Cross-posted on MyDD

This week in minority politics, brought to you by Jack and Jill Politics typed to you to the sounds of The Joint, the reggae channel on XM Radio. Let’s dive right into some playa-hating, shall we?

Losers This Week:

Al Wynn, whose greasy shell game involving possibly illegal corporate donations to his Maryland Congressional campaign was exposed on MyDD. Fortunately, there’s another candidate for this seat who also happens to be African-American: Donna Edwards. If you live in her district in Maryland, get out and make sure a progressive candidate who will care more for constituents than corporations wins this time. Wynn doesn’t deserve to win.

John Bolton, who has brought a not very unique blend of racism, aggression and blunt ideological stupidity to his tenure as U.N. Ambassador got the bum rush from Sen. Lincoln Chafee. During Senate hearings, Chafee probed Bolton’s thoughts that “shaping the Middle East” is “one” of the significant challenges of our time. Shouldn’t the people living in the Middle East shape their own destiny? I thought Manifest Destiny went out of fashion in the 19th century? Looks like Bolton may be looking for a new job come Jan.

Condi Rice blows any remaining credibility with Black women between the ages of 25-55 or really any thinking American with her head-scratching statements in popular Essence magazine comparing critics of the Iraq war to those who tacitly supported slavery during the Civil War. Repugnant, reactionary, desperate and disgraceful.

Michael Steele is revealed this week as a real-live Right Wing Republican, despite elaborate efforts to shuck and jive, duck and dodge what he calls the Scarlet R. Much to his dismay, he receives a warm, heartfelt endorsement from the conservative Washington Times.

Arnold Schwarzenegger gets caught with his pants down saying about fellow Republican lawmaker Bonnie Garcia and Cuban/Puerto Rican Latinas in general:

“I mean, they are all very hot,” the governor says. “They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it.”

For some reason, this isn’t going over so well in California. Chris Bowers suggests that the Governator can help handicap the next season of Survivor.

Immigrant Rights Groups shift their goal of a million new voter registrations from 2006 to a million in 2008. For those of us who heard during historic marches earlier this year — “Today We March, Tomorrow We Vote” — this is a big disappointment given the human rights that are coming under scathing attack right now from the right wing.

YouTube continues to have a problem dealing with the legions of white supremacists using the site to organize and share their hate with each other and the world. YouTube members led by Kwaichi and the YouTube Anti-Racism Collaboration are fighting back without much help from YouTube the company.

White Candidates hinting they might apply for the Congressional Black Congress learned this week that the CBC has decided to stay Black.

George “Macaca” Allen gets the boot from the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund which decided to rescind its Community Leadership Award under pressure from donors.

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Al Wynn thinks he can keep winning by fooling folks. He’s a cheater, a crook and a liar. It’s not about serving the people and bettering lives for his constituents. Instead, it’s all about the benjamins for Wynn. Check this out: (emphasis mine)

What’s weird is that Wynn is getting $2000 donation after $2000 donation from people whose employers and job titles are listed only as ‘information requested’. I haven’t counted how many donors he didn’t collect information from, but this is not a new pattern; in 2003, the FEC fined Wynn for not listing the occupation or employer of over 51% of his donors. That’s a big deal, because it means that it’s very difficult to trace or report on conflicts of interest. Given the amount of developer, energy PAC, and telecom PAC money he’s already getting, it’s nearly impossible to tell if someone at a company is making all their employees give to Wynn by looking through public filings. Wynn simply doesn’t list the employers or jobs for many of his big donors.

Marylanders in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties deserve better than this. Vote for Donna Edwards next Tuesday and you vote for a sister with strength and integrity. In the case of Wynn, it’s safe to hate both the playa — and the political game.

African-Americans deserve a seat at the table in Congress — a seat that doesn’t have to be greased with shady under-the-table corporate cheddar.

The Washington Times online has a front page article about the Congressional Black Caucus and whether or not they would deny the possible applications of two white Democratic candidates running in majority black districts to join the CBC.

While the CBC has had honorary members, the CBC is re-affirming its blacks-only policy for full voting privileges. One CBC member has said the white candidates are using “political ploys to bolster their image with the black constituency they are seeking to represent.”

White supremacists would say: “Oh it’s ok for blacks to have an exclusively African-American congressional caucus but what would happen if some white Members of Congress created the Congressional White Caucus? They wouldn’t be allowed!”

A minority caucus is created to defend minorites from the inevitable tyranny, expressed legislatively, of the majority. Whites are fast becoming minorities in some states like California. Will we one day see the need 30 or 40 years from now for a Congressional White Caucus to protect a minority from the inevitable tyranny of the majority black and brown citizens of the United States? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, the CBC has become increasingly powerful — and increasingly corrupt — with a tension between pro-business blacks (like Al Wynn) and black progressives wanting hmmm…progress (like super-cool Maxine Waters). Let’s hope that Detroit Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick can bridge the gap as the next CBC Chair.

Over at the Afro-Netizen, there’s a good article on the failure of the government to re-build New Orleans and provide what many of us would expect from a modern government after this kind of major disaster and displacement. Folks, even the U.S. Postal Service does a better job of helping you when you move. This is the new and improved Homeland Security:

More than 200,000 displaced former residents of New Orleans, spread across 46 different states, who have been denied their human right to return face numerous obstacles to be able to come home. They have no way of knowing the current state of their homes and neighborhoods-basic issues like whether the water and electricity are running, or whether their local schools are open. Their remains no centralized source for this information, neither government-run services nor private news sources. Most government decisions affecting their neighborhoods do not make it into the news broadcasts in their new communities. Without this necessary information it is nearly impossible for displaced people to make an informed decision to move back home.

Glad to see the U.S. Congress and the military-industrial complex has really swung into action to serve Americans in need. The Americans paying their salaries. I agree with Matt Stoller over at MyDD. Can someone please explain to me why Democrats have not hammered home the fallacy of the Bush adminstration’s assertions that we are safer? Where have all the billions of dollars gone that Congress appropriated to recover from Katrina — looks like it was into somebody’s back pocket. Like Jeffery Buchanan of CounterPunch writes: it’s just lip service and profiteering. And a violation of human rights. AND perhaps a major election issue. So why ain’t it?

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Michael Steele running for the Senate in Maryland has been running away from the Scarlet R as he puts it — his identity as a Republican candidate. Too bad there are so many pictures of him side-by-side with Bush. His ads have consistently tried to paint him as a centrist/McCain-style conservative and gloss over his actual party affiliation which is left off his TV/YouTube ads and even off his website — his homepage shows no open indication that he is Republican. Fancy that!

Now some Maryland Dems have put together TheRealSteele.com to expose his history of flip-flopping and actual positions — this is the same guy who compared stem cell research to the Holocaust in front of a Baltimore-based Jewish organization. Not too long ago, he described himself as a “radical Republican” in 2001. (shiver) He’s pro-life, pro-Social Security privatization and pro-Iraq War. And btw, pro-Bush. This is the guy who claims he wants change? Just who is he trying to fool with this slick-as-snake-oil ad?

Now that Congressional Republicans and Bush in particular remain consistently unpopular with angry voters, Steele’s strategy is best described as “cut and run”. (Hat tip: Oliver Willis) Voters want change and Steele is pretending to be what voters want. Trouble is, he’s still just a Republican wolf in Democratic clothing.

In the latest outrageous and fallacious Bush adminstration offense against war critics, Condoleeza Rice is quoted in Essence Magazine — the pre-eminent and widely read lifestyle magazine targeted at African-American women — saying:

“I’m sure there are people who thought it was a mistake to fight the Civil War to its end and to insist that the emancipation of slaves would hold,” Rice said in the new issue of Essence magazine.

“I know there were people who said, ‘Why don’t we get out of this now, take a peace with the South, but leave the South with slaves?’” Rice said.

The fact that this garbage appeared in a magazine shows how far ahead the Republicans have planned this messaging to strike back at their critics. The talking points include equating opponents of staying the course in Iraq to WW II-era fascists, Nazi sympathizers, Communist fellow-travelers and now, Confederate flag-wavers.

Hat tip to Carpetbagger Report for the story. You’re right that black columnist Eugene Robinson may have been too quick to praise Rice for her rhetorical self-restraint. You underestimate though the power and influence of this magazine and what this indicates about the planned outreach strategy to the African-American community from the Bush administration. These are the same people you’ll remember who have been telling Bush that he is like Lincoln. I’m sure they’ll find a way to draw comparisons between critics of their handing of Katrina relief/reconstruction and slavery supporters as well!

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You’ll remember I’ve rapped to you before about the racism and anti-racism going back and forth on YouTube. Well, I learned through “Stormfront” which is the center of the current White Supremacist online conversation — think DailyKos, but for racists — that there is an organized debate with stopwatches and rules going on right now.

Check it out here. It’s YTARC vs. the ProHateDebate. Right now, the racist videos are getting more views overall. I hope you can help me change that! And also: Go Kwaichi! Go YTARC (YouTube Anti-Racism Collaboration)!

The forces of racism are getting better organized, more sophisticated and increasingly aggressive online to recruit for their position. We must stay on top of this and show the falsehoods behind their misplaced hate. Don’t believe me? JewWatch, an anti-semitic and racist site, currently gets more traffic than the U.S. Holocaust Museum (which is a great site, btw) and is ranked 44,675 to ushmm.org’s 74,553 in Alexa’s traffic rankings. Disturbing, isn’t it? Note the heavy use of YouTube video embeds on the JewWatch site.

Check it out here. (Hat tip: Alternet).

Queen Latifah at the MTV Video Music Awards:


“We’re messing with Mother Nature like never before. Our planet is seriously getting out of balance. It’s time to change to save our future.”

She adds. “No BS.” Then Al Gore tells us he’s sexy and shows the MTV audience some scary pictures. Take a look at the Think MTV/Al Gore Break the Addiction website. It’s pretty good and gives you some concrete things to do to help save our future. Start with Examine Yourself. I know I am.

Ok, so my first recommendation in fighting global warming is to change the name. Scientists came up with this name. It has been sort of popularized, but I am sorry. “Warming” does not sound nearly serious enough.

“Warming” sounds like what I do with pop tarts. Or leftovers. Or when spring comes. It sounds almost…pleasant. Warming sounds good. We need words that sound bad. Very very bad.

This is called re-framing. You’d better believe that those who wish to maintain the status quo such as ExxonMobil will be doing it more and more in the face of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and those who wish to fight back against global warming and the severe world consequences global warming brings. Thanks Oliver Willis for the news clip.

Here are a few suggestions — do me a favor and start to think of your own. Then start to use them in everyday conversation to see which ones resonate. How about:

Global Collapse
Global System Failure
Global Failure
Global Meltdown
Earth Meltdown
Earth Collapse
Storm Engine
Storm Surge
Fifth Horse of the Apocalypse (ok, just kidding about this one)

I came under a lot of pressure from (white) friends to see An Inconvenient Truth. I felt I was more or less up to speed on global warming — hey, I recycle, I drive a hybrid, I use those new lightbulbs at home. It’s a problem but I’m doing my lil bit, right?

“No, you don’t understand!” they said. “You have to see the movie.” OK, so I got around to it this weekend. I figured, finally I could cross it off my list of “important”, “must-see” left-leaning documentaries.

To my surprise, An Inconvenient Truth turned out to be, for me at least, an almost religious experience. As a girl, I read in the Bible:

Genesis 1:26 –
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Al Gore is here to tell us that we basically get an F- from God on this particular chore of looking after the earth. Oh and by the way, the end of the world — if we continue on the same path — is roughly 50 or so years from now. Because of global warming.

I went through a lot of emotions during the movie including “Oh my god. Oh my god. OH.MY.GOD.” A small vein began to throb in my forehead and when I looked around the theater, I saw that a lot of other people were holding their heads too.

I also noticed that I was the only black person in the theater.

Sure, you can say I went to a theater that mostly attracts hip urban white people. And I know I am not the only African-American person to see this movie. Outside of a limited pool of black intelligentsia and black bohemians, how many have seen this movie, do you reckon?

I reckon not many.

I drove up to the Hunts Point Saturday for a screening of Inconvenient Truth, followed by an iChat with Al Gore. The host was a group called Generation Engage; the crowd was mostly college kids; one of the handful of locals there, an artist, said she’d “never seen so many white people in the Bronx in my life.”

And that’s too bad, because if anything is actually going to get done about global warming, it’s going to have to include the majority of African-Americans. We’ve been the moral conscience of the nation for a long time now. Al Gore treads perhaps too lightly on the spiritual aspects of this problem. But this is the kind of movie that church congregations should watch together. And then form a plan for changing the way we live. Cuz clearly, we ain’t livin’ right.

How did you feel looking at those pictures from Hurricane Katrina? Did it upset you? Make you mad? Well get ready to see a few more pictures like that. Because the consequences of global warming will hit the black and the brown first and worst. Like the East Asian tsunami, like Katrina. It’s no coincidence that we are seeing these terrible storms more and more. The black and the brown of America must become vigilant and push the popular culture towards understanding and changing our impact on the earth before it is too late.

Our opponents are those who have already given up. Who believe that the end times are already upon us. And that includes basically every black women over the age of 75-80 — your grandmother and my grandmother. We must fight denial, sure. But we must also fight those who will refuse to change, either because they are resigned to the destruction of the earth or because they think their wealth will protect them.

By the middle of the movie, even before Al Gore launched into his pep talk, I was ready to fight. That is the only attitude that has any hope of saving us. One friend I talked to told me she and her husband were actually considering adopting instead of not having a child because of “An Inconvenient Truth”. They might save a child already here on earth, but why create a life that may never see the future? I told her we must continue to hope. What better demonstration of faith and hope that we can turn this around than to have a child (and adopt too, which was their first plan)?

African-Americans are the experts in this country on faith, hope and the fight to bring that faith and hope to light even when everything — including the system — is against us. We can and must be a part of this battle. We know how to change minds and hearts to achieve what looks impossible.

Like many African-Americans, I grew up steeped in the church. My own beliefs have become influenced by ideas both inside and outside of Christianity over the years. That background though gave me a moral foundation for which I am grateful. Al is right — global warming is not a political issue. It is a moral, ethical and in my opinion maybe also a spiritual issue.

So you’ll see me writing about this subject of global warming more often. I hope you’ll join me in seeing the movie which breaks it down for you why this is so important. Then share the movie with your friends, your family, your pastor, your church.

I hope you’ll join me and others in fighting for our future. I look forward to seeing you there.

Cross-posted on MyDD

Hi, I’m Jill Tubman, a thirty-something living on the East Coast. On my blog, Jack and Jill Politics, I talk about politics from the perspective of the increasingly influential Black middle class. You see, I didn’t grow up on the mean streets of East L.A. or East Harlem. Like a lot of people, I grew up in a (relatively) diverse and prosperous suburb, post-integration. MyDD has invited me to offer you a roundup of the week’s notable events at the intersection of minorities and politics.

This week, it’s almost as if the Republicans got among their usual talking points — “say something racist, semi-factual and offensive to many, preferably involving Islamofascism.” Only time will tell if the “war on brown people” strategy will be effective with their conservative base, but playing the race card so bluntly threatens to activate progressive opponents and alienate moderate supporters.

* Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), running for re-election in Montana, wins the prize for Republican race-baiting this week. He has recently managed to offend multiple ethnic groups in recent statements. Check out this video which shows him warning more than once that Americans are threatened by a faceless enemy who drives taxis by day and kills at night. Then take the poll — who’s a bigger threat to the U.S.: taxi drivers, 7/11 workers, macacas in general, or idiot Senators?

He has also described his personal enforcement of tighter immigration controls in asking his house painter for his green card calling him a “nice little Guatemalan man.” In 1999, let’s not forget he apologized for calling  Arabs “ragheads” in discussing oil prices.

* The Washington Times, D.C.’s conservative leaning newspaper, ran a front page article attempting to give cover to pro-corporate, conservative-friendly Black Democrats like Al Wynn and Bobby Rush under attack from progressive candidates.

“My general view is that the Democratic Party used to be the big tent party where everyone is allowed to express their views; now it is being taken over by these bloggers and purists who can only see one way of thinking,” Mr. Wynn said.

FireDogLake and MyDD received a special mention for supporting Donna Edwards’s campaign, who got a Washington Post endorsement this week.

Evidently, supporting non-corrupt, solid candidates like Edwards is a racist attempt to destroy the Democratic party. Uh oh, the Washington Post had better watch their step!

The GOP’s love affair with racism this week continues after the jump.

* Beyond Macaca – Running for the Senate in Virginia, George Allen’s links to the racist Council of Conservative Citizens are revealed. CCC is the successor organization to the segregationist White Citizens Council and ranked with the KKK as one of America’s largest and most venerable white supremacist groups. He’s shown gripping and grinning in a photo with their leaders.

* Congressman Bob Beauprez (R-CO) and pro-life Senate candidate claims that 70% of African-American pregnancies or more end in abortion. Disturbing news, if true, but the number is closer to 33%.

* Pat Buchanan is promoting his recent book State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America and sharing his racist beliefs with audiences around the nation. In his book, Buchanan writes:

Those who believe it doesn’t matter from where they come will turn America into something she cannot survive, becoming a multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual Tower of Babel.

BlackProf provides the transcript of his appearance on CNN’s Situation Room where he defends that statement and adds that even legal immigration from non-white countries, especially Mexico, is dangerous. ThinkProgress has the video where Buchanan describes on Hannity and Colmes the urgency needed to keep America white.

What I would like is — I’d like the country I grew up in. It was a good country. I lived in Washington, D.C., 400,000 black folks, 400,000 white folks, in a country 89 or 90 percent white. I like that country.

Buchanan’s factoid sounds wildly inaccurate to me, by the way. Perhaps MyDD readers can set Buchanan straight.

* Today is the anniversary of President Bush’s arrival on the Gulf Coast after five days of lies and inaction after Hurricane Katrina. ThinkProgress has a full timeline that shows clearly that Bush administration officials continued to go shoe-shopping, enjoy long vacations and watch baseball games as hurricane victims waited in vain for food, water and rescue. The face of human suffering on TV was most often black and poor, people Barbara Bush implied with an ironic chuckle that the hospitality of the Houston Astrodome was “working very well for them”.

Donna Edwards is a great candidate for Congress for (parts of) Montgomery County and Prince George’s County in Maryland. Her opponent, incumbent Al Wynn is a good example of black-on-black crime for his pro-corporate, anti-consumer positions on Capitol Hill. Check out this great article in MyDD about her Washington Post endorsement.

Congressman Bob Beauprez’s (R-CO) run for governor has taken a strange turn in a recent NPR interview with host Ryan Warner. The gubernatorial candidate is very concerned about the millions of unborn black babies — tragically killed every day by their misguided, selfish or evil mothers. Read for yourself(emphasis mine):

BEAUPREZ: Tragically, I think, in some of our ethnic communities we’re seeing very, very high percentages of babies, children, pregnancies end in abortion. And I think that it’s time we have an out-in-the-open discussion about what that means.

WARNER: Do you know which ethnic communities in particular?

BEAUPREZ: I’ve seen numbers as high as 70 percent, maybe even more, in the African-American community that I think is just appalling. And I’m not saying it’s appalling on them; I’m saying it’s appalling that something’s happening to encourage that. Frankly, it raises another question: Do we think it’s OK that that many African-American babies aren’t allowed to be born and live an otherwise normal life and reach the blessings, the fullness of the American dream? I think those are very, very serious, very intense, very personal questions that a society such as ours ought to ponder.

Beauprez though is sadly mis-informed. Or crazy. Because the abortion rate is probably closer to 33% among African-American women. Still high, but far from 70%.

As I’ve previously written, the abortion rate is 3 times higher among African-Americans than among white women. This is in part a crisis of the U.S. healthcare system that makes preventative care and health education difficult to obtain for those living in poverty. And 1/3 of blacks still live below the poverty line.

The trouble here is that Beauprez is sounding crazy. And desperate. Is this some kind of compassionate conservatism that he’s promoting? Is he advocating outlawing abortion in the U.S. to save the poor unborn black babies of America? A dream deferred indeed — how can a tiny, disadvantaged and dead black baby expect to live the American dream? Mr. Beauprez, thank you so much for exaggerating this problem and working hard to ensure my sure-to-be-foolish reproductive choices are duly limited so that more “ethnic” children like mine will grow up in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Thanks for trying to impose your religious beliefs on me. Thanks for your cynical, false concern.

Hard to believe this man is a Member of Congress.

I hope that this sort of talk encourages people out there to consider Bill Ritter, the Democratic, non-crazy candidate for governor of Colorado. He seems like a very good alternative.

Thanks also to Colorado Media Matters for covering the story.

Where have all the soldiers gone? The U.S. Armed Forces isn’t saying much about the fact that so many troops — over half of which are from the Army alone — are AWOL and neither is the mainstream media. Why? Well, it doesn’t really mesh with the “we’re winning the war against terror” and “we’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here” storylines we usually hear from the Bush administration. Apparently, some of us are neither fighting “them” over there nor over here.

Deja vu, it seems: During the Vietnam War era (roughly between 1961-1975), about 50,000 Americans fled to Canada to avoid the war. Our generation is apparently more decisive, I guess, when it comes to bailing individually out of ill-conceived, ill-managed, bloody conflicts with no exit strategy.

Hat tip: Playahata

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Kanye West took a lot of criticism immediately after he broke from the teleprompter during a hurricane relief telethon for Katrina victims last year.

His statement was brave and frankly, looking back, true. It wasn’t as if black leaders rushed at first to support him. There was a recoiling of fear and a failure to call a spade a spade. Yet Kanye broke the ice and expressed what a lot of black folks (and some non-black ones too) were thinking in the aftermath of Katrina. Many of us still believe that, deep down, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” And also: “Those are my people down there.”

Terrence Says has a great summary on the substantive points of Kanye’s emotional roll. My favorite part of the clip below is the look on Mike Myers’ and Chris Tucker’s faces after Kanye’s final, famous statement. Doh!

I think some people, including Kanye, probably thought that he’d be blackballed, that he’d ended his career that night. Until they really thought about it and realized…he was right.


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