Don’t know if it is something in the coffee at MSNBC, vs something in the psychedelic moonshine at Faux – but Michael Steele, former chair of the RNC has had it with the Chumph’s racism.
Don’t know if it is something in the coffee at MSNBC, vs something in the psychedelic moonshine at Faux – but Michael Steele, former chair of the RNC has had it with the Chumph’s racism.
Megyn interviews Tavis Smiley. Tavis masterfully turns Megyn’s arguments back upon themselves again and again, as Megyn confuses symbols with reality.
Did President Obama miss opportunities? Yes, from the beginning in not realizing the depth and scope or Republican racism, and acting to counter that directly. Leading to the losses in 2010, based on his party’s perceived inability to lead, and allowing Republicans to dominate the megaphone. Are black folks worse off today because of that strategy failure…Yes. But it misses the point of who engineered that situation – and that in vast majority rests upon the shoulders of a Republican led Congress.
Megyn Kelly kept trying to talk about the political optics of race, Smiley kept on returning to the substance
On “The Kelly File” Monday evening, host Megyn Kelly spoke to PBS’s Tavis Smiley about the state of race relations in America today, which according to a recent Gallup poll are worse now than when the president first took office.
Smiley opened by noting that this is largely the Republican’s fault, as they have made the president’s race a divisive issue by other means.
“But people were crying the night he was elected in Chicago,” Kelly replied, “and I don’t want to say he was ‘The Messenger,’ but this was a guy who could change things.”
Smiley said that we will “debating unto time immemorial whether or not the right move was to go after jobs or healthcare first.”
“The healthcare was divisive,” Kelly replied.
“It’s not just divisive, I think it was the right thing to do ultimately, I’m just not sure I would have led with that,” Smiley said.
“That one cut to the heart,” Kelly agreed, “people were scared — but on the subject of race, are we better off now than we were seven years ago?” Kelly seemed intent on speaking about race relations as a political issue, but Smiley deftly returned to the subject to the actual lives of actual black people.
“On every major economic issue, black Americans have lost ground,” Smiley replied. “For the last ten years, it’s not been good for black folk. The debate’s going to be whether he wasn’t bold enough, or whether he obstructed.”
“I think the answer’s ‘both,’” Smiley added. “Historians are going to have a field day juxtaposing how in the era of the first black president, the bottom fell out for black America. Black people are still politically marginalized, socially manipulated, and economically exploited.”
Kelly again attempted to goad Smiley into a conversation about the optics of the Black Lives Matter movement, saying that Obama’s “tried to walk a line on that,” referring to the president’s support for police and “law and order.”
“I think law enforcement has diminished itself,” Smiley replied, explaining that turning the subject of police abuses into a racial issue is precisely the problem with the conversation Kelly was attempting to have with him.
This one seems to be a bit overheated. Unless there is more evidence than just a bunch of cadets dressing up in silly costumes, open to mis-interpretation that offended someone were trying to “deliver a racial message” – I don’t see any fire here. Silly, perhaps stupid – but where is the tie in that this group of cadets were trying to deliver anything but some cheer? I mean these are college kids, who consistently do stupid things without thought of consequence, or how someone may misinterpret their actions.
The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, was forced to suspend eight cadets on Thursday after photos of an apparent hazing ritual surfaced online showing the cadets donning all-white, with white pillowcases over their heads.“A social media posting, which I find offensive and disturbing, was brought to my attention this morning,” retired Air Force Lt. Gen. John Rosa, the president of the college, said in a statement on Thursday announcing the immediate activation of suspension proceedings for at least eight cadets and investigation into the images.
“Preliminary reports are cadets were singing Christmas carols as part of a ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’ skit,” he wrote in a Facebook post, adding that the costumes were pillowcases. “These images are not consistent with our core values of honor, duty and respect.”
According to Charleston station WCIV, the images were discovered by an African-American woman on the social media site Snapchat.
“I screenshotted and decided to share because I was so offended,” she wrote, posting the images to Facebook this week. “Was this their idea of some kind of joke?” WCIV reports the woman was later “threatened, harassed and offered money from numerous Citadel Cadets to take it offline in order to not ‘ruin their lives.’”
I think this woman, if she is a Cadet – is in for a hard time in the military. Without some sort of supporting information of nefarious intent, she has done more harm than good. It seems that we are drifting here from “I know racism when I see it”…to seeing racism everywhere.
The trite wing would like their troglodytes to believe that Police Officers have stopped work due to criticism of those few bad Cops by BLM.
Ain’t no “Joltin'” Joe Dimaggio’s on the extremist right.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Tuesday there was “no data” to support the notion that the national debate over the use of force by police has made the country less safe, an idea that has sometimes been referred to as the “Ferguson effect.”
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) asked Lynch at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday if she believed the discussion happening around the nation in the wake of high-profile police killings has made people less safe.
“Our discussion about civil rights and the appropriate use of force and all police tactics can only serve to make all of us — community members and police officers — safer,” Lynch said. She said she’s had productive conversations with police officers around the country and that they had some of the “best thoughts and best practices” on issues like de-escalation.
“While certainly there might be anecdotal evidence there, as all have noted, there’s no data to support it, and what I have seen in my travels across this country is the dedication, the commitment and the resolve of our brave men and women in law enforcement to improving policing, to embracing the 21st Century Task Force recommendations, and to continuing to have a dialogue that makes our country safer for all,” Lynch said. …
Pocomoke is a lovely town on the Maryland Eastern Shore. The Pocomoke River, which wanders across the peninsula is a scenic beauty. The River is crossed there by a scenic draw-bridge. The name “Pokomoke” literally means “Black Water”, and the water of the river is stained an almost black tea color by the northernmost Bald Cypress swamp at it’s headwaters.
Despite the natural beauty, and “Easy Living” of the DELMARVA Eastern Shore…Trouble has found paradise.
The Eastern Shore in reality remained part of the Confederacy during the Civil War. This – despite the existence of one of the largest, prosperous free black communities in the South in the two Virginia Counties just south of Pocomoke. The principal industry is farming. The Eastern Shore is sometimes referred to as the “Food Basket of he East Coast”, and near my own property further south, it is not uncommon to see signs on the fields from the major brands, including Campbell’s and DelMonte. The Chicken business is also huge, with major facilities and plants belonging to Perdue, Tyson’s, and Montaire, to name a few. Unemployment is very low – but average incomes in many of the towns hover around $20,000. People are polite and courteous, and most any Saturday when visiting the local hardware store is met by the question “been fishing?”
While there certainly are a few racist idiots there, I don’t have an opinion about this one – as to my personal experiences, most people get along reasonably well.
Kelvin Sewell figured he had landed his dream job in 2010, when he retired as a Baltimore police officer to help run the tiny 16-member force in this little riverfront city, which calls itself “the friendliest town on the Eastern Shore.” A year later he became its first African-American police chief.
Blacks and whites have coexisted, sometimes uneasily, in Pocomoke for centuries, but Chief Sewell, with his easygoing manner, quickly fit in. He prodded officers to patrol on foot, pleasing business owners. He helped poor students fill out college applications. Crime, everyone agrees, went down on his watch.
But the chief’s abrupt dismissal in June, without explanation, by a white mayor and majority white City Council that voted along racial lines, has torn Pocomoke asunder, wrecking old friendships and exposing a deep racial rift in this community of roughly 4,100 people, split almost evenly between black and white.
The drama in Pocomoke is a tiny slice of America’s searing national conversation about race, playing out largely in big cities like Baltimore, St. Louis and most recently, Cincinnati, around police mistreatment of African-Americans. A recent New York Times/CBS News Poll found nearly six in 10 Americans, including majorities of blacks and whites, think race relations are generally bad, and nearly four in 10 think they are getting worse.
What makes Pocomoke unusual is the way that conversation is tearing apart a small town, forcing lifelong friends and neighbors to confront how differently they see the world. A black minister who went to high school with the white mayor — and worked to elect him — is pushing for his ouster. A white city councilman provoked gasps by addressing black citizens as “you people.”
“There is so much history here, with everybody being raised here — except the chief,” said Monna VanEss, 53, the former city finance director, who is white. “A lot of these people on both sides went to school together and have known each other all their lives. We’ve never been this divided.”
Mr. Sewell, 53, says his firing was “racially motivated” punishment for standing up for two black officers who experienced harassment. (Before his dismissal, his lawyer said, he had also filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that he was paid less than his white predecessor.) Black residents, led by two prominent African-American ministers, have demanded the chief’s reinstatement — they say they have more than 500 signatures on a petition — and the resignation of Mayor Bruce Morrison.
Blacks are also organizing politically, accusing the city — with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland — of voting rights irregularities involving the cancellation of a municipal election, which cleared the way for a white city councilman to take office in April with no opposition in a majority black district. The situation is so tense that the Justice Department recently sent mediators to hear black residents’ concerns.
“This is political and racial,” said the Rev. James Jones, an associate pastor at the New Macedonia Baptist Church and the mayor’s former classmate. He says African-Americans were so furious about the chief’s firing he feared Pocomoke would break out into a riot. “The political structure of Pocomoke, they are not ready for a black chief. They don’t like us at the top.”
Not so, insists Mayor Morrison, who said the chief’s dismissal is a personnel matter, which he cannot discuss. He has no intention of quitting. “I’ve never been called a racist in my life,” he said during a brief interview at his desk in Pocomoke’s small, brick City Hall. “And I don’t appreciate it.”
While some whites are withholding judgment, at least one, Michael Dean, a funeral director and part-time forensic investigator with the state medical examiner’s office, has openly criticized the chief. He said he has “lost respect” for Mr. Sewell but would not say why. Others seem unable to fathom that race may have played a role.
“Nobody knows why he was let go, but there was a reason and it wasn’t racial,” said Marc Scher, who owns a bridal shop downtown. Mr. Scher says the wife of the Rev. Ronnie White, the other black minister pressing for the ouster of the mayor, does seamstress work for him, and the pastor’s grandmother was the Scher family’s housekeeper when Mr. Scher was a boy.
“They’re still my friends,” he said. “I don’t agree with them.”
Nestled between the Chesapeake and Chincoteague Bays, and surrounded by corn and soybean fields, Pocomoke City is part of Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore, a world away and much poorer than fancy shore communities like St. Michaels, where prominent Washingtonians keep summer homes. Its history of racial tensions runs deep.
Resistance to slavery was strong in Maryland, but the lower Eastern Shore, just across the border from Virginia, was home to Confederate sympathizers during the Civil War. The early 20th century brought lynch mobs. The region was slow to desegregate its schools and even slower to elect blacks to government, said Deborah Jeon, legal director for the A.C.L.U. of Maryland, which in the 1990s brought a voting rights case that forced changes in the way Pocomoke’s surrounding county, Worcester, held elections.
“It’s not like the rest of Maryland; it’s more like the Deep South,” Ms. Jeon said. “They fought us tooth and nail to prevent changes in the election system, even though the county had an all-white government for 250 years.”
Poverty is a concern. Pocomoke’s per capita income is $19,243, about half that of Maryland as a whole, and 27.1 percent of residents live below the poverty line. The rough side of town, known locally as “the back burner,” is overwhelmingly black, with run-down cinder block homes and a reputation for drugs and crime.
“Coming to Pocomoke from Baltimore City,” Mr. Sewell said, “it feels like you go back in time.”
Mr. Sewell’s troubles began, both he and his lawyer Andrew McBride said, when a black detective, Franklin L. Savage, complained of racial harassment while assigned to a regional police task force on combating the drug trade.
After a string of racially charged incidents — including receiving a text message addressing him with a racial epithet and being driven by fellow officers down a street they called “K.K.K. road” — Detective Savage asked to go back to his regular work in Pocomoke and complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said Mr. McBride of the law firm Wiley Rein.
But upon his return, Mr. McBride said, Detective Savage faced questions from city officials about his credibility, and wound up on night duty, which he construed as retaliation. Another black Pocomoke officer, Lt. Lynell Green, accompanied Detective Savage to a commission mediation session, and later complained of harassment as well. After that, Mr. McBride said, both officers were branded troublemakers, and city officials began pressuring Chief Sewell to fire them.
When he would not, said Mr. McBride — who is representing all three men with the nonprofit Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs — the chief was fired. The other two officers remain on the force.
William C. Hudson, the Pocomoke City solicitor, said that was not an accurate accounting of events, though like Mayor Morrison he would not offer specifics. “When all the facts are known,” he said, “it will be clear that the city is guilty of no improprieties and that the action taken to relieve Chief Sewell was in the best interest of the community.”
Perhaps, but ill will abounds. Diane Downing, the lone member of the City Council to oppose Chief Sewell’s removal, said the mayor pushed the council to fire him — in violation of the city charter, which does not give the mayor hiring or firing authority — and begged her to vote in favor.
“I am not stupid, and I was not born last night,” she said. “He wanted my vote because I am black.”
The firing has stirred a new spirit of African-American activism. Black residents — many wearing T-shirts bearing Mr. Sewell’s likeness — jammed the City Council chambers during a tense meeting after his dismissal. Pastor Jones and Pastor White have formed a coalition, Citizens for a Better Pocomoke, to prod blacks to get more involved in city government. Pastor Jones said they will not rest until the chief is back and the mayor is gone.
“They woke the sleeping giant,” said Gabe Purnell, an African-American activist from nearby Berlin, Md., who is advising the group.
Whites, too, are organizing. At the Salem United Methodist Church, a white congregation, more than 100 people signed a letter Thursday backing the mayor. Both blacks and whites are bracing for the next City Council meeting, Monday night. A Justice Department spokeswoman said its mediators, who have no authority to investigate, “remain available” to “facilitate any discussions” if needed.
Some wonder if Pocomoke will ever heal. Mayor Morrison insists everything will be fine: “It’s still the friendliest town on the Eastern Shore,” he said, “and I’ll stick by that.”
“Dear White People” is touted as movie satire of the post-Obama era. To be honest, I haven’t seen it yet. Should be interesting….
And – “Racism Insurance”
Fascinating is this piece in American Prospect. If you follow the link there and look at the comment section – you will find the sort of racism discussed in the movie – here are a few, just from the few hours this one has been up:
Thu, 2014-10-30 15:07
Satirizing racial tensions in the so-called post-racial America, Justin Simien’s film, Dear White People, follows the lives of several students at Winchester University, a fictional, mostly-white Ivy League college. As it explores the topics of racism, white privilege, affirmative action and interracial relationships, the film almost serves as a rebuttal to everything claimed by people who deny that racism and white privilege exists.
At Winchester, students live in dorms fashioned as houses, with Armstrong Parker House being the house where black students have traditionally chosen to live. In the beginning of the film, Samantha White runs for head of house opposite her ex-boyfriend and son of the dean of students, Troy Fairbanks. Samantha wins. When Kurt Fletcher—son of the university president—picks an argument in the Armstrong Parker dining hall using thinly veiled racist comments, Samantha kicks him out, and strains begin to simmer.
Samantha hosts a radio show called Dear White People, using her platform to dole out bits of advice to fellow students. Some of them are funny: “Dear white people, the number of black friends required in order to not be considered racist just been raised to two.” While others point out backhanded bigotry: “Dear white people…dating a black guy just to make your parents mad is a form of racism.” Her radio show is a kind of public service, offering a glimpse of racism from a black person’s point of view.
To some it may seem like because black bus passengers are no longer relegated to the seats in the back and we no longer have separate water fountains, that racism is over. But to blacks, the quips from Samantha White’s radio show represents the myriad ways in which we still encounter racism today.
Inspired by real events, the climax of the movie is a Halloween party thrown by white students. The invitation calls for students to come out and “liberate their inner negro.” The theme? Dress up as a black person. White students don blackface and dance haphazardly to rap music. They pose for pictures contorting their fingers in what they think are gang signs. It’s offensive, but perhaps the most offensive thing is that this part isn’t fictional—several colleges have dealt with white students throwing parties just like this. When black students get wind of the event, they crash it and the racial tension on campus finally boils over.
But the most important moment in the film is when Samantha White, defines racism: “Black people can’t be racist, she says. “Prejudiced, yes, but not racist. Racism describes a systemic advantage based on race. Black people can’t be racists since we don’t stand to benefit from such a system.” The treatment of white rioters and black protesters by the mainstream media is an accurate reflection of this definition.
In the wake of the ongoing protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, Dear White People is a cultural assessment that arrived right on time. Look at how Ferguson protesters were labeled as “rioters” and “thugs” while white students who rioted at a pumpkin festival for no apparent reason were simply “unruly” kids. That’s but one of many forms of the systemic privilege the Samantha White character is referencing.
Of course, screenwriter and director Justin Simien didn’t need Ferguson to make Dear White People timely. Systemic white privilege and the language of racism is an American tradition as old as the republic.
One doesn’t need to look any further than the vitriol spewed at President Barack Obama. Conservative pundits never miss a chance to claim that Obama is not a real American (see: white). He’s been called the food-stamp president, the affirmative-action president, and has been accused of giving free stuff to black people. (Six years into his presidency, I am still waiting for my presents.)
Undoubtedly, there will be people who continue to pretend that white privilege is a myth. They will decry the movie as “reverse racism” but Dear White People has a response. “How would you like if someone made a Dear Black People?” asks a white student in one scene. Samantha informs him that there’s no need, because media outlets, like Fox News, have already made it very clear how white America feels about black people.
Dear White People is a fresh take on being black in a white world. While the film leaves a bit to be desired in terms of deeper exploration of the issues at hand, it’s still a must-see—especially for white people.