Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wack Job Ishmael Reed

Thursday night "The Cult of St. Barack," "Ishameal and other bad things," "Barry and his groupies" and "Barack and the groupies" went up community wide, written by Ann, Betty, Marcia, Stan and Ty with the understanding that it would be published here on Sunday. Postscript, go to Marcia's site and the comments to find out what Ishmael thought -- he left a comment. How telling -- and it backs up what they wrote -- he refers to them as "guys" (three women and two men are guys?) and he's only 'brave' enough to leave a comment at Marcia's site -- Stan also allows comments as does Ann. Of course he wouldn't leave a comment at Stan's, Stan's a man.

As Black and African-American members of the community, we decided to do a group post. We invited Ty in and this will run at Third Estate Sunday Review on Sunday. The rest of us -- Betty, Marcia, Stan and Ann -- will post it tonight at our sites. We did not invite Cedric or Isaiah. Not out of ill will (please, Ann is married to Cedric) but because Cedric's doing a humor site (joint-posts with Wally) and Isaiah's focusing on archiving his comics due to community members complaining about how difficult it is to locate comics from his five years and counting of doing political cartoons for The Common Ills.

In today's snapshot, C.I. provides an excerpt from Joy of Resistance, the segment featuring Jill of Feministe which led three of us to visit (Betty, Marcia and Ann) and that quickly involved everyone because we were hugely bothered by one post.

The post is entitled "What (white) Progressives Don't Understand About Obama" and we give credit to Jill for the title. Seriously. Check out our latest "The Black Roundtable" as well as Betty's "Kiss my Black ass, Matthew Rothschild" and Marcia's "Matthew Rothschild patronizes Black people." We applaud Jill for inserting White into the headline because Blacks and African-Americans are progressives as well (and we are conservatives, and libertarians, and Republicans, and Democrats, and Socialists, and Greens, and Communists, and independents and swing-voters and apolitical and more). And we heard Hillary Clinton speak of the White working class at the end of her 2008 primary campaign and fully got her point and saw no racism in it. But the same people who trashed her and tried to read racism into her remarks are the ones who always want to install a little fence around their Progressive Clubhouse and leave us on the outside.

So we applaud her for that.

We are confused as to why any feminist would link to Ishmael Reed. We're not saying we haven't read him. We're saying that, in fact, because we have read his writing.

Two of us (Ty and Marcia) are gay and we all believe in the full spectrum of equality including marriage equality. That's among the reasons we can't get behind Ishmael.

It's noted in the comments that he has problems with women (don't worry, we'll get to it). He also has problems with gay men. His writing and his remarks are very clear. He considers them "weak." The post Jill has linked to by Ishamael is really a homophobic straight man trying to provide cover for his hero (Barack Obama) whom he apparently suspects is gay. Ishmael's in the midst of homosexual panic. We have no idea why, but he's been in that panic his entire career and his attemtps at macho are both laughable and tired. His homophobic attacks, however, are not a laughing matter and we seriously doubt anyone who links to him. They either don't know what they're doing or they think his repeated attacks on gay men who were involved in the making of Precious are okay with these linkers. We're not fans of the film Precious. But we're also not fans of homophobia.

Then there's the issue of his attacks on feminists. He especially loathes Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan. He may have reason to. While we support Gloria and Robin we have publicly criticized them when we felt it was warranted. But what we didn't do, was lie about them. In one of his many attack pieces on Hillary in 2008 ("Ma and Pa Clinton Flog Uppity Black Man") one that reads like he's trying to rip off Jesse Jackon Jr.'s attack and use it (did she cry!!!! -- he always wants women to cry and to suffer), he deliberately distorts reality. He insists that Gloria was harder on Barack than she was on Bill Clinton. What? We wish, in 2008, Gloria had had the good sense to call Barack out. But she didn't in the primaries and she didn't in the general election (in fact, she supported him in the general election).

But he's big on putting words into Gloria's mouth. Claiming she said something or did something when she never did. It's all over the bad column entitled "Ma and Pa Clinton Flog Uppity Black Man."

We could stay with Ishmael and all of his problems forever and a day but we don't have all night. And we need to get to the comments.

A number of whiny babies, no other word for it.

First off, stop being ahistorical. No one's in the damn mood for your revisionary history.

At least twice we see whines (with a third offering a variation) of 'Barack's doing what Bill did and they didn't trash Bill.' We're sorry you're so grossly uninformed. Before the 1996 elections, a number of notables and 'notables' from the left -- such as Frances Fox Piven -- had publicly declared that they wouldn't vote for Bill.

The idea that the Christ-child Barack is experiencing something no one else ever did is just not reality. We get it. He's your political virgin and you're really hoping to see his pubes grow in like he's Christopher Atkins in "Blue Lagoon." But you need to grow the hell up.

Barack has not been accused of killing a wide variety of people the way both Bill and Hillary were. We're sorry you don't know reality but that's your problem, grow the hell up.

What Bill did economically is something you can disagree with. Most people do. Today.

Today, most people do. On the left.

But when Bill came into office "Reinventing Government" was the new hulu hoop. The way the cracked writing of Thomas Frank or the nonsense of "framing" are hulu hoops today. The public-private partnerships were going to save the economy and the country.

It was false and that's not what happened. But Bill's publicly spoken of the realities about the economy. He's done that in looking back. Looking back at what he did ten years ago.

There's no excuse for Barack to be aping Bill ten years later. Bill knows it was mistake why doesn't Barack?

Today, most on the left can call out what was the privatization of the public sphere and public goods and public needs. But coming off the wowie-we-love-him frenzy of Ronald Reagan, Democrats were trying to figure out how to appeal to voters. "Reinventing Government" is a mistake and should never have happened. Clinton-Gore was the first effort to test it out. It's been tested. Why Barack can't grasp that is on him.

In one of the most laughable comments, we read that we have to -- have to? -- vote for Barack in 2012 because otherwise who will replace Ruth on the Supreme Court!

Who cares?

He's given us two moderates. Not lefties, not liberals.

We also find it interesting how Barack is "Black." He wasn't, you know, until Bobby Rush kicked his ass when Barack thought he was ready for the US Congress. He was still bi-racial then and in his alumni newsletter. He only became Black (and borrowed the walk he currently uses) after Black voters backed Bobby and flipped the bird at Barack.

PRI had an interesting report today:

More Biracial Americans Experiment with Fluid Identity

A research paper published by the Social Psychology Quarterly drew some interesting conclusions about the way that members of our increasingly diverse society are experiencing and experimenting with structures of identity. Titled “Passing as Black: Racial Identity Work Among Biracial Americans,” the paper argues that with less stigma attached to any one race, people of mixed heritage are, more frequently than before, declaring themselves biracial one day, or all one race the next. But what does this fluidity mean to the idea of race in our country at all? And How does one rationally and honestly navigate the conundrums of identity?

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You can call him what you want. We call him "mixed" or "bi-racial" and have done so since 2007. One who disagreed with us was LIEFACE Melissa Harris-Lacewell. We should have seen it coming, when Melissa kept ignoring Barack's White mother and insisting Barack was Black, we should have seen it coming. What?

Turns out the woman who bullied the media and everyone else and wanted to self-present as the guardian of Black identity . . . she's got a White mother too. A detail she kept hidden because it would have defeated her whole argument. Which makes Melissa Harris-Lacewell (yes, we know she's remarried -- if it lasts more than two years, we may try to learn her new last name) like the housekeeper's daughter in "Imitation of Life." We picture Melissa screaming and crying as she shows up at her mother's funeral after years of denying her mother and passing.

We think Barack Obama has been a huge problem for Black America. We still don't have our first Black president. We've had to lie and pretend because that's how he was sold to us. Black men are hurt worse than any other sector in the work force under Barack in terms of employment. He's done nothing for us and because a bunch of pampered little assholes want to insist he's Black, we got stuck with him for four years.

We can't afford four more.

It's past time that the asshole was called out by all races.

Guantanamo is not closed. The Iraq War is still not over. He's done nothing on the employment issue. He refused to give us real health care but is more than happy to force us to buy bad health care and enrich the corporations who installed him despite the myth of those 'small donors.'

We're sick of his sexism and his homophobia. Proposition 8 passed in 2008 because? Among the many reasons, supporters of Prop 8 used Barack on their robo calls. That's because he stood with Prop 8. Did he call it out? No. He stood with them. And he put homophobes on stage at campaign events in both the primaries and in the general election. Then he invited his b.f.f. homophobe to the inauguration.

We're damn sick of hearing how easy Bill supposedly had it.

If any other Democratic president had so sold out the Democratic Party and its base, their poll numbers would be even lower than Barack's currently are.

Ishmael Reed 'explained' in a bad interview this year why he supports Barack: Because he doesn't like the people who don't like Barack.

That's the sort of simplistic reaction that Ishmael tries to pass off as deep thought and exploration. We don't have time for it.
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