In my "Black Education Disaster" column (12/22/10), I presented National Assessment of Educational Progress test data that demonstrated that an average black high school graduate had a level of reading, writing and math proficiency of a white seventh- or eighth-grader. The public education establishment bears part of the responsibility for this disaster, but a greater portion is borne by black students and their parents, many of whom who are alien and hostile to the education process.
Let's look at the education environment in many schools and ask how conducive it is to the education process. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nationally during 2007-2008, more than 145,000 teachers were physically attacked. Six percent of big-city schools report verbal abuse of teachers and 18 percent report non-verbal disrespect for teachers.
An earlier NCES study found that 18 percent of the nation's schools accounted for 75 percent of the reported incidents of violence, and 6.6 percent accounted for 50 percent. So far as serious violence, murder and rapes, 1.9 percent of schools reported 50 percent of the incidents. The preponderance of school violence occurs in big-city schools attended by black students.
During his (in)famous "Psycho Talk" segment of his Thursday evening MSNBC show, host Ed Schultz played the clip of Rick Santorum's interview with Terry Jeffrey of CNSNews.com where Santorum challenged President Obama's plea of ignorance on the question of when a person receives the right to life. Schultz, himself a loud-mouth liberal radio talk show host prone to crazy talk branded Santorum's comments as "psycho talk."
Rick Santorum said the following about Barack Obama and abortion in the interview: "The question is--and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer--is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well, if that person, human life, is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, no, we are going to decide who are people and who are not people."
He later followed up his comments with a statement comparing abortion with slavery, and said he is "disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in this country."
In an interview with CNSNews.com last week, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) referenced President Obama's African-American heritage last week and "found it remarkable" that he could be pro-abortion. Santorum, later clarifying his comments under media scrutiny, said he meant he is dismayed that a President who "rightfully" fights for civil rights ignores the civil rights of the unborn in America.
Santorum, speaking of President Obama's position on abortion, said in the interview "the question is--and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer--is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well, if that person, human life, is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, no, we are going to decide who are people and who are not people."
The media picked up on the comment and, without publishing what Santorum said leading up to the segment, questioned if he had racial motivations. Jennifer Epstein's Politico piece was headlined "Rick Santorum plays race card on President Obama." Epstein labeled Santorum's remark "eyebrow-raising."
If Barack Obama is going to win re-election, he's going to have to count on massive, overwhelming, support from his base. And what better way to gin up that base than by accusing Republicans of Jim Crow racism?
Rush Limbaugh played an amazing montage today of a series of Dems using the "discrimination" talking point in describing Republican opposition to ObamaCare. Ed Schultz took the notion a giant step further on his MSNBC show this evening, flatly claiming that GOP opposition amounts to a "pre-civil rights attitude." Got that, base? Opposing ObamaCare = George Wallace at the schoolhouse door. Welcome to the new era of civility!
Especially on Martin Luther King Day, it seems worth asking whether or not the assassinated civil rights leaders would have cared more about:
Whether a talk radio host told his audience, in reference to the No Child Left Behind Act causing many school districts, including the Toledo Public Schools (TPS), to believe they must "teach to the test" to avoid serious sanctions: "teaching little monkeys to peel bananas and so on and then doing it correctly on cue, does not mean that they’ve learned everything except a funny parlor trick."
The fact that TPS is rated dead-last in its metro area, and failed to meet state test-result requirements in 21 of 24 testing categories in the 2009-2010 academic year. The worst examples: In the eighth grade, only 39.0% and 34.3% of TPS students tested as proficient in math and science, respectively. According to Toledo-area blogger and sometime WSPD host Maggie Thurber, the District is also "facing a $38 million deficit and ... 58% of voters said no to their last levy request."
I think it's safe to say that King would have preferred that attention stay focused on dealing with Toledo's schools, and for that matter Ohio's schools in general, as according to the just referenced Ohio Department of Education (ODE) report card, TPS actually outperformed (actually, "less underperformed") "similar districts" in the Buckeye State in 15 of those 24 categories.
But that must not be how the Toledo Blade sees it. The far left Blade, which in distant-past editorials regaled readers with its indispensable importance as a Glass City civic institution and has been in a figurative war with local talk station WSPD for years, clearly thought it saw an opening when host Brian Wilson said the following on January 7:
Appearing on MSNBC, Monday, to promote his new special on Barack Obama, Chris Matthews attacked "older white people" for still holding bigoted feelings against the first African American President.
Lavishing praise on younger Americans, he added, "And I think that's a generalization and I'll stick with it. I think younger people do not see race as an obstacle." He then touted the "non-judgmental" attitude of Obama voters, fawning, "In fact, they say [race is] irrelevant and don't even notice it, whereas older people notice it all the time."
If "older white people" are focused on race, Matthews could certainly be one of them. On January 27, 2010, after Obama's State of the Union address, he oddly alerted, "You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour...I was watching, I said, 'Wait a minute. He's an African-American guy in front of a bunch of other white people, and there he is, President of the United States, and we've completely forgotten that tonight.'"
MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell hosted Johnson Publishing CEO Desiree Rogers on her 1 p.m. EST show Tuesday to discuss the causes and effects of violent political rhetoric. Johnson publishes Ebony magazine, an African-American publication, the current issue of which features articles measuring the level of racist speech within the Tea Party and questioning Obama's toughness in dealing with such vitriol.
Mitchell called the articles "provocative" and "recommended" reading. She also asked Rogers if she thought the racist political rhetoric has reached its highest levels now that an African-American is President.
"Some very provocative articles here about whether [President Obama] is tough enough and whether or not the politics that we've been seeing – Tea Party politics, and the like – really reach a new level of white supremacism, of anti-African-American rhetoric," Mitchell summarized the recent issue of Ebony.
A brief January 1 item from the Associated Press's Barry Massey on the inauguration of Susana Martinez ("Martinez becomes NM gov as new year starts") began as follows:
Republican Susana Martinez has claimed her place in history as New Mexico's first female governor, taking office with the start of the new year.
If it weren't for the "place in history" part, I might have blown right by it without hesitation. But speaking of a "place in history," especially at a wire service that sometimes seems overly obsessed with race and racial milestones, it's more than a little odd that the AP dispatch failed to note what the AP's Jesse Washington reported on Election Night in November:
Minorities ride GOP wave to groundbreaking wins The Republican wave produced groundbreaking results for minority candidates, from Latina and Indian-American governors to a pair of black congressmen from the Deep South.
If you were Haley Barbour's political consultant, and he had indicated his intention to make his reported remarks about the White Citizens Council, would you have counseled him to reconsider? I sure would have.
That said, there was a hypocritical double-standard on display by the Morning Joe folks who turned Haley slowly over a spit today. Hat tip NB reader Ray R.
Eugene Robinson took the lead in belting Barbour for sending his children to private schools in Mississippi rather than to local public schools attended by black children. Joe Scarborough chimed in with his Mississippi-childhood recollections of such post-integration private academies springing up. Mike Barnicle did his bit, contributing the tale of whites in South Boston pulling their kids out of integrated public schools in favor of parochial and private ones.
One thing was missing from the conversational mix, however: any reference to the tradition of Dems in DC--from Bill and Hillary, to the Gores, to of course the Obamas--sending their kids [or in the case of the Bidens, grandkids] to tony private schools like Sidwell Friends rather than to the heavily African-American public DC schools.
Chris Matthews called it "the quote of the night," so let's see how our NewsBusters readers respond. Here was Barney Frank, reacting to the assertion by a young Marine that they are a macho bunch whereas gays are "girlie":
"I will confess that I left my purse at home."
Later, MSNBC political analyst Michelle Bernard, in a stunning non sequitur, was incapable of understanding how John McCain could oppose DADT repeal while having some years ago apologized for initially opposing the creation of Martin Luther King Day. Huh? For good measure, Bernard called McCain "the male Palin" and accused the entire state of Arizona of being "anti-immigrant."
Al Sharpton said Thursday he spoke to the Federal Communications Commission about holding public hearings next year that Rush Limbaugh would be forced to attend to explain so-called "racist" statements he's made on the air.
Chatting with MSNBC's Ed Schultz, Sharpton said he had a "very good meeting on Tuesday" with FCC officials and that "some of the commissioners" were interested enough in following up on his concerns that this could come to fruition in the coming months (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Roland Martin went on a tirade against Rush Limbaugh on his "Washington Watch" program on TV One on Sunday, labeling the conservative talker a "right-wing blowhard" and "absolute idiot" for pretending not to know anything about the black-oriented TV network. Martin claimed that he was "more fair and sensible" than Limbaugh, but his list of guests alone betrays a definite liberal bias.
The CNN contributor went after the talk show host in his "Call 'Em Out" segment, which lasted just under three minutes during the 11 am Eastern hour program. In a teaser for the segment, Martin trumpeted how "that right-wing blowhard Rush Limbaugh needs some schooling about this show, 'Washington Watch,' and TV One. Trust me, I'm gonna give it to him."
During the actual segment (video available here), the TV One host led with his "absolute idiot" label for Limbaugh and played a clip from the December 6, 2010 edition of the conservative's show, where he needled Martin and his network (audio of Limbaugh available here):
Can two grown men really be this dumb, or is their hatred for conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh so blinding they wouldn't know sarcasm if it punched them in the face?
As tough as it might be to believe, Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton actually took seriously Limbaugh's joke that media outlets criticizing President Obama's tax compromise plan did so because they are racist (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If you thought the media attacks on Sarah Palin and her family were deplorable in 2008, it's clear with the 2012 presidential campaign starting and her name being bandied about, you ain't seen nuttin' yet.
Take the Washington Post's Richard Cohen for example who penned a column Tuesday concluding, "She could not be the president of black America nor of Hispanic America":
Appearing as a guest on Saturday’s Huckabee show on FNC, Whoopi Goldberg - co-host of ABC’s The View - complained that bloggers disseminate inaccurate information about her without the need to "fact check," and that "they poop on you and they walk away." Goldberg: "But a blogger can say endless stuff. They don't have to fact check. ... And then that is picked up and made into some other story on another station, and it becomes the truth. See, I think fact outweighs assumption. So if you have facts in your hands, then you can talk, then you can have a conversation... People just, they poop on you and they walk away."
After asserting that she has said "not one thing" on ABC’s The View that she regrets saying, Goldberg soon added, "And I've gotten flack for what I felt was fact as opposed to someone's speculation."
But Goldberg has her own history of helping spread misinformation on The View. Last May, she and other co-hosts repeated the distorted claims of a left-wing organization in Texas which alleged that conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education were trying to downplay or eliminate references to slavery in its grade school history curriculum. On the Monday, May 17 show, Behar misinformed viewers with sarcasm: "Remember that thing called the 'slave trade'? Remember that? Okay, it turns out, what you learned was all wrong. Because it wasn't some evil buying and selling of human beings. It was simply called 'Atlantic triangular trade.' That's what they want to call it now. It's called revisionism. People do it about the Holocaust, and now Texas wants to do it about our country."
Moments later, Goldberg chimed in, "I’m sorry. Slavery was slavery. You can’t recall it." Instead of reading out the actual wording from the curriculum plan, panel members seemed only to refer to third-party accounts of the proposed changes.
And in April, the panel on the View helped feed the misinformed hysteria over Arizona’s effort to enforce federal immigration laws as some of her co-hosts assumed the new state law would require racial profiling and targeting of Hispanics, failing to convey that Arizona law enforcement would only check immigration documents of suspects who have been detained for some other reason. Goldberg acted more as moderator on this occasion and was not as outspoken as other co-hosts in making assertions about the new law, but she did not challenge the claims of her co-hosts and seemed to assume they were accurate. Goldberg, from the April 26 The View:
A couple of NewsBusters posts during the past week -- one from yours truly and another courtesy of Ken Shepherd -- have pointed to the press's reluctance to identify the Democratic Party affiliations of indicted Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson and his also-indicted wife Leslie, who is a County Council member.
Today, the Associated Press's Brian Witte kept up the wire service's tradition of either not naming the party of an indicted Democrat or deferring that identification until very late in the report (in the apparent hope that subscribing outlets picking up the story won't use it). Jack Johnson's party affiliation was saved for the 19th paragraph; Witte never identified his wife's party affiliation. Witte further quoted a Republican who commented on the situation in Paragraph 10, and noted that said Republican "ran against Johnson in 2002" in Paragraph 11, leaving it vague as to whether it was a primary or general election contest.
Finally, Witte gave voice to people who believes that the Johnsons and ultimately other county officials are being targeted based on their African-American ethnicity -- in county where two-thirds of its residents are African-American.
After spending much of his week accusing Rush Limbaugh of racism, Ed Schultz on Friday made the same absurd claim about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
Following in the footsteps of others on his network as well as the liberal blogosphere, the MSNBCer said it was racist for Palin to refer to comments Michelle Obama made in 2008 about never having been proud of her country before her husband started winning primaries.
It was also racist of Palin to mention in her book the Obamas' connection to Rev. Jeremiah Wright (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN personality Soledad O'Brien revealed in her new book that liberal activist Jesse Jackson put her down for her skin color during a private meeting in 2007. During the meeting, Jackson complained to O'Brien, whose mother is a black woman from Cuba, that there weren't any black anchors on CNN. When she pointed out that she was the anchor of American Morning, the activist replied, "You don't count."
O'Brien, who is now a special correspondent for CNN, recounted the 2007 incident in "The Next Big Story," which CNN.com excerpted on November 3. Just before her meeting with Jackson, the journalist had obtained "exclusive access to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s papers," as the lead-in for the excerpt underlined. Soon after this, as O'Brien recalled, "Jackson calls with an invitation to meet and talk." The two met at a restaurant "on the first floor of a famous hotel" and in the course of their conversation, the subject of the racial makeup of her network came up:
Samuels made her complaint in light of NBC's cancellation of it's ratings-plagued spy series, "Undercovers," which featured a black actor and actress in the lead roles as glamorous and deadly CIA agents:
What is it with MSNBC hosts and their inability to keep prominent African-Americans straight? As NewsBuster Kyle Drennen noted, last year Contessa Brewer confused Jesse Jackson with Al Sharpton.
Tonight it was Chris Matthews' turn. Introducing Dem congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the Hardball host called him "Congressman Clyburn," a reference to James Clyburn of South Carolina, currently engaged in a Dem leadership fight with Steny Hoyer. View video after the jump.
"CNN Newsroom" host Don Lemonis miffed at the GOP -- and he let CNN Senior Political Editor Mark Preston know it on Sunday night. When Preston noted that since the Republicans are once again in the majority in the House of Representatives, they're going to have "to come up and they have learn how to govern," Lemon responded that "They have to learn how the answer the question. Because one person said, was talking about his run for president and the interviewer kept asking him, what are the specifics. Well, my family and I are going to take the Christmas time and pray. I wanted to throw stuff at the television." Mere moments before, Lemon indicated to Preston that he had watched every single Sunday morning talk show and "was so frustrated with these (Republican) guys. Like, why aren't they answering the questions."
CNN's Don Lemon tossed softballs at leftist writer Tim Wise on Sunday's Newsroom, mostly reading back excerpts from his latest column, which the anchor labeled a "withering rebuke of...the 'white right.'" Lemon even twice emphasized how Wise has apparently received death threats over the column, where he slammed "conservative old white people [who] have pretty much always been the bad guys."
The CNN anchor interviewed Wise for nearly eight minutes during a segment 10 minutes into the 7 pm Eastern hour. Lemon began with "withering rebuke" label and continued that the author "begins with a disclaimer that he is not referring to all white people, and that his essay is not anti-white. He says it is addressed to- quote, 'The white community that is right-wing.'" He then turned to his guest and seemed to compliment him before asking his first question: "I was actually- I have to be honest- a little bit stunned when I read this because your language is unusually rough and raw. We know that you tell it like it is. You called the election results a temper tantrum and you sound mad as hell....do you regret using any of this fiery rhetoric?"
On Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's Anderson Cooper refreshingly admonished a Democratic state senator in Alabama for his "incendiary injection of race in the final days of this election." Cooper interrogated Hank Sanders for his robocall which predicted the return of the "cotton fields of Jim Crow" if the Democrat candidates for governor and lieutenat governor weren't elected.
The anchor led his program with a promo of his "Keeping Them Honest' segment which included his "incendiary injection of race" label of Rep. Sanders's robocall. Two minutes later, Cooper played the Democratic state senator's recording: "This is Hank Sanders, Alabama state senator, and I'm still mad as hell. I say, hell no! I ain't going back to the cotton fields of Jim Crow days. I'm going forward with Ron Sparks, Jim Folsom, and others who would do right by all of us. I hope you're mad as hell and will not go back, and you have the power to choose. I will stand until hell freezes over."
Before playing his interview with Rep. Sanders, the CNN anchor stated, "It's a pretty serious charge to make, but does he have actual evidence to back up his statements?" He continued on this note in his first question to the Democrat:
Sometimes Keith Olbermann struggles with reality. But he's apparently found a solution: insist that 2+2=5 and hammer with insults anyone who says otherwise.
That was his strategy today when he flatly denied he had ever claimed that "cocky" was a "code word" for various racist attacks against President Barack Obama. Shown video of him saying just that, he denied it some more, and then started in with the attacks.
In awarding six conservative pundits the coveted "Worst Person in the World" title in January, Olbermann said the following:
CNN led their hour-long documentary "Boiling Point: Inside the Tea Party," which aired on Saturday and Sunday, with the regular accusation from liberals that racism is "running rampant" in the Tea Party movement. Host Shannon Travis highlighted the NAACP's resolution, disgraced former Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams's self-described "foolish satire," and played up two racially-charged signs.
Before raising the racism charge, Travis raised another liberal stereotype perpetuated by the mainstream media: the angry Tea Party: "This is what you know about the Tea Party Movement: rallies like these, angry protesters demanding that lawmakers spend less of your money and spend more time adhering to the Constitution." After stating that "rallies like these across the country, don't tell the full picture" and that "there's a lot you don't know about the Tea Party movement," the CNN host stopped briefly to give some poll numbers on the partisan breakdown of the movement before proceeding to the race issue:
Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman defended View host Joy Behar on Thursday's Anderson Cooper 360: "I'm standing with Joy Behar because she nailed it when she went after Sharron Angle for the xenophobia, for the racist type of campaign she has run, and for, in fact, exploiting prejudice and bigotry" [audio available here].
Zimmerman, a one-time political analyst for CNN and a member of the Democratic National Committee since 2000, appeared on a panel with Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, Huffington Post founding editor Roy Sekoff, and author Michael Maslansky. Midway through the segment, co-host Eliot Spitzer played a radio ad from Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition which included the statement, "It's us versus them- big government versus a big belief in faith and freedom- Sharron Angle versus Harry Reid."
On Friday, the CBS Early Show and NBC's Today avoided any discussion of the Democratic Party's racial insensitivity in trying to get black Florida senate candidate Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race. On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos quoted Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on that very issue.
All three network morning shows conducted interviews with Meek, but only Stephanopoulos asked if the candidate was offended by the notion that Democratic Party officials were trying to force him out: "Michael Steele put out a statement last night where he said, 'Even the conversations sent a chilling signal to all voters.' He went on to say, 'One can only imagine the response if Republican leadership tried to force out of the race in the 11th hour a qualified black candidate like Kendrick Meek.' Were you offended by these conversations?" Meek replied by implying Steele was playing the race card: "Let's put it this way, I mean, you know the reason why Michael Steele put out the statement and I'll just leave it at that."
Most readers are probably unaware that the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School who was also the first female surgical intern at Boston City Hospital passed away this weekend.
I would suggest that the coverage is so quiet because Mildred Jefferson was also an important pro-life pioneer.
Though marred by the fact that she consistently characterized Ms. Jefferson as "antiabortion" instead of as "prolife," the obituary by Kathleen Burge at the Boston Globe captured much of the essence of this marvelous woman (bolds are mine):
As it's grown in influence and power, the Tea Party movement is increasingly being attacked by fearful liberals looking for ways to paint it as racist. One of their favorite lines of late is that the desire to "take the country back" is actually veiled bigotry, even a call to return to institutionalized racism. Considering how many liberals used this phrase during the Bush 43 administration, however, this is yet another case of media liberals throwing stones from a glass house.
"We're talking about the extreme portions of the tea party movement and they're overwhelmingly white. Those are the folks that are saying I want my country back," Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart said on today's "Morning Joe". "And it does have that tinge of I want my country back from them." The word racism was never mentioned, but check out the video below the fold. The implication was clear.
No word yet on whether Capehart and every other media personality to parrot this line of attack also think racism animates Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, James Carville, Paul Begala, Nation editor in chief Katrina vanden Heuvel, and libtalker Thom Hartmann. All have used the phrase "take our country back" or some form of it in electoral rallying cries (see details below the fold).