links for 2011-08-01

  • "The map, constructed with genetic information from 30,000 African Americans, has a resolution so high it is now the world's most accurate genetic map, said David Reich, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and co-leader of the study.

    "The new map is the first to include thousands of African Americans. Most past genetic maps have been developed using people of European ancestry.

    "'Although people of African and European ancestry are genetically quite similar to each other, this will help to localize genes in DNA from people of all racial and ethnic groups,' Wilson said."

  • "Kern was simply advancing one of the most enduring and pernicious untruths in America's political economy. It holds that poverty – in general, but especially within communities of color – doesn't result from purely economic factors. Rather, the poor are where they find themselves as a consequence of some deep-seated cultural flaws that keep them from achieving success. They're held back, the story goes, by what is known alternatively as a “culture of poverty,” or a “culture of dependence.” It's a popular fable for the right, as it absolves the political establishment for public policies that harm the working class and the poor.

    "It's also thoroughly and demonstrably untrue, flying in the face of decades of serious research findings."

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  • PatrickInBeijing

    I never know whether to laugh or cry…………… Studies are a good things, facts are a good thing.  But, really, first of all, it shouldn’t take studies and facts to trump ignorance like that displayed by Sen. Sally Kern in Oklahoma.  Ignorance should just fall apart like a poorly baked cake.  People like Sen.  Sally Kern should merely be met with incredulous stares.  I mean, do we have to use facts to reply to flat earthers?  Oh, oops, we live in an age of birthers and other weird beliefs.

    The fact that people STILL feel the need to treat such nonsense shows how deeply embedded racism is within white “culture” and how far we have to go.  The fact that she wasn’t laughed out of the Senate and in fact the entire state of Oklahoma shows that we really aren’t moving very much.  Umm, can we really call what the Tea Party does “thinking”?

  • Lyonside

    I’d argue that the black flight from the Republican Party started way before Reagan, with the Southern Dixiecrats being embraced and enfolded into the party, and the Republican party subsequently becoming anti-union just as the black middle class was finally benefiting from blue collar union jobs (no coincidence). My father was born in ’42, and has always been a Democrat, not in small part because he is black, had a blue collar union job until his 40s when he was promoted to management (and was one of the few black supervisors at the power company), and lived through the Civil Rights movement.

    • Digital Coyote

      Hence the  line about “rejoining” the GOP when Reagan came on to the scene.

      • Lyonside

        I’m saying it happenned earlier than Reagan… like 20 years earlier.

        • Digital Coyote

          I’m saying the word “rejoin,” as it was used here, implies people left before Reagan appeared.  Ditto for inclusion of the phrase “it was better to run away” because of the party’s agenda and stance. 

        • Digital Coyote

          I’m saying the word “rejoin,” as it was used here, implies people left before Reagan appeared.  Ditto for inclusion of the phrase “it was better to run away” because of the party’s agenda and stance. 

          • PatrickInBeijing

            The National Democratic Party embraced (reluctantly, often) the notion of civil rights mainly under President Johnson, and then somewhat further under President Nixon (mainly in response to the rebellions that were happening in many cities).   As a result of that embrace, southern white Democrats fled the party and were actively recruited under the racist “southern” strategy of Nixon.  The National Republican leaders at that time readily embraced racism as a means of splitting the working class, and peeling off white workers.  That this enabled them to attack trade unions was icing on the cake.  Racism became the central theme of national elections from that point on (and still often is, look at the response to Obama) on the part of the Republican Party (usually carefully couched in all sorts of weird language (which is supposed to give them cover)).  

            Some black folk  stayed in the Republican Party (because they could never forgive the Democratic Party for it’s historic racism, and because they were never completely convinced that it had changed), but mainly in small numbers (very small numbers, I know).  The Lincoln Republicans were during the late sixties and early seventies either driven out, or marginalized.    Interestingly, the judges in the South who supported civil rights were mainly Republican from the Lincoln/mountain faction (the mountain Republicans were anti-slavery and pro-union, often from the mining centers).   As John Prine sings “Grandaddy was a carpenter…. he voted for Eisenhower cause Lincoln won the war.”

            Sadly, a lot of this history is being lost (and being constantly revised by  the racist white Republican victors in the south). 

            I know a little bit about the Southern regional parties, but suspect that there was a lot more going on.  Hopefully people who know will share with the rest of us!

          • Digital Coyote

             “Sadly, a lot of this history is being lost (and being constantly revised
            by  the racist white Republican victors in the south). ”

            Which is absolutely hilarious when you consider that they’re the first to trot out “the Republicans freed the slaves” to show they aren’t really racist.

            I could be a proper (read: Lincoln) Republican, but I decided long ago that if Bill Buckley and I agreed on something (i.e. the Republicans really needed to stay away from the religious right)  it was a lightning bolt from the universe.