The Equality Trap: A Call for a New Paradigm

The Equality Trap: A Call for a New Paradigm

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The man, the myth, the legend who sold America on his dream. During the Civil Rights Movement of the middle of the 20th century, our country held firm to the idea that all people are created equal and that, as a government and society who believed so, all people should be given equal rights. Through desegregation laws, anti-discrimination laws, the Voting Rights Acts and other unprecedented policies, the United States has worked to become a nation where equal rights are granted and racial equality is the new norm. We’ve held tight to our goal of being an equal nation.

That equality is a myth.

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Authenticity: Why Obama’s not Half-Black

Authenticity: Why Obama’s not Half-Black

In a recent article for the National Review, senior editor Jonah Goldberg discussed the popularity of Ben Carson amongst the GOP (at least based on recent polls). He notes that

“… most analysis of Carson’s popularity from pundits focuses on his likable personality and his sincere Christian faith. But it’s intriguingly rare to hear people talk about the fact that he’s black. One could argue that he’s even more authentically African-American than Barack Obama.”

Goldberg makes this statement and then goes on to make a number of claims as to why President Obama is not “authentically African-American” enough, at least when compared to Carson.

“…Obama’s mother was white and he was raised in part by his white grandparents. In his autobiography, Obama writes at length about how he grew up outside the traditional African-American experience — in Hawaii and Indonesia — and how he consciously chose to adopt a black identity when he was in college.”

This isn’t a new sentiment. Many people of many different races have often brought up Obama’s racial heritage in a way to discredit his blackness. In fact, a 2014 article by the Washington Post shows most of America doesn’t consider the president as black, but as “mixed-race”. The problem with this line of thinking stems from how we conceptualize multi-racial identities in this country- one with a history of hypodescent ideologies, like the infamous one-drop rule. The problem with this line of thinking is that all Obama needs to be “authentically” black is to be black, and that he most definitely is.

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Force Perspective

Force Perspective

By now, you have most likely seen the video of the young student from  Spring Valley High School being reprimanded by the resource officer- Ben Fields- so I’ll spare your eyes a posting of the video, but here’s a link. Since the video went viral about two days ago, it has sparked some debate over whether Fields’s actions were justified.

In the video, you see clearly how Fields handles the student, but you don’t know much about how he “went from 0-60”, as Professor Marc Lamont Hill put it, or why he is in the classroom to begin with. As it has been reported, the student in the video was being disruptive to the class by having her cell phone out and not turning it into the teacher when he asked her to give it to him so he could continue with the class. Since she refused, the teacher called for the resource officer to remove her from class. Then… well… you’ve seen the video.

So this all brings up numerous- related- questions. First and most obvious, was the officer justified in his use of force? But this also calls into question the purpose of having officers in schools and also the obligations students and teachers have to each other.

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Religious Freedom and Public Rights

Religious Freedom and Public Rights

Hi all!

I recently ran across a Rachel Maddow story about North Carolina’s House of Representatives reviewing a proposal that I thought would open a conversation on the tug and pull between “religious freedom” and the law. The proposal would allow county magistrates to reject marriage licenses to people based on their religious beliefs. In the video, Maddow notes that under the new law…

…Magistrates could refuse to marry gay and lesbian couples, or couples who were remarrying after a divorce, or couples with one Buddhist and one Jew, couples where one person is white and one person is black- like the good ol’ days.

-Rachel Maddow

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