In defense of the sanctimonious women's studies set || First feminist blog on the internet

No, sir, my use of the n-word was in no way intended to be racist


A Tory aide was suspended today for allegedly posting images on the internet of a fellow researcher with her face blacked up accompanied by a racist insult.


Philip Clarke, a parliamentary aide to the former attorney general Lord Lyell, was responsible for posting the photographs, according to the website, and the 24-year-old has now been suspended by the Conservatives.

The Standard reported that the photographs, which have since been removed, were accompanied by a caption which read: “Emma’s career in politics lies in tatters after she follows Ann Winterton’s lead and dresses as a ‘Nigger Minstrel’.”

Congleton MP Mrs Winterton was sacked as shadow cabinet spokeswoman for agriculture after making a racist joke at a rugby club dinner in 2002.

Another picture reportedly showed a grimacing Ms Pentreath with a caption reading: “The piece de resistance! Teeth shining, nostrils flared and eyes glowing. Truly terrifying.”

Mr Clarke, 24 said the postings were “not intended to be racist”, but added: “I behaved very stupidly and I bitterly regret it.”

A Tory spokesman said; “Racism is completely unacceptable and has no place in the Conservative party.”

In March, photographs emerged of Barnet Conservative councillor Brian Gordon, blacked up at a fancy dress party to look like Nelson Mandela.

Opposition parties accused him of racism but a spokesman for Mr Mandela said that there was no “ill intent”.

Article stolen from Ari’s facebook feed. Thanks, Ari.

White people only go to Harlem for drugs or prostitutes

From Media Matters:

On MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams, discussing Bill O’Reilly’s recent controversial comments about his visit to Sylvia’s restaurant in Harlem, Rhode Island radio host John DePetro stated: “It was a discussion on race and we’re talking about Harlem. And by and large — I lived in New York for years — white people don’t go to Harlem.” He continued: “If Dan Abrams and John DePetro, Bill O’Reilly, some white guys are sitting around a table, and Dan Abrams said, ‘Yeah, I was up in Harlem last night.’ We would think you were either, a) looking for drugs, or, b) looking for a prostitute.”

Or, you know, you’re Bill Clinton.

Girl assaulted over dropped birthday cake

A middle-school girl had her wrist broken by a security guard after she dropped a piece of birthday cake and didn’t clean it up to his liking. In the process of arresting her and breaking her wrist, he called her a “nappy head.” When her mother protested, she was arrested too. A student who videotaped the incident on a cellphone was also arrested.

You can reach school officials at the follow email addresses:

The Palmdale Superintendent, David Vierra at (secretary’s email)

Palmdale Mayor, James C. Ledford Jr. at

Palmdale Mayor Pro Tem Mike Dispenza at

Palmdale Councilmember Steven D. Hofbauer at

Palmdale Councilmember Stephen Knight at

Palmdale Councilmember Tom Lackey at

Palmdale Stephen H. Williams at

Email all of them at once:;;;;;;

Oh No a WoC PhD has details, including more contact information for the school.

Thanks to Trina for the link.

Reporting While Black

One New York Times reporter exposes abuse and racism from police officers:

THE police officer had not asked my name or my business before grabbing my wrists, jerking my hands high behind my back and slamming my head into the hood of his cruiser.

“You have no right to put your hands on me!” I shouted lamely.

“This is a high-crime area,” said the officer as he expertly handcuffed me. “You were loitering. We have ordinances against loitering.”

In law enforcement’s efforts to crack down on gang crime, they end up focusing on people who they think look like gangsters instead of gang crime itself.

This is a dangerous area,” the officer told me. “You can’t just stand out here. We have ordinances.”

“This is America,” I said angrily, in that moment supremely unconcerned about whether this was standard police procedure or a useful law enforcement tool or whatever anybody else wanted to call it. “I have a right to talk to anyone I like, wherever I like.”

The female officer trumped my naïve soliloquy, though: “Sir, this is the South. We have different laws down here.”

I tried to appeal to the African-American officer out of some sense of solidarity.

“This is bad area,” he told me. “We have to protect ourselves out here.”

As the police drove away, I turned again to my would-be interview subjects. Surely now they believed I was a reporter.

I found their skepticism had only deepened.

“Man, you know what would have happened to one of us if we talked to them that way?” said one disbelieving man as he walked away from me and my blank notebook. “We’d be in jail right now.”

It’s no big secret that “cracking down on gangs” is code for “cracking down on black and brown people.” Of course no one supports gang violence, or illegal activity. But prosecute the violence. Don’t slap handcuffs on any black man who happens to be standing on a street corner in a “bad” (read: mostly non-white) area.

Justice in Jena?

The District Attorney involved in the Jena 6 case has an op/ed in the New York Times, wherein he justifies the prosecutions of the six teenagers in Jena, and claims that “The victim in this crime, who has been all but forgotten amid the focus on the defendants, was a young man named Justin Barker, who was not involved in the nooses incident three months earlier.” He also defends his decision to try Mychal Bell as an adult.

I don’t think anyone is defending the attacks on Justin Barker. But the DA obscures the point of the protesters in this article — they’re objecting to the lack of consideration of the greater context; the non-punishment leveled on the noose-hangers by the school; and the disproportionate punishments given to the black students.

The whole article is a cop-out. And I look forward to the New York Times presenting the views of the thousands of people who stand behind the Jena 6 any day now…

Adrianne Curry boycotts BET and Black History Month

I think my IQ just dropped about 10 points. America’s Next Top Model winner Adrianne Curry is “boycotting” Black History Month and BET — because they’re racist. The post on her MySpace blog is… something. Let’s just say there are LOTS of capitalized WORDS.

This is gonna be hard guys. I LOVE the comedians on BET. I also LOVE the fact that they play my favorite show of all time, In Living Color. However, I do not believe in seperating ANY RACE in America. WE ARE AMERICANS! How dare we have Black History Month! In my eyes, the Native Americans deserve it MUCH more, seeing how we destroyed their ENTIRE SOCIETY. There are hardly any of them left! They also have been proven to have the WORST living conditions on their reservations. I want AN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH. One where we learn about EVERY race, ALL OF OUR LEADERS, EVERYONE! I think by having a month dedicated to one race, and not one for any other, is RACIST. Every fund set up to only help people of one race is SICK and RACIST.

Yes, I get it. Black people were slaves here once. You know what? That does suck some major balls, however, it is time to move the fuck on. Do we hear the Jews crying that they were made slaves for thousands of years? Do we hear them whine that they should OWN the pyramids in Egypt because THEY broke their backs making them? Do we hear them bitch and moan about Hitler, etc? (my hubby is a Jew)Nope, we dont. It’s time for us to UNITE AS ONE. I do not think that singling out one race, giving one race opportunities to go to college (I know a TON of poor white.asian, indian, american indian, etc etc that could use that too!), giving one race the EXCUSE to blame things on others for being whatever nationality they are, is a good way at making sure we NEVER kill racism.

I am over this shit. WE ALL CAME FROM ONE BLACK WOMAN FROM AFRICA, THAT is our EVE! It has been proven by science, and I stand by it. If any other race had a chanel dedicated to just them, we would think it was racist. If any other race demanded a month be set aside for ONLY them, they would be considered racist. I am NOT living by this double standard any longer.

Read More…Read More…

The GOP *hearts* racism

Conservatives tend to get up in arms when the Republican party is accused of racism, but given their behavior over the past few decades — and the continuance of that behavior right up until today — can anyone really argue that the GOP isn’t the party of race-hate? Bob Herbert has a great op/ed up today about the current and past racisms on the right. From disenfranchising black voters to refusing to hold debates that cover issues related to people of color, the GOP continues to appeal to it’s white, racist base. Not that this is anything new:

This is the party of the Southern strategy — the party that ran, like panting dogs, after the votes of segregationist whites who were repelled by the very idea of giving equal treatment to blacks. Ronald Reagan, George H.W. (Willie Horton) Bush, George W. (Compassionate Conservative) Bush — they all ran with that lousy pack.

Dr. Carolyn Goodman, a woman I was privileged to call a friend, died last month at the age of 91. She was the mother of Andrew Goodman, one of the three young civil rights activists shot to death by rabid racists near Philadelphia, Miss., in 1964.

Dr. Goodman, one of the most decent people I have ever known, carried the ache of that loss with her every day of her life.

In one of the vilest moves in modern presidential politics, Ronald Reagan, the ultimate hero of this latter-day Republican Party, went out of his way to kick off his general election campaign in 1980 in that very same Philadelphia, Miss. He was not there to send the message that he stood solidly for the values of Andrew Goodman. He was there to assure the bigots that he was with them.

“I believe in states’ rights,” said Mr. Reagan. The crowd roared.

In 1981, during the first year of Mr. Reagan’s presidency, the late Lee Atwater gave an interview to a political science professor at Case Western Reserve University, explaining the evolution of the Southern strategy:

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”

“States’ rights” is one of those dog-whistle phrases that Republicans use to rally their base. For the past few decades it’s been about segregation and racism; now it’s been expanded to include things like a state’s right to deny people equal marriage rights, and a state’s right to outlaw abortion access. “Welfare” is another one — Reagan’s Welfare Queen is still the first image that comes to mind when Republicans talk about social welfare policies. The implication, obviously, is that selfish, lazy and over-sexed black women are stealing the hard-earned money of good white folks everywhere, and using it to buy Cadillacs and jewelry while they refuse to work and “breed” like animals. “Dred Scott” is another — Bush has mentioned that case in several speeches, and it goes right over the heads of most moderates. In fact, it’s a message to his anti-choice base about fetal personhood — the Dred Scott case held that Americans of African descent could not claim citizenship. It’s one of the worst cases in U.S. history, and anti-choicers exploit it to argue that fetuses are unjustly denied citizenship the way that black Americans once were.

There are dozens of other dog-whistle phrases, and you can bet the current Republican candidates are well-versed in them. It doesn’t look like these guys are even pretending to care about voters of color. But they do care about rallying their base — even if that means relying on the same old racist methods they’ve always used.

A Little Rock Reminder


Fifty years after Dwight Eisenhower sent 1,000 soldiers to protect nine black students entering Little Rock Central High School, our country’s schools remain pitifully segregated. And as Juan Williams points out, Americans are increasingly uninterested in doing anything to battle that segregation. Our own Supreme Court is even handing down decisions that make it more difficult to integrate segregated schools. Williams writes:

The movement away from school integration is glaring. The Civil Rights Project found in 2003 that the nation’s 27 biggest school districts were “overwhelmingly” segregated with black and Latino students. Nationwide today, almost half of black and Latino children are in schools where less than 10 percent of the students are white. Those essentially segregated schools have a large percentage of low-income families and, according to researchers, “difficulty retaining highly qualified teachers.” Meanwhile, the average white student attends a school that is 80 percent white and far more affluent than the schools for minority students.

This trend toward isolation of poor and minority students has consequences — half of black and Latino students now drop out of high school.

Integrated schools benefit students, especially minorities. Research on the long-term outcomes of black and Latino students attending integrated schools indicates that those students “complete more years of education, earn higher degrees and major in more varied occupations than graduates of all-black schools.”

Justice Breyer’s dissent in the Seattle segregation case is worth re-reading this week:

Indeed, the consequences of the approach the Court takes today are serious. Yesterday, the plans under review were lawful. Today, they are not. Yesterday, the citizens of this Nation could look for guidance to this Court’s unanimous pronouncements concerning desegregation. Today, they cannot. Yesterday, school boards had available to them a full range of means to combat segregated schools. Today, they do not.

The Court’s decision undermines other basic institutional principles as well. What has happened to stare decisis? The history of the plans before us, their educational importance, their highly limited use of race–all these and more–make clear that the compelling interest here is stronger than in Grutter. The plans here are more narrowly tailored than the law school admissions program there at issue. Hence, applying Grutter’s strict test, their lawfulness follows a fortiori. To hold to the contrary is to transform that test from “strict” to “fatal in fact”–the very opposite of what Grutter said. And what has happened to Swann? To McDaniel? To Crawford? To Harris? To School Committee of Boston? To Seattle School Dist. No. 1? After decades of vibrant life, they would all, under the plurality’s logic, be written out of the law.

And what of respect for democratic local decisionmaking by States and school boards? For several decades this Court has rested its public school decisions upon Swann’s basic view that the Constitution grants local school districts a significant degree of leeway where the inclusive use of race-conscious criteria is at issue. Now localities will have to cope with the difficult problems they face (including resegregation) deprived of one means they may find necessary.

And what of law’s concern to diminish and peacefully settle conflict among the Nation’s people? Instead of accommodating different good-faith visions of our country and our Constitution, today’s holding upsets settled expectations, creates legal uncertainty, and threatens to produce considerable further litigation, aggravating race-related conflict.

And what of the long history and moral vision that the Fourteenth Amendment itself embodies? The plurality cites in support those who argued in Brown against segregation, and Justice Thomas likens the approach that I have taken to that of segregation’s defenders. See ante, at 39-41 (plurality opinion) (comparing Jim Crow segregation to Seattle and Louisville’s integration polices); ante, at 28-32 (Thomas, J., concurring). But segregation policies did not simply tell schoolchildren “where they could and could not go to school based on the color of their skin,” ante, at 40 (plurality opinion); they perpetuated a caste system rooted in the institutions of slavery and 80 years of legalized subordination. The lesson of history, see ante, at 39 (plurality opinion), is not that efforts to continue racial segregation are constitutionally indistinguishable from efforts to achieve racial integration. Indeed, it is a cruel distortion of history to compare Topeka, Kansas, in the 1950’s to Louisville and Seattle in the modern day–to equate the plight of Linda Brown (who was ordered to attend a Jim Crow school) to the circumstances of Joshua McDonald (whose request to transfer to a school closer to home was initially declined). This is not to deny that there is a cost in applying “a state-mandated racial label.” Ante, at 17 (Kennedy, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). But that cost does not approach, in degree or in kind, the terrible harms of slavery, the resulting caste system, and 80 years of legal racial segregation.

The last half-century has witnessed great strides toward racial equality, but we have not yet realized the promise of Brown. To invalidate the plans under review is to threaten the promise of Brown. The plurality’s position, I fear, would break that promise. This is a decision that the Court and the Nation will come to regret.

It’s the racism, stupid

Paul Krugman:

But the reality is that things haven’t changed nearly as much as people think. Racial tension, especially in the South, has never gone away, and has never stopped being important. And race remains one of the defining factors in modern American politics.

Consider voting in last year’s Congressional elections. Republicans, as President Bush conceded, received a “thumping,” with almost every major demographic group turning against them. The one big exception was Southern whites, 62 percent of whom voted Republican in House races.

And yes, Southern white exceptionalism is about race, much more than it is about moral values, religion, support for the military or other explanations sometimes offered. There’s a large statistical literature on the subject, whose conclusion is summed up by the political scientist Thomas F. Schaller in his book “Whistling Past Dixie”: “Despite the best efforts of Republican spinmeisters to depict American conservatism as a nonracial phenomenon, the partisan impact of racial attitudes in the South is stronger today than in the past.”

Republican politicians, who understand quite well that the G.O.P.’s national success since the 1970s owes everything to the partisan switch of Southern whites, have tacitly acknowledged this reality. Since the days of Gerald Ford, just about every Republican presidential campaign has included some symbolic gesture of approval for good old-fashioned racism.

Thus Ronald Reagan, who began his political career by campaigning against California’s Fair Housing Act, started his 1980 campaign with a speech supporting states’ rights delivered just outside Philadelphia, Miss., where three civil rights workers were murdered. In 2000, Mr. Bush made a pilgrimage to Bob Jones University, famed at the time for its ban on interracial dating.

And all four leading Republican candidates for the 2008 nomination have turned down an invitation to a debate on minority issues scheduled to air on PBS this week.

He’s right. It’s not “moral values” or any of the other catch-phrases that Republicans use. It’s about racism. Republicans have picked up more support through race-baiting and exploiting the fear of the downfall of white male supremacy than through just about anything else. The “Southern Strategy” wasn’t even the start of it. From “welfare queens” to the current anti-immigrant fervor, racism remains an effective political tool.

Hopefully Krugman is right, and the racist conservative electoral strategy will come back to bite them in the ass.

Shocker: Black people act like people!

Certainly news to Bill O’Reilly:

During the September 19 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, discussing his recent trip to have dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia’s, a famous restaurant in Harlem, Bill O’Reilly reported that he “had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful,” adding: “I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship.” Later, during a discussion with National Public Radio senior correspondent and Fox News contributor Juan Williams about the effect of rap on culture, O’Reilly asserted: “There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, ‘M-Fer, I want more iced tea.’ You know, I mean, everybody was — it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn’t any kind of craziness at all.” O’Reilly also stated: “I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves. They’re getting away from the Sharptons and the [Rev. Jesse] Jacksons and the people trying to lead them into a race-based culture. They’re just trying to figure it out. ‘Look, I can make it. If I work hard and get educated, I can make it.”

I think I’m going to head over to Fox News HQ and start screaming for iced tea and falafel, M-Fer.

h/t: evil fizz.