Race and racial bias

The Baltimore protests — are they really about the police?

Featured image I’ve always had a soft spot for Baltimore. For one thing, its residents struck me as harder working, less surly, and, of course, less full of themselves than their counterparts in nearby Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, the 2008 recession hit Baltimore very hard. That, at least, was my impression when, in 2011, I began going there regularly once again for work. The city looked badly run down and its residents seemed »

Civil War on the Left: Decline of the West?

Featured image I have to confess to having a soft spot for Cornel West, the radical chair of black studies at Princeton (formerly of Harvard, before Larry Summers kicked him out). West team-teaches a great books course with conservative Robert P. George at Princeton, and goes around doing joint events with George at other campuses, rather than demanding that Robbie shut up or something like the rest of the trigger(warning)-happy left. He »

Rand Paul backpedals, but the embarrassment continues

Featured image Yesterday, in announcing his run for the presidency, Rand Paul demonstrated his unfitness for the office by calling for the repeal of any law that “disproportionately incarcerates people of color.” In effect, as John and I pointed out, Paul thereby called for the repeal of virtually every criminal law. Paul’s team has now “clarified” his statement. The campaign told Byron York that the Senator’s words were misunderstood: “Sen. Paul was »

Claiming race-victimization — everyone wants to get in on the act

Featured image Recently, Taraji Henson, a well-known actress, accused the Glendale, California police of racial profiling after an officer pulled her son over and questioned him. In a magazine interview, Henson stated: My child has been racially profiled. He was in Glendale, California and did exactly everything the cops told him to do, including letting them illegally search his car. It was bogus because they didn’t give him the ticket for what »

Does Howard Schultz know about this?

Featured image Corporate America probably hasn’t had a brainstorm like Howard Schultz’s “Race Together” since, well, I’m not sure when. Perhaps Schultz will move on to a book extension along the lines of How To Alienate Customers and Make Yourself a Laughingstock. Or perhaps Schultz will be content to have his Starbucks campaign assume the form of a Harvard Business School case study of some kind. National Review’s Katherine Timpf has developed »

Unsupported charges of racism in Charlottesville

Featured image African-American students at the University of Virginia are alleging a pattern of racial bias at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville, according to the Washington Post. The allegation stems from an incident in which a Black student apparently had his face pressed into the pavement by law enforcement officers when they arrested him on misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and obstruction of justice. The student ended up with a »

The Week in Starbucks

Featured image As John noted yesterday, without question the most obnoxious story of the week was Starbucks proposing to have its baristas engage customers in a “conversation” about race, even though all such “conversations” amount to “agree with us or shut up.” I suspect underneath this is confirmation of my thesis that most majors in ethnic & gender studies find that Starbucks is their best employment opportunity with said degrees, so why »

Let’s Talk About Race!

Featured image Remember when Eric Holder said that Americans are cowards about race, and we should have an honest conversation? Heh. Seems like a lifetime ago. Now it’s Starbucks, announcing that its baristas will try to engage coffee customers in deep conversations about race relations. Many have commented on the stupidity of Starbucks’ “#RaceTogether” campaign, and I don’t have much to add. In my experience, getting coffee at Starbucks is an exercise »

Playing the race card against Netanyahu

Featured image The West seems to be in the process of switching sides when it comes to Israel and Iran. Negotiations that will lift sanctions on Iran are in the final stages; meanwhile European leaders are discussing the imposition of sanctions on Israel. Moreover, under President Obama, the U.S. is no longer committed to ending Iran’s nuclear weapons program which represents an existential threat to Israel. Instead, it is prepared to sign »

A Funeral In Wisconsin

Featured image I wrote here about the sad case of Tony Robinson, who, apparently on drugs or otherwise impaired, jumped in front of cars on the street outside his apartment, attacked two people inside the building, and, when a police officer responded to calls for help, assaulted the officer, who shot him. Robinson’s funeral was today. The Associated Press reports: Friends and family remembered a 19-year-old biracial Wisconsin man fatally shot by »

Two Officers Shot In Ferguson [Updated With Video]

Featured image Two police officers were gunned down outside the Ferguson, Missouri police department late last night, during a “mostly peaceful” protest: A 32-year-old officer from suburban Webster Groves was shot in the face and a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said. Both were taken to a local hospital, where Belmar said they were conscious. He said he did »

Eric Holder’s unpersuasive attack on the Ferguson police department, Part Two

Featured image The Department of Justice’s angry condemnation of the Ferguson police department asserts systemic racism in the enforcement of certain laws. I argued here that the DOJ’s report fails to show such racism, though it may exist. But the DOJ’s report takes its criticism even further. It is concerned that even the facially neutral application of certain laws by the Ferguson justice system is discriminatory because of the impact on African-Americans. »

Another “Unarmed Black Teenager” Incident in Wisconsin

Featured image In Madison, Wisconsin, 19-year-old Tony Robinson was shot and killed by a police officer last Friday evening. Robinson was unarmed at the time. His death has led to the usual protests; this is how the Huffington Post describes a demonstration that took place today: Almost 2,000 students marched in Madison, Wisconsin on Monday to protest the fatal police shooting of an unarmed biracial teenager, while his family demanded justice and »

Eric Holder’s unpersuasive attack on the Ferguson police department, Part One

Featured image Last week, the Justice Department announced, with little fanfare, that Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown. The Department found “no credible evidence” that Brown was attempting to surrender when Wilson shot him. So much for “Hands up, don’t shoot.” It made for good theater, but it was a lie. Also last week, the Justice Department, with much fanfare, announced that the Ferguson police department for which Darren Wilson »

Charles Blows Again

Featured image We took note here last summer of the feebleness of New York Times columnist Charles Blow, and now he’s offered up another howler for our instruction. Last week he wrote to complain about the harassment young black males receive from police, and this time it was personal because his son, a Yale student, had been briefly detained at gunpoint on the University’s grounds. Blow’s son’s account went as follows: “I »

Disparate impact’s day in court

Featured image Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. The issue presented is whether claims of “disparate impact discrimination” can be brought under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). As I explained here, disparate impact discrimination occurs when a policy disproportionately excludes or injures a particular group and the policy is not shown to be justified by legitimate interests. »

Obama’s “measured approach” to race

Featured image President Obama is taking a “measured approach” to issues of race, according to Steven Mufson of the Washington Post. Mufson is right only in this limited sense: Obama is measuring just how much money he can transfer from white Americans to black Americans. Income redistribution is the unifying theme of Obama’s domestic agenda (the unifying theme of his overseas agenda is American retreat with major concessions to our enemies). Obamacare »