Sunday, September 27, 2009

Racism is Alive and Well in America...

“Lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering
than outright rejection.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everything now, we must assume, is in our hands; we have no
right to assume otherwise. If we do not falter in our duty now,
we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare,
and achieve our country, and change the history of the world.

-- James Baldwin

I swear to the Lord
I still can't see
Why Democracy means
Everybody but me.

~Langston Hughes, The Black Man Speaks


When Congressman Wilson Interrupted
President Barack Obama during his speech
to both houses of congress and called him a liar,
was this about race or racism? 

Travis Larimer  09.16.09
I’m from South Carolina. People from outside the South can’t really begin to understand the nuances of racism in Southern culture. In South Carolina, educated, white conservatives of the upper class, like Joe Wilson, in particular have a unique brand of racism, which is usually characterized by an intentional segregation from black southerners in any capacity that would imply the two groups are socially equal.
Living in the same neighborhoods or eating at the same restaurants is something that just doesn’t happen.

I think it’s important to understand exactly how Rep. Wilson’s outburst was a result of racism. It’s not as simple as, “Rep. Wilson believes the President is lying because he is black,” or “Rep. Wilson told the President he is lying because Rep. Wilson is a racist.” Those are oversimplifications of a complex cultural issue.

Joe Wilson’s outburst, the act itself, rather than the words, results from the shattering of his Southern white perspective of racial superiority and entitlement . Joe Wilson would not have felt justified in yelling at a white President. It’s even unlikely that he would have acted in a similar way toward another white congressman. It is because President Obama is a black man that Rep. Wilson feels that it is fully within the scope of his social standing to shout him down and essentially call him a liar in front of the entire world. For an upper class southerner, having a black man in a position of authority over you is completely inconceivable.

This isn’t the overt, KKK/neo-Nazi racism of 60 minutes and television
documentaries. This is a sense of white supremacy that is so firmly
ingrained in Southern culture that it’s doubtful Mr. Wilson
is even aware of it.

stuff white people do

"The ways of white folks, I mean, some white folks . . ."
                   (Langston Hughes)

A Black Agenda
Radio commentary
by executive editor Glen Ford

White people, in the majority,
don't think they are racist
- but they are.

...White folks think they are superior,
the definition of racism.
They are convinced that race relations have been getting better
over the last ten years, and will improve further
in the next decade. Of course, white people
will not have to give up any power to achieve this goal; it is a gift.
The delusions of white America are amazing, and shape a world
view that threatens human existence. White academics constantly
explore the psyche of Black people, but never their own
- the people in power. The Zogby poll shows that whites harbor
deep problems, that can kill us all, if they are not cured.

Racism Alive and Thriving in America,

There is a deep cultural malady in white America, a kind of delusional
disease that prevents them from seeing reality, as it is. They know that
racism exists, but deny any role in it. They recognize that systemic
prejudice has societal effects, but claim they play no part in the process.
They realize that the Republican Party is the party of racism, but vote for
it, anyway. White folks have an unexamined problem. Theyt ought to
stop looking at us Black folks, as if we are the flawed specimens,
and take care of their own contradictions.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford.

Click here to comment Here to blog Or here to discuss

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die,
life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.

—Langston Hughes

More on Joe Wilson's
Interruption of President Obama

Nana Olson, SC
As working adults, my husband and I raised our three children
and lived in Virginia for nearly 30 years. We witnessed racism
but never defined as we see it living in SC these past 6 years.

I do believe it is good to feel passionate about our birthplace and its lore,
customs, and history. However, in reading about Joe Wilson, and his love
for all that is the South, I find him romanticizing what he refers to as being
a “patriot” and being “proud” of his heritage. From what I read, I believe
Joe Wlson is incredibly lacking in understanding or recognition of the human
tragedy caused by slavery and racism and the continued loss we
witness here in SC from persistent discrimination at the state level.

Joe Wilson’s tactics in Jim Clyburn’s congressional area, appear to me to
be purposeful and downright nasty. Our President needs to deny racism is
the basis for much of the unreasonable and angry protest against him and
what he is trying to do. I believe that
we at the grassroots level can, and should, call it as we see it.
Thank you President Carter, it is blatant racism.

Joe Wilson needs to be held responsible for his actions. It is up to us to
commit to bring real change to SC. Have faith, the truth is a great witness.
Let’s get it out!

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity
toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man,
that he’s African American,” Carter told NBC yesterday.

“I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way and I’ve seen
the rest of the country that shared the South’s attitude toward minority groups
at that time … and I think it’s bubbled up to the surface,” Carter said, “because
of a belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country,
that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.”


Our friend Yael Abouhalkah, meanwhile, over at the Kansas City Star sounds a bit like
Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men” telling those who dispute Carter’s claim that
they can’t handle the truth:

He’s just stating the facts, whether Americans want to hear them or not. Carter’s
complaints aren’t aimed at all Americans, just at those who don’t think a black
person deserves to be president. And there are millions in this country. So as the
conservative base and others get whipped into a frenzy over Carter’s remarks,
they need to cool down.

Verne Stolte  09.16.09

I’m as sick of the race card as anyone. In most cases it’s overplayed but in this case,
President Carter is right and it fits.  Joe Wilson would never have shown such disrespect
for the office of the president at a joint session of congress, unless he had no respect for
the person who happens to be president and also black.

Wilson has shown his true colors - the bars and stripes

Jim 09.16.09

President Carter is correct. Racism is the main factor behind all of the anger against
President Obama. Look at all the silly charges thrown at Obama like Obama is not a
US citizen, therefore not a legitimate President, and he is turning the country into a
Socialist country. Look at bigots showing up with guns outside Obama events.
Look at protesters demanding “I want my country back.”
Did anyone see this reaction against Reagan, Bush, Clinton?

Joe Wilson is clown and a bigot. He was one of the few South Carolina legislators
voting in favor of the confederate flag in defence of his heritage.

sharon 09.16.09

I think President Carter has said aloud what we all know to be the truth. These angry
crowds at town hall meetings carrying guns, Obama/Hilter posters and crying
”I want my Country back,” are exactly the Americans President Carter is calling out.
They stand up so proudly interrupting real debate with their ignorance while smiling
proudly for FOX NEWS.

Timus, Powder Springs, GA 09.16.09

The unprecedented disrespect is what is racist!
He would have NEVER done that to a white male!!

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless
midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood
can never become a reality.... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love
will have the final word.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

November 16, 2009 is Tolerance Day

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tinfoil hats, torture, fear-mongering, and lies...

I have noticed over the years that
tinfoil hat, right wing ideagogues.
The apologists for neo-fascisim.
The con-men.

Those willing to embrace wiretapping,
torture, murder, rape, or any other manner
of atrocity which might advance their
ideological agenda... have standard
tactics they use when avoiding issues,
discussions, or constructive arguments
based in fact.

Rather than addresssing real
situations, specific issues, or
practical matters... they
prefer hypotheical cases.

Instead of facing the fact that Iran is a
nation full of people who have been victimized
by their leaders, they propose that we consider
nonexistant neighbors in pretend back yards who
they imagine may be building flame throwers or
ticking bombs. They find paranoid fantasies more
compelling than facing the truth or real issues.

But for anyone who really
wants to talk about Iran,
we have a large Persian
community right here
in Portland, Oregon.
Many of these good people
are my friends. They can
provide the information

necessary to prevent fanatics, syncophants, and the
misguided... from lobbying for the murder of their
families and destruction of their nation.

Hateful and fear-mongering, based on
partisan claptrap, disinformation, distortion,
logical fallacies, and flat lies are no way to
run a nation, a neighborhood, or your life.
We can educate the clueless. Yes we can.

in peace and with best regards,


Monday, September 14, 2009

We can get along…

Fear is no basis for running a nation.
We get it.

We have been provided with ample example
of what
"wonders" endless corporate wars
produce: Death, destruction, dishonor,
disgrace, and decline.

When we take care of business, reassemble a
trategic diplomatic corps, rebuild our infrastructure,
and stop overextending and abusing our military with
irresponsible corporate adventures abroad...

courage and prudence will allow
the Iranian people find freedom
while the the American people
secure peace
with honor.

The time for hysterics and
hystrionics is over. Buck up.

With courage and wisdom we can
conquer fear
and studious ignorance.
And soar like an eagle...

Bet on it.


Preemptive Terrorism...

One cannot bomb a nation and a people
because we disagree with their leaders.

In 2001 the USA was bombed because some
Saudi Arabians felt we had inferior leaders.
Sick theories about the efficacy of preemptive
aggression violate every American tradition.

Preemptive war only legitimzes attacks on this
nation. Soverign nations must not be attacked,
invaded, or occupied unless they have attacked,
invaded, or occupied another soverign state.
Our nation was founded up0n, guided by, and
kept safe according to these principles until the
"Bush doctrine" was embraced. We have seen
the folly of that doctrine. We got hit on their watch.

Those who advocate bombing Iran because we do not like
their leader are insane. Reckless aggressors who subscribe to such
theories are why we were attacked on 9/11. We cannot defeat our
enemies by surrendering to tactics of terror and methods of fascism.
Such illogical and perverse "theories" are nonsense. Amoral
preemptive aggression is terrorism, pure and simple.

Bad tactics, bad ideas, and bad news. Those who claim ethics are
"situational," are sociopaths and criminals without scruples or
integrity. We need not surrender our principles to secure our liberty.
best regards, Tim

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Obama embraces Bush Cheney Doctrine

The most frightening aspect of the
illegal, immoral, and insane

Bush/Cheney Doctrine...

is that Obama embraces

and endorses it

Barack also clings to
the suspension of habeaus corpus,
and the right to "render" American citizens
for torture, rape, and or murder...

These remain dangerous times.

"The Pentagon's civilian contractor work force in
Afghanistan outnumbers the deployment of
uniformed U.S. soldiers, with contractors accounting
for 57 percent of Defense Department personnel,
according to a new report by the Congressional Research Service."

"The reliance on a civilian work force rather than American military
personnel represents "the highest recorded percentage of contractors
used by DOD in any conflict in the history of the United States,"
concludes the report, which was obtained by the Federation of
American Scientists."

The report is based on the Pentagon's surveys of contractors in Iraq
and Afghanistan. Overall, as of March 31, 2009, the Defense
Department employed more than 240,000 contractors in the two
war zones, compared with approximately 282,000 uniformed soldiers.

This does not bode well for America, Afghanistan, Iraq,or your wallet.
We still need some accountability.

Theoccupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are expensive, deadly,
and counterproductive. It is time to remove our troops, and replace
them with international peacekeepers. The misuse of our troops in
these nations to enforce illegalcost-plus, no-bid, contracts for a variety
of corporate ambitions and priorities is feckless, irresponsible, inappropriate,
and will continue to cost lives and resources for no good reason.

We must end these occupations and begin rebuilding this nation by
investing in jobs, parks, infrastructure, ports, utilities,research, and
education. Wasting our resources abroad on ill-considered corporate
misadventures prevents us from providing the universal health-care and
education which will be necessaryif this nation ever hopes to endure,
survive, compete, and prevail in today's globally interconnected marketplace.

Endless war, mercantilism, empire-building, and neocolonialism...have
proven unmitigated disasters for this nation, our allies,and for the globe.
It is time we end the occupations, restore the rule of law, demand
constitutional integrity, and build bridges to peace, progress, and prosperity.

This will take courage, commitment, and common sense.
Those who broke the law must be prosecuted and pay for their crimes,
so that the rest of us can get on with our lives, restore our reputation,
salvage some integrity, and begin a rebuilding process of reconciliation
and renewal which may well be redemptive.