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Out of Oklahoma fraternity, nine seconds of racism, hatred

What a well written analysis of the awful SAE fraternity video. I particularly appreciate the points made about how this is not something new to these students. And the tie in to the President’s speech this weekend. Nicely done Mr. Bookman!

Jay Bookman

It’s just nine seconds of video. Nine seconds of self-destruction. Nine seconds of hate and remarkable stupidity, dragging us back into some of the darkest days of our country’s history.

The video captures members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity, dressed in formal wear and accompanied by their dates, riding on a bus either to or from an event. They are singing to the tune of “If You’re Happy And You Know It”. They do seem happy; they do seem to know it. But the lyrics have been changed.

Some news accounts have referred vaguely to those revised lyrics as a “racist chant,” but that strips it of its chilling power.

Put bluntly, because it ought to be put bluntly, the chant goes like this:

“There will never be a nigger at SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he’ll never sign with me. There will never be…

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Trying something new (aside)

I saw this new theme from WP & think it might solve my issue with this site. I often don’t have enough to say, or enough time to research a topic for a full post, but things hit me as the political day/week unfolds anyway. I like that this theme will keep this somewhat sorted or visually segregate by quick reaction thought dumps or links or quotes I might find that strike me.

Washington DC – the political side

I’m covering the details of the DC trip over at TFB piece by piece, but I thought I’d leave the particularly political thoughts from the weekend in here.

Obamaflowers

We saw those flowers on Friday. Saturday too, but then it was colder & rainy. Friday was sunny and hot. It was also the day that we woke up to the news that Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Wow.

Stunned.

A little bit of WTF?

Privately many of us speculated that Obama said the same thing when he heard the news – WTF? Seriously? Now who nominated me for THAT and don’t they know I’m getting enough heat as it is right now?

As usual, Rachel Maddow made things clearer with her segment on how many others in the past have won on just the *idea* of what they could do without having actually accomplished their goals yet. Some never really did either.

Eventually we all settled on being proud and totally thrilled that we were on the grounds while Obama was giving his acceptance speech in the Rose Garden.

Actually, I should be clear that we were not all liberals there. A couple of the moms are GOP – very moderately so though and super super reasonable & respectful.

OK, so the political tidbits:

  • While in the Canon Congressional building I got to wander down one long hallway checking out who had offices there. Some doors were open. The ones I saw were mostly pretty understated. A few nice photos on a display wall of the Congresscritter with various other dignitaries, sometimes the President. Then I reached one office that practically *screamed* LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ALL I HAVE DONE! LOOK AT MY AWARDS & PHOTOS & PLAQUES!!! It was overwhelmingly adorned from floor to ceiling. Whose office was that? Why the very same Congressman who made darn sure the entire country heard him say “You LIE!” Why do I say he made darn sure he was heard? Oh, because I got to have a very lovely conversation with a Congressional gallery guard we met. I lingered as we were leaving so that I could lean over the rail to see the main walkway where the President enters for an address of Congress. And the guard told me he was there during the Health Care address. That they were all shocked in the room that the outburst had come from down below in the main seating. Rookie legislators are up in the gallery and it’s the more senior people in the main room and on camera. Rumblings usually come from above and are generally not picked up by the microphones and cameras. And as the guard put it – Joe Wilson would have had a perfect opportunity to conceal his outburst because just before several on the right had been generically grumbling. But *just* as it had quieted down to the point where you could hear a pin drop when he busted out. To the guard – it was like he timed it to be *noticed* And given what I saw of his office compared to the others? It makes sense!
  • As shallow as it sounds, I know I was more thrilled about being there with someone in office who I supported. I am sure I would have felt the awe and wonder at the history there no matter what. But it just made it feel even more happy  to have the Obama’s there. To see their photos amongst all the other first families in the White House.
  • It was particularly fun to be there during the Human Rights Campaign dinner and then the Equality march. Or, as a friend put it – The Big Gay Weekend in DC 😉 I was up in the Washington monument while the march was taking place, but I got some photos from up there and a couple of the moms did march. It was also pretty nice not only to be there with other Democrats, but particularly with other people who support gay rights.
  • Oh and I had a nice, but too short talk with a friend of mine who used to be a registered lobbyist on the topic of same. Very interesting. I swear I will get to that discussion going on in my brain sometime soon. I may need to clear out this rant on conspiracy theorists first. It’s kind of bottle necking things right now.

Coming soon!

Hopefully within the next month? My life is severely interrupting my writing darnit!

Lobbying and lobbyists – good, bad, indifferent? Needed? Too influential? I’m researching!

Campaign Financing – from candidates to those supposedly “grassroots” groups buying ads on every issue under the sun – who is *really* running things in Washington and how do you find that out?

Media analysis – most likely a multi-part series, but I want to address which ones give you ‘news’ vs opinion and which ones have the most influence (ratings/viewers/listeners) in reality. And of course, how they all fail us in favor or the almighty dollar.