The Silence of Our Friends

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Kablooie In the Mainstream Blogosphere!

I've missed alot on the blogosphere! Maybe you have too, since one of the things I found out was that Atrios and Kos purged their blogrolls and have angered alot of B-list and beyond mainstream bloggers. I know that most of the blogs that I read and conversely who read me aren't especially interested in the A-listers or mainstream blogs, so you may have missed the fireworks on this one. What interested me is that the anger, and the comments, mirrored what we POC bloggers had to say about the Clinton lunch and the arguments used against us. The reason people are hurt and angry is that they are being told they aren't good enough to join the high school clique, and that if they wrote better they wouldn't be purged. For comparison remember what we were told, "on the internet people don't know your skin color, so if you wrote better you would be popular and invited to the Clinton lunch..." but, the problem is that POC bloggers write about POC issues which don't always interest the majority of internet readers who happen to be white. It has nothing to do with the quality of writing. We will never have the mega audiences that some white writers have unless we write more about their issues or at least shared issues, and less about our own. So yes, you sometimes can tell skin color, or at least that some writers aren't white, by what interests us and may not interest you.

I think Maryscott O'Connor has this particular purge pegged at My Left Wing.
Booman. Dropped. The Rude Pundit -- dropped. WTF? These are legitimate sites with longstanding audiences and membership. So... Wait a minute. Is this a question of being an EMBARRASSMENT with the more Establishment types with whom you now consort, having successfully crashed the gate?" Are we now your embarrassing cousins? Sure, you'll be happy to glad-hand with us at the YKos family reunion, but QUICK, hide the nutty aunts when there's company around?

We got our rude awakening and now I think some of the smaller mainstream blogs are discovering the same thing. It's not about being good enough, it's about group think. You have to say what they want you to say, be moderate and mild and pliable to the political establishment. Don't rock the corporate DLC boat. In regards to the Clinton lunch it was about coopting the largest most influential blogs so that they would tone down their criticism of Hilary for '08. Maryscott notices something similar going on with Kos:
But as for political activism and leadership? Sorry, no sale, man -- the day he threw Paul Hackett under the bus on Rahm Emanuel's bidding was the day I knew Markos was just another DLC in training. "Nice try, live to fight another day, we're going with the anointed one" -- what a bunch of fucking BULLSHIT.

And then came Casey and Duckworth and on and on and on -- one after another the truly PROGRESSIVE, LIBERAL candidates were shoved aside because the ESTABLISHMENT Democrats, in the form of Schumer and Emanuel and Clinton et al, put their imprimatur on the safe, solidly centrist-to-conservative candidates.

And even when the cabal agreed to dump Lieberman, their cowardice in failing to rein him in and forcing him to drop his outrageous switch to "Independent" status on the ballot, my GOD, these are the people from whom Markos takes his cues. This is not a political leader, he is a follower. And he is following the wrong fucking people, for the love of god, he is following the SAME PEOPLE who have been leading the Democratic Party further and further into the wilderness of spinelessness, of cowardice, of dishonesty, of obeisance to polls and bullies and liars and fools.

I think alot of political bloggers are in it for the same two major reasons I am, to rant and say what I want to say and for change. Yes! Change! In the hopes that politicians will let US MOLD THEM. Will listen to what we the people have to say. We aren't stupid or naive enough to think this will be easy, but we try. The big boys may have started out this way, but have let the politicians mold the blogger instead of the other way around. They are bought and paid for. They know that if they have progressive principles that CNN and the NY Times won't want to interview them, or if they are controversial (have actual progressive ideas) that politicians and media will spinelessly slither away from them just like Edwards did to Amanda and Melissa.

Crashing the gate is only about becoming one of the in crowd, not having an impact in politics, but enriching your own pocketbook or rubbing elbows with the famous in hopes of becoming one of them. They are no different than hundreds of political consultants in DC who give us wishy washy losing strategies for the last several decades. They are becoming what they blasted only a couple of years ago. So just be moderate (conservative) and don't make any Democratic politician look bad, even if he is a DINO, and support the corporate DLC electable candidate instead of the one with principles who won't play ball with the establishment. That's dangerous! For the rich and powerful...who hire you as consultants, or invite you to lunches, or otherwise give you access to the cocktail weenies you once derided.

POC and other "equality" bloggers have always known that the powerful do not give up power without a fight. They will dismiss you and demonize you, and if it appears that isn't working and you are becoming powerful on your own they will coopt you and silence you. They coopted the Democratic Party through the DLC/tons of cash through their lobbyists and now they have coopted the big boy bloggers in much the same way. Principles, issues, and people no longer matter; access, fame, and ad revenue are the goals now.

Think I'm being overly cynical? Then you missed the other load of bullshit another A-lister was spouting. I'll let Brilliant at Breakfast give the run down on Chris Bowers of MyDD being an ass. This quote encapsulates it for me:
Fuck the big boys. They're the blogospheric equivalent of the Washington pundits who think they're better than bloggers because they get invited to the right parties and of the Democrats who hold fundraisers where they take money from corporations. We hold bake sales and support our candidates twenty-five bucks at a time. What's hilarious is that most of these guys come out of the 2004 Howard Dean campaign, only a taste of success has made them forget all about people-powered.

Just Bury Me Already!

No I haven't given over my blog to the body of Anna Nicole Smith...

I am bone tired and hurting and things are going great! Seriously, so far everything is going as planned or better with the move. My husband was able to stay for an extra week to help me clean and pack and get the house listed which was great. We ordered one of those PODS which cleared out about half of our stuff from the house so that it won't be completely cluttered when I show it. The house actually looks very nice. I'm worried it will sell too quickly and we will have to clear out before the kids finish school in June, and keeping my fingers crossed that possible buyers will be willing to put off closing until then or very close.

This has been hell on my neck and back. My husband and sons did try to do all the heavy lifting but there was so much to do that I overextended myself and have been in alot of pain for the last couple of weeks. I cancelled my appointment with the neurosurgeon, since there is no point to having surgery when my husband won't be there to help me afterwards. I have my mother and two of my sisters offer to come help when I do have the surgery in NH though, so that is good. But it doesn't help right now. I don't like taking vicodin even once or twice a day, but now I'm up to more like 5 or 6 times a day and that doesn't feel like enough. So I am miserable and tired and that's why I haven't been posting or visiting my favorite blogs. Hopefully things will be easier now at least up until we have to move the other half of our stuff.

Moving tip, don't use one of those PODS unless you have alot of money. It was twice as much as getting the same size UHaul or Ryder. We don't have alot of money and will probably be deep in debt by the time we are done with the move unless we find a sucker willing to pay our asking price for the house. Yes, we overpriced it, but it's only because I know that when we get an offer they will low-ball it and I want negotiating room.

Keep me in your prayers, or for the non-religious, send some good thoughts and vibes my way!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

More on Willful Ignorance

Oh man! I just reread Dr Martin Luther King Jr's letter from a Birmingham jail on Angry Black Woman's blog. Anyone who really wants to understand should read it, it's long but it says EVERYTHING!
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant ‘Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we stiff creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.
See now here is where Maha and her ilk say things like, all this for a cup of coffee? Or to Rosa Parks, all this for a bus seat? Because you know us POC were only interested in that one single lunch with Clinton, it has nothing to do with how we are ALWAYS left out of policy planning, strategy, discussion, power structure. Nope, we just wanted to have lunch and are making a big stink over nothing, just like that extremist rabble rouser Dr. King and Ms. Parks.

Remember Dr. Kings words, people, the next time they tell you to wait. That your time will come, that it's more important to get past this next election and get their wishy washy DLC corporate whore elected than worry about your petty issues. Or the next time a liberal tells you that coalition building and peace amongst allies is more important. They mean that you should help them towards their ends, but you will get yours NEVER, because the time is never right for justice or equality or doing what is right with these people. They are NOT YOUR ALLIES.
Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging dark of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross-county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you no forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness” then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.
Yeah, it looks like it might be about a little more than a cup of coffee. But sheesh, that MLK Jr is far too attached to his transient blackness and really needed Maha to talk some of her "Buddhist" sense to him. (In quotations so as not to offend real Buddhists, pseudo-Buddhist white people who twist other peoples' religion and culture, feel free to be offended!)

And now Dr. King speaks across time directly to all the white liberal bloggers at that Clinton lunch, only he calls them "moderates".
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fan in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality.
I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: “As Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth.” Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely rational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this ‘hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Willful Ignorance

I feel like I owe my white allies an apology or some kind of explanation for some of the things I said in that last post, or at least what can be read as an anti-white bias, or even bigotry on my part. I want you to understand that what I hate is willful ignorance. I see it every day on the part of white people, even liberal white people, who are determined to believe their preconceived notions without getting any input from the actual people who are living with prejudice. It's the idiot who says there is no racism in America/Canada anymore. Or who says that bringing up racism ends all discussion (or at BFP's place, when Heart said that bringing up trans-hatred ends the discussion.) If you are here, or at BFP's place, or at Kai's place, or many of the other POC sites reading and commenting then you are NOT willfully ignorant. You are making the effort to be informed, so please, please, please feel free to assume I am NOT ever speaking of you when I am angry with some monolithic group of "white people".

I want to also take the time to explain why I keep coming back to liberal racist episodes, like over at FireDogLake. I do not hate them over there, and think they do alot of great work for liberal causes. But I do not view them as allies to people of color, and if any good for us comes out of the things they do, it is incidental. When they blog about racial issues it tends to be lip service, just like what we get from the Democratic party in general.

This is very frustrating for POC, because we know we aren't going to do better with the Republicans, so we belong nowhere with no one to push for our interests. Democrats also know this, and that's why they take us for granted. But what they don't understand is that it is demotivating an important voter block. Why can't they see this? They already see that the fundamentalist Christian block is becoming disillusioned with the Republicans, very little has been done on their issues even though Republicans controlled all branches of government. I've seen posts/comments crowing about this on liberal blogs, so why can't they also see that nothing gets done through Democrats on POC issues, class issues, labor issues, womens issues, things that might motivate these key blocks AND ACTUALLY BE THE RIGHT THING TO DO DAMMIT! On the other hand, I think there are alot of Republicans who know in their hearts that taking rights away from women is not the right thing to do but their voters are mouth breathing bigots so they have to pretend that this is what they want to do.

One of the best examples of liberal racist thought comes from Maha at the time of the Clinton blogger lunch on this thread, My Cause Is My Country. I was Donna in WI over there. I haven't commented on that blog since that thread. Check my comment at 11 and her complete dismissal of me at 13. And how about at 23, since she knows oppression through sexism that qualifies her to speak to the oppression of racism, and my response at 31. (There is another Donna there, that isn't me, just Donna in WI is my comments.) Oh hell, just read the whole thing, and while you're at it also read her post Naughty Words and Pictures and the comments there too.

She just doesn't get it and she refuses to understand. She refuses to hear the voices of those who are oppressed by racism, but asks us to trust her to speak to our issues. How can she speak to those issues if she won't even listen??? This is willful ignorance. That fact that she comes back time and again to womens issues, but at the same time dismisses those of POC says alot to me about how her understanding of her own oppression does NOT mean that she understands that of POC at all. And she absolutely refused to answer my question about whether she would have been angry to see a table of all men, because I know she would! And it also makes her pleas about being a battered woman meaningless, because those issues could have been addressed by her sitting at that table. She had someone there to speak to that issue, and there were several other women at that table. There were NO POC at that table! And I suspect that the whites there cared about POC issues as much as Maha herself does, which means not at all!

I'm still taking vicodin for pain and it really frustrates me. I am trying to tie all these paragraphs together meaningfully and am not sure if I succeeded. They are interconnected and interrelated and speak to the anger and frustration we feel about not only blatant racism, but when liberals turn a blind eye to it or contribute to it. It isn't just the KKK style racism we deal with but much more subtle things that dig at us daily through people who we thought were our friends. So if I blow up in anger, understand that. Just look at the things justme and optional say in that first thread, these are liberals? But there is also whig, now that's an ally who understands.

Hmong Posts

Kai over at Zuky has some posts up about the Hmong which are a must read. He explains how they came to be here in America and why they deserve our respect. He was inspired by a post at the Women of Color Blog about Chonburi Xiong, a teen who was killed by the police who found it "necessary" to shoot him TWENTY SEVEN TIMES.

Here in Wisconsin last year a Hmong man named Cha Vang was out hunting and was killed by another hunter who claimed self defense. Don't believe it. Cha Vang was shot, stabbed six or seven times in the neck and face, and had a stick shoved into his mouth, then thrown in a ditch with a log on top of him and covered in leaves. Does that sound like self defense to you? The other guy was shot once in the hand and there are people who are wondering if that wound was self-inflicted after the killing to give that bastard an excuse. Here is a news report, pay close attention to what Nichols spray painted on a cabin he burgularized if you read it. Sounds like a nice all American guy.

Also if anyone dares to tell you that the Hmong are the ones at fault, you might want to read this report about what the Hmong say their experience has been like in the Wisconsin woods.
A Hmong hunter from Appleton who was issued a citation for trespassing when the violation was not correct, and didn't understand the questioning and his actions were taken as hostile. His name and address was published in the news and created a hazardous situation at his home, while the other person's information was not.

Hoe Lee, Sheboygan, said that a deer he shot was taken by a white hunter who claimed the deer and state patrol officer believed the other hunter even though he said the law was on his side.

Herr Lee, Green Bay, shot a deer that had been wounded in the leg and had walked several. Although regulations say that the deer had traveled enough distance to be claimed by the second hunter, the first hunter came and after an altercation took the deer. The local law enforcement believed the white hunter.

Mr. “State" Lee, shot a deer, and having a painful swelling of the legs, had to walk slowly after the animal. Even though it was only about a 100 yards away, a group of white hunters saw him but took the deer anyway. He said the authorities believed these hunters.
The white people always tell the truth, the brown people are always the liars.

UPDATE: I knew about the Appleton case too and went looking for an article I read awhile back. Some background, this one involves a man named Chuetoua Lor. The "white" spin on that one is that Toua Lor was hunting on private property and the property owner told him to leave and Lor pointed his gun at the man. The truth is Lor was on corporate land which is open to the public, in order to cross into that land he asked another landowner if he could go through his property and was granted permission. So he was legally hunting on land open to the public. He was near the property line of the white guy, and the white guy told him to move away. NEAR, not on the other guys property. Lor did move away and was shooting at game in a different part of the public land when he was again confronted by the white guy. The white guy told him to leave, questioned him about how he got there in the first place, the public land is surrounded by private land, and white guy didn't believe him when he said he got permission from a different landowner to cross. Then he went back home and called the cops and told them that Lor threatened him by pointing his gun at his legs.

Sounds to me like the white guy should have been charged with harrassment. I think he made up the part about Lor pointing his gun at him, Lor probably had his gun pointing at the ground like any good hunter would, but white guy wanted him out of the area and so made up charges to get the cops to come. By the time they arrived Lor had enough of being harrassed and went home. So they called the SWAT team in to arrest him. Yeah, SWAT. At least they didn't shoot him 27 times for moving suspiciously and happening to own a gun. All of this on the word of some old geezer who probably yells at the neighbor kids to get off his lawn. But as we all know, white people always tell the truth and brown people always lie.

What I wanted people to see was this article, not for the article, read the third comment and see if it doesn't make you want to puke. Hey, they just want to preserve their way of life in their land!

Thursday, February 01, 2007


There have been some interesting developments in the last week or two. We will be moving out east again! I'm a little bummed that it isn't Connecticut, but my husband was offered a transfer to New Hampshire and we are taking it.

About two years ago my husband and I had a huge argument. I was ready to leave him and go back home without him. The funny thing is after it was quiet again, he asked me if he could go with me! LOL Once I thought about it, it made sense. I wasn't unhappy with him, I was unhappy with being so far away from my friends and family. I only have superficial friends in Wisconsin no one I ever really felt close with. Those of you who have read my blog over the last few months probably know more about me and my feelings than my neighbors who have known of me for years. We only live in Wisconsin because it is near his friends and family. I assumed they would be as supportive of him (and by extension me and the kids) as my family would have been. They have NOT! When we first moved here his sister and her family lived less than an hour away, she rarely visited us, and when we called to ask her to come, or see if we were welcome there, she either made excuses or you could tell she was inviting us but wasn't exactly thrilled about it. So we finally just stopped going there or inviting her to our place. Then we found out that his parents had been coming down from Michigan to visit her and her family and didn't even bother telling us. Didn't come to see us, and didn't tell us they would be there so we could make arrangements to come to see them either. I always knew I wasn't exactly accepted, up where my husband is from is a tiny insular community, and I think they expected him to marry someone from there. Another sister married a man from Missouri and he said he got the same treatment as I did, we are outsiders. So the family support and love I expected wasn't there, not even for him, so what the hell are we doing here? Well, at least he had his friends, only he didn't. They have drifted away over the years and don't have the same interests as they did when they were kids growing up together. And to top it off he hates his work, together with the guys he works with there is alot of drama like they are a disfunctional family, and the supervisor is a micromanager who doesn't appreciate anything that goes right but comes down on them hard when anything goes wrong. So again, why are we here???

So he put in for transfers to Hartford, CT; Providence, RI; and Manchester, NH. We got Manchester! So if I am not around much it's because I have to spend my time packing and cleaning instead of blogging.

My husband still has mixed feelings about the move. And I don't blame him because I have them too but for different reasons. He still doesn't want to leave his friends and family especially his mother. His father passed away so she lives alone now and needs him more. That's what pisses me off. I'm sure she loves him in her way, but now suddenly she thinks it's important to see "us", and just happens to need some plumbing done, or her car needs a tune up, or she can't handle some insurance forms and he can help her with that, but of course her invites aren't really all about that, suuuuuuuure. My husband is one of those people who does like being needed though. I don't have a problem with helping the people you love, and if I can do something for my friends or family, I will and be happy to do so. BUT my friends and family do not expect it every time they see me! They are happy to see me and my family just to see me and my family, not because I can do this or that for them while I am there!

My mixed feelings are just about how much work is involved especially since I have the herniated disks in my neck, and more importantly the kids. They are friendly and likeable and I think they will make friends easily in NH, but I can't be certain of that or that they will like their school. The biggest reason for staying is because of how happy they are here. A move is easier for little kids, but next year they will both be in high school. That's where everyone is settled into their cliques and have friends they have known since they were 8 or 10 etc. I wish I had a crystal ball and could see how things are going to turn out. If it's going to be a disaster for them, I'd rather put up with Wisconsin for 4 more years. Well, it's too late now anyway since my husband already accepted the promotion.

Wish us luck!