links for 2010-08-29

  • "No, African Americans aren't the only ones having kids out of wedlock. But, yes, the news is worst in that community, where, in recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 72% of new babies were born out of wedlock, versus 28% among whites and 17% among Asians. This is not in the skin. It is not about color. It's about culture.

    "And if the culture doesn't change, neither will the pattern."

  • Facts and reality mean nothing to Beck. And there is no road too low for him to slither upon. The Southern Poverty Law Center tells us that in a twist on the civil rights movement, Beck said on the air that he 'wouldn’t be surprised if in our lifetime dogs and fire hoses are released or opened on us. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of us get a billy club to the head. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of us go to jail — just like Martin Luther King did — on trumped-up charges. Tough times are coming.'”
  • "At his funeral and in interviews afterward, a portrait emerged of a small, insular but energized community that is proud but underpinned by a constant tug of race and religiosity.

    "Nobody keeps track of how many black Orthodox Jews are in New York or across the nation, and surely it is a tiny fraction of both populations. Indeed, even the number of black Jews over all is elusive, though a 2005 book about Jewish diversity, “In Every Tongue,” cited studies suggesting that some 435,000 American Jews, or 7 percent, were black, Hispanic, Asian or American Indian."

  • "Born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, Robinson moved to Brooklyn at age 12, eventually turning to drugs and street crime. A close friend shot him seven years later, leading him to abandon drugs. He took up hip-hop and invested in a record company in Los Angeles, living a life he described as indulgent. When he was 23, a request for a Bible elicited a Torah and that led eventually to a life of Orthodox Judaism and a return to Brooklyn — where he was murdered August 19.

    "Robinson, 34, fell at the hands of the lifestyle he had abandoned: He was shot while trying to save his girlfriend from a masked robber who attacked her in the Brooklyn liquor store where Robinson worked as clerk. Police said they were questioning a suspect they did not name."

  • "New Orleans now hosts 354,850 residents, almost 78 percent of its pre-Katrina population. At the same time, the city has become significantly whiter since the storm: It is now only 60 percent black, compared to 67 percent black, pre-Katrina. And many of the poorer black people who left town after the storm have yet to return."
  • "So while it has become quite unfashionable these days to believe that race could play a role in anyone's success or failure, it would seem by process of elimination that the only 'evidence' his blogging detractors hoped to woo the gullible with are the facts that Williams is black, and shares a first name with Elijah Mohammed, late founder of the Nation of Islam sect of African-American Muslims."
  • "The trick is figuring out whether a person’s distrust of non-native speakers stems from prejudice or incomprehension. To tease these factors apart, the researchers designed two experiments. First, they asked a group of 35 people to judge the truthfulness of trivial statements, like 'Ants don’t sleep' and 'A giraffe can go without water longer than a camel can,' recited by people with various accents — Turkish, Polish, Korean, Italian and Austrian-German — as well as native English speakers. In all cases, the subjects were told that the speakers were merely reciting statements provided by the experimenter and were not the source of the material. Yet even when speakers were 'only the messenger, listeners distrusted non-native speakers more than they did native English speakers."