Beating The Dead Horse Of Right-Wing Racism

I’m sure by this point that most people who are political types have already formed an opinion of the matter of tea party racism and to the larger issue: if the Republican political strategy includes pandering to racist Americans.

I repeat again and again, too little avail, that not all tea party members are de facto racists.

I found it very unfortunate that so many on progressive side of politics were so quick to call Rand Paul a “racist” for expressing a standard libertarian point of view in regards to the Civil Rights Bill and the ADA. (Private enterprise craps rainbows is the short version of this pure libertarianism ideology.) Those perspectives are not racism, though they do tend to excite the racists out there. This alone, it is vital to point out, is not enough to place a person on the wrong side of the core issue of racial sensitivity or a lack thereof.

It is very easy to throw out a label, like “socialist” or “commie pinko,” but it’s harder to back it up. That was frustrating to see the left-wing doing the same unintelligent labeling based on ignorance that the right-wing has honed to a daily art.

I hear the sentiment more and more that people want to do away with labeling, but I only want to do away with all the negative labeling. I don’t see how we can escape the principal of using labels on groups of people as we so often do in politics. Something must have a name to become a movement, without a name to describe whatever ideological bent we are talking about it would be impossible to even discern accurately between them all.

The labels we choose to recognize ourselves by, and attribute to ourselves, are obviously the labels by which we wish to use and have function for us. I feel that we ever get beyond labels it will because all people stopped using them, and not before.

Then we come to issue of the dreaded label: racist. I’ve never been one to take away any fine glory from calling another person racist, but I also cannot simply remain silent as I witness specific cases over and over again.

There are many fine conservatives and even honest tea party-types out there, but they are the most hushed and pushed into the corner minority of the right-wing I’ve ever seen. Wherever these people be, I hear very little from them or of them.

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My first experiences with the tea party were seeing a small protest with one sign reading:

It‘s the White House, not the Black House

No n-words, no overt racist slurs, no neo-Nazi symbols … just this kind of rhetoric. I found it to be racist in nature, in my personal opinion at the time.

Now Janeane Garofalo was downright mean on Keith Olbermann’s show, but I won’t link that video or repeat any of that here. But did she speak intelligently about the tea party with Rosie O’Donnell so I find it likely she was playing to the YouTube crowd with that one.

My complaints are more to the inclusion of fringe groups known for racism like the John Birch Society in CPAC as to the conservative side and the acceptance of “Birthers” (for lack of a better term) into the tea party side. These actions, and the glorifying of characters like Beck and Limbaugh who incite racial hatred for profit, amount to a very “toxic stew” to borrow a bit of their language.

I never said everyone right-wing was a racist, what a wild claim that would be! I’ve said people who did specific things, like write a sign about the “Black House” or suddenly find a love for the term “commie-socialist” (which makes zero sense by the way), are looking like they are motivated by white racism.

Am I supposed to say “in my opinion” like every other sentence or something?

We just has this opinion about comparing Obama to Hitler passed around and discussed like it was rational by Sara Palin and other far right extremists. Helen Thomas expressed an opinion in a manner I found distasteful and crass, but everyone seemed to forget she is was an opinion journalist.

Though how we state our opinions is important, I realize this well.

So I avoid the term ’teabaggers’ as much as possible (recently) and make a strong effort to declare what I present in the manner of an opinion be understood as an opinion.

But without getting too twisted into a pretzel here:

We all have to remember that you don’t get to control what other person’s opinion of your opinion is.

I personally believe the problems here are tied exactly to that, like the days of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Making statements in a vacuum, from any side of politics, is just getting really annoying.

I’ll back it up, we can have a Constitution quote-off over SB1070 or a Wiki-battle over Southern Strategy Republican racism. I do it all the time, it’s not a new thing it just happens in lightning speed transactions these days instead of “let me go home and grab a few books and we’ll pick this up later.”

I find myself desiring an Edward R. Murrow like figure to appear in our times … we desperately lack that kind of brutal and much needed honesty today. Perhaps more than ever.

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And here is a chart for all those tea party deficit hawks:
(No horses were harmed in the course of this posting.)

They’re Not Cleaning It Up, They’re Covering It Up

Kindra Arnesen is not the only one appalled at this sham of a clean-up effort and the corporate whitewash media-blackout over the level of sheer disaster currently ravaging America at the hands of BP and Transocean.

Arnesen does not even touch on the toxic and hazardous dispersant (Corexit) that does nothing but add a poison that makes the oil harder to clean-up (and videotape / photograph) into the mix of all the other health hazards and environmental hazards already in play.

ProPublica.org:

The two types of dispersants BP is spraying in the Gulf of Mexico are banned for use on oil spills in the U.K.

As EPA-approved products, BP has been using them in greater quantities than dispersants have ever been used in the history of U.S. oil spills.

Reuters.com:

Oil-dispersing chemicals used to clean up the vast BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico carry their own environmental risks, making a toxic soup that could endanger marine creatures even as it keeps the slick from reaching the vulnerable coast, wildlife watchdogs say.

The use of dispersants could be a trade-off between potential short-term harm to offshore wildlife and possible long-term damage to coastal wildlife habitat if the oil slick were to reach land.

“Write About What You Know”

Write about what you know.

I’m sure we have all heard this saying.

Well one thing I know is that multi-tabbed browsing has forever turned my accessing of the Internet to constant self-inflicted information-overload.

You have your Facebook, you know:

Boycott BP

You have your solutions from science, you know:

6 ways mushrooms can save the world

And you have Jeanette DeMain and the best damn collection of hard facts on the Deepwater oil disaster, you know:

‘The Environmentalists’ and Deepwater Drilling

Now we all know.

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I have a love-hate relationship with this quote. It is vital to focus yourself in your writing, this is true. But a speculation, if properly declared as such, has value. People should be allowed to openly question and openly pursue that which they are uncertain about. Though it is important to state that single ancedotal accounts don’t amount to facts, and there is never any lack of those who wish to write (or speak) out of ignorance and not out of a desire to inform and educate themselves.

HuffPo: ‘Cavuto Called An A**hole’

This classic Conservative-Republican bullshit:

1) Insult the speaker.

2) Ignore the issue.

3) Play the ‘moral high ground’ if anyone defends themselves from your insults.

Video @ HuffingtonPost.

I think Cavuto is an asshole. Most of these conservatives on the media & on the blogs are exactly the same as well. Just angry, bitter, losers who want everyone to cry for them when someone fights back at their stupid and personal attacks on anyone that disagrees.

People talk about civil debate being dead in the U.S. If you ever wonder why that is just look at your local conservative and your local Republican mouthpiece. They are the murderers of free and open debate. No one else.

Shep Smith Cuts Loose On The BP Fanclub At Fox

Judge Andrew Napolitano joined hands with Rep. Joe Barton in a heartfelt defense of the oil industry. Specifically BP by trying to place all blame for the Deepwater Horizon disaster on the government.

HuffingtonPost.com:

Appearing on Smith’s “Studio B,” Napolitano argued that because BP relied on inaccurate government models to draw up its contingency plans, the government is at fault, and not the oil company.

“The oil companies have no choice, Shep, but to rely on what the government tells them,” Napolitano — a libertarian who recently launched a tea party show on Fox Business Network — said.

“So on the basis of this erroneous information, the government says: ‘Don’t dig at 500 feet, where Gov. Jindal says you can dig, where you want to dig, where we know you can easily control a spill, dig at 5,000 feet where our environmentalist folks think you should dig.”

“I’m getting kinda grossed out, Judge,” Smith shot back. “You’re blaming the government for this?’

“I’m blaming the government for this,” Napolitano affirmed.

I think this was kiddy-gloves language from Shep for such a vile misrepresentation of the facts surrounding the greatest environmental disaster in American History. But then again he is workin’ at The Fix… Kudos to Shep, I say! Good man!

Newsweek: ‘Are Tea Partiers Racist?’

The University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality just completed a new survey regarding the ‘tea party.’

Newsweek.com:

Ever since the Tea Party phenomenon gathered steam last spring, it has been plagued by charges of racism. Placards at rallies have depicted President Barack Obama as a witch doctor, denounced his supposed plans for “white slavery,” and likened Congress to a slave owner and the taxpayer to a “n—-r.” Opponents have seized on these examples as proof that Tea Partiers are angry white folks who can’t abide having a black president. Supporters, on the other hand, claim that the hateful signs are the work of a small fringe and that they unfairly malign a movement that simply seeks to rein in big government. In the absence of empirical evidence to support either characterization, the debate has essentially deadlocked. Until now, that is.

A new survey by the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality offers fresh insight into the racial attitudes of Tea Party sympathizers. “The data suggests that people who are Tea Party supporters have a higher probability”—25 percent, to be exact—”of being racially resentful than those who are not Tea Party supporters,” says Christopher Parker, who directed the study. “The Tea Party is not just about politics and size of government. The data suggests it may also be about race.”

If Tea Party supporters are doing relatively fine, what are they so riled up about? These studies suggest that, at least in part, it’s race.

The country that the Tea Partiers grew up in is irrevocably changing. Last month, new demographic data showed that minority births are on the verge of outpacing white births. By 2050, Hispanics are expected to account for more than a quarter of the American population. The Tea Partiers “feel a loss … like their status has been diminished,” says David Bositis of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which examines issues of race. “If you listen to [their] language, it’s always about ‘taking our country back.’ But it’s really not taking the country back as is. It’s taking the country back”—as in time.

Bositis finds the movement’s arguments about reckless federal spending unpersuasive. Why, he asks, weren’t they up in arms when President George W. Bush launched two costly wars and created a new unfunded mandate with his Medicare prescription-drug plan? Why didn’t they take to the streets when he converted a surplus into a massive deficit? “I don’t like to be in a position where I’m characterizing people as being racially biased,” says Bositis. “But when the shoe fits, what do you do?” Given modern societal norms, “they know they can’t use any overtly racist language,” he contends. “So they use coded language”—questioning the patriotism of the president or complaining about “socialist” schemes to redistribute wealth.”

It really makes me mad,” says Tom Fitzhugh, a Tea party activist in Tampa. “They have tried to portray us as a bunch of radical extremists.” He considers Obama an abomination—possibly “the most radical-voting senator that ever was” and someone likely to “take us down the path of destruction.” He believes the administration is intent on taking away his guns, trampling on states’ rights, and opening the borders with Canada and Mexico. He has serious doubts that Obama was born in the U.S. and suspects that the president is a closet Muslim. (There’s no evidence to support any of these accusations.) But his anger has nothing to do with race, he says. The real issue is that Obama is “taking down the Constitution and the way it’s governed us for [hundreds of] years.” All he wants, in other words, is to take his country back.

This case presented of Tom Fitzhugh is what I would draw your attention to here.

This is exactly the mentality not just the ‘tea party’ but the entire conservative movement has come to treat as anything but fringe extremism. This John Birch Society and “Birther” brands of racism being disguised as anything but the right-wing thuggery it is is why this taint of racism follows them wherever they go.

It should make them angry, and they should also be called out in the first place for doing this Southern Strategy-style racism in 2010.

How to argue like a white racist (via Abagond)

I see every single one of these tactics used by conservatives daily while online.

How to argue like a white racist Here in one place is the list of the most common arguments that white racists use on this blog, listed roughly from the most common to the least: Anything but race – Racism is over. There must be some Logical Explanation that has nothing to do with race. Blame-shifting – Blacks like to use the race card, crying racism and blaming whitey, but blacks are to blame for their own mess. Racism is so 1968. ad hominem – question a commenter's intelligenc … Read More

via Abagond