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The Roberts Court

Today the Court fashions a dagger out of ’40-years of facts’ dating back to the Civil Rights Movement and hands it to a dysfunctional Congress thereby affording the House of Representatives the power of inaction to kill the Voting Rights Act. This tactic of poisoning the well of progress to quench thirsts of freedom, justice and equality goes as far back as the legacy of current efforts to limit and to curtail the exercise of the franchise. Following the lead of the Court many States and locals are now revising their Jim Crow tactics to nullify the voting power of persons whose lives have been colored by differences of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, faiths and ethnicities. Not all change is progress, especially when the persons and interests opposed to that change remain in their intent and purpose the same.

What is Identity?

The one that is common sense to most people is the concept of the individual that expresses the individual in terms of an independence from the set of social relations in which each person is embedded. Here, distinct individuals emerge when human beings are defined against society. Featured in this understanding of the individual is some aspect of the individual that has to be preserved and protected from society or social interests. Key to this understanding of the individual is a potential threat that society poses to some aspect of an individual’s existence. This ‘threat assessment‘ is a determining factor in how some groups and persons identify themselves. They recognize and respond to ‘the other’ as a threat.


Like eRacism ‘The Color of Water’ is not about skin color. It is an autobiographical portrait of a ‘colored’ life. In it McBride the offspring of a Southern black man and a white Jewish woman asks his mother, ‘what color is God?’ His mother tells him that ‘God is the color of water.’ The wisdom of this answer is that it analogizes the substance of difference with an element that makes up sixty percent of every human being without regard for the ways in which we are different. Difference like water is not only an essential component of human being it is a persisting process of accidental and necessary social interactions, colonialism and slavery among them, that defines who we are and are becoming.

Curriculum Vitae

Tom L. States PhD Candidate

Fields of Interest: Political Theory, International Relations, Marxist Political Economy

Research Topic: eRacism - Conflicts of Difference

Education History: Williams College, BA Political Science; New York University, MA Politics; York University PhD Candidate

Languages: English, German

Hometown: Greenwood, Mississippi

Words of Wisdom: “IT” is what you are when you are young. Your youth mistakes certainty of the few things that you think you know for knowledge of things that it takes a life time to understand. With time and a few life experiences “IT” becomes the thing you pursue to give your life meaning. Somewhere along the way of having or getting “IT” you ask yourself, ‘Is this “IT”? Panic sets in when you realize that “IT” is your life. Fear and insecurity is that feeling you get when “IT” has not been worth a life time.


Harvey, David. Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference. New York: Longman, 1996.

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin White Masks. Trans. Charles Lam Markmann. New York: Grove Press. 1967.

Cancian, Francesca M. Gender Politics: Love and Power in the Private and Public Spheres. Gender and the Life Course. Ed. Alice S. Rossi. New York: Aldine, 1985.

Sand, Shlomo. The Invention of the Jewish People. New York: Verso, 2009.

Lay, Shawn. The Invisible Empire In The West: Toward a New Historical Appraisal of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920's. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004.


Carothers, Thomas. Think Again: Civil Society. Foreign Policy Date, (Winter: 1999-2000).

Ober, Josiah. The original meaning of "democracy": Capacity to do things, not majority rule. Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics. American Political Science Association meetings, Philadelphia, (2006).