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41
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: July 09, 2008, 07:58:58 PM »
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080709/ap_on_el_pr/obama_jackson
Jackson apologizes for comments about Obama By SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press Writer
 47 minutes ago
The Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized Wednesday for "regretfully crude" comments he made about Barack Obama's speeches in black churches during what he thought was a private conversation with a reporter.

Jackson told CNN that the comments Sunday were in response to a question from a Fox News reporter about speeches on morality by the Democratic presidential candidate.

He said Wednesday that he had said Obama's speeches "can come off as speaking down to black people" and that there were other important issues to be addressed in the black community, such as unemployment, the mortgage crisis and the number of blacks in prison.

"And then I said something I thought regretfully crude but it was very private and very much a sound bite and a live mic," Jackson told CNN. He said he was not aware the microphone was still on.

A Fox spokeswoman said Jackson commented during a conversation with a guest on "Fox & Friends" before a live interview.

Jackson told The Associated Press he doesn't remember "exactly" what he said but that he was "very sorry."

"For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize," Jackson said in a written statement. "My support for Senator Obama's campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal."

Jackson said he called Obama's campaign to apologize.

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton noted that the Illinois senator grew up without his father and has spoken and written at length about the issues of parental responsibility and fathers participating in their children's lives, and of society's obligation to provide "jobs, justice and opportunity for all.

"He will continue to speak out about our responsibilities to ourselves and each other, and he of course accepts Reverend Jackson's apology," Burton said.

The comments about Obama are not the first Jackson has had to explain after believing he was off the record.

In 1984, he called New York City "Hymietown," referring to the city's large Jewish population. He later acknowledged it was wrong to use the term, but said he did so in private to a reporter.

EDIT ADD
"One blogger says that Jackson said he would like to rip a part of Barack Obama's anatomy off and Hannity would only say that it begins with an "n" and is below the waist.  Fox News says they will now broadcast the highly anticipated tape tonight (and a whole bunch of times after) live on the Hannity and Colmes show. "http://www.nationalledger.com/artman/publish/article_272621463.shtml


42
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: July 08, 2008, 03:30:35 PM »

Quote from: pikey on Yesterday at 08:31:00 PM
Titcr.  The article (and GP's comments) implies that since some accusations of racism are unwarranted, then BO's accusations must be unwarranted as well.  Of course it has nothing to do with the numerous racist comments, emails, articles, etc directed towards him.

Do better.

Quote from: greenplaid on Yesterday at 11:00:49 PM
Crying Wolf has its drawbacks. :-X

Quote from: 008 on Today at 11:30:41 AM
You missed the point.  Obama isnt crying wolf, the article were.  If the author wanted to make the point that Obama was crying wolf, he should have backed it up with something we call evidence and not just any evidence, relevant evidence, proof, rather than an irrelevant story about a university student.

Also, the word niggardly has nothing to do with Obama or anything else, unless you want to say Rabinowitz was niggardly with his logical connection in his article.


"The Boy Who Cried Wolf, also known as The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf, is a fable attributed to Aesop (210 in Perry's numbering system), and written in 1673.[1] The protagonist of the fable is a bored shepherd boy who entertained himself by calling out "wolf". Nearby villagers who came to his rescue found that the alarms were false and that they'd wasted their time. When the boy was actually confronted by a wolf, the villagers did not believe his cries for help and the wolf ate the flock..."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boy_Who_Cried_Wolf

Unsubstantiated allegations of racism (including outrage over the use of the word niggardly in a speech) are the cries of wolf. These occurrences of 'false alarms' may impact Obama.

That's the exact issue.  Who's claim is more unsubstantiated, Rabinowtiz or Obama?  At least Obama provides evidence, whereas Rabinowitz make a conclusory statement, unsubstantiated by any evidence. 

If Rabinowitz is trying to say that Obama is "crying wolf" then he should point to some evidence other than an irrelevant university's ordeal. 

Also, the story he recounted showed no "impact" for the wolf crying.

Obama is on the cusp of history. He got to this point vowing to transcend race. Then he played the race card. Some believe this has cost him immunity. Views can differ.
So everyone can "play the race card" against him and he cannot point it out to anyone?  Yeah right.  How did he have immunity?  Seriously, what are you talking about?

Obama is on the cusp of history. He got to this point vowing to transcend race. Then he played the race card. Some believe this has cost him immunity. Views can differ.

how did he play the race card?

According the the WSJ's Rabinowitz http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121538889902431161.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

"...And Mr. Obama himself, the candidate of racial transcendence, has now taken a plunge of sorts to old-style race politics. In a pre-emptive dismissal of future criticism, he warned a Florida audience on June 20 of the racist tactics the Republicans planned. "We know the strategy," he said. Republicans planned to make people afraid of him. They'd say "he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"..."


A) that has nothing to do with the first part of the story
B) race is playing a part in this election and no one can dispute that
C) where is the evidence that Obama's claim is unsubstantiated?  Don't you think the people against him are going to try to use every avenue of attacking him?

The question addressed was 7s's "how did he play the race card?"
The article in relevant part was quoted.

008, your A, B, C points are different issues on which others may have opinions.

43
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: July 08, 2008, 03:11:47 PM »

Quote from: pikey on Yesterday at 08:31:00 PM
Titcr.  The article (and GP's comments) implies that since some accusations of racism are unwarranted, then BO's accusations must be unwarranted as well.  Of course it has nothing to do with the numerous racist comments, emails, articles, etc directed towards him.

Do better.

Quote from: greenplaid on Yesterday at 11:00:49 PM
Crying Wolf has its drawbacks. :-X

Quote from: 008 on Today at 11:30:41 AM
You missed the point.  Obama isnt crying wolf, the article were.  If the author wanted to make the point that Obama was crying wolf, he should have backed it up with something we call evidence and not just any evidence, relevant evidence, proof, rather than an irrelevant story about a university student.

Also, the word niggardly has nothing to do with Obama or anything else, unless you want to say Rabinowitz was niggardly with his logical connection in his article.


"The Boy Who Cried Wolf, also known as The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf, is a fable attributed to Aesop (210 in Perry's numbering system), and written in 1673.[1] The protagonist of the fable is a bored shepherd boy who entertained himself by calling out "wolf". Nearby villagers who came to his rescue found that the alarms were false and that they'd wasted their time. When the boy was actually confronted by a wolf, the villagers did not believe his cries for help and the wolf ate the flock..."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boy_Who_Cried_Wolf

Unsubstantiated allegations of racism (including outrage over the use of the word niggardly in a speech) are the cries of wolf. These occurrences of 'false alarms' may impact Obama.

That's the exact issue.  Who's claim is more unsubstantiated, Rabinowtiz or Obama?  At least Obama provides evidence, whereas Rabinowitz make a conclusory statement, unsubstantiated by any evidence. 

If Rabinowitz is trying to say that Obama is "crying wolf" then he should point to some evidence other than an irrelevant university's ordeal. 

Also, the story he recounted showed no "impact" for the wolf crying.

Obama is on the cusp of history. He got to this point vowing to transcend race. Then he played the race card. Some believe this has cost him immunity. Views can differ.
So everyone can "play the race card" against him and he cannot point it out to anyone?  Yeah right.  How did he have immunity?  Seriously, what are you talking about?

Obama is on the cusp of history. He got to this point vowing to transcend race. Then he played the race card. Some believe this has cost him immunity. Views can differ.

how did he play the race card?

According the the WSJ's Rabinowitz http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121538889902431161.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

"...And Mr. Obama himself, the candidate of racial transcendence, has now taken a plunge of sorts to old-style race politics. In a pre-emptive dismissal of future criticism, he warned a Florida audience on June 20 of the racist tactics the Republicans planned. "We know the strategy," he said. Republicans planned to make people afraid of him. They'd say "he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"..."

44
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: July 08, 2008, 02:53:10 PM »

Quote from: pikey on Yesterday at 08:31:00 PM
Titcr.  The article (and GP's comments) implies that since some accusations of racism are unwarranted, then BO's accusations must be unwarranted as well.  Of course it has nothing to do with the numerous racist comments, emails, articles, etc directed towards him.

Do better.

Quote from: greenplaid on Yesterday at 11:00:49 PM
Crying Wolf has its drawbacks. :-X

Quote from: 008 on Today at 11:30:41 AM
You missed the point.  Obama isnt crying wolf, the article were.  If the author wanted to make the point that Obama was crying wolf, he should have backed it up with something we call evidence and not just any evidence, relevant evidence, proof, rather than an irrelevant story about a university student.

Also, the word niggardly has nothing to do with Obama or anything else, unless you want to say Rabinowitz was niggardly with his logical connection in his article.


"The Boy Who Cried Wolf, also known as The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf, is a fable attributed to Aesop (210 in Perry's numbering system), and written in 1673.[1] The protagonist of the fable is a bored shepherd boy who entertained himself by calling out "wolf". Nearby villagers who came to his rescue found that the alarms were false and that they'd wasted their time. When the boy was actually confronted by a wolf, the villagers did not believe his cries for help and the wolf ate the flock..."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boy_Who_Cried_Wolf

Unsubstantiated allegations of racism (including outrage over the use of the word niggardly in a speech) are the cries of wolf. These occurrences of 'false alarms' may impact Obama.

That's the exact issue.  Who's claim is more unsubstantiated, Rabinowtiz or Obama?  At least Obama provides evidence, whereas Rabinowitz make a conclusory statement, unsubstantiated by any evidence. 

If Rabinowitz is trying to say that Obama is "crying wolf" then he should point to some evidence other than an irrelevant university's ordeal. 

Also, the story he recounted showed no "impact" for the wolf crying.

Obama is on the cusp of history. He got to this point vowing to transcend race. Then he played the race card. Some believe this has cost him immunity. Views can differ.

45
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: July 08, 2008, 01:51:20 PM »

Quote from: pikey on Yesterday at 08:31:00 PM
Titcr.  The article (and GP's comments) implies that since some accusations of racism are unwarranted, then BO's accusations must be unwarranted as well.  Of course it has nothing to do with the numerous racist comments, emails, articles, etc directed towards him.

Do better.

Quote from: greenplaid on Yesterday at 11:00:49 PM
Crying Wolf has its drawbacks. :-X

Quote from: 008 on Today at 11:30:41 AM
You missed the point.  Obama isnt crying wolf, the article were.  If the author wanted to make the point that Obama was crying wolf, he should have backed it up with something we call evidence and not just any evidence, relevant evidence, proof, rather than an irrelevant story about a university student.

Also, the word niggardly has nothing to do with Obama or anything else, unless you want to say Rabinowitz was niggardly with his logical connection in his article.


"The Boy Who Cried Wolf, also known as The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf, is a fable attributed to Aesop (210 in Perry's numbering system), and written in 1673.[1] The protagonist of the fable is a bored shepherd boy who entertained himself by calling out "wolf". Nearby villagers who came to his rescue found that the alarms were false and that they'd wasted their time. When the boy was actually confronted by a wolf, the villagers did not believe his cries for help and the wolf ate the flock..."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boy_Who_Cried_Wolf

Unsubstantiated allegations of racism (including outrage over the use of the word niggardly in a speech) are the cries of wolf. These occurrences of 'false alarms' may impact Obama.

46
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: July 08, 2008, 11:09:37 AM »

47
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: July 07, 2008, 11:00:49 PM »
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 OPINION 
American Politics Aren't 'Post-Racial'

By DOROTHY RABINOWITZ
July 7, 2008; Page A13

The not-quite-concluded racial drama playing out at Purdue University in the last months can't be ranked with the embittering rape charge scandal at Duke that so recently mesmerized the nation. And as news it's not in the same league as the total war waged against Harvard president Lawrence Summers for having had the temerity to suggest that factors in addition to prejudice might have something to do with the underrepresentation of women in math and the sciences.

Still, what happened at Purdue is a pungent reminder of all that's possible now in the rarefied ideological atmosphere on our college campuses – and in this presidential election year, not perhaps only on our campuses.

The story began prosaically enough. Keith Sampson, a student employee on the janitorial staff earning his way toward a degree, was in the habit of reading during work breaks. Last October he was immersed in "Notre Dame Vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan."

Mr. Sampson was in short order visited by his union representative, who informed him he must not bring this book to the break room, and that he could be fired. Taking the book to the campus, Mr. Sampson says he was told, was "like bringing pornography to work." That it was a history of the battle students waged against the Klan in the 1920s in no way impressed the union rep.

The assistant affirmative action officer who next summoned the student was similarly unimpressed. Indeed she was, Mr. Sampson says, irate at his explanation that he was, after all, reading a scholarly book. "The Klan still rules Indiana," Marguerite Watkins told him – didn't he know that? Mr. Sampson, by now dazed, pointed out that this book was carried in the university library. Yes, she retorted, you can get Klan propaganda in the library.

The university has allowed no interviews with Ms. Watkins or any other university official involved in the case. Still, there can be no disputing the contents of the official letter that set forth the university's case.

Mr. Sampson stood accused of "openly reading the book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject in the presence of your Black co-workers." The statement, signed by chief affirmative action officer Lillian Charleston, asserted that her office had completed its investigation of the charges brought by Ms. Nakea William, his co-worker – that Mr. Sampson had continued, despite complaints, to read a book on this "inflammatory topic." "We conclude," the letter informed him, "that your conduct constitutes racial harassment. . . ." A very serious matter, with serious consequences, it went on to point out.That was in November. Months later, in February of this year, Mr. Sampson received – from the same source – a letter with an astonishingly transformed version of his offense. And there could be no mystery as to the cause of this change.

After the official judgment against him, Mr. Sampson turned to the Indiana state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, whose office contacted university attorneys. Worse, the case got some sharp local press coverage that threatened to get wider.

Ludicrous harassment cases are not rare at our institutions of higher learning. But there was undeniably something special – something pure, and glorious – in the clarity of this picture. A university had brought a case against a student on grounds of a book he had been reading.

And so the new letter to Mr. Sampson by affirmative action officer Charleston brought word that she wished to clarify her previous letter, and to say it was "permissible for him to read scholarly books or other materials on break time." About the essential and only theme of the first letter – the "racially abhorrent" subject of the book – or the warnings that any "future substantiated conduct of a similar nature could mean serious disciplinary action" – there was not a word. She had meant in that first letter, she said, only to address "conduct" that caused concern among his co-workers.

What that conduct was, the affirmative action officer did not reveal – but she had delivered the message rewriting the history of the case. Absolutely and for certain there had been no problem about any book he had been reading.

This, indeed, was now the official story – as any journalist asking about the case would learn instantly from the university's media relations representatives. It would take a heart of stone not to be moved – if not much – by the extraordinary efforts of these tormented agents trying to explain that the first letter was all wrong: No reading of any book had anything to do with the charges against Mr. Sampson. This means, I asked one, that Mr. Sampson could have been reading about the adventures of Jack and Jill and he still would have been charged? Yes. What, then, was the offense? "Harassing behavior." While reading the book? The question led to careful explanations hopeless in tone – for good reason – and well removed from all semblance of reason. What the behavior was, one learned, could never be revealed.

There was, of course, no other offensive behavior; had there been any it would surely have appeared in the first letter's gusher of accusation. Like those prosecutors who invent new charges when the first ones fail in court, the administrators threw in the mysterious harassment count. Such were the operations of the university's guardians of equity and justice.

In April – having been pressed by the potent national watchdog group FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) as well as the ACLU – University Chancellor Charles R. Bantz finally sent them a letter expressing regret over this affair, and testifying to his profound commitment to freedom of expression. So far as can be ascertained, the university has extended no such expressions of regret to Keith Sampson.

This case and all its kind are worth bearing in mind for anyone pondering the hypersensitivity surrounding the issue of race today. The mindset that produces those harassment courts, those super-heated capacities for perceiving insult, is not limited to college campuses.

Its presence is evident in this election campaign, which has seen more than a touch of readiness to impute some form of racism to all tough criticisms of Barack Obama. The deranged response that greeted Bill Clinton's remark that certain of Sen. Obama's claims were "a fairy tale," told the story. No need to go into the now famous catalogue of accusations about the Clintons' "sly racist" tactics.

There will be much more ahead, directed to the Republicans and their candidate. Some more, no doubt, about the Willie Horton ad of 1988, whose status as a quintessential piece of racism is – except for a few rare voices of reason – accepted throughout our media as revealed truth. To be sure, the Willie Horton charge has for some time been overshadowed by ominous predictions of all the Swiftboating Republicans are supposed to be readying.

And Mr. Obama himself, the candidate of racial transcendence, has now taken a plunge of sorts to old-style race politics. In a pre-emptive dismissal of future criticism, he warned a Florida audience on June 20 of the racist tactics the Republicans planned. "We know the strategy," he said. Republicans planned to make people afraid of him. They'd say "he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"

All this may be far from the world of the universities. But to those aforementioned campus ideologues, the thinking is familiar.

Ms. Rabinowitz is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121538889902431161.html?mod=djemEditorialPage
Copyright 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

In one case, you have objections to a book being read that recounts the defeat of racists - clearly hypersensitive totally lacking merit
In another case, you have the first black candidate for president running for office in a country where racism, depending on geography, is deeply entrenched  - pretty clear that racism/prejudice against AAs is playing a part in the election

The article fails to make a connection between the two in a persuasive or even meaningful way.

Rabinowitz seems to raise the point that since discrimination is illegal, a political strategy is to draw upon perceived prejudice to elicit cries of sometimes real but often phantom racism.

A few years ago there was a 'racism' outcry over the use of the word niggardly in a speech.

Titcr.  The article (and GP's comments) implies that since some accusations of racism are unwarranted, then BO's accusations must be unwarranted as well.  Of course it has nothing to do with the numerous racist comments, emails, articles, etc directed towards him.

Do better.

Crying Wolf has its drawbacks. :-X

48
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: July 07, 2008, 06:41:43 PM »
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 OPINION 
American Politics Aren't 'Post-Racial'

By DOROTHY RABINOWITZ
July 7, 2008; Page A13

The not-quite-concluded racial drama playing out at Purdue University in the last months can't be ranked with the embittering rape charge scandal at Duke that so recently mesmerized the nation. And as news it's not in the same league as the total war waged against Harvard president Lawrence Summers for having had the temerity to suggest that factors in addition to prejudice might have something to do with the underrepresentation of women in math and the sciences.

Still, what happened at Purdue is a pungent reminder of all that's possible now in the rarefied ideological atmosphere on our college campuses – and in this presidential election year, not perhaps only on our campuses.

The story began prosaically enough. Keith Sampson, a student employee on the janitorial staff earning his way toward a degree, was in the habit of reading during work breaks. Last October he was immersed in "Notre Dame Vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan."

Mr. Sampson was in short order visited by his union representative, who informed him he must not bring this book to the break room, and that he could be fired. Taking the book to the campus, Mr. Sampson says he was told, was "like bringing pornography to work." That it was a history of the battle students waged against the Klan in the 1920s in no way impressed the union rep.

The assistant affirmative action officer who next summoned the student was similarly unimpressed. Indeed she was, Mr. Sampson says, irate at his explanation that he was, after all, reading a scholarly book. "The Klan still rules Indiana," Marguerite Watkins told him – didn't he know that? Mr. Sampson, by now dazed, pointed out that this book was carried in the university library. Yes, she retorted, you can get Klan propaganda in the library.

The university has allowed no interviews with Ms. Watkins or any other university official involved in the case. Still, there can be no disputing the contents of the official letter that set forth the university's case.

Mr. Sampson stood accused of "openly reading the book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject in the presence of your Black co-workers." The statement, signed by chief affirmative action officer Lillian Charleston, asserted that her office had completed its investigation of the charges brought by Ms. Nakea William, his co-worker – that Mr. Sampson had continued, despite complaints, to read a book on this "inflammatory topic." "We conclude," the letter informed him, "that your conduct constitutes racial harassment. . . ." A very serious matter, with serious consequences, it went on to point out.That was in November. Months later, in February of this year, Mr. Sampson received – from the same source – a letter with an astonishingly transformed version of his offense. And there could be no mystery as to the cause of this change.

After the official judgment against him, Mr. Sampson turned to the Indiana state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, whose office contacted university attorneys. Worse, the case got some sharp local press coverage that threatened to get wider.

Ludicrous harassment cases are not rare at our institutions of higher learning. But there was undeniably something special – something pure, and glorious – in the clarity of this picture. A university had brought a case against a student on grounds of a book he had been reading.

And so the new letter to Mr. Sampson by affirmative action officer Charleston brought word that she wished to clarify her previous letter, and to say it was "permissible for him to read scholarly books or other materials on break time." About the essential and only theme of the first letter – the "racially abhorrent" subject of the book – or the warnings that any "future substantiated conduct of a similar nature could mean serious disciplinary action" – there was not a word. She had meant in that first letter, she said, only to address "conduct" that caused concern among his co-workers.

What that conduct was, the affirmative action officer did not reveal – but she had delivered the message rewriting the history of the case. Absolutely and for certain there had been no problem about any book he had been reading.

This, indeed, was now the official story – as any journalist asking about the case would learn instantly from the university's media relations representatives. It would take a heart of stone not to be moved – if not much – by the extraordinary efforts of these tormented agents trying to explain that the first letter was all wrong: No reading of any book had anything to do with the charges against Mr. Sampson. This means, I asked one, that Mr. Sampson could have been reading about the adventures of Jack and Jill and he still would have been charged? Yes. What, then, was the offense? "Harassing behavior." While reading the book? The question led to careful explanations hopeless in tone – for good reason – and well removed from all semblance of reason. What the behavior was, one learned, could never be revealed.

There was, of course, no other offensive behavior; had there been any it would surely have appeared in the first letter's gusher of accusation. Like those prosecutors who invent new charges when the first ones fail in court, the administrators threw in the mysterious harassment count. Such were the operations of the university's guardians of equity and justice.

In April – having been pressed by the potent national watchdog group FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) as well as the ACLU – University Chancellor Charles R. Bantz finally sent them a letter expressing regret over this affair, and testifying to his profound commitment to freedom of expression. So far as can be ascertained, the university has extended no such expressions of regret to Keith Sampson.

This case and all its kind are worth bearing in mind for anyone pondering the hypersensitivity surrounding the issue of race today. The mindset that produces those harassment courts, those super-heated capacities for perceiving insult, is not limited to college campuses.

Its presence is evident in this election campaign, which has seen more than a touch of readiness to impute some form of racism to all tough criticisms of Barack Obama. The deranged response that greeted Bill Clinton's remark that certain of Sen. Obama's claims were "a fairy tale," told the story. No need to go into the now famous catalogue of accusations about the Clintons' "sly racist" tactics.

There will be much more ahead, directed to the Republicans and their candidate. Some more, no doubt, about the Willie Horton ad of 1988, whose status as a quintessential piece of racism is – except for a few rare voices of reason – accepted throughout our media as revealed truth. To be sure, the Willie Horton charge has for some time been overshadowed by ominous predictions of all the Swiftboating Republicans are supposed to be readying.

And Mr. Obama himself, the candidate of racial transcendence, has now taken a plunge of sorts to old-style race politics. In a pre-emptive dismissal of future criticism, he warned a Florida audience on June 20 of the racist tactics the Republicans planned. "We know the strategy," he said. Republicans planned to make people afraid of him. They'd say "he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"

All this may be far from the world of the universities. But to those aforementioned campus ideologues, the thinking is familiar.

Ms. Rabinowitz is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121538889902431161.html?mod=djemEditorialPage
Copyright 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

In one case, you have objections to a book being read that recounts the defeat of racists - clearly hypersensitive totally lacking merit
In another case, you have the first black candidate for president running for office in a country where racism, depending on geography, is deeply entrenched  - pretty clear that racism/prejudice against AAs is playing a part in the election

The article fails to make a connection between the two in a persuasive or even meaningful way.

Rabinowitz seems to raise the point that since discrimination is illegal, a political strategy is to draw upon perceived prejudice to elicit cries of sometimes real but often phantom racism.

A few years ago there was a 'racism' outcry over the use of the word niggardly in a speech.

49
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: July 07, 2008, 10:52:07 AM »
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 OPINION 
American Politics Aren't 'Post-Racial'

By DOROTHY RABINOWITZ
July 7, 2008; Page A13

The not-quite-concluded racial drama playing out at Purdue University in the last months can't be ranked with the embittering rape charge scandal at Duke that so recently mesmerized the nation. And as news it's not in the same league as the total war waged against Harvard president Lawrence Summers for having had the temerity to suggest that factors in addition to prejudice might have something to do with the underrepresentation of women in math and the sciences.

Still, what happened at Purdue is a pungent reminder of all that's possible now in the rarefied ideological atmosphere on our college campuses – and in this presidential election year, not perhaps only on our campuses.

The story began prosaically enough. Keith Sampson, a student employee on the janitorial staff earning his way toward a degree, was in the habit of reading during work breaks. Last October he was immersed in "Notre Dame Vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan."

Mr. Sampson was in short order visited by his union representative, who informed him he must not bring this book to the break room, and that he could be fired. Taking the book to the campus, Mr. Sampson says he was told, was "like bringing pornography to work." That it was a history of the battle students waged against the Klan in the 1920s in no way impressed the union rep.

The assistant affirmative action officer who next summoned the student was similarly unimpressed. Indeed she was, Mr. Sampson says, irate at his explanation that he was, after all, reading a scholarly book. "The Klan still rules Indiana," Marguerite Watkins told him – didn't he know that? Mr. Sampson, by now dazed, pointed out that this book was carried in the university library. Yes, she retorted, you can get Klan propaganda in the library.

The university has allowed no interviews with Ms. Watkins or any other university official involved in the case. Still, there can be no disputing the contents of the official letter that set forth the university's case.

Mr. Sampson stood accused of "openly reading the book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject in the presence of your Black co-workers." The statement, signed by chief affirmative action officer Lillian Charleston, asserted that her office had completed its investigation of the charges brought by Ms. Nakea William, his co-worker – that Mr. Sampson had continued, despite complaints, to read a book on this "inflammatory topic." "We conclude," the letter informed him, "that your conduct constitutes racial harassment. . . ." A very serious matter, with serious consequences, it went on to point out.That was in November. Months later, in February of this year, Mr. Sampson received – from the same source – a letter with an astonishingly transformed version of his offense. And there could be no mystery as to the cause of this change.

After the official judgment against him, Mr. Sampson turned to the Indiana state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, whose office contacted university attorneys. Worse, the case got some sharp local press coverage that threatened to get wider.

Ludicrous harassment cases are not rare at our institutions of higher learning. But there was undeniably something special – something pure, and glorious – in the clarity of this picture. A university had brought a case against a student on grounds of a book he had been reading.

And so the new letter to Mr. Sampson by affirmative action officer Charleston brought word that she wished to clarify her previous letter, and to say it was "permissible for him to read scholarly books or other materials on break time." About the essential and only theme of the first letter – the "racially abhorrent" subject of the book – or the warnings that any "future substantiated conduct of a similar nature could mean serious disciplinary action" – there was not a word. She had meant in that first letter, she said, only to address "conduct" that caused concern among his co-workers.

What that conduct was, the affirmative action officer did not reveal – but she had delivered the message rewriting the history of the case. Absolutely and for certain there had been no problem about any book he had been reading.

This, indeed, was now the official story – as any journalist asking about the case would learn instantly from the university's media relations representatives. It would take a heart of stone not to be moved – if not much – by the extraordinary efforts of these tormented agents trying to explain that the first letter was all wrong: No reading of any book had anything to do with the charges against Mr. Sampson. This means, I asked one, that Mr. Sampson could have been reading about the adventures of Jack and Jill and he still would have been charged? Yes. What, then, was the offense? "Harassing behavior." While reading the book? The question led to careful explanations hopeless in tone – for good reason – and well removed from all semblance of reason. What the behavior was, one learned, could never be revealed.

There was, of course, no other offensive behavior; had there been any it would surely have appeared in the first letter's gusher of accusation. Like those prosecutors who invent new charges when the first ones fail in court, the administrators threw in the mysterious harassment count. Such were the operations of the university's guardians of equity and justice.

In April – having been pressed by the potent national watchdog group FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) as well as the ACLU – University Chancellor Charles R. Bantz finally sent them a letter expressing regret over this affair, and testifying to his profound commitment to freedom of expression. So far as can be ascertained, the university has extended no such expressions of regret to Keith Sampson.

This case and all its kind are worth bearing in mind for anyone pondering the hypersensitivity surrounding the issue of race today. The mindset that produces those harassment courts, those super-heated capacities for perceiving insult, is not limited to college campuses.

Its presence is evident in this election campaign, which has seen more than a touch of readiness to impute some form of racism to all tough criticisms of Barack Obama. The deranged response that greeted Bill Clinton's remark that certain of Sen. Obama's claims were "a fairy tale," told the story. No need to go into the now famous catalogue of accusations about the Clintons' "sly racist" tactics.

There will be much more ahead, directed to the Republicans and their candidate. Some more, no doubt, about the Willie Horton ad of 1988, whose status as a quintessential piece of racism is – except for a few rare voices of reason – accepted throughout our media as revealed truth. To be sure, the Willie Horton charge has for some time been overshadowed by ominous predictions of all the Swiftboating Republicans are supposed to be readying.

And Mr. Obama himself, the candidate of racial transcendence, has now taken a plunge of sorts to old-style race politics. In a pre-emptive dismissal of future criticism, he warned a Florida audience on June 20 of the racist tactics the Republicans planned. "We know the strategy," he said. Republicans planned to make people afraid of him. They'd say "he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"

All this may be far from the world of the universities. But to those aforementioned campus ideologues, the thinking is familiar.

Ms. Rabinowitz is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121538889902431161.html?mod=djemEditorialPage
Copyright 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

50


If the Court accepts that "no fundamental right in the constitution is absolute", the fundamental constitutional right to freedom (13th Amendment) would not be exempt from 'regulation' "for the safety of the public."
Some would suggest that such regulation  may be the next wave in protecting the public from violent criminals who in the District of Columbia, for example, are primarily people of color.

See post above:
Lanier plans to seal off rough ’hoods in latest effort to stop wave of violence
Michael Neibauer and Bill Myers, The Examiner2008-06-04 07:00:00.0

"D.C. police will seal off entire neighborhoods, set up checkpoints and kick out strangers under a new program that D.C. officials hope will help them rescue the city from its out-of-control violence.
Under an executive order expected to be announced today, police Chief Cathy L. Lanier will have the authority to designate “Neighborhood Safety Zones.” At least six officers will man cordons around those zones and demand identification from people coming in and out of them. Anyone who doesn’t live there, work there or have “legitimate reason” to be there will be sent away or face arrest...."

Is this constitutional because it's temporary? (as of now) If no fundamental constitutional right is absolute, it could be determined by the Court to be 'constitutional' even if made permanent in a more virulent form, " for the safety of the public" at large, as protection from those initially absolutely free men who have demonstrated an inability to adjust to the public order requirements of the social contract.


2 points:

(1) First, I understand what you are trying to get at, but the 13th Amendment does not lend support to your fundamental rights argument. In other words, our right to "not be a slave" as I guess it would be phrased is not a "fundamental right" in the Con Law context that we're talking about here.  Fundamental Rights are generally accepted to be those rights that citizens choose to exercise affirmatively, such as:

your right to travel between state lines
your right to child rearing
your right to own a gun
your right to speak freely
your right to marriage
your right to vote
your right to practice your own religion

When we speak of fundamental rights, these are what we're talking about.  These are rights that you and I, as citizens, can choose to exercise and that the government can regulate in some manner for limited reasons (typically public safety, general welfare, etc.).  None of them are absolute. The government can regulate them.  However, there is a balancing test that the government must meet before it can attempt to regulate one of these rights.  It is notable to observe that when the government infringes any of these rights, it is deemed a civil matter handled in the courts by way of civil litigation.  (ie. Individual Person v. Government Agency)

By contrast, the 13th amendment is not conferring a right that you can affirmatively choose to exercise.  It declares that slavery in the U.S. and all its territories is CRIMINAL.  Anybody, private actor or state agency, who engages in slavery can and will be placed under arrest, charged by a prosecutor, and taken to a criminal court where they will stand trial.  See 18 U.S.C. § 1581.   That is completely different from how infringements of fundamental rights are handled.  Nobody goes to jail for infringing your right to own a gun, your right to marriage, or even for infringing your right to speak freely.


(2) Secondly, even the 13th Amendment's ban on slavery (ie. "involuntary servitude") is not absolute.  As you can see in the text of the amendment itself, the words "except as a punishment for crime" give even this rule an exception to itself, therefore rendering it as not absolute.  If you are convicted of a crime, you effectively become a slave.  You are placed under  the "involuntary servitude" of the executive branch and held for X amount of time against your will.


So in short, the 13th Amendment doesn't apply to our fundamental rights debate.


1) Is not a fundamental right one that has origin in a country's constitution or that is necessarily implied from the terms of that constitution?

For example,
Preamble   The Constitution of the United States of America
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Have not the specific rights which fall under the definition of fundamental rights  varied over the history of the US?

For example,
During the country's first century, freedom of contract and other property rights were considered fundamental. As economic substantive due process declined, these rights lost their primacy. During the 20th century, personal liberties have taken on fundamental status. Over time, the Supreme Court has ruled that with few exceptions the provisions of the Bill of Rights meet the definition of fundamental liberties and are constitutionally immune from encroachment by state and local governments as well as federal. Most recently, privacy rights and protections against discrimination have increasingly been seen as fundamental."

Some argue that the concept of inalienable rights was written into the Bill of Rights as the Ninth Amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Professor Laurence Tribe: " The ninth amendment is not a source of rights as such; it is simply a rule about how to read the Constitution."

Scalia  in Troxel v. Granville (2000):
"The Declaration of Independence...is not a legal prescription conferring powers upon the courts; and the Constitution’s refusal to 'deny or disparage' other rights is far removed from affirming any one of them, and even farther removed from authorizing judges to identify what they might be, and to enforce the judges’ list against laws duly enacted by the people."

[Initially the Bill of Rights was held in Barron v. Baltimore (1833) to be enforceable by the federal courts only against the federal government... which is a government of enumerated powers...not against the states. ]

The Ninth Amendment bars denial of unenumerated rights if the denial is based on the enumeration of certain rights in the Constitution. (liberty?)

2) The Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure and did not permanently end slavery. Though several former slave states passed legislation prohibiting slavery, some slavery continued to exist until a sufficient number of states ratified the 13th Amendment.

Even though the constitution has recognized slavery, in the case of John Van Zandt, Salmon P. Chase argued before the Supreme Court "The law of the Creator, which invests every human being with an inalienable title to freedom, cannot be repealed by any interior law which asserts that man is property."

Murder was determined to be a crime, for example, because of the belief that the right to life is fundamental.
Slavery was outlawed by the 13th Amendment and subsequently made a crime because of the belief that the right to liberty as promulgated in the Constitution's preamble is a fundamental right of all men...not just some men.

Does it necessarily follow that because enslavement is a crime, liberty is not a fundamental constitutional right? Is it not true that the violations of certain fundamental rights are not crimes simply because we have not made them crimes...suggesting that the right to life and the right to liberty are indeed fundamental?

The only suggestion of the earlier post is that selective restrictions on freedom only in certain neighborhoods and only among certain racial and ethnic groups...not as a result of conviction and/ or certified insanity, etc...could continue to escalate if Justices find it constitutional to 'regulate' fundamental constitutional rights for social engineering purposes (for example, keeping guns away from criminals)

Constitution Is Big Winner in D.C. Gun Case
June 26, 2008 - by Dave Kopel
"Justice Scalia accurately noted that the Breyer approach would negate the very decision to enact the Second Amendment: “We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding ‘interest-balancing’ approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government — even the Third Branch of Government — the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad.”


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