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  1. #1
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    Good News on Racial Progress in America

    Contrary to racial activists there is good news about race relations in America. The Civil Rights Act of 1965 has generated much success but black activists insist that discrimination is alive an well in the US. These are points made by Abigal Thernstrum. She and her husband Steven are and have been active in the Civil Rights movement since marching in front of the Cambridge MA Woolworth store in the ‘60’s. She is currently vice chairman of the US Commission on Civil Rights and an adjunct scholar at AEI. Steven is a historian at Harvard. They have written the 1997 book “America in Black and White” telling the mostly good news story of race in America.

    "Sometimes good legislation works precisely as initially intended," writes Ms. Thernstrom in her 2009 book, "Voting Rights and Wrongs." The problem, she contends, is that amendments have turned "the law into a constitutionally problematic, unprecedented attempt to impose what voting rights activists, along with their allies in Congress, the Justice Department and the judiciary, view as a racially fair distribution of political power." In 1966, the Supreme Court signed off on the constitutionality of Section 5 of the law, an "emergency" provision that says any changes in voting practices in certain (mainly Southern) jurisdictions must be cleared in advance by the Justice Department. This provision, which also has led to racially gerrymandered legislative districts that ensure the election of black and Hispanic candidates, has been repeatedly extended, most recently in 2006 for another quarter-century. Never mind the absurdity of pretending that black voters still need "emergency" protections when a black man occupies the Oval Office and another runs the Justice Department. Yet there was Mr. Holder telling an Austin, Texas, audience in December that photo-ID requirements hurt minorities and are driven by racial animus, not by any legitimate concern for ballot integrity. "Are we willing to allow this era—our era—to be remembered as the age when our nation's proud tradition of expanding the franchise ended?" said Mr. Holder. "Call on our political parties to resist the temptation to suppress certain votes."
    What has Mr. Holder on edge is the possibility that the Supreme Court might soon have the opportunity to rule on the continued constitutionality of Section 5. The Obama Justice Department blocked a voter-ID law in South Carolina, and the state has filed a federal suit to overturn the decision. A separate challenge has been brought by Shelby County, Ala., which argues that it can be trusted to run elections fairly without strict federal oversight. Yesterday, a divided panel of judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with the county and upheld Section 5. Both cases are high-court possibilities. But Ms. Thernstrom thinks that even if Section 5 can survive a new round of judicial scrutiny and the oversight continues, there are demographic reasons for liberals to be worried. "The civil rights community—they aren't idiots," she says. "They know the clock is ticking. If you don't have black ghettos—if 50% of the black population has moved to the suburbs, which is the accurate figure—you've got a problem creating a safe black seat."
    After the passage in 1996 of California's Proposition 209, which banned the use of race and ethnicity in public university admissions in that state, "the system as a whole did not lose blacks, and minority graduation rates went up. Nobody wants to talk about that. All that counts as far as these schools are concerned is what the freshman class looks like. They don't care what the senior class looks like." "America in Black and White," the masterful 1997 tome that Ms. Thernstrom co-wrote with her husband, is by and large a good-news story of racial progress in America. It bothers her deeply that so many black leaders have a vested interest in playing down the socioeconomic advancement that has occurred among blacks over the past half-century. "They have a whole list of ways in which America hasn't changed" for blacks, she says. "For their policies to make any sense, they have to pretend that progress isn't being made or that it's too little progress to matter."
    The Weekend Interview with Abigail Thernstrom: The Good News About Race in America - WSJ.com

    Google – The Good News About Race in America

  2. #2
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    It's always nice when white people keep telling black people how much progress they've made on Civil Rights and they should stop complaining. Especially those white folks who are adjunct scholars at the right-wing AEI.

    There is no question that we have made progress, as evidenced by the fact that we have a black man in the White House. The point that racial activists make is that just because progress has been made does not mean that racial discrimination has been eliminated. We all know that it has not. So, the fight continues.

    More on Abigail Thernstrom.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php...ail_Thernstrom

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaxRomana View Post
    It's always nice when white people keep telling black people how much progress they've made on Civil Rights and they should stop complaining. Especially those white folks who are adjunct scholars at the right-wing AEI.

    There is no question that we have made progress, as evidenced by the fact that we have a black man in the White House. The point that racial activists make is that just because progress has been made does not mean that racial discrimination has been eliminated. We all know that it has not. So, the fight continues.

    More on Abigail Thernstrom.

    Abigail Thernstrom - SourceWatch
    Yep. You got it. You're good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AM999 View Post
    Contrary to racial activists there is good news about race relations in America. The Civil Rights Act of 1965 has generated much success but black activists insist that discrimination is alive an well in the US.
    This is nonsensical. You can have progress and still have discrimination, they are not mutually exclusive. When I was a kid I had lots of black friends (i.e., that was progress from previous decades), they still weren't allowed over to our house (that was discrimination alive and well).

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    Quote Originally Posted by AM999 View Post
    Good News on Racial Progress in America
    Racists are a dying breed.


    GOP problem: 'Their voters are white, aging and dying off' - CNN.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne Barry View Post
    This is nonsensical. You can have progress and still have discrimination, they are not mutually exclusive. When I was a kid I had lots of black friends (i.e., that was progress from previous decades), they still weren't allowed over to our house (that was discrimination alive and well).
    And how old are you again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaxRomana View Post
    It's always nice when white people keep telling black people how much progress they've made on Civil Rights and they should stop complaining. Especially those white folks who are adjunct scholars at the right-wing AEI.

    There is no question that we have made progress, as evidenced by the fact that we have a black man in the White House. The point that racial activists make is that just because progress has been made does not mean that racial discrimination has been eliminated. We all know that it has not. So, the fight continues.

    More on Abigail Thernstrom.

    Abigail Thernstrom - SourceWatch
    It's always nice when the argument is made that white people know nothing of race relations and therefore are unqualified to discuss the issue or point out any progress made over the last 50 years. There certainly are racists and will always be racists in the world. But can you point out any examples of systemic discrimination (equally qualified minorities are not hired or promoted in favor of whites) in the US recently ??

    BTW Ms. Thernstrom is a female born in 1936 and is Jewish so she might know a bit about discrimination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AM999 View Post
    But can you point out any examples of systemic discrimination (equally qualified minorities are not hired or promoted in favor of whites) in the US recently ??

    BTW Ms. Thernstrom is a female born in 1936 and is Jewish so she might know a bit about discrimination.
    Is that a serious question? I hope not. There are hundreds of racial discrimination cases filed every year. One small example.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2009-07-31/u...rkers?_s=PM:US

    Ok, here's another. Too easy to find these.

    http://www.cleveland.com/business/in...to_settle.html

    Thernstrom was born in NY, not Germany. So, I'm not sure what your point is. Last I checked, it was blacks being hung from trees and forced to sit at the back of the bus in the US.

    But ok, an AEI scholar now says racial harmony reigns supreme.

    Yep. No racism in this country.


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    Quote Originally Posted by BadHabit View Post
    So you are saying that all Republicans are racist?

    Or are you saying that all racists are Republicans?

  10. #10
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    I'm really glad they feel that way, and I agree we certainly have me progress since the time I was a kid. But having an African American in the the presidential race and then in the White House has uncovered just how far we haven't come.

    It began with calling his wife "baby momma" and went downhill from there to Rep. Joe Wilson yelling "You Lie!" and beyond.

    This country is nowhere near "post racial", and never will be. Less discrimination in the workplace, housing, public spaces, certainly. But that far from over too.

    And let's not forget this, shall we?

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougclaysmith View Post
    So you are saying that all Republicans are racist?

    Or are you saying that all racists are Republicans?
    I think he's saying that a steadfast group of Republican voters is 65+, white and that group has a tendency to maintain solid borders between the races. Something born out regularly in polling on issues.

    I could regale you with stories of watching Thanksgiving college hoops at my father's house with his inlaws in attendance, but I'd hate to be accused of painting them as representative of that particular demographic..
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry b View Post
    I'm really glad they feel that way, and I agree we certainly have me progress since the time I was a kid. But having an African American in the the presidential race and then in the White House has uncovered just how far we haven't come.

    It began with calling his wife "baby momma" and went downhill from there to Rep. Joe Wilson yelling "You Lie!" and beyond.

    This country is nowhere near "post racial", and never will be. Less discrimination in the workplace, housing, public spaces, certainly. But that far from over too.

    And let's not forget this, shall we?

    ^^ this.

    Its not as though this president and his family have received the utmost respect and dignity that his position deserves and commands over his term.

    I certainly hope all these idiot "birthers" at least demand to see Mitt's birth certificate after the convention...I mean, fair is fair, right?

  13. #13
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    Thernstrum's statement confuses (I don't know if deliberately) two issues:

    Gerrymandering of districts, some of which was promoted by the VRA as a way to ensure that minority groups who had been systematically excluded from the political process would have some representation, has progressed to the point that there are many "safe" seats (for both parties), which has increased polarization in the Congress, because so few districts elect centrists. That's probably on balance a bad thing, and I agree with those who question the wisdom of DoJ oversight of redistricting. It's a bit of a tough question.

    But the laws in several states that are being questioned now have nothing to do with district lines. They seem (to me and many others) to be aimed at inhbiting voting by minorities, wherever they live (remember, presidential popular votes are counted by state, not by district), and they seem to be a direct response to the election of a black president. There is no voter-fraud problem that prompted these laws.

    The Civil Rights Act of 1965 has generated much success but black activists insist that discrimination is alive and well in the US.
    Obviously, both parts of this statement can be true; and they are.
    Ubuntu: I am what I am because of who we all are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by terry b View Post
    I think he's saying that a steadfast group of Republican voters is 65+, white and that group has a tendency to maintain solid borders between the races. Something born out regularly in polling on issues.

    I could regale you with stories of watching Thanksgiving college hoops at my father's house with his inlaws in attendance, but I'd hate to be accused of painting them as representative of that particular demographic..
    As said in the movie, Silence of the Lamps, I’m just one generation from poor white trash (on my dad’s side) and I remember visits with a lot dad’s family during the holidays and it was almost like a contest who had the worse Ni**er joke. And all of them were anti-management, workers unite, southern, blue-collar, Democrats.

    Racism transcends political parties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dougclaysmith View Post
    Racism transcends political parties.
    It does, but the Republican party has accumulated a disproportionately large market share of the racists.

    It burns these clowns up that a black man rose from nowhere to achieve the American dream.

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    Are things better than they were since 1963? Yes.
    Is racism over? I guess it depends on who you ask or what you define as racism.

    Consider that Institutionalized Racism was de rigeur from the early colonial days to 1964, let's say 300 years. It's been one generation since the passage of the CRA, or about 50 years--and we've gotten rid of it?

    When the prison population is 40% african american men, when african americans only make up 13% of the total population, it's hard to argue that Racism's effects are no longer relevant. Sure, Jim Crow may be gone, but we're still living through the lingering malaise that could only come with 300+ years of violent, brutal oppression. It doesn't take a Harvard PHD in sociology to recognize that racism is still alive. What to do about it is a more complex, difficult question, however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaxRomana View Post
    It does, but the Republican party has accumulated a disproportionately large market share of the racists.

    It burns these clowns up that a black man rose from nowhere to achieve the American dream.
    As you see it, but hatred is hatred.

    Its burns self-described "working class dems" to a see a successful white man who they think, "don’t pay his fair share".

    Hatred based on color is wrong
    Hatred based on sex is wrong
    Hatred based on religion is wrong
    Hatred based on disabilities is wrong

    But hatred based on success is OK?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougclaysmith View Post
    As said in the movie, Silence of the Lamps, I’m just one generation from poor white trash (on my dad’s side) and I remember visits with a lot dad’s family during the holidays and it was almost like a contest who had the worse Ni**er joke. And all of them were anti-management, workers unite, southern, blue-collar, Democrats.

    Racism transcends political parties.
    Of course it does, but polling suggests the split is not even.

    The interesting thing about my father's in laws is that they were 1st generation immigrants from Europe who were staunchly Democratic until they "made it." Then the bitterness crept in as they saw "those people" getting the same things they did without (in their estimation) having to work for it. They went Republican and never looked back.

    I think the GOP is full of people like that. 65+, survived the '60s, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougclaysmith View Post
    As said in the movie, Silence of the Lamps, I’m just one generation from poor white trash (on my dad’s side) and I remember visits with a lot dad’s family during the holidays and it was almost like a contest who had the worse Ni**er joke. And all of them were anti-management, workers unite, southern, blue-collar, Democrats.

    Racism transcends political parties.
    This is true. Age has a lot to do with it. My Dad will never believe the Russians are anything but sneaky sum*****es out to kill freedom.

    I think the problem the GOP has is the old Cadillac problem- back in the 90s, Cadillac realized that their main audience was getting older, dying off and not being replaced by younger buyers- their products were thought of as hopelessly out of date, stodgy, old, nothing a younger person would even aspire to owning.
    Quote Originally Posted by JustTooBig View Post
    Your Logical-to-Dumbass ratio is way out of kilter, buddy

  20. #20
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    Anecdotal evidence of racial progress: There is an old, currently unused school building in my village, that dates from the 1920s, built to educate the Negro children of the village. One day when my children were primary school age, we were driving past, and my kids asked me what it was.

    When I told them, they were astonished.

    They simply could not grasp that such a thing as racial segregation had ever taken place in this manner, let alone in their town, to the elders of children they themselves went to school with. They were truly incredulous, thinking that I was playing a joke on them; I assured them I wasn't.

    That such a concept was alien to them, so unbelievable, and seeming so very unnecessary, is progress to me.

    Does it mean we "done" combating racism? No, only a fool would think so.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougclaysmith View Post
    As you see it, but hatred is hatred.

    Its burns self-described "working class dems" to a see a successful white man who they think, "don’t pay his fair share".

    Hatred based on color is wrong
    Hatred based on sex is wrong
    Hatred based on religion is wrong
    Hatred based on disabilities is wrong

    But hatred based on success is OK?
    Nobody hates success. All that people want is equal opportunity. That is all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post
    Anecdotal evidence of racial progress: There is an old, currently unused school building in my village, that dates from the 1920s, built to educate the Negro children of the village. One day when my children were primary school age, we were driving past, and my kids asked me what it was.

    When I told them, they were astonished.

    They simply could not grasp that such a thing as racial segregation had ever taken place in this manner, let alone in their town, to the elders of children they themselves went to school with. They were truly incredulous, thinking that I was playing a joke on them; I assured them I wasn't.

    That such a concept was alien to them, so unbelievable, and seeming so very unnecessary, is progress to me.

    Does it mean we "done" combating racism? No, only a fool would think so.
    Or a Democrat........................ or is that redundant?

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    Quote Originally Posted by terry b View Post
    the split is not even.
    Someone give a name to the Republican Party quality or set of policies that causes minority voters to reject it so resoundingly.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaxRomana View Post
    Nobody hates success. All that people want is equal opportunity. That is all.
    The 99% don't hate the 1%?

    The employees don't hate the CEO that is making 20 to 100 times what they are making?


    Do you want equal opportunity or equal results?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post
    Anecdotal evidence of racial progress: There is an old, currently unused school building in my village, that dates from the 1920s, built to educate the Negro children of the village. One day when my children were primary school age, we were driving past, and my kids asked me what it was.

    When I told them, they were astonished.

    They simply could not grasp that such a thing as racial segregation had ever taken place in this manner, let alone in their town, to the elders of children they themselves went to school with. They were truly incredulous, thinking that I was playing a joke on them; I assured them I wasn't.

    That such a concept was alien to them, so unbelievable, and seeming so very unnecessary, is progress to me.

    Does it mean we "done" combating racism? No, only a fool would think so.
    And the real tragedy is that those black children of the 1920's got a much better education from the segregated school administered and taught by African Americans.

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