Racism

By Paul Bremmer | March 21, 2014 | 12:11 PM EDT

On Thursday’s PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton was irritated that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) dared to suggest that President Obama should be more concerned about NSA spying because of our country’s history of civil rights leaders being spied upon. Sharpton thundered, “[W]ho is Rand Paul to make this point? This is a cynical use of race from some on the right.”

It was “cynical,” according to Sharpton, because some Republicans have done the opposite of Paul and criticized Obama when he does talk about race. But who is Al Sharpton to accuse someone else of the cynical use of race? The reverend has built his career by relentlessly exploiting racial issues.

By Ken Shepherd | March 19, 2014 | 4:16 PM EDT

In what may be a new low for MSNBC.com, writer Adam Serwer today all but compared Chief Justice John Roberts to his most infamous predecessor, Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision.

"Shameful link in Voting Rights Act decision," blared the teaser headline in the lightbox at msnbc.com. "Legal scholars argue the decision striking down part of the Voting Rights Act is rooted in the Dred Scott decision, considered the worst in U.S. history," noted the photo caption [see screen capture at bottom of post]

By Matthew Balan | March 19, 2014 | 12:30 AM EDT

On Tuesday, all three broadcast network evening newscasts devoted full reports to President Obama honoring 24 members of the military – only three still living – with the Medal of Honor. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley trumpeted how the President "righted a historic wrong. He presented the nation's highest military award to 24 Americans, after a review determined that they had been passed over because they were Hispanic or African-American or Jewish." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

However, during the fifth year of former President George W. Bush's presidency, the Big Three channels furiously covered the allegations against several U.S. Marines, who were accused of killing civilians in Iraq in November 2005. Between May 17 and June 7, 2006 – a three week period – ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted three and a half hours of air time to the accusations of misconduct. These same networks aired only 52 minutes of reporting on 20 military heroes from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during a five-year period between September 2001 and June 2006.

By Tom Blumer | March 9, 2014 | 11:56 PM EDT

Alabama Democratic State Representative Alvin Holmes, who recently created a firestorm by calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas "a very prolific Uncle Tom," was at it again on Tuesday.

This time, the issue at hand was a "fetal heartbeat" bill restricting abortions. Holmes, who apparently needs no help seeing racism in just about anything, claimed, in the words of Kala Kachmar at the Montgomery Advertiser, that "99 percent of the white legislators in the chamber would raise their hand to say they're against abortion, and that same 99 percent would make their daughters get an abortion if they were impregnated by a black man." Holmes was also robbed of his wallet and $300 earlier in the week. Guess which story was worthy of coverage at the Associated Press? With rare exceptions, the rest of the U.S. press also appears to have ignored Holmes' raging racism.

By Tom Blumer | March 8, 2014 | 8:25 PM EST

Few have defended the Obama administration, and especially Obamacare, as vocally and in my view often unreasonably, as Fox News's Juan Williams. He has gone so far as to call Republican Party opposition to Obamacare its "original sin," and absurdly claimed that "massive opposition" from Republicans is what forced HealthCare.gov's rushed rollout.

One blind spot Williams does not have involves how consistently horribly leftists treat African-American conservatives, or even African-Americans who express an occasional sensibly conservative thought. One reason the left is so brazen in its persecution attempts is its knowledge that no matter how uncivil or unreasonable, their attempts will almost never gain wide exposure in the nation's establishment press. The latest example concerns calls by the faculty at Rutgers University to prevent former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from her scheduled appearance as commencement speaker there this year. Williams expressed his outrage in a Thursday Fox News column (HT Hot Air; bolds are mine):

By Ken Shepherd | March 6, 2014 | 5:46 PM EST

Law professor and conservative/libertarian blogger Eugene Volokh has an excellent takedown of the noxious racism of one Randa Jarrar. The Palestinian-American writer published a screed at the left-wing online magazine Salon [see screen capture here] on Tuesday entitled, "Why I can’t stand white belly dancers." The long and short of it is that Ms. Jarrar views as "unwittingly racist" the practice of say a woman of European descent "appropriating" belly dancing by, well, belly-dancing at say an Arab restaurant (presumably for tips). Ms. Jarrar compared such a thing to both to drag queen performances -- wait, isn't that comparison "homophobic"? -- and the long-discredited practice of white performances doing a blackface routine.

Enter Mr. Volokh,  who thoroughly eviscerated Ms. Jarrar's claims while slamming the hypocrisy of a liberal publication proudly printing such racist garbage, when they wouldn't dream of -- and rightly so -- printing someone denouncing say an Asian person performing a classical music piece (emphasis mine):

By Matthew Balan | March 6, 2014 | 3:03 PM EST

Sunny Hostin blasted an Indiana mall's ban of people wearing raised hoodies on Thursday's New Day: "This is...akin, in my view...to 'stop and frisk' – to the pretext of 'stop and frisk' – and I think many courts have found that this type of behavior is unacceptable, and downright unconstitutional."

The CNN legal analyst also contended that "'hoodie' is code for 'thug' in many places," and later claimed that "to identify just hoodies in my view...it's very, very clear what we're talking about here. We're talking about racial profiling. It's code for racial profiling." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Tom Blumer | March 3, 2014 | 10:38 AM EST

In December, NPR, the New York Times, National Journal, and other establishment press platforms gave the Republican National Committee grief over the following tweet: "Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in ending racism." The tweet erronseously shortened the following sentence from a longer GOP statement: "“We remember and honor Rosa Parks today for the role she played in fighting racism and ending segregation." Juliet Lapidos at the Times noted that the tweet was corrected in 3-1/2 hours, and seemed to lament that it took so long.

On Friday, "the official Twitter account of the Democratic Party" tweeted the following in support of increasing the federally mandated minimum wage (HT Patterico):

By Mark Finkelstein | February 28, 2014 | 2:51 PM EST

Reading the transcript isn't enough. Roll the video, listen carefully, and at the end you'll catch Ronan Farrow's nervous little laugh as he asks an African-American guest whether, in assessing movie-industry diversity, it "matters" that Steve McQueen, the black director whose film has been nominated for an Oscar, is British.

Such are the PC pitfalls once one wades into the bog of diversity bean-counting.  But beyond the specific subject matter, Farrow's teensy twitter suggests, as other critics have noted, as here and here, how green and unsure of himself is the young man MSNBC hopes to make a star. View the video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | February 23, 2014 | 7:30 PM EST

In an interview with the black website TheRoot, incoming MSNBC host Joy Reid repeated the usual network mantra that “Everyone at MSNBC has a different, unique perspective," and she hopes her new 2pm Eastern show will be a “table-setter for prime time.” Translation: whatever "War on Women" or Bridgegate segment I’m doing at 2 will be repeated at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.....by one "unique perspective" after another.

Reid claimed to lament a political climate that she says has "just become really nasty" and made civilized disagreements few and far between. It's thanks in part to what she calls a "very virulent strain that is sort of in the underbelly of society." It’s racism, or the right wing’s horrid tendency to counter-accuse MSNBC of racism, like the accusation is a weapon:

By Tom Blumer | February 11, 2014 | 11:53 PM EST

Veteran journalist David Collins is a columnist at the New London Day in Connecticut.

In a column supposedly published on Sunday but "updated" on Saturday (I'm not kidding), Collins assessed the aftermath of the Supreme Court's odious Kelo v. New London decision in 2005 in reacting to a lengthy story by Charlotte Allen in the February 10 issue of the Weekly Standard. In the process, he betrayed two erroneous mindsets about the case which I believe are common among members of the establishment press. The first is that it was purely a matter of "conservatives" backing property rights against "liberal interventionism." The second is his contention that the total lack of any development in the contested area in the nearly nine years since the Court's decision "is not that compelling beyond New London."

By Tom Blumer | February 9, 2014 | 12:48 PM EST

This past Monday, Andrew Theen at the Oregonian reported that "Trader Joe's is backing away from a development in Northeast Portland," citing, in the company's words, "negative reactions from the community."

Actually, the vast majority of "the community" wanted the grocery chain to build in the once bustling but now troubled area. Theen quoted Portland's "city leaders" as calling the decision "a loss for the city and particularly for Northeast Portland." Neighbors and business owners in the area, described here as "once the heart of Portland’s African-American community," had been "thrilled" about the project. It's people who largely aren't part of that community who opposed the deal. On Friday, as will be seen after the jump, Theen had a chance to fully expose the radical, backward-looking grievance mongers who stopped progress, and to a significant extent blew it.