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New York state of mind

After a request from the audience, Billy Joel sings “New York State Of Mind” with Vanderbilt University student Michael Pollack, filmed during “An Evening of Questions and Answers and a Little Bit of Music” at the university in January 2013.

Being white in Philly Mag

[I saw the story title again today in a CVS, in big bold white caps. It’s the end of the world!]

Chances are slim that Philadelphia Magazine‘s March cover piece, “Being White in Philly,” by Robert Huber, was meant as anything more than an exercise in cynicism. Huber had to know that his confused personal impressions regarding race relations didn’t add up to an actual story. And his editor surely saw that the piece was ill-conceived and unresolved, more likely to stir up resentment than encourage dialogue between black and white city residents.

whites

Huber affected the “why can’t we all get along” tone of a white Rodney King, but with little bombs of condescension that could only have been meant to provoke:

But like many people, I yearn for much more: that I could feel the freedom to speak to my African-American neighbors about, say, not only my concerns for my son’s safety living around Temple, but how the inner city needs to get its act together.

Substituting “inner city” made Huber’s generalization seem even more insulting than it would have if he’d used “blacks.” His professed yearning to speak to his black neighbors reminds us that he didn’t quote, and perhaps didn’t even speak with, any black Philadelphians while doing his research (if you can call it that).

It seems the article was meant to piss off blacks while appealing to the magazine’s core demographic — reasonably well-off and well-educated whites who respond to ads for luxury cars and liposuction. Huber and Philly Mag were saying it’s OK for these whites to think of themselves as tolerant despite their fear and loathing of blacks; that it’s only natural to feel this way about people who, after all these years, still can’t get their act together.

Huber was writing more about class than race, but acknowledging this fact would have called attention to the superficiality of his analysis. He offered a brief history of white flight from Philly, but mentioned none of the underlying socioeconomic factors that have widened the gulf not only between whites and blacks but also between the well-off and poor of both races.

There’s an even wider gulf between bad journalism and the truth. I was there, growing up in a Philly neighborhood that was transitioning from white to black in the 1960s-1970s, hanging out with other white kids who were engaged in an ongoing street war with black kids. The shootings and stabbings were manifestations of forces that all of us, black and white, couldn’t control or even understand.

These forces are still at work, and articles such as Huber’s do nothing to shed light on why they persist. But they do boost print sales and online traffic, and that’s the bottom line.

Unfuckingbelievable

Seriously?

After their truck was plugged with more than 100 bullets, two women accidentally shot by the LAPD in the manhunt for Christopher Dorner are not getting the replacement vehicle they were promised over a month ago.

NBC 4 in LA reports that 71-year-old Emma Hernandez and her daughter, who had been delivering newspapers when eight police officers opened fire on them out of the blue, no longer want the new truck after being told they’d need to pose for a photo op and pay income tax on it. The truck was valued at $32,560.

Rhythm chicken

And a little girl who’s digging it:

Lovely!

Lt General Craig A. Franklin, a U.S. Air Force Commander, has overruled and tossed out a military court jury’s decision that found Lt. Colonel James Wilkerson guilty of sexually assaulting his subordinate, a woman service member who serves in the Air Force as a physician’s assistant. The assault occurred while the victim lay sleeping.

“Franklin’s decision to set aside the verdict freed Wilkerson after four months in a South Carolina brig, erased his conviction and restored the F-16 pilot, who’d been selected for promotion, to full-duty status,” Stars and Stripes reported.

“Lt General Craig Franklin, commander of the Third Air Force based at Ramstein in Germany, exercised his discretion under the Uniform Code on Military Justice and concluded that the entire body of evidence was insufficient to meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. As the ‘convening authority,’ Franklin, who did not interview the victim, was not required to provide further explanation for his ruling and his disposition is final,” the Guardian UK reports.

Thought for the day

When God closes one door and opens a window, He’s probably pooping.

So a friend offers you a dollar

To jump into a mud puddle with your new sneakers:

Paul Ryan

Lies so much, even the media are starting to notice!

Whiny white people

shareofbenefits

NY Times:

Black people, who make up 22% of the poor, receive 14% of government benefits. White people, who make up 42% of the poor, receive 69% of government benefits.

Don’t worry, it’s not as if Teabaggers pay any attention to facts. Because otherwise, their heads might explode. See, they can’t simply say, “Oh, good, I was wrong and I need to change my thinking.” Their brains only work in reverse.

Godspeed (good night)

Dixie Chicks cover Radney Foster:

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