The American justice system is rockin’ the suburbs

Let me tell y’all what it’s like 
Being male, middle class and white 
It’s a bitch, if you don’t believe,
Listen up to my new cd, shamone

–Ben Folds, “Rockin’ the Suburbs”

First off, I apologise to Mr. Folds for using his song about nu metal bands in a blog post about racism.

A common meme in the political systems is that “racism is over”, because Barack Obama was elected in 2012. It’s pretty patently bullshit, though, because Obama is subject to a lot of racist shit that Bush, Clinton, Reagan, et cetera, did not receive as President, and it’s all sugar-coated in the guise of “I’m just asking questions” or “I’m just a concerned citizen”. Take a look at the birth certificate conspiracy theories, for example. Where are the people demanding Romney’s birth certificate? When you consider that the only other President to have received such questions was Chester A. Arthur, who was a) born close to the border and b) was Irish by descent (and therefore, the argument goes, Catholic, a political suicide in the 1800s), it’s seen in a different light. It runs through American conservatism, where the patriarchy of straight cis white Christian men must be upheld: look at their erasure of the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement as racial conflicts, which they claim was about “state’s rights”, when it was about keeping the black population as second class citizens. Continue reading “The American justice system is rockin’ the suburbs”

The effects of these riots must not overshadow the causes

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past week, there have been riots around England in the past few days. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve felt myself drifting towards the left in the past few months; while I was, I admit, a little skeptical of public sector worker marches over the winter and spring, I’m rather sympathetic towards the original set of rioters in Tottenham and several other areas. There are obvious parallels to the eighties; a Conservative government, economic troubles, racial tensions, public sector strikes, even a royal wedding. The only thing that needs to happen now, comedians have opined, is for Liverpool to win the league. Sadly, though, it appears that people seem unwilling to learn the lessons from the eighties. Continue reading “The effects of these riots must not overshadow the causes”