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Thursday: Minds wide open, brains falling out

This is a busy morning.  I’ve got family coming in from out of town and 10 months of blogging has not done wonders for my housekeeping skills.  So, I’ll make this short and will leave you to follow the links.

I was very disappointed to find out today that someone who I have great respect for has implied that we are racists or have racist thoughts or approve of racism or use racist dogwhistle themes in our posts.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We do not approve of racism and take active steps to remove any reference to racist themes from our posts.

However, it is the case that sometimes reality is reality and people in the news of all races, class, status, color, gender, you name it, do things that make them look bad.  This is an unavoidable fact of like.  It is also the case that sometimes programs and federal funds that are created for very good purposes are exploited by people who happen to be of all races, class, color, gender, you name it, who *are*, after all, imperfect humans.  Greed and bad behavior is not restricted to Republicans.  We have seen that some Democrats are quite capable of it.

As I said before, I do not have time to get into all of the details but I keep pretty current with news over time and I am aware that in some minority neighborhoods, some homeowners were steered into ill-advised loans when they might have applied for more stable FHA loans. Do I know all of the details?  No.  I do not.  BUT I do know that many lenders have played fast and loose with predatory lending practices and that the burden of these loans and their ballooning payments falls disproportionately on the poor.  The poor pay more for everything, as a matter of fact, including groceries when there aren’t large chain stores in their neighborhoods, and banking in general and for pay day loans, etc, etc.  It’s a well-known pattern of exploitation and part of the cycle of poverty.

I also know that to grant a group like ACORN money from a bailout bill in a year when one of its former associates is running for president is remarkably politically tone deaf.  It smacks of a conflict of interest, especially when that group’s well known  GOTV operations is combined with what we know of that politician’s propensity to unburden himself from scruples when it is convenient to him.

Now, you can take that any way you want it.  But racist it is not.  And as for the affirmative action candidacy of Barack Obama, we merely report on perceptions.  When you have a less experienced, unqualified male vaulting to the top over a more experienced, knowledgeable woman who put in her time and played by the rules, and strings were pulled for that man, *in spite of all we have seen about his inability to lead*, it smacks of affirmative action practices of the worst kind that play right into Republican hands.

What I have read in the past month, since I and other PUMAs put our asses on the line in Denver, has disturbed me greatly not so much because of the secretive. cliquey, gossipy communications between those bloggers who we thought were our friends but because these same people feel very comfortable commenting from the sidelines but refuse to get themselves dirty.  I’ve even had one blogger ask me to submit a list of the racist comments we have deleted to prove that we don’t let them linger. They have no right to criticize those of us who march into the battle and put our reputations on the line, who have been frequently misinterpreted, sometimes deliberately so, in order to speak up.

Those of us in the PUMA and related efforts have made many attempts to reach out to Anglachel to get her to join in some greater effort unrelated to PUMA, some greater effort beyond herself.  She has been playing very coyly and hard to get but doesn’t waste a minute talking about us behind our back instead of actively engaging in conversation.  If she or anyone at Corrente wants to call myself, Sheri or Darragh racists and in bed with Republicans, let them do it to our faces.  We will happily give them our addresses.  I want them to look in my face and accuse me of racism and Republicanism.  And bring *proof*.

I am beyond disappointed.