Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Homegrown Mujahideen

It's tempting to demonize conservatives with hyperbolic comparisons, but liberals have an obligation to the truth.

The cover of American Taliban (Courtesy of Polipoint Press)
Observant readers (or bookshelf scanners) will notice that American Taliban , the new book by Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, shares its smiley-face cover art with Liberal Fascism , the controversial 2009 book by conservative writer Jonah Goldberg. Indeed, there is a sense in which American Taliban is the left-wing counterpoint or spiritual successor to Liberal Fascism . But whereas Goldberg sought to make a historical connection between American liberalism and European fascism for the purpose of "clearing the record," Moulitsas seeks to classify right-wing conservatism as a species of fundamentalist extremism, for the purpose of spurring progressive action. This is not new ground for Moulitsas. In 2005 he wrote a short post slamming the conservative movement for its similarities to Islamic radicalism: The Taliban, he wrote, "are exactly what we see in the Republican Party as the GOP continues to consolidate power -- creeping theocracy, moralizing, us versus them, embrace of...

On Sitting at a Coffee Shop.

Some coffee shop owners aren't very happy about the droves of people who use their establishments mainly to do work and only occasionally drink coffee: Hers is one of a growing number of coffee bars that have opened recently around the country, particularly in New York. Instead of idling at a chair, customers at these establishments stand or perch on a stool to down a cappuccino or an iced coffee at the counter. By doing away with the comfy seats, roomy tables and working outlets that many customers now seem to believe are included in the price of a macchiato, the new coffee bars challenge the archetypal American cafe. As someone who frequently exchanges money for coffee and space to use my laptop, I think it's pretty much the case that coffee shop owners don't consider their facilities a product in the same way they consider their coffee a product. Most coffee shops wouldn't give you a free refill on a cup of coffee, but they will allow unlimited use of their bandwidth for as long as...

Preserving the Memories of Jim Crow.

( source ) Boston University's Isabel Wilkerson has written a new book on the mass migration of African Americans from the South to industrial cities in the North and Midwest: Ms. Wilkerson makes a case that people who left the South only to create hometown-based communities in new places are more like refugees than migrants: more closely tied to their old friends and families, more apt to form tight expatriate groups, more enduringly attached to the areas they left behind. She argues that these people, among them her Georgia-born mother and Virginia-born father who raised Ms. Wilkerson in Washington, D.C., were better educated and more closely tied to their families than other scholars have assumed. As someone who comes from a family of black Southerners, albeit one that didn't migrate, I'm excited to read this book, if only to broaden my understanding of what life was like for African Americans in the Jim Crow South. What's more, I just think it's important to highlight any good...

The Impending Democratic Bloodbath.

If this new Gallup poll is any indication, liberals will soon be able to complain about Speaker John Boehner , and possibly Majority Leader Mitch McConnell : According to Gallup, this Republican lead is greater than any previous midterm advantage in Gallup's 60-year history of tracking the generic ballot. Barring a miracle, Republicans are very likely to win the House in November, and there's a good chance they'll pick up the Senate, too. In addition to driving President Obama 's agenda to the right, GOP gains virtually guarantee a scandal-ridden 112th Congress. Earlier this summer, Jonathan Bernstein wondered aloud about the lessons House Republicans drew from the years 1995-2000. Did they see the "scandal and investigate" strategy as a success (in the same way the rejectionist strategy "worked" in 1993-1994), or did they see that period as a failure, since Bill Clinton won an easy re-election, and Republicans lost seats in the 1998 midterm elections. Now that Republicans are about...

For Women in Tech, "Try Harder" Isn't an Answer.

It's no secret that the "tech" world suffers from a dearth of women; overall , women account for a scant 6 percent of the chief executives of the top 100 tech companies. Only 22 percent of software engineers at tech companies are women, and among the venture capitalists who fund tech start-ups, only 14 percent are women. Last week, Wall Street Journal reporter Shira Ovide found that "only 11 percent of U.S. firms with venture-capital backing in 2009 had current or former female CEOs or female founders." By any reasonable standard, the overwhelming maleness of the tech world is a problem. Not so fast, says TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington . By his lights, critics are exaggerating the problems women have in the tech world: ...statistically speaking women have a huge advantage as entrepreneurs, because the press is dying to write about them, and venture capitalists are dying to fund them. Just so no one will point the accusing finger of discrimination at them. Arrington continues, and...