Wednesday, October 25, 2006

blatant racist propaganda

It seems as issues of racial justice have been garnering more and more of my attention as of late. Usually, my thoughts swirl more around the immigration debate, but I've been pushed by current events into looking at another angle. I would point you to the following links if you are of a mind to join me...

A blatantly racist television ad has been airing in the Tennessee senatorial race. Most have used the term racist, race-baiting and tacky to describe it. But make your own judgment after viewing it. It has been pulled in most markets, in favor of a different ad (this one using what's been characterized as "jungle drums"...not exactly an improvement), but no apology has been forthcoming. Current party leadership didn't see any problem with it. This issue, and the race as a whole, is being actively blogged on DailyKos. And half a million dollars has been sunk into the ad to date. Good heavens, it even ticked off the Canadians!
  • After the building meme on Googlebombing the election, I decided to check something out. Interestingly enough, when you google republican racist, the highest news articles date from 2002-2003. Go to the news page? This senatorial race shoots to the top of the list. I would suspect those results will change very quickly. (I hope. TN is not the only state in which the "good old" Southern strategy has been an issue. Don't even get me started on George Allen.) Also interestingly, an article on googlebombing was briefly linked from MSNBC's home page tonight, but when I went back, the link had disappeared.

In a southern Wisconsin community last weekend, there was a funeral for the "N word". Right around the same time I heard it used elsewhere, unapologetically. I don't think I had heard anyone use that word openly since I lived in rural Louisiana. I'm still too stunned by the incident to reflect. So I offer it to you for your prayers and consideration. Was the funeral premature?

In the face of these news items, I have to believe we can all do something. Simplistic, certainly. Idealistic, without a doubt. Maybe it's drinking new wine. Maybe it's the nudge of the Spirit to examine my own complicity. But, I offer you 10 simple ideas to eliminate racism. And, The Birmingham Pledge. I shared the pledge with the 60 staff members and 15 board members of the nonprofit agency that employs me, and I challenged them all to explore it before signing. I hope you'll consider it, too.

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