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Red and Black Revolution!

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Red and Black Revolution! last won the day on December 22 2007

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About Red and Black Revolution!

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    "Hard Left Cockroach"
  • Birthday 04/04/1986

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    Alex
  • Biography
    I kick out the jams every once in a while.
  1. Oh sure, get some rabies-infested Ewoks on your side and suddenly you start winning battles...
  2. I've been a little too busy to check back here for a few weeks, but I'll respond to a few things. 1. The idea that King was against affirmative action is fictitious and absurd to anyone who's actually read or heard something by King more than the Dream speech. Read Why We Can't Wait, where he explicitly links his plan for affirmative action addressing both class and race to the sort of benefits enacted under the GI Bill. I have not read enough of Frederick Douglass to say what his position on affirmative action is, but I highly doubt the accuracy of Justice Thomas's interpretation of his words. 2. Affirmative action programs hurt minorities? Hardly. Pointing to 1940-1960 is hardly an accurate measure, taking place as it did during a huge expansion in wealth for most all Americans during the war and post-war booms. This is also the time of great emigration from the South for better-paying jobs in the cities of the north, where they also would sometimes begin to receive the middle-class building benefits Katznelson talks of that were denied them in the south or by occupation. The arguments about universities comes from a Richard Sanders study a few years ago, but there are several problems in his reductionist conclusion that we need to eliminate affirmative action. The methods of his research and controls he neglected were heavily criticized for post-treatment bias among other things (see here). What he'd really want to do to back up his idea is compare bar passage rates among those accepted and going to the higher-tier schools to those who were accepted to higher-tier but went to a different school. And when those are compared, there seems to be little difference in bar passage, meaning the white-black achievement gap has it's foundation in something other than affirmative action. Being "matched" didn't seem to correct the gap. 3. Whether things like breast cancer screenings and batter women's shelters will be closed are not addressed in the initiative itself. That's what makes it so dangerous. Here's how the process will go - First, administrators of a particular program decide if their program meets the new law. If it doesn't, they eliminate themselves. If it does, it stays for some time. Then, there are other groups which may seek to challenge the legality of these programs. They will file lawsuits (this is the cause for action language in the initiative), and it becomes a judge's decision as to whether a particular program or not is kept. While a good portion of Nebraska's judges are somewhat liberal thanks to Ben Nelson's stint as governor, there's also a great many who are not thanks to Johanns and Heinemann. How a case is decided may depend on which judge there is, and the groups seeking to file lawsuit will be judge-shopping (seeking judges they think will rule their way) before they file. In California there were challenges to breast-cancer screenings. Those challenges were struck down, but the initiative's language always leaves open the possibility of such challenges to a variety of programs. 4. There was a court hearing several weeks ago in which the initiative was challenged for using fraudulent and illegal signature-gathering methods. The bosses of the signature-gathering firm are notoriously fraudulent (in fact, this isn't the first time their firm has been in trouble in Nebraska; they literally ran from their previous hearing years ago). A warrant was issued for the arrest of one petitioner who was gathering signatures and then adding the names of fictitious wives or husbands to the petition as well. One petitioner even testified against the petition and gave us a pretty clear picture of the practices they used. The judge has not given a decision since the hearing and we don't know when to expect one. To my understanding, this is entirely normal for the court system. When a decision has been made there will be an automatic appeal to a higher court, which is the result of a particular law and not any party's decision.
  3. Katznelson's book concludes with why it's necessary now, and almost all of Wise's writings focus on the contemporary. Further, the theme running through all these pieces is that past injustice and continuing injustice both demand some form of redress. The thing I really took from Katznelson's book is how wealth is transferred across generations of a family. He looks at programs of the New Deal, the GI Bill of Rights, Social Security, etc., and how these built the modern American white middle class through things like cheap home and business loans, education payments or reimbursements. These same programs were systemically and purposefully denied to the majority of people of color. So these programs became essentially affirmative action for white people, with a corresponding accumulation of wealth and education that has been handed down to their future generations; on the other hand the black population of America was relegated to poverty and urban ghettos with only menial social program redress (and even those menial programs under constant threat of conservative backlash politics), which has also impacted their future generations. You say "regardless of race" but we know, and we can verify, that different ethnicities and races use different common names and that the difference of names will negatively impact some groups more than others. Notions of commonness and the mainstream are bound in whiteness. There's a reason why Tim Wise describes white privilege as a fish unaware really of the water it swims in; or why Peggy McIntosh describes white and male and heterosexual privileges as an invisible knapsack. I'll never forget the day I was tabling for Nebraskans For Peace and talking about the work we'd done against the initiative with a group of freshmen entering UNL. We talked about this same study, one of the guys looked straight at me and said, "Why don't they just name their kids something normal?" Well, because it feels like a grossly unethical position to take, and it doesn't really get to the issue of why there is such a problem in the first place. Without more info about the study I'm really unable to say more on it. If there's any substance to the accusation that the minority person is less qualified and still received the job there are often if not always non-discrimination laws which apply. But, after hearing this point from several people over the summer who just happen to somehow someway know the qualifications and resumes of competitors in the job market, I'm more inclined to think these stories are scapegoating or pure fabrication. As far as the education system itself goes - the studies I've read show that whatever qualification differences there were at the start of college are negligible or disappear entirely by the end of college. Further, we can really debate how valuable some qualifications are. Bakke successfully sued the U of California system for allowing a minority person into the medical school and denying him a spot, a Supreme Court ruling that outlawed AA quotas. He went on to be an anesthesiologist, a necessary but not exactly notable career. Minorities admitted into college through affirmative action often go on to become important leaders or performers of essential services in poverty-stricken communities.
  4. That isn't the case at all. Affirmative action is a recognition of the fact that racism and sexism still exist in this country and that this adversely impacts the ability of women and racial minorities to get an education and employment. The racial paternalism argument is bunk. It's like asking if veterans can't be held to the same standards or qualifications as civilians, since after all veterans receive affirmative action in employment (it's just not called affirmative action). There are already affirmative action programs based on class, and I believe these should be expanded. However basing all affirmative action on class removes any attempt to redress racism and sexism. Here's the example I always use for this argument - a study done a couple years ago sent several resumes and applications of similar or the same qualifications to several businesses. Some used names that are average for white people, other applications used names more common to black people. What they discovered was that the white-name applications received callbacks for interviews 50% more of the time than black-name applications. This unfairly impacts minorities regardless of their economic status; solely class-based affirmative action is unable to address this. I might answer this later with some time. In the meantime I would suggest you read Martin Luther King's "Why We Can't Wait" or interviews from the mid-60s, or President Johnson's famous speech on affirmative action. Or Ira Katznelson's "When Affirmative Action Was White," or any of several books and essays written by Tim Wise (timwise.org).
  5. I'm not sure who put this together but I received it in an email from Nebraska ACLU. The video features civil rights activist and one of the most awesome members of NFP, Lela Shanks, talking about equal opportunity in Nebraska.
  6. http://journalstar.com/articles/2008/10/31/news/local/doc490a011e204a7912372401.prt More coverage appeared in the World-Herald, The Daily Nebraskan, and Nebraska Public Radio.
  7. There's a guy named Ward Connerly, head of the so-called American "Civil Rights" Coalition. The group goes state to state funding affirmative action bans through cookie-cutter organizations. They attempted to push the bans in Oklahoma, Arizona, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska. Nebraska and Colorado are the only states where it is left at this point, having failed for various reasons in the others. As far as tv ads go - I don't have any particular knowledge about internal debates by ban-opposition groups. What I've heard is that whenever a group manages to raise enough meager funds for an ad buy, Connerly dumps hundreds of thousands of dollars into the media market to swamp the group's message and push his own. We got a taste of just what those ads might be like this summer when they ran a radio ad linking Jeremiah Wright and Ernie Chambers (you know, scary black men! run whitey run!) to the fight over affirmative action, though neither had any involvement in the fight.
  8. What I really love about being an activist is the almost-condescending "why didn't you guys try this other thing?" comments from bystanders. I appreciate Dr. Kohen's response, in fact I was planning to do the very same thing he mentioned last. I've never participated in previous walkouts, and always suggested that we offer the most convenient time for people to help out. It just really gets to me when people suggest things we've already done. We've had debates. We opposed the initiative all summer, running around not just Lincoln and Omaha every day but making trips to educate voters and dissuade potential petition signers all over the state (you can tell from the substantial mileage we put on our vehicles throughout June). I'm sure these suggestions are generally made in good faith, but they're still not worth shit. There is absolutely no reason not to pursue several different forms of activism. There is no single way to win. What the walkout attempts to do is mostly buy media attention. It succeeded with an advance article on the protest, a rare thing for activist groups used to getting at best a day-after article or more often ignored. An advance article allows people to know in advance and attend if they like. The second thing it attempts to do is show that there is a grassroots opposition to the ban, and this opposition is larger than the supporters of the measure. NCRI has managed only to promote a couple disgruntled professors as the vocal supporters of their measure - an astoundingly meager showing considering the majority of Nebraskans oppose affirmative action. If affirmative action were really a significant "problem" of "reverse discrimination" in Nebraska, they would presumably garner larger amounts of grassroots support.
  9. Several debates have already been done including Professors Orey and Harbison, Nebraskans United campaign manager David Kramer, and ACRI leader Ward Connerly. Further, for every initiative amendment state law requires three debates to be held around the state moderated by the secretary of state, to my knowledge 2 of these have so far been completed (North Platte and Omaha, with Lincoln on the way). Obama opposes the initiative. In fact, it's why Ward Connerly is now an opponent of Obama.
  10. I'm told there's a newly created ad hoc group for academic freedom coming together. They're interested in filing FOIA requests concerning the University's decision, and possibly bringing Ayers to speak in the spring. More info as this develops.
  11. A shameful episode in UNL's history. Weather was an utterly failed and counterproductive group among many in the 70s "new communist movement". But the thousands of people emailing, commenting, and threatening about Bill Ayers speaking don't know jack about Ayers' history. You see obscenely antifactual statements declaring Ayers a murderer; the one bomb with which Weather did actually kill people killed three of their own members (and the question of where it was targeted and how it was set off is disputed history). A lot of people are already against the University, over the fucking fair grounds of all reasons. Caving on the Ayers speech just encourages these idiots. I'm tempted to raise the funds and bring him here myself.
  12. Forget Mavericks, Josh. You're a Wolverine.
  13. Fantastic. And I don't mean fantastic in the sense of "great," but in the sense of "this is pure bullshit fantasy." You need to establish a couple things. First, that Obama contrived this secret plan to use sexism to get laughs. Second, that the audience, including the several women in attendance, caught the cue, caught some nonexistent reference to Palin's speech, and that they're all sexist enough to accept and laugh at it. None of these things you know, you can't even bring a shred of evidence to any of them. It's only pure speculation, and it's not even good speculation. We can add further to this list. Even if we accept that sexism sells and Obama is selling, what is the ultimate goal to that? A punchline to an audience, free media attention? Is it some strategy to swing a state, or states, a la Nixon's Southern Strategy? Without a prior history of sexism, and without any probable advantage to it, there's no reason for Obama to be engaging in it and no reason to speculate that he is. Don't pretend like I'm condescending towards you for being a woman. If I am condescending it's because I'm so pissed off that someone would reject the only major candidate willing to turn around the last 8 years of white male backlash politics over a made up controversy. If I am condescending it's because I'm a man active in and allied with local grassroots and feminist organizations and it kills me to see feminism used as a weapon so often in tearing down local activists, and now targeting a fellow community organizer like Obama. If I am condescending, it's because I really cannot believe I'm going to be subjected to this pile of shit or several others like it for the next 50 days.
  14. Yeah, see it's clear as day the comment is sexist. The key is to ignore the mention of McCain and all the other parts that don't mention Palin, and then pretend Obama mentioned Palin. Voila! You gotta really read between the lines, y'know? If we had a responsible media doing it's job properly every article covering this would laugh at the ridiculous McCain ad playing this up. Instead, we see wild speculation even about Obama's audience: Jesus fucking Christ.
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