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Monday, April 19, 2010

Racism, Neo-Confederate Rebellion Reaching A Fever Pitch

Published: April 17, 2010
It's kind of like that legendary stunt on the prime-time soap "Dallas," where we learned that nothing bad had really happened because the previous season's episodes were all a dream. We now know that the wave of anger that crashed on the Capitol as the health care bill passed last month — the death threats and epithets hurled at members of Congress — was also a mirage.
Take it from the louder voices on the right. Because no tape has surfaced of anyone yelling racial slurs at the civil rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis, it’s now a blogosphere “fact” that Lewis is a liar and the “lamestream media” concocted the entire incident. The same camp maintains as well that the spit landing on the Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver was inadvertent spillover saliva from an over-frothing screamer — spittle, not spit, as it were. True, there is video evidence of the homophobic venom directed at Barney Frank — but, hey, Frank is white, so no racism there!
“It’s Not About Race” declared a headline on a typical column defending over-the-top “Obamacare” opponents from critics like me, who had the nerve to suggest a possible racial motive in the rage aimed at the likes of Lewis and Cleaver — neither of whom were major players in the Democrats’ health care campaign. It’s also mistaken, it seems, for anyone to posit that race might be animating anti-Obama hotheads like those who packed assault weapons at presidential town hall meetings on health care last summer. And surely it is outrageous for anyone to argue that conservative leaders are enabling such extremism by remaining silent or egging it on with cries of “Reload!” to pander to the Tea Party-Glenn Beck base. As Beck has said, it’s Obama who is the real racist.
How our current spike in neo-Confederate rebellion will end is unknown. It’s unnerving that Tea Party leaders and conservatives in the Oklahoma Legislature now aim to create a new volunteer militia that, as The Associated Press described it, would use as yet mysterious means to “help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.” This is the same ideology that animated Timothy McVeigh, whose strike against the tyrannical federal government will reach its 15th anniversary on Monday in the same city where the Oklahoma Legislature meets.
What is known is that the nearly all-white G.O.P. is so traumatized by race it has now morphed into a bizarre paragon of both liberal and conservative racial political correctness. For irrefutable proof, look no further than the peculiar case of its chairman, Steele, whose reckless spending and incompetence would cost him his job at any other professional organization, let alone a political operation during an election year. Steele has job security only because he is the sole black man in a white party hierarchy. That hierarchy is as fearful of crossing him as it is of calling out the extreme Obama haters in its ranks.
At least we can take solace in the news that there’s no documentary evidence proving that Tea Party demonstrators hurled racist epithets at John Lewis. They were, it seems, only whistling “Dixie.” LinkHere
by blackwaterdog
Sun Apr 18, 2010 at 12:22:40 PM PDT

I don't really follow any "Tea Party" news, non-stop illogical coverage. And I definitely stay as far as I can from their hateful, lame signs (how could that NYT poll find teabaggers to be "well educated" is quite strange to me). But since it was quite impossible to avoid them completely over the past few days, two quotes caught my attention:
"It's not just because he's black...."
"He's not my president, never ever will be...".
And it got me thinking....

blackwaterdog's diary :: ::
At first, my reaction was: well, Duh. Of course he's not their president. it's not just because he's black, it's also because he's a Kenyan-born-Muslim, a socialist, communist, Marxist, fascist, America-hating Nazi, a regular Adolf Stalin!
But then I thought, this is too easy. It's gotta be something more. The very interesting Muzikal203' diary suggested another possibility: It's not enough that he's black (Kenyan-born-Muslim, a socialist, communist, Marxist, fascist, America-hating Nazi, a regular Adolf Stalin!), he's basically winning 90% of the fights. And it drives them nuts. The amount of things that he managed to achieve in 15 months – and I'm only talking about stuff you can describe as "first ever" or "for the first time in decades" or "the biggest ever" -scares the shit out of their already terrorized souls.
Plus, if someone like him can become president - Hey, Scott Brown "always said that Obama is an American". Hallelujah! - what's next? A gay president????!!! Brrrr.
But i think there's another possible layer to this. Right now I'm in the middle of reading David Remnick' Obama biography – 'The Bridge' (Well, not really in the middle, page 120, and this beast is 600 loaded pages long, and Obama wasn't even born until page 55). Obviously a lot of the stuff is familiar to anyone who read 'Dreams From My Father', but this is from a a very different point of view, it's much more rounded, all the pseudonyms from 'Dreams' get their real names here, many of them are quoted on record, and there's a lot of new stuff too. It's very well written and fascinating. Anyway, that's not the point.
The point is couple of anecdotes from early in the book:
The Joella Edwards story ('Correta' in the president's memoir). She was the only black kid in Punahou School in Hawaii and she went through hell there. Kids called her terrible names; she came home crying every day. When she tried to raise her grades and started studying harder, her teacher accused her of cheating and she was forced to take the test again. So after the ninth grade, she dropped out and enrolled in a public school. "I was a basket case for years", she told Remnick.
The only thing that kept her sane that year was this new kid, Barry.
Here's Joella:
"When we first met, we were ten years old. He came to school and I was so excited. This kid has my same coloring. He looked like me. He was just like me. We didn't avoid each other, we were drawn to each other, but we had to keep our distance, or they all mocked us as a couple – the two black kids. And yet, Barry never rejected me. He was my knight in shining armor".
One quote from Lisa Jack, a friend who took this famous photo shoot when they were at Occidental College: "If he saw you sitting alone, he would just come sit down with you".
And the story of Sohale Siddiqi, a guy from Pakistan who overstayed his tourist visa and was living illegally on the Upper east Side, and somehow became one of young Obama's best friends when he just arrived to New York and went to Colombia University. Siddiqi was trouble. He was drinking and doing drugs. Young Barack Obama was beyond that already, yet they became friends and shared an apartment, even though they lived an entirely different lives. Obama refused to judge him. Siddiqi told Remnick: "At that age, I thought he was a saint and a square, and he took himself too seriously. I would ask him why he was so serious. He was genuinely concerned with the plight of the poor. He would give me lectures, which I thought were boring".
Then, Remnick writes:
Siddiqi learned to admire Obama's forgiving temperament. Obama, he noticed, never said anything when Siddiqi's mother, who has never spent time around a black man, was rude to him. Long after Obama moved out, because of Siddiqi's constant partying, Obama proved a constant friend when Siddiqi developed a serious cocaine problem. Many years later, Siddiqi recorded a telling message for his answering machine: "My name is Hal Siddiqi and I approve this message. Vote for peace, vote for hope, vote for change and vote for Obama".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

19/4/10 2:41 AM  

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