The Harassing of the President.

"NOW can a brutha finally get back to work?"

My Facebook page has been blowing up all day with a lot of people feeling pretty raw over the President’s long form birth certificate being released (and the anticipated naysaying from The Birthers and the adolescent gloating of Donald Trump). There’s some sentiment Obama should have told Trump and the Birthers to pucker up while he backs up. Still more say it only demonstrates how Obama is being held to a standard no president preceding him ever has.

I think he did it for a very good reason. It now shows for all the world to see how Birthers are living in total denial and will NEVER EVER accept the legitimacy of President Obama.   What the president said about the silliness of this sorry spectacle and the yapping of “carnival barkers” like Trump was dead on point.  It’s time for this tired little circus to pack up and leave town.

The New York Times editorialized If there was ever any doubt about Mr. Obama’s citizenship, which there was not, the issue was settled years ago when Hawaii released his birth certificate. The fuller document that Mr. Obama had to request contains some extra information, including his parents’ signatures and the name of the hospital where he was born, but it was unnecessary to show his legitimacy.

So it will not quiet the most avid attackers. Several quickly questioned its authenticity. That’s because the birther question was never really about citizenship; it was simply a proxy for those who never accepted the president’s legitimacy, for a toxic mix of reasons involving ideology, deep political anger and, most insidious of all, race. It was originally promulgated by fringe figures of the radical right, but mainstream Republican leaders allowed it to simmer to satisfy those who are inflamed by Mr. Obama’s presence in the White House.

Sarah Palin said the birth certificate issue was “fair game,” and the public was “rightfully” making it an issue. The House speaker, John Boehner, grudgingly said in February that he would take Mr. Obama “at his word” that he was a citizen, a suggestion that the proof was insufficient. He said, however, that it was not his job to end the nonsensical attacks. “The American people have the right to think what they want to think,” he said at the time. That signal was clearly received. Lawmakers in nearly a dozen states introduced bills requiring presidential candidates to release their full birth certificates.

It is inconceivable that this campaign to portray Mr. Obama as the insidious “other” would have been conducted against a white president.

Membership has its privileges. As long as you're the White color.

There’s a certain amount of pain involved in throwing a bone to these nuts, but now as never before those nuts are exposed and isolated. Most people will give Obama the benefit of the doubt. The crazies won’t because they never were interested in the facts anyway.

This was always about White privilege lashing back in frenzied hatred against a Black man they saw as a charlatan, a pretender, and an uppity nigger who had wandered out of Hawaii and into a place previously the exclusive enclave for White male power and privilege.  The Oval Office of the White House.  And that was something they just could not stomach.

James Baldwin said, “The only thing White people have that Black need, or should want, is power–and no one holds power forever.”

Which is absolutely right.   It doesn’t mean White people will relinquish that power without fighting with every weapon in their arsenal to hold on to it.  If they have to destroy Barack Obama to keep their grasp on power then Barack Obama will be destroyed.   Is there any reason to doubt this now?

You know how the saying goes about fanatics, right? “They won’t change their minds and they can’t change the subject.”But now everyone else has to get off the fence, take a stand and declare a side. I’m on the side of truth, justice and the American way. The Birthers are not.

So is this a closed chapter?  A done deal.  Show’s over folks so move on, there’s nothing to see here?   Of course not.  The Birthers aren’t going away and neither is Trump.  The media will continue to follow this “story” because its easy, stupid and it attracts attention (Oooh!  Shiny!).   The rest of the world will roll their eyes and wonder why it is America allows itself to obsess over trivial things.

The President has given these whack jobs enough of his time and attention. Time to put them on “ignore” and let them rant and rave to each other. It’s time for ALL of us to turn the page on these fools.

This is proof. This isn't the end.

Reasonable Republicans Stand Up! (the racist ones won’t shut up)

"Hawaii? Where the hell n Mexico is Hawaii?"

There are a few more Republicans in leadership positions stepping up to call Birtherism bunk and much to my surprise Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is one of the most emphatic in her rejection of it.

Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) appeared Monday night on CNN’s John King, USA to discuss her recent veto of a “birther bill” — a piece of legislation requiring candidates for public office to submit proof of U.S. citizenship to the state Secretary of State before they could appear on the state’s ballot. And despite the issue’s appeal to the GOP’s Tea Party base, Brewer had nothing good to say about the bill.

“Well, you know, it seems to me that we have talked about this issue now going on probably two years, and that I believe that most people have reached out and they did their investigations, and it’s become such a huge distraction,” said Brewer. “I for one, I believe that what I have seen, and after speaking with governor — or the prior governor of Hawaii — that indeed he [Obama] was born in Hawaii.

“It’s just something that I think is leading our country down a path of destruction, and it just is not serving any good purpose.Brewer, who previously served as Arizona’s Secretary of State, also said of the bill’s provisions: “It was a bridge way too far to give one person in the state of Arizona — a partisan person at that — the ability to keep a person off the ballot. And it wasn’t just the President of the United States — it was all the way down the path of all elected officials.

“So, it was something that I felt very uncomfortable with signing, having been a prior Secretary of State. And I think we just really need to move on. Everybody’s had two years to prove, if they wanted to, that he was not born in Hawaii. They haven’t come up with any of that kind of proof.”

Republican National committee Chairman Reince Priebus adds an “amen” to the choir.

“Trump and the candidates can talk about it all they want, but my position is that the president was born in the United States,” Priebus told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, CNN reports.

“I don’t think it’s an issue that moves voters,” Priebus added. “It’s an issue in my opinion that I don’t personally get too excited about, because I think the more important question is what’s going on in this country in regards to jobs, to debt, and the deficit and spending. Those are the things that people are worried about. People aren’t worried about these other issues.”

Make no mistake about it: Brewer and Priebus are no friends of the president and would like nothing better than to replace him in 2012. That’s fine, because that’s what they’re supposed to be trying to do.

"I am not my hair. Okay, maybe I am."

Still, if more Republicans in positions of leadership were wiling to speak up and tell the single-issue candidates to shut up,  Donald Trump would begin to fade from the headlines like a bad memory and the sooner the GOP is able to start a serious discussion in developing a strategy that takes on Obama based upon policy and his performance as president.

Give up a brief round of applause for Brewer and Priebus stepping up to say there is no there to Birtherism and candidates that exploit it are not helping the G.O.P. prospects in 2012.

Oblivious to his ever-increasing isolation,  the Donald continues his scorched earth tactics against the president, but now with an nasty racist edge to it.  Trump suggests Obama wasn’t smart enough to attend an Ivy League school.

“I heard he was a terrible student, terrible,” Trump told the Associated Press in an interview, a claim he’s made in the past but one he doubled down on by suggesting he’s probing that area of the president’s life.

“How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard? I’m thinking about it, I’m certainly looking into it. Let him show his records,” he said, without providing backup for his claim.

Trump added, “I have friends who have smart sons with great marks, great boards, great everything and they can’t get into Harvard.”

“We don’t know a thing about this guy,” Trump said. “There are a lot of questions that are unanswered about our president.”

Setting aside the overt race-baiting dog whistle behind Trump’s latest example of his mouth disengaging from his brain (How did a Black guy with a funny name get into Harvard when I, Donald Trump, have friends who have smart sons with great marks, great boards, great everything and great White teeth and skin who can’t get into Harvard?) there is a simple answer to his simple-minded questions as Politico explains.

Obama transferred to Columbia University in 1981 from Occidental College, and graduated two years later. He graduated Harvard Law magna cum laude in 1991, after serving as editor of the prestigious Law Review.

But trust Pat Buchanan, Tricky Dick Nixon’s old butt boy and unrepentant Nazi sympathizer to come up with an answer for that one too.

“He’s probably affirmative action all the way,” Buchanan sieg heiled on Hardball.

The longer Trump flogs his hatred for Obama the more he exposes big fat red neck.  It’s just his roundabout way of calling Obama a “nigger.” Why doesn’t he just say it and get it over with? He’ll feel better.

It’s not gonna do much to help his good relationship with “The Blacks” either.

"Damn. I guess he does have a birth certificate."

This morning The White House released President Obama’s birth certificate.  This will be the most scrutinized birth certificate in the history of the world.

It’s galling to a point the president had to do this.  Obama tried to ignore the Birthers and then he tried to laugh them off, but finally he had to put this mess behind him.   Not that this will stop Trump’s hee-hawing like the jack-ass he is.   But then this release wasn’t for him and the other non-believers.

This was for all the independent and other voters who will look at Obama’s birth certificate and say, “Okay, this is a settled issue.”

This story is now OVER!  (Nah.  I don’t believe it either).

Ambush! Did NPR blindside Ilyasah Shabazz?

Ilyasah Shabazz and a mural of her late father.

The blogosphere and Black news sites were buzzing over Ilyasah Shabazz, the third daughter of Malcolm X walking off NPR’s Tell Me More program after host Michel Martin asked her several questions about the revelations in Manning Marable’s new book that as a young man Malcolm engaged in homosexual acts with a White man.

Here’s the exchange from the NPR program before Shabazz ended the interview:

MARTIN: Why would Dr. Marable want to portray your parents in a negative light?

Ms. IILYASAH SHABAZZ (Author, “Growing Up X”): Michel, I have – you can’t ask me that.

MARTIN: I don’t know. But you knew him, and I don’t.

Ms. SHABAZZ: Michel, I do not say that I knew him. I said I spent time with him. I have no idea why he would do that. And if you want to continue to talk to me about this book, that’s not what you said this was going to be the focus.

MARTIN: No, no, I understand. I just – I was – I just didn’t know what you were going to say.

Ms. SHABAZZ: So I can’t sit here and answer those questions for you. I have no idea why Dr. Marable would want to do that.

My view is Martin crossed the line of solid journalism from getting the answer to getting the subject. She put Shabazz in a position of trying to answer why one dead man (Marable) was writing about her another dead man’s sex life (Malcolm) and how could she possibly answer that?

Is the only reason to interview Ilyasha Shabazz is to ask her, “So, how about that stuff about yo’ daddy gettin’ his freak on with a White dude? Whatchagottasayboutdat?” I’m more interested that Manning Marable spends years of his life writing a biography of Malcolm X and the most important thing people have latched onto is he might have sex with a man?

If you invite one of MLK’s kids to speak about their daddy how important is to ask them about his booty calls?

Who cares about the important, meaningful and historically significant things Malcolm did? Let’s talk about what he did in the dark behind closed doors. That’s what matters!

What was it Don Henley sang about how we love dirty laundry? As long as it’s the dirt on someone else. Preferably someone dead who can’t explain or defend themselves.

America is such a sex-obsessed place we care more about a great man’s penis than his deeds.

Following Shabazz’s termination of the interview, Martin and Tell Me More contributor Lee Hill discussed responses from listeners to the abrupt ending.

HILL: Not long after that, Ms. Shabazz decided that she did not want the conversation to continue. So she thanked us and left. On our website, a majority of those who posted were unhappy about the way the interview was handled.

Here’s a post from Penny. She writes: Well, I have to agree with your guest. You were out of line with your continuing to ask her questions she could not answer and focusing entirely on the homosexual affair. You should have dropped it. She obviously was blindsided by your questions. Thanks, Penny.

But we also heard this from Jean. She writes: This interview was weird. And I do not understand why Shabazz was bothered by the line of questioning. I think Ms. Martin, as always, raised some good points and necessary questions. Shabazz seemed to immediately discount anything that was in Marable’s book without providing any explanation as to why.

MARTIN: I appreciate everybody who wrote in, but I feel I must say that while I am certainly sorry when anyone does not enjoy the experience of being on this program, our guest was certainly not blindsided. We were absolutely clear that we wanted to talk about the book, among other things. And we certainly do not trick people into coming onto the program. We are certainly interested in other dimensions of Ms. Shabazz’s life. And she has an open invitation to return if she would like to.

I have been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and read their Code of Ethics which states under the clause to Minimize Harm: ” Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.”

Even Emmy winning journalists have their bad days.

Furthermore, it states “Journalists should:”

— Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
— Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
— Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.

It’s a good thing for practicing journalists to remind themselves that despite not lacking a board that certifies journalists the way doctors and lawyers are, we too are professionals and should hold ourselves to a high standard of conduct.

I have great respect for Michel Martin, but I wonder if she truly believes her line of questioning of Miss Shabazz rises to that standard.

Perhaps Martin would have reconsidered pursuing Shabazz so relentlessly for a response if she had recalled in 1965, a two years old IIyasah, along with her sisters and mother witnessed Malcolm X’s assassination in the Audubon Ballroom.

It may be naïve for Ms. Shabazz to think NPR was interested in something less lurid than her father’s possible sexual escapades before she was born, but she was within her rights to be offended by it.

What does a daughter who lost her father at an early age to a senseless act of violence know or care about his sexual history before she was even born?  I don’t see why Martin felt she had to ask Miss Shabazz a question which was impossible (and obviously painful) for her to answer.

Yes, it’s important to do the job and ask hard and tough questions, but once the question has been asked and answered, move on. I want to be a good journalist, but it’s more important to be a good human being first.

I don’t know if the SPJ Code of Ethics still applies to journalism as practiced today but I refuse to be part of the pandering press looking for the next lurid headline, promoting the meaningless and dubious “achievements” of cheap politicians and empty-headed entertainers, and destroying people’s life for fun and profit. I can’t do journalism the way everyone else does it and still respect myself in the morning.

It that sounds quaint and old-fashioned, I plead guilty. And I’m fine with that.

Just as I believe Dr. Marable would have been angered that his years of research and work have been boiled down to little more than “Malcolm X had gay sex.” It is a trivialization of both Malcolm and Marable to boil this book to its lowest (and most lurid) common denominator. They both, along with Ilyasah Shabazz, deserve far better than to be treated so shabbily.

Did Marable intend to scandalize Malcolm X?

Atlas Shrugged (and Yawned).

Atlas Shrugged, but will he turn a profit?

On the way through college many of us had to read  Atlas Shrugged, a 1000 plus page monster of  Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, selfishness is strength and fear of restrictions on the free market.   For over 40 years producers and screenwriters have struggled to find a way to bring the book to the screen.   Rand herself took a whack at writing the screenplay, but died trying to finish it.   Finally, in 2011, a film version of Atlas Shrugged, broken into a proposed trilogy was released.

What was always planned as a major motion picture of a major literary and philosophical milestone arrived as something far less than that.

The movie opened in 14th place, earned about $1.7 million in the 300 screens it played and pulled down a putrid  SIX PERCENT “certified fresh” positive reviews on Rotten


That’s a far cry from when Clint Eastwood was supposedly interested in directing and Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron were vying to play Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling, come on down!). Here’s what executive producer John Aglialoro said in 2008:

Susan Paris: Is Angelina Jolie firmly committed to the project?

John Aglialoro: Yes, she is. Here is what she told us: “Dagny Taggart is the most relatable character to me of all the extensive literature I have ever read.”

SP: What other actors, if any, have committed to the project?

Aglialoro: We have had discussions with Russell Crowe to play the part of Hank Rearden. He has read the script. He’s very much in demand so we’ll have to see if he likes the script enough to fit this project in.

SP: Are you still planning three parts?

Aglialoro: No. It will be one movie, lasting roughly 2½ hours.

Double yikes.

This is Hank and Dagny (yes, "Dagny")

The Hollywood Reporter has a story about the tortured path Ayn Rand’s ponderous book finally made it to the multiplex. It wasn’t easy.

Despite years of cinematic interest and high hopes for stars and funding, the film was made for less than $10 million, with Taylor Schilling — who appeared on NBC’s short-lived Mercy — playing protagonist Dagny Taggart.

By Hollywood standards, the marketing budget is tiny, so word-of-mouth from Tea Partiers sympathetic to the film’s message is crucial to its success.

The film was directed by Paul Johansson. Some might find it off-putting that the director, known for his work in television, voted for Barack Obama. But John Aglialoro, the businessman who financed, co-wrote and co-produced the movie, didn’t ask Johansson about his politics.

“I read it when I was 17, and it changed my life,” says Johansson, who also appears as the shadowy John Galt in the film. “It gave me permission to be who I am. It taught me that it’s OK to stand alone and not be part of a group.”

Lots of Americans might agree: A 1991 survey by the Library of Congress and the Book-of-the-Month Club determined that Atlas Shrugged was the second-most-influential book in history behind the Bible. The next three works of fiction on that list — To Kill a Mockingbird, The Lord of the Rings and Gone With the Wind — have already become Hollywood blockbusters. Don’t expect Atlas to replicate that sort of success, though. Aglialoro needs only to make some money with it, or the subsequent two installments will be scrapped and the novice filmmaker will abandon other projects on which he’s working.

“If it bombs, I will not make another movie,” he says.

The first installment of Atlas was 44 years in the making because Rand and Hollywood couldn’t agree on how to bring the book’s 1,168 pages to the screen.

Through the years, big names have attached themselves to film or TV versions, but the film was made without A-listers and is being distributed by a Utah-based indie with an affinity for political and religious themes.

Aglialoro, who paid Rand’s heir Leonard Peikoff $1.1 million for rights to Atlas in 1992, ended up rushing it into production to prevent them from reverting. He beat the deadline by two days; Peikoff lost faith in the filmmakers over 19 years and said through a colleague that he fears the film doesn’t sufficiently reflect Rand’s philosophy.

 Everything about this project from its no-name actors and 102 minute running time screams “made for television” which as a mini-series is where it probably should have played. Time ran out on Aglialoro and the final product is a undertalented, underfed and underwhelming film that will be a fading memory within a few weeks.

It’s quite possible with a budget of less than $10 million, the movie will earn back its investment, but will that be enough to justify two more installments? Better directors and screenwriters (which Rand was) couldn’t solve the problem of turning a 1,000 plus book into two hours of entertainment, especially the 70 page speech John Galt delivers that would stop any movie dead in its tracks.

Don’t hold out hope for the sequels. Read the book instead.

I really think this book was made for the small screen where a television mini-series wouldn’t have to be squeezed for time. Reading through the somersaults this production went though it’s kind of sad how it scaled down drastically from John Aglialoro’s ambitious plans in 2008 to “just get something done” in 2010 when he was about to lose the rights to an Atlas Shrugged movie.

This is the same reason 20th Century Fox is rebooting Daredevil and probably will do the same for The Fantastic Four and Elektra properties it owns and not allow them to revert back to Marvel Comics and Disney. You get movies that are driven by fear of the lawyers getting involved instead of a filmmaker’s vision.

I’m indifferent to the political motivations behind making Atlas Shrugged into a movie. I admit to being curious if such a daunting book could be turned into a good movie.  Guess I’d be better off watching The Fountainhead instead.

Atlas Shrugged is a big book. Atlas Shrugged Part 1 is a small movie.

Madea’s Big Unhappy Beef With Spike Lee.

Should a good Christian crossdresser be telling someone to "go to hell?"

Filed under the category of “Why you bringin’ up old stuff?”  Tyler Perry took advantage of a press conference for his latest magnum opus, Madea’s Big Happy Family to resurrect a two-year-old beef with Spike Lee over comments Lee had made about Perry’s films being full of  “coonery and buffoonery.”  Which they are, but that’s beside the point.  Here’s what Tyler’s point was in response to a question about his least favorite tormentor:

“I’m so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee. Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that. I am sick of him talking about me, I am sick of him saying, ‘this is a coon, this is a buffoon.’ I am sick of him talking about black people going to see movies. This is what he said: ‘you vote by what you see,’ as if black people don’t know what they want to see.” I am sick of him – he talked about Whoopi, he talked about Oprah, he talked about me, he talked about Clint Eastwood. Spike needs to shut the hell up!”

“I’ve never seen Jewish people attack Seinfeld and say ‘this is a stereotype,’ I’ve never seen Italian people attack The Sopranos, I’ve never seen Jewish people complaining about Mrs. Doubtfire or Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. I never saw it. It’s always black people, and this is something that I cannot undo. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois went through the exact same thing; Langston Hughes said that Zora Neale Hurston, the woman who wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God, was a new version of the ‘darkie’ because she spoke in a southern dialect and a Southern tone. And I’m sick of it from us; we don’t have to worry about anybody else trying to destroy us and take shots because we do it to ourselves.”

What, this mess again?   Tyler, didn’t you get this out of your system when you went on 60 Minutes and tried to tear Spike a new one?   Let it go, bro!   If he needs to shut the hell up, you need to get over yourself. 

Isn’t  it bad enough the guy who dresses up as a 300-lb drag queen just equated himself with Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Huges and Zora Neale Hurston, (never mind Tony Soprano, Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman)?

It’s an established fact I do not like Tyler Perry movies. I don’t like Adam Sandler and Twilight movies either, but I would never think of imposing my tastes upon anyone that does. 

I do like Spike Lee movies, but not every Spike Lee joint is a good one.  Malcolm X, Jungle Fever, Get On the Bus, Do the Right Thing and School Daze are.  Girl 6, Crooklyn, ‘Mo Better Blues, Miracle at St. Anna and Summer of Sam are not.  Bamboozled is mostly bad slightly redeemed by moments of piercing insight.  Clockers is underrated.  Inside Man proved Lee could make a solid, if routine, bit of Hollywood entertainment.  Some of his documentaries like 4 Little Girls are brilliant.  She Hate Me is one of the worst films a critically acclaimed director has ever made.

Spike has made his share of lousy movies.  Has Tyler made any that wasn’t? 

Spike should be confident enough to know his body of work blows away everything in catalog of Tyler’s eye-rolling, Negro foolishness.   Tyler should be swaggering in the fact he’s the only Black director in the business with enough juice he doesn’t have to go begging to the studios for a buck before he can make a movie.  Spike hasn’t made a good movie in years, but Tyler’s still looking to make his first one.

Spike needs to get his groove back.  Tyler has the bigger problem. He needs to find one.

What Racism Looks Like

Think this is funny? Youre probably a racist if you do.

Thanks to the rabble-rousing of Donald Trump, the formerly moribund crackpot theories of the Birther bunch is enjoying an undeserved second life.  Trump, who may-or-may-not be running for president, has vaulted to the top of a shallow Republican candidate pool based upon his name recognition and willingness to throw the rawest of red meat to hard-core Obama haters.

All of this absurdity got me to thinking of how at the center of Birtherism’s dark little heart is a belief system based upon racism and White supremacy not all that different from the most krazy Ku Klux Klansman or nutty neo-Nazi.

There are doubtlessly Klansmen who when they’re not burning crosses don’t think the Black or Jewish guy they work with are all that bad.

It’s reasonable to assume not every German soldier shared the rabidly anti-Semitic sentiments of the Führer.

But no one can seriously suggest the Klan is not a racist organization or the Nazis pursued an agenda of eradicating Jews from the face of the planet.

Is it possible to believe there is something to Birtherism and not harbor racist feelings toward Blacks? Sure. I even know a few deranged Black conservatives who are Birthers.

But what drives Birthers is a reactionary response to a Black man in the White House and that is racist.

I don’t have any doubt of the racism within the Birther belief system. It’s a more genteel version of racism, but so were the White Citizens Councils as opposed to the crudeness of the Klan.

Birthers are an organized group like the Klan or the Third Reich. They don’t have a fixed address or appointed leader.

What the Birthers do have is a clear delineated belief system and that belief is they alone have found out a hidden secret about Barack Obama than no other politician, no opposition research gatherer and no media outlet ever could find.

It’s a mistaken belief system just as were the Nazis and the Klan, but since the Birthers deny all evidence to the contrary they are just as far removed from the mainstream and out there as a lunatic fringe as any other whacked out group.

The belief Obama is an illegitimate president allows the believer to deny the reality that a Black man could be The Most Powerful Man in the World and the Leader of the Free World. Birtherism maintains the White supremacist tenet that only White people can and should hold power.

Birthers take their hateration of Obama to absolute zero levels of denial and shutting their little minds off from the truth.   But that’s the pernicious thing about racist thinking.  It starts off confined to the fringes.  Like a virus, it moves into and infects the mainstream.

A California tea party activist refuses to step down after her racist email of President Obama is leaked.

Marilyn Davenport, a tea party activist and elected member of the central committee of the Republican Party of Orange County, said she will not heed calls to resign

The controversial and offensive email, sent by Davenport, shows the president’s face photoshopped over the head of a baby chimp. The caption beneath the pic reads, “Now you know why no birth certificate.”

Someone leaked the email supposedly sent as a joke to Davenport’s friends. When she got word of the leak and that people were upset, Davenport commented by saying, “Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black. Besides, I only sent it to a few people–mostly people I didn’t think would be upset by it.” At first she didn’t even apologize instead asking for the “coward” who leaked the email to come forward.

The Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Scott Baugh is calling to launch an ethics investigation about the incident, and that he is calling for her resignation. Baugh said, “It’s just highly inappropriate, it’s a despicable message, it drips with racism and I think she should step down from the committee.”

Davenport went on to say that she will not step down but she apologizes to anyone who may have been offended. She insists that “in no way did I even consider the fact he’s half black when I sent out the email” and decries the “double standard” that applies to President Barack Obama.

The former chairman of the California Republican Party Michael Schroeder says that this email is Davenport’s third strike. He too is calling for her resignation, saying this is her third strike. He says that she has defended the racist actions of two fellow Orange County conservatives on two occasions.

The first was when President Obama was inaugurated, and Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose forwarded an email depicting a watermelon patch on the White House lawn to several people. According to Schroeder, Davenport defended Grose amidst calls for his resignation.


If it walks like a racist and it talks like a racist and it defends racist depictions it is a racist. When you’re  backed into a corner and your only defense is to play the “Some of My Best Friends Are” card it’s a sure sign of how hopelessly dishonest you are.   Marilyn Davenport is a racist.

I expect the amen corner of the Tea Party and the Republican Party to explain how Miss Davenport’s repugnant ignorance is only an isolated case, and in no way is representative of the Tea Party as a whole and golly gee it was only a joke.
Welcome to post-racial America. Next stop over after Oz and before Atlantis.

The Black Mamba Who Had Anger Management Issues


Don't make Kobe homophobic. You won't like him when he's homophobic.

After Kobe Bryant dropped a profane double-F bomb on referee Bennie Adams following being assessed a foul, I wasn’t expecting anyone could find a justification for Bryant’s ugly idiocy.   I should have.  It seems there is nothing that can be said anymore that somebody can’t be an apologist for.

In this case it came from David Kaufman writing in The Root, (a publication I contribute to as well).   Kaufman said:

Although Bryant’s word choice is certainly unfortunate, equally worrisome is the near-instant racial — and racist — overtones now permeating this debate. At its core is the comparison of the word “faggot” with “nigger,” a comparison that has become emblematic of the LGBT movement’s unabashed co-option of the African-American struggle. In this case, reader comments on blog after blog repeatedly invoke the word “nigger” in their Kobe takedown as — in the words of Joe.My.God reader “beeblmeyer” — they “wonder how Mr. Bryant would feel if someone said, ‘Fucking nigger.’ “

The real wonder here is how folks could think there is anything to compare in the first place. Without a doubt, Bryant uttered the epithet in anger, but in a fit of homophobia? Not necessarily, at least until we know for certain whether referee Bennie Adams is gay.

Despite what gay, black ex-NBA player John Amaechi might have said in today’s USA Today, calling someone a “fucking nigger” has an entirely different historical meaning and context. A black person is called a nigger precisely and exclusively because he is black. Period. And the core of the word’s offense — and racism — stems from this sheer conspicuousness. I’ve been called a nigger more than once, and there’s no doubt it was because of the color of my skin, not because I’d pissed someone off.

Anger management class?

Like Kaufman, I’ve been called a nigger too and more often than not the person doing the calling was Black, not White.   It hurt less, but it offended more because you would think someone Black would know better.  Too often they don’t because they mistakenly believe it’s okay when it’s used within the race.  But even Richard Pryor learned how wretched a word “nigger” really is.  To suggest it hurts a gay man less to be called a “faggot”  is absurd.  

Sometimes I can go weeks and months without calling my wife or kids niggers. I can kiss my lovely wife on the cheek in the morning without saying, “Hello, nigger.” When my daughter comes home from high school, I almost never ask, “Hey, nigger! Learn anything useful today?” When my son drags himself home from a lousy day at work rarely do I greet him at the door with, “Nigger, why didn’t you take the trash out this morning?”

I don’t use the word “nigger” as a commonplace word and I’m weary of the suggestion “all Black people do.” Not in my house they don’t. I’ve been Black for some time now and I deleted it out of my lexicon once I figured out I people I admired like Nikki Giovanni, Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King or Shirley Chisholm’s were nobody’s niggers.

I do get offended by the casual and thoughtless way the slur is tossed around. If it’s wrong for a White fan at a NBA game to shout from the cheap seats, “Pass the ball and stop jackin’ up shots, nigger!” it’s equally wrong for a Black power forward to scream at the Black point guard on his team, “Pass the ball and stop jackin’ up shots, nigger!”

“Nigger” always was a slur and always will be. Ignorant words don’t become acceptable merely because ignorant people mistakenly think it’s fashionable.

That includes calling someone a “fucking faggot” after you get whistled for a foul. Even if you don’t believe you fouled anyone. David Stern should have doubled the fine and given Kobe a game off without pay. Sure, he’d be out $259,298.00, but he probably wouldn’t have to result to collecting tin cans by the freeway to make up the difference.

Is Kaufman saying there’s nothing homophobic in what Bryant said unless we know referee Bernie Adams is gay?  What about the gay fans who heard Bryant?  What about all the players, coaches, trainers and anyone else within earshot who might be gay?

Once we start choosing “this word you should be offended by, but that word we’re going to let slide” we say this kind of bigotry and prejudice is okay because it affects me, but others are okay because they don’t.   Contrary to what Mr. Kaufman might think straight Black people do not have the exclusive rights on suffering. 

I don’t question the fact Kobe is one hell of a basketball player who can single-handedly impose his will on a game, but his greatness is no excuse for his brain-dead behavior.  Bryant is also a pampered, entitled brat who scowls, sticks out his lip like a perpetually pissed-off teenager and seems to lose his mind when a referee has the audacity to assess a foul on him.

Kobe’s constant scowling gets on my nerves. The Black Mamba seems to think it makes him look tough. I think it makes him look like an irate two-year old with a fully loaded pull-up.

The ref should have shot back, “I’m not a fucking faggot, Kobe Bean Bryant, but you are a fucking dick.”

Kobe needs a class in sensitivity training and apparently a few of us do as too.   Mr. Kaufman, take your seat.

"I did NOT call a foul on you. You're not even in the game!"

Donald Trump and the Art of the (Raw) Deal

Never mind Obama's birth certificate. Where was your hair born, Donny?

A few things to mention about  Donald Trump running for president.  He’s not.  Like Bill Cosby says, he’s only running his mouth.   If he gets us to pay attention, he wins.  He’s on a winning streak and the only thing that will mess it up is for him to actually try to take away Barack Obama’s job.

As many laughs as it would be to watch President Trump’s State of the Union where he tells all 538 members of Congress, “you’re all fired.”  it’s just not happening.    He doesn’t want to be president.   He only wants everyone to hang on his every word as if he just might.

One way to generate a buzz is to start talking up the throughly bat-shit crazy Birther bunk.  Does Trump really believe Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii?   Who knows?   More importantly, who cares?   Why is Trump any more credible than Orly Taitz or Alan Keyes?   Because he’s rich and they’re not?

When even Bill O’Reilly says, “We’re going to put this to bed tonight.  He does have a legitimate birth certificate.  The state of Hawaii says they have it.  And we have no reason not to believe that,” that is a sure sign even Fox News isn’t buying what Trump is selling.

Is Trump running for president?  Nope.  He’s not even seriously TALKING about running for president.  What he IS doing is getting people to TALK seriously about him running.   If he were to actually win the nomination he wouldn’t choose a vice-president.  He wouldn’t even need a Cabinet.  He would run the government all by himself.  His King Kong sized ego would never allow an important decision be made by anyone not named Donald Trump..

Can anyone envision Candidate Comb Over standing in the cold of an Iowa farm trying to get a farmer with manure on his boots to shake his hand?  Can you imagine The Donald standing on stage with a dozen other GOP zombies trying to explain how they would handle the Libya situation and piping up, “I totally SCREWED the guy (Gaddafi)!”

Presidential candidates have to be two things as much as possible:  disciplined and on message.   Trump could never do that for as long as he would have to make a serious noise in the primary.  It doesn’t matter how popular he is or how well he’s doing in Republican polling.   Polls at this stage are more than useless.   They reflect name recognition as much as anything else.  Trump saw the high numbers of Republicans questioning where the president was born and saw an opening to squirm into.

“I know this.  I will be better than anybody.  If I decide to run, I will do the best job.  I will best for this country.  And you might say, ‘Oh gee, that doesn’t sound like George Washington.’ Well, guess what?   Before George Washington ran, he didn’t sound like George Washington either.  I will…do a great job, if I run and if I win.”  The Donald said in one of his many pushing-Charlie-Sheen-out-of-the-headlines interviews.

A unserious man for serious times

I’m going to waaaaaayy out on a limb and say this with total and complete confidence: the Republican candidate squaring off Obama in 2012 will not be any heat-seeking drama queens named Palin, Bachmann or Trump.   It will be some boring (but electable) White guy like Tiny Tim Pawlenty, Midget Mitch Daniels or Corpulent Chris Christie.

Donald Trump, the biggest booster of Birtherism is playing upon conservative White suspcions that Obama isn’t really one of us (so he must be one of them, nudge-nudge, wink-wink).

The other thing is always be wary of White guys who boast of their “great relationship with the Blacks.”

I just asked The Blacks about Trump. Nice couple. Live a couple doors down from me. Wave at ’em when they pass by walking the dog. They said, “Trump is a idiot and Bill Cosby was right.”

Donald Trump, welcome to your Ross Perot moment.