Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Scenes From the Recovery.

Pontiac, Michigan is recovering : City officials signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday to disband the Police Department and turn patrols in Pontiac over to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office as soon as December. Faced with mounting red ink, the cash-strapped city of 66,000 residents has chipped away at its Police Department in recent years with layoffs and cutbacks that required help at times from Michigan State Police and the Sheriff’s Office just to keep road patrols operating. “This is going to be very, very controversial,” said Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski. “We’ve known this could happen. It’s been discussed for some time, but the signing of the memorandum of understanding today makes it almost certain. “By December, no later than January, we will no longer have a Pontiac Police Department, and our city’s public safety will be handed over to the Oakland County sheriff.” Pontiac has suffered hugely from the collapse of the auto industry; a decade ago, the city housed a GM...

Obama and Gun Control.

In the imaginations and fever dreams of right-wing Republicans, President Obama is a signature away from confiscating the nation's guns, and delivering them to his personal Sharia-law task force. But as Ryan Reilly reports for Talking Points Memo, the truth is that Obama has done very little to advance anything approaching gun control, and in fact, has even signed legislation allowing guns in national parks and Amtrak trains: "The notion that 'Obama is coming after your guns' is pretty laughable at this point," Ramsey said. His group has issued a report card flunking Obama on seven of its important issues, though he noted that it's not just the Obama administration at fault: Congress has "made it clear that they don't want to deal with anything on guns," he said. Even gun rights groups can't point to concrete actions taken by the Obama administration against gun rights. "Let's be honest, the Democrats have shied away from the gun issue for a number of years," Dave Workman of the...

The National Disaster That Is Black Teenage Unemployment.

Mark this as the one time you'll find me agreeing with Doug Schoen : There is a huge national crisis that America is currently facing that has gotten very little recognition or attention. That crisis is black teenage unemployment. Put simply, we are facing something approaching a national emergency that goes well beyond the current unemployment rate in the recession or the more general economic dislocation that Americans have been facing recently. Any objective analysis of the data shows that for the vast majority of African Americans under the age of 21, there are simply no opportunities in our society; not only for advancement, but for any sort of survival. [...] America needs a bold, national initiative to combat black teenage unemployment. This initiative has to be broad based and include people of all ideologies and all political persuasions. With the exception of his bit on lowering the minimum wage -- which wouldn't have much of an effect on employment -- this is a very good op...

When Affirmative Action Was White.

Over the weekend, Adam Serwer did a Bloggingheads with Amy Wax , author of Race, Wrongs, and Remedies and professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania. At the core of her book is a challenge to liberals who believe that government action is necessary to alleviate economic disparities between whites and African Americans. By her lights, the state is incapable of changing the destructive culture that she sees as inhibiting black success. In the end, she argues, only blacks can help themselves achieve equality, through a dramatic change in habits and cultural patterns. I actually don't recommend that you watch the whole segment; Wax is clearly uninterested in having a discussion with Adam and spends the vast majority of her time interrupting him with points like "white immigrants have a superior culture." The dialogue is an hour long, but you never get a sense of Adam's points because Wax never gives him the space to make them. Which is a shame, since Adam's main counterpoint --...

Mark Halperin Still Doesn't Know What He's Talking About.

For someone who only writes about politics, Mark Halperin knows stunningly little about the forces that drive any given election. For example, watch as he tries to explain President Obama 's political woes without mentioning the economy, unemployment, or historical patterns: With the exception of core Obama Administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusions: the White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters. This view is held by Fox News pundits, executives and anchors at the major old-media outlets, reporters who cover the White House, Democratic and Republican congressional leaders and governors, many Democratic business people and lawyers who raised big money for Obama in 2008, and even some members of the Administration just beyond the inner circle. Really? The White House that moved guaranteed...

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