democracy

Newt Gingrich Owes African Americans an Apology

This article says it all and says it well…

Candid Observations

Newt Gingrich owes African-Americans an apology.

He absolutely knows what he is doing.

His constant calling President Obama “the food stamp president” is nothing more than racial politics, no less reprehensible or excusable than when Lee Atwater and the GOP used the image of Willie Horton to take down Michael Dukakis in 1988.

Gingrich has settled into the language that “liberals” or “elite liberals” are the only ones who “despise making money.” That is incorrect, but it isn’t a morally and ethically reprehensible statement or behavior.

But going to South Carolina and using language that feeds into the racial fears and misconceptions that come up in conversations with far too many white people, is a moral and ethical outrage.

Can you not get the votes, Mr. Gingrich, without putting black people down and feeding into the misconceptions of way too many white people?

Statistics released by the United States  Department of Agriculture show that 35 percent of all food stamp recipients are white, compared to 22 percent black, and 10 percent Hispanic. If  you, Mr. Gingrich, would saythat, or something to that effect, the insult you have heaped upon the descendants of African slaves who built this country would be non-existent.

I wonder if Gingrich, or any candidate, has the chutzpah to tell people part of the reason that the unemployment rate amongst black men, especially young black men, is that too many white employers still refuse to hire them? I wonder if Gingrich, a historian, has the courage to talk about the fact that black people have lived through an era where at one time, there were blatant signs put up, “Black (or Colored) people need not apply,” as African-Americans sought to find work?

The signs are gone, but the emotions, feelings and beliefs that made people feel justified in putting such signs up are far from being gone.

I wonder if Gingrich has the courage to stand up and say, since he is wanting to be president of ALL of the people of this nation, that the undercurrent racism of this country will be met with and dealt with in his administration if he is elected president, so that the course of this nation will be turned, finally, away from post-Civil War and Reconstruction white resentment of black people which has never died, to a 21st century,Christian endeavor to deal with our racism honestly, for the good of the nation.

Many, too many, white people say, and believe, that “this is a white man’s country.” In her book Rising Sun, author Sharon Davies gives an account of a young white girl who is appearing before a grand jury because she has converted to Catholicism, against the wishes of her parents. In the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan was not only against black people and Jewish people, but it also hated Catholics. This young girl’s parents were amongst the Catholic-haters, and, enraged that his daughter had married a Catholic boy in secret, her father had shot and killed the priest who married them.

In her testimony before the Grand Jury, the young girl was asked if her husband was a white man (he was from Puerto Rico and was allowed, by Alabama state law, to say he was “white.”) When the girl said he was a Spaniard, the Grand Jury members scoffed, and one juror said, just remember, “this is a white man’s country…always has been and always will be.”

A young Hugo Black, who would become a member of the United States Supreme Court, was one of the girl’s defense attorneys …and he was also a member of the Klan, as were many of the jurors.

That feeling has not gone away and Newt knows it, and he thus knows that saying President Obama is “the food stamp president” feeds right into that belief and the sentiment that there is a need to “take the country” back. The charge is that Mr. Obama is the most liberal president in history. Say that. True or not, it’s fair. It is fair political rhetoric.

Say that it is true that more people are on food stamps than at any other time in our history, but that  statistics say  that more white than black people are on those food stamps, and they needed to do it because the economic mess that Mr. Obama inherited from the GOP was so horrible that had he not made a way for more people to get food stamps, a lot of Americans, black, white and brown, would have not been able to eat!

Make the argument against President Obama openly about economics, and not sneakily about race.

Americans who have found themselves not only using but needing food stamps for the first time in their lives are ashamed for having to use them, but at the same time are grateful that this president did what he thought would best help them.

It is true that some people, black and white, who receive government assistance, are abusing the system. Say that, Mr. Gingrich, and nobody will be able to accuse you of playing the race card or indulging in racial politics. When you say that President Obama is “the food stamp president,” say that his policies have resulted in more  black and white and brown people getting food stamps than ever before. Then your statement will not be racially charged and racially polarizing.

I know that politics, or the game of politics, is not supposed to be fair, but it is high time that racial politics stop being the trump card for politicians reaching for the White House. African-Americans, and indeed all Americans, deserve better.

African-Americans have provided the labor upon which the economy of this nation was built. It is high time white politicians say that out loud, and stop the craziness and stop using words that only make the decay in our nation caused by racism worse.

You, Mr. Gingrich, owe African-Americans an apology. It is NOT all right to insult us, even if you are trying to kick Mitt Romney out of contention for the presidency. What you are saying and are now defending, is morally and ethically wrong. We deserve better.

A candid observation …

Democracy Is Un-American

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has given corporations unprecedented power to literally buy elections. The powerful have no use for the poor voting in any election.  Matthew Vadum is the only one actually saying that the poor should not be allowed to vote, but the rich and powerful (politicians included) have been implementing ways to prevent the poor from voting for decades…

Firedoglake

Via Rick Hasen, right wing “VOTER FRAUD ACORN OMG” nut Matthew Vadum explains why “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American”:

Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?

Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians.  Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.

Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals.  It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.

So let me see if I have this right: Helping millions of poor people to vote for someone they hope might occasionally represent their interests is “antisocial and un-American,” but a tiny minority of ridiculously wealthy people and corporations spending gobs of money to put the government securely in their pocket is “free speech”?

Of course, we won’t mention that most of the poor are “nonproductive” because none of the politicians who slid into office on avalanches of corporate money give a damn about creating jobs.  Or that obscene wealth does not necessarily equate to productivity.  Or that “productivity” is not actually a requirement for voting eligibility in the first place.

Still, I’ll give Vadum credit for coming out and saying that he just doesn’t want poor people to vote.  Usually the right pretends that they’re terribly concerned about the imaginary threat of voter fraud, in much the same way that they’re terribly concerned about the sanctity of marriage, the lives of unborn babies, the threat of terrorism, and the morale of our troops.

The only thing un-American about poor people voting is that it doesn’t give them a voice, even when their candidates win.

Related articles

Egyptian Revolution – “I Will Die Today!”

 Mario Piperni

“We will not be silenced, whether you’re a Christian, whether you’re a Muslim, whether you’re an atheist, you will demand your goddamn rights, and we will have our rights, one way or another! We will never be silenced!”

We live on a planet where almost 2 billion of its inhabitants live and die under the rule of dictators, a group of which there is no shortage.  Foreign Policy estimates there are at least 40 dictators in the world today.

…the cost of all that despotism has been stultifying. Millions of lives have been lost, economies have collapsed, and whole states have failed under brutal repression. And what has made it worse is that the world is in denial. The end of the Cold War was also supposed to be the “End of History” — when democracy swept the world and repression went the way of the dinosaurs. Instead, Freedom House reports that only 60 percent of the world’s countries are democratic — far more than the 28 percent in 1950, but still not much more than a majority. And many of those aren’t real democracies at all, ruled instead by despots in disguise while the world takes their freedom for granted. As for the rest, they’re just left to languish.

I’m one of those who has always taken his freedom for granted. I’ve never lived under an oppressive regime and I do not know what it feels like to march in protest to rid myself of a dictator who has ruthlessly suppressed my rights.

It is with that thought in mind that I watched the video below shot by a young Egyptian.  It’s gone viral but if you haven’t yet seen it, do so. 

You’ll find it difficult to not be moved by it.

Bolton: Democracy Is Not ‘Always The Answer’

Typical neocon rhetoric…

Think Progress

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that “[m]embers of Pakistan’s spy agency [ISI] are pressing Taliban field commanders to fight the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan.” Referring to the story Thursday night on Fox News, war hawk John Bolton — potential GOP presidential candidate in 2012 — made an astonishing claim regarding the type of government that should be in control of Pakistan: that the country was better off under military authoritarian rule, which (allegedly) would have been easier to “lean” on to prevent the ISI from helping the Taliban:

BOLTON: [D]emocracy and civilian governments in Pakistan have been so discredited because of incompetence and corruption. I thought the Musharraf government, military, authoritarian rule that it was, was the most likely kind of government to be able to make the changes we made. [...] I would have kept Musharraf in power. I think the Bush administration made a mistake in pushing him out. In Pakistan they call the military the “steel skeleton” because it really is the only thing that holds the country together. That offends some people who think democracy is always the answer. Personally, I would put American interests above that. I wouldn’t have gotten rid of Musharraf.

Watch it:

So it seems that Bolton has officially taken himself out of the democracy promotion crowd. But his prescription for stability in Pakistan appears to be at odds with what he himself said in 2007, that the military regime that governed the country at the time was untrustworthy and “filled with fundamentalists“:

Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile may be technically secure, Bolton said but the issue isn’t whether the weapons are locked away. “It’s a political issue,” the former U.S. ambassador said. “If the military comes unstuck, if it divides, then the technical fixes won’t protect those weapons.”

Musharraf is in a difficult spot, Bolton said. “Even the military is filled with Islamic fundamentalists that he’s tried to keep in lower positions.”

“But they’re pervasive,” he said. “And he doesn’t have the flexibility of a real military dictator.”

Bolton has even reportedly said that he “did not think one democracy should tell another democracy not to act like a democracy.” Maybe now he feels that this is permissible or perhaps he is just looking back to his non-democratic roots. “I’m with the Bush-Cheney team, and I’m here to stop the count,” Bolton told election workers recounting ballots cast in Florida’s disputed presidential race between George Bush and Al Gore in December 2000.

Election Fraud, Republican-style

My first awareness of voter suppression and election fraud occurred in the 2000 election.  In 2004 it was even more blatant against minorities and low income voters.  So this is nothing new to me.  This is what they do.

Crooks & Liars – By karoli

Why, I wonder what’s the matter with Republicans? Aren’t they all confident and all, considering the current narrative that they’re on track to win back the Congress and shut down the government? I can’t imagine why Republican Steve May thinks he has to recruit homeless folks for the Green Party ticket in order to pull Democratic votes away, can you?

That’s not all. Last week there was the Houston, Texas voter suppression schemes. This week it turns out True the Vote is building their case with doctored photos.

If Republicans think they are the party with better ideas, why doctor photos to suppress voters? Let their ideas be tested fairly, or not at all. Yes, that was sarcasm. This is classic Republican behavior. Suppress the vote, put up fake candidates to siphon votes, whatever works. They will stop at nothing to subvert and corrupt democracy for their own ends.