Acquiescing to white supremacy by any means necessary

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Dianne FeinsteinThe Battle Flag of the Confederacy

“We declare our rights on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.”   -Malcolm X 

Southern Segregationists always reacted to Malcolm X and those of like mind with alarm and repudiation.   In time, they came to understand the utility of the mantra “by any means necessary” and adopted it as their own. Today, Dixie Dianne Feinstein played her self-assigned role to assist her neo-confederate colleagues Trent Lott and Thad Cochran in preserving white supremacy by any means necessary as they pushed through the nomination of their judicial minion, former Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Leslie Southwick, for a lifetime position on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Judge Leslie H. Southwick

In my Dixie Dianne’s Betrayal post, I wrote that she approved a nomination 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.    He also concurred with his collegues homophobia by taking away a woman’s child in a child custody case because he objected to her being a lesbian.

Her reasons for this betrayal were less than convincing.   She said yesterday, In my conversations with Judge Southwick, I have gotten a sense of the type of person that I believe him to be. He is not either insensitive or a racist but one who is thoughtful and analytical and a strong believer in the law. As an appellate court judge, he evaluates the specific legal issues of the case before him, not necessarily the veracity of the parties involved as would a trial judge.  

…While I respect the views of my colleagues who oppose this nomination, I also respectfully disagree. I think Judge Southwick made mistakes by concurring in the two opinions in question, but I don’t think those rulings define his views. I don’t believe they outweigh the other factors that suggest Judge Southwick should be confirmed.”

Southwick’s  record in criminal cases reveals a troubling pattern of racist myopia.  According to the Alliance for Justice, “Judge Southwick has participated in numerous cases involving challenges to the racial makeup of a jury under Batson v. Kentucky, in which the United States Supreme Court held that peremptory challenges to jurors cannot be used in a racially discriminatory manner.

 

“In 59 of the 70 Batson cases reviewed for this report, the defendants challenged their convictions on the ground that the prosecution had used peremptory challenges to strike African-American jurors. Judge Southwick, voting with a majority of the Court in every case, voted to uphold the convictions in all but five of these cases.” 

 

“In 10 of these 70 Batson cases, the defendants challenged their convictions on the ground that the prosecution had unfairly prevented them from using their peremptory challenges to exclude white jurors (in one case the juror whom defendant sought to strike was Asian American). Defendants, with Judge Southwick again joining the majority of the Court in every case, lost all ten of these challenges. In the final case, the defendant challenged his conviction on both grounds and lost on both grounds, with Judge Southwick again in the majority.

 

“In other words, Judge Southwick and a majority of the judges on the Court of Appeals routinely rebuffed allegations of prosecutorial racism against African Americans in jury selection while upholding allegations of anti-white discrimination levied against defendants.” 

Mississippi Senators have an unbroken record of white nominations to the Fifth Circuit and they intend to keep it that way.   Since 1985 when they broke the color barrier to nominate an African American to the Federal District Court, they have adhered to a rigid whites only policy for the Court of Appeals.   They’ve nominated women and a judge with a Turkish background but no African Americans.  As a general rule, nobody has to worry about Trent Lott or Thad Cochran sniffing around their law offices looking for federal judicial nominees unless they have a track record of supporting Republicans and a demonstrated hostility to African Americans.  

Dixie Dianne knew all of this and still chose to confirm him.  She knew and opposed all of the previous troglodytes they’ve nominated to fill this spot. She has served on the Senate Judiciary Committee for the last 14 years and watched as Republicans filibustered President Clinton’s nominees for this same position until the clock ran out and the Supreme Court selected Bush as President.

Another battle in the war movement conservatives have waged to radically remake the federal judiciary was won tonight and it happened because of the acquiescence of the Senate Majority Leader and the rank cowardice of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.   As I said in August, 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 (reveal) 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.  …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.”

It didn’t happen. Hillary and Obama issued obligatory statements of opposition on their respective websites but neither made much effort.  Even former Senate Judiciary Chairman Joe Biden, who killed the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork, took a pass.   No matter what test of progressive political fortitude is given, Hillary and Obama will fail it with flying colors.   Hillary and Obama made a big statement today about what they really stand for: getting elected President and acquiescing to white supremacy by any means necessary.  

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12 thoughts on “Acquiescing to white supremacy by any means necessary

  1. dblhelix

    SB, I knew this was coming because I remembered your older post. I’m going to sit down now and read/savor this post.

    OT: Anyone interested in helping Megan Williams, please see Black Lawyers for Justice to get the address for the fund that has been established. Every little bit helps, thank you.

  2. dblhelix

    An interesting article:

    One of the main Democratic defectors was Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), who in August backed the nomination to move forward in the Senate Judiciary Committee by joining all nine committee Republicans in approving the nominee on a 10-9 vote. On Wednesday, Republicans called her a “heroine.”

    “I don’t know about this heroine business,” Feinstein said.

    Not everyone saw her that way. A California House Democrat, Barbara Lee, singled out Feinstein in a statement, saying she was “incredibly disappointed” at the senator for allowing the vote to move forward.

    On the other side, one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for reelection, Mary Landrieu (La.), voted against the nomination, which may open her up to attacks by Republicans on a judicial issue that could rile up the conservative base.

    “The Grover Norquists and Karl Roves of the world will make [attacks] up, no matter what,” she said.

    from The Hill

    Sounds like Mary needs some Black votes.

  3. dblhelix,

    Mary is a war hawk and an imperialist. While I’m heartened by her vote today, I ain’t about to endorse her. I also realize that Miss Mary is as good a Senator as Black Folk can realistically hope for.

  4. Chesapeake

    Don’t forget Byrd’s and McCain’s “yes” votes.

    And the CBC … what the hell are they doing! In this time of intensifying racial combat, you would think that our “friends” would be crying bloody murder, day and night, every day, mobilizing every opposition to Southwick’s appointment imaginable.

    Clinton’s and Obama’s silence is no surprise. Obama has no FIGHT in him. You have to wonder of Clinton even cares! They both have stood by and given the supremicists a blank check to rule at their pleasure.

    Clinton and Obama were ineffective before last November when the majority of the Senate was their foe. They did not go to blows over anything!

    Since last November, the majority is friend, and they are still benign. Obama and Clinton haven’t advanced anything for the common good: They have not stopped any of the racist, bigoted, divisive, tyrannical, and oppressive rule. Otherwise, how does Southwick get by … how do ANY of Clinton’s and Obama’s friends support the appointment?

    They can’t lead or inspire the Senate: Clinton and Obama can’t lead or inspire this nation.

  5. As a sista who grew up in Cali (and had DiFi as one of her Senators), this is not surprising at all. She has always been a ReThug in Democrat’s clothing – a Corporate Thug if ever there were one, because she’s married to one of the biggest thieves in Corporate America, Richard Blum.

    This bastard was hired by the United Carpenter’s Union, one of the largest unions in the country behind the Auto Workers and the Teamsters Unions, to manage the Carpenters’ Union investment portfolio. Federal law, especially under the RICO act and National Labor Relations Board, requires that any investing of the unions’ pensions must be submitted to Union members for a vote before doing anything. If the members vote to invest, then the leadership or their portfolio manager, can go ahead and do so. If a vote is not called, you can’t touch the pension.

    Blum invested the Carpenters’ Union pension without that vote being held; in direct violation of the statutes I mentioned. He proceeded to lose $40 million dollars in pension money back in 1997 or 1998, while collecting himself an $8 million dollar commission. A lawsuit by members of the Carpenters union was then filed in 1999, alleging misuse of pension funds and violations of the RICO and NLRB statues against Blum and the investment company.

    Since George Bush took office, there hasn’t been a peep heard about that lawsuit. At the moment, I put a call in to one of my labor buddies – a guy named Steve Zelter,(who heads a project in San Francisco advocating for radio and television programs discussing labor, work and life issues) to find out what is the status of the lawsuit. One of the many hats I wore in California was to co-host with Steve a weekly radio show on Pacifica radio called “Labor on the Job” when this lawsuit came up and we even had one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit on the air, discussing this. It was then I learned of Blum’s connection to Feinstein, and how a lot of her corporate positions in her Senate seat follow and is facilitated by her marriage to this corporate tool.

    Blum’s paw prints are on several other such lawsuits, corporate deals and payoff, just like this one. And everytime DiFi even makes noise like she’s going to go progressive on an issue, she suddenly either acquieces (sp) like she did on the Southwick nomination, or tries to fly under the radar in the hope that no one connects her legislative behavior to speculate that she’s protecting her husband.

    Lott and Cochran know this. She gives in because of fear that any probe of her to get her out of office will lead directly back to her husband – which would most likely lead to allegations of conflicts of interest, use of her Senate office for personal gain, and criminal indictments against her husband for corporate, white-collar crimes that we know of, and probably those we haven’t heard of yet.

    Follow the money….

  6. dblhelix

    TPJ: A lawsuit by members of the Carpenters union was then filed in 1999, alleging misuse of pension funds and violations of the RICO and NLRB statues against Blum and the investment company.

    Since George Bush took office, there hasn’t been a peep heard

    Finally, an explanation for why the Carpenter’s Union didn’t endorse Kerry in 2004, and why McCarron is Bush’s BFF.

    FYI — they endorsed Edwards in the Dem primary.

  7. dblhelix

    Chesapeake: how do ANY of Clinton’s and Obama’s friends support the appointment?

    Dems may have a majority, but that whole bunch led by Ben Nelson of Nebraska essentially will always vote against our interests — same crew that voted to end debate on Alito, etc. The actual roll call on confirmation means nothing — a couple of shady types will vote to end debate, and then hop over and vote not to confirm just to fool constituents or blur interest group scorecards.

    That’s not to excuse Clinton/Obama from not making more noise — even w/o backup — a principled stand, if nothing else.

    Their friends put up w/ it b/c they’re told that suitable appts will be made once they’re in office!

  8. Elbee

    Now DiFi is supporting Michael Mukasey for Attorney General. I’m disgusted with her for this and many other of her votes. Not that “democrat” means much, but she shouldn’t bother to call herself one.

  9. Shawn Hunter Rowland

    What the F&8ck is all i can think to say. Is there anything about america that blacks don’t find to be racist. All your doing with blogs like this is increasing the size of the gulf between the wite community and the black community.

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