Today’s Political Developments

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Following the surprise announcement of Senator Trent Lott’s resignation, his successor has been revealed. After much speculation, most of it ludicrous, such as the appointment of an African American, Mississippi Republican Governor Haley Barbour named Congressman Roger Wicker, a north Mississippi Republican, to Trent Lott’s vacant seat in the U.S. Senate. The White Citizens Council is presumably pleased.

Although the presence of racial discrimination and an undying fealty to the principles of the confederacy and white supremacy remain unabated, Congressman Wicker, in the face of unrefutable evidence that it is still needed, voted to gut the re-extension of the Voting Rights Act of 2006 by voting for a series of GOP amendments designed to make the act unconstitutional and unenforceable.

This follows the time honored tradition of southern white politicians of both parties paying lip service to the cause of voting rights and frustrating its implementation at every opportunity. The African American citizens of Kilmichael, Mississippi, in 2oo1, were treated to disgusting display of segregationist shit when city elections were postponed on the eve of the election, in violation of state and federal law, because it appeared to white city fathers that African American candidates were going to win.

There is no bigoted southern stereotype that Mississippi has not earned. According to the Leadership Council for Civil Rights, “The entire state of Mississippi is required to submit all voting changes to the Department of Justice (DOJ) before enacting them because the state for so long consistently and aggressively denied blacks the right to vote. Since 1969, DOJ has objected 169 times to voting changes in Mississippi–112 of which occurred after the 1982 reauthorization.”

“Many of DOJ’s objections involved efforts to dilute minority voting strength, mostly by creating majority-white districts or changing election procedures to favor white candidates. Because of repeated DOJ objections to these redistricting plans, Mississippi has had at least one black representative in Congress since 1986.”

“McDuff concludes that Mississippi has a long way to go before voters in black-white elections cast their vote based on non-racial factors. For example, in the 2003 State Treasurer election Gary Anderson, the director of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, lost the election with 47 percent of the vote to a 29-year-old white candidate with no experience beyond working in a bank. Of the 57 majority-white counties, Anderson won only 18 and lost 39.”

“In addition, federal observers have been sent to monitor Mississippi elections on 250 separate occasions since the 1982 reauthorization, the most for any state. Mississippi accounts for 40 percent of the overall elections to which federal observers have been sent since 1982.”


He supported every questionable judicial nomination put forward by the Bush Administration, for example, Judge Charles Pickering, a long time GOP activist opposed unanimously by the Congressional Black Caucus. According to Roger Wicker, “While I was in college, Charles Pickering was one of the bright new faces in the
Mississippi Republican Party, Wicker said. “He’s been so progressive and so courageous in the area of equal rights for all that it is so unfortunate and so unfair that he’s been accused of being otherwise.”


But Pickering, according to Salon.com, “Instead of “trying to
establish better race relations” in the 1960s, Pickering worked to support segregation, attack civil rights advocates who sought to end Jim Crow, and back those who opposed national civil rights legislation, above all the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Or, in the words of a public statement he signed in 1967, Pickering wanted to preserve “our southern way of life,” and he bitterly blamed civil rights workers for stirring up “turmoil and racial hatred” in the South.”

 

Back in the day, when Judge Pickering was a politician, state senator and a lawyer in private practice, he teamed up to practice law with a segregationist, former Lt. Governor Carroll Gartin. As I am sure y’all are aware, I have a low tolerance for bullshit and an even lower tolerance for bastards like Pickering and their enbablers that don’t have the courage to tell the world that they still support white supremacy. Having come from Mississippi stock, I am always a bit touchy about their blatant racism.

Also, the New York Times is reporting that New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is fixing to cock block Barack Obama or John Edwards should they be successful in knocking the Queen off her throne. This is a significant development. Bloomberg, a billionaire, is prepared to spend a record shattering billion to claim the imperial throne. He made noise earlier in the year that he would forgo a bid should the Queen and Giuliani make it to the finish line. I guess his high profile meeting with Obama some weeks back ain’t go well despite the favorable publicity it generated. The centrist non-partisan smokescreen his operatives and their willing political hacks are putting forth are not credible in the least. Bloomberg is prepared to make Ross Perot look cheap.

Meanwhile, the Iowa Caucuses are Thursday, nobody has a lead and its all just a sophisticated ground war now. The Washington Post catches us up on the tactics of Obama, and the rest of the pack in these closing days. Brotha has as good a shot as any at this point, contrary to my pessimistic assessments earlier in the year and that is an impressive achievement. Lastly, the fourth quarter ends today and I expect to hear some numbers soon from the candidates although I don’t know if we’ll hear anything before caucus day.

Trent Lott officially resigns from the U.S. Senate

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After 35 years in the U.S. Congress, Mississippi Republican Trent Lott officially stepped down from the U.S. Senate last night after casting a series of late votes.  Once at the pinnacle of power as Senate Majority Leader, he is famous for saying at former Segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday party “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmod ran for president, we voted for him.  We’re proud of it.  And if the rest of the country had followed our (racist) lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems (Uppity Nigra’s) over all these years, either.” He leaves the Senate to pursue other interests-presumably, as has been reported, a lucrative gig on K street as a lobbyist, corporate whore, and free lance segregationist.   Mississippi’s right-wing governor, Haley Barbour, has a self-imposed ten day deadline to huddle with GOP grand dragons and select another pinstripe Klansman to replace Lott. 

Mitt Romney’s Faith in America Speech (re-written)

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Banner 6.11.07

As prepared for Delivery at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library, December 6, 2007

Thank you, Mr. President, for your kind introduction.

It is an honor to be here today. This is an inspiring place because of you and the First Lady and because of the exaggerated film propping up your fragile ego exhibited across the way in the Presidential library. For those who have not seen it, it shows the President as a young pilot in a segregated unit, shot down during the Second World War, being rescued from his life-raft by the crew of an American submarine.

It is a moving reminder that when America has faced challenge and peril, Americans rise to the occasion, willing to risk their very lives to defend white anglo-saxon protestant privilege and preserve our economic and political supremacy. We are in your debt. Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, your generation rose to the occasion, first to defeat Fascism, and first to incorporate its ruthless cruelty and amoral ideology to unapologetically crush European style democratic socialism. You left us, your children, an ignorant, strong, and jingoistic America. It is why we call yours the greatest generation. It is now my generation’s turn. How we respond to today’s challenge to defend white anglo-saxon protestant privilege will define our generation. And it will determine what kind of America we will leave our children, and theirs.

America faces a new generation of challenges. Radical violent Islamofascists seek to destroy us. An emerging yellow peril in China endeavors to surpass our economic leadership. And we are troubled at home by government overspending on unproductive black welfare cheats, overuse of foreign oil, and the invasion of our borders by illegal aliens.

Over the last year, we have embarked on a national debate on how best to preserve white anglo-saxon privilege. Today, I wish to address a topic, which I believe is fundamental to America’s greatness: our shallow religiosity. I will also offer perspectives on how I would use faith to pander to and trick bigoted, anti-Morman evangelicals into giving me the Presidency. 

There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us. If so, they are at odds with the nation’s founders, for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings of the Creator to enslave the African and kill the Indian. And further, they discovered the essential connection between the survival of white supremacy and the promotion of theocracy.

Fascism requires the complicity of religious zealots just as religious zealotry requires fascism. Fascism opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs in communion with a God that validates his evil. Fascism and religious zealotry endure together, or perish alone. Given our grand tradition of religiosity and faux liberty, some wonder whether there are any questions regarding an aspiring candidate’s religion that are appropriate. I believe there are. And I will answer them today.

Almost 50 years ago another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was a right-wing anti-communist war hawk running for President, not a Catholic running for President. Like him, I am right-wing anti-communist war hawk running for President. Unlike him, I define my candidacy by a phony profession of religiosity. A person should not be elected unless he is willing to shamelessly pander to right-wing people of faith.

Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert visible influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, exercised secretly within the nefarious province of religious institutional back channels, and it ends wherever the limitations of their imaginations begin.

As Governor, I tried to position myself to run for President as best I knew how, serving my ambition and subverting the Constitution. I openly comingled the particular teachings of my church with the obligations of the office and of the Constitution – and of course, I would unapologetically do so as President. I am not above using any doctrine of any church to obtain the plain power of the office to subvert the sovereign authority of the law.

As a young man, Karl Rove described what he called America’s ‘political religion’ – God, Guns, and Gays. When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my ticket to unlimited power. If I am fortunate to become your President, I will serve no one religion, no one group, and no one cause, except white anglo-saxon protestant privilege. A President must serve only the common cause of the white people of the United States.

There are some for whom these commitments are not enough. They would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith and I sometimes endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers – I will be as true to them and to my beliefs as the political expediency of this campaign will allow.

Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, they can kiss my grits. But I think they underestimate the shallow stupidity of the American people. Americans claim not to respect believers of convenience but never seem to tire of voting for those who would jettison their beliefs, even to gain the world.

There is one fundamental question about which I often am asked. What do I believe about Jesus Christ? The answer that I am required to give to be elected is that I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. I say that to distract you about the fact that my church’s beliefs about Christ may not be the same as those of other faiths.  I will then appeal to our country’s fake tradition of religious tolerance after reassuring you that what I believe isn’t all that different from the theology of the evangelical rubes I need to win the nomination.

There are some who would have a Republican presidential candidate describe and explain his church’s distinctive doctrines, which enables the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution. However, the reality is that no non-believer will ever be nominated by the Republican Party.  And if the besotted wingnut we eventually nominate ever becomes President, you all better get on your knees and pray.  

I believe that every GOP candidate I have encountered claims to be closer to God than me. And in every candidate in my party I have come to know, there are features in each I wish were in my own: I love the profound and shameless hypocrisy of the Catholic adulterer Giuliani, the slick Willie approachability of the Evangelical Huckabee, the lazy spirit of the Pentecostal Thompson, the confident fanaticism of the libertarian Ron Paul, the ancient Episcopalian McCain, unchanged through the ages, and the endless commitment to the frequent, fruitless prayer to God for the miracle it will take to elect Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter or any one of us for that matter.

As I travel across the country and see our towns and cities, I am always moved by the many houses of worship with their steeples, all pointing to heaven, reminding us of the source of our electoral bread and butter.It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the Republicans in America, we share a common creed of amoral religiosity. And where the affairs of our nation are concerned, it’s usually a sound rule to focus on the latter – on the vacuous religious principles that urge us all on a common course.

Whether it was the cause of abolishing Affirmative Action, or denying America’s racist holocaust, no movement of false conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the racial delusions of white people.

We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for no good reason. Religion should dictate to the state and no state should interfere with the free practice of theocracy. The secular humanists are intent on driving religion from the public square and they are wrong. The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square.  

We are one nation ‘Under a greedy capitalist God’ and in God, we do indeed trust. We should begrudgingly acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders – in word but not in deed. God should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of historical propaganda, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places.  

Our greatness would not long endure without the respect earned by our cluster bombing warmongering, upon which our political power as a nation rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any non-white Christians, but I will not separate us from ‘the God who’s blind to our tyranny.’ Nor would I separate us from our religious heritage.

Perhaps the most important question to ask a person of faith who seeks a political office, is this: does he share these American values: a fealty to helping the rich escape taxation, the obligation to serve the fascist power structure, and a steadfast commitment to white supremacy?  They are not unique to any one conservative. They belong to the great amoral indifference we hold in common. They are the firm ground on which Republicans of different faiths meet and stand as a fascist theocracy, united.

We believe that every single white human being is a child of God – we are all part of God’s chosen people.  The conviction of the inherent and inalienable worth of every white life is still the most elementary political proposition ever advanced.  Trent Lott put it, “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”   

White Americans acknowledge that white privilege is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government. No people in the history of the world have sacrificed so many for privilege. The lives of hundreds of thousands of America’s sons and daughters were laid down during the last century to preserve white supremacy, for us and for freedom loving Europeans throughout the world.

America obviously learned nothing from that Century’s terrible wars. –Which is probably why we let the ignorant patrician in the White House lie us into a quagmire in Iraq. America‘s resolve in the defense of false religiosity has been tested time and again. It has not been found wanting, nor must it ever be. America must never falter in holding high the banner of fascist theocracy.

These American values, this great amoral heritage, is shared and lived in my religion as it is in yours. I was taught in my home to honor God and love my neighbors. I ignored my father marching with Martin Luther King. I forgot my parents provide compassionate care to others, in personal ways to people nearby, and in just as consequential ways in leading national volunteer movements. Totally ignoring my parents noblesse oblige, I am now deeply moved by George Herbert Walker Bush’s broken pledge:  Read my lips: No new Taxes.     

My faith is grounded on these truths. You can witness them in Ann and my sickening “Father Knows Best” marriage and in our family. We are a long way from perfect, I don’t think Ann has ever had an orgasm, and we have surely stumbled along the way, but our aspirations, our values, are the self-same as those Republicans from the other faiths that stand upon this common, porous foundation of phony religiosity. And these convictions will indeed deform my presidency.

Today’s generations of Republicans have always known of a Bush in the White House. Perhaps we forget the long and arduous path the Bushes took to achieve it. They came here to Texas from Connecticut to seek freedom from patrician obligation. Upon finding it for themselves, they ran for office in the longest quest for dynastic power in the nation’s history.  

After twelve years of supply-side mismanagement, they found themselves out of power. Eager to get back in the game and repulsed by her liberal beliefs, Ann Richards was destroyed to make way for Dubya and she was exiled from Texas so the fortunate son could propel himself from Austin to D.C.   As a former governor of Massachusetts and the father of five sons, perhaps I can install one of my boys in the White House just like the ignorant patrician’s daddy did for him.   

It was in Houston that founding father Bush defined a revolutionary vision of dynastic power, grounded in self evident truths about the supremacy of oil, and the inalienable right to plunder the world in search of it, which is endowed by the Creator.  We cherish these sacred rights, and secure them by shredding the Constitutional order.In such a fluid campaign, I am deeply thankful that we live in a land where hypocrisy and religiosity are friends and allies in the cause of fascist theocracy, joined against the evils and dangers of another Clinton presidency.

And you can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, had better do it with one eye open because I am liable to say or do anything to win this race. In that spirit, let us give thanks to the divine ‘author of liberty.’ And together, let us pray that this land may always be blessed with a nuclear arsenal capable of annihilating our enemies.  

God bless the United States of Hypocrisy. 

 

Trent Lott, Mississippi Sissy

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The other shoe has dropped and its a doosy:  the growing and swirling gay-escort scandal surrounding Senator Trent Lott.  I had no idea, although, looking back, the man is way to fastidious and prissy not to be suspect.  The way wingnuts demagogue gay issues is really a form of political inoculation to keep suspicious eyes from wandering into their closets.  This is the best possible development, a wonderful ending to the pinstripe klansman’s horrible career, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.   Anybody got some popcorn?

ADDENDUM:  Huffington Post and BlogActive, the leading out-the-hypocrites website, are throwing cold water all over this rumor masquerading as a legitmate story on the Big Head DC website and others.    It now appears that this isn’t true at all but a vicious rumor.   Too bad.

Hat Tip: Cleveland Leader

Earlier today, Senator Trent Lott (R-MS), announced that he would resign from the Senate by the end of the year. Lott, a former college cheerleader at Ole’ Miss, claims that he would like to leave on a “positive note”, ” after winning re-election last year to a leadership post and fostering legislation for rebuilding the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. However, one can’t help but wonder if there is some other reason behind the abrupt decision.

Later on Monday, a Washington D.C. blog, Big Head DC, made the claim that Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt had uncovered a connection between Lott and an openly gay male escort by the name of Benjamin Nicholas.

Nicholas so far hasn’t admitted to sleeping with Lott, but he hasn’t exactly denied it either. “Here’s my public comment, on-the-record: Sen. Lott and I have no current affiliation with one another. I’m sure he would appreciate no further scrutiny,” said Nicholas.

If Nicholas’ name sounds familiar, there’s good reason. He previously spoke out against Ted Haggard’s boy toy, Mike Jones, for airing the preacher’s dirty laundry and “breaking” an unwritten escort code of silence and betraying his client’s right to privacy.

Considering his feelings on the Haggard situation, it makes sense that he would not publicly admit or reveal any information. It is also very curious that Big Head DC mentioned that Hustler was working on this story, especially considering that Larry Flynt promised us a new GOP gay sex scandal coming soon.

At this point it is all pure speculation, and if Hustler is in fact about to reveal Lott and some gay romps with a male escort, well we’re sure to find out soon enough. But consider this: who, after spending millions of dollars seeking re-election, leaves in the middle of their term for any reason other than a scandal, health condition, or personal situation?

Trent Lott steps down from Senate

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Yesterday, surrounded by friends, family and his GOP Klavern, Mississippi Senator Trent Lott announced his retirement from the U.S. Senate by the end of the year.   Lott, a 66 year-old segregationist from Pascagoula, Mississippi, spent 35 years in the U.S. Congress serving in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.   His repeated attempts to repeal the twentieth century and the thirteenth amendmendment to the U.S. Constitution proved unsuccessful.

A corporate whore with no peer, Lott hopes to feather his nest as a Washington lobbyist. During his downtime, perhaps the pinstripe Klansman can build a monument to his ego which commemorates his achievements in preserving white supremacy. How bout The Jefferson Davis-Strom Thurmond-Trent Lott Senate Library. Sounds good to me. 

Mississippi state flag

A recipe for indifference

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I love cooking shows and the Food Network.  I’ve been bothered by the lack of ethnic diversity on the channel, but I am buoyed by creative and cheerful southern cooks and restaurateurs like Paula Deen.   Miss Paula is probably my favorite. People with her charm and warmth are part of what make living in the south tolerable.   Her recipes are full of rich ingredients and served with love.    It’s more than just cooking for Miss Paula; it’s almost her way of saying thank you to God for the many blessings he’s bestowed, and for the comfort of good food, good friends, and close family.   

Fine dining is a combination of all of those important ingredients and she understands that intuitively.  Like entertaining and fine dining, column writing is an art.  Among the ingredients of good column writing:  a sense of humor, a strong vocabulary, and the ability to tell a story.    George Will, the conservative Washington Post Columnist that also has a gig on ABC’s public affairs program, “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” is reputed to be a columnist of legendary prowess.   

He and other conservatives have overplayed the sanctimony in their crocodile tear commentary over the last several years.  We’ve been consistently treated to well coordinated campaigns of right–wing talking points while they’ve been surreptitiously engaged in a long ideological march to remake our courts in their overwhelmingly white, right-wing and indifferent image.   George Will’s latest Sunday column is no different.  However, along with a dash of tasty hypocrisy and indifference, he also adds some special ingredients: fantasy and prevarication. 

Will measured the ingredients in his column to deliberately poison people like me with severe allergies to white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.  Will’s foils this week are liberals, and by extension, Barack Obama.  Obama announced his “opposition” to the Leslie Southwick nomination some time back.  As I’ve said before, he must do a helluva lot more than issue a press release to stop my criticism. He gon’ hafta do some heavy lifting’ instead of going through the motions of opposition as he usually does.  

Anyhoo, Will does a great job of minimizing the racial insensitivity of this nomination and this nominee.  He has the audacity to criticize African American critics of this nomination and dismisses out of hand the fact that only one African American sits on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and more than 37 percent of Mississippians are African American, Will says, “This “diversity” argument suggests that courts should be considered representative institutions, like legislatures, and that the theory of categorical representation is valid: people of a particular race, ethnicity or gender can be understood and properly represented only by people of that same category.”   

I hate taking mofo’s to school, but I’m forced to in this instance. First, Will’s argument with respect to the courts not being representative institutions, like legislatures, is totally, and completely disingenuous.  We all know that for purposes of ideology, the makeup of the courts are methodically tracked by liberals and conservatives alike and any omission that fails to recognize this constitutes hypocrisy.    

According to the Alliance for Justice,  “Judge Southwick’s views are especially critical because the Fifth Circuit has been subject to extraordinary partisan engineering: during the Clinton administration the Republican Senate blocked two moderate nominees to that court to hold seats open for the next president. For one of the seats, President Clinton first submitted a nominee in mid-1997; for the other he submitted a nominee in early 1999.”   

“Indeed, Judge Southwick’s home state Senator Trent Lott stated about the Senate’s role in confirming Clinton judges: “Do I have any apologies? Only one: I probably moved too many judicial nominations already.” Benefiting from this obstructionism, President Bush exploited the opportunity to appoint deeply conservative judges like Priscilla Owen and Edith Brown Clement to the court.”  

Second, there is the issue of this nominee’s more ominous rulings regarding employment discrimination.  The Richmond v. Mississippi Dep’t of Human Services, case is instructive of Southwick’s views on racial discrimination. Again, the Alliance for Justice, Bonnie Richmond, a social worker for the Mississippi Department of Human Services was fired when, at a meeting that included top agency executives, she used a racial slur, referring to an African American co-worker(who was not present at the meeting) as a “good ole n*****.” The Mississippi Court of Appeals, in a 5-4 decision joined by Judge Southwick, upheld the Mississippi Employee Appeals Board’s decision to reinstate her.   

“The majority found that, taken in context, this slur was an insufficient ground to terminate her employment, because there was no specific rule she violated, because it “was not motivated out of racial hatred or racial animosity directed toward a particular co-worker or toward blacks in general,” and because it did not give rise to workplace problems other than offending the coworker who was called a “n*****.”   

“Two of the dissenters, deeply troubled by the majority’s preoccupation with context and its failure to acknowledge the “inherent offensive [ness]” of the slur, observed: “The … majority opinion seems[s] to suggest that absent evidence of a near race riot, the remark is too inconsequential to serve as a basis of dismissal. Such a view requires a level of myopia inconsistent with facts and reason.”  

This legal analysis fascinates me because it seeks to minimize the power of the most inflammatory racial epithet in the lexicon.  It is disingenuous in the extreme to rule that the Mississippi Department of Human Services had no legal basis for terminating her.  They damn sure did and the fact that everyone in that room was white should speak volumes.  This remark was reported by high-ranking white executives in the agency and they called Bonnie Richmond on her bullshit.  They fired her ass as they shoulda done.   

Southwick, and a majority on the court of Appeals, ruled, in effect, that whites exercising the prerogatives of state power never have the right to use it to defend the rights of African Americans.  Had Bonnie Richmond made a covert anti-Semitic remark, or had the shoe been on the other foot, and a black used a racial epithet toward a white co-worker, we wouldn’t even need to have this discussion. George Will consciously participates in the misidentification of the victim in this case as a man, which so far has turned up twice, in both the Post and the Wall Street Journal. I suppose calling a woman a N***** behind her back is politically less palatable and mean spirited.   

The post-hearing report by the Alliance for Justice reveals, “In response to a written question posed by Senator Durbin (D-IL), Judge Southwick indicated that he could not find a single non-unanimous case, of the more than 7000 opinions that he wrote or joined, in which he voted in favor of a civil rights plaintiff or wrote a dissent on behalf of a plaintiff.”  

What we have here, in the selection of judges like Southwick, and the failed nominations of Michael Wallace and Charles Pickering for the same seat, is a continuation of the patterns of discriminatory intent and the conscious and deliberate support of white supremacy that Mississippi Senators have engaged in from time immemorial.   

Widener University Law Professor Mary Ellen Maatman, in a stunning article, “Speaking Truth to Memory: Lawyers and resistance to the end of white supremacy,” wrote, “The stark truth is more complicated and unpleasant. Lawyers built the systems of disfranchisement and segregation that rendered Deep South African Americans second-class citizens. When those systems were threatened, lawyers fought to sustain them. From the White primary’s end in 1944 until the overturn of miscegenation laws in 1967, a cadre of elite Deep South lawyers and judges used a remarkably consistent rhetoric to defend White Supremacy by opposing Black suffrage, the Fair Deal, desegregation, federal civil rights legislation, and legalization of interracial marriage.” 

 “For these lawyers, opposition to legally mandated racial equality arose from their knowledge that White Supremacy in the Deep South depended on the twin pillars of de jure disfranchisement and segregation. This understanding, coupled with an undying belief in White Supremacy’s tenets, drove their work before and after they led massive resistance to Brown. Indeed, their resistance to Brown was but one part of a long legal campaign for restoration of the White Supremacy and embedment of supremacist assumptions in “the law of the land.” In short, they wanted to ensure that African American “inferiority”would be inscribed in American “hearts and minds”—and the law—“in a way unlikely ever to be undone.”  

Maatman argues that this bitter history of opposition should be viewed as a whole.  In this way, Judge Southwick’s unwillingness to see discrimination in the jury selection of black defendants, his willingness to punish black defendants for striking hostile white jurors for cause, and his mistreatment of a gay parent in a child custody case-makes perfect sense.  Mississippi’s judiciary clearly has different strokes for different folks and the arbitrary and capricious star-chamber quality of its administration of justice merit the strictest scrutiny.    

Instead of acknowledging the truth, Will stoops to call out Obama for his tepid opposition as if he’s an errant child, and defends the elevation of white supremacy and homophobia to constitutional legal principles fit to defend “Why does Obama think Southwick should have ruled differently in the two Mississippi cases? Because he thinks Southwick applied the law inappropriately? Or because he does not like the result? Obama is seeking the office from which federal judges are nominated.  Southwick explained himself, in writings and testimony to the Senate.  Now Obama has explaining to do.”  

Along with Obama’s explanation of his tepid opposition to the Southwick nomination, George Will needs to explain why he continues to stir the pot of racial indifference and homophobia and willingly serves it up to the public as something wholesome.

 

Dixie Dianne’s Betrayal

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Dianne Feinstein The Battle Flag of the Confederacy 

Some Democratic Senators are lackluster, some are unreliable, and some, like Dianne Feinstein, are unpredictable.  Civil Rights groups like People for the American Way and the Alliance for Justice were blindsided Thursday when Feinstein voted for another of Trent Lott’s Brooks Brothers suited racists to assume a lifetime appointment to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

People for the American Way, The Alliance for Justice, and The Leadership Conference for Civil Rights can usually be depended upon to bring their A game and effectively rally folk to block bigots of this caliber.  They failed this time. However, the fight isn’t over.  There is the option to mount a filibuster on the floor; the problem is that once nominations are reported out of committee, they become harder to kill.

 

For unfathomable reasons, Dianne Feinstein has made a deal with the Devil and punched the ticket for one of his malevolent minions to serve for life as a federal judge.  For a San Francisco Democrat, there is nothing liberal about cutting deals with a man who reveres segregationists and longs for the good ole days of massive resistance. 

All of this for a judge who makes light of the fact that he ordered the reinstatement of a white female state employee that called a black female co-worker, “a good ole nigger.”  As I’ve said before, there is no circumstance where it is ever acceptable for a white person to call a black person a nigger in freakin’ Mississippi.  Never.  For this betrayal, I shall resurrect the moniker given to her by local Marxists during a dispute over the confederate flag flying at the civic center in San Francisco: Dixie Dianne.

During her tenure as Mayor of San Francisco, the Marxists had the temerity to oppose the flying of the confederate flag because it is a symbol of hate and white supremacy and they cut down the flagpole rather than allow her to have the flag hoisted up again.  

African Americans are a beleaguered but cohesive minority in California and it is time for the progressives in our community to let Dianne know how we feel about her collusion with the enemy.  If you live in California, you can call her Senate Offices at 202 224 2841.  This should be Dixie Dianne’s last term given her advanced age, but if she runs one mo’gin in 2012, somebody should primary her.

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Dixie Dianne’s betrayal has had one fortuitous consequence.  She has provided the Democratic frontrunners in this contest one more opportunity to prove their progressive fealty or their politically expedient treachery.  Judge Southwick’s nomination is coming to the Senate floor whether we like it or not. If the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Majority Leader green light a filibuster, it will happen.  Even if they don’t concur, Hillary and Barack have the power to force one.  We will see if they oppose this bastard because they have too or because his nomination is an offensive stench in the nostrils of freedom loving people everywhere.

Reading an obligatory statement into the record will not do.  Voting against cloture will not do.   Putting up an aggressive fight and making several lengthy statements on the floor and to the media that make it clear that their opposition is not merely for show; and their active and visible participation in floor strategy that kills this nomination, that’s what we must demand. 

I’ve had family in Mississippi since about 1840.  My mother’s family was enslaved on the Watkins and Dove plantations near Newton and Jasper counties.  This fight is personal for me.  Upon entering Mississippi, one notices the distinct smell of oppression in the air.  It is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced if you weren’t raised in the south.  Just a few days in Mississippi changed me in ways I still can’t explain.  What black people have endured over the course of the state’s history is really mind blowing.  Elevating another instrument and facilitator of that same oppression will not be tolerated.  Enough is enough.