The Watering hole, Monday, May 30, 2016: Will America Elect Yet Another Overtly Racist President?

America is far from perfect. We have achieved many great things in our history, but it has been despite our flaws, not because of them. And among the worst of our flaws is this country’s history of racism and white supremacy. Yes, not just the racism but the white supremacy, too. We on the Left post many words decrying white supremacists, but we rarely admit our country has elected many white supremacists POTUS, and they weren’t all Conservatives and/or Republicans and at least a few were Progressives and/or Democrats. As a Liberal, that bothers me. I want what’s best for everyone, and the color of one’s skin does not determine whether one is a human being or not. But there are many people, white people in particular, who feel this is not so; they feel that one’s skin color DOES determine how human one is. And sadly, these people often get elected to public office, where they are able to put their racist viewpoints into law. A President Donald J. Trump would be such a racist president.

It’s bad enough that Trump lies, and lies, and lies, and lies, and lies, and lies, and, just for good measure, engages in promoting conspiracy theories. (This is not to mention the xenophobia, misogyny, birtherism and bullying tactics.) But Donald Trump’s overt racism is probably one of the least admirable things about him. And yet, it’s precisely the reason he is so admired among many of his supporters. White supremacist organizations of all kinds have been openly endorsing Trump, while he has renounced or even denounced so few of them. He had to lie (there’s no other word for it) and say he didn’t know much about David Duke, after the former KKK Grand Wizard publicly endorsed him, despite the fact that several years ago Trump publicly commented on David Duke and his association with the Klan. So why hem and haw over publicly rejecting his endorsement? Trump knew Duke was connected to the Klan. Is that not enough to say he doesn’t want Duke’s support? Why say he has to know more about him before commenting? And if Trump doesn’t want the support of white supremacists, why does he so often retweet their tweets? (He can’t claim he didn’t know when their screen name has “white genocide” in it.)

Many of Trump’s fans like him because, as they tell it, “He says what I’m thinking.” If that’s true of you, then you’re not thinking good thoughts. In fact, you’re talking like someone who wants to take us back to the 1940s and 1950s, when white men were generally (if often wrongly) perceived to be the most admired people in the country. (Are you Pat Buchanan, by any chance?) And you have a problem for which you should seek treatment. Trump appeals to people like you because he uses “Othering”, where all your problems are blamed on people who aren’t like you. In other words, people who are non-white, non-Christian, and non-American. Others. Others who can be scapegoated. It’s the very ugly secret behind Trump’s success to win the nomination of the party that, let’s be truthful here, appeals as hard as it can to low-information, low-effort-thinking, less-educated, and less-intelligent voters. People who have opinions not based on reality. Of course, as part of their juvenile “I know you are but what am I?”-style of debating, they accuse us of not being based in reality, because the way we see the world doesn’t match the way they see the world. I’m not just talking about the difference between the way Liberals and Conservatives see the world, I’m talking about people who believe so many things that are provably false. And they base their voting choice on who they think could best solve the problems of the world as they see them, meaning both their problems and the world. These people are either not very intelligent, or very afraid of something that isn’t going to happen to them. Do conservative voters in the Midwest states really believe ISIS is going to come to America and bring death and Sharia Law to them? Just because they’re taking over a country thousands of miles away from here, that doesn’t have the same history as our country, that doesn’t have the same religious makeup as ours, that wasn’t enjoying the same freedoms as ours, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen here. I mean, c’mon! I thought you folks loved our military. Have you no faith in their ability to defend us from whatever it is you imagine is going to happen to us? (And you are imagining it. It isn’t going to happen.) And whatever it is you fear is going to happen, do you really think an overtly racist president is the best choice to be commanding your military? Say what you will about Hillary Clinton (and many of you Trump supporters have been doing just that, even though much of it isn’t true, meaning grounded in the real reality), she doesn’t see our oversized military as the go-to solution where tact and diplomacy would work better. And neither does Bernie Sanders. And neither should you.

I really, really hope our country is better than to elect a crass, petulant, childish racist as our president. We deserve the consequences if we do.

Sunday Roast: Can’t stop watching…

 

I admit it:  I can’t get enough of Drumpf getting the shit startled out of him when a protester made it past the security gates (although not on stage).  I wish I were more of a computer geek, so I could make a loop of the initial panicked grabbing of the podium, through the “I just want to go home” look when the secret service guys let him go back to inciting the crowd.

Drumpf was probably hoping they’d just rush him back onto the Drumpf Aeroplane, so he could he could have a bit of a crying jag — and then have his manservant bring him fresh drawers.  He talks tough, but I think he actually pissed himself in Dayton, OH.

You reap what you sow, you bombastic blibbering baboon.

This is our daily open thread — Watch it again!

 

The Watering Hole, Monday, August 3, 2015: The Unhidden Racism of Donald Trump

Pelt-wearing Republican Presidential Wannabe Gadfly Donald Trump lent his voiceover talents to ABC’s This Week without George Stephanopoulos when he literally phoned in an interview with substitute host Jonathan Karl. Scrutiny was recently drawn to a tweet The Donald made last year about President Barack Obama. In it, he said, “Sadly, because President Obama has done such a poor job as president, you won’t see another black president for generations.” And there it is. Plain as day for anyone to see. Anyone, that is, except The Donald Himself. He seems to be of the belief that however Barack Obama’s performance may be, it will totally and exclusively reflect on any future African-American candidates for POTUS. If there were any validity to that, and if it was such a widely held belief among other conservatives, then why is Dr. Ben Carson running for POTUS (a decision the doctor himself has publicly questioned)? According to Trump, Obama has performed so badly that Carson could never get elected (much to the delight of Mrs. Ben Carson, who was looking forward to a nice, quiet retirement), and that it would be solely because of the color of his skin. FTR, by every account I can find, Dr. Ben Carson really was a brilliant pediatric neurosurgeon, and I never want to demean that accomplishment in any way. I do not claim that I could ever do anything of the sort, so I have nothing but respect and admiration for Dr. Carson’s medical career and accomplishments. It’s his viewpoints on things unrelated to medicine that concern me. But in no way, shape, or form, do I, or for that matter, almost all Liberals, think that Dr. Carson’s inability to be elected POTUS has anything to do with the color of his skin. It’s the fact that he’s a lunatic that makes him unqualified.

This idea Trump has, that there’s not only nothing wrong with judging a POTUS candidate by the color of his skin, but that it’s what everyone will do, is why racists often do not understand why they are racist. I think they honestly believe that everybody else sees the world as they do, so everybody in the world is as racist as they are (if they are at all), so what’s wrong with just saying what everybody’s thinking? I can field that one easily enough. We, the ones you hate so much because of the way we think, do not think the way you do. We do not look at someone’s skin color and decide everyone else just like him will be the same. What’s weird is that while this is exactly what you did in the case of Obama, you would never look at President George W. Bush, widely and accurately regarded as one of the worst presidents in our nation’s history, and say, “Sadly, because President Bush has done such a poor job as president, you won’t see another white president for generations.” You would never say it because for you, the accomplishments and failures of white people has nothing to do with the color of their skin. That only applies to People of Color in the minds of people who divide people by skin color – you know, racists.

KARL: So let me ask you about something you tweeted last year. You said of Barack Obama, “Sadly, because President Obama has done such a poor job as president, you won’t see another black president for generations.”

What did you mean by that?

TRUMP: Well, I think he’s been a very poor president. I think he has done a very poor job as president. We have $18 trillion right now in debt and going up rapidly.

KARL: But what did you mean? What —

TRUMP: Wait a minute.

The world is — we don’t have victories anymore. China is killing us on trade. Mexico’s killing us at the border and also killing us on trade. Mexico’s doing unbelievably against us in trade.

You look at what’s going on with Japan. You look at what’s going on with Vietnam. You look at Saudi Arabia, makes $1 billion a day and we defend them. We get nothing.

KARL: I understand your critique. But why do you say that means we won’t see another black president for generations?

TRUMP: Because I think that he has set a very poor standard. I think that he has set a very low bar and I think it’s a shame for the African American people.

And by the way, he has done nothing for African Americans. You look at what’s gone on with their income levels. You look at what’s gone on with their youth. I thought that he would be a great cheerleader for this country. I thought he’d do a fabulous job for the African American citizens of this country.

He has done nothing. They are worse now than just about ever and —

KARL: But —

TRUMP: — they are — excuse me. They have problems now in terms of unemployment numbers, look at their unemployment numbers. And you have — here you have a black president who’s done very poorly for the African Americans of this country.

And I think that I will win the African American vote and I think I will win the Hispanic vote. And if you see the recent polls that came out, Jon, you’ll see that because I’m leading in the Hispanic vote.

Naturally, because he had so many other important upon which he wanted to give quick questions for quick answers, he could not continue asking The Donald why he believes race is the sole determining factor for anybody’s assessment of a candidate? Instead, The Donald solidified his non-credentials to be the President of the United States. A longer version of teh trump Interview can be found here.

KARL: All right. We’re almost out of time. I want to go through a couple of lightning round, quick questions, to get a sense of what a Trump presidency would look like.

First of all, Supreme Court, who is your model for a Supreme Court nomination?

TRUMP: Well, I have a number of people that I like. But I will say this, when it comes to the Supreme Court, I’d want high intellect, and I’d want very conservative. I would like really high intellect and very conservative.

KARL: Would President Trump authorize waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques, even torture?

TRUMP: I would be inclined to be very strong. When people are chopping off other people’s heads and then we’re worried about waterboarding and we can’t, because I have no doubt that that works. I have absolutely no doubt.

KARL: You’d bring back waterboarding?

TRUMP: …you mention waterboarding, which was such a big subject. I haven’t heard that term in a year now, because when you see the other side chopping off heads, waterboarding doesn’t sound very severe.

KARL: OK. I want to get a sense of what a Trump cabinet looks like, so very quickly, throughout a couple of names: Secretary of State. Who can we see? Who would you consider?

TRUMP: I wouldn’t want to put any names out there right now. I think it’s far too early. I want to see. And I’m certainly looking at the field. And there are certainly some tremendous people that we could put in, but it would be somebody that’s very strong, very smart, and you know what else would be important, very energetic. You need a lot of energy.

KARL: Runningmate: Sarah Palin said some very nice things about you, you’ve said some nice things about her. Will you consider her as a possible runningmate?

TRUMP: Well, I don’t think she’d want to, because at the — the answer is — you know, I like Sarah Palin a lot. I think Sarah Palin has got the very unfair press. I think the press has treated her very unfairly. But I would pick somebody that would be a terrific — you know, you have to view it as really who would be a good president in case something happened. But I would — there are many, many people out there that I think would be very good.

KARL: OK. Last question very quickly, Reince Priebus, chairman of the party, has said that all candidates should pledge not to run as a third party if they don’t win the nomination. Will you take that pledge this morning? Will you pledge not to run as a third party candidate?

TRUMP: I will tell you this, I am leading in every poll, and in some cases by a tremendous margin, and people are a little bit surprised, but I’m not surprised. And people that know me aren’t surprised, because they see what’s going on with this country.

If I’m treated fairly by — and don’t win, but if I’m treated fairly by the Republican Party, I would have no interest in doing that. If I’m not treated fairly by the Republican Party, I very well might consider that. And I would certainly not give that up.

KARL: OK. Donald Trump, thank you for joining us.

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Donald Trump, Ben Carson, other famous pelt wearers, or anything else you wish to discuss.

The Watering Hole, Monday, July 13, 2015: What Should Be Done About The Confederate Flag?

Charleston Conservative Examiner Kyle Rogers posted a column claiming Lynyrd Skynard fans were “outraged” after the band’s sole remaining original member, Gary Rossington, announced they would no longer display the Confederate Flag at their performances saying that they didn’t want to offend anyone. Since the author of that article referenced a CNN appearance by Rossington it’s safe to assume that part of the story is accurate. As for the rest? Well, it’s clear the author is not a journalist. He writes, “However, there is a growing outrage among fans. Many say they have attended Lynyrd Skynyrd concerts for decades, but will never buy a ticket again. Twitter and Facebook have exploded with condemnation. Many are now calling the band a “fake,” who just own the right’s to the original band’s name.” He does not include any examples, however. Nor does he provide any links to this so-called “outrage.” Nor does he know the difference between plurals and possessives or how to use the apostrophe correctly. But he is clearly upset that the Confederate Flag is being rejected once again.

And why shouldn’t it be? I’ve been trying to find what the justification for continuing to fly that flag is. I read a lot that it represents “Southern Pride” and “Southern Heritage,” but I’ve been having a hard time finding reliable definitions of those terms. I found this from a Texas Progressive who claims that this heritage is based on white supremacy. And considering that it took a century for black people to even have civil rights because of opposition from the former states of the Confederacy, and considering that many Southern states STILL don’t want black people to vote and have said as much, it’s hard to see anything noble about the Southern Cause. A pro-General Lee Civil War buff, Joe Ryan, opened his excellent timeline of debates in Congress that led to the Civil War with teh assertion that it was caused by Racism, “plain and simple.” I have not had the opportunity to research this further, but the author of this article says that many Northerners did not feel it was possible to live with black people, and actually wanted the slaves to be free but to stay in the South. He says that had more Northern Members of Congress supported the Abolitionists and spoken up about how to resolve the issue of ending Slavery, the war might have been avoided. I honestly don’t know what the truth is on that subject. But one thing that is indisputable is that the Confederate States of America fired upon the United States of America, and their flag is the flag of Traitors. It does not belong on the public property of the United States of America. Despite all the hysteria from the right (including Conservative Democrats), we are not looking to ban the flag outright. Our primary goal at this point is to eliminate the Confederate Flag from public property, except inside museums. I’m conflicted on allowing an exception to any actual Confederacy Museums our govt maintains. If there are any, a small replica of it on the front yard sign would be okay. But not an actual flag flying from a pole. Not on public property.

As for flying it on private property, I’ll fully support your right to do so when you admit to me that it stands for White Supremacy and Enslavement of Black People, because that is historically undeniable. I’m not at all sure what the “pride” and “heritage” of the South is that the flag is supposed to represent. If it’s all about manners and hospitality then, yeah, but only toward white people. Jim Webb, who wants to be the Democratic nominee for President, but who will likely get no further than the short list of VP running mates, thinks the talk of taking down the flag is an attack on “Southern White culture.” Some wavers of the Rebel Flag, like the KKK and Neo-Nazi groups, freely admit that’s why they fly it. I just want any other citizen who flies it to publicly admit they’re doing it for the same reason. Then I’ll exercise my First Amendment rights and tell them what idiotic assholes they are. And, yes, I’m prepared to die for saying it. As a nation, we need to stop treating every opinion as if it’s a valid one, worthy of respect. Even mine if you find no factual basis in it. But an opinion on what to do with the Confederate Flag (General Robert E. Lee said it belongs in a museum) means nothing if the person holding it believes Slavery had little or nothing to do with the Civil War, or that it was just a side issue. Because that is not an opinion based on facts.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to ridicule racist assholes who still fly the Confederate Flag, or anything you else you wish to discuss.

Sunday Roast: #KeepItDown

Saturday morning, Bree Newsome took matters into her own hands and removed the Confederate flag — a flag that celebrates a heritage of racism, slavery, and treason — from in front of the South Carolina State House.

Newsome and others calling themselves “concerned citizens” released a statement explaining, “Deciding to do what the SC Legislature has thus far neglected to do, the group took down the symbol of white supremacy that inspired the massacre, continued to fly at full mast in defiance of South Carolina’s grief, and flew in defiance of everyone working to actualize a more equitable Carolinian future.”

The flag was soon replaced, but the image of Newsome climbing that pole and removing it is indelible.

This is our daily open thread — Discuss.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, June 20, 2015: Blame Anything But Racism

By 1852, the State of South Carolina was fed up with the Government of the United States and voted to secede from the Union. They forbore exercising the right of secession they claimed “in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States.” That was from the first sentence of South Carolina’s Declaration of Secession. They felt that Slavery was one of their “domestic institutions” and that the refusal of the Northern States to return runaway slaves, as actually required by the Constitution, constituted a breach of the agreement of the original thirteen colonies to be governed under it. So they declared their Independence in much the same manner (and at times quoting) as the Colonies did in our famous Declaration of Independence. (Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Nicholas Cage stole it once and pinned the theft on another guy.) There is no question that Slavery was a part of the Southern Heritage they defend to this day. And to defend Slavery is to defend the idea that some people, in particular black people, are less than human and can be treated morally and legally as property. That heritage is represented to this day by the Confederate Flag, in one form or another. (The “Stars and bars” come in various forms. One was the official National Flag, while another variation formed the Battle Flag.) To many of us, when you proudly display the Confederate Flag, you are insisting that the South was right on Slavery and the North was wrong. This is why the South has the reputation it does for being the home of racists. That does not mean, nor does anyone in the North truly believe, that everybody in the South is a dyed-in-the-wool racist. It does mean that racists can live in the South and not be bothered over their views.

So when a young white supremacist decided to callously murder nine unsuspecting, unarmed black citizens in one of the most famous landmark black churches in American history just because they were black, and for no other reason, the conversation ought to include the subject of racism, and why it is so acceptable to so many people in the South. (Whether or not examples of racism can be found in other parts of the country is completely irrelevant and beside the point. The discussion needs to be about the openly accepted racism in the South.) But conservatives are trying to divert from that topic and blame anything but racism as the reason Dylann Storm Roof killed all those people. People who hadn’t done a thing wrong to him. People who let him sit among them before he told them, “You have to go.” Once pictures of him wearing flags of the white-ruled nations of South Africa and Rhodesia went public, there was no doubt in any right-thinking person’s mind that this massacre was motivated by racial hatred. So it should come as no surprise that Conservatives reject the racism motivation and cling to their guns and bibles, to borrow a phrase.

[NOTE: FTR, what I am about to write I fully intended to write before I sat down to watch Friday night’s Bill Maher show. I didn’t get the idea from him any more than he got his idea from me.]

“We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” [President Obama] said at the White House. Besides the clearly displayed racism shown in the massacre, guns are another issue the Right Wing refuses to discuss openly and fairly. But we can get to what the National Rifle Association (NAMBLA) has to say another time.

And quoting the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after four black girls were killed in the bombing of a black church in Birmingham, Ala., 52 years ago, he said the lessons of this tragedy must extend beyond one city and one church. He cited Dr. King’s words that their deaths were a demand to “substitute courage for caution,” and urging people to ask not just who did the killing but “about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.”

It seems Dr. Martin Luther King’s niece and Fox News Channel contributor, Alveda King, would disagree. [NOTE: Full disclosure/confession/cry-for-help. For reasons surpassing all logical thought, Alveda King decided to follow me on The Twitter. I’m guessing after I questioned her there she’ll be re-thinking that decision. Cool.] She made a truly bizarre leap of logic to conclude that the Charleston Massacre was linked to abortion. You heard me right. Abortion. Okay, maybe you didn’t hear me. Maybe you heard a voice in your head you thought was mine. You should get that checked. And Alveda King should get hers checked, too. Is there something they’re serving in the green rooms at Fox that makes their contributors come out and say bat shit crazy things on live television?

There is no doubt at all that this massacre was motivated solely by racism. None. Zero. But Rick Perry cautions us to wait, we don’t have all the facts. It may turn out drugs were involved. You heard me right. Drugs. (Maybe the drugs are why you can hear me. I know that’s why I can hear you.) That’s after he “misspoke” and called the massacre an “accident”.

Sweater vest aficionado and Presidential Delusions-Filled former Senator Rick Santorum believed it was an attack on our religious liberty, even though at the time he said that it was known this was a purely race-motivated attack. US Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham, currently running for First Lady, sat down with other women on The View to stress the shooting was an attack on Christianity (it most certainly was not), though he seemed to express doubts about whether or not race had anything to do with it (it most certainly did).

Fox & Friends invited Bishop E.W. Jackson who jumped to the conclusion that because this happened in a church, it’s clearly an attack on Christianity. They completely ignore the comments the killer made prior to opening fire on almost everyone in the church (reloading several times) and cold-bloodedly telling one survivor that he was letting her live so she could tell everyone what happened. Which she did. And she said he did it because they were black, and for no other reason.

Also believing the motivation was unknown, SC Gov Nikki Haley emphasized the fact that the shooting took place in a house of worship, without mentioning the racism openly displayed by the killer. NRA Board Member Charles Cotton even went so far as to blame Pastor and SC State Senator Clementa Pinckney for the dead saying his opposition to guns prevented them from being saved. The leaders of Gun Owners of America, father-son duo Larry and Erich Pratt, also blamed Rev Pinckney.

But none of these people on the right want to blame the murders on Racism. Some allow that it may or may not have been a factor (Yes. It clearly was. The killer himself said so to the person he let live so she could tell us why he did it.), but they always reach for something else to blame. And the only logical reason I can think of for why they do it, is because deep down, they don’t want to admit they feel the same way Dylann Storm Roof did. They sympathize with Roof’s racist rantings, but they can never say so publicly. Others probably will. (I’m guessing Rush Limbaugh is going to cross the line on this one sooner or later.) Because they don’t want the South’s history with Slavery and their undying support of it, their view of it as one of their domestic institutions, to come under scrutiny again.

South Carolina still proudly flies the battle flag their army followed when they killed more US Soldiers than any other army in our nation’s history. Maybe we should reconsider our decision to stop them from seceding. And they can take all those people who think racism isn’t a problem with them. The United States will recognize the birthright citizenship of any SC citizen who wishes to remain here in the states. Racists need not apply.

UPDATE: The Perry campaign insists that from the context, it’s clear Governor Perry meant to say “incident,” not “accident.”

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to talk about Racism or any other topic you want, in case that one is a little too uncomfortable for you.

Sunday Roast: This Week in *facepalm*

640px-Picard-facepalm

I can’t…I just can’t…

 

First up:  Joe Scarborough!!

“I’ve already said at some point, I want to get back into service, public service, and hopefully I can do it while a Republican’s at the White House,” Scarborough told rightwing talk radio host Hugh Hewitt.

*cough* dead intern *cough*  Please proceed, Joe.

Next:  Unidentified racist USC fuckwit!!

In the photo, the woman can be seen using a red marker to list ““reasons why USC WiFi blows.”

Topping her list was the offensive racist slur [n*ggers], followed by “incompetent professors,” “ratchets,” “overpopulated campus,” and “parking.”

I hope Mummy & Daddy haven’t wasted too much money on little precious’s party weekends.

Lastly:  Kansas to ban welfare recipients from living the high life!!

According to the Kansas “Successful Families Program“, an eligible family of four in a “high cost/high population” area would be eligible for $497 in cash assistance per month in addition to receiving food stamps.

With that windfall, future recipients would be banned from using those funds to go on cruises, use them to pay for tattooing or body piercing, pay for psychics, or go to spas to get massages or manicures.

Additionally, funds may not be used in casinos, jewelry stores, video arcades, lingerie shops or any sexually oriented retail business, or to pay bail-bondsmen.

Because it’s not enough to treat families on TANF like they’re moronic children; the state has to grind the humiliation into their bones with the heel of its boot.

You know, I was going to call this post “This Week in Fuckery,” but I didn’t want it to be fifteen pages long — so I only chose three items.  You can thank me for my thoughtiness by liking the post, and leaving an insightful comment.  Or snark…rudeness — okay rudeness is acceptable too, but it has to be witty.  😉

This is our daily open thread —  Hit me with best your shot.

Sunday Roast: Full Circle?

Stephen Fry discusses the power of language in our seeming quest to destroy “the other.”

I had a facebook “friend” who would respond to some of my posts in the most vile manner, and I asked her why she was being so vicious and aggressive.  She said she just didn’t think Liberals were moral people, so she didn’t really care about their [my] feelings.  WOW.

Like he says, once you dehumanize someone else, it’s possible to do just about anything to them — and it’s absolutely true.

This is our daily open thread — Be careful out there, people.

 

 

 

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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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