August 27, 2010 |
President Obama botched it again. From the beginning, I knew things were going to be tough for him, what with the economy and two wars and all. But I assumed he could at least strike the right tone on matters of race and color. Yes, I know he was the black guy elected to not say anything about color, but I refused to believe Obama would stick to that deal, at least not all the time. But then came the humiliation of watching Obama backtrack on his (correct) opinion about the racial profiling of scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr.; more recently, there was the panicky, preemptive firing of Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod for allegedly making anti-white comments.
February 10, 2010
'Faces of America With Henry Louis Gates Jr.' Where: KCET When: 8 p.m. Wednesday Rating: TV-PG (may be unsuitable for young children)
February 10, 2010 |
When Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. started his latest genealogical project for PBS, which used historical archives and cutting-edge genetic research to trace the ancestry of a dozen famous Americans, he already had one hoped-for outcome in mind. "I wanted to pick someone who is Jewish and someone who is Muslim and pray we get the same result in their DNA," he said. Sure enough, genetic testing revealed that director Mike Nichols, of Eastern European Jewish heritage, and surgeon and television host Mehmet Oz, the son of Turkish Muslim immigrants, had a common paternal ancestor thousands of years ago. "That is like affirming the story of Abraham," Gates said delightedly.
August 2, 2009 |
President Obama's White House beer with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge police Sgt. James Crowley was good for garnering headlines. But let's have no expectations about its worth or reach as a "teachable moment" when it comes to complicated social issues. Why? Because Gates appears to be a product of his institution and, like Harvard professors who preceded him, mired in the past and unwilling to move beyond his assumptions. I believe I can make the comparison.
August 2, 2009 |
Cartoonists copped an attitude and played our race cards after the high-profile arrest that led to the Great Barack Brew-Ha-Ha Summit. Mike Keefe brooded over countless past injustices, while Steve Kelley countered with a counterintuitive lunch-counter encounter. Nate Beeler focused on how the president's flat-footed footnote fell flat, unfavorably comparing the prez to his loose-lipped (if somewhat more seasoned) lieutenant. -- Joel Pett
July 31, 2009 |
A national furor over race relations paused Thursday as President Obama, in a shady spot on the White House lawn near the Rose Garden, sat down for beers with a black Harvard professor and the white police officer who arrested him two weeks ago. For the two men who raised their mugs with the president and vice president -- both guests dressed in suits and ties and sitting stiffly in what was meant to be a casual moment -- the discussion of race and policing will go on. Sgt.