Here we go again


Welcome to post-racial America, where the only thing that matters is race.

CNN:

Rep. Danny Davis, a Democrat from Illinois and mayoral candidate in Chicago has a message for former President Bill Clinton: Butt out.

Davis, a onetime ally of Clinton’s, issued a strongly worded statement Tuesday, in which the Chicago Democrat said he is “seriously concerned and disturbed” by the news Clinton plans to throw his weight behind ex-Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and make a campaign stop in the Windy City next month.

“The African American community has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the Clintons, however it appears as though some of that relationship maybe fractured and perhaps even broken should former President Clinton come to town and participate overtly in efforts to thwart the legitimate political aspirations of Chicago’s Black community,” Davis said in the statement.

The pushback from a prominent member of the black community echoes that which greeted Clinton in 2008 as he campaigned on behalf of his wife, a presidential candidate at the time battling then-Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. Clinton – long a popular figure in the black community – saw his approval numbers sink among that demographic as he took sharp aim at Obama and questioned the freshman senator’s competancy to sit in the Oval Office, sometimes in terms conceived as particularly harsh.

[...]

The Chicago Sun Times’ Lynn Sweet reports that Carol Mosely Braun, a former ambassador to New Zealand under Clinton and now a candidate for mayor in Chicago, is also calling on the former president to back off.

Her statement:

“Bill Clinton is an outsider parachuting in to support another outsider. Rahm’s residency status continues to be challenged in court. It’s not yet clear that he will be on the ballot. At the same time former president Clinton risks his legacy and the great respect that he has enjoyed among African Americans by coming to Chicago to endorse Rahm Emanuel who is running for mayor against two black candidates.

“Clinton should remember New Hampshire where he called Barack Obama’s opposition to the war in Iraq ‘a fairy tale.’ He was wrong.

“Clinton should remember South Carolina where he played the race card painting Obama as “the black candidate”. Again he was wrong. Bill Clinton will be wrong again if he gets involved in the Chicago mayoral contest. He should stay home and avoid the cold.”


First of all let me say that I don’t like Rahm Emanuel. Although I was never one of those DLC-phobics I didn’t care for him even before he hooked up with Barack Obama. I hope he loses the election.

Secondly, unless Hillary really plans on running again I doubt the Big Dawg gives a shit about his approval ratings. If she runs in 2012 against Obama I doubt the Chicago mayoral race will be the first thing on the minds of African American voters. If she runs in 2016 against a slate of white Democrats I doubt it would make any difference either.

But this race card shit has got to stop.

Whatever Bill Clinton’s motives for supporting Rahmbo, I’m sure race was not one of them. The people turning this into a racial issue are Danny Davis and Carol Mosely Braun. They should be ashamed of themselves.


(h/t Angienc)


It’s cuz he’s black


Ishmael Reed explains:

What Progressives Don’t Understand About Obama

NOT all of my white teachers viewed me as a discipline problem. To the annoyance of my fellow students, one teacher selected me regularly to lead assembly programs. A high school teacher insisted that I learn about the theater. She was an America-firster who supplied me with right-wing pamphlets and magazines that I’d read at breakfast and she didn’t seem bothered by my returning them with some of the pages stuck together with syrup.

But most of them did see me as an annoyance, and gave me the grades to prove it.

I’ve been thinking recently of all those D’s for deportment on my report cards.

[...]

And I’ve thought about them as I’ve listened in the last week to progressives criticize President Obama for keeping his cool.

Progressives have been urging the president to “man up” in the face of the Republicans. Some want him to be like John Wayne. On horseback. Slapping people left and right.

One progressive commentator played an excerpt from a Harry Truman speech during which Truman screamed about the Republican Party to great applause. He recommended this style to Mr. Obama. If President Obama behaved that way, he’d be dismissed as an angry black militant with a deep hatred of white people. His grade would go from a B- to a D.

What the progressives forget is that black intellectuals have been called “paranoid,” “bitter,” “rowdy,” “angry,” “bullies,” and accused of tirades and diatribes for more than 100 years. Very few of them would have been given a grade above D from most of my teachers.

When these progressives refer to themselves as Mr. Obama’s base, all they see is themselves. They ignore polls showing steadfast support for the president among blacks and Latinos. And now they are whispering about a primary challenge against the president. Brilliant! The kind of suicidal gesture that destroyed Jimmy Carter — and a way to lose the black vote forever.

Unlike white progressives, blacks and Latinos are not used to getting it all. They know how it feels to be unemployed and unable to buy your children Christmas presents. They know when not to shout. The president, the coolest man in the room, who worked among the unemployed in Chicago, knows too.


According to his bio on Wikipedia:

Reed was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but grew up in Buffalo, New York, where he attended the University of Buffalo, a private university that became part of the state public university system after he left. The university awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1995. He moved to New York City in 1962 and co-founded with the late Walter Bowart the East Village Other, a well-known underground publication. He was also a member of the Umbra Writers Workshop, an organization that helped establish the Black Arts Movement and promoted a Black Aesthetic.

I’m gonna take a wild guess and say Mr. Reed had a close up view of the Civil Rights Movement. Not to belittle his point of view or take anything away from his life experiences, but what does any of that have to do with Barack Obama?

I can hear the Obots saying “He’s black too, you moron” now.

No, he’s not.

Obama is bi-racial. He was raised by white people in a life of privilege a long way from the segregated world that Mr. Reed was born and raised in.

As for his over-hyped experience as a “community organizer” isn’t it strange that a man who wrote two memoirs by his mid-40’s has never really provided a detailed account of what was allegedly one of the key formative periods of his life?

Not even the most wild-eyed DFH progressive expects Obama to behave like some stereotypical ghetto gangsta and start screaming profanities and slapping Republicans around. Nor is there a meaningful debate about what letter grade to assign him for his deportment.

The issue is Obama’s achievements or lack thereof. The people who supported Obama and the Democrats had reasonable expectations as to what they wanted from the past two years. These are the same kind of expectations any winning candidate for POTUS would face.

They are expected to govern competently. They are expected to do their best to advance the agenda they ran on – to keep their campaign promises. They are expected to be the kind of person they portrayed themselves to be.

Here at TC we’re not disappointed with Obama’s performance. We expected a massive FUBAR and he’s exceeded our worst nightmares. But his progressive supporters (however naive and/or gullible they may have been) have a legitimate complaint.

Not according to Ishmael Reed, though.

Welcome to post-racial America, where the only thing that really matters is race.



Support Obama or else!

Loves to smell his own farts


Colbert I. King says if we allow a primary challenge to our post-racial POTUS then black people will walk out on the Democratic party.

Seriously, I’m not making this stuff up:

Warning: If the Democratic left does to Obama in 2012 what it did to incumbent President Carter in 1980 via Ted Kennedy’s damaging Democratic presidential primary challenge – or what the Republican right did to incumbent President George H.W. Bush in 1992 with Pat Buchanan’s entry into the GOP primary – the Democratic party as a whole will find itself paying a steep price for years to come.

That’s a promise, not a threat.

It’s a pretty safe bet that Obama could beat back a contender or contenders for the 2012 Democratic Party nomination. But, as with the experiences of Carter and Bush in their damaging primary struggles, Obama would be forced to devote organization, energy and money to winning renomination, three precious resources best reserved for a general election.

It’s unlikely Obama could emerge from a time-consuming and costly primary fight strong enough to run a competitive race against a Republican Party that is expected to be energized, united and determined to take back the White House in 2012.

Republicans would have the Democratic left to thank for that.

Make no mistake, however: If the left costs Obama his presidency in 2012, the Democratic Party as a whole will lose out.

Sabotage the nation’s first black president and the Democratic Party might as well bid farewell to its most loyal base of supporters: African Americans.

In 2008, the turnout for young black eligible voters was higher than that of young eligible voters of any other racial or ethnic group, according to the Pew Research Center. Consider them gone in future congressional and presidential elections if the left dooms Obama in 2012.

The 2 million more blacks who voted in 2008 than in 2004 because of Barack Obama? Say bye-bye to them, too. As for African American women, the group with the highest voter turnout rate in the 2008 presidential election? Don’t even ask.

And why should they stay with a Democratic Party that turns tail on a president who’s trying to lead a fractious country through one of roughest patches in its history?


Remember when two years ago there were predictions of riots in the streets if Obama wasn’t the nominee? SSDD

King tries to cover himself from accusations of racism by claiming that “Obama’s racially and ethnically diverse supporters” know he’s doing a much better job than John McCain would be doing. (He doesn’t mention how good Hillary would be doing right now)

But the point of a primary challenge would not be to weaken Obama so that a Republican could win the White House.

The point of a primary challenge would be to replace Obama as the nominee so that the Republicans DON’T win the White House.

So what does King predict black Americans will do if Obama loses a primary challenge? Will they sit out the general election if a different Democrat is nominated?

He doesn’t say.

But I’ll bet if Obama runs unopposed in the primaries he’ll lose in the general anyway, and somehow that will be our fault too.

Welcome to post-racial America, where the only thing that really matters is race.


Weak tea

F**king F**ksticks!


I was reading this article by Dave Weigel at Slate and I realized that “What the fuck?” month is still going on. It starts with this:

We sit down and we’re given the full details for the conference: “Fractures, Alliances, and Mobilizations: Emerging Analyses of the Tea Party Movement.” It’s the first event of its kind hosted by Berkeley’s two-year-old Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements.

Do you get the feeling that just maybe there might be little bit of bias here? It’s kinda like Baylor University doing a comparative study of Mormonism.

But wait! There’s more:

But the social scientists are more ready than the historians to crunch numbers and prove that racial animosity is key to the Tea Party. It’s cold comfort for people like Hardy Frye, but it does suggest that Obama’s ability to form some grand populist coalition was always limited. The University of Washington’s Christopher Parker shares his research-in-progress based on interviews in seven states that break down subjects into “true skeptics” of the Tea Party at one end and “true believers” at the other.

“If you look across the board here, true skeptics of the Tea Party, 49 percent agreed with the proposition that blacks ought to work their way up without any special favors,” says Parker. “But if you look at the true believers, that goes to 92 percent. This is another indicator of racism, right: Over the past few years, blacks have gotten less than they deserve. Forty-five percent of true skeptics disagree with this; almost 80 percent of true believers disagree with this.”

After all the media and progblogger hoopla about how the Tea Party is nothing but the Klan minus the white sheets, THIS is their proof?

I think we need a new rule – Everyone is presumed to be not guilty of racism unless they:

1. Use racial epithets and/or stereotypes

2. Advocate discrimination and/or the superiority of one race over another.

3. Actually discriminate based on race

Allegations of racism must be supported by clear and convincing evidence.





Dirty pool


From the Kansas City Star:

Three months ago in Kansas City, the NAACP first raised charges of racism within the tea party movement. Today a report is being released accusing tea party groups of providing platforms to anti-Semites and other bigots.

“These groups and individuals are out there, and we ignore them at our own peril,” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous in a statement announcing the report. “They are speaking at tea party events, recruiting at rallies, and in some cases remain in the tea party leadership itself.”

The 94-page report is being released by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in a teleconference today.

In July, NAACP delegates passed a resolution at their national convention in Kansas City condemning racism within the tea party movement, creating a national furor. The NAACP board of directors ratified the resolution last week.

Tea party leaders condemned the report on Tuesday.

This reeks. The NAACP came up with this report THREE MONTHS AGO but sat on it until less than two weeks before the election?

I haven’t had a chance to read the report (neither has the Tea Party) but I’m gonna go ahead an assume that some or all of the allegations made by the NAACP are true. What does that prove?

A couple years ago there was this totally new grassroots movement that appeared spontaneously in reaction to the DNC/RBC decision to take some of Hillary Clinton’s ‘s delegates and give them to Barack Obama.

There were some people who were outraged by the blatant cheating as well as all the other crappy things that had gone on during the previous six months. They declared they would not support Barack Obama and called themselves Party Unity My Ass, or P.U.M.A.

You may have heard of them.

I was here on Day One when PUMA started. It immediately went viral and was beyond the control of any one person. Unfortunately all the excitement and hoopla attracted some weirdos and nutballs like moths to a flame.

We wanted nothing to do with them of course. We banned them from TC when they started spouting racist ideas and right-wing nonsense. Riverdaughter physically ejected a guy from the Denver Headquartrers when he started raving about how it was all “the Joos” fault.

The problem is identifying the weirdos and nutballs before they start raving like lunatics. If you advertise a rally, do you check ID’s and do background checks before you allow anyone admission?

“Are you now or have you ever been a racist?”

If you’re a decentralized, grassroots organization, who is in charge of screening new members? Do you screen donors too? How do you screen them, and for what? Is there a racist database somewhere that anyone can log into and check names?

The real question is whether the Tea Party is a racist organization or whether it just has some unsavory members and associations that need to go.

But what the NAACP has done is a transparent attempt to gain partisan advantage for the Democrats by ambushing the entire Tea Party movement with charges of racism just before an election.

So much for “post-racial” America.



UPDATE:

From Crooks and Liars:

The heart of the report is the section titled “Racism, Anti-Semitism and the Militia Impulse, which includes some previously overlooked facets of the movement and revealing details:

– James von Brunn, the white supremacist who killed a Holocaust Museum guard last year, posted on Tea Partner Express partner websites.

– Mark Williams, former chairman of the Tea Party Express, not only wrote racist screeds, he made death threats against President Obama,

– Billy Joe Roper, a member of the ResistNet Tea Party who also happens to be the founder of the overtly racist White Revolution organization, indulging in “Nazi glamorization” with his eulogy for William Pierce, author of The Turner Diaries, the notorious race-war blueprint.

We also get “profiles of troubling Tea Partiers,” including Roan Garcia-Quintana, a South Carolina Tea Party member who the report says belongs to the largest white nationalist group in the country; Karen Pack, another Tea Party member the report says is linked to the Ku Klux Klan; and Clay Douglas, a Tea Party member from Arizona the report says has pushed “militia-style ‘New World Order’ conspiracies” and “hard core anti-Semitism.


The one guy who was in charge of anything (Mark Williams) has long-since been canned. The rest of the people named are listed as “members.”

I counted six names. How many people nationwide are listed as members of one of the Tea Party factions?

If somebody posted comments on Crook and Liars and then committed murder, would that make John Amato and Nicole Belle responsible?

If that is the best the NAACP has then they ain’t got shit.



First!

No, you are not in an Eschaton comment thread.

What first means is that The Confluence was the first blog, formed by Democrats (now mostly Independent Liberals), who saw what was going on in the Democratic party in 2008.  By January 2008, we saw that the party was actively engaged in deep sixing one candidate for the benefit of the other.

What this blog and its participants are not is racist.

It has come to my attention that there are elements in the blogosphere that are trying to revive the “anyone who didn’t reflexively worship Barack Obama or support him now in his time of need must be a racist”.  There is also the technique, “Racism is anything we say it is; we don’t have to prove it”.

Actually, people who indulge in this kind of behavior *do* have to prove it.  They have to prove it because I say they do.  Racism is a very serious accusation to make.  It would be like saying, “All Democrats who stupidly threw Hillary Clinton over the side in 2008 are idiotic sexists.”  I can’t make this banket accusation because I know that some of them were not necessarily sexist.  Some were simply mercenary, as demonstrated by the Obama ads plastered all over Josh Marshall’s Talkingpointsmemo blogs during the campaign.  Others were peer pressured cowards as Digby herself confessed in Eric Boehlert’s book, The Bloggers on the Bus.

Now, you would think that 2 years after getting kicked off of the Big Orange Cheeto, people would have forgotten me.  But I did a recent search of my name in the comments the other day and I must have made a major impact on some of the fragile psyches over there.  Geekesque in particular, is still dropping the “she’s a racist” meme everytime my name is mentioned.  It’s almost like HE does a search of the comments and leaves this handy reply whenever the opportunity arises.  No one ever seems to bother to find out whether he (or is Geekesque a she?) is correct, which is odd because my stuff is still there in all it’s glory.  And no one over at the Cheeto is tasked with cleaning up these smelly little turds even though Kos himself knows them to be untrue.  They suit his purpose.

Nevertheless, I take this renewal of the racism meme to be both disturbing AND encouraging.  It’s disturbing because it’s the last weapon they seem to have left and even though it’s worked well in the past, I don’t think it’s going to work now.  The body of evidence is on our side now.  We accurately predicted what would happen two years ago.  They didn’t listen.  They had to have their way.  Now, every defense of their choice is met with ridicule and disbelief.  So, we can’t possibly have been right.  We must be racists.

It’s encouraging because this time, the accusations are falling on deaf ears.  Even Jon Stewart is pointing out how irritating the racism accusation is getting.  It also makes real racism much more difficult to detect and address.  When everybody you don’t like is a racist, the real racists can get away with murder.  I would hope that the people slinging the word around would stop and think about that.  But they didn’t do it in 2008 so why start now?  Therefore, I place the blame for new REAL acts of racism at their feet.  They are responsible for the fact that in the future, Americans will react to accusations of racism in the same way that the townspeople of the famous fairy tale responded to the boy that cried wolf.

It’s time for the people who are spreading this meme to grow up and take responsibility for their behavior.

As for us, well, sticks and stones and all that.  I hate to get distracted by all the nonsense racism accusations and I certainly do not want to turn this blog into the same kind of relentless coverage of Breitbart, who I never read anyway, that I now see on what were once respectable blogs.  There are real racists in the country for sure.  But there are much bigger stories to cover and I commend my fellow frontpagers for not being distracted.

This is the last time I will address the matter.

Crying Wolf


I previously posted about Digby equating referring to Obama as “presumptuous” to calling him an “uppity negro.” Well, she seems to be seeing racists under her bed again in Affirmative Fool:

I know this isn’t news to anyone, but Rush Limbaugh is a sexist pig and proud of it. If he didn’t have 250 million dollars there’s no doubt he’d be a very lonely guy.

But this racist statement is a doozy:

“This is the first time in his life there is not a professor who can turn his C into an A, or to write the law review article for him he can’t write. He is totally exposed. There is nobody to make it better,” Limbaugh said.

I think he’s probably speaking for a considerable number of people out there who truly believe that black people are inferior. But most of them are smart enough not to say so in public.

I loathe Rush Limbaugh and think he is a disgusting human being, so it pains me to be in the position of defending something he said. But there is nothing inherently racist in that statement.

I’m not saying Limbaugh isn’t a racist, nor am I addressing anything else he has said or done. I fully agree with Digby that he is a sexist pig. But suggesting that Barack Obama isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer isn’t racist, nor does it translate into a racist allegation about the intelligence of black people in general.

This isn’t racist either:

Sign at the NBC cafeteria

It’s a racial stereotype. Left Blogistan really needs to learn the difference between race, racism, racial stereotypes and things that aren’t racial at all.

Criticism of Obama is not racist.

Opposition to Obama is not racist.

Belittling Obama is not racist.

Mocking, jeering and/or making fun of Obama is not racist.

Racism is racist.

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