Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Hey, I'm not racist...I'll have you know I have one black friend and he's very articulate..."

I published this post on July 4, 2009. I had started to write this post back in October of 2008. The hateful racist backlash had already begun as the writing was on the wall that Obama would win the presidency. I shelved this post mainly because the topic of racism is so broad and so far-reaching that I truly did not know how to begin to write about it much less find a conclusion. As far as we've come since the Civil Rights Movement is as far as we still need to go to truly say that, "All men are created equal." Perhaps having a black man as the most powerful man in the free world will unearth the last remaining seeds of racism and thereby begin a new field in which true love and tolerance will flourish.

The excitement that has been swirling since Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court has been nothing short of a compelling anthropological study of white conservative America. Both Limbaugh and Gingrich, cross-cultural icons and open-minded drug and sex addicts respectively, labeled Sotomayor as a racist. Reverse racist to be exact. For those of you who are not racist and/or are not familiar with the term "reverse racist", allow me to enlighten you.

The term is usually heard on Fox News or on Hannity /Limbaugh radio shows. It is a pathetic attempt at self-pity by white men when any minority person exhibits any form of empowerment or shows pride in their ethnic background; or when a minority person accomplishes greatness or earns a position of power and refuses to honor the "white privilege", such person is viewed as ungrateful and is accused of being a "reverse racist". How blatant the double-standard is in America: when a white male achieves the office of Senator, President or Supreme Court Justice, he has done so through hard work, dedication and intellect. When a minority person accomplishes the exact same positions, that person has "obviously benefited from living in America and should be thankful he/she even had the opportunity." Note to minority person: this is why you're held to a different standard. Mark Sanford and John Ensign will still have careers after their respective scandals. Minorities don't.

The central issue that seems to generate the most discussion is Sotomayor's comment from 2001 during a speech at Berkeley (terrorist factory) where she said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

So, is she saying that someone who has lived in a wider, broader and deeper spectrum of America, a latina woman who has been in the depths of poverty (usually reserved for minorities and typically where you find the most crime) and had not only been on welfare but eventually got to rub shoulders with white men at Princeton, would not have a better background to base decisions on than an affluent, white male who has never been within 10 miles of a (insert state) Department of Economic Security Office, who grew up in an all-white country club, who had never been in a car that wasn't made that same year (unless it was a vintage Mercedes) or who always thought the house in the Hamptons was "roughing it"?

Where could Sotomayor have gotten the juevos to say this? As Lindsey Graham so naively and racially put it, "And if I had said something like that--or someone with my background and profile--we wouldn't be talking about this nomination going forward." Ummm...yeah we would. Because white men have done that for centuries. They just never had to say it out loud. Our country was founded by white men, the laws were written by white men, white men were the only persons allowed to vote for the first 140 years of our country's existence, white men are 97% more likely to hail a cab in New York City.

So, yes, a Latina woman with an experience similar to Sotomayor's does come to a better decision than a white male who lacks that broad background of America's cultural landscape. We white males live in a fairly confined, narrow scope in America. When is the last time any of you took a stroll down the worst neighborhood in your city at night? Didn't keep the collar popped on the Polo, did ya? How about that liquor store on the corner in the ghetto...? Ever stop and ask for directions? No? Why not?

How many Fox News broadcasters are black? (Juan Williams doesn't count...Sheppard Smith is blacker than he is.) How many are Latino? Okay, Geraldo, but he's part-time.

But the right will respond that Michael Steele is the head of the Republican National Committee and I think I did see 3 or 4 persons of color at the Republican National Convention and they weren't just security guards...they were actually delegates. It appears as though they are making progress.

Sounds like they need a community organizer.

UPDATE: 7/14/09

The chairman of the Republican Party, house negro Michael Steele, just dropped this gem of a quote, watch the video in the link below:

Michael Steele decides he can "woo blacks to the GOP with fried chicken and potato salad"

Just when you think it couldn't get worse...the Republicans come through with a grand slam!

The NeoConned assault on Lady Justice: The frightening trend of proving false negatives

America. Land of the free, home of the brave. America. Home to the world's best example of equal justice. For centuries we have operated under the warm blanket of "innocent until proven guilty". Prosecutors are required to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury of 12 fellow citizens who have been selected at random.

Have there been times when the guilty have gone free? Yes. Have there been times when the innocent were found guilty? Yes. The system is not perfect. It does walk in some faithful harmony with our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our Founding Fathers believed in humanity for all citizens of the world. This is why you will not find an indirect or direct reference to "U.S. citizens" in the Bill of Rights. For it is a document which outlines what the government can and cannot do against any people of any nation on earth (yes, even members of al-Qaeda!)

The American justice system is currently broken. It used to be that one was presumed innocent until proven guilty. In eight short years the Neoconned have abducted and assaulted our Lady of Justice. The result: if you are not a registered Republican, neoconservative and/or Fox News watcher, you are now presumed guilty until you are proven innocent. Yes, this has happened. Let's take a look back starting on September 12, 2001.

It is considered common knowledge at this point that the Iraq War was essentially planned prior to Bush's inauguration. 9/11 was simply a catalyst to be able to invade Iraq on ridiculously thin intelligence and the brilliant strategy of fear-mongering. When the U.S. were forced to comply to some set of rules laid out by the UN, they requested that Iraq provide intelligence and documentation on its weapons of mass destruction program. When Iraq complied and submitted a 19,000 page document, we conveniently erased the parts that stated that they did not have a WMD program and then asked Iraq again to come clean...or cleaner? Iraq clearly did not have WMD. However, when you send 150,000 troops to the Gulf to "negotiate diplomatically" it becomes increasingly difficult to continue to search (and be patient) for the truth.

Iraq continued to deny that they possessed WMD (most likely due to the fact that they did not have any). We still refused to accept that claim. This is perhaps the first instance of forcing someone, in this case an entire country, to prove a false negative; that is to say, that Iraq was clearly presumed guilty and ultimately was unable to prove its innocence.

As we are discovering on almost a daily basis, the U.S. knew that Iraq did not have WMD. In fact, as early as February of 2001 both Colin Powell and Condi Rice stood before the American public and claimed beyond doubt that Iraq had ceased to produce WMD and that they currently DID NOT possess any operational WMD.

There have been thousands of cases, obviously on a smaller scale, where this fascist system of justice has been present. Wiretapping, torture, denying prisoners habeas corpus are all elements of this upended American ideal. Persons who have spoken out against the war are on the government No Fly List. Protesters have been arrested for no reason other than exercising their constitutional rights. This perversion of real justice is a small but significant step in the direction of transforming a democratic state into a fascist state.

But recently this evil ideology has permeated the presidential race. Because the Republican party is unable to run on any type of solution-based platform, they are now forced to run on personal attacks, rumors and fear-mongering. The Republicans have hugged tightly to the various associations that Barack Obama has had prior to his candidacy. William Ayers, Sal Olinsky, Reverend Wright, the Chicago Cubs and ACORN (okay, not the Cubs but hey, Fox News spares no one in their attempt to start rumors) are the top four words you will hear on Fox News. Forget Osama bin, seriously, I mean, I know we're not looking for him and we've already forgotten about him but forget about him again.

You would think these individuals have been responsible for events such as but not limited to: 9/11, the economy, the No Billionaire Left Behind Education Program, the housing crisis, Jamie Lynn Spears getting pregnant, blocking off-shore drilling, gas prices, Larry Craig's bathroom sex sting operation and for giving reporters tricky questions to ask Sarah Palin; questions like, "What newspapers do you read on a daily basis?"

Because Obama has met these individuals on few occasions or has had some type of brief relationship with them, he is presumed guilty and now must prove his innocence.

Here's the predicament. He has explained the connections on numerous occasions. The facts show that he is telling the truth. But since he is being forced to prove a false negative, he is unable exonerate himself.

It is similar to someone accusing you of being in a certain place on a certain day. They didn't see you there but they report the incident as if it were factual. You are then forced to prove something that is false. You are forced to prove you were not there but perhaps you can't because you were home alone during the evening in question. Amazing, isn't it? Our whole system of justice turned upside down. Imagine how court cases would play out. Would anyone be innocent ever again??

What exacerbates this particular situation is when this is played out in the public court of opinion and when the situation involves the future of our country. We are faced with going backwards or moving forward out of the most miserable eight years of our country's existence. We are forced with moving closer to a fascist state of government where the Constitution will continue to be sodomized and civil liberties be stripped away or returning to our fundamental principles that are clearly outlined in the Constitution.

Democracy is an interactive exercise. Let's put the blindfold back on Lady Justice.

"Constitution first, Country second"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The New Right-Wing Guide to Profanity

Under the Bush Regime the right-wing lemming movement has not only hijacked country music, the Constitution, the right to cheer for the military and the goatee, but it appears as though they have begun an aggressive assault on the English vocabulary.

It is understood that here in Amirca (Bush pronunciation) we have a certain slang in our representation of the English language. From Texas to Arkansas and from Missouri to southeastern Georgia, you will find an infinite number of different accents coupled with regional expressions that violate nearly every grammatical rule. But they are undoubtedly OUR expressions.

We thought they would have been satisfied with this. Apparently they're not.

The right-wing and its Hall of Justice, Fox News, have cornered several meaningful words and have deemed them blasphemous. The very existence of these words is threatened! (Not sure which color the terror level meter would be...probably a burnt orange or scarlet red).

The following 10 words have been kidnapped by the right wing. The problem: they have no idea of their meaning but they use them in emergency situations like an eject button in a fighter plane right before impact.

If you see a right-wing lemming using these words, usually in the midst of a Sean Hannity talking point, call your local English teacher or librarian and report them immediately.

1.) Socialist

Actual meaning: Of or pertaining to a political and economic theory or system of social organization based on collective or state ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange. Like capitalism, it takes many and diverse forms.

Right-Wing meaning: "Means that you wanna give away all my stuff to somebody else and I have to pay more money for stuff I ain't got no more. All them librals is socialists. Like in Europe and stuff."

I will now use the word socialist in a sentence: Being unable to express individual thoughts and be recognized for them is indicative of a socialist intellectualism.

2.) Marxist

Actual meaning: Of or pertaining to the political and economic philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in which the concept of class struggle plays a central role in understanding society's allegedly inevitable development from bourgeois oppression under capitalism to a socialist and ultimately classless society.

Right-Wing meaning: "It's that one guy with the long beard who wanted to everyone to get the same haircut and then share their meals together. What a crazy kook! This here is one of Obama's buddies. They drank that funky tea together in Chicago while they was talkin' 'bout bein' radical and stuff."

I will now use the word marxist in a sentence: Marxist natural process is clearly represented during the eight long years under the Bush Regime; the working class has experienced new depths of poverty while the wealthy have experienced incredible growth in their net worth.

3.) Communist

Actual meaning: Of or pertaining to a system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.

Right-Wing meaning: "Soviet Union, vodka and Ivan Drago from Rocky IV. Far as I'm concerned, anybody who don't think Amirca is #1 in everything is a communist."

I will now use the word communist in a sentence: The federal financial rescue package passed by Congress is almost communist: we all share in the debt and risk but only Wall Street gets the rewards.

4.) Radical

Actual meaning: Departing markedly from the usual or customary; extreme: radical opinions on education. Favoring or effecting fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions, or institutions: radical political views.

Right-Wing meaning: "Freak! Why you wanna go changin' everything around? Damn it! You librals bein' for peace and equality...y'all just a bunch of radical radicals and stuff."

I will now use the word radical in a sentence: To be for torture, wiretapping and eliminating habeas corpus is a radical shift from the fundamental principles of our Constitution.

5.) Liberal

Actual meaning: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.

Right-Wing meaning: "Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly told me that librals is just another word for traitor. You librals wantin' all that peace, freedom and equality. Well guess what...freedom ain't free and these colors don't run. I got yer tolerance for other people's ideas right here...!"

I will now use the word liberal in a sentence: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and John Hancock were all signatories of the Declaration of Independence and were all very liberal men.

6.) Global

Actual meaning: Of, relating to, or involving the entire earth; worldwide: global war; global monetary policies.

Right-Wing meaning: "Who cares about the rest of the global peoples? Only thing that matters is the Global War of Terror that Amirca is bringin' to other parts of globe. Hey, if you don't come to democracy then democracy is comin' to you! Yee-haw! We gotta figure out a way to get the globe to cooperate with us. We're Amirca, damn it!"

I will now use the word global in a sentence: In an effort to speed up global warming, Governor Sarah Palin pushes for more drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Natural Refuge and continues to push for the extinction of polar bears in order to achieve it.

7.) European

Actual meaning: A person, object or attribute of the continent of Europe, the European Union, or a descendent of a European ethnic group or of a European person.

Right-Wing meaning: "People who talk funny, don't take showers or shave, eat weird food and listen to classical music. Fox News calls 'em elitists!"

I will now use the word European in a sentence: My experience has been that an average European citizen has more geographical knowledge of the United States than do most Americans.

8.) Fair

Actual meaning: Having or exhibiting a disposition that is free of favoritism or bias; impartial: a fair mediator. Just to all parties; equitable: a compromise that is fair to both factions. Being in accordance with relative merit or significance: She wanted to receive her fair share of the proceeds. Consistent with rules, logic, or ethics: a fair tactic.

Right-Wing meaning: "Fox News is fair and balanced. Who' da thunk it that Obama was a Muslim AND he had a crazy Christian pastor at the same time?"

I will now use the word fair in a sentence: When a political party rigs voting machines and threatens potential voters of the rival candidate, one can say that an election of this sort would not be fair.

9.) Community Organizer

Actual meaning: Community organizers create social movements by building a base of concerned people, mobilizing these community members to act, and developing leadership from and relationships among the people involved.

Right-Wing meaning: "Community organizers are a bunch of radicals trying to help other people, kinda like a socialist, and these organizers try to get them off poverty and stuff, teach 'em how to get a skill or something. Not quite sure...I heard Sarah Palin make a joke about it at the convention and everyone get a kick out of it! I guess it's just a bunch of people who ain't got nuthin' better to do than to help other people."

I will now use the term community organizer in a sentence: Jesus Christ was a liberal community organizer.

10.) Feminist

Actual meaning: Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes; the radical notion that females are human beings and are equal to men.

Right-Wing meaning: "Kinda like when a female wants to become special; you know, like when you're in the finals of a competition, then you're a finalist. Same thing here: a female becomes a feminist. All it takes is nice pair o' legs, a uterus and the occasional wink at me here in the audience."

I will now use the word feminist in a sentence: To say that Sarah Palin is a feminist would be to say that Dick Cheney is a philanthropist.

To everyone: take back these words and their meaning, take back your democracy from those who threaten it and continue to be truth-seekers.