“Doesn’t speak with a negro dialect.”

I have to be honest. I KNOW what my reaction would have been if some right-wing Republican congressman or senator had said such a thing. It would have been outrage.

Harry Reid? Honestly? Disappointment. I’m being honest with myself about my own biases, but I think my biases are fair and based to a large degree on reality.

I cringed. Absolutely cringed when I read those words. Does it mean that Reid is a racist? I don’t know. Does it show that he’s from an era in which there was a different attitude about racial sensitivity? Definitely. To not know in this day and age that the term “negro” makes blacks cringe shows a lot of insensitivity; a certain amount of cluelessness. Does that make Reid a racist? I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s the definition of racism. It’s a kind a racism, I suppose. Sometimes racism is blatant, sometimes it’s covert. Reid has apologized, and I for one, not being black, take his apology at face value. I think he is genuinely sorry and am sure he wishes he had never said it.

Progressives need to be honest, that there is racism everywhere, sometimes where you least expect it, sometimes in people on our side of the political spectrum, sometimes even within yourself. Of course it’s rampant within the Republican party, but it exists within the Democratic party, too. I don’t necessarily see Reid as a progressive. I see him as an old-school run-of-the-mill Democrat.

I remember about 15 years ago when I lived in the Puget Sound region there was a lot of controversy over the Makah tribe wanting to harvest a gray whale. They had legal treaty rights to harvest whales and they decided they were going to exercise their rights. The reaction was huge from environmentalists, and it grew very, very racial. People carried protest signs saying, “save a whale, harpoon an Indian.” It was scary how quickly so-called “liberals” deteriorated into some fairly blatant racism when confronted with an emotional issue. It was embarrassing. It turns out the Makah only wanted to harvest a whale … simply because the had a right to. People didn’t understand it. The environmentalist “liberals” didn’t see it from the Indians’ point of view, nor did they even try. The Makah killed one whale and have never hunted whales again. They had made their point.

What prompted me to write a post is that I’m furious over the faux outrage from Michael Steele, Liz Cheney and other right-wingers over Reid.  These are the same people who remained silent as the Teabaggers carried signs with Obama dressed as a witch doctor, who have remained silent over the Teabagger idiot in Houston with the sign calling Obama a “niggar,” who remain silent over Beck calling Obama a racist and Limbaugh playing “Barack the Magic Negro” on his radio show. They’re opportunists, nothing more. There’s nothing more disgusting to me than right-wing fake outrage. The right-wing is absolutely infested with racism and they know it. They refuse to address it, much less even acknowledge that it exists, but someone on the left makes an unfortunate and uncomfortable slip of the tongue, they pounce! I find the hypocrisy sickening. (Remember Steele’s recent “honest injun'” crack? He’s one to talk!)

Here’s how I see it. Are all racists Republican? Are all Republicans racist? No. but most racists, if they vote, probably do vote Republican. I believe that, based on personal experience. Republicans need to acknowledge that before I take their faux outrage seriously.

But, then again, Reid’s comments make me realize there is still much, much work to do.

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Khirad
Member

Who knew? Juan Cole is also a cutting wit (must read IMHO):

Republicans Reject Reid Half Measures, Embrace Gangsta Rap
http://www.juancole.com/2010/01/republicans-reject-reid-half-measures.html

bito
Member

Pretty good Khirad.

msbadger
Member
msbadger

Loved the article, Pepe! Very well done. The race issue has always been very important to me, having grown up in Chicago in the 50’s and 60’s, and with a very bigoted mother. Father not so much, but still a product of his generation. I have always hated racism to my very bones. I am proud to say I have a sweet AA daughter-in-law and a lovely bi-racial grandson! More than ever, I am re-energized to speaking out against this crap. I give Harry Reid slack, as a product of his generation. And I don’t believe he is a bad man. The thread on HP about this was very interesting; I did not realize we had such a good population of Black folks on there. This all takes time, we are making the most progress we can. There is just no end to the fight! Good to see familiar faces here. Badger snoggles!

boomer1949
Member

‘kay everyone. Time to bite the dust – workies tomorrow and I don’t want to have “God” visit me in my dreams — I’m way too sensitive and would be completely devastated if I were to be sent to Speakers Corner for time out.

kesmarn
Admin

boomer, fear not! If you were to be banned, there would be an uprising of massive proportions to get you restored! 😮 You’re too valuable a member of the community here to let go of that easily. Hope all your dreams are happy ones tonight and that you have a great day at work tomorrow!

Kalima
Admin

There has never been a banning here and there won’t be unless after several warnings and moderation of extended time limits, it wasn’t enough to cool off the poster in question. We are not HP.

boomer1949
Member

Kalima,

Hugs, kisses, & waves from my window. And, I know we are not HP. Most of what I wrote was in jest, but I’ll be mindful of my musings in the future. 🙂

Kalima
Admin

Off to bed with you now, I’ll fly by later to make sure that you are tucked in snug and warm.

I know it was mainly in jest boomer. Hugs back!

kesmarn
Admin

Good night, Kalima,
And don’t to forget to erase those you-know-whats from you-know-where before AdLib finds ’em!
Peace to you as you are in your daytime world!

Kalima
Admin

(Standing to attention) I’m on it kesmarn, as soon as you-know-who is sleeping, I’ll sprinkle a little delete “Fairy Dust.” A piece of cake!

Sleep well and be safe.

Chernynkaya
Member

Kalima, I just looked at our profiles and therefore only just now read yours. It was amazingly beautiful and poignant. Poetry. And with that, I bid you– and all the Planet– goodnight.

(Sincerely– impressed.)

Khirad
Member

Night, still have to do mine.

Kalima
Admin

😳 Thank you Cher, it was in verse when I C&P it, then WordPress came along with a broomstick to sweep it into a corner.

Good night and sweet dreams.

Take care and be safe.

nellie
Member

I still don’t get the whole banning thing at HP. What is that about? Just suspend the account, or put comments in pending. I don’t get the banning idea. Sounds very right wing to me.

Not to get off on an HP tangent on this excellent thread. It just always puzzles me.

I’m going to move this to the TOOT thread.

boomer1949
Member

K’es,

Thank you, you’re much too kind.

Part of me was serious, the other part was well, you need to scroll down to read some of my other comments. I usually don’t stir the proverbial pot, but sometimes I need to take extra blood pressure meds. 🙂

kesmarn
Admin

boomer, it’s obvious to anyone who’s been here more than a day or two, that you have no–zero–history of making personal attacks. I sensed a bit of tongue in cheek in your comments tonight. Maybe–after a long day–and a topic many are passionate about, fatigue was starting to set in and your comments were not interpreted as they were intended. We’re probably all a bit tired.

I know I am, so I’m off to bed in the near future!

boomer1949
Member

TTFN!

bito
Member

test

kesmarn
Admin

Evening, b’ito! I just switched over to Rachel (from a great PBS documentary on the Legendary Sam Cooke). I couldn’t miss this, though, because, like you, I am amazingly annoyed by Liz Cheney. She was on one of the Sunday talking heads shows and she said NOT ONE positive thing about anything or anybody. It was relentless Obama bashing and general Dem bashing, with not one suggestion of any Repub idea or program that might help the average American citizen.

Scary question of the evening: do you think the Repubs are testing the waters for a potential Prez or VP candidacy for her?

bito
Member

Sorry K’es. I changed the comment I put up. I thought it might be O/T. moving it to To for O/T

kesmarn
Admin

Okay, b’ito. Although– Liz does say words that make you cringe…! I understand, though.

javaz
Member

“”Avatar” is being criticized by a small but vocal group of people who allege it contains racist themes

Khirad
Member

Some people read too much into things sometimes. Yeah, maybe it says something in a bigger sense about our unconscious attitudes about ethnicity and American history and the “noble savage;” but Jesus, if it were up to some of these people no one would ever have fun ever. That’s just the feeling I get from some of these people (yeah, I said “those people” – because they are anal). They’re perpetually pissed, bitter and don’t know how to lighten up.

nellie
Member

I’ve heard the same complaint about portrayal of Am Indians. I haven’t seen it yet, but I trust Pepe’s review. I’m thinking of going to see it.

KQµårk 死神
Member

I see allot of straw man questions floating around and that’s just a crutch for not coming to the point. My bottom line on the issue and answers to some questions.

Reid made a racially insensitive comment and he should have known better.
No one knows Reid’s heart either way but my own opinion is he is not a hard core racist.
Reid should not be given a pass when most of us would jump on a member of the GOP who said something like this.
But members of the GOP that are trying to take political advantage off this are hypocrites because many if not most habitually make racist comments and worse promote differences racists policies.
Using racial slang is proper in describing historical aspects of our country.
No black and African American are not going to be banned because those terms were “chosen” by the AA community.
Using the N-word in rap is an ugly reflection of how it is used on the street in the AA community. Fortunately this use is on the downturn. It’s just like Kid Rock talks about “white trash” America in his music.
NAACP is a group that uses a historical term to designate AAs because it was formed in our history.
You can spot racists by not only their indiscretions but how much they focus on race, save for promoting racial equality.
Race is a misnomer. There is not such thing as race biologically speaking because our physiological differences are far smaller than many species. The term we should use to describe our smaller differences are cultural and ethnically related. Dogs and cats come from much more diverse breeds than humans do for example.

Sorry for the typos my left shoulder is real ouchy.

nellie
Member

The bottom line for me — it’s possible to make a racist remark without being a racist. But it’s also possible to be a racist while trying really hard not to be one.

Harry is okay by me. I even like his leadership style.

KevenSeven
Member

Sorry about your shoulder.

And we are all Negros, after all. We are all descended from the same tribe of original humans who were living in what is now South Africa, what, 100k years ago? Every person living on the planet is as black as those people were. Even Pat Buchanan and that troll of a sister of his.

kesmarn
Admin

KQ, I believe you mentioned you were getting a new pacemaker/AICDefibrillator, so I can guess why your left shoulder is ouchy. Hope you’re feeling better soon. (O/T But, is a transplant an option? You needn’t answer if that’s being too intrusive on my part.)

And thanks for reminding us again that “race” itself is a term without scientific meaning.

Khirad
Member

You can spot racists by not only their indiscretions but how much they focus on race, save for promoting racial equality.

Ding-ding-ding!

Kalima
Admin

K, I’m so very happy to see you here, my smile is from ear to ear. 🙂

whatsthatsound
Member

Yes, yes, yes, yes yes and yes!

AdLib
Admin

Hey KQ! Hope you’re okay!

Even in pain and stress, you come here and cut right to the truth.

Agreed with all the above.

Now stay home for a while, will ya?!

nellie
Member

Glad you’re back home. Can’t disagree w anything you wrote.

javaz
Member

Professor Michael Eric Dyson – “Obama ‘Runs From Race Like A Black Man Runs From A Cop'”

“””If Barack Obama was standing forth in America to speak brilliantly and courageously about the issues of race, he’d sound a lot more black too,” said Dyson.”””

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/01/georgetown-professor-obama-runs-from-race-like-a-black-man-runs-from-a-cop.php?ref=mp

Chernynkaya
Member

Chris Rock on then-candidate Obama: FF to 3:35

Khirad
Member

Sound advice on Flavor Flav.

Kalima
Admin

I saw a few kitty videos down below, so I know that you won’t mind. I remember singing this song around the house at the top of my lungs years ago. Scared the cats and the neighbours, but it made me feel good.

javaz
Member

Is it Ebony and Ivory?

(waves to Kalima)

Kalima
Admin

Evening javaz, forgot that you can’t hear it, sorry. Yes it is “Ebony and Ivory.”

*wavesbackwithherfeatherduster*

boomer1949
Member

Good Morning Kalima,

I would love to see your feather duster one day my dear. I think I finally have this time of day difference down.

Every time you write *wavesorwavesbackwithher featherduster” conjurs up an extremely pleasant image and makes me smile. 🙂

Kalima
Admin

Good evening boomer. Yes, me and my feather duster for all those places I can’t reach because I can’t stand on steps or chairs due to my “dizzy” business. I’ll take a picture one of these days but mostly it becomes a cat toy when I use it, hours of fun for the furry ones.

Gosh, I’m so O/T, I’m going to be sent to the back of the class for sure. 😳

boomer1949
Member

Not to worry dear. All of us love to “hear” you and know you’re around.

I doubt very much anyone will cast you off to O/T or admonish you for being here and not there, especially our beloved Admin/Sheriff AdLib.

Right Pardner?

Kalima
Admin

Why thank you boomer, that’s cheered me up no end.

Pink feathers by the way, put it away, so many sad little faces here. 🙁

AdLib
Admin

May I just say that on a thread about race and racism with various opposing POV’s, the respect for each other’s opinion here puts HuffPo and many other sites to shame.

And being able to have a real discussion about people’s differing POVs on race is truly enlightening.

Well done all!

KevenSeven
Member

Ah, bite me.

bito
Member

Oh, Yeah? You **&*^&##@…….

boomer1949
Member

Notice he really didn’t comment on the topic, but just told us how we were behaving like grown ups? 🙂

All in jest AdLib…nothing derogatory towards you or the topic.

AdLib
Admin

Heh! You should know by now that anyone who represents that God blogs to him has an omnipotent sense of humor! 😉

boomer1949
Member

So, where the Hell has God been lately? It’s about time he returns for an encore performance. Please tell Him he has more fans than He could ever have imagined, and we are going through major withdrawal. 🙂

whatsthatsound
Member

An omnipotent sense of humor, eh? Have you tried Viagra?

AdLib
Admin

Yes but it only helped me give straight lines.

nellie
Member

Good one.

whatsthatsound
Member

hee hee

Chernynkaya
Member

Oooooh, no you did not!
🙂

Chernynkaya
Member

LOL!!!

javaz
Member

Yes, it has been enlightening indeed and educational.
Is there a reason on the US Census that we must specify our race?
Does anyone think that we might some day in the distant future stop referring to ourselves and each other by race and just refer to ourselves as people?
Or Americans?
Is that too simplistic and/or naive?

nellie
Member

Good question, javaz — I know the census is about Congressional districts. Maybe they take inventory so candidates have an idea of the demographics of their area. Other than medical genetic markers, I’m not sure what the point is other than to gauge fairness in a situation where unfairness exists.

I hope the day does come when all this is just personal interest in heritage rather than political. I think ethnicity is fascinating, and cultural heritage. We all have something to be proud of in that regard.

Khirad
Member

Maybe one day but I think it is still important for some reason. Besides, I love how the growing “Hispanic” (there’s another word) always make the Buchanan’s nervous.

boomer1949
Member

I wish. I also wish the part-time Census Taker had not been murdered (no way the man committed suicide) in the hills of WV. Very sad state of affairs for his family, his state, and out country.

KevenSeven
Member

It was suicide.

Kalima
Admin

They have “never” been wrong, they have never tried to cover up anything in the past, they have a spotless record?

Chernynkaya
Member

I agree– he was murdered. How can you hang yourself with your hands duct-taped behind your back?

boomer1949
Member

Cher,

Thank you for your opinion.

KevenSeven
Member

You do what this guy did:

Put the noose around your neck, then (loosely) duck tape your hands together.

He was on the ground. How do you strangle when you are on the ground?

By relaxing your legs.

And why were there no indications of any struggle? No bruising of his hands in a struggle?

Who does not struggle as a noose is put over one’s head?

bito
Member

No, Boomer, I do believe he committed suicide. I would like to read the report. I’m funny that way. I would like too see some facts to backup the conclusion they came to. Too many years living around public defenders.

KevenSeven
Member

The freaking FBI says it was a suicide. This is not fucking Bull Connor we are talking about here.

bito
Member

K7, I s that what the police report said? I have not read it.

KevenSeven
Member

I have read a news report that covered the report, and this was most of it.

boomer1949
Member

bito,

I do not believe for one minute that this man committed suicide. Back hills National/State Park in WV? Puhleeze?!?! I wouldn’t trust the damn police report any further than I could throw it or the police chief. The man was murdered, didn’t commit suicide, and anyone believing otherwise needs a few more trips around the block to get a clue. Sorry K7, but I’ve seen smoke & mirrors too many times to believe the police reports and propaganda.

boomer1949
Member

Could it possibly be because we’re Grown Ups? 🙂

Chernynkaya
Member

No, Bito– it was just an overview of the racial composition of Africa. They were distinguishing, as I recall, between North Africans and sub-Saharan.

nellie
Member

Cher, I think your comment about the African American Africans is my favorite on this thread.

It reminds me of a time that a firm I worked for administered a test in Georgia, and all the test takers marked that they were Native American — because they were born here. And they weren’t joking.

escribacat
Member

LOL. Did anyone pass the test?

nellie
Member

LOL — the scores were pretty dismal!

bito
Member

Is there anyone here saying that Harry Reid is racist? Can someone show me a vote or action in his adult life that racist?

boomer1949
Member

bito,

I don’t think Harry Reid is a racist, especially compared to the likes of Joe Wilson and all the Southern boys (or my own father for that matter) who keep clean white sheets in the linen closet.

Harry Reid is 71 years old and from a completely different era. Who the heck knows how he was raised — yet we all know how the Southern boys were raised.

I don’t know how many of you have seen Crash (I posted the trailer and the casts appearance on Oprah), but it’s an eye opener.

I voted for President Obama because I thought and continue to think he was/is the best man for the job. As Nellie mentioned earlier…would I have voted for Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton? Heck no! Why, because both of them are too engaged in the past, too wanting to right a wrong (which I don’t deny), but unwilling to look toward the future. I’m not saying the past should be forgotten, but at some point, all of us need to look to the future. I’m babbling, but I hope you get my drift.

Addendum…Barrack Obama = the best person, human being for the job and he happens to be Black. This is the reason I voted for him. It had nothing to do with the color of his skin, where he was born, his geneology, or the fact that McPalin were out of their league in comparison.

btw-I refused to allow my father to see his grandchildren because he continually used the N-word in front of them, and that was over twenty years ago.

bito
Member

Do you or does anyone think that is,and many things in this book, is nothing more than a distraction? People Magazine for political talkers? Quips and quotes without context? Or are these important insights?

boomer1949
Member

Personally, they are a pain in my behind and the reason I read none of them. Why give them credibility?

Important insights? Not. Pot stirring, ratings grabbing, book sales, magazine sales, anything to make a buck? Absolutely.

It’s all about who, what, when, and where they can find a weak link.

PBS Evening News just came on here, I love Gwen Ifill…excellent journalist who happens to be Black.

javaz
Member

It’s nothing more than trashy gossip.
It is a good distraction, but I agree with Keven7 that this will be a non-story by Wednesday.

boomer1949
Member

The cast of Crash on Oprah in 2005
http://www.oprah.com/dated/oprahshow/oprahshow_20051006

and the Crash Movie Trailer

KevenSeven
Member

How many of us rejoiced at the election of a Black man as president?

Was that not racist of us to think about his skin color in our exuberance in getting him elected?

Why was it not racist to WANT a Black man finally elected president?

escribacat
Member

I confess I rejoiced at that. I also confess that I voted for Hillary in the primary because I wanted a woman president.

Chernynkaya
Member

I think there is a difference between racial thinking and racist thinking. To me anyway, the first is pretty far in the more “correct” side of the spectrum. It would be more racist to elect any black man just because he was black. We are not color blind by a long shot, but noticing and even cheering that a black man was elected is just not the same thing as being racist.

Last night we watched a couple of Chris Rock concerts on Comedy Central. He made the point that what IS racist is thinking that black people would elect Flavor Flav just because he’s black. He noted that white people were reported as considering the pros and cons of the candidates, and of Barack Obama, while reporters took it as a given that all blacks would vote for him. That’s fairly racist.

KevenSeven
Member

I was wrapping up a spirited round of argument with a bit of sarcasm there.

And I don’t think it is all that racist to have assumed that Obama was going to get 95% or better of the AA vote.

nellie
Member

Same percentage Clinton got, I think.

KevenSeven
Member

Ah, but Clinton was the first Black president, yes?

nellie
Member

LOL, No!

AdLib
Admin

The Contrarian strikes back! 😉

Is righting a wrong different from committing a wrong since both involve a wrong?

Now am I wrong or am I wrong?

KevenSeven
Member

Ya see what I’m sayin’!

nellie
Member

Honestly? I rejoiced because we elected Barack Obama as president — in spite of his race. If it had been Jesse Jackson, believe me, I would not have had the same feeling.

KevenSeven
Member

That’s two of us, sister.

Jesse is all right and all, but he is hardly the most honest man in the civil rights movement.

I think Al Sharpton got into the business to make Jesse look good.

Khirad
Member

LOL!

KevenSeven
Member

I gotta get the hell out of here and go get some work done.

This, this is what I like! A real debate!

And my damned kitties are just fucking fine, thanks!

escribacat
Member
boomer1949
Member

e’cat,

I haven’t read everything, but saw K7’s…

“And my damned kitties are just fucking fine, thanks!”

And then your video 🙂 I’m at work and was laughing hysterically. Chalk one up for you, WooHoo!!

KevenSeven
Member

Yes, she got me with that.

Bloody kitties.

escribacat
Member

Hehe.

boomer1949
Member

Keven,

I know…aren’t we terrible?

Chernynkaya
Member

That’s my ring tone!

boomer1949
Member

Cher,

What a hoot!

javaz
Member

Does the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) no longer exist?
There are annual telethons in my area on an independent local station.
I never realized until reading the comments on this thread that Negro is a racist connotation.
Seriously.
Learn something new everyday.

escribacat
Member

How about the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)?

SueInCa
Member

Escribacat and Javaz
I think it is more the white person using the term to describe a black person. Same as the rap groups using the term “n” or them talking to each other using the same term. I am not sure it is right on either side. Now that you mention it, I think it is a bit strange that they have never changed it. The only thing I can imagine is the cost to do so. When Washoe hospital in reno changed their name, it cost them over 2mm dollars. They had to change everything written and signage in connection with Washoe Medical Center.

javaz
Member

I just figured the term was passe, but didn’t realize that it was racist.
Martin Luther King Jr. used the term in speeches and I don’t know.
I learned something new today.

We have a mountain here now called Piestewa Peak, in honor of the first Native American woman to die in combat and the first woman to be KIA in Iraq in 2003.

The mountain had been formerly called Vainom Do’ag, a Pima name for mountain but then over the years it changed to Squaw Peak and had been called that since 1910 until the name was changed in 2003.

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

nellie
Member

Javaz, it isn’t commonly known, but the S-word is the same to an American Indian as the C-word.

I think the thing w the term “African American” is that’s what African Americans decided to call themselves.

For years, people were confined to the “language of the slave culture” — so to speak. Those labels have gradually given way to more self-empowering language.

I’m not that annoyed with Harry Reid — although many people I know feel differently. I do think that, as a politician, he should be more up to date.

escribacat
Member

Nellie & Pepe,
What do you think of the term Native American vs American Indian? What is the proper term nowadays? I’ve read that a lot of folks object to “Native American.”

bito
Member

And live in the Southwest and have people from all over the Southern Americas. Latins,Spanish, Hispanics, Salvadorans, Mexicans, Mexican-Indians and many different tribes. I don’t use any term any thing unless they same something.

nellie
Member

What a can of worms you’ve opened with that one, e’cat. If you really want to get mired in political fights over language, go to a meeting of Amercian Indians/Native Americans and start talking about which term should be used.

Some people don’t like being called “Indian” because it was a mistake, and native people are not East Indians. Some people don’t like the word “American” at all because it’s a call back to Amerigo Vespuci — violent guy. The most correct terminology is to call people whatever tribe/nation they come from. Navajo. Hopi. Sioux.

I personally like the term Canadians use — First Nations people. But I don’t really care. Indian Country Today uses the word Indian. My family uses the world Indian. Either is fine w me.