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Sue the Bastard, Shirley: Libel and Shirley Sherrod

Sometimes bloggers forget that we have to consider the same laws and rules of the land that everyone else does.  It’s one thing to switch some video footage around to create a funny mashup or to edit audio to make it sound like someone said something that they didn’t.  It’s another thing to pass your edited footage off as the real thing with no disclaimer.

Most reasonable people who run websites know that you have to let the public in on the deception at some point.  Humor goes a long way when it comes to this.  People get the hint when things are funny or outrageous.  They say, “Hey!!  That’s not real right?!?!” not “Oh my God!  How terrible!”.   However, the editing that conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart did to footage of former Dept. of Ag staffer Shirley Sherrod speaking at an NAACP function was not your common funny video mashup one could find on YouTube and forward on to co-workers and friends.  No need for me to rehash that whole drama of her firing, people backpedaling after realizing the deception, etc.  You know the story.

I’m happy to see that Ms. Sherrod is SUING Breitbart.  At the time that this happened, she was a private citizen doing her job, not a public figure or celebrity who doesn’t enjoy the same legal protection because of their status.  Defamation is defamation.  Breitbart should have attacked the NAACP as an organization if he had an axe to grind (which is what seems to be the case), instead of going after a government employee.

Mrs. Sherrod has accused Mr. Breitbart, employee Larry O’Connor and the unnamed source of the video with defamation, representing her in a false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit, filed Feb. 11 in Superior Court in the District of Columbia, seeks the removal of the video and related blog posts from Mr. Breitbart‘s site and monetary compensation, including punitive damages, to “punish the defendants’ reprehensible conduct and to deter its future occurrence.

“Defendants deliberately edited the full video of Mrs. Sherrod‘s 43-minute speech down to a short, highly misleading two-and-a-half minute clip that defendants knew, or should have known, would portray Mrs. Sherrod in a false and defamatory manner,” the lawsuit stated. – source

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New Poll Finds Tea Partiers a Smidge More Racist

Ok, maybe a lot more than a smidge.  Arian Campo-Flores of Newsweek reports in an article posted today, that people who approve of the  Tea Party movement tend to have more racist attitudes.  This lil tidbit is very telling: ” Only 35 percent of those who strongly approve of the Tea Party agreed that blacks are hard-working, compared to 55 percent of those who strongly disapprove of the Tea Party.”  Wow…only 55% of blacks are hard-working.  I’m sure that percentage is up from when…1965??  Oh yeah, we were only hard working pre-1865.  With emancipation our productivity went way down.  I wonder why…hmmm.

So a new poll by researchers at the University of Washington caught my eye. The findings are sure to fan the flames further. “People who approve of the Tea Party, more than those who don’t approve, have more racist attitudes,” says Christopher Parker, a University of Washington professor who directed the survey. “And not only that, but more homophobic and xenophobic attitudes.” For instance,  respondents were asked whether they agreed with various characterizations of different racial groups. Only 35 percent of those who strongly approve of the Tea Party agreed that blacks are hard-working, compared to 55 percent of those who strongly disapprove of the Tea Party. On whether blacks were intelligent, 45 percent of the Tea Party supporters agreed, compared to 59 percent of the Tea Party opponents. And on the issue of whether blacks were trustworthy, 41 percent of the Tea Party supporters agreed, compared to 57 percent of the Tea Party opponents.

The survey, which included about 1,000 respondents in six battleground states (like Michigan and Nevada) and California, found similar margins on questions regarding Latinos. And Tea Party supporters were far more likely than opponents to say that immigrants take jobs from people living here (59 percent agreed with that statement), that immigration from foreign countries should be decreased (53 percent agreed), and that undocumented immigrants in the U.S. should be deported immediately (45 percent agreed).

More fuel for the unproductive divisions that are the legacy of sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc in America.  I’ll have to see how Fox and Right Wing pundits spin these numbers.

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Obama is NOT the Anti-Christ, He’s Black and That’s the Problem

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Political correctness, be damned!  All of the racists and bigots out there need to just take it back to 1960 and call the President the N-Word!  I’m tired of the re-directing.  Stop coming up with random titles and false charges to apply to this man.  You are mad because the President of the United States is a Black man. Period. You are afraid.  You are outraged that a Black person has that much power.  You are a closeted racist and you know who you are.  You are so bold and you are so sure you’re right, why do you hide your true feelings?

LiveScience.com – Americans have some extreme views of President Obama, with a new survey revealing 40 percent of adults believe he is a socialist, and about a quarter of survey participants thinking the president is a racist, anti-American and even doing things Hitler did.

The whammy: 14 percent of Americans say President Barack Obama may be the Antichrist. When split by political party, 24 percent of Republicans and 6 percent of Democrats viewed the nation’s leader in this way.

The results come from a Harris Poll involving 2,320 adults who were surveyed online between March 1 and March 8 by Harris Interactive, a market research firm. Respondents were selected from among those who agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The results were then weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population. [Infographic Compares Views]

Here’s the percentage breakdown of respondents’ views of President Obama:

  • 38 percent say he wants to take away Americans’ right to own guns.
  • 32 percent say he is a Muslim.
  • 29 percent think he wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one world government.
  • 29 percent think he has done many things that are unconstitutional.
  • 27 percent say he resents America’s heritage.
  • 27 percent say he does what Wall Street and the bankers tell him to do.
  • 25 percent say he was not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president.
  • 25 percent say he is a domestic enemy that the U.S. Constitutions speaks of.
  • 23 percent say he is a racist.
  • 23 percent say he is anti-American.
  • 23 percent say he wants to use an economic collapse or terrorist attack as an excuse to take dictatorial powers.
  • 20 percent say he is doing many of the things that Hitler did.

When broken out by political party, results showed some stark differences. For instance, the majority of Republicans believed the president is a Muslim and a socialist, while around 40 percent believe he is a racist, someone who resents American heritage and “wants terrorists to win.”

Hitler?  Really?  Where is this sentiment coming from? Why do people hold these false, extreme beliefs? Because in politically correct, “post-racial”  America you can’t just say, “I don’t like the President because he’s a nigger and I don’t like/trust/serve/deal with niggers!”.  Say it.  Start saying it pundits!   Start saying Fox News!  Start saying it Tea Party members!  Join those who are very open with their racist views and don’t hide behind politics.  Be honest and stop this ridiculous posturing. You  go around calling the President and Congress liars and crooks but you yourself hide your real intentions. Trust me, your fellow Americans would prefer to know who they are REALLY dealing with and hearing from.

I would much rather know that you’re a bigot than have you smile in my face or be dishonest about it.  Go ahead, call a spade a spade.

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Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now

Shoppers at a southern New Jersey Walmart store were shocked Sunday night when a voice came over the retailer’s public-address system announcing: “Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now”.  The male voice who delivered the announcement has yet to be identified.  Since the racist announcement was made the store has vowed to change its access to the system.  Not all of the phones are in the view of security cameras, and some are accessible to the public.

Other than just having a lax policy regarding the PA system extension and access to phones on the job, Walmart should not be faulted for the actions of some crazy employee or random shopper.  This is a prank.  Racist overtones, yes I see them.

There are tons of things that people could be up in arms about with regard to the way Walmart does business.  If you’re still mad about this incident that happened Sunday, perhaps you would consider re-directing your attention to things like this:

Family Business Shut Their Doors When Wal-Mart Comes to Town

Work For Wal-Mart? You May Need Welfare

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Chicago Cop Busted Pulling People Over for Driving While Black

If you are African-American and not at all surprised by this story, please signify by commenting below.  I guess that should be a lesson to us.  Put your passengers on notice so that if you get pulled over by a racist cop you’ll have the audio evidence recorded on someone’s phone.  Smart Phones as a Black Liberation tool against racial profiling, imagine that.

Huffington Post – Passengers got an unusual answer when they asked a Chicago police officer why they’d been pulled over Tuesday night.

“Because you’re f***ing black,” the cop told them.

The officer’s lengthy, profanity-riddled tirade was recorded by one of the passengers’ cell phones, and obtained by WGN-TV.

Now, police superintendent Jody Weis is looking in to the incident. From the Chicago Tribune’s report:

“The manner in which the officer and subject interacted was unacceptable,” Police Supt. Jody Weis said in a prepared statement. “Officers are trained and expected to deal with these situations in a professional manner, free of unnecessary sarcasm.”The driver was ultimately issued three tickets, for a seat belt violation, no insurance, and driving with a suspended license. He told WGN that he did not contest the tickets, but was surprised and offended by the officer’s rant.

The officer, whose name has not been released, has been placed on desk duty while the investigation takes place.

Watch the WGN report on HuffingtonPost.com

For some reason I really appreciate that the driver isn’t contesting the tickets. He’s not trying to act like he wasn’t in error. You know some of you guys would have played that a little different. LOL. Get out of “ticket” free card.

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Rep. Trent Franks: African-Americans were better off under slavery

Oh Wow.  RACIST!!   I want to thank Think Progress for posting this.  This is some straight BS!  If you are a black person living in AZ you need to campaign really, really hard to get this man out of office.  Here’s the info:

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) — one of the most conservative member of Congress, according to a new National Journal ranking — decried the strained state of political discourse in an interview today with blogger-activist Mike Stark. While defending hate radio host Rush Limbaugh, Franks said bipartisanship and “true tolerance” is about “being halfway decent to each other in spite of the differences.” But when the conversation turned to abortion, Franks made a clearly indecent comment, claiming that African-Americans were probably better off under slavery than they are today:

FRANK: In this country, we had slavery for God knows how long. And now we look back on it and we say “How brave were they? What was the matter with them? You know, I can’t believe, you know, four million slaves. This is incredible.” And we’re right, we’re right. We should look back on that with criticism. It is a crushing mark on America’s soul. And yet today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African-American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by policies of slavery. And I think, What does it take to get us to wake up?

What?  Huh?  Don’t believe me?  Watch it (beginning 6:20):

Franks continued by saying, “[S]ometimes we get angry and say things that we shouldn’t say, and I apologize…[for saying things] that are intemperate. But I don’t want to hide from the truth.”

Truth? Readers, is this the truth? AZ, is this the truth that you want your Representatives to believe in?

Update: Salon.com has picked up the story.  They report this: Abortion-rights opponents like to compare abortion and slavery; the Dred Scott vs. Sandford case is often seen on the right as the 19th century equivalent of Roe v. Wade. Still, the comments caught the attention of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“To compare the horrors and inhumane treatment of millions of African Americans during slavery as a better way of life for African Americans today is beyond repulsive,” said Stephanie Young, a DCCC spokeswoman. “In 2010, during the 2nd year of our first African American president, it is astonishing that a thought such as this would come to mind, let alone be shared. The next time Congressman Franks wants to make assumptions about what policies are ‘best’ for the African American community, he should keep them to himself.” [Full Article]

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UC San Diego Tries to Find Out Who Threw a “Compton Cookout” for Black History Month

The LA Times is reporting that UC San Diego administration and local civil rights activists have condemned a student party themed “Compton Cookout” in honor of Black History Month.

Campus administrators said Wednesday that they were investigating whether the off-campus party, held Monday, and its Facebook invitation violated the university’s code of conduct and whether its sponsors should be disciplined. Members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity were identified as among the organizers, but the fraternity president has criticized the event and said his club did not sponsor it.

Promising a taste of “life in the ghetto,” the Facebook invitation contained many racist stereotypes. For example, it urged women to dress as “ghetto chicks” who “usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes.” It said the menu would include chicken and watermelon.

History professor Danny Widener, who directs the university’s African American studies program, said he was outraged but not surprised by the party. He said African American students comprise less than 2% of undergraduates at UC San Diego, which he described as inhospitable to them. ”The campus climate is one in which you are constantly regarded as a statistical anomaly at best,” he said. [Source: LA Times | Full Article]

My Opinion: If we in the Black Community continue to allow so-called “ghetto fabulous” culture to be the predominant export from our urban sector, we will continue to see incidents like this. When one travels around the globe, you see people of all races and creeds mimicking urban culture, especially hip hop culture. If we don’t want to see young, white college students mocking this same culture, we have to be aware and accountable. If we don’t want to see black culture boiled down to clothing, bling and speech patterns, we have to stop promoting images, music, etc. that are not affirming. If “ghetto” is not balanced by a more complete pictures of African-Americans, what do we really expect to happen. There is work to do, and with a void of leadership and strong national movements, each individual has to do their part. Consider whether the movies, television show, and music you consume contribute to a positive world view of the Black community.

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Sunflower: The hoof polishing black centuar from Disney’s “Fantasia”

Cracked Magazine put together a list of Disney’s 9 most racist characters.

  1. Boy Thursday (1948)
  2. Uncle Remus in “Song of the South” (1946)
  3. The Indians in “Peter Pan” (1953)
  4. Sunflower the Centaur in “Fantasia” (1940)
  5. The Siamese Twin Gang in “Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers” (1989)
  6. King Louie in “Jungle Books” (1967)
  7. The crows in “Dumbo” (1941)
  8. Sebastian in “Little Mermaid” (1989)
  9. The Merchant in “Aladdin” (1991)

Oh Lordy, I remember dem Crows.  Who doesn’t remember those doggone crows.  Sigh.  However the standout for me is the little known Sunflower the Centaur.  Many are not aware of this character who was banned (removed) from the 1960 re-release of the film.

Cracked tried to link to the video below showing a clip from Fantasia.  It’s sense been removed.  You know Disney isn’t having that.  Never fear, I found a clip on YouTube that includes Sunflower (about 1 min in).  It’s crazy to see all these lovely white centaurs and all of a sudden…Bam… a shoe shining “jigga boo” black centaur.  SMH  It’s even sadder to me when the male centaurs come on the scene and all the white female centaurs are having their heads adorned for their dates, around 2:17 you see Sunflower again, with a sunflower in her hair, putting flowers all over someone else’s tail.  The portrayals of black beauty that our foremothers had to deal with…shame.  View it now before they take this one down, too.

I love what Cracked had to say about this character:
Lesson Learned:
Even in Fantasia‘s beautiful, magical landscape, African centaurs are hoof-polishing handmaidens for prettier, Aryan centaurs. Also, 1940 was a great year to be a centaur fetishist and/or Don Imus.

Best (Worst?) Moment:
It was insulting enough for Disney to include the smiling servant stereotype to begin with, but, to make matters worse, they started categorically denying Sunflower’s existence with the Fantasia re-release in 1960. How does that possibly make things better? “No, you misunderstand. In our perfect, Fantasia world, Africans aren’t servants. They don’t fucking exist.”

Ouch.  I’m sure a black person wrote that last line. :)   I actually wish more films were released on DVD with their racist content as a special feature.  When this stuff is removed the public doesn’t have a chance to witness the kind of blatant racism that was so common in the media 60 plus years ago.

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Are you a racist?: Now there’s a test!

When I saw this story on ABC News I was a bit…underwhelmed.  Um…if you are racist, you know that you are.  You might not care.  Your racist nature may not figure into your day to day life.  However, when you encounter a person against whom you hold bias simply because of their race…you will inherently think, act, and be racist.  If you aren’t racist…you won’t.

Tell someone that he’s sexist, ageist or racist nowadays and it’s easy to get a red-faced defensive reaction. In modern times, men and women of all backgrounds would rather believe themselves to be benevolent egalitarians.

Yet, while few want to be known as a bigot, millions of people seem to wonder, “am I?” — and going to the Project Implicit Web site to find out.  www.implicit.harvard.edu

Started as a research tool at Yale in 1995, Project Implicit now has 11 million tests completed, and 20,000 new tests taken each week by Web surfers curious about their possible unconscious biases.

Participants are instructed to assign a class of attributes — such as smart, lazy or failure — to a single group of people — such as women, Christians, or Americans — with one or two keystrokes as fast as they can. The point is to measure the first reaction, not the self-edited one.
- ABC News Online

Guess who know’s for sure is you’re a racist?  Just you, and you alone.  No matter what you say out of your mouth, in public, or how you are other wise “PC”.  Between you and your God (or non-deity of choice)…you know the truth.

That’s why people don’t like the “race card”.  No one who is racist and is not comfortable with being publicly outed as a hate monger is going to be happy about getting the race care pulled on them.  There are a lot of proud, card carrying racists who have no problem letting you know who they hate.  On the other side, those who are not racists do not want to be labeled either.  Think of any negative label that you don’t identify yourself with and then think of how offended you would by someone giving you that label publicly.  Not cute, huh.

Sigh, all things considered it’s not cut and dry.  Do I think that some people are indoctrinated and taught to hate?  Yes.   Do I think you can call whole classes and groups of people racists based on history and institutionalized racism?  Honestly…I’m on the fence about that sometimes.  Fox News doesn’t help.  Opps…did I just imply some racism.  My bad.  I’ve had good teachers.

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Yet Another Republican finds digital racism funny: Frago in CA

The content of the emails that Republican Gary Frago was passing around are the most racist so far that have been noted by major media outlets.  The Republicans just need to learn that you don’t forward racist emails, and you don’t respond to or post racist comments on Facebook and Twitter.  It’s that simple.  Nothing is private anymore.  Note to the party: You don’t need anymore help looking insensitive.  You’re party’s participation in the Sotomayor hearings was quite enough, at least for this week.

Here is the scoop from Wonkette (Who’s liberal use of the n-word at one point gave me pause.  Just because you’re talking about someone else using the word doesn’t mean you should.  I’m talking about: “Niggers are just a naturally funny subject, to everyone.” Um…really?)

The latest batch of foul, blatant racism comes from “City Councilman Gary Frago,” in some place near Merced, California. And he’s not sorry, either! “I’m not the only one that does it,” Frago told the Merced Sun-Star. Yeah, we’ve noticed.

All in all, the Sun-Star obtained seven e-mails that Frago sent from October 2008 to February 2009 from an anonymous source.

Some compared Obama to O.J. Simpson while others suggested that “nigger rigs” should now be called “presidential solutions.”

Perhaps the most overboard e-mail was sent on Jan. 15. It read: “Breaking News Playboy just offered Sarah Palin $1 million to pose nude in the January issue. Michelle Obama got the same offer from National Geographic.”

The newspaper tracked down the person who sent the emails to Continue reading

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