Adam Serwer

Adam Serwer is a writing fellow at The American Prospect and a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He also blogs at Jack and Jill Politics and has written for The Village Voice, The Washington Post, The Root, and the Daily News.

Recent Articles


Via Lauren Williams at Stereohyped, The New York Times ' Freakanomics blog seems intent on calling into serious doubt its methodology with some of it's conclusions about "mixed-race childen." Mixed-race kids grow up in households that are similar along many dimensions to those in which black children grow up: similar incomes, the father is much less likely to be around than in white households, etc. In terms of academic performance, mixed-race kids fall in between blacks and whites. Mixed-race kids do have one advantage over white and black kids: the mixed-race kids are much more attractive on average. The really interesting result, though, is the next one: There are some bad adolescent behaviors that whites do more than blacks (like drinking and smoking), and there are other bad adolescent behaviors that blacks do more than whites (watching TV, fighting, getting sexually transmitted diseases). Mixed-race kids manage to be as bad as whites on the white behaviors and as bad as blacks...


Earlier today I saw the presentation of the new Democratic Party platform for 2008 at the New America Foundation where reporter Steve Coll of the New Yorker (who doubles as President and CEO of the NAF) argued that Barack Obama' s foreign policy platform has positively affected our military and intelligence bureaucracies in three important ways: Obama's strategic argument about Iraq being a distraction from our larger national security goals, a view which Coll says has "currency in military and intelligence circles " and isn't seen as merely a "political" argument. Has opened up real discussion about problems in Afghanistan, which Coll described as previously being "suppressed". Coll also gave Obama's vision credit for the Lugar- Biden bill currently being debated in the Senate, which shifts aid to Pakistan away from exclusively military purposes and more towards helping to sustain and stabilize Pakistani democracy. Obama foreign policy adviser Susan Rice was also present, and she was...


Satyam at Think Progress notes a new bill introduced by Republican Congressman Walter Jones , a former Iraq war supporter, that would require the Department of Defense to allow media access to ceremonies honoring military fallen military personnel. This is likely to frustrate war supporters whose case is best made by limiting knowledge of the costs of the conflict. They may argue that such access violates the privacy of the fallen, but it's important to understand that the bill only gives access to media at ceremonies and memorial services conducted by the Armed Forces, it doesn't force families to let reporters into their funerals. The bill states: "The Secretary of Defense shall grant access to accredited members of the media at military commemoration ceremonies and memorial services conducted by the Armed Forces for members of the Armed Forces who have died on active duty and when the remains of members of the Armed Forces arrive at military installations in the United States." It...


Ben Smith has an important caveat regarding those military donations to Barack Obama . The Obama campaign announced today that it has 2 million individual donors, which is likely many times more than the McCain campaign has. So I suspect Obama outnumbers McCain in every single demographic: soldiers and civilians, but also old and young, and probably every ethnic group. The military contributions aren't necessarily a mark of having more supporters among the military -- but it is a sign of how much more motivated Obama's supporters are. That's probably true. But it's also probably true that said enthusiasm will have an effect on whether people actually go out and vote or not, which on election day, is all that really matters. -- A. Serwer


As amusing as it might be to think of the existential panic that Lou Dobbs and Bill O'Reilly will be thrown into after reading that the U.S. will be a "majority-minority" nation by 2050, I think the tone of the New York Times article is a bit misleading : The census calculates that by 2042, Americans who identify themselves as Hispanic, black, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander will together outnumber non-Hispanic whites. Four years ago, officials had projected the shift would come in 2050. But as the article notes, how race is culturally understood is open to change. And taking into account the number of people who actually identify as white, white people will still comprise a substantial majority of American citizens in 2042 (76%). This is because most of the rise in the "minority" population comes from Latinos, who generally have a different understanding than the historical American definitions of "white" or "black". Depending on whether or not white...