We’ve all seen it, and perhaps some have heard it at one time or another. “We’ve become so PC” or “You can’t say anything these days without someone being overly sensitive.”
It’s the usual response when a minority doesn’t get the joke or won’t fall in line, because we’re being “overly sensitive.”
I’m going to offer another perspective on this. That for much too long, the objections of Americans thought to be “minorities” were not heard unless there were marches and protests. So many people are just now finding out what some individuals who identify themselves as minorities find not funny or down right offensive because we’re speaking out louder than before, using other means to do it, and raising diverse voices, which include many non-minorities who also find certain racial caricatures and imitations less than flattering.
Click cartoon for larger image
This entire blog site contains scans of archived documents, old advertisements and quotes with links in order to try to give a historical perspective on what African Americans have been faced with through the years. My hope was that a few people would be able to understand where I’m coming from.
So when Victoria Foyt released her novel Save the Pearls: Revealing Eden, and failed to note how often black males were deemed to be “Beasts” and animalistic in literature, she not only doomed her own book’s premise, but perhaps the additional volumes of her planned serial.
Here’s what Foyt’s heroine, the vapid, annoying and highly bigoted Eden states about her potential love interest, and this is BEFORE he turns in to a were-panther/manimal. Bramford is a successful businessman who has his initials on the doors, but Foyt writes this for Eden:
Like an animal, he had marked his territory by carving a ridiculously large initial “B” onto each door. – Eden’s internal dialogue in Saving the Pearls: Revealing Eden
Exactly why Eden is so pissed at Bramford from the get-go is never really explained. It was a poor attempt by the author to inject some tension in the book, which gets even more gross once Bramford changes into a manimal and Eden describes how hot and bothered she gets while riding on his shoulders in a WTF am I reading scene. Guess it’s that “animal magnetism.”
Foyt, like the character she created acts clueless in her rebuttal statements on the offensive dialogue, depictions and scenes in her self pubbed novel. Eden is a classic Mary Sue character that every man, especially the black males who are called COALS in the book lust over. There’s a highly offensive club scene where Eden’s Midnight Luster AKA blackface accidently exposes her white skin underneath, and this transpires:
A signal seemed to ring through the frenzied crowd. Hundreds of Coals turned to stare at her; a rabid look in their eyes. She would be lucky to make it out of there alive.- Eden showing fear, because the sight of her white skin is actually a turn on for those COALS don’t cha know. This touches on another myth, one of many skewed in the Mel Brooks classic comedy Blazing Saddles, when Cleavon Little utters this line “Where the white women at?”
Notice the words frenzied, rabid and the insinuation that she’d be lucky to escape alive, because there would be “hundreds” of black males coming after her. Sort of like:
And here are a few examples of the overt racism of Thomas Dixon’s best seller The Clansman, in three scenes where black male characters are described lusting after southern white women:
“The bestial figure of a negro—his huge black hand plainly defined—the upper part of the face is dim, as if obscured by a gray mist of dawn—but the massive jaws and lips are clear—merciful God!—yes!—it’s Gus!” Page 314 of the online text The Clansman, 1905 novel by Thomas Dixon and basis for the racial propandan film The Birth of A Nation.
“As he bowed his thick neck in pompous courtesy, she caught with a shiver the odor of pomade on his black half kinked hair. He stopped on the lower step, looked back with smiling insolence, and gazed intently at her beauty. The girl shrank from the gleam of the jungle in his eyes and hurried within.” – Pg 207 of the online text of The Clansman, 1905 novel by Thomas Dixon and basis for the racial propaganda film The Birth of A Nation.
“Gus rose to his feet and started across the cave as if to spring on the shivering figure of the girl, the clansmen with muttered groans, sobs and curses falling back as he advanced. He still wore his full Captain’s uniform, its heavy epaulets flashing their gold in the unearthly light, his beastly jaws half covering the gold braid on the collar. His thick lips were drawn upward in an ugly leer and his sinister bead-eyes gleamed like a gorilla’s. A single fierce leap and the black claws clutched the air slowly as if sinking into the soft white throat.” – Pg 323 of the online text of The Clansman, 1905 novel by Thomas Dixon and basis for the racial propaganda film The Birth of A Nation.
For more on what went wrong in Foyt’s novel, please see this post:
During segregation, some writers had no problem with using the word “Beast” on the cover of their novels. A couple of examples are below:
Now here are some examples of how the black male was demeaned in The Help:
Plenty of black men leave their families behind like trash in a dump, but that’s just not something the colored woman do. We’ve got the kids to think about. (Minny, Page 311)
No where in the novel does Stockett, speaking through her white characters even touch analyzing the behaviour of “Plenty of white men.” You know why? Because in The Help, Stockett’s lead white male characters are lovingly crafted to appear not as segregationists, but hen pecked males simply following the order of the time period. And just in case people don’t get that Stockett’s leading males shouldn’t be thought of in the negative, the reader is “told” about the good qualities these men have. No such out was given to the black males paired with the Maids/Mammies in the novel or film.
Even after Stuart Whitworth dumps her, Skeeter “tells” the reader ”He is a good man, Stuart” (Pg 382). Stockett has Skeeter somehow explaining what’s in Stuart’s heart, though just prior sentences have him asking her “I just . . . I don’t understand why you would do this. Why do you even . . .care about this, Skeeter?” This takes place when Skeeter finally reveals her part in the annonymous domestic novel penned by the maids of Jackson.
In case you’re thinking, oh no, this can’t be true! Take a look at how Stockett, again speaking through her black female characters has them demean the males she pairs them with:
We start calling his daddy Crisco cause you can’t fancy up a man done run off on his family. Plus he the greasiest no-count you ever known. (Aibileen, Pg 5)
Keep in mind the name calling and the notion of yet another black male running off on his family. Because these are just more slurs that were heaped on the black community during segregation, which Stockett inserts in her novel and many readers missed. But during segregation and even today, black males, no matter their education or socio-economic status are painted with a negative light, an ideology that originated and was spread by bigots. Stockett once again uses this taint by having Mammy Aibileen reveal to Skeeter how Constantine’s lover also abandoned her once Lulabelle (renamed Rachel in the film) was born. To add insult to injury Aibileen has to add “He was black as me” as if being a dark complexioned African American is somehow a fate worse than death. No where in the novel is an African American character viewed as attractive, pretty, cute, or any of the compliments Stockett bestows on her white characters and their children. The kicker is, she again uses Aibileen voice it. I could only find Skeeter referencing how Yule Mae had a better figure than Hilly, and Aibileen drooling over Yule May’s hair because in church “Yule May easy to recognize from the back cause she got good hair, smooth, no nap to it.” (Pg 208)
Skeeter also ”tells” the reader how honest a man her father Carlton Phelan is (renamed Richard in the film), when he’s unable to give her the information she seeks on Constantine’s dismissal. And Stockett also has Skeeter shocked to hear her father’s views on segregation during a dinner party with her then fiance Stuart and his family, where Carlton brings his brand of quiet liberalism out of the closet. Yet notice what Charlotte Phelan threatens to do to Lulabelle (Constantine’s now grown daughter) when the young woman mingles during one of Charlotte’s DAR meetings:
“I say Lulabelle, you get out of this house before I call Mr. Phelan.” (Charlotte Phelan, threatening her devoted maid Costantine’s only child on Pg 363, and this BEFORE Lulabelle spit on her)
So while Stockett wrote Carlton Phelan as a southerner with the heart of a liberal, she blows her own premise by having Charlotte Phelan use him as the one to call in order to throw Constantine’s daughter out.
There are two more white males whose characters Stockett attempts to rehabilitate. Senator Stoolie Whitworth and Constantine’s father. Stuart informs Skeeter that his father is only doing the will of his constiuents, even though he stood shoulder to shoulder with Gov. Ross Barnett in an earlier scene to block the entry of a black student enrolling in Ole Miss (Stockett inserts James Meredith’s entry into Ole Miss which resulted in white residents and students rioting and the death of two people, including a French journalist, however the novel leaves out the tragic aftermath, as if this real history never happened). Stuart infers that his politically ambitious father, like Skeeter’s father is a closet liberal, only going along to get along.
Constantine’s father is never named even though he’s fathered several bi-racial children and Constantine and her siblings live in poverty. What’s telling is that while he’s a dead beat dad, Stockett never labels him “no-ccount” or “a fool” like she does with Minny’s father (his name is never given either, but Minny calls him “My no-good drunk daddy.” Minny and Aibileen both call Leroy a fool. Contantine tells Skeeter about the time she was feeling sorry for herself and her father gave comfort by crying and offering words of advice that Constantine then passes on to Skeeter. In addition Constantine tells Skeeter all about how much her father loved her, and would bring over ribbons for her hair. Stockett again uses the tactic of showing another side to the white males associated with her characters.
And while a naked pervert breaks Celia’s window and jacks off in front of the women, the worse thing Minny thinks to call him is “a fool.”
Much like how Kathryn Stockett’s smash novel The Help inserted error prone and offensive commentary through her black characters on what they viewed as flaws in black men, what I got out of not only the Republican convention, rallies and even their primaries were lectures on how not just Americans, but minorities need to conduct themselves. And how Obama should have “conducted” himself during his tenure.
This post contains references to political parties and politicians, but let me say on the outset that I’m neither Democrat or Republican, which is contrary to the assumption that all African Americans voted for Obama no matter what their political affliation. I think it important to point out the similarities from prior years when African Americans were used to incite specific emotions. It was used with great success during segregation and has been enlisted once again, in 2012.
This post will also attempt to delve into in the political arena, with a man who currently has the biggest bullseye on his back, President Barack Obama.
While Obama’s opponents would never use the “black brute” caricature to smear him, there are plenty of other terms, slights and things that go bump in the night being used to brand him unworthy of getting a second term in office.
Chuch Norris’ YouTube sermon is a good example why politics and religion don’t mix, as Chuck uses his own brand of WTF’ery by claiming 1000 years of darkness will occur if Obama is re-elected:
“Chuck Norris and his wife Gena made a YouTube video encouraging evangelical Christians to oust President Barack Obama, with Norris warning that the nation stands on the brink of “socialism or something much worse.”
Gena Norris also quotes a 1964 speech by Ronald Reagan, saying that failed actions “will sentence (our children) to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness.” Reagan gave the speech on behalf of then-presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, who went on to lose to Lyndon Johnson by one of the largest margins in history.”
No Paul, that’s not what you insinuated in your speech, but now you’re trying to “fix” it (items in bold are my doing):
Paul Ryan: Obama didn’t shut auto plant, but didn’t fix it, either
By Eun Kyung Kim, TODAY contributor
“Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is defending parts of his convention speech that have come under scrutiny, including claims that President Obama was responsible for shuttering an auto plant in Ryan’s hometown.
“What they are trying to suggest is that I said Barack Obama was responsible for the plant shut down in Janesville. That is not what I was saying. Read the speech,” he told Matt Lauer on TODAY Tuesday. “What I was saying is the president ought to be held to account for his broken promises. After our plant was shut down, he said would lead an effort to retool plants like the Janesville plant to get people back to work. … It’s still idle; people are still not working there. Lots of people I grew up with who lost their jobs there still don’t have their jobs there.”
During his acceptance speech last week at the Republican National Convention, Ryan made a reference to a campaign visit that then-presidential candidate Obama made to a GM plant in Janesville, Wis. However, the plant had already been shut down when Obama paid the visit.
It’s important to remember that Ryan was the representative, yet he never states what he did to stop the plant closing. Obama visited the plant when he was candidate for President. The plant closed under the BUSH administration, with no objection from Paul Ryan.
Here’s an excerpt of what Paul Ryan said in his speech:
“My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory,” Ryan said in his convention speech Wednesday night. “A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.’ That’s what he said in 2008.”
“Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight,” Ryan continued.
The plant Ryan referenced, which he also brought up at an event earlier this month, made its last GM automobile in December 2008 while President George W. Bush was still in office. The announcement to close the Janesville plant came in June of 2008, after then-candidate Obama spoke there, and the initial projected date for its closing was 2010, according to an AP article from the time.
Looks like Paul Ryan should be sitting in the time out chair:
Taking a page from the past by using “code” words and phrases that both appeal and frighten some Americans into believing a certain agenda, which in 2012 is that “Obama isn’t one of us” a mantra that ironically, doesn’t make those deemed minorities feel all warm and fuzzy, all this is being done in order to wrestle back control of the country (and the money and power that goes with it, because that’s the real stakes).
This post was originally titled Leave black men alone! Examining the fear and loathing The Help and Saving the Pearls have for the black male characters on their pages. However, after all the tall tales spoken of during the Republican Convention, I have to add their very own fear, loathing and disrespect about President Obama. So let me start with what everyone is talking about, which tells you just how unremarkable Romney’s acceptance speech was. Lacking in any real details, Mitt simply stuck with the same act he’s been using since the primary. Saying nothing that will offend or make his coveted base angry with him. Toss out a few lines to the rest of us (women, minorities).
The real star of the Republican convention for me, was Clint Eastwood and his conversation with a chair. After Clint’s funny as hell but ultimately cringe worthy segment was over, here’s a sampling of what was stated in defense:
Mitt Romney For President campaign
Judging an American icon like Clint Eastwood through a typical political lens doesn’t work. His ad-libbing was a break from all the political speeches, and the crowd enjoyed it. He rightly pointed out that 23 million Americans out of work or underemployed is a national disgrace and it’s time for a change.
“We appreciated Clint’s support and he’s a unique guy and he did a unique thing last night.”
And here’s what the comics had to say:
“You don’t have to to go far to see an old man yelling at an inadement object” – John Stewart
“When Clint woke up this morning he saw that Obama was gone from the chair…Or was he still there!?!?!” – Seth Myers
It’s already been pointed out that Eastwood’s choice of a prop brings up uncomfortable memories of Ralph Ellison’s classic novel “Invisible Man.”
For those who aren’t familiar with Ellison’s award winning novel, I’ve listed a few excerpts:
“Why, the dumbest black bastard in the cotton patch knows that the only way to please a white man is to tell him a lie!” ― Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man
“I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allen Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie extoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids—and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination—indeed, everything and anything except me.” ― Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man
“I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest…On the other hand I’ve never been more loved and appreciated than when I tried to ‘justify’ and affirm someone’s mistaken beliefs…But here was the rub. Too often, in order to justify them, I had to take myself by the throat and choke myself until my eyes bulged and my tongue hung out and wagged like the door of an empty house in a high wind. Oh yes, it made them happy and it made me sick. So I became ill of affirmation, of saying ‘yes’ against the nay-saying of my stomach- not to mention my brain.” ― Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man
Those who recall segregation know that the tactics being used against Obama are just par for the course. Now there are a few people using the symbol of Obama in an empty chair to express offensive imagery like this:
You can read the full article here:
Throughout the Republican convention Obama was blamed for everything, as if GOP had nothing to do with the mess this country is in. Piling on the President has become a national sport and unfortunately, in the unflattering history of America, black males (and also black females) have at one time or another been blamed for just about everything, from overall crime, assaults, rapes, to the lowering of standards in the American Educational system, to America becoming a “Welfare” Nation. GOP is simply re-using words that were applied in the past to describe the “Negro” problem in the US.
Fear of a Welfare Nation
“The African American Community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with foodstamps.” - Newt Gingrich, jumping on the “Welfare Nation” bandwagon in 2012
“There’s a woman in Chicago,” Reagan said, according to an article in the now-defunct Washington Star. “She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards. … She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income alone is over $150,000.” – Ronald Reagan, 1976
The idea that Welfare and food stamps are programs only African Americans avail themselves of has been around for years. It’s part of the “us” and “them” mentality. But what also should be noted is how the belief that somehow African Americans have never really pulled their weight or worked as hard as whites is a remnant of ideology from slavery and continued on during segregation.
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Booker Wright, a waiter in Mississippi during the 60s revealed how he took insults with a smile. When the documentary he participated in was shown on NBC, Booker was brutally assaulted.
“The meaner the man be the more you smile although you cryin’ on the inside . . . ”
-Booker Wright, from the documentary Mississippi: A Self-Portrait
You can read about Booker Wright’s courage in speaking out here
What’s funny is how blacks were guided and sometimes forced to take domestic work because these were the only jobs offered to those of color. Segregation was profitable, because by keeping African Americans subservient and claiming we weren’t “equal” to whites, low wages, long hours and the possibility of an employer refusing to pay for work was the norm.
There was hardly a thing as a sick day for black workers during segregation or a pension. Far too often bigotry was used as an excuse for cheap labor and to continue the practice by claiming that African Americans didn’t need, or deserve a comfortable lifestyle. There were even bogus “Studies” which spread propaganda on how blacks were different than whites, especially in intelligence. A common refrain was that blacks would only be granted equality when we “earned” it, yet the bar kept getting raised.
Much like the excuses used to justify blocking integration, untruths were spread about black lifestyle which still color how we’re viewed today. During Segregation, even cartoons got into the act. One company which produced imagery of supposed “authentic” black lifestyle and characters made for laughter was DISNEY, who were the distributors of The Help. Disney’s characters included folksy Uncle Remus, the jive talking crows from DUMBO and the now deleted hoof shining centaurette from Fantasia. There were also the Rostabouts, faceless black males who worked by night to set up the circus in the animated classic DUMBO.
Here are the lyrics to the 1941 Disney The Song of the Rostabouts (take note of the lyrics I’ve put in bold)
Hike! Ugh! Hike! Ugh! Hike! Ugh! Hike!
We work all day, we work all night
We never learned to read or write
We’re happy-hearted roustabouts
Hike! Ugh! Hike! Ugh! Hike! Ugh! Hike!
When other folks have gone to bed
We slave until we’re almost dead
We’re happy-hearted roustabouts
Hike! Ugh! Hike! Ugh! Hike! Ugh! Hike!
We don’t know when we get our pay
And when we do, we throw our pay away
(When we get our pay, we throw our money all away)
We get our pay when children say
With happy hearts, “It’s circus day today”
(Then we get our pay, just watching kids on circus day)
Back near breaking
Eggs and bacon what we need (Yes, sir!)
Boss man houndin’
Keep on poundin’
For your bed and feed
There ain’t no let up
Must get set up
Pull that canvas! Drive that stake!
Want to doze off
Get them clothes off
But must keep awake
Hep! Heave! Hep! Heave! Hep! Heave!
Hep! Heave! Hep! Heave! Hep! Heave!
Hep! Heave! Hep!
Swing that sledge! Sing that song!
Work and laugh the whole night long
You happy-hearted roustabouts!
Pullin’, poundin’, tryin’, groundin’
Big top roundin’ into shape
Keep on working!
Stop that shirking!
Grab that rope, you hairy ape!
Poundin’! poundin’! poundin’! poundin’!
For more on Disney’s caricatures in their films, see this post: http://acriticalreviewofthehelp.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/is-the-help-literary-blackface/
Here are a few scans from a 1960s newspaper in Jackson, MS called the Clarion Ledger, when blacks were marching for Freedom. Note what was being said and done to block equality:
And here’s a more recent affront, where an African American returning an article of clothing noticed this was printed on his receipt:
Ronald Reagan is a President whose policies and statements are referenced with reverence by many Republicans. So when he mentioned but never identified a ”Welfare Queen” it was taken as fact, and also as if most of those on Welfare were bilking the system and not in need of services. No mention was made of the children who were recipients of food and shelter, helped by the program during the reign of Reagan’s often repeated tale.
In researching the history of the Welfare Queen tale, I wound up on a site that raised objections after Political commentator Chris Matthews refuted Reagan’s notion of “welfare queens who collected checks under multiple aliases.”
” . . she’d stolen over $150,000, had 26 aliases, three Social Security numbers, 30 different addresses around the city and “owned a portfolio of stocks and bonds under various names and a garage full of autos including a Cadillac, Lincoln and a Chevy wagon.” She incidentally had several dead husbands and had just returned from a trip to Hawaii, presumably to avoid the last bit of the winter of 1977. All of her ill-gotten goods were courtesy of the US taxpayer. “Prosecutors say there is no category of public aid—welfare payments, rent subsidies, medical reimbursements, food stamps, transportations allowances, child-care expenses, survivors’ benefits –that Taylor had neglected to apply” for. The Post re-dubbed her, “The Chutzpa Queen.” (Washington post, march 13, 1977 page 3)
Again, it’s important to remember that Ronald Reagan never revealed who he was speaking of.
And it’s also important to remember that if more research is done, then I’m pretty sure a welfare cheat who’s not a minority can be found.
So, to compare if this woman is who Reagan was using as an example:
He says she had 80 names, while the article states she had 26
Reagan claimed she had 12 Social Security Cards, while the article references 3 social security numbers, not actual cards.
He said she collected over $150,000 in cash free income while the article states she’d “stolen over $150,000″
Reagan stated the individal had 30 addresses, which matches with the article number of 30 addresses
I don’t know who yahoo-D254XH5DRIYQU65CJUX3UCMGBM is, but I thank them for pointing me in the right direction in order to shed some light on Ronald Reagan’s often repeated “Welfare Queen” tag, which has gotten awfully muddy through the years. I enjoyed her or his rebuttal, which has yet to addressed by the site.
The above individual mentioned an article by CNN, which I did find:
“ . . . A database search of all major newspapers turned up the first use of the term in 1974, when a woman in Chicago was given the label.
Two additional women were also dubbed welfare queens in subsequent years by local newspapers. Both were based in Los Angeles. One collected $377,458 in welfare benefits in seven years and lived in a house with a swimming pool. She did drive a Cadillac, along with a Rolls Royce and Mercedes Benz, Gustafson discovered.
Reagan merged the identities of all three and exaggerated their abuses, Gustafson says.
“Reagan twisted them around and created one character, and tried to leave everyone with the impression that it was happening all over the place,” Gustafson says. “It’s totally false that these women typified welfare recipients.”
Whether this is the individual Reagan was talking about is not known to this day. However, a big part of the problem is that fingers continue to point towards minorities when some politicians need to make points with their base, to “scare” them into believing all things negative in our society originates from other races in America the beautiful. It’s a lousy tactic, but its been used successfully for decades.
Republicans and Race
“The G.O.P.’s own leaders admit that the great Southern white shift was the result of a deliberate political strategy. “Some Republicans gave up on winning the African-American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization.” So declared Ken Mehlman, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, speaking in 2005.
And Ronald Reagan was among the “some” who tried to benefit from racial polarization.
True, he never used explicit racial rhetoric. Neither did Richard Nixon. As Thomas and Mary Edsall put it in their classic 1991 book, “Chain Reaction: The impact of race, rights and taxes on American politics,” “Reagan paralleled Nixon’s success in constructing a politics and a strategy of governing that attacked policies targeted toward blacks and other minorities without reference to race — a conservative politics that had the effect of polarizing the electorate along racial lines.”
Thus, Reagan repeatedly told the bogus story of the Cadillac-driving welfare queen — a gross exaggeration of a minor case of welfare fraud. He never mentioned the woman’s race, but he didn’t have to.
There are many other examples of Reagan’s tacit race-baiting in the historical record. My colleague Bob Herbert described some of these examples in a recent column. Here’s one he didn’t mention: During the 1976 campaign Reagan often talked about how upset workers must be to see an able-bodied man using food stamps at the grocery store. In the South — but not in the North — the food-stamp user became a “strapping young buck” buying T-bone steaks.
Now, about the Philadelphia story: in December 1979 the Republican national committeeman from Mississippi wrote a letter urging that the party’s nominee speak at the Neshoba Country Fair, just outside the town where three civil rights workers had been murdered in 1964. It would, he wrote, help win over “George Wallace inclined voters.”
Sure enough, Reagan appeared, and declared his support for states’ rights — which everyone took to be a coded declaration of support for segregationist sentiments.
Reagan’s defenders protest furiously that he wasn’t personally bigoted. So what? We’re talking about his political strategy. His personal beliefs are irrelevant.
Why does this history matter now? Because it tells why the vision of a permanent conservative majority, so widely accepted a few years ago, is wrong. . . “
Read the entire article here http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/19/opinion/19krugman.html
The Myth of the Great White Savior: This year’s model, Mitt Romney
There were times Republican candidate Mitt Romney could have spoken out for what’s right, but didn’t. Eager to assert the might of the US upon the world because of how he views America’s “weakened” image, Romney couldn’t bring himself to speak out in favor in a couple of key issues of concern to me:
Romneycare, which was the basis of the re-named Obamacare, something many people may need, since 50 million Americans don’t have health insurance.
Personally speaking, as a parent with a child who graduated from college and needs to stay on my insurance, when GOP speaks of overturning this law they forget that even working Americans may have to utilize provisions of Obamacare. And speaking of a child and college, I’m also glad the student loan interest rates became a top priority for the President.
Women’s reproductive rights and Rush Limbaugh’s sexist tirade
While Ann Romney is a compelling speaker, her husband’s actions in seeking his party’s nomination left much to be desired. During the primary Romney had no problem turning a blind eye to women’s rights and rarely clashed with his party leaders and de-facto leaders such as Russ Limbaugh’s uncalled for and highly sexist tirades against law student Sandra Fluke.
Here’s part of what Limbaugh said on the air:
“What does it say about the college coed . . . who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex?’’ Limbaugh said. “It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.’’
He went on to suggest that Fluke distribute sex tapes of herself.
“If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it,’’ he said.
Limbaugh’s tirade against law student prompts Obama call
NEW YORK – Rush Limbaugh drew fire yesterday from many directions, including President Obama, for his depiction of a college student as a “slut’’ and “prostitute’’ because she testified before Congress about the need for contraceptive coverage.
The third-year Georgetown University law student, Sandra Fluke, received a phone call from Obama and support from members of Congress, women’s groups, and the administration and faculty at her Roman Catholic university.
Romney’s initial statement on Rush’s vile tirade:
“I’ll just say this, which is, it’s not the language I would have used,” Romney told reporters at a campaign event in Cleveland, Ohio Friday night. “I’m focusing on the issues I think are significant in the country today, and that’s why I’m here talking about jobs and Ohio.”
The venom with which GOP spoke on the nation’s immigration policy during the primary both saddened and made me cringe. I don’t think GOP realizes the attacks on the Hispanic community also affect those from multicultural families, like mine. It’s one thing to discuss the illegal aliens in the country. It’s another thing to have a witch hunt by casting a wide net of intolerance.
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When Romney had the opportunity to prove that he was more than just a yes man, he failed to show it.
His speech claiming ” . . . There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Romney’s assertion has already been fact checked. You can read more here:
Articulate and handsome, I have to wonder, is Mitt Romney simply adding the presidency as a one-up on his father’s legacy?
His 360 degree turn, where he now expects voters to believe he’ll become a “champion” of the people just doesn’t wash with me. Not when reviewing what he’s done up to this point.
So to answer the question of whether I’m better off today than four years ago: HELL YES.
I’m better off than I when Ronald Reagan was president, and when this was the norm:
The other black male who could have been president, but was misused by GOP: Colin Powell and the Trayvon Martin murder