(cross-posted to goodCRIMETHINK)

rikyrah did an excellent take-down of Andrew Young for his niggardly (yes, I am getting Shakespearean on this clown) comments about Barack Obama, but I want to tag team this Negro.

Civil rights has-been Andrew Young felt the need to explain to the press why he is not supporting Barack Obama. Mr. “Thank you for shopping at the local-economy-destroying Wal-Mart” thinks he still matters. Poor thing.

His arguments?

“Barack Obama does not have the support network yet to get to be
president…,” he said. He reflected on his days serving as one of many
lieutenants to Martin Luther King Jr.
He also said that while Obama’s rival Sen. Hillary Clinton is surrounded by quite a few black advisors Obama has very few.
“To put a brother in there by himself is to set him up for crucifixion,” he said.

Mr. Crab in a Bucket, do you know what might help Obama’s network of support? How about if cowardly, corrupt sellouts such as yourself were to simply keep your mouths shut? And don’t mistake the endorsement of a council of fools for real support. With more small donors than any other candidate in this campaign, Barack has a support network comprised of the people. Remember them? Bro?

Another argument?

He also joked that author Toni Morrison may have been on to something
when she referred to former President Bill Clinton as the “first black
president.”
“Bill is every bit as black as Barack,” he said. “He has probably gone out with more black women than Barack.”

When would the married Bill Clinton have had time to go out with all of these black women, Mr. Young?

More importantly, how many times do I have to scream this?

BILL CLINTON WAS NOT BLACK.
BILL CLINTON IS NOT BLACK.
BILL CLINTON NEVER WILL BE BLACK!

Who is really behind this repeated claim? This is some bullshit, and it has got to stop. Now. Just because you play the saxophone and shamelessly, repeatedly cheat on your wife does not make you one of us. It’s one thing for a comic to joke about this. It’s another for a once-respected “black leader” to repeat such nonsense.

And just because you served with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. decades ago does not make you Lord of Blackness. Whether it’s Jesse saying Obama is “acting white” with regard to Jena or this Andrew Jackson clown attempting to undermine Obama, we are going to call you on it every single time.

And, Mr. Young, since you think you have some God-granted right of judgment over people’s black credentials, let me declare here and now that you, sir, are no longer black. I hereby revoke your Black card. Hand over your ID. You are barred from the meetings. You lose the right to speak ebonics. Do not pass go. If you are any color, it is green.

You are green with greed that could so blind you to support such a devastatingly destructive company as WALMART in the so-called name of your people.

Mostly, you are green with envy, that someone like Obama makes you look so tacky, so trifling, so out of touch, so transparently lame.

As you might recall last week, I singled out Fred Thompson’s response to the Confederate Flag question during the recent Republican CNN/YouTube debate. It was a shocking moment of clarity, conscience and tolerance from a Republican since their M.O. for the past few elections has been careful to include racism, race-baiting and ethnic tension.

The fact that a Republican candidate could actually comprehend that a symbol that some in the South may dubiously see as “heritage” represents a legacy of terrorism and oppression to others was refreshing. Personally, I see a Confederate flag and a chill runs down my spine to the sinking feeling of dread in my stomach. Not good.

Yet it’s not surprising sadly that some Republicans had trouble with this. The problem with winking at and even cultivating racism in your party platform is that it attracts embarrassing racists wearing unfashionable Confederate flags…

From CNN’s Political Ticker:

Clad in jackets bearing the Confederate flag and holding signs reading “South Carolina hates Fred Thompson” and “Fred Thompson go home,” the protesters said Thompson was not a “true southerner.”

Jim Hanks, chairman of the South Carolina League of the South, said that Thompson’s answer at the debate was worse than Romney’s because Thompson is from a southern state.

“He’s masquerading as a good ole boy,” Hanks said.

Asked about the flag during last week’s debate, Thompson said that, “as far as a public place is concerned, I am glad that people have made the decision not to display it as a prominent flag, symbolic of something, at a state capital.”

But the former Senator from Tennessee qualified his statement: “As a part of a group of flags or something of that nature, you know, honoring various service people at different times in different parts of the country, I think that’s different.”

The Confederate flag on display at the South Carolina Statehouse waves next to the Confederate soldier monument there.

“The flag stands right next to the Confederate Memorial on the capitol grounds, honoring, as Fred says, the ‘various service people at different times and different parts of the country,’” said Thompson spokesman Todd Harris after the debate.

As a commenter wrote:

Fred Thompson’s done pissed off ‘em hillbillies.

Posted By Bryan, CA : December 6, 2007 3:40 am

Hat tip:Think On These Things

From Redding News Review

Andrew Young explains why he is not supporting Obama
By Robert “Rob” Redding Jr.
Publisher

Dec. 05, 2007, 11:00 a.m. – Former Atlanta Mayor and Ambassador Andrew Young explained why he does not support Sen. Barack Obama to win the Democratic nomination for president – until “2016.”

“It is not a matter of being inexperienced,” Young told an Atlanta crowd this fall. “It is a matter of being young. There is a certain matter of maturity … You have to have a protective network around you… Leadership requires suffering. And I would like to see Barack’s children get a little older, see, because they’re going to pick on them.”

He made the remarks after being asked by a crowd member about the Illinois Democrat at a “Newsmakers” event held in Atlanta.

“I want Barack to be president,” he responded with a long pause, “….in 2016.”

“Barack Obama does not have the support network yet to get to be president…,” he said. He reflected on his days serving as one of many lieutenants to Martin Luther King Jr.

He also said that while Obama’s rival Sen. Hillary Clinton is surrounded by quite a few black advisors Obama has very few.

“To put a brother in there by himself is to set him up for crucifixion,” he said.

He also joked that author Toni Morrison may have been on to something when she referred to former President Bill Clinton as the “first black president.”

“Bill is every bit as black as Barack,” he said. “He has probably gone out with more black women than Barack.”

Young’s remarks come as Obama is battling with Hillary for support in the black community.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, who had endorsed Obama, has been critical of the presidential candidate in recent weeks.

Rev. Al Sharpton has said that he has not decided if he will support Obama.

Ok, let me calm down, before I write things that could be misinterpreted.

Young is ridiculous. Martin Luther King, Jr. was all of TWENTY-SIX when he was named head of the Montgomery Improvement Association.

26.

So, Martin Luther King should have just hung around until someone told him that it was ‘ his time’?

Do I need to point out that Barack Obama is only ONE YEAR YOUNGER than when Bill Clinton was elected President?

2016?

Who the hell is Young kidding? 8 years is an eternity in politics.

The press will leave Malia and Sasha alone the same way they did Chelsea.

Where are these Black advisors to Hillary? I’ve been told they exist, but I haven’t seen them doing interviews, and believe me, being the political junkie that I am, I read as much poltical stuff as possible.

But, the icing on the cake for me was this:

“Bill is every bit as black as Barack,” he said. “He has probably gone out with more black women than Barack.”

For that alone, Andy Young needs to go stand in the Handkerchief Heads for Hillary bleachers.

Negro, Please.

Hat Tip to Steve B.

A volunteer Hillary campaign chair in Iowa has been sending out a version of the infamous Obama/Madrassa email.

A day after the Hillary campaign hit the Obama camp for bullying voters in nasty phone calls, the Hillary crew has just acknowledged that an Iowa county chair volunteering for the campaign passed along the now-notorious email that smears Obama as a Muslim by repeating the false claim that he attended a madrassa as a child.

The Hillary campaign confirms that they are asking the county chair to step down from the campaign.

The accusation that the Obama campaign was engaging in “bullying phone calls” in Iowa may have simply been made to offset the at the time unreleased news that someone in the Hillary Campaign had been engaging in the worst kind of politics, this is really on the level of the “John McCain’s illegitimate black child” push polling that the Bush Administration was engaged in during the 2000 Republican Primary in South Carolina.

The Clinton campaign has disavowed the acts of the staffer, whose name appears to be Judy Rose, according to TPM:

So the Iowa county chair who was volunteering for Hillary and sent the Obama Muslim smear email has been identified: She’s one Judy Rose.

Judy Rose — or, at least, someone with the same name — is, or was, one of the members of the 250 Iowa women who are leading Team Hillary in that state.

I understand that Hillary didn’t order this, and that at least one person in her campaign was disgusted by the emails, but I’m not ready to buy the “rogue agent” theory being put forth by Taylor Marsh. Especially since while the staffer who denounced the email seemed offended, he didn’t feel obligated to inform his bosses that someone was sending out the racist email. I’d be more inclined to believe that only one person was involved or knew about what was going on if the Clinton campaign hadn’t gone after Obama’s Kindergarden essays a few days ago.

Greg Sargent offers this massive non-sequitur in defense of Clinton on behalf of Marsh’s interview with an Iowa journalist:

Obama has been the subject of a lot of different types of emails. But I should also say though that on a daily basis I get far worse emails accusing Hillary Clinton…the things I get told about Hillary Clinton on a daily basis are just so much worse.

Are Obama staffers sending those out? Then what exactly does it have to do with anything? How exactly does it matter that Clinton is the target of nasty emails, except to say that it somehow justifies someone in her campaign smearing another candidate? Have the rumors become so ubiquitous as to draw a front page story in the Washington Post? No.

Then what exactly is that statement, other than a bullshit rationalization for what the Clinton Volunteer did? Would Greg similarly defend a Republican campaign operative involved in a smear whose excuse was, “The things that get said about Romney are so much worse?”

Even if this person acted alone, the fact that a self identified progressive would believe that exploiting the racism of the smear email was an appropriate way to help their candidate says something about where progressivism is as an ideology. How different are Democrats from Republicans if they’re willing to exploit the same racist sensibilities to get elected?

Don’t be surprised if Republicans start accusing Hillary of being racist because of this, despite the fact that the Right invented the rumor to begin with.

I’m really finding it increasingly difficult to write about comments like the one Chris Matthews made about Barack Obama yesterday, because even I am having serious difficulty understanding what the fuck this man was thinking.

Appearing on the December 3 edition of NBC’s Today to discuss presidential politics, MSNBC host Chris Matthews said of Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL): “[H]e’s so fresh-faced, so brand-new, almost Third World in his sort of presentation. He doesn’t click as a usual politician.”

See what’s interesting about this particular comment is the nuance of its racism. Matthews isn’t really reacting to Obama being black in the sense of being African American, he’s reacting to him being Kenyan, as in African.

I’m not really sure what that means, other than Chris Matthews associates Obama’s blackness with poverty and possibly violence, since that’s what most Americans think when they hear “Third World.” Is this just an pseudo-intellectual quasi-freudian partially-hyphenated way of calling Obama “ghetto?”

But here’s my question, if Obama’s so “Third World,” why is he doing so well in decidedly not Third World Iowa? And why can’t reporters talk about black people without embarrassing themselves?

According to the Chicago Tribune, not only has Mychal Bell taken the plea deal offered, but Walters is likely to offer similar deals to the rest of the Jena Six in order to avoid taking their cases to trial.

HOUSTON – The district attorney in the racially-charged Jena 6 case in Louisiana agreed to a plea bargain Monday that sharply reduced the charges against the first of the six black teenagers who was facing trial, while attorneys for other defendants said the prosecutor appeared eager to avoid taking their cases to court as well.

LaSalle Parish District Atty. Reed Walters, whose initial decision to charge the black teenagers with attempted murder for beating a white youth was condemned as excessive by civil rights leaders, dropped a conspiracy charge against Mychal Bell, 17, and agreed to let him plead guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery, with a sentence of 18 months and credit for time he has served in jail over the last year.

It looks like the media may have played an inadvertent but crucial role in making this outcome possible. Walters offered the deal after several media companies won a verdict granting them access to the trial, which would have any attempt by Walters to railroad the Six again visible to a national audience.

District Judge J.P. Mauffray approved the plea agreement Monday afternoon, just three days before Bell’s trial in juvenile court was to have begun. Bell’s attorneys said Walters offered them the plea agreement last Thursday, a week after a coalition of U.S. media companies successfully sued Mauffray to force him to open the trial to the public and the press.

“This case has been a very difficult chapter in the town’s life and for the individuals involved,” said David Utter, an attorney for another of the Jena 6 defendants who was charged as a juvenile. “My sense is that the district attorney would like to close this chapter now.”

Utter and attorneys for several other Jena 6 defendants confirmed that they were engaged in plea negotiations with the district attorney, heralding a potential conclusion to the controversial case that drew more than 20,000 civil rights protesters to Jena in September and earned the town a portrayal in the national media as a racist backwater.

Of course there are other possibilities. An Op-Ed by Richard Cohen and John Tyre of the Southern Poverty Law Center had already revealed Walters’ record as a hothead, having been previously removed from a case by the Louisiana Supreme Court for threatening a defendant. Defense lawyers said that the evidence they had gathered in order to force Walters and Judge Muffray, (whose verdict against Mychal Bell was overturned as unconstitutional) to recuse themselves would have “embarrassed both men.”

Before Walters made his plea bargain offer, Bell’s attorneys said they had been preparing pre-trial motions seeking to recuse both the prosecutor and Mauffray from the case. The attorneys said evidence contained in those motions would have embarrassed both men.

“A trial would be very bad for the town, very bad for Reed Walters, very bad for anybody in Jena associated with the process, and it could turn out very bad for the defendants as well,” said Alan Bean, head of a small civil rights group called Friends of Justice who was the first activist to call attention to the Jena case. “It had the potential for being a perfect storm in which everybody lost.”

As a result of the plea agreement, Bell could be released as early as June.

There should be no doubt about what has happened here. The people who gathered in Jena on September 20th changed the lives of the Jena Six. This case could have ended like most others do, with six young black men’s lives being tossed away like so much litter, but it didn’t. It didn’t because people were willing to fight for them. The Jena Six aren’t heroes, and that’s actually the point. This could have happened to any one of us. Those of us who spoke up, we spoke up because we recognized that if their rights could be violated, ours could too.

Hat Tip:Skeptical Brotha

Plea Deal Reached for ‘Jena 6′ Teen
Mychal Bell Pleaded Guilty to Second-Degree Battery; He Could Be Released in 8 Months

A black teenager may get out of a juvenile facility in about eight months after a deal was struck Monday with prosecutors in the beating of a white classmate that sparked a major civil rights demonstration amid cries that his treatment was unduly harsh.

Mychal Bell, now 17, originally was charged as an adult with attempted murder in the beating of Justin Barker in December 2006. That charge was reduced before a jury convicted him in June of aggravated second-degree battery. In September, that verdict was thrown out by an appeals court that said Bell should be tried as a juvenile.

Under the deal, Bell pleaded guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery in return for an 18-month sentence with credit for the 10 months he already has served. Without a deal, Bell faced being placed in a juvenile facility until his 21st birthday.

Bell also must pay court costs plus $935 to the Barker family and he must testify truthfully in court if any other of his co-defendants in the Barker beating go to trial.

“This was a way to put a close to an event at a time when everyone had reasons to want it settled,” said Louis Scott, one of Bell’s lawyers.

Bell is one of a group of teens who came to be known as the “Jena Six” as word spread of their arrests on attempted second-degree murder charges, which could have landed them in prison for decades.

“We were prepared to go forward with the trial, but you have to do what’s best for the client,” said Carol Powell Lexing, one of Bell’s attorneys. A juvenile court trial was to begin later this week.

As part of the deal, Bell will undergo counseling and begin to be reintegrated into the school system, his lawyers said.

Rest of article here.

Just reporting. I’m too mad to really comment.

Hat tip: a reader here at Jack and Jill Politics

From Politico.com.

Money quote:

Clinton, who said she supports a federal recommendation for shorter sentences for some people caught with crack cocaine, opposed making those shorter sentences retroactive – which could eventually result in the early release of 20,000 people convicted on drug charges.

“In principle I have problems with retroactivity,” she said. “It’s something a lot of communities will be concerned about as well.”

Hell yeah, how about the communities that have seen their sons, grandsons, cousins, nephews and family friends, go to JAIL for disproportionate sentences since her HUSBAND helped usher in these disproportionate sentences in the first place.

What’s that sound?

Oh yeah,

BLACK FOLK BEING THROWN UNDER THE BUS.

This is a line in the sand, people.

And all those Hillay pushers, who have been mumbling about what ‘positions’ Obama has taken that are in line with the Black community.

Well, HERE YOU GO.

He’s taken plenty of them, but here’s a gimme for you.

You want one, here is one.

Obama is for retroactivity, Clinton IS NOT.

Clear as day for me, and yet ANOTHER reason why I’ll never vote for her.

********************************************************************

This initial post was written in the wee hours of the morning just after I had read about Clinton’s remarks. I haven’t changed my mind, in fact, I woke up pissed over this issue.

I have always had problems with Black Folks’ Loyalty to the Clintons, because, quite frankly, they didn’t deserve it. When the time came to expound any serious political capital on an issue that affected BLACK FOLK, the Clintons were, more often than not, M-I-A.

For those of us who see the Justice System as the ‘ Just-US System’, NOTHING could be a better example than the drug sentencing disparity, which has fallen on racial lines.

We are now on our SECOND GENERATION of Young Black Men being turned into fodder for the Prison Industrial Complex.

Bill Clinton had the opportunity to correct this 1995.

Yes, I said 1995.

Don’t believe me?

Here you go:


WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Clinton rejected the recommendations of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to equalize the penalties for crack and powder cocaine distribution Monday.

In a statement released by the White House, the president also refused the commission’s proposals to reduce the penalties for money laundering.

“I am opposed to both of these changes,” he said in a written statement.

In recent weeks, several black leaders including Jesse Jackson have complained that the penalties for crack cocaine are stiffer than those for powdered cocaine. They have pointed out that crack cocaine users are often inner city black youths while powdered cocaine users usually are more affluent white adults.

But in his statement, Clinton says “Trafficking in crack, and the violence it fosters, has a devastating impact on communities across America, especially inner city communities. Tough penalties for crack trafficking are required because of the effect on individuals and families, related gang activity, turf battles, and other violence.”

Clinton called on the sentencing commission to undertake further review of the penalties for powdered cocaine users.

He says his administration will continue to go “after drug traffickers at every level of their networks.”

1995.

TWELVE YEARS of Young Black Men churning as fodder in the Prison Industrial Complex.

TWELVE YEARS of those lives lost and dismantled.

TWELVE YEARS that simply didn’t need to happen.

Because Bill Clinton threw Black folk UNDER THE BUS.

And now, his wife, as already told you, those of you who have someone toiling under these sentencing laws, or those who care concerned with Racial Disparity in Sentencing, that you can go f($* yourselves.

Don’t give me the 3-6-9 of well, ‘ she’s just saying this to get elected’.

Um, NO.

Not good enough here. Because, she’s willing to throw you under the bus and the PRIMARIES haven’t even happened…

It’s a pretty good indicator of where you will be IF she’s elected.

But, will those Hillary Mumblers find their voices and speak up on this? Or will they simply shuffle along, waiting for their crumbs?

Cross-posted on Brown Iowa

Hey folks,

I’ve been participating in TV One’s blogging experiment for this afternoon’s 2:30pm Democratic presidential forum and put up three posts this week on Clinton, Edwards and Obama. When covering live events, I’ve usually put it in my Twitter, but Wednesday night I was impressed with the live blogging of techpresident, so I decided to give CoverItLive (the service techpresident used) a shot.

You can submit comments throughout, though I have to approve them. I’m embedding the liveblog window at baratunde.com and Jack & Jill Politics. Hopefully comments from both sites show up in the same window. The debate starts at 2:30pm ET. I’ll just be messing around until then, experimenting with the software.

This post is part of our TV One presidential forum blogging set. The focus: Barack Obama.

the marquee

Last night, I visited the Apollo Theatre for the first time, and I felt like I was a part of history, going there to see Senator Barack Obama speak. I’d had a chance to sit in on a small Q & A session with the Senator at YearlyKos and even got a question in, but this was different. This was Harlem.

young bro husslin tees
The setting was intense. I exited the subway at 125th Street at about 7:15pm for the 7pm event. Incense peddlers, t-shirt entrepreneurs and drummers seemed to emanate from every crack in the sidewalk.

TV camera trucks idled with their bright lights. The cameraphones caught a thousand snapshots a second of the vibrant scene. There were flyers for every thing: fundraisers, after parties and of course myriad activists pitching their causes. I saw everything from “Stop Plan Mexico to” to “boycott all Harlem businesses.” (No, I’m not making that up. My friends and I were like “all businesses? Even the incense brothas?”

What really took my breathe away, was the crowd. I walked up to the front of the theatre and picked up my ticket. Then I headed for the back of the line. I walked from mid 125th west to Frederick Douglass. The line continued. Then I walked up to 126th. The line continued. Then I walked east on 126th, and that line continued halfway down the block where it snaked into the parking lot.

All the while I was scanning the faces of the crowd, looking for someone I recognized. What I saw really did amaze me. I saw old black women and young white men. I saw young black professionals and old white couples. And yes, there were Asians and Latinos too. The event held in Harlem, but it played host to all of New York. It was beautiful.

people behind me in line


Toward the end of the line, I finally saw some people I knew. I guess I’m not as VIP as I thought :) As we caught up, joked about the GOP debate and took in the scene, I decided to talk to two older black women about why they were there. Given all the hubbub over black support or reticence around Obama, I had to take this limited sample of two for some firsthand insights.

The women expressed a range of explanations for their Obama support:

“Before I die, I want to see a person of color in the White House.”

“I like him for his deeds.”

For one woman, Hillary Clinton was her second choice. For the other, it was Edwards. For both, what made Obama stand apart was this simple, yet apparently profound fact.

“When he graduated from Harvard Law, he could have gone anywhere, to any corporation in the country, but he chose to go to Chicago and work in the community.”

That’s all she wrote.

chris rock!

The Apollo Theatre is mad small once you get inside, and with a capacity of just 2,000 most of the people who showed up never even made it through security.

There were a number of opening acts including the Harlem Gospel Choir, a few local officials and activists, a young sister playing the funk out of her violin. In the audience I ran into friends from Yearly Kos and am pretty sure I spotted Maureen Dowd. Just as the audience was getting its most restless, around 9pm, State Senator Bill Perkins brought up Professor Cornel West. I was unprepared for the reaction. I know Professor West. He was one of the reasons I was so excited to enter Harvard College back in 1995. He is a long-winded brotha.

West got the most enthusiastic standing ovation I’d seen in a long while. You could feel the crowd enveloping him with a mixture of awe, love and respect. Without planning to, I found myself on my feat, arms raised toward the sky, full of excitement. The preacher / public intellectual did not disappoint.

With his trademark uneven afro, thin black scarf, black three piece suit and verbal dexterity, West brought historical context to the evening, reminding us of the long history of black activists and artists whose words and deeds found a home at the Apollo. He spoke of Obama glowingly:

“It’s not because he’s intelligent and articulate. I expect black folk from Harvard to be articulate. But Barack is also eloquent…”

Most valuable to me was West’s warning not to see in Barack something he is not, a reincarnation of some great black hope from days gone by.

“We don’t expect Alicia Keys to be Sarah Vaughn, and we should not expect Barack Obama to be Frederick Douglass. He is his momma’s son and his daddy’s son…” and, West continued, he is who we need in this country today.

Much to my surprise, and joy, West wrapped it up in record time and started talking about the role of comedians and satirists in society (music to my ears). Then he stunned the crowd by introducing CHRIS ROCK. If the crowd showed Cornel mad love with his ovation, I can’t even describe the outpouring of affection for Chris Rock. You would have thought it was James Brown back for one last show. Incredible.

Rock tossed out some great lines about Bush and his speedy reaction to the California fires. “White people on fire? Bush is there the next day. He was helping put out the California fires with Katrina water.” In his hilarious and truthful way, Rock explained to the audience that he wanted to support Obama before he became president, saying we’d be embarrassed if Barack won but we had decided to support “the white lady.” So true.

Finally, Chris Rock brought ou Obama.

presence

I was listening and watching Obama as closely as the crowd. I wanted to feel what he could do to a room and what the room would give him. Last night, I’d say both sides delivered. I won’t recap all of what he said, but I will focus on the moment in his speech where I became an active supporter. He was talking about health care.

Obama reminded the audience that his own mother died of cancer at age 53 and, in addition to suffering from the disease, she suffered from the dehumanizing struggle forced on her by a broken health care system which had her stressing over her coverage status and employment status and pre-existing conditions and a time when her full energy needed to be devoted to the healing process. It was a short story. It’s one I’ve read about before. But hearing him tell it, I relived my own mother’s passing at age 65 due to colon cancer.

I replayed thoughts of doubt about whether or not she had gotten the best preventive care and checkups that she should have, about how doctors might have missed important signs, about her own distrust of the medical establishment due to its long history of disrespect for black patients in general and older black women in particular.

Obama connected his story to my own in a way which made clear to me that he is very much connected to his own humanity. And, we both missed our mothers in that moment, I cried, and I listened and I was so proud of this man who could reach inside of himself and inside of me and connect our hearts for that moment.

His speech contained several rousing moments such as his proclamation that he would support an annual increase in the living wage “because there should be no such thing as the working poor a country this wealthy.” He reminded us of the differences between himself and Hillary Clinton. One of them asked tough questions before the war started. One of them is running a more grassroots campaign. One of them will not bring a return of the 90s to White House politics. He spoke of the need to defeat the prison industrial complex.

But aside from the moment of our mothers, what resonated most with me was this, and I’ll paraphrase his words:

People often say to me, “Why now? Why not in four more years?” I say to them, “Why wait?” I don’t want to look back four years later, when it’s too late, when the damage we’ve done to our planet is irreversible, when we could have started solving America’s problems much sooner. We can’t afford to wait another moment. There is too much at stake. We need to answer the tough questions now. If we are serious about winning this election, we can’t be afraid to risk losing it.

I agree. Why wait.

Hat Tip: Think On These Things

Rumors and Accusations Cast Shadows on Brown and Black Presidential Forum
by: Chase Martyn
Thursday (11/29)

As Saturday night’s Brown and Black Presidential Forum in Des Moines draws near, concerns have emerged about the way it is being organized. The forum, which is the oldest minority-focused presidential debate in the country, is one of the great traditions of the Iowa Caucuses, but local activists and campaigns have been frustrated by this year’s planning and execution.

The core group helping to organize the forum has been shrunk from previous years, according to Des Moines Realtor and Latino activist Joe Henry, who was involved with the forum in its early years during the 1980s and became involved again during the 2000 election cycle. Henry, who supports Sen. Barack Obama, was not invited to participate in the planning this year.

“It’s pretty evident at this point that both Wayne Ford and Mary Campos — both old friends of mine — have undoubtedly aligned themselves with the Clinton campaign,” he said, “and the smaller, the better, for that.” Campos and Ford, both respected and long-standing activists, founded the forum together in 1984 and continue to operate it as co-chairs. Ford also serves in the Iowa House.

Reached for comment Wednesday afternoon, the two organizers denied any allegations that they were favoring one candidate over others. “I don’t think that question needs an answer,” Ford said. “I am a little insulted that people would even think that,” continued Campos.

Mark Daley, Iowa Communications Director for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign, denied the accusations as well.

Still, concerns exist because of the uncharacteristic exclusivity of the planning for this year’s forum.

Max Cardenas, a Hispanic entrepreneur from Des Moines, was involved in the 2004 Brown and Black Presidential Forum. He told Iowa Independent that he was invited to participate in the planning of that year’s forum a month before it began. In the week preceding it, he was asked to organize one of several community-wide meetings focusing on specific issue areas that were of interest to the minority community. The meetings served as part of the build-up to to the Saturday forum, he said, and they helped to maximize the number of people involved in the discussion before questions were formulated and the forum took place. This year, he was not invited to participate, and there was no indication that any such meetings took place. “That’s unfortunate,” he said.

Although Cardenas admitted he had not seen “concrete evidence” that either Campos or Ford planned to endorse Sen. Hillary Clinton, he noted speculatively that “The guests of Mary Campos [who will be at the Forum with her] are co-chairs of the Clinton campaign.”…………………..

Aside from the concerns raised by past participants about who was included in the planning of the forum and who was excluded, three knowledgeable sources who asked to remain anonymous expressed frustration over the apparent secrecy with which tickets are being distributed.

Rest of article: HERE.

This bothers me for a couple of major reasons.

1. The Clintons pulled this 3-6-9 at an event in Nevada. But, this time, at least the people know about it beforehand.
2. Iowa is a state with such a small minority demographic, this is probably the lone event that even comes close to attempting to address issues of concerns to Blacks and Hispanics.

When I first heard about this event, I was so excited. So much is focused on Iowa and New Hampshire being two of the Whitest States in America. So, when I found out that there was a forum focused on Blacks and Hispanics, I was psyched. I thought that this might be a way to engage those communities, and also show the rest of the country that Iowa does have some diversity, though small.

Now, I get a sour feeling going into it; that the jig is rigged, and that the organizers would allow this event to be sullied and have a question mark thrown over it by dealing in such tactics, well, a pox on them for their lack of judgement. Because, don’t think that folks won’t remember this next time; their credibility will be questioned, and they are creating hard feelings when there didn’t need to be any. Iowa is unlike many states; folks don’t like anything that seems shady or underhanded. They actually frown on it, and when you do it, do expect for people to give the once over before they’ll shake your hand.

I’ll still follow this event, but I won’t be trusting much of anything coming out of it.

I guess the only positive thing about it is that it’s obvious how much the Obama Campaign is scaring them in Iowa.

Cross posted at Brown Iowa.

Sorry — the more extensive coverage we had planned didn’t quite work out. But here’s something to chew on, at least.

So CNN and the Republicans tried hard but glimpses of racism were still to be seen in the recent debate. The debate featured white men talking to white men in front of a white audience (I counted 3 black people in the live crowd, how bout you?) How white was it? Well, neither the Democratic nor the GOP versions of the debates were particularly diverse. Both featured a majority of white men. Only CNN and YouTube can tell us if that actually reflects the demographics of the thousands of videos submitted.

Of 34 total questions aired, 24 were from white men (including 2 cartoon versions) in the GOP debate. That’s 71%. For the Dem debate, counting was a little more challenging since one video aired combined video submissions from several people. Still I’d estimate 22 of 38 questions aired were from white men (I did not count the snowman as white because snow does not have an ethnicity) or 58%.

Further, there were 8 questions shown that featured African-Americans during the Democratic debate and a measly 2 in the GOP debate. Hmm.

Also, strikingly — astonishingly, no questions whatsoever during the GOP debate on:

Healthcare in America
Katrina
Climate Change or Environment
Darfur
Iraq Troop Withdrawal
Afghanistan and Pakistan — Resurgence of the Taliban
Racial Profiling
Voting Machines and Voting Rights
The Failure to Capture Osama bin Laden

I just don’t understand. Particularly the first 5 or 6. These are critical issues. Shame on CNN. Of the 5000 questions submitted, are you really saying that no one asked the Republican candidates about these issues? Or are some of these, like healthcare, Darfur and climate change, questions the chickenshit candidates refused to answer as a condition of participating since most Americans would be disgusted by their answers. Both debates however featuring white guys holding their guns, however. Which is interesting. Also, it seemed to me as if the Dem questions came from more folks living in urban or suburban environment as opposed to rural or ex-urban America.

Most Racist:

Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter and their giant border fences. Because the Berlin Wall worked sooo well, let’s build one here! Come on now, y’all.

Mitt Romney and his disingenuous Bush-like sneering and smirking about prouding wanting to deny high-performing long term resident illegal immigrants who want to become U.S. citizens help to go to college. Or referencing Bill Cosby while discussing black-on-black crime. Or shrugging while saying he just doesn’t question the citizenship of people working at his home even if they look different from him or have an accent. Jerk. Could Romney have been more condescending in answering the black on black crime question in talking about black fathers? No, I don’t think so.

Least Racist:

In response to this excellent and well-phrased question from a brother, Mike Huckabee who touted the high percentage of African-Americans who voted for him in Arkansas (48%!) and said why — it had to do with appointments and employment, with special programs designed to help African-Americans with healthcare issues impacting us disproportionately and being in the community long before the Oct prior to an election. Then he shocked me and broke it down for the ignorant hillbillies of his party, saying with what sounded like earnest passion, concern and frustration:

“Our party had better reach out, not just to African-Americans, but to Hispanics and and to all people in this country. I don’t want to be a part of a Republican party that is a tiny, minute and ever decreasing party but one that touches every American, top to bottom, regardless of race.”

Now you might think that a stirring, visionary message like that would be received by resounding applause and a standing ovation. Well, you could hear the crickets chirping out behind those hillbillies’ outhouses and the head/ass-scratching of confusion…Sad, really.

Runner-up for Least Racist:

Fred Thompson in response to the question on the confederate flag. I was actually heartened that at least one person really got it from the African-American point of view. Fred, you get a partially raised black gloved Fist of Justice from me at least on that question. Just partially, though.

UPDATE: Latasha Norman’s body was found and an arrest has been made. Story HERE.

Hat Tip and Article:African American Political Pundit

Where is Latasha Norman?

Why is it that when a white college student disappear the white media will go across the globe looking for her. When a black college student disappears. The white media shuts it down. Bridget Johnson at Pajama Media notes “For every Chandra Levy, Laci Peterson, Elizabeth Smart or Natalee Holloway, there are dozens more victims whose cases go ignored by the media.” She goes on to ask” if some lives – those of the cute, white, female, wealthy and preferably blond – are worth more than others.” More HERE

Even the Chief of Police says the her case is ignored because of her race.

Where is Latasha Norman?

This is the case involving Jackson State university (JSU) student Latasha Norman. More HERE.

The Jackson State University Department of Public Safety, Jackson Police Department and Hinds County Sheriff’s Department are continuing the search for missing JSU student Latasha Norman.

Latasha, a junior, has been missing since approximately 2:20 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13.

The 20-year-old accounting major from Greenville, Miss., is of medium-brown complexion, stands approximately 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs between 115 and 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing a white shirt and blue jeans.

To report information regarding Latasha’s whereabouts, call 601-960-1210 0r 601-960-1234

Look What You Did

29 Nov 2007

I blame all the enthusiastic YouTubers of the original ‘Chocolate Rain’ for this.

And no, I will never forgive you.

I don’t know how any journalist can sleep at night after writing an article legitimizing a falsehood under the pretense of simply “reporting that the rumors are out there.”

Despite his denials, rumors and e-mails circulating on the Internet continue to allege that Obama (D-Ill.) is a Muslim, a “Muslim plant” in a conspiracy against America, and that, if elected president, he would take the oath of office using a Koran, rather than a Bible, as did Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the only Muslim in Congress, when he was sworn in earlier this year.

In campaign appearances, Obama regularly mentions his time living and attending school in Indonesia, and the fact that his paternal grandfather, a Kenyan farmer, was a Muslim. Obama invokes these facts as part of his case that he is prepared to handle foreign policy, despite having been in the Senate for only three years, and that he would literally bring a new face to parts of the world where the United States is not popular.

“Despite his denials”??? Don’t you mean despite the fact that the rumor isn’t true?

Presenting it as all a matter of opinion and perspective, rather than a matter of truth and lies allows this reporter to eschew all manner of responsibility for repeating what is a patently false charge about a presidential candidate. The media can’t bring itself to look closely at Rudy Giuliani’s use of city money to fund his affairs or his ties to mobster Bernie Kerik, but it sure as hell can find time to give equal weight to anonymous chain emails and debunked smears from Right wing publications. Romney can imply support for population based ethnic quotas in his cabinet, but don’t expect the MSM to pick it up the way it picks up conspiracy theories on Right Wing Message Boards.

An early rumor about Obama’s faith came from Insight, a conservative online magazine. The Insight article said Obama had “spent at least four years in a so-called madrassa, or Muslim seminary, in Indonesia.” It attributed this detail to background information the Clinton campaign had been collecting.

After Obama denied the rumor, Jeffrey Kuhner, Insight’s editor, said Obama’s “concealment and deception was to be the issue, not so much his Muslim heritage,” and he suggested that the source of the madrassa rumor was the Clinton campaign. The Clinton campaign denied the charge.

The article notes that Insight accused Obama of hiding his ‘Muslim ties,’ but doesn’t note that Obama wrote about living in Indonesia in his autobiography as well as writing that his father, while born a Muslim, was an atheist by the time Barack was born.

You know where I put something that I don’t want anyone to find out about me? In my bestselling autobiography.

Hey Mr. Perry Bacon Jr., as long as you’re going to report on the rumor, you might want to report on the fact that CNN debunked it days later by visiting the very school Insight had claimed was a “Muslim Seminary”.

On the January 22 edition of CNN’s The Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer aired a report “to debunk a possible smear campaign against Senator Barack Obama” and said that, by “check[ing] out the fact,” CNN was acting “as a serious news organization should do.” The report by CNN correspondent John Vause, visited “Barack Obama’s elementary school in Jakarta” and stated that he’s “been to madrassas in Pakistan, and this school is nothing like that.” (The report did not address the charge that Clinton was behind the story.)

Apparently the Washington Post isn’t a serious news organization. Ironically, Insight’s original coverage of the Obama/Madrassa rumors took the same angle, they claimed to be reporting that the rumors existed, not that they were true.

But since we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that none of the allegations surrounding Obama’s religious background are true, you would expect an article on said allegations to acknowledge that. But it doesn’t.

The article mentions that the allegations are on Snopes…

Another e-mail, on a site called Snopes.com that tracks Internet rumors, starts, “Be careful, be very careful.” It notes that “Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim,” and that “since it is politically expedient to be a Christian when you are seeking political office in the United States, Obama joined the United Church of Christ to help purge any notion that he is still a Muslim.”

…But doesn’t mention that even Snopes says they’re false.

Also, last time I checked, the Constitution of the United States of America said that there should be no religious test for public office. I wasn’t aware that not only are those running for president subject to a religious test, but all of the members of their extended family are as well.

But hey, maybe Mr. Bacon is just like Joe Klein, and doesn’t have the time nor the mental faculties to figure out what the facts are before he reports on them.


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Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell

Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris

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