Elmendorf and Spencer used data from the 2008 National Annenberg Election Survey, which asked non-blacks to rank their own racial group and blacks regarding intelligence, trustworthiness, and work ethic. Respondents ranked their racial group above blacks by an average of 15 points in each of these categories, perhaps proving the Avenue Q claim that “everyone’s a little bit racist.” Elmendorf and Spencer, however, only counted a person as “prejudiced” if he thought his racial group was more superior to blacks than the average person—and only if he thought so in two or more of the three categories. That is, a respondent could think his race was a lot better than blacks and still not count as racist under their methodology.
The results were striking: the researchers’ mathematical model suggests that of the seven states in the country with the highest percentage of people who are biased against black people, six are Southern states—Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina—required to seek federal approval for election law changes under the VRA. Arizona and Alaska, the other two states required to get the feds’ permission before changing their election laws, ranked much lower in anti-black bias. But as Elmendorf and Spencer note, these states are presumably required to seek that permission because of other bias—anti-Latino in Arizona and anti-Native American in Alaska—which their study did not measure. (Besides the eight states mentioned above, the VRA requires some counties and municipalities in seven other states to seek federal permission to change election rules.)
The researchers crunched the data several different ways to make sure they were getting valid results. But “whichever approach you pick, the Deep South states are close to the top,” Elmendorf says.
Elmendorf and Spencer’s study may have come too late: The Supreme Court is widely expected to strike down the portion of the VRA that governs which states are and are not required to seek the feds’ permission to change their election rules. If that happens, Congress will have to come up with new rules to determine which states this section of the VRA should cover. If lawmakers decide to embrace Roberts’ implication that states with more racist attitudes should receive special scrutiny, Elmendorf and Spencer’s study suggests they could end up with a list of VRA-covered states that looks a lot like today’s.
… where, in the song, he enters a Synagogue wearing his grand father’s Iron Cross. When asked, the performer said, “It was just something that I thought people should hear”.
Love, heartbreak, patriotism, and partying have helped make country music the top-selling genre in the US. Segregation and slavery? Not so much.
Yet “Accidental Racist” fits into a long tradition of Southern musicians trying in good faith to reflect on the region’s complicated past. Whether it was the “hillbilly” music marketed to whites from Appalachia and the Ozarks in the 1920s or Lynyrd Skynyrd’s response to Neil Young in 1974’s “Sweet Home Alabama, Southern musicians have sought to address the outsider’s perspective that Southern pride is tied to the legacy of slavery and the Civil War.
“I’m not sure if we were going to find any answers, but it was the idea we would ask the question. In the end, what I felt we had on tape was something we felt people needed to hear,” he told ABC News Tuesday.
Montgomery Circuit Judge Charles Price issued an order this morning blocking a controversial school choice bill from being sent to Gov. Robert Bentley for his signature today.
Legislative staff would have sent the bill to Bentley shortly after lawmakers convened at 1 p.m. Bentley planned to sign the bill this afternoon. Price issued his order shortly before 11 a.m.
The Alabama Education Association filed a lawsuit Monday night seeking to stop the legislation that would give parents zoned for “failing” schools an estimated $3,500 income tax credit to help pay for tuition at a private school or another public school.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a taxpayer and claims that the Republican majority violated the Open Meetings Act when the tax credit program was added to a bill in conference committee with little discussion.
“When the conference committee goes off and takes a break and comes back and they’ve got a 27-page bill. We’re saying they met and had an illegal meeting,” said lawyer James Anderson.
Iron-fisted enforcement of the 1965 Voting Rights Act transformed American politics, especially in the South, by making sure minorities had a clear path to the ballot box and an equal shot at public service.
Forty-eight years later, after the re-election of an African-American president, the heart of that law is on trial.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Feb. 27 in a case that is sure to ignite a national debate over how far the country has progressed on racial issues and whether minority voters still need extra protection.
Shelby County, Ala., opposed by the Justice Department and civil rights groups, wants two key sections of the Voting Rights Act declared unconstitutional.
The Invisible Empire is experiencing a revival in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Three chapters of the Ku Klux Klan have reemerged in the state, holding rallies, lighting crosses, and seeking new members. Anger over gay rights, racial changes in the population, and a black president are frequent refrains at these rallies. Yet Klan members say they are not about hate, but about taking pride in their own race. “The blacks have the NAACP [The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], the Mexicans La Raza, and the Jews have the ADL [The Anti-Defamation League],” says Stan Martin of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. “We whites have the Ku Klux Klan.”
In places where terror groups persist year to year, decade decade, there’s often a support system that’s based on money from narcotics and kidnapping. It’s a pattern that’s seen all around the world, so whether it’s Shining Path and Cocaine, or the Taliban and Opium, you can bet the narcoterror ties are there for any long lasting terror groups.
Thai authorities alleged Saturday that drug dealers had a hand in deadly coordinated bombings in the country’s south that killed four people and wounded dozens more.
Police Col. Jakraporn Thaenthong, said the death toll from Friday night’s three bombs in the border town of Sungai Kolok climbed to four after a wounded victim died in hospital. Jakraporn, the town’s police chief, said that 13 of the more than 60 people hurt in the attack were severely wounded.
The attack by bombs concealed in a car and two motorcycles in the town bordering Malaysia was one of the biggest since Thailand’s new government was installed in August. More than 4,700 people have been killed in the Muslim-dominated southernmost provinces of Thailand since an Islamist insurgency erupted in 2004. No one immediately claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks.
“The attacks were in response to the authorities’ frequent crackdown on narcotics,” Jakraporn said. He said that since the new government took office in August, police have seized about 100,000 methamphetamine tablets in Narathiwat province, where Sungai Kolok is located. He said the latest anti-drug crackdown in the area took place on Wednesday.
The outlook for conservative Christianity is really, really bright. Or really dim.
It all depends which side of the Equator you live on.
This happy/gloomy view comes via the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which recently released a new Global Survey of Evangelical Protestant Leaders. In an enterprising move, Pew interviewed leaders who attended the Third Lausanne Congress of World Evangelization, held in October in Cape Town, South Africa.
Of Christians in the so-called Global South, most said evangelicalism will be better off and gain influence within five years. Most in the North, by contrast, said the faith will stay about the same or lose influence. In the United States, a sizable 82 percent said evangelicals are losing influence.
Some 1,400 civilians have been killed in southern Sudan this year, many by ill-disciplined former rebels incorporated into the security forces before its secession, a senior U.N. official said on Wednesday.
Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang told reporters that to halt such mayhem it was vital for the police and army of the new state to be trained and for their work to be observed by human rights monitors.
“Our information is that at least 1,400 civilians have been killed in south Sudan this year alone,” said Kang, who has just returned from a visit there. South Sudan is due to become independent from the north on July 9.