mdawkins's blog

Who's Afraid of Health Care Reform?

...full text also available on Truthdig and Huffington Post

After a weekend of protests over reform, the Obama administration has, in fact, created a change that many Americans can now see and feel. The new bill, though imperfect, represents progress in a new direction. However, it seems that for this step forward some Americans have taken two steps back.

2010 Census: Stressed Out of the Box borrowed from Wordpress.Com
...full text also found on The Huffington Post

Robert M. Groves, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, sent me a letter today. Mr. Groves told me that my 2010 Census form will be arriving sometime next week and that my "response is important. Results from the 2010 Census will be used to help each community get its fair share of government funds for highways, schools, health facilities and many other programs." According to the Bureau, census data directly affect how more than $200 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated. The letter went on to stress the importance of "a complete and accurate census" as an issue of fairness to my "community." After reading this letter I have a question for Mr. Groves: Is the U.S. Census fair to me?

Passing as Mixed Race borrowed from Official L'Autre Dumas website
...full text also found on The Huffington Post and OpenSalon.Com

Alexandre Dumas has always been one of my favorite writers. Works like The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo and Georges took me on countless adventures in worlds and times much different from my own. But there’s a kinship I’ve always felt with the author despite our differences in gender, nationality and history—being of mixed race. Dumas was the grandson of a freed Haitian slave and a French nobleman. When describing his racial profile to a man who insulted him for being different he’s reported to have said, “My father was a mulatto, my grandfather was a Negro, and my great-grandfather a monkey. You see, Sir, my family starts where yours ends." Though my own background is different from Dumas’s, and feels even more complex, that multiracial kinship is one of the reasons why I look forward to the U.S. release of the new biopic that opened in Paris on February 10th, L’Autre Dumas, or The Other Dumas.

Terrorism By Any Other Name

... pics borrowed from New York Times and AP
...full text also available on Truthdig

“Nothing changes unless there’s a body count,” according to A. Joseph Stack III. On Thursday (Feb. 18th), Stack, 53, posted a suicide note on the Internet, burned down his house in Austin, Texas, and then flew a Piper Cherokee PA-28 into an IRS office, killing both himself and IRS employee Vernon Hunter and wounding 13 others. More and more is being revealed about Stack’s life story, including his rage and hatred for the IRS, the federal government and the Catholic Church. In the six-page manifesto that he posted he rails against many entities, including the American justice and educational systems, claiming they create a false sense of security and financial entitlement.

Dear Tiger…

...full text also found on The Huffington Post

Over the past several weeks we've all read hundreds of articles about how this Tiger has lost his stripes. Many speculate as to his egocentricity, infidelity, taste, athletic prowess, and, quite possibly, his stupidity. This morning Tiger said that "everyone... has good reason to be critical of me." Despite the above, and especially after this morning's apology, Tiger is in need of an encouraging word. Like sportswriter Joe Posnanski, I only wish I knew what it was.

Mayer Doesn't Have "Jungle Fever"

...pic borrowed from US Magazine
...full text also found on The Huffington Post

In a candid conversation with Rob Tannenbaum of Playboy Magazine musician John Mayer said, “I think the world would be better off if I stopped doing interviews.” Mayer has proven himself right. In what can only be described as a serious error in judgment, Mayer addressed his preferences and prejudices regarding interracial sex. When asked, “do black women throw themselves at you?” Mayer responded with the following: “I don’t think I open myself to it. My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock. I’m going to start dating separately from my dick.” So John Mayer doesn't have "jungle fever." What's the big deal?

Fear of a Multicultural Nation

...full text also available on Truthdig

Last Thursday night former Congressman and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo made opening-night remarks at the inaugural National Tea Party Convention in Nashville. Tancredo fired verbal shots at Barack Obama, Sen. John McCain and “the cult of multiculturalism,” stating that people who “could not spell the word vote or say it in English” had elected the president. And that Obama’s election reveals the need for us to “have a civics [or] literacy test before people can vote in this country.”

Is "Obama/Black" the New Gray?

...pic borrowed from Huffington Post

While MSNBC host Chris Matthews had a hard time remembering that President Obama was black after “The State of the Union” address, Urban Outfitters is having no trouble at all. In a recent online catalog for the retailer the short-sleeved, buttoned BDG Burnout Henley t-shirt was made available to consumers in, among a rainbow of colors, "Obama/Black." According to The Huffington Post, the creative naming was short lived. The shirt was made unavailable as of last Monday morning (Feb 1st). While the chain has sold Obama-themed t-shirts in the past, this is the first time "Obama" has been used as a color description.

Matthews on Obama: "I forgot he was Black"

...full text also available on Truthdig borrowed from Time Magazine, Mirabella, America's Next Top Model, Amazon.Com, Official Tooth Fairy Website and Shepard Fairey

The second decade of the 21st century has ushered in changes in technology, economics, politics, culture and narratives of identification. From the advent of social media, to the Great Recession, to health care reform, to the revised racial categories on the U.S. Census, American lives are faced with increasing tensions and ambiguities. No single icon reflects these tensions and ambiguities, and the paradigm shifts they are inspiring, more cohesively than President Barack Hussein Obama.

Many argue that Obama’s election to the Presidency and status as global “supercelebrity” are signs that we have entered a post-racial moment in which everyone and everything is mixed. Among these is Chris Matthews of MSNBC. Matthews, in a very different take on Obama’s public image than Senator Reid, said Wednesday that “I forgot he [Obama] was black.” Not so fast, Chris Matthews. How could someone forget this important aspect of our President’s racial identity? What does this statement mean?

All White Basketball League?

Census projections indicate that by the year 2050 white people will be a minority in the United States. A lot of this has to do with immigration, but even without any immigration, minorities would still constitute a majority of the population under age 5 in 2050. According to The New York Times, this is because of higher birth rates among Hispanic people already living here. “If immigration continues, black, Hispanic and Asian children will become a majority of young children sometime between 2019 and 2023, according to the latest projections.” What does this mean? Should minority status be extended to white Americans when this shift occurs? Should white people be preparing now?

Some might say yes, and that one arena in which white minority status needs protecting is in professional sports…basketball in particular.