Justice for Blacks and Whites

What middle-class Republicans and urban liberals have in common.

Comments: 78

  1. By all means seek out the Whites reachable,
    The ones who as yet are still teachable,
    United we can
    Oust each biased man,
    Whose motives are wholly impeachable!

  2. This seems to me entirely a mixed bag. I would expect fairness in affordable housing and school funding to appeal to most progressive whites. But given the academic level of many inner city schools, the Texas 10% plan is merely another form of quota that discriminates against qualified whites and Asians, and I wouldn't expect a warm reception for it.

  3. Statistics don't create a community. Lived experiences do. When you need to persuade a community of its common interests, its organic center has failed, its common life in shreds.

    Can community be built on interests? It has always included a sense of destiny. The Republican irony is the anger and fear, their faith in the rich, the misguided ideology is real--but is turned inside out. But many democrats agree only in a head sense. Evidence? Protest has vanished. Hashtags are in.

    I live in a community where we all know the names and lives of the dead we bury, the days are colored by our own shared joys and sorrows. The new politics plays against this grain. It poll-driven, not heart-driven; its surface and has no place for depth or exception; it's robo-calls pretending to be polls; its disguises and disgust.

    Vital signs do appear: everyone seems to miss the incredibly important Moral Mondays in NC. But bridge clubs and bowling teams and car pools are down even as all kids receive trophies and non-spillable drinks with their snacks.

    I hope for better; I prepare for worse.

  4. The Moral Mondays movement in North Carolina is the perfect vehicle for social change in all 50 states.

    People of all walks of life, ethnic, religious, and educational backgrounds have come together to achieve a common goal. They've come from other states to lend a hand. Since the early days of Moral Mondays, the movement has spread south. It now needs to spread north and west.

    The success of such a spread of that movement could also be the catalyst for change at the federal level. When people are more involved locally, talking to each other, they tend to pay far more attention to their representatives in Washington. The progressives in Congress have taken a back seat to a majority of neo-liberals who are, at best, timid in their willingness to take the lead on civil rights issues. A grassroots effort, one that demands an equal voice for Progressives, is what is critical now.

    At a time when the middle-class is shrinking and the economy isn't growing, conditions are as ripe for coalition-building as they are for divisive rhetoric. What is missing is the initiative of Democratic leaders to work together with organizations to make the push for change and counter the GOP's divide and conquer strategy.

    The grassroots are there. The party organization is there. I hope it won't take another electoral loss, like in 2010, for Democrats to finally get motivated.

    Rima Regas
    http://www.rimaregas.com/2014/06/the-faces-of-neoliberalism-robert-gibbs...

  5. Sadly, even some Tea Partiers are more populist than today's Democrats.

  6. I disagree with the lessons learned from the legions of African-Americans risking life and limb to get out into the streets to physically demonstrate protest and thereby register their discontent with the inaction of the Federal Government responding to the demands for Human and Civil Rights and equality of dignity.

    This country is facing so many critical issues that need action by Congress. Where have you gone Dr. M.L. King, Jr., our nation turns its lonely eyes to you. We need a gifted orator that spell-bounds listeners to take the same prodding actions again - and not used to run for political office. That voice should be a beacon call to citizens to organize and protest against their government by the tens of millions using peaceful, non-violent, non--cooperation to rattle the beltway into action.

    Change via the ballot box will not bring about meaningful change. That's because those running for political office have already bought into the system accepting deep pocket money to pay the exorbitant price of campaigning setting up favors owed which is nothing more than corruption already in abundance in Washington DC.

  7. Actually we don't need Congress passing more laws or the President making laws on his own with "executive orders". I suggest that instead of "action by Congress" like you suggest we disband the current congress and have no congress at all until 2016, when we have new elections, provided that current incumbents are barred from running.

  8. Racial equality, yes.
    Economic equality, no. Why should workers support shirkers?
    Equal opportunity, please!

  9. Professor Cashin's approach to apply basic organizing techniques across racial lines has been done for years on a host of issues. But most of these successes have been at the state and local level where ideological intransigence has been less pronounced.

    Washington is another matter. For African Americans the problem is two fold. The Dems have shown little if any real leadership on the issues that affect our community the most. Have they unveiled an urban jobs program? Did they champion a truly progressive national health plan? For the GOP, the admitted party of big business, African Americans are more likely the targets of rather than the object of their ideological agenda. Has privatization of everything they can touch created better public service? Has the twenty year decline in crime diminished their rabid use of the criminal justice system create an army of young black inmates? Has advocates for prayer in our schools lowered class size or increased student performance?

    It's time to realize that the national gridlock problem can best be addresses by more citizens getting off of Washington's grid and backing truly progressive candidates on third party lines. We've been sold out in so many different ways that corruption is the only apt way to describe DC politics at all levels.

    So I applaud Professor Cashin's rear guard action, but it's time to take our political eggs out of the traditional Dem/GOP basket and pursue real progressive change, not tepid reform.

  10. If Democrats had a program to help the African American community, maybe local bureaucrats wouldn't be requiring a million dollar fee for a taxi medallion, or require that a woman wanting to run a hair braiding business take thousands of hours of classes and spend thousands on licensing fees. Or what about making it easier to get small business funding? What's needed are not urban jobs "programs" what's needed is government reducing rather than increasing obstacles that inhibit the creation of small business. Its interesting that you note the Dems are not really helping the African American community and then you fall for the same old junk, saying we need more "progressive" candidates. Wake up. Isn't 50 years of the "great society" enough?

  11. Apparently you didn't get the memo. The "Great Society" was long ago eclipsed by the "City on the Hill", the "Thousand Points of Light" and "job creators" that don't.

  12. There are so many things awry with our political system that one could easily do several original dissertations upon them. Our two party system, as the most general observers have gleaned, is in reality only one party that time after time does not represent the will of the people. Voting along other party lines has always been an exercise and demonstration of contempt for the corporate schills that our "two party" system throw at us, but not one of any expectation of either popular or electoral majorities.

    Big money and the special interests that that money represents must be removed from our political system at all costs. Any one interested in public service should take a vow of austerity and only seek the life style of the average american not one of a potentate. Our encumbent political representatves ranks are swelled with people who want power and all the requisite privileges of power. Civic duty and public service is the last thing on their lists of ideals and goals.

    As much as these alternative parties are on the ballot, I do not think we have the luxury of time to wait for them to be elected. At the end of the day, they may also be corrupted, money and power have that tendancy. Take the temptation out of the system, no other way to keep men honest (goes for women too).

  13. In March Bill Gates suggested a new tax base could create jobs by replacing the payroll taxes. Unemployment is widely shared and so should its solution be. VAT, wealth tax, etc.

  14. We need to develop new theoretical frameworks for talking about injustice & inequality "Race" & "political correctness" have become buttons that the 2 parties push on their cash machines. Conservative whites have learned to hear talk of racism as vilification of whites. Our system steals from the poor and gives to the rich, we lock people up simply because they can't afford a lawyer, and progressives talk as if these things were wrong only because of their disproportionate racial effects. Our unequal system is built ore on money changing hands in Washington than on the crude prejudices we attribute to each other. Read some of Martin Luther King's speeches for evidence of how ossified our thinking has become. Economic justice for all is the thing we could unite on, but we can't even talk about it clearly anymore.

  15. Let the record reflect that I didn't pick the title to this piece, I want justice for all people, but freedom and justice are not free, they must be paid for with sweat equity.

  16. No thank you, Ms. Cashin. This is NOT a solution to the discrimination still directed at the African American.
    If you would like proof, read the article in the Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates, recounting the years of the systematic decoupling of African-Americans from the American dream. Now, because some whites are suffering too, we can just forget those years of disenfrachisement, of Jim Crow, of red-lining that has left a legacy in both the white and the black population of this country. A legacy, that is, of self understanding. A legacy of how each group measures itself, its hopes, its aspirations and its relative value.
    Now we can consider ourselves all equal because, alas, many whites are discovering what it is like for the majority of blacks? AND, what it will continue to be like for those blacks after the whites have gotten the benefits of whatever it is you are proposing.
    Not on your life, Ms. Cashin.

  17. Read Nelson Mandela.

  18. Sorry, but you're part of the problem not the solution with that myopic way of thinking.

  19. With all due respect, Ali from the UK, our situation here in the US is nothing like South Africa. Read Mr. Coates - I repeat his rhetoric here, and add only my own take on the article at hand.

  20. I find this article to be a long, tall, cool drink of water in an intellectual desert that is parched of real, honest thought on how to improve the lot of our citizens irrespective of race, creed, gender, etc. Advocates of "gimme" based upon race, gender, class, or any other easy label don't truly advance our culture, society, or economic vitality and robustness. Instead, they further divisiveness, contention, and our country's decreasing ability to make the most of an increadibly talented population to compete effectively on the world stage.

  21. Finally a discussion of non race based and unbiased concerns that transcend the uber analysis of the 'color' issue: which has been monotonously recreated into a post post modern criterion which shouldn't exist in this century. The issues of poverty and inequality of income distribution are the starting point. This is a very good start to a very necessary change in discourse over not just race relations but also poverty and access to affordable education for all eligible Americans.

  22. Today there are no more "moderate" Republicans who are capable of compromise. The gerrymandering that followed the 2010 census destroyed districts that are contested or change political color. Big money and the overriding desire for economic hegemony within the Congress has captured and will keep their majority of do-nothing politicians (at least until the next census or a complete revulsion on the part of conservative citizens.) In years past, the shenanigans and outrageous, obnoxious talk from the Congress would have provoked protests. But how to protest a Congress that does nothing? Even if Americans didn't dissipate their anger by complaining to Facebook friends, what is there to protest? If your workers come into work and then spend the day schmoozing around the water cooler before going home, you'd probably fire them. In this case, those voters from gerrymandered districts don't want the business of government to work and they aren't about to fire the guys who are doing just what they want. But be warned Conservatives: you are frittering away America's ability to compete, you are destroying its infrastructure through neglect, you are allowing the rapacious to dominate your communities and your nation, your have encouraged the growth of philosophies that have proven to be wrong and destructive of your own well being. By the time you wake up we will all owe our lives to the "company store" and we will all be nothing but peons to global business.

  23. The talk about race has all to frequently been used in American history to hide the real issue, which has always been economics. This is all in the interest of the richest Americans, who prefer racial wrangling to economic demands. Example: we know that the issue that progressives wanted to litigate in the era of Brown vs. Board of Education was unequal funding of schools; only because they were unable to arrange a case that cut that way did they resort to the "separate but equal" issue. And look where we are today. Equal funding for schools is nowhere close to being achieved in my state, Illinois, and I am sure this problem persists in many states.

  24. It's been 6 long and frustrating years in the Obama Presidency and I draw everyone's attention to the WRITTEN campaign promise made by then U.S. Senator Barack Obama to pass and sign the End Racial Profiling Act. He made this promise on page 166 of his campaign book (Paperback edition) and now he has done wonders to duck-hide-dodge his utter failure to make good on this promise.

    This President is a major failure on civil rights: He has caved into the shirkers, the racists and over-sized bigots in this country and has instead chosen to blame the victims of racial profiling. No other broken Obama '08 campaign promise looms as large as this one does!

  25. Are you serious about racial profiling, because if you are, we need a workable definition, one taken into account the different behavioral profiles of the respective racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender, populations. Thus my having more speeding tickets than my wife is not an example of age or gener profiling.

  26. The fabricated division between poor blacks and poor whites is reminiscent of the Civil War when the typical Confederate soldier owned no slaves, owned no land and was poorly educated—if at all. However, through racist manipulation the Southern elite blinded him to his common socioeconomic ties to black slaves.

    Instead of speaking only “truth to power,” today someone needs to speak “truth to unorganized IMPOTENCE and GENERATE power.” Martin Luther King, Jr. made the change in 1968 in his attempt to mobilize the multiracial “Poor People’s Campaign” and it might have caused him his life.

  27. I sit with mouth agape wishing to believe any republican in the south is truly interested in equality for all.
    The tea party (not worthy of capital letters) is a certainty when speaking of those wishing to deter equality. The first example of the t.p.'s tenants was when a black man entered the white house as the boss and not as an usher. They struck up the band and started to make up stories. Just turn on any southern radio station.
    As for the rest of the republicans in the south, well they used to be democrats until a courageous LBJ signed the civil rights bills. What a conversion and shame on RMN for developing the southern strategy. Seems to be yet working and after the good 'ol boys leave sunday school they go home and plot ways to suppress equality in as many facets of life as possible. Is that in the bible? Yeah, I guess that is what Americans who die or are maimed in an useless conflict are fighting for: to insure those remaining at home can limit the rights of others.
    Ain't it great what one can accomplish with easily led haters.

  28. I lived in Detroit from the 1950's to the 1980's. As a lower middle class white living in a poor, integrated neighborhood Democrats would never acknowledge that my family, white friends and white neighbors were being harmed by their so called progressive policies.
    What the Democratic machine expected was that these same folks would stand in line and vote Democratic. Sorry. Of course many folks moved to out of way places far from racial minorities and from that vantage point preached their same poisoned bran of progressivism. You brought it on yourself Mr. Liberal.

  29. Since you don't know me please don't label me. As for those 30 years you spent in abstract poverty (hmmm) I couldn't judge; something you are all too willing to do. Are you sure you weren't a absentee/slum landlord?
    I can imagine though, you finally were able to sell your property or it was bought up for a civic endeavor where you were able to move into swimming pool land where you thought it better to go along with your gop counterparts in order to get along.
    It's like religion, all too often it's the neighborhood and not the person that brings us along the life trail.
    Jp, cute. I guess that is all the name you are willing to expose lacking not enough pride in your statements to use it all. Good luck and you'll need it with all the conviction for your words you have with initials for a handle.

  30. What middle class conservative and liberals have in common is that these misled and gullible have been brain washed by the political hierarchy and others to hate each other, spy on each other, mistrust and wind up be enemies to no avail.

  31. At my Federal workplace in a law enforcement agency here in Chicago, we have a hugely disproportionate number of officers and managerial level staff of color. They're there only because a Federal court ruling stated back in the day that we had to have the direct proportion of "minorities" found in the city of Chicago. Promotional opportunities have been curtailed for those who are not Latino or "African-American" as we have to state with such politically correct piety. And yet we have encountered such entrenched, scandalous corruption in my workplace, such as a handgun that went missing out of a "secured" evidence vault that was used in the commission of a homicide within 48 hours, such as kilos of cocaine which disappeared inexplicably from that same vault, and not to forget million-dollar negotiable monetary instruments that found their way out as well...all under the watch of a person of color. Because many of these people consider themselves Teflon-coated due to affirmative action and the many rulings in their favor, it's seldom that justice is ever done to their own infractions. At last, one does wonder what it will take for a Supreme Court ruling to be promulgated, much as the one on education, that strips away the "protected" status of minorities and returns employment opportunities to the basis of qualification only, without the base leaven of affirmative-action quotas...

  32. Given the venerable history of graft, corruption and crime in Chicago politics before the Civil Rights Movement, are you suggesting that White Chicago politicians and public employees are more more moral and less dishonest than African American politicians and public employees?

  33. "returns employment opportunities to the basis of qualification only, without the base leaven of affirmative-action quotas..." because Chicago law enforcement before affirmative action was an egalitarian meritocracy.

  34. Any so-called "Cross-Racial Alliance" must address unabashed, unchecked, greed-based capitalism and the intentional divide and conquer racial techniques (see the Ta-Nehisi Coates treatise in the May 2014 Atlantic Monthly) the 1% utilize to keep the 99% fighting among ourselves. Workers of the World unite!

  35. Whiteness confers privilege in the United States of America. The only way to remediate pervasive US racism is to eradicate white privilege. I would suggest that this will not occur until a majority of White Americans can be convinced to relinquish their white racial identity.

  36. There are ways to see common ground without selling out becoming ineffectual or enabling the status quo.

    Good article

  37. You might want to have a discussion of white privilege with a resident of southeast Ohio or eastern Kentucky. I'd like to see an explanation of how Appalachians, living in some of the poorest areas of the country, benefit from white privilege.

    As others have said: "It's class, not race."

  38. This I disagree with. Being Black is an important part of who someone is; so too is being Hispanic or South Asian or Native American or any other ethnicity. White Americans need to acknowledge that being white is just another ethnicity in the rainbow that is America; that being white is not default, but just the same as being Black or Hispanic or South Asian or Native American or whatever. They (we, since I am white) can decide how important (or not) this ethnic identity is to them, but the problem now is not that white Americans are too aware of their ethnicity. It is that they are unconscious of it, and allowed to remain so by means of their privilege.

  39. But it is not 1964 and we do not have the same Republican party that we had in 1964. The Republicans have permitted their party to be high jacked by the tea party becoming a victim of their own gerrymandering. These people are not interested in community, they want to burn the house down and watch the flames.

  40. Sorry, you're wrong and so is Ms. Cashin. In fact, we DO have EXACTLY the same Republican party we had in 1964. Who was the GOP presidential nominee that year? Barry Goldwater, arguably the most far-right nominee in the party's history. (YES, more than George W.!) Those [very few] Republicans who did work with LBJ were chased out of the party, foreshadowing the shift from a second-place national party to one built around the Solid South. Any Republican who dares work with the Democrats will find himself exchanging text messages with Eric Cantor.

  41. One area where I see a possibility for a cross-racial alliance is in school choice. Conservatives can, and in some cases already have, allied themselves with minority parents to attack the public school monopoly that serves them so poorly. So far, the black leadership has mostly supported the (predominantly white) teachers' unions against black parents, but I don't think that can last forever.

  42. Perhaps the black leadership is more knowledgeable than the parents.

  43. Then again, probably not, given the poor quality of schools the "leadership" and teacher's unions have given us. Even absurdly high illiteracy and dropout rates aren't enough to make them abandon their failed philosophy: "unions above all else!"

  44. You may be unaware that NYC's top-performing charter school just graduated its first class. With 100% graduation, fewer than half of the children they started with graduated. What do you think happened to those missing children? They were pushed out into the public school system so that the charter could look good.

    Parents buy the hype about graduation rates and test scores, but don't realize that the charters have been skimming the cream and send the rest back to the public schools. And that's after the group has been self-selected by having parents who are deeply interested in their children's educations.

    The leaders know that.

  45. I agree with the essence of your article but not with this statement.

    "Kennedy began to work with moderate Republicans who wanted to give their party a pro-civil-rights slant."

    What a nerve! You must be a democrat with an agenda to say something like that. The Republican party IS the party of the civil rights movements. EVERY SINGLE Civil Rights Act passed since the mid 1860 all the way to the one passed in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 where pushed by Republicans, not democrats. The Civil Rights act of 1964 passed not because the Democrats were in power but because they could no longer obstruct its passage as they did with all they other civil rights acts given the national outrage provoked thanks to MLK freedom riders. MLK did what Republicans could not do, force the Democratic party to finally support the passage of a meaningful Civil Rights Act with teeth.

  46. Absolutely right! In 1964, the GOP was a balanced small govt party who championed civil rights. I was part of the GOP. But then Nixon saw an opportunity. LBJ signing the Civil Rights bill sent every Southern Democrat looking to leave the Democratic party. Nixon swung the party way over to favor whites, and it worked. Now, the GOP party convention is 99% white, .5% black, and .5% Latino. I had to leave, and go independent. My, what 50 years can do.

  47. The original House version:

    Southern Democrats: 7–87 (7–93%)
    Southern Republicans: 0–10 (0–100%)
    Northern Democrats: 145–9 (94–6%)
    Northern Republicans: 138–24 (85–15%)

    The Senate version:

    Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5–95%)
    Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0–100%)
    Northern Democrats: 45–1 (98–2%)
    Northern Republicans: 27–5 (84–16%)

    Nice try btw.

  48. The problem with your argument is that by focusing only on the D or R, you obscure the reality of the time then and now. Yes, many Republicans supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but some opposed it. Likewise, many Democrats supported it, but some opposed it. The Democrats that opposed it were Southern and boarder state Democrats who lived in states with de jure segregation. No other Democrat opposed it. The same is largely true for the Republicans who opposed it. Strom Thurmond, for instance, was by that time a Republican; in 1957 Thurmond was a Democrat and engaged in the longest one-man filibuster. Thurmond symbolizes that one can change a party and keep the same views when politically expedient. What MLK was able to do was force a majority of both parties to support this passage. Afterwards, the segregation Democrats drifted with ever increasing speed toward the Republican Party, especially in the South.

    By the way, the 1957 Civil Rights Act was introduced in and passed by a Congress in which both houses were controlled by Democrats. Also, at those times when the Republicans held the Presidency and Congress between 1875 and 1957, they never passed nor, as far as I know, brought forth any civil rights legislation. The 82 intervening years were the years of Jim Crow laws, and neither party saw any reason to challenge such laws on the national level, although individual members of both parties called for such legislation.

  49. Middle class republicans and urban liberals have absolutely zero in common. The only demographic that may qualify for such a debate are young women between the ages of 18 and 28 who lack the independent thinking to vote anything other than Democrat. It's been well documented, for women, that voting Republican, is not very cool.

    Please, I implore people to read articles from Dr. Ben Carson, Shelby Steele, and Jason Riley. You want conservative thinking that improves "justice" for blacks? Listen to what these guys say. We'd be in a much better world than we are now if we followed their guidance.

  50. I am a middle class republican who would disagree with you rather vigorously. I could care less about being cool and much more about doing what will create positive long term change for America. Turning the dial back to the "good old days" won't get the job done. At some point the statistics of how economics and social justice in America is playing out must be taken into account, not just allegorical stories about what someone else "feels" America should stand for. Justice means more Americans having a shoot at the American dream, but what we see is an ever growing plutocracy. Another round of tax cuts and deregulation would create an even worse situation so why should I want to hear more of the sam line of failed ideas.

  51. A problem Democrats will have with admitting the existence of "reachable whites" among Republicans is that some of their policies are laughably detrimental to native blacks (I refer to seemingly unlimited immigration of unskilled labor and blockage of public school reform). To preserve their coalition Democrats need to constantly insist that Republicans are racist, misogynistic haters.

  52. Exactly right! The "progressive" strategy is generally, as was demonstrated in the 2012 presidential election, one of divide and conquer. They desperately make every attempt to portray everything as a race issue to demonize Republicans. The strategy seems to work as all "progressives" demonize those who identify with the Tea Party as racists even though there is no objective evidence of any racist activity by Tea Party members.

  53. What is detrimental to "native blacks" is "school reform" that results in segregated schools and the break-up of the school as an institution in the black community. I challenge you to name any Democratic leader who has advocated "unlimited immigration." In the past, Republicans in responsible positions have toyed with the "Obama is not a citizen" meme, and what could that be considered other than racist? (Apparently this vile lie had a quiet death when it was revealed that Ted Cruz was not born in the U.S., but he was a U.S. citizen nonetheless by virtue of his mother being a citizen, as was Obama's mother.) The problem with Republicans too often is that they cannot or will not separate truth (climate change, evolution, Iraq invasion was a disaster) from fiction.

  54. What passes for "school reform" these days enjoys bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats, but consists mainly of attacking teachers and selling schools off to for-profit corporations, so it's definitely detrimental to blacks, as well as whites and everyone else.

    I can only wish that Democrats were standing up to the Pearsons, Arne Duncans, and Michelle Rhees of the world. They're not.

  55. As long as too many of the thought-leaders of any group have their power and their livelihood tied up in a policy that relies on victimhood as its rallying cry - we will continue to see people tie themselves in knots to justify preferences based on the color of one's skin.
    On this - the President and I agree:
    "Obama had little patience for the ‘professional left,’ and vanishingly close to zero for what one of his senior African American aides, Michael Strautmanis, referred to as ‘professional blacks’ (as opposed to black professionals)... Apart from Georgia congressman John Lewis and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, Obama had nearly as much contempt for the CBC as he did for the Tea Party Caucus.”
    ~ Double Down: Game Change 2012.

  56. "...too many of the thought-leaders of any group have their power and their livelihood tied up in a policy that relies on victimhood..."

    How about a national policy that relies on white supremacy? or is that too close to the bone for the Land of the Free?

  57. So long as "race" is viewed as something other than "human" and skin tone, body shapes and other features which are merely surface are exalted the race, as a whole, will flounder. So long as "religion" is seen as being "doctrine" and one doctrine exalted over another we will not have peace. All these faux "differences" are employed by some high-minded people and some unscrupulous people to exercise power over their fellows and the "leaders" are therefore flawed.

  58. "Only 42 percent of Americans live in a middle-class neighborhood, down from 65 percent in 1970"

    As usual, liberals throw out statistics in a mindless fashion. What is a "middle class" neighborhood? If its defined as an area where the median income of the area fits in the middle quintile, well there you go, a smaller percentage of Americans lives in a "middle class" neighborhood. But that ignores the reality - that the reason there are fewer people in such neighborhoods is because there are more living in the "upper quintile" neighborhoods. But we can't acknowledge that, because it would punch a hole in the tax and spend habits of the "progressive" Democrats.

  59. So you think that over the past decades, as incomes for most Americans have been flat or declined while a greater and greater portion of the wealth has been redistributed to the already-very-wealthy, we've seen MORE very wealthy neighborhoods? Fewer and fewer people have the money, but you want us to believe the opposite?

    We can't acknowledge facts or reality, though, because it would punch a hole in the comforting fantasies of Republicans.

  60. Do you seriously -- seriously believe that the people no longer living in middle-class neighborhoods have quite probably moved to "upper quintile" neighborhoods? The available data appear to show that the nation as a whole has gotten poorer -- keeping in mind that the increased number of the very rich has skewed the average upwards while obscuring the rather desperate real lives of more and more Americans.

  61. As long as a whole political party is old white men -- with their 1950s sensibilities -- they (we!) will never understand the issues for minorities and women and gays. say anything at all, and you are dead wrong. of course, humility was never a problem for the superior race.

  62. "whole"? old? men? A little broad, a lot insulting, and just plain wrong as a factual matter.

  63. It's true that a lot of issues that minorities (especially blacks and Latinos) have to deal with on a regular basis are now affecting whites just as badly. However, it's still well known that being white in this country has its benefits for even the most mundane events of everyday living. Of course the quality of schools in predominately black and Latino neighborhoods isn't funded equally as other schools in suburban neighborhoods within the same counties or districts. With the lack of updated textbooks, computers, and other materials, many are behind their white counterparts where they may be more likely to live in those aforementioned suburban areas. Being a minority is a constant reminder of your place in society; the fact that you're judged not as an individual, but as a collective by and large. The disparities regarding the incarceration rate of blacks and Latinos vs. whites for the same crimes as well as the harsher sentencing, even down to being followed in stores like someone ready to shoplift while a white person may be shoplifting a row over, but their skin automatically makes them unsuspicious. Blacks and Latinos with equally qualified resumes being denied jobs, white ex-convicts more likely to get a job than a black or Latino with no criminal history, and this only being the tip of the iceberg. I know MANY minorities who would love tho trade places with a white person if only for a day to see how it feels not to experience certain aspects of their daily reality.

  64. Is there racial disparity in criminals?
    If so, does that not result in racial disparity in those incarcerated?

  65. Whites are the biggest consumers of illegal drugs, yet more blacks are suspected/profiled/arrested/incarcerated for it.

  66. What is designated as "criminal" -- for example, marijuana laws first promulgated (in Texas) to control a Mexican population seem as given to its use -- is itself often racially tinged. Also, enforcement of certain laws frequently targets certain populations (like, say, African-Americans) even though other segments of the population (like, say, Caucasians) are equally or perhaps even more likely to be violating these same laws. Does that answer your question?

  67. The NYT almost always consistently presents socioeconomic issues through the lens of race, not class. I suspect part of it is that its editorial staff are likely white, upper middle class, and to them, single parent homes, economic marginalization and incarceration are the result of racism b/c they tend to characterize these issues as problems for minorities only. (I am not suggesting that racism isn't a problem - but coming from a working class background it's a bit difficult to listen to upper middle class and upper class whites suggesting that the only privilege that matters is "white privilege" while conveniently ignoring the class privilege that they have always enjoyed, and continue to do so.

  68. Race and class have always been like conjoined twins in the US, with whites holding power and blacks at the bottom since 1619.

  69. Black folks in Mississippi didn't vote for Cochran... They voted AGAINST that neo-confederate McDaniel.
    It was a classic case of choosing the lesser of two evils, something black voters have been doing for decades now.

  70. I am glad that members of both parties are thinking of restoring opportunity which I benifitted from growing up.

  71. Are black and white the only races in US?! Asians apparently does not exist when racial problems are discussed.

  72. Broken race relations continue to be played by the democrats in order to maintain a base of broken people. It's time to end this.

  73. The Civil Rights Acts passed becaus it wasn't nearlay as devisive as subequent federal and Justice Department "interpretations " of the text.

    Title IV of the 1964 Civil Rights Act states that "'Desegregation' means the assignment of students to public schools and within such schools without regard to their race, color, religion, or national origin, but 'desegregation"'shall not mean the assignment of students to public schools in order to overcome racial imbalance."

    Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act states that "Nothing contained in this title shall be interpreted to require any employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee subject to this title to grant preferential treatment to any individual or to any group because of the race, color, religion, sex, or national origin of such individual or group on account of an imbalance which may exist with respect to the total number or percentage of persons of any race, color, religion, sex, or national origin employed. . . "

  74. Focusing on race and ethnicity is the problem.
    It fuels divisiveness and prejudices.
    Instead of requiring Americans to declare their race and ethnicity, all Americans should be considered mixed unless proven by DNA to be otherwise.

  75. Denial of white privilege doesn't help either.
    This is a country where a white man with a felony on his record still stands a better chance at landing a job than a black man with a clean record (feel free to google it, there's plenty of research on the subject).

  76. Why does no one ever talk about discrimination against Asians?

    Surely, we also need to help Asians overcome racial discrimination. Just as much as for blacks and Hispanics, racial discrimination is holding Asians back and holding them down, depressing their test scores, graduation rates, and incomes while increasing their rates of incarceration.

  77. "Only 42 percent of Americans live in a middle-class neighborhood, down from 65 percent in 1970, a trend that limits access to quality schools and jobs for struggling people of all races" And yet our politicians feel no urgent need to truly address this issue except to try and divide us further. Everyone is losing except the rich, we're losing the middle and working classes to which many of us belong but decisions are made that favor the rich. We've become a country where there are only two classes: the have everythings and the have nothings. And again the question has to be asked: is this the kind of country we want to be or live in? We know that trickle down doesn't work for anyone but the rich yet we don't want to help support the middle or working classes who need the help.