Category Archives: Racism

Southern Discomfort: Nostalgia for the Confederacy isn’t about heritage it’s about racism

cross-posted from T-Time
By JON MEACHAM

If neo-Confederates are interested in history, let’s talk history.

IN 1956, nearly a century after Fort Sumter, Robert Penn Warren went on assignment for Life magazine, traveling throughout the South after the Supreme Court’s school desegregation decisions. Racism was thick, hope thin. Progress, Warren reported, was going to take a while — a long while. “History, like nature, knows no jumps,” he wrote, “except the jump backward, maybe.”

Last week, Virginia’s governor, Robert McDonnell, jumped backward when he issued a proclamation recognizing April as Confederate History Month. In it he celebrated those “who fought for their homes and communities and Commonwealth” and wrote of the importance of understanding “the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War.”

The governor originally chose not to mention slavery in the proclamation, saying he “focused on the ones I thought were most significant for Virginia.” It seems to follow that, at least for Mr. McDonnell, the plight of Virginia’s slaves does not rank among the most significant aspects of the war.

“…the Confederacy and slavery are inextricably and forever linked”

Advertently or not, Mr. McDonnell is working in a long and dispiriting tradition. Efforts to rehabilitate the Southern rebellion frequently come at moments of racial and social stress, and it is revealing that Virginia’s neo-Confederates are refighting the Civil War in 2010. Whitewashing the war is one way for the right — alienated, anxious and angry about the president, health care reform and all manner of threats, mostly imaginary — to express its unease with the Age of Obama, disguising hate as heritage.

If neo-Confederates are interested in history, let’s talk history…
Read more: NY Times

Related:
Haley Barbour Defends Viginia’s Confederate History Month Proclamation

Just when Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was ready to move on from not mentioning slavery in a proclamation in honor of Confederate History Month, his friend Haley Barbour has come to his defense and made things worse.

Okla. tea parties and lawmakers envision militia

AP PhotoOKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty. Tea party movement leaders say they’ve discussed the idea with several supportive lawmakers and hope to get legislation next year to recognize a new volunteer force. They say the unit would not resemble militia groups that have been raided for allegedly plotting attacks on law enforcement officers.

“Is it scary? It sure is,” said tea party leader Al Gerhart of Oklahoma City, who heads an umbrella group of tea party factions called the Oklahoma Constitutional Alliance. “But when do the states stop rolling over for the federal government?”

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University of Washington Survey Finds That Racial Attitudes Influence the Tea Party Movement

Posted by: BuellBoy



The tea party movement has gotten much attention in recent months, but aside from decrying big government and excessive spending, who are the supporters and what else do they appear to believe?

Many believed that the election of Barack Obama brought to a close the long, painful, and ugly history of race and racism in the United States. But as the incident with Henry Louis Gates last summer, and the more recent shenanigans with Tea Party activists suggest, racial divisions remain. Which is closer to the truth?

A recent survey directed by University of Washington political scientist, Christopher Parker, finds that America is definitely not beyond race. For instance, the Tea Party, the incipient movement that claims to be committed to reigning in what they perceive as big government, appears to be motivated by more than partisanship and ideology.

Approximately 45 % whites either strongly or somewhat approve of the movement. Of those, only 35% believe blacks to be hardworking, only 45 % believe blacks are intelligent, and only 41% think that blacks are trustworthy. Perceptions of Latinos aren’t much different. While 50% of white tea party supporters believe Latinos to be hardworking, only 39% think them intelligent, and at 37%, fewer tea party supporters believe Latinos to be trustworthy.

The survey shows among whites, southerners are 12 percent more likely to support the tea party than whites in other parts of the U.S., and that conservatives are 28 percent more likely than liberals to support the group.

The tea party is not just about politics and size of government. The data suggests it may also be about race,”said Christopher Parker, a UW assistant professor of political science who directed the survey.

It found that those who are racially resentful, who believe the U.S. government has done too much to support blacks, are 36 percent more likely to support the tea party than those who are not.

Indeed, strong support for the tea party movement results in a 45 percent decline in support for health care reform compared with those who oppose the tea party. “While it’s clear that the tea party in one sense is about limited government, it’s also clear from the data that people who want limited government don’t want certain services for certain kinds of people. Those services include health care,”Parker said.

Parker directed the 2010 Multi-State Survey of Race and Politics, a broad look at race relations and politics in contemporary America. The survey reached 1,015 residents of Nevada, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia and California. All were battleground states in the 2008 presidential election with the exception of California, which was included in the survey to represent the West Coast.

The survey found that 30 percent of respondents had never heard of the tea party, but among those who had, 32 percent strongly approved of it. In that group, 56 percent of Republicans strongly approved, 31 percent of independents strongly approved and 5 percent of Democrats strongly approved.

Preliminary analysis also reveals race affects the ways in which blacks and whites perceive the president, his policies, and how he’s handling his job. To illustrate, 75% of blacks have confidence in the president; 58% of whites share this appraisal. Likewise, where 90% of blacks think the president is doing a good job on the economy, 55% of whites agree with this appraisal. And the most recent hot-button issue, health care reform, received support from 86% of blacks versus only 36% among whites.

Are we in a post-racial society? Our survey indicates a resounding no,”Parker said.

Conducted by telephone from Feb. 8 to March 15, the survey reached 494 whites, 380 blacks, 77 Latinos and 64 members of other races. The sampling error margin is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Sexuality and the UW Department of Political Science paid for the survey. It was conducted by the UW’s Center for Survey Research.

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Filed under African-Americans, Barack Obama, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Presidents, Racism, Tea Party Protestors

Jon Stewart Shows C-SPAN How To Handle Racist Callers

Posted by: Audiegrl

Jason Linkins~”The Daily Show” did an enjoyable segment about the recent on-air incident on C-SPAN, in which a caller from North Carolina went on a racist diatribe about how the network takes too many calls from black people and should thus be renamed as BLACK-SPAN.

What was very nice about the clip was the way Jon Stewart was not afraid to be servicey, offering host Bill Scanlan some advice on how to handle the situation. Like: don’t just casually shuffle your papers, as if nothing is happening! Like: don’t adopt a “the customer is always right” attitude about the racist idiot mumbling nonsense on your teevee show.

To demonstrate how Bill Scanlan was doing it wrong — which is something I imagine Jeffrey Goldberg can appreciate — Stewart helpfully scripted how calls like this should go in the future.

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Latinos Launching Campaign Exposing Tea Party Racism

Posted by: Audiegrl

Written by Axel W. Caballero

As has been now widely reported by mainstream media, more than 600 people gathered for the first ever Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee on February of 2010. The ‘teabaggers’ reveled as they sat there listening to hateful speech after hateful speech by the likes of their champions Tom Tancredo and Sarah Palin among others. The rhetoric, the signs and the vitriol sounded familiar:

  • President Obama wants to turn the country into a third world country
  • Immigrants are taking over the United States, they must be sent to where they came from
  • This is our nation and we should take it back
  • Make English America’s official language
  • Congress loves Illegals

To the chants of “Take Our Nation Back,” the “teabaggers” turned political speech into a display of incoherent intolerance and racism.

The convention represented the launching point for what has become a full-fledged attack and repudiation of one community in particular: Latinos.

Deep-rooted within the Tea Party ideals is not only the belief that immigrants – along with Latinos in general – are what is inherently wrong with the state of the nation but also a thinly veiled attempt to disguise behind an economic argument a very latent and dangerous prejudice. It is also a calculated political ploy to undermine what is likely to become a powerful block in the upcoming electoral cycle.

Seemingly, Tea Partiers as a group believe they have found their perfect scapegoats. They see in Latinos a fast and easy attack. Thinking, hoping and expecting that the battle will be one way, that the response will be null and that Latinos will not be ready or organized enough to fight back.

Think again.

A new series by the project Cuéntame (tell me) is precisely channeling this Latino anger and frustration through video segments aimed at exposing “teabaggers'” true colors. It features all the racist speeches, the violent words, and actions, letting their predominantly Latino audience judge for themselves whether the Tea Party truly represents a legitimate movement or is yet another example of the intolerance and discrimination Latinos face in today’s society. The “teabaggers Series” as it is being called, also prompts the community to organize and to unite in an effort to fight back against the misconceptions and lies.

Ultimately the message Cuéntame is sending is that if “Tea Partiers” want to target and attack the Latino community through the use of prejudice and flat out racism as a way to advance their political agenda they will not face a silent and dormant opposition.

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Academy Award® Nominated: Invictus

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, and BuellBoy


The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa’s rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match.

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The cast includes: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge, Patrick Mofokeng, Matt Stern, Julian Lewis Jones, Adjoa Andoh, Marguerite Wheatley, Leleti Khumalo, and Patrick Lyster

Reviews

IMDB member from Canada
The story of how Nelson Mandela used the World Cup of Rugby to unite the people of South Africa. A very well told story with Clint Eastwood showing why he is one of the best directors in Hollywood. Morgan Freeman does a good job as Mandela, but it wasn’t my favorite performance he’s given us. However, Matt Damon, who plays Francois Pienaar, captain of the national rugby team, delivers an emotional and believable performance that really draws you into what was taking place during the conflict between the whites and blacks of their nation. The South African cities and landscapes are beautifully shot and the scenes during the rugby matches placed you in the action, without any nauseating feelings. An uplifting film that left me with a sense of hope and belief that we still have a chance for mankind to come together before it is too late.

Did You Know?

Nelson Mandela himself has said that only Morgan Freeman could portray him. And so Freeman was the first actor cast.

Before production began, Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary made a trip to South Africa to get Nelson Mandela’s blessing for the film. According to McCreary, Freeman started off by saying, “Madiba, we’ve been working a long time on this other project, but we’ve just read something that we think might get to the core of who you are…” Before he had finished, Madiba said, “Ah, the World Cup.” For McCreary, that was “when I knew we were heading in the right direction.”

The word “invictus” is Latin for “invincible.” It is also the name of a short poem written in 1875 by William Ernest Henley, a British poet. The poem was written while Henley was in hospital having to have his stricken foot amputated. Mandela is heard saying lines from the poem.

Matt Damon informed Clint Eastwood about Francois Pienaar’s distinct physique: “You know, this guy is huge!” Eastwood replied, “Hell, you worry about everything else. Let me worry about that.” By structuring set-ups and camera angles, Eastwood was able to make the average-height Damon look about Pienaar’s height

Two Nominations

Best Actor~Morgan Freeman
Best Supporting Actor~Matt Damon

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Nominated for Best Actor ~ Morgan Freeman ~Invictus

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl

Morgan FreemanMorgan Freeman (Nelson Mandela / Executive Producer) won an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby,” for which he also won a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® and received a Golden Globe nomination. The film marked his second collaboration with director Clint Eastwood, following Freeman’s role in the Oscar®-winning Best Picture “Unforgiven.”

Freeman has been honored with three additional Oscar® nominations, the first for his chilling performance in the 1987 drama “Street Smart,” which also brought him Los Angeles, New York, and National Society of Film Critics Awards, and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor, as well as his first Golden Globe Award nomination. He earned his second Oscar® nomination and won Golden Globe and National Board of Review Awards for Best Actor for the 1989 film “Driving Miss Daisy,” in which he recreated his award-winning off-Broadway role. He gained his third Oscar® nod, as well as Golden Globe and SAG Award® nominations, for his performance in Frank Darabont’s 1994 drama “The Shawshank Redemption.”

His more recent film work includes starring roles in Christopher Nolan’s blockbusters “The Dark Knight” and “Batman Begins”; Rob Reiner’s “The Bucket List,” opposite Jack Nicholson; Robert Benton’s “Feast of Love”; Ben Affleck’s “Gone Baby Gone”; “Lucky Number Slevin”; Lasse Hallström’s “An Unfinished Life,” with Robert Redford and Jennifer Lopez; the Jet Li actioner “Unleashed,” written by Luc Besson; and the comedy “Bruce Almighty” and its sequel, “Evan Almighty.” He also lent his distinctive voice to Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” and the Oscar®-winning documentary “March of the Penguins.”

Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in Invictus

Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in Invictus

Freeman’s earlier film credits include “The Sum of All Fears,” “High Crimes,” “Along Came a Spider,” “Nurse Betty,” “Deep Impact,” “Hard Rain,” Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad,” “Kiss the Girls,” “Se7en,” “Glory,” “Lean on Me,” “Clean and Sober,” “Marie,” “Teachers,” “Harry & Son” and “Brubaker.”

In 1993, Freeman made his film directorial debut with “Bopha!” and soon after formed Revelations Entertainment. The company’s most recent production was the Brad Silberling comedy “10 Items or Less,” in which Freeman starred with Paz Vega.

The Memphis-born actor began his career on New York stages in the early 1960s, following a stint as a mechanic in the Air Force. A decade later, he became a nationally known television personality when he created the popular character Easy Reader on the popular children’s show “The Electric Company.” Throughout the 1970s, he continued his work on stage, winning Drama Desk and Clarence Derwent Awards and receiving a Tony Award nomination for his performance in “The Mighty Gents” in 1978. In 1980, he won Obie Awards for his portrayal of Shakespearean anti-hero Coriolanus at the New York Shakespeare Festival and for his work in “Mother Courage and Her Children.” Freeman won another Obie in 1984 for his performance as The Messenger in the acclaimed Brooklyn Academy of Music production of Lee Breuer’s “The Gospel at Colonus” and, in 1985, won the Drama-Logue Award for the same role. In 1987, Freeman created the role of Hoke Coleburn in Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Driving Miss Daisy,” which brought him his fourth Obie Award. In 1990, Freeman starred as Petruchio in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” opposite Tracey Ullman. Returning to the Broadway stage in 2008, Freeman starred with Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher in Clifford Odett’s drama “The Country Girl,” directed by Mike Nichols.

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TRMS Explores Literacy Tests in Our Nations Voting History

Posted by: Audiegrl

Rachel Maddow ShowMSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reviews the history of how “literacy tests” were used to prevent Black people from voting in America and why Tom Tancredo’s opening speech to the Tea Party convention calling for the return of those tests is so abhorrent. Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree shares his insights on racism in the United States.

This clip caught my attention, because as Rachel pointed out, this is not ancient history, the Voting Rights bill was passed in 1965, when I was three years old. The topic also reminded me of a story my parents told me. But a little background first. Although, they came to Northern Illinois in 1942, the first election they were ‘allowed’ to vote in, was for President John F. Kennedy. Seriously… They were not in the Southern states that Rachel mentioned, but in the North. I’m not sure all the literacy tests they were given, except for one. My mother was given the task to name all of Shakespere’s sonnets. She didn’t pass that test, so she was not allowed to vote.

When they voted for President Kennedy, they went as a group from the American Legion, because my father served honorably in World War II. My Great-Uncle also went with him that day, he served honorably in World War I. Amazingly although both were veterans, this was the first vote for both of them, and they sure were proud. 🙂

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