Thursday, May 15, 2008

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN WEST VIRGINIA, AND THAT THE PRESS DOES NOT WANT TO DISCUSS.....


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" I am Here because of Bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a Bridge. Harriet Tubman was a Bridge. Ida B.Wells was Bridge.Fannie Lou Hammer was a Bridge." Oprah Winfrey

Before we talk about West Virginia, I think we need to think about Who and What Barack Obama is...I think in many ways he is Our Bridge to the Future....and away from an era where Racism was accepted, ignored or at worst embraced.

I think many of us were stunned about West Virginia....I have family there , yes real live Relatives that I have not seen in Years. But what I realized this week, maybe Nothing has really Changed there since the 1950's and 1960's....Maybe this Region did not Survive the Civil Rights Movement.They are stuck in a Timewarp.

When I watched the results come in I sat and watched with my Teenage Son, and he asked What is WRONG with those People. We sat and discussed the Results and what could contribute to them. Obama did lose by 40 point, and it was a stinging loss that does need Examination. What Contributed ? We looked up Libraries, Internet and Cable Service, and even Coffee Shop and Starbucks Numbers. 6-6 really did think that Lack of Internet was a critical element, as when we don't get thorough coverage we look it up on the Internet. ( And we know alot of people do that).We Looked up the number of Colleges and Institutions of Higher Learning. BUT......I have to sadly admit....I don't think it is any of these... Not really. It is Something Much Uglier.

IT IS RACISM...
We watched the John Stewart Show and sure enough he had YouTubes of People interviewed there, it was stunning, shameful and worrisome....But sadly there are more Clips on the Internet and on Youtube that verify many locals when they were questioned about WHO to Vote for, They admitted they could not and would not Vote for a Black Man. 7% of the Voters there Voted for Edwards, to me that means 7% could not and would not Vote for a Man or a Woman. Which indeed Reflects a Timewarp....and Huge Problem with us as a Country.

BUT this is also WHY Hillary stating that she is well supported by "HARD WORKING WHITE AMERICANS" is more than Offensive, she has therefore given Approval and Permission for Racism to Live on, and she has also condoned ALL the Hate Mongering and Slurs that go with it. And her Phone Workers use it freely when they call on the phone. And in recent states Obama 's HQ's have suffered damage,vandalism and threats, even though the media has been slow to cover it. Today MSNBC did mention the Damage at HQ in Indiana weeks ago. Hillary never did apologize for what she said and the Media gave her silence for what she did...This was not presidential and lacked Leadership.And sadly because the Media silently accepted WHAT she said, the Playbook can now be handed giftwrapped to McCains' people with big bow.

Hillary and Bill Clinton for all their Legacy, will indeed have to find a way to Show Leadership on this Issue and repair the social damage that they have wrought and proliferated. The Flyers and emails and phone calls that were made in States, about Muslim Heritage, and listed his middle name, and called him a " Half Blood" or attacked his Patriotism and his Faith. Some of these were sent many many monthes ago, they can not be blamed on McCain. And sadly the other backlash of WHAT has been done in Hillary's name also reflects on the Good Souls that did trust and believe in her and wanted to help her, and are now disillusioned and shamed, and battle weary. They also now feel like they have NOWHERE to go and no one to Support, they worry they will be disenfranchised and shunned. Bill and Hillary, will both have to learn to Apologize and also show Some Grace and Mend Fences and attempt to repair this damage. They will have to show some real Leadership as they exit.

In the Meantime we can not wait for the Clintons to take off their rose colored glasses and take responsibility, we must take that responsibility into our hands. For the Safety and dignity of Senator Obama it is up to us to speak honestly and clearly when we see or hear Racial Slurs or Insinuations, that will make us Better Americans. And Help us cross a Bridge to the Future, and Oprah described People as Bridges, and if that be so, Senator Obama is indeed Our Bridge.

"But Suppose God is Black ? What if we go to Heaven and we all of our lives have treated negroes as inferior, and God is there , and and we look up and he is Not White, What then is our Response ?" Robert F.Kennedy 1968

*{{ Click the Title and it links to Robert Rouse found an amazing Interview video from West Virginia, that clearly shows how much of a problem we have...}}*

29 comments:

enigma4ever said...

I have been using Norman Rockwell's art because he in hsi art shows the pain,confusion and angst of the Civil Rights Era...and I think that anyone that lived through that Era is worried right now..and feeling the Tension and wondering if we so much further down the line ...why does it in some ways feel like 1968 ....

The Only people that have even come close to identifying how severe this issue was Jon Stewart....through Humor he blew the trumpet that we have a problem....and Saturday Night Live also put it forward...

Now is our time to talk about it...

betmo said...

whatever legacy the clintons may have had has been squandered by them letting the world see them as they really are. we are the ones who had the rose colored glasses. i posted the other day on how happy i am to be moving. i can't stand my neighborhood anymore. why? i got to really know my neighbors. they are the typical blue collar white people with no college education. they shop at walmart and eat at olive garden as haute cuisine- and lord you would think that they are royalty with those $40,000 tract houses built by their grandparents. but--- no blacks can live on the street. doesn't matter that we have had rental trash on the block in all shapes, forms and colors- can't be black. i almost had a fit. i stopped going to block parties after the sat around making homophobic jokes after seeing 2 lesbians put their wedding in the paper like any other happy couple. no matter what i said or how i said it- nothing has changed their hearts and mind.

we live in a country where a woman constantly hollers misogyny while playing the race card against blacks and hispanics- and women back her 100%. we should be allies and work together as in the civil rights movement because the religious right and the racists have declared war on america. they won't stop even if we do.

enigma4ever said...

Thanks Betmo...
I hope your new place feels good and shows you another part of America.....

maybe I am lucky....because I live in Inner City Cleveland...yeah I am urban..and most of my friends here are not white..and maybe through their wisdom, angst, humor and their eyes I am seeing America the way I needed to see it..and my son too....I think what really got me is that after Katrina- my one friend said" We can not ever be Invisible again, or treated like Bush treats us" ( my one friend moved his mom up after Nola...it was a long talk...).

It took moving here for me to realize that racism is alive and well, and maybe there are pockets of it....but I also think that when Leadership or iconic Figures act like the Clintons have, and many pretend it is fine...then we do have something Wrong here...

As a Woman I am embarrassed that so many , and especially women have not seen what the Clintons have done, or how dangerous it has been....

and 1968 does not seem that far away...

Gryphen said...

Hey Enigma. Is it okay if I stop and use your shower here at the Watergate Summer?

I watched the video and I just feel..well I just feel..I just feel dirty, and ashamed.

A few minutes ago I had a conversation with one of the boys about some Republican bullshit that he has been listening to on the radio. His head is simply bursting with anti-Obama smears.

I think we are going to see the worst of America crawling out of the shadows. And then when Obama gets elected we will see the best that America has to offer.

We just have to through the election.

And as a footnote, Hillary should be ASHAMED of herself for encouraging this kind of racial hate!

enigma4ever said...

Gryphen:
Ahhh, help your self...I think we all will feel dirty by this...I see we both have been having talks with the boys- the young...so intense...and I wish it was just pockets of this..but I am not sure....the GOP has been in charge for too long and too powerful..and they promoted and embraced much of this....and they are a piece of the problem...I hope and pray that we are on a better path...and that the Obama Movement can break through this damage....we can do this...but only by being honest about the Root of the Problem...

thepoetryman said...

It is not only the racist attitudes that we need cleave away. It is the mindset of hubris driven hunger for power at the cost of everyone and anything. We need lop off our patriotic deaf ears and gouge out our nationalistic eyes and begin to see, hear and understand the world's peoples. We could do with shredding our foreign policy and begin anew with a peaceful approach, diplomacy over militaristic inclinations. Let all of these sad ogres come crawling out of their caves to witness this. Let them be known. Let them see their inhumanity and begin to recognize that they are out numbered and sorely ancient in their thinking.

Let it be so...

Christopher said...

Excellent post.

I think Hillary "Seven Sisters" Clinton's rhetoric sent a clear message to the racist elements in her base that it was "OK" to vote against Obama because of the color of his skin.

Language is powerful and the symbols and codes of language can be used to create subtexts for a target audience.

Hillary is a master at this. I thought I knew the Clintons (circa' 1992, anyway) but it turned out I didn't know them at all. Soon she will be gone -- back to the Senate and quickly forgotten. I hope.

enigma4ever said...

PoetryMan:
Let it be so.....

that was so beautifully written...
and ironic....

because my post tomorrow is all about Diplomacy and how it starts at Home, weaving the dots between the Bush Regime and their attitude to "Other Peoples" and how it also pervades the airwaves.... and encouraged and embraced here at Home can have longlasting consequences..

..and even How we see Each Other far and wide , but also at Home....and how we TALK to each other...and about each other lays the foundation for Broken Relations and Broken People....

( tonight in Iraq , there was a Shootout at the Iranian Embassy in Iraq....I have been haunted all day that it is too much of an ugly coincidence after Bush's "speech"....)

How do we fix these Fractures...it is up to all of us....But this Movement has caused a Wave of people to step forward willing to work to repair these walls and crumbling moral infrastructure....People willing to stand side by side and reach out to everyone...and face a Better Future...it is in our hands..

enigma4ever said...

Christopher:
Thank you for saying that....It's not even about Codes anymore- not if we all are honest about it...and yes, I have to admit- that you are right...we didn't know them in 1992....Sanctimonius smoke and mirrors , cloaking something we were bound to see I guess...and you are on to something..they learned how to craft their messege and target their audience...and funny, I thought they were Victims of Something Bigger..and now I see they were just crafting their Sympathy Bank for later....

I hope that Her Elders in the Senate help her find the Exit....and soon...

admin said...

Problem is with humans. They can't be other than they are. We wish they weren't but wishing never changed much.

As a non-American, I've thought from the beginning that Obama would have little chance because of America's flawed history. It shouldn't be that way but, sadly, seems that's the way it is.

If Obama wins the nomination, I suspect that McCain will be elected even though Republicans, because of Bush, are as popular as a pork chop in a synagogue.

Hope I'm wrong! Cheers.

enigma4ever said...

Admin:
I have no idea who you, since you don't have a public profile, or where you live, but I can say since you don't live here there are a couple of issues.

(1) You are misinformed about Obama, the main issue is about the War, and people will and do support getting out of Iraq, and McCain only offers many more years trapped in the quagmire of Iraq....The Repug Party here is a Shambles....and the DEMS have some probems internally- BUT they will unite to end this war and get the troops home it is that simple.

the Primary Numbers have set records - for the DEMS, for the repugs state by state they have been outnumbered 2:1, and as much as 6:1.....
( esp McCain, and Obama has beaten McCain in many states in the Primary- handily).

When you speak that this is just how People are that is very complacent- we are talking about Human Rights, Civil Rights...of Millions....we are no longer living in the 50's, We are a better People than that....and that is why I wrote this post.

This time next year McBush will be sitting home yelling at his wife and asking for prunes and Viagra before bedtime.

enigma4ever said...

Oh, sorry Admin-
I just re-read that- and I want to be really clear- McBush will be sitting with his Beer Baroness in Arizona and Obama will be at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in DC....

thanks.

D.K. Raed said...

I had seen the Jon Stewart segment of interviews w/West Virginians. I also saw CNN Headline News the other night profiling the vandalism and bomb threats made to Obama headquarters in IN & WVA. But until I saw this video you put up, I could tell myself those were just isolated individuals. I could tell myself that we had all moved way beyond that ugliness of unthinking knee-jerk reationary bigotry.

I look at these people, like the 2 women in the coffee shop, and wonder what it would take to get the cotton candy out of their heads. What would it take? If they saw a birth certificate, a christian baptismal certificate, what kind of information? Would anything EVER prove to them that their very core beliefs are lies?

I'm just shaking my head in shame ... and anger ... anger that people still foster those kinds of attitudes (they got them from their parents & peers and will pass them along to their kids). Unfortunately, the electoral college is stacked in their favor. Small rural states have disproportionate power. I wish we could just write them all off, but there they are, and each of their votes is worth many times what any urban person's vote is worth.

I don't blame Hillary for these people's long-held racist beliefs, but I keep thinking of how she said to Bill Richardson, "he can't win"! So ... a little nudge here, and little inuendo there, nothing directly from her (except that one boo-boo about white hard-working white americans), and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I thought I was pretty outspoken against racism before all this, but you can bet NO one will be getting away with that around me now, even if they are across the room whispering.

Thanks for putting this up, Enigma. You are so right about people who lived through the civil rights era. We thought it was over & done, but it turns out, it was hiding, festering & virulent, all this time.

enigma4ever said...

Wow DK:
great response...so odd how many of us do feel this so acutely, yet it is hard to talk about- hard to realize it is not a small isolated incident..it is out there...and we need to speak to it- acknowledge it...it is very real...sadly....

and yeah, I have a ton of relatives in the very town where this video was made ( have not been back since my cousin's funeral - the Vietnam vet who died one thanksgiving so many years ago...) but I could not help but think- omg ...those people could be me, my cousins....HOW did this happen and WHY and HOW do I stop it....is it too late....what do we do...???it has been haunting me...

( Over at Enigma Cafe I posted the flip side of this Movement and what it has felt like....I needed some balance...and I am sharing it with everyone too...)

Thank you for always being REAL...and honest......

Larry said...

3/4 of Indiana have those same traits as does much of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

This is Bush's idea of America.

X. Dell said...

(1) Rockwell's art speaks to a diversity of US experience. I don't really see amazing promise in the technical aspects of painting. But he does catch the emotive part of American idealism and commentary to an astonishing degree.

(2) Part of what's going on is a self-perpetuating illogic. West Virginians--and many other whites--would never vote for a non-white, simply because it has never been done.

Otherwise, not a whole lot has been done to stem racism since the 1960s, and in many areas there has been retrenchment. Over the years, we've sorta buried this with coded racism, hypersensitivity to hypersensitivity, or cries of reverse racism. Obama's campaign has highlighted this all along, to the Ferraro mythology of black preference over white, to the absolute refusal to vote for a candidate based on race and gender prejudice. That is one positive thing I do see coming out of his run for the Oval Office: the racism has been made too stark to ignore easily.

Blueberry said...

My post on the most recent primary results was more snarky and not so civil as yours, but I would like to echo your sentiments and many of those in the comments. Yes, it really bothers me that racism still has a firm grip in this land, and it's a real issue that needs to change for the better, but what bothered me about Clinton's position was that she never spoke to those people (her "base") and said "look, you shouldn't be voting for a person based on skin color, so don't vote for me because I'm white and you're white." Instead she took the tone of "white people are for me, these are my people."

We need a uniter in America, not another divider.

DivaJood said...

"It is the mindset of hubris driven hunger for power at the cost of everyone and anything. We need lop off our patriotic deaf ears and gouge out our nationalistic eyes and begin to see, hear and understand the world's peoples. "

Well said, Poetryman. We have become xenophobic, never good. Our arrogance as a nation refuses to understand other cultures, other races, and god forbid you are not a White, Male, Christian.

Still, I say this: while I am an Obama supporter, if Hillary does become the Democratic nominee, then I will support her. At this moment, I feel strongly that ANY Democrat is better than McCain.

enigma4ever said...

DIVA:
Poetryman did indeed speak of this beautifully.....he said in that one sentence what it took me a whole post to attempt to convey....I Know that in the end DEMS will unite to end the Bush CronyismWarmongering Era, but right now I am more worried about the Xenophobia...and the racism , because in the end that mindset is as Dangerous as someone like Bush...and It deeply saddens me that the first woman to run , and a former president that I supported would harness that mindset in an attempt to get power....

BLueberry:
That is what bothered me too- She could have addressed, right then, right there and confronted it, but instead it was played like an Ace in a bad round of poker, and let's face it , it was one of her last options, she could have looked at it and said, this isn't right, and for the past 4 monthes over and over she could have embraced a different platform. It also deeply disturbs me that many of her supporters and her phone callers used it...and the media gave her a pass on it....( they were too busy looking for Obama's flagpin).....United we stand , divided we fall.

Betty Cracker said...

Good to see you, Enigma! Glad to have found a way back to your blog and those of other friends I've been missing. Major hard drive crash and assorting boring stuff kept me out of the game for awhile, but now that I've found you again, I'll be back!

an average patriot said...

I refuse to believe that racism is more alive and well today than ever and I am afraid it will get a lot worse like everything else! However I am convinced. I was afraid Obama's running would divide the races and I can't believe it is! All that matters is doing the job for the people and our America but he will and that is why the right will see him defeated and sadly they have company. after hearing Bush yesterday we are... all right I'll shut up and leave it home. Take care!

enigma4ever said...

XDell:
I first Norman Rockwell's art in the 1960's, when many events were occurring, his art allowed me to talk with my grandmother about this issues/events as they happened....I was just a child, but the paintings I used this month in a way can say more than I can. This painting in particular, I went to school in the 70's, a public school in Baltimore , one of the first that had bussing, this little girl reminds me of one my best childhood friends...and what she went through....

About the Coded terms, and the language...and the Way racism is has not ever really been faced headon in this way- Everything you said in that paragraph was dead on...( you and Poetryman could have written this post so much better...)

But this I do know, nothing will ever be the same ....and this is our time to face years of Entrenchment.

Larry:
I think that now we are seeing there was more to Bush getting elected that we did and do need to face....it wasn't just good ol Repugs that helped him....and yes, it is not just in West Virginia, Obama Supporters have reports of it in Pennsylvania and Indiana and Ohio....

enigma4ever said...

oooops we all bumped into each other...

Betty Cracker:
Welcome back...good to see you...I hope everybody finds their way to your blog ;-)

Patiot:
I think you might have missed my point....Watch the video that is linked to the title, and sadly we need to really acknowledge that this mindset is here, in pockets, and not everywhere- but it is something real.....and I know we all want to believe that we have moved past the Sixties...and some of what you said , I am just having trouble following...I think Obama will pick a solid running mate to help face some of these problems head on...I trust his judgement to pick someone strong and brave, as facing racism is all about having the courage to speaking to the issue. He can beat McCain...so stop this "defeat" talk...heavens...I mention the racism problem because we need to face it now, better than Nov....I actually think like XDell said...that this is our time to face it- it can not be ignored.

enigma4ever said...

5:30Pm
BREAKING NEWS: HUCKABEE DID SOMETHING SO INTOLERABLE TODAY AT THE NRA CONFERENCE I CAN BARELY WRITE THIS...

HE MADE A JOKE ABOUT OBAMA BEING SHOT AT, PLEASE WATCH HARDBALL TO HEAR ABOUT IT....ONE OF THE WORST THINGS I HAVE EVER HAD...AT A CONFERENCE ABOUT GUNS...LETS SEE IF HE GETS A PASS....YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO...BLOG LIKE HELL...

enigma4ever said...

Meant to say one of the Worst things I have ever HEARD....if anyone makes a "Joke" about Obama being shot AT A MEETING WITH THE NRA , they should be detained by the Secret Service and interogated and cited for such a "joke"...

THERE ARE THINGS THAT ARE NOT TO JOKED ABOUT IN THIS COUNTRY, AND POSSIBLE ASSINATION OF A FUTURE PRESIDENT, AND TOP CANDIDATE IS DEFINENTLY ON THE GODAMN SHORT LIST....

and now some talkinghead cottoncandy pundithead
Phil Bronstein is saying "it was just a joke".....( on MSNBC..)

more on this next post...

Mauigirl said...

Enigma, this was a great post. It is very saddening to know how racist so many in this country still are.

Hillary did say she "regretted" saying what she said - but only because of the backlash, I'm sure. It wasn't an apology.

enigma4ever said...

Maui:
I did hear about the regret- but it sounded like she regretted how it was taken? or like you said the backlash ....I don't know- I do know it was used to gin up her popularity and vote...( even on phone calls by her callers)....it really is sad...I thought we had come further as a country....

Marjorie said...

Heehee darlins, Bill & Hillary will NEVER apologise for ANYTHING, let's face it, they planned this power play years ago, power is what their lives are all about. They like money and they like power, and will do or say anything to achieve those goals.

Rascism is alive, no doubt about that. Besides my horrendous run in yesterday in San Diego,two weeks ago I had to go to our Vet down here. He is a remarkable man, an excellent vet and wonderful person. The problem is not with him, it was with his receptionist.

This is a gal, youngish in her mid 20's, not incredibly well educated, but she is apt at her job, and until this conversation, I always thought she had a good heart, she takes in stray kitties down here, has them immunized and either finds them homes or keeps and takes care of them. Anyway, she is an American, and lives with her parents, who are also American, of Mexican descent.

I was at the counter writing out a check, and I forget how exactly, but the subject of Hillary came up. "Oh", she said, "Hillary will end the war and bring the troops home in 90 days." She went on,"...and if Obama is elected, the black people will just go wild, they will get everything, that's how they are."

Mike was with me, and we tried to explain to her how Hillary is completely sold out to the Military Industrial Complex, but it was obvious anything we had to say was falling on deaf ears. This young woman was clearly brainwashed.

I failed miserably to address what she said about Barack and black people, I think I might have said something like, "Oh, that is ridiculous." But, believe me, good vets are few and far between here, they really are, and I felt uncomfortable argueing a point which might either cause her to lose her job or cause us to be looking around for another vet. And, the question is, how many more millions think like this person? My god, it is a silent epidemic which personally we have chose to ignore and is going to become vocal very soon.

When we got home, Mike said to me, "I haven't heard anyone talk like that since I left Chicago." And, he left Chicago back in the 60's.

For years I assumed that rascism was a thing of the past, how dead wrong I was. We are guilty, my husband and I of for years and years putting the quality of our lives first - escaping the rat race,living out in the backcountry of San Diego, living on the beach in Mexico. But none of us will be able to escape the reality which is coming home to roost on all of our doorsteps. We are going to see
division so ugly it is going to make the marches of Mississippi look like a cake walk.

enigma4ever said...

Marj:
Wow...funny how this is hitting all over...and is palpable....I too thought it was a thing of the past, or merely a "pocket" problem..I think that is why it has me reeling..I think Katrina woke alot of people up...but that it is nationwide? or systemic...or Silent- I think that is the other thing that just really has made me ill....and tugged at my heart...

( and yes, I can picture this happening at a VET...and how you could not say anything...)

When I took my son to see Obama back in Febuary- I did not feel it or see it- there was all kinds of people in that line- so diverse- even though it was downtown Cleveland...and people had driven great distances and stood for hours togethere...there was NO black white hisapanic. etc etc NO divisions...it was alot people that had been going through hell for years...many were hurting...

Now that being said when making phone calls for Obama, even to Pa and Indiana and yes to West Va. I finally hit the Racism...people saying things" I can't vote for a black person"...."I don't like his name" "We got emails that he is muslim" "he's a Halfbood" ( I didn't even know what that meant...I know that sounds naive).. It shook me...startled me- have not even blogged about it yet....BUT when Hillary said "hardworking white americans" that set me over the edge...I live in a neighborhood and have friends- I don't even look at it that way...

It made me kinda ill....I even started wearing my Obama pin more- there is tension here...

One of the Baggers at the Store- Charlie- he was WAS a Hillary supporter- and we finally talked about all this - and he is heartbroken about the Clintons...."I thought I knew them"...he is 60s..he regrets he voted for Hillary in March..I did not know what to say...I said I was sorry- that I did not feel like we know them...

really sad on so many levels...

As a people a Country....but sadly I worry about if and when it gets uglier.....and I am haunted that our Past is still tightly woven with our Future...