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Jon Stewart, Obama, Gates and the Birthers’ Movement

posted by Ethan Nichtern

Jon Stewart gave it to the Birthers’ Movement last night. Can we focus on something more important? And I’m not talking about today’s focus on President Obama’s Gates commentary last night.

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Americans, please. Can we please focus on something that matters? Please? Healthcare Reform, anybody? Please Please Please? Is there really anybody in this country who doesn’t want every single person taken care of when they are in trouble? In our heart of hearts, don’t we ALL want EVERYONE to be have healthcare? We can do better than this discussion. Let’s raise the bar, America. No racist idiocy, no changing the subject from what matters. Let’s actually get good things done for everyone. Healthcare. Healthcare. Healthcare. Say it like a mantra.



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Julia May

posted July 23, 2009 at 11:35 am


Listen E – All I’m interested in is whether Obama wears mom jeans. Health Care! Talk about a buzzkill. What’s next? Afghanistan? Prease. Think about the phrase mom jeans! It’s so funny! It’s like you’re saying he’s a dorky mom. Hilarity of the highest importance!!!



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Paul

posted July 23, 2009 at 8:15 pm


Orly Taitz sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger and acts like Sarah Palin. Oh well…



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Damaris

posted July 24, 2009 at 12:08 am


Well…hmm…..here we go again.
As long as we do not discuss the issue of race in this country we will have difficulty moving forward.
I guess some folks feel that they exist in an integrated world. I say great.
At the same time, if your thinking about interdependence in the food you buy, in the clothes you wear. Shouldn’t you consider the interdependence of the experiences of the people in your country?
As much as it angers me to see Henry Louis Gates, Jr in cuffs, I’m glad it happened because it brings this issue to the forefront and allows us to briefly think about it.
To discuss it.
If we dare.
Here’s a news link with a insightful commentary.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/32101191#32113363
And for those who don’t know what Henry Louis Gates, Jr does.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/aalives/profiles/index.html



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Ashley St.Claire

posted July 26, 2009 at 3:03 pm


Image vs. Substance
In 1 on July 26, 2009 at 3:38 am
Harvard Scholar Disorderly
Image vs. Substance
Whether Obama is in the White House, or not, to expect America to be a color blind country is too naive. The question should not focus on the presence of Racist cops in the land. Of course, there are. They are only a reflection of the society at large. The question should be on how the good professor tried to deal with the cops. More on the professor, later.
Whether the president of the U.S. is an African-American or not, according to a report by the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rate for African-Americans in June of 2009 was 15.3 while for Whites the unemployment rate was 8.8 for the same period.
Whether the President’s father came from Kenya or not, a very high percentage of African-Americans continue to be in prison. In a very good study on the subject, professor Pamela Oliver of the University of Wisconsin at Madison writes, “US imprisonment rates are much higher than the rest of the world, and within the US, African Americans are imprisoned at least eight times as often as European Americans, About a third of African American men are under the supervision of the criminal justice system, and about 12% of African American men in their 20s and 30s are incarcerated.” How sad? But this is the reality.
This is the disparity between image and substance. I am sure a lot of people had wrongly assumed that Obama’s Presidency would overhaul the economic ( anarcho-capitalism) and social problems facing the country. This is nothing but to underestimate the choke hold powerful forces have on the system. The election of the first African-American president in the U.S. had even given false hopes to Africans. While it is nice for the image of the U.S. president to fly to Ghana for photo-ops for less than a twenty four hours stay, in terms of substance, the trip’s usefulness for the benefit and interest of Africa is close to nil. Stop looking at Africa as your step child. You want to help, join forces with the African Union and try to find solution to the problem in Somalia.
As my dear friend Ashley St.Claire is fond of saying, “A conclusion reached based on wrong assumptions is a sign of stupidity”.
Back to the issue of Professor Gates. The president was upset because the police had ”mistreated “ his ” friend”. The President said, “Well, I should say at the outset that Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don’t know all the facts. Now, I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home”
If the president did not have all the facts, wouldn’t it have been advisable to wait before uttering the unfortunate “stupidity” comment? Less than twenty four hours later, the White House realizing the damage caused, the president told reporters, “My sense is you’ve got two good people in a circumstance in which neither of them were able to resolve the incident in the way that it should have been resolved,” Then he let the world know that he had called Sergeant Crawley and has extended an invitation to the White House.So,now, the focus is not on the economy but on the arrest of a dear friend.
As one of the die hard supporters of the president Jon Stewart said, “I wasn’t at the press conference last night, and I also don’t have all the facts, but I think it’s fair to say that Obama handled that question — oh, what’s the word I’m looking for — stupidly?” OOPS.
Professor Gates who most certainly has no clue as to what happens to the average African American on a daily basis, may be, thought of himself so exceptional that he wondered how dare this cops want to check his I.D. As is always the case, ivory towers make professors feel patrician. Certain globe-trotting African-American professors actually have no understanding of the economic and social hell hole a very high percentage of African-Americans are at this moment. But there are those who speak on their behalf (so-called experts) without feeling the pains, and sufferings of the people. This incident wouldn’t have been an issue, if Henry Louis Gates Jr. had cooperated with the police like an average citizen usually does.
This I am sure will be a profitable incident for those who will write, direct, and appear in the up-coming documentary on racism in the police force. Stay tuned. The actions of the jokers at ivory towers never cease to amaze me. Lighten up. Don’t take yourselves too seriously.
Professor Mekonen Haddis



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Damaris

posted July 27, 2009 at 8:35 am


Interesting thing you did there Ashley but it’s not an original move.
If you look at our world and our history as a species you’ll know it doesn’t work.
We have to find another way. I can’t say I know how. I do know how I feel though and I know my heart can open up if I know how someone else is feeling.
The other day I had this wonderful experience with a woman who is not of the same race as me. Turns out she was having experiencing racism but in the reverse way.
I saw her suffer so much in the same way I suffered. I knew she tried hard. Just like I did. For moment, we got together and talked about what we experience. In that moment we build bridge. We didn’t do what we’ve always done as species. With our open hearts we found another way.
We where able to connect with each other and in doing so healed some of what was wounded.
I don’t think doing this with an open heart is going to be easy. I think they’ll be a lot of resistance.
I think there are a lot of people who are ignorant about race. What’s even worse these day are the people who are not ignorant about it but use it to keep power. (which is another form of racism btw)
So in a way we have to decide do we really want to understand? Do we really want to work through this problem?
“I’ve been teaching these pith instructions to others, and I must practice them myself. As it is said, ‘What is called sickness has no true existence whatsoever, but within the display of delusory phenomena appears as the ineluctable result of wrong actions. Sickness is the teacher that points out the nature of samsara and shows us that phenomena, manifest though they may, have no more true existence than an illusion. Sickness provides us with the grounds for developing patience towards our own suffering, and compassion for the suffering of others. It is in such difficult circumstances that our spiritual practice is put to the test’…..”
– Gyalse Ngulchu Thogme



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