A discussion of race, politics, media and the like… What I see is what you get.

GOP/Republican smears

After White House Invite, Conservatives Get Tough on Soft Rapper | The Nation

Conservative/Republican/Tea Party members will try to find ANYTHING to be outraged over. This is another in a long line of made up controversies that right wing media has manufactured. Let’s be clear, I don’t care for a lot of the music porported by the right wing media. Some of it I find highly offensive and racist but that never seems to be an issue with them being invited to a Republican Whitehouse or Hannity’s show. Likewise, the President’s choice of vistors doesn’t have to be ok’d by a constantly nagging and perpetually inane right wing media. And its time the media stop being led around by the nose as the right-wing media manufactures another nothing story. After Van Jones, Sherrod, NPR, Planned Parenthood, ACORN, Black Panthers, birthers, deathers, Donald Trump and the like, you would think they would learn.

Common has been an advocate of Obama’s since his presidential campaign. Get a life. And listen to some good music while you’re at it… Check the lyrics.

Updated: Common performs at The White House…

After White House Invite, Conservatives Get Tough on Soft Rapper | The Nation.

April 27, 2011: A Day of National Shame

Silence in the face of racism shows complicity…

A factually non-issue was permitted become a national issue, not because of Donald Trump and the media. No, this was the ultimate result, of the silence and tacit acquiescence of white political, religious, and community leaders, especially leaders of faith-based organizations, who sat, said and did nothing to counter this insidious new form of 21st-century racism. The silence and abnegation of moral leadership, by persons whom we should have otherwise expected to publicly to challenge this growing “birther” issue, is a stain on the conscience of our nation. – Clarence B. Jones

via Clarence B. Jones: April 27, 2011: A Day of National Shame.

Show Me Your Papers’ Politics Could Suppress Black Vote

Racism = Prejudice + power. The power to legislatively and politically supress and oppress based on skin color. When those disproportionally affected negatively by your policy are of a particular color (or class) you are practicing racism (or classism). It’s also necessary to mention that no epithet was used in the process and their are political & legislative winners in these policies…and they are, for the most part, members of the white majority culture.

Proponents of these restrictive laws allege that they’re necessary to curb vote fraud but can proffer no real empirical data to support their claims. The evidence makes plain that vote fraud is a myth and few states can put forth examples of individuals impersonating the dead or undocumented persons casting ballots at the polls. The baseless claims of vote fraud serve only to stir up anxieties and spark unnecessary hysteria.
And, the racially charged and xenophobic atmosphere in which many of these efforts are unfolding is undeniable. In a recent legislative hearing, Kansas State Rep. Connie O’Brien claimed that she could tell that a person was illegally in the country because of their “olive complexion.”
In Georgia, during a hearing leading up to the adoption of a restrictive proof of citizenship requirement, State Senator George Hooks, remarked that “we’ve been invaded by people who were born and raised elsewhere. They don’t share our language. They don’t share our culture…. They eat foreign food…. They don’t share the same manners we share.” Both states now have burdensome photo id and proof of citizenship requirements in place. – Kristen Clarke

thegrio.com by Mobify.

What America Means When It Asks For Your Papers

Racism, as seen in 2011. No N-word necessary. Racism was never soley about a slur.
Racism = Prejudice + Power…

A MUST READ article.

Jonathan Blanks reflects on the history of black disenfranchisement, coining his “new nigger rule” inspired by comedian Paul Mooney:

A NNR is a legal or administrative procedure which is enforced with benign pretense, yet has the demonstrable effect of abetting racism, prejudice, or otherwise just screwing the black guy. Historical examples include, but are not limited to, the Grandfather Clause, poll taxes, and literacy/constitutional knowledge tests to vote. -Adam Serwer

I would love to hear your comments on this one…

What America Means When It Asks For Your Papers.

State GOP Representative says Blacks Earn Less Because They Don’t Work as Hard.

In 2011, we still have this type of elected official with the power to legislate over people (minorities) with whom they have much disdain. She should not be close to any of the reigns of political power. Period. The fact that she is proves that racism today is alive and well. And no N-word is necessary.

Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern is known for ruffling a few feathers with her politically incorrect statements, and her latest remarks are no different.

Kern, a Republican, was reported as having said that blacks don’t work as hard as whites, and helped the Oklahoma House of Representatives pass a constitutional amendment yesterday that would eliminate affirmative action in state government.

Rep. T.W. Shannon, the sponsor of the bill, explained the reasoning behind the bill: “While discrimination exists, I don’t think affirmative action has been as successful as we like to believe.”

Kern said that minorities earn less than whites do because they don’t put worth the same amount of initiative and aren’t as motivated as whites to succeed.

“We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school? I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.”

She also said women earn less because “they tend to spend more time at home with their families.”

Kern is known for her extremist opinions — from saying homosexuality is more dangerous than terrorism=fBmCA4z8Yzc to introducing legislation to force teachers to question evolution. – Dexter Mullins

via State GOP rep: Blacks earn less because they don’t work as hard.

Trump Insults ‘the blacks,’ Again.

Forget what you heard!!! Racism is a “white” phenomenon…it is not purported or perpetrated by Blacks, it is not given life by Blacks calling it out, it is not something Blacks can stop. We as Blacks do not control racism. Racism is controlled by those that benefit politically or economically or socially or wade in it’s privilege with their silent complicity.

Years ago at a party, a fete filled with the gorgeous mosaic that is New York City, an African American friend told me a joke. “What do they call a black doctor in the South?” she asked. Before I could respond, she said, “Nigger!” And she said it in that slavemaster-from-“Roots” kinda way for dramatic and comedic effect. We both howled.

The joke was as ugly as the word that is its punchline. But it voiced a truth all black professionals feel deep in their core. No matter how hard we work. No matter how hard we play by the rules. No matter how much we prove through grades, degrees or just plain success, we are less-than. And to be clear: less than white people. No matter what we do, we will never measure up. We will never truly have it made.

What made me — and countless others, blacks and whites, I’ve heard from — so sad yesterday was that even as president of the United States, a job he worked hard to attain and will have to work even harder to keep, Barack Obama was not immune to the reality of my friend’s crude joke. His legitimacy as president was challenged by folks who doubt his American citizenship. But even after the racist birther conspiracy was once again proven false yesterday with the release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate, Donald Trump dug deeper into the racist rabbit hole by questioning Obama’s academic achievement.

Lawrence O’Donnell last night went right at the loathsome dog-whistle politics employed by Trump.

“Trump turned from attacking one man’s birth certificate to trying to undermine the acceptance of the academic credentials of not just Barack Obama,” O’Donnell said, “but of African Americans generally.”

And with that sentence, O’Donnell spoke to why I and countless other African Americans felt wounded by what Trump did. As I explained on O’Donnell’s show in response, we felt wounded because in 2011 you can work hard, play by the rules, achieve great things academically and professionally and still have people look at you as less-than, look at you as not deserving of the things you worked hard to achieve, look at you as unqualified despite plenty of evidence to the contrary because you are black — even if you are the leader of the free world.

After the early victories in Obama’s quest for the 2008 Democratic nomination, young whites drawn to this transformational figure took to chanting “race doesn’t matter.” There have been debates and countless column inches devoted to whether we now live in a post-racial society as many insisted. What happened yesterday — from the release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate to Trump’s taunts about the president’s academic achievement — should show everyone that we do not live in a post-racial America. Not when even the White House can’t be a refuge from racism. And not when someone who proclaims to have “a great relationship with the blacks” gleefully proves every day that that’s a lie. -Jonathan Capehart

Trump insults ‘the blacks,’ again – PostPartisan – The Washington Post.

Why Obama Can’t Escape America’s Great ‘birth defect’…

Race is EVERYWHERE…because it is the original sin of this country. And those with the power and control to stop it have ignored it while continuing to reap its benefits. I will not ignore it. I cannot.

And it seems even the President cannot escape it either…

Worse than all of this, was that just like the late baseball legend Jackie Robinson before him, President Obama has to put up with the insults, lunacy, and outright bigotry with a smile. He can’t lose his cool because he is the first. He must handle himself with grace and class or the next black candidate for president won’t stand a chance.
For many of us who are educated African-Americans of a new generation, we get it. We live it. We know what it feels like to be the first in our firms, corporations, universities, or industries. We know coded race talk when we see it. We know what it feels like to be delegitimized, and questioned, stared down in a funny way regardless of the accolades and laurels of our degrees or achievements.
And we hurt for the president yesterday.
We tweeted and Facebooked, texted and emailed in total shock and awe. I think it took a good five minutes for my younger brother, a minister, and my mom to calm me down on the phone as I was yelling at the top of my lungs about how appalled I was that the president of the United States was being treated in such a shameful manner. I truly felt off center — like I had personally been kicked. Once we stopped and prayed, I was able to put pen to paper and begin to write down my thoughts.
In a March 2008 interview with The Washington Times, former U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice said that America was still suffering from “its great birth defect”. By that she meant that the United States still has trouble dealing with race because it was founded on the backs of black slaves, who were legally denied the very opportunities of freedom and equality that our nation was founded upon. The very rights afforded to whites, and stripped from blacks for hundreds of years. You do the math. Her point: racism has vestiges, consequences, legacies.

As I have now reflected on all of the coverage and conversation I saw on television and social networking on this issue yesterday, once again race was everywhere. It is a defect — one we have yet to acknowledge truly or be brave enough to confront. I am not talking about marches or protest. I am talking about candid dialogue and sharing that opens our hearts and connects us as humans in a way that moves us forward as equals.
African-Americans could feel and see it playing out. It was so familiar. But many Americans denied it was even an issue at all. Some feel Trump and the birthers have a right to see more proof that the president is indeed a U.S. citizen. They find it okay to question “how” and “why” he got into an Ivy League school, even though he graduated Magna Cum Laude and was president of the Harvard Law Review.
I have come to conclude, sadly that we are cowards when it comes to race as Attorney General Eric Holder said because some of my fellow Americans refuse to connect that dots, even when all of the proof is right in their face. I struggle now; with how do we ever bridge the seemingly growing divide on race.

So what’s the real issue here? Barack Obama was admittedly a kid who had some challenges growing up. A biracial male who never really knew his father. He tried drugs, he rebelled a bit, and then he woke up, discovered himself and found his way. Yes, he transferred from Occidental College to Columbia University. No doubt affirmative action played a role. In the 1980s college deans were starved for promising if even somewhat wayward black males like the president. They wanted to open doors for these young men, give them the same access that generations of reckless, restless, feckless and sometimes law breaking young white men had enjoyed for centuries. Their bet–their social experiment– whatever you want to call it paid off, handsomely.
In the final analysis, at some point as the president said we will have to turn our attention to the serious issues facing America. The circus-like media atmosphere and nonsense have polluted our thinking and distorted our sense of what matters. We cannot grow stronger, richer and faster as a nation if we continue on this course of hate and prejudice. It is rooted in fear, misunderstanding and a stubborn unwillingness to confront what really ails us — race, and how it lives just beneath the surface always waiting to exact a price and press a burden on those who want to be rid of that burden most of all. – Sophia Nelson

thegrio.com by Mobify.

Fox: The Liars’ Network

Turn off Fox News and its ilk…

In July 1999 Vice President Al Gore paddled down the Connecticut River in New Hampshire to spread what then–Rolling Stone reporter Eric Boehlert termed “his green theme of protecting the environment” while posing for the obvious photo-op. His hopes for making this message heard, however, went over the side when Bill Sammon, a reporter for the then-Moonie-owned Washington Times, wrote that local authorities had granted Gore a special favor when they released nearly 4 billion gallons of water from a nearby dam, at a cost of $7 million, in order to (literally) float Gore’s boat. As Boehlert noted in his masterful forensic audit of the story, Sammon’s point was clear: “In a clumsy abuse of power, Al Gore, a supposed friend of the environment, gladly wasted precious natural resources to stage-manage a political event.”

The rest of the press corps swallowed and regurgitated Sammon’s item, all but unmasticated. Newsweek dubbed it the “photo op from hell,” and CNN covered the “wave of criticism after floodgates are opened on a New Hampshire river to keep Al Gore afloat.” TheNew York Times report mocked the “mishap,” and the Washington Post chuckled with its readers about “Gore’s Four Billion Gallons for a Photo Op.”

Alas, it was almost all fiction. Nobody connected to the Gore campaign ever requested the release of the water. (The Secret Service did.) The correct figure for the amount of water released was 500 million gallons, or one-eighth of the amount roundly reported. The local utility company that operates the dam was already dumping millions of gallons into the parched Connecticut River every day, but for Gore’s trip this routine exercise was moved up a few hours. The alleged $7 million cost was also made up. The water in question made its way through hydroelectric turbines that generated power to be sold by the utility companies.

When Boehlert contacted Sammon, he waved off the question of accuracy entirely, because, he said, the story successfully made “a point about Gore’s political reflexes, [which are] to spin furiously and resort to deception.”

I suppose I could pretend to hope that such shoddy professional practice would cause problems for a reporter in the furtherance of his career, particularly in these difficult times. But that would assume that conservative journalists are actually journalists, rather than just conservative operatives masquerading as journalists.

Having proved his merit as a right-wing fabricator at theWashington Times, Sammon—who earned the ironic moniker Big Stretch from America’s worst president, owing to his 6-foot-7 frame rather than the endless string of pro-Bush books and stories he wrote—landed at Fox News, where he is now its vice president and Washington managing editor. On a 2009 Mediterranean cruise for rich right-wingers, he was taped admitting that he merely pretended to believe the nasty things he frequently said about Barack Obama on his network. Rather than tell his viewers what he understood to be the truth, he preferred to mislead them with what he called “rather farfetched…mischievous speculation.”

Among the lies: that Obama’s campaign platform was “tantamount to socialism” and that Obama, “in his own words,” “talks about being drawn to Marxists.” To spread the stupidity, Sammon e-mailed his staff highlighting “Obama’s references to socialism, liberalism, Marxism and Marxists” in Dreams From My Father. As with his lies about Gore, he told a reporter he had no regrets, since these lies were “a main point of discussion on all the channels, in all the media.” Later, he found himself “astonished by how the needle had moved.”

He went on to pervert Fox’s coverage even further, sending a memo to reporters to make certain to “use the term ‘government-run health insurance,’ or, when brevity is a concern, ‘government option,’ whenever possible” because “public option” was too popular. He also instructed Fox anchors to “refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question.”

Remember, Fox continually insists that while BeckHannity and O’Reilly are “opinion” shows, its news programs can be trusted to play it straight. So again, the naïve among us might imagine that its executives would evince some discomfort with the network’s managing editor admitting to being a proud and purposeful liar. Alas, nobody at Fox appeared to notice—not even anchor Bret Baier, who, just a week before Media Matters broke the story of the taped Sammon cruise confession, had gone on The Daily Show to humiliate himself with the argument that at Fox, “we respect the viewers’ ability to discern” between opinion and hard news.

These events demonstrate yet again that the problem with Fox is not that it’s conservative. It’s that it lies. Any discussion of its role in American political life is itself a lie if it rests on that foundation. When a “real” journalist—as Baier appears to imagine himself—lends his name to Fox, he is simply empowering these lies. When journalists from media enterprises that profess to value truth defend Fox—as Jake Tapper of ABC News did in response to the Obama administration’s unsuccessful 2009 attempt to isolate it from the other networks—they are enabling its lies. And when politicians, pundits and anyone else not formally employed by Rupert Murdoch or Roger Ailes appear on Fox without pointing out that they are there to tell the truth for once, then they, too, are participating in a scam at the bottom of which is not only the comforting of the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us but also the undermining of our democracy under the weight of a teetering tower of lies.

Just ask Bill Sammon. He’ll tell you the truth, for sure…

via Fox: The Liars’ Network | The Nation.

Bashir: Tea Party Official Accused of Racial Hatred

First off, we can’t have this conversation without some ground rules. The math goes like this: Racism = prejudice + power. Black people do not have the power of industry or politics or anything else to be racist. Hence, Black people cannot be racist. It’s easy math…
If you don’t understand the variables here then you cannot have a real discussion as it relates to race because your racial acumen is too low.
All of the comments from Sharpton & Taylor are on point but you must really listen to Toure’s discussion of intellect, the current racial milieu and affirmative action. Make your comments below… Please…

msnbc tv: Official accused of racial hatred.

We Can’t Win the Fight if We Can’t Tell the Story

This article speaks for itself. And makes the points I’ve been making for a while now. The Progressive counter-narrative is lacking from this administration…and SORELY needed.

Once again the extremist elements of the GOP have managed to tell the most legible and convincing stories. Republicans hammered home the idea that the national budget ought to mirror household budgets. “When the going gets rough,” the GOP says, “people have to tighten their budgets, the American government ought to do the same.” This is a compelling story. People hear this and think to themselves, “Yes, yes, I have cut my cable bill, cancelled my vacation, and started cutting coupons; the government should do the same.” This is a false equivalency.

Household budgets are not the same as national ones. In fact, this narrative obscures the reason that Americans are tightening their belts—because the failed, short-sighted fiscal policies of GOP-led governments brought our economy to the brink of disaster. By telling the story this way Republicans effectively dodge the main point that massive tax cuts redistributed wealth to the top 1 percent but failed to stoke job growth. They ignore that disinvestment in educational grants made college more expensive for Americans. They ignore that their deregulation of lending practices foreclosed on the American dream for millions. The government (under Republican direction) created a mess for American households and has an ethical obligation to address the mess it made. To ask poor, disabled and elderly citizens to sacrifice basic needs to underwrite the extravagant choices of their wealthier neighbors is profoundly un-American. In my house, when somebody makes a mess we clean it up. When somebody is sick, we care for them. When somebody needs a hand, we lend it. All of these basic realities are obscured by the good story about household budgets and fiscal responsibility. – Melissa Harris-Perry

via We Can’t Win the Fight if We Can’t Tell the Story | The Nation.

Rachel Maddow: Connecting the dots from Wisconsin to D.C.

If you missed the Rachel Maddow show last night, you might want to check this out. I encourage you to watch all the segments from last night (These are just the first two segments. Click the link to find all the videos from last night.) and if you are not outraged to action about the Republican tactics used…then I’m not sure what happened to you soul. In a democracy…this should be illegal.

Rachel Maddow: Connecting the dots from Wisconsin to D.C..

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

NPR Chief Ousted After Execs Racism Remarks (another Right-wing smear…)

Do me a favor.

Watch the video from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas first. (Mind you, this is the same James O’Keefe from the faked ACORN videos)

Now after watching the video, can you tell me what exactly is news here!? What did the NPR execs say that was untrue!? Any fool can observe that the Tea Party has completely co-opted the Republican Party and the Tea Party, and from my view the Republicans as well, are clearly infused with a racist element… Is this new? Is this news? Is it even a scandal to say what is clearly the truth? Is the Tea Party NOT a vastly white-only reaction to the cultural change embodied in a Black President? Just because they may claim that is so…doesn’t make it true. Their signs and vitriol toward a basically Republican endorsed health-care bill (before the President endorsed endorsed it) shows their true colors.

This reminds me of the heavily edited video continuously played on Fox News (and everywhere else) involving the Rev Jeremiah Wright. Have you watched those videos in their entirety? Or did you just pick up the Right-wing talking points, like the rest of the media, and castigate the Reverend without understanding the context of the sermons the soundbites were taken from? Do you have any frame of reference regarding Liberation Theology or are you of the opinion that your “Christianity” is the only christianity that is Christian? Can you even fathom that a people who endured 400+ years of chattel slavery, being lawfully disconnected from the rights and freedoms that white males have enjoyed, Jim Crow and any number of other manifested inequalities, could have a different perspective of what Christianity is? Can you not understand that a people, while deeply patriotic, understand  and are realistic about the damage that the United States has done at home and abroad!?

What exactly did Reverend Wright say that was untrue?

What did Shirley Sherrod say that was untrue?

What did ACORN do that was proven illegal?

Did Van Jones deserve to fired?

What did the NPR execs say that was untrue?

The GOP/Republican smear machine strikes again…despite the truth.  

NPR chief ousted after execs racism remarks – Politics – More politics – msnbc.com.