American racism is a fact of life

Democratic Presidential frontrunner Barack Obama’s attempt today to bridge the growing racial divide in both his own party and the nation may be his greatest test as an orator or it may just be too little too late.

Many political observers felt racism would rise up and bite Obama as his campaign gained momentum but few expected it to be racism within the African-American community. Hate-filled rhetoric from the longtime pastor that Obama calls a strong influence on his life and beliefs bring to the surface feelings that racism is a two-way street.

Recent primaries already show the increasingly bitter contest between Obama and Hilary Clinton hardening along racial and gender lines. The hate and anger did not stop when Jeremiah Wright retired. It continues to spill from the pulpit of Obama’s church each and every Sunday from the current minister and that sad fact does not help bridge that racial divide. It only deepens it.

Those who defend the invective-filled rhetoric of black pastors who decry a “racist white media” and talk about “crucifixion” of a minister (as Obama’s current minister did last Sunday) say such anger is justified by America’s shameful history towards African-Americans but hate does not jive with Obama’s speeches of unification and bringing America together.

America is still a racist nation. Latinos distrust blacks. Blacks distrust Latinos and whites. Whites distrust anything non-white and that list includes Latinos, blacks, arabs and just about anyone else who is not white Anglo-Saxon protestant. Racism is rooted in ignorance and fear and America has an overabundance of both.

While Obama’s early days on the campaign trail seemed shrewd and error-free, his campaign has turned into a series of missteps marked by blindness towards the always simmering racism that has doomed many political efforts.

Racism in today’s America is not just black and white. The debate over immigration is fueled in large part by racial hatred of Latinos that whites fear will take their jobs. Latinos now outnumber African-Americans as the dominant minority in the United States and you even find racism within that community towards each other.

In 1982, I arrived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to start work on the re-election campaign of Rep. Manuel Lujan, the only Hispanic Republican in Congress at that time. Enrico Martinez, a young volunteer on the campaign, gave me a tour of both the city and the attitudes of its overwhelmingly Hispanic population.

“Don’t confuse the Spanish with the Mexicans,” Martinez said. “There’s a big difference. The Spanish settled here directly from Spain. The Mexicans came across the border, many of them illegally. The Spanish don’t like the Mexicans and the Mexicans don’t like the Spanish and they only thing they agree on is that neither care much for blacks.”

Martinez had a name for it: Taco racism.

Racism has deep roots and a long history in America and such racism is not always based on color. Racism discriminated against the Irish and the Scots, against Catholics and Jews. Skin tones that range from olive to yellow to black bring looks of distrust.

So when Barack Obama steps before the cameras today he will be fighting a lot more than just white hatred of blacks or black hatred of whites. He faces a nation long divided along racial, ethnic, religious and philosophical lines.

The odds that he can bridge that divide with a speech are long and while he is saying “God Bless America,” his preacher is getting up in the pulpit and screaming “God Damn America.”


  1. peagcu12

    Oh God. Now we see that “love of money” is never off topic. God Bless America. The place where most of the time we worry about money and safety. We are so frickin un-Jesus like that it hurts to look at us most times.


  2. peagcu12

    WTF is wrong with Sandra and why did she get flipped over an absolutely honest look at how racism is pretty much a cultural given?


  3. peagcu12

    Doug, I don’t know about all that preacher’s comments, but the “God Damn America” quote I saw in it’s context. That quote didn’t even shock me. Our justice system and other systems in this country have treated our people (I’m not black) less than humanely. Some of our laws and sentencing practices are absolutely inhumane.

    The God I know told us to live in faith, and we march to the God of fear. Damn us indeed.


  4. Carl Nemo

    Hi SEAL et. al. …

    Obama has handled the church situation incredibly well with his fine speech and with him simply being “cool” as always.

    Anything beyond this point is nothing but a MSM ploy to drum up ongoing ratings via sensationalistic almost tabloid level journalism.

    Obama now needs to do what he does so well; ie., to move on with his message and to ignore Clinton, McCain or any other entities that want to continue to hammer on this issue including his own black community many of which seemed to be wired to destroy his chances for the presidency.

    I had a black womanfriend once tell me the reason blacks can’t climb out of their transgenerational predicament in modern times is due to their “slave mentality”.

    She said they will always come close to “seizing the day”, but then either the black aspirant or their own people will go into a self-destruct mode seemingly acquiescing to the “mastah’s” never-ending games on keeping them down through his well orhestrated methods of dividing and conquering them time and time again to their collective undoing.

    Obama has a fine intellect and is a stunning orator to say the least. With my background in life, I never focused on any man or woman’s color. The only thing that I’ve ever evaluated was their core values and their ability to perform a mission. From my experience, excellence as well as far less than so comes in many colors for sure… : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. Carl Nemo

    Hi Sherry…

    Concerning the safety of anyone’s money is never off topic at least to me anyway… : )

    It’s not safe unless its guaranteed by the FDIC and FSLIC. You need to read your account agreements to see what kind of insurance is linked to your bank MM account. Ask your banker for assistance if you need clarification on account agreement wording etc.

    Typically these accounts aren’t referenced as having a share price; ie., with a par value of 1.00 per share as with traditional MMF’s. If there’s debt crisis within the MMF’s portfolio then depending on the size of the hit it could reflect in a phenomena known as “breaking the buck”. It’s rarely happened in MMF history, but it can happen. MMF prospectuses warn people about the fact that the funds are “not” guaranteed. Even with with U.S. Treasury only types they extrapolate that the funds are guaranteed by the underlying safety of the type of debt; ie., U.S. Treasury sponsored debt, but that brokerage is in no way liable if the treasury should repudiate or default on certain types of debt.

    Certificate of Deposits and regular passbook accounts are guaranteed up to 100K per account. People fail to realize they must open multiple accounts to enjoy this umbrella of insurance.

    Banks can and do fail. In the 80’s and 90’s the US suffered the largest banking failure in history known as the S&L crisis. Bankers evidently learned nothing from that crisis and were all to eager to climb onboard with their involvement in the unfolding housing market debacle of the past decade.

    The only MMF’s where you could have unlimited amounts of money deposited with an insurance umbrella of the U.S. Government are U.S. Treasury only MMF’s that invest in debt sponsored by the U.S. Treasury only, but no minor agencies of the U.S. governement such as Fanny Mae, Ginny Mae You have unlimited check writing and can have very large amounts of money in these accounts and enjoy a margin of safety better than even bank CD’s.

    Sorting out bank failures can be a lengthy process, denying one access to their funds for some length of time. Remember if you have any amount over 100K under a given account you will lose that amount of money over that limit. It happened to people during the S&L crisis because they didn’t understand the mechanics of the insurance.

    People need to remember that banks are businesses and they can have an unscrupulous management that use the institution for their personal “piggy-bank”; ie., getting the bank involved with shady to marginal real estate development, offshore investment with questionable entities to the point that put the banks core assets at risk. I advise people to check the safety of their bank or brokerage house through various ratiing agencies.

    There are others, but Veribanc is considered to be one of the best. So in addition to the federal insurance per account you should try to bank at an institution with sound business credentials.

    I am not a financial advisor nor have any vested interest in Veribanc.

    Carl Nemo **==

  6. griff

    Good advice in terms of economics. One thought concerning brokers and mutual funds and the like. If times were different, that advice would be sound, but I wouldn’t count on paper substitutes of any kind.

    I personally would invest in hard assets, and soon. I mean gold and silver, delivered to your door. You must have it in your hands to be of any real value in a collapse.

    When this economy finally goes belly up, how is one to get one’s gold or silver? Will you drive three thousand miles with your certificate and demand it? Will you be able to fly to the Caymans and cash in that bond? Believe me, they’ll be long gone with your gold and your money.

    This economic collapse will be an unprecedented and cataclysmic one to be sure. One that will surely mean the end of America as we know it. I don’t have what could be termed as wealth, but what I do have I will not trust with anyone but myself. Not in this climate.

    As a matter of fact, food will be worth more than gold for most, and without either you will truly be screwed. Silver is more economical right now and easily affordable compared with gold. It is also in lesser overall supply than gold and will be more easily transacted if need be.

    A little over $1000 will get you four pounds of circulated Morgan silver dollars (48 one ounce coins) delivered to your door right now.

  7. SEAL

    Doug: not only was this good rant today, it is an important one. The only way we will ever get past the problem is to face it. Bring it out in the open and discuss it. We need more articles for discussion such as this.

    Today, Obama did the only thing he could do and what he knew he would have to do sometime during his campaign. The good news is that it has happened this early on and that it has happened during the primaries rather than the general election. That makes it an “in house” issue among the democrats.

    The bad news is that it came from Obama’s own religious mentor which tends to ferment the idea that Obama would share the same philosophy in some deep rooted way. No doubt, there will be a lasting negative effect in the minds of some people no matter how strongly Obama denies it.

    The only question is: will this affect Obama’s campaign? As your article points out, racism already exists, therefore, I would say it has already had whatever effect it will have in the voting thus far. Rev. Wright’s ravings would only serve to confirm what those N—Ger haters believe. For those so-called independent voters, Obama’s speach today should ease their minds. He addressed the issue in a way that made sense. However, he is left with one very big problem. The continuing attitude that spews from the pulpit of his church.

    Obama is now faced with convincing his church to change the rhetoric and preach strictly non political, non-antagonistic sermons exclusive to religion. He must convince them that if they wish to see him elected to the presidency, they must deliver sermons that will aid his run for it. Otherwise, he will have no choice but to leave that church. You know damn well the repugnants will use anything coming from his church that would hurt him. Obama would be stupid to allow that church to derail his campaign.

    And the church would be stupid not to do whatever it can to help him get elected.

  8. sherry

    Off topic Nemo, but are you saying my money market at the bank is not safe? Holy cow. I guess I need to dig a hole in the back yard. oops! That won’t work. I live in a condo….

  9. Gerald Sutliff

    Dear Doug et al,

    As Senator Obama said: “Race is a distraction” but we go for the lure every time. Voting “gender” or “race” causes us not to vote our interests, that is unless we think being a poor white sharecropper who can look down on poor black sharecroppers is better than being a “successful, healthy, educated, agricultural worker and/or property owner who finds common interest with all others in similar situations.”

    BTW the senator’s speech today was great.

    Gerald Sutliff
    Bakersfield, CA

  10. Carl Nemo

    Just by looking at the “Recent Stories” column on CHB we can witness America’s focus on trivia while their once great nation has taken two MK48’s amidships; ie., the bogus war in Iraq based on “cooked” intelligence along with the financial housing based torpedo. The USS America is ready to break in half and go to the bottom unless someone with a set of titanium balls and the gift of oratory takes over the helm of state and turns this situation around via fiat decree if necessary.

    535 duplicit, apparatchik clowns in the House and the Senate will make sure they are climbing in the lifeboats first, leaving us to drown in miserable debt, repossessions, soaring prices and the exponential collapse of the US dollar along with the derivative crisis of rioting; ie., “blood in the streets” …!

    This is not a prognostication; ie. it’s happening NOW…!

    Since we already know the Captain; ie. Bush and his first officer Cheney are gutless, crooked-assed, evil sob’s they will surely have a chopper take them off the main deck while they give us all the finger flying off to parts unknown, possibly the bushies new rancho in Paraguay.

    I highly suggest folks look into protecting their assets in the Rydex family of currency funds by putting some of your cash assets in a solid foreign currency instruments such as the Euro or the Swiss Franc and Australian dollar. These funds pay interest on your holdings less a .4 percent management fee. These funds with the exception of the Australian dollar are powerful uptrends and are supported by an ADX confirmation of greater than 25 percent which is good and confirms the powerful uptrends. Not so with the Australian dollar although it does pay 6.5 percent interest on the its dollar holdings.

    Another recommended protection is place some of your assets in a solid Gold based mutual fund which is allocated in currencies outside of the US. So you not only enjoy the appreciation of the value of precious metals as a hedge against inflation, but the value-added of their appreciating currency values.

    Stay away from common stocks in these turbulent times and if you must keep your money in a money market fund then the best are the U.S. Treasury only types that currently yield as low as 2.09 percent…ouch! Unlike regular money market funds which are not guaranteed by any insuring agency such with CD’s; ie., FDIC, FSLIC etc. these funds are at least guaranteed by the “full faith and credit of the United States” whatever that means in our times.

    Regardless, the U.S. has never defaulted on debt in the 219 years since the dawn of the Republic which cannot be said for most nations on earth or than with few exceptions. The trouble is now we have criminal counterfeiters in control of the Fed and the US Treasury.

    I am not a financial advisor nor have any personal interest in the Rydex family of currency funds, but rest assured our government is not going to save our asses from the ravages of their criminally “engineered” inflation scam.

    When the arabs, the Chinese, the Japanese and others pull the plug on our currency and either move their money to Euros, Swiss Francs, or back into Yuan or Yen with massive currency repatriation, we are going to be toast. Mexico and most third world countries will then be classed as wealthy nations compared to us.

    Many people are going to find themselves living next to the RR tracks living in tarpaper shacks, spearing rats with fire-hardened sticks to survive and all of them saying “wut da f**k” as they collectively scratch their heads and asses… 😐

    Then we can all both see and know how important race will be as an issue in this upcoming election…say what?! All I can say is people best elect Obama, simply for seachange purposes. To vote for “Billary” or “McPain” is the equivalent of an act of national seppuku…!

    Carl Nemo **==

  11. pollchecker

    Here’s a chuckle for you Doug.

    Every time I read the headline for this rant, for some reason, I read it as “American fascism is a fact of life”. I have no clue why it would come across that way….certainly not the purpose of the article. Yet 3 times today as I was glimpsing over the site, I read it that way. Guess it shows where my brain is at (haha).