Archive for the ‘racism’ Category
Fred Barnes, most noted for his work on Fox News, seemed to have no problem when a caller referred to President-elect Barack Obama as “monkey boy” in an obvious racist cheap shot. Barnes said absolutely nothing about it and merely nodded in approval at the overall tone of what the caller was saying to him. It was the height of irresponsibility for Barnes to not at least check the caller on his racist language (even though Barnes (who was being interviewed on CSPAN) obviously agreed with the conservative pro-Bush tone of the ignorant caller’s statement.
Iowa Congressman Steve King, who said some hateful things toward President-elect Barack Obama during the campaign for the presidency (including proclaiming that terrorists would be “dancing in the streets” if Obama was elected), now has shifted focus (as politicians so often do) to start to criticize Obama for the plan to use his middle name during his swearing in on Jan. 20.
This is from a Politico story:
After telling the Associated Press last year that Obama’s middle name was among the reasons Islamic terrorists would rejoice over his election, King says he’s since been careful to avoid using it. Thus he found Obama’s decision to allow it be mentioned on the steps of the Capitol “bizarre” and “a double-standard.”
“Is that reserved just for him, not his critics?” King asked.
The congressman says he doubts Obama’s sincerity when he explained that he chose to use his middle name so as to be historically consistent with past inaugurations, when America has heard the full names of its presidents echo from the inaugural stand.
“Whatever his reasons are,” King said, “the one he gave us could not be the reason.”
He continued: “The society is a little strange about this. If you’re speaking the truth and in an effort to be objective, there should be nothing off limits in a free society, [but] there are many biases building and clearly a double-standard.”
It is not “clearly a double standard” as King puts it. In fact, I would ask Rep. King how many times he has used the middle name of Sen. John McCain? I would ask all Republicans how many times they used the middle name of McCain throughout the presidential campaign. As a matter of fact, I don’t even know what McCain’s middle name is or whether or not he has a middle name. I can guarantee you this, not a single Republican would be trying to use his middle name if it was Harry or Howard. But, because it is Hussein, it was seen as a way to use anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism as a weapon against Obama. When Obama has his middle name used, when he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, I doubt he will be using it as many conservatives were using it (to try and scare Americans with racism).
Revisionist Historian/President George W. Bush Trying To Repackage Hurricane Katrina Response CatastrophePosted: January 15, 2009 in African American, CNN, controversy, hurricane, hurricane katrina, New Orleans, Politicians, race, racism, United States, White
President Bush has come under fire for the federal government’s slow response (yeah, I said “slow”) to the catastrophe that was Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. The president was largely viewed as insensitive and out of touch as people suffered in New Orleans and elsewhere from the devastating effects of the hurricane. Watch this video as President Bush becomes ridiculously defensive and probably paranoid about what many people feel as largely hislegacy of failure/inadequacy as president of the United States of America. But, CNN’s Campbell Brown checks the president on his strange contention that the government was now slow in its response to Hurricane Katrina.
You know, some days it just amazes me how people work hard to write controversial articles (nothing wrong with that) without thinking their argument through fully (something wrong with that). Politico has an article running on its Web site that is titled “In politics, does race trump gender?” As is the case with a number of people, the issue of race generally gets people fired up (as does gender … so imagine when you combine the two) and certainly creates a level of interest different and higher than most other topics. In other words, great headline. The first sentence, however, made my jaw drop and nearly bust a hole through the top of my desk, “How comehas had such an easy time getting to the while has had such a hard time?” I’m thinking it would be news to Roland Burris that he has had an “easy time” getting into the U.S. Senate. President-elect Barack Obama came out against him, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid came out against him, most Democrats were against him (and he is in their party), he was being unfairly linked to disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, he had people trying to dig up dirt on him, the Illinois Secretary of State did not want to certify him, he had to go to the courts and get a ruling, he was turned away from the U.S. Senate in the rain while being hounded by reporters and photographers … etc. You get the picture. Apparently, according to Politico, that was easy. Smooth sailing into the U.S. Senate for Roland Burris. Is Kennedy getting the harder time? Who knows? To my knowledge, she has not even officially been nominated (by New York Gov. David Paterson) to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate. In fact, I believe she is still just one of many potential candidates (obviously, she is the most high profile of the individuals in the running to replace Hillary). And, Kennedy is probably the front runner in this race to fill that seat. Here is a strange statement from the Politico article, “Once supporters of Roland Burris made his appointment to the Senate all about race, the deal was done, though it took a few days for Senate leaders to wake up to the fact.” Not everyone made it about race. Rep. Bobby Rush did bring race into the issue, but not all Burris supporters linked this to race. In fact, I would argue that most supporters of Burris’ nomination supported him because they believed there was no legal reason to deny him. But, I understand it makes for a better and more controversial article to make the issue about race rather than the legalese of the appointment. I would not have a problem with Caroline Kennedy being appointed to replace Hillary Clinton … if that is what the governor chooses. Burris’ political credentials are strong while Caroline Kennedy must be asked questions since she has not been involved in politics. It does not mean she should be excluded due to a lack of experience, but it does mean that people have a right to ask some tough questions of her. So far, she has been pretty solid under the media spotlight. The article asks why Kennedy has been asked tough questions about foreign and domestic issues, but Burris has not been asked those same questions. I’m not sure he has not been asked those questions. And, if he has not been asked those questions, perhaps it’s because he has been asked more questions about the person appointing him (Blagojevich) in a bizarre and almost unbelievable scandal that has the media largely obsessed. Maybe Kennedy has had to deal with things that Burris has not had to deal with, but clearly Burris has had to deal with things that Kennedy has not had to deal with in trying to gain a seat in the U.S. Senate. But, I think it’s almost premature to talk much about Kennedy going to the U.S. Senate when I am not sure she has been formally nominated by Gov. Paterson.
Now that Sean Hannity has essentially been granted his own full 60-minute block of television hate, his new exclusive show on Fox News, he has to be feeling pretty good about himself. Now, the extremist right-wing host will be able to (now completely unchallenged) spew all kinds of hatred toward anything that is either middle of the road or liberal. But, I concur with a popular opinion I’ve already been hearing among many liberals … the show will fast become tired. There is only so much Hannity that most mainstream people (not even just those on the left) can stomach before they will become nauseous (first) and bored (later). This show will eventually pale in comparison to Hannity and Colmes as people will see how talented Colmes was (even if he was much more of a moderate than a liberal and he was far too classy and soft spoken to truly contrast the far more arrogant, extremist right wing and outspoken Hannity). Just as Hannity’s America was a show that made you think it was nap time … Hannity’s new weekday hour will be more of the same.
It amazes me how anything related to race makes some people feel so uptight and defensive. CNN has a story today (Jan. 9) on its Web site related to a race-based experiment conducted by Science, a professional journal. The CNN article was titled, “You may be more racist than you think, study says.” The study was designed to take a closer look at the racist feelings that exist inside of some people and how people react to something that is subtly racist more than overtly racist. It was an interesting story, to some extent, but there was nothing groundbreaking in the story or the study. I doubt there was much of anything in the article or study surprising except some of the conclusions about how many people the study indicated have, show or tolerate things that are racist. Here is the passage, “More recent work by Greenwald and colleagues shows that most people — between 75 and 80 percent — have implicit, non-overt prejudices against blacks.” That surprised me and I would want to see more information in regard to the study about what is and is not considered racist. But, with the experiment described in the study, I think the racism was fairly obvious, yet a large number of the people who participated in the study were not so bothered by the racist language and behavior. Now, as is the case with many online stories I read, I was interested in the reader comments. I knew that a number of people would go immediately on the defensive with regard to the story. A large number of respondents criticized the fact that there was no study of black-on-white racism. Some went hysterical and said the conclusion was that all whites are apparently racist, according to the study. It amazed me that some people could read that article and be more bothered by the fact they saw no study of black-on-white racism or some other form of racism. Apparently, some people were more bothered by that than the use of the N-word. It seems you have to be pretty moved by an item or items you’ve read to post something on a message board (even though you are mostly anonymous). Why were some people more bothered by the lack of different studies than the use of racist slurs? That, quite frankly, is puzzling to me. The article should make all of us think about the prejudices that may exist inside of us. It may be prejudices against blacks, Latinos, Asians, whites, immigrants (sometimes code for Latinos), gays, lesbians, trans gender and more that may exist inside of us. We need to examine those feelings without going nuclear and becoming uptight and defensive.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein has shown the kind of toughness and character that it’s a shame more Democrats are not showing these days. Feinstein has broken with her party in support of seating Roland Burris as the junior senator from Illinois to replace President-elect Barack Obama (once the paperwork is complete). Now, obstructionists in Illinois and in the U.S. Senate are trying to stop Burris, but I at least applaud Feinstein for having the character to stand up for what is right instead of trying to play politics and “look good” to the public and to try to avoid giving political ammunition to the Republicans.
Said Feinstein as quoted by Politico:
“I can’t imagine the secretary of state countermanding a gubernatorial appointment,” Feinstein said. “The question, really, is one in my view of law. And that is, does the governor have the power to make the appointment? And the answer is yes. Is the governor discredited? And the answer is yes.
“Does that affect his appointment power? And the answer is no until certain things happen.”
Later in the article, Feinstein alludes to a point I have made in that this could set a dangerous precedent for opposing appointments like this made by governors in the future. If renegade senators (like Harry Reid is appearing to be) and other politicians can decide not to seat someone because they don’t like that person, don’t like a governor or because a governor is in some sort of trouble (how much or how little is up for interpretation) then how far can this go and how widely can this be applied?