Tag Archives: speech

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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And now a word from Brother Cornel West

After I got through laughing at Darius Spearman’s hair (LOL LOL…what is going on on the right side of his head?) I was able to focus on the message.

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John Lewis has no regrets on his criticism of the McCain camp

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - U.S. Rep. John Lewis on Tuesday said he had no regrets for claiming that Republican rhetoric in the presidential contest reminded him of words spoken by segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace — but he admitted that he could have made his point “in a different way.”

“I do not regret what I said,” Lewis said. “Maybe it could have been said in a different way, because it was not suggesting that John McCain or Sarah Palin was closely related [in] any way to the actions of Governor Wallace.”

Said the Atlanta congressman and Civil Rights icon: “It was all about what I call toxic speech — statements [and] an audience that can unleash bitterness and hatred. And I don’t need anyone to lecture me about my feelings, or what I have observed for more than 50 years.”

Last week, in the face of declining polls, Republicans concentrated on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and what they called issues of character — and what Democrats called “code words” for race.

Palin in particular repeatedly criticized Obama for “palling around with terrorists.”

“This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America,” she said.

On Saturday, Lewis rocked the presidential campaign with his statement that McCain and Palin “are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.

“During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate.”

In the statement, Lewis linked Wallace’s language to the1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four little girls.

McCain immediately called Lewis’ remarks “beyond the pale” and called on Obama to repudiate them. The Republican presidential candidate continued to fume on Monday. “It’s unfair. It’s unfair and it’s outrageous,” McCain told CNN.

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This is Your Nation on White Privilege

By Tim Wise9/13/08

For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you’ll “kick their fuckin’ ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”

White privilege is Continue reading

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Don’t Palin, Giuliani know that abolitionists and women’s sufferage leaders were community organizers

“When Giuliani sneered about community organizers on the “South side” of Chicago, it’s pretty clear what he was saying: Barack Obama spent his time rabble-rousing among black people.”Ezra Klien

Both Giuliani and Palin made the profession of community organizer out to be the butt of a joke. Palin said “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer – except that you have actual responsibilities”.

Without community organizers, African American Women like me (and countless other religious, LGBTQ, racial, etc…various social segments I could name) would have a hard row to tow trying to “pull ourselves up by our boot straps”. Um…Palin would not be able to vote without the work of community organizers. Hello?

Abolitionists organized to bring an end to slavery

Women’s Sufferage organizers worked to give women the vote

Countless Civil Rights leaders were Community organizers like Martin Luther King, Dr. Dorothy Height, and Malcolm X

Community organizers would not be a group I would come after, if I was on the Republican ticket, or any ticket for that matter. These people know how to mobilize people, real people, on a grassroots level. They know how to raise money. They know how to make change happen, even when hope is gone. They are real workers. That’s not a population that I would want mad at me if I was in the underdog position in the presidential race.

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Irony: McCain’s Congratulates Obama on the Anniversary of MLK’s speech

Um…I think this from TV ad John McCain is great (video below).  It will run tonight before and after Obama’s historic speech at the DNC.  It’s good that McCain recognizes the significance of this day, but McCain voted against the MLK holiday in Arizona in 1983!  Right?!?!  Yes!!!  That is so ironic!  Do you really understand the significance of this day when you had an issue with giving the most significant man in this equation his own day?!?!?  Oh yes, he’s changed his mind now…sure, sure, he understands he was wrong.  OK, but it’s still ironic.  Don’t you think?

Spin Cycle has the details – “McCain will attempt to be make nice before he performs the widely speculated act of naming his vice president running mate some time Friday to counteract any boost in the polls for Obama.”

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Obama’s Historic Speech Tonight, Star-studded lineup

Millions of people can’t wait for this historic event!!! I’m so excited that it’s the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” during the March on Washington. The speech is enough for me, but I hear tell there will be some entertainment.

Colorado jam-rock group Yonder Mountain String Band is scheduled to play sometime before the opening gavel at about 3 p.m. MDT. Academy Award winning actress and “American Idol” finalist Jennifer Hudson is slated to sing the national anthem.

Between 5 and 6 p.m. MDT, will.i.am — member of the hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas — will perform, accompanied by John Legend on piano, the official schedule shows. Singer Sheryl Crow is also scheduled for that hour. Then, between 6 and 7 p.m. MDT, soul legend Stevie Wonder will perform. Between 7 and 8 p.m., singer Michael McDonald is on the bill.

As for the surprise, rumors have been circulating for days that rocker Bruce Springsteen — who has endorsed Obama — would perform Thursday night shortly before or after the candidate’s speech. Continue reading

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Possible plot to shoot Obama stopped

DENVER, Colorado (AFP) — Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama faces “no credible threat” from what had appeared to be a plot on his life, CNN reported Tuesday, citing authorities who nevertheless are pressing on with their investigation.

The network reported that office of the United States Attorney said law enforcement officials are “absolutely confident there is no credible threat to the candidate.”

Four people were arrested Monday in Denver and charged with firearms and drug possession, amid fears of a plot to kill Obama.

Denver-based CBS34 said one of the men arrested had told authorities they were “going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using … a rifle … sighted at 750 yards (meters).”

The shooting was supposed to happen on Thursday when Obama is scheduled to accept the nomination as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate for the November elections at the 75,000-seat Invesco stadium, the television station reported.

The alleged plot was being investigated by the Secret Service, which is in charge of coordinating security for the Democratic Party convention as well as the FBI and the joint terrorism task force.

The US Attorney’s Office in Denver has scheduled a press conference on Tuesday to discuss the incident.

CBS34 also reported that one man was arrested on Sunday after police found two high-powered rifles in a rented pick-up truck he was driving, while another man in custody reportedly was wearing a swastika and was thought to have links to white supremacist groups. Continue reading

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Obama Nom Acceptance Speech: Will you be watching history?

Come rain or shine Barack Obama will address the Democratic convention at Mile High before a sea of 75,000 to accept the Democratic Presidential nomination in a spectacular finale to his party’s convention next month.

The address by Obama, who hopes to be America’s first black president, will be lent added poignancy by dint of its scheduling on the 45th anniversary of civil rights icon Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.

Will you be watching?  Do you consider this a pivotal, historical event?

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Yes We Can vs Yes She Will

It’s finally over, I think… Barack Obama has clinched the democratic nomination for President of The United States of America. It’s a historic moment, almost unbelievable for some who were holding their breath for the seemingly inevitable to be “stolen” away. As I watched the speeches from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, I couldn’t help but notice an underlying theme in both speeches. In Hillary’s speech, the emphasis was on her, with her supporters chanting “Yes She Can” (among other things). Others reported that this was her night and she needed to wind down her campaign in her own way. I didn’t think she would concede, but at least use the opportunity to make her pitch to unequivocally unite the democratic party. Instead, she seemed to again build her case about why she should be President. I thought her speech was great on a lot of levels and I respect her perseverance in the whole thing. I do not, however, respect the missed opportunity to achieve a greater goal. She allowed a huge opportunity to focus on the future of the party to get away and encourage her supporters to tell her what to do next, via her website. Come on now, like she really expects them to tell her to concede.

In contrast, Barack’s speech was full of expressed respect for Hillary and all the other democratic candidates. He spoke in great length about Hillary and Bill and their collective contributions to America. His fans were cheering, “Yes We Can”. He barely said anything about himself. He didn’t even acknowledge being the first African-American candidate to lead any major party in a presidential election. He stressed how we are Americans first and how that supersedes race, gender, Republicans and Democrats. (Damn, he’s inspiring…) His speech was so unifying that it magnified just how divisive Hillary’s was.

If Hillary’s speech was an effort to force Barack’s hand into making her Vice-President, she has no idea of how to ask nicely. If she really wanted to be Vice-President, (assuming she’s not going to campaign until Denver for the presidency) she should have been beyond gracious in her speech toward Barack and spoke in ways that respect his victory and the importance of pulling the party together. I think it’s called humility. Unfortunately, humility takes all the attention away from her. Sad…

 

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