Thursday, January 27, 2011

Joan Rivers Calls First Lady "Blackie O.", but is Rivers a Racist?

Joan Rivers showing failed plastic surgery around her mouth and nose.
It is an obviously color-aroused statement (she specifically references the color "black")
and it obviously takes an antagonistic stand with respect to Black people in general.

The Root says Joan Rivers called the First Lady "Blackie O".  Is it "racism" when Joan Rivers goes on the Howard Stern radio show and calls Michelle Obama "Blackie O."?
"We used to have Jackie O," and "now we have Blackie O!" Joan Rivers proclaimed on the Howard Stern radio show today in her commentary about first lady Michelle Obama's style. Rivers said she was going to tell the joke onstage, but held back because she knew it could offend African Americans. But it didn't take much urging from Stern for her to share it on the radio.
While others argue endlessly about that question, I'm going ask a few very different questions:  For example, 'Was Joan Rivers' comment color-aroused?  Did she perceive the color of Michelle Obama's skin and then did that skin color-cue prompt Rivers to make a skin-color aroused insult?  It's obvious that Joan Rivers only made the "joke" and the joke could only have meaning because Michelle Obama's skin is brown.  The joke was color-aroused.

As far as the emotions that aroused and follow the"joke," we really don't know whether they include humor/mirth, anger, envy, and/or some combination of these and other feelings.  What makes one child want to hurt another?

If Rivers or Stern laughed or smiled, I think we can at least identify skin color-aroused mirth and mordant and lacerating humor there.  The humor is not in the eyes of the beholder, but rather in what Rivers experiences as she says things like this, and what all those who laugh and thinks it's funny are feeling, as well as those who feel what they perceive to be Rivers' e.g. anger, bitterness and envy.

As far as the ideation in Joan Rivers' mind, I don't think I need to understand that to realize that Rivers engaged in color-aroused antagonist speech, even at the obvious risk that all Black people who hear of her joke will feel hurt and angry at Rivers while she encourages the public to color-aroused speech, emotions, hate and color-aroused behavior.  I think this gives us some insight into Rivers' mind. How many people is she willing to alienate at one time by her color-aroused behavior? 

Ultimately, I simply don't need to know whether Joan Rivers is "racist" or whether her "joke" is racist.  Her "joke" is an obviously color-aroused statement (she specifically referenced the color "black") and it obviously takes an antagonistic stand with respect to Black people in general.  Joan Rivers committed an act of color-aroused antagonism.

So, is Joan River a "racist" because she has made one color-aroused comment while speaking over the radio to potentially hundreds and thousands of people.  Can you tell whether a book is "racist" by opening it randomly and reading one page?  Can this one statement demonstrate that Rivers believes that there are multiple races within the human species and she is, therefore, a "racist"? 

That approach assumes that a book is not "racist" until and unless a color-aroused antagonist statement is found within it.  It gives the book and the author the benefit of the doubt, even though most Black people do not and cannot give white people the benefit of the doubt.  Does the book have to be "racist" through and through to oppose it's distribution, e.g. to children in school districts, or do we have enough information when we simply demonstrate an instance of color-aroused antagonism within the text?  Should the "Blackie O" statement be republished in a school district simply because it is the only such statement that has been found to date?

Leaving aside the structured analysis of color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior for a moment, it seems to me that comparing Michelle Obama to Jackie Onassis is a compliment, even if the compliment was intended as lacerating color-aroused insult.  The effect of the joke is to state the obvious.  We've come from being a nation in which Black people couldn't vote we have become a nation in which a Black person becomes President of the Unites states and his Black wife becomes First Lady.  It seems that Rivers may fear and resent that fact (or feel some other complex set of emotions), but she announces the power and reality of change even as she decries it.
Rivers' willingness and/or determination to insult as many Black people as possible at once, while also seeking to arouse color-aroused mirth and anger in her audience, demonstrates that Rivers is prone to public acts of color-aroused antagonist behavior.  That is enough for me to know.  Any person who is prone to public color-aroused antagonist speech ought not hold a position in our government and, to the degree that their speech occurs in public, it is appropriate to take such lawful steps as necessary to assure that the public color-aroused antagonist speech does not occur again.  It is appropriate to demonstrate to her and to others that  making public color-aroused antagonist statements may cause her to lose whatever employment puts her in the public eye.

So now you know:   I don't care if Joan Rivers is a "racist"; it is enough for me to know that she has proved herself to be prone to public color-aroused antagonism and she has proved that she seeks to arouse color-aroused mirth and perhaps anger and resentment among both the Blacks and the whites in her audience.  That makes her dangerous whether she is a "racist" or not.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

PRESS RELEASE - Jamie Scott Has Been Hospitalized

From: Nancy Lockhart <>
Date: January 25, 2011 11:43:53 AM EST
Subject: PRESS RELEASE - Jamie Scott Has Been Hospitalized


(Pensacola), FL – 12/25/11 – Jamie Scott has been hospitalized with an excessively high potassium level. The sisters were released from prison to serve life on parole and have had a very rough time adjusting with little funds to support themselves. Their mother is on a fixed income and unable to make necessary repairs as a result of storm damage to the house. These repairs require immediate attention to accommodate Jamie upon her release from the hospital.
Currently, their brother serving in Afghanistan owns the home and is the only person who is able to conduct business regarding the house -- the insurance company will not comply with Mrs. Rasco. Willie James Scott Jr., is in need of your assistance to get home. Please contact all media outlets and make this information public.
Nancy Lockhart, M.J.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Slate Focuses on Elizabeth Edwards' Duplicity

I didn't know that Elizabeth Edwards has died, but I have to say that I perceived the lies inherent in her and her husband's personal stories very early on.  Slate says of Elizabeth Edwards,
But defending Edwards' choice to soldier on in politics got a lot more complicated when it became clear that she'd known of her husband's affair and yet continued to campaign for him. Women who had lionized her were crestfallen to find that she had believed (or that she'd pretended to believe) the affair was a mere one-night stand. Who was this credulous Elizabeth? Where had the straight-talking pragmatist gone? The revelation, as Rebecca Traister put it when Edwards appeared on Oprah in 2009 and let it be known that her husband had persuaded her he should stay in the race, was "crushing to anyone with an idealized view of Elizabeth Edwards."
In 2004, I respected John Edwards for his rags to riches story about successfully suing large corporations on behalf of the little guy.  But, when I read that his "two Americas" theme was hatched over a weekend as he brainstormed how to appeal to voters, I was astounded by his assertion that this was the "battle of his life".  In fact, after never having engaged in any such battle before, this was merely the battle of his the near future, during his presidential nomination bid.  That wasn't courage; it was opportunism, and eventually voters said so in the clearest way they could:  by discounting his lies at the polls.

I wrote this about Elizabeth and John Edwards on August 27, 2007 and I believe that I was prescient in my analysis:
Elizabeth Edwards says of her husband John, "We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman. Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fundraising dollars."

Here's a message to John Edwards: Even if you were Black, you wouldn't be Barack Obama. Even if you were a woman, you still would be no match for Hillary Clinton!

I didn't know that being a woman or being Black were automatic tickets to press attention and campaign contributions. I thought it took being a compelling candidate with a great message and a great organization. But Elizabeth Edwards is saying that only gender and color are winning for Clinton and Obama the attention and donations they have received.

Why have we gone 43 consecutive . . . white male presidential terms without any Black[s]or women taking advantage of The Edwards Insight?

With the best candidates being the woman and the Black man this time around, the tables are turned in the presidential race, and that's making Elizabeth Edwards envious, angry, bitter and resentful.
Slant Truth said at the time,
Damn. Did you just read what I just read? Elizabeth Edwards just played the “what about teh menz” and the “what about teh white folks” card in a single hand. And she did so in reference to a medium that is supposed to help democratize political participation in the U.S.. Does she really expect anyone to believe that her husband is at a political disadvantage because he is a white male? 

Yeah, I suspect she (and her husband) does. Nice strategy there. Play up to the anti-affirmative action crowd. It’s obvious that the history of the U.S. Presidency shows blatant discrimination toward white males, so let’s play up how good the women and the Black men have it. 

Oh wait. Maybe’s she’s been spending too much time at DailyKos. Those damn Special Interests GroupsTeh Revolution, according to Kos and the majority of his followers. So yeah, let’s find ways to bypass those bothersome Black folks and women and get down to what really matters: maintaining the status quo and keeping the Presidency in the hands of wealthy white men. 
My mother died of liver cancer and that hurt me deeply.  But she didn't engage in a campaign lying to and insulting the American public in her last days.  Instead, my mother endeavored to leave positive relationships and memories with all of those who were closest to her.

Elizabeth Edwards, on the other hand, fought a presidential nomination campaign that compelled her to lie to the public about her husband's infidelity while eventually Elizabeth Edwards became 'envious, angry, bitter and resentful' toward Blacks and women who refused to support her husband's candidacy.  She wanted to make her sociopath husband President, even if he was secretly more like Richard Nixon than he was like John F. Kennedy.

We now know that if we had supported John Edwards, as Elizabeth Edwards begged us to do, then John McCain would now be President.  The Republican negative background research campaign against Edwards' extra-marital affair, while his wife was dying of cancer, would have been  leaked to the press, a day at a time, during an election campaign in which even Democrats might have called for John Edwards to get out of the race.  This is the outcome to which Elizabeth Edwards spent half of her remaining days on Earth.  If her last political wish had been granted, the Democratic Party Presidential Candidate would have been destroyed at the polls.

I'm sorry that Elizabeth Edwards died of cancer, because I know, based on personal experience, of the seemingly endless pain involved for her and her family.  I think it would have been much better for her to be hit by a tour bus while crossing Pennsylvania Avenue.

George F. "Macaca" Allen Running for Virginia US Senate Seat Again

That color-aroused antagonist idiot who lost his senate bid after he called a brown-skinned man "macaca" (monkey) is back again and running for the US Senate.

Former Republican Senator George F. Allen of Virginia will announce Monday that he will seek to avenge his narrow loss in 2006 at the hands of Senator Jim Webb, two senior Republicans in Virginia told The Caucus.
“He’s calling himself the original Tea Partier,” said one senior Republican, who asked not to be named because Mr. Allen has not yet made his plans public. “A lot of the old gang is helping.”
That was all the way back in 2006, according to the WaPost, and the same US Senate seat will be disputed next year.  Maybe some of the "old gang" can keep Mr. Allen from calling people "macaca" and other color-aroused antagonist epithets from now until the November 2012 election.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rep. Barney Frank to Vote Against Obama/Republican "Compromise" Tax Bill

I received an e-mail from my Congressman Barney Frank today, explaining why he will vote against President Obama's tax "compromise" with the Republicans.  I could not express Congressman Frank's reaasoning any better than he has, and so here it is:
January 12, 2011
Dear Attorney Holland,
I am voting no on the tax deal agreed to by President Obama and the Republicans.  I do not think it is consistent with the focus that we should have on reducing the deficit in ways that are economically responsible; and I think that it is motivated in part by people who profess to be concerned about the deficit but in fact are hostile instead to efforts to improve the environment, enhance transportation, and provide important support for state and local government functions. 

I voted for the bill that came forward that would have continued the 36% tax rate for people making less than $250 thousand, and would have raised it to 39% for that part of income above $250 thousand – it is of course the case that the first $250 thousand for anybody's income would have stayed at 36%.  I voted for the 39% rate for higher income people in 1993 when Bill Clinton asked us to do so, and the evidence is very clear:  predictions that this would be economically disastrous were simply untrue.  The economy in the years following that increase at the upper levels of an amount of less than 10% of the tax owed on that income was followed by one of the best economic periods in our history. 
Even if people do not believe that the one caused the other, although I think it contributed by allowing us to do more expansive monetary policy, the fact is that the increase to 39% from 36% had no negative impact.  I believe that that would be the case if we were to have done the same this year.  That is, I do not think that telling people who are making $400 thousand or $500 thousand a year that they will be taxed an additional $3 thousand per $100 thousand of income above $250 thousand will have any measurable effect on their spending habits.  And the price we pay for this is a substantial reduction in government revenues -- $700 billion over a ten year period.

I know there are those who argue that reducing taxes will reap more government revenue.  My view on that was best expressed by Alan Greenspan – who told a Member of Congress who asked him if it wasn't true that reducing rates would mean higher revenues that "this is theoretically possible, but it has never happened in my (Greenspan's) lifetime." In fact, when President Reagan persuaded Congress to make a very substantial reduction in taxes in 1981, he partially reversed himself by supporting a tax increase in 1982, and as David Stockman, then Budget Director, has acknowledged, the notion that the drastic rate reduction would cause an increase in revenues was not borne out.

I also disagreed with the estate tax compromise.  I voted for a bill that would have raised the $1 million exemption that had previously existed to $3.5 million per person, that is $7 million for a couple, and had a maximum rate of 45%.  Instead this compromise makes $5 million the cutoff point and has a maximum rate of 35%.  This affects only a tiny handful of estates, but costs the government significant revenues because it is estates in the hundreds of millions that will benefit enormously from this and it is there that significant revenue loss will happen.

Because I believe that it adds substantially to the deficit without any consequent economic improvement, I opposed allowing a continuation of the 36% rate and I favored allowing current law to stay in effect, which would have been to bring it to 39%.  That is why I voted against the package.

As to the unemployment, I believe it is a complete disgrace that right-wing Republican ideologues have blocked extension of this vital compensation.  I will continue to support legislative efforts to extend unemployment benefits until we are successful.

I believe that President Obama ought to promise a veto of any tax bill that would drive the Federal deficit up (including a tax bill extending tax breaks to the rich), because a few hundred dollars just doesn't make that much difference when you're driving a Mercedes and have a undocumented immigration cleaning your house and raising your children for you.

It's clear as day that the Republicans want to create massive Federal deficits so that they can have a reason to cut social programs, like Social Security, medical assistance and even help for veterans of the Iraq/Iran/Pakistan war.

If, as they old white men in the US Congress insist, the country is spending itself into a hole, then why not increase taxes on the richest Americans in order to get out of that hole?  The Republicans and too many of the Democratic Party Republicrats are not being honest with the public.  They want to blow a hole in the budget by giving tax breaks to the rich and then "fix" the hole by discontinuing life support benefits from the 15 or 40% of Americans who are unemployed or underemployed right now.

Once again, I believe Obama should veto any tax bill that does not include added taxes on the rich.  The uncertainty around continued unemployment benefits and other Govenment programs would put pressure on the Republicans to explain compellingly why they want to give money to the rich while taking it from the poor.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Evelyn Rasco and her "Free the Scott Sisters Blog" Criticized NAACP's Actions

The NAACP already has a bad reputation for trying to take political credit and solicit financial contributions from the public in cases that the NAACP ignored until the national press moved in.  In the case of the Jena Six, it was discovered that most of the contributions the NAACP received when it sprang on the scene were spent not mostly on the legal defense for the Jena Six, but rather half of the money was spent on NAACP internal administration.  So, public giving to the NAACP did not help the Jena Six directly as much as it helped the NAACP.

Jack and Jill Politics said at that time, quoting Yobachi's  TheJena6Blog,

Yobachi’s got all the facts at The Jena Six Blog. The NAACP has finally released a report on their Jena 6 activities and fundraising. As a member, I’m disgusted. Color of Change raised $200,000, mostly from individual donors, and gave 90% of the funds to the lawyers representing the Jena 6 families and to the families themselves. That’s quite a contrast.
I’m an NAACP member and I’m offended by the NAACP’s inefficiency and also by their taking advantage of one of the biggest civil rights events in recent memory to fill their own coffers. That doesn’t represent my values, nor do I think that most members would be impressed by their sad performance.
Here’s a snippet from the report with Yobachi’s notes in bold and brackets.
Contributions received by the NAACP in response to the Jena Campaign include:
Internet Contributions: $ 8,782.00
Mail Contributions: $11,112.00
Total: $19,894.00 Mail contributions of $11,112.00 include a $10,000.00 donation from celebrity musician David Bowie.[So more than half their donation money came from one rich individual. Sorry, but that's not very effective fund raising by the old guard there]
Expenses related to support to the LaSalle Parrish Branch (travel, meetings and web cast) associated with the September 20, 2007 march and streaming video of the town hall meeting total:
$10,283.00 [I don't recall that site, which I viewed a few times back in the summer and fall of last year, notifying donors that there money would go towards support of branches and for meetings. The industry standard for over head is about 35% and many think that's too high.]
Excess of revenue over expense $ 9,611.00
The NAACP will provide a check in the amount of $10,000.00 in pro rata shares, to the attorneys providing legal services to the Jena defendants. [So they took in 19,894 and spent 10,283 on themselves. That's 52% overhead. Even if you give the NAACP credit for the $389 they added to the pot, that's still 50% overhead]
Knowing that many young men and women of color outside Jena face discrimination in the criminal justice system, the NAACP has declared a State Of Emergency to call attention to the problem of unequal justice nationwide. We welcome the support and assistance of all likeminded individuals and organizations seeking systematic change and broad based solutions to racial injustice.
The NAACP and its members thank you for your continuing support and dedication to justice.

So, why does the NAACP always show up on the scene at the last minute and ask the public to contribute money to the NAACP, instead of doing what others groups do:  ask the public to contribute to the defendant(s)' legal defense account?

Evelyn Rasko, who has co-published a blog about this case at least since 2009, tells us that the NAACP is at it again, profiteering for publicity and dollars off the work that others did before they arrived and making political decisions that local activists find to be incomprehensible.  On April 25, 2010, the blog was critical of the NAACP presence, saying: 

MDOC [Mississippi Department of Corrections] Commissioner Christopher Epps, whom we've been contacting for months regarding the disastrous level of Jamie's care and who's been steadily misinforming people that she's not as sick as we've regularly documented, even after she had to be hospitalized several times for high toxicity and infections that almost took her life, is being HONORED as the KEYNOTE SPEAKER by the Jackson County, MS NAACP at their upcoming banquet on April 30, 2010!


How could this branch, which is actually portrayed as an activist branch that has courageously taken on the police dept. and most recently the fire dept., completely ignore the sickeningly outrageous case of the Scott Sisters! And to add insult to injury, laud Christopher Epps, who covers up the low-budget, some-timey care that denies Jamie Scott regular medications, regular dialysis, and the specific diet she has been told repeatedly that she needs to maintain any semblance of health. The medical care is said by inmates there to be abysmal on every level, and particularly so for Jamie Scott, with end stage kidney failure!

On December 30, 2010, the Free Scott Sisters Blog announced that the Scott sisters were free and that the arrival of the national NAACP had been useful to the case.  The question is, with the sisters in jail for sixteen years, what took the NAACP so long?  The answer seems to be that national NAACP executives only engage in high profile cases, where they are able to request that checks for the victims be sent to the NAACP instead, and where the media spotlight will be present before the NAACP arrives. 

On Saturday, September 18, 2010, the The Free the Scott Sister Blog announced with amazement and jubilation, "MSNBC gave coverage to this case! Featur[ing] Mrs. Rasco and NAACP Prez,
Ben Jealous".   Back on April 25, 2010, the blog was critical of the NAACP presence, saying:

This is a smack in the face to Mrs. Rasco, to whom Epps made false promises of relief for Jamie, as well as Jamie and Gladys Scott, their supporters, and the community at large! This organization should be fighting on the front lines for justice for the Scott Sisters and not inviting Christopher Epps to some banquet! And what of the national NAACP, why are they NOT responding to the many requests that have been made of them for the past 15 years to become involved in this case!

This is the final indignity and must not go unchallenged. This bureaucrat should not pompously sit up there picking his teeth and pontificating while Jamie Scott lay suffering in one of the very prison cells that he oversees, a prison cell that she (nor her sister) should even be in!

Please contact the president of the Jackson County, Mississippi NAACP, Curly Clark, and ask him:

* Why is the NAACP distinguishing a man who would allow a woman to deteriorate in a prison on his watch until she is now at end stage of kidney failure?

* Why does the NAACP want to hear from a man that won't permit this same, very seriously ill woman to be housed in the Medical Bldg. on the grounds of that facility so that she can be cared for by her sister and instead has her housed in a mold-infested, damp, breeding ground for the infections which have repeatedly threatened her life?

Ask Jackson County NAACP President, Curly Clark, and State President, Derrick Johnson, why they are not involved in the fight for justice for the Mississippi Scott Sisters, a shocking and internationally known atrocity occurring right in their own backyard!

This entire event should be protested if Epps remains on the program and attendees given refunds for their $30 tickets!

Curly Clark, President, Jackson County NAACP

Derrick Johnson, State President
Mississippi State Conference NAACP
1072 West J.R. Lynch Street
Jackson, MS 39203
Phone: 601.353.6906
Fax: 601.353.1565

Was inviting the MDOC (Mississippi Department of Corrections) Commissioner Christopher Epps to a banquet a cynical political gambit on the part of the NAACP, to gain Commissioner Epps' access, attention and assistance (in which case it was acceptable way to open and improve the lines of communication), or was this just another example of the NAACP's policy of giving off-color and ill-timed banquets as a solution for America's troubles?