The Watering Hole: October 26 – 5 signs racism still rules politics (and much of this country)

Salon, by David Sirota

The double standards that exist in this country in regard to President Obama — and really, other people of color — is just crazy-making.  David Sirota has an article out pointing out just five examples, but there are SO many more.  Read his whole article at the link above.

1. Joe Biden Is almost never called a socialist or a Marxist.

I know, right!  I don’t remember any president in my lifetime being called “socialist.”  Joe Biden is on the ticket with the President, but people aren’t railing against him as a socialist.

Despite a Senate voting record and presidential policymaking record that align him with moderate Republicans from a mere decade ago, Obama is regularly derided as a socialist, a communist or a Marxist. By contrast, Obama’s own white running mate, Joe Biden, has as liberal — or at times even more liberal — a voting record as Obama, but (save for the occasional Newt Gingrich outburst) is almost never referred to in such inflammatory terms.

2. Romneycare is Obamacare, yet the latter is criticized.

It’s all fun and games until the black guy does it.  Then we’re dooooooomed!

Nonetheless, under the first African-American president, the very same healthcare model the GOP championed is now being held up by the GOP as a redistributionist boondoggle.

3. A white president would never be criticized for these statements about Trayvon Martin.

After the incident, Obama said “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together.”

How dare the President speak compassionate words after a tragedy?  And who does he think he is, saying anything about any possible investigation?

4. America would neither ignore nor laugh off a young black male relative of Obama publicly fantasizing about violence against a presidential candidate.

Oh my god, Fox would never talk about another topic.  EVER.  The nerve!

As I reported last week, Romney’s son, Tagg Romney, cheerily riffed on his fantasies about committing an act of violence against a sitting president of the United States…if a young black male relative of Obama went on a radio show and publicly said he wanted to “jump out of your seat (and) rush down to the stage and take a swing” at Mitt Romney” — it would be an instant national outrage, replete with headlines about an imminent race war and Romney’s desperate need for beefed-up personal security.

5. If one of Obama’s teenage daughters was unmarried and pregnant, it wouldn’t be considered a “private” matter.

Oh wait, Fox would stop talking about an Obama male relative wanting to take a swing at Romney for this.  Ohhhh, just imagine the glee with which they would throw around terms like “ho,” “baby daddy,” and “welfare queen wannabe.”

When Sarah Palin was put on the Republican ticket in 2008, Bristol Palin’s pregnancy did not initiate a national discussion about the issue of teen pregnancy, unprotected sex or promiscuous fornication outside of wedlock. Instead, conservative leaders insisted it was off-limits as a topic…

Of course, the Obamas, knowing that this hypothetical daughter was pregnant, would never have exposed her to such treatment, because they would have politely declined a VP offer — because they have class — and because they don’t have access to white privilege.

There is a shameful ugliness in this country.  Electing Barack Obama as President in 2008 didn’t cause it, but it sure brought the racism many Americans had hidden so well — even from themselves — to the surface.  I, for one, am no longer willing to simply be embarrassed for these people, while saying nothing.  I will look them in the eye and say, “I don’t know if you’re a racist, but what you just said was a racist/bigoted statement.”  I’ll be willing to discuss why something is racist or bigoted, and how that sort of thing divides us as a country and as human beings, but I will not hang around for blustering denials or counter-accusations of racism — no matter who I’m speaking to. I will simply walk away, because I won’t have that sort of person in my life — no matter who they are.

The hate is not going away because we laugh at their ignorance and their stupid signs, but enough of us eject that sort of person from our families and circles of friends, it might have an effect.  Enlightened ones are always welcome back.

This is our daily open thread — yeah, I haz a rant.

An Open Letter to Obama Haters

I found this open letter on Facebook, with a link to Democratic Underground, but with no attribution.  I’ve posted it in full, with no changes.

I think it has an excellent message for those who cannot reconcile themselves to the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

To your distress, for most of the rest of your life, you will bear this:

That Barack Obama, whether re-elected or not, will always be President.

He will always be the man from a mixed race background that became the President of the US, he and his wife will be welcomed throughout the world by nations and their leaders, the most influential members of the arts and sciences will be their acquaintances and companions.

He will be regarded and honored as the President who entered office during a deep recession and two wars and turned the country around.

You will always justify your lack of achievement on the unfairness of every system, your lack of success on the government or regulation, and your failure to accomplish anything in a country where impoverished immigrants with limited language skills are succeeding around you on the liberals or the communists or the elites.

The small satisfaction you garner while spouting derisive comments here only exists in your self-delusion and is a pale comfort compared to the reality that exists around you.

You can try to salve your bitter existence with theories of international Kenyan plots or document fraud, whatever.

But that is your future.

Your world will always be limited by your small-mindedness, your associates only those that are as poorly adapted to the world around them, your accomplishments non-existent and your life a bitter existence.

It’s time to move on.

In your journey into denial, you’ve already sacrificed your conscience and whatever claim to character you had.

Your pretense at a deity derived morality is mocked by your myopic hatred of the ‘other’.

Your concept of patriotism is waving a child’s flag on the sidelines as others defend your liberty.

Bush 41 and spouse are living into their nineties, the Obama’s will too. You’ll see them at the inaugurals, your TV will tell you of their lives and that of their daughters, of their successes and their trips and the books they write and their accolades.

Make it easy on yourself.

Take a deep cleansing breath and just let go, make the best of your situation.

Whether re-elected or not, he will always be the 44th President of the US, and your children and their children will read of him in their history books, the first black man elected president of the US.

If not re-elected, he will be healthier and wealthier than he is as President, but he is willing to make that sacrifice for you.

You still live in a free country made more safe and prosperous by your President, and he, the First Lady and their children will always have you in their prayers. “

Taking America forward instead of taking America back.

The Watering Hole: March 20th – Europe’s Hate Crimes

Ok, ok. I knooow. There’s Illinois tonight. But still. Europe has it’s own stories to tell. We do have elections coming up, some really important, too. Most prominently France. And here’s what setting me off, once again:

You do not pander to the right wing haters without consequences. Marine LePen, daughter of ill-reputed right winger Jean-Marie LePen is running at around 16% of votes in recent polls.16% that Nicolas Sarkozy desperately wants to have, to get a second term. Sarko himself has been busily blaming minorities for France’s problems for years now, to get the right to vote for him and LePen wouldn’t be her father’s daughter if she didn’t, never mind her switch of focus.

Look what happens:

The neighborhood near Toulouse railway station where the Rue Jules Dalou is located is shabby and depressing. The houses are narrow and mostly only two stories high. There are no gourmet shops or chic boutiques. It’s a long way from the image of France that you see in the tourist brochures.

On any normal evening, the area would be deserted at 10 p.m., but this is not a normal evening. Since Monday morning, nothing in Toulouse is normal. That was when an unknown perpetrator on a motor scooter drove into the Rue Jules Dalou and shot dead three children and a teacher.

The shooting took place in front of and inside a Jewish school, the Collège et Lycée Ozar Hatorah. Now, photographers, cameramen and reporters are gathered in a crowd outside the cordoned-off building. Local residents, students and friends have placed flowers at the entrance, where the killer fired the first shots. “You will always be angels,” is written on one of the notes.

The four haven’t been the only ones to die. Three paratroopers of North African descent were killed recently as well as well as one of Caribean descent wounded. By the same perp.

This, obviously, reminds me of the German so-called Döner killings mentioned in the earlier post on the subject. Random shootings of immigrant small business owners, that could recently be traced back to a Nazi cell.

I dare to predict it is going to be a right wing Neo-Nazi behind this all. He will be, of course, a lone lunatic, as the three Germans behind the killings were lone lunatics, as Breivik was a lone lunatic and it has nothing at all to do with the fact, that hate speech and pandering to the right wing of politicians is making the Nazi’s sick views legitimate and sets the violence off. Nothing at all.

This is our open thread. Join us and yes, you may mention Illinois.

March 21st, UPDATE: The Washington Post has an UPDATE today.

Arizona artists told to repaint mural to be less ethnic

Raw Story:

The leader of a group of artists says he was ordered to lighten the skin tones of children depicted in an outdoor mural covering two walls of a Prescott, Arizona elementary school because of complaints that the faces appeared too ethnic.

Read on…

Honestly.. I feel like I am living in the Twilight Zone..

UPDATE: The elementary school in Arizona has backed down. They will NOT be lightening those skin tones after all..

Good news. The gutless, carbound racists lost, and the mural is being restored to its “original theme.” Jeff Lane, the principal of Miller Valley Elementary School, and Kevin Kapp, the school superintendent, showed up at a protest today to apologize for giving in to whims of mentally deranged adults, spewing racial epithets at a painting.

An Open Letter To “White America”

This is not a white country.  It was not founded to be a white country, nor a Christian country.  The founding fathers were a mix of Christians and non-Christians (second more detailed source).  Most notably, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin were all well outside mainstream Christian thinking during their day.  Jefferson went so far as the create his own version of the Bible in which he removed all of Jesus’ miracles. James Madison was quoted as saying, “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”

<snip>

“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.

This country was established on the principles and values of the Enlightenment, which were most often at odds with the beliefs of Christianity during their time.

This is not now, nor has it ever been a Christian country.  White culture is not synonymous with American culture, and the simple fact that you don’t like to be called racists doesn’t make your racism any less real.  Seriously, a very sizeable chunk of the GOP base refuses to belief that our president was born in this country, despite a total lack of evidence to suggest otherwise versus a birth certificate, newspaper announcement, and the word of the current Governor of his state that he was in fact born there.  Guess what?  That’s racism at worst, blind, hateful partisanism at best.  You have no reason to hold on to your lunatic ravings other than your pre-existing hatred for our current president.

As for the tea-bagger town hall protests, while the individual citizens showing up to drown out the basic necessity of reasoned discussion between Congressional leaders and their consituents — how anti-Democratic can you get? — do represent some segment of “real Americans,” so too do the overwhelming majorities of participants who are simply looking to be informed on the details of the health care plan, and the reasons their representatives are supporting it.  Despite what some on the Right like to claim, shutting down townhall meetings is not in the least democratic, and in fact, is a tactic dating back to the earliest Communist uprisings in Russia.  Just so you know the company you’re in.

The only thing I’m learning from all this is that this movement is hysterical, and wildly misinformed to the point of being unconcerned with the objective reality most of us reside in.

Lou Dobbs “GULP”

The Raw Story

Since opinionated CNN news anchor Lou Dobbs began reporting on a conspiracy theory story that suggested President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States, his ratings have fallen some 15 percent.

In two weeks.

Dobbs began reporting on the Obama birth certificate story — circulated by the hard right — on Wednesday, July 15. In the following two weeks, his Nielsen ratings dived — reducing his overall viewers from an estimated 771,000 to 653,000.

Your move, Dobbs.  Make it a good one!

Women & minorities need not apply

…a photograph of [Jayne] Draycott’s deceased teen-aged daughter, tragically killed in a car wreck in 2006, that Draycott kept in her fire department locker was mockingly destroyed. The word “die” had been written across Draycott’s face, and “dead” across her late teen-aged daughter’s face in the photo. (See local ABC coverage of the incident here.)

And [Paula] Keyes, who is an African-American woman, found racial and sexist slurs – both the “N” word and the “B” word — when she showed up to work at the Bush Intercontinental Airport-area Fire Station 54.  (Source)

All cartoons are posted with the artists’ express permission to TPZoo.
Nick AndersonHouston Chronicle Editorial Cartoonist and Animation Artist.
For Nick’s animations, visit Nick Anderson: Animation Archives.
For Nick’s cartoons, visit Nick Anderson.

Pat Buchanan is 100% pure racist

“White men were 100% of the people that wrote the Constitution, 100% of the people that signed the Declaration of Independence, 100% of the people who died at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, probably close to 100% of the people who died at Normandy. This has been a country built basically by white folks.”

And Pat’s Klan robes will be 100% white as well.

Rachel did a fine job allowing this hardcore racist expose him so completely.  There is not a single doubt remaining as to what Buchanan is about.

Will MSNBC finally stop giving this racist an almost daily platform to spew his hateful rhetoric?  Afterall, there are no self-proclaimed neo-Nazis employed as “regular contributors” on any other reputable news organizations — as far as I know.  What makes Pat Buchanan so different?  Wearing a nice suit and combing his hair?

Please…

HT:  ThinkProgress

Add Your Voice

Earlier today, Crooks and Liars reported that after Katrina, white militias in Algiers Point, Louisiana hunted down and killed and injured any black people who dared to venture into their ‘hood.

Color of Change adds:

A new report in The Nation[1] documents what many have claimed for years–for some Black New Orleanians the threat of being killed by White vigilantes in Katrina’s aftermath became a bigger threat than the storm itself.

After the storm, White vigilantes roamed Algiers Point shooting and, according to their own accounts, killing Black men at will–with no threat of a police response.

“It was great!” said one vigilante. “It was like pheasant season in South Dakota. If it moved, you shot it.”

The Nation’s article tells the story of Donnell Herrington, Marcel Alexander, and Chris Collins–a group of friends who were attacked by shotgun-wielding White men as they entered Algiers Point on September 1, 2005. As they tried to escape, Herrington recalls, their attackers shouted, “Get him! Get that nigger!” He managed to get away. Alexander and Collins were told that they would be allowed to live on the condition that they told other Black folks not to come to Algiers Point. Herrington, shot in the neck, barely survived.

And there’s the story of Henry Glover, who didn’t survive after being shot by an unknown assailant.[2] Glover’s brother flagged down a stranger for help, and the two men brought Glover to a police station. But instead of receiving aid, they were beaten by officers while Henry Glover bled to death in the back seat of the stranger’s car. A police officer drove off in the car soon afterward. Both Glover’s body and the car were found burnt to cinders a week later. It took DNA analysis to identify the body.

1. “Katrina’s Hidden Race War,” The Nation, 12-18-2008
http://www.colorofchange.org/link/?id=2058-152642&cat=nation&link=1

2. “Body of Evidence,” The Nation, 12-18-2008
http://www.colorofchange.org/link/?id=2058-152642&cat=nation&link=2

Take a moment and go here to voice your call for justice.  Ask that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana’s Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, and the U.S. Department of Justice–to conduct a full investigation of these crimes and any police cover-up.

Blogging from the state of Wow

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As I was perusing my favorite blogs, this site was brought to my attention.  Wow is all I can muster.  I often forget that the internets, that vast series of tubes, is far more than just a place where you can catch up on the daily news, find a quilting pattern, or locate the perfect recipe for dinner (or a bomb, I suppose).  It is more than just liberal and conservative.  The internet provides a home for every flavor of nutcase alive.

Exhibit A:

When I see that our people are either too doltish to perceive their degradation or too craven to care, I am close to despair. Even a few decades ago, I should not have believed it possible that here in the United States Aryans would willingly see their children hauled to “schools” to be defiled by enforced association with savages and to be robbed, beaten, raped, and mutilated by the animals.

Exhibit B:

You see, I am now working towards a doctorate — a doctorate in Anthropology and advanced tribal behavior in today’s New America. I foresee this becoming the next big thing in intellectual circles, as we witness the eventual slide of the US into the sub-Saharan lifestyle planned out for us by Big Jewry.

Exhibit C:

You know, all of us Evil Whiteys who are out looking to ”oppress” and deny all those “deserving benefits” and the non-stop giveaways of our tax dollars to certain other races living in this country; even to their worthless overseas countries that they consider first before the good old US of A.

I especially love Exhibit C, because, apparently, the socially retarded ignoramus who writes this drivel, seems to selectively choose who he has issues with being recipients of those evil tax dollar giveaways.   Meet  the Campbells.

What Keith Olbermann doesn’t mention is that both Mr. and Mrs. Campbell are on the government dole.

Continue reading

Mississippi students kicked off school bus for saying Obama’s name

Raw Story

Now that President-Elect Obama is a reality, let’s brace ourselves for some real racist ugliness, folks.  This week in Mississippi, children were actually forced off a school bus because they were talking about Barack Obama.

Reginald Simpson, a student at Pearl Junior High, explained that when students on the bus started saying, “Obama is our president,” the bus driver told them she didn’t want to hear his name. One kid said, “This is history woman,” and according to Simpson, “She pulled over and kicked me and the kid off the bus.” They were left waiting at the high school and later taken to their own school.

This action was not isolated to just the bus driver.  A girls’ basketball coach threatened the children with suspension for using the name.  These “adults” have apparently been disciplined.

As adults and professionals we are not going to deprive anyone of their excitement over the current election of President-elect Obama, or any other candidate,” [Pearl Schools Superintendent John] Ladner said. “The whole nation was excited, and in no way and at no time will children be disciplined for saying the name of the president-elect of the United States. Any employee who would attempt to do that would be corrected and disciplined. We expect professional behavior, respect and demeanor of staff and students. It is unfortunate that some employees mishandled this situation but they have been disciplined and I have spent the day clarifying our policies.”

Hopefully, our children will help lead us out of the anger and bitterness of hatred and racism.  It’s apparent that some adults have a lot to learn.

McCain Supporters in Pottsville Shout “Bomb Obama” and Hate-Filled Speeches

More of John McCain supporters, this time at Pottsville, Pennsylvania. October 27, 2008.

This is a report from Keystone Progress.

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Palin Rally Attendee: Obama is a ni**er!

Palin stumbles for a brief moment but keeps on going after someone attending her rally yells “He’s a ni**er” as Palin discusses Obama.

Well, the First Dude did hold up a sign the other day comparing Obama to Charles Manson. I wonder who is next; Jeffrey Dahmer? Pot Pol? Stay classy, Republicans.

Election clerk distributed letters calling Obama “Black Hitler”

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Deputy Sheriff Doug Cox said in a police report made public this week, that employees discovered the letters at their desks after returning from Labor Day weekend.  Apparently, Republican county election clerk distributed copies of a chain letter referring to presidential nominee Obama as a “young, black Adolf Hitler.”  She said she meant it as a joke.  It seems she was caught on video tape dropping off the letter.

One of the workers complained, and surveillance video showed Johnson County Clerk Jill Jackson placing an item one worker’s desk at 5:27 p.m. on the Friday of Labor Day weekend, Cox said.

“She admitted to being responsible for the letter, but only did it as a joke,” Cox said. Jackson told police she had intended to speak with the workers upon returning to work but forgot.

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Limbaugh pops a vein…

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh

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Rush Limbaugh, in his usual convulsive, eyeball-spinning, slavering, spittle-spraying, completely berserk manner, had this to say about General Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama for president:

This was all about Powell and race, nothing about the nation and its welfare. He said it’s not about race — show me all the inexperienced white liberals you’ve endorsed if it’s not about race. Of course everyone’s having a tizzy… he evolved over time into a calculating Washington insider who speaks incessantly to the media … (The Page)

Let me say it louder, and let me say it even more plainly. IT WAS TOTALLY ABOUT RACE! The Powell nomination — or endorsement — totally about race.  (ThinkProgress)

Right, you utterly moronic fuck, Colin Powell is a member of the Republican party because everything he does is about race.

Limbaugh has been backing white politicians for years, which confirms once and for all that Limbaugh is a rabid frothing at the mouth racist — not that there was any question in my mind.

UPDATE: Our own Wayne A. Schneider penned a song parody about Rush Limbaugh, called “I Cross the Line.”  See it here.

Obama Hung in Effigy on College Campus

OregonLive.com reports:

A custodial crew at the 3,355-student Christian university found the Obama likeness hanging by fishing wire from a tree at 7 a.m. Tuesday and tore it down before students arrived for classes.

A sign taped to the cutout said, “Act Six reject,” referring to a scholarship program for Portland students, many of whom are minorities.

(snip)

The Act Six program, which started last year, provides full scholarships each year to as many as 10 students chosen for their leadership potential from Portland high schools.

Four students have been suspended as a result.

The students, whose names are not being released, have been suspended on a long-term basis and must complete community service.

Other sanctions include community service and multicultural education, which must be completed before the students can return to campus, said Brad Lau, vice president of student life.

(snip)

The FBI is continuing its investigation into possible civil rights violations, including whether the display intimidated minority students in exercising their federal rights, spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele said.

University leaders have used the racist display as an educational tool to talk about race issues on the mostly white campus. About 100 students attended a forum Thursday, and more discussions are planned in dorms and in Portland in the next week, said Joel Perez, dean of transitions and inclusion.

Recently, there had been a rally for McCain at the university with an attendence of about 40 students.  After all the fear mongering delivered by McCain, Palin and their surrogates and supporters, there is little wonder that the Republican party is less about patriotism and more about hatriotism.

Jon Stewart did a brilliant piece the other day about the monster that the McCain camp is creating – and whether they will be able to put that monster back into the bottle.

It seems not.

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17 States Reported McCain Robocalls

I received mine the other day and was horrified when this message was left :  “Hello. I’m calling for John McCain and the RNC,” – “need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge’s home, and killed Americans.”  These propaganda tactics should not be allowed.  What this causes is a myth to be perpetuated and some people believe these lies to be true.  Which leads to what we see in the video below by The Young Turks.

The McCain-Palin Campaign and the Republican National Committee has launched a massive campaign on Thursday, more on this from Huffington Post.

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Wednesday Open Thread

Senator McCain, most Americans have heard about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae before the crisis! You may not have, but most do. Or did you just assume, because the question came from an African American man, he may have never heard of it? That makes you either condescending or a racist, actually both:

“It was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I’ll bet you, you may never even heard of ‘em before this crisis..”

Watch:

Discuss this and what else is on your mind here and don’t miss the new posts that will be coming in all day below this!

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College Republican Resigns after Latest Racist Comments

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The AP reports:

The leader of a statewide group of college Republicans has been forced to resign after posting racially insensitive comments about Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on the Internet.

Adam LaDuca, 21, the former executive director of the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans, wrote on his Facebook page in late July that Obama has “a pair of lips so large he could float half of Cuba to the shores of Miami (and probably would.)”

LaDuca, who previously had called Martin Luther King Jr. a “pariah” and a “fraud,” also wrote: “And man, if sayin’ someone has large lips is a racial slur, then we’re ALL in trouble.”

(snip)

He compared the comment about Obama to jokes about Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s thinning hair or President Bush’s large ears.

LaDuca is a senior at Kutztown University. Two years ago, Kutztown’s College Republicans chapter was heavily criticized for holding a “bake sale” to protest affirmative action in which whites were charged more for cookies than blacks. LaDuca, then the group’s spokesman, made a public apology on the group’s behalf.

This comes after several elected Republicans have said comments such as:

Steve King (R-Iowa): I will tell you that, if he is elected president, then the radical Islamists, the al Qaeda, the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11, because they will declare victory in this war on terror.

And:

Additionally, his middle name (Hussein) does matter. … It matters because they read a meaning into that in the rest of the world. That has a special meaning to them. They will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name. They will be dancing in the streets because of who his father was and because of his posture that says: Pull out of the Middle East and pull out of this conflict.

And then there is this from Lynn Westmoreland (R-Georgia) saying:

Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they’re uppity

When asked to clarify his remarks, a spokesman for Westmoreland said:

“He meant the Webster’s definition of uppity, he didn’t mean anything racially tinged or anything used as a code word,” Robinson said in an interview. “He never heard the term used in a racially derogatory sense. He used the word as a synonym for elitist, which he stands by. He thinks the Democratic nominee has an inflated sense of self esteem and is snobbish. He is sorry if it was offensive to anyone who took it in any way that it was not.”

It’s hard to believe that a southern man would claim cluelessness as to the word uppity (which is usually followed by the N-Word).
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Double standards

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Common Dreams:

Two op-ed pieces on CommonDreams this morning are noting the outrageous double standard in the media, and in everyday people’s mind-set, that Rev Jeremiah Wright (and by proxy Barack Obama) is being held up to much harsher scrutiny for controversial statements he’s made from the pulpit than white preachers who have made even more outrageous statements.

First, Frank Rich with The All-White Elephant in the Room

BORED by those endless replays of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright? If so, go directly to YouTube, search for “John Hagee Roman Church Hitler,” and be recharged by a fresh jolt of clerical jive.

What you’ll find is a white televangelist, the Rev. John Hagee, lecturing in front of an enormous diorama. Wielding a pointer, he pokes at the image of a woman with Pamela Anderson-sized breasts, her hand raising a golden chalice. The woman is “the Great Whore,” Mr. Hagee explains, and she is drinking “the blood of the Jewish people.” That’s because the Great Whore represents “the Roman Church,” which, in his view, has thirsted for Jewish blood throughout history, from the Crusades to the Holocaust.

Mr. Hagee is not a fringe kook but the pastor of a Texas megachurch. On Feb. 27, he stood with John McCain and endorsed him over the religious conservatives’ favorite, Mike Huckabee, who was then still in the race.

Are we really to believe that neither Mr. McCain nor his camp knew anything then about Mr. Hagee’s views? This particular YouTube video – far from the only one – was posted on Jan. 1, nearly two months before the Hagee-McCain press conference. Mr. Hagee appears on multiple religious networks, including twice daily on the largest, Trinity Broadcasting, which reaches 75 million homes. Any 12-year-old with a laptop could have vetted this preacher in 30 seconds, tops.

Since then, Mr. McCain has been shocked to learn that his clerical ally has made many other outrageous statements. Mr. Hagee, it’s true, did not blame the American government for concocting AIDS. But he did say that God created Hurricane Katrina to punish New Orleans for its sins, particularly a scheduled “homosexual parade there on the Monday that Katrina came.”

Mr. Hagee didn’t make that claim in obscure circumstances, either. He broadcast it on one of America’s most widely heard radio programs, “Fresh Air” on NPR, back in September 2006. He reaffirmed it in a radio interview less than two weeks ago. Only after a reporter asked Mr. McCain about this Katrina homily on April 24 did the candidate brand it as “nonsense” and the preacher retract it.

Mr. McCain says he does not endorse any of Mr. Hagee’s calumnies, any more than Barack Obama endorses Mr. Wright’s. But those who try to give Mr. McCain a pass for his embrace of a problematic preacher have a thin case. Keep reading→

Next, Bill Moyers with Beware the Simplifiers

I once asked a reporter back from Vietnam, “Who’s telling the truth over there?” “Everyone, he said. “Everyone sees what’s happening through the lens of their own experience.” That’s how people see Jeremiah Wright. In my conversation with him on this broadcast a week ago and in his dramatic public appearances since, he revealed himself to be far more complex than the sound bites that propelled him onto the public stage. Over 2000 of you have written me about him, and your opinions vary widely. Some sting: “Jeremiah Wright is nothing more than a race-hustling, American hating radical,” one viewer wrote. A “nut case,” said another. Others were far more were sympathetic to him.

Many of you have asked for some rational explanation for Wright’s transition from reasonable conversation to shocking anger at the National Press Club. A psychologist might pull back some of the layers and see this complicated man more clearly, but I’m not a psychologist. Many black preachers I’ve known – scholarly, smart, and gentle in person – uncorked fire and brimstone in the pulpit. Of course I’ve known many white preachers like that, too.

But where I grew up in the south, before the civil rights movement, the pulpit was a safe place for black men to express anger for which they would have been punished anywhere else; a safe place for the fierce thunder of dignity denied, justice delayed. I think I would have been angry if my ancestors had been transported thousands of miles in the hellish hole of a slave ship, then sold at auction, humiliated, whipped, and lynched. Or if my great-great grandfather had been but three-fifths of a person in a constitution that proclaimed, “We the people.” Or if my own parents had been subjected to the racial vitriol of Jim Crow, Strom Thurmond, Bull Connor, and Jesse Helms. Even so, the anger of black preachers I’ve known and heard about and reported on was, for them, very personal and cathartic.

That’s not how Jeremiah Wright came across in those sound bites or in his defiant performances this week. What white America is hearing in his most inflammatory words is an attack on the America they cherish and that many of their sons have died for in battle forgetting that black Americans have fought and bled beside them, and that Wright himself has a record of honored service in the Navy. Hardly anyone took the “chickens come home to roost” remark to convey the message that intervention in the political battles of other nations is sure to bring retaliation in some form, which is not to justify the particular savagery of 9/11 but to understand that actions have consequences. Keep reading→

Racism runs deep in this country. Anyone who denies that has been living in a vacuum.

We could blame the CM (Corporate Media), but do we really expect anything from them anymore? They’re just in the business to make money, not to keep the people informed — unless keeping us informed on the latest bimbo starlet’s sixth trip to rehab is keeping us informed — so it’s up to US, the people, to keep ourselves informed.

Think about this, if you’re not convinced there is a double standard going on in this country. What if Barack Obama had made this statement?

“Rich people, god bless us. We deserve all the opportunities to make sure our country and our blessings continue to the next generation.”

Exactly…

Ferraro Plays the Race Card…the Reverse-Race Card…AND the Victim Card.

 

I am sure most of you have already heard Geraldine Ferraro’s…unfortunate comments about Barrack Obama suggesting he is the beneficiary of political Affirmative Action. Today CNN had a comprehensive article about her comments.

“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”

Now, I am not black so I can’t personally attest to the difficulties of being black but I have heard that it isn’t an especially easy row to hoe, especially with those like Ferraro downplaying his accomplishments and totally misrepresenting the reasons people like him and vote for him, simply writing it off as a result of him being black.

Yesterday, Ferraro defended her comments to the Daily Breeze (a newspaper in Torrance, CA in Los Angelas County).

“Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says, ‘Let’s address reality and the problems we’re facing in this world,’ you’re accused of being racist, so you have to shut up,” she told the Daily Breeze of Torrance, California. “Racism works in two different directions. I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white. How’s that?”

She made an indefensible, racial comments and when called on it she now calls those who were wronged by these remarks racist. And this isn’t the first time she has attacked an opponent with this tact, either. In 1988, Ferraro made similar remarks about Jesse Jackson. According to the Washington Post (via Ben Smith at Politico), she stated, “If Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn’t be in the race.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Will it be the same in 2028? When will a black person finally be able to run for president without her saying it is because they are black?

On the John Gibson show Ms. Ferraro said,

“I am very disappointed, when I see John Lewis, you know, he is turning around, this is a civil rights leader. Why is God’s name did he change his vote from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama…I’ll tell you why. It’s because he faces…he is not going to lose a Democratic Primary in his district in two years, but he sure as hell will face one if he sticks it to Barack Obama when he has a greater majority of blacks in his district. So, he is looking at…he is not going to lose, I am so disappointed in him I could die. I look at Rosa DeLauro, up in Connecticut. She represents New Haven. Tell me, I mean, I don’t care what she says, tell me why she’s endorsing Barack Obama and then came to his defense on an issue like choice, where he voted six times, maybe, when he voted present in Illi…I mean, I am like a lunatic about this stuff. I can’t believe people are doing…so no, it is not coming down to…what I would hope is that…and because…and again you saw Chris Dodd today, I look at these guys doing it and I have to tell you, it’s the guys sticking together, John. It is, you know…

John Gibson: Why isn’t it not credible that they are doing it because Obama has a wave behind him and they don’t want to be at odds with the voters who are picking Obama.

Ferraro: Except that they are the leaders, don’t you get the story? I mean the thing is…

Gibson: Do you actually expect them to hand this nomination to Hillary?

Ferraro: No, I expect them to do, I expect them to look very carefully at who has the (experience? unintelligible)…John, between me and you and your millions of visito…listeners, if Barack Obama were a white man, would we be talking about this? As a potential real problem? For Hillary?

Gibson: (talking over Ferraro) You mean if he were John Edwards?

Ferraro: If he were a woman of any color, would he be in this position that he is in? Absolutely not.

Gibson: Geraldine, are you playing the race card?

Ferraro: No, and that is the problem. Every time you say the truth…I am the first person and John, you know how honest I am. I am the first person who will say in 1984 if my name were Gerard instead of Geraldine, I would never have been picked as the vice presidential candidate.

Ferraro is now defending herself (on the Gibson show and on Fox, where she is a political contributor, ahem), saying she is not a racist. I will give her the benefit of the doubt but clearly, from her comments to Gibson, she feels she, as well as Clinton are victims. It is Chris Dodd and the old boys club, it is all the black voters, it is the minority leadership. Everybody, it seems, is against them. Nobody has a good reason to vote for Obama over Clinton, apparently, and she is losing because he is black and she is a woman. The way I see it, Obama is winning because he has run a better, more efficient, more positive campaign, but that could just be me.