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

Bro Love – The KKK’s Glowing Endorsement of the Tea Party

Seems the White Nationalist set is quite taken with their new (Koch Brothers) subsidiary – the Tea Party…

But first let’s get in some buckdancing by the Tea Party’s favorite Lawn Jockey – Alan West…

Is The Tea Party Racist? Ask Some Actual, Out-Of-The Closet Racists

Tea Party and Republican leaders have been quick to condemn Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) for his recent comparison of the tea party and the Ku Klux Klan. But avowed racists involved in the white nationalist movement might beg to agree with the Florida Democrat.

The KKK, for its part, isn’t sure whether the hood fits. “The tea party is a very widespread organization and there’s many tea party groups in the country, so I don’t know if they are necessarily even in agreement with each other,” pastor Thomas Robb, national director of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, told HuffPost. “Likewise, The Klan, people use the phrase Klan who are not associated with us … that I would be 100 percent opposed to.”

“It’s hard to come up with a name of a group and say well how do they compare with another group,” he added. “That’s like asking First Baptist Church in Dallas whether they agree with the Methodist church in Birmingham, or even a Baptist church in Birmingham. So it’s very difficult to say how we compare with the tea party.”

But the conversation continues beyond even the Klan itself, and insight into how openly racist people view the tea party can be gleaned from a long-running debate among white supremacists at the website Stormfront.org.

Stormfront – whose motto is “White Pride World Wide” — is among the most popular white nationalist (WN, in the community’s lexicon) gathering spots online, and discussion of the tea party is a regular part of the chatter. One thread, started in 2011 and still active recently, debates just how racist the tea party is. In the evil, upside-down world of white supremacy, the label of racist is meant as a compliment and, to many Stormfront posters, the tea party earns high marks.

The thread can be read here, but the debate breaks down into roughly two camps, one arguing that the tea party is a dead end for white nationalists and the other side arguing that many in the tea party already have racist attitudes and present an opportunity for white nationalists to ply their message. The only area of agreement seemed to be that the tea party loses its way in its strong support of Israel, which the neo-Nazi Stormfront crowd does not appreciate.

Grayson has stood by his comparison. “If the hood fits, wear it,” he said. “The Tea Party has engaged in relentless racist attacks against our African-American President. For example, when the President visited my home of Orlando, Tea Party protesters shouted ‘Kenyan Go Home.’ Other examples include Tea Party chants of ‘Bye Bye, Blackbird,’ and Tea Party posters saying ‘Obama’s Plan: White Slavery,’ ‘Imam Obama Wants to Ban Pork’ and ‘The Zoo Has An African Lion, and the White House Has a Lyin’ African.’”

Many of the racists participating in the Stormfront discussion say they themselves are either tea party members or have attended multiple tea party meetings. But, to be sure, the tea party has quite literally millions of supporters and many, many of those people are not remotely racist, as the racists on Stormfront readily lament. And even the examples of racist language and signage at tea party rallies pales in comparison to the domestic terrorism carried out by the KKK — cross-burning, beatings, lynchings, bombings, murder.

Yet, the Stormfront conversations show that the perception of the tea party as having a racist element is not merely held by Grayson or Rev. Al Sharpton, but is a view shared by the kind of people who would know. The comments below are copied from Stormfront and were made by people the site lists as having been longstanding members who have posted hundreds, and in most cases thousands, of times on the site, making it unlikely that they are liberal plants trying to make the tea party look bad. Quite the opposite: Many of the Neo Nazis below rushed to the tea party’s defense when other white nationalists accused its members of being insufficiently racist.

Stormfront poster SSVicious argued that tea partiers should not be written off because many are knee-jerk racist toward darker-skinned people, but are not sophisticated enough in their racial analysis to be sufficiently anti-Semitic. It’s a start, SSVicious said.

“They are realistic about certain things…i.e. that blacks are more prone to be criminals, less intelligent, etc…..But if you bring up Israel… oh my, you might as well be a Muslim extremist (the thing that Tea Partiers hate the most),” said SSVicious, with the ellipses in the original. “A lot of them are those kinds of people we like and dislike at the same time… They know racial differences that are in their face, yet they aren’t smart enough or haven’t had the chance yet to connect the dots that lead to a certain group of people (the Jews).”

Culturalist put it more succinctly. “They care about race but may not be sympathetic to the neo Nazi, Jew hater side of WN,” the poster said.

In 2011, when Grayson called the tea party “callous, bigoted tools,” a Stormfronter expressed surprise. “What the *beep*?? This is coming from the same guy who grilled Ben Bernanke,” said Sieben Elf, referring to Grayson’s viral demolition of the Federal Reserve chairman, who runs an organization many white nationalists believe is controlled by a Jewish cabal.

“Grayson’s Der Jude,” Sieben Elf wrote in a follow-up post by way of explanation. “Funny, he doesn’t look Jewish.”

In response to one Stormfronter lamenting that the tea party is not sufficiently racist, a poster who goes by the handle “true believer” argues: “Well if you eliminated everyone who didn’t fit perfectly into your ideal candidate you would be so marginalized that you couldn’t get anyone in. I mean we all lost our calling by time and place when we weren’t in the Fatherland in 1938,” true believer wrote, referring to Nazi Germany. “Perhaps you would just let the commie Democrats continue to run the show under there leader the alien commie Muslim Obama. Lighten up here to get success you have to make small steps at first. Let’s see if we can all just get along with our natural allies here. May Adolf be with you.”

Another poster, Mike212311 noted that the “Taxed Enough Already movement may not be wholly WN, however there is plenty of racial awareness out there. That’s where it begins; with awareness.”

Many others suggested working closely with a local tea party chapter, and shared stories of doing so themselves. “I’ve joined so far three local Tea Party Groups locally and have been encouraging all my employees and friends and relatives to do the same. We have been very successful,” one said. ‘[F]rankly it’s been working like a charm for well over two years. These people have money, time and a hell of a lot of local influence and most aren’t afraid to use it-all they need is a little encouragement, direction and leadership.”

Strelnikov bragged, “got about half the people to applaude my attack on legal immigration this week. Our t-party is middle class. These people don’t look rich. After the meeting they practically swarmed my table to pick up free ‘Take Back America!!!’ bumper stickers. I’m getting other stuff in their hands too. Our meetings appear to be 100% white in a county that is 65% white.”

For BloddRaven, the question of whether racists were involved with the tea party was a silly one.

“What a ridicules thread,” the poster observed. “Saying Tea partyiers aren’t WNists is like saying Ron Paul supports aren’t WNists. While it’s true not all are, it’s also true many are.”

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.

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!

Confederate GOP

George Wallace and Rand Paul – Two sides of the same coin.

Glad some other folks are now catching onto what has been obvious for quite some time! Rand Paul comes by his “confederateness” from his dad, Ron Paul – whose association with white supremacists and racists i long documented and established. That association is based on the Libertarian belief called “Right of Association” which insists that any individual has the right to associate, or disassociate with anyone for any reason he chooses…Including race. It is a defense of segregation and Jim Crow, and declares that the “Commerce Clause” upon which most modern Civil rights Legislation is based (or was before the 5 thugs in robes became a majority on the Supreme Court) is trumped by the unstated right in the Constitution.

Which is why Ron Paul could be seen frequently at lunch with white nationalist luminaries such as Don White and Jared Taylor at the local Tara Thai Restaurant near Tysons Corner, Va. Which is a small part of how positions first espoused by people like David Duke (the “Gentleman” KKK) and Jared Taylor (the “Color of Crime”) back in the early 90′s became mainstream in the Republican Party and accepted orthodoxy by it’s mouthpiece, Faux News.

Modern GOP is still the party of Dixie

In two earlier articles (here and here), I argued that the Republican Party’s extremism can be traced to its increased dependence on an electorate that is largely rural, Southern and white. These voters, who figure prominently in the Tea Party, often decline to interpret political conflict as a struggle among interest groups or a good-faith clash of opinion. Instead, they tend to identify the country as a whole with an idealized version of themselves, and to equate any dissent from their values with disloyalty by alien, “un-American” forces. This paranoid vision of politics, I argued, makes them seek out opportunities for dramatic conflict and to shun negotiation and compromise.

In what follows, I want to extend these thoughts a bit further by exploring one simple question: why is this strain of political paranoia so entrenched in the South? The answer, I believe, will shed light not only on the current state of our politics but on the evolution of American conservatism generally.

*

We should begin with a clarification. What we want to explain isn’t why rural voters might think their interests sometimes diverge from those of urban (and suburban) Americans. That is easily enough explained: they think it because it’s true. Rural and urban areas have distinctive concerns, and these sometimes result in incompatible demands on policymakers. These kinds of conflicts are the mother’s milk of politics, so none of this is particularly surprising or, indeed, interesting.

What is surprising and interesting is when this conflict is experienced not as a matter of interests but of identity. It’s one thing to see urbanites as fellow citizens whose policy preferences depart from one’s own; it’s quite another to argue that their policy preferences give rise to serious doubt about whether they’re really Americans. Yet exactly this is the message of all those conservative complaints about “socialistic” Democrats who ignore our constitutional traditions as they labor to install a “nanny state.” These aren’t true Americans, resolute, independent, self-reliant; they’re feckless, faux-European traitors. (Though one, in particular, may have closer connections with Africa than Europe. You know who I mean.) Continue reading

Did Racism Cause the Shutdown?

Great article here with the most detailed history in one place I have seen about racial politics and how the party’s switched positions. Racism has been intertwined with policy at the Federal Level since before the Civil War. This article provides a great background on the what, who, and why…

How Racism Caused The Shutdown

This isn’t an article about how Republicans shut down the government because they hate that the President is black. This is an article about how racism caused the government to shut down and the U.S. to teeter on the brink of an unprecedented and catastrophic default.

I understand if you’re confused. A lot of people think the only way that racism “causes” anything is when one person intentionally discriminates against another because of their color of their skin. But that’s wrong. And understanding the history of the forces that produced the current crisis will lay plain the more subtle, but fundamental, ways in which race and racism formed the scaffolding that structures American politics — even as explicit battles over race receded from our daily politics.

The roots of the current crisis began with the New Deal — but not in the way you might think. They grew gradually, with two big bursts in the 1960s and the 1980s reflecting decades of more graduated change. And the tree that grew out of them, the Tea Party and a radically polarized Republican Party, bore the shutdown as its fruits.

How The New Deal Drove The Racists Out

In 1938, Sen. Josiah W. Bailey (D-NC) filibustered his own party’s bill. Well, part of his party — Northern Democrats, together with Northern Republicans, were pushing an federal anti-lynching bill. Bailey promised that Southern Democrats would teach “a lesson which no political party will ever again forget” to their Northern co-partisans if they “come down to North Carolina and try to impose your will upon us about the Negro:”

Just as when the Republicans in the [1860s] undertook to impose the national will upon us with respect to the Negro, we resented it and hated that party with a hatred that has outlasted generations; we hated it beyond measure; we hated it more than was right for us and more than was just; we hated it because of what it had done to us, because of the wrong it undertook to put upon us; and just as that same policy destroyed the hope of the Republican party in the South, that same policy adopted by the Democratic party will destroy the Democratic party in the South.

Bailey’s rage at the affront to white supremacy was born of surprise. Until 1932, the South had dominated the Democratic Party, which had consistently stood for the South’s key regional regional interest — keeping blacks in literal or figurative fetters — since before the Civil War.

But the Depression-caused backlash against Republican incumbents that swept New Yorker Franklin Roosevelt into the White House and a vast Democratic majority into Congress also made Southerners a minority in the party for the first time in its history. The South still controlled the most influential committee leadership votes in Congress, exercising a “Southern Veto” on race policy. The veto forced FDR to stay out of the anti-lynching fight (“If I come out for the anti-lynching bill, [the southerners] will block every bill I ask Congress to pass to keep America from collapsing,” he lamented).

The veto also injected racism into the New Deal. Social Security was “established on a racially invidious, albeit officially race-neutral, basis by excluding from coverage agricultural and domestic workers, the categories that included nearly 90 percent of black workers at the time,” University of Pennsylvania political scientist Adolph Reed Jr. wrote in The Nation. “Others, like the [Civilian Conservation Corps], operated on Jim Crow principles. Roosevelt’s housing policy put the weight of federal support behind creating and reproducing an overtly racially exclusive residential housing industry.” Continue reading

Educational Fraud..Voucher Programs Fail

The whole voucher thing in Louisiana reminds me of the new Mercedes commercial with Willem Dafoe…

Dafoe, playing the Devil in this case selling Gov Bobby Jindal on a shiny new Voucher program for his state instead of the cute entry level Mercedes.

But what’s confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails…

Indeed.

According to conservative hucksters, voucher programs are all about helping poor black kids in “failing” public school systems

Having watched this movie one to many times, when conservatives tell me they are “doing good for black folks”, whether such is presented by an actor I think is one of the 10 best male character leads active in hollywood right now or not…

I tend to cinch my belt, put a hand on my wallet to assure it’s still there, make sure Momma and the kiddies are in a safe place…

And flip off the safety on my Colt.

Vouchers have been a failure nationwide. And what the DOJ should be doing is looking at the folks who are setting this crap up as organized crime.

Vouchers don’t do much for students

Ever since the administration filed suit to freeze Louisiana’s school voucher program, high-ranking Republicans have pummeled President Barack Obama for trapping poor kids in failing public schools.

The entire House leadership sent a letter of protest. Majority Leader Eric Cantor blistered the president for denying poor kids “a way into a brighter future.” And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal accused him of “ripping low-income minority students out of good schools” that could “help them achieve their dreams.”

But behind the outrage is an inconvenient truth: Taxpayers across the U.S. will soon be spending $1 billion a year to help families pay private school tuition — and there’s little evidence that the investment yields academic gains.

In Milwaukee, just 13 percent of voucher students scored proficient in math and 11 percent made the bar in reading this spring. That’s worse on both counts than students in the city’s public schools. In Cleveland, voucher students in most grades performed worse than their peers in public schools in math, though they did better in reading.

In New Orleans, voucher students who struggle academically haven’t advanced to grade-level work any faster over the past two years than students in public schools, many of which are rated D or F, state data show.

And across Louisiana, many of the most popular private schools for voucher students posted miserable scores in math, reading, science and social studies this spring, with fewer than half their voucher students achieving even basic proficiency and fewer than 2 percent demonstrating mastery. Seven schools did so badly, state Superintendent John White barred them from accepting new voucher students — though the state agreed to keep paying tuition for the more than 200 voucher students already enrolled, if they chose to stay.

Nationwide, many schools participating in voucher programs infuse religion through their curriculum. Zack Kopplin, a student activist who favors rigorous science education, has found more than 300 voucher schools across the U.S. that teach the biblical story of creation as science; some also instruct children that the world is just several thousand years old and use textbooks describing the Loch Ness Monster as a living dinosaur. Parents at one such school in Louisiana received a newsletter calling secular scientists “sinful men.”

Asked whether he was confident that the private schools funded by vouchers are better than the public schools students would otherwise attend, Jindal told POLITICO that parents, not government officials, should make that decision. “We make no apologies for giving parents the option to determine the best educational path for their children,” he said. “President Obama has the means to send his children to the school of his choice. Parents in Louisiana should have the same opportunity.”

His rationale resonates widely these days.

Vouchers are booming in popularity; a record 245,000 students in 16 states plus D.C. are paying for private school with public subsidies, according to the Alliance for School Choice. Nine states added or broadened voucher programs this year and new initiatives are on the table in states including New Jersey and Tennessee.

By 2014, states will be spending $1 billion a year to send children to private schools through vouchers, tax credits and similar programs, according to Robert Enlow, president of the Friedman Foundation, an advocacy group for school choice.

“These programs are expanding, and they’re not going away,” said Kevin Chavous, executive counsel for the American Federation for Children, a school choice advocacy group that just released an emotional campaign-style video promoting vouchers.

The expansions are stretching voucher programs far beyond the stated intent of rescuing poor families from failing public schools.

SYG In Florida Only Applies to Some People

Different Laws for different folks in Florida…

Fresh on the tail of the release of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin comes this travesty. Where is the NRA? Where are the legions of conservative whites who only want to defend the law? This woman didn’t kill anyone – yet is sentenced to 20 years in jail?

You betcha…

Marissa Alexander, Woman Sentenced To 20 Years For Firing Warning Shot, Gets New Trial

A Florida woman serving 20 years in prison for firing a shot at her estranged husband during an argument will get a new trial, though she will not be able to invoke a “stand your ground” defense, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

The case of Marissa Alexander, a Jacksonville mother of three, has been used by critics of Florida’s “stand your ground” law and mandatory minimum sentences to argue that the state’s justice system is skewed against defendants who are black.

The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that Alexander deserves a new trial because the trial judge handling her case did not properly instruct the jury regarding what is needed to prove self-defense.

The ruling, written by Judge Robert Benton, said the instructions constituted a “fundamental error” and required Alexander to prove self-defense “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

But the court also made it clear in its ruling that the judge was right to block Alexander from using the state’s “stand your ground” law as a way to defend her actions. That law generally removes people’s duty to retreat in the face of possible danger and allows them to use of deadly force if they believe their lives are in danger.

Faith Gay, one of the attorneys representing the 33-year-old Alexander, said she was grateful for the “thorough consideration” provided by the appeals court.

“We are looking forward to taking the case back to trial,” Gay said.

Alexander had never been arrested before she fired a bullet at a wall one day in 2010 to scare off her husband when she felt he was threatening her. Nobody was hurt, but the judge in the case said he was bound by state law to sentence her to 20 years in prison after she was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Alexander has maintained that the shot fired was a warning shot.

The sentencing sparked criticism from the local NAACP chapter and the district’s African-American congresswoman, who said blacks more often are incarcerated for long periods because of overzealous prosecutors and judges bound by mandatory minimum sentences.

State Attorney Angela Corey, who oversaw the prosecution of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, has stood by the handling of Alexander’s case. Corey said she believes that Alexander aimed the gun at the man and his two sons, and that the bullet she fired could have ricocheted and hit any of them.

Jackelyn Barnard, a spokeswoman for Corey, said that the conviction was reversed on a legal technicality and that the office was gratified that the “stand your ground” ruling was upheld.

Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, called the ruling a “welcome development in a case that represents the double standards in our justice system.”

“From the streets to the courthouse, race continues to influence the judicial process, and it certainly seemed to have played a role here,” Jealous said in a statement issued by the civil rights organization.

The state’s “10-20-life” law was implemented in 1999 and credited with helping to lower the violent crime rate. Anyone who shows a gun in the commission of certain felonies gets an automatic 10 years in prison. Fire the gun, and it’s an automatic 20 years. Shoot and wound someone, and it’s 25 years to life.

On Aug. 1, 2010, Alexander was working for a payroll software company. She was estranged from her husband, Rico Gray, and had a restraining order against him, even though they’d had a baby together just nine days earlier. Thinking he was gone, she went to their former home to retrieve the rest of her clothes, family members said.

An argument ensued, and Alexander said she feared for her life when she went out to her vehicle to get the gun she legally owned. She came back inside and ended up firing a shot into the wall, which ricocheted into the ceiling.

Gray testified that he saw Alexander point the gun at him and looked away before she fired the shot. He claimed that she was the aggressor, and that he had begged her to put away the weapon.

The judge threw out Alexander’s “stand your ground” self-defense claim, noting that she could have run out of the house to escape her husband but instead got the gun and went back inside. Alexander rejected a plea deal that would have resulted in a three-year prison sentence and chose to go to trial. A jury deliberated 12 minutes before convicting her.

Alexander was also charged with domestic battery four months after the shooting in another assault on Gray. She pleaded no contest and was sentenced to time served.

Supporters of Alexander have asked Gov. Rick Scott to pardon Alexander, but her case has not yet been taken by the state’s clemency board.

Racism, Conservatism, Slavery, and the South

A long term criticism of the Congressional Black Caucus is that they have a seeming inability to move past the 60′s Civil Rights struggle. Since many of their districts exist because of racial gerrymandering by Republicans to produce reliably white, Republican districts by concentrating black and Minority voters – about half of the districts held by black Congressmen are in the South. The reverse Great Migration of black folks back to the South has resulted in the majority of black folks in the United States being located in the region.

African-American Population Percentage by County US in 2000 Census

Growing up and living in an extremely diverse region, Northern Virginia – where black professionals are common, leads to a view of the status of race relations, and the relationships between races is decidedly different from that of folks from the Deep-South. Folks from the Deep-South are more likely to see racism as a major issue. The flip answer has been that such belief is based on historical experience and not modern.

Turns out the flip answer, as usual… is wrong.

Former Slavery Strongholds Harbor Majority Of Nation’s Racists, Study Shows  - What they found: That a “slavery effect” persists among white Southerners who currently live in the Cotton Belt where slavery and the plantation economy thrived from the late 18th century into the 20th century. Residents of those counties are much more likely today to express more negative attitudes toward blacks than their fellow Southerners who live in nearby areas that had few slaves; are more likely to identify as Republican; and are more likely to express opposition to policies like affirmative action, the study authors concluded.

Conservatism is racism.

Slaves were concentrated in counties where cotton thrived, as shown in the above map based on the 1860 census. White Southerners in these same areas today express more racial resentment and are more likely to be Republican and oppose affirmative action, than other Southerners.

Legacy of Slavery Still Fuels Anti-Black Attitudes in the Deep South

Although slavery was abolished 150 years ago, its political legacy is alive and well, according to researchers who performed a new county-by-county analysis of census data and opinion polls of more than 39,000 southern whites.

The team of political scientists found that white Southerners who live today in the Cotton Belt where slavery and the plantation economy dominated are much more likely to express more negative attitudes toward blacks than their fellow Southerners who live in nearby areas that had few slaves. Residents of these former slavery strongholds are also more likely to identify as Republican and to express opposition to race-related policies such as affirmative action.

Conducted by Avidit AcharyaMatthew Blackwell, and Maya Sen from the University of Rochester, the research is believed to be the first to demonstrate quantitatively the lasting effects of slavery on contemporary political attitudes in the American South. The findings hold even when other dynamics often associated with racial animosity are factored in, such as present day concentrations of African Americans in an area, or whether an area is urban or rural.

“Slavery does not explain all forms of current day racism,” says Acharya. “But the data clearly demonstrates that the legacy of the plantation economy and its reliance on the forced labor of African Americans continues to exacerbate racial bias in the Deep South.”

The findings are reported in a working paper that will be presented for the first time at the Politics of Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity Consortium at the University of California at Riverside on Sept. 27.

The study looked at data from 93 percent of the 1,344 Southern counties in the Cotton Belt—the crescent-shaped band where plantations flourished from the late 18th century into the 20th century. The researchers found that a 20 percent increase in the percentage of slaves in a county’s pre-Civil War population is associated with a 3 percent decrease in whites who identify as Democrats today and a 2.4 percent decrease in the number of whites who support affirmative action.

The “slavery effect” accounts for an up to 15 percentage point difference in party affiliation today; about 30 percent of whites in former slave plantation regions report being Democrats, compared to 40 to 45 percent white Democrats in counties that had less than 3 percent slaves, according to the authors. Despite the region’s similarity in culture and its shared history of legalized slavery and Jim Crow laws, “the South is not monolithic,” says Blackwell.

Their analysis shows that without slavery, the South today might look fairly similar politically to the North. The authors compared counties in the South in which slaves were rare—less than 3 percent of the population—with counties in the North that were matched by geography, farm value per capita, and total county population. The result? There is little difference in political views today among residents in the two regions.

“In political circles, the South’s political conservatism is often credited to ‘Southern exceptionalism,’” says Blackwell. “But the data shows that such modern-day political differences primarily rise from the historical presence of many slaves.”

But how is it possible that an institution so long outlawed continues to influence views in the 21st century? The authors point to both economic and cultural explanations. Although slavery was banned, the economic incentives to exploit former slaves persisted well into the 20th century. “Before mechanization, cotton was not really economically viable without massive amounts of cheap labor,” explains Sen. After the Civil War, southern landowners resorted to racial violence and Jim Crow laws to coerce black field hands, depress wages, and tie tenant farmer to plantations.

“Whereas slavery only required a majority of (powerful) whites in the state to support it, widespread repression and political violence required the support and involvement of entire communities,” the authors write.

Again comparing the county-by-county data, the researchers found evidence of the relationship between racial violence and economics in the historical record of lynchings. Between 1882 and 1930, lynching rates were not uniform across the South, but instead were highest where cotton was king; a 10 percent increase in a county’s slave population in 1860 was associated with a rise of 1.86 lynchings per 100,000 blacks. “For the average Southern county, this would represent a 20 percent increase in the rate of lynchings during this time period,” says Blackwell.

By the time economic incentives to coerce black labor subsided with the introduction of machinery to harvest cotton in the 1930s, anti-black sentiment was culturally entrenched among local whites, the authors write. Those views have simply been passed down, argue the authors, citing extensive research showing that children often inherit the political attitudes of their parents and peers.

The data, says Sen, points to the importance of institutional and historical legacy when understanding political views. Most quantitative studies of voters rely on contemporary influences, such as education, income, or the degree of urbanity. The findings are also in line with research on the lingering economic effects of slavery. Studies have shown that former slave populations in Africa, South and Central America, and the United States continue to experience disparity in income, school enrollment, and vaccinations.

For the study, the authors drew on publically available data, including the 1860 census and the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, a large representative survey of American adults. No external funding was required for the analysis.

The New Miss America…And Predictable Racism

Go to any conservative network publication and read the comments when the subject of race comes up…

And you will invariably see a bunch of racism. Some sites like the Old Free Republic site were literal sewers of white racists spewing forth all kinds of vitriol and hate.

white Supremacist organization regularly troll such sites, because it is a rich target area for new recruits.

And it really doesn’t matter whether the site is Brietbart or the Wall Street Journal. Not being “PC” has long been an excuse to tolerate and support racism and racist talk.

Freed from the blowback from others in normal face to face social commerce, the hidden bigots feel free, and invincible to consequence on the Internet.

Obviously anyone claiming that racism is no longer a problem in America…doesn’t own a computer.

The most recent occasion for the race baiters to come out was the Miss America contest where an Indian-American, Nina Davuluri won the contest.

Nina is a knockout by any non-conservative heterosexual male’s standards (except maybe you guys who like them extra “plump” women)…

Miss America: Why Racism Thrives Online

Some things evolve and some things don’t. Such is the case with this weekend’s wins of Nina Davuluri and Floyd Mayweather and the tsunami of racism that overtook Twitter in response.

Ladies first. Nina Davuluri is the second consecutive New Yorker to be crowned Miss America and the first Indian-American to win the title. Though Davuluri’s platform was “Celebrating Diversity Through Cultural Competency,” like all of us she is more than the sum of her racial and ethnic identities.

According to CNN, “the 24-year-old Fayetteville, New York, native was on the dean’s list and earned the Michigan Merit Award and National Honor Society nods while studying at the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science.” Her goal is to become a physician. Davuluri plans to invest her time as Miss America working with the U.S. Department of Education as an advocate for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These are fields where women, regardless of racial or ethnic background, are sorely underrepresented.

Davuluri’s feel-good story took a racist turn in the Twitterverse, where some were outraged by the fact that 2014’s Miss America isn’t white. As in 2010, when the Lebanese-American beauty queen Rima Fakih was crowned Miss USA, racism was expressed not just explicitly in the form of tweets, but also in the level of ignorance those tweets exposed. For example, Jezebel reports that some tweeps seemed confused over whether the new Miss America was Indian-American, Arab, Muslim or Latina. They could all agree, however, that she didn’t deserve the title based on whom they thought she was.

Something similar happened to African-American boxer Floyd Mayweather after he won Saturday night’s fight against Mexican fighter Canelo Alvarez. Mayweather first caused a stir on Twitter when he entered the ring alongside Lil’ Wayne and Justin Bieber. Many wondered whether Mayweather and his team accessorized with the stars because of their social media reach into different racial communities. But that meme was nothing compared with the outpouring of racist epithets tweeps typed in response to Mayweather’s amazing win. According to a report from Latino Rebels, online bigots concluded that Mayweather didn’t win because of his talent, skill and training. Rather, he won because he is black and that’s definitely not a characteristic to be praised, from a racist point of view.

Although reports are right to highlight and challenge these expressions of online racism, particularly in this weekend’s cases, the tone of surprise is a bit misleading.  Ebony’s Jamilah Lemieux had said it seems as if “the Internet just met the Internet” in recent weeks and that by now we shouldn’t be shocked by online racism. Lemieux is right. Online racism is entirely consistent with offline racism and demographic shifts.

For instance, the number of U.S. hate groups has more than doubled in the last 10 years, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, up to 1,007 active hate groups in the United States in 2012. Deborah Lauter, civil rights director for the Anti-Defamation League, has said that thousands of hate websites are live, “more than we can possibly keep track of.” Survey research indicates that the rise in active hate groups is correlated with census projections stating that white people will no longer be the U.S. racial majority by 2042. The hate surges online when achievements by people of color are noted and interpreted as taking away something to which a white person “should be” entitled. So people like Davuluri and Mayweather become targets because they represent demographic change and new opportunities for people of color, while challenging stereotypes about who Americans are and what they can achieve.

Racist ignorance in virtual spaces may often be misspelled and factually incorrect, but it should be taken seriously because its effects on the recipient can be powerful. According to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health by Dr. Brendesha Tynes, a professor of Education at USC, of 264 Midwestern high school students, approximately 20 percent of whites, 29 percent of blacks and 42 percent of “other” or multiple races reported being personally subjected to racial epithets or other discrimination online. These young people were more likely to become depressed, anxious and, possibly, less successful academically. What’s more is the effect on race talk in general. The danger of online racism is that people seem to get away with it and public disapproval in the form of reports like this one do not appear to have the same effect in lessening racist speech as disapproval does in face-to-face encounters. For evidence of this, check out the many YouTube testimonials from online gamers via the Gambit Hate Speech Project by MIT-Singapore Game Lab.

The Internet we have is not the safe space it was promised to be. But the good news is that we can do something about it. As digital citizens we can make the Internet safer. We can engage in self-reflection and deal with criticism from others in a way that makes real race talk possible. That’s means fighting racism with truth about who we are and how the world is really changing. After all, racism 2.0 is not a foregone conclusion. We, the people, have made it seem that way. And we have the power to make it different.

As to the tattooed Miss Kansas, who lost – Miss America is about beauty and to a lesser extent class, talent, and intelligence…

Not about looking trashy by screwing up that beauty covering yourself in ink.

Bill Cosby…Again

Not sure how Bill got conned into appearing on Don Lemon’s show (senility?), but here he is. The first clip is about the 50th anniversary of the Birmingham Church Bombing. And on a day like today, where we suffered through yet another of the seemingly weekly mass murders by gun at the Navy Yard in Washington DC – It’s a good time to reflect…

Now the second clip is the Cosby of a few years ago. The money line for conservatives to misinterpret what is saying is “No-groes” which he spouts at the 5 minute mark.

Now, Cosby makes a very good point about the juvenile incarceration system in this country – and it’s systemic failure.You can bet that isn’t what is going to be quoted…

 

Racism …Real and Imagined

The story so far…

White guy marries black woman 17 years ago, and by all appearances they have a successful marriage with 2 kids.

White guy becomes a politician and runs for Mayor of a major American city as a Democrat.

White guy’s team puts out a campaign ad with guy, wife and their son.

Republican Mayor accuses him of playing the “race card”.

Post Trayvon Martin it has become pitifully obvious tha one of the reasons there won’t be that “conversation on race” is that conservatives, and even relatively moderate Republicans like Mayor Bloomberg are wed to racial fantasy. An alternate universe constructed entirely on the sort of ignorance, racism, and fear propagated at the national level by propaganda outlets such as Faux News.

NY Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and family.

Michael Bloomberg Blasts Bill De Blasio Over ‘Racist’ Campaign

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, accusing him of running a “racist” campaign.

In an interview with New York Magazine published Saturday, Bloomberg said de Blasio is “using his family to gain support.”

“I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing,” Bloomberg said of de Blasio. “I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote.”

Back in August, de Blasio released an ad featuring his African-American wife, Chirlane McCray, and his 15-year-old son Dante. In the clip, the teen says his dad “is the only Democrat with the guts to really break from the Bloomberg years.”

De Blasio’s campaign has surged over recent months in the polls. Back on July 14, HuffPost Pollster’s compilation of 27 surveys showed de Blasio in fourth place among Democrats, at 14.8 percent support. As of Sept. 1, he was the front-runner at 34 percent.

You mean with a last name like Boomberg… The distinct possibility the Mayor might be Jewish sailed entirely over the heads of the Jewish voters? Wow! Little Teyshawn and Lakaneshia should be so lucky!

Being conservative means you own 8 guns and 5,000 rounds of ammunition to defend your home from invasion by black ghetto gangbangers, who for reasons unknown have driven 25 miles out to the suburbs just to rob you, rape your wife, and generally make your life miserable. I mean “statistically” in terms of winning the Powerball Jackpot 3 weeks in a row. But, when faced with continual incidents like  White Dallas Man Shoots 8-Year-Old Black Boy Playing Tag, and this Man shoots Neighbor in the Face, and this Another Black Teen Murdered, black folks fears are “playing the race card”, after 300 years of similar acts by white “conservatives”.

Being conservative means Dan Rather should have been fired for the infamous forged memo on George Bush’s stint in the National Guard… But Faux New made an “honest mistake”, but manufacturing “3 black killers”, when the narrative didn’t fit Faux’s need to find a ” white Trayvon” and facilitate racial journalism overrode facts was…an “honest mistake”.

Being a conservative means a black guy killing a white guy during a robbery is a “hate crime”, while a white guy murdering a black kid because he was wearing a “hoodie” and looked “suspicious”…

Is “self-defense”.

Now this isn’t to say that white conservatives are the only ones affiliated with this distorted world view. Case in point – Oprah and the $40,000 Purse in Switzerland.  I for one, don’t believe the issue was racism. The issue was stupidity. Oprah for being miffed at not having her famous “Oprahness” recognized in every single cubbyhole in the world. The sales lady for being too stupid to follow the first maxim of selling to the well heeled…”Know your customer”. Don’t believe me? Drive your Toyota on down to the Ferrari Dealer and see how long it takes your T-Shirt,  Casio Watch wearing ass to get a test drive of that cute little $350,000 number.

That ain’t racism…It’s basic economics.

Open up a suitcase full of cash at the same dealership… And watch how fast the Sales Manager makes an appointment for you at the Lamborghini Dealership down the street. You don’t understand why Ferrari doesn’t want your cash – you really don’t understand money. Keep the raggedy T-Shirt, swap the Casio for a high end $20,000 Rolex or even more expensive Golay (don’t ask – you can’t afford it)… I guarantee you you will be in the driver’s seat in 10 minutes or less.

By the same token, if you are selling $50,000 purses, you’d better not mistake the Kardashian sisters for Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus – or Lady Gaga for Madonna…or in this case, Oprah for some poor tourist.

But, being a conservative means doing exactly that kind of mis-identification based on your bigotry.

The reason there isn’t going to be any substantive discussion, is best summarized in the quote…

“You can’t reason someone out of a position that reason didn’t get them into in the first place.”

He’s Black!

At least back in 1939 when Marian Anderson had to sing here (on the National Mall) “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” rather than at the Constitution Hall because they said the reason was she was black. At least they were honest back then. Today in American politics you have people like Donald Trump who hangs around with Mitt Romney talking about the president being an illegal immigrant, basically being a con artist on the street corner. You’ve got people talking about nullification of the law of the land. You got people talking impeachment like Coburn. You’ve got Ted Cruz out there. They never say their problem with Obama is that he is black, but look at the pattern. The pattern is rejection of his legitimacy at the first point, saying he is not really here legally. It’s rejection of the law he has passed, the landmark bill passed in 2010. It’s an attempt to impeach him on no grounds. At least the Daughters of the American Revolution knew what they were saying, and they said it out loud. He’s black. She’s black, she can’t sing here. These guys today use all of the techniques of nullification and talking about illegitimacy and accusing the president of being a crook basically for even being president because he’s here illegally. And then they talk about impeaching him on grounds they can’t even come up with. At least in the old days they were honest about it. Today, they’re not. And that’s how rough it’s going to be today, I think. - CHRIS MATTHEWS

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.”…

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