Quotable Quote of the Month

What does it take for Republicans to take off the flag pin and say, 'I am just too embarrassed to be on this team'?".- Bill Maher

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Guest Post By Trestin: Affirmative Action

As you may know, one of the goals of Diversity Ink is to allow people with differing viewpoints on race-related issues to share them here. A little over a week ago, I came across the following post (Affirmative Action) on the blog Trestin Meacham. I contacted the blogger (Trestin) and asked if he'd be interested in letting me use it as a guest post at Diversity Ink. In his email response to me, Trestin welcomed the opportunity. He added that he was impressed with the open nature in which things are discussed here. Trestin also said he would try to get some of his readers to come here and join in on the discussion. My hope is that this generates a lively, respectful, and educational debate.

This was posted by Trestin on his blog in mid-January 2010:

Most of the great figures in history only became great after overcoming enormous obstacles. Nothing worth while comes easy. I for one am glad I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I'm glad my family did not just hand everything to me. Having to go though some struggles made me a better person. There is true satisfaction in knowing you earned something. Many minorities have some of that satisfaction stolen by affirmative action programs.

No program has done more to hurt the minorities than affirmative action. Most white people hate affirmative action, but we are not the ones who suffer the most. It seems to say that minorities are losers and can not succeed without extra help. That's not true and we all know it. It is degrading and belittling to honest people to get special treatment when they do not need it.

I am Mormon; our people suffered all kind of persecution. The State of Missouri issued an extermination order against us. Do I ask for special treatment? No, everybody has ancestors that were wronged severely. If you go back far enough, we all have ancestors that were slave owners, and ancestors that were slaves. Human history is filled with slaughter and injustice. We must first stop being victims of the past, before we can benefit from the future.

Affirmative action is the opposite of Dr. King’s vision. Dr. King wanted a world where a man was judged for whom he is, not his ethnic background. Affirmative action does the opposite, it divides us and assigns value based on race. It creates an entitlement mentality that limits true equality. No one is owed anything!

Very few people, judge people based on race. I think our society does for the most part, live Dr. King’s dream. Most of us judge a person by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Why can't of government do the same? It's time to end these backward equality limiting affirmative action programs. Let's stop being African-Americans or Latino-Americans, let's just be Americans.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wrong Words, Right Message

President Barack Obama delivered his first State of the Union address last night. I'm sure most of you watched it, and have your opinions on how he did and what he said.

This post is not about the speech, however.

It is about a comment made by MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews. Here is the video:

In case you don't want to watch the video, here's the text:

I was trying to think about who he was tonight. It's interesting: he is post-racial, by all appearances. I forgot he was black tonight for an hour. You know, he's gone a long way to become a leader of this country, and past so much history, in just a year or two. I mean, it's something we don't even think about. I was watching, I said, wait a minute, he's an African American guy in front of a bunch of other white people. And here he is president of the United States and we've completely forgotten that tonight -- completely forgotten it. I think it was in the scope of his discussion. It was so broad-ranging, so in tune with so many problems, of aspects, and aspects of American life that you don't think in terms of the old tribalism, the old ethnicity. It was astounding in that regard. A very subtle fact. It's so hard to talk about. Maybe I shouldn't talk about it, but I am. I thought it was profound that way.

Twitter was in a bit of an uproar over these comments last night. I wasn't. I totally understood what he meant when he uttered these words; it may have not been the most politically correct thing to say, but I understand why he said it.

We live in a world marred by racism, colorism, and division. Last night during President Obama's speech, he was simply the President delivering a message. He didn't stand before Congress as the first black President; he stood and delivered the message as the President. In my opinion, he has a broad view of what the country needs and wants. So when he looks at the problems we face as a country, he is looking at them from a presidential "what can I do" point of view. That view has absolutely nothing to do with his race, or skin color. It has everything to do with character, service, and fully embracing the role he has been elected carry out.

It is time that we let go of that "astoundment" we see when we view the President. We can be proud, we can even cheer for him; but it is up to us to stop minimizing his role. He is not just a black President...he is the President.

At the end of the day, that is all that matters.

source for video and text: Huffington Post

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Martin Luther What?!

On the Monday January 18th (MLK Day) edition of the ESPN Radio program Mike and Mike in the Morning, co-host Mike Greenberg had a controversial slip of the tongue in which he said "Martin Luther Coon".

As you may know, this is a racist term used by some when they refer to the iconic civil rights leader. As you can hear from the audio clip, Greenberg quickly corrected himself. He also later issued the following statement:

I just came home from the Knicks game and found out about the mess that was created by my garbling a sentence on our show this morning; I apologize for not addressing it sooner.

And I'm sorry that my talking too fast - and slurring my words - might have given people who don't know our show the wrong impression about us, and about me.

I feel horrible about that, because nothing could be further away from who I am and what our show is about.

I would never say anything like that, not in public, or in private, or in the silence of my own mind, and neither would anyone associated with our show, and I'm very sorry that my stumble this morning gave so many people the opposite impression.

Some feel an apology isn't enough and that Greenberg should face suspension or be fired. Because we can only speculate as to what might be in Greenberg's heart when it comes to race, I'm giving him a pass. Maybe I am more willing to give Greenberg the benefit of a doubt because I know how it is to talk live on the air and get my words tangled. Although I've never used a derogatory term on the air when I've garbled words, I can see how it could happen. For example, ABC news personality Elizabeth Vargas is known in circles by the derisive nickname "Elizabitch". Someone could have knowledge of this and mistakenly slip and say on the air "Elizabitch Vargas". It doesn't mean they are sexist or even think that Ms. Vargas is a bitch. All it shows is that at the very least, they have knowledge of the nickname. My feeling is that Mike Greenberg is aware of the term "Martin Luther Coon" and had a brain cramp on live radio.

Although I'm giving Mike Greenberg a pass on this one, I've got my eyyees on him!

Does Mike Greenberg get the benefit of the doubt from you?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Can White Men Jump?

I read the following article on Huffington Post with my mouth hung open. It really wasn't the idea of an all-white basketball league, but the reasoning behind it that has me perplexed.


A whites-only basketball league aims to launch in twelve cities this summer, according to a report in the Augusta Chronicle. The All-American Basketball Alliance would also ban players born outside the United States.

The league's commissioner, Don "Moose" Lewis, claims that he doesn't "hate anyone of color. But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now." Thus, he says, the All-American Basketball Alliance would be "a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like."

The commissioner of this league added the following observations:

Lewis said he wants to emphasize fundamental basketball instead of "street-ball" played by "people of color." ...

"Would you want to go to the game and worry about a player flipping you off or attacking you in the stands or grabbing their crotch?" he said. "That's the culture today, and in a free country we should have the right to move ourselves in a better direction."

I think basketball is a game set to music, no matter who plays. I don't know who the audience for this all-white league would be. Are there really folks out there who don't like to see Kobe's fall away jumper, LeBron's monstrous dunks, Dwight Howard's domination in the paint, and/or DWade's Jordanesque "how did he do that" shots? If you don't get excited by these and other players in the NBA, then you don't really like basketball.

At the foundation of this new league is...well, the name of the league is All-American for crying out loud. All-American? Last time I checked we were all Americans...is it the black kids fault that they lived and breathed basketball so it becomes second nature to them? Fundamentals are taught as you learn about the game...so if these kids are coached and taught based on what James Naismith wrote when he developed the original basketball rulebook, what is the difference? When exactly did the fairer race become a minority?

Trying to circumvent the real reason for this league by saying that white players play fundamental ball and black players do not is pure foolishness. Don't hide racism behind illogical reasoning.

The NBA is a business. They want the most exciting players who are going to deliver endorsements and money back into the league. Maybe the white kids should consider playing some of that "street ball" to up their game.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

MSNBC To Air Special "Obama's America: 2010 & Beyond"

On Monday January 18th (MLK Day), MSNBC airs the live two-hour town hall event Obama's America: 2010 and Beyond from 10 pm-12 midnight EST. Moderated by Hardball host Chris Matthews and featuring radio personality Tom Joyner, the special will explore race-related issues facing Americans today. If you catch the special (which repeats at 1 am EST later that night), please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

For more information on this event, please click the following link:

Obama's America: 2010 and Beyond

Below is a preview from the special in which three people of differing backgrounds give their perspectives on race in America.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Guest Post by Teresa: The Democratic Party, Racism & The Inferiority Complex

One of the goals of Diversity Ink is to allow people with differing viewpoints on race-related issues to share them here. Earlier this week, I came across the following post (The Democratic Party, Racism & The Inferiority Complex) on the blog Teresamerica. I contacted the blogger (Teresa) and asked if she'd be interested in letting me use it as a guest post at Diversity Ink; she enthusiastically gave her consent. Teresa also agreed to do a post on her blog inviting readers to come here and join in on the discussion. Even if our discussions end in a stalemate, I think it's important to try and understand why someone with an opposing view thinks the way they do.

This was posted by
Teresa on her blog on January 12, 2010:

As the Harry Reid racism controversy has been looming the past couple of days I have been pondering the issue of racism with regards to the Democratic Party. Here are some of my thoughts:

It seems to me that the Democrats have forced African-Americans and other minorities to be reliant on the government and thus beholden to the Democratic Party and their policies as well. The Democrats have forced minorities into the mindset that they are weak, have little opportunity, deserve and need more help, and thus need the Demoratic Party to survive. The Democratic Party have impressed upon minorities and drilled it into their minds that they are inferior and as a result I believe that minorities suffer from an inferiority complex. "Inferiority complex is a term used to describe people who compensate for feelings of inferiority (feeling like they're less than other people, not as good as others, worthless, etc.) by acting ways that make them appear superior. They do this because controlling others may help them feel less personally inadequate."

I believe that the Democratic Party wants to keep minorities poor so that they stay dependent on the government social programs which the Democrats have expanded over the years, thus keeping minorities beholden to them and therefore shoring up their base. I believe that over the last 50-75 years the the Democratic Party has created its own "Democratic Plantation." Why hasn't the income desparity between minorities and caucasians decreased substantially over the past 50 years? Why hasn't the economic situations of minorities improved? If the Democrats were actually helping minorities than why are there still so many problems within minority communities today? Is it because the Democrats are taking advantage of minorities and taking their votes for granted?

Martin Luther King Jr. did not want African-Americans to be treated as if they were "special" or "different", but rather as EQUAL human beings and EQUAL Americans. He wanted African-Americans to be freed from the bondage of the chains. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted people of all races to join hands right next to each other as sisters and brothers. But, are African-Americans really free in a more sociological sense today? It seems to me that the Democrats are keeping African Americans bound by "chains", the chains of pverty. Is the Democratic Party aiding African-Americans so that they can thrive and achieve their maximum potential? I don't think so. Or, we would see far less poverty and violence within minority communities.

Conservatives/Republicans do help minorities and want to continue helping minorities but we also want to help them succeed in life instead of being dependent on the government for money. We want to help everyone achieve a sustainable income so that every family can support themselves and not rely on the government for funds. This gives people a sense of pride and accomplishment. But, maybe conservatives need to be a little bit more proactive in courting the African-American vote? Maybe, we should help them understand history, help them to understand that we really do want to help them, and that we don't want to keep them beholden to us for funds but rather in believing in our ideals and in our common sense conservative ideology. We are ALL Americans and don't ascribe to a color.

Here is a great article called Racist Democrats Vs. Colorblind Republicans.

Here is a video of Democrats racist statements

Here is Martin Luther King Jr's, I Have A Dream Speech

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Try A Little Humanity

When something major happens, something so catastrophic, those of us on the outside can often only look on in horror at the scenes flashed on television. It is during these times when those of us who believe in a higher power, pull our faith closer to us and begin to send positive energy to those that need it. We can help with our hearts and our wallets, and one of the best things about being an American is that we unite in these times. No mind race, creed, or color; it is decency and humanity that binds us during hard times. With the earthquake in Haiti, I've seen mounds upon mounds of decency and humanity being shared through the social networks. Unfortunately, there are always some who wish to add their voices of intolerance and ignorance to the fray, spewing uncaring and ludicrous propaganda.

Today, these people are Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh.

During his broadcast today on The 700 Club, Pat Robertson (self-proclaimed "man of God") decided to share his thoughts on the tragedy in Haiti:

"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it...They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you'll get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal."

You would want to believe that Pat Robertson, he of considerable means and a popular platform, would use his influence to offer prayer. He is a man of God, right? It is he, as a Christian leader, that is supposed to lead the way to Christ-like behavior, right? Instead, he stands on television and spews nonsense. Perhaps the God he serves is not the one I serve. Maybe that is how he knows about this "pact with the devil."

Oh Rush...we have not forgotten thee. Do you have a writing staff, or do you make this up as you go along? The more you speak, the more folks should know that you are inciting divisiveness. Thank God for the First Amendment! Otherwise, you would be a drug-sniffing, hate-mongering used car salesman.

Times like these require compassion and decency. Is it really hard to grasp those concepts? Are we really that far gone that everything has to be politicized before it can be understood?

In the end, we are one. Let's choose to act like it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blacker Than Obama?

The other day, ousted Illinois Governor and media whore, Rod Blagojevich made a statement insinuating that he was “blacker than Barack Obama” because he shined shoes, grew up in a five-room apartment and his father owned a laundromat in a black community. Being from Illinois, I’m no stranger to Blago’s usual inane statements, but this one had me shaking my head and wondering aloud “What you talking about, Willis, errrr Rod? What the bleeping bleep would possess you to say something as bleeping stupid as that?”

Besides, everyone knows that owning a laundromat would only make you more Asian, not more black! Silly, silly, Rod!

My first thought was that if Rod Blagojevich was any race in particular, he certainly wasn’t black. In fact, he might even be “whiter than me.” Rod Blagojevich’s “five room apartment” was on the northwest side of Chicago, not far from where I was raised, but let me just say this...a 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment in that particular neighborhood is currently listed for $1,950.00 a month. I couldn’t afford to live in that area. The Blagojevich Family currently resides in the Ravenswood Manor neighborhood of Chicago, also way above my means and I’m not certain anyone would consider that neighborhood “diverse”. If race could actually be measured, I was still left wondering what would lead Blago to think he is “blacker” than anyone, when he is, most definitely, a white guy.

It occurred to me that he was actually only comparing himself to Obama. I did some quick internet research and found some sad and startling information that might just lead someone as “out there” as Blagojevich to make such a claim. Could it be true, though? Could Blago really be “blacker” than Barack Obama? Let’s see.

I found studies online indicating the following:

Blacks are six times more likely to be imprisoned than are Caucasians. No further explanation necessary. OK, score one for Rod.

Blacks are twice as likely as their white counterparts to be unemployed. Barack Obama is indeed employed. Rod Blagojevich? Not so much, unless you count sending your wife to the Costa Rican jungle to be ravaged by bugs and a Baldwin brother as a source of income. I don’t think most people would. Current Score: Rod 2, Obama 0.

Statistically, blacks earn less money than whites. Rod Blagojevich and his wife earned $219,790 in 2007. The Obama’s household income for the same year was $4.2 million. I have to give this round to Rod, too, although, my household income was roughly a third of Blago’s, thereby validating my theory that he is more white than me. Rod 3, Obama, 0.

Blacks are portrayed in the media using profanity far more often than Caucasian characters. A study was done of movies in 1996 and it showed that the percentage of black characters that used vulgar profanity was 86% compared to 11% by white characters. I’m pretty sure I heard Obama (deservedly) call Kanye West a jackass once, but that’s about the only time I remember hearing him cuss. Bleepin’ Blago on the other hand is probably (insert expletive) incapable of uttering a single bleeping sentence without an (insert expletive) expletive in it. Score 4 for Rod.

Drs. Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom published a book called “No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning” which states that “the education whites receive is nothing to write home about, but for blacks, it’s no less than a disgraceful disaster.” Black high school graduates perform a little worse than white eighth-graders in both reading and US History, and a lot worse in math and geography. Barack Obama is a graduate of Harvard Law School, which is ranked only behind Yale’s School of Law. Blagojevich also has a law degree, but from Pepperdine University, currently ranked 55th in the nation’s law schools. I don’t know much about Pepperdine University, but the campus must be a geographical challenge because Blago himself admits he “barely knew where the law library was,” (you know, because of all the surfing and movie stars) and yet, he graduated. I have to give this round to Rod, too.

So, is Rod correct? Is he “blacker than Obama”? Ummmm, no, and he will never be because Obama is black. No one can truly comprehend what it’s like to walk in anyone else’s shoes. I don’t pretend to comprehend the discrimination that African Americans deal with on a probable daily basis and Rod Blagojevich (who’s whiter than me) shouldn’t either. If there’s anything positive to be said about stupidity and ignorant comments, then Rod’s inspired me to look up some of these things and, hopefully, jump start a discussion about them.

What do you think about the results of the studies I found on the internet and how can we all go about changing them?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Harry Reid: Racist or Realist?

A juicy account of the 2008 presidential race is generating lots of controversy and could spell political trouble for Harry Reid. According to the book by journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin titled "Game Change", the Senate Majority Leader made remarks in private about Barack Obama's racial appeal, saying he believed that the country was:

"ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a "light-skinned" African American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one". The book goes on to say that Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama's race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination.

When the book passage was publicized on Saturday, Reid apologized and Obama accepted. However some have cried foul, including RNC chairman Michael Steele. On the 1/10/10 edition of Meet the Press, Steele called the president's apology acceptance a double standard, citing the reaction to the 2002 incident in which then-Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott said the following at the 100th birthday celebration for Sen. Strom Thurmond:

"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."

According to a 12/11/02 article in the Washington Post, Lott made similar comments in 1980 about Thurmond's candidacy. As you may know, Thurmond ran for POTUS in 1948 on the Dixiecrat ticket and largely based his campaign on a racial segregationist platform. According to an interview published in the 12/12/02 issue of The Chicago Defender, then-state senator Obama said that Lott ought to be ousted as majority leader. Lott later apologized and issued a statement saying, "My comments were not an endorsement of his positions of over 50 years ago, but of the man and his life." In the wake of the controversy, Lott resigned as Senate Republican Leader on 12/22/02.

During his appearance on Meet the Press, Steele added that when Democrats get caught saying racist things, an apology is enough. He went on to say that if the standard is the one that was set in 2002 with Trent Lott, then Reid should step down as Senate Majority Leader. You can read the full transcript of the 1/10/10 edition of Meet the Press here.

I think the comparison of Harry Reid's comments about Barack Obama to what Trent Lott said regarding Strom Thurmond is pretty weak. I don't feel Reid was saying it was wrong or right that a black presidential candidate with the qualities of Obama had a better chance at being elected. The term "Negro dialect" is questionable, but in my eyes, Reid was being a political realist. Ask yourself this. What would Barack Obama's chances of becoming POTUS had been if he was dark skinned and spoke like J.J. Evans? On the other hand, Lott's remarks seemed to validate Strom Thurmond's stance on segregation. Although Thurmond's views on race changed over the years (including support of the extension of The Voting Rights Act and being the first Southern senator to appoint a black aide), Lott never made the distinction between Thurmond circa 1948 and Thurmond post-1964.

What are your thoughts?