I have a lot of opinions. My new years resolution is to own a cat.

Posts Tagged: america

Text

So I haven’t done this in a while but I know some people used to really like it when I did, so here goes (all emphasis is my own):

  • This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign - to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together - unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction - towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.
  • Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity. Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans….On one end of the spectrum, we’ve heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it’s based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we’ve heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.
  •  I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America - to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.
  • Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, “The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past.” We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today’s black and white students.Legalized discrimination - where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments - meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today’s urban and rural communities.A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families - a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods - parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement - all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us….But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn’t make it - those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations - those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician’s own failings.
  • In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze - a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many….This is where we are right now. It’s a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy - particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.
  • In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds - by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.
  • For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle - as we did in the OJ trial - or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.We can do that.But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change. That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, "Not this time." This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

agoodcartoon:

Americans have developed a Stockholmian relationship with the military-industrial complex. A good cartoon.

agoodcartoon:

Americans have developed a Stockholmian relationship with the military-industrial complex. A good cartoon.

Source: agoodcartoon

the-jazz-age:

Flappers

the-jazz-age:

Flappers

Source: the-jazz-age

erosum:

The Melissa Harris-Perry Show: American Exceptionalism

erosum:

The Melissa Harris-Perry Show: American Exceptionalism

(via ethiopienne)

Source: rachel-duncan

Source: gerrycanavan

stfuconservatives:

Who does our “representative democracy” truly represent?

stfuconservatives:

Who does our “representative democracy” truly represent?

(via gerrycanavan)

Source: stfuconservatives

"Kids play T-ball, then baseball; they play games and have practice every week and, if they’re serious about it, pre-season and post-season too. We never think, “Let’s have kids play baseball for eight weeks in seventh grade,” and then expect that in five years they can join the majors or even be on a college team. But for some reason we do this with civics. We say, “We’re going to have you do a penny harvest in fifth grade and a service learning project in tenth grade, and then we’ll teach you abstractly about government for a semester in twelfth grade.” Then our students enter the major leagues of citizenship, and we give them the vote and expect them to keep our country going. And that’s just crazy!"

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Meira Levinson talking about her new book No Citizen Left Behind. (via bostonreview)

Wow. Just, wow. Quote of the week.

(via motherjones)

(via stfuconservatives)

Source: bostonreview

"I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance."

- Reuben Blades (via world-losersandworld-forsakers)
Source: theoccasionalitalic

"We have lots of communities in America that have drug use, drug dealing, and no violence. They’re called ‘suburbs.’"

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California-based criminologist David Kennedy, discussing why targeting inner-city drug use won’t cut violent crime. Via the Washington Monthly. (via motherjones)

awesome.

Source: motherjones

"At any given moment, there are 850,000 Americans inside a Walmart store. Something weird is bound to happen."

- Is Walmart A Magnet For American Mayhem? (via lookhigh)

I certainly hope it’s a mayhem magnet

(via npr)

Source: NPR

BETTER YOUR BRAIN: It’s been a long time since I’ve actually written anything on here,...

motionality:

betteryourbrain:

It’s been a long time since I’ve actually written anything on here, and I offer no apologies. However, I offer onto you this.

I can’t just let anything be easy and let myself be pursued, mostly because I don’t actually like being really pursued, being the aggressive person that I am, and secondly…

Reblogging because Amanda is one of the smartest people I know and all of us hip assholes have to stick together.

tricia <3 ^^this girl.

Source: betteryourbrain

Text

It’s been a long time since I’ve actually written anything on here, and I offer no apologies. However, I offer onto you this.

I can’t just let anything be easy and let myself be pursued, mostly because I don’t actually like being really pursued, being the aggressive person that I am, and secondly because it freaks me out when people like me too much. I’m sure that implies some weird nonsense about how I have commitment issues or something, but really it comes down to I want the people I like to like me too much and everyone else to leave me alone. Such is life.

I miss my college friends and I miss my Duke friends and I miss my GHP friends and if I wouldn’t sort of hate myself for it, I’d quote Catcher in the Rye right now and you know exactly which line I mean because you’re a hip asshole too.

College essays have made my attention span go out the window and it seems as if the entire process is a cluster fuck of lying about personal experiences and embellishing everything you’ve ever done. I’ve opted to write my essays on things that aren’t particularly personal; I don’t like to write about myself in regards to what their prompts are and I don’t think any personal experiences that I’ve had have been particularly unique. I’m an upper-middle class white girl who lives in the suburbs. I used to go to Christian school, now I don’t. I have great musical taste and if you disagree, you’re just wrong. I lost my friends, I made some better ones. I lost my religion. I work on campaigns, I work for lawyers. I play the cello, I read books, I ride my bike. Maybe I loved a guy once. I went to a smart kid camp and it was the best thing I’d ever done, so I went to another one. and another. I run some clubs, all to do with music or writing or talking loudly about politics, mostly the latter. I’m good at being in charge of things. All of this is to say that I go to school, I’m good at it, and I’d like to keep it up, so please let me in?

Instead I’m writing about politics and books and things I care about and hoping indirect characterization will sway them into thinking that I’m as great as I think I am.

In a vaguely similar vein, the Republican candidate field is garbage with the exception of John Huntsman, but I can nearly guarantee that he won’t be their final nomination. It isn’t that Obama is very good, it’s just that the other options are so very bad. It’s getting harder to find common ground between the parties and here’s why: Who votes in primaries? Hardcore party members. Who appeals to them? Extremists. The far end of each spectrum wins, and then spends the rest of the election year trying to tone his or herself down enough to appeal to the middle and get elected. This election cycle is already frustrating and ridiculous and man, fuck the electoral college.

I spent all weekend at a book festival soaking in an air of pretentious intellectualism and a whole lot of knowledge and meeting interesting people rather than working and I regret nothing. My father is home, my bed is warm, and my internet is fast. 3 cheers for labor unions, aces to you all.

Is there a job that consists of traveling, writing, talking to new people and getting inside their heads, reading, talking about politics, and listening to music?  I’m just going to write enough books to become a guest on news shows then retire to Latin America and take advantage of the political climate, like a good American. 

blingee4life:

AMERICAT

oh gawd

blingee4life:

AMERICAT

oh gawd

(via 500daysofsodomy-deactivated2012)

Source: blingee4life

"..America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I’m not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right.
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations…"

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Excerpt from: America by Allen Ginsberg (via crazyinmoloch)

my kind of america, no?

Source: itmustbehalloweeninthesea

Last but not least, our current and 44th president, Barack Obama. Look at those abs, look at that face. Definitely a keeper. (hint hint) 

Last but not least, our current and 44th president, Barack Obama. Look at those abs, look at that face. Definitely a keeper. (hint hint)