Tropes vs. Women: #6 The Straw Feminist

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The Help: “You’ve Come a Long Way Baby” Or How a Slightly Liberal White Woman Discovers the Noblity of Black Maids.

I haven’t seen the movie.  I really don’t want to see the movie.

I have read about the movie.

Don’t get me wrong.  It was terrific to see Octavia Spencer take home an Oscar last night.  How can you not think that is a good thing?

Do you know who the first African American person male or female to get an Academy Award as star or supporting star was?

It was Hattie McDaniel and the movie was  that total white wash of the Civil War, “Gone With the Wind”.

The year was 1940 and Hattie McDaniel got that award for playing “Mammy”, a maid.

Seventy-two years.

Seventy-two years.  As a child I grew up with a combination of images of Black people that I saw in the movies.  The horribly racist images from Tarzan movies and the nobility of actors like Sidney Poitier and the beautiful Dorothy Dandridge.

Mostly though Black people in films were in the back ground.  Musicians playing in Jazz bands or the help.

I grew up during the Civil Rights Era.  I remember the images I saw on television and in the magazines like “Life” and “Look”.  I remember the Movement, hell the Civil Rights Movement was part of the reason I became a left wing activist.

The reason I am left wing is because the white supporters of the Civil Rights movement were left wing, hell in the period between the 1930s and 1960 many were full fledged Communist Party members, something that has been whitewashed out of history.

Indeed “Nigger-Loving Commie” was a standard slur thrown at the white people who actually put their bodies on the line and marched with African American people during that turbulent era.

But showing the level of hatred and bigotry, the terrorist campaigns waged by the same sort of right wing assholes who make racist slurs about President Obama, his beautiful wife Michelle and his lovely children  gets erased from history.

Along with the bigotry that gave us Jim Crow Laws.  The same bigotry that is behind the war the conservatives are presently waging against public education.

Seventy-two years between Hattie McDaniel getting an Oscar for playing the wise Black maid and Octavia Spencer getting an Oscar for playing a wise Black maid.

Come on people…  We can do better than this, but first we have to be honest about racism just like we have to be honest about how misogyny handicaps women and how the Class War the rich have been waging on working people and the poor has destroyed our hopes for a just society with equality and dignity for all.

Peace Love and Understanding

Philadelphia: Court filing: Cardinal Bevilacqua ordered shredding of memo identifying suspected abusers


By John P. Martin
Inquirer Staff Writer
Sat, Feb. 25, 2012

Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered aides to shred a 1994 memo that identified 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing.

The order, outlined in a handwritten note locked away for years at the archdiocese’s Center City offices, was disclosed Friday by lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former church administrator facing trial next month.

They say the shredding directive proves what Lynn has long claimed: that a church conspiracy to conceal clergy sex abuse was orchestrated at levels far above him.

“It is beyond doubt that Msgr. Lynn was completely unaware of this act of obstruction,” attorneys Jeffrey Lindy and Thomas Bergstrom wrote.

Their motion asks Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina to dismiss the conspiracy and endangerment charges against Lynn, or to bar prosecutors from introducing Bevilacqua’s videotaped testimony at trial.

The cardinal died Jan. 31.

The revelation is likely to further cloud Bevilacqua’s complicated legacy in the handling of clergy sex abuse and could shape what happens at the historic trial, the first for a cleric accused of covering up sex abuse. Jury selection began this week. Opening statements are March 26.

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Santorum: Separation Of Church And State ‘Makes Me Want To Throw Up’

From Huffington Post:


Rick Santorum on Sunday took on of separation of church and state.

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state are absolute,” he told ‘This Week’ host George Stephanopoulos. “The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country…to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up.”

The GOP candidate was responding to comments he made last October. He had said that he “almost threw up” after reading JFK’s 1960 speech in which he declared his commitment to the separation of church and state.

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Go sign the petition Below

500,000 Strong Against the Republican War on Women

House Republicans have launched an all-out war on women since taking the Speaker’s gavel. In just the last year, Republicans have:

  • Proposed redefining rape to limit women’s access to health care
  • Voted to defund Planned Parenthood
  • Repeatedly tried to restrict women’s health care choices

Now, Republicans are trying to silence women who stand against their radical agenda. House Republicans even held a panel on women’s access to birth control coverage with five men and NO WOMEN.

Sign our petition today telling Republicans to end their War on Women and ensure women’s voices are heard in discussions about women’s health care.

UPDATE: Less than 55,000 signatures to go until we hit 500,000!

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Ghastly Outdated Party

From The New York Times:

Published: February 25, 2012


IT’S finally sinking in.

Republicans are getting queasy at the gruesome sight of their party eating itself alive, savaging the brand in ways that will long resonate.

“Republicans being against sex is not good,” the G.O.P. strategist Alex Castellanos told me mournfully. “Sex is popular.”

He said his party is “coming to grips with a weaker field than we’d all want” and going through the five stages of grief. “We’re at No. 4,” he said. (Depression.) “We’ve still got one to go.” (Acceptance.)

The contenders in the Hester Prynne primaries are tripping over one another trying to be the most radical, unreasonable and insane candidate they can be. They pounce on any traces of sanity in the other candidates — be it humanity toward women, compassion toward immigrants or the willingness to make the rich pay a nickel more in taxes — and try to destroy them with it.

President Obama has deranged conservatives just as W. deranged liberals. The right’s image of Obama, though, is more a figment of its imagination than the left’s image of W. was.

Newt Gingrich, a war wimp in Vietnam who supported W.’s trumped-up invasion of Iraq, had the gall to tell a crowd at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., that defeating Obama — “the most dangerous president in modern American history” — was “a duty of national security” because “he is incapable of defending the United States” and because he “wants to unilaterally weaken the United States.” Who killed Osama again?

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Infiltration to Disrupt, Divide and Misdirect Is Widespread in Occupy

From Truth Dig:

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Posted on Feb 24, 2012

In the first five months, the Occupy movement has had major victories and has altered the debate about the economy. People in the power structure and who hold different political views are pushing back with a traditional tool—infiltration. Across the country, Occupies are struggling with disruption and division, attacks on key people, escalation of tactics to include property damage and police conflict as well as misuse of websites and social media.

As Part II of this discussion will show, infiltration is the norm in political movements in the United States. Occupy has many opponents likely to infiltrate to divide and destroy it beyond the usual law enforcement apparatus. Other detractors include the corporations whose rule Occupy seeks to end; conservative right wing groups allied with corporate interests; and members of the power structure including nonprofit organizations linked with corporate-funded political parties, especially the Democratic Party, which would like Occupy to be its tea party rather than an independent movement critical of both parties.

On the very first day of the Occupation of Wall Street, we saw infiltration by the police. We were leaving Zuccotti Park and were stopped in traffic. We saw the doors of an unmarked van open and in the front seat were two uniformed police. Out of the back came two men dressed as Occupiers wearing backpacks, sweatshirts and jeans. They walked into Zuccotti Park and became part of the crowd.

In the first week of the Occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., we saw the impact of two right wing infiltrators. A peaceful protest was planned at the drone exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution. The plan was for a banner drop and a die-in under the drones. But as protesters arrived at the museum, two people ran out in front, threatening the security guards and causing them to pepper spray protesters and tourists. Patrick Howley, an assistant editor at the American Spectator, wrote a columnbragging about his role as an agent provocateur. A few days later we uncovered the second infiltrator, Michael Stack, when he was urging people on Freedom Plaza to resist police with force. We later learned he was from the Leadership Institute, which trains youth in right wing ideology and tactics. We were told he had also been at Occupy Wall Street provoking violence.

There have been a handful of other reports around the country of infiltration. In Oakland, CopWatch filmed an Oakland police officer infiltrating.

In another video, CopWatch includes audiotape of an Oakland police chief, Howard Jordan, talking about how police departments all over the country infiltrate, not just to monitor protesters but to manipulate and direct them.

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