Sunday, October 12, 2008

Racism Can Be A Two-edged Knife-- As John Kelly And John McCain Have Both Found Out


There's nothing much left of the Republican Party's Grand Coalition other than the racists, pre-Renaissance religionist fanatics, anti-Semites, and bailed-out bankers.
As the crowd cheered at a Sarah Palin rally this morning in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a man in the audience grinned as he held up a stuffed monkey doll with a Barack Obama bumper sticker wrapped across its forehead.

Goaded on by Palin's naked reactionary politics, the campaign has turned into one stinking sewer. When McCain tried tamping it down a little a few days ago he was booed at his own rallies-- three times in one day! As endangered elected officials in battleground states, moderates and mainstream conservatives have fled the Palin wing of the Party, the Know Nothings and Nativists have completely taken control, at least on the grassroots level. Khaled Hosseini is the author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns and this morning he used the Washington Post to explain how McCain and Palin are playing with fire. Like civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis, and political operative David Gergen Hosseini is dismayed at the vicious, racist, even violent tone the McCain campaign has taken.
The real affront is the lack of firm response from either McCain or Palin. Neither has had the moral courage, when taking the stage, to grasp the microphone, turn to the presenter and, right then and there, denounce the use of Obama's middle name as an insult. Instead, they have simply delivered their stump speeches, lacing into Obama as if nothing out-of-bounds had just happened. The McCain-Palin ticket has given toxic speeches accusing Obama of being a friend of terrorists, then released short, meek repudiations of some of the rough stuff, including McCain's call Friday to "be respectful." Back in February, the Arizona senator apologized for the "disparaging remarks" from a talk-radio host who sneered repeatedly about "Barack Hussein Obama" before a McCain rally. "We will have a respectful debate," McCain insisted afterward. But pretending to douse flames that you are busy fanning does not qualify as straight talk.

What I find most unconscionable is the refusal of the McCain-Palin tandem to publicly condemn the cries of "traitor," "liar," "terrorist" and (worst of all) "kill him!" that could be heard at recent rallies. McCain is perfectly capable of telling hecklers off. But not once did he or his running mate bother to admonish the people yelling these obscene -- and potentially dangerous -- words. They may not have been able to hear the slurs at the rallies, but surely they have had ample time since to get on camera and warn that this sort of ugliness has no place in an election season. But they have not. Simply calling Obama "a decent person" is not enough.

Is inaction tantamount to consent? The McCain campaign certainly thinks so when it comes to Obama and incendiary remarks from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. By their own inaction, then, are McCain and Palin condoning these slurs? Or worse, are they willfully inciting the angry and venomous response that we have been witnessing at their rallies? If not, then what reaction are they hoping to evoke by their relentless public suggestions that Obama is basically an anti-American liar who won't put "country first" and has an affection for terrorists? Do they not understand the kind of fire they are playing with?

I-- and, I suspect, millions of Americans like me, Republicans and Democrats alike-- couldn't care less about Obama's middle name or the ridiculous six-degrees-of-separation game that is the William Ayers non-issue. The Taliban are clawing their way back in Afghanistan, the country that I hope many of my fellow Americans have come to understand better through my novels. People are losing their homes and their jobs and are watching the future slip away from them. But instead of addressing these problems, the McCain-Palin ticket is doing its best to distract Americans by provoking fear, anxiety and hatred. Country first? Hardly.

A McCain-Palin supporter & GOP propagandist admitted he created this and posted it on his blog. Don't vote for one Republican for any office anywhere

What makes this much worse, as Jeffrey Feldman explained at Frameshop today is that "while McCain tells his supporters publicly to refrain from violent rhetoric, he continues to teach his volunteers rhetoric designed to elicit violent responses. Karen Tumulty of Time Magazine was horrified at the little Nazi training camp she found disguised as a McCain campaign field office in Gainesville, Virginia.

Jeffrey Frederick is an unabashed neo-Confederate Know Nothing, extremist, and racist; he's also the head of the Virginia Republican Party. Tumulty was shocked when he addressed the McCain "troops" in the headquarters:
He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points-- for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: "Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon," he said. "That is scary." It is also not exactly true-- though that distorted reference to Obama's controversial association with William Ayers, a former 60s radical, was enough to get the volunteers stoked. "And he won't salute the flag," one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, "We don't even know where Senator Obama was really born." Actually, we do; it's Hawaii.

I'm sure Palin will bring out some KKK members and churchie fanatics who might otherwise have not voted. She-- as well as McCain's bad judgment and duplicity-- is also convincing independents and thoughtful conservatives that McCain is far to risky a choice. Racism, after all, cuts two ways and civil societies have made conscious attempts to overcome it, some with more success than others.

In 1970 I was traveling through India in a Volkswagen van. When I found a place I liked I would settle in for a spell. I loved Goa on the Arabian Sea south of what was then Bombay (now Mumbai) and I rented a thatched house a couple dozen steps from the beach for a few months. Goa was pretty sleepy and off the beaten path back then. Now it attracts all kinds of trashy thrill-seeking tourists. One, an Australian named John Kelly, was killed by the staff of a bar the other day. Some friends of mine have been discussing this on-line all weekend. As the Goa "expert" I finally decided to wade into the discussion this afternoon. I explained that the Indians tend to be pretty non-violent, especially towards foreigners and that I would bet, generalizing from the Australians I've met in Asia, that Kelly was extremely provocative, probably making repeated rude remarks about their religion and race. I then looked into it a bit more by reading the Times of India. Kelly was even worse than I figured. He would be a perfect fit for the Palin wing of the GOP.
He was loud, abusive, racially discriminating in his speech which was aimed at everyone in his vision which seemed like signs of a totally intoxicated person with not much bearing of his surroundings," says the statement, endorsed by the owner of the establishment, Rajesh Khanna.

Khanna said that the statement had been signed by two dozen eyewitnesses who were present when the incident happened.

According to the statement, Kelly on his arrival ordered a round of beer for a group of Indian tourists present but they declined his offer and he was enraged.

"He (Kelly) abused him left right and centre and the one-sided conversation can be best described as outright provocation in the form of direct and indirect verbal abuse, racial discrimination and insult," the statement said, adding that at the end of this outburst, Kelly pressed a knife into a waiter's neck.

"Kelly responded by holding the waiter by his head and putting the knife to his throat and slowly exerting pressure," it added.

John Kelly is no more. Let's pray the Republican Party-- or at least what the Republican Party has devolved into lately-- will meet the same fate.

Jesus' General sent me this:

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At 5:40 PM, Blogger Ichabod said...

I agree with your analysis.

The world has never been perfect and neither has America.

This has been a situation that exists as long as mankind exists.

The best we can hope for is general peace that the non third world countries appear to be enjoying.

It doesn't take much to throw it off balance and these issues combined with financial stress could start an ugly trend.

At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is ironic that Mcshame and the pain are the actual (not supposed) people hanging out with terrorists and racists. What else would you call people who talk about killing the leader of the opposition party?

At 7:29 AM, Blogger labll said...

There is a homely old adage which runs: 'Speak softly and carry and big stick; you will go far.' If the American nation will speak softly, and yet build and keep at a pitch of the highest training a thoughly efficient navy, the Munroe Doctrine will go far.

McCain and Palin must not have really prepared their lessons form history event though they quote sources.

Obama takes his time to look over the facts and thn responds.

Their are not too many except extremist who in my opinion are bullies that are dragging down McCain and Palin since they incite negativity.

I am amazed that they did not look at the polls during the time McCain tried to straighten out his and her mess. I would present that they improved with swing voters. But since he and she did not emphatically stop the attacks they went further down.


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