Futility of “Colorblindness:” Jeb Bush and Unfair, Anti-Black, and Untruthful Insinuations

Virginia Slave Law, 1705
Virginia Slave Law, 1705 (Placard displayed at police accountability meeting in Fairfax, Va., September 14, 2015 (regarding the case of Natasha McKenna (deceased))).

Republicans think that black people will vote for their anti-black platform and beliefs because they state it in an acceptable manner–while including wicked implications and insinuations of black people. Such is “colorblindness” as practiced in the United States today: it (anti-black beliefs) is ok as long as it sounds and looks good.

It will not work.

An example is Jeb Bush’s statement (emphasis, in bold, is the blog author’s):

“Look around this room,” a man told Bush, who spoke to a mostly white crowd. “How many black faces do you see? How are you going to include them and get them to vote for you?” asked the man, who was white.

Bush pointed to his record on school choice and said that if Republicans could double their share of the black vote, they would win the swing states of Ohio and Virginia.

“Our message is one of hope and aspiration,” he said at the East Cooper Republican Women’s Club annual Shrimp Dinner. “It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting — that says you can achieve earned success.”

Charles Blow, columnist for the New York Times, picked up this insinuation and wrote–

There it is! If you let people talk long enough, the true self will always be revealed. Not only is there a supreme irony in this racial condescension that casts black people, whose free labor helped establish the prosperity of this country and who were systematically excluded from the full benefits of that prosperity for generations, as leeches only desirous of “free stuff,” this line of reasoning also infantilizes black thought and consciousness and presents an I-know-best-what-ails-you paternalism about black progress.

Jeb Bush’s “colorblindness” is tiresome and exhausting to endure.


Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending September 19, 2015

The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending September 19, 2015, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Bank Holding Companies First Horizon National Corporation, Memphis, Tennessee — to acquire TrustAtlantic Financial Corporation, Raleigh, North Carolina, and thereby indirectly acquire TrustAtlantic Bank.

-Approved, September 15, 2015

Forms Forms — initial Board review to extend without revision the Requirements for Disclosure and Reporting of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)-Related Agreements (Regulation G).

-Proposed, September 15, 2015

Personnel Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation — appointment of Kirk Odegard as chief of staff.

-Announced, September 16, 2015

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending September 12, 2015

The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending September 12, 2015, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Forms Forms — request for public comment to revise and extend the Capital Assessments and Stress Testing information collection (FR Y-14A/Q/M).

-Proposed, September 10, 2015

Personnel Management Division — appointment of Tameika L. Pope as chief human capital officer.

-Announced, September 9, 2015

Enforcement First National Community Bancorp, Inc., Dunmore, Pennsylvania — written agreement issued November 24, 2010, terminated September 2, 2015.

-Announced, September 8, 2015

Independent Bank, Grand Rapids, Michigan — issuance of a consent order of assessment of a civil money penalty.

-Announced, September 10, 2015

Futility of “Colorblindness”: Ben Carson Excuses White Hegemony and Chastises, Blames, Critiques Black People; Carson Speaks like Wardell (Ward) Connerly

The great mass of black voters has been deeply turned off by the way the Republicans have been at best indifferent toward them,” he said, “and at worst have displayed a camouflaged hostility that panders to the party base.” –Prof. Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School

The price of white hegemony is borne by other people.
The terrible cost of the white hegemonic image of “harmony” is borne by others. We can bear it no longer.

The majority culture believes in “colorblindness,” but also believes that the majority of the society (whites) are better than everyone else in the society. Open expression of this idea is not socially acceptable, but the institutions of society are empowered to act solely for the benefit or advantage of the majority white population without apology. Questioning of those white hegemonic institutions is met with defensiveness as well as a blaming of the questioner.

Ben Carson, Republican candidate for the U.S. presidential office, embodies this notion; his black skin color a convenient and comforting camouflage for the anti-black, white hegemonic argument. The sentiment appears to be that the GOP line of argument cannot be offensive if a black person says it. Such a position affirms the high value of race in the society of the United States, specifically that only whites are empowered. Nonwhites are empowered only to the extent to disempower nonwhite groups.

Mr. Carson has been playing this role in several news articles. Carson gives apparent support while following that statement with overarching criticism carefully couched to avoid immediate reaction. [Author’s note: Carson is not fooling anyone; this is a well-practiced tactic of Republicans (and that of the power structure). Carson’s tactics are similar to that of Wardell (Ward) Connerly.]

Asking for peace; wanting silence.
Placard: “Don’t say you want peace when you really mean silence.”

I will provide an example, an interview Carson had with Major Garrett of CBS News, Carson stated that the protestors in the aftermath of the shooting and death of Mr. Michael Brown showed that they actually cared and had begun a dialogue. However, that seeming praise was negated by Carson’s criticism (and blame of black people) (emphasis, in bold, the blog author’s):

He also talked about the different images that come to mind when he considers what happened in Ferguson. “It conjures up [a] an image of the people feeling that they have been unjustly treated by the police, and [b] that justifies civil disturbance,” Carson said. “Of course we all see the images of the burning.”

There is another image in Carson’s mind, too. He told Garrett, “It also conjures up an image of the people being unwilling to actually face the facts. I think the community is unwilling to face the fact that Michael Brown was a bad actor.

[Author’s note: Because Mr. Brown was killed before any arrest, charges, or trial, he still maintains a presumption of innocence, something that Carson recklessly ignores in his zeal to condemn. In Carson’s view, the Ferguson protesters were not justified because it was not for police impunity but rather a desire to disturb the peace, and Mr. Brown was at fault for his death. Thus, all of the racial consequences of the white hegemonic institutions are erased while also confirming the devaluation of black lives.]

For the Black Lives Matter movement, he considers them to be bullies:

But Carson, the only black presidential candidate running as either a Democrat or Republican, went on to say that it was “very different than, let’s say, the Black Lives Matter movement, where it’s foisting yourself on people – rather than engaging in dialogue – and bullying people. I never liked the idea of bullying on behalf of anybody.”

[Author’s note: Carson did not explain what he meant by use of the word “bullying.” Carson’s statements are confusing but fit well into a white-hegemonic apology. However, naming and exposing the negatives of white hegemonic rule is disruptive to the white-advantaged status quo. Because of this, such identifiers of the negative consequences of white hegemony are said to be rude, demanding, domineering, etc.]

Carson’s convoluted, muddled, and self-contradictory statement to Mr. Garrett is a form of the “colorblindness” argument, which wants to advance the idea that everybody is equal, but only white people are valued.

I analyze the “colorblind” argument and Carson’s statements in other articles below.

White hegemonic argument Ben Carson’s comment in Ferguson, Mo.
Defend white hegemony (that is, the status quo) and deny black suffering under the same hegemonic system. I think we’ve actually regressed with this administration and its emphasis on race, because it emphasizes race to indicate that things are not progressing well. And that just isn’t true,” Carson said.

He said the country has regressed because “we’re talking about it a lot more — more people complaining that they’re being treated unfairly. I don’t think we need to be emphasizing what’s unjust. I think we need to be emphasizing what opportunities there are.”

He continued: “A lot of people perceive everything through racial eyes. But my point is, we don’t have to do that. What we have to do instead is begin to see people as people.” [???]

[Author’s note: Also, this argument is convoluted with criticism of President Barack Obama. There is also a call for false balance–because there are no statements of harmony, there should not be any statements of injustice, racism, or unfairness. Of course, if there were harmony, such statements would not be made in the first place.]

Request for item that does not threaten white hegemony It is very important that police are taught to be respectful of everyone,” said Carson. “One lady was talking about the fact that she woke up, her son woke up, and said: ‘There are police out there all over the place! There are armored vehicles out there!’ She went outside, a policeman was walking on the sidewalk, and she asked him: ‘What’s going on?’ He said, ‘nothing.’ That’s not respectful. We need to make sure that respect is offered in both directions.”

[Author’s note: I am uncertain of the worth of this statement. Nothing Carson stated appears disrespectful but rather unresponsive. In so doing he “criticized” the hegemonic institution extremely lightly. This example is vague, but his statements about nonwhite people is clear, negative, and condemnatory. (See the next statement, below, as a further example.)]

Blame, chastise, belabor, bully, etc., black people (generously) I heard more than one time how the thing that really inflamed the community was the fact that Michael Brown’s body laid out on the street for four hours,” said Carson. “I think a lot of people understood that he had done bad things, but his body didn’t have to be disrespected. I heard also that people need to learn how to respect authority.”

Mr. Carson should be ashamed; his previous life’s work has already been negated.


Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending September 5, 2015

The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending September 5, 2015, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Bank Holding Companies Banner Corporation, Walla Walla, Washington, and Elements Merger Sub, LLC — to acquire Starbuck Bancshares, Inc., Seattle, and thereby indirectly acquire its subsidiary, AmericanWest Bank, Spokane.

-Approved, September 3, 2015

Bank Mergers Auburn State Bank, Auburn, Nebraska — to merge with The Carson National Bank of Auburn, Auburn, and thereby establish a branch.

-Approved, August 30, 2015

Forms Forms — initial Board review to extend without revision the Recordkeeping Requirements of Regulation H and Regulation K Associated with Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Programs and the Recordkeeping and Disclosure Requirements Associated with Regulation II (Reg II).

-Proposed, September 2, 2015

Forms — final Board review to extend without revision the Notice of Mutual Holding Company Reorganization (Form 1522), Application for Approval of a Minority Stock Issuance by a Savings Association Subsidiary of a Mutual Holding Company (Form 1523), Application for Conversion (Form 1680), Proxy Statement (Form 1681), Offering Circular (Form 1682), Order Form (Form 1683), Savings and Loan Holding Company Application (Form H-(e)), Recordkeeping Requirements Associated with the Guidance on Sound Incentive Compensation Policies (FR 4027), and Guidance on Managing Compliance and Reputation Risks for Reverse Mortgage Products (FR 4029).

-Approved, September 3, 2015

Personnel Office of the Chief Operating Officer — appointment of Michael Kraemer as acting chief data officer.

-Announced, September 3, 2015

Enforcement Virginia Community Bankshares, Inc., Louisa, Virginia, and Virginia Community Bank — written agreement issued June 29, 2011, terminated August 28, 2015.

-Announced, September 1, 2015

Additional note: David Harmon, listed as deputy director and chief human capital officer on the Board’s website (as of September 12, 2015), is the chief people officer at Gannett (as of June 5, 2015).

Civil Service Reform: Current System Not Working; Move to New System Unwise

There are calls to reform the civil service (Partnership for Public Service), but the existing civil service is not functioning properly. A number of events urges better implementation of the current civil service and caution about further strengthening authority to an unaccountable management class.


Below is a table of several topics that demonstrate that much needs to be improved under the current rules before thinking of moving to new, untested civil service system.

Civil Service Event Coverage Comment
Artis v. Bernanke, employment discrimination case at the Federal Reserve Board https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/?s=artis 18 year duration for this case represents systemic failure.
Use of forced distribution at the Federal Reserve Board https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/?s=federal+reserve
Partnership of Public Service argument for civil service reform https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/?s=partnership Group envisions economic punishment of no raises (or self-firing) in its format for forced distribution.
Merit Systems Protection Board and methods to address so-called poor performance Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2015/08/06/the-top-five-ways-federal-managers-fail-to-fire-their-low-performers/ Poor performance lives in ambiguity; MSPB does not even attempt to define the term used to damage or end careers.
Commerce GS-15 manager alleged of several incidents of misconduct Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2015/09/02/commerce-official-let-her-kids-watch-porn-on-federal-computers-then-told-investigators-she-saw-nothing-wrong-with-it/ Commerce Office of Inspector General report: https://www.oig.doc.gov/OIGPublications/OIG-14-0153.pdf
Fired civil servant who filed complaints with newspaper, his congressional representative and staff, and nonprofit group, shoots and kills security guard and himself Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2015/08/27/federal-employees-and-contractors-face-danger-even-death-just-doing-their-jobs/
Diversity and inclusion issues at the federal financial regulatory agencies https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/?s=diversity


In general, the situation is grim.
Non-civil-service event but informative–abusive work environment at Amazon.com. https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/?s=amazon

The New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1ISY0xv

The New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1zoKGPy (Supreme Court rules that Amazon does not have to pay employees for time spent in warehouse security lines after end of shift.)

Salon: http://www.salon.com/2014/02/23/worse_than_wal_mart_amazons_sick_brutality_and_secret_history_of_ruthlessly_intimidating_workers/

Eye-opening articles

Federal Reserve Board: Legal Cases against the Board

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Legal Cases against the Board (current as of November 13, 2015)

[Board information last updated on November 4, 2015.]

(Case dockets can be accessed through www.pacer.gov.)

Case name Docket number Issue of Case (and case history)
White Arnold & Dowd, P.C., v. Board of Governors No 15-CV-00789 (N.D. Ala., filed May 12, 2015) Freedom of Information Act case. On October 30, 2015, the district court dismissed the case on the parties’ stipulation.
Love v. Board of Governors No. 16-CV-1077 (D. Kan., filed March 13, 2015) Claim involving the Board’s alleged failure to comply with its mandate under the Federal Reserve Act. On June 11, 2015, the district court granted the Board’s motion to dismiss.
Ramey v. Board of Governors No. 14-CV-220 (D.D.C., filed December 22, 2014) Freedom of Information Act case.
The Loan Syndications and Trading Association v. Board of Governors No. 14-1240 (D.C. Cir., petition for review filed November 10, 2014) Petition for review of credit risk retention rules issued under Section 941 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
Richardson v. Board of Governors No. 14-CV-01673 (D.D.C., filed October 8, 2014) Employment discrimination claim.
Community Financial Services Association of America, Ltd., v. Board of Governors No. 14-CV-00853 (D.D.C., filed June 11, 2014) Administrative Procedure Act challenge to actions of the Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that allegedly disadvantage payday lenders.
NACS et al. v. Board of Governors No. 13-5720 (D.C. Circuit, notice of appeal filed August 21, 2013) Appeal from district court ruling invalidating Board regulations issued pursuant to section 1075 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act relating to debit card interchange fees. On March 21, 2014, the Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment and remanded the action to the district court. On August 18, 2014, the plaintiff filed a petition for certiorari. On January 20, 2015, the Supreme Court denied NACS’s petition for certiorari (No. 14-200). On October 2, 2015, the district court entered judgment for the Board.
WMI Liquidating Trust v. Board of Governors   No. 13-CV-01706 (W.D. Washington, filed September 20, 2013) Action for a declaratory judgment regarding golden parachute payments. On July 3, 2014, the action was transferred to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (Adv. Pro. No. 14-50435-MFW (Bankr. D. Del.)), and on March 19, 2015, the district court withdrew the reference and took jurisdiction of the matter (No. 14-CV-01097).
Ferrer v. Bernanke     No. 13-CV-01145 (S.D. Fla, filed July 30, 2013) Claim on behalf of putative class of mortgagors that the Board’s Independent Foreclosure Review and related enforcement actions failed to provide sufficient benefits to borrowers. On October 28, 2014, the district court granted the Board’s motion to dismiss the action. On November 25, 2014, the plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal (Eleventh Circuit, No. 14-15325).
Ball v. Board of Governors No. 13-CV-00603 (D.D.C., filed April 30, 2013) Freedom of Information Act case. On March 31, 2015, the district court granted the Board’s motion for summary judgment.
Crisman v. Board of Governors No. 12-CV-1871 (D.D.C., filed November 19, 2012) Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act case.
Wise v. Federal Reserve Board, No. 12-CV-1636 (D.D.C., filed October 2, 2012) Federal Tort Claims Act case.
State National Bank of Big Spring v. Bernanke, No. 13-5247 (D.C. Cir. Notice of appeal filed August 2, 2013) Appeal from district court’s dismissal of challenge to the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Stability Oversight Council. On July 24, 2015, the Court of Appeals affirmed in part and remanded in part to the district court to consider issues related to the CFPB.
Artis v. Greenspan No. 01-CV-0400(ESG) (D.D.C., complaint filed February 22, 2001) Employment discrimination action. On September 29, 2014, the district court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. On January 14, 2015, the D.C. Circuit denied plaintiffs’ petition to appeal that ruling (No. 14-8003). On June 22, 2015, the district court dismissed the case with prejudice.

No. 15-5260 (D.C. Cir., notice of appeal filed September 19, 2015). Appeal of dismissal of plaintiffs’ Equal Employment Opportunity claims.

[Author’s note: The Artis case has some related blog posts.]