Race and racial bias

What “The Butler” Gets Wrong

Featured image Answer: Just about everything.  At least when it comes to Reagan. I’ve been closeted away all day putting the final touches on a large public lecture I’m delivering tonight at 7 pm at the university, on the subject of why there are so few conservatives in higher education, and I’ll post some excerpts here tomorrow. But for the last several days I’ve been working with Kiron Skinner, Paul Kengor, and »

Obama gets his black history wrong

Featured image As John has noted, President Obama’s speech today at a rally commemorating the great civil rights march of 1963 was, not surprisingly, an exercise in partisan demagoguery. Even when Obama tried to “honest,” he didn’t quite get it right: And then, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that during the course of 50 years, there were times when some of us claiming to push for change lost our way. »

Did Something Happen on the Mall Today? (Yawn)

Featured image Fifty years ago was the historic civil rights march on Washington, which was highlighted by Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech–the most memorable parts of which apparently were ad libbed. Paul has written memorably about attending that march as a boy; if you want to be reminded of why it was an important event, read his post. Today the Democratic Party staged a 50-year anniversary event on the »

Remembering the great civil rights march of 1963

Featured image Participating in the great civil rights march of 1963 didn’t exactly change my life. But it made my course more fixed, helping inspire me to become a lawyer and, in my first job as such, to work for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. That’s why I’ve written about the march on August 28 of almost every year I’ve blogged. Today, on the 50th anniversary of the march, I thought »

Teasing racism out of Miley Cyrus’ tease

Featured image A professor called Pepper Schwartz, in a “special to CNN,” advises that “Miley Cyrus is sexual — get over it.” I have. It wasn’t difficult. I knew nothing about Miley Cyrus until her lewd performance caused a fuss. And I’ve know about our debauched culture for a long time. But not so fast, says this black feminist. It turns out that Cyrus’ performance was a racist “commodification of black female »

Eric Holder Sues to Block Louisiana School Choice

Featured image In a sane world, this would be a scandal: Obama’s Department of Justice has sued to block poor African-Americans (and others) from escaping failing schools in Louisiana and trying, at least, to get a decent education: The Justice Department is trying to stop a school vouchers program in Louisiana that attempts to help families send their children to independent schools instead of under-performing public schools. The agency wants to stop »

If Barack Obama Had a Son, Would He Look Like Chris Lane? [Updated]

Featured image Chris Lane is the Australian college student and baseball player who was murdered while jogging along a street in Duncan, Oklahoma. The perpetrators were three teenagers who were bored and decided to murder someone just for fun. They saw Lane running by, got in a car, drove behind him and shot him in the back. Two of the bored teenagers, Chancey Luna and James Edwards, have been charged with first »

President Obama and the war on school discipline

Featured image Last night, I wrote about the civil rights movement’s epically misguided war against school disciplinary standards. Not surprisingly, as Mike McDaniel (a high school teacher) has shown, the Obama administration stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its base in this battle. Eric Holder expressed his commitment to the cause in 2012, when he said: We’ve often seen that students of color, students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and students with special needs are disproportionately likely »

The civil rights movement sets a new standard in perversity

Featured image Nothing illustrates the bankruptcy of the modern civil rights movement more starkly than its war against school disciplinary standards. Because black students are suspended from school at rates several times higher than their white counterparts, school jurisdictions are under pressure to relax disciplinary standards. A number have done so. The Maryland State Board of Education is set to follow this trend. The war on disciplinary standards is part of a »

Critique of pure clowning

Featured image There is a local Minnesota angle to the story of the rodeo clown who has been found guilty of the offense that the French call lèse-majesté. A faithful reader writes: Credentials: I briefly served as Chief Corporate Counsel for the world’s largest association of professional clowns, Clowns of America, Inc. or COAI for short. Turns out, it’s a Minnesota non-profit and I got the gig to rewrite their bylaws because »

The Bull and the Clown

Featured image Regrettably, I have been too busy practicing law over the last week to give much attention to the Missouri rodeo clown episode. Many questions could be asked about that incident, and should be: How much deference should be paid to a sitting President? Why is it outrageous to make fun of President Obama, given the almost unbelievable insults that were leveled against George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and other Republican »

The Long, Hot Summer of 2013?

Featured image Who could have imagined that the summer of 2013 would be largely dominated by stories about racial conflict? To be sure, today’s stories aren’t exactly like the original long, hot summer of 1967, when race riots burned sections of major American cities. And no one is getting lynched or barred from attending school. Today’s race stories are odd in that they don’t seem to have much to do with race »

Irrationality runs amok in black perceptions of the Zimmerman case [With Comment By John]

Featured image A Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that 86 percent of African-Americans disapprove of the jury verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. By contrast, 51 percent of whites say they approve of the verdict while just 31 percent disapprove. However, only 30 percent of white Democrats approve of the verdict. Let’s give the African-American community the benefit of the doubt and assume its members didn’t pay much attention to the evidence »

The evasions of the president’s speech

Featured image In re-reading President Obama’s remarks about the Martin-Zimmerman matter, I was struck by his assurances that the African-American community isn’t “naïve” about the social “dysfunction” (Obama’s term) that prevails in many black neighborhoods. First, he stated: Now, this isn’t to say that the African-American community is naïve about the fact that African-American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system, that they are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators »

The president’s speech and its implications

Featured image As I suggested yesterday, President Obama’s little speech about the Trayvon Martin matter seemed to have two purposes. First, he wanted to explain to whites why so many blacks are up in arms about a jury decision that most whites believe was correct (and that Obama himself apparently finds no fault with). Second, he wanted to assure blacks that he shares their pain, while preparing them for the prospect of »

Obama, Trayvon Martin and the Democrats’ Race-Baiting

Featured image Yesterday President Obama delivered extended observations on the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case to reporters, on a seemingly impromptu basis. Obama’s comments were widely praised, and Paul gave them a characteristically generous assessment here yesterday. My own view of Obama’s comments is more negative, and I also think it is important to put Obama’s often high-sounding statements about race in the context of his administration’s deliberate promotion of racial division to »

Obama’s mixed-bag commentary on the Zimmerman case

Featured image In times of national tragedy we expect our leaders to speak with insight, seriousness, and solemnity. The Trayvon Martin affair isn’t a national tragedy, though, it’s a personal one. Nonetheless, President Obama decided to discuss it today in an unscheduled appearance to talk solely about this matter. The transcript is here. Obama’s remarks were certainly solemn, and were not devoid of insight and seriousness. At times, he rose to the »