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Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Strauss-Kahn, Schwarzenegger scandals: a confluence of race and class, sex and power

Sex, power, class and race. For all their differences, the scandals encircling French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is accused of sexually assaulting an African-born maid in New York, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has confessed to having a child out of wedlock with a Latina housekeeper, both conjure major taboos. The stories hold our attention not just because they involve powerful men brought down to size (always an American favorite) but because they remind us of the often-hidden history of interracial sex, and its roots in global migration, labor markets and social hierarchies. For much of U.S. history, miscegenation — racial mixing — was a bad word deemed...