[At 7,500 words, this is long enough to be a two-parter, but I’ll give you two days to read it, instead. Warning: Some bad words are used, but they are necessary to the piece. ]
You may not have noticed the massive PR stunt and desperate attempt to remain relevant that Joe Farah’s eternally wingnut WorldNetDaily pulled late this week, with infamous Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “posse” to try and reignite the “birther controversy” that’s made Farah so much money, just as he made money off the Vince Foster suicide “controversy” during the Clinton years in the “Western Journalism Center“* foundation that WND spun off of as a for-profit sinecure for Farah’s dotage.
[* WND remains thick as thieves with WJC, and the complete press conference is now archived on WJC’s site.]
[* See book review “Unreasonable Men,” Jan 9, 1994]
And to keep sales going on the book by Jerome “Swift Boat” Corsi‘s Where’s the Birth Certificate? published by Farah, which came out two days after the President released his long-form birth certificate. Farah, desperate to unload his white elephant (in every sense of the term) has sued Esquire Magazine for $250 million, represented by the head of Judicial Watch, the “nonpartisan” foundation who pushed the Paula Jones “discovery” and the Clinton impeachment*, who probably needs the publicity as well. The Arizona Daily Star [Tucson] reports [emphasis added]:
[* The “Filegate” suit was summarily dismissed in 2010. Can you say idée fixe?]
Arpaio: Obama’s birth certificate was doctored
by Howard Fischer
… On Thursday [Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph] Arpaio charged the birth certificate Obama says proves he is a U.S. citizen is a fraud, contending a forensic examination of the electronic document posted last year by the White House proves that it was not simply scanned into a file but actually put together in several pieces.
Mike Zullo, head of the sheriff’s Cold Case Posse who headed the investigation, said the inconsistencies in the document cannot be explained away by claims it was optimized or had been scanned with optical character-recognition software. Zullo also said a separate examination proves Obama’s 1980 Selective Service registration also is a fake.
While saying the evidence proves that a crime was committed, Arpaio was careful not to implicate the president.“I’m not accusing anyone of anything until we find out who may have committed these alleged crimes over this birth certificate and the Selective Service card,” Arpaio said.
Arpaio brushed aside a question of why he was able to find such evidence when no one else in the country has. The sheriff said he probably was the only one who bothered to investigate in detail. Zullo also said the fact the Honolulu newspaper had a birth announcement at the time proves nothing, saying the newspaper accepted such messages without requiring proof the person actually had been born in the state.
And Zullo insisted Arpaio has jurisdiction.He said the electronic document put up online by the White House “was a representation made to the people of Maricopa County,” he said. “You fraud one person in Maricopa County with that, you fraud every person in Maricopa County.” [sic and sic]
Zullo stressed, though, “we are not accusing Mr. Obama of creating this document.”At this juncture, we have advised Sheriff Arpaio we believe there should be a full-blown criminal investigation because a fraud has been committed in Maricopa County and the state of Arizona,” Zullo said. “The document is fake. The representations, therefore, are fake.”
Arpaio said the investigation was not designed to divert attention from the Justice Department investigation into allegations of racial profiling by his deputies.It was started before he was notified he was under investigation, Arpaio said.
We shall pass over Mr. Zullo’s evident unfamiliarity with English grammar and note that Farah and Corsi were nowhere mentioned in the article (I’ll save you the time, it’s nowhere in the complete original). Not what you’d call non-comatose reporting: Just a vague recitation of the oral press release at the “press conference” and the obligatory denial/no comment by the White House.
Which is what Farah, former news editor at the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner (RIP) and editor-in-chief of the Sacramento [Calif.] Union (also RIP), undoubtedly banks on. The story has been picked up by Politico, Fox News, The Chicago Sun-Times*, The Boston Herald, the BBC, the Alaska Dispatch, the Christian Science Monitor, the Huffington Post, KOWB radio in Laramie, Wyoming etc. etc.
[* Bruce Merrill, a longtime pollster and senior research fellow at Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, said the subject of the investigation plays to the sheriff’s base of supporters. And, he said, it highlights Arpaio’s gift for publicity.“It’s something that the press will cover,” Merrill said. “He’ll get a lot of exposure from it.”]
So, it might be a good idea to revisit this piece from four years ago. (Minor edits, but intact, mistakes and all. New illustrations have been added).
During a late-night Senate debate prior to the Civil War, Senator Stephen A. Douglas, Democrat of Illinois, used the word “nigger.” Which prompted this famous response:
“No man who spells Negro with two g’s will ever be elected President of the United States.”
– William H. Seward, U.S. Senator (Whig & Republican, NY — Courtesy: Eigen’s Political & Historical Quotations.“)
I doubt very seriously that you know who Nat Turner was, Gentle Readers. It’s not your fault.
Even before Ronald Ray-gun and his minions from hell decided that dumbing down American schools by removing history, social studies and civics from the curriculum was the way to ensure enough amnesia to sell the GOP as somehow hip and cool (a party that was on the wrong side of EVERY decent and progressive issue of the 20th Century once William Howard Taft left office in 1913 — nearly 100 years of social darkness), even then, no one was willing to tell the story of Nat Turner and what it did to Southern attitudes. At least partially, because no one ever really knew the story. But let’s begin at the beginning:
The Richmond Enquirer on Nat Turner’s Rebellion
Virginia, 30 August 1831
So much curiosity has been excited in the state, and so much exaggeration will go abroad, that we have determined to devote a great portion of this day’s paper to the strange events in the county of Southampton…. What strikes us as the most remarkable thing in this matter is the horrible ferocity of these monsters. They remind one of a parcel of blood-thirsty wolves rushing down from the Alps; or rather like a former incursion of the Indians upon the white settlements’ Nothings is spared; neither age nor sex is respected-the helplessness of women and children pleads in vain for mercy. The danger is thought to be over-but prudence still demands precaution. The lower country should be on the alert.-The case of Nat Turner warns us. No black man ought to be permitted to turn a Preacher through the country. The law must be enforced or the tragedy of Southampton appeals to us in vain. (emphasis added)
Indeed, after Nat Turner, laws were put in place throughout the South outlawing the teaching of reading and writing to slaves under pain of death. (The slave’s that is.)
can’t imagine why Nat Turner would have been angry
And here is a contemporary newspaper article, equally suspect, from the New York Times, in 2004:
Nat Turner in History’s Multiple Mirrors
By FELICIA R. LEE
Published: February 7, 2004
On Nov. 11, 1831, the slave Nat Turner was hanged in Jerusalem, Southampton County, Va., for leading a shocking revolt against slavery. The body count included at least 55 whites, mostly women and children, and was the bloodiest slave rebellion in American history. Dozens of blacks were killed in official or unofficial retaliation.
At the time, the two-day uprising in August led to new discussions about slavery, animated the abolitionist movement and prompted draconian laws to restrict black people further. Ever since it has inspired debates about Turner himself.
As viewed by many 19th-century Southern whites, he was a misguided fanatic. Some blacks in the 1960?s claimed him as the ultimate symbol of black resistance to white supremacy. Some white descendants of those killed maintain his actions were immoral and indefensible….
So, who was Nat Turner? In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Nat Turner is whoever the speaker wants him to be. The NYT article talks about the “controversy” surrounding him, as he is painted by the brush of whomever happens to be holding it, for the purposes of their composition. (New York Times, ibid.):
Such ambiguity does not trouble Kenneth S. Greenberg, an historian at Suffolk University in Boston and the co-producer of the PBS documentary. “All of my work doesn’t present a Nat Turner or the real Nat Turner,” he said…. Mr. Greenberg notes that no one even knows Turner’s real name, what he really looked like or what happened to his body (he was apparently decapitated and his body skinned)….
Listen to the old Southern Hysteria:
A fanatic preacher by the name of Nat Turner (Gen. Nat Turner) who had been taught to read and write, and permitted to go about preaching in the country, was at the bottom of this infernal brigandage. He was artful, impudent and vindicative, without any cause or provocation, that could be assigned.-He was the slave of Mr. Travis. He and another slave of Mr. T. a young fellow, by the name of Moore, were two of the leaders. Three or four others were first concerned and most active.– They had 15 others to join them. And by importunity or threats they prevailed upon about 20 others to cooperate in the scheme of massacre. We cannot say how long they were organizing themselves-but they turned out on last Monday early (the 22d) upon their nefarious expedition…. They were mounted to the number of 40 or 50; and with knives and axes-knocking on the head, or cutting the throats of their victims. They had few firearms among them-and scarcely one, if one, was fit for use…. But as they went from house to house, they drank ardent spirits-and it is supposed, that in consequence of their being intoxicated,-or from mere fatigue, they paused in their murderous career about 12 o’clock on Monday…. (The Richmond Enquirer)
The point is this: Nat Turner was, literally, the boogeyman. Every Southern fantasy about ‘Darkies’ killing them in their sleep, raping their women, etcetera, finds its genesis in the guilty projections of the Nat Turner uprising.
… On the night of the 21st of August 1831, with seven companions, [Nat Turner] entered the home of his master, Joseph Travis, and murdered the residents. After securing guns, horses and liquor they visited other houses, sparing no one. Recruits were added, in some cases by compulsion, until the band numbered about sixty. About noon on the 22nd they were scattered by a small force of whites, hastily gathered. Troops, marines and militia were hurried to the scene, and all participants were hunted down. In all thirteen men, eighteen women, and twenty-four children had been murdered. After hiding for six weeks Nat was captured on the 30th of October and was tried and hanged, having made, meanwhile, a full confession. Nineteen of his associates were hanged and twelve were sent out of the state. The insurrection, which was attributed to the teachings of the abolitionists, led to the enactment of stricter slave codes.
And the echo of that last sentence reverberates to this day. It can be argued that the militaristic aspect of Southern society entered (as Northern troops would learn in the Civil War) after Nat Turner’s rebellion. Certainly, the Turner incident shook Southern society in a way that only Charlie Manson and Osama bin Laden have shaken modern society. Like the Spartans, the Southern slaveholders realized that they “held a wolf by the ears,” and that perception of the danger of Black men did not dissipate after the Civil War, or Reconstruction, or to this very day.
Tea Partiers mistaking the President for Nat Turner
And the satanic part of the present smear campaign against Obama’s ex-minister is that the White racists who still have status in our society have turned the argument on its ear to the BLACKs being “racist” and Obama not having repudiated the Reverend Wright jeremiads vociferously enough.
Exactly the same way that they’ve turned the virtual slaves of illegal alien employment into the criminals who FORCE honest white businessmen to give them jobs at pay rates far below what’s legal to hire citizens and legal immigrants at. The slaves are responsible for slavery. The blacks are responsible for racism.
In the aftermath of the Nat Turner Slave Rebellion, the Virginia General Assembly passed new legislation making it unlawful to teach slaves, free blacks, or mulattoes to read or write. The General Assembly also passed a law restricting all blacks from holding religious meetings without the presence of a licensed white minister. Other slave-holding states across the South enacted similar laws restricting activities of slaves and free blacks. (Wikipedia)
Is anybody out there? Seriously. I’ve been watching sane persons on TV attempting to adjudge an hour-long sermon based on 20 second sound bites, and then I’ve watched two or three strung together to judge (as Grand Lay Theologians and Pompous Arbiters of Magnitudinous Morality sniff, delicately) Obama by what his minister said.
His CRAZY, RACIST, BLACK Minister. (A point of view that I categorically reject, and what I heard from Reverend Wright, I AGREE with. OK?)
Nat Turner was a black minister; Wright is a black minister, therefore Barack Obama is Nat Turner.
Laugh if you will. But it’s true. The thousand pound gorilla in the room is the simple fact that the White racists (including privileged white women like Geraldine Ferraro) can’t scream “nigger!”
They want to. They BURN to. They walk as close to the line as they possibly can, but they can’t say it, and they know it. And there is a grand hypocrisy herein that no one is willing to address: that blacks routinely say nigger and whites can’t say nigger. Well, now they’ve found a way:
GOP sees Rev. Wright as pathway to victory
By JONATHAN MARTIN
Politico 3/19/08 4:49 AM EST
For months, Republican party officials have watched with increasing trepidation as Barack Obama has shattered fundraising records, packed arena after arena with shrieking fans and pulled in significant Republican and independent votes.Now, with the emergence of the notorious video showing the Rev. Jeremiah Wright damning the country, criticizing Israel, faulting U.S. policy for the Sept. 11 attacks and generally lashing out against white America, GOP strategists believe they’ve finally found an antidote to Obamamania.
In their view, the inflammatory sermons by Obama’s pastor offer the party a pathway to victory if Obama emerges as the Democratic nominee. Not only will the video clips enable some elements of the party to define him as unpatriotic, they will also serve as a powerful motivating force for the conservative base.In fact, the video trove has convinced some that, after months of praying for Hillary Clinton and the automatic enmity which she arouses, that they may actually have easier prey….
Yeah. The ‘Nat Turner’ nigger. That’s the key, right? Not racist? NOT RACIST!!?!? Surely you jest.
The fundamental craziness of this “WE can’t say nigger but THEY can say nigger!” proposition certainly fuels a lot of dumbass sense of “injustice.”
Of course, the approach that they attempted to take in New York was to try and stop EVERYBODY from saying it, which just ain’t gonna work. But somehow, we end up with insane controversies (posterity, take note) like students in Portland protesting against the inclusion in the curriculum of “nigger” because it’s used in Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain — one of the most racially advanced novels ever written, as Mark Twain explains to his white audience that Nigger Jim is a HUMAN BEING TOO. We forget how brave and avant garde a stance that was THEN. Especially from a native Missourian, who REMEMBERED slavery in Missouri during his childhood.
But all of that was lost in a bizarre “controversy” over the use of “nigger” in a 19th Century masterpiece of American literature. And the racists weren’t much in evidence.
This was Oregon in 2002:
… the Portland, Ore., Association of Teachers … union’s contract allows members to introduce controversial materials provided they “are appropriate and relevant to course content and grade level and that balanced viewpoints on a controversial issue are presented.”That language did not prevent a months-long public debate in Portland in the fall of 2002, after a parent and two African American students challenged the way Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was being taught in a 9th-grade class at predominantly white Lincoln High School. Mark Twain’s classic tale of a runaway slave uses the N-word more than 200 times.The book was not removed, but student activists gathered 260 signatures on a petition to the school board asking that teachers who use it undergo sensitivity training. Even state legislators joined the debate.
Awful racist Mark Twain
Here’s Minnesota 2007:
‘Huckleberry Finn’ wins a first round in St. Louis Park
Parents’ request to have it removed from high school’s required reading list was rebuffed, but they plan an appeal.By Dan Wascoe,
[Minneapolis/St Paul] Star Tribune
Last update: March 21, 2007 – 11:10 PM
Worse, no one has ever successfully won a battle against either the dandelion or a word. Never happened. All it does is invest the word with additional power. (And cause it to be spoken in back rooms and secret conversations. Which is what is happening with “nigger” right now. Except, of course, when black entertainers use it in comedy routines and in rap songs. And casual greetings, and etcetera.) We have forgotten racial equality; and instead, adopted a hopeless series of senseless battles over a word.
Now, how is this important in understanding the (coded) racist smears of both Reverend Wright and Barack Obama?
Because this lunatic approach to eradicating racial bigotry does NOTHING to prevent it, and, in fact, promotes the crypto-racism that’s being flogged by the Right in this campaign. They’re screaming “Wetbacks!” and “Niggers!” at the top of their lungs, but they speak in code and now, commentators like myself cannot speak about it.
Obama’s speech yesterday was a breath of fresh air. (I posted the transcript, courtesy of slimeball Drudge, on my transcript website, The Commonwealth of Blogistan, if you want to read it. The video is available on the Obama website, and the YouTubes — of which the internets am a series of.)
I wonder what the crackers and krypto-klansmen of NRO would think of this smear –which was getting no traction, until a pointedly sleazy “investigative” story on March 13, with the agent provocateur, screaming headline “Obama’s Pastor: God Damn America, U.S. to Blame for 9/11” appeared) if they knew that the authors were BRIAN ROSS and REHAB EL-BURI. Ross is an old NBC/ABC hack (and a Bush collaborator). But what of Rehab El-Buri? Try this:
Would the same racist hate that’s become all right in Rightie circles towards all Arabs and Muslims attend to this woman as it has to the Reverend Wright? After all, ABC had her sitting up watching Wright’s sermons so Doug Ross could launch his little ball of hate into the mediasphere. (It had been floated months ago in the Rightie blogosmear but didn’t get any traction). (see end of article for ABC/Ross update.)
Either it’s OK to hate Muslims, and the Obama report should be tossed out on racist terms, or else, it’s important to be tolerant of religions, and the Obama report should be tossed out. It’s a lose-lose logically, but not in our crypto-Klan Rightie World.
Isn’t there something more than a little creepy about ABC News’ “investigative” unit sending an Arab woman to watch all of Reverend Wright’s sermons on video, looking, looking, LOOKING for any “scandalous” and/or “shocking” sound bites possible? (No context for an hour-long sermon. Just a couple of sentences, like Fox News did to me, last summer.)
And, moreover, isn’t it scary that it is based on the same screaming jingo meme that was used to remove Bill Maher and his show “Politically Incorrect” from ABC for saying that suicide bombers could be called a lot of things, but “cowardly” wasn’t one of them?
The same lunatic insanity that got Ward Churchill fired from the University of Colorado because he suggested — using a literate analogy regarding the banality of evil — that our foreign policy had brought 9-11 back to haunt us? That ignores the coup of Iran that we sponsored to put the Shah back on the Peacock Throne, and a similar one that put the Baathist Party in power in Iraq (leading to the ascension of Saddam Hussein?)
And isn’t that EXACTLY what Reverend Wright was suggesting?
This is the same technique they learned with Dan Rather, with Private Beauchamp, with Ward Churchill: CREATE YOUR OWN FACTS. CREATE A FALSE CONCLUSION and scream it from the rafters until it’s a fact. But they still maintain that the 60 Minutes documents were “proven” to be forgeries. (No: they weren’t proven to be authentic, which is a WORLD of difference away.) They never PROVED Private Beauchamp lied, or that what he said was untrue. They only proved that you can cow soldiers into refusing to authenticate a story that would damage them, if true.
They DID prove that you can brand a professor a hippie weirdo and, if he’s done ANYTHING wrong, you can fry his ass in a right wing inquisition in the sorry state of Colorado. Got that? Good.
Are we so cowed that the rage and anger of these racists — yes, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Lars Larson, Hugh Hewitt, et al, ad nauseum, RACISTS — cannot be rationally answered?
I thought Obama did a good job of it, yesterday.
They made a terrifically strategically DUMB reptile brain move, of course, and nobody’s noticed that. After months of pushing the viral meme that Obama is a Muslim (or a secret Muslim), the controversy now tells the reptile brain of the GOP zombies that Obama is a CHRISTIAN.
Reptile brains don’t think good. Reptile brains know eat, f*ck, fear, mad, sleep, dominance, kill. Reptile brains (the amygdala) can’t be told Obama = Black Muslim. And then Obama = Christian with Crazy Minister.
The Reptile brain just turns on the messenger. Fear. Mad. Kill.
But that’s still not the point.
The POINT is this: the GOP has no way to win UNLESS they divide and conquer. And, they have nothing else to do, right now, because their nomination race is OVER.
So, this meme is being pushed to divide and conquer. This racist, xenophobic, FEAR meme. (“Dog bites man,” I know.)
As is the meme that “illegal aliens” are the problem. This is racist, wrong and crazy.
Worse, it’s IMMORAL in any ethical sense. (Without reference to a deity.) And it’s IMMORAL in any religious sense. Fomenting hatred is forbidden in virtually ALL world religions.
But hatred is being fomented.
How DARE they hate Reverend Wright? He never spoke to them. He never threatened them. In fact, most of the church’s ministry has been in addressing the needs of the very people that those screaming the loudest about Wright’s words MOST want to keep any of THEIR tax dollars from assisting.
But the secret meme is: This Black Guy is unpatriotic. And he LIKES Louis Farrakhan. Therefore, he’s … Nat Turner.
Not Nat Turner in the literal sense, because most people don’t know who that is. But the MEMORY of Nat Turner is deeply impressed in the racist subconscious. In the South, they send their children to “Christian” schools, and never notice that, while there are maybe one or two black kids in the school (usually for athletics), the school is a SEGREGATED, WHITE school.
Because Nat Turner is going to rise up from his grave, and slit white throats as white children sleep.
Thus far, parenthetically, they haven’t pushed the fear of Black Male Sexuality meme, but you watch: it WILL be pushed, in some strange manner. If you need a refresher on it, watch To Kill A Mockingbird, again [**** Four Stars]. I like to think that virtually everybody on Faux Nooz these past few days have been that crazed farmer (Robert E. Lee “Bob” Ewell) who tried to kill Scout. (Just think of me as “Boo.”)
The issues of that film set in the Jim Crow South haven’t vanished, as much as gone underground. Gone underground so far, in fact, that most of those under its sway probably don’t even realize that they’re subject to the old fear of Nat Turner.
In Nebraska, Manhattan’s Howie Rich (OK, the NEW front man, Paul Singer, who pulled the same crap out here in California earlier in the year for the electoral college stealth initiative) has just finished stealth funding (allegedly Black, Californian ) Ward Connerly’s clone of his Michigan initiative of 2006, to “remove all racial preferences” — i.e. end affirmative action.
Really? How many blacks ARE there in Nebraska that the 99% white population feels threatened by? I mean, I was born there, and, outside of Omaha, I can count the number of blacks I ever saw in Nebraska on the fingers of one hand.
So, the question is: WHAT else, except for fomenting racial fear and loathing could this initiative possibly be aimed at? Isn’t this about a divisive racial politics … to further the GOP agenda — which Ward Connerly is cozy in bed with? Isn’t this about “divide and conquer” and, failing that, raising nameless fears about Barack Obama … whose Nat Turner minister has “programmed” him? Really?
Without that racist meme, the GOP CANNOT win in November, and we need to remember that. The proof that Limbaugh has been driving Republican voters to “monkeywrench” Democratic primaries (by voting for Hillary) is pretty much irrefutable at this point (depending on your degree of psychosis and/or solipsism).
It is CONSCIOUS and INTENTIONAL, no matter how well-hidden.
[Or consider the hatefulness of another GOP Uncle Tom, Shelby Steele (“Steele has made a lucrative career for himself by lambasting black people and praising white people. He says that racism is all in the past, that all is right with the world and it is up to black people to admit it and stop complaining”), who slurred Obama (pre-speech) on the stalinesque “opinion” page of the Wall Street Journal, yesterday:
Thus, nothing could be more dangerous to Mr. Obama’s political aspirations than the revelation that he, the son of a white woman, sat Sunday after Sunday — for 20 years — in an Afrocentric, black nationalist church in which his own mother, not to mention other whites, could never feel comfortable. His pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is a challenger who goes far past Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in his anti-American outrage (“God damn America”).How does one “transcend” race in this church? The fact is that Barack Obama has fellow-traveled with a hate-filled, anti-American black nationalism all his adult life, failing to stand and challenge an ideology that would have no place for his own mother. And what portent of presidential judgment is it to have exposed his two daughters for their entire lives to what is, at the very least, a subtext of anti-white vitriol?]
Now, please tell me, psychotics, that there is not a well of racist contempt underlying these responses to Obama’s speech yesterday in Philadelphia. Some idiot named “Infidels Are Cool” has done us all the inestimable service of posting the transcript link, the speech video and a roundup of top Rightie crypto-racists (and YES, I’m playing the “race” card, because that’s been the whole point of this clueless viciousness). And note the sleazy reversal: BLACKS are the racists.! (Not cross-burning, Moslem-hating, Arab-hating, Mexican-hating, English-only, Blacks-are-lazy-and-on-welfare-and-drugs Whities like US!):
Malkin on Faux Nooz™
My thoughts: If Obama is so committed to racial unity, why would he attend a church for 20 years that has outright paranoia for white people? Initial reactions:Gateway Pundit
The fact that Obama twisted his pastor’s offensive and outrageous remarks and made it into a race issue was clever. It doesn’t excuse his pastor or excuse the fact that he sat with the America-hating racist for 20 years, though.
And, the fact that he plays it off like “all of us are at fault” is insulting.
Obama’s bottom line: Everyone’s a victim. You’re part of the problem if you keep talking about Jeremiah Wright. Everyone’s churches have crazy demagogues. Schools need more money. Leave illegal aliens alone. Never mind all the black grievance-mongers who have built careers sowing seeds of divisions. Look at all the talk show hosts and conservative commentators! Elect Obama. Fixer of souls.
There’s also this that bothers me: His loyalty to Wright seems to run a little too deep. As a friend e-mailed me during the speech: ‘I always thought what created a controversy was that statements made or positions held might be true, notwithstanding that they were unpopular and even bracing. In that sense, Wright’s statements that (sic) Obama heard were crank statements, not controversial statements, no matter how hard he tries to sugarcoat.’ Then, near the end of the speech, he was doing it again: ‘The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society.’That was never my problem, senator. My problem is he spoke as if he hates America, as if he believes there’s something fundamentally wrong with the greatest nation on earth. You can talk about racism, senator. But what how do you think about America? Is it what we hear from Mrs. Obama and the Obamas’ pastor? How imperfect do you believe our union to be? Coming away from his speech, I’m a little worried that Barack Obama believes America is great as long as she elects him president.
“Hey, let’s focus on the real bad guys — corporations!!”Did Obama succeed with this speech in containing the damage? It depends on the intended audience. This speech appears aimed at 795 specific individuals — Democratic superdelegates. Obama needed to show that he can address the racial issues in an inclusive manner, and walk the highwire with Wright by scolding him without alienating the black community. While the delivery was uncharacteristically lethargic, the content probably made the sale.
Deflect, deflect, deflect. It’s not Rev. Wright’s fault for saying horrible, hateful things, nor my fault for having the bad judgment to associate with him for 20 years. Nope, it’s the fault of the media for presenting Wright as a hateful caricature, despite the fact that Wright is a hateful caricature.
Obama, the “uniter” is dividing. It is painfully clear to me that Obama believes that half of America agrees with G-d damn America Jeremiah Wright and he intends to exploit that hate and play on these terrible, imagine (sic) fears. I do not believe he is right. But he is going down the hate mongering ship (sic). Separatism, not inclusion. What unites us is we are Americans, and frankly he just doesn’t get it.
When not heading anti-Muslim hate séances, Geller hangs out with GOP celebs
And here’s who linked to Michelle Malkin’s little Festival of Racism (entitled, I swear to ghod), “Newsflash: Obama says “God bless America;” Plus: The Philly speech–Can Obama get his glow back? Update: Obama on Wright, “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community;” Hate-filled sermons were just “snippets;” Hey, let’s point the finger at “talk show hosts and conservative commentators”
By Michelle Malkin • March 18, 2008 09:13 AM
- Sister Toldjah (just another spoiled white North Carolina blonde, with a vaguely racist blog title, let alone an overtly racist agenda)
- What Obama will say
- Obama’s “Yeah, But That’s Just Cherry Picking Wright’s Sermons” Speech; Updated : The American Pundit
- Don Surber » Blog Archive » Obama’s speech
- Stop The ACLU » Blog Archive » Obama Refuses To Disown His Racist Pastor (They’re against civil rights, after all)
- Confederate Yankee
- Flopping Aces » Blog Archive » » The Obama Excuses With Some Class Warfare Thrown In
- The Philadelphia Story: Will Obama’s Speech Get Him Out of Hot Water? – Shallow Nation
- Obama’s Speech On Race Does Not Answer Questions On His Judgement « An Angeleno’s View of the World
- Obama speech reactions | Infidels Are Cool
- Reformed Hippie
- This ain’t Hell, but you can see it from here » Blog Archive » “A fish don’t know he’s wet…”
- Oblogatory Anecdotes – Obama’s Speech
- Poll: Will Obama Overcome his Pastor’s Negative Publicity?
- Right Angles » Blog Archive » Don’t think the speech will help Obama
- Reverse_Vampyr >> Obama’s whirling dervish speech
- The Leg Feels Thrill Again as Obama Throws Dead Grandma Under the Bus « Chris Matthew’s Leg
- THE AUDACITY OF OBAMA « Texas Hold ‘Em Blogger
- The Obama Racial Division Speech: Success Or Failure? (With Reaction Roundup)
- Oblogatory Anecdotes – Battered Flag Syndrome
- Leaning Straight Up
- Stuck On Stupid
- More On Obama From Michelle Malkin « Thoughts Of A Conservative Christian
OK? You get it?
- It is a LOGICAL fallacy to presume that WHATEVER the minister said for 90 seconds over 30 years is AUTOMATICALLY what Obama believes. (This is an old rightie phony meme, used against DailyKos by ascribing the views of a commenter to the ENTIRE BLOG AS A WHOLE, and EVERYONE who writes for it.)
- What Reverend Wright says in his sound bites are legitimate social criticism, that only a bunch of racist jingoes would doubt: the USA DID drop atomic bombs. We DID engage in 400 years of apartheid and slavery. And we’ve done a lot of REALLY bad shite to countries overseas. This is irrefutable. The idea of my country right or wrong is, according to T. Roosevelt, TREASONOUS. And any reasonable citizen would agree. We ain’t perfect, and criticizing outrageous actions is NOT un-patriotic. Suppressing SPEECH is unpatriotic. (“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” – Theodore Roosevelt)
- This is a conscious attempt to “swift-boat” Obama by flipping the racism question, as Kerry’s service was flipped as “phony” or “dishonorable” to take the heat off of Bush’s draft-dodging. As was Dan Rather REMOVED from his anchor’s chair to take the focus off of Bush’s draft dodging. Are we REALLY going to fall for this shite again and NOT fight back? F**k these Klansmen.
- This is RACIST. Period. As is the “illegal alien” bullsh*t. Slaves are not responsible for slavery. The victims of racism are not the problem racists (although some are, admittedly, pretty pissed off, understandably).
- The key to the meme is NOT painting Wright as a “racist” but as another Nat Turner, and therefore, Barack Obama is a DANGEROUS, CRAZY BLACK MAN who will slit your throat as you sleep, Whitey.
- The idea that suppressing a word (along specialized racial lines) is going to accomplish anything, is the result of a disordered mind.
Now, Barack Obama has taken the high road — as he should and as he MUST (see my “Race and Sex Baiting and Jackie Robinson” 20 JAN 08). BUT we must fight back on his behalf. We have to take on the righties and we have to start hitting them hard with facts, and with laughter and the rightful derision that we reserve for enemies of civilization, for leeches and parasites, and for the consciously evil.
Because there is only one excuse for this, and it will never be spoken: We cannot remain in power if we cannot keep you divided, fearful, suspicious and hating each other.
It worked for the Nazis. And it has worked for Bush.
And you need to remember that the modern GOP is BASED on racial division and hatred. “We have lost the South for a generation,” Lyndon Johnson told Bill Moyers (his then press-secretary) when he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The fact that this spawned the third-party run of segregationist George Wallace in 1968 was not lost on Richard Nixon, who launched his overtly racist “Southern Strategy” before being brought down by his other black misdeeds.
Ronald Reagan launched his presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi (1980) where the three civil rights workers were murdered.Playing to the GOP Southern strategy and urged by Trent Lott, Reagan’s mention of his support for “states’ rights” was clearly understood by white Southern voters as a code for opposition to black civil rights. [Wikipedia]
Now, you’d have to be dense as a fencepost not to get it, at this point. There was no reason for Reagan to announce from Philadelphia, Mississippi OTHER than race-baiting.* CODED race-baiting, just like … like the vicious and unrelenting attack on Obama’s minister.
[* Think about it: Reagan should have announced either in California, his home for decades, or Dixon, Illinois, his hometown. WHY Philadelphia, Mississippi? — which he had not, that I can find, ever been to before or after — and why “states rights”? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out, folks. The modern GOP is firmly rooted in a crypto-racist “divide and conquer” strategy that is firmly aimed at keeping the Old South in its fold. Hell, after Bob Dole resigned as Senate leader of the GOP in 1996, the entire Republican leadership was from the old South: Lott of Alabama in the Senate, Gingrich of Georgia as speaker of the House, Dick Armey of Texas and Tom Delay of Texas as majority leader and whip in the House, etc. Hey, don’t take my word on the Reagan thing, try never-liberal TIME magazine – 14 Dec 2002.]
This time, it isn’t going to work. Not if we don’t let it. They cannot be allowed to sell Barack Obama as Nat Turner. And they WON’T.
Because there is much reason to hope. Start by reading this editorial from today’s New York Times. They thought, as did I, that Obama’s speech confronting this vile slander was magnificent. He hit the ball out of the park:
Mr. Obama’s Profile in Courage
Published: March 19, 2008There are moments — increasingly rare in risk-abhorrent modern campaigns — when politicians are called upon to bare their fundamental beliefs. In the best of these moments, the speaker does not just salve the current political wound, but also illuminates larger, troubling issues that the nation is wrestling with.Inaugural addresses by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt come to mind, as does John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech on religion, with its enduring vision of the separation between church and state. Senator Barack Obama, who has not faced such tests of character this year, faced one on Tuesday. It is hard to imagine how he could have handled it better….
UPDATE: The Grand Imperial Wizards from Fox News and Joseph Farah’s creepy WorldNetDaily — ever over-the-top and always below-the-belt — collaborated on this “news” story today. See how it fits the “Nat Turner” meme:
Whoops. Wrong scary Black man
adding, at the end:
Get it? They want you to know Obama’s campaign is askeert that you’ll find out about their BLACK PANTHER ALLIES!! HAHAHA! We’ll KILL YOU IN YOUR SLEEP!!
Or, perhaps I’m making this all up. Right? Creepy Brian Ross follows up with his sleazy ABC Smear campaign today with another non-story about uppity niggers and lyin’:
Buried in Eloquence, Obama Contradictions About Pastor
In Speech, Obama Contradicted More Than a Year of Denials About His Knowledge of Rev. Wright’s Sermons
By BRIAN ROSS and AVNI PATEL
March 19, 2008
Buried in his eloquent, highly praised speech on America’s racial divide, Sen. Barack Obama contradicted more than a year of denials and spin from him and his staff about his knowledge of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s controversial sermons …
It’s Nat Turner! Run! Hide! Brian Ross isn’t selling a phony war here! No, he’s selling: Nat Turner’s a REAL scary darkie! They’ll kill you in your sleep! Run! They’re RACISTS! They’re CONTROVERSIAL!
Supposed Black Klansman (the Michael Steele “token” to cover virulent racism isn’t anything new. cf. “Black Confederates.”
Seriously, on March 3, Brian Ross was breaking such “earthshaking” stories as “Obama might be named in Rezko trial.”
Might be named.
This is purely malevolent innuendo and smear, and Brian Ross needs to lose his job as surely as what’s-his-name [then-MSNBC’s David Schuster] was suspended over Chelsea being “pimped out” or Don Imus was fired over “nappy headed ho’s.” Or, OH YEAH, like Rush Limbaugh was fired from his NFL commentator gig for attacking Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb on RACIAL grounds!
We can’t leave it to the campaign to do this.
Brian Ross, your sheets are back from the cleaners, and they got most of the blood stains out….
Oh, and one final song in our “Variations on a Meme” contest, Nat Turner edition. From Politico:
March 19, 2008
Anti-Obama video crafted by talk radio producer
by Jonathan Martin
A YouTube video mash-up that attacks Barack Obama on issues relating to his patriotism that has rocketed around the internet in recent days was created in part by a prominent conservative talk radio producer.“Is Obama Wright” splices together the most inflammatory language of Jeremiah Wright with a series of other issues that have arisen in the campaign, all of which have been fodder for a series of emails that question Obama’s loyalty to the country….
The video is listed on YouTube as being produced by a professional-sounding group called “NHaleMedia,” but there is no such entity.
Rather the incendiary video — which also includes footage of Malcolm X, the U.S. Olympians who raised their hand in the black power salute and the song “Fight the Power” — is in part the amateur work of Lee Habeeb.A co-founder and former producer of the Laura Ingraham Show, Habeeb is the director of strategic content at Salem Radio Network, the conservative talk radio powerhouse that airs programs hosted by figures such as Bill Bennett and Hugh Hewitt….
Yup. Scary black men. Slit your throat in your sleep. Good lord. It’s time to fight back against these bullies, these Klansman, these agents of malevolence and, yes, evil. Straight up evil, folks.
Back to 2012. Now it’s women, gays, “illegals” (e.g. “Latinos”), Occupiers, the poor, the sick, etc. Everyone not a “Konservative” has become Nat Turner.
And as for Farah and Arpaio: It must chaff their hides that the Rush Limbaugh “slut/prostitute” controversy has knocked their little PR stunt off the front pages, back to page B-17 between the fitness center and furniture ads.
No room is left for moderation. And, in a nation in which public policy is, increasingly, determined by talk-radio debate, the lack of courtesy, the absence of reason and reasonableness, and the monkey-throwing-feces brand of humor is a dangerous indicator of the future. Although we should fight to the death for these gentlemen’s right to speak so hideously, we should also be able to reasonably disagree—reasonably and intelligibly.
As I was writing this update, the following story played on “Snap Judgment” on Oregon Public Radio. It really counterpoints and underscores what I’ve been talking about here.
And here is Arpaio’s “report” in pdf
A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.