Friday, July 16, 2010

This Foul racism has to STOP

This past week, the NAACP passed a resolution at its annual convention condemning racism in the Tea Party movement. According to their own site, "Today, NAACP delegates passed a resolution to condemn extremist elements within the Tea Party, calling on Tea Party leaders to repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches."

That seems very straightfoward and very American. Who could disagree?

Media Matters said on their site today "Tea Party Express chairman Mark Williams lashed out against the civil rights group, claiming that "they make more money off of race than any slave trader ever." Williams continued his assault last night on CNN, telling host Roland Martin, "Racists have their own movement. It's called the NAACP."

Oh, and it gets more foul.

Here is the post written by Mr Williams on his blog, mocking the president of the NAACP with a fake letter to Abraham Lincoln. Read through it and then see TODAY's results.

NAACP Resolution: Colored People change minds about emancipation


In every one of the dozens of interviews that I have done regarding the anti-Tea Party resolution passed by the NAACP I have brought up the absurdity of a group that calls blacks "Colored People" hurling charges of racism. Whats more, each interviewer has defended that phrase and expressed surprise that I would consider that phrase to be racist!

Apparently Colored People are an entirely new race of people and one to which the title applies. Here NAACP President Precious Ben Jealous explains to President Abraham Lincoln the reasons for the resolution in this newly discovered letter :

Dear Mr. Lincoln

We Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!

In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the 'tea party movement'.

The tea party position to "end the bailouts" for example is just silly. Bailouts are just big money welfare and isn't that what we want all Coloreds to strive for? What kind of racist would want to end big money welfare? What they need to do is start handing the bail outs directly to us coloreds! Of course, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the only responsible party that should be granted the right to disperse the funds.

And the ridiculous idea of "reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government." What kind of massa would ever not want to control my life? As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves and make decisions!

The racist tea parties also demand that the government "stop the out of control spending." Again, they directly target Colored People. That means we Colored People would have to compete for jobs like everybody else and that is just not right.

Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government "stop raising our taxes." That is outrageous! How will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?

Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.


Precious Ben Jealous, Tom's Nephew National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Head Colored Person


TODAY's events

Things escalated. Apparently Mr Williams was made uncomfortable. He took down the above vile issuance from his site. He has accepted an invitation to talk with the NAACP, suddenly saying that this "is no time for Mark Williams and Ben Jealous to get into a battle of egos and personalities."

Now here are two paragraphs that should be enshrined in PR books as the most awesome, stunning, gargantuan attempts at "spin" in recent years. Read Mr Williams call for racial harmony. Then try to remember what planet you are on.

To that end and as a reciprocal gesture I have removed the parody letter you came here to read and urge you to fight those who seek to divide us by race, no matter the color of the racist. Our fight is against tyranny and for liberty and to see that this nation continues the lofty goal of equality for all set for us by our founders. Make no mistake though, there are those for whom peace and progress is poison and they will continue to circulate the several versions of my article (Yes, there were several versions. As reasonable people pointed out to me wording that I agreed was indeed objectionable it was removed or changed by me personally.)

Now that Mr. Jealous and others realize their error and seek to mend fences it becomes my job to not offend rational people who disagree with me on the relevant issues while not sacrificing the truth. I heard too from many very sober and thoughtful people who counseled me that my comments were an obstacle to progress and that I missed my intended target. The day that I cannot learn something new will be the one following the coroner’s signature on my death certificate and this is not that day. So, with that I reiterate what I and every tea partier have said repeatedly: We denounce racists of any color and all those who seek to divide the American People along any lines.

I am running out of words. How much spin can the far right do? He even infers that the whole thing was the NAACP's fault and that THEY need to mend fences. I am offended on every level. My head is spinning so much I am almost falling off my chair. Was today "Invent A New Reality Day" over at Far Right Headquarters?

Monday, July 12, 2010

summer heat

It has been blazing in New England for the past week -- and the air has been thick with humidity. And everywhere you go, you hear the same absurd phrase. "It isn't the heat so much -- it's the hu-mid-i-ty!".

No. It is the heat AND the humidity.

The air is slice-able, but it is just too damned hot to slice.

Even my dog races to "do her business" and scuttle back inside. As far as Zoe is concerned, outside is for brief forays to fertilize my lawn. Period.

I have no idea how people survive the tropics, or how anyone survives without air conditioning in heat waves like this. I am a coward. I do not leap forth into the heat ready to work up a good sweat. I stay inside and drink vast amounts of iced tea and iced coffee and fruit juice.

Hydrate. Hydrate. It is a mantra with me.

I conserve my electricity, making sure I shut off lights, switch off rechargers, etc. But I blast my A/c unapologetically. I am an asthmatic. There actually is good reason, excellent reason, in fact, for me to condition my air and to avoid sweaty exertion in hot weather. But I think sometimes even without the respiratory issues, I'd still want my air chilly.

This is what post menopausal women want -- the utter absence of anything that even vaguely resembles the dreaded hot flash -- which is more that hot and worse than a flash -- someone should have named them the 'flesh soaking searingly hot red-faced spasms'.

If men could get hot flashes, someone would have invented an 8 oz portable whole body air conditioner by now. Until then --

Please pass the orange/pineapple/mango/peach juice please. And don't skimp on the ice!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I want to be my Bichon

This is my dog, Zoe, after she has romped outside in the mud. She is doing her equivalent of a smile. She is grubby, tired and happy. She has dug some determined holes to nowhere, rolled in some alluring scented grass, marked her territory and asserted herself to some marauding sparrows.

A recent article about this breed describes them as "sturdy and cheerful".

That about describes my pooch. She's 18.3 pounds of low-to-the-ground energy. Yet when she wants a cuddle she compacts herself into a tiny furball and nestles in bed into my armpit, her head on my shoulder, her paws curled up against my chest. If it were not for the sweet softness of her breathing, she could be mistaken for the perfect plush toy.

She had a tough life before I rescued her. Her prior owner's boyfriend crated her for up to 16 hours a day and muzzled her the whole time. She could not bark, eat or drink with the muzzle on. If she tried to bark, he'd hit her. Finally a neighbor talked the owner into letting her try to place her. I found her at my local site and was lucky enough to be chosen to be her housemate after the neighbor fielded the calls. That neighbor saved my 'lil gal from being put down.

But now, two years later, Zoe is dandy. She used to flinch when I raised my hand -- now she looks to see if I have a treat in it. She used to not let me near her face -- now I sometimes wake up with her sleeping almost nose to nose with me. And she now loves it when I run my hands through the hair on her head and under her chin. She is sturdy.

She somehow took all that life pain and traded it off for her current reality. That's what I want to do -- to take my bag of accumulated life-ikk and trade it off for joy. Just because.

I like that "sturdy and cheerful" style. My Zoe has bounce. She let herself trust again when she was in a safe spot -- even after three years of abuse and neglect. So I want that ability to let the past go when the past has been unkind to me.

I want her capacity for joy -- for running full-out and then rolling in some nice mud. Her joy is shameless, exuberant, even proud. After a good romp, she will sometimes come in the house literally jumping and scrambling with happiness, barking as if to say "Didja see me roll in that grass? Didja? Huh? Didja?"

On a hot day, Zoe can be found on my ..uh...our...bed...reclining on her back, paws in the air, legs bent, belly to the breeze, in the slipstream of the air conditioner. When she "gives it up" to relax, she gives it up with no doubt.

I want to relax like that -- with no thoughts of things I should be doing instead.

Then there is the Bichon "Blitz". It is a real thing, a real term used to describe an odd trait among Bichons. They will suddenly run around like crazy, often making an odd low rumbling noise. They will zing around the house with no apparent reason, no set idea in mind. Then they will stop dead, think for a second, then run like mad dogs again. When they are done with this ritual, they just plop down and take a nap. It is odd, unable to predict and seemingly without any cause. You Tube has a series of "blitzing Bichons". Here is one I like --a pooch that is also playing with a Milkbone as part of the blitz.

There are times I'd just love to growl and run and rumble without cause. Then take a nap. Moments when I am frustrated or angry come to mind as great opportunities for a blitz. Moments after getting very bad customer service seem ideal. After listening to right wing extremists seems like a fine time.

I think that I need to start paying more attention to my resident guru, Zoe.
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