Race and the U.S. Census: Special Series

This week at Racism Review, we’ll be doing a special series on “race and the U.S. Census” with contributions from a number of guest blogger-scholars (hat tip to @eclisham for suggesting the idea). I thought that this clip from Jon Stewart’s show featuring an interview with Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, the administrator of the census:

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Racist and Homophobic Attacks on Members of Congress: What Next?

The racist and homophobic, and sometimes violent, explosion by the almost all white teabaggers seems to have accelerated, according to this McClatchy newspapers story:

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol, angry over the proposed health care bill, shouted “nigger” Saturday at U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama march in the 1960s…. Lewis said he was leaving the Cannon office building to walk to the Capitol to vote when protesters shouted “Kill the bill, kill the bill,” Lewis said. … A colleague who was accompanying Lewis said people in the crowd responded by saying “Kill the bill, then the N-word.” . . . “It was a chorus,” Cleaver said. “In a way, I feel sorry for those people who are doing this nasty stuff – they’re being whipped up. I decided I wouldn’t be angry with any of them.” Cleaver’s office said later in a statement that he’d also been spat upon and that Capitol Police had arrested his assailant.

Gay members are also being attacked:

Protesters also used a slur as they confronted Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., an openly gay member of Congress. … Frank said the crowd consisted of a couple of hundred of people and that they referred to him as ‘homo.’ A writer for The Huffington Post said the protesters called Frank a “faggot.”

The fact that so much of this racist, homophobic, and/or violent rhetoric and action has easily take place in and around the Capitol building suggests how pro-conservative so much of the leadership of this country has become. Where is the speaking out against this extremist activity by conservatives of integrity? Will we see assaults on members of congress soon from these extremist groups?

Indeed, it is also striking how seldom the whiteness of these extremist movements is seriously analyzed in the mainstream media. Whites usually seem to be let off the hook when they are operating out of extreme versions of the white racial frame and/or the extreme anti-government frame. I feel sure that if they were black Americans or other Americans of color, that reality would be centered in a good many stories. What do you think?