KEKA'S BLOG

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Keka

Keka
Location
Arizona, USA
Birthday
March 10
Bio
Cynthia Dagnal-Myron is an award-winning former reporter for both the Chicago Sun Times and Arizona Daily Star whose articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, Salon, Working Mother, Orion and many others. During her Sun Times years, she traveled with and interviewed the top rockers, film stars and other celebrities of the 70’s and 80’s. And dated Arnold Schwarzenegger. Once. Her latest book, "The Keka Collection," is available at Amazon.com http://amzn.com/1453845763 and Barnes and Noble--Kindle and Nook versions available. Her latest short story, Deadline, is a Kindle book availabled here: http://bit.ly/10pqtoV

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 10, 2010 12:24PM

White Men With Guns--Reconstruction Redux

Rate: 81 Flag

 

obama michelle apes

I saw it.  But I couldn’t believe it.

There I was, in a fast food drive through, behind a man whose back window decal, in small white letters, sent me a message that sent a chill down my spine—just as he’d hoped it would, no doubt.  It said:

THIS COUNTRY WAS BUILT BY WHITE MEN WITH GUNS

Now, I was there because I needed something to eat badly.  I’ve been tending a new puppy that behaves and has to be tended like a newborn, so you only get so much “break’ time if you’re keeping to your schedule.   I had just enough to grab a bite, get some work done…and get ready for play time number…I’m not sure which.

But I lost my appetite entirely, when I saw that decal.

I’ve lost my appetite for America, period, to be honest—he’s just one of the many reasons.   Forget that fact that if he really believes this, this guy must never have read a history book in his life—it’s the fact that he felt comfortable driving around with that ridiculous statement on his back window that galls me most.   But I saw it comin'.   

When I first suggested to friends that the Tea Party and other Obama detractors were opening a Pandora’s box of deeper, uglier hatreds and behaviors…people told me to stop being so 60s/sensitive/black.   But you see…I am all three.  Which means that I have lived through and understood, on a very deep level, the messages behind today’s headlines.  

 

obamadolls

As I’ve said once before when discussing another hot button issue, I was born when Jim Crow was under siege and the Civil Rights Movement was beginning.   My fifth grade teacher was Emmett Till’s mother, for Chrissake.  Her son died at the hands of men like the one with the window decal—lynched and ditched in a river from which his teenage body was dragged, bleached white and bloated.  

Obama_Poster___ROPE___by_ADIGITALSM1LEY

She had an open casket funeral so that the world could see the horrible price of hate and ignorance.   I remember being afraid to read any of the black newspapers or magazines in Chicago for weeks because they all ran pictures of his deformed, defamed body prominently.    I lived in a constant state of low level fear and foreboding as a child.  

That fear was born of realities like the Till pictures and stories like the one about my mother hiding under the floor boards in Mississippi as night riders ransacked the house and then beat her uncle senseless.  I knew that a wrong move of some kind…or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, could get me thrown into a river somewhere.   Even in Chicago, there were areas “we” did not go.

I hate it that we’ve come almost full circle back to a kind of hatred soooo many people fought and died to end.   To be realistic, most never thought it would really end, but they wanted to make sure that the discrimination it encouraged, did.

They won at least that much.   Most of the country was able to grudgingly live and let live.   Others went underground to bide their time.   And the hatred has lingered and festered.   So when Obama was elected…they realized that their cause would be forever lost if drastic measures were not taken.  And because there were big business types who also feared Obama might do some of the things he promised, the lunatic fringe found itself being encouraged and funded by men who didn’t need guns—they had money.    And real power. 

It has to be incredibly heady to be courted by these people, who, under different circumstances, wouldn’t let you anywhere near them except to fix their plumbing.   In fact, I’m sure the power brokers aren’t out there waving the posters they help pay for.   And I bet if the people who are waving those posters could hear their benefactors talking about them in private…well…they might not really care.  Those benefactors are paying them to say things they didn’t dare for decades.

And it feels real, real good.

skidmark

It feels so good that people are voting for weird candidates almost the way some sorely neglected teenagers dye their hair blue to shock their parents.    They may not really want blue hair, but because Dad’ll be stunned and worried and Mom will cry and ask where she went wrong…they’ve gotta have it.

And as more and more of these people “come out” to their hatred and pent up frustration of many kinds, they’re enjoying the hell out of being able to scare and even beat the shit out of the people they’ve hated in silence for decades.   Oh we tsk and roll eyes and mutter platitudes, but there are thousands if not millions who, in private, find all of this absolutely…revolutionary and righteous.

blog racism obama sign

Consequently, and recently, one gay child has killed himself because he couldn’t live with it.   Another group of goons beat and sodomized a man for being gay.   Kids are “beaner hopping” now, looking for Hispanics, especially Hispanics they think are “illegal” (how they can tell is anyone’s guess) to pummel for sport.   I could go on, but…I don’t have to.   You know the rest.    I’m becoming more and more like Chris Rock on this one—it’s not Al Qaeda I fear, it’s...white men with guns.

How can I connect these crimes to the Tea Party et al?   Easily.  Any country which has gotten to the point where it’s president can be caricatured and spoken of as he has been in the graphics I've supplied, many of them brandished at Tea Party events...is in trouble.   Free speech?  You bet.  But what that right is being used to say and do right now is a chilling statement about where we are as a nation right now.

It’s not really just about Obama, you see.   It’s about  me, my family and all of the black people of America—the world, really.   Yes, there were pictures of Bush as all kinds of things—but they were “ideological.”   Much of the awful stuff being done to Obama’s images is racial.   Even if the image isn’t, the “subtext” is.  

michelle-obama-ape

Black folks know we’re being put back in our places in “code.”   And it’s an old code we know all too well—it’s a Nouveau Reconstruction thing.   

747px-Racistcampaignposter1  

If you’re a person of color or of an “alternative sexuality” or anywhere outside what the far right and Tea Party people consider "main stream" today, all sorts of internal, instinctive alarms are going off.   That old, cold feeling I carried in the pit of my stomach as a kid resurfaces regularly these days.   And it’s starting to be a chronic ache.  

You see, as I've said, I absolutely believe that this general loss of civility and humanity and fundamental respect is being encouraged by a small, cynical segment of this population which would rather see the country die than to lose control of it.   If it means releasing the hounds of hatred to keep us fighting and fault finding—so be it.  While we’re distracted, all manner of mayhem can go on unabated.  

We can even elect total idiots to Congress…or Palin to the presidency, so that these forces won’t even have to hide any longer.   She will say what they need her to say.   Do what they need her to do.   And the white dude with guns will be right in step.   He’s practicing, that’s all.   He knows his day, however brief it might be, is at hand.

Now, for those of you still not quite with me yet…let me say it another way.  A more, gut level way.    Think back to a dicey romantic relationship –one that started on shaky ground and went down hill from there.   You knew from the start it wasn’t the greatest match, but there was some compelling reason to attempt it, even so, and you were able to be civil even in the worst of times.

And then one day…in the heat of battle, one of you said something that couldn’t be taken back.  Something so hurtful, so insulting, so incredibly bitter that from then on, the gloves were off.   There were few if any civil words, just a raging civil war.

If you’re lucky, you escaped soon after that.   If you weren’t…God bless you.

Well, that, I think, is where we are now.  We tried.   For a long time.   But now,  we’ve crossed this weird, invisible line.   What’s being said can’t be taken back, and what it allows some very sick people to think and, now, say and do will be very difficult if not impossible to stop.

Scares me to death.

I can’t—refuse to-- “escape” the country I live in and love, even as it spirals out of control.   But I’m wondering how my daughter and her children will fare when I’m gone.   I fear that even some of the laws may change back somehow—when I hear Glenn Beck talk about the Constitution “hanging by a thread,” I get nervous.

That’s just more code to rally the white men with guns while the rich white men with financial and political clout get their real political strategy perfected.    Only the white men with guns have no idea that when that day comes, they're going to suffer along with the people they're currently debasing and terrorizing.  

They are not rich.   The power they wield is an illusion which can and will be taken away as soon as the rich men pulling the strings have gotten what they’re after, and those poor gun guys will discover that their rights have been diminished, too.   In fact, when it’s expedient for their rich benefactors to retire to their mansions and pretend they had nothing to do with any of this…they will throw their lap dogs to the coyotes and plead innocent if called to testify.

Old story.  But men who haven’t read a history book in their lives…don’t know those stories.  In fact, the poster below proves that many of them haven't read many books of any kind:

What's wrong with this picture?

I rest my case.   Well, almost.   Here's a little more of the ugly, ugly stuff that blew the lid off Pandora’s box.  These pictures are worth more than a thousand words.   They’re letting the rest of the world know that America really is a sinking ship.   And they’re also telling guys like the one in the fast food line that it’s open season on…everybody he doesn’t like.

Cause…he’s a white man.   Guns optional.   He’s got enough nerve—and kindred spirits—not to need ‘em.

Oh, and by the way—if you want to comment, please do.  But I won’t be responding to comments pro or con this time.  Those who agree…don’t need me to say anything and those who don’t wouldn’t listen if I did.  I just had to speak my piece.

Done.  Here are the posters and pictures:

  obamaape

 

  OMGTEHDEVILZ

obama-witchdoctor-muck

 

dope

  pin

  tea-party-comics

 

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Yes this is very troubling, but as you indicate not so surprising. What amazes me; however, is how these people continue to be hoodwinked by the Republican spinmeisters and power brokers. Talk about drinking the koolaid -- fear peddling, racial division, and tax cuts (for the rich). These "white men with guns" are just as despised as any racial minority because it is all about class warfare. Why any one who is African American, Hispanic or Gay (Log Cabin Repubs) could / would support the GOP is beyond me.
Wright has an interesting point - those white guys with guns are a despised minority. Not that they're feeling the horror and fear you, Keka, articulate so chillingly here, but they're getting intimations of loss of power. The lid off the pandora's box is letting out all sorts of awful stuff, but IT IS NOT MAJORITY STUFF. A very large minority. A minority that can temporarily slip into a majority again. But basically a dying position. Those pictures above are horrifying - but they're the minority reaction in a country which did, after all, elect a black president.

But this stuff is at least honest. (I'm not sure honesty is always so wonderful...) What gets me is the mealy-mouthed people (couple on the Sunday talk shows this morning) who deny that the tea party or any of the other clamor is racist. Just because it isn't entirely about race, or might included a few non-racists, doesn't get it off the hook.

P.S. - The pic of Obama with the horns is from the Phelps outfit, I think (in which case it doesn't count - they hate everyone).
I won't even pretend to be shocked by any of these images, but they do turn my stomach. According to some pundit on one of the talk shows this morning, people who support the Tea Party and what it stands for represent 30% of the American population. Nearly one-third of this country is being led down an unpaved road to their own destruction. Guns? Are you kidding me? There are probably African American gangs right here in Atlanta with enough arsenal to take out every Stars-and-Bars-flying redneck in Georgia. What I don't think the Super Powers That Be have taken into account is that this time they will not be allowed to get close enough to lynch anybody, and there is certainly no element of subservient reluctance to stand nose to nose with a white man with a gun. As usual, nobody wins except the puppeteers atop the Ivory Tower, happily counting their money. I am terrified.
Too many people, white and black, play the race card. This isn't about race. It's about decent people vs assholes. Obama's not perfect - who is? - but deep down I think he's a decent man who wants to do the best for humanity, American or otherwise. Politics and American society will prevent him from doing what he really would like to do, of course. But don't make this a black vs white thing. Equality is good for all people. It's a shame that the assholes in this world can't see that.
I feel sick and scared when I see this crap. I also feel helpless, I have no clue what, if anything, will stop it from happening.
This was hard to read, Keka, not b/c of what you wrote but the graphics are unspeakably horrid. I've never seen anything like this, and understand why you presented this the way you did. I'm going to have to go back and read again but one thing that jumped off the page on my first go'round in something I've been saying too, "I’m wondering how my daughter and her children will fare when I’m gone." One of my children has already left the country with no present intention of returning any time soon. This whole thing sickens me, I'm queasy reading this but it's such a critical message and it comes from a place I care a great deal about - your heart - so I'm going back to the top of the page and starting again, Keka.
When Tyler Clementi committed suicide, there was overwhelming contempt for his abusers. When Terry Jones announced that he would burn a Koran, every one (including Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck) said that it was a pointless provocation. When Mark Williams wrote his offensive "Letter to Abe Lincoln," he was excommunicated from the Tea Party Express.

I know plenty of Republicans, and plenty of Tea Party supporters -- I am both -- but not a single person who would approve of the racist images on this page. There will always be bad people (did you read about the mother who drugged her son and shaved his head to solicit funds for a non-existent cancer treatment, or the neighbors who made cruel Facebook postings about a child who is dying of Hungington's Disease?), and that includes racists, but the United States is overwhelmingly NOT a racist country.
During unrest, the first job is to make the other side less than human. The general public is afraid right now & those who oppose the Presdent are using every trick to make him less than human. It breaks my spirit to know racial crap still works, it isn't the only method in use. Every "boogyman" word that has inflamed the blood of any generation seems to be fair play today. Communist, socialist, Nazi, etc. I hope as this plays itself out, enough people will look around them & say "I disagree with the President, but that's just disgusting.".
Thanks for this post. These haters are feeling more and more empowered. Their views have become accepted. Slavery was this country's starting flaw and the racism has never went away; it just went underground. The ignorance of the signs is based on brainwashing because Obama has not been a flaming liberal at all. He has been a sensible man who believes in the American dream of all of getting together to make a better society. These people who make up these signs are hopeless and I am afraid exist in much larger numbers than people think.
I so appreciate your courage in writing this piece - as painful and disheartening as it is to read, it must have been incredibly difficult to put into words.

A couple of weeks ago, I got my own first taste of what this country has become. (I've lived abroad for 7 years) A dishevelled and skittish (white) woman was ordering a coffee in front of me in line at Starbucks. She was literally dribbling and wild-eyed, so I did the New York thing and blanked her completely. Then I noticed her giving the barista serving her an exceptionally hard time - a young black guy. Ridiculous as it is, I didn't want to be one of these overly-sensitive types (as your friends accused you of being), but she was literally talking to him as if he were slime under her shoe. I made eye contact with him and the poor chap was just having to take this abuse - being told loudly he didn't know how coffee lids worked, that he had 'attitude', that he had 'lost his tip, SON' and on. He took my order just to have something to do. As she turned to leave, she gave the not-black barista a dollar tip and said 'don't share it with HIM' then leaned across the counter, shoving things out of the way to leer at the bloke. 'Just because you have a politician in government isn't an EXCUSE'

The horrid cherry on top was that, when I asked him if I had heard her correctly, this young chap simply shrugged and said 'it just happens'. He is probably about 21 or 22. I was shaking and wanted to be sick, and this young lad was simply numb to it.

I'm sorry for the long comment, but I just wanted to say thank you for not letting people convince you that you're being too 'sensitive'. I never, ever want to become insensitive to racism and bigotry - even if it gives me an ulcer simply living in this country.
Okay, it's official, I don't get out much; that is, as a cyber surfer. I am shocked by these images never having seen them before. I guess this is what happens when you stay ensconced in your liberal media bubble.

Thanks for opening my eyes to this odious display of human depravity.
Passionate piece and disturbing images. I had no idea there are such Americans, or the kind of life you experienced existed in the last two decades of the 20th century. ~R
@dirtypj: If those images above aren't about race, I don't know what is! No, the majority of Americans are not racist -- no one said they were. What is scary is the TREND and the tolerance among certain Americans for the kind of coded hate language and racial innuendo. No matter how often or how loudly you proclaim the U.S. is not a racist country, these morons are gaining on us.
Thank you Keka, for exposing this shit. I'm scared for us all.
When we open up a pandoran box, it can be a nightmare at first. We are looking at the trend that beat us out before gain ground. This is terrifying for anyone living on Welfare or its offshoots.
I am one who cannot live without this help. I am frequently talked about as being the "Taker," the one horning in on everyone's fun. They like to hit anyone already down and struggling in case their power wanes. I don't like to dance to their tune, but must. For me, this out and out ugliness has a fear factor deep enough to keep me pretty worried some days. I used to not sleep well enough nights owing to this worry--not the best thing for one with this condition.
It seems nothing I can do is right to a whole swath of Americans whose pride and dignity are rarely questioned, even as mine was undermined and regarded as nonessential in every test I encountered that is governmental.
If Canada would accept a frightened white woman of a certain age who happens to be disabled, I'd head for her borders immediately.
Peace, Keka. This is excellent.
Rated
**sighs. sighs again. and then once more.**

a sis and i had a discussion about the nwnw campaign, and how some women feel it's an attack on black women while others think it's an issue that needs to be tackled, the topic of racism came to the forefront. racism no long surprises me. it just angers and upsets me to a great degree. and if i am to be honest, even when i dont want to offer gratification to the racist, to give them the satisfaction that the blow registered, i must admit it hurts in a very visceral way.

"What’s being said can’t be taken back,"

^ and that's the truth.
The pain I feel right now is so overwhelming I have no words to respond. I am right there with you in this truth! When I saw the story of the rape and torture of the Gay men in New York, every moment of my own torture in my own life came together in my heart! As a nation we are not who we have pretended to be. I am ashamed!
This might be the best and most gutsy piece that I have read about the unleashing of white power in our country upon the election of our first Black President.
I agree that a line has been crossed.
While I find the images above in poor taste, using them to continue an issue long misrepresented in this Country is no better. If you want to open your mind about slavery, take some time to read about White Slavery in America. This is a topic left out of history, and this omission has been one of the many causes America is the freakshow that it is.
Keka, would you please provide links to the various pictures? Two website names (for a total of three pictures) are clear. One is chan4chan.com, which appears to be an absolutely vile site. The other is freakingnews.com. One of its pictures is the "DOPE" takeoff of Shepard Fairey's iconic "HOPE" poster. I see nothing racist in it, it's pretty clever, and it's the least objectionable picture on this page.
The radicals on the right - the racists, xenophobes and supremacists - act the way they do because they are daring us, as a society, to challenge them - daring us to knock the chip on their shoulders; a challenge for which their only answer is violence.

There is a growing sentiment among these radicals that there is a coming war, either between the states or between the races. The election of President Obama seems to have amplified this sentiment among them and news outlets like Fox News and demagogues like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have inflamed these sentiments.

I am afraid that it may no longer be enough to ignore such lunacy as a fringe element.

When people like Glenn Beck calls progressives "cancers" on the American body-politic, he is also speaking to the aforementioned. They are just waiting; waiting for the sign - any sign - upon which to unleash violence on blacks, latinos and even sympathetic whites.

The only answer is that we must also demonstrate our own shows of force. Liberals and progressives should amend their typical anti-gun platforms. We must organize into our own militias to defend ourselves from radical racist violence.

We must understand that this element does not respect intellectual discourse or reasoned arguments. For them, the only rule of law is force. You cannot reason with force except with counter-force.

I know this must be difficult to accept. I rejected it too, once.

But the worsening political climate seems to indicate this is where we are going. We must not be like the gypsies, the Jews or the homosexuals of 1930's Germany. It CAN happen here, it already is.

We only need to decide whether we are going to be lions or lambs led to the slaughter.
I disagree with all of the anti-Obama propaganda except for the DOPE one....he never legalized it... DAMN HIM!

As for the country being built by white men with guns...well it was, in reality. The odd part? It's being destroyed by the same thing...but black men with guns too.

What we need is armed women...of all races...to rise up and kick everyones asses..then this bs would end.
ugh. :(
yeah, this just gives me justification for not wanting to leave my house. I am not sure that at their core the majority of people are good. Good intentions are not the same as good actions.

I'm glad you have the comfort and distraction of a puppy to take you back to what is good and right.
I often think that the single worst foreign policy decision the US ever made was asking the South back. And sure I know abt racism outside the South...yet wanting slaveholding states back set a very bad tone and ps: I'm not going to reply to anyone responding to this istatement n any way reading this post should be enough for one day for anyone and yet I thank you, Keka, for posting this.Rated
To G.O.:
White slavery wasn't left out of MY family history. Hasn't been left out of my history. My first American ancestor was a "white slave," (indentured servant) who got here in 1698. The difference was that once he'd worked off his term...he was free to go and built a lucrative business. Wasn't so for the black slaves who came over--a few managed, but most didn't.

To Ron Weiner--I Google'd and found all those pics, and you can, too. I'm not about to list links, but if you'd like to go hunting, they're easy to find.
"I Google'd and found all those pics, and you can, too. I'm not about to list links, but if you'd like to go hunting, they're easy to find."
Are you trying to avoid giving traffic to these sites? Why? I'm sure the great majority of attention would be critical. You are denying your readers the fruits of your labors and the proper sources with which to judge the provenance of the pictures. It matters whether it's an apparent joke-site like freakingnews or a site like chan4chan which has no redeeming qualities. It also matters whether the pictures are from popular sites or from obscure bloggers, and whether the comments (if any) are supportive or critical. By denying post links, you are leaving out important context.
@ G.O. : Pleased help me understand the meaning of your comment. Are you saying that because there was such a thing as White Slavery in America, that Black Slavery a) was justified, or b)is an issue long misrepresented" and, therefore, not so bad?

Whichever you choose, I think you are dead wrong. Denying the existence and/or the long-term effects of the enslavement of African people to help build America and its economy does nothing to change the facts of the matter.

Lezlie
Those images are awful beyond words. I haven't seen any of them before (even among the mass emails forwarded by my very conservative in-laws), and I hope that means that the people who created them and who disseminate them are a fringe group of racist nuts. I hope I hope I hope.

The strangest thing is that is whether you are Democrat or Republican, there are plenty of very important issue on the table -- war(s), the economy, healthcare. If it were really about "issues" you'd find a lot more discussion about positions and solution rather than racist attacks.
Ron, my last words on this subject. If you want the links, you can get 'em. You're right. I don't want to help these people get more traffic (none of the sites was "joking" about anything, and the comments that went with the pics were...sick).

But you're missing my point trying to find out if any of them were meant to be merely funny or...whatever. It doesn't MATTER where they're from, it matters that they EXIST, period, and that we live in an America that thinks this is ok. It would, in fact, be even worse to discover that they were from sites where such things were considered "funny," to be honest, but...I'm done.

Anyone who wants to find 'em, can. That's not the point of the piece. The point of the piece is how sad it is that they're there to BE found.

Done.
Very , very sad. Very sad and it makes me angry. People don't think they should vote, they have no idea what they are doing when they say things like that.....no idea. R
You're "done," but I'm not.

"It doesn't MATTER where they're from, it matters that they EXIST, period, and that we live in an America that thinks this is ok."
I'll start with the last part, "that we live in an America that thinks this is ok." I think that WOULD be important news, except I don't have evidence that America thinks this is ok, and you haven't presented it. This is the same America that voted Barack Obama into office, after all.

"It doesn't MATTER where they're from, it matters that they EXIST, period"
1) There is no utopia -- no country, no city, and probably no family -- in which SOME people don't hold objectionable views and do objectionable things.
2) It is the greatness of America that people have the free speech to express their opinions, however noble or repugnant, and the rest of us, exercising more free speech, can call them out when we see fit. I'm glad that images like this exist -- hold on a second -- in the sense that it helps us identify the haters (and shame some of them into changing their ways).
This scares me so much. Thanks for an insightful post.
I live in the protective bubble of the Bay Area and even here as we move out to the suburbs, exurbs and countryside, there is a deepening hatred of other. It doesn't matter is the difference is racial, sexual, religious or age related, it is of growing concern. I never thought I would be ashamed to say I'm an American, but in the current environment of hatred largely supported by the corporatists, I must. The root of this is the greed of many of the wealthiest people in this nation. They seem to fear that someone is going to get something for nothing and it won't be them. This sentiment is ripping the GOP to shreds and the Democrats seem paralyzed that they will somehow offend one of the factions who have been enlisted by the corporatists to destroy the fabric of our nation. It is time for Mr. Obama and those who really care to give up worrying about reelection and do what must done to save this nation and end the virulent hatred. Damn the consequences! Act and act now while you still have a chance to do something. This country voted for change, well, damn it, give it to them. The people and the US Constitution are on your side and waiting for your leadership.
tonyboy, I don't doubt that you live in a bubble.

You are not specific about what "Mr. Obama and those who really care" must "do ... [d]amn the consequences!" What exactly do you want them to do? (And where does the Constitution fit into your plans?)
It is sad, sick and scary. And you articulate it so well. Thank you.
Keka,

You rock. You wrote the blog post I wish I had. I don't know what you are doing for a living now (this blog?); I hope I can support you in some small way.
I dont even know what to say. I know you are spot on and I am so afraid for all of us.
What absolutely drives me up the wall is this attitude that all ideas have equal weight. It does not comfort me as a Gay man who has been victimized for an entire lifetime that we live in a society where the unacceptable is seen as something to celebrate as a measure of our freedom of speech. At what point do we admit that that idea is no longer working? What more proof do we need that all this is acceptable, when to call a Nazi a Nazi is seen as extreme, but Nazis spewing hatred and racism and prejudice is seen as protected speech. Stop telling the truth tellers to shut up and start telling the haters to shut up! Then I'll believe in America again! Stop calling rational middle of the road citizens extremists and then I'll believe in America again!
About a year ago I did a post resembling this one. The underlying racist thread which exists in our nati0n has been brought to the fore by Obama's presidency, yet few conservatives are willing to admit it. They talk about fiscal responsibility and a supposed creep towards socialism even as they turn a blind eye to the sort of images you show in this post. The KKK and the NeoNazis and the Aryan Nation are alive and well; their ideals have become the hidden mainstream of the new conservatism.
Keka, thank you so mch for this. This is dangerous business, but not nearly as dangerous as the people who think "it's not about race".
I had to actually turn my eyes away from some of these pictures because they bothered me so much. A very sad time for America.
"The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise!" Ben Franklin
bad wheels, noisy one, I say it's not only bad but flat, tired and stinks of burnt rubber. Thanks for this chillin r RESPECT " The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance." Thanks Ben.
Rated and much appreciated. Here's the ugly truth- much of the US is simply not ready for a black president. Had the health care bill or the stimulus been passed by a President Biden, the Teahadists wouldn't be out in the streets. Maybe you don't have to be a flaming racist to be a Teabagger, but it sure as hell doesn't hurt.
I appreciate you posting this, but I wish I'd never seen it.~r
I think the line that was crossed is a different one. For decades, racists were comforted by the theory that "everyone" "knew" that people with African ancestry are genetically inferior to whites.

Obama smashed this belief. Obama's election announced that the majority of Americans, including the power brokers and elite, think that skin color has little to do with competence or intelligence.

Rednecks with guns represent a marginalized minority and they are fighting back. It's scary, but they are not going to win because the country has moved on.
Damn . . . just . . . damn.
In a way you're giving these pathetic little men way too much attention. The only "power" they have is their individual vote; just like all the rest of us, and only to the point where the real power brokers that you finger allow those votes to be counted.

I've lived out in a rural area among a lot of these militia/NRA types all my long life. They'll say things to me and in my presence that would curl your toes, only because I'm white and they assume me to be "in" with them until I open my mouth. The vast majority of these clowns are loud mouthed cowards who will NEVER do anything other than shoot their mouths off. And even then, they've been slowly banished from public places, as the vast majority of reasonable human beings finds their insane drivel unacceptable.

Sure, they MIGHT be fooled into thinking they've "won" an election or two now and then (see: Bush, Reagan, Nixxxon), but the only thing they ever get from their "leaders" is more personally crushing economic serfdom. But, rise up and revolt? HA... never. Just look around at any teabagger rally and you'll see the old, beer bellied oafs who could hardly manage a walk to the refrigerator for another Bud Light. Most of them would shoot themselves before they'd be a danger to anyone. It's all blather. Oppose it vociferously and confront it where ever its found... sure! But fear it? Nah.... these "patriots" aren't going to get off their asses to do anything.
Poorsinner--saw you comin'. Did you miss something? I saw those photos of Bush, too, which is why I wrote:

"Yes, there were pictures of Bush as all kinds of things—but they were “ideological.” Much of the awful stuff being done to Obama’s images is racial. Even if the image isn’t, the “subtext” is. "

Being caricatured for beliefs is one thing. Being caricatured for your race is another. You don't think so...but...we'll never agree. Just wanted to show you that I had addressed that issue.
I am speechless. The images...Horror of the monsters who created them.
I know the fear that you have lived with and write about. I had no idea of these specific images, and revoltingly they don't surprise me either. I'm sick of being afraid and told I am in the minority for believing in decency and fairness. Addictions get more viscous as you work your way out of their hold. Some of America's addiction to hate, entitlement and racism is seriously threatened because it knows it's time is about up. I pray for us all, and for the family of man to win out sooner rather than later.
This is so chilling. Awful. As someone who participated in the Civil Rights movement in the early '60s, I am appalled and sad and frightened in so many ways.
Keka, first of all I want to say this: your fear is real, and based on historical realities, and perhaps (not knowing too much about you) your experiences. Second, I hope the boiling up of this shit storm is eventually a good thing. People that feel free to spew hate and racism are people who live in a (still) free country. I'm actually more afraid of what I DON'T see and hear than of what I do (but I'm a middle-class white girl who has only experienced sexism). Third, aside from family farmers, this country was built on the back of enslaved brown and red people, and anyone who doesn't know that historical reality is ignorant. The radical right has a real blind spot when it comes to their belief in individual freedom (the family farmer) vs. big business with their hands in government (the factory farm). Until they lose this blind spot, they're going to keep yammering on about individual rights and supporting the corporate elite while big business takes over.
So glad, this morning to see your piece iwth an EP and on the right hand upper place of honor.
Keka,
You know you have hit the mark with your writing when you attract idiots who use the same tired talking points. Turning over their rock makes them squirm and wiggle in the light of reason...
While I was never under the illusion that racism was over in America, or anywhere else, I am somewhat shocked at how ugly the environment is now. One positive is that is will make many aware that it is a far worse situation than they had thought. Egalitarianism is a concept based thing. We're surrounded by people who think about things in concrete terms, and cling to superstitions rather than reason. Racism is just one of those superstitions.

Also, slavery is slavery. "White slavery" is a term which creates as many problems as it solves. White people are not exceptional people. They are people. Racism, slavery, sexism, etc, as they apply to white people, need not be qualified. They are no more or no less human than the rest of us. It comes from the same pot of nonsense as "reverse racism", etc. It is the same process. It harms society in the same manner. If someone burns a white person's house, it is not "reverse arson." You dont go looking for a "reverse arsonist." Exceptionalism is a malefactor.
This is a powerful and honest post and those of you righties who abuse keka for writing it are complicit in the racist - YES, RACIST! - trend on the right. The way you attack her is racist. These are disgusting images and what you should be doing is apologizing for your fellow teabaggers, and promising to do something about it, not attack the messengers.

If these images were about Jews, there would be an uproar, and these subhuman expressions would be publicly shunned. But Jews do have power in this country, and more to the point, they are white and many of them are afraid of the "schvartzes" too. (please forgive, keka)

In fact, let me make a blanket statement - Rich people are terrified of everyone. They are afraid we are all coming for them and their money. That fear has penetrated their political party, the GOP, and their minions, the Tea Party. Lets face facts, we need to address their fears - forcefully and politically - before the poor and powerless will ever let go of their prejudices. I want to see perp walks on Wall Street. I want to see BP taken down and the Koch Brothers exposed and humiliated. Yes, there needs to be a class revolution here, so they know they can't get away with the hate campaign against all of the rest of us - blacks, latinos, women, gays, and liberals - they are inciting.
"and those of you righties who abuse keka"
Please be specific, Ardee. I'd like to know if I'm being accused of being an abuser.
I disagree with one thing in this article--this doesn't just affect blacks, Hispanics, or gays. This affects ALL of us. I'm white, non-Hispanic, straight. I have two young children. I don't want them to live in a culture where this kind of hatred is alive and well and politically accepted. Slavery is this nation's shame. All of us, black, white, gay, straight, are STILL, to this day, paying for the failure of the Reconstruction. It seems we are going to be paying for decades more.

This is so depressing it's really beyond commentary, as the author says.
Keka. I know it's much easier for me to say this thanit is for you to deal with, but just let it go. Pure and simple! The people who do these sorts of things are TRASH. They’re like the bullies in grammar school that never grew up, never felt comfortable in their own world and now need someone to blame for simply being alive.

Give me a racial minority to live with, befriend, to enjoy lunch with any day over the likes of "white men with guns." These people are scum with nothing of value to offer anyone. They’re the link in evolution that was long ago left behind.

Rest assured, not everyone feels this way, in fact, I'd dare say that it's more of a minority with mnds as dark as a bag.
Keka--THIS IS A GREAT POST! See, many do not wish to absorb this truth, because they feel a personal connection to the subjects of your blog. They can exercise their constitutional right to deny that America's history is a tragic one because it's mere existence is based on the slaughter of indigenous people. While so many more of us believed in the falsehood of race progress, OBAMA's presence has only uncovered the very same insidious racialized violence and ignorance that pervades and perverts a hypocritical constitution. FOR ME, THIS POST SPEAKS TO THE IMPORTANCE OF BLACK MEN STAYING CLEAR OF THE LEGAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC TRAPS THAT OFTEN LEAD THEM TO THE PRISON SYSTEM WHERE THEY LOSE THEIR RIGHTS TO VOTE AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT--TO BEAR ARMS!!!!!
This country needs an enema. All the nasty is backed up again. Rated.
Ron, are you a rightie? Are you being abusive? You decide. I'm leaving that open. Jump right in.

I'd also like to say something to those who say "just let it go." NO. Hell, no. Niemoller has a lesson for us there. American should not be about tolerating hatred. America should be about something better. We have to try.

BTW, it was my own grandmother from Russia who taught me that objectionable Yiddish word.
It wasent built by white men with guns? umm im pretty sure it was when Europeans came to america and killed the indiginous people and brought of slaves to do the labor. You may not like the sentiment but it is fairly accurate.
Yes black slaves did most of the work but the white man is the one who made it happen.

Why does every single person who doesnt like obama have to be a racist? i hate his platform and the things he has done in office plain and sumple stop playing the race card.
"Ron, are you a rightie? Are you being abusive? You decide. I'm leaving that open. Jump right in."
Wow, your courage and generosity know no bounds. I'm feeling a bit verklempt. I will give you a topic: Ardee is neither R nor D. Discuss.

As for your edifying comments about "[your] own grandmother," perhaps you could give an inspiring speech on the subject. Do you live anywhere near Philadelphia?
Read and highly rated. Lost my appetite too.
THIS IS SICKENING. However, there is also some predjudice developing against whites in some quarters. No race has a monopoly on hate.
But nothing takes away from the horror, and total moral bankruptcy of this. Take comfort in the fact that Obama would not have been elected if most people felt this way. At least there has been a lot of progress from the days when this was acceptable.
Back again.
My reading makes it plain that the problem is that the fear has risen up again. This is not a fear that arises from within but from observing what is happening in the society. How free racists now feel to express their hatred. Rich Iott, for instance, can defend his Nazi reenactments as a harmless "hobby" as he runs for the US House in Ohio.
It is madness.
Racism is always a rotten play on the game.
America from beginning free country. Here every one can express his openion. Some white people donot like Obama as a president of America so they expressed this kind of anger..How can any one stop them?Let them bark nothing will happen.Every president suffered from this kind of rotten people. Best solution is ignore them.They are only barking they actually donot harm to Obama.
Horrifying. It's all there, and has been for years, of course. You can see it in the posts above me, where a few people come and try to justify the behavior. It's unacceptable to say America doesn't have a problem with race, when we have the Tea Baggers clearly formed because of racism. Being in denial about what they're about doesn't make it less true.

I will say I think that the rich haven't read history books either. Inciting this group of people, with their clear love of hatred and violence, could very well get away from them. There is a potential here for a clear split in the Republican party, along class lines, that they might not like much.
Wow. I feel sick to my stomach looking at these pics....

I'm also disturbed by all these statements I see in print here and pretty much everywhere, such as "White people" are this, "Rich people" are that, "Black people" are this, "Lefties" are that, "Righties" are this, and elsewhere, "Christians" are this, "Jews" are that, "Muslims" are this....
It's just wrong to lump groups into a hive of singular thinking, and it isn't helping a thing on any side, anywhere in this country, in our world, to believe they are.

I feel nervous for my children too...

(Oh, and the "half-breed muslin" made me laugh, even if it was an awful intent by a fool...what would that be, cotton and burlap had a baby?)
...not to mention "Republicans" are this, "Democrats" are that, "Environmentalists" are this, "Gun Owners" are that...
Walking around doing my political work, I notice Art Robinson signs in front of struggling mom and pop businesses, and on the front lawns of millionaires. Robinson's appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show tells us all we need to know about the 'bagger mentality. And his TV ads promise the voters "freedom." I'm sure the millionaires supporting him are living in a communist dictatorship where they are living in their confiscated mansions under house arrest. not

This astroturf alliance of racist populism is the same combination of forces that brought fascists to power in Italy and Germany.

I do not like what I smell in the air.
I ca't even look at these pictures. These bigot-loooossserrrs with no sense, no brains, no class, no humanity deserve nothing. I have no patience nor tolerance for their ignorance and hatred.

What is wrong with these people? Honestly, this is how you spend your days? doctoring up insanely offensive photographs and cartoons? I know it says everything about them "Those people" who are filled with hate, and I will say they do not stand for me or for America.

It is time to call these tea-party-affiliates what they are..." Un American, unpatriotic, fascists, who know nothing of the world, reality, the constitution or anything but their on blighted, stunted, brains can take in by people who spoon feed them shit.

Lol, You know I heard an interview on NPR this summer at a Tea Party rally. A woman was interviewed saying how she kept a copy of the constitution in her handbag, and that President Obama has violated the Constitution untold times, and that she wanted o jeep the document close to her heart, so it was with her always.

The interviewer then asked: "So what amendment in the constitution do you think that Obama violated and which one do you feel is most important to you?"

Her Answer: "Well I haven't ever read it, it is just something that I feel in my hear that he has done, and I watch Glenn Beck and he said it was so."

That says t all in a nutshell. It is like trying to reason with a stick of wood.
Thank you for posting this. It needs to be said and told and these people need to be called out. I only wish they really would secede already... we will give you Texas... Buh-bye now...
They discredit their views with pictorial ad hominems. There was an HBO special years ago about animal abuse. It was found that one of the biggest groups that instigated and perpetuated that violence was the "white men with guns" ilk. It is amazing how far-reaching the damage willful stupidity can be. Apparently, it takes effort to remain ignorant.

It is interesting that Emmett Till was thrust into the media within the past year. The people who discarded his original casket for animals to destroy, had the freedom to do so that didn't exist when Till was alive. There is an irony there.
The hatred and racism make me physically ill...truly. This is such an important piece, Keka. Thank you for it...and for all your work. How I wish and dream that our nation was all it could and should be for ALL its people. Bless you...R
I live in a hotbed of these people in the south. Ignorant does not do them justice. They are bigots that just needed an excuse to come out, as you say. Even before Obama, when I first came to the south, it was terrible and shameful what they said and did. I hope you know that not all whites are like that. I would hope in time people would change, but I'm like you, I just don't know.
I just saw this. Another bigot going after Obama, this time with guns. All presidents get threats, but this is just nuts.
http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/man-arrested-found-with-gun-anti-government-materials-20100916-mr
First off let me say I like the picture. This is exactly what needs to be done with every man and woman who holds or has held a position above dog catcher for the past 25 years in “our” government.The idea expressed in it is a plausible solution to returning the America that existed prior to the days when George Herbert Walker Bush demonstrated his distain for western civilization and had John Hinckley Jr. the son of John Hinckley Sr., chairman of the oil company Vanderbilt Energy Corp., Vice President George H. W. Bush's largest political and financial supporter in his 1980 presidential primary campaign against Ronald Reagan, empty a revolver at Reagan not two months into Reagan's first term. Hinckley Jr never served a day in prison for it and they blamed it on a disturbed crush for … Jodie Foster another Hollywood actor. Behind closed doors they giggle about the irony and your lack of the intellectual acumen to detect it. They do have a flair for the ironic: 9/11 ( for those of you who are just complete idiots that means emergency), Dubya, good old Dubya the would be Anti Christ, reads a book about a goat to school children while New York City burns (for most of you who are not just complete idiots the Goat of Mendes is the symbol of the Anti Christ with the secret societies who have constituted your proverbial they since the time of the Templers.). Finally “lets get them to elect Dick Cheney’s idiot black cousin to preside over them while we finish them off. Don’t worry Zbigniew Brzezinski will be holding his hand through surrogates like Rhame Emanuel all the way down the prim rose path to Armageddon”. Blacks and whites both at each others throats while their being sodomized by rich men. Whites will call him a Nigger and blacks will call him Dear Leader while the self styled intelligentsia engage in verbal masturbation using the NY Times talking points provided as sexual aids. Irony sheer unadulterated irony, Sophocles himself could not have done better. Its in this post and its in these comments, through and through, although some people did not exhibit the prescribed reactions particularly the people who interact with me here on OS like; Wright Sight and Boomer Bob. The rest of you really ought to consider turning the dam TV set off.
I'm white, but I also fear white men with guns. OK, I fear all men with guns, but I share your fears of this particular type and see the current situation essentially as you do. Much of the racism is overt and undeniable, but I too believe it lurks just beneath much of the opposition to Obama. I find it sad and terrifying, but it's a wake up call that despite all the talk of a post-racist America who could elect Obama, we are still seething with these problems -- and the meta problem of people not recognizing and grappling with their own racism. Until that happens, nothing will really change.
It's too bad the author of this post isn't responding to comments because I'd be very interested to know exactly which of these images she personally saw at a tea party rally. Most likely, she searched the internet for such images and this is the result. It occurs to me that you can search the internet and find all kinds of disgusting images featuring all kinds of people. Try it with Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin, for example, even (maybe especially) George Bush. I don't know why such things appeal to people, and as a white conservative leaning independent women, I find them all reprehensible.

Lots of comments here describe the fear that people seem to be feeling, I suppose due to the Tea Party activists? Many of you seem to think that since 30% of Americans now feel aligned with the Tea Party or whatnot, 30% of Americans are basically racist, gun toting neanderthals. That's really not the case. Of course a small percentage of white people are racist, as are a small percentage of black people, Asian people, etc. Some Democrats are racist and so are some Republicans, but the vast majority of people in this country are not racist. As someone who supports the Tea Party agenda, and someone who has known many, many conservatives, (even back when I was a liberal), I can assure you that there is really nothing to fear from us.

Many years ago I remember talking to the mom of one of my kid's friends. She was a lovely woman, well educated, whose husband worked in the entertainment industry. I just assumed, since they fit the stereotype, that they would be Democrats. I was surprised to find they were Republicans, and remember thinking (I was liberal then and had recently moved to the US from Canada), "how can they be Republican, they're so nice!" I asked why they were Republican and she answered that they believed in a hand up rather than a hand out.

It seemed like kind of a trite answer but now I understand. It's about equality of opportunity, rather than equality of results. It's not about keeping people down, it's about giving everyone a chance to rise. It's about empowering people to make choices for themselves. It's about freedom. And it's definitely not about hate.
Congrats on being among the Most Viewed! And this article is worth every bit of praise it is receiving.
I would rate here a second time if it were doable.
The article is excellent and terrifying and within the article inclusion of the images was necessary, but I think it was a mistake on the part of the editors to include the Rope image on the home page. Granted, that may have increased the readership but it is relying on the very obscenity that the article opposes.
Yet another reminder that ignorance isn't bliss; it's blistering. (R)
Nice try, frosty. Also nice that you opened an account just to comment here.
So nice.
No "well-educated" woman is going to drop a one-liner like "a hand up not a hand out". A rich one would though.
This author has come back to comment a few times. If you had read the comments, you would know that.

The worst racism is the covert, as opposed to the overt, kind. Most of those folks who are just hopping mad at Obama do not even know why. For a lark, why don't you visit the implicit site? You can take a simple test and see what your biases are--particularly the ones that you hide from yourself.
I could have done without the pictures.
Keka,
These images are despicable but illustrate the bigotry and hate behind them. Even though I feel sick to my stomach now that I've scrolled through them, thanks for your sensitive speaking out against them. It gives me a little hope. However I still feel as if the ship you speak of is sinking. Yes, may something, anything -- save America. And soon!!!
I am a Methodist minister in the deep south. My bishop recently observed metaphorically,that with the election of Obama, demons had been loosed. This article and these pictures prove that she is correct. However, do not lose heart! True change will come. The worst thing that could happen is if folk of goodwill lose hope.
o'stephanie-

My acquaintance had a university degree, not sure if that counts as well educated in your opinion, perhaps not.

For a lark, I did visit the site you mention. While the site did say I personally am not very biased, I wonder why they first pair the negative words with black people, for example, and then switch them? I would bet the result would be completely different if they started out with black/positive, white/negative and then switched them. Do they control at all for the switch? Do they control for right & left handedness? Since they do not ask, they must not. The whole thing just seems a bit flaky and amateurish.

Regardless, the type of racism falsely attributed to all tea partiers by this post is a far cry from the type of bias supposedly discovered by the Implicit site.
@frosty: " She was a lovely woman, well educated, whose husband worked in the entertainment industry. I just assumed, since they fit the stereotype, that they would be Democrats."

You forgot to mention she was clean and articulate!

If we are so wrong to believe that all of that 30% following Sarah Palin around the continent are condoning all these racist expressions, why hasn't Mrs. Palin come right out and chastised those who engage in such "freedom of speech?" Because she is too busy writing racist-code speeches, that's why.

And 'a hand up, not a hand out?' Puhleeze! How long ago did you talk to this woman? The 1970s?
Wow, Keka......
O'stephanie: I have heard more than one well-educated woman say,"hand up rather than hand out," and rich people come in all political views...
White Supremacy groups went down to a minimum during 8 years of Cheney- then spiked immediately following our Black Hawaiian Superman's election ... math don't lie!

Math don't match up with all the concerned emails on tax hikes Peggy Noonan apparently receives every day either ... to hear he say race isn't involved, with a straight face ... priceless.

As when I was young, it is not a good time to fly colors cross-country through the good ol' heartland, lots of pissed off troopers and would be militia out and about ... we used to stuff our hair in our hats ... ... they're ba-aaaaaccccckkkkk ....
Lezlie: I didn't notice your comment until I posted, is this some trigger phrase?
It sounds like 'Teach a man to fish, rather than feeding him one" (or something like that) to me...to you and O'stephanie, not trying to stir the pot (even more here) I'm just wondering what's wrong with that phrase??
L in the southeast -

Since there have been zero verified instances of people exhibiting racist material at tea party rallies what exactly would you like Ms. Palin to say? Also, Ms. Palin is not the leader of the Tea Party, as it has no leader. Look, it would be naive to believe that there are no racist tea partiers, but it's equally naive to believe that racism is the sole province of the Tea Party, or that all tea partiers are racist, or that racism is exhibited by whites only. Everyone has biases.
Thank you for sharing and letting me know, I'm not alone.
Thank you for sharing and letting me know, I'm not alone.
@JustThinking: out of context, the phrase is harmless, I suppose, but it is waaay dated and hackneyed. In this discussion, it reeks of a conservative's hatred of welfare, which, despite statistics to the contrary, racists equate with African Americans.

@frosty: I would have Mrs. Palin say that since she is a frequent keynote speaker at Tea Party events; and since she has become a de facto leader of said party by association; and since she undoubtedly has designs on the White House where SHE will expect to lead ALL Americans should we slip up and actually elect her, that she cannot condone and would seriously implore those who are prone to such irrelevant, insulting and off-topic expressions to cease and desist.

Yes, we all have biases. I am biased against people who refuse to acknowledge that which is toxic in their midst.
I'm white and I have some of the same fears as you do. We all should. If they can do this to one group, it gives them permission to do it to any group they wish. Not only are the code words for black people being heard, even in oh so polite rhetoric, but they have been using gays for whipping up their base. When I lived in Texas, I had plenty of people shaking their fingers in my face, and hinting at things. My crime, I have a retarded daughter. In Kansas, at a church, I heard talk of beating up an old woman for the crime of being an atheist. Things like this will come out of the shadows if they get away with electing a majority on the back of their hatred of a black man in the White House.
Bonnie Russell, I could not agree with you more. These pictures shown, hurt and disgusted me. But the sensibility I was brought up with, has taught me to ignore idiocy. That, left to their own devices no good would come to them. Yet, every now and again the shouting grows so loud it can not be ignored and I don't want the ignorant to be the only ones heard. It seems to me (and clearly to you, as well) that rational people know how to remain calm and take "it" (whatever "it" might be at the time) as a grain of salt. But that can’t be our excuse, we can be heard, while using our indoor voices. I feel silly, bringing up the fact that I'm looking forward to the "Rally to Restore Sanity" 10/30/10 @ the National Mall in Washington D.C. from Noon - 3pm (http://www.rallytorestoresanity.com/) but they do, agree with our comments; "We’re looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard."

It is unfortunate, that while speaking we rational/sane people remain unheard. But then again, most of the bigots/white men with guns are trained to be heard above all others... have you ever heard of a "Hollerin' Contest"?
Keka, Bonnie Russell, I could not agree with you two more. These pictures shown, hurt and disgusted me. But the sensibility I was brought up with, has taught me to ignore idiocy. That, left to their own devices no good would come to them. Yet, every now and again the shouting grows so loud it can not be ignored and I don't want the ignorant to be the only ones heard. It seems to me (and clearly to you, as well) that rational people know how to remain calm and take "it" (whatever "it" might be at the time) as a grain of salt. But that can’t be our excuse, we can be heard, while using our indoor voices. I feel silly, bringing up the fact that I'm looking forward to the "Rally to Restore Sanity" 10/30/10 @ the National Mall in Washington D.C. from Noon - 3pm (http://www.rallytorestoresanity.com/) but they do, agree with our comments; "We’re looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard."

It is unfortunate, that while speaking we rational/sane people remain unheard. But then again, most of the bigots/white men with guns are trained to be heard above all others, have you ever heard of a "Hollerin' Contest"?
No doubt.. they are particularly crude, horrible, racist pictures. Every president gets lampooned in political cartons. The primate pictures remind me of the pictures of Bush as a chimp, which are still all over the Internet. Obviously, as he is white, it doesn't have the racial connotation. I can understand why Keka is disgusted by them yet I believe she is engaging in a bit of drama. Other races and ethnics face racism every day in this world. I have spent time in Europe, Asia, and the US and believe me it is far better than racism in America is on the surface where in many other countries it bubbles below the surface ready to explode when you least expect it. In Asia, I have gotten on elevators where people refused to get on an elevator if an African was on it. In Europe, countries that have had a great deal of immigration from Africa and the Middle East are no melting pots. They are countries within countries as ethnic communities that do not assimilate and are openly hostile to each other.

Regardless, I doubt that the pictures above are representative of the real Tea Party movement, which if you recall had its roots in the Ron Paul 2008 campaign and ultimately was a response to Recovery Act and TARP rather that Obama's election.
The broad-brush indictment of Tea Party followers or Republicans is not much better than engaging in such racial slurs. There are no racists on the Left or in the Democratic Party? Oh come on. There are plenty of bigots among the liberal elite.
Frosty,
Glad you visited the Implicit Project. Yeah, those folks at Harvard are beginners at this kind of thing.
A university degree means nothing, depending upon what you got out of it. I graduated university with folks who only learned how to make maps, not how to think critically.
Latethink, well educated to me means a more comprehensive education than just racking up a BA after high school.
All the racism that has been hidden is uncovered, it is deafening and surprising to even me growing up all around it, how deep this runs. What shocks me is for some reason it appears it is ok now, no one even feels it is inherently wrong. That is sad and maddening beyond belief. To have felt with Obama's election we were going to make some type of peace, some reaching across the waters and to realize how far apart we really are.
Thank you for this, Keka. I share your despair. Fuck.
o'stephanie: I just PM'ed you asking if latethink was for me...but I'll just ask here...any reason to label me latethink? It sounds derogatory which is not necessary if this is meant to be a discussion...and by my 'well-educated' comment you make a leap to assume I only meant a post-high school diploma, I genuinely didn't see the problem with the phrase, but was able to think about it through Lezlie's thoughtful comment and I see what she means...no need for aggressiveness towards someone not your enemy.
O'Stephanie: Thank you for your PM reply, I understand better now that you were not meaning to sound aggressive or derogatory...
Very powerful piece, Keka.

I stand with you on this and agree that we have come to that point that there just isn't a lot more to say to these people out on the far right.

I think you hit the nail on the head right here:

"... when I hear Glenn Beck talk about the Constitution 'hanging by a thread,' I get nervous.

That’s just more code to rally the white men with guns while the rich white men with financial and political clout get their real political strategy perfected."
Those who create and promote these hideous images and those who support them are the best reason yet for reincarnation - may they all reincarnate as African Americans - now that would be karma in action.
"What a delicate, brittle flower of liberal womanhood is our poor friend Keka! A man with a historically debatable message on his vehicle has her all but ready to revoke her citizenship. My, oh my.

Her article, such as it is—White Men With Guns--Reconstruction Redux—is a sad mix of history, ignorance, and willful self-deception. The bumper sticker was just the thinnest excuse for her own ahistorical rant.

She uses civil rights-era violence from a half-century ago as the excuse to foist upon us one bigoted and extraneous stereotype after another. Keka's target is the Tea Party movement, which she is desperate to portray as the next coming of the Ku Klux Klan. For a child of the 60s she is quite limber, contorting reality this way and that in order to twist it into something of which she can be afraid.

She bases her arguments... actually, Keka doesn't both to concern herself with arguments.

Nor does she deem it important to cite facts, instances, actors, or events that justify her beliefs. Unfortunately, poisoned beliefs and bizarre assertions are all that Keka has.

She holds white Tea Partiers responsible for a gay Rutgers student Tyler Clementi committing suicide, because his Indian-American roommate and Asian-American girlfriend filmed him having sex and live-streamed it on the Internet. White people made them do it?.

A Hispanic gang in New York called the "Latin King Goonies" beat and sodomized a fellow Hispanic gang member they thought was gay. But Keka says white people made them do it.

Another white man that Keka most assuredly hates made a comment last week about some people being born to be slaves. He was of course talking about those suffering from the sort of mental bondage to which Keka has subjugated herself, a self-imposed prison from which no other person can set her free. She has made whites in general and Tea Party protesters in specific into boogeymen, responsible for all the evil she sees, facts be damned."

"Congratulations, Keka. You found 14 images on the Internet, and that was enough to validate your own prejudices and world view, and was a sentiment that Salon's editors thought was one your fellow progressives would recognize and share (and they were right).

As Salon so often does, they exposed a seething hatred, and let us see into the twisted minds ruining this nation.

Thanks for that."

http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/306740.php
In a way it's a good thing to see this ugliness come to the surface. I think that liberals are beginning to fully understand the type of machine they are up against.

America will persevere. There will be no civil war. These nuts are still in the vast minority.

The real issue is that most people are more concerned with getting a new Ipad than what sort of modern Klu Klux Klan wannabes are running around.

Apathy is the real problem. Not the ignorant hatred. The Tea Party will die because people will come to see it's poster children as shallow bigots.

For every such racist poster and placard there are hundreds of videos ridiculing Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck and all the nutjobs who dare to try to build a base.

Unfortunately for all those poignant videos being critical of the nutjobs and pointing out their hypocrisies there are millions of videos of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga and the new Ipad, and that is what people are tuning into.

I have a hope though that somewhere through the apathy the message is there that nutjobs like Palin are 'just not cool' and later when the boomers are dead the now 30 somethings will be more savvy when choosing people to represent them.

In any event no politician is immune to crowd-sourced intense scrutiny.

The web is the game changer. So no worries about Tea Party and Right Wing nutjobs with bumper stickers. They have every right to spread their brand of stupidity. What they don't realize is that having such a bumper sticker on their car doesn't rally people to their cause, it's merely another way to advertise to everyone that the person who put it there is a moron.
I could hardly look at the photos. It is horrible what these white men with guns have done to our beautiful President.
There are no words.
I'm a white man.
I own guns.
When I was in my teens, I lived in Chicago and dated several black girls.
I was fortunate to have done that because it taught me a different way of life and of thinking.
I was sometimes called nigger lover by some white assholes.
I was also told by some black assholes to go "date my own".
I'm now 71 and never forgot those feelings.
I was in Nam with several different race/ethnic people.
There were also some gay guys on my unit.
I now live in a small city with a fairly large Hmong population.
It's also full of ignorant cheesehead rednecks.
I have two bumperstickers on my truck and one in the rear window of my car.
The two on the truck say, "I'd rather be driving a Titleist" and "Navy Veteran".
The one in the car window is a navy one.
I've noticed that, the vast majority of these imbeciles who do what you wrote about are not only ignorant, they are just exceedingly stupid.
They have their thinking done for them due to the fact that they don't possess the ability to think and reason on their own.
They seem to be the people who herded dinosaurs a few K years ago.
I'm glad that I am not one of them and, I don't associate with their sort of lowlife jerks.
I love the comments questioning the sources of your images, and going so far as to say they come from a "vile" site. Well, as the kids have been saying for generations now, "DUH!"
Believe me, the racist asshats who are gleefully forwarding these and others like them around, (and have been since well before the election) don't bother to check the "sources" of the images. Talk about a red herring.
Have any of you geniuses ever thought that your suicidal diversity raptures and irrational Utopian fantasies are the cause for so much resentment today? You're all so consumed with living in some fairy tale world that you can't see the forest through the trees.

Be sure and think of a white man who invented the microchip, satellites, electricity, programming languages, fiber optics, CRT, relational databases, etc when you reply with your iPhone or computer.
Typical leftist spin. If you don't agree with the messiah you must be a bigoted racist. All of the damage he has done America really doesn't matter. I have news for all of you ignorant liberal progressives, America was built by white men with guns. If it weren't for white men with guns we would not be an independent country today.
Just thinking...
I thank you so much for your understanding. Never want to be a "mean girl". Thanks for your seeking me out and for your support.

Keka,
This post is so immediate and so very stark. We are looking right at racism rising.
Everytime I come by, there are more points and more folks in support of you. The fact that you have attracted these KKK apologists means your post is GOOD.
Most of these idiots are one-hit wonders. The coment they leave is the only thing on their site. During the election, we had what I always thought were paid mccain operatives. They all disappeared after the election. During the Jewish attacks on the ships breaking the Gaza blockade, we had several Israeli (?) operatives.
Paid or not, when they are sprayed with truth, they come out of the walls like cockroaches.
Thank you for writing this even though you knew what would come from these ones.
Thank you for writing this.
So lets see, you have pictures of 2 signs and the rest are edited, uncredited photos, well except for a couple. I have seen most of the edited photos on 4chan and if you think that is a right wing site, then you are way wrong. It is an website with international reach and no topic is off limits. An Anti-Obama thread will be followed by an America sucks thread, followed by a gore thread.The Fracking news website is not right wing either.
As for the 2 crimes you mentioned, neither where committed by whites. The one kid who killed himself after his Indian-American room-mate filmed him with another man. And the "goons" who beat and sodomized a Hispanic man they thought was gay. They were fellow Hispanic gang members. But i can see why you had to leave out those little tidbits of information since it would ruin your story on white hate.
1. It is vile to publish and distribute pics like these, no matter how pure your motivation. Yes, I mean you, Keka. The "raising awareness" excuse won't wash.
2. How do you know that the websites with these pictures are actually run by white people? Have you seen them. Have you ever heard of the term "false-flag operation"? I have and I have seen one in action. I once had a run-in with an operative of what later came to be known as the Wesboro "Baptist" "Church". They showed up at a conservative rally with vile and hateful signage and when we confronted them and asked them to leave, the ensuing conversation revealed that their views were atheist/satanic and very left-wing. Guess they weren't quite so media-savvy back then.
3. I have attended 4 Tea Party events and the only offensive sign I saw was being carried by some Lyndon LaRouche types on the edge of the crowd. (they were handing out LaRouchie "truther" and "birther" literature as well).
4. Keka. Maybe you should actually meet and attend some Tea Party events before you profile us and slander us in such a public way.
5. Finally, check out this helpful article on the countless episodes of manufactured hate that various political operatives have engaged in in an attempt to tarnish their political opposition. http://michellemalkin.com/2010/03/26/how-the-left-fakes-the-hate-a-primer/
6. Finally, Keka, pour yourself a glass of wine or a nice cup of hot chocolate, light some scented candles and relax in a nice scented bathtub. We are not your enemy and we wish you to live a free and peaceful life full of opportunity and freedom. To paraphrase Jesus, "The assholes we will always have with us." Tune them out and try to understand that people can see things differently than you do without being motivated by racism.
This is a good post. You write with ferocity and civility -- and being of the same generation, I remember, too.

I am grateful for you, Keka, I am glad you are here on OS.

Here's what I remind myself: The 60s saw lunacy at both ends. In the 30s we saw a Nazi rally in Madison Square garden, and Father Coughlin spewing race-hate and anit-semitism to a million radio listeners. In the 20s there was a massive, brief uptick in Klan visibility, springing out of Indiana.

And yet we passed the New Deal, integrated the military, passed Civil Rights and saw a transformation from in sports and film and to a lesser degree in other public roles 1-2 roles and rare participation to a wonderful mix of races in almost all roles and positions. Flawed and imperfect and odd, yes, still. But America convulses.

We MUST always do as you do here: lament, complain, shout in outrage, walk the streets, get out the vote, counter hate with compassion and justice. Kumbaya my ass, yes indeed, I getupoffathatthing; and spirit moving in my heart; and the dream of dreams, seeded in my mind almost 50 years ago.

All the good fights we win. And the war is always bequeathed, it's a human sin how necessary and perennial it all is. But hundreds look over our shoulders with relief and joy, from the fields and mill lofts and filthy streets and hot factories and see us holding on to most of it. And, with Obama, adding to the Good Works.

I feel your despair daily, and deeper at times. But I remind myself who we are and how far we have come in a few centuries, when previously the struggling and the poor waited centuries to see even the smallest advance.

Fight the lies! Love to you, Keka.This is a good post. You write with ferocity and civility -- and being of the same generation, I remember, too.

I am grateful for you, Keka, I am glad you are here on OS.

Here's what I remind myself: The 60s saw lunacy at both ends. In the 30s we saw a Nazi rally in Madison Square garden, and Father Coughlin spewing race-hate and anit-semitism to a million radio listeners. In the 20s there was a massive, brief uptick in Klan visibility, springing out of Indiana.

And yet we passed the New Deal, integrated the military, passed Civil Rights and saw a transformation from in sports and film and to a lesser degree in other public roles 1-2 roles and rare participation to a wonderful mix of races in almost all roles and positions. Flawed and imperfect and odd, yes, still. But America convulses.

We MUST always do as you do here: lament, complain, shout in outrage, walk the streets, get out the vote, counter hate with compassion and justice. Kumbaya my ass, yes indeed, I getupoffathatthing; and spirit moving in my heart; and the dream of dreams, seeded in my mind almost 50 years ago.

All the good fights we win. And the war is always bequeathed, it's a human sin how necessary and perennial it all is. But hundreds look over our shoulders with relief and joy, from the fields and mill lofts and filthy streets and hot factories and see us holding on to most of it. And, with Obama, adding to the Good Works.

I feel your despair daily, and deeper at times. But I remind myself who we are and how far we have come in a few centuries, when previously the struggling and the poor waited centuries to see even the smallest advance.

Fight the lies! Love to you, Keka.
I don't understand what they have against Muslin. I think it's a beautiful fabric.
Thank you for putting yourself through the stomach-churning task of gathering this vile bile together. It's amazing and appalling but, sadly, not surprising. I really Really want to emigrate.
I, too, have opened up an account just to comment here. I mention this in the interests of honesty & full disclosure.

Firstly, let me say that I agree with the few posting here who point to this as serious but not hopeless. I will not elaborate much further on the idea that the rabid minority among the Tea Party is too big and too disgusting (even if it were just one person!), except to say that the reactions to it are far more indicative of where we are as a country than the sickening images/ideas behind them are.

Secondly, I must confess that my motivation to join up and comment was more due to a comment made by another reader. For someone who does not want to "be a mean girl", o'steohanie certaibly outed herself as a vicious antisemite with this comment:

"During the Jewish attacks on the ships breaking the Gaza blockade, we had several Israeli (?) operatives.
Paid or not, when they are sprayed with truth, they come out of the walls like cockroaches."

I am not going to argue Mideast politics here - tho' I am well able to, and certainly better than someone who sums up the incident like that - but I certainly am going to point out that "Jewish attacks" is not just a Freudian slip: it's the whole frilly outfit.

Yes, this country has troubles - and some of them are that people who think they don't have any problems are part of the problem. Luckily, we're working on them. We're working on all of it - we'll be fine.
The Spanish are considered white. The Spanish with their guns and diseases conquered the original immigrants to the Americas. There are no indigenous humans on any continent except Africa. If Chinese and Black workers built America it is because white men with guns brought the workers here and stood over them with the guns and made them work.
There are no white men with guns making black men work in Africa, would you want to raise your children there? There are Black men with guns, AK 47s made by white men, but the black men just use them to kill one another and rape black women.
In most of the world there is no productive civilization unless a white man with a gun, or his well controlled armed locals, is there to keep the local population working and not just stealing what they need from anyone who tries to be productive.
The Japanese, Koreans, Taiwanese, and lately mainland China have copied us, yes I am a white man and I do have a few guns, and their economic output is very high.
Racism and sexism are smokescreens used effectively for centuries by the Wealthy Ruling Class, which also is extremely Right Wing. Since too many Americans are racist, anyway, and in times of economic depression it's a fact of social pscyhology that human beings look for scapegoats, conjuring this particular smokescreen works every time. I knew the Wealthy Ruling Class was allowing Obama to win for reasons of their own (the USA does not have FREE elections), and sure enough, to distract an ignorant public from their REAL agenda, the Wealthy Ruling Class seeks to distract and divide us YET AGAIN!!! And even though Obama has sold out to the WRC, they're going to destroy him, anyway, for their own purposes....which proves to me how absolutely pointless voting has become, and I will probably never vote again in my life after a lifetime of never missing any vote, school board, national, whatever....the WRC which includes big banks and corporations are raping the rest of us while their servants and whores, the likes of O'Reilly, Palin, Beck, etc., continue their assault to distract us from the evil being done to us by the WRC!!!!
I'm ending the debate today--it's been amazing...but I think it's time to let things quiet down now! Thanks to all who joined in and let the discourse continue, in the hopes of understanding and, eventually, an end to discrimination and hatred of all kinds.
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