August 27, 2014

Trelise Cooper's models in headdresses

Fashion Week: Feathers flying

By Morgan TaitThe inclusion of an Indian-style headdresses in designer Trelise Cooper's fashion show last night has ruffled feathers and brought accusations of racism.

Dame Trelise's show, as part of New Zealand Fashion Week, featured "70s bohemian vibes" with models wearing native-American and Canadian First Nations' feathered headdresses.

The garments--which have deep cultural significance--quickly drew a backlash from show guests and online.

New Zealand film director Taika Waititi was amongst those offended by the move.

"I think I understand what Trelise means by "70s vibes"--a time when it was cool to be culturally insensitive and racism was super awesome. Nice throw back to better times, babe, we native people celebrate with you," he wrote on a photo of a headdress wearing model posted to the Trelise Cooper Facebook page.

Melbourne-based lawyer and journalist Di White took to Twitter to express her thoughts.

"Hey @trelisecooper, Indian headdresses are not yours to wear. This is cultural appropriation & super offensive," she wrote.

The message was re-tweeted more than 50 times.

Also on Twitter, Kiwi comedian Jeremy Elwood--who hails from Canada--made his distaste about the items known.

"@trelisecooper Actually I think you'll find those are racist, plagiarized, white trash hipster vibes. You should be ashamed."


What does a Native American headdress have to do with fashion in New Zealand? Kiwi designer forced to apologise after including Indian accessory in her show

Dame Trelise Cooper has caused an uproar by featuring Indian feather headdresses in her show at New Zealand fashion week

By Richard Shears and Leesa Smith
A leading New Zealand fashion designer has sent critics and fans on the warpath after staging a show featuring American Indian feather headdresses.

Dame Trelise Cooper has now issued a grovelling apology for featuring the spectacular headdresses in her show as part of New Zealand fashion week, admitting it was a mistake due to her ignorance.

Critics took to social media to pan the headdress feature as culturally obnoxious, one asking if it would now be in order to bind Dame Trelise's feet like the Chinese used to do to women in times gone by.

In an apology she posted on Facebook, the fashion guru said today that she genuinely respected and honoured all cultures, races and religions.

'It was never my intention to disrespect another culture.

'It is my hope that through my mistake and ignorance, like me, people now know and are aware of the sacredness of the head dress to Native Americans,' she wrote.

'To those who I have offended, I sincerely apologise.'

The designer's Facebook page has exploded with comments opposed to the Indian theme.

'This is appallingly offensive cultural appropriation. I see you're deleting comments about this too.

'Would love to see some accountability for this--you put it on the runway, you have to defend your poor choices,' Morgan Ashworth posted after Cooper's apology.


Designer apologises for using headdressA Maori United Nations advocate and a board member of a native American organisation, Carl Hutchby of Te Atihaunui-a-Paparangi, said ignorance was not an excuse in this day and age.

He said he was offended for his First Nation brothers and sisters that it happened in Aotearoa, and said Maori felt the pain of other indigenous people when their culture was used inappropriately.

Mr Hutchby said he had spoken to a Cherokee elder, Mashu White Feather, who was disgusted with the use of the ceremonial headdress. He said as far as he understood, it was not appropriate for women to wear them.
Trelise Cooper’s apology labelled ‘disingenuous’But Dr Peter Shand is questioning her apology, saying that there's been plenty of fashion events overseas that have recently made headlines for the misuse of 'war bonnets'.

"lf she's going to claim ignorance of what's gone on overseas that means she's not in touch with international fashion, for one of the leading fashion designers in New Zealand, that would seem highly unlikely."

Auckland Mayor Len Brown, who was sitting in front row of the show yesterday, says he believes "her apology is an absolute indication of her integrity.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Natives Protest Nugest in Sturgis, Vogue Editor in a Headdress, and Mayonnaise Manager Dresses as "Indian."

August 26, 2014

Republican: Only good Indian is dead

Hagedorn apologizes for old posts about Indians, women, gays

By Heather J. CarlsonFirst District Republican candidate Jim Hagedorn is apologizing for old blog posts that targeted Indians, gays and women.

On his Facebook page, Hagedorn wrote that he had written political satire years ago and "even though most of my writing were composed more than 10 years ago, national and DFL liberals are determined to attack me personally, mostly by exhibiting snippets of out-dated, misunderstood or out-of-context material and calling me derogatory names."

Nonetheless, Hagedorn wrote that "I do acknowledge that some of my hard-hitting and tongue-in-cheek commentary was less than artfully constructed or included language that could lead to hurt feelings. I offer a sincere and heartfelt apology."

Hagedorn won an upset victory in the Aug. 12 Republican primary over the party-endorsed candidate Aaron Miller, of Byron. The Blue Earth Republican will take on 1st District DFL Rep. Tim Walz in November.

Hagedorn wrote the posts between 2002 and 2008 on a blog called Mr. Conservative. Among the posts was one that referred to alleged voter fraud in the 2002 South Dakota election involving American Indians. He wrote that "Many of the votes registered for absentee ballots were found to be chiefs and squaws who returned to the spirit world many moons ago." He went on to write, "Leave it to liberals to ruin John Wayne's wisdom of the only good Indian being a dead Indian." Another referred to two Washington senators as "bimbos in tennis shoes."
Comment:  The only thing "out-dated" about Hagedorn's comments are the racism and sexism he evinces.

"Misunderstood" or "out-of-context"? There's no context that makes his racism towards Natives acceptable. Certainly not "tongue-in-cheek commentary" or "satire." He wasn't satirizing someone else's beliefs, he was expressing his own. This is what he thinks about Natives, and it's racist.

The only question is how racist Hagedorn is, not whether he's racist.

His first comment about Natives merely shows his ignorant and stereotypical thinking. It's not overtly hateful, although consigning Natives to the past is a belittling and dismissive act.

His second comment is overtly hateful. He's basically wishing Natives dead. There's no excuse, none, for this hate speech.

This is the type of person who exemplifies conservative Americans. Judging by the comments in mascot debates, many people would agree with Hagedorn's remarks. Natives are "chiefs and squaws" who should've disappeared long ago. Who have no business telling white people what to do with their beloved Native fantasies.

August 25, 2014

Origin of "savage"

Los Indios, Indians, Savage, Noble Savage, Native American

By ESC"Seventeenth-century Frenchmen, Italians, and Englishmen generally employed a variant of the Latin 'silvaticus,' meaning a forest inhabitant or man of the woods, for the Indian as the earlier spellings of 'saulvage,' 'salvaticho,' and 'salvage' show so well in each of the respective languages. English usage switched from 'savage' to 'Indian' as the general term for Native Americans in the seventeenth century, but the French continued to use 'sauvage' as the preferred word into the nineteenth century. The original image behind this terminology probably derives from the ancient one associated with the 'wild man,' or 'wilder Mann' in Germany."An online dictionary confirms this:

savage1250-1300; Middle English savage, sauvage (adj.) < Middle French sauvage, salvage < Medieval Latin salvāticus, for Latin silvāticus, equivalent to silv (a) woods + -āticus adj. suffixComment:  So "savage" the adjective came from the same root as "sylvan" and meant "of the woods." Interesting.

For more on the subject, see Savage Indians.

August 24, 2014

Cultural appropriation of totem poles

Appropriation (?) of the Month: First Nation Totem Poles

By Robin R. R. Gray[T]he appropriation of totem poles in the market economy occurred at the same time that government agents and others who were eager to exploit Indigenous vulnerability were confiscating First Nations cultural heritage. Between 1884 and 1951, the Potlatch Ban in Canada created the conditions to support the mass expropriation of First Nations cultural heritage, and this is how many totem poles became displaced from their origins and confined in places like museums across the world. This is the first major appropriation of totem poles—taking the creations of the ancestors out of their contexts to be sold and scattered across the landscape in museums, in parks, in world fairs and in major tourist areas in spite of Indigenous peoples basic human rights. In fact, there was a rush to acquire as many tangible Indigenous artifacts because racist theories of human development suggested that somehow our people were destined to disappear into extinction. Thus, totem poles came to be associated with primitive and universal Indigeneity.

Meanwhile, in true paradoxical fashion, the image of the totem pole was being appropriated by the state as a signifier of Canadian-ness and the task of achieving this level of image making was accomplished mainly through the mass-production of miniature totem poles for the tourist art market. Thus, while Northwest Coast First Nations were being penalized for practicing their so-called “backward” cultures, non-Indigenous peoples were commodifying their cultural heritage, like the totem pole, for monetary gain. In so doing, the totem pole has been taken out of context through displacement, through the Western curatorial practice of preservation and through the misrepresentation of its image as a symbol of primitive and universal Indigeneity or as an icon of Canadian identity. When anything is taken out of context, misrepresentation is bound to occur. No people know this more than Indigenous peoples.
"Low man on totem pole"

What about the phrase "low man on the totem pole"?Over the past half century, the phrase, "low man on the/a totem pole," has been used in an attempt to communicate a sense of disempowerment and hierarchy (image at left). This phrase is especially prevalent in corporate culture, but occurs in everyday talk between friends and peers, and circulates via various media like print, radio, television and online forums. I hear the phrase being used, uncritically, from students and teachers to characters on popular TV shows like Grey's Anatomy or NCIS, for example. In this seemingly innocent everyday utterance, the totem pole has been appropriated to convey information that is unassociated with its origin, meaning or utility. Yet those who use this phrase imply that they “know” totem poles to be vertical columns that organize images in a linear hierarchy. Essentially, non-Indigenous ways of knowing and being have been superimposed upon the totem pole through discourse, thereby redefining totem poles on non-Indigenous terms, and robbing them of their Indigenous meaning and context.

In fact, in one online forum a commenter asks whether it is appropriate or not to use the phrase. Multiple responses arose but they all utilized a linear model for explanation. For example, to avoid being labeled discriminatory many of the anonymous online forum participants simply inverted the linear hierarchy to state that they “heard” that the lowest figure is actually most revered since it is “closest to the land.” Therefore, the commentators insisted, they are actually being “respectful” to a monolithic “Native American culture,” so it is okay to use the phrase, “low man on the/a totem pole.” Yet, following this logic, people would then start saying “high man on the totem pole,” in order to convey what they intended: hierarchy and disempowerment. One must ask, why won’t “lowest rung on the ladder” suffice? Doesn’t this make more sense? Ladders you actually climb, totem poles you don’t.
Comment:  For more on totem poles, see Big Heap Herman in The Munsters and Jeremy Scott's Yellow-Crotch Designs.

August 23, 2014

Run of the Arrow

I haven't seen the movie Run of the Arrow, but I saw this comment about it somewhere:For Run of the Arrow (1957), Fuller boldly cast real Native Americans. "It was the first picture where the Indians won."Curious, I checked it out and found these reviews:

Run of the Arrow (1957)

By Bosley CrowtherSeveral film historians, notably the late William K. Everson, have noted the striking resemblances between Run of the Arrow and the 1990 Oscar-winner Dances with Wolves. Rod Steiger stars as O'Meara, an Irish-brogued Confederate soldier with an intense dislike for Yankees. Unable to accept the South's defeat, O'Meara heads westward after the Civil War, to start life anew amongst the Sioux Indians. Surving a ritual rite of passage called the Run of the Arrow, O'Meara is accepted into the tribe, and shortly afterward marries Sioux woman Yellow Moccasin (played by Spanish actress Sarita Montiel, whose voice was dubbed by Angie Dickinson). The true test of O'Meara's fidelity to the Sioux comes when his adopted people come into conflict with a Cavalry troop, headed by Northerner Captain Clark (Brian Keith).Run of the Arrow (1957)

August 3, 1957
Screen: 'Run of the Arrow'; Steiger 'Stars in New Film at the Palace

By Bosley Crowther
THE Sioux Indians and the United States Cavalry are mixing it up again in Samuel Fuller's "Run of the Arrow," which came to the Palace yesterday with a new stage bill. The blood and warpaint look good in color. The plot looks pretty much as it always has.

That is to say, a Confederate soldier, embittered after the Civil War, goes to the West, joins a Sioux tribe and takes unto himself a beautiful Indian maid as squaw. When the cavalry comes into the region to build itself a fort, this naturalized Sioux, still sore at the Yankees, is attached to accompany it as scout.

Then along comes a renegade Indian—there's always one in every decent, respectable tribe—and starts shooting arrows at the soldiers. As usual, this means war! The cavalry goes after the Indians, the Indians retaliate. The first thing you know, tents are burning and everybody is having a high old time.

Meanwhile, what's with our turncoat? Well, the cavalry blame him at first, and that damyankee he all but killed at Appomattox is all for stringing him up. But then the Indians arrive, take over and are skinning the damyankee alive, which so horrifies our ex-Confederate that he—guess what!

Don't expect "Fort Apache." This is just an ordinary cavalry-Indian film, conspicuous for a lot of raw blood-letting and the appearance of Rod Steiger in the leading role. Mr. Steiger, familiar as a sullen tough guy in a number of gangster films, slightly overworks the Actors Studio method out there on the dusty frontier.
A Man Without a Country:  Sam Fuller's Run of the Arrow

By William JonesRun of the Arrow is notably similar to—and notably better than—Kevin Costner's Dances With Wolves. Both films are about a Civil War soldier who joins the Sioux nation, but the lengthy, slow-going Costner vehicle suffers from all sorts of excessiveness and look-at-me self-consciousness—traits that are (admirably) absent from Fuller's film.

There's a huge chasm that separates these two similar-on-the-surface but stylistically different movies and the great film critic Manny Farber really nailed it (for me anyway) in a famous essay written many years ago entitled "White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art."

Here, Costner's is the lumbering, overly praised and prized (it won the Academy Award for Best Picture) prestige film while Run of the Arrow is the modest but fast-paced, low-budget yet laudable "B" picture. You'd be wise to pass on the former (Costner's white elephant) and seek out the later (Fuller's industrious termite).
Run of the ArrowKarl Wielgus 12/3/08

Cliches about the Civil War, about the "frontier," about "Indians" about the simplicity of the human character," about the ways we can characterize people into simple codes of good and evil--all are exploded. Before "Broken Arrow," before "Dances with Wolves" this movie shows more than we have seen in westerns or movies in general. Even the "villain" (Ralph Meeker) is not a cardboard cutout. People act because they have made themselves into a certain way of seeing the world--this brings out conflicts and there are no simple villains. The very act that begins the story and the drama, also ends it--but the meaning changes. A great piece of work!

Goetan 4/29/14
An ugly, off-beat Western from director Fuller. Steiger, with a thick accent and a intense performances, is a rouge Southerner who can't accept his loss in the Civil War and joins a Sioux tribe; Monteil was dubbed by Angie Dickinson. Fuller's examinations of civilization, ethnic identity is weak and doesn't have the same impact as his later films. Fine, but dull. I give it a 3/5.
Comment:  I don't see any Native names in the cast, so I question whether Fuller "boldly cast real Native Americans." Even if he did, it wouldn't have been that bold, since Natives have appeared in movies since the early 1900s.

Also, Broken Arrow (1950) preceded Run of the Arrow by seven years.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

August 22, 2014

The Last Wave

The Last WaveThe Last Wave or Black Rain (US title) is an Australian film from 1977, directed by Peter Weir. It is about a white solicitor in Sydney whose seemingly normal life is disrupted after he takes on a murder case and discovers that he shares a strange, mystical connection with the small group of local Australian Aborigines accused of the crime.

Plagued by bizarre dreams, Burton begins to sense an otherworldly connection to one of the accused (David Gulpilil). He also feels connected to the increasingly strange weather phenomena besetting the city. His dreams intensify along with his obsession with the murder case, which he comes to believe is an Aboriginal tribal killing by curse, in which the victim believed. Learning more about Aboriginal practices and the concept of Dreamtime as a parallel world of existence, Burton comes to believe the strange weather bodes of a coming apocalypse.

The film climaxes in a confrontation between the lawyer and the tribe's shaman in a subterranean sacred site.
The Last WaveThe Last Wave shared similar mystical and occult elements with Weir's previous film but also explored the cultural disconnect between white urban society and the laws and legends of aboriginal tribal people. More importantly, the film moves ominously back and forth between a dream world and a natural one in which frogs fall from the sky, water pours out of car radios and hailstorms suddenly erupt without warning in the dusty, arid Outback. While the film could be read as an early warning of the global warming effects to come, the underlaying tension and power of this quietly menacing thriller comes from Weir's use of symbols and mythology to question Australia's identity and its future.

Pauline Kael of The New Yorker wrote, "The plot of this Australian film is a throwback to the B-movies of the 30s and early 40s, and the dialogue...is vintage RKO and Universal..But it's hokum without the fun of hokum; despite all the scare-movie apparatus, this film fairly aches to be called profound." Vincent Canby of The New York Times was more positive, calling the film, "a movingly moody shock-film, composed entirely of the kind of variations on mundane behavior and events that are most scary and disorienting because they so closely parallel the normal." The film's reputation has grown since then thanks to a DVD release on the esteemed Criterion Collection label and is essential viewing for anyone interested in Peter Weir's development as a director. The Last Wave is also worth a look alone for Russell Boyd's ravishing and magical cinematography which depicts an exotic but unsettling side of Sydney and the Australian Outback rarely seen in movies.
The Last Wave (The Criterion Collection)"A dream is a shadow...of something real"
By Wing J. Flanagan on July 28, 2001

Peter Weir's The Last Wave has very much the texture of a beautiful, disturbing dream. Before going Hollywood and losing his artistic teeth, he made evocative little gems like this one--full of unformed dread and pregnant with the possibility of mythic revelation.

Eerie, evocative, and haunting
By Stephen Chakwin on August 18, 1999

Our modern, rational culture floats like a small boat on a huge, dark ocean of unguessable depth. Richard Chamberlain, in perhaps his best role ever, is a lawyer specializing in the arid technicalities of corporate taxation who is, by chance [well no, not really, as it turns out] drawn into the Shamanic world of the tribal aborigines who, unknown to most people, still inhabit Sydney, Australia.

Shocking, haunting, evocative
By Kali on November 1, 2000

This is a thinking-person's film. It is slow moving but suspenseful and the plot is sometimes complicated but never confusing. Well worth adding to your video collection if you want something excitingly different and intellectually stimulating.
Rob's comments

Besides its indigenous (Australian) themes, The Last Wave has a few connections to Native America:

  • The Aborigines indicate their ancestors came from South America. Which would make them all or part Native. But no serious anthropologist believes that happened.

  • Some of the cave paintings look Latin American or Egyptian.

  • Chamberlain is supposedly part Native. According to Weir, his looks made him right for the role.

  • My take is that The Last Wave was entertaining but not gripping or compelling. I give it a 7.5 of 10.

    For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

    August 21, 2014

    Why your intentions don't matter

    Intent vs Impact: Why Your Intentions Don’t Really Matter

    When you’ve hurt someone, whether you meant to or not, what matters is how you repair the situation.

    By Everyday Feminism
    Imagine for a moment that you’re standing with your friends in a park, enjoying a nice summer day.

    You don’t know me, but I walk right up to you holding a Frisbee.

    I wind up–and throw the disc right into your face.

    Understandably, you are indignant.

    Through a bloody nose, you use a few choice words to ask me what the hell I thought I was doing.

    And my response?

    “Oh, I didn’t mean to hit you! That was never my intent! I was simply trying to throw the Frisbee to my friend over there!”

    Visibly upset, you demand an apology.

    But I refuse. Or worse, I offer an apology that sounds like “I’m sorry your face got in the way of my Frisbee! I never intended to hit you.”

    Sound absurd? Sound infuriating enough to give me a well-deserved Frisbee upside the head?

    Yeah.

    So why is this same thing happening all of the time when it comes to the intersection of our identities and oppressions or privileges?

    Intent v. Impact

    From Paula Deen to Alec Baldwin to your annoying, bigoted uncle or friend, we hear it over and over again: “I never meant any harm…” “It was never my intent…” “I am not a racist…” “I am not a homophobe…” “I’m not a sexist…”

    I cannot tell you how often I’ve seen people attempt to deflect criticism about their oppressive language or actions by making the conversation about their intent.

    At what point does the “intent” conversation stop mattering so that we can step back and look at impact?

    After all, in the end, what does the intent of our action really matter if our actions have the impact of furthering the marginalization or oppression of those around us?

    In some ways, this is a simple lesson of relationships.

    If I say something that hurts my partner, it doesn’t much matter whether I intended the statement to mean something else–because my partner is hurting.

    I need to listen to how my language hurt my partner. I need to apologize.

    And then I need to reflect and empathize to the best of my ability so I don’t do it again.

    But when we’re dealing with the ways in which our identities intersect with those around us–and, in turn, the ways our privileges and our experiences of marginalization and oppression intersect–this lesson becomes something much larger and more profound.

    This becomes a lesson of justice.

    What we need to realize is that when it comes to people’s lives and identities, the impact of our actions can be profound and wide-reaching.

    And that’s far more important than the question of our intent.

    We need to ask ourselves what might be or might have been the impact of our actions or words.

    And we need to step back and listen when we are being told that the impact of our actions is out of step with our intents or our perceptions of self.
    Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Magical Power of Intent.

    August 20, 2014

    Tea Party = Confederate Party

    Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party

    Tea Partiers say you don’t understand them because you don’t understand American history. That’s probably true, but not in the way they want you to think.

    By Doug Muder
    [T]he enduring Confederate influence on American politics goes far beyond a few rhetorical tropes. The essence of the Confederate worldview is that the democratic process cannot legitimately change the established social order, and so all forms of legal and illegal resistance are justified when it tries.

    That worldview is alive and well. During last fall’s government shutdown and threatened debt-ceiling crisis, historian Garry Wills wrote about our present-day Tea Partiers: “The presiding spirit of this neo-secessionism is a resistance to majority rule.”

    The Confederate sees a divinely ordained way things are supposed to be, and defends it at all costs. No process, no matter how orderly or democratic, can justify fundamental change.

    When in the majority, Confederates protect the established order through democracy. If they are not in the majority, but have power, they protect it through the authority of law. If the law is against them, but they have social standing, they create shams of law, which are kept in place through the power of social disapproval. If disapproval is not enough, they keep the wrong people from claiming their legal rights by the threat of ostracism and economic retribution. If that is not intimidating enough, there are physical threats, then beatings and fires, and, if that fails, murder.

    That was the victory plan of Reconstruction. Black equality under the law was guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. But in the Confederate mind, no democratic process could legitimate such a change in the social order. It simply could not be allowed to stand, and it did not stand.

    In the 20th century, the Confederate pattern of resistance was repeated against the Civil Rights movement. And though we like to claim that Martin Luther King won, in many ways he did not. School desegregation, for example, was never viewed as legitimate, and was resisted at every level. And it has been overcome. By most measures, schools are as segregated as ever, and the opportunities in white schools still far exceed the opportunities in non-white schools.

    Today, ObamaCare cannot be accepted. No matter that it was passed by Congress, signed by the President, found constitutional by the Supreme Court, and ratified by the people when they re-elected President Obama. It cannot be allowed to stand, and so the tactics for destroying it get ever more extreme. The point of violence has not yet been reached, but the resistance is still young.

    Violence is a key component of the present-day strategy against abortion rights, as Judge Myron Thompson’s recent ruling makes clear. Legal, political, social, economic, and violent methods of resistance mesh seamlessly. The Alabama legislature cannot ban abortion clinics directly, so it creates reasonable-sounding regulations the clinics cannot satisfy, like the requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Why can’t they fulfill that requirement? Because hospitals impose the reasonable-sounding rule that their doctors live and practice nearby, while many Alabama abortionists live out of state. The clinics can’t replace them with local doctors, because protesters will harass the those doctors’ non-abortion patients and drive the doctors out of any business but abortion. A doctor who chooses that path will face threats to his/her home and family. And doctors who ignore such threats have been murdered.

    Legislators, of course, express horror at the murder of doctors, just as the pillars of 1960s Mississippi society expressed horror at the Mississippi Burning murders, and the planter aristocrats shook their heads sadly at the brutality of the KKK and the White Leagues. But the strategy is all of a piece and always has been. Change cannot stand, no matter what documents it is based on or who votes for them. If violence is necessary, so be it.
    ‘Hatriots’ in Action: Conservatives Push for Armed Rebellion if Obama is Not Impeached

    By Josh KilburnIt’s easy to prove that the political right-wing hates the United States; every action that they’ve taken has been the antithesis of what they’ve claimed. They may swear by democracy, and claim loyalty to the Constitution with one breath, while with the other, despise the very foundation of this country, the Constitution, and the multiculturalism that makes this country so strong.

    Remember that in 2012, a Virginia Republican Committee newsletter openly called for armed rebellion if President Obama was re-elected. This is not how you support democracy. Over the last week, the Republicans have been pushing hard to impeach or sue Obama for doing his job when the Republicans in congress refused to do theirs—this is not how you support democracy.

    Tom Tancredo, former Republican Congressman, warned that if “Republicans are too afraid to challenge presumptuous dictatorial behavior, then the war is already lost and we should stock up our ammunition shelves and join a militia.”

    Last month, one such right-winger, Mike Vanderbogh, stood before a crowd of fellow terrorist militia members and declared “This administration, this regime, seems to operate ever more increasingly as a lawless gang than not on the rule of law but rather on the rule of men—which is to say the law of the jungle, enforced by the iron fist of government power,” and that “We will vote with our guns.” It’s gotten so bad that there is almost no way to tell the difference between the right wingers and the jihadists in the Middle East.
    Comment:  or more on conservative racism, see Right-Wing Terrorism Worse Than Jihadism and Conservatives Want a Race War.

    August 19, 2014

    Announcers say no to "Redskins"

    Simms, Dungy likely not to use ‘Redskins’ on TV

    By Associated PressTwo influential NFL voices—including CBS lead analyst Phil Simms, who will handle Washington’s Week 4 game—said Monday they likely won’t use the term “Redskins” when discussing the franchise.

    “My very first thought is it will be Washington the whole game,” Simms told The Associated Press on Monday.

    Simms will work the Thursday night package the network acquired this season and will have Giants-Redskins on Sept. 25. He isn’t taking sides in the debate over whether Washington’s nickname is offensive or racist. But he says he is sensitive to the complaints about the name, and his instincts now are to not use Redskins in his announcing.

    “I never really thought about it, and then it came up and it made me think about it,” Simms added. “There are a lot of things that can come up in a broadcast, and I am sensitive to this.”

    His broadcast partner, Jim Nantz, says it is “not my job to take a stance.”

    NBC’s Tony Dungy, one of the most prominent voices in the league as a Super Bowl-winning coach and now as a studio commentator, plans to take the same route as Simms.

    “I will personally try not to use Redskins and refer to them as Washington,” Dungy said in an email. “Personal opinion for me, not the network.”
    Greg Gumbel also won't say 'Redskins' on air; Michael Irvin: I usually say 'Washington'

    By Dom CosentinoActually, Greg Gumbel said, he hasn't uttered the nickname of Washington's NFL franchise on the air for some time now.

    "I told our PR department this summer: I haven't used that nickname on the air in three years," said Gumbel, the No. 2 NFL play-by-play voice for CBS Sports. "It's just a personal choice; I just didn't feel like I needed to call a news conference and announce it to everybody."

    Both CBS and Fox, the networks that carry the NFL's Sunday afternoon games, have left it up to their on-air talent to decide whether to use Washington's nickname during telecasts. Gumbel only admitted he's refrained from using the name because NJ.com asked him about it.

    It is not known how many of Washington's games, if any, Gumbel has worked the last three years. CBS's Sunday afternoon package includes games involving AFC teams, plus interconference when the AFC team is on the road. Gumbel avoided using the nickname even once during his brief interview with NJ.com.

    August 18, 2014

    Conservatives, Klan agree about Ferguson

    Poll: Blacks Twice As Likely To Say Ferguson Raises Issues About Race

    By Caitlin MacNealEighty percent of blacks said that the shooting raises issues about race, while only 37 percent of whites believe so.

    And 47 percent of whites think that the situation in Ferguson is getting too much attention, while only 18 percent of African-Americans believe that to be the case, according to Pew.

    Responses to the police reaction were divided along racial lines as well. Sixty-five percent of blacks said that the police have gone to far in their response to protests following the shooting, and 33 percent of whites said police went too far.

    Reactions were also divided along party lines, according to Pew. Sixty-eight percent of Democrats believe the shooting raises concerns about race, while only 22 percent of Republicans said so.
    Confirming the poll results, white people express their racist disdain for black people:

    White St. Louis Has Some Awful Things to Say About Ferguson

    By Julia IoffeHere in Olivette, the people I spoke to showed little sympathy for Michael Brown, or the protesters.

    "It's bullshit," said one woman, who declined to give her name. When I asked her to clarify what, specifically, was bullshit, she said, "All of it. I don't even know what they're fighting for."

    "It's just a lot of misplaced anger," said one teenage boy, echoing his parents. He wasn't sure where the anger should be, just that there should be no anger at all, and definitely no stealing.

    "Our opinion," said the talkative one in a group of six women in their sixties sitting outside the Starbucks, "is the media should just stay out of it because they're riling themselves up even more."

    "The protesters like seeing themselves on TV," her friend added.

    "It's just a small group of people making trouble," said another.

    "The kid wasn't really innocent," chimed in a woman at the other end of the table (they all declined to give their names). "He was struggling with the cop, and he's got a rap sheet already, so he's not that innocent." (While the first point is in dispute, the second isn't: The police have said that Michael Brown had no criminal record.)

    If anything, the people here were disdainful and, mostly, scared—of the protesters, and, implicitly, of black people.

    "I don't think it's about justice for Michael Brown's family," said the teenage boy. "It's just an excuse for people to do whatever they want to do."
    And of course conservatives have begun to demonize Michael Brown the unarmed youth. Just as they did with Trayvon Martin. Just as they do with every brown victim so they can feel good about their bigotry.

    Far Right Says Michael Brown's Raps Show He Was 'A Criminal And A Thug'

    By Dylan ScottFrontPage magazine, the online home of David Horowitz, whose self-described mission is to battle the radical left, labeled Brown "a criminal and a thug" in its summary of his character, which featured the rap lyrics.

    "The fact that Brown liked performing thug music obviously doesn’t by itself make him a thug, but it does provide insight into his state of mind," the site said. "The same can be said for the photographs that have surfaced of Brown posing like a tough guy, making gestures with his hands that some say are gang signs."

    FrontPage magazine, and others, connected Brown's rap lyrics with the police report released Friday that said he was the "primary suspect" in a convenience store robbery that occurred minutes before he was shot. That report's release, which was reportedly opposed by the Justice Department, has been criticized by Brown's family and public officials as an attempt to paint a negative public image of Brown.

    "Well, this kind of destroys the ‘gentle giant’ narrative spun in the media," ClashDaily, the website of Doug Giles, who occasionally writes for the more well-known TownHall.com, said in its summary of Brown's songs.

    The conspiratorial website World Net Daily connected Brown's professed marijuana smoking in the songs with his alleged robbery of some cigarillos--which are "widely known to be used by marijuana smokers, who roll their own blunts by replacing the cigarillos’ tobacco with pot"--on the day of the shooting.
    Have you heard conservatives express sympathy for a brown victim of crime? I don't think I have. Predictably, they take the side of any white person who kills a brown person.

    Of course, even if Brown was a murderer, there's no excuse for shooting an unarmed man. So this demonization isn't a legitimate excuse for Darren Wilson the killer cop. It's an illegitimate excuse for whites to vent their racist beliefs about blacks.



    White Tea Party Republicans Stage Rally Supporting Cop Who Killed Michael Brown

    By Josh KilburnA different type of protest occurred on Sunday outside of Ferguson, where police officer Darren Wilson murdered unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Around 150 people gathered for the afternoon demonstration in St. Louis, 12 miles southeast of Ferguson, to complain that the officer, Darren Wilson, was being victimized and to show their support for the St. Louis PD.

    No, you read that right. They showed up to support the police officer who murdered an unarmed teenager.

    At this point, it should go without saying that most of these protesters were white. But not only were they White, they were too scared to actually go into Ferguson proper with their signs, so they protested in St. Louis, instead. Way to stand for those beliefs.

    The pro-police demonstrators said that they were looking to “draw a contrast” with what they called “the other side”—that is, the people calling out for justice after the murder. The organizers told the attendees in an online message before that “we will be the example of what peaceful means. No offensive signs, we are for support. If the other side should show up, we will not argue or fight.”

    In keeping with their “high road” approach, they concocted all sorts of excuses to explain why a white police officer might gun down an unarmed black teenager. One said that”an officer doesn’t have xray vision,” while another said that Wilson “did what he had to do,” and added that “no officer is going to go further than they need to.” Many members of the group even doubt the veracity of the version of events offered by the people who witnessed the shooting, planting the seeds for yet more Alex Jones-style conspiracy theories.
    Ku Klux Klan agrees

    “He is a hero”: Why the KKK is raising money for Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown

    Desperate for publicity and any opportunity to spread hate, the KKK said more white cops should follow suit

    By Don Terry
    The Southern Poverty Law Center The one thing the racially charged and besieged city of Ferguson, Mo. does not need or want to add to the combustible mix of rubber bullets, snarling police dogs and clouds of tear gas that have filled its streets for three days is the Ku Klux Klan.

    But the Klan––desperate for publicity and any opportunity to spread hate and terror––is climbing atop the powder keg that Ferguson has become following the police killing of an unarmed college-bound black teenager last Saturday.

    The South Carolina-based New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan says its Missouri chapter is raising money for the still unidentified white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, 18, who was scheduled to begin college classes this week.

    “We are setting up a reward/fund for the police officer who shot this thug,” the Klan group said in an email. “He is a hero! We need more white cops who are anti-Zog and willing to put Jewish controlled black thugs in their place. Most cops are cowards and do nothing while 90% of interracial crime is black (and non-white) on white.”
    Tea Partiers Join KKK in Raising Blood Money for Michael Brown’s Killer

    The KKK is Headed to Ferguson to Back Shooting of ‘N*gger Criminal’ and ‘Protect White Businesses’

    By John PragerOn Friday, the KKK announced plans to hold a fundraiser to raise “reward” money for Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot “typical low-IQ negro” Michael Brown.

    “With the police state in Ferguson, we will be holding our fundraiser in Sullivan City, MO,” the Klantastic announcement read. “Donations of $10 and up. All money will go to the cop who did his job against the negro criminal.”

    New Empire Knights Imperial Wizard Charles Murray said in the comment section of the announcement that “we have guns (and more).” He kept the Klan’s current location close to his chest, but said the Klan is already in Sullivan in preparation for the fundraising efforts. When asked for his location, he responded, “We don’t want n*gger lovers like yourself around. You may have aids.” Asked to clarify the Klan’s plans, Murray responded, “Plan? We are raising money for a cop who shot a n*gger criminal.”