rikyrah just wrote on this. I give her props and just want to echo and deconstruct what Bob Kerrey said. Cuz let me tell y’all something — black folk can hear a dog whistle just as well as whatsoever pitifully few ignant, fearful country whites in Iowa to whom Kerrey is signaling and might actually respond to this lizard-brained level of thought. It’s something African-Americans have learned to do out of a spirit of sheer self-preservation. Which is to listen very carefully.

Thus, I give you select passages and my translation — hear’s what Bob Kerrey was actually saying with an astonishing glib insincerity to the public on CNN:

“I have a very high regard for Senator Obama…”

Translation: In no way, shape or form therefore could anything I am about to say (or repeat) possibly be construed as racist…

“[...] As an African-American, he can speak in an authentic way to underperforming black youth who I think will follow his example.”


Translation:
The niggers are coming! The Niggers are COMING! NIGGERS!!! And they will be emboldened by Barack Obama (didn’t he say he sold drugs? or maybe he just used them, whatever) to rob your stores, rape your daughters and generally run amok. Crime! Lowered property values! NIGGERS!

And of course:

“I’ve watched the blogs try to say that you can’t trust him because he spent a little bit of time in a secular madrassa. I feel quite the opposite — I think it’s a tremendous strength. Whether he’s in the United States Senate or whether he’s in the White House, I think it’s a tremendous asset for him.”

Translation: Did I mention there are a billion sand niggers, ahem, Muslims?! Better kiss any hope of immigration restrictions or successful war on terrorism goodbye because guess who’s coming to dinner and getting a green card from Cousin Barack Hussein? No matter what he claims to be, fact is — he’s one of them! He lived with them. He went to school with them — he is related to them. Elect him and expect your kids to be speaking Arabic at school and worshiping Allah in the not so distant future. NIGGERS!

Peep more analysis and video over at
Huffington Post
and Think Progress..

Honestly though, I have a soft spot for the Clintons. And this just makes me ashamed of them. That they would stoop so low as to send out a surrogate to say such things. It’s also a risky and desperate strategy that they have to know will alienate black votes which they must hope to compensate for with a higher number of scared white votes. They should know better.

It will say a lot to me if Hillary fails to distance herself from a man who continues to defend the invasion of Iraq as necessary and justified (as recently as May 2007!) and who sided with President Bush on privatizing Social Security saying in the Wall Street Journal in 2005 after the re-election of Bush —

There is no doubt that Social Security and Medicare are two of liberalism’s most enduring and popular triumphs. And there is no doubt that a vocal and influential minority remains true to its strong conservative belief that the Social Security Act of 1935 and the 1965 amendments to this act, which created Medicare and Medicaid, represent socialistic and dangerous interferences with the marketplace. However, liberals are wrong to fear that President Bush’s proposal represents a threat to Social Security.

I sincerely hope they do not merely defend their proudest achievement. I hope they see that President Bush is giving them an opportunity to finally do something about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

Ugh…when black is white and positive is negative. Are we in 1984 yet?

From Marc Ambinder:


Speaking on CNN tonight:

BOB KERREY: “It’s something by the way I have told Barack Obama when I’ve met with him. It something that I’ve spoken about before. So this is not something that just sort of came out of the head birth out there in Iowa. I’ve thought about it a great deal. I’ve watched the blogs try to say that you can’t trust him because he spent a little bit of time in a secular madrassa. I feel quite the opposite. I feel it’s a tremendous strength whether he is in the United States Senate or whether he’s in the White House, I think it’s a tremendous asset for him.

Ahem.

You can be naive if you want to be. But then, I’ll be telling you that you’re a fool. It’s all part of a coordinated effort. Remember now, not one, but TWO people have had to quit for spreading the Madrassa LIE in the Clinton campaign. And now, they have Kerrey talking about it.

If you can’t see a hit job when it’s in front of your face, then I feel bad for you. It’s marching orders from Hillary and Company.

Cross-posted at BrownIowa


Some of you may remember Diana Ross’ star turn as “Mahogany” in the film of the same title. Currently the flick can be seen on late night cable and gay bars. Ross has inspired not only many a drag queen however but many black women under 40 or 50 who saw the movie during their formative years.

The movie, released in 1975, highlights a chasm within the middle and upper classes of African-Americans. The conflict between mercantile blacks and political blacks in Mahogany pits Diana Ross, a girl from the ghetto who dreams of making it as a fashion designer against Billy Dee Williams who aspires to be the alderman from their tough neighborhood in Chicago.

In the movie, interestingly directed by big business man Berry Gordy of Motown (and Ross’ husband) sends a clear message that the price of help from whites of any nationality is sexual exploitation and fetishism and “success is nothing without someone to share it with”. Ross’ character learns what’s really important which is standing by her man (that would be Billy Dee) and working toward greater political power for African-Americans. It’s a conflicting message that speaks to the fears of the times of what assimilation and equal opportunity might actually mean.

Cut to today and for many blacks, politics has taken a back seat toward achievement in business. When you look at today’s leading political blacks, the Congressional Black Caucus for example are mostly stalwarts from the Civil Rights Era or their heirs of those baby boomers such as Jesse Jackson Jr or Harold Ford Jr.

Instead, the new battleground for younger African-Americans as encouraged by our families is the corporate arena. Our heroes are not Al Sharpton nor Jesse Jackson Sr. (And yeah, you can probably see me rolling my eyes through the computer screen).

The black peer typing emails in the office next to yours has been encouraged to grow up to be a rich and powerful CEO like Richard Parsons of Time Warner, Clarence Otis of Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden — holla!), Kenneth I. Chenault of American Express, John Thompson of Symantec, Pamela Thomas-Graham of Liz Claiborne, and Ann Fudge of Xerox.

In case you weren’t paying attention, the civil rights struggle migrated from politics to the board room sometime in the 1980s and 90s. An actual historian might be able to tell us why but perhaps it might have something to do with disillusionment and impatience that political power didn’t translate as quickly into gains for ordinary African-Americans as climbing the corporate ladder as affirmative action began to open doors and fill wallets. The best and the brightest African-Americans seemed less interested in running for office or leading protests and more interested in leaping over loosened barriers to get Harvard MBAs and socially climb. Progressive meant sitting or speaking in all-white boardrooms and proving your intelligence and equality as many times as it took to get promoted.

To gain financial muscle, many leading African-Americans appeared to feel they had to cloak their political leanings behind a friendly, harmless smile. To appear as “safe Negroes”, people like Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Al Roker and Jay-Z strove to show America that the most important color to them and other mercantile blacks was not black but green, baby. Whether you were conservative or liberal, white, black, brown, whatever — you could love your favorite black celebrity/mogul without resentment or guilt. Even Queen Latifah and Whoopi Goldberg toned down their images to appear safer. The message was all about sameness and minimizing difference. At the same time, awed whites began to make jokes about how rich Oprah had become and blacks started worshiping at the alter of prosperity, reading books like “Girl, Get Your Money Straight!“. Mercantile blacks had taken over.

That all started to change in reaction to the Bush Administration. It started in hip hop with Russell Simmons and the Hip Hop Political Summit and Sean “P.Diddy” Combs and his Vote or Die voter registration campaign. It was prima facie non-partisan but if your target audiences are young people and minorities, we all know the demographics are going to skew Democratic.

Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and Barack Obama of Illinois are a flashback to the optimism and determination of Billy Dee Williams. They represent the best and brightest that chose not to work for Merrill Lynch for example where they might make more money or become world-famous doctors like Ben Carson MD but take what many middle-class African-Americans would see as the riskier route of politics as their road to success.

What’s different from the 60s and 70s is that their message is the hope of a brighter future not for African-Americans but for all Americans in their states no matter the color of their skin nor the size of their pocketbooks. They’ve taken the language of sameness pioneered by the mercantile blacks and have adopted it as a canny political strategy to cross socio-racial lines. They are the new Black Panthers, moving stealthily through the jungle of a new era.

What’s different from the 70s is we may be on the verge of another alliance between mercantile blacks and political blacks. Oprah Winfrey has stepped out of the political shadows out of her neutral comfort zone to throw her voice and her money behind Barack Obama. She knows she may lose some of her audience and doesn’t seem to care. She’s willing to trade the The goals of mercantile blacks and political blacks are becoming re-aligned. In part out of desperation to push the people who have sent our relatives to maiming and death in Iraq out of office. This force — last seen during the struggle for civil rights in the 1940s-60s — is what drove incredible progress and prosperity in America and not only for African-Americans, dig. It introduced lasting change from which we continue to profit as a nation today.

I’ve been telling people not to sleep on the Oprah/Obama combination for almost a year now. We’ll just have to see how powerful this force really is and what it might mean for the relationship between mercantile and political African-Americans in the new millennium.

What happens when the Black Crusaders meet the new Black Panthers — watch out!

Bill Clinton took to the airwaves on The Charlie Rose Show. Basically, it was an attack fest on Barack Obama, with more than a little subtext of ‘ Who does he think he is, running for President?’

UPDATE: Bill Clinton, on ‘Charlie Rose’ Show, Suggests Obama Not Ready — Obama Responds

NEW YORK In a surprisingly frank interview with Charlie Rose on his PBS show late Friday night, former President Bill Clinton declared that his wife was not only far better prepared to be president than her chief rival Sen. Barack Obama — “it’s not close” — but that voters who disagreed would be taking a “risk” if they picked the latter.

Repeatedly dismissive of Obama — which could come back to haunt the Clinton campaign — the former president at one point said that voters were, of course, free to pick someone with little experience, even “a gifted television commentator” who would have just “one year less” experience in national service than Obama. He had earlier pointed out that Obama had started to run for president just one year into his first term in the U.S. Senate.
………………………………………

He praised Obama’s intelligence and “sensational political skills” but repeatedly suggested that, unlike his wife and some of the other candidates, he might not be ready for the job. Asked directly about that, Clinton refused to state it bluntly, but did point out that when he was elected president in 1992 at about the same age as Obama, he was the “senior governor” in the U.S. and had worked for years on international business issues. Viewers could draw their own conclusions.

Asked if Obama was ready to be president, Clinton failed to endorse that view, saying, “Well the voters have to make up their mind.” He added that “even when I was a governor and young and thought I was the best politician in the Democratic Party, I didn’t run the first time. I could have.”

Later he said that his friends in the Republican party had indicated that they felt his wife would be the strongest candidate, partly because she had already been “vetted” — another subtle slap at Obama.

Also: He said the most important thing to judge was who would be “the best agent for change” not merely a “symbol for change….symbol is not as important as substance.”

He also hit back at the charge that experienced politicians had helped get us into the Iraq war, saying that this was “like saying that because 100 percent of the malpractice cases are committed by doctors, the next time I need surgery I’ll get a chef or a plumber to do it.”

…………………………………..

Rest of article is HERE.

Ok, here I go. I was trying to be nice, but no more.

I want someone to tell me, exactly what EXPERIENCE does Hillary Clinton have?

Are you going to try and make it that her being MARRIED to Bill Clinton counts as experience?

Are you?

Being MARRIED to someone is experience?

If that’s the case, then sign me up for the Laura Bush for Governor of Texas Exploratory Committe. Laura Bush will have the said EXPERIENCE that Hillary Clinton had when she ran for the U.S. Senate.

Exactly what the hell did she do as First Lady?

Oops, that right, we don’t exactly know what is part of Hillary’s ‘EXPERIENCE’, because they won’t release her papers showing what she did as First Lady.

We DO know that the ONE thing she was assigned to do- Health Care-

WAS A DISASTER.

Not only in terms of results, but her APPROACH.

Secret Meetings.
Not willing to tell how it was organized.

Does this approach remind you of anyone? Oh yeah, Dick Cheney.

This is her natural instinct. This is her style. This is her EXPERIENCE.

Hate it with Cheney. Hillary is no better.

So, let’s go to ELECTIVE experience.

She has ONE full term of elected office. ONE term in the Senate. That’s it.

She got it because?

Because she was married to Bill Clinton.

She’s gotten everything in her professional life because of WHO SHE WAS MARRIED TO.

Period.

She walked into NYC, and ran on her husband’s coattails.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, wasn’t even completely well known on the South Side of Chicago, let alone the state, when he ran. But, he did the hard work. The grunt work, going from town to town, winning over the voters, until he earned the Democratic Nomination.

Same thing for President.

She expected a coronation.

Barack Obama wants to be elected.

Huge difference.

He’s done the work for it; going state to state, raising the money – FROM THE PEOPLE – not PACS or Lobbyists – FROM THE PEOPLE. He put together the organization, state by state, from the ground up. Doing the hard work. Doing the grunt work. Presenting himself to the American people, and trusting them to respond.And, they have.

Is part of the ‘ Experience’ mantra of Bill Clinton, is that HE’S part of the experience?

So, you’re telling me that the reason we should elect the first FEMALE President is because she’ll bring ALONG A MAN TO HELP HER?

Hillary Clinton’s EXPERIENCE can be whittled down to 2 pivotal moments:
1. Her handling of Health Care
2. Her vote on the Iraq War – a vote in which she has NEVER APOLOGIZED FOR.

Don’t we already have a President that makes bad decisions, and refuses to live up to the mistakes that they bring? Why the hell would we elect another? And, she was on her way TO IRAN, until the NIE came out.

As for her ELECTABILITY.

Let’s get this straight, once and for all.

IF you tell me that you’re choosing a candidate based upon ELECTABILITY – then you should be going with JOHN EDWARDS – you see that, in the history of the United States, there has never been anyone elected other than a White Male, and he’s a White Male.

I wouldn’t like it. I would think you were wrong. BUT, I wouldn’t think that you’ve lost your mind.

BUT, do not try and shill me, that, a woman who HALF THE COUNTRY has already told you, they will NEVER VOTE FOR, is the one that is most ELECTABLE.

This is a year out from the November 2008 elections, and HALF THE COUNTRY has told you they will NEVER vote for her – and, in what world, does that make her more ELECTABLE?

I am not naive. I fully know that Barack Obama could be a victim of a ‘ Bradley Effect’. But, for him to get where Hillary is RIGHT NOW TODAY….the ‘Bradley Effect’ would have to the size of a TSUNAMI.

I’ll remind people again.

Barack Obama is NO OLDER than when Bill Clinton won the Presidency in 1992.

NO OLDER.

Barack Obama was a Senator from a state with 12 million people.

Bill Clinton was Governor of a state of only 3 million people.

Who had a harder road to tow to election?

Obama’s response?

Obama throws back Bill Clinton’s 1992 quote in his face…….
Q: Can you respond to President Clinton’s comments last night when he asked when was the last time we elected a president with less than a year of service in the Senate before running for president. Can you respond?

OBAMA: Well look this is an argument they have been making during the duration of this campaign. I guess, here is a quote: (he reads) ‘The same old experience is irreverent, you can have right kind of experience or the wrong kind of experience and mine is rooted in the real lives of real people and it will bring real results if we have the courage to change’ … and that was Bill Clinton in 1992.

Other comments from Obama:

Obama cites ‘over a decade’ of experience
“And I’ve been involved in government for over a decade,” replied Obama.

The Illinois senator said he had “the experience that the country needs right now, of bringing people together, pushing against the special interests, of speaking to the American people about what needs to be done to move the country forward.”

When asked about Sen. Clinton’s reference to possible “surprises” coming out about her rivals for the nomination, Obama said, referring to the senator and the ex-president, “The argument they’re making is that they’ve been around a long time. So whatever negative information is out there, people already know about. The assumption, then, is that lurking in other candidates’ pasts that haven’t been around for 20 years there might be something.”

But Obama said “I’ve probably been more reported on than any political figure in the country over the last year … I hardly think that I’ve been under-exposed during the course of this race.”

He added, “I understand there’s a history of politics being all about slash and burn…. I recall what the Clintons themselves called the ‘politics of personal destruction’ — which they decried. My suspicion is that that’s just not where the country is at right now. They are not interested in politics as a blood sport; they’re interested in governance and solving problems” such as job creation and product safety.

The sense of ENTITLEMENT REEKED from Clinton during the Charlie Rose interview. And, that is exactly why he, and his wife, need to be sent packing. She is NOT ENTITLED to be PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES because she suffered the public humiliation of his philandering.

Not.in.the.least.

This is as nice as I can be. There was another undercurrent in that interview, but maybe I’m too ‘ sensitive’ as a Black person and picked up on it. If any other Black folk saw the interview, maybe they’ll tell me if they picked up on the undercurrent too…….

Rep. Julia Carson Dies at 69
2 hours ago

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Rep. Julia Carson, the first black and first woman to represent Indianapolis in Congress, died Saturday, a family spokeswoman said. She was 69.

Carson died after a battle with lung cancer, spokeswoman Vanessa Summer said.

Carson announced last month that she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and that she would not run next year for a seventh term representing Indianapolis’ 7th District. She had not been in Washington since September, when she was hospitalized with a leg infection.

She had said that she expected to return to Washington after recuperating, but a doctor then diagnosed that her lung cancer, which had been in remission, was back.

Carson was first elected to Congress in 1996. She championed children’s issues, women’s rights and efforts to reduce homelessness and was a staunch opponent of the war in Iraq.

Carson was born to a single mother who worked as a housekeeper. She graduated in 1955 from the same segregated high school school as basketball star Oscar Robertson.

She began her political career in the 1960s when then-Rep. Andy Jacobs Jr. hired her to work in his office. Jacobs encouraged Carson to run for the Indiana Legislature in 1972 — the first of more than two dozen victories in local, legislative and congressional elections. She ran for Congress in 1996 after Jacobs retired.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

In case you haven’t been paying attention to politics in the past few days, the former head of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in New Hampshire, Bill Shaheen, ‘resigned’ because of remarks that he made about Barack Obama.

Per the WashingtonPost, here is the money quote:

Shaheen said Obama’s candor on the subject would “open the door” to further questions. “It’ll be, ‘When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?‘” Shaheen said. “There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It’s hard to overcome.”

Now, numerous previous candidates have admitted to drug use. George W. Bush spent the better part of TWENTY YEARS under some sort of influence, be it booze or drugs, and nobody EVER ASKED HIM THIS QUESTION.

But, THE BLACK MAN, who has TWO Ivy League Degrees, is ASKED IF HE’S A DRUG DEALER?

But, if Sheehan was ‘acting solo’/ ‘going rogue’, then what the hell was Mark Penn doing on Hardball with the same slime, not an hour AFTER the debate was over.

Thanks to our friend, sagereader, over at Think On These Things, breaks it down in this post: Evidence That Clinton Camp’s Attack On Obama’s Drug Use Was Deliberate

The title of this post comes from a reply here at Jack and Jill.

NMP asked:

The larger question for the hankerchief heads, as you like to call them, supporting Hillary Clinton is will they join her in effectively using a Wille Horton on Obama…using the unjust incarceration of mostly Black men as a wedge issue to scare White folks against Obama?

I have written about Hillary Clinton’s stance AGAINST retroactivity with regards to drug sentencing HERE.

Here is the money quote from Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic:

Campaign aides have said that Obama’s support for retroactivity in drug sentences would kill him with tough-on-crime white independents. But the Supreme Court, in a 7 to 2 decision yesterday that included Antonin Scalia, endorsed the view that judges could ignore sentencing guidelines when handing down prison terms for distributing crack versus powder cocaine, and a Bush administration panel today voted seven to nothing to impose retroactivity.

Now, her choice puts her to the RIGHT of SCALIA. It’s going to be on the backs of Black Men and Women – who are the ones disproportionately incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses. She’ll prove her ELECTABILITY by proving how many BLACK FOLK she can keep locked up.

First scaring the White folk in Iowa with the Obama is a Drug Dealer smear, then once she’s won that, have her Handkerchief Heads, come front and center, about why Black folk should vote for her, after she’s vowed to keep standing, one of the most obvious and blatant examples of Racial Disparity in the Justice System.

We must suffer through this racist BS when it comes from a Republican.

But, I’ll be damned if I’m going to suffer through it from a Democrat.

I.am.NEVER.voting.for.her.

PS- And, don’t forget, that not one, but TWO folks have had to resign in Iowa because of the Madrassa LIE.

Cross-posted at Brown Iowa

I have to admit that I have no idea why conservatives resist all manner of change in society, especially with regard to race, only to attempt to claim credit for such changes decades later. Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson’s attempt to claim the mantle of abolition for evangelical Christians is trash history at its worst:

For many conservatives, the birthday of the movement is Nov. 1, 1790 — the publication date of Edmund Burke’s “Reflections on the Revolution in France.” Burke described how utopian idealism could lead to the guillotine, just as it later led to the gulag. He rejected the democracy of the mob and argued that social reform, when necessary, should be gradual, cautious and rooted in the habits and traditions of the community.

But there is another strain of conservatism with a birthday three years earlier than Burke’s “Reflections.” On May 12, 1787, under an English oak on his Holwood Estate, Prime Minister William Pitt pressed a young member of Parliament named William Wilberforce to introduce a bill for the abolition of the slave trade. Wilberforce’s research found that the holds of slave ships were, according to one witness, “so covered in blood and mucus which had proceeded from them in consequence of the (dysentery) that it resembled a slaughterhouse.” Enslaved Africans on the ships attempted to starve themselves to death or to jump into the ocean. Wilberforce thought this suffering a good reason for reform.

The only problem is that the act for which Wilberforce is best known, his effort to abolish the slave trade, it decidedly un-Burkean and un-conservative: It is the definition of radical, progressive change, and the very opposite of what Gerson describes as”Burkean” in the first paragraph of his Op-Ed.

Were that the fabrications ended there.

Both Wilberforce and Shaftesbury considered themselves Burkean conservatives; Wilberforce was a friend of Burke’s and a fellow opponent of the French revolution’s wild-eyed utopianism. Wilberforce and Shaftesbury were gradualists, not radicals. They hated socialism and rejected the perfectibility of man.

But both were also evangelical Christians who believed that all human beings are created in God’s image — and they were deeply offended when that image was degraded or violated. Long before compassionate conservatism got its name, the ideas of compassion and benevolence were central to their political and moral philosophy.

[...]

But the compassionate conservatism of Wilberforce and Shaftesbury is just as old as Burke, and more suited to an American setting. American conservatives, after all, are called upon to conserve a liberal ideal — that all men are created equal. A conservatism that does not accommodate the “ideology” of the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. will seem foreign to most Americans. A concern for the rights of the poor and vulnerable is not simply “theological”; it is a measure of our humanity. And skepticism in this noble cause is not sophistication; it seems more like exhaustion and cynicism.

Maintaining this fairy tale requires that Gerson remain in Britain and not discuss the circumstances of the abolitionist movement in any detail. Religion played just as actively a role in rationalizing and perpetuating slavery as it did in ending it.

In America and the most active and constant abolitionists were not Evangelical Christians, but Quakers. The same is true of Britain.

Quakers had been leading the movement to abolish slavery in Britain for more than a hundred years before Wilberforce was even born.

The largest Evangelical group in the United States, the Southern Baptists, supported slavery right up to its abolition.

Contrary to what Gerson says, an American conservatism that does not embrace Martin Luther King is not “foreign” to Americans, it is the very definition of American conservatism.

Modern American conservatism owes itself not to Burke, but to Barry Goldwater, whose great appeal was his opposition to integration. The conservatives of the 1950s and 1960s were not praising Martin Luther King Jr., they were in complete ideological opposition to him.

In MLK’s own words:

On the urgent issue of civil rights, Senator Goldwater represented a philosophy that was morally indefensible and socially suicidal. While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulated a philosophy which gave aid and comfort to the racist. His candidacy and philosophy would serve as an umbrella under which extremists of all stripes would stand. In the light of these facts and because of my love for America, I had no alternative but to urge every Negro and white person of goodwill to vote against Mr. Goldwater and to withdraw support from any Republican candidate that did not publicly disassociate himself from Senator Goldwater and his philosophy.

Conservatives have no right to claim King as an ideological ally when fifty years ago the modern Republican Party was built on white resentment of MLK and the goal of integration. Not when in 2007, they can’t find a single black lawyer willing to work for the Bush Administration in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

From Southern Political Report, there is this story:

InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Weekend Survey: Obama Extends Lead in South Carolina
Compiled from InsiderAdvantage and Southern Political Report staff reports

December 10, 2007 — An InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion survey conducted December 8-9 of likely voters in South Carolina’s presidential primary shows Barack Obama extending his lead over Hillary Clinton. The telephone survey of 480 likely voters in the primary was weighted for age, race, and gender. It has a margin of error of 4%

Q. If the South Carolina Democratic Presidential primary were held today, would you vote for:

Obama: 28%
Clinton: 22%
Edwards: 14%
Biden: 10%
Richardson: 2%
Kucinich: 1%
Dodd: 0%
Gravel: 0%
Undecided: 23%

InsiderAdvantage’s Matt Towery: “Obama’s support among African-Americans rose a bit over the weekend, while Clinton’s dropped. This follows our poll of late last week in which there was a major shift in black voters towards Obama. Edwards lost a small amount, as this likely shifted to undecided.

“However, Obama’s white vote has not moved. Clearly the Oprah Winfrey visit to the state moved African-American voters. The issue now is whether Clinton can eat into some of Edward’s support or reclaim some of her prior African-American support.

Added Lee Bandy of The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, and of Insider Advantage: “I believe these numbers are correct. There has been tremendous shift in the black vote since last week, when people realized that Oprah Winfrey was coming to South Carolina. This is the first political event I’ve ever seen with 30,000 people and tailgaters.”

Real Clear Politics has a set of S.C. primary polls recently updated plus some nice trend lines.

Our friends at ColorofChange.org are in action again. Trying to help Katrina Survivors to get back home.

Sign the petition:

Call on your senator to support S. 1668

Help Katrina survivors come back home

Public housing residents have been blocked from returning home for over two years. The Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act of 2007 (HR 1227 / S. 1668) would help them come home by repairing and opening thousands of minimally damaged public housing units. The bill passed in the House of Representatives, but some senators are standing in the way of the bill, supporting the interests of those who would like to see a richer, Whiter New Orleans and Gulf Coast.

Demand that your senator protect affordable housing in the Gulf Coast by supporting S. 1668 now.

There is public housing that made it through the storm. These citizens ought to be able to return back to New Orleans. Sign the petition. Make those calls.

Money Magazine has outlined the net worth of the major contenders.

Candidate Net Worth

Mitt and Ann Romney —————-$202 million
John and Elizabeth Edwards ———$54.7 million
Rudy Giuliani ———————-$52.2 million
John and Cindy McCain ————–$40.4 million
Hillary and Bill Clinton———– $34.9 million
Fred Thompson ———————-$8.1 million
Barack and Michelle Obama———- $1.3 million

The only reason the Obamas paid off their student loans is because he wrote a couple of books; so, their net worth doesn’t surprise me.
I thought Thompson’s would be more. He has been an actor for forever.
I do believe that McCain’s money comes from his wife.
I think it’s insane that Giuliani thinks that the public doesn’t have a right to know who he’s been doing business with. We already know that he had no problem cashing Hugo Chavez’s checks; so, what other unseemly character’s checks has he cashed.
John Edwards earned his money by winning for his clients; I have no problems with that.
I do have a problem that the Clintons STILL won’t pony up about whose been paying Bill to make those speeches.
As for Flipping Mitt: born rich,he’s a perfect piece of plastic, which probably made him a very good businessman.

I yield the floor to sagereader of Think On These Things, who was there in South Carolina this weekend.

Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey In South Carolina: Random Thoughts and News Clippings

Pre-Rally

The state troopers were seriously out on the highway the morning of the rally. Is there usually a SC state trooper every mile going into Columbia early on Sunday morning?

“God has smiled on me…” is what I was thinking but “This is the day that the Lord has made” was the phrase that came to Obama’s mind as he started his speech. It was December 9, at least 70 degrees, and the sun was beaming down on people as they tried to find shade while waiting in line. It felt like it was July. Simply coincidence? The Clean Coal people had enthusiastic hands grabbing for their fliers as people waited in line, but that was more a matter of people needing a piece of paper to keep the sun out of their eyes than anything else.

Ummm…Why was there someone walking around the line with a Ron Paul sign? I’m not inclined to think that Obama’s support will easily go to Ron Paul.

The media are also out in full effect with their satellite trucks facing the beaming sun. One perky reporter goes around interviewing people about whether they are there more for Oprah or for Obama. I’m annoyed that the reporters already have their framing of the event before it even begins and that they can’t ask a more important question than that.

The line wrapped and wrapped and wrapped and wrapped and we stood and stood and stood. Some people had the right idea and stopped at Bojangles to eat while they waited. Every few meters, we are asked by volunteers if we have signed our supporter card and have it checked. We must have it signed and ready to turn in when we enter. Another person comes by, “Anyone need to register to vote? It’s very easy. If you’re not going to be in town that day you can do absentee.” Two smiling younger kids come by, “Anyone want to donate their canned goods for hope?” I feel ashamed that I forgot to bring my cans.

Yep. Folk probably didn’t go to church today. We actually see some church buses there at the stadium, so maybe they had church there. This is an historic event…who could miss it?

As we finally walk into the stadium, campaign volunteers are handing out another sheet of paper with some golf pencils. Everyone grabs for one, not knowing what it’s about. I think most people were probably thinking it was for a raffle or giveaway. Hey, when Oprah’s involved you never know what bountiful gifts you might be eligible to receive.

A rock band plays as we enter…Pretty good. Not sure if they’re locals or not. They try to get people excited but I think most people are just glad to sit down. We’re conserving our energy for Obama and Oprah.

Two high school marching bands are there (HBCU style)…Very cute. I’m thankful that their dance moves were not as “provocative”as my high school marching band’s moves were. We were down on the ground. Lord have mercy. No wonder they got us a new tamer band director…we had no business doing that stuff at that age. But I digress. These kids were good and they danced their age.

Arrested Development

Arrested Development is up next. I forgot they had other hits besides Tennessee. They started off with Mr. Wendel…


Here, have a dollar, in fact no brother, man here have two. Two dollars means a snack to me, but it means a big deal to you…

A 70+ year old man on stage with them who they claim is “the oldest man in hip-hop” starts dancin’ and gets lowwww… I think most people are thinking that they wish they could be that agile when they get over 70 years old…or even right now. Ishi (sp?) then proceeds to dance her butt off. You go girl.
Then came those Calgon-like sultry words we had been waiting to hear…

Take me hoooooo-o-ome… Take me hoooo-ooo-oome…. Hooomme. Take meee to another plaaaaace. Won’t you help me? Won’t you help me? Won’t you help me under-stand your plannnnnnnn?

Y’all know that was the jam. I’m amazed that they have probably sang this song a million times and can still sing it with so much feeling as if it were brand new.
Then Speech took us back with one of our icons…


Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Sold I to the merchant ships,


These songs of freedom? -
cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.

Man, I love that song. I’m reminded of the genius of Bob Marley and the redemption song we need to sing right now to get our country out of the mess it’s in.

But then another Arrested Development hit comes on—I had completely forgotten about this one!


“Iiiiiiii am everyday people…”

In the midst of all this the audience stirs as people start whispering that they saw Gayle King walk out into the crowd–”You see! She’s over there in the cream color! Do you see her?” “Oh okay! I see her now.”

The Rally Gets Rolling
Obama campaign volunteers come out and ask people to text the SC campaign to receive updates and so that three of them can randomly be selected to sit right down front at the rally. They also come out and help the crowd break the record for largest phonebank ever as people are asked to call the four numbers on the piece of paper they handed out and read the phonebanking script to inquire about who they are supporting in the SC primary. We’re supposed to use the golf pencils to fill out responses and then turn them in to the volunteers walking through the aisles. The Guinness Book of World Records guy comes out on stage and certifies the record. The previous phonebank record had been 15,000. Today’s was a little over 36,000. What is clear is that the Obama campaign is disciplined and organized and making sure they sign up voters and get contact info so they can get out the vote. This is good because if they’re not going to get out the vote, all of this is for naught.

Then comes Michelle Obama…. Woooo! Whoever is her stylist and all that is doing a bang up job. She is really representing. If we are going to have our first African American First Lady, we better do it with style and grace. It’s clear that Michelle Obama is going to lead the charge. She gives an empowered speech that’s short but potent and then…

out comes Oprah!!! Woooo!!!! The crowd goes wild! Everyone whispers about how she looks just like she does on TV!

I expected Oprah to endorse Obama, but I didn’t really know she would endorse Obama. She really nailed some of the major criticisms of his candidacy including people who say he should wait. She says, “None of us are God. We don’t know what the future holds.” We need to act when we are pressured to do so and that time is now. She nails the criticism of Obama’s experience. She discusses how mothers know that it is not how much time you spend with your child but the quality of time you spend with them. She links this to saying the audience shouldn’t let people fool them into thinking that experience learning the ways of Washington is superior to the wisdom learned working on the ground with people outside of Washington…

She reminds us that if she had listened to people who said she needed to wait or needed more experience before doing things, she wouldn’t be sitting on that stage right now. Heads nod as her words resonate deeply with many of us who know Oprah’s amazing story. Images of a young Oprah fresh out of Tennessee State University taking on a news job a little before her time flash through my mind. Memories of her standing with a microphone and an afro and her many battle stories of people telling her she was too this and too that to do what she has done have already been etched into my brain from years of watching her show. We all know that Oprah is telling the truth about her story. She is telling the truth about Obama’s story. To deny that she’s telling the truth would be to deny the possibilities for our own lives. We should not wait.

She tells SC that on January 26, it is their moment. She gets the mike off its stand and gets into talk show mode walking around the stage saying that it will be SC’s moment. This is Mama Oprah’s time…exhorting her children to “vote Dr. King’s dream.”

Oprah is in our homes every day advising us on our finances, relationships, interior decorating, fashion, etc. However, I have never seen this side of Oprah. She could have been a “neutral” endorser, but she wasn’t. She put her foot all up in the criticism of Obama–experience, needing to “wait his turn,” and more–and made all those excuses null and void.

You can watch clips from her speech online so I won’t recount the whole thing. She ends though with the refrain from The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, “Are you the one?” Such a powerful refrain because it takes our vote for President and imbues it with a spiritual and almost divine meaning that it wouldn’t otherwise have. Not “Who are you going to vote for?” but “Are you the one?” With that she tells the crowd that she believes Obama is the one and out he comes…The audience screams!

Watch the full 20-minute speech from Oprah here.

Contrary to Ben Smith at Politico and Mark Halperin at The Page, Barack Obama’s speech did not “silence the crowd.” After one of Obama’s initial lines about “In November 2008, George Bush will no longer be on the ballot” the audience went wild for at least a minute until Obama had to quiet them down. From then on we were hanging on to his every word. In fact, it occurred to me that Barack Obama is much better at giving speeches than even Oprah. Her speech was good and she’s the queen at daytime talk show moderation, but Obama is truly an amazing orator in front of a crowd. He told the “Barack, I’m a Republican” joke that I’ve heard him say over hundred times and I and the crowd still laughed. There is no way that he had turned the crowd off in any way shape or form.

In fact, there were a few fired up random people standing up and screaming “I love you Barack!” while he was trying to make a deep point and people looked quickly as if to say, “Shhh…we’re trying to hear what he’s saying.” If there was any quiet moment it was because people were listening intently.

Obama gave the speech he gave at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner…A powerful speech. I love it.

Parting Thoughts

Some people are confused about turnout. There were about 36,000 folk there.
The Hillary campaign is truly aware of the power of this event. On the black gospel station that most of the black folk were probably listening to on the way home from the rally, the Hillary campaign was running radio spots featuring Maya Angelou. Angelou echoed the Clinton campaign’s “strength and experience to lead” argument and emphasized that Clinton is a woman. I don’t think the content and timing of those ads were coincidental.

Just wanted to thank sagereader for that personal account.

Shelby Steele is feeling frisky. I’m not really sure what causes people like Steele to contradict themselves so violently, and to offer critiques of others that are more likely to be leveled at themselves. From my Undercover Brother:

That’s right, people. Shelby Steele, a black man of supposed high intellect, declared – on national TV! – that Hillary is “blacker than Barack Obama.”

He said it Friday afternoon on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” He was a guest alongside Michael Eric Dyson.

You know I got that audio. You know that, right? Click here. The clip begins with Prof. Dyson talking about the impact of Oprah Winfrey’s support of Sen. Obama.

If that sounds odd, it might be because Steele has previously described such rigid conceptions of negritude as “totalitarian”.

We entered an era of bad faith where we began to look to our identity to get us ahead… You notice that blackness, the black identity never came about until we were free… then all of a sudden Stokely Carmichael used that phrase “Black Power”, and then all of a sudden there was a focus on black-ness, we were going to get together as a group, we were going to move ahead that way out of our identity.

Well, now I’ve come to realize that almost every oppressed group that comes into freedom does this, they’re shocked, humiliated by it, they then form an identity that is much more intense, that is in fact totalitarian, that demands that you not only be black but that you be black in a certain way, that you make your bond with the group and that you put that identity abouve your individuality. But, we’d just got free!

Having that same “you’re not black” card pulled on Steele all his life has led him to pen book after book lamenting the way his blackness is constantly questioned because of something as arbitrary as his political identity. It hasn’t however, discouraged him from pulling that same card on others when politically convenient.

Case in point, this comment on a Youtube video of Steele on Hannity:

What the f*** is this red indian talking about?

Is this really the kind of political discourse Steele wants to have?

I quote Nas:


we can’t see ourselves as the boss
Deep-rooted through slavery, self-hatred
The Jewish stick together, friends in high places
We on some low level shit
We don’t want niggaz to ever win


Andrew Young, Shelby Steele, Nas is talking about you.

X posted at Too Sense

Khalil G. Muhammad contextualizes the historical argument that blacks are “fully responsible” for their own oppression, an argument that began not with the Civil Rights Act, not with Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight, but with emancipation. The conversation has always been between white people looking to exonerate themselves from any social responsibility and black people who want to prove their worthiness through imitation of “white values,” which is essentially a tacit admission of white superiority.

In its coverage of the Pew report findings, National Public Radio asked whether some blacks were lagging behind because they were choosing not to become “closer to whites in their values.” Unfortunately, this line of questioning reinforces one of the most persistent myths in America, that white is always right. The myth reflects an enduring double standard based on “white” and “black” explanations for social problems. And it assumes that “white” culture is the gold standard for judging everyone, despite its competing ideologies, its contradictions and its flaws, including racism.

The masquerade began over a hundred years ago. Shortly after the end of slavery, sociologists and demographers began presenting research on black failure and struggle as “indisputable” proof of black inferiority. One of the first studies was released in 1896, when the leading race-relations demographer of the period, Frederick L. Hoffman, analyzed census data showing that blacks were doing worse than whites in mortality, health, employment, education and crime. The problem was not racism, he argued, but “race traits and tendencies.”

Muhammad places Cosby in Booker T. Washington’s role, and there are some similarities. Bill Cosby’s nasty stereotyping of sexual promiscuity in urban neighborhoods (Cosby has apparently never been to a liberal arts college in the northeast) his attack on “African Sounding names” and the like reminding one of Booker T. Washington’s evocation of minstrelsy to describe black peoples lives. From The New York Times archive, an excerpt of an article from 1897:

In illustrating the need of education and religious teaching, Mr. Washington said slavery was responsible for the weakness of Sambo’s moral nature. In the old days, said he, it was not regarded as stealing to steal massa’s chickens to feed massa’s “niggahs”.

Read the article for yourself, but absorb if you can, that mighty paradox: Slavery illustrated the weakness of black people’s moral nature. The substance of the discussion, when framed racially, has hardly changed since 1897.

To him, the civil rights acts of the 1860s and 1870s had leveled the playing field. Blacks should be left to compete against whites on their own and face the inevitable. The black man, he wrote, “has usually but one avenue out of his dilemma — the road to prison or to an early grave.”

At the same time, when explaining rising rates of crime, suicide and mental-health problems among whites, Hoffman blamed industrialization and the strains of “modern life.” He called for a reordering of the nation’s economic priorities. Hoffman’s study coincided with — and provided justification for — the Supreme Court’s notorious Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which legalized segregation.

Not surprisingly, issues that affect enough white people to be “national” issues become raceless, while issues that are seen as “black” are rationalized as failures of moral character. Health Care anyone?

Many whites loved Washington, and his ideas were echoed by liberal social scientists such as the psychologist G. Stanley Hall, who instructed black people to stop sympathizing “with their own criminals” and “accept without whining patheticism and corroding self-pity [their] present situation, prejudice and all.”(Lord. Just think about what the conservatives were like back then.)

But when Hall turned his focus on whites, his research on adolescent psychology directly influenced national efforts to protect them from the ravages of industrial capitalism. Drawing on his work, the child-welfare activist Jane Addams established Hull House in Chicago at first to help immigrant families adjust to American life, and later to save thousands of Chicago’s white youth from lives of crime, violence and drug abuse attributed to “modern city conditions.” But black children were not generally welcome at Hull House. Addams claimed that similar problems among black youth were due to the race’s “belated” moral development, manifested in poor parenting and a lack of “social restraint.”

Is anyone else shocked that in reading Juan Williams recent Op-Ed summarizing his interpretation of the Pew Poll results, one does not read the phrase “belated moral development?”

Muhammad’s Op-Ed goes on to summarize the ensuing conflict between W.E.B. DuBois (my man) and the established narrative on race.

The pioneering black social scientist W.E.B. Du Bois challenged this first generation of white liberals and social scientists, including Hoffman, on the flawed assumptions and racial double standards in their studies and in their practices. But when Du Bois tried to argue that pathology knows no color, he was ignored, criticized and dismissed by his white peers as an angry black man with, as one sociologist put it, a “chip on his shoulder.”

Damn right the man had a chip. He was a genius with advanced degrees in multiple disciplines who had to spend his entire life fighting racism and proving he wasn’t “inferior”.

But perhaps the most important thing to take away from Muhammad’s piece is something I’ve been saying for years, and it is perhaps the dominant theme on Too Sense: The idea that certain problems are intrinsic to blackness or black people is a way for white people to avoid their own moral and social failures, from violence, to anti-intellectualism, from violence in rap music to the Stop Snitching movement. (Hi Alberto Gonzales!)

Du Bois’s scholarship and activism helped pave the way for the modern civil rights movement, which helped exorcize the ghost of America’s Jim Crow past. That he was right about racism but that we still continue to accept the same flawed thinking about race and social problems suggests a powerful and enduring paradox.

If we insist on explaining racial disparities in terms of black vs. white values, then we need to explain what exactly white values are. When we do, we’ll find that whiteness is an inadequate standard by which to judge good black people vs. bad ones.

As my students would tell you, the real white world is as pathological, as respectable and as diverse as the black one.

I could have told you that. No wait, I have told you that.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that idea scares the shit out of many people, black and white. The idea that our entire conversation on race is meant not to find a solution to urban poverty, but to rationalize the status quo, says a great deal about social responsibility and about the value of black life in America, a hundred and fifty years after emancipation. But maybe what’s more scary is that it might say something about the person sitting next to you in class, or at work, or on the bus.

That’s why Cosby’s comment about “African-sounding names” resonates among social conservatives: What he’s really saying is you’re not being white enough.

But hey, forget I said anything. Let’s just blame it all on “the black KKK.”

(cross-posted to goodCRIMETHINK)

rikyrah did an excellent take-down of Andrew Young for his niggardly (yes, I am getting Shakespearean on this clown) comments about Barack Obama, but I want to tag team this Negro.

Civil rights has-been Andrew Young felt the need to explain to the press why he is not supporting Barack Obama. Mr. “Thank you for shopping at the local-economy-destroying Wal-Mart” thinks he still matters. Poor thing.

His arguments?

“Barack Obama does not have the support network yet to get to be
president…,” he said. He reflected on his days serving as one of many
lieutenants to Martin Luther King Jr.
He also said that while Obama’s rival Sen. Hillary Clinton is surrounded by quite a few black advisors Obama has very few.
“To put a brother in there by himself is to set him up for crucifixion,” he said.

Mr. Crab in a Bucket, do you know what might help Obama’s network of support? How about if cowardly, corrupt sellouts such as yourself were to simply keep your mouths shut? And don’t mistake the endorsement of a council of fools for real support. With more small donors than any other candidate in this campaign, Barack has a support network comprised of the people. Remember them? Bro?

Another argument?

He also joked that author Toni Morrison may have been on to something
when she referred to former President Bill Clinton as the “first black
president.”
“Bill is every bit as black as Barack,” he said. “He has probably gone out with more black women than Barack.”

When would the married Bill Clinton have had time to go out with all of these black women, Mr. Young?

More importantly, how many times do I have to scream this?

BILL CLINTON WAS NOT BLACK.
BILL CLINTON IS NOT BLACK.
BILL CLINTON NEVER WILL BE BLACK!

Who is really behind this repeated claim? This is some bullshit, and it has got to stop. Now. Just because you play the saxophone and shamelessly, repeatedly cheat on your wife does not make you one of us. It’s one thing for a comic to joke about this. It’s another for a once-respected “black leader” to repeat such nonsense.

And just because you served with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. decades ago does not make you Lord of Blackness. Whether it’s Jesse saying Obama is “acting white” with regard to Jena or this Andrew Jackson clown attempting to undermine Obama, we are going to call you on it every single time.

And, Mr. Young, since you think you have some God-granted right of judgment over people’s black credentials, let me declare here and now that you, sir, are no longer black. I hereby revoke your Black card. Hand over your ID. You are barred from the meetings. You lose the right to speak ebonics. Do not pass go. If you are any color, it is green.

You are green with greed that could so blind you to support such a devastatingly destructive company as WALMART in the so-called name of your people.

Mostly, you are green with envy, that someone like Obama makes you look so tacky, so trifling, so out of touch, so transparently lame.

As you might recall last week, I singled out Fred Thompson’s response to the Confederate Flag question during the recent Republican CNN/YouTube debate. It was a shocking moment of clarity, conscience and tolerance from a Republican since their M.O. for the past few elections has been careful to include racism, race-baiting and ethnic tension.

The fact that a Republican candidate could actually comprehend that a symbol that some in the South may dubiously see as “heritage” represents a legacy of terrorism and oppression to others was refreshing. Personally, I see a Confederate flag and a chill runs down my spine to the sinking feeling of dread in my stomach. Not good.

Yet it’s not surprising sadly that some Republicans had trouble with this. The problem with winking at and even cultivating racism in your party platform is that it attracts embarrassing racists wearing unfashionable Confederate flags…

From CNN’s Political Ticker:

Clad in jackets bearing the Confederate flag and holding signs reading “South Carolina hates Fred Thompson” and “Fred Thompson go home,” the protesters said Thompson was not a “true southerner.”

Jim Hanks, chairman of the South Carolina League of the South, said that Thompson’s answer at the debate was worse than Romney’s because Thompson is from a southern state.

“He’s masquerading as a good ole boy,” Hanks said.

Asked about the flag during last week’s debate, Thompson said that, “as far as a public place is concerned, I am glad that people have made the decision not to display it as a prominent flag, symbolic of something, at a state capital.”

But the former Senator from Tennessee qualified his statement: “As a part of a group of flags or something of that nature, you know, honoring various service people at different times in different parts of the country, I think that’s different.”

The Confederate flag on display at the South Carolina Statehouse waves next to the Confederate soldier monument there.

“The flag stands right next to the Confederate Memorial on the capitol grounds, honoring, as Fred says, the ‘various service people at different times and different parts of the country,’” said Thompson spokesman Todd Harris after the debate.

As a commenter wrote:

Fred Thompson’s done pissed off ‘em hillbillies.

Posted By Bryan, CA : December 6, 2007 3:40 am


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