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      The shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH17 has led to a vituperative barrage in the Western media (and social media), blaming Russia.  This barrage has been fomented, in large part, by the White House, which has been relentless. Many act as if Russia is horribly in the wrong, isolated, and alone. China’s Xinhua wrote this: [...]
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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.

Saturday Morning News and Views

Good Morning, Conflucians!!!!

I’ve been surfing around the ‘net for awhile, and I’ve come up with a somewhat eclectic collection of links that mostly ignore current events in Washington DC. These are some stories that caught my eye. What are you reading? Is there anything big happening in the Village that I missed?

First up: more evidence that Professors with Harvard degrees are no better than the rest of us regular folks.

From the NYT: Professor Said to Be Charged After 3 Are Killed in Alabama

Three faculty members at the University of Alabama in Huntsville were shot to death, and three other people were seriously wounded at a biology faculty meeting on Friday afternoon, university officials said….a biology professor, identified as Amy Bishop, was charged with murder.

According to a faculty member, the professor had applied for tenure, been turned down, and appealed the decision. She learned on Friday that she had been denied once again.

The newspaper identified Dr. Bishop as a Harvard-educated neuroscientist. According to a 2006 profile in the newspaper, Dr. Bishop invented a portable cell growth incubator with her husband, Jim Anderson. Police officials said that Mr. Anderson was being detained, but they did not call him a suspect.

[....]

Officials said the dead were all biology professors, G. K. Podila, the department’s chairman; Maria Ragland Davis; and Adriel D. Johnson Sr. Two other biology professors, Luis Rogelio Cruz-Vera and Joseph G. Leahy, as well as a professor’s assistant, Stephanie Monticciolo, are at Huntsville Hospital in conditions ranging from stable to critical.

This is a terrible tragedy that also demonstrates that academics are no more immune to rage, violence, or psychological dysfunction than anyone else. I was thinking about how horrible this must be for the students at UAH, and then I read this.

From MSNBC: Professor charged in university shooting

Gina Hammond, a UAH student, told WAFF that she lobbied the University of Alabama trustees to allow students with gun permits to carry their weapons on campus. She was turned down.

“I’m scared to go back to school,” Hammond said. “However, if they were to allow me to carry my pistol on campus, I would not be as scared.

“… I’m sorry that nobody in that room had a pistol to save at least one person’s life,” Hammond said.

OK, I’m not sure allowing everyone to carry guns on college campuses is the solution to this kind of tragedy. Maybe it would have been better if Dr. Bishop hadn’t had access to a firearm. Then maybe she could have calmed down a little bit, thought things over, and started looking for another job.

Here’s another odd, sad story along similar lines: Psychiatrist Tips Off Police about Her Husband’s Paranoia and Weapons Stockpiling

Gregory Girard, 45, is now being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing tomorrow in Salem District Court, where he pleaded not guilty yesterday to multiple weapons charges.

Police arrested Girard late Tuesday night after a brief standoff outside the 23 Bridge St. condo where he had been living with his wife and their 16-year-old son.

Girard had a huge collection of weaponry in the family’s home and a shooting range in the attic.

On Monday, Girard’s wife, a psychiatrist, contacted police to express concern about her husband’s increasing paranoia and apparent stockpiling of weapons, Segal said.

Kristine Girard told police that while her husband hadn’t threatened her, she was afraid to return home after an argument.

She said her husband had recently told her, “Don’t talk to people, shoot them instead,” and “It’s fine to shoot people in the head because traitors deserve it,” Segal said, reading from a police report.

This guy is too old to have recently developed schizophrenia. Paranoid schizophrenics sometimes function fairly well. Perhaps he has suffered with the disorder for years and has taken medication that helped him, or perhaps he has some other type of bipolar disorder that can lead to psychotic episodes (bipolar disorder or major depression are possibilities).

Regardless, this man has some kind of severe psychological disorder that wasn’t caused by attending tea party demonstrations or admiring Sarah Palin as the prog blogs have been busy implying. More nutty interpretations of a psychologically troubled person’s motivations at TPM here and here. Meanwhile, right wing blogs are focusing on the fact that Girard’s wife is psychiatrist who works in Cambridge, MA.

Guess what you Obot morons, psychiatrists are subject to human failings just like Harvard education professors and all the rest of us “ordinary people.” Get a clue, why don’t you? This is a human tragedy, and the man has a 16-year-old son who is probably really upset right now.
Continue reading

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.

White Privilege

comic


Little Isis’ post “A Conversation on Race: Let’s Not” triggered a discussion of “white privilege.”  I thought the topic worthy of it’s own post.  I’m writing this with the foreknowledge that some people (I use the term loosely) will distort my words and call me names.  But they’ve already done that and I’m still here.

Wikipedia:

In critical race theory, white privilege is a set of advantages that some claim are enjoyed by white people beyond those commonly experienced by non-white people in the same social, political, and economic spaces (nation, community, workplace, income, etc.). Theorists differentiate it from racism or prejudice because, they say, a person who may benefit from white privilege is not necessarily racist or prejudiced and may be unaware of having any privileges reserved only for whites.

Wellesley professor Peggy McIntosh said:

I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools , and blank checks.

As a general concept “white privilege” is a valuable tool. If I were teaching a course on racism in America I would require my students to understand it. But it is worse than useless for analyzing individual behavior.

You’ll have a hard time convincing anyone who has lived their life at or near the bottom end of the socio-economic ladder that they benefit from any sort of privilege. They live, work and go to school with blacks and other minorities. Would you say this young white student is privileged?:

Continue reading

A picture says a thousand words

Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism

Racism

Racism

Toture

Torture

Culture

Culture

Any questions?


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Socially Unacceptable

idea_bulb

Remember a couple weeks back when Barack, Michelle and their media entourage flew to New York City one Saturday night for dinner and a show?  Imagine what would have happened if the following week David Letterman did a “Top Ten” list of the worst moments of their trip and said this:

Number 2 – Finding out that the restaurant didn’t serve fried chicken and watermelon

Not only would Letterman be retired right now, but so would the writers and producers of his show and the head of CBS would be offering profuse apologies to the Obamas. There would be protests, advertising boycotts, and denunciations of Letterman from the leaders of both parties. You can be sure Keith Olbermann would be ranting “How dare you sir!” and he wouldn’t be blaming the Obama’s for political opportunism. People would be outraged, and rightly so.

Not that long ago racism was socially acceptable and racial discrimination was legal.  Academics prepared scholarly treatises asserting the superiority of the white race.  Many (white) people believed that it was the “white man’s burden” to exercise control over the “lesser” races for their own benefit.

Senator Robert Byrd of West Virgina is a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. That was in 1942.  He is now third in line of succession to the Presidency. Former senator and Supreme Court justice Hugo Black is another prominent figure who once belonged to the Klan.

At it’s peak in the 1920′s the Klan had millions of members from all levels of society:

Indiana’s Klansmen represented a wide cross section of society: they were not disproportionately urban or rural, nor were they significantly more or less likely than other members of society to be from the working class, middle class, or professional ranks.

Once upon a time the Klan had major political influence in the South and Midwest. Nowadays the Klan is a fringe group that is viewed with disgust by the vast majority of the nation.

Continue reading

Sunday: Divide and conquer with racism

I was going to write about how David Broder is Public Enemy Number One.  However, it’s more disturbing to see how accusations of racism are cropping up just when *real* unity would seem to be very important.

Let me just say for the record that unless Barack Obama is Jesus Christ himself, he is subject to the same comparisons and criticisms as any other imperfect human being on earth.  I have not seen any evidence of his perfection so as far as I’m concerned, he’s accountable for what he does or doesn’t do.  The extra melanin in his skin only gives him an advantage in the sun.  It doesn’t confer infallability on the bearer.

Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about why the renewal of accusations of racism directed against those of us who dare to criticize Obama are so destructive.  As I see it, it prevents the left from coalescing and gaining critical mass to oppose the unDemocratic policies that some of his banker friends and advisors would like to pursue.  As long as the Obamanation is stoked to stamp out racism, as defined by Obama’s friends, we can’t get ourselves a posse to take the real bastards on.

So, all you Obamaphiles out there have to ask yourselves, when it comes to accusations of racism, what’s it worth to you?  Is it worth your committment to social responsibility and an economy that’s fair to people who work?  Is it worth having only half the strength you need to prevent the dismantling of Social Security?  Because if you spend half your time and energy trying to distance yourself from those of us you wrongly accuse of racism, that’s what you’re going to end up with.  In my opinion, it’s much better to put down the gun and coordinate your messages with us.

Think about it.

In the meantime, we’ve gotten mixed reviews over the nested comments. In general, the edge is going to having them nested so you can actually reply to someone.  But the “newest at top” is not faring so well.  So, I am putting it up for a vote.  Majority wins.

Buncha Bigots

unicorn-rainbowEric Holder, America’s first African American Attorney General under America’s first black President, said in a speech to Department of Justice employees celebrating Black History Month, that we are a “nation of cowards”  because we don’t like to talk candidly about race.  This is wrong on so many levels.

Any time we still have to describe people and their accomplishments as “history making” based on skin color, we have a problem with race.  It’s 2009, for Goodness sakes, and we still have cause to celebrate racial “firsts.”  Not only that, we’ve barely scratched the surface; we have yet to have our “first black” lots of things, like, Senate Majority Leader; hell we’ve barely had any black Senators, given that the nation’s fifth is now president.  We, as a nation, have never had a Native American much of anything politically significant, either; the same is true for many other racially diverse groups.  And, as we all know, our history regarding women’s history, contributions, and employment issues, not to mention those of LGBT people living openly, and people living with disabilities, is woefully deficient.

But, does not talking about it make us cowards?  What good does endless recriminatory discussion do?  Does that really advance anybody’s cause, or does it merely inflame passions needlessly?

In this little community we’ve established here in this little corner of the blogosphere, nobody is required to declare their race, ethnicity, gender, or anything else, nor are they expected to check them at the door, unless they choose to, and we seem to get along pretty well.  Our commonality is based on things other than physical characteristics, like opinion and ideology.  How we think and feel is much more important than how we look, love or pee.

Barack Obama should not be president because he’s black, Eric Holder should not be attorney general for that reason, either.  Because that issue was promoted as justification for their attaining their respective positions, many of us were offended, while, to be honest, many more felt vindicated.  The disappointment was not limited to people of any particular group, though African Americans disproportionately embraced the counter opinion.  Just as many men felt, and still feel, that Hillary Clinton was the better Democratic choice, and many white Republicans felt similarly about John McCain, many black Americans, like me, feel that Barack Obama was not.  Race and gender most often had nothing to do with it.

I call our president Black Obama because his racial background played far too large a part in his election.  When he secured the nomination of his party, fraudulently in my opinion, that fraud was validated by “the historic nature of his candidacy,” blah, blah, blah.  His, and his campaign’s, deliberate, subtle, and blatant exploitation of his racial background was shameful to me.   Race should never trump integrity.  Just because we’ve never had a black president is no reason to embrace this one.

Yet, once he was elected, all sorts of racial baggage was either laid at his feet, or more often, exonerated, while the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement’s triumphs was awarded to him simply because of who his father happened to be.  His own lack of accomplishment, experience, preparedness and qualification was magically rendered irrelevant because he’s a black man.

Seems to me, as long as all we’re expected to do is talk about what’s wrong, and what has been wrong in the past, those things will continue to happen, and continue to be wrong.  Once we decide that these things don’t deserve discussion, contemplation, or consideration, there won’t be anything to talk about, anyway.  When it comes to equality and diversity, let’s all just shut up and do the damned thing.

That being said, when racism, sexism and/or any other “-ism” rears its ugly head, it should be immediately, and uncategorically, rejected by all.  The only caveat, and it’s a big one, is that “-isms” are like pornography, hard to define quantitatively.  While we claim to know it when we see it, ultimately, offense is in the eye of the beholder.  On those occasions, just like any other when one experiences hurt at the hands of another, protest is only to be expected.  Yet that protest should be limited to that particular incident; revisiting old issues only opens old wounds and diverts attention from the problem at hand, greatly increasing the odds that nothing will be resolved.  “You hurt my feelings,” will usually result in an immediate apology, “you always hurt my feelings,” will probably result in a fight.

Eric Holder said:

…”we, as average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race.”

I think he’s half right; we, as average Americans, don’t talk to each other, period.  If we did, race would probably never come up.  And when, and if, it did, we’d probably be able to work it out.

Cross posted at Cinie’s World with one modification; I removed a link to the post below, since, it’s the post below.

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