Friday, May 4, 2007

Obama Brings Out the Racists

This is not a political endorsement, but I REALLLLLLY want Obama to get the Democratic nomination, because then we will see, very clearly, EXACTLY how far we've come since the '50's. And I bet it isn't that far.

Racism is less tolerable in polite society, but with the internet there to mask identities, people are free to post their REAL opinions on CBS' comments.

Obama is also requesting Secret Service protection earlier than any other candidate ever. Hmmmm, what's different about him, compared with the nearly 20 other Republican and Democratic nominees?

Get ready to be proud of America, folks:

May 4, 2007

CBSNews.com Turns Off Comments on Obama Stories
Posted by Brian Montopoli


(AP Photo)
Today CBSNews.com informed its staff via email that they should no longer enable comments on stories about presidential candidate Barack Obama. The reason for the new policy, according to the email, is that stories about Obama have been attracting too many racist comments.

"It's very simple," Mike Sims, director of News and Operations for CBSNews.com, told me. "We have our Rules of Engagement. They prohibit personal attacks, especially racist attacks. Stories about Obama have been problematic, and we won't tolerate it."

CBSNews.com does sometimes delete comments on an individual basis, but Sims said that was not sufficient in the case of Obama stories due to "the volume and the persistence" of the objectionable comments.

There has been a fierce debate about how news outlets should handle reader comments. Washingtonpost.com's Jim Brady, whose site, like CBSNews.com, does not have the resources to filter comments in advance, told Howard Kurtz that he'd "rather figure out a way to do it better than not to do it at all."

But Post reporter Darryl Fears told Kurtz that comments should be eliminated if they can't be pre-screened for offensiveness.

"If you're an African American and you read about someone being called a porch monkey, that overrides any positive thing that you would read in the comments," he said.

CBSNews.com has no plans to disable comments on stories about the other presidential candidates, according to Sims. As for comments on Obama stories, he said the site is open to eventually bringing them back.

"We'd like to be able to return to them, and I'm not ruling that out," said Sims. "But at this point it's not possible."


Thanks to Skeptical Brotha for the heads up.

5 comments:

Winged Hussar 1683 said...

There is NO excuse for applying racist slurs to Obama, but maybe Obama is a racist and an anti-Semite himself, given the company he keeps. He has appeared arm in arm with a prominent racist and anti-Semite (Al Sharpton) at a meeting of what is arguably a violent hate organization, Sharpton's National Action Network. He has also appeared at the anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic hate group MoveOn.org. (Google on "MoveOn.org" and "Pope Benedict" for an example, and "Jew Lieberman" for another.)

Prior to the fatal arson of Freddy's Fashion Mart in Harlem, the National Action Network marched around the store (often with Sharpton) screaming racial and anti-Semitic epithets while threatening to burn the building down. One of Sharpton's followers then did burn the building down, and killed seven people in the process. Hence the National Action Network is not only a hate group, but arguably a violent hate group.

Another of Sharpton's mobs rampaged through Crown Heights while screaming "Kill the Jews," and did in fact murder Yankel Rosenbaum. This is the individual with whom a grinning Barack Obama appears arm in arm at the National Action Network. Bigots of a feather...

Again, this does not excuse the application of racial epithets to Obama or even Sharpton. While Sharpton might be a two-bit lying and hatemongering piece of anti-Semitic and racist gutter trash (terms that describe his BEHAVIORAL CHOICES, as well as those of white supremacists), use of racial pejoratives to describe him are still not appropriate, because they would insult other Black people as well. And even if Barack Obama stands arm in arm with the Black counterpart of David DuKKKe and the White Aryan Resistance's Tom Metzger, condemnation should focus on Obama's behavioral choices and never on his skin color.

Swerl said...

Big ups to PA. What area?

Sharpton's a problematic figure. We've been over that here in the wake of the Imus thing. I think that's agreed upon. As for MoveOn, well, my response is this:

The politics of personal destruction on the left AND right need to end. Lots of pople in the relief community and AIDS community resent many of the messages that come from the Catholic Church, as they hinder what those activists feel is the best approach to stopping AIDS, the ABC method, where as the Catholic Church (and most Christian groups) favor the "AB" method -- Abstinance, Be Faithful and omit Condoms. As Bill and Melinda Gates points out, if a man get a little shoddy with A & B and a if a woman, for religious reasons, does not feel comfortable insisting on a condom, that woman is unprotected. Given the patriarchy of the Church and the fact that men who have vowed to be celebate are making decisions over women's health, sexuality and reproduction, and you have a flashpoint for anger. Many within the Church, including many Priests and workers within the CRS (make 'em happy, click on my mother's day post and buy something Fair Trade that supports their wonderful work) disagree with the Popes' edicts since Vatican II on reproductive issues. Add to that the Church's lack of action on behalf of the Jews during WWII conflicting with the doctrine of infalibility (talk about anti-semitic), along with the ongoing obfuscating during the Priest Sexual Abuse scandal (including Cardinal Mahoney in LA right now) and you have a Church with credibility problems to many on the Left and Right.

However, there are ways of exploring all of these issues without vitriol and personal attacks. However, the easy ways are to resort to personal attacks.

It is just as wrong for a person on the Left to attack Lieberman's religion for his taking a principled pro-war stance as it is for people to call Obama a "porch monkey" because they don't like his anti-war policy.

Once again, this is not a political blog and I won't let it be turned into one.

However, the expression of racism (and anti-semitism) IS on topic. So I guess that's the question. How do we evolve our discourse, as a society and stamp out racists and anti-semites along the way?

Constructive suggestions welcome!

Swerl said...

I went on winged hussar 1683's blog about Obama to check out his point of view and,after reading over many of the same points he made above, was dismayed to see the following, on the inaugural post:

Al Sharpton reminds all...(examples of Sharpton's alleged hate speech)...that they should vote for his good friend Saddam Hussein Obama, excuse us, Obama bin Laden, er, sorry, Barack Hussein Obama.

I responded to him in the following way:

"I think you raise interesting points (in a rather hyperbolic way), but I feel that using Barack's name to create parallels between him and brutal dictators and terrorist masterminds is exactly the kind of overheated fearmongering that is indicitive of Sharpton. It has ruined his credibility. I wonder why you would do the same, and allow such pandering anti-Islamic or anti-black (the analogies are based only on names, not policies, and, therefore, it's confusing as to where your venom lies) to completely undermine your other arguements.

If anything, this only deepens my feeling that the divisive hatemongers on the right are more closely aligned with the tactics of hatemongers on the left (the ones you protest), and the country would be better off with a more elevated, centrist discourse free of racists and religious persecutors of all stripes."

I would like to challenge all who read this that if you are in the presence of people during a political discussion, and the talk goes from politics to racism, that you SAY SOMETHING. Don't let ignorance like the statements above slide.

Shannon said...

Thanks for bringing this to greater attention. I, too, would like to see Obama get the nomination for just the same reason. Hidden racism in this country is a true problem, because, I think, we fail to move forward when we deny there is a problem.

It always irks me to hear people say that "we've come a long way." Maybe, but we have a LONG way to go.

As we began our journey to adopt from Ethiopia, the reality of racism in this country has hit very, very close to home. It was a wake-up call for me that doing nothing (because I personally wasn't affected) was, in effect, enabling the status quo. And now I know that silence, or inaction, is simply not acceptable on my part.

Thanks for your valuable and timely information. Swerl is a fabulous resource.

Btw, one more ET adoption blog for your list: http://thelawrences.wordpress.com

Jamie said...

Thanks for the post on this! I am a huge Obama fan. I want him to get the nomination not only because it would bring racism to the forefront in our culture but also because I think he kicks a** in the Political arena.

Oh, and he is one of the only candidates that has an eye on the African crisis. He cares.

Go Obama. I'm an Ofana.

Jamie