Hate disguised as dissent


Virginia blogger Vivian Paige, a good friend, is having a discussion on her space about the above graphic used by blogger Howling Latina, also a friend of mine. She highlights the fallout in the blogging community as Howling Latina was de-listed by Leftyblogs, a powerful ally in driving traffic to like minded progressive sites.

Vivian believes that the issue is purely one of free speech. She’s half right. However, there is no constitutional right to be listed on leftyblogs when your attacks on the Democratic nominee are either the same or worse than those on the far-right. I also believe that Hate Speech is not constitutionally protected. The aforementioned cartoon skirts a dangerous line between meanness and hate.

Keeping this in mind, I’ve written the following open letter to Howling Latina:

Dearest Mimi,

As a friend and fan, it surprised and pained me to see this graphic on your site. I have admired your strong Christian convictions and your committed and progressive Democratic activism. As a believer in the First Amendment I will always defend the right to free speech no matter how objectionable I may find it. But whether you’re ready to acknowledge it or not, this cartoon graphic crosses the line.

Sweetie, this cartoon graphic is gratuitously mean-spirited, disgusting and is rightfully construed as a racist insult. As a Cuban Latina, I thought that the inimical legacy of white supremacy in your ancestral home would be clear to you as a line never to be crossed. I say this as a progressive Obama critic capable of using provocative sexual innuendo and inappropriate imagery to make a legitimate point. I’ve made it clear to my readers that Obama has strayed far from what is both prudent and progressives many times. His equivocations on the road to the nomination enraged and saddened me, as well as others, but what you’re putting out there as criticism is neither principled nor Christian and I know that you’re better than that, honey.

Hillary has given up the ghost. She has endorsed Obama in the spirit of unity and he has praised her lavishly and returned the favor by asking the DNC to seat both Michigan and Florida‘s full voting strength. The race for the nomination is over, Mimi. The standard bearer of the Democratic party is an imperfect vessel named Barack Obama.

If you cannot accept that reality and support your party, then I can only draw the conclusion that your opposition is about race. Both you and Vivian dismiss the divisive and insensitive racial politics played by the Clintons during the nomination fight as acceptable. I respectfully disagree. But where we should all agree is that using the same racial attacks as the far-right on Barack will yield nothing positive and will continue to give aid and comfort to the supporters of John McCain and the criminal syndicate that masquerades as the Republican party.

This posture makes you look as ridiculous as the corporate whore and GOP sellout better known as Joe Lieberman. You remember him, right? He claimed to be against the Bush Agenda as he ran for and lost the 2004 Democratic Nomination for President and the 2006 Democratic nomination for the Senate. He then got in bed with them to win re-election and has been screwing us all ever since. It should be worth noting that Barack Obama endorsed him for re-election in the Democratic primary in addition to campaigning and raising money for him and that Lieberman returned the favor by endorsing John McCain.

This is not you, sweetheart. I encourage you to search your heart and to pray about this. I have every confidence that you’ll do the right thing.


Skeptical Brotha


34 thoughts on “Hate disguised as dissent

  1. Kurt,

    I appreciate your comment, but while I have made it clear that the image is both disgusting and racist, clearly it also serves as a catalyst for legitimate discussion.

    As the blog master here, I reserve the right to decide my own editorial content. If you wish to report me to WORDPRESS, that is your choice. The image will stay.

  2. TripLBee

    One of the sad lessons I learned from the Democratic primary is that there are a lot of closet racists, masquerading as progressives when it’s the cool thing to do at their dinner parties. No one who is truly philosophically progressive could defend Clinton’s reflexive racism, or sanitize it as a quaint political strategy. That “progressives” can run the abovementioned cartoon and not see the paradox, is an insight into their own self loathing.

    When Sen. Clinton was downing shots, extolling the virtues of hard working white people, and having her husband compare Obama to Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan, people in this blog were rightfully outraged. But very few of us criticized her womanhood. Very few us devolved into the type of bigotry which our progressive philosophy forbids. Free speech should be respected. But don’t ask for a seat at our table when you resort to the tactics that define our philosophical redress.

  3. TripLBee,

    I agree with you in part. However, I am willing to concede that some of us more on Obama’s side delved irresponsibly into the well of sexism. Myself included. I don’t claim perfection. But I sincerely believed every jot and tittle that I wrote no matter how insensitive I may have come off. But this damn cartoon crosses the line of everything right and decent and I cannot be silent.

  4. TripLBee


    I think a lot of people in your blog conceded to hatred of white people, out of frustration with Clinton. You and I actually had a respectful back and forth at one point. (The “Snow flake” imbroglio, as I like to call it.) I’m hard pressed to recall Clinton being taken to task for being a woman, but I will concede the point. The more important point is that reflexive bigotry is anathema to real progressive thought. This Howling Latina could audition for a spot on Fox News and should disabuse herself of the notion that she is a progressive.

  5. TripLBee


    By the way….I’m glad your back. This is an interesting post. It’s got my blood boiling.

  6. TripLBee,

    I haven’t a clue about folk hating whites out of frustration over Hillary. I just don’t know. But surely they must be able to concede by now what a waste of time and energy hating whitefolks because of their resistance to Obama is.

  7. Dr. Monkey,

    I will but I don’t expect a response. I’m praying that she’ll see the light. For once it’s nice to see whites reacting negatively to an anti-black racial smear. There is hope.

  8. My eleven year old granddaughter saw this post.
    Would you care to defend yourself to her?
    For once it’s nice to see whites react negatively to an anti-black racial smear? Who the hell are you to judge me?!?

  9. TripLBee


    Sadly, if your 11 year old granddaughter has access to television or the internet, she’s seen a lot worse. Skeptical brotha is posting this cartoon BECAUSE it is offensive. He is trying to make a larger point. You could ease your granddaughter’s rightful sense of disgust by explaining to her the larger point that skeptical brotha is trying to make.

  10. Kurt,

    That comment is not about you. I am sorry if you’re offended by it or the cartoon, but this cartoon and my friend’s use of it on her blog is a serious issue and I believe in addressing issues in a frank and sometimes explicit manner.

    A lot of things on blogs are not appropriate for children and you should be cognizant of that. As for defending myself to a child, that won’t be happening.

  11. Angie

    Skep and/or Trip: Can either one of you brothas please describe the image in question to your sistah.

  12. TripLBee


    Can’t you see the image at the top of your page? Seriously, it’s too disgusting to even describe. I’d be embarrassed to describe it in polite company.

  13. Angie

    “Can’t you see the image at the top of your page?” Trip

    Um, nope.
    I’m sorry, Trip. I thought you and pretty much everyone that frequents here, mainly Rikyrah, Rick, Andrea, and so on know that I can’t see. And I can’t see for real. **smile** I lost “all” of my sight at age 19. So, no matter how hard I try, focus, or strain, I can’t see the image. (Perhaps in this case I’m luckly)
    So, can you help a sistah out and please describe. If it is too gruesome to describe, can someone please do the honors.
    Skep, how about you.


  14. Angie,

    Barack is sitting on the toilet, ‘ pleasuring’ himself, and his stimulation material is looking into the mirror at himself. As he’s pleasuring himself, we know this by the word HOPE being used repeatedly.

    Then there are the cartoon bubbles telling us what Obama is thinking:
    1. I have become the symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.
    2. This is the moment that the world is waiting for….Hillary’s problem was her sense of entitlement.

    Now, I have to admit this is the first one of these obviously racist cartoons with Obama himself. It’s usually been with Michelle.

    But, the ‘Obama is an Uppity Nigger’ Memo is up and going full throttle.

    It just kills me….write and tell us what the response is, SB.

    I don’t want to be cynical, but I have my doubts. That once again a Black person will be told that they:
    a) don’t understand satire
    b) don’t get irony
    c) are just too darn ‘ sensitive’

    And, to all three I say fuck that. I’m tired of seeing racist shit, call it out, and then being told by someone NOT-Black why I have no right to be pissed at obviously racist crap.

  15. TripLBee

    Virginia Voter,

    Promoting images of black men as sexually depraved, is a time tested tradition among white racists. The cartoon is a 21st Century version of this well worn tactic. Since Howling Latina, John McCain, Fox News, et al are having a difficult time developing substantive arguments against Obama’s candidacy, they are resorting to gutter level racial stereotyping. “He doesn’t know his place”, “He’s not one of us”, “He’s unpatriotic” and now this…”He’s a sexual pervert.”

    I am really hard pressed to understand how people who call themselves progressives, can defend Howling Latina. To be sure, she has a right to post tasteless material, but she doesn’t have a right to promote such base racial stereotyping and continue to get support from the progressive blogosphere.

  16. Akech

    A new AD by McCain against Mr. Obama is about the movie starred by Charleston Heston as “MOSES”. Moses freed Isralites from bondage in Egypt. This is the worst mockery of Obama.

    Can someone explain the group or people in bondage that Mr. Obama is trying to set free? Under whose bondage are these group/people trying to get away from?

    If this is not an overt racist AD of the worst kind, can someone spell out the subtle message being decimated here, please?

    Just last week, Mrs McCain was in Rwanda to deliver something to the Rwandese government.

  17. RisingTide

    Okay… I thought the comic was funny (humor is about being politically incorrect).

    I read brotha’s post, and I still didn’t see it as racist.

    Thanks rikyrah and triplbee for explainin’. Your explanations sent chills through my heart — and if ANYONE is getting that sense of fear from that comic, that sense of malice aforethought — the comic is WRONG.

  18. Anon 1

    The democrat party will always be the party of slavery, seggregation, and Jim Crow laws. Republicans do not see people as hyphenated races, ethnicites or groups. As long as Obama keeps whinning and complaining about what people will think of him , the republicans will do to him just what they have done to other liberal democrats running East of the Mississippi. Frankly, I am real tired of his “look at me, I’m black moments.”

    Obama needs to appoint a VP to get help with his critics.

    I will admit that perhaps he made a mistake when he named Bush and Mccain as the people who were attacking him. Had he said “they” and not John Mccain, I doubt if JM camp would have made his remarks an issue.

    The CELEB Ad was brilliant because it use pop culture icons to raise two important issues – Taxes and offshore drilling. Within 24 hours of that Ad airing Barack Obama shifted his position on offshore drilling. Obama had no problem with the Obama girl you tube video and he certainly use white people in his Ads.

    Obama just needs to give more townhall debates and leave the large venue for the convention. But he has to have a counteract because he is very close to being defined as John Kerry was defined.

    There are enough differences between these two candidates for the AMerican people to choose from. It is not Obama race that will be his downfall, it is his Ego. On the other hand, it is JM race and party that will prevent him from making inroads with liberal blacks. ALthough even some republicanand conservative independent blacks will vote for Obama.

    I do not find Howling Latina cartoon racist. It is just a stupid cartoon. Would it be racist if it was done by a black person? I have heard just as dispicable things said about black people by other blacks. I have seen worse by my own black folks. Just listen to some raps songs.

    Both of these candidates want to win and we need to stop taking these things so personally. I see these attacks as equal opportunity attacks.

    By the way, I Have to wonder why is Obama supporting affirmative action base on quotas and why is he against school choice vouchers. School choice would allowed parents to send their kids toprivate schools. Why must black folks support the public schools if they are failing? I believe in affirmative action based on merit. I guess I am looking at John Mccain proposals. ANd yes I am conservative Black.

  19. RisingTide

    Affirmative Action based on MERIT is a fucking joke.

    Please, get real.

    Affirmative Action based on poverty is a realistic improvement to the current system. Particularly if you use wealth and not Income as your way of measuring it.

    oh, hell, i fed the troll.

    have a boot to the head.

  20. This reminds me of when the New Yorker engaged in that “Satirical” cover of Barack and Michelle Obama two weeks ago.

    And the designer of that cover couldn’t cover his ass fast enough from the fall out that caused. Even putting a counter cover of McCain and His pill-popping piece on the side couldn’t clean up the Obama smear.

    Y’all know how I feel about Obama’s politics. But, My God, this brotha is still entitled to respect and dignity which America, dirty whore that she is, will refuse to give him until the day she dies.

    Howling Latina shot herself in the foot with this one and no amount of mea culpas is going to clean this up with a broom or shovel.

  21. OT SB,

    Michelle Obama’s on the new cover of Ebony.

    You can go to Michelle Obama Watch to get a nice large copy of the cover.

    I want to see that cover on as many Black blogs as possible – in support of Michelle.

    You can write whatever post you want, or do what I did and title the post:

    Just Cause

  22. GDAWG

    That something calling itself the”Howling Latina” would produce such a depiction of BO, considering the lack of support he received from Latinos, “our brown allies,” during the primary season is not surprising to me.
    As the old saying goes:
    ” There are no permanent friends, nor are there permanent enemies. There is, however, permanent interest.” When we as a community reach the requisite intellectual threshold for figuring/understanding this simple notion out, we will be so much the better for it, in any endeavor we decide to pursue.

  23. Jon

    Why is this shocking? A desperate, delusional, racist Clinton shill that has nothing better to do than to b%@$% about Obama is going to post something like this. I just think the whole thing is borderline obsessive. Clearly, people are willing to use race-based attacks against Obama, yet will cry a river whenever poor Hillary Clinton has her “womanhood” challenged.

  24. Andrea

    It’s a disrespectful assault if applied to any candidate.

    I get the underlying sentiment but the same artistic vision purporting to reveal Obama’s ego could have been visually illustrated without the sexualized promotion that his aggrandized ego is arousing. The sentiments of the said beliefs could have simply been drawn with him standing over a restroom sink looking in a mirror — having left the sexual self-gratifying act out of it.

    It disgusts me. It’s too far-reaching as well. Obama is such a mystery that none of us know how he pets his ego. I doubt however that he or any human being on human scale dealing with the fight and risk he is in now is even thinking about ego-stroking. I think that part of Obama is sedated because he is fighting now with opponents of that rationale coming from everywhere. It’s just wild willfulness of Liberal Elites again to try to defend their man that they think anything is fair game when it comes to articulating ideas and representation for Blacks to others.

    Fundamentally anything and everything is fair game but ethically everything is not fair to Blacks even in leveled competition because they are working against a system designed for them to not win. This election is not fair but that is life. Why are we always surprised not knowing how to counter but to stand there circling the issue. When will someone draw White Liberals so they can see themselves doing that OPPRESSIVE thing in trying to front as our friends and protectors from other Whites they are superior to in being not like them (but like them still)?

  25. Hope

    Barack Obama has aligned himself with White Liberals. Since his state senatorial run in Hyde Park, white liberals have consistently been his base. Think: Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johanson, people at your office, people at my office….are these not white liberal supporters of Barack Obama? For as much as you want to take them to task, realize that Obama willingingly accepts them into bed…and without them he would not be where he is today.

  26. Two traits that Hillbots can be most easily distinguished by are 1. Bitterness and 2. Delusion. This cartoon is a prime example of their need to take some time off and deal with things.

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