Friday, September 15, 2006


I have been busy writing a book on academic racism and how African American culture has been betrayed by American conservatives and the right-wing, which has taken away time from posting on this blog. However, I just heard a comment on CNN that stopped me in my tracks. Gerri Willis, the CNN personal finances guru, was talking about the new round of Ford layoffs and how the company's workers are going to get screwed out of thei health benefits if they take the company's buyout offer, but possibly get laid-off, lose the money being offered, and still have no benefits if they don't.

Willis said that while this was all grim, this might open a new career opportunity for the targeted workers. "They could get a job consulting," she helpfully suggested. This is, of course, a wide-open career field for people who have been working on an assembly line, Gerri. Every corporate board in America would be eager to snap up an assembly line worker to be a "consultant."

Here is why so many financial pundits in the print and electronic media are so confused about why, when the economy is allegedly growing, so many Americans their personal situation is so bad economically. Business reporting in the American media is entirely from the perspective of the corporate board room than from the shop floor.

How many stories on unions do you see in a typical business page published by the New York Times or Washington Post? Business reporters, up to and including Paul Krugman (the pro-NAFTA "liberal" for the Times) by and large live in corporate fantasy land. Life is much harder here in the trenches, even for white collar workers.

I just did a survey of my generation within my immediate family. Counting my wife, myself and our four brothers-in-law and four sisters-in-law, we have two high school graduates, eight B.A.s, four M.A.s, two J.D.s and one Ph.D. Only three of ten within this group have what could be characterized as stable, full-time employment with paid benefits. And none of us are consultants. But we'll be sending our resumes.

Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

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