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Anti-racism clowns steal the show at Nazi/KKK rally

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Truly brilliant!

Clowns from the “100th ARA (Anti-racist-action) Clown Block” cheerfully pop in on a VNN Vanguard Nazi/KKK white supremacist rally in Knoxville, TN, ready to join in the cheers. But they don’t seem to be able to get the words quite right:

clipped from www.neatorama.com

“White Power!” the Nazi’s shouted, “White Flour?” the clowns yelled back running in circles throwing flour in the air and raising separate letters which spelt “White Flour”.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s angrily shouted once more, “White flowers?” the clowns cheers and threw white flowers in the air and danced about merrily.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s tried once again in a doomed and somewhat funny attempt to clarify their message, “ohhhhhh!” the clowns yelled “Tight Shower!” and held a solar shower in the air and all tried to crowd under to get clean as per the Klan’s directions. […]
The clown women thought they finally understood what the Klan was trying to say. “Ohhhhh…” the women clowns said. “Now we understand…”, “WIFE POWER!” they lifted the letters up in the air, grabbed the nearest male clowns and lifted them in their arms and ran about merrily chanting “WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER!”
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How wonderful!

Look, these poor dupes are not going to be reasoned with. Perhaps they’d enjoy nothing better than a mutual shout-down, maybe even a brawl (indeed, the VNN founder gets arrested after rushing the newcomers).

But clowns! They completely alter the public memory of the event, replacing rage with humor.

And how appropriate.  There needs to be a consensus that these demonstrators are not the heroic defenders of the nation they imagine themselves to be.  As victims and perpetrators of irrational, paranoid conspiracies (along the lines of the counterfeit-birth-certificate-not-really-our-president hokum), they alienate and destroy.

All America benefits when they’re not taken seriously. [h/t Wendy Babiak]

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What we mean when we talk about confronting privilege

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Calling someone a racist is more disturbing to the mainstream than actual institutional racism. Short of witnessing a lynching, there is always some way to explain away race bias. So it goes, too, with privilege.

clipped from whattamisaid.blogspot.com
Talking about white privilege is no more racist than talking about the privileges of the able-bodied is ablist or talking about male privilege is sexist. It is a recognition of the social hierarchy that is our culture.
Confronting one’s privilege, whatever sort of privilege it is, means simply this:
– Acknowleging that a quality you possess offers an advantage over others. (That quality is often unearned like race, gender, sexuality, etc., rendering the advantage unfair)
– Recognizing the unique opportunities and successes that your privilege has afforded you
– Exploring how the less privileged are marginalized
– Working to mitigate the marginalization of the less privileged where you can
Confronting privilege is an ongoing exercise, requiring learning, self-reflection and empathy. It is a struggle to be vigilant against something that we are often completely blind to. But isn’t the struggle worth it?
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h/t to Lexica at Clipmarks for finding this gem.

Do take time to read the whole wise post at What Tami Said.  White folks, we need to know this inside and out, because we can’t tell the rain from the false echoes on our culture-acclimated radar.

As Tami said: “There is always some way to explain away race bias.”

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Written by Monte

August 8, 2009 at 3:20 pm

London Times pokes “unreconstructed underbelly” of GOP

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photo by wonkette.com

photo by wonkette.com

Racism in “sections” of the GOP grabs international attention. Examples accumulate, highlighted here by the London Times:
clipped from www.timesonline.co.uk
An e-mail sent by a Republican aide, entitled Historical Keepsake Photo, features portraits of the first 43 American presidents in a variety of dignified and statesmanlike poses … the final and 44th panel … displays just a pair of cartoon eyeballs set against an entirely dark background [..]

Diann Jones, a vice-chairman of the Collin County Republican Party in Texas … denounced [bogus] plans for a tax on guns as “another terrific idea from the black house and its minions” […]

Dean Grose, the mayor of Los Alamitos … sent an e-mail to a black businesswoman depicting the White House lawn planted with watermelons […]

[A] member of Florida’s state Republican committee … said. “How can 2,000,000 blacks get into Washington, DC in one day in sub zero temps when 200,000 couldn’t get out of New Orleans in 85 degree temps with four days notice?”

Chip Saltsman, the former Tennessee Republican chairman [and candidate for the RNC chair]  sent friends a Christmas gift of songs by the satirist Paul Shanklin, including the track: “Barack the Magic Negro”.

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The Times goes on to quote Michael Steele, the recently-elected RNC chairman, who sees the problem as GOP officials who “don’t give a damn”.

To them, he said, “outreach means let’s throw a cocktail party, find some black folks and Hispanics and women, wrap our arms around them — ‘See, look at us’. And then we go back to the same old, same old.”

And “same old, same old” means “these things don’t really matter:” Read the rest of this entry »

Former KKK member apologizes to 1961 Freedom Rider, now Congressman

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This’ll bring some healing – both directions, I expect.
clipped from blog.sojo.net

Rep. John Lewis

Rep. John Lewis

On May 9, 1961, when the … Freedom Riders came into town and attempted to enter an all white waiting room at the bus station, Ku Klux Klan member Elwin Wilson of Rock Hills, South Carolina was there. When he saw future U.S. Representative John Lewis enter, Wilson attacked, pummeling the young civil rights worker, who responded with nonviolence. […]A few weeks ago, Elwin Wilson contacted representative Lewis to apologize for beating Lewis nearly 48 years ago.

For the past several weeks, Wilson has been apologizing to members of the African-American community in Rock Hills for his numerous acts of racial hatred. He has had the guts to simply say “I’m sorry.” And representative John Lewis responded to this former member of the KKK with mercy, grace, and forgiveness […]

Lewis said that Elwin Wilson is the very first person out of the hundreds who attacked and abused him during the civil rights struggle to say “I’m sorry.”

If we are to continue to come to terms with our tragic racial history, Wilson cannot be the last to have the courage to say “I’m sorry.”

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Amen to that.  Takes guts to apologize.  Takes guts to forgive. But contrition and forgiveness are mighty restorers.

Just as racism—America’s “original” sin—has tainted us all, such transcendent heroism makes us all a little bit better.  Thank you, Wilson.  Thank you, Lewis.


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Obama family moves into house built by black slaves

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From Eduardo Galeano of Uruguay, one of Latin America’s most celebrated writers.
clipped from www.democracynow.org
EDUARDO GALEANO: Yes, yes. I’m worried about the repetition of this dangerous, toxic word, “leadership.”

Eduardo Galeano

Eduardo Galeano

[I]t’s usual to say, “We should recover our leadership in Latin America.” We don’t need any foreign leadership. Let it be. Let reality be as it wants to be, with no ruling state deciding the destiny of other countries. Please, no more. Stop with this tradition of the messianic mission of, you know, saving the world. No, it has been terrible during so many years, even centuries. No. Perhaps this crisis, this present crisis, so strong and terrible, may give something like a violent shower of realism and humility to this new government

What I would most like to see?

I would like that Obama, who has now tremendous, historic opportunity, that he never forgets that he’s now going inside the White House. The White House will be his house in the time coming, but this White House was built by black slaves. And I’d like, I hope, that he never, never forgets this.
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Written by Monte

November 7, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Posted in Politics