Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
Re “Redskins: No harm, no foul,” Opinion, Oct. 15
In response to my remarks on NBC about the Washington Redskins team name controversy, Jonah Goldberg writes of his love and respect for words. So why then play so fast and loose with them?
Goldberg twice refers to my comments as a “tirade.” I defy any fair-minded person to view the two-minute piece in its entirety and find anything in its tone or content that remotely resembles a tirade. He later refers to my “crusade.” How does addressing a prominent football-related issue one time on the very night Washington was playing on NBC qualify as a crusade?
Goldberg writes: “It strains credulity to believe the team name was intentionally pejorative, or that fans or ownership see it that way today.” I went out of my way to stipulate that very thing. Or don't the words I actually used matter if they get in the way of whatever point Goldberg is trying to make in this case?
Goldberg is usually cogent, but we all have our blind spots and hot buttons. For Goldberg, it is the tendency to see liberal boogeymen lurking behind every issue. Always. Yet I clearly delineated the difference between the often silly politically correct objections to other team names and the singularly objectionable “Redskins.”
Every dictionary I have consulted has defined “redskins” with words such as “offensive,” “insulting,” “pejorative” and “derogatory.” No such words are part of the definition of Braves, Chiefs, Warriors or any other team name associated with Native Americans. One would think a professed lover of words like Goldberg would appreciate that clear and compelling distinction, and recognize that many of those who have problems with the name Redskins are motivated not by liberalism or political correctness but by common sense and common decency.
Goldberg misses the point. As a mixed-blood Muscogee and former chairman of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission, I can tell you that the term “redskin” is never used by American Indians to describe ourselves. It is a term popularized by whites and almost always used in a pejorative sense.
More than 20 years after the NBA's Baltimore Bullets moved to Washington, it was felt that the name “Bullets” sent the wrong message; the team became the Washington Wizards in 1997. Likewise, “Redskins” sends the wrong message, especially for a team located in the nation's capital.
By the way, Goldberg's assertion that he is offended by the Philadelphia Eagles being the namesake of the National Recovery Administration's Blue Eagle symbol is both historically correct and profoundly silly.
Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:
Because the "Stand Your Ground" law is all about race. Thom Hartmann has best described this in articles in Truthout that historically tie cruel and often murderous white militias that pursued runaway slaves to the current Florida law (which has also been enacted in other states). The first column "The Second Amendment was Ratified to Preserve Slavery"...begins with essential historical perspective:
The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says "State" instead of "Country" (the Framers knew the difference - see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too....
After a detailed historical recounting of the Second Amendment compromise to placate the slave holding states, Hartmann concludes:
Little did Madison realize that one day in the future weapons-manufacturing corporations, newly defined as "persons" by a Supreme Court some have called dysfunctional, would use his slave patrol militia amendment to protect their "right" to manufacture and sell assault weapons used to murder schoolchildren.
So Trayvon Martin is dead because he followed the letter of the racist ALEC-NRA "license to murder law" and protected himself against an unstoppable, insatiable deadly force: George Zimmerman. But "Stand Your Ground" laws aren't meant to give blacks the same rights as non-blacks; quite the opposite, they are, as they did in the case of George Zimmerman, meant to give whites (or half-whites in this case) the right to pursue blacks with impunity.
Historically, if we go back to the founding and expansion of what is now the United States, if there had been a legal entity existing at that time, Native Americans (as the illustration for this article points out) would have been entitled to stand their ground against the colonizers from Europe who were stealing their land and massacring them.
We would be subject to Native American law right now if indigenous tribes had had the right to stand their ground as European conquerors expanded westward, creating what is now the United States.
There would have been no development of the Southern tyranny and abomination of slavery, which imported Africans as property and the source of wealth for aristocratic plantation owners.
There would have likely, ironically, been no "Stand Your Ground" laws aimed at de facto allowing the murder of non-whites as BuzzFlash at Truthout wrote about in a July 6 column, "It's Not Just George Zimmerman on Trail, It's America's Acceptance of Killing 'the Other'."
Please read the entire post here.
At a a hearing about a Kansas statute that allows children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at public universities, Native American Rep. Ponka-We Victors (D-Wichita) went after anti-immigrant, Secretary of State Kris Kobach. That would be the same Kobach who wrote state laws like SB 1070 in Arizona and another in Alabama.
Via the Topeka Capital-Journal has this stand-out quote from the state representative:
“I think it’s funny Mr. Kobach, because when you mention illegal immigrant, I think of all of you."
How's that shoe feel on the other foot, Mr. Kobach?
Wednesday's hearing on House Bill 2192 would have repealed a nearly 10-year-old statute that allows students who graduate from Kansas high schools and have lived in Kansas for at least three years to pay in-state tuition at state universities and community colleges, regardless of residency status.
Kobach, a lightning-rod for controversy on immigration issues, told the committee federal law conflicts with that statute.
He quote: “U.S. citizens should always come first when it comes to handing out government subsidies.”
Guess whose quote got applause. Hint: It wasn't Kobach's.
How's that reachy-outy thing workin' for ya, GOP?
Via Think Progress (follow the link for more):
[B]y a vote of 286 to 138, the House passed the bipartisan Senate-approved version of the bill — one that includes added protections for LGBT, Native American, and undocumented victims of domestic violence. All 138 votes against the bill were Republicans.
Again, all 138 votes against the bill were Republicans.
Here's a comment under lwdgrfx's earlier post Voting Against the Violence Against Women Act Must Mean That You’re For Violence Against Women:
Perhaps the bill contains other language that is unconstitutional and gives the government power it isnt entitled to, and once again, the liberals hide it in "feel good" legislation!
Like what? Protecting LGBT? Native Americans? *gasp!* Undocumented immigrants? So Farmgirl thinks it's okay to abuse some women?
Yes, this law does does protect without discrimination. Ooo, scary! And you know what? We libs feel awfully good about legislation like that. What a shame Farmgirl doesn't. Her "perhaps" delusion is only surpassed by her paranoia.
She added this:
If you allow Tribal police to start arresting whites, they lose their sovereignty, and will become irrelevant and the whites will begin to usurp our tribal authority, distressing speech will become a federal offense, and you will begin nationalizing state business. You make a very shortsighted argument for very long range consequences.
Pot. Kettle. Shortsighted.
Occasionally a flurry of stories about a single politician bubbles up, and the asshatitude is simply too overwhelming to write up each one individually. Hence, this list. Feel free to browse through as I try to cleanse my palate and steel myself to tackle the next loony batch:
Uh oh... watch out. I sense more GOP flurries lurking out there... stay tuned...
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