Monthly Archives: April 2010

White woman is raped by a Haitian man – white patriarchy is to blame?

It has taken me two days to respond to this:

Ever committed to preserving the dignity of Black men in a world which constantly stereotypes them as violent savages, I viewed this writing as yet one more opportunity to fight “the man” on behalf of my brothers. That night, before I could finish the piece, I was held on a rooftop in Haiti and raped repeatedly by one of the very men who I had spent the bulk of my life advocating for.

Women are not the source of their oppression; oppressive policies and the as-yet unaddressed white patriarchy which still dominates the global stage are. Because women–and particularly women of color–are forced to bear the brunt of the Black male response to the Black male plight, the international community and those nations who have benefitted from the oppression of colonized peoples have a responsibility to provide women with the protection that they need.

…While I take issue with my brother’s behavior, I’m grateful for the experience…

To summarize Amanda’s story, a white woman goes to Haiti to work on a story on the plight of the black men. While she’s there, one of the black men she’s working to support rapes her repeatedly.

Now, forgive me for a more personal post than most, but I connect with the story on several different levels.

I empathize with her connection to Haiti. I love the country and the Haitian people. I have been there post-earthquake myself. I understand the compassion it brings out and the heavy emotion of the experience. The people there are incredible, their situation is heartbreaking. I described parts of the experience as having my heart ripped out of my chest. I pushed children off of me and ran away, leaving them in refugee camps, unsure if they even had parents that had survived. I held babies that are in all probability not alive anymore. Part of me stayed there.

However, as a believer in individuality and personal responsibility, my mission in Haiti was to remind them that they are loved – each and every one of them. That God knows who they are. That THEY are the ones that choose their reaction to their surroundings. I was not there long enough, and it is in my plans to go back longer term to do even more. I don’t know the answer to the plight in Haiti. How do you respond to such a level of desperation and pain? All I could do was do my best to love them. To bring their story to my circle of influence. I understand Amanda’s passion.

In addition, as a woman who has been raped, I understand the desperation and confusion – trying so hard to hard to figure out who is to blame. The answer isn’t always so apparent when you’re in that place. It’s hard to process the reality that evil like that can exist. It isn’t uncommon to find ways to explain it away. In this situation, Amanda has apparently determined that the white patriarchy is to blame.

My friend Melissa Clouthier wrote a fantastic piece in response to this story that is a must-read.

At the root of this absolution is a desire to push personal responsibility on the collective. Unfortunately, the collective was not in that room that night. One man raped one woman.

He alone is responsible. Excusing his behavior is a moral travesty. A society unravels when evil cannot be named and shamed.

Forget collective guilt. It is a collective shame that this sort of thinking permeates liberal thought. This belief in action will utterly destroy society should it go unchallenged.

Melissa’s words are so incredibly powerful, and I can’t make that point any better than she can. This is not about the “global hierarchy”. Every person has control over their actions. Amanda’s rapist is no different. Her response is astounding to most – how could she possibly blame the status of the black man in the world society for this? How was the man that beat her and abused her not at fault? We’re right to question that.

I believe the reason we have that reaction is because we have a fundamental understanding that people are responsible for their own actions. The minute we make the rest of the world accountable for the sins of one, everything becomes negotiable. Freedom works because we have a God-given sense of right and wrong. I shouldn’t even have to say this out loud, but rape is wrong, and her rapist is at fault. We cannot lose the ability to hold a man accountable for his crimes. If the collective Black Man is not responsible for his crimes, he cannot take credit for his success, and such a mentality demeans his existence.

Raisin' Hale 69 with Moe Lane, Caleb Howe, and Liz Carter

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Tabitha talks to Moe Lane and Caleb Howe about a Ted Kennedy memorial, illegals leaving Arizona now that being illegal is well, illegal, and Liz Carter (GA-4)… who joins us in our second half.

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Illegals leaving AZ now that being illegal is… illegal.

I’m pretty sure this was the point.

“Nobody wants to pick us up,” Julio Loyola Diaz says in Spanish as he and dozens of other men wait under the shade of palo verde trees and lean against a low brick wall outside the east Phoenix home improvement store.

Many day laborers like Diaz say they will leave Arizona because of the law, which also makes it a crime to be in the U.S. illegally and directs police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants.

And also:

Jose Armenta, a 33-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico’s western coast, is already planning to move to Utah within the next 20 days because of a combination of the economy and the new law.:

So let’s unpack this a little. A law designed to drive away illegal laborers to reduce the state’s 9.7% unemployment rate is… driving away illegal workers. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have some reservations regarding this bill, but this is not one of them. It’s exactly what the law was supposed to do! It’s a crack down on illegal laborers in an attempt to help those that are here legally.

Let’s all wait for the media to report on Arizona’s upcoming decrease in unemployment… or maybe not. It’s much more likely that we’ll be hearing stories about the poor illegals who were all of a sudden made, well, illegal by this law and forced to return home.

When did people obeying the law become a bad thing?

(H/T Dan Riehl)

Stop the Haters: FreedomWorks responds

In light of GeicoGate and the recent accusations from the media regarding the violent rhetoric of the conservative movement, I’ve taken the liberty of editing together the voicemails and emails we’ve received as a result of DC Douglas’ call to contact FreedomWorks. Here’s the result.

WARNING: This is intense. Violent language is an understatement. I haven’t censored – only edited to remove names and phone numbers.

Now, just for kicks, go check out DC’s video of messages left by Tea Party members the day we posted his voicemail on BigGovernment.com. Any comparison?

No.

Feel free to post this. Spread it far and wide. Let the world hear the peaceful, tolerant Left in all their glory.

GEICO vs. FreedomWorks?

Last week, Matt Kibbe posted the voicemail from voiceover actor Lance Baxter (A.K.A D.C. Douglas). The voicemail was very calm, very steady, asking how many FreedomWorks employees were “mentally retarded”, and then goes on to ask what our spin will be when one of our members finally kills someone. And then he left his name and phone number.

Let’s state the obvious: This is sheer stupidity. If you’re even remotely recognizable and you are representing a company, you don’t alienate customers. It’s as simple as that. GEICO obviously saw the damage, and fired him.

D.C. released a press release today – because, well, why not. Here’s an excerpt:

“I called as a private citizen to make a complaint,” explains Mr. Douglas. “Racism and homophobia are my Achilles heal, but unfortunately my message included inappropriate words and I am sorry for that. However, telling their members to harass my employer to get me fired is an egregiously disproportionate response to my actions.”

First, it’s “heel.” And no, it isn’t disproportionate. If he called to make a legitimate complaint, it most certainly wasn’t made clear in the voicemails. I was under the impression that he was “writing a paper” and “needed to know the number of mentally retarded people that worked for FreedomWorks and were following it?” And when we called back to verify, he said his “questions had been answered.”

So conservatives are now applauding Geico, liberals are now slamming them for caving to the “teabagger” pressure, and poor D.C. Douglas is wailing away on his blog about the injustice of it all. Here’s an excerpt:

Unfortunately, the radical majority is provoked to racial paranoia and mob mentality by unethical Washingtonian operatives like Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe.  If we do not confront these kinds of groups, we risk letting a hate movement gain a dangerous level of influence in our country.

I’m sorry, who’s the one calling people retarded? There is no basis for the accusations of violence among conservatives. Sorry, D.C., you’re wrong.

Kibbe posted his follow up piece today at BigGovernment.com. Go check it out for more examples of the violence directed at FreedomWorks.

Who’s right? The bottom line is the GEICO has a brand to protect. If the voice of your company is leaving nasty messages that target a large portion of the population, you have to make a business decision. Good on GEICO for being smart.

Fringe 411: Mommentator's birthday!

I don’t even know what we talked about, but I’m sure it was funny. Something about hemipene lizards? Listen, enjoy.
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Tabitha and Molly continue on their exploration of “crazy.” Happy Birthday to Molly Teichman who just turned 21!

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Raisin' Hale 67 with Steven Crowder and John Hawkins

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Tabitha chats with her Twitter crush, conservative comedian Steven Crowder and old friend John Hawkins this as they discuss the Tax Day Tea Parties and the failures of the conservative movement.

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Swiped from Melissa Clouthier: Herman Cain, Dark Horse?

Melissa and I had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Cain after his speech on Saturday – which was clearly one of the most powerful of the weekend.

We didn’t even have to ask him many questions. It was great just to hear him talk. He addresses racism in the Tea Parties (PC: Pure Crap), God’s plan for his life, and a possible Presidential run?


Herman Cain Might Run For President
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SRLC Blogging: Day two & wrap up

Most importantly, we started the day with Cafe du Monde. Well, after waking up early to tape a podcast, that is. And if you’ve never had beignets before, they’re amazing and coma-inducing. Amazing.

Then it was down to the Hilton for day two of speakers. Today included Mike Pence, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and Michael Steele, among others.

Mike Pence kicked things off. I’ve mentioned my love for him before, and he didn’t let me down this time. Honestly, he was every bit as warmly received as Palin was, and got many a standing ovation. His passion is amazing. Pence has been a supporter of the grassroots all along, and I was glad to see him so warmly received at an establishment event.

Honestly, most of the day was rather boring from a speaker standpoint for me. Ron Paul gave a very Ron Paul speech. His supporters cheered, everyone else groaned. Haley Barbour was listing players in the movement of the past year, and rattled off a list of the usual suspects. “Ron Paul!” was shouted from the audience, and Barbour goes “Sure, Ron Paul…” I get frustrated with the overrepresentation of Ron Paul and Mitt Romney at these things. I don’t believe it’s anywhere close to how many actually represent them on a national scale.

As per usual, Herman Cain fired everyone up. He’s an amazing speaker – the only one I’ve encountered that can silence a blogger lounge the minute he starts. Let’s face it, we’re really not quiet people. His passion was a breath of fresh air. Melissa Clouthier and I had the opportunity to sit down with him after his speech and were so impressed with him. I’ll post the video later, when she finally gets it up, but I asked him about his experience at the Tea Party rallies, and asked if he’d ever felt unwelcome at all being a black man at the events. His answer was a strong “no”, and he called the accusations of racism crap.

Another notable moment included Haley Barbour trying to talk up Charlie Crist. There were audible groans from the audience, which was somewhat encouraging, but there’s an underlying message there. In Rubio we have a candidate that is clearly conservative, has a ton of grassroots support, and is killing Crist in the polls. For someone like Haley Barbour, who is generally believed to be among the conservative Republicans, to throw his support behind Crist, who is the personification of everything our movement is trying to destroy, was a reflection of how deep those establishment ties really do run. We have our work cut out for us, probably more so than maybe I realized. It’s easy when surrounded by genuine grassroots activists and conservative thinkers day in and out as I am to lose sight of the bigger Republican machine. It’s still out there, and still needs an incredible amount of work.

Michael Steele wrapped up the speakers, and the words floating around the room to describe him was “subdued”. He looked worn down. His voice was nowhere near as passionate or fired up as he generally is. He sounded like he was tip-toeing around the things he actually wanted to say. He offered a heartfelt apology for the controversies, which seemed to be very well received.

The conference as a whole, for me, was uncomfortable. I as I was wrestling with why it was so awkward (aside from the fact that the schedule was bizarre). one look around the “media filing center” answered my question: They had done nothing to bring bloggers into the fold. Ed Morrissey was the only one I spoke to that had been approached to attend. Melissa, Ed, and myself were among the few bloggers in the room. Bringing speakers back for interviews was like pulling teeth – they clearly thought that doing so was a favor to us, and not an opportunity for them.

For all the progress we’ve made in the online world, it was frustrating to feel the distinct difference between all of the conferences I’ve been to in the past year and this one. For those who were at CPAC this you, you felt the energy when you walked into the blogger lounge. That was clearly the nerve center of what was happening – nearly candidates and speakers were brought up for interviews, there was livestreaming from several sources, radio broadcasting. This time, not so much. You would think that with the state of the GOP, they’d focus on friendly outlets to reintroduce themselves. Instead, they’d apparently rather let the WashPos and NYTs of the world continue to tear them to shreds. Good luck with that, guys.

Republicans wear me out. I’m glad that we have a great new crop of young guys coming up – I continue to be impressed with the new candidates I meet, and it gives me hope for 2010 and beyond.

SRLC Blogging: Day one.

First of all, I don’t hate New Orleans. For as much trashtalk as I heard about this city (Melissa Clouthier referred to it as a “pit of despair”), it’s beautiful. I love the architecture and the colors and the music… and the FOOD.

Tony Perkins makes me want to kick things. He starts out on a slight roll, ripping the Democrats on health care, etc. The BAM. he starts going off on gays. All I could think was seriously, Tony? Way to focus on the stuff that a) makes Republicans look like jerks b) is a huge political loser and c) alienates a whole lot more people more people than it will ever impress. It was disheartening to hear what I hoped would be a rejuvenated sounding party kick off the conference with anti-gay rhetoric. Just shut up.

Sarah Palin was much better than I’ve seen her recently. I’ve been openly skeptical of her for a while now, as anyone who follows me on Twitter probably knows. Her focus was very much on energy policy, and it was nice to see her in her wheelhouse. She was obviously talking about stuff she had a solid handle on for once, instead of the talking points someone handed her, and it was refreshing. She ripped the administration on spending, and hypocritical environmental policies.

Bobby Jindal was solid. He gave a lousy GOP  response last year and was quickly dumped by most people who were looking to him as a leader. Either he’s been brushing up on his delivery skills or just plays better in a group with an audience. Or both. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still boring, but I think politically, he’s brilliant. He put to rest rumors of a 2012 run, and for that I am grateful. He gave a Louisiana focused speech and assured his constituents that he has the job that he wants. I know he isn’t perfect, and that boring won’t play in a 2012 election, but I’m not giving up on Jindal yet.

Andrew Breitbart is an asset to the movement. Even though he infuriates me sometimes and is relatively offputting, he fires people up and is willing to be the lightening rod. We need someone to be the flamethrower, so say the things that most are afraid to say. He did that today, and his humor and filter-less approach behind the microphone brought much needed energy to the afternoon.

Then there was Rick Perry, who easily gave the speech of the day. I’d never seen him speak before, but had heard good things. He was on fire – incredibly charismatic and passionate. My ADHD kicked in at that point, so to be perfectly honest, I processed very little of what he was actually saying. It happens. But I had trouble not watching him. The fact that he’s not a bad looking man didn’t hurt.

Anyway, the mood is good around here. Which I guess is to be expected – I’m slightly disappointed in the focus on worn out candidates (if Romney is our nominee, I’m going to blow a gasket) and the social issues that frankly, should be taking a backseat to things like health care, cap and trade, and taxes.

More tomorrow.