Racial Politics This Week -- A Roundup
by Jill Tubman, Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 07:25:52 PM EDT
Yo, I heard it's said the revolution won't be televised
But in the land of milk and honey
There's a date you gotta sell it by
Otherwise it just expires and spoils....
The revolution's here
No one can lead you off your path
You'll try to change the world
So please excuse me while I laugh
Welcome to another look into the cross-section of race and politics in America. Things are getting down to the wire; the clock is running out on what we hope will be D-Day -- Democrats' Day -- on Nov. 7. Republicans are desperate and trying a new flava of fear -- instead of terrorism, it's fear of the brown, fear of the Other. Trouble is, this time, it's failing. People have stopped buying the Rethuglicans' bull and between Iraq, child sex predators, indictments and other assorted crimes and misdememors. Join the beautiful struggle and let's keep working towards a Nov revolution. Please excuse me while I laugh. --Jill
Lead Story: Tan Nguyen Gets His 15 Minutes of Fame
In the CA 47 race for Congress, Republican candidate tries to erode incumbent Rep. Loretta Sanchez's base by sending out a flyer to 14,000 Latino residents in her district that read in poorly written Spanish:
You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time, and you will be deported for voting without having a right to do so.
Nguyen quickly adopted the Hastert Defence: blame a staffer. He's been asked to withdraw by Orange County CA Republican party officials. But there's more to this story than meets the eye. Nguyen had been running on an anti-immigration platform and drew support from organized, "border security" racists on the fringe of the Republican party exemplified by Pat Buchanan. DailyKos Diarist Duke1676 has the best analysis on this I've read so far.
Meanwhile over at AsiansVote.com, they're encouraging local Asian Americans to do the right thing:
...the fact that [Nguyen's] campaign was involved eliminates him from any serious consideration by anyone with any commitment to democracy in America. Orange County readers, vote for Nguyen's opponent, Democrat Loretta Sanchez. BTW, Jim Webb's campaign has had its ups and downs with VA black folk(mostly up right now post-Barack Obama visit), but hanging out at AsiansVote.com, I learned Webb's got strong cred in VA's Vietnamese-American community. Also, Tammy Duckworth, Asian-American Iraq war veteran, got a big boost in her run for IL 6 with an endorsement from the Chicago Tribune.
In other news:
-- You may not realize it but there are a couple of holidays happening right now. Happy Diwali if you celebrate it and congratulations on the White House party emcee'd by Karen Hughes and attendedby over 150 guests, including many prominent members of the Indian-American community. President Bush was a no-show as was VA Sen. George "Macaca" Allen. (Source: Sepia Mutiny)
-- It's also Ramadan and warm greetings to you if you are observing the holiday. For the majority of Muslims, Ramadan is a family- and community-oriented holiday with fasting, feasting, charity and prayers. Yet it's possible that religious extremists are using the holy season to fan the flames of violence in Iraq.
Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV expressed concern Thursday over the failure of the military's new Baghdad strategy to curb mounting levels of violence in the city: "In Baghdad alone, we've seen a 22% increase in attacks during the first three weeks of Ramadan, as compared to the three weeks preceding Ramadan." (Source: TruthDig)
Eid ul-Fitr, a joyous holiday which marks the end of Ramadan, is coming up next week. Unfortunately, it's possible that there's more bloodshed ahead. Nevertheless, it's important to keep in mind what Ramadan is really about for most people -- the same as holidays everywhere: food, family, worship and celebration.
For an excellent article that outlines what's really happening in Iraq and the tough choices ahead, I recommend this BBC article Bush's Iraq Options Limited:
There are at least four wars going on Iraq - the war by jihadists against US troops, the war by nationalists against US troops, the war by Sunni jihadists against Shias and the war by Shia militias against Sunnis.
Any action [Bush] takes to alleviate one area could impact on another.
There's more: I was in a Coach store the other day (ok, it was actually just an outlet) and I was helped by a young woman from Iraq behind the counter. When I asked if she still had family back there, she told me: "They live in Jordan now. Everyone's left Baghdad. The city is empty." Except for those fighting the war, apparently. It's just one woman's story but what else don't we know about what's happening over there? Republicans are in search of an exit strategy. According to African-American Opinion, a good plan already exists on the Democratic side from the folks at American Progress called Strategic Redeployment.
-- Sen. Barack Obama launched his "Audacity of Hope" book tour this week with a Time Magazine cover and a visit to Oprah. Widely watched, Oprah's endorsement has been a big topic of discussion in the black community. My Big Mama wants to know if Oprah is planning to help bankroll Obama's campaign should he decide to run for president. When I asked her whom she would vote for if she had to choose between Edwards, Clinton and Obama, she said she wouldn't choose according to color but according to what they've done. I think that's an opinion shared by many Americans. Still, an Obama bid opens up a few questions. Check out the Jack and Jill Politics take on Obama and the black community from Jack Turner.
-- Republican Lt. Gov. Kerry Healy continues her fear-based racist campaign for Massachusetts Governor against Democrat Deval Patrick with a new ad associating him with rape. Because we all know that all black men secretly long to rape white women, even gubernatorial candidates. In fact, Patrick's bid to become governor is a secret plot to make it easier for him personally to rape white women with impunity. Luckily thinking people think Scarlet O'Healy is crazy, racist and also just plain wrong wrong on the facts.
-- Harold Ford Jr. inexplicably endorsed non-Democratic candidate Joe Lieberman in CT. Why Harold, why? Surely you are not that desperate to pander to the right-leaners in TN? Aren't Democrats supposed to support other Democrats? It's a little unclear which side Lieberman is on these days. Also, there happens to be a really great Democrat who, like you, would like to be elected as a Democratic senator. His name is Ned Lamont/
-- Finally, Michael Steele's endorsements from psychotic convicted rapist Mike Tyson and convicted murderer Don King baffled and insulted African-Americans. We'd like to know why some people might think we'd be impressed by the political opinions of criminals anymore than the average white person might be interested if Charlie Sheen or Robert Downey Jr. endorsed say Hilary Clinton or George Allen. We're not impressed and frankly, it shows the desperation of Steele's Senate campaign in MD to pull black voters away from Democrat Ben Cardin. Oliver Willis breaks it down for you in his post Michael Steele Spits In The Face of Black America. Other people spitting in the face of Black America include:
* the guy who's planning to create a MySpace-like social networking site called "CrackSpace" (hat tip: Racialious via Crunk and Disorderly) for African-Americans. This is neither appreciated nor necessary because we're already using a social networking site called MySpace.
* Black America's PAC (BAMPAC) who is currently running pro-Republican, pro-life ads in 10 states aimed at African-American voters. Here's the text from one ad:
"If you make a little mistake with one of your `hos,' you'll want to dispose of that problem tout suite, no questions asked," one of the men says.
"That's too cold. I don't snuff my own seed," the other replies.
"Maybe you do have a reason to vote Republican," the first man says.
Republican pro-life groups have been trying to use abortion as a wedge issue in the black community. I'm here to tell you though, blaxploitation-style messaging that identifies black voters as pimps and hos is unlikely to achieve any inroads outside perhaps of the very small pimp/whore community. And is likely to make everyone else really angry. No black person would ever be so stupid as to create a repugnant ad like this. So who's really behind these ads?
Blacks are crucial to multiple mid-term races both as candidates and as voters. You can catch a solid Joint Center update on African-American candidates, both Republican and Democratic, here.
Tags: BAMPAC, Barack Obama, Ben Cardin, CA-6, Deval Patrick, George Allen, George Bush, Harold Ford Jr, IL-6, Iraq, Jim Webb, Kerry Healy, Loretta Sanchez, MA-GOV, MD-Sen, Michael Steele, MySpace, racism, Tammy Duckworth, Tan Nguyen, TN-SEN, VA-Sen (all tags)