An African American reader

An African American reader November 9, 2012

writes, concerning this post:

Thanks Mark. I really do get discouraged with white Catholics when I hear them deny the racist code words that have been used during this election.  It destroys trust because it seems dishonest.  On the other hand, hearing a fellow Catholic challenge such statements (as you have) goes a long way to restore trust.  Trust, is in fact, a HUGE barrier to getting African Americans to vote for “conservative” candidates–which is ironic because I think most people would be surprised to find out how truly conservative most African Americans are.  This notion that African Americans want the government to take care of them is true, but not in the sense than so many “conservatives” invoke.  As a little girl, I remember watching historical footage of the federal government enforcing federal laws, in the form of national guardsmen desegregating schools (countered by state governments turning hoses and dogs on little girls in Sunday school attire).  So to a certain extent, I probably think of the federal government as a safety net in terms of my citizenship–states rights and all that “nullify” stuff is alienating to me and will not win me over.  I do not, however, expect the government to take care of me financially.  I am not on welfare, nor have I or anyone in my family (or any African American folks I know for that matter) ever been on welfare.  The fact that I feel the need to say this feels oddly embarrassing. (which is ironic sense most welfare recipients are whites who reside in “red” states!)  However, I never feel suspect in conversations among liberals.  So those conversations feel safer and less assaulting to my dignity.  However, I continue to seek common ground among conservatives, because I hold conservative values that I don’t share with liberals.  Since Jesus and His Holy Church are at the center of my life, I continue to make efforts among “conservatives.”  However, I sometimes have to come up for air, because some of their comments and assumptions can be so frustrating.  Unraveling their twisted logic can be exhausting and usually ends in an impasse.  I don’t mean to insinuate that this is a constant onslaught–that would actually be much easier.  I could successfully navigate a Klan rally, because I’d know exactly where I stand (or hang) with everyone there.  But when you’re talking with people with whom you share a profession of faith and the sacraments, and bust out with some nasty racial assumption–it cuts like a knife!  It’s absolutely jolting!  I want to run away–and who do you think I run to?   In these conversations I’m sometimes asked to account for (or made to identify with) the behaviors/practices/beliefs of 12% of the “so called American” population.  How can folks lump you in with a group using sweeping statements about your motives and values, and then get indignant by the fact that you identify and act in adherence with that group?  A group is formed out of the historical experience of being treated as a monolith, and then said group is accused of reverse racism for behaving like a group that shares a common goal.  That isn’t racism–that’ s survival! While I share most of your concerns regarding president Obama, I’d also like folks to know that his presidency has been utterly transformative for many African Americans.  I just moved back to the States two months ago, after working in Saudi Arabia for the last five years, so the differences are in stark relief for me. The community I left isn’t the one I returned to.  I guess all of this is to say that there are many parts to the Body.  Though we are one, we were all formed in different circumstances.  So let’s literally not cut off our nose to spite our face!  Or it is the entire body that will suffer.

I agree that the Muslim, Commie and maybe even socialist “thing” detracts from the real issues.  It also makes folks like me want to defend the man, because the charges are as you said blatantly “stupid.”  I also agree that there is nothing racist about probing into Obama’s past.  He should be held to the same analysis as anyone else who is asking for your vote.  Perhaps he shares much in common with the movements and figures you’ve referenced–and I also can’t see how making these comparisons could be seen as racial in any way.  While interesting fodder for reflection, I do think it might be a bit too complicated and other worldy, however.  I think Obama is EXACTLY as Mark described him, “a garden variety secularized liberal Protestant from a politicized Black urban church tradition that sees the gospel almost exclusively in terms of “community organizing”.”  No more, no less.  So when I hear folks (certainly not you, but others) treating him like evil personified–it gets my back up.  Here you have a man with ideas that are not good for America.  Period!  If the Republicans would have denigrated his ideas and not the man himself–they would have won!  That’s what folks were responding to.  And worse, they didn’t just say he was evil and un-American, but everyone who was voting for him as well.  Well good luck winning them over now!  They can’t even hear you now!  African Americans weren’t in the bag for Barack Obama!!  They could have been won over fairly easily.  If you remember, African Americans didn’t even support Obama until he won the Iowa caucus.  They support Hillary Clinton!  Why?  –because of the Clinton trust.  Bill was (is) genuinely comfortable around black people.  He didn’t just show up at black churches–HE BROKE BREAD!!!!! When the Clinton’s started engaging in some of the most shameless race baiting I’ve seen in modern political history, black folks dropped them like a bad habit. They would have done it again, if they’d been given a reason to do so.   Obama hasn’t improved the lives of black folks.  We aren’t stupid!  But when the right demonized him rather than his platform they made him a living martyr who had to be defended at all personal cost!  Because what stood to be lost by delegitimizing “black” leadership was a higher price to pay than the unemployment rate!

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  • While I agree with many of these insightful comments I have to disagree with one large point, which is why I was shaking and crying when BO was reelected: I haven’t found his presidency transforming to the AA community. I have found the emphasis in race even more fracturing. The past four years have truly been brother against brother. Mother against daughter. On the one hand, yes, that we have elected an AA president is a baby step forward. But the fact that we have elected a black president only on the basis that he is black-you can keep it. Racism is racism is racism whether it’s the Archie Bunker kind, black folks voting for one of their own who only has one.single.item on his agenda and that’s backing PP and tearing down the one institution that’s stands up against it, or liberal white Glorias who are patting themselves on the back because they are voting more open and opposite than their father, Archie.

    Racism won’t stop until we get rid of the stupid, useless, arbitrary, man-made idea of race. We stop talking about it, seeing it, voting for it, putting it in the census whatever, and FEEDING into it (except the humor). Only then will this issue start to heal. These elections keep this wound open.

    • Rosemarie


      Yes, there is only one race, the human race. The idea of “races” is rooted in the obsolete scientific theory that there are three races of man which evolved from three different species of primate. Scientists today reject this yet our language and rhetoric has failed to catch up. IMHO I believe this is largely because politicians of various stripes want to keep dividing people, either by manufacturing “special interest groups” to cater to or by playing the “us -vs- them” game. They keep their power by keeping the electorate fractured, so divided we fall.

      • Esther

        Yes, there is only the human race. But people ARE still treated differently based on their skin pigmentation. People are harmed in multiple, real ways for being any colour other than white. Pretending that this does not happen will not solve the problem. Race is not real in the sense of people being fundamentally different on the basis of skin colour. However, race is real in the sense that if you are black or brown, people will treat you in a certain way. The problem is real and pretending that it doesn’t exist will not abolish it. If you say “I don’t treat people differently based on race” then good for you. You didn’t commit the sin of racism. Have a cookie. However, that doesn’t change the fact that people all around you are going around committing the sin of racism every single day and we all have a duty to do something about it. And that means acknowledging that racism is a real problem and race is real insofar as society makes it real.

        (Also, self-examination is good. I like to think of myself as non-racist but in the past I have found myself making assumptions based on race. I was only able to stop myself because of giving these issues serious thought. It is very easy to pick up prejudices from other people and the media without realising that this is what’s happening, so it is better to examine my thoughts for evidence of stereotypes than to just assume that I’m getting everything right. Obviously there’s a danger of becoming obsessive about it as there is with any kind of self-examination, but that does not make self-examination bad.)

        I do not live in America, so I don’t know as much about the situation in America as I do about the situation in the UK, but I know that racism in the US is real. Unemployment statistics are one piece of evidence for this. Another piece of evidence is the NYPD’s stop and frisk policy disproportionately impacting on young black and Latino men. Another piece of evidence is that missing white women get more media attention than missing black and brown women (obviously the missing white women are important and deserve all the media attention they get. But missing black and brown women are just as important and deserve equal attention.) I’m not putting links in the comment because I’ve found putting multiple links in comments tends to cause them to be eaten by spam filters, but stats on these things are easy to google.

        (If it is relevant, I am white. Actually I’m still white if it’s not relevant, but whatever.)

        • Rosemarie


          True, prejudice against people based on skin color or ethnicity is very real and sinful.

          As for the NYPD’s stop and frisk policy, maybe they should target young males of *any* ethnicity, including white, to make it more equitable. The policy does help lower crime but they shouldn’t assume that white kids don’t commit crimes. It may be even *more* effective if young white men were stopped and frisked, too.

          • rjolly

            So it is okay to violate the constitutions protection against unreasonable search and seizure as long as the quotas match up? If people are being searched unreasonably then fix that problem. Don’t make us all eqally miserable.

            • Rosemarie


              I believe they are supposed to have a reasonable suspicion about the person before frisking him. Of course, if that suspicion boils down to, “He’s not white,” that doesn’t cut it.

              As far as the 4th amendment -vs- stop and frisk, SCOTUS ruled on that long ago (Terry v. Ohio). Besides, if we’re all equally miserable maybe that would cause such an outcry that the practice will be stopped altogether. Perhaps the best way for opponents of stop and frisk to put an end to it would be to demand that whites be subject to it.

          • Marion (Mael Muire)

            To make it really fair, shouldn’t the police stop and frisk women as well? Otherwise, it’s sexist. And shouldn’t they frisk people of all ages – kids, older people? Otherwise, it’s discrimination based upon age.

            Shouldn’t as many little old white-haired ladies wearing sensible shoes – whether they be white, black, Latina, or Asian – be stopped and frisked, as young, black and Latino men?

            • Rosemarie


              That only happens in airports. Though it’s not so much a frisking as a feeling-up.

    • CM (Cathlen)

      Wow! I’ve been “out” with a cold for the day only to find 113 people have now responded to a comment I made. It’s kind of disheartening to see that most of the comments (that I’ve read so far) really seem to have missed the point(s) I was making. My point was that the way “conservatives” talk about race is alienating people of color from “your” movement. What I’ve read so far, largely proves my point. If I walked into a room and heard these comments, I would walk out. You’re entitled to say anything you want, just don’t expect people to want to come to your “party.” If you enjoy the feeling of losing elections than keep up the good work!

      “He only won because he’s black.” Yeah, right because we have a long distinguished history of electing black leaders in this country. Are you insane? You don’t think African Americans find that kind of crap offensive? Obama is a highly accomplished man–far more accomplished than the recent freak show the right has been parading around as potential leaders. (Romney not included) When you deny those accomplishments you alienate African Americans–even those who don’t share his values.

      “Whites will vote for Blacks, but Blacks won’t vote for whites.” What?????????????? What history classes did you fail in school? I’m beginning to think that it isn’t that the right doesn’t understand, it’s that it largely doesn’t want to understand!

      Here are a few examples of the code words I was referring to:
      “He only got elected because he’s black” (black leadership is illegitimate)
      “This is a food stamp president” (black people are freeloaders)
      “I want to see his college transcripts” (he’s intellectually suspect a mere product of affirmative action)
      “We need to take our country back” (put the white back in the Whitehouse)
      ” He has a deep seated hatred of white America” (???????project much?
      If “conservatives” don’t stop whining and start thinking about how to articulate substantive arguments to counter Obamaesque policies, then you are destined to not only to continue losing elections, but to be relegated to irrelevance!!!

      • Black support for black Republicans is, shall we say, thin on the ground. Can you explain why? Is it a matter of guilt by association? Why didn’t Sen. Byrd’s “white niggers” comment change black voting patterns at all? Or how about any of the rest of the panoply of Democrat race talk that has been laughed away and excused at the exact same time as Republicans are excoriated.

        I don’t think that Republicans should be granted the same level of free passes as Democrats get. I would rather see Democrats get the same level of scrutiny and punishment that Republicans get.

        Perhaps 15 miles from me is Gary, IN. Blacks could own the Republican party in Gary, just by showing up and voting for their own. They would turn that city into a two party place and immeasurably improve the politics of that struggling municipality. They could blank ballot all the up ballot elections if they wanted to make a point about race. They would have a parade of white Republicans coming to them asking for instruction on how to better tune their message for them. Local people simply do not do it.

        They have had this opportunity for decades. They have not done so and as a consequence, Gary, IN has declined badly because one party municipalities always decline over the course of decades of one party domination. It is a puzzle for me why blacks, who were courageous enough to face beatings in freedom rides and marches in the segregated south can’t file a piece of paper and stand for election in their own precincts and peacefully achieve a major increase in political power for their community. Until they do, they will continue to suffer more than necessary.

  • Pansy is right. Racism is a human invention. As long as we keep looking at everything based on skin color, expect racism to continue. I, for one, don’t worry about ‘racist code words.’ During the Occupy Wall Street story, I was informed that the word ‘radical’ was really a racist code word. Use the word radical, and it probably means you’re a racist. Since I used it all that time without realizing it, I couldn’t help but wonder what other words I used that were really code words for racism. As for Republicans being the party of the racist, maybe it’s because I was in an environment for several years that had its share of racists who voted for both parties, that I consider that more a media narrative invention, than anything more substantive than the Republicans are the party of homophobes (for opposing gay marriage) or the party of sexists (for opposing abortion rights). Are there racist Republicans? Sure, maybe even a slight more than Democrats. But that’s about it.

  • Yeah, I, too, would like to know what the racist code words are, so I can stop using them. If “radical” is one of them, that seems like rather a stretch.

    • Will

      Reminds me of the scenes in UNDERCOVER BROTHER where Conspiracy Brother flies into rage at the “racist” greetings “Hi” and “Good morning”.

    • James Isabella

      There appears to be some kind of cultural divide in which blacks seems to “know” that whites use code words about them… but I’m always scratching my head when I hear an example.

      Examples I’ve heard as “Code Words”:
      1. Apparently, Sarah Palin once said that Pres. Obama “wasn’t one of us.” I don’t know for sure that she used those words, but assuming she did, I would hear it as “President Obama is an out-of-touch liberal with values that don’t mesh with the common American.” In fact, the President himself said that Romney wasn’t “one of us” in a campaign commercial and I just assume he meant it as “Romney is an out-of-touch right wing fanatic.”
      2. Focusing on Food Stamps. Perhaps because I know more white people who abuse the food stamp program than i know minorities that do, I personally don’t make an association between food stamps and any race.

      But those are examples I’ve heard at least.

  • Peggy R

    Thank you for your comments Pansy. God bless you.

    Just a clarification to the original writer’s post. The GOP avoided like the plague any negative commentary on Obama the person. They have NEVER wanted anything to do with that. The GOP has sought to remain above the fray and has been scared to death of being called racist. They’ve been character assassinated over this and other issues. Mitt Romney a good and decent man was accused of unthinkable things and called “not one of us” by the Obama campaign. Now, whether some rank and file or radio hosts had things to say about Obama that have offended is something different.

    Yes, Dave G. Don’t forget that “Chicago” “socialism” and “apartment” are racial code words too, according to Chris Matthews. Never mind that Chicago corruption was the invention of the Italian mafia and Irish; socialism was the invention of Europeans; and people of all races and incomes live in apartments. How can we bridge these gaps and obtain mutual trust under these conditions?

  • Moreana

    Obama owes both his elections to the pigmentation of his skin. It’s a very sad fact.

    • Esther

      If you are going to make a statement like that, please provide evidence.

      • Midwest Catholic

        Start with no clue as to what the person looks like – it is not important. Gender not important either.
        List the experience /accomplishments / abilities of both canidates.
        List the programs and policies they endorse / promote.
        Assess the content of their character – who would you more trust to lead our nation?

        • Esther

          Result is that I would trust both of them about as far as I can throw them. They both support killing babies. They both support drone wars. Neither of them has an economic plan that sounds likely to work. One of them had very little experience prior to becoming President. The other has experience of making a tonne of people unemployed. Neither of them are good candidates to be the most powerful person on the planet.

          • Peggy R

            Oh, good. The character assassination of a good and decent (though maybe not pro-life) man is a rousing success. That would be Mitt Romney I am speaking of.

    • More accurate: one significant factor in both his electoral victories is the meaning our culture invests in the pigmentation of his skin.

      I hesitate to say that such meaning is worthless. On the one hand, it expresses a philosophical falsehood, that skin color has anything to do with ability or quality of character. On the other hand, it expresses a real historical situation and the practical challenges (to put it mildly) that have confronted a group of people based on that falsehood. But on the third hand, it seems to me that some of the reason the historical and cultural divide remains is that we continue to focus on historical and cultural divide – perhaps to the exclusion of seeing and confronting the actual challenges people face.

      • Esther

        I would agree with you if I had enough hands. ;-P

    • I have to disagree. I do think Obama has definitely earned extra votes because of his skin color. He’s not even really black, though he’s happy to be seen as black. He’s half white, almost half Arabian, and a small amount “black”.

      Anyway, he won in 2008 because almost any Democrat would have beaten almost any Republican, thanks to the economy tanking badly, and he won in 2012 because Romney was a terrible out-of-touch candidate who, as Mike Huckabee said “reminds you of the guy who laid you off”

    • sal magundi

      as do all candidates before him?
      except shirley chisolm – and she lost.

      • sal magundi

        @ Moreana that was

    • c matt

      For his first term, there is probably a stronger argument for that in the sense that electing the first black president was “making history” and many voters probably wanted to be a part of it. Same thing if Hillary had been the nominee, there certainly would have been the “first female president” factor in her favor. But the second term – I find it hard to believe. What I think really lost it for the GOP was its very aggressive foreign policy. Obama is no pacifist, but his rhetoric on the subject was far more restrained, and the GOP played this difference up to its detriment.

    • ivan_the_mad

      Gratuitous assertion is gratuitously denied.

    • CM (Cathlen)

      That’s ridiculous! Since in your world people are allowed to ascribe motivations to others without empirical evidence, then I get to play too. Here it goes…………. you’re just upset that white skin is no longer an immediate signifier of legitimacy and power. You’re in mourning! Wow you’re right–that’s fun!

      • CM (Cathlen)

        That comment was directed @Moreana

  • While I definitely feel for those in the African American community for discrimination and racism they have encountered, I take exception that there is such a thing as racist code words. Coming from a part of the country where race wasn’t an issue because the minority population there was Canadian French (which ironically looks a lot like English, German, and Irish decedents especially with Native American mixed in). Racial tensions weren’t an issue there. Even the families who emigrated there from Asia (perhaps stereotypically ran the Chinese restaurant in town…still the best Asian food I can remember) or the family that adopted a Korean child (he was one of my best friends for a few years), there was nothing thought of concerning race. This is because they were regular people who acted like people. Much of what is determined racism is perceived and not real. The automatic response, that if a white person says certain words, means that they are racist, is, in fact, racist. Assuming that because a person is white, that they cannot know or understand the problems associated with being a black person in America, is, in fact, racist. Assuming that a white person has nothing to say regarding racism is also racist. And finally assuming that a black person cannot be racist because they are black (yes I have heard this argument) is racist.

    As for these code words, they either have no meaning, or a different meaning, and they shouldn’t be assumed to be racist. Sometimes words, even when used in the same context where they became racially charged don’t automatically make them racist in nature. An example of this is the term, “boy.” In New England, this term could be used in place of the word, “Son.” This is especially true when the older adult (usually a man), and did not know the young man personally. This impersonal use was probably the source of the use that makes its use offensive to African Americans. I can absolutely understand this perception, but it shouldn’t be assumed that the 70 year old man from New Hampshire you just met while on your way through Coos county in New Hampshire, who has no history, and very little knowledge of slavery, is using it in the racial sense it was used in the deep south by masters to their slaves. He is probably using it out of respect because he doesn’t know you, and didn’t want to presume to know you (a definite faux pas in the Yankee culture of New England). The lesson there is to understand the culture of the person before assuming anything regarding their intentions.

    Racism is a human construct. In this country it has many root causes. However we need to move on. There isn’t a demographic in these United States who have not at one time or another experienced discrimination due to which they are whether it be race, creed, or national origin. I was always taught growing up that we need to be colorblind, and I fully agree with that. But if we are to be truly colorblind, that means we have to do so universally. We can’t give special consideration for race such as done with affirmative action. It can’t be done half way. We can’t on the one hand say that Equal Opportunity is the law of the land, but whenever a minority member isn’t chosen over an equally qualified majority member immediately claim it was racism.

    We also have to allow and accept that people have preferences. To hypothetically ask whether I’d choose a white person over a black person for a certain position, I couldn’t answer that. There are black people I’d prefer over anybody. There are both black and white I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. There are some white people I’d choose over certain black people.

    Finally we have to be honest with people and also take people at their word. We need to examine the reasons why we might not choose an individual, and we need to be brave enough to inquire as to why we weren’t chosen and the courage to accept the criticism in the explanation. For instance, if the criticism is, “You come off as a thug.” That is not an indictment of your race.

    • Confederate Papist

      Well said John.

      In the South, the term “boy” is colour-blind to those who know better, white or black. I’ve heard black folk using the term referring to their son or any young male. I use the term with my own son, his friends and my nephews…and I am white. In fact, many terms used by black and whites in the South have been deemed offensive by northern and mid-westerners who are not used to our vernacular.

  • Will

    Here, we are now asked for our “race” when applying for a LIBRARY CARD. No hints as to whether Spaniards are “White” or “Hispanic”, or Indians are “White” or “Other Asian”.

    Usually, when surveys ask for my race, I write “None of you damned business” or something less polite.

    • ivan_the_mad

      I have written Terran for years now.

      • Esther

        I am always tempted to write “Gallifreyan” but lying is wrong.

        • Rosemarie


          Hmmm, now I’m going to be tempted to write in “Human” next time I fill out such a form.

  • Raul De La Garza III

    All this talk on race and politics gets me depressed. Here we are in 21st century America and this is still worthy of consideration? This mentality that though the Democratic party is a party for death, i.e. abortion that one would still vote for it over that of the Republican party because it has been above race by not pandering to it or in other words, hasn’t ‘reached out to my racial group’ with bread and circuses is abhorrent to me and gets my blood boiling. I am a Latino with ties to both Spain and Mexico and I sympathize with the plight of illegals from that socialist country which has persecuted the Church in its less than illustrious history. However, I am first and foremost a Roman Catholic who believes all that the Church teaches because God has made them known to her. I vote, not merely along racial lines because that too is just as idiotic as simply voting along party lines. I vote as best I can based on the principles of Catholic social teaching which often excludes both the Democratic and Republican parties. Second, I am a proud Texan or Tejano. Among my heroes are Juan Seguin of the Battle of San Jacinto, a true Latino who fought valiantly against the Mexican despot, Santa Anna. Though both were Latinos, both fought hard for what they believed. Race was not an issue to either men in the conflict. The struggle for Texas Independence was a battle perpetrated by conflicting ideas of governance. Juan sided with the ‘white man’ in the struggle for independence yet race mattered little in his decision to fight against his mother country. It would take more than the silly matter of skin color to convince one to put his life and future on the line for that. More Latinos should follow Seguin’s example. Last, I am an American and I have served in her military sworn to uphold her Constitution. As such, I am for all races who have decided to settle within her borders. I am beyond race and the bubble of ethnic heritage.

  • It is the Democrats that pander to race – not Republicans. And Democrats win because pandering to race succeeds. Whites will vote for a black candidate over a white candidate – African-Americans will rarely vote for a white candidate over a black candidate.

    • Raul De La Garza III

      I had written that rather poorly. Yes, I agree with you that the Democratic party has been one that has shown itself most likely to ‘pander to race’. This tactic has served them rather well and unless the Republicans can lead with ideas that will be beneficial to all, i.e. the principles of our founding fathers and Catholic social teaching, then they shall never again enter into the White House continuing down their ineffectual path. More likely, however, the Republicans will move more towards the Democratic ideas thus further ensuring us as the electorate without a true choice in the next presidential election.

      • Andy

        Is the democratic pandering to race, which I ma not sure of the same as the republicans pretending to be pro-life to get votes? Just asking – each group has its own wahy to rally the money.

        • Raul De La Garza III

          I have no idea how to respond to your comment, as ill-informed as it seems to be. I am a registered Independent. I will allow a Republican to answer you if one here is available.

    • dpt

      “It is the Democrats that pander to race – not Republicans.”
      My wife is Brazilian and after moving to CA, she stated to me: “why are Americans so racist?”
      I asked what she meant and her beef was that all the gov’t and school forms that needed to be filled out for enrolling our son in elementary school, my wife in college courses, DMV forms, etc. asked for one’s race.

      In her life in Brazil, this was not a question or concern when doing the above, so her initial impression was that the US was racist for such a focus (“why do they care what my race is”). I explained to her that the forms were like that because the liberals felt it was necessary.

      On our mixed-race kid’s I leave the race box unchecked on the school forms.
      Did the same on the National Science Foundation ( NSF) survey when I completed my PhD in engineering. Couple of months later, the NSF sent me a letter asking for me to list my race–I ignored it.

      Yes, race is a complicated part of the human condition.

      • Raul De La Garza III

        I suspect that the policies of Affirmative Action may have something to do with that. We offer Martin Luther King, Jr. a serious apology.

  • I think that racial identity is natural. You cannot move past it. I think the “we are all the same” ideology is a loser – we must find a way to defeat the portrayal of ourselves as the enemy – as a threat to be defeated. Identity politics has a flaw – it needs an enemy. We have to not be seen as the enemy.

    • Raul De La Garza III

      Cannot move past it? That is the most ridiculous thing I have read and I believe it is a lazy way to think. My common enemy is the one who cannot think beyond race or ethnicity.

      • Well then Raul you have a lot of enemies in this country – as evinced by the last several national elections. Look at voting patterns.

        I should not have said “cannot move past it” I should have said “should not move past it.” Trying to improve on God’s handiwork is just the lates (in an eons-long) effort of man to build a new Tower of Babel.

        • Raul De La Garza III

          I do have a lot of enemies in this regard even within my own family where I have been accused of not being “Latino enough”, whatever that means. Whatever it does mean, I suspect that it has very little to do concerning the color of my skin or from whence my ancestors hailed. Never have I experienced such close-mindedness but in the civilian sector. Serving in the USAF was not paradise but at least I was seen as an equal and judged on my character and performance. Only since I have left the military service have I experienced such ignorance and hostility based on race and ethnicity. Most often this has come from within my own so-called ‘race’.

          At times, I do feel like one of the elves leaving middle earth in what Tolkien has characterized as the ‘long defeat’.

          • Just remember, Tolkien was a racist too. The clues throughout LOTR make it all too obvious.

            • R.C.



              I assume you were being ironic, right?

          • beccolina

            My husband (who is Hispanic; I am white) encountered this within his family when he 1) became engaged to me and 2) enrolled in college. His siblings and nieces and nephews were very opposed to the marriage. His father did not even attend our wedding, or his graduation because, “He thinks he’s too good for us now.” It was very confusing for me, to encounter a culture that didn’t value higher education, and frankly, I thought I was a rather good marriage catch. They eventually got over it, and one of his brothers actually decided to go to college, too, but things were very strained for a few years.

    • dpt

      “I think that racial identity is natural”

      Business takes me to Japan, China, Korea, etc. many times per year. In the US, we tend to label people from all these countries and cultures as “Asians”, but in my friendships with co-workers etc. from those countries it is a simplistic bucket.
      Japanese and Koreans have perceptions and prejudices about each other as do Koreans and Chinese, etc. Boy, I’ve heard some harsh comments some of the above have about Filipinos and Vietnamese. Our “Asian”/”Asian American” bucket fails to capture the complexity.

      • All of the buckets fail to capture actual complexity. The difference between white subgroups can be profound. The latin/germanic split is huge, just to mention one major divider. Black subgroups also differ in major ways. Somali, Jamaican, and US born blacks from harlem might as well be from different planets.

  • Confederate Papist

    Problems I see, the following terms fractionalise the electorate:

    African-American – really? Where in Africa are you from?
    (Any country in Europe or Asia)-American – really? Where in (Any country in Europe or Asia) are you from?

    Nobody identifies with being American any more.

    Another note: White liberals elected Obama to his second term. If only 13% of the USA is black (yes, I said “black”), another 13% or so not black or white, AND they all voted for Obama…and if all white folks did not…Obama would have lost. So, whatever…race may have been an issue for some, liberalism punked it all. Why don’t we forget about the race thing, because the most concerning thing for us on this Catholic blog is why did Catholics once again carry Obama after he openly declared war on the Catholic Church? When will we analyse that? There are many races in that big tent and we are all in the cross-hairs!

    • That’s true. Why not focus on why, without American Catholics, such things as abortion rights, gay marriage, and assaults on religious liberty wouldn’t stand a chance. I mean, I’m as happy to pile on Conservative Republicans as the next guy. After listening to Rush and his Santa/Elves tirade, it’s not hard. But what about the ease with which you can predict that those things the Church is most passionate about resisting, will time and again be sustained by those within the Church?

    • ds

      African- American: African = racial heritage, American means they are, well, American. And notice African is the adjective. American is the noun.

      And, to flip a Jeff Foxworthy on you, if you really bug out about what people want to call themselves… you might be a racist.

      • Confederate Papist

        Notice that you only focused on the African-American part of my statement when I also clearly stated that the whole hyphenating thing was the problem. You only want to see what you want to see. Perhaps exile was the best place for you ds.

        • ds

          Oh, btw most African Americans don’t know where in Africa their family comes from because they were brought here in chains and stripped of their culture. Think about it.

          • Confederate Papist

            Thought about it…don’t care.

            I know where my Italian ancestors came from but I don’t identify myself as “Italian-American”…in fact, Italians in Italy would laugh at me and tell me that I’m not Italian at all…which really happened. An Italian man told me, after I told him I was Italian too, “no…you are *not* Italian”, which took me aback (this was over 20 years ago) know what, he was right. We can remember where we are from, but where we are from doesn’t care where we are now.

            • Grace Potts

              Just to clarify: you don’t care that human beings were brought here in chains and stripped of their culture? I want to be sure I understand you correctly.

              • If we were to seriously care about culture stripping, we’d burn down our public schools. They are perhaps the biggest culture strippers in the country and were operating as proud culture strippers long after the last slave ship landed on these shores. All assimilationists are, at heart, culture strippers.

                Now bringing people here in chains and forcing them into perpetual bondage, yes, that’s a major problem. And you might be surprised that this sort of thing is still going on. Go look at the modern anti-slavery movement and you might be surprised to see who shows up to support it and who doesn’t.

          • dpt

            Pope John Paul II called the African slave trade a genocide.

            Not sure why folks get up in arms about terms like African-American and Asian-American.
            Such hyphenations have been used in the US for 100 years or more, there are plenty of clubs and groups named Italian-American, Polish-American, German-American, etc. Growing up in the Northeast I recall numerous such group and organization names and they date back to the late 1800s or early 1900s.

    • “Nobody identifies with being American any more.”

      Black novelist Walter Mosley has said that his father, who was born and raised in Mississippi, never considered himself an American — Americans were white people — until he was drafted and sent to fight in Europe during World War II. If the Germans thought he was American enough to shoot at, then he figured he must be American.

      • Raul De La Garza III


  • Confederate Papist

    For the record…I have been discriminated against solely because of my Roman Catholic faith….and so have my children.

  • Richard Bell

    Oh, for the good old days of the dying Roman Empire, when there were three or four african popes and nobody bothered to mention their skin color, and any capable, ambitious son of a freed slave could become emperor.

    • Yeah, real picnic that time was. At least it wasn’t America.

  • ds

    OK I’m coming out of self imposed exile to comment.

    This is really great, the reader’s write and Mark posting it.

    And then most of the regular commenters proved her point.

    There are MANY code words used by the GOP and other racist nuts. Maybe do a little research on this before just typing away.

    example: Obama is “arrogant” = uppity
    Maybe you don’t mean that when YOU say it, but many do. Perhaps look into why this is hurtful to some before telling them NO ITS NOT RACISM.

    You know, seek to understand rather than be understood, comfort rather than be comforted. I think I read that somewhere. Something about love in there too, if I remember right.

    PS Mark good one here, and I keep lurkin cause I like reading you. But well… you still suc-. Aw shit nevermind.

    • Of course the only thing as bad as racism is exploiting racism for political or ideological gain. I haven’t seen anyone say there aren’t racists in the GOP, or among conservatives. The point is, they’re not confined there. The old ‘it’s white Conservative Christian men’ that’s the problem went the way of the butter churn about two election cycles ago. I’m just shocked at how many keep playing it (though I admit the not-so-subtle tendency in the first couple years of Obama’s administration for some to define racist as anyone who opposed anything Obama was trying to do, may have ginned up the racism that was still there.)

      • ds

        Yes, because defending the GOP as not much more racist than anybody else is the takeaway you should have from this. Keep doin it wrong.

        • Confederate Papist

          ds – who the HELL are you to be one one who decides who is racist or not? When one points a finger, they must realise there are three point right back at them.

          • You are missing the point, I think. I’ve been reading Catholic blogs for a long time, and this is the first time there has been a very real effort to discuss racism, and how minorities often feel excluded. And yet when we dare to start talking openly about this, a bunch of people reflexively counter with “well, liberals/Democrats/blacks/latinos/asians are racist too!” Perhaps, but it is not really helpful to the issue at hand, which is that many minorities do not feel welcome in the GOP or conservative circles or even some Catholic circles. Instead of listing all of the mean things that have ever been done by minorities or liberals, we should instead be focusing on putting an end to racism and prejudice.

            • ivan_the_mad

              Yes, as has been pointed out repeatedly, “Well, them too!” isn’t an effective rebuttal, but a poor attempt at avoidance.

            • Confederate Papist

              Beadgirl – I made a point about people hyphenating with nationality when they should just consider themselves “Americans”. ds took it as an opportunity to deem who the racists were on this comment thread. My other, more important point was that as Catholics, we should focus on why the majority of Catholics re-elected a man who openly declared war on our Church…a Church, by the way is filled with blacks, whites, reds and yellows….

              But let’s focus on what bunch of racists so-and-so is…that’s more fun.

              For the record, I’d much rather be in the presence of a Southern black, with whom I have more in common, than a Northern white…does that make me a racist?

              • Argh! Ok, first of all, may I humbly suggest that for a very long time non-whites (heck, non-Anglo-Saxons) were not considered true Americans, and that attitude is apparently still around, given yesterday’s comment about minorities being “so-called Americans”? Moreover, in some cases the designation of “____-American” might also been chosen out of solidarity and out of a desire to identify with both one’s ethnic heritage and national heritage? I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with identifying myself as an American and a woman and a Latina and a Catholic, emphasizing one or the other as necessitated by context. The fact that I have other labels does not take away or diminish my status as an American.

                Second, this is a post about racism, so talking about racists isn’t more fun, it is the point. Telling us that we should not talk about racists and instead talk about another subject entirely is not helpful. You may not feel racism is relevant or very important, but it clearly is to some of us, and Mark clearly feels it merits a post or two.

                Third, please please please don’t invoke “I’m not [insert prejudice here]! Some of my best friends are [insert demographic here]!”. I don’t think anybody here is accusing you personally of being racist.

                • Confederate Papist

                  I don’t deny that racism exists. I do think that the above person’s story is more of an affirmation of his (or her) character and a indictment against the characters with whom he (she) associates.

                  I have less patience for this since I think the whole “racism” thing is a strawman argument…not because it’s not valid, but because it’s been hijacked on both sides to a point where real racism is clouded by all the faux accusations…David Duke, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and all are in the race hustling business and they want to stay in business. If racism went away tomorrow (and boy, do I pray that it does!!) these poor jerks would have nothing to do.

          • ds

            You protest too much. And i’m pointing ten fingers and my butt at you.

            • Confederate Papist

              Wow…I am really stunned by the profound intelligence you are displaying. How can anybody respond to such wisdom?

              • ds

                Don’t strain yourself with a reply, I know it’s been a rough day, expending so much energy on being affronted. I’ll go back to exile now, you can sleep easy.

                • Confederate Papist

                  I’ll just ignore you.

            • ivan_the_mad

              ds, I must admit that I laughed heartily at that.

        • I am curious what you think about President GW Bush’s phrase “the soft bigotry of low expectations”. This was a genteel way of calling Democrats racist. Perhaps this phrase was so deep a “code word” that they just missed it? It’s not that the GOP is slightly more racist. It’s that the GOP is less racist in its policies and its ambitions while Democrats are more racists because they assume that blacks must have gimmies and hand outs to make it in this world.

          When Condoleeza Rice was called “house nigger” by fairly prominent editorial cartoonists on the left who I believe were white I do not believe they lost their jobs nor suffered much for their racism. Lawrence Eagleburger, I read recently, was the last white GOP head of the State Department and he left office in 1993. The GOP gets zero credit for its minority nominees to cabinet positions.

    • Margaret

      But then what do we non-racist people do, when we really do think Obama *is* arrogant, and want to call him out as such? He does the very same upward-chin thrust that my oldest son does, and I call my son on it ALL THE TIME. It looks arrogant, and at least in my son’s case, it’s always accompanied by words that confirm the body language.
      I’m sorry, but I refuse to give up legitimate, useful words because liberals have declared them “code words.”

      • And nobody’s saying you can never use “arrogant” again. We are simply pointing out one way that word can be used, and asking that people be aware of the issue and think and whether they have any unexamined assumptions that should be examined.

        • Sorry, typing too fast. That should be “and think about whether.”

          • Rosemarie


            See, I don’t see “arrogant” and “uppity” as synonyms. Arrogance is more inward, having an inflated opinion of oneself. It’s related to pride. Uppity is more outward and social, acting in a manner above ones position in a social hierarchy. Arrogance can lead to uppity behavior, but they are not the same thing. One could also act in a manner others consider “uppity” without being an arrogant person. I’m sure some people thought Rosa Parks was being uppity when she refused to move to the back of the bus, but she wasn’t arrogant. She was just demanding to be treated equally with her fellow human beings who happened to have less melanin in their skin than she did. And she was right.

            Obama does come across as arrogant but I wouldn’t consider him “uppity.” The very notion seems strange to me. Maybe because I’ve always been told that in America we’re all supposed to have the freedom to move upward on the social ladder, to make a better life for ourselves, maybe even become President. “Uppity” assumes that it is somehow wrong for a particular group of people to strive to better their position in society. That attitude doesn’t strike me as congruent with the “American Dream.” We’re all supposed to be allowed to do that here, at least in theory (I know it hasn’t always been permitted for some ethnic groups). Also trying to make a better life for oneself doesn’t mean you’re arrogant.

            President Obama did well for himself in life; good for him, that’s the American way. Oh, and he also happens to be an arrogant individual. Just not “uppity.”

          • Margaret

            I dunno, maybe I’m just emotionally exhausted after watching the abortion president get re-elected, but I already make a real effort to be mindful of these things. I live in a very diverse area, and I have a disabled teenager, so I’ve already been *living* the whole “don’t judge/make presuppositions” thing for a really long time. I’m just a bit worn out from always having the specter looming of nasty labels like racist or homophobe being thrown at me for making statements that are NOT motivated by hate and are only perceivable as hate if you have the special code book to refer to.

    • Confederate Papist

      Definition of racism – Oxford Dictionary
      [mass noun]
      the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races:
      theories of racism
      prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior:
      a programme to combat racism

  • Janet O’Connor

    I agree with the statement about race- that we are all of the human race descended from our first parents Adam and Eve. In my opinion since the 1960’s during the cold war, there started appearing all of the talk about categories of People, first the Feminists Movement (radical feminist) so we ended up with the word Misogynist. Then we had the Black race (originally called Negroes) again until the 1960’s (Black Power etc) than it moved on to African American. Finally we got the same sex people who went from being homosexual and lesbian to “gay” What cause the changed in terms. So called PC or as it is really known by its real name “CULTURAL COMMUNISM” Wake UP!

  • Pancho

    Why are people still in denial?The GOP looses 90+% of the African-American vote and 70+% of the Latino vote, several of Mark’s readers left thoughtful comments from minority perspectives about why it happened, Mark highlights a comment that does a good job of summing up those perspectives, and how do people respond? That there really aren’t such things as code-words, that other people can be racist too, that some people must’ve have voted for Obama because he’s black, etc. etc. This same sort of denial has gone on before and did little or nothing to assuage Black and Latino fears. Why should it help now. The GOP and social conservatives are doomed if they continue with this and don’t accept that these minority voices know what they’re talking about.

    • ivan_the_mad

      Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

    • Mark Shea

      Pancho: Exactamundo. All part of the veil of unreality that has afflicted the Thing that Used to be Conservatism. Treating with reality means that when somebody who, in many ways, agrees with you on the deepest values of life and faith say, “You know, the right really does telegraph that me and my kind are unwelcome” the smart thing is to listen to that and ponder it, not swat it away with a bunch of excuses and defenses. It’s not a personal attack on every conservative. Indeed, the people who are saying it hold the core conservative values. But they are also experiencing something that is real. Listen. Heed. Learn. Get outside the veil of illusion and practice prudence. That’s all I’m saying.

      • dpt

        Hadn’t realize until yesterday that GW received a bit over 40% of the Latino vote (not sure which year…2000? or 2004?).
        Back in 2007 or 2008, our super-liberal congressman here in the East Bay CA stated that he thought the Dems could work out the immigration issue with GW, but some obstinate GOP members in the House blocked those efforts.

        If they could have tackled that issue back then, perhaps the recent election for the GOP would have played out differently. Well, there is 2016.

      • Pancho

        Mark: The sad thing is, there have been voices in the GOP and among social conservatives who have been listening and trying to explain to their fellow conservatives and party-members but they’ve been drowned out. George W. Bush, of all people, managed to get something like 40% or more of the Latino vote because the Bushes built up a certain amount of trust with Latinos *despite* the rest of their party. Rather than learn from them, the party continued in the other direction while getting fewer and fewer Latino votes with each national election. That loud thumping noise you hear? It’s Jeb Bush, knocking his head against the wall in frustration.

        • Mark Shea


        • Raul De La Garza III

          It is possible that he was so successful with those who share my heritage due to his governorship in a border state. Unfortunately for Romney, even my father was fond of saying, ‘Never trust anyone from Massachusetts’.

      • ML

        I agree with Pancho. I am a frequent blog reader and I almost never comment. I haev learned a lot and become a better Catholic nad human being for what I have learned here, but what has happened over the past few days has me thinking about quitting the blogs. It wasn’t the campaign, not even in the last few days of the campaign when both sides brough out attack dogs willing to say whatever it took to get the job done, (see NCR and Zmirnak). That I expected. But the response to the loss has been mind boggling. Bloggers and columnists I admired not only doubled down on their previous beliefs, but showed an absolute unwillingness to try to pop the epistemic bubble, or even see the other side’s point of view. Obama would like to see my adopted baby dead, for example, even though said baby was born healthy during the Obama administration. Intelligent people with years of theology behind them, people who absolutely know better, saying that Catholics cannot vote for any Democrats, trading their knowledge for the elephant, not God.

        Having said that, my husband is Asian and his whole family has been Republicans since they moved to America, and evey one of them has become more liberal and most voted for Obama this year. Thanks mostly to immigration policy and this type of coded and not-so-coded racism, they no longer feel welcome and they should be total Republican loyalists if your look at their life stories. I don’t think the GOP is getting any of them back anytime soon.

        Also, slavery was not long ago and far away. There were people who voted on Tuesday whose great-grandparents took them on their knees and told them stories of being enslaved. Their grandparents feared lynchings and they watched people who looked like them killed for the color of their skin. They were barred from school and thrown in jail and their oppressors cried, “states’ rights.” If you think for a minute that the majority of African Americans who have lived through all that see Obama and sit around seriouly thinking about voting for Mitt becuase of the finer details of his economic policy, or because they may have slightly lower taxes, you have got to be kidding me. Anyone who can’t (won’t) see this or thinks that most black people vote Obama becuase they like government handouts is an idiot.

        You also may be interested in this look at race and the GOP, which echos many of Mark’s thought, but even more pointedly:

        For more on what slavery did to individuals and families in a way you will never forget, read this:

        • Astrek

          I second that reference for Ta-Nehisi. He is probably the best writer in America today who can discuss race in a profound way, without insulting the intelligence of his readers. Whether you agree with him or not, you come away with increased understanding after hearing him.

        • dpt

          A power ending too: “Uppermost among the the American slave society’s great crimes is that it wrecked the natural organizational structure of humans–the family. It gave profit motive to destroying and perverting the family, to making war upon the family. And it only ceased this war at gunpoint.”

          Begs the question of what our current materialism and consumerism is doing to families.

        • The point about state’s rights is an excellent one. As I’ve grown older I’ve come more and more to appreciate the wisdom of strong state rights. That said, the mantra of state’s rights has become so inextricably entangled with pro-slavery rhetoric that, whether it s a code word or not, many people reflexively believe that it is supported solely to reduce the rights of minorities.

    • Right on. It doesn’t hurt, and can only help, to listen to what we are saying and try to understand our perspective.

    • Because Pancho, the same narrative that says people in the GOP are clearly racist for opposing amnesty for immigrants, or just for being in the GOP, is the same narrative that says anyone who opposes gay marriage is clearly a homophobic bigot, or who opposes abortion rights is clearly some misogynist sexist pig. Nobody is denying there is racism in the GOP. Of course there is. Anything as vast and broad that includes so many millions of people is bound to have its share of bad apples. There are things like racism and sexism and bigotry in the Democratic party too, it just doesn’t get the press (hence the difference in coverage between Limbaugh/Fluke vs. Maher/Palin).

      Thinking I can separate myself and do a Chevy Chase on others while I’ll be the dude admired by all those pro-choice, pro-gay marriage folk for just how awesome I am for seeing the evils in all those other non-progressives, probably leans a little toward the naive.

      It’s not denial. It’s not blame shifting. It’s keeping it real. Sure racism in the GOP hurts the GOP. The BIG question is, why is it that no amount of sexism, racism, or any bigotry at all, no matter how flagrantly displayed or ignored, does any harm at all to the Democrats? Is it true that to oppose this or that policy proposal is, in fact, default bigotry? If so, that’s sure food for thought.

      • CM (Cathlen)

        This is my last post. I need to come up for air and my comments clearly aren’t welcome here. Pancho & ML and several others you are beacons of light! Thank you! I find many of the other comments here frightening to say the least. I think there exists far more racism in “conservative” circles than I originally thought. I now think it’s possible that those comments that bubble up when I talk to people after mass, might actually stem from a place far more sinister than I even imagined. So I’m not going to pull the veil back any further. If I didn’t keep going back to check the title of this blog, “Catholic and Loving It,” I would have no idea that this was a conversation taking place in a Christian context. Ultimately the point isn’t about the future of some conservative movement; it’s about the Kingdom of God. So Dave G, when you say that you won’t consider your attitudes regarding race because people consider the Church’s stance against gay marriage as being prejudiced against homosexuals YOU SERIOUSLY MISS THE POINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s BECAUSE Christians have lost moral capital in matters of race that they have lost credibility in conversations about gay marriage. It’s BECAUSE they don’t stand up on mass against Limbaugh calling a young woman a “slut” or congressmen talking about “legitimate rape” that they lack moral credibility when speaking about abortion.

        So before I go, I have to thank you for helping me figure out what the Lord is calling me to. Maybe my identity as a conservative among liberals isn’t a bifurcated identity after all. I don’t think I am called to be in community with “conservatives.” (Thank God, because there is clearly no place for me here–and I was really only trying to serve my own needs anyway. I don’t think we have a shared meaning of what it means to be conservative anyway!) While conservatives’ moral capital is low among liberals mine isn’t. So I think I’m called to be the kind of Catholic who can engage liberals meaningfully on Catholic issues. I haven’t engaged people as boldly as I should have, and maybe I was seeking shelter among “conservatives” so I wouldn’t even have to do so. That has to stop! I have to “be the change I want to see.” Growing in holiness should be my only project and the Trinity my true community. –Peace

        • Mark Shea

          You are welcome here anytime. I hope that those who have spent such immense energy not listening will figure out that the problem was not you and reflect a little bit on why a natural ally and devout Catholic sister in Christ feels so unwelcome. Sorry to see you go. Hope you come back.

      • Dave G., the truth is racism and sexism are *rarely* flagrantly displayed by Democrats, that’s why they don’t get called on it. Do you really think that if racism was openly expressed on the left minorities would be turning to the Democrats? That doesn’t make sense at all.

        I think you’re confusing narratives. It’s not whether people are racist for opposing amnesty for immigrants. Its about whether that opposition is accompanied images and rhetoric with hostile and racist undertones. When the word “illegal” is used as an insult towards people (and it has been used as and insult towards me, a Mexican-American) one begins to think about what’s being said, how it’s being said, and to read between the lines.

        I don’t understand why it isn’t enough that someone tells you “this is how you’re coming across to me”. It’s more than just “a share of bad apples”. It’s been a constant undertone in the rhetoric since the days of Pete Wilson and Prop. 187. This is the message Latinos have been getting and until the GOP can come to grips with this reality they can kiss Latino votes goodbye.

  • Raul De La Garza III

    I deny not that it, that is racism exists or that there are these ‘code words’. I admit it freely. I just find it all sickening, disgusting and damaging to the cause of liberty. I hate to consider that I was near shot down in the skies over Croatia all so that we might bicker about ‘code words’ in what is supposed to be the ‘melting pot’ called the United States of America.

  • Andy

    “The demographics race we’re losing badly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”

    Doug Preisse (right), a top adviser to Gov. John Kasich, actually spelled it out to the Columbus Dispatch:

    “We shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine.”

    An then the GOP wonders why 90+% of African-Americans did not vote for Romney, and why more than 70% of the Latino vote did not vote for Romney. The above are only two of many that a simple Google search turned up. Instead of saying that folks who are minorities (soon not so much) are wrong – think about what is being said. I cannot imagine, and pray that these comments among many are representative of true conservatism, but they seem to define the Republican party and how it has contorted conservatism.
    I would love to see a real conservative movement in the US to act as a worthy opponent of what liberalism have become, but ignoring what is perceived by a growing segment or segments of the American population is at best foolish, but more actually a death wish for the party.

  • The Deuce

    If we’re going to condemn racial code-words, I think we also ought to call out the increasingly common, and far more overt examples of racism that are allowed in popular media, like this:

  • Blog Goliard

    I learned back in college, when the “sensitivity trainers” came to town and managed to turn previously happily-coexisting black students and white students against each other, that the sensitivity racket–including the relentless ferreting out of hidden “racism” in all forms of expression–is expressly designed to increase, not decrease, racial consciousness and conflict and ill will.

    • Confederate Papist

      Where’s the “like” button??

      • Yep…not that racism doesn’t exist. It clearly does, and some people might use certain phrases (I’m still waiting to hear which) as a “code” for racism. That doesn’t mean that everyone, or even most people, use those words in such a manner, and stoking up suspicion is itself a grave evil.

        Rebecca Hamilton wrote a post about politicians and political parties recently, describing how the parties purposely CREATE or EXACERBATE wedge issues in order to get votes, even at the expense of the good of our country. I believe that racism is one of the issues that the Dems use (the GOP has their own, different issues.) It’s all very deplorable.

  • Confederate Papist

    Given some time to think about this….one person blames one, then the other blames the first, then so on, and so on.

    Who is stirring the pudding and “reporting” these situations, stoking the fires, if you will? The media. They create the problem, report it, make it worse, report it, make it worse, etc…..add about 80 to 90 years to the process…and you have 2012…

    • ds

      Yeah the dern media causing all those problems in the south back in 20’s n 30’s. The south would’ve dropped segregation much sooner if people didn’t point out it’s inequalities! Pudding stirrers, the nerve of them!!

      • Confederate Papist

        See…you’re just showing how misinformed you are.


  • Ted Seeber

    Mea Culpa. I have real problems seeing race, but that’s because of my Asperger’s- in that I have real problems telling *anybody* apart. I’m so face blind that two guys with beards look alike to me. I’m so face blind that I can barely tell Mark Shea from Jimmy Akin from Alan Keyes.

    And it’s been 30 years since I recognized myself in a mirror.

    But racism is as much an intrinsic evil as abortion is. And so I guess I wasn’t too far off in my despair (which I am going to confession for tomorrow *before* I go to Mass). Just had the wrong intrinsic evil for the GOP is all.

  • Nonymous

    Random thoughts and reactions. The amount of suspicion, generalization and projection in the quoted letter is . . . ironic. I spent 4 years listening to respectable media tell me and anyone else that opposition to the federalization of health care and, indeed, anything else the Democratic party wanted, was racism. I well recall the NPR special report on the health-care debate that featured US history professors talking about racism in Pennsylvania elections in the 19th Century . . . I suppose a black person who listened to that report (and thousands like it) uncritically would just accept the real message — opposition to any idea advanced by a black political figure is racism. Never mind that opposition to Clarence Thomas and Alberto Gonzalez isn’t racist, because they’re not Democrats and threfore not really black or hispanic. I suppose people uncritically listening to those arguments would just accept the real corollary — opposition to any Democratic policy (whether or not advanced by a black political figure) is racism.

    But by that time we’ve left the actual concepts of race and racism far behind. Instead we’ve entered an intellectual and emotional world in which the United States is contracted to allegiance to a political party, and opposition is evil and un-American merely because it opposes. Inevitably, people who live in that world will see the ‘other’ group as a set of tyrants and demagogues rather than partners in a civil society. Mutual fear and repudiations increase. But the ruling class is fine with that. They’d don’t mind if we behave like a prison population — Aryan Brotherhood versus Black Guerilla Family versus Mexican Mafia. It’s what they think we’re like anyway — backwards, uneducated and easily led, worthwhile only as fodder for the ruling class’s enthusiasms du jour which will, magically, transcend racial antagonism and create a world where there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female — just happy proles who are all one in the state. (People who think the federal government is the only forum in which problems of race and justice can be addressed through a ‘national conversation’ are more than halfway to prole status already).

    Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are identical in this regard, and so is the bunch running NPR and Human Events. Ironically, it means that ruling class are the only ones who aren’t racists. Pimps aren’t whores. The process is self-sustaining and independent — once politics is all, or at least all that really matters, and once people see race, culture and religion as their attainment of an unadaptable and unique good, the rest follows. The necessary process begins in every human heart, so that no one is beyond reproach.

    The true basis of a civil society lies in answers to questions such as, “Is it wrong to tell a lie?” and “Should every stranger be welcomed as Christ?” Those questions are ungood. They do not register in our Newspeak. Thinking about the goodness of lies in a categorical sense is ridiculous because it matters who is lying and why. Referring to Christ is particularly ungood — even as the imaginary metaphor He “really” is, He is imagined as independent of the state, even (gasp!) as an idea which can oppose the state. People who suffer from that backwards delusion are psychologically capable of any mental perversion. They can imagine Pakistani children as images of some god which the state dare not destroy, or develop insane pseudo-philosophies that interfere with population control programs right here at home. The myth can be useful (on a temporary basis) only if it’s canalized and altered to serve political claims that define Christ in terms of ruling-class priorities — does Christ mean state recognition of gay marriage or does Christ mean state opposition to gay marriage? Does Christ mean higher taxes or lower taxes? This war or that war? Every use of Christ as a metaphor for present politics (instead of the other way round) is another step toward that longed-for day when America can be discussed without reference to Christ.

    So is every claim that if Christ really matters, Christ’s significance will inevitably lie in the state and state programs, and that trying to separate Christ from the state’s current priorities is indifferentism or quietism. A man or woman who lives like Christ will do good, refrain from evil and is impossible to control. Such a life is not a political reality. It is a reality which politics must accept. The difference is enormous. It means that Christ is not a question which must be answered by the state and that we do not need permission in order to believe, or affirmation in order to act. The difference is frightening. It means we must rely on grace and miracles, because without them we will be crushed by the state and the world it serves. It means we may not be able to live the lives we thought we could live, and that we must be content with much, much less than we deserve. His servants spent 400 years as slaves to Pharoah, generation on generation dying after lives that were far less than they deserved.

    Do I have that courage? Every week I go to confession and admit that I don’t. I am part of the problem. But maybe, if I show that courage sometime, I will get more of it. Maybe, if I show that courage even occasionally, God’s mercy will be moved to send greater men and women into the world, men and women who can win the fight. There are miracles, miracles beyond imagining. My life could be one of them, God willing.

    • Confederate Papist

      Where’s the bloody “like” button??? Mark?? Anybody? Patheos??? Auntie Em?

  • Margaret

    All right, I think I’m done whining now. But I’m at an honest loss to know what, CONCRETELY, not in generalizations or platitudes, minorities who ought to be our allies, would like to see done. “Immigration reform” is way too broad. What are your specific thoughts on immigration reform? How do we decide who comes in and how many? How do we deal with the folks already here? Is assimilation allowed as a discussion point or am I inadvertently invoking a code word? (Seriously. I don’t know. And in my mind I’m thinking at least as much about my local Chinese and Indian communities as I am about the Mexicans.)
    What about the black community? What are the priorities there? How do we address them?

    As the old tabloid slogan used to say, “Inquiring minds want to know!” 🙂

    • ds

      What do you people want anyway? You’re supposed to be our allies!

      • Margaret

        “You people?” Really?!??

        Fine. I give up. Whatever.

      • Mark Shea

        Is this helping anything, ds? Do you *want* to just perpetuate hostilities? Stop it.

    • Mark Shea

      The DREAM Act seems like a decent thing to do.

      • Confederate Papist

        The border must be protected in order for it to work.

        • Nonymous

          Good question. What’s the border supposed to do? What does a working border look like? I’m not being facetious. It seems to me that Republicans think a working border is one that lets in cheap labor but not voters. Democrats think a working border does both.

          • Confederate Papist

            You are right. I guess what I mean is that it needs to be protected according to current laws on the book. I think agreement abounds that it is not currently happening.

            Try sneaking in to Canada, or Mexico…see what happens. If you don’t get caught right away, see what happens when you get pulled over or get a motel room. My guess an illegal gets treated better in the USA than one in Canada or Mexico. Canada may just kick you out, but you can be jailed in Mexico.

    • I think that abandoning some of the anti-immigrant rhetoric is a concrete thing to do. I think avoiding rhetoric that has real or perceived racist undertones is a concrete thing to do. I think challenging it among fellow conservatives and/or Republicans is a concrete thing to do. I think withdrawing support from laws hostile to immigrants, like the law in Arizona, is a concrete thing to do. I think sponsoring initiatives like the Dream act that keep families together is a concrete thing to do. I think fixing the naturalization process so that poor and working class immigrants aren’t charged an arm and a leg in paying for fees and applications or forced to hire expensive lawyers is a concrete thing to do. I think acknowledging that minorities might be right in what they’re saying and not imagining things is a concrete thing to do.

      • Margaret

        Thank you. And thank you for not biting my head off for asking the question.

    • Ted Seeber

      Here are my specific thoughts on immigration reform, informed by my new ideas on what racism really means:

      1. There should be NO difference between how we treat a political refugee, a refugee from natural disaster, or an economic refugee. Zero.
      2. In this day and age of universal satellite and drone-gathered intelligence and databases large enough to hold the total economic and criminal record of every human being on earth, there should be no reason why visa and immigration decisions can’t be run on the Domino’s Pizza model: Web and phone request, decision in 30 minutes or less with positive ID and a clean criminal record. Slightly longer- a day or two- to process political refugees who may have a bad criminal record due to political oppression.
      3. To handle the backlog of cases, hire the long term unemployed. This isn’t rocket science. It’s a simple check of records from the home country with a binary decision once you work your way through the expert system tree.
      4. GUARD THE BORDERS. Once again, hire the unemployed. The proper border guard strength for the United States is, by my estimate, 80,000 people, and 120,000 drones. That is enough people to keep an armed drone in the air on every mile of our border, with watched video, 24/7/365, with replacement parts ready to launch. Which is the proper way to deal with terrorism as well.

      In other words, let’s make refugee status and family values the prime reason for immigration once again; and protect our borders to protect not just our current citizens, but our new immigrants.

  • Peggy R

    You know, we haven’t even talked about the losses on the marriage front in 4 states.

    NCReporter is calling for bishops’ resignation–for promoting Catholic teaching.

    This is part of the retrenchment that the liberals and some “conservatives” say we must undertake.

    But note, that, while O won a good number of electoral votes, I am reading that he only obtained 50.1% of the popular vote. Had Romney’s GOTV system not crashed perhaps there’d be different results…? Thus, suggesting that a wholesale change may not be in order.

    • Ted Seeber

      Orca crashed, from a technical perspective, for the same reason the Romney vote was so low- bad assumptions about how things work in the 21st century.

  • Harry

    I think that there is a horrific tone deafness in certain parts of the Catholic Conservative blog-o-sphere to problems of race and history, mainly because we simply fail to take these problems seriously. Take this article in Crisis, for example-
    In it, the author laments the death of Old-World style manners, politeness and sense of dress. He uses a historical personality as the example of a perfect gentleman. Fair enough, you might say. But who does the author use as his example of a “Christian Gentleman”?
    Robert E.Lee.
    The article takes the surrender of Lee to Grant at the end of the war as a means by which to attack the birth of the modern world- illustrated, in the authors view, by Grant failing to dress properly for the occasion of the surrender.
    Did you catch that? A Catholic – and an intelligent one- looks at a man who fought for a nation that upheld slavery as a morally neutral enterprise (who in fact was given the option not to fight at all and refused it) and says to himself-
    “Wow! His manners are excellent! He should be a model for us!” whilst completely ignoring the fact of several hundred thousand men, women and children who – if this man’s cause had succeeded- would have remained as property.
    What’s disturbing is that not only did an intelligent Catholic – who is very probably not racist at all- think this a-ok to believe, but that the editors of Crisis thought it perfectly sane too (and who probably are not racist and did not think it morally problematic in the slightest) . It’s the danger of living in a self-enclosed intellectual bubble illustrated.

    • Pancho

      Not only that, but it doesn’t help the cause of Old-world style manners, politeness, and sense of dress either. (I know, I said I only had time for one comment below, but I couldn’t resist this one.)

    • Confederate Papist

      Nota bene, Harry; Lee freed his slaves before Grant did.

      • Harry

        That doesn’t make up for the fact that he freely chose to fight for the group that was dedicated to protecting its existence.

        • Chris M

          The reasons why Robert Lee fought for Virginia rather than the United States are .. a bit more complex than this. To judge his decision on North-Free-Good and South-Slavery-Bad polarity smacks of chronological snobbery and at best, oversimplification.

  • Pancho

    I only have time for one quick comment right now.
    “Thus, suggesting that a wholesale change may not be in order.”
    On the contrary, it completely suggests a wholesale change is in order. The Latino vote made a difference here , particularly in the (formerly?) swing states of Nevada, Colorado, and Florida. By the way, the Latino population eligible to vote is under-registered. You want to keep losing those swing states? All that will take is for Republican rhetoric to keep driving those voters in to arms of the Democrats .

    • Peggy R

      This isn’t just about appeal to various ethnic groups. We are being told to drop abortion and homosexual marriage. We are told to embrace Ocare and global warming silliness too. Drop the Christians bigots!

      The GOP in Congress would have gone along with amnesty in 07, but the voters burned up the Capital switchboard scaring the be-jeezuz out of them. The GOP establishment would like to do amnesty as much as the Dems.

      Property rights, individual liberty and prosperity and peace/stability are for any person of any race, ethnicity, creed or color and so forth.

      • But Peggy, it is indeed about the appeal (or lack thereof) to certain ethnic groups and why that has been lost by the Republicans and social conservatives in general. It was the premise of this thread and the other one. Unfortunately, it seems some people aren’t ready to listen to that sort of discussion.

        There are other issues related to the election of course but those weren’t the topics of these threads. I know that there are forces with the party that want the GOP to abandon its positions on life and marriage. That’s the irony of this situation. The GOP has, for reasons of short-term gain, alienated voters who would be allies on life and marriage issues and strengthened the party on those issues from within.

        The GOP in Congress had the backing of President Bush behind them and the Dems to get amnesty passed. They demonstrated a lack of leadership in facing their constituents. Had they demonstrated real leadership, supported the President and publicly disowned anti-immigrant rhetoric on the Right as well, they may have risked being re-elected but they would have garnered and solidified support among Latinos and immigrants in general. Support that might have lasted until this election and helped avoid GOP defeat.

        Property rights, individual liberty, prosperity, peace, and stability are indeed for everyone but that’s not the issue but rather a tangent on threads about why minorities are alienated from the GOP.

        • Peggy R

          It is unfortunate that some people feel uncomfortable in certain circles, ie, conservative movement, because of their skin color. I am quite aware that some “code words” may indeed exist such as “uppity” as discussed above. But the claim of wide spread code words has gotten out of hand. One of the socio-economic problems that concern conservatives is unwed births, and those women and their children being dependent upon public aid. That is not an issue unique to any one race and should concern all of us. The Democrat Party and media have done very well to character assassinate the conservative movement and GOP so that blacks, Latinos or other non-white groups have decided pre-emptively that they are not welcome. No GOPer says “clean and articulate” and becomes the Veep. Any remotely questionable statement and one is rushed out the door. There is low tolerance for bad behavior in the GOP. The racist groups in history came from the South and the Democrat party following the Civil War. The GOP congressoids helped LBJ pass civil rights legislation. It seems that every time the GOP seeks to reach out, it does so awkwardly or gets slapped down and called insincere or worse. The GOP cannot overcome the scarlet “R.” The media and Dem establishment see to that. They have a great investment in that.

          In any case, our nation is in economic and cultural peril. Our Church faces grave dangers. We all have to decide where we stand, what we’re going to do. We are likely to stand next to people we might not have associated with otherwise. So what? We can brainstorm together how to solve these problems as a nation. We all have to look beyond our own feelings and preconceived notions and look at the big picture.

          • Peggy, forgive me but this last comment of yours paints the GOP as the victim in all of this. I assure you it is not. How are minorities supposed to reply to statements like “he claim of wide spread code words has gotten out of hand”? Is it supposed to be “Oops, sorry, you we’re right. Silly us. Our Bad.” I’m sorry for being sarcastic but if it were real life and a friend was hurting your feelings and you tried to explain how you felt and she dismissed them and told you “Why are you upset? You’re exaggerating. Don’t you know I’m the only one who can really help you?” , how would you feel? This is exactly what’s been happening on this thread.

            • Yikes. Sorry for the typos. At any rate, I’m afraid all the other stuff you bring up, Peggy, is a distraction. Not because they topics unworthy of discussion but simply that, a distraction from current problem, the GOP’s appeal to minorities. No amount of finger pointing can fix that.

      • Jmac

        “It is unfortunate that some people feel uncomfortable in certain circles, ie, conservative movement, because of their skin color.”

        Sorry Peggy, but you can’t just dismiss the problem like that or by appealing to the “vast left-wing conspiracy”. It’s not just “some people”, it’s vast numbers of ethnic minorities that feel alienated by the GOP. It’s a bigger problem than most people on the left want to deal with, which is one reason why I can’t in good conscience support them in their current state.

        And it really isn’t fair to say “The democrats were the party of slavery/racism!” anymore. The bases have essentially switched.

        • Peggy R

          How can a person ever overcome, “You’re racist! You’re racist! I know you are!” We can’t enter into relationships with one another and work together if we continue to distrust, suspect each other and judge each other by the color of skin. If you’re uncomfortable, speak up, speak to some one offline. Whatever it takes. Tell people. Help them understand.

          I’d say the Dems are still the party of racism. They foment anti-white racism. I’ll turn the tables. “Conservative” is code for bigot, racist and homophobe. A “White male” is a sexist pig, bigot, Archie Bunker. I am glad I am a woman. Opposing a vast safety net and continual additions to it is racist, though it’s fiscally responsible and more in line with the founding ideas of liberty and limited government. Those ideas do not depend on the race of the people involved.

  • R.C.

    The problem is that the leftists consistently claim that Republicans are racist. So, folks who don’t know any better have no reason to believe otherwise.

    But Republicans aren’t racist in the least. At least, there are fewer racist Republicans than Democrats.

    And with very good reason: Republicans are so scared of the media that the moment one of them says something plausibly-racist, he’s drummed out of office. Whereas when a Democrat makes all kinds of racist-sounding remarks that would end the career of a Republican, the Democrat becomes, well, Vice President.

    This tends to have a whittling-away effect on the proportion of racists in a party, y’know.

    I would likewise assume that there are more corrupt former bankers and rapists among the Democrats. Yes, that’s harsh, I realize: But if Jon Corzine and Bill Clinton don’t prove that, so long as you hold the right political views, rape and bank fraud are AOK by the Democratic Party, I don’t know what would.

    • Jmac

      Do you have any data to back up your assertions, RC? I’d think the testimonies of large amounts of ethnic minorities that want to support conservatism but feel alienated might be telling. Unless you want to state that they’re all brainwashed media zombies and that their testimony matters not one whit.

      And seriously, can we please quit with treating large blocks of people as monolithic? Go have a beer with one of “the leftists” and you’ll see they’re no different.

  • J.George

    THANK YOU for posting this! You have expressed, in beautiful prose I might add, so much of what I have been thinking throughout this – and the last election campaign as well. I refuse to be allied with racists, and unfortunately the ‘right’ – including sadly some on the Catholic ‘right’ – has its share of them. I was happy sitting out this election and praying a novena to one of my favorite saints instead. As an Arab American, I had to deal on a number of occasions (more so in 2008 than in 2012) with Catholics, some of whom I have been friendly with, referencing Obama’s middle name and his reputed “Arab” heritage as thought there’s something criminal about being Arab and about the Arab heritage. When this kind of stuff comes from a random person it’s one thing, but as you so perfectly describe, when it is done by those who share the confession of Faith, it cuts like a knife. Thank you for posting this and God be with you. In the Heart of Christ, J.

  • CM (Cathlen)

    **This is my last post. I need to come up for air and my comments clearly aren’t welcome here. Pancho & ML and several others you are beacons of light! Thank you! I find many of the other comments here frightening to say the least. I think there exists far more racism in “conservative” circles than I originally thought. I now think it’s possible that those comments that bubble up when I talk to people after mass, might actually stem from a place far more sinister than I even imagined. So I’m not going to pull the veil back any further. If I didn’t keep going back to check the title of this blog, “Catholic and Loving It,” I would have no idea that this was a conversation taking place in a Christian context. Ultimately the point isn’t about the future of some conservative movement; it’s about the Kingdom of God. So Dave G, when you say that you won’t consider your attitudes regarding race because people consider the Church’s stance against gay marriage as being prejudiced against homosexuals YOU SERIOUSLY MISS THE POINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s BECAUSE Christians have lost moral capital in matters of race that they have lost credibility in conversations about gay marriage. It’s BECAUSE they don’t stand up on mass against Limbaugh calling a young woman a “slut” or congressmen talking about “legitimate rape” that they lack moral credibility when speaking about abortion.

    So before I go, I have to thank you for helping me figure out what the Lord is calling me to. Maybe my identity as a conservative among liberals isn’t a bifurcated identity after all. I don’t think I am called to be in community with “conservatives.” (Thank God, because there is clearly no place for me here–and I was really only trying to serve my own needs anyway. I don’t think we have a shared meaning of what it means to be conservative anyway!) While conservatives’ moral capital is low among liberals mine isn’t. So I think I’m called to be the kind of Catholic who can engage liberals meaningfully on Catholic issues. I haven’t engaged people as boldly as I should have, and maybe I was seeking shelter among “conservatives” so I wouldn’t even have to do so. That has to stop! I have to “be the change I want to see.” Growing in holiness should be my only project and the Trinity my true community. –Peace

  • Andy S

    I do not understand the point of this letter and article…is she, and are you, saying orthodox Roman Catholics are racist? I’m not. Are you? If I vote Republican I am racist? Most Catholics voted for the African American abortion advocate again? Are they racist? Because on a percentage basis most abortions kill a child of color. Weird.

    • Mark Shea
    • Andy S

      Wow…that letter is even worse than I thought the second time I read it. I can only speak for the people I am around everyday, of course, but, we didn’t dislike Obama for his half-blackness, we dislike him because he loves abortion, gay marriage, and generally hates anything associated with Christian lifestyles.

      Mark – you have written vet harshly about the God King (term of affection?). Quit acting like her letter is insightful or valuable in anyway. She may be being forthright, but she isn’t anywhere close to reality.

      • Mark Shea

        Term of affection?!

        Sigh. Stop just reacting. Think.

        • Andy S

          That was obviously sarcasm and you know it. My point was you should have at least called this letter writer on her assumption of racism….she basically just said…please read her letter again….that everyone against O was against him because of his skin color and not his evil policies. Wow. Not cool…is an understatement.

          • Mark Shea

            No. That’s not really what she was saying. I know her a bit and, believe me, that’s not what she was saying.

            • Andy S

              Sorry, his “platform” didn’t think abortion is awesome…HE did…and does. She, and now you, are trying to allow for some slippery separation of the man from his platform. You never granted that latitude to Romney or anyone that remotely thought of voting for him.
              Never was about race. Not now. Not ever.
              You are facilitating lazy (not a code word or dog whistle) groupthink, but you are better than this.

              • Mark Shea

                Sigh. Not getting it. Oh well.

          • Mark Shea

            Actually, no. I didn’t know it. Email doesn’t communicate tone too well.

  • Andy S

    Thanks for the background link….but that only takes us further away from the reality trail. The Latina writer indicated Hispanics vote for dems because dems take poverty, immigration, and education more seriously…really? Please. Tell me if you second her statement? Dems do not, by and large, donate to charities. Repubs and conservs, by and large, truly care about the poor and do something about it with their time and treasure. Dems do nothing to fix a broken public education system that has deteriorated under their control for 50 years now. Immigration? The border is a disaster. California…Arizona…New Mexico…Texas…disasters because of illegal immigration anarchy. Our God is a the creator of law and order. He doesn’t want chaos and agony for Americans or for undocumented immigrants.

    • dpt

      “The Latina writer indicated Hispanics vote for dems because dems take poverty, immigration, and education more seriously…really”

      Living in the San Fran area, I shake my head when I hear Dems and the media proclaim this. Here in our progressive paradise, the disparity and gulf between rich and poor is as extreme as any where in our nation. Neighborhoods and schools are segregated.

      Yes, Pelosi, Boxer, Lee, Stark (good riddiance hot head), Honda, Feinstein, etc. all “talk thetalk”, but at the end of the day their wealth and power grows while the gulf between rich and poor expands.

  • “The American Dream Team” demonstrates, from a historical fiction genre, of what it’s like to experience the degradation of segregation under the evil eye of Bull Connor. You probably think I am pumping up the drama volume, but slip into my skin for a New York minute and learn how life as a nigger changes everything.

  • Renee

    This post completely changed how I look at this election.

    We had two choices, both with negative consequences. Even though I didn’t vote for Obama I’m at peace, because of this post.

    I live in Massachusetts, and I voted for Romney. Romney isn’t a bad guy, he did well here as Governor. I also voted for McCain in 08′, but I liked him a lot in 2000 over George W. Bush.

    I grew up as a ‘Democrat’, even though we were Catholics. Being a Democrat is more about affiliation then party. I began to be critical of the what became of the Democratic Platform, as they pro-life candidates were being pushed further and further out in the 90s. But to vote or openly endorse any Republican, was wrong and you were to be easily defamed as a ‘racist’.

    To this day it is very difficult to get any opposition against the Democratic Party platform. Elizabeth Warren was hand picked by the Machine, and even the liberal Republicans is like the worst of both and Conservative Democrats hold little influence even though I support them locally whenever possible.

    Two years ago I volunteered for a Republican in his primary for Congress. He was a Buddhist, not a Catholic, but Catholic Charities sponsored him as a minor to escape the Khmer Rouge. My liberal friends loved him, and wished he was a Democrat. When my Catholic Democrats asked why? I responded there were no pro-life Democrats, and they became very defensive as if abortion wasn’t a factor. Well my candidate couldn’t win the primary….. even with a larger Cambodian population in the city.


  • @Peggy

    “How can a person ever overcome, “You’re racist! You’re racist! I know you are!” We can’t enter into relationships with one another and work together if we continue to distrust, suspect each other and judge each other by the color of skin.”

    Simple. No one called you or anyone on this thread a racist. All that butt hurt for nothing.

    I don’t want you to feel bad about the way I’ve been treated by people that I used to identify with, albeit very much on my own. I want you to realize that it hurts the common good, hurts our country, and hurts our world when instead of a wall of like minded individuals united, we’re splintered because you and those of like mind are content with the ranks you have and don’t care to have more. If you did care, you would be urging more of your counterparts to be more inclusive and less suspecting when it comes to a person of color in their midst. No, you aren’t a racist, you just really don’t give a crap how much it pushes people like me and others here away, and that’s a huge problem. That you don’t see that is troubling.

    If you can’t realize that a bunch of minorities who have felt marginalized by conservatives who would otherwise be their friends if there was more of a sense of equality regardless of race and we weren’t suspect because of it, then like others, I’m going to say get used to having your idiologically superior butt handed to you every election. This is my last for this series of posts. I hope something gets through.

  • I should have included there “are telling you what we’ve had to deal with” after “suspect because of it”. There. Done.

  • Grace Potts
    • Nope, hadn’t seen it. She’s an idiot. I’m sorry for her family that they have to tolerate her.
      Have you seen the broadway play on assassinating GW Bush? Or perhaps the two books on the subject? Perhaps you might want to look up the commentary on assassinating Romney. It is all sad and pathetic and I’m against all of it.