Tag Archives: race

The whiter shade of pale primaries are now over

The whiter shade of pale primaries are now over. The overwhelming whiteness of Iowa and New Hampshire, in context. The election results tell us nothing about the greater American electorate, which is far more diverse.

Screenshot from 2016-02-10 13:49:31Iowa and New Hampshire have for far too long enjoyed “first in the nation” status with electorates that are not at all representative of America. They enjoy an outsized influence over our elections which is not merited, and is not healthy for our political process. This should be the last election that these states enjoy “first in the nation” status.

It is long past time that we fix this biased primary system. See Dylan Matthews at Vox.com, I’m from New Hampshire, and the New Hampshire primary has to go:

By putting Iowa and New Hampshire first, the Democratic and Republican parties are effectively saying that disproportionate power and influence should go to a small group of overwhelmingly white people in rural areas and small cities. That influence shouldn’t go to a state or region with a large Hispanic population. It shouldn’t go to a state or region with a large black population. It shouldn’t go to a state with large cities and a strong interest in urban issues. It should go to these people instead.

That does a profound disservice to the millions of Americans living in diverse, densely populated areas. Or, to put it more bluntly, it gives white people outsize power in determining nominees, and disenfranchises black, Hispanic, Asian Americans, and Native Americans relatively speaking.

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On the obsessive focus on poor people’s morality

Per Gawker:

Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic and Jonathan Chait of New York have, over the past week, been engaged in something equal parts duel and duet in the pixels of their respective magazine’s websites. Their debate has plumbed the depths of race and racism in America, working out the questions of civic and historical responsibility in a public forum with respect and grace. As readers and citizens we are privileged to bear witness to this dialogue. They’ve also thrown some damn good shade at each other, so let’s look at that.

The Gawker piece provides a quick synopsis of the debate (you should read all the links) and since then Coates (who is the clear winner in my opinion) has followed up with this and this, which I cannot recommend enough. Continue reading