Race Issues Archives

Jimmy Carter and the Race Issue

Pursuant to a comment conversation I had here recently regarding Jimmy Carter’s charges of racism against anti-Obama protesters, Hans von Spakovsky writing at National Review Online just noted some of that very thing in Carter’s past.

As Laughlin McDonald, director of the ACLU’s Voting Project, relates in his book A Voting Rights Odyssey: Black Enfranchisement in Georgia, Carter’s board tried to stop the construction of a new “Elementary Negro School” in 1956. Local white citizens had complained that the school would be “too close” to a white school. As a result, “the children, both colored and white, would have to travel the same streets and roads in order to reach their respective schools.” The prospect of black and white children commingling on the streets on their way to school was apparently so horrible to Carter that he requested that the state school board stop construction of the black school until a new site could be found. The state board turned down Carter’s request because of “the staggering cost.” Carter and the rest of the Sumter County School Board then reassured parents at a meeting on October 5, 1956, that the board “would do everything in its power to minimize simultaneous traffic between white and colored students in route to and from school.”

I can’t imagine the Carter today being the same man as back then, but one wonders if because of past sins, he sees it everywhere, even where it isn’t.

And also via the tip from Instapundit, a reminder of what some have done a bit more recently due to Carter’s one-sided support of actual racists, not to mention terrorists.

ATLANTA, Jan. 11 — Fourteen of the city’s business and civic leaders resigned from the Carter Center’s advisory board on Thursday to protest former President Jimmy Carter’s recent criticisms of Israel and American Jewish political power.

Their joint letter of resignation denounced Mr. Carter’s best-selling book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” for its criticisms of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The letter also took issue with comments Mr. Carter has made suggesting that Israel’s supporters in the United States are using their power to stifle debate on the issue.

“It seems you have turned to a world of advocacy, even malicious advocacy,” the letter said. “We can no longer endorse your strident and uncompromising position. This is not the Carter Center or the Jimmy Carter we came to respect and support.”

The 14 who resigned were members of the center’s board of councilors, a group of more than 200 local leaders who act as ambassadors and fund-raisers for the center but do not determine its policy or direct its operations.

Among the letter signers were Michael Coles, the chief executive of the Caribou Coffee Company; William B. Schwartz Jr., the ambassador to the Bahamas during Mr. Carter’s presidency; Liane Levetan, a former chief executive of DeKalb County, Ga.; and S. Stephen Selig III, who served as national finance chairman for the Carter-Mondale Presidential Committee.

Perhaps the recent op-ed by Elliot Abrams, debunking a similarly recent op-ed by Carter and pointing out Carter’s blindness in his advocacy for Hamas, actually is worth a look, regardless of your opinion of Abrams.  A more considered and thoughtful response may be in order.

Even the liberal Frank Rich manages to figure it out (though he does place the blame on other "usual suspects").

The White House was right not to second Carter’s motion and cue another “national conversation about race.” No matter how many teachable moments we have, some people won’t be taught. (Though how satisfying it would have been for Obama to dismiss Wilson, like the boorish Kanye West, as a “jackass.”) But there is a national conversation we must have right now — the one about what, in addition to race, is driving this anger and what can be done about it. We are kidding ourselves if we think it’s only about bigotry, or health care, or even Obama. The growing minority that feels disenfranchised by Washington can’t be so easily ghettoized and dismissed.

(Emphasis mine.)  Rich seems to forget (rather too quickly) that a growing majority of Americans are not in favor of ObamaCare(tm) at this point.  Nevertheless, if racism energizes just a fringe of the protesters, then a President going on about it on national TV is either overreaction or covert slander.  If, however, racism is being blamed for a significant portion of the anger, then be honest about it and come out and say it, and take the political fallout for your overt slander.

And again, the irony of Jimmy Carter complaining about any perceived racism here while lending the full weight of his influence in the Middle East almost entirely to those who spew actual racist rhetoric is astounding.

Thought for the Day

From Ed Morrissey, posting at Hot Air:

If Jimmy Carter believes that the “overwhelming” portion of criticism towards Barack Obama is due to racism, does he also believe that the overwhelming portion of criticism towards Israel is anti-Semitic?  Wouldn’t that apply to a man who hangs out with people who target Israeli citizens for terrorist attacks?  After all, Hamas regularly issues anti-Semitic harangues and smears, and yet Carter has no problem cozying up to them and claiming that their criticism of Israel is legitimate.

The race card is a two-edged sword, to mix metaphors.  And when you use the term "overwhelmingly", you expose yourself as someone desperate to handwave away any and all criticism by labeling it, rather than considering it.  And Carter’s association with those who spew actual racist rhetoric is charmingly ironic.

Is 60% of America really racist?  Do you really believe that?  No, I don’t think Jimmy Carter really believes that.  Assuming intelligence on his part, it can only be cover that he giving to Obama to try to marginalize critics.  And it’s not working, as the numbers continue to drop for the One.

Dissent, Then and Now

Patriotic dissent?  That’s so last year.

Eight months into Barack Obama’s presidency, as criticism of his administration seems to reach new levels of volume and intensity each week, the whispers among some of his allies are growing louder: That those who loathe the nation’s first African-American president, and especially those who would deny his citizenship, are driven at least in part by racism.

It’s a feeling that’s acutely felt among those supporters of Obama who are themselves minorities. Conversations with Democrats at an otherwise upbeat Democratic National Committee fall gathering here, an event largely devoted to party housekeeping, reflected a growing anger at what many see as a troubling effort to delegitimize Obama’s hold on the office.

“As far as African-Americans are concerned, we think most of it is,” said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), when asked in an interview in between sessions how much of the more extreme anger at Obama is based upon his race. “And we think it’s very unfortunate. We as African-American people of course are very sensitive to it.”

It’s not like we didn’t see this coming, but it highlights a serious double-standard among Democrats.  Apparently, only they can dissent properly.  Criticism of them?  Well, there are clearly nefarious undertones going on.

Sometimes a Chimp is Just a Chimp

John Hinderaker on PowerLine:

If the President is a Republican, it’s fine to call him a "chimp." In fact, it’s morally superior. But if the President is a Democrat, you can’t call a chimpanzee a chimp lest someone think you might have been referring to the President.

It all makes perfect sense.

Indeed, for 8 years calling the President a chimp was so prevalent that there are hundreds if not thousands of images of him specifically morphed into or compared to a chimpanzee

But today, here is the controversial chimp in question:

They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.

This was referring to, not just the awful "stimulus" bill (written by Congressmen, not the President), but the chimpanzee that went on a rampage in Stamford, CT that was shot and killed by police.  Just like in the cartoon. 

But Al Sharpton and all manner of bloggers have now confirmed what many of us thought might happen when Obama was elected.  Any criticism of the President (or in this case, the Congress) that can be linked to racism, will. 

Paging Mr. Holder.  Maybe your observation that we’re "essentially a nation of cowards" on racism is because of this sort of reaction from the Left whenever race comes up.  Or, as in this case, even when it doesn’t come up.

America’s First Black President

We’ve just inaugurated our first black President.  I want to reiterate what I said some months back; I’m proud of our country for this accomplishment.  This by no means says that racism is completely dead in America.  But it does speak to the great progress made since Martin Luther King, Jr. had his dream. 

Telling a child of any race that they can, through hard work, be whatever they want to be, even President of the United States, isn’t some guilt-assuaging wishful thinking.  It has happened.  Racists, as with any sin, will always be with us.  But Barack Obama’s move into the Oval Office shows that it can be done.

Congratulations, America.

Inconvenient Truth About Prop 8 Opposition

Tom Hanks called the Mormons "un-American" for opposing California’s Proposition 8 which "constitutionalized" the definition of marriage being one man and one woman.  So now, to the Left, changing the state Constitution via the proper process is un-American, but judges who unconstitutionally legislate from the bench are patriots.  Upside, meet down.

But here’s an interesting observation that LaShawn Barber made, and that I’d like to highlight on Martin Luther King Day.  There’s another constituency that voted overwhelmingly for Prop 8 that the Left hasn’t marched against.

Why were they focusing on Mormons, when 70 percent of black voters in the state voted YES on Prop 8? Curious, but not complicated. I made the observation, as did Thomas Sowell, that white homosexuals hadn’t dared and would not have dared “march” to black churches and harass black churchgoers, although it would have made more sense for them to head down to Watts or Compton or up to Oakland and express their disappointment. Can you imagine such a scenario? I’d pay good money to see that.

Now I’m wondering the same about actor Tom Hanks. Singling out Mormons for voting to protect traditional marriage, Hanks called them “un-American.” An overwhelming majority of blacks supported the measure. I suppose the same applies to them, yes? Perhaps Hanks is waiting until MLK’s birthday on Monday or Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday to make his pronouncement. What do you think? I’d pay good money to hear that.

Save your money, LaShawn.  You and I both that that ain’t gonna’ happen.  It’s a dirty little secret of the Left (generally) that it’s still OK to bash the religious. 

What’s actually un-American, in my opinion, is this mashup of Google maps and public information to point out the addresses and locations of people who donated to the Prop 8 cause.  Legal?  Sure.  Petty, vindictive, inflammatory and McCarthy-ist?  Oh yeah, you got that right.  And sure enough, McCarthy was looking for folks who were un-American, too!  Scott Payne over at The Moderate Voice notes a bit of disingenuousness on the part of same-sex marriage advocates. 

I’ve thought for a long time that the African-American community has, in general, been a very conservative group, but have been sold a bill of goods by internal leaders to look to government to save them rather than themselves.  I think if they took an issues test showing which party or politician fits their values most, a lot of them would be surprised.  Bill Cosby has been a huge factor in getting the word out, not so much politically, but in the sense of taking ownership of one’s own situation and not waiting for someone else to fix it.  That shouldn’t be a left/right thing, but far too often the measure from the Left of how well things are going tracks with how many people are on welfare and how much money they’re getting.  Government dependency was most decidedly not MLK’s dream. 

Good News and Bad News for Black Families

The NY Times reports that things are looking better for black families.

The number of black children being raised by two parents appears to be edging higher than at any time in a generation, at nearly 40 percent, according to newly released census data.


According to the bureau’s estimates, the number of black children living with two parents was 59 percent in 1970, falling to 42 percent in 1980, 38 percent in 1990 and 35 percent in 2004. In 2007, the latest year for which data is available, it was 40 percent.

That’s definitely good news.  Let’s look at the reasons the Times suggests for this change.

Demographers said such a trend might be partly attributable to the growing proportion of immigrants in the nation’s black population.

Oh, so some of this can be attributed to intact black families coming in to the country.  Well, that doesn’t speak to the families already here.  How about them?

It may have been driven, too, by the values of an emerging black middle class, a trend that could be jeopardized by the current economic meltdown.

So indeed black have been doing quite well during the Bush administration.  You’d never know that from watching the news and listening to rappers dis’ Dubya.  Still, very good to hear.

So then, anything else>

The Census Bureau attributed an indeterminate amount of the increase to revised definitions adopted in 2007, which identify as parents any man and woman living together, whether or not they are married or the child’s biological parents.

Ah, I see.  By simply revising the definition of "parents", the Census Bureau can manufacture some good news.  As James Taranto (who gets the hat tip for pointing out this article) notes:

And why stop there? Suppose the Census Bureau were to redefine two as meaning "one." Voilà, any child who now lives with "one" parent would have an intact family. Instantly the rate would go from 40% to nearly 100%. Wait, make that nearly 200%.

Some may object that the middle of a financial panic is not the best time to start redefining numbers, a practice that could have unintended and undesired consequences for interest rates, currency exchange rates, asset values and so forth.

So here’s a more modest idea: Why not redefine together to mean "on the same planet"? So long as at least one man and one woman live on Earth, whether or not they are married or the child’s biological parents, every child is being raised by two (or more) parents, and this will remain true at least until we begin colonizing space. Hey, it takes a village!

Next: ending tyranny in the world by redefining tyrant to mean "lame-duck president."

In the original article, Prof. Robert Sampson, a Harvard sociology professor, call it "a positive change".  Right.  Kids are living with cohabitating "parents" instead of a married couple, the numbers look better partially because of intact families coming from other countries / cultures, and all this in spite of a burgeoning black middle class.

The good news is that the statistics are up.  The bad news is that actual change in the culture is not the reason we have the good news.

Who’s Watching the (Racism) Watchers?

The "Durban II" UN conference on human rights dealing with racism is set to meet next March.  The first meeting of this type in 2001 became so obsessive about Israel that Colin Powell pulled the US out of it.  In a Wall Street Journal editorial earlier this week, they suggested we not even show up this time.  A little harsh?  Premature, perhaps?

Consider this:

"Durban II," planned for April in Geneva, promises to be an encore of the same old Israel-bashing. The draft declaration says Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians amounts to no less than "a new kind of apartheid, a crime against humanity, a form of genocide and a serious threat to international peace and security." We’ll spare you the rest.

Israel will be the main obsession, but it’s not the only target. The draft declaration also goes after the West’s freedom of speech and antiterror laws under the guise of protecting religion (read: Islam) from "defamation." The entire West will be in the dock for allegedly persecuting Muslims. "The most serious manifestations of defamation of religions are the increase in Islamophobia and the worsening of the situation of Muslim minorities around the world," the draft reads. "Islamophobia" is a term used to brand any criticism of Islam as a hate crime.

The Islamic terrorists who have killed hundreds of thousands of their co-religionists get a free pass. Instead, the draft calls for a media code of conduct and "internationally binding normative standards . . . that can provide adequate guarantees against defamation of religions." If this sounds like censorship, that’s because it is.

Well, can’t we just reason with them?  If we don’t show up, we can’t make a change, right? 

But we may not be able to make a change anyway, given who’s in charge.

The conference is being organized by the U.N. Human Rights Council, which, like its discredited predecessor, the Human Rights Commission, has been taken over by the world’s main abusers of human rights. The Organization of Islamic Countries, the most powerful voting bloc at the U.N., put Libya in charge of preparing Durban II, assisted by such other pillars of the international community as Iran and Cuba.

Yeah, those stalwarts of human rights and tolerance.    The inmates are in charge of the asylum.  The UN continues to be an exercise in futility, giving evil regimes legitimacy regarding their actions, under the cover of "international cooperation". 

In fact it was so bad, that the name of the body was changed 2 years ago to avoid the (well deserved) bad PR it was receiving for doing exactly what this body is doing; making human rights abusers arbiters of human rights violations.  And how well has that worked out?  The blog UN Watch has been watching.

In its two years of existence, the Arab-controlled council has systematically undermined the cause of human rights and eviscerated the UN’s few existing tools that work. Human rights monitors in Belarus, Cuba, Liberia, Congo (DRC), have all been scrapped. Genocide by Sudan has been ignored, with the monitor of that country’s atrocities now on the  chopping block as well. Watch the March 2009 session, when the Sudan mandate is set to expire.

Violations by 189 other countries have been equally ignored, while Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism was encouraged. A full 80% of all country censures were directed at one nation, Israel. The list goes on and on.

Never in the history of international human rights has one of its own institutions inflicted so much damage.

On what basis will time be a healer? On the contrary, with each session, another remaining country monitor gets eliminated, more Islamic resolutions are adopted to curtail free speech in the name of “defamation of religion”, and human rights as a whole suffers.

The UN is fatally broken.  Its own attempts at fixing the problems simply keep the status quo.  If it is to survive, it must be remade from outside, or simply abolished.  The suggestion of a league of democracies has, I think, a much better chance at succeeding than the UN.

Some define madness as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I give you Exhibit A.

The Narrative, Being Written

The conventional wisdom is that this upcoming election will be Obama’s in a walk-away.  Could be.  But on the chance he loses, Democrats are already writing the narrative they will use to explain it.

In a speech at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s annual convention in Cincinnati, [NY governor David] Paterson also suggested that the defeat of Senator Obama by Senator McCain in the presidential contest would be a victory for racism.

And he knows this because everything can be blames on racism.  The preceding paragraph notes:

Governor Paterson, who became New York’s first black governor following the resignation of Eliot Spitzer, is lashing out at the press for describing him as an "accidental governor," implying in a speech that the term’s frequent usage was motivated by racial bias.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names are racist

The article actually goes on to note, contrary to Paterson’s contention that only he, as a black governor, has been termed "accidental", 3 other people (including President Bush) and 6 separate examples of politicians being referred to as "accidental".  The man has got a serious chip on his shoulder.

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Shire Network News #137

Shire Network News #137 has been released. The feature interview is with Guy Earle, who committed the unpardonable sin of having a go at some hecklers at a show in Vancouver who were members of a protected class. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to "Consider This!"

This is a "Next Generation" update; stories that cover what’s going on in the world regarding the children, how they’re being brought up, brought down, pampered and hampered. 

We start with a doctor in Boston, Massachusetts that is prepping children as young as 7 for…a sex change.  Dr. Norman Spack, a pediatrician at Boston’s Children’s Hospital is taking in clients to give them drugs that delay the onset of puberty so these kids can decide what gender they really want to be.  So now, we’re doing with drugs what they used to do to boys in the middle ages in order to keep their high-pitched voices for the choir.  Only now, it’s "for the children".

Spack says that the permanent infertility is worth the trade-off, because, as he says, these kinds of kids are deeply troubled and have a high level of suicide attempts.  OK, so now, instead of addressing this deep troubling, we indulge their confusion?  Drug addicts are deeply troubled, too.  I suppose the next thing is giving them free needles and free drugs.  Oh, wait, they’re already doing that, especially in Canada.  Well, then, it’s be like giving cutters, those who inflict pain on themselves, clean razor blades.  Ah, nope, already been proposed by the Royal College of Nursing.  OK, something that even liberals would…ah ha, got it!  It’s like giving cigarette smokers free cigarettes!  They may not be as deeply troubled, but many do die early from the addiction, and as liberals like to remind us, even it saves just one life, it’s worth it.

Anyway, there are number of other doctors at prominent hospitals against it, so we have ways to go on this front.  Stay tuned.

In other news, the National Children’s Bureau in Britain has issued guidelines for nursery workers to be on the lookout for racist behavior in children.  This include things like a 3-year-old turning up their noses at unfamiliar foreign food.  I’m sorry, but when my kids were younger, they all had a penchant for saying "yuk" to unfamiliar food of any sort, foreign or not.  I don’t think they could tell what was domestic and what wasn’t.  Three-year-olds don’t ask, "Is that an imported cheese?  I’m sorry, but I only buy American; Wisconsin, specifically."  Nurseries are encouraged to report as many incidents from this 366-page guide as possible.  The guide says, "Some people think that if a large number of racist incidents are reported, this will reflect badly on the institution. In fact, the opposite is the case."  Heh, indeed.  It means more money for this government program to strain at gnats with.

Moving over to Germany, a new bill, which has the backing of dozens of big-time German politicians, would lower the voting age…to 0.  Babies could voice their opinions on the economy, and toddlers could weigh in on their education.  If you want to pass a bill on military deployment, you’ll have to get that crucial 3-10 year-old demographic on your side.  Again, not likely to happen soon — they tried before as recently as 3 years ago — but as with other efforts "for the children" and against disenfranchisement, it’s not dead yet.

And finally, from Pakistan, we have some good news and some bad news.  The good news is that 2000 women took a group vow last Wednesday.  They raised their voices in unity.  "I am woman, here me roar."  The bad news is that these burqa-clad Islamic women all vowed to raise their children to be Jihadis. 

Well it could be worse.  It could be a bunch of gender-confused kids going out to vote to send themselves out to holy war against people who call them "racist" for saying "yuk" to pork.

Consider that.  (Well, no.  Don’t.)

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