Stupidity on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

What a week this has been for racism, huh! People who should know better apparently don’t, and then when given a chance to vindicate themselves, wind up digging a deeper hole.

Let’s start with this redneck Cliven Bundy, a Nevada cattle rancher behind whom a militia has been organized to fight government agents coming to collect a debt that is claimed to be over a million dollars. The government expects a fee for having cattle graze on public land, but Bundy has ignored the fees since 1993. This is the latest cause that the far right Tea Party has decided to rally behind, and such prominent Republican spokespeople as senator Rand Paul and Fox News anchor Sean Hannity initially gave their endorsements.

But, whoa there, little dogies! Not sure exactly why Bundy was given the opportunity to speak, but the man did, and this came out: “I want to tell you one thing I know about the Negro,” as he and his interviewer passed a public housing project, “they’re basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they’ve never learned to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves?”

And he wasn’t finished. After the above quote topped the US headlines, CNN granted him a chance to defend himself, at which time he blurted out this pearl of wisdom: “If I say Negro, or black boy, or slave, if those people can’t take those kind of words, then Martin Luther King hasn’t gotten his job done yet.” Oh for Chrissake, so it’s Dr. King’s fault that you’re an ignorant idiot! Suffice to say that the screech of the tires U-turning away from the defense of this bigot was audible in other galaxies. Hannity and Paul led the way in the condemnation sweepstakes. I haven’t heard whether Bundy’s posse has dissipated as well.

Next up was Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. For most of his tenure, the Clippers were the doormat and laughing stock of the league, and the ugly step-sister to their more glamorous rival, the LA Lakers. This year the tide has finally turned, and the Clippers are the star team finishing first in their division, while the Lakers finished last.

A recording surfaced yesterday of Sterling, who’s 81, in a ten-minute argument with his 25-year-old girlfriend (yes, you read that right!) about her posting Instagram photos of herself with NBA legend Magic Johnson. The girlfriend, identified as V. Stiviano, who’s of mixed race, is being told by Sterling that taking photos of minorities is like “talking to the enemy,” and later on asks her, “Why bring it to my games?”

That’s a really tough one to defend, though you have to wonder how this was allowed to be recorded, but then I remember wondering that about the Nixon Watergate tapes, too. Still, to espouse that sort of viewpoint when about 75 percent of the active players in pro basketball are African-American, including Magic Johnson, adds new meaning to the word stupid. Barack Obama couldn’t leave this one alone, having had to deal with racism under many different guises in his presidency. “When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t have to do anything. You just let them talk. That’s what happened here.”

Sterling’s spin doctors are claiming Ms. Stiviano is using the recording to try and damage the lawsuit that Sterling has instituted against her, claiming embezzlement of $1.8 million. Well, it’s a pretty damn good exhibit A, I’d say! Nowhere have I read that she is now an EX-girlfriend, but it’s safe to say that, given the obvious differences in age and philosophy, she’d have to be a pretty poor example of womanhood if she’s still clinging on to this man. As a Golden State Warriors fan, and the Clippers having a 2-1 edge in playoff matches against them, I certainly hope it’s enough of a distraction. It’s hard to imagine the Clippers feeling much in the way of team pride if winning the title boosts the bank balance of this prick.

Meanwhile, in England, the United Kingdom Independent Party (UKIP) is self-imploding. UKIP has been the more viable successor to the British National Party, a far-right racist (though they’d never admit it) group that self-destructed in the last British election. The BNP was based in Barking, right next to Dagenham, where I lived for almost a decade. When they were threatening to be a force, they were going door-to-door trying to recruit, and I was overjoyed when these bastards came to MY house. Their minion had a hairstyle right out of “Grease,” and started his pitch about how the BNP is working to curb immigration to keep illegals from blah blah blah.. Then he heard my accent, realized I was probably not a citizen or registered voter, saw my record collection, and decided to talk about ELVIS! What a legacy poor Elvis has left behind, having worshippers like this waste of human flesh.

UKIP had avoided showing any of the kind of true colors that forced the BNP way into the background after the 2010 election, and the party’s leader, Nigel Farage, has at least come off as rather scholarly, embarrassing the Liberal Democrat party leader Nick Clegg in a series of debates. So if Farage wasn’t going to screw up the party’s chances, who would?

Enter William Henwood of Enfield, campaigning for a party seat in Parliament. In response to a comment from respected English Black comedian Lenny Henry, who was complaining about the lack of minority faces on television, Henwood tweeted, “He should emigrate to a Black country. He doesn’t have to live with Whites.” Given a chance to redeem himself, he sunk deeper in political quicksand by saying, “I think if Black people come to this country and don’t like mixing with White people, why are they here? If (Henry) wants a lot of Blacks around, go and live in a Black country!” I think there’s only certain White people that Blacks don’t want to “mix” with, and you, Mr. Henwood, are the epitome of that sort of person.

He was followed by another Parliamentary candidate, Magnus Nielsen, of Camden, whose two cents read, “Islam is organized crime under religious camouflage. Any Muslim who is not involved in organized crime is not a ‘true believer,’ practicing as Mohammed commanded.” So shoot yourself in the foot, if you don’t put that same foot in your mouth!

When these racist organizations like to complain about immigrants coming over and taking jobs away, it’s almost laugh worthy. I know it’s easy to be upset over losing that dish washing or car parking or all those other minimum-wage jobs you so highly coveted. Mostly, given the fact that this school of thought still exists nearly 150 years after slavery was abolished means that new generations are being spoon fed the same bullshit their racist ancestors absorbed and passed along. It’s a nice wish for common sense to prevail, and I can only hope for the sake of both my native country and my adopted one that it does.

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