912 Protesters Fueled by Racism, Hatred of Obama

On Saturday (9/12), thousands of protesters gathered in Washington to express their disdain for President Obama and his policies – particularly health care reform.   The crowd was populated by white political conservatives — – organized by a loose-knit coalition of anti-tax, small-government proponents, and widely promoted by sympathetic voices in the blogosphere and on TV and talk radio.  The protest was scheduled for 9/12 – the day after the anniversary of the terrorist attacks – as way to mark a point in time when Democrats and Republicans supposedly “shared a sense of purpose and unity and all Americans were patriotic.”

What few, if any, of the mainstream reports included in their coverage of the event was any discussion of the racial composition of the 912 crowd which was overwhelmingly, if not exclusively, white.   According to The Washington Independent (the only news source I could find that was talking about this issue), the crowd was “99 percent white.” The reporter noted, “in my four-plus hours at the event, I’d only seen three African-American demonstrators.”   When the reporter asked Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), one of the organizers of the event, about the lack of racial diversity in the crowd, DeMint blamed the event’s timing and the media coverage.

“If anyone does a fair analysis of the crowd, it’s a cross-section of the population. It’s probably just the time and organization and the media that promoted it,” DeMint said.

Now, just because it’s an exclusively white-folks event doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s fueled by racism, but it does give one pause.   I certainly think it’s possible to oppose the policies of the Obama administration and not have those views fueled by racism.   Yet, you can tell a good deal about a protest from the images and iconography that protesters choose to convey their message.  And the signs people created and carried provide another kind of other evidence that the rhetorical and visual strategies of the protesters drew on a deeply embedded white racial frame.

While at least one news report (CNN) characterized the signs carried at the rally as “particularly distasteful” (e.g., “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy”), none in the mainstream media have called out the protesters for the overtly racist signs many of them carried.   Here’s just one example (via Alternet):


The crudely drawn ‘monkey’ image in the middle of this sign suggests the deeply racist imagery of Obama that appeared during the campaign and has continued throughout his presidency.  There are some more of these racist signs posted here.   This is the same kind of racist hatred that is fueling the 400 percent increase in death threats to Obama that I mentioned here yesterday.

Although it’s possible that mainstream news outlets are not reporting on the racism at these protests out of some sort of concern for stoking the flames of racism, it seems more likely to me that those deciding on what is – and is not – newsworthy are steeped in a white racial frame that hinders them from accurately perceiving the many ways that the 912 protest is rooted in racism and white supremacy.   The combination of this racism and the intense hatred of Obama makes for a dangerous combination.


  1. aNYconservative (Twitter Me)

    Let’s not forget that 92% of Blacks voted for BO.

    Only 50% of whites made the choice for BO. So the fact that the audience was predominately white is really not a surprise.

    In the 8 hours of being at the event I never heard any disapproval of BO himself, only a disapproval of his and the Democratic Congresses direction and policies.

    So get off this soap box and consider the policies and the effect they will have on your ability to live a free and wholesome life here in the America.

  2. Joe

    aNY, actually only 43 percent of whites voted for Obama, and many of them because he played into the colorblind version of the white racial frame. Most whites are afraid of discussions of racism , which is still central in the US economy, politics, and other sectors…..Whenever Obama dares to mention racial discrimination issues or critique likely racist actions, which is rare, there is a storm of white protests…..

    And you do not discuss the issue of the racist signs and symbols attacking him at the demonstration or on the web….. What do they mean?

  3. Michael Parker

    Well, let’s be serious here. Of course, this is all about white male anxiety. These people didn’t even take notice when Bush was bailing out the economy with 700 billion dollars of taxpayer money. They didn’t even flinch when spending under Bush rose to 5 times that of the Clinton administration. The sad fact of the matter is that many of these protesters don’t have a great deal of information about public policy – they are simply being manipulated by the people who benefit from keeping things how they are (i.e. rich, white, male, republican). They’ve been manipulated to believe that keeping the government out of things will actually keep them free. The fact of the matter is that the so-called “free” market is just a machine that cares only about profit, and has no concern for justice, cooperation, compassion, or any other human value. The “free” market destroys peoples lives, and we accept it. Every day, however, government run programs are improving the lives of people who have been hurt by the “free” market (a group which probably includes many of these protesters) and giving them greater power and independence. I’m going to take a guess that a lot of these protesters are complaining about health care reform. Why??? Medicaid and Medicare are making sure people can go to the doctor without insurmountable economic damage. Our “free” market health care system, on the other hand, is destroying people’s abilities to live a free and wholesome life in America. I, and many other people in this country, have had to struggle with overwhelming bills after getting sick. It is an imprisoning experience. Unfortunately, those white male fears of Black presidents, Latina justices, and Mexican immigrants are more powerful than any sort of logical argument about public policy. These protesters won’t be going away, and they won’t be reasoned with. They are all anxiety, hate, and fear.

  4. MOM@Joe,Any, Michael

    When you say played into the “colorblinded” verzion of the white frame please clarify a little better. I think I have some understanding..Also, I agree, there has been too many racist signs/posters regarding “THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”!.

    @ aNY – First, what to do mean,regarding the initials of BO, and another thing are your really that caught up in race that you don’t have a clue as to who’s Administration put us into the deficit in the first place? Are you really that unaware of the FACT the President Obama is actually doing something for the “good” of the millions of average people who cannot afford health care because of the financial collapse since 2005. You need to take another look at the FACTS and ask yourself one question . Who or what is the “President of the United States” has the courage to up against, which are the Insruance Co etc. Then ask yourself would you have that same courage? I don’t think you would being that your mind has been minulated by “BIG BUSINESS”, which don’t give two sh**s about YOU as a human being. So, tell me, since you are so “gun hoe” with BIG BUSINESS , which in this case are the Insurance Companies etc., and which have destroyed many lives, since the 1980”s with incredible medical bills, what’s your solution to fix the problem? Einstien? Your posts are an absolute disgrace and the reason why so many people in this country are suffering . THINK for yourself ! Maybe there’s still hope for your ignorant little minded self .

    @Michael-I agree!

  5. Michael Parker

    Thanks for the post Dave (sort of). Why the hell is the media not covering this stuff in a negative light? Well, since I don’t watch the news I don’t really know how they’re covering it, but I’m guessing it’s the usual “fair and balanced” crap. I can’t think of a more awful image of America. Truly disheartening.

  6. Michael Parker

    Actually, I think that looking at those teabagger pictures gave me a little bit of insight into these people. The problem might be that these people have the misguided idea that they somehow “own” this country more than other people (i.e. they sincerely believe that they are the true Americans). They can’t deal with the idea of having to sit back and watch a democratically elected president that they didn’t vote for sit in the oval office. It makes them crazy to realize that their vote didn’t mean shit, that their preference didn’t win out. They are at a loss for words because they can’t say love it or leave it anymore without implicating themselves. They can’t accept another America that has a different opinion. And the only way that they know how to respond to all of this inner turmoil is to try and defame, silence, and ridicule anyone who sees things differently. And why should they feel in any way guilty? These people whom they are so obscenely trashing are anti-American, after all (i.e. not like them).

    I’ll tell you what I think we need to spread in response to these people. The idea that America is not a fixed idea. It is a continent, a collection of people, and a democracy. And no one citizen has any more ownership over it than another. So deal. And now I’ll get off my soap box.

  7. Nquest

    Well, let’s be serious here. Of course, this is all about white male anxiety.
    You know, the whole faux outrage over Pres. Obama speaking to school children struck me as an extension of the age old irrational White male projected suspicion-anxiety that led to hundreds of Black men being lynched — i.e. White male guilt-anxiety regarding Black men desiring White women when the historical facts of slavery, e.g., have proved otherwise.
    Outside of the guilt-ridden, revenge projection (and without invoking the penis-envy concept) … it’s like Obama’s opponents believe the stories they use to mock him. It’s like the people raising a ruckus about Obama’s school speech were afraid their children were going to fall madly in love with the charismatic Pres. Obama (read: Obama presentation posed a threat to the kind of things they say about Obama).

  8. siss

    “They can’t deal with the idea of having to sit back and watch a democratically elected president that they didn’t vote for sit in the oval office. It makes them crazy to realize that their vote didn’t mean shit, that their preference didn’t win out.”


  9. Darin Johnson

    This is a strange syllogism you suggest:
    1. There are two sides of an issue.

    2. There are whites on both sides, blacks on only one.

    3. Therefore whites are driven by race.
    Another way to look at it is that blacks, whose politics are depressingly predictable, are the ones motivated by race. Can you offer any evidence that my interpretation is not the right one?
    Now, you’re going to suggest that the 912 protests are INHERENTLY racist, so obviously you’d expect some whites and no blacks to attend. But there weren’t NO blacks there, just not many. What would you say to the ones who were? Are they suffering from false consciousness? Are they just too stupid to recognize their own self-interest? Are they prejudiced against blacks?
    By the way, I finally figured out that around here the modifier “deeply,” as in “deeply racist,” is used to mean “vaguely” or “possibly” or even “if you squint just right you can convince yourself.” I didn’t get that until just now, but it does make some of your writings more clear.
    The site Dave Paul linked to is almost laughable in its tameness. (In fact, the most vulgar thing there is the reference to one protester as a “teabagger.”) It’s embarrassing — this is the best my side can do? Lame. Come on, guys! Let’s have some real fire and brimstone.
    If this is the most extremely objectionable stuff you could find, then you’ll have to concede that the 912 protesters were remarkably well behaved, especially relative to the venom we saw the left spray at GWB. That was truly vile. It’s hilarious to read Nquest and Siss convince themselves how bad the Right is for not taking their medicine. Did the Left step aside and let the Republicans enact their agenda in 2004? I must have missed that.

  10. I have no other reaction to the title of this post than: Are you shittin’ me?

    Honestly, you just labeled anyone who has principled opposition to the policies of this administration as a bunch of racist hatemongers. The ad hominem attacks of an earlier Marxism have changed from “vulgar economists are just sycophants for the bourgeoisie” to the Crit attack of “angry white protesters are just sycophants for the racist white power structure.”

    This makes debate on the issue impossible and for that I have no respect.

  11. Jessie Author

    Sure, Darin & Josh ~ that’s what’s going on at these rallies, just ‘tame’ ‘debate’ about the issues. Neither of you addressed the racist signs, such as the one I included in the post, above. If other conservatives won’t call out their fellow protesters on this kind of racist drivel so that the rest of can distinguish precisely who is being overtly racist from those who are just blithely going along with the overt racists, then I guess I’ll have to keep painting with the broad brush strokes you find so objectionable. Until then, I just can’t wink along with the “monkey” signs that ultimately contribute to an environment in which death threats to Obama are up 400% – but I’m guessing you don’t think that has to do with race either.

  12. John

    What is amazing is the ease with which people like this author will lie to demonize their political opposition. The fact is that the 9/12 protesters could care less what race the President is, and in fact were protesting the policies that Congress is pursuing.

  13. JDF

    @Darin and Josh, Jessie is right. Given how cons like Hannity continuously asked why Arab and Muslim Americans didn’t speak out against the terrorists (even though many did), why haven’t they spoken out against this overt and obviously racist bile that (hopefully) undercuts their movement (if that’s what this is). Oh and Darin, as for you question of those blacks participating in this event suffer from false consciousness, the answer is yes (at least in part).

  14. distance88

    I think the 9/12 protesters are doing a pretty good job of demonizing themselves without anybody’s help. No one has yet to cite any counter-evidence to the observations that Jesse posted–just a whole bunch of “This is crazy” and “I’m not having it”.
    where did you see a suggestion for the syllogism you posited? Are you talking about the original post or a comment?

  15. What a cop out. You’re a social scientist and you’re supposed to accurately assess the situation. What you are doing is basically everything I think is wrong with the idea of public sociology.

    Would you think it’s okay to label all anti-war, anti-globalization, pro-gay rights, and pro-choice protesters as a bunch of communists because there is an element (large or small) in those protests? Screw it, let’s all just paint with the broadest brushes possible and blame it on some TV pundits.

    A real sociologist would actually investigate these movements and explore the meanings behind each individual’s interpretation of the event. When you do what you do, you’re not a real sociologist anymore.

  16. MOM@

    The posters of 9/12? I don’t see it as anything less then being disrespecful to the “PRESIDENT OF THE UNITIED STATES OF AMERICA” Let’s take race out of the picture, please, for once. People in this country don’t have respect for one another, and not even for the “PRESIDENT” What’s going on? You know, I read your posts. I know that I’m not as, or better yet, had to luxury to be as “BOOK” smart as some, and may not even know this topic as well, but one thing I do have that most of you don’t is practical respect for another human being. The posters are a disgrace to the NATION! .To sink so low as to drag down the President because of his ethic background. “Sweet Jesus” The waYs people talk on NATIONAL RADIO TOO MUCH? The problem is this nation is just spoiled. Real hard life lessons is what’s needed to soften the soul. Maybe then people will start realizing that we as a NATIONHwrth

  17. Darin Johnson

    Distance88 — I’m talking about the original post.
    I responded to Jesse’s comment (14), but it seems not to have made it to the thread. I made three basic points:
    1. I did address the signs. I also pointed out that the most offensive thing in the post was the website’s own characterization of a protester as a “teabagger.” Nice. Real classy. Anyway, I called the signs tame, not the protest. And they are tame — especially compared to the ones we’ve been seeing for the last eight years, which explicitly compared Bush to a chimp and called for his murder. I must have missed the post where Jesse condemned those.
    2. This supposed 400% increase in death threats is nonsense. But even if it weren’t, it has nothing to do with the 9/12 protest. If it did, Jesse would be showing those signs instead.
    3. You can’t have it both ways. On one hand, the protesters brazen enough to threaten to kill the president, but on the other they’re so timid that their racism must be hidden behind ambiguous caricatures and coded language. Which is it?

  18. Jessie Author

    Thanks @JDF, @distance88. @John, you say that “the fact is that the 9/12 protesters could care less what race the President is” yet, their signs suggest otherwise.
    @Josh ~ I don’t subscribe to your domain assumption (to borrow a phrase from Gideon Sjoberg) about what a real sociologist is. I’m more interested in a critical sociology that begins with a critique of the status quo. When it comes to race, I write and think from a critical race perspective which means that I – and others that write from that perspective – begin with trying to understand the problem of racism, not trying to ‘prove’ or ‘disprove’ it. If you want to be a ‘real’ sociologist, you might want to familiarize yourself with this important sociological tradition that includes a couple of recent ASA presidents, such as Joe Feagin (that blogs here) and Patricia Hill Collins, both of whom I’ve studied with.

  19. Victor Ray

    Hey Josh,
    I addition to Jessie’s comments about a couple of recent ASA presidents and the extreme importance of a sociology that challenges the status quo, I would just like to add that there is ample sociological evidence of that “proves” most whites subscribe to some racists beliefs. A particularly revealing example of this research is the implicit attribution studies out of Harvard. Lots of posters on this blog have talked about this research before, but usually new posters don’t actually read the convincing evidence of the continuing significance before they claim posters are wrong in claiming it exists. Further, a “real” sociologist isn’t necessarily interested in “each individual’s interpretation of the event.” Sociologists tend to study systems and aggregates, be they cultural, economic, or ideological. Therefore, they tend to conceptualize the individuals very ability to make meaning within a communal context. In the U.S. that context has since its inception, included a large does of white racism. A real sociologists would analyze this weeks white March on Washington with knowledge of that historical background, as Jessie does, and also talk about how that effects the current climate of racial insanity among right wing whites.

  20. Darin Johnson

    The way this works, Josh, is that we don’t bother ourselves with things like “truth” or “objectivity.” Those have meaning only from the dominant white racist framework. Instead, accept the reality and ubiquity of white racism. Once we dispense with the question of “whether, ” we have much more energy to devote to ferreting out examples of how terrible America is (especially whites) and and how blacks have no chance.
    But maybe we can find common ground, here. What if Josh revises his comment to apply only to social SCIENCE, as opposed to sociology generally. It’s impossible to deny that what goes on here fits right in the mainstream of sociology, but science has its own independent definition, which Josh might argue this doesn’t meet. Is that a good compromise?

  21. MOM@

    That we as a Nation may need to experience to calm down. However, as mentioned in my last post that there are millions of people out there just watching and waiting..We are the ones without an opinion, without posters in our hands, without bringing RACE into our minds. We are the millions that lived throught hards times and survived. We are the ones that learned how to get along with and withouts. We are the voice of reason! . We are waiting for our time to speak up and maybe will be the ones to “clean house” with both extreme Rights and Lefts. And, many people feel the same, and many of us are from all different backgrounds and race. We are true Americans!

  22. Michael Parker

    Darin…just wondering, since you present yourself as a social scientist…do you actually believe that Blacks and Whites are on equal footing in this society as your “syllogism” suggests? Do the people who have enjoyed the privilege of owning the other people (not to mention telling them when they can vote, when they can own property, when they can marry people of other skin colors, when they can drink out of the public water fountain, and when they can sit in the front of the bus) get equal say in what’s racist?

  23. distance88

    Please, Darin, the scientific method applies whether you are studying societal underpinnings or particle acceleration. All scientific disciplines are subject to the same set of biases because they are all based on human observation. Social science is not inherently more/less reliable or valid than any of the so-called ‘physical’ sciences–look at the current controversy regarding ‘ghost-writing’ in medical journals.
    But more to the issue, the proprietors of this website (and in some cases the commenters) have cited a preponderance of empirical evidence (or links to the evidence), complete with sample sizes, control groups, statistical significance, analyses of variance, etc., to back up what they post. If you don’t believe that racism is as prevalent as people here claim it is, then by all means, point me to the empirical evidence that backs up your claim.

  24. Darin Johnson

    Danielle, that’s it?! I will admit that a few of them are nutty (questioning Obama’s nationality and religion), and the first one is obviously in bad taste and has a racial element — although it seems to be reversing the usual race roles, suggesting that Obama is the slaveholder. That’s a reference to his corporatism and overreaching, not his race. Didn’t you get that?
    I’m sure you object to the one with the Confederate flag because you think that flag is necessarily racist, but surely you know that many people don’t, and there’s nothing in the picture to suggest the guy holding it does. In fact, he’s combined the navy-flag “don’t tread on me” logo, which is a reference to the American Revolution, just to make clear what he’s getting at.
    This is the worst you could do. No pictures of Obama with bullet holes in his head? No hanging in effigy? No guillotine? These were common throughout Bush’s presidency. I’m just not getting my righteous indignation on over this.
    I actually expected that there’s be more. You don’t gather this many people who have a chip on their shoulder without the nut-jobs coming out. I expected to see some real gittin’-er-dun racism. Fortunately, it looks like there was not much. Perhaps credit is due to the protesters for policing their own.
    And once again, the single most offensive thing in all these pictures is the continual reference to the protesters as “teabaggers,” which is a vulgar, sexual reference. Care to address that? Call your guy out? I suppose not. There’s a pretty good track record of dishing it out but not taking it around these parts.

  25. Darin Johnson

    Michael, whether the history of race you describe can explain the differences in outcomes for races can be addressed scientifically, and of course it has. It turns out that race, in and of itself, is not a particularly good predictor of outcome. Now, race is correlated with all sorts of things — income, “status,” likelihood of being in jail, etc. However, when you control for other traits many of the differences in outcome disappear.
    This fact is politically incorrect, and it is virtually unknown to the public at large. But it’s true anyway.
    So, I don’t know if the races are “equal,” I’m not even sure I know what that means, frankly. But I do know that inequality is not well explained by racism.
    By the way, I reject your suggestion that only those who have been victims of racism are able to define it. Either “racism” has an objective definition or it’s no useful as a concept.
    Distance88, I agree that science is science, no matter what the topic. That was my point. Rather than trade references which neither of us will read, how about if I give you my general complaint about the science I’ve seen here?
    In a nutshell, the science here seems to focus only on disparate impact, the fact that races on average do better or worse than each other in various areas. When there is disparate impact, it is assumed to be caused by racism, with no consideration of other possible causes. Knowing the confidence interval tells you nothing about whether the underlying cause was controlled for, it just tells you the author took a basic statistics course.

  26. Jenni M.

    @Darin – I’d like to see references to the empirical research where differences in outcome disappear once controlling for non-racial traits (I assume you means things like e.g., factors related to getting a job – when you control for variables such as education, time in the work force, etc., “race” disappears). In my review of empirical research seems to me it is actually often the case that even when controlling for a variety of common sense variables much variance often remains unexplained on racial matters.

    That said, it’s worth discussing how limited quantitative research often is in capturing the impact of “race” – for simplicity’s sake consider this basic example, if there were a quant study that found that once you controlled for differences in education race no longer predicted income disparities. So, does this mean race is irrelevant? That race, as a construct, is irrelevant? In the above example, it is, of course absurd to assume that educational outcomes can be neatly teased away from racialized matters.

    Research that attempts to investigate race as a “predictor” is frequently so completely divorced from nuanced sociohistorical contextualiztion as to make it appear that “race” actually is a free-standing biological or objective concept that operates to predict (or not predict) anything. It is, of course, not “race” itself that predicts any variety of life outcomes. These are matters that become racialized in a socio-historical context that has been and continues to be structured around white supremacy through the deep contours of our institutions and routine daily practices (often even without explicitly racist conduct).

  27. Michael Parker

    Darin, thank you for the thoughtful reply. I don’t have any data in front of me to respond specifically, but i will try and reply to what you’ve noted in your post. First, the findings that race is not a predictor of outcomes when controlling for other things makes sense from the perspective that race is a social construct and not a real biological difference that would be helpful in predicting people’s abilities. I’m not sure that I see that as politically incorrect at all.

    The important detail is what you glossed over…”Now, race is correlated with all sorts of things” Those correlations are the racial disparities that actually exist in our society. The problem with controlling for all of those things is that you get rid of the real story. Maybe, for example, comparing Black and White students when controlling for education and grades and family income, you could find that there are similar outcomes for both Black and White students. In controlling for those things, however, you’ve created a hypothetical world where a Black and White student from similar economic backgrounds both finished school with a similar GPA. How often is this scenario actually happening? I don’t know myself. But I do know that schools are having some real difficulty engaging Black students in the first place. As you’ve mentioned, race isn’t the issue so it can’t be the students fault. It’s the system’s fault. Many minority groups are having a harder time relating to our institutions, our culture, our system. That is a reading of the numbers that comes from real life observation and experience.

    In any case, I’m not sure if you will take this advise or not, but I strongly urge you to reconsider your belief that you can ignore your own identity and become completely objective. Everything. Everything in this world that you see, hear, and touch gets filtered through that unique brain of yours that has developed around all of your own subjective experiences. Objectivity is an important goal for everyone, but it is ultimately unattainable. The first step towards becoming more objective is identifying yourself, where you come from, how you see things. In short, your biases. Just something to consider.

  28. Darin Johnson

    Jenni and Michael, nice to have a civil conversation. Thank you.
    I definitely do not believe that race is a social construct. There is clearly a biological, genetic component to race, and I see no point in denying that obvious fact. It may or may not matter, but it clearly is. Your race (or races) comprises a large, highly-inbred, extended family. The real shock would be to find that you didn’t share heritable traits with your race.
    When I talk about things that are correlated with race, I’m not talking about easy things like education and income. I’m talking about scary, politically incorrect things like personality, culture, and intelligence. I know my view in not the one you like to discuss over Thanksgiving dinner, but I believe the evidence is strong that it is correct.
    Jenni, a good summary of the kind of results I’m talking about is found in “The Bell Curve,” by Murray and Herrnstein. I’m sure you’d like to take exception to their conclusions (or what you believe their conclusions are), but maybe you’ll concede that they accurately reported the data they used from NLSY and other non-ideological sources. You can take on NLSY if you want, that’s fine, just be clear what we’re talking about here. Your opinion of Charles Murray are not relevant.
    Michael, I can appreciate your point that bias is everywhere and unavoidable. I’m sure I have my own. What I’m saying is that science is about objectivity and trying to see past your biases, not embracing them and holding them up as some sort of badge. You can’t say that you start by criticizing the status quo and call yourself a scientist. It doesn’t work that way. It’s not about ignoring biases, it’s about correcting for them, factoring them out so they don’t affect your conclusions. Don’t you agree?
    If you knew that your target pistol was biased two degrees left, you’d make sure to aim two degrees right of your target if you wanted to hit it. What I see here is people saying, “No, the bull’s-eye is an arbitrary convention based on a white racist framework. Hitting two degree to the left of it is the bull’s-eye in my reality.” That’s silliness.

  29. Michael Parker

    I don’t want to stray too far away from the original article, but I will just say one last thing. Science, obviously, is a good thing. But any science that looks at racial differences and rates one group of humans as better than another on a variable is suspect. It makes one question the value judgment of that variable. “Intelligence” as a variable becomes questionable when it is ranking certain people as better than others. We may, for example, currently live in a society where people with higher “intelligence” (as it is currently measured) rise to the top in certain areas. But we must ask ourselves if a system focused on this construct of “intelligence” (and yes, psychologists do call their variables constructs) is actually benefiting humanity and the rest of the earth? We have nuclear weapons, traffic jams, environmental degradation, and enormous human disparities. We do, of course, all benefit from the advances of “civilized” man, but we need to continually reevaluate the values of our sciences, not to mention our systems. That is why Jessie is suggesting we begin, as scientists, by critiquing the status quo. It doesn’t mean that we blindly reject the status quo, but begin by questioning it (just like all the great scientists have done). And to extend that thought, when a system is disproportionately valuing certain people, we have to question the values of that system. I guess I would disagree that the study of humans by other humans (with our biased and extremely limited attempts to measure the constructs of intelligence, culture, and personality) is even remotely comparable to the metaphor of a sight from a rifle aiming at the clearly visible red circle of a bullseye. I think that the study of humans requires a much more nuanced approach. In any case, I would also add that it seems like people here are saying that, yes, if a scientific construct of “intelligence” is the “sight” (both being the measures) and it is currently aimed at Black people, then it does need to be re-adjusted. Thanks, Darin, for the discussion.

  30. Darin Johnson

    Michael, it’s interesting that whenever I bring up variations among groups, somebody always accuses me of valuing one group over another. I said no such thing. In fact, I don’t rate groups. I don’t want to be evaluated according to my groups, and I assume those of you all who spent several days arguing about racial profiling don’t either.
    So, if we’re to be judged as individuals, we have to suck it up and recognize that various categories of individuals are going to have different outcomes. That’s just how it is. I didn’t make it that way, but I can’t change it any more than you can. Ignoring this fact is not challenging the status quo, it’s living in a fantasy world.
    Maintaining that intelligence is simply a construct is obtuse. You and I both recognize it when we see it, we know the difference between a smart somebody and a dull somebody. Now, maybe we can argue whether IQ is a good measure of intelligence, but I’m confident that the evidence is strong that it is. IQ is a powerful predictor of many outcomes. Maybe we’ll come up with a better measure someday, but I would be very surprised if it changed anything I’m saying here.
    It’s not about what a particular society chooses to value — as if intelligence is a fad. IQ predicts everything from academic success to income to likelihood of going to jail to likelihood of being on welfare — for all races. These are things that all societies value, or should if they wish to succeed and continue to exist.
    Jessie et all are not truly questioning anything. They are assuming a set of axioms upon which they build an alternate reality. They say, “Race is a social construct, not a real thing. Therefore any differences in outcomes among races must be based on exogenous factors.” If you start from that premise, you are question-begging — assuming to be true the question to be answered (i.e., whether races differ in meaningful ways).
    So why does this matter? The reason is that this potent parameter, intelligence, is completely ignored by the so-called scientists who post here. Until I start to see disparate impact studies that control for this parameter, I will continue to assert that white racism is not a particularly good explanation for differences in outcomes between blacks and whites.

  31. MOM@Ellen

    Ellen Ever since this has been posted I’ve have paying special attention to the public view/radio and TV, which as you know I don’t like to do. However, it seems to me that every thing that President Obama tries to do is under complete scrutiny, I mean everything!!I am starting to get concerned it’s like President Obama can’t make a decision about anything without being ridiculed. I’ve never seen this before and it needs to stop!! The REP are pushing the ticket to far and the Dems need to start standing strong together, or the President with not have a chance.

  32. MOM@Ellen

    It’s not about what a particular society chooses to value — as if intelligence is a fad. IQ predicts everything from academic success to income to likelihood of going to jail to likelihood of being on welfare — for all races. These are things that all societies value, or should if they wish to succeed and continue to exist.
    @Darin – You are absolutely correct, however, and this is proven scientific fact that most of those people that were mentioned above come from a lower social economic environments. Did you think when I said that humans are so intelligent that they have detached themselves from nature… This is certainly another proven scientific fact.. Most children that grow up in lower social economic environments are more likely not to do well in school, go to jail, and collect welfare.. This has nothing to do with the fact that these children have lower IQ’s, but are raised in places where Industries use there home environments as a dumping ground for waist. Those dumping grounds can cause damage to the brain such as ADHD and Autism ect. The food that most of those children eat are processed foods because their parents cannot afford all the little extras. . In other words, the true meaning of “you are what you eat” is not just for over weight people..This is also happening at an alarming rate for most of our youth that live in middle class neighborhoods.. There are more children today that suffer from asthma then they did thirty years ago because of fossil fuels. So, when you are studying IQ, I would think that you would also take a look at where these children live, and how they are living.
    I pulled my own son out of school because what the Administration was trying to do to him. I didn’t realize that he was very sensitive to the additives that these manufacturers put into some of the foods..I’m glad, I did that because he not only eats almost 100% organic food he’s a Dean’s List student, and one of his articles are being published in his field of study. (not bad for 23). Now, many parent’s leave their children or really have no other choice, but to leave their children in that situation, and the children are labeled, put on medications, and sometimes that in itself could result into drug dependency..So, I pay extra attention as to why some children do better then other as far as IQ, and I also have my own beliefs about this topic, which I still think that I am right about. LOL

  33. @ MOM: You are kickin’ it today! Post # 42 was a great commentary. Seriously.
    As regards post # 41, yeah this is insanity. I’ve Never seen a president take so much heat as Obama does. It’s because {I believe anyway} many whites in this country just aren’t ready for a black president. Just like former President Jimmy Carter courageously stated, ” Many Americans don’t think a black president is compentent to lead this country.”
    I think the horrible ‘strategy’ is to harrass and besiege the poor man until he can barely hold on to his sanity. It’s against the law to physically hurt him {God Forbid} but it’s within every American’s right to study the man like a bug under a microscope. Part of white America wants to send the message to all future black president hopefuls,’ This is what you can expect if you sit in the Oval Office!’
    I am constantly astounded at Obama’s poise in the face of this torrent of antagonism. Plus, those disgusting racial signs such as one that said, “Monkey See, Monkey Spend” make me ashamed of some of my fellow Americans.
    I erroneously thought that once Obama was in office, his opposers would settle down a little. Wrong. Obviously, they were just mobilizing for a 4-year civil war that will undoubtedly put race relations in this country back 50 years. Don’t you think so? Joe stated, and I agreed, I haven’t seen the country so racially divided since the Civil Rights Movement. I was truly surprised that this much racism Still Existed! I thought America had matured a little since the ’60’s..guess not.

  34. Darin Johnson

    MOM, it turns out that when you control for IQ the variation in outcome by economic status is dramatically reduced. IQ is a much stronger predictor of, say, poverty than whether your parents were poor is. (This is true for whites only as well as across races.)
    However, there is some residual effect of parent’s status. This may be due to “peer culture,” by which I mean the kids a kid hangs around with. Maybe that’s why your kid is doing better — he’s got a better bunch of friends. What do you think?
    On the other topic: why would Obama’s political opponents “settle down”? His agenda is no more attractive to those on the Right than it ever was. All their energy is alarming to only two kinds of people:
    1) Those who attribute racist motives to anyone who opposes Obama.
    2) Those who just want the Right to shut up.

  35. @ Darin:
    I hope you know by now Darin, that I am adamantly opposed to demonizing whites in general. Not All Whites are actively racists. Yes, there may be residual sub-conscious racism, but that’s frankly true for all people in all cultures regarding ‘other’ races than their own. If a white {or green man} for that matter is trying to be fair and treat people equitably, then he should not be thrown in the trash heap and labeled “White Eurocentric Monster!”
    Additionally, I do Not want the Right to shut up. In a democracy, everyone can scream and shout as much as they want. That’s what makes this country a true democracy.
    I also absolutely do Not attribute racist motives to Anyone who opposes Obama. I think that’s ridiculous. I myself don’t agree with every single thing Obama is advocating.
    For example, I for one Really can’t afford to have my personal health insurance premiums go up {to pay for people who can’t afford insurance} since I had a serious health problem 6 years ago and..my personal premiums are a whopping $585 a month folks! That’s just for me alone.
    I believe in health care reform, but I believe it should help Everybody. These premiums and health care costs are out of control for everybody. I don’t think the working middle class should bear the brunt of health care for illegal immigrants either. These premiums are killing me. Plus, I still have co-payments for doctor’s visits and medications.
    Another example: I feel that the ACORN organization should be totally investigated because CNN reported some very serious totally illegal misconduct by its employees. The entire incident is on You Tube. Acorn stands to gain Billions of dollars if the new stimulus package is adopted. I support the goals of ACORN, but only if it’s investigated Thoroughly and Monitered much more closely.
    So, no I don’t support every word out of President Obama’s mouth. This is what I personally am opposed to. I may or may not speak {and probably don’t speak} for everyone who posts on this blog. But this is my stance: I think President Obama is an honorable man.
    I don’t think he has any “secret” agenda like Limbaugh or Beck are claiming, to change this country into a Fascist Dictatorship. I don’t think References to Obama’s Race Has A Damn thing to Do With His Politics. Ridiculing the man on the basis of his ethnic background is Low Class Politics. I saw a 12 year old child carrying a sign on You Tube with a rough picture of a monkey that said, “Monkey See, Monkey Spend”. I’ve heard many other racist references to Obama.
    Darin, can you honestly say that None of the Criticism of Obama has Anything to Do with Race? Really? Are you that naive? I’m asking with all due respect.
    America has never had a black president before. We’ve going through some ‘growing pains’ not just because many Rights disagree politically with Obama, but because some white Americans are frightened by the Idea of a black man in the Oval Office. Doesn’t this make sense? Can you honestly disagree?

  36. Also,
    I work 7 Days A Week, ladies and gentlemen, to make ends meet. I am not a young woman any longer, so this takes its toll on me, believe me. That’s why I do not support the middle class {like myself} ‘carrying’ illegal immigrants. How much more am I expected to do? I guess I could work 8 days a week, but I don’t think that’s possible on planet Earth anyway.

  37. Darin Johnson

    Ellen, honestly. Are those the only two choices? Either none of the criticism of Obama is based on race or I’m wrong? I’m absolutely certain that there are people who oppose Obama solely because of his race. There. Does that change anything? Of course not — everybody knows that, but everybody with eyes to see also knows that racism is decidedly not a relevant issue for virtually all the protesters we’ve seen. If it were, you can be sure the media would have shown us. They’d never hide that.
    Do you think Limbaugh and Beck oppose him because of his race? Of course not! They’ve opposed the policies Obama is advocating for years — about 20, in Limbaugh’s case. He opposed socialized medicine 15 years ago when a bunch of white people proposed it just like he opposes it now. He’s being completely consistent. Just like the large majority of conservatives and libertarians who wouldn’t like what’s going on no matter who was responsible for it.
    I agree with you that Obama’s agenda is not a secret, by the way. At least not anymore. He managed to hide it until the election, but now he doesn’t have to. Or at least he believes he doesn’t.

  38. Darin Said “I’m absolutely certain that there are people who oppose Obama solely because of his race. There. Does that change anything?”
    That’s all anybody, I believe on this blog anyway, is trying to say Darin. This statement has huge implications. Very surprised to see you put it in such a neat little box. If played out, this means: we elect government officials in America based on race alone, not experience, integrity or policies.
    If a president is Black this is what we Americans do:
    1. Protest that he’s trying to brainwash our children if he addresses elementary kids. What the hell was that all about? All he told ’em was to stay in school!
    2. Make cruel remarks and posters that depict him as a monkey in the jungle.
    3. Accuse him of being Barack O’ Himmler and trying to turn America into another Nazi regime.
    4. Bring automatic weapons to within 100 yards of venues where he is speaking.
    5. If we don’t like his policies we just plan to assassinate the dude. I know you’ve read the articles about Obama death threats up 400% right? The secret service said there’s the devil to pay trying to keep this guy safe.
    Plus, Beck and Limbaugh are Not criticizing Obama cause they’re racists Darin. Know why they’re critizing Obama? Cause it’s Entertainment! They make Millions doing ‘The Sky is Falling’ routine. It’s showmanship for Pete’s Sake. You don’t really believe they buy every word they sell do you? They laugh all the way to the bank Every Day.
    The thing is: I don’t ‘cotton” to extremes in any direction: left or right. I do believe racism is an issue all over the world and it’s Essential people look past this if this planet{for God’s sake} will survive. We are so past this racial differences meme. We got Big Ass Problems and if we let Race {on either extreme: anti-white or anti-black} throw the dice, we’re done as a planet. I mean forget Obama, this is much bigger than America.

  39. MOM@Darin

    Darin – Maybe this debate would of held true 40 years ago, but we have to take a look across the board of what is being put into our food. Since, the RJK days there are 2 x as many people in the country/world. The problem, we do not have as many resources to keep up with the population. Manufactures are processing foods with certain additives, over fishing the seas, etc. The foods that all of us eat are loaded with impure chemicals that can and do effect the unborn child, which in turn, cause brain damage, which leads to autism, ADHD Alzheimer, etc.. Now, lets take a look a children in lower social economic environments. Those children are not only nurtured with those kinds of foods, but eat those foods all through their developmental years, and are raised in waist dumping grounds, which without those foods would have the same effects.. Like I said, unless people take a look at how these children live and how they eat there cannot be an accurate IQ. Now, with that being said, I happen to believe, and still do, that every person that is born into this world has varying degrees of focus. How can we be fair to those children who are not as focused, as maybe, other children that are, and expect those children to do well across the board, at the same age, on one test, which in this case is IQ. This is just looking at the IQ test without all the factors mentioned above. In other words, society has changed dramatically over the years. I happen to have a lot of experience with this Darin, I was forced to because of my own son, so I would love to talk to you more, maybe there is something that I’m missing. 🙂
    @Ellen, I agree. Like I said, I’ve “watched” all news stations, and I am very disappointed on how the President is be put under the micro-scope. However, if it is “lack of experience” maybe? Then where the are all the other seasoned Dems to support him, or at least show the President proper protocols. Thanks, MOM:0

  40. @ Darin:
    Know who Beck and Limbaugh remind me of? Fundamentalist Televangelists like Jerry Fallwell and Oral Roberts!
    “And the Lawd told us..ya’ll will go sta-rayt ta hell if ya diso-o-o-obey hisa word” psalms 45! ” {pause, takes a drink of water as sweat pours down forehead..pretends to get exhausted like Rush does!} ” A chi-i-i-ld willa imitate hisa parents. I say imita-a-a-a-te cuz ah mean copy ever deed, ever word, ever thought that parent puts on that child! If the parent drinketh of the well of sin, so drinketh the child! If ye imitate the devil, ye will see the gates of hell fire! Paul 413!”
    I always wondered. Why do televangelists speak quasi Middle-English like phoney Shakespearean actors? What’s with the ‘drinketh’ and the ‘ye’ baloney anyway? Why don’t they just say ‘drink’ and ‘you’? Showmanship Darin!
    By the way, no disrespect meant to Christians since I am one myself. Again, I just don’t trust 1.extremists 2.anybody who makes millions from what they squawk.

  41. Darin Johnson

    You mean extremists like Obama? Anyway, I don’t know what that rant has to do with anything. I get it — you don’t like Rush Limbaugh. So what? Does the fact that Rush Limbaugh reminds you of a cartoon preacher make your arguments stronger?
    Ellen, will you refer me to the posts where you objected to the vile, contemptible, and possibly illegal posters and other materials produced by the opponents of George W. Bush? I just want to read through those posts really quick so I’ll be sure I understand your position fully. Surely there must be dozens of posts where you point out that depicting the president as a chimp or comparing him to Hitler or showing him with a bullet hole in his head is objectionable back when Bush was in office; so if you’ll just send me a link to those posts I’d appreciate it.
    No? Oh.
    Forgive me if I suspect that your intolerance of “extremism” goes only one direction.
    As for your five-point summary of what “America” does when the president is black, four of them go on whatever color or party the president is (you just didn’t care about them until now), and the fifth is almost certainly not true.
    By the way, the guy with the gun at the rally in Arizona was black. Did you know that? Is he a white racist, too? If so, the definition must be even more expansive than I thought.
    You think Limbaugh’s shtick is just for entertainment, that he doesn’t buy it himself. I’m not so sure. Well, I mean, he does tend to overstatement and irony, which is easy to miss, but I’m pretty sure he thinks socialized medicine is a terrible idea, regardless of Obama’s race, and he hopes to convince people he’s right. Based on what I’ve heard from Limbaugh, it’s pretty clear that his ideological enemies underestimate him (perhaps purposefully) when they write him off as an entertainer. On the other hand, he clearly does NOT speak for the Republican party — just ask John McCain. His ideology is much more classical liberal than the Republicans’.
    MOM, did you know that average IQs actually increase at a rate of about 0.3 points per decade? I’m not saying processed food is good for you, but I have seen no evidence that it explains variations in IQ. Have you?

  42. Mom @ Darin

    Darin, I do know that IQ can be increased period. I lost that debate a long time ago, in class, with about fifty other people. LOL However, that is not what I’m talking about.
    IQ tests were invented to identify children who had learning handicaps, right? My debate is how can we accurately give a test across the board, to all children, of all race, and expect those children to fit in the same “mold” as other children, who have not been exposed to the extreme pollutants. The test, therefore, cannot accurately measured the level of IQ. I also feel, without factoring those children s environmental conditions then those children will always come up short in comparison to the average norm. I also, have a real hard time with labels. I feel that labeling a child actually hurts the child’s physic, and therefore, will hurt their chance of ever getting out of the vicious circle of labels. I feel, that maybe, rather then labels etc. that the teaching methods, in every school across the nation should be modified to the child, not the child being modified to the standard curriculum of the school. I truly believe that there are many children that “fall through the cracks”, and if had been given the chance would live as successful productive live in our society. In other words, I feel the IQ test is just something to measure a child’s performance at a certain age, which is true, but not a fair or accurate measurement of IQ. However, there are schools set up in this Country that do just that. They work with the child at their own levels of focus, and are vary successful, but unfortunately, are very expensive for parents, especially, from lower social environments to send them to. Getting back to my theory. I believe, that every person that is born into this world, is born with varying degrees of focus period. Therefore the IQ test still would not be an accurate measurement of IQ even without all the factors, that I mentioned above..

  43. Mom @ Darin

    Yes, did you read the post that I wrote about processed foods? They not only processed, but genetically engineered,. There are about 5 major food companies in the world that hold the seeds of wheat etc. Monsanto, DuPont, and I forget the others, but I’m sure you could do the research.. Those companies, because of GREED, have put a lot of framers out of works because of the way that they these companies manufacture many of our foods.

  44. Mom @ Darin

    IQ test cannot accurately measure children across the board. IQ tests were designed to identify children with learning disabilities, and that in turn, puts labels on children. I feel, school teaching methods should be molded for the child not the child molded for the average norm.

  45. Darin Said:” Ellen, will you refer me to the posts where you objected to the vile, contemptible, and possibly illegal posters and other materials produced by the opponents of George W. Bush?”
    I know you’re being sarcastic. Hardy har-har. Actually, I do object to any American president being hung in effigy by our citizens. Oppose the policy, but Americans waving signs that depict American presidents as men who began WWII {27 million people died in that thing by the way} is..here we go again..Extremist.
    Why would you claim my ‘extremism’ goes only one way? I mentioned the ACORN tape which actually has Never been mentioned on this site before. I assume you know what I’m talking about? All the Righties are discussing it. In this case, yeah…I’m upset with the Left Wing Acorn plan because on the tapes {which once again Darin..just like our ole argument about the Slavery By Another Name site you did Not bother to check out} two undercover reporters enter a total of 3 ACORN offices posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend. They say they want to obtain a housing loan so she can set up a brothel. Plus they say they want to bring illegal underage girls into the business from South America. In all 3 cases, the ‘agents’ at ACORN didn’t blink an eye..but proceeded to tell them how to set up the brothel, evade paying taxes and more advice on how to ‘keep your mouth shut’ about the illegal girls. Unbelievable.
    I don’t want my tax dollars going to ACORN if it supports Human Trafficking. The concept behind Acorn is admirable, but it must obviously be monitored cause it’s being abused.
    Yet again {getting dizzy yet?} back to the Left..I still think Obama is definitely being defamed because he’s a black man As Well As because many people don’t agree with his policies. So, why do I have to prove to you I’m not a hard-core Lefty or Righty..But Against all forms of Racism and a strong Human Rights Advocate. Plus, I happen to like Obama..so sue me.
    You know darn well Darin, that if an Asian man/ Latino man/ man from India/gay man /a woman/ ran for president, the country would go through another growing pain thingy just like we’re going through now.
    What exactly is your point anyway? That if Obama can’t stand the heat, he should leave the kitchen? I mean you admitted that racism plays a part in castigation of Obama a few posts back..so? Plus, Obama seems to be handling the heat pretty well. The Secret Service have their hands full however.

  46. Darin Johnson

    There’s something to this vicious cycle you’re describing. The heritability of IQ is debatable, but it seems like there’s consensus that between 40 and 80 percent of variation in IQ is from genes. The remainder is determined by environment. However, there’s good evidence that the environmental effect is not from parents and the home, but from the external environment — peers. This is one area where blacks specifically, but the poor in general, are at a real disadvantage.

  47. Darin Johnson

    That’s bad faith, Ellen. As you know, I did watch both videos you suggested and commented on both, even though you declined to stipulate that they were relevant to our discussion.
    I know about the ACORN video. Okay, listen, if you’re the exception to the rule around here — that any strenuous debate or argument from the right is classified as racist, especially if it’s directed at Obama, then I’ll owe you an apology. So far, I haven’t really seen it. You’re proclaiming that Obama is “definitely being defamed” because he’s black. Your evidence: a few questionable signs and the fact that Rush Limbaugh reminds you of Elmer Gantry.
    The reason I keep bringing up Bush is not to be sarcastic but to point out how strenuously you seem to be labeling simple, every-day policy disagreements as race-based defamation — even though we had eight years of worse without a peep from you or anybody else who is so exercised about the tone of the debate now. Even if you were right that Obama’s critics all hate him because he’s black, that’s still not worse than the regular, explicit and public calls for Bush’s death we all saw with our own eyes. You can’t explain those based on white racism, so maybe people are just jerks (that’s what I think).
    The fact that you’re upset about ACORN is admirable, I suppose, since it is upsetting, and I suppose it’s true you aren’t accusing the reporters of racism, so that’s good, too. I wonder what you think the concept behind ACORN is. It seems like the strong-arm wing for progressives to me.
    I totally disagree with what you claim I “know darn well” — that Obama’s race matters a whit in the large-scale debate. It doesn’t. Sure, it matters to the kooks, of whom there are too many, but they aren’t relevant. The fact is that a black man who was pushing for low taxes and reduced regulation would have Limbaugh’s full support. And mine. It’s about politics, not race.

  48. Darin Said: “You’re proclaiming that Obama is “definitely being defamed” because he’s black. Your evidence: a few questionable signs and the fact that Rush Limbaugh reminds you of Elmer Gantry.”
    Darin..Jeez..please scrutinize my posts more carefully! You keep deleting ‘bunches’ of stuff. What about the 400% increase in Obama death threaths? What about Jimmie Carter’s little speech about how he thinks much of Obama’s criticism is in regard to race? He stated, “I think many Americans don’t think a black man is competent to run our country.” I’m taking your points one at a time cuz you have a tendency to bunch everything together and dismiss a lot of ‘kinda important details’.
    So, do you think Jimmie Carter’s opinions have any merit? A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no” will do nicely. Why do you think death threats are up 400%..surely you don’t think this is “I just reeeeelly don’t like the guy’s stance on the ozone layer depletion. I kinda think we should guillotine him.”
    Plus, you’re the one always bringing up Limbaugh. Just cause Limbaugh criticizes someone doesn’t mean doodly.. I already stated he’s just Barbara Walters dressed like a fat bald man. Plus what’s with Elmer Gantry..I said Elmer Fudd.
    At any rate, just respond to One issue at a time please: 1. death threats up 2. Jimmie Carter’s statement. What do you think?
    After that we’ll discuss ACORN which I think is a pretty big deal. And No! Why would I accuse the reporters of racism? The culprits were caught red-handed. Yeah they were black and they were abusing the system atrociously. I don’t think All Blacks abuse the system, but the ones on the ACORN video sure were!
    You keep putting me {again} in the extremist camp where I don’t belong Darin. If black people commit a crime, they should be held responsible. Black citizens are not children, they know when their activities are illegal. They should pay the price of this behavior just like everybody else.
    And the ladies in the video seemed Quite Familiar with the intricacies on how to evade the law. Plus, they were willing to turn a blind eye to human trafficking of underage children being sold into prostitution? Sorry. No sympathy from me here.

  49. Darin Johnson

    Ellen, come on, now. You’re not giving me a mid-term, this is just a conversation. If I miss a point that you think is important you don’t get to grade me down. Maybe I did it so I could focus on what *I* thought was important. In the interest of getting along, I will address your two questions.
    As for the supposed 400% increase in death threats, I simply don’t believe it’s true. I thought we’d already discussed that issue, but maybe it was somebody else.
    Why on earth would Jimmy Carter’s thoughts be of any interest? He’s a fool. So, “no,” I don’t think his opinion is of any value at all. None. This statement from him is just typical Carter nonsense. He doesn’t know what “many” Americans think.
    Now you address my point: Yes, there are racists who don’t like Obama because of his race. They are not relevant in terms of the political debate. They appear to be even a substantial minority of the 9/12 protesters, let alone Americans in general. Virtually all the opposition to Obama can be explained based on his policies and tactics, without resorting to calling his opponents racists.
    I’m suggesting you apply these time-tested rules:
    1. Occam’s Razor — the simplest explanation is preferred to a complex one.
    2. The Golden Rule — do unto others as you would have others do unto you (i.e., don’t assume bad motives from your opponents just because you don’t like their politics).

  50. ellen says

    Well Darin,
    Thanks for the update on the state of the nation.
    I learned alot.
    1. Jimmy Carter’s a fool.
    2. The 400 % increase in threats to Obama’s life were manufactured by a. the tooth fairy b. munchkins c. the jack-o-lantern in your front yard d. Joe Eagin on Racismreview.com
    Plus, Occam’s Razor doesn’t cut the mustard or even a mustache since the world we live in is Really Complex. Maybe the simplest explanation is indeed preferred but then we can’t have everything we prefer can we? The Tooth Fairy told me that. Too bad we can’t just click our ruby slippers together and just say, ” There’s no place like home” and back to Auntie Reagan and Kansas we fly. Gosh, thanks for all the info Darin. I can sleep yet another night knowing you’re on watch.
    By the way I heard on National Public Radio today {not that I didn’t already know} that the state of our economy is much worse than the government wants us to believe. Gosh, was I surrrrprised! Whoda thought?
    One last time: what exactly is your very clandestine point? With all due respect.

  51. MOM@Ellen

    Hey Ellen, LOL Somebody just told me the Mr. Greenspan stated that we are no longer in a recession. I guees I’ll have let my creditors know, so they will stop calling. :0)

  52. Michael Parker

    I think that it is important to remember that there is a lot of racism going on in these protests even without overt racist imagery or slogans. If you have ever in your life felt real oppression, you are sensitive to it. You know it when you see it. You think deeply about it all of the time. This is not, as some have suggested, a matter of taking things too seriously. It’s called having a worldview built upon the experience and pain of being a second class citizen. If you don’t know the pain, then forget about being a part of the discussion. These are truths that some will get and some, well, just won’t. And for those who get it, I say feel proud of the insight you have. If you don’t get it, maybe one day you can free yourself from mental slavery. The truth is that White America has never ever ever taken any ownership of the history of racism in this country. Black people in this country are trying to join the hundred yard rat race from 500 yards behind the starting line. The principles of social justice are based upon the truths that, sure, America is a place where there is upward mobility, and yes, sometimes hard work can get you somewhere. But these truths do not negate the fact that class, race, gender, disability status, and many other factors play a part in whether one can truly join the mainstream….whether one can really enjoy the privilege of feeling normal in America. The fact that the protesters are all White and that they are using a lot of jargon about “my country” is subtly racist. It is a slap in the face to those who still don’t get to say things like that. And the fact that this segment of the population, the right wing, that has in the past been so hard line about showing respect for the president of the United States is now is now giving Barack Obama the middle finger is a slap in the face. The fact that they are comparing Obama to White, racist dictators like the Czars and to Hitler in some sort of twisted attempt to exonerate themselves of their history of White racism is a slap in the face. The fact that they are spreading lies about Obama being a Muslim because they think they can get away with it because of his skin color is a slap in the face. And the fact that these protesters are completely oblivious to issues of social justice that public policy, funded by tax dollars, is helping to promote, is another slap in the face. And, yes, it is all racist. But, as I said, you either get it or you don’t. I’m not sure if you have all seen this yet or not, but just to lighten up the discussion, here’s a link to enjoy (hope it works)… http://pol.moveon.org/insurance_execs/?rc=fb.6

  53. ellen says

    By DAN ROBRISH, Associated Press Writer Dan Robrish, Associated Press Writer – Wed Sep 23, 12:08 am ET
    PHILADELPHIA – A state panel has found probable cause of racial discrimination at a suburban Philadelphia swim club that asked a day camp group of mostly black and Hispanic children not to return, a ruling the club’s lawyer blamed late Tuesday on the “media firestorm” that followed the incident.

    The Valley Club in predominantly white Huntingdon Valley, Pa., has denied there was any racial motive behind its actions June 29, when children from Creative Steps Inc. day camp went to the club and their payment for swimming was refunded without explanation. The club has maintained that there were too many children for the number of lifeguards on duty and that many of the children who were at the club couldn’t swim.

    Brian Mildenberg, a lawyer for a black girl who was part of the day camp group, said at a news conference Tuesday night that the report from the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission was the result of a thorough fact-finding process.

    “They looked at all the e-mails that went back and forth,” Mildenberg said.

    The messages quoted in the report include one from club board member George Whitehill to the rest of the board that said in part, “Race is an issue since every email of complaint mentioned race.”

  54. ellen says

    In Addition:

    The girl Mildenberg represents says she heard a member of The Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley ask, “What are all these black kids doing here?” and say, “I am scared they might do something to my child.”

    The state report also noted that other large groups that came to the swim club did not generate the same reaction. For example, a plumbing company has held an annual party at the club that draws about 100 to 125 people each year, about five to 10 of them black, the report said. It found that far more children were in the pool for those parties, yet no club members threatened to quit and guests did not report “inappropriate or rude comments” from club members.

  55. ellen says

    Finally! A President who tells the United Nations to stop stalling and help out! As I mentioned in another post: I’m Tired of the international community expecting America to shoulder the burden of every other nation’s problems. C’mon already..Move!
    By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer Ben Feller, Associated Press Writer – 18 mins ago
    NEW YORK – Seizing a chance to challenge the world, President Barack Obama says the global community is failing its people and fixing that is not “solely America’s endeavor.”

    “Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world’s problems alone,” Obama said in a passage of the speech he was delivering Wednesday to the United Nations General Assembly.

    The White House released excerpts in advance that carried a remarkably blunt tone.

    It comes in Obama’s first speech to this world body, a forum like none other for a leader hoping to wash away any lasting images of U.S. unilateralism under George W. Bush.

    In essence, Obama’s message is that he expects plenty in return for reaching out.

    “We have sought in word and deed a new era of engagement with the world,” Obama said, echoing the cooperative theme he promised as a candidate and has since used as a pillar of his foreign policy. “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility.”

    He said if the world is honest with itself, it has fallen woefully short.

    “Extremists sowing terror in pockets of the world,” Obama said. “Protracted conflicts that grind on and on. Genocide and mass atrocities. More and more nations with nuclear weapons. Melting ice caps and ravaged populations. Persistent poverty and pandemic disease.”

    The president added, “I say this not to sow fear, but to state a fact: the magnitude of our challenges has yet to be met by the measure of our action.”
    Tell it like it is Obama! Why is everything America’s burden? Then we get dumped on as soon as these ‘allies’ get their ‘Care Packages’, ‘Military Support’ whatever it is they’re whining about at the moment.

  56. ellen says

    @ Darin:
    Read Post #68 and go to the site listed. Horrible depictions of Signs With Very Explicit Bloody Death Threats to Bush. Mark makes the Excellent point this was Unacceptable then and Will Always be unacceptable! Thank you Mark for a hard-to-find site. I looked myself for such signs/death threats to Bush to prove a point but couldn’t find one.

  57. Darin Johnson

    Ellen, that’s MY point. I think you’re talking yourself in circles. Focus like a laser:
    ELLEN: People oppose Obama because they’re racists.
    DARIN: No they don’t. People oppose Obama because he’s a Lefty.
    ELLEN: Look at all the bad things they’re saying about him — plus, he’s black.
    DARIN: They said that and worse about Bush — was that racism, too?
    But I’m glad you agree with me, now.
    Do you think Jimmy Carter is a respectable, level-headed statesman, or something? He’s a joke. He’s never met a dictator who’s side he wouldn’t take — especially against America, and ESPECIALLY if said dictator calls himself a “Marxist.” He was an incompetent, freckless president, and he’s a disgraceful, self-important ex-president. But at least he’s an ex-president. Thank God for small favors.
    As for the 400% increase, I wonder whether even you find that number credible. It’s just implausible on its face. Especially given all the energy around Bush’s first election. It’s a liberal fantasy — that the right’s kooks are kookier and more violent than the left’s. But, hey, let’s have a look at the data, maybe I’m wrong, who knows. I’d bet dollars to donuts the denominator’s screwy, though.

  58. ellen says

    @ Darin:
    Honestly, Darin, I don’t see the point of continuing this discussion if you persistantly invalidate my sources.
    1. Jimmy Carter {Who him? He’s freckless plus his daughter had too many freckles!}
    2. Death threats toward Obama up 400 % {That’s a lie!}
    3. Some opposition to Obama is racially based {ELLEN: People oppose Obama because they’re racists.}. I never used this Absolute.
    So, if you insist on claiming my sources have freckles and re-wording my thoughts so you can affectively combat them, I can’t continue this fruitless discussion.
    But thanks anyway. I still think the wittiest, most observant thing you ever said, was that we won’t be singing interracially on a hillside soon, teaching the world to sing and buying it a coke! lol

  59. Darin Johnson

    Okay, fair enough. At this point in his career, I think liver spots are much more likely for Jimmy Carter than freckles. Don’t you?
    My statements about the supposed 400% increase are based on nothing more than a strong intuition that it’s not true. Hopefully I’ve been pretty clear on that point — I have not investigated the claim personally, and I don’t even know where it came from.
    Finally, if I’ve misstated your arguments it wasn’t on purpose. I’ve done my best to address them head-on, since you’ve taken the time to have a rational, reasonable argument. That being said, I’m sure I didn’t capture every nuance. It’s not a format that lends itself to detail very well.
    I’ll tell you what, let’s just let it go while we’re on reasonably good terms. I enjoyed the discussion very much, and it’s clear that your position is more complex and thoughtful than I initially gave you credit for. I hope we bump into each other again.

  60. ellen says

    @ Darin:
    I hope you know by now I’m not one of the ‘haters’ on this blog! You are kinda of a pest though! {Just kidding!}
    Truly though, hating accomplishes nothing, and pretty darn much defeats the purpose of this site. The only people I’ve ever gotten really angry with here are people who’ve I’ve detected that hatred in. It’s not healthy! And not democratic..and it certainly doesn’t further the cause of anti-racism or pro-humanity.
    Anyway, yeah..I’ll see you in the next poli-sci class!


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