Archive for the ‘racism’ Category

On Saturday, January 7th, 2011, congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head while making one of her regular appearances in Tucson.  The shooter, a 22 year  is now in custody and being held for questioning and trial.  In addition to Mrs. Giffords, 17 others were hurt in the shooting.  Six have died including a federal judge and a nine-year old girl.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the tragedy.  We don’t expect this sort of thing to happen in America.  It’s horrific, it’s senseless, and most of all, uncivilized.

It was, sadly, also completely predictable.  You see, for the past two years, the rhetoric from the right has been all about violence, hate and bigotry.  All too often, people seeking public office have deliberately used language designed to appeal to the irrational and the violent.  Don’t believe me?  Let me provide a few examples:

Here’s former senate candidate Sharron Angle blithely talking about “Second Amendment Remedies”:

Translation:  “If we don’t get our way, we’ll start shooting people.”

And here’s Allen West, who was recently elected to the House of Representatives, actually exhorting a crowd of lunatic Teabaggers to threaten his opponent:

Wow.  Domestic terrorism as a campaign strategy.  What a guy.

And here’s a timeless classic:  Faux News gasbag and liar Glenn Beck “joking” about poisoning the Speaker of the House:

Because we all know how funny assassination is.

And last, but certainly not least, here’s a timeless classic from none other than former half-term Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin:

Aren’t they cute?  They look just like little gunsights!  And three of them are in Arizona!  I’m sure nothing bad will come of this…

Ever since the shootings, the lunatic fringe right wing has been falling all over itself to distance itself from the event.  Of course it’s not their fault, they can’t be responsible for the actions of a crazed lunatic, and besides, the kid read the Communist Manifesto, so doesn’t that make him a … liberal?

No.  He also quoted Ayn Rand and may have had ties to a right-wing hate group called American Renaissance.  And, he rambled on about declining currency and the gold standard, two obsessions shared by Rand and Glenn Beck.

Besides, if he was a leftist, why did he go after a Democrat?

No, at the end of the day, the Tea Party owns this tragedy.  It was their rhetoric that set the stage for it, it was the irresponsible behavior and speech of Beck, Palin, West and Angle that give lunatics the idea that killing opponents is acceptable.  They made this shit sandwich, and it’s our job to make sure they eat it and the stench clings to them.

Keep them in your cross-hairs.  I’m sure they’ll appreciate the irony of that imagery.

Of course, I don’t mean it that way…

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As MediaMatters.org points out, the flap about President Obama’s birth certificate isn’t about facts or proof; it’s about fear, racism and paranoia:

This has gone well beyond stupid.

In 2009, the Party of Lincoln officially has become, 150 years later, the party of Racists, Hypocrites and Liars.

I’m talking about the so-called “Birther Bill” introduced by Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla) earlier this year and co-sponsored by several prominent GOP lawmakers including Randy Neugebauer (R-Tex) and Dan Burton (R-Ind).  This bill, which frankly would not have been even conceived of had John McCain won the election last year, would require presidential campaigns to provide a “copy of the candidate’s birth certificate”.

President Obama has already done so, and for the record, of the two men in the race last year, he was the only one actually born on American soil, in an American state.  John McCain was born in Panama.  Both were born to American citizens, and since this country does not recognize dual citizenship, both are “natural born” citizens as required by the Constitution.  No other President’s birth records have been questioned so persistently, nor examined so thoroughly.  The only reason these “birthers” are objecting to Obama’s public release of his birth records is because they can’t handle the fact that a black man won.

Apparently they’re fine with black people being sports stars, singers, servants and sex objects, but leadership is a burden to be shouldered only by White Men.

These mindless racists are now demanding that President Obama release a copy of his “long form” birth certificate, a document I very much doubt any of them would be able to produce on demand.  And, as I’ve said before, it’s also something none of them would be demanding of John McCain if the election had gone the other way.  This has got to stop.  Even if he capitulates to their ludicrous demands and releases the long form, there’s little chance the “birthers” will accept it as proof.  Instead, they’ll no doubt go on believing it was “forged” or “faked” or otherwise falsified.

Not because there’s any proof of conspiracy, but because they’re idiots.  And racists.  And hypocrites.

I thought this crap had been put behind us.

It seems the “Obama wasn’t born in America” crowd has been actually gathering some steam lately, with a court ruling from a judge willing to examine the “merits” of the case (shouldn’t take long, since there aren’t any).  And now we have this:

Soldier balks at deploying; says Obama isn’t president

U.S. Army Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook, set to deploy to Afghanistan, says he shouldn’t have to go.

His reason?

Barack Obama was never eligible to be president because he wasn’t born in the United States.

Cook’s lawyer, Orly Taitz, who has also challenged the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency in other courts, filed a request last week in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order and status as a conscientious objector for her client.

In the 20-page document — filed July 8 with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia — the California-based Taitz asks the court to consider granting his client’s request based upon Cook’s belief that Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and is therefore ineligible to serve as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Cook further states he “would be acting in violation of international law by engaging in military actions outside the United States under this President’s command. … simultaneously subjecting himself to possible prosecution as a war criminal by the faithful execution of these duties.”

Cook, a reservist, received the orders mobilizing him to active duty on June 9.

According to this document, which accompanies Cook’s July 8 application for a temporary restraining order, he has been ordered to report to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday. From there, the Florida resident would go to Fort Benning before deploying overseas.

Documents show Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961, two years after it became a state.

A hearing to discuss Cook’s requests will take place in federal court here Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

It’s distressing enough to realize that there are still people out there stupid enough to believe this line of bullshit, but it’s even more disheartening to realize that at least one of them is in a position of leadership, responsible for training and mentoring young troops.  What kind of example is Maj. Cook setting for the young soldiers he might command?  What kind of judgement is he showing by clinging so tightly to such a ridiculous and obvious line of right-wing lies and smears?

None whatsoever.  He deserves to be court-martialed, demoted to Private and sent to Fort Leavenworth.  He’s a disgrace to himself, the Army, and his country.

If he wanted out of the Army so badly, it would have been better if he’d just told them he was gay.

Update (7/15/09): Major Cook’s deployment orders have been rescinded.  In a curious twist to this sordid tale, it turns out the “Major” actually volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan in May of this year, six months after President Obama’s election and four months after his swearing-in.  If he had these concerns about the legitimacy of his commander-in-chief, why didn’t he quit the reserves six months ago?  Why volunteer to go, and then make up this bogus claim about the President’s birth certificate?

I smell a rat.  This looks like a transparent ploy to put this ridiculous conspiracy theory in the national media spotlight.  Major Cook is a disgrace to the uniform.

Update 2 (7/15/09): Keith Olbermann reported last night in his “Worst Persons” segment that Major Cook has now lost his job as a Pentagon contractor.

For this week’s redneck jackassery we turn to South Carolina, home of GOP activist and right-wing racist Rusty DePass:

Well, the election of the first black president in American history certainly has brought out the best in people.  At least now we can identify the ignorant, racist morons who used to wear the white sheets.

“Clearly in jest”?  No, Rusty, it was clearly racist and stupid.  And so are you.  You and all others like you deserve to be tossed in the dustbin of history.

He should have the balls to go out in public and offer a real apology, not just the weasel-worded “if anyone was offended” garbage that’s become the political standard these days.

Well, at least according to the idiotors at the New York Post.  By now we’ve all been thoroughly immersed in the controversy surrounding the idiotorial cartoon printed this week by Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing rag.

NY Post Cartoon 02-18

NY Post Cartoon 02-18

Of course, once again you’d have to have been living under a rock for the past, oh, 100 years, not to know that A) black people have been compared ufavorably to monkeys in the past, B) President Obama is the author of the stimulus bill (I know, not the only one, but the image is clear), C) Barack Obama is black, and D) this is racist trash.

But, in typical right-wing racist style, the idiotorial staff of the New York Post defended the cartoon with an even more insane statement:

“The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington’s efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist.”

Ah, blaming the victim.  That’s never been done before, either.  This cartoon is not “broadly mocking”, it is specific and targeted.  The subtleties of the cartoon must have been lost on my feeble imagination.  Either that, or the nutburgers at the New York Post must think we’re as stupid as they are.  Or that we’ve been living under the same rock as they have.

The controversy may not have fallen upon entirely deaf ears, however.  In a statement yesterday, the New York Post apologized for the cartoon.  Sort of.  Here it is:

Wednesday’s Page Six cartoon – caricaturing Monday’s police shooting of a chimpanzee in Connecticut – has created considerable controversy.

It shows two police officers standing over the chimp’s body: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,” one officer says.

It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill.

Period.

But it has been taken as something else – as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism.

This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.

However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past – and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback.

To them, no apology is due.

Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon – even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.

A cartoon may sometimes be “just a cartoon”, but racism is always racism.  Once again, Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing trash recycling machine has shown its true colors, and they’re not pretty.  The fact is, the people offended by the cartoon saw it for what it was – a vile piece of racist trash.  It’s the editorial staff of the New York Post that are out of touch with reality.

One wonders whether they’d see it differently if a similar cartoon had been run by, say, the New York Times about, say, RNC Chairman Michael “Token” Steele?  Would they see the racism inherent in it then?  Or would they, for the sake of consistency, claim it was “broadly mocking”?

Somehow, I doubt it.