WASHINGTON — Representative John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat and civil rights leader, said Saturday that Senator John McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, were “sowing the seeds of hatred and division” in a way that reminded him of former Gov. George Wallace and “another destructive period” in the nation’s history.
IF you think way back to the start of this marathon campaign, back when it seemed preposterous that any black man could be a serious presidential contender, then you remember the biggest fear about Barack Obama: a crazy person might take a shot at him.
Some voters told reporters that they didn’t want Obama to run, let alone win, should his very presence unleash the demons who have stalked America from Lincoln to King. After consultation with Congress, Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, gave Obama a Secret Service detail earlier than any presidential candidate in our history — in May 2007, some eight months before the first Democratic primaries.
“I’ve got the best protection in the world, so stop worrying,” Obama reassured his supporters. Eventually the country got conditioned to his appearing in large arenas without incident (though I confess that the first loud burst of fireworks at the end of his convention stadium speech gave me a start). In America, nothing does succeed like success. The fear receded.
Until now. At McCain-Palin rallies, the raucous and insistent cries of “Treason!” and “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” and “Off with his head!” as well as the uninhibited slinging of racial epithets, are actually something new in a campaign that has seen almost every conceivable twist. They are alarms. Doing nothing is not an option.
If you listen closely to the two-minute radio address that 12-year-old Graeme Frost delivered last week for the Democrats, you can hear the lingering effects of the 2004 car crash that put him into a coma for a week and left one of his vocal chords paralyzed. “Most kids my age probably haven’t heard of CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program,” he says in a voice that sounds weak and stressed. “But I know all about it, because if it weren’t for CHIP, I might not be here today.”
On Monday night, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly aired a segment full of misleading, inaccurate claims attacking the upcoming YearlyKos blogger convention, its namesake DailyKos, and one of the event’s sponsors, JetBlue. In his “report,” O’Reilly cherry-picked an extreme minority of reader comments and diaries from the hundreds of thousands on DailyKos, claiming them to be representative of the community website and the greater netroots movement that will be gathering in Chicago on Aug. 2-5, 2007, for the progressive convention. Calling the netroots “the radical left” and DailyKos “hatemongerers” like “the Ku Klux Klan” and “the Nazi Party,” O’Reilly compared YearlyKos to “a David Duke convention,” calling it “one of the worst examples of hatred America has to offer”.” O’Reilly’s segment, which has been latched on to by his ideological allies in the conservative blogosphere, is an attempt to discredit a movement that “each day” is having “more impact” on America’s political discourse while “helping to renew our democracy.” O’Reilly’s preemptive attack on the convention is a testament to the fact that the netroots are not a “nutroots” fringe movement as critics would like to characterize it, but rather a snapshot of energized progressive activists agitating for change in America.
A former Army chaplain who has been listed as a deserter by the Department of Defense intends to file a civil rights lawsuit against the United States military for refusing to discipline three Evangelical Christian Army chaplains at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The three allegedly subjected Rabbi Jeffrey Goldman to vulgar displays of anti-Semitism in 2001 and 2002.
On the July 9 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Rush Limbaugh read aloud the following passage from a Dallas Morning News op-ed by Melinda Henneberger: “The most appealing thing about Hillary Rodham Clinton has always been her enemies, who often seem not in their right mind, screaming that she is a murderer and calling her names like ‘Her Thighness.’
Today on his radio show, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said:”Now the reason that CNN and MSNBC do so much Iraq reporting is because they want to embarrass the Bush administration. Both do. And all their reporting consists of is here’s another explosion. Bang. Here’s more people dead. Bang.”
“Do you care if another bomb went off in Tikrit? Does it mean anything? No! It doesn’t mean anything.”
[Thx BXC for picking up my vast amounts of slack]
by MAX BLUMENTHAL
Jerry Falwell, found unconscious in his office Tuesday, expired at age 73, spent much of his life hurling maledictions, and it is probably best to let him speak for himself. He was, after all, a preacher.
American leaders across the political spectrum are eulogizing the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, albeit with some criticism of his tendency to lash out at his adversaries. But lost in this desire not to speak ill of the dead is the troubling story of Falwell’s secret financial dealings with South Korean cult leader Sun Myung Moon and how Moon’s mysterious money bailed out Falwell’s Liberty University.
As a member of SPLC, I received the following letter. I am sharing it in it’s entirety. Please take action with me!
May 15, 2007
The increasingly nasty immigration debate, driven by demagogic politicians and right-wing pundits, is stoking the fires of racist extremism — spawning a new breed of well-armed vigilantes and fueling a dramatic growth in hate groups.
|Center Urges CNN to Retract False Reporting|
Unfortunately, mainstream journalists like CNN’s Lou Dobbs are playing a major role in fomenting anti-immigrant hysteria.
Despite being confronted with undisputed evidence to the contrary, Mr. Dobbs says he stands “100 percent behind” the claim that there have been 7,000 new cases of leprosy in the U.S. in recent years. What’s more, he has attributed part of the increase to “unscreened illegal immigrants.”
The truth, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is that new leprosy cases peaked in 1985 at 361 and have declined since, even as the number of undocumented immigrants has increased. The source for Dobbs’ outrageous leprosy claim is an anti-immigration zealot who once publicly stated that “most” Latino immigrant men “molest girls under 12, although some specialize in boys, and some in nuns.” (more…)
An aide to the Rev. Jerry Falwell says he has died. “CPR efforts were unsuccessful,” said Ron Godwin, the executive vice president for Falwell’s Liberty University, who did not
have any additional information on time or cause of death. Godwin said he was not sure what caused the collapse, but he said Falwell “has a history of heart challenges.”
I have to say, he probably will not be missed by reasonable people. Why? See below. (more…)
April 23, 2007
By BOB HERBERT
Just days after Don Imus was taken off the air for a slur hurled at members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team, a police sergeant conducting a roll call at a precinct in Brooklyn is reported to have called the three female officers in the room “hos” as he gave them an order to stand up. (more…)
Don Imus and What’s Ailing the Media
That people took advantage of their rights to help convince networks and advertisers to abandon Imus is much less a threat to democracy than the fact that control over what we read, see and hear through the media is in fewer and fewer hands.
Joseph Hughes, TPM Cafe
Lost in the debate over Don Imus is any discussion of U.S. media policy, which created and sustains a system that richly rewards “shock jock” programming.
Wally Bowen, Ashville Citizen Times
Stations that aired Imus’ talk show were more likely to be owned by large group owners — companies that own stations in multiple markets or own more than three stations in a single market. None of them were minority-owned stations.
Timothy Karr, StopBigMedia.com
April 15, 2007
By FRANK RICH
FAMILIAR as I am with the warp speed of media, I was still taken aback by the velocity of Don Imus’s fall after he uttered an indefensible racist and sexist slur about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Even in that short span, there’s been an astounding display of hypocrisy, sanctimony and self-congratulation from nearly every side of the debate, starting with Al Sharpton, who has yet to apologize for his leading role in the Tawana Brawley case, the 1980s racial melee prompted by unproven charges much like those that soiled the Duke lacrosse players. (more…)
April 16, 2007
Signs of Infection
By BOB HERBERT
People in positions of great power are the ones who define those who are relatively lacking in power. So when Don Imus, a very powerful radio personality, dropped his disgusting verbal bomb on the members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team, he sent a powerful message across the airwaves: that the young women on the team (the black ones, at least) were crude, ugly and genetically inferior, and that all of the women were whores. (more…)
April 14, 2007
By ROBERT WRIGHT
There has to be an Imus event every once in a while. Ethnicity being the volatile thing it is, gratuitously inflammatory remarks have to be discouraged, so bounds of acceptable speech have to be clarified. Clarity comes when, inevitably, someone oversteps and gets slapped down. (more…)
What would possess nappy-headed radio host Don Imus to think “nappy-headed hos” was an amusing way to describe the Rutgers University women’s basketball team? Why would it occur to him to say such a thing even in private conversation, much less to millions of listeners on CBS Radio and the MSNBC cable network?
April 12, 2007
By BOB HERBERT
You knew something was up early in the day. As soon as I told executives at MSNBC that I was going to write about the “60 Minutes” piece, which was already in pretty wide circulation, they began acting very weird. We’ll get back to you, they said.
One area of fallout that has to be explored is the detoxification of the public airwaves and Black America’s role in that effort. This is where we arrive at a “mirror moment” for Black America to come to grips with its own culpability in this regard.
The radio talk show host Don Imus was suspended for two weeks yesterday after the outcry over his racially disparaging remarks about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.
I wonder how hard I would cry should I see her “bombed into quivering terror” as she suggests we do with ‘the enemy’, including innocents.
March 19, 2007
Brother Marvin Gaye said it so well in a song: “War is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate.” He first sang that in 1970. I just wish his song, “What’s Going On”, was outdated, but it’s still all too relevant.
March 7, 2007
By JUDITH WARNER
Ann Coulter’s use of the epithet “faggot” to slur the Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards last week took me back to the schoolyards of the 1970s, when Coulter and I were both young.
Coulter @ CPAC: I would comment on John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot.’
February 11, 2007
By DAN BARRY
NORTH VERSAILLES, Pa.
After he has closed his restaurant for the night, downed a few beers at a neighboring bar and eaten a predawn breakfast at Denny’s, Bill Balsamico returns to an unshared apartment beside his darkened establishment and clicks on the television. This is when she visits, his invisible muse. (more…)
Racist/white supremacist whackjob Hal Turner said:
Here’s the ignorant hatewad’s blog while his regular site is down. (Not that you’d want to give the lunatic any traffic.) (Tempted as I am to not give this idiot any attention at all, I don’t know that ignoring this scum makes it go away. I think it is the kind of organism that grows in the dark…)
Hat tip to Billy
January 16, 1999
The Rev. Jerry Falwell says the Antichrist is probably alive today and is a male Jew.
Mr. Falwell says he also believes that the second coming of Christ will probably happen within 10 years.
In a speech on Thursday about the concern people have expressed over the new millennium, Mr. Falwell told about 1,500 people at a conference on evangelism in Kingsport, Tenn., that the Antichrist is male and is a Jew.
”Who will the Antichrist be?” asked Mr. Falwell, whose Sunday services at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg are carried by television stations nationwide. ”I don’t know. Nobody else knows.”
”Is he alive and here today?” he asked. ”Probably. Because when he appears during the Tribulation period he will be a full-grown counterfeit of Christ. Of course he’ll be Jewish. Of course he’ll pretend to be Christ. And if in fact the Lord is coming soon, and he’ll be an adult at the presentation of himself, he must be alive somewhere today.”
According to the Bible, the Antichrist will spread universal evil before the end of the world but will be finally conquered at the second coming of Christ.
Mr. Falwell said today in Williamsburg that he did not intend his statement to be anti-Jewish. He said he meant only that the Antichrist must be Jewish because Jesus Christ was a Jew.
”If he’s going to be the counterfeit of Christ, he has to be Jewish,” Mr. Falwell said.