Thursday, July 23, 2009

In Which I Offer What Little I Have On Race

First I offer Obama's historic speech on race during the primaries.

Maddow, et. al. parsing that speech on "Race to the White House:"

And finally, Melissa Harris-Lacewell and Rachel discuss race the night before the Inauguration:

My take on the Professor Gates debacle? I have seen racial profiling at work, and have little doubt it was a factor. But, like MHL said tonight, I wish Obama had avoided the question about it during his press conference last night, for all the same reasons. I am sick at the idea of giving any more ammunition to those who would use race to divide us. The Pat Buchanan vitriol shows that there is no lack of white rage available to be exploited. Is it really going to be that easy?

Please weigh in with your take.

P.S. Dear TRMS, Not all midwesterners come from Chicago. For Michigan, you have to flatten your As. For instance, "jacket" becomes "jyaacket." Thank you.


  1. I don't think Obama really saw the question coming and so maybe if he'd had a little time to reflect, he'd have been a little more careful. He almost seems to contradict himself by saying I don't know what happened but the cops acted stupidly. I understood the nuance -- I can't say it was race but I can say it was stupid - but the racist segment of the opposition doesn't really seem to bother with nuance. Thus, the unfortunate fanning of the flame.

    Thanks so much for the MHL fix,Conch! You rock!

  2. It was silly of Obama to say it was stupid, he should have just said he doesnt have all the facts and can't comment on the story much or something to that affect. The story totally took over the news cycle, like melissa said it would, sadly.

    On a superficial note, Rachel's hair this week has been PERFECT ... ;)*sigh*

  3. Yeah, Ang, that was my take on it too. And Sabrina, when it comes to Rachel's hair, there is no such thing as superficiality. :)

  4. After the story has played out for a week, I'm glad it ended up in the news cycle and that the two men involved and the President will be sitting down together socially to talk and get to know each other.

    This story has restarted the race dialogue in a more measured and reasonable way.

    Rachel corrected Pat's "facts" on her next show. I would have liked a more even discussion, but Pat was not going to yield the floor. I am disappointed in Pat. Even though I think he's wrong, he usually debates using the real facts and drawing what I think are the wrong conclusions. This time he didn't have any facts. He was ranting as a threatened white man who is now being forced to compete on even ground with minorities and women. It hurts to get dumped off your pedestal. He was definitely not debating.

    I think Rachel did a good job asking him questions that had him sticking his foot in his mouth with every sentence. It would have been difficult to counter his statements without the real numbers in front of her, which she had the following night. She also got to tell us the facts without Pat's interrupting her at every word.

    It's good we know there are still wing nuts out there and that we have a lot to do on race in America. We need to keep in mind that people like Pat exist in more than fringe numbers. Just because we have an African American President doesn't mean we are anywhere near post-racial.

  5. I think they must've been freaking out big-time backstage when the Prez answered that one. "Oh, shit! He took the bait!" He handled the fallout from it pretty darn well, but that's a debate that's gonna take more than a beer (and a helluva lot more than a non-alcoholic one!)to settle.

    And, yes, Rachel's hair looked great all week. She has those great reddish highlights that people would kill for! Lucky girl.