Racism

Paul Ryan’s race flap even worse than it looks

Paul Ryan's race flap even worse than it looks

Paul Ryan (Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

Salon

The notion that Ryan was dog-whistling to racists is actually the best-case scenario. Here’s the scary alternative

I spent a depressing amount of time this weekend trying to think up a scenario in which someone might say the following without being motivated, to at least some degree, by malign intent.

“We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

What I came up with was strained and unlikely, but troubling if true.

In case you slept through last week, the person who said this was congressman and one-time GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan. It ignited a fairly heated debate over whether he was intentionally trafficking in racial code words to pander to white conservatives. Ryan claims he spoke inarticulately and was thus misunderstood. For proponents of the dog-whistle theory, the fact that Ryan cited Charles Murray, author of “The Bell Curve,” was the smoking gun.

For my part, I don’t think they need a smoking gun, because Occam’s razor does all the dirty work. You can take Murray completely out of the equation and the likelihood that Ryan wasn’t at least subconsciously playing to the prejudices of resentful or racist whites is pretty low.

But let’s assume Ryan’s playing it straight, and his defenders, like Slate’s Dave Weigel, are correct when they argue that this is just how Ryan and other conservatives “think about welfare’s effects on social norms.” If that’s true, it’s actually a bigger problem for the right. If Ryan was even a little bit aware of how people would interpret his remarks, or understood the reaction to them when it exploded online, we could just say that some conservatives want to play the Southern Strategy at least one more round, and leave it at that. Close the book on this controversy, without drawing any larger conclusions about the state of conservative self-deception.

But if Ryan genuinely stumbled heedless into a racial tinderbox then it suggests he, and most likely many other conservatives, has fully internalized a framing of social politics that wasdeliberately crafted to appeal to white racists without regressing to the uncouth language of explicit racism, and written its origins out of the history. If that’s the case it augurs poorly for those in the movement who are trying to broaden the Republican Party’s appeal, because it’s easier to convince people to abandon a poor tactic than to unlearn rotten ideology.



In his 1984 book “The Two Party South,” political scientist Alexander Lamis quoted a conservative operative later revealed to be Ronald Reagan confidant Lee Atwater, who traced the evolution.

”You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘N—-r, n—-r, n—-r,’” Atwater explained. “By 1968 you can’t say ‘n—-r’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘N—-r, n—-r.”’

Treating intergenerational laziness of inner-city men as established truth, and bemoaning the ways social spending programs supposedly nurture that “culture,” blends seamlessly into Atwater’s framework.

Weigel interprets the fact that Charles Murray has lately softened his claims as exculpation for Ryan and other conservatives who cite him. But Murray’s just following a social Darwinist’s rendition of the trajectory Atwater traced. I suspect both men are wiser to their intentions than their apologists give them credit for. There are ways to promote conservative social policies that aren’t remotely racialized — they just don’t ignite the passions of resentful white people in a politically meaningful way. If I’m wrong, though, conservatives better hope the party doesn’t nominate Ryan or any like-minded thinkers in 2016.

A quick point of trivia: I first learned about Atwater’s comments years ago, in this New York Times column by Bob Herbert questioning why anybody was surprised to hear GOP education secretary-cum-talk radio host Bill Bennett say, “I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose — you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.”

Guess whose program Ryan was a guest on when he stepped in it last week?

South Texas Senate hopeful slammed for racial slur

Sharon Hall, field representative for Houston Sen. Dan Patrick, visits with U.S. Senate candidate Chris Mapp at a Republican candidates forum in the New Braunfels Civic Center on Jan. 28, 2014. | Photo: San Antonio Express

Some Republicans refuse to hide their prejudices and hatred for “the other”.  Chris Mapp, a Texas hopeful for a seat in the U.S. Senate is just one of them.  We’ll be keeping an eye on this guy during the run-up to the March 4th primary…

My San Antonio

A Republican hopeful for the U.S. Senate who used a racial slur to describe undocumented immigrants has defended the language as “normal” in South Texas.

Chris Mapp, a Port O’Connor businessman, stood by his comments that “wetbacks” should be shot by ranchers and that President Barack Obama is a “socialist son of a bitch” — remarks that have created a national stir among both parties.

“That kind of rhetoric is discouraging from anybody,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said during a visit to a San Antonio charter school Friday. “I recognize this is a free country but that’s not the sort of way to gain people’s confidence that you care about them and you want to represent their concerns in the halls of Congress.”

Mapp, 53, first made the remarks at an editorial board meeting with the Dallas Morning News last week, but told the San Antonio Express-News on Friday that using the derogatory term for Mexican immigrants is as “normal as breathing air in South Texas.”

He said he was discussing immigration policy and that the Dallas editorial board didn’t include all of his statements.

“We can’t have illegal immigrants, drug cartels, human traffickers or terrorists coming across our border,” he said. “Our borders can either be sealed by choice or force, and so far choice hasn’t worked.”

“That is way out of bounds and I can’t imagine many people in Texas, much less Texas Republicans, voting for that guy,” said Robert Stovall, the chairman of the Bexar County Republican Party. “His views are in no way a reflection of the Republican Party nationally, statewide or in Bexar County.”

Diana Arevalo, secretary of the Bexar County Democratic Party, said she’s “offended by his comments and that he doesn’t want to offer an apology to the Latino community and to our president of the United States of America.”

Mapp said farmers with land on the Texas-Mexico border should be allowed to protect it from undocumented immigrants by shooting them. He also said that “a lot of people are here to work” and they deserve that chance.

“This is why we have primaries, so that we can see people’s traits that come out when they are under pressure,” Stovall said. “And in this case, his true colors came out.”

Mapp is in a crowded primary with seven opponents, including Cornyn. Early voting began Tuesday and Election Day is March 4.

After Sarah’s Racial Attack [Yesterday], A Quick Recap of Her Racist Past

I don’t post much about Alaska’s half term Governor,  Sara Palin because the woman is willfully provocative and skilled at rousing her racist base.

However, I believe this excellent compilation of Palin’s racism is an important look into the soul of the Tea Party’s basic ideology…

Daily Kos Ismay

Cross posted on The Seminole Democrat

Mr. President, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and all who commit to ending any racial divide, no more playing the race card,
–Sarah Palin’s words of wisdom for today

Classy, Sarah.  On MLK day, no less.Racists hate being called racists.  Anytime you call them out on their racism, they attack you for “playing the race card.”  And Sarah has had plenty of practice. 

Chris Mathews called Sarah Plain, correctly, the “poster face of racism”.

When Obama defeated Hillary in 2008, her comment was Sambo beat the bitch.

It was Sarah Palin who, with all the subtlety of a wrecking ball, started the Muslim traitor “palling around with terrorists” theme that quickly engulfed the McCain campaign.  Those that questioned her racial baiting weren’t from “the real America” and she spoke fondly of the “pro-America areas of this great nation” (wink, wink).

She has claimed that Obama is single-handedly leading this country to ruin, yet simultaneously says he’s a lazy black guy.

She once said that black people don’t understand the word slavery; while lecturing people last year that slavery was just like our national debt.  (And preceded her idiotic statement “This isn’t racist, but…”)

As governor, she refused to recognize Juneteenth (which is Freedom Day for slaves) in violation of Alaska law and refused to do it even after she got sued for failing to carry out her gubernatorial duties.

Alaska is a state where 35% of the people are black, Asian, or Alaskan native, yet she couldn’t find one minority to put on her staff and worse, said “she didn’t have to.”

She fiercely  defended Rush Limbaugh’s racism, the “duck dynasty” bigot who thought blacks were better off under Jim Crow, and defended Laura Schlesinger for using the n-word 11 times in a racist rant.  (I’m sure she only got upset when she found out Laura earlier called her a moron.)

And this is just a partial list concerning her disregard for African Americans.  Jews, Muslims, gays, Asians, Hispanics all had their turn.  But its really all of their fault for playing the race card and trying to “divide” us.

Poor Sarah.  Why can’t she just insult and degrade you people IN PEACE!!?!

8:50 PM PT: Snopes gave the “sambo” comment an undetermined rating since it was referenced by a single source.  I find it plausible given all her other items, but you could give her the benefit of the doubt on that one.

Read also:

What Sarah Palin gets totally wrong about MLK Day and the ‘race card’ – The Week

Teacher Tells Student: ‘We Do Not Need Another Black President’

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Barack Hussein Obama – 44th President of the United States

This is the 21st century yet certain groups would rather see this country return back to the 18th century.

Liberals Unite

The 24 hour magazine for discerning Liberals

A young, African-American boy in Fairfield, Ohio had his presidential aspirations stomped on when his teacher, Gil Voigt, repeatedly told him, “we do not need another black president.” Voigt has been suspended.

According to Fairfield school board President, Dan Murray, Voigt’s suspension is the first step in permanently getting rid of him.

“He was talking to some students and said some things that were racially insensitive. We take diversity in our school district very seriously with tolerance of people who are different. We just felt this teacher had crossed the line,” Murray said.

Source: Journal News

Oh, but in case you think the school board is reacting in a quick and timely manner, this is Voigt’s fourth time in front of the board.

(Superintendent Paul) Otten said Voigt had been reprimanded for racially insensitive remarks in the past. A report prepared by Assistant Superintendent Roger Martin lists four instances of discipline: A verbal warning in April 2008 for an “inappropriate racial comment,” another in November 2008 for “improper use of school technology” and a third in December 2013 for “inappropriate comments to students.” He also received a written warning last month for “failure to use adopted curriculum.”

Voigt, who works for Fairfield Freshman School, earns $73,566 per year, makes almost 75% more than the average Ohio state employee and toward the top of the range for Ohio teachers.

Voigt isn’t the first Ohio teacher to be disciplined for racism. On Halloween, Akron’s David Spondike took to Facebook to rant about a teen who urinated in front of some trick-or-treaters. He posted:

I don’t mind if you come to my neighborhood from the ghetto to trick-or-treat. But when you whip out your teeny dicks and piss on the telephone pole in front of my yard and a bunch of preschoolers and toddlers, you can take your nigger-ass back where it came from. I don’t have anything against anyone of any color, but niggers, stay out!

He claimed he wasn’t racist, though:

“Racism” implies prejudging, which is clearly not what happened here. Making any excuse for allowing one race to use a word and condemning another race for using the same word is institutionalized racism in and of itself, regardless of the justification used.

Spondike’s future is still uncertain and Voigt has 10 days from the time of notification to appeal his suspension.

H/t: TW

Racist Tea Partiers Claim African Americans Take Advantage of Slavery

racism-builtit

Politicus USA

Human beings like to commemorate or celebrate a past important event that occurred on the same date of the year as the initial event to either remind themselves of something they never want to repeat, or fondly recall a better time in their lives. This past week an anniversary came and went that should be a reminder of a shameful practice that lingered in America 89 years after Founding Father Thomas Jefferson wrote that “all men are created equal,” and the day should have celebrated that slavery finally came to an official end. The 13th Amendment ended slavery in America in 1865, and the day was remembered by a teabag leader who admonished African Americans to stop complaining their ancestors were indentured servants.

Americans are typically not welcoming to immigrants to this country, and many different groups who came seeking a better life were discriminated against whether they were Italians, Asians, Russians, Hispanics, Germans, or Irish, but they were never bought and sold, kept as property, or treated like Africans who did not come to this country of their own accord or to seek a better life. Despite historical records documenting the horrid treatment of Africans captured in their native lands, shipped to America, and sold to Americans who literally treated them worse than draft animals, there has always been a segment of the population attempting to delegitimize the horrors of slavery. Indeed, there are still racists in America who regard African Americans as inferior, and they celebrate and mourn their loss in the  Civil War the Confederacy fought to preserve their right to keep other human beings to buy, sell, and toil to increase the wealth of white people.

Last Wednesday, on the anniversary of the official end of slavery in America, a teabag leader from New Mexico sparked a minorcontroversy when she suggested that African Americans take advantage of the horrid legacy of slavery to garner some kind of benefits from the rest of America, probably the government as if it is owed to them. The teabagger, Glynis Racine of the Lincoln County Tea Party Patriots took to social media outlet Twitter to send a message via an image suggesting that African Americans “bitch and moan about how the world owes them a living” because their ancestors were slaves. She also had the temerity to state Irish immigrants’ experience in America was worse than African slaves. The Tweet read, “American history month. Forgotten facts,” and was accompanied with an image that read, “White Irish slaves were treated worse than any other race in the U.S.,” and then “When is the last time you heard an Irishman bitching and moaning about how the world owes them a living?”

Racine deleted the Tweet fairly soon after posting it, but the damage was already done and exposed her as a racist. The implication that African Americans, all African Americans, “bitch and moan” about the world owing them a living is as outrageous as it is racist and infuriating. To make matters worse, Racine responded to her detractors and reiterated that Irish immigrants were treated worse than African slaves and said, “It’s time to move on.” Sadly, her sentiment is not isolated to racist teabaggers and is the kind of fear-mongering and race-baiting Fox News and every Republican candidate for president parroted throughout the primary season in 2012.

Continue reading here…

 

GOP Claims Racism Is Over In Misguided Rosa Parks Tribute (UPDATED)

The Republican National Committee  is woefully out of touch…

The Huffington Post

On Sunday, the Republican National Committee tweeted out an ill-advised tribute to civil rights icon Rosa Parks, praising the late activist for “her role in ending racism.”

The message was widely mocked by Twitter users who pointed out that the end of racism was news to them:

TFC Editor Note:  So the RNC’s amended tweet makes everything ok?  It basically says the same thing as the original tweet.  “Helping to end racism”…I think not.  It STILL exists.

 

 

 

Republican National Committee thanks civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks for ‘ending racism’

Stock Photo: New Orleans, La – June 18: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus

Surely, the RNC is a major part of whats wrong with the GOP today…

The Raw Story – Dec. 1, 2013

The Republican National Committee (RNC) thanked Rosa Parks for “her role in ending racism” in a tweet published early this morning:

Recent studies indicate that, far from being “ended,” the majority of Americans are still racist against black people.

The tweet didn’t include a link to the GOP’s more anodyne “Message Celebrating Rosa Parks,” in which RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said that “[w]e remember and honor Rosa Parks today for the role she played in fighting racism and ending segregation.”

“Rosa Parks was a hero of the civil rights movement,” said Chairman Priebus. “On this day 58 years ago, the 42-year-old seamstress took a bold stand—by staying seated. Her arrest ignited a bus boycott that challenged the injustice of segregation and in turn helped to change this nation for the better.”

The person responsible for the tweet that thanked Parks for “ending racism” is unknown, but as of 12:44 p.m. EST the tweet has not been deleted, nor has any official apology for the tweet been issued.

Joe ‘The Plumber’ Wurzelbacher wants you and ‘deranged Mexicans’ to admit wanting ‘a white Republican president again’

joeplumber

Who dragged this guy out of the sewer?

The Raw Story

In an article posted on his website, the man known as “Joe the Plumber” during the last presidential election cycle published an unattributed article whose author assured readers that wanting a “white Republican president” doesn’t “make you a racist, it just makes you an American.”

The article, written by Kevin Jackson, contends that “[i]n the pre-black president era, criticizing the president was simply the American thing to do. An exercise of one’s First Amendment right. Criticism had nothing to do with color, because there had never been a black president.”

The problem, according to Jackson, isn’t the legacy of American slavery or race-relations, but the fact that the motivations of those who criticize the president are questioned: “Mexicans disagreed with most white Republican presidents over America’s immigration policy. Many deranged Mexicans believe we should open the country up to them, some saying that much of America belongs to Mexico anyway. They are not called racists.”

Being “called a racist” is, for Jackson, the worst possible fate a critic can face. And yet, later in the article, he claims that “most Liberal blacks are racists. Nobody wants to discuss it,” he writes, “because racism by black Liberals has been sanctioned by the Left, even encouraged.”

“I long for the days of a white president,” Jackson writes, “because under white presidents, at least black people had pride. Liberals have stolen pride from blacks, and they have no intention of giving it back.”

[Image via Youtube screencap]

Top 12 Conservative Freakouts After Obama’s Race Speech

Thoughts from some conservatives…

Think Progress

Conservatives didn’t even wait for President Obama to finish his deeply personal remarks on Trayvon Martin’s killing and the role of race in America to go ballistic, accusing the president of being a “Racist in Chief” who is “trying to tear our country apart.”

On Twitter, Fox News, and elsewhere, many conservatives took a predictably depressing response, arguing that Obama is the true racist for having the courage to speak about race in our country.

Here is a roundup of the top conservatives attacking the president’s speech:

Fox News’ Todd Starnes:

 

Influential conservative blogger Dan Riehl:

 

Breitbart.com editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro:

 

Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce:

 

Conservative talk show host Dana Loesch:

 

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL):

 

Breitbart.com writer Joel Pollak:

 

Republican strategist Brian Walsh:

 

Right Sphere senior fellow RB Pundit:

 

Radio personality Hugh Hewitt:

 

Conservative columnist David Limbaugh:

 

And Fox News, via Huffington Post’s Luke Johnson:

 

UPDATE
After publication, Breitbart.com’s John Nolte added this gem:

Nugent’s new racist rant: ‘The blacks’ are to blame for their own oppression

Ted Nugent is basically a bigot and a publicity hound.  I get that.

However, there are many outlets that give him a platform to perpetuate his bigotry including Fox News.  Right-wing radio gives him an even wider platform to spew his lies and misinformation about minorities.  I also get that he is pissed off at Barack Obama being elected POTUS.  My reasoning for posting his vitriol is to show that his type of thinking is not unique in our country.  It’s actually wider spread than many realize.

The man has every right to express his feelings but hate speech is hate speech and Nugent,  Limbaugh and their ilk seem to dominate the market on it right now.

Oh, by the way, I have an explicit right to voice my opinion on this issue as well.

See also:  Rush Limbaugh: ‘I Can Now’ Say ‘N—a’ (AUDIO)

The Raw Story

Ex-rocker turned right-wing agitator Ted Nugent called in to Alex Jones’ radio show on Tuesday and unleashed an epic racist tirade, blaming African-Americans for “the black problem” and claiming that all real racism was eliminated from the U.S. in the 1960s.According to Media Matters, the gun and bow-hunting advocate said that African-Americans need to put their “heart and soul into being honest, law-abiding, [and] delivering excellence at every move in your life” and then they’ll be, in his mind, successful.

The “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” auteur has been on something of a tear since the Zimmerman verdict over the weekend, hurling invective at supporters of Trayvon Martin — including the slain teen’s grieving parents, who he chided for raising a “gangsta wannabe, Skittles hoodie boy.”

On Wednesday, Nugent continued to blame African-Americans for their own oppression, insisting that “(t)he worst racism against blacks is documented and undeniable by blacks” and “The blacks have bought into this lie that somehow they’re oppressed when the President is black, the Attorney General is black, governors are black, senators are black, congressmen are black, mayors are black, Oprah Winfrey, the richest people in the world are black. It is a dirty lie.”

Calling civil rights advocates “race baiters” who are part of a “racist industry” that has supposedly convinced African-Americans that they are helpless and “incapable of independence,” Nugent said African-Americans could “solve the black problem tonight” if only they would put their “heart and soul into being honest, law-abiding, [and] delivering excellence at every move in your life.”

“I would like to reach out to black America,” he continued, “and tell them to absolutely reject the lie of Al ‘Not So’ Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson, and the Black Panthers and Eric Holder and Barack Obama. They are enslaving you and the real shackles on black America, 100 percent of the time come from black America.”

“(R)acism against blacks was gone by the time I started touring the nation in the late [19]60s,” Nugent said, “Nothing of consequence existed to deter or compromise a black American’s dream if they got an alarm clock, if they set it, if they took good care of themselves, they remained clean and sober, if they spoke clearly, and they demanded excellence of themselves and provided excellence to their employers.”