America’s No Vacuum

May 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Race issues are very dear to me. No doubt this is to due to the experiences I have lived, and the way I was raised. The worst thing I come across while reading about, or discussing,  these issues is the apparent attitude that things happen without cause. This is something Coates (who will get a few more mentions in this post) often addresses in his work, and I admire him for that.

People who argue against institutional racism point to crime and poverty in some black areas as proof that it’s not the “white man’s fault”. Is there more crime than we would like in the black community, especially the poor black community? Yes. But those people who argue about the impact of racism never stop to ask how these areas became the way that they are in the first place. From all available data, we know that drug use in the United States became a problem for everyone decades ago, and still is. And remember that most of the 20th century was filled with the federal government, state governments, and local governments trying to find ways to maintain the social order that had always existed in this country with white people on top, and everyone else below.

Coates, in this particular piece of his series, ”The Ghetto Is Public Policy’, shows the impact of buying on contract in Chicago. This policy made it virtually impossible for black families to move up the economic ladder. Let’s note here that Chicago is not in the South, which tends to get blamed for all race issues, but that is another issue for another day. As Coates wrote, the entire point of the legal practice of contract buying was to prevent black people from building wealth. The following column of the same series adds the dimension that due to this practice, whites were able to benefit from decreased competition from black buyers, while black people dealt with increased competition for a smaller number of properties.  This was devastating to those black, middle-class families that were trying create better lives. And there were other policies all over the country that intended the same results.

As for drug use, the Reagan administration supported the Contras. That’s a fact. The Contras were funded by drug trafficking, and the government knew it. Did the government try to stop it? No. So any rise in the use of crack/drugs can be attributed to government policy, whether the government purposefully helped to distribute drugs or not. But that would bring up some bad feelings, and if there’s one thing that we know, it’s that people don’t like to feel bad.

Things aren’t the way they are for nothing. These situations didn’t happen in a vacuum. The present condition of things is the direct result of decisions made by people. We shouldn’t forget that.

Does White Culture Set Us Up for Failure?

May 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

Sigh

Skip college and become a plumber: Mayor Bloomberg – Daily News

May 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

http://m.nydailynews.com/1.1347576

And you thought Bloomberg was a liberal.

How to unpack the Tsarnaevs’ real motives – Salon.com

May 16, 2013 § 1 Comment

http://www.salon.com/2013/05/16/how_to_unpack_the_tsarnaevs_real_motives/

What I got from this is that a history of US foreign policy mixed with religious extremism is a bad time.

The FBI Is Investigating Kern County Sheriff’s Department

May 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

The FBI Is Investigating Kern County Sheriff’s Department

The folks at PhotographyIsNotACrime.com have reported that the FBI is being brought in to investigate the conduct of the Kern County Sheriff’s Department after the death of David Silva. Deputies detained witnesses who videotaped the death and later deleted the videos from their phones.

Saudi Student Visited By FBI for Using a Pressure Cooker

May 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

http://gawker.com/saudi-student-visited-by-fbi-after-using-pressure-cooke-504443418

Yes. A Saudi student was visited by the FBI after a neighbor saw him walking with a pressure cooker and called the authorities. Turns out he used the pressure cooker…to pressure cook…food. Good job, ‘Murica.

Rep. King Says $20 Billion Cut In Food Stamps Won’t Be ‘Noticeable’ | ThinkProgress

May 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/05/10/1995541/steve-king-food-stamps/

According to this Representative, people won’t even notice a cut in food stamps. And that’s true…unless you use them.

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