Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for October 14th from 13:47 to 15:59:
- TPMCafe | Talking Points Memo | The Ones That Got Away: The Color Line – We see searing racism, bigotry, ignorance clearly illuminated but there are also other murkier, less answerable questions. Will an Obama presidency make inroads with regards to this kind of racism because Obama is black–do his policies address these issues? What does it mean to have a black president–and is this even the most relevant question? Will the reality of "first black president" carry the same weight as the words do?
- What Right Wingers Mean When They Call Obama a “Socialist” | The American Prospect – The hysterical accusations of socialism from conservatives echo similar accusations leveled at black leaders in the past, as though the quest for racial parity were simply a left-wing plot. Obama may not actually be a socialist or communist, but his election would strike another powerful blow to the informal racial hierarchy that has existed in America since the 1960s, when it ceased being enforced by law. This hierarchy, which holds that whiteness is synonymous with American-ness, is one conservatives are now instinctively trying to preserve. Like black civil-rights activists of the 1960s, Obama symbolizes the destruction of a social order they see as fundamentally American, which is why terms like "socialism" are used to describe the threat.
- How McCain Became MacBeth – NAM – This weekend John McCain turned into John Macbeth. At a rally recently he was confronted with the vitriolic rage of his supporters who screamed “Off with his head!”, “Terrorist!” “Traitor!” and, the old lynch mob’s favorite, “Kill him!” in reference to Senator Obama. He was repeating his criticism of his presidential candidate rival, but upon hearing those nasty chants the senator cringed and grew perceptibly older, his shoulders drooped. As he struggled to find the words to pacify the angry horde, McCain went off script. “I admire Sen. Obama and his accomplishments,” he said. “I will respect him and I want everyone to be respectful, and let's make sure we are." The crowd, not surprisingly, booed him.
- Make a Black Friend? – NAM – I FREQUENT a cheap restaurant in my city’s Chinatown where the white patrons, often tourists, are consistently given prettier menus and more courteous service than the locals. I tend to get the single-ply napkins, but white customers use fancy, two-ply napkins with embossed flowers. The unequal treatment leaves me disgruntled every time. But I try to brush it off because, ultimately, aren’t there bigger issues at stake? Isn’t it all quite petty?
- Max Blumenthal: How Sarah Palin Has Excluded African-Americans – On April 29, 2008, 14 leaders of Alaska's black community met with Gov. Sarah Palin to voice discontent with her minority hiring record. Palin's response, which was first reported by journalist Earl Ofari Hutchinson, only compounded her icy relationship with her African-American constituents.
- Talking Points Memo | My God is Bigger Than Your God – In case you missed it over the weekend, a minister who gave the invocation at a McCain rally in Iowa couched his prayer in terms I've never heard before: God's own reputation is at stake in this election, he said, because so many Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists around the world are praying for an Obama victory that if Obama wins, they'll think "their god is bigger" than the Christian god.
- The Conservative Thugs in the Audience – 236.com – The Room – On many other occasions plenty of right-wing audience members have made their displeasure known to me in ways that made me wish I had a bodyguard. When liberals get offended by a joke, they look down their noses at me, tell me I'm stupid, and offer to have a discussion where they can prove me wrong. Conservatives aren't interested in discussion. They want to take me out in the parking lot.
- The Washington Monthly – If the knock on McCain supporters is that they're too often unhinged, doesn't tearing up a poster held by a young woman offer evidence that the criticism is accurate?