Barack Obama on saggy pants

In an MTV interview – Obama tells you to pull up your pants. He does it more politely than I do to teenagers in target.

Sway: Our next question comes from Eric out of Huntington Beach, California: “There are numerous cultures and subcultures in the United States today. Powers-that-be set statutes with monetary penalty on how people wear their clothes. Do you find it intrusive on civil liberties to create such ordinances?” And you know I got ‘locks.

Obama: I wasn’t going to pass a law, man. You look tight.

Sway: I know people have piercings, tattoos. Eric, in particular, is talking about a ban on sagging pants. Do feel like people should be penalized?

Obama: Here is my attitude: I think people passing a law against people wearing sagging pants is a waste of time. We should be focused on creating jobs, improving our schools, health care, dealing with the war in Iraq, and anybody, any public official, that is worrying about sagging pants probably needs to spend some time focusing on real problems out there. Having said that, brothers should pull up their pants. You are walking by your mother, your grandmother, your underwear is showing. What’s wrong with that? Come on. There are some issues that we face, that you don’t have to pass a law, but that doesn’t mean folks can’t have some sense and some respect for other people and, you know, some people might not want to see your underwear — I’m one of them.

Sway: In regards to piercings, tattoos, I had a friend who worked for UPS and he had ‘locks. He almost lost his job, but he fought for it. In regards to those things, how do you feel?

Obama: It’s one thing if an employer discriminates on the basis of gender or sexual orientation or, obviously, race or ethnicity. I think employers can set standards. Now you got ‘locks, but it looks clean, man, it’s tight, and my little girl has twists, Malia, and to me, it looks great. Obviously I would be upset if she were discriminated against on that basis. On the other hand, if you are working at a fancy store and you show up to work in jeans and a shirt and you have a tattoo across your neck like Mike Tyson, for them to say, you know, “That is not the kind of image we are trying to project,” obviously, that is in their rights as well. I think any business has the right to say, “This is the kind of tone we want to set,” as long as they aren’t discriminating on the basis of things people can’t control.

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Barack Obama on the Economy

Candidate Obama addresses what’s happened in the last few days. Every time I hear him speak, I think this guy is the most presidential guy I’ve seen in years.

Does Barack need to suspend the campaign and return home? Here’s an astute analysis from metafilter:

This is entirely needless. Yes, they’re both Senators, but that doesn’t put them on any sort of level at which they ought to be meeting with the sitting President as a pair on this issue. Nor should they be able to do that as candidates. And despite both being Senators, neither of them are on the Senate Banking Committee. Nor is either on on the Joint Economic Committee, from which the eventual bicameral bailout bill is expected to emerge.

As Senators, they have only three roles in this crisis: 1) to vote on the eventual bill, and 2) to negotiate with their networks within the Senate on the content of the bill, and 3) to speak publicly in support of their vision for the bill. Only one of those roles (1) requires presence in Washington, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to be happening Friday night. Congress was scheduled to end its session Friday – they may have to go into special session, in which case Friday evening won’t be when things get resolved anyway (that would be insanely optimistic!) The other two Senatorial functions can be fulfilled – indeed, perhaps best are fulfilled – by communicating from the road, privately and to the public and the press.

I am not sure I respect the judgement of a candidate who is so ready to go into panic mode over a crisis that he doesn’t really even have much power to direct at this moment. We’re six weeks away from electing one of these two men President. I think that the debates are actually a much more important way for them to spend their time than meddling in a process which is already well under way and doesn’t require special Candidate Magic to move forward. It will be easy for them to fulfill their rather limited (at this moment) Senatorial responsibilities while still campaigning, as sitting Congresspeople usually do. The choice of who will be leading us through the aftermath of this crisis over the next 4-8 years is a bit more important to me than watching them showboat right now. Put in your two cents, stay out of the way, vote when you’re called to, and stay accountable to the American people whose votes you’re asking for. Anything else looks like grandstanding and evasion. No other way to read it.

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Indiana as a swing state

Last night we were watching Anderson Cooper’s 360 and the identified Indiana as one of the five states they’re watching as “battleground” states. No kidding — we were not red, but “pink” on their chart.

Blue Indiana notes that a new Star poll coming out will show Obama on top, and sure enough — WTHR and Star Polling shows Obama leads McCain in Indiana by 47% to 44%.

Given the massive number of Obama signs and bumperstickers around town for the past several months, we’ve been expressing wonderment at the disparity between polls and visual evidence. I chalked it up to urban living, but I wonder if there’s not just a bit more to it.

But given that McCain has declared war on Spain (!?!) in the past couple days (The Rain In Spain Mainly Falling on McCain! Ha!) — hey, maybe Indiana is just a big fan of bullfighting.

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Racist McCain Ad

Ordering a black man to show you respect you is pretty over the top in 2008. I’m sure McCain’s constituency in the South and perhaps right here in Indiana will recognize the terminology from their heyday of sundown towns and lynch mob gatherings, though, and respond accordingly.

There’s only one response to that ad:

That's Racist!

Why on earth would Senator Obama respect anyone from the McCain campaign? Sigh. I hate it when anyone demands respect, whether it’s my mom, a cop, a priest, or the McCain campaign. Respect is earned; You’ll get it when you show you deserve it.

I try to treat people courteously, because I want to live in harmony with people, so I don’t have to live on deserted island and make my own clothes and shelter. And there are people of great accomplishment like Kamau Bobb Google that I respect and admire.

It’s not that I disrespect authority — I just don’t believe authority exists. I do what they ask me at work because I get a paycheck. I pull over for cops because I want them to come to my house if I need to call 911. I pay taxes because I want my roads paved. I’ll do what other people want if I get something in return that I want. Other than that, anyone telling me what to do is in danger of getting a stick in their eye. I hope Senator Obama feels the same.

Update: In case you haven’t heard yet — at The Value Voter’s Forum, one of the booths was selling ‘Obama Waffles’ with racial stereotypes. Lovely. Apparently before someone realized these were racist and should be pulled from event, Lou Dobbs stopped by and had some racist waffles with his wife.

Obama Waffles
Obama Waffles

Oh, and in case you haven’t seen it yet — What Made John Mad Today?

2022-03-14 Update:
I’m a big fan of this quote from @stimmyabby:

Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority.” And sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person” and they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay.


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Karl Rove’s Country Club

Karl Rove, the Nixon/Bush auteur of dirty politics, seems to be slipping his his age — yesterday he had this to say at a Republican insider’s breakfast about Barack Obama:

Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.

What? Karl Rove’s country club allows blacks now? Well. I won’t be going there any more. La di da.

Rove is really confused – because that guy he’s describing is George W. Bush in full glory – check him out:

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links for 2008-06-20

Continue Readinglinks for 2008-06-20

Racist America comes out of the woodwork to attack Barack Obama

Shakespeare’s Sister has an ongoing multi-part “Obama Racism Watch” documenting incidents of racism in the media directed at Senator Obama (similar to their multi-part series “Hillary Clinton Sexism Watch” that is at 106 entries and shows no signs of stopping.)

I won’t go into every incident because they cover it much better than I, but I wanted to note some of the stuff that has happened just in the last few days, because it is just beyond my understanding, and I have to say something about it because it’s so – shocking.

Fox News’ “Terrorist Fist Jab”
Apparently, after introducing her husband to the crowd, Michelle and Barack did a “fist bump” as seen below. Now if you know anyone under 25, they’ve done this — it’s a thing that young people do – an alternative to high-fiving, or shaking hands, specifically done by people when they are awesome. I think I’ve probably done it, although I probably shouldn’t. It’s not a black or white thing, it’s just another way the youths of America are expressing themselves because they are cool.

But Fox News host E.D. Hill had this to say about it: “A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently.”

Michelle Barack Fist Bump
Michelle Barack Fist Bump

I think the only people interpreting this as a “Terrorist Fist Jab” is Fox News. Now it’s not hugely surprising to me that people at Fox would not recognize how awesome people greet one another, because no one at Fox is actually awesome. But how did the word “terrorist” get inserted in there? Really, anything you don’t recognize done by people who aren’t the same color as you is now terrorism? How old are these old farts anyway? And when do we get to shuffle them off to the retirement home?

The “Obama as Curious George” T-Shirts
Kelly Newcom of Ash Flat, AR made these T-shirts of Barack Obama as Curious George. But he specifically claims that the are “not racist” ignoring the years and years of shameful history where people used monkeys as derogatory images depicting African Americans.

Racist Anti-Obama Shirt
Racist Anti-Obama Shirt

The reason the image in the above shirts has a bag over his head is because just recently Marietta, Georgia bar owner Mike Norman got in major copyright infringement trouble for selling this shirt in his bar:

Racist Anti-Obama Shirt
Racist Anti-Obama Shirt

What’s bothersome to me is the huge number of blog posts out there with the titles of “is this a racist image?” as though there’s really some possibility that it isn’t.

FoxNews declares Senator Obama’s wife is his “Baby Mama”
Fox News does it again with this caption they showed yesterday under a picture of Michelle Obama:

Racist Fox News Caption
Racist Fox News Caption

For those of you who may not be familiar with the term “Baby Mama” it means a woman who is the mother of your children, but with whom you are not in a relationship. It is a term used somewhat in the African American community, but not widely, and it’s denounced by some African Americans.

But Michelle Obama is MARRIED to Barack and is his wife, not his “baby mama.” Fox using the term seem to be trying to imply that Senator Obama and his wife aren’t married to each other.

On the other hand — Now McCain’s first wife, the one he dumped after she was paralyzed in a car accident and had to learn to walk againshe is McCain’s Baby Mama. As is the first wife of any middle-aged white guy at Fox News.

The Obama Sock Monkey
Apparently, someone actually thinks that this Obama Sock Monkey is a viable product for sale and not a unbelievably racist image. Feel free to contact them and tell them they’re douchebags. I can’t even imagine how someone could create this, let alone mass produce it.

Racist Anti-Obama Doll
Racist Anti-Obama Doll

Racism aimed at Senator Obama’s Young Daughters
Even Senator Obama’s young daughters are under attack. Michelle Obama Watch notes that an “artist’ named Yazmany Arboleda in New York produced an “Exhibition” titled “The Assassination of Barack Obama” that was investigated by the New York Police and the Secret Service.

Among the images in this exhibition are a giant picture of Senator Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama, under the title “Nappy Headed Hos.”

Racist Insults to Children
Racist Insults to Children

I don’t even know how to conclude this post, really. I know that racism is, unfortunately, still alive and breathing in the United States, but it still feels like a kick in the stomach to see things like expressed like this so publicly. As if these people actually expect the people around them to nod their head in agreement instead of wanting to kick the crap out of them.

Continue ReadingRacist America comes out of the woodwork to attack Barack Obama