The simplistic idea that impoverished African Americans have only themselves to blame for their poverty, due to their poor cultural values—a notion advanced by many, including black public figures such as Bill Cosby—is believable only if a blind eye is turned to those inconvenient things social scientists like to call “facts.” Algernon Austin soundly refutes the “culture of poverty” argument by paying careful attention to macro-economic data about long-term poverty trends and sociological case studies about persistent discrimination. In other words, unlike the glib punditry, Austin actually looks at the “facts.”
--Dr. Andrew Hartman, professor and audience member, Illinois State University
Contact Dr. Austin to arrange a speaking engagement.
Sensational individual acts of racist violence or hatred too often serve to obscure the far more common and pervasive impersonal acts of institutional racial discrimination. We do seem to be experiencing an upsurge of racist violence and hatred by individuals and organized groups. This significant upsurge is worth noting.
Chip Berlet on “Angry Voters, Right-Wing Populism, & Racial Violence”:
We are in the midst of one of the most significant right-wing populist rebellions in US history as illustrated by the Tea Party and Patriot movements. Will religious and progressive activists provide a voice and outlet for populist fear and anger or will these dispossessed voices find a home among the potentially violent elements of the far right?
Mark Potok on “Rage on the Right”:
[Last year] Furious anti-immigrant vigilante groups soared by nearly 80%, adding some 136 new groups during 2009. And, most remarkably of all, so-called "Patriot" groups — militias and other organizations that see the federal government as part of a plot to impose “one-world government” on liberty-loving Americans — came roaring back after years out of the limelight.
Bob Herbert on the recent ugliness:
A group of lowlifes at a Tea Party rally in Columbus, Ohio, last week taunted and humiliated a man who was sitting on the ground with a sign that said he had Parkinson’s disease. The disgusting behavior was captured on a widely circulated videotape. One of the Tea Party protesters leaned over the man and sneered: “If you’re looking for a handout, you’re in the wrong end of town.”
You might be a racist if you have a swastika tattoo:
Mr. Brunjes, 18, said he first gave his friend a lightning-bolt tattoo in May 2008, and then a star, using ink, a needle and thread. About a month and a half later, he said, he gave him a third one on his right upper thigh: a swastika. The two friends did not discuss why.
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--Algernon Austin, Ph.D.
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