In advance of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas, I’ve written an essay for Time Magazine’s website about how white women are the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action. Here’s an excerpt:
While people of color, individually and as groups, have been helped by affirmative action in the subsequent years, data and studies suggest women— white women in particular — have benefited disproportionately. According to one study, in 1995 six million women—the majority which were white— had jobs they wouldn’t have otherwise held but for affirmative action.
You can read the full essay here. Please help spread it around and share your thoughts.
In my latest column for Fox News, I look at why progressives have been (understandably) reluctant to pile onto reckless Republican critiques of the Obama Administration. And yet even though Republicans are hell-bent on destroying the President at any cost, those of us who care about our nation and our liberties cannot abdicate our role in holding the government, including this government, accountable. I write:
The problem with hyper-partisanship is that those on both sides constantly defend their own camp and attack the other with little regard for history, logic or ideology… Conservatives, progressives, Democrats, Republicans — we’ve all fallen into the trap of turning a blind eye to our own side’s abuses while fairly blindly hurling accusations at the other. This stops now.
You can read my full essay here. And please share your thoughts!
It’s time for Democrats Suck: The Immigration Reform Edition. Here’s a clip from my latest Salon essay:
When Republicans stand strong on principles while Democrats obsess about political practicality, Democrats repeatedly concede too much and Republicans repeatedly win more than policy and politics would otherwise dictate. The immigration reform markup is only the latest example of this larger, depressing state of affairs.
Read the rest here.
UPDATE: Here is a response the Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas wrote in response to my piece. An important discussion for all of us to be having. And I think if we don’t have this discussion, the Democrats will continue to feel free to sell out their base with no fear of consequences.
I wrote a travel and leisure story for the Fox News website — about how hard it is to get into some of the nation’s hippest restaurants, and whether that’s a good thing or not. Here’s a clip:
The line outside San Francisco’s hottest new restaurant starts forming at about 4:00 pm on a Friday night. A dozen or so people line up for about 10 walk-in seats at State Bird Provisions –which just nabbed the James Beards award for best new restaurant in the U.S. In fact, some of the seats for walk-ins aren’t even seats. They’re standing room spaces at a bar top sandwiched between the front door and a kitchen station.
When I ask a waiter why they don’t put bar stools there, he points out — correctly, as I later see for myself — that there’s just not enough room. But yes, as I go to leave, there are three patrons belly up to the bar top trying to enjoy their dinner.
Read the whole story here.
For Mother’s Day, I wrote about the roots of the holiday — and the future of American families:
Today in America, four out of five families fall outside the traditional notion of a mom at home and a dad at work and a bunch of kids in the yard with the picket fence. And while some certainly see this as a cause for concern, arguably a similar majority does not. Just as our idea of America — of race and citizenship and belonging — have expanded, albeit with great struggle, over the centuries to include new communities and identities, our idea of family is always expanding.
How? Read my full essay here.
ColorLines asked me to share my thoughts on the role of the media in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. Here’s what I wrote:
The job of a public servant is to run away from conventional wisdom and toward the tangled mess of reality from which facts and insights—and humanity—can be rescued. Our public servants with badges and uniforms performed heroically in the face of mass chaos, saving the lives of hundreds and helping calm the fears of an unsettled city and nation. But too many of our public servants with pens and cameras let us down by repeating or even feeding our worst fears and biases.
You can read my full essay here.
The road to citizenship isn’t exactly shovel ready. In my latest column for Salon, I look at how yet again Democrats have put a watered down compromise on the table — only for Republicans to still attack it. Argh!
There are many good things about the Gang of Eight bill, but here’s the bad:
If you came into the United States after December 31, 2011, you cannot get on the road to citizenship. If you come into the United States on the proposed W-visa for low-wage workers, you cannot get on the road to citizenship. If you committed document or passport fraud or any one of an expanded list of infractions, you cannot get on the road to citizenship. If you are the same-sex spouse or partner of a permanent resident or citizen, you cannot get on the road to citizenship.
Plus even if you can get to the road, it’s layered with traps. First of all, new system would be strongly tied to employment and employers. That makes it hard for the millions of undocumented immigrants contributing to the informal economy to prove their work history and qualify for citizenship. And new immigrants coming into the country may be unduly beholden to the whims, and potential abuses, of employers.
Read my full reaction here — and let me know what you think!
You’ve gotta admit, it just doesn’t feel right. Conservatives rail against “illegals” “sneaking across the border” with language laden with racial code — despite the fact that most immigrants are white and just overstay their visas. But then a Christian evangelical white family from Germany is denied asylum and conservatives rally around their cause? Seriously?
From my latest for Salon:
Look, this is how racial stereotyping works. No one comes right out and says, “We only like the immigrants who look like us.” They say things like, “The immigration system worked very well up until the mid-1960s” (Rep. Michele Bachmann) and “White America was kind of unified” in the 1950s, which “made it easier for society to function” (Bill O’Reilly, ignoring that Irish folks like him were once considered non-white). They call undocumented immigrants an “invasive species” that “contributes to the overall deterioration of the culture of this society” (Rush Limbaugh). The racialized message is mostly implied but nonetheless crystal clear — white immigrants, especially from Europe, are good, and dark-skinned immigrants, especially from Mexico, are bad. Which explains how a swath of conservatives so opposed to immigrant rights could be shouting from the rooftops in support of one family from Germany.
Read the rest here.
No. You’ll be surprised to learn which country is…. My essay about why we shouldn’t be judging/otherizing violence against women as a problem that just happens elsewhere, for More Magazine. Here’s an excerpt:
Rape and violence against women are a massive problem in India. According to the country’s National Crime Record Bureau, crimes against women have increased by 7.1 percent since 2010. The number of rapes reported has also risen. Nearly one in three rape victims in India is under the age of 18. One in 10 are under 14. Every 20 minutes in India, a woman is raped.
And yet India only ranks third for the number of rapes reported each year. What country ranks first?
You can read the full essay here.
There was already plenty of evidence that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is a really bad idea. Now, we have more:
The oil is the same heavy crude from tar sands that oil companies behind the Keystone XL pipeline want to extract. In fact, the only difference between the Pegasus pipeline that leaked and the proposed Keystone XL? The proposed Keystone XL is longer — over 300 miles longer than the pipeline that leaked in Arkansas on Friday. That means the Keystone XL pipeline is even more likely to leak. Not exactly a comforting prospect.
Read the rest of my column, in which I run through all the other reasons that KXL is an awful idea.
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