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By now many readers have heard about the McCain/Palin volunteer who claimed to have been attacked by a black man who purportedly wanted to punish her for not supporting Obama/Biden.

Looking at the photographs, which show a mirror image “B” superficially scratched on her cheek, it is so very easy to see that she lied, that the news about it left me cold.

Still, in the time between her claims breaking the news and the truth coming out, much damage was done to racial relations in the US.

And there is little doubt that there are people who will believe the invented attack actually happened–facts be damned–and that the ‘retraction’ was forced on the *cough* poor innocent victim *cough* by those horrid liberal dogs.

In response to that incident and the attendant racist overtones of the coverage (both ways), my recent crush, Keith Olbermann, had this to say:

And he is so right about the precariousness of racial peace and acceptance, and about how having a black candidate has brought to the surface underlying tensions and fears that many otherwise decent people don’t want to acknowledge, even to themselves.

Because this is not an isolated incident. There is a deeply rooted attitude of racism in the US, and while many–if not all–minorities face discrimination, active or passive, it is also true that it is most often evident towards blacks.

Witness, for example, the disparity in the following sentences for juvenile offenders, one white and the other black (taken from the Dallas Morning News, but available pretty much verbatim from several other sources online; bolding is mine)

With a population of 26,000, Paris is 73 percent white and 22 percent black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

A monument to the Confederacy dominates the front lawn of the recently remodeled Lamar County Courthouse, from which a mob seized two black brothers and killed them in 1920. That was the last of at least half a dozen lynchings in the county.

“You can’t talk about Paris without mentioning the lynchings,” said William Harris, the county’s first assistant district attorney.

Two years ago, Shaquanda Cotton was the talk of the town. Paris found itself in the national media spotlight when the black teenager was sent to a Texas Youth Commission lockup for pushing a teacher’s aide. Months earlier, the same judge gave a white teen probation for burning her family’s house down.

“That was a wake-up call,” said Pike Burkhart, who is white and president of the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce. We don’t perceive ourselves as a racially divided community. We want to make sure we have more dialogue between our black and white communities.”

Ms. Cotton spent a year in a juvenile lockup and was freed after protests alleging racial bias. Still, authorities insist they followed the law.

“We did nothing wrong,” said district attorney spokesman Allan Hubbard.

Yet, you may notice that the identity of the then minor black girl has been published while the privacy of the white teen is preserved.

On the other side of the coin, we have several groups (from the New Black Panthers to member of the Nation of Islam) trying to twist what appears to be a murder committed under the influence of alcohol, into a racially motivated crime (from the same article quoted and linked above):

Motorists found Brandon Demon “Big Boy” McClelland’s mangled body early Sept. 16 in northeast Lamar County, near a curve in a two-lane county road. Authorities first suspected the 24-year-old was the victim of a hit and run, killed by a speeding lumber truck.

But suspicions soon turned to the victim’s white drinking buddies: Shannon Keith Finley and Charles Ryan Crostley. Witnesses told police that the men admitted running down Mr. McClelland after an argument. Both suspects maintain their innocence.

What is there to gain by insisting that people focus on their differences more than on what makes them the same?

Will we–humanity–ever be able to ignore color of skin, political leanings, religious beliefs, and simply remember that we all bleed the same, we all love the same, we all die the same?

Some days it feels like there  has been no progress at all in that direction. Other times it feels we are walking backwards.

edited to add: well, of course, I should have known–turns out we have people hanging the other candidate from trees and house eaves. Gee, so not surprised.


  • So did John Mccain say anything, or did he brush it under the carpet?

    Ashley Todd is just one crazy, obsessed person, in a world full of crazy, obsessed people. I think what John Moody wrote has far worse consequences. He was basically excusing racism, and that’s just wrong.


  • Leslee
    October 30
    11:28 am

    I would like to think that others of my generation (I’m almost 35) had been raised like I did. My mom taught me to see people as people. We lived in the south in a small town. There were black people in our town and I remember asking my mom why they lived in section of town all their own. She tried to explain other people’s prejudice but I don’t know that I understood at the time. It still surprises me that people can still think that black means less than white.

    When I look at Mr. Obama, I see hope, I see intelligence, I see someone I can be proud to call MY PRESIDENT! I just hope that others won’t be trapped by their fears and hangups and vote for a MAN who also happens to be black.


  • Let’s be honest. Some people are not going to vote for Mr. Obama. And they aren’t going to vote for him because the color of his skin.

    Is this something they are going to want to admit? Even to themselves? Of course not. So instead, they’ll grasp at straws, even pathetic, insignificant, imaginary straws to justify their racism.


  • This is what Sarah Palin and her splinter “Republican” crowd appeals to.

    This is what “real” and “pro” American means to them.
    It’s divisive word play that intends to play on racist and militia movement terminology.

    Look at her church and her husband. The Wasilla Bible Church supports Jews For Jesus an intolerant anti-Judaism Christian sect. Her husband was a proud member of the Alaska Independence Party that advocates for Alaskan secession from the United States.

    I am not saying she actually supports these philosophies but Palin keeps attributing anti-American associations to Obama while not clearly defining her and her husbands own radical associations.


  • Seeing that Palin spoke at two of the Secessionist conferences – the latest in either 06 or 07 – I’d have to lean toward thinking she supports it.

    McCain never did step up to the plate and speak out about Ashley nor denounce what she did.


  • What is there to gain by insisting that people focus on their differences more than on what makes them the same?

    Nothing. There’s been a lot of focus on Obama’s race, on Palin’s sex, on a lot of things beyond each party’s political standpoint.

    Politics aside-I don’t discuss politics, period.

    Yes, I think it’s wonderful that there’s a black man running for the top spot in the country, but when there is more focus on his color than his politics, all it does is add to the problem.

    Yes, I think it’s cool there’s a woman in the running for VP, but if people focus more on her sex than her politics, it adds to the divide.

    I suspect some people won’t vote for Obama because he is black.

    Likewise, I think some people won’t vote for McCain/Palin, because Palin is female.

    I hadn’t heard anything about the volunteer crap and it’s utterly pathetic what she did. I seriously question the girl’s intelligence-I mean, the B was BACKWARDS.

    One thing I hate about political crap is that is brings so much visceral hatred up to the surface. Effigies of Palin, effigies of Obama, it’s ugly-rather ironic how we haven’t heard/seen anything about effigies of the two white men- Biden and McCain.

    There is hatred and ugliness being directed at both parties.

    I’m sorry, political differences and views don’t justify hateful and ugly acts-and that’s what those stupid fricking effigies are. I don’t want to hear about freedom of speech, stupid college pranks, or how it was ‘intended to be art’.

    Disagreeing with somebody’s views, hating their politics is fine. But bringing race into it shouldn’t be an issue. Bringing outright hate into it shouldn’t be an issue, even if somebody’s acting that way because they feel they were on the receiving end of hatred.

    Fighting hatred with hatred only breeds MORE hatred and more ugliness.

    I’m ready for this election to be done with.

    For some perspective…regardless of who wins the election, here’s an interesting post. Interesting, but disturbing.


  • No comment. Racism is a subject that has raised my hackles since childhood.


  • Anon76
    October 30
    7:26 pm

    I’m ready for this election to be done with, too.

    There is an ugliness coming out now that was really, imho, inevitable. That the ugliness held back for so long provides me with some small hope that change can be accomplished in the US, at some point in time. Is it now? I truly hope so.

    Actually, some change will come about no matter which candidate wins. A choice between a woman VP or a man of color as President. The good ol’ boys are having fits all the way around.

    I know my choice, and won’t put it out because we all must make our own decisions.

    What has me most sickened today is learning that half of the bailout money put up by the taxpayers of the US will now go to pay bank stockholder divedends.



  • I think this woman is 1. Desperate for attention, 2. really DUMB. I also agree some people won’t vote for Obama because he’s black and some won’t vote for McCain because of Palin’s gender. At the same time I feel some people won’t vote for McCain because he’s white, some won’t vote for Obama because he’s good looking, some won’t vote for McCain because he’s old, some won’t vote for Obama because he smokes, ect. ect. It’s sad, but some people -liberals, conservatives and independents alike- really do cast their vote based on some stupid prejudice rather than making an informed choice.


  • joanne
    October 30
    8:24 pm

    I thought with all the bad things happening with the US election, maybe you could use some stories that show the good side. Here’s a couple of stories concerning the younger and older generations that aren’t exactly earth-shaking, but they made me smile. Remember, it’s all about HOPE! I hope you enjoy these, too




  • Throwmearope
    October 30
    8:27 pm

    Capo–I already voted against McCain ’cause he’s a step shy of senile. Am I prejudiced against people with dementia? Only if they’re running for POTUS.


  • Truth is, the American electorate is a crazy-quilt of discernment and reasoning capacities . . . and many of its components are dumber than stumps. (Condescending? No, just an unvarnished fact.) It’s terrifying to think ignorant and/or gullible and/or racist/sexist voters could put someone in office. But it happens all the time.

    All anyone can do is spend time listening to the candidates and pondering the issues, then cast an informed vote.


  • Teddypig,
    I am a staff member with the Jews for Jesus organization. Before you start throwing around terms like “intolerant anti-Judaism Christian sect” for Jews for Jesus, why don’t you check us out at http://www.jewsforjesus.org and find out who we are and what we believe?


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