Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Obama Is a Muslim, Says One-Fifth of America.

In today's surprising news, a growing number of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim. According to the results of a new national survey by the Pew Research Center, 18 percent of Americans believe that Obama is a Muslim, up from 11 percent in March 2009: Unsurprisingly, this misperception is far more common among his political opponents; 34 percent of conservative Republicans say that Obama is a Muslim, as do 30 percent of those who disapprove of his performance. That said, the numbers aren't much better among supporters. Only 46 percent of Democrats accurately say that he is a Christian, down from 55 percent from last year. Obviously, this begs the question: What has happened since last year that led many Americans to the transparently false belief that Obama is a Muslim? Matt Yglesias chalks it up to the "general dynamic of recession-induced suspicion," but I think there's more to it than that; last year, in a joint paper , University of Michigan political scientist (...

No President Bush, You're Not Our Only Hope.

( George W. Bush Presidential Center ) Unlike a lot of people, it seems , I'm not so sure that George W. Bush is the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the Cordoba House controversy. That is, while I can appreciate President Bush's care in drawing sharp distinctions between al-Qaeda and the greater Muslim community, it's ultimately the case that under the Bush administration, entire swaths of the Constitution ceased to apply to Muslims, or at least those accused of terrorism. Bush may have been uncomfortable with demagoguing all Muslims, but he wasn't particularly averse to torturing some of them. If anything, the current GOP campaign against Islam reflects that basic reality; to borrow from my colleague Adam Serwer , "the idea that all American Muslims are not entitled to First Amendment rights is the rational conclusion to the logic that denies Fifth and Eighth Amendment rights to Muslims accused of terrorism." Adam worries that we'll continue down this slippery slope, and so do I; by and large, the...

+10 to Obstructionism, -10 to Accountability.

This is a pretty good illustration of the problems a routine super majority requirement creates for democratic accountability: Ailing 9/11 responders slammed President Obama on Tuesday for sounding off on the Ground Zero mosque while keeping silent on a $7.2 billion health care bill. "Why have you failed us? We thought you would be our champion" in pushing the legislation, John Feal wrote to Obama. […] The Zadroga bill failed to muster a necessary two-thirds vote last month. GOP opponents called it a money grab by New York and said it would raise taxes. Of course, the president hasn't actually failed the 9/11 responders; Obama supports the bill, as does Speaker Nancy Pelosi , Majority Leader Harry Reid , and a majority of members in the House and Senate. But, because Senate rules allow 41 senators to impose a supermajority requirement on every stage of the voting process, a majority of Democrats are unable to move the bill to the president's desk. But John Feal doesn't see this, and...

New Report Shows Graduation Chasm for Black Males.

( source ) August seems to be the month for racial disparities in education. Last week, the Education Trusts released a report on the abysmal graduation rates among African American college students, and this week, the Schott Foundation for Public Education released its "50 State Report on Black Males & Education," which highlights the atrociously low high school graduation rate among African American men. Overall, the Schott Foundation found that, for the 2007/2008 school year, the graduation rate for black men in the U.S. was a dismal 47 percent. The 10 lowest performing states for black men -- New York, Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, District of Columbia, Indiana, Alabama and Georgia -- had an average graduation rate of 38.9 percent, compared to 65.3 percent for white men. At the bottom of the list for states was New York, with a 25 percent graduation rate for its black male students, and at the bottom of the list for counties was Pinellas County in Florida...

Chris Christie is Just an Observer.

At least, that's what he said in a press conference yesterday on the Cordoba House controversy: My principles on this are two-fold. One, that we have to acknowledge, respect and give some measure of deference to the feelings of the family members who lost their loved ones there that day. But it would be wrong to so overreact to that, that we paint Islam with a brush of radical Muslim extremists that just want to kill Americans because we are Americans. But beyond that ... I am not going to get into it, because I would be guilty of candidly what I think some Republicans are guilty of, and the president is now, the president is guilty of, of playing politics with this issue , and I simply am not going to do it. [...] Asked if he'd call upon both parties to stop, he said, "Well, that again will be playing politics with the issue. I said what I feel about it, and I don’t believe it is up to me to pontificate on other people about what they should do. I just observe what I observe." [...

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