Tag Archives: Racism

Bad For Business

I’m not giving Gov. Nikki Haley and South Carolina Republicans any Profiles In Courage awards for their about-face on the Confederate flag: clearly they heard from business leaders in the state, who gave them their marching orders. I can almost hear the conversation now: “Do not make us the next Indiana!”

Ditto Walmart, which announced it will no longer sell Confederate flag merchandise, and Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn: nobody wants to be the target of boycotts. The Confederate flag has had its last stand, so to speak.

It’s amazing to me that this is what it took, though. The brutal slaughter of nine innocent people in their church, targeted for no reason other than their skin color. That it took something this heinous to finally get Southern stalwarts to see the light just makes me hurt for humanity.

I also think the Confederate flag has been a comparatively easy response for us. When tragedy strikes, Americans want to do something, and removing a symbol of hate from the public square is both easy and a no-brainer. Dealing with more pernicious issues like gun violence or the racism that is deeply embedded in American culture? Not so easy.

President Obama told Marc Maron that Congress’ inaction after Sandy Hook “disgusted” him. It disgusted a lot of us.

He said of gun control efforts post-Charleston:

I don’t foresee any legislative action being taken in this Congress, and I don’t foresee any real action being taken until the American public feels a sufficient sense of urgency and they say to themselves, ‘This is not normal.'”

I agree with the President. He’s absolutely right. Removing a symbol of hate from the public square is the easy response. Dealing with gun laws? Much harder. And as a commenter recently pointed out, if gunning down some little kids in their school classrooms didn’t shock us into action, nothing will.

Guns are going to have to be bad for business, the way the Confederate flag is bad for business, before anyone in Congress decides the NRA needs to go the way of the Stars and Bars. And make no mistake: the event that sparks that profile in courage will be truly horrific. We’ve had mass shootings at a movie theater, shopping mall, grocery store, fast food restaurants, you name it. None of that has ginned up sufficient shock and outrage to stop the flood of guns into public life.

But that day will come, it always does. And it will be truly awful, in a way these things are always truly awful. America’s gun lunacy isn’t going to fade gently into that good night. No, it’s going to have to be stomped out, not just in anger and outrage — lord knows we’ve had plenty of that — but by corporate CEOs and Chamber of Commerce types, who finally realize that a populace too afraid to leave their homes is bad for business.

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Filed under gun control, racism

Top 5 Ways The State Of Tennessee Welcomes Racists

Betsy at Pith has a post up about how communities provide cover for racists. She writes:

It’s not too much to ask that we look around our communities and ask ourselves if there are ways we’re signalling to dangerous racists that we support their cause. Are there ways that we’re normalizing and making ordinary and mundane things that should be read as warning signs?

Good point. Not to toot my own horn, but I made a similar observation back in 2013 when the League of the South announced plans to hold rallies in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro. At the time I wondered:

What is it about Tennessee that draws the hatemongers out of the woodwork? Thinking … thinking ….

But all sarcasm aside, maybe it’s time to revisit the topic. What signals are we in Nashville and across Tennessee in general sending to racists that their ideas are welcome? How does our state government send the message that we tolerate racist ideas? Let me count the ways.

1- When the Memphis City Council voted to rename city parks named after Confederate figures like KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest, the state legislature responded as it always does: by passing a law preventing municipalities from renaming city parks named for military figures. Not included in that legislation: a provision preventing municipalities from also renaming parks and monuments named for civil rights leaders. The measure passed overwhelmingly in both chambers:

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro was approved 26-3 by the Senate on Thursday. The companion bill passed the house 69-22 last month.

Approved 26-3 by the state Senate. Wrap your head around that for a second. Did our noodle-spined governor sign it? Of course he did! Why do you even ask?

2- This hideously ugly assault on common decency off I-65 just south of Nashville:

nbfs2

This is a privately-funded statue of the aforementioned Nathan Bedford Forrest, KKK founder and Confederate general, clearly visible as one drives I-65 between Brentwood and Nashville. Besides being hideously ugly, and honoring a hideously ugly idea, it’s also (usually) surrounded by a display of Confederate flags. Anyone driving into Nashville from the south sees this entirely inappropriate “welcome.”

While the nightmarish statue is privately funded and sits on private land, TDOT has right-of-way alongside the Interstate. Why the hell a massive tree screen wasn’t planted to prevent this assault on the senses from being the “welcome” visitors see as they enter our state capitol, I have no clue. (UPDATE: an effort to restore a vegetation screen has begun.)

3- When racist groups like the Southern National Congress, Stormfront and American Renaissance hold their annual conferences in our state-owned facilities like Montgomery Bell State Park and Fall Creek Falls State Park, it not only goes completely unremarked from our spaghetti-spined Republican governor and legislature, some of our state reps even speak at the events.

As I wrote at the time:

It’s amazing to me that our state legislature can hold pointless, grandstanding votes on anti-UN nonsense like Agenda 21, but a bunch of intolerant bigots and extremists hold a gathering at a taxpayer-funded state facility and no one can be bothered to make even the slightest gesture in objection.

When these things happen and our government can’t even be bothered to issue a declaration of protest, it sends a signal to hatemongers and racists that they are welcome.

4- When empathy-challenged Tennessee legislators troll people of color to garner headlines for themselves and are not rebuked by their caucus.

5- When shit like this happens, and no one is fired.

At what point will the state address the intolerance it endorses?

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Filed under racism, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Annals Of Bad Ideas

It was planned a long time ago and it was supposed to be sarcastic anyway so it’s totally okay, you guys:

An event called “Caucasian Heritage Night” to be put on by a Utah minor league baseball team, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-affiliated Orem Owlz, has been cancelled following severe social media backlash via #CaucasianHeritageNight, particularly in light of the recent admittedly racist shooting massacre in South Carolina.

The Orem Owlz baseball team in Utah scheduled Caucasian Heritage Night, or what some are calling a “white appreciation event,” long ago, before the racially-motivated South Carolina shootings, and that the Caucasian Heritage Night event was meant to be a “lighthearted” roast of Caucasian people, poking fun at white stereotypes, reports CNN,

But when the Orem Owlz put up a Caucasian Heritage Night post on Friday, promoting what they perceived to be an event mocking the behaviors and likes of white people, social media blew up, many, such as a woman calling herself Melanin Monroe, apparently offended and angered by the Caucasian Heritage Night event, thinking white people get enough attention as it is.

A “lighthearted” roast of Caucasian people? “Poking fun at white people?” How exactly does one do that, show up with a jar of mayonnaise? Caucasians don’t have a heritage. For that matter, why? Who says it’s okay to make fun of white people any more than it’s okay to make fun of any other ethnicity? Sorry, but that’s not okay!

Anyway, I’m calling bullshit. No matter how much you may claim your intentions were good, there are going to be people out there who will think you’re condoning white supremacy.

Stupid.

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Filed under advertising, racism

Take Down That Racist Flag, South Carolina

Un-fucking-believable:

The Confederate flag flying at the Statehouse in Columbia became part of the Charleston church shooting story Thursday after the U.S. and South Carolina flags were lowered in mourning but the rebel banner was left flying at its full height.

[…]

Officials said the reason why the flag has not been touched is that its status is outlined, by law, as being under the protected purview of the full S.C. Legislature, which controls if and when it comes down.

Gov. Nikki Haley ordered that the state and American flags be lowered, but the Confederate flag flies at full staff over the state capitol. And that, in a nutshell, tells you everything you need to know about this symbol of racism and white supremacy.

Fuck you, South Carolina.

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Filed under racism

Horrible People

This is some pretty fucked up shit:

FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) – A tree planted in honor of Michael Brown was cut down, and a memorial plaque removed, less than 24 hours after being dedicated over the weekend.

Ferguson city spokesman Jeff Small confirmed the vandalism on Monday morning.

Small said the tree, dedicated Saturday by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association at January-Wabash Park, was found discovered cut in half early Sunday.

Police have searched the area looking for possible witnesses.

Anyone with information on this crime should call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

Over the weekend a right-wing gun humper told me that “thugs” (i.e., black people) had turned entire towns into war zones. Right here in Murca! When I asked him to name one his response was “Ferguson, Mo.”

Honestly, the hate these people spew is deplorable.

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Filed under racism

I Don’t Think Human Rights Means What They Think It Means

I hate to tromp all over my last post but this just crossed my desk and I’m just … dumfounded:

A former Metro councilman known for spearheading Nashville’s failed English-only referendum is set to serve on the board of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission after receiving an appointment from Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.

Eric Crafton, long ridiculed by Democrats for his unsuccessful push in 2009 to make English the official language of Metro government, will begin his service on the nine-member volunteer board Friday after getting the nod from Ramsey last month.

I’m sure Sheila Butt was unavailable.

Here’s a medley of Eric Crafton’s hits.

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Filed under English Only, Eric Crafton, Nashville, Tennessee

White Privilege, In One Tweet

[UPDATE]:

Add the Associated Press to the list of media outlets who just don’t get it:

APfail

Sweethearts. Who “pilfered checks.” Why don’t you just give them a reality TV show while you’re at it?

——————————————————————

From NBC News’ Twitter feed:

NBC News FAIL

Sweethearts? Let’s see:

An 18-year-old Kentucky man and his 13-year-old girlfriend who have been missing for 12 days are believed to have taken off on a crime spree across the South, authorities said Thursday, during which they’re suspected of having stolen at least two vehicles — one of which had guns in it.

“It is imperative that these two be located and apprehended as their behavior is becoming increasingly brazen and dangerous,” the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The sheriff’s office identified the pair as Dalton Hayes, 18, and his girlfriend, Cheyenne Phillips, 13, whom Cheyenne’s father reported missing on Jan. 3. They’re accused of stealing a neighbor’s red Toyota pickup truck, which was spotted on security video nine days later outside a Walmart store in Manning, South Carolina. The couple themselves were captured on video entering the store.

They apparently ditched the truck Thursday in Henry County, Georgia, south of Atlanta, and are believed to have stolen a silver Toyota Tundra — which Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins said had .45- and .38-caliber handguns in the back seat.

Chaffins said that both are suspects in at least the two auto thefts and that Hayes is also wanted on charges of custodial interference — that is, luring Cheyenne, a minor, away from her legal guardians.

So basically we have auto theft, kidnapping, possibly statutory rape, all wrapped up in a nice shiny “sweethearts/Bonnie & Clyde” package. How do you suppose this message would be packaged if the couple were black, not white?

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Filed under media, racism