Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Dead Racist Blogging: Comics Edition

Apparently in the early '60s, George Wallace had a mini comic printed during his campaign for governor of Alabama. Mostly it's about how he's such a swell guy, his background, and how he'll fight for the people of Alabama against that horrible federal government who wants to meddle in their affairs.

It kinda glosses over all the black people of Alabama that he would not be fighting for, of course.

You can read it here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We've got science on our side; we win

A new study continues to tell us that the brains of gay people are different from those of straight people. In fact, the brains of gay people are more similar to those of straight people of the opposite sex than to straight people of the same sex.
Some scientists say the new findings are part of an increasingly convincing body of evidence that suggests sexual orientation results from fundamental developmental differences that are probably caused by hormonal exposures in the womb.

"This research is pointing to basic differences in the brain between homosexual and heterosexual people that are likely there right from the beginning," said Sandra F. Witelson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at McMaster University in Ontario. "These could be reflecting some genetic or hormonal factors that predetermine your sexual orientation."


Several earlier studies have found what appear to be differences between the brains of gay and straight people. In 1991, brain scientist Simon LeVay reported that the hypothalamus, which is involved in sexual behavior, tended to be smaller in gay men. Other researchers subsequently showed that the brains of gay and straight people appeared likely to respond differently to sexual images. The researchers who conducted the new study previously reported that the brains of gay and straight men seemed to react differently to suspected pheromones -- odors thought to be involved in sexual arousal.


"The next question was 'If there is a difference, could there be differences in parts of the brain that have nothing to do with sexual behaviors?' " said Ivanka Savic of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, who led the new research published online last week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

So Savic and her colleague Per Lindstrom first used magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to compare the symmetry of the brains of 25 straight men and 25 straight women with those of 20 gay men and 20 gay women.

Gay men tended to have brains that were more like those of straight women than of straight men -- the right and left sides were about the same size, the researchers found. Gay women's brains tended to be more like those of straight men than of straight women -- the right side tended to be slightly larger than the left.

Next, the researchers used positron emission tomography (PET) scans to examine how a part of the brain involved in processing emotions -- the amygdala -- was connected to other brain regions. Again they found that gay men tended to be more like straight women, with a stronger link between the amygdala and regions involved in emotions. Gay women tended to be more like straight men, with stronger connections to motor functions.


LeVay and other researchers said the findings fit with studies that found gay people tended to have different ratios in the lengths of their fingers and in the frequency of imperceptible clicking sounds in the ear.

"There's this cluster of interrelated findings," said Richard A. Lippa, a professor of psychology at California State University at Fullerton, who has found evidence that in gay men, the hair on the back of the head is more likely to curl counterclockwise than in straight men. "These are all biological markers that something must have gone on early in development."

These findings also fit with studies showing gay men tend to choose professions that typically attract women, such as teaching and social work, and have verbal and other cognitive skills that tend to be more like women's, he said.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Secret Negro Presidents Edition

With Obama as the presumptive Democratic candidate for president, this November could bring about the election of the first African American president in history.

Unless you're of the opinion of John McLaughlin.

You make it sound as though this was the first time we've had a black president. ... Warren G. Harding was a negro!

McLaughlin is hardly alone in believing that Warren "Awesome Middle Name" Harding was black (or rather, that his great-great-grandfather was). This rumor surrounded Harding and his siblings throughout his life, and was published in newspapers nationwide just a few days before the 1920 presidential election. Douglas Daniel wrote in his essay "Ohio Newspapers and the 'Whispering Campaign' of the 1920 Presidential Election" (citations omitted):
Francis Russell reported in his Harding biography that a spiteful neighbor began the rumor after Harding's great-great-grandfather caught him stealing from his corn crib. Historian Robert K. Murray noted Hardings' ancestors lived near blacks after migrating in 1826 to central Ohio from Pennsylvania, which might have generated stories of intermarriage. Regardless of its validity, the rumor followed Harding throughout his life. As children growing up in the Ohio hamlet of Blooming Grove a few years after the Civil War, Harding and his brothers and sisters were taunted at times about being black.

The racist jeers continued even after he reached adulthood and began publishing the Marion Daily Star. A rival editor blasted Harding in print in May 1887: "We have no desire to draw the color line on the kink-haired youth that sees fit to use his smut machine only as a receptacle for a low order of adjectives--as nature did it for him." An editor at another Marion newspaper reportedly published the allegation of mixed blood while Harding was courting Florence De Wolfe, the daughter of a prominent Marion businessman. Nonetheless, they were married in 1891.

Harding's political career began in 1898 when he was elected to the first of two terms in the Ohio Senate. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1902 and later defeated for governor in 1910. He was concluding his first term in the United States Senate when he won the presidential nomination on the tenth ballot. The allegation that the Harding family was part black had surfaced in every Harding campaign for public office. However, Daugherty, his political ally, contended it had no impact, with the possible exception of the gubernatorial race that he lost in 1910, because voters considered it a lie. Harding rarely talked about the rumor, once telling a friend: "How do I know, Jim? One of my ancestors might have jumped the fence."

Several of the circulars that appeared during the 1920 campaign were linked to William Estabrook Chancellor. Once a superintendent of schools in Washington, D.C., he taught economics, politics, and social science at the College of Wooster, which is located about fifty miles south of Cleveland. In favor of Wilson and the League of Nations and against blacks and Jews, Chancellor wrote and distributed circulars and posters about Harding's genealogy. One circular stated that Harding's father was a mulatto and his grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-grandmother were black. Harding biographer Samuel Hopkins Adams contended Chancellor printed the circulars because he "had an obsession on the Negro question."

So there you have it. If you're a senile old loon like McLaughlin, you may believe that Obama will be our second black president, not our first.

Of course, if you're like J.A. Rogers or Auset Bakhufu, you might even believe that Obama'd be our sixth or seventh black president. And that's not even bringing Clinton into it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I can't wait to tell all my Chinese friends that they're black.

In South Africa, at least.
A high court in South Africa ruled on Wednesday that Chinese-South Africans will be reclassified as "black," a term that includes black Africans, Indians and others who were subject to discrimination under apartheid. As a result of this ruling, ethnically Chinese citizens will be able to benefit from government affirmative action policies aimed at undoing the effects of apartheid.

In 2006, the Chinese Association of South Africa sued the government, claiming that its members were being discriminated against because they were being treated as whites and thus failed to qualify for business contracts and job promotions reserved for victims of apartheid. The association successfully argued that, since Chinese-South Africans had been treated unequally under apartheid, they should be reclassified in order to redress wrongs of the past.

I heard about this and had to Google it to find the article. Which was disturbing, because American Renaissance and Color of Crime are some of the top results. The latter takes this occurrence as proof that whites are being discriminated against. But of course, he also thinks that inserting extra letters into "racist" will fool everyone.

The article also mentions that this isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened in South Africa--which the long-time reader of this blog would already know, eh?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Guilty Until Proven... Well Actually, Just Guilty Edition

This week's DRB is actually not worthy of mentioning so much because of the racism but because of another aspect of the man's thought. Thomas Nelson Page, in The Negro: The Southerner's Problem (1904), as part of his discussion of the problem of lynchings, wrote:
The charge that is often made, that the innocent are sometimes lynched, has little foundation. The rage of a mob is not directed against the innocent, but against the guilty; and its fury would not be satisfied with any other sacrifice than the death of the real criminal. Nor does the criminal merit any consideration, however terrible the punishment. The real injury is to the perpetrators of the crime of destroying the law, and to the community in which the law is slain.

Of course! Only guilty people are lynched, because being lynched is a sure evidence of guilt. Hence, all blacks who were lynched were guilty of raping white women, or some other atrocity, merely by virtue of the fact that they were lynched.

The parallels between this and the modern belief that anyone accused of a crime is guilty (a la Edwin Meese) or that anyone in Guantanamo must be an American-hating terrorist are disturbing.


By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that denying Guantanamo inmates the right of habeas corpus is unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected for the third time President Bush's policy of holding foreign prisoners under exclusive control of the military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ruling that the men have a right to seek their freedom before a federal judge.

The justices, in a 5-4 vote, said the U.S. Constitution enshrined the "privilege of habeas corpus" — or the right to go before a judge — as a safeguard of liberty. And that right extends even to foreigners who are captured in the war on terrorism, the court said, particularly when they have been held up to six years without charges.

"Within the Constitution's separation of powers structures, few exercises of judicial power are as legitimate or as necessary as the responsibility to hear challenges to the authority of the Executive to imprison a person," Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said for the court. "The detainees in these cases are entitled to a prompt habeas corpus hearing."

You'd think that habeas corpus wouldn't be a "just by one" vote, but apparently Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas think that habeas corpus isn't all that important. Scalia even thinks that it'll kill people: "It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed," he said. How fair trials and due process will kill Americans is anyone's guess.
Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic candidate for president, praised the ruling. "This is an important step toward re-establishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law and rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus." He said the court had rejected Bush's "attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo."

Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican candidate, said he had not had a chance to read the opinion but questioned its reasoning. "These are unlawful combatants. They are not American citizens," he said. He added, however, that he favored closing the prison at Guantanamo.

The justices said the detainees are entitled to a lawyer to represent them, and they will get a chance to rebut the evidence against them. But the court stopped short of deciding the law on whether militants can be held for as long as the government believes is necessary.

"It bears repeating that our opinion does not address the content of the law that governs (their) detention," Kennedy said of the prisoners. "That is a matter yet to be determined."


Thursday, June 12, 2008

To celebrate, go and get interracially married

Happy Loving Day, everybody!

Yet more evidence that the Bible was written solely by old men

Why else would there be a story whose moral is, "If you make fun of bald men, you will be mauled to death by bears"?

It's true!

They even have woodcuts of it, although those have to be the most poorly-drawn bears I've ever seen outside of an elementary school.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kucinich to Congress: Impeach Bush!

About damn time.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush on Monday night, reading the resolution into the Congressional Record.


Kucinich and other liberal Democrats, including Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), have sought the removal of the current administration, arguing that Bush and Cheney have lied to Congress and the American public about the reasons for invading Iraq in 2003 and abused their offices in order to conduct the "War on Terror" following the 9/11 attacks.

Well, it's an acknowledged fact--or at least, it ought to be acknowledged, but tragically isn't by most of our media--that the Bush administration lied everyone into an unnecessary war. But the charges don't stop there!
Interestingly, those articles (63-page PDF via Coral CDN) include not just complaints about signing statements and the war in Iraq, but also charges that the President "Sp[ied] on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment,' 'Direct[ed] Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens,' and 'Tamper[ed] with Free and Fair Elections.'

You can see the full list on Kucinich's website, here (not in PDF format!). Some other articles of impeachment include "Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives", "Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy", and "Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to 'Black Sites' Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture."

Of course, this will go nowhere, since the rest of Congress--including the Democratic leadership--have no interest in holding the Bush administration accountable for its actions and lawlessness. Harrumph.

Just when you thought it was safe to ignore this blog... I post!

Christmas is the one time of year when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ.

--Bart Simpson, and possibly George W. Bush, too

Today is Jesus Day! So happy Jesus Day, everybody!

What, don't believe me? See for yourself:
Four months ago in Texas, Gov. George W. Bush signed a proclamation declaring June 10 to be Jesus Day, and urging all Texans to "follow Christ's example by performing good works in their communities and neighborhoods."

Yeah, that article is back from 2000, so it's not exactly recent. But we shouldn't forget about it. And it really should have given people an idea of what a Bush administration's feelings towards separation of church and state would be.
The proclamation, which Ms. Edwards said was written by the governor's staff, begins: "Throughout the world, people of all religions recognize Jesus Christ as an example of love, compassion, sacrifice and service. Reaching out to the poor, the suffering and the marginalized, he provided moral leadership that continues to inspire countless men, women and children today.

"To honor his life and teachings, Christians of all races and denominations have joined together to designate June 10 as Jesus Day," it reads. "Jesus Day challenges people to follow Christ's example by performing good works in their communities and neighborhoods."

Yes, people of all religions love Jesus. Like the Jews, who killed him--I mean, you always hurt the ones you love, right?
The phrase in the proclamation signed by Governor Bush that "people of all religions recognize Jesus" was proposed by the March for Jesus, said Mr. Pelton, particularly to avoid offense. But it is this assertion that seemed to most outrage observers.

"With the exception of Islam," said Bruce Lincoln, the Caroline E. Haskell Professor of History of Religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School, "all the major religions emerged before Christianity, so there is no place for Jesus in their original foundations and scriptures.

"They carefully worded this thing to make it look like they've just got a good guy here, and so the state of Texas can have a party for him without running into church-state problems," Mr. Lincoln said. "It's patently fraudulent."


Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: You Won't Find That in the Declaration of Independence Edition

Thomas Jefferson... didn't have that high an opinion of black people. But it could've been worse! Imagine if the Declaration of Independence went something like this:
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to abolish the Negro race, proper methods should be used. Among these are guns, bows and arrows, sling shots and knives.

We hold these truths to be self evident that all whites are created equal with certain human rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of dead niggers.

In every stage of the bus boycott we have been oppressed and degraded because of black, slimy, juicy, unbearably stinking niggers. The conduct should not be dwelt upon because of dead niggers. The conduct should not be dwelt upon because behind them they have an ancestral background of Pigmies, head hunters and snot snot suckers.

My friends it is time we wised up to these black devils. I tell you they are a group of two legged agitators who persist in walking up and down our streets protruding their black lips. If we don't stop helping these African flesh eaters, we will soon wake up and find Rev. King in the White House. LET'S GET ON THE BALL WHITE CITIZENS

This text was found in the Montgomery Advertiser, as well as on leaflets distributed around the State Coliseum on February 10, 1956. That's when James Eastland gave a speech for the White Citizens Council before 12,000 people; those words were also part of his speech, although the order was apparently switched around.