Tuesday Open Thread | Toni Morrison Week



Today’s featured novel… The Bluest Eye

Wiki:  The Bluest Eye is a 1970 novel by American author Toni Morrison. It is Morrison’s first novel and was written while she was teaching at Howard University and raising her two sons on her own.[1] The story is about a year in the life of a young black girl named Pecola who develops an inferiority complex due to her eye color and skin appearance. It is set in Lorain, Ohio, against the backdrop of America’s Midwest during the years following the Great Depression. The point of view switches between the perspective of Claudia MacTeer, as a child and as an adult, and a third-person omniscient viewpoint. Because of the controversial nature of the book, which deals with racism, incest, and child molestation, there have been numerous attempts to ban it from schools and libraries.


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48 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | Toni Morrison Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    West Wing Reports ✔ @WestWingReport

    The climate change agreement between U.S. and China worked out in secret over 9 months, NYTimes reports; potentially a major game changer
    9:51 PM – 11 Nov 2014

  2. rikyrah says:

    Mother Jones ✔ @MotherJones

    BREAKING: The US and China Just Announced a Huge Deal on Climate—and it’s a Gamechanger http://bit.ly/1B5DQBz

  3. rikyrah says:

    “Just Being Who We Are Is Extremely Risky”: An Honest Discussion On Race In Silicon Valley

    A small group of African-American tech leaders met recently for a roundtable discussion that was funny, frank, and uncompromising.
    By J.J. McCorvey

    As part of the reporting on this month’s magazine profile of Tristan Walker, Fast Company brought together a roundtable discussion of other African-American tech leaders. The conversation spanned everything from hiring practices of top firms to entrepreneurial funding.

    Fast Company: What are your thoughts about the diversity reports from Apple, Facebook, Google, and other tech companies?

    Larry “L.J.” Erwin: I know the numbers are unsettling, but I applaud the Googles and the Facebooks and Yahoos for actually releasing those numbers. I’ve worked in an industry before called “finance.” It’s been around for at least 150 to 175 years, and the numbers (a) are not as open and as transparent as they are at Google and Facebook and (b) are probably about the same, 1% to 3% [of the total workforce]. And they’ve got a 120-year, 125-year head start over Silicon Valley. So Silicon Valley is definitely scaling at a faster rate than finance.

    Tyler Scriven: I have a slightly different view. In the report that Google published, they said they’ve spent roughly $40 million on diversity efforts over the past 10 years. They’ve spent, I’ll guess, several hundreds of millions of dollars in the past two years on self-driving cars. If companies like Google truly wanted to solve this problem, they’d spend more than $40 million over 10 years and make a much more significant effort. So my conclusion is that right now we actually don’t want to solve it.

    Amoy Walker: Just looking at the numbers is not enough. Like, what is the actual issue: Why are there not enough African-Americans in STEM, and what’s the recruiting process? That’s what we need to focus on, rather than the chatter around numbers.

    Erin Teague: The problem starts much earlier, right? Only about 4% of the total engineering graduates every year are black, and only 18% of the total computer-science graduates are women. There need to be more people who enter college and pick these majors. But the real problem is at the top of the funnel, as in K–12. Most students decide at a very young age whether or not they’re good in math and science.

    Tony Gauda: Traditionally, the African-American successes children see are athletes and entertainers; they’re not STEM. I had a home that was very supportive of engineering and STEM, and I just thought it was my only alternative since I couldn’t play basketball, and I definitely can’t dance.

    Teague: There need to be people in your household who say, “You should be like this rock-star engineer.” I didn’t even know what a computer programming language was until my freshman year of college. So when you’re 18 and a freshman and decide to study this, you then realize everyone in the class has had exposure to this programming language for 10-plus years. It is hard to compete. On top of that, you’re the only one who’s black, and you’re the only one who’s a woman. You look around and don’t see anyone who looks like you. And, you’re like, Oh, I’m clearly not supposed to be here. [Laughter]


  4. rikyrah says:

    Nancy LeTourneau @Smartypants60

    Dudebros all excited about PBO’s statement on net neutrality. When it comes to things like voting rights/immigration…meh.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Obama Bashing Media Blame The President For MSNBC’s Ratings
    By: Jason Easley more from Jason Easley
    Tuesday, November, 11th, 2014, 3:51 pm

    The media have figured out why MSNBC is in a state of collapse. They aren’t blaming bad decisions by people who are running the network, or hosts that have caused viewers to flee. The media have decided that President Obama is to blame for MSNBC’s struggles.

    USA Today’s Michael Wolff wrote,

    The Democrats’ sinking fortunes have been pretty accurately charted in the declining ratings at MSNBC, the party’s house network, which culminated, on election night, in a 22% fall from the last midterm election in the all-important 25-to-54 age group.

    MSNBC’s problem is almost exactly the same as the Democrats’ problem: It built its future around a vivid and dramatic hero who, unfortunately, turned out to be both opaque and conflict averse. MSNBC now has a lineup of ever-righteous and often sulky defenders of President Barack Obama, who seem, not just to conservatives but to many liberals, too, bizarrely tone deaf and lost in time.

    The network, a hopeless laggard, finally started to break out of the cable news depths when its anchorman, Keith Olbermann, began to rant against President George W. Bush and against Fox. Olbermann quickly became MSNBC’s star and big kahuna, and was behind the hiring of liberal radio commentator Rachel Maddow, who became a second anti-Bush, pro-democratic programming pillar. Olbermann, however, famously difficult, was ousted by his NBC bosses. That left Griffin to pursue, with quite some hyperbole and inadvertent self-caricature — including Alec Baldwin’s brief moment and Ronan Farrow’s agonizingly longer one — a programming strategy to support the Democrats and adulate Obama.

    The interesting thing about Wolff’s column is that it is the exact opposite of what the people who watch MSNBC are saying. The reason viewers have fled the network isn’t because they don’t like President Obama anymore. The reasons that former viewers point to most often include hosts that have failed to connect with viewers, the firing/departure of popular talent (Olbermann & Bashir), the relentless Republican cheerleading that is Morning Joe, the yanking around of Ed Schultz, and a general feeling that those in charge of the network don’t care about their viewers want.

    One of the most frequent complaints from MSNBC viewers is that the network isn’t supportive enough of President Obama. The two most popular shows on MSNBC (Hardball, and Rachel Maddow) could not be characterized as pro-Obama hours. Besides gross mismanagement, MSNBC’s biggest problem is that they went all politics all of the time. If a viewer wants the news, they will probably need to go look elsewhere. MSNBC’s programming is often stale and redundant as hosts are left to cover the same handful of political topics over and again.


  6. rikyrah says:

    John Legend ✔ @johnlegend

    ya’ll better thank @piersmorgan for providing that simple, straightforward solution to racism. So brilliant. why didn’t we think of this???
    6:18 PM – 10 Nov 2014

    John Legend ✔ @johnlegend

    “If only this entire race of hundreds of millions of diverse people would agree on a vocabulary change, people would treat them better”
    7:24 PM – 10 Nov 2014

  7. rikyrah says:

    Pat Buchanan Says Democrats Have Forced GOP to Become Party of White People

    By: Hrafnkell Haraldsson more from Hrafnkell Haraldsson

    Tuesday, November, 11th, 2014, 8:05 am

    We have been witness, over the past six years, a non-stop Republican war on blacks. While Pat Buchanan, in an op-ed for World Net Daily (the only place with low enough standards to give the racist Buchanan a job), would like to re-imagine their race war as one in which Republicans are the black voter’s best friend, Michael Wells detailed the black voter’s woes for PoliticusUSA:

    In Greensboro, one of North Carolina’s largest cities, voters waited for hours to vote. At North Carolina A&T University, a historically black university, many African-American students were told they could not vote because they were in the wrong precinct; their mailing address did not match their dorm address and thus, did not match the voting rolls; and students were misled as to where to vote by mailers sent by super-PACs supporting Republican candidates.

    Ignoring all this, after years of voter suppression and intimidation, Buchanan assures blacks that, “as Republicans capture state legislatures across the South, they will wield their power as energetically to guarantee black Democrats get safe districts as the old Dixiecrat Democrats wielded their power to ensure that black folks could not vote.”


  8. rikyrah says:

    Justices review racial makeup of Alabama districts
    2 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In last week’s elections, Alabama Republicans shrank their once-powerful Democratic opponents to just eight seats in the state Senate, all of them from districts in which African-Americans are a majority.

    Black Democrats say the GOP did it by misusing a landmark voting-rights law, intended to ensure the right to vote for southern blacks, to instead limit their voting strength. Republicans, they argue, relied too heavily on race to draw new electoral maps following the 2010 census.

    The case goes before the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Last year a conservative majority on the court effectively blocked a key component of the Voting Rights Act, and this case will be watched closely for signs that the rest of the law could be in peril.


  9. rikyrah says:

    Rand Paul broaches the subject of Hillary Clinton’s age
    11/11/14 09:27 AM
    By Steve Benen

    For reasons that should be obvious, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) seems a little preoccupied with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lately. Last week, Republicans scored big election victories on Tuesday, and by Wednesday morning, the Kentucky senator was running around calling the results “a repudiation of Hillary Clinton.”

    Yesterday, he went just a little further.
    Is Hillary Clinton too old to be president? He won’t say it outright, but that’s the question Sen. Rand Paul is getting at.

    “It’s a very taxing undertaking to go through. It’s a rigorous physical ordeal, I think, to be able to campaign for the presidency,” the likely Republican presidential candidate told Politico Monday.
    Politico added that in context, the senator was “none too subtly raising the issue of her age.”

    Asked about possibly clarifying the comments, a Paul spokesperson told BuzzFeed, “Nothing to add here.”

    At a certain level, it’s hard for even Clinton’s most ardent supporters to get too worked up about stuff like this. It’s a certainty that Hillary Clinton has heard more insulting comments than these, and Rand Paul’s willingness to throw verbal jabs in her direction is only going intensify as the process unfolds.

    For that matter, the chatter itself is inevitable. Reagan, at age 69, faced questions about his age in 1980, as did John McCain in 2008 at age 72 and Bob Dole in 1996 at age 73. Clinton is 67 now, she’ll be 69 in 2016, and if she runs she’ll have to talk about this. I rather doubt this will be a problem for a possible Clinton campaign, but we’ll find out soon enough.

    What’s irksome, though, is the fact the chiding is coming from Rand Paul, of all people, who probably hasn’t thought this one through.


  10. rikyrah says:

    Kansas revenues will fall $1 billion short of 2015 and 2016 expenses, fiscal experts say
    11/11/2014 10:12 AM

    Kansas will collect $1 billion less in revenue in 2015 and 2016 than its projected expenses following massive income tax cuts signed into law by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

    The new revenue estimates released Monday revealed that Kansas would burn through about $380 million in reserves and still need to cut $280 million to balance its current budget for fiscal year 2015, which ends next June 30.

    The problem continues in 2016 when revenues are projected to run $436 million short of expenditures, the estimates show


  11. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    deray mckesson @deray · 49m 49 minutes ago
    Lupita. Flawless.

  12. rikyrah says:

    “This is definitely not UConn’s finest hour”: Community Uproar Against Campus Racism
    November 11, 2014

    The focus of the meeting was a confrontation which occurred on Sept. 29 between an African American sorority and a historically white fraternity.

    Greek students belonging to the fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha verbally accosted members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority after painting on a spirit rock, using racially-infused hate speech.

    “We were called whores, and after establishing that I was a university professional I was verbally accosted, and intimidation tactics were used,” said AKA Graduate Advisor Brittney Yancy. “They called me a fat black bitch, not just a fat bitch but a fat black bitch.”

    Although sanctions were administered against PIKE including the loss of rock painting privilege, individual members at the incident were not punished.

    “I have to deal with the fact that the student who has verbally accosted me received no punishment,” Yancy said.
    Noticeably absent from the meeting was any member of PIKE or other non-African American sororities, which was seen as indicative of a lack of perspective and understanding shown by the groups.

    “Why is it that none of the historically white sororities show their support for their fellow sororities? Is it because they don’t see them as women because they’re too busy seeing them as black, or is it instead that they align themselves with PIKE because they see themselves as being white,” Cazenave asked.


  13. Ametia says:

    Monday, November 10, 2014
    Valerie Jarrett has Obama’s back. So of course she’s a target.

    My tin foil hat wants to know why all of the sudden it is officially “Pick on Valerie Jarrett” week for pundits. In case you missed it, there have been two big hit pieces on her in the last couple of days. One from Carol Felsenthal and another from Noam Scheiber. Coincidence? You tell me.

    I didn’t read the one from Felsenthal – mostly because its in Politico and I know enough about what you get there. But I did read the one from Scheiber. Here are my three take-a-ways.

    First of all, a cornucopia of red flags should emerge right away with this:

  14. Good morning I found this video on FB yesterday. I think it’s nicely put together.

  15. rikyrah says:

    GOP congressman sees Obama’s impeachment as ‘a possibility’
    11/11/14 08:36 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Over the summer, a wide variety of Republicans talked up the idea of impeaching President Obama – their reasons were never altogether clear – prompting a series of complaints from Beltway pundits. Of course, commentators weren’t irritated with GOP extremism; pundits complained about Democrats using Republican rhetoric for fundraising and grassroots activism.

    It created an odd dynamic: the more the right would push the idea of impeachment, the more the media said Democrats should ignore the issue.

    In time, Republican leaders convinced their brethren to quiet down, though in late August, Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) told his constituents that impeachment proponents would just have to be patient. Republicans should wait until after the November elections, he said, to “proceed on that question.”

    Well, the November elections are effectively over. Yesterday, Andrew Kaczynski reported:
    A Republican congressman says impeachment would be on the table if President Obama acts unilaterally on immigration by taking executive action to slow deportations.

    “Well impeachment is indicting in the House and that’s a possibility,” said Texas Rep. Joe Barton on NewsMaxTV’s America’s Forum. “But you still have to convict in the Senate and that takes a two-thirds vote. But impeachment would be a consideration, yes sir


  16. rikyrah says:

    They wanna cling to the Whiteness. They don’t care because ‘ at least they’re
    not a Nigger’. So, if they stay in the shythouse, it’s ok, because the Niggers
    will be too, and that’s all that matters.

    So, the answer to your question is no – they will not solve the Mississippi


    Prediction: SCOTUS will find for the King plaintiffs

    November 10, 2014 at 10:56 am

    More importantly, asking whether Roberts will vote to kill the ACA
    frames the question in the wrong way, because finding for the plaintiffs in King does not
    kill the ACA. The states that have already established exchanges would
    keep them and their subsidies. In the states that have not established
    exchanges, a Court decision for the plaintiffs would throw the responsibility of
    establishing health care exchanges back on those states. If they want the
    subsidies for their citizens they still have the option of establishing an
    exchange. Some may do this, because their citizens will be harmed by the loss of
    insurance and their health care systems will be stressed by increased numbers of
    uninsured patients. However, it’s also likely that at least some of those states
    will not establish exchanges, so that millions may lose their subsidies and
    their insurance….

    The constitutional outcome of a victory for the King plaintiffs
    would be a radically decentralized federalism. It would mean that increasing
    access to health care through the ACA would require political validation at the
    state as well as the federal level. This outcome would be consistent with the
    constitutional philosophy that Roberts and many other conservatives espouse. For
    this reason, if no other, I expect Roberts to vote for the King

    But if the King plaintiffs win, what progressives need to understand
    is that if we want better health care in Mississippi, we need to win political fights in


    • Kathleen says:

      You just perfectly summarized what fuels the Rethuglican Crime Syndicate and its ability to blackmail America. I don’t think it’s any more complicated than what you described, and any political analyst or “pundit” who doesn’t say this is the root cause is either lying, in denial, and/or not worth listening to. It’s really that simple. And it has the potential to destroy this country.

    • Ametia says:

      PBO’s been telling Americans forever that we need to be the change we are seeking. The GOP have packed the states with THUG politicians who are steadily TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF AMERICA TO THE PAST.

      Serf and turf

  17. Ametia says:

    The new war over net neutrality
    By KATE TUMMARELLO, BROOKS BOLIEK and ALEX BYERS 11/10/14 7:59 PM EST Updated 11/10/14 9:47 PM EST

    Net neutrality was divisive before. Now it’s explosive — and more political than ever.
    President Barack Obama on Monday offered his strongest endorsement to date for rules that would treat all Internet traffic equally, and Federal Communications Commission officials are now discussing net neutrality options with a divided Internet industry and Capitol Hill audience.

    The notion of net neutrality — banning Internet providers from charging companies like Netflix or Disney more for a faster lane on the Web — is hugely popular among young, tech-savvy voters and liberals.

    But it enrages Republicans and major service providers who believe in a pay-to-play free market approach rather than treating the Web like a government-regulated utility.

    TRANSLATION: We want control of the internet to squash FREE PRESS!

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/barack-obama-net-neutrality-112759.html#ixzz3IldrKmoY

  18. Ametia says:

    SG2, where are you?

    St. Louis County prosecutor says Ferguson grand jury still working, decries ‘rank speculation’

    CLAYTON • In response to “daily, if not hourly speculation” about when a St. Louis County grand jury will decide the fate of Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson, Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said on Monday that nothing had changed….


    • Breaking News: @GovJayNixon will hold a news conference at 3pm est on preps for the Grand Jury decision.

      • Ametia says:

        Is this the warning to BRACE ourselves?

      • yahtzeebutterfly says:

        Chris King @chriskingstl · 2h 2 hours ago
        Gov. Nixon announcing law enforcement plans for coming “unrest” at 2 pm today at Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C HQ in Weldon Springs.

        deray mckesson retweeted
        Sarah Kendzior @sarahkendzior · 2h 2 hours ago
        Amazing how “unrest” that has not yet taken place is considered a state crisis but the everyday poverty and suffering in St. Louis is not

        Antonio French @AntonioFrench · Nov 10
        Let’s not forget the other crime being protested and requiring investigation: the violent police response to peaceful American protestors.

  19. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. :-)

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