Sunday, August 17, 2008

The race card, what's not feminism, and more

Right con Rev. Valda Jean Combs wanted to inform last week, "Sisters, This Is an Election We Can't Sit Out" (WeNews) and the lies never stop coming when Valda's lips are moving. Right con, Rev. Combs, right con!

Con is all Valda is, a con artist posing as a 'feminist.' Actually as a "womanist" and let's start there.

We've been kind to the term in the past but the end-road was where many guessed: anti-woman. How true that was the intent always we'll leave for others to decide but we're seeing "womanists" (not all but some and they are high profile) repeatedly turning their backs on feminist beliefs. The feminist movement includes women (and, more and more, men) of all beliefs, races, ethnicities and backgrounds. There are ground rules in the feminist movement and a number who toss around the "womanist" label appear very willing to disrespect others (usually as they rush to prop up some man) and to think they can get away with it. They can't.

So let's get honest. "Womanist" is a term that a lot of Closeted Communists adopted (of all races including White) because "feminist" was just too, too much. The idea that women's liberation could be front and center scared the hell out of the Closeted Communists last century. It got so bad, you kept expecting Alice Walker to show up with a guitar singing, "Red Is A Color Too." Walker is infamously credited with being the one to popularize "womanist." Valda credits Walker herself in the dumb ass article.

"Womanist," for a large number, is just a way to be Closeted Communist who can get a little sympathy from women when the attacks dogs come snarling. They're not about women. They're not about supporting women. They never were because, like the Communist Party in the 20th Century, they never gave a damn about women's equality. They wanted their own and, in fact, when slammed as anti-male for something they wrote, they expect the feminist movement to come to their defense. They are not now and they never have been about feminism. That's Valda and, sadly, that becoming Alice Walker.

Why Communist Walker felt the need to inject herself into a Democratic Party primary is anyone's guess and we bit out tongues and bit 'em some more to avoid calling her out. But with Valda trying to hide behind Walker in her latest column it's time to call crap "crap." "Womanist" is not feminism. It was never feminism as invented by Alice Walker. Valda earlier offered ("Obama wins Sojourner Truth's vote" -- ah, Chicago politics at its best, votes from beyond the grave) that "womanism" is so much more than feminism and that "Implicit in that love is the embrace of church, family and women, but also our men. For women who experience oppression more intensely, we require a more intense liberation movement. " Valda, try learning about the term you're using. Alice invented it and Alice doesn't believe in religion (she does believe in spirituality). Valda's not only unaware of the realities of the term, she's adding new 'meanings' to it.

Closeted Communists require a way out from the struggle for women's liberation because women don't rank high on last century's CPUSA concerns. Nor do gays and lesbians and that's why we'll call out Alice Walker now. As a woman who's slept with men and women, it's a bit surprising to see Alice endorse homophobia.

That sentence should read, "It's a bit surprising to see Alice Walker endorse homophobia . . . again." While Alice may be 'liberated' in whom she chooses to share her bed with, she's making it very clear that gays and lesbians could be thrown under the bus or onto the fires when some political leader needed a little 'breathing room.' Which is why she shamelessly endorsed Fidel Castro's locking away of gay men. In 1995, she traveled to Cuba with a number of Closeted Communists (she wrote about it in Anything We Love Can Be Saved -- spelling must be unloved because Leslie Cagan's last name is spelled with a "K" by Alice and not a "C") and, as American Communists always are, she was spellbound by Fidel. So much so that she that she writes joyfully of visiting "concentration camps for gays with AIDS."

Oh, Alice.

Oh, Alice.

She found the 'joy' and 'miracle' in imprisoning people for being sick (with a disease, remember, that is not passed on via casual contact) and how great it was that the imprisoned (for no crime) could earn, after time, 'weekend passes' to see their families and friends.

Oh, the joy, oh, the liberation.

Oh, Alice.

She insists that she does not "wish to imitate Frida Kahlo, one of whose last paintings was of 'Uncle" Joe Stalin, whose attempts to improve the lives of Russians she respected and about whose gulags and genocidal policies she knew nothing." She's not imitating Frida. Frida, as Alice acknowledges, was unaware of the gulags. By contrast, Alice merrily visited the "gay concentration camps." Frida made a mistake (one many did), Alice turned a blind eye.


That little essay ("Hugging Fidel") harmed her not just in the publishing world but in the Bay Area and it had nothing to do with party politics (everyone already knew or assumed Alice was a Communist which isn't anything to hide or run from), it had to do with her embracing (hugging?) the imprisoning of the sick and, especially, the targeting of gay men.

Alice Walker's 'womanism' doesn't give a damn about the rights of gays and lesbians when there's some man for her to rally behind. We saw it with her embarrassing rah-rah on the "gay concentration camps" in order for her to shore up Fidel and she's refused to call out Barack's use of homophobia. While 'womanist' may not care, feminism does give a damn. That's a big difference. 'Womanist' Valma loves to pat herself on the back for her work with AIDs 'cases,' so maybe she should join Alice in answering how they never called out Barack's use of homophobia as a campaign strategy?

In November, Kevin Alexander Gray and Marshall Derks reported "Obama's Big Gay and Black Problem:"

The Illinois senator has to cut into Clinton's black support as well as establishing his own African American base.
If Obama doesn't win South Carolina with its large African American voter base the race may be over for him. His poll numbers in South Carolina have been up and down. Right now Clinton appears to have the overall lead in the state as well as with black voters. Clinton also has the edge with black women who regularly vote at a higher rate than black men.
Oddly, Obama threw a premature haymaker but it wasn't aimed at Clinton. The target was the GLBT community. Obama's wild swing involved having four of the most abrasively anti-gay gospel singers represent his campaign on his "Embrace the Courage" gospel music tour in South Carolina. The gay bashing headliners included Reverends Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker, Pentecostal pastor of Brooklyn mega-church, the Love Fellowship Tabernacle and Mary Mary (a sister act duo).
The Mary Mary sisters compare gays to murderers and prostitutes. In an interview with Vibe magazine, one of the singers said, "They [gays] have issues and need somebody to encourage them like everybody else - just like the murderer, just like the one full of pride, just like the prostitute."
McClurkin's previous political involvement was performing for George Bush at the Republican National Convention in 2004. Now he's singing for Obama. And, while stumping for the candidate McClurkin didn't just "get on stage, sing, and shut up" as some in the Obama campaign hoped he would do. He sermonized: "God delivered me from homosexuality" - as though one could simply "pray the gay away." The predominately black crowd inside the Township Auditorium in Columbia clapped their approval of McClurkin's message. Meanwhile a small, predominately white group of gay rights supporters picketed outside the venue.
Obama justifies his embrace of the evangelicals saying he's "reaching out to people he doesn't agree with." Responding to a controversy he should - or did - have anticipated, Obama mentioned the black community's "problem with homophobia." Yet after the tour when asked why the campaign would seemingly reject gay voters for far-right leaning blacks a campaign insider replied, "We got what we needed to get out of it."

Yeah, Barack got what he needed the same way Fidel did. And both could count on Alice Walker to stay silent. It's becoming a very huge problem for Alice in the Bay Area because, after her bulls**t of "Hugging Fidel," she repeatedly made statements of how she had no idea it would come off offensive and she had learned something. Her refusal to call out Barack on his use of homophobia and her unflagging support for him makes it an issue and makes the Fidel Babble an issue all over again.

South Carolina, the state Barack couldn't afford to lose. How nice for him that womanizer and homophobe John Edwards waited until four days after the South Carolina primary to announce he was out of the race. Without him joining in with attacks on Hillary, Barack's race card playing might have been noticed a lot sooner. They started immediately after Hillary won the New Hampshire primary as uber scum (so low he'd go on to attack his own father) Jesse Jackson Jr. took to the airwaves to imply Hillary was a racist and vain. (The last charge being especially laughable coming from a man who elected to have surgery to drop fifty pounds.)

The same race-card that Valma plays but let's stick with South Carolina for a bit more. Michelle was first out of the gate with the race card. Margaret Talev repoted in November ("Michelle Obama stumps to sway black women to husband's campaign," McClatchy Newspapers) on Michelle's tactics which were far and away from the post-racial the establishment press insists Barack is -- so naturally they largely ignored Michelle's South Carolina event where she told African-American women that if they supported Hillary they were racists ("racism has shaded their instincts") and, "I know folks talk in barbershops and beauty salons, and I've heard some folks say, 'That Barack, he seems like a nice guy, but I'm not sure America's ready for a black president." Barack is not Black, he is bi-racial.

Michelle continued, "We've heard those voices before, voices that say, 'Maybe you should wait' -- you know? -- 'You can't do it.' It's the bitter legacy of racism and discrimination and oppression in this country." She said that in 2007 about her husband who entered the US Senate in 2005. Suddenly, raising his lack of experience was "the bitter legacy of racism and discrimination and oppression." Funny, we just thought it was stating the obvious.

She then headed to the second point of the campaign: Love Barack, worship Saint Barack. She declared, "I know it's also about love. I know people care about Barack and our family." Has any spouse of a candidate ever made such a crackpot statement? Seriously. You're campaigning for your husband and talking about how the people love him? The United States of Argentina?

In South Carolina, Michelle was also fond of lying and claiming to have met a young girl (the age changed in several speeches -- but no one was supposed to notice) who was rooting for Barack but, as the mythical child begins to cry, informs Michelle that racists won't let Barack win. The mythical child then disappears -- vanishing as easily as she was invented. What didn't vanish was the playing of the race card. As Sean Wilentz explained in "Race Man: How Barack Obama played the race card and blamed Hillary" (New Republic):

First came the Martin Luther King-Lyndon B. Johnson controversy. Responding to early questions that he was only offering vague words of hope instead of policy substance, Obama had given a speech in New Hampshire referring to Martin Luther King, Jr. "standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial" during his "I have a dream" speech. (This rhetorical formulation was reminiscent of a campaign speech delivered in 2006 by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, another client of David Axelrod, Obama's message and media guru; in a later speech, Obama would repeat Patrick's rhetoric word for word.) When asked about it, Clinton replied that while, indeed, King had courageously inspired and led the civil rights movement, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act into law. "Dr. King's dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act," she said, adding that "it took a president to get it done." The statement was, historically, non-controversial; the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, among others, later said that Clinton "was absolutely right." The political implication was plainly that Clinton was claiming to have more of the experience and skills required of a president than Obama did--not that King should be denigrated. But the Obama campaign and its supporters chose to pounce on the remark as the latest example of the Clinton campaign's race baiting. Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina, a black congressman--neutral in the race, but pressured by the Obama campaign arousing his constituency--felt compelled to repeat the charge that Clinton had disparaged King, and told the New York Times that "we have to be very, very careful about how we speak about that era in American politics." Several of the Times's op-ed columnists, including Bob Herbert and Maureen Dowd as well as Rich, rushed to amplify how Hillary was playing dirty, as did the newspaper's editorial page, which disgracefully twisted her remarks into an implication that "a black man needed the help of a white man to effect change."
Clinton complained that her opponent's backers were deliberately distorting her remarks; and Obama smoothly tried to appear above the fray, as if he knew that the race-baiting charge was untrue and didn't want to level it directly, but didn't exactly want to discourage the idea either. "Senator Clinton made an unfortunate remark, an ill-advised remark, about King and
Lyndon Johnson. I didn't make the statement," Obama said in a conference call with reporters. "I haven't remarked on it. And she, I think, offended some folks who felt that somehow diminished King's role in bringing about the Civil Rights Act. She is free to explain that. But the notion that somehow this is our doing is ludicrous."
Meanwhile, below the radar, the Obama campaign pushed the race-baiting angle hard, rehearsing and sometimes inventing instances of alleged Clintonian racial insensitivity. A
memo prepared by the South Carolina campaign and circulated to supporters rehashed the King-Johnson matter, while it also spliced together statements of Bill Clinton's to make it seem as if he had given a speech that "implied Hillary Clinton is stronger than Nelson Mandela." (The case, with its snippets and ellipses, was absurd on its face.) The memo also claimed, in a charge soon widely repeated, that he had demeaned Obama as "a kid" because he had called Obama's account of his opposition to the war in Iraq a fanciful "fairy tale."And a few reporters, while pushing the Obama campaign's line that black voters had credible concerns about the Clintons' remarks, had begun to notice that the Obama campaign was doing its utmost to fuel the racial flames. "There's no question that there's politics here at work too," said Jonathan Martin of Politico. "It helps [Obama's] campaign to... push these issues into the fore in a place like South Carolina."
When asked about the race-baiting charges, Obama campaign spokeswoman Candice Tolliver roiled the waters: "Folks are beginning to wonder: Is this really an isolated situation or is there
something bigger behind all of this?" Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., the Obama co-chair, as before, was more direct and inflammatory, claiming that the "cynics" of the Clinton campaign had "resorted to distasteful and condescending language that appeals to our fears rather than our hopes. I sincerely hope that they'll turn away from such reactionary, disparaging rhetoric." The race-baiting card was now fully in play.
Among those dismayed by Obama's tactics and his supporters' was Bill Moyers. In a
special segment on his weekly PBS broadcast in mid-January, Moyers, who as a young man had been an aide to President Johnson, demolished the charge that Clinton had warped history in order to race-bait Obama. "There was nothing in [Clinton's] quote about race," he observed. "It was an historical fact, an affirmation of the obvious." Moyers rehashed what every reputable historian knows about how King and Johnson effectively divided the labor, between King the agitator and Johnson the president, in order to secure the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Moyers said was happy to see that, by the time he went on the air, the furor appeared to be dying down and that everyone seemed to be returning to their senses and apologizing--"except," he pointedly noted, "the New York Times." But this upbeat part of his assessment proved overly optimistic.

Please note, Bill Moyers was only defending LBJ. He is, and always was, a huge supporter of Barack Obama and his show has been nothing but pimping Barack for the whole damn year. But Barack's campaign had to play the race card. They had nothing else.

He has no experience, his work ethic is a joke (the man's over forty and has a thread-bare resume). His claims and counter-claims are always in contrast to the actual record. The only way to win was to play the race card over and over. In May, it was time for the campaign to try and win Indiana. Time to play that race card. So suddenly a clip of the documentary The War Room (about Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign) surfaces where Mikey Kantor is using the n-word. How could everyone who saw the documentary all those years ago have not noticed what a blatant racist Kantor was? Because Mikey Kantor isn't a racist. The Obama campaign doctored the clip, added the n-word and knowing that the press rarely checks anything out, sat back as it entered the news cycle. Jake Tapper (ABC News) wondered "who did the fake clip with Kantor saying the N word?! It's the definition of a dirty trick -- and from what I can tell all the YouTube links have disappeared."

It's one of those things we're supposed to all forget and never question. Apparently Hillary winning Indiana meant no one was ever supposed to question that fraudulent Obama campaign stunt? If they had they might have thought back to the March lie -- carried by many liars including LeftTurn in its latest issue -- that the Clinton campaign (or maybe Hillary herself!) doctored images of Barack to make him look 'darker' than the rest of the ad! That lie was long ago disproven. But for people paying attention, a thread emerges. It was in February that the Obama campaign began airing ads in Texas (the 'my mother died from cancer' ad) which featured a very darkened photo of Stalnley Dunham holding a young Barack. When you start from there (the campaign darkening a photo of his mother for its own ad), then proceed to the false accusations that the Clinton campaign was trying to darken Barack in the way news weeklies did O.J. Simpson, to finally the hubris of thinking they can doctor the sound of a clip from an award winning documentary and impose the n-word to make someone sound like a racist, you see a campaign desperate to repeatedly play the race card and, getting away with it, pushing the card even more. The doctoring of Mikey Kantor, or rather the discovery that the clip was doctored, was when the campaign first began to sweat and fear that they'd overplayed the race card.

But it's all they have left which is why Barack was predicting in July (echoing Michelle Obama's November words) that John McCain would play the race card. The Obama campaign has nothing else, they have never had anything but the lie that he's "Black." (He's bi-racial. We refuse to play along with the Katrina vanden Heuvels and spit on the bi- and multi-racial movement.) They play it as 'good' (progress!) and they play it up as 'bad' (he's going to be attacked!). They play it over and over and no one's ever supposed to notice. But people began to notice as the Democratic primaries wound down. They noticed that voters choosing Hillary over Barack had to be spun as racism. The reality is that Hillary's always had more experience and offered more than airy dinner toasts. That's all Barack has. He is Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" ("I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it"). And the 'movement,' the Cult, is nothing but a circle jerk with Barack as the object of desire.

That's reality. And that's how we come back to Valda.

As the primaries wound down, Valda played the race card like it was her only one as well. (Maybe it is?) In "Obama wins Sojourner Truth's vote," Valda took it upon herself to speak for the dead for centuries Sojourner, to distort the realities of Sojourner Truth (and play the false Everyone-Is-Racist! card) and to accuse the Clintons of racism:

This contrasts with Bill and Hillary Clinton. Both have marginalized Obama at different times with statements such as: "He gives good speeches," "he's not electable," "he's another Jesse Jackson" and most recently "hard working whites support me." It's an encoded drumbeat that spreads the message that Obama is "not like us."

Valda likes to note that she's "an ordained Baptist minister and licensed attorney." As an attorney, she should be aware that when she uses parenthesis she is implying that she's quoting. Find us those quotes, Valda. "He's another Jesse Jackson"? Neither Hillary nor Bill said that. That was a talking point on Barack's campaign site (and you can find it there over and over). Hillary did not say "hard working whites support me."

As noted in the May 8th "Iraq snapshot:"

Hillary told USA Today, "I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on" and cites an AP poll "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me." Her comments reflect the press analysis at all major outlets. It's not an insult to anyone, it is reflective of the categories the press has set up for this election cycle. Turning it into an issue -- have at it, it will backfire -- is what the Obama Pigs have done all along. Like Betsy Reed and all the other LIARS. There ought to be a law about falsely calling "racism" in a crowded room. If there were, a lot of White people would be in jail right now.

So would Valda who must be a lousy attorney if her lousy writing is any indication. That was Valda then, spewing lies and hate. But we're interested in Valda's latest incarnation that she sported last week in "Sisters, This Is an Election We Can't Sit Out." Valda's lying again.

This time she's trying to make women support Barack. So Valda shares . . . about herself because only Barack fascinates her more than herself. She had back pain. She got some steroids to take care of it. And when it treated the back pain, she realized she had shoulder pain! She explains that sometimes one pain can be so intense, you don't even notice another one. (An equally plausible explanation is that some people always need something to whine about, hence the prevalence of hypochondria.) She likens that to herself. See, during the primaries, she could only see racism and never noticed the sexism. But, sisters, she has AWAKENED!

So she says. She offers no indication of that. Awakening would mean she'd have to offer examples of sexism. Here is Valda in full on the sexism during the primaries: "However, it was not until Clinton's supporters began to express their grief and anger that I heard some of the egregious things both said and done." What things? Valda never says. She has more to say about her "chronic pain" than she does about sexism.

In other words, it's sop tossed out to make it appear that she's now calling out sexism. She's doing no such thing. Norman Solomon and Laura Flanders have already pulled the same stunt and Michelle Obama famously thought a brief sentence would wipe away her own sins as well. It hasn't wiped away anything for any of them. Norman used sexism, Laura used sexism ("cackle" alone is the best example of just what a sexist pig Laura Flanders was during the primaries) and (as documented in this article) so did Michelle. None confess to their own sins. None even want to explore the sexism of others. They just want to toss it out there like a buzz word in the hopes that they'll lure you over to Barack.

That's all liar Valda's doing. Supposedly she's shocked at herself ("I'm still working that out") for not noticing the sexism (the sexism she can still write about!) but she's back to playing the race card. Women are supposed to support Barack, according to Valda's own article, because, as a child, Valda was called the n-word. And, goodness, experienced racism in her adult life: " On more than one occasion I have walked into a courtroom in rural counties only to have the bailiff yell at me to get behind the rail, apparently unaware that lawyers look like me." Or, as Betty's fictional character Betinna suggests, "Well maybe they just refused to believe that a professional attorney would show up in court dressed like a washer woman?" (To really enjoy that joke, you'll have to go to Women's eNews and pull up Valda's article in order to see what strikes Valda as how to dress for a professional photo.) "I recount," Valda swears, "these experiences not because I dwell on them, but because they shaped me." Yeah, right.

Valda's playing the race card and doing so (endlessly) in an article where she claims to have 'awakend' to sexism. In other words (as Ava and C.I. have pointed out so often), it's just another liar who doesn't think sexism is a real subject. If Valda really awakened to sexism, that's what her article would be about. She's tossing out a single sentence bit of sop and then prattling on endlessly about racism. Valda doesn't think sexism matters; at best, she sees it as a secondary issue. (Like the CPUSA in the 20th century who always saw it as an issue to get to someday when all the other issues had been resolved.) It's all hogwash from huckster trying to steal your vote for Barack.

Valda wants you to vote for Obama because "of elderly women whose pension and Social Security checks can't stretch enough to cover food, medication and rising utility bills." Valda, sell you s**t somewhere else. We're damn well aware that Team Barack is composed of those who argue for the privatization of Social Security and we're damn well aware that since 2007 Barack's been saying Social Security is a crisis (a lie that, in 2007, he was called out on but his minions today stay silent).

Valda wants you to vote for Obama because "of youngsters like my 16-year-old daughter and her friends who, with the hubris of youth, fall in and nout of love and make poor life choices." Huh? Barack's now the love guru? No, that's Valda's way of 'talking about' abortion as she makes clear in her next cowardly sentence: "Supreme Court justices nominated by McCain will certainly overturn Roe v. Wade." Funny, we don't remember Valda listing "psychic" on her resume.

Valda doesn't know what McCain would do as president or what he won't do. But we all knew Hillary stood for reproductive rights (and continues to, while Barack remains silent on the attack on contraceptives). And we all knew Barack voted "present" when he could have supported reproductive rights. And, since the primaries ended, we all know where Barack really stands on abortion. Unlike the apparently under-educated Valda, we can read. From Marie Cocco's "Obama's Abortion Stance When 'Feeling Blue'" (Washington Post Writers Group):

Obama says that these women should not be able to obtain a late-term abortion, because just "feeling blue" isn't the same as suffering "serious clinical mental health diseases." True enough. And totally infuriating.

During the recent Obama pander tour -- the one in which he spent about a week trying to win over conservative religious voters -- the presumptive Democratic nominee unnecessarily endorsed President Bush's faith-based initiative, a sort of patronage program that rewards religious activists for their political support with public grants. Then in a St. Louis speech, Obama declared that "I let Jesus Christ into my life." That's fine, but we already have a president who believes this was a qualification for the Oval Office, and look where that's gotten us.

Obama's verbal meanderings on the issue of late-term abortion go further. He has muddied his position. Whether this is a mistake or deliberate triangulation, only Obama knows for sure.

One thing is certain: Obama has backhandedly given credibility to the right-wing narrative that women who have abortions -- even those who go through the physically and mentally wrenching experience of a late-term abortion -- are frivolous and selfish creatures who might perhaps undergo this ordeal because they are "feeling blue."

Why don't you address what we know sure for, Valda, instead of trying to predict what a Pesident McCain would or wouldn't do? Because fear mongering is all that liars have to cling to. We're damn sick of it.

We're sick of the race card being played by a bi-racial politician who not only can't tell the truth about his own racial status but also won't conduct a serious conversation on race. Or is scapegoating African-American fathers supposed to pass for the height of racial discourse?

When you strip away Valda's false claim to have finally noticed sexism (if she had, that would be the thrust of her article) and her lies of reasons why women should support Barack, you're left with nothing but the race card.

It's not going to work because Valda's appealing to a group that saw the race card played over and over. They saw people falsely smeared as racists over and over. There is a very real backlash to that and Valda, if you want to help your Dream Boy, stop playing the damn race card. Oh, boo-hoo, you were called a name. Everyone of us writing this feature has been called some names at some point in time. And if we showed up in public in your comical outfits, we doubt we'd be mistaken as laywers either.

Women's eNews attaches this note to Valda's commentary: "The following is a commentary. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily the views of Women's eNews." Along with noting that the opinions expressed were only Valda's, WeNews should have noted that the 'facts' offered are only 'facts' in Valda's mind.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }