The ‘diversity visa’ program Trump is attacking also produced a Muslim immigrant hero

After near-silence on a domestic terror attack in Charlottesville that killed one and a mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed dozens and injured hundreds, Donald Trump finally found an incident of terrorism he was willing to get shouty and red-faced about. He made no call for the perpetrator of the Charlottesville attack to be summarily put to death, as he has for the New York attacker. He offered up not a single damn bit of legal change that would prevent future mass murderers from, next time, killing even more Americans, but he insisted that the New York attacker could be pinned on a specific immigration program.

This is because Donald Trump is a blustering xenophobe and racist, a half-senile old man who reliably only offers up outrage when the perpetrator of a violent attack is an immigrant, non-white, Muslim, or any combination of the three.

So here’s a story

Continue reading “The ‘diversity visa’ program Trump is attacking also produced a Muslim immigrant hero”

NAACP issues travel warning for black passengers flying on American Airlines

On Tuesday, NPR released the results from a survey it did of Americans and their experiences with discrimination. Though all racial groups said that they experience some form of discrimination (including whites, which is worth its own post), black Americans reported experiencing broad forms of discrimination—including interactions with police, trying to vote, and in renting/buying housing. While that in itself is not surprising, it is interesting to note that black people overwhelmingly believe that the racism they experience is because of the attitudes and beliefs of individuals they come into contact with and not necessarily attributed to systems and structures. 

That belief directly contradicts a new travel advisory issued by the NAACP this week, which cautions black people from traveling on American Airlines

“The NAACP for several months now has been monitoring a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers, specific to American Airlines,” the press release

Continue reading “NAACP issues travel warning for black passengers flying on American Airlines”

Under Ben Carson’s leadership, the entire Department of Housing and Urban Development gets sued

It hasn’t been hard to figure out that Donald Trump’s sole approach to governing has been to undermine and undo any progress toward equality for women, immigrants, people of color, poor people, members of the LGBT community, and any other marginalized groups—basically anyone who isn’t a rich, straight, white male. He has appointed a series of dangerous and wholly unqualified people to serve in his administration and it seems as if each pick is wilder and more bizarre than the one that preceded it.

Choosing Ben Carson to head up the Department of Housing and Urban Development is one such example of the head-scratching and ridiculous decisions that have become the hallmark of Trump’s presidency. Carson has zero experience with housing, other than having lived in it, and yet is in charge of administering programs that provide housing and community assistance to Americans. Apparently, incompetent Ben isn’t good at his job—something that should surprise no one.

Continue reading “Under Ben Carson’s leadership, the entire Department of Housing and Urban Development gets sued”

Introspection gives us the empathy to give those who oppose us a second chance—even the racists

Like most men, I grew up being sexist and homophobic. It did not help that it was part of the culture of the Latin American country I am from. My path away from homophobia deserves a whole article of its own. But most importantly, my path to becoming a feminist (and gay rights activist) makes me a much more empathetic person toward racists and others I am diametrically and morally opposed to. This may sound strange, but hear me out.

I became a feminist soon after I entered the University of Texas at Austin. It was an intellectual realization that women as a class, like many other groups (blacks, Asians, gays, etc.), were discriminated against. I understood that the systemic nature of said discrimination resulted in the economic and power disparity between men and women.

Recently, I read a post from my Facebook friend Jim Rigby that really spoke to me.

Listen guys,

Continue reading “Introspection gives us the empathy to give those who oppose us a second chance—even the racists”

Want to increase black turnout? Make the fight for voting rights a core campaign issue

If Democrats want to win elections—which is how we’ll be able to make positive changes and make America a more just place—we need to connect the dots. Two articles came out this week about black voters. One looked back to voter suppression in 2016, while the other was about black turnout in upcoming elections this fall. In order to achieve those electoral victories, we need to link these two subjects.

Mother Jones has a terrific piece of journalism by Ari Berman, who has been focused for some time on voter suppression, and who wrote a book on the struggle for voting rights since the passage of the Voting Rights Act. His article highlights the experience of Andrea Anthony, an African-American woman who should have been able to cast her vote last fall in Milwaukee, but was stymied by that state’s draconian voter ID laws, which were passed by Republicans with the

Continue reading “Want to increase black turnout? Make the fight for voting rights a core campaign issue”

Want to increase black turnout? Make the fight for voting rights a core campaign issue

If Democrats want to win elections—which is how we’ll be able to make positive changes and make America a more just place—we need to connect the dots. Two articles came out this week about black voters. One looked back to voter suppression in 2016, while the other was about black turnout in upcoming elections this fall. In order to achieve those electoral victories, we need to link these two subjects.

Mother Jones has a terrific piece of journalism by Ari Berman, who has been focused for some time on voter suppression, and who wrote a book on the struggle for voting rights since the passage of the Voting Rights Act. His article highlights the experience of Andrea Anthony, an African-American woman who should have been able to cast her vote last fall in Milwaukee, but was stymied by that state’s draconian voter ID laws, which were passed by Republicans with the

Continue reading “Want to increase black turnout? Make the fight for voting rights a core campaign issue”

We now know that America is truly a racist nation

We now know that America is truly a racist nation.

The question is: What can we do about it?

It really can’t be denied anymore that America is rife with racism, even though there are a great many people deeply invested in the argument that all of America’s racism is in the past. When Barack Obama became president, many said that we had reached a “post-racial” age where the sins and recriminations of the past were now behind us, where now that one African-American man had managed to ascend to the most powerful position in the world, there were no longer any excuses or significant barriers to personal prosperity for all. Other than one’s own weakness of will and poor choices, there was no reason to complain, no reason to strive to improve ourselves as a nation, and no changes that need to be made.

Everything was fine—or so we were told.

Yet less than one year

Continue reading “We now know that America is truly a racist nation”

White House’s top white nationalist could become Trump’s new communications director

Last week Trump’s White House sent senior “policy” adviser Stephen Miller before the nation’s cameras to give a press briefing on the White House’s newest immigration “policy” theories. His answers were peppered with dog whistles and talking points promoted by white supremacists. It was a bizarre performance by the dead-eyed policy adviser of no particular qualifications, but his hostile demeanor and insult-laden responses appear to be exactly what Trump wants to see in front of the cameras.

And so all grow’d up Children of the Corn extra Stephen Miller finds himself on the list of potential Scaramucci successors, as Trump and team ponder whether to make him—and this is apparently a legitimate story and not an Onionesque satire—the new White House communications director.

Steve Bannon likes the idea of Miller for the job, and Miller was the hero of the West Wing after he attacked Acosta as a “cosmopolitan” for

Continue reading “White House’s top white nationalist could become Trump’s new communications director”

Attempting to tear the heart out of the American dream

From the podium of the White House press room, senior adviser Stephen Miller stridently stood before America and the world this week and essentially declared that as far as Donald Trump is concerned, the American dream is over.  

The idea that this nation is a refuge for those seeking freedom, that we are open and welcoming to those who hope to improve not just their own station in life but the station of their children, and their children’s children? That is simply not something that our president is interested.

Under Trump’s proposed stricter immigration rules requiring proficiency in English and “high skills,” Trump’s own grandfather Friedrich Trump, who immigrated at age 16 and originally worked as a barber (a trade he had apprenticed in because he was considered too sickly to join his brothers and sisters in the grape fields), would not have been allowed into America from his native Germany.

This argument between Miller and CNN’s Jim Acosta is fairly jarring,

Continue reading “Attempting to tear the heart out of the American dream”

White Trump voters believe whites are the most discriminated against, despite facts to the contrary

Campaign Action

If this past presidential election has done nothing else, it has served as an important reminder that America is a country deeply divided across racial lines. One of the ways that this racial tension and animosity manifests itself is through the conflict around resources—who has them, who doesn’t and overall access to them. In an increasingly diverse and multicultural America, which at the same time is undergoing enormous economic shifts, some whites believe that they are being left behind. This is the platform that Donald Trump ran on. The “Make America Great Again” slogan fed into his voters beliefs that white people are increasingly the victims of bias and discrimination and that the country should be returned to a time when whites had it “better.” This is his justification for racist policies like the Justice Department’s investigation into colleges and universities that allegedly discriminate against white students. Except, well, facts.

While this is a

Continue reading “White Trump voters believe whites are the most discriminated against, despite facts to the contrary”

White Trump voters believe whites are the most discriminated against, despite facts to the contrary

Campaign Action

If this past presidential election has done nothing else, it has served as an important reminder that America is a country deeply divided across racial lines. One of the ways that this racial tension and animosity manifests itself is through the conflict around resources—who has them, who doesn’t and overall access to them. In an increasingly diverse and multicultural America, which at the same time is undergoing enormous economic shifts, some whites believe that they are being left behind. This is the platform that Donald Trump ran on. The “Make America Great Again” slogan fed into his voters beliefs that white people are increasingly the victims of bias and discrimination and that the country should be returned to a time when whites had it “better.” This is his justification for racist policies like the Justice Department’s investigation into colleges and universities that allegedly discriminate against white students. Except, well, facts.

While this is a

Continue reading “White Trump voters believe whites are the most discriminated against, despite facts to the contrary”

NAACP issues travel warning for Missouri based on its new ‘Jim Crow Bill’

We’ve had no shortage of baffling, head scratching and nauseating moments in the last six months. Republicans are determined to take us back in time with regard to every indicator in terms of social progress and equality—and they aren’t stopping anytime soon. In Missouri, Gov. Eric Greitens recently signed a bill that could only be described as a throwback. In fact, the local NAACP is calling it the “Jim Crow Bill.” And they are warning travelers about visiting the state now that the bill has been signed into law.

Americans used to getting warnings about the potential dangers of traveling overseas, but this summer, the NAACP put out an extraordinary warning about travel here at home — in Missouri.

The warning advises “extreme caution,” saying travelers could be subject to “discrimination and harassment.”

The bill has to do with the ability to file discrimination claims on the basis of race,

Continue reading “NAACP issues travel warning for Missouri based on its new ‘Jim Crow Bill’”

‘Left,’ ‘progressive,’ and ‘working-class’ do not mean ‘white’

There is a long tradition of left-of-center politics in the United States. But too often when reading positions espoused by white political activists, writers, bloggers, and pundits who have dubbed themselves progressive, left of center, radical, or even liberal, they speak as if the mantle of the left does not fall across the shoulders of black Americans and other people of color.

Recently, the mere mention of ‘black’ has come under attack from some segments of this erstwhile left. It has been dubbed ‘identity politics’ and dismissed as irrelevant in the struggle to re-engage ‘the working class’ by the ‘progressive’ wing of the Democratic Party.

A line from Marvin Gaye’s Inner City Blues sums up how I feel about much of this: “Makes me wanna holler and throw up both my hands.”

Too often the “we progressives” line does not include me and mine and the long unbroken stream of my political ancestors and mentors—everyone from Frederick Douglass, Ida

Continue reading “‘Left,’ ‘progressive,’ and ‘working-class’ do not mean ‘white’”

Exploring racism in children’s books provides opportunities for understanding racist stereotypes

Our favorite childhood stories are always filled with special memories and revisiting them as an adult is never quite the same—especially when we are able to understand the context behind them. While many images, characters and expressions seem filled with innocence at the time we view them through the lens of our youth, we often learn with age that they are reflective of stereotypes or outdated beliefs better left in the past.  

One professor is doing his part to bring this to light by examining how racism in children’s books perpetuates harmful beliefs about certain groups of people. 

In his new book, Was the Cat in the Hat Black? The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books, Philip Nel studies the paradox of stories that are meant to nurture but can also do harm. An English professor at Kansas State University, Nel has probed racism in kids’ books in his classes

Continue reading “Exploring racism in children’s books provides opportunities for understanding racist stereotypes”

Exploring racism in children’s books provides opportunities for understanding racist stereotypes

Our favorite childhood stories are always filled with special memories and revisiting them as an adult is never quite the same—especially when we are able to understand the context behind them. While many images, characters and expressions seem filled with innocence at the time we view them through the lens of our youth, we often learn with age that they are reflective of stereotypes or outdated beliefs better left in the past.  

One professor is doing his part to bring this to light by examining how racism in children’s books perpetuates harmful beliefs about certain groups of people. 

In his new book, Was the Cat in the Hat Black? The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books, Philip Nel studies the paradox of stories that are meant to nurture but can also do harm. An English professor at Kansas State University, Nel has probed racism in kids’ books in his classes

Continue reading “Exploring racism in children’s books provides opportunities for understanding racist stereotypes”

Exploring racism in children’s books provides opportunities for understanding racist stereotypes

Our favorite childhood stories are always filled with special memories and revisiting them as an adult is never quite the same—especially when we are able to understand the context behind them. While many images, characters and expressions seem filled with innocence at the time we view them through the lens of our youth, we often learn with age that they are reflective of stereotypes or outdated beliefs better left in the past.  

One professor is doing his part to bring this to light by examining how racism in children’s books perpetuates harmful beliefs about certain groups of people. 

In his new book, Was the Cat in the Hat Black? The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books, Philip Nel studies the paradox of stories that are meant to nurture but can also do harm. An English professor at Kansas State University, Nel has probed racism in kids’ books in his classes

Continue reading “Exploring racism in children’s books provides opportunities for understanding racist stereotypes”

Exploring racism in children’s books provides opportunities for understanding racist stereotypes

Our favorite childhood stories are always filled with special memories and revisiting them as an adult is never quite the same—especially when we are able to understand the context behind them. While many images, characters and expressions seem filled with innocence at the time we view them through the lens of our youth, we often learn with age that they are reflective of stereotypes or outdated beliefs better left in the past.  

One professor is doing his part to bring this to light by examining how racism in children’s books perpetuates harmful beliefs about certain groups of people. 

In his new book, Was the Cat in the Hat Black? The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books, Philip Nel studies the paradox of stories that are meant to nurture but can also do harm. An English professor at Kansas State University, Nel has probed racism in kids’ books in his classes

Continue reading “Exploring racism in children’s books provides opportunities for understanding racist stereotypes”

Exploring racism in children’s books provides opportunities for understanding racist stereotypes

Our favorite childhood stories are always filled with special memories and revisiting them as an adult is never quite the same—especially when we are able to understand the context behind them. While many images, characters and expressions seem filled with innocence at the time we view them through the lens of our youth, we often learn with age that they are reflective of stereotypes or outdated beliefs better left in the past.  

One professor is doing his part to bring this to light by examining how racism in children’s books perpetuates harmful beliefs about certain groups of people. 

In his new book, Was the Cat in the Hat Black? The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books, Philip Nel studies the paradox of stories that are meant to nurture but can also do harm. An English professor at Kansas State University, Nel has probed racism in kids’ books in his classes

Continue reading “Exploring racism in children’s books provides opportunities for understanding racist stereotypes”

Exploring racism in children’s books provides opportunities for understanding racist stereotypes

Our favorite childhood stories are always filled with special memories and revisiting them as an adult is never quite the same—especially when we are able to understand the context behind them. While many images, characters and expressions seem filled with innocence at the time we view them through the lens of our youth, we often learn with age that they are reflective of stereotypes or outdated beliefs better left in the past.  

One professor is doing his part to bring this to light by examining how racism in children’s books perpetuates harmful beliefs about certain groups of people. 

In his new book, Was the Cat in the Hat Black? The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books, Philip Nel studies the paradox of stories that are meant to nurture but can also do harm. An English professor at Kansas State University, Nel has probed racism in kids’ books in his classes

Continue reading “Exploring racism in children’s books provides opportunities for understanding racist stereotypes”

School segregation increases as communities secede from school districts to create wealthier ones

In May, a report by released by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project and Penn State University’s Center for Education and Civil Rights confirmed that school segregation in the South is on the rise, with more black and Latino students attending intensely segregated, high-poverty schools than in the past several decades.

It’s easy to assume this can be attributed to systemic inequality—the rise of charter schools, poor funding to the most needy schools, white flight to the suburbs, and increasingly segregated neighborhoods. All of this is true, but it can also be attributed to a rising phenomenon occurring all across the country: smaller communities seceding away from larger school districts in order to form smaller, wealthier, and whiter ones. In this way, school segregation persists, with white parents who have some financial means doing their best to create borders around their schools that keep poor black and brown students out.

Five years ago, organizers in Gardendale,

Continue reading “School segregation increases as communities secede from school districts to create wealthier ones”