Governor Delivers Racist Rant At Public Meeting



Drug dealers with stereotypically black names are importing heroin to Maine and leaving pregnant white women behind when they leave the state again, Gov. Paul LePage (R) told a town hall meeting on Wednesday.

In a response to a woman named Cathy’s question about what he’s doing to combat drug abuse in Maine, LePage touted a bill he’s proposed to institute stiffer criminal penalties on out-of-state drug traffickers.

“Now the traffickers, these aren’t people that take drugs. These are guys by the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty,” LePage said, drawing chuckles from the crowd in Bridgton, ME. “These type of guys that come from CT and NY, they come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home.”

“Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave,” LePage added. “Which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue that we’ve gotta deal with down the road. We’re gonna make ‘em very severe penalties.”

LePage’s communications director Peter Steele told the Portland Press Herald that LePage “is not making comments about race. Race is irrelevant. What is relevant is the cost to state taxpayers for welfare and the emotional costs for these kids who are born as a result of involvement with drug traffickers.”

LePage also told Cathy he’s hiring 10 new drug agents, wants to spend more on educating young people about the dangers of drugs, and believes it’s time to focus more resources on treating drug addicts rather than simply throwing them in jail without making an effort to coach them off of substances.

LePage’s interest in a gentler war on drug addicts isn’t unique among conservative politicians. At least, not in 2016. As prescription drug abuse has become more common, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) and other prominent Republicans have started to publicly acknowledge that a purely punitive approach to drug users is ineffective and unjust. More quietly, leading GOP lawmakers like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have made sure that federal funds can finally be used on needle exchange programs and other non-punitive modes of responding to drug abuse.

The party’s apparent reversal on policy issues around hard drug use has been abrupt. It also “follows patterns we’ve seen over decades of drug scares,” Sentencing Project executive director Marc Mauer told The Marshall Project over the summer. Mauer says the shift is attributable to the fact that oxycontin and other prescription opiates that are highly addictive are primarily used by white people, while the rawer form of heroin is perceived to be a predominantly black drug.

“When the perception of the user population is primarly people of color, then the response is to demonize and punish. When it’s white, then we search for answers,” Mauer said.

Racist Death Threats Rock Univ. Of Missouri: I’ll ‘Shoot Every Black Person I See’ (TWEETS/VIDEOS)


The University of Missouri is currently a hotbed of racial tension, and it has quickly escalated. Recently, the school’s president, Tim Wolfe, resigned over accusations of racism and months of demonstrations, culminating in a boycott threat from the University’s black football players. This recent incident at a Mizzou homecoming parade illustrates perfectly why Tim Wolfe needed to be removed. From the Huffington Post:

On Oct. 10, a group of black students interrupted the Mizzou homecoming parade. Wearing T-shirts that read “1839 Was Built On My B(l)ack,” referring to Mizzou’s founding and slave labor, the students stopped right in front of the convertible that Wolfe was traveling in as he waved to parade watchers. The students took out a megaphone and one by one began speaking about incidents of systemic and anecdotal racism from the founding year 1839 through 2015.

A crowd of mostly white people watching the parade began to yell at the black students within one minute to “move on” and get out of the street. Many chanted “M-I-Z, Z-O-U” in an attempt to drown out the activists.

Here is video of that event:

Wednesday morning, the ante was upped even more, when a white student was arrested for making threats of gun violence against the school’s black students.

Identified as Hunter Park, the suspect has been taken into custody. Here is an image of his mugshot:


Parks’s racist message from social app Yik Yak read:

“I’m going to stand my ground tomorrow and shoot every black person I see.”

Despite the current climate and the  high possibility for violence, however, the school felt it would be appropriate to operate as usual. Many black students are not going to be attending classes today, though, and with good reason. There have been several reports of horrifying racist incidents that took place after dark Tuesday night on the Univ. of Missouri campus. Here are just a few tweets regarding that.

WARNING: Disturbing, terrifying racist language in this video. It is NSFW.

Then a black female student tweeted warnings about a racist “cult” that was meeting on campus Tuesday night, and her experience of having to run away from them to avoid a violent attack:

Despite missing class, most black students seem to be more concerned for their own safety, despite the school’s attitude. One black student wrote on Facebook:

“I damn sure ain’t going to class today. Police didn’t care admin weren’t trying to cancel class for our collective safety. Mizzou as a whole acted like it didn’t care bout mine or my brothers and sisters lives.”

And this is why people are criticizing the school’s decision to hold classes while the campus is clearly in a racist crisis with a high potential for violence against its black students. These students are expected to expose themselves to potential racist violence, take tests, go to class, like nothing is happening? The University of Missouri’s leaders and decision makers aren’t even acting like this is a big deal, when it clearly is.

The decision to continue classes and activities as usual without openly addressing this very serious and ongoing issue of racism on the campus has prompted students at college campuses across the country to stage walkouts in solidarity with the Univ. of Missouri’s black student population, among them Yale University, Smith College, and Ithaca College.

The University of Missouri wants to pretend that this isn’t happening, but it’s viral now. Those who chose to take this ridiculously unconcerned attitude toward what is happening on that campus will live to regret it. In the meantime, stay safe, University of Missouri students, and know that plenty of people are on your side.

Shannon Barber

The real reason the Republican Party is imploding: It’s still all about race

The real reason the Republican Party is imploding: It's still all about race

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


What’s causing the GOP’s slide into complete dysfunction? It’s not overheated rhetoric; it’s the politics of race

It was only last week that Rep. Kevin McCarthy opted not to run for speaker of the House, effectively driving his party, and the U.S. Congress, into a brick wall. Yet despite having more than 240 options and a pressing need to save the world from another global recession, Republicans in the House are reportedly no closer to finding John Boehner’s successor. As a matter of fact, things have gotten so bad that the conservative establishment is begging Rep. Paul Ryan to take the job. He says he’d rather not.

But over the weekend, it started to look like Ryan may not have to resign himself to the miserable fate of being one of the most powerful people on the planet — at least not yet. Because according to reports which first emanated from and other tribunes of the far right, but which have since been corroborated by the New York Times and others, even Ryan may not be conservative enough to please the 30-40 extremists who felled Boehner, thwarted McCarthy, and call themselves members of the House Freedom Caucus.

Yes, that’s right: The Republican Party is now beholden to a faction so zealously reactionary that Paul “Ayn Rand is the reason I got involved in public service” Ryan is, in its reckoning, much too far to the left. These are the rules of the Congress the Tea Party created. It’s enough to put the fear of God into even the most devoted of GOP apologists. David Brooks, for example, is castigating Republicans for “right-wing radicalism.” It’s gotten that bad.

Still, recognizing the problem is the easy part. The harder part is acknowledging where it comes from. Brooks chalks the GOP’s militancy up to 30 years of “rhetorical excesses, mental corruptions and philosophical betrayals” and suggests that Republicans are “addicted to a crisis mentality.” But although Brooks is right when he notes that GOP extremists “always” act like the country is “on the brink of collapse,” apocalypticism isn’t the problem here. No, as is so often true in American politics, the problem is race.

Some hardliners pay lip service to his supporting the 2008 bailouts when explaining their opposition to Ryan. But if you follow the far-right press, or listen to rank-and-file activists, it’s blindingly obvious that conservatives’ real problem with Paul Ryan is that he not only supports comprehensive immigration reform, but supports higher levels of overall immigration, too. “There’s nobody in the Republican Party who could be worse than Paul Ryan,” said Roy Beck, a leading “immigration control” activist, to Breitbart. “Open Borders is in his ideological DNA. That’s the terrifying thing.”

Erick Erickson, meanwhile, has described Ryan as “a dangerous pick for conservatives” and “a creature of Washington.” He’s also called Ryan “not a bad guy” and “a competent, good guy.” But only to soothe the burn of yet another sobriquet: “the draftsman for bailouts behind the scenes.” Conservatives who challenge Speaker Ryan “will immediately be labeled as fascist totalitarians,” Erickson warned. Conspicuous in its absence, though, was an acknowledgement of what they’d be fighting him about. It won’t be the 2008 bank bailouts; it’ll be immigration.

That’s in the medium- or long-term. If it’s 2017 and there’s another Democrat in the White House, simply not bringing comprehensive immigration reform up for a vote will probably be enough. But in the short-term, the extremists have bigger plans. Reportedly, they want the next speaker to agree to use a debt-ceiling default and a government shutdown as “leverage” in order to force President Obama to acquiesce to his legacy’s dismantling. The lesson of 2011 and 2013, as they see it, is that the world economy and the federal government are damn good hostages to take.

And if we keep in mind that these folks think the world is ending as it is already, their strategy makes sense. In fact, it’s a real mistake to dismiss these people as lunatics, as their critics, both on the right and the left, so often do. Far as I can tell, these “crazy” tactics have borne them plenty of fruit. Where they break from the rest of the political establishment is in their analysis; that apocalyptic stuff about the end of the republic, the New Black Panther Party, and immigration being akin to “invasion.”

But that’s not craziness; that’s racism. They’re different. So if Brooks and others really want to know how this dysfunction got started, they’ll have to look back further. Before the Tea Party, and before Paul Ryan was even born. They’ll have to examine the roots of today’s Republican Party. I’d recommend they start with Richard Nixon and the presidential campaign of 1968.

H/t: DB

Racist Jokes About This Photo Got People Fired and Sparked the Hashtag #HisNameIsCayden



Geris Hilton’s Facebook postFACEBOOK

 There is a man who goes by the name of Geris Hilton on Facebook (reportedly not his real name) who used to have a job.

“Hilton” used to work at Polaris Marketing Group, according to AtlantaBlackStar, but his employment status changed after he posted a photo on Facebook Sept. 16.


Geris Hilton’s Facebook postFACEBOOK

In the photo, Hilton was taking a selfie at work, alongside a little cute black boy who is the son of one of his now-former co-workers—a dandy woman by the name of Sydney.

All was seemingly fine, until Hilton and his friends started making racist jokes about the photo in the comments section on Facebook, insinuating that the little boy, whose name is Cayden, was a slave, and Hilton the slave master.

The photo has made its way around the Internet. As you guessed it, pink slips are flying and heads are rolling because of the racist shenanigans afoot in the photo’s comments section.

“I didn’t know you were a slave owner,” a poster by the name of Emily Irene Red reportedly said. According to the tweet below, she has since been fired. Casualty No. 1.


“Send him back dude those f–kers are expensive,” another Facebook user, by the name of Dylan Kleeman, reportedly wrote.

“But Massah I dindu nuffin,” Baron O’Malley wrote, according to AtlantaBlackStar.

The president of Polaris Marketing Group posted a note on Facebook announcing that an employee—the man behind the Hilton Facebook profile, according to AtlantaBlackStar—had been terminated and denouncing the disgusting comments he and his friends made about the little boy.

Another company, YourEDM, caught wind that one of its employees had participated in the foolishness, and reportedly posted this message saying that it had fired that person, too.


YourEDM online posting SCREENSHOT

Sydney Jade, Cayden’s mother, got on social media to thank all of the people who spread the news about the inappropriate photo. She created the hashtag #HisNameIsCayden to make the statement that her little boy is a person and shouldn’t be objectified or trivialized as the butt of a racist joke.


“When people hear about him, these are the picture I want them to know about. Not that disturbing image and its comments,” Sydney wrote.

This’ll teach people to keep their lack of home training to themselves and not bring it out into the public sphere.



For more of black Twitter, check out The Chatterati on The Root and follow The Chatterati on Twitter.

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.

Ben Carson’s destructive lies: 4 racist assumptions endorsed & magnified by Black conservatives

Ben Carson's destructive lies: 4 racist assumptions endorsed & magnified by Black conservatives

(Credit: AP/Carlos Osorio)


The neurosurgeon-turned-candidate has eagerly joined the GOP in its campaign against racial justice

Through the first few months of campaign season, one thing has become indisputably clear: The Republican Party is the United States’ largest white identity organization, and openly uses white racial resentment — along with old fashioned racism — to win the support of white voters.

To wit: The Republican Party’s leading 2016 presidential candidates include open racists and nativists such as Donald Trump, as well as “dog whistle” racists such as Jeb Bush, who channel Ronald Reagan by way of “Southern Strategy”-inspired narratives about “welfare queens” and lazy blacks who want “free stuff” from white people.

And then, of course, there is the curious case of Ben Carson, who recently said that black people who support the Democrats are essentially stupid, unsophisticated, hyper-emotional, irrational, and incapable of thinking for themselves. In Carson’s delusional alternate reality, Republicans do not “see race,” and, unlike the Democrats, are the real advocates for racial justice and positive change along the color line in the United States.

Ben Carson is not alone in his twisted fantasy land. He is joined by other black conservatives — a select group of racial mercenaries who are routinely trotted out on Fox News and elsewhere — who, to great approval from white conservatives, also repeat the same anti-black propaganda.

The white racist fantasies given credence by black conservatives consist of several repeated themes.

1) Black people are on a Democratic or Liberal “Plantation”

This twisted interpretation of the political agency and intelligence of black Americans is immensely popular on the White Right. The “Democratic Plantation” lie is rooted in a white supremacist fantasy and “Gone with the Wind”-style fairy tale of happy black slaves singing, dancing, having sex, and being protected by benevolent white masters. This racist fiction ignores how black Americans self-manumitted, fought in the Civil War to free themselves, remade democracy with Reconstruction, and then made the reasoned choice to switch over to the Democratic Party en masse because of the policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and then later those of the Johnson and Kennedy administrations.

In reality, the slave “plantation” was a charnel and rape house. It quite literally used the bodies of millions of black people as fuel for (white) American and European empire.

There is a special hostility in the United States towards black Americans and their history of struggle, survival, and freedom. No one on mainstream cable news, among the commentariat, or in the class of political elites would dare to suggest that Jews who support the Democratic Party are in a type of “gas chamber” or “death camp.” Such an egregious insult can only be leveled with impunity at African-Americans.

2) Black people are extremely emotional and are unable to make intelligent political decisions 

This white supremacist fantasy reflects centuries-old racist beliefs that white people are supremely rational and that people of color—blacks in particular—are impulsive, unintelligent, libidinous, and impulsive.

On a range of public policy issues, black Americans have shown a remarkable amount of foresight and wisdom, being years or decades ahead of white public opinion on issues such as ending the Iraq War, the failures of George W. Bush’s leadership and administration and access to healthcare, among other issues. Social scientists have also detailed how African-Americans use complex decision making and other heuristics to factor in the realities of life in a racist society, the importance of the Black Freedom Struggle, and individual self-advancement. Some scholars of American politics even go so far as to suggest that black people may be more sophisticated in their political behavior than whites because of the former’s need to more carefully discern power dynamics and be sensitive to political partisanship and ideology.

3) Black Americans vote Democrat because they want “free things”

As I wrote in an earlier essay at Salon, this claim is both ahistorical, and also overlooks the most basic nature of politics. Politics is fundamentally about receiving benefits from the State. This is the core of interest group behavior, voting, and advocacy. To the degree that black people want “free things” they are no different from any other group. Moreover, in reality, it is White America that has been built on stealing “free stuff” from people of color (most obviously land from First Nations peoples and labor from black folks) and whose members receive a disproportionate amount of subsidies from what is known as “the submerged state”.

4) Black Americans are low-information voters who are ill-informed

As documented by the American Press Institute (API), Black Americans and whites may have slightly different news consumption patterns and habits, but the claim that African-Americans are somehow massively “less informed” than white people is specious.

The API reports that,

“Even with concerns about coverage of their communities in the news, large majorities of African Americans and Hispanics are avid news consumers and their general news habits are similar to national averages. Substantial numbers of Americans say they watch, read, or hear the news at least once a day (76 percent) and also say they enjoy keeping up with the news a lot or some (88 percent).

“But there are some differences by race and ethnicity in the frequency of news consumption. Non-Hispanic whites (80 percent) are more likely to say they get news daily than are African Americans (70 percent) or Hispanics (70 percent).”

The suggestion that black Americans are somehow ignorant and “tricked” into supporting the Democratic Party because they do not have access to correct information is especially absurd given that Fox News viewers, the vast majority of whom are white, constitute one of the least informed publics in the United States.

* * *

These defamations and slurs on the civic virtue, character, and intelligence of Black Americans are easily refuted. However, these lies are still especially dangerous because black conservatives like Ben Carson give them a veneer of truth and authenticity—thus validating the racist anti-black beliefs held by many white Americans.

A question still remains. Why do today’s black conservatives allow themselves to be used this way by the Republican Party?

Black conservatives are highly prized by Republicans. As such,they are well compensated on the lecture circuit, by the right-wing media machine, and are coddled and protected by a network of well-funded conservative think tanks and public relations firms. Their designated role as the “best black friend” for Republicans, the “special” and “good one,” is ego gratifying. And because the Black Freedom Struggle is in many ways a burden that some black folks are either too weak or unwilling to carry, black conservatives from the Reagan era onward have chosen to betray that honorable past for reasons of convenience, cowardice, lucre, and self-aggrandizement.

Black conservatives who channel racist talking points about African-Americans in the service of institutional white power are not a new phenomenon. During chattel slavery, for example, the role of “the driver” on the plantation—the middle manager who was responsible for much of the day-to-day discipline and operation of the slave labor camp—was often a black man. Likewise, for reasons humane (protecting one’s family and kin from white enslavers) and craven (owning black human property to extract wealth and income from their bodies, minds, and labor), a very small number of African-Americans in the antebellum South chose to own slaves.

Some people choose to challenge power by lying down and surrendering to it; others decide to benefit from its injustices and inequalities. The black conservatives in today’s Republican Party have made a strategic choice to do both.

H/t: DB

“You think the f*cking Tea Party determines public policy?”: Dick Gregory on racism, the 1 percent and why black Americans are angry at the wrong people

"You think the f*cking Tea Party determines public policy?": Dick Gregory on racism, the 1 percent and why black Americans are angry at the wrong people

(Credit: AP/Matt Sayles)


Salon talks to activist and comedian Dick Gregory, who will be the subject of a new documentary

Dick Gregory’s had a long, rich and strange life as an entertainer and activist. I hadn’t heard of him before I started talking with Andre Gaines, a film producer and lifelong Dick Gregory fan who wanted to do a Black Lives Matter-themed documentary focusing on Gregory’s idiosyncratic philosophy and beliefs about the “secret history” of the United States.

It’s a strange world we live in today when the modern incarnation of the civil rights marches is being organized and reported on through Twitter and Mr. Gregory’s reentry into the world of political activism is through a Kickstarter–and it’s a testament to Gregory’s staying power as a media name that the Kickstarter drew enough attention that it’s already closed thanks to an outside investor coming in to back the project.

It’s especially strange for me to be connecting with Dick Gregory’s legacy as a possible writer for the documentary, a 31-year-old Chinese guy from Ohio born decades after his heyday. The more I learned about him the more fascinated I was–a groundbreaking stand-up comedian who paved the way for names like Richard Pryor and Paul Mooney, an activist who marched in Selma with Dr. King, who marched for the ERA with Gloria Steinem and who went on hunger strike for the hostages in Iran. And an eccentric conspiracy theorist who denounced the official reports both on JFK’s assassination and on 9/11, who got Hunter S. Thompson’s write-in vote for president in 1968, and who now makes a living partly by promoting a raw fruit and vegetable diet.

For him to reenter the political arena at the age of 82, through an electronic medium invented when he was past retirement age, is a big deal. For someone like me to be asked to work with him to bring his message to a new audience is a huge responsibility, and I sat down with him for an hour to try to get to know him and his beliefs. Though there’s much he said that I don’t completely agree with or even fully understand, I was captivated the whole time by his raw, unfiltered candor and I definitely look forward to hearing more about what he has to say in the documentary.

Well, first of all I have to ask–as someone who was born in the Jim Crow era and who marched in the civil rights movement, what do you think of the progress we’ve made since then?

Well, we’ve come a long ways but the important thing we haven’t even started changing is the mental thing. See, going from slavery to the early ’60s we had to worry about being physically beat up, physically lynched. I mean, if someone got lynched tonight we’d be shocked, whereas up until the ’60s, we wouldn’t have been. But now it’s a mental thing. Until you solve the mental thing… that’s the interesting thing about the history of black people in America, we’re the only people on this planet who went through what we went through and opted for education instead of liberation.

We’ve never been liberated. I mean, George Washington wasn’t beating up the British so he could open up another college. The sign don’t say, “Give me education or give me death,” it says, “Give me liberty or give me death.” And so to have a bunch of people that are educated not liberated, man… of course, they don’t know it.

When a black person teaches their child: “Be careful if this white racist cop pulls you over, don’t talk too fast, don’t move too fast, cause he might kill you.” Any time you tell a child to respect and fear, to behave, for a murderer — children don’t hear what you mean, they hear what you say. So they think there’s something wrong with them. Why else would my mother and father tell me to be afraid of a cop, unless I’m doing something wrong?

So… you’d say the fear of violence does more harm to black Americans than violence itself? Would you agree with people who say the solution needs to come from within the black community rather than outside, then?

We’re like people who’ve been taking aspirin for 20 years because they thought they had a migraine but then one day they found out they had a brain tumor. I can’t bring you aspirin no more, but I don’t know how to get it out.

Just cause I’m black, I don’t know how to get it out. You want somebody doing heart surgery, then you’re going to get a heart surgeon to write it up. Not just somebody who had a heart attack. What do they know about it?

What happens with fear? When you go into fight or flight? What kind of poison and chemicals go into your body? How do you deal with it? How much sex and drinking and drugs do you do?

A lot of black folks dealt with it by looking to God. God and fear can’t occupy the same spot, you see. We saw them, back in the day — black women, little children, black men. King and them. It worked for a time.

But then they came out with the guns.

A lot of those cops were Klansmen. When King gets the call, “N***er, we’re gonna blow up your house at 2:00 in the morning,” he can’t call the police. They’re probably the ones that made the call. So he’s gotta grab two children, and Coretta grabs two, and on their faces the children see something they’ve never seen before. Fear.

Fear works different on different people. You see a mother go down to the garage, jack up the car to change the tire, then the phone rings, then she comes back and the baby pushed the jack under the car and fell under it–and she lifts up the car! Soldiers on the front lines, taking that hill. That’s fear, that’s fear that comes and goes, it does its job and disappears.

But when you study what fear does to people who’ve been in it so long… You can go down the South, to Mississippi, to see black folks who’ve got three PhDs who still look like sharecroppers. The jaw fell, the eyes sunk…

Someday we’ll find out how all this works, all the chemicals, what makes us die so much younger, but it comes down to fear, fear, fear, fear. You see a cat that sees a dog, how its body changes, its hair swells up, its muscles clench. That’s how we live every day. We got used to it, we live with it, but that’s what’s happening.

Most white folks don’t know it but you can smell racism. You can smell fear and you can smell hate, just like I can smell whether my mom’s cooking barbecue or baking a cake. Black folks know it when they’re around it, it’s animal, it’s chemical.

Wow. So, you’d say that the power of the civil rights movement was faith staving off fear? And the end of the civil rights movement was a case of fear ultimately overpowering faith?

Look at the Haitians. Napoleon had the greatest army in the history of the planet at that time and they went over there and the black folk whooped their ass. Napoleon came in and they said no, you get back. And what did they blame it on? Voodoo. Now they teach everyone that voodoo is something mysterious and something negative. But “voudou” was just a word meaning spirit. It was spirituality.

We had something with King, with the movement around him. He had no guns, man. They had no evilness. They didn’t say nothing on those cameras or when then the cameras left. “Those no-good honkies, man” — there was none of that. It was a different thing.

And I learned so much from that. I never thought I’d see the day I’d sit here and tell you I’d rather be killed by somebody than kill somebody. That’s what I got out of that movement. We took on the greatest nation in the history of the world and brought them to their knees. With no meanness, no bitterness.

And everybody’s talking about where it went wrong, the thing they miss — When they killed Jesus, they didn’t get none of his disciples. When they killed Caesar, they didn’t mess with his friends in the Senate. When they came after us, they wiped everyone who had the power to change things. Malcolm. Martin. Medgar Evers. You go down the row, the list of names, and see what happened.

And you think that after those leaders were killed, the community gave in to fear?

When you stop and think… It’s like, what do you say when white folks bring up the Confederate flag? We think Hitler was one of the most powerful tyrants — them Nazis one of the most powerful governments that ever existed — but you can’t go to Germany and see a swastika. Not in public. So what does that say about us here?

We’re more vicious. These white American racists were more vicious than Hitler and them Nazis they hung on years after the war was over. You know how long World War II’s been over? And yet to this day they’ve got Nazi sympathizers but it’s not permitted in public. But we Americans don’t demand that of our racists. Black Americans don’t demand it.

You know we have thousands of black cops in America. And you never turn on the TV or hear the radio or pick up the paper where a white family is crying because these black cops shot their loved one in the back of the head 40 times. You think black folks don’t do that because they’re more spiritual? You think they don’t do that because they’re better? No! They know white folks won’t tolerate it! And as long as we do tolerate it it’s gonna happen.

By don’t tolerate it, I don’t mean get no gun. I mean organization, boycotts. When white folks say they’re gonna boycott Christmas shopping until they get this change–they get it.

The gays proved that. In March, when the governor of Indiana who was gonna sign a law saying businesses did not have to serve same-sex couples? And then the gays, and the people who were friends to the gays, rose up so bad, and then all at once people started canceling out conventions–and he changed that so fast like he always meant to do it.

And so let me give you an example. There’s still five states that display the Confederate flag in their state flag in some fashion. (Ed note: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas. Nine states, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, continue to display the Confederate flag on license plates.)

Now you saw what happened in Charleston, right? Now let me tell you how this white racist system feels about us. After 50 years, after nine people were massacred, they finally took that flag down in South Carolina. Let me tell you something. If black folks were to come together and said we’re holding a press conference today, and said to this state here or that state there, if that Confederate flag is not gone from official display, all the Negro athletes in your state are gonna start a boycott — no more black men coming to play sports in your state?

It’d be gone that night. That’s what they value–black athletes, compared to human beings.

It sounds like you’d clearly disagree with people who think America has somehow entered a “post-racial” era. Do you think America is still, fundamentally, a racist country?

See, a black person cannot be racist. Even some black people don’t know that. I can dislike a white person because they’re Jewish, I can dislike them because they’re Italian, or if they’re Russian. That’s prejudice.

But racism is the ability to control somebody else’s fate and destiny. And I can hate white folks all I want. I won’t have the power to take their job or see to it their kids go to a bad school.

The problem is really white supremacy. Most white folks don’t know what that means. They believe it means prejudice based on race. No, no, no. That’s the excuse. It’s supremacy. Who is supreme? Compared to you?

When Hitler decided he was trying to create a perfect race he wasn’t talking about black folks versus white folks. He was talking about Germans versus everyone else. Anyone who was a misfit got killed, white-looking or not. Consequently ‘whiteness’ is not a skin color, it’s an attitude.

There’s people in this world making millions of dollars every year just as interest on their money. That’s what I mean by “white folks.” I perform 200 days out of the year, and every time I say if I took over America, the first thing I’d make the black folks do is apologize to the white folks–because you’re mad at the wrong white folks! The white folks you’re mad at couldn’t hit at you if they’d like to. You guys get mad at the white folks at the Sears & Roebucks, the Walgreens, but I want you to be mad at the Saks Fifth Avenue ones. But they’ve got power, and you’re scared of that.

Who are you mad at? The Ku Klux Klan? Lynch mobs? How many black folks died from lynching as opposed to the effects of public policy? You think Negro-hating rednecks who can’t read or write, you think they determine public policy? You think the fucking Tea Party determines public policy? Let me tell you, if they do shut down the government that’s because the damn Rockefellers in power want it to be shut down. If that one percent didn’t want you to do something they could have tanks in your neighborhood and wipe you out before they’d let you get away with it, you understand?

The people who run this country, who run the world–I’m an old Negro. Coming up I wanted to be white because I thought white folks knew what was going on. Now I find out you white folks are as dumb as we are. Schools only a little bit better than ours. The same game they run on us they run on you.

Well, the buzzword the kids use these days for that is “intersectionality,” that all of us have the same problems in the end even if they manifest in different ways. You, for instance, were just as committed to fighting for women’s lib as for black civil rights–did you see those as connected?

Look at it this way. When I was a boy a woman who had a billion dollars couldn’t buy a house or a car unless a man signed for it. A white woman didn’t get to vote until 1921. Black men legally had the right to vote with the 13th/14th/15th Amendment. I live in a country of white men so vicious and evil, a white woman–that’s his momma, his daughter, his wife–she didn’t have the right to vote. Those white men, they gaveme the legal right to vote before her.

And every time she went to trial, before she could vote, if she was framed for killing somebody she couldn’t get before a jury of her peers because you have to vote to serve on the jury. Men decided what she owned, men voted for her, men sent her to prison.

It’s supremacy. That’s what this is all about.

Looking just how much power the people in power have, are you optimistic that anything’s going to change in your lifetime? Or mine?

Well, the only reason I’m optimistic (laughs) you’ve heard of this thing called the Indigo children? Kids born with IQs of 2000, traveling to other planets while their parents sleep–that could change things, if it’s happening.

But just on the face of it? No. We’re where the Romans was just before they fell. Their people didn’t know it. Our people don’t know it. But you can’t keep doing all this bullshit without it coming to an end.

And America? Let me tell you what I say about America. If that universal God up there don’t destroy America, then that God owes Sodom and Gomorrah a serious apology, hm? OK? Supposed to be the most Christian society in the history of the planet, they sing that hymn, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” I tell them, “You weren’t there then and you wouldn’t be there now.”

And if Jesus came here today and started bugging the wrong people again, they’d give him the electric chair. And then we’d have Christians with electric chairs around their necks singing, “Were you there when they electrified my Lord?”

This ignorance–no, no, no.

But… you don’t know, man. You don’t know what can change overnight.

What would have to happen for you to believe that things could change?

If we had a John Brown. My heroes–if I had to rank ‘em, it’d be John Brown at No. 1, everyone else falling behind. A white man that’s willing to kill or be killed–to liberate me! Had his two sons with him at Harpers Ferry.

Look. You can’t get no blacker than me. I’ll fight for black folks, but I–I won’t take my children with me. He did. He had 26 people with him, five of them black. That movie, “Django Unchained“? John Brown was like that, but it really happened.

And had it not been for John Brown, the world wouldn’t have been the same. Because of John Brown, the Civil War started. Well, that was the soldiers singing that. That was the North singing, as they were marching off to fight, “John Brown’s Body is a-Mouldering in his Grave…”

On my birthday, Oct. 12, I don’t go nowhere but down to Harpers Ferry, and thank John Brown’s spirit. Oct. 16, that’s the day Harpers Ferry hit. And Dec. 2, it used to be in Virginia, now it’s West Virginia, I go where they hanged him, the tree is still there. And I remember the speech he said as he was walking to the gallows. He left the courtroom, walked to the street, turned left, walked 2 ½ blocks, turn left, walked 3 ½ blocks and there’s the tree. And I remember what they said.

“N***er-lover! What you got to say!”

He said, “I’m fixing to die and if I did it for rich white men I’d be the hero.”

So he walked from the scaffold, and they tied up the rope, and he said, “Oh, by the way. I talked to God last night, and God told me to tell you, that you’ve lost the last chance to free the Negro slaves with no blood. And he told me to tell you, when the Negroes gonna be free, it’s gonna be the biggest bloodbath in the history of the planet.”

It took me a long time before I realized, it wasn’t just the Civil War he meant. John Brown, may he be at peace. But not us.

H/t: DB

Tea party and Trump supporters can’t accept people like Jorge Ramos and Barack Obama as Americans


attribution:    |     American


Let’s start with the obvious. Given that the candidate himself has characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, we can’t be surprised that one of his partisans told Jorge Ramos, the most influential Latino journalist there is, to “get out of my country.” Ramos responded: “This is my country. I’m a U.S. citizen too.”  Clearly thrown by the idea that this man with a Spanish accent might actually be an American, the Trump supporter spluttered: “Well, whatever. No. Univision. No. It’s not about you.”  Ramos, able to form actual sentences in English, calmly replied, “It’s not about you.  It’s about the United States.” It’s not clear whether Trump’s rhetoric exacerbates this kind of bigotry, or simply attracts those who already possess it. Either way, he and his supporters are a perfect match.

At a press conference only a few minutes earlier, Trump himself had dismissed Ramos—and, by extension, his large Latino audience—with the insult: “Go back to Univision.” This was after the journalist asked a question about the candidate’s immigration plan without waiting to be called on. Trump’s insult sounded to many Latinos a lot like: “Go back to Mexico.” Ramos discussed the interaction here.

Beyond this incident, in just the past week or so we saw two brothers—one of whom stated that he was inspired by Mr. Trump—ambush a man they targeted as Latino, leaving him with a broken nose, “battered” arms and chest, and, just for kicks, a face full of urine. Trump, in response, offered that “it would be a shame….I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.” Indeed.

Keep reading, and we’ll take a closer look.

An array of hate was on display in the crowd at a recent Trump rally in Alabama, where neo-Confederate activists passed out flyers, a reporter heard a number of “off-color remarks about minorities,” and one especially enthusiastic gentleman couldn’t stop chanting “white power.” Speaking of white power, you remember former KKK grand wizard David Duke, right? He endorsed Trump, declaring that the Donald “understands the real sentiment of America.” By the way, Duke isn’t the only white supremacist, white nationalist, or Neo-Nazi jumping on Trump’s bandwagon. What does Trump say about all these cheeky rapscallions who think he’s the Great White Hope? When asked about Duke’s endorsement, Trump claimed he hadn’t heard of him. He then added, “people like me across the board. Everybody likes me.” Well, not quite everybody.

The hate we’ve been discussing here largely stems from white racial anxiety about our country’s demographic future, an anxiety that, as I’ve written elsewhere, we ignore at our own peril. In terms of electoral politics, these sentiments strongly resemble those that motivate the tea party.

In their extensively researched book, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, Vanessa Williamson and Theda Skocpol found that tea party members expressed a significant degree of racial animus, and that their positions on various policies followed. Tea party rhetoric defines Latinos and African-Americans as being outside the national community. Supporters expressed profound resentment over what they saw as government redistributing the wealth of “hard-working” (read: white) Americans to “undeserving” (read: black and brown people) takers. In another article, Skocpol summarized:

[Tea Party members] are overwhelmingly older, white, conservative-minded men and women who fear that “their country” is about to be lost to mass immigration and new extensions of taxpayer-funded social programs (like the Affordable Care Act) for low- and moderate-income working-aged people, many of whom are black or brown. Fiscal conservatism is often said to be the top grassroots Tea Party priority, but Williamson and I did not find this to be true.

Similarly, a study published by Florida State University sociologists in the journal Social Science Research found race-based anger to be a “distinct factor” pushing people to embrace the tea party, a factor that operated “largely independent” from actual ideology. Here’s more from this study:

The Tea Party movement is an outlet for mobilizing and expressing racialized grievances which have been symbolically magnified by the election of the nation’s first black president….The findings suggest that, among conservatives, racial resentment may be a more important determinate of membership in the Tea Party movement than hard-right political values….Conservatives who were more racially resentful were substantially more likely to claim Tea Party movement membership.

Certainly it is possible to say that one wants to “take our country back” without being motivated by racism. As conservative pundit Byron York rightly pointed out, Democrats from Al Gore to John Kerry to Howard Dean all used a version of that phrase during the George W. Bush administration. However, the tea partiers who talk incessantly about taking their country back aren’t just talking about ideology, as the research cited above makes clear. It’s not just the use of those words—it is what’s behind them, the hate we saw expressed in countless other ways by members of the tea party.

Racist anti-Obama signs.

attribution: The Colbert Report screenshot

The above is a compilation of signs from tea party rallies put together by the staff of The Colbert Report. Host Stephen Colbert noted that it took them “almost 15 seconds to put that together.” What they show is much more than a rejection of Barack Obama’s policies. They show both a profound degree of racism, as well as a rejection of Obama as an American. That’s why the tea party embraced birtherism for so long and so loudly. And which prominent individual has clung longest and most loudly to birtherism, right up to the present in fact? Donald Trump.

We didn’t constantly see signs expressing bigotry at Gore, Kerry, or Dean rallies. And that’s the difference. When the tea party talks about taking their country back, it’s about more than politics alone. Likewise, when Donald Trump talks about Mexican immigrants being rapists and criminals in order to gin up anger over undocumented immigrants, it’s about more than just concern regarding the rule of law. That anger—fueled by racial anxiety—is what we saw in the video where a “passionate,” “inspired” Trump supporter clearly saw Jorge Ramos as not American.

This isn’t just one guy, one video, and one insult. It provides another window into the soul of right-wing America, an entity so full of hate that almost any little scratch brings the bile right up and out of its mouth. You can see the hate on that Trump supporter’s face, and you can hear it in his voice. That hate fuels the tea party, and it fuels support for Donald Trump. It is, in fact, the very same hate. That hate may not motivate every single participant in those two movements, but their successes would be impossible without it.

Daily Kos Staff

V.A.-Funded Federal Contractor Rejects 251 Black Applicants, Hires Sloppy White Crooks Instead


Undoubtedly the practice is widespread.  This is just one contractor that got busted.


How the hell does anyone argue racism is a thing of the past when the same criminal prejudice haunting every dark corner of history, even quite often proudly prancing and frolicking forth in the grand light of day throughout our history, is still doing “The Curly Shuffle” all over the unalienable rights of anyone who is not white, male, straight, conservative and corporate-oriented?

Take this federal contractor out in Wisconsin, just west of Milwaukee, who rejected with extreme prejudice 251 black applicants for positions with Brookfield’s United Mailing Services (UMS). Instead of hiring any of those black folks, made up presumably of both men and women, UMS decided a bunch of white guys lacking driver’s licenses who didn’t even competently complete their job applications in the first place, sporting criminal records to boot, were the much better hires.

Hell, United Mailing Services doesn’t just show us racism is alive and well – sexism is, too!

And this information comes via the Department of Labor as of Monday.

Isn’t that something right out of the early 60s? The 50s? 40s and on back? Back when folks think of the civil rights movement that has really, truly never been “won” and has neither gone away.

That UMS received over $3.6 million in federal funding for processing Veteran Affairs mail while it was openly discriminating against black U.S. citizens puts some extra stank on it, too, don’t you think, considering the number of African-American citizens who have given their lives for their country, and more to the point, for the American people?

Luckily, in this case, UMS got busted and is paying the price. According to the Labor Department, United Mailing Service now has promised to pay $120,000 (plus interest!) to each and every one of the 251 African-American applicants rejected by the company. The company also said it would hire 23 of the applicants turned away.

Imagine the joy of being one of the 23 black folks mandated to work in a racist company. Sure, you’re glad to have the job and see justice win out, but you’re also surrounded by racist a$$holes. Even legal wins can lack a bit of luster, sometimes. There’s one more example of white privilege for you.

What is perhaps most irritating, however, is that United Mailing Services never had to admit it was racist or had done anything wrong at all. They just throw some money at it and begrudgingly hire 23 of the rejected applicants and it’s like nothing ever happened. How nice.

At least the Office of Federal Contract Compliance states the company “violated federal employment law,” so… there’s that.

Is that progress, or a plateau? Because it sure as hell isn’t history.

Featured image via Pixabay / Flickr composite

7 Racist Moments From Your Favorite Disney Movies That Will Ruin Them Forever

Here’s the thing regarding Disney movies:  Yes, racism was there but it was everywhere during that time. An unfortunate part of the political and social status quo of the era.

Most cinema studios reflected such things then and now, unapologetic  and myopic to problems with race.

However, to the “minority” child observer and his Disney loving parents: “Okay that sucks, but the rest of the movie is so good!”


As children of the ’90s, we were often taught to be “colorblind.” What passed for anti-racism in our youth hinged more on ignoring each other’s racial differences — “Skin color doesn’t matter!” we were told — than embracing, celebrating, acknowledging and critiquing how these differences shape our lives.

This memo seems to have gotten lost on its way to Walt Disney Studios. The animated films that defined our “colorblind” childhoods — torn from their cushioned packaging and shoved into our waiting VHS players — had no qualms about resorting to the most blatant forms of racism that could still earn a “G”-rating.

Ignoring race did nothing for us then. Now we know better, and our darlings must be killed. Racism can be so inconvenient that way.

1. Dumbo (1940)

Source: Dumbo Lover/YouTube

The lead crow character in Dumbo, a gravel-voiced, thickly accented piece of black comedic relief (pun intended), is actually named “Jim Crow.” The name is a glib reference to the systems of state-sanctioned terrorism that defined black life in the American South throughout the early to mid-20th century.

The crows’ role in the film also mirrors the film industry’s rampant racism at the time, during which black performers were relegated to stereotypical comic roles, or supporting musical entertainment. Fun!

2. Peter Pan (1953)

Source: peterpan3401/YouTube

The song, “What Makes the Red Man Red?” sung by a chorus of Native American caricatures that rapidly devolve into outright minstrelsy, contains lyrics such as, “Once the Injun didn’t know all the things that he know now … but the Injun, he sure learn a lot, and it’s all from asking ‘How?'”

It also implies that Native peoples got their complexion because an “Injun prince” kissed a “squaw” a million years back and everyone has been “blushing since.” Such degrading portrayals of Native peoples have undergirded centuries of terrorism, plunder and degradation, and helped justify racist myths of Native inferiority. Cool!

3. Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Source: Crowley/YouTube

The stereotype of the sneaky, devious East Asian is on full display with the twin Siamese cat characters — Si and Am — in Lady and the Tramp. Aside from their heavily minstrelized rendering (both have buck teeth, thick accents and narrow eyes), their song, “We Are Siamese, If You Please,” features choreography in which the two wreak sly havoc in a house, and try killing a bird and a fish.

Similar stereotypes were used to reinforce fear of the so-called yellow peril in the late 19th century. Specifically, the notion that sneaky East Asians posed a mortal danger to the rest of the world led to strict fierce anti-immigration policies to keep them out of the United States. Wow!

4. The Jungle Book (1963)

Source: tahlee/YouTube

To feature a group of monkeys and apes singing like Louis Armstrong wannabes is one thing. But The Jungle Book‘s larger racial significance stems from its source: author Rudyard Kipling, who penned perhaps the defining manifesto of white imperialism in his 1899 poem, “The White Man’s Burden.”

In it, he lauds the nobility of white colonizers who leave their idyllic white lives behind to bring so-called “civilization” to their “new-caught, sullen,” “half devil and half child” “captives” — the people of the Philippines, in this particular case, and the rest of the non-white world. Amazing!

5. Aladdin (1992)

Source: Welcome/YouTube

Aladdin‘s first song, “Arabian Nights,” contains the lyrics: “I come from a land, from a faraway place, where the caravan camels roam … where it’s flat and immense and the heat is intense, it’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home!” It goes on to detail how the people living on said land will “cut off your ear if they don’t like your face.”

The stereotype of Arab savagery and barbarism has existed in Western iconography for years. But over the past two decades, it’s also fueled the cultural wing of the so-called “War on Terror” — an absurd rhetorical battle that pits an inherently violent culture, the Islamic Middle East, against an inherently benign one, the Christian West — fueling renewed expression of racism in the United States and beyond. Win!

6. The Lion King (1994)

Source: DisneyMusicVEVO/YouTube

“How can The Lion King be racist?” you ask. “There aren’t any people in it!” Indeed. How curious that the first Disney animated film set in Africa does the same work the worst portrayals of Africa do: presenting it as “one big wild animal preserve” without a human in sight. Disney’s second film set in Africa, 1999’s Tarzan, does not feature a single African person.

Not to mention that Shenzi, Banzai and Ed — Scar’s three buffoonish hyena goons — also happen to the most sonically ethnicized, once again mirroring age-old Hollywood conventions wherein black and Hispanic performers are relegated to stereotypical comic relief. Go team!

7. Pocahontas (1995)

Source: Disney Movies Anywhere/YouTube

Nobody expects Disney films to be pillars of historical accuracy. But if they obscure histories of kidnapping and abusive sexual coercion, they may be better left to storytellers more equipped to relay that.

From the Powhatan Renape Nation (Pocahontas’ real-life tribe) website:

“The true Pocahontas story has a sad ending. In 1612, at the age of 17, Pocahontas was treacherously taken prisoner by the English while she was on a social visit, and was held hostage at Jamestown for over a year.
“During her captivity, a 28-year-old widower named John Rolfe took a ‘special interest’ in the attractive young prisoner. As a condition of her release, she agreed to marry Rolfe … Thus, in April, Matoaka, also know as ‘Pocahontas,’ daughter of Chief Powhatan, became ‘Rebecca Rolfe.'”

Turns out Pocahontas was not a modelesque woman who talked to raccoons, trees and hummingbirds, but a teenaged colonial prisoner whose release was predicated on her entering a non-consensual, lifetime sexual relationship with a thirsty English stranger.

Thanks, Disney!

Zak Cheney-Rice


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