Day: July 27, 2010

The “New Black Panther” Case: A Conservative Dissent

 I’m willing to wager a bet that not many people have heard of Abigail Thernstrom, a  Bush appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights who is calling charges that the Justice Department ignores the civil rights of whites, ridiculous.    

Why is the mainstream media, and in particular, the right-wing media, not picking up this story?    

Is it because it would blow Fox News and the rest of the right wing echo machine’s “scary black man” meme right out of the water?    

Here is what Ms. Thernstrom had to say on the “New Black Panther” “issue”:   

Black Voices/CBS News’ Face The Nation   

“We have no direct evidence that [the NBP activists] actually intimidated anybody, stopped them from voting,” Thernstrom said on CBS’ Face the Nation. In an earlier column, she called the case “small potatoes.”  

“I think the evidence is extremely weak,” Thernstrom said. “If the Justice Department chooses – and I would be delighted if it did so – to send to us, for instance, somebody who is at that alleged brown bag meeting in which [Deputy Assistant Attorney General] Julie Fernandez said, ‘We don’t prosecute cases [against] blacks …’ fine. I’m an evidence girl, really. I want evidence.”   

It’s what most people with common sense said after hearing the facts surrounding the case. The first warning sign that this entire case is questionable is that it is being pushed by former Justice Department lawyer J. Christian Adams, who is now a conservative Republican activist. One New York Post columnist called him a “Republican activist posing as a whistleblower.  

Instead, this case is the part of a larger trend of the far Right using pseudo-racist episodes as political fodder to inspire paranoia. Using the demographic changes in our country and the election of the first black president, the far right is making a concerted effort to scare white people in to believing they are or will be the victims of racism.  

The case of Shirley Sherrod is the most recent example, with media outlets like Fox News helping to spread the story line.  

“The Obama administration has been intimidated by the far-right wing, which is addicted to a kind of paranoia of race that then leads to paralyzing racial conversation,” Michael Eric Dyson, a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, said on Face the Nation.
   

   

  

   

WikiLeaks founder: ‘I Enjoy Crushing Bastards’

 

Politico

In an interview with Der Spiegel, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, speaks about his view on the legitimacy of state secrets:

“There is a legitimate role for secrecy, and there is a legitimate role for openness. Unfortunately, those who commit abuses against humanity or against the law find abusing legitimate secrecy to conceal their abuse all too easy. People of good conscience have always revealed abuses by ignoring abusive strictures. It is not WikiLeaks that decides to reveal something. It is a whistleblower or a dissident who decides to reveal it. Our job is to make sure that these individuals are protected, the public is informed and the historical record is not denied.”

When Der Spiegel asked why he didn’t choose to trod the more comfortable path of a typical Silicon Valley startup, he replied:

“We all only live once. So we are obligated to make good use of the time that we have and to do something that is meaningful and satisfying. This is something that I find meaningful and satisfying. That is my temperament. I enjoy creating systems on a grand scale, and I enjoy helping people who are vulnerable. And I enjoy crushing bastards. So it is enjoyable work.”

Read the whole thing here.

Wyclef Jean President Of Haiti? Ex-Fugee Mulling Campaign

This is very interesting on many levels.  Wyclef Jean has been unrelenting in his efforts to help Haiti through the devastation of the earthquake. 

Huffington Post

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Singer Wyclef Jean is considering a run for president of Haiti but has not decided whether to seek a five-year term as leader of the quake-ravaged nation, the musician’s family said Monday.

There have been rumors for some time the Haitian-born entertainer might enter the 2010 presidential contest, ever since his 2007 appointment as ambassador-at-large for the Caribbean nation by President Rene Preval, who cannot seek re-election.

In a statement e-mailed to reporters, the family said, “Wyclef’s commitment to his homeland and its youth is boundless, and he will remain its greatest supporter regardless of whether he is part of the government moving forward … If and when a decision is made, media will be alerted immediately.”

The letter was signed “The Jean Family.” A spokeswoman for the musician confirmed the message’s authenticity.

Jean, 37, was born on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince but left the hemisphere’s poorest country as a child and grew up in New York City’s borough of Brooklyn.

He told The Associated Press in a recent interview he intended to be involved in the Nov. 28 election, but not necessarily as a candidate.

“Do I have political intentions? At this time no. But what I do have is a movement – it’s called Face a Face, ‘Face to Face’,” Jean said. “The youth population … we are going to encourage them to vote.”

The singer has been active in recent years in raising money through his Yele Haiti Foundation. The organization was widely criticized for alleged financial irregularities after the Jan. 12 quake, when scrutiny revealed it had paid Jean to perform at fundraising events and bought advertising air time from a television station he co-owns.

The organization hired a new accounting firm after the allegations surfaced.

Jean, who said he voted for Preval in 2006, would not have an easy road as a candidate. Haitian elections are contentious and often violent.

Dozens of candidates are expected to declare themselves by the Aug. 7 deadline. Preval’s opponents have threatened to block the Nov. 28 vote if he does not replace the presidentially approved electoral council, which he has refused to do.

To enter the race, Jean would have to prove he has resided in Haiti for five consecutive years, own property in the country and have never been a citizen of any country other than Haiti.

Whoever wins will face the gargantuan task of rebuilding a country devastated by the Jan. 12 earthquake. Haiti has not had a functioning economy in decades and its presidents have only rarely completed a constitutional five-year term – more typically being overthrown, getting assassinated, declaring themselves “president-for-life” or some combination of the three.

Rinse, Repeat: Right-Wing Media Just Can’t Stop Pushing Fake Stories: Media Matters

Media Matters  – (See Media Matters’ Post for details)

-Right-wing media eagerly spread absurd claim that Obama plans to “ban sport fishing.”       3/9/2010

-Fox, right-wing blogs snared by satire post about a global warming activist freezing to death.   3/29/2010

-Right-wing smear machine falls for fake Obama quote labeled as “satire.”   8/25/2009

-Right-wing media adopt “insane conspiracy theory” that Obama lied about attending daughter’s soccer game.  4/13/2010

-Right-wing media apply quote about Obama inauguration crowd size to tea party rally.    9/13/2009

-Breitbart burns right-wing media with false claim of Community Organizers Pray[ing] TO” Obama.   9/29/2009

-Fox Nation, Drudge Report, CNS distortion: White House requested “Jesus” be hidden during speech.   4/15/2009

-Claim that alleged bomber is a registered Democrat collapsed — after Limbaugh boosted it.  5/4/2010

-Fox & Friends forwards Hoft’s debunked suggestion that NAACP president was in attendance at Sherrod speech.   7/21/2010

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