A couple of weeks ago, I published a very controversial post titled “Maybe We Should Have Elected a White President After All” about the ongoing, possibly growing racism in connection with Obama’s presidency. The idea that a lot of the anti-Obama, including anti-health care reform, rhetoric and action was racially motivated was understood by some and rejected by others who seem to not want to see any significant racism in the mix. This was parallel to the head in the sand reaction to my earlier post on the the arrest of Skip Gates in Cambridge Massachusetts last July.

There are those of us who have been saying all along that racism has played a role in anti-Obama sentiment. Does this mean that we think people who supported Hillary instead were all racists? No. Hell, they were Democrats. The vast majority were not orienting their politics in an overtly racist manner, choosing Clinton over Obama because Obama is black (though some were, as you will see below). Does it mean that we think that every objection to an Obama policy is racist? No. There are many valid objections, depending on one’s point of view, to various policies by Obama. Hell, Obama is a smart guy. He probably objects to some of his own policies! Does it mean that we think that every utterly unprecedented outburst of “You Lie!!!!!” in congress by a known racist from South Carolina during a Presidential address to the Joint Session of the House and Senate is a racist act? Well, duh…

Over the last few days the left of center and centrist/moderate wings of the mainstream press have gotten on board with this and have begun to discuss issues of racism in the current health care debate. As usual, the liberal blogosphere leads!!!

Anyway, I thought it would be fun (in a “this whole thing makes me kind of nauseated” kind of way) to compile a random grab bag, ordered in time, of racist bits and pieces from way back before the election up to recent times. Even more recent bits and pieces on this important discussion can be found by just paging back through this blog over the last two days or so.

The reason for doing this is to have a post to point to when people say “Oh yeah? What racism!!!11!!”

Here we go:

March 29th, 2008

North Dakota student skit

The March 18 skit–which ignited complaints of racial insensitivity–involved the NDSU Saddle and Sirloin Club and was performed during the annual Mr. NDSU pageant, which is sponsored by the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority.

The Forum reported on the lip-sync act in which a white student–wearing dark makeup and an Afro wig–portrayed Obama receiving a lap dance. In the background, two male students dressed as cowboys simulated anal sex while holding an Obama sign that one student ripped at the end of the 30-second skit.

May 14th 2008

Obama faces racism in West Virginia — Finally the truth!!!

MATTHEW PALEVSKY, JOURNALIST, TRNN: I’m in Martinsburg here in West Virginia, one of the poorest and whitest states in the union. Senator Clinton is expected to win today’s primary in a landslide, and the white, blue collar workers who make up her base have said they might be unwilling to vote for Senator Obama come general election.

June 15th, 2008

Is the Obama Sock Monkey Racist? – June 15, 2008

i-7ab6247c65071287830031a171f98adf-Obama_monkey_sock_puppet.jpg

July 10th, 2008

August 7th, 2008

Photograph of Obama and rioting black people

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September 19th, 2008

The ladies on ABC’s The View sound off about Christian organization American Values, and Focus on the Family putting Senator Obama’s face on a box of waffles, portrayed him wearing a turban, and had some rap lyrics on the box cover.

October 10th, 2008October 10th, 2008

A billboard in West Plains:

i-d4ef84c374e7c08aff26acc0394ccfd7-Racist_Obama_Billboard.jpg

October 22 2008

October 22, 2008

Birds of a feather poster:

i-2b68d54ab4aae486cd4e7a368751e316-birds_of_feather_poster.jpg

January 26th, 2009

KKK – ‘increased and strengthened’ since Obama’s election

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June 3rd, 2009

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(more on this video here)

July 24th 2009

“Obama the African witch doctor”

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August 7th, 2009

August 13th, 2009

All White Crowd Turns on Black Women at Health Care Town Hall

This is the only video of what actually happened at the event this afternoon. The news only showed the woman being escorted away by the police. What happened was that four women walked in with signs, the crowd booed and yelled at the women. The women rolled up their posters and put them down. A photographer/reporter approached one of the women and wanted to see what the poster was. As the woman went to show the photographer/reporter, a man from the bleachers stood up and snatched the poster from the woman and photographer/reporter. As the woman went to retrieve her poster, the police stepped in and escorted the woman and the man from the building.

The poster was not of Obama, it was not pro-health care. The poster that was taken from the woman and wrinkled up into a ball was of [African-American civil rights campaigner] Rosa Parks.

Watch the videos and read the details here.

September 15th, 2009

Comments

  1. #1 Enoch
    September 16, 2009

    Holy crap. Put it all in one place like that and it become very impressive.

  2. #2 jake
    September 16, 2009

    Doesn’t compete with my inbox… Ohhhh racist baby boomers… gotta love em’!

  3. #3 Milwaukee Progressive Examiner
    September 16, 2009

    There is a degree of hatred on the far right that is unprecedented among the Clinton and Bush adminstrations.

  4. #4 gruebait
    September 16, 2009

    Anyone surprised by the extant racism in the U.S. needs to get out more.
    rly.

  5. #5 NewEnglandBob
    September 16, 2009

    Hasn’t Mike H. come in to add his personal racism here yet?

  6. #6 Kate from Iowa
    September 16, 2009

    Yep, gruebait’s right. I had to explain this kind of crap to a friend from Canada this morning, in fact. She, being more concerned with Canada, naturally, had no idea it was still this bad.

  7. #7 Mike H
    September 16, 2009

    There is a degree of hatred on the far right that is unprecedented among the Clinton and Bush adminstrations.

    unprecedented indeed!

    Hasn’t Mike H. come in to add his personal racism here yet?

    No, I decided that this was worth only my impersonal racism.

  8. #8 6EQUJ5
    September 16, 2009

    The Southern Poverty Law Center puts out a magazine, Intelligence Report. Pick up a copy of any issue, read it cover to cover and you will know how much seething hatred there is in this country.

    The insurance racket is tapping into this hatred to silence those would would cut into their business atrocities.

  9. #9 MadScientist
    September 16, 2009

    I think the monkey sock puppet is cute and I’d never associate it with the president – I think it’d make a fine companion to Curious George.

    The scaremongering tactics are rather pathetic though; every town in which that propaganda is effective should be ashamed of its ignorance.

  10. #10 Siamang
    September 16, 2009

    Damn that’s disgusting. I may have missed it, not wanting to wade too deep in that parade of filth… but did you miss the story about the mayor who sent out the “joke” email forward image of watermelons on the White House lawn and the caption “No Easter Egg hunt this year”?

    Anyway, there’s probably a lot more shit like that. item.

    http://www.inquisitr.com/18923/no-easter-egg-hunt-this-year-racist-mayor-quits/

  11. #11 Stephanie Z
    September 16, 2009

    Greg, how could you forget the “not meant to offend” t-shirt?!?

    But yeah, all you have to do is look at the Obama opposition. You’ll find people suggesting that having an afro is an insult, clear “he doesn’t belong in the country” messages, and race-scare pictures of his supporters. Anyone who doesn’t see this stuff isn’t bothering to look.

  12. #12 D. C. Sessions
    September 16, 2009

    Apologizing in advance for the repost, but the discussion moved. Consider this WRT the amount of racism on the table:

      Imagine a white Democrat who ran:

      1. Following the least popular administration in the 20th Century (and that includes Richard Nixon at the end)

      2. With the economy tanking into what looked like a replay of the Great Depression

      3. With a platform on health care supported by 70% of the US population;

      4. With a totally unprecedented amount of nickle-and-dime fundraising

      5. against a Republican candidate

        • who, on election, would have been the oldest elected President ever;
        • whose running mate was less prepared for high office than Paris Hilton (a heartbeat from the Presidency!);

        • whose only claim to fame in a lifetime of employment by the United States Government was his time as a prisoner of war;

        • Who bungled the campaign, to the extent of showing “leadership” by doing nothing while the economy collapsed

    With all that going for him, BHO only drew a bit over 50% of the popular vote. Is there anyone who can say with a straight face that a white dude in the same circumstances wouldn’t have buried McSame like McGovern?

    PS: Greg, the ordered lists are nice but sometimes unordered ones are more appropriate. Just sayin’

  13. #13 megan
    September 16, 2009

    These are the same descendants of the people who forthed at the mouth during FDR’s time calling him and Eleanor, secretly Jews, traitors to their class and nigger lovers.

    Tradition taught generation to generation, read the book, “The Three Roosevelts” it opened my eyes to the rotted core in America that has never gone away and was fed and fermented with slavery.

  14. #14 megan
    September 17, 2009

    These are the same descendants of the people who frothed at the mouth during FDR’s time calling him and Eleanor, secretly Jews, traitors to their class and nigger lovers.

    Tradition taught generation to generation, read the book, “The Three Roosevelts” it opened my eyes to the rotted core in America that has never gone away and was fed and fermented with slavery.

  15. #15 Paul S.
    September 17, 2009

    Yes, most of this definitely counts as racist. It pretty much stands to reason that people who are racist are going to be opposed to Obama. As to whether this racism is characteristic of conservatives or Republicans as a whole – that’s a completely separate question.

  16. #16 Greg Laden
    September 17, 2009

    There I fixed the ordered list up real nice for you.

  17. #17 D. C. Sessions
    September 17, 2009

    There I fixed the ordered list up real nice for you.

    Thanks — I tried using <ul> tags and no luck.

  18. #18 llewelly
    September 17, 2009

    A Trail of Shame: Racism and the Anti-Obama Movement

    Shame?
    If only they actually were ashamed of their racism. Then there might be hope for them. Instead they seem quite proud.

  19. #19 Greg Laden
    September 17, 2009

    Paul S.: How can the fact that the most overt and insidious instantiation of racism in US society lives firmly within the Right Wing, that the majority of hte public display of racism we see to day is displayed by the right wing “grass roots” movement, that the policies and politics of the “grass roots” right wing are identical to the politics and policies of the entire Republican parto in elected position in DC without exception make “racism as a characteristic of conservatives/Republicans” a completely separate question?????

    No, Paul, racism is a plank of the right wing platform in every way but officially. ALL of the current manifestations of racism in the US are owned directly or not to indirectly by the right. It is one of the things that characterizes the right. There are no left-wing or liberal “think tanks” funding projects like The Bell Curve. NOne. Nada. Zip. There are no left/liberal organizations spreading racist rhetoric to try to direct immigration reform. There are no left/liberal organizations or public figures trying to shut down organizations like ACORN which in turn are busy enhancing the involvement of minority groups in everything from voting to home ownership, and there are not right wing/conservative/Republican groups involved in supporting such things to any real degree.

    A person who is personally conservative has to own up to the fact that you have cast your lot with the racists, whether you are or not. Racism is as much part of the right/conservative movement as evolution is to biology or economic theory is to getting a business degree. An individual can be active in the area and not know much about it and not be much involved with it but it is part and parcel with the institution, and if you sign on to the institution you sign on to the racism even if you don’t like it.

    This is why almost every single Dixie state was represented in DC by Democrats, and had Democratic gov’s, until such time that the Democratic Party threw this stuff out, quite intentionally, and all those reps and govs became Republicans. I oversimplify only slightly.

    There are no liberal carrying signs that make our “black president” look like an ape or a monkey. Those are all Republicans/conservatives. All.

  20. #20 Paul S.
    September 17, 2009

    Yes, the large majority of overt racism in the United States today is aligned with the right rather than the left. The left has its own deeply ingrained prejudices that are (IMHO) just as despicable as racism, but I suppose that’s a whole separate discussion.

    Having said that – what would you have non-racist conservatives do? If they happen to take a similar position on an issue as the racists do, but for completely different reasons, are they supposed to go against their own reasoning and conscience and abandon that position? My position is that they should absolutely not change their positions just because some people with bad motives arrived at the same conclusion.

  21. #21 Stephanie Z
    September 17, 2009

    Paul, you’re doing it again. You know, that thing with the vague false equivalence, unsupported by details. Considering that it’s very much a part of the ongoing national debate, I can’t imagine why the vagaries of the left would be off-topic on this blog.

    Should people change their politics just because ugly people agree with them? No. Of course not. However, the current situation should probably make them re-examine their politics for points of commonality with the racists’ that might be telling. For example, much recent conservative politics is based on the twin ideas that some people are just more deserving than others and that some behavior is more excusable in some people than others. Those are both very troublesome propositions, whether “other” is defined by race or by prosperity.

  22. #22 Greg Laden
    September 17, 2009

    The left has its own deeply ingrained prejudices that are (IMHO) just as despicable as racism, but I suppose that’s a whole separate discussion.

    Actually, no, it is not a whole separate discussion, because the statement that “the left is just as bad as the right” is commonly used to mitigate the severity of the blame the right deserves. In other words, your statement is just an excuse, a lame excuse, and one that won’t get by without comment despite the “whole separate discussion” thing.

    Having said that … what would you have non-racist conservatives do?

    Excellent question!!!! I agree with your position on this, but for one thing. Don’t stand there and let it happen. You can disalign yourself institutionally with the racist right, but remain aligned issue-wise. This is, in fact, what they (the racist right) did when they formed the Southern version of the Republican party. They got out of bed with the Democrats because they didn’t like many of their policies. Third parties are generally the result of this sort of thing as well.

    Or, you can do what the Democrats have done. Be a diverse party with true, allowable internal coversations, like this:

    http://quichemoraine.com/2009/08/discordant-democrats-vs-republican-dittoheads/

    Don’t be a dittohead!!!

  23. #23 D. C. Sessions
    September 17, 2009

    Paul, we’re social animals. Take a hard look at whether your opinions are being influenced by association with others who more or less agree with you.

    Just as a fer-instance: where do you get your facts? It’s damn rare for anyone in our rather complex society to always hunt down primary sources. As the song goes,

    And when you trust your television
    What you get is what you got
    Cause when they own the information, oh
    They can bend it all they want

  24. #24 Paul S.
    September 17, 2009

    I think that the whole issue of equivalency between left and right when it comes to intolerance is such an involved one that it would completely derail this discussion.

    As far as I know, I don’t have any strong institutional ties to the racist right, unless you count voting Republican or Libertarian most of the time until about 2006. The Republicans in Massachusetts that I used to vote for are pretty liberal by Republican standards (at least until they become interested in national office and realize that they suddenly have to become much more conservative to have any chance).

  25. #25 Greg Laden
    September 17, 2009

    I think that the whole issue of equivalency between left and right when it comes to intolerance is such an involved one that it would completely derail this discussion.

    PAUL!!! You are a MACHINE!!!!

    And yes, the ability of even Massachusetts Republicans (and I lived there for quite a few years) to become racist when convenient is itself a racist trait, n’est pas? And yes, you voted for Republicans and were thus by implication a Republican. So that is your institutional tie.

    Which is not your fault or an indictment of you. But when you ask what to, the answer is simple. Don’t be a passive supporter of what is wrong. And, please, don’t try to excuse yourself from having to either fish or cut bait. (To use a Massachsetts expression)

  26. #26 Deen
    September 18, 2009

    Having said that – what would you have non-racist conservatives do? If they happen to take a similar position on an issue as the racists do, but for completely different reasons, are they supposed to go against their own reasoning and conscience and abandon that position?

    Which issues would it be that you’d agree on? The doubt about Obama’s birthplace? The death panels? The “socialist” takeover? That Obama is a liar? That he’s intentionally destroying the US? Is there really a reasonable basis for any of these?

    And do you really think you have something to lose by pointing out the racist undertones of the people who spout this nonsense? Do you actually fear that if you do so, you will lose support for your “reasoned” position, whatever it is? If so, then you’re clearly not one of those mythical “reasonable Republicans”. If not, why would you defend them so much?

    What non-racist conservatives should do is to stop ignoring the racism, and expose and condemn it instead. And then return talking about the real issues, with real arguments. Was that really too hard to come up with yourself?

  27. #27 Stephanie Z
    September 18, 2009

    And a “lovely” example from a MN state legislator.

  28. The reason that society is incapable of addressing the racial issue is because we view it from the wrong perspective. We talk all around the fundamental, underlying reasons for racism, and make it an emotional issue. How does one expect to cure the cancer without focusing on the cancerous cells? Focusing on the symptoms is an ineffective mechanism to employ. Consider this.

  29. #29 Sock Monkey
    July 13, 2012

    Forget about the NINE TRILLION DOLLARS THAT WENT MISSING FROM THE FEDERAL RESERVE.

    Who cares about the NATIONAL DEFENSIVE AUTHORIZATION ACT.

    Let’s talk about sock monkeys instead. RACIST sock monkeys who are coming in the night to beat you with their bananas and laugh at your skin tone.

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