Matthew Wright – LikeTheDew.com http://likethedew.com A journal of progressive Southern culture and politics Sun, 16 Sep 2018 15:31:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 http://likethedew.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-DewLogoSquare825-32x32.png Matthew Wright – LikeTheDew.com http://likethedew.com 32 32 The Reality Of Racists http://likethedew.com/2012/01/21/the-reality-of-racists/ http://likethedew.com/2012/01/21/the-reality-of-racists/#comments Sat, 21 Jan 2012 18:21:22 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=35812 Newt Gingrich's efforts to cast himself as the white knight cleaving through the murk of blacks leeching off government, exposed more than the seedy opportunistic side of politics -- It laid bare an electorate fueled by racist mores.

The interesting part about being a racist is the not so subtle manner in which you promote your racist dogma.  Most racists don't believe they're being anything other than truthful... denying the invocation of  racist diatribes creates a protective cloak against which repudiation rarely penetrates.

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Newt Gingrich at a political conference in Orlando, Florida.Newt Gingrich’s efforts to cast himself as the white knight cleaving through the murk of blacks leeching off government, exposed more than the seedy opportunistic side of  politics–It laid bare an electorate fueled by racist mores.

The interesting part about being a racist is the not so subtle manner in which you promote your racist dogma.  Most racists don’t believe they’re being anything other than truthful… denying the invocation of  racist diatribes creates a protective cloak against which repudiation rarely penetrates.  In fact, the views of the accusers are seen as more unpalatable than the accused’s invective.

Racism is itself as insidious and ingrained as lying.  As Coates puts it, “The habit of lying does not end with the racism itself. It is a contagion that extends to the defense of the initial lie.”  To wit:

People who are regularly complicit in wrong, are not in the habit of admitting such things. The unwillingness to admit wrong, the greedy claim upon the powers of disappointment,  the deep sense of injury is not coincidental–it is a necessary fact of wrong-doing. The charge that the NAACP are the actual racist is the descendant of the notion that abolitionists wanted to reduce Southern whites to “slavery,”  that the goal of civil rights was the rape of white women.That Barack Obama would have a “deep-seated hatred of white people” is not a new concept.

Those that commit acts of wrong doing never admit to the act because they are in fact not wrong–at least in their mind.  Their business is all about proudly basking in their racism– totally unfettered.  It is an inherent trait that fuels their ambition.

Newt Gingrich’s goal is gaining the republican nomination for presidency of the United States, and those people in South Carolina weren’t just acknowledging a gotcha moment from moderator Juan Williams– or a deft retort from Gingrich–they were proudly reaffirming their own racist reality.   The promulgation of racist narratives isn’t incidental, it’s coolly calculated strategy–and to many, a way of life.  That much is now apparent.

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Charlie Sheen And The New American Value System http://likethedew.com/2011/04/22/charlie-sheen-and-the-new-american-value-system/ http://likethedew.com/2011/04/22/charlie-sheen-and-the-new-american-value-system/#comments Sat, 23 Apr 2011 03:19:21 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=22654 What do Americans value?

Charlie Sheen made a visit to my city of Atlanta last night for his train wreck of a self-aggrandizing tour.  I had neither the time nor inclination to offer a review of the show. Unlike some Americans, I'm not willing to wade in the muck and enable the self-destructive behavior of a mentally unstable individual.

Some of my fellow Atlantans were, and to prove it--they were willing to shell out more than $80 to see the show at the Fox.

Sheen is a complete disaster--unable to comprehend the damage he's doing not just to himself--but to his many children. But he is celebrated, and he continues to get rich by fleecing the gullible.

What do we value as Americans?

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What do Americans value?

Charlie Sheen made a visit to my city of Atlanta Thursday night for his train wreck of a self-aggrandizing tour.  I had neither the time nor inclination to offer a review of the show.  Unlike some Americans, I’m not willing to wade in the muck and enable the self-destructive behavior of a mentally unstable individual.

Some of my fellow Atlantans were, and to prove it–they were willing to shell out more than $80 to see the show at the Fox.

Sheen is a complete disaster–unable to comprehend the damage he’s doing not just to himself–but to his many children.  But he is celebrated, and he continues to get rich by fleecing the gullible.

What do we value as Americans?  Do we enjoy watching celebrities preen and gorge themselves on poison because it titillates us– and offers us some perverted respite from our own behavior?  Why does Charlie Sheen dominate the news cycle?  He’s nothing more than a degenerate drug-abusing reprobate. He is a terrible father.  He is an abuser of women, and a fair to middling actor.  And yet, this is what we celebrate.

Sheen took batting practice with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket baseball team for three hours yesterday.  Why?  What has he done to ingratiate himself into our psyches so intimately?  In my America, an abuser of women and a deadbeat father would not be welcome with open arms.  Yet there he was, offering the young men of Georgia Tech venomous advice and lurid anecdotes.

We live in a country where a man with an Ivy League education, an Ivy League educated wife, and two beautiful young daughters is denigrated.  He is assumed to be callow, aloof, and detached because of his achievements.  He is assumed to be some foreign agent because his father happened to be Kenyan, and his name isn’t Bob or John.  A man who, by all accounts, is a devoted husband and father–yet is vilified and persecuted as some duplicitous agent of socialism.

Perhaps Barack Obama should develop a nasty drug habit, slap Michelle around a few times, and babble incoherently and incessantly.  He may garner more respect from some in society.  After all, that is what we seem to value.

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Basking in excellence, and obscurity http://likethedew.com/2011/01/08/basking-in-excellence-and-obscurity/ http://likethedew.com/2011/01/08/basking-in-excellence-and-obscurity/#comments Sat, 08 Jan 2011 21:50:47 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=16059 This is the story of Stephen Stafford.  Ever heard of him?  I'm willing to bet the farm (if I had a farm to bet) that you have not.  Stephen Stafford is a remarkable young man, and his is a tale that should be lauded and aired on nightly news shows ad nauseam.  Sadly, for reasons that are painfully too clear, it is not.

The story of young Mr. Stafford was written by Dr. Boyce Watkins last year, but few people knew it.  Stephen is now a 14-year old student at Morehouse College right here in Atlanta, Georgia.  Yes, I said 14. tephen is a triple major at one of America's foremost institutions of higher learning.  He juggles the rigorous demands of his pre-med, math, and computer science concentrations, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.  It is truly astounding, and clearly a story that should be well publicized.  Why is it not?

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This is the story of Stephen Stafford.  Ever heard of him?  I’m willing to bet the farm (if I had a farm to bet) that you have not.  Stephen Stafford is a remarkable young man, and his is a tale that should be lauded and aired on nightly news shows ad nauseam.  Sadly, for reasons that are painfully too clear, it is not.

The story of young Mr. Stafford was written by Dr. Boyce Watkins last year, but few people knew it.  Stephen is now a 14-year old student at Morehouse College right here in Atlanta, Georgia.  Yes, I said 14.  Stephen is a triple major at one of America’s foremost institutions of higher learning.  He juggles the rigorous demands of his pre-med, math, and computer science concentrations, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.  It is truly astounding, and clearly a story that should be well publicized.  Why is it not?

Young Stephen began his college career as an 11 year old, after being home schooled by his mother.  His accomplishments at such a young age are amazing, and they typify the strength of will and dedication of the forgotten segment of young men and women– who strive to achieve amidst the detritus our society seems to prize.

If one is troubled by the disintegration of societal mores– and the weakening of our educational system– you need go no further than understanding what is praised and trumpeted by various media outlets.  Ask yourself:  Why would a rap video, or the entrance and exit of a celebrity from prison, be promoted more widely than the academic achievements of successful American students?  Why is it more important to cover a superstar athlete’s whirlwind press tour than a young man’s knowledge of wind power as an alternative energy source?

We focus much too easily on celebrity–praising athletic prowess, while ignoring the fact that only a tiny percentage of people could ever become elite enough to star professionally.

The reality is, there are many more young men–and women–like Stephen Stafford.  Young black men and women are not all part of some thugocracy, despite what those in mass media will have you believe.  They are not all waiting to plot and scheme and victimize.  Some are achieving at high levels, and they deserve the same respect and promotion as someone who catches passes or drains three point shots.

We do have a crisis in this nation.  Our educational foundations are cracking, straining under the weight of mismanagement, underfunding, poor teachers, and uninvolved parents.  Students are not taking their studies seriously, and are therefore bringing an undisciplined laziness to their work.  The black community suffers from these negative attributes more than most.  So it is critical to laud excellence when we’re witness to it.

All of us should know Stephen Stafford.  He is the American dream– the epitome of success earned from hard work, perseverance and intelligence.  It’s a pity most  of us do not know his name.

Originally published on wrightandleftreport.com

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Will No Labels Break Political Gridlock? http://likethedew.com/2010/12/15/will-no-labels-break-political-gridlock/ http://likethedew.com/2010/12/15/will-no-labels-break-political-gridlock/#comments Thu, 16 Dec 2010 03:18:54 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=14974 I've often thought of a world where sensibilities and common good would trump ego and jaded ideologies.  How much more would we accomplish, and how much stronger would our nation become as a result?  Can No Labels achieve this, and can they save our political discourse

Political gridlock is ingrained in everyday life in our nation's capital.  Polarization has paralyzed our ability to get anything accomplished.  To be clear; there has always been a certain degree of partisanship in our politics--but in my eyes, there has never been this degree of incivility and callousness. Case in point:  During the two years of President Barack Obama's tenure, the GOP has made a concerted effort to literally stall every proposal and block every path taken by this administration.

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I’ve often thought of a world where sensibilities and common good would trump ego and jaded ideologies.  How much more would we accomplish, and how much stronger would our nation become as a result?  Can No Labels achieve this, and can they save our political discourse?

Political gridlock is ingrained in everyday life in our nation’s capital.  Polarization has paralyzed our ability to get anything accomplished.  To be clear; there has always been a certain degree of partisanship in our politics–but in my eyes, there has never been this degree of incivility and callousness.

Case in point:  During the two years of President Barack Obama’s tenure, the GOP has made a concerted effort to literally stall every proposal and block every path taken by this administration.  It’s an unbelievable amount of delay and obstruction.  The unity exhibited by Republicans is, in and of itself, not that surprising–although nothing of the sort ever occurred during George W. Bush’s administration– even when Democrats had more of a complaint with the legitimacy of his presidency than Republicans ever could have with Obama’s.

I’m not one of those who felt cheated by the election of 2000, but I can understand some reticence on the part of Democrats to accept Bush’s victory.  There was no such reticence with Obama’s decisive victory, yet you would think it was he who stole the election of 2008.

What is most shocking is the vilification by those on the far right of this president.  His citizenship, his political affiliation, and his family have all been attacked and distorted in some fashion.  The banal, brutish, ignorant attacks belie an almost absurd blood lust by some on the right.  What did this president do to deserve these smears as soon as he took office?

This is not polarization– this is hatred–borne of supercilious fear.  When the leadership of a party resorts to using blatantly false rhetoric from the most extreme segment of its party as a means to advance their agenda–we have reached the tipping point.

Democrats aren’t socialists, anymore than Republicans are tyrannical plutocrats.  This divisive meme– adopted by conservative leaders for the past two years– is not just insulting and irresponsible, it has become the medium for the breakdown in civility in our discourse.

Will No Labels change this?  The Tea Party managed to co-opt and fuel their political machine with anger, fear, and grassroots organization (along with outside money).  Why would it not be possible for No Labels to fuel their movement with forward-thinking individuals who recognize the damage polarization is causing?

True bi-partisanship is not achieved simply by speaking it.  It takes hard work for ideologies to find middle ground, and strong constitutions to accept compromise–and curtail self-interests. Is No Labels up to the challenge?  While the rest of Washington cringes at the thought of changing the tax code, or restructuring Social Security, this new group has an opportunity to answer that question vehemently by leading on those issues.

I’m interested in seeing what they can do.

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Who Will Really Wield Power In Congress? http://likethedew.com/2010/11/03/who-will-really-wield-power-in-congress/ http://likethedew.com/2010/11/03/who-will-really-wield-power-in-congress/#comments Thu, 04 Nov 2010 02:50:52 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=12625 Talk about season of the witch...

Let me first state the obvious truth:  You must govern now.  It's one thing to be the engine of virulent, persistent agitation.  Now, you must make laws.  I hope you can actually achieve this, considering you've had a grand time standing on the sidelines for two years saying no to everything.  I applaud the strategy.  It delivered you the House of Representatives.

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Talk about season of the witch…

Let me first state the obvious truth:  You must govern now.  It’s one thing to be the engine of virulent, persistent agitation.  Now, you must make laws.  I hope you can actually achieve this, considering you’ve had a grand time standing on the sidelines for two years saying no to everything.  I applaud the strategy.  It delivered you the House of Representatives.

Now, on to other matters.  This victory has secured the legacy of the tea party insurgency–for better or for worse.  There were countless tea party candidates taking established republican and democratic candidates to the woodshed during primary season, and on election day. Speaker-elect John Boehner now must integrate a wild-eyed bunch of tea party newbies into a coalition of dedicated legislators.

Herein lies the dilemma: these insurgent congressmen don’t seem up for compromise… at all.  How will the new speaker manage his crew, work with a democratic president, and get the people’s work done– knowing that behind him is a frothing, ambitious congresswoman from the sixth district of Minnesota garnering power– and threatening to hijack any attempt at centrist governance.  Boehner will soon find out the speaker’s chair is a different political animal than his comfy place as minority leader.

Boehner has already stated there will be no compromise with President Obama, but is he speaking for himself or for the tea party insurgents?  He’s not speaking for the American public, and because of this his reign as speaker may be a short one.

So John Boehner has his wish–his tears last night burnished that notion.  But he should be warned:  The wave he rode into the speakership clearly was not because of his stellar work in congress–it was because of voter angst–personified by tea party power.  Clearly the personification of tea party power lay with Michele Bachmann, and her newly elected minions.  It may just be a matter of time before Boehner’s will is shaped to fit the cudgel she and her supporters wield.

Welcome to the new, more rancorous form of partisanship:  The 112 Congress.

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Embracing The Lie http://likethedew.com/2010/09/29/embracing-the-lie/ http://likethedew.com/2010/09/29/embracing-the-lie/#comments Thu, 30 Sep 2010 00:25:59 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=11180 I don’t know what occurred between Bishop Eddie Long, Jamal Parris, and Long’s three other accusers.  I don’t care to know.  The sexual proclivities of adults is none of my concern.  But the stench of hypocrisy is much too much to ignore.  It won’t waft away through the reverberations of the church organ.  Eddie Long, and other men of faith, have shown their profound disgust and disdain for homosexuality–both in and out of the church.  In doing so, they’ve targeted their own failings in dealing with their sexual identity.

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Damaging.

I don’t know what occurred between Bishop Eddie Long, Jamal Parris, and Long’s three other accusers.  I don’t care to know.  The sexual proclivities of adults is none of my concern.  But the stench of hypocrisy is much too much to ignore.  It won’t waft away through the reverberations of the church organ.  Eddie Long, and other men of faith, have shown their profound disgust and disdain for homosexuality–both in and out of the church.  In doing so, they’ve targeted their own failings in dealing with their sexual identity.

To vehemently denounce and crucify homosexuals, is hiding the true nature of your own sexual attractions.  In these denials, you give yourself some measure of cover to deny your own desires.  But what is the cost?

When a Saxby Chambliss staffer writes “all faggots must die,” is he attempting to assuage his own raging passion toward those of the same sex because he cannot reconcile his own feelings?

What is the solution?  Is it to continue to deny and vilify the existence of gay men and women, in order to sate your supposed fealty to God, and suppress your true nature?  Why are these men of faith pushing an agenda of hate against themselves?  How many lives must be ruined in these attempts to promulgate the lie?

It matters.  It matters to those men who’ve been, and continue to be the victims of psycho-sexual coercion.  When does it stop?

How does Jamal Parris get his his life back?

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America Is Better Than This http://likethedew.com/2010/09/01/america-is-better-than-this/ http://likethedew.com/2010/09/01/america-is-better-than-this/#comments Thu, 02 Sep 2010 03:24:06 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=10879 Will someone answer this question for me?  What is wrong with being a Muslim?  There are Muslim doctors, lawyers, teachers, policemen and policewomen.  There is a Muslim congressman from the great state of Minnesota named Keith Ellison.  We encounter Muslim Americans in every facet of American life.  They are part of the American tapestry.  When did it become un-American to be a Muslim?

52% of conservative Americans believe Barack Obama wants to institute Sharia Law.  I'm sure if you also asked those polled what Sharia law is, they couldn't tell you.  Since it's associated with Islam and Muslims, it must be terrible-- and this president must be in support of it.  Everyday more of his American identity evaporates in the eyes of these people--if it were even there at all.  Why?  Even in the face of substantial proof--evidence that is insurmountable--these people insist on painting the president as some foreign enemy of the state.

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Will someone answer this question for me?  What is wrong with being a Muslim?  There are Muslim doctors, lawyers, teachers, policemen and policewomen.  There is a Muslim congressman from the great state of Minnesota named Keith Ellison.  We encounter Muslim Americans in every facet of American life.  They are part of the American tapestry.  When did it become un-American to be a Muslim?

52% of conservative Americans believe Barack Obama wants to institute Sharia Law.  I’m sure if you also asked those polled what Sharia law is, they couldn’t tell you.  Since it’s associated with Islam and Muslims, it must be terrible– and this president must be in support of it.  Everyday more of his American identity evaporates in the eyes of these people–if it were even there at all.  Why?  Even in the face of substantial proof–evidence that is insurmountable–these people insist on painting the president as some foreign enemy of the state.

Where is the media culpability in this? Fox News pushes a bitter narrative, asking questions about Obama’s American legitimacy and his faith.  They allow this meme to be explored on a routine basis.  They harbor vicious anti-Muslim views, and foster an unseemly climate of Islamophobia.   Yet one of their major shareholders is a Saudi Prince named Al-Waleed bin Talal— a man who owns a 7 percent share of NewsCorp, parent company of Fox News.  A man who contributes heavily to Islamic groups Fox conservatives believe are terrorist organizations.  A man who in his homeland of Saudi Arabia, rules UNDER Sharia Law. Where is their outrage?

Shouldn’t Sean Hannity be condemning this bold expansion of the Sharia law in American media?  If right-wingers fear Sharia tentacles tethering themselves to American institutions, why not start with rebelling against the power structure at Fox News?

These people are not defenders of American justice.  They hide behind euphemistic attacks–which are not only cowardly– they’re craven and treasonous.  They are dishonoring their patriotism, perverting it in order to gain political advantage.

When Byron York, staunch blue-blood right-wing pundit, indulges in fantastically simplistic reporting, by placing blame directly on the president–he noted that Obama has brought much of this on himself by choosing to play golf or basketball Sunday mornings, rather than attend church–you realize just how cynical and foolish the tone of this debate is.   I did not realize that is what made one a Christian. You must attend church on Sundays. If Americans need this type of affirmation– seeing video clips of the president attending church to answer questions– perhaps they have the wrong questions.    Amazing.  Some of us are choosing to embrace religious radicalism to support our notions of nationalism.  That’s not the America I know.

These people are cowering in fear.  They are racing to a corner of self-doubt and pity, trying to resist change.  There they are, waving flags of self- pity and anger because of their reticence to accept the wave of change on the precipice.

This isn’t what this country is about.  It’s not how we were founded.  If Islamist fundamentalists choose to burn bibles and American flags, should we meet their wretchedness and hatred with our own?  No, and that is what makes us better than the enemy.

This is where we find ourselves.  Struggling to discern who we are as a people and a nation.  We used to have an identity.  We used to stand for something righteous, mighty, and right.  We used to stand proudly for tolerance–at least most forward thinking Americans did.  We used to debate fairly, cogently, and intelligently.  Now we’ve become an empty husk, filling with anger, mistrust, hatred and fear.  Now we disavow our own laws callously in order to marginalize some of our citizens.  We should be better than this.

America stands for something more because we don’t devalue our idealistic principles, and we don’t deviate from our values.  We set the pace for virtuous action, and let others follow our example.  Our discourse has been hijacked by pretend patriots, who’ve warped constitutional moralities into fluid, politically expedient landmines.  America is better than this.

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President Obama: An Open Letter To Rush Limbaugh, Part 2 http://likethedew.com/2010/07/21/president-obama-an-open-letter-to-rush-limbaugh-part-2/ http://likethedew.com/2010/07/21/president-obama-an-open-letter-to-rush-limbaugh-part-2/#comments Wed, 21 Jul 2010 21:41:13 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=10404 Hello again Rush: I wanted to finish my thoughts about your words last week regarding my hatred for the white race.  As I said earlier, you've managed to figure out my diabolical plans.  Of course I was being facetious in my approach last week.  Now, it's time to get real.

Being called a racist by you is most curious.  After all, your track record on race relations and reconciliation is non-paralleled.  I don't ever recall you making any inflammatory or derogatory statements about race and race relations(withering sarcastic snicker).  Let's talk about reality here Rush. I must reject your charge of racism, simply because you resemble that remark more than I.  In fact, you have done more in your time on air to reflect that moniker, than I ever could in this office.

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Hello again Rush: I wanted to finish my thoughts about your words last week regarding my hatred for the white race.  As I said earlier, you’ve managed to figure out my diabolical plans.  Of course I was being facetious in my approach last week.  Now, it’s time to get real.

Being called a racist by you is most curious.  After all, your track record on race relations and reconciliation is non-paralleled.  I don’t ever recall you making any inflammatory or derogatory statements about race and race relations(withering sarcastic snicker).  Let’s talk about reality here Rush. I must reject your charge of racism, simply because you resemble that remark more than I.  In fact, you have done more in your time on air to reflect that moniker, than I ever could in this office.

I’ve always thought my political opponents held no personal animus toward me–racial or otherwise.  I feel they have genuine differences of opinion with me on policies and legislation. Not you.  You use reverse victimization– coded language to make the offended the offender.  And you use it to demonize my administration and me.  It’s much easier today to say Blacks rely solely on government assistance– and the work of the white working class–than to call them niggers.  It’s less offensive and more socially acceptable.  You’ve managed to carve out a niche as the clown prince of reverse victimization–supercharging white fright at the expense of racial harmony.  I’m sure you don’t mean to offend.  I’m sure it’s all a part of your all-exclusive, capitalist credo.  It encompasses who you are as a radio shock jock.

But I am the President of the United States– and I must administer a reminder about precisely who I am– and what you are dealing with.  To that end, I say it’s time to relinquish your grasp as the virulent conscious of the white American male.  Open your eyes and embrace truth, not fiction.  Deal with absolutes, not fairy tales.  Stop peddling false narratives about race and racism.  My America doesn’t include black kids beating up white kids with impunity.  My America doesn’t equate health care reform with reparations.  Deal with your personal racial animus the only way you can; away from the microphone, and into a mirror.  Because it’s clear you do not understand me, or the subject of race.

Your willingness to engage in script-flipping– casting the victim as the victimizer– is directly attributable to the dearth of real, fruitful debate on race relations in our country.  You ascribe the militancy and ignorance of the Black Panther Party onto me–as If I will pick up a club to threaten and harass white folks like some common thug.  You assume since I’m black, I am soft on black racism, and I’ll tolerate calls for the slaughter of white children.  It is insidiously harmful, offensive, and vile.  Have you any idea of the madness you spread by perpetuating these distortions?

I’ll finish with this Rush.  One of my favorite writers recently shut down his open thread posts, due to the some of its more “colorful” commentators.  The debate degenerated to the point where he had to close his most popular blog segment.  Why?  Because people–I’m sure on both sides of the political spectrum–began writing into the margins–shouting lewdly, wildly, and inaccurately– in order to be proven right in their argument.  This is your brand of communication Rush, not mine.  I’ll have no part of it, and neither should any American who prizes cohesion as one of our unifying principles.  The promise and demands of true leadership calls for no less.

Take care Rush.  I carry no ill will toward you.  I hope that you will reflect upon the words you use, and how your audience responds to them.  Think about the ignorance of the claims you make against me in the name of dissent.  Is it worth ginning up a mob mentality?  I hope in reflection, you grow to understand the burdens of leadership, and the cost of demagoguery.  May God bless you, and the United States of America.

Barack H. Obama

44th President of the United States

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President Obama: An Open Letter To Rush Limbaugh, Part One http://likethedew.com/2010/07/14/president-obama-an-open-letter-to-rush-limbaugh-part-one/ http://likethedew.com/2010/07/14/president-obama-an-open-letter-to-rush-limbaugh-part-one/#comments Thu, 15 Jul 2010 02:33:10 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=10348 Dear Rush:

First let me say that I admire your dogmatic approach to defending the lies, half-truths, and other space age theories of your fellow conservatives.  You are to be commended on your willingness to get down in the muck and the mud-- and sling it far and wide hoping it tags someone.  It usually does.  Wonderful tactic.  And when you couple that with an absolute lack of knowledge about anything, you've got a winning combination.  It's no wonder folks at the EIV pay you the big bucks.  See Rush, only in America could a dullard with a God complex become successful.  But let me stay on task here.

I'd like to address your recent comments about me, and this nightmarish recession all Americans are  dealing with.  Your claim about me causing this terrible calamity to punish white people is correct ...

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Dear Rush:

First let me say that I admire your dogmatic approach to defending the lies, half-truths, and other space age theories of your fellow conservatives.  You are to be commended on your willingness to get down in the muck and the mud– and sling it far and wide hoping it tags someone.  It usually does.  Wonderful tactic.  And when you couple that with an absolute lack of knowledge about anything, you’ve got a winning combination.  It’s no wonder folks at the EIV pay you the big bucks.  See Rush, only in America could a dullard with a God complex become successful.  But let me stay on task here.

I’d like to address your recent comments about me, and this nightmarish recession all Americans are dealing with.  Your claim about me causing this terrible calamity to punish white people is correct.   And now that you’ve finally figured out my masterstroke, I’d like to try and explain what my thinking is.

I don’t like white people.  Yes.  I can freely admit that to you now.  You have figured out my secret.  Yes I know I am half white, but I’ve never felt anything remotely positive from my white half– therefore I am compelled to reject it and all the deviousness that comes from it.  You say black people were oppressed for centuries, and I am here to right those evil wrongs.  I humbly submit to you that your assertion is totally rooted in truth.  I am the president, Rush.  Me.  A black man.  Do you know what it feels like to tell a white man to fetch me an apple?  Or a delicious double cheese from Hell Burger? Oh the irony is rich my friend.

Everyday I drink it in, as Michelle and I throw darts at a nude David Axelrod.  White comeuppance is here at last, and all it took was for the rubes in the heartland to appeal to their white guilt, and cast a ballot for a son of Kenya/Indonesia/ Hawaii– that fake American state.  My mother always told me I was fiendishly clever.  Then again, I never put much stock into what she said–she being white and all.

I never expected anyone to find out I was a foreign national born in an Indonesian jungle.  The Hawaii ruse was as elaborately crafted as any conspiracy plot ever devised.  Even more clever than the Trig Palin-Sarah Palin son-mother hoax (And that my friend is saying something).  Think, Rush.  Think about how long it took to inject this phony I’m an American sentiment into my bloodstream.  It has taken years to develop this plot, and the stress and logistical challenge of involving the state of Hawaii, Illinois, the entire continent of Africa, the Democratic party, the FBI, CIA, and the American people was unimaginable.  Wow!  And I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for your keen intellect and big microphone.

(to be continued…)

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Who Is Alvin Greene? http://likethedew.com/2010/06/11/who-is-alvin-greene/ http://likethedew.com/2010/06/11/who-is-alvin-greene/#comments Fri, 11 Jun 2010 12:28:12 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=9969 Tuesday's biggest primary night of the year saw relatively few surprises.  Women--especially GOP women--stood tall, with the likes of Blanche Lincoln, Nikki Haley, Sharron Angle, Carly Fiorina, and Meg Whitman all prevailing in their primary challenges.  One of the most shocking developments taking place Tuesday happened in South Carolina (surprise).  The winner of the Democratic primary for the senate was a man named Alvin Greene.

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Tuesday’s biggest primary night of the year saw relatively few surprises.  Women – especially GOP women – stood tall, with the likes of Blanche Lincoln, Nikki Haley, Sharron Angle, Carly Fiorina, and Meg Whitman all prevailing in their primary challenges.  One of the most shocking developments taking place Tuesday happened in South Carolina (surprise).  The winner of the Democratic primary for the senate was a man named Alvin Greene.

In the year of voter angst and incumbent backlash, Alvin Greene–a 32 year old unemployed veteran– managed to do the impossible.  Mr. Greene defied the party apparatus by never appearing at any Democratic function.  He did not campaign.  He has no college degree.  He has no name recognition, and no political support.  And to make matters worse, Mr. Greene has a felony obscenity charge.  Yet voters still saw fit to choose this man as Senator Jim DeMint’s challenger in November.  How does this happen?

Putting everything you know about politics, and the political structure aside,  look at Mr. Greene through the eyes of the new disaffected American voter.  On its face, the curious case of Alvin Greene is Rocky Balboa – the American underdog who challenges conventional wisdom, and rises above obstacles to achieve success.  What could be more appealing to the Tea Party crowd, than an unemployed man turning the status quo on its head?  Greene did not accept a penny from lobbyists, and did not shill for companies desperate for a foothold in the political process.

Taking an even closer look at this race reveals a more astonishing fact:  According to the Center For Responsive Politics, the spending in congressional  elections will cost 4 billion dollars in the 2010 cycle.  That is an astronomical sum, almost unfathomable to the average civic-minded citizen.  Alvin Greene seemingly infiltrated the rich folks club, completely re-wiring the circuits of big-time elections.  So who is Alvin Greene?

If one were to think skeptically, given the previously mentioned obstacles in his way, you might surmise that Mr. Greene is a plant.  You may think he’s an empty vassal, propped up and supported by Republicans in an effort to severely hamper Democratic chances in the general election.  It’s an outrageous claim, but not out of the realm of possibility.  How did Greene afford the $10,400 filing fee to get on the ballot?  That’s a ton of money for your average working man, and he’s not even working!

But it’s almost too easy to paint this as Republican shenanigans.  It’s also too easy to trace the money of such a straw man conspiracy– and if nothing else– the Republican party is too smart to engage in such a scam in today’s political climate.

So who is Alvin Greene?  Maybe he’s the personification of voter outrage with the status quo.  Maybe this is the strongest indication yet of average American citizens disgusted by the taint of money, and the strain of gridlock in politics.  Meet  Alvin Greene, the face of voter disgust.

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Patrick Buchanan, And The Disappearing White Ruling Class http://likethedew.com/2010/05/19/patrick-buchanan-and-the-disappearing-white-ruling-class/ http://likethedew.com/2010/05/19/patrick-buchanan-and-the-disappearing-white-ruling-class/#comments Thu, 20 May 2010 02:33:56 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=9418

I enjoy political commentators and pundits who drape themselves in nostalgia, regaling their readers with stories of how things used to be–and in some cases how things ought to be.  Pat Buchanan likes to indulge in that type of, my old America circa 1955 rhetoric– and as a result– some of his work reflects that narrow, stodgy thinking.

Buchanan’s piece on the bias against WASPS (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) by liberals illustrates that fact.  Mr. Buchanan simply longs for the days when white men were picked for every powerful position in industry and government.  Here is the money quote:

Indeed, of the last seven justices nominated by Democrats JFK, LBJ, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, one was black, Marshall; one was Puerto Rican, Sonia Sotomayor. The other five were Jews: Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. If Kagan is confirmed, Jews, who represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats. Is this the Democrats’ idea of diversity?

But while leaders in the black community may be upset, the folks who look more like the real targets of liberal bias are white Protestants and Catholics, who still constitute well over half of the U.S. population.

Buchanan’s need to prevent diversity from destroying his 1955 sensibilities, complicates the convoluted point he’s trying to make.  My questions is simply this:  What is his idea of diversity?  Is it nominating more men who look like he does?  Let’s examine his argument about Jewish Americans on the Supreme Court, and part of the quote above. Here are some facts about bias that Mr. Buchanan might want to think about:

In American history, there have been 111 Supreme Court justices. Of that 111, only two have been black.  Only one has been Hispanic.  Only three have been women.  Only seven have been Jewish.  Buchanan’s claim that their is liberal bias toward white men when applied toward the court is beyond ludicrous.  Throughout history, Blacks, Hispanics, women and Jews were never significant parts of the political power structure.  Presidents were compelled to nominate those that are closest to them.

That familiarity comes from a variety of factors, not the least of which is their physical resemblance and personal affinity. Since 43 of our 44 presidents have been white males, the majority of justices nominated have been white males.  Where does Buchanan’s argument have merit?

A closer look inside the rhetoric reveals a much more deeply rooted problem for Buchanan and his compatriots:  Fear.  The fear of the erosion of white male privilege.  Clearly the rise to power of Blacks, Hispanics, women, and Jews has unnerved elitist conservatives.  Conservatives like Buchanan were and are fearful that programs such as affirmative action would winnow away the built in pillars that support the white male power structure.

Buchanan’s spiel reignites that self-fulfilling prophecy.  His ardent belief that the new liberal diversity is a detriment to the existing power dynamic, is allowing some white males to now exhibit a skewed sense of fairness.  They fear not getting into the right schools, or not getting the right job because minorities will get them instead.  They fear being targeted for irrelevancy.

Buchanan’s self-preservation narrative is coated in bigoted, anti-Semitic vitriol.  He neglects to mention that three-fourths of supreme courts justices have been protestant, and even more than that have been Anglo-Saxon.  I assume he would like to see those numbers increase.  If that’s his thinking, I have no issue with that.   I take issue with continuing the false narrative of the endangered white male, considering white males are overwhelmingly entrenched in positions of power in all institutions.

But America’s face is slowly changing.  And as a result, so are some of those same institutions.  Times are changing, and the old conservative guard–led by Mr.Buchanan — would be wise to adapt to that, rather than lob lyrical grenades.  Buchanan’s America reflects his goal of  continuing WASP political hegemony.  Sadly for him, it is no longer 1955.

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Why Is Tea Party Silent On Arizona’s Immigration Law? http://likethedew.com/2010/04/28/why-is-tea-party-silent-on-arizonas-immigration-law/ http://likethedew.com/2010/04/28/why-is-tea-party-silent-on-arizonas-immigration-law/#comments Wed, 28 Apr 2010 20:22:00 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=9084 immigration law in the United States. Proposition SB-1070's impact on millions of Hispanics--both legal and illegal immigrants--will be profound. For the first time, law enforcement will be given a broad swath of powers to stop, seize and detain those they believe may be in the country illegally. The new law, signed last week by Arizona governor Jan Brewer, has caused widespread consternation and fear of increased racial profiling. At its worst, SB-1070 is unconstitutional, clear government overreach, and a violation of the civil liberties of American citizens.]]>

The state of Arizona has passed the most stringent, draconian immigration law in the United States. Proposition SB-1070’s impact on millions of Hispanics–both legal and illegal immigrants–will be profound. For the first time, law enforcement will be given a broad swath of powers to stop, seize and detain those they believe may be in the country illegally. The new law, signed last week by Arizona governor Jan Brewer, has caused widespread consternation and fear of increased racial profiling.

At its worst, SB-1070 is unconstitutional, clear government overreach, and a violation of the civil liberties of American citizens.

So on that front, why haven’t we heard from the Tea Party? This seems such the perfect opportunity for Tea Party activists to mobilize, harness their prodigious power in defense of the constitution, and excoriate this new law, right? So where are they? If they perceive that the rights of other Americans are being violated — as they have for the past eighteen months, vehemently opposing the current administration’s policies — why are they not on the front lines here? You could not put a better example of constitutional overreach and government expansion on the board than this. It’s as if SB-1070 is on a tee, waiting for Tea Party activists to take a huge swing at it. But they seem to be whiffing. What’s behind the deafening silence?

It’s most curious that Tea Party activists portray themselves as patriots, standing up and defending American liberties — and protecting against government growth — yet not one member has come out strongly against this law. Isn’t individual freedom the crux of the Tea Party argument? Perhaps, it’s because this law directly targets those who have brown skin and may speak a different language? Christopher Parker, a political scientist at the University of Washington,  examines some factors as to why Tea Partiers are reluctant to join immigration activists, and their perceived intolerance levels:

For instance, the Tea Party, the grassroots movement committed to reining in what they perceive as big government, and fiscal irresponsibility, also appear predisposed to intolerance. Approximately 45% of Whites either strongly or somewhat approve of the movement. Of those, only 35% believe Blacks to be hardworking, only 45 % believe Blacks are intelligent, and only 41% think that Blacks are trustworthy. Perceptions of Latinos aren’t much different. While 54% of White Tea Party supporters believe Latinos to be hardworking, only 44% think them intelligent, and even fewer, 42% of Tea Party supporters believe Latinos to be trustworthy. When it comes to gays and lesbians, White Tea Party supporters also hold negative attitudes. Only 36% think gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt children, and just 17% are in favor of same-sex marriage.

Intolerance? Ambivalence? The Tea Party only seems to care about constitutional rights when they perceive white men and women are the ones being deprived of them. That would add much to my argument in a previous post about the movement. Arizona has now turned into a police state, where the clarion call will be show me your papers, much like it was during the Joseph Goebbels era. Only this time Arizona law enforcement officials will be initiating the stop and seizures, based upon the kind of shoes Hispanics may wear. And throughout this, the Tea Party is content to wield defense of the constitution as a weapon only when it’s convenient for them to do so — and not in defense of any of America’s brown people.

UPDATE: It turns out the Arizona Tea Party is not silent on this. They support the legislation. What a surprise.

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Civil Rights Pioneer Dorothy Height: ‘Fierce Coiled Determination’ http://likethedew.com/2010/04/20/civil-rights-pioneer-dorothy-height-passes-away/ http://likethedew.com/2010/04/20/civil-rights-pioneer-dorothy-height-passes-away/#comments Wed, 21 Apr 2010 00:13:23 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=8901 Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits.  ~Robert Brault The morning of April 20th, 2010 brings the tragic news that legendary civil rights leader Dorothy Irene Height has passed away at the age of 98.  I met Ms. Height very briefly at a woman's symposium at Howard University thirteen years ago. She was this tiny unassuming woman, with this fierce coiled determination pulsing through her body. She spoke authoritatively — yet calmly and assuredly — befitting someone who had seen and been a part of every major civil rights victory in American history.]]>

Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits.  ~Robert Brault

1912-2010

The morning of April 20th, 2010 brings the tragic news that legendary civil rights leader Dorothy Irene Height has passed away at the age of 98.  I met Ms. Height very briefly at a woman’s symposium at Howard University thirteen years ago. She was this tiny unassuming woman, with this fierce coiled determination pulsing through her body. She spoke authoritatively — yet calmly and assuredly — befitting someone who had seen and been a part of every major civil rights victory in American history.

Her death leaves an unmistakable void in the struggle for equality for all people.  But we should celebrate her life, because it was a testament to the greatness and unselfishness we all should aspire to.  I cannot begin to recount her many personal and legislative achievements here, so please take a moment to read about them here, here and here. Dorothy Height — true American patriot — you will be missed.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Will Health Care Politics Prevail Over Policy In Georgia? http://likethedew.com/2010/04/06/will-health-care-politics-prevail-over-policy-in-georgia/ http://likethedew.com/2010/04/06/will-health-care-politics-prevail-over-policy-in-georgia/#comments Tue, 06 Apr 2010 22:10:37 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=8786

Sonny Perdue is the Republican governor of the state of Georgia.  Perdue is at the tail end of his second and final term in the statehouse.  His administration is presiding over a fiscal crisis — one with steep prolonged budget cuts — that are destined to cripple the state’s services and economy for the foreseeable future.  But Perdue is now distracted by his newest crusade: Repealing health care reform.  He, along with 13 other governors, have joined together to pursue legal action toward the federal government regarding the implementation of the new health care legislation.

Thurbert Baker is Georgia’s Attorney General.  He’s a Democrat, who objects to Perdue’s course of action regarding the health care lawsuit.  Baker is refusing to initiate the lawsuit.

There’s nothing new about governors and attorney generals clashing over a particular issue or law.  In fact, it’s rather common.  Both positions are popularly elected, so one has no autonomy over the other.  In fact, 43 states popularly elect their attorney general– which can set in motion many a conflict on many issues.

So it should come as no surprise that in Georgia, the Democratic attorney general Thurbert Baker is clashing with the Republican governor over the implementation of the newly signed health care reform bill.  Baker is refusing to move a  lawsuit forward against the federal government because he believes it’s an inappropriate allocation of resources.  Baker confirmed his thoughts in a letter to Governor Perdue:

“I do not believe that Georgia has a viable legal claim against the United States….I cannot justify a decision to initiate expensive and time-consuming litigation that I believe has no legal merit. In short, this litigation is likely to fail and will consume significant amounts of taxpayers’ hard-earned money in the process… I am unaware of any constitutional infirmities and do not think it would be prudent, legally or fiscally, to pursue such litigation. I must therefore respectfully decline your request.”

It should be noted that Baker is a gubernatorial candidate, and his stance — while seemingly principled — may be part political posturing.  It should also be noted that Perdue, who’s in the waning stages of his term, has now decided to sue the federal government himself — hiring a “special attorney general”  to prosecute the case. Conservatives in the Georgia legislature have also initiated articles of impeachment against Baker.  Is Perdue posturing as well, or simply holding the Republican line on health care?  Is there a difference anymore?

Putting empty political posturing aside, let’s examine how and if a lawsuit would work for the state.  The contention on the part of Governor Perdue regarding this suit is that the government — specifically Congress, has never passed a law requiring Americans to purchase a product before — thus making the federal mandate to purchase insurance unconstitutional.  Let’s take this point first. It can be argued that under the 10th Amendment, states are protected from being forced to follow federal laws not in the constitution.  So in essence, a federal mandate to buy health insurance would be considered unconstitutional — and therefore not legally binding.  Some constitutional scholars don’t believe that the 10th Amendment adequately addresses the unconstitutionality of the legislation.  Robert Langran, a Supreme Court and constitutional law expert, thinks that while the case has merit, it would ultimately fail:

“It might be politically incorrect but not legally incorrect,” says Mr. Langran. “The Supreme Court has held for over a century that the federal government does have the police power to look out for the welfare of their citizens (and it has held since Reconstruction that we are federal citizens and state citizens).”

Langran believes that so long as a First Amendment right is not being violated, then usage of the 10th Amendment would not hold up.  There are other legal precedents that may cause health care to stand.  During the New Deal, the courts greatly expanded the powers of congress to regulate commerce, so a challenge to the new law such as Governor Perdue’s may ultimately fail.

So is it good politics to challenge such a law, or is it good policy?  The political divide is widening in the state of Georgia, much like the rest of the country.  Governor Perdue believes he is taking a principled stance, and that the suit will prevail.  Baker believes the end results of a challenge to the law would fail, and squander resources in the process.  Who’s on the right path?  Precedent and history say that it is Baker, but those indicators are definitely not absolute. In today’s heated political  environment, one can never underestimate passion and blinding partisanship.  Perdue and Baker seem to fall right in line with divided climate.

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Obama On The Cusp Of History…Again http://likethedew.com/2010/03/21/obama-on-the-cusp-of-history-again/ http://likethedew.com/2010/03/21/obama-on-the-cusp-of-history-again/#comments Sun, 21 Mar 2010 19:35:25 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=8547

On July 30th, 1965, President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the epic legislation called Medicare into law. President Johnson’s historic achievement was not without significant contention and venom. Many on the other side of the aisle opposed it as nothing more than government intrusion on the rights of liberties of free people. That idea has been the clarion call for those who demonize major social programs for more than a century. Johnson knew it, embraced it, and challenged it successfully:

“The doubters predicted a scandal; we gave them a success story,” he crowed a month after the law took effect, as hundreds of thousands of patients entered hospitals for treatment covered by the government and some 6 million children and needy adults began getting benefits.

“Where are the doubters tonight?” he asked. “Where are the prophets of crisis and catastrophe? Well, some of them are signing their applications; some of them are mailing in their Medicare cards because they now want to share in the success of this program.”

President Barack Obama, the nation’s first black commander-in-chief, stands on the cusp of making history. Whether or not his achievement is as successful as Johnson’s remains to be seen. But in crossing  the Rubicon, he has taken health reform initiatives further than any of his predecessors ever could. And whether you agree or not with the idea of reform– or the means of achieving it — Obama’s gambit is a remarkable achievement, borne from shrewd calculated strategy and bold, determined leadership.

President Obama, in the face of growing opposition and an unforgiving political climate, decided to eschew an incrementalist approach for broader sweeping reforms.  Although this bill comes up shorter on some of his aims, it nonetheless will transform America as we know it — a sobering thought quickly becoming reality to those in staunch opposition.  But the reality is government is already a major centerpiece of health care for American citizens:

In 1930, citizens paid nearly 80 percent of the nation’s medical costs from their own pocket. Government at all levels covered a mere 14 percent, with industry and philanthropy picking up the few remaining crumbs. Insurance was barely in the picture.

Federal and state programs now cover half the cost of health care purchased in the country and are expected to go over 50 percent in the next year or two, even absent Obama’s plan. By that measure, the government takeover of health care that opponents warn about is happening regardless of what’s about to happen next.

If the worry by some is about socialized medicine — then your fears have been realized for some time now, even without “Obamacare.”

Senator Edward Kennedy’s lifelong mission was to initiate health care reform.  He came relatively close in the 1970s, with the help of then President Richard Nixon — who ironically, championed universal health care coverage — much to the dismay of his fellow conservatives.  That effort failed, much like every attempt to reform the system over the last 100 years.  Senator Kennedy did not live long enough to see his dream realized, but his efforts and dedication over  the years, have driven this president to the brink of seeing it through.

The idea that the first black man to live in the White House could be the first president to achieve national health care is startling. History begets history. These are definitely changing times.

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