Harold Ford, Jr. on election day chats up the good-ole boys in front of Rebel Flag

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It takes a truly opportunistic, self-loathing, black whore to pose in front of a confederate battle flag on the day you’re asking voters to make history and elect you the first African American elected to the Senate from the deep south. The picture says it all, don’t ya think? I missed this photo in all the hoopla surrounding election day and my own activities pushing my candidate, in the pouring rain, at my polling place. The photo focuses my rage unlike anything else this craven, corporate shill has done. The symbolism should speak volumes to the African American community that was deceived into seeing his candidacy as a historic ray of hope.

To say that the Confederate flag is a divisive symbol understates its inflammatory power. As a black southerner, Harold Ford, Jr. understands what this flag means. Every generation of his family and mine have been oppressed under it’s divisive perch atop the Capitols of every southern state in the union.  Indeed, this flag, and its accompanying confederate monuments, combine to form racist monuments to white supremacy in every former state of the confederacy that remain to this day.

During the funeral rites for Coretta Scott King at the Georgia State Capitol, it took everything I had to stand there and be silently assaulted by a massive bronze statue at the capitol’s entrance to Georgia Senator Tom Watson, a Klansman and anti-Semite who whipped up a lynch mob to murder a jewish man who had been falsely accused of murdering a child.

It is supremely ironic for Mrs. King, a woman revered for her fight against bigotry and racial intolerance to have been honored in a building dedicated to the preservation of the divisive legacy of the confederacy.  I would have gone anywhere to have honored her, but it was a bitter pill to endure being in a place saturated with hate.

For Harold Ford, Jr to display a disingenuous affinity for such venues, which are saturated in that same hate, is an insult to every drum major for justice who fought and died to make his reality possible. He insults the intelligence of both blacks and whites who understand full well the nature of his pandering. 

From the Anti-Defamation League “Although the flag is seen by some Southerners simply  as a symbol of Southern pride, it is often used by racists to represent white domination of African Americans. The flag remains a subject of controversy because some Southern states still fly the flag from public buildings or incorporate it into their state flag’s design. The flag is also used by racists as an alternative to the American flag, which they consider to be an emblem of what they describe as the Jewish-controlled government.”

Harold Ford, Jr sold his soul to the right-wing during the course of this campaign. His campaign platform was nearly identical to his Republican opponent. In order to win, he pandered to the basest elements in the white psyche, just like his opponent.  With just 16% of the Tennessee electorate black, he needed every white vote he could get. In the process, he deliberately decided to give aid and comfort to those who revered the symbols of the confederacy. A government, that in the words of Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens, “is founded upon…;its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery–subordination to the superior race–is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

Every soul that has ever prayed for me and beseeched God for my generation to be free, rise up and demand that I denounce him as the traitor to the race that he is.

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11 thoughts on “Harold Ford, Jr. on election day chats up the good-ole boys in front of Rebel Flag

  1. William

    Come on. I would hardly call that a “posing” shot. It was obviously caught by a press photographer whose editor, like you, picked up on the irony and ran with it. I dislike a lot about Ford (i like some as well) but I think your hatred of him is a little over the top.

    Still, i like your blog. You write good stuff.

  2. Rikyrah

    Awe Skeptical Brotha,

    this is old news. I thought you were posting about his little ‘ chat’ with Wolf Blitzer tonight on CNN. I didn’t get to see it and was hoping you had and was reporting on it.

    This picture is priceless, though.

  3. Rikyrah,

    I read the transcript and there really is nothing there except self-serving happy talk. He is running again. Probably against Senator Lamar Alexander whose approval rating is 46% approve-42% disapprove. The transcript is on the situation room.

  4. This is not surprising since he is a Blue Dog Democrat. I’m glad he lost. I’m sick and tired of these self loathing Negroes who are against the very thing that allowed them to prosper.

  5. Can’t say I was sorry to see Ford lose, although my brother and sister-in-law who live in Tenn., voted for him.

    And yes, I agree with Cynthia and pray that Bennie Lambert gets a primary challenger ALA Donna Edwards with Wynn in Maryland. He’s the Virginia state senator who endorsed racist George Felix ‘Macaca’ Allen, Jr.

    With 90 percent of black voters supporting Jim Webb in Virginia, it sure looks like they weren’t fooled by Lambert, just as they weren’t fooled by Steele in Maryland, Blackwell in Ohio and Swann in Pennsylvania; and yes, unfortunately, with Ford in Tennesee as well.

    Given a chance to vote for the white guy or a person of color, a majority of whites will vote for Whitey. To make up the difference, blacks need to run to their base like Wilder did in Virginia when he won the governor’s race.

    That’s my two-cents worth.

  6. Yeah, I gotta say you get a bit over the top with the attacks on Jr. It’s simple politics; anyone, black or white running for statewide office in TN has to run as a blue dogger or else not have a chance. Now, be Black, and a member of a family who people tend to reflexively hate on name recognition alone?

    As a party, Democrats can’t afford this scorched earth battle between the centrists and the progressives. It will kill the party in the long term.

    Now, there is a real third way, however I wonder if people will really want to get behind pushing for proportional representation, or will they rather just battle for control of the Democratic party? The former would be tough in this country with two entrenched political parties who have basically taken control of the electoral process. The latter may well see the Dems relegated to the party of the also rans.

  7. Mark,

    All I can say is if it was you, would you disrespect your beautiful family by posing with, and pretending to not be bothered by, a confederate flag and the people who revere it as sacred ?

    Secondly, where are the photographs with Steve Cohen chatting up the skinheads and posing with a Nazi flag? Oh, I almost forgot, they don’t exist because he has more self respect than that. He wouldn’t dare spit in the faces of jewish people whose loved ones perished in the holocaust.

  8. Do you seriously think he intended to be photographed in front of the confederate flag for some kind of political gain? I doubt it.

    I’ll just say this about this state. As you might have guessed if you checked DN recently, I worked for Clinton/Gore back in the day. I travelled the state a lot in that job during election time, and I went into some areas that I thought I’d NEVER go into, let alone be welcomed with open arms, not to mention have the old white ladies try to HOOK ME UP with some local women. Not only that, I never ever thought back when we were all opinining about Jr’s future in politics (and it was clear, even back then, to me, where he had his eyes set) that he’d get 40% of the White vote in this state, no matter how conservative he ran.

    He’s running for statewide office in TENNESSEE, not Wisconsin. He’s representing those people, or trying to represent those people as well as those back home in Memphis. You don’t want to rub shoulders with Democrats who have the rebel flag in their place of gathering? Don’t run in TN.

    And like I was saying earlier, the DLC think we’re nuts (had to tussle with their ilk at every turn during my time) and we think they’re sellouts. From each vantage point, both are correct. But we got to get past that if we want the party to succeed. If progressives want to function as a unit, and centrists want to function as a unit, both should bugger off and work on their own in their own party. If both want to be “Democrats” both should realize the party is an apparatus, not an ideology.

    As an aside, I’ve heard a belly full about Cohen this time around. You know, I worked in the legislature here, I was around him a lot. I like his stance, but he is a politician, you know, and behaves in the way the word suggests. Progressives act like he is something different, and always hold him up as the ideal as opposed to “The Fords.” That bugs me. Also, Cohen couldn’t get 40% of the White vote in TN if he ran as he did for his Congressional seat.

  9. Mark,

    These pictures were at the Little Rebel Bar and Grill, the place he was warmly received and written about in the New York Times. Check it out. As for Cohen, I am aware of his foibles and the fact that he ain’t a saint. What he is, is a competent pol who can represent the people with some class. I wish I could say the same for Harold, Jr. All I am saying is that it is totally unnecessary to pander to confederate nostalgia in order to win in Tennessee. Doing so exposes the fraudulence of his platform. I live in the Carolinas, Mark. I have been here for 14 years. I knew the political culture before coming. It is not unlike Tennessee. The same right-wing 3G’s work just as well here.

    As for progressive Tennessee politicians, there have been few, but Ned Ray McWhorter and Estes Kefauver stand in stark contrast to the right-wing DLC thugs in office now. I would write about Gov. Bredesen, but what is the point. He has been re-elected despite his euthanasia of TennCare which the Legislative Black Caucus stood idly by and helped him kill.

    Harold owes it to those who sacraficed and died to make his reality possible to really create a new political paradigm. The one he’s workin’ with sucks.

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