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Racism Reconsidered

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Posted on Jul 21, 2010
Jackson, Sharpton and Jealous
AP / Ed Zurga

The Rev. Al Sharpton addresses the media during a news conference at the 101st annual NAACP convention in Kansas City, Mo., on July 14 as NAACP President Ben Jealous, left, and Rev. Jesse Jackson look on. 

By Marcia Alesan Dawkins

Whether the election and presidency of Barack Obama has brought about lasting political change has yet to be seen. What is visible so far is that by electing Obama our nation has made a major breakthrough by overcoming racial and ethnic prejudice. For some, Obama’s presidency means that we’ve gotten beyond race, and therefore we’ve also gotten beyond racism. After all, we have a president who identified as African-American on the 2010 census. In Obama’s America, negative connotations of race are but a relic of the past. But does this mean that it’s now fair game to play the race card in ways that might have been considered politically incorrect before Obama’s election? 

According to NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous, the answer is absolutely not. In fact the NAACP voted unanimously last week to pass a resolution condemning the tea party movement for tolerating racist statements made by some of its members. “Expel the bigots and racists in your ranks or take the responsibility for them and their actions,” Jealous said. The NAACP “will no longer allow you to hide like cowards and hide behind signs that say ‘Lynch Our President’ or anyone else.” According to the NAACP website, the resolution comes after “a year of vile, antagonistic racial slurs and images” generated at events that have received high-profile media coverage. Although tea party organizers are disputing claims of racism and want the resolution withdrawn, it will go to the NAACP’s national board of directors for a full vote in the fall.

Mark Williams, a spokesman for the Tea Party Express, said last Wednesday that it was unfortunate that the NAACP had chosen to “profiteer off race-baiting and fear mongering” when it could be doing so much to help the African-American community. Some political figures agree, including Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who have both downplayed this issue. Williams took a sharp turn from these leaders, however, when he insisted that “Jesse and Al want their piece of it. The slave traders of the 16th century should have been as good at exploiting Africans as these people are, because it’s just disgusting.” Williams argues that it’s really the NAACP that’s being racist.

Jealous and the NAACP find language such as Williams’ both absurd and abhorrent. They believe that our president’s election is indeed a step forward in terms of American race relations and that it doesn’t grant us the privilege of forgetting hundreds of years of oppression. That’s why Jealous and the NAACP contend that race and racism affect people’s everyday lives in meaningful ways. For instance, in 2008 The Washington Post reported that “the average black person in America is 447 percent more likely to be imprisoned than the average white person, and 521 percent more likely to be murdered. Blacks earn 60 cents to the dollar compared with whites who have the same education levels and marital status. The black poverty rate is nearly twice the white poverty rate. Blacks tend to die five years earlier than whites; the infant mortality rate among black babies is nearly 1½ times the rate among white babies.” Jealous asserts that some members of the tea party use racist imagery that plays on stereotypes and denies these kinds of facts. 

Accordingly, the point of the NAACP’s tea party resolution is that using racial words and images in derogatory ways remains unethical, uncivil and, most of all, ironic. For Jealous and the NAACP, a political space in which traditional notions of racial superiority and racism are dead should also be a space in which rhetoric that compares our president to Hitler, civil rights leaders to slave traders, or taxpayers to “niggars” is condemned.

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With both sides firing off statements accusing the other of being either racist or more racist, some questions remain. Some are simple, like who can be considered racist? It can be argued that we throw around words like racism and racists so much today that they no longer have clear meanings. A more precise meaning is provided by the Oxford English Dictionary Online. “A racist is someone whose words or actions display racial prejudice or discrimination … towards people of other races, especially those felt to be a threat to one’s cultural or racial integrity or economic well-being.” 

Other questions are a bit trickier, like who can call someone else a racist? Political correctness would deem that those who have been marginalized historically get the privilege. But in today’s post-racial political environment, it appears that the privilege to call out a racist belongs to everyone. That’s fine if we are all using the same standards to measure discrimination—or lack thereof. Unfortunately, this is not often the case. Social psychologist Richard Eibach at Yale University found that whites and blacks often employ different yardsticks to measure racial equality: White people measured progress by comparing the present and the past, while people of color were more likely to evaluate racial equality in terms of an idealized future.

If people have entirely different perceptions based on their social experiences and positions, then what does it really mean to call someone a racist? Is invoking this term tantamount to a pro-justice rallying cry, a divisive tool, a public relations spectacle or a fundraising effort? In this case it could be any of the above. Regardless, these charges of racism should not be ignored, for they remind us of the need to measure ourselves and our interests in a diversifying world—with all its political incorrectness—and the impact when our worlds and yardsticks collide.


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By table display, October 7, 2010 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with the the article writers opinion. Nice one. Thanks for some knowledgeable post.

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By Atilla, July 26, 2010 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

” The problem comes in when you ask “Why?” and yet do not believe the answer:  That victims of discrimination (for whatever reason) suffer from long-term lack of opportunities and are regarded as inferior for so long, so consistently, SO HURTFULLY,  that sooner or later a kind of hopeless self-doubt, even self-hatred, sorrow, frustrations and resentments enter the abused psyche and are passed down to children and grandchildren.”

“PS—May I remind you of that phrase in the American Constituton which says “.... all men (and women and kids too) are ...  endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” or words to that effect.”

The above are from your post gerard, and you actually help make my point. Black people revel in living in the past. They use slavery, and “racism” as a crutch to lean on when they do not attain what they think they should. Instead of obsessing on “long term lack of opportunities” they should be striving to create opportunities today. Stop living in the past.

As far as the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness goes, you are definitely correct. Every citizen of the country, regardless of race, has a right to these things. What they do not have a right to is equal results. That will never happen. It is natural law.

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By drbhelthi, July 26, 2010 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

Right !
Propaganda puppets mouth the same propaganda that
was used to support 9-11 and the demise of Sadaam
Hussein, and support the current genocide by U.S.
forces, while the israeli puppets genocide their
cousins and manipulate the U.S. military.

The double-dozen behind the scene, satanist shadows
grin while you beat each other up with “Racial”
propaganda.  They advance their agenda to destroy
the U.S.A. and the western world with U.S. might and
hope to acquire the pieces afterwards.  Using their
current “puppet-wrenchs,” such as the current, B.H.
Obama of Kenya. 

What does Promises vs. Practices mean ???

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By rollzone, July 25, 2010 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

hello again. wow. we are back into the Chlamydia
discussion again. racism is about the green, people:)
the green carbon credits people. they will pass the
carbon credits, eliminate the dollar as the basis of
currency, and call this presidency a complete control
success. distract yourselves with racism, reality tv,
immigration, drugs, leaking oil, unemployment, and
every other issue the consortium needs to pass their
agenda. racism has its place in heritage, and has its
respectable place in society. extremists can voice
influence in debate, but should not be allowed to
determine any discourse. we have really messed with
the blacks in this country, because we could. we are
changing our ways, but the road to restitution is a
gradual and incremental progress, that is ripped
apart with claims to reparations; and affirmative
atonement. i understand people can not live for the
next generation, while they suffer, and they want
resolution in their lifetime- but the blacks have
been hurt socially so badly in this country, that
they are unwilling to be satisfied with a new slate,
a new beginning:( the hateful damage has gone too
deep. they can not do the time to correct our crime,
and demand revenge. typical.(ha ha ha). they are so
sensitive to this issue they will not give peace a
chance. it is my opinion they owe themselves the
dignity and respect of their own race to overcome
within themselves all the hatred, and celebrate whom
they are. in time we will heal all the inequalities
we created. in due time, and meanwhile each step
forward is the right direction for positive community
relations. we should all be together fighting against
these carbon credits of globalist greed, that will
undermine the future dreams of your children, instead
of clinging to arguments we can not solve overnight.
financial reform was the second step, and carbon
credits will seal the fate of our grandchildren.
focus on the government fiat spending, the taxes, the
swindlers in the Beltway that have you all fighting
amongst yourselves. everyone should be able to
compete in our society with a mom and pop business
with good business ethics and practices- but it is
not that way anymore. they are stealing the American
Dream, and you are allowing yourselves to be
distracted by the show on TV while the fox is in the
hen house. i am not belittling racism. i am saying
you are being abused by mediaolo-tics (what Sarah?:)
while they are steamrolling through their agenda.
this is a very successful presidency for the
globalists, and they are not in America’s best
interest. move on progressive reformers, spend a
little tax on me. i do not expect a hand-out, nor
demand a hand-up: i just want an equal chance at the
American dream. i am an American. we are all
Americans. we should be first in the agenda of our
nation. our problems should be answered first.
international corporations and g20s are not our
leader. we, working together with each other, are our
own leader. we need to come together before we loose
it all. globalism is taking over, while we are being
distracted. globalists will discard the Constitution
of our founding fathers. Canada, Mexico, and most
importantly to myself, these United States of America
that so many of our ancestors have died fighting for,
so we could be whom we are today: will no longer
exist.

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By Jm, July 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We won’t get rid of racism in our society as long we have poverty, lack of quality
education for all citizens, lack of quality health care for ALL, until we get rid of
SEXISM, religious fanaticism, fear of science and empirically based thinking . and
so on.  All of this has to do with economics and our mystical belief that some
people have *earned* what they have, and those don’t have, *deserve* what
they’ve gotten.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 25, 2010 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

drbhelthi

Your combination of racism, anti-Semitism, and conspiracy paranoia sounds like a characature of a real person…“They are poisoning our precious bodily fluids with fluoridation of our drinking water.”

I hear this all the time. Fluoridation helps reduce rotting teeth.  It’s never been proven to be harmful.

Chlorination of drinking water is another paranoid attack.  It’s true that a vanishingly small number of people may get cancer from it.  But without it tens of thousands die of water-borne diseases.  Cholera, Typhoid, Typhus, Diphtheria, Chlamydia are all stopped by chlorination.  Is it a conspiracy or a public health initiative?

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By drbhelthi, July 24, 2010 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

Fellow sufferer Redhorse,
Paranoia ?
Paranoia is a condition that is based in fantasy.
Are the contrails in the sky fantasy?  Is the toxic
waste, (sodium) fluoride in your water fantasy?  Is
the neurotoxin, aspartame (under five different
names), in your carbonated drinks and over 3,000
other beverages and foods fantasy?  Is the
fibromyalgia epidemic fantasy?  Were the bird flu
fraud and the swine flu fraud and their toxic,
alleged “vaccinations” fantasy?  Are the 40,000
patients who died from VIOXX fantasy?  Is the USFDA
approval of medicines that are harmful and rejection
of healing methodologies/supporters fantasy?  Is the
NAZI SS Dr. Josef Mengele division of the AMA, in
their clamor for more organs to transplant, fantasy? 
Is “oncology” with its 96% failure rate fantasy?  Is
the current repetition of the 1920s depression
fantasy?  Is the Kenyan imposter occupying the U.S.
Presidency, with his punitive actions against states
and organizations that try to enforce the U.S.
Constitution fantasy?  You might check your usage of
descriptive words - - - .  There is abundant light,
which is being suppressed and disguised by the
“leadership”.

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By gerard, July 24, 2010 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

Atilla”  Your diatribe against blacks is coming from a mind and heart hardened against the possibility of equaity and justice for all.  Inequalities you cite as nonexistent are blatantly evident for anyone who wants to see. 
  You pretend to ask: “Could it be that some people have a better education, work ethic, attitude, demeanor, attendance, and personality than others? Could it be that some people are just more intelligent than others? Could it be that the absence of a cohesive family atmosphere in black homes with no fathers contribute to the lack of educational achievement of black people, thereby; affecting their earning potential?”  Of course it could be.  That is not the problem.
  The problem comes in when you ask “Why?” and yet do not believe the answer:  That victims of discrimination (for whatever reason) suffer from long-term lack of opportunities and are regarded as inferior for so long, so consistently, SO HURTFULLY,  that sooner or later a kind of hopeless self-doubt, even self-hatred, sorrow, frustrations and resentments enter the abused psyche and are passed down to children and grandchildren.
  Such situations of injustice have persisted in the U.S. almost since the beginning, and the results are evident. 
  It is time for white Americans to wake up to the horrible situations their belief in their own “superiority” has created, and take responsibility for cleaning up their act.  Whites are no better than any others, and (I try to believe) no worse.  But when you have a white president asking the world “Why do they hate us?” and he answers out of bland lack of self-awareness, “because we are free,” you know something is phoney. 
  Or you don’t, and you continue to slug it out with the vast majority of the human race who are not white—and I thank God for that!
  PS—May I remind you of that phrase in the American Constituton which says “.... all men (and women and kids too) are ...  endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” or words to that effect.

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By ThatDeborahGirl, July 24, 2010 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’d like to ask a simple question:

Do Black people have the right to live and work in America?

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By Atilla, July 24, 2010 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

Gerard:
I saw a picture of a Tea Partier with a sign that said “It doesn’t matter what this sign says it will be called racist”. People like you see racism in everything that does not have a result that people of color want. It is a wonder that you don’t see racism in the clouds because they are white. I guess that will be next. Charges of racism fall mostly on the deaf ears of white people who know that they are not racist. Crying racism has become the black and latino version of the boy who cried wolf. Most of us pay no attention any more.

Please expound on your claim that people of color are denied rights afforded others because of their skin color. What “rights” are you referring to? There are laws all the way to the federal level against every item you listed. Instead of blaming white folks for most of the ills that befall blacks why not look inward and ask yourself some questions.

Why do some people earn less, or more, than others? Could it be that some people do not perform to the level of others? Could it be that some people have a better education, work ethic, attitude, demeanor, attendance, and personality than others? Could it be that some people are just more intelligent than others? Could it be that the absence of a cohesive family atmosphere in black homes with no fathers contribute to the lack of educational achievement of black people, thereby; affecting their earning potential? If that is true, and it has been authenticated by sociologists, is the white man complicit in the lack of two parent black households? Why are over 70% of babies born to black women illegitimate? Did the white man father them? Why do black people kill other black people at a rate of 521% greater than whites kill whites? Did the white man force the black man to kill his fellow black man?

Why are people of color 447% more likely to be imprisoned that white? Profiling you say? The argument can be made that one man’s racial profiling is another man’s common sense. Could it be that black people commit vastly more crimes that whites? Oh, I suppose that a small amount of that number could be do to selective prosecution, and hard nosed judges, certainly; but not to 447%. I would also add that statistics maintained by the feds clearly show that black people commit crimes in exponentially greater numbers than their percentage of the population. Why is that I wonder?

What services are you speaking of that are denied to people strictly based on their race? There are laws against that in every form of public accommodation. There are lending laws that protect everyone from bias. As a matter of fact, the housing crash was precipitated by people, including black, white, brown, yellow, and red being given loans for which they could never qualify if not for government intervention.

People of color are only victims of their own making. As long as black people refuse to take at least some responsibility for their plight, as long as black kids ridicule other black kids who buckle down and do well in school, how can you seriously lay all of the blame for the plight of blacks at the feet of whites? I am not saying that the concerns you listed do not happen. However; they do not happen in anywhere near the numbers that you seem to think.

Black people might be amazed at what they learn if they just did some legitimate soul searching, self analysis, and stop being willing victims.

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By REDHORSE, July 24, 2010 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

DrB: “tweet jebus” (to quote another poster), you’re makin’ my paranoia twitch. I gotta say, that all this conspiracy and moral bankruptcy, has me feelin’ exposed and vulnerable.  And,to quote my friend Jimi: “—there ain’t no light nowhere—”.

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By gerard, July 23, 2010 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

Attila:  It strikes me as fundamentally racist at the core to expect that people, on the baais of their skin color, earn less than people of a different skin color for the same job—if they can get a job at all.  That people on the basis of their skin color are stopped by cops more frequently and suspected of offences they have not commtited. 
  That people on the basis of their skin color can be denied rights readily available to those of another skin color.
  That people on the basis of skin color can be denied equal services from businesses in both public and private sectors.
  That people with one color of skin have better schools than people of another skin color.
  That there are many more people of one skin color in prison for drug use than drug users of another skin color.     
  Something’s wrong here—and it’s not the fault of the victims.  Yet it happens, post Civil War, post Civil Rights Legislation, post Obama election. 
  What does it indicate when people of one color permit this sort of injustice to persist year after year when they have the majority rule that could stop it?  What’s with whites anyway, that they can’t get together and see that America really becomes a free country for all who live here?  Instead they whine about “taking their country back” even though they haven’t lost it?  Some of them even want to drop a bomb on North Korea and Iran.  That’s how fair they are! How smart. How noble.  How thoughtful.

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By Atilla, July 23, 2010 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Sorry to burst your bubble there fifygigs, but all of those things you listed as “rights” are nothing more than “wants”. As far as an “organized insurrection seeking to destroy the country and deny us our rights” I think you need to take a deep breath, exhale slowly, and to return to at least some semblance of reality.

The statistics sighted by Dawkins speak volumes as to why the black race is in the shape it is in. All those stats do is verify that black people are committing crime in numbers that far exceed their percentage of the population. Why? White folks aren’t going around killing blacks. Blacks are killing blacks. Why? The fact that blacks earn 60 of what whites earn with the same educational level means nothing. There are millions of white people with high school and college educations that are not doing as well as other white people with the same level of education. Some graduate with A’s, others with D’s. It is what you do with the education that counts.

Black people in this country would do well to quit trying to blame the white man for all of their shortcomings, and other problems. They need to look in the mirror and do a little self analysis. They may find that they have met the enemy, and that enemy is themselves. The civil war ended over 140 years ago. You never picked any cotton; I never owned any slaves..get over it.

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By Steven, July 23, 2010 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think that the key insight in this article is the recognition of the different emphases on past-present-idealized future that characterize perspectives on race in America - both in the broad sense of ‘race relations’ and as we find them evidenced in individuals and organizations making statements about distinct controversies in the public sphere. I think that there is cause for both hope and concern in relation to the idea that what race has meant in the past is undergoing significant change in the present. The reduction of all the different perspectives people have on these processes of change is useful when it helps us see what is being struggled over. It is dangerous to allow these reductions to be used as representations of the broader conversation such that other perspectives are obscured.

The ‘race card’ argument relies on a juridical definition of race and racism - ignoring the facts cited here and originally reported by the Washington Post - to claim that racial grievances have no legitimate grounding in the everyday practices and policies of American socio-political life.

The other perspective subjected to scrutiny in this article attempts to argue that race and racism are still political problems based on a reductive, rather than representative, population of American voters. In doing so they are using fear to influence people’s political actions and ignoring the reality of the checks and balances that exist within our government to ensure that no one perspective can run roughshod over the opposition.

Race and racism do make their way into the political arena by virtue of the beliefs, attitudes, and opinions of voters, as well as the representatives that they elect. But political institutions are organized according to policies that insulate the institutions from those beliefs and attitudes. Hence, there is a process for challenging Arizona’s immigration law in the courts. There is a legislative branch that (we hope) will ensure that even if someone like David Duke were elected president; that individual’s personal beliefs would not make their way into policy in ways that are inconsistent with the laws of the land.

I think it is dangerous to say that white people see things one way and black people see things another way. That being said, I think the observation that some see the present in reference to the past and others in reference to the future is useful. When we reach a point where we can accept that our past will still be with us in the future; that the absence of slavery or segregation does not amount to an absence of prejudice or discrimination; and most importantly, that a the future we work toward shouldn’t be an idealized vision of zero racism but rather one where racists have less and less influence on others . . . then we’ll be getting somewhere. We don’t have to forget or rewrite history to make a better future. Both ‘white guilt’ and ‘black victimhood’ seem to rest on the idea of a zero-degree racism in society as the telos. One claims we’ve reached that point using laws as evidence. The other paints a picture of it that is so idealistic as to be unrealistic. In that respect they are both directing our attention toward hoodoos that distract from what is possible with regard to becoming more positive.

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By BBFmail, July 23, 2010 at 4:30 am Link to this comment

When is Al Sharpton going to stop straightening his hair?

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By FiftyGigs, July 22, 2010 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

Bullseye!

The liberal press, catering to the liberal rank and
file’s desire for self-perceived victimhood, has
landed another direct hit.

A few days ago, we were the instigators of class
warfare (said conservatives). Let’s see, when the
topic was Kagan, we were judicial activists and the
proof was the burkka Kagan hid in her closet. BP is
off the front page, so thankfully we’re no longer the
instigators of pollution.

So, liberals gripe, what’s Obama gonna do about BP?
About the Court? About racism? About global warming?
About jobs? About big banks?

Nothing? Not enough? Too much? Who cares? Throw the
bum out!

Never once have liberals asked: what are we going to
do about organized insurrection seeking to undermine
the legitimate government of the United States of
America, to destroy the country, and to deny us our
rights?

We have a right to expect Americans to support our
President. We have a right to honest facts from news
organizations. We have a right to decency. We have a
right to a positive society. We have a right to
unified patriotism. We have a right to expect the
Republican Party to behave like citizens of this
country.

The conservative movement is an evil unlike any other
that has ever existed in history. It is fascism, a
hair’s breath away from a profound nuclear arsenal
and unstoppable police power. Conservatives are the
source of every fault and failing, and it is beyond
any single President’s, any single person’s, ability
to contain it.

But you can stop it all. You can change the world.

How? Vote. Vote for whoever is not a member of the
Republican Party. Drive the Republican Party to
extinction.

It can be done, and it can be done very soon, with
surprisingly little effort and expense on your part.
You’ll be a lot happier. Your life will be better.

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By REDHORSE, July 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Yeah-ROLLZONE—I agree-it’s that “have vs. haven’t where’s that level playing field” conversation and, the fact that there’s an “exponential population ecosystem collapse GCC steamroller” comin’ this way, that’s gonna level us all, and make fried bacon more expensive by the ounce than gold.

  The fight to win is the “all human beings are human beings and deserve respect reality vs. trust me while I lie through my teeth apocalypse in my pocket don’t tell anybody but I’m a political whore pay me” one.


    But, it’s that “yap yap yap I feel penetrated who’d have thought it oh well moral bankruptcy is normal I’m goin’ back to sleep” attitude you gotta look out for.

    LMAO—see ya!!

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By REDHORSE, July 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

So far, President Obama has shown us, that a Black Man can be just as morally weak, and bow just as low to “special interest” corporate/Wall Street thugs, as a White Man. What’s this sudden spin being put on the airball racecard by Black journalists about?

    I’m behind the NAACP 100% in their calling out the so called Tea Party. The Tea Party is a fascist front, financed by the Koch brothers and other financial class bigots, intent on holding America in the social dark ages, while they loot the remainder of her wealth and future. Don’t forget, that they financed goons with armed threat, to shout down political dialogue, at Town Hall meetings throughout our country.

      We’ve all experienced racism. Posters’ comments on the effective distructive reality of poverty, class, and culture, is the real discussion. Why can’t we have that one?

      Look, at the amount of press spent painting Jesse, Al, the NAACP, the ACLU, Kucinich and Ralph Nader as dangerous buffoons. Human dignity, worth and potential are denied voice. Because, humanity dignity and recognition demand common respect.

      ” R-E-S-P-E-C-T—that’s just what it means to me—-just a little bit—juat a little bit—”

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By omisaide7, July 22, 2010 at 3:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is our first African American president? His daddy was african and his moma was american. I am Black(slave descent big difference). I am from the United States. Mexicans are Americans too so I will make that distinction. Obama is what progessive citizens have hope for america’s future-the new game face in the international arena? Is it working? Its a possibility he will get re-elected? slim chance. Reverse racism or reverse discrimination is this new invention divised since the 80’s to counter claim when people are using the civil right protective statues gained in the 60’s to protect Blacks from discrimination and violence permeated by some of the same kinds of people today that claim reverse discrimination. Obama’s election was a sucess on one hand but its twofold: Just because we have a African-American president(i am Black with slave descent-big difference) it don’t change the fate of poor Black people and the institutionized discrimination they experience inadvertantly. It only BLURS the manifestation of the symptoms of the impact of poverty and alienation within the dominant culture. The tables has been turned on the intergrationist. Their freedoms of the 60’s have released the dominant culture’s responsibility for a legacy of violence. terror, and social restraint.

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By Earthling, July 21, 2010 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment

As long as Americans continue to FAIL to see the blatant contradiction in the following positions, namely, “...our nation has made a major breakthrough by overcoming racial and ethnic prejudice,” on the one hand, and a “race card” exists,on the other, racial and ethnic prejudice will continue to flourish.
  How can this go unseen? I can only think that those who hold this contradiction have no understanding of what it is like to suffer from prejudice for the person who suffers this prejudice. We can all know what it is like “from the outside,” if you will: any moron can conduct sociological inquiries. However, this is not the kind of understanding that will eliminate the evil. We need to know what it is like “from the inside,” what it is like to be victim, for the victim!
  It is still true as Baldwin once put it: roughly, to be conscious and Black in America is to live in a constant state of rage.

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By billhoner, July 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is no mystery here. The television reports of tea party protests show placards with the face of the President with the body of a primate. Bill Honer

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By Peetawonkus, July 21, 2010 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

kerryrose,
A strange oversight indeed. This article treats a discussion of race as a “he said, she said” kind of tennis ball with barely a mention of Tea Party racist examples. A weirdly abstract article, with little useful information or direction. I should think Truthdig could dig a little harder for articles.

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By Gregg M., July 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a silly, insignificant article, well beneath Truthdig’s standards. What’s the obvious point here anyway?

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By Anarcissie, July 21, 2010 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

Classically, racism is a theory that (1) there are races (in a natural, physical sense), (2) some are “better” than others, and (3) something political can and should be done about it. 

This is quite different from mere prejudice.  A person could dislike Black people and their culture and yet consider a Black man to be the best choice for the presidency (or some other high post), a preference which would be impossible to a racist (according to the definition I mentioned).

However, there is certainly plenty of explicit racism floating around the U.S. in spite of the election of a Black man to the presidency.  For instance, the present immigration debate is almost always couched in racial terms, whereby Mexicans or Hispanics in general are characterized as an inferior species.  No doubt Black people still come in for a good deal of this sort of thing, although these days it is much more muted than it was a few years ago (except on Mr. Breitbart’s show).

Hence although the word racism has been mightily flogged, it has not yet worn out.  A new addition to the mix is the adoption of ritual cries charging racism by rightists, as noted in the present article.  At least the rightists have learned that racism isn’t nice.

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By JDmysticDJ, July 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

“Regardless, these charges of racism should not be ignored, for they remind us of the need to measure ourselves and our interests in a diversifying world—with all its political incorrectness—and the impact when our worlds and yardsticks collide.”

The phrase “Political correctness” is an Orwelian invention, to provide legitimacy for racism and bigotry.

Marcia Alesan Dawkins doesn’t need a yardstick, a ruler would suffice.

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By Big B, July 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

How amny people really believed that racism in america disappeared on nov 8th of 2008?

The upcoming mid-term elections are setting up to be the biggest gathering of angry white men since the battle of Appomattox

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By kerryrose, July 21, 2010 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

Why no mention of Mark Williams letter?  Seems a strange oversight as it proves a point in itself.

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