The Rotten Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree – Ron/Rand Paul

Rand Paul is the brand new Republican Party outreach to the black community farce…

Ron Paul addresses the neo-confederate faithful Libertarians

 

The Michigan GOP is seeking to increase the party’s visibility in the Democratic stronghold of Detroit, 97.5 percent of which voted to reelect Barack Obama in 2012.

The solution? Open a new outreach center for Detroit voters, named the “African American Engagement Office.”

The GOP has tapped Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to headline the official opening of the office on Dec. 6, which will highlight “the Michigan Republican Party’s outreach efforts and our commitment to revitalizing Michigan’s urban centers,” according to the Eventbrite listing.

Paul will already be in Detroit to speak on the city’s bankruptcy crisis at the Detroit Economic Club, where he will “unveil his new legislative proposal to remove bankrupt Detroit and other economically blighted areas from poverty and the shackles of big government,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

Both the name of the office and the outreach strategy are already attracting their share of detractors. One Republican strategist told The Huffington Post that it sounds like Michigan Republicans are opening a “‘separate, but equal’ office in Detroit.”

Now – to most black folks who know of Rand’s daddy’s romance with white supremacists, and Rand’s opposition to the 1965 Civil Rights Act…

This is a bit like appointing your local KKK Leader as the Director of Diversity.

Perhaps why in his first speech in Detroit in the shiny new Minority Outreach Center… Only white folks showed up.

Not the least reason of which would be Rand’s ties to neo-confederates…

Rand Paul’s former staffer…”The confederate Avenger”.Sen. Paul says the white supremacist tendencies of Jack “The Southern Avenger” Hunter was just youthful indiscretion. In 2007 the former League of the South member wrote that if immigration levels remain unchecked, “A non-white majority America would simply cease to be America for reasons that are as numerous as they are obvious – whether we are supposed to mention them or not.” He was 33, and three years later he was co-writing Rand Paul’s book.

Ties to Secessionist Sympathizers? Don’t Worry, Rand Paul Will Still Endorse You

If there’s any Republican who needs to tread carefully when it comes to race, it’s Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Between his erstwhile opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, his ties to Confederate sympathizers, and the baggage of his father’s past, pundits and observers are primed to pounce on any missteps, like his ill-received speech at Howard University this summer.

But Paul doesn’t seem to know that he’s on shaky ground with racial issues. To wit, earlier this fall, he endorsed Greg Brannon, a Republican primary candidate for Senate in North Carolina. As Molly Redden reports for Mother Jones, Brannon is far outside the mainstream of American politics. He opposes public education, rejects the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over national law, and has lent his support to a pro-nullification rally held by the League of the South, a self-described “Southern nationalist” organization that is an obvious vehicle for neo-Confederate and white supremacist ideas.

Like Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Brannon sees the late Senator Jesse Helms, who represented North Carolina from 1973 to 2003, as a model for legislative behavior. “He was the one I most identified with,” said Brannon during a gathering this summer, “Senator No.” Helms, it should be said, was an unrepentant segregationist who used his power to institutionalize homophobia with attacks on gays and assaults on AIDS funding. To Helms, LGBT Americans were “weak, morally sick wretches,” and AIDS education was “obscene” and “revolting.”

Brannon stands with ugly forces in American life, and is the kind of far-right candidate who ought to be attacked and marginalized by Republican leaders. Like extremist candidates in Indiana, Missouri, and Nevada, his presence in the “tent” of the GOP is certain to alienate the voters who want to shift political gears without giving the car to a maniac. But, with endorsements from Rand Paul—“I support Greg Brannon, and expect him to be North Carolina’s next Senator”—and conservative activists like Red State’s Erick Erickson, there’s a fair chance he’ll make it through the primary and into the general election. And with a high profile comes a greater chance for disaster; given his history, I would be surprised if Brannon didn’t say something on race or gender that embarrassed him and his party.

Conservatives don’t just hate accusations of racism or racial insensitivity (that’s reasonable), they almost always deny that they have any substance, regardless of circumstance. It doesn’t matter that the right-wing indulged “birtherism” and called Obama a “food stamp president” and “Kenyan anti-colonialist”—it’s simply unreasonable to stamp those as racial. Likewise, when asked about his relationships with neo-Confederates and others on the far-right of American politics, Rand Paul has dismissed the questions as nonsense. “I don’t accept all of that and I don’t really need to or spend the time talking about all of that,” he said this summer in an interview with John Harwood of NPR, “If you want to talk about issues and what I stand for, I’m happy to, but I’m not going to really go through an interview reciting or respond to every yahoo in the world who wants to throw up a canard.”

Well, here’s the thing: If Rand Paul wants to avoid these questions, then he should avoid people who sympathize with white supremacists. And the same is true of the GOP writ large; if Republicans want to avoid accusations of prejudice or insensitivity, then the first step is to end the party’s association with lawmakersofficials, and activists who can’t help but indulge their worst instincts. After all, the Republican Party isn’t racist, and it shouldn’t be too hard to filter these people from the pool.

 

Belafonte Calls Out Koch Brothers

An aging Harry Belafonte lets folks know how he really feels about the Koch brothers…

 

 

The Koch brothers are poised to be major profiteers off the Keystone pipeline. Which is why so many of the ads flooding the television look so much like political campaign ads…

Sans some overriding strategic need to build that pipe…

I say kill the deal ad the Koch-suckers stew.

Anyone want to take a bet that the Koch brothers favorite Lawn Jockey, Alan West won’t jump on this one in 24 hours?

 

Tea Party Southern Myth vs 12 Years a Slave

Like the Holocaust Deniers scattered around the world in anti-Semitic clusters, America has its own peculiar breed of Denier of the unconscionable – The advocates of the Southern Myth.

Recognizing what they were doing as slavers was morally unconscionable from a Judeo Christian basis, the slavers sought absolution through first, perverting their religion to justify slavery, and second by attaching themselves to Chivalrous traditions creating a “Genteel” societal veneer. Indeed, in my State of Virginia Thomas Jefferson’s University, UVa – adopted the Cavalier as the school symbol. That wasn’t just because most slaveholders were Crown Loyalists during the Revolutionary War. Attaching themselves to the English Cavaliers was an attempt to gloss over, and add class to an evil society. No different than the Drug Lords of recent vintage using their ill gotten gains to project an image of respectability.

Post Civil War, this shifted into manufacturing a society’s existence under slavery which never existed. The brutality visited upon the slaves to force them to obey, which included torture, systematic rape of women and children, and murder became the “Good Old Days” of a slightly decadent but otherwise genteel society. The Civil War became the “War of the States” supporting the fiction that each and every Southern State’s Secession Articles didn’t list slavery as the “States Right” they were fighting for. These same stawarts brought America Segregation and Jim Crow.

The modern incarnation of this “Southern psychosis” is the Tea Party, the grandchild of the Second Klan of the 20′s, American Nazi Party of the 40′s, and Dixiecrats  of the 50′s and 60′s. Absorbing the Republican matra of blaming the victim. Like their poor, landless ancestors who marched off to be maimed and killed to [protect the rights of wealthy slave owners, today's conservative confederate malcontents support the rights of the elite right who have eviscerated the American Dream, sold their jobs overseas,  and near destroyed the American Middle Class since Raygun. All under the banner of maintaining their fictitious racial superiority. It is OK with the modern Tea Bagger to take Food Stamps away from the poor, using much the same justification of the rapist that the "bitch deserved it". It is OK to harass the poor, even though the economic condition of many Tea Parties would place them among the "white trash" - because in a country which has legislatively discriminated, at the Tea Bagger's ancestors demand,  against minorities for generation - a higher percentage of minorities are poor. Despite class mythology, the only reason many of these white Tea Baggers aren't scions of society has nothing to do with discrimination - and everything to do with their own personal, generational failures. no one has held them back, except their own ignorance and racism.

In front of the White House after disgracing th WII Memorial

Tea Party and ’12 Years a Slave’

“Twelve Years a Slave,” a movie based on the 1853 autobiography of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841, is a powerful antidote to the Tea Party’s poisonous nostalgia for the era of “states’ rights” and “nullificationism,” which became code words for protecting the “liberty” of Southern whites to own African-Americans.

The movie, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northup, reveals how lofty phrases about “freedom” often meant their opposite as Southern politicians developed an Orwellian skill for weaving noble-sounding “principles” into a cloak for covering up the unjustifiable.

And, for too many generations, it worked. Americans have romanticized the antebellum South, seeing it through the rosy haze of “Gone with the Wind” or learning from school history books that most slave-owners were kindly and paternalistic masters. Even today many Americans tell themselves that slavery wasn’t all that bad. To burnish their pride in the never-to-be-criticized USA, they whitewash one of the nation’s greatest crimes, the enslavement of millions of people based on the color of their skin. Continue reading

Korean Tobacco Company Accused of Racist Ads

American WWII Poster

This one a brouhaha between a Korean Tobacco Company and the Africa Tobacco Producers Council.

Not a good job of winning friends and influencing. Obviously the Korean company didn’t “get” how the imagery might be insulting…

Nice to know Americans aren’t the only idiots out there.

One has to wonder though – if this company’s Marcom department all got their degrees from one of the private conservative colleges in the US. I mean – most real colleges talk about things like diversity and cultural sensitivity as part of Marketing 101, which are verboten topics in the conservative universe. And is one of the reasons conservatives constantly make complete asses of themselves when talking to anyone except over 60 year old white men. Ergo, if I want to market a product to any audience which includes Japanese…

I really don’t want to use the racist imagery common in the US during WWII

The part of this which is disappointing is that this sort of thing has been the subject of criticism of Asian Marketing before in China and Malaysia

 

 

Korean Tobacco Company Pulls ‘Racist’ Monkey Ads For ‘This Africa’ Cigarettes

Following cries of racism, South Korea’s largest tobacco company is pulling an advertisement for its new “This Africa” cigarettes.

The KT&G ads featuring a monkey dressed as a human were launched a month ago to promote the brand’s new “This Africa” cigarettes, according to the Agence France-Presse. The ads to promote cigarettes dried and roasted in “traditional” African style showed monkeys dressed as humans, tagged with the slogan “Africa is coming!”

Zambian Mirriam Simasiku, an African woman living in Seoul, told the Korea Times she found the ads extremely offensive.

“According to those images, Africans are just a bunch of uneducated monkeys,” she told the publication. “We as Africans are still a minority against a multitude of pure Koreans with no law to protect us. By the way, it is named This Africa, which is inappropriate since no one thought of making any connection.”

Another One Bites the Dust!

North Carolina GOP Official Who Called Blacks ‘Lazy’ In Daily Show Voter ID Interview Resigns

A Republican precinct official in North Carolina resigned from his position Thursday, after The Daily Show aired a segment on the state’s voter ID lawin which he criticized “lazy black people that wants the government to give them everything.”

Don Yelton stepped down from his position in the Buncombe County Republican Party, Buncombe GOP Chairman Henry Mitchell told WRAL.

“When I was a young man you didn’t call a black a black,” Yelton said during the interview. “You called him a negro.”

In a press release, the Buncombe GOP — which has the slogan “Moving forward without forgetting our past” on its website — called Yelton’s comments “offensive, uniformed, and unacceptable of any member within the Republican Party.”

“Let me make it very clear, Mr. Yelton’s comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe republicans, nor do they mirror any core principle that our party is founded upon,” Mitchell stated. “This mentality will not be supported or propagated within our party.”

Yelton “did not seek the approval of any party official before accepting the interview request,” officials said.

Right Wing Racism in France…Again.

The right wing is pretty much the same anywhere in the world… Racist.

Non different here…Than there.

These folks would b right at home in our Tea Party. Of other note, Ms. Taubire has also been in the forefront of introducing legislation for marriage equality for Gays.

Justice Minister Christine Taubira

Christiane Taubira, French Justice Minister, Compared To Monkey By Far Right Politician Anne Leclere

France’s far-right National Front on Friday dropped a candidate for municipal elections due in March after she compared the country’s black justice minister to a monkey.

The anti-immigration eurosceptic party led by Marine Le Pen is desperately seeking a makeover to broaden its voter appeal and dispel its xenophobic image.

The National Front recently won a key by-election and is tipped to be the leading French party in European elections also due next year, according to a new poll.

Anne-Sophie Leclere, the FN candidate for Rethel in the northeastern Ardennes region provoked a storm by comparing Justice Minister Christiane Taubira to a monkey on French television.

She has also owned up to a photo-montage showing Taubira, who is from French Guiana, alongside a baby monkey which was posted on her Facebook page.

The caption underneath the baby monkey said “At 18 months,” while the one under Taubira’s photograph read “Now”.

The 33-year-old mother-of-three told France 2′s Envoye Special (Special Correspondent) programme she would prefer to see Taubira “in a tree swinging from the branches rather than in government.”

Martin Bashir’s Destruction of Tea Party Larry Klayman

Ouch! This one is going to leave a mark!

Bashir gives “Obama is a Muslim” Larry Klayman a long overdue ass kicking!

Why would a Black “Lifelong Democrat” Do an Ad for Va Republican Candidate Cuccinelli?

Lot of folks in Virginia have seen this ad for Ken Cuccinelli, Republican State Attorney General who is running for governor…

And were lef wondering why an obviously educated black woman could do this. Well…It may have something to do with - Tichi Pinkney Eppes, the woman in the ad,  filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection during the week the Cuccinelli campaign began airing an ad featuring the lifelong Democrat’s support for Cuccinelli’s education policy.

Hmmmm….Got paid? I certainly hope so.

Home foreclosure won’t impact school board seat

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -  Richmond School Board Member Tichi Pinkney-Eppes’ home is in foreclosure and 9th district representative has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.

“As a result of being elected to the school board I was let go from full-time employment with Communities in Schools of Richmond citing conflict of interest,” Pinkney-Eppes explained in a statement. “This substantial decrease in income has made it increasingly difficult to honor my financial obligations.  I decided the most appropriate way to manage my debt was to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy allowing me to reorganize my debt and still pay my creditors.”

That bankruptcy filing has allowed Eppes to stay in her home, thus not impacting her seat on Richmond School Board. Eppes’ home was scheduled to be auctioned off this week.

Trolling for a White Trayvon – and the Rights Racist Obsession With Crime

Searching for the white Trayvon – the right wing an Faux News troll the crime ledgers.

The right’s black crime obsession

There are a few black people up to no good in this country and Fox News is on it! So is Drudge Report. Vigilantly on the lookout, 24 hours a day, for stories about black youths behaving badly.

This isn’t a particularly new phenomenon, but it’s intensified noticeably in the past year for at least two reasons. Conservatives, particularly white conservatives, feel a burning urgency to find a racial counterweight to the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s shooting (including President Obama’s public comments about the incident), a logical response to the argument that things like background checks and an assault weapons ban are appropriate ways to reduce the likelihood of another Sandy Hook-style massacre, and anecdotal justifications for indiscriminate policing of dangerous neighborhoods.

But these are hopeless pursuits. The incidents they draw attention to fail by definition to underscore the things they believe. They all require projecting motives or details or both into tragic events, to create false dichotomies between shootings perpetrated by whites and blacks. They have the unhealthy effect of creating dueling tallies of white-on-black and black-on-white crime. And ironically they all tend to underscore the argument that more “stand your ground” laws and more racial profiling are off-point responses to these incidents.

The latest conservative cri de coeur is over the tragic shooting death of Chris Lane, a 22-year-old Australian attending East Central University in Oklahoma on a baseball scholarship. Two teen boys spotted Lane on a jog last week, trailed him in a car, and allegedly shot him fatally in the back (a third teen reportedly served as their driver). One of the suspects said the boys committed the murder out of boredom.

Word of the shooting spread quickly. And that’s when the right clumsily revealed that its obsession with gun violence reflects an obsession with racial score settling rather than with averting further tragedies. The conservative media, including Fox News, repeated the claim that the Oklahoma suspects were all black. But this turned out to be a toxic mix of racial bias and wishful thinking. You almost wonder whether the people whose ulterior motives led them into error like this actually lamented the fact that one of the suspects happened to be white. It would be so much more convenient if that weren’t the case.

This racist yellow-journalism article kicked off the Tulsa “race riot” of 1921.

But let’s pretend for a minute that the suspects had all fit the stereotype the hosts at Fox and Friends wanted. Then the idea is that Chris Lane’s death should somehow offset Trayvon Martin’s, or that the people who sought to turn George Zimmerman’s actions into a national referendum on “stand your ground” laws are somehow hypocritical for having little to say when the races of the culprits and innocent victims are reversed. For reactionary Obama foes like former Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., the obvious question is, “Whom will POTUS identify w/this time?”

I’ll give West, et al., this: If you ignore motive, circumstance, history and (likely) outcome, then liberals, particularly black liberals, sure seem craven. By that standard, though, Jean Valjean and John, King of England are moral equals — just a couple of guys with similar names taking other people’s property.

This racist yellow-journalism article kicked off the elaine “Race riots” of 1919

So let’s review: George Zimmerman wouldn’t have shot Trayvon Martin if he hadn’t been profiling by race. And even if he had been, the shooting feasibly wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been legally allowed to carry a handgun and didn’t think he was empowered by law to take matters into his own hands. The monstrous killing of Chris Lane has no such back story. The killers apparently had no motive whatsoever, were armed illegally, and certainly weren’t trailing Lane because they believed, based on his race, that he might be a criminal. They are, however, likely to face serious prison time for their crimes. Zimmerman walked.

Put that all together, and it turns out these stories aren’t counter-parallel at all. And more to the point, the events don’t even anecdotally augur for policies the right supports. The kids in Oklahoma weren’t “standing their ground,” and a “stand your ground” law wouldn’t have saved Chris Lane. Neither would a stop-and-frisk regime — the killers were trailing him in a car. By contrast, a “stand your ground” environment and a stop-and-frisk mentality were instrumental in Trayvon Martin’s death. Take either away, and there’s a good chance he’d be alive today. Martin in fact personified the statistical folly of stop-and-frisk. If Zimmerman had yielded to real police, they would have, in absence of any suspicious behavior, stopped Martin, frisked him and found only the skittles and iced tea that made his death that much more tragically poignant.

You could twist that into a claim that stop-and-frisk might have saved Martin’s life. But that gets the onus backward. Proponents of profiling policies need to do better than argue we have to violate the civil rights of minorities in order to protect them from hair-triggered vigilantes.

What might well have stopped both killings, though, is making it harder for people, legally or illegally, to come into possession of handguns. That’s a conversation the right is less obsessed with.

Gobsmacked Gumbo Gohmert And the 50 Shades of Stupid

I swear it’s a contest among the right wingies for who can say the stupidest isht on any given day…

And today’s winner is that old time repeat offender Gobsmacked Gumbo (Louie) Gohmert

Louie Gohmert: Obama Has Stirred Up More ‘Racial Tension And Violence’ Than Any President Since The 1960s

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) accused President Barack Obama of being a driving force of “racial tension and violence” in the nation during an interview this week, arguing that his administration was the worst since the 1960s on the issue.

In an appearance on conservative host Steve Malzberg’s show on Monday, first caught by Right Wing Watch, Gohmert began by railing against the move this week by Attorney General Eric Holder to reform the judicial system, claiming that the administration was circumventing federal law on areas like mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes.

But Gohmert saw a silver lining in the Department of Justice release announcing the change, saying that Holder had finally admitted that “violence is down,” even though the administration has attempted to push further anti-violence measures. The outspoken Republican went on to directly blame Obama for what he saw as growing racial division:

“I tell you what though, in that release there was a great statement that I’m glad somebody in this administration finally admitted because they’re constantly screaming about all the hate violence and all of this kind of stuff,” Gohmert said. “Of course we know that this president, this administration has done more to stir up racial tension and violence than any administration since, you know, the sixties. I thought that we were going to have a post-racial president and he’s become the president of division, of envy, of jealousy.”

The 1960s were monumental for civil rights progress. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy forced segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace to comply with federal court orders and allow two African-American students to register for courses at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. It was the second time in two years he’d faced down a southern governor, forcing them to desegregate a public institution. Hours after the Alabama incident, Kennedy addressed a national audience and outlined his a federal blueprint to ensure further integration.

President Lyndon B. Johnson picked up Kennedy’s civil rights mantle in the middle part of the 1960s, successfully ushering through the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed most forms of racial segregation. He built upon his record a year later, overseeing the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

While both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations made clear federal strides on civil rights, the decade was also stricken with racial tension and violence as many parts of the nation were forced to meet their racist tendencies head-on.

Gohmert’s remarks on race also echo those made by a number of conservative Obama opponents, particularly in the wake of the president’s decision to inject himself into the debate over Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teen slain by George Zimmerman last year. Obama weighed in on the issue again following Zimmerman’s acquittal, sparking sharp reaction from predominantly white conservatives who argued that racism was over in the nation, and that Obama was only making things worse by discussing racial bias.

Yeah, Louie…

Welfare and “White Trash”

One of the favorite theories of the racial conservative set is that “Welfare destroyed the back community”. It is a popular “adage” reinforced by paid Uncle Toms like Larry Elder and Thomas Sowell. Unfortunately for white conservatives …There are a few Mack Truck size holes in that argument…

  1. The majority of people who receive “welfare: and have received welfare since the 1930′s (35-40 years before the Great Society opened up welfare to black folks) are white.
  2. The black poverty rate in 1960 was 60%. Today, it is at a stubborn 20% and has been pretty much since the end of Clinton. The “Great Society” and Liberal ideas like “Equal Opportunity” resulted in the largest migration from poverty of any group in this country’s history.What the Great Society did not do, despite billions in investment, by and large is to move the large groups of southern and Appalachian whites into productivity. Much of conservative racial hysteria, and conservative racial resentment against blacks, Hispanics, and immigrants comes from the fact that those groups are in some part at least – succeeding.
  3. The “Black Community” envisioned in conservative mindset is the inner city. The vast majority of black folks, and even the majority of black poor folks  don’t live there anymore.  Indeed, according to some studies over 80% of black folks in the US now live in suburban or rural communities.
  4. Lastly, if welfare destroyed the black community… Why exactly hasn’t it had the same effect on the white community?

Thomas Sowell’s least popular book among conservatives is “Black Rednecks and white Liberals“. The reason is, while doing his usual buckdance about the depravity of the black community – he opens the door to the same issues afflicting a portion of the white community… specifically In the infamous Red State Zone. His theory is that black folks learned dysfunctional behavior from dysfunctional white folks during slavery (AKA Rednecks). While going into great detail about what he theorizes happened to the “Black community”, he utterly ignores where that white “Redneck” community, which now comprise the most faithful conservative voters went.

Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher kinda lets that cat out of the bag yesterday with his tweet..

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) said on Twitter this week that he would like to “defund white trash” who take advantage of federal social programs.

Rohrabacher made the remark in a reply to a Twitter user who was complaining about immigration policy.

Ga_bree_lla @ga_bree_ella@ImmortalTech @danarohrabacher Its ok for lazywhitetrash 2live off food stamps but won’t legalize my ppl who actuall contributetothiscountry

Dana Rohrabacher ✔ @DanaRohrabacher@ga_bree_ella would defund white trash, but not our vets , seniors & other deserving Americans 2 provide benefits 2 those here illegally

House Republicans are seeking cuts to food stamps that would trim the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program‘s cost by roughly 5 percent over 10 years.

In June, Rohrabacher said that John Boehner (R-Ohio) should be removed from his position as House speaker if he brought immigration reform to a full vote without majority support from Republicans.

Charles Blow hit the nail on the head with the following article Please follow the link and read the rest) -

‘A Town Without Pity’

America was once the land of Lady Liberty, beckoning the world: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

No more.

Today’s America — at least as measured by the actions and inactions of the pariahs who roam its halls of power and the people who put them there — is insular, cruel and uncaring.

In this America, people blame welfare for creating poverty rather than for mitigating the impact of it. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in June foundthat the No. 1 reason people gave for our continuing poverty crisis was: “Too much welfare that prevents initiative.”

In this America, the House can — as it did in July — pass a farm bill that left out the food stamp program at a time when a record number of Americans, nearly 48 million, are depending on the benefits.

In this America, a land of immigrants, comprehensive immigration reform can be stalled in The People’s Branch of government, and anti-reform mouthpieces like Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan can warn that immigration reform will be the end of the country.

And in today’s America, poverty and homelessness can easily seep beneath the wall we erect in our minds to define it.

A December report by the United States Conference of Mayors that surveyed 25 cities found that all but 4 of them reported an increase in requests for emergency food aid since 2011, and three-fourths of them expected those requests to increase in 2013.

The report also found that 60 percent of the cities surveyed had seen an increase in homelessness, and the same percentage of cities expected homelessness to increase in 2013.

But poverty isn’t easily written off as an inner-city ailment. It has now become a suburban problem. A report this week by the Brookings Institution found that “during the 2000s, major metropolitan suburbs became home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in America.”

Nor can economic insecurity be written off as a minorities-only issue. According to survey results published last month by The Associated Press:

“Nonwhites still have a higher risk of being economically insecure, at 90 percent. But compared with the official poverty rate, some of the biggest jumps under the newer measure are among whites, with more than 76 percent enduring periods of joblessness, life on welfare or near-poverty.”…

The Second Civil War – Voting Rights

The US civil war is playing out again – this time over voter rights

White southern Republicans enact voter ID laws because they don’t want Democrats to vote, particularly people of color. Republicans have gerrymandered districts to dissolve the Minority vote, as well as set as many impediments as possible in the way of voters.

Nearly 150 years after the end of the US civil war, the South and the federal government are poised for a rematch over the voting rights of black Americans, and ultimately over the fundamental rights of all Americans. Once again, the former Confederate states are determined to defend their traditions and way of life, while the Union forces in the North – the federal government – are positioning themselves to defend justice and equality.

But this time, in an ironic twist, two black men – President Barack Obamaand Attorney General Eric Holder – are leading the charge.

In the 1860s, the fight between the North and the South was about slavery and the right of the Confederate states to maintain a dreaded institution that kept people of African descent in bondage. Unprecedented carnage resulted.

A century later – in light of the 1954 US supreme court decision in Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, which ended racial segregation in public schools – the South struggled to maintain a Jim Crow system that kept black people legally and politically impotent, all in the name of states’ rights.

Two hallmarks of the civil rights movement are the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, the legislative victories were achieved only through the blood of civil rights workers, both black and white, who were beaten, sprayed with fire hoses, shot, firebombed, bitten by police dogs and lynched.

The purpose of the Voting Rights Act was to apply a nationwide ban against discriminatory election practices such as literacy tests. The existing anti-discrimination laws, Congress concluded, were insufficient to overcome the Southern states’ resistance to the Fifteenth Amendment.

In June 2013, the nation’s high court cut the voting law at its knees inShelby County v Holder when it eviscerated the key component of the act – the section 4 preclearance requirement – which determined which states must receive approval from a federal court or the Justice Department before making changes to their voting procedures. The act applied to nine states – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia – and various other localities and counties across the country.

In the second decade of the 21st century, the latest battle centers around southern states with a history of voting rights violations, and currently exhibit the most anti-blackracist sentiment. These states want to employ restrictive and racially discriminatory voter suppression methods such as voter ID. This time, the Republican party has replaced the Dixiecrats as the party of white supremacy and the old Confederacy, of racial discrimination and voter suppression. And Holder has decided to make an example of Texas, firing the first shot at the Lone Star state.

Within 24 hours of the high court decision, five states – Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia – decided to move forward with their voter ID laws. They required preclearance under section 4, which no longer exists. Moreover, Holder and a federal court had already blocked the South Carolina and Texas voter ID laws because they violated the Voting Rights Act.

Florida has resumed its purge of Hispanic voters following the supreme court decision, and after a federal court lifted a ban on removing potential non-US citizens from the rolls. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is about to sign into law the nation’s most restrictive voter suppression measure, though, he admits he has not read the provisionprohibiting 16- and 17-year-olds from pre-registering to vote. The law also eliminates same-day registration, cuts early voting by a week and requires government-issued ID to vote. According to the North Carolina secretary of state, voter ID laws are having a disproportionate impact onDemocratic voters and voters of color.

SB 14, the Texas voter ID law considered the most severe in the US at present, requires Texans to prove their citizenship and state residency in order to vote, using a passport, military ID or birth certificate if they lack a driver’s license, concealed handgun license or photo ID. In 2012, a federal court struck down the Texas law on the grounds that:

The implicit costs of obtaining SB 14-qualifying ID will fall most heavily on the poor and that a disproportionately high percentage of African Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty. … We therefore conclude that SB 14 is likely to lead to ‘retrogression in the position of racial minorities with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise.’

Yet, in light of the Shelby County decision, the Supreme Court discarded the lower court’s Texas voter ID ruling, and threw out a ruling that found Texas’ state redistricting maps were “enacted with discriminatory purpose” and diluted the Latino vote. Although Latinos made up nearly 40% of the Texas population in the 2010 census and accounted for 65% of the growth in the state population, Texas Republicans essentially pretended Texas is a white state. The GOP kept Latinos and black voters out of the redistricting process, added only one minority district, and manipulated an electoral map “that would look Hispanic, but perform for Anglos”.

In addition, the court found that 603,892 to 795,955 Latino voters in Texas lacked voter identification – as Texas Republicans had intended. Student IDs are not adequate identification at the polls, but gun permits are acceptable, reflected a preference for Republican constituents.

Holder announced he would ask a federal court to force the state to continue to receive permission to make changes to its voting laws. The Justice Department has requested that a federal court impose an additional 10 years of preclearance.

Governor Rick Perry said in a statement:

This end run around the supreme court undermines the will of the people of Texas, and casts unfair aspersions on our state’s common-sense efforts to preserve the integrity of our elections process.

Greg Abbott, the Texas state attorney general, accused Holder of “sowing racial divide” and tweeted “I’ll fight #Obama’s effort to control our elections & I’ll fight against cheating at ballot box.” Conservative proponents of voter ID measures invoke the specter of voter fraud and the need to protect the integrity of elections as justifications for the legislation. However, voter fraud is exceedingly rare, and about as infrequent as death by lightning strikes, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

Rather, white southern Republicans enact voter ID laws because they do not want Democratic constituencies to vote, particularly people of color. Rather than embrace the changing demographics in the US and adopt platforms to address the needs and concerns of voters of color, Republicans have chosen to eschew these voters and wage an assault on civil rights, immigration and policies of diversity and inclusion. This is the endgame for the Republican Southern Strategy of race card politics. The GOP was able to win elections on the margins by appealing to the racial insecurities of disaffected working class whites. In the process, southern whites fled the Democratic party, and the GOP became the party of the white South. Now, this marginalized base of angry white voters is all that is left of the Republican strategy and of the GOP as well, so Republicans must remove the segments of the electorate that will not vote for them.

Faux News Race Baits – Dr. Ben Carson and Rep Donna Edwards

Re: President Obama’s talk to the press… Another incidence of the typical Faux News racism. In this interview of Dr. Ben Carson, who was the black conservative darling for a while and Congresswoman Donna Edwards from Maryland. The Faux News host throws about every racist meme possible into the “interview”, and in several instances tries to put words in the mouths of Edwards and Carson. Neither interviewee takes the pathetic race bait.

The Faux Host even offers up charging Zimmerman with “Hate Crimes” – which is a joke, as you have to have been convicted of another crime (such as murder) before you can be convicted of a Hate Crime. And the whole point is that Zimmerman hasn’t been convicted of any crime.

Bill Maher -

 I think what he was trying to teach — a teachable moment for the American public — was that the frustration in the black community here is not just about the verdict, it’s about this culture of suspicion that follows black people around….

But lots of conservatives said it was race-baiting and it seems to be their position that unless you are marching down the street with a white hood on and burning a cross on somebodies lawn, racism is over. And I think what the president is saying is, no, open your eyes white America, it is so not over.

And I just think that they want that recognition. I mean, I’ve said this before: I would be a very bad black person because I would not have taken it as well as they have. I really wouldn’t. I’d be a lot more pissed off. I mean, I’m really amazed that the parents, Trayvon Martin’s parents. Wow!

Bill Maher Hits Supreme Court Voting Rights Racism On the Head

Maher does it again…

The New and Improved…Jim Crow.

Swastikas and Hammer and Sickle Go at it Again for May Day

Didn’t they fight this war once?

 

Seems the Tea Bagger types didn’t get much of a warm welcome

 

 

 

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