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Republican Lawmaker to Asian-Americans: I’m Not Gonna Learn Chinese, So Can’t You Change Your Funny Names? April 9, 2009

Posted by rogerhollander in Electoral Fraud, Race, Racism.
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betty-brown

Posted by Tana Ganeva, AlterNet at 12:44 PM on April 9, 2009.

During a hearing on voter ID legislation, Texas Republican Betty Brown said Americans of Asian descent should “simplify” their names
On Tuesday, the Texas legislature heard arguments on voter ID legislation that would require photo ID — or two non-photo IDs — at the polls. An obvious necessity, of course, since everyone in the U.S. loves voting so much that there are scores of people clamoring to do it illegally. (In fact, there is no evidence of voter ID fraud in Texas).

 

 

Democratic lawmakers and several voting experts brought up the good — and oft-repeated — points that a) voter ID laws are a fake solution to a non-existent problem, and b) they disenfranchise poor, minority voters. (You know, the ones that tend to NOT vote Republican.)

 

 

Republicans, in turn, kept pushing the möbius strip argument that while there is a) no evidence of voter fraud b)voter fraud is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. 

 

 

Then, Rep. Betty Brown from Terrell, Texas turned the Republican position from absurd and subtly racist to really absurd and overtly racist. Following a presentation on the voting difficulties faced by Americans of Asian descent, whose legal names don’t always match their everyday names, Brown said the following:

 

 

 

 

Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?

 

 

Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?

 

 

 

 

Yep. That’s what she said. You know what’s fun? Thinking of Brown’s statement as one of those “What’s Wrong With This Picture” puzzles. I have this so far: 1) “learn Chinese” — actually, at issue are Americans of Asian — not just Chinese — descent 2) “you and your citizens” — in fact, the people under discussion are American citizens 3) The assumption that descendants of immigrants should accommodate the ignorance of some Americans by changing their names!

 

 

Asked to issue an apology by Democrats excited that Republicans are doing their work for them, Brown responded by … saying something else that was racially insensitive. A spokesperson for the Rep. grumbled that Democrats are making too big a deal of the issue and the Rep. was merely trying to resolve an ID problem. “They want this to just be about race,” the flack said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

David Duke Helps Son of ex-Klan Leader in Fight for Palm Beach County Republican Seat December 1, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in U.S. Election 2008.
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Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Monday, December 01, 2008

 

WEST PALM BEACH — — Derek Black says “of course” he will attend a meeting Wednesday for new members of Palm Beach County’s Republican Executive Committee. Never mind that the party chairman says Black’s “white supremacist” associations are not welcome and he will not be seated.

“I was elected,” Black, 19, says.

Brandon Kruse/The Post

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Don Black, a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, has stepped in to defend the appointment of Derek Black, his son, to the Palm Beach County Executive Committee after local GOP officials sought to bar him from the process on a technicality.

Brandon Kruse/The Post

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David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, has stepped in to defend the appointment of Derek Black to the Palm Beach County Executive Committee after local GOP officials sought to bar him from the process on a technicality. Black is the son of former Klansman and Grand Wizard Don Black.

Brandon Kruse/The Post

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Derek Black can’t be seated with county GOP members because he didn’t sign an oath, the chairman says.

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Sporting a black hat, the son of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Don Black was seated last week in a restaurant off Southern Boulevard. Sitting next to him was one of his supporters: David Duke, former Louisiana state legislator and another former KKK grand wizard.

“We’re going to fight,” Duke said. “I know Derek Black is going to fight for his constitutional liberties. That’s why I’m here, because I want to assist Derek.”

Sorry, says county GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein. In the qualifying period in June, Black didn’t sign a loyalty oath pledging he would not do anything injurious to the party. And that’s not the only problem.

“He participates in white supremacist activities,” Dinerstein said. “We’re the party of Lincoln. We’re the party that says we don’t judge anybody by the color of their skin.”

Derek Black’s response: “I’ve told (Dinerstein) I’m not a white supremacist; that’s an insult. I would describe myself as a white person who is concerned about discrimination against white people.”

A community college student who was home-schooled in West Palm Beach, Black once contributed a kids page to his father’s Stormfront Internet forum around the time he was 12. The page included puzzles, games, animated Confederate flags and white-pride songs. He has since helped with his father’s Internet audio broadcasts.

But did voters really have any idea who he is?

Duke leaned in.

“Irrelevant question,” Duke said. “He got the votes. He won election.”

Black says he campaigned around the district for the seat. Executive committee members elect the county party chairman and help determine where the party spends its money.

He said he answered any questions voters asked, but mostly talked about issues.

“I talked about immigration,” he said. “I talked about the presidential campaign. That was the biggest issue. This was back in August, July. Most of them weren’t happy with (Sen. John) McCain turning out to be their candidate. It did come up a few times that I didn’t like McCain.”

He continued: “A large part of the district, the Republican part of the district, is Hispanic, Cubans. They’re the ones I’ve gotten the most public support from. Walking down the street, going to Publix, it was old Cuban men who slapped me on the back and told me to fight the system.”

Duke, who lives in Louisiana, said he won’t be in West Palm Beach for the Wednesday meeting, but he conducted an Internet broadcast with Don Black from the restaurant. The Grateful Dead’s Truckin’ blared over the eatery’s music system in the background. In the broadcast, the men took Dinerstein to task: He has “chutzpah” to take an “anti-democratic” position, Duke said.

It’s a line Duke has used before on his Web site: “Sid Dinerstein, a Jewish-extremist loyalist to Israel, has the chutzpah to think that he has the right to deny Derek Black his legally elected office because he doesn’t like Mr. Black’s views.”

At least four books and dictionaries have defined Stormfront as the Internet’s first “hate” site dating back to 1995. Stormfront’s site link on a Google search comes with this description: “Racialist discussion board for pro-White activists and anyone else interested in White survival.”

Barack Obama’s election has helped drive up Stormfront traffic to record levels, Don Black said.

Duke said the historic election has helped galvanize support for the causes he believes in: “Obama enables people to see more clearly. It makes it clear we’re losing control of our country.”

But Don Black said press reports of threats against Obama on the Stormfront forums have been exaggerated. He said he suspects one contributor, who hadn’t posted in six years, was deliberately trying to stir up trouble for the site recently. He said he does not condone violence and wants a “peaceful revolution” that ends racial preferences for minorities and promotes the civil liberties of whites.

Echoing what Duke and his father say about themselves, Derek Black says he never uses the term “white supremacist.”

His case goes like this: He says he won 62 percent of the vote in his district (published reports put it at 58 percent at the time). The oath is a technicality that should not overturn an election, he contends. He says he is prepared to hire a lawyer to explore legal options if he is not seated.

When party leaders realized who he is, they scrambled to bar him within days of the August vote. Dinerstein said he has the backing of the state party.

“The loyalty oath is very important, and folks do need to sign it on time,” said Republican Party of Florida spokeswoman Erin VanSickle.

But Derek Black said he’ll keep up the fight for the seat, even if his opponents want to shun him as viper’s brood.

“I thought it was amusing. I’m accused of having a past when I’m 19,” he said.

Margaret and Helen: God Love ‘Em October 13, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in John McCain, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008.
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This is from the Blog of “Margaret and Helen: Friends for 60 years and counting …

These two old dames have really got their, ahem, stuff together, and I highly recommend their site:

http://margaretandhelen.wordpress.com/2008/10/12/the-straight-talk-express-just-drove-off-that-bridge-to-nowhere/

 

Did any of you watch the news shows this weekend?  And I am not talkng about Troopergate because everyone saw that coming.  I’m talking about the video from the McCain rallies.  Clearly we now have proof postive that you shouldn’t sleep with your cousin. 

My hat’s off to McCain for trying to set the record straight about Obama not being an Arab, but what does it say about his judgment that he handed a live microphone to Ma and Pa Kettle in the first place?  I mean what truck and tractor pull was cancelled to make room for that stop on the Straight Talk Express?

Look.  I called Governor Palin a bitch.  Some of you didn’t like that word and I really don’t care.  I’ve been around the block a few times.  Hell, in dog years I’m already dead so a little word like bitch is hardly cause for concern in my world.  But when a crowd starts yelling “terrorist”, “kill him” and “Arab”… well that is entirely different and it’s time the guys driving this Straight Talk Express started using their heads for something other than hat racks.  If you watch Palin doing her little performance at those rallies you quickly realize that she is either too stupid to see or just doesn’t care that her dog sled is going down a slippery slope.  We can’t put that in the White House.   We just can’t. 

But McCain has only himself to blame.  He brought that pitt bull in lipstick down from Alaska and turned her loose on the lower 48.   This is what you get when you begin to pander to the fears of the most ignorant among us.  Lesson learned:  if you lie down with Palin, you’ll get up with fleas.

That’s all until the debate.  Thanks for stopping by.  I mean it.

Republican Racist McCarthy Desperation Tactics October 12, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in John McCain, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008.
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by: Frank Rich, The New York Times

Frank Rich believes that, “the McCain campaign has crossed the line between tough negative campaigning and inciting vigilantism.” (Photo: Reuters)

    

If you think way back to the start of this marathon campaign, back when it seemed preposterous that any black man could be a serious presidential contender, then you remember the biggest fear about Barack Obama: a crazy person might take a shot at him.

    Some voters told reporters that they didn’t want Obama to run, let alone win, should his very presence unleash the demons who have stalked America from Lincoln to King. After consultation with Congress, Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, gave Obama a Secret Service detail earlier than any presidential candidate in our history – in May 2007, some eight months before the first Democratic primaries.

    ‘I’ve got the best protection in the world, so stop worrying,’ Obama reassured his supporters. Eventually the country got conditioned to his appearing in large arenas without incident (though I confess that the first loud burst of fireworks at the end of his convention stadium speech gave me a start). In America, nothing does succeed like success. The fear receded.

    Until now. At McCain-Palin rallies, the raucous and insistent cries of ‛Treason!’ and ‛Terrorist!’ and ‛Kill him!’ and ‛Off with his head!’ as well as the uninhibited slinging of racial epithets, are actually something new in a campaign that has seen almost every conceivable twist. They are alarms. Doing nothing is not an option.

    All’s fair in politics. John McCain and Sarah Palin have every right to bring up William Ayers, even if his connection to Obama is minor, even if Ayers’s Weather Underground history dates back to Obama’s childhood, even if establishment Republicans and Democrats alike have collaborated with the present-day Ayers in educational reform. But it’s not just the old Joe McCarthyesque guilt-by-association game, however spurious, that’s going on here. Don’t for an instant believe the many mindlessly ‛even-handed’ journalists who keep saying that the McCain campaign’s use of Ayers is the moral or political equivalent of the Obama campaign’s hammering on Charles Keating.

    What makes them different, and what has pumped up the Weimar-like rage at McCain-Palin rallies, is the violent escalation in rhetoric, especially (though not exclusively) by Palin. Obama ‛launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist.’ He is ‛palling around with terrorists‘ (note the plural noun). Obama is ‛not a man who sees America the way you and I see America.’ Wielding a wildly out-of-context Obama quote, Palin slurs him as an enemy of American troops.

    By the time McCain asks the crowd ‛Who is the real Barack Obama?’ it’s no surprise that someone cries out ‛Terrorist!’ The rhetorical conflation of Obama with terrorism is complete. It is stoked further by the repeated invocation of Obama’s middle name by surrogates introducing McCain and Palin at these rallies. This sleight of hand at once synchronizes with the poisonous Obama-is-a-Muslim e-mail blasts and shifts the brand of terrorism from Ayers’s Vietnam-era variety to the radical Islamic threats of today.

    That’s a far cry from simply accusing Obama of being a guilty-by-association radical leftist. Obama is being branded as a potential killer and an accessory to past attempts at murder. ‛Barack Obama’s friend tried to kill my family’ was how a McCain press release last week packaged the remembrance of a Weather Underground incident from 1970 – when Obama was 8.

    We all know what punishment fits the crime of murder, or even potential murder, if the security of post-9/11 America is at stake. We all know how self-appointed ‛patriotic’ martyrs always justify taking the law into their own hands.

    Obama can hardly be held accountable for Ayers’s behavior 40 years ago, but at least McCain and Palin can try to take some responsibility for the behavior of their own supporters in 2008. What’s troubling here is not only the candidates’ loose inflammatory talk but also their refusal to step in promptly and strongly when someone responds to it with bloodthirsty threats in a crowded arena. Joe Biden had it exactly right when he expressed concern last week that ‛a leading American politician who might be vice president of the United States would not just stop midsentence and turn and condemn that.’ To stay silent is to pour gas on the fires.

    It wasn’t always thus with McCain. In February he loudly disassociated himself from a speaker who brayed ‛Barack Hussein Obama’ when introducing him at a rally in Ohio. Now McCain either backpedals with tardy, pro forma expressions of respect for his opponent or lets second-tier campaign underlings release boilerplate disavowals after ugly incidents like the chilling Jim Crow-era flashback last week when a Florida sheriff ranted about ‛Barack Hussein Obama’ at a Palin rally while in full uniform.

    From the start, there have always been two separate but equal questions about race in this election. Is there still enough racism in America to prevent a black man from being elected president no matter what? And, will Republicans play the race card? The jury is out on the first question until Nov. 4. But we now have the unambiguous answer to the second: Yes.

    McCain, who is no racist, turned to this desperate strategy only as Obama started to pull ahead. The tone was set at the Republican convention, with Rudy Giuliani’s mocking dismissal of Obama as an ‛only in America’ affirmative-action baby. We also learned then that the McCain campaign had recruited as a Palin handler none other than Tucker Eskew, the South Carolina consultant who had worked for George W. Bush in the notorious 2000 G.O.P. primary battle where the McCains and their adopted Bangladeshi daughter were slimed by vicious racist rumors.

    No less disconcerting was a still-unexplained passage of Palin’s convention speech: Her use of an unattributed quote praising small-town America (as opposed to, say, Chicago and its community organizers) from Westbrook Pegler, the mid-century Hearst columnist famous for his anti-Semitism, racism and violent rhetorical excess. After an assassin tried to kill F.D.R. at a Florida rally and murdered Chicago’s mayor instead in 1933, Pegler wrote that it was ‛regrettable that Giuseppe Zangara shot the wrong man.’ In the ‛60s, Pegler had a wish for Bobby Kennedy: ‛Some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow falls.’

    This is the writer who found his way into a speech by a potential vice president at a national political convention. It’s astonishing there’s been no demand for a public accounting from the McCain campaign. Imagine if Obama had quoted a Black Panther or Louis Farrakhan – or William Ayers – in Denver.

    The operatives who would have Palin quote Pegler have been at it ever since. A key indicator came two weeks after the convention, when the McCain campaign ran its first ad tying Obama to the mortgage giant Fannie Mae. Rather than make its case by using a legitimate link between Fannie and Obama (or other Democratic leaders), the McCain forces chose a former Fannie executive who had no real tie to Obama or his campaign but did have a black face that could dominate the ad’s visuals.

    There are no black faces high in the McCain hierarchy to object to these tactics. There hasn’t been a single black Republican governor, senator or House member in six years. This is a campaign where Palin can repeatedly declare that Alaska is ‛a microcosm of America’ without anyone even wondering how that might be so for a state whose tiny black and Hispanic populations are each roughly one-third the national average. There are indeed so few people of color at McCain events that a black senior writer from The Tallahassee Democrat was mistakenly ejected by the Secret Service from a campaign rally in Panama City in August, even though he was standing with other reporters and showed his credentials. His only apparent infraction was to look glaringly out of place.

    Could the old racial politics still be determinative? I’ve long been skeptical of the incessant press prognostications (and liberal panic) that this election will be decided by racist white men in the Rust Belt. Now even the dimmest bloviators have figured out that Americans are riveted by the color green, not black – as in money, not energy. Voters are looking for a leader who might help rescue them, not a reckless gambler whose lurching responses to the economic meltdown (a campaign ‛suspension,’ a mortgage-buyout stunt that changes daily) are as unhinged as his wanderings around the debate stage.

    To see how fast the tide is moving, just look at North Carolina. On July 4 this year – the day that the godfather of modern G.O.P. racial politics, Jesse Helms, died – The Charlotte Observer reported that strategists of both parties agreed Obama’s chances to win the state fell ‛between slim and none.’ Today, as Charlotte reels from the implosion of Wachovia, the McCain-Obama race is a dead heat in North Carolina and Helms’s Republican successor in the Senate, Elizabeth Dole, is looking like a goner.

    But we’re not at Election Day yet, and if voters are to have their final say, both America and Obama have to get there safely. The McCain campaign has crossed the line between tough negative campaigning and inciting vigilantism, and each day the mob howls louder. The onus is on the man who says he puts his country first to call off the dogs, pit bulls and otherwise.

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