Saturday, November 15, 2008

"All the Ken the Germans, Please Stand Up"

So You think Ken the German is a pathetic oddity? Apparently he's just the tip of the iceberg. This is starting to sound like the racist version of the "I'm Joe the Plumber/ Tiger Woods" memes.

Here's a sampling from Greg Mitchell at Huffington Post (including Ken):

"So let me just briefly list the full range of episodes, which doesn't even include several cross burnings on front lawns. These aren't necessarily the worst but they do capture the national flavor/fever:

* In a Maine convenience store, an Associated Press reporter saw a sign inviting customers to join a betting pool on when Obama might fall victim to an assassin. The sign solicited $1 entries into "The Osama Obama Shotgun Pool," saying the money would go to the person picking the date closest to when Obama was attacked. "Let's hope we have a winner."

* In Idaho, the Secret Service is investigating a "public hanging" sign erected by a man upset with the election outcome, the Bonner County Daily Bee reported Thursday. A handmade sign posted on a tree reads "FREE PUBLIC HANGING" written in large letters beneath a noose fashioned from nylon rope. The most prominent name on the sign is "OBAMA," according to the Bee. "That's a political statement. They can call it whatever they want, a threat or whatever," the creator of the sign, Ken Germana, told the Bee.

* A popular white supremacist Web sites got more than 2,000 new members the day after the election, compared with 91 new members on Election Day. The site,, was temporarily off-line on Nov. 5 because of the overwhelming amount of activity it received. One poster, identified as Dalderian Germanicus, of North Las Vegas, said, "I want the SOB laid out in a box to see how 'messiahs' come to rest."

* From the Orange County (Ca.) Register: "Two gang members pleaded not guilty Thursday to hate crime and attempted robbery charges in connection with the beating of a black man who was trying to buy cigarettes at a Fullerton liquor store." The two men shouted racial and anti-Obama epithets in the attack.

* In Mississippi alone, the American Civil Liberties Union has received more than 10 calls since the staff first reported anti-Obama incidents last Friday, according to the Jackson (Miss.) Free Press.

* In Midland, Mich., a man dressed in full Ku Klux Klan regalia walked around toting a handgun and waving an American flag. Initially denying it, the man eventually admitted to police that the display was a reaction to the Obama victory. "[The man] had a concealed weapon permit and was walking up and down the sidewalk in front of a vehicle dealership while some motorists shouted obscenities at him and others shouted accolades," police told The Saginaw News.

* Parents in Rexburg, Idaho, contacted school officials this week after they learned that 2nd and 3rd graders on a school bus were chanting, "Assasssinate Obama!"

* At the University of Texas in Austin, a racist post on Facebook has cost one student his place on the university football team, according to the Houston Chronicle. Buck Burnette, a sophomore offensive lineman for the fourth-ranked Texas Longhorns, was dismissed from the team on Nov. 5 after posting a racist remark about President-elect Obama as his "status" on the social networking Web site. Burnette posted: "All the hunters gather up, we have a [slur] in the White House," theChronicle reported.

* AP reports: "While the world watched a Grant Park celebration heralding the election of the first black U.S. president, some white Chicago police officers committed hate crimes against black residents cheering Barack Obama's victory elsewhere in the city, attorneys alleged Thursday." Lawsuits have been filed.

* At Appalachian State University, the administration has expressed disappointment at the numerous times black students have expressed being harassed in residence halls since the election.The Appalachian, a student newspaper serving the university, also reported conversations suggesting Obama may not be alive in 2009 and a t-shirt seen around campus that reads "Obama '08, Biden '09."

* Mentioned in the same article, racist comments were discovered at North Carolina State University last week. Spray-painted in university's free expression tunnel after the election were the phrases, "Kill that n..." and "Shoot Obama," the Appalachian reported. The NAACP has called for the expulsion of the four students accused of the graffitti, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

* The Associated Press revealed on Wednesday, "Police on eastern Long Island are investigating reports that more than a dozen cars were spray painted with racist graffiti, reportedly including a message targeting President-elect Barack Obama. The graffiti included racist slurs and sexually graphic references. At least one resident in the quiet Mastic neighborhood told Newsday her son's car was scribbled with a message threatening to kill Obama."

* Employees at Hampel's Key and Lockshop in Traverse City, Michigan, flew an American flag upside down last Wednesday protesting of the new president-elect, the Traverse City Record-Eaglereported. One worker used a racial slur during an interview with the Record-Eagle: "(The inverted flag is) an international signal for distress and we feel our country is in distress because the n----- got in," said Hampel's employee Rod Nyland, who later apologized for the comment, according to the Record-Eagle.

* Authorities in Temecula, Calif., found spray-painted graffiti on a city sidewalk containing a swastika and anti-Obama slogan. And from the Los Angeles Times: "Vandals spray-painted swastikas and racial slurs on a house and several cars in Torrance that displayed campaign signs or bumper stickers for President-elect Barack Obama, authorities said Tuesday. The incidents occurred Saturday night in the Hollywood Riviera section of the city, said Sgt. Bernard Anderson. Four separate incidents were reported the next day, he said. No arrests have been made."

* And from Maine: "More than 75 people rallied Sunday against an incident last week in which black figures were hanged by nooses from trees on Mount Desert Island the day after Barack Obama won the presidential election," according to the Bangor Daily News. "

Doesn't it make you proud to vote Republican?


P Bryant (aka JerryMagicKobe) said...

I fail to see what any of those individuals have to do with the Republican Party. Surely you are not condemning almost half of the country for the views and actions of these people. How do you read these reports and conclude that “Republican” is their defining characteristic? And are you sure there aren't horrible people who make up a similar part of the Democratic Party? I can list some if you like. I'd rather not, though, since it may seem like justifying the hatred of the people you reference rather than pointing out our common ground.

I know you are passionate about this issue, and more personally invloved in it than I care to be, but I also know you are too smart to turn a blind eye to my point. If Obama held Republican beliefs and Bush was a Democrat, given the current state of things Obama would be the President elect just the same. If Colin Powell were the Republican candidate running against Joe Biden, the people you reference would have the same hatred toward Powell. To them, it is a racial issue, not a political one.

If you would like to rail against racism, and condemn the ignorant bigots and their backwards beliefs, then I'll join you with all I have - as long as you don't mind associating with a known Republican. Would you include me in your quest to stamp out exclusion?

D.A.A. Price (aka Elgin) said...

While these isolated incidences are certainly disturbing, it may serve a better purpose, or at least prove just as serviceable, to not forget the vast majority of civil minded people in this country who have looked past race and political lines and taken action for what they believed to be the best interest of this nation. I'm not advocating a blind eye, but to give these primates any more attention than they have already received rather than highlight all the positive that has transpired of late seems only to assist in propagating this madness.

T. Johnson (aka "24") said...

Ok, I get your discomfort, and I'm not making a blanket statement about all Republicans. I am taking that party to task because it has cobbled together a confederation of these people. Take a look at the red states, and tell me what they have in common. Heavily rural, heavily white, heavily fundamentalist (and poorly educated) populations. And the party has pandered to them since Reagan made his deal with the devil (the Christian right) to get votes. I define them as republican because they do, and because the republican party has done so much to attract and keep their vote. Put another way, which party do you think Ken Germana supports?

I'm sure you can find odious people of all stripes and parties, but here are two interesting points:

1. The democrats did not run a race-baiting campaign designed to drag those people into their ranks, while the republicans clearly did, as they have been for many election cycles. Karl Rove (and Lee Atwater before him) made a science out of using social issues such as religion, homophobia, and racism (which all tend to congregate under the same tent in rural America) to get rural whites to vote against their economic interest (the economics are a different subject that I will blog about later).

2. A large number of rural white democrats supported Hillary Clinton in the primary, admitting racial bias in significant percentages, and a number of them, the ones to whom race was more important than other issues, in turn voted for John McCain.

Again, I don't think all republicans are racists, in fact, the leadership of the party is more concerned with corporate capitalism, but they don't have nearly enough votes without the bible belt, and that constituency votes on god, guns, homophobia, and race. And I believe if the republicans had run a more moderate person, especially one of color like Powell, they would have done far better. They ran Palin primarily to appeal to that very group of people you wish to distance yourself from.

I'm happy to associate with you regardless of your party affiliation. I can admit that it is difficult being tarred with the racist brush, and I don't mean to impugn you personally, as you have given no indication that you hold those beliefs. However, if you self-identify with a party that actively courts these people, it would seem you're trying to have it both ways, and you can't really cry foul when the people who supply more than half of the party's votes come under legitimate fire, along with the party itself for inciting and supporting them...

P Bryant (aka JerryMagicKobe) said...

It is hard to argue with you when I agree with what you are saying. In fact, I agree with it so much that I attribute those characteristics not just to the GOP, but to the entire world. I call it human nature, and I believe that everyone uses whatever they can to get whatever they want.

You have way more faith (ironic word choice) in the bastards that run your party than I do the sons of bitches who run mine. Don't trust 'em, TJ. They are politicians and they all lie, cheat, steal and pander. Maybe a field trip to the view innerworkings of the Democratic Party here in California could illustrate the seedier side of the Donkey.

Regardless, there is a reason why we have two parties: It Works. Democrats push the envelope when it comes to social issues and human rights - and the GOP pushes forward on the ecconomic and millitary fronts. Althought there are problems and missteps, there isn't a better system (the old Mitch argument;-). Checks and balances work, and both sides are needed.