links for 2010-06-09

  • "[I]t's worth noting that in American political discourse, as Matt Duss and Gabriel Winant have written, statements of a similar nature are completely appropriate when made about the Palestinians — it's not, apparently, that bigotry is unacceptable, just the "wrong kind" of bigotry. This is the sort of incident that exposes the more tribal advocates on either side — you cannot argue that there's something morally wrong about leaving Palestinians stateless and then argue that Israeli Jews should be left that way, just as you cannot argue that it is morally wrong to suggest Jews should "leave Israel" while asserting that Israel has the right to permanently displace the Palestinians. Or at least, you can't argue either of those points while claiming to adhere to any universal moral principle. Still, it's clear that one form of inconsistency here is infinitely more acceptable in Washington than the other."
  • "I don’t identify with Israel anymore at all. It’s not a place I ever want to go and certainly not a place I want to live. Like many nations in our sort-of-post-colonial world, it’s got a problematic history that will never completely go away–and I have steered mostly clear of those questions in my career. When I write about Israel, it tends to get personal. As you can see.

    My reaction to the Israeli raid on the Freedom Flotilla was mostly blind rage. I wanted to cry, to scream. I couldn’t write anything about it and still can’t really. It hurt. So maybe I’m more understanding this week of Thomas than I would have otherwise.

    I usually have a knee-jerk reaction to anti-Semitism. It slaps me across the face, reminds me that though I live every day with white privilege, there is a special kind of racism directed at me too, one that at one point wiped out millions. "

  • "[N]o-one, in the wake of this piece, is talking about the Tamils. No-one’s talking about Sri Lanka. No-one’s talking about M.I.A.’s most provocative belief, the one that’s really threatening: The idea that violent oppression can and should be met with violent resistance, which is a complicated and scary proposition, one that people have been evaluating and fighting over for a long-ass time, one that we’re nowhere near figuring out as yet. No-one is talking about that; no-one, to be blunt, really cares. What we’re talking about, instead, is a plate of fucking fries."
  • I wrote this for the Prospect. – LDP "In 2005, researchers posed a simple question to low-income families using food stamps: What kept them from fully utilizing farmers markets? The response came back loud and clear: awareness, price, and convenience. Farmers markets have been touted as the next great hope in stemming the obesity epidemic by providing fresh fruits and vegetables to those neighborhoods that are underserved by grocery stores but often full of fast-food restaurants. However, with all the pushes to make farmers markets more accessible — like allowing food stamps and partnering with Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs — the core issue has still not been addressed: Healthy foods need to be convenient and accessible as well as affordable. "
  • "Lemon showed a picture of Nidal Hassan as a terrorist, absent any facts, denigrating the service of the Muslim-American service members who serve with honor. Lemon then says that most acts are carried about by Muslims, ignoring the points raised by Arsalan and Soumaya. I wish I mentioned that a Muslim was involved in reporting the Times Square bomb car, or that Soumaya mentioned that it was a Muslim who turned in the Hutaree, but I am glad Arsalan got in the racial component of the way we talk about terrorism (see my earlier piece on these points).

    There is a narrative that Muslim-Americans must counter, and the most effective way to do that is through another narrative."

  • "This new New Orleans power structure is marked by a dual and unequal school system, an aggressive new police chief, a predominately white city council, a decimated urban core, and a racial and economic divide that is palpable and politely endured. It is dynamic made possible by a complicit black political elite grasping onto its last corners of power by making unholy alliances with conservative interests. It is a power grab made possible by an unmotivated black electorate exhausted from years of unrelenting struggle. It is a dynamic made rooted in by decades of black political corruption that betrayed the sold the faith of a struggling people to profit a few unethical politicians. Through his dedication to public service rather than self-service, his demand that the public good outweigh narrow interests, and his attachment to disenfranchised rather than powerful communities, James, and other community leaders like him, are a threat to this emerging structure."
  • "However, in the New Immigrant Survey used in this study, participants were not given the option of choosing "some other race."

    As a result, in the New Immigrant Survey, more than three-quarters of respondents (79 percent) identified themselves as white, regardless of their skin color.

    "This shows that Latino immigrants do recognize the advantages of a white racial identity. Most are attempting to push the boundaries of whiteness to include them, even if their skin color is darker," Frank said."