Chauncey DeVega

Chauncey DeVega
Chicago, Illinois, USA
September 11
A (Sometimes) Respectable Negro
Editor and Founder of the blog We Are Respectable Negroes He has been a guest on the BBC, Ring of Fire Radio, Ed Schultz, Joshua Holland's Alternet Radio Hour, the Burt Cohen show, and Our Common Ground. His essays have been featured by Salon, Alternet, the New York Daily News, and the Daily Kos. The NY Times, the Daily Beast, the Utne Reader, Washington Monthly, Slate, and the Week (among others) have featured his expert commentary and analysis on race, politics, and popular culture.

Chauncey DeVega's Links


Superstorm Sandy has made the divisions of class in the New York City area readily apparent. The "haves" are able to muster the resources to somehow survive. The "have nots" are left to their own devices.

Superstorm Sandy has also reminded us of how race remains one of the main… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 18, 2012 4:54PM

What are the Real Burdens Faced by a Black President?

Ta-Nehisi Coates has a great essay on Barack Obama and the burdens of representation and blackness that folks should take the time to read. I have argued that boxing analogies are a very poor fit for politics. But, part of Coates' genius is that he can take a bad example, andRead full post »
Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 12, 2012 1:24PM

Forget Boxing, the 2012 Election is More Like Pro Wrestling

The news media and pundits love to use sports analogies when discussing American politics. When describing the 2012 race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, boxing is their sport of choice.

Obama's supporters have inaccurately described his defeat by Romney in the first debate as a version of/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 4, 2012 12:29PM

That Was No Rope-a-Dope: Obama Got His Butt Kicked by Romney

In a fight between an enthusiastic lie and a tepid truth the former will always win. The most noble of us will hold on to the abstract virtues of the truth. Pragmatists will understand that a win is a win regardless of how it is delivered.

The supporters and allies of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 2, 2012 10:57AM

The "Obama Phone" Lady vs. Angry White Men with Guns


It does not take a degree in cultural theory, visual culture, or expertise in semiotics to process the differences between these two pictures.

The first image, taken from The Washington Post's story about political polarization in Virginia, is of a white gun shop owner who believes/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 22, 2012 3:50PM

Yes, Biden Can Talk to Blacks in Ways That the GOP Cannot

The chattering classes are still talking about Joe Biden's "y'all" and "put you back in chains" turn of phrase from a speech that he made last week in Danville, Virginia. Republicans, members of the party of Willie Horton and Birtherism, have lept at an opportunity to call a Democ/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 17, 2012 1:10PM

"Niggerization": Toure was Right About Romney's Race Baiting

Yes Virginia, despite what you may hear on Fox News, Right-wing websites, and talk radio, "niggerization" is in fact a real word.

I have had my issues with Toure in the past--most notably his wholesale lifting of my argument that Herman Cain was/is a race minstrel--but I can/… Read full post »


Those who have loved and dated across the color line have to negotiate the realities of race in our society, and by extension, its impact on their relationships. For many, this is done through explicit conversations. For others, these dialogues come implicitly, through gestures, and taken for… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 9, 2012 2:42PM

Romney's "Dog Whistles" Are Clear to White Racists Online

The political scatology which is Mitt Romney's willful and racist lie that President Obama wants to end welfare reform, and give free money to all those lazy black and brown human parasites that want to live off of white people, has attracted some flies.

The media spins its wheels, deb/… Read full post »

For its owners, whiteness is constructed as something benign and innocent. Historically, and into the present, whiteness is the stuff of terror, fear, and death for a great many people around the world.

The KKK wore white robes in order to terrify black people by channeling the energy of ghouls and… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 6, 2012 2:03PM

White Supremacists Reflect on the Sikh Temple Massacre

Two weeks ago dozens were killed and wounded in Aurora, Colorado. Sunday, a gunman shot and killed six people at a Sikh temple in suburban Wisconsin. The "Gunfighter Nation" is apparently eating itself alive; the NRA continues to hand it the silverware and knives.

As I wrote here /… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 1, 2012 2:59PM

Did President Obama's "Free" Black Ancestors Own Slaves?

History is a trickster (again).

In all of the excitement over the "revelation" that President Obama is apparently a descendant from John Punch, the first African-American slave in the colonies, many glossed over the following bit of important information.

From ABC News:

The enslaved, black… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JULY 23, 2012 2:10PM

Questions Unasked: James Holmes and White (Male) Privilege

The Colorado "Batman Movie" Shooting Massacre will generate many narratives among the public and media. This tragedy will be one more opportunity to reflect on the United States' gun laws. The relationship between popular culture and violence will be a hot topic as well. Others will focus on question… Read full post »

George Zimmerman is a contemptible human being.

In court, Zimmerman apologized to Trayvon Martin's parents because their child ran into the bullet that he fired. Doubling down, Zimmerman, appearing on Fox News last night, had the unmitigated gall to offer up the following statemen/… Read full post »

JULY 16, 2012 1:52PM

White Like Mitt Romney?

I am going to let you in on a big secret. Mitt Romney is white. In certain political circles we are not allowed to talk about such an obvious thing. Conservatives and the Right-wing media also tend to get upset when the American people talk about the fact that Mitt Romney… Read full post »

Robert D. Putnam, author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, issued a strong warning to anti-poverty advocates at a forum on social connectedness at the Aspen Ideas Festival Saturday, urging the audience to get beyond talking about poverty and race and start thinking ab/… Read full post »

Why would any person honor rapist's blood?

In an effort to write the Obamas, who are de facto American royalty, back into a larger post-racial narrative that ostensibly makes some white folks feel more comfortable about having a black President, such a move seems par for the course.

In 2009, theRead full post »

The oldest and strongest form of propaganda in this country is the belief that white America has the right to dominate everyone else on the earth, and as president Obama functions as the whitest man in the country. The siren song of Manifest Destiny outlived the 19th century and is still alive/… Read full post »
Tesler’s body of research suggests that instead of delivering what many suggested would be a post-racial presidency, Obama will have polarized corners of American politics previously untouched by race.

Not only have racial considerations affected whether voters will support Obama, but they are b

Read full post »

Well played Mr. Romney. Very well played indeed.

Mitt Romney's "Barack Obama Isn't Working" campaign is a genius political move. Less clumsy than the infamous Willie Horton ad, it is a more elegant and refined racial appeal for a slightly more civilized "colorblind" age.

As such, Mitt Romney's s… Read full post »

Last week, the drip, drip, drip, of evidence surrounding the Trayvon Martin case became a deluge. George Zimmerman's hunting and killing of Trayvon Martin has been a national play, onethat I described as a farce and tragedy, which reminds us of how the United States is still in many ways a/… Read full post »

The medical report released by George Zimmerman's doctor indicates that he suffered injuries to his face and head on the evening in which he shot and murdered Trayvon. The coroner's report regarding Trayvon Martin's body indicates that there was bruising on his knuckles consistent with being in a scu… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 15, 2012 1:24PM

Empathy Wars: Mitt Romney and the GOP's Bully Politics

This is not rocket science.

Mitt Romney likes firing people. Mitt Romney drives with terrified family pets on the roof of his car. Mitt Romney assaulted a gay student while in prep school. Mitt Romney tricked a blind teacher, apparently one he "liked," letting the man walk into a glass door. HeRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 11, 2012 12:42PM

Let's Liberate the Slavery Artifacts for Sale on Ebay

Extremely Rare Mated Set of Two Small Child's Size Slave Hand-Forged Rattle Shackles & Made for the Slave Trade c. 1800 19th Century, Set of Two, Small Child's Size Slave Shackles, Hand-forged Iron, With Internal "Rattles," Choice Very Fine.

This impressive set of child size slave shackl

Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MAY 1, 2012 3:07PM

Further Proof that Racism is Not an "Opinion"

Blackness comes with no expectations of safety, care, or security.

Mediated realities. The pictures inside of people's heads. Life worlds. Bonding social capital. Lifestyle enclaves. The Big Sort. Red State and Blue State America. The color line. Residential housing segregation. Dense and exclus… Read full post »