Saturday, January 18, 2003
District police officials suggested then that about 100,000 attended, and although some organizers agreed, they have since put the number closer to 200,000. This time, they said, the turnout was 500,000. Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said he would not provide an estimate, but said it was bigger than October's. "It's one of the biggest ones we've had, certainly in recent times," he said.
Regardless of the exact number, the crowd today on the Mall was the largest anti-war demonstration here since the Vietnam era. People packed much of four long blocks of the Mall, shoulder-to-shoulder in many sections, from 3rd to 7th streets SW between Madison and Jefferson drives for the 11 a.m. rally. The first marchers stepped off at about 1:30 p.m., and when many had begun reaching the Navy Yard more than two dozen blocks away about an hour later, protesters were still leaving the rally site.
Who knows what the real number is, but minimum estimates for October were 100,000 so we can assume it was at least 150K or more. Not bad for a frigid January day.
Last night was the coldest night on that date for two years.
There is some controversy about this case, however. Not everyone agrees with the standard view of this murder case. Here at Eschaton we always strive to present both sides of an issue. So, after visiting Talk Left to read about it, you can read the alternative interpretation by Moonie Times reporter/Assistant National Editor Robert Stacy McCain as posted to the Free Republic under his pseudonym BurkeCalhounDabney (culled from a few different posts on the subject, which are separated by dashes):
[W]hatever happened in that grocery store, it was something more than Till merely "whistling at a white woman." Please note that the store was also the home of Bryant's family.
Now, I have been repeatedly accused of "minimizing" or "justifying" Till's death, which was not at all my purpose. I was complaining -- go back to Post and look -- about the way the Post article was minimizing, if I may use the word, what transpired between Till and Carolyn Bryant. The Saturday article, echoing the liberal myth of Emmett Till, suggested that all he had done was "whistle at a white woman." But he had done substantially more than that. He had gone into the Bryants' place of business -- into their family home, no less -- and insulted the wife of the proprietor, had made "lewd advances," as Carolyn Bryant testified under oath, and then boasted about this to all his friends.
Roy Bryant's response to this provocation was brutal and criminal, certainly. Whatever the opposite of "railroaded" might be, that would be a fair description of the acquittal of Bryant and Milam. But in what sense can Emmett Till's mother justify describing her son as "a sacrifical lamb"? And, in the larger view, how has Emmett Till come to be a demigod in the civil rights pantheon? What perverted sort of "social justice" includes the right to enter a man's home and insult his wife?
If you would stop pointing fingers and calling names long enough to think seriously about these questions, perhaps you could understand what I'm trying to say.
I am not justifying anything. I was trying to make two major points:
1. Till was not killed merely for "whistling at a white woman." That phrase has attached itself to Till's name, suggesting that he was killed as the result of some casual encounter on the street -- which is simply not true.
2. Till's killers were the husband and brother-in-law of the woman whom Till insulted. It wasn't the Klan. It wasn't a racist mob. It wasn't some evil redneck sheriff. This was a personal crime, rather than a public crime.
To repeat what I have said in earlier posts: Emmett Till was not killed at random for the crime of being black. He was not hanged on the public square for advocating nonviolent social change. He was kidnapped and murdered by two men who felt that he had personally wronged them.
The point here is not to provide a "justification" for this crime. Rather, the point is to say that the meaning of Till's death has been distorted by propagandists who wish to use Emmett Till as a symbol of civil rights. I am saying that the facts of the case simply do not support that interpretation. While the acquittal of Till's killers said something about the unfairness of the criminal justice system in Mississippi, Till's death itself did not exemplify the values which some have attributed to it.
Was Emmett Till wrongly murdered? Of course. But thousands of Americans are murdered every year. Being a victim of murder, however, does not qualify one for sainthood.
Till's mother said her son was a "sacrificial lamb." But this construction wrongly imputes innocence and religious purpose to the victim. Till was not innocent. He was not merely walking down the street one day, selected at random, and killed simply because he was black. Till in fact was killed in response to his own action, by two men whose interest in him was specific and personal. Emmett Till was not killed while sitting in at a Woolworth's lunch counter or marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge or engaged in any other act of civil disobedience. Emmett Till was not killed as the result of his quest for civil rights, unless you consider insulting women to be a civil right.
The horrific nature of Emmett Till's death -- kidnapped at gunpoint rom his relative's home in the dark of night, tortured and murdered -- is not at issue. What is at issue is whether Till was a hero or martyr. Given the circumstances, I find it impossible to consider him such, and question whether any other rational person could do so.
Was Till's killing racially motivated? Certainly, at least in part -- just as Till's initial action toward Carolyn Bryant was racially motivated. Till thought he could impress his relatives and friends by defying the customs of rural Mississippi. He succeeded too well. Roy Bryant returned home to find that Till's insulting behavior toward his wife was the talk of the community. Not merely was this a challenge to Bryant's personal honor, but to the peculiar community standards of that place and time. Roy Bryant either had to do something about Till, or become a pariah and/or a laughingstock in his community.
Now, it is likely that no would wish to return to the community standards and customs that apertained in rural Mississippi in 1955, when the Bryant brothers could kill Emmett Till and be judged not guilty by a jury of their peers. But Emmett Till's insult to Carolyn Bryant was a personal wrong, and the murder of Emmett Till was a very personal murder. He was not a martyr for "civil rights," unless you consider it a civil right to insult women.
If you're bored you can write Andrew Sullivan and noted civil rights expert Jonah Goldberg and ask them what they think of their co-worker.
UPDATE: Just wanted to add that all of Mr. McCain's posts on the Free Republic were pulled hours after Mike Signorile's article was published. So, you'll have to take my word for it.
By themselves, the warheads are not a provocation so serious that it would justify going to war. Iraq has had a vast number of 122-millimeter rockets in its inventory for years and fired variants with gas and explosive warheads at the Iranians in its long, bloody stalemate with Tehran.
The rockets are battlefield weapons that have a range of about 12 miles and can be fired from a tripod or a truck. While they could be used against troops in the field, they are not the sort of system that could threaten United States territory or, like nuclear weapons, fundamentally alter the balance of military power in the Persian Gulf.
"It is a tactical chemical weapons delivery system," observed Walter P. Lang, a former intelligence analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency. "You don't fill them up until you are ready to use them."
These are unlikely to pose much of a threat to Oklahoma, or even Tel Aviv or Kuwait City.
In late 1969, a group of about 25 demonstrators marched from campus down Alcoa Highway to the airport. The intent was to symbolically greet the soldiers who weren't coming home. "The only thing that really hurt," recalls organizer Charlie Reynolds, "is that one of the students insisted on carrying a North Vietnamese flag."
Reynolds was UT's ranking expert on demonstrating. An ordained Methodist minister and still a professor of religious studies at UT, he was new to campus. Born in Alabama, Reynolds had been involved in civil rights demonstrations there as early as '61. Since then, he'd been pelted with eggs in Boston and faced firehoses in Heidelberg. When Nixon came to town in 1970, Reynolds, finishing his first year at UT, would lead the opposition.
A veteran Tennessee Highway Patrol dispatcher, Shannon Pickard, has received a written reprimand and eight hours of crisis management training for his role in events leading to the police shooting of a North Carolina family's dog.
State Sen. John Ford, D-Memphis, was more blunt. ''THP, you fire them. Cookeville police, you fire them,'' Ford said, referring to the officers who made the traffic stop.
''I'm going to lay it down on the line. Thank God you weren't black. They would have shot you,'' Ford told James and Pamela Smoak, who attended the hearing but made no official statements. The husband and wife cried when the videotape of the dog's shooting was shown to the senators.
Friday, January 17, 2003
University officials have launched an investigation at a Texas A&M University dormitory after learning that students were planning a “ghetto party” for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Fliers at Walton Hall advertised the off-campus event, at which participants were to mimic African-American stereotypes.
Blahblahblah, usual disclaimers about how whatever idiots do off campus isn't really much of the university's business, but I just want to say I'm glad racism isn't a problem in this country.
In his book "A Vast Conspiracy" Jeffrey Toobin wrote of that evening, "The story (Lewinsky tapes) was converging on Starr's office from another direction. On the previous Thursday, January 8, Jerome Marcus, the Philadelphia elf, was scheduled to have dinner with an old friend from out of town, Paul Rosenzweig. Marcus and Rosenzweig had graduated from the University of Chicago together, in the same class as Richard Porter, the Chicago elf, who just happened to be in Philadelphia as well. George Conway, the new York elf decided to take a train down from New York to join the party. Of course, by this point, Marcus, Porter,and Conway had been working together for several years, providing surreptitious assistance on the Paula Jones case. Indeed, Porter had even tried to recruit the fourth member of their dinner party, Rosenzweig, to the Jones cause as well, but Rosenzweig had made other career plans: he joined the staff of independent counsel Kenneth Starr ( who was, simultaneously, Porter's law partner at Kirkland & Ellis)."
Toobin continued, "Over dinner at Deux Cheminees, a fancy French restaurant, Marcus told Rosenzweig about Monica Lewinsky---and about how, as he understood it, Vernon Jordan had asked her to lie about her relationship with the president in her upcoming deposition in the Paula Jones case. Marcus said there was a witness, Linda Tripp, who had tapes of Lewinsky making admissions. Shouldn't Starr be investigating this? Rosenzweig said he would pass the story back to his superiors." Or so the story went. According to the unedited manuscript given to Surovell, Connolly had in his possession Kirkland & Ellis billing records that blew a huge hole in Porter's story as to his whereabouts on that fateful evening. The records show that Porter billed a total of twenty-three and-a-half hours for January 8, 1998. The inescapable conclusion was that Porter did not attend the so called "party dinner", or he billed the client for the serendipitous dinner. In any event, except in the most bizare situtations, lawyers rarely bill for that many hours for one day.
Make sure you check out the court documents and emails.
Signorile and Conason provide context for those late to this story.
OLYMPIA - A man arrested on a firearms charge might have been plotting to assassinate Governor Locke.
James D. Brailey, Jr., 43, was arrested Wednesday when federal agents and state troopers raided his home near Olympia.
Federal court documents in Tacoma say an informant told authorities in March of 2001 that Brailey planned to kill the governor.
The documents also give the following account of the informant to federal agents:
They say Brailey, Jr. was a member of the Jural Society -- a group that does not believe in state or federal government. Instead, they believe in a "people's government" based upon Christian principles and common law. Brailey was elected "Governor of the State of Washington" at a Jural Society election in October of 1998.
The informant said Brailey hated Locke because of Locke's ethnicity and that Brailey believed he himself was the only true governor of the state.
UPDATE: David Neiwert tells us more. (and make sure to buy his book, damnit!)
I'll leave my email with Atrios should anyone want to get in contact with me. I was part of this effort to make Bush's Guard record known to the public. We started 6 months out from the election. The effort included several posts on TomPaine.com by Marty Heldt on or about Sept. 9, 2000. We had Walter Robinson's piece clear in the Boston Globe, then the story was just not covered. The Dems had some Senators who tried again to alert the public to the info., but the press had their candidate and they were having none of it. Democrats.com has the essential documents that Marty did an FOIA on, several were 'redacted' or 'scrubbed'. Lt. Robert Rogers was part of this effort, and that was the post Uggabugga was linking to. AWOLBUSH.com will also get you to the essential documents.This was a real and relevant story that was sent to EVERY major news operation in the US. It is widely known far beyond our shores. There's now scarcely a Democrat who does not know the score. Still the media ignores it, because friends, there never was a 'liberal' media, and the plutocrats who own the press LIKE Dubya, and know him for the useful man that he is. I personally mailed this story out to almost every major paper and news outlet in 9-10 SE states, and we rarely ever heard back from anyone on it. Face it people. These RW
nuts control our media more effectively than any Soviet commissar ever did.
Calpundit has more.
And, in comments Cheryl adds:
This morning the WP and NYT reported this:
Rice Helped Shape Bush Decision on Admissions
By Mike Allen and Charles Lane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, January 17, 2003; Page A01
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice took a rare central role in a domestic debate within the White House and helped persuade President Bush to publicly condemn race-conscious admissions policies at the University of Michigan, administration officials said yesterday.
The officials said Rice, in a series of lengthy one-on-one meetings with Bush, drew on her experience as provost at Stanford University to help convince him that favoring minorities was not an effective way of improving diversity on college campuses.
AND now we get this story By RON FOURNIER, Associated Press Writer
They said Rice was stung by a Washington Post story that said she helped convince Bush that favoring minorities was not an effective way of improving diversity on college campuses.
Rice discussed the article with Bush, who urged her to go public with her differences, officials said.
Her statement quickly led to speculation that there were sharp differences between Rice and Bush. The adviser made a series of calls to reporters in an effort to dispute such talk.
President BUSH LIED about Condoleezza Rice's role in this matter...in a series of lengthy one-on-one meetings with Bush, right.
MR. FLEISCHER: The heart of the matter, in the President's opinion, is how to lift our society up and help it evolve in a way that focuses on the importance of diversity as a goal. The exact manner in which to deal with it, the President did not want to constitutionally prescribe one way or another, except for the fact that it cannot and should not, in the President's judgment, be done through the use of quotas.
Which means, of course, that he should support UofM's undergraduate admissions policy.
Newly announced rules on female education in the western Afghan province of Herat prohibit men from teaching women or girls in private educational courses and uphold strict gender segregation in all schools, Human Rights Watch said today. Because of a shortage of female teachers, the restrictions will result in a severe limitation on the ability of women and girls to receive proper education.
The rules were announced on January 10, 2003 by the deputy head of Herat's educational department, Mohammad Deen Fahim. Fahim said that current teaching methods allowing men to teach women and girls are "in contradiction with Islamic law." The governor of Herat, Ismail Khan, who approves all government decrees, has ordered increasing restrictions on women and girls over the last year.
"Girls and women are trying to make up for years of school lost under the Taliban," said Zama Coursen-Neff, counsel to Human Rights Watch's children's rights division. "These new restrictions may make it impossible for many to achieve that."
Under the Taliban, women and girls across Afghanistan were forbidden from attending universities and almost all schools.
Until last week, many women and girls in Herat attended private educational courses to supplement their public schooling, especially in foreign language and computer skills. Public schools and universities in Herat are currently closed for the winter. Almost all private educational courses in Herat are taught by men. As a result, the new prohibition will effectively exclude women and girls from most courses.
"Ismail Khan has acknowledged that there is a shortage of women teachers in Herat but says he is providing girls with education," said Coursen-Neff. "These new restrictions show just how shallow that claim is."
In December 2002, Human Rights Watch issued a 52-page report on extensive and increasing restrictions on women and girls in Herat. The report, "We Want to Live as Humans: Repression of Women and Girls in Western Afghanistan," documented a catalogue of Taliban-era restrictions imposed on women and girls' freedom of work, education, movement and political participation. The report described how women and girls seen alone with unrelated men, even walking on the street or riding in a taxi, are taken to hospitals for gynecological examinations to determine if they have recently had sexual intercourse
I'm actually starting to miss the teary-eyed sanctimonious warblogger writings about the freedom and development we would bring to a 'liberated' Afghanistan.
AS EXPECTED, President Bush restored affirmative action programs for white people. ''Racial prejudice is a reality in America,'' Bush declared Wednesday in his landmark speech from the White House. ''It hurts many of our citizens.... America's long experience with the segregation we have put behind us, and the racial discrimination we still struggle to overcome requires a special effort to make real the promise of equal opportunity for all.''
Bush's effort is so special that this may very well be the first Martin Luther King. Jr. birthday during which the loudest celebrations come not from black churches and integrated downtown breakfasts but from the hallways of segregated suburbia to the romantic enclaves of the Confederacy. Finally for them, this is the day to shout ''We Have Overcome.'' This is the day that a lot of God's white people - Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics - are holding hands and singing in the words of their new spiritual, ''Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last!''
A half-century ago the civil rights movement began in earnest when a black woman, Rosa Parks, refused to give up her seat for a white passenger. Bush now says, through his actions, that the citizens most hurt by racial prejudice are white. He will throw the monumental weight of a White House brief behind white women who have sued all the way to Supreme Court to destroy the University of Michigan's affirmative action program.
In standing with the white women, Bush blasted Michigan's program, which awards bonus points to African-American, Native American, and some Latino students in order to account for historical disadvantages. Bush called it a ''quota system.'' He said: ''students are being selected or rejected primarily on the color of their skin. The motivation for such an admissions policy may be very good, but its result is discrimination, and that discrimination is wrong.''
Bush lied. Yes, Michigan gives bonus points. But the school has no quotas. The school, even with affirmative action, is not yet close to racial parity. The state's population is 14 percent African-American. The undergraduate college and the law school, the two targets of the lawsuit, are currently 8.4 percent and 6.7 percent African-American. The law school says that without affirmative action the percentage of African-Americans and Latinos would drop to 4 percent each.
At best, affirmative action was keeping Michigan, one of the nation's top public universities, from becoming lily white. Bush's claim that students of color are being selected ''primarily on the color of their skin'' is as divisive as the explosive 1990 Jesse Helms ad that said, ''You needed that job, and you were the best qualified. But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial quota.'' By using the word ''primarily,'' Bush implies that illiterate applicants of color are trampling over white geniuses.
Lying is all Bush can do now that he has decided to make the White House the national headquarters of the NAACP - the National Association for the Advancement of Caucasian People. Contrary to his lofty words, this remains an America in need of remedial tools. Despite the progress that has been made, studies, particularly those from Harvard University's Civil Rights Project, are showing that public schools are resegregating back to the levels of 30 years ago.
Bush decries bonus points for black people, but in the two years of his presidency he has said nothing about bonus points for white people. Just this week The Wall Street Journal did a feature on ''legacy'' admissions to colleges, which disproportionately benefit the children of alumni. The acceptance rate of children of alumni - alumni who are assumed to be more likely to give money to colleges where their children are accepted - towers over other applicants. The rate of acceptance of ''legacies'' is twice as high as it is for other students at Penn, three times as high at Princeton, and four times as high at Harvard.
Bush has said nothing about bonus points for white people in job interviews. Studies show over and over again that African-Americans and Latinos with the same resume as white applicants are rejected far more often than white applicants. The silent bonus point system is so pernicious that a recent study by researchers at the University of Chicago and MIT found that job applicants in Chicago and Boston with ''white sounding'' names received 50 percent more callbacks than ''black sounding'' names.
Under the white bonus point system, too many people of color are rejected primarily on the color of their skin. By standing with three white women to take bonus points away from black and brown folks while white Americans continue to collect points for simply being white, the party of Lincoln has come a long way in civil rights. Lincoln was called the Great Emancipator. President Bush has become the Great Eraser.
UPDATE: Coincidentally, MWO tracked down the story I was looking for:
- Bush had scored only 25 percent on a "pilot aptitude" test, the lowest acceptable grade. But his father was then a congressman from Houston, and the commanders of the Texas Guard clearly had an appreciation of politics.
Wonder which kid went and died in his place.
I don't like the guy, and he definitely isn't on "my team." He uses the media for publicity and they in turn use him to show America how scary those African-American Democrats are. He also regularly poisons the well of NYC politics. But, for just about everything he gets knocked for I could find an analagous worse action by Al D'Amato, but Sharpton's always gotten much worse press.
- The logical implication of statements comparing racial discrimination with legacy preferences for alumni is that racial discrimination isn't uniquely bad. But is that true? But for an accident of history, might Martin Luther King have been leading marches against legacy preferences, or athletic recruiting? I don't think so.
Frankly, I don't even know where to begin. I have to say this is one of the more profoundly offensive things I've read this week, and I've read a lot.
SACRAMENTO -- A California Republican Party leader has called on the highest-ranking African American in the state GOP to stop "parading" his race by complaining about "how awful it is to be a black Republican."
In an angry letter distributed to GOP activists statewide, Randy Ridgel, a member of the party's Board of Directors, responded to an accusation by fellow board member Shannon Reeves, who is black, that Republicans have treated African Americans as "window dressing."
"I, for one, am getting bored with that kind of garbage," Ridgel wrote. "Let me offer this suggestion to Mr. Reeves: 'Get over it, bucko. You don't know squat about hardship.' "
Ridgel added: "I personally don't give a damn about your color ... so stop parading it around. We need human beings of all human colors in our party to pull their weight, so get in without the whining or get out."
Ridgel, a retired white rancher from rural Lake County, also endorsed an essay suggesting that there would have been an upside to a Confederate victory in the Civil War.
Regarding blacks freed from slavery at the end of the war, Ridgel wrote: "Most of the poor devils had no experience fending for themselves, so they fared worse than before the war and during the war."
In his own open letter to fellow GOP board members, Reeves said Republican leaders expect African Americans to "provide window dressing and cover to prove this is not a racist party, yet our own leadership continues to act otherwise."
He recalled that during the 2000 Republican national convention in Philadelphia, delegates asked him six times to "fetch them a taxi or carry their luggage."
Ridgel responded by calling Reeves "a bombastic gasbag." He criticized Reeves for writing "a lengthy whining letter explaining how awful it is to be a black Republican."
Ridgel added: "Your sniveling letter makes me sick, young man; you are a superstar because you are a black Republican, and you love it. Now I wonder if you can make it as just a Republican ... like the rest of us. And don't try any of that Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters racist garbage on me."
In an interview, Reeves said he was disappointed that none of the scores of GOP activists who got copies of Ridgel's letter had made any public statements about it.
"When that letter was sent out," he said, "there should have been a mass outcry within the party."
Don't hold your breath, Reeves.
12 empty shell casings?
It is beyond comprehension that in a country with a 300 year history of slavery, apartheid and discrimination against racial minorities (that clearly persists to this day) the single most important equal rights issue presently on the table is the case of a relative handful of white people who maintain that they were unfairly denied access to the college of their choice because racial minorities were granted a small advantage roughly equal to that of a football lineman or an alumni’s idiot offspring. This is the country's burning civil rights issue that must be taken all the way to the Supreme Court, again and again and again?
Thursday, January 16, 2003
- VIRGINIA BEACH -- A third-year law student at Regent University, who helped run several successful campaigns for local Republicans, was arrested Jan. 10 and charged with two counts of soliciting sex with a minor over the Internet.
Robin Vanderwall is being held without bond in the Virginia Beach City Jail.
Vanderwall, 34, is charged with two felonies -- use of a communication device for crimes against children and attempted indecent liberties with a child 14 or younger.
Vanderwall was arrested after he contacted a Virginia Beach police officer who was posing as an underage boy in an Internet chat room, according to prosecutors. The officer agreed to meet with Vanderwall at a Virginia Beach park on the evening of Jan. 10. Vanderwall was arrested when he showed up at the park.
Let's see, who is this guy...
- A top official of Ralph Reed’s political consulting firm has been accused of involvement with dirty tricks in a GOP congressional primary in Virginia.
According to news media reports, Tim Phillips, vice president of Reed’s Atlanta-based Century Strategies, helped create a supposedly “non-partisan” tax-exempt organization called the Faith and Family Alliance allegedly to drum up support for conservative causes in Virginia. But just four days before the state’s June 12 GOP primary, the Alliance sent out a mailing attacking congressional candidate Eric I. Cantor.
The Charlottesville Daily Progress reported that the controversial mailing was prepared and sent by Robin Vanderwall, a Virginia Beach man who serves as president of the Alliance. Vanderwall said he used $15,000 from an anonymous donor to pay for the materials, which went to 40,000 voters in the district. He identified himself as a friend of Phillips who has worked with him on campaigns in the past.
- Bush prefers what he calls “affirmative access,” though he does not seem to know what it is. Here’s how he described it during the debate: “I think the contracting business in government can help, not with quotas, but help meet a goal of ownership of small businesses, for example. The contracts need to be smaller, the agencies need to be, you know, need to recruit and to work hard to find people to bid on the state contracts. I think we can do that in a way that represents what America’s all about, which is equal opportunity and opportunity for people to realize their potential.” Asked for a clarification by moderator Jim Lehrer, Bush responded, “You heard what I was for. Vice President keeps saying I’m against things. You heard what I was for and that’s what I support.”
There you go.
The Veterans Affairs Department will suspend enrollment Friday for higher-income vets seeking health care for non-military related ailments like heart disease and diabetes.
The suspension, scheduled to last through 2003, goes against VA policy set in 1996 when Congress ordered the agency to open health care to nearly all veterans. The change is expected to affect about 164,000 veterans.
History Repeating, via Kafka
“... It therefore follows that along the vital Pacific Coast over 112,000 potential enemies, of Japanese extraction, are at large today. There are indications that these are organized and ready for concerted action at a favorable opportunity. The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken.”
-- Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt, memorandum of Feb. 14, 1942, declaring that internment of Japanese-Americans was a "military necessity"
"Another way to look at it is this; that the fact that the inspectors have not yet come up with new evidence of Iraq's WMD program could be evidence in and of itself of Iraq's non-cooperation."
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, DoD briefing, Jan. 15, 2003
We also heard similar things during the great Clinton Cock Hunt.
(oh, and buy David's book!)
The timing of both of these things was of course deliberate.
In the media smear campaign against Lani Guinier, Clinton's nominee as assistant attorney general for civil rights, her views were not only distorted, but in many cases presented as the exact opposite of her actual beliefs.
One of the most prominent themes of the attack on Guinier was her supposed support for electoral districts shaped to ensure a black majority -- a process known as "race-conscious districting." An entire op-ed in the New York Times -- which appeared on the day her nomination was withdrawn (6/3/93) -- was based on the premise that Guinier was in favor of "segregating black voters in black-majority districts."
In reality, Guinier is the most prominent voice in the civil rights community challenging such districting. In sharp contrast to her media caricature as a racial isolationist, she has criticized race-conscious districting (Boston Review, 9-10/92) because it "isolates blacks from potential white allies" and "suppresses the potential development of issue-based campaigning and cross-racial coalitions."
Another media tactic against Guinier was to dub her a "quota queen," a phrase first used in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (4/30/93) by Clint Bolick, a Reagan-era Justice Department official. The racially loaded term combines the "welfare queen" stereotype with the dreaded "quota," a buzzword that almost killed the 1991 Civil Rights Act.
The problem is that Guinier is an opponent of quotas to ensure representation of minorities. In an article in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (Spring/89), she stated that "the enforcement of this representational right does not require legislative set-asides, color-coded ballots, electoral quotas or 'one black, two votes' remedies."
But once the stereotype was affixed to her, there was seemingly no way she could dispel it: "Unbelievably, the woman known as the 'quota queen' claimed she did not believe in quotas," columnist Ray Kerrison wrote in the New York Post (6/4/93).
And Guinier herself says:
No one who had done their homework seriously questioned the fundamentally democratic nature of "my ideas." Indeed, two conservative columnists, George Will and Lally Weymouth, both wrote separate columns on the same day in the Washington Post (7/15/93), praising ideas remarkably similar to mine.
Lally Weymouth wrote: "There can't be democracy in South Africa without a measure of formal protection for minorities." George Will wrote: "The Framers also understood that stable, tyrannical majorities can best be prevented by the multiplication of minority interests, so the majority at any moment will be just a transitory coalition of minorities." In my law review articles I had expressed exactly the same reservations about unfettered majority rule, about the need sometimes to disaggregate the majority to ensure fair and effective representation for minority interests.
The difference is that the minority that I used to illustrate my academic point was not, as it was for Lally Weymouth, the white minority in South Africa. Nor did I write, as George Will did, about the minority of wealthy landlords in New York City. I wrote instead about the political exclusion of the black minority in local, county and municipal governing bodies in America.
Yet these same two journalists (Washington Post, 5/25/93; Newsweek, 6/14/93) and many others condemned me as anti-democratic. Apparently, some of us feel comfortable providing special protections for wealthy landlords or white South Africans, but we brand as "divisive" and "radical" the idea of providing similar remedies to include black Americans, who after centuries of racial oppression are still excluded.
- First, you've got to figure out why we admit people to public universities. It's not as a reward for making good grades in high school. It's so that we can improve our society -- spending public resources to expand the minds of a lucky relatively-few, so that they will go on to do things that will make the world better. Admission is not an entitlement that arises from being smart. It is a matter of being chosen to be the subject of a public investment. Second, we have decided that we ought to invest in just about as many minority kids, proportionately, as white kids. Why? Because it seems pretty obvious to us that this is the way to improve the world -- not by reserving this public good mostly for white folks, but by spreading it around. The world will be better more quickly, we think, if there are black lawyers as well as white lawyers, Hispanic engineers as well as Anglo engineers, etc. And it also appears to us that any fairly-designed system of assessing "merit" just would result in approximately proportionate representation among races and ethnicities -- that is definitional, we think, as to the words "fairly-designed" and "merit". Third, if we went solely on SATs, LSATs, and grades, we wouldn't achieve this goal -- so we make adjustments. It's not a perfect system, but no one has ever yet designed a perfect system for measuring or even defining human merit in any sphere. So get over it.
Now there is no movement among conservatives to require that legacy applicants (or athletes) display the same level of merit as anyone else admitted to an elite school. To the right diversity isn't an important value -- but traditions of family privilege must be preserved.
But as I read these opinions, I realize the hardest part for me is elsewhere. I have spent more than a decade of my life teaching constitutional law—and teaching it in a particularly unfashionable way. As any of my students will attest, my aim is always to say that we should try to understand what the court does in a consistently principled way. We should learn to read what the court does, not as the actions of politicians, but as people who are applying the law as principle, in as principled a manner as they can. There are exceptions, no doubt. And especially in times of crisis, one must expect mistakes. But as OJ’s trial is not a measure of the jury system, Bush v. Gore is not a measure of the Supreme Court. It is the ordinary case one needs to explain. And explain it as a matter of principle.
I’m not sure how to do that here. I don’t see what the argument is that would show why it is the Court’s role to police Congress’s power to protect states, but not to protect the public domain. I don’t see the argument, and none of the five made it. Nor have any of the advocates on the other side identified what that principle is.
One friend offered a reason in an email of condolence. Those 5, he said, save their activism for issues they think important. They apply their principle to causes they think important. Protecting states is a cause they think important. Protecting the public domain is not.
MICKEY KAUS'S blog may indeed be the most interesting addition to Slate in recent months. Not because of its quality, however. Kaus's sharp writing on normally dull policy issues once stood out in the crowd, but the shrill political and media fetishes he indulges in his "Kausfiles" blog annoy the reader in gnat-like fashion -- and carry precisely that much intellectual weight.
As a Harvard undergrad (and NOT a legacy student!) I thought I might throw in my own two cents--the number of Harvard students whose parents can share fond memories of their days in Harvard Yard is ridiculously high. When I was in high school, Harvard was a long shot "well-you-never-know" school--but the way a lot of people talk here, they never doubted they would get in.
But no, you never hear complaints about affirmative action for rich white people. As the WSJ article notes: " Only 7.6% of [Harvard] legacy applicants accepted last year were black, Hispanic or native American, compared with 17.8% of all successful applicants."
Bush has declared that being an African American doesn't qualify as a "life experience," ignored the affirmative action of legacy admissions, justified his position by exaggerating his support for the "separate but equal" Historically Black Colleges (many of which have affirmative action - in hiring and admissions - for white people), and misrepresented the Michigan system by referring to it as a quota system and claiming that being African American gets you 20 points, and one fifth of the way to the necessary 100. The truth is you can get 20 points for any one of "membership in an underrepresented minority group, socioeconomic disadvantage, attendance at a predominantly minority high school, athletics, or at the Provost's discretion." All of these things can be a "decisive factor" that Bush ascribes only to race, as can Michigan Residency (10 ponts), "leadership or personal achievement" (10 points total), being from an "underrepresented Michigan county" (six points for being from a white rural area), or by getting the up to 110 points purely through academic acheivement. There is no magic cutoff at 100, with subjective evaluation on top of the points system entering into the admissions decision as well.
Add all of this to the timing - Martin Luther King's birthday - and one can only conclude that Bush is engaging in the worst kind of race-baiting. He made his supporters mad over Trent Lott, and it's time to get them back.
"He presents opinions of people who agree with him as facts and distorts the positions of people who disagree with him," said Martin Wisse, who runs the Progressive Gold blog. "In short, he poses as an objective journalist when he's not."
Sounds about right.
Wyeth notes that Insty proves his point.
One way of telling whether an opponent of affirmative action is a sincere man of principle--or a bigot-- is to watch how he argues. If he presents a reasoned argument based on the facts of the case, he may be sincere. If he starts sloganeering about "quotas" in a case involving no quotas, he's a bigot.
I'd add - or lying more generally as well.
President Bush, stepping into a major affirmative action case, asserted Wednesday that a program of racial preferences for minority applicants at the University of Michigan was ‘‘fundamentally flawed" and unconstitutional.
The program ‘‘amounts to a quota system that unfairly rewards or penalizes prospective students solely on their race," Bush said in announcing that his administration would file a legal brief in the case with the Supreme Court on Thursday.
He said the undergraduate admissions program awards black, Hispanic and native American students 20 points, one-fifth of the total normally needed for admission. At the law school, some minority students are admitted to meet percentage targets while others with higher grades are passed over, Bush said.
"Quota systems that use race to include or exclude people from higher education and the opportunities it offers are divisive, unfair and impossible to square with the Constitution," Bush said. He declined to take questions.
race-baiting bigot. This is absolutely outrageous. This "1/5" number is patently false.
Q But does he find a balance? He's changed the word affirmative action to affirmative access. It's still the same thing. Does he find a balance, affirmative action means correcting a wrong to find the balance?
MR. FLEISCHER: Again, when the President has made his judgments about this, these answers I think will become increasingly clear.
Q And a follow-up. How could he have this feeling that race should not be a factor when he is increasing funding for historically black colleges and universities?
MR. FLEISCHER: You keep using the word "a" factor and I keep using the word "the" factor.
Q "The" factor, "a" factor, "the" factor, I'm sorry.
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, it's an important distinction.
Q Well, okay, granted. But why increase the funding for historically black colleges and universities?
MR. FLEISCHER: Because the President believes in diversity and the President believes in education. And he has increased funds sharply for historically black colleges and universities, and done so proudly. He thinks that's a worthy goal.
As an aside - anyone want to look into that funding figure?
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
And, David, if you're reading, please call me a Marxist! Pretty please?! It would be a true honor.
While we're on Davey, this would be the funniest thing ever written if he wasn't actually serious.
- Indiana Republican movers and shakers are hoping Office of Management and Budget Director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. will come home and run for governor in 2004. Seems increasingly likely, though Daniels says he hasn't made up his mind yet.
If he does run, White House personnel chief Clay Johnson is considered the odds-on favorite to replace him in what many consider the most thankless job in government. Johnson was tapped to replace OMB deputy director Mark W. Everson, who was nominated Monday to run the IRS.
True, Johnson may not be an economist. And also true he doesn't have vast experience dealing with congressional budget matters. But Johnson's a very close Bush pal back to prep school and Yale days.
Just in time for Frist's visit to the annual MLK day CORE dinner.
While he's there, maybe someone can ask him why he voted against Ronnie White.
UPDATE: Here's the Michigan admissions policy, so people can stop debating what they don't understand.
Israel is embarking upon a more aggressive approach to the war on terror that will include staging targeted killings in the United States and other friendly countries, former Israeli intelligence officials told United Press International.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has forbidden the practice until now, these sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Israeli statements were confirmed by more than a half dozen U.S. foreign policy and intelligence officials in interviews with UPI.
An FBI spokesman also declined to comment, saying: "This is a policy matter. We only enforce federal laws."
A congressional staff member with deep knowledge of intelligence matters said, "I don't know on what basis we would be able to protest Israel's actions." He referred to the recent killing of Qaed Salim Sinan al Harethi, a top al Qaida leader, in Yemen by a remotely controlled CIA drone. "That was done on the soil of a friendly ally," the staffer said.
I would think murder might violate a federal law or two, but what do I know..
Q: You said the President is against racial preferences because they're divisive. Is he against other preferences that colleges and universities routinely grant that people see as unfair? Like the one he got?
MR. FLEISCHER: I understand -- I understand all the interest and the specific questions dealing with the review of the University of Michigan case --
Q: That is not what I'm asking.
MR. FLEISCHER: -- and the implications that come from whatever decision is made. I'm not going to go beyond --
Q: I'm asking a question about fairness.
MR. FLEISCHER: -- I'm not going to go beyond where I've gone, because
Q: All right. Let me --
MR. FLEISCHER: -- be able to base it on reason and judge for yourself once you see what the President has concluded and why he's concluded . And he'll share his thoughts.
Q: But the general question about his feeling about fairness in America. When he was 18, he got into Yale University, which had and still has a policy of granting very special preferences to children of graduates, like him. Is that preference okay, to give him a leg up, but other preferences are not?
MR. FLEISCHER: I think you're going to have a good understanding of how the President approaches the issue of opportunity and diversity when the President shares his thoughts publicly -- which is going to be, as I indicated, in some short period of time.
Does the President agree with Secretary Rumsfeld that soldiers drafted to service added no value to the United States armed service?
MR. FLEISCHER: Russell, Russell, Russell, while I'm honored that you chose -- in the face of a Rumsfeld briefing at the same time as mine -- to come here, I'm sure that if you took the entire text of what Secretary Rumsfeld said to Secretary Rumsfeld and asked him, and shared with him the entire context of what Secretary Rumsfeld said, you would have thought twice about taking any one statement. I think if you look at everything Secretary Rumsfeld said, you'd have a very, very different picture.
Well, Ari - this was the context:
"We're not going to reimplement a draft. There is no need for it at all. The disadvantages of using compulsion to bring into the armed forces the men and women needed are notable. The disadvantages to the individuals so brought in are notable. If you think back to when we had the draft people were brought in, they were paid some fraction of what they could make in the civilian manpower market because they were without choices. Big categories were exempted - people who were in college, people who were teaching, people who were married - it varied from time to time but there were all kinds of exemptions. What was left was sucked into the intake, trained for a period of months, then went out. Adding no value, no advantage, really, to the United States Armed Services over any sustained period of time."
House leaders tighten grip, anger centrists By Alexander Bolton
House Republican centrists are protesting what they view as an effort by House Republican leaders to enforce party discipline and pursue a more conservative agenda while excluding them from positions of influence, The Hill has learned.
Some of the centrist members have even charged that the Republican leadership is quietly working to oust several of them from Congress altogether, and warned that they may be forced to split with the party on crucial votes in coming months.
- Columbia Daily Herald - January 12, 2003
Green Bay [WI] Press Gazette 1/12/2003
The News Sun, 1/10/2003
The Manhattan [KS] Mercury, Jan 8, 2003
The Lynchburg Ledger
The Jersey Journal, January 09, 2003
The Star Press, Muncie IN, 1/15/2003
Merced Sun-Star, Merced CA, January 9, 2003
Tucson Citizen Jan. 9, 2003
Santa Barbara News Press 1/10/03
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution January 9, 2003
(thanks to Tom Arthur)
Editors are usually unhappy about publishing astroturf letters, but for some reason they're unable to spot even painfully obvious ones like this one. Maia Cowan has this advice:
If you see the Astroturf letter in a newspaper, write to the Letters Page editors to let them know they've been scammed. Include the list of newspapers where the identical letter has appeared. It may help them recognize and avoid other form letters.
Write your own letter to provide facts to counter the disinformation in the form letter.
When you write your own Letter to the Editor, choose a few crucial facts and focus on them. Try to keep the letter to about 150 words, the average acceptable length. Use your own wording. Be polite. And remember, spelling counts.
Not that the Bush administration is likely to do that, of course.
And, there's a lot in this link here:
In race discrimination cases, Mr. Sutton successfully argued for nullifying claims under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in which a victim could show that he or she suffered discrimination but could not prove intent or motivation to discriminate. In Alexander v. Sandoval, Mr. Sutton argued that victims of discrimination must always prove intent to discriminate - an exacting standard requiring "smoking gun" evidence such as a blatantly discriminatory statement. Such evidence is unlikely to be uncovered in most cases. Mr. Sutton's argument had the effect of significantly undercutting enforcement of the landmark 1964 Act.
One of the clearest examples of Mr. Sutton's activism is his role in a recent Michigan case, Westside Mothers v. Haveman, in which poor infants and children with disabilities sought access to basic health care, evaluations and check-ups under Medicaid. Mr. Sutton filed
a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that Medicaid, or any other law premised on Congress' Constitutional spending powers, was not the "supreme law of the land." Such laws, Mr. Sutton argued, were therefore unenforceable by individuals and did not supercede state law. Mr. Sutton's reasoning would nullify multiple laws prohibiting race, gender, and disability discrimination by entities that receive federal assistance. This proposition, which the trial court adopted, was so extreme and contrary to fundamental views of constitutional law that the state of Michigan declined to defend it on appeal. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit - the very court to which Mr. Sutton has been nominated - reversed the trial court.
Mr. Sutton's role in Westside Mothers is instructive not only for the radical nature of his legal arguments but also for his active, and questionable, intervention into the case. As reported by Nina Totenberg on National Public
Radio, Mr. Sutton did not represent any parties in the case. Rather, he purported to represent an organization of municipalities, even though municipalities are not entitled to immunity under the Constitution and had no apparent interest in protecting the states' immunity. However, when the lawyer for the children and families made a routine request to confirm whether the organization's members had authorized Mr. Sutton's involvement, the trial judge denied the request and fined the children and families $6,000.
Paul and Sheila Wellstone, RIP.
As Garrison Keillor said, what can we do? We already named a city after you.
(photo by MN9DRIVER)
Mark H: It's more than likely that the internment captured a few Japanese spies and thus prevented West Coast sabotage."
This is a smear and counter to historical fact.
The FBI and other authorities, for instance, seized a total of 2,592 guns, 199,000 rounds of ammunition, 1,652 sticks of dynamite, 1,458 radio receivers, 2,914 cameras, and 37 motion-picture cameras from the Issei whose homes and businesses they raided in the early hours after Pearl Harbor. But there was nothing indicating that any of these items were for anything other than personal use. As the Justice Department explained in its report: “We have not, however, uncovered through these searches any dangerous persons that we could not otherwise know about. We have not found among all the sticks of dynamite and fun powder any evidence that any of it was to be used in bombs ... We have not found a camera which we have reason to believe was for use in espionage.” After the war, an Army historian declared: “In fact, no proved instances of sabotage or of espionage after Pearl Harbor among the west coast Japanese population were ever uncovered.”
Indeed, federal authorities already had made the assessment that the Japanese posed no threat to the security of the nation. Some months before the war arrived, President Roosevelt had secured the services of Chicago businessman Curtis Munson in coordinating an intelligence report on Japanese in the United States. Munson’s report, delivered on Nov. 7, 1941, couldn’t have been more clear: “There will be no armed uprising of Japanese [in the United States] ... For the most part the Japanese are loyal to the United States or, at worst, hope that by remaining quiet they can avoid concentration camps or irresponsible mobs. We do not believe that they would be at least any more disloyal than any other racial group in the United States with whom we went to war.”
Moreover, military strategists at the War Department were well aware that the Pacific Coast was under no serious threat of being invaded or under any kind of sustained attack. General Mark Clark, then the deputy chief of staff of Army Ground Forces, and Admiral Harold Stark, chief of naval operations, both ridiculed the notion of any kind of serious Japanese attack on the Pacific Coast when they testified that spring before a Senate committee, though Clark (who had spent several years as an officer at Fort Lewis, Washington) did admit that the possibility of an occasional air raid or a sustained attack on the Aleutian Islands “was not a fantastic idea.” Secondarily, DeWitt’s clamorous appeals for devoting badly needed troops for the defense of the West Coast were dismissed by War Department officials who knew better; to the planners there, preparing an offensive army for operations in Europe and the Pacific, such requests were self-indulgent wastes of their time.
Finally, neither Gen. DeWitt’s Feb. 14, 1942, memorandum with the finding of “military necessity” that all persons of Japanese descent be evacuated, nor his Final Report (issued a year later; Assistant War Secretary John McCloy shortly had all copies burned because the report was a thick weave of racial stereotypes that would not pass legal muster, as McCloy’s later sanitized version ultimately did) cited a single piece of actual evidence of Japanese espionage or sabotage. What had happened, of course, is that DeWitt and every other public official on the coast had done their best to whip up hysteria about an imminent invasion among every person living on the coast. This created an enormous wave of political pressure to ship out the Japanese, even though J. Edgar Hoover himself thought it was a waste of time.
After the war, the FBI reported that some 14 people had been arrested in the United States during the course of the war for spying for Japan. None of them were Japanese.
Of course, my favorite rationale contained in DeWitt’s Feb. 14 memo: “... It therefore follows that along the vital Pacific Coast over 112,000 potential enemies, of Japanese extraction, are at large today. There are indications that these are organized and ready for concerted action at a favorable opportunity. The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken.”
I agree that this is an area of concern, but I don't think it is necessarily intrinsically abusive provided that the threshold for what constitutes an enemy combatant remains high.
Actually, the courts have specifically deferred to the power of the executive branch to proceed just as it has. And the standards for what will determine who is an “enemy combatant” are being determined by the White House. Here is what Solicitor General Ted Olson told the Washington Post would comprise those standards:
"There won't be 10 rules that trigger this or 10 rules that end this. There will be judgments and instincts and evaluations and implementations that have to be made by the executive that are probably going to be different from day to day, depending on the circumstances."
I don’t know about you, but I am far from comforted.
Can you tell me for certain that this executive will not one day decide that antiwar protesters -- deemed “traitors” already in the popular press -- are worthy of the title “enemy combatants”?
If you can, then you have more confidence in him than I.
More to the point, I do not believe any president, regardless of party or skill, should be able either to wield such powers, nor should he be able to delegate them to as unaccountable an entity as the military.
Stuff in italics are people/quotes he's responding to.
WASHINGTON, DC—With concern over North Korea's nuclear capabilities growing, President Bush reassured the American people Monday that "extreme force" will be used to remove Saddam Hussein from power if the Iraqi president fails to give up suspected weapons of mass destruction.
"For years, Kim Jong Il has acted in blatant disregard of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation Of Nuclear Weapons, and last week, he rejected it outright," Bush told reporters after a National Security Council meeting on North Korea. "We cannot allow weapons of mass destruction to remain in the hands of volatile, unpredictable leaders. Which is exactly why we must act quickly and decisively against Saddam Hussein."
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
"As far as you know, how many of the September 11th terrorist hijackers were Iraqi citizens: most of them, some of them, just one, or none?"
Most of them - 21%
Some of them - 23%
Just one - 6%
None - 17%
Don't know - 33%
When people don't even have a clue about The Event That Changed Everything it's time for the media to take a good hard look in the mirror - and at the administration which has us fighting Osama Bin Saddama in Afghaniraq.
And, because occasionally, very occasionally, you feel that maybe, just maybe you helped push a bit of information or idea out of the muck and into the echo chamber.
Thomas has now pierced that great black veil of secrecy, but only just enough to cash in. He has chosen to put himself in the public eye but to immunize himself from any kind of publicity that might upset or embarrass him. Thomas has already announced, for instance, according to the New York Times, that he will simply not appear on any TV show "unsympathetic" to his conservative views, which category he defines (with keen legal insight) as anything that isn't Fox News, with maybe a Barbara Walters caveat built in for extra flexibility....
Although Thomas is severely limiting his public exposure by declining virtually any unfavorable publicity, he has compensated HarperCollins by promising, according to the Times, "strong support" for his book from conservative commentators, especially from his buddy Rush Limbaugh. (Thomas performed Limbaugh's third marriage and never tires of listening to the conservative pundit.) According to Thomas, Limbaugh will read sections of the book on his radio program, literary merit notwithstanding. If HarperCollins can just get Ann Coulter to write about it and Ted Olson to somehow plug it during an oral argument, Thomas is guaranteed a best seller without the agony of a single book review. This isn't a book tour. It's a Federalist Society pep rally.
Rather odd, considering:
On his way up the hate-radio ladder, Rush took no prisoners. In the 1970s, Limbaugh told one black caller: "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back." His career as a right-wing radio jock flourished.
-- After becoming nationally syndicated, Rush
cleaned up his act, right? Wrong. Regarding one national civil rights leader, Limbaugh mused: "Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?"
-- Rush Limbaugh on the nation's oldest existing civil rights organization, with a ninety-year commitment to non-violence: "The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."
-- It's not that Rush denies there is racism in America. There is, he says -"fueled primarily by the rantings and ravings" of blacks." If only those people would keep their mouths shut and behave nice and... Sound familiar??
-- Not that Rush doesn't have a head for figures. One caller had the temerity to say on Rush's air that black voices needed to be heard in American politics. Rush: "They are 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?"
and let's not forget:
Limbaugh promised to show his audience footage of everyday life among welfare recipients. He then ran video of the antics of a variety of great apes -- mostly orangutans, gorillas and apes -- hanging about zoos.
The audience, of course, applauded and laughed.
Monday, January 13, 2003
- Some years ago I was asked to write a script about what lead up to the internment of Japanese-Americans. Our focus was precisely on that period from Pearl Harbor to April of '41, when the Orders of Exclusion were tacked up on telephone poles up and down the west coast(those of Japanese extraction were excluded from living anywhere in the area, and ordered to meet at roundup points, where they were herded by MPs, with bayonets fixed, onto busses to be taken to processing centers, in LA, the Santa Anita Racetrack, and from there, taken, under military guard, to an internment camp, where they lived for the duration of the war, behind barbed wire, and under military guard. I think the absolutely correct name for such a facility is a concentration camp. And that's what these were, American concentration camps. No, not death camps. And not Nazi work camps. There is literally no comparison. But speaking as an American who loves her country deeply, I don't find much comfort in that).
Because of the speed with which this entirely unAmerican event happened, there is a tendency to believe that it was an inevitable outcome given the understandable anxieties of the time. After all, WE HAD BEEN ATTACKED. But there was nothing inevitable about it. In fact, the first editorial on the subject of the Japanese-American community by the LA Times, which later became a leading advocate of internment, was titled, "Lets Not Get Rattled," and cautioned not to scapegoat Japanese-Americans, whom the paper rightly described as mainly loyal Americans, who are as patriotic as any other Americans.
We need to remember here that then, any and all Japanese-Americans born in Japan, however long they'd been here, were excluded, by law, from becoming US citizens. Their children were citizens by birth, and this older "Issei" generation had the status of permanent residents. The LATimes did approve of what were known as the ABC raids, carried on by Hoover's FBI, starting the afternoon of the attack on Pearl Harbor. These raids rounded up targeted individuals among the Isseis, sorted onto three different lists according to their perceived threat level. Those rounded up were the pillars of the Japanese-American Community; their patriarchs; Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Business Leaders, Farming Leaders. All were interviewed, some were let go, most were held, either in jail, or in make shift facilities, think of them as precursors of internment.
And that's my point. The ABC raids aren't often criticized, except by Japanese-Americans. They had the patina of legality. It's also true that J. Edgar Hoover was against the mass internment, more out of a sense that Roosevelt and the military were encroaching on FBI perogative than out of constitutional concerns. My point is that it was the very public ABC raids which set up what came after. Three to five thousand persons had been detained. They had been identified as "leaders." The constant refrain from those who decided it was a damn good idea to scapegoat the Japanese-Americans, competing farming interests, editorial writers, those for whom patriotism always means some form of xenophobic exclusion, and ordinary fair-minded Americans who were getting increasingly rattled by Japanese military success across the Pacific - was this; don't tell us you've rounded up the leaders but there are no followers.
Then a report was released that claimed that the sizable Japanese-American community in Hawaii had actively engaged in various kinds of sabotage to help the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Just so you get a taste of the flavor of this document - one of the reported claims, that Japanese farmers had planted crops in such a way as to provide visual signals to the Japanese pilots above to help them find Pearl Harbor. Interestingly, despite this "Roberts' Report," there was no mass roundup on Hawaii, and no internment. (Could it be that a society as racially mixed as Hawaii is more immune to mass hysteria aimed at one particular group?)
I'm going on at such length because I believe we're in danger of repeating some of this tragic history - this time with Arab and Muslim-Americans.
What went on between late January and mid-April was a kind of mass hysteria. And those who perpetrated it, and those who went along with it were just as sure that Japanese-American disloyalty was real, and just as able to make statements like, "well, if they are so loyal why don't we ever hear them condemn the Japanese Empire and Pearl Harbor," as all the Sean Hannity and all the Insti-warmongers are today. One of the reasons it was so difficult for Japanese-Americans to fight back is that they were understandably fearful that any claims they made on behalf of their own constitutional rights would be perceived as disloyalty. Their main political organization actually cooperated with both the FBI and the Justice Department, right to the bitter end, believing that if they were willing to give up their elders, the rest of the community would be spared. Remind anyone of those recent roundups, when so many reported voluntarily to the INS, only to find themselves treated like criminals? Japanese-Americans went from being excluded from citizenship, to being excluded into concentration camps. Roosevelt signed the exclusion orders. Mrs. Roosevelt was silent. Only a few voices against the internment were raised; the NAACP, the ACLU, of course, the American Friends, also of course, The Nation magazine, my father, who eventually took care of two farms for two interned families so they wouldn't lose them. But those voices are so important - because they tell us it was possible to know at the time how wrong the internment was, not to mention how dumb, here we were excluding from our own war effort some of our own best, brightest, and bravest.
We're a lot closer to making some of the same mistakes than we might want to realize when a law professor doesn't seem to understand that the only way for us to have known whether or not there was an active "fifth column" (yeah, that's the term used at the time, Andy) operating in the Japanese-American community is to have found specific evidence against specific people and then to try them in a court of law. That's what we do in this country. The exclusion orders, which put the military in charge of civilian society on the west coast, violated every major precept of American jurisprudence; one of the most frequent references at the time was to Lincoln's suspension of Habeas Corpus.
Final exhibit; go read the emails from Insti-Pundit reader, Douglas Landrum, that prompted Glen's post. Landrum fully approves of the redress legislation and apparently worked on it. But he makes a distinction between "them" our good loyal minorities, the not so good minority of Muslim and Arab-Americans, who "who howl about perceived civil rights violations and yet refuse to assimilate American values and culture, treat their wives and daughters as slaves and seek to supplant religious freedom with Islamic tyranny."
Instipundit does allow that not all Muslims should be condemned, and then goes on to say, "But Landrum is certainly right to indicate that the conspicuous shows of patriotism by the Japanese American community in World War II have not been matched by the Arab Muslim community in America. (Though there have been a number of barely-covered pro-war demonstrations by Iraqi-Americans)."
But of course the non-assimilation argument was made repeatedly in '41 against Japanese-Americans. Why did they have pictures of the Emperor up in the parlor? The two most oft repeated characterizations of them was that they were servile and sneaky, and standoffish and arrogant. Such is prejudice. Exclusion begets exclusion, until one set of peoples gets excluded from humanness itself.
And, Hesiod reminds us of this story from July:
A member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission said in Detroit on Friday he could foresee a scenario in which the public would demand internment camps for ArabAmericans if Arab terrorists strike again in this country.
If there's a future terrorist attack in America "and they come from the same ethnic group that attacked the World Trade Center, you can forget about civil rights," commission member Peter Kirsanow said.
The reason, he said, is that "the public would be less concerned about any perceived erosion of civil liberties than they are about protecting their own lives."
Here's the work of Dr. Lichtman.
Followed by Lott's "response."
And then Lichtman's rebuttal.