Contact
Archives
Search
Blogs
Newspaper Blogs
English-Language
Press
Polls

February 26, 2004

APOLOGIZE, PLEASE....OK, count me in as a Democrat who thinks Corrine Brown was out of line yesterday:

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown verbally attacked a top Bush administration official during a briefing on the Haiti crisis Wednesday, calling the President's policy on the beleaguered nation "racist" and his representatives "a bunch of white men."

Her outburst was directed at Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega during a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill. Noriega, a Mexican-American, is the State Department's top official for Latin America.

....Noriega later told Brown: "As a Mexican-American, I deeply resent being called a racist and branded a white man," according to three participants.

Brown then told him "you all look alike to me," the participants said.

Calling our policy racist is OK — it's not my style, but it's within the bounds of common polemical language — but the rest isn't. It's offensive, and it's still offensive regardless of whether Brown is black, white, or Martian. She needs to apologize, and she needs to mean it.

Via OxBlog.

Posted by Kevin Drum at February 26, 2004 09:29 AM | TrackBack


Comments

This is worse than Trent Lott.

Let's see what happens.

Posted by: Al at February 26, 2004 09:30 AM | PERMALINK

It's certainly more blatant than Trent Lott. Worse? Um.

Anyway: yes, she needs to apologize.

Posted by: Kenneth G. Cavness at February 26, 2004 09:31 AM | PERMALINK

Being of Hispanic ethnicity or Mexican national descent is not inconsistent with being of white race. And if he wasn't white, wouldn't being offended at being called white be evidence of racism? If you aren't a racist, being called a different race isn't an insult. (And if he is white and is offended, is it because he is a self-loathing white, or because he thinks "white" is an offensive racial epithet like "nigger"?). I mean, I'm mixed black, white, and american indian, and I'm not offended at people calling me hispanic, samoan/pacific islander, or whatever, which has happened surprisingly often. I'd be more offended if they called policies I supported for good, non-racist reasons "racist" than that they miscalled my race. The only reason the latter would be more offensive is if the policies actually were racist.

That aside, the comment was way out of line.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 26, 2004 09:35 AM | PERMALINK

An apology is due, no question about it. Real democrats should not stand for racism in any form, from anyone.

Posted by: frythem at February 26, 2004 09:36 AM | PERMALINK

Completely out of line. She should be reprimanded immediately and apologize for that trash talk.

Posted by: Old Hat at February 26, 2004 09:38 AM | PERMALINK

This probably won't get played out in the media, but you know Rush will go after it. But I never really understood how the policy on Cuba could so differ the policy on Haiti. That place is in a lot of trouble right now and needs help.

Posted by: sean at February 26, 2004 09:38 AM | PERMALINK

Was Noriega implying that a Mexican-American couldn’t be racist? If so, he should apologize.

Posted by: td at February 26, 2004 09:39 AM | PERMALINK

I hope to hear again from the morons who insist that Blacks can't be racists. Edwards and Kerry would love to have a Sister Souljah moment.

The comments were beyond stupid. "You all look alike" is about the most ignorant stuff I've heard in some time. Way to reach out for the Hispanic vote, dumbass. Not that the Hispanic vote is a unified monolith or anything...

Posted by: jon at February 26, 2004 09:40 AM | PERMALINK

I would like for Al and other of his ilk to take note that when Democrats make stupid, racist remarks, we lefties will call them on it and not be mealy-mouthed apologists for them (see also Lott, Trent; Barbour, Haley; Helms, Jesse).

Posted by: Silence Dogood at February 26, 2004 09:42 AM | PERMALINK

"you all look alike to me,"

Similar to what former Santa Barbara Mayor Sheila Lodge said when talking about the SB Police. The police slammed to the ground and handcuffed a member of the Harlem Globtrotters in broad daylight infront of hundreds of tourists in downtown SB. They thought he was the wanted suspect of a jewelry store robbery, although the suspect was said to be an African American about 5'7". The member of the Globetrotters, who was there to participate in a fundraising event at UCSB, was closer to 7'.

Posted by: jillian at February 26, 2004 09:44 AM | PERMALINK

Let me review -

Kevin allows that policy can be racist, but that the people responsible for establishing and maintaining a racist policy are not racist.

Hogwash! This is pure ethical escapism! Racist policies would not exist if not for racists and weasels. True ethics require that we are responsible for our actions.

Posted by: notanumber at February 26, 2004 09:48 AM | PERMALINK

Except for the fact that she is correct --she should apologize for the remarks. But the same
people screaming for her head were quite silent on the Rod Paige remarks and some of the antigay
remarks made of late.

Posted by: annie at February 26, 2004 09:49 AM | PERMALINK

The hell was she thinking? She'd better make that apology a good one. She facing a challenge in the primary?

Posted by: Laertes at February 26, 2004 09:49 AM | PERMALINK

Annie: Just because we've been graced by assholes and hypocrites as the face of the Republican Party around here doesn't mean that Corrine Brown wasn't being offensively racist. I thank the Republicans and partisans for pointing out the trouble. They can go back to ignoring racism again, now.

Posted by: Kenneth G. Cavness at February 26, 2004 09:51 AM | PERMALINK

He's faking it. Noriega worked for Jesse Helms. He is a bad bad man. Racist wasn't going far enough. She needs to apologize for not going far enough.

And our policy on Haiti is worse than racist, it is practically genocidal.

Posted by: Ananna at February 26, 2004 09:58 AM | PERMALINK

Corrines comments were way out of line. Her facts are only half right. W doesn't much care about Haiti because it is black, but the other half is it has no oil.

Posted by: veritas at February 26, 2004 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

I thought Noriega was in Prison.
[/rimshot]

Posted by: Monkey at February 26, 2004 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Good for you Kevin. I was pissed about Lott's remarks myself and I vote republican. I helped vote out Bob Barr. I was happy that McKinney got voted out as well.

Down with the Extremists, down with them all.

Posted by: James Stephenson at February 26, 2004 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, that was totally out of line. Sounds like she has some ahem issues she needs to work out...

Posted by: ChrisL at February 26, 2004 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

The argument that "if a white man said that about blacks you'd sure think it was out of line!" is not always true. There are things that a powerful majority should not say or do that a minority can.

In this case, however, I think the comparison is apt. If Jesse Helms had called someone's policy racist, castigated the people in charge as "a bunch of black guys," and then blown off complaints with "you all look alike to me," we'd be appropriately outraged.

Pretty much the same deal here. I'm not saying Brown needs to be kicked out of Congress or anything, especially since I'm not aware of any previous transgressions, but she obviously let her temper get the better of her, she said some offensive things, and she ought to apologize.

Posted by: Kevin Drum at February 26, 2004 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with Kevin that Ms. Brown's comments directed at Mr. Noriega were out of line, but the overall criticism of U.S. policy is right on the money. It is racist and inhumane. Unfortunately, her personal attacks will no doubt distract people's attention from that very real issue. I blogged a bit on this earlier. It barely scratches the surface, but there is a lot of perspective on this crisis that I don't see the mainstream media even bothering to touch. If Ms. Brown had directed all of the force of her remarks against the policy and the history of U.S. involvement, maybe it would have generated some real interest where it could do the most good.

Posted by: crockmeister at February 26, 2004 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

We've all said intemperate things when angry. The hard part is apologizing later. She needs to do that.

Posted by: Mary Alice at February 26, 2004 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Bush and his "bunch of white men" never apologize for anything. Fuck 'em. I don't know anything about Noriega, but if he was good enough for Bush, he's probably not that good a guy. And the policy is bullshit.

Brown should to apologize to her fellow Dems and constituents for her outburst. We expect better from our representatives, and she should be held to that standard.

But as far as apologizing to anyone associated with this Administration or Republican leadership, get back to me when guys like Rod Paige are shown the door.

Posted by: Mr Furious at February 26, 2004 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

My italics got a bit out of hand up there...

Posted by: Mr Furious at February 26, 2004 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Good grief, I hope she apologizes. Not for her fundamental assessment of the policy, but for the personal, racist invective. Nothing like giving the other side ammo...

Posted by: NTodd at February 26, 2004 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, that is pretty breathtaking. I think she should apologize and resign as well.

Also, this: "Noriega later told Brown: "As a Mexican-American, I deeply resent being called a racist and branded a white man," according to three participants."

I'd say he was saying he resents being mischaracterized, not that being white is a bad thing.

Posted by: Eric at February 26, 2004 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

She needs to apologize for the tone of her rhetoric. But I feel her frustration. Also, there's nothing contradictory about a Mexican-American having European features and looking white. There's a polarization in Mexican society - and possibly among Mexican-American groups - that is similar to the dynamics among other ethnic and racial groups, in that the lighter the skin, the better the treatment. I have little sympathy for him suddenly holding his ethnicity out as a shield. I am dubious about whether she meant 'you all look alike to me' to mean white people or Republicans. I lean toward the latter.

I also agree with the person upthread who said it is contralogical to declare a policy racist without indicating those who fostered it as racist.

Posted by: spacezebra at February 26, 2004 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know where you've been, but to many on the Left, a minority who is Republican isn't a "real" minority at all. In fact, by definition they are traitors to their race. I can't speak for Corrine Brown, but I know people that, as far as they are concerned, see Bush's entire cabinet as "white." Heck, I can see a couple of them right here. Do I really have to document the rank abuse and insults that have been heaped on people like Powell and Rice, not to mention black conservatives as a group?

Posted by: tbrosz at February 26, 2004 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

I'm trying to think of a case (other than identical twins or triplets) where "you all look alike to me" would be an appropriate retort. I'm confused about the 'racism' of the Haiti policy. Ill-advised? Maybe. Not well thought out? Quite possibly. Calloused? Possibly. But racist? I would be surprised.

What should a (presumably non-racist) policy toward Haiti look like? And is our current policy dramatically different than Clinton's? (That isn't Clinton bashing by the way. I'm assuming merely that you aren't calling 'our first back president' racist.)

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw at February 26, 2004 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

At the risk of being misunderstood, let me suggest that attacking US foreign policy with respect to Haiti [or anywhere else for that matter] as "racist" seems to me beside the point, and pointless [since accusers and defenders of the policy involved will disagree strongly about whether the policy is racist or not. Especially given the at times absurd expansion in the past decade or so of what some think constitutes racism.]
The debate should be about whether the policy furthers the best interests of the United States or not. Not over whether it is by someone's standard "racist". Is it in the best interests of the U.S. to intervene again in the Haitian situation, and if so, what kind of intervention would best serve the diplomatic interests of the US? Those are the questions... the only questions, I think... that matter here. Or they should be.

Posted by: Flatlander100 at February 26, 2004 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

“Do I really have to document the rank abuse and insults that have been heaped on people like Powell and Rice, not to mention black conservatives as a group?”

No, no, no. There are no groups, only individuals. Why do people like tbrosz insist on using vile slurs such as “black conservatives” to separate conservatives who happen to be black from their fellow conservatives?

Posted by: td at February 26, 2004 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz is spot on: Powell, Rice, and people the likes of Armstrong Williams, reside in a very contentious place in the minds of many black people, as regards their race. That is, they aren't.

Posted by: spacezebra at February 26, 2004 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Does anybody realize the U.S. is tacitly supporting a military overthrow of a democratically elected leader in Haiti?

Posted by: noam chimpsky at February 26, 2004 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Does anyone else think "you all look the same to me" may have just been a little bit of (admittedly impolitic) snark? I think she was just trying to give "the man" a little taste of his own medicine.

Posted by: Hoyt Pollard at February 26, 2004 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

I have read that Aristide has made common cause with a number of gangsters in Haiti and that a large part of the population is out of work. On the other hand at least one of the rebel leaders has been accused of running a death squad. Aristide may not be a great statesman, but he may be a better alternative than that. It is similar to the 1994 situation, when the individuals that seized power were School of the Americas alumni.

Another real tradegy is the situation in the Congo. I read recently that several million people had been killed as a result of the ongoing conflict in the blighted nation. It is certainly a human rights disaster. Apparently, the UN peacekeeping force in this nation is hopelessly undermanned.

Her rhetoric was over the top. I can't help but wonder why things like Haiti and the Congo don't get more attention when the press finds the time to cover General Abizaid's every bowel movement. If the pattern is consistent enough, I can certainly see why someone would call this neglect racist.

Posted by: Roland at February 26, 2004 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

"Brown then told him "you all look alike to me," the participants said."

unacceptable and outrageous. she should apologize. And apologize clearly without any of the bulls*&# qualifiers: "taken out of context" "not what I really meant" or any of that! (see Sec. Paige)

Posted by: Dan at February 26, 2004 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Cirrinne Brown is a typical liberal Democrat
and at the same time a creation of the left.

He mentality is the mentality created by liberal racial policies and their soft bigotry of low expectations.

No one in the Democrat Party will call her to task....end of story.

Posted by: keiser at February 26, 2004 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with Rep. Brown. But yeah - she should apologize.

Posted by: RoguePlanet at February 26, 2004 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

....Noriega later told Brown: "As a Mexican-American, I deeply resent being called a racist and branded a white man,"

As a white chick, I deeply resent that Noriega deeply resents being "branded a white man." I demand apologies!

Posted by: RoguePlanet at February 26, 2004 11:01 AM | PERMALINK
Does anybody realize the U.S. is tacitly supporting a military overthrow of a democratically elected leader in Haiti?

Just like we did in Venezuela, under this president (not that it lasted)?

Why does Bush hate democracy?

Posted by: cmdicely at February 26, 2004 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Keiser,
the phrase "the soft bigotry of lowered expectations" died a well deserved death when it was realized that it applied principally to "winners of the lucky sperm club" like emperor C+ augustus.

As for the rest of your point: Absent any actual facts about Rep. Brown why accuse her of being the beneficiary of any unwarranted handouts or having risen above her station in life? Is she your representative? Do you know any details about her life, work, grades, struggles, achievements? She said something intemperate and she has been roundly criticized for it here by card carrying democrats. That is more than I've heard from high ranking republicans about Rod Paige et al.

aimai

Posted by: aimai at February 26, 2004 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Well, there are two things:

* The accusation of racism as being the prime motivator in US Haiti policy. This is true, and has been since...forever....including past administrations.

* The "You all look alike" comment is racist and ugly, and she needs to apologise.

So, an "I'm sorry that I said that all white folk look the same, it was wrong." would be good and noble.

An, "I'm sorry if he was offended", is a weases not apology, and bad.

If she said, "I'm sorry, but when I see a racist, all I see is a racist, no matter what language his grand parents spoke." would be a hoot, but that would not be the high road.

Posted by: Matthew Saroff at February 26, 2004 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

The problem with Haiti is that there are now no unambiguous "good guys." Aristide really did preside over a rigged set of elections in 2000, marred further by violence. The opposition really does have some shady characters. But note that the US has actually been trying to *save* Aristide's job by having remain as President while joining a power sharing agreement with the opposition. France, the erstwhile darling of the American left, has been calling for Aristide to resign immediately. That may eventually happen, but it can't be said the US hasn't made an effort to stave it off. The only further step we could take now would be to send a military force to fight the opposition. Are worries about intervening militarily in a civil war on behalf of a leader with tarnished legitimacy automatically racist?

Posted by: rd at February 26, 2004 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

I looked at Roger Noriega, and he looks pretty white to me. So why would he be offended as branded being a white man?

Posted by: Dan the Man at February 26, 2004 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

In Stephen King's Dark Tower series, there is a character named Susannah. Susannah is black. She is the result of the fusion of two personalities she was channelling as a result of dissociative identity disorder (mislabeled as schizophrenia by Stephen King). The two personalities were named Odetta and Detta. Odetta was a nice socially aware woman, and Detta would of been made nicer by having rabies.

In particular, Detta is very racist towards whites. She routinely dares them to try and rape her ("Honky Mofo's goan come try rape me wit' da little white peckers? Jus you try it Detta bite those honky peckers right off"). She insessantly speaks like this.

I think Detta used the "you all look alike to me" line.

Posted by: TomK at February 26, 2004 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Rep. Brown did say something outrageous, and she should effing apologize RIGHT NOW. Abjectly.

To all my fellow liberals making excuses for her --- I'm disgusted to share beliefs with you.

Posted by: Brooklyn Sword Style at February 26, 2004 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

On the other hand, studies routinely show that people of one race have a hard time telling people of a different race apart on the basis of facial features, so when she said "You all look alike to me" she might not of been lying.

Posted by: TomK at February 26, 2004 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

I'm not going to wade into the issue of what the appropriate U.S. policy in Haiti should be - but I would like to point out that just because a leader is democratically elected doesn't mean it should NEVER be U.S. policy to oppose that leadership.

For example, if Aristide started butchering people by the thousands I don't think it would be out of line for the U.S. to promote a policy that he needs to be removed. Democratically elected leaders should be give the benefit of a doubt - but at some point doubt is removed as an issue.

Two examples of democratically elected leaders (pretty much) who I think U.S. policy should/did oppose: Arafat and Hitler.

(Note: I'm not equating any world leader to Hitler; I'm merely arguing that just because someone was democratically elected in the past shouldn't put them and their post-election policies beyond the realm of criticism or policy change.)

Posted by: Greg at February 26, 2004 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Also, there's nothing contradictory about a Mexican-American having European features and looking white.

And being White in the exact same sense as anyone else is White, too.

Inasmuch as races exist and "White" is one of them, there are quite a few Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who are White. Saying you can't be white and Mexican is like saying you can't be white and South African.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 26, 2004 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Our policy with regard to Haiti is racist? Are you insane?!?

I can cetainly understand the Bush Admnistration's reluctance to intevene there. Why?

Because the problems there cannot be solved. Haiti is a hopeless basket case. Aid organizations have been working there for scores of decades now. Nothing has changed, and unless the Haitians themselves decide that they want to stop slaughtering one another, nothing ever will.

Yes, we can stop the slaughter. We can lavish foreign aid on the country. But it's just a gaping maw which will consume whatever resources we throw at it. There is absolutely no indication that Haiti will ever become a stable, prosperous democracy. It's hopless.

And please, stop it with these School of the Americas references. What, you think our policy toward Haiti is imperialist? Do you believe that US corporations are exploiting the Haitians and making money hand over fist down there? In order to protect our commercial intersts, we are sponsoring right-wing dictators becuase we are afraid that populists with the support of the peasants, like Aristide, will jeapordize our financial intersts?

Haiti is the POOREST COUNTRY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. We have no financial interests down there. Please!

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 26, 2004 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Are you kidding. Roger Noriega is the ring leader in the overtrow of the elected President of Haiti. Noriega has been running around the world getting nations to tow the US line of removing the President of Haiti. The CIA and Defense spy group has armed these killers and sent them into Haiti. The US has never forgiven the Haiti president from disbanding the Haitian Army. How can we protect US business in Haiti if we don't have an Army to buy off. So Cong Brown used a few words that offend but where are the offended few and why are they not raising a hue and cry about the people of Haiti that have died and will most likely die if this coup keeps up. I don't use the word terrorist becuase it means nothing, but this band of killers in Haiti set up by the US are plain and simply murders. History shows this but with the good old US media you will never know.

Posted by: hjl at February 26, 2004 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

"Haiti is the POOREST COUNTRY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. We have no financial interests down there."

And there is the real reason Bush isn't charging in there, there is nothing in it for US business...unlike Iraq, which is loaded with oil.

Posted by: Eric at February 26, 2004 11:37 AM | PERMALINK


Well, Noriega could definitely implement a racist policy, regardless of his race, or more specifically a member of an ethnic minoriy which could be vulnerable to policies in general informed by racism. All it takes is a hand on the switch, it doesn't matter what color that hand is as long as the individual is willing to operate the machine.

That said, and agreeing that Brown was right in her criticism of policy, she needs to apologize becase however she meant that-seriously, or ironically, or as a vieled accusation of "race betrayal" it was reprehensible. In many ways, it negates and nullifies her criticism of racist policy, because she's apealing to the same ideas and conceptions of race as authorial and determinative which racist policies are predicated on. She needs to apologize to Noriega, even if he is a bad, bad man, and she owes us an apology too, for making him look good. This is whay people like bush do put "brown fces in high places": it gives them cover.

Posted by: Urk at February 26, 2004 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Hjl-

What US businesses in Haiti? Care to name a few?

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 26, 2004 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Joe

I am not sure why you are so outraged by a School of the Americas reference. It is a matter of fact that Raul Cedras, a key figure in the 1991 coup that ousted Aristide was a School of the Americas alumni. I find most of what you write very reasoned, but this post is absolute nonsense. Why does stating this simple fact imply that I am claiming that our policy towards Haiti is imperialist? Why does it imply that I am advocating an armed intervention on behalf of Aristide?

Posted by: Roland at February 26, 2004 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

I would remind you that a lot of Republicans were extremely reluctant to intervene in Bosnia and Kosovo, where many people are white.

It's not because they are racist. It's becuase they realized that Bosnia is a quagmire.

We're going to be there forever (well, either we'll be there or the Europeans will be there.) If we were to leave tomorrow, the slaughter would resume immedaitely. None of the hatred or the underlying problems have been solved; they've just been put on ice because heavily armed Americans are patrollnig the place.

Now, as it happens, Kosovo went well. We were able to secure the place without a single American casualty. But there was no guaranteeing that this would happen. We could have faced a guerilla insurgency. You just never know. There is always an element of uncertainty in these things.

Haiti is no different. No different at all. If we send troops, we'll either need to station them in Haiti for the next 50 years, or if we withdraw, we'll simply have to return in 5-10 years. And no matter what we do, Haiti isn't going to look like Oklahoma any time soon. It'll still be a godforsaken hellhole.

Now, in the end, maybe deploying troops is the right thing to do. But you can hardly call someone who is reluctant to do this a "racist." That's a totally unwarranted charge.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 26, 2004 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Roland-

I don't deny that he was a graduate of the School of the Americas. What I am saying is that School of the Americas is almost always used by critics of US foreign policy as a symbol of US imperialism.

There is no imperialism in Haiti. We have no business interests to protect there, and there is nothing to "exploit."

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 26, 2004 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Joe

There is often much to criticize about the School of the Americas.

I can certainly see how someone might level the charge of racism. The US took great pains to intervene in Southeastern Europe where the residents, although they speak a different language, look strikingly similar to the white majority in the US. The US does not intervene in Rwanda, the Congo, or Haiti. I realize this is certainly not an airtight case and involves the foreign policy calculations of various administrations. The point is, it is not unreasonable for someone to make such a charge. In fact, I seem to remember similar charges made against those who did not want to intervene in Iraq.

Posted by: Roland at February 26, 2004 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that this was offensive. Sneering at somebody for being white, and a man, is racist/sexist, as it would be for any other race and for the opposite sex.

There seems to be some weird sense among some on the left that it's ok to sneer at "white men."

It's not ok. It's derogatory, bigoted and offensive.

Posted by: DanM at February 26, 2004 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Roland, I see what you mean, but you are really overstating your point.

We've ALREADY intervened in Haiti. It was a disaster. A total disaster. What makes you think that things will go any better this time?

We've intervened in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama, Grenada, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua (well, at least some loyal Americans tried to do the right thing there...:), Lebanon, Vietnam, South Korea, Colombia...the list goes on and on and on.

It is simply not true to say that whenever nonwhites start killng one another, the US turns a blind eye. Nor is it fair to say that the US only intervenes in order to protect its business interests. None of the countries I have listed above is principally inhabited by caucasians. With the exception of Iraq and the Dominican Republic, US business interests in these countries are likewise insignificant. There was certianly no money to be made in Greneda, Somalia, the Korea of 1948, or Nicaragua so you can't say that our policy was driven by United Fruit or Standard Oil.

Again, I do see what you mean, but I think you are overstating your case.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 26, 2004 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone else think "you all look the same to me" may have just been a little bit of (admittedly impolitic) snark? I think she was just trying to give "the man" a little taste of his own medicine.

i laughed, i thought it was a sarcastic in your face joke back at them.

jeez, you guys are being awfully politically correct around here! the policies are incredibly racist, and i don't see the problem with calling a spade a spade.

yes, i made a terribly incorrect joke, to make a point, like i think the good woman herself was doing.

it's people like you guys that give fodder to the meme the left has no sense of humor. lighten up!

Posted by: skippy at February 26, 2004 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. I didn't realize that white USAmerican progressives have determined that Mexican-Americans can be neither racist nor white. I must have missed a memo....

The fact is that Roger Noriega is both white and a racist. He attempted to deny this by fallaciously invoking his national origin, and Corrine Brown simply called him on it.

She has nothing to apologize for.

It's about time you progressives stopped taking your cues from Rush Limbuagh. The issue here is not Ms. Brown's comments -- it is US policy toward Haiti.

Posted by: Brian Ritzel at February 26, 2004 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Of course the Bush Administration is racist; of course Haiti needs a good, two-sided, double-edged ass-kicking, and Corrine Brown, of course, is a fool with the manners of a linebacker. This kind of charm offensive will have her natural enemies wondering anew if William Lloyd Garrison went too far.

Posted by: Harry LIme at February 26, 2004 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

With the exception of Iraq and the Dominican Republic, US business interests in these countries are likewise insignificant.

Panama Canal?

Posted by: Anarch at February 26, 2004 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Waiiit a minute.....Noriega "deeply resents" being "branded a white man"? And just what does he think is so bad about white men?

The simple fact is that Corrine Brown was telling the truth. Our policy has been racist, the intent is to prevent the emergence of a successful government run by the descendants of slaves, for over a century Haiti has been forced to make payments for factories lost by the white rulers when the slaves revolted, and the same men who ran Iran-Contra are back in the WH, making Haiti into a drug transhipment haven for more Iran-contra type frolics.

Oh, and the guy who overturned the Iran-Contra convictions? He's in charge of the Whitewash Commission that was set up to head off an investigation of who lied about Iraq.

That, in a nutshell, is why many black people don't regard Rice or Powell (or Thomas) as brothers.

Posted by: serial catowner at February 26, 2004 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

No question that the gentle lady's remarks were intemperate, but maybe she'd just finished reading Michael Ramirez' cartoon in last Saturday's (2/21) LA Times. In it he shows a tidal wave about to break over what appears to be the beachfront at a famous resort in a Southeastern state. The droplets of water in the wave are composed of little black -- um, silhouetted -- people that are thoughtfully labeled, "Haitian Refugees." It struck me as appealing to xenophobic prejudice at best, but for sure the closest thing to overt racism I'd seen in the mainstream press in a long, long time.

Guess I agree with those who have a hard to swallowing a line like, "Well, I'm in favor of a racist policy, but I'm not a racist myself."

Posted by: Jim Strain at February 26, 2004 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Joe, I submit that your definition of imperialism may be a little to strictly drawn. A country (like the US) need not have a direct financial interest in an object state to act imperialistically. It may be a set of actions based on strategic or security interests and not pure commerce. In some of those states you listed, our government was not happy with what it considered radical governments. So, we sent in the Marines, the CIA or both.

Posted by: Keith G at February 26, 2004 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Anarch-

I deliberately left Panama off the list. However, it may interest you to know that the US has since vacated all of its bases in the Panama Canal Zone.

And while we do have business interests in Panama, the same cannot be said of Grenda, Haiti, Somalia, Nicaragua, 1948 Korea, Lebanon, Afghanistan...it's really not fair to say that the US only intervenes when whites are threatened or when economic interests are at stake.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 26, 2004 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Jim-

Yeah, right. As if we'd be THRILLED if flood of White Russian or Czech refugees suddenly appeared on our shores. There is nothing inherently racist about not wanting to absorb a massive influx of dirt-poor immigrants who (a) do not speak English, (b) have no marketable skills whatsoever, (c) are likely to cost a great deal of money, (d) will culturally clash with the residents of communities that the settle in.

This might be selfish and unenlightened -- though I admit to sharing some of these feelings -- but it is not racist.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 26, 2004 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

And while we do have business interests in Panama, the same cannot be said of Grenda, Haiti, Somalia, Nicaragua, 1948 Korea, Lebanon, Afghanistan...it's really not fair to say that the US only intervenes when whites are threatened or when economic interests are at stake.

ISTR considerable commercial interest in an Afghan oil pipeline. Anti-Sandinista leaders
-- as is common in Latin America -- were both often wealthy businesspeople with ties to the US and white. In Grenada, we expressly intervened, IIRC, to protect American medical students.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 26, 2004 01:10 PM | PERMALINK

I deliberately left Panama off the list. However, it may interest you to know that the US has since vacated all of its bases in the Panama Canal Zone.

The Panama Canal remains an important US "business interest" in the sense that it is pretty vital to our trade. And, as you note, we withdrew after the invasion, rather than before.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 26, 2004 01:12 PM | PERMALINK

I don't deny that he was a graduate of the School of the Americas. What I am saying is that School of the Americas is almost always used by critics of US foreign policy as a symbol of US imperialism.

IME, its usually used by critics as a symbol of the US training regional military leaders in the art of popular repression, because that's quite a bit of what it did. The argument that the purpose of this is imperialistic is less than universal, though common, but secondary to the central problem.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 26, 2004 01:14 PM | PERMALINK

Joe

While I broadly agree that the US intervenes abroad for a variety of reasons, I am not so sure that I think it is necessary to show that the US intervenes every time whites or financial interests are threatened and never intervenes otherwise to demonstrate that the US foreign policy is racist. This type of proof is not obtainable. Nor does our non action in Haiti demonstrate that the US has a racist foreign policy.

I simply think that it is reasonable for someone to examine the recent foreign policy decisions of the US government and conclude that when confronted by crises of similar magnitude, that the US will be more likely to intervene when white people are being killed rather than brown ones. I realize that the case in Iraq is different, but, at least in principle, there were other compelling reasons to oust Hussein other than his human rights record.

Posted by: Roland at February 26, 2004 02:04 PM | PERMALINK

I simply think that it is reasonable for someone to examine the recent foreign policy decisions of the US government and conclude that when confronted by crises of similar magnitude, that the US will be more likely to intervene when white people are being killed rather than brown ones.

Can you please outline the "recent foreign policy decisions" in which white people were being killed and we intervened? I'd like to test out your hypothesis, and I'd need to know the data you are working with.

Posted by: Al at February 26, 2004 02:22 PM | PERMALINK

The Grenada invasion had much less to do with protecting medical students than it did with countering Cuban influence in the region. (And kicking some butt, of course.)

Posted by: englishprofessor at February 26, 2004 02:29 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not saying Brown needs to be kicked out of Congress or anything, especially since I'm not aware of any previous transgressions,

HAHAHA!! Kevin, if you only knew. Her gerrymandered seat is so safe, she can get away with just about anything. It also diminishes minority participation in other districts, ensuring the election of people like Ric Keller over the respected and popular Linda Chapin, the former Orange County Chair. Check out this article about Brown in Counterpunch. I will plead guilty to hypocrisy; I would definitely vote for her against someone as revolting as Tom Feeney.

Posted by: Gabriel at February 26, 2004 02:41 PM | PERMALINK

Roland,

I simply think that it is reasonable for someone to examine the recent foreign policy decisions of the US government and conclude that when confronted by crises of similar magnitude, that the US will be more likely to intervene when white people are being killed rather than brown ones.

You may be right. The trouble is that you could say exactly the same of practically any other nation, or indeed of the UN. As far as I can see, the UN's ordinary reaction to genocidal civil war in Africa is to wait until the carnage is over and then set up refugee camps.

Posted by: Michelle Dulak at February 26, 2004 02:51 PM | PERMALINK

Al

Sure. Consider the two examples of Kosovo and Rwanda. They both happened within the last 10 years. The US saw fit to intervene in Kosovo. The US did not intervene in Rwanda. If memory serves, the French eventually intervened in Rwanda. At that point, 250,000 were dead.

At present, there is a war raging in the Congo that has claimed several million lives. To my knowledge, Presidents Bush and Clinton have said nothing publicly about this during the last two administrations. If this were going on in a region like Central or Southeastern Europe, we probably would have already intervened. As it is, this issue is rarely mentioned in newspapers.

As another example, not quite one that you requested, one can take the US position vis-a-vis South Africa during the era of apartheid in that country. I have no proof that the US would have taken some action if the situation were reversed, but I suspect that this is the case. My history may be incorrect here, but I believe President Reagan vetoed measures that the Congress wished to take against that nation.

On the other side of the equation, you have the unsuccessful intervention in Somalia, where the benefits were judged to be out of propertion of the costs. In addition, you have our re-installing Aristide in 1994. My perception at the time was that this move, alhtough in support of a democratically elected leader, was widely opposed.

Again, I don't think I am convinced that US foreign policy is inherently racist. I do certainly see why someone looking at those facts could reach such a conclusion.

Posted by: Roland at February 26, 2004 02:55 PM | PERMALINK

There are really two comments to address.
The first is calling Noriega a "racist". This I have no problem with. If its OK to call an action of a person "racist", then its also OK (if impolite) to call the person himself "racist". Conservatives call affirmative action "racist" all the time; I do not see why they shouldn't also call those who administer the program "racists". You can argue that our policy in Haiti is not racist, but that's a different issue. The fact that Noriega is himself hispanic has nothing to do with the issue at hand, as many hispanic people have demonstrated racism towards blacks in the past (maybe you could look at Trujillo's attitude towards Haitians?). Noriega might not like being called "white" for a number of reasons (its a meaningless term, of course), yet it is not at all unusual for hispanics to be called "white", and this is especially the case in the caribbean.

The second comment, that about "not being able to tell you apart", is a little more difficult to comprehend. Was she attempting to make some kind of joke, an inversion of the usual 'can't tell blacks apart' line? If so, it certainly is a racist thing to say and she should apologize immediately.

But, AI, are you seriously going to say that this is worse than Trent Lott's advocation of segregation? Please try to take some stock of the context in which things are said. Is the labeling of hispanics as "white" really a common phenomenon? Can this comment be linked to a underlying anti-hispanic voting record? Does this statement, in short, carry any kind of emotional texture, any kind of appeal to latent passions that are seething beneath the surface of American political life? The Lott comment did, after all. For a comment to be racist it must be uttered in a context where the force of the racial rhetoric hits home with people. Otherwise, its just a rude comment about someone's appearance.
I wonder. Since this comment was in the context of a debate about Haiti, maybe what Brown was trying (and failing, for sure) to imply is that, when it somes to Haiti, it is difficult to tell the difference between the racism of "whites" and the racism of "hispanics". I think that a cursory look at Haitian history (in particular its relations with the Dominican Republic) would vindicate this viewpoint.
Of course, its just as possible that Brown is really an ignorant, mean-spirited racist who really does think "all white (and hispanic) people look alike".

Posted by: kokblok at February 26, 2004 02:57 PM | PERMALINK

Michelle Dulak

I tend to agree with you. The UN mission in the Congo consisted of about 5,000 peacekeepers. Compare this with the 28,000 that were in Bosnia.

Posted by: Roland at February 26, 2004 02:59 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, she's just blowing off some steam. I'm steamed too so I don't blame her. As a white person myself, I often refer to Bush and his cohorts as a bunch of white devils. No big deal, I say. They are!

Posted by: LM at February 26, 2004 03:00 PM | PERMALINK

Roland,

About the only examples of "intervening" in a "white" country in the past few decades are Bosnia and Kosovo. I can't think of any other such instances - can you? And if so, is it possible that those instances were simply aberations of one particular President?

Posted by: Al at February 26, 2004 03:07 PM | PERMALINK

Thought experiment:

Corinne Brown apologizes and is sincere. She realizes that her consciousness needs to be raised so she attends sensitivity training classes in order to get a better understanding of Hispanic (and white) issues.

Now what?

Will Tom DeLay see the light? Will Trent Lott? Will Jesse Helms' family?

Posted by: tristero at February 26, 2004 03:10 PM | PERMALINK

Roland,

I should have added that the whole matter is cruelly complicated. The UN turns a blind eye to white deaths in Chechnya just as it does to black deaths in Sudan. On the whole, though, I suspect that the largest factor is the race of the perpetrators rather than the race of the victims. There's no other real explanation for the attention South Africa did get, and Israel still gets, from the UN, even while millions were and are being slaughtered elsewhere on the continent.

Posted by: Michelle Dulak at February 26, 2004 03:20 PM | PERMALINK

AI-
You're actually right (never thought I'd say that). American governments have been much more prone to intervening in "non-white" areas.

However, you have to at least grant that the American media has been much more willing to report on violent events that happen in "white" countries than on those that happen in other places, particularily Africa. The non-existant coverage of the war in the Congo, which has killed 2-3 million (even this wide discrepency is telling) in the last few years is a good example. Meanwhile, whenever a Palestinian blows himself up in Israel (or, to be fair, whenever an Israeli missile kills Palestianian civilians) its front page news. Is this a sign of "racism"? I'm not sure that's the word to use. But there is a widespread sense that, even in matters of human rights, certain places seem to matter more than others. This is shameful, even if it is a simple geographic and not a racial bias per se.

I think it is important to remember that racism and xenophobia are two different things. Racism in America developed over many centuries and is a deeply-ingrained part of our everyday lives, whether we like it or not. Blacks feel the presence of racism every day, whether or not anyone is actively "being racist". Racism is a very familiar, also intimate thing in America. On the other hand, the lack of concern for the victims in the Congo is better adressed as a form of xenophobia. Yeah, they might be "black", but I don't think that is why we don't care. It is much more subtle; after all only those who know absolutely nothing about Africa think of Africans as having much in common with American blacks. The lived texture of racism is missing. You see the same thing in the behavior of Russians that are racist against blacks--there is a kind of thinness to their hatred (not so with Russian anti-semites, of course)....

Posted by: kokblok at February 26, 2004 03:29 PM | PERMALINK

Al

I suspect it depends on what your definition of "aberration" is. In answer to your question, I cannot think of any other examples of the US directly intervening on behalf of whites in the last few years, unless you count the South Africa situation in the 80's.

I do think the 2 examples of Kosovo and Rwanda are instructive because of their similarity. If you are trying to blame Clinton for not acting in Rwanda I would agree. My belief is that he acted honorably in Kosovo.

Posted by: Roland at February 26, 2004 03:32 PM | PERMALINK
I suspect it depends on what your definition of "aberration" is. In answer to your question, I cannot think of any other examples of the US directly intervening on behalf of whites in the last few years, unless you count the South Africa situation in the 80's.

The Bosnian Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Serbians (Bosnian and otherwise), and ethnic Albanians in the Balkans are all white.

The elites (on both sides in 1991) in Panama are, I suspect, like similarly situated groups in the rest of Latin America, largely, though not exclusively, white.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 26, 2004 03:37 PM | PERMALINK

But, AI, are you seriously going to say that this is worse than Trent Lott's advocation of segregation? Please try to take some stock of the context in which things are said.

Yes, I do think this was worse than Trent Lott -- precisely because of the context.

Brown made a racist remark to a specific person -- to his face.

Lott did not insult anyone in particular; in fact, his comment was meant as a joke.

Brown's remark was far, FAR worse.

Is the labeling of hispanics as "white" really a common phenomenon?

Yes. There is, in fact, a term for this, which I will not repeat.

Can this comment be linked to a underlying anti-hispanic voting record?

Yes.

For example, she voted against limiting bilingual education and against free trade with Chile.

Does this statement, in short, carry any kind of emotional texture, any kind of appeal to latent passions that are seething beneath the surface of American political life?

Yes.

Brown is a bigot who made a racist remark to a hispanic. Her remark was far worse than Trent Lott's remark. She should be censured accordingly.

Posted by: Al at February 26, 2004 03:39 PM | PERMALINK
The trouble is that you could say exactly the same of practically any other nation, or indeed of the UN. As far as I can see, the UN's ordinary reaction to genocidal civil war in Africa is to wait until the carnage is over and then set up refugee camps.

The US is usually among those blocking the UN from acting in such cases, so the UN policy is largely a product of the US policy.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 26, 2004 03:39 PM | PERMALINK

For example, she voted against limiting bilingual education and against free trade with Chile.

Which of these is supposed to be anti-hispanic?

Posted by: cmdicely at February 26, 2004 03:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Why does Bush hate democracy?"

Bush? For at least the past century we have consistently acted to quash or quell popular rule in undeveloped or developing nations. Right-wing managed "democracies" and dictatorships are OK, just as long as they don't do anything vaguely socialistic, and serve US business and military "interests".

So the proper question is, why do WE hate democracy?

Posted by: Robert E at February 26, 2004 03:44 PM | PERMALINK

I'm trying to think of a case (other than identical twins or triplets) where "you all look alike to me" would be an appropriate retort.

It can work. My husband kept saying Kerry when he meant Edwards, and vice versa. When I suggested that our conversations would have fewer confused pauses if he could stop doing that, he shot back, "Well, they all look alike to me!"

I nearly collapsed laughing.

Oh. The joke? You see... he's Chinese.

Posted by: Canadian Reader at February 26, 2004 03:53 PM | PERMALINK

Which of these is supposed to be anti-hispanic?

Yes. Both.

Posted by: Al at February 26, 2004 03:55 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Schmoe (et al): I too agree that it's an overstatement to say that US foreign policy is inherently racist or driven solely by business interests. Having grown up in Asia, however, it was remarkable how often one could regard our foreign policy in that light; I'm thinking particularly of Tiananmen here, though there are others. At any rate, most expats possessed a level of (I think justified) cynicism about foreign policy that is uncommon in this country.

As for the question of the "white conflicts" -- Bosnia and Kosovo are of course the canonical examples -- how many "white conflicts" have there actually been in the last ten or twenty years? I don't recall any others (certainly not "European white conflicts"), which means I think we've essentially intervened in, well, all of them.

Of course, part of the problem here is the mutability of concept of race and ethnicity. Are Mexicans white? Are mulattos white? Mestizos? At what point does a European immigrant to Latin America become "Latinized" (i.e. no longer European), and does that impact their "race"? There aren't any good answers to those questions because race is basically an arbitrary social construct; two hundred years ago, Ben Franklin lumped the Swedes in the "swarthy peoples of Europe", and two hundred years from now we might consider everyone from coastal regions to be "Neo-Phoenician" or whatever. Any attempt to carefully analyze the question must therefore take into account not only what US policy was, and how it related to our interests, but also what racial distinctions were drawn by the people making the decisions... and that's a very subtle, and very different, topic entirely.

Posted by: Anarch at February 26, 2004 04:00 PM | PERMALINK

The Bosnian Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Serbians (Bosnian and otherwise), and ethnic Albanians in the Balkans are all white.

As I said - the only instances in which we intervened in a conflict in the past few decades to help whites are Bosnia and Kosovo. If you want to say those interventions were therefore "racist", well, I'll direct you to the President who decided to intervene there.

The elites (on both sides in 1991) in Panama are, I suspect, like similarly situated groups in the rest of Latin America, largely, though not exclusively, white.

And the rest of the population is largely black. What's your point - that democracy is only for elites?

Posted by: Al at February 26, 2004 04:00 PM | PERMALINK

AI--
So you're willing to say that all your conservative friends that are opposed to bilingual education are racists? I might agree, but hey...

Opposing free trade with Chile is far shakier. Why is that racist? If Brazil opposes the FTZA, does that mean Lula is racist against Chileans? (or Americans, for that matter)

Posted by: kokblok at February 26, 2004 04:03 PM | PERMALINK

So you're willing to say that all your conservative friends that are opposed to bilingual education are racists?

Just the opposite. Brown's vote was PRO-bilingual ed... hence my citation of it as an example of anti-hispanic bias.

Posted by: Al at February 26, 2004 04:05 PM | PERMALINK

One thing that we are not acknowledging is the sheer scale of the problem in places like the Congo and Haiti.

Bosnia and Kosovo were developed nations. The populations are literate, there is no AIDS epidemic, economic development is a realistic possibility...

You certainly can't say the same about the Congo or Haiti.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 26, 2004 04:13 PM | PERMALINK

Brown's vote was PRO-bilingual ed... hence my citation of it as an example of anti-hispanic bias.

This totally boggles my mind. So then, Canada's push for bilingual education is anti-French? Um.

Sorry, I don't get it.

Posted by: Canadian Reader at February 26, 2004 04:17 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

The US is usually among those blocking the UN from acting in such cases [genocidal civil wars in Africa], so the UN policy is largely a product of the US policy.

I see. Can you provide examples here? The UN push to intervene in Sudan . . . Congo . . . Rwanda . . . um, which one did we veto exactly? The last UN resolution authorizing the use of force that I remember involved Cote d'Ivoire, and naturally we vetoed that . . . no, wait a minute, we didn't. How strange.

Posted by: Michelle Dulak at February 26, 2004 04:22 PM | PERMALINK

AI,
Whatever you say, its obvious to anyone who has lived more than a moment in American society that the comments of Lott, in the context of his previous actions and the history of Mississippi, carried a lot more weight. The fact that these two votes are all you can dig up is pathetic, really.

What does saying something to someone's face have to do with anything? In my mind, this merely raises the ambiguity of the statement as it is written.

Anyway, I think we must separate MOTIVES from IMPACT. The ambiguity of Brown's statement is what limits its impact and, thus, its importance. Is this comment racist against hispanics or whites? Or some weird combination of the two?

I'm willing to believe that Brown could, in fact, have some deep-seeded racist feelings about hispanics or whites, but it would be difficult to understand where this particular epithet would come from. I have never heard an epithet like this anywhere, so its a bit like hearing someone say that "Albanians" and "Italians" all look alike. I mean, that's racist in some way, but who gives a shit?

Isn't it more likely that she meant "ALL REPUBLICANS LOOK ALIKE"?

Posted by: kokblok at February 26, 2004 04:22 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Schmoe--
What the hell are you talking about? What does "economic development" have to do with anything? In what way were the ethnic tensions in Bosnia eased by the fact that the country was relatively well-off?

Actually, I'm not even going to comment on your post. Please read it over again yourself. I dont even understand your arguement--that more difficult problems should get less attention than easier problems?

Posted by: kokblok at February 26, 2004 04:27 PM | PERMALINK

Are you out of your mind? You think they would apologiz? It's time for Dems like you to realize this isn't a debate, it's aboout the future of the country. Apologize for telling the truth? Never.

Posted by: rpenn at February 26, 2004 04:28 PM | PERMALINK
I see. Can you provide examples here? The UN push to intervene in Sudan . . . Congo . . . Rwanda . . . um, which one did we veto exactly?

Well, in Rwanda, the US led the drive (despite having no troops in the mission) to withdraw the UNAMIR peacekeeping force while the genocide was going on, and was for quite some time was a leading opponent of a more robust force.

As I recall, the US was similarly resistant to UN action in the Congo.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 26, 2004 04:40 PM | PERMALINK

Brown's vote was PRO-bilingual ed... hence my citation of it as an example of anti-hispanic bias.

There is considerable legitimate debate (on both sides) on the value of bilingual ed, although groups that are anti-hispanic or more generally anti-immgirant are universally dedicated opponents. So its hard to describe a pro vote as clearly anti-hispanic, as anti-hispanic groups are almost universally opposed.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 26, 2004 04:42 PM | PERMALINK

Kokblok-

All I am saying is that the sheer scale of the problem may make us shy away from acting.

For example, in Kosvo, all we had to do is mount a bombing campaign and send in 4,000 troops. The Kosovars can feed themselves, they are literate, there is no health crisis, etc. There is every reason to believe that it won't cost a fortune. While we may not be able to permanently resolve the ethnic tensions, at least we will be able to restore electricity and return thigns to some sembelance of normalcy in very short order.

Haiti, by contrast, is in far, far worse shape. It's the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Literacy, infant mortality, per capita GDP rates -- all of these things are appallingly low (or high, in the case of infant mortality.

It's sort of like doing a favor for your neighbor. If my neighbor wants me to help move the couch from the living room into the bedroom, sure, I'll be glad to help. But if his garage collapses and he wants me to build him a whole new garage, I'll be much more reluctant. I don't think you can say that I am "unneighborly" if I don't offer to help right away.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 26, 2004 04:42 PM | PERMALINK

For at least the past century we have consistently acted to quash or quell popular rule in undeveloped or developing nations. Right-wing managed "democracies" and dictatorships are OK, just as long as they don't do anything vaguely socialistic, and serve US business and military "interests".

I can't think of any intervention by Bush I or Clinton aimed against democracy off the top of my head, including even tacit support for anti-democratic coups like we've seen from Bush II twice, so far, in this hemisphere. I may be forgetting something. Although certainly the Cold War offers plenty of examples by leaders from both parties.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 26, 2004 04:45 PM | PERMALINK

Yes. Both.

Care to elaborate? Particularly, on the free-trade one?

Posted by: cmdicely at February 26, 2004 04:47 PM | PERMALINK

Cmdicely-

You seem like a very knowledgable person, so it is a little surprising that you don't acknowledge the character of the Chavez regime. He was indeed democratically elected (after trying to stage a military coup several years earlier, the citizens of Venezuela were stupid enough to elect him -- thik about that), but he's ruling like every other tinpot dictator.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 26, 2004 04:50 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

What you said was that the US was "blocking the UN from acting" — blocking it from intervening in African genocides. Show me a case in which the US has actually blocked UN action, as Russia blocked UN action over Kosovo.

And the UN's action to cut off the slaughter in Sudan was . . . what? And we shut off that action . . . how?

Posted by: Michelle Dulak at February 26, 2004 04:55 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by Kevin Drum: "She needs to apologize, and she needs to mean it."

Posted by Old Hat: "Completely out of line. She should be reprimanded immediately and apologize for that trash talk."

Posted by Eric: "Wow, that is pretty breathtaking. I think she should apologize and resign as well."

Posted by Brooklyn Sword Style: "Rep. Brown did say something outrageous, and she should effing apologize RIGHT NOW. Abjectly."

If a small group of slightly ethnically diverse mostly white men of immense influence and power lived a luxuriously grand life in a gilded mansion, in the damp and rat-infested basement of which they kept a large group of hideously poor mostly black people to sew gold threaded monograms into the bath towels of their masters, which they used to wipe sweat from their brows as they whipped and beat and raped their captives -- to whom they fed slop and spiders, and whose bathing consisted of piss streams from their captors -- and if somehow one of these poor souls escaped to a less harsh basement lorded by less severe masters, where she was interviewed by the press, during which she made sweeping allegations concerning her past and present keepers, including that they mistreated kittens and picked their noses.. if such a scenario existed, and if there were even the slighted doubt that some of the powerful men in question had actually mistreated kittens or picked their noses, I have a strong sense, never mind freepin' freaks, that Kevin Drum, Old Hat, Eric, and Brooklyn Sword Style would all be decrying the charges of the poor woman, insisting that she had stepped over the line, and demanding an immediate and sincere apology to one and all.

Who needs to lie down for the corrupt and heartless thugs in power when bending over backward to be "fair" to them will put us just as flat on our backs.

Posted by DanM: "There seems to be some weird sense among some on the left that it's ok to sneer at "white men." It's not ok. It's derogatory, bigoted and offensive."

What's weird and offensive to me is demanding polite respect for the perpetrators of mass murder and immense suffering.

Posted by: jayarbee at February 26, 2004 05:11 PM | PERMALINK

Elected officials are required to speak in PC terms or they are not. It is hypocritical to come down on one representative for and anti-black comment but give an anti-white comment a pass. If elected officials are allowed to freely exercise their right to freedom of speech, then both Lott and Brown can say what ever comes to mind. No matter how much it offends you.

Politically speaking, Browns offense was much worse. This is due to the fact that Hispanics represent a larger majority than African Americans. In addition the Hispanic vote is open while the Democratic Party has secured the African American vote.

Posted by: james at February 26, 2004 05:39 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Schmoe,
OK, but you're making a false comparison, acting as though it is neccesary to build a developed country and eradicate poverty to intervene to prevent acute *political* strife and "ethnic cleansing".

Anyway, we certainly did not have to make Rwanda or the Congo a "developed" nation to prevent the slaughter of the millions that died there. In fact, there was every reason to believe that an intervention in Rwanda would have been much EASIER than one in Bosnia or Kosovo. The situation was a lot more straightforward and the "enemy" much weaker. In hindsight, Kosovo and Bosnia seem "easy", but that was not the general opinion at the time.

This is not to say that I always support humanitarian intervention. Obviously each case must be weighed on the merits. But the relative poverty of the country does not seem to me to be a valid yardstick of the complexity of the task.

Posted by: kokblok at February 26, 2004 05:54 PM | PERMALINK

1. This was a closed-door meeting at which, I assume, Mr. Noriega was giving a presentation regarding State Department policies regarding Haiti.
2. We only hear portions of what actually happened, and particularly only those critical of Rep. Brown.
3. It is probably difficult, if not impossible to impartially judge the remarks made by either side of this controversy if one is not viewing a tape or transcript of the meeting, or the context in which the alleged remarks were made.
4. The pattern of policy making in this administration allows for no meaningful input from outside influences and is frustrating to concerned outsiders who care about the consequences of policy decisions.
5. After witnessing the commitment of hundreds of billions of US taxpayer dollars to allegedly attend to the welfare of 24 million Iraqis halfway around the world, one watches with despair to see the chaotic turmoil roiling through 8 million Haitians in our own Monroe Doctrine backyard, with the president making pointed remarks discouraging any US intervention or aid.
6. Our policy toward Haiti appears by most measures to be racist and uncharitable and inhumane. Calling the people involved with implementing and formulating the policy "racist" was probably proffered to make a point, rather than as an ad hominem attack. Calls for an apology are a destraction from the point Rep. Brown was making, and the very least of our problems.

Therefore, since we don't know what really happened in that room, it really is not for us to judge. Rep. Brown can decide on her own whether her actions warrant an apology. We are wasting too much energy on careless language, and not enough on destructive foreign policy initiatives.

In other words, an apology in this case, offered or not, is none of our business. However, the policies are.

Posted by: David Yuguchi at February 26, 2004 05:58 PM | PERMALINK

David Yuguchi--
Well, I certainly think that political allies of the administration have just as much right to parse the speech of Mrs Brown as we in the opposition had to parse the speech of Mr Lott. This is what web-loggers do. They don't solve problems; they argue about minutaie.

In that vein, can anyone explain to me why Brown couldn't have meant that "all Republicans" looked alike? I think this second comment is really the heart of the matter. If this is what she meant, its not only a correct statement (where are the lips of republicans?), it's kind of funny.

Posted by: kokblok at February 26, 2004 06:06 PM | PERMALINK

"I can't think of any intervention by Bush I or Clinton aimed against democracy off the top of my head, including even tacit support for anti-democratic coups"

Under Bush I we supported the first Haiti coup to overthrow elected Aristide and reinstate the Duvalierists. Pretty much the same people are leading the armed rebellion and supporting the coup now. We also gave Saddam helicopters and missles to quell the post-Gulf-war uprisings in Iraq, and politely stayed out of the way. Clinton was an aberration--he defied Helms and the Republicans to reinstall an elected leader in Haiti, help disband the army, and offer humanitarian aid (although he did cooperate on imposing harsh financial terms). One of many reasons why Republicans hated him so much, and hate Aristide so much.

As for tacit support, during Clinton's term we continued the usual succor to right-wing rulers and insurgencies in Latin America, Southeast Asia (Suharto, for instance) and the Middle East, and probably Africa as well but I'm not as familiar with that chaotic place.

Posted by: Robert E at February 26, 2004 06:19 PM | PERMALINK

This is pretty stupid on Corrine Brown's part, but I am also interested in Noriega's response.

As a Mexican-American he is offended at being called a racist? I'd be offended no matter what my ethnicity. Then he says he doesn't like being branded a white man as if it were a bad thing to be. Finally, Mexican-Americans can be white people since Mexican-American is a country of origin category and white is a racial category.

None of this is to belittle anything regarding Norega's response to Brown's comments, but is a comment on how people view racism in broad and inexact ways.

Posted by: Poppy at February 26, 2004 06:26 PM | PERMALINK

Have you all lost your minds? At worst, Brown was deeply unprofessional. I don't think that shouting and carrying on is very productive in such situations - and it certainly didn't appear to be so here. But racist? As bad as Trent Lott? Are you people insane?

What did Brown do?
1. She called the policy racist. I don't see anything wrong with it whatsoever. Again, it may not be productive, but I don't think think it is least bit outrageous to suggest that if an island full of white people starting to descend into chaos just off our shores Bush would do more than put the Coast Guard on alert.

2. She didn't realize that Noriega was Mexican. As others have noted, Noriega's national heritage is completely irrelevant. He may not be pure Aryan but he is more than White enough to engage in the type of race based classism that is endemic to Mexico.

3. She said "You all look White to me." Okay, this is tasteless and rude but clearly was intended to suggest that Noriega's White Mexican-American-ness is not a defense against the charge that the policy is racist.

In contrast, we have Trent Lott. Trent Lott repeatedly associated with openly racist organizations (CCC). Finally he waxed nostalgiac for Strom Thurmond's candidacy. Strom Thurmond was a segregationist. That was his platform. Trent Lott said that if Thurmond had been elected we "wouldn't have had all these problems."

In Al's mind waxing pleasantly for Jim Crow is less offensive than calling a light skinned Mexican American "White". Fuck off, Al.

Posted by: space at February 26, 2004 07:07 PM | PERMALINK

Just to clarify. I'm not saying that all White Mexicans or Mexican-Americans are racist, but that Noriega's racial makeup does not insulate him in the least.

Posted by: space at February 26, 2004 07:10 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but before we judge Corrine Brown, I want to hear HOW she said it.

I can certainly hear a black person telling a white (hispanic) person that is fronting for racists---and was chosen because of their ethnicity---"you all look alike to me" in a way that communicates the black persons contempt for the RACISM of the hispanic person.

In other words, I seriously doubt that Corrine Brown can't tell the difference between white people. "You all look alike to me" was probably her way of saying "it doesn't make any difference if you are hispanic if you are promoting a white racist agenda--and DON'T YOU DARE try and exploit the fact that you are Hispanic to justify your racist agenda."

Posted by: paul lukasiak at February 26, 2004 08:00 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, can we have some proof that you're a democrat?

I find it incredible that you are distracted by a leaked story of something that took place in a CLOSED DOOR MEETING, rather than the situation that brought them all together behind those closed doors:

"Brown has criticized the detention of Haitian migrants fleeing their country and the freezing of millions of dollars in aid over flawed 2000 legislative elections in the impoverished Caribbean nation. In a statement Wednesday, she made parallels to the disputed 2000 election in Florida.

'It simply mystifies me how President Bush, a president who was selected by the Supreme Court under more than questionable circumstances (in my district alone 27,000 votes were thrown out), is telling another country that their elections were not fair and that they are therefore undeserving of aid or international recognition,' Brown said."

I've read the story three times now, and it's clear that Corinne Brown was talking about U.S. policy - and saying to Roger Noriega that "you all look alike" was about him as the representative of the policy.

You're focusing on inconsequentials, and playing right into Republicans' hands.

If you really want to go off on this tangent, anybody who thinks a black woman to be racist for borrowing a line that has a long history of being used by whites to render invisible black people, not see them as individuals, doesn't understand the phrase or what racism is. Her comments were meant as irony. She hit the nail on the head, with expert precision. Brown erred in not expecting that a Republican would leak it to the press in an intentional misleading context of a Trent Lott gaffe.

But Kevin, this is your blog, and you're diverting time and attention from the real story of what happened in that room??!? (Am I presuming too much of you, that you are aware of Chomsky, and Democracy Now, and peak oil, and Naomi Klein, and Greg Palast, and Tariq Aziz, and ...............................................

I know that people are very confused about racism, what it is, and what it isn't. The subject usually comes up in an atmosphere of shouting, and arguments, which provoke anger, guilt and shame. People then clam up, and avoid getting it out on the table, discussed and understood. I think that's what's led to this idea that the only political correctness is not to speak any of these words or phrases ever.

Now that I've run over at the mouth on this irrelevant tributary, I'm kicking myself for making Republicans happy.

The U.S. involvement in overthrowing a democratically elected regime in Haiti is what's important. It's stories like this that would help Americans understand why most people around the world don't share our own view of ourselves as nifty people.

Posted by: Carrie at February 26, 2004 08:06 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, what happened to the fellow who said that Brown's support of bilingual education is proof of her raging anti-hispanic hatred?

That guy was funny.

Posted by: kokblok at February 26, 2004 08:08 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly, I was pleasantly shocked to learn an African American United States Congresswoman spoke with such “passion” for Haitians. Several decades ago the same was being said about the “Orderly Departure Cuban” population which preceded and continued through the years of the Cuban Entrants. As the primary representative of an ecumenical advocacy agency of Haitian, Cuban, and Central American asylum seekers of the early 1980’s which successfully defended this population in Federal Courts, I often had to confront the racist political differences toward each of these populations by our government.

During the early 1980’s I did everything to attempt to motivate African American leadership in Florida to speak out on behalf of Haitians in South Florida and the migrant stream where they were being exploited. The African American community to some degree saw these Boat People as a threat to their own meager economic condition. I paid “top dollar” for an African American social worker and few were willing to work with our people.

Granted, an apology may be in order, but the depth from which her frustration comes is understood, shared, and appreciated. The United States needs to stop it’s exploitation of all third world nations, including our neighbors.

Posted by: Fred Suedmeyer at February 26, 2004 08:14 PM | PERMALINK

Carrie--
Thank you!
Your interpretation of the comment makes far more sense than these flimsy fantasies of racism against "White Mexicans" or whatever. When it comes to Haiti policy, all administration officials do "look alike", whatever their census category may say. Brown's statement seems more and more like a simply effective rhetorical device, one that is hardly more rude than things that get said in the House of Commons every session.

Posted by: kokblok at February 26, 2004 08:18 PM | PERMALINK

The U.S. involvement in overthrowing a democratically elected regime in Haiti is what's important.

OK, I give it up. The US actually went in and reinstalled Aristide after a coup twelve years ago; if Carrie could perhaps tell us which administration she meant to criticize, we might actually get somewhere.

Posted by: Michelle Dulak at February 26, 2004 08:20 PM | PERMALINK

Michelle--
This is not about 12 years ago, its about a current policy.
Carrie is referring to the treatment of refugees and to the freezing of certain promised foreign aid to Aristide's government, under the pretext that there were "flawed elections".

Posted by: kokblok at February 26, 2004 08:50 PM | PERMALINK

...I'm also not sure that these policies constitute "overthrowing" the government of Aristide, but they are certainly unfriendly.

Posted by: kokblok at February 26, 2004 08:52 PM | PERMALINK

Me thinks Ms. Brown should be required to attend some racial sensitivity training that is put on all the time by the EEOC. Down with intolerance! Also Bush's policy toward Haitian refugees is cold & cruel!

Posted by: Blacklikeme at February 26, 2004 09:47 PM | PERMALINK

I truly appreciate all the people defending Corrine Brown above. However, as a resident of north Florida,and as a Democratic loyalist, I can say without reservation that she is generally out for herself, and often wrong.
I do think think our Haiti policy is misguided, but one of the last things I would recommend is getting Rep. Brown on your side.

Posted by: Renault at February 26, 2004 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

I would be more impressed with Calpundit's outrage about Rep. Brown's comments if he had uttered a single word about the much greater horror Noriega is orchestrating down in Haiti. There is no doubt in my mind that this "rebellion" is an attempted coup d'etat orchestrated by the United States. Former FRAPH leaders (many of whom are known to have been on CIA payroll) are crossing the border of the Dominican Republic (to which we dispatched hundreds of U.S. troops to "patrol" a few months ago) armed to the teeth with M16s and other weapons (we sent 20,000 M16s to the Dominican military about six months ago) while the "democratic opposition" (which is funded by the International Republican Institute and other sections of the National Endowment for Democracy)refuses to negotiate in any shape or manner, much to the feigned worry of Colin Powell.
I'm sorry, call for the White House to call off its planned massacre before calling on Rep. Brown to apologize.
Priorities, man.

Posted by: Rojo at February 27, 2004 02:12 AM | PERMALINK

On the other hand, Noriega worked for Jesse Helms and is Mexican American like Dinesh D'Zousa is Indian.

The media coverage, timing and handling of Haiti's crisis are all extremely suspicious: CIA backed insurgents, US/EU backed "civil movements"like Group of 184, headed by a reactionary American businessman with interests in Haiti. Now we'll have "Haitian Boat People" again to add to the Bush fear campaign.

No, she shouldn't have said it. But the crisis in Haiti is engineered suffering for political gain -- it doesn't get more racist than that.

Posted by: cs at February 27, 2004 02:13 AM | PERMALINK

Note how the Dem apologists refer to her remarks as "dumb" or "stupid" -- as opposed to, say, racist. Also note how many Dem apologists say things like, "Although her frustration is understandable (her remarks were dumb)," OR "Although her remarks were dumb, her frustration is understandable." Hmmm, "that dumb old, undertandably frustrated Strom Thurmond !"

Posted by: jsnead at February 27, 2004 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

My concern is that 'this need to apologize' is happening all over the globe. Is our current administration at the root of all this international angst? I mean, is polarization contagious? Or is there something else going on? Maybe some unnoticed effect of Global Warming? A variant of the chicken flu? Something sure seems to be bugging everyone.
Has anyone checked to see if we're still in the 'Age of Aquarius' ?

Posted by: JeffR at February 27, 2004 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Joe Schome

You questioned my comment on U.S. business in Haiti saying there is none. Try a Goggle.
There are commerical banks, telecommunications, airlines, oil, agribusiness etc.
Even though we exploit these people we decided to cut off aid and tell the World Bank to give them a hard time. Why? Because Bush felt they cheated on an election. Six senators were elected which later were removed from office on charges of vote fraud. Excuse me, they cheated on an election? What the hell did Bush do.

Posted by: hjlo at February 27, 2004 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

I think that it was racist of Brown to throw around the term “white guys” as if it were some sort of slur. However, I can’t see how it’s the least bit racist for her to say that she can’t tell the difference between a Mexican-American and “white guys” when a cursory glance at FBI Uniform Crime Reports tells me that, apparently, law enforcement agents can’t either. That is, the FBI lumps together “Hispanics” and “Whites.” Just like Brown. Is the FBI racist?

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_02/html/web/offreported/02-nmurder03.html#t206

Posted by: td at February 27, 2004 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by jsnead: "Note how the Dem apologists refer to her remarks as "dumb" or "stupid" -- as opposed to, say, racist."

An important distinction to make, I think, is that, apologetic or defiant, most Dems -- unlike Repubs -- do understand that racism is dumb and stupid.

jsnead: "Also note how many Dem apologists say things like, "Although her frustration is understandable (her remarks were dumb)," ... Hmmm, "that dumb old, undertandably frustrated Strom Thurmond !""

Note how much more likely Repubs are to understand a racist's frustration than they are his victim's?

Posted by: jayarbee at February 27, 2004 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Brown's comments were incredibly stupid. I take particular issue with posts attributed to...

poster: "space" to wit,
"She didn't realize that Noriega was Mexican. As others have noted, Noriega's national heritage is completely irrelevant. He may not be pure Aryan but he is more than White enough to engage in the type of race based classism that is endemic to Mexico."

And the rant by jayarbee, slaves in the basement, et al -" most Dems understand racism is stupid..."

The race based classism comment prompts more questions: for example - are light skinned blacks really, well, authentically black as they have enjoyed a prefered position within society at large and the black community in particular. (from "good hair" on to ?) I would never make such an argument, but that seems to be what "space" is implying. Further, did Noriega fly straight over from the Polanco section of Mexico City and join the Bush administration? Unlikely. Thus classism in Mexico really is completely irrelevant. [tantamount to arguing that this classism colors my experience. Hmm, perhaps "space" should argue that the classism in 16th century Mexico directly lead to my treatment today in Southern California - damn near impossible to plausibly maintain, but sounds interesting.]

As to jayarbee's posts - 1). Racism is bad.
2). The future consists more of people like me (in a racial sense) than people like Ms. Brown;
3). In light of this, I would question the wisdom of antagonizing what appears to be THE enthnic domanant force of the future.;
4). I really don't care if Ms. Brown "gets it" regarding demographic shifts underway - time will render her irrelevant.


Note: I can make the argument that ANY action or inaction on Haiti is racist, imperialist, sexist, homophobic, etc. So what EXACTLY do the Haiti supporters in the US want NOW?

Posted by: Californio at February 27, 2004 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by Californio: "2). The future consists more of people like me (in a racial sense) than people like Ms. Brown; 3). In light of this, I would question the wisdom of antagonizing what appears to be THE ethnic domanant force of the future."

Sadly, the past (and possibly the present) consists more of people like you (discounting a racial sense) than people like Ms. Brown, who is willing to stand up to powerful forces which threaten the liberty and well being of all. As for the future, that, like the election outcome this fall, is yet to be determined.

While it isn't completely clear from your post, I'm supposing that you are implying an Hispanic heritage for yourself. You may be correct that at some distant point in our nation's future Hispanics may outnumber non-Hispanics; although, I wouldn't count out Asians -- if not in this country, certainly in the world (which we may no longer be dominating). In any case, at such time as Hispanics may comprise a majority of the population, it does not inevitably follow that they will be the "dominant" ethnic force. Unless there is a dramatic upheaval of our entire system, dominance in the future will, as always, belong to those with wealth and power. As for Ms. Brown's remarks antagonizing Hispanics, apart from those comparative few who already hold views similar to yours, I see very little chance of their voting against their interests because of anything Ms. Brown said.

Posted by: jayarbee at February 27, 2004 01:43 PM | PERMALINK

I am also totally fucking sick of a bunch of rich and influential white men having control over the ENTIRE KNOWN UNIVERSE. so forgive her, and me, if from time to time it shows.

as a demographic, privileged white men are really tedious.

Posted by: kate mckinnon at February 27, 2004 02:44 PM | PERMALINK

I find it really funny. Here we have a minority person making totally racist remarks that if a white person said the equivalent you would be hounding them out of office, out of a job, out of the country and you are twisting yourselves up in knots to absolve these remarks of being racist on the basis that you believe the policy of the existing government toward Haiti is racist. What the hell does that have to do with anything. What is seems you are doing is saying that the only people on Earth who can be racist are whites. No one else need apply.

You further go on an ask that we identify ourselves on practically every application as to whether we are caucasian, hispanic, American Indian, Asian, etc and yet you absolve her from racism on the basis that the man is white. He has identified himself as hispanic which on your table of ethnic origins is different from white yet you say that he looks white and therefore she gets a pass on that one.

Then you slam any African American who is not a slave of the democratic party as being beyond the pale, a traitor to their race.

The whole bunch of you need sensitivity training immediately. Right now you are all members in good standing of the Trent Lott/Al Sharpton school of racism.

Posted by: dick thompson at February 29, 2004 08:21 AM | PERMALINK

I find it hard to believe anyone would defend Mrs. Browns comments.Democrats were livid about Lott's comments about Strom who was on his last days on this earth. Trying to make an old man happy in his last days (compassion for the man not his views)and Lott apoligized till he was blue in the face. It doesn't excuse the remark but it did make a moment in Stroms last days better. Sen Robert Byrd was a KKK but Democrats still elect him (50+) years in goverment and let's not forget his buddy Fritz. An apology is needed ..Let's move on.

Posted by: Rock at February 29, 2004 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

I'd like to hear the opinions from the regulars of this thread re: Californio's question.
If the U.S./Bush have an "obviously" racist Haitian policy, what exactly should we do there?

Posted by: Newbaum Turk at February 29, 2004 05:03 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, very good of you to be consistent. Too bad so few liberals, er, Leftists, are.

Keep up the honest criticism, you're one of the best -- but your Bush hate should prolly try to include how a Dem would likely do better...

Posted by: Tom Grey at February 29, 2004 05:16 PM | PERMALINK

If we were to make it a national priority to make Haiti a significantly better place, wouldn't we have to turn it into some kind of US territory? Then we could gradually put in US laws and law enforcment. Maybe someday it would become like Puerto Rico.

Are we prepared to pay the economic and political cost to do this?

I am not sure if there is much we can do to truly help Haiti without a complete takeover for an extended time frame (Decades)

Posted by: Tallan at February 29, 2004 07:42 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Kevin,
Thanks for your honesty on this one... it reminds me of the occasional Doonesbury cartoon from decades ago that recognized that there might be more than one side to the discussion. You have disappointed your Amen Chorus and some of them will rend you for it. I trust you will have the courage of your convictions and refuse to do a Mary McCrory. I wonder if you, personally, find the reaction to your comments somewhat eyeopening?
jagcap
I refer to Mary McGrory's column in which, after praising Colin Powell at the UN in a previous column, she offered craven apologies to her readers who flooded her with hate mail.

Posted by: jagcap at March 1, 2004 05:11 AM | PERMALINK

Of course her comments were stupid and racist, and of course, she won't be called to task for them.

"What liberal media" indeed.....

Posted by: Stan at March 1, 2004 08:47 AM | PERMALINK

There are really two comments to address.
The first is calling Noriega a "racist". This I have no problem with. If its OK to call an action of a person "racist", then its also OK (if impolite) to call the person himself "racist". Conservatives call affirmative action "racist" all the time; I do not see why they shouldn't also call those who administer the program "racists".

I fail to see why. Many actions and policies undertaken with relatively neutral or even good intentions sometimes end up having negative consequences.

If a possible consequence of an action or policy will be to emphasize racial divisions and/or foment unrest along racial lines, could that action or policy be characterized as 'racist?' I would like to think so, although obviously the burden of proof remains on the claimant to show that charge is warranted. And I don't believe a person promoting such policies is inherently a 'racist' unless s/he clearly indicates an attitude of racial prejudice by other means.

As an example, I count myself among the schools of thought that hold affirmative action methods and policies as tending to emphasize racial difference and foment unrest along racial lines. (Others, including many here, may differ of course). So IMO affirmative action could be fairly characterized as racist, but at the same time, I do not automatically hold its promoters to be racists. Most presumably have good intentions but are, again speaking from my point of view, misguided in their approach.

Posted by: anony-mouse at March 1, 2004 05:43 PM | PERMALINK

When prosperity comes, do not use all of it.

Posted by: Andrews Chester at March 17, 2004 08:17 PM | PERMALINK

People are just smart enough to not be happily ignorant.

Posted by: Sahar Christopher at May 2, 2004 01:58 PM | PERMALINK

For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.

Posted by: Abe Kaho at May 3, 2004 01:20 AM | PERMALINK

Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.

Posted by: Becker Maki at May 20, 2004 06:04 AM | PERMALINK

Get WWW.IDEBTCONSOLIDATION.ORG the debt relief you are searching for here!

Posted by: debt relief at June 1, 2004 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

WWW.E-CREDIT-CARD-DEBT.COM

Posted by: credit card debt at June 5, 2004 09:58 AM | PERMALINK

Get www.all-debt-consolidation.org help with your credit problems here!

Posted by: out of debt at June 14, 2004 02:13 AM | PERMALINK

Now you can Play Poker online any time!

Posted by: poker online at June 25, 2004 02:37 AM | PERMALINK

Ain't no disgrace to be poor - but might as well be.

Posted by: Dube Brad at June 30, 2004 06:17 AM | PERMALINK

Phentermine
viagra
viagra online
levitra
cialis

Posted by: Viagra at July 11, 2004 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

I have found the best online pharmacy for buying

Generic Viagra online
Meltabs
generic Cialis

Posted by: generic Viagra prices at July 14, 2004 09:16 PM | PERMALINK

you can play blackjack here! http://www.blackjack.greatnow.com

Posted by: blackjack at July 21, 2004 02:49 PM | PERMALINK

online casino

If you've ever been curious about how to play online poker then you'll want to read over the following online poker guide. This guide is designed to give you a basic overview of the game concept and rules. After reading this guide you should be in a god position to play poker. We suggest you try an online casino that offers free play in order to practice a bit before placing any real wagers.

Posted by: online casino at July 25, 2004 04:21 PM | PERMALINK

online casino

If you've ever been curious about how to play online poker then you'll want to read over the following online poker guide. This guide is designed to give you a basic overview of the game concept and rules. After reading this guide you should be in a god position to play poker. We suggest you try an online casino that offers free play in order to practice a bit before placing any real wagers.

Posted by: onine casinos at July 26, 2004 03:15 PM | PERMALINK

online casino

If you've ever been curious about how to play online poker then you'll want to read over the following. We suggest you try an online casino that offers free play in order to practice a bit before placing any real wagers. You can also play blackjack online fo free!

Posted by: online casino at July 30, 2004 03:54 PM | PERMALINK

8102 You can buy viagra from this site :http://www.ed.greatnow.com

Posted by: Viagra at August 7, 2004 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

hi

Posted by: penis enlargement at August 8, 2004 08:57 AM | PERMALINK

5290 Why is Texas holdem so darn popular all the sudden?

http://www.texas-holdem.greatnow.com

Posted by: texas holdem online at August 9, 2004 09:06 PM | PERMALINK

5994 ok you can play online poker at this address : http://www.play-online-poker.greatnow.com

Posted by: online poker at August 10, 2004 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

392 get cialis online from this site http://www.cialis.owns1.com

Posted by: cialis at August 10, 2004 03:09 PM | PERMALINK

8204 Keep it up! Try Viagra once and youll see. http://viagra.levitra-i.com

Posted by: Viagra at August 13, 2004 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

5045 Get your online poker fix at http://www.onlinepoker-dot.com

Posted by: poker at August 15, 2004 02:01 PM | PERMALINK

3840 black jack is hot hot hot! get your blackjack at http://www.blackjack-dot.com

Posted by: blackjack at August 16, 2004 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

8872 so theres Krankenversicherung and then there is
Krankenversicherung private and dont forget
Krankenversicherung gesetzlich
and then again there is always beer

Posted by: Krankenversicherung gesetzlich at August 17, 2004 01:29 PM | PERMALINK

6614 Its great to experiance the awesome power of debt consolidation so hury and consolidate debt through http://www.debtconsolidation.greatnow.com pronto

Posted by: debt consolidation at August 19, 2004 02:03 AM | PERMALINK

6284 Its great to experiance the awesome power of debt consolidation so hury and consolidate debt through http://www.debtconsolidation.greatnow.com pronto

Posted by: debt consolidation at August 19, 2004 02:06 AM | PERMALINK

5686

http://www.exoticdvds.co.uk for
Adult DVD And Adult DVDS And Adult videos Thanks and dont forget Check out the diecast model
cars
at http://www.diecastdot.com

Posted by: Adult DVD at August 19, 2004 03:31 PM | PERMALINK

151 check out the hot blackjack at http://www.blackjack-p.com here you can play blackjack online all you want! So everyone ~SMURKLE~

Posted by: play blackjack at August 23, 2004 09:51 AM | PERMALINK

660 Herie http://blaja.web-cialis.com is online for all your black jack needs. We also have your blackjack needs met as well ;-)

Posted by: blackjack at August 24, 2004 09:18 AM | PERMALINK

7703 check out http://texhold.levitra-i.com for texas hold em online action boodrow

Posted by: online texas hold em at August 25, 2004 05:25 PM | PERMALINK

In your free time, check out some helpful info in the field of http://diet-pills.honeymoon-destination-a.us/ diet pills http://casino.blackjack-123.com/ casino http://www.blackjack-123.com/ blackjack - Tons of interesdting stuff!!!

Posted by: diet pills at August 27, 2004 09:42 AM | PERMALINK
Navigation
Contribute to Calpundit



Advertising
Powered by
Movable Type 2.63

Site Meter