Is Joe Biden a "Racist"?

I heard someone say with respect to Senator Joe Biden,  

The mere fact that people discuss "race" is not evidence that they are "racists". 

This topic of "race" is very convoluted , since we all agree that, as a biological matter, "race" doesn't exist in the first place. It's very difficult to have a meaningful discussion about something that we all agree does not exist. It's like asking, "How abominable is the abominable snow man?" If the abominable snow man does not exist, will we ever be able to reach general agreement about whether he is abominable or not? Since "race" does not exist, how can we know if any given person is a "racist"?  

I think anyone who uses the word "race", regardless of the skin color of the person who does so, is a proponent of or an enabler of the idea that humans can be divided neatly up into meaningful biological groups based on the color of our skin. Among the most "racist" people alive are those who keep "racism" alive by ostensibly fighting against "racism" while continuing to use linguistic terms that presume the disproved existence of "race" itself.  

"Race" does not exist. It is the most debated biological concept that has no basis in biology. Why not divide us by height or eye color, hair color or distance between our eyes? Fact is, biological "race" is a fallacious and arbitrary concept that has no meaning except in the proponents' minds, and I call those proponents "racists", regardless of what their color is. In my opinion, if you believe in socialism you are a "socialist"; If you believe in "race", you are a "racist."  

Now, some Black people and whites readily admit that "race" doesn't exist as a biological matter, but they nonetheless insist on using the word to refer to a political concept, insisting that Americans are intelligent enough to know the difference, and to make the distinction in the context of any given conversation. Since when have Americans been so intelligent?  

This to me, is like insisting that I can call my wife "my bitch" in a positive way, and everyone will be intelligent enough to know that I am using the word in a loving rather than derogatory way. And therefore, because I use the phrase "my bitch" in a positive way, I can know with certainty that I will not give license, political and linguistic cover to those who regularly use the term in a negative way.  

The truth is that if I called my wife "my bitch" for any reason, I would be giving cover to those who use the word in a derogatory fashion for the purposes of denigrating all women, particularly Black women. And so, like the word "race", I can't afford to use the term "my bitch" at all, for any reason. The social, political and linguistic costs are just too high.  

Similarly, if I use the word "race" for ANY REASON, I give cover to those who use the word to propagate the belief that human beings can be divided into meaningful biological groups based on skin color. So, if you hate hearing the phrase "my bitch", then you should also consider abandoning the phrase "my race," regardless of what your own skin color is.  

Now, when Biden makes statements that are clearly referencing people's skin color and/or ethnicity, there can be no doubt but that those statements are aroused by his perception of others skin color and /or ethnicity, as well as his learned ideation, emotion and behavior aroused by the perception of others' skin color or ethnicity.  Therefore, Mr. Biden has demonstrated that he has ideation, emotion and verbal behavior that is aroused by skin color and ethnicity.  He also has a nearly perfect voting record on civil rights issues.

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Debates Offer Peek at Old White Men

"Paul G. Kirk, Jr. (69 year-old white man) and Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. (a 68 year-old white man), both co-chairmen of the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), have announced the moderators for the 2008 general election presidential debates:

1.  Jim Lehrer [74 year-old white man];
2.  Tom Brokaw [68 year-old white man]; and
3.  Bob Schieffer [71 year-old white man].

In announcing the moderators, they might well have said, "we thought it was important that each of the moderators be a retirement age white man."

How did they decide that all of the moderators of presidential debates should be white men beyond retirement age? Were they trying to make John McCain feel more comfortable about being older than 88% of America's population? The Commission on Presidential Debates really cannot be said to be "non-partisan" since it clearly represents the O.W.M.P (Old White Men's Party).

We should call these the "Founding Father Debates" since all of the moderators are old enough, white enough and male enough to have been present at the first Constitutional Conventions!

There's nothing wrong with being an old white man, but is it really fair that, at all three successive debates, Barack Obama will be faced by John McCain and a moderator who looks just like John McCain in every demographic respect?

Is this not a subtle way of erroneously telling America that only old white men are responsible and wise enough to hold positions of responsibility?  That certainly would be a crazy and counter-productive message for Democrats to send right before a presidential election in which their nominee is a Black man. So, this is yet another example of old white men valuing exclusionary politics over broader Party self-interest.

We all love and respect Brokaw, Lehrer and Schieffer. Each of them is like our best image of a grandfather or great-grandfather?  But we also have great respect for (that old white lady who fucked the Black senator from Massachusetts), as well as (the old Black man who was an anchor at CNN) and (the Black guy who was on television as an anchor).

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Obama Addresses Poverty at the Faith Forum

At the Saddleback Faith Forum, Barack Obama twice states that he has at the basis of his Christian faith commitment to "the least of these", which is a biblical reference to people who are poor.

I think America's greatest failing in my lifetime has been that that we still don't abide by that basic precept in Mathew that, 'whatever we do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.'  That notion of, that basic principle applies to poverty; it applies to racism and sexism; it applies to not having, not thinking about providing ladders to get into the middle class.   There's a basic sense that this county, as wealthy and powerful as we are, still does not spend enough time thinking about "the least of these."

What has Obama "flipped on" over the years?  He says,

I think that a good example would be the issue of welfare reform, where I was always believed that welfare had to be changed.  I was much more concerned ten years ago when President Clinton initially signed the bill that this could have disastrous results. I worked in the Illinois legislature to make sure that we were providing child care, health care, other support services  for the women who were gonna be kicked off of the rolls after a certain time.  It worked better than a lot of people anticipated.

One of the things I am absolutely convinced of is that we have to have work as a centerpiece of any social policy.  Not only because ultimately people who work are going to get more income, but the intrinsic dignity of work, the sense of purpose, the sense that you are part of the community because you are making a contribution, no matter how small, to the country as a whole.  That's something I think Democrats generally have made a significant shift on.

What does it mean to be a Christian?

The expectations that God has for us, and that means thinking about "the least of these" . . .

Although some of us may disagree with what Obama says about poverty, none of us ought to deny that he has addressed it.  He addressed it clearly in the above debate, by saying that he believes the primary thrust of his faith is the obligation to treat the least of our brothers with the same consideration that we would give to  Jesus Christ himself.

Say what you will about the way in which Obama addresses poverty, but clearly he has expressed a very definite commitment to addressing it.

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Chicago Trib. Writer: White Blogosphere "Boring"

"Howard Witt is the Southwest Bureau Chief of the Chicago Tribune, based in Houston, Texas. He joined the paper as a summer intern in 1982 and during his 25-year career has been a national correspondent, foreign correspondent and editor . . . Among many stories of international significance, he covered the Lockerbie crash, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ouster of Ceausescu, the release of Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid and the Moscow coups in 1991 and 1993 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union."Chicago Tribube 

In the YouTube interview above, Howard Witt describes the importance and interrelatedness of afrosphere Black bloggers -  "the power of these blogs to organize people and to become activists based on information from the mainstream media." 

Witt says,

I orginally assumed in this kind of attitude that I think a lot of mainstream journalists have about blogs:  I was really dismissive of them, I thought they were these narcissistic exercises.  I still think that to a large extent with regard to what you would call, quote, unquote "white blogs", the liberal blogs like DailyKos and Huffington Post and some of these . . .  Those blogs, as far as I'm concerned, are pretty boring.  They're pretty much people expostulating about what they've seen in the New York Times . . .

But, what I found in the ethnic blogs, in the African American blogs in particular, and to an additional extent Hispanic blogs and Asian blogs, is that those bloggers are organized around much more visceral community issues, around real problems.  They're writing about real issues and uncovering issues um, that effect peoples lives.  And they're organizing around them and creating activism around them.

It's hard to think about the last time the DailyKos actually did something, created something, changed something, whereas the Black blogs can claim to have freed a fourteen year-old girl from prison; they can claim to have drawn 20,000 people to the town of Jena; and that's an incredible power that they are learning to harness and exploit.  So, I have incredible respect for these blogs now, and in fact I view them as essential ways to help distribute the stories I write in the mainstream media.  


Well, I think maybe Howard's onto something.

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DNC Convention Blogger Seriously Injured in Car Accident

AfroSpear DNC Blogger Seriously Injured in Car Accident.
Still to Report on Historic Nomination of Barack Obama in Denver

Photobucket

Felicia, Daughter of AfroSpear Blogger L.N. Rock,
AKA"African American Political Pundit",
Will Be Youth Blogger to the Democratic National Convention
In Spite of Major Injuries Suffered in Car Accident.

The youngest daughter of AfroSpear member and Democratic National Convention blogger L.N. Rock, AKA ,African American Political Pundit, has been involved in a major auto accident, with serious injuries resulting.  Felicia, 19, was a passenger in a car in which the driver fell asleep on Route 495 in Maryland, crossed the divider through the oncoming traffic lanes and flipped over twice to land in a ditch. Felicia is credentialed through the African American Political Pundit blog to cover the Democratic National Convention, August 25-28, as a youth reporter.

In a conversation over MSN, L.N. Rock reported, after speaking with his daughter and the driver of the car,

The car landed in a ditch, where Felicia was pinned in and had to be taken out by fire department professionals, with what I understand were the jaws of life.

She was awake and was pinned in. When the fire department arrived she told them that she could not get out, was pinned in, could not move.  A blanket was placed over her face as they began to tear open the door.

Felicia was taken to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda Maryland and admitted.  There was no alcohol or drugs involved in the accident and the driver was unharmed.

In spite of the accident, says L. N. Rock, Felicia "plans to struggle to be with her dad, to videograph the Democratic National Convention, and report on the AAPP blog in a planned youth section".

Felicia says,

Barack Obama has won my "heart and mind" and I want to be there to witness history. I can only read about Martin Luther King, Jr., but I plan to be there to see Barack Obama nominated for president, even if I have to go in a wheel chair.
Felicia will begin college this year, with offers of admission from Howard University in Washington DC and Montgomery College in Maryland.

L.N. Rock says, "Her girlfriend went to sleep at the wheel.""It was a very serious accident, but Felicia will recover. She now has a full brace of her back and chest", but "she'll be home today from the hospital".

She is still determned to cover the Democratic National Convention for the AfroSpear as a youth blogger, witnessing and reporting on the historic nomination of Barack Obama.

With Felicia's medical injuries, travel expenses for the convention will be even higher than previously expected. To make a contribution, visit this site: http://www.chipin.com/mypages/edit/id/a8b7b4102bc0135d

Francis L. Holland, Esq.
http://francislholland.blogspot.com
55 (73) 3288-1716

L.N. Rock, African American Political Pundit
http://africanamericanpoliticalpundit.co m/
africanamericanpoliticalpundit@gmail.com

Guns and the White Foundering Fathers

Cross-posted in the AfroSpear.

America's Glock, Smith and Wesson chickens are coming home to roost once again, with the shooting death of the chairman of the Arkansas State Democratic Party, Bill Gwatney.

Witnesses said the gunman entered the party offices shortly before noon and said he wanted to see Gwatney about volunteering. Party officials said the man forced his way into Gwatney's office and fired three shots, then fled in a blue truck.

House Majority Leader Steve Harrelson was at the state Capitol for a news conference on crime and that he didn't know of anyone who would want to harm Gwatney.

"You never think of something like this happening here in Arkansas," Harrelson said. Yahoo News

Some of the United States' culture just doesn't make any damned sense, and the results speak for themselves.  One such aspect of American culture is the belief that you can never have too many guns, and that any disadvantage that comes from having guns in the hands of those who are mentally unstable, hooked on crime and/or drugs is balanced by the warm and reassuring knowledge that every one of our neighbors has at least two guns in his house, maybe three.

So, although we are endangered by the massive firepower in the hands of lunatics, the lunatics wouldn't dare use that fire power because so many good and decent people are also armed to the teeth.  Yeah, right.  As it says in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous,

This brave philosophy, wherein each man plays God, sounds  good in the speaking, but it still has to meet the acid test: how well does it  actually work?  One good look in the mirror ought to be answer enough . . .  Step Three, AA's Twelve Steps
Well, today America looks in the mirror and sees that a leader of the Democratic Party has fallen and there's blood all over the floor.  The National Rifle Association says that even more guns is the answer, but we already have more guns than any other nation in the world, and we also have higher murder rates, as well as rates of many other types of crimes.

Some of us continue to insist that the Founding Fathers were not criminally insane when they barred women and Blacks from the Constitutional Conventions, and then enshrined in our Constitution the right to each "keep and bear" as many arms as they had hands, feet, arms and fingers.  And more.

One of my chief arguments against the Second Amendment is that, although the right is supposedly fundamental, it's a right that Blacks have NEVER been thought to have in equal measure or really any measure at all.  How many times have we heard police say that they shot a Black man dead because they thought he had a gun?  Well, if the Second Amendment guarantees the right to "keep and bear" guns, then why should being perceived as having a gun be an instant and wholly justified death sentence for Black men? (Careful.  Any answer you give may support the proposition that the protections of the Constitution only apply to white people.)

Fact is, as a practical matter, white men have the right to keep and bear arms while women mostly don't want to do so, except to defend themselves, and Black people are killed on sight when they are found to be doing so, or merely purportedly perceived to perhaps have been doing so.

Meanwhile, Bill Gwatney is dead and that is part of the mean legacy of the clearly Foundering Fathers.

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Will Whites Hand This Election to John McCain?

My take on the Democratic Primaries on April 22, 2007, eight months before the Primary season began.

With a Black Democrat running for the White House against a white Republican for the presidency, no one can say that analysis about how and why Americans will vote as they do is irrelevant or off point.  Studies show that white people don't generally agree with Black people about the nature of the color-based subtext to such a confrontation, and MyDD is 98% white, so it is virtually impossible that very many people will agree with what I am about to propose.  After the election, if they are honest, they will be forced to admit that the analysis I present here is central to the outcome, whatever it is.

Some people wonder why I've attacked people like John Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards, (as well as Al Gore and Hillary Clinton more recently) so vigorously over my blogging career.  The criticism change based on their behavior at different moments and strategic concerns, but there is one unifying theme:  A fight against the systemic denigration, subjugation, oppression and exploitation of Black people in the United States, involving both "whitism", for short, and the white male superiority syndrome.

As I wrote back on December 13, 2006:

Here, I define white male supremacy as:

The belief that white males, no matter how much and how often they fail, are still, by virtue of their male gender and white skin, are inherently more qualified than blacks and women who succeed.  

The corollary to that definition is that white male supremacy is also:

The belief that Blacks and women, no matter how much or how often they succeed, are inherently inferior to white men, no matter how much or how often white men fail.
To show how the White Male Supremacy paradigm functions in practice, we compare the educational qualifications of all of the candidates for President, with a particular focus on those of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator Barack Obama and ex-Vice President Albert Gore.  Crashing the White Male Supremacy Paradigm

At the time, very few people agreed to me that the central issue in the 2008 race would be the relative continued prevalence of the white white male supremacy paradigm, and so they banned me from participating in DailyKos because they believed that my attacks on the white male supremacy paradigm were unwarranted. And yet, I continued to write that John Edwards' candidacy would not be successful because, among other reasons, Americans (Democrats at least) were no longer willing to accept the proposition that a white man as president was inherently superior to a woman or a Black man.

Traditionally, when Americans became sick and tired of the leadership that one political party offered, they see-sawed from the Democrats to the Republicans and back again, in the hopes that things would change. However, after 43-consecutive white male presidencies and no movement toward national health care, many Americans have abandoned the traditional belief that white male leadership was inevitable or inherently better. In fact, both the polling numbers and the campaign contribution numbers point to a new dynamic: Many Americans have concluded that as long as America is led at the highest levels exclusively by the white male minority of the population, the country will never change for the better. Anger and Disgust at White Male Leadership Fuel Contributions and Polling of Clinton, Obama

And once having stripped back John Edwards' white maleness and considering him on other basis, he would prove not to be as effective a candidate as the woman and Black man against whom he was running. I particularly said that his central premise, that electing the 44th white man to the presidency would help Blacks and women (the poor), was illogical and simply untrue, and I was credited in the The American Prospect for having identified early one of the principal reasons why John Edwards' campaign never caught on with the Democratic electorate.

Now, with Barack Obama and John McCain contesting the presidency, we have for the first time in American history an alternative other than see-sawing back and forth between the white male candidate of one party and the white male candidate of the other party. Now, we Democrats have the phenomenal Barack Obama as our standard-bearer. It is apparent, however, that the only way that the Democrats can possibly win the presidency in 2008 is if the white male supremacy paradigm does not take hold of more than 49% of the American voters.

The Democrats as a Party and the Obama campaign in particular will have to find a way to point out that 43 consecutive white male presidencies have not resolved all or most of the problems that we face, and have often exacerbated problems that could easily have been fixed with better leadership; It's not that Black or female (or Latino) leadership would inherently have been better, per se, simply as a "change of pace", but rather that - as we see in this election - if we choose the white man just because he is white, we will also be choosing to maintain many of the Bush operatives who have abbrogated much of our Constitution, started an interminable a war of plunder in Iraq, and caused the value of the US Dollar to drop by one half against international currencies, as a measure of the perceived economic strength of our economy and our country.

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Mrs. Edwards' Honesty Suspect on Affair

A lot of people expressed contempt for Hillary Clinton because, during the months when her husband denied having an affair, she denied knowing or believing that he had had an affair. And she only acknowledged her husband had had an affair when her husband acknowledged that he had had an affair.

Now, John Edwards had admitted to having a (much more pedestrian) affair. I think we know that in both cases, poliical wives who were committed to their husbands' political careers did what they believed they should do and had to do in the face of their husbands'  affairs: they kept up appearances for as long as they could, until their husbands were compelled to admit to the public that they were lying.  And the wives,  too, were lying when they denied knowing of their husbands' affairs before they were announced to the public. In fact Elizabeth Edwards acknowledges knowing about the affair, even as she criss-crossed the country, urging America to believe that John Edwards was a better bet as a presidential candidate than Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, without warning us that if he were nominated his campaign might erupt into a sex scandal. Is there any way to avoid the conclusion that Elizabeth Edwards is just as dishonest as her husband has been?

It is now apparent that angelic Elizabeth Edwards participated in a national charade to put "honest" John Edwards' name on the presidential ballot regardless of what it might do to the Democrats' chances of winning the presidency.

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Caroline Kennedy could be Barack Obama's V.P.

Cross-posted in the AfroSpear.

I think that Caroline Kennedy could be Barack Obama's vice presidential running mate. She is on Obama's V.P. selection committee. The most important Kennedy's were among the most high-profile early Democratic supporters of Barack Obama (relative to others who only supported him when he became inevitable).

And now we read in the Washington Post that:

   

The opening Monday night of the convention is expected to honor Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and his family. WaPost

Now, if Obama selected Caroline, then that first day of celebration becomes a celebration of his choice of running-mate.

Caroline Kennedy would come with last-name recognition above that of any of the alternatives, help unite the Democratic women who supported Hillary Clinton, and piss of the Republicans (which is inevitable in any case, unless he selects Sam Nunn, whom the Republicans like because he is just like Joe Lieberman at heart).

I confess that I dreamed about this last night. In the dream, I happened to run into one of the Kennedy men somewhere and I asked him about this. He told me that the Kennedy's ability to raise money would be phenomenal and their name was a household brand.

George W. Bush selected the head of his V.P. selection effort as his vice presidential candidate, right? It is some precedent, even if a terrible one to remember.

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Jack and Jill Politics Puts "afrosphere" in NYT

Cross-posted here and at Pam's House Blend.

Cheryl Contee, AKA Jill Tubman of Jack and Jill Politics, and all of us in the AfroSpear and afrosphere, really, are to be congratulated for successfully putting Black bloggers on the political map over the last year and a half, particularly in light of the big-box whitosphere blogs' best efforts to deny our existence and/or marginalize us.

 Last year, white bloggers alleged that Blacks, for one reason or another, simply were incapable or undesirous of using the Internet for political purposes.  But, this week, Matt Bai reported in the New York Times,

A new generation of black activists is now focused on reforming institutions, namely the Congressional Black Caucus and the N.A.A.C.P., that they say have become too mired in the past and too removed from their constituents. And as in the rest of the political world, this rebellion is happening on the Internet, driven by ordinary Americans with laptops and a surprising amount of free time.

"The African-American voting population is very much online," Cheryl Contee, who in 2006 helped found the blog Jack and Jill Politics, told me. Contee, who is an owner of a digital consulting business, blogs under the pseudonym Jill Tubman, and hers is one of a number of sites that have emerged in just the last year as part of what's often called the "Afrosphere.""One of the things I talk to clients about is that the digital divide has changed," Contee said. "It's no longer along racial lines like it was in 1996 and 2000. Now it's more economic and educational." In other words, after lagging for a time, college-educated African-Americans are now organizing online in the same way as their mostly white counterparts at Daily Kos and MoveOn.org started doing several years ago.  New York Times

This is just the latest of 115 times during the last sixteen months that members of the AfroSpear and our activities have been in the mainstream media (not including coverage of participants in the broader afrosphere who are not yet members of the AfroSpear).  Over the development of the afrosphere, Black bloggers have used a host of high-tech and media adept strategies to compel the white-news media to acknowledge us as a source of fundamentally important information and commentary about Blacks and our role in American politics, culture, economy and religious life.  We've also been strategic about networking with the media and creating interactive and mutually advantageous relationships with reporters who cover us and our initiatives, providing, receiving and disseminating crucial information.

I am particularly gratified that the white-news media is recognizing us as the "afrosphere", rather than referring to us using imposed slave names like "the black blogosphere" or the "black netroots".   We are not simply the Black part of something white; we are an independent force, a growing network of Black self-determination bloggers with our own Diaspora-oriented agenda.

It is crucial that we and the press understand the term "afrosphere", because "afrosphere" denotes afro-centric political, social, cultural, economic and spiritual perspectives, while "black" is, in many cases, just a color.)

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