Newsweek: Writes Like She talks: “Middle Americans Are Not Just White, Christian, Working Class Folk”

Newsweek: Writes Like She Talks

“Middle Americans Are Not Just White, Christian, Working Class Folk”

Excellent post from well-known woman of color blogger, Tami Winfrey Harris of What Tami Said and Anti-Racist Parenting. An excerpt:

Why is it so easy for the Right to paint Barack Obama as both a foreigner and anti-American, despite the fact that he has served the country on a community, state, and national level and is currently running to become president of the United States? It is easy because in the American psyche, whiteness = American, and colored = something else. Back when I was in college, a diverse dining-hall table evoked an interesting comment from a white friend — one of the white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, midwestern, small-town sort. She looked around at the group gathered for lunch, which included several white students, a Hispanic student, a student of Asian ancestry, and myself. “Wow! We’ve got a Mexican, a Chinese person, a black, and three Americans sitting here!” Of course, I pointed out that the people of color at the table were Americans too. All of us were born and raised in the United States. “Well, you know what I mean,” she countered offhandedly. I do know what she meant. She meant that, even in the minds of some good people who mean well, America is synonymous with baseball, apple pie, Chevrolets, and whiteness.

Please go read this column in its entirety and leave a comment if you’re so moved.  Also, if you like Tami’s thought process and writing, check out her blogs.


Media Matters: Conservative media figures allege Obama’s Hawaii trip is about discredited birth-certificate rumors, not his ailing grandmother

Media Matters

Conservative media figures allege Obama’s Hawaii trip is about discredited birth-certificate rumors, not his ailing grandmother

Summary: Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, and Jerome Corsi suggested or asserted that the true purpose of Sen. Barack Obama’s current trip to Hawaii is not to visit his ailing grandmother, as Obama claims, but rather to address rumors — widely debunked — that Obama has failed to produce a valid U.S. birth certificate. However, in addition to and a Hawaiian Health Department official, even Corsi’s employer, the right-wing website WorldNetDaily, has reportedly determined that the birth certificate provided by the Obama campaign is authentic.

Nashville Post Politics: I Detect Some Sarcasm

Nashville Post Politics

I Detect Some Sarcasm

P.J. Tobia missed the 22nd Annual White Christian Heritage Festival in Pulaski, Tennessee and he’s wicked upset about it:

It is so important to remember white heritage. We just don’t get to do that enough in a country where the vast majority of people are white, most holidays were started by white Christians, almost everybody on TV or radio is white and our government is, for the most part, composed of white guys.

It’s great that these fine people are taking the time to pause and think of our glorious white past in this age where white people still run pretty much everything.

La Shawn Barber’s Corner: Lewis Diuguid: Code Word for Race-Card Playing Journalis

La Shawn Barber’s Corner

Lewis Diuguid: Code Word for Race-Card Playing Journalis 

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to play the race card so close to Election Eve!*

Lewis Diuguid, a columnist for the Kansas City Star, played the race card and opened up a can of Drudge-linked worms with a blog post titled, “Shame on McCain and Palin for using an old code word for black.” An excerpt:

“The ’socialist’ label that Sen. John McCain and his GOP presidential running mate Sarah Palin are trying to attach to Sen. Barack Obama actually has long and very ugly historical roots.

“J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI from 1924 to 1972, used the term liberally to describe African Americans who spent their lives fighting for equality.

I surmise that socialism and communism appeal to many blacks today because of what they perceive to be invidious racism. Their inability to rise higher in their profession or score a higher-paying job or reach the pinnacle of whatever they define as success is attributed to racism. So is poverty. Since white people have all the power and use it to hold them back, it’s only fair to take from white people and give to the collective, so that all may benefit.

I’d rather take my chances and try to be successful on my own merits and earn my own way, without taking that which belongs to someone else. If I fail, I fail with a cheerful heart, knowing my failure belongs to me.

The City Paper: Editorial: Opposition to English Only needs to be heard

The City Paper: Editorial

Opposition to English Only needs to be heard

Metro Councilman Eric Crafton wants to debate Mayor Karl Dean on the merits of the English Only proposal Nashville voters will address in a special election with a half-million dollar price tag.

Certainly, this city needs to have some kind of public discourse on the subject of whether or not Nashville should become the largest municipality in the country to make its government business take place only in English.

Then there is the flip side of the English Only equation, the much-less-organized opposition. Despite such political heft as the majority of the Metro Council, the mayor, most every consequential immigrant leader in the city and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the English Only opposition is not showing the same signs of life as the proponents.

That is disturbing. The city’s newspapers have reported on this brewing political battle ad nauseum — this one included. We have condemned English Only repeatedly on our editorial page, as have publications of every type citywide — print and digital.

National Review Online: Obama Is Getting Off Easy

National Review Online

Obama Is Getting Off Easy

Over the weekend, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights hero, sold off another chunk of his reputation by coughing up some absurd partisan talking point about how the McCain-Palin campaign reminds him of that of Dixiecrat segregationist George Wallace. And over the last week, a host of reporters — not just liberal pundits — ominously fretted that the McCain campaign’s use of former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers as an issue is a racist ploy. TheWashington Post’s Anne Kornblut, for instance, wrote that Sarah Palin’s comment that Barack Obama was “palling around with terrorists” is “a turn of phrase that critics said was racially loaded.”

The most laughable evidence that McCain is sowing hatred stems from the shouts of “terrorist!” and “kill him!” from a few hothead buffoons at McCain rallies. Of course, rather than foment this sort of thing, McCain went out of his way to chastise his own supporters personally and publicly.

McCain has done nothing to fuel racism. Or, put another way, the McCain campaign has done as much to promote prejudice as the Obama campaign has to inflame the vile passions behind the “Abort Sarah Palin” bumper sticker, Madonna’s stage video lumping McCain in with Hitler, the eugenic snobbery aimed at Palin’s son with Down syndrome, or the column in the Philadelphia Daily News that predicted a “race war” if McCain wins.

Wait a second, shout Obama supporters. What about attempts to paint Obama as “the other,” as “different”? Peter Beinart writes in Time that the Republican campaign is trying to cast Obama as not “American enough.” Obama is cosmopolitan and represents a changing world. To cast that in a negative light, insists Beinart (a friend and frequent debate opponent), amounts to “shocking” racism.

Beinart recounts how Palin said at one rally, “I am just so fearful that this is not a man who sees America the way that you and I see America.” Beinart makes it sound as if she said this through a Klan hood. Please. Every single presidential campaign boils down to an argument about how the candidates “see America.” Suddenly that question is out of bounds because Obama is black?

According to the liberal history books, in 1988 the GOP cast Michael Dukakis as too elitist, cosmopolitan, and not American enough. In 1992, it ran a similar attack against Bill Clinton — remember the hullabaloo about draft dodging and that trip to Russia? In 2000, ditto with Al Gore, though the emphasis was less on foreignness and more on extraterrestrialness. And in 2004, there was John Kerry’s “global test” for U.S. national security. Lack of originality notwithstanding, why is it suddenly racist to treat Obama just like the four white guys who preceded him? Talk about racial double standards.

McClatchy Hot off the Trail: GOP mail ties Obama to terrorists

McClatchy Hot off the Trail

GOP mail ties Obama to terrorists

In a stark new brochure Wednesday, the Republican National Committee subtly plays on the false belief held by many Americans that Barack Obama is a Muslim, an Arab, or somehow un-American.

“Terrorists don’t care who they hurt,” says the cover the brochure, arriving in mailboxes Wednesday in the battleground state of Virginia.

The words appear over a picture of someone in shadow eyeing or photograhing the front of an airplane, an apparent reference to the fact that terrorists used hijacked airplanes to kill Americans in 2001.

Flip open the brochure, and the photo is of Obama.

“Why should we care what they have to say?” it asks about terrorists. “Barack Obama thinks terrorists just need a good talking to.”

The reference is to Obama’s stated willingness to meet, without preconditon, the leaders of rogue nations such as Iran. He has been criticized for that stand, including by running mate Joe Biden when the two were competing for the Democratic presidential nomination.

But Obama has never said he would go soft on terrorists. In fact, he’s urged sending more troops to Afghanistan, the launching pad for the 2001 attacks. He’s also said he would send the U.S. military into Pakistan, unilaterally and without warning, if the United States knew it could hit terrorist Osama bin Laden.

But the brochure very strongly suggests that Obama would surrender to terrorist domination if not  destruction of the United States.

“Islamic extremists want our laws changed, our culture destroyed and our families converted. We don’t. What is there to talk about?” it says.

Finally, it makes a play on the fears, expressed by some Democrats in the primaries and some Republicans this fall, that Obama is a sort of Manchurian Candidate fronting for an anti-American identity or agenda.

“Barack Obama,” it says, “Not who you think he is.”