race

I Am a Racist

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Yes dear reader, I am admitting to you that I am a racist! I don’t like President Obama, nor do I like my state’s governor Paterson, both of them are African American.

You see, I am totally in favor of the U.S. losing control of the situation in Iraq; the military having its worst months ever in Afghanistan, and the world’s most unpredictable nations moving ahead with WMD programs, while the U.S. gives up its plan for a land-based missile defense system in Eastern Europe. In addition, I am all for the Labor Unions, who ran to the ground the U.S. auto industry, getting a bigger piece of the Auto pie than did the secure creditors, and the unions having their bullies run Town Hall meetings rather than peaceful citizens having their say. I am all for this. Furthermore, I support the U.S. running up deficits 40%-50% bigger than what was expected back in December, and how can I be against the national unemployment rate that is now at just 9.7%? I also support a stimulus bill that six months later still has the economy losing more jobs than the economy lost before the panic of the Lehman collapse gripped the nation.

But despite being in support of all these policies, I still do not approve of the job President Obama is doing. You sure wonder why, right? Well simple, I am racist! I cannot stand African Americans in leadership positions. Why do you all think I hate Clarence Thomas as a Supreme Court Justice, and Condi Rice being a few years ago the first female African American secretary of state? Simple: I hate African Americans. Ooops, my mistake. I just noticed that I actually love the fact that Mr. Thomas is on the court, and I still like how Ms. Rice spoke in public on vital issues.

Here in NY is the same thing. I am so proud of my state, between others how the Legislator was the laughing stock of the world without the governor having a clue how to get things under control, and how in this recession Governor Paterson used most of the Stimulus money for increased spending rather than covering current expenditures. I am so proud of this state’s motor vehicle administration, where it takes a damn few hours to change a stupid address on a driver’s license. I am SO in love with all this, but I still don’t want Governor Paterson to run for reelection next year. You know why? You got it: because he is black. Ill rather have a state with such weird things like a functioning Legislator and motor vehicle system; lower taxes, and lower unemployment rate, than actually having an African American as my governor for one more day.

Until a short while ago, I lived in New York’s Village of Spring Valley where village tax under the current Mayer’s eight year administration went up almost double than under his predecessor, yet the village still doesn’t have an extra dime in its coffers. In addition, the Police harass people for miner things, and one of the most important roads in the area is locked down for almost two years due to a stretch of less than two-hundred feet that the village still didn’t figure out how to fix. I would have given the current mayor high marks for his great work, if not for the fact that he is African American.

You see, I liked his predecessor. You know why? Because he was a White man. Oops, wrong again, he is actually Black too. So why did I like the predecessor’s  work so much that I would want him back controlling the village where I grew up in? ah, I get it. He balanced budgets, cut wasteful spending and had a friendly Police Department.

I am so filled with hate, that I don’t even know what I support and why I support it.

 

(post a direct reply here)

 

Liberal Fallout Zones

In Northeast Washington, DC off Minnesota Avenue a neighborhood sits tucked between the entrance ramps to 295 North and South. The four story buildings line a one way street that loops around in a circle. Residents of these buildings call the complex "Paradise." But in reality, this area is another liberal fallout zone. Instead of Nuclear disaster areas like Chernobyl in Russia, liberals in America have created desolate areas where the harm from their bombs (social programs) manifests itself as crime, hopelessness and generational poverty.

 

In an article written over 20 years ago Time magazine touched upon an issue that seemed epic at the time during the era of crack cocaine:

"...No one seriously thought the inner city could be transformed overnight. But few were cynical enough to envision what actually happened: an entire generation would pass as life in the black ghettos of a rich nation went from bad to almost unimaginably worse.

‘You tell me what went wrong,' asks Jonas Walker, 33, at the end of another long summer's day of hanging out on a street corner in Liberty City, a ghetto north of downtown Miami. ‘We got civil rights, we got welfare,' he says. ‘But look around here.' For emphasis, he kicks at a pile of empty beer cans littering the sidewalk."

The emphasis added in the quote is mine and America's current crisis is interrelated with the plight of urban area. The current situation in America's poor neighborhoods illustrates the perpetuity of this downward spiral.

Johnson's "Great Society" included historic civil rights advances but history has shown that Democrats have a tendency to attach riders to any attempts toward racial progress. Welfare and other social programs like subsidized housing created a dependency on the government that has crippled the ability of these urban areas to survive.

For instance, subsided housing provided by the government - commonly known as the "projects" - sprung up all over America after civil rights advances. Poor minorities were told where to live, how many to a household while the government doled out just enough money to keep some of the building from falling apart. During this same period a number of organizations inspired by the Cloward Pivan Strategy sprang up with the intent to add even more people to the welfare rolls.

"Cloward-Piven is a strategy for forcing political change through orchestrated crisis.

The strategy was first proposed in 1966 by Columbia University political scientists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven as a plan to bankrupt the welfare system and produce radical change. Sometimes known as the 'crisis strategy' or the 'flood-the-rolls,' bankrupt-the-cities strategy," the Cloward-Piven approach called for swamping the welfare rolls with new applicants - more than the system could bear. It was hoped that the resulting economic collapse would lead to political turmoil and ultimately socialism."

As the health care debate rages on across the country, American are waking to the realization that the same people who tested those social programs on minorities and the poor are now poised to unleash their new "test to the system" on a national scale. Bill and Hillary Clinton allowed their activist connections to influence their decisions on the Community Reinvestment Act and Universal Health care in the 90's. Now, the first community organizer to become President has employed strategies and tactics that can be traced to the early organizing of the welfare movement.

If the state of America's urban areas is any indication, most of the money for these so-called social programs never reached the people it was intended to help. This raises the question as to why, after 40 years of attempts to fix one sector of America's population, do liberals think that more failed programs are the answer? The answer may lie in the fact that the opportunity that liberals see on the horizon only comes once in a generation, and they are attempting a drastic social change.

Poverty is big business and a predicate for class warfare intended to perpetuate political power in the masters of that big business. In the current climate special interest groups are writing bills and influencing votes amid a huge liberal spending binge. People have tolerated the blighted urban areas; some lived there, while others drove by. But can America afford a fallout area that covers most of the country? Can we bounce back after the failed public healthcare system joins the graveyard of welfare, social security, cash for clunkers and so many others?

Conservative stewardship outperforms partisan sniping

As there has been a lot of conversation about the framing of conservative messaging and how to deal with with race issues on this site, I thought I'd bring up two articles I wrote for another website today.

The first article deals directly with the first issue I'd like to raise.  A host of elected Republican officials are rightfully calling for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to submit her letter of resignation.  While I'm sure someone has, I've yet to see someone provide a politically viable suggestion to replace the DHS Secretary.

It's one thing to take political swipes at the opposition.  It takes leadership to find a solution which might be acceptable to the Obama administration, Republicans and a general public that is generally more concerned with good government than with the latest political barbs.

My solution to this situation may not be the best one, but at least I've offered a host of reasons as to why Judge Andrew Napolitano could be a very suitable replacement for Janet Napolitano.  The American public has been crying for solutions, not partisan bickering.  The GOP could have easily stepped up to the plate on this one, but didn't.

The other issue I'd like to cover is race. On rare occasions, there is an element of truth to cries from the left about racism on the right.  Most of the time these allegations couldn't be farther from the truth.

However, assuaging one's conscience by casting a vote for Michael Steele and then disregarding the black community for the next several years will not win Republicans votes from the African-American community.  Like any other votes, these have to be earned.

In Alabama, two Republicans are making a difference in the African-American community on a solidly conservative issue: property rights.   If you aren't aware, in the land of Rosa Parks, black people are frequently taken advantage of when it comes to eminent domain abuse.  A few years back, nationally syndicated talk show host Neal Boortz heavily publicized one such case in nearby Alabaster, Alabama.

I'd like to quickly highlight these two Republicans who aren't afraid to step out of their own comfortable communities to help those with fewer political or financial resources.  The first is Alabama State Senator Scott Beason, who will sit on a panel next week at an Alabama Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights panel entitled “Civil Rights Implications of Eminent Domain Policies and Practices in Alabama.” Senator Beason is highly respected throughout the state, and it's easy to see why.

A key driving force behind this panel is Shana Kluck.  Shana is not only a member of the Alabama Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, but she also serves on her state GOP executive committee, is president of the Alabama Republican Assemby and serves as secretary of the Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus.  When she's not busy homeshcooling her four children, consulting on Web 2.0 projects, engaged in Eagle Forum activities, attending various political meetings around the state and working behind the scenes on a variety of conservative and libertarian causes, she is busy helping me on campaigns.

Considering Shana's schedule, very few of us have grounds to offer the excuse that we are too busy to become more involved in the African-American community.

Instead of sitting around complaining about how black people voted in previous election cycles, Senator Beason and Ms. Kluck are taking leadership roles in providing justice for members of the African-American community.

If I may be so bold as to provide two solutions for the conservative movement, they are:

  • Instead of merely attacking the opposition with nuisance fire (appropriately called sniping) to exploit a weak spot in their battle line, maximize your attack by actually providing a viable politcal solution.
  • If you aren't active in your local African-American community, you've no right to complain if you receive very few of their votes on Election Day.

Personal responsibility is a key component of conservativism and just stewardship should be a part of conservative leadership.  Hopefully, Republican Party leaders will take these sorts of messages to heart.  Otherwise, one can expect the GOP to walk through the wilderness for another 38 years.

Mr. and Mrs. Obama Racists

 

 

Mr. and Mrs. Obama Racists - White White White - Debra J.M. Smith - 03/24/09 www.InformingChristians.com

I guess once racism is in the blood, it is hard to purge it out, and Mr. And Mrs. Obama just keep letting it slip.You may recall when Mr. Obama spoke of "typical white" people while explaining his white grandmother's reaction to seeing some blacks on the street. Now we hear Mrs. Obama letting her uncontrolled racism slip out.She was addressing high school students, clearly wanting to sound concerned that they try to do their best. She spoke of always wanting to do her best. But she just had to slip race into the talk, saying that other girls claimed she talked "funny," like a "white" girl. Click Here

THE HISTORICAL AND SOCIAL BARRIERS TO EXPANDING THE CONSERVATIVE VOTE AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS

African Americans were a liberal leaning constituency prior to the 1960s and partly for good reasons.  Breaking the Jim Crow system would inevitably involve the aggressive use of federal government power and the most reliable supporters of civil rights laws were among northern liberals. The intensity of the African American community's antipathy towards conservatives was born in the civil rights struggles of the mid 1960s (and every conservative really should read William Voegeli's Summer 2008 CLAREMONT REVIEW OF BOOKS article on conservatives and the civil rights movement).  But we should not mistake the roots of the division between African Americans and conservatives to be the sole cause of this division.  How many Americans of any race remember Goldwater's vote on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and relate it to contemporary politics?

In my experience, younger and better educated African Americans have a much clearer (and more hostile) collective memory of Ronald Reagan than of Goldwater or William F. Buckley.  The memory of the "welfare queens" remark has been passed down as a slur on black women in general, and this (among other hostile impressions) has influenced how many educated African Americans view Reagan and the conservatives who admire Reagan.  It is worth remembering that different communities can remember the same person in different ways and that for many African Americans, "welfare queens" is much more intensely remembered than "tear down this wall".  This collective memory of Reaganite hostility (whether this hostility was real or not) is also much more powerful in shaping their view of Reagan and conservatives than Reagan's record on economic growth or anything else.

This hostile communal view of Reagan and conservatives is not an accident or a conspiracy.  It is a dominant narrative that is passed on by politicians, journalists, academics, and of course family members.  Conservatives should not dismiss the sincerity of much of this collective memory.  Sure hacks like Charles Rangel manipulate (and help perpetuate) this hostility for partisan purposes, but millions of people truly believe it and pass it on.  This narrative forms the screen through which contemporary events and personalities are viewed. 

The assumption that conservatives are hostile or indifferent helps make sense of events.  If the Democrat controlled government of Louisiana fails in Katrina relief it is incompetence.  If a Republican (which is by association conservative) administration fails in the same task it is racist indifference at best or racist conspiracy at worst.  This is a case in which rapper Kanye West's comments that Bush did not care about black people have particular importance.  Conservatives are used to hearing celebrities slander conservative politicians, but they should listen a little closer to West.  West's mother was a college professor.  He was raised as part of the educated, striving, black upper middle class.  West's opinion was hardy unanimous but it does indicate that conservatives have a problem that extends beyond Grammy winners.

There is also the problem of being a black conservative in the black community.  This is not the same as having conservative opinions on abortion, the death penalty, or taxes.   This is a problem of associating yourself with conservative tainted organizations - the Republican Party most of all - and thereby cooperating with the enemy.  Even if one has basically conservative opinions, the social barriers to joining such an organization are significant.  Most of all is the disinclination to join groups that one has assumed are hostile.  There is also the knowledge that such association opens you up to all kinds of hits big and small.  The rules of civilized debate will only sometimes and partially apply to you and you are vulnerable to social ostracism.  Emerge magazine (a news monthly marketed towards African Americans) put Clarence Thomas as a lawn jockey on its cover.  Conservatives bitterly complained that Michael Steele did not stick up for them when D.L. Hughley compared Republicans to Nazis.  What conservatives would do well to remember was that Hughley was trying to slyly portray as a Nazi collaborator.  This suspicion was only to be expected when he took on the RNC chairmanship.  There is the Spike Lee movie Get On the Bus in which a (demonized) African American conservative is thown off a bus going to the Million Man March and is symbolically expelled from the African American community.  Real life is generally less dramatic than Spike Lee fantasies (though the fantasies have their own subtle influence), but conservatives should not dismiss the less overt pressures.  Picture a person in a predominantly conservative community who has a strong affinity for Code Pink.  It can't be easy. 

Well, that is one (white) guy's opinion about some and only some of the challenges that conservatives face.  What can we do about them?

CONSERVATIVE ON THE ISSUES, LIBERAL IN THE VOTING BOOTH

One of the things that is striking to me about our politics is that it is, from a conservative perspective, insufficiently ideologically sorted out. What I mean is that there is a sizeable fraction of voters who, if given an exam on the issues, would mostly answer in favor of the "conservative" positions on taxes, regulation, abortion, ect. But those same voters would vote for a liberal Democrat over a conservative Republican. These same voters might consider political conservatives to be their political enemy. A lot of times these are cases of racial and ethnic politics trumping ideology as we have come to think of it.

But I also think that we should take seriously the reasons why these voters are choosing liberal candidates with whom they have so many disagreements. That doesn't mean we have to agree with all of the reasons, but to try to understand the history that has brought us to this place and try to plan approaches that will work better. This is destined to be very complicated. William Voegeli's  terrific and brutally honest essay in the Summer 2008 issue of the CLAREMONT REVIEW OF BOOKS really only illuminated a small corner of the tortured relationship between conservatives and the African America community. Similar work could be done about the relationship between the political expressions of conservatism and Latinos. That does not mean that we should always be looking for blame on the conservative side. Sometimes liberals do as well as they do because of the use of slander to create a false sense of ethnic/racial siege. But sometimes conservatives have taken approaches that have ended up being counterproductive in winning the votes of nonwhites. In some cases conservatives have needed to fight harder (possibly with a harsher and more aggressive communication strategy) for the votes of people in those communities. I don't really have a final answer, but I do think that conservatives need to think alot harder about how to bring over nonwhite Americans who share our issue preferences but think of conservatives as the villains of politics.  

Barack Obama's Greatest Hits

Barack Obama takes center stage in Denver tonight to accept the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. That makes today a great time to reflect on what Obama's campaign of hope and change hath wrought.

So here, for your viewing pleasure, is a compilation of Obama's greatest rhetorical hits from the past 19 months. I've limited this special package to 10 tracks and five minutes, but there surely are more that could have been included. Share your favorites in the comments.

The 10 tracks from this collection are:

1. Farewell To Arms -- Obama's plan to dismantle U.S. defenses
2. Loveable Rogues -- An open invitation for talks with global thugs
3. Bomb Iran -- Maybe, depending on what day you ask
4. Baby Be Gone -- No one wants to be "punished" with babies
5. Workin' 9 to 5 -- Tough questions are "above my pay grade"
6. The Gospel Of Barack -- The gay marriage Sermon on the Mount
7. Take The Race Bait -- Typical dollar bills ... and white people
8. Bitter -- The guns 'n Bibles crowd
9. Jeremiah Was An Albatross -- Tossed under the bus with Grandma
10. A Gaffe A Minute -- Fallen heroes in the 57 states of America.
 

Courting the Asian-American Vote: Part II

I had a few interesting comments when I posted Part I of the subject on Asian-American politics, or the lack thereof. Mike Warren succinctly pointed out that he is "cautious to want Republicans to start trying to appeal to identity groups like this, because it dilutes or negates the basic conservative message" while also pointing out the importance of communicating non-raced based principles to ethnic communities in America. Repack Rider was especially harsh in assuming that I had no experience within the Asian-American community; fortunately, Freedoms Truth came to my defense. Like I said last week:

"What I am about to opine on comes from a combination of life experience being raised by Korean immigrants, my limited experience of dealing with Asian communities around the nation, and maybe some bald assertions about what Asian-Americans care about."

This includes experiences that I have had as a first generation American-born citizen of Asian descent, developing friendships and relationships with people from many ethnic communities from around the nation from different socioeconomic situations, and academic study into the sociology of race. Does this mean from time to time I have to make a few assertions here and there to get a point across? Yes, but it does not mean those assertions come out of thin air. So instead of making ad hominem attacks on the observations that I make, please disagree with me if you have had an experience different from mine.

Part I of this post focused a lot on the importance of family and freedom to Asian-Americans. I want to take the time to really delve into the "freedom" part of the message we can send to this relatively politically inactive group. On Tuesday, David Brooks of the New York Times penned an op-ed from Chengdu, China, making some key observations on the differences between individualistic societies (like those of the West) and collectivist societies (like those in Asia). Brooks makes several important distinctions. (Read the stories that go with these contrasts.):

"This is a divide that goes deeper than economics into the way people perceive the world ... Americans usually see individuals; Chinese and other Asians see contexts ... Americans are more likely to see categories. Asians are more likely to see relationship."

"The individualistic countries tend to put rights and privacy first. People in these societies tend to overvalue their own skills and overestimate their own importance to any group effort. People in collective societies tend to value harmony and duty. They tend to underestimate their own skills and are more self-effacing when describing their contributions to group efforts."

The thrust of Brooks' column was to point out that collectivist societies seem to now be competing economically with individualistic societies with the emergence of China as an growing economic powerhouse, that "the ideal of a harmonious collective may turn out to be as attractive as the ideal of the American Dream." While I can't expound on how Asians in Asia feel today about their new position in the world, the individualistic vs. collectivist mindsets might shed some light on the motivations of Asian-Americans, especially those who are naturalized citizens.

Ridicule the Race Kremlinologists

Now that it's politically convenient for them to do so, the Left is divining racism in every tea leaf.  Kremlinology lives again, but this time it is directed at Republicans.  And practiced by jerks. 

The only way to deal with this is ridicule.

 

 

(via Atlas Blogged)

Courting the Asian-American Vote

I really hate the paradigm of the “hyphenated American”. And I really hate talking about race and politics in such limiting terms. And in an election year where we are debating whether or not a certain presidential candidate will take us into a “post-racial” era (as Matt Bai talks about in the next NYT Magazine), any discussion about how one tries to appeal to different ethnic communities seems to be both very silly and very relevant at the same time.

But Megan Shank of Newsweek wrote one of the first pieces of this cycle on the mystery of the Asian-American voter, and more importantly the mystery of the Asian-American non-voter; as Shank describes, “both naturalized and U.S.-born Asian Americans have lower rates of voter registration than do non-Asians.” As an "American citizen of Korean descent" (that’s my way of getting rid of the hyphen), I felt compelled this one time to respond and really start a discussion about what makes Asian-Americans tick.

Now, what I am about to opine on comes from a combination of life experience being raised by Korean immigrants, my limited experience of dealing with Asian communities around the nation, and maybe some bald assertions about what Asian-Americans care about.

(Sidenote on the title of Shank’s article: it’s “Crouching Voter, Hidden Direction.” Some might find that offensive. I find it hilarious.)

Shank starts out by describing the potential demographics:

“Their numbers might be small compared to other ethnic groups—only 5 percent of the total population—but they’ve been growing nine to 10 times faster than the general population, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census. That could swing the ballot in key states, according to ‘Awakening the Sleeping Giants?,’ a recent report by researchers at UCLA.”

But it seems as though Shank assumes that larger and growing numbers will automatically lead into some sort of political power. Nothing could be further from the truth. First, the netroots of the Left and the extremist environmentalist movement have shown that a small group only needs very good organizational skills to make an impact. Furthermore, it seems that different ethnic groups have different senses of where “community” lies in their list of priorities. It is obvious that African-American and Latino-American citizens place community about as high they do family. From my experience, this is not true for Asian-Americans. The reason one probably does not see large organized political movements from Asian-Americans is that they place family as the highest priority, far above any other item. Pride in being Chinese, Korean, or Thai ranks far less than the pride in being part of your family. Succeed, and you bring blessings to your family; fail, and you bring shame.

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