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  1. #34
    Jolie Rouge's Avatar
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    Racist undertones of the 'socialist' epithet
    Christopher J. Lee – Fri Oct 16, 5:00 am ET

    Chapel Hill, N.C. – By most assessments, this summer's moment of racial anxiety and outcry – namely, the arrest of Henry Louis Gates by Cambridge police in July – came and went faster than it takes to empty a glass of beer.

    This was perhaps to be expected. Americans are famously reluctant to talk about race and racism, and the self-congratulatory remarks by Professor Gates, Sergeant James Crowley, and President Obama after the touted "beer summit" only appeared to reinforce this aversion.

    Yet, as seen at various town hall meetings and the Tea Party rally in Washington Sept. 12, a deeper sign of racial tension has emerged with the reappearance of a different inflammatory expression: socialism.

    In the context of American politics, socialism has seldom been about the economy or state power alone, despite its political-economic roots. Instead, it has been a slur, synonymous with the charge of communism, but with meaning extending beyond this term as well.

    Black leaders in particular have faced this accusation. In 1964, amid the momentous occasion of congressional approval for the Civil Rights Act, Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina declared its passage the result of "Negro agitators, spurred on by Communist enticements to promote racial strife."

    Martin Luther King Jr. was not an exception to this allegation, but a direct target. Indeed, he faced immediate pressure to distance himself from close aide, intellectual mentor, and key organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, Bayard Rustin, who once had ties with the Communist Party.

    Take another black leader, another society fraught by racial division. In 1956, Nelson Mandela and 155 other antiapartheid activists were arrested by the South African government under the infamous Suppression of Communism Act of 1950, a law that was used gratuitously to incarcerate anyone who was critical of the government.

    The treason trial that followed resulted in a 1961 acquittal for all those involved, the government unable to prove any "socialist" intentions. But the political equation of black activists as "communists" would continue up through the 1980s.

    The Reagan administration egregiously soft-pedaled the issue of apartheid on the basis of the South African government's purported anticommunist stance. Indeed, the South African government itself viewed its policies not as racist, but as anticommunist. Only popular pressure through a global antiapartheid movement persuaded the US to isolate South Africa.

    Needless to say, the cold war has ended. But its legacies have not. The re-emergence of "socialist" as an epithet amid this summer's healthcare debate has served as an expression of fear among far-right critics toward the idea of a bigger, more powerful, tax-heavy federal government. Yet this discourse has gone wonky when this term has been placed beside others that would, by any strict definition, appear incompatible. The Obama administration embraces socialism and fascism at once? Mao and Hitler as ideological comrades?

    The response among progressives to such associations has ranged from silence to a shaking of heads to a sober litany of examples as to how federal and state governments already provide much-appreciated public services for the common good – public education, fire departments, Medicare, and so forth.

    But this reaction is inadequate. It takes the cry of "socialism!" literally, whereas it should be read as representing a more complex set of political feelings. It fails to take full historical account of the xenophobic, hypernationalistic, and, yes, racist uses of this expression.

    When Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, among other Southern politicians, voiced criticism of Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists, they did so not on racist grounds, but on anticommunist grounds – a more publicly acceptable stance given the cold war climate of the time. But in hindsight we can easily connect the dots, if there were any doubts about their shared sense of white racial entitlement.

    Understanding this history also informs the present. The passion surrounding the expression "socialism" has less to do with the actual meaning of the word, than its associations with foreignness, anti-Americanism, and racial difference. If its reemergence and use sound antiquated and anachronistic, the motivations for its revival become clearer when placed in a context of latent white anxiety toward a black president. The "birther" movement and its concern over Mr. Obama's origins were but an earlier sign of these race-based, xenophobic sentiments held by some.

    To his credit, Mr. Obama has sought to defuse the situation by stating that he believes the drive of his harshest critics is not racist in orientation, going so far as to distance himself from comments by former President Jimmy Carter that reinforced this perspective. But this quick resolution risks overlooking a historical pattern of how black leaders have been viewed and treated, and passing, yet again, on a more meaningful conversation about race in America.

    Now that President Obama finds himself once more in the rare company of King and Mandela, albeit in the more auspicious setting of the Nobel Peace Prize, perhaps he will embrace the political courage to address racism more thoroughly as a social issue as they did – beyond beverage socials and one-time campaign speeches.

    The persistence of racism cannot be attributed alone to such blatant acts as a white cop unfairly arresting a black man. The intersection of Jim Crow and Joseph McCarthy needs to be better understood.

    Christopher J. Lee is a professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he teaches courses on the history of race and racism.
    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.** a 4 day work week & sex slaves ~ I say Tyt for PRESIDENT! Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously ....Suki ebaynni IS THAT BETTER ?

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  3. #35
    Jolie Rouge's Avatar
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    Obama’s Rather Impressive List Of “Accomplishments”
    May 22, 2012 By Tim Powers

    Whoever said that Obama hasn’t acomplished anything in his first term?


    First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.

    First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.

    First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States.

    First President to violate the War Powers Act.

    First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

    First President to defy a Federal Judge’s court order to cease implementing the Health Care Reform Law.

    First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party, a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

    First President to spend a trillion dollars on ‘shovel-ready’ jobs when there was no such thing as ‘shovel-ready’ jobs.

    First President to recommend changing our National Anthem as it portrays and promotes violence and is warlike in its theme.

    First President to cancel the National Day of Prayer Breakfast and activities.

    First President to initiate a Cash for Clunkers Program to clean up exhaust that adds to global warming, then extended it because it was so popular — wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

    First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.

    First President to bypass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.

    First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S., including those with criminal convictions.

    First President to demand a company hand over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.

    First President to terminate America’s ability to put a man in space.

    First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.

    First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.

    First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke out on the reasons for their rate increases.

    First President to tell a major manufacturing company which state they are allowed to locate a factory in.

    First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN).

    First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.

    First President to fire an inspector general of Americorps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.

    First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office.

    First President to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office, 90 to date.

    First President to pledge complete transparency while campaigning, then hide his medical, educational,and travel records.

    First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.

    First President to go on multiple global ‘apology tours’.

    First President to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends; paid for by the taxpayer.

    First President to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife.

    First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense.

    First President to repeat the Holy Qur’an and tells us that the early morning Islamic call to worship is the most beautiful sound on earth.

    Now it is up to us Freedom-loving Americans to see to it that he is voted out after his FIRST term. May God bless America again. Stay safe, and be aware of your surroundings.
    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.** a 4 day work week & sex slaves ~ I say Tyt for PRESIDENT! Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously ....Suki ebaynni IS THAT BETTER ?

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