Archive for 2003

The Other Race Card: Rush Limbaugh and the Politics of White Resentment

Published on, October 3, 2003 So now we know how Rush Limbaugh lost all that weight. It wasn’t will power, it wasn’t exercise, and it wasn’t the Atkins Diet. Instead, it appears to have been a legal opiate called OxyContin: legal, at least, for those with a prescription for it, which would, incidentally, exclude […]

Defending the Unwelcome Stranger: The Truth About Immigration

Published in LIP Magazine,, September 26, 2003 Before 9/11, before the Patriot Act, before the latest round of racial profiling at airports, in which Arabs have been subjected to heightened scrutiny as potential terrorists, life was already difficult enough for immigrants of color to the U.S. In 1994, California voters approved Prop 187, the […]

Overclass Blues: Class, Race, and the Ironies of Privilege

Published as a ZNet Commentary, 9/12/03 The first word of this article’s title does not exist according to the spell check program on my computer and the dictionary on my desk. Underclass? Yes, both sources recognize and can define that term. Yet neither acknowledges that any word with the prefix “under” is by definition relative, […]

When Paranoia Meets Prejudice: Debunking the Notion of a Jewish Conspiracy

Published on, 8/19/03 Several years ago, when I began to write essays on racism for a number of internet-based publications, I made the decision to include my e-mail address at the bottom of every article. This, despite my awareness that doing so would prompt any number of cranks to write me, expressing contempt for […]

Resurrecting Mandingo: Black Sexuality in the White Imagination

Published as a ZNet Commentary,, 8/6/03 When it comes to creativity, you really have to hand it to racists. Indeed, I have always been truly amazed by the twisted logic such folks can muster in order to rationalize their prejudices. Likewise, I am nothing short of stunned by the extent to which they will […]

God Responds to W: Chatting With the Almighty About Bush and Other Absurdities

Published on, 7/11/03 God has apparently been keeping busy. Between trying to soften the hearts of the hateful, sow peace and brotherhood throughout the world, and prevent production of a new episode of “The Bachelor,” the Almighty also finds time to speak with George W. Bush. As reported in the Israeli daily paper, Ha’aretz, […]

No One is Innocent: Reflections on the Legacy of White Supremacy

Published on, July 8, 2003 My head was spinning, as often happens when I’m discussing racism with someone whose view of America as a land of unbridled opportunity renders them incapable of critical thought. This was, you see, one of those times, as I found myself sitting across from an appropriately preppy young white […]

Preferring Our Violence Wholesale: Riots and Destruction in Black and White

Published on, June 30, 2003 I don’t know why these things amaze me, but for some reason they always do. Before the ashes were even cool from the recent riots in Benton Harbor, Michigan, much of white America had decided that it knew what was behind all the mayhem; at least if the white […]

Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat: The Supreme Court and the Future of Affirmative Action

Published on ZNet,, 6/23/03 In 1980, the Boomtown Rats scored a hit with their song, “I Don’t Like Mondays,” in which they told the true story of a young woman who had shot up her San Diego school, and when asked why she had done it, gave the response enshrined in the song’s title. […]

Coloring Crime: Race, Violence and Media Manipulation

Published as a ZNet Commentary, 6/1/03 Ask the average American to describe the typical drug user or dealer and they’ll say he’s a black male, even though blacks make up only thirteen percent of drug users and sixteen percent of dealers. Most dealers and about 73 percent of users are white, according to federal data. […]