Tag Archives: Sarah Palin

Bigot of the Week Award, January 24: Sarah Palin

24 Jan

sarah-palin-finger-485x322Wow! I’m not quite sure where to even start here but I over heard a member of the KKK saying to one of his fellow Klan members: “Palin is really racist.” On MLK Day, a day one hopes people are doing some reflection about equality, equity, and new ways to eradicate racism and hate, Sarah Palin decided to exert her white power and privilege, showing just how racist she really is.

Palin addressed President Obama on her Facebook page with:

Happy MLK, Jr. Day!

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mr. President, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all who commit to ending any racial divide, no more playing the race card.

Not only does Palin manage to desecrate Dr. King’s sentiments, but she tells President Obama and all black people in the United States that racism must be over, so “quit saying you have experienced racism.” I can’t even imagine a more encompassing way to dishonor people’s history and narratives — to be completely ignorant of both history and current events. If possible, Palin has sunk further into the mire of the rancid tea leaves.  Her obliviousness speaks to overwhelming power and privilege.  Even just writing about her, I feel as though I will need a Silkwood Shower afterward. I will recommend that Palin do some reading about racism in the United States.

I need to thank my dear friend, Jennifer Carey for this week’s Dishonorable Mention.  Republican congressional candidate Susanne Atanus continues to prove how very charm free she really is. Atanus, who is running for Representative in Illinois’ 9th congressional district covering Chicago’s Far North Side and the North Shore suburbs, is working hard to corner the market on hate and fear mongering. Atanus feels quite comfortable speaking for God, as she wants everyone to know God controls the weather, and that autism and dementia are his punishments for the gay rights movement and abortions. Well that seems completely logical to me.

Atanus stated:

God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions,” she added, blaming natural disasters like tornadoes and diseases including autism and dementia on recent advances in the LGBT movement. “Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.

I left rather speechless here. All I can say is that it might be a good idea for Atanus and Palin to get married, for they make quite the couple.

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Bigot of the Week Award, December 20: Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty (and his defenders)

20 Dec
Bigot of the Week

Bigot of the Week

Long-time readers will know that I don’t watch much television. My husband and I have a few favorite programs but don’t keep on top of all the big shows. As a result, I barely knew what a Duck Dynasty was, much less who Phil Robertson might be. Sadly, this week he burst painfully into my consciousness, using his questionable celebrity to spew bigotry. In an interview with GQ, Robertson felt the need to wax homophobic at length.

Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong… Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.

He then misquoted the Bible to substantiate his position. Just for fun, he also spent some time discussing anatomy. What hatred, ignorance, bile, and bigotry! What a sad abuse of power, especially power afforded on such a flimsy footing.

To their credit, A&E — the network that airs Duck Dynasty — has suspended Robertson indefinitely observing that:

His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.

While that was the right thing to do, I wonder does it address reparative justice?  And sadly, A&E continues to profit from the series in syndication. Even more regrettable,  Robertson immediately fell back on the faith defense, basically blaming Jesus for his ugly words and then saying:

I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me.

I’m afraid the ship has sailed on that one, Mr. Duck. Robertson should also take a careful look at the people who have stood up to defend him. Failed candidate, half-term governor, and perpetual pseudo-celebrity Sarah Palin and perpetual hypocrite Gov. Bobby Jindal both rushed to his defense, calling his suspension and outrage.

Both Palin and Jindal call it a violation of his First Amendment right of free speech, thus also demonstrating their fundamental misunderstanding of the law. As with Juan Williams and so many others, Robertson has the right to speak. A&E, as his employer, has the right to say that those words aren’t appropriate and to take action. Sponsors have the right to withdraw their sponsorship. Viewers have the right to turn off the TV. Actions have consequences, even legally protected actions.

As a gay man, I have to suspect that racism and misogyny are probably also issues that our Mr. Robertson is mired in along with his homophobia. I wonder what it would have been like for A&E to have addressed this problem directly on the show and then talked about reparative justice? What would it be like for Robertson to have to travel the country and witness how the LGBTQ population is targeted and how the LGBTQ population of color is targeted even further? What concerns me most is that here in 2013 we have further evidence of just how far we have yet to go around eradicating homophobia, racism, misogyny, and poverty.  Of course, this Duck Dynasty does not have to worry about poverty, for they have been wealthy stars because of “reality tv.”

Call For Nominations:

Yes, it is that time of year again. Here is the official call for nominations for 2013’s Bigot of the Year Award and Hero of the Year Award. Please submit your nominations now.

Hero of the Week Award: December 23, Rachel Maddow

23 Dec

Thank you to my friend Jay for this week’s nomination for HWA.

Hero of the Week

I usually find Rachel Maddow both entertaining and informative, but her humor in how she exposes the hypocrisy of Sarah Palin and Fox News earns her this week’s HWA.

Palin and Fox news took umbrage to President Obama’s Christmas card and went down the very tired and worn out path of “the attack on Christmas.”  Maddow does a marvelous job of showing just how ludicrous these modern day Carnival folk are.

Click here to see Maddow and the ghosts of Christmas Cards Past.

Singing A Different Tune: Republican Candidates’ Campaign Hypocrisy

1 Jul

Mine...All Mine!

What is it with Republican Presidential campaigns and the theft of intellectual property? It seems that once a GOP candidate starts running for the highest office, (s)he rises above the law and says, “Oh, I like that, I think I’ll take it!”

The latest offender is serial hypocrite and history buff Michele Bachmann. Since announcing her official candidacy (ironically after appearing in a candidates’ debate), Bachmann has taken to using Tom Petty’s song American Girl at her campaign stops. Petty, a staunch supporter of artists’ creative control rights, issued a cease-and-desist letter, which Bachmann has so far ignored. In fact, her campaign started using another song without permission, Katrina and the Waves hit Walking On Sunshine. Lead vocalist Katrina Leskanich immediately laid into Bachmann:

As the singer of ‘Walking on Sunshine’ I don’t endorse its use by Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign.  I’ve performed ‘Walking on Sunshine’ for so many years in so many different countries that it’s become the one constant in my life and the one thing I can count on to bring happiness to myself and others. The song is used in commercials and movies as a vehicle for a feel good moment or empowerment but if I disagree with the policies, opinions or platforms for its use, I’ve no choice but to try and defend the song and prevent its misuse.

Sadly, Bachmann is far from alone. Here are just a few other examples:

  • Saint Ronald, whose politics were frighteningly far to the left of this current crop of loonies, started the trend when he practiced the unwitting irony of name-checking Bruce Springsteen and referencing Born In the U.S.A. during his re-election campaign. At least Ronnie didn’t actually steal the song.
  • Mike Huckabee got into hot water with Boston’s Tom Scholz for appropriating More Than A Feeling.
  • George W. Bush borrowed at least two songs without permission. He got into trouble with Orleans leader and NY Congressman John Hall for misuse of the 70s hit Still the One. He also practiced Petty theft with the rocker’s I Won’t Back Down. Petty did not, and Bush was forced to drop the song.
  • Former half-governor Sarah Palin stole Heart’s Barracuda during her Vice-Presidential campaign disaster, prompting an angry cease-and-desist from Ann and Nancy Wilson. Ironically, this song was about the music industry mistreating women.
  • Palin’s top of ticket man, John McCain, is the champ in this category. He most famously misused two John Mellencamp songs, Pink Houses and Our Country. The very Democratic Mellencamp sued. McCain also borrowed Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger and hits by the Foo Fighters and Van Halen, as well as playing a Bon Jovi song for appearances with Palin.

Other Republicans have behaved similarly. Senate wannabe Chuck DeVore stole two Don Henley songs during his failed bid to unseat Barbara Boxer. Florida’s Charlie Crist couldn’t decide which party to run with during his failed Senate bid, but he did steal Road to Nowhere from David Byrne and was forced to air a public service announcement apology. Here’s a great overview of these and other thefts.

The great irony, of course, is that Republican candidates are so aggressively “pro-business” in their politics. They argue for tax cuts, business incentives, deregulation, and protecting the rights of businesses over workers at every turn. If the business in question happens to be music, however, they turn a blind eye and a deaf ear. Ignoring the actual messages of the songs, the political wishes of the performers, and the property rights of the writers, they lift the soundbite they want with a grotesque sense of entitlement. Clearly, Bachmann et al. send the message that they are above the law. What does that promise for how they would lead this country?

Wednesday Word of the Week, June 8

8 Jun

I did WHAT?

This week’s word is: HISTORY

  • the study of the events of the past
  • the whole of time before the present, and all things that happened in that time
  • an account of the events that happened during a particular period of the past

During the past week, former fractional Governor and failed Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin put her foot in her mouth once again. (Sadly the foot did not penetrate far enough to nudge her brain facsimile.)

In off-the-cuff remarks about Paul Revere, hero of the American Revolution, Palin totally misrepresented Revere’s actions. With at best a gross distortion and at worst a complete fabrication, she invented a mission for Revere in which he taunted the British with a message of braggadocio embroidered with the Colonists’ hypothetical, pre-Constitution (in fact, pre-Independence!) right to bear arms.

As has happened too many times in the past (thank you Katie Couric), the media have corrected Palin and pointed out her departure from established reality. Of course, the pundits of Teabagistan have rallied to her defense, also ignoring history. As reported on NPR, using Revere’s own words, Palin clearly misrepresented Revere’s primary mission. Some right-wing commentators have used a single incident (actions Revere took when briefly captured during one mission) to support Palin. This flimsy and inaccurate view is nicely analyzed on another blog. In the final analysis, can Palin and her supporters claim that she has presented a moment of history? Let’s dissect that definition and find out.

Given that Palin can’t name a single major newspaper nor identify even a “favorite” American Founder, we can safely dismiss the concept of STUDY

the process of learning about a problem or subject using scientific methods

from her use of history.

Since the events Palin recounts did not actually HAPPEN

come into being; become reality

we can throw out the second definition as well.

If we choose to be generous, we can give Ms. Palin some credit for creating an ACCOUNT

a written or spoken report about something

since she did speak about something, however inaccurately. In most cases, however, I think we would prefer that our history be based on fact, not whim, sloppy interpretation, or political agenda.

Despite our best intentions to create an accurate record, the aphorism attributed to Alex Haley has merit:

History is written by the winners.

Just ask significant figures like Victoria Woodhull or Bayard Rustin, who were obscured in or nearly eliminated from the historical record because their contributions were problematic to the narrative a certain population wanted to create. Conversely, ask Presidents Grant or Wilson, both of whom have rosier histories than they merit based on very specific accomplishments that some narrators wish to emphasize.

Revere’s story is problematic because it is mostly known to us from Longfellow’s poem, which takes great artistic license with the history. Much of our childhood history comes from art like this or fables like Washington and the cherry tree or Betsy Ross and the flag. It is helpful to children to have simple stories to whet their appetite for history; we must not, however allow art, fables, agendas, or outright lies to be spun into the web of real history. When we become lazy about our understanding of the events that precede us, like Michele Bachmann repeatedly does, we either revel in dangerous ignorance or allow others to craft the narrative of our lives for us.

George Santayana famously said

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

which is often paraphrased with a  reference to the word history. This is very true. How much more perilous must it be, then, when we opt to remember a past that meets our needs and not the truth?

(All definitions courtesy of Macmillan Dictionary Online)

Wednesday Word of the Week, May 18

18 May

The More You Look, The Less You Like.

This week’s word is: CANDIDATE

one of the people competing in an election

Despite the Presidential Primary season being months away, many Republican hopefuls have declared their candidacy, officially and not so much so. Who are these people, anyway?

Herman CAIN

Cain and Abel were the first children of Adam and Eve born after the Fall of Man; Cain killed Abel out of jealousy and was exiled by God

Oops. Not too auspicious there, Herman. Given his low profile, exile seems pretty likely after a primary or two.

NEWT Gingrich

a small animal similar to a lizard that mostly lives in water

At the risk of offending the lizards, small and slimy seems like a good description. He’s also wriggly, given how many times he’s decided not to decide about running.

Mike Huckabee, whose affable demeanor hides the heart of a HUCKSTER

someone who sells things dishonestly or illegally

Ron Paul, whose election would cast a PALL

a sudden numbing dread

on the whole country.

Tim Pawlenty may not be well-know by most Americans, but there are PLENTY

a large amount of something, or a large number of things

of reasons to dislike him.

Mitt ROMNEY

one of an English breed of hardy sheep, having coarse, long wool

He’s certainly hardy, as his constantly resurging candidacy attests; his demeanor is slickly robotic, but his methods are coarse and woolly.

Rick Santorum, a man whose views are so loathsome that his last name was rather vulgarly redefined in a contest.

Donald TRUMP

the suit that players decide will be worth the most in a card game

Heavy on the suit, light on the “worth the most” especially now that it looks like he’s out of the running again. We’ll see what he decides next week…

We also have a quartet of nearly complete unknowns, the DARK HORSE

a political candidate who is not well known but could win unexpectedly

Republicans, with an emphasis on “unexpectedly” for Fred Karger, Gary Johnson, Tom Miller, and Vern Wuensche. Their best chances of winning rest on the fact that their competition is so well known for their odiousness. If they are anything like the rest of the pack, consider them to be the four darkhorsemen of the Apocalypse.

Last but not least, a pair of undecideds, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, whose candidacies would lend a certain festival air to the election but in the end an utterly maddening one. Perhaps they will run together so we can go into Bachmann Palin Overdrive…

Looking at this probable competition, it is easy to see why President Obama’s favorables are rising. We must be vigilant, however, as the last election demonstrated just how absurd and unpredictable the actions of the electorate can be.

All of this week’s definitions courtesy of Macmillan Dictionary Online.

You Gotta Love Keith Olbermann

8 Apr

Thankful for Olbermann

With all the craziness with the Tea Party sinking and trying to shut down the federal government, and cutting funding for NPR and Planned Parenthood, it is a relief to hear the reasonable and intelligent voice of Keith Olbermann injecting some levity while simultaneously drawing attention to the hypocrites putting in their bids for President of the United States. Please let us hope that the bigoted Herman Cain had no real traction. Click here to see the full video and why Susan Burns should be the GOP nominee.

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