Your Face is an Apology

If you say something and then apologize, try making it a real apology:

A number of people have raised questions regarding part of my essay in the most recent issue of Emory Magazine. Certainly, I do not consider slavery anything but heinous, repulsive, repugnant, and inhuman. I should have stated that fact clearly in my essay. I am sorry for the hurt caused by not communicating more clearly my own beliefs. To those hurt or confused by my clumsiness and insensitivity, please forgive me.

Today on #TWiBRadio, #TeamBlackness is joined by Prof. Blair Kelley via the black phone to drop historical knowledge on the meaning of the 3/5ths compromise and we discuss spy teenagers and Lindsey Graham’s voice sounds a lot like oppression.

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And this morning on #amTWiB, we discuss the ever-widening wealth and income-gap between black and white Americans, and the impact of the Voting Rights Act decision at the supreme court. Check it out:

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34 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    the meaning of the 3/5ths compromise

    The northern states didn’t want to count slaves at all. The southern states wanted to count them in full. So the northern states were the real racists. Discuss. /Scalia

  2. 2
    JPL says:

    @Baud: Deep breath..deep breath
    I know you are being sarcastic but the south wanted them counted although they considered slaves property, it would give them more representatives of the white kind.
    Who compared the south’s argument as the same as counting buildings? Getting old sucks btw..

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    @Baud: As I mentioned before, I live in GA and happen to have a long time friend who happens to be black and she loved bozo boortz. She told me that secession was state’s rights. I suggested she read the GA secession papers and then we can discuss it.

  4. 4
    aimai says:

    I guess he hasn’t yet figured out what the problem with what he said was. He thinks he just stepped over some kind of magical line, like a foot fault in tennis, and the prima donnas and referees called him on it–or maybe it was a smudge on his tennis whites. Whatever, he’s saying, sorry ifyou felt I wasn’t playing the game properly. Now can we move on?

    The problem (s) with what he said are legion but I’d like to point out one very special subset–its the problem of who gets to speak and whose “project” the US was. He basically argued that the greatness of (any) compromise was that “we” all give a little to pursue a joint goal. But by definition once you admit the humanity of the people who were enslaved you ought to realize there’s no “we” there who have legitimate “shared goals.” “In order to form a more perfect union [of some property owning white people]” is not really ok as a goal, but whatever it is its not shared among all the people we now recognize to be in the we of us.

    For me it has the faint ring of the Nazi camp commandant exhorting the prisoner’s in the prison orchestra to “play their best” for the fatherland which is about to execute them.

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    The good news if there can be any, his apology was not accepted. There is still a lot of coverage of the issue and it appears the President has made gaffes before.

  6. 6
    Baud says:


    In all seriousness, at the time of the constitutional convention, northern states weren’t actually the good guys. Slavery was legal in the north and folks like Alexander Hamilton owned slaves in New York. It just wasn’t as widespread, and eventually the north went abolitionist while the south became more entrenched in slavery.

  7. 7
    aimai says:


    This is so bizarrely irrelevant that I don’t know why you keep repeating it. No one is arguing that anyone in the original debate was a “good guy.” It has nothing to do with the current issue which is that it is infelicitous, to say the least, to try to get two warring ideological political parties to compromise by focusing on the fact that they may both be able to sacrifice a third party’s interests.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    @Baud: Constitutionally the South felt they were correct which is why it irritates me to hear some now say it was about states’ rights. Bullshit.. The Constitution allowed the ownership of slaves. I haven’t read every secession paper but the one’s I read do not mention states’ rights. It was about the right to own slaves.

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    @aimai: nah.. I’m stirring the pot on the states’ rights issue which is stupid.

  10. 10
    Baud says:


    I honestly don’t know what you are talking about. My first post was obviously snarky, and my second was a minor historical note. Hardly repetitive.

  11. 11
    Joel says:

    I’m just glad that the collegiate world has found a worse university president than Mark Emmert, now firmly ensconced as head of the NCAA uncompensated labor operation.

  12. 12
    Baud says:


    I agree. Even back then they spoke in code and that’s all states rights is.

  13. 13
    Linnaeus says:


    I’m just glad that the collegiate world has found a worse university president than Mark Emmert, now firmly ensconced as head of the NCAA uncompensated labor operation.

    His predecessor wasn’t that great, either. We’ve had a bad run here in Husky land.

  14. 14
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    over on twitter I am having a discussion (actually I am posting points and Imani is ignoring me) about the importance of names. It is all about Quvenzhane Wallis, Imani and others are arguing that people should just learn how to pronounce her name goddammit and I am arguing that parents who name their children unpronounceable names are hobbling their kids due to the fact that the MBA in charge of hiring can look at a resume with “Qu’asandra” and throw it in the bin before ever granting an interview. The parents that come up with these unpronouceable names are hobbling their kids for life.

  15. 15
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    The Emory faculty are having none of it.

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: The northern economy wasn’t dependent on slavery and, as a result, abolitionist sentiments found some fertile ground. IIRC Aaron Burr was one of the strongest opponents of slavery in the Revolutionary era. He proposed ending it in New York in 1785. The Adamses emerge with some credit as well.

  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Imani is ignoring me

    The fuck you say!

  18. 18
    Hungry Joe says:


    He thinks he just stepped over some kind of magical line, like a foot fault in tennis

    … or a toe over the line in bowling. Well, look, it’s either a foot fault/foul or it isn’t. And we’re not playing around:

    “You mark that frame an 8, and you’re entering a world of pain. … It’s a league game, Smokey.” — Walter Sobchak

  19. 19
  20. 20
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:


    I admit it’s a pet peeve of mine when people talk as if slaves being counted as 3/5 of a person was the injustice, rather than being counted at all in order to increase their owner’s representation, but I’m sure Mr. White is well aware of that and will be debunking the bonehead interpretation.

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: Some repubs debating the immigration debate seem to think that’s okay.

  22. 22
    mai naem says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: There have been studies showing that people with “black” sounding names are called back less for interviews than people with regular names. Yeah, it sucks and its racist but I would be more interested in my kid getting further in life than having a name that I thought was wonderful.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    kyle says:

    @JPL: If you know he’s being sarcastic, you have nothing to reply to. Stop parading your indignation and learn to think.

  25. 25
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Hell, I can’t get people to spell my godsdamned name right (two Es, one I) no matter how often they read it. (It’s misspelled on my high school diploma, and I was in a graduating class of 76.) When an acquaintance’s teenage son decided that his newborn should be named Serra, after his favorite Magic-the-Gathering card, us Olds tried to warn him that he was dooming the poor kid to a lifetime of minor frustrations. But you & I are gonna lose that debate, because by the time Nevaeh and Kayden and Quevanzhane are the new Jennifer / Brandon, the old canard that lower-income parents give their kids ‘unique’ names because they don’t have anything more valuable to pass on will have been battered out of the HR recruiters’ memories.

  26. 26
    Steeplejack says:


    Ha! Knew it before I clicked the link. Great song, great album. Gonna have to listen to “Another Country” now.

  27. 27
    raven says:

    @Steeplejack: Great! Hell of a band. Right up their with A Child is the Father to Man.

  28. 28
    Steeplejack says:


    Mike Bloomfield is sort of forgotten as a great guitar player. Wonder why that is.

  29. 29
    Mandalay says:


    the MBA in charge of hiring can look at a resume with “Qu’asandra” and throw it in the bin before ever granting an interview.

    I think a computer is often looking at the resume first now, and does not care about the name of the applicant. And I challenge your claim that MBAs all over the country are throwing applications in the bin because of their names. People who are in the business of hiring from a small pool of qualified applicants are not going to discard applications simply because the applicant has a first name that is hard to pronounce.

    I work with a lot of Indians, several of whom have very long and unpronounceable names. They are well qualified, and we all use the same Anglicized and obvious abbreviations of their long names. No problem.

    That said, as a separate argument, I am prepared to believe that applications are thrown in the bin because of the ethnic/racial connotation of certain names. That may explain why Newton Leroy Gingrich has been unable to land a real job for many, many years.

    p.s. Your example of “Qu’asandra” is a huge strawman. This is what google has to say: Your search – Qu’asandra – did not match any documents.

  30. 30
    ruemara says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: You are rather correct in the sense that my good, solid Celtic name grants me the lovely status of walking in and shocking people with my unremitting blackness, whereas a good, solidly unfortunately ethnic name could get me consigned to the dustbin way faster. However, is that the parents fault or the fault of those who would judge ethnicity (and, consequently, quality) via a name? Bless the goddess that a solid ugly English name was not mine. I could have been a Euphegenia. Or my auntie Hyacinth.

  31. 31
    Scamp Dog says:

    I know there are girls out there named Nevaeh, I’m just hoping that somewhere, anywhere, there’s a boy named Lleh.

  32. 32
    lojasmo says:


    There is no such thing as an unpronouncable name.

  33. 33
    Cassidy says:

    @Mandalay: Oh Jesus, a simple google search can find plenty of information on ethnic sounding names not getting the same percentage of callbacks as common western names. Anecdote vs. data…how does it fucking work?

  34. 34

    TWIB crew, in re: bootstraps, did you see the recent news about research on how the affects in wealth affect two to three generations?

    And I wrote about this on my blog in regards to my white family in comparison to those of African Americans descending from slaves.

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