There’s Only So Much Race Can Tell Us

Democratic voters Davidson North Carolina
Democratic voters in Davidson, North Carolina listen to a speech, October 12, 2016 (Hillary for America/Alyssa S.)

American journalists continue to parse the November electorate, specifically the Latino vote.

Matthew Yglesias, formerly of Vox, has a good newsletter about Donald Trump’s gains with Latino voters in which he links to Harry Enten’s analysis for CNN. It turns out Trump didn’t appeal to just Latinos of Cuban, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan descent, who may have been alarmed by Democratic flirtations with socialism given the experience in their home countries; he did better with Latinos of all backgrounds compared to four years ago.

This is fascinating to political junkies like us, but having just moved back to the Netherlands, where the campaign for the general election in March is slowly getting underway, I’m reminded that this sort of demographic analysis is almost entirely absent in Europe. Read more “There’s Only So Much Race Can Tell Us”

Race Is a Poor Predictor of How Americans Will Vote

Miami Florida
Skyline of Miami, Florida (Unsplash/Ryan Parker)

For years, it looked like Republicans were becoming the party of white, left-behind America and Democrats the party of upper-class whites and racial minorities.

Tuesday’s election hasn’t upended that narrative, but it has put a dent in it.

If you had to pick one characteristic to predict party affiliation, it would be education. The better educated Americans are, the more likely they are to vote Democratic.

Gender is another fair predictor. Women historically vote more Democratic than men. But relatively fewer men voted for Trump this year than in 2016, according to exit polls. Read more “Race Is a Poor Predictor of How Americans Will Vote”

Policing in America Is Broken. There Are Solutions

Oakland California police
Police in Oakland, California at night, May 1, 2015 (Thomas Hawk)

Since George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, cops have been caught on video arresting and beating up Americans for speaking out or doing nothing at all, driving their cars into a crowd, tear-gassing peaceful protesters and bystanders, and arresting and attacking journalists.

The New York Times puts it well: “Facing protests over use of force, police respond with more force.”

They are being egged on by President Donald Trump, who has described the protests as “acts of terror”, called on governors to “dominate” the streets and threatened to deploy the military; Republican senators, who have suggested the police commit war crimes to suppress the protests; and conservative media, who portray all demonstrators as far-left radicals. Read more “Policing in America Is Broken. There Are Solutions”

How to Lose Friends and Influence People

de Young Museum San Francisco California
Visitors of de Young museum in San Francisco, California, October 16, 2005 (Thomas Hawk)

Social justice warriors can be their own worst enemies.

For the first time, an openly gay man is running for president in America — but queer activists like Greta LaFleur and Dale Peck (whose article was pulled from The New Republic for its obscenity) are still unhappy. Pete Buttigieg is white, married and middle-class, and therefore somehow not gay enough.

The current United States Congress is the most diverse ever, but for Massachusetts congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (one of the Democratic lawmakers President Donald Trump shamefully told to “go back” to their own countries, no matter that she was born in Ohio), this isn’t enough:

We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice. We don’t need Muslims that don’t want to be a Muslim voice. We don’t need queers that don’t want to be a queer voice.

If you thought the point of equality and liberation was that gender, sexual orientation and skin color would one day no longer matter, well, you’re just blind to your own oppression or an Uncle Tom for the patriarchy, heteronormativity, white supremacy — pick your poison. Read more “How to Lose Friends and Influence People”

Britain, EU Agree Transition Deal. Black Men Face Challenges in America

The United Kingdom has agreed to remain part of the European single market during the transition period following its departure from the bloc on March 29, 2019.

For the next year and a half, goods, services, capital and people would continue to move freely in and out of the United Kingdom. However, London will no longer have a say in the making of EU rules, including fishing quotas.

Other parts of the transition agreement include:

  • Britain will be allowed to negotiate and sign trade deals that go into effect after December 31, 2020.
  • Short of an innovative solution, Northern Ireland will continue to live under EU regulations, avoiding the need for a hard border in Ulster but creating the need for one between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

Hardliners in Britain are appalled by the concessions. Read more “Britain, EU Agree Transition Deal. Black Men Face Challenges in America”

Charlottesville and a Country Coming Apart

United States flag
Flag of the United States in Washington DC (Unsplash/Chris Hardy)

A lot of the news is focused on President Donald Trump’s failure to condemn this weekend’s racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and rightly so.

Given the opportunity to denounce white supremacists who carried Confederate flags and torches through the university town and chanted “Jews will not replace us” as well as the Nazi slogan “blood and soil”, Trump equivocated, saying he blamed “hatred, bigotry and violence that’s on many sides, on many sides” — suggesting that the people who came out to protest against the neo-Nazis were just as responsible for the altercations that occurred.

When asked if he considered the murder of one counterdemonstrator by a white man in his car an act of terrorism, Trump — to the delight of his alt-right fanboys — refused to say anything and walked off the stage.

Compare this with his insistence on using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” whenever a Muslim commits an act of violence — and his insinuation that anyone who doesn’t must be an appeaser or sympathizer of radical Islam. Read more “Charlottesville and a Country Coming Apart”

Doubtful Fewer Latinos Turned Out for Clinton

Hillary Clinton
Former American secretary of state Hillary Clinton gives a speech in Iowa, January 23 (Hillary for America/Barbara Kinney)

Exit poll data on election night suggested that Hillary Clinton had fared unexpectedly poorly with Latino voters whom her opponent, Donald Trump, had disparaged throughout the presidential campaign.

As reported by CNN, which commissioned Edison Research for the exit poll together with other national media outlets, only 65 percent of Latinos reportedly supported Clinton against 29 percent for Trump.

That would be worse than Barack Obama did four years ago. He got 71 percent of the Latino vote against 27 percent for Mitt Romney.

The exit poll also said that Hispanic turnout had barely increased from 2012.

Both findings fly in the face of various preelection polls, which had predicted that Latinos would turn out in higher numbers and overwhelmingly back Clinton.

It’s possible they did and the exit poll got it wrong. Read more “Doubtful Fewer Latinos Turned Out for Clinton”

High Hispanic Turnout Could Doom Trump’s Candidacy

Share of the American Hispanic or Latino population per state, according to the 2010 census

One the factors that could decide the outcome of Tuesday’s presidential election in the United States is turnout among Hispanics.

Spanish-speaking Americans have been warier of voting than other ethnicities. Less than half voted in 2012 against 62 percent of whites and 66 percent of black voters.

This year, the Republican candidate’s anti-Hispanic rhetoric is driving up Hispanic turnout to his disadvantage. If more Hispanics than usual turn out to vote in states like Arizona, Florida and Nevada, it could decide the election in Hillary Clinton’s favor.

Politico cautions against reading too much into polls that put Clinton ahead among Hispanics anywhere between 15 and 55 points. Hispanics are hard to reach, because they are less likely to have landlines, and pollsters can’t be sure how many will actually turn out to vote.

But the early voting figures don’t look good for Trump. Read more “High Hispanic Turnout Could Doom Trump’s Candidacy”

White Backlash Fueled Donald Trump’s Candidacy

Edward Luce has an excellent essay in the Financial Times this weekend about how white working-class backlash in America has propelled Donald Trump’s candidacy.

He cites Carol Anderson, a professor of African American studies and author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, which appeared in May, arguing that the trigger for white rage is inevitably black advancement.

This is the subtext to proclamations like “let’s take our country back” and “make America great again” that can be heard at Trump’s rallies. Read more “White Backlash Fueled Donald Trump’s Candidacy”

Trump Whips Supporters Into Frenzy Over Black Protests

Just when it seemed that Donald Trump would — for once — not exploit an incident of violence, he has come out with characteristic lies and hatemongering.

The Republican kept mum in the days after five police officers were assassinated in Dallas, Texas while protecting a rally against police violence. He was even praised by some for not inserting himself in the national debate about police brutality and making the situation worse.

That’s the bigotry of low expectations: when you expect someone to jump on every tragedy to further his political cause, you are relieved when he doesn’t.

But Trump can’t help himself. Read more “Trump Whips Supporters Into Frenzy Over Black Protests”