for DLC? That’s more than a fair exchange, Mr. Spencer.
Dean, of Sebastopol, California, agrees that the political
lines of demarcation need brightening.
all those that contribute to :
I just wanted to tell you guys that you are an absolutely
class act, in every respect. I have recently become aware
of your site, and it is now slated to be part of my regular
diet. You are right on the money with your assessment of the
DLC, the Bush thugs, your identification of methods used to
control, distort and destroy any progressive agenda that might
arise, etc. And in addition to your thorough understanding
and exploration of the issues, your writers are artistic,
creative, articulate and entertaining.
guys use language like a laser, and with that laser you cut
through countless layers of bullshit and rapidly expose the
substance within. Further, your point of view seems to be
remarkably internally consistent. I loved the piece on Barack
Obama and the DLC. You have deftly exposed the essence
of the issue, and framed your 'bright line questions' to him
in such a fashion as to leave no wiggle room. Absolutely marvelous!
The DLC must go. Without a truly powerful third party, there
is no hope for democracy and social and economic justice in
America when the DLC controls the Democratic Party agenda.
All progressives must know this, and any candidate that wants
to be taken seriously must steer clear of the DLC subversion.
Thank you for articulating this so powerfully.
Dodson believes the problem is a lot bigger than the DLC.
again I would like to extend my thanks to your publication
for a refreshing, intelligent and timely assessment of current
conditions in this world and in our nation.
The span of subjects from Blair and the
NY Times to domestic and international politics with real
critical thinking, is very much appreciated by this reader
and subscriber. Thanks!
If I may offer an observation on the furor
over the DLC: Have readers considered that as long as this
nation remains firmly in the grasp of a two party system there
will always be a majority of the citizens and residents left
out of the political process? After all, it is easier and
cheaper to purchase favor from two political parties that
it would be if there were more viable choices that were not
marginalized. The plutocracy knows this and strives to maintain
this system of control.
The US is the only member of the G-7 with
a two party system and it shows! We are becoming more divided
as a nation and spending increasingly larger sums of capital
for fewer sustainable gains, both domestically and internationally.
Our institutions are failing at an alarming rate and the two
political parties are steadily maintaining the status quo.
This is simply an untenable course for this nation.
Those of us who really care about the future
of this nation need to actively develop political alternatives
to the two dominant parties. I know it will not be
easy, but I am also sure it will be more rewarding
than spinning our wheels with current choices in the long
Dixon’s home folks remember him well. Dick Reilly and Christine
Geovanis butt heads with corporate evildoers through HammerHard MediaWorks/Chicago and Chicago
Just wanted to write and say how much a bunch of us at Chicago
Indymedia appreciate the blistering analysis on Black Commentator.
We've especially been enjoying the back and forth on Illinois
senate hopeful Barack Obama instigated by our old friend Bruce
Dixon. Also, our educational project, HammerHard MediaWorks,
has been including your piece on media consolidation in Black
radio markets in our skills-share teaching kit (with attribution,
of course). We hope that's ok.
Keep up the great work. Your website is a truly precious
resource on the web.
and Geovanis are referring to our May 29 commentary, “Who
Killed Black Radio News?” Or, they might be talking about
Corporate Media Like the Enemy – and no free pass for Black
radio,” May 1. We
are partial to both pieces, and pleased that Chicago Indymedia
the Bush men hold forth on foreign affairs is, at times, like
dreaming of people already dead. The American hegemonic adventure
is utterly and irrevocably doomed, but the architects of the
disaster are helpless to do anything but continue down the
road to general ruin, oblivious to the actual trajectory of
their path. They are, finally, history’s defects, now nearing
the end of their grotesque social mutations. The Pirates have
set out to conquer the world – in a bubble.
said as much in our June 19 commentary, “The
Pirates’ Blunt, Useless Instruments: The Iraq occupation cannot
The Bush men fervently believed that:
Once the U.S. military and its corporate camp
followers were fully embedded on the banks of the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers, the whole of the Eurasian land mass would
be open to American power projection. Syria would swing wide
the gates to Damascus, lest they be knocked down. Jubilant
Iranians would sing Farsi songs in praise of Coca-Cola over
Ayatollahs, while contributing their crude to the U.S.-controlled
mix. Saudi Arabia would crumble from princely rot, ridding
the U.S. of fat royal skimmers of profits rightfully belonging
to people of Aramco….
This is an occupation unlike any other in modern
history. Acting solely on greed and delusions, the Pirates
dismissed the collective experience of humanity to attempt
the occupation of a large and sophisticated society without a reasonable
expectation of collaboration from any significant segment
of the population. It cannot be done, as confirmed by the daily dispatches from
Iraq and beyond….
The Bush men are unfit to occupy anyone, the
worst possible candidates for world hegemony. Like Wile E.
Coyote, they are going down.
Piltz is a writer’s writer, a political satirist who can get
real serious when he wants to – yet is very kind to the rest
and Coca-Cola - truly inspired rhyme, practically doubled
over laughing, and speaking of colas, how about RC & Farsi,
Sprite & Shiite, Dr. Pepper & Dr. Germ? Or, Cluster
Cola, with 100 little taste explosions in your mouth - it's
coffinated! Pick some up today. Now made with
no-waste packaging: turn the plastic six-pack holder
into three sets of handcuffs!
Wile E. Coyote image, a great parallel, suspended midair out
from a cliff, legs churning - brings to mind the Tom Jefferson
quote, something about trembling for my country when I realize
that God is just. U.S. of Acme. USA! USA!
the collective experience of humanity" - well, well put,
it's stunning that this is so true. Like they're taking
the whole world through their middle-age crazy, but it turns
out it's the Middle Ages crazy.
Texas on the Tigris, too, too funny.
Did you hear the Texas legislature just mandated daily pledge
of allegiance for all public school students, as well as
pledges of loyalty to the State of Texas and the free
enterprise system? "I pledge allegiance to the
flag and to Ayn Rand's America". Texas on the Tigris
indeed. How about Fascist Germany on the Rio Grande?
And all this toddleresque flagwaving comes
right on the heels of putting Homeland Security on the tail
of the Democratic state legislators. Nope, neither shame
nor fairness lives in these ideologue twanging burgher freaks.
Maybe it's because they know they already have their God's
forgiveness in advance. Coming from a state whose very
existence was due to land theft - and proud of it - I suppose
you can't expect much better.
spins words like Larry Piltz. But Pete Rorvik is the model
Somebody should have had their name on this one. It's one
of the most brilliant and informative pieces I've seen on
commentary is a collaborative product. We use several brains
looked forward to some thoughtful responses from the readership
when we published Joseph Anderson’s June 12 Guest Commentary,
at the Bell! Bell Hooks’ Black male-bashing.” Anderson
used hooks as a straw woman to counter those who depict Black
males as, “at root, not only fundamentally different, but uniquely
pathological, uniquely predatory (especially sexually) and
misogynist - in Hooks' words, sexually immature, traumatized
those who stepped to the plate is Ms.
Trineka D. Greer, a composition instructor and graduate student
in the Department of English at Pennsylvania State University.
am really torn about how I feel. I do have a major problem
with how African American females in the academy and otherwise
are constantly made to feel like we are race traitors if we
call Black men on issues related to gender. Perhaps,
some go about it in ways that offend folks but at least
they are starting a dialogue. And quite frankly, some
folks need to be offended into action. If you
ask some Black women, you will find that many us have as many
complaints about the way Black men (sexism) treat us (individually
and as a system of treatment) as we have about "The Man"
(racism). Most of us have had more Black men call us
bitches, whores, chicken-heads (and treat as such) than we
have had white people call us "nigger". Unfortunately,
we often remain silent because of the hostility that we receive
from Black men.
the other hand, I agree with the author in his opinion that
bell hooks needs to "tighten up". Dr.
hooks often represents information as fact without substantiating
her claims with research and documentation. However,
I just read an article about sexual abuse of Black males and
research, which is documented and accessible, substantiated
that this is a huge "unspoken" problem. The
movie "Antwone Fisher" was about the trauma
caused by the abuse of young Black boys and how this pathology
contributes to many of the problems that Black men experience.
A good friend of mine who is a licensed counselor, explained
that the majority of all Blacks who get therapy or counseling
do so because it is court mandated. This is unfortunate
and I think many more of us need to come to grips with that.
I really disdain Black and White comparisons. You know,
when people say things like "if they don't do it to white
people, why do they do it to Black people?" etc.
I believe this type of rhetoric and evaluation is really limiting.
So it did unnerve me that Mr. Anderson continually made this
move throughout his article. My answer to his question
is that perhaps somebody should assert that white men's penchant
for choosing trophy wives is also pathological. Maybe that
would satisfy him and make it OK to make the same assertion
about Black men. I am a little disappointed that he
spent so much time berating Dr. hooks and virtually no time
discussing the problems, both psychological and spiritual,
that plague Black folks... Perhaps he could have discussed
why so many Black men mimic the unsavory behaviors and attitudes
of their white male counterparts (i.e. good old boy clubs,
sexual harassment, etc.). Whatever the case, more Black
men need to be taking the issue of sexism and gender-based
oppression more seriously. As a Black Feminist, it unnerves
me how oblivious some Black men and women for that matter
are to these problem. Look, Black women have been feminist
or infused feminism into their every day and ordinary actions
(i.e. Sojourner Truth, Anna Julia Cooper, Angela Davis, etc.)
long before white feminists ever invited "us" to
speak at one of their meetings.
racist disinformation network
Bacon’s excellent piece on racially hostile media survived
two months of
inattention, its shelf life sustained by the depth of Bacon’s
Distortion and Double Binds: Media treatment of progressive
black leaders,” was commissioned by Fairness and Accuracy
in Reporting (FAIR)
and reprinted by
on June 19.
commentators should avoid name-calling, stereotypes and other
distractions from substantive discussion about ideas or proposals;
represent people’s ideas and statements fairly; and portray
their actions and beliefs accurately. Sadly, when it comes
to African-American leaders who challenge the status quo,
such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton and professor
and author Cornel West, these standards are frequently violated
– including, in some cases, by African-American commentators.
Suhas Malghan connected with Bacon’s piece, immediately.
sooner had I read Jacqueline Bacon's article on your site
did I come across this article on Rev. Sharpton on the Salon
site. I shall let it speak for itself.
Salon, June 20 “The
skeletons and suits in Sharpton's closet,” Jake
readers should be forewarned. Those that
are not registered for Salon’s premium offerings will endure
15 seconds of a commercial – a tolerable experience – only
to be subjected to Jake Tapper’s relentless racism. Tapper
– an incompetent, like most of his ilk – uses Sharpton's complaints
about vicious media distortions (and outright lies) as an
excuse to perpetrate more of the same.
Selling of Academic Political Science
Dixon’s open letters to Profs. Bullock, Boone
August of last year, Denise Majette defeated Rep. Cynthia
McKinney in a Georgia Democratic primary in which Majette
stood in for the missing white candidate. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
and the rest of national corporate media had framed the race
as a battle between the spent remnants of the civil rights
era and an emerging, independent, more conservative Black
“middle class” – represented by Majette.
after the polls closed, it became apparent that the only thing
unusual that had occurred was an extraordinary white turnout,
augmented by an unknown but hefty Republican crossover. Other
than that, DeKalb County showed itself to be like most other
Dixie jurisdictions – racially polarized. Whites voted ninety-plus
percent for their surrogate candidate, Majette. McKinney was
the overwhelming Black favorite.
itself at odds with the facts, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
invented a fraudulent “study” to prove that its pre-election
coverage and predictions had been accurate – that Majette
had won a quarter to a third of the African American vote.
had already concluded that this was a mathematical impossibility,
and Associate Editor Bruce Dixon proved it. His analysis showed
that Majette could not have received more than 19 percent
of the Black vote – that there was no “biracial coalition”
in support of Majette. The Black Consensus had embraced McKinney.
and after the campaign, the AJC and the national corporate
media repeatedly called on two academics for political insight:
Charles Bullock, of the University of Georgia, and Clark-Atlanta
University’s William Boone. Both could be depended on to echo
the newspaper’s discredited position, that Black DeKalb County
was politically fractured along class and age lines. They
served their purposes, if not their professions.
among readers of ,
the AJC was no doubt confident that its lie would stand. However,
as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used to say, “Truth crushed
to earth will rise again.” As
reported on June
crime has come back to haunt the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In reporting that McKinney's people were filing papers for
a return match, the AJC was compelled to share the results
of a study by University of Georgia professor Charles Bullock,
one of the paper's regular quote men. During the campaign
and its immediate aftermath, Bullock had given credibility
to the Majette "biracial coalition" myth. Later,
however, he conducted his own study, and found that Majette
had garnered only 17 percent of the Black vote - entirely
consistent with 's
analysis, which had bent over backwards to give Majette the
benefit of the doubt whenever questions of voters' race arose.
Bullock advised Majette that what she “needs to be doing is getting out, courting in the black community,
trying to broaden her coalition because she did so poorly
in her community."
Bruce Dixon won’t let Bullock escape his own complicity in
the AJC’s propaganda. The same goes for Boone, who didn’t
bother to prove himself wrong, but may wish that his role
be forgotten. Below are Dixon’s letters to the two corporate
media quote men.
We note with interest you are quoted in
the Atlanta Journal Constitution of June 5 pegging Denise
Majette's percentage of the vote in last August's primary
election at about 16%. That matches what I got too,
as you might know from reading my article last November
in Black Commentator, and directly contradicts your assertion
quoted in the Washington
Post of August 23 that "The politics of polarization
finally caught up with her, and she was defeated by a candidate
who was able to build a biracial coalition."
Your public advice of June 5 to Majette
to get out there and start making friendly among black voters
who are the majority of eligible voters in the 4th district
is also nothing you'd need to tell the builder of a "biracial
coalition." It is, however, exactly what you might
tell a black candidate who got elected with 90-95% of the
white vote and only a sixth of the black vote last time, a
candidate who rode to office not on any "biracial coalition,"
but rather on a big white vote that she may not be able to
count on this time.
Congratulations for coming around, Professor
Bullock. What did it for you, the figures? And
with all due respect, why didn't you see those eight or nine
We noted with some interest a story in
the June 5 AJC in which your colleague Professor Bullock of
UGA appears to have reassessed his analysis of what contributed
to the victory of Denise Majette over Cynthia McKinney in
the 4th CD GA Democratic primary election last August.
Back then he was saying
(about McKinney) that, "The politics of polarization
finally caught up with her, and she was defeated by a candidate
who was able to build a biracial coalition."
apparently agreed, having been quoted around that time in
an AP story saying the following:
was a change in DeKalb, and Cynthia didn't pick up on it,"
said William Boone, a political scientist at historically
Black Clark Atlanta University. "There's a growing Black
middle class here, a middle class that is much, much different
from the Black middle class of the civil rights era. Cynthia
had the civil-rights-era politics down pat. But the voters
were looking for someone more focused in the issues, not just
someone who is Black and will look out for them." (Associated
Press, August 22, 2002.)
Well, now Professor Bullock has reversed
himself. In the June 5 AJC story he says that Majette
got no more than 16% of the black vote, a number so small
that Majette might have narrowly won without a single African
American vote. Professor Bullock does not speculate
on the percentage of the white vote Denise Majette would have
needed to make up the rest of her numbers, but in the Black
Commentator analysis last November
we save you both the trouble. Denise Majette appears
to have received 90 to 95% of the white vote in the 4th district.
So Professor Bullock seems to agree with
us, and with the math. If Majette received only one
black vote in six, just where is your emerging "black
middle class" cohort in Dekalb County, a middle class
"...that is much, much different from the Black middle
class of the civil rights era..." We ask you.
Bruce A. Dixon
to avoid giving Bruce the last word, we’ve saved Mano Singham’s
letter as the kicker. Readers will note that Dixon’s name
is not mentioned, once.
you for creating such a great website. I found it through
a link from Counterpunch
some time ago and it is now bookmarked for regular reading.
It is not often that one finds such brutally frank analyses
of current events. The tone of your site reminds me of the
attitude of IF Stone who said:
just wonderful to be a pariah. I really owe my success to
being a pariah. It is so good not to be invited to respectable
dinner parties... To be regarded as nonrespectable, to be a pariah, to be an
outsider, this is really the way to do it. To sit in your
tub and not want anything. As soon as you want something,
they've got you!"
looks like you don't want anything and don't expect anything
from the powers-that-be.
a practical note, I am writing a book on the educational achievement
gap between black and white students in the US. I came across
a good quote in
that I would like to use:
starting point of American racism is the assumption that white
people and their institutions represent the proper, normative
standards against which all other people and institutions
are judged. Once the white normative assumption is internalized,
a racist worldview flows from it as surely as water to the
sea, polluting every social space in its path."
appeared in The Black Commentator, Issue
number 42, May 15, 2003.
I give credit for the quote to just the website or is there
a name that you would also like to credit?
up the good work!
you, Mano Singham. We will all take credit, as it should be.
the following organizations for sending visitors our way during
the past week:
Back The Media
for Global Communications
Malloy: Speaking Truth to Power
comments are welcome.
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