Saturday, January 12, 2008


I am always fascinated when white people, particularly white politicians, say what they really mean.
Hillary Clinton decided that she needed to minimize the role that Martin Luther King Jr., and by extension African-Americans, played in securing their own civil rights.

Some one should tell Hillary that we have a National Holiday honoring the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King and the civil rights heroes who used non-violent direct action to move America from apartheid to an open access society. I suppose she would do away with The Martin Luther King National Holiday Day and replace it with a President Lyndon Johnson National Holiday since he was the Washington politician that she wants to credit with the success of the Civil Rights Movement.

She said "Dr. King's dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act. It took a president to get it done. The power of that dream became real in people's lives because we had a president capable of action."

Hillary would have us believe that it wasn't the courage of Martin Luther King and local Montgomery residents in 1960 standing up to legalized white supremacy in their hometown that began to change America, it was the white man.

Hillary would have us believe that it wasn't Rosa Parks who had had enough and refused to sit in the back of the bus that got things started, it was the white man.
In 1944, athletic star Jackie Robinson took a similar stand in a confrontation with a United States Army officer in Fort Hood, Texas, refusing to move to the back of a bus. Robinson was brought before a court-martial, which acquitted him. The NAACP had accepted and litigated other cases before, such as that of Irene Morgan ten years earlier, which resulted in a victory in the U.S. Supreme Court on Commerce Clause grounds. That victory, however, overturned state segregation laws only insofar as they applied to travel in interstate commerce, such as interstate bus travel. Black activists had begun to build a case around the arrest of a 15-year-old girl, Claudette Colvin, a student at Booker T. Washington High School in Montgomery. On March 2, 1955, Colvin was handcuffed, arrested and forcibly removed from a public bus when she refused to give up her seat to a white man. She claimed that her constitutional rights were being violated. At the time, Colvin was active in the NAACP's Youth Council, a group to which Rosa Parks served as Advisor.

Hillary would have us believe that it wasn't John Lewis and others facing down police dogs, billy clubs and tear gas in Montgomery and Selma, it was the white man.

Hillary would have us believe that it wasn't Fannie Lou Hamer telling the racist Democrats at the 1964 convention that Black people were sick and tired of being sick and tired, it was the white man.

She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi's "Freedom Summer" for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later became the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in that capacity. Her plain-spoken manner and fervent belief in the Biblical righteousness of her cause gained her a reputation as an electrifying speaker and constant champion of civil rights.
In the summer of 1964, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, or "Freedom Democrats" for short, was organized with the purpose of challenging Mississippi's all-white and anti-civil rights delegation to the Democratic National Convention of that year as not representative of all Mississippians. Hamer was elected Vice-Chair.
The Freedom Democrats' efforts drew national attention to the plight of African-Americans in Mississippi, and represented a challenge to President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for a second term; their success would mean that other Southern delegations, who were already leaning toward Republican challenger Barry Goldwater, would publicly break from the convention's decision to nominate Johnson — meaning in turn that he would almost certainly lose those states' electoral votes in the election. Hamer, singing her signature hymns, drew a great deal of attention from the media, enraging Johnson, who referred to her in speaking to his advisors as "that illiterate woman".
Hamer was invited, along with the rest of the MFDP officers, to address the Convention's Credentials Committee. She recounted the problems she had encountered in registration, and the ordeal of the jail in Winona, and, near tears, concluded:
"All of this is on account we want to register [sic], to become first-class citizens, and if the Freedom Democratic Party is not seated now, I question America. Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave where we have to sleep with our telephones off the hooks because our lives be threatened daily because we want to live as decent human beings - in America?"
In Washington, D.C., President Johnson called an emergency press conference in an effort to divert press coverage away from Hamer's testimony; but many television networks ran the speech unedited on their late news programs. The Credentials Committee received thousands of calls and letters in support of the Freedom Democrats.
Johnson then dispatched several trusted Democratic Party operatives to attempt to negotiate with the Freedom Democrats, including Senator Hubert Humphrey (who was campaigning for the Vice-Presidential nomination), Walter Mondale, Walter Reuther, and J. Edgar Hoover. They suggested a compromise which would give the MFDP two seats in exchange for other concessions, and secured the endorsement of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for the plan. But when Humphrey outlined the compromise, saying that his position on the ticket was at stake, Hamer, invoking her Christian beliefs, sharply rebuked him:
"Do you mean to tell me that your position is more important than four hundred thousand black people's lives? Senator Humphrey, I know lots of people in Mississippi who have lost their jobs trying to register to vote. I had to leave the plantation where I worked in Sunflower County, Mississippi. Now if you lose this job of Vice-President because you do what is right, because you help the MFDP, everything will be all right. God will take care of you. But if you take [the nomination] this way, why, you will never be able to do any good for civil rights, for poor people, for peace, or any of those things you talk about. Senator Humphrey, I'm going to pray to Jesus for you."

It was in 1955 when Black college students in North Carolina began "sitting-in" at segregated lunch counters to peacefully protest an immoral and unjust system of racial apartheid, but why credit the people who gave their lives for the struggle when all credit is due to the great white father, in his ultimate, eternal benevolence, for finally deciding to recognize Black people as human beings? I wonder where he got that idea?

Johnson didn't change America. Johnson reacted in 1964 to the changes in America. For that he deserves some credit, but never mistake the man in the suit for the soldiers on the street. The difference is obvious: Johnson isn't the one whose life was ended by a sniper's bullet.

This is the kind of revisionist history I expect from the most extreme white supremacists, and political opportunists.

This kind of careless discrediting of Black heroes and martyrs will have a decided effect on the Black vote in South Carolina. Between this and Bill claiming Hillary is tougher than Nelson Mandela, has pretty much solidified the image that whatever happened in the 90s, Bill Clinton really thinks he was the first Black President and all those Black people marching in peaceful protest were really white people in black-face. It was Al Jolson, Charles Correll and Freeman Gosden, the original Amos and Andy.

With nomination contests in lily-white Iowa and New Hampshire settled, minority voting power now moves into the spotlight.
Historical realities suggest that Blacks and Hispanics won't play much of a role in determining the presidential nominees. But this year's Democratic primary and caucus schedule was designed specifically to give increased influence to minorities, particularly Latinos.
Voters in both groups are energized: Blacks by the early successes of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Latinos by the intense, sometimes xenophobic debate over immigration. But it's far from clear how those influences will play off each other.
Nevada's caucuses on Jan. 19 will give an early showcase of Hispanic voting.
When South Carolina Democrats hold their primary on Jan. 26—the state GOP contest is Jan. 19—the choices of substantial numbers of Black voters will be tallied for the first time in this election.
Obama's stunning victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Iowa caucuses and strong second in New Hampshire's primary showed he could win white votes. But some say the South Carolina contest offers a new test of his viability: Can he energize Black voters in places where their numbers could help him win in November?
Race has played a key role in American politics for as long as there have been Democrats and Republicans.

In 1956, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower was able to garner 39 percent of the Black vote, notes Donald Bositis, a senior research associate for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Black think tank in Washington, D.C.
But with the rise of newly converted Republicans like Sen. Strom Thurmond and their efforts to thwart civil rights legislation, the GOP could manage only 6 percent of the Black vote in 1964.
"And that's when the change was over," says Bositis.
The historical association between the Democrats and the working class, coupled with the election of John F. Kennedy as the first Roman Catholic president, accounts for the Latino affiliation with that party—Florida Cubans being the great exception. Democratic candidate Bill Richardson-Lopez, who cited JFK as one of his inspirations, showcased his Hispanic roots before he pulled out of the race Thursday.
"The vast majority of Hispanics were, are and remain working class," says Gary M. Segura, an associate professor of American politics at the University of Washington. "And so, not surprisingly, that means that they have economic interests which are historically more coincident with the Democratic Party than with the Republican Party."
According to the Pew Research Center, Hispanics are twice as likely to identify themselves as Democrat than Republican. For Blacks, it's 10 1/2 times.
"There is in the United States a racial tone to the political parties," says Bernard N. Grofman, director of the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California, Irvine. It's something "that nobody wants to talk about very much, because in some ways it's really very, very embarrassing."
Both minority groups lag behind whites in voter registration. The latest census figures indicate that while 71 percent of voting- eligible whites are registered, the rate drops to 61 percent among Blacks and 54 percent for Latinos.
The conventional wisdom has been that as the nation's population moves toward a minority majority, its political complexion will become more Democratic. Or, as Grofman puts it, the "browning of America will result in the bluing."
But in studying the South, Grofman—author of the voting-rights history "Quiet Revolution in the South"—found a correlation between the percentage of a state's Black voting population and increases in white support for Republican candidates.
Grofman notes there have been small but measurable Latino shifts toward the GOP as Hispanic homeownership rates, conversions to evangelical Protestantism and generational distance from immigration increase. And since many Latinos identify racially as white, he says we may see a "mimicking" of the electoral "white flight" from the Democratic Party he identified in the South.
A Hispanic-black divide is already showing in the nomination battle.
A California poll by the Field Research Corp. found Clinton's lead over Obama had dropped from 25 percentage points in October to just 14 points late last month. However, the same survey gave Clinton a 20- point lead among Latinos, who comprise 14 percent of voters there.
Segura's polling in Nevada showed heavy support for Clinton among likely Latino voters there, too.
The Democrats have been registering Latinos there by the thousands. The first two Fridays of each month, the Democratic party sets up voter-registration tables outside the federal court chamber in Las Vegas where new citizens are sworn in.
"We average about a hundred every Friday," says Andres Ramirez, Latino outreach coordinator for the state party. "From time to time, we'll get a thousand a week."
Latino registration rates in the state have risen from just 4 percent in 1996 to more than 10 percent. Given the "very anti-immigrant" stances taken by the state GOP, which adopted an English-only platform that would deny citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegals, Ramirez is confident that most of those political newcomers will be voting Democratic.

If Obama wins the Democratic nomination, Segura and others wonder what effect "black-brown competition" will have on the Latino vote this fall. Segura agrees with Grofman that it's dangerous to assume the two groups will complement each other at the ballot box.
"It's not clear that there would be a lot of enthusiasm for an African-American from a Latino electorate," he says.
Vanderbilt University Law School professor Carol M. Swain, author of "Black Faces, Black Interests," is one African-American who won't be voting for Obama—nor, likely, for any Democrat. She says none of the party's candidates has articulated a position "that really takes into consideration the harm that's being done to working-class Americans" by competition from illegal immigrants.
She doesn't feel "that shared race is a strong enough position to support a candidate."
But experts say many Black voters may take the opposite tack when they cast ballots in South Carolina, where Blacks make up about half of the Democratic electorate.
Donald Aiesi, a political science professor at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., thinks turnout in the party primary there will be 4- to-1 Black.
And he predicts that "the race pull" will be strong—even though, he adds, "I don't think anybody's going to talk to a pollster or anybody else and say, `Well, with me it's ultimately the idea that my son or daughter could be elected.'"
Garrett, the mortician, says it's time to try something really new, and that's looking more and more like Obama.
"He's saying the things I want to hear," Garrett says. "I know he won't carry through all of them, but he'll carry through some of them. And it will be beneficial to our people."

Governor Bill Richardson-Lopez has dropped out of the Democratic contest. That leaves three. A Barack Obama-John Edwards ticket would be virtually unbeatable in the next election. Would John Edwards take the number 2 spot on a Democratic ticket for a second time?
For that matter, a John Edwards-Barack Obama ticket would be almost as strong. However, since Obama is running the strongest campaign, it would be more logical for him to lead the ticket.
That way, if for any reason, Obama could not serve out his full term, then Edwards would become President.
Don't think for a minute that the vice presidency is too trivial a post to contend for, however much a person may claim to spurn it. The average politician would kill for a chance at it. Serving four years in supremely comfortable surroundings while just one heartbeat from the presidency is the ultimate dream job. For one thing, its sheer prominence laid the foundation for five vice presidents to go on to the presidency. And the death of the president, through ill health, an assassin's bullet or resignation put nine others in the Oval Office without even having to run for it. Added together, that's a third of America's presidents. So, who is running for President? And who is running for Vice-President?




Blogger ichbinalj said...

We need to talk about race, not racism. If people of different backgrounds would talk more, share their feelings and ideals, we would surely come to understand and appreciate each other better. Racists, misogynists, chauvinists and homophobes are bigots. They all practice forms of hate, born of ignorance and fear, both of which can be overcome by communication, education and cooperation.
Chuck Potter, The Day.

9:54 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

On Meet The Press, 13 January, 2008
Hillary said “Dr. King didn't just give speeches. He marched. He was gassed. He was jailed..."
She added that King "wanted somebody in the White House to act," and went on to criticize the Obama campaign.
A bit later, Hillary added this about King: "Does he deserve the lion's share of credit for moving our country?...Yes, he does." She added, however, that he had a "partner" in the White House.
Separately, Tim Russert of course read the truncated version of the Hillary quote about King. And he read it from a New York Times account.

11:40 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Hillary, please! Partners? Are you serious? Do you really believe that Martin Luther King and Lyndon Baines Johnson were partners? When King made a speech critical of the Viet Nam War, Johnson would not let him within a mile of the White House. He never again met with King. Dr King was the first national figure to come out against the War in Viet Naw. History has proved that he was correct and the first to buck the Conventional Wisdom there also.
And Johnson later refused to run for Presidant again because of the division in the country caused by the Viet Nam War.

11:47 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, also took a swipe at Clinton.

"I must say I was troubled recently to see a suggestion that real change came not through the Rev. Martin Luther King, but through a Washington politician. I fundamentally disagree with that," he told a church group in Sumter, South Carolina on Sundey 13 January 2008 after Hillary's appearance on Meet The Press.

7:01 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

A Barack Obama-John Edwards ticket would be virtually unbeatable in the next election. Would John Edwards take the number 2 spot on a Democratic ticket for a second time?
For that matter, a John Edwards-Barack Obama ticket would be almost as strong. However, since Obama is running the strongest campaign, it would be more logical for him to lead the ticket.
That way, if for any reason, Obama could not serve out his full term, then Edwards would become President.

7:07 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

New York Times Editorial: Hillary Clinton “Came Perilously Close To Injecting Racial Tension.” “Mrs. Clinton ran an angry campaign in New Hampshire, and polls showed that voters noticed. She won narrowly, but came perilously close to injecting racial tension into what should have been — and still should be — an uplifting contest between the first major woman candidate and the first major African-American candidate. […] In Mrs. Clinton’s zeal to make the case that experience (hers) is more important than inspirational leadership (Mr. Obama’s), she made some peculiar comments about the relative importance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Lyndon Johnson to the civil rights cause. She complimented Dr. King’s soaring rhetoric, but said: “Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. … It took a president to get it done. ” Why Mrs. Clinton would compare herself to Mr. Johnson, who escalated the war in Vietnam into a generational disaster, was baffling enough. It was hard to escape the distasteful implication that a Black man needed the help of a white man to effect change. She pulled herself back from the brink by later talking about the mistreatment and danger Dr. King faced. Former President Bill Clinton, who seems to forget he is not the one running, hurled himself over the edge on Monday with a bizarre and rambling attack on Mr. Obama. […] We understand, and usually admire, Mrs. Clinton’s determination. Allowing her team’s wearyingly familiar strong-arm instincts to take over would be damaging for the Democrats in the fall, no matter who gets the nomination. Polls in Iowa and New Hampshire show that Democratic voters liked all of their candidates — they simply chose one. It would be a mistake for a politician whose unfavorable ratings across the nation have long been stuck in the 40 percent range to erase that good feeling about her party.” [New York Times Editorial, 1/9/08]

7:24 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Donna Brazile Lashed Into Bill Clinton For Comparing Obama To A “Fairy Tale” And Said “It’s An Insult… As An African-American” And That His Tone And Words Are “Very Depressing.” “Donna Brazile lit into Bill Clinton over his insulting comments of Obama, where he called him a “fairy tale” and said “I could understand his frustration at this moment. But, look, he shouldn’t take out all his pain on Barack Obama. It’s time that they regroup. Figure out what Hillary needs to do to get her campaign back on track. It sounds like sour grapes coming from the former commander in chief. Someone that many Democrats hold in high esteem. For him to go after Obama, using a fairy tale, calling him as he did last week. It’s an insult. And I will tell you, as an African-American, I find his tone and his words to be very depressing. … I think his tone, I think calling Barack Obama a kid, he is a United States senator.” [Politico, 1/8/08]

7:25 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) Concerned By Clinton Remarks. “We have to be very, very careful about how we speak about that era in American politics,” said Mr. Clyburn, who was shaped by his searing experiences as a youth in the segregated South and his own activism in those days. “It is one thing to run a campaign and be respectful of everyone’s motives and actions, and it is something else to denigrate those. That bothered me a great deal.” [NY Times, 1/11/08]

7:26 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Clinton Advisor, Bill Lynch Calls Comments a “Mistake.” A Harlem-based consultant to the Clinton campaign, Bill Lynch, called the former president’s comments “a mistake,” and said his own phone had been ringing with friends around the country voicing their concern. “I’ve been concerned about some of those comments - and that there might be a backlash,” he said. [Politico, 1/11/07]

7:27 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Clinton Supporter, Darrell Jackson Calls Clinton Remarks Painful. “Sharp criticism of Barack Obama and other comments about Martin Luther King Jr. — all from people associated with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — have generated resentment among some Black S.C. voters. The furor comes just two weeks before those voters will have a significant say in who wins the Jan. 26 primary here. The Clinton-Obama battle has the potential to become a wrenching divide for Black voters. Historically those voters have been strong backers of Bill and Hillary Clinton. But many Black voters now are drawn to the prospect of a Black man winning the presidency. Those on both sides say watching the battle unfold in the Palmetto State, where Black voters could cast half of the votes in the Democratic primary, won’t be pretty. ‘To some of us, it is painful,’ said state Sen. Darrell Jackson, a Clinton supporter.” [The State, 1/12/08]

7:29 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Senator Barack Obama told reporters on a conference call today that Hillary Clinton’s accusations that his campaign was trying to “deliberately” mislead the public about her comments on Martin Luther King, Jr. were “ludicrous.”The conference call was set up to showcase new endorser, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), but when the call was opened to questions, Obama was asked by a reporter about Clinton’s comments on Meet the Press this morning, during which she spoke further about the Obama camp’s attempt to distort her comments.
Obama responded incredulously, “This is fascinating to me. I mean, I think what we saw this morning is why the American people are tired of Washington politicians and the games they play. But Senator Clinton made an unfortunate remark, an ill-advised remark, about King and Lyndon Johnson. I didn’t make the statement. I haven’t remarked on it and she, I think, offended some folks who felt that somehow diminished King’s role in bringing about the Civil Rights Act. She is free to explain that, but the notion that somehow this is our doing is ludicrous. I have to point out that instead of telling the American people about her positive vision for America, Senator Clinton spent an hour talking about me and my record in a way that was flat out wrong.”

7:31 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

What's next, Hillary? Do you want to replace Martin Luther King Day with a Lyndon Baines Johnson National Holiday?
It is unbelievable how fast you and Bill can move to disrespect Black people when you feel your support within the Black community slipping away to Barach Obama.

7:48 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Hillary, "crying won't help you",not in South Carolina, and not with Black people. They have been crying a long time. They cried a river, and nothing moved Ole Massa or Mister Charlie.
So, you can save your tears in South Carolina. Save your antics and your charades; and, call off your attack dogs. Bill Clinton is your main attack dog. He wants to go down in history as being the "First Black" President, and it looks like he wants to be remembered as the only Black President.
Bill just wants to move back into the White House with all those available your Interns just waiting to be briefed. I understand that, like some lawyers, he does his best work "in his briefs". To be back in the White House, with the modern versions of Monica Wolenski, without the restraints of the possibility of Impeachment is a goal to be coveted. Now that is the real "fairy tale" in this race.

8:54 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

An analysis of The New Hampshire Primary results held that Hillary Clinton's tearing up at one point changed the tide in her favor by "humanizing her image." Oh, Lord. What is this - a presidential election or daytime television soapopera? Since Dallas and "Who Shot JR?" is there a difference any more?

Oh, the injustice of it: Senator Ed Muskie cried about his wife's cancer condition or some such in New Hampshire years back and was marked a loser; Hillary Clinton blinks a bit and she's a winner. Talk about sexism, the double standard, and the plain unfairness of it all to the unfair sex. . . . Where are the women who wanted to be treated the same, or as equals, or without a double standard? Where's the Equal Rights Amendment when you need it?

11:41 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

In Washington, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), who endorsed Obama last week, castigated, Bill Clinton, the former president for what he called his "glib cheap shots" at Obama, saying both sides should settle down but placing the blame predominantly on Clinton.

"That's beneath the dignity of a former president," Leahy told reporters, adding: "He is not helping anyone, and certainly not helping the Democratic Party."

That concern was also voiced by some neutral Democrats, who said that the former president's aggressive role, along with the couple's harsh approach recently, threatens to divide the party in the general election.

A few prominent Democrats, including Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.) and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), have spoken to the former president about the force of his Obama critiques. There is some fear within the party that if Obama becomes the nominee, he could emerge personally battered and politically compromised. And there is concern that a Clinton victory could come at a cost -- particularly a loss of black voters, who could blame her for Obama's defeat and stay home in November.

10:55 AM  
Blogger dave gibson said...

I wanted to leave a comment on this topic, even though I am white. I realize and agree that I may be presumptuous in writing this, but the things that Hillary has said I cannot leave without comment. As you have stated with reason and historical evidence the factual inaccuracies of her statements I would only like to add one point.

I have been analyzing speeches for over a decade and even if one gives her the most charitable reading possible she is attacking Obama's ability to make change.

Obama has shown himself through his actions and rhetoric to identify with and to the Afirican-American community. His speaking style is like a Babtist preacher and the substance of his speeches is both inspiring (of one possible future) and terrifying (of another possible future). Hillary knows that she cannot stand up to him based on the facts, nor the eloquence.

Hillary knows that the only way to divert attention away from Obama's message is to delegitimize the efficacy of the messenger. Obama sounds like a Civil Rights Leader of the 1960's. He shares their vision. The only way to divert votes is to say that the Civil Rights Leaders, without a strong white champion, would not have prevailed, or would not have succeeded to the degree that they had (another problem with Hillary is that she asserts implicitly that the dream has been realized when objective reality does not correspond to this claim).

Hillary is a fraud, she knows that she cannot compete in a battle of wits against Obama, indeed she is unarmed, so she retreats and claims victory.

I am not sure whether I will vote for Obama, but he demands my respect and attention as a legitimate candidate. Unlike Hillary I can trust Obama to speak his mind honestly and that gives me a reasonable basis to evaluate his political positions.

4:25 PM  

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