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.

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

  1. As I have often said before, racists simply do not understand why they are racist. Like many on the right, they suffer Projection and assume that everybody thinks as they do but is just unwilling to say it out loud.

    • Sometimes people just don’t think about it until they are called out on it. They are raised in a culture that makes racist jokes casually and it is just the norm, until someone actually is asked to think about what they are saying. I grew up in such a culture. I grew up in the panhandle of Texas, and even though I experienced racial desegregation in school, there were no shortage of ethnic jokes – (I think I even remember some of them, but I don’t tell them anymore, not for decades.)

      My parents never spoke out against other races, most of this I heard from my peers growing up.

      But I went to college and met all types of people and one day I made an ethnic joke and someone called me on it. I never said anything like it again.
      That is why college feels so dangerous to the right, because if you

      • (Continued) can get to meet other people than those that exist in your little world, and you get exposed to other cultures and other ideas, you begin to question your own ideas and begin to see that people are pretty much people wherever you go — and deserving of respect — except for those people that want to legislate laws that take away hard fought for rights…. those people can kiss my backside.

        • That’s the key, LL — getting out of your home town and having contact with people outside of the circle of your friends and family. I meet far too many people who are proud that they’re rarely ever left their county or state.

          • I have been lucky to have lived all over this country. And I can’t imagine living in the same small Texas town that I grew up in.

            • Me too, and I know it shaped me in many ways — mostly positive. It opens the eyes to see the many variations of us, whether it be race, accent, traditions, or style; but it opens the mind to understand that although we are wonderfully different and diverse, we all want pretty much the same things for our children and families.

  2. Guess who lost their job in 2009 as a result of a Bain Capital takeover?

    WILMINGTON, MA., November 22, 2005 – Accellent Inc., the largest provider of fully
    integrated outsourced manufacturing and engineering services to the medical device
    industry, announced today that affiliates of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (“KKR”) and Bain Capital LLC have completed their acquisition of the company through a transaction valued at $1.27 billion. On October 10, 2005, Accellent announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement with an affiliate of KKR.

    I was employed by Accellent Huntsville until the plant was closed at the end of 2009. It just never occurred to me to check this until this morning and all I had to search was ‘Accellent Bain Capital’ and it was at the top of the list!

  3. Ugh….only 13 minutes into Atlas Shrugged II and I’m subjected to a “panel discussion” on Hannity’s Fox show….

  4. i could talk for hours about racism, my personal experiences, equality, the workplace, dog whistles, white “friends”, hope and change denied…etc…etc..

    • I have a thesis about America after 23 1/2 years here now.

      America’s consciousness is defined by war – 4 of them to be precise.

      1. Revolutionary War – that’s the gimme. Something new in the world emerged form this (well depends on if you view it as the ‘taxation without representation’ thing or as one set of landed gentry taking over power form another set – it’s probably something in the middle). It is the root of all conversations about ‘American Exceptionalism’. One thing I find remarkable about this war is that it did nearly no visible damage whatsoever to the British Empire, in fact the zenith of the British Empire came many decades later. If anything the revolutionary war came full circle and achieved closure in 1941.

      2. World War 2 – the shining moment when the greatest generation and the country’s arguably greatest president (yes I’ll put him against Lincoln and Washington for the title) came out of the depression and saved most of the world (whatever parts it could) from fascism and in the process . I’m not going to argue much about this one – so much came out of this, the one ‘good war’ that the downsides are somewhat outweighed – besides the next one covers it.

      3. Vietnam – when America discovered it neither had all the answers, all the power nor all of the good on its side and as a nation this war marks the split between those who think ‘my country right or wrong’ and those who say ‘no, wait a minute we could do better’. The country’s politics are divided by this fault line IMO, and the Vietnam War was still being fought in this country, as late as 2004.

      4. The Civil War – depending on what you call this war defines what you think about this war which, well much could be said, is clearly still being fought right now – in this election. This war is not over.

      • missed a clause in #2 above – “in the process built perhaps the most egalitarian society the world has yet seen”

      • I agree, esp. about WWII and FDR. It was necessary, and if war can be done right, that one was done right. The Nam was and will always remain a tragic mistake, done for no reason other than politics, power, and money, all at horrible cost. As for the Civil War, I’ve long felt that the USA would have been better off to not have engaged, to simply have let the South go, and to never invite it back in. I still think that way, esp. when I look at all the red on the electoral map. Red equates with racial hate and bigotry, almost across the board.

        • Trouble is with the ‘let em go’ thesis is that the Missouri Compromise would have snaked its way across the west and north and there would have been no contiguous Northern American nation free of slavery. I think it was fight then or fight later – but the fighting was inevitable.

      • “Why would anyone who isn’t rich and greedy vote for Mitt Romney?”

        Because they’re greedy, and think that being rich is the answer to their problems. They have a “lack mentality”, believing that the reason they have to work for a living is because they are supporting others who don’t work. I see this regularly, people with well paying secure jobs wasting time and resources, and bitching about “poor people”.
        One of my neighbors is just such. He works for a public utility, complains about not being able to sell his house and the fact that he doesn’t have a desk job yet. He treats those less fortunate with obvious disdain.

        • I have found this to be true as well. These folks think the only reason they aren’t rich is the others that steal from them, and they’ve failed to correctly identify who is in fact stealing from them. And no matter what, they are never, ever happy.

  5. GDP hits 2.0% That’s up from 1.3% in the second quarter. It also slightly exceeded expectations, which predicted growth of 1.9%.

  6. We all knew racism still existed, the election of President Obama just made it obvious. I haven’t been on the internet because I’ve had a guest who needed to get away from her husband. He’s always been a quiet racist and rabid RWNJ. During the last debate he took to screaming “Somebody needs to shoot that g-d- n-word”. The inner racist has surfaced.

    • It’s a little weird…as soon as it becomes known that I support the President, I am lumped into the same category as a (n-word).
      It’s like “there’s something wrong” with me; because I’m an older white man these racist slugs think I should support anybody but a black president.

      • I get some of this too, as well as shock that I don’t fit their profile of lazy unpatriotic liberal. Male racists comfort themselves with their belief that I’m probably just a stupid woman who hasn’t really thought things through.

      • My favorite is that they say we’re suffering from white guilt that’s why we voted for Obama. I don’t have anything to feel guilty for. My family was still in Europe during the slave trade years and when they got here they moved north and lived with all races.

    • Apparently, Ann Coulter doesn’t believe that racism exists… her recent book is all about the lack of racism in America…

    • In summer of 2008 while running the restaurant at an AZ high mountain lodge, we “learned” several things from guests, from fellow employees, from a lot of unexpected sources. Crows, e.g., a common critter in the forests there, were popularly known as “Obama chickens”; a ‘favorite’ joke made the rounds — Obama’s ‘solution’ for the economy: “I don’t know how to fix it, but I can nigger-rig it.” And that sort of crap was only the tip of the iceberg there, and everywhere else. Sadly, nothing has really changed in the four years since — except, perhaps, that racism has become even more open and pervasive than it was back then.

      Take a quick look at birthers, at Donald Trump, Palin, and Coulter for very recent (i.e. within the last day or two) examples.

    • The BIG problem with Rmoney and the GOBaggers is the conundrum of whether they’re stumping misogyny or racism

      two shining diamonds in Mitten’s Tiara

      • I have to say there is some benefit to being raised in and near a big city where people meet all different ethnic groups and realize every group has it’s assholes.

  7. The only worthwhile thing in Atlas Shrugged Part 2 is that the silent Teller, from Penn & Teller, has a line of dialogue.

  8. Mitt Romney is spewing great clouds of noxious, greasy smoke out of his face hole, while giving his major speech on the economy.

    Stump speech on steroids, and proven lies — the crowd cheers.

    • what scares me is a really great tactic he’s now using everywhere he speaks.

      it’s “You watch, I’m going to win this election!” or “We’re winning this election” or “We’ll win this” repeated several times…

      he gets the crowd roaring each time….it’s sadly becoming a repetitive and positive thing for his campaign.

  9. My list of people with questionable judgment is getting longer.. Can’t go to a Wynn Hotel, Won’t listen to Meatloaf songs – what has he done lately, again?, can’t go to a LiLo movie – oh wait, there aren’t any…

  10. More Atlas Shrugged Part II folly:

    Prominently displayed newspaper (created in CGI) reads, “Washinton D.C.”

    Some text overlaying the picture identifying a location misspells ‘Valparaiso’ as ‘Valpariso.’

    Yes, this is shit I have to look for.

  11. Hoping pachy has weathered the hurricane so far, all you easterners batten down the hatches.
    Waiting for the candy industry to start whining about how Frankenstorm is going to ruin their economy, and how the child slave labor in Africa picking cacao is going to starve.
    Oh, wait… they’re already starving.
    Never mind.

    • No worries here, thanks for thinking about me though. We had 20 minutes of rain this morning and gusty winds all day, but no weather warnings beyond higher than normal waves

      I just saw on MSNBC that Maryland has declared a state of emergency ahead of the storms arrival. It seems crazy, but having grown up in Maryland I encountered more hurricanes there than here in Florida, but I’ve only been here about 28 years! 😉

  12. Romney had this to say about this morning’s announcement of 2.0% Q3 GDP growth:

    “Today, we received the latest round of discouraging economic news: Last quarter, our economy grew at only two percent, less than half the 4.3% rate the White House projected after passing the stimulus bill. Slow economic growth means slow job growth and declining take-home pay. This is what four years of President Obama’s policies have produced.”

    Alex Seitz-Wald fisks his record as governor:

    “According to data from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, average real GDP growth was 1.5 percent per year in Massachusetts from 2002 to 2006. For each of the years Romney was in office, the economy grew 1.49 percent, 1.86 percent, 1.14 percent, and 1.43 percent, respectively.

    And how did Romney assess the economic growth of the state under his leadership? “When we took office, the state economy was in a tailspin. Today, jobs are being created by the thousands and our economy is stronger,” he said in early 2006, his last year in office. So two percent was good then, but not so much now.”

  13. I don’t usually frighten easily with storms but Sandy is a different storm. This will truly be a Frankenstorm as three storm systems meet with one of the storms being a Nor’eastern which hang around and dump huge amounts of water. It’s suppose to start raining late Saturday night with the storm hitting the hardest on Monday and Tuesday (yes, 48 hours of heavy rain). I’ll keep in touch. If you don’t hear from me during the storm it will be because of power outage. I am a bit concerned this time. I just hope that there is no more tree damage.

    8:00pm Tuesday projections is right over where I live.

      • No and I don’t think the guy who is hand raising this little thing will ever give her up. She couldn’t compete with her 8 siblings and her mother pushed her off to the side.

        • Absolutely adorable. I hand raised three pups after my rat terrier had her leg broken when a car hit her. She wasn’t a great mom to begin with, but after her injury, she couldn’t deal with them at all. Broke my heart to give them away, but three old ladies in Louisiana were very happy to get them.

    • I wonder what Simon Cowell would say about either one of their singing performances. Mind you, I’m just wondering. I don’t actually care what Simon Cowell says or thinks. I’m led to believe he once drove a contestant to suicide with his snide remarks.

  14. Update on Harry Reid:

    “Senator Reid and his security detail were involved in a traffic accident today on Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. Senator Reid was taken to University Medical Center Hospital by his security detail as a precaution, and walked in on his own. Senator Reid was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident. He experienced rib and hip contusions and has been cleared for release by the doctors. Mrs. Reid was not in the car at the time of the accident. Some of Senator Reid’s detail and a staffer had minor injuries in the accident and were evaluated at UMC.”

  15. OMFG, my fundygelical brother-in-law just posted this on my FB wall:

    I found the perfect card for you but Tammy doesn’t want me to send it – It has “The Democrats took your bithday cake!” on the front and inside it has “They sliced it up and gave it to people who aren’t fortunate enough to have a birthday today.” When I saw it I thought of you. Happy Birthday and hope NOV 6th goes the way the country NEEDS it to go and not your way as we don’t make enough to pay for more like you.

    I just cannot believe it.

    • It went downhill from there. I am just shaking with rage right now. I really really hope my sister didn’t know what her asshole husband was up to this evening, because that would further deteriorate our relationship.

            • I think he drinks German wines and beers, but I don’t know how much. He’s one of those entitled assholierthanthou creeps who think they know everything and can say anything they please to anyone. Why he decided to come after me tonight is a mystery to me.

              I am so fucking done with my stupid family, at least for while.

    • It sounds like you have a birthday coming up. If so, Happy Birthday, my friend.

      If your BIL is so religious, why doesn’t he have faith that God, who they insist blesses America because the Founding Fathers said so, will make sure the election “goes the way the country NEEDS it to go”? How does he know that his God doesn’t want Obama to win a second term? What is his evidence for this viewpoint?

      Also, if your BIL doesn’t make more than $250K per year, then his taxes are not going to go up under Obama and he has nothing at all to worry about. And if he does make more, then he already makes enough that he won’t miss the 4% increase on the amount over $250K that he makes. You should insist that he prove you wrong on that point or go take an early trip to the Hell in which he believes.

      IMHO (and I admit I’m not a “people person”) it sounds like there is no real relationship to worry about saving here, so why not go whole hog and fight back? Ask him if he knows what facts are and how they relate to Reality, and could he please provide some for his fucked up points of view? If nothing else, it will help you hone your debating skills. Think of it this way: If he were a complete stranger, he would not have to respond to your comments. He’s not so he does.

      Lastly, if you don’t like them, then we’ll be your stupid family. 🙂

      • Thank you, Wayne. I already think of you as my stupid family. 🙂

        I could have, and would have, laughed the whole thing off as the needling of an ignoramus, but “we don’t make enough to pay for more like you” just stunned me to my core. I had to read it several times, because surely I had mis-read it.

        By his words, “more like you,” I know that he assumes I’m living on public assistance and he resents it. Well, I’m not, and I never have — yet — and I’m not going bother explaining facts about my finances to that fuckwit, since it’s none of his business and he already knows everything anyway. Apparently, my father has been gossiping again, and he doesn’t know my business either.

        The thing that upsets me the most, besides being attacked in such a vicious way by a man I haven’t spoken to (or given a single thought) in over four years, is that he’s severely damaged my already fragile relationships with my middle sister and my father, and he will try to make sure that I never see my niece again. My youngest sister will hop right on that bandwagon, since she’s disliked me for years.

        I don’t know why he did it.

        • Perhaps you need to finally tell him to STFU and mind his own damn business, and that he’s clearly too ignorant to be spouting opinions on anything other than the urine stains in his underwear. He can’t back up anything he says with facts, so his only purpose for saying anything at all is to destroy your relationship with your family (of which he is only a part by marriage, not birth.)

          Then remind him what his precious Bible says about how to treat other people. In fact, do so by giving him a chapter and verse and not what they say. Ask him if he knows what they are without looking them up first. (You should, of course, get it right, and here’s a website that can help: I go there whenever I want to see exactly what some version of the Bible says about something, so I can refute what someone says.) Find the chapter-and-verses of Jesus saying “What you do to the least among you, you do to me,” as well as the “official” version of the Golden Rule. Ask him why he wants to make the baby Jesus cry.

          You could also go the route of saying you don’t want your tax dollars to pay for the roads and public services that he uses. Try to make him understand that his “go-it-alone” conservatism just doesn’t work in reality and that he is more dependent on you and the taxes you pay than he’s willing to admit.

          Just a suggestion. Or just write back, “Bite me, asshole.” 🙂

          I have to finish up tomorrow’s Watering Hole. Good luck, and let me know how you responded to him. As always, I’ll help you with it anyway I can.

          • Actually, I went the “Fuck you, asshole” route. 😀

            I don’t care enough about the jerk to argue with him, but yes, he does seem to have the power to alienate my weak-minded family from me.

        • Zooey, it’s difficult to read how much this hurts you.
          Is your niece a minor? Hopefully she’ll see through her father’s propensity to inflict pain through insensitivity. And Keep in contact with you.

          Sending healing thoughts your way.

          • Thanks, Ebb. My niece is an adult, but she is very close to her parents. I don’t expect that she’ll stay in touch. She’s still on FB friends list, but there’s no way I would bring her in on this stupidity. Her father will take care of that soon enough.

  16. The system keeps kicking me off before the message is finished…on the music thread. This is a test …
    Only a test.

    May Morpheus welcome you with open arms, nwog.

    Goodnight Mrs. Calabash…

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