Cross-posted at MyDD

This week’s theme at the messy cross-section of race and politics in America is fear.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
It is when power is wedded to chronic fear that it becomes formidable.
Eric Hoffer, the Longshoreman Philosopher (1902 – 1983)

Fear of Brown People in General

* Oliver Willis and Atrios rap Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) for calling Miami a “Third World Country”. Because of all the brown people. The modern GOP must sincerely want to lose all future elections in coming decades since brown people, as evidenced in the recent elections, like to vote. The Latino vote increased by 37% in the 2006 election over 2002. Read more at

* Rep. Steve “Not the Rev. Martin Luther” King (R-IA) believes that the nation’s homicide rate is mostly driven by the illegal brown invasion from the South to the tune of 12 Americans a day. No actual stats to back that up. It’s just a funny feeling he has deep inside. Source: CarpetBagger Report

* “Nowhere in Congress are relations between Republicans and Democrats as publicly nasty as the House Intelligence Committee,” according to CNN. Well, now there’s a new sheriff in town: Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), former Border Patrol agent, Vietnam war vet and helicopter gunner. His appointment is called “historic” and “an important step” by a major Hispanic civil rights organization, National Council of La Raza.

Fear of Black People in General

* Police Brutality roils NYC, angers black bloggers — and sickens African-Americans in general. Terrence Says compares police brutality to terrorism and also offers a good round up of bloggers, all black men, on the NYPD killing of Sean Bell. Just a question: when was the last time we heard about a white person being shot 50 times by police? When is that much force ever justified against an unarmed person? When exactly will the double standard discontinue?

Fear of Certain Specific Black People

* The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Rep. Maxine Waters’ PAC donate big dollars to Dollar Bill Jefferson in LA-02. Too bad they are afraid to support a superior candidate — Karen Carter, who might actually work a little harder for New Orleans’ recovery. Skeptical Brotha, Jack and Jill Politics, MyDD and others are among those writing about the story.

* Wingnuts try to turn Obama to Osama by using his middle name “Hussein”. Expect to see more of this. Crooks and Liars has the story.

* In more Fear of Barack Obama news, right wingers are freaking out that Obama will address, perhaps all too persuasively, a major evangelical church as one of 60 speakers on AIDS. The general tone is exemplified by this Townhall article: Obama Wants Your Evangelical Mama’s Vote. Apparently, “BO” is actually the devil in disguise and must be stopped before he seduces every American soccer mom and prayerful blue-haired grandmother to the dark side of the Democrat party.

* Dennis Prager, Rush Limbaugh clone, created a non-controversy over whether Keith Ellison (D-MN) should be able to swear in as a new Member of Congress on a Koran rather than a Bible. It’s not the first time Ellison, a Black Muslim, has come under attack from the right wing media types. I agree with Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks: these attacks on the very Constitutional values that founded our nation only show how weak, fearful and Un-American certain elements of the conservative movement are. Even other right-leaners like Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy agreed in this National Review Online article. The bottom line: it’s a non-issue since no one has to swear on a holy book during the Congressional ceremony.

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