Monday, September 8, 2008

Looky Looky Here! It Seems We Respectable Negroes Have Won A Black Weblog Award!

Our hard work has paid off it seems. We respectable negroes have won the judges' prize for Best Blog Post or Blog Post Series for our, "What if? White in America – The Never to be Made Television Documentary” story. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For those of you who didn't catch our version of the CNN "expose" on Black America the first time around we have reposted it below.

What if? White in America--The Never to be Made Television Documentary

The fallout continues from CNN's Black in America news special. In my conversations with friends and colleagues, there is a recurring question: What would a White version of Black in America look like? A hypothetical question, yes, but one that is still interesting and useful to work through. In the spirit of Black in America, we present to you our pitch for the never to be produced, television news special, White in America.

Segment 1
White Teenagers: Out of Control and at Risk

At a time when young people should be comfortably protected by their parents while also moving forward with their lives into adulthood, white teenagers are exhibiting self-destructive behaviors which threaten to undermine the fabric of white communities. White teens and young adults are most likely to binge drink, smoke, and at the college age, to have multiple sexual partners. STI's such as chlamydia, syphilis, genital herpes, and HPV are increasingly common among college age white women. As seen in the recent pregnancy cult in Gloucester, Massachusetts where at least 17 white teenage girls endeavored to become pregnant at one time, white teenagers are exhibiting sexual behaviors that border on the pathological--in the above case having unprotected sex with strangers, including random homeless men, in order to become pregnant. The casual nature with which white teens approach sex and sexuality is mirrored through the "new" dating conventions of "hooking up" where normal, suburban, white teens--young people from healthy homes--have multiple casual and short-term sexual relationships. Contributing to this crisis, is how the sexualization of young white women through beauty pageants, popular music and film, and the beauty industry, an early sexualization which is reinforced through peer pressure, has created a minefield for young white women where many ultimately have to struggle with mental health issues such as anorexia, bulimia and body dysmorphic condition.

How can we help young white people? How have white parents let things get so bad? Where are white young people learning these lessons? What can responsible, white parents do?

Segment 2
A Plague Upon the Land: White Men, Workplace Violence, School Shootings, Hate Crimes, and Dead Wives

White men have long struggled with a culture of violence. While the culture of violence which afflicts white men has been moderated over time, American society is still struggling with this pathological behavior. White men have long held a near monopoly on being serial killers (the BTK killer, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and domestic terrorists (e.g. the KKK, Timothy McVeigh, and the UnaBomber) but the violence seems to be shifting its focus to schools and the workplace.

During the last decade or so, from Columbine, to Northern Illinois University, to Springfield, Oregon, to a high school in Minnesota, young white men have killed dozens of people, and wounded many more in murderous rampages. Workplace violence has also seen a marked increase where it has risen several orders of magnitude during the past few decades. This has been attributed by some critics to a tumultuous economy and the pressures felt by white workers:

Other critics would point to a dangerous populism brought about by the vitriol laced, "angry white male" narratives which underlie right-wing talk radio and television. Most recently, the shotgun wielding attack on a Unitarian church by Jim David Adkisson--the assailant blamed "liberals" for all of his problems--and his penchant for right wing propaganda, would seem to support this hypothesis.

Family members are often the first victims of violence. White women and children have been imperiled by the violence of white men. Daily, it seems that there are reports of white women and/or children being kidnapped or murdered (we label this the "Peterson" syndrome), often by their spouses.

These cases of white men engaging in murderous behavior are not confined to the United States, because in Finland, a high school age boy went on a murder-shooting spree at his local school. Most notably, in Austria, Josef Fritzl was arrested after imprisoning his children in an underground bunker where he ritually abused them, and in a shocking twist, impregnated his own daughter.

Is white male violence a global crisis? What can be done to stop this open season on white women and white children? What is fueling this culture of violence? Who is to blame?

Segment 3
School is No Longer a Place for Just the ABC's: Female Teachers Are Preying Upon Their Male Students

Teachers have a sacred trust. They prepare the next generation for life and are tasked with broadening their minds and intellect. However, this sacred trust has been betrayed in High Schools and Middle Schools across the United States. In dozens of known cases, the actual count is suspected of being much higher, white female teachers are having sex with their male students. As noted here, out of the dozens and dozens of reported incidents, and with rare exceptions, most of these teacher rapists are white women in their 30s and 40s. Beyond mere experimentation or moments of weakness, these sexually exploitative relationships develop and continue over long periods of time, and subsequently do irreparable psychological harm to the young male victims they involve. In some cases, the relationships involve group sex with multiple boys, or develop into "love relationships" where the teacher steals away to a foreign country in order to continue the illicit and illegal relationship.

Why are white women pursuing teenage boys? Is this criminal behavior a result of a culture which focuses too much on the sexual desirability of young women? Are older white women feeling neglected and left out? Is this recent fetishizing of white women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s--the Sex and the City phenomenon--to blame? Are white women feeling an unhealthy pressure to become either a MILF or a Cougar?

What can schools do to protect young boys from these predators? What are the warning signs that your son is being abused by a female teacher?

Segment 4
What are White Women to do? White Men, Down-low Culture, Cruising, Sex Cults, and to Catch a Predator

White men are indulging in sexually high risk and deviant behavior. While a cottage industry has been generated by the hysteria surrounding black men on "the down low," white men and white women have also been struggling with issues of sex, intimacy, and trust. In such high profile cases as the polygamist cult raid in El Dorado, Texas where 534 children were removed because their safety was at risk, to the lesser known bestiality and zoophilia cases in Oregon (where a man died from having sex with a horse), many white males have been exhibiting pathological sexual behavior.

Not confined to the masses, white male sexual deviancy is particularly jarring and disconcerting when one examines the behavior of white male elites. In a litany of high profile cases, white politicians (Larry Craig and many others), religious figures, and businessmen have confessed to living double-lives where they maintain relationships with men and women, and often involve prostitutes. Most troubling, many of these men, such as Ted Haggard are extremely homophobic and have made careers and fortunes based upon their outspoken crusades against gay people. These white men on the DL have committed a double breach of trust with their hypocrisy: they have betrayed the public as well as their families. White men on the DL are also pursuing high-risk sex in locations such as public rest rooms and internet chat rooms. As the television show, To Catch a Predator has repeatedly revealed, white men on the DL, a definition which we expand to include those men who seek out under-age boys and girls, are willing to risk their health and livelihood, and that of their partners:

These internet predators also include pillars of the community such as doctors, teachers, and religious leaders:

What can white women do? How can they know if their partner is on the down low? What are the health risks? If you find out your husband is cruising for sex in public bathrooms or on the internet how should you intervene? Should you stay in the relationship or should you go?

Segment 5
No End in Sight: The Methamphetamine Plague that is Destroying White Communities

Methamphetamine is destroying the fabric of Red State America. This easy to obtain, highly addictive drug is tearing apart families and communities. An estimated 1.4 million people suffer from this addiction, almost all of them white, suburban and/or rural. In fact, meth is no longer confined to rural America, its reach is expanding to include every part of the United States. The rural culture of drugs is so pervasive that not even Amish communities are immune from its grasp. No longer will the suburbs offer protection from the perils of this dangerous drug, as it has already has, or will shortly be, making inroads into what were once safe, white, suburban communities. Just as some parts of the United States were almost destroyed by the crack epidemic of the 1980s, entire communities in the South and Midwest are been torn asunder by this cheap and easily obtained drug.

How should you protect your family? What are the signs your child is on meth? What should the government do? Should drugs be legalized and regulated? If you live in a meth infested area what are you doing to protect your children and family? What is your day to day life like? How do you struggle through it?

Chauncey DeVega's World of Ghetto Nerds: Woodward's 60 Minutes Interview and Our "Secret" Military Capabilities

Bob Woodward, the noted journalist who has been instrumental in exposing the questionable judgment of the Bush administration in regards to 9-11, Iraq, and the War on Terror was interviewed Sunday on 60 Minutes.

Woodward is an amazingly thorough and insightful researcher: for The War Within he compiled 150 interviews with senior officials, administration officials, and contacts within the military. While much of the attention his book and the interview will receive will undoubtedly be focused on Bush's decision making, how "the surge" succeeded, our spying on the Iraqi prime minister, and the administration's suppression of information regarding how badly the U.S. was losing the war in Iraq, there is a buried gem of information in the 60 Minutes interview with Woodward. Apparently, the United States military has developed a new technology which is so revolutionary that it will change how wars are fought. Here is the relevant excerpt from the piece:

But beyond all of that, Woodward reports, for the first time, that there is a secret behind the success of the surge: a sophisticated and lethal special operations program.

"This is very sensitive and very top secret, but there are secret operational capabilities that have been developed by the military to locate, target, and kill leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq, insurgent leaders, renegade militia leaders. That is one of the true breakthroughs," Woodward told Pelley.

"But what are we talking about here? It's some kind of surveillance? Some kind of targeted way of taking out just the people that you're looking for? The leadership of the enemy?" Pelley asked.

"I'd love to go through the details, but I'm not going to," Woodward replied.

The details, Woodward says, would compromise the program.

"For a reporter, you don’t allow much," Pelley remarked.

"Well no, it’s with reluctance. From what I know about it, it's one of those things that go back to any war, World War I, World War II, the role of the tank, and the airplane. And it is the stuff of which military novels are written," Woodward said.

"Do you mean to say that this special capability is such an advance in military technique and technology that it reminds you of the advent of the tank and the airplane?" Pelley asked.

"Yeah," Woodward said. "If you were an al Qaeda leader or part of the insurgency in Iraq, or one of these renegade militias, and you knew about what they were able to do, you'd get your ass outta town."

Here are my thoughts on what this secret weapon could be:

1. Practical Invisibility. There have long been rumors of the United States possessing an ability to make camouflage which bends light in order to conceal the user. In fact, there have been public demonstrations of this technology which have demonstrated its viability and practicality. Could the U.S. military actually have this ability? Are U.S. special operators running around in Iraq a la Predator style and targeting Al-Qaeda and other bad guys?

2. Miniature Robots and/or Nanites. There has been research done by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (in conjunction with private laboratories and universities like MIT) to develop extremely small (small as in the size of atomic particles) machines which are so tiny that they could potentially enter the human body through a hole the size of a pore. Adding further fuel to the speculation is DARPA's track record of success: the Internet; modern video game and computer technology; miniaturized electronics; microchips; etc.). Simply put, DARPA has helped to created the Information Revolution and much of the technology we use on a day to day basis. Could it be that DARPA has actually deployed nanites which are keyed to target certain individuals (perhaps based on their pheromones or other genetic markers?). Or has the U.S. military developed thinking robots? Small hunter-killers like those in the movie Screamers?

3. Remote Viewing. During the Cold War the United States and Soviets attempted to develop "psychic warriors." These individuals were trained to use paranormal and ESP techniques to locate and identify people, locations, and other targets of interest anywhere in the world. The United States ostensibly discontinued its research into remote viewing sometime in the mid 1990s, while the Russians are rumored to have continued with their own experiments. Has the CIA perfected remote viewing as a viable intelligence gathering technique? Are there teams of remote viewers in a dark recessed room at the National Security Agency visualizing the locations of terrorists and insurgents, and then directing American assets to destroy these targets?

4. Directed Energy Weapons. In other words: lasers, plasma beam weapons, or some combination thereof. Lasers have existed for decades. However, their large size has made them prohibitive as weapons (even the smallest lasers would have to be mounted on a large truck or large airliner). Given that the military has access to technology which is decades ahead of civilian technology, and generally much farther ahead of what is publicly admitted to--for example, the Stealth fighter was in service in the late 1970s before the Air Force publicly debuted it in the late 1980s. Has the U.S. military deployed these weapons in Iraq? Or are they space borne, on satellites in low orbit where they wait for an appropriate target which they will instantaneously incinerate or vaporize? Could the U.S., in combination with other assets, have deployed Special Forces teams with laser weapons, who then take the fight to the highest value targets in Iraq?

5. Smart Dust. An outgrowth of the technology used in nanites (or vica versa depending on how you look at it), this innovation consists of thousands of small sensors that can be sprayed over an area. These miniature devices can also be placed on clothing and other items. Smart dust, when activated, creates its own network which then broadcasts information to a central computer processing center. In short, imagine spreading thousands of granule sized particles in an area, particles which in turn attach themselves onto anyone in the vicinity. These people then spread the smart dust to anyone with whom they have contact. Ultimately, through smart dust you have the means to eavesdrop on an entire community. Yes, the more I think about it, the smart money is that the United States has used smart dust to monitor, identify, and target Al-Qaeda, unfriendly militia groups, and insurgents in Iraq. Frightening stuff isn't it? More so when one realizes that RFID's, the tags used by stores such as Walmart to track inventory, are cousins to Smart Dust technology...

What are your speculations (however serious or comedic) about what this weapon could be? And are you as nervous about what its capabilities are as I am? That as easily as it could be turned against the enemy of the moment, it could also be used against citizens at home?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Chauncey DeVega says: Tom, Say it isn't So!!!--Tom Brady Out for Year with Knee Injury

I am a proud New England Patriots mark (I have written about them here, here, and here). And I am not a band wagon fan as I have followed my team through the highs and the lows. Hell, I even took a chitlin' challenge when the Pats played Indy last year (I made a bet with Gordon that I would eat those nasty pig guts if my peeps lost...luckily I didn't have to eat those poop filled entrails). Yes, my commitment to the team is that great.

Tom, we will miss you. And thank the maker you didn't do a Broadway Joe and have that knee taken out for good. Till next year my friend.

Respectable Negro allies and New England Patriots fans: who should be brought in to replaced Mr. Brady? Chris Simms? Daunte? Vinny T? Get 'ol Bledsoe back? Stay with Cassel?

Courtesy of a Reader's Suggestion: Black Republicans Showing Their True Colors at the Republican National Convention

The following is one of my "black people make me sad moments."

See Black Republicans speaking with Arianna Huffington here.

Did you know that there were black minstrels who would put on the cork and pretend to be white in order to work in vaudeville--sort of a double blackface of sorts:

Am I being unfair?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

McCain and Palin Caught with their Pants Down! Sin, Sex, and the Republican National Convention

From the We Are Respectable Negroes News Network (WARNNN):

Republicans are not properly disposing of their pornography and adult movies. At least that’s the message from the Citizens for Morality and Public Decency in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The citizens group claims they found 12,000 assorted pornographic items, including adult videos, magazines, sex toys, and other sex paraphernalia disposed of outside of the hotels and buildings used to host the Republican National Convention last Thursday.

Republican convention organizers denied that the pornography belonged to their attendees. They also denied rumors that these adult titles were distributed as either party favors or door prizes at the many semi-private events held by the respective state delegations. When pressed on these questions, a spokesperson for McCain replied that these items were placed around St. Paul to carry out a “cheap political stunt.”

McCain supporters said one of the largest caches of pornographic materials were discovered by a vendor at the Xcel Convention Center following the conclusion of the Republican National Convention. The vendor supposedly found trash bags full of adult DVD’s and magazines in and near garbage bins, and turned them over to the Citizens for Morality and Public Decency.

Today, members of Citizens for Morality and Public Decency were sorting through 84 bags of pornographic material in an effort to catalog it in order to ensure that it meets new federal regulations passed by the Bush administration which are designed to prevent underage actors from performing in adult titles.

Anonymously, several members of the community group have shared with WARNNN reporters that they are especially concerned that many of the movies are “very explicit.” Offering details, our contact in the Citizens for Morality and Public Decency shared a concern that, “…many of the titles feature older men and young women, I am no prude but some of the stuff is pretty hardcore. There also seems to be lots of military themed movies as well, stuff about marines and sailors tying each other up. I was really shocked frankly because the Republicans present such a wholesome face. I would never imagine that they would watch movies like this. Some of the stuff I didn’t even understand, I had to look it up on the internet…I never knew what a MILF was, but now I unfortunately do.”

Michael Smith, spokesman for the Republican National Convention Committee, released a statement saying that people should applaud the fact that thousands of pornographic items were recovered from the streets of St. Paul and are now safely away from where children may discover them. But, Smith has some concerns regarding the legality of the Citizens for Morality and Public Decency’s actions.

“They wrongfully took leftover bundles of property that supposedly belong to guests and attendees at the Republican Convention to play out a cheap political stunt which calls into question our morality. This action shows they have no credibility.”

Republicans have long faced charges of being hypocrites on issues of morality and ethics. McCain has faced attacks on his personal integrity since the beginning of the race from critics who point out his role in the Keating 5 scandal, his flip-flopping on abortion rights, and his marital infidelity. So severe have been these charges that McCain has set up a Web site specifically designed to fight such attacks.

Anticipating the rebuttal that these materials were placed around St. Paul by the Obama campaign, the Democrats released a statement Friday calling any assertions that they planted these X-rated and pornographic materials at the Republican convention site “hysterical.”

McCain said Friday that the Democrats and groups like the Citizens for Morality and Public Decency are trying to make the election a morality contest, and that “what they’re really saying is ‘we’re going to try to scare people about McCain. So we’re going to say that you know, ‘Maybe he’s a pervert or we’re going to say that, you know, he hangs out with strippers or that he has lust in his heart.’”

U.S. Code says the proper method for disposing of pornography is in fact burning, provided it is “no longer useable for its intended purpose.”

The Adult Video News, which produces a magazine and website dedicated to the adult film industry, says on its Web site that pornography and adult materials can also be put in the trash, when they are “worn, damaged or tattered beyond repair.”

Friday, September 5, 2008

This Respectable Negro's Feelings Have Been Hurt--Mr. McCain and the Republicans Once More Exclude Us Poor Negroes from the American Narrative

In this country, we believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential, from the boy whose descendants arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers. We're all God's children, and we're all Americans...

John McCain, Acceptance Speech, RNC Convention, 2008

Mr. McCain has again made clear his party's ambivalence to Black folks (as though it was hidden). This is hardly a surprise given the Republican Party's half-hearted courtship of black voters, and the calculus that blacks are not a viable part of the Republican coalition. Granting this dynamic, that politics is chess not checkers (one of my favorite phrases...I like to remind folks whenever I use one of my ever brilliant turns of the English language), and furthermore that McCain is reaching out to Hispanics and Latinos--especially those nearly white Hispanics looking to be fully inducted into Whiteness--his nod to them is to be expected.

But, can't McCain throw Black Americans at least a little love as being a people who are central to the national narrative? I, like you, know the answer. McCain cannot include Black Americans as "Americans" in his halcyon infused imagining of America because our very inclusion would detract from the Republican's grand narrative this election cycle (and of many previous), that Black people are really alien, hostile, foreign, and outside of the American mainstream: especially if they are named Obama and Michelle.

Black Americans are a people without history it seems--out of time, not rooted in place. I guess we must simply accept that the African presence in the New World, as well as the black "American" presence in the Colonies prior to the founding are just inconvenient facts for this White conservative framing of American history (these are the moments where I really miss Brother Ivan Van Sertima). In their eyes we have no history. Ignorance is indeed a comfortable, well worn blanket isn't it?

I wonder, what would happen to McCain's and the Right's narrative if they included a little bit of their own hidden history(ies)? Would the White narrative be destroyed if those inconvenient facts of White history (that time before "White" people existed, when they were just Scots Irish, Irish, Brits, Slavs, French, etc., and not yet "White" people in mass) were included in their framework?

Or would the Right and Conservatives simply include this history as another way of claiming that slavery is something to be gotten over? Would they (re)assert their misreadings of history with their tired appeal to the White ethnic myth, this idea that the Irish and Italians "had it hard" but then prospered, so why can't Black people?

Some quick thoughts:

1. Looking at the Washington Post's piece on how the GOP has abandoned Black voters, how do black conservatives reconcile their loyalty to this party?

2. Thinking about black Republicans again, and especially of the ones at the convention, how did they feel? Were they scared to death by all those U.S.A. chants? As we respectable negroes have pointed out earlier, if you are Black and hear U.S.A. chanted (and you aren't at a sporting event) you best to get the hell out of there, cause a lynching is a coming. Or do they feel emboldened and excited? That they are included in this moment of patriotic zeal and excitement, that the Republicans in house are "color-blind?" {insert laughter here}

3. Or, do the black Republicans at the GOP convention feel special and privileged? Do they get extra attention? It seems they certainly focused on the same 10 people over and over again, but do they have groupies? Is there a special sticker that white conference attendees get if they slept with the token negro? Or maybe there is a contest where the winner gets a t-shirt that reads "I went to St. Paul and all I got was this lousy t-shirt...But I did have group sex with one of the black republican delegates while wearing a Sarah Palin thong and a John McCain mask!"

4. As
Field Negro mentioned earlier this week, what was the over/under on the number of non-white attendees at the convention? I would guess 50 in house and 10 shown on television. Your guess?

5. Related: did you see the older black delegate wearing the red shirt, suspenders, and (I believe) train conductors hat? Old man Moses/Uncle Ruckus's impassioned howls and screams could be heard ever so often over the orgiastic moans and clapping of the rest of the audience.

6. What other interesting people of color (excluding the really dark skinned Indian guy they kept showing, because as we know Indians are really Caucasian/Aryan) did you see on the convention broadcast?

7. No, I am not engaging in petty identity politics where I have some artificial barometer for Black authenticity. As readers of this blog know I/we are pretty pragmatic in our politics, but I have to go back to self-interest and the idea that a party should at least make an effort to include me in the big tent if I am going to offer them my allegiance. Re: black Republicans, and please don't do that party of Lincoln nonsense, why are you a Republican? How did you feel watching that convention? Are you a Republican because you are rich? If so, that makes sense and your honesty is refreshing. Or are you a Republican for some other reason?

8. But then again, when talking about black republicans I write "black" as "black" as opposed to the more correct and politically infused "Black." It is a cheap, yet subtle shot. And no, I won't apologize.

9. And don't think for a moment that I dislike Black Republicans:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Chauncey DeVega Says: A Public Service Announcement for McCain-Palin Supporters

Let no person say that I lack love and concern for my fellow man. Here, I am speaking directly to the Republicans at the convention, to the soccer moms who haven fallen in love with Sarah Palin, to the ditto heads and Fox News watchers, and finally to any of you in "the heartland" who are intoxicated by the right wing populism on display at the Republican Convention. Republicamericans, I am issuing this warning so that you can take the necessary steps to end your addiction to the dangerous (and quite addictive) smorgasbord being cooked up this week by the presumptive Republican presidential and vice presidential nominees John McCain and Sarah Palin.

My Republican friends, I am concerned by the fact that while your belly may be full following your gorging at the Palin-McCain buffet, that your hearts (and minds) will remain empty. In the same way that I have implored others to moderate their intake of the Obama-aid, I also urge you all, for the sake of your collective health, and the long term well-being of your families to pull yourself away from the table, to look in the mirror, and to ask yourselves, "can't I do better? Is the Palin-McCain buffet hurting me or helping me?" Remember my friends, while in the moment you may be enjoying the gastronomical bliss of the right wing populist buffet at which you have seated yourself, that in the long term, you still have to confront a set of difficult and terrible truths couched in the form of two questions: Are you eating because you are unhappy? Are you unhappy because you are eating?

Heed the wisdom of brother Larry in the following video: does he not speak for your condition?

Remember his immortal words, "I love to eat. I wasn't looking at the after effects, the side effects, the repercussions, the side kicks...This is me and my world...I love my food, I appreciate my food. Once you eat everything goes away, all the headaches, all the pain, all my misery. I am not saying everything is gonna be alright, everything is gonna be alright, this is like home sweet home, another dimension, a twilight zone."

Familiar isn't it? Republicamerica, as you watch McCain's speech tonight please place brother Larry and the power of his example in the forefront of your hearts and minds. Hopefully, Brother Larry's example will help you work towards breaking your dangerous addiction to the McCain-Palin buffet of (hollow and false) right wing populism. If you can't break this addiction for yourselves, please break it for the sake of your children and families.

Sarah Palin: American Hero, Leader, and Visionary

In watching the Republican National Convention, I realized how great Sarah Palin is. Gordon and Zora are wrong, dead wrong on this one: Sarah is a great American. The audience in attendance at the RNC convention, with their energy and excitement have won this respectable negro over to the cause of this greatest and most wonderful of vice presidential candidates. Yes, there is a bit of nostalgia for Sarah Palin in this negro's heart. Yes, she reminds me of the great heroines of days gone by, women who are rare in an era of triumphant political correctness. You Sarah have won my heart because you are a living reminder of the way that women should be--standing by your man and having his back in a bar fight...or even a wrestling ring.

Enter: Sarah Palin, the GOP's very own Sally the Farmer's Daughter. Sarah, this old country negro is officially smitten by you.

Chauncey DeVega's World of Ghetto Nerds: A Formal Request for the Expulsion of Cowboy Troy from the Tribe of Black Folk

I have not argued for the discommendation of a Negro since Clarence Thomas's confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, events have come to pass which have once more forced my hand in this direction.

Because of his despicable actions during the 2008 Republican Convention, I hereby, according to the by-laws of the respectable negro council, submit country music singer/rapper Cowboy Troy for excommunication from the tribe of honorable negro warriors.

Per the following designated categories, Cowboy Troy through his actions has shed the last remnants of personal honor and therefore must suffer discommendation because of the following indicated offense:

___ Driving Miss Daisy

___ Bagger Vancing

___ Clarence Thomas Lap Dogging

___ O.J.'ing

___ Blatant Victomology a.k.a. the Jesse Jackson Offense

X Black Lap Dogging before a Conservative Audience

___ Consistent and Chronic Lack of Race Pride

___ Cooning and Lawn Jockeying a.k.a the Crime of Committing the Flava Flav

As a senior member of the We Are Respectable Negroes leadership council, I need the agreement of one other founding member, and the votes of 5 other members of the respectable negro tribe (or alternatively, 4 lifetime members and one white honorable ally) to complete Cowboy Troy's expulsion. If I have indicated the incorrect offense, or if Cowboy Troy should suffer discommendation because he has instead violated some other unstated and auxiliary regulation not listed above, please indicate this discrepancy according to our established rules and procedures.

Respectfully submitted,

Chauncey DeVega

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

An Angry Reader Responds: A Case for Sarah Palin

The following is a letter that was sent to us in response to our recent postings on Gov. Sarah Palin. It seems that we’ve stepped on a few important toes in her home country – yes, the state of Alaska is so out of touch with the rest of the United States that I have to refer to it as a foreign land.

The writer of the letter has made it her business to highlight Governor Palin’s hands-on experience as "an executive" in contrast to an “entitled” Barack Obama who is clearly a product of Affirmative Action and corrupt Chicago politics. Apparently, the writer of this letter was part of Senator McCain’s initial vetting committee.

Let no one say that we respectable negroes do not acknowledge the value of dissent. Read an excerpt for yourselves ….

Dear Negro,

… Governor Sarah Palin made history on Dec. 4, 2006, when she took office. As the 11th governor of Alaska, she is the first woman to hold the office. Since taking office, her top priorities have been resource development, education and workforce development, public health and safety, and transportation and infrastructure development.

Prior to her election as governor, Palin served two terms on the Wasilla City Council and two terms as the mayor/manager of Wasilla. During her tenure, she reduced property tax levels while increasing services and made Wasilla a business friendly environment, drawing in new industry.

Sarah Heath Palin arrived in Alaska with her family in 1964, when her parents came to teach school in Skagway. She received a bachelor of science degree in communications-journalism from the prestigious University of Idaho in 1987. Palin, who graduated from Wasilla High School in 1982 in the top 80% percentile of her class, has lived in Skagway, Eagle River and Wasilla.

She is married to Todd Palin, who is a lifelong Alaskan, a production operator on the North Slope and a four-time champion of the Iron Dog, the world's longest snowmachine race.

Todd and Sarah fish in Bristol Bay with their children – Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig. Through Todd’s Yup'ik grandmother, Alaska’s Native heritage plays an important role in their family. Indeed, as the great grand-children of a Native American princess, the Palin children have an intimate appreciation of our nation's diversity.

Palin is a lifetime member of the NRA and enjoys hunting, fishing, Alaska history, and all that Alaska's great outdoors has to offer.

I have taken the liberty of listing for you some examples of the complicated issues that Palin has faced as an elected representative. With her all-American background and her proven track record in overcoming challenges, Palin is clearly better equipped than Barack to guide our nation in these difficult times and to meet the needs of Americans.

The postings on your blog only serve to demonstrate the ignorance of your people. I hope that the information I offer will help you to see the value of a true American like Palin.


A Proud Alaska Republican

Energy Policy

On June 24, 2008, at 1000 hours, the owner of Performance Yamaha in Wasilla contacted Wasilla Police to report that several gallons of gasoline had been stolen over the past month. The value of the fuel stolen is approximately $1,350. Anyone with information regarding these thefts is asked to contact the Wasilla Police Department at 352-5401 or Mat-Su Crime Stoppers at 745-3333. The investigation continues.

On July 16, 2008, at 1026 hours, Wasilla Police responded to Performance Yamaha regarding a theft. The complainant, Josh Estes, age 26, of Wasilla, stated that unknown person(s) had stolen 60 gallons of gasoline during the weekend. The investigation continues.

On July 14, 2008, at 1339 hours, Wasilla Police responded to Rent-A-Center for a report of Criminal Mischief and a Theft. Employees reported that unknown person(s) had cut the fuel line on one of their delivery trucks and took approximately 26 gallons of fuel. The investigation continues.

Alcohol & Drug Policy

On July 9, 2008, at 1651 hours, Wasilla Police received a call from Fred Meyer Loss Prevention Agent, Gary Swett, reporting that he had a shoplifter in custody. Roger Harvey, age 21, of Palmer was placed under citizen's arrest for stealing $31 worth of merchandise from Fred Meyer. Harvey was also found to be in possession of illegal drugs. Harvey was transported to the Mat-Su Pretrial facility and remanded accordingly.

On July 12, 2008, at approximately 0225 hours, Wasilla Police conducted a traffic stop on a 1999 green Honda. A subsequent investigation found probable cause to believe that Aubrey Robison, age 19, of Wasilla, had consumed alcohol and was under 21 years of age. Robison was issued a summons to appear in court on the charge. Further investigation found probable cause to believe that James Woodin, age 20, of Wasilla was in possession of marijuana and he was issued a summons to appear in court on that charge.

On September 1, 2008, at 2217 hours, Wasilla Police responded to a report of a theft from the Brown Jug Liquor Store at the ShopRite Mall. The suspect, Pavel Pukharev, age 18, of Wasilla, was later located on Foothills Road near Cloverleaf. Pukharev had taken a 750 ml bottle of whiskey and was later identified and placed under citizen's arrest by one of the employees. As a result, Pukharev was transported to the Mat-Su Pretrial facility and remanded for Theft in the 4th degree. Pukharev is also being charged with Person Under 21 on Licensed Premise and Minor Possessing Alcohol.

Prescription Drug Benefits

On June 24, 2008, at 1549 hours, Susanne Banfield, age 37, of Wasilla, reported that on June 6th an unknown person had picked up her prescription pain medication from the Wal-Mart Pharmacy. The investigation continues.

On July 14, 2008, at 1953 hours, Lorie Lottier, age 36, of Wasilla, reported that on July 10th, someone had stolen her medication out of a vehicle while she was shopping at Wal-Mart. The investigation continues.


On July 5, 2008, at approximately 0650 hours, Wasilla Police responded to a car fire at a residence on Success. Upon their arrival, police met with the owner Kelly McManus who stated that someone had thrown a firecracker into the front seat of his 1987 Ford van causing a fire in the front seat. The Mat-Su Fire Department was called out to extinguish the fire. Damage is estimated at $1,200. The investigation continues.

Welfare Policy

On August 29, 2008, at 0436 hours, Wasilla Police were dispatched to a collision involving a vehicle and a moose at mile 2 of Knik Goose Bay Road. On arrival police found that James B. Clark, age 51, of Florida, first hit the moose with his rental truck and then Cass T. Wallis, age 43, of Wasilla, hit the moose with his vehicle. No humans were injured and all drivers were wearing seatbelts. The moose was salvaged by a charity.

On September 2, 2008, at approximately 0330 hours, Wasilla Police received a request to conduct a welfare check on a male who was in the middle of the road on the Parks Highway near Lucas Avenue and appeared to be intoxicated. A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Jon Howard, age 47, of Palmer, for disorderly conduct for throwing a large rock at the police. Howard was transported to the Mat-Su Pretrial facility where Magistrate Wielkopolski set bail at $500 cash or corporate.

Housing and Urban Development

15.04.020 Limitations. Housing and urban development powers assumed at this time are limited to the development of a senior citizens housing project. (Prior code § 13.18.020)

Telecommunications and National Security

On June 24, 2008, at 2017 hours, Wasilla Police responded to Wendy's Restaurant for a report of a theft. While investigating the incident, officers were given a cell phone by witnesses to the theft that had been dropped by the suspect. Witnesses also identified two women and one man as the subjects involved. While officers were speaking with witnesses, one of the suspect women involved, later identified as Lisa Sheldon, age 32, of Wasilla, called the cell and thought she was talking to another of the suspects, but was actually talking to one of the officers. As a result, officers were able to make contact with Sheldon at a park and questioned her about the incident. Sheldon falsely identified herself as her sister and lied to the officers about the identity of the suspect. Once Sheldon's name was confirmed, officers were advised that she was currently wanted on a $2,000 failure to appear warrant. As a result, Sheldon was placed under arrest for the warrant, in addition to Hindering Prosecution in the 2nd degree and Providing False Information. Sheldon was remanded at the Mat-Su Pretrial facility and bail was set at $1,000 cash for each count. The male suspect is still at large and the case is currently under investigation.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Both Clinton and Obama have eagerly donned the mantle of identity politics. A Clinton victory wouldn’t just be a victory for one woman, it would be a victory for little girls everywhere. An Obama victory would be about completing the dream, keeping the dream alive, and so on.…

Clinton’s fallback position is that neither she nor Obama should be judged as representatives of their out-groups. They should be judged as individuals.

But the entire theory of identity politics was that we are not mere individuals. We carry the perspectives of our group consciousness. Our social roles and loyalties are defined by race and gender. It’s a black or female thing. You wouldn’t understand.

David Brooks 01/15/2008


The pillars of American liberalism -- the Democratic Party, the universities and the mass media -- are obsessed with biological markers, most particularly race and gender. They have insisted, moreover, that pedagogy and culture and politics be just as seized with the primacy of these distinctions and with the resulting "privileging" that allegedly haunts every aspect of our social relations.

They have gotten their wish. This primary campaign represents the full flowering of identity politics. It's not a pretty picture. Geraldine Ferraro says Obama is only where he is because he's black. Professor Orlando Patterson says the 3 a.m. phone call ad is not about a foreign policy crisis but a subliminal Klan-like appeal to the fear of "black men lurking in the bushes around white society."

Good grief. The optimist will say that when this is over, we will look back on the Clinton-Obama contest, and its looming ugly endgame, as the low point of identity politics, and the beginning of a turning away. The pessimist will just vote Republican.

Charles Krauthammer 03/12/2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rules of Inequality

With the news of John McCain's savvy selection of a vice-presidential running mate, Obama strategists must consider the following:

Y = % White Women Who Will Vote for Obama

X1 = Desire to See a Woman in the White House

X2 = Desire to See a Black Man in the White House

X3 = Political Party Affiliation

% White Women Voting for Obama =

f(X) = X1 + X2 + X3

Given the Inequalities,

X1 > X2, X1 > X3, X3 > X2,

What percentage of white, female voters will support Barack Obama in the upcoming election?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Complete the Joke: Barack Obama is the Democratic Nominee for President and...

We have all told one version or another of this joke: what happens when a Black man is nominated for president?

Congrats Bro'Bama! Can you dig it!

We respectable negroes certainly can. What are some other black man as president jokes we should add to our repertoire?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Possible Obama Assassination Plot Revealed...Again

We are going to do some analysis of the Democratic Convention in a bit, but this breaking story deserves some attention. It seems that we are having a Ground Hog day moment--again.

Channeling Negrodamus is exhausting. For the sake of our health (and Bro'Bama's) I do hope this is the last time we have to call attention to a story such as this one:

From the AP:

Police investigate possible plot to kill Obama at Invesco

by Judi Villa April M. Washington

Authorities are investigating a possible assassination plot against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

At least four people have been arrested in connection with a possible plot to kill Obama at his Thursday night acceptance speech at Invesco Field at Mile High, according to CBS4 News. The suspects are being held on either drug or weapons charges.

Aurora police arrested a longtime drug user Sunday afternoon during a routine traffic stop where the man was seen "weaving," sources said. Three possible other accomplices also were arrested, according to police.

Police found four weapons, including two rifles and two handguns, in a rented pickup.

That arrest then led authorities to a second man staying at the Cherry Creek Hotel at 600 South Colorado Blvd in Glendale. When authorities knocked on the man's door, they say he jumped out of his sixth floor window, landing on an awning and running from the scene. They say they soon found him with a broken ankle. He too was arrested.

CBS4 reported one of the suspects told authorities they were "going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a ... rifle … sighted at 750 yards."

Law-enforcement sources told CBS4 that one of the suspects "was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama. He responded in the affirmative."

One of the suspects has been identified as 28-year-old Tharin Gartrell.

Police found a rifle in the man's rented pickup and methamphetamine. The man allegedly made comments about Sen. Obama, but sources wouldn't say what they were.

It was enough, however, to make police believe the man might have been plotting to somehow harm Obama.

A second source told CBS4 News that they are concerned they may have come upon a possible "assasination plot."

The Secret Service, ATF and U.S. Attorney's Office are investigating.

Brian Maass of CBS4 News contributed to this report.

Color Matching Game Answers

So, nobody wanted to play our matching game, but that’s OK. I had fun playing. Here are my picks for notable black people who best represent each shade of black:

You’re Black? = Soledad Obrien

High Yella = Harold Ford

Radical Redbone = Angela Davis

Paper Bag aka Bougie Beige = Muhammad Ali

Café Accompli = Michelle Obama

Mocha Mania = Nia Long

Mississippi Mud = Denzel Washington

Cackalack Blacksoil = Clarence Thomas

Ebony/Jet = Jack Johnson

Blurple = Bill Duke

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Some Sunday Afternoon Funnies...Featuring Redd Foxx

I love Youtube because one never knows what they can find. I was looking for clips of Harlem Nights (because one never really knows when a clip from Harlem Nights will come in handy), and I stumbled up these comedy gems.

Laugh and enjoy:

Redd Foxx had the perfect solution to our political dilemmas in the Middle East. Random thought: isn't it nice to see a brown aka cafe accompli Michael Jackson?

The roast of Frank Sinatra is priceless. Random thought and question: I wonder how many in the audience got the subtext of Lawanda Page's (Aunt Esther) jokes? Do any of you know the inside Hollywood joke about three of the men on stage?

Redd Foxx on midgets, or as we now call them "little people":

'Nuff said.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It seems that Joe Biden and not Corky will be Obama's Vice President--Oh Well, Maybe We Will Have Better Luck with Our McCain Pick...

Well, Barack Obama didn't pick Corky for Vice President--still the best choice in our opinion--but he used several of our guidelines in the selection process (Biden is honest and straightforward; he is a white male; and he says "impolitic" things).

At least Obama is now insulated from charges of playing the race card as Biden does channel America's racial id and has said on previous occasions that:

1. "I've had a great relationship [with Indian Americans]," Biden said. "In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."

2. "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."

We think you made a good move Bro'Bama...and we won't charge you for the counsel--this time.

Now the question is, will McCain heed our advice as well? Please, Mr. McCain, for all that is good in the world, please bring on the fetus or Reagan zombie as your VP!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Gordon Gartrelle says: Play the We Are Respectable Negroes’ Color Matching Game!

I recently had my place painted, so I’ve been looking at nothing but color samples for weeks. As I pored over the bizarre but creative color names (lazy afternoon?), I had a stroke of inspiration. Brilliant minds have wrestled with the implications of colorism in America, and we are grateful for their contributions. The problem? Their color distinctions aren’t stratified enough. What’s worse, these rough distinctions (e.g. “light, medium, dark”) have no flair.

Thus, in the spirit of Benjamin Moore and Wu Tang, we would like to provide a public service to Social Scientists and any others who may be interested in race: a formal, yet playful classification of black folks’ various hues, complete with punchy, memorable names. Who knows? Given our recent discussion about light-skinned educational and political elites, perhaps this classification tool can aid Affirmative Action for darker black folks:

Now that we have our color categories, I want to invite our readers to play The Matching Game. To play, simply choose a few black people who best represent each color and post them in your comments. We’ve suggested some prominent black people below. Of course, feel free to choose your own color representatives or create your own color categories. Early next week, we will reveal our lists (including where each of us falls on the color spectrum).

**Clarence Thomas**Morgan Freeman**Gwen Ifill**Biggie**Jasmine Guy** Jay Z **Soledad Obrien**Ben Jealous**Angela Bassett**Jesse Jackson**Reverend Wright** **Julian Bond** Don Cheadle**Lena Horne**Denzel Washington**50 Cent**Vin Diesel **Beyonce**Miles Davis **Harold Ford**Wesley Snipes**Muhammad Ali** Oprah **John McWhorter**Malcolm X**Nia Long**Angela Davis**Common**Will Smith **Stanley Crouch**Flava Flav** Michael Eric Dyson**OJ**Whoopie Goldberg/Lil Wayne (has anyone ever seen them both in the same room?)** Halle Berry**Michelle Obama **Barack Obama**

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gordon Gartrelle Says: The Evangelical Conservative’s Guide to Choosing McCain’s VP

I feel kinda bad for the evangelical right. Even though their cultural influence is as strong as ever, they aren’t doing so well politically.

To hear them tell it, Barack Hussein Obama, a black and a secret Muslim, has a shot to be the leader of our United States (thanks a lot liberal media!) Not only would he swear in on the Quran and change the Constitution to force our children to pray to Mecca five times a day, he would stack the Supreme Court with activist judges who would facilitate the Holocaust of abortion, and allow Islamo-fascists to nuke the Holy Land.

John McCain wasn’t their first choice for President of the United States, but when these conservatives consider the alternative, the choice is clear: electing McCain to office is the fundamental responsibility of every evangelical zealot.

Given that McCain isn’t one of them, and has gone on record as not respecting evangelicals, devoted Christians and lifelong Republican have been hoping that McCain would throw them a bone by choosing a VP with strong Christian conservative credentials. But these conservatives are troubled by some of the names being floating for McCain’s VP. Let me break down the choices and the causes for alarm:

Charlie Crist
Republicans must win Florida again, so this might seem like an excellent choice. Plus, Crist’s youth and good looks would offset McCain’s biggest disadvantage. The problem? Crist is queerer than a 3 dollar bill.

Bobby Jindal
He is of Indian descent, so to evangelicals, that means he is from the Middle East, and is therefore secretly Muslim. They are probably checking Jindal’s Passport to see if he is even in the country legally.

Rudy Giuliani
Jesus gave him the power to singlehandedly protect the country after 9-11, but Giuliani enjoys cross-dressing a little too much, and he lived with gay roommates. He is also a fornicator who cheated on his wife.

Mitt Romney
Hmmm. He’s Christian…kinda. Conservative, yes, but even Christian conservative nutjobs think that his sect is too weird. On the plus side, his Church was openly racist until 1978. Way to hold out!

Tom Ridge
Pro choice…Next?

Joe Lieberman
Are you kidding? Pro choice, a Democrat, and he’s Jewish! You might as well stab baby Jesus with a sharpened dreidel.

If these people won’t work, who will? Allow me to offer some possibilities:

Larry the Cable Guy
A God fearing American if I ever saw one. Just an authentic, down-to earth guy. One of the few superstars who speaks out against Hollywood’s PC agenda. He is a straight shooter who you want to have a beer with. Larry tells it like it is and would take it to Obama and other Muslims so McCain won’t have to get his hands dirty. Hey, if Fred Thompson can be a major player, why can’t Larry?

Reagan’s Corpse
Anti-union, anti-gay, pro-apartheid, pro-America. The ultimate conservative, dead or alive. Prop up his shriveled corpse Weekend at Bernie’s style. Half of the Republicans probably don’t even know that he’s dead.

The Shroud of Turin
Could Evan Bayh or Tim Kaine defeat the Shroud of Turin in a debate?

Random Fetus
If McCain wants to show how serious he is about the notion that humans have human rights from the moment of conception, what better way than to make a fetus his VP?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chauncey DeVega says: On the Plight of Mixed-Race Children---Can Anyone Help These Poor Tragic Mulattoes?

There are some bad adolescent behaviors that whites do more than blacks (like drinking and smoking), and there are other bad adolescent behaviors that blacks do more than whites (watching TV, fighting, getting sexually transmitted diseases). Mixed-race kids manage to be as bad as whites on the white behaviors and as bad as blacks on the black behaviors. Mixed-race kids act out in almost every way measured in the data set.

From the New York Times article "The Plight of Mixed-Race Children" by Steven Levitt.

Sometimes the powers that be make this stuff all too easy.

My position on multiracial identity and the multiracial political movement is well documented. I am deeply concerned about the creation of a coloured class in this country, a buffer race, like in Brazil or Apartheid era South Africa into which "mixed-race" people can "graduate." As we argued here before, race is a social construct with some biological basis, so ultimately the idea of a mixed-race identity is non-nonsensical because there are no "pure" races. Thus, it presupposes difference where none exists and suffers from a crippling ahistoricism, i.e. there is nothing new or unique or unprecedented about these identities.

Moreover, and as impolitic as it may sound, the real force behind efforts to create a "bi-racial" or "multi-racial" political category, a category which exists apart from blackness, is driven by the desire of white parents, often single white mothers, to access some degree of white privilege for their kids. Ultimately, the positions held by the lightskinned girls, Association of Multiethnic Americans, and Generations Mixed's of the world, is one that is self-fetishizing, a look we're special...and magical...and different from "those" "regular" black people (to the degree these tragic mulattoes even identity with the black community) type of celebratory identity politics.

As Gordon Gartrelle said in response to our early posts on this very subject, "race messes us all up," and biracials are just messed up differently. Nevertheless, as the old saying goes, "if you are white you are alright, if you are light step ahead, and if you are black get back." While granting that there is a "rational" calculus for running away from blackness, what is so disturbing to this respectable negro is how this decision to distance oneself from negritude is masked and hidden behind such pathetic, narcissistic pleadings as "I shouldn't have to choose, I want to identity with every part of my identity" or the equally sad claim that, "I am 1/4 Indian, 1/8 Scots Irish, 1/8 Italian, 1/16 Inuit, 1/16 Cuban, and 1/4 Black, why can't I be all of these things?" To which I may add, these multiple identities often represent choices that are made quite selectively and strategically: as in "If I want a scholarship I am black, but don't expect me to have a sense of group loyalty to, or kinship with, black folk." And you know what? If I hear these rationalizations again I will insert hand into throat in order to induce vomiting.

For all of these reasons, and apart from the admiration I have for the authors of Freakonomics (any book which can simultaneously be on the top of the New York Time's bestseller list and be sold in Walmart and Price Costco is good by me), I simply love reading empirically based arguments about race and behavior which "wink" at the reader. Here, the wink is a pretty clear one: look at how messed up these self-identified "bi-racial" people really are. But to really get the humor one needs to unpack the actual article which can be found here. It isn't perfect by any means, and the conclusion is really a mea culpa which limits the range of findings, but there are some great moments and insights.

Some select passages:

1. The first relevant dimension is whether one bases the classification on the responses of the parents or the child. The second relevant dimension for classifying mixed race children is how “strict” or “inclusive” one is in defining who is mixed race. Our preferred definition is one that is child-based and strict. We use a childbased definition both because data on fathers are often missing, and even if a male guardian is present, it is impossible in our data to determine whether he is the biological father.16 A childbased approach is more direct, but relies on the child’s self-identification. Under our preferred “strict” definition at the child level, an individual is considered race A if and only if he consistently says he is race A whenever he is observed in the data. If there are any inconsistencies across waves, we code the race as missing. Using this approach we obtain 304 black-white mixed children; but we are likely to understate the number of mixed race adolescents in the data.

Thought and Comment: So, these children are actually self-identifying as "mixed-race." This throws a bit of a wrinkle into the plan because this identity is by definition anomalous and contingent on environment and background. How many "mixed-race" people choose to identity as black (or brown or white)? Are these children just outliers? What is special and particular about anyone who self-selects into this category? Is it perhaps a signal that the person is either profoundly at peace with themselves or profoundly conflicted? Wouldn't it be interesting to study discordant pairings, i.e where the parent says the child is one identity and the child gives a different response? Wouldn't it also be a rich project to study HAPA's in California and Hawaii who self-identify as white? Or to study black Creoles in Louisiana?

2. Although generally not statistically significantly different, mixed race children do worse on most of the psychological dimensions explored. The greatest observed difference is with respect to whether the child perceives his father as caring, which mixed race children do significantly less. Interestingly, blacks tend to be more content on most dimensions relative to whites and mixed race children. The exception to this finding is when asked about their chances of surviving to age 35.

Thought and Comment: Ah ha! I knew we black folk were well-adjusted. Like Jewish folk, our sense of humor has sustained us as a people. And we are happier than white folks--I always say that the privileged manufacture reasons to be unhappy. Interestingly, mixed-race children see their fathers as being less caring. Could this be because many of the fathers are not present? Where are the fathers? Did they break up because of family disapproval of inter-racial dating? And more generally, what does this mean for how the identities of these children will form? If the father is not white, how is this child learning about their raced identity? By extension, this plays directly into my theory about multi-racial identity as mom's way of trying to connect with her child through an effort to pass along some white privilege under the banner of asserting a "biracial" or "multiracial" identity for her child.

3. Because mixed race adolescents have an outside option, they must go to greater lengths to demonstrate their affiliation with the group; one way of demonstrating solidarity is to go to extremes in carrying out group-sanctioned misbehavior.

Thought and Comment: I thought young people had it hard in general, but this is a one-two punch. Poor tragic mulatto children do apparently have to be bad in the way that black kids are bad and bad in the way white kids are bad. Result: years of therapy. Question: what about parenting and local group norms? What about class? And isn't there lots of variability within groups in terms of behavior, what constitutes "good" and "bad"? Just thinking aloud.

4. It is important to note that when there are few blacks present, the costs of acting black for mixed race adolescents is lower. For example, fighting is one aspect of behavior more associated with blacks than whites. If blacks are more experienced fighters than whites, than it is less costly for a mixed race child to prove he can fight when the only opponents are whites. This force works in the opposite direction of conformity.

Thought and Comment: Huh? I thought it was Mexicans and Latinos who were the best fighters? I guess I am just out of step.

5. In contrast, in the Roy model, when there are few blacks around, mixed race children can have a comparative advantage in black behaviors, inducing them to act particularly “black.” Empirically, the evidence on this point favors the Roy model over conformity.

Thought and Comment: Another light bulb moment. I have personally seen this phenomenon in action. I cannot tell you how many mixed-race kids I have witnessed going through the not-black, to blacker than thou, to self-consciously mixed-race, to I am going to perform blackness for my white friends--they are an ambassador you know--transformation, yet who simultaneously harbor a deep fear of and resentment towards "real" black folks. This transformation is particularly common among Ivy and elite educated, young, mixed-race people. In these cases it usually involves a discovery of hip hop and b-boy culture, an embrace of post-racial politics, and a hairstyle which alternates between a wild 'fro (to signal he is black, plus women like to touch it) and a signifying set of cornrows.

6. Broadly summarizing, the data on mixed race black-white children suggests that they grow up in home environments that are similar to blacks, have academic achievement in between that of whites and blacks, but engage in much more risky behaviors and are slightly worse off psychologically.

Thought and Comment: Like we said earlier, race messes us all up and tragic mulattoes are just messed up differently. It seems that thanks to Steve Levitt we now finally have an explanation for the bad behaviors of the Halle Berry's, Mariah Carey's, Vin Diesel's, and Slash's of the world. But a mystery still remains: how do we explain the unbalanced behaviors of the Britney Spears's, Paris Hilton's, Amy Winehouse's and Kim Kardashian's of the world?