Daily Archives: November 15, 2008

Oh, yeah, racism is no longer a problem in the United States

The battle hasn’t been won; the battle has just begun.

I rarely do this, but here is an Associated Press story in its entirety. It needs no commentary, as it speaks for itself:

Cross burnings. Schoolchildren chanting “Assassinate Obama.” Black figures hung from nooses. Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.

Incidents around the country referring to President-elect Barack Obama are dampening the postelection glow of racial progress and harmony, highlighting the stubborn racism that remains in America.

From California to Maine, police have documented a range of alleged crimes, from vandalism and vague threats to at least one physical attack. Insults and taunts have been delivered by adults, college students and second-graders.

There have been “hundreds” of incidents since the election, many more than usual, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes.

One was in Snellville, Ga., where Denene Millner said a boy on the school bus told her 9-year-old daughter the day after the election: “I hope Obama gets assassinated.” That night, someone trashed her sister-in-law’s front lawn, mangled the Obama lawn signs, and left two pizza boxes filled with human feces outside the front door, Millner said.

She described her emotions as a combination of anger and fear.

“I can’t say that every white person in Snellville is evil and anti-Obama and willing to desecrate my property because one or two idiots did it,” said Millner, who is black. “But it definitely makes you look a little different at the people who you live with, and makes you wonder what they’re capable of and what they’re really thinking.”

Potok, who is white, said he believes there is “a large subset of white people in this country who feel that they are losing everything they know, that the country their forefathers built has somehow been stolen from them.”

Grant Griffin, a 46-year-old white Georgia native, expressed similar sentiments: “I believe our nation is ruined and has been for several decades and the election of Obama is merely the culmination of the change.

“If you had real change it would involve all the members of (Obama’s) church being deported,” he said.

Change in whatever form does not come easy, and a black president is “the most profound change in the field of race this country has experienced since the Civil War,” said William Ferris, senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina. “It’s shaking the foundations on which the country has existed for centuries.”

“Someone once said racism is like cancer,” Ferris said. “It’s never totally wiped out, it’s in remission.”

If so, America’s remission lasted until the morning of Nov. 5.

The day after the vote hailed as a sign of a nation changed, black high school student Barbara Tyler of Marietta, Ga., said she heard hateful Obama comments from white students, and that teachers cut off discussion about Obama’s victory.

Tyler spoke at a press conference by the Georgia chapter of the NAACP calling for a town hall meeting to address complaints from across the state about hostility and resentment. Another student, from a Covington middle school, said he was suspended for wearing an Obama shirt to school Nov. 5 after the principal told students not to wear political paraphernalia.

The student’s mother, Eshe Riviears, said the principal told her: “Whether you like it or not, we’re in the South, and there are a lot of people who are not happy with this decision.”

Other incidents include:

  • Four North Carolina State University students admitted writing anti-Obama comments in a tunnel designated for free speech expression, including one that said: “Let’s shoot that [n-word] in the head.” Obama has received more threats than any other president-elect, authorities say.
  • At Standish, Maine, a sign inside the Oak Hill General Store read: “Osama Obama Shotgun Pool.” Customers could sign up to bet $1 on a date when Obama would be killed. “Stabbing, shooting, roadside bombs, they all count,” the sign said. At the bottom of the marker board was written “Let’s hope someone wins.”
  • Racist graffiti was found in places including New York’s Long Island, where two dozen cars were spray-painted; Kilgore, Texas, where the local high school and skate park were defaced; and the Los Angeles area, where swastikas, racial slurs and “Go Back To Africa” were spray painted on sidewalks, houses and cars.
  • Second- and third-grade students on a school bus in Rexburg, Idaho, chanted “assassinate Obama,” a district official said.
  • University of Alabama professor Marsha L. Houston said a poster of the Obama family was ripped off her office door. A replacement poster was defaced with a death threat and a racial slur. “It seems the election brought the racist rats out of the woodwork,” Houston said.
  • Black figures were hanged by nooses from trees on Mount Desert Island, Maine, the Bangor Daily News reported. The president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas said a rope found hanging from a campus tree was apparently an abandoned swing and not a noose.
  • Crosses were burned in yards of Obama supporters in Hardwick, N.J., and Apolacan Township, Pa.
  • A black teenager in New York City said he was attacked with a bat on election night by four white men who shouted “Obama.”
  • In the Pittsburgh suburb of Forest Hills, a black man said he found a note with a racial slur on his car windshield, saying “now that you voted for Obama, just watch out for your house.”

Emotions are often raw after a hard-fought political campaign, but now those on the losing side have an easy target for their anger.

“The principle is very simple,” said B.J. Gallagher, a sociologist and co-author of the diversity book A Peacock in the Land of Penguins. “If I can’t hurt the person I’m angry at, then I’ll vent my anger on a substitute, i.e., someone of the same race.”

“We saw the same thing happen after the 9/11 attacks, as a wave of anti-Muslim violence swept the country. We saw it happen after the Rodney King verdict, when Los Angeles blacks erupted in rage at the injustice perpetrated by ‘the white man.'”

“It’s as stupid and ineffectual as kicking your dog when you’ve had a bad day at the office,” Gallagher said. “But it happens a lot.”

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‘B’ is for ‘boycott’

Proposition 8 ringleader Frank Schubert is quoted by the Los Angeles Times as having said that Prop 8 opponents “don’t have a right to blacklist and boycott our supporters.”

Oh. Yes. We. Fucking. Do.

Not that the pro-Prop 8 fascists know anyfuckingthing about others’ rights.

But we real Americans who oppose Prop 8 have the First fucking Amendment right to publicize the names of those individuals and businesses that gave money to the pro-Prop 8 cause. That information is public fucking information anyway. Duh.

Call such dissemination of public information “blacklisting” if you wish; it is protected by the First Amendment.

As far as boycotts go, what Schubert is asserting when he states that we Prop 8 opponents do not have the right to boycott is that we consumers actually don’t have the choice as to how we spend our money. So much for the free market that the wingnuts espouse, eh?

Schubert is just upset because he wasn’t expecting backlash and blowback.

He has major fucking egg on his face because those haters he encouraged to give money to his fascist cause are now experiencing the repercussions of their having contributed toward hatred, discrimination and bigotry.

I think that Schubert is going to have a tough time getting his next hate campaign funded. Which is the fucking point of the “blacklisting” and the boycotting that we Prop 8 opponents are doing.

We Californians and Americans have the full fucking right to “blacklist” and to boycott and we will continue to do so.

Although boycotting can be such hard work — keeping track of all of the haters we need to boycott isn’t easy. And sometimes we have to boycott businesses we would prefer not to have to boycott, either because we really enjoy their products or services or we actually more or less need their products or services.

The latest call for a boycott is Cinemark, which reportedly gave $10,000 to the pro-Prop 8 cause. Cinemark does business here in Sacramento as Century Theatres. As much as I love movies, I won’t go to Cinemark-owned movie theaters anymore. It will be inconvenient to have to scratch Century Theatres off of my list of businesses to which I give my money, but unless we punish hatred, bigotry and discrimination — unless we hit them where it hurts — we won’t have our equal rights.

P.S. For the record, I don’t advocate illegal acts against Prop 8 supporters, such as the mailing of white powder to Mormon cult temples. While I don’t feel sorry for the fascist Mormons over having received harmless white powder, legal means of fighting against the “Christo”fascists, such as using the court system to secure our equal human and civil rights and applying economic pressure — through boycotting and “blacklisting” — are much more effective in winning the war that the “Christo”fascists started.

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President-elect Obama AIN’T Abe Lincoln

Lonn Pressnall, dressed as Abraham Lincoln, walks to a polling ...

Associated Press photo

Barack Obama is likable enough. I voted for him.

I was tempted to vote for Ralph Nader, as Nader is more ideologically aligned with me and as Obama was going to win California’s 55 electoral votes no matter what anyway, but I went ahead and voted for Obama –only to discover the next day that about 70 percent of black California voters voted to strip me of my equal human and civil rights as a gay man. But I digress…

As I was saying:

It’s a wee bit too early to carve Obama’s visage into Mount Rushmore, peeps — mmmk?

I never got into Obama worship before Nov. 4 and I’m not into it now. The cleanup job before us after eight long nightmarish years of the sacking of the nation by the members of the unelected Bush regime is too daunting for me to be able to be giddy over Obama.

Maybe he’ll turn out to be a kick-ass president. Maybe. I hope so.

But let’s face it: Following the worst “president” in U.S. history — I mean, George W. Bush not only lost the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore in 2000, but his Repugnican buddies in the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the ballot-counting in Florida for him — anyone is going to look like Abraham fucking Lincoln by comparison.

Not that Obama has exactly distanced himself from the Lincoln comparison. When Obama formally announced his candidacy for president on February 10, 2007 (two days before Lincoln’s birthday) in front of the old state Capitol building in Springfield, Ill. — where Lincoln launched his political career — all that Obama was missing was the stovepipe hat:

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (2nd-L), his daughters Sasha (L) and Malia (C) and his wife Michelle (R), wave to a crowd gathered on the lawn of the old State Capital Building February 10, 2007 in Springfield, Illinois. Obama announced to the crowd that he would seek the Democratic nomination for President.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Barack Obama;Michelle Obama From Getty Images. 

Getty images

The Obama-Lincoln meme is growing and I think that it’s more damaging than helpful.

Yes, Obama and Lincoln both came from Illinois, and yes, Lincoln fought for the abolition of slavery and Obama is black. However, Obama is not the descendant of slaves; his mother was white and his father was from Kenya. In that respect the comparison between Obama and Lincoln withers, and had Obama been the descendant of slaves, there’s a good chance that he never would have won the White House.

In any event, certainly no “angry” black American, such as Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, would have been elected to the White House earlier this month. Leave me a nasty comment on this post for saying this, but I’ll say it anyfuckingway: Obama won the White House only because he acts white. There was no way in hell that enough white voters would have voted for an “angry” black presidential candidate to propel him into the Oval Office.

Even Joe Biden, before Obama picked him as his running mate, remarked to the New York Observer of Obama: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Obama went on to pick Biden anyway, which is supposed to be yet another example of how — just like Lincoln did! — Obama picks his one-time opponents as his colleagues.

This bandwagon comparison of Obama and Lincoln really has got to stop. Here’s an excerpt from a nauseating Associated Press piece on the meme:

WASHINGTON – Presidents typically say they want to be surrounded by strong-willed people who have the courage to disagree with them. President-elect Barack Obama, reaching out to Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republicans, actually might mean it.

Abraham Lincoln meant it. He appointed his bitter adversaries to crucial posts, choosing as war secretary a man who had called him a “long-armed ape” who “does not know anything and can do you no good.”

You could say his Cabinet meetings were frank and open….

It so happens that Obama and New York Sen. Clinton share a reverence for Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book about how Lincoln brought foes into his fold. Clinton listed it during the campaign as the last book she had read. Obama, clearly a student of Lincoln, spoke of it several times.

Now past could be prologue.

Obama is considering Clinton for secretary of state or another senior position, meeting John McCain on Monday to see how his Republican presidential rival might help him in the Senate, and sizing up one-time opponents in both parties for potential recruitment. He made one Democratic presidential opponent, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, his running mate.

“I think it reflects a great inner strength on Obama’s part that he is seriously considering creating a team of rivals as Lincoln did,” Goodwin told The Associated Press [yesterday].

“By surrounding himself with people who bring different perspectives, he will increase his options, absorb dissenting views and heighten his ability to speak empathetically to people on different sides of each issue. The challenge, of course, is to ensure that the discussions do not become paralyzing, and that once a decision is made the inner circle accepts that the time for debate is over,” she said.

During the bitter primary campaign, Clinton dismissed Obama as a neophyte who could not be trusted to handle crises and who had not done much more in politics than make fancy speeches. Obama sniffed that “you’re likable enough, Hillary.”

Yet she strongly supported Obama in the general campaign, not unlike William Henry Seward, the Hillary Clinton of his day.

Seward, the front-runner in the race for the 1860 Republican nomination, was so confident of taking the prize that he went on an eight-month tour of Europe a year earlier, only to see Lincoln vanquish him. Lincoln buried animosities and made him secretary of state….

None of this has been lost on Obama, who said in May that Lincoln’s inclusion of former foes “has to be the approach that one takes.”

At the time, he said he would consider McCain for the Cabinet if that made sense. Now, aides for both men say such a move is not in the works but they will seek other ways to cooperate….

Reaching out to one’s political rivals might at times be politically astute — I was OK with Obama’s selection of Biden as his running mate and I could live with Hillary Clinton as secretary of state — but granting Repugnican John Sidney “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran”/”I Don’t Know How Many Houses I Own” McCain III any important post in his administration would not be politically astute for Obama. Such a move would drive Democrats and the majority of “swing voters” — who rejected McInsane and what he and his ilk stand for at the voting booth — off in droves.

Obama likes to say that there are no red states and no blue states — despite the fact that, according to the Associated Press, more threats have been made against him than his white presidential predecessors:

WASHINGTON – Threats against a new president historically spike right after an election, but from Maine to Idaho, law enforcement officials are seeing more against Barack Obama than ever before.

The Secret Service would not comment or provide the number of cases they are investigating. But since the Nov. 4 election, law enforcement officials have seen more potentially threatening writings, Internet postings and other activity directed at Obama than has been seen with any past president-elect, said officials aware of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the issue of a president’s security is so sensitive….

Federal government officials actually are saying that these increased threats against Obama can’t necessarily be attributed to racism, but the AP also reports:

One of the most popular white supremacist Web sites got more than 2,000 new members the day after the election, compared with 91 new members on Election Day, according to an AP count. The site, stormfront.org, was temporarily off-line Nov. 5 because of the overwhelming amount of activity it received after Election Day.

[Today] one Stormfront poster, identified as Dalderian Germanicus, of North Las Vegas, said, “I want the SOB laid out in a box to see how ‘messiahs’ come to rest. God has abandoned us, this country is doomed.”

As I’ve said before, the Civil War never ended, as the regional political atmosphere from Lincoln’s time to today hasn’t changed nearly enough, and if we’re going to make any comparison between Obama and Lincoln, we accurately can state that both presided over a nation split between hateful dumbfucks, the red-staters, and real Americans, the blue-staters, who, entirely unlike the red-staters, believe in life, liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness for all. That is the American dream, the American ideal — what the red-staters stand for is not the American dream, but is the American nightmare, and therefore I cannot, I do not and I never will consider the red-staters to be my fellow Americans except in the technical, dictionary-definition sense of the word “American.” 

Again, the Civil War never ended, but the danger of comparing President Obama to President Lincoln is that the comparison indicates that we Americans cannot go forward, but can only look backward. Nostalgia won’t solve our problems in the present.

And the danger of all of the talk of Obama including his detractors in his administration — just like Abe Lincoln did! — is that such a watering down of progressive idealism will hamper the recovery from the past eight nightmarish years that the nation needs to make if it is to survive. We cannot afford to be namby-pamby, let’s-try-to-please-everyone right now.

Yes, no matter how unifying President Obama might wish to be, there are blue states and there are red states. The threats against Obama’s life — mostly from red-staters — demonstrate this obvious fact.

The blue states just won the presidential election. The red states need to shut up, sit down and cope with that fact, just as we blue staters just had to endure eight years of their hell.

As the Repugnicans had no problem whatsofuckingever shutting the Democrats out of power when the Repugnicans ran the show, the Democrats owe no favors to the now-defeated Repugnicans, and showing such favors would be a grave disservice to the nation that needs to recover, not to continue to fall, like the ancient Roman empire, under the destructive, anti-democratic impulses of the Repugnicans, wingnuts and “Christo”fascists.

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Repugnicans, ‘Christo’fascists and other assorted wingnuts: Crafty or insane?

For the past eight years the Repugnicans and wingnuts have been in charge of the nation like the patients being in charge of the insane asylum.

Now that they legitimately have lost power because their way of doing things nearly destroyed the nation and its democracy — I believe that a World War III-lovin’ McInsane/Palin-Quayle administration very well might have meant the end of our nation (perhaps even the world) as we know it — what are they going to do now?

They’re going to cry that they are the victims now — never mind the fact that they’ve been the oppressors for the past eight years, from stealing two presidential elections in a row (Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004) and starting the bogus Vietraq War (which was meant to make Dick Cheney’s war profiteering Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp even richer more than it was meant to accomplish anything else, so, when you think about it, that “mission accomplished” banner was accurate) to their last-gasp act of trying to oppress gay men and lesbians even more than they’ve already been oppressed.

So now you have the fascist gay-hating Mormons claiming that those who are fighting back against their unprovoked hatred are, in fact, actually the haters. That’s like the Nazis, who also persecuted gay men and lesbians, claiming that they were, in fact, the victims.

And now when they lose elections, the Repugnicans claim election fraud. Election fraud. The only way that they could “win” the White House in 2000 and in 2004 was to commit election fraud, and having a Repugnican state secretary of state in Florida in 2000 (Katherine Harris) and in Ohio in 2004 (Kenneth Blackwell) sure in the hell made that a lot easier.

The National Repugnican Senatorial Committee today put out an e-mail (I ended up on their e-mail list somehow) with the subject line of “Mischief in Minnesota?” suggesting that because Democrat Al Franken is ahead of Repugnican Norm Coleman in Minnesota’s recount of the U.S. Senate race between them, only vote-counting fraud possibly could explain Franken’s lead.

No, fascist motherfuckers, see, there are these things called ballots, and they can be counted, each and every fucking one of them. Unlike your whacked-out religious beliefs — such as that global warming is just God hugging us more closely — the results of an election can be proven.

Even though the Repugnican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court stopped the ballot-counting in Florida in 2000 so that George W. Bush could “win,” the results of an election can be determined. Hand-counting every last ballot can be incredibly tedious, to be sure, but in a democracy, that’s what you do.

Elections are won by the number of votes received, not by which side screams the loudest, as the Repugnicans “won” the White House in 2000 only because they screamed the loudest.

Let the wingnuts and the “Christo”fascists and the Repugnicans cry “victim” all they want.

We’re taking our nation back. With or without them, whether they like it or not. And we should not hesitate to wield our majority power, as when they were in the majority they never hesitated to wield theirs.

I do wonder, though, when the wingnuts and the Repugnicans and the “Christo”fascists surreally hypocritically claim victimhood, whether they are so insane as to truly believe that they actually are victims when, in fact, they’ve always been the victimizers, or whether they’re actually pretty politically astute as to knowingly falsely claim victimhood for political gain.

In any case, we need to call them on their shit and keep them in their place. Even though they’re in the minority now, they’ll still try to run the show.

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