But Really, They’re Not Racists: The I’ve Lost Count Edition

Well, it might be xenophobia combined with racism in this case, but it’s despicable either way:

On Sunday, U.S. media outlets reported that for the first time in 27 years, an American had won the New York City Marathon. Meb Keflezighi was born in Eritrea, “growing up in a hut with no electricity.” He and his family moved to Italy when he was 10 years old, and came to the United States two years later. Keflezighi “began running in junior high in San Diego, then went on to star at UCLA.” He said he it was with “big honor and pride” that he wore the USA jersey while running in the marathon.
[snip]
However, CNBC Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell doesn’t think Keflezighi deserves all this praise because when his mother gave birth to him, she wasn’t in the U.S. Rovell wrote a column yesterday saying that Keflezighi’s victory wasn’t “as good as it sounds” because Keflezighi is an immigrant, and this fact “takes away from the magnitude of the achievement the headline implies”:

Given our disappointing results, embracing Keflezighi is understandable. But Keflezighi’s country of origin is Eritrea, a small country in Africa. He is an American citizen thanks to taking a test and living in our country.

Nothing against Keflezighi, but he’s like a ringer who you hire to work a couple hours at your office so that you can win the executive softball league.

Around noon today, Rovell posted a “convoluted sort-of apology” clarifying yesterday’s piece, writing, “Let me be clear: Meb Keflezighi is an American and any suggestion otherwise is wrong.” He now granted Keflezighi’s win legitimacy only because the runner was “brought up through the American system”:

I said that Keflezighi’s win, the first by an American since 1982, wasn’t as big as it was being made out to be because there was a difference between being an American-born product and being an American citizen. Frankly I didn’t account for the fact that virtually all of Keflezighi’s running experience came as a US citizen. I never said he didn’t deserve to be called American. […]

It turns out, Keflezighi moved to the United States in time to develop at every level in America. So Meb is in fact an American trained athlete and an American citizen and he should be celebrated as the American winner of the NYC Marathon. That makes a difference and makes him different from the “ringer” I accused him of being. Meb didn’t deserve that comparison and I apologize for that.

How long does someone have to be in the U.S. and go through the American “system” to be counted as legitimate?

Long enough that fucktard xenophobic racist assclowns count you as legitimate after they get their asses beaten for their dumbfuckery, it would appear.

The cantina believes that if you’re an American citizen for five minutes or five hundred years, you’re an American, and free drinks are available for any American who manages to end a long dry spell.  USA!  USA!

As for the aforementioned assclown, your prize is in the back.  When you’re done scrubbing the bathrooms, there’s some rather disgusting drains that require your attention.

You can bring Bruce “Brown People” Ash with you.

But Really, They’re Not Racists: Cheap Accusation Edition

An excellent pwn by Phoenix Woman:

The people who pushed to censor President Obama’s speech, and who habitually call him a Communist or Socialist (and who call the public option “communism”) are not only the same ones who approve of Bush and Reagan speaking to our kids, they (or their parents) were running around in the 1960s calling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a Commie, and holding up signs at anti-civil-rights protests that read “RACE MIXING IS COMMUNISM”.

Oh, you say, that was forty-plus years ago! Surely nobody exists today who believes that?!

Why, yes they do, and as Lean Left points out, they write for “respectable” conservative magazines like the National Review, and emit (as Lisa Schiffren did back in 2008) things like this concerning President Obama’s white mother and black father:

… Political correctness was invented precisely to prevent the mainstream liberal media from persuing the questions which might arise about how Senator Obama’s mother, from Kansas, came to marry an African graduate student. Love? Sure, why not? But what else was going on around them that made it feasible? Before readers level cheap accusations of racism — let’s recall that the very question of interracial marriage only became a big issue later in the 1960s. The notion of a large group of mixed race Americans became an issue during and after the Vietnam War. Even the civil-rights movement kept this culturally explosive matter at arm’s distance.

It was, of course, an explicit tactic of the Communist party to stir up discontent among American blacks, with an eye toward using them as the leading edge of the revolution.

Lisa Schiffren, you’re a racist and an asshat. That accusation wasn’t cheap, but believe me, you earned every penny.

But Really, They’re Not Racists!

In fact, the Cons and their followers are so not-racist that they can’t even recognize a patently racist phrase when they utter one:

Let’s call this another setback for the Republican Party’s outreach to minority communities.

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins offered encouragement to conservatives at a town hall forum that the Republican Party would embrace a “great white hope” capable of thwarting the political agenda endorsed by Democrats who control Congress and President Barack Obama.

[snip]

A spokesperson for the freshman GOP Kansan said “great white hope” was not intended to express a preference for any “race, creed or any background.” A statement from the lawmaker’s office said Jenkins “apologizes for her choice of words.”

Just one slight problem with that claim:

The latest bigotrix, Kansas’ Lynn Jenkins, spent the weekend gnawing off her leg to escape the trap she set for herself:

Alas, The Ottawa (Kans.) Herald finds one reason to doubt Jenkins’s excuse. A month ago, the freshman lawmaker supported a resolution that included the very phrase “great white hope” in a historical context that made clear its origin.

In late July, the House of Representatives passed, by unanimous consent, a measure urging the president to pardon heavyweight champion boxer Jack Johnson, whose career brought him success in the ring and racist vitriol outside of it. Included in the resolution, which passed on July 29, was the following phrase:

“Whereas the victory by Jack Johnson over Tommy Burns prompted a search for a White boxer who could beat Jack Johnson, a recruitment effort that was dubbed the search for the ‘great white hope.’

Would you like a fire extinguisher for those pants, Ms. Jenkins?

Perhaps she’d also like a nice bumper sticker for her car?

RacistBumperSticker_1b84b.jpg

Gee, wonder if Todd bought one of these for Sarah’s SUV.

The ever-intrepid Shannyn Moore tweeted this yesterday:

Can you smell the cross burning yet? This is for sale at the AK state fair…I’m not proud.

But I’m sure the person who created that has a black friend, so it’s really not racist at all. It never is in the minds of that sad lot of fuckwits.

Dept. of Irony: "Indian Muslim actor racially-profiled in U.S. while visiting to promote film about racial profiling of Muslims"

Way to prove the point, America:

This past Saturday, one of Bollywood’s most recognizable movie stars, Shah Rukh Khan, was detained because of his surname at Newark Liberty International Airport and questioned for over two hours before being released. The Wall Street Journal reports that Khan was in the U.S. to promote his new film about the racial profiling of Muslims

Somewhere, an irony meter just exploded…

Not Funny

America may have elected an African-American president, but that doesn’t make us a post-racial society. Far too many citizens haven’t gotten the “racism isn’t funny” memo:

The OhioDaily blog reports on a “rogue” dispatcher from the North Canton Police who recently sent out a racist e-mail from her work account. Dispatcher Anita Malachowski forwarded this message:

“New “Air Force One” Tail Number and yes, please forgive me, I’m really sorry, I really, really tried not to laugh, but …………………..!”

Attached to the e-mail was an Photoshopped image of Air Force one with NI66ER written on the plane’s tail.

Firstly, you fucktard, if you can’t keep yourself from laughing at something that blatantly racist, you need to speak to some black friends about the implications of certain words. I’m sure you have a black friend – every racist claims one.

Secondly, if you can’t keep yourself from laughing, you can damned fucking sure keep yourself from forwarding something you obviously knew was inappropriate.

I hope your ass gets fired. Clueless cretins need to be flipping burgers, not dispatching for a police department. Fuck teachable moments. If you haven’t learned over the last 50 years that racism is wrong, further attempts at education would be wasted.

We’ve Seen This Hysteria Before

Folks my age are shocked and appalled by the rabid right wing hysteria manifesting itself. We’d grown up in a somewhat sane America. Granted, the Clinton years saw quite a bit of dumbfuckery, from obsession over blow jobs to maniacal militias, culminating in Timmy McVeigh’s decision to blow a federal building full of innocent civil servants and their kids sky-high. But there’s something even worse about this current infusion of insanity. It’s coming on too fast, too strong, and too soon.

It’s little comfort to know that it’s all happened before:

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), currently the longest serving member of the House of Representatives, has been on the receiving end of some rowdy town hall meetings recently. People in attendance have displayed signs comparing President Obama to Hitler and one man even yelled at Dingell, saying “your healthcare plan is going to take healthcare away from my son and kill him!” When Dingell said it wouldn’t, the man repeatedly shouted “liar!” When asked last night on MSNBC about the angry mobs he has encountered, Dingell said they remind him of the days when he voted for civil rights in the 1960s:

DINGELL: Well, the last time I had to confront something like this was when I voted for the civil rights bill and my opponent voted against it. At that time, we had a lot of Ku Klux Klan folks and white supremacists and folks in white sheets and other things running around causing trouble.

Hunter at Daily Kos noted the same thing:

It seems at first a bizarre thought, a mere freeform hiccup of the brain, but between a half-dozen different commentators I am apparently already far from the first to have it: it seems to me like the last time we saw public discourse be as intentionally devolved as it is today was during, of all things, American desegregation.

That was the last time you had deeply conservative southern governors and states yelling about secession because the federal government was forcing things on them that they couldn’t tolerate, and making belligerent anti-federalism statements over the slightest little thing.

That was the last time America so prominently saw, on television, shouting white mobs and the threats against lawmakers, all explicitly intended not at debate, but as efforts of pure intimidation in order to stop the debate from ever taking place.

That was when you had phalanxes of very dumb but very loud people weeping in front of the cameras that the fabric of America was being destroyed, though they couldn’t begin to actually tell you why or how, only that it involved black people rising above their place in the world and the subsequent corruption of their government.

That was when you had men with fervent political beliefs walking into “too-liberal” churches and murdering in cold blood those who they disagreed with.

Hunter’s post is definitely worth the read. It makes some sense of the insensible.

If Hunter and Dingell are right, things are going to get much worse before they get any better. We’ll see rioting whites, bombings, shootings, and all manner of people trying to win by violence what they can’t win politically. The only cold comfort we can take is that America defeated them before. We can do it again.

Way to Win the Latino Vote, There, GOP

When courting a particular voting bloc, it’s generally a good idea to at least show a smidgen of interest in them:

This one won’t help the GOP’s minority outreach efforts.

The National Council of La Raza, a top Latino civil rights group, is taking a shot at RNC chair Michael Steele and several prominent GOP figures for skipping its ongoing annual conference, saying it raises questions about the GOP’s interest in wooing Latinos.

NCLR spokesperson Marie Watteau confirms to me that Steele, along with three Republican governors, were all invited to its conference, which is concluding today with a big speech by DNC chair Tim Kaine. But Steele and the three governors — Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty, and Puerto Rico’s Luis Fortuno — all declined the invitations through the RNC, Watteau says.

Watteau adds that GOPers like Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain and both George Bushes have attended past conferences.

“You should certainly speak to the Republican Party about why they’re not here,” Watteau told me. “The Latino community is open to hearing from both sides, which is why both parties were invited. The Republican Party not being here may demonstrate a lack of commitment to our community.”

Standing Latinos up en masse: not a good vote-getting move.

Neither is this:

A Senate committee endorsed Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday in a vote that splintered nearly along party lines, signaling that Republicans will not hesitate to oppose the first Hispanic nominee to the nation’s highest court when the full Senate decides whether to confirm her next week.

Only one Republican,
Lindsey O. Graham of South Carolina, joined the Senate Judiciary Committee’s dozen Democrats in supporting Sotomayor. The six GOP senators who stood against her included two from states with heavy Hispanic populations and two veteran senators who had never before voted against a Supreme Court nominee.

Snubbing a major Latino civil rights group and then voting against a Latina Supreme Court nominee are the kinds of things you do when you don’t want Latino votes. They’re more like the things you do when you’re determined to remain a pathetic regional party of pasty-white males with a base made up of Birthers, racists, and the occasional very confused minority or female. And that may indeed be what you want – but if so, you’d better resign yourselves to a very long stay in the wilderness.

Jus’ sayin’.

Sessions Succombs to Friendly Fire; Elsewhere, Buchanan Takes Aim at GOP’s Foot

A number of things has the far right completely unhinged, but they’re really coming apart over Sotomayor’s nomination:

But a few right-wing activists not only think they can still rally some opposition to Sotomayor’s nomination, they’re doing so in the cheapest, most ridiculous way possible.

Yesterday, we noticed that the Committee for Justice had just unveiled two ads calling for Sonia Sotomayor’s defeat – one contrasting her to Martin Luther King and the other claiming she wants to “take away your guns.”

Now they’re out with an over-the-top and nonsensical new TV ad that equates her with William Ayers and claims that she supported terrorism by serving on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF).

“Remember Barack Obama’s buddy Bill Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist who bombed American buildings in the ’70s?” the ad’s narrator asks. “Turns out President Obama’s done it again: Picked someone for the Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who led a group supporting violent Puerto Rican terrorists. Is this radical judge the type of person America needs sitting on our highest court?”

Yes, the presidential election was nine months ago, and right-wing activists are still talking about Bill Ayers. I almost feel sorry for these clowns. Almost.

Not that reality matters, but in the interest of setting the record straight, the Hispanic National Bar Association, writing on behalf of two dozen prominent national Hispanic groups, reminded Republicans last week that the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund is a “mainstream, well-respected organization that serves not only the Latino community, but the nation as a whole.”

So there’s the rabid right, shooting indiscriminately. And who should get hit but Senator “If the KKK didn’t smoke pot, they’d be a fine group” Sessions:

We have learned that Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (R-AL) has a favorite Puerto Rican jurist — Jose Cabranes. Sessions demanded to know why Judge Sotomayor did not follow Judge Cabranes’ lead

Interestingly, Sessions was very critical of Judge Sotomayor’s involvement, as a member of the Board of Directors, of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. Sessions seemed not to know that his favorite Boricua judge, Cabranes, was also a member of the Board of the PRDLEF.

Yepper. Sessions’ own favorite Puerto Rican judge turns out to be a dirty rotten terrorist sympathizer, just like Sotomayor. Deary, deary me.

Meanwhile, Pat Buchanan has a few words o’ advice:

Of all of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s conservative critics, few have been quite as offensive as Pat Buchanan. For anyone who’s followed Buchanan’s record, this isn’t surprising.

What’s interesting, though, is Buchanan’s advice for the Republican Party. In an odd piece for Human Events this week, Buchanan argues that the GOP’s response to the Sotomayor nomination may produce “Hispanic hostility for a generation” towards the Republican Party. Sounds like a warning about electoral disaster? On the contrary — Buchanan suggests the key to GOP success in the future is doing more to appeal to whites.

In 2008, Hispanics, according to the latest figures, were 7.4 percent of the total vote. White folks were 74 percent, 10 times as large. Adding just 1 percent to the white vote is thus the same as adding 10 percent to the candidate’s Hispanic vote.

If John McCain, instead of getting 55 percent of the white vote, got the 58 percent George W. Bush got in 2004, that would have had the same impact as lifting his share of the Hispanic vote from 32 percent to 62 percent. […]

Had McCain been willing to drape Jeremiah Wright around the neck of Barack Obama, as Lee Atwater draped Willie Horton around the neck of Michael Dukakis, the mainstream media might have howled. And McCain might be president.

He doesn’t just see the benefits of race-baiting opportunities gone by. As this relates to a strategy for today, Buchanan urges Republicans to tell whites that “their sons and daughters are pushed aside to make room for the Sonia Sotomayors.” Buchanan added that the GOP should also tell whites that Sotomayor has “a lifelong resolve to discriminate against white males.”

[snip]

I suspect Buchanan assumes that whites everywhere share his attitudes. All whites must hate affirmative action, hate immigration, and be politically motivated by images of Jeremiah Wright. He believes, in other words, that the United States really is Alabama, and the GOP will benefit if they believe it, too.

The punchline, of course, is that after these fucktards get done inflicting mortal wounds upon themselves, they’ll wonder why the GOP’s dead.

No, Really, Rep. Chassaniol: You’re a Racist

How do we know this? Well, there’s the small matter of belonging to a racist organization:

This past weekend, the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) held its annual conference at the Cabot Lodge on the campus of Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss. The “surprise guest,” Mississippi State Sen. Lydia Chassaniol (R-14th District), was introduced by emcee Bill Lord — the CCC’s field director who is known for his racist “Martin Luther Coon” jokes — as “the right hand to the Governor [Haley Barbour].” Lord also identified Chassaniol as a “member” of the CCC chapter in Carroll County, one of a handful of Central Mississippi counties she represents.

In an E-mail, Chassaniol confirmed to Hatewatch that she is a member of the CCC, which she described as a “conservative organization.” She also wrote, “I do not consider myself racist,” adding that she believes “a person’s membership in any organization is a private matter.”

Um, no. When you’re a private citizen, that excuse may fly (unless, of course, you work for a corporation, or belong to another organization that’s diametrically opposed to having members who belong to racist organizations, or etc.). When you’re an elected official, the organizations you belong to become a matter of public interest. Your constituents and the people who vote for you deserve to know if you belong to an organization that says shit like this:

The CCC’s columnists have written that non-white immigration is turning the U.S. population into a “slimy brown mass of glop.” Its website has run photographic comparisons of pop singer Michael Jackson and a chimpanzee. It opposes “forced integration” and decries racial intermarriage for any reason. The CCC has lambasted black people as “genetically inferior,” complained about “Jewish power brokers,” called gay people “perverted sodomites,” and even named the late Lester Maddox, the baseball bat-wielding, arch-segregationist former governor of Georgia, “Patriot of the Century.”

They also deserve to know what sort of talk you gave at the CCC’s get-together:

Chassaniol ended her talk by encouraging her listeners to embrace their southern heritage. Describing the CCC as “lone voices crying in the wilderness,” Chassaniol ended on a positive note, “Seeing all of you here today gives me hope.”

Because, you know, in the context of who you were speaking to, that raises some disturbing questions about your fitness to represent a diverse district.

You may not consider yourself a racist, but let me clue you in on something: people who aren’t racists don’t praise white supremacist groups. They sure as shit don’t get hope from seeing them all gathered together.

When Racists Attack: House of Representatives Edition

Stay classy, Steve:

Yesterday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) took to the House floor for an hour-long speech consisting of tired denunciations of Obama shaking hands with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and more hysterical complaints about how new hate crime legislation protects gays. During his tirade, King decided to direct part of his vitriol at the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, calling both organizations “separatist groups.”

What the fuck is wrong with Cons? Did they miss their cultural diversity training? Maybe their mommies and daddies didn’t tell them it’s bad to be racist fuckheads. And it’s not like this is an isolated incident: the GOP seems to have declared war on colleagues of color:

On Wednesday, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) released a fearmongering video, asking if Americans “feel safer” under President Obama. But one image in the video has caused outrage in Congress. After a shot of Obama shaking hands with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the video cuts to an image of Obama meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Now, why would they do that, do you think? Maybe trying to imply that the CHC is – what was the terminology, Steve? – a “separatist group.”

Or maybe it’s just because Boehner, King et al are a bunch of racist fuckheads.