- Claim: Racism Made Trump; the Left Won’t Say It
- Blacks, Hispanics Are Third of Radio Audience
- NAHJ to Review Partnership With Calif. Group
- DACA Revocation Unpopular With Editorial Boards
- Omarosa Laughs Off Worries About Access to Trump
- ‘Jason Whitlock Doesn’t Care About Black People’
- Back to ‘Explaining Indians to White People’
- Slaying in India an Ominous Sign for Press Freedom
The latest essay from Ta-Nehisi Coates, released Thursday, bluntly states that white supremacy is the backbone of President Trump’s appeal and that even progressive Democrats such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have been complicit in failing to acknowledge Trump’s racist appeal — not to mention some journalists.
At 5 a.m., the Atlantic magazine’s website published “The First White President” — so titled despite such competition as Andrew Johnson, Andrew Jackson or Woodrow Wilson. The piece was drawn from Coates’ forthcoming book on President Barack Obama’s eight years, and was followed by an interview on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”
“You don’t let anyone off the hook in this piece,” co-host Rachel Martin told the National Book Award winner and 2015 MacArthur Foundation fellow, who has become America’s most celebrated writer on race.
Coates writes in the Atlantic’s 8,200-word October cover story, “It is often said that Trump has no real ideology, which is not true — his ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power. . . .”
Cited as failing to be forthright about this are Sanders, then-Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Obama held to account on different grounds.
“One can, to some extent, understand politicians’ embracing a self-serving identity politics.” Coates writes. “Candidates for high office, such as Sanders, have to cobble together a coalition. The white working class is seen, understandably, as a large cache of potential votes, and capturing these votes requires eliding uncomfortable truths. But journalists have no such excuse. . . .”
Coates also wrote, “Trump inaugurated his campaign by casting himself as the defender of white maidenhood against Mexican ‘rapists,’ only to be later alleged by multiple accusers, and by his own proud words, to be a sexual violator himself.
“White supremacy has always had a perverse sexual tint. Trump’s rise was shepherded by Steve Bannon, a man who mocks his white male critics as ‘cucks.’ The word, derived from cuckold, is specifically meant to debase by fear and fantasy — the target is so weak that he would submit to the humiliation of having his white wife lie with black men. That the slur cuck casts white men as victims aligns with the dicta of whiteness, which seek to alchemize one’s profligate sins into virtue.
“So it was with Virginia slaveholders claiming that Britain sought to make slaves of them. So it was with marauding Klansmen organized against alleged rapes and other outrages. So it was with a candidate who called for a foreign power to hack his opponent’s email and who now, as president, is claiming to be the victim of ‘the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.’
“In Trump, white supremacists see one of their own . . .”
Coates also writes, “For Trump, it almost seems that the fact of Obama, the fact of a black president, insulted him personally.”
Coates is not the first African American thought leader to dismiss as overblown the idea that Trump was elected chiefly because white working class voters favored him for economic reasons.
However, few have assembled as much supporting data. Why did not similarly affected black and Latino voters not also vote for Trump? Coates asks. Moreover, the white voters for Trump were not only of the working class.
“An analysis of exit polls conducted during the presidential primaries estimated the median household income of Trump supporters to be about $72,000,” Coates writes. “But even this lower number is almost double the median household income of African Americans, and $15,000 above the American median. Trump’s white support was not determined by income.
“According to Edison Research, Trump won whites making less than $50,000 by 20 points, whites making $50,000 to $99,999 by 28 points, and whites making $100,000 or more by 14 points. This shows that Trump assembled a broad white coalition that ran the gamut from Joe the Dishwasher to Joe the Plumber to Joe the Banker. So when white pundits cast the elevation of Trump as the handiwork of an inscrutable white working class, they are being too modest, declining to claim credit for their own economic class. . . .”
He adds, “if the broad and remarkable white support for Donald Trump can be reduced to the righteous anger of a noble class of smallville firefighters and evangelicals, mocked by Brooklyn hipsters and womanist professors into voting against their interests, then the threat of racism and whiteness, the threat of the heirloom, can be dismissed. Consciences can be eased; no deeper existential reckoning is required.”
And, “It’s worth asking why the country has not been treated to a raft of sympathetic portraits of this ‘forgotten’ young black electorate, forsaken by a Washington bought off by Davos elites and special interests. The unemployment rate for young blacks (20.6 percent) in July 2016 was double that of young whites (9.9 percent).
“And since the late 1970s, William Julius Wilson and other social scientists following in his wake have noted the disproportionate effect that the decline in manufacturing jobs has had on African American communities. If anyone should be angered by the devastation wreaked by the financial sector and a government that declined to prosecute the perpetrators, it is African Americans — the housing crisis was one of the primary drivers in the past 20 years of the wealth gap between black families and the rest of the country. But the cultural condescension toward and economic anxiety of black people is not news. Toiling blacks are in their proper state; toiling whites raise the specter of white slavery. . . .”
The author concludes, “The first white president in American history is also the most dangerous president — and he is made more dangerous still by the fact that those charged with analyzing him cannot name his essential nature, because they too are implicated in it.”
Coates’ third book, “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy,” from which the Atlantic essay was gleaned, is scheduled for release Oct. 3, Mary Carole McCauley reported Aug. 30 in the Baltimore Sun.
His book tour begins that day in New York.
Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune: Donald Trump governs the way any white racist would
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Can Democrats get past identity politics?
“Nearly 75 million weekly radio listeners are black and Hispanic, a third of the total national audience,” Nielsen Co. reported on Tuesday.
“In fact, black and Hispanic Americans spend more time with radio each week than any other ethnic group, with more than 30 million black Americans and 42 million Hispanics turning to radio each week,” Nielsen reported Tuesday in a report titled, “State of the Media — Audio Today: Ethnic Audiences.”
“So it comes as no surprise that the larger trends we see in the audio landscape – particularly around the use of mobile technology to stream all types of audio – are also evident with black and Hispanic listeners,” it continued.
Among other findings, the ethnic composition of the radio audience 12 years old and over was 13.5 percent black, 17 percent Hispanic and 69.5 “other.”
For blacks, 36 percent listened at home; 64 percent out of home.
For blacks 12 and over, news/talk formats had a 4.6 percent share of total listeners, exceeded by urban adult contemporary, 28.5 percent; urban contemporary, 21.2 percent; rhythmic contemporary hit radio, 6.7 percent; and pop contemporary hit radio, 5.5 percent.
McDonald’s was the top advertiser on both “urban and rhythmic radio” and “Mexican regional and Spanish radio.” It was followed by Optima Tax Relief on urban and rhythmic radio and by O’Reilly Auto Parts on Mexican regional and Spanish radio.
The news/talk format ranked fourth among English-dominant Hispanics age 12 and over, at 6.8 percent. That format was exceeded by pop contemporary hit radio, rhythmic contemporary hit radio and adult contemporary.
Thirty percent of Hispanics listened at home; 70 percent out of home.
The board of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists insisted Wednesday that it had not decided to end its year-long relationship with CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California, but the conversation exposed a split between current president Brandon Benavides and his immediate predecessor, Mekahlo Medina.
“Over the last 12 months, I see the red flags. I hope you do too,” Medina wrote Wednesday on his “NAHJ President Mekahlo Medina 2014-2016" Facebook page.
“I ask the board to reconsider some of the decisions they’ve made and put members, not themselves, first.
“I ask the membership to be the good journalists you are, to ask questions, demand details, expect the leadership to do better for you and not themselves and attend that membership meeting. . . .”
A year ago, when Medina was NAHJ president, the boards of the CCNMA and NAHJ “agreed to merge the organizations to better tackle diversity, training and development for members in Los Angeles and California.”
However, on Wednesday, meeting as it joins other journalism groups in the Excellence In Journalism convention in Anaheim, Calif., “The NAHJ board, without discussion, voted unanimously to begin revoking the agreement in 30 days,” CCNMA said in a news release. “Without any warning or discussion before hand, the NAHJ Board led by President Brandon Benavides moves to revoke the young partnership between the California Chicano News Media Association (CCNMA) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) citing already addressed issues. . . .”
That release was preceded by a Facebook posting from Medina that said, “President Benavides did not put a priority on this partnership. Instead, he put a priority on himself and the board.
“Increasing the number of board meetings and for the first time in six years using the organization’s money to pay for his and board member’s airfare and hotel expenses to board meetings and other meetings to the tune of more than $35,000.
“The budget line-item had been $0 because past board members had invested in their leadership by paying for their own boarding costs. Travel was covered by a sponsorship, which ended in 2016. . . . .
“It is not just CCNMA. Our future partnership with Hispancize and our Mexico City partners is in peril as well. All three were made in the spirit of making an impact for Latinos in the media, working together in our shared mission with the hope that a rising tide lifts all boats.
“It was working — we doubled sponsorships, tripled membership and quadrupled programming/development in just four years.
“In the last 12 months, programming/development was cut by nearly 60%, major sponsors left, membership is [stagnant] and nearly 400 [fewer] members are attending this [year’s] conference [compared] to last [year’s] conference. . . .”
NAHJ responded with a statement stating that it merely “invoked its right within its memorandum of understanding within CCNMA LA to move into a 30-day review period in a good-faith effort to ensure a partnership that is stable and prosperous,” but “with an eye toward terminating the MOU if we cannot come to an agreement over our concerns during that period.” NAHJ said it was “concerned about our potential liability and the fact that this agreement wasn’t reviewed in advance by an attorney.”
On the travel expenses, the board wrote, “NAHJ’s allocation for board travel came after a decade-long sponsorship with United Airlines ended in 2016.”
It also said, “The organization at 2,025 members is the highest it has been in the last seven years. We are financially sound and our books are open to all.”
Still, the rift remained on Thursday. Chelsea Moreno and Teo Armus reported for the Latino Reporter, the student convention news organ, that CCNMA announced that “it would no longer present the prestigious Ruben Salazar Journalism Awards during the National Association of Hispanic Journalism’s annual conference, opting instead to present the award at an October event in Los Angeles.
“The move was a direct response to an unfolding controversy involving NAHJ’s board of directors and a Wednesday vote to postpone a merger between the two Latino journalism organizations.
“ ‘We didn’t want to present the Salazar Award under the cloud created by the NAHJ board,’ CCNMA President Joseph Rodriguez said. . . .”
Teo Armus, Latino Reporter: Merger between Latino journalism groups NAHJ, CCNMA at risk
Editorial writers at the nation’s newspapers appear overwhelmingly to oppose President Trump’s Tuesday order ending the Obama-era program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Trump urged Congress to pass a replacement before he begins phasing out its protections in six months.In the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, cartoonist Steve Sack depicted Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions as pirates looking at a young woman labeled “DACA” on a boat with them. Trump waves toward the woman and the shark-infested waters and says, “to show we’re not complete monsters, we’ve extended your plank by six months.”
Tracey Samuelson of public radio’s “Marketplace” program quoted experts debunking Sessions’ declaration that the 800,000 or so “Dreamers” were taking jobs from the American labor force.
In a fact-checking “annotated” version of Trump’s statement, the Southern Poverty Law Center agreed.
“According to a report prepared last year by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, immigration has an overall positive impact on economic growth and small-to-no-effect on wages and employment for native-born workers. . ..
“Economists say there is no clear connection between less immigration and more jobs for native-born workers. . . .”
Meanwhile, the Associated Press cautioned, “Don’t use DREAMer or Dreamer to describe DACA recipients. The DREAM Act was a federal proposal similar to DACA that was never approved,” but the advice was widely ignored.
Ginger Gibson reported for Reuters, “Donald Graham, the chairman of the board of Graham Holdings Company (GHC.N) and former publisher of The Washington Post, personally retained two lobbyists earlier this year to advocate on behalf of retaining the program that has allowed immigrant children to remain legally in the country. . . .”
Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: With DACA, Jeff Sessions bent Trump to his will — again
Editorial, Chicago Sun-Times: Tell it to Alonso Guillen that Dreamers have no place here
Editorial, Detroit Free Press: With DACA ending, it’s up to Congress to rescue dreamers
Editorial, El Paso Times: Ending DACA is indefensible and immoral
Editorial, Kansas City Star: How Missouri and Kansas leaders could be part of the solution to Trump’s DACA problems
Editorial, News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: Business leaders make a strong stand against ending DACA
Editorial, Philadelphia Inquirer: What must be done to save the ‘Dreamers’ from Trump politics
Editorial, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: Trump makes a bad call on DACA
Editorial, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Trump puts the onus on Congress to address the Dreamer conundrum
Editorial, Seattle Times: Let DACA deadline kick-start overdue immigration reform
Emil Guillermo, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: What killed DACA? Trump’s white identity politics
Renée Graham, Boston Globe: It’s not up to Obama to save DACA
Suzette Hackney, Indianapolis Star: Trump, please stop pretending you care about minorities
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: Deporting Dreamers won’t mend our broken spirit
Andrés Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Many ‘Dreamers’ are more American than President Trump. Here’s why.
Rubén Rosario, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: Do right by the DACA kids. It’s the truly American way
Barrington M. Salmon, NBCBLK: Black Immigrant Communities Reeling From DACA Reversal
Fabiola Santiago, Miami Herald: ‘Good and decent people’ don’t destroy Dreamer lives. Bigoted ones do.
Lourdes Santos Tancinco Esq., inquirer.net/New America Media: End of DACA Puts at Risk Up to 6,000 Young Filipino Recipients
Pete Vernon, Columbia Journalism Review: The media today: Mixed messages from the White House on ‘dreamers’
“Omarosa ain’t worried about an attempt to lock her out of President Trump’s inner circle, ‘cause she has the one thing 45 values more than anything,” tmz.com reported Tuesday, referring to Omarosa Newman, the communications director for the Office of Public Liaison.
“We got the ex-’Apprentice’ star and current Trump adviser at Reagan International in D.C. and asked straight up — is it true Chief of Staff, Gen. John Kelly, wants her out?
“Omaraosa laughed it off, saying the reports sound awfully similar to stuff she heard when Reince Priebus was running the show.
“She added, rather confidently, she has 14 years of face time with Trump in the bank ... and thinks that’ll carry her over for a good long while.”
Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng reported Saturday in the Daily Beast that “Kelly has taken steps to prevent her and other senior staffers from getting unvetted news articles on the president’s Resolute desk—a key method for influencing the president’s thinking, and one that Manigualt [Newman’s maiden name] used to rile up Trump about internal White House drama.”
“Jason Whitlock doesn’t care about Black people,” Carron J. Phillips wrote Thursday for the Daily News in New York.
“I’ll save you the time of listing all the ways one of the most powerful, and somehow always employed, [columnists] and commentators has continuously belittled, mocked, or insulted the very people who look like him, because the actions of this past week are enough in themselves.
“On Tuesday night, Whitlock posted a photo from a segment from an FS1 show that has yet to air, and may not ever be broadcast, due to the backlash.
“In the photo, Whitlock is wearing an apron holding a football. Alongside him is a man, who appears to be white, in a Colin Kaepernick jersey, sporting an afro wig, with an oversized black glove raised high in a Black Power salute.
“For those of you who might not follow along, Whitlock has been hyper critical of Kaepernick since he started his protest during the national anthem, and could be labeled as Kaepernick’s greatest adversary in the media.
“TMZ later revealed that the man portraying Kaepernick in the segment/skit was not white, but was Kid from Kid ‘n Play — aka Christopher Reid, who is a light-skinned Black man, and part of the classic Rap group that gave us the ‘House Party’ trilogy and ‘Class Act.’ A series of four movies that many in the Black community would label as cinematic classics.
“In classic Whitlock fashion, he’ll probably describe this situation as satire, or tell people like myself that it ‘isn’t that serious.’ However, I believe he knew the shock value that would occur when he posted a picture of a fair-skinned man posing to be Kaepernick.
“To him it was funny.
“But you know who isn’t laughing?
“Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett.
“On Wednesday morning, Bennett shared a letter on social media in which he describes being targeted by Las Vegas police after the Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor fight for being a black man ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ . . .”
Tom Ley reported Thursday for Deadspin, “Fortunately for those who were offended by Whitlock’s tweet, the skit in question will never see the light of day. A source familiar with the situation tells us that the producers of Whitlock’s show made a collective decision to spike the segment because it didn’t meet their standards. The source added that Whitlock and Reid had only finished filming part of the skit, and that it had never been officially greenlit in the first place. . . .”
Blake Apgar and Carri Geer Thevenot, Las Vegas Review-Journal: Las Vegas police say race played no role in Michael Bennett’s detainment
Jerry Brewer, Washington Post: Sorry for the inconvenience fans, but black athlete activism is multiplying (Aug. 16)
Roy S. Johnson, al.com: NFL is vulnerable to Kaepernick boycott, thanks, in part, to this Alabama pastor
“This Indian Needs a Job,” Mary Annette Pember wrote Wednesday for Columbia Journalism Review.
“On September 4, Indian Country Today Media Network ceased publishing. Although the site’s existing content will remain available online through January 2018, the owners of ICTMN, the Oneida Nation of New York, has decided to call it quits. The self-described ‘leading source of news and information for contemporary Native cultures’ is for sale. . . .”
“Now — if I’m lucky — I return to what one colleague aptly described as the lot of most Native American journalists: explaining Indians to white people. “
Pember also wrote, “While the struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline project near the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota elevated Indians a bit in the media, overall we remain defined by our ‘plight’ and our gold standard of despair. We are reliable chart toppers in the categories of poverty, addiction, violence and suicide.
“At ICTMN, however, writers dove into the complex historical and political underpinnings of these narrow depictions that define us in the legacy press.
“We reported like Indians, from the ground up. We spoke to the aunties, cousins, grandparents and kids who do the business of living in Indian communities. Jacqui Banaszynski, former Knight Chair in editing at the Missouri School of Journalism and fellow at the Poynter Institute, once described great journalists as wing walkers, those air-show barnstormers who wandered the edges of airplanes mid-flight. ICTMN editors urged us to walk way the hell out.
“Although the outside world may define us by our social problems, topics such as sex trafficking, violence against women and suicide are off limits within many Indian communities. Openly discussing these problems is often seen as a form of community betrayal and can have painful repercussions for reporters and their families.
“As Amanda Takes War Bonnett, communications director for the Great Plains Women’s Society, has said, ‘The silence from Indian Country regarding sexual violence and other problems is deafening.’ We took these difficult topics head on and, in the end, helped create a public space that emboldened Indian people to come forward from the shadow of fear and shame. . . .”
Mark Trahant, TrahantReports.Com: We need a ‘vehicle of Indian intelligence’ for Indian Country news
“Gauri Lankesh, an Indian journalist, publisher and outspoken critic of right-wing groups, was shot dead by unknown attackers in front of her home in the southern city of Bangalore on Tuesday,” Saif Khalid reported Wednesday for Al Jazeera. “She was 55.
“ ‘The fact that she was so vocal made her a prime target,’ Sudipto Mondal, a Bangalore-based journalist . . . , told Al Jazeera.
“ ‘And I suppose that goes for a lot of people over here, which is why there are fears that other people might be in the line.’
“The news of Lankesh’s killing met shock and outrage, with journalists, civil society members and students across the country sharply condemning the murder.
“ ‘Gauri Lankesh was a known critic of the central government on key issues and had fearlessly expressed her views in the newspaper she edited, as well as in other forums, the Editors Guild of India said in a statement.
“ ‘Her killing is an ominous portent for dissent in democracy and a brutal assault on the freedom of the press.’ . . .”
Richard Prince’s Journal-isms originates from Washington. It began in print before most of us knew what the internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a “column.” Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.
Send tips, comments and concerns to Richard Prince at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journal-isms is originally published on journal-isms.com. Reprinted on The Root by permission.