28
Apr
14

Race and our post-racial age

This has always stuck with me, but it’s only in the past few years that I’ve been able to process it and come to terms with it.

About twenty years ago I was visiting a friend in Marina Del Rey. I got on the elevator, then saw a young black man about my age rushing to get on. I held the door open for him.

The first thing he said was “You’re lucky you’re white. You’ll never get stopped like I just was by the sheriffs.”

I protested that I was Latino, and subject to the same discrimination. He said, “You may be, but you look white. You’ll never be stopped.” He then got off on his floor.

Needless to say, I dismissed his assertion that I was “white”. I was Latino, part of the Prop 187 generation. We were fighting for our place in the sun. I was with the oppressed.

But here are a few facts.

I’m Cuban. That off the bat sets me apart from most of the Latinos in California. Cubans are always thought of as the “good Latinos”, not like those other ones who just want to take.

And I’m not only Cuban, but a white Cuban. That doubly sets me apart from most of the US Latino population. Cuba, like the US, has a horrifying history of slavery and oppression of its black citizens. Even in the Communist era, most people in high ranking positions are white.

It took many years, but eventually it did get through to me that my skin color conferred advantages and privileges upon me. That is merely a fact. I will most likely not be pulled over by a cop while walking down the street. I will not be stopped and frisked for no reason. I will be given the benefit of the doubt where people with darker skin will not.

When Barack Obama was elected, many of us felt as if a historical weight had been lifted off our shoulders. “Look, we elected our first African American president, and it happened so soon after Dr. King’s assassination!” There was a sense of national euphoria during the heady times surrounding the 2008 election.

But almost immediately it went to seed. Some on the Left were immediately disappointed that he wasn’t going to govern as their idealized version of an oppressed minority finally scaling the heights of power. And many on the Right were convinced not only that he would, but that he was.

I’ve documented the explosion of racial animus in our post-racial age elsewhere, all triggered by Pres. Obama’s election. But the previous week has seen it take hold of the national conscience in a way which has been extraordinary even in light of the past six years.

The twin racist rants of right wing darling Cliven Bundy and Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling have brought the issue of race to the forefront in a way which the trudge of daily indignities suffered by Pres. Obama, most powerful man in the world, hasn’t. With Bundy, the Right had invested so much in him that when it turned out that he was an unreconstructed racist with some unorthodox views of how blacks lived better under slavery, the implosion was sociologically pleasurable to watch. As for Donald Sterling, his views are nothing new; but it’s always different when it’s on tape. A problem the NBA had swept under the carpet for more than 30 years finally exploded in all its lurid ugliness. Sterling’s belief that he “gave” his players houses, cars, and jewelry—i.e., that those mostly black players didn’t in fact earn any of their good fortune, but were beholden solely to his own good graces—jibed closely with Bundy’s own critique of “the Negro”.

These events were the volcanic eruptions of barely contained racial geology. Far from signalling that the country had moved beyond its racially fraught past, Pres. Obama’s election set off an earthquake of racial pathology. The tectonic shifts through which the country is passing demand that any path towards justice will be ugly, violent (verbally certainly, physically very often), and played out on the public square. Sterling’s and Bundy’s comments are notable because they weren’t couched in the well-practiced code words used by most of the Right since the days of the Civil Rights movement. For a large cross-section of our fellow citizens, we are beyond speaking metaphorically. The barbarians are at the gates, and coming for our women and children.

It is easy to despair and believe that Pres. Obama’s election was merely a mirage; that the future still lies with the Bundys and Sterlings of the world. But, consider this. Not only was he elected; he was re-elected, by much the same coalition. Consider this: most of Bundy’s most ardent supporters in the right wing media have been forced to distance themselves from him. Consider this: Sterling’s comments have incited a wave of revulsion.

The always-wonderful Nancy LeTourneau had this to say:

I’d suggest there are two reasons for us to be clear about this. First of all, its important to note that the rhetoric of superiority is failing. People of color like President Obama, Justice Sonya Sotomayor and yes, Magic Johnson are demonstrating every day that they are the intellectual, political and business equals to white men. No longer confined to the fields of sports and entertainment, they are not only excelling at what they’re doing – they’re calling out the barriers that still exist (IOW, not playing the “good Negro” game). That threatens the whole fabric of white male entitlement.

But perhaps even more importantly, they’re doing it in a way that doesn’t leave any room for rational critiques from the naysayers. For example, in his speech on racism during the 2008 primaries, Barack Obama not only empathized with those who have been on the receiving end of racism in this country, he also spoke about the plight of white working class Americans and acknowledged the anger they feel. And much to the indignation of many on the left, the President has consistently held out his hand to those who disagree with him politically to work towards finding common ground.

Lacking any rational response, the entitled are left with only their hatred and fear. It has been unmasked and no longer lingers underground. The question that leaves for the rest of white Americans who are observing all this is: Now what? Are we really going buy into the need to “take our country back” to fighting over our perceived entitlement? Or are we ready to exorcise that fear and let it go? Its up to us. 

From the perch of my middle age, I’ve come to accept that I’ve benefited from a privilege which I denied I possessed. It’s a privilege not only of race, but of class and education. But the rationales for that privilege are falling. The election of America’s first black president—Harvard graduate, Law Review editor, constitutional scholar—was a perhaps terminal body-blow to white privilege. That he came by his education through dint of his own hard work assaulted class prerogatives. For many reasons, Pres. Obama was the right man in the right place at the right time; but certainly for our stalled conversation on race he has been a godsend. The racist caricature of him doesn’t hold with a majority of Americans, even those who aren’t on his side politically. What does “take our country back” mean? And are a majority of white Americans going to throw their lot in with the likes of Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.

It is not up to minorities to equitably solve the problems of race. They can only be solved by a national consensus, the commonwealth coming to an agreement that privileges of race, ethnicity, and class can no longer continue in the 21st century. When the son of a black mailman from Chicago’s South Side, the daughter of a white Appalachian coal miner, and the child of an established family of wealth can all confront the world on the same terms and with the same tools, then we can say to have made progress on race and class. Until then, the work continues.


91 Responses to “Race and our post-racial age”


  1. 2 Dudette
    April 28, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Okay, now that I’m first, I can go back and read the post! :-)

    Hi LL!

  2. April 28, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Absolutely breathtaking essay LL. You hit so many throbbing points. Thank you

  3. 12 Dudette
    April 28, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    LL. my friend, those last two paragraphs made me stand up and applaud. Thank you for this beautifully written, very personal insight.

  4. 13 Bill R.
    April 28, 2014 at 6:28 pm

  5. 15 dee
    April 28, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Definitely, a great article!

  6. April 28, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    LL, this really is beautiful, especially your account of growing up as a white Cuban: “It took many years, but eventually it did get through to me that my skin color conferred privileges upon me.”

    It reminds me of when I once tried to argue that being a Catholic in Ireland in bygone days was akin to the experience of African Americans. I’m embarrassed by that argument now, because bad and all as it was, it’s not even close. Not remotely.

    And as always, you don’t give in to despair, you offer some comfort:

    “It is easy to despair and believe that Pres. Obama’s election was merely a mirage; that the future still lies with the Bundys and Sterlings of the world. But, consider this. Not only was he elected; he was re-elected.”

    Thank you so much for this LL.

    • 17 COS
      April 28, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      This!!!!! This is a winner LL. Thanks.

    • April 28, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      It is easy to despair and believe that Pres. Obama’s election was merely a mirage; that the future still lies with the Bundys and Sterlings of the world. But, consider this. Not only was he elected; he was re-elected.”

      *****************

      This Gives Us HOPE!!!!

  7. 19 Nerdy Wonka
    April 28, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    THIS: “It is not up to minorities to equitably solve the problems of race. They can only be solved by a national consensus, the commonwealth coming to an agreement that privileges of race, ethnicity, and class can no longer continue in the 21st century. When the son of a black mailman from Chicago’s South Side, the daughter of a white Appalachian coal miner, and the child of an established family of wealth can all confront the world on the same terms and with the same tools, then we can say to have made progress on race and class. Until then, the work continues.”

    Great piece, LL. Good for you in admitting and coming to terms with the privilege your ethnicity and skin color affords you in society. I have a Cuban friend and she is also “white Cuban” and we had an interesting discussion where she pretty much echoed your words about how society treats her better than me because she looks white. It was quite fascinating. She pointed out how she’ll never be followed in a department store, people won’t cross the street as she approaches, women won’t clutch their purses to their person if she glances at them, she won’t be stopped and frisked, she won’t be stopped by cops while driving in a neighborhood where they believe Black people aren’t supposed to be seen because however could they be educated enough to afford nice homes; such a puzzle.

    Race is a very tense topic but as you wrote, “it is not up to minorities to equitably solve the problems of race.” It is up to the majority culture not to shy away or become uncomfortable because if only minorities are left to point out the atrocities of racism, small and large; then we will be accused of crying wolf (when in reality, these are our lives and life experiences and micro aggressions and racism are detrimental to our health; as shown by a study of pregnant Black women who are at the top of their career fields, but still had lower birth outcomes than their white counterparts) and progress will never be concretely achieved. But we’ll still keep on striving for that day when people can be judged for who they are as individuals and not due to the color of their skin.

  8. 21 Dudette
    April 28, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Well, well, well…

  9. April 28, 2014 at 6:46 pm

  10. April 28, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Well done, as always, LL …. hopefully, they’ll read and share it on the ride home from Manila ….

  11. April 28, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    The weather in the south is terrifying right now.

    Posted at 7 pm EDT:

    Posted at 5:46 pm EDT:

    Posted at 3:36 pm EDT:

  12. April 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Thankful for this place, all who keep it warm, cool, lit, and filled with love, humor, knowledge and connection. Thrilled and moved by @Liberal LIbrarian’s magnificent expression of truth, wisdom, insight. Powerful essential truths, told with eloquence and precision. Grateful for it; sharing it.

  13. 29 mtmarilyn
    April 28, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    We are truly blessed here at TOD! We have the best journalists and writers. LL, your piece is so spot on. I truly pray all of this will wake up the voting public and vote in November. We must vote these rwnj out and change the Supreme Court. Thanks again LL, your writing is so important.

  14. April 28, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    LL,

    another fabulous commentary.

    ICAM with all you wrote.

    Especially this:

    It is not up to minorities to equitably solve the problems of race

    Amen
    Amen
    Amen

  15. 32 MightyPamela
    April 28, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    _/l\_

  16. 33 Dudette
    April 28, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    I just had some polling company call me for a survey. The two main questions were:
    Do you think the country will be better off one year from now (Yes, of course)
    Do you think you personally will better off one year from now (Yes, I’m counting on it).

    Then the standard demographic questions. Now surprise after they asked which age group I fall under and my gender, they also asked whether I was a Republican, Democrat, or something else.

  17. April 28, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Great essay….

    YOU have mentioned in previous essays that the powerful who seek to enslave are in their dying throes….you have also mentioned that we keep fighting the same battles because these powers have not been defeated…you mentioned that is it not up to just blk follks and folks of color to engage in a battle for Freedom….Justice and Equality…I agree…It is a JOINT battle…the scourge of structural racism…white privilege..etc…can only be defeated when all of us work together….

    But when you have the Highest court of the land…..gut a pivotal portion of the VRA….when you have the court enshrine privilege twice by allowing allowing states to deny poor blk and folks of color access to health care thru Medicaid expansion…along with gutting Affirmative
    Action…..what recourse is left…..

    it is hard not to despair….

    but then you are reminded of what President Obama said at the CBC dinner…about keeping your marching shoes on….or you are reminded of Fannie Lou Hammer….when she said…I ain’t no ways tired….

    I ain’t no ways tired….

  18. April 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Thank you everyone.

    I’ve been wrestling with what to write about race for a couple of months now. I’ve started and left off at least 3 pieces. The explosion of the past week finally got me on a path to where I could write. You live long enough and your life produces enough material.

    • 38 MightyPamela
      April 28, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      {{{LL}}}

    • 39 Betsy
      April 28, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      Awesome job LL.

    • 40 hopefruit2
      April 28, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      LL – thanks so much for this brilliant, thoughtful and sincere analysis. I echo what everyone else has said, and appreciate your honesty in sharing with us your own experiences and evolution on this issue as a white man of Cuban ethnicity.

    • 41 Vicki
      April 28, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      LL. “The explosion of the past week” YES. Out of the ugliness on display privately, Sterling & Bundy and institutionalized—SCOTUS.
      Vast numbers of Americans woke up this week. You, for example, wrote a beautiful important essay. Others will respond in their own ways.
      And I believe the results will be to move the needle towards a better country.

  19. 42 Dudette
    April 28, 2014 at 7:24 pm

  20. 43 Dudette
    April 28, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    I agree!

  21. April 28, 2014 at 7:47 pm

  22. April 28, 2014 at 7:50 pm

  23. April 28, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I rarely comment on blatant racism against African Americans or Muslims or Hispanics or any group that would require a lot of assumptions on my part. Just doesn’t seem right; I want to learn and hear from people in the community under discussion.

    People make assumptions about strangers by the way the stranger looks, acts, grooms him/herself, etc. So any woman wearing a full scarf that covers her head and shoulders is a Muslim; skin color for African Americans. TODville informed me that Karen Finney is AA. I had no idea that was true, so Karen’s experience with a bigot might well be different from another person who happens to be a bit darker.

    Seems like full-blooded Asians are the only ones who can’t “pass” as another “race.” (Usual disclaimer – Japanese-American female here.)

    LL, this might be before your time, but IIRC, Buzzy Bavasi, the long-time General Manager for the Dodgers (then Padres, then Angels) was fired from one of those teams because of his comments on race. This is from memory — Wikipedia doesn’t mention it. What I recall is that Bavasi said that Blacks can’t swim, they don’t have the bouyancy to be good swimmers. If my memory is correct, then we’ve gone backwards in 40 years; if I’m wrong, its still true that the NBA is going backwards in time.

    I have absolutely no idea what is wrong with the NBA (since I’m a SoCal native, the only indoor sport I like to watch is ice hockey).

    Imposing such a timid punishment. Barred from one game after basically saying that his players don’t earn their salaries? I agree that professional sports players are paid far too much but Sterling apparently believes that the NBA court is his plantation.

    (I harp on Koufax/Drysdale holding out for $100K in the early 1960s. Maury Wills held the stolen base record for many years, and he was paid the minimum MLB salary which was in the ballpark of most fans – the World Series bonus was something like $6K. I know that a dollar went further in those days, but these players were definitely not living a millionaire lifestyle.)

    The only report I heard about Sterling this morning said that 6 companies have withdrawn sponsorship of the Clippers. More to follow, most likely.

    • April 28, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      I think you mean Al Campanis. He went on “Nightline” and said that African Americans weren’t smart enough to be managers.

      • April 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm

        Thank you!

        Like I said I was going by memory, which is obviously faulty on this matter.

        Was wondering why Wikipedia didn’t mention his firing, LOL.

        Sorry, Buzzy, and anyone in his family who might be lurking. I apologize for posting an untruth about Mr. Bavasi. (I once met Peter Bavasi’s wife at the Alpine CA (east of San Diego) one summer when I worked for the County Library (my mother was a County Librarian and suggested that I apply for the job, which as a floater to whichever library needed help that day).

        But my point was that a MLB General Manager was fired for racist remarks in 1987, but now in 2014 NBA owners can get away with it? Methinks he won’t be the owner when the new season starts later this year.

        • April 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm

          The problem which has been pointed out is that while MLB is a monopoly, NBA isn’t. So that’s where the problem lies.

          • April 28, 2014 at 8:19 pm

            What does this mean?

            I’m serious — I got an aversion to basketball in high school when it was hotter than Hades in the gymnasium but wonderfully cool outside.

            I know less than zero about the NBA — couldn’t tell you the names or the cities of the teams involved.

            • April 28, 2014 at 8:22 pm

              That means that MLB has carte blanche to organize its affairs. It has the legal status of a monopoly, as reaffirmed by SCOTUS decisions. The NBA does not enjoy that legal status, so it can’t force an owner to sell his/her team. However, from what I’ve been reading today, there is an attempt to finesse the existing rules to in effect do that with Sterling.

              Again, though, Sterling’s racism is nothing new. This has been an issue which time and again the NBA has swept under the rug.

  24. April 28, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Seems like I’m the only person in TODville with an interest in the tragic sinking of the South Korean ferry, but this is utterly remarkable to me:

    “The South Korean Coast Guard on Monday released footage from the early stages of its effort to save the ferry Sewol, and the video confirms just how quickly the captain abandoned ship.
    About half a minute into the video (below), Lee Joon-seok climbs into the arms of orange-clad rescue workers whose boats had pulled alongside the tilting ferry. He left behind a ship of 469 others, only 174 of whom are confirmed alive after the ferry began to sink on April 16. Another 188 passengers—many of whom were students at a high school to the south of Seoul—are dead and 114 others are missing.”

    And for weather satellite geeks:

    • 57 Layla
      April 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      I actually am following the events following the sinking of the ferry and it is absolutely horrendous what happened to these poor people. I am also following the legal implications of some people’s actions closely.

      • April 28, 2014 at 8:14 pm

        Something is terribly amiss about way events unfolded and how it was reported.

        On the evening of the ferry’s sinking:

        Four days later…

        If I were South Korean I would be in shock and would be truly outraged at both the South Korean government, the ferry line and the captain.

        • April 28, 2014 at 8:15 pm

          The South Korean PM resigned over the horrendous way in which the tragedy was handled. Hopefully he won’t merely be the fall guy.

          • April 28, 2014 at 8:22 pm

            But it’s more than how the tragedy was handled.

            Someone lied when the ferry sank when they reported everyone survived. How did that happen?

            Why in the world would a 26-year-old third mate be at the helm in unfamiliar waters? How did that happen?

            Does South Korea have regulations about ship weight, or the distribution of the weight on passenger ferries?

        • 62 Layla
          April 28, 2014 at 8:20 pm

          I think they are in shock and outraged. Many horrible events occur in all parts of the world and each one of us I think is made aware of their occurrence from all the different outlets.

  25. 63 hopefruit2
    April 28, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Hey Lockeiswright are you lurking? I’m excited tonight! :) I see that they started following the @BarackObama account on Twitter today. I like that :) I hope he notices. :)

  26. 68 carolyn
    April 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    LL…..a brilliant essay. I have young men in my Composition class who experience the same thing as your young man in your essay. One of them asked another if he could ride home with him one weekend, to the Dallas area, he’d pay for gas. Gennard said “No, one black man in a car is enough, and I’m so big I count for two.” That just hit me in the stomach, the reality these dear young men live with. I35 between OKC and Dallas is an obstacle course for young AAs, with troopers stopping them for made up violations, the very problem AG Holder is going to investigate.

  27. 69 Vicki
    April 28, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Breaking but unconfirmed. Michael Grimm to vacate his seat in US Congress.

    • 70 Nena20409
      April 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      It must have been facing close to 250 yrs in jail with 20 indictments?

      It could not have happened to a scummier guy.

    • 71 Nena20409
      April 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      I could only find an article that the Grimm stepped down from a committee assignment.

  28. April 28, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    • April 28, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      With ((((((24.9 million)))))) plus hugs surrounding them.

      I saw the post where PBO was talking about his regret not keeping in touch with his Mom more between 20 and 30yrs old. I image that she is on his mind always. His Mom and grandmother molded a wonderful human being that the 53 million Americans who voted for him and the numerous people around the world who admire him appreciate them so much.

  29. 74 Nena20409
    April 28, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    >-I >-I >-I

    LL You are incredible.

    Beautifully done. Thank YOU, Sir!

  30. 75 Judith Fardig
    April 28, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Dear LL, thank you for your graceful and honest essay. Since my undergraduate years at Oberlin when the Black Power movement got going, I have tried to speak to my fellow whites (I’m 1/32 Cherokee but still predominantly white) about our insidious racial assumptions. TOD gives us a forum to listen to each other respectfully and not shy away from the continuing challenges of living in a multi-racial society where too many whites think they deserve their privilege.

  31. 76 Nena20409
    April 28, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    http://blog.chron.com/ultimaterockets/2014/04/calling-sterling-comments-disgusting-leslie-alexander-seeks-to-drive-him-from-nba/

    Rockets owner Leslie Alexander’s goal was as clear as the anger and disgust in the tone of his voice. He had heard the recording of Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist and hateful comments. He had met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver. He wanted Sterling out the NBA.

    Calling the comments “disgusting,” Alexander said he told Silver he should stab “a sword” into the heart of Sterling’s ownership of the Clippers.

    “I thought that there’s got to be a way to disrupt him from owning the team,” said Alexander, who after 20 years owning the Rockets is one of the longest tenured owners in the NBA. “I gave him the sword to deal with this. I said, ‘Let the players become free agents.’”

    • April 28, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Oh, wow. Yes. If the commissioner makes all Clippers players free agents, that would make Sterling’s ownership untenable. He’d lose all his players, and not a single player would want to play for him. That’s out of the box thinking.

      • 78 Nena20409
        April 28, 2014 at 8:32 pm

        Coach Doc released a statement that his Team is hurt and Embarrassed.

      • 79 vcprezofan2
        April 28, 2014 at 8:34 pm

        //………………………….

        Alexander said the goal of his suggestion was not to break up the Clippers, considered among the league’s top teams, or even to punish Sterling. He said the objective was solely to back Sterling into a corner from which he will choose to sell the Clippers.

        The NBA constitution does not allow the league owners to remove Sterling, Alexander said. But he added that the NBA needed to take steps to drive Sterling from the league.

        “This kind of behavior can’t be allowed in the NBA by owners, players or anybody,” Alexander said. “This guy has no place in the family of the NBA. Whatever it takes, we have to make sure this kind of event never happens again.”

        The first step to ensuring that, he said, was to get Sterling out of the league.

        “I mentioned that to Adam,” Alexander said. “I told Adam I don’t think he can be removed because the constitution (of the NBA) only allows him to be removed except for gambling. I’m not sure that legally can be done. But if he loses his players, nobody is going to want to go there. He’ll only be able to get a player that is worth $2 million and will play for $12 (million.) And who is going to want to coach there?

        “If you’re a player in the NBA you don’t want to play for somebody like that. If you worked for a company, you would walk away and say, ‘I’m gone.” I think the players should have that right.”
        ………………………….//

        From the same link Nena shared above

      • April 28, 2014 at 8:45 pm

        Thanks for getting back to me upthread.

        Although I find basketball as interesting as watching paint dry, Bill Walton was in the same league as my HS team, at the same time. We both went to UCLA (I was even in one of his classes — the prof was particularly mean to him, I thought (Bill always sat in the front row, for the leg room).

        I did spend the night at Pauley Pavilion to get (free to students) season tickets my freshman year when I lived in the dorm (the top dorm, meaning the furthest away from campus, over 300 steps to get to the dorm (I counted one time). I lost so much weight (the food at the dorm was inedible and I climbed those stairs 3 times a day) that my friends and HS teachers were concerned about me when I returned home for the summer.

        Anyway, this was during John Wooden’s phenomenal winning streak, so I was part of that, but don’t remember a thing except for Marques Johnson.

        My last basketball post at TODville ever, most likely.

  32. 81 Dudette
    April 28, 2014 at 8:34 pm

  33. 82 Dudette
    April 28, 2014 at 8:35 pm

  34. 84 Dudette
    April 28, 2014 at 8:38 pm

  35. April 28, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Last paragraph:

    “On the issues of core strategic and national interests, it is hard to argue with the administration’s record. The White House has avoided potentially costly and power-sapping conflicts in Syria and Iran, is exploring a diplomatic opening with Tehran that could produce significant benefits, continues to ensure Israeli security and maintains a robust military presence in the region to ensure the flow of energy resources and prevent any single power from dominating the region. What more do the critics want?”

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/04/obama-middle-east-failure-myth.html##ixzz30EOgxwLa

  36. April 28, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Bibi couldn’t handle it ….

    “RAMALLAH, April 27, 2014 (WAFA) – In response to a question on the occasion of Holocaust Day, raised in conversation with Rabbi Marc Schneier, President Mahmoud Abbas said that: what happened to the Jews in the Holocaust is the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era. He expressed his sympathy with the families of the victims and many other innocent people who were killed by the Nazis.

    President Abbas stressed that the Holocaust is a reflection of the concept of ethnic discrimination and racism which the Palestinians strongly reject and act against.

    ‘The world must do its utmost to fight racism and injustice in order to bring justice and equality to oppressed people wherever they are. The Palestinian people, who suffer from injustice, oppression and denied freedom and peace, are the first to demand to lift the injustice and racism that befell other peoples subjected to such crimes.’

    ‘On the incredibly sad commemoration of Holocaust Day, we call on the Israeli government to seize the current opportunity to conclude a just and comprehensive peace in the region, based on the two states vision, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security.'”

  37. 89 ouapiti
    April 28, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Thanks for your essay, LL — am so pleased that TOD is here to feature this post and allow for dialogue. “It is not up to minorities to equitably solve the problems of race” is such a strong statement and so perfectly illustrates how we so often not only blame the victims, but then hold them responsible for bringing about any change. Aargh.

  38. 91 vcprezofan2
    April 28, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Webcast: Toward a Europe Whole and Free – April 29, 2014

    This year marks multiple anniversaries of crucial importance to the transatlantic community, including the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 15th anniversary of NATO’s first post-Cold War enlargement, and the 10th anniversary of the “big bang” enlargements of both the European Union and NATO. The Council’s conference aims to showcase Europe’s transformation validating these historic decisions, facilitate discussions on how membership in NATO and the EU has positioned the region for the future, and address the remaining challenges of achieving a Europe whole and free.

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/events/webcasts/webcast-toward-a-europe-whole-and-free


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