Tag Archives: racism

Shocker! Republican Leadership Is Racist!!

27 Dec

John "Chip" Saltsman, campaign manager for Former Arkansas Gov. and Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, attends a Little Rock, Ark., news conference, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2007. From AP Photo by Danny Johnston.

(Mr. Chip Saltsman, self-appointed polical satire expert and apparently a bit of a douchebag)

There’s an old saying that you might have heard in a mafia movie somewhere along the line.  It goes like this “the fish stinks from the head.”  What it means is that if an organization has troubles or problems functioning properly, you can be sure that the people at the top are part of the problem.

On Friday, we found out that the old saying certainly applies to the troubled Republican Party.  Back in Karl Rove’s day, the GOP was quite effective in getting elected by going negative.  Unfortunately for Rove’s party and America, when you run an almost entirely negative campaign, you end up polarizing the country and being unable to govern effectively.

The fact is that to truly cause change in any direction, it’s not enough to define strongly what you’re against.  You’ve actually got to stand for something.  Both Barack Obama and Rick Warren seem to understand that and as a result, despite their political differences, they see the advantages of aligning with each other for the inauguration ceremony.

Unfortunately, for rank and file Republicans (many of whom actually believe in stuff and are not racists), the GOP leadership is still stuck in the negative mindset.

This past Friday it was reported that Chip Saltsman, a Tennessee Republican who is running for the top spot of the Republican National Committee, sent RNC members a special Christmas gift, the gift of racism and negativity.  Nice holiday spirit all round, Chipster!

 The CD, which is titled “We Hate America” includes a song “Barack the Magic Negro” set to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon”.  Apparently the song has been played on Rush Limbaugh’s very negative radio show since 2007 and according to the Saltsman, it’s clearly political satire. 

You know what?  I’m willing to buy that.  If that was the only song on the CD that veered into hate mongering territory than I’d be happy to believe that Saltsman is just a fun loving guy who enjoys a good political satire, even when set to a lame song like “Puff The Magic Dragon.”

Then, I found out that the rest of the “We Hate America” CD  includes songs such as “John Edwards’ Poverty Tour,” “Wright place, Wrong  Pastor,” “Love Client #9,” “Ivory and Ebony” and “The Star Spanglish Banner”.   
Hmmmmm….  Sure they all have catchy beats, but….
Not being completely naive, it seems to me that whoever wrote this CD and whoever would feel comfortable enough to send it around to their friends, might just have a problem with African Americans and Spanish people.  The CD title along with their song titles reflects a great deal of negativity and fear.  It’s all about what someone is against.  It’s all about who someone is against.  It’s not the kind of CD anyone should be proud to share or defend as political satire.
But remember, Mr. Chip Saltsman isn’t just no one.  He was the national campaign manager for Mike Huckabee’s presidential campain  AND he’s currently running for the head of the RNC!  Is this who ordinary Republicans want  leading their way?
And what does it say about the atmosphere among Republican leadership when Saltsman felt so comfortable sharing the CD with other top Republican leaders?  This is why the GOP is stuck in negativity and hate.
This is why I will continue to hope Barack Obama proves to be the real deal and governs by standing for something and giving us something to rally toward rather than rally against.
As for the GOP, rank and file Republicans should do America and their party a favor and chop the head off of their stinking fish…

No One Wants To Face It, But America Isn’t As Racist As She Used To Be (Despite What Al Sharpton Thinks)!

3 Jul

I was listening to a recent broadcast of Al Sharpton’s radio show.  He was speaking with a guest and during the conversation the topic turned to racism.  I’m not a frequent listener of Rev. Sharpton, but I’m guessing racism coming up was not a completely unusual event on his show.

Regardless, the conversation got pretty interesting.  It went something like this.  Basically, with Barack Obama standing a good chance of being America’s next President and at minimum having made it to the top of a major party ticket, it was stated that many people would take that as a sign of progress on racial tolerance and attitudes.

I think it was Sharpton or his guest (not totally sure) who then advanced the idea that if Sharpton and other activists weren’t making their efforts, that society would backslide.  Basically, the point was that it’s not so much that American attitudes have changed, but that activists have made those assumed ugly attitudes less acceptable for public expression.

Sharpton’s assumption based on his statements is that America is as racist as ever just more politically correct.  The thinking is  the hate is still as deep, but people now know not to express it in “mixed company”.  It was a great window into his thought process as well as a proposal that deserved some serious consideration.

So, America, I considered the question.  No need to thank me.  After all, America, you’ve given me and my family a lot.

Anyway, here’s what I think.

I think Sharpton is wrong and right – mostly wrong.  Here’s where he’s right.  Everyone has biases.  We probably (for better or worse) wouldn’t be human without them.  And he’s right that there’s still a lot of racism and still a lot of progress yet to be made.

Where Sharpton is very wrong is that progress has been made.  Significant progress.  So much so that people haven’t been able to adjust their world views yet to what’s really changed.  Yes, you have your racists who now know not to be so public about it.

But, guess what?  You also have a ton of people who really don’t on a conscience level subscribe to or believe in racist (or for that matter sexist) theories.  The immediate proof IS in fact the success of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in this campaign season.

The pundits, the men on the street, many of them said early on that in America in 2008 a woman or an African American COULD NOT be elected president.  They are dead wrong.  They were wrong then.  And they are wrong now.

I, happily for myself & society (there I go again thinking about you, America), have been 100% right on the question from day one.  I have consistently maintained either an African American or a woman could be our next president, but it had to be the right African American or right woman.  Just like it takes the right Caucasian male to get elected president.  Not any pale, penis owner can win the presidency.  You’ve got to have all the goods.

In my judgement, Hillary didn’t have the goods.  I felt Barack did.  Whether he will win or not, I don’t know.  Surely, his race will play a role for some people when choosing whether to either vote for or against him.  I’m not saying we’ve cured the problem.

What I am saying is that America is a lot further along than any of us might have dared to believe.  This is a great thing.  It just take a little while for everyone’s world views to catch up.

After all, in my opinion, for Reverend Sharpton at least the status quo is doing OK by him.  He’s got a radio show, a secure (and priviledged) place in society and I’m thinking some decent bucks.

So, why would he be in a hurry to accept change?

Ask yourself that, America, as you check out the bonus Sharpton pic below.  May James Brown rest in peace.



Is An “All Black” Staff the Key to Byron Scott’s Success?

10 Apr

I was listening to ESPN radio host Stephen A. Smith recently interviewing NBA head coach Byron Scott.  For those of you who keep up with this space, you know that I’m kind of a Scott fan.  As a former fan of New Jersey’s Nets, I look back on the Scott years with fondness.  Brooklyn is welcome to take the Nets away whenever they can scrape up the cash to tow them out of the impound lot.

Anyway, there I am listening to Smith when he asks Scott about the fact that he has an “all Black” coaching staff.  Smith wondered if that was helping Scott produce the terrific year he’s getting out of  the New Orleans Hornets.  The coach answered yes. 

In his own affirmative action, Scott said he purposely put together an all African American coaching staff when he got a shot with New Orleans because he felt that former players who were African American would relate better to today’s NBA players.

I must admit to a few reactions.  First, a certain smugness.  I’ve sometimes wondered if having a staff that heavily reflects the backgrounds of the players they coach would help a team do better.  According to Scott, it does and I’m right.  Always a nice feeling, by the way.

Second, I was kind of shocked Scott would come right out and say he purposely hired only Black men.  I couldn’t help but think that he was leaving himself and the organization open for some law suits.  Picture an NHL executive admitting publicly that he put together an all white staff to relate better to his largely all white team and I think you can see how that might spark some outrage if not legal action.

Finally, I was a bit confused.  What does this say about our society at the very time we’re busy trying to get the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds to just get along?  Clearly African Americans haven’t been given the kinds of opportunities that white coaches have even in sports in which the players are now largely non-white.  African Americans have been shafted historically.   So, it’s hard for me to get worked up about Scott’s statement. 

And yet, something won’t let me let it go completely.  Is Scott throwing out the idea that sports ultimately is colorblind and based only on performance come game time?  Why shouldn’t people be able to coach even if they don’t look or come from the same background as the people they are teaching?

Ultimately, I guess I wanted Byron Scott to allow for the possibility that he might find a white guy who could relate to his players and teach them effectively despite their differences in background.

For me, a mostly but not entirely African American coaching staff would feel like the best mix for an NBA team these days.  After all, Byron Scott, somebody’s got to relate to the Peja Stojakovic’s…