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Klan Stock: If The Hood Fits Wear It

The Mayberry Lane's picture

“The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. [...] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”

When Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote the Supreme Court opinion for the unanimous decision in Schenck Vs. The United States in 1919, he couldn’t have imagined the importance of his words today. In fact, when the decision in that particular case was overturned, it was done so to specifically limit banned speech to that which would incite “imminent lawless action”. Perhaps some in the Tea Party movement need to go give those cases a once-over.

Just this weekend, Sarah Palin addressed a sea of hover-rounds, plastic sun visors, and alabaster kankles. There she actually told the crowd that they should confront drivers of cars with Obama bumper stickers and ask them “How that hopey-changey thing is workin’ out for them.”

This, in and of itself, wouldn’t be so awful… if it didn’t occur exactly one day after a man literally rammed his car into another vehicle simply because of one of those Obama stickers.

Now, perhaps she didn’t know about the incident that occurred the prior day because she was too busy showin’ off that naughty dominatrix jacket Michael Steel picked up for her at Voyeur. At least, one would hope that’s what the RNC leader was doing when he spent $2,000 on at a bondage-themed night spot in L.A…..but that’s beside the point.. Even if it was unintentional, why the hell hasn’t she attempted to calm the storm now. Is she actually condoning this type of behavior? Has no one sat her down and explained to her, using small and simple words, the power that these suggestions can have?

And if her statements aren’t bad enough, bat-shit crazy Michelle Bachman finds it appropriate to use phrases like “I want people armed and dangerous.”… really? That’s not inciting violence? Really? Then please, explain to this little southerner what it is that she meant by that comment. If you ask me, it’s nothing more than double speak for “Let’s get us a lynch mob together!”

I have one thing to say to all of those who continue with this rhetoric: if the hood fits, wear it! Stop this nonsense of complaining about shit that isn’t happening, about provisions that do not exist in the health care legislation, and about this nonsense of taking back your country. Have the balls to just come out and admit you can’t stand the fact that the president is black and be done with it. Or is it that he’s a commie-muslim-socialist-Kenyan with a loud mouth Christian preacher? Yeah, that’s it.

Overall, the Tea Party Express rally looked more like a casting call for the next Cocoon. Lots of elderly white folks with “Keep your government hands of my Medicare” signs. I mean, I guess I can’t expect much more from a movement who’s leader calls the president an “Indonesian Muslim turned Welfare thug.” Oh yeah, Mark Williams, next time you attempt to pass yourself off as a non-racist… you may first want to be sure there aren’t pictures of you actually holding a sign containing a racist slur… or at least maybe make sure your slurs are spelled correctly.

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Submitted by lambert on

... claiming HCR was "historic," we'd have a functional political system!

At least that's what this elderly white guy thinks...

scoutt's picture
Submitted by scoutt on

can be written about the left. "Cankles". Nice shallow jab there. Is that more agist than sexist? Or just plain old mean?
All 3 of your diaries reinforce the tribal cage match hatred that keeps the issues out of sight.
"Politics is the systematic organization of hatreds" and that's what I read from the collection of your writings here.

Submitted by gmanedit on

"Have the balls to just come out and admit you can’t stand the fact that [Obama] is black and be done with it."

I thought the primaries were over.

The Mayberry Lane's picture
Submitted by The Mayberry Lane on

I admit to being a redneck, of course I've got a mean streak!

As far as the primaries... I apparently didn't get the memo that racism in this country ended when Obama got elected. I, for one, can say it's still goin' strong down here in the South....

Submitted by gmanedit on

when "racist" was the charge against anyone who didn't like The One?

There are plenty of reasons he makes people uneasy. To write them off to racism is to avoid looking at those other reasons. As lambert says, any stick to beat a dog.

The Mayberry Lane's picture
Submitted by The Mayberry Lane on

I take no issue with those who have honest policy disagreements, whether they be on the Left or the Right. I take issue with our president over many, many things, but I know strongly I'm not racist. I give others the same credit.

I do, however, think that those who make charges like "Obama's a Socialist-Commie-Muslim-Liberal-Who has a problematic Christian preacher and wants to take our guns!" are nothing more than cloest racists.

When I see Tea Baggers holding witch-doctor signs, I feel that's not even thinly veiled... it's blatent racsim.

Not sure where I heard it, but there's a certain phrase I think of in these type of discussions... "I can't define [racism], but I know it when I see it.".... Sometimes you just know...

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"Overall, the Tea Party Express rally looked more like a casting call for the next Cocoon."

See, the people in the other tribe are old. Old people are uncool.

"[Sarah Palin] was too busy showin’ off that naughty dominatrix jacket Michael Steel (sic) picked up for her at Voyeur. At least, one would hope that’s what the RNC leader was doing."

Instead of standing for a better brand of politics, let's mock Sarah Palin for wearing slutty clothing that we'd like to imagine she wore.

Our tribe rulez!!!!

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

Overall, I think the points being made are correct, but must ageism and sexism be used to make them?

Also, the appellation "teabaggers" is juvenile in my opinion. It only makes the people using it look as if they are uncomfortable with certain aspects of sexual behavior - it certainly does nothing to discredit the wingnuttery of the Tea Party ideology, such as it is.

quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

I don't even know what hover-rounds and kankles are, alabaster or jet. I'm not sure I care. But I do know I'm really fed up with comments on the clothes of female politicians, the demographics of any politician's audiences, and far-fetched connections between public statements and the actions of private lunatics. (Referring to Palin's comment. Malkin's is rather plain incitement to riot.)

If there's a policy disagreement -- and there clearly is -- how about you too stick to the subject?

When it comes to wondering how that hopey-changey stuff is working out for Obama voters, it's a question I share.

Am I a racist? I know I didn't used to be. I'm less sure that I'm not rapidly becoming one. It's one of those "when the truth turns out to be lies, and all the joy within you dies" kind of things. (I told you I was old.)

Buried in the post, you make a point that's frustrated me too. It's beyond absurd to slag off a corporatist Republican-not-so-lite politician, who seems to have Major Issues with gays, lady parts, and the women attached to the lady parts -- it's idiotic to slag him off for being a pinko commie socialist fascist thug.

The Mayberry Lane's picture
Submitted by The Mayberry Lane on

I used to try to stay serious... I tried not to stoop to "their level"- but I got pissed! I'm over it! I live down here in the middle of redneck paradise... and I wouldn't give up my lifestyle if you paid me... but all I hear is "Obama's gonna take my guns!"...

As such, I completely changed my entire format. I figured if they wanna be vulger, I can too! I just try to mix in some facts while I'm at it. You can see the post that finally brought the liberal and redneck halves of my personality together on The Mayberry Lane Blog.

Fair warning, there is definately name calling, cursing, and anger there... but I think if you're not pissed off about some of the stuff going on out there, you sure as hell aren't paying attention...

Submitted by lambert on

And there's plenty of "stuff" I'm pissed off about, but I try to avoid collateral damage. If you see what I mean. So far as I'm concerned, most of the discourse in Versailles, and that goes for both parties, is designed to damage my values and interests. So I'm not all that interested in "Let's you and them fight" on the tea partiers, because I figure that's designed to damage my values and interests, too.

UPDATE One of the remarkable things about the 2006-2008 period is how rapidly the rebellious "left" blogosphere got incorporated into Versailles, as most of the high traffic bloggers became meme laundries for D factions. I expect the same will happen with the tea partiers and the Rs. I give it a year.

Submitted by gmanedit on

fish in a barrel. I'm more concerned with the saboteurs who were supposed to be the Left.

Also, I find vulgarity counterproductive, a bludgeon rather than a rapier. I don't like bar brawls, either.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

As an excuse for why you must use sexist, ageist and classist slurs against people.

I live in Redneckville too, Proudly, BTW. I am surrounded by racist fuckers who want to lynch Obama. I have to listen to jokes about the Obama's living in public housing and food stamps(to be fair to white racists, I've heard black CNN commentators make the same jokes, so there you go).

I get angry at the TEA partiers for being so obtuse, that they call Obama a socialist, when he's anything but.

I don't use hateful rhetoric to fight them though, and you shouldn't either, regardless of where you live. As a matter of fact, I would say it behooves us liberal denziens of Redneckville to be ever more so enlightened, than the run of the mill "progressive".

Submitted by hipparchia on

we don't call my part of the country 'the redneck riviera' for nothing, and i do occasionally make fun of them, but that can be done without resorting to ageist, sexist, racist, or other slurs.

also, like quixote, i'm really really really tired of people talking about women politicians' appearance, instead of their policies.

demonizing the other side is fun, and can build your readership [and get you votes, if you're a politician], but it does nothing useful toward solving actual problems. i read about one paragraph of each post and decided yuck, not worth my time.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

I'm not just tired or fed up, I'm way past that and into serious fuck off territory.

I had enough of the misogyny and ageism in the primaries. If you're trying to play the Obama-fan rile and distract the troops game by resorting to both, you may want to find a more cult-like audience to wave the red flag in front of. It will be far more productive than insulting half the readers here.

All I can conclude with the most recent squealings of the OFB about the Tea Partiers is that they are feeling really threatened, because all our old friends from the primaries are back -- demeaning people by age, by sex, and by class, while avoiding any substantive conversation. Of course, the most effective counter to the Tea Partiers and right-wing populism would be a solid recovery plan for the economy, jobs, and a half-way decent reform of the health care system. But no one on the counter side can point to any efforts in any of those areas, so here we are again with schoolyard name-calling. And that's all I see in this post.

I do admit, however, to laughing bitterly to see someone trot out the "why doesn't Palin do anything to defuse the situation" blather. Why, imagine, that's the question I kept asking myself about Obama and the FKDPs amidst some of the most rancid misogyny slinging around the infotainmentsphere in my lifetime against not only Clinton, but her supporters. Just a word or two would halted all the admirers in their tracks, but that couldn't happen because bullying and demeaning was part of the campaign strategy. This is just more of the same, and Palin's political rallies or whatever the hell she's doing this week have nothing to do with that.

The only mildly strategic or policy-based assertion in this post is "they do it so I can too!". Color me unimpressed.

Submitted by Anne on

I guess I’ll just dive in. I don’t mean to pile on, but your post has really irritated me, and I thought you deserved to understand why.

First, I think we can all agree that racism in any form is bad; so is sexism, and so is ageism, and so is classism. While it seems your point was to charge racism against a particular group of people, it got lost, for me, in the sexist, ageist, classist and gratuitously juvenile framing.

If we want there to be an end to judgment based on race, it behooves us to also do what we can not to drag other prejudices into the conversation; using gender, class and age to bolster charges of racism tends to make me not look at the object of the charges, but at the person leveling them – which I don’t imagine was or is your intention.

How people dress, whether their ankles are exquisitely sculpted or not, whether they are independently mobile or using scooters, wheelchairs, walkers or canes, what they are wearing – none of these things have anything to do with whether someone is or is not a racist. Racism is more about what people say and what they do, isn’t it? And while it may be true that the people you described are, in fact, racists – or at least suffering from a significant level of prejudice - you simply cannot accuse them of it because of how someone is dressed (the dominatrix jacket comment was really, really bad), or whether they have cankles. If it was intended to be humorous, it failed, on a number of levels, not the least of which is that this kind of playground taunting serves no one, devalues and delegitimizes whatever valid points you were attempting to make and leads only to immature sand-throwing by both/all sides.

Frankly, I’m as sick of it from “our” side as I am from the other; if the best argument we can make has to come packaged with all that extraneous crap, maybe more thought and care need to be taken in formulating that argument.

Finally, if I never heard the term “tea-bagger” again, it would be too soon. You can deride the tea-partiers for their views, but to call/label them something that is associated with a sexual practice once again makes me look at the person using that term, not at those it is leveled at.

scoutt's picture
Submitted by scoutt on

If squeaky were here you'd be called a republican rat f*cker who hasn't gotten over the primaries.

scoutt's picture
Submitted by scoutt on

We have a winner!

From Chris Hedges:
“It is time for us to stop talking about right and left,” McKinney told me. “The old political paradigm that serves the interests of the people who put us in this predicament will not be the paradigm that gets us out of this. I am a child of the South. Janet Napolitano tells me I need to be afraid of people who are labeled white supremacists but I was raised around white supremacists. I am not afraid of white supremacists. I am concerned about my own government. The Patriot Act did not come from the white supremacists, it came from the White House and Congress. Citizens United did not come from white supremacists, it came from the Supreme Court. Our problem is a problem of governance. I am willing to reach across traditional barriers that have been skillfully constructed by people who benefit from the way the system is organized.”

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

That is EXACTLY it. That's why I wrote my post about Clark using Palin to raise money for Dems by saying, "Don't let Sarah Palin win! Give us money!"

Seems to me the ones who are winning are the top 2%. We are all scrod whether Palin "wins" or not, as long as the oligarchy/patriarchy enablers control both Parties.

tarheel-leftist85's picture
Submitted by tarheel-leftist85 on

No wonder the corporate media were out to get her.

The Mayberry Lane's picture
Submitted by The Mayberry Lane on

even from our side... even from me... but please note this... the cankles comment wasn't a Hillary reference... at least not a concious one... I got nothin' against her...

And the Sarah Palin jacket reference was just meant for kicks... (in fact I was questioned as to what type of person has to declare a dominatrix jacket as "naughty"... redundant, or perhaps somehow thinking there can be a dominatrix jacket that isn't!)

I'd hope the serious point is clear. Inciting violence is simply wrong. Wrong in the large political spectrum in which it's currently occuring, and wrong in the corner bar when someone egg's on a drunk to get into a brawl...

I just feel that it's at the point of being scary. I honestly worry that we're on the brink of having another major assasination like King or JFK.

I know that on a serious site, such as this, the humor (for those that recognize it) is a bit much, but at times it's the only way to get the other side to listen. I've found, in person, if I can get someone to chuckle, they're generally a lot more willing to listen to the rest of what I say. I fear some on both sides take things so seriously that they turn off young, intrigued voters that don't know much about the political spectrum... humor, even if lost on some or in poor taste, is an olive branch that I've personally found works for my demographic.

I've found I can't start the conversation with someone of opposing thought with hard facts... mainly because they refuse to see them as "facts"... As soon as I can get them to smile, I know, at the very least, that they're listening.

(Not to mention that each and every one of us needs to be able to laugh at ourselves, "cankles" and all...)

Overall, I honestly and truely understand the frustration with the bad jokes and angry comments, but I'm not entirely willing to remove them from my writing... I do my very best to present something interesting to read... even if some disagree. And I welcome all comments, even if they just "pile on"...

On a side note @ Aeryl, geography doesn't make you "redneck"- it's the lifestyle... I spend a lot of time in the middle of the Everglades... fishing, camping, 4-wheeling, air-boating, etc... Trust me, that shoe fits, and I'm wearin' it. But I do understand your point.

Overall, I've gotten more feedback from this site in 24 hours than I did in a year on others... regardless of whether you agree or disagree, appreciate my attempts at humor or not, I'm thrilled... thank you!

Submitted by Anne on

who are you writing for? Can you define this "other side" which you think needs to be coddled with sophomoric humor in order to listen to your facts? Because I honestly don't think many of those people are reading and commenting here.

And since your attempt at humor was directed at your impression of what comprises the tea-party demographic, I guess they aren't the other side you're seducing with smiles, either.

Is it the other side that exists inside the Democratic party? Because I didn't see any facts or humor directed at them.

Neither racism nor sexism nor ageism nor classism are subjects about which it is easy to find a lot of humor; I would argue that finding that sweet spot where something is humorous without being offensive, and which isn't racist, sexist, and so on, in and of itself, is so hard that it is best not to try to make jokes.

Anger is not a bad thing; there's a lot of it here, because there is a lot to be angry about. So, be angry, but remember that you're an adult, this isn't the schoolyard, and if you want your arguments to be taken seriously and perhaps considered by whatever other side is lurking/reading here, then package them accordingly.

Valhalla nailed it when she commented that the thread is all meta - there is no conversation about the intended subject of your post - mainly because we couldn't see it behind the various "isms" you managed to invoke.

There's plenty of humor here; vastleft's cartoons are a perfect example. Madamab contributes some wonderful one-act plays that slice right to the heart of things with a liberal dose of humor - pun intended.

Speaking only for myself, I already know that prejudice exists - racism, sexism, ageism, classism - what I want to know is how to make it stop, how to get others to see what they are saying and doing is damaging. The conversations I read and participate in here help me do that in the outside world; arguments are refined, distilled and honed, and they enable me not to jump all over people with facts that put them off, but to lure them to a place where, all of a sudden, they begin to hear the words that come out of their mouths and understand, maybe just a little bit, what the big deal is.

Just my two cents.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

These are the same objectionable rhetorical tactics the OFB used during the primaries, and aside from my outburst above, I'm not playing anymore. I may not be able to do much to prevent the spread of using bullying, arrogance, sexism, classism and ageism as a political tactic, but I sure don't have to encourage it by engaging.

This whole thread turned into the big meta, not the issues or the strategy. So I don't think it's very useful. You can be provacative without being offensive based on gender and age, although it takes more effort and thought. You can discuss policy without making dominatrix jokes (offensive on multiple levels). And the aw-shucks thing doesn't do much for the conversation.

tarheel-leftist85's picture
Submitted by tarheel-leftist85 on

Seems like the OFB--even the ones who "have criticisms" [but he's good in his heart, bro!]--are all about it. For them, politics is about deriving some sort of status inflation by bashing the other--particularly strong women, seniors, and Southerners--maybe Christians too (didn't Obama throw his preacher under the bus?). Look over there! Sarah Palin! Nothing to see here! Just feeding Americans to finance, insurance, telecom, O&G, and mercenary parasites.

Yeah, i've really had it with the Southern-bashing. And Southern OFBs seem to derive the greatest status inflation by bashing their neighbors when they could be setting up alternative economies.

Submitted by lambert on

That concept is pure gold, tar heel. It captures the falsity, the decreasing value, and the obsession with pecking order and rank. Please apply it often so I don't forget it ;-)(). in fact, it's worth a post, since it's such a "tell."

tarheel-leftist85's picture
Submitted by tarheel-leftist85 on

create a post on the concept, i don't think it'd be full of linky-goodness! However, i'm eager to flesh this concept out with fellow Correntians. i'll try to have something up soon!