Nel's New Day

August 10, 2012

U.S. Still Not ‘Post-Racial’

Previous elections have had one-day stories—here for a few hours and then gone. This year is different. Stories stick around. One example is Mitt Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns. Perhaps this might have been because people now are getting more news from the Internet that keeps the issues at the forefront. For whatever reason, the stories that pervade the Internet these days frequently depict the prevalence of racism.

The election of Barack Obama to the office of president created the myth that the United States had entered a post-racial era. Instead, racism has become more and more widespread. For example, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), commonly known as the deadbeat dad because he owed more than $100,000 in child support, is calling on the Tea Party to pat the Commander-in-Chief, President Obama, on the head and call him “son.” (Walsh is also known for attacking the service of his opponent, Tammy Duckworth, for her value as a veteran; Duckworth is well known as a helicopter who lost both legs and damaged an arm when her UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents.)

Andrew McCarthy renewed another story that won’t go away when he gave a speech at the National Press Club supporting Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) horrific charges that Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. He went further than Bachmann, saying that she “actually understated the case” because “Ms. Abedin had a very lengthy affiliation with an institute founded by a top figure at the nexus between Saudi terror funding, Brotherhood ideology, and al-Qaeda’s jihad against the United States.”

McCarthy claimed that one connection came from Abedin’s exerting influence over Clinton by having her appear at a college that Abedin’s mother had founded in Egypt, the same school where George W. Bush’s adviser Karen Hughes spoke. Mother Jones reporter Adam Serwer asked McCarthy how the president supported sharia law when he also support marriage equality. And what about his position that the president killed Osama bin Laden because

“the Islamists [Obama] wants to engage have decided al-Qaeda is expendable” and counter to their peaceful takeover of American institutions.

McCarthy responded, “I’m a whack job, I guess.” But he keeps promoting whack ideas so that other whack jobs can follow him.

And Bachmann isn’t alone in her whack job attitude: her letters calling for an investigation about the Muslim Brotherhood’s “deep penetration” in the U.S. government were also signed by Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Thomas Rooney (R-FL), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA).

Even anti-President Obama religious leaders condemned these far-fetched claims. One of 42 organizations signing a letter of protest to these letters is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops which has opposed many of the president’s policies.

Gohmert called his critics “numb nuts.” One of the “numb nuts” is Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who has seemingly returned to sanity after his campaigns for president (2008) and senator (2010). On the floor of the Senate, he said, “These allegations about Huma Abedin, and the report from which they are drawn, are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant.”

Wes Harris, the founder and chairman of the Original North Phoenix Tea Party, ranted against McCain and promised a recall. Harris’ blog piece against the senator ended with what sounded like a threat: “Go to hell, Senator, it’s time for you to take your final dirt nap.”

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) demanded “credible, substantial evidence” from Bachmann to back up her accusations. In response, he received a letter he described as “16 pages worth of repeated false allegations. Just regurgitated nonsense.” In the letter, Bachmann did omit one of prime sources, Frank Gaffney, so far right that even the far-right organizations have refused to allow him to attend their meetings. He is the source for Rep. Allen West’s (R-FL) claim that the House is sheltering 80 communists among the Democrats. On Gaffney’s radio show, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) endorsed Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) paranoia. Bachmann is a member of this committee.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA) defended Bachmann in her Islamophobic quest. In a CBS interview with Charlie Rose, Cantor stated that her accusations came from her “concern about the security of the country.” Romney’s campaign advisor John Bolton joined Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh in saying that there was nothing wrong with Bachmann’s investigation.

Bachmann’s website has posted this statement: “The letters my colleagues and I sent on June 13 to the Inspectors General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of State – and the follow up letter I wrote to Rep. Ellison on July 13 – are unfortunately being distorted.”

One serious effect of Bachmann’s stupidity was the protesting against Secretary of State Clinton in Alexandria last month. Bachmann’s lies  led Egyptians to believe that the country’s new Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, was pushed on them through a U.S. plot. One of them explained to journalists “that the Obama Administration is pursuing a closeted pro-Muslim agenda.” A Egyptian blogger used information from Gaffney’s radio show as evidence that the U.S. has a strong connection with the Muslim Brotherhood.

After Japan won the 2011 Women’s Soccer World Cup by defeating the United States, U.S. fans flooded social media sites with racist comments about “Japs” and “Pearl Harbor.” The situation was no better this year when the U.S. defeated Japan 2-1 when U.S. fans  gloated about payback, comparing the defeat to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs (MS) refused to marry church members Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson because they are black. No black wedding is permitted at the church. The Southern Baptist Convention still supports slavery.

The killing of six Sikhs in Wisconsin last week is the culmination of over 1000 cases of random violence, killings, vandalism, bullying, beatings and intimidation against the Sikh community since 9/11.

The current Republican presidential nominee told the world in a speech that people in Israel are better off because the Palestinians are a “different” (aka lower) culture than the Israelites, in the same way that people in the United States are more productive than the people in Mexico because of U.S. “culture.”

Google “U.S. racism,” and you get almost 5,000,000 hits—from just the last month. This country is nowhere near “post-racial”!

Everyone in the country should heed McCain’s statement about Bachmann’s actions: “When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it.”

July 25, 2012

GOP Vision for America – 2

Since the election of President Obama almost four years ago and the far-right’s obsession with finding his “real” birth certificate, the racism in the United States has heated up to a boiling point, using anti-immigration laws to drive out anyone in the country with a darker skin. The unconstitutional immigration laws were first passed in Arizona, but they have spread across the nation, causing disaster to the farms that count on migrant workers to pick their crops which provides food all of us.

Caught in making racist remarks, people sometimes back off. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (AZ) was in court today defending himself from a racial profiling charge and backpedaled from his earlier statements the he supports the KKK’s policies and identifies criminals by the color of their skin. When questioned about his earlier statements, Arpaio said, “Sometimes, when you’re talking to national television, it’s much different than when you’re testifying ….”

Past Senate leader of the same state, Russell Pearce, successfully recalled from that position over a year ago, is known for such bigoted comments as the this one: “Corruption is the mechanism by which Mexico operates. Its people spawn more corruption wherever they go because it is their only known way of life.”

Despite protests from her fellow conservative lawmakers, Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN) joined four other Republicans representatives to demand an investigation in the Muslim Brotherhood and its plot to infiltrate the U.S. government. Her first target was Huma Abedin, aide to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton before she moved on to attack another Minnesota representative, Keith Ellison, who is a Muslim. Her source is a video report from Frank Gaffney, that claims Grover Norquist had helped the Muslim Brotherhood to “achieve information dominance over the George W. Bush administration.” Bachman’s racism caused protests against Clinton in Egypt because they didn’t know she was merely being racist.

Almost every day Rush Limbaugh utters offensive racist comments about progressives, and other prominent media personalities have contributed to the belief that racism is running the race against Democrats.

Newt Gingrich described the president as having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior” because he “is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president.”

Not all Republicans are cut from this racist cloth. Four years ago Sen. John McCain, Republican presidential nominee, stopped a woman at one of his speeches from making racist remarks about then-nominee for the Democrat party, Barack Obama.

The campaign of the current Republican presidential nominee has taken the opposite tack. While Mitt Romney is touring a few countries in Europe and attending the Olympics where he has entered his and his wife’s horse, one of his campaign advisers told the London Telegraph, “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and [Romney] feels that the special relationship is special. The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.” The indication seems to be that because President Obama was born to an Anglo woman from Kansas and raised for part of his youth by her parents in Hawaii, that he is somehow not “Anglo-Saxon.

At first the campaign said that nobody said that; then they changed the position to say that if anybody said that, it didn’t reflect Romney’s position. Even conservative blogs were a bit appalled by the statement. In reporting the event, The American Conservative described it as a none-issue before explaining that the statement was inaccurate because the Anglo-Saxon traditions had disappeared by 1066, long before the colonization of America.

It is to be noted that, in spite of his denial of the position, Romney has not demanded a retraction from the Telegraph.

In the same interview with the Telegraph, another adviser to the Romney campaign said, “Obama is a Left-winger. He doesn’t value the NATO alliance as much, he’s very comfortable with American decline and the traditional alliances don’t mean as much to him. He wouldn’t like singing ‘Land of Hope and Glory.’”

Romney has said that the president’s attacks are beneath him; Romney should look in the mirror and determine if his campaign tactics are not beneath a person who wants to be the president of the United States.

Although many Republicans do not follow the view that the United States should be “Anglo-Saxon,” too many see this as the “GOP vision for America.”

 

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