Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Racism Is A Two Way Street

"Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him, and cannot be reasoned out." ~ Sydney Smith

Before I address my subject for today, I want to express my gratitude for all those who offered support and kind words of encouragement in the last couple of days. The crisis I had mentioned has by no means disappeared , but it has become less troubling, thanks to you. I feel much better today. I slept very good last night, and my appetite has returned (which may not be such a good thing). Extra special thanks to Sheila. For a raving Liberal, she's pretty cool. ;)

On my recent post about the Cynthia McKinney incident, I received the following comment:

"[W]hy do I keep hearing conservative commentators suggest that Ms. McKinney is a racist?"

Well, I'll tell you. It's because the evidence is overwhelming that she is exactly that.

Let's just examine the incident and the subsequent events, shall we? Here is the way I understand it from media reports:

Ms. McKinney, who is one of over 500 Senators and Congressmen who walk through those doors everyday, along with thousands of others who are not legislators, entered the building. She was not wearing the lapel pin that identifies her as a member of Congress. As legislators are accustomed to bypassing the metal detector, she did exactly that. One of the Capitol Policeman manning the desk did not recognize her and attempted to detain her long enough to check her identification.

(By the way, Ms. McKinney is a very attractive woman, isn't she?)

Suddenly, a Congresswoman, who otherwise loves to be identified as a member of that august body, became uncharacteristically (I was sure I spelled that word right, but spellcheck apparently thinks it is a word that doesn't even exist, and the dictionary seems to agree, so it is probably misspelled)secretive about why she was in the building, and that's when the fireworks began.

According to the Capitol Police spokesman, he called out to her three times as she hurried away from him. On the third time, he reached out and placed his hand upon her shoulder or her arm, which one, the reports don't make clear. At once, she wheeled and struck him in the chest with her cell phone.

As early as 1995, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that her 11 district in Georgia, was an unconstitutional gerrymander because the boundaries were unfairly based on race, McKinney angrily responded to the ruling by asserting that it was a racially-discriminatory ruling. It was one of the first recorded times in which she used the "race card" as a member of Congress, in an attempt to manipulate the rules.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Mckinney wrote that "Al Gore's Negro tolerance level has never been too high. I've never known him to have more than one black person around him at any given time." The Gore campaign pointed out, however, that his campaign manager was black.

In 2002, McKinney was defeated in the Democratic primary by Denise Majette, then a DeKalb County judge. McKinney protested the result in court, claiming that Republicans in the mostly-Democratic district had participated in the Democratic primary to vote against McKinney in revenge for her anti-Bush administration views and implied voter fraud. However, Georgia's election laws do not require voters to claim a political party when they register to vote, thus they can participate in whichever primary election they choose.

McKinney's controversial statements regarding 9/11 are widely considered to have led to her defeat. McKinney's reported support of Palestinian causes and her anti-Israel stance also drew the ire of pro-Israel lobbying groups, who donated money to Majette during the primary. On the night before the primary election, McKinney's father stated on Atlanta television that "Jews have bought everyone" in the election.

Her father is obviously a racist and an anti-Semite and I suspect the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

In 1993 she had an altercation with an United States Capital Police officer. There have been four more incidents since, including one involving a complaint that White House security officials mistook her 23-year-old white aide for her

Regarding the incident with the Capitol Police, McKinney made a brief statement on her behalf at Howard University on March 31: "Let me be clear, this whole incident was instigated by the inappropriate touching and stopping of me, a female black congresswoman".

Civil rights attorney James Myart further called the incident racial profiling and said there was "no excuse" for Capitol Police not recognizing his client, and another commentator said she was stopped solely because of her race, gender and politics.

Howard Pressley, president of NAACP Georgia, called the incident a tragedy and use of excessive force.

"The mistreatment of Cynthia McKinney at the hands of Capitol Hill Police is a tragedy of major proportion and points to the vigor of outright disrespect for women and people of color," Pressley said.

This whole incident smacks of racism, but not racism against Ms. McKinney.

Contrary to popular opinion, racism is not a one way street. It is not only white discriminating against black. It is also the other way around. A popular catch phrase arose in the media after the first incidents of black against white racism. That phrase is "Reverse-racism". This is a misnomer. When one says reverse racism it technically means no racism exists.

No, racism is racism, no matter who is guilty of or complaining about it. No matter which race is doing the discriminating. It is time we recognize the disturbing trend in America today of excusing black against white racism while condemning white against black.

In our zealousness to eliminate racism in America, we are creating a society wherein blacks are considered the superior race and whites will be compelled to cast their eyes down when blacks pass by and genuflect in their presence.

I am not racist, but I myself have experienced this "new" racism in our culture. I used to live in a predominantly black neighborhood in Kansas City and I shopped in stores whose employees were predominately black. Several times, I have personally endured a condescending attitude from black cashiers and then watched as the next customer in line, who was black, was treated with great respect and friendliness. The difference in treatment is unmistakable.

The difference is, I don't sue for racism everytime a black man looks at me crosseyed.

If racism in this country is to be conquered permanently, we must begin to recognize racism in every case. Not just in selected ones.

And when it isn't racism, as well.


Dan Trabue said...

Certainly, anyone can be racist - black, white or color of your choice. I'm not disputing that.

What I am disputing is the notion that "playing the race card" is racist. It's not.

It may be wrong, or a bad idea, or it may even be right, but it is not racism. Racism is, "the believe that a particular race is superior to others."

By "playing the race card," she is not asserting that her race is superior to others. What she may be saying is that she's paranoid, or that she's had a history of being unfairly singled out by whites (and, thus, it can be understood why she'd be sensitive), or that she's being politically manipulative.

She is not, however, being racist.

Words have meanings.

Mark said...

Of course she's racist, Dan. She continually makes statements that are baselessly derogatory to whites and racially charged. As do Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Lewis Farrakhan, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Charley Rangel, Maxine Waters, etc.

Francis Lynn said...

It is a typical ploy of some blacks to charge others with racism or as racists. Whether they themselves are racists matters not. The race card is a convenient tool used for intimidation, refusal to accept personal responsibility or failure, & to get what they can't get through other means.

We see the pro-illegal immigration crowd using the same tactics - Americans are racists if they want border control & immigration reform.

We are not impressed by any charges they make concerning racism.

old soldier said...

I do not understand the phrase, “playing the race card,” to mean only that one is asserting their race to be superior; rather that one is the victim of someone else’s [superior] racist tendency as well. In this case Ms. McKinney asserts that by pointedly referring to herself as “a female black congresswoman” when “congresswoman” was an adequate description. It appears clear to me that she is assuming a black female victim status predicated upon a stereotypical perception that white male cops are racist. She makes no allowance for the possibility that the cop truly did not recognize her and was doing his job to the best of his ability. To allow other members of the black community to amplify the “black female victim of white male racism” position only serves to further solidify that fact that the “race card” indeed has been played.

Great post, Mark; I believe you were right on target.

Gayle said...

Brilliant post, Mark! And yes, she is a racist.

Also, you spelled "uncharacteristically" correctly... just so you know. Not that I'm a better speller than you, but spell check on my e-mail works very well, so I check it out of curiosity. :)

Back on topic: I have also been a victim of racism, and you are right about the fact that "reverse racism" means "no racism." But if I say I am the victim of racism, then most will assume I am not white, especially when they cannot see me. So I think we're stuck with the "reverse racism" thing, even though it's wrong. What a world!

I think she's going to be charged with assault. I hope so, anyway.

Sheila said...

I have no doubt that some of that may be true.

But Dan has a point too. Instead of just coloring this as completely McKinney's fault. Have a heart, all of you and stop playing the race card yourselves. Which is all I am reading today. Your all good people but your upbringing is showing.

NO, I don't say feel sorry for her. She obviously was indecient in her reaction. BUT, my intimate knowledge of the Capitol police leads me to question a bit of it and think more.

The Capitol Police are required to memorize House and Senate Faces before they can stand that watch.

The House and Senate only come through one doorway. Police are not allowed to use their hands and physically stop someone. They use visual eye and hand gestures. They draw their guns if they think it's necessary. They don't touch.

Now Ms. McKinney as well as others are used to just walking in and not paying attention to their surroundings. I've seen all members do this. They have "Staff" to watch and guide them.

Ms. McKinney has been known to be hyper about being mistreated or being singled out. I'm not sure it's apropriate in Congress, however it's her constituents that elected her many years back and have been satisfied with her hard work.

I bet you all understand that type of maltreatment that can cause this type of scaring in a person's personality. The defense mode is hard to get rid of.

SO, Capitol Police misread and mishandle her. They don't recognise her and she's been going through that door for a good while. She over-reacts by being physically handled and spouts crap. and WaLa!

YOu have a very uncomfortable situation.

Is she racist? Well believe it or not, by skimming over the daily read, you guys are assuming how she thinks by your past hurts too.

So I say, she's predjudice and so are you guys. There are always circumstances of prejudice and upbringing past on through mistreatment and or the way your parents taught you.

I bet you a dime to a dollar she is not elected again.

But does she dserve to have you guys pass your judgement on why she did this? Think about it.

Sheila said...

By the way Mark,

The raving Liberal Enjoyed our exchange too.:)

Goat said...

Shiela, she is such a loser race baiter, she lost the primary for her own seat in a black district and blames it on racism. She is the epitomy of the modern day DNC, violent, racist and really wierd, nowonder they can't win an election even while conservatives are stumbling all over themselves to give it to them.

Marie's Two Cents said...

It must be hell being a Capitol Police Officer!
I bet they hold their breath when Teddy comes stagering in.

Liam said...

I can't comment on the views of the lady involved, but as for the incident itself; if it's just the Capitol police doing their job then surely there will be other (non-black) Congress Men and Women out there who have had similar experiences of being stopped when their ID is not visible? Can't somebody round up a few of those on the news to make the point? If not, then Ms McKinney may have a case.

Erudite Redneck said...

Paybacks are hell, ain't they?

Goat said...

Yes they are, ER, yes they are.