April 17, 2012

America’s Most Indecent Race Mongers

…For Power, Profit, And Because They’ve Always Been Able to Get away with It

by Harry Stein

Al Sharpton by David ShankboneAl Sharpton (@TheRevAl)  

A no-brainer. Who else rushes so eagerly to exploit and worsen every inflammatory racial situation going? Who else—after the notorious Tawana Brawley hoax (in which he falsely accused six white men of raping a 15-year old black girl); and the racial conflagration in Crown Heights, Brooklyn (where a Jew was stabbed to death after he inflamed local blacks by  proclaiming, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house,”); and the Freddy’s Fashion Mart tragedy (wherein seven died when one of his followers burst into the Harlem store of the merchant he’d denounced as “a white interloper” and set the place ablaze); and all the countless other ugly offenses against fundamental decency, would have the sheer shamelessness to call the millions of patriotic, small government activists of the Tea Party racist? Who else would eagerly inflame passions nationwide by rushing down to Florida to exploit the death of a 17 year-old before any of the pertinent facts are in? Bottom line:  who else has so long and disgraceful a history of vicious and destructive race baiting? Well, okay, maybe…  

Reverend Jesse Jackson speaking at the UN Jesse Jackson (@RPCoalition) 

The race monger’s race monger, a man who knows no embarrassment and NEVER learns. 1984: New York is “Hymietown,” (“explaining” afterward he assumed the slur would not be printed because of his “racial bond” with Washington Post reporter Milton Coleman, to whom he’d said it.) 2010: “You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.”2011: the Tea Party “intend to take the government and take it backward. This is a civil war, and you are with the union or the states righters… they want to undermine the 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments.” 2012: Trayvon Martin “was killed because he was black,” and “targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business” in America.

Morris Dees (@SPLCenter)

The head of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which decades ago fought the KKK but today keeps its vast fund raising machine churning by viciously slandering mainstream conservatives. Among the organizations the SPLC has smeared as “hate groups” that seek “to make bigoted and discredited ideas respectable” are the American Enterprise Institute, the Family Research Center, the American Family Association and Concerned Women for America. Which “bigoted” ideas? Opposing illegal immigration, government-sponsored racial preferences and gay marriage. As the super-salesman of hate mongering, Dees himself has become a multi-millionaire.

Wahneema Lubiano

The little known Duke University associate professor of African & African American Studies is a fit representative for all the many academics who poison the minds of the young and impressionable at America’s colleges and universities. It was Lubiano who led the rush by the Duke’s radical faculty to exploit racial tensions after members of the the school’s lacrosse team were (falsely) accused of raping a black woman. The statement she wrote, signed by the so-called Group of 88 declared “Regardless of the results of the police investigation, what is apparent everyday now is the anger and fear of many students who know themselves to be objects of racism and sexism, who see illuminated in this moment’s extraordinary spotlight what they live with everyday.” Describing herself as “at the mercy of racist, sexist, heterosexist, and global capitalist constructions of the meaning of skin color on a daily basis” and as “physically traumatized and psychologically assaulted . . . in the dark of a power that never admits to its own existence,” Lubiano exemplifies  what has gone so tragically wrong in American higher education.

Rep. André CarsonAndre Carson (@RepAndreCarson)

The representative for Indiana’s 7th Congressional District, Carson disgraced himself and his office in his shocking and inflammatory denunciation of the Tea Party. Out-slandering all other extreme members of the Black Congressional Caucus (see below), he may have set a new low for scurrilous and irresponsible invective when he declared to an overwhelmingly black crowd that the movement sought to turn back the clock to ‘where we were 50 and 60 years ago,” and that “Some of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me… hanging on a tree.”

Selena Roberts

Like Lubiano, Roberts is both disgraceful on her own terms and exemplifies an entire category: race mongering mainstream journalists, who not only give credence to racial arsonists but seek to destroy those with the temerity to challenge the conventional liberal narrative on race. Still, it is rare that a journalist leads the charge in fanning discord—which is what the disgraceful Roberts, then of theNew York Times, did during the Duke rape hoax. Even after the lacrosse players had been exonerated, Roberts was unrepentant, raging against “the irrefutable culture of misogyny, racial animus and athlete entitlement that went unrestrained that night…” Like the radical Duke professors, she skated, paying no professional price for her behavior.

Michael Eric DysonMichael Eric Dyson (@MichaelEDyson)

Currently a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, Dyson has forged a career as a star academic and media commentator by trading in sensational charges of white racism and savaging blacks he regards as insufficiently militant. The kind of black intellectual white liberal talking heads adore, he spews hatred with snide self assurance. When Bill Cosby launched his campaign urging greater personal responsibility in the black community, Dyson wrote an entire book denouncing him, sneering that “Cosby has been a supreme pitchman for American corporate capitalism for nearly 40 years” and that now he was “beating up on poor black people.”

Spike Lee at the 2009 Tribeca Film FestivalSpike Lee (@SpikeLee)

The filmmaker has long been a racial provocateur, never hesitating to demean black conservatives (Clarence Thomas is “a handkerchief-head, chicken-and-biscuit-eating Uncle Tom”) or needlessly provoke racial ill feeling (Clint Eastwood “did two films about Iwo Jima back to back and there was not one black soldier in both of those films.”) But with the Trayvon Martin case, he reached a shocking new low. For Lee, it wasn’t enough simply to cast the country that has given him so much as irredeemably racist—”America The Beautiful, A Country Where A Black Teenager Can Be Shot And Killed Coming From A 7-Eleven Buying A Ice Tea And A Bag Of Skittles,” as he said in one of this many tweets to his nearly quarter million followers. He actually sought to incite violence, sending out the (happily incorrect) home address of George Zimmerman. In better days, Hollywood made movies decrying people like Lee and those who listened to him: they were called lynch mobs.

Jeremiah Wright ClintonWhitehouse cropJeremiah Wright (@JeremiahWright)  

“The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.” “Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run.” “We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.” “Barack knows what it means to be a black man to be living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a n—–.” In his recent Easter Sunday sermon he declared “white supremacy” is driving “world policy.”

Jimmy Carter (@CarterLibrary)

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American.” And: “There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president.” Ugly as Carter’s words are, they aren’t nearly so vile as those voiced by many others. What’s astonishing, and appalling beyond description, is the fact that this race monger was once president of the United States.

And (Some of) the Worst of the Rest,
Mainly in Their Own Words

Spencer Ackerman (@Attackerman), 
Wired: (Writing to “Journolist”) ”If the right forces us all all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us… Instead, take one of them—Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares—and call them racists.”
Julian Bond: Black conservatives are “black hustlers and hucksters … [who], like ventriloquists’ dummies, speak in their puppet master’s voice”; Republicans’ “idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side by side.”
Sean Penn (@SeanPenn): (On the Tea Party) “At the end of the day, there’s a big bubble coming out of their heads, saying, ‘Can we just lynch him?’”
Morgan Freeman: “Their stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term. What underlines that? ‘Screw the country. We’re going to whatever we do to get this black man, we can, we’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man outta here.’”
Chris Rock (@ChrisRock):  ”Kids always act up the most before they go to sleep. And when I see the Tea Party and all this stuff, it actually feels like racism’s almost over. Because this is the last—this is the act up before the sleep. They’re going crazy. They’re insane. You want to get rid of them—and the next thing you know, they’re f—ing knocked out. And that’s what’s going on in the country right now.”
Alan L. Abramowitz, professor of political science, Emory University (on the study he co-wrote on the Tea Party)“Tea Party supporters displayed high levels of racial resentment and held very negative opinions about President Obama as compared with the rest of the public and even other Republicans… In a multivariate analysis, racial resentment and dislike of Barack Obama, along with conservatism, emerged as the most important factors contributing to support for the Tea Party movement.”
Robert Putnam, Harvard professor and David Campbell, Notre Dame, (@AmericanGrace) co-authors of Crashing the Tea Party: “So what do Tea Partiers have in common? They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do.”
Keith Olbermann (@Keith Olbermann): “If racism is not the whole of the Tea Party, it is in its heart, along with blind hatred, a total disinterest in the welfare of others, and a full- flowered, self-rationalizing refusal to accept the outcomes of elections, or the reality of democracy, or the narrowness of their minds and the equal narrowness of their public support. On Saturday, that support came from evolutionary regressives like Michele Bachmann and Jon Voight. On a daily basis that support comes from the racists and homophobes of radio and television; the Michael Savages and the Rush Limbaughs.”
Joan Walsh (@JoanWalsh)Salon: “It’s the Republican base dressed up in funny costumes… but it’s not any different from what we’ve been seeing for past 50 years… overwhelmingly white, low regard for immigrants and blacks before Obama was president.”
Bill Press (@bpshow): “The Koch Brothers and other corporate big wigs wrote the checks. Republican politicians and Tea Party activists voiced the attacks. And cable television and newspapers provided a ready national platform. Together they formed a vicious well-funded amoral attack campaign virtually unprecedented in our history: An Obama Hate Machine.”
Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi): “I know when I go to cover Tea Party events, I almost inevitably end up talking to people who are on Medicare or collecting unemployment insurance or government pensions, but they’re railing against government welfare. I say, “Well, do you see any contradiction there?” “No, I deserve this. I work hard. It’s those other people. And we know who they mean when they say ‘other people.’ It’s Mexican immigrants and non-white, inner city, Democratic-leaning voters. So that’s, it’s coded language when he uses that kind of language.”
Ted Rall (@tedrall) Widely syndicated liberal cartoonist. If a conservative had depicted a prominent black as he did Condoleezza Rice—as a fat-lipped, nappy-haired, Ebonics-spouting caricature, referring to herself as a “house nigga” and en route to a “racial re-education camp”—he’d have never been published anywhere again.
Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md (@WhipHoyer): (on the charge, for which no evidence was ever produced, that Tea Partiers hurled racial epithets at black congressmen),: “On the one hand, I am saddened that America’s debate on health care—which could have been a national conversation of substance and respect—has degenerated to the point of such anger and incivility. But on the other, I know that every step toward a more just America has aroused similar hate in its own time; and I know that John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, has learned to wear the worst slurs as a badge of honor.”
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada (@SenatorReid): “The only connection that people bring up between [disgraced former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin] Raines and Barack Obama is that they both are African-Americans.”
Bill Maher (@BillMaher): Where to even begin? With this?
Or this?
Or this?
Bitter and mean-spirited, Maher uses his “comedy” to assault and demean his moral betters.
Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla.: “If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention. Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.”
Jeff Danziger, cartoonist: This.
Alan Grayson (@AlanGrayson): (on Newt Gingrich) “There’s sort of a race between his egomania and his racism. And I think he’s running the most overtly racist campaign that I’ve seen in this country since George Wallace, if you talk about presidential campaigns. I think what he tries to do is do these dog whistle things to people who he thinks he can connect with to make up with short comings frankly as a human being.
Michael Keegan (@PeopleFor), President, People for the American Way: “Almost fifty years after the March on Washington, the leaders of a major political party are trying to curb voting rights, drinking in revisionist American history, and shamelessly exploiting racial tensions for political gain.”
Janeane Garofalo (@j_garofalo): Herman Cain is “in this presidential race because he deflects the racism that is inherent in the Republican party, the conservative movement, the Tea Party certainly. [In] the last 30 years the Republican party has been moving more and more to the right, but also race-baiting more. Gay-baiting more. Religion-baiting more. But, Herman Cain, I feel like, is being paid by somebody to be involved and to run for president so that you go like ‘I love that, that can’t be racist. He’s a black guy, a black guy asking for Obama being impeached.’ Or ‘it’s a black guy whose anti-Muslim. It’s a black guy who is a Tea Party guy.’”
Cornel West (@CornelWest): Cain should “get off the symbolic crack pipe… every time that Herman Cain says something ridiculous or crazy, blaming poor people for being poor, calling protesters anti-capitalist or suggesting that racism doesn’t hold people back… It’s almost silly to respond to because the evidence is so overwhelming.”
Lawrence O’Donnell (@Lawrence): (to Cain) “I gave your book a fair reading… What I did read was a deliberate decision to not participate in the Civil Rights movement.” After Cain replied that he had been just a boy in the 1950s and his father had warned him demonstrators were getting arrested and hurt, O’Donnell: “Where do you think black people would be sitting on the bus today if Rosa Parks had followed your father’s advice?”
Joy Behar (@JoyVBehar): (to Barbara Walters) “Who was more frightening to be around, the president of Syria or Herman Cain? Who did you feel more threatened by?” Watch here.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI (@SenWhitehouse): “Why all this discord and discourtesy, all this unprecedented destructive action? All to break the momentum of our new young president. They are desperate to break this president. They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama. The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist.”
Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX (@JacksonLeeTX18): “I am particularly sensitive to the fact that only this president, only this president, only this one has received the kind attacks and disagreements and inability to work. Only this one…Read between the lines. What is different about this president that should put him in a position that he should not receive the same kind of respectful treatment of when it is necessary to raise the debt limit in order to pay our bills, something required by both statute and the 14th amendment?”
Donny Deutsch (@Donny_Deutsch): “…this coconut Rubio down in Florida.” (i.e., brown on the outside, white on the inside).
Pat Oliphant: This.
Harry Belafonte (@HarryBelafonte): “In the days of slavery, there were those slaves who lived on the plantation and [there] were those slaves that lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master… exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him. Colin Powell’s committed to come into the house of the master. When Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture.”
Garry Trudeau (@GaryTrudeau): This.
Julianne Malvaux (@drjatbennett):  (On Clarence Thomas): “I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease.”
Donna Brazile (@DonnaBrazile): “Republicans bring out Colin Powell and J.C. Watts because they have no program, no policy. They have no love and no joy. They’d rather take pictures with black children than feed them.”
Houston Baker, former professor of English at Duke, current Distinguished Professor of English at Vanderbilt: “The lacrosse team—15 of whom have faced misdemeanor charges for drunken misbehavior in the past three yea—may well feel they can claim innocence and sport their disgraced jerseys on campus, safe under the cover of silent whiteness. But where is the black woman who their violence and raucous witness injured for life? Will she ever sleep well again?” (Note: Crystal Mangum, the false accuser in the Duke rape case,  is currently being held on murder charges in the death of her boyfriend.)