American Democracy


You’d think Bernie would be a bit more sensitive to the issue, given that he’s a Progressive Liberal.

What gets me about this is that as we head towards the mid-terms, the Bernie Supporters will find things to disqualify the other Democratic candidates, saying they’re not liberal enough or not progressive enough, but will completely overlook things like this.


While I’d agree out of context it sounds like that, we are talking about the guy who also, until relatively recently, didn’t even know that his state has one of the highest rates of black incarceration despite being a majority white state. And his previous comments about how class is more important than race, about how he doesn’t like “Identity politics”, his habit(now thankfully seemingly broken) of being unable to say “Working class” without the prefix “White”, his belief that Racism stems purely from economic issues(which is grossly incorrect and short-sighted), there’s his past comments about black criminals being sociopaths when speaking about the '94 crime bill(which he voted for twice), there’s his much-cited record with civil rights that encompasses a grand total of about three protests(one of which he didn’t even attend, just helped organize) and then basically goes on pause for 40 years, there’s his defense of trump supporters being mostly not racists or sexists, the fact that he moved from one of the most diverse cities in the nation to one of the whitest to start his political career, I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point sufficiently clear - out of context, it’s a mild rebuke. In context of who it’s coming from, I’m thinking not so much.

Also, Bernie’s never actually been that good at the Washington two-step. As has been regularly cited as one of his positive traits, he’s blunt and straightforward, he says what he means, and means what he says.


With respect to black incarceration in Vermont, it is possible to be a statistical anomaly, as in, “if you only have 2 black people, and one of them happens to be in jail, then you have a 50% black incarceration rate.” That said, I don’t know what the actual numbers are for Vermont (the numbers in my example are obviously ridiculously small just for illustrative purposes) and I’m no statistician, so I can’t reasonably determine if it is an anomaly or not.

That said, it does kind of remind me of the SNL sketch where a New England (Boston, to be specific) white supremacist convinces a bunch of southern Neo-Confederates to move to Vermont because it has all the rural stuff they like and almost no black people.


While you’re correct - Vermont’s comparatively small black population can mean small differences can potentially make big percentage differences, it’s unfortunately not the case.

Even when adjusted to account for that, their rate is still crazy high. Black people make up roughly 1.2 percent of the population of vermont, but over 10% of their prison population. Even when you bring it down to per thousand to account for the small population, the incarceration rate for black people in vermont is 243 per 1,000, which is one of the highest in the country - Ferguson, Missouri, where the Ferguson protests famously occurred, has a black incarceration rate of 186 per 1000. Every single metric you can measure, from traffic stops, to arrests, to incarceration, to searches, even just tickets and fines, Vermont shows an enormous racial disparity even when adjusted for their small black population.


Florida recount confirmed.


My favorite anecdote about this is that my mom, who grew up outside Burlington, never saw a black person until she was well over 18.


In a similar vein, my mom, who grew up on a relatively small Portuguese island, hardly ever saw black people herself, although I’m not sure if she saw them until she came to the US or not. Still, they were rare enough on that island that apparently it was considered good luck to see one.


There were exactly two people who weren’t black or white in my hometown.


I visited Wilmington last fall and received a searing number of “you don’t belong here” stares.


Looking at this Arizona Senate race as it stands it’s hard to not be frustrated by the 39,000+ idiots who voted Green on Tuesday.


There were… not many black people where I lived until I was 16. I think there were two black kids in my school. I personally never thought anything of it, there just weren’t a lot of black people where I lived, and I didn’t think of them any differently than anyone else. Of course at the time I didn’t know about or understand anything about modern day racism, or classism, or any of the other thorny issues about privilege. I’m not sure many people around us did either. A kid in my school dressed up as Dennis Rodman for Halloween by putting on a Chicago Bulls jersey, a rainbow clown wig, big sunglasses… and blackface. And no one thought anything of it. It was pretty fucked up actually.


As a chaser to yesterday’s comments, Sanders to Rolling Stone Magazine:
“Today, if he[Trump] is a racist and a sexist, tomorrow he may be a great civil rights champion — if he thinks it gets him five more votes. He has no core values. I would not be shocked that if the Democrats passed popular, good legislation, that Trump would look around him and say, “Hey, why not? What do I give a damn?” And he may come on board, because ultimately he doesn’t believe in anything except winning.”

Yeah, call me crazy, but I don’t think Trump the Civil Rights Champion is ever going to happen, you Naive, idiotic old racism apologist. It’s not political expediency, he’s just a fucking racist, he has been for his entire life. And some people still wonder why Bernie never managed to get PoC voters, for some reason.


I only thought about race in one respect: fuck Candice. She was a bitch and took advantage or every opportunity she had to fuck with me. During our 5th grade trip to DC, she was sat behind me (alphabetically) and any time I thought about reclining my seat, she pushed it back up.

We had a half-Taiwanese student (he was also one of our valedictorians) throughout school. His mom made very clear that she was Taiwanese, not Chinese (relevant because I live in China now).

I brought several students (mostly Asian or French) to visit my hometown because they wanted to see what real America looked like. Fortunately they all fared better than @no_fun_girl. Folks mostly wanted to know about where they were from after they worked out any why there were there (in a town of 4k).


Outside of Cape Verdeans (which, as I’ve stated in a previous post, have a rather “complicated” history as to whether they considered themselves “black” or not), there were maybe one or two black kids in my high school as well back in the early 90’s. No one really thought anything of them (as in, it was all pretty neutral stuff where race didn’t play a part), except for the white “groupies” (for lack of a better term), a group of white girls who really liked to hang out with the couple of black dudes while emulating the hip-hop culture of the day. Curiously, the Cape Verdeans didn’t quite attract these sorts of “groupies” for whatever reason, despite many of them at least somewhat identifying with their African heritage (they often wore those green, red, and yellow Africa pendants that were pretty popular back then, were into hip-hop music and fashion, had typically “black” hair styles, and so on).

There was a little bit of what I’d consider benign teasing with some of them at the time, usually having to do with what college basketball team they rooted for. Back then, two of the top teams were Duke (as now) and UNLV. Duke was portrayed as the “white guys’” school and, conversely, UNLV was portrayed as the “black guys’” school, probably due to their respective roster makeups. When one of the Cape Verdeans wore a Duke baseball cap, he got some gentle ribbing about pulling for a “white” school, which all involved took in stride.

That Dennis Rodman costume does sound pretty clever and funny (the guy was a pretty interesting character regardless of his race)… up until the blackface part. The closest thing we ever did was as part of a band hazing ritual, we’d have a freshman portray Homey the Clown from In Living Color, which was popular back then. The extent of the portrayal was a clown wig and nose and never, ever any blackface though.


Delaware or North Carolina?



Having a member of the in group vouch for you, or present you in the context of hospitality is very powerful. Without those, there is nothing to mitigate your outsider status.



I’ve gotten used to being on the receiving end to some degree since living in Asia. Nothing as bad as PoC in the US have to deal with, though.


Some of my family members are those idiots, and I honestly can’t convince them otherwise. I tried to explain First Past the Post voting and what not, but I now think they vote that way because they were never “liberal left” as they said they are, but “libertarian center”. But I honestly can’t figure out their political position, since they went from campaigning for Bernie Sanders to voting for Gary Johnson in 2016, which makes no sense to me and I can’t figure it out. The simplest answer I’ve come to is they don’t actually have a firm political position and are easily swayed by online algorithms or commentators, but I don’t like that answer as it is really reductive and potentially insulting.


The recount is on.