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zootliberal On February - 10 - 2011

While reading an article posted on Crooks and Liars about the utter ignorance of the some our fellow citizens, especially those who get their news from Fox, I felt my blood begin to boil – as it usually does when reading anything about that hate-filled and dangerous news orifice. Apparently Frank Luntz had assembled a group of ‘ordinary’ Iowan citizens to quiz them on why they hated President Barack Obama. He was of course was alluding to Bill O’Reilly’s outrageous and rude question put to the President on Super Bill Sunday. Incidentally you may have read that O’Reilly claimed that his would be THE most watched interview ever. For that to be true he needed over 70 million viewers, but only 17 million had their TV’s tuned to the channel, and many of those probably left their sets on during the pre-game show to fix dinner or some such thing.  But I digress.

To quote the C&L article:

Luntz noted his group’s extremely negative reaction when, in his interview with Bill O’Reilly, Obama did not say he didn’t want the Muslim Brotherhood as part of a new government in Egypt. Then, feigning non-partisan curiosity, Luntz deliberately elicited a slew of condemnation by asking his group, “The reaction was so negative, so overwhelming, what’s the problem?”

But I wonder if Luntz knew what he was in for when one member of his group piped up with, “I believe that Barack Obama’s religious beliefs do govern his foreign policy.” When Luntz pressed her to explain what those “religious beliefs” were, the woman replied, “I believe that he is a Muslim.” “You do,” Luntz said. How many of you believe that here?” The majority of the group’s hands went in the air.

Up until that point, I was suspicious that Luntz knew his group’s beliefs in advance and had begun the Muslim Brotherhood discussion with an eye toward steering the discussion that way. But then Luntz sounded a bit dismayed as he said, “Now, do you understand the implications of what you’re saying here, what the media’s gonna say about this group and about Iowa caucus voters in the future? You realize what you’re opening up here?

http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/iowa-republicans-believe-obama-muslim-f

I do not think Luntz understood the implications of what this group was saying, which is: “Sorry Frank, but we are so naive, and so brainwashed, we are completely incapable of relating factual information about the political scene in general, and President Obama in particular.”  Mr. Luntz should have ended the questions right there, and dismissed the panel.  He didn’t.

This is the problem we all come across at times, with family, friends, acquaintances, even strangers and definitely in online political forums. What can you do when confronted by the willfully ignorant without seeming a elite snob? I caught some flak from a few Facebook friends last year when I posted in my status, “If you listen to and agree with even a small portion of the lies Rush Limbaugh spews – please de-friend me now.” A few people thought that a pre-emptively snobbish thing to write – even though they agreed with the sentiment.  In truth this is the way I feel about those who regularly watch Fox news, as I believe if they believe what they hear is the truth then there is no hope for true discourse. But it goes beyond that, and this is why my blood boils: that they believe these lies damages my country. I would go so far as to say they are doing more harm than the leadership of Al Quaeda could ever hope to do.  So there’s my dilema, how can I keep my blood from spurting out my ears?

Written by zootliberal

Progressive and friggin' proud of it.

67 Responses so far.

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  1. ghostrider says:

    You are so right Zoot.

    It is that blind belief that has given us the airports that we currently have, and the abuse of our 4th amendment rights.

    It amazes me everyday when I hear people say they feel safer because they are being x-rayed and groped at the airport. Little do they realize all of those precautions only inconvenience them.

    As they say locks only keep the honest people out.

  2. creole-girl says:

    People, in general are susceptable to fearmongering, demogagory, and the ignorance that so often accompanies it. The problem, as I see it is that many of these crack pots have been given unpresidented access to the MSM, and are treated like credible commentators. Most of them are most certainly not. They spend their days formenting outrage, creating false equivalencies and soft-pedaling racism.

    As a country, we are in deep trouble when we characterize college educated and liberals as effete latte-sipping socialist/marxist/muslims. I am 46 years old and I remember a time when sending your kid to college was a great source of pride for most families.

    Until people get tired of what is being spoon-fed to them, until, the MSM quits treating crack-pots like Oricles, I don’t see this changing.

  3. Wiseronenow says:

    Been ‘there’ many times with my bro, Mensa member, graduated from high school at 12, graduated from college at 16, went on to become successful but I swear what comes out of his mouth about our President, the Dem’s, minorities, liberals, etc. makes me cringe and I wonder who the hell is that guy emailing me? Not the bro I thought I knew. Yet, he claims he is not racist and will take huge umbrage if I even suggest he is. Too sad. However, he has such good qualities as a father and husband. His daughter is just a joy and doesn’t share any of his beliefs. Interesting to say the least.

  4. KillgoreTrout says:

    You know it’s bad when a college education is considered to be a bad thing. How many times have we all seen a TP post starting with, “Those liberal elite professors……..?”

    • Plutocrats really suck says:

      Killgore,

      The right has been going after the intelligentsia for a long time.

      • KillgoreTrout says:

        True, but I think with the advent of the tea party, it’s become more widespread.

        • jdmn17 says:

          Considering they hijacked the name without having a clue what it was really about should tell you a lot. I am proud to be a Midwestern “elite”. I love to read and read anything and everything. I think knowledge is about the only thing that separates us from the Wildebeest. And even at that I think they work better together at times than we do. If humans were Wildebeests we’d be shoving each other to the lions so often they lions would be too fat to hunt.

  5. Redemption Song II says:

    Greetings Zoot,

    Loved your piece on willful ignorance. There’s a nice concept from philosophy of race (perhaps borrowed from another discipline) called “cognitive stop” and you’ve described it well. Breifly, cognitive stop occurs when an individual or group is so invested in a specific prejudice that no amount of evidence to the contrary will be accepted, if it is indeed perceived.

    What is especially irksome about the “Obama is a Muslim” prejudice (and it is a prejudice), is that if we’re operating on “the values of the founding fathers”, then, in John Rawls’s language, positions are open to all. That is, whether Obama or anyone else is Islamic is suspended as a consideration for assessing whether they qualify for a position in public office.

    The other phenomenon that irks me (and there is much abouth which to be irked, mind you), is that somehow the words “Muslim Brotherhood” in concert are taken to be defacto “evil” (and no other word will do) prior to even the most basic of research to learn about the creation, trajectory and activities of the groups so called. I say this not in defense or support of the brotherhood, but rather I say this in defense and support of being minimally informed.

    The upshot is that I understand your pain. (As for me, I sometimes feel that my head will implode.) And, no, you’re not being a snob: we’re not all “okay” (as evidenced by the much of the psycho-babble/anti-intellecutalism in mainstream public discourse).

    Peace,
    --Redemption

    • zootliberal says:

      Redemption Song,
      Thank you, I feel better with yours and the other comments. And i have learned a new term, ‘cognitive stop’ it fits, and makes this particular phenomenon easier to understand. And you bring up a good point as well about this prejudice possibly pre-emptively denying most Muslim’s from thinking about running for office in this country -- which is sad. Of course I can remember when JFK being a Catholic was a non-starter for many people, let alone a Black american running for the same office.

      • jdmn17 says:

        Keith Ellison in my state (we do sometimes get it right, Michele Bachman and Tpaw notwithstanding). African American Muslim and one super smart, articulate man. And naturally he needs protection and gets death threats. If you can listen to him, very good thinker who, unlike a lot of the evangelists, doesn’t wear his religion on his sleeve. Yet I’ve heard people speak from fear he’s a terrorist fifth columnist for Al Q

    • Redemption Song II says:

      …oh: and I apologize in advance for not replying to comments/replies quickly. I’m in “mommy-mode”--bathing, supper making, laundry washing and the like until 10 P.M. or so, although I may neak a peek every so often. :) )

  6. PocketWatch says:

    Some points:

    First, I always thought that being in “the elite” was somethng to aspire to, not to be reviled. When did THAT change? We talk about elites in sports, in the military, and in business, but all of a sudden, being an elite intellectually is a bad thing. I simply repudiate that.

    Second: Snobbishness works both ways. I know people that revel in their lack of education, trailer trash lifestyle, political ignorance, or religious intolerance, and will forever reject and cast out anyone that does not accomodate them. Point is, you can be a snob about anything.

    Third: Lack of critical thinking is a result of deep societal psychosis over education for the past 2 or 3 generations. Of course this country has never placed a premium on critical thinking in public education, but has instead focused on grinding out workers for industry and agriculture. We are currently in the throes of finding a new path. It’s not pretty or promising.

    Finally, I have no idea how to keep the blood from exiting the cranial orifices, buddy. I just try not to take it personally and keep as far away from such people as possible. If forced to come in contact with such folk, and the conversation turns to politics and associated subjects, the well-injected non-sequiter generally works well to distract. It’s the conversational equivalent to shouting “SQUIRREL!!!!” Works every time to cover a strategic withdrawal.

    8)

  7. Chernynkaya says:

    Zoot. I have the same issue with people who are willfully ignorant—I just cannot tolerate them. And yes, that makes me intolerant. (As if being labeled intolerant is a terrible condemnation. Well, excuse me, but what is the virtue in being tolerant of racists, bigots, and fascists?)

    I’ve had a few conversations about this—about what to do with friends and family members who love Rush or Beck or Palin. I guess I am not the best person to ask, because there is no one in my entire family who was ever a Repub. And if I find out that a friend is a Rightie, we cannot be friends. Of course we can’t be friends! Why would I be friends with someone who sees the world entirely differently?? On an individual level, they may be caring and generous people, but I consider the far-right to have a pathology and want no part of them in my life.

    Obviously, we can’t choose our family or who we are forced to work with. But I think it’s reasonable to insist that politics be banned in those arenas. If I had a family member who insisted on talking politics, they’d see very little of me.

  8. FerraKnows says:

    Hi Zoot,

    You said: “So there’s my dilema, how can I keep my blood from spurting out my ears?” Perhaps we can assume that not everyone who watches Fox News believes the lies that are promulgated there. In other words, some people tune in for reasons other that being falsely indoctrinated. Secondly, one of the most frustrating things we can do is trying to convince someone of something which runs contrary to their hardened beliefs (you can lead someone to water, but you can’t make ’em think). If we are mindful of dynamics like these, then maybe we can keep the spurting to a minimum. Just sayin’. (P.S. I wanted to place a smiley here, still strugling to figure it out).

    • Redemption Song II says:

      Greetings Ferra,

      Just wanted to comment that I v. much liked the line, “You can lead someone to water, but you can’t make ’em think.”

      Nice!

      • FerraKnows says:

        Hi Redemption. Followed you over at HP. The expression is a modification of a phrase I picked up elsewhere. Thanks anyway.

        • Redemption Song II says:

          I followed you, as well. (I just now removed my HuffPo profile after copying some comments I wanted to save. What gave me the final “push” was someone who disagreed with me, which I don’t mind, using abusive language, which I do mind and of which I am tired. The whole “tit for tat” is not necessarily spirit murder (to use Patricia Williams’ phrase) , but it certainly doesn’t add to the quality of one’s life.)

          Take it easy,
          --Redemption

    • zootliberal says:

      Hi FerraKnows,
      Actually I said watches AND believes, which is a big difference, as it is not that hard to watch Fox and differentiate between news and propaganda. It is quite easy if you don’t depend on one use source.
      And you are right, one key to keeping frustration to a minimum is realizing when that wall is up, and then change subjects or walk away.

      as for the smily face 😉 read Cher’s excellent guide, which she posted the other day. 😆

      http://planetpov.com/2011/02/09/tips-for-newcomers-and-regulars-alike/

  9. kalie says:

    Well I think the topper to the cake, was when King was on Lawrence O’Donnell, and showed the video of the Iowans stupidly saying that Obama was a Muslim and this colored all his views. The next question to little miss BonBon, should have been “How has it affected his views?” “Which ones in regard to Egypt?” But because it was not probed further, I would have to say it was a set up situation. And King certainly would not stand up for Obama, and he acted despicably and said he still believes Obama is a Muslim. The guy is a moron and reminded me of a used car dealer. “Well the car is clearly dented and rusty.” “No, its supposed to be that way, it came like that.”

    Maybe we should assemble a group of teenagers that agree with us and tell them to talk about what they think about Palin, Boehner, the religious right, and anti-abortionists who kill people and think its justified. Hmmm… Maybe I will do that….. OH, even funnier, assemble the same group of teens daily, as issues arise. Film at 5.

  10. liberallioness76 says:

    So there’s my dilema, how can I keep my blood from spurting out my ears?

    I understand this feeling oh-so-very well as I am living in my own personal “red” hell. I live in a small part of N Eastern PA… what’s often called “the Alabama” part of Pennsylvania. If I may be so bold, I would like to offer advice:

    First, base the level of “elite liberal snobbishness” in your answer to the value of the realationship of the person you are confronting. If they are a person who means a lot to you and there isn’t any way to discuss the issue without animosity, maybe it’s best to just agree to disagree. Seriously, I’ve found the private eyeroll to be a lifesaver. Yeah, I know it’s a little juvenille… but so are my mother’s views on politics. So there.

    Sometimes that’s just not possible. The person is in your face about it, or your level of annoyance has reached its peak. In those instances, I’ve found that a polite response of completely non-political truth does quite nicely. For instance, on the complete non-issue of the President’s faith, I will often very innocently say something like “Oh my, I hope he doesn’t get into trouble with his Muslim peers over his Christian wedding, his non adherence to salah, and his eating of pork.”

    The looks on their faces as they try to “reason” those points away are priceless.

  11. jdmn17 says:

    Zoot, well said. The people of NW Iowa in particular do not surprise me. While there may be a border between IA and MN it’s really just a change in the style of rest areas on the interstate or the IA farmer growing corn instead of his MN neighbor doing Soybeans. The attitudes cross the border quite easily, sadly most of them are really quite bigoted. There is a lot of fear up in these parts. Racism, intolerance and homophobia rule the roost Much of the area to the south of me is hard core Lutheran and in MN the only difference between them and the Catholics, are the little trappings, Latin, nuns, priests, confession and I think the Catholics have better wine. Other than that they have the same outlook -- white is right, religious right is better, evangelical right is the only key to heaven. Thankfully I’m headed to hell cuz I think more of my friends will be there to entertain me.

    Let us not forget the area in question in the interview is either in or next to Steve King’s district, you know that guy, Mr Liberal? And a short way up the interstate you find the southern burbs of MSP where the women almost made McCain faint when she cackled into the microphone on national TV that Obama was an arab. I think that was the moment McCain knew he’d made a mistake letting the pitbull go out and whip up that hatred machine. And let us not forget the northern burbs of MSP are Bachman country. Yes, I am surrounded by zealots, uninformed Fox news devotees. But we are strong in the city. Have plenty of food and heat. We will survive despite the best efforts to bring us to their level.

    BTW, My sister and her husband are/were Bushies. They even had a signed photo of his on the bedroom dresser. Now that shows you the difference between a liberal and a conservative. If his photo was staring at me from the dresser all the Viagra in the world wouldn’t help. Apparently for them it was a motivator. They finally left his fold when they lost a ton of money in one of the crashes. Now down to low double digit millions they talk about “living simply” -- but that’s another story

    Thanks again

    • zootliberal says:

      jdmn17 -- thanks for your comments, well said too. I spent some time in Southern Iowa, a picture perfect heartland town call Clarinda, I found the people warm and welcoming, but after all , when the guard was let down, I did pick up on that undertone of racism. Very disappointing. I even had a facebook friend from the area who surprised me with a surprising racist post about Obama.

      Can’t shake the picture of the bushies on the bed stand, hope i don’t think of it at an inopportune time, with my wife saying ” what’s wrong hon, you tired?” ha ha.

  12. Marion says:

    As much as anyone might deny it, this ignorance just isn’t limited to the Right. The Left is just as bad in some instances. Try being a Southern Democrat and having the tolerant Left refer to you as an unreconstructed Confederate, tell you that racism is confined only to the South and deem you ignorant as part of that demographic.

    For example, I was called a liar by those tolerant Huffposters for saying that after the Civil Rights Act was signed into being by LBJ, the ensuing summers saw white backlash and violend race riots ONLY in Northern cities -- Philly, Detroit, Newark, Cleveland, Boston and Los Angeles -- and that George Wallace drew larger numbers of people to his Northern political rallies than either Ronald Reagan or Richard Nixon.

    I’m not making that up. It’s there in the history books for all to read.

    • AdLib says:

      Marion, we do have very different views about what occurred back in those days but it isn’t accurate to call a disagreement over facts, an attack. This was my response to your assertion that there were numerous riots in the north due to forced busing in light of the passage of the Civil Rights Act. If you have links to information that disputes any of the below, please share them, I’d like to read them:

      ==============================

      AdLib says:

      Though there were indeed tensions and conflicts nationally in the era surrounding the Civil Rights Act, these were far more prevalent in The South.

      You proposed:

      Once the Civil Rights Amendment was enacted, the period between 1964 and 1966 saw some of the biggest “white backlash” riots against the act and against Johnson … in the NORTH. Newark, Philly, South Boston, Detroit and the Watts area of LA resounded in racial rioting, especially about enforced busing.

      With respect, your assertions above are factually mistaken. These riots were due to underlying social inequity but sparked by police brutality in all but one riot you mention, that being South Boston which was the only one over busing but did not occur in the civil rights era of 1964-1966, actually occurring a decade later in 1974.

      Here’s some info:

      THE NEWARK RIOTS – 1967
      This unrest came to a head when two white Newark policemen, John DeSimone and Vito Pontrelli, arrested a black cabdriver, John W. Smith, for improperly passing them on 15th Avenue.[4] Smith was taken to the 4th Police Precinct, which was across the street from Hayes Homes, a large public housing project. Residents of Hayes Homes saw an incapacitated Smith being dragged into the precinct, and a rumor was started that he had been killed while in police custody. Smith had been moved to a local hospital.

      This set off six days of riots, looting, violence, and destruction — ultimately leaving 26 people dead, 725 people injured, and close to 1,500 arrested. Property damage exceeded $10 million.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Newark_riots

      THE PHILADELPHIA RIOT – 1964
      The Philadelphia race riot took place in the predominantly black neighborhoods of North Philadelphia from August 28 to August 30, 1964. Tensions between black residents of the city and police had been escalating for several months over several well-publicized allegations of police brutality.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_Philadelphia_race_riot

      THE DETROIT RIOT – 1967
      The 12th Street riot was a civil disturbance in Detroit, that began in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 23, 1967. The precipitating event was a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar then known as a blind pig, on the corner of 12th and Clairmount streets on the city’s Near West Side. Police confrontations with patrons and observers on the street evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in American history, lasting five days and surpassing the violence and property destruction of Detroit’s 1943 race riot, which occurred 24 years earlier.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Detroit_riot

      THE WATTS RIOT – 1965
      The riots began on August 11, 1965, in Watts, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, when Lee Minikus, a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer, pulled over Marquette Frye, who Minikus believed was intoxicated because of his observed erratic driving. Frye failed to pass sobriety tests, including walking in a straight line and touching his nose, and was arrested soon after. Minikus refused to let Frye’s brother, Ronald, drive the car home, and radioed for it to be impounded. As events escalated, a crowd of onlookers steadily grew from dozens to hundreds. The mob became violent, throwing rocks and other objects while shouting at the police officers. A struggle ensued shortly resulting in the arrest of Marquette and Ronald Frye, as well as their mother.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watts_Riots

      As you say, the passage of the Civil Rights Act in July of 1964, pressed the 5 states in the south that voted for Goldwater to do so (he only won 6 states, those and AZ). So I think we’re in agreement then, the Deep South voted for Goldwater primarily because of their majority’s racism (his opposition to the Civil Rights Act).

      As for The Southern Strategy, this was indeed an actual, created and calculated strategy by Nixon and his GOP in light of this recognition, which was no secret (LBJ openly expressed upon passage that it meant Dems would likely lose the South for at least a generation). Here is some background:

      Richard Nixon implemented his ‘Southern Strategy’ to win votes during his 1968 election campaign, and during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights movement.

      The ‘Southern Strategy’ is a term used to describe the Republican’s method of winning previously unattainable votes of white Americans in the formerly Democrat South, during the early 20th century. The term is attributed (although he really just popularized it) to Kevin Phillips, a former Richard Nixon campaign adviser. Phillips stated to the Republican Party that there was an opportunity to polarize the Southern voting, after seeing the Democrat Party fill with black votes. By standing for the idea of ‘state-rights,’ without being totally against integration, Phillips hoped to attract anti-black whites to vote Republican.

      During a 1970 New York Times interview, Phillips said: “The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are”.

      http://www.suite101.com/content/the-southern-strategy-and-richard-nixon-a269466#ixzz1ABcVoxoh

      As this overview demonstrates, it was indeed racism that GOP research and strategy determined would bring Southern states to their side and what has transpired since then continues to unfortunately validate this cynical strategy.

      This is not to say that there weren’t internal divisions in the Democratic Party along the way but in terms of what was the central reason for the South turning so quickly from longtime Dems to Repubs, I don’t think the inner machinations of the Dem Party were a more powerful issue in the day-to-day lives of Southerners than the issue of race.

    • 2belinda says:

      Marion I think I understand the point you are trying to make. Racism in all its forms is debilitating and reprehensible no matter the locale. There are sections in NY today where racism is alive and well. However the fear I felt traveling in the South back in the day when segregation was the LAW did not compare to the need to be alert and mindful while traveling in NY, Philly, with it’s brutal police force, or in Boston.

      The Maryland Eastern Shore in many ways mirrored the worst examples of segregationist policies anywhere in the deep South. By 1962 the major employer in Cambridge Md, a factory, had shut down and Whites unemployment was 7% and Blacks 29%. Two remaining factories, defense contractors, had an implied agreement with the White workers and the Cambridge City Council that they would not hire any Blacks and in return the factory workers would reject any attempts to unionize.

      As many White college students joined in the civil rights demonstrations in Cambridge which included various civil rights organizations, they were beaten and arrested repeatedly. It is a fact that the White students were beaten in larger numbers and more harshly by White vigilantes than Blacks. An interesting note is that this is where H Rap Brown was also arrested for “inciting a riot” in this small Eastern Shore town.

      As a NY’er and as someone who was present as many of the Northern cities erupted, I do not believe that the riots in the North were a result of White backlash as much as it was about a struggle for civil rights and equality for all human beings and people growing sick and tired of being sick and tired of their rights being denied and those who wanted to keep the status quo. The New York Race riots of the 1900’s had a very different flash point.

      I am sorry for going on perhaps too long but having been present and had my head banged a couple of times I cannot allow it to be reduced to White backlash.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Marion, you keep conflating the Watts Riot with “white backlash” post Civil Rights Act. And I keep telling you it was about LAPD brutality. I LIVE HERE. If you see Watts in this light, I have to question the veracity if the other riots you mention.

      The Philly riot was also about police brutality.

      From Wiki, about the series of riots in the North:

      The riot in Cambridge was just one in a string of incidents during 1963 that pointed to an explosive increase in racial tensions in the U.S. That spring, civil rights campaigns throughout the South started with a voter registration drive in Greenwood, Mississippi, and segregation protests in Birmingham, Alabama, Jackson, Mississippi, Nashville, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia. Most of the protests were against segregation, but job discrimination and police brutality were issues as well. Several thousand blacks and their white supporters were arrested. From May 2 to 7 in Birmingham, 2,543 demonstrators were arrested, prompting Governor George Wallace to say he was “beginning to tire of agitators, integrationists and others who seek to destroy law and order in Alabama.”

      On May 9, black leaders and the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce reached an agreement to desegregate public facilities in 90 days, hire blacks as clerks and salesmen in 60 days, and release demonstrators without bail in return for an end to the protests. Still, on May 11, two bombings of black organizers’ homes provoked a riot of 2,500 blacks which ended with State troopers clubbing any blacks they could catch. In Detroit, Michigan, a peaceful anti-discrimination march of 125,000 was held with the support of the mayor and governor. On June 12, Medgar Evers, a Mississippi civil rights leader, was shot in the back and killed late at night.

      The riots in the North were a direct outcome of white brutality against blacks in the South. Not to say there wasn’t/isn’t racism in the North, but you can’t exonerate the Southern racism.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watts_Riots
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_1964_race_riot

    • FerraKnows says:

      Hi Marion,

      Are you referring to the Civil Rights Act of 1964? And, can you clarify the ensuing summers of white backlash? I guess I would like to know what backlash means, in order to respond appropriately. I minored in U.S. History, and unfortunately lived through some of the turbulence you cite--albeit as a youngster. The riots in your examples did not result from the signing of CRA 1964--nor were they indicative of white backlash, IMHO. For instance, the Philly riot of 1964 and the Detroit riot of 1967 were the result of black neighborhoods being targeted by sanctioned police tasks forces, resulting in well documented police brutality (although, secondary influences included socio-economic factors). After nothing was done to stop the brutality and harassment, the communities exploded. Riots elsewhere occurred because of frustrations over church bombings, the assassinations of black leaders, etc.

      Nevertheless, my response is only as valid as knowing what backlash means.

      I agree with you; racism and racial ignorance in America is not bound by geography--nor is it confined to political affiliation. Having family and roots in the south, I can attest to this. What I cannot do, reasonably, is say which region is worse. I can say, however, it reprehensible no matter where it is.

    • jdmn17 says:

      Marion

      Nice post that of course leaves my brain trying to ride on several sets of tracks. We here in MN had two smaller riots or at least less nationally reported, one in Minneapolis, the other in St. Paul. I think the racism of MN came forward at that time, peaked and then resubmerged like a stealthy submarine. I don’t think it ever really went away. Incidentally. You know what stopped the rioting here in Mpls? When the AA leaders realized they were burning down their neighborhoods they staged a long march through the white neighborhoods that passed within a block of my house. I went down to watch the march and the cop presence was amazing. They tried to shoo me away but I stood my ground. I was raised in that neighborhood and that night I saw more AA men and women than all the other times of my life. But they made their point, they wanted change and acceptance and they weren’t going to destroy their own neighborhoods. And it did work.

      My cousin grew up near an Air Force base in MS. I went there often to visit and I can remember his father, a colonel, telling me about the “caste” system of the south -- aristocracy, upper crust, managers, blue collar, blacks and “white trash”, He was VERY clear that the poor whites were held in lower esteem than the blacks who, as you might expect, were mostly laborers and domestics. But of all things HE taught me about racial equality because he was undergoing a major change in his southern upbringing that went full circle when he was arrested for marching with Civil Rights workers in AL. Almost cost him his rank but he was very opposed to inequality and bigotry.

  13. audadvnc says:

    I’m listening to Dan Carlin’s “Hardcore History” audio blog on Toughness, which brings up the question whether today’s people could stand a chance in a war against our grandfathers.

    People like these right wing commentators clearly have not enough important or worthwhile to do, so they fill their hollow, empty days with drivel such as this. They’re soft, spoiled, wasteful schoolboys, playing at the game of politics, too unaware and unwilling to take on an adult’s true responsibility to their society.

  14. TheLateGrardini says:

    A guy like Luntz is exactly why, love him or hate him, we need a guy like James Carville out there. A kind of oily looking guy, but who is sharp and not afraid to fight fire with fire and to get down and dirty. It has been my experience that more people understand and have experienced down and dirty than staying above the fray. President Obama’s spokespeople (Axelrod in particular) couldn’t even convince my granddaughters of anything. Somewhere along the way we have forgotten how to play offense, and unless we learn how damn quick the results could be a catastrophe.

    • Marion says:

      K.I.S.S. -- that’s Luntz’s motto -- Keep it simple, stupid.

      The Democratic Party threw these people under the bus 40 years ago and sought the elitist and intellectual highground. If you want to communicate with people whose ideas you hope to change, you have to learn their language. Literally.

      Laura Flanders, in “Blue Grit,” spoke to some Republican strategists, seeking to find out why certain areas of the country -- like the South and the rural Midwest (formerly bastions of Democratic support) were now solidly red and voting against their interests. She was told that, early on, the GOP had found out that the average American has a reading comprehension level of a ten year-old. They simply marketed all their audio and literal propaganda in terms a 10 year-old child could understand. Suddenly, people were understanding what politicians were trying to say.

      It’s speaking on your audience’s level and -- to a greater degree -- it’s having someone speak with whom people can identify, someone who sounds like the people you’re trying to reach.

      Sure, the Republicans are con artists, but damn, they con a good game by using the sort of operatives their targeted audience can trust. The Dems are too good and high and mighty for that. We send someone like the fragrant and monied Katrina vanden Heuvel into the rural counties of lower Virginia or North Carolina and she treats the population like deranged yokels being visited by the lady or the manor, who retreats at the end of the day, feeling satisfied, as she showers the imaginary cooties from her body, that she’s done her duty by the poor.

      That sucks.


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