HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » markpkessinger » Journal
Page: 1


Profile Information

Member since: Sat May 15, 2010, 03:48 PM
Number of posts: 7,569

Journal Archives

Every last Republican owns a share of responsibility for Charlottesville

[NOTE: This is something I posted to Facebook earlier today.]

Trump's belated and grudging condemnation of white supremacists has rightly been criticized as being too little, too late. But so, frankly, has been the reaction of the Republican Party as a whole, including those Republicans who immediately condemned Trump's initial, tepid response to the events in Charlottesville.

Look, the overt racism that was on display in Charlottesville by the alt-right did not just appear from nowhere. This has been a long time in coming, and Republican politicians and voters alike have had plenty of opportunities to both identify and to call out the growing racist elements within their ranks. But for many Republican politicians, including most of those who have condemned Trump, so long as they could conceivably hide behind a kind of plausible deniability, they were perfectly willing to turn a blind eye to what was happening in their midst merely to gain those folks' vote. It really isn't only Donald Trump who is a day late and a dollar short.

The time to identify and call out your party's growing acceptance of racist rhetoric and undertones was 49 years ago, when Nixon launched his 'Southern Strategy,' which was a deliberate attempt to exploit the anger of Southern (mostly Democratic) whites over the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965.

Or it was in 1976, when presidential candidate Ronald Reagan introduced America to his mythical "Welfare Queen," of whom Reagan said: "She used 80 names, 30 addresses, 15 telephone numbers to collect food stamps, Social Security, veterans’ benefits for four nonexistent deceased veteran husbands, as well as welfare. Her tax-free cash income alone has been running $150,000 a year." (Although he didn't specifically refer to race, it was widely understood that he was referring to urban, single black mothers.)

Or it could have been 37 years ago, when Ronald Reagan launched his presidential campaign by delivering a speech just outside of Philadelphia, Mississippi, where just 16 years before three civil rights activists had been brutally murdered, in which he strongly asserted his belief in "states' rights" -- a coded that has been used since the time of the Civil War to signal support for white racists across the South and elsewhere.

We could look also to the presidential campaign of 1988, during which George H.W. Bush ran his infamous Willie Horton ad, that clearly exploited white stereotypes about black men. (William Horton himself never used and was never called by the name 'Willie', but the decision to refer to him using a diminutive nickname was itself a deliberate attempt to play into a stereotype many held of black men.)

Perhaps we could look at the years 1989 through 1991, when Lee Atwater, campaign strategist for both Reagan and George H.W. Bush was chairman of the Republican National Committee. Atwater had been covertly recorded in an interview in 1981 explaining how the Southern Strategy operated:

""You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states' rights, and all that stuff, and you're getting so abstract. Now, you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."" (See http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a42254/lee-atwater-grave-south-carolina/ .)

And let us not forget the plethora of outrageously racist signs and placards that were on display at the Tea Party rallies of 2009 and for a couple of years following. For that matter, let's not forget the duration of the Obama presidency, during which Republican voters circulated some of the most outrageously racist jokes and caricatures of President Obama and his family amongst themselves, and during which Donald Trump himself spearheaded a movement based on nothing other than the racist notion that a black man couldn't possibly be a legitimate president, calling into question is citizenship when there was NOT A SHRED of evidence to support the contention that he was in any way ineligible to run for the presidency.

No, sorry Republicans, you do not get a pass on this. Nor do you get to lay it entirely at Trump's feet. Plenty of us on the left tried to point out what was happening to your party right under your noses as the events above, among many others, unfolded. At first, you just shrugged and looked the other way – that is, until you happened upon your catch-all term you now use to dismiss every criticism, how ever valid, that comes your way. From that point on to today, you have dismissed every criticism, irrespective of that criticism’s validity, by waving it away as being “politically correct.” No, Republicans. You -- every one of you -- played a role in the events in this past weekend’s tragic events in Charlottesville.
Posted by markpkessinger | Mon Aug 14, 2017, 08:10 PM (3 replies)

No one will ever convince me . . .

. . .that the white nationalists in Charlottesville, at least half of whom probably couldn't name within a decade the year the Civil War started or ended, are even remotely interested in preserving the historical legacy of Robert E. Lee.
Posted by markpkessinger | Sun Aug 13, 2017, 06:39 PM (4 replies)

Barbara Cook, Broadway Star Who Became a Cabaret Mainstay, Dies at 89

Source: The New York Times

[font size=1]Barbara Cook in concert at Carnegie Hall in 2006. Credit Richard Termine for The New York Times[/font]

Barbara Cook, a lyric soprano whose rousing songs and romantic ballads touched America’s heart in an odyssey that began in the golden age of Broadway musicals, overcame alcoholism, depression and obesity, and forged a second life in cabarets and concert halls, died early Tuesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 89.

Adam LeGrant, her son and only immediate survivor, said the cause was respiratory failure.

In 2011, six decades after her Broadway debut in a short-lived musical, Ms. Cook received Kennedy Center Honors from President Barack Obama. It had been a remarkable journey from a broken home in Atlanta to national renown as a singer who never learned to read music but became one of the finest emotive interpreters of the Great American Songbook.

While her voice had darkened over the years, critics said that even in her mid-80s it retained the richness, clarity and expressiveness of the Broadway ingénue she had been in 1957, when she rendered “Goodnight, My Someone” and a soaring “Till There Was You” as the original Marian, the librarian, in Meredith Willson’s blockbuster “The Music Man.”

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/08/theater/barbara-cook-dead.html?smid=fb-share

[font size=5]Barbara Cook, Broadway Star Who Became a Cabaret Mainstay, Dies at 89[font]

Barbara Cook and Glen Campbell - on the same day.
Posted by markpkessinger | Tue Aug 8, 2017, 05:28 PM (7 replies)
Go to Page: 1