MSNBC cancels Tucker Carlson

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Word came today that Tucker Carlson’s show on MSNBC has been canceled. Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus. No word or term adequately describes how much I loathe Tucker Carlson. He reminds me of the grade school classmates that I despised as a child. Their privilege and disdain of Negroes was some kind of a birthright that they wore proudly on angelic faces that showed me nothing but expressions of contempt.

I rarely call adults significantly older than me by their first names. Living in the south for more than 15 years has intensified that trait. I use Ms. or Mrs. or slap Mr. or Ms. in front of a first name. I can recall going home to the Midwest once and going to the grocery store my semi-retired grandma worked in as a demo-lady and came across some teenage boy calling her by her first name. It was like fingernails on a chalk-board. I almost lost it before grandma shooed him away. Mama confessed that she didn’t like children in the store calling her by her first name, but had resigned herself to that Midwestern habit.

I told grandma that I considered it HIGHLY disrespectful and hoped that she would say something. It was all I could do at the time to keep it together and not go off on the kid. Nothin’ makes me see red quicker than oblivious or deliberate disrespect. All of that brings me to Tucker Carlson, the subject of this post. He reminds me of that boy in the grocery store: disrespectful and oblivious.

Tucker Carlson is the kind of smug prick that causes sweet, Christian ladies like my grandma to bake up sumptuous batches of homemade cookies laced with rat poison and offer it to him with honeysuckled sweetness. Tucker ain’t got no home training and is contemptuous and disrespectful of any and everything black, or anything which could level the playing field. In short, he is addicted to white supremacist notions of superiority and is in desperate need of an intervention.

I know what you’re thinking, “Skeptical Brotha, that’s kinda strong isn’t it?” Sadly, no, Carlson is an unrepentant critic of Affirmative Action, Black politicians, Democrats, or anybody else more liberal than a movement conservative with an affinity for the confederacy.

Four years ago he asked Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton the following question about the University of Michigan case, “At the heart of one of these cases is a story of a woman named Jennifer Gratz. She applied to the University of Michigan. She had a 3.8 grade point average and she didn’t get in, partly because she was white. Now if your daughter was applying to college and she didn’t get in part because she was black, meaning her race counted against her, I think you would call that what it is, it’s racism. And I think you’d call it that. Why not call it that here?”

Where to begin? First, Tucker

 

Second, you should discard these antiquated and illogical fallicies about Affirmative Action. He wouldn’t know what was fair if it came up and bit him. It is supremely insulting that anybody could actually say with a straight face that stealing someone’s labor for two centuries and actively discriminating against them for another 75 years doesn’t merit some form of recompense. It’s completely absurd.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, before it was denatured and de-fanged with the addition of a stable of right-wing Handkerchief Heads, wrote, “Discriminatory actions by individuals and organizations are not only pervasive, occurring in every sector of society, but also cumulative with effects limited neither to the time nor the particular structural area in which they occur. This process of discrimination, therefore, extends across generations, across organizations, and across social structures in self-reinforcing cycles, passing the disadvantages incurred by one generation in one area to future generations in many related areas.”

“These interrelated components of the discriminatory process share one basic result: the persistent gaps seen in the status of women and minorities relative to that of white males. These unequal results themselves have real consequences.”

Tucker Carlson fails to recognize the context of America’s persistent inequality and fixates on the fiction of “reverse discrimination” to the exclusion of the routine “every day” racism which genuflects to white privilege and grants him two shows on two different networks to disseminate his ignorance to an unsuspecting public.

Lastly, Tucker has a rather odd fascination with the United Church of Christ-or rather Barack Obama’s church. It seems that Obama’s membership in a mainline protestant denomination is troubling to the Episcopalian Carlson. Senator Obama himself has said, “Commitment to God, black community, commitment to the black family, the black work ethic, self-discipline and self-respect. …Those are values that the conservative movement in particular has suggested are necessary for black advancement.” He added, “So I would be puzzled that they would object or quibble with the bulk of a document that basically espouses profoundly conservative values of self-reliance and self-help.”

His attacks on Obama’s “separatist” faith and the black church are tinged with the acceptable racism of snarky disdain and contempt I felt from my white peers many moons ago. Coupled with the right-wing inspired Muslim smear and fear bomb, they are a potent cocktail too strong for the average member of the white working class and bedrock of the GOP coalition.

Thanks be to God that the preppy klansman no longer has two mainstream media perches from which to spew his racist condescension and religious bigotry. I know Grandma is just as pleased as I am. Perhaps now that MSNBC has finally given Tucker the boot, they can find a woman or person of color ” to diversify their all white-male line up.

Bastardizing the Dream: Alveda King

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This is the week set aside in honor of one our own, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Normally a time for celebration, I have come to dread our annual commemoration because of photo-op’s like the one above with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Dr. King’s niece, Alveda King, has fallen off the mountaintop, bumped her damn head, and become a member of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

 

Employed full-time by the religious right, she is an aggressive pro-life activist, minister, and professional public speaker. As she has moved steadily to the right, Alveda has provided political cover and given full license to those who would distort, defame, and destroy the dream of her late Uncle in the name of a fictitious colorblindness that is really white supremacy.

 

A long time opponent of Affirmative Action, she is entangled in a network of right-wing preachers hell bent on destroying the progressive social change that Dr. King fought for. While Dr. King spoke of the power of love and the creation of the beloved community, the glue that holds their little movement together is hatred, homophobia and a fixation with stopping same sex couples who love each other from having the right to marry.

 

In the month of Mrs. King’s death, Alveda participated in “Justice Sunday,” a wingnut gala consisting of the full constellation of reactionary politicians and their talabangelical brethren dedicated to fighting for the confirmation of Bush’s judicial nominees like Samuel Alito. Alito, an archconservative with a history of hostility to civil rights, provided the fifth vote to strike down voluntary Affirmative Action plans in the public schools last year. Weakening the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education without the guts to admit it, Alito and his allies on the court dealt the principle of ending separate but equal education a mortal wound.

 

Among those beating the drums of fascist religiosity with Alveda were Justice Sunday colleagues Tony Perkins, Head of the right-wing Family Research Council and a former Louisiana politician who paid white supremacist and neo-Nazi David Duke for his mailing list, and Jerry Falwell, a former segregationist who smeared Martin Luther King, Jr. as a tool of communists.

During most of Dubya’s first term, he found some way to paw Coretta Scott King in a manner that made my blood boil. Born on the same day as my grandmother two years apart, Mrs. King was always an icon in my household. I would NEVER allow George W. Bush to put his damn hands on my grandmother and I could never understand why Mrs. King visited the White House of a man who stole the Presidency. Her graciousness was always taken advantage of by this White House and she invariably became a colored prop in Dubya’s annual racist stage play of deceit every third Monday in January.

 

My personal favorite was the 2003 King Holiday. Within days of the holiday, the Administration announced a bold frontal assault on Affirmative Action by filing a brief against the Affirmative Action Admissions programs for both the University of Michigan and its School of Law. Writing a powerful Five-to-Four opinion upholding the principle of Affirmative Action, Sandra Day O’Connor ended her twenty years of steady opposition to Affirmative Action programs. Within two years, she resigned from the court only to be replaced by Alveda’s choice, Samuel Alito. It is only a matter of time now before Affirmative Action is destroyed by the Roberts Court.

 

Monday, I kept hearing reports of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee being invited to attend King Day services at Ebenezer Baptist Church by a member of “the King Family.” While not identified, I have a hunch that the black fool in question was Alveda. She was the one sitting next to the presidential contender that told White South Carolina Republicans that they shouldn’t tolerate anybody dictating to them about where, when and how to fly the confederate flag. After desecrating the sanctuary with his presence, Huckabee used the occasion to accept the endorsement of a group of black wingnut preachers, the “Coalition of African American Pastors,” a group Alveda has claimed a board membership of on her website.

 

 

This week, Martin Luther King III, “deeply” concerned about politicians misappropriating the legacy of his father, wrote John Edwards a beautiful letter telling him to keep fighting and stay in the race. If he was truly concerned about folks distorting the dream, he would have stopped his Mama from being used by George W. Bush, stopped his sister Bernice from demonizing gays and lesbians, put his foot down to permit the man who paid for his Daddy’s funeral, Harry Belafonte, to eulogize his mother instead of the ignorant patrician in the White House, and done something to put his cousin Alveda in check.

 

As adherents of the drum major for justice who preached non-violence, it would be unseemly for the members of the King family to take Alveda aside and beat her ass until she remembers what the hell the dream is really about. Nevertheless, let me be the first one to say to the King family that all of black America would happily forgive y’all if you laid down the principles of non-violence temporarily to “lay hands” on Alveda with “the love of the Lord.”

 

I won’t tell nobody and I am quite sure that Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, a King family friend, would help. After all, she has kept her girls outta jail, despite the mess they’ve been involved in, and I’m very sure a discrete word from the mayor to the Po-po would squash it. If Shirley can’t help, somebody can always call Bishop Thomas Weeks, Juanita Bynum’s soon-to-be ex-husband. The way I see it he’ll pop either the question, Alveda, or both.

 

Although I can’t help but lampoon Alveda and make light of this situation for the sake of my fragile sanity, bastardizing Dr. King’s dream is no laughing matter.

FRIDAY OPEN THREAD

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Reading through the Supreme Court opinion of yesterday, I am struck by the whole put upon histrionics that are at the basis of this case. There really is no there-there. There simply is no harm here. Most school districts do not allow the level of choice that both of these districts did-and when they do, they don’t usually honor it 80% of the time.

Again, as previously stated, this is nothing more than an argument about the right of whites to assert white privilege to have whatever they want-whenever they want it. The Court has recognized their right to Equal Protection from diversity or anything else which might inconvenience them. In so doing, it affirms white supremacy and ignores the reality of the re-segregation in k-12 education. We did not get to where we are today by ignoring race and we shall not get to where the Court claims to wish to take us by ignoring it.

Asserting that efforts at preserving diversity are discriminatory is disengenuous at best, but really is just a face-saving method to cloak the destruction of equal opportunity.   Anthony Kennedy’s opinion-which kept Scalito, ThomAss, and Roberts from going all the way is really more frustrating than what the Chief wrote.  While he conceeds the compelling interest of diversity, he removes all the tools necessary to achieve it.

They’ve set up a nice little house of cards that will inevitably fall because of the mess they’ve created. At some point in the future, the Court will swoop down and “save us” from “race consciousness” and declare all types of Affirmative Action unconstitutional, the effect of which, will re-segregate this society, destroy equal opportunity and impose a straight jacket of indifference onto the Constitution.

Tell me your thoughts on this and anything else you wish.

Roberts court overturns Brown v. Board of Education

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The racial reactionaries on the Roberts Court, the ones neither Hillary or Obama could be bothered to aggressively filibuster, have overturned Brown V. Board of Education without tacitly acknowledging that fact.  And have, once again, used the equal protection clause of the constitution, placed there to protect the rights of black folk, to defend white privilege.

The opinion and dissents are here.

The U.S. Senate, in another development, also killed Immigration reform for the year.

Clarence Thomas: White Supremacist in blackface

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Clarence Thomas official.jpg

Hat Tip: Melinda Hennenberger, Huffington Post

WASHINGTON – Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas famously opposes affirmative action, and clearly feels slandered by the suggestion he ever benefited from such a thing.

So, if we no longer need such programs, how’s that working out in Thomas’s own office?

Not well, as it turns out: “Mine happen to be all white males,” Thomas said of his current crop of clerks. “I don’t have quotas.”

When Rep. Jose Serrano, a Democrat from New York, asked about diversity today at a Congressional hearing on the Supreme Court’s budget, it was Justice Anthony Kennedy who answered first: “We’ve made strides,” he said, but there is just tremendous competition for qualified minority law students. “The profession as a whole is very conscious of it, very conscious.”

“Conscious,” Serrano persisted, “but, have we made progress?”

Of the most recent class of 57 clerks, Kennedy answered, only 7 were minority. And the number of women in the group has fallen dramatically, from more than a third to only 17 percent this year.

In a rare interview last week, Thomas told a writer for Business Week that the notion he was recruited to attend the College of Holy Cross because he is black was “a lie. I don’t mean a mistake. It’s a lie.”

After Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, Holy Cross did begin recruiting young black men. But that had nothing to do with his entrance the next year, Thomas said: “A nun suggested Holy Cross. That’s how I wound up there. Your industry has suggested that we were all recruited.”

“That was the creation of the politicians, the people with a lot of mouth and nothing to say, and your industry. Everything becomes affirmative action.”

There are no words that adequately express my contempt for Clarence Thomas and the inimical self-loathing ideology he espouses.  I ain’t got the “Love of the Lord” for him and it is something that I must pray over.  I’m gonna leave it at that before I say somethin’ truly hateful.

Opponents of School Desgregation tell Court: I’m White, I’m Right, let me have my way!

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The Supreme Court heard oral argument today in the most important civil rights case since Gratz v. Bollinger.  The case involves a challenge to voluntary desegregation plans in Louisville, KY and Seattle, WA. The advocates against voluntary desegregation ooze insincerity.  They live in a wingnut fantasyland in which whites are victimized by “reverse discrimination” and pernicious “race consciousness” in which whites are illegally disadvantaged in schools and in the workplace. It is a patently ridiculous argument and downright disingenuous.

Theodore Shaw, Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund has written, “The notion that race-conscious efforts to address racial inequality are racially discriminatory is like telling a physician that she cannot make a diagnosis when treating a disease because the diagnosis equals the disease.  There is no equivalency, moral or legal, between race-conscious attempts to address racial inequality on the one hand, and racial discrimination based in notions of superiority and inferiority on the other.”

The advocates against voluntary desegregation are the same people opposed to affirmative action.  They seek to get the Courts to genuflect to their superior racial position in American society, which is essentially: I’m White, I’m right, let me have my way! Invoking white privilege has gotten them all the way to the Supreme Court and the Justices always affirm this spurious reasoning or meet them halfway.

The truth of the matter is that in most urban locales, whites have abandoned the public school system for reasons, which have nothing to do with educational quality and everything to do with race.  They just don’t see educational quality in public school systems with “too many” black and brown faces.  Voluntary desegregation plans are an attempt to respond to white flight and create racially diverse, high-quality public schools that don’t ghettoize children of color in inferior schools populated by the children of disadvantaged working class people.

It should be noted that the cumulative efforts of the Reagan-Bush Administrations has been to stack the federal courts with right-wing ideologues sympathetic with the fantasy jurisprudence of white victimization. The timid efforts of the Democratic Party to halt the long march of the Right for federal judicial dominance have led us to the dangerous racial precipice we are dangling on today.   What is at stake is the continued life of equal opportunity in this country. The Right believes equal opportunity is synonymous with white privilege and seeks to render us blind to the institutionalized racism against people of color.

Theodore Shaw believes  “The work of racial justice  does not require us to gouge out our eyes so that we cannot see race. The race problem in America has never been mere race-consciousness; it has been White Supremacy. The question is not whether we see race; the question is, having seen it, what is its significance? Having seen it, are we an inclusive or exclusive society? This is not a time for blindness. This is a time for sight.” 

Amen, Brotha.

Memo to George Allen

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Memorandum

TO: George Felix Allen, Jr.

FR: Skeptical Brotha

RE: Your obvious and unapologetic racism

I’ve got a bright idea George. How about you hold a press conference to address the allegations of your obvious and unapologetic racism surrounded by colored folks? What do you say? I am sure there is a plethora of right-wing Negroes willing and able to prostitute themselves once again to benefit a racist of your presidential stature.

 

Whom should you invite, you say? Well, for starters, I think you should invite some of those crackheads that endorsed Michael Steele last week. You know, for authenticity. Then you could send out a desperate S.O.S. to some of the black fools who’ve worked for you: Kay Coles James and the President’s personal shoplifter, Claude Allen. Claude who, you say? You know, he was Bush’s domestic policy advisor and the homophobic wingnut you tried to appoint to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. I am sure they can vouch for you in the most unbelievable fashion possible.

We cannot forget to invite the homegrown fools: Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey and State Senator Bennie Lambert. They’ve already embarrassed themselves before God and man by endorsing you already. Speaking of embarrassing Negroes, we cannot forget to invite Dr. Walter Williams, the hateful black conservative Economics professor atGeorge Mason University. There is a treasure trove of self-loathing Negro academics out there to choose from. You can extend invitations to Affirmative Action opponents Thomas Sowell, former Ambassador Allen Keyes, Shelby Steele, and last but not least, John McWhorter.

We should probably add some of the black battering rams against Affirmative Action you’ve voted to give federal appointments to. People like those Bush appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: Peter Kirsanow and Gerald Reynolds, and Ashley Taylor, They’ve done an excellent job of doing nothing. You should also invite Ralph Boyd, the former assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights who helped gut proper enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

 

Oh, my Lord. I almost forgot the religious right. We cannot forget them. We must not forget to invite that detestable slave girl on Pat Robertson’s plantation. She is the perfect one to inject a note of false religiosity. Preachers, you say? Yes, absolutely. You can invite that malevolent handkerchief head, Bishop Harry Jackson. He’s the guy that is so worried about same-sex marriage to the exclusion of damn near everything else that ails the black community. To the mix, we cannot forget to add Dr. Martin Luther King’s confused niece, Alveda King. She’s been bastardizing the dream for some time now.

 

If any of these people won’t accept your invitation you can always threaten to get President Bush to declare them enemy combatants and lock them up at Guantanamo.

 

 

Venue, you say? I think one of those black colleges you’ve helped so damn much by voting to cut $12 billion in student loans funds. Another perfect venue would be a plantation, near the slave quarters. That would definitely set the right tone.

The press conference should begin with y’all marching smartly to the dias with the group dressed in period slave attire and wearing blackface. After an ungrammatical opening prayer by Pat Robertson’s slave girl and a Negro spiritual warbled by Kay Coles James, preferably “nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen”, you can announce the formation of “Minstrels for George Allen,” to be chaired by the President’s personal shoplifter, Claude Allen and co-chaired by your number one Democratic sycophant, State Senator Bennie Lambert.

After another negro spiritual, you can begin the testimonials of praise. The minstrels can then sing the praises of good ole’ “Mr. George” and how good you are to the nigras. After a buckdance by Walter Williams and John McWhorter, you can begin your prepared statement disavowing any harmful intent by using the N-Word.

A surprise special guest, Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy can be brought to the podium to explain how inoffensive and common place the N-word really is. Then comes the real business at hand, the game of distraction. Alan Keyes, Harry Jackson, and Thomas Sewell can all give rambling discourses on the evils of same-sex marriage and the black family. They can reiterate your persistent opposition to the gay agenda and end their rambling talk with another word of ungrammatical prayer for you, “the man of God.”

The press conference can close with an upbeat musical number “carry me back to old virginny.”

Carry me back to old Virginny,
There’s where the cotton and the corn and tatoes grow,
There’s where the birds warble sweet in the springtime,
There’s where the old darke’ys heart am long’d to go,
There’s where I labored so hard for old massa,
Day after day in the field of yellow corn,
No place on earth do I love more sincerely
Than old Virginny, the state where I was born.

 

Whatever you do, for God sake, don’t take any questions from the assembled media.