AFTER JOHN EDWARDS SKIPPED A SCHEDULED INTERVIEW WITH THESE REPORTERS EXPLAINING HE NEEDED TO YET AGAIN PROCLAIM HIS "MAN LOVE" FOR BARACK OBAMA IN PUBLIC, THESE REPORTERS LINED UP AN INTERVIEW WITH NON-SELLING AUTHOR MELISSA HARRIS-LACEWELL
MS. HARRIS-LACEWELL, THE TOPICS THAT INTEREST YOU AS AN AUTHOR ARE?
MH-L: I'LL GRAB ANY TOPIC THAT'S A STEREOTYPE AND REINFORCE IT BECAUSE I'M REALLY TRYING TO SELL SOME BOOKS. PEOPLE WILL BUY CRAP IF YOU PACKAGE IT RIGHT!
COULD YOU SPEAK OF YOUR STANDARDS AS A WRITER?
MH-L: STANDARDS? I WROTE ABOUT BARBERSHOPS BECAUSE OF THE MOVIE. GUYS, I'M TELLING YOU, I JUST GRAB A TOPIC, PRETEND I HAVE ONE FRIEND TO TURN TO, PICK UP MY TAPE RECORDER AND DICTATE AS MUCH 'GIRLFRIEND!' TALK AS I CAN FOR 15 MINUTES AND VIOLA! INSTANT CHAPTER!
MM-HMM. WELL ARE YOU INFLUENCED BY THE WORKS OF OTHERS? NORA ZEAL HURSTON, ALICE WALKER?
MH-L: WHO? I READ JACKIE COLLINS THE BITCH AND THE STUD! I LOVED THOSE BOOKS! BUT HOLLYWOOD CHILDREN IS MY IDEA OF CLASSIC LITERATURE.
WHAT ABOUT NTOZAKE SHANGE?
MH-L: IS THAT AN ITEM YOU ORDER OFF THE MENU?
SHE WROTE FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF. YOUR BOOK YOU'VE WORKED OVER A YEAR ON AND NOT FINISHED IS ENTITLED FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO'VE CONSIDERED POLITICS WHEN BEING STRONG WASN'T ENOUGH.
MH-L: OH THAT. YEAH. I HEARD THE TITLE OF THAT BOOK --
IT WAS A PLAY.
MH-L: WHATEVER, YOU KNOW. I'M ALL ABOUT "EVERYDAY TALK." I SAW THAT TITLE ON A T-SHIRT AND TOLD MYSELF, "GIRLFRIEND, THERE'S YOUR NEXT BOOK!" COULD YOU PUT IN THAT I SAID "GIRLFRIEND, THERE'S YOUR NEXT BOOK!" WITH A HEAD ROLL. I THINK MY STEREOTYPICAL WRITING WILL SELL BETTER IF I AM PRESENTED AS A STEREOTYPE.
ON DEMOCRACY NOW! TODAY, WHEN NOT ATTACKING, OR MAYBE IN YOUR CONTINUED ATTACKING, YOU SPOKE OF "LONNIE GUINIER."
MH-L: I LOVE LONNIE!
IS "LONNIE GUINIER" ACTUALLY LANI GUINIER?
YOU SAID "LONNIE," NOT "LANI." DID YOU MEAN "LANI"?
MH-L: LOOK I THINK THAT'S A DIVISIVE QUESTION. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A "LONNIE GUINIER" AND A "LANI GUINIER" YOU ARE BEING DIVISIVE.
WELL GENDER IS A DIFFERENCE.
MH-L: AS I SAID YOU ARE BEING DIVISIVE.
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE ILLEGAL WAR. YOUR CANDIDATE, WHO YOU TOLD BILL MOYERS IN MAY OF 2007 WOULD NOT BE ELECTED PRESIDENT IN 2008 BUT YOU "WOULD LOVE TO SEE HIM AS VICE PRESIDENT BECAUSE MY BET IS THAT HE COULD WIN EIGHT YEARS LATER" --
MH-L: I NEVER SAID THAT!
MAY 2007, YOU SAID IT. BACK TO THE ISSUE OF THE ILLEGAL WAR --
MH-L: BARACK OBAMA WAS AGAINST THE WAR IN 2002, HE GAVE A WONDERFUL SPEECH WHERE HE CALLED THE WAR "DUMB" -- NOT ILLEGAL LIKE YOU TWO KEEP DOING. IT WAS "DUMB." THAT'S WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WAR, IT WAS DUMB. WHEN BARACK IS PRESIDENT HE WILL FIGHT IT SMART AND WE WILL KICK SOME IRAQI ASS! THAT'S WHY HE TELLS PEOPLE HE IS NOT SURE HOW HE WOULD HAVE VOTED IN 2002 IF HE HAD BEEN IN THE SENATE. HE SAID IT IN 2004 TO THE NEW YORK TIMES, HE SAID IT IN 2006 TO THE NEW YORKER. AND LIKE A GOOD WAR HAWK HE HAS REPEATEDLY VOTED FOR THE ILLEGAL WAR SINCE BEING IN THE SENATE IN 2005. KILL IRAQIS! YEAH! YEAH! THAT'S WHY I AM FOR BARACK! THAT'S WHY I LOVE BARACK! KILL! KILL! KILL SMART! KILL SMART!
AT WHICH POINT THE 'PROFESSOR' ENDED THE INTERVIEW ABRUPTLY. THE 'PROFESSOR''S FORTHCOMING BOOK MAY BE OUT THIS YEAR OR NEXT OR THE YEAR AFTER.
Turning to US political news, today on Democracy Now! a debate was hosted on gender and race. It's appalling that this passes for an issue, it's appalling that DN! took part in that nonsense. A discussion on the intersection of race and gender would have been more than fine. The refusal of DN! and every other public affairs program to address gender will never apparently deemed a topic worthy in an of itself. So today we got a White feminist and an African-American non-feminist woman pitted against one another. It was not a proud moment for public affairs broadcasting.
I found it personally offensive and I am very angry that we have to use the snapshot to address it. However, we reached a record number of e-mails on this with members outraged. Including everyone's comments would be impossible. A committee was created quickly composed of Gina, Krista, Liang, Keesha, Martha, Ava, Kat, Maria and myself. As we went through the e-mails and then grouped together on the phone to discuss them the key points were:
* It is offensive that Democracy Now! pitted two women against one another in a sort of CrossFire match up. What was needed was a discussion on gender. Gender is a discussion that may get a segment once a year on Democracy Now! if that. We are not referring to the overt attacks on women worldwide, we are talking about very real gender issues in this country. By contrast, racism is noted repeatedly each year on Democracy Now!
* While we're fully aware that it takes an idiot to front a racism charge against Gloria Steinem, there's no need to present an idiot in debate. There are many feminists of many races who could have been brought on. Some of whom may in fact disagree with Gloria. That's fine. There's no question that their sincere in their support for women. It would be equally true of those women that they knew history. Putting on a woman uneducated in women's history -- which is what happened -- is an embarrassment in and of itself.
* Amy Goodman (unlike Juan Gonzalez) continues to allow the hype of Barack Obama to be flashed on the program without question. On Iraq, Gloria was questioned about Hillary's record and quotes from Hillary were provided. No such thing happened with Obama. In 2004, he told the New York Times he didn't know how he would have voted if he'd been in the Senate in 2002, he told the same thing in 2006 to The New Yorker, he told a Chicago townhall (which no one has picked up on outside this community), after he was in the Senate, why he wouldn't advocate for withdrawal. Amy Goodman has one set of standards for the candidate Hillary Clinton and has no standards at all for Obama based upon the fact that Bambi supporters are NEVER asked about the illegal war. That was true last week as well with the debate there. Goodman repeatedly avoided asking the pro-Bambi guest on the issue of the war.
* The whole thing was an embarrassment for women because it pitted two women against one another and seemed to whip up a desire for a 'cat fight.' It was offensive. It was offensive that a woman who knew nothing was allowed to attack Gloria Steinem. It was offensive that feminism is only a topic we can get coverage of from DN! if there's a hope of a 'cat fight.' It was offensive that after having published in the skin magazine by the pervert (L.F.) regularly featured on Demcracy Now!, this is seen by some as Goodman's contribution to womanhood.
* As the e-mails were too large even for all of us to read any member wanting their comments noted should contact Gina and Krista for the gina & krista round-robin by Wednesday. After Wednesday, you should contact Polly or Maria, Francisco or Miguel and it will run in Polly's Brew or El Espirito on Sunday. Hilda will comment on the nonsense tomorrow in Hilda's Mix.
To address it today, and we have to address it because that b.s. passing off as a public affairs has enraged this community, it was decided Betty and Keesha were the go-to voices because they have regularly addressed race and gender and are feminists. These are the comments they made
Betty wants noted, "Professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell, you're an 'author' the way a porn maker is a film maker. Your book titles are nothing but rip-offs of popular culture, you're unable to make an argument in book form that's of interest without ripping off others. You're a Barack lover. You are complicit in oppressing other Black women and I will hold you accountable. You insulted, you distorted, you flat out lied. You shame not just yourself, you shame my race and you went on with a set of talking points -- all distortions -- but you're the water carrier for the Bambi campaign. If you are indeed a Black woman, as opposed to bi- or multi-racial, it's really sad to know that one of my own would lie so loudly and so cravenly in public to advance the needs of a bi-racial man at the expense of all women. Get a life, write a real book, one that has a real title and not your pop-culture rip offs. Educate yourself and learn history, you stupid, stupid woman. On Sunday, I quoted the same thing Gloria Steinem today, from Sojourner Truth. You're nothing but a ditzy, pop-culture faux academic and you're being sent out to trash a woman. You are disgusting. Save your soul, it's too late for your self-respect."
Keesha wants noted, "The woman is an idiot, an ahisotrical idiot, who is having an argument with Gloria Steinem -- when she finally gets to anything resembling an actual issue -- that is an argument with Betty Friedan. Dumb Ass Professor, learn your history, you dumb disgrace. Steinem was the one pushing sisterhood of all, races and sexuality, Betty Friedan was the one running from both and she did nothing but push middle-class, White women. Steinem regularly toured as a part of a team and did so in order that the Black feminist experience would be and could be heard not as a sidenote but front and center in the feminism debate. Steinem is not the one you have an argument with and there is no excuse for your shameful ignorance on feminism except that you are not one. You also say Steinem wrote an 'op-ed' when she wrote a column -- one more indication of how lacking your pathetic education has been. As for your laughable column you reference, it should have resulted in dumb threats. I am the one who led the argument at this site for the closing of the comments and the comments were closed off when I was insulted by 'Blue Dog Democrats' who haunted the site. I was insulted and degraded both for my gender and my race. It wasn't one or the other, it was both. You seem highly ignorant of that. If you want sympathy for death threats, you've come to the wrong community. Ava and C.I. have received threats of being gutted with knives for TV reviews -- for TV reviews -- and Betty had to step away from her e-mails due to the fact that her humor site was resulting in so many e-mails. You don't know anything and you're nothing but a woman making herself pathetic to prop up a man who is not Black, he is bi-racial. He has played the race card and you lie about that. He is a War Hawk and you lie about that. You are either the most uneducated woman put on a television as a professor or you are a liar. Regardless you are a disgrace and you need to learn a little history before you speak in public again. Whites should also be offended by your remarks and, were I a White who sent my child to Princeton, I would be on the phone complaining to the president of your university about your characterization of students where you teach. You are pathetic, and you've been working on your latest bad book -- I read your first, cut & paste journalism at its best passed off as an exploration -- throughout 2007. Focus on finishing that bad book and spare us all the embarrassment of flaunting your ignorance in public over the airwaves. My comment to Amy Goodman: I want a discussion on gender. I want women in the studio. I want to see as many races as possible and I want women there to discuss women, not to act as help-mates and cheerleaders for men."
Note the name Keesha mentioned is not mentioned here at any other time. She is referred to as The Ego Of Us All here. Because of her racism and homophobia we do not note her by name even when she passed away. (The Ego Of Us All is a jab at her giant ego and noting that, no, she is not the mother of us all.) Because Keesha included the woman's name in her comments, her name appears today. It will not ever appear here again.
[. . .]
Meanwhile IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC event:
In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
March 13th through 16th are the dates for the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"And the war drags on . . ."
"Marine Maria Lauterbach's corpse believed to have been found"
"And the war drags on . . ."
"Marine Maria Lauterbach's corpse believed to have been found"
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