Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Seeing Them For What They Are

"A typical street whore." "Ghetto street trash." "Wonder when she will get her first abortion."

These voices are talking about a teenage tramp, feral jailbait “with no mammy and no pappy” and nary a role model, a substance abuser welfare services lost track of or gave up on—right?

NO. They are talking about 11-year-old Malia Obama.

They were comments posted to “Free Republic,” a conservative blog, last Thursday. And what did “'lil cuz,” the spawn of the “commie pinko pansy of a father” and “his witch of a wife," do? Wore a T-shirt. “Not one but two T-shirts with an anti-nuclear message,” reports the “Free Republic. “Just 48 hours after the U.S. President” [note to editor: let’s leave his name out but I suppose we have to capitalize president] “signed agreements with Russian president” [note to ed.: well at least we don’t have to capitalize it for the Russky] “...Dmitry Medvedev to reduce weapon stores.” Wayward Malia “was spotted” wearing two T-shirts with the ubiquitously popular peace sign on them. “First there was a grey… then she swapped it for a mottled white and grey…” Well, did you ever?

This is not the Letterman Show, I am not Bill Maher, and this is REAL. Reality in America, folks. The America of which all Americans sing, “God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood…”

This is the brotherhood of the Christian right. “On the far side of sanity,” to quote Gary Larson, who makes his salient points via talking cows.

It wasn’t enough for the brother hood of the Christian right to slime and slam. He (or she?) posted a photo of Michelle Obama, in animated conversation with her daughter, captioned, "To entertain her daughter, Michelle Obama loves to make monkey sounds."

According to The Vancouver Press, “Free Republic,” the original source of these quotes, is “commonly considered one of the prime online locations for U.S. Conservative grassroots political discussion and organizing.” Cowardly to the core, “Free Republic” removed the comments from its site—twice—the second time for good, it seems, after negative reactions from some of its readers as well as the liberal media.

We owe a great thanks to The Vancouver Press for preserving this irrational, venomous, racist dreck for all to see. And for taking “Free Republic” to task for its hypocrisy as follows:

“A note on the front of Free Republic reads, "Free Republic does not advocate or condone racism, violence, rebellion, secession, or an overthrow of the government," but one comment on the thread read, "This disgusting display makes me more and more eager for the revolution," while another read, "I never actually wnated [sic] to be a pistol before but..."

Wrote site owner Jim Robinson sarcastically, "We should steer clear of Obama's children. They can't help it if their old man is an American-hating Marxist pig."

Then, behold, a flicker of light from the depths:

“One poster by the name of "fullchroma" wrote, ‘To Jim Robinson: The recent uptick here in racist vitriol, aimed at Barrack, Michelle and their children has made me wonder if I belong. My objection to Obama has nothing to do with skin tone. Is the ugly stereotype of Conservative racism true?’

“But such opinions were not shared by all. Said Roses of Sharon, ‘Poor libs .... Too late, the battle has been joined.’ The battle?”

Dominic Meiman, a friend I had forwarded The Vancouver Press account to, wrote to me in response:

“Doesn't surprise me. As Chris Matthews pointed out a couple of months ago, the Republican party has struck two Faustian bargains: one with southern bigots after the civil rights advances and, more recently, one with Christian rightwingers. The party is now shrinking into a toxic distillation and their venom isn't going away anytime soon. It's good that stuff like this doesn't get repressed because it's best that everyone see them for what they are and judge them accordingly.”


  1. See "who" for what they are is the question? Conservatives? Liberals? Democrats? Republicans? Bloggers? MOST of what is written on blogs is over-looked by the "press". The Daily Kos and The Huffington Post are as bad as Free Republic will ever be. Alll these groups do is fling right or left wing incendiary bullshit and the fringe lunatics come out from under thier rocks to make the ridiculous kinds of comments that were made about Malia. Check out Perez Hilton for the fringe elements comments about the Bush twins when they wrote a lovely letter to the Obabama girls in the Wall Street Journal: "fuck those bitches…! go back to your fucking rat hole in TX and shut the fuck up Jenna and Barb….!"; " KEEP THOSE TWO WHORES AWAY FROM MELIA AND SASHA!!!".
    Unfortunately if B.O. ( great presidential initials to have fun with) parades his father of the year pin by having his children's photos published everywhere he is going to subject them to the kinds of disgusting comments we witnessed above.
    Chris Matthews made a point. However, Conservative commentators like Bill O'Reilly condemned the attacks as "filthy" and "despicable.". I always like to make sure we are getting both sides of an issue. When both sides of an issue aren't presented,( as our press is wont to do so much of lately) it is as good as being lied to. You may not like what i have to say, but I will always say it truthfully. Imagine if that were my campaign promise? They'd run me out of the election!

  2. Here, here, Steve! Exactly so. Ubiquitous Internet access opens the door for the best and worst of free speech. The wing-nuts are nuts, whichever wing they use to fly. Ray is right to expose these, but let the reasonable among us look both ways before we cross the street.

  3. Even though there are nuts on both sides - and Dems seem to be nuttier at times, even though more sensical in their nuttiness - the Reps use stuff like a peace sign to bash while the Dems use stuff like getting totally wasted (underage) and run ins with cops to bash. Who is nuttier in this case? It isn't just the nuttiness, it is the disrespect. A small child chooses to embrace peace - which isn't a far-left concept, I hope, though it seems to have become one - and people comment on it as if she's making an anti-nuclear statement? I know a little girl who only likes wearing stripes and I don't think she's commenting on prison reform... the absurdity has to stop and though it exists on both sides, there's really NO comparison, I'm sorry. Like Sanford saying he could find his "way back" like "David" and - as per usual - oozing slime on the bible and then the following day call his mistress his "soul mate," it seems the Reps lose sight of any rationality and reality. There's wrong and then there's WRONG. I'm glad they keep getting it so WRONG because they have lost people for a long long time...

    And, Steve, Obama made a decision not to separate his children from the press for THEIR sake's (so that they wouldn't feel shielded). I applaud him for that.

  4. The idea of sensible nuttiness is perhaps the most absurd thing I have ever heard. Whether one gets wasted or one gets disrespected does not mitigate the use of the word whore to describe young women.
    At 11 years old Melia knows as much about Peace as Miss America knows about quarks! These kids are dressed for the press (as was Amy Carter in her Pigtails, Jon_Jons salute at Daddys funeral, The Bird Johnsons in their white purity prom dresses, etc ad nauseum)like all Presidential kids have been before and will be in the future. With the media bias towards this White House and with this Presidents success in manipulating all forms of media (good for him!) it is naive to believe that he doen't want his children to feel shielded. So why aren't they going to public school? Their handlers parade them out in exactly the form the WH media office wants them to be. How naive does one have to be about the press manipulation when he walks up to the podium with an ordered list of reporters to call on who have pre-ordained questions!?!?!?! And DOESNT call on Helen Thomas!?!?!???
    What is right is ALWAYS right and what is wrong is ALWAYS wrong. The problem with those words is when used by politically biased people they only apply to others. In other words, it is OK for A Repub to do something but wrong when a Dem does it. The same is true in the reverse. Ecxept that when it is in the reverse they scream "there's no comparsion!" I'm sick of them all. They are ALL repugnant!

  5. Ti would be absurd to defend these comments but equally absurd to point them out and express outrage without acknowledging the equally vile rhetoric coming from the left.

  6. had jenna or barbara bush been photographed wearing peace signs on their shirts NO ONE would have written a thing about it... i think we all know where the real hatred is coming from and it has nothing to do with a t-shirt or two... steve, i feel compelled to address two points you made that i find false:
    1) "At 11 years old Melia knows as much about Peace as Miss America knows about quarks!" - my 6 1/2 year old nephew has been able to identify the peace symbol since he was 3 and when asked back then what it meant he said, "no more fights"... young people know much, MUCH more about peace, because they are not yet disillusioned by politics, bureaucracy and the pervasive evil that, sadly, exists in the world... we would be wise to listen to the young and take them more seriously, because they hold the future in their hands...

    2) i implore you, please do not use someone as despicable as perez hilton as an example of how the left is as guilty as the lunatic right...?! i think both sides, left and right, would agree - nobody wants to claim mr. hilton for their side...

    in closing, the obama girls are our young people's biggest role models right now and i think they are MORE than up to the task... and, yes, they are infinitely more qualified than the bush girls... go, barack, for being a proud father, proud enough to put the daughters he and michelle have raised to be poised, graceful young ladies, front and center, for all of us to see and, hopefully, learn from...

  7. My goodness, Ray: This post seems to have brought out the "extremists" like no other you've published. I don't know whether to say, "Keep it up" or "Move on, fast." I guess we do need to be reminded of the whack jobs out there. They are a shrinking minority, all right. But as we do learn occasionally and to our horror, it only takes one finger to pull a trigger.

  8. My point exactly Lauren. Whatever good the Bush twins did (and surprisingly they did some) they were always portrayed as "partying whores".
    IF you read anything I've written, I don't believe in "sides". I believe and have great hope for America. It is why I purposely used the Hilton blog. I didn't think the focus would be on the person I thought it would be about the awful comments made about "any" young woman. Whether very young woemn wear peace signs, or unfortunately drink to excess, they should nonetheless never be referred to as whores. Clear enough?
    Your nephew is the exception NOT the rule. All too often young people today are fat and lazy, having given up physical acticity and intellectual stimulation for the comfort of the couch and the mindlessness of the internet and video games. Of course the Obama girls are probably also exceptions having exceptionally intelligent parents who seem inclined to the best of physical and intellectual pursuits for their kids.
    Comments like "I think we ALL know where the hatred is coming from" suggests alevel of paranoia about life I don't buy into. Hateful comments come from hatefulpeople.They are not engendered by politics, or religion,race, or sexual orientation. One hates because one is taught to hate. John Lennon probably had it right 40 years ago writing "All we need is Love" befofe writing "Give PEace a Chance". The latter doesn't happen without the former.
    I mourn for this country if an 11 year old and an 8 year old are the biggest role models for kids. I have had 10,000 kids in my life (a life dedicated to community and children) and I can tell you that for the best of those children their role models were their parents, their clergy, their teachers and sometimes their older siblings. The media age would like kids like Miley Cyrus, or the Jonas Brothers or (heaven forbid) Michael Jackson to be role models. I bet if Melia and Sasha were asked, they'd would tell the press people to please leave them alone and let them be just normal well behaved kids and not hold them out as role models. The pressure will kill them regardless of parenting.

  9. When I come across comments as callous as those from “Free Republic,” it makes me wonder if conventionalism wisdom will ever work against the unconventional. Few inroads can be made on a mind that functions shut, and little can be shared to an audience that cannot hear over their own anger.

    This is why I find it prudent for you to draw a connection between such comments and the ‘Christian right’ since by treating politics, like faith, in absolutes, their ideology has become uncompromising, antagonistic, and unapologetic

    Consider the following from conservative outlet

    “Would I rather have seen a large Bradley Effect usher John McCain into the White House? Honestly, probably so - after all, I am as red as they come. But I can absolutely take solace in the fact that my country is continuing to loosen the grip of the shackles of racism with every passing year.”

    In a shameless display of racism, this author finds neither shame nor error in what are clearly racist words. To wish that Barack Obama lost the 2008 election in an unprecedented demonstration of prejudice is sickening, yet this commentator made such a statement all while praising America in the same breath. How does such blind hatred say to their neighbors on the planet? What does it show of the future they wish to leave their children? Such hypocrisy must have clearly gone unnoticed. Such is the way of hubris.

    I remember examining a paper called The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn by Jonathan Bennett. The philosophical work profiled the moralistic failures of three individuals: Mark Twain’s Huck Finn, Nazi Germany’s Heinrich Himmler, and Calvinist theologian Jonathan Edwards. Surprisingly, Bennett showed that Jonathan Edwards demonstrated the most amoral attitude out of the three after he preached not just the predestination of the damned, but also the satisfaction one can find in such ‘justice’:

    “The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked; . . . he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times so abominable in his eyes as the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.”

    Thus if any find disagreement with Edwards’ theories by so much as existing, "they have deserved the fiery pit."

    Such absolute mentality has been used throughout American history (let alone world history) to murder natives inhabitants, execute ‘witches’, abuse indentured servants, justify slavery, suppress women, threaten minorities, and to demonize all non-Christian conservatives.

    When Dante met those who sewed 'schism' in Inferno, he found their bodies as mutilated as the religions and governments they splintered. Such is the case with the Religious Conservative moment in the United States, which I believe reaped a harvest of hate after brandishing the “Southern Strategy” and “Culture War” for quick victories. However, much as seawater does little to satisfy a parched throat, it appears that Christian conservatism has found little long-term sustenance from these wells.

    Bush's Crusade into the Middle East ended in disaster, Barack Obama has been elected president, the Democrats hold a supermajority, and religious conservatism have been belied. However, rather than find solace in their faith (which would be pious,) Christian conservatives throughout the country instead indulge in fantasies that more closely resemble Hell.

  10. I just came back from a marvelous visit to Utah, Wyoming,Montana, and South Dakota. There I saw some of the greatness of the American West and met some of the people who have made it great. I neither heard from any people, nor read in their various newspapers any indulgences that closely resembly Hell. I don't defend Christian Conservatives any more than I defend Atheistic leftists who want to remove every reference to God from the American way of life. I suggest a read of "The End of Southern Exceptionalism" which points out that the Southern Strategy weas no more than an economic prefererence and not racial at all. No election since 1972 has been turned on the so called Southern Strategy. In fact, The Obabama victory in the South may have finally put to rest the paranoia surrounding it. In addition, Clinton won back to back elections despite the Culture Warriors like Buchanan.
    The fall of Antioch may have ended the Crusades but religious intolerance has been the bane of mankind from his beginnings. Obamas electon and the temporary Democratic supermajority have had no effect on Christian Conservatism.
    Indeed, what you report about Bennett report is true, but mildly distorted. Edwards was forced to resign by his congregation for his views. The Rev. Wright who damned America was praised by his. These two extremists just serve to support my contention that the extremes tend to pull us away from the center.

  11. How about a rationally reasoned discussion? From "the center"

    Letter from Procter & Gamble Exec to Obama

    Please read, even if you are an Obama fan. It is legitimate, written by respected, Lou Prichett, formerly of Proctor and Gamble. Lou Pritchett is one of corporate America 's true living legends- an acclaimed author, dynamic teacher and one of the world's highest rated speakers. Successful corporate executives everywhere recognize him as the foremost leader in change management. Lou changed the way

    America does business by creating an audacious concept that came to be known as "partnering." Pritchett rose from soap salesman to Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development for Procter and Gamble and over the course of 36 years, made corporate history. _______________________________________________________


    Dear President Obama:

    You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.

    You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.

    You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.

    You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.

    You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

    You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core.

    You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.

    You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

    You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America' crowd and deliver this message abroad.

    You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.

    You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.

    You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly

    capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

    You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.

    You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations.

    You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.

    You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.

    You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.

    You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.

    You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.

    You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.

    Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will

    probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

    Lou Pritchett


    This letter was sent to the NY Times but they never acknowledged it. Big surprise! Since it hit the internet, however, it has had over 500,000 hits. All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. It's happening right now.