Archive for the ‘Martin Luther King’ Category

Race and Gender Are Issues in Tense Day for Democrats

January 14, 2008
LAS VEGAS — After staying on the sidelines in the first year of the campaign, race and to a lesser extent gender have burst into the forefront of the Democratic presidential contest, thrusting Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton into the middle of a sharp-edged social and political debate that transcends their candidacies.

In a tense day of exchanges by the candidates and their supporters, Mrs. Clinton suggested on Sunday that Mr. Obama’s campaign, in an effort to inject race into the contest, distorted remarks she had made about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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Mr. Obama tartly dismissed Mrs. Clinton’s suggestion, adding that “the notion that somehow this is our doing is ludicrous.”
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Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/14/us/politics/14campaign.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
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Clintons Move to Tamp Down Criticism From Blacks

January 12, 2008
January 12, 2008
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WASHINGTON — The Clinton campaign moved Friday to try to quell a potentially damaging reaction to recent comments by Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton that have drawn criticism from African-Americans just as the presidential primary campaign reached Southern states with significant numbers of black voters.In a call on Friday to Al Sharpton’s nationally syndicated talk radio show, Mr. Clinton said that his “fairy tale” comment on Monday about Senator Barack Obama’s position on the Iraq war was being misconstrued, and that he was talking only about the war, not about Mr. Obama’s overarching message or his drive to be the first black president.

Al Sharpton, captured by Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

“There’s nothing fairy tale about his campaign,” Mr. Clinton said. “It’s real, strong, and he might win.”

Mr. Clinton’s fairy tale line and a comment by Mrs. Clinton that some interpreted as giving President Lyndon B. Johnson more credit than the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for civil rights laws have disturbed African-Americans….

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/12/us/politics/12clinton.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1200160994-jLA3Qhs0vs1tAjImKwLT/Q

Related:
Sharpton, Jackson dilemma

Bill Clinton by
Perry Baker, AP
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Clintons In Hot Water With Blacks

By WAYNE WASHINGTON – wwashington@thestate.com

Sharp criticism of Barack Obama and other comments about Martin Luther King Jr. — all from people associated with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — have generated resentment among some black S.C. voters.

The furor comes just two weeks before those voters will have a significant say in who wins the Jan. 26 primary here.

The Clinton-Obama battle has the potential to become a wrenching divide for black voters. Historically those voters have been strong backers of Bill and Hillary Clinton. But many black voters now are drawn to the prospect of a black man winning the presidency.

Those on both sides say watching the battle unfold in the Palmetto State, where black voters could cast half of the votes in the Democratic primary, won’t be pretty.

“To some of us, it is painful,” said state Sen. Darrell Jackson, a Clinton supporter.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., had pledged to remain neutral as Democrats competed for votes in the state’s primary.

But the state’s only African-American congressman was quoted in The New York Times Friday saying he is reconsidering that stance in light of comments from Clinton.

She raised eyebrows in New Hampshire when she credited President Lyndon Baines Johnson, not the assassinated John F. Kennedy or King, for passing civil rights legislation.

“It is one thing to run a campaign and be respectful of everyone’s motives and actions, and it is something else to denigrate those,” Clyburn told the Times. “That bothered me a great deal.”

Efforts to reach Clyburn, leading a congressional delegation examining Asian port security, were not successful Friday.

Clyburn’s office issued a statement Friday night that lacked the fire of his Times interview.

“I encourage the candidates to be sensitive about the words they use,” Clyburn said in the statement. “This is an historic race for America to have such strong, diverse candidates vying for the Democratic nomination.”

Clinton expanded on her comments during a Jan. 8 interview on NBC’s “Today” show.

“Sen. Obama used President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to criticize me,” she said. “Basically compared himself to two of our greatest heroes. He basically said that President Kennedy and Dr. King had made great speeches and that speeches were important. Well, no one denies that. But if all there is (is) a speech, then it doesn’t change anything.”

GROWING SPLIT

A generational divide has opened among black S.C. political leaders that matches a key difference between Clinton and Obama.

Older, more experienced black elected officials, including Jackson and state Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, back Clinton. Younger politicians — including Steve Benjamin and Rick Wade, who both made high-profile runs for statewide office, and state Reps. Bakari Sellers and Todd Rutherford — support Obama.

Rutherford bristles at the notion, offered up by some of Clinton’s supporters, that it is foolish to back a relatively young black man for an office that no black ever has held.

“If they are going to call themselves black leaders, and people are running by them to vote for Obama and they are standing there and pointing in the other direction, then maybe they need to be replaced,” Rutherford said.

Obama has gotten under the skin of the Clintons by painting Hillary Clinton as a calculating politician whose election would take the country back to the bitterly partisan years of the 1990s.

The Clinton team mostly ignored Obama’s digs in the early months of the campaign. But, as Obama moved closer to what became a resounding victory in the Iowa caucuses, Clinton and her supporters began to attack Obama.

A prominent Clinton supporter in New Hampshire said Democrats should think twice about nominating Obama because Republicans would revive his past drug use in this fall’s general election campaign.

Clinton quickly disassociated herself from the comments. But they were widely seen as a clumsy attempt by her campaign to remind voters about Obama’s previous drug use.

After Obama won in Iowa and Hillary Clinton’s path to the nomination seemed threatened, Bill Clinton came to his wife’s defense. He argued Obama’s rise had come without an appropriate level of scrutiny from members of the news media.

“This thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen,” the former president said.

Bill Clinton kept up the criticism, telling New Hampshire voters not to make the same decision Iowans had in supporting Obama.

“The voters there said, ‘We want something different. We want something that looks good and sounds good. We don’t care about achievement.’”

Obama supporters were outraged by the criticism.

“We expect a lot of Barack Obama,” Benjamin said. “We expect as much from Hillary Clinton. And we probably expect more from Bill Clinton.”

Jackson said it is fair to draw sharp comparisons between Clinton, who was first lady for eight years before becoming a U.S. senator, and Obama, who served in the Illinois state legislature before winning his Senate seat.

He said the Clintons, particularly the former president, have earned the right to be critical of Obama without having to worry about being seen as racists.

“We’re not talking about David Duke saying these things,” Jackson said. “Here’s a guy who was affectionately called the first black president.”

Despite broad popularity among blacks, the Clintons are employing a risky strategy in sharply criticizing Obama, said Marcus Cox, director of the African-American Studies Department at The Citadel.

African-Americans liked what they knew of Obama in the early months of the campaign, Cox said. But they wondered if white voters would support him. Now, after Iowa, some of those doubts are gone, and many black voters have come to see Obama as their best chance to have one of their own capture the White House.

Anyone who tries to get in the way of that, particularly anyone who is not black, will spark some anger, Cox said.

“The racial dynamic is always going to be there,” Cox said. “If you have a white female candidate attacking a black candidate, it might look racial. I think that would hurt (Hillary Clinton).”

Sellers, the 23-year-old legislator who won his seat in the General Assembly by defeating one of its oldest members, said he is angry about Hillary Clinton’s remarks regarding King’s contribution to civil rights legislation.

“I think those comments were insensitive,” Sellers said. “I think they showed a lack of concern about the struggles of African-Americans. I thought those comments were inappropriate.

“But,” Sellers added, “I still love Bill.”

Brute Force Cannot Subdue the Drive for Freedom

October 21, 2007

By THE DALAI LAMA

Sunday, October 21, 2007; Page B01
The Washington Post

Brute force can never subdue the basic human desire for freedom.

The thousands of people who marched in the cities of Eastern Europe in recent decades, the unwavering determination of the people in my homeland of Tibet and the recent demonstrations in Burma are powerful reminders of this truth. Freedom is the very source of creativity and human development. It is not enough, as communist systems assumed, to provide people with food, shelter and clothing. If we have these things but lack the precious air of liberty to sustain our deeper nature, we remain only half human.

In the past, oppressed peoples often resorted to violence in their struggle to be free. But visionaries such as Mahatma Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. have shown us that successful changes can be brought about nonviolently. I believe that, at the basic human level, most of us wish to be peaceful. Deep down, we desire constructive, fruitful growth and dislike destruction.

Many people today agree that we need to reduce violence in our society. If we are truly serious about this, we must deal with the roots of violence, particularly those that exist within each of us. We need to embrace “inner disarmament,” reducing our own emotions of suspicion, hatred and hostility toward our brothers and sisters.

Harry Potter: More Worthless Pop Culture

July 22, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
July 23, 2007

I may be the only one in America that isn’t fond of Harry Potter. In fact, I find the book series a time wasting distraction that leads kids towards fantasy and novels and away from much greater reading learning experiences and challenges: like world or American history.

On February 28, 2004, American historian Daniel Boorstin died. On that same day, local high school students on the TV quiz show “It’s Academic,” in Washington D.C., failed to even make a guess at the answer to a simple question about the American Civil War and Fort Sumter.

So you may say, “why is the Civil War so important?” The saving of one continental nation? The emancipation of the slaves? Are there no lessons here about determination, dedication and perseverance for our children to learn?

Boorstin: lawyer, head of the Library of Congress for 12 years, faculty member of the University of Chicago for 25 years, and writer more than 20 books was a spectacular American worth “knowing” though his works. His famous trilogy on the American experience, U.S.A., gave us deep lessons into who we are as Americans.

Boorstin was a man of depth and merit who left us a legacy.

I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, but Harry Potter is not the best use of a child’s time or brain.

Harry Potter is just one more waste of time on top of so many video games, T.V. shows and other horrible uses of wonderful tools like the human mind, the imagination, the intellect and the computers that makes us tick: ourselves and our fellow Americans.

Since there are only 24 hours in each day, and many of those hours are already packed full of clutter and entertainment, I am generally not in favor of more that disassociates people from reality.  Especially those masters of the future universe, our children, should be encouraged to take a bite out of real life a little more often.  The current diet of pop culture is too heavy in what clogs the veins and mind.

Ever wonder why American history, values and society are no longer a mainstay of American schools and media? Because many of the Founders were unusually talented super-achievers and every single one was a firm believer in The Almighty.

Today: your kids’ teachers want them talking about abortion, sex education and gay marriage but certainly not God or the values, traditions and history that made America great. In fact, most of our corps of teachers are liberal and not conservative and don’t really believe that America is great (if it ever was, they say).

And there is another subliminal message: YOU CANNOT EVER be a super-achiever yourself.

We are treating our children to a brainwashing of mediocrity.
Photo
Chinese students take an exam en-masse.

History is filled with super-achievers, inventors, military leaders, scientists and researchers. History teaches that money is not always the most valuable commodity or goal.

American history teaches us the values, rights and responsibilities of our citizenship. History makes us a nation: a race of people and not just a collision of different peoples from many lands.

You can be born French, but when you move in from another land you don’t necessarily become French. When you move to America and become a citizen, you are embraced as an American.

People come here to share in the values and rights of all Americans. Yet we, as parents and teachers, neglect them or even undermine them.

Understanding who gained those American rights and how they achieved them is important because those rights bind us together as a people.

Our history is “Ich bin ein Berliner,” the Boston Tea Party, Ellis Island, Posk Chop Hill, Gettysburg, and “I have a dream.” Our history is the Emancipation Proclamation, Bill of Rights, and Constitution.

Our history is our culture. Our focus upon Paris Hilton, Janet Jackson, “Lord of the Rings,” and, yes, Harry Potter himself, is fleeting, largely meaningless debris. The liberties gained by our history are lasting and binding and allow us a free Hollywood entertainment machine. But you can’t learn history from Michael Moore and Oliver Stone.

How many kids in your child’s classroom know that George Washington was an accomplished horticulturist who created hybrid plants and made his own wine? How many can appreciate the architectural genius of Thomas Jefferson? How many know that Benjamin Franklin charted the ocean’s currents on his way to Europe to serve as an Ambassador?

Do your children know that a Black Man and former slave named Frederick Douglass was instrumental in freeing the slaves and became one of the finest orators of his time? And how many can discuss Mark Twain: another world renown orator? How many know what an orator IS?

How many of your children know that Black Men like Christian Fleetwood were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War? How many know what the Medal of Honor is and what it means?

How many of your children can articulate even one story of an American immigrant super-achiever like Henry Villard: a German speaking immigrant who became one of the finest English language journalists of his day and then rose to become an American Tycoon?

In fact: our American story is filled with super-achievers. Real men and women who were super achievers. Who needs novels and stories of fantasy when the facts of our predecessors from all races and all places is tremendously enlightening and challenging?

Our history teaches us toughness and serenity. Through history we learn the dichotomies of man and the strange bedfellows life brings. We learn that Great Britain, George Bush’s greatest ally in Iraq, is also the nation that burned the White House and the U.S. Capitol in 1814. And yet the Republic survived. So what really did the nation have to fear on September 11, 2001? Fear itself? And who coined that phrase?

And the history of man, world history, teaches us how tribes became cultures and nations.

Madam Curie, Robert Fulton, Robert Peary, Jonas Salk, George Washington Carver, Charles Lindbergh, Albert Einstein and so many more through history offer all of us, and especially our children, lessons in life.

And the stories of these people may inspire future greatness among our children.

History makes us appreciate what it means to be an American and our history compels us read. But don’t read your kids’ history textbooks. They are often politically correct collections of facts and misinterpretation not worth reading. Understanding history, like mining, requires one to dig deep into the writings of and about great men, at least occasionally.

Ignoring our history belittles the greatness of our nation. It also insults the intelligence of our children. By building a national generation of pop culture worshipers instead of a generation of dedicated super-achievers we send the message that Michael Vick and Paris Hilton are really valuable and important.

Is this what we really want?

I don’t like Harry Potter one bit. It is another piece of pop culture trash that detracts from reality instead of embracing it.

Sorry to rain on anyone’s parade but if we as a nation and a culture continue to loudly applaud the stuff that makes the barn floor slippery we can expect a lot more slippery stuff in our society.

Related:
Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

Priest Says Harry Potter Helps Devil, Evil

Reading American history about the early years of America and the Founders is enlightening…..
Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction

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An open letter to Free Republic readers and others linking to this article:

Here are a few ideas to consider as you attack my ideas.

–I do not believe that money equals value. In other words, Pet Rocks made a lot of money for someone but we are still a ways from curing cancer. Paris Hilton and Michael Vick have made a lot of money, but in many places they would not be welcome near children…..

–I very much do agree that reading is important (as the essay clearly says). But reading garbage is a waste of time. Harry Potter is 5 books. Those have been blockbusters. Great. But that has not translated into more readership overall. Despite Harry Potter, readership, especially teen readership, is in a steep decline.

Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

–My recommendation for parent younger than …well, my age…is that they start to attack their schools. If teachers think the learning/reading dilemma is solved with Sir Harry they are wildly off the mark. In fact, off the reservation.

Finally, I hope people will read Part II of this essay which deals with our national well being and understanding America’s Founders and roots.

Part II:
Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction

All the best to everyone.