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debsianben Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:04 PM
Original message
"A Vote for Granholm is a Vote for Racism"
That's the conclusion that Benton Harbor black community leader Rev. Pinkney came to after Governor Granholm inexplicably dishonored Dr. King's memory by giving the Martin Luther King, Jr. Diversity Award to the Police Chief in Benton Harbor, some one who has presided over police brutaltiy, harassment, racial profiling, humiliation and the occassional murder, a reign of police terror that lead to huge anti-police-brutality riots in the summer of 2003. Rev. Pinkney said that the day after the ceremony 100 local voters called him to tell him that they would never, ever vote for Granholm again.

Here's the relevant few paragraphs from the release that Rev. Pinkney's office sent out over e-mail a couple of weeks ago:
************************************
<.....>

Yesterday at a holiday celebration at Lake Michigan College Gov. Granholm gave the MLK award to Benton Harbor police chief Sam Harris who has broken more BH rules and regs. than anyone, and has presided over extreme police brutality and sexual harrassment.

At the event, with a crowd of over 400 (95% white Republicans),
Granhom said that PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS COMPLAIN, and that Harris SHOULD IGNORE THE OVER 50 COMPLAINTS filed in recent days against the BH police department. Yes,
this is really what she said.

<....>

It is obvious that Gov. Granholm has defaulted on this promisory note in as far as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this scared obligation, Gov. Granholm has given the
black people of Benton Harbor a bad check which has come back marked insufficient funds. The city is outraged. There have been more than 50 complaints in recent days about police chief Harris and the BHPD which has 27 officers, 20 of whom are white. Sam Harris is no MLK- maybe Luther, but no MLK. Today more than 100 registered voters called me about Granholm saying they will never vote for her again. I, Rev. Edward
Pinkney, will never vote for her again. The governor's task force
which was put together after the 2003 uprising in BH was a joke. The city of BH is in worse shape today than before the
uprising. Residents of BH are growing weary of the gov. as police brutality and sexual harrassment continue to grow out of control. We have proof here in BH that a corrupt police chief produces corrupt officers.

No citizen who stands on the principal of justice will vote for
Granholm in 2006.

<....>

Rev. Edward Pinkney - 269-925-0001 anytime, night
or day

ps - a vote for Granholm in 2006 is a vote for racism

**********************************
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. After Engler, Granholm is the best thing to hit this state in a decade.
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debsianben Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Really? How so?
Last I checked, since she got elected, she's been going full-speed-ahead in the direction of ruthless budget-cutting. As a good friend of mine summed it up recently:

"She's balanced the budget on the backs of of working and poor people in a fashion that would make John Engler envious, this includes freezing enrollment into adult health care coverage, (i.e.)no garunteed health care for poor adults in Michigan. Mental health services have been further cut back as well, don't let anyone tell you that it had to be this ways as a result of of Engler's budgeting irresponsibility. There are many different ways of generating the revenue in a democratic society, and that includes vocal resistance to the bankrupting war effort. "

I'd personally add that in the old days we had these things called "taxes" that we used to balance budgets with, and that blaming the Republicans only goes so far when your'e the one with the veto. Even short of raising taxes (the rational step under the circumstances), some of the massive corporate welfare Michigan dishes out to mega-corporations headquarted here would be a nice first step.

Personally, my fondest hope would be for Michael Moore to run for Governor in 2006 as a Green (since he has a residence in MI, if he's registered in NY instead that would be easy enough to correct). Obviously, that's not gonna happen, but its certainly a nice thought.
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. As in....
Engaging in consensus building at a time in this country when all states have polarized legislatures. Michigan has severe budgetary issues but we are not sunk yet.

Maintaining funding for schools in the midst of severe budget crunches...something John Engler never did even in the days when the state was flush

Delivering the Dem vote for Kerry...something few other states were about to do

Such as trying to stem the flow of business out of Michigan with whatever works and yes including packages that enable people to keep working. We'd like to eat in this state if no one minds.Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has announced $1.9 million in Economic Development Job Training (EDJT) grants that will help retain over 14,000 workers at 76 Michigan companies. The grants, provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), will enable workers to receive specialized training through 11 Michigan colleges, universities and community foundations. A new business plan has been put forth to stabilize business in Michigan. Maybe that sounds like corporate welfare to you but to families in Michigan it means they can eat.


Scrutinizing every health care program that affects poor children and NOT making cuts to those. Something that most of the other states have done and the results have been catastrophic. The Granholm admin. introduced the Michigan Prescription Discount Card, the MI-RX Card, that will pool purchasing to allow as many as 200,000 senior citizens and working people with no insurance to cut the cost of their prescription drugs by as much as 20 percent. Granholm is one of 12 governors participating in a National Governors Association (NGA) sponsored meeting tomorrow to begin discussions on Medicaid reform and ways to avoid federal cuts to the Medicaid program that the Bush Administration may propose in its upcoming budget. Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has also signed legislation that will improve care for Michigan citizens with severe mental illness.

I like Michael Moore, he makes good movies. But we need a reality based Dem in our state as governor, not another republican and not a movie producer.

You sound like a troll...a few irate statements by one preacher does not a case make.
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debsianben Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Sure
A few irate statements by one preacher about Granholm honoring some one who has presided over a horrifying police reign of terror, does not a case make. (It is after all just a symbolic reminder of her awful atittude to Berrien County's problems the last couple of years.) The case is cumulative--her overall record in office has been like a socially moderate Republican, and a lot of people have been suffering under her budget cuts, which have cut broad and deep. (The fact that there's anything left to cut after Engler is amazing.) The differences between her and the Republicans in the state legislature are a matter of degree, not kind.

A progressive Governor would veto any budget cuts that target services that go to poor and working-class people, and if the Republicans can over-ride it, could use this to campaign against those state reps in 2006. Any one serious about ending unemployment would be talking about (a) a stiff capital flight tax, and (b) raising capital gains taxes and state income taxes on the highest income brackets to pay for massive public works programs in Detroit, Flint and elsewhere, not about doling out more and more public money to coporations in the hope that they'll decide to stick around.
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Michigan constitution requires a balanced budget
flight taxes are illegal, capitol gains tax cuts are part of the Bush tax cut package and Michigan has one of the highest schedules for taxes on high income wage earners already. Michigan has also had one of the best Medicaid / Welfare packages available among all of the states for the poor.
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debsianben Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #7
16. More than One Way to Balance Budgets
Budgets can be balanced by raising state taxes on the rich, and on corporations headquartered here, not just by cutting wages and benefits of state employees and cutting vital services.

And since when and how are capital flight taxes illegal? Details please.
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. Sam Harris deserves the award
Sam Harris has one of the toughest jobs in Michigan, IMO. Benton Harbor is a broken city, stuffed with crack houses and rampant with the usual street crimes that accompany structural poverty. Harris is a quiet guy who inherited the job from a long line of do-nothings. He believes in the rule of law, fairness, and sending a consistent message to criminals. Over the years, law breakers in BH became used to being patrolled by a dog with no teeth. Now the dog has teeth. No wonder they don't like it.

There are two choices in BH. Anarchy, or order. The anarchy experiment did not work. Let's hope the experiment in order does.

Harris is black, btw, which makes the racism comment seem like even more of an ad hominem attack, and silly at the same time.

Granholm is a breath of fresh air in a Michigan that stifled under Engler. For my money, Harris looks like another public servant who actually believes in his job. Another breath of fresh air.
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debsianben Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Huh?
Harris is black (like Condi Rice and Colin Powell, black faces in prominent positions in a deeply racist administration), but he presides over an overwhelmingly white PD in an overwhelmingly black city, that has long been notorious for its racist behavior. Denying that police racism and brutality is a serious problem in Benton Harbor is a little bit like Bush apologists who doggedly insist that everything is fine in Iraq and the "liberal media" just doesn't report the "good things" going on there.

The "anarchy or order" comment speaks for itself, given that we're talking about a city that is literally notorious accross the country for its high levels of police brutality and profiling, harassment and humiliation of black residents. Remember the riots that followed what 40 black eyewitnesses called an incident of blatant police murder, testimony only contradicted by the self-serving excuses of the two white cops involved? (I remember at the community forum I went to there when I was visiting, one older woman asking eloquently if speeding was now a "death penalty offense" in BH?) Remember Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's comments about the disturbances there as "America's intifada?"

As far as "anarchy" you think prevailed before Harris made the trains run on time, any one remember Maurice Carter?
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Moore for Governor? Citing Cynthia McKinney when decrying racism?
Sorry, but I don't want Michael Moore for Governor. He's a movie celebrity who didn't show any political talent when he was on the local school board, and hasn't shown a grasp of how to build coalitions since.

Also, I nearly did a double take when I read the comment about Cynthia McKinney. She and her dad are on record as having made explicit racist comments about Jews, just for starters. Both have long shown skill at whipping up race-based hatreds so they can personally profit in their political undertakings.

The "Condi/Powell/Thomas aren't black" trope has got to go. What a skinhead way of looking at the world. They are black, they just have different politics than us. They have that right. Let's attack their policies, not their race; it's extremely racist to imply they are stepinfetchits for the white plantation owners or something, because what? they're too stupid to think for themselves? Who appointed you the racial purity cop? My guess is, you did.

I'm not opposed to your different point of view; a diversity of opinion helps strengthen the body politic. However, your views are not very mainstream, and therefore, not likely to produce Democrat election wins here. In the real world, that counts for more to me, a lot more. There is a point where activist ideology is less important than getting things done to help actual people. Past that point, protecting the ideology becomes an exercise in ego. As with alcoholics, egoholics always deny they have a problem with their drug. In fact, it's one of the diagnostic signs.

Granholm may not be perfect, and neither may Harris, but I remember their predecessors, and think there has been considerable progress on both accounts. A lot of Michigan Donks agree.
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Ruby Romaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Granholm is doing the best she can under the circumstances due to Repuke
policies.
and we still don't have enought Dems in Lansing.
Since dems are a minority we have to compromise more than repukes.
no pun intended but it's not so black & white, the situation here.
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debsianben Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #9
15. No Alternative?
She's really not. The best job possible would be to raise taxes on those who can most afford to pay them in order to *reverse* Engler's vicious budget cuts, bring social services back to their pre-Engler levels, and fund public works programs to remedy unemployment and re-build badly damaged inner city areas in Detroit, Flint, Benton Harbor and elsewhere.

What she's been doing in signing off on awful budget cuts that have made life worse for state employees and other working families. Blaming the Republicans only gets one so far when you're the one with the veto. Even if they over-rode it, she could always refuse to sign budget-cutting legislation and bring it to the voters in 2006, forcing them to either vote her out of office or vote for state reps who agree to raise taxes on the wealthy rather than cutting services to the poor.
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debsianben Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. Cynthia McKinney Racist?
I challenge you to come up with a single explicitly racist comment by Congresswoman McKinney, one of the most consistently progressive voices in the House of Representatives, about Jews or about any one else. She has been critical of the racist and militaristic policies of the Sharon government in Israel, but surely that doesn't add up to "explicit racism against Jews?"

I followed McKinney's original primary defeat pretty closely (before, fortunately, coming back this last year), and in all of the often quite negative coverage from the mainstream media no one ever cited an even remotely anti-Semitic comment from her, since (to the best of my knowledge) there are none to cite.
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Please. Fish in a barrel.
She and her dad are expert, and cynical, manipulators of the "race card." They are also bigots against anyone with different colored skin.

Example. 1996, on the record, her campaign (run by her father Billy) called her opponent a "racist Jew." (When asked about these comments by the New York Times, Billy replied, "He is a racist Jew, that's what he is, isn't he? J-E-W").

Example. Same campaign, during a speech, she called supporters of her Republican opponent "holdovers from the Civil War days" and "a ragtag group of neo-Confederates." Never mind that her opponent was Jewish.

Example. During the 2000 presidential campaign, she wrote that "Gore's Negro tolerance level has never been high. I've never known him to have more than one black person around him at any given time." Never mind that Gore's campaign manager was black.

Example. After the majority-black district that first elected her to Congress was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutionally gerrymandered, she condemned the court as racist. She compared the verdict to Dred Scott (the 19th century decision that declared slaves were chattel), and Plessy v. Ferguson, famous for establishing "sparate but equal" apartheid. (Never mind that she was re-elected in a white majority district two years later.)

She's also a loose-lipped conspiracy theorist who tried to make political hay of 9/11 by declaring it to be a secret plot by Bushco and the neocons (read "Jews"). She went on to claim later there were no Jews in the WTC when the planes hit, further evidence of some Jewish/Bushco/Israeli perfidy. Only when it started to cost her politically did she start to backpedal from that one.

She recruits Louis Farrakhan to appear with her at political rallies, and supports his views. Seriously, what else needs to be said?

I'm not a Jew, btw. I was raised Catholic. I can only imagine how Jews must feel about this demagogue.
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debsianben Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Sorry, Try Again
She never claimed that there were no Jews in the WTC, which is why you can't provide a quote. The reason you couldn't provide a quote is that she never said it, and any one who knows anything about her views in detail would know that she never would have said it.

She never even claimed that 9/11 was a plot by Bushco. She did raise the questions, "what did they know and when did they know it?" and, "who benefited?", but its a hell of a stretch to get from that to "it was a plot by neocons" (something she never said) and an even bigger stretch to get from that to "a plot by Jews." "Neocons" doesn't mean "Jews" and never has. It means a specific, very real ideological view within the conservative movement, leading representatives of which include thoroughly protestant folks like Cheney and Rumsfeld (both old PNAC members). Claiming that all criticism of the neo-cons is rooted in anti-Semitism is insupportable and silly.

The context of her remarks on 9/11 was to call for an investigation into those two questions--she was one of the first Congresspeople to do so. I think one of the reasons she was just re-elected is that that call doesn't seem so incindiary and controversial in retrospect, since it ended up becoming reality (the 9/11 Commission). I challenge you to find a single place where she actually claimed that Bush or any one else knew about 9/11 in advance, rather than just saying that there should be an investigation into who knew what when (which is legitimate, as it turns out, given what we now know about memos with very specific warnings, etc., that got a lot of play in the 9/11 hearings.)

I agree that the comment you quote from her father is unacceptabe, but I find it telling that you can only find such quotes from her father, and none from her. Your original claim was that *she* had made "explicitly racist" comments about Jewish people, and as such its kind of ridiculous that you can't come up with a single such quote.

Your implicit view seems to be that any time some who happens to be Jewish is laballed as a racist, this is somehow an anti-Semitic comment. I don't see the sense to this--just as its possible for black people to be anti-Semitic, its possible for Jewish people to be racist.

Calling some one a "neo-Confederate racist" is legitimate if they really are a neo-Confederate racist (for example, I would say that any one who strongly believes that a Confederate symbol should be in Georgia's flag and is contemptous towards blacks with a problem with that symbol would be accurately described as a neo-Confederate racist, regardless of their religious or community identification), and illegitimate if they are not racists. But under no circumstances would it add up to "anti-Semitism" just because the person so labelled (whether accurately or inaccurately) happens to be Jewish. Similarly, I'd say that accusing a black person of being anti-Semitic may be accurate or inaccurate in any given case, even dangerously libelous or not, but would never in itself be racist, even if it happens to be wildly and dangerously inaccurate and to be shamelessly feeding into a Republican smear campaign against one of the most progressive voices in Congress.
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debsianben Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. Eh?
"The "Condi/Powell/Thomas aren't black" trope has got to go. "

Who said they weren't black? Of course they're black, and I never said or implied otherwise.

What I said is that they are prominently affiliated with a deeply racist administration. Would you disagree that the Bush administration--which is committed to reversing affirmative action, dehumanizes the people of Iraq to the extent of open indifference to Arab civilian casualties, etc., etc., etc.--is deeply racist?

How hard is to get the difference between saying that some one "isn't black" or "isn't a woman" or whatever, and saying that they are used by racists, sexists, etc., to help front for deeply and unacceptably racist or sexist or whatever policies?

E.g. the Eagle Forum's Phyllis Shafley (sp?) is female, but she undeniably fronts for and is used to provide legitimacy for some very screwed-up sexists who think that a woman's place is in the home. Saying that she's promoting sexist policies doesn't imply that she isn't a woman. Similarly with saying that Harris is a prominent black face in an almost all-white Police Department nationally notorious for its high levels of racism and police brutality.
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Ruby Romaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
10. also this is DEMOCRATIC Underground- we are working to help Democrats
not republicans- You'd prefer as governor Mike Cox or Mike Rogers?
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proudbluestater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 03:58 AM
Response to Original message
11. Do you have any sort of link to substantiate any of this?
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Stepup2 Donating Member (396 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
12. Hummm
IMO Granholm is doing the best she can given the leg in the state.

Btw, I was at a MLK rally where she spoke very eloquently about the issues of race in this state.

Don't remember Engler weighing in on the topic at all. She acknowledges the bifurcation and told us all we have MUCH more work to do on matters of race in this state.
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Lefty48197 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
13. I have to agree with all the sensible voices that say Jennifer Granholm is
a breath of fresh air compared to that right wing assault weapon, John Engler. While true, that Michigan is suffering through a very tough budgetary disaster created by John Engler, and the Republicans who are still in control of the Michigan Legislature. When a pursuasive leader like Jennifer Granholm steps up to the plate and starts to go to work solving the problems caused by the Englerites, she can only be applauded for doing so.
Yes, sacrifices are being made by Michigan state employees, and working families in general.
I would prefer that the original poster offer solutions to Michigan's budget disaster, rather than solely criticize Gov. Granholm for taking care of business.
If you have solutions, then offer them, but don't just stand on the sidelines throwing grenades.
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debsianben Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. I have a solution
Its called taxing the rich to pay for education, health care and social services. Its what Democrats used to advocate before the DLC corporate whores took over.
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