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How the CBC Became Irrelevant

The Congressional Black Caucus is one of he most reliably Democrat organizations in politics. This has created a “go along to get along” mentality, which often fails to serve the black community has too often been the operational motif of the CBC. Part of that is due to a generational gap between the membership in the CBC and groups and organizations in the black community increasingly started and led by millennials, The other part of that dysfunction has to do with the Faustian bargain with conservative Republicans which essentially created “Black Zones”, principally concentrated in urban areas. A long term loosing proposition because of gentrification, and black flight to the suburban areas. Leaving the largest population of black folks in the US without representation, as black lawmakers respond to a steadily decreasing urban base, and urban issues.

On the flip side, the artificial gerrymandered whitening of the Districts surrounding urban areas provides ample fodder for white Republican candidates who cannot win in a district with above 20% minority population, and who are either diametrically opposed to the black/minority community, or see no political interest in serving it’s interests. Encouraging racial politics, and enabling a Republican majority in the House far beyond what any general vote totals would accord. The most egregious recent example of which is North Carolina.

The result of this is that the CBC ill serves those groups of black folks who either don’t live in the urban center, or whose educational, economic, and professional interests extend beyond asking for a welfare check. Ergo the very people driving black economic empowerment and inclusion into the social fabric of the nation. The very people who are the center of Color of Change and the BLM movements.

Another day, another Gala…

The Increasing Irrelevance of the Congressional Black Caucus

The group has failed to connect with young voters, which is not a good sign for its future.

On January 25, 1972, Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the United States Congress, announced her candidacy for president in a stump speech that sounded very much like those of today’s presidential candidates. Shetold the Brooklyn crowd, “I am not the candidate of any political bosses or fat cats or special interests. I stand here now without endorsements from many big name politicians or celebrities or any other kind of prop.” She also stood there without the support of the Congressional Black Caucus, which she helped found the previous year. The reason? Some of the CBC’s members thought Chisholm’s focus on gender and outreach to other groups subverted the caucus’s mission and explicit focus on race.

Four decades later, Representative Donna Edwards sought to become the first black senator from Maryland and only the second black woman ever elected to the body. Like Chisholm, she also did not enjoy the explicit support of the CBC. Edwards confronted CBC members, and they cited her “difficult nature” and failure to establish good relationships as reasons for not endorsing her. On Tuesday, Edwards lost her bid for the Senate seat in a close primary race that may have turned out differently if she’d received the endorsement from more members of the nation’s most powerful body of black legislators.

Among young African Americans, there is a growingsense that there are significant generational differences with the CBC and that the organization may have lost its conscience. Hillary Clinton has taken heat for the 1994 crime bill that led to the disproportionate incarceration of black people, but the bill was only assured passageonce the CBC withdrew its opposition. CBC members have clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters. And activists have criticized the CBC Political Action Committee, a separate but associated group, for the board’s ties to private prisons and big tobacco.

While some of these criticisms are valid, there is little question that the CBC is of immense value to African Americans and the nation at large. For decades, it’s been the organ through which the concerns of black Americans have entered the halls of Congress and the means by which policy victories have been delivered for disenfranchised minority communities. There is simply no doubting that the interests of black America remain central to the caucus’s aims. But there is also little doubt that the black electorate is changing, and the CBC will have to keep pace with this evolution if it wants to remain relevant to black Americans…

Protest is very much a part of the CBC’s character—many of today’s CBC members are contemporaries of the civil-rights movement. It would seem that today’s protest movements would be fertile ground for CBC goals. But many of today’s black activists are not as interested in what they see as respectability politics or dressing in their Sunday best for protests like their civil-rights-era predecessors. They are taking the stage whenever they choose and demanding that presidential candidates hear them. They are challenging leaders from previous generations, and some of those leaders don’t necessarily like it. In the black community, where eldership is revered, the boldness of today’s protesters has rubbed some CBC members the wrong way. Many black activists don’t care; they are less concerned with paying homage to elected officials and more interested in expedient policy outcomes…Read the Rest Here

 

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Why Some White Democrats Are Supporting Trump

It is all about race and economics…

Some of Trump’s strongest supporters are registered Democrats. Here’s why

Among Trump’s most loyal supporters are registered Dems who now identify as Republicans. There’s a reason for that

Many progressives believe that economic recessions and financial crises, by increasing economic anxiety among Americans, will bolster support for more liberal policies. Others believe that economic mismanagement by Republicans, either federally, or at the state level, will lead voters to support more left-leaning politicians. However, evidence suggests that financial crises actually bolster support for right-wing parties, and even Republicans whose governance is objectively disastrous can pull off re-election.

In the current cycle, a white nationalist is leading the GOP race, and garners much of his support from ideological moderates and self-identified Republicans who are registered Democrats.

Why?

We argue that economic insecurity tends to increase feelings of racial resentment, and that white liberals and marginally attached Democrats are particularly susceptible to increased racial resentment during times of economic crisis. This racial resentment undermines support for liberal policies designed to provide protection to the poor in times of economic crisis. For those interested in building a coalition to support progressive policy goals to reduce economic inequality, the lesson is that attention must first be paid to the continuing problems of racism and racial inequality.

In a previous piece we showed that racial resentment, not economic peril, strongly affects support for the Tea Party and views on government spending. In a separate piece, we showed that racial resentment affects support for government action to reduce economic inequality, while economic peril has very little effect. Here, we explore how economic peril affects views of racial resentment and could be driving formerly independent or moderate voters toward Trump. Our analysis uses data from the 2012 American National Election Study, a wide-ranging survey of the political attitudes and behaviors of over 5,000 respondents. To measure feelings of economic insecurity we created a variable scale that combines five questions related to financial well-being — for example, whether an individual is worried about their finances. Racial resentment attitudes are measured with a scale created from five questions that characterize color-blind racial attitudes (for instance, “If Blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites”). We control for individual race-ethnicity, age, income, gender, geographic region, party identification, ideology, political knowledge, importance of religion, feelings toward illegal immigrants, and overt racial stereotypes.

We begin by exploring how the relationship between economic insecurity and racial resentment varies with individual race-ethnicity. The results, illustrated below, show that increased perception of economic insecurity is associated with increased levels of racial resentment, but only among whites. Among people of color, economic peril has no effect on attitudes of racial resentment.

Salon48.1

When we examine only whites to discover how economic peril interacts with resentment across partisanship and ideology, we find that the relationship between racial resentment and economic peril is particularly acute among white liberals and Democratic partisans. The graph below shows that conservatives and Republicans have higher levels of racial resentment compared to liberals and Democrats. Possibly because of this, increased perception of economic peril has no significant effect on racial resentment for Republicans and conservatives. However, the results show that increased sense of economic peril substantially increases racial resentment among both liberals and Democrats. At above-average levels of economic peril, the resentment attitudes of white Democratic partisans become almost indistinguishable from those of Republicans. Additionally, the attitudes of white liberals become indistinguishable from those of ideological conservatives. This may help explain one of the most confusing parts of the Trump phenomenon: his success with moderates, independents and even some liberals.

Salon48.2

The implications of this finding become clear when we examine the relationship between racial resentment and support for federal spending to aid the poor. The graph below shows that as resentment increases, white liberals and conservatives begin to have the same preferences on welfare spending. At the highest level of resentment, white liberals and conservatives have the same preferences on welfare. (We find that aid to the poor does not have this relationship, suggesting that welfare is racialized, while aid to the poor is not)…

Salon48.4

Read the Rest Here

 

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Hillary and BLM

Good conversation here on Bill Maher’s show…Michael Eric Dyson does an excellent job of laying out the case here.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, Democrat Primary

 

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Democrats Black Staff Pay Problem

Hmmmm…Democrats need to answer for this one…

This picture of part of Obama’s Campaign Staff was part of a critique of his campaign by black Conservative Larry Elder. I am afraid to say Elder was right on this one. Of course, Republicans don’t have this problem, as there simply aren’t any minority campaign staff in their party.

Democrats Pay Black Staffers 30% Less

Campaign staffers who are people of color routinely get paid less than their white counterparts, and are often given less glamorous jobs. How an antiquated understanding of race relations results in minority staffers getting the short shrift.

If you’re a person of color hoping to get hired by a political campaign, here’s the ugly truth: You’ll probably get paid less than your white counterparts, if you’re even hired at all.On both sides of the aisle, there is a racial pay gap in campaign politics. Asian, Black and Latino staffers are paid less than their white counterparts, according to an analysis by the New Organizing Institute.

For example, African-American staffers on Democratic campaigns were paid 70 cents for each dollar their white counterparts made. For Hispanic staffers in Democratic campaigns, the figure was 68 cents on the dollar.

And a recent study by PowerPAC+, funded by a major Democratic donor, revealed that less than 2 percent of spending by Democratic campaign committees during the past two election cycles went to firms owned by minorities.

Political operative Michael Gomez Daly worked on two congressional campaigns in 2012 with similar budgets. On one campaign, Daly, who describes himself as “a very light-skinned Hispanic,” was brought in as a field director, primarily for his skills as a Latino operative who could reach out to the Hispanic community. On the second campaign, where they did not know he was Hispanic, “I just came in as ‘Michael Daly,’ instead of ‘that Latino operative,’” he said. “Right off the bat they offered me twice the amount for the same job.”

Most of the operatives interviewed for this article, all of whom have years of experience in campaign politics, said they had to make an early, conscious decision to avoid being pigeonholed as a specialist in minority outreach. For minority campaign staffers, they said, the path to enduring success lies in saying “no” to jobs like that early on in your career.

“It was pretty clear to me early on that you can get put in a box pretty quickly. You get offers for jobs: African-American outreach, Asian-American outreach. Oftentimes when you start doing that work, it’s hard to get out of it,” said Sujata Tejwani, president of Sujata Strategies, a Democratic firm.

Added Rodell Mollineau, a past president of the progressive tracking organization American Bridge, “As a person of color [at the start of your career], you’re always put in situations where a primary part of your job is communicating with or working with other people of color.”

The NOI statistics on the campaign race pay gap compare all staffers of each race, and average out the salaries. One of the explanations for lower minority wages could be that they tend to be represented in lower-paying campaign roles.

 
 

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Winning the War With ISIS

One of the reasons Republicans avoid the issue of what to do against ISIS – other than to sabre rattle for the easily mislead low intelligence base, and Democrats have a hard time enunciating a strategy is that the only way to actually end the ISIS threat involves a number of politically unpalatable choices. And I don’t mean toesies on the ground type stupid.

ISIS, like Al Qaeda is a creation of the wahabi sect. Said sect is financially supported and provided cover throughout the Middle East by (gasp) our “friend and ally” Saudi Arabia.

There are two basic ways to end Middle East Terrorism:

  1. Go “Medieval”
  2. Destroy the engine driving the creation of new terrorists.

#1 is executed by raising the level of terror, regardless of civilian casualties to the level nobody in the Middle East will ever want to consider attacking the West again. Red Army/Roman obliteration of enough folks, everyone else is too busy hiding under a rock to cause any more trouble. Think WWII and Dresden or Hiroshima type destruction. Make it clear that in any further terrorist attack the home cities, or cities in which they trained will be leveled. It may take Hitler/Stalin level carnage to get the message through.

#2 is to go after the source. Ergo, pick a Holy Day, and declare a drone free day simultaneously bombing each and every Mosque and Madrassa in the Middle East where Wahabi Witch Doctors spew their hate. Within 24 hrs, completely shut down all Saudi (and Turkey) international holdings, whether gold, property, or money, and deport all Saudi Citizens from the US (and Europe). Cut the entire financial string. Seize all ships, businesses, and other assets. Pick the hometowns of the current ISIS and Al Qaeda Leaders, Send a few dozen B-52’s and obliterate it – whether they are there or not. Declare null and void all treaties, toss Turkey out of NATO, and declare them Pariah States until such time as the Governments take substantive action to end the support of, and financing the proselytization of Wahhabism worldwide, and material or other support for ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Of course such will likely cause the collapse of the tottering House of Saud…And possibly an internal revolution in Turkey. Let them fight each other, with the understanding that should the fundamentalist crazies win – the only thing they have done is to provide hard targets.

And lastly…Learn to live with ourselves afterward.

 

How ISIS pacifies an area

Paris Attack Shows Why Al Qaeda Might Have Been Right About ISIS All Along

At this point, there are important components to events which are not clear: Were the plans for the downing of the Russian airliner in Sinai, last week’smultiple suicide attacks in Beirut and the bombings in Paris, conceived within the Islamic State leadership and the operations executed according to the wishes and directions of the ISIS leadership in Raqqa or Mosul?

President François Hollande implied a connection to Raqqa, but gives no evidence. But if this indeed is so, and let us presume it is, it signals a major shift in strategy by ISIS. The consequences imply that the West may no longer be able to fend off acknowledging the Wahhabist origins of movements such as ISIS and Al Qaeda, nor ignore their umbilical connection to Saudi Arabia, which has succored them — even as the House of Saud now fears that its monstrous progeny is intent on “cleansing”Arabia of the Al Saud themselves, and returning it the pristine Wahhabism on which Saudi Arabia originally was founded — the “one, true Islam” that ISIS insists upon.

In the wake of 9/11, the fact that 15 of the 19 attackers were Saudi citizens was airbrushed out from the landscape in favor of claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction — which Washington wished the world would focus on more. It will not be so easy to ignore the historic dimension now.

America may have to take a deep breath and fundamentally reconsider the nature of its alliances with the likes of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which both openly proclaimedtheir intent, in Syria today, to go on aiding the gamut of these Caliphate forces (ISIS, Al Qaeda and Ahrar al-Sham). Recall that ordinary Syrians have been living Paris’ Friday terror on a daily basis, for five years now. It is hard to see how the West can continue its ambiguous game of footsie with such forces, in the wake of what may have happened in Sinai, in Beirut and Paris.

So, what can have prompted this major strategic shift by ISIS? Well, there has always been one major point of dissent between Al Qaeda and ISIS: Al Qaeda’s leadership hassaid, openly, that it believes that ISIS had erred by proclaiming the Caliphate, the Islamic State. The ISIS proclamation was premature and the conditions were not propitious, Al Qaeda’s leaders stated.

Al Qaeda military operations focus on the “vexation and exhaustion” of America and its Western allies, which would eventually lead to an overextension of Western forces in many ways: morally, militarily, politically and economically. A reflection of this different approach to ISIS has been Al Qaeda’s willingness to work and cooperate with other insurgent forces in Syria; whereas ISIS rejects cooperation, demanding instead absolute allegiance and obedience.

ISIS opted for the absolute: an all out push to establish God’s “Principality” (a Caliphate), here and now, on physical territory, with borders, administration, Sharia law and a system of justice. The big difference between the two movements in effect, is “territoriality.” Al Qaeda is global, ephemeral and virtual, whereas ISIS is territorial.

But what if ISIS fears to lose this territoriality? Strange things are happening in Syria. Villages that have been held by ISIS for two years are falling to government forces in hours. Everywhere small gains are being made by the Syrian army or its allies, across contested areas. It is too early to say that ISIS is collapsing — but a part of it may be.

And if ISIS begins to lose its distinguishing feature — that it is a territorial power in Syria and Iraq — then perhaps its leadership might conclude that Ayman al-Zawahiri was right: Al Qaeda was right, and ISIS, if it faces losing its territoriality, must adopt Al Qaeda strategies (Al Qaeda has already called for a united stand with ISIS against the Russian and Iranian interventions in Syria).

But what, on the other hand, if this is not a strategic decision by the ISIS leadership, but rather that the bomb on the Russian aircraft and the suicide bombings in Beirut and Paris were spontaneous, copycat attacks by local elements and not conceived, ordered and operationally initiated in Raqqa or Mosul?

In this case, Europe has a different problem — but one no less serious. In some ways, the public evidence does not lean towards a Raqqa-led initiative. It leans the other way. From what we know to date, all of those involved in the Paris attacks were European citizens. In short, it was a case of European on European war. It is not clear that any of the perpetrators were returnees from the conflict in Syria (the authenticity of the Syrian passport found at the scene has been questioned).

And if there was no direct order from the ISIS command, there is prima facie in Europe, a shadow Al Qaeda-like structure taking shape: the attacks in Paris were well-planned, prepared and executed. The claims of responsibility are not definitive: there have been examples where Islamic leaderships have accepted responsibility andclaimed an attack even when they did not order it — and whereby claiming it, severely damaged the movement.

Robert Fisk has noted:

Omar Ismail Mostafai, one of the suicide killers in Paris, was of Algerian origin — and so, too, may be other named suspects. Said and Cherif Kouachi, the brothers who murdered the Charlie Hebdo journalists, were also of Algerian parentage. They came from the five million-plus Algerian community in France, for many of whom the Algerian war never ended, and who live today in the slums of Saint-Denis and other Algerian banlieues of Paris.

If this is so then not just France, but other European states, too, will need to take a deep breath and wonder how their policies have metamorphosed, from ostensible multiculturalism, into a “soft apartheid” in which Europe’s Muslim citizens feel the discrimination and contempt of many of their fellow citizens… Read the rest here

 

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2015 in International Terrorism

 

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DNC Accepts Black Lives Matter Town Hall

Going to be interesting to see if the RNC follows suit.

DNC gives blessing to Black Lives Matter presidential town hall — but won’t add debate

The Democratic National Committee on Wednesday gave its blessing to two of the most prominent activist groups associated with the Black Lives Matter protest movement — the #BlackLivesMatter network and Campaign Zero — to host a presidential town hall focused on issues of racial justice, but stood firm in its stance that there will be no additional debates on the 2016 campaign schedule.

In letters addressed to leaders of the #BlackLivesMatter network and prominent activist DeRay Mckesson, the DNC invited the activist groups to coordinate and host a presidential town hall similar to those currently being planned by some state-level Democratic parties and some liberal groupsincluding MoveOn.org.

‘We believe that your organization would be an ideal host for a presidential candidate forum — where all of the Democratic candidates can showcase their ideas and policy positions that will expand opportunity for all, strengthen the middle class and address racism in America,” wrote Amy K. Dacey, chief executive officer of the DNC, in the letters which were obtained by The Post. “The DNC would be happy to help promote the event.”

The letters come one day after organizers with the #BlackLivesMatter network — an activist collective with the same name often applied to the broader protest movement — called on the DNC to sanction an additional debate themed around issues of racial justice, which was only referenced once during the CNN presidential debate in Las Vegas earlier this month.

In an interview on Wednesday, Black Lives Matter organizer Elle Hearns said the umbrella group had yet to decide if it would proceed with an attempt to host a town hall, and said that she was still personally disappointed that the DNC will not sanction an additional debate.

“Their response to our request is unsatisfactory,’ Hearns said, and added that it is irresponsible for the Democratic National Committee to host so few debates. “Debbie Wasserman Schultz should be more mindful of her responsibility not only to the DNC, but to the American people.”

Mckesson, however, said he has been in talks with DNC officials to coordinate a presidential town hall and has also reached out to the Republican National Committee with the hope of including GOP presidential candidates as well.

Activists, many of whom were politically unaffiliated prior to the current protest movement, continue to grapple with how to best influence the ongoing presidential campaign. While many of the most prominent activists and organizers have gained national followings, and most of the leading presidential campaigns — especially in the Democratic field — have worked to ensure they remain in the movement’s good graces.

In a letter McKesson sent to DNC officials earlier this week, Mckesson noted the national conversation about race and criminal justice prompted in large part by the protests following the August 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

“The issues of police violence, state violence, mass incarceration, and the impact of systematic inequity have been at the forefront of these conversations and they should also be centered during the 2016 Presidential Campaign,” Mckesson wrote. “We have an opportunity to create space for a robust and transformational conversation about a set of issues that are key to millions of voters.”

In an interview on Wednesday, Mckesson said he hopes to secure commitments from all current presidential candidates — both Democrats and Republicans — and that he has begun reaching out to potential venues and corporate partners. Mckesson said he has reached out to contacts at Twitter, the social network on which he is one of the most prominent users, to gauge their interest in co-hosting the town hall.…More Here…

 

 

 
 

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Welcome to the Confederate States of What Used to be America

Welcome to the Confederate States…Your new Republican Congress will be passing a bill shortly to replace the Stars and Stripes….

With the Stars and Bars.

A Tea Party Celebration on the Courthouse Steps

Most of the autopsies of the mid-term election have a number of reasons Democrats lost. Not the least of which had to do with failing to energize their base, despite some fairly desperate pleas in the last few days before the voting.

One of the reasons those efforts fell flat – is in terms of real action, folks are not seeing one hell of a lot of difference between Republicans and Democrats. Democrats talk a good line – but are noticeably absent when it is time to put some solid legislation on the books…Or to swat their Republican counterparts into some form of sanity.

And by Democrats, I am also including the Congressional Black Caucus – which singularly is the most useless non-performing group of useless arsed black people in the country. They are real good at throwing parties and benefits – but don’t do shit when it comes time to put anything of value in action.

The Republicans in the last Congress pointed out a really simple way to bring legislation to a halt. It is called the Filibuster. With 42 black members in the House, you would think these fronting Cabaret has beens could mount one. You want to bring some rationality to what the right wing bozos in the House are going to do the next 2 years…

You stop the fuckers cold. Each time…And every time. You been too chickenshit to do it so far.

If they try and stop the filibuster by shutting down your speech… Bring the house down by raising hell on the floor until they back down – or you decide to walk out en masse.

Here’s the deal. The very first bill they bring to the floor…Kill it. Kill the Keystone pipeline bill. There aren’t any black jobs in there anyway. Obamacare repeal? Kill it. If you don’t then the blood of 30,000 black babies murdered a year by lack of, or indifferent medical care is on your hands.

Keep killing everything that comes to the floor…And maybe your white Democrat cohorts will grow some backbone.

Make absolutely sure the racist clowns understand the program.

Black voters…It i past time to hold these folks in Congress who are supposed to be representing you… accountable.

It is all still about race: Obama hatred, the South and the truth about GOP wins

In 1964, there were five black members of the House of Representatives — barely over 1 percent — compared to the 11 percent of the population who were black. But the American people were evenly split, 30 to 31 percent, on whether blacks should have more or less influence, with 28 percent saying things were “about right” as they stood. What’s more, those opposed to government social spending programs were three times more likely to say blacks should have less influence compared to those supporting social spending.

Those historical tidbits, from “The Political Beliefs of Americans; a Study of Public Opinion” by Lloyd Free and Hadley Cantril, immediately came to mind last week when Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, locked in a tight reelection fight — as always — made a lot of headlines with her comments noting that race had something to do with President Obama’s unpopularity in the state.

“I’ll be very, very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans,” she told NBC News in an interview. “It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader.”

This is hardly earth-shattering news from the state that brought us Plessy v. Ferguson in the 1890s, and the deeply racialized devastation of Katrina less a decade ago, after which even President Bush admitted that “deep, persistent poverty” in the area “has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America.” Speaking of Katrina, according to a PPP poll last year, the good people of Louisiana “were evenly split on who was most responsible for the poor Hurricane Katrina response: George W. Bush or Obama, 28/29.” Given that Obama was a first-year senator at the time of Katrina, it’s not hard to see what Landrieu was driving at.

What’s more, the role of race was only a tertiary matter in Landrieu’s account. When asked why the president had such a hard time in the state, Landrieu first said it was “because his energy policies are really different than ours,” then when pushed further, she added, “because he put the moratorium on offshore drilling,” after the disastrous BP oil spill.

It was only after laying out those policy complaints that Landrieu got around to discussing race. Yet, predictably, fourth-tier 2016 GOP presidential wannabe Bobby Jindal, Louisiana’s governor, instantly made an ass of himself, calling her comments “remarkably divisive,” which takes a lot of chutzpah, coming from a racial panderer who just three years ago pledged he would sign a “birther” bill if it reached his desk.

Jindal also claimed that “the people of Louisiana are willing to give everyone a fair hearing,” a claim belied by that PPP poll, and that certainly didn’t apply to Jindal’s own exclusive focusing on Landrieu’s tertiary reference to race. Nor does it comport with the tenacity of birtherism, which has only grown more intense, the more thoroughly it’s been discredited.

Birtherism, you see, has become the GOP’s more widespread manifestation of racial codespeak in the Obama era. Although Obama deftly quieted the elite media trolls with the release of his long-form birth certificate just after Donald Trump had ridden birther hysteria to the top of the GOP primary field in April 2011, the GOP base was never really dissuaded. In fact, nine months later, in January 2012, a YouGov poll found that more Republicans than ever questioned Obama’s citizenship. Those denying his American birth outright were up 50 percent, from 25 percent of all Republicans to 37 percent, while those accepting his American birth were down 10 percent, from 30 percent to 27 percent of all Republicans.  Indisputable hard evidence did nothing at all to dissipate the birther delusion, it only made it stronger. That’s not something Mary Landrieu made up. The GOP’s own partisan media did that.

Although birtherism is a complex phenomenon in its own right, Landrieu — like Bush before her — was referencing a much broader problem facing Obama, as well as herself, and the Democratic Party as a whole. You’re not supposed to call it “racism,” because racism means KKK mobs in hoods, and police siccing snarling dogs on young children, and we’re not like that anymore — see, we’ve got armored vehicles and sound cannons now!

But 40 years of data from the General Social Survey — the gold standard of American public opinion research — say otherwise.  They tell us that Southern whites overwhelmingly blame blacks for their lower economic status, ignoring or denying the role played by discrimination, past and present, in all its various forms, and that the balance of Southern white attitudes has barely changed at all in 40 years. At the same time, attitudes outside the white South have shifted somewhat — but still tend to blame blacks more than white society, steadfastly ignoring mountains of evidence to the contrary — such as 60 years of unemployment data, over which time “the unemployment rate for blacks has averaged about 2.2 times that for whites,” as noted by Pew Research. It is only Democrats outside the white South who have dramatically shifted away from blaming blacks over this period of time, and the tension this has created within the Democratic Party goes to the very heart of the political challenge both Obama and Landrieu face — a challenge that is not going to simply go away any time soon.

Before turning to the GSS data, it’s worth noting that it’s hardly an anomalous finding. A 2011 study from Tufts (press release/full study) found that whites as a whole see racism as a zero-sum game, such that decreases in discrimination against blacks over the decades are reflected in increases in discrimination against whites, so that now whites are more discriminated against than blacks.  This perception is not simply mistaken, it’s downright delusional, flying in the face of mountains of objective data. For example, a June 2014 study by Young Invincibles, “Closing the Race Gap,” found that blacks need to complete two more levels of education to have the same probability of employment as their white counterparts. Nonetheless, as explained in the Tufts press release:

On average, whites rated anti-white bias as more prevalent in the 2000s than anti-black bias by more than a full point on the 10-point scale. Moreover, some 11 percent of whites gave anti-white bias the maximum rating of 10 compared to only 2 percent of whites who rated anti-black bias a 10. Blacks, however, reported only a modest increase in their perceptions of “reverse racism.”…more

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2014 in Domestic terrorism

 

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