Civil Rights Leaders Remember JFK

The Belafonte TV Ad

Andrew Young Remembers JFK and MLK’s sorrow at hearing Kennedy had been assasinated -

John Lewis’ remembrance -

 

The Boss fo Obama

 

‘Nuf Said.

Former Republican Governor Backs Obama

I raise your failed Congressman, wannabe Governor, Uncle Tom dejour Artur Davis with

Former successful Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist!

Former Gov. Charlie Crist: Here’s why I’m backing Barack Obama

I’ve studied, admired and gotten to know a lot of leaders in my life. Across Florida, in Washington and around the country, I’ve watched the failure of those who favor extreme rhetoric over sensible compromise, and I’ve seen how those who never lose sight of solutions sow the greatest successes.

As America prepares to pick our president for the next four years — and as Florida prepares once again to play a decisive role — I’m confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation. I applaud and share his vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility. It is a vision of the future proven right by our history.

We often remind ourselves to learn the lessons of the past, lest we risk repeating its mistakes. Yet nearly as often, our short-term memory fails us. Many have already forgotten how deep and daunting our shared crisis was in the winter of 2009, as President Obama was inaugurated. It was no ordinary challenge, and the president served as the nation’s calm through a historically turbulent storm.

The president’s response was swift, smart and farsighted. He kept his compass pointed due north and relentlessly focused on saving jobs, creating more and helping the many who felt trapped beneath the house of cards that had collapsed upon them.

He knew we had to get people back to work as quickly as possible — but he also knew that the value of a recovery lies in its durability. Short-term healing had to be paired with an economy that would stay healthy over the long run. And he knew that happens best by investing in the right places.

President Obama invested in our children’s schools because he believes a good education is a necessity, not a luxury, if we’re going to create an economy built to last. He supported more than 400,000 K-12 teachers’ jobs, and he is making college more affordable and making student loans, like the ones he took out, easier to pay back.

He invested in our runways, railways and roads. President Obama knows a reliable infrastructure that helps move people to work and helps businesses move goods to market is a foundation of growth.

And the president invested in our retirement security by strengthening Medicare. The $716 billion in savings his opponents decry today extended the life of the program by nearly a decade and are making sure taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted in excessive payments to insurance companies or fraud and abuse. His opponents would end the Medicare guarantee by creating a voucher that would raise seniors’ costs by thousands of dollars and bankrupt the program.

We have more work to do, more investments to make and more waste to cut. But only one candidate in this race has proven a willingness to navigate a realistic path to prosperity…(more)

The New- Old Jim Crow – “Fear of a Black President”

 

Great article by Ta-Nehisi Coates about the right wing’s reaction and vitrol against President Obama.  The roots of this go back generations, illuminated by the America’s rejection of Jesse Owens after the 1938 Olympics (It wasn’t Hitler who refused to shake Owens hand and congratulate him – if was Owen’s fellow Americans). That hasn’t changed much – as the American segregationalists just changed political parties, and now couch their racism in more “palatable” terms…

Even more interesting is the impact of President Obama’s achievement of black Republicans like Artur Davis.

Fear of a Black President

The irony of President Barack Obama is best captured in his comments on the death of Trayvon Martin, and the ensuing fray. Obama has pitched his presidency as a monument to moderation. He peppers his speeches with nods to ideas originally held by conservatives. He routinely cites Ronald Reagan. He effusively praises the enduring wisdom of the American people, and believes that the height of insight lies in the town square. Despite his sloganeering for change and progress, Obama is a conservative revolutionary, and nowhere is his conservative character revealed more than in the very sphere where he holds singular gravity—race.

Part of that conservatism about race has been reflected in his reticence: for most of his term in office, Obama has declined to talk about the ways in which race complicates the American present and, in particular, his own presidency. But then, last February, George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old insurance underwriter, shot and killed a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman, armed with a 9 mm handgun, believed himself to be tracking the movements of a possible intruder. The possible intruder turned out to be a boy in a hoodie, bearing nothing but candy and iced tea. The local authorities at first declined to make an arrest, citing Zim­mer­man’s claim of self-defense. Protests exploded nationally. Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea assumed totemic power. Celebrities—the actor Jamie Foxx, the former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, members of the Miami Heat—were photographed wearing hoodies. When Rep­resentative Bobby Rush of Chicago took to the House floor to denounce racial profiling, he was removed from the chamber after donning a hoodie mid-speech.

The reaction to the tragedy was, at first, trans-partisan. Conservatives either said nothing or offered tepid support for a full investigation—and in fact it was the Republican governor of Florida, Rick Scott, who appointed the special prosecutor who ultimately charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder. As civil-rights activists descended on Florida, National Review, a magazine that once opposed integration, ran a column proclaiming “Al Sharpton Is Right.” The belief that a young man should be able to go to the store for Skittles and an iced tea and not be killed by a neighborhood-­watch patroller seemed un­controversial.

By the time reporters began asking the White House for comment, the president likely had already given the matter considerable thought. Obama is not simply America’s first black president—he is the first president who could credibly teach a black-studies class. He is fully versed in the works of Richard Wright and James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X. Obama’s two autobiographies are deeply concerned with race, and in front of black audiences he is apt to cite important but obscure political figures such as George Henry White, who served from 1897 to 1901 and was the last African American congressman to be elected from the South until 1970. But with just a few notable exceptions, the president had, for the first three years of his presidency, strenuously avoided talk of race. And yet, when Trayvon Martin died, talk Obama did:

When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together—federal, state, and local—to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened …

But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.The moment Obama spoke, the case of Trayvon Martin passed out of its national-mourning phase and lapsed into something darker and more familiar—racialized political fodder. The illusion of consensus crumbled. Rush Limbaugh denounced Obama’s claim of empathy. The Daily Caller, a conservative Web site, broadcast all of Martin’s tweets, the most loutish of which revealed him to have committed the un­pardonable sin of speaking like a 17-year-old boy. A white-­supremacist site called Stormfront produced a photo of Martin with pants sagging, flipping the bird. Business Insiderposted the photograph and took it down without apology when it was revealed to be a fake.

Newt Ging­rich pounced on Obama’s comments: “Is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be okay because it wouldn’t look like him?” Reverting to form,National Review decided the real problem was that we were interested in the deaths of black youths only when nonblacks pulled the trigger. John Derbyshire, writing for Taki’s Magazine, an iconoclastic libertarian publication, composed a racist advice column for his children inspired by the Martin affair. (Among Derbyshire’s tips: never help black people in any kind of distress; avoid large gatherings of black people; cultivate black friends to shield yourself from charges of racism.)

For the rest of the article - go here.

Condi Rice – A Misogynist Conservative’s Wet Dream Candidate

Proving once again that the soul of the Republican Party is a bunch of 65 yar old pubescent teenagers holding desperately to a dog eared Playboy Magazine…

Fresh from cleaning up after the serial masturbation over the Sno’ Ho’ – it seems the Conservatives have selected their new cenerfold.

Bad news guys —  Condi will not be the VP candidate…Period.

Thee are a number of reasons for this (serial failure as Secretary of State being one) – not the least of which is the “closet” issue.

As attractive, intelligent, and talented as Condi is – she ain’t got no man… Because she doesn’t swing that way.

When Condi came to DC, every brother for 200 miles worth his 6 or 7 figure income was lining up to get next to Condi, a successful black woman who, at least on the surface appeared to be comfortable in her own skin, and not carrying the usual 6 tons of emotional baggage about her looks, her success, or the last 17 Playas she picked as potential matches only to find out that they really were Playas. I mean – her hanging out with conservative scum, and perhaps having to escort her to the septuagenarian Geritol  shuffleboard parties which pass for Republican white whine parties, at that level at least would be a small price to pay.

No interest…

There is a good reason why.

(uhhh…Conservatives…Enjoy the photoshops!)

Rice for Vice President?

How do you give heartburn simultaneously to Team Obama and to conservatives? Spread a rumor Mitt Romney is thinking of picking former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice as his running mate.

Condi Rice is a remarkable woman with an impressive resume. My friend Jack Wheeler and I used to be so high on her that for a (brief) time she was our preferred candidate for president in 2008. But Condi turned out to be a lousy national security adviser, a worse secretary of state. I wouldn’t hire her now to organize a two-car funeral.

Which doesn’t disqualify her from the vice presidency. Under the Constitution, the vice president’s only jobs are to preside over the Senate from time to time, and to wait for the president to die.

Though Condi was a rotten manager, she’s very smart, and knows a lot about foreign affairs, which is not an area of expertise for Mr. Romney. She can give good advice, she just shouldn’t be responsible for carrying it out. As vice president, she wouldn’t be.

Condi would be a very good candidate. She has a pleasant personality, is easy on the eyes and is an excellent speaker. She wowed those who heard her at a Romney fundraiser in Utah June 23.

“Rice electrified Mitt Romney’s circle last month with a speech she delivered at the candidate’s closed-door June fundraising retreat in Park City,” said BuzzFeed. “Rice’s forceful and surprisingly partisan 13-minute address … won her two standing ovations … It was widely considered the highlight of the weekend.”

Skeptics note Condi Rice has never run for anything. But running for office is a lot easier than doing the job. For evidence, see the example of Obama, B.

The campaign so far has been really dull, thinks former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan. The audiences she speaks to agree, she says. But “spontaneous applause burst forth” when she mentioned to a group of business people that Condi might be considered for vice president.

The people who were applauding “looked surprised by their own passion,” Ms. Noonan said. “They looked relieved, like a campaign was going on and big things might happen and maybe it could get kind of . . . exciting.”

In a Rasmussen poll in April, Condi’s favorables/unfavorables were an eye popping 66-24. Team Romney has to be impressed with that.

The principal assets Ms. Rice could bring to the GOP, though, are her gender, and the pigmentation of her skin.

Democrats can’t talk about President Obama’s accomplishments, because there aren’t any. So they charge the president’s critics are motivated by racism, or sexism. These smears would get the ridicule they deserve if Condi were Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Few think Ms. Rice could pull many blacks over to the GOP, but her presence on the ticket could give cover to blacks unhappy with the president for other reasons, such as his handling of the economy or his embrace of gay marriage. Ms. Rice is, after all, all black, not just half black, and she went to segregated schools in the South, not to a prep school in Hawaii. So I bet Barack Obama is sorry now he blew off the NAACP convention.

Condi gives many conservatives heartburn, too. She’s “mildly pro-choice” on abortion, is something of a GloWarmer, supports affirmative action under some circumstances, and was a squish on Iran.

Mr. Romney has lots of good people from which to choose, so he’s unlikely to take the risk. And Condi says she doesn’t want the job. But if she were the candidate, they’d have to call the vice presidential debate after the first few minutes, on the grounds that to continue would be excessively cruel to Joe Biden.

But if Mr. Obama were to dump Slow Joe for Secretary of the State Hillary Rodham Clinton, then the vice presidential debate, scheduled for Oct. 11, could be the highlight of the campaign.

Dr. Fred Luter – Southern Baptist President

Dr. Luter made history yesterday as the first black President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Southern Baptists have come a long way from the days when their liturgy was twisted to support slavery and later Jim Crow.

New Southern Baptist leader: Former street preacher, Katrina survivor

Hospitalized at age 21 with compound fractures and serious head injuries after a motorcycle accident, Fred Luter Jr. decided to give his life to God and enter the ministry.

A native of New Orleans’ impoverished lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, Luter was the third of five children raised by a divorced mother who worked as a seamstress and a surgical scrub assistant, according to Thom Rainier, president and CEO of the Nashville, Tennessee-based LifeWay Christian Resources and a friend of Luter’s.

Although he had been active in the church as a child, Luter “began to do some serious reflecting on his life” after the 1977 crash, according to a Web posting on Rainier’s website. “God used that incident to bring him back to serving him,” Rainier wrote.

And what a long way he’s come since. On Tuesday, Luter, now the pastor of the 8,000-plus-member Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, was elected the first African-American president of the Southern Baptist Convention, an organization that began as a pro-slavery church more than 160 years ago. His term officially begins Wednesday night. Continue reading

Our First Gay President

And no – it wasn’t George Bush…

James Buchanan, fifteenth President of the United States who served from 1857 to 1861.

Our real first gay president

The new issue of Newsweek features a cover photo of President Obama topped by a rainbow-colored halo and captioned “The First Gay President.” The halo and caption strike me as cheap sensationalism. I realize airport travelers look at a magazine for 2.2 seconds before moving on to the next one. I grant that this cover will probably get Newsweek a 4.4 second glance. I also understand that Newsweek is desperate for sales. Nevertheless, I doubt that the Newsweek of old, before it was sold for a dollar, would have pandered as shallowly.

The caption is a superficial way to characterize an important development of thought that the president — along with the country — has been making over recent years. It is also entirely wrong. Like the mini-furor a couple of months back about the claim that Richard Nixon was our first gay president, the story simply ignores that the U.S. already had a gay president more than a century ago.

There can be no doubt that James Buchanan was gay, before, during and after his four years in the White House. Moreover, the nation knew it, too — he was not far into the closet.

Today, I know no historian who has studied the matter and thinks Buchanan was heterosexual. Fifteen years ago, historian John Howard, author of “Men Like That,” a pioneering study of queer culture in Mississippi, shared with me the key documents, including Buchanan’s May 13, 1844, letter to a Mrs. Roosevelt. Describing his deteriorating social life after his great love, William Rufus King, senator from Alabama, had moved to Paris to become our ambassador to France, Buchanan wrote:

I am now “solitary and alone,” having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick, provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection.

Despite such evidence, one reason why Americans find it hard to believe Buchanan could have been gay is that we have a touching belief in progress. Our high school history textbooks’ overall story line is, “We started out great and have been getting better ever since,” more or less automatically. Thus we must be more tolerant now than we were way back in the middle of the 19th century! Buchanan could not have been gay then, else we would not seem more tolerant now.

This ideology of progress amounts to a chronological form of ethnocentrism. Thus chronological ethnocentrism is the belief that we now live in a better society, compared to past societies. Of course, ethnocentrism is the anthropological term for the attitude that our society is better than any other society now existing, and theirs are OK to the degree that they are like ours.

Chronological ethnocentrism plays a helpful role for history textbook authors: it lets them sequester bad things, from racism to the robber barons, in the distant past. Unfortunately for students, it also makes history impossibly dull, because we all “know” everything turned out for the best. It also makes history irrelevant, because it separates what we might learn about, say, racism or the robber barons in the past from issues of the here and now. Unfortunately for us all, just as ethnocentrism makes us less able to learn from other societies, chronological ethnocentrism makes us less able to learn from our past. It makes us stupider. ( - more -)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 144 other followers