Alex Jones hates gun control -- and insults an entire group of people.
(The Root) -- It took me a long time to become comfortable with the n-word*. I see kids today throwing it around with wreckless abandon, but the n-word was incredibly hurtful for me when I was growing up. Having it hurled at me as I walked through school and in my neighborhood was something I never thought I'd get over.
But in adulthood, I've found peace with it. I've even embraced it. I realized that allowing a word to hold me back simply wasn't acceptable. I throw it around back and forth with my friends, and I even created a show with it in the title.
But just today, someone sent me a clip of radio host Alex Jones, who rose to notoriety when he went on Piers Morgan's CNN show and yelled about how no one is going to take his guns. He voiced his very loud anger against any possible gun legislation. I realized that I would probably never agree with him on much, but this clip here ...
It seems as if Mr. Jones doesn't understand that he's not allowed to go around yelling that word and slandering an entire people. You're not one of us, sir! You don't get to say that. It's not right, and it's just not OK.
Alex Jones is against any form of gun legislation. Does anyone really want to be associated with this guy?
*Possibly not the n-word you're thinking of.
Given the guns-in-schools debate, an ad ponders if it's fair that the president's kids have armed guards.
(The Root) -- I used to think that the National Rifle Association was not only superpowerful but also fairly smart. But since the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., I've changed my mind. Hard. After the debacle of a press conference during which NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre babbled on blaming everything besides guns for gun violence, you'd think that they'd regroup and attempt a reasonable conversation about something that most Americans actually support: reasonable gun legislation. But instead ...
Amazing, ain't it?
This is a great plan. Attack the president's belief in sensible gun legislation by targeting his daughters with your ad! Because then, obviously, everyone will see what a hypocrite Barack Obama is! Or make your organization look like ridiculous idiots who are now using a politician's children against him and the rest of America?
Did no one at the NRA see the irony in targeting the president's kids to try to change the conversation on gun control, when the whole reason we're talking about this is the death of children? This didn't bring the fight to Obama; this simply damaged the NRA's already damaged brand.
And do I really have to point out how ridiculous it is to attempt to argue that the leader of the free world's children should have the exact-same security that the average American's child should have? The president has record numbers of death threats made against him on a regular basis, so of course the first family has armed guards.
The NRA has gone mad. And if you don't see an issue with this ad, I'm sorry for your loss of sanity.
The conservative pundit says it's a "demographics issue."
(The Root) -- You have to appreciate when someone on television flat out says what you think they think. Ladies and gentlemen, Ann Coulter ...
To say I'm shocked at Coulter's assertion would just be a lie. This is Ann Coulter. She says ridiculous nonsense on a regular basis. But on top of her magically ridiculous statements, the oh-so-reasonable Sean Hannity -- the host who should rein in commentary on his show that has gone completely off the rails -- simply let her statement stand.
Sure, she just said that gun violence is an issue only with communities of color, but whatever. Since when are people of color Americans? If gun violence affects only them (which it doesn't), then we don't really need to address it!
So, quick question: With these shining staples of the right wing, why should nonwhites feel comfortable with the Republican Party again?
Despite what African-American Republican the Rev. C.L. Bryant wants you to believe.
(The Root) -- I genuinely try to listen to black Republicans when they're explaining why blacks should want to be a part of the Grand Old Party. The problem with that is then I end up hearing things like this.
The Rev. C.L. Bryant:
Yes, indeed I do. in fact, there is a culture of dependency that has been groomed by the Democrat Party over a period of 50 years. A distortion of history even over that 50-year period of time. Many black people have forgotten that it was Democrats who stood in the doorway of the University of Alabama to block black students from going there. It was Democrats who Eisenhower had to send the National Guard out to Arkansas in order that the Little Rock Nine could go to school in Little Rock. And the history of black people in this country, even the political history, those who were first elected to Congress and to Senate were all Republicans. And the first Democrat elected to the Senate in the United States was Carol Moseley Braun, and the second one was Barack Obama. The history of the Republican Party has always been that of freedom for all people ...
Bryant, a former president of the Garland, Texas, chapter of the NAACP, speaks with such confidence, doesn't he? He doesn't even hint at the idea that maybe he's overstepping or greatly generalizing. He effortlessly throws out the tired narrative of "It's the Democratic Party that's actually racist!" And while no one argues that the examples he has given were factual, his viewpoint is so heavily skewed and obviously framed that I'm not even sure how he can sit there so calmly serving up this nonsense.
First of all, the Republican Party wasn't "pro-Negro" while Democrats hunted us with pitchforks. No one was "for" blacks. Neither political party was so loving and caring -- nor did they simply want what was best for the black community. Black Democrats aren't confused on that particular fact.
But what's missing from this lovely framing of history in order to make a flawed point is that it cherry-picks history, and things have changed a great deal. What about the Lily-White Movement? What about the Southern strategy? What about the Republican primaries just early this year? What about Mitt Romney at the NAACP conference?
I'm not someone who is against conservative ideology for the sake of being against it. I, and I'm sure many other blacks, can even agree with aspects of the conservative viewpoint. But contrary to the incredibly insulting premise that blacks voted against their interest by overwhelmingly supporting Barack Obama, many voted for who they thought would be best for them and their country.
Can anyone reasonably make the argument that the Republican Party showed itself to be a better alternative to President Obama? We should have voted for the dude who said "If they want free stuff, vote for the other guy"? The guy making Birther jokes? We were "emotional" because we rejected the party that even now says it doesn't care where new revenue comes from as it actively tries to make sure that revenue doesn't come from the top 2 percent?
And that's what's wrong with many black Republicans. They speak to the rest of the community as if they're so much smarter than we are. As if we lack the ability to make decisions and not be tricked by the Democrats. Democrats didn't demonize Republicans. Republicans just kept opening their mouths.
We haven't been tricked. We've been observant.
Rush Limbaugh's conservative claim undermines the benefits of the women's health group.
(The Root) -- One of the more annoying ploys that occasionally gets pulled out of the Republican bag of tricks is the "But what about the Negroes?" shell game. I call it a ploy because it can't be argued in any reasonable fashion that the GOP actively wants to help the black community. They don't feel it necessary to reach out to us in the first place, even when they need our vote -- let alone with any active attempt to help with issues unique to our population. But when it fits their agenda, Republicans magically remember the Negro American and seek to explain how their political position is actually a pro-black ideology.
So when Rush Limbaugh -- champion of black people everywhere -- starts explaining how Planned Parenthood is destroying the black family, I find myself quietly and softly chuckling. In this recorded bit (at about the 1:55 mark), captured on Media Matters from the Dec. 3 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, he said:
" ... Planned Parenthood is all about family planning, but not the kind you're thinking about. It's called elimination of black families; that's what Margaret Sanger was about."
"Planned Parenthood. Well, does that not sound really nice? [We're] going to teach you how to plan your parenthood, plan your family. We're going to teach you how to do it right. No. We're going to teach you how to not have one -- is what Planned Parenthood is all about."
This is a popular narrative coming from white Republicans and some members of the black community. By attacking Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, for some of her very controversial stances, many believe they can prove that the organization is nothing more than a black-genocide factory. I'm expecting in the comments of this very blog post that someone will attempt to explain how Planned Parenthood and abortion are all about destroying the black family.
The arguments about a woman's right to choose, the concept of control over her own body, the role of economics in raising a child and various other valid arguments always get thrown out the window. The fact that Planned Parenthood offers so much more than abortions gets buried in the righteous rage of saving black babies. So I won't waste too many of my own words on this -- instead I'll post a testimony by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) during the 2011 congressional hearings to defund Planned Parenthood. Listen to her break down this whole issue.
Transcribed and bold added by Colorlines:
"I would plead with my colleagues to reject the Pence Amendment and not to defund Planned Parenthood. And I mean that as a double entendre to not defund the ability of women to plan parenthood.
I know of what the previous speaker, the gentleman, referred, to all those well-meaning people who want to speak about the value of life and not fund contraceptives and not make abortion, which is the law of the land, available if people chose that: I am really touched by the passion of the opposite, to want to save black babies. I can tell you I know a lot about having black babies. I've had three of them. And I had my first one when I was 18 years old -- at the ripe old age of 18, an unplanned pregnancy.
I just want to tell you what it's like not to have planned parenthood ... You have to give your kids ramen noodles at the end of the month to fill up their little bellies so they won't cry. You have to give them mayonnaise sandwiches. They get very few fruits and vegetables because they're expensive. It subjects children to low educational attainment because of the ravages of poverty.
You know one of the biggest problems that school districts have in educating some of these poor black children who are unplanned is that they're mobile. They're constantly moving because they can't pay the rent. And, yes, I heard some of you talk about sexual predators. It subjects them to sexual predators as when you try to go out and do a little work you have to leave your kids with just anybody because you don't have $800 to $1,200 a month for childcare. And let me tell you, you know the public policy has treated poor children and women who have not had the benefit of planned parenthood with utter contempt.
These same children -- it's been very difficult to get them health insurance through CHIPS. When you got to the grocery store to get them a little birthday cake with your food stamps, everyone stares with you in contempt. And, yes, on a bipartisan basis, Democrats and Republicans ended the entitlement Aid to Families with Dependent Children. So when we have a recession like we have now, women who are alone typically, poor, of color, with these poor black children have no money, go months and months and months with little or nothing to sustain themselves.
And you know, I remember that the first item on the You Cut website was to cut Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. And let me tell you what it does to women who cannot plan their parenthood: It derails their ability to complete education and training so they can get a job. The TANF is very harsh. It won't even let women complete high school diplomas. It sends them into workfare programs in very low wage service industries, often in jobs without unemployment benefits, and of course they're treated with contempt and disdain when they apply for any aid. They're humiliated. And so I would beg my colleagues, I would beg them to not defund Planned Parenthood. Planned parenthood is healthy for women, it's healthy for children and it's healthy for our society."
What she said.