Lots of folk have argued that the remarks of Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) veered into an inappropriate other-ing, even racism, when he addressed the nominee for Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy during confirmation hearings yesterday. 

Roberts: “You ever been to Dodge City, Kansas?”

Murthy: “I have not, sir. But I would love to come.”

Roberts: “Well, good. I’m going to invite you, because we have a lovely doctor from India. She’s in her mid-30s, and she’s highly respected by the community. And another doctor from India that did my carpal tunnel when I did a stupid thing. And so, I think you’d be right at home, and we would welcome you.”

Was that really so bad? I didn’t think so. It actually made me smile, “What a cute old white man!” But among the hyperventilating responses:

"sorry but it’s like the Southern expression of "Bless Your Heart": a passive aggressive fuck you. It’s a condescending way of "hey my white people approve of your kind so long as you’re not uppity" with a little "you’ll never be one of US" thrown in. MMM-mmm. That’s good racism." [Gawker]

Thankfully a lot of commenters are a little less uptight, like this Indian guy:

"you guys need to chill out. as an indian doctor i hear this kind of shit all of the time. he’s just an old man trying to reach out…in a very white old man sort of way. A for effort."

But for all of you who really get out-of-sorts when someone old tries to be social by saying, “My proctologist… he’s Indian… lovely man…” try to avoid the predictable, indignant response, and use this line instead: “Dr. Rao? Sure, I know him!” pause. “He has herpes.

[Photos by AP and Win McNamee/Getty Images]

After spending years in the political wilderness, being cast as outsiders — even un-American — Muslim New Yorkers are in an unfamiliar position: they’re set to have power.
This comes from a confluence of factors: the demographic advantage of being the fastest-growing religious group in the city; the creation of a political infrastructure including groups like the Muslim Democratic Club of New York; and a popular (and liberal) mayoral candidate in Bill De Blasio who openly embraces them and their causes, like ending the blanket surveillance of mosques by the NYPD.
Remember the international furor over Park51, aka the GROUND ZERO MOSQUE? That was just 3 years ago, but pollster John Zogby says a lot has changed since then.
"And so essentially those who were against the mosque and overtly anti-Muslim really went the way of most nativist movements in our history, and hence that’s why I call it the death rattle of that movement."
Listen to the full report, “In Politics, Muslims Say It’s Finally Their Moment.”

After spending years in the political wilderness, being cast as outsiders — even un-American — Muslim New Yorkers are in an unfamiliar position: they’re set to have power.

This comes from a confluence of factors: the demographic advantage of being the fastest-growing religious group in the city; the creation of a political infrastructure including groups like the Muslim Democratic Club of New York; and a popular (and liberal) mayoral candidate in Bill De Blasio who openly embraces them and their causes, like ending the blanket surveillance of mosques by the NYPD.

Remember the international furor over Park51, aka the GROUND ZERO MOSQUE? That was just 3 years ago, but pollster John Zogby says a lot has changed since then.

"And so essentially those who were against the mosque and overtly anti-Muslim really went the way of most nativist movements in our history, and hence that’s why I call it the death rattle of that movement."

Listen to the full report, “In Politics, Muslims Say It’s Finally Their Moment.”

brooklyntheory
brooklyntheory:

Pull Up Your Pants No One Wants To See Your Underwear, Harlem, NYC

It’s true: No One wants to see your underwear. Of course, these signs were meant to be a little, er, cheeky, but in some towns politicians actually made it against the law to let your pants sag too low. The town of Delcambre, in Louisiana, threatened offenders with six months of jail time.
Here in New York, politicians like Eric Adams took a more forgiving route, running billboards proclaiming “Stop the Sag!” 

Another politician, Malcolm Smith, spent $2200 in campaign funds on anti-sag ads on the sides of buses. 
"I said my pants are up, my image is fine. I said you can be cool as well. This is the new cool, just raising your pants," said Smith, at a press conference I attended in 2010.
Ironically, Smith was just arrested last week — for allegedly trying to rig the New York City mayoral race. So he may not be the best role model after all.

brooklyntheory:

Pull Up Your Pants No One Wants To See Your Underwear, Harlem, NYC

It’s true: No One wants to see your underwear. Of course, these signs were meant to be a little, er, cheeky, but in some towns politicians actually made it against the law to let your pants sag too low. The town of Delcambre, in Louisiana, threatened offenders with six months of jail time.

Here in New York, politicians like Eric Adams took a more forgiving route, running billboards proclaiming “Stop the Sag!” 

Another politician, Malcolm Smith, spent $2200 in campaign funds on anti-sag ads on the sides of buses. 

"I said my pants are up, my image is fine. I said you can be cool as well. This is the new cool, just raising your pants," said Smith, at a press conference I attended in 2010.

Ironically, Smith was just arrested last week — for allegedly trying to rig the New York City mayoral race. So he may not be the best role model after all.

Jewish politician does blackface, gets into trouble. 
Dov Hikind, a state assemblyman from Brooklyn, was celebrating the Jewish festival of Purim, and decided to wear an afro, sunglasses and orange jersey to a party he was throwing. Oh, and dark makeup.
“Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player.”
Hikind is now catching heat from other New York politicos but says the reaction is overblown and that it was all in “good fun.”
"This is political correctness to the absurd," he wrote on his blog, even going so far as to say, “I would do it again in a minute.”

Jewish politician does blackface, gets into trouble.

Dov Hikind, a state assemblyman from Brooklyn, was celebrating the Jewish festival of Purim, and decided to wear an afro, sunglasses and orange jersey to a party he was throwing. Oh, and dark makeup.

“Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player.”

Hikind is now catching heat from other New York politicos but says the reaction is overblown and that it was all in “good fun.”

"This is political correctness to the absurd," he wrote on his blog, even going so far as to say, “I would do it again in a minute.”

In an interview on Sunday, Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, who is the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, renewed his call for tougher gun restrictions, including banning assault weapons, requiring background checks for firearm purchases at gun shows and prohibiting gun sales to anyone on the nation’s terrorism watch list.

But Mr. King said he doubted that the shootings in Connecticut would alter the gun debate in Congress, saying that outside the Northeast a gun culture exists that is resistant to any kind of firearms regulation. “I hope I am wrong,” he said, “but I don’t think it will have a major impact on the debate in Congress. We’ve had a number of gun tragedies in recent years without any action being taken.” [NYT]