May 24, 2008 |
Former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez is one of California's most gifted politicians; filmmaker Spike Lee is a remarkable American artist. This week, both of them made utter fools of themselves, and understanding exactly how they did so tells us something important about where we are as a people and as a country. There was a time, not long ago, when the worst hypocrisy in American public life was the pretense that race and ethnicity somehow didn't matter. But that's not the case any more.
August 22, 2002
The Times has once again displayed an ability to play the race card like Heifetz played the violin--often and to perfection. I refer to your report on pedestrian deaths in Los Angeles County ("Inequities in Pedestrian Deaths," Aug. 19), where a bar graph of the victims' race is prominently displayed along with a map pinpointing the accident locations. As a casual observer, I would suspect that a victim's age might be a more important determining characteristic in the study of pedestrian fatalities, to say nothing of factors such as time of day, month or season of the year, traffic counts at the accident location, type of motor vehicles involved, etc. As a longtime reader, I have come to the conclusion that Times staffers and editors are firmly convinced that race is the determining characteristic of every single element of the human condition.
October 5, 1995 |
Tuesday morning had the feel of an election day. The jurors--not the pollsters nor the pundits--now would return the only verdict that really counted. What interested me was not so much the fate of O.J. Simpson, but whether the "race card" again had worked, as it has in so many elections. You never really can prove with certainty the effectiveness of a race card. People won't admit--sometimes even to themselves--that their vote was rooted in racism.
July 10, 2002 |
Dear Rev. Al and Johnnie C., Don't play the race card. You guys are on the verge of something big with this music- industry reform thing. You have the chance to become major players on this issue, especially if you continue the partnership with the Recording Artists Coalition and the growing number of musician-friendly legislators looking to overturn the ailing industry. But you'll mess it up if you claim racism is the industry's main problem.
April 15, 1999 |
Barbara Boudreaux had every reason to believe she could retain the Los Angeles school board's 1st District seat Tuesday. She carried the race card, an ace that had swept the African American incumbent to victory before. In this election, however, her race card got trumped.
December 14, 2003 |
The boos came down hard and authoritatively when Rasheed Wallace's name was announced, for the moment disproving yet another part of Wallace's now-infamous interview. "I ain't worried about that," Wallace said. "That [stuff] don't affect me. I still go out there and play. Just because they're raining the boos, that don't stop me from playing." Didn't stop him from scoring 28 points in a Trail Blazer victory over the Lakers, either.
April 23, 2008 |
Former President Clinton's stumbles on the campaign trail have sometimes put the focus more on himself than on his wife. On Monday, he accused the Barack Obama campaign of playing "the race card" on him after the South Carolina primary, a charge that drew a rebuke from Obama. Clinton told a Philadelphia radio station that his comments were "twisted" after he likened Obama's primary victory in the state to Jesse Jackson's.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 1999 |
There were three lessons learned from the city's primary election: Better times mean a pitiful voter turnout; the end is far from in sight for "identity politics," and big money can make a difference for a candidate. Politicians had their cake and ate it, too, with the happy-days-are-here-again theme. They wrung their hands and wailed about voter apathy, yet they endlessly chattered on about how L.A.
September 18, 2003 |
The arguments against Proposition 54 -- the state initiative that would spare Californians the indignity of declaring their race on state forms and applications -- bring to mind the joke about the man driven to his roof by rising floodwaters. A rowboat comes to rescue him but he turns it down. "God will save me," he says. A helicopter and a speedboat come next but he turns them down as well. "God will save me," he keeps saying. Finally the waters overwhelm him and he drowns.