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A friend of my mother owns a small shop on the main street of her town in Middle Tennessee.  Her car has a Harold Ford, Jr., bumper sticker on it.  The other day, a young man came into the shop and asked her if the bumper sicker was hers.  She said yes.

The young man said, "You better watch out that you don't get your store burned down, because we don't vote for n*****s around here."

I did ask her permission before retelling this story, and she requested that I not give any more specifics than "Middle Tennessee" because she takes the threat very seriously.

I find this story heartbreaking.

This is the outright racism that African-Americans have to deal with in Tennessee and elsewhere throughout the nation (not just the South).  Much more common is the subtle racism of distrust that gives African-Americans a disadvantage in the job market, educational opportunities, the criminal justice system, etc.

The GOP has deliberately tapped into this subtle racism since Richard Nixon in 1968, and it has been a highly effective strategy for them.  The stereotype of the lazy, violent African-American male and the slutty, Welfare-dependent African-American female form the underpinnings of the entire Republican social argument.  

Unfortunately, I can see the effectiveness of this strategy within my own family.  People who were "yellow dog" Democrats for 60+ years have converted to the Republican party in the past decade because they believe Democrats want to hand out the vast majority of their tax dollars to shiftless, jobless (black) people.

Right now, the US Senate race in Tennessee is neck-and-neck. And so, the GOP is trying to awaken the secret fear of black people that sleeps within far too many voters in Tennessee.  While Republican candidate Bob Corker and RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman cry crocodile tears, the GOP continues to run race-baiting ads statewide.

Do not let GOP racism go unchallenged!  This is our opportunity to support and elect an African-American candidate from the South.  This is our opportunity to change the face of Southern politics.  As senator, Harold Ford, Jr., will open minds in Tennessee.  He will serve as a role model for an entire generation of white and black children and help our state move closer to being truly color-blind.

(And, he will serve as a thumb in the eye of outright racist rednecks in Tennessee, which is something that gives me great joy.)

If a white female shop owner is willing to take risks and face threats for supporting an African-American candidate, we need to show courage as well.  Stand up to GOP racism, and show your support for Harold Ford, Jr.  

Like Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen says, "Harold is going to make you proud."

Originally posted to R o o k on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 08:27 AM PDT.

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    Thanks

    •  This is why we have to marginalize... (103+ / 0-)

      the South's electoral importance. This is very difficult to fight and very depressing. I am not saying that we don't fight it, but still I am not optimistic of our chances to really change this attitude that is seemingly held by a significant block of Southerners.

      In the future, Democratic electoral sucesses will be grounded in the Southwest and Mountain West. Luckily, demographic trends favor us here. If Democrats manage to take control of the House this November, it will be the first time in forever that Southerners are really left out in the cold with regards to influence (in that legislative body). Even more of a reason why this November is so important.

        •  I find irony that Ford endorses Lieberman (15+ / 0-)

          I find it ironic that Harold Ford STILL endorses Lieberman over Lamont.

          Yes what is going on in TN sucks, and I understand Lamont is not popular in TN but Ford should have said he was staying out of the connecticut race and at least not continue to endorse joementum after he lost.

          I don't know what kind of senator ford would make, would he be like lieberman?

          •  Here's the kind of Democrat he is, (21+ / 0-)

            "State Senator Cohen and I disagree on several significant issues. He's for gay marriage; I'm not. He's for amnesty for illegals; I'm not. He's for legalizing marijuana; I'm not. He's for a cut-and-run strategy in Iraq"

            Cohen is a Democrat.

            •  Ford (5+ / 0-)

              Ford's positions on many things are similar to Lieberman.

            •  OK (5+ / 0-)

              I'm still rooting for him because he's a D and we need to take back the Senate if we can, but ... hmmmm.

              And I hadn't realized he endorsed Joementum.  Yuck.

              •  We spent the summer in Tennesee when I was ten (5+ / 0-)

                my father was working there, and although it was 1960, I was shocked to see that water fountains and bathrooms were still labeled "colored" and "white."

                Jim Crow laws may have been eliminated, but for whatever reasons, the signs were still up.

                We attended a pretty white and new Catholic church there, and I remember a conversation one of the parishoners had with my mother that ran something to the effect: "We're proud of it, the previous churches kept burning down."

                That an African-American is running for one of the highest offices in the state is progress I guess, but apparently not everything has changed in 40 years.

                •  Jim Crow was alive and well in 1960 (7+ / 0-)

                  By this point, Brown vs. Board of Ed had occurred, but it wasn't until a few years later that major civil rights legislation was passed.

                  -Alan

                  -9.00, -3.69 Bush, 12/12/05: "I think we are welcomed [in Iraq]. But it was not a peaceful welcome."

                  by SlackerInc on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:55:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Please.......... (11+ / 0-)

                  The "North" has no room to talk.  Black celebrities had issues getting into NY resteraunts and clubs and used another entrace to their hotels.  They just didnt have signs.

                  •  And you say that while Ford is getting (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mataliandy, deep6, esquimaux

                    hurt by a race baiting add, and Deval Patrick is decimating his opponent in Mass. (a state that prefers Republican Governors)

                    •  He is hurting himself (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      GayHillbilly, sjs1959, GoldnI

                      It isn't the ad that's hurting him. It's his alienation of his base.

                      Racist crapheads that won't vote for a black man aren't going to vote for a Democrat anyway. If anything, the ad might get a few more of these jerks out to vote. IT's not going to change any minds. You aren't going to have a Democrat say "Oh my God, Harold Ford is BLACK? Well... I'm for Corker then!"... Not even in Tennessee.

                      A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. -Edward R. Murrow

                      by nutmeg on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 02:39:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  We all need to talk (8+ / 0-)

                    Hi Naufragus,  I agree with you that white Americans all over this country are prejudiced in a really ugly way, so it's unfair to blame Southerners for American bigotry.  I went to jr. high and high school in suburban Detroit in the early 70's and heard and saw a lot of ugliness when Northern white suburbanites faced school integration.  I favor competing for Southern votes in every election and supporting Ford is one good way to do it.  But I oppose twisting the Democratic Party's positions into a pretzel in order to be more palatable to anyone in this country who revears night riders and Confederate symbolism.  In the near term we need to focus on putting together a winning electoral coalition and I agree with others here that that road leads through the intermountain west rather than the southeast.

                    ...when the last Republican office-holder is strangled in the entrails of the last religious broadcaster.

                    by Norbreacht on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:55:44 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh no... (7+ / 0-)

                    You mean there are RACISTS outside the SOUTH???

                    Say it isn't so!

                    Now how will northerners manage to feel superior?

                    The biggest problem I've had in this race is that everyone in the country suddenly thinks they know everything about Tennessee... I guess because they all saw Gone With the Wind... and Georgia borders Tennessee, so it can't be too far off. Right?

                    A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. -Edward R. Murrow

                    by nutmeg on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 02:36:21 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Maybe so (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dietznbach, jfadden

                    but the reason the "white" and "colored" water fountains were shocking, was because I'd never seen their like in New Jersey or New York.

                    Not many black people living near our suburb, but my mother took the Catholic Churh's ecumenical movement to heart, and found and made a black friend in a woman who was high up in the Girl Scout organization.

                    And I can't tell you how frightening it was as a ten year old to stand in a Catholic Church in Tennesee with the thought that the previous churches had all been burned down by bigots.

                    Something that hadn't happened in recent memory in New Jersey, that's for damned sure.

                    There's bigots everywhere, but the South had further to go in correcting that, and to a large extent they have.

                  •  Nobody's saying there wasn't racism in the North (0+ / 0-)

                    The difference was that in the South, racism was entrenched in law.  This made the racism more blatant to liberals (both North and South) and more shocking to Northern liberals and moderates who visited the South during the early 60's.

                    It wasn't until the early 1970's when the controversy over "forced busing" arose that it became apparent that the North had some housecleaning to do.

                    And we both still got work to do, North and South.

                •  Oh PLEASE (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sjs1959, fiddler crabby, R o o k

                  You were her in 1960 and you think you know Tennessee?

                  Gimmie a break!

                  A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. -Edward R. Murrow

                  by nutmeg on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 02:32:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, give judibrowni a break. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    zoso553

                    She (?) made no claims about "knowing" Tennessee. She merely commented that it's come a long way since she'd visited as a child in 1960. That comment in no way deserved scorn.

                    U.S. Citizen Abroad? Had enough? Register to vote in '06! Democrats Abroad makes it easy, at www.VoteFromAbroad.org

                    by worried sick on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 04:53:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  My family drove down to Tennesee in 1961 (0+ / 0-)

                  Yes the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War.  In Virgina we had to drive to three towns to find a Catholic church.  Finally we found services being held in a former supermarket.  All through Virginia and Tennesee the confederate flags outnumbered the stars and stripes by a 20-1 margin.

                  I felt like a foreigner in my own country.  Things are changing in Tennessee, but changes of this sort are slow.  But I hope they've changed enough.

            •  yeah well...it's Tennessee (20+ / 0-)

              you take what you can get.  Most importantly, a vote for Ford is a vote for Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader.

              Ever wish there were One Big Wiki-Style Clearinghouse for all the GOP Scandals? Well now there is.

              by thereisnospoon on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:52:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well (4+ / 0-)

                Some candidates in the West such as Tester in states even more conservative than TN are doing well with moderate and progressive positions.  

                •  the West is not the South (13+ / 1-)

                  As Markos has been saying for quite some time now.

                  The West is Libertarian.  The South is Bigoted.

                  Ever wish there were One Big Wiki-Style Clearinghouse for all the GOP Scandals? Well now there is.

                  by thereisnospoon on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:58:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not really (7+ / 0-)

                    The South has more elected minority public officials than any other region of the country.

                    Race, especially surrounding immigration, is very, very much an issue in the West.

                    •  thereisnospoon, those elected in South (0+ / 0-)

                      weren't they mostly from black districts or area's. How many blacks were elected from predominately white areas? How many have even run?

                      Dubya: often wrong, but never in doubt.

                      by auapplemac on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 02:36:37 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Districts (0+ / 0-)

                        If you look at Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, or anywhere else in the country you will see that most minority elected officials are elected from minority districts.

                      •  Southern democrats (0+ / 0-)

                        Only about a third of the Democrats elected to the House from the South are black.  Out of those 20 or so seats, only Sanford Bishop votes more conservatively than Harold Ford.  

                        The white southern Democrats in the House split pretty much down the middle between national Democrats who are on the more conservative side and members who really are part of their own little clique that hews as close to the disappeared middle as it can get.  Gene Taylor is the far end of that slice but he's half a vote where a republican would be totally a lost cause.

                        Republicans in the House these days no longer follow the representative democracy that governed this country for 200 years.  Instead, they have a parliamentary democracy where only the vote for speaker )or in England, Prime Minister) counts.  Nobody pays any attention to the 15 or 20 "most liberal" House Republicans because only bills that satisfy the majority of the Republican Caucus hit the House floor.  The moderation of a Chris Shays, Sherwood Boehlert or Rick Leach is not a joke but the Mike Pences, Tom DeLays, and John Shadeggs call the tune totally.

                        The weird nature of this, of course, is that Boehlert was pretty much forced into retirement this year (his district is leaning democratic by a hair) and Shays and Leach are facing tough elections.

                        Southerners have played a key role in the House continuously from 1930 to the present.  For most of the time from 1860 through the election of 1928, they were out in the cold while northern (including midwestern) Republican ruled.  Democrats controlled the House for maybe 40% of the time between 1874 and 1918.  The two periods from 1860 through 1872 and 1918 through 1928 were solidly Republican.  Each was ended because of a wicked bad economy.

                    •  Don't Ruin the Illusion (6+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      odum, sjs1959, GoldnI, marykk, R o o k, randy lynn

                      Don't go telling them pesky little FACTS

                      ... like the Democratic Legislature in TN, and the Democratic governor winning by 35 points.

                      Facts get in the way of the acceptable bigotry against the south. You don't want to confuse the so-called progressives.

                      A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. -Edward R. Murrow

                      by nutmeg on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 02:46:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  "The South is Bigoted" (22+ / 0-)

                    Needlessly insulting, and by its gross generalization, a bigoted statement in itself by definition.

                    The south is a lot more complicated than "Cleetus the slack-jawed yokel." Speak not to things of which you do not know.

                    ...and BTW, this notion that bigotry is just a southern problem and isn't an issue in the west, besides from enabling bigotry everywhere else, is demonstrably ridiculous to the extreme.

                    Get over to the Green Mountain Daily! What are you still reading this sig for?

                    by odum on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:18:01 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  The South is Bigoted? (17+ / 0-)

                    Well, geeze thanks a lot.  As a lifelong Democrat and liberal, born and raised in Georgia,  I am sooo glad to learn that I am a bigot.  Please don’t tell my  non-white friends and family members.

                    I am so SICK of southern bashing.  Maybe some of you guys should look to the beam in your own eye. I mean, after all, god knows that there has never been a bigot born north of the Mason Dixon line.

                    It is this kind of holier than thou crap that looses the south for Democrats.  Hell, it even makes me want to register as an independent.

                    "If you make yourself a sheep, the wolves will eat you." Benjamin Franklin

                    by Matilda on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:45:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That makes you want to register an an (5+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      matt n nyc, HarveyMilk, deep6, FutureNow, gkn

                      independent? It's not the fact that the majority of the non African American Southern Dems are very conservative? It's not that the House members who voted for torture came predominantly from the South? It's not that your own candidates run around attacking other Democrats for being too liberal? No, it's that someone had the fucking audacity to say that racism is a problem in the south. That's rich. Why is everyone concerned with the race bating spots? If racism isn't a problem, why do you care what they say?

                      •  It is rude is one reason (6+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        odum, nutmeg, Matilda, sjs1959, dnta, vibinc

                        It is rude to generalize about entire regions and groups is one reason. Much of West and Mid-West are GOP strongholds that vote even more GOP than the South such as 60% to 70% or more for the GOP. It would not be productive and generalize about them either.  

                      •  ? (13+ / 0-)

                        The point is that Racism is a problem EVERYWHERE.  Not just the South.  It is wrong to just constantly bash the South, without accepting any of the responsibility for it in your region.

                        •  I accept plenty of responsibility (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          deep6

                          for racism in the West and the Northeast, as I've been in both places and know .  But Northern Florida  (the part without a Cuban population that much more resembles Southern Georgia) is the only place I've heard the n-word used for kicks --even worse, by people I thought would know better. And it's the only place i've heard a reporter say "well, this crime wave really only effects blacks, so should we really be reporting on it so heavily?".

                          Yes, of course, there are many wonderful people in the South fighting very hard for tolerance and enlightenment, and of course some great communities exist that have purged themselves of these ugly tendencies, but is it that much of a stretch to say that the South has more (not everyone, not a majority) unrepentant racists than most other places in America? It's my experience, anyway.

                        •  I think any non-southerner would agree with you (0+ / 0-)

                          It's not likely you'd find anyone on Dkos insisting racism is non-existant in the north, although they may have words if people attempt to equate southern history of race relations with northern history.  I tend to find racist attitudes predominantly among retired Catholics (mostly Irish and Italian - my heritage) who grew up around Boston and had to compete with black workers for jobs.  Up here, economic class is the primary motivator in discrimination, far more so than skin color.  (At least that's what this white woman has noticed.)  But like you pointed out, generalization is ineffective and certainly "south bashing" isn't any more effective.

                          As a bourgeois liberal elitist socialist atheist pinko anti-american feminist Bostonian responsible for the molestation of children by Catholic priests (so says Ricky Santorum) and the world of evil we see on earth today, I find "south bashing" very passe.  In fact, "north bashing" and particularly "New England bashing" is particularly en vogue.  In fact, I would argue "north bashing" and playing on both good and bad stereotypes of northern culture (intellectualism, cold personalities, liberalism) was a primary theme in the '04 election and a key strategy for republicans generally, but GWB specifically, to push voters away from the values of the Democratic block of the northeast.  By demonizing New Englanders the GOP was able to effectively attack our D/democratic principles and put Kerry on the defensive.  I think the biggest mistake Kerry made was not addressing the insults slammed at Massachusetts and its residents every two seconds by the propaganda machine of the GOP.  If he had done that and stuck up for New Englanders generally, he would have been in a better position to fight the swift-boater adds (should he have chosen to forcefully address them) and he would have been able to say Screw You to the people out there trying to make the country forget that the Northeast stretch from southern Maine down past Maryland through Virginia is the oldest settled part of the country and our true "heartland".

                          This got off topic.  But I just want to say we should all be honest about the history of race in this country.  The south, individuals, localities and whole regions have made enormous strides in attitudes toward race issues.  But why has this happened?  What was the catalyst?  We all know - the civil war.  It was forced on the south.  11 million southerners fought against 23 million northerners and our side won.  Imagine where civil rights would be today if the north hadn't won, and if there hadn't been courageous action by JFK and the Supreme Court to force integration?  The progressive southerners on this blog today are not responsible for the actions of their forebears, nor the past residents of your hometowns and you shouldn't be lumped in with them because of what happened in the 1960s or the 1860s.  But let's be honest about it.  What progress your nearby states have made hasn't been in a vaccuum and it wasn't a "self-conversion" - it was forced - and for all of our sakes it's a damned good thing it was.

                          Progressivism: be on the right side of history.

                          by deep6 on Thu Oct 26, 2006 at 06:45:46 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  frankly - (10+ / 0-)

                        Matilda has a point and you're acting like a child.

                        Most House Members voted for toture, last I checked.  No geographical majority that I could see - the cowardice was spread around pretty evenly.

                        The two Democrats making a name for themselves slamming other Dems are...wait for it...Lieberman and Obama.  Illinois and Connecticut weren't in the South, last time I checked a map.

                        I was born in Alabama and still have family there, which I visit on a yearly basis.  The most racist place I've ever lived is in Southern California.  Bag on us for a while.  But you won't, cause it's not "cool".

                        Let me tell you something.  I support Dems, for now, only because the alternative is worse.  You can mellow out, can keep me, Matilda, and others like me, or you can start bashing Southerners and gun owners again and I'll go right back to voting Libertarian - and you can enjoy being a member of a minority party, assuming they continue to allow such things, until the 22nd century for all I care.  It's your choice.

                        •  Maybe you should look at the Democratic (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          matt n nyc, gkn

                          reps again. The majority came from the South. And maybe you should listen to Harold Ford, who attacked a candidate for the house like he was a Republican and accused the man of wanting to "cut and run" in Iraq. And if you voting for a Democrat and not a libertarian is contingent on me pretending that the South is some kind of liberal, color blind utopia, the party has bigger problems.

                          •  maybe I did look at all those things - (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            odum, Matilda

                            I even looked at 'em before posting.

                            The party definitely has bigger problems.  Go look in a mirror.  You'll see one of the biggest right there, staring back at you with the kind of slack-jawed idiocy that's to be expected in bigots who delight in losing elections to prove their own personal prejudices right, at the expense of alienating a sizable percentage of moderates.

                            We've tried it your way since 1994.  It isn't working.  Get out of the way and let someone else give it a shot.  They can't botch the job any worse than your approach has.

                          •  I'll have you know, my jaw is chisled and firm. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            sjs1959, JohnnyAppleseed
                          •  lucky bastard - (5+ / 0-)

                            If I could change one thing about my otherwise glorious face, it would be the jawline.  Not a bad shape, but doesn't have that forcefulness that some do - the ideal male jaw is kinda like the hull shape of a well-designed boat.

                            Yet I stagger on in spite of being saddled with this handicap.

                            Dude, all I'm trying to say is don't hate on the southerners.  There is so much potential for Dems in that part of the US it's not even funny - a lot of 'em are poor, they're all getting the federal tax dollars anyway - we just need to get 'em to start voting for us instead of the bastards who have been ripping 'em off since Reconstruction.  And writing them all off as a group of NASCAR watching, beer-swilling, cousin-fucking redneck retards is great comedy (and yeah, I find it funny too) but damn, we need to win some elections so let's bring 'em into the fold, say I.  

                            We can do the circular firing squad and party purge thing, but let's wait until AFTER we neuter Bush and his gang of cheap suit-wearing jerks on November 7, not before.  If Ford can help us take the Senate, then by God I'm all for him.  I'm all for anyone who can put the brakes on the Republican congressional juggernaut.  We can clean up the mess later.  We just need to stop the vandals first.

                            Fuck, I'd vote for Lieberman if he'd promise to punch Bush in the balls on public TV.  Just once.  That would be awesome.

                          •  no, the purge can't wait (0+ / 0-)

                            Deviation cannot be tolerated!

                            Purity first... power second.

                            Or so it seems sometimes areound here.

                          •  Not sure who you mean he attacked... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            sjs1959

                            Ford attacked Steve Cohen the actual Democratic nominee for TN-9 who is one of the most liberal and progressive Democrats running anywhere in the United States in 2006.

                          •  I didn't write that very well. I meant, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            sjs1959

                            Ford sounded like a Republican.

                          •  Straw man (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Matilda, vibinc

                            No one is claiming the South is a "liberal, color blind utopia."

                            We are, however, saying racism is all over the country, so stop singling out the South as if its problems are unique.

                      •  I never said racism wasn't a problem in the south (5+ / 0-)

                        However, it most assuredly is not the only area of the nation that has that problem.  What I am sick of is people, many of whom have never even been to the south, blaming us for all the nation's racial problems.  I would remind you that the original slave trade route in this county came in through the northern states, Massachusetts being a prime offender, I believe.  

                        As far as racism in America goes, it’s pretty much a case of ‘when did you stop beating your wife?'

                        And to suggest that southern democrats are the only conservative ones is just a crock.  Lieberman anyone?

                        "If you make yourself a sheep, the wolves will eat you." Benjamin Franklin

                        by Matilda on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:28:05 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  I am in the South (10+ / 0-)

                      I am in the South, in Mississippi actually. My town and neighborhood has been integrated since before I was even born. My state has the largest number of African American elected officials of any state in the nation. My congressman is Bennie Thompson one of the most liberal and progressive members of the House. There are less racial problems here than many other areas of the country.

                    •  Thanks for saying that better than I ever could (12+ / 0-)

                       I grew up in AR, and now live in TN, and get REALLY TIRED of hearing how racist "I" am as a southerner.

                       Does the south have some racism problems?

                       You betcha.

                       But so does every city in every state with a gated community, or a country club, or any other social structure that segregates people by wealth or status or whatever other bullshit mark of purity they decide on.

                       PEOPLE!!! STOP THE WITH GENERALIZATIONS...PERIOD

                      "Those who would divide us will never be able to lead us."

                      by vibinc on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:18:28 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Look, bigotry is everywhere but Southern bigotry (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JohnnyAppleseed, gkn, tigercourse

                      the particular flavor that exists in the south, is institutionalized to a degree that far exceeds other parts of the country, and this is not due to any tendency of the peoples that inhabit that region, but just its location as the site of a historical rebellion that had at its core retention of slavery as an issue.

                      That defacto racism does exist elsewhere is a given. The movie "Crash" captures its forms in Southern California pretty well. That is NOT the issue. The issue is the ongoing political structure borne of  defeat and laying the blame for that ignominy on its black population.  

                      In the south, it's heritage, in the north, economic. The results are equally abhorrent.

                      •  What about Detroit, or St. Louis, or... (7+ / 0-)

                        hell, the entire state of Indiana, or Chicago?

                         All of these places are havens, to one extent or another of racism.

                        Detroit/Chicago
                         Decaying inner city neighborhoods brought on by massive white flight into the 'burbs.  The result?  Public schools that are struggling to survive with diminishing incomes and student counts.  Is that not an example of racism?

                         St. Louis
                         Ever heard of East St. Louis???  Nuff said.

                         Indiana
                         Don't even get me started.

                        YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT ONE THING

                        That defacto racism does exist elsewhere is a given.

                         But you are wrong by saying that "institutionalized racism" is any more or less prevalent in the south.  It manifests itself in a way that is different from Northern areas, but that doesn't make it more prevalent, just more foreign to people who live outside of the South, and as such, it seems more prevalent.

                         Look, I'm not saying we're any better than any other area...but I'm tired of being told over and over again how much worse we are when I travel the country and see things in places that aren't supposed to be "as bad" that make me cringe to my core.

                         Racism is bad EVERYWHERE...PERIOD.

                        "Those who would divide us will never be able to lead us."

                        by vibinc on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 01:04:49 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Anti-black racism: let the migrations judge (0+ / 0-)

                          There have been three major migrations of African-Americans, which I think should indicate what the state of anti-black racism is:  WWI, post-WWII, 2005 (Katrina).  

                          Around WWI and after WWII, the direction of migration was undoubtedly northward.  During Katrina, African-Americans migrated to other Southern cities, even though Northerners did everything short of hijacking busses to encourage evacuees to come north.  In quieter periods, the movement of black people southward exceeds the movement of black people northward.

                          So whatever disparities exist in racial enlightenment appear to be overwhelmed by other factors.  

                          Yamaneko2
                          Seeking Confederate flag for kindling

                    •  Yeah (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      odum, GoldnI

                      It's especially damaging when there are many vibrant progressive communities all over the south. Not just big cities either, but small towns too.

                      It's disgusting when you know that if a little attention was paid to the south, the south would start to be a lot more blue.

                      I watched polls carefully during the 2004 election. Every single time one of the candidates came through our state, the polls bumped us up to the blue catagory. Every... Single... Time...

                      But the Democrats didn't start running any ads here til a few days before the election. Too late.

                      This is why I love Dean's 50 state strategy. I think it will bring the whole country forward over time.

                      A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. -Edward R. Murrow

                      by nutmeg on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 03:17:32 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  2004 (4+ / 0-)
                        During the Kerry-Edwards general election campaign in 2004
                        there were times Kerry polled in the 40s in AR, LA, MS, and other states but the national campaign had already written off the South and could not care less. We were forced to "explain" to supporters that they would have to buy signs, bumper stickers, etc. since we were such a low priority the national campaign could not send any. After the election of course we found there were millions still in the bank that could have been spent. People tried to explain that even if Kerry did not win in some of these states it would force the Bush campaign to compete. It will take time in the South to make gains but there is no way to do it when you write off the region and have no ads, no signs, etc. during elections. Judging from some of the comments here today we will likely see the same in 2008.
                        •  I Rememebr (0+ / 0-)

                          Having to ask people for donations for Kerry signs.

                          Fortunately, people were quite willing, and often even paid extra over the $5 or so we were asking.

                          A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. -Edward R. Murrow

                          by nutmeg on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 04:06:32 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Al Gore & Jimmy Carter are bigots, too, Matilda! (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      odum

                      At least here among the saintly From-Anywhere-but-There Hatred Society.

                      Cheers!

                      "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

                      by KateCrashes on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 05:22:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  But Libertarians ARE bigoted (0+ / 0-)

                    That's part of why they are Libertarian (and why I don't agree with Markos that we should attract them to our party).

                    -Alan

                    -9.00, -3.69 Bush, 12/12/05: "I think we are welcomed [in Iraq]. But it was not a peaceful welcome."

                    by SlackerInc on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:59:42 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

                      We should probably attract anyone to this party that wants to be there.

                      But I don't think Libertarians are interested. People call themselves Libertarian when their sense of shame won't allow them to admit to being Republican.

                      A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. -Edward R. Murrow

                      by nutmeg on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 03:26:01 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  In my opinion, you are wrong (0+ / 0-)

                        The libertarian vote is now a swing vote, totally up for grabs.  I'm one myself.

                        It takes 2 "new" voters to equal 1 swing libertarian you move from R to D.

                        I am proudly libertarian and the Republican Party of 2006 offers me Nothing.

                        •  But I'm not interested in offering you... (0+ / 0-)

                          --massively lower taxes;
                          --small, anemic government;
                          --a "fend for yourself" society;
                          --allowing businesses to discriminate against whom they please;
                          --complete surrender to the NRA;
                          --elimination of business regulations like minimum wage, worker safety, mandatory overtime pay, etc.;
                          --absolute right to do whatever you want with land you own, even if that might be harmful to the environment or to species that live there.

                          And aren't all those things you want?  If you, by entering the party, would push us toward these philosophies, I don't want you.

                          Now, if you're willing to set that stuff aside, I would be down with you on a few things:

                          --ending the drug war;
                          --repealing most of the Patriot Act;
                          --ending the NSA domesting spying;
                          --restoring habeus corpus

                          But that's really all I can think of.

                          -Alan

                          -9.00, -3.69 Bush, 12/12/05: "I think we are welcomed [in Iraq]. But it was not a peaceful welcome."

                          by SlackerInc on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 05:42:28 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  But you'll take my vote, I assume? (0+ / 0-)

                            as long as I keep my mouth shut and don't cause too much trouble.

                          •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

                            Try to see it from my point of view.  Let's imagine an alternate reality U.S. where it was Libertarians that were the party just barely out of power, that had a chance to retake the majority.  And Democrats were a small fringe group, with no chance of attaining electoral power on their own, but with a few votes to offer, perhaps enough to get you over the top.  Would you actually want us in your party, if in exchange for a relatively small increase in your vote totals, you had to change your fundamental philosophy on a wide range of issues?

                            -Alan

                            -9.00, -3.69 Bush, 12/12/05: "I think we are welcomed [in Iraq]. But it was not a peaceful welcome."

                            by SlackerInc on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 06:01:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  ?!?! (11+ / 0-)

                    I grew up in the South.  I have lived there, for most of my life.  My boyfriend, however, grew up in Cleveland, OHIO.  His family is the most bigoted family I have ever seen.  Everything they complain about is the fault of this black or that black or where the blacks live etc.  It disgusts me and I hammer on them everytime they start talking.  I got the worst spanking of my life when I said some disparaging remark about someone when I was a little boy.  For you, to sit there on your high horse and judge me and my family for being from the South is appalling.  You sound like one of those particular types of Republicans painting EVERYONE else as horrific and stupid.  It is wrong.  It is offensive.  It is just plain ignorant.

                    •  Slurs (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      laurak, odum, marykk

                      We would also get in huge HUGE trouble for using ethnic slurs of any kind. My whole, gigantic, Catholic family was the same way.

                      I still flinch when I hear racial slurs. I kind of instinctively take a step back from people using slurs... as if to get out of the way of the impending bolt of lightning.

                      A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. -Edward R. Murrow

                      by nutmeg on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 03:28:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Pot calling the kettle black (7+ / 0-)

                    Looks like regional bigotry is alive and well today.  Isn't one of the basic tenets of the Democratic Party about accepting each other's differences?  

                    This just makes me wonder who the 'true' Democrat really is....

                    •  If one of the difference I'm supposed to accept (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      theran, sjs1959

                      is extreme conservatism... no thanks.

                      •  That's too bad (5+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        odum, vibinc, GoldnI, indy2dem, Terra Mystica

                        I'll continue busting my butt getting Democrats elected down here.  When the Democrats get their majorities back in the House and Senate, you'll know who to thank: All the non-progressives that you hate so much

                        •  I phrased my response poorly. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          LIsoundview, sjs1959

                          I don't mind conservative Democrats. I just forsee disaster as more and more of them take over the party. I've also spent a fair bit of money on Ford. So while I have little good to say about him, I am trying to get him elected.

                          •  The sky is NOT falling (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            odum, sjs1959, randy lynn

                            I just don't get where you see all these "new" Conservative Democrats coming in and taking over the party.

                             It's like some surreal chicken little syndrome.

                             Yes there are some conservative Dems running in traditionally conservative states.  WHAT DO YOU WANT?  7 TED KENNEDY'S?  THEY WOULD LOSE in MO, VA, TN, MT, AZ, OH, and PA!!!

                             The Democratic Party is a Big Tent party for a reason.  If we can't accept our differences, we'll NEVER keep a majority.

                            "Those who would divide us will never be able to lead us."

                            by vibinc on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 01:11:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes... and the point is that while (0+ / 0-)

                            electing conservatives is unavoidable, and we need to to do it to get a majority, it will not have a great outcome over the long term. And Paul Sarbanes of Maryland was one of the most liberal Senators. We are running a moderate to replace him.

                          •  Here's a solution (5+ / 0-)

                            and I've been saying this to Memphians who, like myself, don't care for Ford as a candidate but will (or have as the case may be with early voting) support him in the election.

                            IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE CANDIDATE, DEAL WITH IT IN THE PRIMARY.

                             Cardin won the primary (against whom, I have no idea, I was focused on my own primaries here in TN).  He's the guy.

                             If you don't like it, you have 6 years to come up with someone better.

                             Until then, lets get us a majority.

                            "Those who would divide us will never be able to lead us."

                            by vibinc on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 01:27:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Take a recommend (0+ / 0-)

                            but remember, here in CT we proved that even with a record turnout primary, that's no guarantee of getting rid of a turkey once he is in office.

                            You gotta cut them off in their very first primaries before they even get close to national office.

                            Lieberman is the fault of Dems who got too cute 18 years ago, deciding to run at Lowell Weicker (sometimes R, sometimes I) from the right rather than the left.  

                            As my grandad used to say, there are more ways to kill a cat than by choking him to death with butter.  It isn't always necessary to go way conservative or to use conscienceless triangulating methods to get a guy into office.

                            Otherwise the Dems and Reps are just our version of sports teams, and equally meaningless, which I suppose would make DailyKos my version of fantasy football.

                            Resisting the Conservation of Joementum

                            by LIsoundview on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 03:10:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Believe me now and hear me later... (0+ / 0-)

                            to quote the "Pump you up" guys from SNL, HFJ is not even in the same county ideologically as my ideal candidate.  Still, he ran largely unopposed in the primary, and TN isn't ready for anything to the left of him RIGHT NOW.

                             I keep holding out hope that hope that we'll see some kind of Renaissance here in the South that will move people away from their susceptibility to race baiting and the irrational fear of change, but I keep looking around the corner, and not seeing it....

                            "Those who would divide us will never be able to lead us."

                            by vibinc on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 04:35:29 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I hear you (0+ / 0-)

                            and believe Ford is your best current choice and much better than Frist and Corker.

                            I just wanted to point out that primarying somebody once the climate for change is better doesn't always work.  Just sort of a caveat from someone who has been there, and is looking at a crazy situation here in CT.  The Republicans have a pretty good candidate, and they aren't going to vote for him.  They want the blecherous Lieberman instead.

                            Go figure.

                            Resisting the Conservation of Joementum

                            by LIsoundview on Thu Oct 26, 2006 at 07:18:48 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  oh yeah... (0+ / 0-)

                            and thanks for the recommend!!

                            "Those who would divide us will never be able to lead us."

                            by vibinc on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 04:36:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Funny (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GoldnI

                  Tester's own website says he's strongly pro-gun, and he's anti-gay-marriage.    How is he so different from Ford, again...?

                  Google Bomb: Bob Corker
                  VOTE FORD: www.fordfortennessee.co

                  by Eleanor A on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:14:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Patriot Act is one (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sjs1959, gkn, randy lynn

                    As I recall Tester is for the repeal of the Patrior Act would be one. He is running a more populist campaign than Ford.

                  •  Not that I think Tester is some great (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    theran, sjs1959, gkn

                    liberal or anything, but I didn't hear him come out and criticize Dems for trying to fillibuster Alito. I didn't see him bash another Democrat with Republican talking points. I didn't hear him praise the patriot act or call for public displays of the 10 commandments and school prayer. Did he say he would have voted for the torture bill? Did he say he would vote for an FMA? Does he have a bad vote record on middle class issues?

                    •  Ford votes with the Democrats 88%... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jimsaco, GoldnI

                      ...which is a pretty darn good record.  Don't lose track of that.

                      •  so does Lieberman n/t (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        tigercourse
                      •  I think that number is fairly meaningless, (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        theran, BlueinColorado

                        or it says something bad about Democrats. His deviations from the party are big ones. Yes on torture (which is enough for me to consider him, the other 50 or so Democrats and every Republican a criminal). Not a big fan of church state seperation. Not a big fan of other Democrats. Possible wingnut judge supporter.

                        •  It's about control. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          laurak, fiddler crabby

                          Believe me, if we go from Minority Leader to Speaker and from Minority Leader to Majority leader, we'll be able to withstand a few conservative Dems in our ranks. We'll control every committee, we'll schedule all the business the way we want, we'll have subpoena power for all those investigations we want to conduct. It'll be beautiful!

                          Even if we get something to the floor and a few Fords and Liebermans submarine us in the vote, we will still have held the hearings and hearings get coverage and coverage is good.

                          Let's all take the long view, please.

                          Control, control, control.

                          Democrats: For the health, prosperity and security of every single American.

                          by alysheba on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 07:00:59 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I am taking the long view. And it's more (0+ / 0-)

                            that a few conservatives. If things go our way in this election, our party will grow more conservative. And in 08, when we're running more conservative candidates, it will continue becoming conservative. We don't replace liberals with liberals, we replace them with moderates, and we don't have many left. When Boxer goes, will she be replaced by someone like her or Feinstein? What about Harkin or Durbin? Is there any kind of commitment toward running liberal/progressive candidates when their time comes? We didn't do that with Sarbanes and I don't know enough about Klobuchar to know if we did that for Dayton. If in 08, 10, 12 and beyond we are still using the same playbook, just how do you expect to undo the torture bill, or prevent conservative judges (Leahy supported Roberts, O'Connor, Scalia and Breyer)?

                  •  Torture? (0+ / 0-)

                    Where is Tester on torture?

                    Ford supports it.

                    A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. -Edward R. Murrow

                    by nutmeg on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 03:29:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  As you can see (0+ / 0-)

                  even his race stacks the deck against him.  A black progressive in TN?  Nowhere close to viable.

                  Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

                  by gkn on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:52:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Right, and that supports the argument that we (5+ / 0-)

                shouldn't try to govern for the South and spend so much effort to court their votes (which we rarely get) since appartenly, the only thing that we can get from them is terrible politicians. Aim for the west, aim for Ohio and Penn. Stay with the 50 state strategy, but don't be beholden to the Confederate states.

              •  Umm... (9+ / 0-)

                Wasn't a certain Al Gore from Tennessee?

                Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set... -- Gandalf

                by dnta on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:28:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Funny (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sjs1959

              Because Cohen isn't for any of those things. He's just lying and he knows it.

              A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. -Edward R. Murrow

              by nutmeg on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 02:28:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It doesn't matter anyway (0+ / 0-)

                I can't emphasize it enough...Cohen is not running for office from all of Tennessee, he's running for office from MEMPHIS.  Even if he wins in the biggest landslide we've ever seen here, that won't say anything about whether he could win higher up.

                It's time for a New Generation of Leadership in Tennessee! Harold Ford Jr. for U.S. Senate 2006!

                by GoldnI on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 03:07:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We'll worry about statewide later (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nutmeg

                  I care about the 9th District NOW.

                •  Not the point (0+ / 0-)

                  Not at all. The point is that Ford is willing to lie and slander the Democratic nominee for his seat. Kossacks should not expect any party loyalty from him. None.

                  I realize it's too much to ask for "progressive" kossacks to care about the sabotage of a solid blue seat in Congress, but a year or so from now, when Ford has voted for more war and torture, and his House seat belongs to either a Republican (not likely), or Harold's woefully incompetent and volitile infant brother (possible), I don't want to hear ANYONE on this site complain.

                  A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. -Edward R. Murrow

                  by nutmeg on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 03:37:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Cohen (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nutmeg

              Cohen may be the Democratic candidate for Ford's old seat but Ford is clearly and energetically  supporting independent Jake Ford for his old seat.  It's a family affair, as the old song says.

              Cohen, of course whipped up on Ford's finance chair (or was she the campaign manager?) who finished second and yet another Ford relative who finished third.  

              Just like Joe is running as Connecticut for Lieberman Ford could be said to be running as Tennesse for Ford.

          •  I forgive Ford for the error of his ways (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sjs1959, tabbycat in tenn, GoldnI

            and just donated $35.00 to his campaign. even though i am a ct. resident and don't like GOPJOE. I forgive you, Harold, just don't do it again.

          •  True, but Ford's a red state Dem (0+ / 0-)

            I don't think Bill Weld would have qualified in a red state as a rethug either. Southern Dems will always be to the right of northeast/California rethugs, and vice versa. Overall, we have the edge.

            Just when they think they know the answer, I change the question. -Roddy Piper

            by McGirk on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:56:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  S. OH (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glic, Spandau, gkn, Do Tell, mariahmarch

          In many aspects southern Ohio is like a former Confederate state. I'm still surprised by the increasing Blue-ness of the area around Columbus.

          You are starting to disturb my calm.

          by OHdog on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:42:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Copperhead country (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greeseyparrot
            all the way.

            I grew up in Ross County, a great place to be FROM.

            •  Funny you should say this (0+ / 0-)

              I have a letter from an ancestor ... a Lincoln Republican ... from the Civil war period who moved from the Ross County area (New Martinsburg, actually) to Eastern Indiana ... (grant co) ... writing about his cousin's son who, rather than fighting for the north went to canada ... with my ancester deriding him as a copperhead ( copperheads were Democrats in those days).

              But Ross County, also, was an important part of the Underground Railroad - so maybe there is hope for change.

          •  As is S. Indiana - (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gkn, Loonesta, NearlyNormal, mariahmarch

            You've never seen so many Rebel flags.
            My brother in Louisville calls Indiana the Alabama of the North.

            As evidence - the last time Indiana went Dem in a presidential election was in the 1964 Johnson landslide - but by the lowest margin of any Northern state.  Indiana was the only Great Lakes state to vote against Clinton in 1992 and 1996.

            S. Illinois also has these trends, but is outweighed by the Chicago metro area.

            What that says is that there is a serious and fundamental bifurcation in Midwestern states.  And it unfortunately gives suburban voters leverage power between rural and urban voters - as if suburban folks didn't have enough social/political/economic power in the American system.

            •  Brad Ellsworth is about to change that, right? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Redfire, johnnygunn, Loonesta

              Looks like he's got it taken care of .

            •  Postwar Southern diaspora (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              johnnygunn, marykk, ilex

              You had a vast wave of migration, both black and white, after WWII from the south to the northern Midwest because that's where the manufacturing jobs were.

              Even though a great many of those folks have died, or else retired and gone back home, and others have acclamated and taken on more "northern" attitudes, it left a mark.

              Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?

              by Xan on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:54:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes and No (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Xan, vibinc

                The rural population of southern Indiana dates back much further - to the early 1800s when Kentucky settlers crossed the Ohio River - for example the Lincoln family.  Most settlers brought backcountry Southern traditions with them.

                After WWII there was a second wave - many from Appalachia.  Cincinnati is a good example - the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.  But the post-WWII migration was to the cities, not to rural areas.

                There is no doubt that this migration has left its mark.  Although there were African American communities in all the major Midwestern cities prior to WWII - they grew tremendously afterwards.  Racism was evident in labor unions and bitter politics.  African Americans had a tremendous impact in the cultural arts.  The white migration was less visible.  White migrants were not subject to housing restrictions that kept them in one neighborhood.  One measure of their influence is the number of Southern churches now evident in the northern Midwest that weren't there prior to WWII.

              •  I believe that Indiana was racist before that (0+ / 0-)

                I can't quote the statistic but remember seeing that Indiana, in the 1920's, had the highest percentage of its population as members of the KKK of any state in the nation.  Part of it was anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic.  I don't know why.  Maybe because it was and is so rural and flat.  Maybe those miles and miles of cornfields do something to you.  I don't know.  Tennessee is green and has great rivers and fabulous mountains.  It's educational system, however, is based on local funding and racist areas underfund their public schools.  That's the root of any misery they have.  I think that Tennessee will vote for Ford.  I think they will reject the racist ads.  Middle Tennessee is the most racist.  The other areas will overcome it.  

            •  It blew my mind (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              johnnygunn, Levity, marykk

              when I moved to Indiana and saw all of those rebel flags. When I see a business out here called Southern Cross something, I hope that they are talking about the constellation, not the flag.

              •  What part of IN? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Loonesta

                I was born & reared in the southern section of Indiana's 8th - where it looks like Ellsworth is going to replace Hostettler.  I have rarely seen a confederate flag there...and those were usually on motorcycles.

                In 1960 our high school had a black homecoming queen.  Beautiful popular girl.  No one thought a thing about it until we went to out-of-town ballgames where people would confront us with "YOU'RE the ones with the N.... homecoming queen!"  We were shocked and offended.

                There is plenty of bigotry in small town Indiana, though, and what is most incongruant to me is that where I have encountered it most (in the town where I grew up) is among Democrats - blacks, Jews and foreigners...equally.  Those of us who moved away after h.s. are looked upon with disdain by many of our peers...as though we are traitors or "sold out" somehow.  Puzzling.

                "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man."- Capt. Gilbert, US Army Psychiatrist, at the conclusion of the Nuremberg trials.

                by 417els on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 06:48:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  a small town (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  417els

                  in SE Indiana. I lived on the east coast and in NYC for a long time before moving out here and had only seen a southern cross flag once, when visiting Long Island. Here I've seen it on houses and cars. Even booths selling the stuff at county fairs.

                  I've also met a lot of wonderful and open minded people in Indiana, and have met a lot of dedicated Democrats.

            •  Racism in the north too (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vrexford, johnnygunn

              I live in a small, rural area of PA where I see more racism on a daily basis than does my sister who lives in suburban Atlanta. She is the primcipal of a high school there that is very diverse in student and faculty population. They may be more conservative in terms of so many right wing Evangelicals but in my area, more overall racism without the religious aspect, if that makes sense.

              Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

              by wishingwell on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:18:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Anybody else ever heard of Pennsyltucky? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vrexford, vibinc

              Had an interesting conversation a few days ago with someone from that area.

        •  No, indeed it isn't... (24+ / 0-)

          If you think racism is dead,
          and Jim Crow is all
          in our collective heads...

          Be black for a day, would you?

          Even white-skinned foreigners
          come to my country, America,
          and I attempt to treat me as
          the interloper.

          As though it was I who
          sought to escape
          my own particular
          prejudiced state.

          To those who ride the bumper sticker,
          "Hell, no, I ain't fergettin'."
          Well, neither can I,
          in my country, America.

          Be black for a day, would you?  ©99.44% Pure

          I'm a native Alabamian and transplanted Californian, and I have to agree that racism is alive and kicking, in either four directions of this country.

          There's really no dialogue about it either -- my experience is that, for many whites, blacks are crying wolf when they even timidly broach the possibility of their being a victim of racism.  I had a white recruiter tell me I couldn't possibly be right in my assessment that there MAY have been discriminatory practices at a job site where I was the only black.

          Then there are blacks who blame whitey for their every misfortune, when that simply isn't true.  

          Then there are the over 9,000 ineffectual black elected officials who fail almost on a daily basis to represent their, usually, black constituents, those who have used their blackness to get elected, then become as bad as white oppressors in discriminating against their own (see Nagin, Ray).  

          There's also the failure of the various civil rights organizations to have a plan for AFTER we finally "overcame" Jim Crow and other forms of overt racism, and people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who, along with the aforementioned black elected officials and those of the Clarence Thomas/Condoleeza Rice ilk, pimp the movement and black people for their own aggrandizement.

          To quote WAR, "The World Is A Ghetto."

          :)

          Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings -- either a liberal or a conservative. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by 99 Percent Pure on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:59:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I had a secretary (8+ / 0-)

            for several years who was a middle aged African American woman who had come up from Mississippi to Chicago as a child.  She would drive home to visit every summer, and told me that she felt safer there at "home" than she did driving up I-57 through Illinois.  She said she'd make sure her gas tank was full before the interchange, roll up her windows and not stop to I-80.  In the south, she said "people will just tell you" whereas in the rural parts of the northerly states "you never know."

            "Deliberate cruelty to another human being is the one unforgiveable sin." Blanche DuBois

            by marykk on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:43:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Lots Of Things Wrong With Your Comment But... (7+ / 0-)

            There's also the failure of the various civil rights organizations to have a plan for AFTER we finally "overcame" Jim Crow and other forms of overt racism, and people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who, along with the aforementioned black elected officials and those of the Clarence Thomas/Condoleeza Rice ilk, pimp the movement and black people for their own aggrandizement.

            To the extent overt racism "no longer exists," I'd say thanks to the Civil Rights Movement and to all of its martyrs.  Why ignore the achievements of that very real demonstration of people power? Why ignore the assasinations of Dr. King and RFK, COINTELPRO, and the other very real reaction of America's entrenched institutions when considering how the Civil Rights Movement "failed?"

            Lumping Sharpton and Jackson in with Rice and Thomas as civil rights "pimps" seems way out of touch, almost Rethuglian.  Then dismissing all of 9000 black elected officials as "ineffectual" in one fell swoop? Wow!  

            What do you think would be better for blacks allegedly "oppressed" by all of the blacks they elect?    Ever heard of John Conyers, John Lewis, Obama, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Tubbs-Jones, Carolyn Kilpatrick, Barbara Lee, Charlie Rangel?

            You may mean well but if so your comment IMO has missed its mark (by a lot).

          •  Thank you. (3+ / 0-)

            Simply for this:

            [R]acism is alive and kicking, in either four directions of this country.

            Oh, how easy it is for us who don't live in the south to denigrate southerners as if racism is their problem, and their problem alone.

            ----------------
            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are always cocksure and the intelligent are always filled with doubt. -- Bertrand Russell

            by gpm on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:57:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Fuck that! (60+ / 0-)

        A good many of us like where we live and I'll be damned if you completely leave us to the mercy of these assholes. Also, realize that you will basically be snubbing the bulk of African Americans. Don't you even think about abandoning the south.

        •  There's a difference (34+ / 0-)

          between giving up on the South and removing the strangle hold that the South has on the rest of the country. Personally I'm sick of being held back by southern legislators who don't want to see any progress.

          Big Media - No News is Good News!

          by jakyra on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:34:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes (10+ / 0-)

            When I hear northern liberals say that we always have to nominate southerners for president specifically to appeal to southerners (even when southern states seem to refuse to vote for us anymore even when we nominate southerners i.e. 2000) I realize that the southern strategy just has too much of a hold on the nation's minds. It isn't the south that the nation and the two parties are being unfair to- it's the Non-south.

            The midwest and west are the battleground regions- if the Dems should be regionalist about who to nominate, etc., the nominees should be from those regions.

            Check out my lte archive at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tomletters and feel free to use my ideas

            by DemDachshund on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:56:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In the last 40 years (14+ / 0-)

              Where were the Democratic Presidents from?

              LBJ--Texas
              Carter--Georgia
              Clinton--Arkansas

              Remind me how Dukakis did in his election again?

              It's time for a New Generation of Leadership in Tennessee! Harold Ford Jr. for U.S. Senate 2006!

              by GoldnI on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:01:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  In the Last 80 Years - - (12+ / 0-)

                Where were the victorious Republicans from?

                1928 - Hoover(Pres) - Calif.
                1952 & 1956 - Nixon(VP) - Calif.
                1968 & 1972 - Nixon (Pres) - Calif.
                1980 & 1984 - Reagan (Pres) - Calif.
                1988 - Bush, Sr. (Pres.) - Texas - 1/2 Western, 1/2 Southern

                In EVERY race that the Republicans have won since 1928 - there has been a Westerner on the ticket.

                Remind me how many electoral votes Gore/Lieberman or Kerry/Edwards got in the South?  Even the "Double-Bubba" ticket in 1992 & 1996 got less than half of Southern electoral votes.

                If Southerners won't vote for the Dems unless there is a Southerner on the ticket (And even then, perhaps not), yet Northerners, Midwesterners, and Westerners vote for the Dem ticket over and over even when there is no one from their region on the ticket - - then there is something wrong with the equation.

                •  But still (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  trashablanca

                  There are plenty of Southerners who will vote for the Dems regardless.  I voted for Kerry in 2004, but I wasn't thrilled about it.  Neither was anyone else I know.

                  But LBJ, Carter, and Clinton were more than just Southern Dems.  At least in the beginning of their terms, they could unite people.  They were Washington outsiders who understood different types of people and backgrounds.  You just can't say that about certain Northeastern liberals who summer in Nantucket or Cape Cod.

                  It's time for a New Generation of Leadership in Tennessee! Harold Ford Jr. for U.S. Senate 2006!

                  by GoldnI on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:22:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Carter and Clinton (5+ / 0-)

                    Were outsiders.
                    LBJ was the ultimate insider.
                    That's why he was able to get Civil Rights and Great Society legislation passed while JFK couldn't.

                  •  Who would you have been thrilled about? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sjs1959, Cream Puff, FutureNow

                    And not all of us dirty Northeast liberals summer at Nantucket. We're a little to busy paying the taxes that most Southern states don't.

                  •  But you could say it about Midw.ers and westernrs (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    countrycat, johnnygunn, tigercourse

                    (geez, the subject lines are so short I have to abbreviate weirdly)

                    So that's the whole point, let's not limit ourselves to southerners as a party, the way some people are stuck thinking we should do.  It's not a false NE vs. SE dichotomy.

                    When we pick southerners and then don't win ANY southern states anyway (and/or Florida gets stolen anyway), I can't help but wonder if picking some midwesterner or westerner from a swing state (or even from a non-swing state in those regions) could have made us win swing states in those regions and win the election.  Don't rule out individual southerners if they're good candidates.  No one should get disenfranchised.  But this rule of token southerners shouldn't be adhered to if it isn't helping bring in regions that are truly more purple and more worth the risk.  

                    And I criticize myself here too- I favored Edwards over Gephardt for VP just like Kerry did.  

                    Check out my lte archive at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tomletters and feel free to use my ideas

                    by DemDachshund on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:35:39 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  My screw up (0+ / 0-)

                      The above comment is intended in response to "In the last 40 years" not the same commenter's "but still"

                      Check out my lte archive at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tomletters and feel free to use my ideas

                      by DemDachshund on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:37:22 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  We just need the best candidate... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      randy lynn

                      based on their stand on the issues. For me in 2008, that would be Russ Feingold. Unbelievable demonstration of fortitude and insight with his votes against both the Iraq War and the Patriot Act. He probably won't win, but he still has my support.

                      But they can be from anywhere. Take Montana's John Tester or Governor Schweitzer for instance. They are excellent, excellent standard bearers for our party. Do I agree with them on all issues? No. But on the whole - they still seem to get it in a big way. Based on what I know about them right now, I would support them whole heartedly if they seeked the Presidency.

                  •  We're not talking about Northeastern (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    diplomatic, Eleanor A, 4Freedom

                    liberals!

                    This is part of the frustrating part of national discourse to a Westerner.  This country does not end at the Mississippi River.

                    It sure as hell isn't New York that has been driving environmentalism forward all these years.  California seems to be the state with all the progressive experiments lately.

                  •  Yup (0+ / 0-)

                    Essentially this assertion is that John Kerry is as good a campaigner as Bill Clinton.  Even the Republicans would have a laugh at that one.

                    Google Bomb: Bob Corker
                    VOTE FORD: www.fordfortennessee.co

                    by Eleanor A on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:24:50 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  He did get more votes... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      gkn

                      And to me, he is.  I found Clinton sappy, if charismatic.  And there was that annoying thumb-fist thing.

                      But I know I'm in a small minority.  Clinton's skill with the masses is unparalleled.

                      Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

                      by Cream Puff on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:37:27 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You are not alone (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Cream Puff

                        if given my personal preference, it would have been Kerry over Clinton any day of the week. I thought Kerry was more sincere, genuine and more liberal than Clinton. But we are in the minority. I guess I am also talking about John Kerry, the Man, the Veteran, the Senator rather than where he was from regionally and the lousy campaign staff he hired.

                        Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

                        by wishingwell on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:56:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  re: In the last 80 years (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  theran, GoldnI

                  Where were the LOSING Republicans from?

                  1. Nixon - CA
                  1. Goldwater - AZ
                  1. Ford - MI
                  1. Bush - TX
                  1. Dole - NE

                  Looks like a lot of Westerners there too.  If the party runs nothing but Westerers, then it's a good bet all the winners are going to be from out there too.

                  •  Winners vs Losers (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    theran, gkn

                    The point that was originally made was that the Dems have only won with Southerners - that's ALL that the Dems have run.  The only ticket without a Southerner on it was in 1984 - Mondale/Ferraro.

                    Yes, the Republicans have run Westerners.  But you leave out the biggest Republican loser - Dewey - from New York.  He was the "Last Hurrah" of Eastern Republicans.  Robert Taft lost out to Eisenhower in 1952.  (Although I consider Bush, Sr. an Eastern Republican in many ways.)

                    As for the Plains States - Texas is more Southern than Western.  More of its population is in the eastern 1/2 - it was a Confederate state with all the racial baggage of the South - plus it has no public lands like all other Western states.  

                    Kansas is far more Midwestern than Western - Dole is from Kans., not Neb.  The Republicans' other Midwesterner was Alf Landon 0f 1936 fame.

                    I'm just saying that the West has generally been good to the Republicans - the South hasn't been for the Dems for a long time.

            •  Something's missing here (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marykk

              I just returned from a weekend business society meeting in rural southern TN. I noticed a lot of political signs...evenly divided between Ford and Corker. I also saw TONS of signs & billboards regarding hell, sinners & the fate of those not "saved".

              In comments here discussing the south/midwest & racism I believe there is a glaring omission - fundamentalist religion and its blind devotion to the right-wing GOP. Negative opinions about the south & midwest as backward, close-minded areas of the country may actually result from the prevalence of absolutist fundamental religion as much as racism. Of course racism still exists in the south, as it does all over the country, but I think the political lyrics we find most odious have roots in "The lord telleth me whatever I want to hear & he telleth me I am superior to anybody who dareth have thoughts different from mine".

              My comment is posted in reply to DemDachshund because:  When leaving the TN meeting Sunday, we rescued a dachshund puppy from a 4 lane highway...no one knew who he belonged to so now he's a Hoosierhund :)  

              "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man."- Capt. Gilbert, US Army Psychiatrist, at the conclusion of the Nuremberg trials.

              by 417els on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 06:20:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Then get involved (0+ / 0-)

            Help us elect and promote progressives

          •  Good luck winning without the south... (0+ / 0-)

            No one's done it since Reconstruction...

            "Those who would divide us will never be able to lead us."

            by vibinc on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 01:13:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Don't Abandon the South - But (17+ / 0-)

          The Dem Party will be seeing more electoral successes in the West than in the South over the next decade.  The growing influence of the West should be acknowledged.  The Dem Party has NEVER had a Westerner on the pres/veep ticket.  It has almost always had a Southerner even though the South has given the Dems precious few electoral votes since Carter in 1976.  And the South even dumped Carter four years later.  The Republicans have had a Westerner on the ticket in nearly every race they won since Hoover in 1928. I agree with the main point of JohnnyAppleseed - but not with his choice of words.

        •  Where is Gore in this election? (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dazy, JDRhoades, bittergirl, gkn, dus7

          Has he stepped in to help Ford?  I'm asking because I honestly haven't been keeping tabs on this race.

          Wouldn't this be a good time for Tennessee's Son to step up and say "We're better than this"?

          Constitutional Checks and Balances: it's not just a good idea, it's the Law.

          by EeDan on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:03:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Friend - United we stand (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Redfire, GN1927, R o o k, Daaaaave

          We are in this together. Please know this.

          Also know that it is next to impossible to change a racists' sentiments. The GOP has sucessfully marketed itself to racists (through Lee Atwater's famed Southern strategy). Let them have them I say - We shouldn't want them.

          Of course we will stand and fight with our brothers and sisters in the South that fight for equality and progressive issues.  That is right thing to do and that is who we are. We just need to realize that the path of least resistance to lessening the voices of the racists is to kill the Southern strategy with a progressive populist movement, which necessarily will have its roots out West.

          Certainly there is heavy lifting to be done down South. We will try and educate and win converts to a populist movement there, but I know that this won't sell with racists. To them, nothing trumps the irrational hate they hold in their hearts. I would add that we should not cater our message one iota to try and sell them.

          Peace

      •  So... (14+ / 0-)

        just because we've got a few crazy racists here, that's why the Democratic Party should abandon the entire South?  And leave many progressives--white, black, and everything in between--just completely shut out?

        I go to college in upstate New York.  There's plenty of crazy racists up there.  I've even heard of my college town of Ithaca referred to as "Itha-Compton," because there are far more African-Americans there than anywhere else in that area.

        It's time for a New Generation of Leadership in Tennessee! Harold Ford Jr. for U.S. Senate 2006!

        by GoldnI on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:30:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the poster never said "to abandon the entire (14+ / 0-)

          South".  They spoke of "marginalizing" the South, quite a difference.  

          The South has had too much influence in our nation since Nixon's Southern strategy and Bush has exploited the Christians to such an extent that even Nixon would be envious.  

           They are not the power centers in population, finance, tech, or much of anything other than Jesus worship, Disneyworld and racism.  

          Their stranglehold on American politics has to end.  

          Before Dean, the Democrats did abandon the South, now we have strategies and people in place who will ensure that Southern Dems have a say in the political process and we won't be held captive by the Southern religious extremists and racists.  

          We need to marginalize the Republican South and support the Democratic South.  

          •  I uprated you for this: (20+ / 0-)

            We need to marginalize the Republican South and support the Democratic South.  

            But I REALLY resent this:

            They are not the power centers in population, finance, tech, or much of anything other than Jesus worship, Disneyworld and racism.  

            You have booming population centers in Tennessee and Georgia, and the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle in NC has the highest concentration of Ph.D's in the country.

            And we ARE much more than Jesus worship, Disneyworld, and racism.  How could you forget beer, football, and NASCAR?

            It's time for a New Generation of Leadership in Tennessee! Harold Ford Jr. for U.S. Senate 2006!

            by GoldnI on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:05:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I give you one California and raise you two (0+ / 0-)

              New Yorks.  Toss in one Chicago, and Seattle to boot.  

              I did forget the NASCAR (did you see "The Ballad of Ricky Bobby? It was very funny) but the beer and the football worship (go Bears!) is all over America.  

              Of course, there are areas in the South that are doing well, but the influence does not match, isn't even close, to the contributions that the South gives vs. the rest of America.  

              •  The fact remains (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                GoldnI, Terra Mystica

                Even overlooking your elitism, that nobody is going to win a U.S. Presidential election without at least one Southern state.

                It'd help if any campaigns ever actually, you know, campaigned here.  Put out yard signs, ran TV ads, sent surrogate speakers.  Cause it sure hasn't happened the last couple cycles.  At all, and worse - the national DNC aggressively phonebanks to raise money here, so they can send it all to Florida, and then we can't even fundraise within our own states to do anything ourselves.

                Google Bomb: Bob Corker
                VOTE FORD: www.fordfortennessee.co

                by Eleanor A on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:33:57 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Overlooking my elitism? What elitism? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  theran

                  I stated earlier that we should not abandon the south, too many good Dems live there, and many more potential Democratic voters as well.  

                  As I said before, we need to marginalize Southern Republicans, and support Southern Democrats.  That is Dean's 50 State Strategy at work, but it needs time to work and build the party from within, from all states.  

                  We NEED the south, but it is true that the influence exerted by the southern states and their politicians, (Bush 41, Bush 43, JEB, Frist, Lott, Allen, etc.) is in far disproportion to what it should be.  I am getting a little tired of having to dance to the tune of the southern strategy, (states's rights, anti-abortion, anti-gay, pro-prayer in schools, pro-Christian extremism, liberal demonizing)  as it is not representative of the U.S. as a whole.  

                  DNC stands for Democratic National Committee, it is supposed to raise money for the states, and Dean is passing that money around to the states.  

                  Are you saying that you can't fund raise in individual states because of the DNC?  Not sure what you meant by that.  

                •  Its coming Eleanor (5+ / 0-)

                  Democrats wlll win the Whitehouse by carrying Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona, without carrying a State down South. Arizona is lagging behind the others, but it will come - it is in the demographic trends.

                  We will not write the South off - but we should not moderate our message to tailor it to a Southern audience.

            •  Excuse me ........ (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Do Tell, GoldnI

              you neglected to include the religion of Tobacco Road:  basketball.

              "He that sees but does not bear witness, be accursed" Book of Jubilees

              by Lying eyes on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:21:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Or music or cooking... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GoldnI

              I gotta wonder if this guy has ever been to the French Quarter.  Sheez.

              Google Bomb: Bob Corker
              VOTE FORD: www.fordfortennessee.co

              by Eleanor A on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:31:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was born in Louisiana... (0+ / 0-)

                Yeah, it's unthinkable. The south is a "problem child" but it's still the Democratic Party's "child." Gotta love us, and gotta try to move us into the 21st century. ;o}

                I love Tennessee. But, Tennessee needs to embrace the 21st Century values, not cling to the 17th century.

        •  Oh gosh, no. (12+ / 0-)

          Don't abandon the South. Never.

          The suggestion was to diminish the political importance of the South. That's a very different statement, and one I agree with. The political importance of the South is currently overinflated, and finding a way to bring the different regions of the country back into balance would be a very good thing for the country at large--doubly so because the current crop of Southern politicians is disproportionately from shall we say a "different era" and a mindset that, while not necessarily actively racist, doesn't actively discourage racism in others either.

          That doesn't mean we shouldn't stop trying to change the South. Not to be too morbid, but as the people who grew up in total segregation continue to get older and die off, I think the entrenched racism of the region will fade off naturally... and there's plenty we can do to help it along.

          •  The old strategy for Dems was to abandon the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eleanor A, GoldnI

            South where they didn't think they could win.  

            This election will open quite a few eyes regarding our 50 State Strategy.  

            I would like to see Allen be defeated as this may be the start of the "South" that is not ruled by racist or religious fanatics due to the population shift you mentioned and the influx of progressive northerners into Virginia.  

            Same thing goes for Tennessee, but Ford has a distinct disadvantage in that he is of African American descent.  

            •  Unbelievable (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GoldnI

              A LOT of you guys are behaving as though Ford has already lost, there's no hope, screw the South, etc.  He's still very much in this.

              As far as frustration with Democrats running to the right on social issues, just what would you have us do?  Some Southern states have a 50% high school graduation rate.  

              Seems to me like y'all could spend time giving money to outfits like the Civil Rights Museum, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation; getting the car and coming down here; or otherwise educating yourselves about what we're up against.

              Someone smart once said the measure of a nation is how it treats the least of its members.  I suspect better-educated citizens might be more persuadable on progressive social issues.  Instead of blaming Southerners for living in poverty and being uneducated, why not try doing something about it?  

              Google Bomb: Bob Corker
              VOTE FORD: www.fordfortennessee.co

              by Eleanor A on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:37:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They don't let you do anything about it. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                laurak, FutureNow, Do Tell

                They vote hand over fist for Republicans who take away Social Security, lower taxes on the rich and basically raise them on the poor, who do away with job programs, government aid organizations, healthcare, etc. etc. You already know all of that. We would give them all of those things, if they elected us. But because Democrats are apparently, too queer, dark skinned, and don't love Jesus in quite the right way, they don't vote for us.

                •  What, you can't (4+ / 0-)

                  give money to outfits like the Tennessee Coalition to End State Killing?  Or the Civil Rights Museum?  Or candidates like Sherry Jones, who singlehandedly (along with four other women) killed an anti-choice constitutional amendment in Tennessee this year?

                  I'm not saying you have to do this within Democratic Party guidelines.  Part of the work that needs to be done is forcing the powers that be to listen to progressives, and to take our viewpoints into account.

                  That's going to become easier as more people move to the South, and to cities like Memphis and Raleigh.

                  Google Bomb: Bob Corker
                  VOTE FORD: www.fordfortennessee.co

                  by Eleanor A on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:39:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Your hyperbole is puzzling. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JohnnyAppleseed

                We are talking about the old bad Democratic strategy, we are talking about wanting to see Allen be defeated, we are talking about we want to see Ford elected, we are talking about not ever abandoning the South, we are talking about bringing balance back into the electoral equation, we are talking about trying to educate the voters of the South.  

                I am apalled at the amount of influence that the religious right has on our entire nation, and the South in particular, as separation of Church and State is what our nation was founded upon, and I am a strong believer in those principals, unlike most of the Republican leadership.  

                We are not talking about giving up on Ford, screwing the south, or blaming Southerners for living in poverty or being uneduated.  

                We are trying to do something about it by giving our time, our money and our support to electing Democrats, no matter where they are from.  My son has lived in the South for many years, I know what we are up against.  

                Please redirect your anger at the appropriate targets.  

              •  Undereducated and Impoverished Southerners (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Do Tell

                I thought that was what the faith-based initiatives were for.

            •  Retreat is the Wrong Strategy... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GoldnI

              I know. I was born and raised in the South, and I love the South, despite its flaws. Virginia elected Doug Wilder as Governor decades ago (1988-09?). There are mayors, city councilmen, county commissioners, police chiefs, and CONGRESSMEN and Women from the South who are also black.

              It's a stupid myth that blacks cannot be elected in the South. But giving up on the South will make it certain that they won't be elected in the South. You have to FIGHT HARDER that's all.

              The Civil Rights Movement didn't GIVE UP; and neither can the Democratic Party give up. I'll fight this "idea" until my last breath.

              Enlightenment and education, not abandonment. You have to keep fighting for what's right.

        •  I have live in the Rocky Mts. (8+ / 0-)

          New England, Mid-Atlantic and Deep South.

          None of those regions has it over the other in terms of racial attitudes.

          (-2.75,-4.77) America let Bush play with its Army and he broke it.

          by Sam I Am on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:41:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's the proportion (0+ / 0-)

          there are a few too many crazy racists, and too many ingrained prejudices.

          For whatever reason.  While Southerners have often led the way on racial progress, the lack of widespread popular support makes it difficult for liberal values to win elections.

          Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

          by Cream Puff on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:41:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You Are So Right... (0+ / 0-)

          My God, I cannot fathom this mindset: Too many people hate black people, so we shouldn't ever run another candidate around here.

          SHEESH.

          What if MLK, Jr. had said, too many racists in the south, we'd better move the civil rights movement to Indiana.

          I mean....it's just too insulting.

          Carville, Begala, Greenberg, and all of them should be forewarned: WE will not stand for this stupid plan to abandon the south. We are Democrats. We are the Democratic Party, the party of Martin Luther King, Jr.

          No way can you abandon us.

      •  I will not be marginalized. n/t (13+ / 0-)

        I'm going to give them the medicine that they've been giving out.~~ R. Emanuel

        by Caldonia on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:40:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Marginalize (31+ / 0-)

        What we have to marginalize is the importance of Southern white conservatives.

        And look at the races of Heath Shuler and Larry Kissell from North Carolina.  Southerners won't be left out in the cold; Southern racists will.  That is an important distinction.  And if you folks outside the South are going to send us transplants, please send progressives and not the SUV-driving suburban country club conservative Republicans.  They have been one of the factors blocking progress.

        •  My area became more red (0+ / 0-)

          when all the people from Michigan and Minnosota and Wisconsin came down here stealing our jobs.

        •  Well said Tar Heel Dem. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Do Tell, GoldnI, Terra Mystica

          Come down here and try to run a sucessful campaign and talk like Ted Kennedy (a real peronal hero BTW) and you won't get to first base.  I think Harold Ford represents a real opportunity for us to start the long process of taking back the South for Democrats and healing years of hurt that the Rethug alliance has made and continues to make with the scum of the earth racist bigots  that exists all over the country. In the south however many are educated, well dressed, are in positions of power and stand around talking in code words while winking at one another. (Hmmm- brings George Allen to mind)  Every long march starts with a single step. Harold Ford makes a gigantic step for progressive Democrats everywhere. Send him some $$, Write a letter to the editor! Lets get our boots on the ground and get out the vote for Harold.

        •  Amen to that. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LIsoundview, fiddler crabby

          Here in the (southern) Ozarks, in the past 20 years we have been absolutely swamped with transplants from SoCal and Texas who have made an already pretty conservative area downright psycho. The newcomers band together and set up their megachurches and cow the press, and (of course) demonize anyone who may see things differently.

          We have to strip these idiots of their power. Not sure how to do it, but it's gotta be done. At the same time we must not give up on the South. Those of us who live here have worked too hard to be thrown to the wolves now.

          I'm workin' on the pithy comment, all right?!

          by SouthernFried on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 02:38:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Amen, But More Than That.... (3+ / 0-)

          I was born and raised in the South~~South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana. I'm a Southerner, born and bred. And, guess what? I am not a racist, and I love the South. It's a problem for those of us who were born and raised here, but have progressive values and are Democrats. But, we persevere. We want to continue to fight in the South for Democrats. We want the national party's support. We want candidates who will fight for us.

          What do Democrats in Southern states do, if the Democratic Party abandons us?

          I hope it doesn't happen, and I'll fight like a hellcat for it never to happen.

          I live in Tennessee, and I love it here. Yes, there are racists in this state. Big surprise--this state is the genesis of the KKK. Want to eliminate them? Continue to field good candidates like Harold Ford, Jr! We may not prevail this time, but we can't give up.

          We deserve BETTER IN TENNESSEE!

      •  No Democrat (6+ / 0-)

          can win the Presidency if they lose the entire South. It just can't be done. Mathematically yes, pragmatically no. Writing off the South will kill the party as a national party. It would be an absolute shit for brains stupid move.

        •  True in the past... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Do Tell

          but it will not be true in the future. Kerry would've won if only he carried Ohio, and he didn't carry a single southern State.

          Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico plus the left coast, Northeast and the majority of midwestern battleground States are a winning electoral formula. You won't even need to carry Ohio and a couple other mid-western States and you can still win with AZ, NV, CO and NM.

          You are going to see it within 12 years. As an aside, the Latino demographic trend is going to make Texas more competitive, and Virginia and North Carolina are moderating somewhat due to transplants.

          Of course we will fight everywhere. That is the right strategy.

          •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GoldnI

               we said that in 2000 and 2004. If only we had one more state. we wouldn't need the South.
               Ya know what? If only we had campaigned in the South and turned it like Clinton did. We'd have the WH and probably 3 of the 5 seats we lost in 2004.
               Giving up the South is just plain dumb.

            •  No (0+ / 0-)

              Running our platform off watered down proposals to play to the folks in Hattiesburg is just plain dumb.

              •  I'm not talking about (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                callmecassandra, GoldnI

                 watering down anything. But simply writing off 170+ electoral votes is true dipshit move. We can win Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Virginia, and I would argue North Carolina. Clinton added Kentucky to that crowd twice.
                 Giving up on the South is just appallingly stupid. It's the entire power base of the GOP. You break it, they can't win.

                •  Agreed. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ignacio Magaloni, GoldnI

                  I can't speak to the entire "South" (which, as any real Southerner will tell you, is just as multifaceted as anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line), I can only speak about my own experiences and my own areas.

                  One of the big reasons we keep losing the South is the simple fact that in many places, we are silent there. When people only hear one side of a story, they will support that regardless.

                  And yes, giving up on the South, and cementing regional political factions, can only lead to outright conflict in the future (it's happened before)

                  I'm workin' on the pithy comment, all right?!

                  by SouthernFried on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 02:52:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I'm glad you're so sure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GoldnI

            You can carry CO, NV and AZ.  That's been a difficult nut to crack in the last few years, it seems.

            Google Bomb: Bob Corker
            VOTE FORD: www.fordfortennessee.co

            by Eleanor A on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:02:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm glad you're so sure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GoldnI

            You can carry CO, NV and AZ.  That's been a difficult nut to crack in the last few years, it seems.

            Google Bomb: Bob Corker
            VOTE FORD: www.fordfortennessee.co

            by Eleanor A on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:02:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Like I said elsewhere... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ignacio Magaloni, Do Tell

              it is coming. Look at the trend vis-avis Latinos. 3 out of every 5 Latinos vote Democratic. This is the sole reason that George Bush pussy footed his way around the illegal immigration debate. There can be no permanent GOP majority with the current trending demographics. If you make it 3 out of every 4 Latinos, you are looking at the GOP being in a permanent minority, and being in the position of having to draw to an inside straight to win Presidential elections.

              Just think about it. The whole immigration thing came up when Bush was already getting beat up in public opinion because of Iraq and Social Security Privatization. When ever has BushCo forgone the opportunity to throw red meat to wavering conservative base when he had an easy chance to do so, especially when doing so would have given him a much needed boost. The reason he didn't hardline on immigration is because Rove knows demographics and he knows numbers. An electoral calculation was made.

              We will win Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona within the next couple general election cycles. After that they will turn reliably Blue.

        •  Seems the 50 state strategy (12+ / 0-)

          is being dumped by a few Kossacks here without really, really thinking about what they are saying.

          In this thread, marginalize is a fancy way of saying "give up."

          Fight on all fronts!

          Never give up!

          Peace is respect for another's rights. Benito Juarez

          by Ignacio Magaloni on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:46:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The reason we can't give up on the South (4+ / 0-)

            is that there's a lot more population here, statistically, and that's expected to grow exponentially over the next 30 years.  Hopefully it'll have the effect of turning some areas more blue; I'd hazard we may already be seeing that.

            Google Bomb: Bob Corker
            VOTE FORD: www.fordfortennessee.co

            by Eleanor A on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:04:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We can't give up (0+ / 0-)

            But I'm out of ideas for winning. Why are the corrupt and incompetent Bob Corker, and the undisguised racist and Bush rubberstamp George Allen, in statistical ties with Ford and Webb? Are our candidates weak? Have we failed to make the case that a change of direction is our only hope?

            I'm thinking the 50-state strategy is the best promise yet. Progressives in the South will do best when they start at the grassroots and have local support behind them. Beats the heck out of me how this translates into a Presidential campaign, though.

            We're on a blind date with Destiny, and it looks like she's ordered the lobster!

            by Prof Haley on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:51:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The problem (3+ / 0-)

                with our Presidential campaigns is that our nominees don't taylor their messages very well. I heard the same thing from Kerry when I was working in MO as when I was working in PA. When he ran ads in Louisiana in August, they were the same as in WA.
                Play to your strengths. A presidential campaign is 50 different elections. Talk about the issues that are important to that particular state would be a start. Kerry, and to a certain extent, even Gore, did not do that. They ran a completely national campaign. Didn't work.

            •  Time (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ignacio Magaloni

              Even with the Civil Rights fracas and Nixon's Southern Strategy, the South did not go GOP overnight. It took nearly 30 years in some places for the GOP to get a stranglehold. Indeed, I would argue that there are two or three states that still haven't fallen to them completely, including Clinton's (and my) home state of Arkansas, which happens to have one of the most lopsided Democratic statehouses in the nation, and we will probably sweep all the state offices this year.

              It takes a long time to change a multigenerational voting habit, and unfortunately it may take us a while to get some of these folks back. I think what it'll take is education, relentless education, both political and school-wise. Take the RW frames and turn them to our advantage and eventually replace them. Down here, politics is extremely personal, and change starts at the lowest levels. The GOP learned this long ago, and we need to re-learn it. I think we are.

              I'm workin' on the pithy comment, all right?!

              by SouthernFried on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 03:08:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The key is turnout (0+ / 0-)

              The intermittent Dem voter, known as a "Dropped D" is about as crucial as any group. These are people who don't vote in every midterm edition, but often vote Democratic.

              In Tennessee, because you can't register by party, the only way to distinguish is which ballot they asked for in a party primary election.

              So, that's who we're calling -- intermittent Ds, and they are breaking for Ford.

              There's a self-righteous disapproval in the atmosphere, which really bothers me.  It might have been that wingnuts were demoralized and staying home, but now they're clucking their tongues. Do they come out or do they stay the heck home?

              CCC

      •  one additional strategy (9+ / 0-)

        I endorse exactly what you said, but would only add: we also need to solidify our grip on the Northeast. No more "moderate Republicans" representing solid-blue districts.  We'll pick off at least a half-dozen of them, maybe more, in this cycle, and we'll go after some more of them next time. I want all-blue delegations from the Northeast by 2010.

      •  Southern Exposure and Dean (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caldonia, GoldnI, Terra Mystica

        Many people in the south grow up and die without ever leaving the state, this is particularly true in Texas.
        Getting people a passport won't help either - there is a tremendous amount of pride that goes into southern state identity.  "Why should I see the world when it is so clear that this is heaven on earth?"  And this is what people say about the suberbs of flat, traffic jammed, and polluted Dallas.

        To marginalize electoral importance smacks of pre "Bush v Gore" thinking.  Acknowledging that this will take many cycles is Deanian, and IMHO, more progressive.

        Curiosity brings truth to power, Incuriosity brings the villiage idiot to power.

        by sexton on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:18:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're assuming Ford is going to lose (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caldonia, GoldnI, R o o k

        Last I checked, he was well within the margin of error.  And before you start telling me folks lie to posters on racial issues, I'll remind you that many urban blacks (which are turning out in droves to vote for Harold) aren't represented in polls.

        Google Bomb: Bob Corker
        VOTE FORD: www.fordfortennessee.co

        by Eleanor A on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:07:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not assuming Ford is going to lose (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Do Tell

          And I wholeheartedly hope that he doesn't. But the diary author's story just goes to show who the RNC was targeting with that latest smear ad on Ford. That is GOP's game and it is predictable. It is also effective and they have used it over and over again.

          Is it a coincidence that Ford's momentum disappeared instantly as soon as the race baiting ad was on the air? I think not. The GOP looks to exploit the so-called intelligence gap to win elections, and that gap is made up of racists and religious wackos.

          I have donated to Ford and I sincerly hope he wins. One thing I know is that the GOP wouldn't dare run some race baiting smear ad on Menendez here in my home State of NJ, it would cost GOP candidates elections up and down the line.

          •  Momentum (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sjs1959

            The momentum stopped well before the ads.

          •  Sweetie, I think fundamentally we're on the (6+ / 0-)

            same side, but please realize the polls you're seeing now were taken before the 'Call Me' ad brouha.  

            There's still two weeks left, which is an eternity.  I'm volunteering for Ford, and judging from the tremendous response from the rank and file, it may well have the same effect here.

            Memphis and Nashville both went for Kerry by 60-40 margins, and together they're 1/3 of the vote in the state.  The early vote totals in both cities are staggering.  

            Honestly?  I guess I have the reverse feeling from many here.  I keep talking to little old white men who are rural voters, and strong Ford supporters, and who in another era would never have considered voting for a black.  

            We may yet pull this out.  I regret the necessity of swinging to the right on social issues too, but I guess I feel like true change in the South is going to take many years.

            Google Bomb: Bob Corker
            VOTE FORD: www.fordfortennessee.co

            by Eleanor A on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:10:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Just for some historical perspective... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GoldnI, exreaganite

        ...isn't marginalizing the electoral importance of the South what effectively led to the Civil War?

      •  Of Course (0+ / 0-)

        There are southern Democrats who will wield significant power in the 110th. John Spratt (Budget), Bennie Thompson (Homeland Security), Bart Gordon (Science), and James Clyburn will be a higher-up in the majority ranks.

      •  Change, not marginalize or diminish in any way. (3+ / 0-)

        The South is part of the solution.  It is an integral ingredient to the Democratic mix.  Without the southern/midwest/plains "tempering" of the Dem message, it becomes just as pseudo-intellectually self-righteous and hollow as that of the Religious Right.

        Yes there is some racism here, as there is anywhere else.  I would go so far as to say that probably less so here (I've lived in Chicago and Cleveland as well, and spent time in NYC).  But improvement is called for, not marginalization.

        We have little crime, are actually doing something about our environment, are proud of military service and what it can mean, respect leadership, hate phoneys, and generally are disgusted with "I'm right.  You're wrong. And even if that's not true, it's all about me anyway." kind of opinionation and media coverage that we have to endure from the NE/WC types.

        The South has a culture that produces leadership, sometimes misdirected as is currently the case in the WH, but mostly for good.  Our own Governor Riley recently made a courageous stand to try to level the tax playing field and improve education, and took a huge political hit for it.  And he's an R.

        We are all in this together to make a better country.  Let's act like it.

        And Hey, what this asshole did in TN is bad, but you can't tell me that similar things didn't happen to Obama or any other African-American politician, anywhere.  So why single out TN and the South?

        It's full of stars...

        by Terra Mystica on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:48:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  B.S. (0+ / 0-)

          It is an integral ingredient to the Democratic mix.  Without the southern/midwest/plains "tempering" of the Dem message, it becomes just as pseudo-intellectually self-righteous and hollow as that of the Religious Right.

          Tempering?  You mean, like "tempering" gay rights, so that they'll never be equal citizens and never have the chance to marry the person they love?  "Tempering" a woman's right to choose, so she can only choose if her life is in danger?  "Tempering" biology class so our science teachers now have to teach religion and magic?  No thanks.  We don't want any.  State's rights, anyone?

          There seems to be an absolute constant puppetry of the logical fallacy that the "middle road" or the "moderate position" is the right one.  The very thought is so completely ridiculous that one can't help but laugh.  I can't.  I'm laughing now.

          P.S.  Clearly the northeast has no monopoly on elitism.

          All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. - Voltaire (-7.38, -5.49)

          by TheCrimsonKid on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 01:12:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  To make extreme generalizations, then dismiss (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dietznbach, GoldnI, randy lynn

            my point as invalid as you did here is exactly the
            counterproductive condescension that I argued against.

            Tempering in metallurgy is a process that causes the ingredients of a metal to integrate such that the resulting alloy has better properties.

            Here, by tempering I mean that if only one viewpoint is declared "right" without consideration of another view, the "right" view is suspect, weak, probably hollow, and therefore unelectable.  But it IS part of the stronger mix.  Remove one view, yours or mine, and we have a weaker party.

            Republicans weakness is that they follow in lockstep from the top down. Dems strength is that they percolate up, challenge, argue, and ultimately embrace many views in order to create a stronger message that appeals a broader range of people, because it comes from the people.

            The inclusion of Southerners in the Democrat's process is, IMHO, critically important to the viability of the Democratic party. Marginalize the South because you do not agree with some vague external notion of what some or all of us believe is a sign of weakness.  And it's not only a sign of weakness here, but in broad sections of the country that hold similar beliefs.

            I call this enlightened moderation, and yeah, given the strength of leadership to pursue it, it is a good thing.

            It is not the mush moderation of say HRC who adopts positions based on stereotypical and hypothetically appealing positions (both conservative and liberal), while missing the point that its not about intellectually chosen positions, it's about leadership in the positions that you believe in.

            I believe in equal rights for gays for constitutional and religious (Christian) grounds. I am personally pro-life, but politically pro-choice, with some modest and reasonable limitations (it is a potential life after all).  If this makes me your enemy to be laughed at, then frankly that is not my problem.  But I don't sit here and tell you what or how to think (Damn, I SO wanted to be an elitist!).  

            Not all Southerners think the the way you think we think.  In some places, not even most.

            So the South is a valuable pole or sounding board for Dem party politics.  It also provides many good examples of leadership, and it's appeal here prevents the party from going exclusively hard left by rigorously embracing the good points from both wings.

            Sorry for being so long.  My email is on my page.  This can be debated off line.  You raise many good points and I just wanted to respond here.

            It's full of stars...

            by Terra Mystica on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 02:39:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

        I'm glad the OP is still fighting the good fight, but I have been suspecting all along that like many black candidates in the South, Ford would probably underperform his polling numbers (people often don't like to admit to pollsters that they won't vote for a black candidate, but once in the privacy and anonymity of the voting booth...).  I've kind of wished for a long time that we hadn't fought so hard to preserve the Union (if we had really freed the slaves for more than a couple years it might have made more sense) because it was a poison pill.

        -Alan

        -9.00, -3.69 Bush, 12/12/05: "I think we are welcomed [in Iraq]. But it was not a peaceful welcome."

        by SlackerInc on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:52:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Make Up Your Mind (5+ / 0-)

        Yay Howard Dean and the 50-State Strategy!  Boo the South!

        The hypocrisy is stunning.  Yes, lets drool over everything Howard Dean says and does, but when y'all are forced to walk the walk and try to make these Southern states blue again, you chicken out.  

        Non-Southerners always talk about inclusivity, but then treat the South like the plague, just because we talk a bit differently and the majority of us just so happen to be very religious.  Shame on us. Looks to me like there is another form of bigotry in this country: Regional bigotry.

        If we marginalize the South, then should we just write off all the elections in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma?  Yeah, that's smart.  Lets marginalize 28 Senate seats, 147 Congressional seats, and 14 Governor's mansions.  We should definitely leave those people "out in the cold."  

        •  I find your name to be interesting ... (0+ / 0-)

          Why would you be a BLUE DOG?  

          The Blue Dogs were created to be take advantage of the the overwhelming Democratic registration in the South, but also to assuage the more conservative white folks worried about "law and order" and taxes, and other Republican ideas.

          Do you vote for Republicans?  Cuz that's what I think  being a Blue Dog means - voting for Republicans when a black person is on the Democratic ticket, or when a progressive Democrat is on the ticket.    

           

      •  a southern note of hope (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnnyAppleseed, GoldnI

        Last November Asheville NC elected a young black woman to be our mayor -- Terry Bellamy.

        Don't give up on us so easily, cuz we sure the heck aren't giving up!

        Watch us elect Larry Kissell and Heath Shuler to congress.

      •  Read Tom Schaller's book (0+ / 0-)

        Whistling Past Dixie...

        Democrats don't need the south to win the Presidency.

        Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. H. L. Mencken

        by captainlaser on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 04:46:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Damn it, listen here (7+ / 0-)

        Don't marignalize us. Don't diminish us. For God's sake, we're Americans, too. Don't abandon the South for a second (or is it the third?) time.

        No one seems to understand what's really going on here. Racists aren't going to vote for Ford, period, and they never will. This is not about race. This is about religion.

        The RNC ad on behalf of Corker is effective because it dispels Ford's traditional Christian image. The Playboy bunny is not meant to evoke a stereotype; if that occurs, then it is merely an accidental and unintentional side effect for them. That's why the RNC isn't pulling the ad, but they ran it in the first place because of religion.

        I repeat: the racial aspect is a secondary effect from their point of view; the GOP's target was Ford's religion.

        I just heard Randi Rhodes talking about this race today, and one of the things she said was, "Tennesseeans are more sophisticated than this." She's right about that part, but otherwise didn't seem to appreciate the nuances involved here in Tennessee. She was trying to apply a national frame to what has so far been a local race among the three Grand Divisons of the Volunteer State.

        There is more at play here than just religion. The Ford family has incredible power here, and it is based almost entirely on the trademark of the Ford family name. Locally, the Ford name meant, above all other things, constituent service.

        When John Ford got indicted, suddenly all the scandals that were forgiven locally but broadcast statewide were re-examined. While Harold's uncle John's trial date has been postponed until after the election, there is still profound disillusionment in Memphis with the Ford name.

        That's why these attacks on his family are considered fair game in Tennessee. The people who are making up their minds are already familiar with the antics of the Ford family.

        Please do not dismiss Tennessee, or for that matter, any of the rest of the South. We're not as dumb as we look. The national narrative of veiled racism that has become popular in the last few days is actually more outdated than most would think. There is more in Tennessee than what they show on TV.

        (-5.88, -6.46) Democracy is what happens between elections.

        by autoegocrat on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 05:02:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hear what you're saying but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          autoegocrat

          nothing is coincidental with these guys. It is no coincidence that the "bombshell", propositioning woman is white. The stakes are too high and they know exactly what they are doing.

          The GOP thrives on exploiting the intelligence gap, like we thrive on exploiting the gender gap. They have targets everywhere, but none moreso than in the south. They get people to vote against their own self interests and they do it by using wedge issues that play on deeply held fears and prejudices. Further, there is absolutely no way that they could run a smear ad like they did on Ford anywhere but in the south. To do so would be an electoral bloodbath up and down Statewide tickets.

          And reading your post it is obvious you are not dumb.

          Peace and keep fighting. We'll be standing right at your side.

          •  My point is this... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nutmeg, vibinc

            My point is that nationally, Tennesseans overall are being underestimated. Not to play up the North vs South angle too much, but it seems that Northerners are just a little too quick to call racism when there might actually be something else going on.

            There are too many factors at work in this Senate race for it to be reduced to simple racism.

            (-5.88, -6.46) Democracy is what happens between elections.

            by autoegocrat on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 05:49:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm with Auto on this one (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            autoegocrat, dietznbach

             The people in the "intelligence gap" wouldn't have voted for HFJ in the first place.

             The "bunny" ad goes at women more than anything else.  The only character that appears more than once in the ad is the bunny.  This is not by accident.  It brings forth a message that Harold cavorts with harlots or some such nonsense.

             Left Wing Cracker said it this morning, and now that I've looked at the ad more than twice, I see the connection.  Racism may be the first reaction, but put yourself in the place of a 40 something church-going mother and look at it again...race isn't necessarily the first thing that crosses your mind.

            "Those who would divide us will never be able to lead us."

            by vibinc on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 06:04:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  you are very right (0+ / 0-)

          very well put.  

        •  This is What I Saw (0+ / 0-)

          I was born and raised in Arkansas.  I'm usually pretty quick to pick up on racism, but the racist aspect of the ad didn't even strike me at first.  My first thought was that they were attacking him for being a "playboy" or "immoral."  They're implying he fraternizes with loose women - which would be an effective smear regardless of the woman in the ad's race.

          I think the woman they chose for the ad may have had more to do with playing up the stereotypical, slutty blonde bimbo than playing the race card.

      •  I hate to agree, but the South will never change. (0+ / 0-)

        Harold Ford never had a chance.  He is too naive or just too hopeful to believe he could be elected to the US Senate. Tennessee in 2006 will not elect a black man to the US Senate.

        I have found myself in hot water before for saying this, but WTF?  I'll say it again.  The South is solidly Republican and most southern people who vote Republican are racist. I know it sounds like I am generalizing without any proof, and maybe I am, but I know it's true.

        I'm a Liberal Democrat of Hispanic heritage, living in North Carolina.  I've lived most of my life in North Carolina and all of my life in the South.  I was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I've lived in Louisiana and Georgia too. And I've been back in North Carolina for the past 15 years. I feel like I'm enough of an expert on the South to say: of those people that vote Republican, white people make up the overwhelming majority.  And in TN, NC, SC, AL, MS, GA & KY certainly mostly white people vote Republican and the overwhelming majority of rural white Southerners do vote Republican and the majority of those voters in the states I've listed are racist.  A lot of overt racists for sure, but mostly the covert type.

        North Carolina wouldn't elect Harvey Gantt to the Senate over Jesse Helms even though the polls showed Gantt up.  Gantt tried twice (1996 & 2000).  Gantt was the first black mayor of Charlotte. A great mayor and a great man. But he was naive too.  All of the polls in NC at the time actually showed Gantt ahead.  But when it came time to vote, the voters showed their true colors and defeated him both times. Now whenever the actual vote is that far off from the polls you know it was either vote tampering or the polls weren't getting the truth.  There was no vote tampering.  The white people giving answers in the polls just didn't tell the truth.  They didn't want to seem racist to the person on the other end of the phone.  They never want to seem racist, they just are.

        That's the plain hard fact about most of the Republican party in most of the South. There are millions and millions of rural white Southern voters who are racist, and it seems to be the best kept secret in politics.  Though for the life of me I can't understand why.

        The Republican Party and Jesse Helms did it to Harvey Gantt in 1996 and 2000, and now the Republican Party and Corker are doing it to Harold Ford.  It's called the Southern Strategy and they do it because they know the truth about the South.

        Harold Ford never had a chance.

      •  I said right after Katrina (0+ / 0-)

        that race would be the big "quiet" issue in 2006.

        I wasn't far from the truth, bc some people in the GOP (like George Allen and Corker) seem to have made the issue a bit louder.

    •  The repugs are, unfortunately, great at (13+ / 0-)

      this kind of tactic.  It's not going on only in Tennessee.  I've read that they are using this kind of tactic (not necessarily race baiting, but whatever smear works best) in at least 7 races.  Their MO is the same:  put up the absolute worst kind of ad you can image; run it WITHOUT the endorsement of the candidate; the candidate the ad supports then comes out against the ad claiming, alas, there is nothing he can do nothing to stop the ad.

      Yeah -- right.

      My hope is that, because this ad is so blatantly racist, it will have a negative backlash on Corkscrew, um, I mean Corker.

      Stay strong! VOTE!!

      "No self-respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a Party that ignores her sex." -- Susan B. Anthony

      by Yellow Dog Dem Woman on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:31:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The thing is (4+ / 0-)

        this ad is aimed at the 2-3 percent of people who will vote on race alone. In a close election like this one, that could be the margin of victory.

        I'm not necessarily saying that only 2-3 percent of voters have racist attitudes, but many who do make a distinction between "good" and "bad" black people. Since Ford is well-spoken, fairly handsome, not really dark on the spectrum of blackness, has good posture and talks about his dog, for many he counts as one of the "good ones." But for 2-3 percent, it is an utter abomination to have a black man have power over white people, and especially not to have sex with white women. For them, this ad reminds them to get to the polls and put that uppity one in his place.

        Many of the same people exist in the North, but the penalty for race-baiting is higher, so you see less of it. I wish it were more like that here. I, for one, am sick and tired of having this crap associated with my home. During Katrina, for instance, I didn't much appreciate having me and every other white person from New Orleans branded as racist, especially since the city is controlled by African-Americans. We don't all live in fancy Uptown mansions.

        What's the difference between Vietnam and Iraq? Bush knew how to get out of Vietnam.

        by strandedlad on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:05:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  wouldn't those 2-3 % have already (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tobendaro

          realized what race the candidate was and decided to vote against him already?  Turn it back on them; if TN, and the South, want to be stuck where they are then they should just keep the status quo, if not then there needs to be a big backlash.  That is up to the "Southerners" themselves imho, and until they quit the cracker shit as a region they are marginalizing themselves.

          "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

          by NearlyNormal on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:20:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure, they aren't voting for Ford, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nutmeg, NearlyNormal

            but it's a GOTV tactic.  Stirring up the good ole' racist boys to make sure as many as possible will vote.  It's all about getting out the base.

            All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. - Voltaire (-7.38, -5.49)

            by TheCrimsonKid on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 01:14:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You're right... (6+ / 0-)

          This election will be won/lost by a very small margin.  A young man from the Bredesen-Ford Coordinated Campaign was talking to a group of us last night.  He'd worked on the Florida campaign in 2000, and said that if they had contacted just 3 more voters in every county in FL, Al Gore would have won the election.

          This blatantly racist ad is trying to connect with just a few people in each county -- and its success could cost Ford the election.

          "No self-respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a Party that ignores her sex." -- Susan B. Anthony

          by Yellow Dog Dem Woman on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:22:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Did she call the police? (8+ / 0-)

      I realize that in some towns, that it might not be safe to even call the police.  But I am curious.  Is that the case in her town?  Did she call them?

      •  Just what I was thinking (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nutmeg, WisVoter

        That was the very first question that popped into my head. What that loser did constitutes assault; he shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. Bullies never stop bullying until they take one in the kisser.

        "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

        by Geenius at Wrok on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:34:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The modern Republican Party was created... (12+ / 0-)

      by the "southern strategy" which at it's core was an appeal to racism.  When they get in trouble, the republicans go home to their racist roots. The race in Tennessee makes it clear that republicans don't intend to give up the racial card when it comes to elections.

      The statement by Ford's republican opponent Corker saying that the racist RNC TV ad there has been so much discussion about should be pulled showed one of two things.

      A. Since the ad is still running, Corker can't even stand up to Ken Mehlman and make him pull the ad off of the air.

      Or

      B. Corker really wants the ad to run but he doesn't want to appear racist. Corker was winking and nodding to Ken Mehlman when he asked for the ad to be pulled.

    •  Ford won't win (0+ / 0-)

      As much as I would love to see him beat that dirtbag, a black man will not win a statewide race in the South today. Being from the South, I know all too well. I wish it were not so but it is.

      And I wish Ford would go down fighting and come out with some attack ads hitting that pond scum of an opponent. He's being much too nice.

      We have a far better chance of getting Missouri and VA to put us over the top.

      Louisiana... they're trying to wash us away... they're trying to wash us away.

      by Bidabunch on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:51:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like a threat to me! (0+ / 0-)

      Your mother's friend should report this to the police.

    •  "That guy" can kiss my white arse (0+ / 0-)

      until it's red white and blue!

      No manner of prehistoric wingnut is going to keep me from supporting Harold Ford Jr.

      I hope she reported him because I'm rather fond of my arse.

    •  typo (0+ / 0-)

      Your first paragraph reads "bumper sicker" instead of "sticker."

      Thought you'd want to know.

    •  Just made deliveries in Forrest Hills and Belle (0+ / 0-)

      Meade.  Way too many Corker signs.
      You don't see Ford signs till you get to
      Green Hills.  (High Tone mostly white Nashville areas for those of you not familar with the names)
      I was a little overwhelmed by it, to be honest.
      They would never say it was because he's not white,
      oh no.  It would be because they know Bob Corker's gonna do a better job. Right?

      "United we stand, divided we fall"

      by Cassandra77 on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 04:10:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A friend of mine who marched in the 1960's with (0+ / 0-)
      poeple who became civil rights icons taught me this--We will only conquer racism when whites  care as much about it as blacks.

      Those slimy bastards, Rove and Melhman, knew exactly what they are doing--exploiting the image of the oversexed black man hitting on white women. It's a strategy aimed at young white men (who tend to vote Rethuglican)!

      I hope there's enough integrity in TN to reject this crap. I hope there's enough fire in hell to roast the Rethuglican shits who made this ad for two or three of eternities.

      I like to say about the candidates that I'm supporting around the United States: "It feels goo to have some skin in the game." (How ironic the reference to "skin"  this week. People, get your white $kin in the game!

      Don't just feel outraged, fight back. CONTRIBUTE HERE!

      "When thought is too weak to be simply expressed, it's clear proof that it should be rejected." Luc de Clapiers

      by RudiB on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 08:15:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wish she told us where (0+ / 0-)
      I'd scrape up a few bucks, go there and stand guard myself. Fuck those bitches.

      Just when they think they know the answer, I change the question. -Roddy Piper

      by McGirk on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:27:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have been worried about this (21+ / 0-)

    I moved to NC in 1990, and one of my first votes was for Harvey Gantt.  One poll near the election showed Gantt ahead by 8 points.  Then Helms played his "white hand" ad, and Helms won by 6 points or so.

    I fear the same is happening in TN with the GOP ads against Ford.

  •  A truly heartbreaking story... (24+ / 0-)

    my thoughts are with your mom.  

    And this is exactly what those ads are trying to tap into.  Disgusting.

    •  Tap into and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      goodasgold, R o o k

      provoke. The governing Republican Party is signalling that racism is acceptable behavior. Maybe that is unconscious, but I think it is conscious in the sense that they know what it might provoke and just don't care (as distinct from actively seeking racist incidents).

      We have only just begun and none too soon.

      by global citizen on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:12:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's nothing unconscious about it, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        global citizen

        it's just another tool in their bag of tricks.  Once again, the Republican party is showing little concern for the health of our nation, only concern for winning.    They are doing the same in their decision in waging war-really nothing about democracy in Iraq or our soldiers and Iraqi citizens dying-today, it's just pure politics changing the course.

        The Republican's are a dirty bunch of professional politicians.

        •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

          that the racism in the ad in conscious. I am less sure that they consciously sought to trigger on-the-street racist incidents like the one noted in the diary.

          If and when that happens we have truly entered very, very dangerous territory. Right now they think they are just being clever, but do not imagine that what they might be doing is provoking violence from the racist nut cases that still live amongst us.

          We have only just begun and none too soon.

          by global citizen on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:28:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Consider the last line of the ad: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            global citizen, marykk

            "Harold Ford is just not right."

            Now switch "right" for "white".

            Could you honestly believe that the final, weirdly worded line in the ad is coincidental?  As unprofessional as the ad looks, I can assure it was created by professional creatives, including wordsmiths--with every line gone over and analyzed and every word to count for maximum impact.  

            With that in mind, ask yourself why Bush sent our young guys to fight in Iraq (changing the reason only about a dozen times), and you can get a sense of the actual value Bush and the Republicans put on human life vs. personal power.  Only winning matters.  Consequences be damned!

            Personally, I think for the last 6 years, the Bush administration and the Republicans have been very careless by spreading racial hatred, not just of African Americans, but of gays, Muslims and Mexicans.  And, hatred always leads to violence.

  •  Yesterday (51+ / 0-)

    I gave $50 that I don't have to Harold Ford (I'd already given $50).

    Then I called my mother and asked her to give something. She emailed me half an hour later to say that she gave $200 (along with $100 to McCaskill).

    I desperately want Ford to win. I want him to make history. I want to take the Senate back. I want him to occupy Bill Frist's seat, Jim Sasser's old seat, for decades. I want him to become an old lion of the Senate.

    And I desperately want to stick it in the eye of all the folks who say a black man can't win in the South, and especially of all the folks like that kid you described, who feed that stereotype. I want Ford to be the harbinger of a new era, for the South and for the United States, an era where the word "integration" really means something.

    I want him to beat Bob Corker.

    "I have powers! Political powers!" -Homer Simpson

    by Arjun Jaikumar on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 08:34:36 AM PDT

  •  Worried about Tennessee. (16+ / 0-)

    I know here in Ohio, race is an issue, whether anyone wants to admit it or not.  You wouldn't believe how many old bigoted white guys like my father in law have now decided to vote for a democrat for governor.

  •  Sad to say (25+ / 0-)

    There are still place in this country where that sort of naked Racist sentiment is still not only spoken openly, but presumed to be the majority view by the speaker.  

    A pity your Mom's friend isn't one of the "old school" Tenneseans who might well have had a Shotgun handy behind the counter.  The only proper response to that sort of racist intimidation is   "yeah, well YOU'D best be careful, because "WE" don't allow racist assholes IN here <cock said gun>"

    Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

    by Magorn on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 08:34:55 AM PDT

    •  And then call the police! (22+ / 0-)

      Holy crap, that was an assault just committed there. A threat of violence in the form of arson. I truly hope she notified authorities if only to get the incident on record. A description of this punk on file might help too.

      As a female who has worked alone in retail stores I understand her not wanting to get confrontational with a loon who walks in off the street. But it's not too late even now to take action. This asshole is most likely a local if he's walking down the street checking out bumper stickers. I bet many quatloos he's known to local police for aggravated thuggery in the past. A description and anything available from security cameras should be put on the record ASAP.

      Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?

      by Xan on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 08:44:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or the FBI (8+ / 0-)

        As she was threatened with a potential hate crime based on race, which I believe is a federal offense. Plus, this might be the sort of small town when the local police tend to look the other way in such situations. I.e. "boys will be boys".

        And yes, I am expressing a stereotype typically held by northerners about southern small towns and their supposedly racist police forces. But the man who made this threat pretty much confirmed yet another stereotype typically held by northerners regarding southern white men, which I think makes the first stereotype more valid.

        "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

        by kovie on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:34:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And as long as we're piling on the charges (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Xan, kovie, novapsyche, marykk

          I'm petty sure this sort of conduct counts as a  violation of 42 USC 1973 (the voting rights act) and 42 USC 1983 etc seq (particularly $1985) The federal civil rights act.

          It was precisely attempts like these to deny/intimidate voters on racial grounds that lead to their passage in the first place

          Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

          by Magorn on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:03:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yup, intimidate the intimidators (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Magorn, marykk

            For many people, that't the ONLY way to control their behavior. Someone needs to make these people realize that the Civil War ended years ago. We might not be able to force changes in feelings and beliefs, but we can force changes in behavior. Of course, that just drives people further into the GOP's hands, but that's why our effort to destroy today's GOP in its present racist, fearmongering form is all the more important.

            "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

            by kovie on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:27:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Civil War?! (0+ / 0-)

              Civil War?!  That's Yankee Talk for the War Between the States Right?  Or as many of the Deeper south folk like to call it "That recent unpleasantness"

              Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

              by Magorn on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:31:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, whatever (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Magorn

                The south can euphemize all it wants, but reality is reality. The losing side doesn't get to name wars, except in its febrile imagination.

                Of course, what's going on in Iraq right not isn't a civil war, either. Just some, er, recent unpleasantness. Or the "War Between the Terrorists".

                Uhuh. And Bush never really meant "Stay the Course" when he said it...5000 times.

                "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

                by kovie on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:07:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  she maybe should have said... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xan, GN1927, Magorn, Phatty McButterpants

      "bless your heart!"  It's southern code.

      I wouldn't believe Bush if his tongue became notarized (h/t to shanti2)

      by billlaurelMD on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:57:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent, Excellent Diary!!! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xan, brownsox, Cato come back, GoldnI, R o o k

    and very well-said.  Thank-you.

  •  Implication (20+ / 0-)

    Something like that should be reported to law enforcement. Whether it was an implied threat or just an "opinion" it was well over the line.

  •  Did anyone get (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xan, dus7, Cato come back

    a license plate number?

  •  This should be talked about (17+ / 0-)

    in the national news.  Racism needs a spotlight cast upon it.

    I also wonder what Michael Steele (R-MD) thinks of those ads?

  •  I live in Upper East TN (14+ / 0-)

    near 2 counties that are known for overly racist activities in the past - I've actually been surpised by the overall friendly atmosphere Jr. has received in the area. Most poeple I've met that hate him do so the same way they hate any Democrat.

    It's sad to see we're not moving past this crap as quickly as we need to be.

    Pryce hates the GoogleBomb...

    by surfbird007 on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 08:37:32 AM PDT

  •  She should have said, (16+ / 0-)

    "Thank you for your notice.   If my store burns down I'll hold you personally responsible, and give you 48 hours to get your sick fuck redneck ass out of town or you will be guaranteed to get some things of your own burned down as well."

    I know...just my fantasy.

  •  Not just TN (11+ / 0-)

    This is precisely the tactic that Jesse Helms used to hold onto his seat in last election.  

    A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. - Aristotle

    by DWG on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 08:48:28 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the reminder. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DWG

      I had forgotten that ten years ago Harvey Gannt came within a fraction of a percentage point of becoming the first African-American Senator from the South since Recontruction.

      So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

      by illinifan17 on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:19:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh man, this is sad (13+ / 0-)

    I was raised in middle Tennessee (Nashville), and sadly, I'm not a bit surprised to read about this.  If Ford does win, though, it will be all the more tremendous a triumph, and perhaps a sign that racism is now a distinctly minority motivation in the South.  Your mother's friend has great courage - hope her local authorities can be notified to be on the alert about this.

  •  I am afraid stupid Americans will fall for this (11+ / 0-)

    I am a naturalized american. I am afraid for the future for this country. Republicans with the toxic combination of corporate & rich people money and the shameless campaign of dividing americans on social issues and race IS DESTROYING THIS COUNTRY.

    The reason I call stupid americans is they are falling for this and they are not able to see it thru.

    GOD BLESS THIS COUNTRY.

    •  It isn't a question of falling for something. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Albatross, MarketTrustee, R o o k

      There's nothing unwitting about the response to race baiting.

    •  I think the racist ad is going to lose TN (14+ / 0-)

      for Harold Ford. And it kills me that the REpublicans are going to get away with it. Again. I heard Michael Smerconish on Hardball saying that Bob Herbert was playing the race card by criticizing the ad against Ford. Jesus Christ, how the hell do they get away with this hatred and lying and racism, and then blame the black guy when he takes offense.

      I swear, sometimes I cannot stand some of my fellow Americans. I want to find a land where everyone lives judged by their character, not their color/accent/religion.  It don't think it is the United States.

      The only good that may come out of this is, Can we now openly and without fear of contradiction call the Republicans the Racist Party.  Even Chris Matthews was pissed about this ad, so it is pretty obvious that the republicans are the Racist Party. Let's give them their due.

      My file on RedState.org: Adigal: Another one of them left wing girls way too smart for our own good. Her phones need to be monitored.

      by adigal on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:18:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The liberal media ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... is indeed the best response. Especially with the George Allen thing. Let's bombard Matthews, and every media outlet we can think up with this story and GET IT OUT THERE, as a cause celebre'. (Couldn't resist the French, I'm a liberal.)

      •  Respond to the anti-Ford ad thusly: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AmericanHope, novapsyche, R o o k
        1. The national GOP is brain dead and is reduced to crude racial appeals in trying to hang onto the Senate.
        1. The national GOP holds the people of TN in contempt for assuming that they will be swayed by such an ad.

        A brain dead party that showns such comtempt for rthe voters of TN does not deserve to have both of TN';s Seantes seats.

        (-2.75,-4.77) America let Bush play with its Army and he broke it.

        by Sam I Am on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:50:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well observed, Grasshopper! (0+ / 0-)
  •  It isn't just Tennessee (17+ / 0-)

    by any means.  I'll never forget just before the '04 election, a rather hippie-looking guy announced that he was voting for Bush because if Kerry won "he'll give the niggers all my money."  (What money, I dunno, he looked pretty poor).

    This, in New Jersey.

    It is the folly of youth to think they can change the world; it is the folly of old age not to try. -- Winston Churchill

    by penguins4peace on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 08:53:57 AM PDT

    •  Very true. (4+ / 0-)

      I've lived in the Deep South all of my life and the only person I've ever heard use the "n" word was my friend from New Jersey - fighting with a girl for a cab in Manhattan.

      Let's not get too worked up over a random idiot in Middle Tennessee.  The South is more racially mixed than anywhere else and even though you hear racial epithets reflexively used by some ignorant and threatened people it doesn't mean shit about the community.

  •  Jim Crow Refugees Suck (16+ / 0-)

    That's what I call them; the smarmy we're-not-racists-we're-conservatives crowd that moved immediately into leading positions within the Republican Party as the price of their switching allegiances and bringing their voters with them.

    They, too, are Jim Crow Refugees, just less talented and shorter-lived versions of Strom Thurmond.

    They are why I tell people it is a waste of time to discuss concepts like equal protection under the law and civil liberties and due process with Republicans in the current mode, because they are dominated by a faction that has roots in a tradition that considers such notions to be outrageous, and implementation of same an abomination.

    These are people who 'know', in a visceral enculturated sense, that the world is populated by more/less deserving persons, that some rule and others serve, and still others serve as venting mechanisms for the self-hatred that comes from being a slave whether it is acknowledged or not.

    Funny, how only those who are cast out from the caste system have any chance of being free, just not much of a chance of being safe and secure in one's liberty. And there is the fear and the contempt and the envy and the acquiescene, all rolled up in one.

    And above them all are the well-to-do, the masters of the metaphorical plantation, even after the plantations were all burned down and the slaves set free. And all they have to is stress that the burdens of those who work might be lessened, if but they voted to make the lives of the rich even more comfortable, and at the same time they can stick it to all those ne'er-do-well welfare recipients, who live for free off their hard work.

    And thus, the rich gain dollars for the price of a few crumbs cast to their lackeys, and reduce both the desire and appeal of leaving their hard but secure lives for a chance outside the gates, and those outside the manor fence are afflicted all the more severely for the crime of no longer being compatible.

    And that, yet again, is why the most unlikely people vote Republican, again and again.

    If you're not on the crazy wild-eyed zealot bandwagon, then you're with the terrorists. :)

    by cskendrick on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 08:56:58 AM PDT

  •  Duh! The exploitation of the fears and hatreds... (9+ / 0-)

    of the good white folks of the South and the Midwest has been the foundation of GOP electoral strategy for over 40 years. Memo to the "Democrat" party: They keep doing it BECAUSE IT WINS ELECTIONS!

  •  Jeez Louise. That racist represents (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box, R o o k

    what percentage of the Tennessee voting population? He sounds like something out of the pre-civil rights movement. I'm sure as far as he's concerned it never occurred.

    That's some factor for Ford to overcome, as if the race wouldn't be hard enough to win. How I hate to be reminded that racism is alive and well in some parts of the country.

  •  Change is slow but it does come (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marrael, GoldnI, R o o k

    Sadly, racism is the default mode for human beings all over the world past the age of five or so. It's not confined to Americans. That's why progress is so s-l-o-w in this area.

    All we can do is keep fighting and realize that change does come but sometimes a lot more slowly than we'd like.

    50 years ago in Tennessee, Harold Ford wouldn't have been able to vote at all, much less be within the MOE of a white male opponent running for the senate.

    •  i disagree with such a global attribution (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MacheteJames

      for racism. i'm AA, female, and have traveled alone internationally. i think i know how well or not i'm superficially received in any one city of any one state. and i don't believe my experience as an american "minority" is unique.

      it is true that the process, discrimination or judgement, is a kind of cognitive reflex, instictive. it enables learning, it mediates harmful outcomes. it's a survival mechanism no less crucial to life and identity formation than a universal grammar postulated by chomsky.

      when discrimination is conditioned or proscribed by certain social stimulus, let's say, formal education or family mores, we may speculate that the kernal of  discrimination, acquires an elaborate set of  assumptions and logical rules, ideology, that stymies individual experience and judgement.

      ideology, being the supreme artifice of knowledge, has long been recognizable as an effective weapon in the service of political hegemony -- worldwide.

      Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

      by MarketTrustee on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:24:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is the the way they cover up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marrael, GoldnI

    the theft of the Tennessee vote?

    Not saying racism this ugly does not exist in Tennessee and elsewere.  What a distraction it could make, however, to get us fighting about ugly racism while the suits steal the vote.

  •  It's sad and disturbing (5+ / 0-)

    But let's keep in mind something.  The only state to ever elect a black man as governor was the state of Virginia.  A state where the confederacy once had its capital.  So yes, there's probably a lot of racism going on and it's pretty awful.  But I don't think that Ford can't win the race just because he's black.  The polls are still close enough that he could pull this out against Corker.

  •  i hope that woman called the cops (6+ / 0-)

    after watching the woman who made the threat go to her car and copying down the license number.  what a pathetic excuse for a human being.

    weather forecast

    The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

    by Cedwyn on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:08:18 AM PDT

  •  look inwards as well (8+ / 0-)

    I know its easy to see the GOP using racism to its advantage, but I also believe that lots of "liberals" or "progressives" are still socialized to be white supremecists simply because we were born in the USA, and while we might not use racism to our advantage overtly, we still benefit from white privilege every day.  So lets use this push by the GOP to have a real conversation about race for once.  Start by doing the reading on your own (bell hooks, Paul Kivel, Charles Mills, Beverly Daniel Tatum just to name a few) and then start conversations.

    "We should never separate the lives we live from the words we speak." ~Paul Wellstone (1944-2002)

    by WWWD on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:08:29 AM PDT

  •  Racism alive and well (10+ / 0-)

    I'm from the South, visit the South, and I hear the remarks and the incredible thing is that they don't see that the remarks are racist.

    One tells a story of how her new "black" supervisor was making her life miserable and trying to get her to quit so she could put her friend in her job.  I remarked that approximately the same thing happened to me ... and my boss was lilly white.  The shocked look!

    When I advised that unfortunately where I live, in a small rural town, we have like almost zero black families.  "You are so lucky!"

  •  Know Who They Hate Even More? (5+ / 0-)

    Gay people.

    However, I would not run ads on this, because I don't hate gay people, and the damage done by this kind of crap last well beyond the election.

    "[T]hat I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

    by Heronymous Cowherd on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:12:53 AM PDT

  •  In small town Tennessee (10+ / 0-)

    When scum acts like that it used to generate a call to his family informing them what he said within the confines of your property and warning them that he is welcome back only after an apology.

    Even if the family agrees with the sentiment of their kin they will be embarrassed because when he was in her store he didn't mind his "visitors" manners.

    It might sound stupid but that was the way it was and still is in many parts of the South.

    These days few families publicly condone racism even while practicing it and making threatening statements while on someone else's property can get you killed.

    There was a reason the KKK never rode alone and almost always hid behind a mask.

    I hope this dose of Southern reality is self explanatory and not too offensive.

    This type of hatred and stupidity is why I am formerly from North Carolina.

    Political pardons are unacceptable Mr Bush,and so is hiding your daddy's secrets behind exectutive orders,free the truth now.Econ 3.50&Soc. 5.79

    by wmc418 on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:14:32 AM PDT

  •  A Black Nurse Once Saved My Life (7+ / 0-)

    That's how I know that Black People Can Be OK. Does this answer help?

    Racism is based on the history of slanderous propaganda. Somehow, I hope this hidden secret can be exposed to those who still suffer from prejudice.

    Meanwhile:

    If it's OK for Corker to use actors

    ...  
    ...

    the DNC should do an ad where people are addressing the camera, weeping hysterically about relatives that are DEAD because of Corker. "My mother convulsed on the floor and DIED because Corker used the 911 money to pay his gambling debts" or "I was forced at gunpoint to have sex with my 3-year-old son by a crazed sex-fiend - I tried to call 911, but Corker wanted to make sure my child would be scarred forever!"
    I mean seriously, if just making shit up is OK, let's have some fun.

    by Herbie Poon on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  This if fucking criminal. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albatross, Pandoras Box, GoldnI

    Hate crimes, that is what this is.  It is a free country supposedly to vote for who you want.  MSM needs to press GOP on this continually for race baiting.  Where is the screaming on this issue?

  •  I am as much Irish as Ford is black (7+ / 0-)

    No one, including myself, would call me Irish. I'm not. I am a mix of northern European, mostly English and German.

    I really find this shit disturbing, this one drop perspective.

    Hopefully in the future everyone will have a hint of olive and it will be too damn confusing to bother caring who got what from where.

    ... we now know a lot of things, most of which, we already knew... (-dash888)

    by Tirge Caps on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:17:45 AM PDT

  •  Sadly (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadTexan, cosette, rolet, Albatross

    This is how they sold the Iraq War as well. There's simply no way it could have been done without pushing this country's racist buttons.

    I know people like this. They don't make a distinction between Iraq and Iran. Or Iran and Saudi Arabia. Or Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Or Sunni and Kurd. Or anything else.

    There's "us" and there's "them". "Us" essentially means white people. "Them" means "those who look like the 9/11 hijackers or have similar-sounding names."

    When you bring up the number of civilians killed in Iraq and that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, you usually get a response along the lines of "Oh well, they're all the same. If they weren't dead, they'd just end up becoming terrorists and trying to kill us."

    This ugliness has always existed, but 9/11 just made it worse. Anyone who's different (translation: not white, heterosexual and Christian) is a "threat" to our "way of life".

    I just wish the GOP had the guts to say what they really want to get across in Tennessee, which is something along the lines of "Harold Ford is a chicken and biscuit eating negro who wants to sleep with your white women, and our candidate is not."

    I weep for America. No country can truly be great when millions of its citizens think like this.

    The Republican Party: Keeping America Fact-Free Since 2001

    by IndyScott on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:18:21 AM PDT

    •  Gotta correct you. (0+ / 0-)

      "Us" essentially means white people.

      Change it to:

      "Us" essentially means rich white people.

      We're oft to blame in this--tis too much proved--that with devotion's visage and pious action we do sugar o'er the devil himself.

      by TheBlaz on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:46:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Respectfully Disagree (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SadTexan, Silverbird, fhcec, TheBlaz

        I think the vast majority of the people who do the "Us Versus Them" thing have the purchasing power of a 7-Eleven deli clerk. Plenty of hate in the lower income brackets.

        The Republican Party: Keeping America Fact-Free Since 2001

        by IndyScott on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:51:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Misread your quote (0+ / 0-)

          That'll teach me to skim.

          You're right, but what I thought you meant was the PUSHERS of that mentality, those who WANT the "us" vs. "Them" mentality to succeed and be a popular one.

          I think THOSE are rich white folks.

          I misunderstood you, you're correct about there being hate to go around in the lower income brackets.

          We're oft to blame in this--tis too much proved--that with devotion's visage and pious action we do sugar o'er the devil himself.

          by TheBlaz on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:00:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Just Remember (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spandau, kestrel9000, R o o k

    That the DLC wants us to run "values" campaigns so we can "reach out" to voters like this.

    Makes me sick.

    The Republican Party: Keeping America Fact-Free Since 2001

    by IndyScott on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:19:43 AM PDT

  •  So what are you doing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000, WWWD

    To make change your family members' minds? There are all sorts of tactics one can use if you are close relatives. Blood is thicker than water. Emotional blackmail is particularly effective on old folks.

  •  Don't know how this would play, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000

    would it be worth trying to middle the county repug chairman by asking him to publically disavow these tactics and demand civility from his tribe?

    "Deliberate cruelty to another human being is the one unforgiveable sin." Blanche DuBois

    by marykk on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:20:59 AM PDT

  •  somersault: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, palachia, Albatross, GoldnI, marykk

    The GOP has deliberately tapped into this subtle racism since Richard Nixon in 1968, and it has been a highly effective strategy for them.

    Actually, the GOP has subtly tapped into the blatant racism.

    You can't get away with the crunch, 'cuz the crunch always gives you away

    by dnamj on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:22:09 AM PDT

  •  Why didn't she call the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000

    police??

  •  Maybe I'm just naive (11+ / 0-)

    But I'm holding onto the belief that most people from my state are not like this.  Yes, we have our share of crazy racists, but that doesn't make us any different from any other state in the South (and probably not much different from any other state in the country).

    There was a WaPo story about Ford today, and there was one quote right at the beginning that stuck with me:

    COALMONT, Tenn. - John Layne is a 57-year-old white Republican with a long gray beard, no job and advancing emphysema. He arrived an hour early to hear Harold Ford Jr. speak in this struggling mountain town.

    "Oh, sure, there's some prejudice," Layne said as he contemplated casting a ballot for a black man. "I wouldn't want my daughter marrying one." But he's more concerned about rising medical costs: When it comes to voting, "you gotta look at the person, not the color."

    I mean, yes, that little bit about how he wouldn't want his daughter marrying a black man is certainly racist.  But I sincerely believe that the majority of the people in my state know to look past a person's skin color for a decision as big as this, in spite of whatever their prejudices may be.

    I may be naive though.  I may be clinging onto this belief because it's one of the only things that will keep me from having a nervous breakdown between now and November 7.  I guess we'll find out.

    It's time for a New Generation of Leadership in Tennessee! Harold Ford Jr. for U.S. Senate 2006!

    by GoldnI on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:26:50 AM PDT

    •  notice though (5+ / 0-)

      that when talking about a black man, he didn't say a black man, he said "one".   he was barely willing to admit that blacks are people.

      "We should never separate the lives we live from the words we speak." ~Paul Wellstone (1944-2002)

      by WWWD on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:30:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  While I don't downplay racism, (6+ / 0-)

      I will say that such blatantly racist attitudes aren't universal.

      My parents were born in Tennessee.  Granted, they've lived in Ohio since the early 1950's, but they aren't like that at all.  Very open minded even though they are in their middle 70's.  Didn't bat an eye when my daughter brought home her African-American fiance.  They've welcomed him and considered him part of the family from the beginning.

      My born and bred Ohio father-in-law, on the other hand, is one who would go out of his way to avoid voting for a black man.  He's voting for a democrat for the first time in years to keep from doing so.  

    •  yes you're naive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, exreaganite

      Once he's in the voting booth John Layne is certain to vote for Corker.

      Absolutely, rock-solid, lead-pipe cinch certain.

      •  You don't know that for sure (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SadTexan

        If he's telling the truth about how he's more concerned with rising medical costs, then there's a good chance he'll vote for Ford.  Frankly I think Ford should've done a better job of reminding everyone:

        Corker = Sundquist = TennCare mess and income taxes.

        It's time for a New Generation of Leadership in Tennessee! Harold Ford Jr. for U.S. Senate 2006!

        by GoldnI on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:54:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The other thing to remember (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GoldnI

          Mr. Layne is almost certainly far less racist than his father was.  And his son is probably far less racist than he is (and, if there is justice in the world, has the hots for Halle Berry).

          I know pointing that out smacks of gradualism, which is not acceptable in establishing legal rights, etc.

          But in changing social values, it's inevitable.

      •  Then why (0+ / 0-)

        was he attending a Ford rally?

        Your point about some voters who tell pollsters one thing and then vote in a racist way is fair.

        But I doubt that such voters go to hear a candidate speak if they know in their hearts that they're not voting for him.

    •  Coalmont (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fiddler crabby, GoldnI

      is in Grundy county, a rural, predominantly white, poor, poor county. If any county in Tn. lives up to the unpleasant stereotypes trotted out in the comments of a few kossacks lately, this one does. It went for Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004.

  •  I'm originally from the South and (14+ / 0-)

    went to college in Middle Tennessee.  I have to say, the South was progressing on issues of race, but now it is at a standstill or slipping.

    It's directly traceable to the rise of the Republican Party.  Chicken or egg?  In part, it's hard to say which came first, but I think Republicans stoke these fires of racism.

    Another problem is that many, not all, progressives in the South have stopped speaking out strongly.  Especially those in the Southern press.  

    •  It's as good as it's gonna get (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bree, Pete Rock, Joelarama

      Younger generation of African-Americans is not as politically involved, and is often more hardcore evangelical than the white crackers. The Civil Rights era is over and done with, as many young blacks will happily attest.

      I'm at the point I just want to see all the fundies over here fight all the fundies over there.

      So I guess you could say I'm objectively pro-Iraq war.

    •  Economics (5+ / 0-)

      I think it was Thom Hartmann who pointed out that 1960's were the most liberal era in our history and yet also had the strongest economy, (for wage earning Americans, and not just the investor class).  Its easier to be open-minded when you're prosperous, on the other hand, folks under financial stress are more likely to blame others or at least be suspicious of other groups.

      The Republicans have played this brilliantly. They constantly fight any effort to blame their base, the financial elites, for economic problems (class  warfare!), but they never cease to the encourage voters to blame the poor and minorites for all sorts of troubles.

      Hartmann has gone so far (and I think he's on to something) that the GOP doesn't want broad based economic growth , because when people feel economically secure, they are more open-minded (and less conservative) politically.

  •  Southern States do it again (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diplomatic, Pandoras Box, exreaganite

    I'm becoming more and more pessimistic about the Senate.  I'm afraid red staters will do it again and fail to vote for the dems in Missouri, Virginia and TN.

    The South rises again...and the nation pays the price.

    Hey, is it too late to let the South secede like they wanted?

  •  Fight this... (8+ / 0-)

    with all your might.  Each one must stand against this evil.

    Silence = complicity.

    I'm going to give them the medicine that they've been giving out.~~ R. Emanuel

    by Caldonia on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:37:53 AM PDT

  •  I had a long conversation with (10+ / 0-)

    Mr. RenaRF about the the TN-SEN ad you reference as well as about the ridiculous e-voting issue that has arisen in VA (I also wrote all the cable and network news programs about the two issues yesterday).

    I took him through this font issue which is causing party afilliations to be truncated as well as "James H. "Jim" Webb" to become "James H. "Jim"" on the summary page.

    I talked about the RNC ad in Tennessee.

    He's Mr. Everyman when it comes to politics - he doesn't revolve around it (like I do) and he knows about what the average person knows, even though he lives with me.

    His comment?

    "The revolution's coming.  Maybe not in my lifetime, but people won't stand for this forever.  They'll get so frustrated and angry that they'll do what they did over 200 years ago and make it right."

    I couldn't agree more.  If there's not a general outrage from the average person over these things, the revolution is coming - this is a sign.

  •  Remember South Carolina in 2000 (26+ / 0-)

    The rumor that John McCain had fathered a child out of wedlock wasn't good enough.

    No, it had to be a black child, of course. Meaning McCain had obviously had sex with a black woman.

    The Republican Party knows exactly who their base is.

    The Republican Party knows exactly what motivates them.

    The Republican Party knows exactly how the anti-Ford playmate ad will be interpreted by a lot of people in Tennessee.

    The Republican Party knows exactly what it's doing here.

    This is a racist party using a racist strategy in order to get racist voters to the polls.

    Pretty damn simple.

    The Republican Party: Keeping America Fact-Free Since 2001

    by IndyScott on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:41:42 AM PDT

  •  Not Just The South (15+ / 0-)

    Racial and religious prejudice can be found in any town in America. It has been made much worse under Bush who has made it acceptable again.

  •  alas, not a "secret" fear of black people (4+ / 0-)

    Republicans will exploit any fear they can.

    When no fear exists, they'll create one.

    People who govern through fear have no right to call themselves Christian, or moral, or right.

    I can only hope that the racists in Tennessee are outnumbered by the progressives--if not now then in '08.  We are all excited about Harold, but he may end up having to follow the old "run twice to win once" rule.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D: TELL THE TRUTH. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. REPAIR THE DAMAGE. VOTE DEMOCRATIC!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:47:14 AM PDT

  •  does that store have a security camera? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000, Fredneck

    and if it does was it on that day?  if it doesnt I suggest they get one ASAP...just in case.

    "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

    by KnotIookin on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:48:19 AM PDT

  •  All of us should write (5+ / 0-)

    as many letters to the editor as possible, putting tennesee on notice that WE notice the racism.  Also, to nail Ken Melhman for saying he coulnd't take off the air and beside he didn't think it was racist...

    sign the petition at http://www.impeachbush.org

    by DrKate on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:49:16 AM PDT

  •  African-American senators (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisVoter, GoldnI, Fredneck

    I keep hearing on TV and on the radio that we have yet to elect a senator from the South since re-construction.  Isn’t that putting a few extra qualifiers on it?  I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe we have only elected 2 African Americans in the entire US (both from Illinois) in our entire history.  Why don’t they just say Ford is trying to become the first African American senator outside of Illinois?  

  •  An experience at the Tennessee border (11+ / 0-)

    It was actually in Kennesaw, GA, just south of Chatanooga (where the republican senate candidate grew up).

    About 7 years ago, my children and I were visiting civil war sites around the area and we went to the Kennesaw Civil War Museum. The gift shop did not have a book that I was looking for, so the clerk suggested going to one just across the tracks.  Seeing that I was not a 'local', he warned me that the owner of the bookstore carried a gun; but, he assured me that the guy was harmless.  He said, "He's just part of the local lore."

    Upon seeing all of the wonderful books in the store, I collected a pile of them to purchase.  My two (then) young teenagers came up to me and said, "Mom, this guy is a nazi!"  I brushed them off and said,  "He's just part of the local lore."

    My grown son said, "I can't take being in here. It's offensive. I'll wait in the car."

    I took my books to the counter to purchase, but, the owner was busy discussing the Georgia flag with some other people.  While I was waiting, I noticed what my children had been trying to point out:  the walls were covered with hateful posters and racist trinkets.  I was sick.

    I put all of the books back, except for the particular one I had gone in to buy.  When I got back out to the car, my kids berated me for giving this guy money to buy another white hood.

    I knew that racism exists in America and especially the south.  But this was blatant, in-your-face, radical propaganda.  And yet, "He's just part of the local lore."

    Later, my kids were discussing the incident (and some others that we had encountered).  They said, "We watch movies that show these things but it seems unreal -- just some kind of fiction that a writer uses to advance a plot.  It is sickening to see that it IS real."

    My conscience grates on me everytime I think of the book that I purchased there.  I didn't need the book that badly.

    •  I know the store you're talking about- (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caldonia, GN1927, Cato come back, GoldnI

      I lived in Marietta, which is close by, and used to drive by there frequently. Yes, scratch the surface and some ugliness exists in southern culture. That's one of the reasons I moved to Oregon. I live in Portland, but my mom moved to southern Oregon because the climate suits her better. Republican territory. She told me that, when the '04 campaign was in full swing, one of her Democratic friends took her car into a repair shop, and one of the mechanics took off her Kerry bumper sticker. This Repuke crowd has been playing the underside of human nature for some time now and has created a real blight on our society.

      •  Marietta -- by the big chicken? (0+ / 0-)

        Every time I asked for directions anywhere, people would start with "Ya know where the big chicken is?" and then proceed outwards from there.  lol.

        I met some great people in the south.  I'm sure that they are not all racist.  In fact, maybe it is a sign of 'tolerance' that the communities accept people like the guy in the bookstore?

        It was odd to speak with some who still thought that the south was 'gonna rise again' in the sense of white supremecy.  Left me feeling like I wanted to go for the throat.

        •  yup, the big chicken, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cato come back

          everyone's landmark. I lived a good bit west of there - beautiful country before it became suburbanized like the rest of Atlanta. You're right, a lot of good folks live in the south, and there are many pockets that are progressive as well. But I grew up in Michigan (and so was always considered a yankee) and sensed an undercurrent of tradition in the south that many would not stray far from. Outright rejection of one's elders'perspectives (which often included many prejudices) seldom happened. In some ways, I found race relations to be better there - a little more laid back. But also a lot of subtle prejudices, and those who expressed them overtly were usually accepted as giving voice to a heritage that many still claim as their own.

  •  Is it your opinion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, BlueInARedState, GoldnI

    that these goons were hired by the local Republican machine?
    I have seen too many movies or documentaries on this type of thing, perhaps. Rod Steiger's "In the Heat of the Night" comes to mind. But they usually end with revelations that a local official, a lackey for movers and shakers in a small community hires thugs to terrorize local people.
    I would not be surprised if this type of intimidation were not orchestrated and perhaps paid for by some group.

    •  Don't know if the goons doing the threatening... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bree, GoldnI

      were local free-agent goons or party-hires -- but I know the repug party DOES NOT go out of its way to discourage this kind of behavior.

      This ad is paid for by the RNC, a representative of which travels with Corker.  In a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer, Corker could not bring himself to say that he had actually asked the chair of the RNC to take the ad down:  

      BLITZER:  Mr. Corker, excuse me for interrupting, have you called Ken Mehlman, the chairman of the Republican Party, and asked him to pull it?

             CORKER:  Our campaign officials have talked to people at very high levels there and asked that this comes down.  I don't know who specifically has
      talked to who, but I know it began the very first day...

             BLITZER:  But what about you?  Have you made a call to the RNC?  Have you made a call to the White House and told...

             CORKER:  They are — they are...

             BLITZER:  ... and told Republicans, you know what, I think this is hurting the state of Tennessee, hurting this debate, and I'd like to see it go away?

             CORKER:  Everybody at the RNC, from the top down, knows that I want this down.  There are senators who are my friends, some of which are inside, that are making calls, to do the same.  Everyone knows that we want it down.

      Notice that he doesn't give an unequivocal "YES, I've called Mehlman myself," reply.  

      It's not going on in TN alone -- they are using this tactic in at least 7 races across the country, and their MO is the same:  put up the absolute worst kind of ad you can image; run it WITHOUT the endorsement of the candidate; the candidate the ad supports then comes out against the ad claiming, alas, there is nothing he can do nothing to stop the ad.   Yeah, right.

      Stay strong!  VOTE!!

      "No self-respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a Party that ignores her sex." -- Susan B. Anthony

      by Yellow Dog Dem Woman on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:17:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's fix it. (16+ / 0-)

    Seriously, I have no damned money & I'm about to go over my credit card limits, but let's fix this crap. I just donated $100.01 to Ford via ActBlue.

    Then I went to Mr. Corker's site and let him know tht I donated and why:

    I just wanted to let you know that, after watching the latest race-baiting ads that are running on your behalf, I made a $100 donation to Mr. Ford's campaign. If you cannot win the office of Senator without playing on the smallest, meanest, most ignorant, most hateful, least American contingent of society, you do not deserve to be Senator.

    Let's fight this madness!

    Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief... You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

    by Albatross on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:01:30 AM PDT

    •  oh but he claims (3+ / 0-)

      he had nothing to do with it, doncha know. Somebody did it without his permission. He can't stop it. Etc.,etc.

      (Cut to Stephanie Miller's "lying sack of crap" song...)

      Let's get some Democracy for America

      by murphy on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:05:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If he has nothing to do with it (5+ / 0-)

        He should call a press conference and announce in a loud, clear voice, filled with righteous indignation, that no only did he not approve that message, but he doesn't approve of it, that he sees that it is filled with hatefulness, and that he does not want the vote of any racist.

        Which is what I'm going to tell his campaign if I hear back from them. Bastards.

        Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief... You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

        by Albatross on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:08:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My spidey sense (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bree, kestrel9000, GoldnI, marykk

    has been tingling since this ad came out.  I don't think the strategy is just alone to suggest interracial relationships, though that is part of it.  I think the strategy is to create a furor about race and have supporters of Ford accuse Corker of racism.  Because whereas many white Southerners are pretty OK with African-Americans, accusations of racism coming from African-Americans really turns them off.  It's a paradox, and I don't know what the best way to respond is, but I think the initial response from Ford was just right: light and funny.  I wonder if we shouldn't leave it at that...

    No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

    by Gator Keyfitz on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:02:19 AM PDT

    •  Well if this were to be a story (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bree

      the right spin wouldn't be about racism, it would be about some thug threatening somebody's mama.

      "Deliberate cruelty to another human being is the one unforgiveable sin." Blanche DuBois

      by marykk on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:59:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

        I was thinking about the ad, not this particular assault.  Off topic.  

        Not much else to add to the threat thing, guy's obviously a low life jerk, but the racists I'm worried about don't wear it on their sleeves; they might not even think they are racists.  

        No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

        by Gator Keyfitz on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:19:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rook, I'm sorry. (6+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry about your mother being threatened. Southern racists are really scary and dangerous. I grew up in SC with an adopted bi-racial sister. Our family got threats and glares and all kinds of trouble for it. I now live in VA and have in-laws in TN. You are dead on right about the republicans playing to racists in rural TN. It is really frightening.
    I hope your mom keeps her eyes peeled and is careful.
    I think Ford will win.
    Sometimes, when I am feeling down, I go over to Ford's website and watch all of the clips of his TV ads. They are so dang good!
    Keep your fingers crossed for us in VA that we can get Webb elected and put good 'ole boy racist Allen out of a job.

  •  Solidarity please (3+ / 0-)

    I agree with everything you say in here.  But I must say I am very disturbed with Ford's constant harping on "broken borders."  There is no actual evidence that undocumented immigration hurts America; there is only the fact that people see lots of brown people in the country and think that's the problem.  It's exactly the same problem you identify in this post; in fact, a lot of the "welfare queen" type rhetoric shows up in the right wing discussion of immigration.

    It must be very tempting to Ford to reach out to racist white voters by giving them a chance to substitute the brown boogeyman for the black one.  It's a temptation he must resist.

  •  We need a super mom (9+ / 0-)

    to stand up there with Ford and make people ashamed. You know, like when your mom caught you teasing your little sister and she would stand her in front of you and scorch you, "How could you do this? You know better than that? What kind of a person am I raising? I expected much more of you? Did you think no one would know? ..." and make you feel like you never ever wanted to be anything but perfectly wonderful to that little kid ever again.

    We need a super mom, for many many reasions. One of them would be to sit with Harold Ford, Jr. and show bits of that ad, and say, "This is what the RNC thinks of you - that you're ignorant racists. That you'll do what they say if they push the right buttons. They think you are not thinking adults. They think that you can't look at this man here, his fine record and good character, and decide on the issues whether or not you want him as your advocate and ally in the Senate."

    It seems like every Democrat ought to be down there with Ford calling the RNC on the specifics of this. Read out of the racist playbook, show the psychology behind it.

    People have to confront these thugs and call out their tactics. Too bad your mom doesn't have a surveillance camera and couldn't play this threat on the evening news. The board has to be turned up and these slugs exposed. It worked for my mom.

    •  Even the rednecks would be ashamed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bree, martik

      It seems as if, even among racists, the new brand of racism tries to be sort of nonracist. "We're not any better or worse than they are, but we're just different . . . "

      Blah blah blah.

      My guess is that, even within the community of extreme racists, people who would threaten to set fire to a shop over a Ford bumpersticker would be considered pretty obnoxious.

      On the other hand, within the Bush Rovie marketing/propaganda/dirty tricks squad, someone like that would probably just be considered "committed."

  •  This is a great example (12+ / 0-)

    ...of why NOT to abandon the south.

    When the Democrats give up, the Republicans step in.  They prey on a mixture of, yes, real racism, and also on a lot of genuine, justified discontent, which they very deliberately blame on the "other," to sustain and feed destructive bigotry for their own ends.

    Southern bigots - like all Americans who don't know any better - have been drilled by right-wing propaganda, in the form of right-wing media, to blame the wrong people.  Job loss? Poverty? Violence? No health care? Your life basically sucks? Well, you know, that's the fault of "them" - the blacks, browns, women, gays, Jews, foreigners, immigrants, the liberals and those Demon-crats! (It's certainbly not the fault of any rich people who control the coporations and the money!) You feel like you've been screwed over? Vote Republican!

    If we ever want to see change in the South (or anywhere else), the left cannot give up the challenge to make people understand who's really responsible for the real problems in these people's lives - the rich people with no conscience and no concern for anything but the almighty dollar.

    I'm not denying there is real, old-fashioned racsim in this country, or that this guy is a criminal and a loss.  But there is no way things would be so bad overall if the right hadn't fed it for its own purposes.  The rich have always done so.  We'll never eradicate it, or even reduce it much, it as long as people are trained to attribute their real problems to the wrong causes.  

    If you want to combat racism, you have to fight on all fronts, all the time, and over time, to get the truth out.  You may not convert this guy...but start fighting for the south now, and by the time you get to his grandkids, the message may get through.

    It is no worse, because I write of it. It would be no better, if I stopped my most unwilling hand.

    by ChaosMouse on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:14:22 AM PDT

    •  ...of why NOT to abandon the south. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, AlbiRes

      Life-long Memphian here and I agree....do NOT abandon us.  We are not all like the bigot mentioned, but the racism is there, even when not as overt as the example cited.

      Even tho we have made progress there is still a large portion of southerners who believe the stereotypes.  In the 60's I thought I would see in my lifetime the blossoming of a race blind society.  We have, I think, made progress (two steps forward, one back) but racism will not be eradicated in my lifetime, but I have hope for my grandchildren (or great grandchildren).

      When confronted by racism, I think it needs to be labeled for what it is.  I've begun to do that when I am confronted by a racist statement (rather than keeping quiet so as to be "polite" like southerners of my generation were taught).

      -5.59-6.25 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: IRAQ IS BROKEN

      by martik on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:40:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nazi punks (4+ / 0-)

    The young man said, "You better watch out that you don't get your store burned down, because we don't vote for n*****s around here."

    If I owned that store and he came in and told me that I would have introduced his punk ass to my Louisville Slugger.

    What, no fucking ziti?

    by quaoar on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:26:08 AM PDT

  •  Corker's Gotten A Bump Since That Ad (4+ / 0-)

    The reality is that this is only a race because the GOP incompetence has been so patent, as in patent homosexual (sorry, couldn't resist). If an African American male can get elected Senator in Tennessee, then the GOP is in serious trouble. They have to go out an energize their base, and White Supremacists have long been a GOP special interest group. Before, they were called Dixiecrats.

    Not the brightest, but they do come out and vote. As John Edwards noted once upon a time, white working class Southerners have been voting GOP for 30 years and they have nothing to show for it-except that their lily white neighborhoods are still lily white.

    Before leaving, I should also add that Ford has run a brilliant campaign, and for that reason alone I wouldn't count him out just yet.

  •  Right... and People Here Think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mikesco, MarketTrustee

    Feingold should run for POTUS?

    Obama?

    gimme a break.

    "Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice." Spinoza

    by Superpole on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:32:15 AM PDT

    •  The sad truth (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, Superpole

      If Ford wins, it will not be because he ran a great campaign or because Corker was a poor candidate. Those things had to happen just to make this thing CLOSE. If Ford DOES pull this off it will be because the national environment is so bad for Republicans.

      We can't expect to win with a minority candidate. Not 2008. Perhaps Obama could be VP, i dunno. But there are enough closet racists (yes, even in the Democratic party) that it will almost certainly tip the scales against us.

      Real beauty is seldom appreciated by popular culture

      by Mikesco on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:20:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tenn Minority People ... (4+ / 0-)

    VOTE, damn it, VOTE! Early and often. Knock on doors. Use the phone. Hold church meetings. Pastors - don't mention any names - just say VOTE, damn you, VOTE!

  •  Just FYI... (6+ / 0-)

    I used to live in Koreatown in LA.

    Koreatown is chock full of rich South Korean Moonies or otherwise nutbag Bush voters. It's creepy.

    But they slashed my tires for having an anti-Bush bumper sticker.

    Twice.

    So it aint just the whites you gotta look out for.

    Anybody that defines themselves by their race and who stick to 'their own people' shouldn't be trusted on sheer principle.

  •  Call Them on It (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe it's time we called people on their shit directly.

    Ad:

    The choice for Senate this year is clear:  Will you vote for a corrupt white politician who has engaged in shady land deals and underfunded the 911 emergency system while Mayor of Chattanooga so that thousands of people were at risk or will you vote for an honorable black politician with a distinguished career as a congressman.

    Cast a vote you can be proud of.  Vote Harold Ford for Congress.

    I know it's stark but at this point people maybe people need to be hit on the head with it.

    The only thing you find in the middle of the road are double yellow lines and dead armadillos - Jim Hightower

    by Bushed but not defeated on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:49:15 AM PDT

  •  Walter Mitty Webcam (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, R o o k

    If this were mom, I think my reaction would be to want her to move to an undisclosed location and stay the heck away from racists.

    But, if it were me and I had no child and I were a super hero, I think I would put up much bigger Ford posters and bumperstickers, then (if I were technie enough and flush enough with cash) some of those little, remote controlled "spy" Webcams.

    I'd mount cleverly disguised Webcams all over the place. Then I would swallow hard and try to go about my business and  just hope that, if there were any violent wingnuts out there, they'd throw their firebombs or bricks or shoot their guns somewhere where the Webcams could get a clear image of their faces.

    Of course, I probably never could do any such thing, but it's fun to think about.

  •  true story from Illinois (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, IndyScott, greenearth

    this was in the paper; no link available.

    Back in 1992, Carol Mosley Braun was running for the US Senate (and she beat a white male Republican, and beat him easily).

    But prior to the election, one of the workers on her campaign said this:  he went to an old man's house and asked for his vote. He said that he voted Democrat, but he just "couldn't pull the lever for a nigger."

    The worker asked:  you can vote "straight ticket", right?

    The old guy said "yeah, that works!  That is what I'll do."

    Sigh...

    When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

    by onanyes on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:56:16 AM PDT

  •  Goddamn why don't people ever say shit like this (7+ / 0-)

    to me?

    I am so looking for a reason to kick someone's ass.

    Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

    by Cheez Whiz on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 10:56:56 AM PDT

  •  INCORRECT TO LINK "YELLOW DOG DEMOCRAT" TO RACISM (8+ / 0-)

    Just for the record, the term "Yellow Dog Democrat" should not be linked to racism. The term is not racist in nature and originated in the 1920's. Here is a history of the term:

    The term, Yellow Dog Democrat, blossomed during all of the Hoopla which surrounded the 1928 elections, when Al Smith ran for President against Herbert Hoover. During that  campaign, Senator Tom Heflin, of Alabama, declined to back his fellow Democrat, Al Smith the Governor of NY. In fact it was much  worse than that, Senator Heflin decided to back Herbert Hoover, who would then go on to become President- a Republican President no less. Heflin's controversial actions were considered heresy, especially in the South. As you can imagine, quite a large number of Alabamans vehemently disagreed with Senator Heflin's decision to cross his "Party Lines". Hence, the popular saying, "I'd vote for a yellow dog if he ran on the Democratic ticket" was born! It was adopted as the proud slogan of the staunch party loyalist.
    At the time, this phrase certainly did not reflect well on Senator Heflin.

    You can read more about Yellow Dog Democrats here.

    This is an excellent and powerful diary, but it would have been more appropriate to refer to the Dixiecrats, not the Yellow Dogs. The Dixiecrats were the segregationist Dems of 50-60 years ago who defected in the 60's and later to the Rethuglican Party.

    Yellow Dog Dem" is a label proudly worn by many Southern progressives today.

    From the shining city of blue in the red swamp of Georgia

    by VolvoDrivingLiberal on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:06:37 AM PDT

    •  I wasn't linking "yellow dog Democrats" to racism (6+ / 0-)

      I was saying racism turned a couple of "yellow dog Democrats" in my family into loyal Republicans.  They used to vote blindly Democratic, now they're blindly Republican.

      On an unrelated note, I thought this was funny:  Last week I saw a car with two bumper stickers... one said "YELLOW DOG DEMOCRAT" and the other said "CHRIS LUGO FOR SENATE."  Lugo is the Green candidate.

      •  That's a riot! On another sad note though... (3+ / 0-)

        I went to an animal rescue service to adopt a dog a couple of weeks ago. The person who ran the rescue organization, a woman in her early 60's who seemed to be intelligent, affluent, and well-educated, made the mistake of using the "N" word to me in a highly racist, derogatory context. Needless to say, I made it clear to her how offensive her statement was. Sadly for the dog I was considering adopting, I left her facility. I will never conduct business with a racist.

        It goes to show that racism is not just confined to white male rednecks. It can be found in just about every demographic.

        [http://www.bobcorkerforsenate.com/ Bob Corker]: corrupt,incompetent,racist bigot

        by VolvoDrivingLiberal on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:14:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please rethink the dog (0+ / 0-)

          The dog needing a home is not responsible for this woman's bigoted, hateful ignorance.  If you had a dog picked out there, please consider going back to get it.  Poor puppy.  So close but no home, still...
      •  Seriously (0+ / 0-)

        I would have rear-ended that car just to take out the bumper sticker :)

        It's time for a New Generation of Leadership in Tennessee! Harold Ford Jr. for U.S. Senate 2006!

        by GoldnI on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:17:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm operating on the assumption (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tuba Les

    That the guy who issued the threat is on the GOP payroll.  You should too.  It's unlikely that anyone can prove it, but that means no one can disprove it.  So this is the frame: the GOP is so scared of Ford that they're sending Klansmen around to threaten individual voters.  That's a news story. Put it in Corker's lap.

  •  Beatles Last Concert Was in Memphis - KKK Threats (0+ / 0-)

    Many people think the Beatles last live concert was at Shea Stadium.  Actually, it was Memphis.  They stopped doing live concerts after the KKK in Memphis publicly threatened on TV to commit violence against them because they said the Beatles were anti-Christian.

    JPZenger was a newspaper publisher whose trial for libel established the principle that the Truth is the ultimate defense.

    by JPZenger on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:15:47 AM PDT

  •  Western/Southwestern strategy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tuba Les, exreaganite
    appeals to me.  It takes the Southern domination out.  I'm all for the 50 state strategy overall.  Take state houses & governorships down south, but for President, mine the Midwest/Southwest.  It defangs the "Liberal Northeast/Westcoast" hooey.

    Truman was a midwesterner.  

    I don't say forget the south, but it is high time the south has some competition.  Mid & Southwesterners can de-fang the "conservative " South stranglehold.

    Mid & South West accents may soon be the dominant voices.

    Layer the 50 state with the West/Southwest strategy, & we win.  IMHO.

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      x

      If Democrats win the House, it will be the first time in 50 years that a party has won without the majority of the Southern States on their side.

      The "solid South" has been a key factor in Presidential races for far too long.

      Democrats want better government, government that serves real people and not just those with power and influence. Nevada Appeal, Carson City NV

      by Tuba Les on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 01:53:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Call him what he is. (5+ / 0-)

    A Terrorist

    "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex."

    by Mxwll on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:18:33 AM PDT

  •  This is why premature gloating is bad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exreaganite

    Right after the Foley scandal broke, a lot of people were making all sources of pronouncements that the GoP was screwed, and that the Dems would easily take both houses of Congress.

    Its the over confident, premature gloating that makes races like TN that much more heartbreaking.

  •  I heard some of this (6+ / 0-)

    nonsense when Obama was running here in Illinois. There were people here in Southern Illinois...and in the Peoria area (my sister lives there and heard it there). I heard a number of people say they couldn't cast a vote for Senate because two "n...." were running. My sisters heard a few guys rationalize that a vote for Obama wasn't "as bad" as a vote for Keyes because at least Obama was "half white".

    This behavior is pathetic. I hope this woman reports these assholes to the police...and if they won't listen...the fucking FBI. I hope she calls the Mayor and everyone else in her City Council and lets them know that this won't be tolerated...and if I were her, I'd be on the phone to CNN asking them to interview me and expose this GOP racist bullshit.

    Everyone who hears racism like this needs to call it out. Call it what it is. Tell the people saying this crap that they are IGNORANT FOOLS and that they will be left behind as the rest of America moves forward and stops tolerating their hate and ignorance.

    When I heard people say they wouldn't vote for a Senate candidate who was black, I called them out. I let them know that they were ignorant and that I didn't associate with people who were ignorant and hateful.

    If we don't SHAME these people...they will think this is okay.

    •  These people have no shame (0+ / 0-)

      and might be the margin of victory.  Gotta wait till they die, because they are not going to change their minds.

      I kinda like Howard Dean, it's those wild eye crazies that came with him I wonder about!

      by redlief on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:53:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow. (0+ / 0-)

    -9.0, -8.3. The point I just made is the most important point. -George W. Bush

    by SensibleShoes on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:35:40 AM PDT

  •  The Dems are letting the GOP change the agenda (8+ / 0-)

    The focus should be on Corker's character and record.  The more one tries to counter the racism the more race is an issue.  Attack Corker and the GOP agenda.  That is what was winning for Ford.  Minimize the race issue at this time.  Unfortuanately it is not a winner for Ford.  

  •  I never like it when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    April Follies

    diaries are of the 'heard it from a friend' variety. Its pretty much unsubstantiated gossip on the Rec List.

  •  Even if FORD jr does not win, a close race will (0+ / 0-)

    be a powerful commentary!
    Granted, the black male has issues that cant be glossed over. But society should paint ALL black males with the same brush.
    Ford jr has his weaknesses. For one, why isnt he married? A lot of young black males with good jobs arent married either (my observation). Bieng married,esp with kids would have made it more difficult for that ad to carry any water. Marriage engeders a measure of respect one cant buy. Look at Obama or Deval in Mass.
    But never the less, Ford is a superior candidate to the worn out Corker  

  •  This is why (0+ / 0-)

    This is why I have been saying that Barak Obama cannot win an election for President. He’s living a fairytale. This society is still far too racist. This is what it really comes down to.... Especially in the filthy Amerikkkan South.

    We are not yet at a point in this country where Black candidates (especially for Big State and National Offices) should really be considered electable. THEY ARE NOT.

    Democrats need to face the ugly facts about Amerikkka- That it’s still a very racist society. The hearts and minds of people In the South have not changed much in the last few decades.

    Democrats need to stop all of this positive, softee, fairytale politics. This is how the Democrats lost the last few elections (Oh...we’ll just stay positive, and soft and the people will vote for us). WRONG! This is 30 year old thinking... this went out of style a long time ago. Meanwhile, Republicans have been winning with hard nosed, hardcore, in your face politics. They understand what Americans respond to.

    Republicans understand that race is still an issue and they behave accordingly....(especially In the bloodsucking, backward, gut bucket South). At least they understand their constituents.

    Democrats need an awakening. Maybe losses on Nov. 7th (or just modest gains) will finally get the Democrats to wake up.
    Without massive war rooms and a “24/7 no gloves approach“, you are not going to win....certainly you won’t win and retain any gains long-term.

    •  The fairy tale (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akasha

      Is the notion that the way to achieve equality is not to demand it.  If my relatives had felt that way, they would still be unable to vote, or worse, someone else's property.

      The fairy tale is that racism is a political ideology, when in fact it is ignorance and fear.

      Republicans are using fear in this case against black people, but in other cases they are using fear to strip the Constitution and hold onto powers no one in our country is meant to have.   Everyone understands that Americans respond to fear, and that fear can be exploited for political gain.  That does not make it right, and we have seen what happens when a polical party plays this sick game.  

      The fairy tale is that Democrats need to manipulate people's weakness like the Republicans in order to win.

      The fairy tale is that because racism exists, we should accept it.  I don't accept that, just as I don't accept that the Constitution applies only when it doesn't conflict with my own bigotry.  

    •  And it is not soft (0+ / 0-)

      To demand what is right.

  •  Harold Ford may not be as progressive as (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tabbycat in tenn, GoldnI, AlbiRes

    I would like......nowhere NEAR it, but he is still a damn sight better than Bob Corker.   It will be interesting to see how the vote comes out.  I have talked until I was just about blue in the face to my Mother (who lives in Memphis) about voting for Ford but she'll have none of it.   She'd never admit it but she will never vote for a black candidate... ever.  

    I have been courageously wearing my Ford button around here in small town East Tennessee and I'm not the only one.   Unfortunately, I and a friend of mine have our bumper stickers in the window so we can take them down when we have to park in certain places....and that's a terrible thing to have to do.....but we can't afford new cars and there are still a lot of wingnuts rinning around here.  Fortunately however there is a growing progressive community around here too so one day we may not have to fear for the health of our vehicles!   Let's hope that day comes SOON!! GOTV!!   ;O)

    "What, Me Worry?"...King George Walker Alfred Eusless Newman Bush

    by RantNRaven on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:53:49 AM PDT

    •  Thanks Raven, for your support.... (0+ / 0-)

      It's not always easy in East Tennessee, that's true. I live in E. TN, too, so I know. Any little act of support for FORD is an act of courage in some areas. So do what you can, and work hard to Get Out the Vote for Ford. Your mom won't comprehend the importance of this vote until she hears what the Republican Party has planned for her Social Security--poof! Vanished. But, if she's well enough off that she doesn't have to worry about that, then perhaps she'll get concerned about the upcoming recession. Or maybe the deficit we're working on thanks to the Republicans. Or maybe, she doesn't care at all; can't waste time worrying over it. Just GOTV on your own. Make a difference. Its' Crucial.

      Thanks again, for doing whatever you can...

      Best,

  •  Haven't seen it put so well in a long time (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xanthe, Five of Diamonds

    You really summed up the story of my political adulthood, since 1968, and what we've -- sadly for those of us with such youthful hopes then -- been up against.

    There has not been a Republican President who did not tap this well of myth and prejudice against this formerly-terrorized populace within our own borders.

    It didn't quite get to the ethnic cleansing stage, but there are those who...

    "The GOP has deliberately tapped into this subtle racism since Richard Nixon in 1968, and it has been a highly effective strategy for them.  The stereotype of the lazy, violent African-American male and the slutty, Welfare-dependent African-American female form the underpinnings of the entire Republican social argument.  "

    If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

    by HenryDavid on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:53:57 AM PDT

  •  next time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoldnI

    tell those motherfuckers that the 2nd Amendment applies to liberals too. Stand your ground.

    Be ye ever so high, the law is above you

    by nota bene on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:58:27 AM PDT

  •  braver than I (3+ / 0-)

    I am too scared to have a bumper sticker. I live in southeast Alabama, not that far from where the woman was beaten into a coma for having bumperstickers. Racism is alive and well in the south.

    I once went to visit a client and he was showing off his gun. He told me he liked to shoot cans. You know... afriCANs, puerto riCANs, mexiCANs...
    the whole shop burst out laughing at his joke.

    Another story: A friend came over and brought her 13 year old step-daughter with her. Her daughter picked up a framed picture of me as a child sitting in the shoe store my father ran in the Canal Zone. One of the men who worked in the store was measuring my feet for shoes in the picture.

    "That's a picture of me when I was little. My Daddy ran that shoe store," I said.

    She looked up at me with a puzzled look and blurted out, "Your Daddy is a n****r??"

    Don't get me wrong, not everyone is so racist here. But like I said, I'm not brave enough to put a bumpersticker on my car.

  •  If that motherfuckkker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MacheteJames

    would have said that to me, I would have kicked the living shit out of him.  To be precise, I'd have kicked him in the nuts and then smashed his face in when he keeled over.  Maybe spit on the groaning lump for effect.

    Oh, I'm sorry.  Is that too violent?  Well, then don't call Harold Ford a nigger to my face, bitch.

    Racist KKKonservatives, you've been served notice.  I'm not the biggest dude in the world, but I'm pretty fucking strong and I hit real, real hard.

  •  White Trash (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theran

    Not pretty.  Not pretty at all.

    BenGoshi
    ____________________________________________________

    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:17:46 PM PDT

  •  R o o k (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auditor, 4thepeople

    When this is all over with, you and I really need to sit down somewhere, have a drink, and debrief.

    I'm coming back to TN from London for winter break, probably around the second week in December.

    It's time for a New Generation of Leadership in Tennessee! Harold Ford Jr. for U.S. Senate 2006!

    by GoldnI on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:20:30 PM PDT

  •  The South = Lieberman (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HarveyMilk, sjersey, auditor

    The South provides 'regional' cover for national bigotry, just like Lieberman provides 'Democratic/bipartisan' cover for Republican philosophies. And just as we're not fooled by Lieberman, let's not be fooled by regional claims that one section of the country is bigoted, while another section of the country is not.

    I've been called nigger in the North and nigger in the South; I've seen the confederate flag fly north and south; I've experienced the political exploitation of racial fears north and south (NYC is notorious for being a political minefield where racial politics is concerned).

    Having said all that, let's NOT pretend, here. The south is only able to provide 'regional' cover for national bigotries because the south stubbornly holds on to its 'southern heritage,' a heritage that has everything to do with institutionalized, politicized, and utterly socially entrenched racism, xenophobia, and homophobia.  If the south had made as much progress as it likes to say it has, it wouldn't be able to provide the cover it does.  What's the difference between north and sound in my experience?  In my experience, racism is still socially acceptable in the north.  But it is still socially required in the south.

    Left. Because it's right.

    by 4thepeople on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:22:19 PM PDT

  •  This is the RNC - It's a national issue! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auditor, GoldnI

    This isn't a local issue.  This is nationalized racism by the Republican National Commitee.  This should be used to hurt Republicans nationwide.  If the Republican party nationwide doesn't believe in using racist ads, they have the power to pull this ad.  And only a fool thinks otherwise.

    This ad in Tennessee should be a national issue against the entire Republican party!

    Your ad could be here.

    by TheC on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:23:38 PM PDT

  •  Not surprised.... (0+ / 0-)

    I worked in a hardware store near Nashville, and the racism was blatant and without shame.

    Two whites meet, and they talk about n***ers.

    It was in the 80s, but it's hard to believe things have changed that much.

  •  I'm from Middle TN and Iam surprised, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nutmeg, Dittoz, GoldnI

    because the area has become more progressive, is home to a thriving university community (MTSU in Murfreesboro), and in so many ways is a polite (at least on the surface) culture.  I was talking about the Ford campaign to my oldest friend, who as a white female will be voting for Ford, even though it is a stretch for her.  Give the 2/3 of Tennessee east of Memphis a chance.

    "Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" --Mary Oliver

    by gazingoffsouthward on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:29:42 PM PDT

  •  Obama/Ford ticket for 2008 - the only response/nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dittoz, GoldnI

    Power ought to serve as a check to power - Montesquieu, 1748

    by mimi on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:38:15 PM PDT

  •   A Knoville story (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auditor

    It's really unfortunate but racism is alive and well in Knoxville.  My coworker's wife came in to the office very upset.  On her way to the office a man in a truck tried to run her off of the road several times screaming n***** at her the whole time.  She had never seen this man before.  She did get his plate and called the police.  They said they had other complaints of the same man doing this to other AA women. Some of my husbands coworkers and customers feel free to say racist things in front of anyone who is white - although that happened to me in Maine quite often too.

    Off the subject - has anyone seen/heard the new ad that says "Harold Ford wants to give the abortion pill to school children"?

    "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

    by Phatty McButterpants on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 12:56:04 PM PDT

  •  The blowback from the move to the left.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psycho liberal

    ....I think that racism will be intensified because of the rightwing's losing position...and therefore increasing desperation.

    Heavens knows, we have enough poor and rich desperate people in this country these days.

  •  Ask Oprah to come to Tennessee for a workshop on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoldnI

    racism. Make it bipartisin. If she saw the white hooker ad she'd be angry. Maybe angry enough to do something. It hurts all black candidate, democratic and republican.

  •  The exclusion of blacks (0+ / 0-)
    has always been achieved by suppressing whites.  That's the really pernicious side of racism in that it generates a sense of resentment in the majority community for which the minority bears no responsibility and has no mechanism to address.

    When a white is penalized for consorting with blacks, then it seems logical to blame the blacks for one's mis-fortune.  Mainly because the in-group continues to get a pass.  THEY MUST HAVE A GOOD REASON FOR THEIR POSITION.

    http://carolforcongress.com/

    by hannah on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 01:16:23 PM PDT

  •  threats generated to create terror? (0+ / 0-)

    get the mini-recorder.
    take a picture.

    Send info to the local and federal prosecutors.
    Patriot Act is a bitch.

  •  Good Riddance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Graff4Dean, auditor

    The Nixon strategy to pull the old Dixiecrats into the Republican Party was the best thing to ever happen to the Democratic Party.  A great sink left the party when those racists left, and I for one, would just as soon they never come back.  We don't want Jesse Helm, Strom Thurmond, Trent Lott or any of their kind back.

    There are worse things than never having a Democrat win in the South.  Having these narrow-mined, ungodly Christians in a party that suppose to represent the disenfranchised and disadvantaged is one of them.

    The democrats will eventually have their day.  When all those rank and file workers who – thanks to the hard fought liberalized pay and working conditions in the previous century – felt they finally had something to lose and started acting like good republicans will finally realized they have join in a pack with their worse enemy.  

    When their pay, benefits, and retirement are eaten away by the old republican ruling class, they will realize there are worse things in this world than those tree hugging, bleeding heart liberals.  At least they have a heart that can bleed.  

    Blogs are the best thing to happen to journalism since the First Amendment.

    by scout29c on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 01:44:46 PM PDT

  •  RNC pulls controversial Corker ad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland, NDakotaDem

    http://www.knoxnews.com/...

    "The Republican National Committee has pulled from the airways a controversial ad demeaning Senate Democratic nominee Harold Ford Jr.

    The RNC apparently intends to replace the ad."

    I have no idea how to make a diary but my friend just sent me this.

  •  South Bashing (7+ / 0-)

    This thread started out being about racial bashing involving a supporter of a Democratic candidate but has had more posts bashing the people of the South than anything else. That is very revealing and is quite disturbing.

    Prejudice of any type is wrong. To generalize and write off entire regions and groups of people is no different at all from what the GOP is doing.

    •  Agree with you... (0+ / 0-)

      Some people just get carried away.  From the view up here in NJ, the South's changing, has been for some 20 years, with natural attrition among the older bigots I remember from Tennessee in my youth there.

    •  Yes Indeedy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fiddler crabby

      It seems to happen at least once every few weeks, and intensifies around election time. Every time I see the rampant South-bashing, my heart sinks just a little more, because with one sentence or one paragraph, the negative stereotypes (North and South) are furthered, and we can never make any progress.

      There are plenty of us down here who spend every day opposing the fundie agenda, trying to better people's lives. If anything, we dislike them even more because we have to live with them. But if the rest of the country hates us anyway, what's the point?

      I know it may sound kinda whiny (Southern paranoia), but the South-bashing has got to stop. It doesn't fix any of the problems down here. If anything it makes things worse. I think that's one of the big reasons some of our Dixie bretheren won't support us, because the national party and the coastal base are perceived (correctly?) as kneejerk haters, and that automatically stops any dialogue.

      I'm workin' on the pithy comment, all right?!

      by SouthernFried on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 04:16:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Face the facts... (0+ / 0-)

      When you see that big swath of red covering the southern United States year after year, it is hard to not "write off" the region.  When the majority of the people in each state south of the Mason-Dixon line votes against their own interests, against the interests of the nation, and against the interests of the world, it begins to rub on ones nerves.  The rest of the country has good reason to be angry about the situation.  When this region of the nation consistently makes extremely poor decisions it deserves some bashing.

  •  You have to love the good ol' south... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auditor
  •  Repubs had handed out vast amt of tax $ to shiftl (0+ / 0-)

    shiftless  republican congresspersons
    and their cronies in ahilburton et al.

  •  Ford needs to emerge as the unifier (0+ / 0-)

    he needs to break free and above the
    slime to unify tenneseans and bring
    them the prosperity of all other sections
    of the country

  •  They're Pulling the Ad--Tennessean Tomorrow (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    April Follies, greendem, auditor, GoldnI

    Wednesday, 10/25/06

    GOP pulls anti-Ford ad accused of racial overtones

    By BONNA DE LA CRUZ

    Staff Writer

    A controversial ad by the Republican National Committee - that some said was tinged with racist overtones - is no longer running, Ken Mehlman, RNC chairman told CNN today.

    The campaigns of U.S. Senate candidate Republican Bob Corker, which the commercial was seeking to help, and rival Democrat Harold Ford Jr. had both called for the ad to be pulled. Corker’s camp called it “tacky” and “over the top.”

    The commercial, which began airing last Friday, attacked Ford’s liberal votes and his attendance at a Playboy Super Bowl party last year. One character in the ad, a scantily clad blonde woman, tells viewers she partied with Harold and later coos, “Harold, call me.”

    That led some Republicans and Democrats to claim the ad played on the fears of white voters who oppose interracial relationships.

    Mehlman told CNN he did not believe the ad was racist, but added, “Good people on both sides believe otherwise.”

    For more on this story, pick up tomorrow's Tennessean.

  •  I tend to tan very dark in the summer. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auditor, GoldnI

    So when my brother-in-law and my sister-in-law drove us  Northerners out for a day at Lake Burton, about an hour north of Atlanta, we stopped at a flat-rate $4.00-a-plate all-yopu-can-eat roadside farmhouse-style restaurant. The five of us broke apart and walked down two separate aisles of narrow tables so we could sit opposite each other.  As the place was going to fill up, we sat down on the bench right next to the next person beside us.  The way it works is the food gets passed up the line from one end, hand-to-hand and you help yourself.  Bowls and bowls of greens, white and sweet potatoes, mashed, whole and fried, and beans and grains, huge heavy two-fisted pitchers of water, milk and iced tea, platters of beef and pork, fried chicken and gravy boats, corn bread, pone, hard rolls and butter, just kept flashing past so fast.  Then the empty bowls, plates and pitchers are retrieved at the other end.  So it was a while before I noticed that there wasn't a single Black person there.  But that's common in the South--the way they say it is that we "take care and keep company with our own."  It was a great deal of fun, a lot of 'excuse me's' and 'thank you's' and 'where from's' and 'praise be's' and we were done in 20  minutes, no waiting!  We went back to the car and it was 5:30, and my brother-in-law told me we should probably get going because I was a little dark skinned and the rule of thumb is that one should get out of town by sunset.  My sister-in-law, who is from there protested that wasn't true, but I got the point.  My brother-in-law caught hell for saying it.  I just didn't want to believe it, until I met my brother-in-laws father-in-law who is a very wealthy well-travelled man and an Atlanta native.   He didn't like that I was asking him about this stuff.  In fact, after he had his bourbon or two, he made it plain that outsiders like me and my wife should just be grateful that we were welcome there, and being Italian and Jewish, who were we to judge their customs and morals.  

    "In fact," he went on, "all that bullshit about the holocaust was just some plot to keep the gypsies safe in Italy, and you have to watch it when you go there still, since they come at you in gangs to rip you off .  They're just pickpockets and hooligans, all of 'em."  I excused myself, my wife and I left, and we never looked back.  

    We recently drove across North Carolina and into south central Virginia.  Beautiful country.  I'm older now and don't tan so darkly in the summer, but my girlfriend wouldn't get out of the car until we were in Baltimore.  

    Here in NY, on my last office job, I was told to lock everything up because 'the place is integrated you know.'  I don't get it -- I never did get it.  Most Black people are just healthy-looking White people to me. Is that rascist?

    When I was a kid in an all-White high school, the soccer coach told the team that we were going to play an all-Black team, and not to feel bad if we lost, because "they have an extra tendon in their legs, and you can see it right there if you look hard."  We beat them 4-3.  

    •  Wierd Thing About That.... (0+ / 0-)

      In my family, the grandparents--from Nebraska, now--are the prejudiced ones in the family. A Niece fell in love with a black guy--no problem to us--and everyone was so nervous about what the grandparents would say. Now, there's a little girl of mixed race, about 4 years old--beautiful and bright. She's loved by the grandparents--the same ones who were so prejudiced, they used the N-word. You see, it's just like people who are biased against Gay people. They HATE IT--until someone they love comes out as GAY. Then, they say, well, we LOVE Him or Her, so that's what counts.

      The racism that is prevalent in Tennessee won't go away unless people like Harold Ford, Jr. step up and fight to make it go away.

      People have to be led to enlightenment.

  •  Get This Story To... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, GoldnI

    The Nashville Tennessean, Memphis Commercial-Appeal, Knoxville News-Sentinel, and Chattanooga Times immediately please.

  •  When Do We Get To Call American Terrorists (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HarveyMilk, theran, GoldnI

    enemy combatants and shoot them on sight to send a signal that America doesn't negotiate with terrorists?

    Hey, the accuse us of not being tough enough on terror.

    Let's start with a few Klannies!

    •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

      I think that's legal now.

      But don't count on it being used against any KKKers. When having a middle eastern surname is enough to make one an "enemy combatant", anything is possible.

      A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. -Edward R. Murrow

      by nutmeg on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 03:58:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You know what I just noticed? (0+ / 0-)

    We're now into a 500+ comment TN-Sen diary, and not ONE hidden comment yet!  We finally scared the trolls off!  Woo-hoo!

    Really?  No one is coming out to say that "Ford is a DINO and we should all vote Green or just not vote?"  Wow, that has to be a new record!

    Granted, I wanted to TR some of those comments upthread that basically said all Southerners are bigoted ignorant hicks and that we should be marginalized in the future.  But those didn't quite warrant a TR, just my righteous Rebel anger.

    It's time for a New Generation of Leadership in Tennessee! Harold Ford Jr. for U.S. Senate 2006!

    by GoldnI on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 04:02:48 PM PDT

    •  Ford is a Conservative Democrat (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caldonia, GoldnI, psycho liberal

      But, he's no DINO. I'm a southerner, lived here all my life, and I can tell you that there are a whole hell of a lot of Democrats who are conservative, but they're Democrats. In my county, they still vote overwhelmingly DEMOCRAT. They're not "liberal," but they vote for the Democratic Party's values--taking care of the poor, the elderly and the disabled, and seeing to it that the country is protected first, before you go out and start wars, and family first, and love of country.

      Those are their values. Who are you to judge them? They're DEMOCRATS. They may not be "liberal," but they vote a straight Democrat ticket every election. Would you toss them out? Write them off? Deride and demean them?

      Go ahead. You'll wish you never had. The best way, as Mudcat Saunders has said, is to respect their values. They may not too conservative, too Nascar, too religious for your tastes, but they are DEMOCRATS and they deserve respect. They're no more religious than Black voters--who, in the South are quite conservative.

      •  SignalSuzie (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tabbycat in tenn

        You should know me better than that by now, but maybe I should make it clearer.  My comment above was pure snark.  On almost every TN-Sen diary, we have people who come out and whine about how "Ford is a DINO!" and "We shouldn't vote for him!"  

        I'm just saying, "It's been 500 comments and we haven't had that, thank God!"

        But I uprated your comment for putting what we've all been saying for the last few months so succinctly.

        It's time for a New Generation of Leadership in Tennessee! Harold Ford Jr. for U.S. Senate 2006!

        by GoldnI on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 04:28:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, Absolutely, GoldnI! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tabbycat in tenn, GoldnI, NDakotaDem

          Mea Culpa, didn't mean YOU personally, at all, so humble apologies if it seemed that way. I have had several conversations with Dem friends today alone which have annoyed me immensely, that's all. I was only venting in general. I'm frayed over this election; want Ford to prevail, and I know that despite his conservative leanings, he'll be a great Senator for Tennessee. Bob Corker will be a complete DISASTER for Tennessee.

          Sometimes you have to just let the idiots learn the lesson the hard way, I guess. But, Jesus, it's painful to watch.

          All the best,

          SignalSuzie

    •  When people (at least me) say they want to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theran, Winnie

      marginalize the South, they don't mean southern people. They mean, the bad southern politicians, both Republican and Democrat. I'm working hard up here in New York to elect blue state democrats in the hope that we can someday have a majority without the majority of southern Reps. There are some great ones. But many are terrible. And I want to blunt the impact they have on deciding policy in this country.

      •  This is a democracy though.... (0+ / 0-)

        No group or region should have the option to "blunt" the representation of those they do not like. Unless the South is reduced to U.S. Territory status we do still have a voice in this country.

        •  It's not undemocratic to try and elect (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theran

          Democrats in other states. Again, my hope is to have a majority absent hard conservatives in any area, not just the south. I don't care if they are from Alabama or New Hampshire or North Dakota. If they are voting for torture, backing bad judges or otherwise making horrible votes, I don't want them to be the swing voters. This party shouldn't have to beg Nelson or Ford or Cramer to consider doing the right thing.

    •  Jumping in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoldnI

      to mention that, to my shame as a New Yorker, there are obviously still bigoted ignorant Northerners, who probably don't have many friends in your part of the country, and don't want to recognize the different flavor of racism on their own doorstep.

      Here's how to talk to them, in terms they can understand: ask them if they've ever read "To Kill a Mockingbird", and when they say yes, remind them that Atticus Finch was a white Southerner.

      The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

      by sidnora on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 08:07:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  spot on (0+ / 0-)

    good diary.

    Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

    by hypersphere01 on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 04:14:17 PM PDT

  •  New SUSA poll: (7+ / 0-)

    Tied at 48 each

    This new poll is even more heavily weighted to Republican East TN and shows the race at 48% each with 5% undecided. That's a 2% jump for Ford from their last poll.

  •  Update this effing diary, Rook! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caldonia, tabbycat in tenn, GoldnI

    Hmmm...not as catchy that way...
    Anyway, the GOP has pulled this offensive ad...you know, the one they said they couldn't pull.
    Replaced, of course, by the one Hunter sez is worse.
    There's Progress for you- Rethug style.

    "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."- Emerson

    by Sidof79 on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 04:54:59 PM PDT

  •  F#ck Tennessee (1+ / 3-)
    Recommended by:
    Levity
    Hidden by:
    Rob, nutmeg, GoldnI

    Last time I was in that terrorism supporting state, I got my house shot up and a cross burnt on my lawn.  Until I hear of 10's of thousands of KKK members being brought to justice, the state can just rot.  As for Harold Ford, I hope he does not get elected... for his sake.  I would be willing to bet that if he does get win, he will be shot within the month.  There are far to many terrorist bigots in that state.  F#ck Tennessee.

    (full disclosure: 1. I got the cross burnt on my lawn 25 years ago when I was eight.  A pretty traumatic experience.  2. I am probably stereotyping several million people unjustly.  3. I now live in NC... not exactly a model state for race relations.  4. I have not stepped a foot in the state in 25 years... so, my assessment of the state may be a bit off.  5. Even accounting for all this, the state can still rot.  Consider this: If you found a live roach in your soup at a restaurant, would you ever go back??  Well, my experience in TN was much much worse...)

    •  Yeah, pretty pathetic.... (0+ / 0-)

      No, I mean you.

      •  It's OK to be defensive and ashamed of your state (0+ / 0-)

        It's obvious from R O O K's diary and many other comments here that TN still has a serious problem with racism, bigotry, and terrorist intimidation tactics.  Ford may get elected and that will probably be a good thing for the state and the nation.  But the sad fact is that there will always be places in his home state that he will never be able to visit... such as Morgan County that is "all-white."  People of color don't even drive through that county as they will be shot.
         
        Try not to feel rage and anger about it... pretend it does not exist... troll-rate my comment off the site so that you don't have to acknowledge it.

  •  nobody's questioning this story? (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme
    Hidden by:
    GoldnI

    First on the recco list, almost 600 comments, and no one is questioning the veracity of this?

    Oh well.

    •  You must be joking (0+ / 0-)

      R o o k is one of the most respected posters on this site, and definitely the most well known of those of us who post about TN.  If you check his diaries, you'll see he ran stories days before the MSM did, and all of them have been correct.  He would not lie about something like this, and for you to call his honesty into question is absolutely disgusting.

      It's time for a New Generation of Leadership in Tennessee! Harold Ford Jr. for U.S. Senate 2006!

      by GoldnI on Thu Oct 26, 2006 at 05:58:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  'Do not let GOP racism go unchallenged! ' (0+ / 0-)

    R o o k, what is the appropriate way to challenge this ad in TN?

    I would know how to challenge this in NY because I know the NY-brand of prejudice and the self-satisfaction NYers have of being fair and open to differences. In NY, you can counteract an ad that "blows dog whistles" to NYers' prejudices by putting an affluent white man or affluent white couple (the social realm that other NYers aspire to) in an ad talking about how they know _____ and respect his/her integrity and accomplishments, and then have them reiterate the fundamental Democratic local bread-and-butter issues that _____ is a proponent of.

    Brainstorm ... what ad would counteract the "dog whistle" that the Corker ad put out?

    "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

    by Glinda on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 06:46:38 PM PDT

  •  Jiu-jitsu for Ford (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sidnora

    It would need to be translated into Southern for subtlety's sake, but perhaps something like this:

    "My opponent, just like the Washington elitists running his campaign, thinks that if you're white and from the South, you're a racist.  My opponent and the Yankee money-boys feeding him cash think you're a bunch of mouth-breathing white-trash racists.  I know you're not, or I wouldn't have tried running for Senate.

    "So vote your conscience on November 7.  Vote for <insert nice thing Ford supports>.  Vote Ford."

  •  The ad is still running as of tonight (0+ / 0-)

    I just saw it run about an hour ago on our ABC affliate here in East TN. What can we do????????? I'm like signalsusi...this crap is making me ill. I was up until 4am this morning trying to come up with ways to GOTV when Im not phone banking. My mind is so tired.I'm ready to take it to the streets. I hate what this election has become.

    Give me John Edwards or Russ Feingold or both. Together they could make a difference!

    by ladylib on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 07:17:36 PM PDT

  •  We still avoid acknowleding racism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MacheteJames

    even when it's right in front of us.  It's at the root of the right's Iraq, immigration, tax, minimum wage, social security, detention, and other policies - screw those people, they're colored anyway.  But Dems are so paralyzed with fear of the race card, they wind up silent about the truth and becoming accessories.  Even Harold Ford doesn't dare make the connection to all the other right wing policies.

    But now that they're all oozing so dramatically out of the kkkloset, from "Macaca" to "my Guatemalan gardener", to "call me", it's fair game - nay, essential that we do the obvious and earnestly out the Republicans as today's White Power party - and ask dare to ask Americans (even Southerners) if that's really what they want.

    Apparently some Democrats are terrified that in some states, the young bigot in your story represents the majority.  But (as is so often the case), they're the minority and the only thing missing is Democratic leaders forthrightly opposing the bigot party.  Do Republicans actually have to burn crosses and lynch people before Democrats will stand up against this?  It would anger bigots like the one in your story, but really it would be a winning issue even in the south.  I here there are even a couple of Christians there.

    Great discussion to initiate.
    Thanks for this diary.

  •  heartbreaking indeed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoldnI

    I love my home state. I hate what the GOP is doing to it.

    YearlyKos mmmmhmmm.

    by gina on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:11:45 PM PDT

  •  New Diary With Memphis Mayor's Comments (0+ / 0-)

    I just posted a diary with the comments of the Mayor of Mempis (who is African American) who talks of his respect for Bob Corker and his disdain for the Ford family. It is an interesting read.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  My Mom has 2 Ford stickers on her car in Mid TN (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dietznbach, Caldonia, GoldnI

    and today an old lady asked where she could get two, one for her and one for a friend.  Luckily we have a couple extra and my mom personally delivered them to her house.  ALL IS NOT LOST.

  •  Ford Sits in Lincoln's Seat in Ford's Theatre (0+ / 0-)

    The man from the Middle South sits in his chair, watching a play. A Southern bigot blows his brains out. It's 141-yrs. later and the assassin now holds a camera. The "bullet" is now a TV ad. The bigotry is the same. The goal is the same. How will it end this time? Will Tennesians pull the trigger? Would Christ?

  •  These people have crossed the Rubicon this time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stacystace

    I said after the 2004 election that the current version of the Republican Party won a battle but lost the war for America for generations.  this is not the Republican Party of Lincoln.  It's not the Republican Party of Goldwater.  Hell, this is not even the Republican Party of Reagan for Chissakes!!!  This is a Republican Party that is controlled by a Fascistic element that will stop at nothing, I mean absolutely nothing to gain power.  And make no bones about it folks, this is a political party that absolutely lusts for absolute power.  A dictatorial regime able to enforce it's vision of culture and society is what this bunch of Fascist bastards are ultimately after.  

    But they have crossed a line.  They have crossed a line that a lot of decent, hard working, Americans who consider themselves Republicans will not follow them across.  This nation was and is based on the doctrine of equality of opportunity.  If you are capable, if you are successful, if you abide by the laws of the land, you are judged to be a good, decent American.  We do not lay judgment based on other criteria.  It is the basis of our most fundamental beliefs.  Regardless of your race, color, creed, or beliefs, if you are capable, if you work hard and are successful on the merits of your efforts, then you are an AMERICAN.  That is what the Republican Party USED to be about.  That is what made me a supporter of Reagan.  It is the principle that allowed me to support Barry Goldwater.  And it is the tenet that has led me to abandon this bunch of fundamentalist Fascists.  This ad attacking Harold Ford jr., certainly no bleeding heart liberal, on the basis of his race has sounded the death knell for the contemporary Republican Party.  IT IS OVER.  PERIOD.  I and many of my white, middle class friends will vote Democrat on Nov. 7.  

    And I tell you this folks; it is going to a long, long time before I ever support a Republican candidate again.  The party needs a serious reformation, and that coward John McCain is not the man to undertake the task.  Any Republican with a bit of backbone or integrity would publicly decry this foulness that is spewing from the RNC.  Barry Goldwater carried the dagger that slew the pig Nixon right to the Oval Office.  Not one, NOT ONE current leader of the Republican Party has stepped forward to denounce this filth.  And that will cost the lot of them dearly.  So be it!!!  

    •  BTW (0+ / 0-)

      May i add that this is my first comment posted on this website.  I'll be quite frank with you, I would likely disagree with many of you on a lot of issues, but this is no time for petty political quarrels.  All good Americans must step up this time to clear the sludge out of our legislative bodies in Washington.  Perhaps in 2 years we can revisit some of our differences and debate them then.  But I pledge you this Kossacks, when a reformed Republican Party steps forward to debate the differences between us freedom loving Americans, rest assured the arguments will be based on the merits of the issues, NOT on the people carrying forward the arguments.  That must come to an end in the new era of American politics.  Thanks for listening.

    •  I don't get it, Reagan was the guy (0+ / 0-)

      who started his Presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi.  Reagan sought to tap the overt racism that lies at the core of the Republican Party ever since LBJ pushed through the Civil Rights agenda in the 60's.  Reagan pandered to that racist element and will eventually be viewed as being on the wrong side of history.  The Republican Party itself has been on the wrong side of history since it engaged in the the fight against FDR's New Deal in the 30's and their unenthusastic reaction to FDR's efforts to assist Great Britain's survival against the Nazi onslaught prior to the US entry into WW II.  Now we have Christy Whitman and Danforth complaining that their party has been taken over by radical religious types, but I would argue that the Republicans have been on downward spiral since the days the the Radical Republican Reconstructionists at the end of the Civil War and are now on the verge of supporting a Christian fascist takeover of the levers of American government.  

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Thu Oct 26, 2006 at 06:15:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Racism in Tennessee/Louisianna (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SignalSuzie
    One of my old friends from Boston, 1/2 Irish and 1/2 Italian (Or as we call them in Boston, a McWopper) was in Memphis with his girlfreind on vacation. He got lost driving around and ended up in a black neighborhood. He got out to ask for directions, and one of the black guys heard the accent and warned him about racial tensions. This guy got in the car with him to keep him safe, and took him to the line (where ever that is) and walked home. Three days later, the same friend was in New Orleans and the exact same thing happend. Black people, even in the worst race-hating areas still show class. I doubt any whites from the area would have done the same thing to a black guy from out of state.

    Just when they think they know the answer, I change the question. -Roddy Piper

    by McGirk on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 11:35:05 PM PDT

  •  This race is running neck and red-neck (0+ / 0-)

    Ha! Just saying...

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