News, thoughts and comments on civil rights and related issues.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
News: Washington Dems call provisional voters
Good news for Democrats. Make that limited good news. It is limited because it applies only to Democrats in Washington, and, to a very specific situation. Party officials there have won the right to contact persons who cast provisional ballots Nov. 2. That matters because the Washington gubernatorial race remains undecided. The candidates, Democrat Christine Gregoire and Republican Dino Rossi, have traded the lead back and forth since Election Day night. As of Friday, 50,000 votes were still uncounted and Rossi had a 2,000 vote advantage.
The outcome of the successful appeal to the judiciary has given the elephant a headache. Republicans are perturbed. King County GOP Chairman Pat Herbol has described contacting provisional voters to remind them to be available to support their ballots as "another Florida." He goes on to imply Rossi has won the race and Gregoire should concede. However, that is not true. With the number of ballots still unexamined, Rossi's lead could evaporate.
The procedure for finding out if there are still problems with a provisional ballot requires the voter to take the initiative. He must either call the county elections office or locate its website and check for his name there. Considering the cumbersome process, allowing others to contact the voter seems justified.
The best scenario for both parties is that their candidate carry the race without needing to rely on the provisional ballots, but that the challenged votes be available if needed. Having the voters clear up discrepancies will help achieve that goal. I would not be surprised if the Republicans start contacting provisional voters, too.
Residents of Washington have milk. The question is: Got governor?posted by J. | 1:38 PM
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Commentary: The undeserving veterans
All veterans are not equally deserving of being honored. That seems pretty clear to me, especially when the veterans at issue fought against United States. But, the managing editor of a small town newspaper in North Carolina says she doesn't get it. Lee Raynor was surprised to be button-holed by an African-American veteran and told that he was offended by a local performance that honored Confederate soldiers. The man attended a musical memorial called "Salute! A Tribute to America's Veterans" in Kinston. Raynor wrote about her confusion in The Free Press.
I find it almost unbelievable that Tyson's reaction needs to be explained. The American Civil War was fought to preserve the Union and to end slavery. The Confederates fought to secede from the Union and maintain slavery in the new country they sought to establish. Confederate soldiers fought against the U.S. They were traitors. So, they don't deserve to be included in ceremonies honoring the veterans of the American military. What is so hard to grasp about that, Ms. Raynor?
Another oddity of her column is looking in Tyson's direction for racism. Does she subscribe to the pathetic diversion tactic 'the minorities are the real racists'?
Nor do I find Raynor's effort to cleanse "Dixie" of its connotations convincing. It doesn't matter who wrote the song. It is the sentiment of the lyrics -- that the antebellum South was an ideal place -- that many people find offensive. The possibility that the author of the lyrics may have been a black man does not rehabilitate them. However, it does remind thoughtful people that African-American entertainers have often curried favor with white audiences by telling them what they want to hear.
I can think of no rational reason for Raynor's alleged ignorance about the cause of the Civil War, and, why it is inappropriate to include Confederate veterans in an event honoring veterans of the American armed forces. So, I must assume she has an irrational reason -- the myth of the genteel South -- for the claiming not to understand.posted by J. | 8:23 PM
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Commentary: Blogger, libertarian and bigot
Blogger, libertarian and bigot Andy Nowicki has been giving some thought to the extinction of his 'race,' -- which he believes to be "white people." He is also considering what is wrong with the American Right. Nowicki is peeved, as much with conservatives as liberals. He says that the Right is wrong not to be more racist. He has posted his lamentations at Thornwalker.
Let's be clear on what white people mean to Nowicki. Like many racists, he believes all the fruits of civilization have been the output of Europeans. Darker hued humans are either dependents -- the white man's burden -- or savages bent on destroying civilization, ergo references to cannibalism. (Which, incidentally, has been rare in human history. One hopes Nowicki does not sleep in a full metal jacket in fear of being eaten.)
But, why is the intemperate fellow angry with Rush Limbaugh? As many of us know, the drug-addled talk show host has made noises in support of 'scientific' racism. Last year, he claimed that black Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was not up to task, apparently because planning plays requires the ability to think.
For someone like Nowicki, Limbaugh does not go far enough. The commentator did not explicitly state that blacks have brawn, but not brains. (Though anyone familiar with racist thinking knew what Limbaugh meant.) Nowicki prefers white conservatives who do not blanch from being explicitly in favor of white supremacy. So, he approvingly cites Jared Taylor of American Renaiisance, one of the foremost racists in the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center has profiled the man.
Taylor is a racist's racist.
Nowicki says he does see a silver lining in the decline in the 'white' birth rate worldwide. That's because he believes the extinction of whites will mean the end of liberalism. According to Nowicki, nonwhites lack the ability to sustain an ideology, including the one he most hates.
What is one to make of blogger, libertarian and bigot Andy Nowicki? I believe he is representative of public opinion that is not as fringe as some pretend it is. That kind of opinion -- openly white supremacist -- is readily available on the Internet, including in the blogosphere.
What is the Wichita Massacre? In 2000, two African-American robbers killed four people they victimized. The victims were white. Why is the crime described as a 'massacre'? The terminology makes it seem equivalent to much more deadly episodes in American history. Racists often exaggerate crimes in which the perpetrators are white and victims nonwhite to support their claim people of color are genetically disposed to violence.posted by J. | 10:39 PM