To Black Athletes, Donald Trump Is Playing the Dozens

This Time, the Age-Old Game of Exchanging Insults Will Have No Winner

President Donald Trump did not say, “Yo’ mama!” in front of a partisan Huntsville, Alabama audience. But he might as well have because that is what athletes heard directed at them.

Perhaps without even realizing it, the president had engaged in an age-old tradition of playing the dozens, the term for an African American game involving the exchange of insults before an audience. Or did he just think he’s playing the politics of distraction-as-usual, and playing to his base?

Whether he knew it or not, the bully, Trump, went after one …

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The Zócalo Book Prize Winner Discusses the Evolution of Ethnic Enclaves, from Renaissance Europe to the Modern U.S.

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The Ghetto’s Complex and Troubled Legacy

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In 2017, we often hear the word “ghetto” come up in music lyrics and casual conversation, out of the mouths of politicians and activists. We know what it means; it …

When Bigoted Humor Isn’t Just a Joke

White Comedians Tiptoeing Around Racial Taboos Are Adding Insult to Injury

Over the last decade, I’ve studied the changing nature of race-talk among comedians, from the civil rights era to the present. Specifically, I’ve been interested in examining the use of …