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Sister Souljah – The Zombie Lie


Yesterday Riverdaughter did an excellent job with the main point of Friday’s column by Glenn Greenwald but I want to address one small part of his post:

In 1996, Clinton signed into law the single most pernicious piece of anti-gay federal legislation ever passed — the Defense of Marriage Act — with overwhelming Democratic support in the Congress.  Scorning the “Far Left,” especially on social issues, was a Clinton favorite.  He is the inventor, after all, of the Sister Souljah technique.  Bill Clinton was the ultimate non-ideological pragmatist.  He was driven by the overriding desire to win over his opponents. (emphasis added)

Even if you had never heard of Sister Souljah before you would infer from that paragraph that she has something to do with “scorning the ‘Far Left.'”  In fact, “Sister Souljah” is shorthand for a zombie lie that ahistorical types use to bash Bill Clinton for supposedly exploiting racism in his 1992 campaign.  While some who use the reference are merely ignorant of the facts, others are willfully dishonest.  From Dick Morris:

“I think what she’s going to do is take a page from Bill’s playbook in 1992 when he was facing Jesse Jackson going into the New York primary. From out of nowhere, he seized on an episode with Sistah Souljah, who is a black rapper who apparently had dissed the National Anthem. And he attacked her, and the whole point was to use race as an issue against Jesse Jackson — which succeeded and he carried New York by a very large margin.”

First of all, Jesse Jackson didn’t run for President in 1992, so the Big Dawg didn’t face him in the New York primary.  Nor did he “attack” Sister Souljah for having “dissed” the National Anthem.  What Bill Clinton criticized were these two statements by Sister Souljah:

“If Black people kill Black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?”

“If there are any good white people, I haven’t met them”

In June 1992 (after the primaries) both Clinton and Sister Souljah were invited to speak at a conference of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, and during his speech Clinton said:

“If you took the words ‘white’ and ‘black,’ and you reversed them, you might think David Duke was giving that speech.”

If it had been anyone but Bill (or Hillary) those words would probably have been taken at face value.  But by 1992 the “Clinton Rules” were already in effect:

“Clinton rules” — the term a number of observers use for the way pundits and some news organizations treat any action or statement by the Clintons, no matter how innocuous, as proof of evil intent.

Under the Clinton Rules, Bill wasn’t just condemning a couple of racist statements, he was intentionally and cynically exploiting racial fears in order to distance himself from Jackson and the African American community.  In the mind of Gwen Ifill, he was only condemning “reverse racism” (not racism) but in the mind of one self-appointed expert at finding racism he was putting black people “in their place.”

The key to understanding the zombie lie aspect of the term “Sister Souljah moment” is that it implies duplicity and calculation.  The politician involved isn’t taking a principled stand, he or she is pandering to moderates by repudiating his or her own supporters.  In the bizarro world of Scamelot, repudiating your base is a brilliant strategy.

But only if Obama does it.

51 Responses

  1. Wow, nicely said. I wish more American new how to think. If its true that the super elites way to control the population ( us ) is to divide us, then they have succeeded. I am cynical and believe Gwen Ifill and the rest of the MSM are parroting what they’ve been told to say. Otherwise we have really dumb people on TV.

  2. myiq: Do you think we should roll out the “Welcome New Racists” banner for all of the newly disenchanted Obamaphiles? It must be a shock to wake up one morning and realize you’ve always been a closet KKK member and just didn’t know it until you opened your mouth to disagree with The Precious. I hear there are Obots who are planning to wear black (tsk-tsk) armbands to the inauguration and turn their backs on Obama when his motorcade drives by. {{Snort!}} Too funny.

  3. Maybe we should have some crying towels made with “We told you so!” embroidered on them.

  4. What these people who plan to wear black arm bands ( which is really awful given that for some people they carry real meaning ) fail to realise is that he will smirk and laugh up his sleeve at them as he rides by , the way he has been laughing all along at the rest of the folks under the bus.
    Any argument FOR reverse racism is demeaning to the people making it and the people perpetrating it .

  5. I am tired of blogs which should know better, flaunting their presumptions of racism every which way-AND blaming the PUMAs for it.

  6. EOF: What are you saying? Caroline is a racist too for supporting gay marriage?
    You know, I have the strange feeling that the senate is waiting for something. We’ve got Paterson feeling Ted Kennedy’s hot stinky breath breathing down his neck over Caroline but Paterson could just appoint her last Tuesday if the pressure is as intense as we think it is. So, why hasn’t he? No, instead, we are seeing some very, very sharp political knives coming out to shred Caroline to tiny little bits. I’d say her chances of getting to the senate are pretty slim right now. Someone has definitely got it out for her. Could it be the Cuomo gang? From what I recall, Cuomo’s ex-wife was one of the Kennedy’s. Kerry, maybe? Who had a rather public and humiliating affair and cuckolded (whew! THERE’S an ancient word) him quite flagrantly. Kerry supports Caroline but hasn’t a clue where the Princess stands on abortion (???).
    So, I think that the Cuomo’s are pulling some of their own strings. The last thing I saw in politico was devastating to Caroline. She apparently won’t even talk to reporters, much less ordinary people. She is getting savaged. But I don’t think this is necessarily good for us. The seat MUST go to a woman and there is no shortage of qualified women in NY so as far as I’, concerned, Andrew Cuomo is a non-starter, no matter how much he does to get rid of the aristocrat.

  7. Cuomo’s wife had family ties to the mafia-which is why back then he couldn’t run for President.

    In this media day and age , that</i< wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference.

  8. RD:

    Don’t forget that the right wing hates the Kennedys with a passion.

    The K clan got a free pass this year because the were supporting Teh Precious and because of Ted’s condition.

    But the election is over now.

  9. wth happened to Anglachel? I would like to read what she has to say about Warren’s invite and Favreau still having his job.

  10. RD: O/T in response to your 7:45pm query re:Louisa, Yes, a GCS of 4 is devastating. While it does not mean true brain death, as the cortex which controls involuntary functions may still work, it does signal the absence of all higher functions. We have all heard of people who roused from comas after many years, so I do not say that this is nirrecvoable, but it generally does not improve. We will oray for them.

  11. Garychapelhill has a new post up at his blog. Human Rights Campaign are a bunch of gay Obots who just got screwed over by the Messiah. Just like all the feminist organizations who will look like fools soon enough. Warren is also anti-choice but not that many people are concentrating on that aspect. I expect Obama to invite many more anti-choice to the White House. If he doesn’t care what gays think do you think he gives a f*ck about women’s reproductive freedom? Where are NOW on this? Why haven’t they said anything about Warren? These organizations are stupid, stupid traitors who just got punk’d.

  12. Today I have a gift from above – lunch with my daughter and shopping at an open market square. Betty Jean, Louisa, and Denise will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  13. You are right. The fairest way to judge either Clinton is by what they have done. Defense of Marriage Act, gutting welfare, Don’t Ask don’t tell, hundreds of pardon’s on the last day in office (Marc Rich-types over those in need who deserved pardons).

  14. I just watched Face the Nation and found out that any one that any democrat that would challenge patterson for gov of NY would be a racist. Some guy was on tv saying only a racist would challenge a black candidate. It was in terms of Cuomo challenging Patterson if Cuomo wasn’t given the senate seat.

    WTF is going on in this country?

  15. oops, I said the r word and got thrown into moderation

  16. chatblu: What concerned me was references to lesions and ligation, which the non medical person such as I am interprets as boo-boos and slicing wounds. My brief foray into the concept of decerebration, all 15 minutes of googling it last night, suggests that if the brain is decerebrated due to some acute cause but isn’t full of boo-boos and slicing, the chances of improvement, although not great, are better. The chances improve if the patient is under 40 and best for children. It sounds to me like the underlying structure has to be intact and whole and that maybe the brain structure has to heal on its own before it can start working again. But that in injuries where the pons has been affected, and it’s worse if it is bi-lateral, the prognosis is very poor. If only one side of the pons is affected, it’s still bad but only slightly less bad. I think that is the situation we’re talking about here. The brain has been lesioned and ligated, at least one part of the pons is affected, the patient is suffering from severe swelling, which probably is rearranging the interior of the brain in bad ways and the condition appears to be worsening over time. The operation to relieve the swelling has helped to stabilize the patient but her chance of recovery is not good.
    Whew! It’s a good think I never went to medical school.

  17. OT Palin grass roots support from LA Times:

  18. Disenfranchised: I don’t know where Anglachel is. She comes, she goes. She dabbles in politics when it is convenient to her and skedaddles when it isn’t. She’s probably just finishing her Christmas shopping.
    As for the gay community finally waking up and smelling the starbucks, well, we told the Obamaphiles that if they didn’t issue demands before the election, actually during the primary, they wouldn’t have a chance afterwards but did they listen?

  19. Riverdaughter – i posted this at RL and I want you to see it because feminists are silent about Rep.Carolyn Maloney (NY) and she has worked with Hillary on all the issues we care about. Now Queen Kennedy comes with her money to say the US Senate has always been like the House of Lords, — not for the common people.

    The ugly thing about Carolyn Kennedy is that we don’t even know where she stands on choice. She is a “private” person who has shown herself to reject women who stand for women as feminists.

    Compare that to Rep.Carolyn Maloney (NY)who has worked her heart out on behalf of women for years.

    Rep.Carolyn Maloney (NY) wants the senate job and has worked closely with Hillary on children’s medical issues, choice issues, feminist issues and the Wilberforce anti-trafficking Act that the chief pimp from Nevada tried to kill. Representative Carolyn Maloney, ought to be appointed New York’s next Senator.

    This is exactly what Phyllis Chesler (Cheslers Chronicles) said when praising the left/right coalition that had to fight the Justice dept and the State Dept and their pimps in the US Senate in order to pass the Wilberforce anti-trafficking legislation.

    Phyllis just wrote a long post on the politics of passing the Wilberforce anti-trafficking Act and at the end she named our champions who fought power hard for all our benefit.

    This is what she said:
    “We are living in the best of times, the worst of times. Let us now praise the heroes of this struggle.

    They include: Michael Horowitz; President George W. Bush; the Directors of the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons office: Ambassador John Miller and Mark Lagon; and a determined and diverse coalition of activists who might not have agreed on other issues but who all agreed that slavery must be abolished. Yes, conservative groups, the Salvation Army, the Concerned Women for America, the Southern Baptist Convention, were very involved in this effort, but so were The National Organization of Women, Equality Now, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women , lawyer Catharine MacKinnon—and Representative Carolyn Maloney, who ought to be appointed New York’s next Senator.

  20. God help me! I am buying Britney Spears songs from iTunes. what is happening to me??? Stop me before I download again!

  21. RD: You Googled well. Healing may take place to a degree. However, In the instance of a shotgun blast to the face, I would have to hazard a guess that there may be some pellets in the brain itself. Unfortunately, when the brain swells inside of the cranium it becomes problematic Swelling can be reduced by use of drugs as well as by actually creating burr holes and allowing some extra room until the swelling can be reduced either by reducing C02 through controlled ventilation (by exaggerating expiration per a ventilator) or by diuretics such as mannitol and/or steriods such as decadron. If one side is intact, it is better than naught for sure. If there is only one area of damage, it is better than many. One might just heal. At any rate, 4 is almost as low as it gets, with 3 being rock bottom. To ligate=t,o tie off, as you would a blood vessel.. Maybe it said laceration, which is a wound? The bad part of shotgun blasts is that there are multitudes of small pellets which get loose all over the place. Each one makes a track, end up somewhere, and is a source of infection. This is a devastating situation, and there are some possibly tough choices down the road for this family.

  22. RD: My response has somehow ended up in moderation.

  23. Caroline Kennedy , it appears to me, is as vague on issues as Hillary was specific .
    **Public Usefulness My Ass **

  24. RD quick, go to AMAZON LOL

  25. Mxiqu – This is not only spot on it is analysis, but fine piece of writing. Somebody needs to write an entire book decoding the use of political cliches and what they mean when applied to the Clintons versus applied to anybody else.

    As for Obama: the only thing he will NEVER denounce is his own will to power. He disturbs me.

  26. “.**Public Usefulness My Ass ** ”

    This, swanspirit, is a keeper.

  27. Thanks for this post, myqi, and for the clarification of the Sister Souljah story.

    Greenwald’s take is one I’ve never heard of before, certainly not in 1992, when it happened.

    And no, Jesse Jackson didn’t run that year.

    AFAIK, Greenwald is old enough to remember the 1990s, but you’d never know it from his fantasms about the Clinton presidency.

    Bill’s “pragmatism” was the result of his wanting to get things done, to benefit the people. Just like the pragmatism of FDR and JFK, among others.

  28. Britney Spears is bad enough but I just “treated” myself to a TomTom for $186.00 on HSN! This was my gift from me to me. Am I nuts or what? They guy demonstrating was so convincing I rushed to the phone and ordered one.

    For someone with absolutely no sense of direction, who must study their hands when told to go “left” or “right”, who can get into Boston but often finds myself over the NH border on my way back west, this sounds like the one for me. But did I need to spend 186.00 to find my way home? Doubtful.

    And guaranteed I will be at loss on how to program it when it arrives. Britney Spears? No problem. I need to shut off the tv and shovel once again today. An intervention is not far behind.

  29. Greenconsciousness: ??? Where have you been? We were one of the first sites that advocated for Carolyn Maloney over Caroline Kennedy. You can hit the search bar for “It’s Carolyn, not Caroline” and read it yourself. The problem is cause overload. We need to delegate and coordinate.

  30. Britney Spears is a decent singer/performer.

    Role model/mother not so much.

  31. chatblu: Yes, I morphed ligation into laceration. Doesn’t sound very reassuring either way.

  32. Thank you Heidi Li. one of the things I dearly loved about Hillary was her ability to be instantly specific about almost every issue anyone asked her about , and the media kicks her to the curb, .

    Caroline Kenndy comes along and mumbles something about a legacy of public service , and how she can be useful or some such such nonsense and the media bows down and prostrates ( HA I should say prostate ha ha but the women are doing it too ) themselves , throwing themselves at her feet like the dogs they are .

  33. myiq: I know Britney’s limitations. But whoever wrote the songs for her last CD has a couple of singles with those annoyingly catchy hooks.
    “I’m like the ring leader, I call the shots
    I’m like a firecracker, I make it hot…”
    It’s the damn melody. It’s driving me nuts.

  34. greenconsciousness: In fact, I have to be a little peeved with Nicholas Kristoff of the New York Times. He had a recent column which was a reworded (and no-doubt well compensated) version of my post. I felt ripped off.

  35. RiverDaughter SOMEONE on Fox news news last night said
    ” bush deranged syndrome ” I cant remember who 🙂

  36. look the dim activists and pundits can yell racism about paterson all they like. jump up and down and yell for mummy too. that will hasten the demise of the party in new york. paterson is not going to be popular there after he helps increase taxes. his goose is cooked if he appoints caroline in my view. uncle ted’s days of being a political force are is fading with his bad health. he wants caroline to step in, but that won’t happen. she doesn’t have it in her. so far none of the kennedys with the exception of bobby jr has shown the necessary spark again in my view.

  37. Holy shit, look at this NYTimes headline:

    By vying for a Senate seat, Caroline Kennedy is embarking on a test of the power of her politically royal name.

    Openly “royal”? Where did my country go?

  38. RD, why am I kicked off the confluence? What is going on?

  39. RD:

    Doncha wish you could make the big bucks just for writing three whole columns a week (48 weeks a year)???

  40. I think a lot of these columnists troll sites like NoQuarter, Partizane, Alegre’s Corner, Anglachel, The Confluence, among other smaller personal sites for ideas. And it’s easier to plagiarize from anonymous bloggers like NewHampster, myiq2xu, etc. because they know that they will likely get away. Catfish on Partizane said that a writer on The Daily Beast took an idea from their post as well: http://partizane.com/node/517

  41. I’m in moderation.

  42. I never understood the hatred of the Clintons.
    Both did and still do all they can to make things a little bit better for a lot of people.
    Are they perfect? No, but who is and look how dull perfect would be.
    When I first came to Ca in 1996, I worked until 3:00am and when I came home on the tv there was Cannidy and Michael Regan. When I first saw them I thought was a takeoff of SNL. I had never seen such hatred I could not believe they were serious. They were filled with anti-Clinton venom. The so called news shows were 24 hours of anti-Clinton is was amazing.



  43. Riverdaughter –

    The sure-fire cure for Britney Spears? TAJ MAHAL! One listen to Fishin’ Blues and you’ll never stray again.

    Go on, treat yourself. You deserve it:

    Merry Christmas to all.

  44. There’s a nasty spill in isle 11:09am!

    I remember Sista Soljah… It’s telling that her musical career, which was nonexistant before she said we should take a day to kill white people, was still nonexistant after she said it.

  45. I do not comment at salon, I hope someone who does tells Greenwald what a dope he is.

  46. Interesting stuff, myiq2xu.

    What these people who plan to wear black arm bands fail to realise is that he will smirk and laugh up his sleeve at them as he rides by , the way he has been laughing all along at the rest of the folks under the bus.

    Obama and I are laughing at Lobotobots.

    I think a lot of these columnists troll sites like NoQuarter, Partizane, Alegre’s Corner, Anglachel, The Confluence, among other smaller personal sites for ideas.

    They totally do. Many of us bloggers/commenters have the experience of hearing an echo.

  47. Obama also reads PUMA blogs/comments. He’s acted directly in response to PUMA criticism.

  48. Riverdaughter –So Sorry — I did not see that post.

    I just never hear about her — If they are not shoving Kennedy down our throats its’ Cumo. I suppose I should know better about media but even on the blogs I have trouble finding stuff about her. We should have a petition for her as much as against Kennedy.

    But I tell you, no disrespect intended, I am tired of all their diverse name spellings. It is all I can do to remember their names.

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