Friday, April 16, 2010
IF RACIAL SLURS ARE WEAPONS, IN TODAY'S POLITICAL DEBATE THEY ARE WEAPONS OF SELF-DESTRUCTION
WILL CRY "RACIST" IN A NANOSECOND
IF YOU DON'T BOW AND SCRAPE TO HIS FRIEND!
Yesterday we examined the latest evidence and concluded that there is still no corroboration for three black congressmen's claims that tea-party protesters yelled racial slurs on March 20, the eve of ObamaCare's enactment. Today we'd like to step back and ponder the meaning of this alleged event.
Why are racial slurs such a taboo? Because they are worse than ordinary insults. They are, or at least they can be, metaphorical weapons, with the power to inflict humiliation or menace. It is on this theory that many countries ban "hate speech." America does not, and there is no question that shouting a racial slur at a public official during a lawful protest--while deplorable--would be protected speech under the First Amendment.
Free speech notwithstanding, there are circumstances in which legal redress is available to people who have been hurt by racial slurs. The most obvious cases are those in which slurs are wielded by an authority figure like a boss or a policeman, who is legally obliged not to discriminate in the exercise of his authority.
That is the opposite of what happened, or didn't happen, on Capitol Hill. There, three powerful men allege that anonymous members of a crowd yelled racial slurs at them. The Associated Press's Jesse Washington reports that the lawmakers claimed to have heard the slurs as they were walking toward the Capitol. Some time later a widely circulated video, which depicted an angry crowd but on which no racial slurs could be heard, was "captured by the black lawmakers' cameras" as they walked away from the Capitol, Washington reports.
If the congressmen had felt threatened by the supposed slurs, they could have taken the underground railroad that connects the Capitol to congressional office buildings. Instead, they went back into the crowd, armed with video cameras.
It seems fair to surmise that they were hoping to gather evidence, and this would be an entirely reasonable thing for them to do under the circumstances as they described them. But it illustrates a salient point: If racial slurs are weapons, in a political context such as this they are weapons only of self-destruction.
Opponents of the tea-party movement are well aware of this, as evidenced by this AP report from Valerie Bauman:
Opponents of the fiscally conservative tea party movement say they plan to infiltrate and dismantle the political group by trying to make its members appear to be racist, homophobic and moronic.
Jason Levin, creator of http://www.crashtheteaparty.org, said Monday the group has 65 leaders in major cities across the country who are trying to recruit members to infiltrate tea party events for April 15--tax filing day, when tea party groups across the country are planning to gather and protest high taxes. . . .
Levin says they want to exaggerate the group's least appealing qualities, further distance the tea party from mainstream America and damage the public's opinion of them.
"Do I think every member of the tea party is a homophobe, racist or a moron? No, absolutely not," Levin said. "Do I think most of them are homophobes, racists or morons? Absolutely."
Levin's claim is self-refuting. If "most of them" were "homophobes, racists or morons," there would be no need for exaggeration. Levin is engaged in wishful thinking--and what a creepy thing he wishes for.
A False 'Contradiction'
The New York Times wants to know what this tea-party thing is all about, so the paper commissioned a poll. One finding seems to us to refute the notion that the movement is racist, though critics will see it another way: Among tea-party supporters, "25 percent think that the administration favors blacks over whites--compared with 11 percent of the general public."
Our take: One would expect a racist to agree that "the administration favors blacks over whites," though this view itself is not necessarily racist (the administration does, in fact, favor policies that give blacks advantages over whites in areas such as government contracting and college admission). If 3 out of 4 tea-party supporters don't even agree with this statement, how many racists could there possibly be?
The Times story closes with this absurdity:
In follow-up interviews, Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security--the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on "waste."
Some defended being on Social Security while fighting big government by saying that since they had paid into the system, they deserved the benefits.
Others could not explain the contradiction.
"That's a conundrum, isn't it?" asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. "I don't know what to say. Maybe I don't want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security." She added, "I didn't look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I've changed my mind."
President and Mrs. Obama released their tax returns today, the Los Angeles Times reports. They reported income of $5.5 million and paid $1.792 million, or less than a third, in federal income taxes. Obama believes taxes on "the rich"--a category that would include him--should be much higher. Is there a contradiction between his believing this and paying taxes at existing rates?
Of course not--even though it surely would be much less of a hardship for him to donate an extra million to the Treasury than it would for Jodine White to forgo her Social Security check. This finding of the New York Times poll shows no contradiction at all. Tea-party supporters are largely reconciled to longstanding government programs like Social Security and Medicare, but they oppose the creations of massive new ones. That makes them moderates, not hypocrites.
Meanwhile, Times columnist Gail Collins weighs in on tea parties and taxes:
According to one much, much-quoted study by the Tax Policy Center, 47 percent of American households didn't have to pay one cent of income tax for 2009. . . .
According to the Gallup polls, 45 percent of Tea Party supporters have incomes under $50,000. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll, Tea Party activists are virtually the only segment of the population in which a majority feels its tax burden is unfair. Clearly, these are not the kind of folks who would cancel their anti-tax rallies just on account of not being taxed.
"We're here to take our country back," said a former Missouri House speaker at a Tea Party rally at the State Capitol, where nobody appeared to be grateful for the good news about the bottom 47 percent at all.
Let us stop for a minute and consider this "take our country back" mantra. Some people believe it is the cry of angry white men who don't like seeing a lot of blacks, women and gay people in positions of power. I prefer a less depressing explanation, which is that all this yearning for the golden days of yore has less to do with Washington than with the fact that so many of the Tea Partyists appear to be in late middle age. I think they just want to go back to the country that existed when they were 28 and looked really good in tight-fitting jeans. Which is no longer the case.
Wow, that's some penetrating insight! Just a few points: First, the technical term for people who pay no income taxes is "lucky duckies." Second, we seem to remember reading recently that the 47% figure relies "on a cleverly selective reading of the facts." Let's see, where did we read that again? Oh yeah, in the New York Times!
The Wall Street Journal Online
Best of the the Web Today
April 15, 2010
Words as Weapons
Have racial slurs lost some of their power?
By JAMES TARANTO
BARRY SOETORO aka BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
He is not eligible to be
President of the United States
because he is not a Natural Born Citizen
as required by Article Two, Section One, Clause Five of the United States Constitution.
This is a fact REGARDLESS of
where he was born (Mombassa, Hawaii, Chicago, Mecca or Mars).
He is not eligible
because he was not born of
BOTH OF WHOM WERE UNITED STATES CITIZENS
AT THE TIME OF HIS BIRTH
as required by the Constitution.
Barack Hussein Obama Jr. is not eligible to be President of the United States because – according to public admissions made by him – his “birth status was governed” by the United Kingdom. Obama further admits he was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at birth.
Since Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was, if born in the state of Hawaii, a dual citizen, who – according to his own State Department – owed allegiance to the Queen of England and United Kingdom at the time of his birth – he cannot therefore be a “natural born” citizen of the US according to Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the US Constitution.
His father, who did not live in the United States for more than a couple of years, was a subject/ciitizen
of Kenya/Great Britain at the time of Barack’s birth and afterwards, AND further, as Barack himself admitted on his website during the 2008 campaign, Barack was therefore born SUBJECT TO THE GOVERNANCE OF GREAT BRITAIN.
Here is a direct quote from Obama's "Fight the Smears/Fact Check" 2008 website:
‘When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children…’ “
The FACT that he was not born of TWO US CITIZEN PARENTS is all that matters. The question of his birth certificate is a distraction (a distraction fostered by Obama’s supporters?) that ought not to occupy our time and resources. BUT if you are really convinced of the value of the COLB (certificate of live birth) that Obama posted on his website, see this:
Also, it is possible that he is not a United States
citizen at all through his mother if he was born in Kenya, as three witnesses have testified. The reason is because his mother could not pass her US citizenship on to her son because she did not live continuously in the United States for five full years after her fourteenth birthday as required by the US immigration law in effect during that period of time.
Check it out:
Also, an excellent introductory primer on Obama Presiidential Eligibility is to be found at:
His usurpation can only be corrected (1) by Congress through his Impeachment and Removal [something which will never happen in a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid], or (2) it can be
corrected by his resignation, which could happen if the public presssure on him to resign becomes great enough, or (3) by his removal by the United States Supreme Court affirming a Quo Warranto decision of the United States Federal District Court for the District of Columbia [which process Attorney General Eric Holder would never allow to even begin] or (4) by an amendment to the Constitution,
which will never happen because that again would require the agreement of a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid.
HERE IS THE QUESTION WHICH EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN SHOULD BE ASKING HIS OR HER CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS
“During the 2008 election, then Senator Obama published a statement at his website which said that his birth status was ‘governed’ by the British Nationality Act of 1948. Can you please tell me, and the American people, how a person governed - at birth - by British law, can be a natural born citizen of the United States and thus constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States?”
- Leo Rugiens