Category: Race & Gender

Lower (for Ralph Ellison) – Black Writers, part 4

Lower (for Ralph Ellison) – Black Writers, part 4

What follows is a brief reflection upon, and poem inspired (mostly) by Ralph Ellison. (Re the poem I also have to thank Toni Morrison for her insightful, if painful, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. It will be obvious to those readers of the latter that I was affected by it even while likely indulging in the […]

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Equity Gap Doubles Between Whites and Minorities: Race, Wealth, and Empathy

Equity Gap Doubles Between Whites and Minorities: Race, Wealth, and Empathy

In the face of the Great Recession, Whites, Asians, Hispanics, and Blacks have experienced a loss in median household net worth since 2005. But U.S. Census figures show it is minorities who have taken the biggest economic hit, with the gap between them and whites nearly doubling in just five years. Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics saw their net worth shrink […]

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Clint Eastwood and the Empty Chair

Clint Eastwood and the Empty Chair

CLINT EASTWOOD AND THE EMPTY CHAIR “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” — Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man This isn’t the place to attack or defend my Presidential candidate of choice. That said, to let last night’s comments from actor / director Clint Eastwood go without comment would be, well, an opportunity missed to discuss some […]

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Deep River – Paul Robeson as Gospel Singer and Justice Advocate

Paul Robeson, the legendary African-American singer, actor, and social activist, was in a little-known 1940 film, “The Proud Valley.” Documenting the lives of Welsh coal miners, the film did something unheard of and made a black actor the star of a mostly-white cast movie. More than that, it also offered a mix of piety and social activism which within just […]

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Nelson Mandela’s Passing — Memories, Reflections, and Gratitude from One JPUSA Member

Nelson Mandela’s Passing — Memories, Reflections, and Gratitude from One JPUSA Member

It felt more emotional than I’d expected… personal, even. Nelson Mandela is dead. A great, great man has passed out of this world. And I am reminded again of all the history South Africa and the United States share regarding both racial injustice and the heroes such injustice forged. Mr. Mandela was South Africa’s George Washington, Martin Luther King, and […]

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Egypt’s Military conducts ‘virginity checks’ on female protestors

Virginity checks, according to CNN and Amnesty International, were conducted against women taking part in March 9 pro-democracy protests in Egypt. Notes Amnesty: When army officers violently cleared Tahrir Square on 9 March – the day after International Women’s Day – 18 women were detained, beaten, given electric shocks, of which 17 were then subjected to strip searches, forced to […]

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Porch Monkey Paradigms: how the Old South lives on in the New Right

Porch Monkey Paradigms: how the Old South lives on in the New Right

FOX News gave Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher, massive amounts of airtime. U. S. Senator Rand Paul and FOX pundit Sean Hannity praised Bundy’s stance against the federal government. (Never mind the federal government owns the land Mr. Bundy grazes his cattle on, which is what the dispute is about, and has owned the land for generations.) The entire conservative […]

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Porn is the Wallpaper of Our Lives

Porn is the Wallpaper of Our Lives

Up late at night, perusing face book and then a feminist web site and then, these thoughts of my own… I’ve yet again been reading about 2nd Wave Feminism and its (usually) anti-porn stance vs the 3rd Wavers’ usually pro-porn stance. One phrase from Naomi Wolfe (a third-waver with second wave sensibilities) stopped me in my tracks: “Porn is the […]

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Happy Birthday MLK: His 1967 Chicago Sermon “Why Jesus Called A Man A Fool”

Martin Luther King’s birthday, January 15 (today), seems a fine time to offer up a lesser-known sermon he gave at the Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church August 27 1967. Entitled “Why Jesus Called A Man A Fool,” it still has a shocking resonance today. Perhaps it isn’t as polished, as memorable in some ways, as “I Have a Dream” or […]

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Zimmerman Verdict: Bitterness and the Death of Hope

Zimmerman Verdict: Bitterness and the Death of Hope

“You can’t make me do nothing but die!” ― Richard Wright, Native Son Perhaps I have no right to say what I’m thinking tonight — there’s no room for so-called “objectivity” in the midst of this tsunami of emotions — but I will say it anyway. Racism in all its power to distort justice has once again won a victory. […]

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