We came a long way
I applaud Mr. Moomjean for his recognition of the great improvements that America has made on racial issues over the past 50 years (Right Persuasion, 11/10). Sadly, Mr. Moomjean seems to be ignorant of the history of African Americans and the presidency. Shirley Chisholm was a candidate in 1972, and garnered the most votes of any woman candidate at the 1972 Democratic Convention. Jesse Jackson ran for the presidency twice. Leonora Fulani appeared on the ballots in all 50 states in 1988. So having an African American candidate for President is not new, and is only one marker in the long progress toward a more racially neutral society.
Mr. Moomjean seems to fall into the intellectual rabbit hole of believing, somehow, that the conservative world view is the righteous view. He states Herman Cain has been a “critic of fellow African-Americans who blindly follow the Democratic Party out of fear ….” There are millions of African Americans who are Democrats out of rational choice. One need only look at the decade-by-decade statistics from 1946 to 2010 to see that, when Democrats are in control of the presidency for the majority of a decade, the economic growth rate averages nearly one full percentage point higher than when Republicans control the presidency. I watched the conservatives of the 1950s attempt to impeach the Supreme Court justices who overturned school segregation. I watched the conservatives of the 1980s and ’90s who overturned most of the public assistance programs that had cut poverty in America by 50 percent. I watch today as conservatives attempt to destroy Medicare, which is the one program that keeps nearly all of the elderly out of poverty today.
So yes, Mr. Moomjean, we have come a long way. And if you watch those under 30, you see that racism is nearly dead among the youth. But that has come only as a result of liberals, both Democrats and Republicans, fighting against conservatives. After all, it was Dwight Eisenhower who got the first civil rights legislation through in 1957, and a subsequent act in 1960 in reaction to a wave of bombings. And it was the same conservatives who fought him just as much as they fought Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
Hopefully just the
I wonder if I’m the only one who has noticed how disgusting and repugnant the crowds are at the Republican debates. (I have my doubts, since there are few people in this country who would punish themselves by watching those slow-motion train wrecks.) And it doesn’t seem to matter where these debates are held; the crowds at every one of them have been cretins.
They cheered for the large number of death row executions in Texas (and you can be assured that with the state of the “justice” system in Texas, at least a few of those executions were of innocent people).
They cheered for the death of the uninsured.
They booed a gay GI in Iraq.
And just recently they booed a journalist who dared to do her job and ask character questions of an accused sexual predator.
I can only conclude that current Republican voters are complete sociopaths, because their behavior is the behavior of individuals who hate and hold in contempt anyone who is different or “less worthy” than they. Apparently, Republican voters think death and/or humiliation is appropriate for any who oppose them.
Disgusting. You do know that the rest of us can see and hear what you do, right?
Apparently we are regressing
The puppet on the left or the puppet on the right — which one is more to your liking? The subversion of our democracy by the wealthiest 1 percent is becoming more and more obvious. This is why the 99 percent have taken to the streets in the Occupy protests.
To equate the political theater of the right wing’s attempt to appear inclusive, by possibly running a black man for president, with true progress for blacks and other minorities in this country is simply to be fooled again. There will always be people of any race or stated belief system who will be willing to be bought off by a few crumbs thrown their way by the wealthy elites. Read Chris Hedges’ recent book #The Death of the Liberal Class# and you’ll understand the true “progress” occurring beneath the facade that you applaud. The short-sighted greed and criminal behavior of the wealthy 1 percent is a “progress”ive disease within our democracy.
Business as usual is not working. It’s certainly not working for the great majority of our black people. Are you aware that the lack of real opportunities for most black people is a major reason behind the huge numbers of young black people in our prisons? I believe that the right-wing propaganda machine realizes that it is easier to fool people who are reasonably well off with the symbolism of a black president than to fool the majority of Americans who are still suffering. Could that be why Republican governors across the country are racing to enact legislation that would make it harder for blacks and all our other brothers and sisters in the 99 percent to cast their votes in coming elections? You think?
Corporate money is flooding our media and electoral process to once again “persuade” us to vote against our own best interests. The people are beginning to see through the charade and are taking to the streets to try to save our country from the insanity of corporate greed and the addiction to short-term profit at the expense of our beautiful land and its people. More and more people are waking up. It’s not easy. I wish I was doing more right now than responding to Paul Moomjean’s article. In the words of Phillip Berrigan, “If voting made any difference, it would be illegal.” I certainly believe we should all vote, but words and votes are no longer enough.
Reality is breaking through and people who truly care must begin to wean themselves from fascination with media and political spectacle. It is time now for citizens to become more active. If we don’t act now our democracy will be truly lost.
If this seems to be a “Howard Zinn approach to analyzing our country’s actions” I will freely admit to being inspired by the insightful and truly patriotic analysis that is Zinn’s legacy, We should not seek to put a happy face over the struggles that are making history today.