Monday, September 24, 2007

Jena Case Shows How Racism Is On The Rise In Bush's America

By MARC McDONALD

The Jena case shows how racism is alive and well and on the rise in America. And it's clear that the policies of George W. Bush are to blame.

There have been many troubling signs that racism has been rising in the past few years. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where this latest wave of bigotry emerged from----but I think one ominous sign occurred when Bush was campaigning for president in 2000.

If you recall, during the campaign, Bush made it a point to stop by Bob Jones University, where he praised the officials at that school (which incredibly still had a ban on interracial dating). This, no doubt, played real well to the "I don't want my white daughter dating a Negro" racist crowd---but the rest of us were shocked and appalled.

And although we were dismayed, we really weren't surprised. After all, anyone who has followed Bush's career certainly wasn't surprised by the Bob Jones University episode.

Those of us here in Texas remembered all too well the shocking 1998 lynching of James Byrd, Jr. which occurred when Bush was governor here.

In 1998, Byrd was chained to a pickup by three white supremacists and dragged to his death in the town of Jasper, Texas.

In the aftermath of the Jasper lynching, a grass-roots effort in Texas urged the state to pass a hate crimes act to help prevent future atrocities. However, the bill failed to pass in the Texas Legislature after Bush refused to support the bill.

Since the Supreme Court appointed Bush to the White House in 2000, he has presided over a rising wave of bigotry and racism in America.

Indeed, Bush and the rest of the NeoCons have exploited the issue of racism and turned it into a valuable wedge issue to capture the votes of millions of angry, frustrated white males in our society who feel victimized by affirmative action and "political correctness."

The fact is, bigotry sells in America today. It's the reason talk radio's Neal Boortz can have a lucrative career after saying that Rep. Cynthia McKinney "looks like a ghetto slut." It's the reason that CNN's Glenn Beck can get away with calling the predominately African-American victims of Hurricane Katrina "scumbags."

In Bush's America, African-Americans are incarcerated at vastly higher rates than whites. Studies show that black people get much harsher prison sentences than white people for doing identical crimes. Blatant racism permeates our justice system, our legal system, our schools---in fact, every American institution. And let's not forget the 2000 election, in which hundreds of thousands of black people were denied the vote.

The appalling plight of poor black people in Bush's America was briefly brought to white, middle-class America's attention during the Hurricane Katrina crisis (but I doubt it came as much of a surprise to black people across America). And I doubt
the Jena case comes as much of a surprise to any African-Americans who have lived in Bush's America the past 7 years.

17 comments:

pygalgia said...

By dividing those who would oppose the administration, the opposition is weakened. Where I live, it's hispanics and native americans that are marginalized. But it's the same strategy.

Anonymous said...

The sad fact is that more black people are in prison because more crimes are committed by black people. The blacks in prison are not scooped up off of the streets because they are black. They are arrested and convicted because they are caught committing crimes. If white people were spending more time raping, murdering and stealing, you would find more of them in jail as well. Are you hoping that will happen in order to "even the playing field?" I hope not. That would mean you are evil. And please do not continue to say whites get lesser sentences for the same crimes. That is a lie, and you cannot support it with facts.

Anonymous said...

You sound like you know a lot about the struggle us black folks have to deal with every day. You must have lots of black friends, right? I'll bet you have black friends over for dinner all the time, right? You have probably dated black wome, right? Wait...that is going to far. Even black men don't date black women. But you would hire one to clean your house if she wouldn't steal, right? Right? When is the last time you actually spoke to a black person that you did not pay afterwards?

Anonymous said...

With your Texas background you need to write a book focusing on the treatment of blacks in Texas under Bush and how it has been spread by The present administration.

Marc McDonald said...

re:
>>>And please do not continue to
>>>say whites get lesser sentences
>>>for the same crimes. That is a
>>>lie, and you cannot support it
>>>with facts.

Uh, if you bothered to read the article, I backed it up with facts. Go to the link I included to the ACLU site.
You really need to open your mind and get your info from other sources than Rush.
Oh, and before you slam the ACLU---note that Rush himself has praised the ACLU (he's still grateful to them for going to bat for him in his drugs case).

Marc McDonald said...

re:
>>You sound like you know a lot
>>>about the struggle us black
>>>folks have to deal with every
>>>day.
I have never claimed this, nor would I ever claim this.
re:
>>>You have probably dated black
>>>women, right?
Actually, I have. I came close to marrying an African-American woman years ago, before she called it off.
I'm unclear as to what the point of your comment is. This is a progressive blog---if you don't like what you read here, there are plenty of Bush-loving, nutcase, Nazi right-wing blogs out there to choose from, if that's what you'd prefer. On the other hand, if you'd like to submit an article on the "struggle that black folks have to deal with every day," please do, and I'll consider running it here.

Sali said...

I think your article should at least mention Bush's strategy in appointing minorities such as Condoleeza Rice and Alberto Gonzales to such important positions. In my opinion, he uses such strategies to appear to favor equality, and I'm not sure African Americans are seeing through his facade.
To the person who wrote: "If white people were spending more time raping, murdering and stealing, you would find more of them in jail as well." One of the most important issue in this debate is not just that there are more Afr. Americans in jail, but also the fact that the same crime in the same circumstances receives completely different sentences based on the color of the person who committed the crime. And before you say that is not true, look it up.

Anonymous said...

"One of the most important issue in this debate is not just that there are more Afr. Americans in jail, but also the fact that the same crime in the same circumstances receives completely different sentences based on the color of the person who committed the crime. And before you say that is not true, look it up."

OK, let's assume your claim is true for a minute. Why do you suppose society would pick out one racial group and prosecute the individuals in that group more harshly than they would individuals in other groups? Is it because they look "different?" No, it can't be that. We do not see multitudes of Asians or individuals from the Indian sub-continent filling our prisions, and you could say they look "different."

The reason, my niave friend, lies within black culture. American blacks have adopted a position that they should be allowed to be anarchists. The hip-hop culture glorifies gang activity, prostitution, drug abuse and violence. It leads young blacks, at first men, but more and more it includes women, to believe lawlessness is acceptable and even desirable.

There is a new generation of blacks who are destined to keep the prison industry growing and rich. The problem lies in the black community, not in the courtroom. Crime in the black community is encouraged. How sick is that? And it is the "black leadership" meaning the wealthy and powerful merchants of hate and intolerance, Jackson and Sharpton who lead the charge. Their unwavering support of six would-be killers, the wild, savage animals in Jena is a perfect example. These six hate-filled young men should be caged like vermin, not praised and protected.

If you were the victim of an unprovoked attack based only on the racial hatred of your attackers, I am sure you would want to see them swing. That is righteous indignation. When the black community starts to participate in incarcerating and prosecuting lawlessness and when they learn to assimilate in polite society, you will instantly see the incaration rates decline.

No time to preview. I apologise in advance for typos.

Anonymous said...

Bush's America has nothing to do with racism. Nor does his being president have anything to do with road-rage, murder, or other crimes against humanity. Those crimes are committed by people who hate other people. Think about this: Who is it consistently screaming "Racism"! Huh? It is those who are black and don't like whites - more accurately identified as people like Jesse Jackson, Quanell X (I mean zero), Louis F. and the rest of the radical, anti-american, anti-civility, anti-establishment racists. Which racial segment of population commit the majority of crime in this country? What is the predominate color of prisoner skin? One need not be a nuclear physicist to conclude blacks, predominately, foster strife, commit crime, and want something for nothing because they have been raised to believe they are owed. They want the current generation to pay for the mistakes of the past. And, here's why that should be a crime: Since they aren't getting what they want (something for nothing), they are imparting their own variety of terror by staging rallys at places like Jena, screaming racism at every turn, and doing it all with Islam surnames. It is not American and every one of those hyphenated-americans who thrive on unrest and generate the ire of this country should be sent back home to their beloved Africa. End of story.

Marc McDonald said...

re:
>>>They want the current
>>>generation to pay for the
>>>mistakes of the past.

To use a nice, polite word like "mistake" to refer to horrors like slavery, lynching and Jim Crow is like calling the Holocaust a "mistake."

(Incidentally, more Africans died in the slave trade than in the Holocaust).

Frankly, I don't know of any black people who expect White America to ever "pay" for the horrors of the past. A few radicals have spoken of reparations for slavery (but even they know goddamn well that this will never ever happen).

Black people don't EXPECT anything from this government. (And I think the Katrina fiasco showed that they're correct not to expect anything---not even a helping hand from the government during the worst natural disaster in the history of the U.S.).

A lot of black people wondered "What on earth are my tax dollars being used for?" during Katrina. I think it's obvious now where most of our tax dollars go (the Iraq War fiasco and corporate welfare for Bush's wealthy allies and contributors).

Anonymous said...

"Frankly, I don't know of any black people who expect White America to ever "pay" for the horrors of the past."

What??? Do you live in Vermont, or in a hole or something? You either live a life where you never interact a black person on a personal level or...or...there is no other explanation. This is a statement made by someone who obviously does not understand black anger at whites due to the enslavement of their ancestors. Geez. Where have you been since 1950???

cwilcox said...

annonymous,
not only are you a dick but you are a chicken shit to put your comments out without a name. Sorry, Marc, but guys like that piss me off.

Anonymous said...

I fail to see the racism in 6 black students being arrested and charged with a serious crime for ganging up on and brutally assaulting a white student. Is it racist to prosecute blacks now? Do a few nooses in a tree and some hurt feelings make their crime excusable? The blacks got hurt feelings, the white kid got hurt physically. Are you saying that the original incident is worse than the reaction and that said reaction is justified?

Secondly, whites and blacks DO get differing sentences for the same crimes - but you're missing the reason why. The crime is the same according to statute, but the nature of the crime usually differs greatly between the races. For example, blacks usually commit murder in a far more depraved fashion and with greater evidence of malicious intent than whites. Their crimes also often include aggravating elements such as robbery and torture. A white man who kills another man in, say, a bar fight is going to get a lesser sentence than a black man who tortures, rapes and then kills a 13 year-old girl. Both are murders, but who should be punished more harshly? Read up on the actual details of crimes, rather than just mindlessly reciting superficial statistics.

You point to George W. Bush's praise of some university officials as evidence of his racism. I'd like more detail.

a) Was he praising them specifically because of their dating policy? Or was he praising them for some other reason?

b) Was the dating policy even enforced? I'd like to know from when this policy dates, and if in fact in 2000 it was just an anachronism that simply hadn't been removed from the books. Plenty of oddball laws and regulations around that sit on the books but aren't actually enforced anymore.

You point to a single murder of a black man as evidence of America's racism. How many whites are killed by blacks every year, often by racially motivated perpetrators? Blacks victimise whites far more than the other way around. You either forgot this fact or deliberately omitted it.

Regarding the "scumbags" of Katrina, was Beck referring to all blacks in N.O. as scumbags, or just the black looters and thugs shooting at the police? I agree that Bush botched the relief operation, but it is just another episode of his stupidity, not because of a racist agenda.

And hundreds of thousands of black people in Florida were NOT denied the vote in 2000. They were purged from the rolls because they shared the same or similar names with convicted felons. Every single person struck off the roll was sent a letter explaining the action taken and urging them to come forward and rectify the situation if their name had been struck off by mistake. They were given months to do this. The ones turned away had failed to re-register. It wasn't because they were black.

Your facts are taken straight out of the headlines and lack any critical analysis.

Marc McDonald said...

re:
>>>And hundreds of thousands of
>>>black people in Florida were
>>>NOT denied the vote in 2000.

I suggest you read the reports by Greg Palast like this one that document how enormous numbers of black people have been denied the vote in America.
This really poses a danger to all Americans---we're reaching the point where most Americans simply won't trust our nation's election system any more. And like the old saying goes (roughly speaking), when the ballot box no longer works, it's time to reach for the ammo box.
Some of us are already at this point, (as we are shocked and horrified at the Nazi fascist regime that has seized power in this nation).
I also suggest you get your news and views from some other source than Rush.

Anonymous said...

I suggest you go to moorelies.com and check out the story behind the Florida voting debacle.

Marc McDonald said...

re:
>>>I suggest you go to
>>>moorelies.com and check out the
>>>story behind the Florida voting
>>>debacle.

LOL, I don't understand why you NeoCons don't just point people to the source of your lies: Rush Limbaugh's site. All nutcase fringe sites like Moorelies.com do is regurgitate what they hear from the Fat One himself.

You really weaken your cause to be taken seriously by recommending a sewer of NeoCon lies like that.
Moorelies.com is filled with nutcase NeoCon filth ("John Kerry is a traitor") that only a dwindling number of Kool-Aid drinkers take seriously these days.

John Kerry a "traitor"? He's an American war hero, who served his country in combat and was wounded in action for Chrissakes!

Anonymous said...

You guys kill me with this delusional BS. Your comments seem to be made outside of the real world. As if racism, more specifically institutional racism doesn't exist. They only teach it as social fact in every university in the U.S. As far as the comment that nooses hanging from a tree do not warrant an ass woopin. Are you serious? Where are you from? Don't kid yourself that is a personal attack of the most serious type. I don't think you should attempt to trivialize or make it out to be no big deal( yeah that sort of thing is entirely acceptible). I would dare to say that it is alot more offensive than say a black man saying hello to a white women, in which case many black men were hung for or beatin nearly to death for in this nations history. You people speak of racism as though it is simply an act, a word that is isolated and random. No racism is not found in policies, practices, institutions, social classes, crimes, our legal system, etc.. not here in the U.S. Who ever said that our legal system treats minorities the same as whites is freakin off in lala land. You can't be serious. Get a formal education it will help you out with your problem. Knowledge has been known to cure blindness.