Racists' is One of the Best Explanations of White Privilege You Will Likely Ever Read

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Mark Twain, His Mother, and Slavery, Delanceyplace

Today's encore selection -- from Autobiography of Mark Twain: Volume 1 by Mark Twain. Samuel Clemens attempted to write his autobiography over several decades but never finished, and instructed that the draft not be made available for 100 years. In recently-released manuscripts, Clemens wrote of his early schoolboy friendships with black slaves, including characters that appeared later in his most famous fictional works.

 

Charter Schools Accused of Segregating America's Education System

  • Delaware case points to increased racial stratification as result of charter schools.
  • Five ways to counter military recruitment in your school district

David Sirota, AlterNet

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December 12, 2014 | Charter schools are often promoted as a tool to address educational inequities, but a potential precedent-setting legal case launched earlier this month says the opposite. In filings with the U.S. Department of Education, two Delaware nonprofit groups allege that some of the state's publicly funded, privately managed schools are actively resegregating the education system -- and in a way that violates federal civil rights law.
         

The complaint, by the Delaware branch of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Community Legal Aid Society, cites data showing that more than three-quarters of Delaware's charter schools are "racially identifiable" -- a term that describes schools whose demographics are substantially different from the surrounding community.

David Sirota is a staff writer for PandoDaily, television commentator and nationally syndicated weekly newspaper columnist and has written for the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Wired, Vice, the Nation and Salon.com. He covers the intersection of politics, technology and popular culture.

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Five ways to counter military recruitment in your school district, American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers) 

  • Here are five ways you can take action to stop the intrusion of the military into people’s lives.
  • Forced Military Testing in America's Schools

Clip: Ronald Reagan’s Racially Tinged Stump Speeches

takingaboutrace_606x154b.jpg

“We used to understand that the biggest threat in political life was the power of concentrated money… but now, Republicans for fifty years have been telling voters the biggest threat in your life is minorities are going to hijack government.”

Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company

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9780199964277February 27, 2014 | In Dog Whistle Politics, author and legal scholar Ian Haney López describes how politicians use subtle, racially coded messages — “dog whistles” — to manipulate Americans in the voting booth. One early example, Haney López says, is a story Ronald Reagan told on the campaign trail during his first run for president in 1976. 

By playing on stereotypes, Reagan was able to get middle-class white voters to support economic policies that helped corporations and the wealthy. Haney López tells Bill, “Over the 1980s, the Reagan tax cuts transferred a trillion dollars to America’s top one percent. Yes, voters got the tax cuts they thought were aimed at cutting off undeserving minorities, but, in fact, it was a politics that was showering money on the very richest Americans.”

Bill Moyers  is an American journalist and liberal public commentator. He served as White House Press Secretary in the Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967. He also worked as a network TV news commentator for ten years.

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Ian Haney López on the Dog Whistle Politics of Race, Part One, Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers and Company

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  • Author and legal scholar Ian Haney López tells Bill that dog whistle politics is “the dark magic” by which middle-class voters have been seduced to vote against their own economic interests. 
  • The Dog Whistle Politics of Race, Part II

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