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Was the Senate leader being racist?

Mark Mardell | 05:17 UK time, Monday, 11 January 2010

The senior senator, the Democratic leader in the Senate from Nevada is in a whole heap of trouble. It was never going to be easy for Harry Reid to hold his seat in November's elections. It just got a whole lot harder. He is the Republicans' number one target and they've scored some hits over the weekend after revelations in a new book about the 2008 campaign.

I have no doubt the row about what he said during the campaign about Obama's chances of becoming president have decreased his chance of staying senator. That's politics. But is it fair?

Barack Obama and Harry ReidIndeed is what he said racist, or in any other way reprehensible? Liz Cheney thinks it is racist. The Kansas Star calls the remarks "stinking racist comments". A left wing blogger Field Negro says it is "ignorant stereotyping". Mr Reid himself refers to the comments as "improper".

But what has irritated me about the flood of articles is that there has been a lot of nudging and winking but few have come out and said what they find offensive.

So let's have a look at what he actually said. The comments come from a book out this week, Game Changes .The authors say Reid "was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama - a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,' as he later put it privately."

It seems to me the are three parts to this.

First, talking about a "Negro dialect" sounds to my ears just curiously old- fashioned. "Negro" itself is an odd word to use these days - but is it inherently racist ? The part about "dialect" seems simply inaccurate, although those who know more about it suggested it is indeed a term from the past. But it is obvious that there are accents that could identify someone as black, or white, or southern or rural or a host of other identities.

The second, really embarrassing part is that Reid is suggesting that the leader of his party can adopt an accent at will, when it suits. Not good to be snide about the boss. But the point he makes is trivial. The skill is hardly unique. Tony Blair could do public school or London at will. He'd have a go at Scottish or Northern and I even heard a moment in his last election campaign when he put on a French accent after attending a school French lesson. It is something many politicians do, literally without thinking about it.

But the guts of what Reid was saying was that many American voters were still pretty racist but some wouldn't see Obama as "really" black. He thought Obama was acceptable to the electorate because he was light-skinned and didn't have a voice that identified him as black. That seems to be Reid's attempt to describe a state of affairs that may be unpleasant, but may be true. He was explaining the lie of the land as he saw it, not endorsing the views he outlined. If you can't do that you are no good as a strategist.

One of the worrying things about American political discourse is that some (mainly white) people regard any reference to race as "racist" without looking at the content of what is being said. Maybe some are embarrassed that Reid's analysis may be correct.

Over to you.

Comments

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  • 1. At 05:51am on 11 Jan 2010, Dale Johnson wrote:

    Two standards for the Democratic Party! If you are a Republican or Independant then you can expect villification from Reid, Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, Kerry, Durbin, Waters and the rest of teh thugs who populate the Democratic party. If you are a Democrat then you can say things that are not appropriate and get away with it any time.
    this is not blaming as the Democrtaic party has done this and made me very sick of the people running my party. You only need to look at recent history (the Republican from Florida, Trent Loke to name two) and you can see that it is true. If you are a Democrat then you can defame people and cast aspersions and get re-elected and advanced. If you are a Republican you can get thrown out for lesser offenses than the Democrats and sent to prison for the same ones Democrats get let offof.
    God Bless America, not her ploliticians. With alll her faults she is still striving to shake off the opression of the same people who make the laws for their own sake and not the peoples.

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  • 2. At 06:04am on 11 Jan 2010, paul_california wrote:

    Thank you, Mr. Mardell. This is literally the first rational commentary I've seen on this event. All the articles I've read give no consideration to whether these remarks are actually offensive.
    As you rightly point out, he was analyzing the racial aspects of Obama's election chances, *not* whether the American electorate *should* have some racist attitudes, and he was certainly not referring one way or the other to his own attitude.

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  • 3. At 06:30am on 11 Jan 2010, Karl wrote:

    Unfortunately, people like Dale Johnson above don't seem to see the difference (or deliberately ignore it) between Reid's comment and Lott's. Reid used language that was arcane and came from a racist era, so it's mildly offensive, but as you point out Mark, the underlying message was the uncomfortable one that a lot of Americans are still racists and can't handle a black man with dark skin who "sounds black" as President.

    On the other hand, Trent Lott said that he was proud that Mississippi had supported the presidential campaign of Strom Thurmond in 1948, and that the US wouldn't have a lot of its current problems if he had been elected then. For context, Thurmond's campaign was based around the continuation of racial segregation, and one of his famous quotes from that campaign is "I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there's not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the n***** race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches."

    Get the difference?

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  • 4. At 06:45am on 11 Jan 2010, Gillespie666 wrote:

    There is a crucial distinction between Reid's gaffe and Lott's. What Reid said was fairly run-of-the-mill; the problem was the clumsy language in which he chose to express it. By contrast, Lott said that the United States would have been a better place if a racist segregationist had become President in 1948. That's about content, not style, which is a rather more serious matter.

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  • 5. At 07:14am on 11 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    The fact is, Mr. Obama is not Black. That was a major issue in the early campaign, if we remember that far back - he doesn't talk Black, he doesn't think Black, and he has no known slave ancestors, so he certainly isn't a 'brother' in the generally used sense.

    When he came up a likely winner, however, the issue was neatly turned from the cultural to the physical forms of racism. He is black enough to represent the final response to the question of blacks being genetically as competent as anyone else. Enough victory for the year of our Lord 2008, and way too long coming.

    I could appear racist by speculating when an American of the slave mentality (as some define Blackness) will be elected our President, but that seems to me to be the same as asking when any particular culture will rise to national leadership. When will we have our first identifiably Native American, or Hispanic, or Arab American, or Asian....

    Obama is unique. When was the last time an American President was the son of an alien who was never even a citizen?

    Yes, it is undeniable that Obama was elected in part because he was more acceptable to many of those voters who hold prejudices against African Americans, than the Black candidates we have seen to date. How can this be a bad thing for our democracy? To say Obama's white heritage diminishes the victory for Black interests is the same as saying that only a strict Leftist can represent Democrats, or only an evangelical gun-rights warmonger can be accepted by Republicans.

    The marvel is the man himself, and I suppose every single citizen has had to find a way to grasp how such a tangle of contradictions can be woven with such strength and neatness - Senator Reid should be allowed to express the same amazement we each experienced ourselves.

    This is all stooping into puddles searching for mud that might stick.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 6. At 07:15am on 11 Jan 2010, cHeAp Flights wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 7. At 07:18am on 11 Jan 2010, WebPendragon wrote:

    This Blog is absolutley spot-on.Reid was only being realistic.America is far to sensitive about Race.The so called "Melting Pot" is no more than a fantasy,Black and Hispanic minorities in particular are very far from being integrated into American society and in fact, have become nations within a nation.

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  • 8. At 07:23am on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    2. paul_california:

    Agreed. Absolutely.

    Doesn't leave much to say (he says hopefully, but probably mistakenly).

    But why didn't he say "Harlem' or 'Southside' (if I've got the right kind of place). Because he's 70, perhaps?

    I think the proper term would be 'a creole [dialect]', but of course, typically, when I need to find the book on that I can't lay my hands on it. I really must get my bookshelves sorted out. Never heard Reid's term when I did my Lang and Lit degree anyway, or if I did, it was just as an old one long left behind for the history books.

    Time for retirement and watching cacti grow or whatever anyway.

    I think we'd have said Blair could 'do' 'Essex' or 'Estuary English', more than 'Lahnnon', btw, though to us Brits that has certain, umm, negative connotations (nothing to do in the slightest with race) which is probably why Mark didn't :-D

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  • 9. At 07:30am on 11 Jan 2010, Wayne Marshall wrote:

    Indeed I think you are correct. I have seen real racism in the U.S. as my first real exposure to the country proper was in Kentucky. Rural kentucky is a far cry from the american military base lifestyle I was accustomed to in West Germany. Growing up hearing about the U.S. as a home, that I had never experienced, and then having my first real experiences being in a racist and sexist and religiously indoctrinated area was a culture shock to say the least. I am thankful, however, that I did indeed see the things I saw there, such as book burnings, because it let me know that there are still people like that.
    There are indeed many areas of the country that racism is a big problem, though I don't think people really see it until they are confronted with it head on. There is a knee jerk reaction to anything that seems to be an attack of blacks, but many of the same people won't react that way if you are racist against mexicans, or arabs, or chinese people. It depends on the company you are with, the area you live, and what radio station you listen to, but it is prevalent everywhere.
    It is unfortunate what the senate leader said, and more unfortunate that is probably true, but at least it is starting a dialogue. Without these issues being brought to the front of the news and having people give voice to these issues, they just keep going in the same way. This is the kind of debate we really need to have, and we need to have it more than just once. The comments were indeed racist, but accurate, and that says the truth that racism is still here. It didn't disappear with Obama becoming the president. Quite a few people don't want to talk about it, for differing reasons. Being uncomfortable with the discussion of race politics and sex politics, and religious politics, just shows that it is indeed a topic that needs to be addressed.
    Maybe when people get used to it being in their life everyday, it will make them confront the situation and make a change.

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  • 10. At 07:40am on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    5. At 07:14am on 11 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    "Obama is unique. When was the last time an American President was the son of an alien. . ."

    My italics. Would you, perhaps, like to re-phrase that? What was so 'alien' about his mother anyway? She was, I gather, born in Wichita.

    (Mutters: "What do you read, my Lord?" "Words, words, words . . .")

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  • 11. At 07:45am on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    This is an ugly world. And as anyone who is black and has no political agenda will tell you, Harry Reid only spoke the truth as he saw it. The condemnation was of WHITE Americans, not black. Therefore, not racist.

    And since I'm sure our President already knows he's light skinned and doesn't naturally speak like Thug Boi Z (although I'm also sure he could drop into 'hood slang if he wanted to, because even I can when I'm hangin' in my crib with my middle aged posse) no doubt he considered that fact before he ran for the office - and deemed it to be in his favor. So Reid's words were nothing new. At least not to black Americans. White Americans on the other hand...

    Well, I don't believe that this was the case at all and Harry Reid is as wrong as the pundits who first put it forth. To a racist, black is black. Those who had a problem with Obama's skin color didn't vote for him. The rest of us simply considered the alternative and voted for the candidate of our choice - who just happened to be black.

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  • 12. At 08:02am on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    5. At 07:14am on 11 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    "he doesn't think Black,"

    What do you mean by "thinking black"? Black people have no different thoughts than any other American of any race. Unless, of course, it is to ruminate on the ironic fact that after three centuries of living in America they are still considered "other" and treated as such by the very people whose ancestors so desperately wanted black people in America that they went to Africa and kidnapped them so they could have one or more of their very own.

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  • 13. At 08:10am on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    5 ks

    Great post, but with this it I disagree

    "Yes, it is undeniable that Obama was elected in part because he was more acceptable to many of those voters who hold prejudices against African Americans"

    I think the voters with prejudice would have voted for him - they'd be non-voters or unregistered or republicans (not a generalisation, please don't launch the attack).
    He may be white enough to not incite prejudice, but was black enough to put off those who already had it.

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  • 14. At 08:11am on 11 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    As an African-American from Chicago I must say this is "spot on" as my Brit friends say. (I have never heard of a "Harlem" or "Southside" dialect though. A more common term used here in the US is "Ebonics"). What Mr. Reid was referring to, with his antiquated wording, was the fact that many Blacks in America speak English using different grammatical rules than the average American, especially when it comes to the conjugation of verbs and the use of slang terms. Some of us, though, are able to do both, which, is more than just a change of accent. You actually have to learn and internalize two sets of grammatical rules for the same language. (This was one of the issues that came to the forefront in the Ebonics debate in the last decade or so) Many people do both, it is not so much a politician thing as it is a matter of having to integrate into two different social groups within the same society with varying cultural standards in addition to the different "rules" of grammar. With President Obama and others of us that integrate into both social groups, it is second nature. And Senator Reid was correct. The fairer a black person's skin, the more we appear to adhere to mainstream American culture and the more we speak correct and proper American English, the less threatening and frightening many people (that do not have a lot of experience with Black people) find us. It is human nature to fear and reject what one doesn't understand. It as also very astute and honest of Reid to acknowledge the reality of covert racism in America and how it was likely to affect the election. Too bad others are more interested in deliberately misconstruing his meaning and causing political melodrama than appreciating the inside look at such an historic election.

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  • 15. At 08:12am on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    Mark
    "The second, really embarrassing part is that Reid is suggesting that the leader of his party can adopt an accent at will, when it suits."


    After George W Bush (East Coast posh education)lost the Texas governers race way back he had to go away and learn to "talk Texas" and then won the second time.

    If Obama can adopt an accent at will then it's one more talent he has over W.

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  • 16. At 08:35am on 11 Jan 2010, John1948 wrote:

    I am afraid to say that over reaction to possible racist comments by the majority show how deeply and how endemic guilt about racism can run.

    A society which is truly non racist would be able to discuss such issues in a mature and balanced way. But white guilt (whether valid on a personal level or not) and the minority of blacks who will always play the race card make such a discussion impossible. The problem is that whilst there is racism and it needs to be identified and dealt with, making too big a deal of it perpetuates it rather than irradicates it. I want to be identified by who I am and what I do rather than the ethnic minority I belong to.

    I am not sure that by overattacking individual examples of possible racism, anything is being done to minimise racism. Prejudice will always exist (whether it is race, gender, disability, part of town you live, clothes you wear) the trick is for it to exist in relative harmony in a way that no one is disadvantaged. I would much rather know someone's prejudices so that I can check that they are not acting against someone on that basis, than have it 'in the closet' where it is harder to monitor.

    For that reason I believe that the Senaotor should be applauded for revealling his thinking.

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  • 17. At 08:41am on 11 Jan 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    The truth often offends. What Reid said is fairly offensive, but its also true. George Bush won two elections because he appealed to the middle american redneck, and rednecks make up a sizeable percentage of middle america (funnily enough I can say that & no one will call me racist). Obama can subtly change his character to appeal to whoever he's speaking to. To people like Jesse Jackson he's a black man. In a room full of East coast lawyers he's a middle class college graduate etc. This isn't unique to Obama either. As has been pointed out Tony Blair could alter his accent and speach patterns too to be more working class or ex-public school according to his audience. David Cameron (the self styled 'heir to blair') can do this too.

    #12. You need to read up on the slave trade urgently. Firstly most slave traders were european, not american. Secondly and far more importantly they didn't 'kidnap' them from Africa (watch the movie Zulu to see how easy it is for a handful of whites to take on an angry African tribe) but instead bought them from other black chieftans. Most slaves were prisoners of war sold by their captors although 'trouble makers' or simply excess population were sold too. After the Royal Navy effectively shut down the transatlantic slave trade most slaves in the US were US (or at least Cuban) born. The myth that whites raided Africa and kidnapped slaves is one of the reasons there is still a race problem.

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  • 18. At 08:44am on 11 Jan 2010, Jason wrote:

    Perhaps Reid wasn't using the proper terminology, but, at least in New Jersey (where I live), it is hard to ignore the fact that the way in which the majority of blacks speak differs significantly from that of the majority of whites and asians (I'm not entirely sure about where our hispanic population fits in). Does it make the speaker sound less articulate (and therefore probably less suitable for the oval office)? I think so.

    This isn't racism, but because the "dialect" is so overwhelmingly associated with the black population (and vice-versa) it's an easy mistake to make.

    As for the "light-skinned" comment, I think this is Reid's perception of the American peoples' perception of skin color as opposed to what he thinks about it himself.

    At 07:45am on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:
    "The condemnation was of WHITE Americans, not black. Therefore, not racist."

    This quote pretty much sums up American views on racism. Absolutely ridiculous.

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  • 19. At 08:46am on 11 Jan 2010, Michael wrote:

    Anyone reading these comments should be aware that both Democrats and Republicans have well funded damage control teams that fan out and post comments in the most read news sites and blogs in an attempt to tilt public opinion. Any anonymous post must unfortunately be viewed in this light these days.

    Whether or not you agree with Mark's point of view here, you should be thinking with your own mind.

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  • 20. At 08:49am on 11 Jan 2010, PragueImp wrote:

    Americans seem to have a real issue with describing black people. One of the comments above begins ''As an African-American...''. I recently read an article by an American teacher here in Prague stating that the word black (when it came to describing people) meant African-American!!I'm sure that would amuse the vast majority of black people around the world who have never been to America. And what if you are descended from white South Africans? Are you then a '(white)South African-American'?! Are Americans so scared of being non-pc that they have to invent words to describe people?

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  • 21. At 09:03am on 11 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    There is a definite double standard.

    Trent Lott was forced from his position for praising Strong thurmond on his birthday.

    Harry Reid gets away with a more incindary remakr. Don't forget that former KKK member Robert Byrd used the N word less than 10 years ago and no outrage.

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  • 22. At 09:03am on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    14 niki

    Good post.


    What Reid said may be politically incorrect, but it was off the record and the democrats were running a presidential election campaign with a (partly) black candidate for the first time.

    Obviously they were going to discuss all possible ramifications of different aspects of their candidate's attributes, including his looks, ethnicity and accent. It would have been irresponsible not to.

    Reid's actual words, which sound a bit staid or old-fashionned, are probably a product of two things....
    1) his generation - just think how the "race issue" has changed since he's been in politics.
    2) many white peoples "fear" of using the wrong terminology to discuss race in the modern PC world, and thus be branded racist.

    It is interesting that the people most offended by this are white, not black!

    Jack Straw (a fairly "liberal" left wing labour politican in the UK) got into a situation in Sept on Question Time (BBC political discussion show) with the terminology he used to discuss race. He could not have been more careful or selective in his words, nor have a better track record on race relations, but still someone got offended.

    This whole thing is a storm in a teacup and is being used to score political points.

    Reid, if anything, was suggesting that a section of the US electorate would be influenced by a candidate's ethnicity, and was Obama "white enough" to overcome that.

    Obama did overcome that, due I believe, to his ideas. However Reid was correct about the electorate, as he would be about any electorate in UK, Canada or any other country - some people are racist and will vote accordingly. It's unavoidable.

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  • 23. At 09:06am on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    As an outsider, I don’t find Reid’s comments that racist, though possibly a bit poorly worded. Following on from the Avatar ‘their blue meaning their black’ and the new Disney film raising apparently serious debates on whether people are being racist, I think the US has some serious issues over race.

    I am not saying that the US is more or less racist than Europe but it does appear that is obsessed about race and appearing racist. I mean the whole Avatar debate had me scratching my head, why making the aliens blue (I mean they are aliens after all) was racist and why did that mean they were black?

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  • 24. At 09:09am on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    20 pragueimp

    Each country develops it's own "acceptble terminology" to define the race debate. In the US they use "African-American", as "black" and other terms were deemed perjorative .... or possibly, as in the case of Obama or Colin Powell, not really true.


    The most important thing is for everyone to be aware of the convention, and for no one to be offended by it - only then can the debate be open and without fear of giving unintentional offence.


    However I agree that Americans often are so conditionned to say "african American" that they use it to describe all blacks, even those who have never been to America ..... (I've heard it many times in Italy from American tourists wondering whether to purchase cheap designer purses from "African American" street traders ..... well, Nigerian or Senegalese maybe!)

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  • 25. At 09:09am on 11 Jan 2010, Tim S wrote:

    What Senator Reid said wasn't racist, just unfortunate. As Americans, we WANT our presidents to be well-spoken, intelligent and to reflect our beliefs and values. Barack Obama did that better than John McCain. Period. The noise about Senator Reid mostly comes from Republicans who have said far worse things about President Obama, but because they are not in power, they won't get slammed for it. Pure politics.

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  • 26. At 09:14am on 11 Jan 2010, xiaolaoshu wrote:

    I will not pretend to say that I know anything about American politics. But I do know, first hand, that white people are extremely touchy about race issues. I am yellow, by the way, and whenever I say that, my white in-laws and friends would wince. I could not understand why?! I am yellow. I am proud to be yellow. It seems to me that "non-coloured" people are the only ones who think it is racism to notice a person's ethnicity. Which seems to me, ultimately, the real racism because they think that by noticing or mentioning a person's colour/ethnic group, you are saying that this person is beneath a certain social standard!

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  • 27. At 09:17am on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    21. MagicKirin wrote:
    "There is a definite double standard.

    Trent Lott was forced from his position for praising Strong thurmond on his birthday."

    _________________________________

    Again you use half truths to make your point ....

    Trent Lott publicly praised Thurmond's 1948 "segregationist" presidential campaign. That involves a positive judgement on that campaign. It was right that he was chastised.

    Reid made a descriptive (and also factually correct) private comment about Obama, but used unwise wording.

    There is no double standard, apart from yours in your selective use of facts.

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  • 28. At 09:21am on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    17. Peter_Sym wrote:

    The problem with 'doing' accents (especially if politicians try it) is that unless it's honest, it's patronising, or at least the people addressed suspect so.

    I was once accused by a uni friend who was a drama student of "doing a terrible Northern accent" until another drama student who happened to come from the same town (and like me, normally spoke 'RP') disabused him about where I came from . . .For nearly a whole term, she and I reverted to our 'best' ('worst'?) regional accent whenever we met in the bar with the drama crowd around until we started giggling too often . . .

    And what is a 'working class' accent' or 'dialect'? Fortunately, these days, in Britain anyway, you can be a BBC radio reporter (one sounds as though he was brought up within 10 miles of where I was ['wer'] ) or a physicist with a PhD and a Fellowship, and still have 'my' original accent and not have to sound like a middle class banker born in Surrey. (Or you can be a President of the UCL Islamic Society and sound like an Old Etonian.) It's not like it was 50 years ago.

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  • 29. At 09:22am on 11 Jan 2010, Dale Johnson wrote:

    I see the "Democrats" are sending out their dogs after me for pointing out something that they have been doing! In case you have not guessed I am a democrat who has lost the illusion that the "Democratic Party" is for the common man. I have seen time after time the "Demos" attack people who have said less and vilified them. Ried is just another person who wants to be the winner without taking any flack for his statements. This is not the first comment from him and as a "True Democrat" he will continue to gain status. He learned will from Teddy and is still practicing misinformation like this.
    I used Trent Lott as only one example. Check out the senators from states like Alabama and Louisiana, set alone Mr. Reids own statements from not that many years ago. I think it was in 1975 he blasted a person for being black and then did the dame thing and the Demos circled their tents around him the same way.
    Some Americans believe the best man for the job and we did not get him. He was pushed off by the elitist media in America and the Two political parties. He even had to sue the Media to get into the first presidential debate even though they let others in who had less chance to win than he did.
    Both sides need to be revamped and the Constitution says nothing about Democrats or Republicans. It says the people. When will we vote for the people and quit buying votes with lies from the two main political bodies?

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  • 30. At 09:25am on 11 Jan 2010, Jeffrey White wrote:

    Im a black African/English youth who has no dialect to really speak of, yet i change the language i use when speaking to people of different verbal speach. This is a common form of socialising (which in many cases isnt done appropriately, or for the correct individual). What senator Harry Reid said was indeed not worthy of racist mention, tho he clearly has a racist mind, in what form im blinded to. What he said i have no doubts were indeed accurate of american beliefs having known many americans while studying in my time. I would advise someone to read paul california's blog as the one with the most simplified accuracy.

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  • 31. At 09:27am on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    26 xiaolaoshu wrote
    "It seems to me that "non-coloured" people are the only ones who think it is racism to notice a person's ethnicity. Which seems to me, ultimately, the real racism because they think that by noticing or mentioning a person's colour/ethnic group, you are saying that this person is beneath a certain social standard!"


    I can see you point of view, but as a white person (well pink really, and more of a lobster red in the Italian summer!), I would add this.

    Because there has been so much overt racism in the past, pink people are often so worried about unwittingly giving offense that they either avoid the issue completely, or use stilted and PC language to show they cannot possibly be racist.

    This pussyfooting around the issue doesn't help in the long run, but for many "pinks" the stigma of being incorrectly labelled racist trumps any rationality.

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  • 32. At 09:32am on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    In physics I remember learning that white is the sum of all colours in the visible spectrum, and Black is the absence of colour.

    Perhaps the white people should be called "Coloured" and the black people just be called "people".



    I hope that isn't going too far for some. I'm having a "lateral thinking" day!

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  • 33. At 09:32am on 11 Jan 2010, Jason wrote:

    26. At 09:14am on 11 Jan 2010, xiaolaoshu wrote:
    "I am yellow. I am proud to be yellow. It seems to me that "non-coloured" people are the only ones who think it is racism to notice a person's ethnicity."

    It's because white people (at least in the USA) are subjected to double standards when it comes to racism. We're not allowed to be proud to be white.

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  • 34. At 09:33am on 11 Jan 2010, xiaolaoshu wrote:

    So based on this article alone, I do not think that the senator's comments were racist. He appears to be just making candid observation privately. Which, if we can be honest with ourselves, most of us do.

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  • 35. At 09:41am on 11 Jan 2010, Karl wrote:

    21. At 09:03am on 11 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    "Trent Lott was forced from his position for praising Strong thurmond on his birthday."

    Lott didn't just say Thurmond was a nice guy (he had, in fact, renounced at least the worst parts of his racism by then). Lott said that a lot of the problems the US currently faces wouldn't exist if Thurmond had won the presidency in 1948 on his segregationist platform, and he was still proud that Mississippi had voted for Thurmond then. That's FAR more incendiary than Reid's poorly-chosen words.

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  • 36. At 09:47am on 11 Jan 2010, Wicked_Witch_of_the_West_Coast wrote:

    "The second, really embarrassing part is that Reid is suggesting that the leader of his party can adopt an accent at will, when it suits."

    We all do that, and we choose the accent and vocabulary that will make our audience/companions feel most at ease with us. I myself can go from 'educated West Coast of Scotland English' to broad Glaswegian in the blink of an eye. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just a form of survival tactic, letting us blend in with whatever companions we happen to be with. And to be honest, most people would prefer that their leaders sound as urbane and educated as Mr Obama. There is a time and a place for 'formal' language - if he addressed the UN and spoke like, say, a gangsta rapper, who would (1) understand him (apart from other gangstaz!)or (2) take him seriously??

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  • 37. At 09:47am on 11 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref 27 and 35
    Trent Lott publicly praised Thurmond's 1948 "segregationist" presidential campaign. That involves a positive judgement on that campaign. It was right that he was chastised.

    Lott said that a lot of the problems the US currently faces wouldn't exist if Thurmond had won the presidency in 1948

    ________________

    Lott was not refering to Thurmonds view of segregation but his total political and policy outlook. Lott did notsay for instance it would have been great if Thurmonds views on segregation had been adopted. It is you two who are telling the half truths.

    And you ignore that Klanman Byrd gets a pass and so will Reid

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  • 38. At 09:51am on 11 Jan 2010, Karl wrote:

    29. At 09:22am on 11 Jan 2010, Dale Johnson wrote:
    >"I used Trent Lott as only one example. Check out the senators from states like Alabama and Louisiana"

    Um...you mean like Richard Shelby and David Vitter? I don't think you really want to go there...

    >"set alone Mr. Reids own statements from not that many years ago. I think it was in 1975 he blasted a person for being black and then did the dame thing and the Demos circled their tents around him the same way."

    Seriously? 1975, when Reid was (unsuccessfully) running for mayor of Las Vegas? Who outside of Nevada had ever heard of him then? And that was "not that many years ago"?

    >"Some Americans believe the best man for the job and we did not get him. He was pushed off by the elitist media in America and the Two political parties. He even had to sue the Media to get into the first presidential debate even though they let others in who had less chance to win than he did."

    Ah, I see - you're a Paulista. That explains a lot. I was going to criticize you for writing an incoherent message, but now reading between the lines I see what your agenda is.

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  • 39. At 09:52am on 11 Jan 2010, Arthur Brede wrote:

    For once, Mark, not bad. The sooner we all learn the differences between discrimination and prejudice, the better, otherwise it will become impossible to include relevant descriptors anywhere. The point about Obama is that he's a Chicago shyster with the gift of the gab who should never have been made president. Now he is, it's high time he did something apart from kow-towing to all his country's enemies, ancient and modern, and selling the US down the river. The fact that the melanin in his skin is expressed is a matter of minor gene-coding; the fact that he's a villain, possibly worse, is far more important.

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  • 40. At 10:01am on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    32. At 09:32am on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    "Perhaps the white people should be called "Coloured" and the black people just be called "people".

    Yes; I think we should adopt this, but allnon-pink people, please. Including brownish ones. No offence, but to avoid disputes, I guess the simplest test of 'whiteness' (or 'colouredness') to get it started would be if 'coloured' people go lobster in summer?

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  • 41. At 10:04am on 11 Jan 2010, Karl wrote:

    37. At 09:47am on 11 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    "Lott was not refering to Thurmonds view of segregation but his total political and policy outlook. Lott did notsay for instance it would have been great if Thurmonds views on segregation had been adopted."

    And what, pray tell, was it that made Thurmond's political and policy outlook different from the rest of the Democratic Party at the time apart from segregation?

    Here's a start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixiecrat

    "And you ignore that Klanman Byrd gets a pass"

    He doesn't get a "pass", he is accepted in the fold because he renounced the Klan a long time ago, moved to supporting civil rights, and now has a 100% rating from the NAACP - something that few if any Republicans do.

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  • 42. At 10:05am on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    33. At 09:32am on 11 Jan 2010, Jason wrote:

    "We're not allowed to be proud to be white." Is that why tanning spray was invented?

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  • 43. At 10:05am on 11 Jan 2010, GolemII wrote:

    For those who say this isn't analogous to what Trent Lott said, you are correct. Trent Lott never mentioned race and was flattering a 100 year old man - not his policies on race at the time. Leftist race baiters had to stretch to paint Lott as a racist, but stretch they did. Reid, on the other hand, used anachronistic language to describe a presidential candidate. All it showed about Reid is that he is hopelessly out of touch with the American populace...which is about as surprising as finding out water is wet. But let's not forget Biden: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man." Yup, that's Obama's VP.

    Bottom line: None of these men are racist. They are simply loudmouthed imbeciles, hopelessly out of touch with America because they haven't done an honest day's work in their lives. However, the sooner we stop letting race baiters play the race card, the less racially divided we will become and perhaps we can elect reps who live in the 21st century.

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  • 44. At 10:09am on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Wow you Reps really hate Chicago don’t you! Nearly every reference to Obama has to have a dig about coming from Chicago and its politics.

    Squirrel – So what’s wrong with an Essex accent then!?! Estuarian born and bred, though some locals think that I have an Australian or even American accent (actually a lady from Chicago thought I had an American accent and asked me how long I had lived over here, but apparently you can’t trust people from Chicago)!

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  • 45. At 10:22am on 11 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    35. Karl captured the the problem with Trent Lott's statement exactly. It is so important to read the actual words instead of the "gist" of what someone thought was said.

    Senator Reid's words, taken in context, meant that the American electorate was more likely to accept Candidate Obama because of these factors. It was an acknowledgment of how we stereotype Blacks here and what factors we stereotype as somehow "better" than others.

    Lott words, taken in context, meant that if we had gone on a different path, towards segregation instead of civil rights and attempts at equality, America would be better than it is now.

    That is a HUGE difference. Acknowledging the difference between an observation of others' propensity towards some racist thoughts and opinions is not the same as saying, "If we'd gone with the guy that wanted to keep Black people in second-class status, we'd be a lot better off." I don't care what party, ethnicity, race or nationality you are, saying the second is racist and deserving of punishment (and ridicule for your small mind) and the first is rather neutral.

    Also, am I the only one that notices that Harry Reid always puts his arm around other politicians and they always seem annoyed? (See: picture above, press conf. last year re: health care reform when he kept touching Nancy Pelosi).

    20. PragueImp
    I used the word quite correctly. It may not be a common word used in your culture, but I am very accurately African-American. My English, Irish, Scottish, and Blackfeet Indian ancestors apparently got in on with a few people that came here from Africa. My Kenyan friend is Kenyan. My Bosnian husband is Bosnian. Perhaps is is strange to you because our society is much less homogeneous than other countries. While I recognize that basically every country has various racial and ethnic groups, in the U.S., more than half of our population is non-white. Also, many of us have no idea which part of Africa was home to our ancestors. There really is no other term that encapsulates this large identifiable subgroup of our society. Do not assume that one or two people's mistake in referring to a Black person from a different culture means that we all must do that.

    As for any generalization about how Americans act, you can basically guarantee it will be untrue for as many American for which it is true. This country is HUGE. There are so many different types of people with different experiences, attitudes, cultures, social mores and ideas that there is no one "American" way about anything. Manhattan (which I love dearly) is different from my beloved hometown (Chicago) or St. Louis, or Detroit, or out here in Colorado or San Fran or LA. The best way to see the US is like someone glued about 20 different countries together. Even in one state you will have such extreme variety. To me that is a good portion of the beauty of this place.

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  • 46. At 10:22am on 11 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    12. At 08:02am on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:
    5. At 07:14am on 11 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:
    "he doesn't think Black,"

    What do you mean by "thinking black"? Black people have no different thoughts than any other American of any race. Unless, of course, it is to ruminate on the ironic fact that after three centuries of living in America they are still considered "other" and treated as such by the very people whose ancestors so desperately wanted black people in America that they went to Africa and kidnapped them so they could have one or more of their very own.

    _____________________________________

    Precisely. But would Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson ever represent the interests of the whole nation? Their candidacies served a worthwhile purpose in raising Black issues to the national stage, and in introducing the possibility of a Black candidate, but that was their purpose. Obama made clear that his racial makeup was beside the point - he intended to represent the whole nation, which is the unique characteristic and responsibility, of all our elected officials, of the presidency.

    I intended two different things by the capitalized Black and the uncapitalized black.

    It is refreshing to see an open discussion of the artificiality and wierdness of American discomfort over which words to use. I see that someone in the world does not share this burden.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 47. At 10:23am on 11 Jan 2010, Jon wrote:

    The main reason the senator will struggle for re-election is because the Democrats have absolutely ruined business in Nevada, a state which had hefty revenues from gaming first, and conventions second. Convention traffic is down 70 per cent, and that is unsustainable for any business. Why? Because of Obama's decision about conventions etc and tax breaks, what he said about people going on business jollies to Vegas.
    Thing is, Vegas does conventions and exhibitions better than almost anywhere else, and it has the hotels to support it. So he won't be re-elected by the residents of Nevada, because their main businesses have been ignored in every 'rescue package' and been singled out as a no-no by the president himself.
    THAT's why he won't be re-elected - nothing to do with a poor choice of words.

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  • 48. At 10:31am on 11 Jan 2010, Leidens_SS wrote:

    RE: Squirrelist
    10. At 07:40am on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:
    5. At 07:14am on 11 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    "Obama is unique. When was the last time an American President was the son of an alien. . ."

    My italics. Would you, perhaps, like to re-phrase that? What was so 'alien' about his mother anyway? She was, I gather, born in Wichita.

    ---------

    Obamas Father was born and raised in Kenya, his Mother was born and raised in the US. So technically he is the son of an 'Alien'.

    On to the main point - I think Reid was a little silly with some of his phrasing, but the message is clear. The US as a nation would find it harder to elect a 'black' American with a certain accent as president.
    But as someone else has mentioned, he wasnt elected because of his colour - it may be a reason for some - but he was elected for his skills as a leader, an orator and his passion (I think) for trying to do the best thing for the US. The fact of his race and history also gives hope to others that anything is possible.
    The big problem is going to be the over poltical correctness of any comment directed towards Obama, and the lack of sensible debate about the real issues.

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  • 49. At 10:32am on 11 Jan 2010, Via-Media wrote:

    Something missing from this discussion: exactly who the attackers are. The Republicans that have been so quick to pounce in general have not made names for themselves as champions of African Americans. Some decidedly the opposite. And yet they're the ones to sound the hue and cry against racism?

    Hmm... after some of the remarks from the Limbaugh-Beck fringe, I'm happy to hear that they really do care about race relations after all. At least when the remarks in question were by a hated Democrat.

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  • 50. At 10:33am on 11 Jan 2010, P J Walton wrote:

    It seems to me that Americans, in general, are quite immature in their attitudes about race and what constitutes racism compared to Western Europeans. You'll rarely see incidentally mixed couples (black and white) in Hollywood films unless the topic of mixed race relationships is the theme (or a sub theme) of the film. Race is an ultra-sensitive issue on both sides of the Atlantic, but more intensely so on that side. It's easy to be misunderstood when one tries to comment publicly on race or racism. I tried to comment on racism recently on Have your Say and was appalled to find that my comment, which was clearly and unequivocally against racism, was rejected by the moderator. Perhaps the moderator had been too busy on that particular day and had only given the post a cursory glance and hastily made a wrong assumption. Somehow though, the topic is just too sensitive to handle sometimes.

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  • 51. At 10:33am on 11 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    10. At 07:40am on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:
    5. At 07:14am on 11 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    "Obama is unique. When was the last time an American President was the son of an alien. . ."

    My italics. Would you, perhaps, like to re-phrase that? What was so 'alien' about his mother anyway? She was, I gather, born in Wichita.

    __________________________________

    Um, he had two parents, I believe. I looked for a less charged term for 'foreign non-citizen', but I let that go with all its inuendos. It is the official term, still in use.

    If you wrote a fictional candidate with that bio, you'd have trouble selling it. 'Shows how remarkable he is to have won the election, and how remarkable we are as a nation, that we elected him over the WASP war hero. Where else has this happened?

    KScurmudgeon
    if you have a less jarring word, please share it

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  • 52. At 10:35am on 11 Jan 2010, TOGtigs wrote:

    I think it may also be a UK problem as well as just an American problem, this worry about how exactly one should try to define someone who is not white. I don't think that makes any white person automatically racist, rather there's a massive effort not to offend anyone. I think we've come a long way from my grandparents' era when the N word and other words that now seem pejorative were used. It isn't that my grandparents were racist, they just didn't have any better language to use, or any idea that the terms they used might be offensive.

    I don't see what Senator Reid said as being offensive; he wasn't trying to do anything other than describe how many Americans might view Obama's performance with reference to his heritage. (If I am allowed to use that term!)

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  • 53. At 10:36am on 11 Jan 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #28. I wasn't suggesting Blair started saying 'Aye up me duck' every time he came to Nottinghamshire! If you listen to him or several other politicians they do alter the tone, pitch and grammar they use depending on company. Its not a really obvious change but its there.

    I'm not a bad example myself.... Glaswegian born, Geordie parents, grandparents miners, parents a doctor & midwife. I have two half decent degrees (only half decent because I'm damn lazy) and make cancer vaccines now. I've got a flat, northern-ish accent (very few people reckon I sound Scottish normally) however when I get really angry I sound like Billy Connolly. Depending on company my voice subconciously changes. I served three years in the army as a squaddie in a Geordie unit. Among my troop is sounded Geordie, among officers (I was radio operator to my colonel) I sounded like an officer to the point where people used to salute me.

    Actually I'd question what 'working class' really means these days anyway. Truck drivers, miners, plumbers etc earn a damn site more than I do. We've got a 'sub class' of people who have never worked who are incorrectly called 'working class' but the divide in wealth, living standards (and as you point out accent) isn't what it was (which is a good thing too)

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  • 54. At 10:41am on 11 Jan 2010, Stephen Lash wrote:

    For over a year now Democrats have been using the race card to condemn those who dare oppose Obama. How can Democrats try and defend Reid's comments after many labeled Joe Wilson a racist for simply yelling out "You lie" during Obama's health care address. If a comment made pointing out the fallacies in Obama's speech is racist then how can Reid's statement be anything but racist.

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  • 55. At 10:42am on 11 Jan 2010, Leviticus wrote:

    11. At 07:45am on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    "The condemnation was of WHITE Americans, not black. Therefore, not racist."

    And herein lies the greatest problem about race that none of the media are willing to address.

    The condemnation was not of white americans as a whole, it was of the general populace's racist attitudes- in this case held primarily by non blacks.
    Comdemnation of whites IS racist! There is no excuse in being able to condemn a section of society by the colour of their skin simply because that colour is in the majority!
    Some white people certainly are racist in the US (and elsewhere of course), potentialy even the majority. But sweeping statements based upon a skin colour ARE racist, whether it is againt blacks, whites, asians or whatever.

    Similarly, allowances made soley to a single skin colour are also racist.
    The 'N word' is a derogatory term. I don't care if the rapper singing it is descended from slaves and thinks he is entitled to do so or not! As long as one person calling another by that word is considered an insult because their skin colour is wrong but for another skin tone it is a term of endearment, then racism is being perpetuated.


    16. At 08:35am on 11 Jan 2010, Boilerbill wrote:
    "Prejudice will always exist "

    Very true, and for a far more fundamental reason than many are willing to admit.

    As a freind of mine pointed out many years ago, prejudice is an ingrained survival trait. If you get mugged 3 times and all 3 times it was by someone wearing a blue hooded top, your brain's natural self defence will tell you to avoid people in blue hooded tops and not to trust them.
    Simple logical survival response!

    Now put that into practice in a complex society where (for a non skin colour example) 95% of people in motor cycle jackets on TV are drug dealers or thugs. What happens when someone who has never met one before sees one coming towards them along a dark path?


    These issues of prejudice and descrimination need to be faced head on.
    Avoiding them only makes it worse!


    How many of my fellow leather wearing Nerf Herders agree?

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  • 56. At 10:44am on 11 Jan 2010, SuperCritical wrote:

    This is a typical American storm in a teacup. They hear the word negro and then shut down the ears and start the demonisation. It's inelegant expression and nothing more because Reid is basically right. A country where a black Harvard professor is arrested entering his own home and where an effigy is hung in a small town. Do you really think he would have been elected if he sounded like Flavor Flav?

    He is about as acceptable as you can get right now. That may not be right or fair but I believe it is accurate. Although for the GOP to be crying racism when you got people like Thurmond and Trent Lott in the party is shows that this is politicking and nothing more.

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  • 57. At 10:45am on 11 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Us dirty, lying scumbag Chicagoans! (smirking) There must be something in the water! That's why we're all exactly alike - bad, bad, bad. It's a smog that's been polluting the air since the days of Capone! Notice that no one that has actually BEEN to Chicago or spent any appreciable time there has such horrible opinions of the place? It's because they are all untainted by the Capone-smog-effect.

    Actually, being serious for a second, does no one plan to point out that Obama is Hawaii-born, Kansas-raised boy? Seriously, not much about him is stereotypical Chicagoan and the guy has some seriously moderate policies and ways of approaching the world. As for a "fast-talking shyster," I find it hilarious that his habit of thinking and deliberating and considering the whole picture before coming to decisions and his insistence on only talking about things when he has reviewed all the info is so hated and considered "fast-talking" but the previous occupant of his position would spout off at the mouth and take on this Texas-cowboy-smack-talking way of dealing with foreign and domestic policy to hide his East-Coast-ivy-league education and training, but that wasn't "fast-talking shyster" at all. It seems like many of the people that spent so much time in denial about "Dubya" found themselves a quite shell-shocked by the revelations of all that he and Darth Cheney were up to and they went into some heavy cognitive dissonance to avoid having to face the fact that they had been so completely wrong about the character of a couple of people they voted into office twice, despite being repeatedly warned about the goings on by the hated "mainstream media."

    But that's the observation of my ivy-league-educated-elitist-Capone-smog-infected brain... so you can't trust anything I say. Plus, I'm one of those inferior Black people. You can't trust us at all...

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  • 58. At 10:48am on 11 Jan 2010, Toddonvox wrote:

    Mark's pretty much dead on. There is a ton of racism in America and most whites feel a profound amount of guilt over it, to the point where even comments that might be racist, or appear so at first glance, get villified. Mark's right: Reid performed an astute analysis of why Obama was appealing to majority voters. He could've been talking about Halle Berry when she won the Oscar. White Americans don't like it when their racist tendencies and psychology get pointed out. It triggers a massive guilt trip and their default reaction is to scream, "But I'm not racist!" They want to believe they've overcome the horrors of slavery, that the Civil Rights movement ended in the Sixties. But Americans haven't overcome anything. We're just having a hard time admitting that.

    As far as the double standard goes, Republicans need to get over themselves. Lott was a racist and he got caught acting like one. I've read a lot of interpretations about what Lott meant; none of them came from Lott. Harry Reid at least understands that America's knee-jerk reaction to their racist past requires he make an apology even if he really shouldn't. Lott voted against renewing the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts, two incredibly important pieces of legislation that ensure freedoms for all Americans, not just blacks. Apologize for that.

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  • 59. At 10:50am on 11 Jan 2010, Waffler wrote:

    26. At 09:14am on 11 Jan 2010, xiaolaoshu wrote:
    "I am yellow. I am proud to be yellow. It seems to me that "non-coloured" people are the only ones who think it is racism to notice a person's ethnicity."

    33. At 09:32am on 11 Jan 2010, Jason wrote:
    "It's because white people (at least in the USA) are subjected to double standards when it comes to racism. We're not allowed to be proud to be white."


    That is a very good point - I didn't find xiaolaoshu's comment uncomfortable but I would find someone saying "I'm proud to be white" uncomfortable. So I needed to think why. And I'm now wondering why anyone would want to be proud of the colour of their skin? Are we proud of the colour of our hair? The size of our feet? The way we are physically we can do little about but the way we behave and our attitudes and view points we can do something about and therefore something we can (or perhaps shouldn't) be proud of, not our skin. I'm certainly not proud of my English ability!

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  • 60. At 10:52am on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Leviticus – The thing is can you be racist about your own race? Reid is pretty obviously white, if he says something which can (accurately) be construed as an attack on certain sections of the white community is he being honest or is he being racist. In the same light was Chris Rock being racist in his stand up when he explained the difference between blacks and the n word? If he had been white and saying the same thing I would have said yes, but I think you have the right to criticise your own race/country/social group without being accused of being prejudiced.

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  • 61. At 10:54am on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    36. At 09:47am on 11 Jan 2010, GlasgowGooner wrote:

    "The second, really embarrassing part is that Reid is suggesting that the leader of his party can adopt an accent at will, when it suits."

    We all do that, and we choose the accent and vocabulary that will make our audience/companions feel most at ease with us. I myself can go from 'educated West Coast of Scotland English' to broad Glaswegian in the blink of an eye. There's nothing wrong with it


    No, that's 'discourse'. (Technically speaking, anyway.) It can represent a prejudice, or an attitude of mind, of course, if whatever style of discourse is not authentically yours. (I can do broad Glasgow too, thanks to a friend, but I'd only do that in fun and in such a way it's clear to both of us.

    But the debate here is rapidly becoming about Obama's (not even Reid's) political 'authenticity' and though I see that (as Mark pointed out) Reid's comment seems to have an element of questioning about that, which is literally 'political incorrect' and a little unnerving given his position, it's why he said what he did in the way he did that arouses one's curiosity.

    Even if the answer is just 'old age'. . .

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  • 62. At 10:54am on 11 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    The biggest problem with Sen. Reid's comment is not the use of the "N" word, but the fact that it reflects a reality we refuse to admit.

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  • 63. At 10:56am on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    51. , KScurmudgeon wrote:

    10. At 07:40am on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:
    5. At 07:14am on 11 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    "Obama is unique. When was the last time an American President was the son of an alien. . ."

    My italics. Would you, perhaps, like to re-phrase that? What was so 'alien' about his mother anyway? She was, I gather, born in Wichita.

    __________________________________

    Um, he had two parents, I believe. I looked for a less charged term for 'foreign non-citizen', but I let that go with all its inuendos. It is the official term, still in use.


    __________________________________________________________


    I think the squirrel party's spokeshuman has inadvertently over-used his British half's sardonic wit to the extent that it has overwhelmed the "irony filters" of certan people.


    Re Aliens ..... so Obama's father was a Na'vi from Avatar.
    That explains everything.

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  • 64. At 10:59am on 11 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 21, Magic

    "There is a definite double standard."

    Indeed, one deals with those that promote racism, the other with those that acknowledge its existence.

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  • 65. At 11:01am on 11 Jan 2010, SuperCritical wrote:

    All politicians have to speak a range of languages.
    Being able to identify with and appeal to different groups is what gets you elected.

    When Blair tried to speak mockney, it was cringing though.
    I'm surprised someone didn't give him a slap.

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  • 66. At 11:08am on 11 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Interesting, but not surprising, choice for a discussion when one of the headlines that should dominate debate and raise concern involves China overtaking Germany as the largest exporter in the world, and our recourse is to lead efforts to devalue the yen and engage in the appropriatness of semantics or whether or not social acceptance in the USA is influenced by skin pigmentation or accent.

    What a pathetic and worrisome state of affairs!

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  • 67. At 11:10am on 11 Jan 2010, wanderingangus wrote:

    The book which is causing this furore threw up another interesting revelation on the BBC's "Toay" radio programme this morning.

    The authors were interviewed by Justin Webb - who told the 4 million or so listeners to Today that he thought all along that McCain was going to win.

    That may explain quite a few things to some of the old stagers on this blog.

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  • 68. At 11:14am on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    53. At 10:36am on 11 Jan 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    "#28. I wasn't suggesting Blair started saying 'Aye up me duck' every time he came to Nottinghamshire!"

    No, it was just that I got this picture in my head of him -- or Cameron, now!-- turning up in Batley and starting an election speech with: "When ah wor a lad, we werr soa poower. . ."

    (T'sound were in stereo an' all.)

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  • 69. At 11:17am on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    59 waffler
    "I didn't find xiaolaoshu's comment uncomfortable but I would find someone saying "I'm proud to be white" uncomfortable. So I needed to think why. And I'm now wondering why anyone would want to be proud of the colour of their skin?"

    I know what you mean. Possibly only those who have known discrimination in the past can truely understand.

    If the colour of your skin had prevented you from being a full member of society (as until the 60s in some parts of the USA) then now that those obstacles are overcome it may seem natural to be proud.

    Of course whites have had the upper hand in the past, and so it would be provocative to be openly proud in the same way.

    (It's a minefield really - but it's better to have the discussion than to avoid it)

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  • 70. At 11:19am on 11 Jan 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #57 (this is tongue in cheek so don't take it seriously!) Capone was born in Brooklyn and lived (officially) in Cicero not Chicago. I'd blame New York for exporting their smog of corruption to Chicago.

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  • 71. At 11:25am on 11 Jan 2010, redpoppy2 wrote:

    Are Americans, white and black, really ready to talk frankly and honestly about racial discrimination and racial favoritism? Obama is only half black, the other half is white and his environment at school and university was predominantly white. Black Americans especially have to face that. By contrast, how much white is Michelle O.? He grew up mostly in a white home with white grandparents. So how much black is he really?
    Now Obama has surrounded himself by a predominantly white government.Has he really launched a drive against racism, discrimination of blacks, hispanics, all others non white in America? No.

    America has always said, anything not white is black. What Reid said is true in America. Whether parts of Reid's comments are termed racist or not and regardless of whether Obama benefitted and still does from his light tan and his white heritage. He does however combine both black and white and that makes him more acceptable to some whites and also some blacks. There has been since his election more spontaneous apologies for so called racist remarks than formerly. And what is so racist about hanging a black effigy of him in Plains? Has America gone nuts? Should it have been a white Obama-effigy with a black mask? Connecting dots is perhaps the basis of american education in general.

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  • 72. At 11:26am on 11 Jan 2010, Ted Van Beurden wrote:

    Everyone here is missing the point. Reid stated political facts. Obama is able to speak proper English, not some gutter version called "Ebonics". The only people who took offense are the one-eighth of the population who flip out at any mention of race, and that's not the white people it's the BLACK people who can get away with wearing "Black Power" T-shirts whereas a white person would be jumped on for wearing a pro-white shirt. White people are not supposed to be proud. The U.S. has been hijacked by one eighth of the population. Anyone ever heard of "affirmative action" ?? By the way, the term "African American" was created by blacks to differentiate themselves from the rest of society, the opposite of integration. This is an illegitimite term because not all Americans of African descent are black. A white Arab from Tunisia in America is an African American. Myself, I now insist on being called a European American, and I'm proud of it.

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  • 73. At 11:27am on 11 Jan 2010, Daniel wrote:

    Republicans are really in no position to try to gain political points on this issue. The entire Republican party is full of bigots, racists, and homophobes. The Democrats have their own too, but for Republicans to try to make political points off of this issue is just another example of the hypocrisy that is systemic to their party.

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  • 74. At 11:32am on 11 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 70, Peter

    "Capone was born in Brooklyn and lived (officially) in Cicero not Chicago. I'd blame New York for exporting their smog of corruption to Chicago."

    Hey, I was born in Brooklyn and I resemble that remark!

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  • 75. At 11:33am on 11 Jan 2010, Christine Gebhart wrote:

    Mark, a nice rational dissection of the issue.

    As American I always wonder why we have separate names for us all. My son, who is 21 started at the age of twelve choosing "other" in the race section on test etc. and writing in "American". His thinking being that he was born in America hence he is an American, not caucasian, hispanic, native american etc. Didn't make is teachers happy but.....

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  • 76. At 11:37am on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    20. At 08:49am on 11 Jan 2010, PragueImp wrote:

    I recently read an article by an American teacher here in Prague stating that the word black (when it came to describing people) meant African-American!!

    24. At 09:09am on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote

    I've heard it many times in Italy from American tourists wondering whether to purchase cheap designer purses from "African American" street traders .....

    Oh no! (I hope they pay better attention to the 'authenticity' of the handbag than they do to that of the seller's origins. . .)

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  • 77. At 11:37am on 11 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    #70 Peter

    (giggling hysterically) Dude, Cicero is "Chicago." But the whole New York thing makes perfect sense! New York is full of Ivy-league-educated-liberal elites too! No wonder I felt so at home living in Manhattan. It was that Capone-smogness that reminded me of home!

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  • 78. At 11:38am on 11 Jan 2010, Paul dietrich wrote:

    The Republicans seem to have forgotten what exactly an actual racist comment really is. These are things in the range from "Kill all the N____s, and do it quickly before they can make the dirty little half breeds on our clean women" on the top end (Nazi/KKK level stuff), to something in the middle like "Segregation now and forever", the bottom end is on the order of "Some of my best friends are black but [fill in the blank]".

    A comment like "I think Obama can get voted in be cause he's light skinned and doesn't sound like a Negro. And by the way, I'm really impressed with him." (paraphrase) does not even aspire to the bottom end.

    The comparison between Lott's comment (on my scale a mid-grade racist remark) and Reid's sounds a little disingenuous.

    Also there is a distinction between a racist comment and a pattern of racist behavior. Or worse, actual race crimes. Vandalism, intimidation, violence and murder. And on that score either Lott nor Reid fit the bill as a true racist.

    If Reid starts singing the praises of the Grand Wizard or turns up in a Nazi uniform, you can bet I'd want him to resign. As it stands, he just hasn't hit that threshold.

    Disclaimer: example racist comments are just that-- examples. Please do not construe my own feelings from them.

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  • 79. At 11:48am on 11 Jan 2010, Sylvia Finzi wrote:

    Thank you for putting this comment back into perspective. When I first heard about it on the BBC World Service, it was reported accurately; then in later editions of the news the remark was just attributed to him as though it were his own assessment of Obama. Indeed, it is an important perception, as Obama's election has been interpreted as an indication that racism is pretty well dead in the US.

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  • 80. At 11:52am on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    72. At 11:26am on 11 Jan 2010, Ted Van Beurden wrote:

    "A white Arab from Tunisia in America is an African American. Myself, I now insist on being called a European American, and I'm proud of it."

    When you read those two sentences together, you see how they ought to raise a question or two.

    A friend of mine found herself, as a student, on a weekend trip with some (white) South Africans. When they asked where she came from, she said she was from Lebanon. They said, "Ah, so you're black." She said (she is much paler-skinned than me -- I'm 'European', too.) "No, I'm an Arab." They said: "But you're black underneath.

    And then uttered not one word more to her. She came home early in tears.

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  • 81. At 11:53am on 11 Jan 2010, John wrote:

    The point is that Obama sounds educated.
    Any race and gender political headliner in the US can only have America wide apporval when they have a good understanding and grasp of delivering a well structured speech.
    The seante majority leader could have been saying the same about some bloke from brooklin or another texan.

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  • 82. At 11:59am on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Now, in fairness to Mr Ted Van Beurden

    When he writes 'Obama is able to speak proper English, not some gutter version called "Ebonics".' I am sure he will tell us that he would also characterise the speech pattern of, say, a taxi driver from the Bronx, as a "gutter version of English".

    Won't he?

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  • 83. At 12:02pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    76 squirrel
    "Oh no! (I hope they pay better attention to the 'authenticity' of the handbag than they do to that of the seller's origins. . .)"

    The Italian police are so bad at stopping the trade in counterfeit goods that there is now a law criminalising the "purchase" of counterfeit goods .... thus making the tourist the criminal!!!! (even if they're dumb enough to think it was just a good deal ;-)

    I've yet to hear of the law being enforced however.

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  • 84. At 12:04pm on 11 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    78. Paul

    Exactly!

    And don't forget us Black women spawning half-breeds with White men. Why do they always forget us? Like interracial relationships only go one way. Our marriages make those confusing tan Obama-like children that Frmr Justice of the Peace in Louisiana was so keen to keep from coming into existence (well, considering my really-light-tan-ness, my kids might not even make it to tan, but you get my point). Plus they will be affected by being raised by some Capone-smog-brains like us - I see my offspring infiltrating the White House and inadvertently starting their own racial debates on the BBC blogs in 40 years. You're all invited back to comment on that occasion. Please refrain from calling my kid a Chicago shyster, though.

    As for Reid, I just wish the guy could get something done. Too bad a good 40% of the Senate is too busy strutting on Fox News performing for the cameras and behaving more like two-year olds with Oppositional Defiant Disorder to actually do something beneficial for the people they are paid (and given good health care) to represent. This is just one more example of their FNC performances.

    Now that it is 5 am and my silliness from lack of sleep has clearly gotten out of hand, I'm going to stop polluting the internet by spreading my Capone-smog-brained comments.

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  • 85. At 12:11pm on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    83. RomeStu:

    Hope that doesn't apply to 'possession' as well. I'm planning on being on Italy this Spring or early Summer. Should I leave my Polo Ralph Lauren jeans at home? I have my suspicions about those. . .And the Gucci handbag, but I was going to leave that behind anyway.

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  • 86. At 12:13pm on 11 Jan 2010, GolemII wrote:

    P J Walton wrote:
    It seems to me that Americans, in general, are quite immature in their attitudes about race and what constitutes racism compared to Western Europeans.
    -------------------------------------------

    LOL. I currently live in Western Europe (the Tolerant Netherlands). Having grown up in Texas and lived for nearly a decade in Washington DC, I can tell you Western Europe is SUBSTANTIALLY MORE RACIST than almost anywhere in the US I have ever lived or travelled.

    The Netherlands, for instance, is tolerant of other races as long as they don't live in 'their' neighborhood. That would be 'niet gezellig'. Germans, Brits, Italians, Spanish and OOOOO the French.....you are all MUCH more racist than the US. To the point you have laws restricting speech because the general feeling is you can't be trusted with free speech unfettered.

    You see, we dealt with our problem years ago. To find something racist about which to make a movie, Hollywood is forced to tell 30+ year old stories, because racism in America (at least from the majority)is more or less defunct. That's why comments like Reid's or Lott's are so funny. They aren't racism. They are anachronistic -- that's it. They don't demonstrate hate, they demonstrate fossilization. Western Europeans, on the other hand, can't seem to deal civilly with other EU citizens not of their nationality....bring race and religion into it and forget about it.

    Western Europe: Where racism is Mature.

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  • 87. At 12:13pm on 11 Jan 2010, Ted Van Beurden wrote:

    Squirrelist: Obviously you don't know Tunisia is in North Africa, that's why someone from there in America would be "African-American". Not because they're Arab. Open an atlas sometime.

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  • 88. At 12:16pm on 11 Jan 2010, Mem wrote:

    Yes, I think Reid was being racist against white Americans. Obama could not have won the election without white Americans. African-Americans make up about 15% of the American population so you do the math. The idea that Obama wasn't "black" came from some (probably jealous) African American leader. America has race problems but so does every nation I know of on some level.
    On the other hand, too much is made of race to divide Americans for political gain and the democrats have excelled at it. So, I feel no pity for Harry Reid. When you keep racial tensions alive for political gain, don't whine when your political enemies turn it back on you. However, I don't think it will work. The democrats like former KKK member Byrd have been given free passes for far worse. Rather, I hope Reid is voted out because he's incompetent.
    I dislike all of the hyphenated American names but I use African-American out of respect for the black Americans that I know (approximately a third of my small state are black) who prefer to be called African-American. They used to prefer Afro-American and I complied then too. Most of my ancestors were of European stock from various countries and I also had a great grandmother that was Cherokee but I don't hyphenate all of that: I'm just an American. Hopefully someday, we'll drop all the hyphens.
    I have a gorgeous neice who is darker than Obama's cute girls. I call her beautiful and when she is old enough to vote, I will tell her not to vote on what a party says but rather what it does.

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  • 89. At 12:18pm on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    78.

    I think 'Paul dietrich' is also trying to demonstrate you can also be "a little bit pregnant". . .

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  • 90. At 12:30pm on 11 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 88, Mem

    "So, I feel no pity for Harry Reid."

    You shouldn't, what I think is a real pity is that Sen. Reid had to apologize for acknowledging what we all know is true.

    I do agree, however, that our propensity to exaggerate incidents like this for political gain - and to satisfy media goals - are counter productive and, more often than not, are used by politicians as distractions to divert our attention from issues of critical importance to the future of our country.

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  • 91. At 12:32pm on 11 Jan 2010, redpoppy2 wrote:

    Obama has a black Kenian father and a white American mother, = he is black?
    What is my son, who has a black Kenian mother and a white American father? and looks like....

    Obama said on being elected, it only could have happened in America. Was this racist?

    And is this country so backward in connecting dots, that it is not able to look around in other countries in Asia, Africa, Latin American to see what was possible outside America?

    For instance there is a small country in South America, with a population of blacks who are neither preominantly jewish nor christian, whose first female President for several years was a white jewish American born in Chicago of refugees from eastern Europe. When will America be able to match that? Electing say a black woman, who pratises Voodo and was born in Haiti or a refugee born in Afghanistan and wearing a head scarf?

    It is unfortunate that Reid had to or felt it necessary to apologise for his remarks, which characterise everyday life in America.

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  • 92. At 12:35pm on 11 Jan 2010, NR wrote:

    This discussion reminds me of a poem I read about 10 years ago (sorry, haven't tried googling the author's name, I think it may be an anonymous poet)...

    When I born, I Black,
    When I grow up, I Black,
    When I go in Sun, I Black,
    When I scared, I Black,
    When I sick, I Black,
    And when I die, I still black..
    And you White fella,
    When you born, you Pink,
    When you grow up, you White,
    When you go in Sun, you Red,
    When you cold, you Blue,
    When you scared, you Yellow,
    When you sick, you Green,
    And when you die, you Gray..
    And you calling me Colored ??

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  • 93. At 12:35pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #15 RomeStu claims:

    If Obama can adopt an accent at will then it's one more talent he has over W.



    Not really. "W" can speak Spanish (a language 2nd only in -growing!- importance to English in the country which has no official language).

    Not so sure 'bout Ebonic, which as some have suggested, should be tought in American public schools.

    [instead of history and geography which aren't, judging by the outcome]


    P.S. I was initially confused. Wwhen I heard about 'causing harm'
    I was surprised because Richard Reid (currently a resident of Colorado, known to some as "Shoebomber") has not been in a position to cause harm to anybody (let alone to Democrats) for quite some time.

    Only later, I realised that that it was with reference to Honorable Harry Reid of Nevada.

    SHOCK! SHOCK!

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  • 94. At 12:35pm on 11 Jan 2010, E E Fragiadakis wrote:

    I couldn't agree more! Regarding a reference to race as "racist" is, at best, shallow thinking!

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  • 95. At 12:37pm on 11 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 87, Ted

    The original point, I believe, was that using African-American to define ethnicity is flawed because there are African nations whose population is not black.

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  • 96. At 12:43pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #17 Peter_sym wrote:

    "Firstly most slave traders were european, not american."



    Not entirely correct; quite a few of them were Arabs.

    Not that so called Native Americans hadn't dabbbled in slave trade for a while.

    On the other hand, not so sure about ancient Egyptians.

    Turns out their Pyramids were not build by slaves but by independent contractors [there were no labour unions then yet].

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  • 97. At 12:48pm on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    87. At 12:13pm on 11 Jan 2010, Ted Van Beurden wrote:

    "Squirrelist: Obviously you don't know Tunisia is in North Africa, that's why someone from there in America would be "African-American". Not because they're Arab. Open an atlas sometime."

    I know perfectly well where Tunisia is; and Morocco; and Algeria; and Egypt. And which continent they are on.

    And most people from there (those living in Europe anyway, and I cannot see why it would be different in the USA) would describe themselves according first to their nationality, then according to their ethnicity, which is predominantly (and historically) 'Arab'. (Though, now that there is something of a revival of Berber poetry and culture, a few might perhaps describe themselves as "Berber".)

    Only anyone who is not too sure the person they are talking to knows where the Arab countries of North Africa are, might, I suppose, say they are 'North African', but I've never heard that.

    This all sound suspiciously like another of these lazy syllogisms that seem to be commonplace, like "All Arabs are Muslims, therefore all Muslims are Arabs": all Africans are black. . .


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  • 98. At 12:58pm on 11 Jan 2010, Paul dietrich wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 99. At 1:01pm on 11 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 97, squirrelist

    "All Arabs are Muslims, therefore all Muslims are Arabs": all Africans are black. . ."

    Or the Palestinians are anti-Semitic...

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  • 100. At 1:05pm on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    91. At 12:32pm on 11 Jan 2010, redpoppy2 wrote:

    "What is my son, who has a black Kenian mother and a white American father? and looks like...."

    Well, from what I read here, I'm not sure whether when he grows up--assuming he isn't already--he gets to choose or some people will insist on choosing for him.

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  • 101. At 1:06pm on 11 Jan 2010, Dale Johnson wrote:

    #88
    finally sombody got the message that I wanted to say. The last time I tried here they deleted me so I had to try to write it in such a way to keep it on the net.
    Vote the record, not the party. Unfortunately most people do not in the US.
    Why else do people like Reid and Byrde keep getting free passes. there are many others on both the major parties records who fit the bill and need to be removed. Lets all get it together and vote for the "best person" so it can be stopped and get back to working for the people.

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  • 102. At 1:06pm on 11 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 96, powermeerkat

    "Not entirely correct; quite a few of them were Arabs."

    Very true, and that is a fact that many Americans are unaware of.

    Portuguese, Spanish and others often bought black slaves from Arab traders.



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  • 103. At 1:10pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    RomeStu: "as a white person (well pink really)"

    Thanks for finally coming out of the closet. :-)))


    Although I suspect, that despite a current heat wave affecting UK (a result of man-made global warming no doubt) you are no 'pool-side pinko'

    [that expression having been reserved mostly for Hollywood crowd].

    As for myself, I've just walked out outside ("I love the smell of napalm in the morning") and noticed that my own colour is much closer to creamy pale beige.

    I guess it must be a protective color I inherited from my African ancestors. [Mojave meerkats came originally from Kalahari].

    Try to stay cool, Stu.

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  • 104. At 1:16pm on 11 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 103, powermeerkat

    "[Mojave meerkats came originally from Kalahari]."

    Well, most of the critters I came across when I lived in Barstow, Mojave Desert, were rattle snakes, black widow spiders, tarantulas, road runners, and coyotes...and they were all-American!

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  • 105. At 1:19pm on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    99. SaintDominick:

    Please!!!!!!!! I left that one out for a very good reason. We're approaching the dangerous waters of the hundreds where it all usually gets hijacked, or drowned, by the Krakens. Even mentioning 'Europe' is risky. I carefully avoided the 'F' word along with Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. . .

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  • 106. At 1:26pm on 11 Jan 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    I think you miss the point as usual, Mark.

    What is going on here is spin-doctoring with the spin machine set on high. The focus has been put on whether the remarks could be considered racist and not the content of the remarks themselves.

    The fact that he used words that were not politically correct and oh gosh, he's a Democrat and they are our nation's chief arbiters of what is politically correct is just a distraction. The fact is when Obama appeared before black audiences he "played the crowd" changed his speech patterns, played the race card. The media at first showed segments of these speeches, then they were carefully edited to short sound bites and soon they were not shown at all!

    The flip side of this, is that when Obama appeared before largely white audiences he also "played the crowd". Is this reprehensible conduct in a politician..and THAT is all that Obama is, a politician? No, but it does mark him as a politician, a poseur, a chameleon who suits his language AND HIS POSITION to his surroundings. It disturbed me to watch him do it on the campaign trail.

    What Reid did, and what is deliberately being ignored in place of this spurious "racial slur" nonsense, is call attention to this "unmentionable" conduct on the part of Obama. He drew back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz!

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  • 107. At 1:27pm on 11 Jan 2010, ag42b wrote:

    Re- #57
    Hilarious, and very true. I have never been PC, and call people what I wish. In description, I use "dark', medium", and "light" and include other distinguishing features.
    I admire an ability to take on accents. It makes it easier for the target audience to understand the message.
    Politicians of most stripes trumpet mistakes dug up from the past, and have little to offer of current substance.

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  • 108. At 1:30pm on 11 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #86 GolemII

    Recently, in terms of mass opinion at least, the largest racial problem in the US relates to attitudes to arab americans. This is also a religious issue, but it stands in both camps because so many americans don't know the difference between "arab" and "muslim" (I have no source for this, it's an opinion).
    Also, trying to draw parallels between what Reid and Lott said shows a lack of understanding or what constitutes a racist remark. Lott said the US would be better off if a segregationist had won the white house and enacted his policies. Reid said some Americans are still racist.
    The US did not "deal" with its problem 30 years ago. It enacted the right legislation, but you appear to think that this fixed the problem overnight. Newsflash: It didn't.
    Finally, as a western european I feel that I am treated with far more respect and dignity by other europeans than by americans.

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  • 109. At 1:31pm on 11 Jan 2010, Paul dietrich wrote:

    89. I'll have to rephrase my intended reply somehow. I think the moderator may be a bit oversensitive. Not quite sure which rule i violated.

    Hope this REVISED version works better. I intend to explain, not offend. My style may be blunt, but I feel if I'm less than absolutely frank, my point will be harder to grasp.
    --
    89

    I suppose I could make a disturbing comparison along the lines of pregnancy. Not what I had in mind. Here goes anyway.

    There are shades of racism just like there are shades of fetal development. But unlike a pregnancy the stages are reversible. Thus an Ex-Klan member like Byrd can go from the criminal racist, to a much lower level of evil. It also grow from a little blastocyst to a full grown monster in an awful hurry. Alas.

    While Byrd may be left with an unfortunate habit of racist comments, and probably retains some racial bigotry, he's not nearly on the same level anymore.

    As for Reid and Lott. Lott's comment reveals a greater level of bias then Reid. Though I don't think either one of those two deserve the hard-core white-power truly evil label that some have tried to pin on them.

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  • 110. At 1:32pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #38 "I used Trent Lott as only one example. Check out the senators from states like Alabama and Louisiana"

    Um...you mean like Richard Shelby and David Vitter?




    I'm offended by you omission of that great Democrat - George Wallace.

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  • 111. At 1:33pm on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Shing……. – Oh my god Obama is a politician!?! Who would have thought! I am shocked and saddened that a politician would stoop to playing the crowd, whatever next faking improve photo opportunities, I mean I always thought politicians found those babies to kiss by accident, next you will be telling me they are staged!

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  • 112. At 1:37pm on 11 Jan 2010, Don wrote:

    Thank you for setting the record straight. Ten years ago, an aide to the Mayor of Washington, D.C. was fired for using the term, "niggardly" - until someone bothered to look the word up in the dictionary after which the beleagured fellow was rehired.
    Americans are all about appearance with little concern for substance. We wage war on our intelligentsia and insist that sounding correct is more important than being correct.

    Our Freedom of Speech has fallen prey to political correctness as defined by anyone whose agenda opposes the speaker.

    Don

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  • 113. At 1:40pm on 11 Jan 2010, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    Mr. Murrell, I'd never mistake you for someone with an American accent if you speak anything like the way you write. Far too English. (I don't mean that in a bad way.)

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  • 114. At 1:44pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "The 'N word' is a derogatory term"



    Have you ever heard of prestigious United Negro College?

    In one of former Confederate states? :-)

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  • 115. At 1:45pm on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    112. At 1:37pm on 11 Jan 2010, Don wrote:

    "Ten years ago, an aide to the Mayor of Washington, D.C. was fired for using the term, "niggardly" - until someone bothered to look the word up in the dictionary"

    Was it a dictionary that was really needed or a hearing aid?

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  • 116. At 1:51pm on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Trueconservative – Well thank you kind sir/madam, I do try. Its probably because I don’t sound like a local (thank goodness, strangely I hate the Essex accent), probably because I spent time at university, where I adapted my accent and slowed my speech, the northerners could keep up! Could be worse I have been told that I sound like Jonathon Ross on the phone and these days no one wants to sound like Jonathon Ross on the phone!

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  • 117. At 1:53pm on 11 Jan 2010, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    There is a world of a difference between the attitudes towards race at college and the attitudes in my home area (ie, rural PA). At college, many different people work together without too much trouble. Well, actually, there ARE plenty of tensions, but mostly they are because of immaturity and bad personalities rather than bigotry and prejudice. Contrast that with rural life. A few weeks ago, i heard somebody use the n-word. Also, I know a family that homeschools because the rural school their children attended had very few children who weren't white. Actually, originally the white children at that school were friendly but apparently their parents got wind of the friendships. That ended that. Some parents willfully try to instill hatred in their children.

    I'd be thrilled to live in a world where no racism existed.

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  • 118. At 1:56pm on 11 Jan 2010, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    116
    Neither sir nor madam. I'm not male, and madam sounds too old. If you must choose a title, "miss" would be alright.

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  • 119. At 1:58pm on 11 Jan 2010, Mem wrote:

    9. At 07:30am on 11 Jan 2010, Wayne Marshall wrote:
    Indeed I think you are correct. I have seen real racism in the U.S. as my first real exposure to the country proper was in Kentucky.


    Kentucky was also where I lost my innocence regarding racism. During summer vacations, sometimes I would spend a few weeks in Louisville with relatives. Their next door neighbors were African Americans with two girls around my age and we had a lot of fun together. Their subdivision had a community pool which we practically lived in while there.

    One day, a young black boy about my age (10-11 /in late 70s) was at the pool and we had a great time playing all morning. He was also staying with relatives and we talked about where we were from and I told him I was from SC. When we returned to the pool after lunch, the boy was hostile toward me. I didn't understand why he was so different. Finally, he told me I was prejudiced. I didn't know what he meant and he became angrier. He shoved me into the pool knocking the breath out of me and proceeded to push my head under water as I was trying to get out of the pool until the lifeguard saw and made him stop.

    Apparently, when he went home for lunch, he told his family he had met a girl from SC and whatever they told him so enraged him that he went from being a friendly nice boy to someone who physically attacked me. It also made me understand why some black kids on a school bus had spit on me as I was walking to school years earlier in first grade. I suffered other racially motivated abuse (e.g., kicked in face while opening bottom locker in middle school by a black kid) but I didn't let those instances define how I felt about race because I wasn't raised that way.

    I wished all people whatever their race would teach their children that people are people. Children are color blind. They are taught to hate.

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  • 120. At 1:58pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    91. redpoppy2 wrote:

    "What is my son, who has a black Kenian mother and a white American father? and looks like...."



    Sounds like a future President to me!

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  • 121. At 2:01pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    103 meerkat
    "Although I suspect, that despite a current heat wave affecting UK you are no 'pool-side pinko'"


    I don't live in the UK ..... (the clue's in the username)

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  • 122. At 2:02pm on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    109.Paul dietrich:

    I don't altogether disagree; but the trouble has always been that 'mild' words, once accepted, often lead to stronger ones, and strong ones, once they become current, to actions.

    And at what point does 'free' speech become so 'free' some people think it allows them to be equally 'free' with violence against others?

    "I come not to bury Caesar, but to praise him.
    The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones. . .
    But Brutus is an honourable man.
    So are they all; all honourable men."

    And then . . . .they killed Cinna the poet, not Cinna the conspirator.

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  • 123. At 2:02pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Ref 10r SaintDominick recalls

    powermeerkat

    "[Mojave meerkats came originally from Kalahari]."

    Well, most of the critters I came across when I lived in Barstow, Mojave Desert, were rattle snakes, black widow spiders, tarantulas, road runners, and coyotes...and they were all-American!



    Well, come to Edwards and tell the flying meerkats [that's different from flying squirrels] they are critters.

    "Run Lola, run!" [a pretty good movie]



    P.S. I recall that when an Texas agriculture secretary was told that he should be more "middle of the road" he replied:

    "I drive a lot through this great state of ours

    And the only thing I've ever seen in the middle of the road were yellow stripes and squished armadillos."

    And that's why I try to drive on the right

    [sometimes even in Australia, which is no problem, and UK, which is. ;)]

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  • 124. At 2:05pm on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    116. At 1:51pm on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    "and slowed my speech, the northerners could keep up"

    Oy! I saw that! You watch it or I'll tell TC some Essex jokes!

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  • 125. At 2:13pm on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    116. At 1:51pm on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    "Could be worse I have been told that I sound like Jonathon Ross on the phone and these days no one wants to sound like Jonathon Ross on the phone!"

    Oh dear. Quite. No-one wants to sound like Jonathan Woss on anything!

    (There's something about that sentence that niggles (dictionaries out; reading glasses and hearing aids on!) at me vis-a-vis the House Rules, just at the moment, don't know why.)

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  • 126. At 2:16pm on 11 Jan 2010, redpoppy2 wrote:

    re. 102 from SaintDominik
    "Portuguese, Spanish and others often bought black slaves from Arab traders."
    So here we are perhaps where it all started. The slave trade and colonisation and genocide:

    Those very colonialists (word origin from that fraudulent - coincidentally white - sailor who beat and tortured his crew into swearing before the crown that he had discovered India - hence Indians in the Americas) you mention, who commercialised slavery and were they able to, would have bought slaves from the ancient Egyptians? The Arabs were in those days no slave drivers like the Romans. The thinking in "society" in those days were vastly different from what it was during the colonial period and since, thank goodness.

    And those very colonialists went to America, where they massacred the (Indians) indigenous peoples of America, confiscated their land and forced them onto "reserves" and created the States (of America). This is part of the foundation on which American democracy and freedom is built. Another part is the enslavement of blacks, most of whom were muslims and were forced to give up their religion and coerced into christianity by the Missionaries and so-called Christians in America.

    The whole attitude of american whites - decendants of those caucasians - has its roots in this part of american history.

    "SaintDominik" reminds me of those missionaries.

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  • 127. At 2:17pm on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Squirrel – It’s true though, because of the London influence I speak about twice as quick as those from further a field, was even worse in the old days (pre-university).
    Talking about Essex jokes my mate went to Boston (I think, though it might have been another NE city) and saw Essex on the map of the city, when he spoke to some locals they said that girls from the American Essex all wore white stilettos and danced round their hand bags!

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  • 128. At 2:18pm on 11 Jan 2010, James wrote:

    Re 43,

    GollemII,

    And lets not forget Secretary of State Clinton who referred to Mahatma Gandhi in the following manner, "He ran a gas station down in St. Louis."

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  • 129. At 2:22pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re $#112 Don wrote:

    Ten years ago, an aide to the Mayor of Washington, D.C. was fired for using the term, "niggardly" - until someone bothered to look the word up in the dictionary after which the beleagured fellow was rehired.



    I will not be provoked into discussion of the level of education in D.C.' public schools. And why it's been so abysmally low.

    BTW. Mr. Obama's own children attend D.C.'s private schools. :-)

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  • 130. At 2:27pm on 11 Jan 2010, Marty wrote:

    lets look past the politics an make it very simple. harry reid is old. back when he was growing up, until i would say the late 1970s, it was totally okay to refer to black people as negroes. it was embedded in his brain as a child that the nice way to refer to a black person was to call them either a negro or a colored. it isnt okay that the guy had a slip of the toungue? its not like he said the bad n-word, he said the cringeworthy n-word.

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  • 131. At 2:28pm on 11 Jan 2010, Steve wrote:

    If you want to hear real racism from those at the top, just listen to the Nixon tapes. Nixon and associates discuss at some length how black people are not smart enough to be spies, amongst other things.

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  • 132. At 2:37pm on 11 Jan 2010, TOGtigs wrote:

    Eeeh, I can just see Tony Blair doing a stint at t'Batley Frontier!

    Incidentally, I may have been born a Brummie, but we moved to the Scottish Highlands when I was five. I can switch from Teuchter to Brum and back again through fairly well spoken English via Morningside and Oxgangs (thanks to four years in Edinburgh as a student).

    I speak English too fast for many people to keep up with me who are native speakers, as well as none-native speakers. I even confuse my American other half, who purports to speak English, and his boss is from Cambridgeshire and they've worked together for fifteen years.

    Worryingly, when I am surprised or taken aback about something, my voice rises an octave and becomes pure Brum. Should I lose my temper, however, I become exceedingly Scottish. I wonder if this means I will start to sound German in some instances once I've lived here for long enough, if indeed I do stay here for a number of years?

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  • 133. At 2:42pm on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    126. At 2:16pm on 11 Jan 2010, redpoppy2 wrote:

    "The Arabs were in those days no slave drivers like the Romans. The thinking in "society" in those days were vastly different from what it was during the colonial period"

    You're missing out quite a bit in the history of slavery in the world; but the Romans, for instance, did have laws against the maltreatment of slaves, the conditions on which they could become free, including 'buying themselves out' (a fixed proportion had to be freed on the death of their owner, too).

    I can't quite make out your point, unless it's that Americans of European descent took longer to get over a slave-owning mentality than Europeans who stayed in Europe?

    Even Europeans became slaves over an even longer period, especially during the centuries of the Ottoman Empire.

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  • 134. At 2:43pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #121

    My mistake. No global warming in Rome (just checked).

    [Not that it's exactly hot in Palermo, either.]


    P.S. Have you ever tried Hawai?

    A state very popular among visitors even before Mr. Obama's election?

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  • 135. At 2:44pm on 11 Jan 2010, DanaParson wrote:

    101. At 1:06pm on 11 Jan 2010, Dale Johnson wrote:

    "Vote the record, not the party. Unfortunately most people do not in the US."

    What are you talking about? A party has an agenda (read manifesto) stating policies to be implemented upon election. Anyone who votes for 'the record' or an individual is a tool.

    "Why else do people like Reid and Byrde keep getting free passes."

    Please give a coherent example of such events.

    "there are many others on both the major parties records who fit the bill and need to be removed"

    Such as??? Perhaps you would prefer Glen Beck?

    I see, you are a paulista and I know your agenda......

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  • 136. At 3:00pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #126 "The Arabs were in those days no slave drivers like the Romans"



    Although quite a few - camel drivers.

    [not that racicist American commandos don't drive camels too, even today, when needed, in some countries. :)]
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Romans, what have they ever done for us?!"

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  • 137. At 3:01pm on 11 Jan 2010, Mem wrote:

    126. At 2:16pm on 11 Jan 2010, redpoppy2 wrote:
    re. 102 from SaintDominik
    "Portuguese, Spanish and others often bought black slaves from Arab traders."

    *redpoppy2:*Another part is the enslavement of blacks, most of whom were muslims and were forced to give up their religion and coerced into christianity by the Missionaries and so-called Christians in America.*

    Actually it was Arab Muslims who forced many African Christians to convert or die. Christianity was around for over 600 years before Islam and was well established in parts of Africa. Apparently, the Muslims decided slave trading was more profitable until the west stopped buying slaves which had a lot to do with their Christian beliefs. History is history: Check it out. Now, it is back to convert or die although they do still keep slaves.

    *redpoppy: "SaintDominik" reminds me of those missionaries*

    Christians are still being slaughtered by Muslims in Africa to this day. Also, Africans are still being kept as slaves by other Africans including Muslims. Sadly, slavery is alive and well in Africa to this day. Perhaps, much of your outrage is misplaced. Look it up if you do not believe me. It's truly horrendous.

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  • 138. At 3:09pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    "That seems to be Reid's attempt to describe a state of affairs that may be unpleasant, but may be true. He was explaining the lie of the land as he saw it, not endorsing the views he outlined. If you can't do that you are no good as a strategist."

    well said. I doubt any of his thoughts were a stranger to Obama.
    Post 14 says a lot.
    Go Hippiechick.


    Ried was smart to realise there is Racism alive and bad in the USA as anywhere. Since before the elections people on this blog tried to claim there was not a problem. There was and the chances are that if you look back on the political analysis there are many many in the press that were saying the same thing. They used slightly more PS (politically sensible) wording only some of the times.
    There is still a problem with racism in the USA. lets not forget it, but lets just try mentioning the real racism in the states.
    the whole debate is based on White Vs Black as if this is spy vs spy in Mad.
    there are other races in the states.Not just Black and White. Some above point out the attempt to pretend "I'm not racist, I just don't like Muslims" is often hard to call as "not racism" because the comment was not but he intended recipient of the "justice" or what ever is invariably of another race to those making the comment.
    America is not a nation of One race or as melted as they pretend.
    It is a shame that some people would want people speaking Ebonics to change, rather than try to learn the "lingo". They may be the same that learn other languages.
    This is So mild, and was as Mark says a political strategy talk the wonder is who thought this the most important thing mentioned in the book.
    We had way more racially provocative stuff coming out from others.
    That Liz Cheney has an opinion is irrelevant. She is just the daughter of a guy who would have her lifestyle made illegal. That she stands up for the GOP is quite funny.
    The big problem is that the issue of race baiting has become a game to so many here.
    meowing comments that are just inside the "acceptable"(only in some quarters).
    Some that are no longer seeming to be racists are people that have learned the "rules". They persist as racists.
    There are posters here that were not so PC when they arrived. they learned the rules and the same message that would have got them banned with their 07 language has changed. They realised that after Obama got elected they were not going to get away with the same old rubbish ,for a while.
    The people supporting Palin were not un racist.
    that much is pretty much a given I hope you all realise.




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  • 139. At 3:10pm on 11 Jan 2010, stephen wrote:

    Obama was raised mainly by his white grandparents. Culturally he is white. But chose to identify with his black side of the family. During the campaign Harry Reid was trying to remind black voters of this as well as Hillary. Black folks can also be racist as the almost 100% voting for Obama tells. We all are human. I appreciate that my president didn't make a big deal of it and just forgave and went on. The fact that Republicans are now two years later bringing this out just before the midterm elections tell you where they are at. The Democrats are just as hypocritical which explains why most US citizens are disgusted with politicians in general.

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  • 140. At 3:12pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #126 "The whole attitude of american whites - decendants of those caucasians.."




    I hate to tell you that but not many Americans are of Balkar, Chechen, Dagestani, Ingush or Kabardin descent.

    Although I have to admit: "Georgia on my mind" quite often these days.

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  • 141. At 3:15pm on 11 Jan 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Ah ...the old melanin-sociolinguistics effect. "Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds" - Henry B Adams.

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  • 142. At 3:19pm on 11 Jan 2010, Hohenheim wrote:

    How come people get in "trouble" for being racist, but it's fine for people to be publicly homophobic?

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  • 143. At 3:23pm on 11 Jan 2010, ann arbor wrote:

    Seems to me Joe Wilson was called racist (publicly by Carter and extremely well covered on the media) for exclaiming, "You lie!" on the House floor.

    Seems to me Reid recently associated Republicans resistance to socialism and free spending to "we would still have slavery today". (Dec, 2009) (Never mind that the Emancipation Proclamation was from the first Republican President.)

    The Senator from South Carolina was recently accused of being racist, yet no one remembers what he said to earn that condemnation.

    "Racism" is the only stigma in America that the accused is assumed guilty at the time of accusation. Denying racism (with fact and circumstance) only deepens the racism stigma.

    So, what is "unfortunate wording for Reid" is endless condemnation for any Republican (or independent, or conservative Democrat, or American citizen).

    Since Reid made the distinction, I am acutely aware of his propensity to doublespeak. It is akin to, "black is not black if I see it differently".

    Whether he called it "ebonics", "jive", or "negro dialect", Reid felt compelled to differentiate Obama from mainstream America by his race and ethnic behavior (or lack of it).

    Obama is a skilled orator. He says what people want to hear while doing something entirely different. (... "I see no reason what the people of America can not have the same health care as the Senators or Congress" (Denver, 2008) (Congress is exempt from the resulting health care legislation. Dec, 2009)

    If I may paraphrase Reid, "Obama is not a liar. He does not sound like a liar, but he will lie when it suits him."

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  • 144. At 3:31pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    Then there are those that keep trying to make it seem that all problems are caused by Muslims.
    Those that blinker their views themselves into Christian good - Muslim bad. And get away with it.
    But this has been discussed before. They don't consider themselves racists. They claim it is religion. They fool only fools.


    HIS story is history.

    On lingo- "His story" is the Jamaican way of saying Bias white historical account. With a reason. Some would say Slave traders were Muslims forgetting the buyers were Christians who hoped to save the souls of the ungodly they know no God they are not AS human. was the way of thinking. I say 'Was' with a worry that many still think that..

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  • 145. At 3:34pm on 11 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref 137 Mem.
    Slavery is not a religious issue, so trying to associate it with Islam is pretty narrow minded.
    Especially when the bible actively advocates slavery (Leviticus 25:44-46).

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  • 146. At 3:37pm on 11 Jan 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Speaking of sociolinguistic prejudices I have one...Lindsay Graham's dialect and speech patterns make my skin crawl...truly, I simply cannot listen to the man. Palin's speech patterns as well are an instant turn-off.

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  • 147. At 3:37pm on 11 Jan 2010, carolinalady wrote:

    A few comments from the formerly "RED" state of North Carolina:
    #1: Please, please, please DON'T tangle religion with this discussion! You'll get more mess than y'all bargained for because down here in the Bible Belt, any belief that isn't a fundamentalist version of Christianity automatically eliminates a person from consideration as a human being...even BEFORE consideration of skin color.
    #2: I am beginning to believe that, like poverty, racism of one sort or another will always be with us. It is our nature, especially in hard times to hunker around the fire with "our" sort and drive away the "others."
    #3: Do NOT confuse the words "racism" and "segregation." While legal segregation is a thing of the past in all our public spaces and transactions, racism is another, more subtle, animal entirely. I have encountered much more segregation in Chicago and its suburbs than I have here in small-town North Carolina, most of it due to economic reasons. I encounter more deeply-felt, but also well-hidden racism down here. People speak of certain businesses in town attracting "riff-raff." One soon picks up on the code words. On the other hand, NOBODY thinks its socially awkward to "jew" someone down on a price. And whatever deity-you-worship help you if you wish these folks "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas!" Go figure.
    #4: If you think African-Americans aren't racist, just listen to some of them talk about Latinos!

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  • 148. At 3:38pm on 11 Jan 2010, seasmoke wrote:

    What a lot of codswallop. George Bush could put on his folksy pretend Texan accent to be a down home good ol' boy when it suited. Yes "Negro" is an old fashioned term excoriated by the PC crowd but which has been in use for some time (Etymology: Spanish or Portuguese, from negro black, from Latin nigr-, niger Date: 1555). Yes American voters are inherently racist and find a light skinned black man as less threatening. However "racism" has been an inherent part of US politics since day one and at several times throughout history it has been prejudicial to one or more group's (remember no Irish, Jews or Blacks need apply signs).
    It's time everyone stopped obsessing about rubbish and started concentrating on the wood instead of the trees. We have far more serious problems than badly parsed phrasing from Reid.How about an opposition party that refuses unconditionally to participate in the process of government and instead would like to see Obama fail even it if brings the country down.
    Anyway for the Republicans to claim Reids comments are offensive is the pot calling the kettle black. Aside from the one or two token black people in the party they are still the party of bitter old white guys.

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  • 149. At 3:43pm on 11 Jan 2010, GolemII wrote:

    Ref 108: PartTimeDon

    Americans know the difference between 'Arab' and 'Muslim'. Most Americans of Arab descent are Christian and have integrated into the broader culture well. Their income levels are 22% higher than the national average, suggesting racism is not really an issue. How do they fare in the EU? You might try telling the difference between your opinion and fact.

    Suggesting that Lott was saying anything more with his syrupy complement to a half-dead 100 year old sack of bones than simply paying a compliment, shows a misunderstanding of birthday toasts. Here's hoping you have a parachute on for your next leap of logic.

    Reid didn't say some were still racist. Reid said Obama didn't look or talk like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton....meaning he isn't part of a particular culture in the US which has been adopted by a great many blacks. Which is to say, he appears to be culturally similar to the majority of voters (white, asian, mexican, etc) who have chosen to integrate into the larger culture and accept that culture's values and/or norms including speach patterns. But nice try.

    The US did "deal" with it's problem and it was more like 40+ years ago. The point you apparently missed is that to drum up a true story of racism for cinema, it's necessary to dredge up the past (30+ years ago) because modern day examples of real racism are few and far between.

    Thanks for telling us how you feel. Next time, try thinking.

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  • 150. At 3:51pm on 11 Jan 2010, Mem wrote:

    Ref 137 Mem.
    Slavery is not a religious issue, so trying to associate it with Islam is pretty narrow minded.Especially when the bible actively advocates slavery (Leviticus 25:44-46).

    Hi Don, I was responding to #126. It is associated with Islam whether I like it or not. It is historical fact and still occurring. I have never seen any historical evidence that Jews were involved in slave trading. Perhaps if you had studied the subject, you wouldn't think I was narrow minded. Nevertheless, you're entitled to your ignorant opinion.

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  • 151. At 3:53pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    "142. At 3:19pm on 11 Jan 2010, john wrote:
    How come people get in "trouble" for being racist, but it's fine for people to be publicly homophobic?"

    No it's not.
    It is accepted but it is not "fine" .
    That acceptance as with the acceptance of so many racial stereotypes should be a real worry.
    The academic pedants answer will be " one is a life style choice and the other the way you are born."

    Some here will try to suggest they are not racist, in a conversation on race but when it come to issues of substance they make some pretty racist comments.
    Before the elections there were comments on the blogs by JW that suggested all sorts of social problems were the result of Black people being , and I will quote one I remember " unemployed lazy and waiting for a hand out". I was so shocked to read it I would have complained.
    If I were to be posting here at that time.

    Some play the middle line they think Stephen 139.
    " Culturally he is white. But chose to identify with his black side of the family"
    An interesting observation. but I suspect erroneous .He was brought up by whites but I really do doubt that he at no time realised that in the general American "lingo" anyone who had any characteristics of being black was labelled as black.I really very sincerely think he might have noticed.

    That they did not get asked " hey Are you black"
    "Black folks can also be racist as the almost 100% voting for Obama tells. We all are human."

    This is again erroneous.
    Some would say that at the time of the election anyone who could have voted for Palin with her "I'm not a racist" and" Hussain "comments was a racist.
    I firmly believe that because not one of the republican acquaintances that claimed to vote GOP or had a "Nobama" "palin/ mccain" sticker could eb called racially senstive or without bigotry.
    There were a few republicans that said " that lady is crazy , and scary so I'm voting for Obama"

    I think the right left themselves with no votes except from racists.
    To claim Obama was voted for because of racism BY BLACKS is a sick modern myth.
    There were GOP supporters that were black. people on the fence with socially conservative values.
    They left when Palin was picked as the perky Maverick (and dare I say it on a British blog ,spunky).
    Not everyone suffers from Stockholm syndrome.

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  • 152. At 3:56pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    Squirrelist that niggling problem might be the rule that says something about "taking the mickey out of individuals." Which in itself is a very strange I suspect nationalistic bigoted phrase based on Anglo Irish issues.

    Strange thing is if I wrote "taking the (what comes from a bladder) would probably be banned.

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  • 153. At 4:03pm on 11 Jan 2010, Mem wrote:

    140. At 3:12pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #126 "The whole attitude of american whites - decendants of those caucasians.."




    I hate to tell you that but not many Americans are of Balkar, Chechen, Dagestani, Ingush or Kabardin descent.

    Although I have to admit: "Georgia on my mind" quite often these days.


    Arab slave traders frequently took caucasians as slaves as well. I forgot to mention that in my other post.

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  • 154. At 4:04pm on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    GolemII – Sorry old bean but you seem to be living in a lovely utopian dream world. For one thing the EU and Europe are not one and the same thing, just as the USA and North America are not, both the EU and USA are the major players (though the EU remains far more fragmented at this time), but neither are the only players in their respective continents.

    To say that racism is a thing of the past in the US, other than what Hollywood dishes out is to ignore the evidence. US posters have stated that they have experienced or are aware of racism. Organisations like the KKK have thousands of members, there are still Black Power organisations which have overtly racist attitudes. The whole discussion regarding whether Reid’s comments were racist or not, or whether other Dems or Reps are or are not racist, means that the subject is alive and well. For the subject to be relevant racism must be a social fact.

    That is not to say that the US is more or less racist than Europe, or Asia, Africa etc, racism is endemic across all countries and all ethnicities, unfortunately denying this fact will not make it go away.

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  • 155. At 4:06pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    126. redpoppy2 wrote:
    "re. 102 from SaintDominik
    "Portuguese, Spanish and others often bought black slaves from Arab traders."
    So here we are perhaps where it all started. The slave trade and colonisation."


    European and later American slavers also bought slaves from black african traders ..... Everyone was involved - christians, muslims, animists ....it was a dirty business and I'm not sure this thread ought to be disgressing into this dark corner of the past.


    ___________________________________

    However this was very interesting

    "colonialists (word origin from that fraudulent - coincidentally white - sailor who beat and tortured his crew into swearing before the crown that he had discovered India - hence Indians in the Americas)"


    I kicked myself (metaphorically) when I read this, because I had never linked the etymology of "colony" with the Spanish name for Christopher Colombus .... Cristobal Colon.

    Doh! (although I bet I'm not alone in that)

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  • 156. At 4:06pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    "Perhaps if you had studied the subject, you wouldn't think I was narrow minded."

    Or perhaps they might still think you narrow minded. You sure sound it.
    That you suggest democrats excel at using race to divide is interesting. They in going favourite was Hillary for the democrats . She did try to use the same issues that later were brought up by Palin and co to divide. And she united (as well as herding cats goes ) the democratic party behind Obama.

    Palin took the lead and RAN with it.
    Really, she push it for every "equal vote "she could get.
    That you seemed to have missed that is interesting. More so than you relative who is "darker than Obama".
    That is not a racist comment but blood is thicker than water.

    I have a relative in the UK with two black grand kids. He loves them and is strangely also racist. I have heard him make comments (not about the nieces) that would make the mum scream if she heard them.

    Don't try pulling that card.


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  • 157. At 4:13pm on 11 Jan 2010, dceilar wrote:

    Mark: One of the worrying things about American political discourse is that some (mainly white) people regard any reference to race as "racist" without looking at the content of what is being said. Maybe some are embarrassed that Reid's analysis may be correct.

    People sometimes use the word 'race' carelessly, but are not racist IMO. Racists believe that humans can all be categorized into biological 'races'. This is based on pseudo-science from the 19th century which in turn was based on stereotypes. The genetic differences within a so called 'race' are greater than those between 'races'. But since when has science and logic had any effect upon racists? Did Reid say that he believes humanity is defined by 'race'? Furthermore, did he say that one 'race' is superior to others?

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  • 158. At 4:15pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    I would add to the "niggardly debate" that it doesn't really matter that a word is derived from an ancient norse word (wiki) and not from a connection to the n word. I would ask if the person using the term understands that. Or do they just use it as they do because they ARE trying to be racist.

    There are other words that get appropriated by groups for other reasons, If other words no longer have their correct litteral meaning behind them then why not this one.
    there is a Anti somebody word that is used repeatedly incorrectly because of an old time incorrect reading of its meaning.

    The origins of word often mean less to people these days than the modern perception.

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  • 159. At 4:17pm on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Mem – While I see no relevance to whether Arabs (be they Muslim or not) bought and sold slaves. Jews did own and sell slaves, the Laws of Constantius (337-361) rescinded the right for Jews to have slaves. You don’t rescind someone’s right if they don’t already exercise one.

    The Jew Encyclopaedia says that Gelasius permitted Jews to import pagan slaves from Gaul and that in Bohemia they conducted the sale of Slavic slaves for use as body-guards.

    While this is irrelevant, I do find your attitude and dismissive tone in need of some basic correction.

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  • 160. At 4:18pm on 11 Jan 2010, Mem wrote:

    155. At 4:06pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:



    However this was very interesting

    "colonialists (word origin from that fraudulent - coincidentally white - sailor who beat and tortured his crew into swearing before the crown that he had discovered India - hence Indians in the Americas)"


    I kicked myself (metaphorically) when I read this, because I had never linked the etymology of "colony" with the Spanish name for Christopher Colombus .... Cristobal Colon.

    Doh! (although I bet I'm not alone in that)

    _____________________________

    I love word etymology! Actually, the word colony comes from the Latin word colonia describing ancient Roman settlements outside of Italy.

    Sorry, you're not "Doh!" at all. ;-)

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  • 161. At 4:22pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #137

    "Actually it was Arab Muslims who forced many African Christians to convert or die. Christianity was around for over 600 years before Islam and was well established in parts of Africa. Apparently, the Muslims decided slave trading was more profitable until the west stopped buying Christians are still being slaughtered by Muslims in Africa to this day. Also, Africans are still being kept as slaves by other Africans including Muslims."


    Can one say - Darfur? Can one say - Malaysia? Can one say - Egypt?


    BTW. Islam has destroyed many great ME civilizations/cultures.

    Not only Persian, for example, but also -sic! - Arab one. :-(




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  • 162. At 4:26pm on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat – Christianity has destroyed many European cultures and religions and your point is? What is the relevance of whether Islam or Christianity has forcibly taken over existing cultures to the discussion, I don’t recall Reid mentioning Islam or slavery in his comments.

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  • 163. At 4:28pm on 11 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #150 Mem
    Instead of resorting to name calling, can you provide some evidence that links slave trading to religion and to African Muslims more strongly than any other religious group?

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  • 164. At 4:31pm on 11 Jan 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 114 powermeerkat-

    "Have you ever heard of prestigious United Negro College?"

    Have heard of the United Negro College Fund; have never heard of the United Negro College. Which former Confederate State is the location of this college? I am not able to find this school on Google.

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  • 165. At 4:34pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #70 Peter_sym stipulated:

    (this is tongue in cheek so don't take it seriously!) Capone was born in Brooklyn and lived (officially) in Cicero not Chicago. I'd blame New York for exporting their smog of corruption to Chicago.




    Why don't you blame Cicero then? [Romans! What have they ever...etc.]



    BTW. Thank God, Peter, you're not suggesting that mayor Daley, sr. ["vote early, vote often!"] (there's junior Daley now in charge) and the corrupted DEM machine have been imported to Windy City from Nyu Joisi (NYC's bedroom?)

    Cosa Nostra is benevolent in comparison to Chicago DEM mafia. Believe me!

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  • 166. At 4:34pm on 11 Jan 2010, Tennesseebadger wrote:

    Last week you wondered out loud if "Avatar" was racist. This week, you defend the Senate majority Leader who was caught saying something that if said by a Republican would cause demands for a resignation. How did you get sucked into the mainstream media's race baiting, double standards so quickly?

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  • 167. At 4:36pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    154DRM "That is not to say that the US is more or less racist than Europe, or Asia, Africa etc, racism is endemic across all countries and all ethnicities, unfortunately denying this fact will not make it go away."

    Exactly the point that is so often missed.

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  • 168. At 4:39pm on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    17. At 08:41am on 11 Jan 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #12. You need to read up on the slave trade urgently. Firstly most slave traders were european, not american. Secondly and far more importantly they didn't 'kidnap' them from Africa (watch the movie Zulu to see how easy it is for a handful of whites to take on an angry African tribe) but instead bought them from other black chieftans. Most slaves were prisoners of war sold by their captors although 'trouble makers' or simply excess population were sold too. After the Royal Navy effectively shut down the transatlantic slave trade most slaves in the US were US (or at least Cuban) born. The myth that whites raided Africa and kidnapped slaves is one of the reasons there is still a race problem.

    First of all, Peter, I was being (mostly) sarcastic.

    Second, at the time, most "Americans" were European, and self-identified as such. The vast majority of Americans are still of European decent. Those of Germanic ancestry make up the largest group. We didn't just spring out of the New World soil, you know, fully Americanized and ready to revolt. So it doesn't really matter on which side of the Atlantic you want to lay the blame. White "Americans" with as much European or English or Scottish blood as anyone living in any of those places were fully part of the slave trade. If they weren't involved in importing slaves (whoever they were or why ever they were enslaved), they were certainly buying them at auction, using them for cheap labor, and/or breeding, selling and renting them out to others. There was a vast internal market for slaves even after the revolution and when Congress outlawed the importation of slaves, apart from anything the Royal Navy might have done.

    You may not be aware, but there was a desperate need for labor in America during the 17th and 18th centuries as European colonists sought to expand their holdings. And while slavery actually began as indentured servitude, it quickly changed once it was realized that slaves had absolutely no protection under the law and could therefore be made to work like beasts of burden, rather than be treated like human beings.

    Third, I don't need to watch "Zulu" or any other fictional movie depiction of history to get my information. I am quite capable of reading books on the subject, which I have.

    Lastly, racism still exists not because of the slave trade, but because of the necessary psychological adjustments that had to be made in order for people to own, use and abuse another group of people, which still lingers as part of the world's culture today. To treat another human being as less than human you must first strip them of their humanity. If you see them as human - with the same thoughts, feelings, needs and desires as yourself, you cannot treat them worse than you would an animal.

    A whole "scientific" pseudo-theory on what made dark skinned people "less" than pale skinned people was developed, primarily in the South, and marketed as an obvious truth. One example of which would be that blacks were incapable of being educated and needed to be "kept" as slaves for their own good. Of course, the very existence of laws forbidding the educating of slaves gives lie to that so-called fact. There were no laws in the South saying you couldn't teach a chicken or a horse to read, because everyone knows you can't. But if blacks were to be considered as animals and not men, their owners had to be certain that no one ever realized they were just as smart and capable as anyone else.

    That lie, that disgusting theory (which btw made it possible for Hitler's regime to label Jews, Russians, Asians, homosexuals, gypsies and others as sub-human), spread around the world and infected every nation on Earth. The taint of slavery isn't the only reason African-Americans aren't accepted as fully vested human beings. It is the insidious idea that they are somehow less simply because they are black and come from America. And by the way, if you are African and immigrate to America today, any children you have will still be treated just the same as African American children with slave ancestry.

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  • 169. At 4:44pm on 11 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    No, he was merely making an observation about Obama's electability as a person of color, and it was reasonably accurate. But it is the sort of statement that gives people who are so inclined an opportunity to make a charge of racism, so we will be hearing a lot of that.

    I don't believe this statement matters much in Nevada, but Senator Reid has other problems which may hurt his chances for reelection: Las Vegas Review Journal

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  • 170. At 4:46pm on 11 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Mr. Mardell,your posting reveals that you know as little about American history and culture as your predecessor Justin Webb. Here's my critique of your posting and of what was said.

    "So let's have a look at what he actually said. The comments come from a book out this week, Game Changes .The authors say Reid "was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama - a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,' as he later put it privately.""

    How dark the skin of an African American is has in the past been a factor in how people used racial bias to perceive each other, not just the way Caucausians saw dark skinned people but how they saw each other. This is still true in places like Brazil, I think Cuba, and to a degree in the US. Michael Jackson's efforts to lighten his skin shows that this is still true to some degree. It is an unfortunate but real fact. Not a factor of consideratoin for all but for some people of both races.

    The term Negro is technically accurate as a racial descriptor as is Caucausian for light skinned people predominantly from Europe and Mongolian for east Asiatic. There are other factors used to differentiate race such as morphological characteristics. I understand that dark skinned people from the country of India are also considered Caucausians. In the American lexicon the term "Negro" was once the preferred terminology over the term "colored" and the well known racial epithet. The term "black" was also considered very derogatory. We still have an organization called "The United Negro College Fund" and we still have the NAACP, the National Organization for the Advancement of Colored People. However, today the term Black is acceptable and Afro-American is preferred even if it seems silly. President Obama is no more African than I am European but we call people what they prefer to be called out of respect for their sensitivities.

    There is no doubt that the subdialect of English called "Ebonics" exists in the United States. It is not mainstream or generally spoken by Caucausians and some African Americans choose to use it selectively when they feel the situation is appropriate. Perhaps they feel it will connect with other African Americans more effectively than the main stream dialect in certain circumstances. To use it or not use it as they see fit is their right and is not worthy of comment.

    President Obama is not Harry Reid's boss. This is not the UK, it doesn't work that way here, our political parties and government are not structured that way. Harry Reid is a member of a body which is in every way the equal of President Obama even if it is composed of 535 individuals.

    Seventy-five years ago, Harry Reid's statement in the context of the culture of that day would have raised no eyebrows. Seventy-five years from now it might only cause bewilderment and understood as an anachronism. But today it was insensitive given that the scars of racial discrimination and segregation in the United States have not heal over completely yet. This did not help.

    But the bottom line is that Ried's statement is factually incorrect. That is not why Barack Obama won. Some people voted for him only because he is African American, some voted against him for the same reason. It is impossible to know how many or whether it was a net gain or loss but most experts don't think it affected the outcome of the election. Barack Obama won for the following reasons IMO. He was charismatic, a very good speaker, obviously highly intelligent, organized a very well run campaign. He ran against a party and the record of a previous president that was pubically out of favor and his opponent made some very bad mistakes during the campaign. The country wanted a change and they saw in him the best possibility for change. That's why he won.

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  • 171. At 4:47pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    Tennesseebadger


    166. At 4:34pm on 11 Jan 2010, Tennesseebadger wrote:
    Last week you wondered out loud if "Avatar" was racist. This week, you defend the Senate majority Leader who was caught saying something that if said by a Republican would cause demands for a resignation. How did you get sucked into the mainstream media's race baiting, double standards so quickly?

    24. At 03:27am on 23 Sep 2008, Tennesseebadger wrote:
    "The Palin bounce is disappearing quicker than you can say "Geraldine Ferraro" - and the value of steady, elderly well-connected chaps (Paulson et al) is rising fast. "

    Justin, you just don't get it. Elderly, well connected chaps are responsible for the Wall Street melt down. Having someone who booted out an old boy, sold his corporate jet, and fired the personal chef will look good better as the scope of the Old Boy Catastrophe settles in. "

    There is nothing to suggest you as racist there.(unless of course you actually went so far as to vote for Palin because then I suggest you might be a TAD racist.)
    Clicking on your names gives us the ability to see what else you have commented on.
    Not a lot admittedly (who can help that, I know). I am glad you told racists to rot in their own misery. Good but you seem to be a kind person that doesn't look hard enough, and that will lead you to not notice.
    yes a cigar can be a cigar, but sometimes it can be something else.



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  • 172. At 4:49pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #88

    "African-Americans make up about 15% of the American population so you do the math."




    They used to be 20% until Latinos surpassed them.

    And since they've surpassed them not ony numerically, hyphenated-Americans hate their guts and make rasist comments about them.

    [I'll leave it to somebody like Saint Dominick to adress that point]


    P.S. I will not quote what the real Roosevelt (Theodore, id est) thought should be done with all hyphenated Americans.

    Meerkat may be not exactly a chicken, but he sure ain't suicidal.

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  • 173. At 4:56pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    150 mem
    "It is associated with Islam whether I like it or not. It is historical fact and still occurring. I have never seen any historical evidence that Jews were involved in slave trading. Perhaps if you had studied the subject, you wouldn't think I was narrow minded. Nevertheless, you're entitled to your ignorant opinion."


    Mem - the slave trade was practised by people of many different religions - even Jews .... and it comes from Jewish authors.

    So stop trying to paint it as the responsability of Arab traders alone.



    "According to a review in "The Journal of American History of Jews, Slaves, and the Slave Trade: Setting the Record Straight" by Eli Faber and "Jews and the American Slave Trade" by Saul S. Friedman:

    Eli Faber takes a quantitative approach to Jews, Slaves, and the Slave Trade in Britain's Atlantic empire, starting with the arrival of Sephardic Jews in the London resettlement of the 1650s, calculating their participation in the trading companies of the late seventeenth century, and then using a solid range of standard quantitative sources (Naval Office shipping lists, censuses, tax records, and so on) to assess the prominence in slaving and slave owning of merchants and planters identifiable as Jewish in Barbados, Jamaica, New York, Newport, Philadelphia, Charleston, and all other smaller English colonial ports. He follows this strategy in the Caribbean through the 1820s; his North American coverage effectively terminates in 1775. Faber acknowledges the few merchants of Jewish background locally prominent in slaving during the second half of the eighteenth century but otherwise confirms the small-to-minuscule size of colonial Jewish communities of any sort and shows them engaged in slaving and slave holding only to degrees indistinguishable from those of their English competitors.[75]

    While acknowledging Jewish participation in slavery, scholars reject allegations that Jews dominated the slave trade in Medieval Europe, Africa, and/or the Americas; Jews were no more or less involved in the slave trade than any other ethno-cultural or national group.

    source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism_and_slavery
    ________________________


    Disclaimer - this is not anti-semetic. I post it only in the interest of balance.
    Christians were by far the most populous grouping in the African / North American slave trade.

    The slave trade was practised by all sorts of unsavoury characters and is not really relevent to this thread.



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  • 174. At 5:02pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    Mem 160
    "I love word etymology! Actually, the word colony comes from the Latin word colonia describing ancient Roman settlements outside of Italy.

    Sorry, you're not "Doh!" at all. ;-)"



    I know I'm not doh! .... but perhaps I should use less dry sarcasm / irony in my posts - I'm liable to be taken seriously when I don't mean it, and vice versa.

    Still, my new theory is a plausible second etymology .... see how long before it ends up on wiki!

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  • 175. At 5:06pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    161 meerkat
    "BTW. Islam has destroyed many great ME civilizations/cultures."


    I didn't want to resort to this .... but you've forced my hand.

    This may surprise sme of your as a counter-arguement .....








    ...... because "NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION".



    Convert or Die is not unique to Islam.
    At least under Islam if you do convert they believe you. The Church persecuted the "conversos" generations down the line.

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  • 176. At 5:07pm on 11 Jan 2010, Mem wrote:

    156. At 4:06pm on 11 Jan 2010, general penitentiary wrote:
    "Perhaps if you had studied the subject, you wouldn't think I was narrow minded."

    ***Or perhaps they might still think you narrow minded. You sure sound it.***

    Perhaps or not. Apparently, you still do but have you actually studied the subject matter we were discussing? Either way, you're entitled to your opinion. You sound obtuse but that's just my opinion.

    ***That you suggest democrats excel at using race to divide is interesting.***

    Interesting and narrow minded. Hmmm ... Guess I'm unique. :)

    ***That you seemed to have missed that is interesting.***

    Must have went right over my head.

    The election is over. It's time for the elected and appointed to do their jobs.


    ***More so than you relative who is "darker than Obama".***

    I actually wrote darker than Obama's cute daughters.

    ***That is not a racist comment but blood is thicker than water.***

    No, it wasn't. Are you trying to say I'm a racist except for my blood?


    ***I have a relative in the UK with two black grand kids. He loves them and is strangely also racist. I have heard him make comments (not about the nieces) that would make the mum scream if she heard them.***

    So? Are you insinuating that I'm like your relative? You don't even know me. You don't know the values I was brought up with.


    ***Don't try pulling that card.***


    What card? About my niece? She was on my mind from a visit last night. She is absolutely gorgeous, sweet, and very smart. I adore her and tend to brag a bit on her. Sorry if that offended you but she does remind me just a bit of Obama's youngest daughter and that is a very big compliment to his daughter whether you get it or not. I'm a proud Aunt ... Sue me.

    Have a nice day!

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  • 177. At 5:10pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #143 "Never mind that the Emancipation Proclamation was from the first Republican President."



    No wonder Mr. Obama looks so concerned in that photo.

    There's Honest Abe watching him from that portrait above his head.

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  • 178. At 5:13pm on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    46. At 10:22am on 11 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:
    But would Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson ever represent the interests of the whole nation? Their candidacies served a worthwhile purpose in raising Black issues to the national stage, and in introducing the possibility of a Black candidate, but that was their purpose. Obama made clear that his racial makeup was beside the point - he intended to represent the whole nation, which is the unique characteristic and responsibility, of all our elected officials, of the presidency.

    I see what you mean, but I do think you had a "poor word choice" moment there.

    Agreed. Sharpton and Jackson are primarily black activists, which is why they were unacceptable as national candidates, but are rightly considered heroes in the civil rights movement. They paved the way for men and women like Obama, who really isn't all that unique, except in the political arena. Most Americans of African heritage think of themselves as Americans first, then as doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, etc. It is only when they are met with racism that they are forced to take their skin color into account.

    It is refreshing to see an open discussion of the artificiality and wierdness of American discomfort over which words to use. I see that someone in the world does not share this burden.

    Oh, I've had this conversation many, many times. And to be honest, I probably "think black" more than Obama. I am, in fact, an honorary member of the Black Panther Party! But then, having lived mostly in mixed or black neighborhoods for my entire life, I have a different perspective on the issue than most white Americans. Frankly, when I'm in a place where there are only white people around, I find that to be extremely weird and disconcerting.

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  • 179. At 5:16pm on 11 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    The word 'negro' used in America was taken from the Spanish word, 'negro', which literally means black. At that point in time it was considered acceptable. In this point in time, it is considered racist for a person to use the word 'negro' to describe another person of black or mixed descent.

    I believe in keeping the word, 'negro' for historical purposes, but am against using it today for modern day language, for any races. Some black rights groups have suggested banning words like 'negro' in books such as Tom Sawyer. I am highly against banning text from old books as this is a violation against freedom of speech. It would also be a re-writing of history and we would forget what we have overcome/how things really were.

    As for the question of Harry Reid's comment being racist or not...the only thing I could see being racist is his making it sound like white people would rather vote in a half black and half white president because he is not 'fully' black, rather than a 'fully' black president.

    His comment is an insult to white people because Reid is making assumptions and his comment is an insult to black people because Reid is stating that white people would not vote for a fully black person, even though this is not a truth or known fact. Maybe he was right, but maybe he was wrong. We will never know.

    I personally believe the real reason that Obama was elected was because he just happened to be the leading Democratic nominee in a time when people began to despise the Repubs. The financial economic crisis with the recession was the final blow for the Repubs, leaving them basically no chance at election.

    People could care less about race in a time of recession. All people care about right now are jobs. Thank goodness things are improving, but we have plenty of room to grow in the direction of jobs for the middle class. All we need is Obama's lead.

    In some sense, with President Obama being half black and half white, it does feels like he belongs to all of us, not just one race.

    But by Obama choosing a black wife, it is his statement that he is more drawn in by his black side, whether it is more acceptable or not, it is his personal choice. So with Michelle, black families feel pride that he chose a black woman. It showed that there is equal amount of respect toward both white and black women, that we are all beautiful and should stand proud. There are some black families that do not accept white people into their families, just as there are some white families that do not accept black or other races into their families. I think there will always be an element of racism tinged not just here, but all around the world. But I truly do not think Obama won because he was a light-skinned black man. He won because we needed help and did not trust the Repubs.

    I do not like Harry Reid, but I think his statement was wrong because it was based on an assumption on what he thought the American people were like. An assumption is not the truth.

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  • 180. At 5:23pm on 11 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Mark:

    Sen. Reid is indeed being insulting, but it seems to me the he's insulting the American people. His statement indicates that he feels that Americans still take race (skin color especially) into account when deciding who to elect.

    To test this, some brave researcher would have to develop a means of quantifying skin color in terms of luminescence, determine the proportions of these groupings in the general population, and compare them to the proportions of these groupings amongst our elected officials.

    This will never happen, of course, because classifying someone by skin color is offensive, even though we may as a people be doing it as a matter of course.

    My guess (and it is just a guess) is that Sen. Reid is correct, that skin color still makes a difference (though not as much as before).

    I reject the idea that believing the American people are racist is in itself racism. That argument just doesn't hold water. In fact, not questioning whether there is racial bias allows racist beliefs to endure under cover of political correctness.

    I'm not thrilled with Reid for other reasons, but he shouldn't resign because of this.

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  • 181. At 5:35pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    RomeStu dislaims: "Disclaimer - this is not anti-semetic."



    I don't know what "semetic" means.


    Although I seem to remember that the unexpected Spanish Inquisition beat up an old lady with a pillow, after sitting her in a comfy easy-chair.

    And if somebody doesn't know why Colon was considered anal by his crew (unlike Pinzon Bros) they better get themselves a decent dictionary.

    BTW. Had Colon listened to Pinzons he would have landed in Florida, not in Haiti on Columbus Day.

    [modern day Cubans seem to know the difference when navigating]

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  • 182. At 5:35pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    lucy
    "But by Obama choosing a black wife, it is his statement that he is more drawn in by his black side, whether it is more acceptable or not, it is his personal choice."


    He didn't "choose" a black wife to make some racial / politcal statement on his ethnicity .... he fell in love with a lady called Michelle.

    And I for one think he is one lucky man! (What do you think, Ron Craven?)

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  • 183. At 5:36pm on 11 Jan 2010, Mem wrote:

    174. At 5:02pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote: ***And Others***

    No time to discuss now but I was responding to varies posts with numerous interruptions. Someone else brought up religion, slavery, etc., which is a subject that I studied. So, I unsuccessfully tried to present the other side. However, what really bothers me is that slavery is currently being practiced and the west doesn't seem to care much.

    RomeStu: I do not typically use wiki as a reference so I wouldn't be surprised if your theory did show up there which is why I don't use wiki as a primary source. :)

    Don: Sweetie, don't dish it out if you cannot take it. I didn't start the name calling. Yes, I can provide you with sources if you really want them. Unfortunately, I do not have time to play for giggles.

    MeerKat: I really like you but I'm not sure of your numbers.

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  • 184. At 5:45pm on 11 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Up for Grabs: Blago's "I am blacker than Barack Obama," comment. Leave it to Blago to say something like that.

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  • 185. At 5:48pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #175

    RomeStu

    If you think I believe in "white man's burden" and am Cortez's and Pizzaro's fan, check what I wrote about the two fellas way back.

    BTW. I have seen just recently Pizzaro's scull (in Lima).

    No, his head was not chopped off by blood thirsty Inkas. :-)

    Not that I don't recall (I was not exactly born yesterday) what happened to some Apostles called to Rome. ;-)

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  • 186. At 5:49pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    176 Mem

    "Must have went right over my head.

    The election is over. It's time for the elected and appointed to do their jobs. "
    yep it did didn't it . you didn't notice the racism in the Palin rallies?
    That would be a lot easier if it were not for all the race baiting that gradually got worse and worse during the elections, wouldn't it.

    As to your nieces (stupid point Obama or his daughters wow zinger). I stand by my comment. we have had others say similar in the past on this blog. they have then gone on to make Obvious racist comments.
    You did miss that you weren't reading this blog back then I assume.
    I am not suggesting there is any connection in behaviour between you and that relative. I am stating that because you love your family it does not make you un racist.
    There are plenty of people who have had one of their offspring marry someone they HATED. Yet they normally at least love the kids. They get over some of their racism. but not all of it. Some still speak like racists and are not others speak like enlightened people and are racists.

    That card has been played before. It makes no difference.
    I would point out that you make no mention of the lovely parent of the child and also forget there are other races.

    But then maybe you are just religiously intolerant or bigoted. If not do give up on that bull argument about slavery.


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  • 187. At 5:51pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    182 well said that roman slave driver;)

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  • 188. At 5:55pm on 11 Jan 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    I can confirm that racism is openly prevalent in my little loop of the American colon with respect to Mr. Obama's election, and that there is more "anti-Obama" sentiment, personal to Mr. Obama, than there is political 'debate' on issues 'round here. Not including them ejicated ___s[insert 4 letter word].

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  • 189. At 5:56pm on 11 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #183 Mem
    Please just post a link backing up what you say. It's a lot quicker than taking the time to be condescending and I would actually like to read it. Especially if this is your field.

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  • 190. At 6:09pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #164

    It's name has been changed to Morehouse Negro College some time ago.
    [gone with the wind]

    It's in Atlanta, Georgia [can one say CNN Hdqts here? :-)]

    Been there, even met with alumni.

    No, it was quite some time AFTER Martin L. King attended it. :-)



    ["Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his [MLK's] father and grandfather had graduated."]

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  • 191. At 6:10pm on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    50. At 10:33am on 11 Jan 2010, P J Walton wrote:

    It seems to me that Americans, in general, are quite immature in their attitudes about race and what constitutes racism compared to Western Europeans. You'll rarely see incidentally mixed couples (black and white) in Hollywood films unless the topic of mixed race relationships is the theme (or a sub theme) of the film. Race is an ultra-sensitive issue on both sides of the Atlantic, but more intensely so on that side.

    You seem to forget, or perhaps don't know, that in the UK (not sure about the rest of the EU) the law requires that non-whites be represented in almost all theatrical productions. There is no such law in the US. So when you see non-whites in a production playing parts that any actor could play in American media, it is because someone chose to hire them. The very fact that the UK had to pass a law to make this happen means the idea was not simply part of a grassroots movement within a culture overcoming a history of racism. It was imposed and enforced from the top down.

    55. At 10:42am on 11 Jan 2010, Leviticus wrote:

    Comdemnation of whites IS racist! There is no excuse in being able to condemn a section of society by the colour of their skin simply because that colour is in the majority!

    It is not racist when it is done by another white person. It is merely a comment on a particular state of affairs.

    The 'N word' is a derogatory term. I don't care if the rapper singing it is descended from slaves and thinks he is entitled to do so or not! As long as one person calling another by that word is considered an insult because their skin colour is wrong but for another skin tone it is a term of endearment, then racism is being perpetuated.

    I agree, but in the 60s (around the same time the term Negro was starting to be considered insulting and a vestige of slavery) black Americans began using the "N" word in their own popular culture, ostensibly, to take the sting out of the insult. (Similar to what early American colonists did by incorporating the deliberately insulting tune "Yankee Doodle Dandy" into their popular culture as something of which to be proud.) Comedian Richard Pryor was a long time proponent of this - until he visited Africa and realized his mistake. He immediately stopped using the word in his act and never said it again. In 2007, rappers joined the NAACP to hold a funeral for the "N" word and started a campaign within the black community to stop the use of the word and derogatory images and themes portrayed in videos and music produced by black artists. It is too soon to say whether they will be successful or not, but at least it is a start.

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  • 192. At 6:11pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    lucyill

    " for a fully black person, even though this is not a truth or known fact"

    While strangely as of yet they have not voted for a fully black guy.

    There have been opportunities in the primaries to get one. But they got no where because the person running was seen as a black activist for being pissed at being forced to sit in the back of a buss of in a different bar.

    There was the "he's not black enough" bit that helped (it seemed from polls at the time) to actually increase his favour with white voters. There was, as one republican friend (did not vote for Mc palin)(or GW either time) friend of mine put it ,a War hero and patriot who was derided by so many here as he spoke to a "black church" None of the reaction to the reverend Wright was racist?
    The mere fact that he was at an all black church was considered offensive.
    The lowest point in the elections was when that true patriot and noble war hero was dropped by Obama. but he had NO CHOICE if he were to win. The rage against the "black church " was all over this country.( inverted commas because the churches looked to be built out of the stuff as other churches)

    In some quarters.
    Well doe in saying he won because he was what we needed and people distrusted the GOP . There were many reasons to distrust them. And showing they learned no lessons by going for palin didn't help.
    She drove people fearful of white supremacists running the country to vote. Not as much as Obama's great skills as a politician , but it was there.
    Reid made an accurate assessment of the american people.
    Before the elections some argued that to say he was a black man forgot that he was also while.
    they still forget that because the reality the noticeable part is the darker skin, for some.

    There are many today that will do anything to see him fail. And not because he is a democrat.

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  • 193. At 6:13pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    "184. At 5:45pm on 11 Jan 2010, LucyIllinois wrote:
    Up for Grabs: Blago's "I am blacker than Barack Obama," comment. Leave it to Blago to say something like that."

    How about Blago reminds me of you.

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  • 194. At 6:18pm on 11 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Recently, there have been a lot of black women making angry statements about Tiger Woods' decision to marry a white woman and his choice to only have affairs with white/mixed women. That was one of the reasons why I commented on President Obama marrying a black woman vs. a white woman.

    This is probably the biggest question of race: within one's family. There are some black families who find white people joining their family unacceptable and vice versa. Even a famous black film star, Samuel L. Jackson, made a movie where his character threatened a couple, a white man and black woman, because he did not feel it was acceptable for a white and black to be together. So you cannot say it is just one race which may find it unacceptable in the eyes of their family, even if it is acceptable in the eyes of the law.

    I dislike how some gay rights activists claim that being black and being gay is the same discrimination. A black person and a white person physically can have a baby together, but two gay people physically cannot. Clearly, being gay is not the same as race, since two gay people cannot naturally have children as per the law's of nature. I am not against mixed couples or children, but I am against gay marriage, due to moral and religious reasons, although I do support civil unions (with all the rights and equalities for gay couples, except the word marriage.)

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  • 195. At 6:20pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Third, I don't need to watch "Zulu" or any other fictional movie depiction of history to get my information"




    Although I don'think you know (no offence) what "Zulu" means.

    Perhaps it's time... :-)

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  • 196. At 6:22pm on 11 Jan 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 190 powermeerkat-

    "It's name has been changed to Morehouse Negro College some time ago."

    Thank you. Never knew Morehouse was first named the United Negro College.

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  • 197. At 6:32pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    I am, in fact, an honorary member of the Black Panther Party!



    Thanks for a warning. :-)

    Once in my life I faced (not voluntarily) a Siberian Tiger in the wild.

    Much less scary.

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  • 198. At 6:34pm on 11 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #191 Gav Laposte
    "You seem to forget, or perhaps don't know, that in the UK (not sure about the rest of the EU) the law requires that non-whites be represented in almost all theatrical productions. There is no such law in the US."
    Possibly not for theatre, but affirmative action is still in effect in most states in the US.
    ___________________________
    Ref #192 gen pen
    "There are many today that will do anything to see him fail. And not because he is a democrat."
    That strikes me a being harsh, even on the republicans. They were just as obstructive to Clinton.

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  • 199. At 6:35pm on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    194. At 6:18pm on 11 Jan 2010, LucyIllinois wrote:

    I am not against mixed couples or children, but I am against gay marriage, due to moral and religious reasons, although I do support civil unions (with all the rights and equalities for gay couples, except the word marriage.)

    Good for you. I support the end of civil marriages and allowing only civil unions to be recognized by the state - what you do in your own place of worship is your own business. We don't need divorce, which civil unions do not require (or divorce lawyers), because these days it's merely a matter of sorting out the finances, property rights and living arrangements for any children. You know, the breaking of a contractual agreement with no negative social or religious connotations for either party to the contract.

    Separate, but equal is not equal. That's what is meant by the gay rights issue being similar to the black civil rights movement. Because gays are fighting for their civil rights. The right to marry, share property rights and suffer through a divorce - because marriage is a binding legal contract - just like everyone else.

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  • 200. At 6:45pm on 11 Jan 2010, Wicked_Witch_of_the_West_Coast wrote:

    [redpoppy2: Another part is the enslavement of blacks, most of whom were muslims and were forced to give up their religion and coerced into christianity by the Missionaries and so-called Christians in America.]

    Some were Muslim, but some still followed the religions that had flourished in Africa for centuries - generally referred to as 'obeah'. Grafting Christianity on to those beliefs gave rise to voodoo and other similar religions.

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  • 201. At 6:46pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#182

    RomeStu

    You are obviously nor aware of the quite recent discoveries re Michelle Obama's racial (not so black) background.



    I know you haven't expected that, but then

    "nobody expects Spanish Inquisition", right? :-)))

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  • 202. At 6:47pm on 11 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #194 LucyIllinois
    "...but I am against gay marriage, due to moral and religious reasons"
    Religious reasons? No problem, I can respect that. However I'm intrigued how you think gay marriage is a moral issue.

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  • 203. At 6:52pm on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    197. At 6:32pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Thanks for a warning. :-)

    Once in my life I faced (not voluntarily) a Siberian Tiger in the wild.

    Much less scary.


    LOL! Actually, I didn't get the award because I'm a radical for civil rights, although I am. I got the award because I apparently had a more thorough knowledge of Black History and and the causes of racism and how to combat it than many of my local BP party's members. They noticed I spent a great deal of time talking to the neighborhood children (and their parents) about it, while trying to steer them away from the gangs and into higher education; telling them not to accept the fatalist philosophy that things would never change and persevere no matter what.

    Of course, believe it or not, the most constructive thing I ever did was introduce them to Doctor Who. If you're a ten year old who wants to grow up to be just like the Doctor, who doesn't believe in carrying guns (The End of Time notwithstanding), solves problems using his intelligence and celebrates education, you have to stay in school. :)

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  • 204. At 6:55pm on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    198. At 6:34pm on 11 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Possibly not for theatre, but affirmative action is still in effect in most states in the US.

    Your point being?

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  • 205. At 6:56pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Mem rote:

    MeerKat: I really like you but I'm not sure of your numbers.




    We're one. E pluribus unum. :-)

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  • 206. At 6:58pm on 11 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 199, Gavrielle_LaPoste:

    "I support the end of civil marriages and allowing only civil unions to be recognized by the state - what you do in your own place of worship is your own business."

    Agreed, the involvement of the state in religious matters is a violation of the First Amendment, and marriage is a fundamentally religious institution.

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  • 207. At 7:03pm on 11 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    But Gavrielle, you failed to address the point I made about only a man and a woman physically being able to have a child together vs. a gay couple who cannot physically have a child together. This proves that they are not truly equal.

    I also do not think a man and a woman physically are equal. A man is built and wired differently than a woman is.

    The Supreme Court is going to have to make a ruling on gay marriage. As for me, I believe gay marriage should be banned, due to moral and religious reasons, since the two are not and never will be equal, due to the physical properties of a man and woman (nature.)

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  • 208. At 7:14pm on 11 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I observed when I lived in Europe in the 1970s that Europeans were in general far more racist than American even back then. Since that time it seems to me things have gotten much better in the US, even worse in Europe. Europeans should do some soul searching before they criticize the US and put their own house in order first. Some countries like France strike me as ticking time bombs of racial and ethnic hatred. A tinder box just in need of a lighted match or a spark.

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  • 209. At 7:28pm on 11 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Gay marriage is immoral because it can cause great harm to our country.

    If gay marriage is legalized and accepted as okay, then future societies will move further and further away from natural reproduction, which has brought about the cycle of human life for thousands of years. Our natural reproduction will be replaced by a "people/science does better than nature's way," mentality. There will less and less babies who are produced the natural way, since women will no longer want to "ruin" their bodies.

    If gay marriage is legalized, our children will be taught in schools that gay marriage is okay. This will set up our children for disaster by having great conflict between school and home, as well as between families vs. gay families. Education would be greatly disrupted. It would be a never-ending cycle of disagreement and lawsuits.

    I believe that gay marriage is immoral and would cause great harm to our country, as gay marriage would only lead to multiple partner marriage, marriage to children, marriage to animals, ect. If we give up what marriage means to us, then it will not mean anything at all.

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  • 210. At 7:28pm on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    207. At 7:03pm on 11 Jan 2010, LucyIllinois wrote:

    But Gavrielle, you failed to address the point I made about only a man and a woman physically being able to have a child together vs. a gay couple who cannot physically have a child together. This proves that they are not truly equal.

    Neither can men who are sterile or women who are barren have children. And what about people who just don't want to have children, because they don't want to be parents? In your world, they shouldn't be allowed to marry either.

    But you are missing my point. A religious marriage should not be considered a binding legal contract recognized in a court of law. It should be a matter for your church or temple to dissolve. The fact that priests, ministers and rabbis have the right to act as a legal authority, like a judge, in approving the contract, is a vestige of a time when couples who wished to marry did not need to get a license from the state in order to do so.

    If your church doesn't want to offer a religious marriage to gay people, that is the choice of your church. But to deny them a basic civil right, that of engaging in a binding legal contract with another human being based on an ability to have children, calls into question the marriage of every heterosexual couple who is forced to adopt.

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  • 211. At 7:30pm on 11 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    AndyPost (#206) ... the involvement of the state in religious matters is a violation of the First Amendment, and marriage is a fundamentally religious institution."

    No, there are secular reasons that the state recognizes marriage. The state does not concern itself with the religious aspects of marriage. Recognition of (first) marriages of all religions does not constitute "establishment" of religion.

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  • 212. At 7:31pm on 11 Jan 2010, Feohme wrote:

    170. At 4:46pm on 11 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    Mr. Mardell,your posting reveals that you know as little about American history and culture as your predecessor Justin Webb. Here's my critique of your posting and of what was said.

    ---------------------------------
    It is just me? I mean I read the rest of the post and I can't see anything in it where Mark's lack of knowledge of 'American history and culture' (oh the temptation to miss-quote Ghandi there is almost too much to bear) was exposed by this 'critique' (fancy European word that!).

    You know, it's almost as if Marcus decided on his point of view before he considered whether the evidence backed him up or not. But I know that couldn't possibly be the case...

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  • 213. At 7:31pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re "coerced into christianity by the Missionaries"



    I myself had a problem with it and asked father Junipero Serra at some point (point being roughly half way between San Diego and Santa Barbara) who gave him permission to set up yet another mission there.

    He replied: "El nuestra Senora, la Reina de los Angeles".

    I gave up. By the time he got to Sacramento (via San Louis Obispo, San Jose and San Francisco) I was already forcefuly converted.

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  • 214. At 7:35pm on 11 Jan 2010, Rick Pettit wrote:

    I am a lily-white Irish-American who lives in Vermont, the whitest state in the Union. I voted for Barack Obama NOT because he is only "sort-of" black, and NOT because he spoke beautiful English instead of urban colloquial. I voted for him because I felt, and still feel, he would make an excellent leader for my country. One would think that, after decades of public service, Mr. Reid would have learned to speak in a more articulate, less clumsy manner, especially on such a sensitive subject as Black and White. But, as with religion, the subject of race in America has been over-analyzed and sterilized in the name of "political correctness". Mr. Reid was just being stupid and careless, not racist, unlike Mr. Lott, whose comments implied that, in his opinion, a separated society would work better for America. And, for the record, I must state that I was VERY dissatisfied with the "dialect" of our previous leader. I live in AMERICA - I don't know where "Amurka" is.

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  • 215. At 7:35pm on 11 Jan 2010, Feohme wrote:

    Incidentally, I see someone said that it is 'fine' to publicly hold homophobic views but not racist ones. That may be the case in the US, but at least in the UK the two have been put on a par both legally - and increasing - within the population as a whole.

    Still a long way to go in both areas, but things continue to move in the right direction (no political bias intended).

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  • 216. At 7:41pm on 11 Jan 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    I think Senator Reid was decribing the political landscape of the US. If you look at the support for Palin one can get some idea of what the US mind is about. Race, religion and gender are all identifications in this world and those who think they no longer exist do not deal in the real world. This doesn't mean that individuals cannot overcome those identifications it simply is a recongition of the existence of these factors. Now Republicans want to attack everything, past, present and future because they have no plan. They supported the baiout of the banks and auto industry because that is big business and denied citizens healthcare because their insurance business masters told them to. Republicans are simply hypocrits and apparently proud of it. Senator Thrumond was a racist, with an illegitimate black child, yet they never called for his resignation. It is unfortunate that the Republicans have nothing to offer the country when things need to change and real conservative ideas could be part of the solutions....but the Republicans no longer have conservatives....just elected business lobbyist and crafted social agendas to keep the people distracted..

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  • 217. At 7:51pm on 11 Jan 2010, Feohme wrote:

    209. At 7:28pm on 11 Jan 2010, LucyIllinois wrote:
    Gay marriage is immoral because it can cause great harm to our country.

    Sorry Lucy, but I think you have some questions to answer there:

    1. If science could come up with a way of enabling human reproduction without putting a womans health at great risk, why exactly would that be wrong?

    2. If gay marriage were legalised, why would school children be taught that gay marriage is ok? Is heterosexual marriage and it's rights and wrongs part of the US curriculum?

    3.Where would this putative conflict between school and parents / gay families and hetero families come from? Essentially, who would cause this trouble and why?

    4. Why would gay marriage necessary lead to marriage to children or marriage to animals?

    5. With regard to multiple partner marriage, please consider the following and respond. Under the Law as it stands, it is perfectly legal for a married man or woman to have an affair with another party - without their spouses knowledge or consent - yet it is illegal for those parties to engage in a relationship where all three parties voluntarily and happily enter into the arrangement.

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  • 218. At 7:57pm on 11 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 211, GH1618:

    "No, there are secular reasons that the state recognizes marriage."

    Agreed, but are there any reasons that can't be satisfied by the recognition of civil unions (or the like)?

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  • 219. At 8:00pm on 11 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 218, GH1618:

    Or if you'd prefer:

    What if a group of people created a religion based on the belief that homosexual relationships are divine? Outlawing gay marriage would certainly be unconstitutional then, no?

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  • 220. At 8:12pm on 11 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Feohme

    Perhaps where you come from the type of writing characteristic of BBC as is typified here is acceptable but where I come from, New York City familiar with the New York Times in its heyday, the kind of superficial, shallow, out of context, ignorant, biased trash BBC invariablly promulgates is by comparison garbage journalism not worthy of any college newspaper in America. Even as an editorial commentary, it invariably stinks. This piece is typical.

    "Indeed is what he said racist, or in any other way reprehensible?"

    Without the slightest shadow of a doubt, at least I think to most Americans it is insensitive, insulting, politically imbecillic, purposeless, and factually wrong. I will leave it to others whether or not to characterize it as racist.

    Clearly before this incident, Mr. Mardell never even heard of Ebonics. In fact his knowledge of American subcultures including the most important ones seems nil.

    "But what has irritated me about the flood of articles is that there has been a lot of nudging and winking but few have come out and said what they find offensive."

    The clear insinuation is that Barack Obama won the election because of his race. Only someone not familiar with American culture could fail to see that. It isn't spoken about among Americans because it doesn't have to be. We all know what the issues are. Mardell is clueless about the real issues, that's why he would have to ask.

    "The second, really embarrassing part is that Reid is suggesting that the leader of his party can adopt an accent at will, when it suits."

    He proabably can and it is not merely an accent, it is a dialect with its own words and meanings, both their denotations and connotations. Oprah Winfrey can. Ignoring the likelihood that he could if he wanted to considering the fact that people he was close to, surrounded by much of his life spoke it is to ignore the obvious. He simply didn't choose to. And it would not be an immitation of a dialect, it would be the real deal.

    "But the guts of what Reid was saying was that many American voters were still pretty racist but some wouldn't see Obama as "really" black."

    That Americans would not see Barack Obama as "black" is not only a falacy based on cultural truths but on historic truths of America as well. The counting of individuals in the census going back to the way the constitution proscribed the way numbers of people of non white race were to be counted ignores deep rooted facts Americans take for granted. By any accounting, accepting the fact that Barack Obama's mother was caucausian and he is therefore is of mixed race, America if not the world sees him as a man of color, an African American without any doubt. Mr. Mardell, you and your employer are out of your depth when it comes to coverage of the United States. It may fly with the outside world that is even more ignorant but its ignorance of the nuances of the American contemporary culture, its lack of knowledge of American history, of the subtleties of contemporary America make it a pathetic account to Americans. You are not even the tail on the dog, you're the thing he's dragging around at the end of a long tether. Awful. Even pathetic.

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  • 221. At 8:26pm on 11 Jan 2010, Feohme wrote:

    Then Marcus, it has to be asked - why are you still here reading these 'superficial, shallow, out of context, ignorant, biased trash' blogs?

    I don't know whether Mark knew about Ebonics before today or not. If he didn't, then he and I have learned something new today.

    You remember learning don't you Marcus? It's that thing you used to do before you knew everything.

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  • 222. At 8:30pm on 11 Jan 2010, MariaTee wrote:

    #170. MarcusAureliusII:
    "There is no doubt that the subdialect of English called "Ebonics" exists in the United States. . . . To use it or not use it as they see fit is their right and is not worthy of comment."
    The fact is that many black Americans, or African Americans if you wish, speak with a very recognizable accent that they are unable to shed, and have expressions which brand them as Blacks immediately.
    I remember Ed Koch, former New York City mayor, urging, in a TV speech, young black people to make an effort to speak main stream American English. He said that it does not sound the same if you quote John Kennedy's "don't ask what your country can do for you", or, speaking with a black accent, "don't axe what your country can do for you".
    I have a black secretary who manages to almost speak "white" most of the time, but reverts back to her original "black" accent when she gets excited about something.
    African Americans also have black manners, like the way they shake their head when they speak.
    Successful black Americans have got rid of that. You would not imagine Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and other less famous people speaking that way.

    "That [the fact that he is black] is not why Barack Obama won."
    I think it is. If blacks had not gone to vote en masse, Hilary Clinton would have got the investiture from the Democratic Party. She had more total votes than he had. She lost the investiture because of the complex voting rules.

    #178. Gavrielle_LaPoste:
    "Sharpton and Jackson are primarily black activists . . [They] paved the way for men and women like Obama. . . Most Americans of African heritage think of themselves as Americans first, then as doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, etc."
    The fact is that Sharpton and Jackson debated very openly about whether they should support Barack Obama or not. Their problem was that Obama is of a white culture, has been brought up in Indonesia and Hawaii where he did not encounter racism the way they did, and in a word is not one of them.
    I personally believe that most non black people who voted for Obama saw it that way as well.
    And why he married Michelle instead of some other white, blue, plaid, or polka-dotted woman is entirely his affair.

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  • 223. At 8:31pm on 11 Jan 2010, Aaron Michael Long wrote:

    Am I the only one who seems to notice that when people on the left get in trouble with the media, it's because they got caught telling the truth, and when people on the right get in trouble with the media, it's because they've been caught lying? Reid's so-called racist comments are nothing more than an acknowledgement of the the character of the middle-american electorate, and is not in any way a disparaging assessment of Obama in any way. Anyone reading something else into his statements simply has a smear agenda, nothing more.

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  • 224. At 8:32pm on 11 Jan 2010, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    124. At 2:05pm on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    116. At 1:51pm on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    "and slowed my speech, the northerners could keep up"

    Oy! I saw that! You watch it or I'll tell TC some Essex jokes!

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Please do! Though you might want to pick them carefully because you'll probably have to explain them. You don't want to end up running around the house knocking on all the doors.

    Speaking of northerners reminds me of some Mainers I talked with recently. They laughed at the way I pronounced certain words. And they said something like "When we go down to Virginia, people walk SO slow, and they talk SO slow, and they always ask 'Can you say that one more time, please?'"

    If I drop half the consonants in "Bar Harbor", I can spit the word out quite a bit faster, too. ;-) And, if my high school English lessons were correct, in northern England people roll their Rs while in southern England people drop them before consonants. So it makes sense that northerners would speak slower. They just speak better :)

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  • 225. At 8:33pm on 11 Jan 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    I'm not so sure that Reid is as much racist as he is old. His views of race were shaped during a different era when skin color and dialect were apparently more important than they are to most people now. It's one thing ot think such things in private but for an elected official to actually say them in public is evidence that his grasp on politics isn't what it should be. One more reason for Senator Reid to be eased into retirement come the next election.

    Of course, if a Republican had said what Reid did they would be crucified by the American media but when an ally of President Obama put his foot in his mouth it's almost painful to watch the American media shuffle their feet and pretend they either didn't hear it or that it doesn't mean what people think it does. The old double standard is alive and well.

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  • 226. At 8:34pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    3 karl good post.

    yep I can see the difference. You are right many can't. They generally are a little racist. Strangely enough.

    196 part time don.

    sorry to offend you. but the people I see here in the states are of all persuasions. and there is a definite racial bia's going on. when they concentrate on a name like "hussain" then that is a bit of a give away.
    Sure they hated Clinton. Because of what he did. There are a lot of people offended by his actions. They didn't give Obama any time before rounding on him. You must live in a nicer part of the states than I.
    I live in the liberated North West.Oregon. An I don't lie when I say I have heard many comments that would leave no room for interpretation.
    And they didn't mention the health care.



    212 Interestingly enough markiewarkie made more sense in that post than ever before.
    but as you point out he had to try to say "you're crap" to Mr mardel even when he seemed to agree with mr mardel.

    211 "The state does not concern itself with the religious aspects of marriage."

    Come now gary. if it does not concern religion then explain the concept of banning gay people from getting married. without religion or ignorance of the level of lucy the evolved one.

    As posted before a total ban on marriage would be the fair way of dealing with this. A ban that is of the state recognising marriage.As has been said before and the concept has been around this blog for a very long time now let religions all have whatever they want for marriage. they cannot stop the "holy church of the Gay folk" from calling it marriage. it is not their church. and the state,has no right. NONE.
    Gays should be allowed get married as anyone else.
    Lucy

    The issue of Kids is a sick breeders interpretation of love and partnership.How many people do you know these days with 2 incomes that have no intent of breeding;) So much so they have had the insurance pay for the mutilation of their body by an overpaid doctor, at the expence of theinsurance costs of all because they don't want a baby.
    would you also ban all forms of birth control?
    Are you going to get all papist about it?
    how far are you willing to push the biological usefulness of marriage debate.
    We could test for sterile people as well and ban them getting married.


    I know of a few lesbians with kids. they make great Mums, both of them turkey baster or not.




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  • 227. At 8:39pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    221" It's that thing you used to do before you knew everything."

    There never was that time.He was right from the womb.
    the doctor slapped his arse he said "hey you don't need to do that are you some European brute?"

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  • 228. At 8:40pm on 11 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    AndyPost (#218) "Agreed, but are there any reasons that can't be satisfied by the recognition of civil unions (or the like)?"

    I suppose not, but it seems to me that it's just playing with the terminology, which I don't find particularly interesting.

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  • 229. At 8:42pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    "218. At 7:57pm on 11 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:
    Ref. 211, GH1618:

    "No, there are secular reasons that the state recognizes marriage."

    Agreed, but are there any reasons that can't be satisfied by the recognition of civil unions (or the like)?
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    219. At 8:00pm on 11 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:
    Ref. 218, GH1618:

    Or if you'd prefer:

    What if a group of people created a religion based on the belief that homosexual relationships are divine? Outlawing gay marriage would certainly be unconstitutional then, no?
    Complain about this comment"

    No way would I complain. That's why I quote both parts. The ridiculous pedant is on a loosing one here. Again.
    well said Andy.(and I'm not one to often quote you.


    And Aaron who makes his point so well.
    here here Aaron.

    "223. At 8:31pm on 11 Jan 2010, Aaron Michael Long wrote:
    Am I the only one who seems to notice that when people on the left get in trouble with the media, it's because they got caught telling the truth, and when people on the right get in trouble with the media, it's because they've been caught lying? Reid's so-called racist comments are nothing more than an acknowledgement of the the character of the middle-american electorate, and is not in any way a disparaging assessment of Obama in any way. Anyone reading something else into his statements simply has a smear agenda, nothing more."

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  • 230. At 8:48pm on 11 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    AndyPost (#219) "What if a group of people created a religion based on the belief that homosexual relationships are divine? Outlawing gay marriage would certainly be unconstitutional then, no?"

    I think it best to leave to the US Supreme Court to say what is unconstitutional. Note, however, that it is already the case that US law recognizes only one spouse per person, whereas Islam allows a man four wives. It is already the case, in other words, that civil law need not recognize all marriages recognized under some religion or another. A religion which so chooses can sanctify same-sex marriages if they like, under the "free exercize of religion" clause of the First Amendment, but civil authorities in most states will not recognize them.

    The question whether states can refuse to recognize same-sex marriages is currently before the Ninth Circuit Court in California, and most people think it will eventually reach the Supreme Court, however it turns out in lower courts.

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  • 231. At 8:50pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    228 gary "I suppose not, but it seems to me that it's just playing with the terminology, which I don't find particularly interesting."


    yes it is playing with terminology. because there is a huge section of America that have tried to do the same. you are in fact up to it your self.

    Because the issue , as you know, is whether or not people can have the equal rights within a relationship.
    You think that not important?
    I doubt it and don't think a lot of you, but I still doubt you would object to all people who want to settle with each other being allowed to make decisions for the ones they love in a hospital. In death.

    I would have to assume that you are fully in favour of Gay marriage.Which has been banned unconstitutionally in so many states.


    " The state does not concern itself with the religious aspects of marriage. Recognition of (first) marriages of all religions does not constitute "establishment" of religion."

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  • 232. At 8:52pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    228
    "just playing with the terminology, which I don't find particularly interesting."

    which is funny as you have a reputation for being the biggest pedant around. look at the debates on corporations, I mean LOL all you do is play with terminology.
    But of course you deny it.
    you are not really very good at it.

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  • 233. At 8:54pm on 11 Jan 2010, Feohme wrote:

    On the subject of vocal speed - I think it's a bit of a sweeping generalisation to say that northern (british) accents are slower than southern. Broad Glaswegian can sound more like computer code (from an old ZX Spectrum) to the untrained ear - and the quicker Scouse accent (now dying out post-Brookside) in full flow is a veritable torrent (we Scousers do have a natural advantage as we only have to move our lower lip - only expending half the energy!).

    Whilst, I would count the West Country and East Anglian accents as 'southern' and both are positively glacial.

    I think it's more an urban / rural thing.

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  • 234. At 9:03pm on 11 Jan 2010, HERCULE_SAVINIEN wrote:

    [Negro dialect & Language]

    There is not only a Negro dialect but a Negro language, with the Attorney Gerneral of the State of New York, too failed to understand using the Negro [shuckin and jivin], and didn't even understand what the term meant nor what he himself was really saying. Or, your racist, no more than trying to understand the dialects of Phil, or Boston, and the wording they use, you don't ask for a soda, coke or pepsi, its a Tonic, CAR is pronounced caRR. Yes there is a Negro dialect and a Negro language.

    [ACCENT]

    What is needed is a remake of [MY FAIR LADY] were just to prove a point a professor of language take a girl selling flowers of the street, and creates a lady that is taken by the upper crust of the Britist social structure to be royality. Yes, there are accents and this writer finds is fun to guess were individuals are from by their accents, you can as in [MY FAIR LADY] if you have the ear, not only get to an area, but a location within an area, Texas general areas are East, West, Gulf Coast, and Tex-Arcana. Can the Imperial Media Messiah Imperial President talk mush-mouth, with an accent, you bet ya.

    [Reid's analysis is correct]

    Reid comes from Mississippi West, now eveyone can go around saying they are not racist and they have a Black Friend, but when it comes down to it laws have to be made by the government forcing members of other than the Black Race to deal with the Black Race, the laws on intergration, the equal housing laws, the affirmative action laws, the voting rights act, the hate crime laws, it is not about being equal at all none of them. California did away with the Affirmative Action Plan, and many of these other should also be done away with.

    INTERGRATION: Is a joke were not an intergrate country and the movie [Grand Torrino] gives a perfect example, we are an Apartide nation, there are in fact seperate communities, neighborhood, and at night it is best if you are not of the race of that community, neighorhood, or ghetto, you had better not be in it. [What's You Doing Here White Boy?] or as in [Grand Torrino] What are you Spooks doing here? There are Black Communities which are well know, the projects of New York City, Harlem, Watts, and every community is divided, the other side of the tracks, they live the other side of the freeway.

    EQUAL HOUSING: White Flight, there goes the neighborhood and the property values, the only thing that causes neighborhood to have Negros, Black, Afro-Americans] no one knows what the daily politically correct name for the race, it chages daily, but the only thing that forces the Whites, Blacks or other to live in a neighborhood together is they are generally equally [POOR], and even then you don't go thru certain section, this is our Turf.

    [VOTING]

    Voting is a Joke, it means nothing, why they even have the voting rights act is crazy, the districts like the neighborhood are by an apartide system Democratic and Republican, and other parties don't have a chance to get on a ballot, Ross Peroit, Joe Liebermann and others have had difficult times over coming the system, which is stacked against them. Look at Tea-Party Candidates. And, who is going to vote in this [2010] off year election, the OLDER GENERATION, they pay attention, they have the time, and Republicans. What is the real precentage of voters that even vote. The country has no referrendums, no recall, and the electorial college over-rules the pure votes of Democracy.

    [HATE CRIME LAWS]

    All inter-racial fights or attacks are hate crimes but only those that are committed against the Black Race are to be classified as Hate Crimes, is insane, Jews Vs Muslims, White Vs Black, Black Vs Mex, White Vs Mex, Boston Irish Southie Vs the Italian Wops, they are all hate crimes.

    [2020]

    Bill Clinton has stated that by [2020] the American-Israeli Empire, now there is another term for you, the world see's the Empire as being the American-Israeli Empire as more than just a [SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP] its seen as the same Empire, but going back to Bubba and what Bubba said, that the Empire the North American Contintent would be an African Culture. An like it or not it is having international consequences, foreign nations that have troops of Empire occupation want them out, there are no African Culture nations in the [G-8/G-20] and only appear in the [G-77] community of nations. The effects of the change of a culture do have effects. And, the change of culture upon the Empire is seen as a driving force in its decline along with others.

    [Racism or Reality]

    It is simply do you admit that in fact racism exists, accept the reality of it and work with it, or just continue to deny it, and fail to see that racism can exist, with each showing if not respect for each other respect for the rights of the other within the norms of civil discord.

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN

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  • 235. At 9:07pm on 11 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Here is an interesting document on the subject of marriage - one of the earliest US Supreme Court decisions on the subject: Maynard v. Hill 125 US 190 (1888)

    Quoting from the above: "Marriage is something more than a mere contract, though founded upon the agreement of the parties. When once formed, a relation is created between the parties which they cannot change, and the rights and obligations of which depend not upon their agreement, but upon the law, statutory or common. It is an institution of society, regulated and controlled by public authority."

    Today it is hardly proper to call it a contract at all. It is a status. The reason is that the status may now be terminated at will by either party, and the obligations of the married parties are mostly set by law, not by mutual agreement. There are some things which may be agreed to by a pre-nuptial contract, but not every obligation in the law can be so modified.

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  • 236. At 9:08pm on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    222. At 8:30pm on 11 Jan 2010, MariaTee wrote:

    Ignoring your nose in the air, sniff-sniff at the nasty black people, whose culture is so far beneath yours you feel you have the right to comment on your pet secretary's linguistic skills and body language...

    The fact is that Sharpton and Jackson debated very openly about whether they should support Barack Obama or not. Their problem was that Obama is of a white culture, has been brought up in Indonesia and Hawaii where he did not encounter racism the way they did, and in a word is not one of them.

    Sharpton and Jackson have their own personal issues and political agendas. Don't confuse jealousy for realpolitik. It was a case of "Why him and why not me?" as well as, "His election could make me and my cause superfluous! I've got a good thing going. Maybe it'd be better for the Cause if he wasn't elected."

    I personally believe that most non black people who voted for Obama saw it that way as well.

    I never took that into account, and neither did anyone else I know of. If you did, then you need to ask yourself why it was so important that he be more white than black so you could justify voting for him.

    And why he married Michelle instead of some other white, blue, plaid, or polka-dotted woman is entirely his affair.

    Obviously it isn't, because bringing up the subject means you think he a) ought not to have found Michelle as a attractive as a white woman considering his upbringing, and b) ought to have whited his family line even more so his offspring could be more successful. Golly gee, maybe they could even have "passed" for white.

    By the way, do you also comment on your Hispanic employees inability to say "You" instead of "Jew"? Or your Chinese employees who can't pronounce certain English consonants because they don't exist in their language. Personally, I find it very insulting when people can't pronounce the words loch, achtung, or chutzpah correctly. The ch is aspirated and has a guttural sound as if you were scraping up your lungs. So it is not lock, nor is it octoong or hutspah. But then I really should allow for those linguistic and cultural variations that crop up when people are neither raised nor educated in the exact same way.

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  • 237. At 9:17pm on 11 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "I would have to assume that you are fully in favour of Gay marriage."

    No one should make such an assumption, as I have not expressed an opinion one way or the other on the question.

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  • 238. At 9:21pm on 11 Jan 2010, Mem wrote:

    186. At 5:49pm on 11 Jan 2010, general penitentiary wrote:

    "yep it did didn't it."

    Apparently so.

    "you didn't notice the racism in the Palin rallies?"

    No, I wasn't at any Palin rallies but I did read that there were some people doing stupid things like bringing a toy monkey with an Obama campaign sticker on it and wearing racist t-shirts or something. I'm sure the McCain-Palin campaign did not want them involved in any way: It would be political suicide. But the rallies were public as I understand it. However, I still don't see what this has to do with me.

    There were also some people who actually hate white people involved in the Obama campaign. It didn't make me think Obama hated white people though. I was proud and happy when he was elected. I thought it would improve race relations.

    Do you not realize that whites also face racism? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN5StQAr7n0


    "As to your nieces (stupid point Obama or his daughters wow zinger)."

    It wasn't meant to be a zinger. It changed the meaning in my mind. I wanted to be clear and accurate on what I actually wrote.

    "I stand by my comment. we have had others say similar in the past on this blog. they have then gone on to make Obvious racist comments.
    You did miss that you weren't reading this blog back then I assume."

    No, I wasn't reading back then and have never been a regular reader. I've read it a few times in the last couple of weeks. Today, is the first time I've posted here.

    "I am not suggesting there is any connection in behaviour between you and that relative. I am stating that because you love your family it does not make you un racist."

    So, I'm guilty of being racist until I prove otherwise? Wouldn't race relations be better if it were the other way around?

    "There are plenty of people who have had one of their offspring marry someone they HATED. Yet they normally at least love the kids. They get over some of their racism. but not all of it. Some still speak like racists and are not others speak like enlightened people and are racists. That card has been played before. It makes no difference.
    I would point out that you make no mention of the lovely parent of the child and also forget there are other races."

    I don't hate anyone. Perhaps it is a cultural thing but I don't brag on my adult relatives or show their pictures to people but I do claim them. So, "brown sugar" and "white chocolate" (their pet names) are just fine and still deeply in love.

    Besides, it doesn't really matter what I say or believe: I'm guilty of racism according to you. Because I'm white? I'm not really clear on that but no need to explain as I won't be reading it. No offense but there are much more pleasant blogs to interact on when I have free time.

    "But then maybe you are just religiously intolerant or bigoted. If not do give up on that bull argument about slavery."

    Well, I guess now I can add regliously intolerant and/or bigoted on top of being racist because I cannot change history.

    Personally, I think you may have a bad case of projection.

    Peace

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  • 239. At 9:23pm on 11 Jan 2010, Mem wrote:

    205. At 6:56pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Mem rote:

    MeerKat: I really like you but I'm not sure of your numbers.




    We're one. E pluribus unum. :-)


    ______

    You're so cute! =)

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  • 240. At 9:24pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    209 lucy
    "I believe that gay marriage is immoral and would cause great harm to our country, as gay marriage would only lead to multiple partner marriage, marriage to children, marriage to animals, ect."


    OMG .... it would end up like UTAH! (ok - not the animals!)


    Lucy, you are entitled to your opinions as are we all, but have you any idea how offensive what you have written is?

    Your own petty religious bigotries may stoke the fires of your "faith" but don't expect anyone to take you seriously when spout this garbage.

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  • 241. At 9:26pm on 11 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 242. At 9:29pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    214 rick pettit wrote
    "One would think that, after decades of public service, Mr. Reid would have learned to speak in a more articulate, less clumsy manner, especially on such a sensitive subject as Black and White. ... Mr. Reid was just being stupid and careless, not racist,"


    Reid was speaking privately about campaign strategy and his words were put in a book by some journalists. The book comes out tomorrow .... who leaked the quote to the media to start this circus?

    He was being neither stupid nor careless - in politics difficult situations have to be discussed. He was in private. No doubt if it were a public speech he'd have been more PC. Describing Obama in those terms, however, does not make him racist in my eyes.

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  • 243. At 9:33pm on 11 Jan 2010, Mem wrote:

    Part time Don, you are a touchy one. You call me out as narrow minded and then get all offended. I wasn't being condescending ... Trust me. :)

    A good place to start would be with Bernard Lewis' book: "Race and Slavery in the Middle East An Historical Enquiry" but since wiki seems acceptable here, try: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_slave_trade#cite_note-7

    I skimmed the article and checked the footnotes. It's a starting place.

    Take care

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  • 244. At 9:37pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    219 Andypost
    "What if a group of people created a religion based on the belief that homosexual relationships are divine?"


    Divine?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_(actor)




    PS I also thought of that ruse to get "religious protection" for gay marriage. I can just imagine all the "tolerant" religious nuts and their reaction!

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  • 245. At 9:41pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    236 gavreielle. well said.

    MAriatee try again it is showing.


    As gav says what a well trained seccy you have there.
    I would be REAL interested to hear her /his view of you;)


    Gary we all know what a marriage is.
    some just differ on the rights for others.
    I notice there was no mention in your quote on gay people. and their rights.

    "A religion which so chooses can sanctify same-sex marriages if they like, under the "free exercize of religion" clause of the First Amendment, but civil authorities in most states will not recognize them."

    first you mention it is a contract. Then you say some can be excluded.But then you always carp on about the constitution. then pull more archaic pieces out.

    What colour are you GRAY?

    Do you have Any mind of your own ?or are all opinions only worthy if they come from some court of the USA?
    Can you imagine yourself in the revolutionary days.
    'well according to the kings statute blah blah it is treason to rebel so "
    laws change not because the courts decide they enforce it. PEOPLE change the law.They vote for parties to change it for them. they get stiffed in the process but they vote the judges up there, they die. they are replaced. for every person against Gay marriage there are others that don't give a dunce.
    there are others that don't get involved.

    We know the issue will go up and up until it reaches the top court.
    Of course it will.
    We know that they will make a decision.
    Can you not say simply that you are in favour of Gay marriage?
    It's not that hard.
    It is called thinking for yourself. if you disagree then say so. but stop quoting the courts every time you answer. Have an opinion it will not kill you.
    Even those opposed to gay marriage like the so evolved lucy say that a civil union is acceptable.
    So obviously some against marriage are for equal ish rights.

    The only argument I have against the marriage laws is it seems to have been the issue that got GW re-elected, if not part of why he got elected in the first place. I'd drop the matter and accept the civil union then fight for a ban on discrimination between marriage and civil unions.
    tactics but the goal is the same. What is your hope for this situation.

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  • 246. At 9:42pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    222 mariatee
    "If blacks had not gone to vote en masse, Hilary Clinton would have got the investiture from the Democratic Party. She had more total votes than he had. She lost the investiture because of the complex voting rules."

    1) Blacks are 12% of the US population (I believe)

    2) If they voted "en masse" (and I say "if") what is wrong. whites have voted "en masse" for years. Perhaps they finally felt they had someone who would represent ALL Americans to vote for.

    3) more votes the the winner - complex voting rules .... 2000 Bush v Gore? Ring any bells.

    This was done to death at election time. Let's not reopen the box.

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  • 247. At 9:43pm on 11 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Scott0962 (#225) "I'm not so sure that Reid is as much racist as he is old. His views of race were shaped during a different era ..."

    Senator Reid actually has a good record on racial matters. He has a 100% rating on legislation of importance to the NAACP. See the following opinion piece from CNN:

    Anthony Coley - CNN

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  • 248. At 9:47pm on 11 Jan 2010, Leidens_SS wrote:

    RE 126. At 2:16pm on 11 Jan 2010, redpoppy2 wrote:
    and other comments - and would like to agree with RomeStu at 173.

    All races, Most religions (would have to check on Buddhism!), most regions have been involved in slavery of a kind. In the exploration of Central Africa it was noted on more than one occasion that tribes had been broken apart by other African tribes, and the survivors were used doing the worst jobs for little food. And to go off topic completely (but I will try and bring it back), it is a very common human trait that we want conquer our opposition and then show off our superiority, either through force or intellect. It is still common today when you watch the extremes of Republican and Democrats supporters, like two cage fighters on steroids (allegedly).

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  • 249. At 9:49pm on 11 Jan 2010, Mem wrote:

    159. At 4:17pm on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:
    Mem – While I see no relevance to whether Arabs (be they Muslim or not) bought and sold slaves. Jews did own and sell slaves, the Laws of Constantius (337-361) rescinded the right for Jews to have slaves. You don’t rescind someone’s right if they don’t already exercise one.

    The Jew Encyclopaedia says that Gelasius permitted Jews to import pagan slaves from Gaul and that in Bohemia they conducted the sale of Slavic slaves for use as body-guards.

    While this is irrelevant, I do find your attitude and dismissive tone in need of some basic correction.

    _______________

    Consider my attitude and dismissive tone severely corrected, sir!


    LOL ... What is with these men that can dish but not take? The Jews had a small population in comparison. Do you really think Jewish involvement was significant? Also, the Jews had strict laws in their scriptures that dealt with treatment of slaves, etc., as I'm sure you are aware since you brought up a quote from Leviticus earlier.

    Maybe it's the medium. You can't see me smiling and think I'm super mean. Maybe it's because you disagree with me. If I had written something you strongly agreed with, I don't think you and some others would have had any problem with me. Actually, I don't know but sorry to have offended you. Seriously.

    Bye

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  • 250. At 9:50pm on 11 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The fact is that Sharpton and Jackson debated very openly about whether they should support Barack Obama or not. Their problem was that Obama is of a white culture, has been brought up in Indonesia and Hawaii where he did not encounter racism the way they did, and in a word is not one of them.
    The fact is that Sharpton and Jackson debated very openly about whether they should support Barack Obama or not. Their problem was that Obama is of a white culture, has been brought up in Indonesia and Hawaii where he did not encounter racism the way they did, and in a word is not one of them.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    the only black person that is most likely to win in usa presidential race, is obama kind of person. By which I mean, son of a forgein student who marries a white woman and then divorce her leaving his offsprings behind..Blacks(slaves) and whites have a negative history of hundered of years, the whites will not be comfortable with voting for such a black person, and a black person would never be able to get rid of his black history...Same goes for red indians, and hispanics and person of any other color..Benazir, now dead Bhutto had to go throuh same things when elected the first time, some women rights groups oppossed her before and after her election because they didnt see her as the represented of average woman in pakistan, after her election as prime minister, they critisized her for not doing anything for the women, her supporters however, said and believed that she doesnt have to do anything more than the priovious governments, because her being elected as prime minister woman of that country was enough boost for the women to go out and work and assert themselves...to some extent that worked...People from all across the ses, especially the lower middle class relaxed when it comes to educating the girls and even allowing them to work...this together with, work opportunities as teachers, nurses and in IT, has opened lots of opportunities for the women, Men, prefer to marry a woman with some sort of education and work...No one minds a few extra bucks without loosing anything...by which i mean, the women work outside the house and inside as well...Ironically the husband of benazir also did that...used her status to get connections and tripple his own business..and now he sits as the president on her name..

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  • 251. At 9:51pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin has signed on as a contributor to Fox News Channel."



    Now, there's finally a real reason for PC critters to fear Fox.

    Even if they're not a red squirrels.

    Let's hope for "Return of Pink Panther" to restore the balance. :)

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  • 252. At 9:57pm on 11 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 230, GH1618:

    "I think it best to leave to the US Supreme Court to say what is unconstitutional."

    I can't argue with that. It is kind of a wet blanket on the debate, though.

    If the 9th circuit has it, it's going to the Supreme Court, yes.

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  • 253. At 9:59pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    mem 249
    "LOL ... What is with these men that can dish but not take?"


    You admirably describe yourself .... after all you wrote

    "I have never seen any historical evidence that Jews were involved in slave trading. Perhaps if you had studied the subject, you wouldn't think I was narrow minded. Nevertheless, you're entitled to your ignorant opinion."


    Then several posters presented you with such historical evidence.

    You opened the batting with the words "your ignorant opinion" ... which turned out to bite you in the backside, as it was your own ignorance on show.


    Suck it up.

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  • 254. At 10:01pm on 11 Jan 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Sylvester McMonkey McBean can come fix all this right up, you know -"That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether they had one, or not, upon thars."

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  • 255. At 10:03pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    251. powermeerkat wrote:
    "Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin has signed on as a contributor to Fox News Channel."


    Wow, FOX are going all out to show the world that they're an independent and unbiased news channel - not a political mouthpiece!


    I wonder what she's going to contribute - philosophical discourses on the nature of terror, anthropological insights into the tribal make-up of Afghanistan .... or "We need to shoot more terrorists" rhetoric.

    I'm on the edge of my seat....

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  • 256. At 10:03pm on 11 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The second, really embarrassing part is that Reid is suggesting that the leader of his party can adopt an accent at will, when it suits.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Allow me to let you waltz your way out of this embarrasment...I think Reid is correct, Obama could have adopted the accent if election campaign had become difficult for him and he had to vowed the black votes, lucky for him, his opponent the elder american reacted in a knee jerk manner to try to create history from republican side as well, when he chose Sarah Palin..Her qualifications, A woman...The oldest man, his woman vice president and a black man...Last elections were all about making history...Now, obama who dodged and kept quiet in usa in election months and after that about his middle name, hussain, but when he went to egypt, guess how he introduced himself when he addressed the muslims of the world, by emphasizing on his middle name..Obama can adopt anything on will, the black accent, the educated and elitisted accent, can identify with whites, as well as blacks, with muslims and as well as christians, with the kenyans, with the indonasions with the madrassa going students and with chruch schools and chruch going people...This is the benefit of being a mulitcultist or atleast if you are a product of two separate races, and cultures..Hybrid of a donkey and a horse, the mule is extremely under rated, in reality mule can be extremely persistant, carry a lot of load, is taller, and never gives up... And a person who comes from two different cultures is also very underrated...

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  • 257. At 10:12pm on 11 Jan 2010, thaicoffee wrote:

    I think no one will read this since I am jumping in at #255 but here goes. First, not anyone in the whole world thinks that what Harry Reid said actually indicates a negative prejudice toward any member or communities of color. Second, the only, and I mean ONLY, folks who advocated such an idea are those who simultaneously indicated other forms of support for the Republican party as a whole. This is a partisan dialogue not a racial one. Third, I think that powermeerkat is actually Sarah Palin. Fourth, HippieChickieNiki is possibly Barrack Obama's transgendered alter-persona. Brilliant phrases like "strutting on Fox News ....behaving more like two-year olds with Oppositional Defiant Disorder".... are just freakin' genious!

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  • 258. At 10:22pm on 11 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:


    Even if the context is reasonable, the vernacular seems out-of-touch and uncomfortable - which is not good for a Senator right now.

    Yes, the US has a history of intolerance - in some areas more so than others.
    (What country doesn't?)
    Yes, I believe we are overcoming this.
    (Who has time for bad assumptions?)

    Here in Philly, we have a black mayor and white homeless people.
    We have black college professors and white construction workers.
    Making assumptions based upon skin color is pretty silly around here, and folks realize that.

    Reid's comments aren't as offensive or racist as clueless and behind-the-times.
    Poor guy.


    Oh - and yes. I realize that rural western Pennsylvania is a different world. Pockets of American History still exist in places. For now.

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  • 259. At 10:23pm on 11 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Re: #165

    You clearly missed the joke.

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  • 260. At 10:25pm on 11 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #209 LucyIllinois
    Thanks for the explanation. Thats pretty much exactly what I was hoping you wouldn't say and is nothing more than an example of prejudice and ignorance.

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  • 261. At 10:27pm on 11 Jan 2010, Mem wrote:

    253. At 9:59pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:
    mem 249
    "LOL ... What is with these men that can dish but not take?"


    You admirably describe yourself .... after all you wrote

    "I have never seen any historical evidence that Jews were involved in slave trading. Perhaps if you had studied the subject, you wouldn't think I was narrow minded. Nevertheless, you're entitled to your ignorant opinion."


    Then several posters presented you with such historical evidence.

    You opened the batting with the words "your ignorant opinion" ... which turned out to bite you in the backside, as it was your own ignorance on show.


    Suck it up.

    ______

    There is a huge difference between owning, trading, and selling slaves like the Jews did and the massive slave trading of tens of millions of human beings. It's like comparing a minnow with several blue whales.

    No, I was called narrow minded and responded by giving the benefit of doubt that they were just unaware of the facts. That is what ignorance means in my world.

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  • 262. At 10:34pm on 11 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    And since I have conviently interfered in the internal debate of american racism of black and white, I would like to add, that the senator or whoever apologized to obama should also apologize to the blacks because he has this attitude, in common with that dectative of O.J. simpson, that all blacks can be seen through their accent...which means that whites can also be seen through their accents...Now, its up to the whites and blacks to decide which accent is more nice and civilized..as far as i am concerned, both are equal...I cannot understand americans be they black or white or in between the two colors..except when they act in the movies, only then they speak in an accent which is understandable..

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  • 263. At 10:34pm on 11 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 244, RomeStu:

    'I also thought of that ruse to get "religious protection" for gay marriage. I can just imagine all the "tolerant" religious nuts and their reaction!'

    Yes, that would be juicy, wouldn't it?

    The reason why no one has made that argument is that it's spurious. Formalizing gay relationships is not about religion. I just thought it would be fun to take that position. (I'm still trying to be more edgy.)

    I do wonder what would happen if a church, say my own, the Episcopal church, decided to start marrying gays. On what grounds could the state argue that they have the right to declare a religious ceremony null and void by not recognizing these marriages while recognizing other churches' marriages?



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  • 264. At 10:40pm on 11 Jan 2010, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Even if Sen. Reid has served the country well in some ways, the remark was unambiguously racist, unacceptably ill-considered and really, really destructive.

    At minimum, it was extremely unintelligent, and so on that basis alone raises questions about competence.

    The decent thing to do would be to resign: not just from the majority leadership, but indeed from the Senate.

    America: still so much work to do, in so many areas....

    Happy 2010, we hope? Not unless more work gets done in the areas that matter. Henry Reid was educated a long time ago; has been a fixture in the Senate for a good while: how could he possibly be so gracelessly inarticulate & unastute as to make such outrageous statements?

    That B. H. Obama accepted the apology is to the President's credit. But there are many other millions of Americans in humbler social circumstances to whom such words are profoundly, injuriously disrespectful.

    What is this "Negro dialect"? He couldn't simply say, "The candidate is well-spoken, articulate, a gifted orator"? That wouldn't have been enough? And why, in post-Jim Crow America, is "light-skinned" a criterion?

    The country actively, forcibly imported slaves from Africa for a couple of centuries. Another couple of centuries later, America is essentially a mixed-race superpower, highly racially (and ethnically) diverse. There is a huge, immutable reason for that. How can a candidate's hue of skin even be brought up? Can we say, "She's not too fat, so she has a chance," for example, in offering a serious analysis of a candidate's chances with the electorate? Or how about, "He's only a little effeminate, and thankfully speaks without a lisp"? Could the Senator still be in office today if he had thus "privately assessed" an openly gay candidate, for example?

    As a woman, I am forced to wonder what kinds of terms & phrases Sen. Reid is using privately to describe or define women & girls, for example. This kind of bigoted turn of phrase usually comes with other kinds of knee-jerk stereotyping.

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  • 265. At 10:41pm on 11 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Reid's comments aren't as offensive or racist as clueless and behind-the-times.
    Poor guy.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    clueless, I wouldnt say, he was your senator for a number of years, and I dont think americans vote for clueless people to be their senators, or maybe they do, who knows, Behind the times? well if you look at the behind of your time, you will see racism of this kind..so behind time here equals to racists..His true colors emerged for one or the other reason....And i dont really understand what he is apologizing for? that obama has that black accent which he has britantly hidden so far, and when the testing time comes, he too, like the apologizer will show the true colors`? Or he is apolozing that obama doesnt have that typical black accent, in which case he reinforces what he said...

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  • 266. At 10:49pm on 11 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    AndyPost (#263) "I do wonder what would happen if a church, say my own, the Episcopal church, decided to start marrying gays. On what grounds could the state argue that they have the right to declare a religious ceremony null and void by not recognizing these marriages while recognizing other churches' marriages?"

    I believe that is the very question which is before the court in the suit that went to trial today in California. Except for the part about "religious ceremony."

    The state takes no interest in religious rituals. You may have a religious ceromony or not, as you please. From the standpoint of civil law, the marriage is made by obtaining a license, filling it out, and having an official who is authorized to perform marriages certify by his or her signature that the marriage took place. How it was done is of no importance.

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  • 267. At 10:50pm on 11 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Ok, explain , everytime one is talking about occupation of israel, the gays come in, and everytime racism in usa is the topic, the gays come in...Gays are neither occupied nor is it a race..yet their cause pops up when the two above topics are discussed...

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  • 268. At 10:53pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #255 RomeStu confessed: "I'm on the edge of my seat...."




    See, Fox knows how to increase a number of its viewers.


    Unlike CBS, ABC or NBC

    [C-SPAN can't be blamed 'cause thanks to BHO it has nothing to report]

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  • 269. At 10:55pm on 11 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    As a woman, I am forced to wonder what kinds of terms & phrases Sen. Reid is using privately to describe or define women & girls, for example. This kind of bigoted turn of phrase usually comes with other kinds of knee-jerk stereotyping.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    dont worry, in some future time his hidden tapes talking about women will also emerge like the tapes of private conversations of nixon about the jews..the american politicals, are incompetent, stupids, they dont learn from the expeanrce of others...Nixon era was before this modern technology, even that didnt stop someone recording his private conversation, this is hifi tech era, if people can make secret documentries of oppression and repression of the police states, they can take a cell phone video of some american politician in his ranting mode..and sell it for big bucks.. after all its a land of opportunities

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  • 270. At 10:58pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #257 " I think that powermeerkat is actually Sarah Palin."



    Now, now.

    You do know that revealing other posters identity is a cause for a permanent ouster, dont'ya?

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  • 271. At 11:00pm on 11 Jan 2010, marvindm wrote:

    I think that what Reid did was simply politically incorrect. He was commenting on the state of the country, i.e., it was ready to vote for a black man because he had a light complexion and didn't have a ghetto accent. The problem is that he used the word negro, a politically incorrect word for a black person.

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  • 272. At 11:01pm on 11 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    267. At 10:50pm on 11 Jan 2010, you wrote:
    This comment has been referred to the moderators. Explain.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Why has this been refered to the moderators.Explain.

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  • 273. At 11:04pm on 11 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    270. At 10:58pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    This comment is awaiting moderation. Explain.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    i asked a simple question, if we are told that islam is not a race, then if someone writes that gays are not a race, why is my post refered to mods..if gays are a race then I need to know, because I dont want to cut my little fingure and stand in the line of racists, and if gays are occupied then i also need to know because I am basically anti-occupation..

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  • 274. At 11:12pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    I will spare all and sundry a long list of delicious pronouncements by that great Democrat, senior senator from the great state of West Virginia, Honorable Robert Byrd, and express only my firm believe that under the able leadership of Honorable Harry Reid Senate Democrats cannot possibly lose in November.

    Just like House Democrats cannot possibly lose under the highly capable leadership of the Honorable House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

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  • 275. At 11:15pm on 11 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    But the guts of what Reid was saying was that many American voters were still pretty racist but some wouldn't see Obama as "really" black. He thought Obama was acceptable to the electorate because he was light-skinned and didn't have a voice that identified him as black. That seems to be Reid's attempt to describe a state of affairs that may be unpleasant, but may be true.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    well if Reid meant that, (it would be nice if someone sat inside his mind and told the americans what he meant) then he was
    1) On the bases of his expeanrce as senator talking about the voter's mindset,
    2) generiously calling the white americans racists, in which case he had to apologize to the whites not obama.. Instead of apology, reid needs some explaining to do..."Reid, Explain!". simple question..

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  • 276. At 11:16pm on 11 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    mem I was quite clear what I wrote. did you read it

    "I am not suggesting there is any connection in behaviour between you and that relative. I am stating that because you love your family it does not make you un racist"
    Do have fun proving how un racist you are by continuing to ignore counter argumnets to t=your Arab slave traders issue

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  • 277. At 11:20pm on 11 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    The fact that this topic is approaching 300 post so far indicates what a sick damn nation America has evolved into. This kind of a psychotic obsession with words and Sarah Palin, a near imbecile, being anointed a talking head on a major news channel is written-in-stone-proof that it is becoming just nuts here.

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  • 278. At 11:25pm on 11 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The problem is that he used the word negro, a politically incorrect word for a black person.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So if he had used the word, african americans instead of negro, he would have been correct? Dont misplace the problem, the problem is with his intent..and not everyone is concerned about being politically correct, 0nly people in politics or those who have public related jobs..and the intensity of political correctness varys the higher the job, the more politically correct one is... if we assume reid was just discussing, mind you we dont know the contect of this sentence neither do we know what was said before or after, the mindset of white american voters, he could be saying something he knows because of yrs of being in politics, if he was talking against obama, then it doesnt look like, if he was being racist against blacks, which is possible, he should apologize to the blacks, not obama who is because he is the president, bound to accept the apology and matter would die without being even discussed properly, the underlying hidden racism and distruct of blacks and whites..

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  • 279. At 11:27pm on 11 Jan 2010, Stephanie wrote:

    Yes he was being racist. This DOES NOT mean he meant to be offensive, quite the opposite but his reference to 'negro dialect' was very racist in two respects.

    a) The use of the term 'negro' beyond old-fashioned, outdated and belongs to a past where people still strongly believed that the notion of 'races' could be supported by science and that the 'negro' was one of these.

    b) His reference to a negro dialect. I cannot believe that an apparently educated journalist does not see any issue with this and the belief that there is a 'black' way of speaking. This belongs in the same category as 'acting black' where people associate certain speech traits with blackness, typically poor grammer, poor pronounciation, or a hip-hop dialect. Do people really expect a middle class, Ivy League black person, to speak in a manner akin to a ghetto black person? Black is a race, not a personality trait and I know that every black person I know finds it highly offensive when people have said 'you don't sound black'. Pardon?


    Also if there is a 'black' manner of speaking we would expect black people in the UK to overwhelmingly speak the same as each other and other black people in other black countries overseas. It's a daft belief and it's time we consigned such a belief to the dustbin.

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  • 280. At 11:31pm on 11 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The fact that this topic is approaching 300 post so far indicates what a sick damn nation America has evolved into. This kind of a psychotic obsession with words and Sarah Palin, a near imbecile, being anointed a talking head on a major news channel is written-in-stone-proof that it is becoming just nuts here.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Maybe it was always like this, the obessions the near imbecile and all that was just latent or in remission...comes the testing time and it emerges again...Is my belief about the americans, otherwise, I believe in evolution, not mutation...you are talking about mutation...or maybe their minds like rest of human being still evolute, but their tongues, ergo words, mutate...so this state of state and the state of statesmen/women.

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  • 281. At 11:34pm on 11 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Re #180:

    Psychologists have done tons of research that has given evidence for this type of thing. They have repeatedly found that, even those people that truly believe that they do not see races differently, treat Black and Latino people very differently and are heavily influenced by stereotyped thinking and do act in a discriminatory way - even when they don't mean to. Even when just having to decide what people to call in for an interview Boston University and University of Chicago researchers found that employers call back applicants with "Black-sounding" names half as much as those with "White-sounding names" (with the exact same resume!!!) if they are not highly educated and ONLY ONE-THIRD AS OFTEN if they are highly qualified and educated. This is with the exact same resumes except for name. And this is no 1960s study. It was published in 2003!

    Someone earlier made a reference to Affirmative Action and was trying to use it as a derogatory reference. Clearly not a legal scholar, that one. The actual reality of what Affirmative Action is has completely become lost amongst all the erroneous pop-culture myths about it. It very simply says that this 2003 study I mentioned should not be. It says that that employers have to consider equal applicants like this for the job regardless of race. Yet in the 21st century employers won't even call back applicants they think are Black for an interview! Affirmative Action is a law that attempts to force employers to play fair. It is not the preferential treatment that is taking jobs from White people and giving it to Blacks that myths have many people believing. And this also puts into a completely different light all those rumors and myths about lazy, good-for-nothing, Black people that sit on their bums waiting for welfare handouts. It also forces one to think hard about the fact that, though the unemployment rate is 10% in general, it is 17% among Blacks. And that is only counting those still actively looking for work. The unemployment rate doesn't count those who have stopped looking and those who are underemployed (part time or temp work that gives them less than full-time work they are looking for)

    There is clearly a race issue when it comes to putting Blacks in positions of responsibility here. Many people act in a discriminatory manner (I am making no assumptions about the race of those people that act in such a way). It is an issue that should be considered by strategists when a candidate's race will be a factor. Reid made a fair assessment.

    And let's get off the subject of which religions owned slaves or didn't or which ones were worse at the slavery issue. Especially on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Instead of trying to one-up or disprove one another about the past of slavery, let's concentrate on the reality of human trafficking in the world in 2010. It is a reality in North America and every other continent on the globe not covered by ice and the subject of animated movies about penguins and polar bears. Do something productive today, even if it is just not using slavery and human trafficking in a flippant manner to try to prove your grasp of history and geopolitics is better than the other guy or girl. Ugh!

    http://twitter.com/hippiechicknik/status/7622535978

    So for all of those debating whether racism and discrimination are still issues in America, evidence shows that even something as simple as your name sounding Black can keep you from being considered for a job. If we here in the US will go that far over a name, we definitely need help when it comes to race.

    If we treat people so unfairly when it comes to race when it comes to employing them in minor jobs, it definitely has an effect on people's willingness to hire a Black President and Harry Reid's comments were assessing the factors that have been found to affect people's opinions of Black people. I don't believe it to be a "racist" comment or a condemnation of Americans of any race. Just a realistic assessment of how people behave, as unfortunate as that truth is.

    As for 100% of Black people voting for President Obama, that made me laugh, hard. Anytime anyone claims anything as absolutist as all ____ people do _______. You automatically know they don't know what they are talking about!!! That would mean that Michael Steele and all Black Republicans voted for him. That would mean that all the Black people that didn't even vote did too, including all those kids not legally old enough to vote. The idea that he won because all Black people voted for him is nonsense. The population of the US is what, 12-13% Black? Twelve to thirteen percent is a majority now? And Black people are (unfortunately) more likely to either not register to vote or not vote even though they are registered.

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  • 282. At 11:38pm on 11 Jan 2010, Stephanie wrote:

    Many of the comments on this very pieve also (inadvertantly) reveal the writer's own racism.

    Why do people keep referring to a 'gangsta dialect' not going down well with potential voters in respect to Obama. Why the assumption that, as a black man (or rather birracial man) he would automatically be inclined to speaking in such a manner. How breathtakingly offensive.

    To speak correct English is to speak 'White'. To mangle the English language via incorrect grammar and poor pronounciation is to speak 'Black' or rather 'in a Negro dialect'.

    *Shakes head*.

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  • 283. At 11:42pm on 11 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    191. At 6:10pm on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    "You seem to forget, or perhaps don't know, that in the UK (not sure about the rest of the EU) the law requires that non-whites be represented in almost all theatrical productions."

    I think you have misunderstood the provisions of the Race Relations Act (Amendment Regulations 2003) which makes it, basically, illegal for an employer to discriminate by choosing an employee of a particular racial background as opposed to any other. The same applies in UK (and EU Human Rights) legislation to religion, disability and women.

    It is a peculiar argument to suggest that because one country has a law positively stating people's rights that one that does not never had a problem about them.

    Wasn't the American Civil Rights legislation 'imposed from the top'? Or did the desegregation of public place, schools, universities, buses, and the right to vote just happen voluntarily from town to town?


    There is no such law in the US. So when you see non-whites in a production playing parts that any actor could play in American media, it is because someone chose to hire them. The very fact that the UK had to pass a law to make this happen means the idea was not simply part of a grassroots movement within a culture overcoming a history of racism. It was imposed and enforced from the top down."

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  • 284. At 11:46pm on 11 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    26. At 09:14am on 11 Jan 2010, xiaolaoshu wrote:
    “I will not pretend to say that I know anything about American politics. But I do know, first hand, that white people are extremely touchy about race issues. I am yellow, by the way, and whenever I say that, my white in-laws and friends would wince.”

    Yes, Xiao shi, white people are sensitive about it, and in part it is guilt [sometimes by inheritance or association]. I would wince too, and would never call you “yellow.” The pejorative meaning about yellow isn’t racist, but it exists.

    Mark’s post and the points made by most are true. As a wise person once said, “the truth hurts.” Of course, some people, “can’t handle the truth.”

    It is perfectly obvious that the GOP is making the most of this red herring. Of Course the risk to them is that the man who called himself a “mut,” Barack H. Obama, could just invite the senator for a friendly chat and public show of amity.

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  • 285. At 11:54pm on 11 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:

    The authors say Reid "was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama - a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,' as he later put it privately.

    Why is so much that is unverifiable given so much credence? On what occasion was the "private" remark made, and to whom? Like the majority of Americans, I have not read the book and thus am unaware if there are other instances where (as others see it) Mr Reid appears to be insensitive.

    Even if the report is true - and it could well not be - exactly which word/s is/are considered racist? "Light-skinned" - I can't see anything racist about that, or the ability to adopt a different way of speaking when considered appropriate. "Negro dialect" perhaps? If so, what would be an acceptable alternative be? Surely no-one really thinks that accents and dialects do not reveal much about the background of the speaker. Professor Higgins was correct. The wording is branded 'antique' and 'old-fashioned', yet no other description is suggested. The British have become tremendously sensitive about offending anyone and I would hope that is not an export that Americans would happily embrace. Of course, it is political expedience which drives Michael Steele (no paragon of virtue) to call for the Senator's resignation.

    The sad thing is that Senator Reid has fallen into the PC trap, feeling compelled to apologise for something which is completely innocuous. George Will was and is correct.


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  • 286. At 00:06am on 12 Jan 2010, Stephanie wrote:

    "By the way, the term "African American" was created by blacks to differentiate themselves from the rest of society, the opposite of integration"

    Ted Van Beurden this is nonsense, as well you know. The term was created to give African Americans a similar term to Americans who regularly identify as 'Italian American', 'Irish American', 'Asian American' etc.

    Why people only have a problem with African-Americans doing this is beyond me.

    139. Stephen

    'White culture' does not exist. A young Barack Obama may have been raised in Middle class American culture but to use the term 'white culture' implies a similarity between the cultures in every single culture where whites are a majority which would mean the US is identical to France and Germany to Australia. Rather foolish. And before commenting on the numbers of African-Americans who voted for Barack Obama and assuming this is due to racism, why not research African American voting trends as far as the Democrat candidate is concerned...(hint: They trend STRONGLY Democrat. Hence the controversy of the 2000 US election) Also look at articles early on in the US election race when African American support was initially staunchly behind Hilary, leaving many to question why Obama couldn't generate a majority of support from black Americans (in itself a rather racist assumption that a majority of African American should support him).

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  • 287. At 00:10am on 12 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 126, redpoppy2

    "...coerced into christianity by the Missionaries and so-called Christians in America.

    The whole attitude of american whites - decendants of those caucasians - has its roots in this part of american history.

    "SaintDominik" reminds me of those missionaries."

    This agnostic, leaning atheist, has been called worse things than that.

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  • 288. At 00:12am on 12 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    It seems I can add a new American syllogism to my list. "An African suicide bomber was Muslim; some Muslims practice 'slavery'; all African Muslims have slaves."

    And so on . . . until we end up with "All Muslims want to enslave non-Muslims". . .?

    I had a feeling this sort of thing might turn up . . .

    Let's not (although this is what keeps the Anti-Slavery Society going) confuse the evils of what is often more properly described as indentured labour, of selling children into exploitative employment, and the other practices which are known about with the slave trade.

    (And I do know what goes on in some of the Gulf States, and also how all other Arabs (Muslim or not) abhor it.)




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  • 289. At 00:26am on 12 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Re: #257

    Wow! "Barrack Obama's transgendered alter-persona: "brilliant" and "freakin' genius"? I'm so flattered! And undeserving. I am one of those nutty women that want to save the world and join every charity known to mankind because of a bleeding heart that craves world peace and religious tolerance and racial harmony.

    The fact that my nutty hippie bleeding heart is trapped in the same body as a very observant and realistic mind just makes me strange and crazy (and frequently amusing to watch), but nowhere near as awesome as the President with his cool calm and collected moderate way of governing. I'm one of those Progressives he's always chiding for being dissatisfied with his efforts to be non-partisan and work within the political reality that currently exists. I would have tried to fire all the ODD repub brats and the shady conserva-dems by now. If anything, I'm more like a non-Jewish Black version of Jon Stewart (minus the Jersey upbringing and obsession with Bruce Springsteen).

    But I am truly grateful for the compliment! I do my act on twitter all the time (HippieChickNik).

    As for the whole Reid debate, see #14 and #281 for my serious (read: non sarcastic and satirical) opinion.

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  • 290. At 00:43am on 12 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Re: #282

    Perfect!! Great point!

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  • 291. At 00:52am on 12 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Re: #257 and #289

    Oh yeah, though I am from Chicago (Hyde Park at times) and my birthday is August 4...

    Just a coincidence? hmmmm...

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  • 292. At 00:58am on 12 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    285. At 11:54pm on 11 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:

    "The British have become tremendously sensitive about offending anyone and I would hope that is not an export that Americans would happily embrace."

    Why not? Better than charging around offending everyone. (Oh, 'colonelartist', bet you wish you'd said that. I expect you will.)

    Anyway, the thing about all this is not what Reid was, or isn't, it's why it seems to raise such a fuss. If it didn't bother anybody, this thread would only have two or three dozen replies. Like some of the ones on health care have diminished to.

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  • 293. At 01:03am on 12 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    284. At 11:46pm on 11 Jan 2010, JMM wrote:

    "The pejorative meaning about yellow isn’t racist, but it exists."

    Oh, there's better reason than that. Look up the phrase "Yellow peril".

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  • 294. At 02:57am on 12 Jan 2010, thaicoffee wrote:

    For Stephanie: I suppose if Harry Reid had said that he was really wowed by Obama and felt the country was ready to embrace a light skinned black man who rarely used AAVE in public, then we would be politically correct because then everyone would have to go look up AAVE. That is the linguistic term for "African American Vernacular English" and it is listed as a formal dialect with specific rules of grammar, pronunciation, intonation and rythm. Much of American English has varied from British English because, basically, Britain opened up the prisons, pushed everyone on boats and sent them here. We (English-Americans) were not necessarily descended from the best educated English in those early years and probably would have been speaking very rough uneducated English. Therefore, when we go to campus orientation to get oriented to the campus, Brits would get orientated. The truncation of orientate to orient is not because we are more efficient, but basically British Americans were ignorant brutes at the outset. AAVE on the otherhand is a dialect created first because people were operating in a second language, not their first that they just didn't know how to operate like their wasp counterparts. Secondly the conjugation of verbs was often simplified or dropped because it was often a slave owner's tactics to make sure they did not have many slaves from the same language groups together so they could not organize. Somewhat ingenious, but the slaves worked out their own communication. I think the development of AAVE from Standard American English is more noble in history than the changes from British English to American English, but that is my opinion. Be that as it may, how many times in this blog have we heard AAVE referred to as "ghetto", "Harlem", "Southside", ignorant, stupid...." It is all linguistics and generally, in America today, if you don't speak it, you hate it. It is that way because most people do not know how it came to be and just consider it ignorance. My own native dialect is probably a cross between proper British and American because my grandparents were English. I was, however, raised for a big chunk, in Appalachian Tennessee. There is dialect for you! I tried to speak it in London but no one knew what the h*ll I wanted, so I had to soften it. I am in Georgia now and I know enough to pull it out if I want my car fixed or get stopped for a ticket outside of town. Pull out the English if I am stopped for a ticket in town. I can be as redneck or as proper as I need to be on demand. If however, I tried to speak AAVE, I would pretty much look like a complete and total moron. I am just glad Harry Reid didn't do that!
    I have an acronym for what I think is the "divine demographic" in American culture today: the THASSCLOMP. That stands for Tall Healthy Anglo-Saxon Straight Christian Land-Owning Male Parent. Just be glad I thought to put the Tall Healthy on the front because before that, it was just ASSCLOMP which might be perceived as derogatory. Anyway, if you don't think there is prejudice and discrimination in American culture today, just take a quick look at the CEO's of the fortune 500 companies and count how many are THASSCLOMP's. Aw heck, look into their boardrooms as well, and take it down a level or two, they don't even need a C** in their title, even the VP's and directors. That's it take a look and what do you see. THASSCLOMP City! Now I am not saying that if a member of this divine demographic commits a murder he will not go to jail or get the death penalty just like anyone else because he will. It is just that in his case, one would need to be able to produce the body, the murder weapon, 5 eyewitnesses, videotape (with audio) and DNA evidence for a conviction. If a person is a 3'10" African American lesbian with epilepsey, no one really cares what you have to say and you probably did it anyway - Freak. Realities of American culture. At least Harry Reid gets it even if he doesn't use the prope linquistic names. I am going to choose not to go into the gay marriage thing here because this is a long post but Goodness Gracious, Lucy, could I go off on you right now.

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  • 295. At 03:48am on 12 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 266, GH1618:

    "How it was done is of no importance."

    Granted, but it would be wrong, wouldn't it, to say that it has no religious significance in the vast majority of marriages? The genesis of the institution is religious in nature. Finding a logical way of masking it is nothing more than an exercise in obfuscation. All religions include some sort of marriage ceremony (and, by the way, it's always between humans exclusively).

    The question is whether there is anything to the argument given above, that there is something non-religious about heterosexual monogamous unions that makes it preferable to all the others. And even so, I'm not sure that's enough. The requirement is proof that there is real damage done to society by the alternate marriage practice.

    The choice of lifestyle does seem like a natural occurrence, doesn't it? I didn't really have a choice in my sexual preference. I never considered anything else. I have trouble believing anyone else did.

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  • 296. At 04:20am on 12 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    I'm just going to throw this into the pool. (Bear in mind the colour and origin of the Detroit bomber.)

    It seems the latest distortion of 'Obama' being flung around by the sort of people who claim he is 'destroying America' is "Obomber".

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  • 297. At 04:34am on 12 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    296:

    It is, I muse, of course much easier, if said in an American accent, then to claim you were 'misheard' (nudge, nudge, wink wink) than it would be in a British one. Clever, isn't it?

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  • 298. At 04:44am on 12 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:

    #292. squirrelist:
    "The British have become tremendously sensitive about offending anyone and I would hope that is not an export that Americans would happily embrace."

    "Why not? Better than charging around offending everyone."

    _______________________________________________

    I don't agree with that at all. Euphemisms are used far too frequently when there are perfectly good words to describe conditions and situations. Why shouldn't some people get offended, not everything is touchy-feely - there are unpleasantries in the world; verbally softening them doesn't make them go away. Blind is blind, not "visually impaired"; or, as Noel Coward wrote seventy years ago, in This Happy Breed, "She didn't pass over, pass on or pass away. She died." So much more to the point.

    Unfortunately those of African heritage have had leaders who have never been content with one broad, racial description. "Negro" became "Black" which became "Afro-American" which begat "African-American" and now in some quarters has returned to "Black", or even the lower-case "black". There will always be someone who is offended by what is considered to be wrong word.

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  • 299. At 06:03am on 12 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:

    #294. thaicoffee: "Much of American English has varied from British English because, basically, Britain opened up the prisons, pushed everyone on boats and sent them here."

    What a load of rubbish - penal transportation was a punishment in itself, also considered to be a humane alternative to execution. Australia later became the recipient of offenders and contemporary accents there are equally understandable as those in England. The Scots however are a different matter . . .

    "My own native dialect is probably a cross between proper British and American because my grandparents were English."

    There's no such thing as a "proper British" dialect.

    "Brits would get orientated."

    Not having experienced higher education in recent years, I cannot be completely sure, but I don't think any Brit would use the word "orientated". They might possibly be "oriented" if such an awkward expression were to be used. It's as bad as the American "burglarize", from which one might deduce that the perpetrator is a "burglarizator" rather than a burglar, an individual who burgles. Had W. S. Gilbert been American, he would never have been able to write When the enterprising burglar's not a-burgling –– Not a-burgling.

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  • 300. At 06:42am on 12 Jan 2010, Ry Singleton wrote:

    No, he's not racist. He was telling the truth from his old school perspective. Comments that I've overheard from anglo males all my life as a black female in America. This is part of the American racial history and legacy. Why is everybody shocked. This is not new. What? Oh you ... thought everything stopped because Obama was running for office or elected? Skin color and dialect judgements be they conscious or unconscious have been part of Amercian history for the past 300 years. The Senator was being honest ... rather conventional for his generation in particular but they were his honest views. He's from Nevada...anyway...not the capital of diversity in the desert by any stretch of one's imagination. He probablly didn't meet any body black until he moved to DC as a Senator. Why is this still a news story?
    Ry
    Seattle, Washington

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  • 301. At 06:55am on 12 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    298. At 04:44am on 12 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:

    "I don't agree with that at all. Euphemisms are used far too frequently when there are perfectly good words to describe conditions and situations. Why shouldn't some people get offended, not everything is touchy-feely - there are unpleasantries in the world; verbally softening them doesn't make them go away."

    I was being a bit flippant, of course, just in the hope that our colonel (who appears to have 'passed on', though, alas, probably not in the sense I would prefer) would grab hold of it for another rant. . .

    Euphemisms aren't quite the same though; they are just linguistic devices for making people fel comfy woth what already exists. It's tantamount to saying 'Oh, yes, that's a nasty bit of life, but if we don't use the right word for it we can pretend we don't hold any responsibility." But yes, if you keep inventing new descriptions for the same thing every few years, that's a serious mark of failure to address why.

    But to consider others' feelings needn't involve that. It's tact. (I get very fed up with the way just basic polite getting-on-with-one another rules are dismissed as 'PC'.) Like most Brits, I wouldn't offer a colleague I thought was Muslim a bacon sandwich or serve roast pork at dinner if they were coming. Nor would I get upset if I fainted in a London street (as I saw happen a couple of years ago) and the ambulance people asked if I was fasting for Ramadan if it was that time of year. And that example was derided as being 'just PC' here quite a while back.

    But if you don't challenge the use of words and phrases that are begrimed with insulting connotations, don't ask people to think first, it's taken so often as licence to use them to provoke at every opportunity. Perhaps if people went back to Greek or Latin more often when they wanted to find a new (English) word for something, it would be better; it'd be a clean slate from which to start. Unfortunately, it'd tend to have too many syllables and letters for too many people. . .

    And, as we've seen here, even the adoption of a phrase to describe a particular part of the Americanpopulation can get subverted so it becomes nonsensical. Like calling anyone from North Africa now in the USA--or a Sudanese in Italy-- an "African American". So that a 'white Arab' from Tunisia is 'black'. . .? (I just can't get over that crazy bit of sophistry; and if I hadn't come across it before,, I wouldn't have believed it could have been said seriously.)

    Looks as though soon someone is going to have to invent another way of referring to 'American-born people of African slave ancestry'.

    When I was training, the old patient files we were shown were full of 'diagnoses' like 'feeble-minded' and 'moron'. We don't use those words any more to describe people who are disadvantaged. And a good thing too. So many of them who were described like that weren't. But for far too many that's exactly what the consequent deprivation of care and education made them. A very few were still alive when I trained; and it was a salutary and shaming experience to see --not read-- what had happened to them.

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  • 302. At 07:09am on 12 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    300. At 06:42am on 12 Jan 2010, Ry Singleton wrote:

    "No, he's not racist. He was telling the truth from his old school perspective."

    Phew. I wondered if I was entirely alone. I did suggest wa-a-y back at the beginning that being 70 might have something to do with it. (Though it argues a kind of ignorance in someone who was only in his thirties in the 1960's, that might be expected more of someone who was in his seventies then. . .) But I suppose we're both now guilty of ageism?

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  • 303. At 07:21am on 12 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    299. David Cunard wrote:

    "the American "burglarize", from which one might deduce that the perpetrator is a "burglarizator"

    And why not? Seems an appropriately nasty-sounding word for a nasty thing, especially when you've been burglarizated three times. (Or should that be 'housebroken'--'housebrokenizated'? I can never remember which is day and which is night.)

    (Sorry, like Romestu said, there are a lot of litteralists with their irony filters turned up to 11 about; I forget.)

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  • 304. At 10:24am on 12 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    DC – No proper British English dialect? Goodness don’t tell the Queen or the BBC pre-1980. The original English dictionaries, which is to say the original dictionaries used the dialect/speech patterns of the people who financed the publication, the merchant class from the Home Counties, hence the sometimes odd spellings.

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  • 305. At 10:34am on 12 Jan 2010, Leviticus wrote:

    60. At 10:52am on 11 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:
    >"Leviticus – The thing is can you be racist about your own race? Reid is pretty obviously white, if he says something which can (accurately) be construed as an attack on certain sections of the white community is he being honest or is he being racist. In the same light was Chris Rock being racist in his stand up when he explained the difference between blacks and the n word? If he had been white and saying the same thing I would have said yes, but I think you have the right to criticise your own race/country/social group without being accused of being prejudiced."

    You certainly can be racist about your own race. The definition of racism is to automatically assume certain (usually negative, but not always) incorrect assumptions based upon said race. It doesn't require you to have any particular race of your own in order to do this, including if your own race being the one you have belittled.

    What I was saying is that the statement that criticising white people can not be considered racist because they are white (a racist statement)is indicative of the ingrained elements of racism that remain in our society and we are far too unwilling to address.
    I was certainly not saying that the comments themselves were racist, I think they were simply truisms he could have worded better.

    That we live in a world where we even have to consider whether or not Chris Rock criticising the way certain portions of the community refer to them selves with the dreaded 'N word' would be still be allowed if his skin colour were different indicates we have a long way to go!



    114. At 1:44pm on 11 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    >">"The 'N word' is a derogatory term"

    >Have you ever heard of prestigious United Negro College?

    In one of former Confederate states? :-)"

    The other N word, the one I may (or may not) use- due to the colour of my skin.
    Anyone want to hazard a guess what that colour is? :)



    (The correct answer is "it doesn't matter")

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  • 306. At 11:15am on 12 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Leviticus – Of course some words have a worse connotation when said by someone of a different race. My Mother many moons ago was called a dirty honky by an afro-Caribbean gentleman, the term was most definitely racist. Now if a white man had said the same to my Mother the term would have been meaningless. Some words become racist depending on who says it, because that person imbues it with more anger and prejudice.

    If in the UK a white person calls someone from the Indian sub-continent the abbreviated form of Pakistani, they may be geographically correct but the implied insult that comes with the abbreviated form is racist.

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  • 307. At 2:25pm on 12 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    Meow What does Zulu mean?

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  • 308. At 2:27pm on 12 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    255. At 10:03pm on 11 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    "251. powermeerkat wrote:
    "Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin has signed on as a contributor to Fox News Channel.""


    "Wow, FOX are going all out to show the world that they're an independent and unbiased news channel - not a political mouthpiece!"

    __________

    Could it be that maybe, just maybe, nobody else would employ her, because she has no real, substantive marketable skills? That no serious employer would touch her with a ten foot pole?

    Maybe, just maybe she is being put on the payroll as a subsidy, a campaign contribution by any other name, dressed up as employment? So they can continue to use her as a political totem/lightning rod?

    So the never-ending political campaign that is Fox just keeps on rolling ...

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  • 309. At 2:33pm on 12 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    287. At 00:10am on 12 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    "SaintDominik" reminds me of those missionaries."

    This agnostic, leaning atheist, has been called worse things than that.

    ____________

    Thank you. Glad to hear your position on missionaries.

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  • 310. At 2:44pm on 12 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    Maria Tee "She lost the investiture because of the complex voting rules."

    Wrong Nil point. She lost because she could not play the game as well as he did. Though more "experienced" she did not understand the rules and she was so condescending to Obama that it rankled many. Back when JW could get away with asking "should Obama be VP" after he won a Primary in one state. She tried to have rules changed to get her way and people saw from that that she was not as experienced and wise as she claimed.
    She LOST.

    If Hillary had won it is also unlikely that Mc Cain would have picked the death nail palin.
    it was her that brought rev wright to the attention of people(or her campaign). She lost for many reasons not because blacks were bias. At that stage she had support She lost that support. that was her issue. she was threatened and hit below the belt. She is lucky to still be in politics.


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  • 311. At 2:45pm on 12 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    233 feohme

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5CRBFW_2lo&feature=related

    whatd'ya mean glacial.
    they may do things slower but ask yur lady if she'd mind that.;)

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  • 312. At 3:04pm on 12 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    257. At 10:12pm on 11 Jan 2010, thaicoffee wrote:
    I think no one will read this since I am jumping in at #255 but here goes. First, not anyone in the whole world thinks that what Harry Reid said actually indicates a negative prejudice toward any member or communities of color. Second, the only, and I mean ONLY, folks who advocated such an idea are those who simultaneously indicated other forms of support for the Republican party as a whole. This is a partisan dialogue not a racial one. Third, I think that powermeerkat is actually Sarah Palin. Fourth, HippieChickieNiki is possibly Barrack Obama's transgendered alter-persona. Brilliant phrases like "strutting on Fox News ....behaving more like two-year olds with Oppositional Defiant Disorder".... are just freakin' genious!




    LOL Thai coffee You post was not un noticed. You said it.
    There was no racism but a bunch of fake oversensitivity from the racists at the republican bench.

    people who were blind to the reality of americans around them. who stayed quiet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy2DgDWne2E
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjxzmaXAg9E&feature=fvw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrzXLYA_e6E&feature=related


    No racism in it but hell that last one with Palin. How could people claim she was intelligent ?

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  • 313. At 3:17pm on 12 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    On Accents. In the UK where there is little of the eubonics , in the past (culture may be changing) but they are not"african americans" or "african british "they are british peopel would turn up to an interview they were accepted for on the phone to find a racist behind the desk who would not accept them.

    In the states Eubonics is a give away enough that as hippie chick points out, people do not even get as far as the interview.
    yet most times I have discussed this with one section of America they say "well why do they speak like that"(I knew a real "sweet" texan girl once she had a little more to say.

    This is a bit like the "he's a muslim" rubbish.
    WHAT DOES IT MATTER if he is Muslim or speaks with an accent,a dialect.

    Why we should be real rude us Brits with americans who can't understand the words we use. Who think that a fanny is to be patted in public.
    " Americans speak funny mum. I don't like them"


    No we put up with you bastardisation of English.
    How is it so many think that the way people say things is more important than what they say?

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  • 314. At 3:54pm on 12 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    AndyPost (#295) "The genesis of the institution (marriage) is religious in nature."

    I don't think so. I think the choosing of (more or less) permanent mates predates civilization. It is the rituals of marriage that have become (for most) religious in nature.

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  • 315. At 3:58pm on 12 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    To mangle the English language via incorrect grammar and poor pronounciation is to speak 'Black' or rather 'in a Negro dialect'.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bush speaks Negor dialect, thats why he got the black votes and since he was white of skin, he got the white votes and won twice..

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  • 316. At 4:02pm on 12 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "What a load of rubbish" (from David Cunard at #299)

    For once I am in complete agreement with Cunard. Variation of spelling of American arose from a deliberate attempt by Noah Webster and Benjamin Franklin to simplify the spelling foisted on the English by Samuel Johnson only a few years before the American Revolution. Variations in usage arose simply because the United States was a large land, settled by people from many parts of the world, living largely in isolation from England and from each other. People will develop whatever language they need to communicate in the place they live and work, not in some abstract Anglosphere.

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  • 317. At 4:25pm on 12 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    281 hippie chick.
    there is also the issue of who goes to jail and for how long in the USA. It has been shown to be a racially bias system there as well.
    Only recently did they change the Crack coke penalties . Because the court figured out that the laws had been crafted in a way that penalised people for being poorer and buying crack rather than coke.

    This site has been full of the same voices saying the same lies all the time.
    I had yto laugh with my mechanic yesterday. I was discussing that there are people saying there is no racism in the USA today.
    (or not really very much" he almost pissed himself over that.
    The white racist say a lot in front of other white people and for some strange reason I find many think that as a Brit I would be sympathetic to their views.
    Before the election I heard every type of derision you mention in reference to Obama. Most of those people later claim that they are not against his colour but his policies.

    Chatting with the mechanic we decided that the answer to the racists that were racist but "are not" now but just don't like Him (as they put it) " well your racism certainly didn't help you vote for him."

    As to go make something today.
    Yes I will be in the forge now the motor is fixed. And it will be nice to not read anymore of this. There has been a long history of people trying to use this forum to promote racist lies.
    Mem is doing a good job of perpetuating this trend.(that got a lot worse when Hillary started it off. at least before that they kept a little quieter. Palin of course really let the cat out of the bag.






    298 DC I think Tone has everything to do with it. and the past comments of people or their attitudes.

    263 Andy post/ you are succeding in being more edgy;)

    keep it up.
    gary won't ever give a straight answer . it has to be decided for him by the courts.
    he's still trying to prove he's not interested in word games.


    294 thai.. so well said.
    Assclomp great stuff.
    LOL

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  • 318. At 4:26pm on 12 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "...coerced into christianity by the Missionaries and so-called Christians in America."


    SaintDominic relax.

    What comment would you expect from the aficionados of "great religion of peace"?


    P.S. Although I don't have much use for any religion, I'm a great admirer of father Junipero Serra. The guy sure had guts. And stamina.

    All the way from San Diego, through Santa Barbara, San Louis Obispo,
    San Jose, San Francisco, Santa Rosa to Sacramento.

    [not to mention el pueblo del nuestra Senora, la Reina de los Angeles]

    Arnie's road to Sacramento was much shorter. And easier.

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  • 319. At 4:28pm on 12 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Somebody here has asked what does 'Zulu' mean?

    Why? UTC, of course. :-)

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  • 320. At 4:32pm on 12 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #293"The pejorative meaning about yellow isn’t racist, but it exists."

    Oh, there's better reason than that. Look up the phrase "Yellow peril".




    It gets even worse. Cf. "yellow snow".

    [on the other hand there "mellow-yellow"]

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  • 321. At 5:12pm on 12 Jan 2010, Stephanie wrote:

    Thai coffee 294.

    You have spectacularly missed my point.

    Why even the need to comment on how he speaks. It's just another version of the derogatory comments made to black people who 'speak well' "Oh he/she is sooo articulate". He's a privately educated, middle class, Ivy league graduate, how else would we expect him to speak? As I asked before, would a politician feel the need to comment on a white politician speaking in a 'correct' manner. No. Thus it was racist the assumption that there is a particular 'black' way of speaking and that all black people share in this.

    I don't think he was being intentionally offensive and whilst 'negro' is a crass term I think his use of it is more to do with his age.

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  • 322. At 5:28pm on 12 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    meow
    "319. At 4:28pm on 12 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Somebody here has asked what does 'Zulu' mean?

    Why? UTC, of course. :-)"

    Zulu doesn't mean Z and the link to Greenwich is a little stretched;) I've been there it is OK but not Heaven.

    Why did you ask that question ?



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  • 323. At 5:41pm on 12 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    Stephanie I think you miss the point that if all the African americans (being PC) did speak with ebonics we should not give a crud.
    So be it. love the difference.

    "Thus it was racist the assumption that there is a particular 'black' way of speaking and that all black people share in this."
    No but a portion do speak in ebonics. you are over sensitive to that.
    YES they do. And if MC rapper ebonics wants to use that to convey a great political message and run for president I will support them As may thaicoffee.
    Would you say that only people with a "middleclass" background and speech pattern could be president?

    I have a rather posh sounding British accent to Many Brits(public school). Here I am British accent.

    Which is a total snobby joke to me.
    God forbid they meet some real British accents.
    They won't and don't understand a word.
    I translate .
    How One says something is unimportant to me.
    What they say is.
    What they mean is even more important.

    I happen to think most Rappers are a perfect examples of very articulate people. Whatever language or colour they are.
    I think you are being over sensitive.
    Coffee is just pointing out some reality.

    Learn the history of the London version of ebonics.
    (not racially segregated) Cockney. rhyming slang.

    why did it come about that the dog is under the apples.

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  • 324. At 5:47pm on 12 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #322

    "Zulu" (UTC) is quite an important reference point.

    Particularly when you are coordinating Predators' missions. :-)

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  • 325. At 6:18pm on 12 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:


    This topic is far too 'buzzy' IMHO, but it seems my story might be relevant to ya'lls interests:

    In 2007 I moved from white suburbia into an urban black ghetto.
    When I voted for Obama, I was the only white girl in the room.
    (There. I outed my race. Boo!)
    I don't mind being a minority.
    It's good for my white boys to feel what that's like.
    My apartment was on a drug dealing block.
    This is not typical for my area, I just didn't know how to read the graffiti when I signed the lease. Ooops.
    At first, people glared at me when I walked around. Why? Because usually, the only reason white folks come to this block is to buy drugs.
    Then, once they realized I was a local mom, not a user, they stopped glaring, stopped to talk, and were really nice!
    See - MOST of the people on my block were very cool!
    THEN - I realized that I had started to glare other white folks when they came along... That white boy in his sports car must be up to no good...

    Funny. Isn't it?

    I just bought a house a few blocks over and I love it here. (1st time homebuyer tax credit! Yay!) I have black and white neighbors, inter-married neighbors, Jewish and Muslim neighbors, a cute little house, markets nearby, a quiet street - it's a slice of urban heaven.

    Oh - and there were some drug busts on my old block and people are painting over the graffiti and planting flowers.

    Some Islamic families moved in, and they have NO tolerance for drugs, alcohol and prostitution. They get along pretty well with the conservative Baptists. Good Folks. Great Neighbors. I love it here.

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  • 326. At 7:25pm on 12 Jan 2010, U14273708 wrote:

    People never change their ways
    They just become more extreme
    Gone A South Africa/ Jah Mi Fear (*)
    (*)=Yellowman / Charlie Chaplin

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  • 327. At 7:30pm on 12 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    In 2007 I moved from white suburbia into an urban black ghetto.
    When I voted for Obama, I was the only white girl in the room.
    (There. I outed my race. Boo!)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    its not just reid who can see the color of a person through his accents, lots of people can see the color of the skin through writings, everyone here knew you are writes, the whiteness oozes out of your posts..

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  • 328. At 7:36pm on 12 Jan 2010, U14273708 wrote:

    Let Them Understand (*)
    (*)=Sister Maureen

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  • 329. At 8:38pm on 12 Jan 2010, DBannen wrote:

    80% of African Americans voted for Obama according to exit polls. If it is acceptable for one group to vote on racial lines, it is acceptable for all groups, but strangely the Democrats seem quite happy with this.

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  • 330. At 8:52pm on 12 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    That's an old complaint (by DBannen in #329) that was thoroughly hashed out a long time ago. Blacks in the United States have been voting for many white candidates for a rather long time.

    This point of view is also an example of a common statistical fallacy: correlation is not causation

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  • 331. At 9:04pm on 12 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:


    Dearest GH1618 (218), Andy Post (219) & HippieChickie (281):

    One of my favorite tests of implicit association (Read: Prejudice) is (was?) available online. The test has been around awhile, and seems to have become the property of its coders - but there still seems to be a demo version posted on a harvard.edu site.

    If you have some time, check it out. It's fascinating.


    Oh - and HippieChick:
    It's very nice to have you around! I sometimes wish I could spend more time here, babysitting the crankier kids. Some of these threads really need more Green Mother perspective. Please feel free to hang out and spank the unruly ones. Metaphorically, of course.

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  • 332. At 9:26pm on 12 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    the whites are fine with blacks as long as they behave and speak according to the stereotypes the whites have..if some black or half black behaves outside these sterotypes the problem starts, so instead of correcting themselves, the whites, as anyother prejudiced person would do under the same circumstances, explain that a certain person is different than his social group..ergo, the most famous quotes of the whites, "i have muslim friends who dont act like..... and ....same they say about jews and blacks...I am the only person who doesnt do it...

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  • 333. At 9:34pm on 12 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Let Them Understand (*)
    (*)=Sister Maureen
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When will you post, gimme hope joana.

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  • 334. At 9:51pm on 12 Jan 2010, U14273708 wrote:

    They Say I’m Different (*)
    (*)=Betty Davis
    funk-rock-soul diva

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  • 335. At 10:30pm on 12 Jan 2010, scott wrote:

    Distinguishing between the severity of the remarks made by both Trent Lott and Harry Reid seems to have consumed people, but lets call it what it is. They both had defamatory remarks about race regardless of the context. If an example could be used for what Harry Reid was trying to explain he could have still used a better choice of words to get to his point across. A person who yells out "lies" about a health care bill was also considered racist by few of the very same people who say Harry Reid didn't mean "anything racist" by his particular comment. People are more consumed by who is democrat and who is republican more than calling this what it is. This was a racist remark in which Harry Reid APOLOGIZED for.

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  • 336. At 10:37pm on 12 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    "319. At 4:28pm on 12 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Somebody here has asked what does 'Zulu' mean?

    Why? UTC, of course. :-)"

    Zulu doesn't mean Z and the link to Greenwich is a little stretched;) I've been there it is OK but not Heaven.

    Why did you ask that question ?

    ----------------------------

    What's UTC? I know 'Zulu Time' is Greenwich Mean Time. (I was once told by someone--in one of the other armed services of course--that they picked 'Zulu' because if the radios were a bit crackly, or there was a lot of noise, when the Navy heard "0430 GMT" they kept turning up expecting a G&T instead of a battle . . .

    (And, no, that still doesn't mean you're forgiven for that 'joke', just that squirrels can't bear grudges that long. . .)

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  • 337. At 10:43pm on 12 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    scott (#335), Oh come, now. Representative Joe Wilson's remark was ill-mannered and a breach of decorum, but nobody thought it was racist, except perhaps a tiny fringe of flakes who think just about anything anyone says in disagreement is racist (Jack?).

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  • 338. At 10:46pm on 12 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#336) "What's UTC?"

    UTC

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  • 339. At 10:46pm on 12 Jan 2010, thaicoffee wrote:

    Moving from a local or vernacular dialect to a formal one is referred to in linguistics as "code switching" and most people do it to some extent. If you have ever heard someone from Singapore speaking with someone else from Singapore you may, like me, ask what language they were speaking. The English with which they speak to me is very different. Barack Obama is capable of switching from Standard American English to AAVE even though Standard American English is his native dialect. He just looks less foolish than I would doing it. If you would like to see an example, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS7-DEwJLW0
    I just love this clip.

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  • 340. At 11:13pm on 12 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    339 niki

    Great link.

    Proves that Berlusconi was wrong!

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  • 341. At 11:29pm on 12 Jan 2010, seanspa wrote:

    #338, squirrel, I believe that UTC is the PC version of GMT. I blame the french.

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  • 342. At 11:46pm on 12 Jan 2010, seanspa wrote:

    #337, GH, here's another flake.

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  • 343. At 05:04am on 13 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Too late in the day, probably, but I've only just discovered about the book that started all this.The authors write:

    "Where dialogue is in quotation marks, it comes from the speaker, someone who was present and heard the remark, contemporaneous notes, or transcripts. Where dialogue is not in quotes, it is paraphrased, reflecting only a lack of certainty on the part of our sources about precise wording, not about the nature of the statements. Where specific thoughts, feelings, or states of mind are rendered in italics, they come from either the person identified or someone to whom she or he expressed those thoughts or feelings directly."

    This is merely an excuse for presenting hearsay, rumour and lubricious gossip without ever having to verify a singe source, so as to give the impression everything is true, while absolving themselves of any responsibility. These 'rules' are rubbish. It means they can write "he said she said he overheard her say he thought she thought". . .as X thought Y was a complete . . .

    These are not the rules of journalism I know; they are cheap and shoddy excuses for printing poison pen letters.

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  • 344. At 06:20am on 13 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re# 336

    squirrelist

    meerkats don't bear grudges for long either.

    However, if you had bothered to read my original post carefully you would have known for sure that I was not refering to Muslims in general at all, but to IslamISTS: a much narrower and specific group of murderous religious fanatics.

    And I would use that description for members of (un)Holy Inquisition too.



    P.S. Since you seem to have a "French Connection" perhaps you could also explain to the uninitiated where "Mayday, mayday!" comes from. :-)


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  • 345. At 06:41am on 13 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re ZULU

    For many years seamen and navigators have been referring to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) as "Z-time". GMT has been noted as Greenwich Civil Time (GCT) and lately with the advent of a universal community as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Note that the initials UTC do not fit the words Coordinated Universal Time. This is because the United Nations, still considering French as the international language, have designated the official designator for Coordinated Universal Time as UTC, as the initials would appear in French.

    For reasons I'd rather not mention here Britons (outside its military) do not particularly like "Zulu" word .

    [posted @ 16hundred42 Zulu]

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  • 346. At 06:50am on 13 Jan 2010, seanspa wrote:

    My explanation was the same but way shorter.

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  • 347. At 07:46am on 13 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Am I the only one troubled by a photo (accompanying MM's blog) of a sleazy looking old white male approaching a handsome young-looking black man from behind and putting his arms around him?

    [with MHO looking rather nonplused]

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  • 348. At 07:56am on 13 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #341

    The French have been blamed for a lot of things, including supplying a nuclear reactor and Roland-3 missiles to Saddam's regime.

    So let's forget the rest and don't push Freedom fries, shall we?

    [Particularly with Dominique de V. facing, potentially, a jail sentence]

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  • 349. At 08:00am on 13 Jan 2010, U14273708 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 350. At 08:10am on 13 Jan 2010, U14273708 wrote:

    poor obama has been called a white and yellow blackman
    blacks and white should mix so we can all be coloured grey

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  • 351. At 08:31am on 13 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    345 meerkat
    "Note that the initials UTC do not fit the words Coordinated Universal Time. This is because the United Nations, still considering French as the international language, have designated the official designator for Coordinated Universal Time as UTC, as the initials would appear in French."


    Close, but not quite. The French don't always win, as I'm sure Marcus will rush to point out when they open his lid and remove the stake....

    It is correct that the French and English language lobbies both wanted their version of the initials

    English ... CUT = Coordinated Universal Time

    French .... TUC = Temps Universal Coordiné

    Since one is already a word, and the other is laready an acronym (in the UK at least) the authorities in a rare act of compromise settled on UTC so no one got to win.


    I think by the time the UTC appeared (1950s - am I right, with the atomic clock) English had pretty much overtaken French as the language of diplomacy.

    It's interesting to note, however, that in the 18th/19th century really French was the universal language of diplomacy .... there are documents from the new US government to the British Foreign Department written in French!

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  • 352. At 08:44am on 13 Jan 2010, moionfire wrote:

    The word "negro" is outed within the USA. If you are not speaking spanish I would avoid it.

    Two , His comments are offensive depending on the following:

    Was Harry Reid saying he PERSONALLY is only comfortable around blacks who are lightskinned and don't have strong black accent? If so, then he is a racist and or bigot..

    A black accent has little to do with speaking grammatically incorrect. It is about the pronunciatin which most blacks in the USA use.

    Even middle class black people who grew up around white people often obtain it. For example, Denzel Washington speaks grammatically correct, but everyone can hear his voice and know he is black. The same is true with Morgan Freeman.


    The problem is that many people think a "black accent" is inheretly "incorrect" no matter how standard the persons sentences and speech is. It is essentially how a southerner will be said to speak poorly even if they are not using slang or incorrect grammar. Those who view black accents as "incorrect" are showing their bias..

    If indeed Reid was saying he PERSONALLY is comfortable with Obama because he is light skinned and speaks with a less pronounced black accent than his comments ARE RACIST.

    However, if he meant the comment to describe what he believes the SOCIETY in the USA will be more comfortabl than it is NOT RACIST.

    If anyting it is just an insult to the US public, because it means Harry Reid thinks the USA on a grand scale is racist/bigoted to that extent...

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  • 353. At 08:49am on 13 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #351

    As I vividly recall, that till WWII German was still a language of science and engineering.

    And that in 1948 "Palestinian state" still meant Israel, at least according to UN Declaration.


    Oh, how times change.

    [cf. Nobel science prize laureats list for the last 50 years with the one for the previous half of a century :-)].

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  • 354. At 08:57am on 13 Jan 2010, moionfire wrote:

    " At 8:38pm on 12 Jan 2010, DBannen wrote:
    80% of African Americans voted for Obama according to exit polls. If it is acceptable for one group to vote on racial lines, it is acceptable for all groups, but strangely the Democrats seem quite happy with this."


    ^ 80 % of black americans vote DEMOCRAT for the past couple of decades. What is your point.??? Didn't Kerry get similiar(if not better) numbers from the black community???

    The only difference with the 2008 election is that the voter turnout was more among blacks. Other than that, Obama got the SAME support ALL DEMOCRATS get...

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  • 355. At 09:09am on 13 Jan 2010, moionfire wrote:

    "Why even the need to comment on how he speaks. It's just another version of the derogatory comments made to black people who 'speak well' "Oh he/she is sooo articulate". He's a privately educated, middle class, Ivy league graduate, how else would we expect him to speak? As I asked before, would a politician feel the need to comment on a white politician speaking in a 'correct' manner. No. Thus it was racist the assumption that there is a particular 'black' way of speaking and that all black people share in this.

    I don't think he was being intentionally offensive and whilst 'negro' is a crass term I think his use of it is more to do with his age. "



    ^^^There is nothing racist by noting that most black american have a black accent. What IS racist is assuming a black accent automatically means speaking slang or speaking grammatically incorrect.

    Denzel Washington, Morgon Freeman, Kerry Washington all have black accents yet they ALSO don't speak with correct grammar & syntax...

    There is no shame in having a "black accent"... There's also no need for blacks without one to feel ashamed.

    What is offensive is when racist will prop up blacks who they feel has less stereotypical racial and ethnic characteristics as a "model".

    Its like only accepting Japanese people who have a closer phenotype to white americans or cultural habits as americans and saying " you are one of the GOOD ones !!!"

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  • 356. At 10:01am on 13 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    344. At 06:20am on 13 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "P.S. Since you seem to have a "French Connection" perhaps you could also explain to the uninitiated where "Mayday, mayday!" comes from. :-)"

    Not the way that's written, I don't; neither the shop nor the drugs . . .

    But OK, if some people really don't know it's 'anglicised' from "m'aidez!" ("Help me!"); nothing to do with the first of May. . .

    It would be only polite to add 'please' as well, though that's three more syllables in French, and I can see that time might be a bit short for courtesies like that . . .

    Bit selfish now I come to think of it, compared to "Save Our Souls"--though 'SOS" was morse, picked because the dots/dashes were pretty unmistakeable, quick to do, and wouldn't be used for anything else I believe--not sure abt that though.

    I imagine the phrase came later. I suppose, though, 'SOS' is still the only way you can signal for help visually if you have no alternative. (And if anybody still knows how, or can recognise it--three short flashes, three long, three short, for anybody who doesn't. Bet those prats who get lost up mountains and scream for help over their GPS phones would have to be told to at night, and I bet they wouldn't have a torch with them anyway. . .

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  • 357. At 10:07am on 13 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    347. At 07:46am on 13 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Am I the only one troubled by a photo (accompanying MM's blog) of a . . . [adjective!] . . .old white male approaching a handsome young-looking black man from behind and putting his arms around him?

    And the white guy looking hurt? Now you mention it.. . .

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  • 358. At 10:35am on 13 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    356 squirrel
    "Bit selfish now I come to think of it, compared to "Save Our Souls"--though 'SOS" was morse, picked because the dots/dashes were pretty unmistakeable, quick to do, and wouldn't be used for anything else I believe--not sure abt that though.

    I imagine the phrase came later."


    You are right that it was picked as an "easy to transmit" code (a bit like 999 in the UK for emergencies)

    You are also right that the "save our souls" or even "save our ship" usage came later.

    If fact SOS was in use centuries ago in the apothecary business. It was sometimes written on the lid of the box of "antidotes" for poisonous substances .... and in latin stood for "Sic Opus Sit" .... or roughly "If need be" or "If necessary" and so it was what was looked for in emergency.

    Incidentally SOS was in use by the German navy before 1906 when it was adopted as a standard international distress signal.

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  • 359. At 11:19am on 13 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    358. RomeStu:

    Amazing what you learn here. (At least when some people aren't around, long may it last). Never knew about the apothecaries or the German Navy.

    (Actually, no, I do have a vague memory now of my German (really German, too) teacher telling us the German bit. My Latin teacher never mentioned the 'sic opus sit', though. Probably because it would have led to an unhealthy digression--boys' school--about Livia and her methods, I dare say. . .It was tricky enough when we discovered how Romans committed suicide, never mind when we found out about Petronius and Catullus . . .)

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  • 360. At 11:26am on 13 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    358. RomeStu:

    Always surprises me when I meet Brits in Europe (even ones who've lived there a while) who don't know the emergency number is 112; or that so many don't know you can use that in Britain as well as 999.

    However, enough chit-chat, still got acorns to count.

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  • 361. At 1:11pm on 13 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Never had to declare "mayday" myself (perhaps because of the radio silence), although at least once I had to broadcast "pen-pen".

    Which, incidentally, also has French roots. :-)

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  • 362. At 11:25pm on 13 Jan 2010, thaicoffee wrote:

    Moionfire: I can only assume you are writing from Britain from your posts. If Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman do speak AAVE (African American Vernacular English) to which I suspect Harry Reid was referring, I have never heard it, although I have not seen all their movies. The dialect to which they are referring does, in fact, have very different grammatical patterns that would be considered "wrong" by Standard American English rules. When someone says "He be gettin' all messy up in there. Axe anyone" , there are some folks who may need translation. I am a white girl who has shared an apartment with three young, very social, and very gay African American men. When they had their friends over and any amount of alcohol was involved, I could get lost in the conversation completely. I was relieved when my best friend got everyone to be quiet for a minute so he could, "translate for the color impaired" referring to me. If an english teacher were to grade a paper written in this dialect by American English standards, they would in fact, fail big time. That is why so many people are referring to this as bad grammer, or uneducated. Many people, unless they are linguists, simply don't recognize it as a legitamate dialect. A person may be well educated and have perfect grammar, but speak this way at home or be African American and never speak this way at all. You are just incorrect in saying eighty percent of African Americans do speak that way. I know. As I said, I am white, and I live in a southern town that is demographically 90% African American. That came from the city web site. I live about 3 miles from the Atlanta University Center which is an affiliation of the 6 HBCU's (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in Atlanta, which includes Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta University, and Morris Brown College). I am fairly familiar with the African American community around here. I kind of have to be. Most of the folks around here do not speak this way all the time, but most do understand it. Anyway, please see the link (#339) where Obama says Michael Steele is "in the jeezy. Wassup?!" It was poking fun at Michael Steele's willingness to get street if it will help win black folks to the Republican party. Perhaps it would help if Republicans just quit treating black folks like crap. Anyway, research has determined that inner city kids that have not had exposure to anything but AAVE, as it is all that is spoken at home and in their neighborhoods, actually have an easier time learning English when it is taught as ESL (English as a Second Language). There is a huge difference in the way English is taught to native speakers and the way it is taught to those from other countries that do not speak it. However, this dialect is different enough for many children to benefit from English as a second language.

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  • 363. At 11:30pm on 13 Jan 2010, thaicoffee wrote:

    I would like to add that I believe that Barack Obama is very articulate, and that is not because he does not speak AAVE. It is because he speaks well and expresses his thoughts clearly while being diplomatic and nonthreatening. He speaks more effectively than 99.99999 percent of the American population - white, black or paisley.

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  • 364. At 11:32pm on 13 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    352. At 08:44am on 13 Jan 2010, moionfire wrote:
    "The problem is that many people think a "black accent" is inheretly "incorrect" no matter how standard the persons sentences and speech is. It is essentially how a southerner will be said to speak poorly even if they are not using slang or incorrect grammar. Those who view black accents as "incorrect" are showing their bias.."

    Moionfire, you've given me a headache. If I [white, or at least pink] think crackers and rednecks are incorrect for speaking poor English, I am racist, If I think a person of color is speaking incorrectly I am a racist?

    I don't agree. I am what I am, an English teacher.

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  • 365. At 11:38pm on 13 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    Squirrellist, are you quite certain about S.O.S.? Or is this what you Brits call a "send up?" I have heard that SOS is actually French, something like sendez ou succour. Illucidation, s'il vous plait.

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  • 366. At 01:30am on 14 Jan 2010, moionfire wrote:

    thaicoffee,

    Your post was so silly, I am not sure if you are even serious. That said, once again a black accent has nothing to do with slang or speaking with incorrect grammar. So the examples you gave me are moot. Denzel Washington doesn't have to say " I be going to the market" for him to sound black. He doesn't have to say " you what up" either...

    Denzel Washington sounds black even though he speaks standard american english..... And that is true with many black americans.

    Even Obama sounds black, but it is less strong than most blacks in the USA.

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  • 367. At 02:03am on 14 Jan 2010, Seth Jensen wrote:

    The real issue here is the hypocrisy of the U.S. media and the Democratic Party. Reid’s comments are far worse then those made by Senator Trent Lott. However nothing will ever come of this. The reasoning being are 1st the liberal democrats need the support of the black voters, so Reid’s remarks will be swept under the rug. Second in America you are only racist if you’re a white conservative.

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  • 368. At 02:08am on 14 Jan 2010, thaicoffee wrote:

    Moionfire, Harry Reid did not say accent he said dialect. Anyway, I really don't think there is a black accent. A person can speak AAVE from many parts of the country and will say it with different accents but the speech patterns are still AAVE regardless of accent. I think what you are referring to is not even the accent but the voice. I have never heard a white man with a voice like Barry White. He may be out there, but I am just saying I have never met one.

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  • 369. At 03:30am on 14 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    365. At 11:38pm on 13 Jan 2010, JMM wrote:

    Squirrellist, are you quite certain about S.O.S.? Or is this what you Brits call a "send up?"

    I'm hurt. Me, sending people up? Insinuate a respectable squirrel spokeshuman would pull people's legs? How could you?

    No; as to a French 'backformation' or whatever it's called, it'd be a mnemonic, really, like 'Save our Souls/Ship" I've got to admit I haven't got a clue, but if there is, it wouldn't be like what you were told I think. And I must admit I can't think of a phrase that would get the 'O' into it and make any sense, but I'll ask around. One of those things you'd have to be brought up in France to know, I suppose.

    The French do use 'SOS' quite a bit for stuff-- the anti-racist organisation 'SOS Racisme' is one that comes to mind --and 'Ghostbusters' was 'SOS fantômes', I'm pretty sure, in French. (Not quite as catchy, is it?

    I get proper mystified by French titles in the shops sometimes. . .I've had to be rescued more than once from buying a DVD I wouldn't like because I didn't recognise it by translating the title back 'straight'. . .They do strange things to some of the names in the Harry Potter books, too. . .)

    There's a marine radio call ("Sécurité, Sécurité, Sécurité") used to begin a message to warn ships or boats of a danger they might run into, or one they've seen. Only actually heard it once. Perhaps that's what they had in mind.

    In the early days of radio, I think they used 'CQD' (— · — · — — · — — · · ) not 'SOS'. Had to look up the morse code for that! No idea if that ever had a mnemonic. But, now I have, you can easily see why (. . . — — — . . .) got adopted.

    Now, take back those unwarranted nasturtiums!

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  • 370. At 06:53am on 14 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Re 294. Brilliant!!!!

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  • 371. At 07:13am on 14 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Re 317.

    Yes, I'm well aware of those stats too. A Black person is far more likely to get the death penalty (for the same crime) than a White person they are more likely to be convicted (given the same types of trial evidence) and they get longer average sentences for similar crimes. It is a huge problem. They are also more likely to be arrested and stopped in the first place. And many people use the more Black people in jail to justify this, well, if you're treating them unfairly harsh in comparison of course they go to jail more often!!!

    Some really good stats to point that out are the fact that Black teens are far less likely to drink or do illegal drugs than White teens, but more Black teens go to jail for drug offenses... that makes no sense if the system treated them equally.

    (I'm a psych & law researcher... you shouldn't get me going on this topic, I'll go on forever!)

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  • 372. At 07:23am on 14 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Re: 331

    Sure. bring a bag of marshmallows, light the camp fire and we'll all sit, holding hands singing Kumbaya before we recycle and make compost heaps out of our trash. Is that Green Mother enough?

    (I really need to stop coming on here when I'm tired and super goofy...)

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  • 373. At 07:25am on 14 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re Ebonics...

    I don't understand what folks in "East Enders" are saying, either.

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  • 374. At 07:28am on 14 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re "French do use 'SOS' quite a bit"



    "I'd rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me!"

    [Patton]

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  • 375. At 07:32am on 14 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Re #335 and #337:

    Joe Wilson wasn't called racist for the ill mannered "you lie" comment it was for all the other stuff in his background!! The Strom Thurmond's mixed daughter shouldn't have told anyone she was his daughter, Sons of Confederate Veterans stuff. Wilson has been screaming at people and breaching decorum for awhile, he's like the White, politician Kanye West, but he's racist because of actual racist stuff he's done. The "you lie" thing had nothing to do with that.

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  • 376. At 07:39am on 14 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Re #350:

    My husband and I will get started on that for you ASAP. We will sacrifice ourselves for the good of mankind. It has nothing at all to do with the fact that the process of making said grey children is at all enjoyable (smirk)

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  • 377. At 07:48am on 14 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Re: #352

    He was saying that was his assessment of what would be more acceptable to the American voting public. And honestly, the public has pretty much proven that he was not underestimating them. The crazies swarming out of the woodwork since Jan 21 of last year have done quite a bit to prove that Reid was probably giving them too much credit (see: Glenn Beck's ratings; Sarah Palin's bestselling book; Fox News Channel; anything associated with the words "Tea Party" that doesn't involve Alice in Wonderland, little girls with dolls or British taxes on Tea)

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  • 378. At 07:57am on 14 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Re: #362 and #363

    Absolutely perfect summing up of my thoughts (except the part about living near the HBCUs in Atlanta thing, since I'm not from there)

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  • 379. At 07:58am on 14 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Perhaps Michelle Obama should not have revealed she's a mixEd daughter, either.

    And Tiger Woods should not have said:

    "I'm not black, I'm not white, I'm not Asian: I'm American!" ?

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  • 380. At 08:06am on 14 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re Ebonics, cont.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/manchester/8458184.stm

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  • 381. At 08:06am on 14 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Another perfect sum up of the Lott/Reid difference:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#34814574

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  • 382. At 08:59am on 14 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Even better one:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 383. At 09:14am on 14 Jan 2010, HippieChickieNiki wrote:

    Now this is racist: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#31952924

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  • 384. At 12:05pm on 14 Jan 2010, thaicoffee wrote:

    Re#380 Are you saying that the black folks are the dog in this story or that you are. Just confused.
    Re: 381 & #383 Robertson and Buchanon should be shot. Another option is to do what they did with the previous owner of my house. Apparently he was a racist as well as not being very popular with his own family. When he was no longer able to live alone, they put him in a nursing home in southern Mississippi where he would be almost totally dependent on people of color to provide his care for the rest of his life. Bwahhahaha (imagine evil laugh - and justice). I had actually given up on listening to Robertson or Buchanon some time ago as I just can't bear to hear them. Occasionally I will fall asleep in front of the TV and wake up with Robertsons voice in front of me. I just hate to wake up opinionated.
    I would have liked to see moionfire at Freaknik.

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  • 385. At 1:07pm on 14 Jan 2010, thaicoffee wrote:

    re: # 114 I just have to say this. powermeerkat, there is not a United Negro College. From the United Negro College Fund website (UNCF.org):
    "A Look at UNCF History. In 1943, Dr. Frederick D. Patterson, president of what is now Tuskegee University, urged his fellow black college presidents to raise money collectively through an "appeal to the national conscience." The next year, on April 25, 1944, Dr. Patterson, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and others incorporated the United Negro College Fund with 27 member colleges."
    This was started as a fund to send what was then referred to as negroes to the only schools they were allowed to attend, which are now called HBCU's (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). I would assume that at the time HBCU's would have been referred to as "negro colleges" and the fund probably just kept the name for the sake of continuity and to retain its historical perspective reflecting why such a thing was necessary.

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  • 386. At 4:10pm on 14 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    371 my post just did a computer thing and messed up so here I try again.

    those erroneous conclusions that people draw from the statistics of racist policing have been pointed out here many times.
    BAck before the elections as a way of saying O should not be voted for.
    some of htem remarks got removed. I am sure some still stand(unfortunately).
    I have got in some trouble here when refuting the lies that are supposedly supported by the mis reading of crime statistics.
    there are many here that claim there is no profiling. despite all the evidence. Sorry I f this is a smashed up post but I care little for presentation of my words.
    I just wanted to say to both you Hippie chick and Thai coffee

    Welcome and real glad to see you here.

    enjoy and watch out for the cat . it has worms terribly and if you own a cat you know how unpleasant they can be. yes he makes his points by being careful these days.
    if you could be bothered you might see that has not always been the case.



    As to
    Robertson or Buchanon. I encountered them moving to the states.
    I saw them in the run up to war, They did not try to slow it down one bit. (I think I am being over polite when I say that). people in Europe have no Idea of what Christian fundamentalists are.
    here they have TV channels and the rotate thought the regular channels like some infesting transient parasite.

    Squirrelist "take back those unwarranted nasturtiums"


    I'll have them. they are one of the only veggies I eat;)

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  • 387. At 7:42pm on 14 Jan 2010, AbacotJosser wrote:

    Thank you for finding the words which capture my feelings so well. It is unfortunate that racism is alive and well but this is not an example of it. Like me, Senator Reid grew up in a time when the word 'negro' was not always improper. I grew up in Louisiana, a state that is still known today for it's racist attitudes. My parents were liberal in some ways, conservative in others. Once, just once, as a boy I used the other 'n' word in front of them. This was just after we had driven past a burning cross. I thought my dad first, and my mom second were going to excommunicate me from the family. My dad told me that the proper word was 'negro' and that I was to show them the respect of that name, but that the other word was not to be used. Martin Luther King's own use of the word 'negro' was referenced in the same discussion. For many years I thought it was respectful to use that word and although I am sympathetic to those who have suffered under racial discrimination, to this day I do not fully agree with those who say it isn't. If Martin Luther King, to whom we give our respect by granting a holiday this coming Monday used it, then I don't fully understand why I shouldn't.

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  • 388. At 04:13am on 15 Jan 2010, Charlie wrote:

    Im a black Man.I have shared apartments with at least 6 different white people.Five from Europe and one from America.It is only the American and his friends that make racial reference and comments.Most times jokingly and in movies.
    Surely hes not a racist or he tries not to be one and hes a nice guy too,but i think white Americans have high tendency of RACISM as against their European cousins.
    As an African that grew up in Africa,i never experienced Racial discrimination or any type of discrimination till i started travelling abroad.
    Does this reflect the orientation given to the white Americans while growing up in the society or the level of IGNORANCE in white American society.
    Maybe Sen Harry Reid might not mean any harm to Obama or in any way been racist by his comments,but the truth remains that deep inside,there is always this colour division especially when the white guy feels threatened.
    Also as someone who sees this from outside the box,i believe that the majority of White Americans are knowingly or unknowingly RACISTS while more and more Europeans are been less racists and accommodating to people with different color and racial background.

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  • 389. At 11:02am on 15 Jan 2010, Leviticus wrote:

    191. At 6:10pm on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    You seem to forget, or perhaps don't know, that in the UK (not sure about the rest of the EU) the law requires that non-whites be represented in almost all theatrical productions. There is no such law in the US.

    Rubbish!
    Why do you think Morgan Freeman was In Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves? Because of the traditional part of the story whereby Robin of Loxley went to the crusades and... hang on he didn't- that was the entire point of Robin Hood. He stayed in England and fought for the people whilst all the knights were away being 'heroic'.
    The representation acts in California in particular got so extreme that anyone who wanted a couple of days work as an extra on Baywatch just had to go up to the casting director and ask how many people they had representing the [fill in name of made up minority] group of people!



    >>Comdemnation of whites IS racist! There is no excuse in being able to condemn a section of society by the colour of their skin simply because that colour is in the majority!

    >It is not racist when it is done by another white person. It is merely a comment on a particular state of affairs.

    Yes, it is.
    If I make racist comments about Jews am I allowed to do so? What if afterwards I say it is Ok cos I am Jewish? Would my words suddenly be forgiven regardless of how many people I offend?
    So what's the difference when it comes to skin colour?

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  • 390. At 11:18am on 15 Jan 2010, Leviticus wrote:

    210. At 7:28pm on 11 Jan 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    >A religious marriage should not be considered a binding legal contract recognized in a court of law. It should be a matter for your church or temple to dissolve. The fact that priests, ministers and rabbis have the right to act as a legal authority, like a judge, in approving the contract, is a vestige of a time when couples who wished to marry did not need to get a license from the state in order to do so.

    >If your church doesn't want to offer a religious marriage to gay people, that is the choice of your church. But to deny them a basic civil right, that of engaging in a binding legal contract with another human being based on an ability to have children, calls into question the marriage of every heterosexual couple who is forced to adopt.

    Bang on the money!
    The contract is law, which should be separate from the church. Something the US got very right when they founded their country!
    The blessing is from a religious organisation, which is within its rights (however dumb other groups may consider them to be) to deny such a blessing for whatever reason it may or may not come up with.

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  • 391. At 1:09pm on 15 Jan 2010, thaicoffee wrote:

    Those from Europe (and many other parts if the US) have a hard time understanding how the southern states are so backward if they have not lived there. First, it is important to note that a huge portion of the population here are black (as I said before, my town is 90%). Secondly, these people (black and white) have lived side by side for over four hundred years. Third, they have only been able to sit and have lunch together in public for about forty. When segregation was legally stopped and people started mixing they discovered something that they did not expect. It is not as pronounced outside the bible belt but two distinct cultures have emerged with different traditions, different foods, different ways of speaking and different customs. The seperation is still very distinct and the areas of town, the churches and many work places are still very segregated. When I first moved here from southern California about at New Year's, we went to see the peach drop in downtown Atlanta. New York has it's brightly lit ball drop to count down the new year and we have a peach. This is one night when everyone takes public transportation and the station nearest the peach drop is the intersection of our two lines (NorthSouth and EastWest - yes Europe, that's all we have). During the party and celebration in the street everyone of every color, shape and size were partying together and having a good time. When it was over we all poured into the train station together and then a funny thing happened: five hundred white people on the northbound platform (myself included) found themselves staring at 500 black people on the southbound platform. Yes segregation is alive and well in the south. This is mostly out of habit but it is also more comfortable for some folks because they are not entirely sure what to make of this new found culture beside them. They may as well be a different species. At one point I had lunch with two African American women at work, one from Chicago and one from Mississippi. We got in a discussion about the pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. They checked with each other to verify and determined that, "we don't do pumpkin pie. Black people eat sweet potato pie". I had never heard of such a thing because I can't even imagine Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie but as I started paying attention, I noticed it was more and more prevalent. In the grocery stores, those on the north side carry pumpkin pie and those on the south side carry sweet potato pie. Same goes for the cafeterias.I may have discovered the definitive difference between the races but I think this will not work in California and New York (I haven't verified that). Anyway, the south still has a long way to go because these two groups are just meeting each other and they are still mutually suspicious. Just saying we will stick with apple pie and ignoring the subject will not fix it. It will take another generation or two before everyone has tried both pumpkin and sweet potato and actually makes their own decision on pie preference.

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  • 392. At 3:23pm on 15 Jan 2010, Jules wrote:

    To be straight and to answer the question asked. No, the senator was speaking the truth or fact. This always happens, the accent is either really strangthened or softened depending on who Black people are talking to or what mood they are in.
    Its about time someone spoke up about it but its typical its called racist when reallyits the opposite.
    You asked the question, I answered, I'm not saying anything racist and not being offensive so don't think it shouldn't be published.

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  • 393. At 4:09pm on 15 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    thai coffee "four hundred years" my god you guys are healthy down there; )

    no seriously I like the "Just saying we will stick with apple pie and ignoring the subject will not fix it."

    charlie (that used to be my name as well);) yep them americans are brought up with too many saying "it's his right to speak that way" "you don't have to agree with them or listen" but you do have to listen they are there.
    as you say they may just be unaware of the offence they cause.

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  • 394. At 11:11pm on 15 Jan 2010, thaicoffee wrote:

    re: 393. I need some nouns behind the pronouns in your post. Whose right is "his right to speak?" Who is them in "agree with them?" And of course who are "They" in the last line? Sorry - just losing your meaning and I am interested.

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  • 395. At 12:30pm on 16 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    391. At 1:09pm on 15 Jan 2010, thaicoffee wrote:

    "I may have discovered the definitive difference between the races"

    I'd never come across the 'pumpkin/sweet potato divide". Perhaps, in the interests of racial harmony, both should be banned?

    (If not on culinary grounds alone, speaking here as a cordon bleu squirrel. [Shudders. Was given a pumpkin pie once. Ugh. I've nothing against sweet potatoes, I like them, but in a pie????!!!!!] )

    Oh, btw, I think GP's 'them' are the ones who keep popping up here telling us that people can be as offensive as they like because 'free speech' is a right, and of course, they don't agree. . .'but'. . .seldom will come right out and say what they are defending as 'free speech' is still just plain wrong.

    We're told so often "Well, you don't have to listen/read what they say'. As though people should just close their eyes and ears against egregious remarks that are racist, or anti-religion, or whatever, and pretend then they don't really happen. . .

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  • 396. At 5:40pm on 16 Jan 2010, ArmchairPro wrote:

    The US is a country very ill at ease with itself on the issue of race and what you can or can't say and we're not much better. The fact that they use the horribly meaningless term "African American" to mean black is evidence enough of that. Not all Africans are black and not all black Americans are African.

    To be honest if there's anything racist in what Reid said it's using the term "African American" which is a term that only means anything by its implied meaning. A person hears it and thinks 'black' and by using it you know this is what they will think and expect them to. If you were describing someone white you would just say "white" so why not say "black"? There are only two possible reasons, a fear of political correctness and the consequent disapproval from others or a feeling of discomfort with describing a black person (or perhaps with them full stop) that relates on some level to an inherent racism.

    As for the term "negro" it may indeed sound old-fashioned but is perhaps the closest to a scientific way of describing race. All people fall into one of three racial categories, or a mix thereof, which are Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid.

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  • 397. At 6:45pm on 16 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    thai coffeee.
    I was just saying that I have heard a lot of racism. here and in real life in the states.
    many are not trying to be racists. But when told to challenge racism they do nothing.
    they prefer to discuss the "free-speech rights" of people.
    abstract people. no one in particular.(well there are several on the BBC that it would apply to.

    It may be me that was a blogger banned many times. May not ;) be as well. ambiguity keeps the moderators away).

    Squirrelist has explained it well. there has been a long history of racism on this site. not nessesarily about black/white racism. but other races.
    we constantly here people saying that it is their right.
    I suspect them same people would not spend much time correcting fellows in real life.
    I was young and white once(still am white;) I was pretty darn young and I used a word not often known in the USA ." Western oriental gentleman " was how it was explained to me later as I got a beating from my headmaster.

    I just used the initials.it is a derogatory name. the teacher explained the name to me and how wrong I was to use it. he made me talk to the by who I called the name. made me apologise. before I did that I was not going anywhere.
    he did not just say "it is his right to express himself "etcetcetc.
    he just told me it was wrong.
    the beating was not the problem. the words I used were. I learned that that day, very young. Do not be racist.Do not use offensive names.
    here on these blogs we have some that have used offensive names and racism all the time and no one except a very few of us have taken them on.

    look back for fluffy tale, happydaze and jacksforge. They all were removed for drawing too much attention to themselves (jacksforge was banned the naughty boy and the rest were just him;) pretending to be others. He got banned for repeatedly saying a racist comment was racist.


    If I seem confusing some times it is because I am and because I have to live in fear that being SO similar to them I will get removed and U boated as well.


    good luck on these blogs.
    like I say. good to see a reasonable person blogging.

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  • 398. At 00:26am on 17 Jan 2010, thaicoffee wrote:

    Thank you Squirrelist and general penitentiary for getting me caught up. I have a hard time discerning who I am speaking to sometimes. Squirrelist, clearly you are not American if you eat neither sweet potato nor pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. I can only assume you do not celebrate Thanksgiving. I have also been told of a culinary divide on potato salad as well but have not verified it. It seems that the clash arises on the subject of whether or not to add mustard to the salad which makes one salad appear white in color and the other yellow. I will keep you posted. This is one reason why we would say African American instead of Black. A black man from Nigeria or South Africa would probably not understand the pie/potato salad divide. There is an African American culture that not all black people share. I will confess to my own prejudice here: If I have to make macaroni and cheese for 100 people, I am much more inclined to ask a black grandmother than a white one for directions. That assumption could lead me astray, but that sort of profiling has worked for me in the past. I do not know if I have met a white grandmother who has cooked macaroni and cheese for 100.

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  • 399. At 1:15pm on 17 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    398. thaicoffee:

    I'd have thought if you wanted a lot of macaroni cheese, an Italian granny would be a good choice? (But I suspect my 'maccheroni al forno' may be somewhat different to the one you mean. Mine's got bacon, onions and tomatoes in it, with a lot of parmigiano on the top.)

    Er, you may gather I'm not American. . .And I'm about as interested in eating a turkey as I would be in eating a vulture . . .any month of the year. . .

    But you must have mustard in the mayonnaise for a potato ('Russian') salad, surely? (Though, I googled it out of curiosity and to my utter horror found this abomination: "This salad consists of potatoes, turkey hot dogs, pickles, scallions, hard-boiled eggs, and sweet peas." Not in my bloody kitchen it doesn't. And anybody who suggested I should do that would be unlikely to leave it with the same number of limbs they arrived with, I swear.)

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  • 400. At 01:41am on 18 Jan 2010, Grey Animal wrote:

    369. At 03:30am on 14 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:
    "In the early days of radio, I think they used 'CQD' (— · — · — — · — — · · ) not 'SOS'. Had to look up the morse code for that! No idea if that ever had a mnemonic."

    It comes from the (landline) telegraphy days, when messages intended to be noted by "all stations" were signalled with "CQ". The Marconi company initiated the use of "CQD" messages: "All stations: distress."

    As a matter of (possible) interest: the signal sent by RMS Titanic after collision with the iceberg was "CQD DE MGY" - "All stations: distress from MGY" (MGY was the ship's call-sign)

    "CQ" is still used as a general invitation to respond in ham radio, both Morse and voice.

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  • 401. At 1:47pm on 21 Jan 2010, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    399. Squirrelist "Not in my bloody kitchen it doesn't."

    [gasp] Oh dear. Would you like me to bandage you up?

    About the potato salad, I know of three different types of potato salad: Russian potato salad (quite different from the one you found), traditional potato salad, and the potato salad my French grandfather makes. All three are good. I could give you the recipes if you want.

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