Tuesday Reads

Good Morning!

It is just me, or is racism coming to the surface with a vengeance after the Trayvon Martin shooting? Maybe it’s just that the media is covering it more. But when it comes to the right wingers, it seem to me that they’ve be somehow inspired by, rather than shocked by, George Zimmerman’s horrific act. I’ll give you some examples, but I don’t want to link to the winger sites. I’ll give you enough info so you can google them.

You’ve probably heard about the National Review’s firing of writer John Derbyshire after he wrote a blatantly racist piece in response to the Martin/Zimmerman case. Amy Davidson at the New Yorker:

Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, announced over the weekend that he was ending the magazine’s association with John Derbyshire because of a post he published in Taki’s Magazine….Lowry said that the column, “The Talk: Non-Black Version,” was “nasty and indefensible.” Given its conceit—Derbyshire explaining to his children that black people are generally dumber than they are and dangerous and should, on the whole, be avoided—it might also be described as racist. (Josh Barro, at Forbes.com, called it “kind of unbelievably racist.”) In firing “Derb,” Lowry directed readers to his “delightful first novel” but said, in effect, that “Derb” had become bad for the NR brand:

We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways. Derb has long danced around the line on these issues, but this column is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation.

Except as Davidson points out, barely disguised racism is hardly foreign to the National Review. Why should we believe Lowry is so shocked by it? More likely he acted because the column was getting so much negative attention.

And yesterday another right wing racist–some guy named Mark Judge–came out of the closet in a post at Tucker Carlson’s site The Daily Caller (google it to read the whole miserable thing) writes that he’s thrown off the chains of his “white guilt.” Why? Because his bike was stolen and he’s sure the thief must have been black–even though he has no idea who actually stole the bike.

First Judge establishes his “poor me-ness” by explaining that he really loved that bike, and his doctor recommended exercise to deal with the aftereffects of chemotherapy for non-Hodgkins lymphoma. AND he was at church on Good Friday when the must-have-been-black-guy stole his bike. AND he never went on disability during his chemo treatments. Break out the violins and handkerchiefs!

Next he claims

“a liberal friend gave me a lecture about profiling and told me to just forget about the bike. ‘That person needs our prayers and help,’ she said. ‘They haven’t had the advantages we have.’”

“They?” So this “liberal” also assumed the thief was black?

That’s when I lost it. I had been carefully educated by liberal parents that we are all, black and white, the same. My favorite movie growing up was “In the Heat of the Night.” Yet that often meant not treating everyone the same. It meant treating blacks with a mixture of patronizing condescension and obsequious genuflecting to their Absolute Moral Authority gained from centuries of suffering. It meant not treating everyone the same.

It meant leaving valuable things like a bike in a vulnerable position in a black part of town because you didn’t want to admit that the crime is worse in poor black neighborhoods.

And get this–Judge’s favorite movie used to be In the Heat of the Night. So he couldn’t possibly be a racist, right? Really, go read the post. The pretzel logic is beyond belief.

The news has been filled with reports of African Americans getting shot by white people. I don’t know if there’s been an uptick in race-related shootings or if they are just getting more coverage at the moment. This terrible case in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for example. The two shooters have now confessed.

The explanation for a shooting rampage that terrorized Tulsa’s black neighborhood and left three people dead may lie in a killing that took place more than two years ago.

Carl England, whose son is accused in the weekend shooting spree, was fatally shot in 2010 by a man who had threatened his daughter and tried to kick in the door of her home.

The man was black, and police say England’s son may have been seeking vengeance when he and his roommate shot five black people last week.

Police documents filed Monday in court say the two suspects have both confessed. According to an affidavit, 19-year-old Jake England admitted shooting three people and 32-year-old Alvin Watts confessed to shooting two.

So what was Watts’ motive then? It’s very sad that England’s father was killed, and the case does sound troubling

Back in 2010, Carl England had responded to his daughter’s call for help and with her boyfriend tracked down the man who tried to break in. A fight broke out, and the man took out a gun and fired at England.

The man who pulled the trigger, Pernell Jefferson, was not charged with homicide because an investigation determined he acted in self-defense.

Nevertheless, deciding that other innocent black people have to die because of what Jefferson did is still racist.

And then there’s right wingers and their hatred of poor people. That’s not news, but when a preacher unashamedly advertises it on Easter Sunday… Good grief! Kevin Drum: Helping the Poor is Now Apparently Anti-Bible.

I see that fellow Orange Countian Rick Warren — he of Saddleback megachurch and Purpose Driven Life fame — is in the news again. He was on ABC’s This Week yesterday, and Jake Tapper asked him what he thought about President Obama’s suggestion that God tells us to care for those less fortunate than ourselves:

Well certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor….But there’s a fundamental question on the meaning of “fairness.” Does fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of money? Or does fairness mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation.

The only way to get people out of poverty is J-O-B-S. Create jobs. To create wealth, not to subsidize wealth. When you subsidize people, you create the dependency. You — you rob them of dignity.

These people have completely removed Jesus from “christianity.”

Via The Minority Report at The Washington Free Beacon, It looks like the Obama Campaign needs to work a lot hard on diversity in hiring.

On Monday, Buzzfeed posted some photos of Obama campaign staff, and if there are any black faces in them, I can’t see them. Take a look at that Minority Report piece if you can. Here’s part of it:

In August 2011, Obama signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to develop plans for improving workforce diversity.

The apparent lack of racial diversity at the Obama campaign headquarters comes at a time when the national black unemployment rate is nearly double the rate for whites.

According to the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 14 percent of blacks are currently unemployed, compared with 7.3 percent of whites….

In Illinois, the black unemployment rate—as high as 28 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security—far exceeds the national average.

What a hypocrite!

And check out this one on “Obama’s war on women” too.

Jeeze, where can we turn? Obviously, the Repubs are even worse. In case you missed it, Scott Walker recently surreptitiously signed anti-abortion and anti-birth control bills at the same time he repealed Wisconsin’s equal pay for women act.

I’ll end there, but in case you missed my evening post last night, please be sure to read Joseph Cannon’s important post on electronic spying by Progressive Insurance. Your car insurance company may be following suit soon.

What stories do you recommend this morning?


49 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    Okay, morning dose of good listening – Caroloe King on Morning Editon because she has a memoir out. Good music, amazing woman: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/10/150287626/carole-king-from-co-sine-to-chart-topper

    The story from Morning Editon isn’t up yet. I could have sworn they said Carl England’s shooter was in prison (he’s the father of one of the Tulsa shooter’s). Here’s a story with more into: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=704&articleid=20120410_11_A8_Thefat788917 Also apparently Jake England’s girlfriend shot & killed herself in front of him a few months ago, leaving him to care for their 3 month old son. Here’s the story from ATC yesterday: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/09/150304923/tulsa-shooting-suspect-had-troubled-past

    My 2 cents: the media is covering racism now because it’s become apparent to them that there are both African American and white folks who are outraged by racism. But, they’ll move on to something else soon to appeal to a new group of people and sell more advertising.

    • bostonboomer says:

      The shooter is in prison. He just wasn’t charged with homicide. I knew that England’s gf had committed suicide, but not the details. From what I’ve heard about him, I wouldn’t be surpised if he had been abusing her, but we’ll have to wait for more info to know why she killed herself.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    This is one hell of a post BB!

    • janicen says:

      Second that, MM. bb, I too have been noticing this common theme of “we’re all racist on some level and that’s okay…” cropping up, and I don’t believe in coincidences especially where our corporate controlled media is concerned. I think these stories are appearing to give those who felt guilted into voting for Obama in ’08 an out. Sort of, “If you voted for him because you thought it was time we had a black President, you’re off the hook. Not only that, if there are people out there who don’t want to vote for a black President that’s okay too, because we’re all a little racist…”. Personally, I think it’s disgusting.

      As far as the shooting in Tulsa, how can there be any doubt about this? It’s the definition of racism. I’m horrified at the reaction of some of the Tulsa law enforcement that they’re not ready to call this a hate crime.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The feds are already involved in Tulsa to evaluate whether it’s a hate crime. I can’t imagine it won’t be charged that way. I don’t know if OK has hate crime legislation, but the feds can work together with the locals to prosecute the case.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, Minx and Janicen.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    It almost seems that since Obama was sworn in the “braying ass’s” have found a reason to emerge from the slime. That demand for his birth certificate was the first indication along with charges that he was Kenyan born and Muslim raised.

    But “racism” itself is wrapped in the proposals that have Planned Parenthood, Early Childhood eduation, and gun laws front and center. Many of these proposals target the poor while looser gun laws and easier access are designed to arm the nation against the onslaught of possible “race riots” which also give a license to those like George Zimmerman who sees it as “his duty” to shoot on sight.

    On the one hand you have the Right twisting itself into contortions attempting to find an excuse for Zimmerman, along with those on Left like Sharpton hinting at possible unrest if the ruling in his case does not go his way. Having Sharpton as the lead spokesperson adds further fuel to the fire owing much in part to his past credibility when it comes to his previous positions in the Tawana Brawley and Duke University “rape” case.

    Both sides are poised to set off an explosion of hatred which has been simmering for ages but has become more pronounced in the last 3 years since Obama was sworn into office. The open season of referring to the president as “boy”, calling him a “liar” from the halls of congress, wagging a finger under his chin, and questioning his place of birth that found its way into the courts has raised bigotry and suspicion into another realm.

    It is the Right who has tapped into this underlying objection to a black president by its words and deeds thus appealing to those whose hatred overcomes their commonsense. So yes, I would agree that racism is on the rise as it is no longer hidden beneath code words and pretense.

    It just needed a handy opportunity to burst forth and the Trayvon Martin case became the vehicle.

    • bostonboomer says:

      The parents specifically asked for help from Sharpton. I think he has been very effectve in getting national attention for this crime. If it hadn’t been for him, I doubt if there would even be a possibility of Zimmerman being prosecuted. Sharpton hasn’t suggest “unrest,” just civil disobedience. Martin Luther King would surely have done the same if he had lived. But racial hatred killed him when he was only in his 30s.

    • foxyladi14 says:

      well said Pat. :)

  4. bostonboomer says:

    George Zimmerman’s wingnut relative defends him in anonymous letter to Eric Holder.

    The letter was released exclusively to The Daily Caller. The letter strongly suggests that Zimmerman grew up in an atmosphere of right wing racism. Why won’t these defenders sign their names?

    There haven’t been any attempts to attack any of Zimmerman’s relatives even though their addresses are public. There has only been idiotic rhetoric from the idiot “new black panther party” which has been condemned by Trayvon’s family’s supporters and hasn’t been acted on in any case. Meanwhile, quite a few black people have been murdered around the country since the case went national.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Michigan teacher fired for helping her mostly black students organize a fund-raiser for Trayvon Martin’s family. Her students wanted to know more about the situation and she saw it as a “teachable moment.”

  6. jackyt says:

    Ideally, this story would have kept to the facts from the get-go. They are:

    (A) 1 person driving in car with a loaded weapon looking for trouble;
    (B) 1 person walking through neighborhood, unarmed.

    Person A shot Person B and now claims he acted in self defense.

    The racism discussion is a distraction and allows huge numbers of people to rationalize what actually happened: an armed person, with an easy means of escape, shot and killed an unarmed person without an easy means of escape.

    • bostonboomer says:

      You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, but I strongly disagree that the racism issue is a distraction. If Trayvon Martin had been white and George Zimmerman had been black, there is no chance in hell that the shooter would not have been arrested immediately and charged.

      A white person walking on the sidewalk would have been very unlikely to be considered “suspicious” in the first place. A white shooting victim would have been very unlikely to be listed as a John Doe for three days even though police had his cell phone and knew who he was. There would have been an effort to notify the family of a white victim that night.

      If the victim had been white, the crime scene would have been examined and marked with orange crime scene tape so that Trayvon’s father would have seen it when he returned home at around 10PM. If the victim had been white, witnesses would have been interviewed immediately, not 2, 3, or 4 weeks after the fact. The investigation of this crime scene was almost nonexistent! One witness wanted to show police where he had seen the two men on the ground, and the police weren’t interested.

      If it weren’t for people calling foul on racial profiling, very few people would even know about this case. I heard about it shortly after it happened because Minkoff Minx pays attention to such cases and told me about it. There was very little attention to it outside the local area for THREE WEEKS after the shooting.

      There is no way that racism is not relevant to this case.

      • jackyt says:

        That is my point exactly. Were the rationale of race stripped from the discussion, there would be no way, based on the bare facts, that Zimmerman wouldn’t be behind bars. By being waylaid in an argument over his mindset, a large number of people debate whether or not his action was justified. No justification should be entertained. It should simply be a matter of Person A shot and killed Person B.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The entire justification for self-defense in the “stand your ground” law is based on the shooter’s mindset.

      • jackyt says:

        Had the walking unarmed person somehow killed the armed with a vehicle person, the “stand your ground” defense might make some sense. I don’t see how it could possibly be stretched to cover what happened.

      • bostonboomer says:

        It was stretched by Sanford police in order to protect a white man who shot a black high school student. It’s as simple as that. Race is an essential part of the story.

      • jackyt says:

        Yes, and an accurate report would then be headlined “Racist Police Department Ignores Facts to Protect White Assailant”.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Not holding my breath waiting to see that headline. LOL!

      • jackyt says:

        Disclosure: breath holding not recommended unless you look spectacular in blue!

  7. bostonboomer says:

    “The Talk” with my White Daughter: Don’t Be Like John Derbyshire.

    http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/04/the_talk_with_my_white_daughter_dont_be_like_john_debyshire.html

  8. jackyt says:

    And another thing. If the story of the Obama staff photos was framed in terms of national demographics it would look something like this:

    In the USA, the population breaks down thus.

    X% female
    Y% male

    A% Caucasian
    B% African American
    C% Asian
    D% Latino

    In the Obama campaign staff, the population breaks down thus.

    X% female
    Y% male

    A% Caucasian
    B% African American
    C% Asian
    D% Latino

    Often, the bare facts are much more dramatic than all the drivel that distracts.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks for letting me know you think my post is “drivel.”

      I don’t know those exact numbers and didn’t and still don’t think it was necessary for me to find them up in order to write a post with some recommendations of articles to read this morning.

      If you have the numbers, why didn’t you list them in your comment? That would have been helpful.

      • jackyt says:

        I certainly don’t think your post is drivel. I enjoyed it thoroughly and it sparked my imagination… high praise. My reference to drivel is to the MSM unwillingness to engage in critical thinking in their reportage.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I see. Thanks.

  9. ANonOMouse says:

    Al Sharpton has made some boneheaded mistakes in the past, but in this circumstance Sharpton’s involvement was an absolute necessity and IMO righteous. Without Sharpton’s National Action Network and the NAACP, this KILLING would have been swept under the rug, forever The marches and protests have been peaceful, and with the exception of a teenage looting event in Miami, there have been no incidents. EXCEPT the excecution of 3 black men by 2 white men in OK and the racist graffiti incidents that have popped up around the country.

    As for the neonazi’s and the other long tradition white-supremacists, like the KKK, who attempt to push their racist agenda under the banner of “white civil rights groups” they should be rebuked by people of every race, color and creed. They are an anethema to decency and are a reminder of our hideous past and apparently our ugly present.

    BB, very good post. I enjoyed it and the links. TY! :-)

  10. Pat Johnson says:

    According to Nikki Haley:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/10/nikki-haley-war-on-women_n_1415051.html

    How any reasonable, clear thinking female can see fit to cast their votes for the GOP is beyond my comprehension.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Why does she keep talking about it? Hasn’t she changed her story a few times? I really don’t thnk it’s up to Republicans to decide how women feel about their policies.

    • northwestrain says:

      Someone called conservative women like her a man with boobs. I’d have to agree — any woman who joins the war on women has become a non woman. The patriarchy is harmful to the whole world.

  11. Beata says:

    BB ( and other SkyDancers! ), thanks for staying on the Trayvon Martin story. I canceled my cable a few weeks ago, so I don’t get the TV news anymore. I am grateful to you all for keeping me informed.

    And Minx, sending healing thoughts your way! Watch lots of great old movies and take it easy!

    • bostonboomer says:

      You’re welcome, Beata, and thanks for the kind words! I’ve bee considering cancelling my cable TV too. I really should.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I’ve thought about it as well but I would be deprived of my Red Sox.

        But if they keep playing in an early “slump” I may not miss it all.

      • northwestrain says:

        Cable Tv – after hearing a conversation at the PO yesterday — I’m beginning to wonder if the cable news outlets are deliberately trying to cause wars between generations & races?

        I walked into the PO lobby to hear a younger man tell an older man, “oh you’re part of the 49% — you don’t pay any taxes.” I responded to the younger man — seems like you are listening to the wrong news. Fact is on a state level we are all equal and we all pay taxes. Some very poor people don”t pay Federal income taxes — but the States have all sorts of taxes and fees — that hits us all.

        I didn’t add that just because someone is retired that they no longer pay taxes – also that the very rich often pay a lower tax rate than the middle class.

        FOX news is the leader in misinformation — but the rest of the cable gang manage to twist and mislead. I’m really getting a gut feeling that the cable gang wants a race war. Why else are the turning news reporting into us against them?????

      • bostonboomer says:

        Pat,

        The Red Sox are what keeps me with cable too–and the Patriots.

  12. Frothy Dick, aka Rick Santorum has finally “pulled out.”

  13. foxyladi14 says:

    wise move.and his Daughter is worse.

  14. I think racial tensions have become so powerful that people are forgetting that racism is socially unacceptable. Which, if it continues, will actually change to suit their beliefs. The case regarding the recent Hunger Games movie is a prime example; people were offended that one of the characters was black, claiming it ruined the movie. People used to say this only in homogenous company, and now they’re not afraid to shine a spotlight on their racism in public. If it continues, it will become normalized.

  15. ecocatwoman says:

    My hypothesis: the rage over having an African American president has caused the submerged racism to bubble to the surface. These folks have desperately wanted to call Obama the N word, the C word and all of the others. but, he’s the president and they feared what might happen. Secrat Service anyone? I think Trayvon has become a surrogate for the president, somehow allowing the racists out there to release their deep seated rage. It’s msidirection & they somehow think no one will be able to connect the dots.

    I think that hatred comes from repressed fear in many cases. And, men MUST be strong & brave and never admit they are afraid. Girls are afraid – REAL men are not. That of course is ridiculous, but the cult of masculinity requires males to never admit to fear. But anger, hatred & rage – well that’s okay. But, of course, it isn’t.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I think you’re right. It’s the same thing that happened in 2008 when there was a prospect of a women nominee. The misogyny came out with a vengeance. The racism was there too, but somehow it was more controlled than the woman-hating. Now both are really out of the closet.

  16. ecocatwoman says:

    BTW, I heard on the news on the way home that Zimmerman has left Florida & his attorneys, since they are no longer in touch with him, have quit representing him. At least that’s what they told the press. Did Zimmerman leave Florida out of concern he’d be arrested. If he is charged, then if he doesn’t return, the Asst State’s Attorney will have to file for extradition. Or maybe the attorneys have reason to believe Zimmerman won’t be charged.