Tag Archives: African Americans

NC Amendment One -State Mandated Discrimination

This is what Family Values looks like

I want to start by thanking those people in my country and from around the world that have fought hard and sacrificed so much in the struggle for civil rights. In the 60s, so many people put their life, livelihoods, and family security on the line in order to lay the groundwork for equal rights for all.  The struggle for black Americans was and still is hard won. Because of the African-American community’s strength and determination, they secured and framed the civil rights argument for all of us. That being said, “black rights” do not equal “civil rights”; they are one application of civil rights.

There is much comparison and contrast of the gay rights movement to the movement of the 60s that secured civil rights for black Americans. Assumptions of comprehensive parallels have been made and offenses have been taken. Compounding the emotional mix are the perceptions of the attitudes of the two communities towards each other – there is a perceived (and I have no idea if it can be fact based) undercurrent of distaste in the African American community for the gay lifestyle. This comparison and contrast of the two groups does next to nothing good for anyone other than hindering the debate of the real issue, which is civil rights. Continue reading

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Bell of Liberty

It’s been a good week for right wing media when you consider any publicity is good publicity. Of course there is the Rush flap, but another “blockbuster” was supposedly going to make Obama’s re-election dead in the water. Andrew Breitbart, before his unexpected demise, promised a video clip that would ruin Obama. Posthumously his website has released the so-called damaging footage to an underwhelmed audience. Different news sources have pointed out that the footage was not “hidden”, it had been aired as late as 2008, and the “blow” it delivers to Obama’s campaign will probably be weathered just fine.

The truth is that the information called attention to in the ‘Derrick Bell” video is info that may further piss off his current crop of haters, but it does very little to shock or offend his current supporters. The big deal about this video is that Obama introduced Derrick Bell – a controversial figure in the arena of race and politics – and seems to know this person!

I think the line that the Breitbart site is pushing is, “white liberals are oppressors”. Perhaps they think that a statement like that coming from a right wing news site will turn the tide of opinion against Obama. There is something that Breitbart and his colleagues really don’t get about liberals – they love to learn.

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The Gay Agenda: They’re Here, They’re Queer, We’re Getting Used to It

It’s a banner week in gay rights. The California appeals courts determined that proposition 8 – the law that banned same sex marriage – violated the 14th amendment by discriminating against gay people. Washington state just legalized same sex marriage. A Million Moms plus Ellen set the stage last week in pop culture/retail, this week it’s about legal business. American is showing more and more signs of accepting gay people as they are, no closet required. For some of us Americans, this is a time of great celebration. For probably most of us, this is a time of looking at the headlines, smiling in approval, then continuing on with our day (since we didn’t have any plans to marry anyone same-sex). For some of us, this is a terrible blow to entrenched concepts of tradition and authority.

It is no news flash that many conservatives are not in favor of gay rights. The most vocal of these folks use mostly religious arguments to support their positions. If someone is not standing on religious traditions, their views around denying gay people the right to marry rest in distaste for the gay lifestyle and fear of the unknown – homophobia. None of these anti-gay positions have any legal ground in our Constitution. Continue reading

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The Right Fears, The Left Loves

The Left are lovers, the right are scared; that’s the short story from new study came out recently from the Political Science Dept. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A test group of established conservative and liberal subject were hooked up to machines that measured physiological responses and found that conservatives fixated on images they found fearful and liberals were relatively unfazed.  Continue reading

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Authenticity matters

In communications, authenticity matters. A lot. Our authenticity meters are what make lawyers and car salesmen consistently despised over the years – and Congress currently. We all hate being lied to with a straight face – we don’t even like being fibbed to. We respect those that tell us the truth because it shows that they respect us. Mitt Romney has an authenticity issue, so does Newt Gingrich when he does events like this one (which I will deconstruct the value manipulations attempted there in the future), Obama too. They all are disingenuous in different ways – Romney has the problem of looking and acting like a spokesmodel – a little too polished for an Average American’s comfort – and then completing the role by saying whatever he thinks the customers want. Newt seems to say what he means but in his election bid, is fully involved in the posturing and manipulations of crowds and media to suit his cause – he can only “open up” when it seems it would serve his polling and/or the Republican establishment. Obama seems to speak from the heart and brain but when it comes to following through on his rhetoric, his resolve dissolves. His “compromises” undermine the principles he established verbally. The end result? Not many of us can agree that any of those three politicians are genuinely authentic and are as good as their word; when you match up their deeds with their speech, the integrity gap becomes apparent.

Rick Santorum had authenticity going for him. I really do believe that he is a man of faith that lives by his beliefs, I believe he is a family man and doing something he feels called to do, but his slip about black people getting welfare showed some of his underlying perceptions – possibly racist leanings. All of these attributes still fit into a character that some Americans really admire and want (sadly even the potentially racist part). However, when Santorum was confronted about the racist part, his authenticity fell apart.  He commented, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”  Quickly thereafter he back pedaled on the concept, saying that he indeed didn’t want African-Americans to be dependent on government – up to this point he might be guilty of not being pc but he is still authentic. His next move is what cracks that characteristic – he makes a planned statement, saying that he studied the footage of the rhetoric in question and decided that he did not say the word “black”. This is totally disingenuous and anyone who watches the footage can see that,  Santorum would have gained more respect if he simply stood his ground and apologized by his lack of sensitivity and his implication that black people are the main food stamp recipients in this country; they’re not. The Kaiser Family Foundation puts black recipients at a total of 22% of medicaid benefits. Continue reading

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