Black people (especially President Obama) can’t be racists

Obama-Trayvon-Martin-thoughts

I know that President Obama’s comments on the George Zimmerman verdict stirred up a lot of emotions over the last few weeks. But the one thing that still doesn’t sit right with me is the fact that so many (white) people didn’t hesitate to lodge racist attacks on Obama for taking a moment to speak truth to power about race in America. (Read “Top 12 Conservative Freakouts After Obama’s Race Speech” from Think Progress) Continue reading

The other most important black people in America

Ursula M. Burns (via The New York Times)

I know the honeymoon period over President Barack Obama seems to have passed in the eyes of most Americans (his approval rating is now 44 percent). But in the black community you’re still likely to hear talk about how much Obama’s election has meant to African Americans–particularly, young African Americans.

The notion is that now that Obama has become the most important person in the land, black children all across the United States finally have been shown that they can do anything. To me, that thinking is still too small. Continue reading

More black men in jail or college? An old “fact” revisited

We always hear about the disproportionate number of blacks in prison, but I’ve always wondered: how many are incarcerated and what does that really mean? What I didn’t realize is how difficult it is to pin down a precise number. I mean, true, it doesn’t take too much to find out that black men are incarcerated at a rate six and a half times higher than white men. That’s easily available through the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. But ever since the Justice Policy Institute released a report in 2002 stating that there were more black men in jail than college, people have just ran with the numbers. Continue reading