Archive for racism

Another CA city sues over voting rights law

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voter suppression voting rights

Voting rights, schmoting rights. Who needs 'em in this post-racial day and age? We've clearly evolved, says the Supreme Court. Says Republicans. Says anyone who doesn't want Democrats to have voting rights. After all, if you can't win on the merits of your arguments, on your policies (or lack thereof), your talent, or on your powers of persuasion, then hey, cheat.

It's the 'Murican way!

the american way

Unless, of course, you get called out. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the city of Bellflower, right here in my home state of California, is getting sued. Why? Voting rights are being violated... allegedly:

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and two law firms filed a Superior Court complaint Monday afternoon, on behalf of three minority Bellflower residents alleging the city is in violation of the California Voting Rights Act.

The act seeks to ensure that minorities have an opportunity to elect leaders of their choice.  The suit alleges that Bellflower's practice of electing council members citywide instead of by geographic districts has hindered Latino and African American candidates.

The plaintiffs said they have found patterns of racially polarized voting in the southeast Los Angeles County city of about 77,000. They want the city to switch to by-district elections to give voters in strongly minority neighborhoods an opportunity to elect at least one representative to the City Council.

What? Restricting the rights of not-white voters? In this day and age of GOP outreach? Don't be ridiculous...

It's not like Bellflower's population is 66% Latino and African American, but the council members are monochromatically pale. Come on.

Bellflower's population is 52% Latino and 14% African American, according to the city's website.  All five council members are white.

Oh.

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Anti-immigrant letter: "Our land is full. The invitation wasn't for forever."

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misspelled amnesty sign anti-immigrant

Undocumented immigrants are not "illegals." They are people. Unfortunately, all too many other anti-immigrant "people" don't treat them as fellow human beings. They treat them as though they were diseased animals (and have even used that word to describe them), or worse. It sickens me, and it should sicken you.

Ironically, it was GW Bush who signed law protecting young migrants, but, hey... #BlameObama. Ironically squared: Those who demand an English-only America can't spell worth beans. See image above.

The Los Angeles Times letters to the editor included a couple from anti-immigrant writers that I ordinarily wouldn't share with you, but they got under my skin, so here they are. I added my two cents, because, as I always say, our voices matter. First, though, there's a letter that makes sense. The next two, not so much:

There's irony in the descendants of Europeans in North America, which was stolen from natives who had been here for centuries, reacting angrily to "immigrants" moving north. These native North Americans are coming back to their land.

Renee Veale, Pasadena

..

Two letter writers urge "compassion" for the illegal immigrants flooding our borders and condemn the protesters in Murrieta. I have a challenge for both of them. ("Murrieta's anti-immigrant protesters could learn something from Lady Liberty," Letters, July 3)

My daughter is a single working mom raising my granddaughter. They live in a rented condo in Costa Mesa. Money is tight for them.

I ask each of these compassionate letter writers to send me their addresses. I will go check out their residences, and if they are better than my daughter's, I will have my granddaughter break in so she can have a better life using their homes and amenities.

I am sure people imploring us to be compassionate will jump at the chance to show my daughter compassion.

John C. Vita, Huntington Beach

One: Um, Mr. Vita (an Italian name, I take it?), they're not "illegal immigrants." They're people. Do you refer to Nixon as an "illegal president"?

Two: Did your daughter get raped and/or abused on her way to her residence? I sincerely hope not.

Three: And this concludes another episode of "Really Bad Analogies!" (h/t: The Stephanie Miller Show) brought to you by John C. Vita of Huntington Beach.

..

More than a century ago, when America needed labor to build its cities and farmers to till its soil, the Statue of Liberty raised its lamp to encourage ambitious, creative, eager, industrious immigrants to come to our shores. Emma Lazarus wrote a noble invitation to these immigrants, a poem that one letter writer quoted extensively.

The invitation was not and is not the law of the land.

The immigrants came. Our land is full. The invitation wasn't for forever.

Our country cannot support the wretched refuse of every country of every continent in perpetuity, and neither Lazarus nor Statue of Liberty sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi intended for that to happen.

Ermanno Signorelli, Mar Vista Crest

"Wreched refuse," Mr. Signorelli (an Italian name, I take it?)? Somehow I don't think Emma Lazarus meant to imply that immigrants are people that this country doesn't accept. In fact, including the words "wretched refuse," "she saw a way to express her empathy for these refugees." By suggesting the opposite (after all, you didn't put her words in quotes), that struggling human beings are contemptible, repulsive, sleazy trash, you took on the very traits you attributed to those you hate.

"Our country cannot support the wretched refuse of every country..." But some countries are acceptable? Just not the ones in which brown people reside. AmIright?

"Our land is full." Only when it comes to intolerance and exclusion, Ermanno. Sadly, the U.S. has way more than enough of those. Your letter proves that.

"When America needed labor..." Psst! Ermanno! We still do. Some of our finest were born in other countries.

"Encourage ambitious, creative, eager, industrious immigrants to come to our shores..." We do. And how do you tell the unambitious, uncreative, uneager, unindustrious ones from the others? Doesn't every person have the potential to be successful? And if someone is less ambitious or creative or successful, does that disqualify them somehow? How many lazy, untalented, passive Americans do you know? I've met quite a few. Should we deport them?

"The invitation wasn't forever." Someone please direct me to the "give me your tired, your poor" expiration date. The Statue of Liberty seems to have torched it.

statue of liberty give me your tired your poor

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Conference caller: "Black people harvested cotton," Cochran “harvesting black votes”

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thad cochran farm animals

Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran's resurrection, er, re-election campaign has further devolved into something nearly unrecognizable. As Rachel Maddow reminds us, the Cochran v. Chris McDaniel primary spectacle has been one of the most bizarre in recent memory. And it just got weirder. Call it Conference Caller Unplugged Unhinged.

But first, your Moment of Maddow:

Recently, there was a conference call held for the national media to address a lawsuit challenging the primary runoff results for the GOP nomination. It was a pretty big call, with nearly 80 participants hopping on the line. On that call was Austin Barbour, a Cochran campaign adviser. He was trying to fend off charges of double-voting-- "people who voted in the Democratic primary and then voted for Cochran in the Republican primary runoff"-- and said this, per Roll Call:

"The time has certainly come in our minds for the McDaniel campaign and their allies to either put up or shut up.”

And then an unidentified conference caller, who was not a reporter, crashed the party and spit up this little morsel:

That person repeatedly said that “black people harvested cotton” and accused the Cochran campaign of “harvesting black votes.” Barbour asked him to stop multiple times, saying he would answer questions from anyone at the end of his statement. [...]

Finally, Barbour apologized and announced he was ending the call, telling national press that they had the contact information for the campaign if they had any questions.

At that point, someone who was possibly a reporter, interrupted to try to keep Barbour on the line. Barbour cut the line.

Then things got even more out of control...

With the Cochran campaign people gone, callers on the line broke into an argument...

... and even more outrageous:

Thirty minutes after the call ended, the call line was still open. Someone was using a soundboard of President Barack Obama’s voice saying “Hey! What’s up?” Someone else was playing the audio from the movie “Animal House.”

Republicans just can't help themselves.

Stay tuned for Mystery Conference Caller, the Sequel, coming to a blog near you!

eating their own

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Marc Lamont Hill on the Non-Existence of Post-Racism

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who are these people
Fantastic group out in social media called "We survived Bush, You'll survive Obama". Brings a big grin every time I see them post a doozie, because it's something you'd image Socrates saying to an angst-ridden group of students at his feet … bemoaning the perfidy of leadership.

The folks that brought you Creationism also think we are in a Post Racial/Racist/Racism world. Not that the GOP wasn't full on taking advantage of race in politics already, the Tea Party and Citizens United and other SCROTUS Regressive decisions just upped their game in terms of legal camouflage.

Marc Lamont Hill is well aware that politics has become blood sport in 21st century America, not that it was ever a Cotillion. One look at John-John Kennedy Junior staunchly saluting the crowd as his Mama had told him he must, and we Dems recall precisely how high the stakes are for helping Everyman in the U.S.A.

screwedyouall

As Laffy so often points our here at the Carnival, the Regressive, ridiculous Right takes every chance, and 'creates' the ones that don't arrive honestly, to Blame the Black Guy. If you think that is liberal whining, allow us to disabuse you of that misunderstanding.

CNN had a panel on Newsroom that went at it directly: Is the President Always To Blame? The incredible Marc Lamont Hill was on hand to debate the role of race and the Tea Party with Ben Ferguson, as he has done in the past with Bill O'Reilly (vid below) and Hill's passion and reason led to a look at a remarkable address he just gave at NCORE.

I'd choose any five minutes you have to jump in, enjoy. It's a lot of wisdom from a youngish man, and he opened with sadness from Maya Angelou's recent passing. If you have to bookmark it for time constraints, come on back.

Lamont famously took on Ann Coulter about who is allowed to use the N Word on CNN, earlier this season.

And just because it is so fun to watch O'Reilly get hammered, Here's Marc Lamont Hill explaining Tea Party racism to BillO.

hypocrisy-1

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Head of Detroit Civil Rights and Ethics Division possible victim of racial profiling (VIDEO)

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welcome to detroit

detroit portia roberson shopping while black

Detroit has its issues. In fact, Detroit has major issues. Take their mass water shut-off, for example:

A right-wing state and corporate push to cut off water is economic shock therapy at its most ruthless and racist, but resistance is growing.

Anyone notice the word "racist" in that quote? Hey, me too! Guess what? Here it comes again...

Portia Roberson is African American. Apparently, shopping while black is a no-no in Detroit.

Via Think Progress:

Portia Roberson is an attorney, a former prosecutor, and a former Obama Administration official who worked in the Justice Department and the White House. She currently heads the Civil Rights and Ethics Division for the city of Detroit. Yet, when she walked into a Talbots clothing store last Sunday to return some clothes and try on new ones, a member of the store’s staff looked at her and somehow saw a shoplifter.

Pretty ironic, considering she heads a civil rights agency.

irony4

Here's what Ms. Roberson wrote on her Facebook page:

When I exit the fitting room, I'm confronted by two GP police officers who ask to search my bag and ask me if I have any merchandise in the bag. I tell them to go ahead and search and point out the items and the receipt. He (the officer) tells me it is clear that someone made a mistake and then takes my bag to the store manager to point out that everything that I have in my possession, I have purchased...

The manager’s explanation was that she had asked the police to do a walk around the store because it was so busy (four customers, including me) however I pointed out to her that after searching me, they left without searching anyone else.

She added that she felt "embarrassed" and "shaken." Or to put it another way, racially profiled and targeted.

Maybe she can take her case all the way to the Supreme Court, where they'll rule that Talbot's corporate religious beliefs justified their racist actions.

Video courtesy of WXYZ.

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Big Brother cast member: Pres. Obama is a "Muslim monkey"

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big brother racism

Yes, I admit it, I watch Big Brother and have since Season One. Sue me. Mr. Laffy and I have no idea why we started, considering we're not fans of reality [sic] shows... which is ironic, because Mr. Laffy writes/produces reality shows. (Before you ask how one writes an unscripted show: He writes host dialog and figures out how to whittle down over 300 hours of footage to create a storyline for a 41-minute show.) So anyway.

Last year Big Brother had, erm, issues. Racist issues. Nasty ones. Ugly ones. Involving two blonde women targeting their fellow African American, Asian, and gay house guests. It was not easy to watch, the viewer backlash was loud and clear, and they both got fired from their jobs. But one of them came in second and was rewarded for her on-air behavior with thousands of dollars, despite her vile conduct.

Clearly, CBS, squirming amid the uncomfortable howls of protest, has learned a thing or two and is making every attempt to improve the screening process of this season's contestants.

The Los Angeles Times:

Absent in the promotion of the new season however has been any mention of the elephant in the "Big Brother" living room — the racist and homophobic comments that clouded last season, but did bolster ratings.

Key words: Bolster ratings.

In TV land, ratings are everything. Without ratings, shows go to TV Heaven (or Hell, depending on the show), with some exceptions of course. But CBS knows better than to repeat this particular mistake, especially one that was so egregiously offensive. Right?

But already a similar controversy is heating up. Fan websites discovered this week homophobic and racially inflammatory comments on social media from new cast member Caleb Reynolds, an "adventure hunting guide" who lives in Hopkinsville, Ky. In commentary on his Instagram account, Reynolds referred to President Obama as a "Muslim monkey" and used an anti-gay slur.

CBS's response? No comment. No comment about whether Racist Caleb will be a house guest. No comment about whether they knew about his disgusting racist, bigoted "commentary." Only silence, per the L.A. Times.

I guess they're weighing whether boosting the number of more rubbernecking viewers and spiking media coverage trump prejudice and hatred. That should be an easy choice. If CBS has to mull this one, then Big Brother will be evicted from my house.

big brother eviction

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Top AZ school official: Ban Spanish! "This is America! I'm not being racist."

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misspell10 no Spanish Please note the spelling

Meet John Huppenthal, an Arizona school official. A top Arizona school official. Keyword: School. Where he was responsible for the "public instruction" of, you know, impressionable kids.  Apparently, Mr. Responsible isn't fond of the Spanish language, which is likely spoken by many of the impressionable kids at the schools he oversees. Translated into his version of English that means, "You are not welcome here, brown people." To quote Superintendent Big Tent, "This is America. Speak English."

How so American of him. Give me your tired, your poor, your English Only. Your white. Your Republican.

What was that about America being a melting pot again?

melting pot

noun

1. a pot in which metals or other substances are melted or fused.

2. a country, locality, or situation in which a blending of races, peoples, or cultures is taking place.

KTVK:

Pressure on the state's top school official to resign continued to mount Monday as more anonymous blog posts from John Huppenthal emerged.

Using an online alias, the superintendent of public instruction posted several comments on a conservative-leaning website calling for no Spanish language in the state.

In one post Huppenthal wrote, "We all need to stomp out balkanization. No Spanish radio stations, no Spanish billboards, no Spanish TV stations, no Spanish newspapers. This is America, speak English."

Not offensive enough? How's this? Superintendent Racist went on to say that he "doesn't mind" if Mexican food is sold, as long as the menus "are mostly in English."

Anyone know the English word for tamale? Or tortilla? Or burrito? Or a**hole, for that matter. I'm guessing El Pollo Loco may have issues with Señor Huppenthal, what with the name of the entire chain being so unAmericanly Spanishly balkanized and such.

And how about that First Amendment freedom of speech and press thing that conservatives rely on so often, right Sup. "patriot"? M.I.A. How exactly does he justify shutting down TV stations and newspapers that fall under that constitutionally protected right? Silly me, I forgot. IOKIYAR:

IOKIYAR

Señor Gilipollas then displayed a total lack of self-awareness when he followed all of that up with:

"And, I'm not being humorous or racist."

Well, he was half right. He sure isn't funny.

All these statements were made in 2010, and as reported above, under a pseudonym. Did I mention he also called welfare recipients "lazy pigs"? Project much, Hup?

Go here for more details and reaction.

misspell8Please note the spelling

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