Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Business (and politics) as usual...

I'm going to let this next story from the news and opinion site "Politics Daily" speak for itself...then I'll try to insert some simple common sense into the mix with some questions to show how damned STUPID all of this is. LEGAL BULLSHIT DISCLAIMER: I don't work for, and I'm not doing this to promote them or steal from them. This is just my passing along information, all right? The story comes from Mary C. Curtis, and I won't take credit for it. I'm not profiting from this either, that's for certain.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney Apologizes Over N-word Slip
by Mary C. Curtis

It's a simple rule for politicians: Never start your campaign with an apology. And another good one: Refrain from using racial epithets, even when you're quoting someone else. It's never going to come out quite the way you intended.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York, is apologizing for using the n-word while retelling a story intended to damage her opponent. All she's managed to do is damage her own chances.

"I apologize for having repeated a word I find disgusting," Maloney said in a statement. "It's no excuse, but I was so caught up in relaying the story exactly as it was told to me that, in doing so, I repeated a word that should never be repeated."

Maloney's aides say she will proceed with plans to formally announce her candidacy next week for the U.S. Senate seat held by (fellow Democrat) Kirsten Gillibrand. City Hall, a biweekly publication and political Web site, quoted Maloney criticizing Gillibrand in a story dated July 17:

"I got a call from someone from Puerto Rico, said [Gillibrand] went to Puerto Rico and came out for English-only [education]. And he said, 'It was like saying n-r to a Puerto Rican,' " she said, using the full racial slur. "I don't know -- I don't know if that's true or not. I just called. I'm just throwing that out. All of her -- well, what does she stand for?"

Gillibrand's aides say she opposes English-only education, a controversial issue, particularly among Hispanics.

Though there is no good time for this sort of gaffe, Maloney's came not long before her Monday night New York fundraiser, attended by former President Bill Clinton. At that event, when asked about the incident, Maloney told the New York Daily News, "I issued a statement and the statement speaks for itself."

She also noted, "We are a multi-racial country and we are all working together, moving forward."

No one is accusing Maloney of being a racist, not even the Rev. Al Sharpton, who nevertheless said in a release: "No public official, even in quoting someone else, should loosely use such an offensive term and should certainly challenge someone using the term to him or her." Then again, Sharpton has formally endorsed Gillibrand's Senate bid.

It is fair to question Maloney's judgment, especially since she said in the interview that she didn't know if the story told to her was true or not. And the Senate race hasn't really started yet.


First off, that's a word I'll never use...whether when talking to people, or writing stories.

But this situation makes me ask some measured, thoughtful questions about the state of politics today. Keep in mind that I hate politics. The questions are as follows...

1) Why is wanting English-centered education racist when we're talking about those from Puerto Rico? Or any non-white ethnicity, for that matter?

2) Something Miss Curtis didn't focus on, but should have, was Maloney's statement -- which in her words speaks for itself -- and Maloney also saying that SHE DIDN'T KNOW IF IT WAS TRUE! So not only was Maloney saying something deliberately inflammatory, the odds are good she was wrong, or worse lying?

3) If Maloney is part of the supposedly progressive, liberal Democrats, why not open a straight, thoughtful debate with fellow Democrat Gillibrand? I guess because Gillibrand has some conservative, supposedly intolerant views, Maloney thought she had an opening?

4) Why do people supposedly progressive and liberal insist on saying we're a 'multi-racial' country? We're a multi-ETHNIC country...there is no such thing as racial dividing lines in a single human race. If liberals insist otherwise, why the hell are they still considered progressive?

5) If Maloney says we're all working together -- or should be -- why did she do exactly the opposite with as much class as a rabid pit bull?

And last but not least:

6) Why aren't we seeing as much of an uproar from the media about a Democrat saying that word as we would if a supposedly less enlightened, conservative Republican had said it, even as a quote? You don't think it has to do with the fact that those in the news media, most of them 'progressive' Democrats, would only focus on the kind of news that would make Republicans look bad? Again?

I already know the answers to those questions, of course. I'm posing them here for anyone who'd care to read them, and hopefully have the common sense to know the answers like I do. Then you can figure out once and for all why I hate politics.

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