The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Posts Tagged ‘Race

IA Rep Steve King is sole objector to slave labor memorial at US Capitol

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Steve, Steve, Steve.

Iowa has a cherished history of getting it right early on civil rights issues. Why must you so disgrace us?

clipped from www.bleedingheartland.com

Congressman Steve King showed us again on Tuesday why Esquire magazine named him one of the 10 Worst members of Congress last year.
On Tuesday King distinguished himself as the only member of the U.S. House to vote against placing “a marker acknowledging the role that slave labor played in constructing the Capitol” in a “prominent location in the visitor center’s Emancipation Hall.” This was not a partisan resolution; 399 members of Congress voted yes, including certifiable wingnuts such as Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann.
King objects:

Our Judeo-Christian heritage is an essential foundation stone of our great nation and should not be held hostage to yet another effort to place guilt on future Americans for the sins of some of their ancestors.

Reading King’s statement reminded me of Esquire’s observation:

King believes himself to be clever, and his list of idiot declarations is probably the longest in Washington.

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Written by Monte

July 21, 2009 at 8:46 am

Brooks: it’s “incredibly stupid” to hope Obama fails

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David Brooks, a thorough-going conservative and an admirably ethical political writer, took a question on C-Span that was embedded with racial and (what will seem to some unstable characters as) murderous overtones:
clipped from thinkprogress.org

David Brooks
Image via Wikipedia

Today on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, conservative columnist David Brooks ridiculed those on the right who have said they want Obama to fail. During the segment, a caller — who claimed to be phoning in from “a club” in Georgia full of “all white folks, all millionaires and good Republicans” — begged Brooks to “come on board” with Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Fox News to “get on Mr. Obama’s case.” “We got to bring that man down,” the caller said, adding, “We just cannot have eight years of this black man.”

BROOKS: It’s tremendously important to put color and prejudice aside and see him for what he is, which is just an incredibly impressive smart man. […] And I just think it’s incredibly important to root for the guy, whether you agree with every policy. […] But the idea that we shouldn’t be rooting for our president strikes me as not only, I don’t know about unpatriotic, it’s just stupid. We should be rooting for our president because it’s rooting for ourselves.

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It’s a wise admonition. Every American should decry talk like “We got to bring that man down,” and “We just cannot have eight years of this black man.”  That’s Klan talk, despised by people of good will across the political spectrum.

Brooks’ pleas to “put color and prejudice aside” and to cheer for whatever can be cheered for strikes me as remarkably sensible, and even good.   Conspiratorial animus rarely makes us better.

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Colleges accepting more rich kids, limiting middle class and poor admissions

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Prestigious schools are eager, this year, to admit students whose parents pay full price. Needier students get bumped.
clipped from www.nytimes.com

Colleges Are Accepting More Students Who Can Pay Full Fare

In the bid for a fat envelope this year, it may help, more than usual, to have a fat wallet. […]
Facing fallen endowments and needier students, many colleges are looking more favorably on wealthier applicants as they make their admissions decisions this year.

Institutions that have pledged to admit students regardless of need are finding ways to increase the number of those who pay full fare in ways that allow the colleges to maintain the claim of being need-blind — taking more students from the transfer or waiting lists, for instance, or admitting more foreign students who pay full freight.

[T]hey say the inevitable result is that needier students will be shifted down to the less expensive and less prestigious schools
“There’s going to be a cascading of talented lower-income kids down the social hierarchy of American higher education, and some cascading up of affluent kids,” […]
giving more seats to higher-paying students […]
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ClipMarks commenters (Boniface) wrote: “There’s the death of the middle class! The upper and lower will become more and more distant as time goes by.”

Could be.  The least, last.

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Supreme Court stays Troy Davis execution until Monday

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Stay issued less than two hours before scheduled execution. Further decisions expected on Monday.
clipped from www.democracynow.org

Supreme Court Gives Last-Minute Reprieve to Death Row Prisoner Troy Davis

Troy Davis (photo: aiusa)

The Supreme Court has stayed the execution of the Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis. The decision came less than two hours before Davis was set to be killed Tuesday night. An African American, Davis was convicted for the 1989 killing of a white police officer, Mark Allen McPhail. But since the trial, seven of the nine non-police witnesses have recanted their testimony. There is no direct physical evidence tying Davis to the crime scene. And three witnesses claim another man later admitted to the killing. The stay is in effect until Monday, when the Supreme Court will decide whether to hear Davis’s appeal for a new trial. If the Court refuses, Georgia would be free to proceed with Davis’s execution. If the appeal is granted, Davis’s execution would remain on hold until the Supreme Court makes a final ruling.

supporters include former President Jimmy Carter, Congress member John Lewis, and the South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu
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See related post Execution scheduled despite recanting of witnesses.

Written by Monte

September 24, 2008 at 11:17 pm