The Limbic Brain

I’m not much of a fan of Janeane Garofalo, but I do quite like her generally blunt and intentionally abrasive delivery. Here she is snarking with Keith Olbermann about the tea bag radicals being racists.

While not necessarily endorsing her views and somewhat quirky interpretation of things, it doesn’t seem altogether out of line to observe that the turnout at the Tea Parties was predominantly white — which, demographically speaking wouldn’t be all that entirely surprising, statistically speaking — but might perhaps be to the extent it was almost entirely and exclusively so.

“The Clam Demo”

Heh. A Freudian slip perhaps, but a good one.

The Preemptive Race Card

This is kind of a Chicken v. Egg situation, but why is it that those who criticize Barack Obama feel compelled to loudly proclaim that they’re not racists? Or more accurately, why is it they feel the need to accuse those who disagree with them about their criticisms of Obama of having presumed them to have been motivated by racism? I know… it gets quite convoluted. Here, the deep-thinkers at Fox & Friends touch on the issue with regards to criticism of the president by Angie Harmon.

Full disclosure here… I had to Google “Angie Harmon” to learn that she’s a former fashion model and now a “television star” of some repute (I thought right-wingers didn’t care what Hollywood “celebrities” thought about politics; except that is, when they agree with them, it would seem).

Anyway, I find the kind of presumption employed by Harmon to proactively defuse and irrefutably discredit any counterargument on the basis that it’s automatically nothing but a knee-jerk accusation of “racism” to be incredibly perverse and disingenuous. Not only does this conceit attempt to immediately rob any valid rebuttal of legitimacy, but it also effectively insulates and encourages base attacks that are actually borne out of naked, ugly racism.

Dehumanizing Palestinians

T-shirts worn by some Jewish soldiers mock the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including pregnant women and children. “1 shot, two kills” says one depicting a pregnant Palestinian woman in a sniper’s crosshairs.

Apparently, the shirts came into fashion following disclosures that soldiers who took part in Israel’s military offensive in Gaza complained about rules of engagement allowing them to kill civilians and destroy property. According to Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy, a sociologist at Bar-Ilan University, the phenomenon is “part of a radicalization process the entire country is undergoing, and the soldiers are at its forefront.”

Unambiguously Racist

It’s kind of pathetic when someone who evidently has no respect for free speech, who clearly doesn’t have the slightest understanding what the demonstration involved was about, and who apparently doesn’t seem to have any of the facts of the matter straight (he must not have bothered to read the article that he linked to, it seems), nonetheless furiously storms ahead, seizing on a peaceful protest as yet another opportunity to ventilate his petty, small-minded and clearly racist attitudes towards immigrants. No wonder he’s been picked up as free stringer for the National Post.

Does “Raphael” seriously think that Canadian citizens shouldn’t have the right to publicly protest about issues around the world that are of deep concern to them; whether that be out of principle or more compellingly, because they have family and friends abroad who may be directly affected?

In this case, the protesters were pleading with the Harper government to join other countries in calling for a ceasefire to the fighting in Sri Lanka amidst concerns for the safety of 250,000 civilians (according to the Red Cross) and displaced people trapped as the military pushed for victory against the last bastion of Tamil rebels. The EU’s Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel has called for a halt to the conflict in the wake of what he’s called an “escalating humanitarian catastrophe.”

Stay Classy, Chip!

You have to love Don Lemon’s polite incredulity about the CD distributed by RNC chair candidate Chip Saltsman which included the now wearisome Barack the Magic Negro song.

“I’m not going to call anyone a racist here, but come on… these are grown men and you have to suffer the consequences of whatever you do. I mean sending it out to members of the RNC… Shouldn’t — shouldn’t they know better? It’s just silly.”

No kidding.

MSNBC’s Tamron Hall was somewhat less reserved in her reaction to the term “Magic Negro” irrespective of its purportedly satirical intent.

Funnily enough, the remarkably “tonedeaf” gesture may have inadvertently helped Saltsman’s bid to become the next leader of the Republican Party.

The Intolerant, Angry Right


Yesterday, we were treated to the revelation from a self-declared “free market Christian” that “the Left” is “intolerant” and a lecture from a smug Conservative commenter about the “angry Left”…

With that bit of context in mind, comes the story from The Telegraph that a “bigoted backlash against President-elect Barack Obama, America’s first black leader, threatens to snuff out the post-election glow of racial progress and harmony.” Amongst the disgusting incidents included as part of the “Conservative backlash” is the story that:

In Madison County, Idaho, a firmly Republican state, the schools superintendent was obliged to remind teachers and bus drivers that pupils must show proper respect for elected officials, after parents complained that children on one school bus were chanting, “Assassinate Obama!”

Also featured is the incident where:

A Roman Catholic priest in South Carolina told his parishioners not to seek Holy Communion if they voted for Mr. Obama, because supporting him “constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil” as the President-elect backs abortion rights.”

Gee, didn’t that “conservative minded” Christian tell us that “the Right” doesn’t think that “the Left is “evil”… just wrong? Why yes, he did!

In another article also in The Telegraph it’s reported that there’s been an alarming upsurge in violent speech and threats against the President-elect and his supporters:

• Four North Carolina State University students admitted writing anti-Obama comments in a tunnel designated for free speech expression, including one that used a racial slur and said he should be shot in the head. Obama has received more threats than any other president-elect, authorities say.

• At Standish, Maine, a sign inside the Oak Hill General Store read: “Osama Obama Shotgun Pool.” Customers could sign up to bet $1 on a date when Obama would be killed. At the bottom of the marker board was written “Let’s hope someone wins.”

• Racist graffiti was found in places including New York’s Long Island, where two dozen cars were spray-painted; Kilgore, Texas, where the local high school and skate park were defaced; and the Los Angeles area, where swastikas, racial slurs and “Go Back To Africa” were spray painted on sidewalks, houses and cars.

• University of Alabama professor Marsha L. Houston said a poster of the Obama family was ripped off her office door. A replacement poster was defaced with a death threat and a racial slur. “It seems the election brought the racist rats out of the woodwork,” Houston said.

• Black figures were hanged by nooses from trees on Mount Desert Island, Maine, the Bangor Daily News reported. The president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas said a rope found hanging from a campus tree was apparently an abandoned swing and not a noose.

• Crosses were burned in yards of Obama supporters in Hardwick, New Jersey, and Apolacan Township, Pennsylvania. Cross burning has been used as an intimidation tactic by white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

• A black teenager in New York City said he was attacked with a bat on election night by four white men who shouted ‘Obama.’

• In the Pittsburgh suburb of Forest Hills, a black man said he found a note with a racial slur on his car windshield, saying “now that you voted for Obama, just watch out for your house.”

Unfortunately, to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of racism in America have been greatly exaggerated.

The McCain-Palin Mob

Is it any wonder than people like this support McCain-Palin?

Clearly, there’s some kind of atavistic appeal at work here that scrapes directly from the very bottom of the barrel.

“You need gloves to touch him.” — Child of Palin supporter

Now cast your mind waaaay back to two weeks ago and look at this:

And the answer to Lawrence O’Donnell’s quandary? “Joe the Plumber”

Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail

“Let me just say categorically I’m proud of the people that come to our rallies.” — John McCain

For a man who claims to idolize Teddy Roosevelt (comparisons to which could provide much comedy gold if anyone was in the least bit interested… or knew anything about history), the man who famously popularized the expression “bully pulpit” in connection with the White House and its ability to influence the course of public opinion, it’s especially sad to the McCain team wallowing in the ditch and tacitly encouraging by willfully refusing to address it, or even actively spurring on this revolting kind of ignorance and bigotry with their vile robo-calls, mailings and such.

Update: Another like mind weighs in on the same message track.