Archive for racism

Another CA city sues over voting rights law


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.



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


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


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


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


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


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.


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.