Someone must have lost his mind

Karol Collymore

Lest you think that the election of Barack Obama - half-White and half-African man - has solved all the racial dilemnas in the history of America, I introduce you to, Republican Chip Saltsman. He has managed to turn the amazing and progressive and healing 2008 Election into a side show. From TheHill.com:

RNC candidate Chip Saltsman’s Christmas greeting to committee members includes a music CD with lyrics from a song called “Barack the Magic Negro,” first played on Rush Limbaugh’s popular radio show.

Saltsman, a personal friend of conservative satirist Paul Shanklin, sent a 41-track CD along with a note to national committee members.

Oh no, it gets even better:

The CD, called “We Hate the USA,” lampoons liberals with such songs as “John Edwards’ Poverty Tour,” “Wright place, wrong pastor,” “Love Client #9,” “Ivory and Ebony” and “The Star Spanglish banner.”

Several of the track titles, including “Barack the Magic Negro,” are written in bold font.

I know what a Magic Negro is but do you? Let Wikipedia help me explain:

The magical negro (sometimes called the mystical negro or magic negro) is a supporting, often mystical stock character in fiction who, by use of special insight or powers, helps the white protagonist get out of trouble. The word negro, now considered by many as archaic and offensive, is used intentionally to suggest that the archetype is a racist throwback, an update of the "Sambo" and "savage other" stereotypes.

Do think Republicans think we are never going to find this stuff out? I mean really, a CD? At least be a man about it and put it on ITunes so we can all download it! I HAVE to see if their version of Ebony and Ivory can rival the artistic stylings of Stevie Wonder.

Read the rest of the article here.


Comments

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    I'm still curious about response to something I said on the Cesar Chavez topic, and since I probably qualify as someone that has lost his mind, I'll ask it again... Lot's of blacks are chuffed by Obama's election, but, for years, the logic that said, "white woman, white man, white child; white woman, black man, black child; black woman, black man, black child" was considered an example of the culture's racism. I'm 1/2 German and 1/4 English and 1/4 Irish and call myself whatever, usually depending on the occasion and my mood. I agree, it would be insulting to hear, "No, you're a mick, I don't care if you're 1/2 German or not". So, by that logic Obama is white. He's also black. If you want to go to "ethnicity", I can't see that he's black at all. I live more "black" than he does. By that standard Bill Clinton already was the first black President. Name one thing about Obama's tastes or habits that is black, whatever that means, anyway.

    Put another way, FDR chose to make a non-issue of his handicap. I've always thought that "isms" were undo "consciousness of"; racism being undo consciousness of race. I guess a part of me feels that it's indulging the cultural history of racism to make a point about his race, instead of his age, for example. It feels like it's dignifying the view that says race matters. Of course, that's the rub, from a historic point of view, it does matter. That was a question.

  • rw (unverified)
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    That is incredibly ugly, and mentally ill. The pathology of our nation's history is our present, it is our today. I am amazed at the brazen exhibition of what he REALLY thinks. I suppose we have to be grateful that these awful people do not have the sense to hide it. For we do at least know who is whom and now must be busy at how to do something about it.

    THe current situation reminds me some of what my mother told me about the original institution of EEO. She worked in the logging industry and was put in charge of effectuating EEO policy. There was so little respect for these measures that she, a young secretary/receptionist in her late twenties was put in charge of this important task. She watched her bosses purposely hire black men who were the least qualified to handle the tasks at hand, and who were not managed in such a way as to help them succeed. So when they were fired, the white bosses could point their fingers and say, "See?".. and I won't relate the rest.

    Obama is very qualified. But he is saddled with a crushing mess of what increasingly seem to be insoluble proportions. I hope and pray that the cancerous hate-mob of this country do NOT similarly point their fingers at our first President identifiably of mixed heritage that includes "colour" if he cannot magick us out of this mess (to borrow from Karol's interesting piece of information above). And then proceed to ensure that it is a very long time before we have a fair shot at a woman or anyone but a dominant mainstream person being elected again. Remember that having a Catholic in the White House was a big deal the first time. Catholic and young.

    Let us find a way as an electorate to ensure that this is the same kind of broken barrier. Permanently so.

  • Crevek (unverified)
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    Oh lordy! White man used his right to free speech and said AN n word. I know I'm not being nice or overly tolerant of your opinion that bans whites and republicans from saying anything about race, sorry. Let the healing begin, stop being offended by words and phrases from the past.

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    Oh lordy! A right wing asshole used his right to free speech, revealing all to clearly the entire contents of his shriveled soul, and some moron troll equates criticism of him with government censorship.

    Let me make that clear, Crevek: the right to Free Speech does not include having your massive ego and microscopic intellect protected from brusing. People can criticize, mock, disparage, reference fact, or otherwise engage in all sort of activities illuminating just how poor an excuse of a human being you are without ever involving the government. In fact, their ability to do so is called Free Speech - something you don't believe in, since you clearly want to shut everyone else up.

    Go away, troll.

  • Law-n-Order D (unverified)
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    Free Speech or not, people in the puplic eye especially those who represent a major political party need to set an example of proper behavior. It would be one thing to be distasteful to a private group of friends, in a public event- inappropriate to say the least.

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    Thanks Steve. The answer to objectionable free speech isn't censorship but more speech, as the saying goes.

    Dontcha love right-wing victim politics?

    Zarathustra, I understand what you're saying, but here's the thing: If Barack Obama had been a little different and ended up being a lawyer busted for coke possession or ended up where Rod Blagojovich or Dan Rostenkowski or Blagojovich's Irish-surnamed-that-forget Republican predecessor ended up, would he be identified as "half-white"? No. He'd be black. So I can understand it if people who've seen the fairly extensive white ancestry in their population (some, many African-Americans) denied in the service of discrimination, and denied in creating racial stereotypes about alleged racial characteristics and differences, get a bit tetchy when that ancestry suddenly gets played up and made something close to all-important by some white folks when a black man (not just a black man, but a black man all the same) is elected president.

    Read around that kind of commentary. A lot of it takes a form that boils down to "he's not black, he's both, so he's not black." Think about that. If he's both, how does that make him not black?

    The other route is "mixed," which of course implies the existence of "pure" races.

    If he's both, he's black.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    Since I very seldom insult my intellect with Rush I first heard this "Magic" tune on-line. I decided before I played it to make a deliberate effort to not be the humorless lefty. What I had to work with was elementary school playground humor masquerading as wit. It isn't even as though it is so offensive, it's the utter stupidity of it. My first reaction after my failure to laugh was to where the adults were when it was put together and then I remembered the source.

    There is a real beauty in the broadcasting of this tripe, you have to hope that Mr Saltsman wins the election. The audience they lost in the last election will not be amused and constant repetitions of this theme in 2010 will blow some of their cover, won't it?

    Do think Republicans think we are never going to find this stuff out? I mean really, a CD? At least be a man about it
    Honestly Karol, they really do see it as harmless humor...

  • rw (unverified)
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    ... another part of my mother's story is that she went on to be an HR director type, and fearlessly, strategically and quietly enforced the highest spirit of the law viz EEO whenever she was in any HR or managerial position. She ensured job adequacy in many ways, and held all to egalitarian opportunity and support. She brooked no bullshit and did not need wimpy pretend-"tolerance" programming to do this work. :)....

    While in CA she worked tirelessly with a black special interest group on specific legislation and electoral efforts. I remember her soldierly compose when she shyly, guiltily related to me how the people she worked day and night with leapt up and down and congratulated each other and took to podium... and left her... sidelined.

    Her heart was hurting that day.

    She could have given in to ego and "entitlement". She surely could have lost her "good politics" that day.

    I know her steely, coldly just regard. I've suffered it. Now I saw that she turned this same upon herself at important times... she reminded herself that when people are blocked from exercising power, and from the strong hit of such victories, they will make mistakes as they learn to handle the power. And squared herself to remember what she was there for.

    I have thought often of her stories as this election was fought, won. I"m listening with those ears as well as others.

    I always remember it. She really meant it 100% what she said: she was willing to set aside any feeling of needing to be included or recognized together at that crucial point and continue holding onto indefatigable devotion to righting an institutionally unjust balance. She continued on.

    She gave me a great gift in these stories of her life as a woman born in 1937 to a logging camp family, and becoming who she is and doing what she did when there were no cheering sections nor any particular cachet to doing it.

    I am hoping and praying that inclusivity and sensitive, opened awareness of injustice as a LARGE reality, not as fractioned particulates of humanity... are the critical mass the interest groups seek out within themselves. We all have a lot of work to do.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Hey Chris, I hope you could read in my verbiage that I was making the point about "race admixture" that you are making, by saying "IDENTIFIABLY" "mixed" and specifying that the identifiability of so-called "colour"is a matter of import among bigots the world over.

    You really should go look at Vlaams Belang's blog. It will send you limping home vomiting and sorrowing.

  • Joanne Rigutto (unverified)
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    Saltzman proves the saying 'You can't fix stupid'.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Chris, it was a question, not a point, which you answer. Have to say I'm still confused. Your cocaine metaphor is spot on. All the sudden he becomes black. Just like after being elected. Why is one racism and the other pride? I've already conceded that "history" makes all the difference, I'm asking is their any logical difference, becasue I can't think of one.

    Vlaams Belang You haven't lived until you've met them in the flesh. They get graffitied a lot with the word "niks" over it, which is great because apart from the obvious message, it points out their utter lack of compassion for anything but what has them in a pout. I don't know if you meant the website, or the actual blog . Hmm, Block Watch. What about a website that posts one-for-one translation, blockheadwatch.org?
    Antwerp is very appropriately named. "On a load of it". One other dimension that's hard to capture about them in translation is their dialect. It's the kind of really soft, southern dialect that Am*dammers and North Hollanders find repugnant, Catholic and hick yokel. Very much like Southern English without the Catholic bit. No news commentator in Antwerp sounds like Antwerpse mensen, they speak "Hilversum" Dutch. So you have to imagine talking like a yokel as being an actual plank in Sarah Palin's platform, for example, rather than just alluding to country values. Belgium is a dysfunctional State, though, with a perennially dysfunctional mindset, so I don't know the lessons can be generalized to anything.

    It's an interesting coincidence that many Saltzman surnamed individuals are from Western Austria, another hotbed of right-wing politics, and currently one of the most dangerous. Breeding will tell. Or not, if we come back to the thread topic.

  • deborah conner (unverified)
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    what hurts (and the point is) is that they want to hurt. thet're stuck on it. it's so atwater, so rove, these boys begging for attention, so afraid they're really (the most dreaded slur of all) "hicks". You know, I can't wait until one's genotype beomes common knowledge. won't those strutting, all-assuming ultra-whites be shocked at how very much we are all in each other.

  • Ben (unverified)
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    Racism disguised as humor is still racism. This Saltzman reminds me of that racist who named his children "adolf Hitler" and "Aryan nations" because he says he likes the names, but he claims that he himself is not a racist because he says he has black friends. I feel very sorry for the children whom these racist bungholes raise.

  • Murphy (unverified)
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    This isn’t terribly hard to figure out: there is an intrenched element in American society, represented in the media by Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, Larson, O’Reilly, Malkin, etc. and the folks over at World Nut Daily, for whom Barack Obama is an anathema, both for his race and for his politics. These media clowns also recognize that an Obama Administration be very good for their circuses, and so this witless ridicule will get worse -- much worse -- as they fill up their ad space. To quote Big Dan Teague: “It's all about the money boys. That's it! Gol... durned... money!”

    Chip Saltsman epitomizes the political branch of the element. He’s playing to the wing-nuts who listen to and take seriously as political commentators those I mention above. He reminds me a bit of the loser who, when he’s not able to get a date to the prom, hangs around outside the gym sitting on the hood of his father’s Pacer swilling near-beer with his other loser friends making fun of all of us going in with our dates.

    The good news is that they’re never going away, but the even better news is that they’re also slowly creeping toward self-parody and irrelevancy. Progressives and liberals need to encourage the hard-right to become even more hardened. We need to stand on the platform and loudly cheer on conservatives when they go on their RINO hunts; we need to embolden conservatives in their pogroms.

    The more they play at the edges of their sandbox, as “Barack the Magic Negro,” illustrates, the better it is for us. It may cause Neanderthals to feel warm and fuzzy, but its vulgarity exposes a bit too much of the far-right’s lingering resentment that America would actually -- gasp -- elected a Black Man (with an Islamic name no less) as President.

    “Oh, Lord, what are we gonna do? I know -- let’s call him a ‘Magic Negro!’”

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    It goes to character what you fantasize about, and there are lots of sexual fantasies . Demonizing people is compensation behavior, imo.

  • AimeeG (unverified)
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    There's a new theory that Neanderthals died out because the climate got warmer after the ice age and their ice age adapted cellular physiology couldn't adapt and they overheated. Maybe the current climactic warming will have the same effect on present day Neanderthals! They already sound overheated.

  • Neal Skorpen (unverified)
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    Why is it that the right can never do satire? Does the moral absolutism spoil it? Is there just too much bile? I suppose PJ O'Rourke is decent, but there is just no right counterpart that comes anywhere close to the wit of Doonesbury or John Stewart or Harry Shearer.

  • Buckman Res (unverified)
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    ”The word negro, now considered by many as archaic and offensive, is used intentionally to suggest that the archetype is a racist throwback, an update of the "Sambo" and "savage other" stereotypes.”

    The word “Negro” was used fifteen times by Dr. King in his “I Have a Dream” speech. You’ll excuse me if I don’t buy into the manufactured indignation taken by those who seek to perpetuate division among people of different ethnic backgrounds over the use of a term commonly used during the civil rights era.

    While it may not be cool or hip today, if it was good enough for Martin it’s good enough for me.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    This is the state of the Republican party today. It has no moral standing, but simply seeks power by attempting to dehumanize the opposition, to divide Americans from one another. The Republican trolls who visit here know exactly what this is about and they approve it. They want to dismiss it as about free speech, or political correctness, but it's about ethnic warfare and hate, and the ditto heads want to turn America into a race war by presenting the Caucasian majority as being victims, and themselves as the heroic defender of the white race. It's the last shameless folly of a failed political party.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    It is notable that not one Republican party leader has objected to this CD. It is a clear sign that the extremist Southern wing of the Republican party with all of its residue of the White Citizen's Councils and segregationist past is firmly in control of the party. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are their chief propagandists, truly a marginalized party of the extreme right.

  • (Show?)
    If Barack Obama had been a little different and ended up being a lawyer busted for coke possession or ended up where Rod Blagojovich or Dan Rostenkowski or Blagojovich's Irish-surnamed-that-forget Republican predecessor ended up, would he be identified as "half-white"? No. He'd be black.

    Didn't Barack himself say something like "Let me answer that question by pointing out when I want to get a cab in New Orleans, I'm definitely black?"

    While it may not be cool or hip today, if it was good enough for Martin it’s good enough for me.

    In MLK's day beating the living shit out of your wife was essentially all in the family, not a felony. If it was good enough for the men of the 60's, I guess spousal abuse is OK today?

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    While it may not be cool or hip today, if it was good enough for Martin it’s good enough for me.

    A lot about language has changed in the last 40 years. Ask some of the chicks you know.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    The offending culprit is Chip Saltsman - not Saltzman; although, they probably have a common genealogy.

    Given the source, Saltsman's sophomoric stunt may be more than an expression of racism. Instead, it is very likely the act of a dehumanized person who has no regard for people outside his economic, social and power cabal be they black, white, brown, or whatever color or religion. The CD, called “We Hate the USA,” lampoons liberals with such songs as “John Edwards’ Poverty Tour.” No racism there.

    Lest you think that the election of Barack Obama - half-White and half-African man - has solved all the racial dilemnas in the history of America,...

    People would have to be very naive to believe the election of Barack Obama would bring an end to racism. However, given the fact that so many people still believe he will bring "change we can believe in to America" it is conceivable that many hold on to that forlorn hope of ending racism. On the other hand, if Obama, as many suspect, proves to be another naked emperor there is a risk he will encourage racism in many quarters.

  • wormy (unverified)
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    just a note, the song title came from a op-ed piece of the same name, written in the LA Times, by a liberal columnist. the entire song is based on that article. also a small note, rush said when he played it the "liberal media" will give him all the credit for it, ignoring the fact a well known conserative political satirist wrote it.

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    Zarathustra, in future I'll try to keep in mind when reading your comments to give weighting to the likelihood that a question isn't just rhetorical. ;-> Should've known it already ...

    I have several answers to your further question. One is that maybe we can sort out the formal logic of "reasoning" about race from history in some heuristic sense, but in practice we can't, because the "reasoning" is always driven by emotions that respond to the history. A further question -- NOT aimed at questioning your particular motives, but note that I have to say that, as an example of my proposition -- is, what is the purpose of trying to detach the formal logic from the history? Often enough the aim is to work around to the position that it's really the people who believe in/ are concerned about the persistence of racialized inequality and discrimination who are "the racists."

    Engaging with the heuristic distinction now, I see a bit of benefit in clarifying thought about the relationships among logic, history, reasoning and emotion. I guess it also has a bearing on discussions and debates and social-psychological struggles around personal identity as the terms of possible identification shift, as your original comments referring to your own various ancestries suggests.

    Second, my examples are about the history part. My argument about the logic, abstracted, is that both means both.

    Also, note that it isn't really a balanced equivalence, formally. We can find a people saying a range of things about Barack Obama beginning with "he's black" full stop, to "he's black and also ..." to "he's mixed" to "he's not really black." There are people who want him to identify with his "mixedness" as a way of recognizing their own sense of themselves. There are other people who want to deny his blackness, to de-identify his achievement from other black people, without granting him (from their perspective) whiteness. But no one says "he's white" in a serious way (a few may say so as a sort of ironic insult).

    Third, I disagree with your proposition that for African-Americans and other black people now taking pride in Barack Obama's election he "suddenly became black" after the election. One bit of evidence about that is how Hillary Clinton held strong leads among black voters in ex-Confederate states until after Iowa and even then the shift was an erosion process, because those voters didn't believe white Americans would elect a black man. Another is the debates at one stage among some African-Americans about "is he black enough?" (albeit some of that was MSM distortion of other debates about whether he would need to ditch interests of particular concern to black people in order to get elected).

    Going back to logic and history, I tend to think of "race" as a historical process, or more properly, as in itself a racialized code-word for the historical process of racialization. By racialization I mean the social-cultural attribution of racial meanings to characteristics (or imputed characteristics) of individuals or communities or populations or peoples. I think that historical processes in culture have a kind of internal logic that relates meanings to time and experience (and projected futurity). It is one of the limits of formal logic, and philosophy based only upon it, that it can't handle meanings emergent from historical logic, or at least not very easily.

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    Rebecca, sorry, wasn't meaning to take any kind of a poke at you, and in thinking about my reply to Zarathustra, I realized that my "he's both" formulation doesn't really get me very far from an underlying linguistic presumption of pure races either. Conversely, clearly there are ways of talking about "mixedness" that actually can be deeply challenging to that presumption and people who use those ways, partly by thinking about "mixing" multiple things & breaking down what gets piled into "race."

  • LT (unverified)
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    There are those of us who want the Republican Party establishment to return to the moderate, pre-Reagan roots so that there can be 2 competing mainstream parties and we can have some really intelligent issue debates.

    All you folks who voted for Measure 49--do you know that the orginal SB 100 which created LCDC and legislative planning came from Republican St. Sen. Hector Macpherson and Republican Gov. McCall?

    There are Republicans out there with common sense, hard work and good ideas. Pogroms were what the Minnis/Scott crew did to any independent thinking Republican---are there really Democrats who agree with that strategy?

    So I only agree with this "We need to stand on the platform and loudly cheer on conservatives when they go on their RINO hunts; we need to embolden conservatives in their pogroms. "

    if we don't truly want Republicans to do pogroms on moderates (definition: "an organized massacre, esp. of Jews.") but rather stand up for moderate Republicans when they have good ideas and stand up to bullies. Contact their office and thank them for an intelligent vote or a common sense speech or statement.

    St. Sen. Frank Morse has served on the Public Comm. on the Legislature and, as I recall, also on the Revenue Restructuring Task Force. There are those of us who grew up in the pre-Reagan Republican Party who see him as the definition of old-style, intelligent Republican.

    Lincoln Chaffee has written an excellent book about what it was like to be a moderate Republican after Bush/Cheney were elected and bullied Republicans to toe the party line.

    And one more thing. Anyone here a big fan of Kim Thatcher? I hope not.

    She defeated moderate Republican Backlund because he voted with Democrats to pass a balanced budget which turned into Measure 30. I know from a conversation with the Democratic nominee that year that when the primary result was first announced that someone at Future Pac promised help but never followed through. And Portlanders wonder why there is distrust among downstate Democrats? The way to defeat right wing Republicans is to support the people who run against them.

    One reason that Democrats lost majorities previously (Oregon House 1990, Congress 1994 especially) was that there was too much internal game playing.

    Majorities are won with good candidates, good policy, inspiring the general public to care about elections, volunteer, vote. PERIOD. Eventually there will be intelligent people who either revive the Republican Party or come along with their own Abe Lincoln and start a new party--Lincoln was the first 3rd party candidate to be elected president. There are voters who care more about policy, common sense, courtesy, what sound to them like good ideas or an inspiring speaker than about party label.

    Yes, this idiot was stupid, but I have seen stupid things done by Democrats also. Disrupting an opponent's rally right before the primary did not elect the primary winner in the fall. Demanding unquestioning support of a candidate did not win the general election. Candidates have disagreed with the policy of the party (platform, resolutions passed by the party) and won major elections.

  • rw (unverified)
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    I went back last night and re-read some back issues of the New Yorker... I'm kinda thinking that these intelligent people who just happen to have a bonehead Belief that possesses very specific planks of hatred (faggots, jews, neeeegrows, unwed mothers, whatevers) -- I may be playing UP their strategic mindset, but I"m wondering if they might just be playing that Race Kazoo as loud and long as they can to counter Obama's real story which is about personal journey, discovery of one's personal identity inclusive of and beyond mere race? They want to keep our minds off his politics, his comprehension of a broad landscape of self and also suffering and dreaming...

  • rw (unverified)
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    Bodden, very good point. Buber, Trans. Analysis, etc. And those who work with (sorry, mostly men, by the numbers) batterers, it's rather Why You Beat Your Woman 101 - before you can dehumanize another, you must, yourself, be dehumanized. You are only able respect others in proportion to the respect you have within yourself.

    The politics of dehumanization is now wreaking a manifest desecration of our environment in a way that is permanent, fatal, and must be addressed not just scientifically, but in spiritual terms.

    THe politics of dehumanization. Rove.

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    What most impressed me about Mr. Saltsman is that he was unapologetic when confronted with this. He could have said it was a mistake by a staffer, etc., but he didn't. It didn't seem to occur to him how the bulk of the American public would view his act. He is clearly living in a southern Republican bubble and presumably would lead the Republican party in a divisive direction that will limit their national appeal while doing damage to the country.

    I am sorry that the Republican Party has fallen so far because I am a believer in the need for an opposition party that will ensure that whomever is in power will be held accountable. Now that does not seem likely for some time either in the country as a whole and in this state. It is unhealthy for our democracy, but this racist, nativist, divisive theology that is the Republican party today is even more so. The Repbulican Party will not be a constructive force in Oregon or nationally until leaders emerge that can take their party in another direction.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Why are we reading more silly nonsense about "censorship"? Censorship is something that the State does. If the blogmeister here choose not to print my racist, obscene rant, that is his prerogative, not an abridgment of my "rights".

    The GOP idiots distributed this Magic Negro stuff because the GOP is run by unreconstructed Dixiecrats and assorted other bigots whose ideology is McCarthyism. There's nothing else to the GOP than hatred and stirring up resentments. They don't know anything else.

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    wormy has it sort of right.

    The original article in the L.A. Times was an op-ed column titled "Obama the 'Magic Negro'" (not "Barack") and the term "magic negro" was in quotes. Published March 19, 2007, i.e. shortly after Barack Obama announced his candidacy, it is by David Ehrenstein, who identifies himself as an African American and who according to the byline "writes about Hollywood and politics." Whether he'd accept Wormy's label of liberal I don't know.

    The column is primarily a critique of a desire in white culture, reflected in a type of black film character pioneered by Sidney Poitier, according to Ehrenstein, for a "magic Negro" whose role is to absolve/save whites from guilt and other things. Ehrenstein attributes the phrase to snarky post-modern sociologists, linking to Wikipedia. Wikipedia in turn credits Spike Lee.

    Secondarily the column is a critique of Obama, saying that he's "auditioning" for the role. Although less substantial, insofar as it doesn't raise policy issues, Ehrenstein's criticism at the beginning of Obama's campaign is not unlike criticisms made by some left-wing African-Americans like Glen Ford and others at Black Agenda Report and the University of Pennsylvania political scientist Adolph Reed, Jr.

    The song lyrics, which wormy correctly notes were penned by Paul Shanklin but often get attributed to Rush Limbaugh, who first played the song on air, no later than April 2007 (the link goes to a somewhat garbled account by John Aravosis of its use by Limbaugh at that time).

    The actual song is in the voice of an unnamed black politician, Aravosis speculates plausibly Al Sharpton, and its main target is not really Barack Obama per se so much as a nasty caricature of black politics, using Obama to poke at older targets, and of the "authenticity" debates about Obama early on:

    Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C. The L.A. Times they called him that cause he's not authentic like me.

    Yeah the guy from the L.A. paper said he made guilty whites feel good they'll vote for him and not for me cause hes not from da hood.

    See, real black men like snoop dogg or me or Farrakhan have talked the talk and walked the walk not come and laid and won (not sure about this line).

    Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C. The L.A. Times they called him that cause he's not authentic like me cause hes black but not authentically.

    Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C. The L.A. Times they called him that cause he's not authentic like me cause hes black but not authentically.

    Some say Barack's articulate and bright and new and clean the media sure love this guy a white interloper's dream.

    But when you vote for president watch out and don't be fooled don't vote the magic negro in cause...

    (background singing the first 3 lines, while the singer is saying)

    Cause I wont have nothing after all these years of sacrifice and I wont get justice this is about justice this is about justice, buffet, I don't have no buffet there wont be any church contributions there'll be no cash in the collection plate, no cash money, no walkin' around money...

    (Aravosis credits the transcript to Chris Maine, the "not sure" comment presumably is his.)

    So this has been out there floating around on the right for nearly two years, and Saltsman's resurrection of it now should be seen in that light.

  • (Show?)

    "The GOP idiots distributed this Magic Negro stuff because the GOP is run by unreconstructed Dixiecrats and assorted other bigots..."

    Yup, yup, and yup. It's good to see the Right airing their dirty laundry (sheets and hoods especially) in public.

    I believe there is a principled conservative ideology; which I disagree with but can still respect as thought. Then there's this Republican-identity-as-white-power-identity strain. Did you notice how Palin's creds with this bunch were greatly embellished by husband's past dalliances with a secessionist party? It's a pretty simple code to break, isn't it? Being a Republican and being a night rider wanna-be is the same thing in much of the country. This sophomoric little ditty is sad and stupid, but not surprising.

    Much more insidious have been the whispers (also on Rush's show) that the whole sub-prime mortgage disaster and resulting financial meltdown was the result of left-wing plots to provide cheap home loans to minorities (you've heard this one?) According to this line, Jesse Jackson, ACORN, and Barney Frank were actually controlling the whole financial system throughout the Bush presidency and using it to destroy straight, white, Christian America. This nonsense is a lot more dangerous than a juvenile song even racists will publicly disown, but it all comes from the same place--fear and hatred over the loss of white privilege. It's a good thing to see the mask slip now and then to remind us who our opposition really is.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    What most impressed me about Mr. Saltsman is that he was unapologetic when confronted with this. He could have said it was a mistake by a staffer, etc., but he didn't.

    Why were you impressed by Saltsman being unapologetic, John? He is another player, or would-be player, in the Bush-cheney-Limbaugh-O'Reilly-Coulter lunatic asylum where the inmates don't know the difference between right and wrong or humanity and inhumanity.

    I am sorry that the Republican Party has fallen so far because I am a believer in the need for an opposition party that will ensure that whomever is in power will be held accountable.

    The Gingrich-DeLay wing of the Republican Party has been the only real "opposition" in decades, and that was only for a brief period until they ruled supreme after the moderate Republicans and Democrats surrendered. By the time Bush and Cheney took over there was no opposition from Gore's and the Democratic party's cave in in 2000 until now and none is likely in the foreseeable future. The essence of a duopoly is going along to get along. Real opposition is anathema among the club members. Pretend is okay.

  • (Show?)

    My hope is they keep it up, (painful tho it is to those of us with a human soul) and continue to show what small minded 19th century jerks they really are. It's like they are pounding nails into their own coffins, from the inside. Middle-road Repub's will run from this crap like they would from a burning building. Wait till Olbermann, Maddow, Hartmann & Schultz get back from holiday break, they will really run with this! Racist Republican "Humor", the gift that keeps on giving.

  • Roy McAvoy (unverified)
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    I consider myself to be somewhat more conservative than liberal, in both thought and lifestyle. I often read and post here in any case, longing for a day when there is more reconciliation and decent productive discussion between liberal and conservative thinkers.

    Having said that, I can find no good or innocent intent from the distribution of such a CD. This kind of "humor" is the seed that grows ill will, and hurts other people. I appreciate that a light has been cast by Karol and many others on this offense, and recollect these wise words....

    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract. Author: Oliver Wendell Holmes

    good job Karol!

  • (Show?)

    I must say that I get tired of the idea that you have to have certain mannerisms, likes, etc. to be considered <insert race="" here="">.

    My husband is half Vietnamese and half American. We don't know what the "American" half is, other than he was an officer in the U.S. military. Both Andy and his sister were adopted by a Caucasian family here in the United States.

    Would you consider them white because they were raised by a while family and may be half white? Because they don't practice many of the same traditions and such that Vietnamese do?

    The fact is that people look at him as Asian. He's been discriminated against because he's Asian. And he considers himself Asian (as does our daughter).

    It doesn't matter what you mannerisms are, what your likes and dislikes are, etc. - it's all about how society perceives you.

    Obama is seen by society as black. It doesn't matter how well he speaks, how well he dresses, or any of that. The way society interacts with him has been that of a black man, not a white man.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    The reactions to my question have sorted out what I was trying to express, "He's both; we're all both". I didn't want to discount the "facticity" of the situation, as Chris zeros in on. Your heurmenutic hair-pulling is understandable. It's what you get from a someone that's basically a classic German in hermeneutics, that gets transplanted into Oxford Linguistic Analysis. Heidegger is the bridge, and the source of the schizophrenia, which doesn't show up in theory, but when applied to an actual social situation can be exasperating as you expressed.

    Speaking of censorship and Obama nominees... I have not seen word one on any nominee for FCC head. Given his senate history on the subject and his once mentioned desire to reign in right-wing talk radio, and the fact the agency is a dinosaur, I would have thought this would be one of those he would stamp is individuality on early, yet not a word that I've seen.

  • (Show?)

    Zara, i'm reading Jonathon Alter's "The Defining Moment" about FDR & the Hundred Days. what comes across about his paralysis is not that he did not make an issue of it: he made everything of it. had he not been stricken, he might still have become president but he would have lacked so much that made him the right person for that era. his polio changed his life, his attitudes, his needs; it brought him in touch with "common" people and led him to try and help them any way he could.

    so while he may not have dragged his paralysis out like a bloody shirt, without it, he would not have been the FDR so many revere today. you can do with your analogies what you will from there!

  • willliambanzai7 (unverified)
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    BUSH THE FECKLESS CONMAN BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE GOP (to the melody of Barack the Magic Negro or Puff the Magic Dragon) WilliamBanzai7

    Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of larceny and dishonesty, Little Dicky Cheney loved that rascal Bush, And brought him water boards, illegal wire taps and other fancy stuff. oh

    Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of larceny and dishonesty Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of larceny and dishonesty

    Together they would travel on a Presidential yacht filled with felons, child molesters, liars and corrupt political appointees. Dickie kept a lookout while Dubya huffed and puffed and failed his own country, Hastert, Delay, Foley, Craig, Vitter, Gonzalez, Libby, Stevens, Brownie, Rummy the list's too long to explain, Somali pirate ships should all lower their flags to honor the Republican ship of shame. oh!

    Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of larceny and dishonesty Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of larceny and dishonesty

    A dragon lives forever but not so the two faced, lying and corrupt West wings and campaign finance rings make way for boy toys behind bars. One grey night it happened, Barack came knocking on the White House door And Bush that cagey conman, ceased his feckless roar.

    His head was hunched in sorrow, the neocons cried in pain, Dickie could no longer play along the Camp David lane. Outside the oval office, Dubya could not be brave, So Bush that feckless conman sadly slipped into his Crawford cave. oh!

    Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of larceny and dishonesty Bush, the feckless conman brought to you by the GOP Frolicked with the hypocrites of the grand old party of larceny and dishonesty

  • Promise King (unverified)
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    Wow! what a debate. I am far away, enconced in West-Africa shores amidst drum-beats of distant sounds from the atlantic ocean, but yet the lure to join this debate is ever so powerful. There's the concept that white people could lead the charge against racial inequalities and advocate for racial justice in public policies and in our politics. That concept is called the Oregon League of Minority Voters. I invite you to be a part of our "UniteOregon2009" RW- It's white people like your mom who made the Obama's dream possible. Our society owe a great deal gratitude to those whites who have in thier actions and pronoucements truly advocates for racial justice. The battle is too much for some of us - black and brown. White progressives -we need more of your voices now. More than ever we need your support to reach out.

    Thank you for keeping this debate alife.

    Promise King

  • dartagnan (unverified)
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    The Republican "base" has drifted so far out of the mainstream of American opinion that they don't even understand that this stuff is offensive not only to blacks but to the great majority of whites. The United States has become two nations -- America, where the normal, rational, decent people live, and what I call AMURKA, where the Rush Limbaughs, Sean Hannitys, Ann Coulters, Bill O'Reillys, Sarah Palins and their fans live. The two nations occupy roughly the same chunk of geography but otherwise have almost nothing in common.

  • dartagnan (unverified)
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    "The word “Negro” was used fifteen times by Dr. King in his “I Have a Dream” speech."

    That speech was 40 years ago. I know Republicans are stuck in 1968 (or maybe 1908) but the rest of us have moved on.

    There was a time when the polite term for black people was "colored." But times and customs change and the terms "colored" and "Negro" are now considered offensive by most black people.

    Then combine the phrase "Magic Negro" with the use of a crude "black" accent and images of criminals and rioters and you have a video that is rankly racist.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    so while he may not have dragged his paralysis out like a bloody shirt, without it, he would not have been the FDR so many revere today. you can do with your analogies what you will from there!

    I was speaking only of the public face. I agree 100% it made FDR the effective change agent and as empathic as he was. I've been thinking a lot about FDR's first 100 days too, with concern that this won't be it. I was trying to speak directly about this situation, deliberately so. Sorry if that came off as a cheap analogy. Pretty sad on my part trying to summarize what's been said, agreeing, and it sounds like a snarky point!

  • Sam Donaldson (unverified)
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    When it comes to Bush, of course no "comedy" is off limits. You can literally do whatever you want to a Bush, label it comedy and it's OK. The progressive Left will Love it, and have no problem with it regardless of how distasteful it is.

    Now with Obama, it will be very interesting to see what SNL and the likes come up with. Making fun of Knee Grows is just not PC - and off limits for alot of people. Obama is the new Messiah for the Left - and you just don't make fun of The Messiah, let alone Knee Grows.

    I suspect we will be treated to re-cycled Bush jokes for the next 4 to 8 years. Or Maybe Sandra Bernhard can do more Sarah Palin gang rape jokes...

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    The irony of this debate about racially-based satire directed at Obama is that Obama has seen fit to identify with one of the most racist regimes on the planet - the right-wing government of Israel. He and his designated secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, groveled at the AIPAC conference in June assuring supporters of the Likud, Kadima and other right-wing parties that it would be sordid business as usual if either was elected president. Obama's choice for VP was Joe Biden who proudly claimed to be a Zionist to boast his pro-Israeli government credentials while selling what was left of his soul to secure campaign donations from the Israeli Lobby. They and practically everyone else in Congress endorsed the traditional Israeli over-reaction in Southern Lebanon in 2006 and stood mute while the Israeli air force committed war crimes against Lebanese civilians. I'm not aware of any comment from Obama on the current barbarous attacks on Gaza but anticipate some mealy-mouthed, pro-Israeli government statement to emerge shortly. The aircraft, bombs, missiles, rockets, guns and bullets used in these crimes against humanity were made in America, one of the few products for which the United States seems to maintain a level of superiority in production.

    Robert Fisk has a very interesting article on Obama and "progress" in the Middle East on CommonDreams.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    When it comes to Bush, of course no "comedy" is off limits.

    How right you are, Sam. He was the "comedian" at the White House correspondents' dinner in 2004 who made one of the most tasteless jokes ever - pretending to look for and not finding those weapons of mass destruction that were used to lie our way to war on Iraq. A war that has cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    It's hard to maintain your "anti-racist" credentials and still back candidates who support Israeli crimes, so it's understandable that few of you (Bill B. an exception) want to talk about anti-Arab racism.

    US Middle East policy is racist and anti-Semitic in the broadest possible sense: we support slaughter and torture of Arabs, and we blame the Jews for it (i.e., How many of you believe that you can't say anything about it or the Jews will destroy your party?).

    When you refuse to support candidates who embrace extreme forms of zionism, I'll believe that you are serious about confronting your racism. For now, I can only see you as hypocrites.

  • Gus Frederick (unverified)
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    Available on Amazon with his other CDs:

    http://tinyurl.com/7kkq7g

    Must be new or not that popular as there are only five reviews. Two give it 5 stars, (best), three gave 1 star, (worst). No middle of the road with this puppy!

    As an Leftie with a sense of humor, I always enjoy good parody. I've never heard of this guy before, but I'd like to give it a listen. For equal time, I'd suggest "The Foremen," (unfortuently out of print, but available used). My cousins in Maryland turned me on them. "My Conservative Girlfriend" from their "Folk Heroes" album reminds me of Ann Coulter.

    Then of course, over the holidays, I revisited the classics by listening to the National Lampoon "Missing White House Tapes" album, which included many future SNL alum. The "Swearing Out" ceremony by Billy Graham alone is worth the price of admission, not to mention the "Impeachment Day Parade Highlights" and "1600 Pennsyvania Avenue," (instead of 'Sesame Street').

    One of my favorite gags involving the "PC" approach regarding the dealing with objectionable material has got to be Stan Freberg's classic "Elderly Man River" with Daws Butler playing a representative from the "Citizen's Radio Committee" who interupts Stan as he and the orchestra attempt to perform a rendition of the Paul Robeson hit "Old Man River."

    Bottom line is that there are more and better leftie saterists than righties ones! And of course depending upon which side of the aisle, different subjets that are kapu.

    Gus Frederick Silverton, OR

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Harry: You must remember that this is really, if unofficially so, a web site for "Democrats" to gather around the water cooler. Not one for democrats or progressives as the mission blurb claims.

  • LT (unverified)
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    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1208/16876.html

    is the link to the Politico story where the current RNC chair lambastes this nonsense.

    Perhaps the iceberg is breaking up and now there will be actual debate inside the GOP.

  • (Show?)

    So long as everyone remembers Bill's unofficial definition of "democrats and progressives" is "counterproductive kooks like me and Harry", his statement is remarkably accurate. That doesn't mean that he's restricted from posting his simplistic angry musings on blueoregon, but he is right that illogical and idiotic rants rarely pass around here without refutation. This bruises his massive ego.

    What Bill and Harry want is exactly what Crevek wants: their expressions of banal juvenile alienation to be greeted with support, rather than well-deserved derision. The only difference between these wingnuts is the specific flavor of their kook extremism. All of them agree on the basics: that it is utterly unreasonable, causing a fully justified anger, for them to be exposed to opinions other than ones they themselves hold.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    As usual Maurer attacks the messengers because he can't debate the issues, a sure way of proving his own deficiencies.

    Gaza violence pushes Middle East to top of Obama's agenda

  • Greg D. (unverified)
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    I have decided to "keep my powder dry" on the issue of insane racists. Per advice on another thread, I believe we need to "choose our battles". Get back to me if and when there have been a few dozen lynchings and I may reconsider. Meanwhile, I will consider the pros and cons of criticizing insane racists vs. the political advantages of courting the KKK voting demographic. Perhaps if we let them hang a few and burn a cross or two, we can bring them into a meaningful dialog on racism, or at least get them to vote "D" in the next election.

  • (Show?)

    As usual, Bodden thinks that statements like "Democrats are fascists", "Democrats aren't real progressives", and other phrases that boil down to 'I hate you. You all are bad. I am good.... Are too... Are too... Are too... Aretooooooooo.. Neenerneenerneener", is "debating the issues".

    If you feel BlueOregon is so unwelcoming to the "the only true progressives" like you and Harry are, Bodden, why do you continue post here? The need for an audience for your trollish antics, perhaps?

  • don (unverified)
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    Gee. The first thing that comes to mind is the New Yorker, lampooning the right's vision of the 60's left, and that the left got upset over, because the New Yorker was too stereotypical--based in reality? Then the movie Borat comes to mind, lampooning some white crackers, always a safe satire for the left. But don't you dare lampoon the chosen one. Even though empirically false as a theory, racism used as satire has no special exemption; unless it comes to housing, hiring, and firing. I do find people amusing who can dish the satire out but can't eat there own cooking. They're called hypocrites, which is one of the unmasking purposes of satire. And then their was Puff the Magic Dragon that flew the skies of Vietnam, killing the enemy, but the left wouldn't know that, never showing up to fight with their heros the Vietcong. Hum. Chicken hawk material?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Rather than respond to your emotional gibberish, Maurer, I'll leave you to create more ways to prove your own absurdity.

  • LT (unverified)
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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/opinions/cartoonsandvideos/telnaes/telnaes_main.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

    is an animated cartoon about this--an elephant puts the CD into the player and gets more and more concerned as it plays.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    The insult match amongst several individuals here really isn't advancing the discussion, although it is certainly possible that slinging insults is in fact the point for some of the individuals involved. I've always had that impression about Kershner, whom I would urge to set up his own website for the purpose.

    Oddly enough, some folks still think that civil disagreements are possible.

  • (Show?)

    Bill Bodden Rather than respond to your emotional gibberish, Maurer, I'll leave you to create more ways to prove your own absurdity.

    As usual, Bodden attacks the messenger because he can't answer a simple question, a sure way of proving his own deficiencies.

  • Jenni Simonis (unverified)
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    I don't think that some people get that this goes beyond just lampooning Obama. There are a lot of people who identify with Obama, and when you make fun of him for things like his race, you're making fun of them too.

    I guess those who have never really seen much by the way of discrimination just don't get it. I grew up in an almost all-white town (94.9% of people listed white as their race in the '00 census; only Hispanic made it over 0.6%). In our town, only 0.4% of people listed Black or African American as their race. Compare that to the city next door, which was 60% white and 32.8% Black or African American. Our county averaged 72.7% White and 15.4% Black or African American. So as you can see, the "whiteness" of our town was out of the ordinary for our area. It also happened to be the only area out of the county that would be classified as being more rural than urban.

    Our town was filled with KKK. In the late 70s, they threatened to kill Vietnamese fishermen who they blamed for overfishing (there's a movie called Alamo Bay about it) and held a huge rally when I was 1 (right about the time we moved from Pasadena to Santa Fe). Blacks are stopped just for driving through town. From the lips of our Justice of the Peace - they don't belong there and should be automatically stopped and questioned. Police in town were even busted by hidden camera by a news crew, showing their refusal to assist someone who was black, and then arrested him for "walking on the wrong side of the road."

    My husband, who is Vietnamese, had plenty of racism aimed at him. He worked as a manager at the grocery store in town, and on numerous occasions, customers refused to let him assist them - they wanted someone white. It's part of the reason we never started a family while living in Texas. I saw too many of my friends who were biracial be called "Oreos" to their face. I wasn't about to do that to a child.

    We can't just ignore this stuff as stupid. We have to stand up to it so that hopefully our children won't experience the same racism that we saw when we were young.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Jenni, you are right.

    "We can't just ignore this stuff as stupid. We have to stand up to it so that hopefully our children won't experience the same racism that we saw when we were young."

    I once heard a sermon (maybe a decade ago) in a church in Jackson County. It was on the topic "this community decides what it will and will not tolerate".

    There was a story about a young black minister who had been assigned a church in a small town where blacks worried about their safety. He got a call from the mayor--word that the KKK was marching toward the small town. The mayor was calling all the ministers in town, along with the major employer and all of law enforcement, to be on the courthouse steps when the KKK arrived.

    When they did arrive the Mayor spoke first. He said he had called all the clergy to join him in a message that such behavior as the KKK were known for would not be tolerated. The Sheriff then said any vandalism or other law breaking would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Then the major employer spoke (head of a local mill or whatever). "If I find out any of my employees are behind those sheets, they will no longer be my employees--is that clear?".

    The KKK marched out of that town and never bothered them again.

    Last spring, I worked in before/after school child care and among my students were a loud mouth third grader and a mixed race 2nd grader. When I was out on the playground one day and heard the 3rd grader make a racial slur to the 2nd grader, first I let the 3rd grader know that was unacceptable and I would inform her mother about it (Mom was not pleased to hear that remark). Then I had a talk with the 2nd grader. We talked about Tiger Woods and Barack Obama and how anyone who was of mixed race had the right to be proud of that heritage. We talked about how there were others like them who had done great things--and any child could also grow up to do great things.

    The reason I posted the link above to the animated cartoon is that there are people of good will across the political spectrum who draw the line at what they consider unacceptable behavior. People of good will reject this stuff--just like David Remnick got more flak for the New Yorker cover than he expected and anyone had the right to cancel a subscription if they thought the cover was unacceptable.

    Yes, in a free society, any individual has the right to decide what they consider inspiring, admirable, common sense, or offensive. And if 10 diff. people in a room or on a blog have 10 diff. opinions, that is what a free country is all about!

    To my mind, satire should be about skewering the official behavior of the powerful (make fun of a vote Obama cast, not his parentage, for instance).

    I see equivalent lack of maturity in 3 people: the 3rd grader on the playground Rush Limbaugh on his TV show making fun of the preteen Chelsea Clinton *Saltsman and his CD

    Call me old fashioned, a hard nose, a fuddy duddy or whatever. I have already emailed the chair of the RNC, thanking him for standing up to Saltsman's foolishness. With any luck, this incident will seperate the serious Republicans from the dittoheads.

    It was the dittoheads who made fun of the McCains for having adopted a mixed race child. Serious people would thank any couple (esp. a well off couple) for such an adoption.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Jenni: read over on the gay-baiting thread what I have to share about my experiences as a young mother in a biracial marriage in Oklahoma. Now put being an HIV specialist on top of it, at a slightly later date, same locales. And add in the stink of racial hatred against messicans and also the homophobia and small animal abuse of my Cherokee family... it was a continuation of my education that started as a young white female suffering tokenized big city violence upon her person as she lived in the ghettos too. NOT by choice, and there was no mom or dad, nobody to care to share ten bucks of wealth to provide a cab ride out of it now and again.

    It is real, and it's as real as it ever was. The ONLY thing that has not changed is the unquestioning, blanket acceptance thereof.

  • Jenni Simonis (unverified)
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    LT:

    Exactly. What I've run into a lot here since moving to Oregon is that many people don't get how bad the problem still is. They only see minor things in their day-to-day life. They don't see the African American family in my town that was harassed until they moved away. Or the huge public outcry every time discussion of apartments comes up - because "those blacks will move to town." Or the couple (like us) who has to move away just to have children in a welcoming environment.

    And it's not just in Texas where we had problems. In late '06 we were looking for a new apartment. We went to a complex just up the street from where we were living - they had three bedroom units. The woman in the office was very nice to me. As soon as my husband and daughter joined us, suddenly they had no units available (contrary to all the signs outside advertising specials and units available). That was only 2 years ago.

    And don't get me started on the amount of racism that shows up against anyone here in Gresham with a Hispanic sounding surname.

    Racism and bigotry is still a huge problem in our country. We only get rid of it by standing up against it every time we see it.

  • (Show?)

    There are laws against racism like you experienced, Jenni. If you really wanted to live there, you could have gone to any one of a number of service organizations. Google "Oregon housing discrimination enforcement" to see them.

    Other than using the law, I really don't know what anyone can do about these people whose hearts are filled with such evil and hate. Senator Mark Hass recently helped a mother with a disabled son stay in their apartment (the owners wanted to kick him out because of his disability). They were persuaded only because Senator Hass made it clear that they were breaking the law and were going to get in serious trouble.

    The good news is that the young aren't bigots like so many older people are, and southerners of course. It takes generations, but we can move in the right direction.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    Bill B: I've made a New Year's Resolution to refrain from engaging in battles of wits with unarmed people, and I recommend that you do the same.

    Those who are not racists and/or anti-Semites will admire your attempts to guide the discussion to the ongoing horrors in Gaza. The usual idiots will continue to speak for the DP, and none of the scholarly BO types will oppose their obviously bigoted perspective because that would interfere with the hope/change hypnosis.

    There will be demonstrations in support of the Palestinian people all over the world, including in Portland, tomorrow and throughout the week. I only hope that the targets of the righteous anger that will be expressed will include the US policy makers of both hegemonic parties, who are the ones pulling the strings of their Israeli puppets.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Harry darling, I did not notice any conversation at all around yoru Gaza commentary. Could it be you are feeling the same angst _I_ feel that nobody wishes to alter the thread even for a breath to include natives or battered families in their discussions of pain, anguish, sociological horror?

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmaybe.

    By the by, there are a couple of good petitions circulating the web right now, supporting those young Israelis in prison/jails right now for refusing to do their national service until they are reassured they will not be sent to kill Palestinian locals.

    I signed it. Both of them.

    Did you?

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    For the record, I am a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, and I have supported the shministim and all other Israeli Refuseniks (who are mensches) for many years.

    However, I am an American, and, as such, my first duty is to oppose the crimes of my own country as well as of my own country's proxies. If we want to markedly reduce the terrorism in the world, we must stop committing it.

  • Vincent (unverified)
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    Do think [sic] Republicans think we are never going to find this stuff out?

    "Republicans"?

    It seems like practically every time I read this site, there's a post slamming "Republicans" as a group for the misdeeds of a few lunatics (and make no mistake, the subject of this post is, by any standard, a lunatic and a fool).

    Strangely, the Blue Oregon archives are littered with posts decrying "guilt by association" and complaining about how unfair and sleazy it is to even consider impugning Barack Obama's character by linking him to such people as Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright.

    Unless you're willing to admit to the ludicrous charge that every tawdry bit of obscene -- and often violent -- anti-Bush vitriol that's been pumped out in the last eight years represents "Democrats" as a whole, then it's rather disingenuous to insinuate that this Chip Saltsman's noxious pablum is representative of "Republican" sentiment.

    You can't have it both ways. Actually, I suppose you can. You'll just end up looking totally dishonest.

  • Vincent (unverified)
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    Oh, and speaking of "dishonest", Karol, don't you think it's a little below the belt to avoid mentioning in your post that the title of "Barack the Magic Negro" is ripped from the title of an LA Times column by an author who refers to the Republican party as "racist to its very core"?

    Tasteless though the name is, it's hardly fair to lay it at the feet of "Republicans", since it seems to derive from... you know... not Republicans. Wouldn't you agree?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Do something. Encourage Obama to end the racist occupation of Gaza. Especially if you believe in human rights and that racism can cut both ways.

  • Lani (unverified)
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    It seems that you can't be too stupid or too racist to run for a Republican office.

    If they set their standards any lower, they'll need to start digging.

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    We decided upon being treated like that, it was not a place we wanted to live.

    Having been an apartment resident for quite some time, we knew how easy it is for a complex to either deny your application or not renew a lease without cause.

    So even if they'd approved our application, they could do the same thing our (then) current landlord had done and not renew the lease, without cause. We'd apparently complained about major problems (like the electricity not working properly) too many times and they had a potential tenant who was willing to pay a lot for a downstairs unit.

    The last thing we needed was to have to move in late December again with very little notice. Not only is it a bad time to have to move (in '06 we moved in a snowstorm), it's also a time when vacancy in the good apartments in Gresham is extremely low.

    We went elsewhere we were treated well, and have since signed two one-year renewals.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Bodden - thanks for that. I was looking around for more such items. COuld you please find what there is online for those who need to register their experience in a targeted, compellign fashion viz the Prop 8/Inaugural Prayer Business? It seems to me that the energy would clear up and become again conversationally passionate if there were some links posted there that could give folks a viable, productive outlet for their angst.

    I've not really found anything -- it would be a good thing to do just before the ending of this year.

    THanks of you find anything at all.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Lani, you made me chuckle. Remember when they carted Ronald REagan back and forth across the country? Just when you thought they would finally be decent and bury him ... BANG! Another traipse and show.

    I nearly fell off my chair when an acquaintance of mine, a Nike manager who is an apologist for Nike big time, acerbicly observed something to the effect that they were dragging him around just one more time for the party.

    Heh. I suppose they were afraid they'd have to dig him back up, eh.

    Very funny. Lan.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Bill B: I've made a New Year's Resolution to refrain from engaging in battles of wits with unarmed people, and I recommend that you do the same.

    Harry: I learned from experiences with former friends who were alcoholics that there are times with some people when reason is pointless. Hence, my remarks to the likes of Maurer. On the other hand, it is educational to get into debates with the Democrats on this site as it would be with Republicans elsewhere. They have common modus operandi in their attempts to weave new suits out of fiction to clothe their naked emperors and empresses. Fundamentally, there isn't much difference between Ari Fleischer and Dana Perino peddling nonsense before the White House Stenographers Club and what we are now getting from the Obama camp and Democratic stalwarts at Blue Oregon.

    I don't know if you subscribe to the print edition of Counterpunch. I just received the on-line edition. It brings into question the integrity of the Harvard Law Review of which Obama has been touted as having had a distinguished position. Whether the Review was as dishonorable and cowardly during Obama's residency as it was during the McCarthy era is an open question.

    Have a Happy New Year's Eve. We have a lot of work ahead of us in 2009. Change? What change?

  • johnnie (unverified)
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    Which is a worse form of racism? A parody made from Rev. Sharpton's comment about Obama during the campaign or the Democrats withholding a US Senate seat to an African American (Illinois)?

    I say the latter, but I'd guess progressives would say the former.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Which is a worse form of racism? A parody made from Rev. Sharpton's comment about Obama during the campaign or the Democrats withholding a US Senate seat to an African American (Illinois)?

    I say the latter, but I'd guess progressives would say the former.

    Right on, johnnie. I can't think of any worse example of racism than trying to keep one African-American in the U.S. Senate when there are only 99 white guys and gals.

  • Vincent (unverified)
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    I can't think of any worse example of racism than trying to keep one African-American in the U.S. Senate when there are only 99 white guys and gals.

    So much for all that "content of their character, not the color of their skin" stuff, huh?

  • johnnie (unverified)
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    So Obama's Presidency is judged to be historic because of the content of his character. Are we to assume the Burris isn't suited for the US Senate because of his character.

    Haven't the US Senate Dems ever heard of the US Constitution? Nothing in the appointment is in violation to the qualifications in the US Constitution (Powell vs. McCormack, 1969). Then again when's a Constitution stopped the likes of Reid? Looks like the Dems already abandoned the concept of innocent until proven guilty in a legal sense.

    What next, A US Senator who teaches Constitutional Law (Biden) not able to understand which Article describes the Executive Branch and which one describes the Legislative Branch.

    I'm so disillusioned, I thought things were going to be different or at least change.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    So much for all that "content of their character, not the color of their skin" stuff, huh?

    Vincent: Did you miss the cynicism in my comment?

    Haven't the US Senate Dems ever heard of the US Constitution? Nothing in the appointment is in violation to the qualifications in the US Constitution (Powell vs. McCormack, 1969). Then again when's a Constitution stopped the likes of Reid?

    johnnie: Every senator and representative in Congress who voted for the war on Iraq showed the Constitution meant nothing to them. In that case, there were more Republicans than Democrats who voted for the war and betrayed their oaths to uphold the Constitution. Same for the more recent FISA vote.

  • johnnie (unverified)
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    BB: So you think that the Constitution means nothing to Obama (FISA)?

    Voting for a War is now unconstitutional? Interesting legal (non)theory. Perhaps you think the power to declare war rests soley in the Executive Branch?

    But I digress. It'll be telling to see if the Dems don't heed Rep. Bobby's Rush's advice and not lynch the appointee. Imagine if a Republican from a sparsely populated western state had that Burris "cannot be an effective representatives of the people of Illinois".

    Seems to me like the Dems have a much worse racism problem than the Repubs right now...

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    BB: So you think that the Constitution means nothing to Obama (FISA)?

    Voting for a War is now unconstitutional? Interesting legal (non)theory. Perhaps you think the power to declare war rests soley (sic) in the Executive Branch?

    Harry: It looks like we have another here who reads something that isn't there into what is written so he can make an asinine response. What the hell are they teaching these kids in school?

    johnnie: Just in case you were asleep in government or civics class, Congress didn't vote to go to war on Iraq. They voted to transfer the authority to declare war from Congress to the president. That's what was unconstitutional. And I never said anything about Obama either way, but for the record he ignored the Fourth Amendment when he voted for the FISA bill.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Posted by: johnnie | Dec 30, 2008 4:11:42 PM

    So Obama's Presidency is judged to be historic because of the content of his character. Are we to assume the Burris isn't suited for the US Senate because of his character.

    That's the point I've been trying to make about what defines Libertarian or other stripes of progressives. Only the facts of the plan count. Get away from the cult of personality.

    When I worked in Utrecht, there was a plaque on the wall that read something in English like, "Here we don't argue about it, we go calculate the answer". That should be the motto of the L party.

  • Vincent (unverified)
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    Vincent: Did you miss the cynicism in my comment?

    Sorry. Sarcasm tags don't always work in my browser...

  • Vincent (unverified)
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    That's the point I've been trying to make about what defines Libertarian or other stripes of progressives

    I'm not entirely sure that you're apt to find too many Libertarians who would describe themselves as "progressives".

  • johnnie (unverified)
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    So now a Libertarian is a stripe of Progressive? Can you have stripes that are so dichotomous? Seems to me like if a political philosophy can house people who believe in maximizing liberties by limiting government intervention as well as people who believe government is the best (and only) solution (see Portland city politics and the web they weave) then you don't have much of a philosophy eh?

    Perhaps this is something Vincent and I agree on?

    BB: Are you insinuating that Obama is a fascist and ignoring the Constitution? Your point on the constitutionality of the use of force has been tested and refused by two court cases...which by liberal definition would make it constitutional.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    I'm not entirely sure that you're apt to find too many Libertarians who would describe themselves as "progressives".

    Most do! There's nothing incompatible about seeing government as a necessary evil that should be minimized and then disagreeing on how much of that evil is necessary.

    The example with Portland is a good one. Portland has a progressive agenda. But it's a Democratic Party kind of progressive, and things like creating a personal fiefdom and Party image are always fed as much as the policy goal. A Libertarian kind of progressive, big L, would largely do the same things, with a lot less overhead and a lot less ego. Politics as service, not as career.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    New Year's resolution for 2009: Ignore the following because debate is pointless: Maurer, Garret, Joel W, johnnie and any others who ignore points made so they can talk about some figment of their imagination they think they can score a point with but is irrelevant.

  • Bakunin (unverified)
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    Zarathustra:

    Libertarian socialists believe that the exercise of concentrated power in any institutionalized form – whether economic, political, religious, or sexual – brutalizes both the wielder of power and the one over whom it is exercised.

    While more state-based varieties of socialism emphasize the role of the state or political party, libertarian socialists place their hopes in trade unions, workers' councils, municipalities, citizens' assemblies, and other non-bureaucratic, decentralized means of action. Most libertarian socialists advocate doing away with the state altogether.

    We want a radically democratic society that preserves the maximal amount of individual liberty and freedom possible.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Back to Obama and racism, the original theme of this thread.

    Visitors to the Obama transition site, change.gov, will quickly learn the Obama-Biden position on Israel - unquestioned support for Israel's right wing government.

    There is an excellent article from Feedblitz with a cogent interpretation of Obama's frequently quoted comment made at Sderot about protecting his daughters. This is how Deena Guzder sees it:

    "While visiting Israel in July, President-elect Barack Obama said, “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing.” The question remains, what would Obama do if his daughters were deprived of food, electricity, medical care, and human dignity? What would Obama do if his daughters were humiliated when they traveled, maimed when they walked away from bomb shelters and robbed of their childhoods? If Obama fails to answer these questions with humanity, we can expect 4 to 8 more years of President Bush’s failed Middle East strategy."

    Read the full article Lights Out in Gaza, News Blackout in US

    Unlike Israel's aggressive and barbaric government Obama, we must hope, would have enough sense to not make enemies who would threaten his daughters. Change? What change?

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Zarathustra:

    Libertarian socialists believe that the exercise of concentrated power in any institutionalized form – whether economic, political, religious, or sexual – brutalizes both the wielder of power and the one over whom it is exercised.

    Agreed. That's why I called it "evil". I'm just saying that you can categorize Ls by how much of it they would use. It's my answer to the "not much of a party definition" slag. JK and I have wildly different views on policy, but would agree that City gov. is an evil. Steve and I see much more eye to eye on policy, but I can't believe he would call it an evil. You hit the nail right on the head.

    It's a weird debate. Personally I think all parties are unnecessary and self-stroking, so any party def I give is going to be strained. Don't know how many Ls would share that belief.

  • Lani (unverified)
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    To all you guys spinning like tops to bury the discussion topic in distractions:

    --Do you think Republican Chip Saltsman's CD was funny?
    --Do you think it reflects well on the party of Lincoln?
    --Do you think it was a smart move for someone hoping to gain the highest office in the Republican party?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    --Do you think it reflects well on the party of Lincoln?

    The only thing today's Republican party shares with the party of Lincoln is the name.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    You know what? They can say what they like, even dumb parodies, but when all is said and done, it's the lack of respect that is unacceptable. The Karachi Observer said something akin to "Barak the Magic Negro" , though the impact is completely different. That's where we're different. Even slagging Limp Baughhh! we still have more respect than they do talking about actual policy.

    KO is an a really interesting read, btw.

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    Fox ran the "Magic Negro" line in the chyron on New Year's Eve, so while I agree with Vincent that we should be careful about lumping everyone on the right in with the racists, Fox seems not to have gotten the memo either.

    This stuff is all good. The propagandists on the right, thrashing around and throwing out anti this and anti that in more and more strident tones, bloggers for the-greivance-group-of-the-minute voice their outrage, and the middle of America recoils from these right wing tropes wondering how they ever believed anything that the Right Propagandists have fed them over the past 40 years.

    Smart and Amoral guys like Newt and Karl realize that the hand that they dealt is now played out and is hurting them, but are now almost powerless in the face of Rush, Sean, and Billo, who's success depends on continuing the slander fest even as other more progressive radio and cable personalities continue to eat into their market share in key demographics.

    All good.

  • johnnie (unverified)
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    PR: "[s]uccess depends on continuing the slander fest" "progressive radio and cable personalities continue to eat into their market share in key demographics."

    I think you are confusing slanderfest with MSNBC. One can't watch MSNBC and instantly have their intelligence insulted. Watching Kieth O try to link Blagovich to McCain as if was fact and then saying you are the only true journalists (straight faced and all) should be laughable for any person of any political party. It would be like if FoxNews tried to link Larry Craig with Barney Frank and called it journalism. When did any FoxNews commentators get into a snarky argument over the air during the RNC about who loves Bush more.

    Question, what do you define as "key demographic"?

    <h2>Your comment on Newt and Karl prove you have never listened to them or read their opinion pieces. You shouldn't get your distorted information third hand through progressive talk or media matters. The access for information today is so incredible nobody should ever have to have a conservative or liberal pundit ever tell them what "someone" or "anyone" said or meant. Read it yourself.</h2>

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