Published by Joyce Jones on Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm.
(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
By Joyce Jones
Newt Gingrich shared some interesting thoughts this week about whether birther claims are racist and it’s his assertion that they are not, Politico reports.
“I think that Obama creates very powerful emotions about him, largely because of the radicalization of his views. And I think that that’s a key fact,” he told reporters before the Mitt Romney fundraiser Donald Trump hosted in Las Vegas.
Now the reason Gingrich knows that attempts to paint a picture of the president as not simply un-American but African — red meat to the kind of people who still don’t cotton to the idea of a Black family in the White House — aren’t racist is that no one accuses Reps. Allen West or Tim Scott, who are African-American, of not being U.S. citizens.
“So the idea of asserting that any charge against Obama somehow manages magically in the media to get back to racism, I think is just one ore device to protect Obama,” Gingrich said.
Sounds to me like the former House speaker is comparing Hawaiian pineapples to Florida oranges. First of all, Tea Party darlings West and Scott are drinking out of the same Kool-Aid vat when it comes to most issues related to Obama, so of course they’re not being called un-American. And one never knows what certain people may be whispering behind their backs. But I wouldn’t get too comfortable if I were them.
Just the other day, West expressed support for keeping some of the popular provisions in the Affordable Care Act, such as barring providers from rejecting people who have pre-existing conditions and keeping kids on their parents insurance plans until they’re 26. The original Tea Party group Freedom Works, Club for Growth and other conservative advocates want the entire law repealed.
You’d better watch your back, Allen West.
Published by Joyce Jones on Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Allen West has chosen an interesting way to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He hosted a press conference at which most of the participants slammed Islam and screened a virulently anti-Muslim documentary, titled Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mega-Mosque. Produced in association with the Christian Action Network, the film focuses on a proposed Islamic cultural center that was to be built a few blocks from Ground Zero. Opponents say the entire area is sacred ground and in essence a massive grave.
The event featured individuals who for the decade have struggled to overcome the inexplicable loss of loved ones who were killed on that fateful day. Only those who have experienced such a tragedy can truly share their pain, and it is good for them to have forums in which to express it. Some even acknowledged that there are no legal or constitutional reasons to prohibit what they’ve dubbed a “morally wrong mega-mosque,” but other sentiments shared were alarming and verging on jingoism.
One speaker declared that Islam is not even a religion–and West agreed. According to the Florida lawmaker, it’s a “theocratic political construct ideology” in desperate need of reform. He also said that he fears Americans have not learned anything from the attacks and are unwilling to confront the threat of Islamic extremists both here and abroad, because it is politically incorrect.
“I am not sitting up here condemning people who call themselves Muslims. Now is the time we have to challenge this ideology,” West said. “If we are to peacefully coexist they have to come into the 21st century and push aside a lot of these seventh-century ideas they still hold.”
This week is supposed to be about healing, but such vitriol is far from soothing. And it begs the question: What would Harriet Tubman think?
Published by Joyce Jones on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 8:23 am.
(Photo: David Limbaugh)
After seeing this photo juxtaposing Texas Gov. Rick Perry and President Obama, I am really shocked—and kind of saddened—by just how awful some people are. This latest example of extreme disrespect comes courtesy of Rush Limbaugh’s brother David, who tweeted the photo late last month. He says the image, which clearly has racist undertones, was sent to him by a friend.
I wish that people who don’t have black or brown skin would start calling out the people who are so appalled that America elected an African-American president, that they will say, tweet and email just about anything.
Some people will undoubtedly be bothered by the “boys” reference, which I don’t have a problem with. But the patriot vs. the pimp daddy implication is extremely offensive because it reinforces the belief within the Tea Party movement and among far-right conservatives that Obama is un-presidential and not fit for office or deserving of the respect it normally commands. It is also an inaccurate comparison. Perry was actually 22 when his photo was taken, while the future president was closer to 19 or 20.
I hope Obama is writing about this stuff for his next memoir. Luckily, he developed a thick skin and cool demeanor in Indonesia where the children were at first really mean, and his mother taught him to not react. Little did she know that she was preparing him to deal with the likes of David and Rush Limbaugh.
Published by Joyce Jones on Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 10:34 am.
(Photo: Courtesy of André Carson)
Something has taken hold of the Congressional Black Caucus this summer. Rep. André Carson (Indiana) sometimes appears to still be learning how to give a good quote on the cuff, and has on occasion even deferred to another member. But apparently, after spending the past month traveling the country with the irrepressible Maxine Waters as part of the CBC jobs initiative, he’s begun expressing himself in some most interesting and controversial ways.
At a recent CBC town hall meeting in Miami, Carson said that the Tea Party wants to take African-Americans back to a very bleak time in history.
“This is the effort that we are seeing of Jim Crow. Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now with this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me… hanging on a tree,” he said.
Fellow CBC member Rep. Allen West, the group’s sole Republican, dashed off a furious response to CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver Wednesday afternoon, in which he said that Carson’s statement was “unconscionable.” Moreover, an earlier remark by Waters’, in which she directed the Tea Party to “go straight to hell,” was “appalling,” he said.
West also is going to “seriously reconsider” his CBC membership if Cleaver doesn’t condemn their “hate-filled comments.” There’s no way that’s going to happen, so he may want to start drafting that resignation note.
As Waters said when she told the Tea Party where to go, “This is a tough game. You can’t be intimidated. You can’t be frightened.”