- "Why White Supremacists Support Barack Obama" (David Peisner @ Esquire)
If recent polls are to be believed, white voters favor John McCain over Barack Obama by nearly ten percentage points, but the McCain and Obama camps probably haven’t factored in the following fact: In an informal Esquire survey, three out of four white supremacists prefer Obama, while McCain is the clear favorite among black nationalists. (Sure, our methodology suffered from an extraordinarily low sample size--limited to four white supremacists and one black nationalist--but just because it wouldn’t fly with Gallup doesn’t mean there ain't a kernel of truth in there.) This is just one of many surprising views that emerged after we talked to extremists about this historic electoral showdown between a 46-year-old black man and a 71-year-old white man.
- "Fourteen Words that Spell Racism" (James Ridgeway @ The Guardian)
Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, the two Tennessee neo-Nazis arrested for plotting to kill 102 African-American schoolchildren and then assassinate Barack Obama, clearly drew inspiration from a violent white nationalist group called the Order. In the 1980s, members of the Order carried out a crime spree that included several high-profile murders.
The connection to the Order is evident in the numbers the two men scrawled on their car on Saturday shortly before they were arrested: 14 and 88. The so-called Fourteen Words is a slogan - "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children" - coined by Order member David Lane, who also wrote an essay called 88 Precepts. In white supremacist circles, 14-88 is a shorthand expression of allegiance to the beliefs put forth by Lane and the Order, who wanted to found a white homeland where they could preserve the "Aryan race" from being polluted by non-whites and enslaved by the "Zionist-occupied government" of the US. Lane also advocated polygamy and a kind of European paganism he called Wotanism.
- "McCain the 'Gook Hater'" (Patrick Irelan @ Counterpunch)
Decades after killing an unknown number of Vietnamese, he still calls them racist names. “I hate the gooks,” he said in 2000. “I will hate them as long as I live.”
These are only a few examples of McCain’s outbursts. He also insults members of his staff and complete strangers.
But does all this unpleasantness really matter in an election? Perhaps it means a great deal in a presidential election. Early in 2008, Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi said, “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.” (Boston Globe, 1/27/2008)
McCain has another problem that relates to all this. He’s a compulsive gambler, and he loses thousands of dollars every year. He shoots craps, which any professional gambler will tell you is a sucker’s game. It’s all a matter of luck, unlike five-card stud, for example, where you can see and remember some of the cards dealt. And you can calculate the odds of what cards will appear next.
Do we really want an angry, racist president, one who makes decisions by rolling dice? Think about it. If you’re still not sure, take a nice cold bath.
McCain Campaign's Most Racist Ad Yet
(Warning: NSFW Word Ahead)
- "Doctors in Study Prefer Whites to Blacks" (Vanessa Ho @ seattlepi.com)
Racial disparities have long been documented in health care, but a University of Washington study on doctors' possible biases is validating the feelings of many African-American patients. . . .
Released Tuesday, the study found that most doctors unconsciously prefer white people to black people. The exception was black doctors, who exhibited no preference for either race.
David Fleming, health officer and director for Public Health -- Seattle & King County, called the study "reasonable" and said it was a step in educating doctors on bias and patient care.
He, too, stopped short of calling the biases prejudice.
"Using words like racism or prejudice gets people's attention," said Fleming, who is also the board chairman for the Puget Sound Health Alliance, which is studying racial disparities in health care.
"But I think it conveys an intentional act, as opposed to something that people do in an unconscious way."
- "I Am Racist!" (Abby L. Ferber @ Huffington Post)
There, I said it, "I am racist!" But more importantly, I am anti-racist. . . . We see racists as nasty people who march around with white hoods burning crosses. But this actually reinforces racism. We need to shift from using "racist" as a noun, to an adjective. The reality is that white folks are racist; how can we grow up in this culture and not internalize racism?
The task that faces us is not to try and identify who is or is not a racist, but to examine the many invisible ways in which racism and white privilege pervade our lives, our views, our assumptions, and our opportunities. The question is not are we racist, but are we anti-racist? What are we doing to recognize and undermine racism and privilege as it shapes our life, day in and day out? We need to strive to make racism more visible, more conscious. Only once it is conscious can we work to undermine it.
Joe the Plumber
Dave the Fisherman?