Still Fighting Reconstruction

I think there are a number of problems with Rev. Barber’s interpretation of Reconstruction, but I can’t help but acknowledge the ways in which the post-Civil War period seems to be creeping into our discourse about a host of issues related to racial politics in recent years. The sesquicentennial of Reconstruction Era offers a number of opportunities for serious discourse about the long-term consequences of the war and the challenges associated with race that we are clearly still dealing with today. Let’s hope we take advantage of it.

[Uploaded to YouTube on January 28, 2013]

“The Lingering Stain of Slavery”

Slavery

As the illuminating map generated by that study shows, children born in some regions—Salt Lake City and San Jose, Calif., for example—have a reasonable shot of moving up the social ladder. By contrast, many parts of the former Confederacy, it seems, are now the places where the American dream goes to die.

Why is that true? At first blush, you might guess race could explain the variation. When the study’s authors crunched the data, they found that the larger the black population in any given county, the lower the overall social mobility. But there was more to the story than blacks unable to break the cycle of poverty. In a passing comment, Chetty and his co-authors observed that “both blacks and whites living in areas with large African-American populations have lower rates of upward income mobility.” Far from being divergent, the fates of poor blacks and poor whites in these regions are curiously, inextricably, intertwined.

Click here for the rest of the article.

What’s So “Odd” About It?

Update: Williams offers an update that confirms that his problem is more with Robin Williams’s view of the Confederate than anything having to do with me. I have never compared Confederate soldiers with Nazis, but that isn’t even what Robin Williams is suggesting anyway. Any reasonable person will see the post for what it is: a simple acknowledgment of Robin Williams’s brilliant sense of humor.

I’ve never had a problem with readers and fellow bloggers criticizing what I post here. Certainly, much of what I write is open to critical response, but for the life of me I have no idea what Richard Williams finds problematic about this post. Like many of you I was saddened to hear about the death of Robin Williams. Continue reading “What’s So “Odd” About It?”

The Problem of Southern Thinking From a Southerner

No, I don’t believe that the views expressed in this video reflect the views of any one section of the country, but I do believe that “Mungo” gets at something interesting. He at least echoes many of the hysterical views expressed in the wake of the W&L Confederate flag controversy and other so-called heritage violations.

[Uploaded to YouTube on January 27, 2014]

The 9-11 Gift Shop is Not For Us

I am not surprised to read that family members, residents of New York City and others are upset with the contents being sold at the 9-11 Memorial and Museum’s gift shop. As someone who lost a close family member in the South Tower of the World Trade Center I get it. Reports on this controversy are quick to point out that “Ground Zero” is not the only site of death and violence whose museums include gift shops, but they overlook one key factor. Continue reading “The 9-11 Gift Shop is Not For Us”