Tag Archives: President
Come to think of it, The Donald is a lot like Idi Amin!
Once again – Ben Carson’s statement that a Muslim cannot be President of the United States has no Constitutional basis. Indeed, there is no religious requirement in the Constitution.
There are two serving Muslims in Congress, Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.).
Their thoughts on Uncle Ben’s latest outrage…
Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.), the two Muslim members of Congress, on Sunday condemned GOP presidential candidates Ben Carson and Donald Trump for making offensive comments about Islam.
Carson told NBC’s Chuck Todd Sunday that he would not support a Muslim becoming president because Islam is “inconsistent with the values and principles of America” and is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution. At a town hall event on Thursday, Trump declined to correct a man who claimed President Barack Obama is Muslim.
“For Ben Carson, Donald Trump, or any other Republican politician to suggest that someone of any faith is unfit for office is out of touch with who we are as a people,” Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, said in a statement. “It’s unimaginable that the leading GOP presidential candidates are resorting to fear mongering to benefit their campaigns, and every American should be disturbed that these national figures are engaging in and tolerating blatant acts of religious bigotry.
Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) called the famed neurosurgeon’s comments “simply ridiculous.”
“Saying that the U.S. shouldn’t elect a Muslim U.S. president is absurd as saying we shouldn’t elect a neurosurgeon as president,” he said in a radio interview with Roland Martin.“The comments made by Dr. Carson show, I think, he isn’t ready to be commander-in-chief of this country,” he added.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which calls itself the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., will on Monday call for Carson to withdraw from the race.
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Carson’s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, also rebuked the neurosurgeon over his anti-Muslim comments.
And if it is any consolation, at least two Republican candidates, Ted Cruz, and Lindsay Graham “get it”
“You know, the Constitution specifies there shall be no religious test for public office and I am a constitutionalist,” Cruz said on Iowa public television. He also again declined to weigh in on President Barack Obama’s faith, saying it was a matter between him and God.
Earlier Sunday, Graham reacted to Carson’s remarks on Twitter by claiming the doctor “is not ready to be Commander-In-Chief. America is an idea, not owned by a particular religion.”
The presidential hopeful further called on Carson to apologize to American Muslims, arguing that although Carson was a “good doctor,” he was “clearly not prepared to lead a great nation.”
Cornel West steps in for Bernie –
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders spoke Saturday to a half-empty gymnasium at Benedict College in South Carolina. The school is historically black, but the crowd appeared to be largely white.
This underscores the severe challenge facing the Sanders campaign: African-American voters have yet to fully connect to the man and the message.
An August Gallup Poll found that Hillary Clinton’s favorability among African-Americans was 80 percent, while Sanders’s was 23 percent. Two-thirds of blacks were unfamiliar with Sanders. This could pose a problem after the contests in overwhelmingly white Iowa and New Hampshire, where he has surged to tie or best Clinton, give way to contests in Southern states with much more sizable black populations.
South Carolina will be the first test. According to The New York Times, 55 percent of South Carolina Democratic primary voters were black in 2008. Yet current polls show Clinton with a massive lead over Sanders in the state. And those polls show Vice President Joe Biden leading Sanders, even though Biden has yet to announce whether he’ll run. That’s why it’s important not only for Sanders to spend more time in the state, but also to pick a venue like Benedict College.
But appearing at the college, a favorite speaking spot for Democratic primary candidates trying to boost their black vote in the state, is by no means a sure path to victory. Bill Bradley spoke there in 2000 when running against Al Gore. Gore crushed Bradley with 92 percent of the caucus vote. Carol Moseley Braun announced her candidacy there in 2003but had to withdraw before the primary in the state. Al Sharpton and Wesley Clark spoke at the school in 2004, and both lost the state. In 2008, Clinton visited the school the day before the primary. She only won one county in the state.
Sanders is hoping for better….
This week, 2016 election coverage got its biggest shot in the arm since Donald Trump put his hat in the ring. Iowa candidate Deez Nuts, not to be confused with the Dr. Dre song, hit the scene and had the Twitterverse buzzing.
Google Trends says more people are interested in fake candidate Deez Nuts, who waspolled at 9 percent in North Carolina by Public Policy Polling. Many local news stationscovered candidate Nuts’s rise, which was very funny because news anchors were forced to say “Deez Nuts” on live television. In fact, people are so interested in Deez Nuts, it’sdiverting a lot of attention away from the Trump campaign.
The real Deez Nuts is a libertarian-leaning Iowa teenager who registered the candidate in his hometown of Wallingford. The closest thing to an original Deez Nuts I can point to isthe track titled “Deez Nuts” by Dr. Dre (feat. Daz and Snoop Dogg) from his 1992 album, “The Chronic.”
Just a few days ago some folks claiming to be from BlackLivesMatter – Seattle disrupted a planned speech by Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in Seattle.
Bernie Sanders Adds Racial Justice Platform to Website, Says He’s “Disappointed” by Seattle Rally Interruption
The Bernie Sanders campaign website has revealed a new section devoted to racial justice a day after activists claiming to represent Black Lives Matter Seattle interrupted the candidate at a social security rally in Westlake Park. The racial justice link is now under the his campaign website’s “issues” tab.
Here’s what the Bernie Sanders issues tab looked like yesterday:
And here’s what it looked like today:
“We need a societal transformation to make it clear that black lives matter and racism cannot be accepted in a civilized country,” the new section reads. The website adds that input from the Black Lives Matter movement ought to help “reinvent” policing in America and help the federal government work toward a model police training program.
When asked if the website change came in response to yesterday’s interruption, Sanders’ communication director Michael Briggs said the new racial justice platform “was already in the works.” He added that it “consists mostly of information already on the website from a speech last month to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.”
“We must reform our criminal justice system,” Sanders said in his address to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference on July 25. “Black lives do matter. And we must value black lives.” He mentioned Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and Tamir Rice specifically.
On Saturday, Marissa Johnson, one of the activists claiming to represent Black Lives Matter Seattle by interrupting Sanders, said that she wanted Sanders to “take responsibility for his actions” at the July Netroots Nation conference, where Sanders was interrupted by Black Lives Matter activists. “Bernie, you were confronted at Netroots by black women who said black lives matter, and you have yet to apologize or put out a criminal justice reform package like Obama did,” Johnson said.
A week after the Netroots conference, Sanders laid out his vision for criminal justice reform in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference speech, naming community policing, a federal police training model, education and skills training for the incarcerated, and ending the incarceration of young people as initiatives that he believes need to be pursued.
Go to any board where conservatives post on any topic tangential to race, and the “Moynihan Report” as justification for black-white inequality in almost any instance. The number popularized in conservative press by the usual Uncle Toms is that 70% of black children are born out of wedlock. And the result of those fatherless home is crime, and a continuation of pathologies which serve to keep the “black community” in the ghetto. Baggy Pants and Rap Music…
Never mind that the overwhelming majority of the black community doesn’t live there anymore, the 60 year old Moynihan report is the foundation and cornerstone of conservative racism.
Which leads us to the philosophical battle between lauded social commentator Ta Nehisi Coates and President Obama…
“Racial self-help” or “blaming the victim”?: 50 years after its publication, the Moynihan Report still provokes debate about the causes and cures of African-American inequality
Excerpted from “Beyond Civil Rights: The Moynihan Report and Its Legacy”
In his 2006 bestseller The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama praised the Moynihan Report, which famously predicted that female-headed families would impede African American progress after the passage of civil rights legislation. Obama repeated a common account of the controversy sparked by the 1965 report: “Moynihan was accused of racism . . . when he raised alarms about the rise of out-of-wedlock births among the black poor.” Responding to the most famous criticism of the report—that it “blamed the victim”—Obama portrayed the uproar against Moynihan as a telling example of how “liberal policy-makers and civil rights leaders had erred” when “in their urgency to avoid blaming the victims of historical racism, they tended to downplay or ignore evidence that entrenched behavioral patterns among the black poor really were contributing to intergenerational poverty.”
By suggesting that African Americans take responsibility for their social advancement, Obama drew on a powerful interpretation of the Moynihan Report: urging racial self-help. “[A] transformation of attitudes has to begin in the home, and in neighborhoods, and in places of worship,” he argued. As the first black president, Obama continued to echo the Moynihan Report. In 2014, he launched My Brother’s Keeper, a program that identified lack of father figures as a central problem facing young men of color. His comment in an interview that year strikingly recalled the report’s analysis of a “tangle of pathology,” interconnected social ills afflicting African Americans: “There’s no contradiction to say that there are issues of personal responsibility that have to be addressed, while still acknowledging that some of the specific pathologies in the African-American community are a direct result of our history.”
Responding to Obama’s comment, prominent African American commentator Ta-Nehisi Coates was outraged that the president pointed his finger at African Americans rather than at institutional barriers to advancement. “I can’t think of a single credible historian of our 500-year tenure here,” he retorted, “who has concluded that our problem was a lack of ‘personal responsibility.’” Six months earlier, however, Coates had appealed to an alternate interpretation of the Moynihan Report, one that advocated “national action” to address black male unemployment. To Coates, “Moynihan powerfully believed that government could actually fix ‘the race problem’” through jobs programs designed to make “more [black] men marriage-material.” A half-century after its publication, the Moynihan Report remains a contested reference point for debating the causes and cures of African American inequality. The controversy endures because it elicits competing explanations for why African Americans, despite ostensibly having equal civil rights, experience a standard of living significantly lower than that of other Americans.
Officially titled The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, the report was colloquially named after its author, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then a member of President Lyndon Johnson’s administration. Moynihan wrote at the dawn of a new era in American race relations: landmark legislation in 1964 and 1965 ended Jim Crow segregation, granted formal equality to African Americans, and discredited overt arguments for white supremacy. Yet Moynihan’s opening sentence warned, “The United States is approaching a new crisis in race relations.” The crisis, he wrote, resulted from African American demands that went “beyond civil rights” to include economic “equality.” Moynihan responded to civil rights leaders who had long advanced economic reforms designed to ensure a basic standard of living for all Americans. The 1963 March on Washington, after all, was for “jobs and freedom.” Yet Moynihan worried that achieving full racial equality would be hindered by what he viewed as the “crumbling” and “deteriorating” structure of many African American families reflected in high numbers of out-of-wedlock births and female-headed families. Family structure stood at the heart of what he notoriously labeled a “tangle of pathology” evident in high rates of juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, and poor educational achievement among African Americans. Moynihan’s thesis produced conflicting notions about how to combat racial inequality. For liberals, it suggested the need to provide jobs for black men to stabilize families. For conservatives, however, it suggested the need for racial self-help: for African American leaders to morally uplift blacks by inculcating family values.
The Moynihan Report sparked an explosive debate at the intersection of competing conceptions of race, gender, and poverty. The political dispute over the document was actually a short-lived affair. Moynihan finished the report in March 1965. In June, it served as the basis for a major speech by President Johnson. In August, it became public. By November, the Johnson administration had disowned it in the face of mounting criticism. From the left, critics charged Moynihan with “blaming the victim”: by shifting attention to African Americans’ alleged family problems, he overlooked the institutions that oppressed them. Though the report lost direct relevance for public policy after 1965, intellectuals and political activists hotly debated it well into the 1970s. In the mid-1980s, the report witnessed a political and media revival that never fully dissipated. Even today, as Obama’s and Coates’s remarks suggest, it remains a litmus test for revealing an individual’s political beliefs.
Beyond Civil Rights diverges from prevailing accounts of the Moynihan Report controversy that focus on establishing the document’s intended meaning. Some scholars claim the report was a conservative document that reinforced racist stereotypes. Others defend it as a quintessentially liberal document, arguing that critics simply misunderstood it. In contrast, I argue that the report had multiple and conflicting meanings. It produced disparate reactions because of internal contradictions that reflected those of 1960s liberalism and because of its contentious assumptions about race, family, poverty, and government. Instead of focusing solely on Moynihan’s intentions, this book explains why and how the report became such a powerful symbol for a surprising range of groups including liberal intellectuals, Southern segregationists, civil rights leaders, Black Power advocates, feminists, neoconservatives, and Reaganite conservatives.
One prominent interpretation finds that the Moynihan Report pioneered using images of “matriarchal” African American families to undermine the welfare state, an effort that accelerated during the 1980s and 1990s with Republican attacks on welfare recipients, usually pictured as African American single mothers. For example, scholar Roderick Ferguson writes that the report “facilitated a conservative blockade of social welfare policy” through its “pathologizing of black mothers.” Historian Alice O’Connor depicts the report as a prime example of how liberal social science generated conservative welfare reform. However, the report was not inherently conservative. Ferguson and O’Connor conflate the report, a product of 1960s liberalism, with the late twentieth-century attack on welfare led by conservative Republicans. By contrast, in the 1960s, many interpreted Moynihan’s emphasis on “social pathologies” to indicate the need for unprecedented “national action.” Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and socialist Michael Harrington both hailed the report; seeing it as inherently conservative makes it impossible to understand why.
Another common interpretation takes the Moynihan Report as an unequivocally liberal document. This view, first advanced by Lee Rainwater and William Yancey inThe Moynihan Report and the Politics of Controversy (1967) and stated most recently in James Patterson’s Freedom Is Not Enough (2010), correctly notes that Moynihan called attention to black family structure to push for jobs programs and other measures to benefit African Americans. Interpreting the report as unambiguously liberal fails to explain its immediate attraction to 1960s conservatives such as William F. Buckley and long-term appeal to neoconservatives and Reaganite conservatives. Moreover, even the report’s liberal call for job creation sprang from assumptions that struck 1960s liberals, radicals, and their present-day heirs as “conservative.” These included viewing African American culture as pathological, defending the patriarchal family, and relying on technocratic expertise rather than grassroots activism to generate reform…
Liberals nostalgic for a mid-1960s moment when government officials contemplated ambitious programs to redress African American inequality have been especially drawn to the idea that the Moynihan Report was misunderstood. For them, the report marked a lost opportunity for reforms that might have been enacted but for the unfortunate response the report generated. Conservatives similarly explain the controversy as a misunderstanding by treating left-wing critics’ attacks as irrational. For them, the Moynihan Report controversy marked the onset of “political correctness.” Conservatives claim criticism of the report by civil rights leaders and liberals suppressed an honest discussion about race. In their view, Moynihan’s critics convinced African Americans to perceive themselves as victims without responsibility for moral failings and civil rights leaders wrongly focused on criticizing Moynihan instead of exhorting blacks to strengthen their families. There is no necessary contradiction between conservatives’ advocacy of racial self-help and liberals’ support for government efforts to redress inequalities. However, in national political debate, conservative appropriations of the Moynihan Report to call for racial self-help denied national responsibility for persistent anti-black racism and gross economic inequality…
What lent the report its enduring salience was its maddening inconsistency on key issues. Was family instability primarily cause or consequence of racial inequality? Were the “social pathologies” of African Americans race-specific, rooted in the history of slavery and racial discrimination, or were they class-specific, based on the overconcentration of African Americans among the urban poor? Was patriarchal family structure naturally superior, or did racial minorities simply have to conform to mainstream nuclear family norms if they wished to advance? Moynihan also articulated two distinct notions of “equality.” On one hand, equality meant a guaranteed basic living standard for all Americans. On the other, equality meant “equal results”—a class distribution among African Americans that matched other American ethnoracial groups…
My basic view of this is that a cherry-picked version of the Moynihan Report has basically become the handbook of conservative racism, and the principal defense against denunciation or even recognition of white privilege. My view is that the so called “breakdown of the black family”, is really focused on the poor black family, and utterly ignores the impact of the carceral state implement under the aegis of the “War on Drugs”. Which has been used both as a political tool to suppress black and minority enfranchisement relative to the vote, as well as to support white supremacy.
When you look at the incarceration numbers, whose victims are largely concentrated within 10 miles of a major urban center – and the fact that that urban population represents only about 7% of the black US community..It shouldn’t be very hard to recognize that in those urban communities, something like (and I estimate here) 40-50% of the men between 18 and 30 are incarcerated, largely on non-violent drug “crimes”, then the causality of the “single mother”, and “breakup of the black family” lies firmly in the hands of the racial justice system. A situation exacerbated by the major cocaine “epidemic” of the late 80’s and early 90’s facilitated in no small part by the Reagan/Bush administrations.
Ergo – if you break up the carceral state..You solve the “problem” of single motherhood.