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This is the best Onion video I’ve seen in a long time.
As we wait with baited breath to know the skin color of the Boston Marathon Bomber, after the right portion of the media went off half-cocked to pin it on a bisexual Saudi student who was tackled and detained for the crime of running from the blast with too much melanine in his skin, some thoughts from across the web for your consideration.
From Barbara Ehrenreich:
“The wait to find out the identity of the marathon bombing suspect is like a ghoulish version of the presidential election: The left desperately wants a homegrown rightwing terrorist; the right smugly expects a Muslim jihadist. Really, just the guilty person will do.”
From Tim Wise:
When I recently posted that my son made it to 10 years of age without having heard the word “nigger,” somebody suggested that by raising him in Sohum that I was keeping him in a “bubble.” Well, according to some out-of-town football players and coaches, the word has been thrown around at some games (and now a complaint has been filed with the California Interscholastic Federation).
The comments section attached to the Time Standard article has been pretty heated. But this morning I found this comment.
you can say that because you have not had to deal with racism. for the record, for some of us it is very important. p.s. i’ m humboldt born and raised so i know the reality of how disrespectful people can be in ferndale, fortuna, eureka, mckinleyville, arcata and especially southern humboldt.
Apparently not everybody experiences a bubble in Sohum. Again, I’m grateful for my childrens’ experiences. But I would like to know what this woman is talking about.
I was raised with KPFA, and every year on MLK’s birthday they would trot out the usual “the-popular-media-gets-King-wrong” themes – airing his more economically radical speeches, his stand against the Vietnam War, etc. It’s not that I disagree with them, it’s just a theme that’s been repeated so many times in the same way I just kind of roll my eyes when I see them. Yes, he had radical political positions. He also took conservative approaches at times, often leaning towards his Andrew Youngs as much as his Stokely Carmichaels for advice. And his “I Have a Dream” speech might seem almost trite after hearing it 500 times for those of us who weren’t even born when he gave it, but when you look at it and consider the context and the prose, the brilliance of the speech can’t be oversold really. It was for a larger audience, but its scope was grand and the fact that it’s really the only speech that 95 percent of the public will remember, that takes nothing from its significance.
So I kind of sighed when I ventured over to Daily Kos this morning and read a title post: Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did.
Well, I sighed and clicked on the link, and found that it wasn’t your typical lefty deconstruction of the watering down of King as distance lends sterilization of the message. In fact, the post wasn’t about message. It was about the actual accomplishment of King and the Civil Rights Movement – what it means to African Americans. And why they bristle when we on the left, or even some younger African Americans, say that the “dream” was not accomplished. That progress was temporary or exaggerated. What is emphasized, even by the left, is the universality of the causes King represented, and the failure to obtain “true equality” or fully economically emancipate the African American communities. The actual accomplishments are more significant to black people than to white people, and perhaps more to older people than younger. The post was written by an African American. This is the heart of the piece.
So anyway, I was having this argument with my father about Martin Luther King and how his message was too conservative compared to Malcolm X’s message. My father got really angry at me. It wasn’t that he disliked Malcolm X, but his point was that Malcolm X hadn’t accomplished anything as Dr. King had.
I was kind of sarcastic and asked something like, so what did Martin Luther King accomplish other than giving his “I have a dream speech.”
Before I tell you what my father told me, I want to digress. Because at this point in our amnesiac national existence, my question pretty much reflects the national civic religion view of what Dr. King accomplished. He gave this great speech. Or some people say, “he marched.” I was so angry at Mrs. Clinton during the primaries when she said that Dr. King marched, but it was LBJ who delivered the Civil Rights Act.
At this point, I would like to remind everyone exactly what Martin Luther King did, and it wasn’t that he “marched” or gave a great speech.
My father told me with a sort of cold fury, “Dr. King ended the terror of living in the south.”
Please let this sink in and and take my word and the word of my late father on this. If you are a white person who has always lived in the U.S. and never under a brutal dictatorship, you probably don’t know what my father was talking about.
But this is what the great Dr. Martin Luther King accomplished. Not that he marched, nor that he gave speeches.
He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.
That’s a taste, and it’s something we forget. Something I wasn’t alive to see or hear about as it unfolded. But it is not the grand message of a unified race that is the core of what he represented, at least not to the older generation of African Americans. Read the whole very powerful post, right down to the postscript, which appeals to a little bit of perspective for bloggers:
PS. I really shouldn’t have to add this but please — don’t ever confuse someone criticizing you or telling you bad things over the internet with what happened to people during the civil rights movement. Don’t. Just don’t do it. Don’t go there.
Whether it’ll amount to anything remains to be seen, but overt white supremacists want to see the Tea Party less “apologetic” about racism. They are clearly involved with the Tea Party, but who knows how much influence they really have?
In any case, David Duke, who was last in the news when he attended an anti-Semitic conference in Iran, is considering a run for President. Normally I would say that it’s bad news for the Republicans, but privately many Republicans have been looking for an out and a reason to buck the Tea Party. If Duke is perceived in any way as running with the support of a significant portion of the TP, it’s over. In fact, I would expect the conspiracy theories to fly.
By a Democrat hoping to replace Jane Harmon in the 36th District. “We minorities should stick together.” The ad is kind of embarrassing.
When I was reading up on political violence info for the post below, I came across this Wikipedia passage about the assassination of President McKinley.
In his September 7 statement, Czolgosz said that he had read eight days prior, in Chicago, that McKinley would be attending the Exposition. He immediately took a train to Buffalo and found lodgings in a boarding house. Czolgosz attended the fair on September 5 for President’s Day and heard McKinley’s speech. He was tempted to shoot the President then but he could not get close enough. Instead, he returned to the Exposition the next day. Goldman’s speech from May was still “burning [him] up”. He joined the line of people waiting to shake the president’s hand. Czolgosz wrapped his hand in a white handkerchief to hide the gun he was carrying. Secret Serviceman George Foster later explained his failure to observe Czolgosz’s wrapped-up hand by saying that Czolgosz was too closely bunched up to the man in front of him. However, at the trial, Foster also admitted to not noticing Czolgosz because he was paying close attention to James Parker, a six-foot six inch black waiter from Atlanta laid-off by the exposition’s Plaza Restaurant, who was standing immediately behind Czolgosz.
Okay, so the black guy was a big black guy, not just your run-of-the-mill black guy. That must have made him scarier. Ironically, if the depiction I took from Wikipedia is accurate, Mr. Parker appears to have tried to save the President’s life.
After I read this I thought about a 60 Minutes story I watched back in the 1980s. In a county north of Miami, the Sheriff had a policy of pulling over every black male driver they saw on the main highway. He was unapologetic about it as he believed that it was an effective policy against the drug trafficking from Miami to the rural parts of the state. At the time I thought that all of the drug dealers in Miami who saw the piece would hire black drivers as decoys to be pulled over with the drug carrying vehicles with white drivers a minute or two behind them.
You have the moral and legal issues of profiling, but I do think McKinley’s death can reasonably be brought up to question the practicality of it.
The drawing is enlarged if you click on it.
Addendum: The depiction is correct. The profiled man was the hero. And then publicly attacked with his heroism denied and the Secret Service trying to take credit. Obviously the last thing the the Secret Service wanted was to be upstaged by the black guy.
Why haven’t I heard this story before?
A Louisiana Justice of the Peace denied an interracial couple a marriage certificate, in consideration of the children they might have. I don’t know what to say about it. Everything I come up with seems trite.
A quick video clip through here. I don’t know that I agree that the tone is necessarily racist, although I’ve never seen as much disrespect tolerated by mainstream Republican pols. Would Joe Wilson have broken over 200 years of protocol if Obama was white? Would the tone be different? Hard to say, but Carter has seen racism and sure knows how to recognize it. Certainly the placards of Obama mugging Uncle Sam, and some of the birther crap is racist. But some of the tea baggers don’t need race as an excuse to be angry. They’re just angry. Appropriate or not, Carter has just brought the question into the mainstream of discussion.