Monday, September 22, 2008

John McCain's Racist and Sexist Comments and Actions

Senator John McCain has been known for making racist and sexist comments. So many, one wonders why they've not been reported by the mainstrea media. Well, here's a video report on just some of what McCain has said, as well as his agreement with Bill O'Reilly that he's part of a "White Male Power Structure."

The foundation for my video was the work on Doug Thompson, who's the main author of the blog "Capital Hill Blue" I happened to find his work on the matter of McCain's racism while conducting this search "john mccain racism" on Goggle, and scrolling down. Doug's work is perhaps the most comprehensive collection of comments and actions that McCain has made and taken that have been identified as racist and sexist.

Doug says that he was a Capital Hill Chief of Staff in his blog, but I checked via search and did find a more detailed information set on his other website about himself, and which read:

Thompson took a sabbatical from newspapers in 1981 and moved to Washington to work on Capitol Hill. He served as press secretary for two Congressman and then Chief of Staff for another before joining the House Committee on Science & Technology. From 1987-1992, Thompson served as Vice President for Political Programs for The National Association of Realtors and then joined The Eddie Mahe Company as a senior associate for Communications. During that stint he became involved in campaign finance issue and was a founding member of the Project for Comprehensive Campaign Reform. He also lecturer at the American Campaign Academy and was a sought-after spokesman on campaign finance issues.

He also claims that he was a staffer to the House Committee on Science and Technology and during that time worked on the "transfer of DARPANet from the Department of Defense to the National Science Foundation" in the early 1990s -- "the beginnings of the Internet" as he wrote.

That's valueable information because some have called Doug's credibility into question, but what he seems to provide is a good first-person view of how elected officials like McCain behaved when they weren't in position to become President of The United States.

Since I don't believe in reinventing the wheel, I'll copy and paste what Doug wrote below but I will alter their apperance because Thompson didn't seem to appropriately catagorize each example.

Examples of racism:

Question: Why does Mexican beer have two "X's" on the label?

Answer: Because wetbacks always need a co-signer.

John McCain, a member of the House of Representatives in the mid-1980s, often held court at a table near the bar at Bullfeathers, a popular Capitol Hill watering hole, telling jokes and matching hangers-on drink by drink.

As a Capitol Hill chief of staff, I often drank at Bullfeathers and was invited to join the throng at McCain's table one evening. A few minutes listening to the racism, bigotry and homophobia of the Arizona Congressman told me all I needed to know.

McCain loved to tell jokes about lesbians, blacks, Hispanics and the Vietnamese community that occupied a large section of Arlington County, Virginia, just south of the District of Columbia.

I checked to see if Bullfeathers was still open, and lo and behold, it was. It's located at 410 1st St SE # 1, Washington, DC 20003, and the number is (202) 488-7160. The website reads:

Serving the House of Representatives and all their friends since 1980. Come enjoy the party atmosphere at our forty-foot bar. Happy hour every night from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. The food is great, with a wide variety to choose from - and we still serve the best burgers on the Hill. Come out and enjoy our outdoor cafe. If you're having a private party or fundraiser from 50 to 250 people, let us cater your event!

At the time of the events Doug points to, Senator McCain was Congressman McCain, thus a perfect candidate to patronize Bullfeathers. While his is the only comment on McCain at Bullfeathers I can find, I also didn't see anything refuting his charge, either.

Examples of Sexism:


Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?

Because Janet Reno is her father.

Another example:

Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, ‘Where is that marvelous ape?’

Even his wife is not immune. Writes Cliff Schecter in his book, The Real John McCain:

Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain's intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, "You're getting a little thin up there." McCain's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." McCain's excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.

And as if that were not enough Katie Hong of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer went on a one-person crusade to point out McCain's anti-Asian -- more spefically Anti-North Vietnamese given his background as a Prisoner of War -- comments. This was posted on March 2, 2000, but it's still easy to find online because it's been linked to so much:

On his campaign bus recently, Sen. John McCain told reporters, "I hated the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live." Although McCain said he was referring only to his prison guards, there are many reasons why his use of the word "gook" is offensive and alarming.

It is offensive because by using a racial epithet that has historically been used to demean all Asians to describe his captors, McCain failed to make a distinction between his torturers and an entire racial group.

It is alarming because a major candidate for president publicly used a racial epithet, refused to apologize for doing so and remains a legitimate contender.

Contrary to McCain's attempt to narrowly define "gook" to mean only his "sadistic" captors, this term has historically been used to describe all Asians. McCain said that "gook" was the most "polite" term he could find to describe his captors, but because it is simply a pejorative term for Asians, he insulted his captors simply by calling them "Asians" -- a clearly disturbing message. To the Asian American community, the term is akin to the racist word "nigger." A friend of mine, a white male Vietnam veteran, pointed out that veterans, especially Vietnam veterans, know how spiteful the term "gook" is. It has everything to do with labeling someone as "other," the enemy and yellow. McCain sent the message that all Asians are foreigners and remain forever the "other" and the enemy.

The perception of Asians as "foreigners" or "the other" isn't new. This sentiment is what led to passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Japanese American internment during World War II. The internment of Japanese Americans is now recognized as one of the worst civil rights violations in our country's history and a powerful lesson in what can happen when race alone is used as a test for loyalty or who is defined as an American.

We've made tremendous progress as a nation in overcoming racism. That is why it is so disturbing that a major candidate for the U.S. president can perpetuate the stereotype of Asians as permanent foreigners, hurtling us backward to a time and a place where such racial epithets were an acceptable part of mainstream discourse.

The question is, did McCain appologize? The question's important because he' had eight years to do so. The answer is yes he did and three days after he made the remark in 2000 as he was running for President. This is what I found:

Less than 24 hours after stories ran about Sen. John McCain’s statement to reporters that he would continue to refer to his Vietnamese wartime captors as “gooks,” his campaign announced Feb. 18 that he would no longer use that term. Three days later McCain issued an official apology.

Several stories that ran last Friday quoted McCain as saying “I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live… I was referring to my prison guards and I will continue to refer to them in language that might offend.”

But after APIs blasted his unabashed use of the highly derogatory term that has historically been used against Asians and Asian Americans, the campaign made an apology after annoucing that McCain would no longer use the racial slur.

“I will continue to condemn those who unfairly mistreated us,” McCain said in a statement released Feb. 21. “But out of respect to a great number of people for whom I hold in very high regard, I will no longer use the term that has caused such discomfort… I apologize and renounce all language that is bigoted and offensive, which is contrary to all that I represent and believe.”

This year, Fred Soto revisited the matter of that slur in an excellent post that's a must read for anyone. Sote writes:

Much has been made of the reference that humbled the American war hero. Some apologists will fight until they are blue in the face to try and excuse John McCain’s words. Others will ask why this issue is worth revisiting, if for no other reason than to hurt the GOP front-runner? I’d respond simply that when a presidential candidate uses words that are racist in nature, Americans should jump to conclusions about his or her character. It is our duty to determine whether John McCain has the ability to lead and unite our nation. The information presented below shows that John McCain’s age and “experience” may play a big role in the presidential elections, after all.

If you’re still waiting for me to explain how and why this is relevant to American politics, I’ll do my best to explain my position. If John McCain had used the word “nigger,” do you believe for a second that John McCain would be standing above the GOP’s perch? The correct answer is “No,” it’s highly unlikely that he’d be the leading candidate for the GOP nomination. What John McCain did was make a reference that is equally derogatory, but the media seems to want to stay out of the fray on this one.

Americans forget that racism exists on a multitude of levels but the only time we recognize the problem is when it is done to minorities of the darker persuasions.

Unfortunately, Soto does not give us the idea that McCain actually evolved from this 2000 problem with Asians. He concludes with a sadness over the way the mainstream media has ignored the issue. I agree.

Irwin Tang explains why John McCain's racial slur is still relevant today:

There's also evidence that McCain commonly used the term before 2000. A 1973 article in U.S. News and World Report contains several examples of McCain's use of the word, here's one:

After I had been there about 10 days, a "gook"—which is what we called the North Vietnamese—came in one morning. This man spoke English very well. He asked me how I was, and said, "We have a Frenchman who is here in Hanoi visiting, and would like to take a message back to your family." Being a little naive at the time—you get smarter as you go along with these people—I figured this wasn't a bad deal at all, if this guy would come to see me and go back and tell my family that I was alive.

Supposedly, there's a video around where McCain uses the term, but I've not seen it. What's clear to me is that there's enough evidence of McCain's intolerance for those who's skin is darker is of such historic depth, it's disturbing.

What's more upsetting is that CNN and other media outlets don't focus on this problem with John McCain.

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Sports Business Networking? Join Women In Sports And Events

If you're in the sports industry or in a sport management program, this video explains my experience in finding the right program to be a part of.

After some good experiences and some terrible ones, I joined Women In Sports And Events (WISE). Regardless of gender, it's an excellent grassroots style program and they treat their members as welcomed guests.

IF you're in a college, then you're already in a networking group, but you still can't go wrong with WISE. But there's one organization I recommend you not join and it's the National Sports Marketing Network.

The National Sports Marketing Network does not have -- in my experience -- a good customer service track record. My story is personal in that I recently was sent an email to come to a member's only event, but then when i RSVPed -- after some hestiation because of the NSMN's terrible reputation in the SF Bay Area and after a friend encouraged me to do so -- I got the weird rebuff email.

When I enquired and expressed my displeasure with the email, the head wrote me back an even nastier email -- all for no reason. And also essentially threatened me if I shared the matter with you all.

So I'm doing so.

I trust you don't want that -- go elsewhere. Join Women In Sports Events and other groups. Or start your own group. But I do swear by WISE.

"The Blog Report With Zennie Abraham" Coming To CoLours TV - This is my presentation of our new show "The Blog Report with Zennie Abraham" coming to the CoLours TV network soon.

CoLours TV is at 9407 on the DISH Network, so if you have Comcast, dump it and get the DISH Network so you can tune in.

The show is in three basic segments: politics, pop-culture, and sports.

John McCain Leaves GM Plant To Chants Of Obama 08

When they own the information they can bend it how they want

"Me and all my friends," says John Mayer, "We’re all misunderstood.They say we stand for nothing and there’s no way we ever could." That sort of cynicism needs debunking, as Mayer knows. There's nothing false about hope, and what the future brings us depends largely on what we dare to believe - and do - in the present.

Barack Obama inspires that hope.

Here's a new video tribute, set to Mayer's music.