Paul Ryan’s Kinda Racist And It’s Okay To State The Obvious

So if I am to believe select political journalists, Paul Ryan can employ racist tropes to promote policy with racist outcomes, but none of us can call him racist.

There was a bit of an online debate over the Think Progress headline “Paul Ryan Blames Poverty On Lazy ‘Inner City’ Men.” During an appearance on Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” on Wednesday, Ryan discussed legislative proposals that would focus on creating work requirements for men “in our inner cities” and deal with the “real culture problem” among its inhabitants. Raise your hand if you can see where I’m going with this. Now bury your face in to your palms because of that realization.

Ryan said:

We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.

Ryan went on to cite the work of Charles Murray, a conservative social scientist who believes Blacks collectively are less intelligent than Whites due to genetic differences. As outlined by Think Progress, Murry believes poverty remains a problem given “a lot of poor people are born lazy.”

So let’s refresh. Paul Ryan recently discussed the cycle of poverty, but noted that “in particular,” there is a “real culture problem,” where men living in the “inner city” don’t want to work or even think about work. What is the definition of “lazy” again? Something about “not liking to work hard” or an unwillingness to do so?

Okay, a little word math problem. What’s a synonym for lazy? Shiftless, right? What kind of man lives primarily in the inner city? Reminder: Don’t let those new gentrifiers fool you. Alright now, take Black men add the coded language for lazy and what do you get? Shiftless Negro! I see what you did there, Paul Ryan, no matter if certain reporters want to pretend otherwise.

I’ve read comments like, “And I think things can play on racial stereotypes without someone intending to demean others.” Never mind the fact that by playing on racial stereotypes to make a point, you essentially are already demeaning others.

Then there are whitesplaining articles that counter Think Progress’ summarization of Ryan’s appearancewith:

Ryan’s problem, it seems, is that he’s talking about inner cities while being 1) a Republican who is 2) about to unleash poverty legislation heavy on work requirements. If you’re a Democrat, you can talk about the inner city in the same way Ryan does.

Slate’s Dave Weigel then tried to conflate Ryan’s remarks with those made by President Barack Obama. The difference, though, is that Obama offered a nuance take on the nihilism that exists in inner city communities as a result of the cycle of poverty where as Ryan insinuated that Black men “inner city men” don’t value work and have no desire to work. More importantly, Obama never cited the work of a known racist to lend credence to his point of view.

Meanwhile, others who call a spade and spade (and probably play spades at holiday gatherings), are not trying to excuse the racist sentiments in a clearly racist statement. To wit, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, issued the following statement:  “Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) categorized Ryan’s comments as “shameful and wrong.”

Paul Ryan is now defending himself, claiming he never, ever thought of race when he made those pointed remarks:

This has nothing to do whatsoever with race. It was a long talk and he asked about the culture and I just went off of that. This has nothing to do whatsoever with race. It never even occurred to me. This has nothing to do with race whatsoever. This isn’t a race based comment it’s a breakdown of families, it’s rural poverty in rural areas, and talking about where poverty exists — there are no jobs and we have a breakdown of the family.  This has nothing to do with race.

You know, bringing up rural areas in response to criticism over comments made about inner city men — and again, coupled with the citing of a known racist — isn’t a good defense, Paul.

Read the rest at NewsOne.

[EBONY] The Weekly Read: Dear Ben Carson ’16 Supporters

I would like to believe that there will be another Black president before I go off to join, Jesus, Mohammad, and Beyoncé in the afterlife at Club Eternity, but I cannot be for certain. However, there is one thing I’m willing to bet my liver on: Dr. Ben Carson won’t be Negro POTUS number two, especially not in 2016. So while I hate to be the bearer of bad news to the “National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee,” I would advise them to look for a new hobby.

Now to be fair, #TeamBen, you have done some impressive work thus far. As The Atlantic’s Alex Seitz-Wald notes, “The group that put Carson on the hotel keys has outraised Clinton’s draft committee, Ready for Hillary; has been on the ground in Iowa; and is working from the playbook written by Howard Dean and Barack Obama.” More, according to the group’s Web site, their petition seeking to encourage Carson to run has amassed close to 390,000 signatures.

Nonetheless, you could probably find a million fools in America willing to vote for a brown avocado as president, so that doesn’t necessarily mean anything in the grand scheme of things. And besides, from what I’ve read, you folks over there are running with some very flawed logic as to why Ben Carson is the GOP’s best hope to defeat presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and master of the universe, Hillary Clinton.

Let three-time congressional candidate, George H.W. Bush appointee, and petition-creator Vernon Robinson tell it, Ben Carson is the Republican Party’s best shot at broadening its base beyond old, racist, and easily fooled White dudes.

Robinson says, “At 17 percent, Hillary loses all of the swing states and the Roosevelt Democratic coalition is destroyed. In addition, Ben Carson is able to clearly and calmly articulate conservative positions in a way the average voter can understand.… He’s the only guy who can bond with all of the American people.”

Are we talking about the same Ben Carson here, because the Ben Carson I’m familiar with is about as calm as a second string hypeman at his first Source Awards.

I mean, Ben Carson is the man who once declared: “You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.”

Not only is this one of the most asinine false equivalencies that I’ve read since that time I read some misguided White woman compared Beyoncé to Miley Cyrus, it’s despicable for a Black man of all people to diminish the horrors of slavery to make some kind of cheap political point. Ben Carson, may every dream you have for the rest of your natural life be summed up as American Horror Story: Slave, Slap the Stupid Out Of Your Simplistic Self.

Worse, Carson had the following to say about same sex marriage: “[Traditional marriage is] a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group — be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are — they don’t get to change the definition.” He also said gays don’t deserve “extra rights” and he loathes political correctness.

This is Ben Carson “calmly articulating conservative positions in a way the average voter can understand”?

So private insurance is like slavery and two committed people of the same sex getting married is like boning a dog and/or a pedophile? Mind you, Obamacare is proving to be a success and attitudes about the initiative are rapidly changing now that it’s been implanted and marriage equality is gaining support in the Deep South. Now, Carson did say during his speech at CPAC, “One of the principles of Saul Alinsky is that you make the majority think their ideology is outdated, and nobody thinks that way.”

This must be the old, crotchety conservative Black male equivalent of “The Illuminati” and various other theories found on YouTube. You keep telling yourselves these lies if you want to, but if you nominate Ben Carson for president, you’re going to yield the same results as Herman Cain’s 2012 campaign and Alan Keyes’…well, every time he’s tried to run for something.

Read the rest at EBONY.

NewsOne: NYT Columnist Wants Redemption For Dogs, Not Black Felons

There are some White people who put the interests of animals above those of other human beings — specifically the darker ones. Normally, I’d try to exercise subtlety and restraint when articulating such a sentiment, but since New York Times columnist Juliet Macur (pictured) didn’t mince words in her column “Before Signing a Strong Arm, Teams Should Heed Vick’s Dark Past,” why should I? I knew Macur’s musings would appeal to me as much as the taste of deep fried elephant dung given the way she kicked it off: ” Michael Vick, the quarterback known as much for his rap sheet as his athletic skill.”

Well, that certainly depends on what circles you’re referring to. Perhaps it’s Macur’s circle of influence that is leading this narrative, even though it is highly debatable in everyone else’s.

I do not fault her for writing from her background, but I do loathe how that background has seemed to frame her perspective.

In this hard-to-read diatribe, Macur sends off a warning to teams who may look to sign Vick should the Philadelphia Eagles let him go and allow him to be a starter (he lost his starter job to Nick Foles this season): “They should remember this: Vick was the mastermind behind his dogfighting operation. He bankrolled it, gave it a home base, encouraged it.”

Macur then goes on to discuss some of the dogs who lost their lives due to Vick’s dogfighting ring. You can understand her issue with Vick’s treatment of dogs. After all, in her Twitter bio, Macur notes, “My writing partner is a Labrador retriever.”

So she has a strong love of Lassie. So be it, but her bias clouds her judgment about a larger issue with respect to a felon rightly being given a chance to re-enter society.

Sure, Macur lists some of Vicks’ acts of penance — including donating $200,000 to help renovate a football field in Philadelphia; working with the Humane Society; supporting a bill on Capitol Hill that would make it a felony to bring a child to a dogfight, a measure which would fight the very practice that caused him to go on to perpetuate the culture as an adult.

Still, Macur writes:

 Teams evaluating Vick should think about those horrors before offering him a chance to wear their jersey. They should say, ‘Can’t we give our fans someone better to cheer for?’ Fans should demand someone better.

Someone around Juliet Macur ought to demand she get a damn grip. Assuming she’s never made a mistake in her life, Saint Juliet Macur is essentially arguing that there is no such thing as forgiveness or redemption. That once you commit a wrong, you must walk around with a Scarlet Letter. That there is no act or gesture that would warrant a second chance.

This is a dangerous message to profess in general, but again, even more poisonous when you consider who Michael Vick is outside of a football player: a Black ex-felon. If the Juliet Macurs of the world can’t even give a famous Black football player another chance after paying his debt to society for committing an egregious act, imagine how they would treat their less successful brethren.

Read the rest at NewsOne.

NewsOne: Don Lemon Wins At Black People’s Expense

Ever since CNN anchor Don Lemon decided to start editorializing, he has not shown himself to be a serious thinker. Lemon has developed a knack for trivializing complicated sociopolitical issues affecting people of color, mostly by offering personal anecdotes to argue positions that could be easily debunked with data, such as when he peddled the silly little idea that if all Blacks just put on a belt and stopped calling each other “nigga,” everything would be okay.

Don Lemon should know a style of dress or subtracting words from your lexicon won’t necessarily make you less susceptible to racism. It didn’t go away for him in 2001 when he sued a department store for racially profiling him.

Then there’s the reality that Lemon often proves himself to be just as culturally ignorant as the older White audiences he’s whispering sweet nothings (about those wayward Blacks) to. You know, like the time Don Lemon came out of the closet and threw Black people under the bus by agreeing that Black people are more homophobic than Whites. Meanwhile, Blacks make up the largest bloc of the LGBT community. As in identified gay. Yeah, there goes your little “down-low-brother” myth too.

You would think one of the most-visible gay Black men in media would be fighting the stereotypes plaguing people like him and the collective community to which he is a part of.

Instead, he’s been nothing but a boil on the butt of common sense — cheerleading vigorously for the ideas from the greatest hits collection of systematic racism.

RAH! RAH! RAH! YAY, STOP-AND-FRISK! BOO, “POLITICAL CORRECTNESS!”

Not surprisingly, he is now being rewarded for it at CNN.

Read the rest at NewsOne.

So Yeah, That’s Still Racist…

For the millionth time, racist old people in positions of power: If you don’t want your bigotry to be made in to big headlines all over Al Gore’s Internet, go back to journaling. Not that many in the Grand Old Party maintain such modesty, but in the case of Nevada Assemblyman Jim Wheeler (pictured), it’s a lesson he’d best learn to keep in his back pocket for future reference. On Monday, a YouTube video surfaced, featuring Wheeler telling a gathering of Republicans that’d he vote to allow slavery if that is what his constituents wanted of him.

Speaking before members of the Storey County Republican Party at a meeting in August, Wheeler explained:

If that’s what they wanted, I’d have to hold my nose, I’d have to bite my tongue, and they’d probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah, if that’s what the citizens of the, if that’s what the constituency wants that elected me, that’s what they elected me for. That’s what a republic is about. You elected a person for your district to do your wants and wishes, not the wants and wishes of a special interest, not his own wants and wishes, yours.

In reaction, his Republican peers wasted no time in sprinting away from him. In a statement, Gov. Brian Sandoval said:

“Assemblyman Wheeler’s comments are deeply offensive and have no place in our society. He should retract his remarks and apologize.”

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., called Wheeler’s comments “insensitive and wrong.” And Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, noted via Twitter that Wheeler’s comments are “outrageous, they are embarrassing and they are just plain sad.” Roberson added, “It’s time for Jim Wheeler to find a new line of work.”

You see, it’s okay for the GOP to treat Blacks as second-class citizens in the Reconstruction era realness that is a national effort to disenfranchise minority voters, but don’t you dare mention “slavery.”

Read the rest at NewsOne.

Clocking Cory Booker

Dear Cory Booker Clockers:

I’m a bit reluctant to co-sign a politician, who at this point, I continue to place more faith in as a Marvel superhero than elected official. Nevertheless, Cory Booker has a point about everyone needing quit riding him like a bus and tend to their own business. Well, that should’ve been his point, but he is not in the position to convey such truths in such a plainspoken manner to you annoying wastes of intellectual space. Don’t worry, Cory. I’m happy to help.

There have been rumors about Cory Booker’s sexuality for years now. Such is the burden any single man of a certain age has to bear when he doesn’t have a wife, 2.3 children, and a dog named Iggy Pop by his mid to late 30s has to bear. With that in mind, it’s not at all shocking that once again, people are inquiring about whether the famed mayor would prefer missionary (the only kind of sex that seems to be deemed appropriate for people who hold public office) with Chris Brown or Christina Aguilera.

Anyway, his opponent for the New Jersey Senate, Steve Lonegan, told Newsmax that while he was unsure of Booker’s sexuality, wanted to make clear that: “As a guy, I personally like being a guy. I don’t know if you saw the stories last year. They’ve been out for quite a bit about how he likes to go out at three o’clock in the morning for a manicure and a pedicure.”

Yes, because taming your feet means you might use Fleet…for fun.

Not to be outdone, “I don’t like going out in the middle of the night, or any time of the day, for a manicure and pedicure. It was described as his peculiar fetish. I have a more peculiar fetish. I like a good Scotch and a cigar. That’s my fetish but we’ll just compare the two.”

In other words, Steve Lonegan is a man’s man because he only wraps his mouth around “manly things.” I could go on, but I’ll just say that somewhere a village is missing its most prized idiot.

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In response to this not-so-subtle presumed clock of his sexual orientation, Booker was invited to appear on All in With Chris Hayes and talk about how silly this all was. But, but, but, but: Chris Hayes then correctly pointed that with respect to the gay rights movement, coming out does much in the way of shepherding wider acceptance; ergo, if Cory Booker was indeed gay, why not just come out (on MSNBC)?

Read the rest of the latest edition of The Weekly Read at EBONY.com.  

Who Gon Check That Clinton, Boo?

This morning certified goon and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared on Capitol Hill to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the September 11, 2012 attacks on the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi. If there’s any basic cable channel that’s comparable to the political theater on display, I’d say the hearing was reminiscent of Bravo on a Sunday night when The Real Housewives of Atlanta was airing. There were side eyes, rolling eyes, yelling, and a few tears from Hillary that illustrated both her remorse and thug passion over the loss of lives in that terrorist attack. However, I get the feeling that at a few points, Hillary wanted to go full VH1 and jump over the table in which she sat — going straight upside the heads of the sucker ass Senators who tried to read her with a book full of blank pages. I don’t blame her: Jerk men are the absolute worst.

For some reason, a few Republicans assumed that Hillary Clinton traveled to Hollywood and learned how to fake a fainting to avoid speaking to them. That’s a testament to their stupidity and delusions of grandeur as it was quite clear from the start of the question and correcting period that Hillary was far more informed than any of the people trying to play her for a fool. Case in point, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who attempted to “mansplain” matters to Hillary only to be verbally smacked like the haughty sum’bitch that he is.

Other noteworthy jackasses include the orneriest man in Washington, John “Get The Fuck Off My Lawn, You Bitch” McCain, and Rand Paul, otherwise known as “What a dipshit?” As McCain blabbed out his talking points angrily, Hillary sat there and looked as bored as she could be. Likewise, she smirked as Rand Paul recited the monologue he worked on for several weeks, presumably thinking to herself, “Dear, God. This motherfucker is dumb as the ground I fell on.”

The thankfully not dumb Democratic Senator Dick Durbin amused me by essentially saying in political terms: “Who in the hell are they to try you and Barry, Hill, when only a few years ago were they force-feeding the world fables to start the Iraqi War? Conserve these nuts, conservatives.”

Okay, he didn’t really think that last sentence, but someone on that panel had to have had (likely Barbara Boxer).

All of it reminded me of why I don’t think I can enter political office. Well, not until I reach the “Al Franken” stage of my life anyway. The older I get, the less inclined I am to entertain morons who have no idea of what they’re talking about. I mean, unless they’re signing a check I need to cover a student loan.

Hillary is a trooper, though, and while I maintain that only masochists want to entertain thoughts of the 2016 presidential race this early, I couldn’t help but think to myself while trying to watch the hearing: “Damn, her scream off with Chris Christie is going to be everything.”

Oh yeah: I wrote about Bill O’Reilly opining that President Obama “hates” Republicans because he sees them as the “purveyors of white privilege” over at NewsOne. Click here if interested.

 

On Colin Powell Trying To Make Sense To The Dense

Former Secretary of State and retired four-star general in the United States Army Colin Powell, own his own accord, used his appearance on this past Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press” to send a message to his political party: End your “dark vein of intolerance” or ultimately face the same fate as Karl Kani jeans in 2013.

Powell offered numerous examples of the racially charged language employed by members of his party, including the use of terms like “lazy” to describe President Barack Obama’s performance in the first presidential debate of 2012 and that “shuck and jive” quip former Alaskan governor and perpetual village idiot Sarah Palin made via Twitter. Not only did he offer specifics, the 75-year-old statesman who at one point had the chance of becoming the nation’s first Black president in 1996, provided a history lesson on why these terms are offensive.

There have been others equally guilty, say ex-Mississippi governor Haley Barbour who in the past spoke highly of White separatist groups, which prompted Powell to declare to “Meet the Press” host David Gregory, “Why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the party?”

For a party that loves to refute accusations of happily harboring racist fringes so long as it suits their political interests with “SEE! SEE! We got this Black, and this Black, and that Latino, and oh, that Black with lady parts!” you’d think they would see their most-accomplished member of color plead with them to elevate themselves and learn a lesson.

Unfortunately, thus far, all we’ve gotten from conservatives is the same old crusty two-step.

Read the rest of the essay at NewsOne.

The Exit Is To Your Left, Thurston

Mitt Romney might not have written a concession speech, but I was asked over the weekend to write pieces in advance of either outcome. Unlike some people, I do whatever a given gig compels me to do. Fortunately, my “What if Mitt Romney won?” essay won’t ever see the light of day because he caught the electoral fade I long anticipated him to do.

That means you get the other one, so here goes:

Thank you, America, for not pissing off the dark and discernible with your penchant for poor decision making.

I’m sure it’s been super fun for the pundits earning their keep by pretending that Mitt Romney might’ve successfully taken his ineptness all the way to the White House, but this glorified reality show has concluded. Romney hasn’t enjoyed a significant lead in any national or swing state poll for any time of note, but we’ve been subjected to countless spin that the race was unpredictable. A close election never negated the reality that the electorate continuously tilted Obama’s way, though, so pundits, it’s time to kiss Nate Silver’s ring.

The former Massachusetts governor’s quest for the White House is officially over, and thank goodness, because the idea of a President Romney always seemed unfathomable.

After all, there’s a reason it took so long for Romney to become the Republican presidential nominee: he’s a terrible politician. This is the same person, who despite having the money, machine, and six straight years of actively pursuing the presidency still almost lost the nomination to the likes of conspiracy spewing crackpot Donald Trump, the goofiest pizza man alive Herman Cain, crazy eyes and even crazier policies Michele Bachmann, Jurassic racist and sometime inaccurate historianNewt Gingrich, and missionary sex should be mandated legally lunatic Rick Santorum.

Romney’s netting the Republican presidential nominee owes more credit to means than skill or appeal.

And when Romney got the nomination, he picked Paul Ryan, the guy Republicans like to portray as a great intellect if for no other reason than he can articulate their plutocratic policies in public without rubbing his hands together and doing an evil chuckle as if he moved forward with his plan to bring Gotham City to its knees.

You can read the rest at NewsOne.

You can also check out my piece, “Good Riddance, Mitt,” over at EBONY.com.

Donald Trump Reminds Me of Herpes

I was assigned to write about a messy political stunt queen named Donald Trump and his latest asinine announcement. Although I’d much rather he’d do us the solid of falling into an abyss somewhere versus compelling people to pay him any mind, the rent must be paid.

Alas:

No one should be this desperate to plug their reality show on NBC.

Yes, he’s White, male, and wealthy, which means he doesn’t have to prove much to get undeserved attention, but at one point do we collectively say, “Trump, is an empty-headed nuisance who should be relegated to crazy man yelling crap on the corner while collecting spare change status?”

Donald Trump is to the media what genital herpes is to the human body.

And while we would all wish that he would just go away permanently — never to pop up on another news station again — unfortunately, Trump behaves like some sort of mutated strain that manages to keep popping up.

Enter today.

I may not be literally scratching in the “love below” area, yet I am scratching the head up top wondering just how much longer the media at large is going to put up with this dude’s attention-whoring antics?  It’s apparent that he’s on that “Effie White” side of life when it comes to his pursuit of publicity. So be it, but can’t we be more stingy when it comes to giving in?

You can read the rest here.