Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Trump and Republicans and Politics

7 June 2016

There were quite a few reports of various Republicans condemning remarks by Donald Trump pertaining to a judge overseeing one of the lawsuits Trump is involved in.

Trump claims that the judge should be disqualified due to a conflict of interest.  The judges parents are Mexican, Trump wants to build a wall between Mexico and the United States, and so somehow that makes the judge unqualified to sit on the case.  Uh-huh.

It’s a stupid, knee-jerk reaction typical of Trump, who has no apparent ability to see long-term consequences from running his mouth in reactive mode.

But what I find interesting is the reaction of major political leaders like Paul Ryan.  He will vote for (endorse, apparently) Trump, as having a Republican, even a vile, racist, misogynist Republican, in office is more important than the possibility of having a Democrat in the White House.  Note that I say nothing about policy here, since there really hasn’t been any policy from Trump yet.

I saw that Conan The Destroyer was on TV this past weekend.  As I surfed past it, I wondered if the guardians of the crypt of the god Dagoth are like Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republicans, in that they believe that once the angry Trump is enthroned in the Presidency, then “they can control him” as opposed to his unleashing death to the world, and that is their endgame instead of trying to replace him at the Republican convention.

As I’ve said in the past, the Republican establishment are quite responsible for creating the interest in Trump.  Bringing in Sarah Palin was the start of the creation of the monster that is Donald Trump, and in focusing on imagery, stoking fear of Obama, practicing serial obstruction, and not putting forth any policy of substance, the Republicans managed to enrage part of their base to inflate inherent racism and inherent fear and enable those low-bandwidth voters a far greater influence than was probably intended.

It is incumbent on the Democrats to get their voters out in 2016, to both ensure that Trump and his “ideas” do not get inflicted on this country, and to balance policy going forward.  If the Republicans get fatally damaged in the meantime, that would be unfortunate.  But after the couple of decades turn of the Republican Party first to the extremism of the supposedly religious right, then to the policy-lite Bush 41, on to the war-mongering Bush 43, and finally to the rage of the Tea Party, Republicans will finally reap what they have sown.

Past and Inherent Racism

27 May 2016

So Louisiana has passed a law that designates crimes against police as hate crimes.  This follows a lot of blather, mostly on the right, about how “all lives matter” and “police lives matter”, and most of that is in direct reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement that developed in the wake of numerous incidents of black people being killed by police, including some egregious examples of unarmed blacks being killed by heavily armed white police.

These counter-movements are examples of the inherent racism still practiced by many Americans.  White-dominated law enforcement has far more weapons (to include physical weapons, and the weapons of law, which include the ability to arrest on little pretext) than the citizenry in general.  The rate of police officers shot or injured or killed is far, far less than the rate of citizens shot, injured, or killed.

Further, the use of the hate crime is limited to a specific set of crimes.  Per the FBI,

A hate crime is “a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin”.

On the one hand conservatives want to exclude transgender people from protection, although they are clearly part of the sexual orientation clause, and on the other hand, they want to add police to this list.  Each category has a history of official oppression.  There is no history of oppression of police, and in fact, there are many examples where the police have been the oppressors, or protectors of oppressors.

So the Louisiana action is essentially shooting the finger at blacks.  It is inherently racist.

If black lives mattered to all, the Black Lives Matter movement would not be necessary.  As I have said before, the long history of oppression of our black citizens (and that also get’s ignored, they are our fellow citizens and should have equal rights) has not been corrected from a societal or economic basis.  Oppression is more subtle now, but it’s still there, and opportunity still is not available to all equally, starting with education, and leading to jobs.

That’s the real issue here, not some knee-jerk racist response to supposedly protect the civil rights of police.

Shut Ferguson MO Down

5 March 2015

I’ve been reading about the US Department of Justice (DoJ) report on Ferguson, MO and how the police there interact with the town citizens. The press briefing on the report is at http://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-holder-delivers-update-investigations-ferguson-missouri.

One particularly egregious incident involved a guy sitting in his car. Doing nothing. A cop demanded his SSN and ID, was directed to exit his car, had a gun pointed at his head, and was arrested after pointing out his civil rights were being violated. Another guy was charged with lying after his said his name was Mike, when his legal name was Michael. In these cases, the victims were black, the officers white.

I’m going to read the full report. From the reporting today, the killing of Michael Brown by Ferguson cop Darrin Wilson is part of a pattern of behavior that is suppressive of the black population of Ferguson by the white majority in power.

The thing that really bothers me about this: there are probably hundreds of Fergusons around the country.

I’ve noted before that election turnout in Ferguson was very poor, which meant that many black citizens were not voting.

I hope that the next election there results in the Council being turned out, and a general cleanout of the police department takes place.

In several states, there are laws that allow a governor to essentially remove the elected officials of a town and have an overseer installed when there are serious and persistent financial issues (not just illegal activities, even if a economic downturn as taken place). I think that the DoJ should have some sort of power to essentially fire or dissolve the “leadership” of a city, town, or county that shows malfeasance, including violations of the civil rights of people in the jurisdiction.

11 March 2015 update:

Several people in Ferguson have been fired or force to resign, including the police chief and city manager. This is good. It was also reported on NPR that a similar situation in Oakland, CA, several years ago had the potential for a receiver and judge to be appointed to oversee the city in the event they didn’t clean up their police problem. This is good.

Shirley Sherrod Got A Raw Deal

21 July 2010

So Ms. Sherrod told a story to a group about her interactions with a farm family back in 1984, when she was a state employee. Then, she got screwed MULTIPLE TIMES, once from Andrew Breitbart’s biggovernment.com (with a big help from Fox News), and then again from the Obama Administration, with a helping from the NAACP.

Breitbart’s video clip included a leader text that said “…Ms. Sherrod admits that in her federally appointed position, overseeing over a billion dollars, she discriminates against people due to their race”, then had a text overlay “NAACP Bigotry in Their ranks”.

Make no mistake: Breitbart lied several times there. Sherrod is a government appointee now, in 2010, but she was a state employee in 1984. So there is no evidence that Sherrod discriminates now, so Breitbart lied. I suspect he is not bothered by this, since the entire video shows the true context. So the implication is that he lied on purpose. The rest of the video continues with her describing how she realized that what she was doing (in 1984) was wrong, and so she reapplied her efforts and redeemed herself.

I think that Breitbart committed fraud here by deliberately editing the tape to make it seem to show something it’s not. He also likely slandered and defamed Ms. Sherrod. Why? Probably score some cheap political points.

Fox News screwed Ms. Sherrod when they took the “story” (and it is, in the sense of the word that it’s BS) and ran it repeatedly, without checking the veracity of the source or the entire tape. I hate to be crude, but Fox News seems to be a whore for whatever dirt they can show about Democrats.

The NAACP screwed Ms. Sherrod when they called for her resignation without checking the veracity of the story. I would have hoped that the NAACP would have noted the source(s) and done some fact checking. Shame on them for jumping on Ms. Sherrod, even though they have now backed off. Ms. Sherrod is still out of a job, people.

I am really disappointed in President Obama in all this. The Administration gets the same blame as the NAACP for not fact checking. But I think that once the facts got all straightened out, the President himself should have called Ms. Sherrod, apologized, and given her job back, with a promotion for her besmirched reputation.

I also think that the President should call out Breitbart directly, with words like “Andrew Breitbart deliberately mislead the public and knew or should have known it, and owes the country and Ms. Sherrod an apology”, and if Breitbart doesn’t, then he should be sued.

I’ve said before, political disagreement is a fine tradition in the country, but LIES should not be part of it.

I have written an email to the White House expressing this. It’s the right thing to do.

Harry Reid and Trent Lott and Race-Related Remarks

11 January 2010

Should Harry Reid resign his leadership position, or even his Senate seat, due to the remarks he made a couple years ago about then-candidate Obama?

I do not think so, and here is why.

Here is what Trent Lott said, as quoted by Wikipedia:

“When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over the years, either.”

Here is what Harry Reid said, as paraphrased by the authors of “Game Change, as quoted on CNN.com:

“He [Reid] was wowed by Obama’s oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one'”.

What is the difference between the two statements? There is one critical thing: Lott endorsed the segregationist policies of Mr. Thurmond, and so proclaimed his thought that all people of color (blacks in particular) being integrated are the cause of many problems. He also trashes the civil rights movement by implication. That’s racist, denigrating an entire race of people to segregated, second-class status.

Reid, on the other hand, started by praising Obama, and then noting the fact that Obama’s physical appearance and speaking voice would be positive in helping him to get votes from some people. That’s not racist, that’s reality, making an observation (a positive one, at that) about an individual.

Let me be up front that I do not like Mr. Reid very much. I think he has not done enough to advance a progressive agenda for the Senate, and he has been wimpy in repulsing craven attacks from conservatives. Nonetheless, what he said was stupid, but does not rise to the level of resignation.