An Obama speech

I’m beginning to catch on to the rhythm of Obama’s speeches, which are truly Pat Paulson-esque in their ability to sound almost like real English, while actually saying nothing that isn’t either obvious or meaningless. Here’s the AP, which is fond of Obama, with the perfect headline: “Obama says voters can be both angry and hopeful“:

“Just because you’re mad, just because it seems like nobody is listening to ordinary Americans, that’s not a reason to give up hope,” Obama told the Building Trades National Legislative Conference. “You get mad and then you decide you’re going to change it. If you’re not angry about something you’re going to sit back and let it happen to you. If you’re only angry, you don’t feel hopeful, and you won’t get the energy to change it. I’m mad, but I’m also hopeful.”

The deal is that you first incite paranoia, and then you reach counterintuitive conclusions and make meaningless promises. If I were Iowahawk, I’d write a lovely parody of an Obama speech. Sadly, parody isn’t one of my talents, so all I can do is point out what I see, and sit back in disbelief at the number of people who find this kind of meaningless, pandering blather “uplifting.”

Incidentally, with regard to speeches that really said something, I was reminded during my visit to the Reagan Library that he really was a great communicator. Whether or not one agreed with his positions, no one could doubt his absolute clarity. Given that clarity, I don’t think it’s particularly surprising that history has shown that his positions were correct. He meant what he said, and he did something about it. Obama can only hide what he means and, while I have no doubt that, if he is President, he will try to put his Leftist agenda into effect, no one will be able to go back in time and match his actions to his words — because he says nothing.

For those of you too young to remember, here is a classic Pat Paulson sketch, with him as a politician speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

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    Obama reminds me of a wife beater.
    After giving her a thorough bruising he tells here how much he loves her while demanding ‘make up sex’.
    Bottom line: He’s angry and is going to get angry again and the poor wife is just hopeful it won’t happen again or at least not too often.
    Anyone who wants to see Obama in the White House should be living in a shelter for battered spouses.

  • Helen Losse

    Bookworm, May I suggest a book: “The Preacher King: Martin Luther King Jr and the Word That Moved America” by Richard Lischer (Oxford University Press, 1995). Try to get it at the library, because it’s just the “Prologue” and a few pages of the body that I think would help you understand Obama’s speeches. The book is mainly about King’s preaching, but in the “Prologue,” Lischer contrasts speeches with sermons and in so doing explains patters in King’s speeches.

    Obama’s speeches follow much of the same pattern, in that both men presume that a black listener will identify with certain common metaphors. Obama surely learned these metaphors in his years under Wright. The word “hope” for example, refers to the dream and the black quest for freedom. “Hope” is a goal (but not a strategy) to a black listener. Obama runs in to all kinds of problems because of the ignorance of white listeners. We think we’ve had enough “black history,” but we don’t know much at all. For example, he, like King, “imaginatively identified with the weariness and rage of African-American audiences” (TPK, p. 10). He then had to apologize for a “poor choice of words.”

    You may never like what Obama is saying, but I think this “Prologue” would help you interpret Obama’s speeches the way he intends for them to come across. A black sermon is constructed according to a pattern (explained in the body of this book), and a speech has much of the same pattern. minus the religious vocabulary. This was very much so with respect to King, and I think it is with respect to Obama, although I haven’t studied Obama’s speeches.


    Dear Helen…

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions and sometimes even good speeches. Obama is running for President of the United States, he should be speaking to all of the electorate – that means all of us.
    MLK was a preacher and not running for office. His goals and visions were realized in many ways. The fact that Obama is now running for office speaks to the realization.
    It’s only thing to apologize for a ‘poor choice of words’ and quite another to covet them via Obama’s association with a myriad of radicals.
    Hope is not a color and it is no more a right of blacks than whites or any other race.
    No candidate gets to cherry pick their words to woo a voter without getting a bowl of pits thrown in their face as a result.

  • Helen Losse

    Go SADIE!!!

  • judyrose

    See, Helen, that was snarky. Sadie’s comment was polite, well thought out, and merely an expression of her opinion. So I am issuing you a personal invitation to join my support group, Unrepentant Snarkers of America (USA). Are you in?

  • Helen Losse

    Judy, only if I’m considered a charter member. And that you publicly acknowledge me as a veteran snarker! :-)

  • Bookworm

    I will freely acknowledge that there is more than enough snark to go around.

    As it happens, I think SADIE has put her finger on something I do find distasteful about the way in which liberals speak of America and, thinking about it, Prager said much the same thing. He said that, if you were married to a spouse who constantly insulted you, and then said, “I’m only saying this because I love you,” sooner or later, you’d either start to doubt that love, or you’d start to think that your spouse is really stupid to profess love for something as manifestly flawed as s/he believes you to be.


    Dear judyrose

    Helen ‘snarked’ me?

    Oh my…I thought she saw the light and realized that not all white people are poor listeners and that her approach and reproach to the subject doesn’t hold water.

    Since I have not engaged in a give and take on this site with the regulars, I am at a loss to respond appropriately…….and anyone who knows me, knows that I am rarely in neutral when it comes to a response.


    Well…it’s OFFICIAL!

    I have been ‘SNARKED’. Do I get a T-shirt or mug?

    I can live with it and it’s so much better than being ‘snookered’ into feeling guilty and trying to impose the guilt onto someone else.

  • Helen Losse

    Oh Sadie, “and anyone who knows me, knows that I am rarely in neutral when it comes to a response.” We are identical twins. 😉

    Of course all white people are not poor listeners. It’s just that most of us don’t know what to listen for in a speech given in the “black tradition.” I wrote my master’s thesis on the redemptive value of unmerited suffering in the life and works of Martin Luther King Jr. The book I suggested was one of many I used. King was, indeed, not running for political office. But honestly, sometimes people who comment here are looking so hard for differences that they fail to see similarities. All people are more alike than different.

    Blacks have no more right to “hope” than anyone else, but all of us bring our experiences to anything we do, including listen to Obama making a speech. What I’m saying is that when blacks hear the word “hope” they also hear words that white may not hear.

    Obama and other black speakers (and also liberals) oftentimes criticize American because she is not yet what she can be. Like the plain little black dress, she’d look better with pearls. :-)

  • Helen Losse

    And Sadie, I never snooker anyone. I think that’s rude. :-)

  • judyrose

    We are in an open registration period and anyone who signs up within the next 24 hours will be considered a charter member. Helen, you are indeed a veteran snarker.

  • suek

    >>It’s just that most of us don’t know what to listen for in a speech given in the “black tradition.”>>

    Perhaps you’re right…but don’t you see this as a problem? Would you see it the same way if it were Wm F. Buckley running for president, and the general populace didn’t understand about 50% of the words he was using in his speeches? Would you tell them to buy a dictionary?

    >>sometimes people who comment here are looking so hard for differences that they fail to see similarities.>>

    So now…somehow there’s a problem here. Someone seems to me to be condescending to someone, but somehow, I think I’ve lost track. Are the elites looking down on the brothers for not being culturally white, or are the brothers looking down on the elites for not being culturally black?

    >>What I’m saying is that when blacks hear the word “hope” they also hear words that white may not hear.>>

    Then Obama needs to look around. The US is about 20% black. If he’s only talking to 20% of the people, he’s leaving 80% out of the loop.


    Dear Helen,

    Yes, pearls, but pearls of wisdom not those ugly, chunky and faux pearls worn in the 1950’s.

    America is as good as it gets with or without pearls.

    Like a child, who constantly gets reprimanded constantly, no matter what he/she does or does not do, they begin to tune it out. I reiterate my point, Obama’s ‘hope’ should have been addressed to all of us. It is he that made ‘race’ an issue. I could care less about the color of the candidate.

    No one should need a masters degree to sift the words from the intent of the speaker. Since the next president will be speaking beyond our borders the choice of words are all the more important. Politics leaves no room for chasms in speech-style- they will be quickly filled with extremism.

  • Helen Losse

    So Obama must become what he isn’t? I think he knows that a bunch of folks weren’t going to vote for no matter what he did.



    I believe you were ‘snookered’ – I was ‘snarked’ and a lot of us are ‘hoodwinked’ by smooth politicians.

  • Helen Losse

    Perhaps so, Sadie. 😉 But Obama’s the real deal!



    He certainly is if you want to play strip poker or 3 card Monty :-)

  • Deana

    Suek –

    You make an excellent point. So according to Helen, “Obama runs in to all kinds of problems because of the ignorance of white listeners.”

    Can you imagine the uproar we would hear from the left if Buckley or someone similar had run for president and a conservative had said that he “runs in to all kinds of problems because of the ignorance of (black, brown, liberal, rural, or what have you) listeners?”


  • suek

    >>So Obama must become what he isn’t? I think he knows that a bunch of folks weren’t going to vote for no matter what he did.>>

    You’re wrong. When the right black man comes along, people will vote for him. What makes “right”? There’s the rub. But it won’t be a man who is already hiding what he is – a Marxist – from the voters so that they’ll vote for him.

    He wants change. But I don’t think Americans want the change he wants. He stirs up anger and bitterness. He talks about hope, but offers nothing about where he wants to go or do to make things better. He says that what will make it “all better” is government handouts. Minorities have been getting handouts for 44 years now – are they better off than they were? Sure seems like with the dollar value of donations he’s received that blacks are a _whole_ lot better off than they were then. Unless, of course, the donations are coming from whites. In that case, the color issue becomes moot, doesn’t it? So…where is the money coming from?

  • Helen Losse

    As ML King said in “Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community,” White people are satisfied with “better,” but blacks want “equality.” Even today, blacks earn 75% of what whites earn. That’s not equality, and it’s not good enough.

  • Ymarsakar

    White people are satisfied with “better,” but blacks want “equality.”

    You earn equality. That’s something the entitled born again aristocrats never learned when they were being spoiled.

  • Gringo

    Equality: Where are the links and the stats regarding comparable education/experience/skills? A number plucked out of the air means nothing.

    If blacks want “equality,” then there are a number of things that would help them achieve it and more.

    1) Do something about gangsta culture. Blacks murder people at 7.5 times the rate of whites. The good news is that the Black murder rate is half of what it was in 1991. Progress is being made. (Perhaps because once a Black put a gun to my head, inside the house where I was living in Oakland, I am unable to pass this issue by.)
    2) Do something about the 70% illegitimacy rate. It was much less 50 years ago, when racism was greater.
    3) Encourage the entrepreneurial spirit. The greater integration of blacks into American life has also resulted in the loss of many black-owned small businesses, so this is a controversial issue.
    4) Study more. It is not difficult to find anecdotes of blacks in college who are surprised to find out about all the Asians spending their Friday nights studying calculus while blacks are partying. It took me a long time to realize how much work college required, so I can see why others take a while to realize it also. Once I did, I spent Friday and Saturday nights studying or washing dishes at a local restaurant. Senior lab, a 5 credit course, took 30 hours a week: killed the weekend.

  • Deana

    Yes, Helen – what is the source of the 75% figure? And as Gringo asked, do you know if they did the study properly? Did they control for education levels, experience, and skills?

    One thing that has always concerned me is that because of the history of racism in America, it made it less likely that black Americans were able to inherit the conditions that lead to the ability to attain the education, experience and skills that translate into income. But the problem is that there are many dark-skinned immigrants who came to America who did not have the education, experience, and skills they needed to instantly generate significant income and yet, in spite of the racism they faced, managed (often in the space of one generation) to turn their circumstances around. Either they or their children have gone on to earn degrees and get jobs that teach them the skills they need to earn solid incomes that are equivalent to what whites earn.

    So how do explain their ability to achieve, be successful, and earn the same amount of money as whites if you believe that racism is the reason blacks earn 75% of what whites earn?

    And another thing, Helen. I personally am not interested in the situation being “better.” I also want equality for all Americans. But a true, enduring sense of equality demands that there be no doubt that all participants are held to the same standard of performance.

    Creating a situation in which people are rewarded equally, even if some have not worked as hard, is just as bad as refusing to reward people equally when each has worked equally hard.


  • Danny Lemieux

    Uh, HelenL…I don’t know how to break this to you but Obama wasn’t raised in the “black tradition”. He was raised in the “leftwing white tradition” and wasn’t part of the “black tradition” until much, much later in life.. Please don’t suggest that he doesn’t know the difference.

  • Helen Losse

    2006 Median Annual Earnings by Race and Sex
    Race/gender Earnings Wage ratio
    White men $47,814 100.0%
    White women 35,151 73.5
    Black men 34,480 72.1
    Black women 30,398 63.6
    Hispanic men 27,490 57.5
    Hispanic women 24,738 51.7
    All men $42,210
    All women $32,649
    Wage gap 77.4%

    NOTE: Includes full-time, year-round workers ages 15 and above. “White” and “Black” exclude those who identified as Hispanic and/or reported more than one race category. “Hispanic” includes all those who so identified themselves, regardless of race.

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2007 Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Excellent, HelenL.

    Now, let’s correlate those numbers to the relative educational attainment for each group. For Hispanics, let’s in addition correlate those numbers to relative length of stay in U.S.

    Whaddaya say?

  • Zhombre

    You might correlate them too to what part of the country they live in (i.e., Hispanics in Miami and Orlando compared to those in rural Texas or Arizona or Illinois) and how fluent they are in English. Aggregate statistics are one story — the big picture. The big picture, like a photo taken with a wide angle lens, is often distorted. Distortion is often preferred, especially when it supports what people already believe, or devoutly want to believe. But one should examine the details. Where the devil is. The details, or as liberal are wont to say, the nuance.

  • Mike Devx

    I think HelenL’s statistics show a sad story. There are correlations to other factors, true, which can lessen the impact. But do you all really think that the correlations wipe out ALL the differences? How much of the differences do you think other factored correlations wipe out???

    I would be very interested, myself, to see raw numbers and median percentages for each of these categories ALSO broken down by education level, and another broken down by some sort of “profession” or “job” grouping.

    But still I believe there is sad news there in those stats.

  • Deana

    Helen –

    Thank you for providing those statistics. However, it appears that it is a simple accounting of what these various groups earn and does not compare incomes based on equivalent education, experience, and skill levels.

    Look at the difference in income between white men and women. Do you think that women are earning less than men because of sexism? That may explain part of the inequality but perhaps the predominant reason women earn less than men is because many women choose to leave the work force for long periods of time to stay home and raise the children.

    I am not saying that there is perfect equality between equally educated black and white workers. And I do believe that a portion of the inequality may very well be due to residual racism. But it is not accurate to imply that the reason for the discrepency in incomes is entirely due to racism when differences in education, experience, and skills have not been considered. Again, you have to compare apples to apples and not apples to oranges before accurate conclusions can be drawn.

    Helen, I would like you to address the other question I posed you in my earlier post (#24). I’m interested in your thoughts on that.


  • Helen Losse


    None of this is black and white as to what happened, but racism (in America and Europe) has had more to do with African descent than melanin. Early attempts to enslave Native Americans (also dark skin) failed; thus, more Africans were brought to this country. Slavery did not cause racism; racism resulted in slavery.

    There’s been a number of studies as to how the Irish assimilated into mainstream white American culture. When they first began to immigrate to the US, the Irish were extremely poor and competed with blacks for jobs. But, since there wasn’t the African stigma, they intermarried and the rest is history.

    Racism is not the only problem that black people face, but it is a real problem even today. Most white people no longer call black people names, but equality just doesn’t exist, after all these years. Most white people are afraid equality for blacks will cost them something personally. It just might.

  • Deana

    Helen –

    I hear what you are saying about racism having more to do with African descent versus melanin. But if that is true, why are we constantly baraged with claims that America is racist against minorities that are not of African descent? Why do we consistently hear that “brown people” aren’t treated equally and it is because America is a racist society?

    Bringing up the Irish is irrelevant. Not because they didn’t experience difficulty in this country, they did. But their case is beside the point. The fact remains that many people who are NOT WHITE and come from traditionally oppressed races come to this country and are successful. How is that happening if America is as racist and committed to unequal treatment as you and others claim? For example, how did so many Vietnamese become so successful so quickly in America when they came to this country immediately after we had just finished fighting a bitter war with them? Don’t you think they experienced racism? What did they do that lead to such obvious success?

    And what about the Africans? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 40 percent have college degrees (that’s higher than the U.S. average). Compared to black Americans, educated Africans get the higher paying jobs. They are AFRICAN, Helen. They are usually more black and definitely more African than black Americans. How are they managing this if America is as racist as you claim???

    Please understand that I KNOW that there is racism in America. I have seen it. It would be preposterous to claim that it no longer exists. But you like to paint a picture of an America that has not changed, an America where the racism might not be as obvious as it once was but that “makes it even more insidious.” You say equality “just doesn’t exist.” Period. End of story. No acknowledgement of any improvements. We are just as horrible today as we ever were.

    That isn’t true, Helen. America has made great strides in achieving equality and has achieved equality in many segments of society. (And we must be clear, here. The only equality that matters is equality before the law and equality of opportunity – the assurance and guarantee of equal results, regardless of the input, makes a mockery of true equality.) It’s not ubiquitous and at times, ugly incidents happen and remind us of what it looks like when people are not treated equally. But it isn’t like it once was. To portray it as such is an insult to what black Americans suffered in the past.


  • Helen Losse


    Of course, we’ve made progress, especially legally. But as King once said, “What good is it to have the right to eat at a lunch counter, if you can’t afford to eat at the lunch counter?” And another time, “It is cruel to ask a man to pull himself up by his bootstraps, if he has no boots.”

    People (with dark skin) who come to this country from other nations do not feel the burden of slavery that African Americans do. Africans are exotic (and kind of cool) not just black people. People from Vietnam aren’t black. They’re Asian. The whole thing is illogical. In slave times the child followed the race of the mother (not the father). This allowed slave owners to rape their female slaves at will. The resulting children were black slaves. In the deep south (LA) there was even a complicated system of naming people who were half-black, quarter-black, etc. If a person had one drop of “black blood,” he was black. We don’t concern ourselves with this today, but the damage has been done. Slaves families were separated- husband from wife, and children from mother. And now we scream, ‘Black men aren’t responsible.” African and Vietnamese immigrants didn’t endure this psychological separation and natal alienation. They’re ancestors weren’t kidnapped and crammed into a boat. No, they got on a airplane and came to a country of opportunity. There’s all the difference in the world. Our ancestors held slaves and we won’t even say we’re sorry, let alone help them make up the difference interms of economic power.

    People who immigrate come ready to work hard to succeed. People who are kidnapped and enslaved work hard to survive. Ah, but things are better. Now all black people have to do is behave like white people do. Why should they want to? They were kings in Africa, and we want them to be happy with progress. Yes, we’re progressed. But even fifty years after the Civil rights movement of the 60s, they’re making 75% of what white people do.

    I say equality doesn’t yet exist. But NOT end of story. We need to do better. You can’t eat the law. People need better jobs and health care. Just look at the statistics comparing white and black people’s life expectancies, health risks, etc. It raises the blood pressure just to exist as a black person in the US.

    The famous African American tennis champion Arthur Ashe got AIDS through a blood transfusion. But when asked if that was the hardest thing he’d ever had to endure, he said, “No. The hardest thing was being black.” Whens a successful man like Ashe isn’t comfortable wearing his own skin, something is wrong. He had money. Money isn’t the whole issue.

    We are a nation of racists and recovering racists. And most white people are oblivious.
    Peggy McIntosh wrote a famous essay, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” It’s something to consider.

  • Deana

    Helen –

    You claim that black men leave their families today because of the legacy of family separation during slavery. If that is true, how do you explain the fact that black men did NOT leave their families in droves from the end of the Civil War until the 1960s – a time when, by all accounts, they truly suffered from crushing racism? Are you telling me that 100 years after forced familial separations were going on that black men started to do it because they didn’t know any better?

    And please, spare me the whole “they were kings in Africa” bit. Helen, that is preposterous! I’m sure a few were royal, noble, or of the upper class but the overwhelming majority of them were average or poor African citizens who were oppressed by their own power structures and then sold or traded to the slave traders. Listen to yourself, Helen. At what point in history and in what country have hundreds of thousands of people all been “kings?” It sort of dilutes the point of being “king,” don’t you think?

    I do agree that there is an ocean of difference psychologically speaking between someone who comes from a slave mentality versus someone who does not. But don’t you get it? If white America is as racist as you claim, WHITE AMERICANS SIMPLY WOULD NOT CARE whether the black person in front of them is an inheritor of the slave mentality or an independent, free thinker who just immigrated from Liberia. TO THAT RACIST, WHITE AMERICA, THEY ARE BOTH STILL BLACK and the white person will want nothing to do with them and certainly would not hire the African and pay him more.

    Give a racist some respect, Helen. They are nothing if not consistent.

    Helen, I know you must be aware of the difficult relationship that exists between African immigrants to the U.S. and black Americans. One example: Washington, D.C. has one of the most populous Ethiopian populations outside of Ethiopia in the world. About 3 years ago when I was living up there, there was a lengthy article in the paper about how all of these Ethiopian immigrants were coming to D.C., moving into a predominantly black neighborhood just east of 18th street, and transforming the neighborhood into a vibrant business community. Helen, these immigrants were doing this and becoming successful IN THE SPACE OF 10 YEARS OF MOVING TO THE U.S.

    And what was the reaction of the black American people in the neighborhood? Fury and, to use a word Obama loves, bitterness. The black Americans who had lived in this neighborhood were so upset because these Africans were making them look bad. And get this – they were also upset because they were changing the “nature” of their neighborhood. My head almost exploded!! It wasn’t like they had had this quaint, safe little neighborhood before those horrible Ethiopians showed up. God in heaven! Up until the Ethiopians moved in, the neighborhood had been rife with crime. It was filthy. Now these fun restaurants are there, some nice little shops have opened up, and suburbanites were coming in to eat some fabulous food and spend money in the neighborhood.

    And I just have to address this whole “raising the blood pressure because you’re a black in America” thing. Helen, I don’t know if you have seen me mention this before but I recently went back to school to become a nurse. I’m also working in the hospital right now. I cannot begin to tell you the number of black patients we see with horrible heart and hypertension problems, not because of racism, but because they chose to spend a lifetime using cocaine (cocaine devastates cardiac function), alcohol, and eating fast food. THEY chose to do those things, Helen. No one put a gun to their head and said, “Eat those french fries or I’ll blow your head off!”

    And the short life-span? Yeah – we see what contributes to that too: black-on-black crime. Helen, when the patients we get who are lucky enough to survive the shootings get to the hospital, we immediately have to change their names once or twice during their stay so that the black men who shot them won’t come into the hospital, find their room and finish the job.

    Helen, I do not want black people to act like white people. I want them to be individuals who are free to do as they wish and BECOME THEIR BEST SELVES, whatever that might be. But many in the black community do not take the steps they need to do in order to achieve that, not because of racism, but because of their own bad choices, choices that I know they know down deep are not right and are betrayal to their ancestors. As long as they continue to blame racism for all of their failings, they will never, ever be free.

    And that brings me to my last point. Slavery is, quite simply, one of the darkest blots on America’s past. It will never come out, no matter how hard we try. I hate the fact that America engaged in it and perpetuated that practice as much as I love the fact that America righted herself, regardless of the horrible price she paid to do so. But I do not owe anyone an apology or reparations for something that I did not engage in. Have I benefitted from being white in this country? Yes, but not in tangible ways. If anything, being white has cost me some opportunities. Example? I did not get into a school I wanted to go to when I was 18 because my ACT score wasn’t high enough. But guess what? Two black women I met who had the same scores I did both got in. It doesn’t matter, I figured out a way to achieve anyway and I’m simply glad they had the opportunity to go to school.

    But I DO owe others something for benefitting in the intangible ways for being white in America. Because of the history of slavery and racism in America, and because we as Americans believe that all men are created equal, I owe it to other Americans to always support the protection of individual liberties and the promotion of equality of opportunity. America NEVER promised its citizens that they would wind up with equal outcomes, Helen. But we did promise each other that we would all be equal before the law and give each other equal opportunities. When those conditions by and large exist and there are millions of examples of black people who have grabbed ahold of those protections and opportunities and made something of themselves, certain Americans no longer owe other Americans anything to ensure that those who choose NOT to take advantage of what America has to offer get to eat at the same lunch counters and wear boots like everyone else.


  • Ymarsakar

    They are usually more black and definitely more African than black Americans. How are they managing this if America is as racist as you claim???

    Because blacks from Africa aren’t as spoiled as blacks that are born and raised in the United States.

    You see, the white’s institutional racism here cannot compare to the superior Afrikan culture, so it is natural that a place like America with institutional racism will have blacks born into it competing at a lower level than the superior Afrikans. The solution, obviously, is not to become more American, but more Afrikan. Which includes the religion of Islam.

    “What good is it to have the right to eat at a lunch counter, if you can’t afford to eat at the lunch counter?”

    It’s good for the Nike name-brand industry, that’s what.

    People (with dark skin) who come to this country from other nations do not feel the burden of slavery that African Americans do.

    I didn’t even need to read that, Deana, when making my comment. It is totally unnecessary given that if you have a solid grasp of Leftist philosophy, you don’t actually need to hear them respond to a point to know what their response will be. In reality, I made my comments here in chronological order and would have made them last night, had Bookworm’s site not been in the fritz.

    Are you telling me that 100 years after forced familial separations were going on that black men started to do it because they didn’t know any better?

    Blacks in America earned their salt fighting in WWII, if not WWI, and they sure as hell fought in the Civil War for their equality under the law and freedom from Democrat oppression and slavery. They earned those rights. Their children after Vietnam and LBJ? Errr, not so much.

    It was only when the Democrats tried to put blacks back into the slave cage that their families started getting separated. Before then, they were earning their bread, even if it required fighting racism, by fighting for America and their family. Now a days, they don’t fight for jack as a majority, even calling the rate of black enlistment into the United States military a “enforced draft based upon preying on an economically disadvantaged black community”. They, the majority of blacks in America, have no sympathy for the plight of Iraqis, whose condition is far worse than the condition of the worst ghettoes and gang land territories in America where blacks suffer disproportionately. They have no sympathy, because slaves that were put in the slave box once again by Democrats do not have the luxury of feeling sympathy for other slaves in Iraq. They’re too busy feeling aggrieved and disenchanted with their own situation and nation, to feel any need to help their fellow man, their family, let alone some foreigners out in the boondocks of the third world.

    It’s all about “America needs to spend money on ourselves” shat. They have forgotten how blacks were freed. It wasn’t because a bunch of abolitionists fed money to institutions. It was through war. The type of liberation war they have abandoned when they abandoned Iraq and Vietnam and the Republican party built up by Lincoln and the Radical Republicans.

    If white America is as racist as you claim, WHITE AMERICANS SIMPLY WOULD NOT CARE whether the black person in front of them is an inheritor of the slave mentality or an independent

    Helen is saying that blacks in America are performing poorly compared to Africans because blacks in America were indoctrinated by American oppression and “capitalism”, so thus are naturally inferior to the Afrikan competition. As you can see from BOok’s latest post on Root Causes, most Leftists don’t believe failure is due to individual flaws, they believe failure is due to some kind of environmental or outside influence. Somebody made me do it, essentially.

    Or as I heard it said in class by a black student loyal to the Democrat party. “You owe me 10 points”, to the instructor concerning the homework grade that had been given out. The key word is “owe”, Deana. Not “I earned those points” or “I got something right you marked wrong” but “I am owed a grade”.

    But I do not owe anyone an apology or reparations for something that I did not engage in.

    America is improving the condition of humanity every day in Afghanistan and Iraq. Do most blacks in America and Democrats care much about that? Not really, Deana. They care more about how to loot the racial grievance over slavery. Slavery ended by the Republican efforts and re-instituted by Democrat efforts in the South via jim Crow laws and blackcodes, along with KKK lynchings and terrorism targeted against Republican voters.

    For them to come back at us and try to tell us that America or we owe them something, is pretty preposterous given that these folks would sell the Iraqis down the river if they could make a profit off of it. They don’t want to earn it and they sure as hell don’t want to share freedom from slavery and oppression to “other people” that aren’t themselves and their blood relations.

    A truly oppressed people fought in the Union, even when they were segregated and treated like shit. A truly oppressed people can find it in their hearts to work with whites to help their common brother and sisters, like Harriet Tubman. A truly oppressed people will do everything in their power to fight a common enemy, whether it be slavermasters, Saddam type tyrants, or terrorists. A fake oppressed people just want to set themselves up as kings and frack the rest of the human race.

  • Helen Losse

    Hi Deana, Guess I just don’t get it. Wasted those years of study at a liberal university. Snark. Snark.

  • Helen Losse

    And, quite possibly, the time I spent answering you. LOL

  • Ymarsakar

    It was a good argument, Deana. At least it brought out some more detailed elaborations of helen’s beliefs. Certainly such things are useful, even in philosophy, since you still have to test your assumptions and axioms. When people don’t behave the way your models of philosophy and behavior says they will, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board. The attempt to communicate with the other faction, culture, or party is quite necessary in the long term of full cosmopolitan growth for classical liberals and others fellow travelers on this road to maxing out human potential.

  • Ymarsakar

    I way I come about these topics are different from your methodologies, Deana. I say this because other people will always find my way of doings things just a tad bit too uncomfortable. So if helen had read my last post before commenting out on this thread, then it’s probably my fault as my post would surely test the limitations of helen’s patience, as would be expected really.

    I’m not really very tolerant of beliefs that harm entire swatches of humanity while calling itself the key to salvation, you know.

    That kind of intoleration tends to communicate even across party and philosophical barriers.

  • Deana

    No, Helen. It is just that I refuse to buy what you are selling because you refuse to address the core question:

    If racism in America is as pervasive and enduring as you claim, how do you explain the fact that so many African and other dark skinned immigrants AND, more importantly, black Americans whose families have been here for centuries, are doing what it takes to be successful in this country and getting those better jobs (and the health care that comes with those jobs) ON THEIR OWN????

    All of these people would fail, Helen, regardless of their committment to their families, their faith in God, and their willingness to do what it takes to get that education and work hard and get those good jobs if racism were as institutionalized and overwhelming as you claim. But many are not failing, Helen. Many are succeeding.

    You simply refuse to acknowledge their reality and their success AND address what the difference is between people like them and the ones who aren’t successful.

    Look, Helen. I completely agree with you on one thing. Racism does exist in America and I hate it. Of course, I can’t remember where I saw this but I remember reading somewhere not that long ago of some research that was done that showed that when you compare black and white Americans with almost identical credit scores, the white person winds up getting the loan more often than the black person does. That is despicable! And yes, that is a tangible “benefit” of being white. (I have not bought a house yet so again, I have not benefitted in that way.)

    Your desire to irradicate racism is noble. And important. But you have GOT to be willing to look at the reality that exists in black America and stop giving in to the claim that all of their failures are due to racism. You are stripping black America of responsibility, and nothing you can do will more effectively ensure that they are forever dependent on white America than that.


  • Ymarsakar

    Up until the Ethiopians moved in, the neighborhood had been rife with crime. It was filthy. Now these fun restaurants are there, some nice little shops have opened up, and suburbanites were coming in to eat some fabulous food and spend money in the neighborhood.

    Yeah, but you have ot see things from the Palestinian point of view. If the Jews or Americans came into their neighborhood, however crappy it was, and created businesses that violated Shariah law and made Palestinians honor kill their daughters, then can’t you see how shameful and disappointed the Palestinians would be in us? Regardless of how much “business” or what not came to their neighborhood, it was still their neighborhood, Deana.

    After all, isn’t it better to live in squalor and doom the next generation and the generation after that to suicide bombing and murder/mayhem, than it is to accept becoming a whitey and adopting the white man’s inferior ways, Deana?

  • Ymarsakar

    nothing you can do will more effectively ensure that they are forever dependent on white America than that.

    Why would that ever be a bad thing, Deana? If you recognize that free will does not exist, as many of the Democrat leadership does already, then why wouldn’t ensuring that a victim group will forever be taken care of by the Democrat Guardians be a “bad thing” tm, Deana?

  • Deana

    Y –

    That’s the point. The Democrat leadership is keenly aware that the policies they support ensure long term dependence by millions of black Americans on the Democrats. Why work hard to ensure legitimate allegiance to a political party when it’s easier to create large groups of people who will never vote you out of office because they need you to put a roof over their head, food in their mouth, and health care at their disposal?


  • Ymarsakar

    It’s funny how history cycles through all the kinds of human craptastic behavior. Back in medieval times, aristocrats patronized artists and other craftsmen. In return for the artiste doing things for the aristocrat, the aristocrat paid the artist his room and board.

    Now we have the modern version of patronage, in which the Democrats provide benefits and bribery packages to blacks and other minorities in return for votes. And just like in historical times, it is just as patronizing.

  • Ymarsakar

    Deana, did you catch my comment 35 after it was moderated?

    I was wondering what you thought about how in history, truly oppressed people always had to fight for their rights in the face of discrimination and disadvantages while fake oppressed people could sit around and demand benefit packages, when they are not electing to start a few race riots that is for media consumption.

  • Deana

    Hi Y –

    Yes I did. And for the most part I agree.

    I have always been in awe of the black Americans who fought in the military before the last 20-30 years. Of course, I admire all the men and women who have ever served and am thankful for them. But until recently, black Americans weren’t accorded the same rights and freedoms that they were giving up their lives for to ensure others had them. It says a lot about them that they still did it.

    I’m sure for some, it was a paycheck. But nobody does that type of work just for a paycheck. There was something else in it for them. Perhaps a belief that maybe, with their sacrifice (and note that I write that without the quotation marks around it like Helen did because there should NEVER be any doubt that those in the military have and do sacrifice much for us) they might be able to return to a country that would be more accepting of them and let them partake fully in America. And while it is shameful that America did NOT grant them that immediately, I do believe that America has made great strides in ensuring that they are given equal protection and opportunities.

    I am not sure I fully agree with your assessment on how blacks view Iraq. Here is why:

    I know that many black Americans have not supported the war in Iraq. Even black Americans with no family or friends in the military have not supported the endeavor. While some claim that they don’t support it because, according to them, “we don’t have any rights or freedom in this country so why should we support America trying to give rights and freedom to others,” I honestly believe that the bigger reason that so many black Americans don’t support the war is because they hear what the Democrat leadership says and they automatically go along with it because the majority of them ALWAYS do whatever the Democrats tell them to do.

    Yes, some blacks appear to have made feeling aggrieved and disenchanted a full-time job and would never consider helping others because that would take away the focus on them. But if you got into an honest discussion with the average black “Joe-on-the-street,” I think he would express interest in helping others overseas to a certain extent. I believe that the reason you see a reluctance to help others like the Iraqis in a military fashion has much more to do with the fact that most black Americans will never stray from the Democrat party line – even if it is direct contrast to their personal beliefs and interests – and NOT because they are unwilling to help others in need.

    Besides, I know that an awful lot of black men and women have served honorably in Iraq. I suspect that quite a few of them talk to family and friends about the terrible conditions they saw and the numerous ways that people’s rights and liberties were abused at whim. Perhaps some of their discussions and insights will leave impressions on those black Americans who seem to think that America is a terrible place to be.


  • Ymarsakar

    And while it is shameful that America did NOT grant them that immediately, I do believe that America has made great strides in ensuring that they are given equal protection and opportunities.

    This should help alleviate some of the guilt or shame you feel concerning this incident.

    After Harriet Tubman was discharged from the Union armed scout forces (she was arguably one of the first woman to be armed in battle and to have led others armed in battle), she sank into economic destitution. The Republicans in Congress crafted and pushed through a bill to give her a pension for her service in the Union scouts. The Republicans in the Reconstruction era would have pushed through legislation protecting black voters in the South as well, including an amendment to the US Constitution, had no Lincoln’s Vice President, a Democrat copperhead, vetoed it all. This gave the South enough time to use the KKK and other tools to institute Democrat governments, thus legislating into law the Blackcodes and Jim Crow laws. Never forget that, because forgetting this is a vital reason why blacks are so disenfranchised in today’s America, both by abortion which has taken away millions of black voters and also by welfare and Democrat patronage.

    This isn’t the end though. Truman after WWII signed a de-segregation executive order, welcomed or requested by the military themselves, that blacks and whites will now be able to serve together in combined units for the military. This was deacades before Johnson and Martin Luther King, Deana. The military that saw the blacks in action could no longer hold to racist or such attitudes that the war had burned out by fire and cauldron.

    Every war in American history produced more civil liberties, fairness, equality, and justice in its aftermath. Except with Vietnam, since that was a loss and defeats in war do not provide the defeated nation any benefits, usually.

    But if you got into an honest discussion with the average black “Joe-on-the-street,” I think he would express interest in helping others overseas to a certain extent.

    Well, if Democrat black voters knew the real deal, their views would change. If Democrat Americans knew the real deal, their views would also change. But they don’t know the real deal, now do they, Deana. So much of that is speculation on how they would act if they knew what was really going on in Iraq or with Bush and Petraeus.

    Many blacks I know truly care about helping people. They just don’t have the real deal. And so long as they don’t have the real deal, the reality is that they do not care what happens with the people of Iraq and the dishonor and shame it brings the ancestors of African Americans, slaves and freed slaves.

    Perhaps some of their discussions and insights will leave impressions on those black Americans who seem to think that America is a terrible place to be.

    if this was just a black problem, it would be very easy to solve. Unfortunately this kind of consequence, created by enemy propaganda operations, extends to every American.

    The truth is that it is extremely hard to get people to care about others if they don’t see faces to go with the statistics. Mass graves, deana, are just statistics. The media know this which is why they constantly bombard the American populace with images of Christian churches and priests molesting children and what not. That works, Deana, because it hits the human empathic channel, which doesn’t work just cause some people saw a list of foreign names or numbers on a “mass grave list”.

  • Ymarsakar


    Hi Deana, Guess I just don’t get it. Wasted those years of study at a liberal university. Snark. Snark.
    on 17 Apr 2008 at 10:10 am 37Helen Losse

    And, quite possibly, the time I spent answering you. LOL

    For people like me that have studied disasters in diplomacy and war, the use of time wisely while communicating to another party is very important to us.

    For someone that touts “talking” and “whatever” as being so important over war, you might think that you would hold yourself to a higher standard concerning the time that you have sarcastically implied has been wasted on Deana.

    Communication of beliefs and values is never a waste in diplomacy, but then again, diplomacy is not the same to you as it is to me, and neither is war.