Racial Politics This Week -- A Roundup

My fortune cookie last night: "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance."

Racism is rooted in ignorance. That is its only power it will ever have. Those who use racism to manipulate the masses will find a shrinking pool. That's because the hip-hop generation isn't just black. It's all colors. We are the first generation in America that did not experience a segregated world. We see things differently. Even Strom Thurmond figured this out. Can the rest of the Republican party?

Just in time for Halloween -- Jesus' General ridicules the fear of miscegnation the RNC tried to exploit. Boo!

The big story this week: the negative ads Bob Corker is running against Harold Ford in the TN Senate race. Progressive blogs across a broad spectrum weighed in on the "bimbo" ad and the "tom-toms" ad -- like Arianna Huffington, Jerome Armstrong, Steve Gilliard, Oliver Willis and others here, here, here and here. Corker must be seriously desperate if he and the RNC have to resort to some people's fear of "race-mixing". It's so bad that people in other countries are talking about it. Tennessee Guerilla Women has the international coverage. FYI, for minorities, it may be interesting to explore but ultimately it really doesn't matter if the racism is Southern or Northern-flavored. Whether it's overt or covert. It's binary -- on or off. It's not a matter of degrees. It's more like the proverbial iceberg: the part you can't see is usually a lot bigger than the part you can.

Racism is like smoking. What was cool in the 1920s and 30s is increasingly uncool today.

It's important to call out racism when we see it. Even racists like Kerry Healy with her "Inmates for Deval" cadre (consisting naturally of her own campaign volunteers) don't want to be tagged with the R word. Except for the hard-core white supremacists of course. Racism just doesn't play well in the suburbs anymore.

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Racial Politics This Week -- A Roundup

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

-- lyrics from Talib Kweli's The Beautiful Struggle

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.

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