Tag Archives: racism

An Opportunity Lost…

We have lost a great opportunity.  Going back to President George Bush, we had a second black Supreme Court Justice, a black Secretary of Defense, a black Secretary of State and other prominent positions.  President Barack Obama has unique qualifications, having been born half-black and half-white, raised both as a Muslim and a Christian, raised in the third world and in the United States, raised by a single parent, grew up in the rough city of Chicago.  He appointed a pro-civil rights Attorney General Eric Holder.


We had such an opportunity for such a unique person to bring together race relations, to bring together Christians, Jews and Muslims, to bring together rich and poor, to bring together urban and rural, rich and poor.  But it didn’t happen…  I am not placing blame.  The situation is so complicated, but racial relations have deteriorated, Muslims around the world have more hatred for us not less, class warfare has worsened while the middle class shrinks…


We are such a motley mix of people, culture and races, when can we get past this?  If I had a genome test, who knows who I am descended from?  I have an earlier article on what Americans will look like in 2050:



If you look at the pictures, what race are we?  Please, everyone, let’s focus on reducing poverty, helping people live the American dream, and can we stop labeling people by outdated racial and ethnic attitudes?  How long?  What has to happen for us to finally come together as fellow human beings?


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Thanksgiving Sadness

As we see the city of Ferguson burn and have riots at this time most people show thanks puts a bittersweet edge on the day.  Unfortunately, those who would fan the flames of racial tension miss the greater problem of deaths in the black community.

1)  Groups are doing 28 hour protests.  That is because in the US they claim every 28 hours a black person is shot to death by police.  If that is true, that means roughly 350 per year.  Some of those are in shoot outs, some are by police that are black themselves.  Many of them are in protecting people in black neighborhoods.

2) I am sure you have heard the disproportionate amount of blacks who died in Vietnam.  During 13 years of the Vietnam War, 58,000 died, of which 13% or 7,540 were black.

However, how often do you here this:

3) In the last 13 years of records, over 100,000 blacks, mostly women and children, have been killed by other blacks in black neighborhoods?  It is over 13 times more dangerous that you as a black person will be killed by another black person in the United States than it was for you to be killed in combat roles during a War.


4) 56 million fetuses/babies have been aborted since Roe vs. Wade.  Roughly 50% of them were black pregnancies.  That means that 28 million black children were not born, nor were their contributions to society felt, nor were their potential descendants.

Together, black on black murders kill 7,000 to 10,000 blacks per year, while roughly 1 million black children are aborted per year.  It is a holocaust that so outstrips the death of one man in Ferguson, and yet no one talks about it.

We need to help our black communities with education, job opportunities and safety.  Yes there are some bad officers.  However, most of those officers, of any race, are trying to protect people in those communities knowing they are in constant danger of both being hurt and killed, and of being accused of excessive force or racism.  Poor Asian communities, poor white communities, poor hispanic communities all suffer the same.  It is not a racial issue, it is an issue of ending our urban poverty zones where crime and violence run rampant.


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National Geographic – What Americans Will Look Like in 2050

MY NOTE:   I hope this means at some point the government will stop basing programs like the Census on our race/nationality/ethnicity.  I think I am mostly Irish, however, without looking on Ancestry.com for a long time even I don’t know where I came from.  We are Americans, the mixed blood mutts of the world.  Just like pound puppies, us mixed-breed melting pot folks excel as we merge our DNA, cultures and traditions.  Let’s hope we continue to marry and procreate whomever we wish until race loses any meaning to us.

National Geographic

It’s no secret that interracial relationships are trending upward, and in a matter of years we’ll have Tindered, OKCupid-ed and otherwise sexed ourselves into one giant amalgamated mega-race.

But what will we look like? National Geographic built its 125th anniversary issue around this very question last October, calling on writer Lise Funderburg and Martin Schoeller, a renowned photographer and portrait artist, to capture the lovely faces of our nation’s multiracial future.

Here’s how the “average American” will look by the year 2050:

Image Credit: National Geographic

And like this:

Image Credit: National Geographic

And this:

Image Credit: National Geographic

Wow. These are obviously not Photoshopped projections, but real people, meaning tomorrow’s America lives among us now in every “Blackanese,” “Filatino,” “Chicanese” and “Korgentinian” you meet at the DMV, grocery store or wherever it is you hang out.

Their numbers will only grow. The U.S. Census Bureau let respondents check more than one race for the first time in 2000, and 6.8 million people did so. By 2010 that figure had increased to nearly 9 million, a spike of about 32%.

This is certainly encouraging, but there are obvious flaws with tracking racial population growth through a survey that lets people self-identify, especially since so many familial, cultural and even geographical factors influence your decision to claim one or multiple races. Complicating things further is the definition of race itself: It has no basis in biology, yet its constructions, functions and mythologies irrevocably shape the world as we know it.

So is an end approaching? Will increased racial mixing finally and permanently redefine how we imagine our racial identities? The latest figures suggest we’re getting more comfortable with the idea, or perhaps that we simply give fewer shits than ever before. Either would be a step in the right direction.

The Wall Street Journal reported a few years back that 15% of new marriages in 2010 were between individuals of different races. It’s unclear whether they’ve included same-sex unions in the count, but as currently stated, this number is more than double what it was 25 years ago. The proportion of intermarriages also varied by race, with “9% of whites, 17% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 28% of Asians [marrying] outside their ethnic or racial group.” Interracial unions now account for 8.4% of all marriages in the U.S.

Image Credit: Wall Street Journal

In addition, more than 7% of the 3.5 million children born in 2009, the year before the 2010 census, were of two or more races.

The future: As for how this looks moving forward, studies have repeatedly shown that young people, especially those under 30, are significantly more amenable to interracial relationships than older adults, while college grads are more likely to have positive attitudes toward them than those with only a high school diploma. What does this mean for Millennials? As a population composed largely of over-educated 20-somethings, our generation is primed and expected to play a major role in populating this projected future America. That goes double if you live in a Western state, where people intermarry at higher rates; Hawaii is winning at the moment, with 4 of 10 new marriages identifying as interracial.

This doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine, rainbows and butterflies, however. Stark segregation still plagues many parts of the country. Poverty remains a barrier to social mobility and its consequent opportunities to interact with a diverse range of people. Sadly, the inequalities that shape American society as a whole are equally present in interracial relationship patterns. Time will tell if this holds for the long term.

But in the meantime, let us applaud these growing rates of intermixing for what they are: An encouraging symbol of a rapidly changing America. 2050 remains decades away, but if these images are any preview, it’s definitely a year worth waiting for.

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Are Kia Soul Ads Racist?

Is it only me that finds the Kia Soul commercials racist? First, they name it the Soul, then they had rats driving around an urban hood, dressed with hoodies and backward caps, listening to rap music. The recent commercials show them working out, then putting on the ritz. I don’t know…If I named a car Soul, and made it all about being cool in the hood, I would NOT use rodents to depict the people. And people had a problem with a Chihauhua as spokesman for Taco Bell? Just saying.


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Accidental Racism

These are collected from various websites including The Chive.  I want to explain that while they are funny, racism is not.  Accidental racism occurs, hopefully, because the ones that do it are unaware since they don’t think in terms of race.  If they are doing it because they really are racist, all the better to point it out.  Although I am caucasion (mixed from hundreds of races as most Americans are) of indeterminate origin (I have not looked myself up on Ancestry.com) I have experienced blatant racism while living in Hawaii.  My wife had a difficult time finding work because several employers told her they would not hire her because she was white.  (most businesses in Hawaii are asian held, the largest population is Japanese in origin)  At schools, they had ‘kill a haole day’.  Haole being roughly equivalent of the ‘n’ word, but for white people.  So, I know first hand how horrible racism is, not just as a concept.  With that preamble, hopefully this post will serve two purposes; 1) to be funny; and 2) to make all of us a bit more sensitive so we can avoid accidental racism.


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Disturbingly Racist 1882 Clockwork Toy Catalog – And Django Unchained Slave Dolls

The first thing I did when I saw this posted was to be shocked at the types of clockwork toys being sold in 1882, a good 17 years after the end of the Civil War, and not in the South, but in the North.  The second was to confirm this was a valid source, which I confirmed with three other original sources including the Library of Congress.   I post this disclaimer because I strongly object to the toys herein and they serve a lesson on how far we have come, and how much farther we have to go.

In the recent movie Django Unchained, the depiction of the pre-war South is writ large, not as inaccurate as Quentin Terantino’s Inglorious Bastards where Hitler gets killed and the whole World War 2 history is rewritten, but enough to make an avid historian such as myself cringe many times nonetheless.  Still, the pulp fiction ultra-violence was not what offended me the most, but the merchandisers actually manufacturing and selling Django Slave Doll action figures.  REALLY?  Even Ebay, where you can auction yourself, pornography and all manner of things, had sense to know these were unacceptable and banned their sale.  Here is a picture:

django slave dolls


Do we really want children playing with slave master and slave dolls?  What type of game would they play if their parents were crass enough to take them to that movie and then buy these toys?  Are there whip and servant quarters accessories?

So it was the same outrage I felt over this 1882 Clockwork Toy Catalog, shown below in its entirety.

Harriett Beecher Stowe wrote the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1851 as a serial, made into a novel format in 1852.  By just 1853, it has sold over 500,000 copies world wide.  As an author, I know even today, selling 500,000 books in a year would be amazing.  It basically had the popularity of Harry Potter, Twilight, or other mass selling books.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a rejection of the existing stereotypes of minstrel shows; Stowe’s melodramatic story humanized the suffering of slavery for White audiences by portraying Tom as a Christlike figure who is ultimately martyred, beaten to death by a cruel master because Tom refuses to betray the whereabouts of two women who escape from slavery.

Senator Charles Sumner credited Uncle Tom’s Cabin for the election of Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln himself reportedly quipped that Stowe had triggered the American Civil War.  Frederick Douglass praised the novel as “a flash to light a million camp fires in front of the embattled hosts of slavery”

So it is that just 29 years later, after Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a best seller of nearly all time, that a New York toy company is making Uncle Tom Minstrel toys for kids.  The caption includes, “funny as it is, there is also something pathetic in it, too”.  This is in addition to many other degrading toys including a “Heathen Chinese.”  I had hoped to post this to show how we have changed.  However, the utter insensitivity of the Django Unchained people to sell slave owner and slave dolls show perhaps we are still a stupid and backward people.  God created us all in His image, equal, each with a body, each with a soul.

The Library of Congress Record
Author: Automatic toy works, New York. [from old catalog]
Subject: Toys
Publisher: New York, Lockwood & Crawford, stationers
Language: English
Call number: 5886719
Digitizing sponsor: The Library of Congress
Book contributor: The Library of Congress
Collection: library_of_congressamericana

Full catalog record: MARCXML

Selected metadata

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Identifier-bib: 00215344708
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Scandate: 20110128151537
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Ocr: ABBYY FineReader 8.0
Sponsordate: 20110131

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Racism and Rushing to Judgement in America

It is increasingly upsetting to me how the press incites riots in the United States by mis-reporting on incidents and playing on racial divides.  Whether it be the Duke Lacross team that was later proven innocent or many other cases it needs to stop.  Let’s dissect the latest such event.

THE PRESS INCITES- Initial reports come out that a racist white man shoots an honor student young man who was simply walking by with a drink and a bag of skittles on the way to his dad’s house.  Reports are that he can be screaming for help on the 911 call.  The police in Sanford Florida do not arrest or charge this man.  What is going on, why is this racist killer of an unarmed black youth not in jail?  Picture is posted that we all see over and over – George Zimmerman racist white guy in mug shot, Trayvon Martin when he was 14 and a cute kid, three years ago.

THE RESULTS – As a result, I get tons of facebook posts and emails about this horrible racist and the horrible police.  I say I don’t really understand what is going on and want more information first.  I am viewed as defending a racist.  President Barack Obama says it is an injustice and the man should be convicted.  The Black Panthers come out and offer a $1 million reward for the capture (kidnapping) of this man because they do not follow “white man’s justice.”  A former black panther Congressman appears on the floor of the House in a hoodie.  “Hoodie protests” sweep the nation.  Spike Lee tweets what he thinks is the man’s address.  He gets it wrong.  It is an old man and woman that live there.  They are attacked and harrassed and have to leave their home and go into hiding.

MORE INFORMATION:  Suppose you had heard the police report first…  George Zimmerman, a Mexican-Amercian man and Captain of His Neighborhood Watch was on patrol.  There were an increase of robberies in his neighborhood.  He had called the police 46 times during previous patrols without an incident.  He had taken initial training to become a police officer.  In his spare time, he tutors black kids on how to read in his home.  He has black relatives.  On patrol he sees someone wondering around, not from his neighborhood.  He calls the police.  While on the phone he follows the man who takes off running.  He tells the police he thinks the man might have a gun in his belt.  The police tell him to stop following and he does.  He goes back to his car.

The youth then follows him to his car and asks, “You have a problem?  George replies, “No.”  The youth says, “You do now!”  he punches George in the face, breaking his nose.  He jumps on top of him and begins to slam George’s head into the ground over and over.  George is the one heard on the 911 call yelling for help.  He is afraid the boy is going to kill him.  He asks a neighbor for help, and the man goes inside his house.  In desperation as his head is battered, he pulls out his gun and shoots the boy, killing him.

The neighbor confirms the story and tells police he saw Trayvon on top of George beating the crap out of him with George yelling for help.  Doctors examine George and find he has a broken nose, his skull is cut open badly on the back of his head from being slammed in the ground, and his clothes are stained with grass on his back.  Trayvon had no injuries other than the one gun shot.  Tayvon was in the neighborhood because he was under suspension from school for a drug violation.  Suppose you had then seen these pictures:

Yes, the same two people.  Racism enflamed by the press through guilty until proved innocent and public reputation lynchings are going to result in people getting killed and us being even more divided.  When real racist acts occur, we need to jump right on them.  But please, try to wait until the facts are out.  The Duke Lacrosse players hired a black prostitute to provide them sex.  She lied and said they raped her, beat her and drew a swastika on her head and called her the N word.  She later recounted and said that was all a lie to get money.  But how many of you know that?  Most still believe it happened.  We have enough terrible racism without fanning the flames of division over events that are not clearly racist.

I don’t know if George fired in self-defense or if he should be charged with manslaughter for over-reacting to a stranger in his neighborhood.  I don’t know if he followed Trayvon because he was black.  I don’t know if Trayvon attacked him because he was angry for being followed because he thought it was because he was black.  I just know it was a tragedy.  But the second tragedy is the way the press and our national figures have reacted, inciting hatred, racism and anger without all the facts.


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