Now That’s a Good Idea (She Said, She Said)

by matttbastard

The magnificent Littlem, bumped from comments:

For those who have proven themselves allies by support of their convictions by their actions and words, please permit me to offer my respect and gratitude.

Some suggestions:

If you have friends that work as
– university administrators
– tenured professors
– lecturers

you can let them know that the attitudes that are espoused in [It’s a Jungle Out There] as perpetuated by the illustrations are NOT attitudes that should be supported and disseminated in institutions of higher learning.

If you have friends that work at
– Borders
– Amazon
– Barnes and Noble
– Powells

you can let them know that this is not a voice that should be supported — and that you have let prospective large-scale purchasers KNOW that it should not be supported — until such time as the offensive images are pulled and a new edition of the book is issued without them.

If you have friends that work in
– the mainstream press
– the offline alternative press

you can let them know that the attitudes that are espoused in the book as perpetuated by the illustrations are NOT attitudes that should be supported and disseminated in public institutions or public lectures.

There are things (when and if one is not falling down tired) that can be done in addition to bloggers who write in support of justice and equity, and powerful withdrawal — like BFP’s — to demonstrate that there are voices that should not be marginalized, dismissed or ignored, and some things that should NEVER appear, in a culture that says it supports equity and justice for all people.

PREACH!

Related: WOC PhD with a lengthy but absolutely necessary post detailing why the girlcott of Seal Press needs to continue (h/t Ravenmn); Daisy and Sudy on how we got to wherever the fuck we are now.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Amanda Marcotte and Seal Press Respond

by matttbastard

From Amanda Marcotte:

I’m sorry. Plain and simple. I didn’t pick the offensive imagery in my book, but I should have caught it sooner than now. I didn’t and there’s no excuse. It was my first book, I was excited and happy, but I needed to have a more critical eye. I would do anything to remove racist images from the first printing of the book if I could, and I am relieved and happy to say that they will be removed from future printings. Seal Press has their note of apology up too, and they accept full responsibility for these mistakes. I really recommend reading it.

I can understand why anyone would choose to boycott a book with these images, and I respect that choice. Hopefully, once they are removed, people will reconsider supporting the book if they like the content. I, for one, will be ripping the pages out of my copy but keeping them as a reminder to be alert. Thank you to everyone who’s engaged in a conversation that’s been tough for me but productive nonetheless.

This is pretty much what I’ve got to say. I welcome your feedback below. I imagine things might get pretty intense, so I may not choose to say much more than this, but know that I’m reading and listening and respect your thoughts very much. Once again, I apologize for the images, my overlooking them, and any hurt this may have caused.

From the Seal Press blog:

A Public Apology

To Our Readers, Our Friends, Our Critics,

We are taking action immediately to remove the offensive images from It’s A Jungle Out There. We are currently reprinting, and we will make these changes now. We apologize for any pain or concern these images have caused.

We do not believe it is appropriate for a book about feminism, albeit a book of humor, to have any images or illustrations that are offensive to anyone.

Some have asked the valid question, “What were you thinking?”

Please know that neither the cover, nor the interior images, were meant to make any serious statement. We were hoping for a campy, retro package to complement the author’s humor. That is all. We were not thinking.

As an organization, we need to look seriously at the effects of white privilege. We will be looking for anti-racist trainings offered here in the Bay Area. We want to incorporate race analysis into our work.

In the meantime, please know that all involved in the publishing of It’s A Jungle Out There, from editorial to production were not trying to send a message to anyone about our feelings regarding race. If taken seriously as a representation of our intentions, these images are also not very feminist. By putting the big blonde in the skimpy bathing suit with the big breasts, the tiny waist, and the weapon on our cover, we are also not asserting that she is any kind of standard that anyone should aspire to. This 1950s Marvel comic is not an accurate reflection of our beauty standards, our beliefs regarding one’s right to bear arms, nor our perspectives on race relations, foreign policy, or environmental policy.

We also extend this apology to the author, Amanda Marcotte, who did not select these images for her book. Writing humor is very difficult. While our intention was to complement your words, we see that these images have had the opposite effect, and for that, we are sorry.

Sincerely and humbly,

Krista Lyons-Gould and Brooke Warner

[edit: subsequently appended to original [non] apology, h/t Mandolin:

Please note that, upon reflection, we realize that the second to the last paragraph of this post doesn’t do a good job of conveying our intended meaning. We do not want to delete it, but we do want to make a note around our intent, since its purpose was to further articulate the “what were they thinking?” question. We apologize that this paragraph undermines our apology. We acknowledge that the images are racist and not okay under any circumstances. We are wholeheartedly sincere in our apology, and the actions we’ve laid out above will be acted upon immediately.]

“We were not thinking.”

Ok, I haven’t had much chance to look at other responses to this latest development, but my first gut reaction is to ask the obvious: “why weren’t you thinking?” I can’t begin to count the number of white feminists/allies who say they had read through the book–to say nothing of the publisher–and never even noticed the fucking spearchuckers in the chapter headings. And if the answer is “white privilege” (as I suspect it to be), then we’ve circled back yet again to the original problem, which is the systemic marginalization and silencing of WOC voices and concerns (whether deliberately or inadvertently/indifferently) by an overwhelmingly oblivious white middle class feminist mainstream.

So where the fuck do we go from here, apart from (sincerely and humbly) continuing along the well-trodden path of least resistance?

Update: Memo to Seal Press: Non-apologies. Are. Not. Fucking. Good. Enough.

As Ebog Johnson said in comments @ Alas:

That apology over at Seal Press’ blog is straight out of the Jane “Blackface Joe” Hamsher school of racial apologies. They should have just gone the full Bill Clinton and wagged their finger at us about how they’re being Mau-Mau’d or race-carded.

They are quick studies, though. The promise to take a class is nice EEOC/HR jujitsu. By allocating funds to diversity education, they not only get to do public penance, but also get to insulate themselves internally should any colored Seal Press employee ever get to thinking that the place is a racially hostile workplace. (This of course assumes they have any colored employees.)

Some people really never learn.

Werd. Half-assed CYA strategies solely enacted to minimize privilege-blowback shouldn’t be immediately rewarded with the benefit of the doubt (nor the legitimacy afforded by giving up your hard earned dollars to a corporation that still doesn’t fucking get it). Keep those letters coming, folks.

Update 2 04.26: Jill’s mea culpa:

I’m really glad that Seal will issue a re-print, minus the images, and that they’ve issued an apology. I’m glad that Amanda issued an apology. I’m leaving up my original post about the book, not because I still stand by it 100%, but because I believe in keeping things like that on the record. I think it looks a lot shadier to change it and pretend that nothing happened, and that I was in the right all along. I wasn’t. Erasing the post won’t erase the disappointment and the hurt that the post, and my endorsement, caused. I’m leaving that post up, and augmenting it with this one, as a record of that.

I want to be clear that I’m not trying to railroad Amanda, even if that’s how I suspect she’ll feel. Amanda is a friend of mine, and she’s a friend for lots of reasons — she’s smart, she’s funny, and she does great feminist work every day. I continue to admire her, and the body of work that she has produced. I’ve read her since she was at Mousewords. I was thrilled when she got a bigger platform. I link to her stuff all the time. I was excited she got a book deal, and I looked forward to reading her book. I also don’t know what it’s like to be in her position — she has been through the right-wing machine, and she came out of it ok. The fact that she wasn’t crushed by it, and that she came out swinging, speaks volumes about her strength of character. I think it also shaped how she responds to conflict now. So I hope she knows that this post comes from a place of love and respect.

But sometimes, friends need to tell other friends to do better.

One thing I appreciate about this community is that we push each other to be better, even in the face of supreme fuck-ups. In the other book thread, people could have just said, “Fuck you, Jill,” and that would have been a legitimate response. People could have said, “You are going about this in an ass-backwards way, because you are blinded by your privilege and you are hopeless.” They would have been right, at least about the privilege part (I hope not about the hopeless part). But people didn’t do that. They spelled out their grievances. They explained things. They got angry, but it was justified. And I didn’t do the right thing right away. I’m sure there will be people for whom even this won’t be satisfactory; it’ll be not enough, or too little too late, or not exactly what they wanted or expected from me. That’s ok, and I think I need to realize that I cannot make everyone happy, as much as I want to. I am not going to be able to answer every call to action. I am not going to always be able to tell my friends what they want to hear. But I want to not lay awake at night, sick to my stomach, because I’m sitting on the fence. And I’ve sat on the fence here, and I effectively crossed a picket line when I promoted that book.

For the most part, as angry and hurt as people were, they trusted me enough to come here and talk. I can’t explain how grateful I am for that. And I don’t want to be a disappointment.

Read the whole damn thing.  If only the braintrust @ Seal Press possessed even a fraction of Jill’s awesomeness.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

I Write Letters (and You Can, Too!)

Dear Seal Press,

There’s nothing “groundbreaking” (nor *cough* “subversive” or “ironic”) about undeniably racist imagery. What the bloody blue hell were you thinking?

Warmest regards,

matttbastard

P.S. You might want to think about amending your tagline. I suggest going with a classic truth-in-advertising motif. How about: “Superficial pablum. By white women. For white women”?

Related: You can write letters too!

General Inquiries:

Seal Press
<!–1400 65th Street, Suite 250
Emeryville, CA 94608
1700 4th Street
Berkeley, California 94710
(510) 595-3664

Perseus Books Group (Headquarters)
387 Park Avenue South
12th Floor
New York, NY 10016
(212) 340-8100

Publicity:

Seal Press Publicity Department
510-595-3664
avalon.publicity@perseusbooks.com

International – General Inquiries

Canada

Toronto 559 College Street, Unit 402
Toronto, Ontario
M6G 1A9 Canada
800-747-8147 (Canada only)
416-934-9900
Fax: 416-934-1410

Graham Fidler
Executive Vice President
graham@pgcbooks.ca
voice mail: ext. 203
416-934-9900

Suzanne Wice
Sales and Marketing Manager
suzanne@pgcbooks.ca
voice mail: ext. 207
416-934-9900

Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Provinces

Martin and Associates:
Michael Martin and Margot Stokreef
Phone: 416-769-3947
Fax: 416-769-5967

Susan Rogers
Phone: 416-762-1230
Fax: 416-769-5967

British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba

Michael Reynolds and Associates:
Michael Reynolds and Kim Herter (Vancouver)
Phone: 604-688-6918
Fax: 604-687-4624

Heather Parsons (Calgary)
Phone: 403-233-8771
Fax: 403-233-8772

Trent Olson (Manitoba and Saskatchewan)
Phone: (204) 292-1631
Fax: (888) 821-8569

Rest of World Perseus Books Group
International Sales
Eleven Cambridge Center
Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone: (617) 252-5211
Fax: (617) 525-5265

Update 04/25: Holly hits it out of the park once again:

Seal Press recently caught a lot of flak after two of their representatives made themselves look very, very bad by thoroughly failing to engage in any kind of productive dialogue with women of color who vocally criticized the lack of racial representation in their catalog. And now this. The publishing world is a hard place these days for a feminist press — it’s hard to figure out how to be an ally to disenfranchised voices and still make ends meet. Yes. But those excuses don’t even make sense this time around. If you’ve gotta put retro cartoons on your covers to sell books, fine. But how many retro cartoon images are there in the world that don’t have hoary old racist, colonialist tropes splattered all over them? Believe me, there are plenty. Not every one is as problematic as these.

[…]

Although Amanda has long been one of my favorite bloggers, any enjoyment I once got out of reading her snappy takedowns of misogyny is rapidly turning to ashes in my mouth. And that’s why I can’t sleep, why I feel like throwing up. Like a lot of bloggers these days, I’m no longer even sure if I feel comfortable calling myself a feminist, since it seems like the popular definition of that word in so many circles has come to mean “feminism first, every other issue second.” And that’s a formula that inevitably leads to a feminism for the few. A feminism for the small numbers of women who don’t deal with intersections of one, two or ten other kinds of shit getting heaped on us every day, too many to calculate “which is most important.” It’s not a kind of feminism that works for most of the women on this planet. But you know, brownfemipower already said all this in her sign-off, I don’t need to repeat her thoughts. Just add my name to the list of those who are no longer sure if we can simply “take feminism back.” Or even if it’s worth it.

Also see Lauredhel @ Hoyden About Town, Maia @ Alas, a Blog, Ilyka, The Rotund, Galling Galla, Burning Words and Natalia. Oh, and I join Mandolin and Amp in endorsing Sylvia’s sound advice:

If you really like the quality and style of Amanda’s writing but question the use of the imagery, don’t buy the book, go to the publisher (Seal Press hurr) and tell them why you’re not buying the book, and see if you can get a reprint with just as much irony without any racism. And buy it then. I think that’s possible, especially since there’s no longer King Kong on the cover.

Personally, I wouldn’t read, buy nor endorse the book even without the images (for similar reasons as Oh outlined here, along with the previous conduct towards/marginalization of WOC by Seal Press), but YMMV.

Finally, contra Hugo, this isn’t merely a matter of “perception”. The images gratuitously featured as chapter headings in It’s a Jungle Out There are racist. Full fucking stop.

And what Angry Black Woman said.

Update 2: More science courtesy karnythia @ ABW’s pad:

Frankly we’re at a point where it’s time for feminism to either get it together, or for us to leave it where it is and continue on with our own progressive movements. There’s been some talk for years about how feminism is comprised of multiple movements and until now that’s been enough for me. But I think that I’ve been deluding myself by thinking that the behavior of the allies that do get it trumps the hurt spawned by the bigots calling themselves feminists. I can’t take calls for sisterhood or solidarity seriously from white feminists at this point and I’m sure someone is going to call that attitude racist. And that’s their lookout, but I can’t stand in sisterhood with someone that’s (maybe) willing to knife me in the back and it’s taking too much effort to try to weed out the ones that are really allies from the ones that are only claiming the title.

Read the whole damn thing.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Ceaseless Wonders

by matttbastard

r0np4l.jpg

(originally uploaded by Granny Miller)

Not to be all “I toldja so“, but I’m in no way surprised that The Good Doctor is actually a Neo-confederate-rightwing populist-JBS-fluffin’-tinfoil-true-believer (ZOMG! WET WATER!) What has me utterly flabbergasted is that uber-lazy junior Neocon Jamie KirchickMarty Peretz’s golden gopher–actually put forth a well-researched piece of hard-hitting investigative journalism. Am awaiting the inevitable sound of distant hoofbeats–no doubt hastened by this latest missive from the vast Zionist conspiracy.

(Oh, and Glenn Greenwald owes Dave Neiwert a BIG apology. *Crickets*)

Enjoy the fun @ Memeorandum (a day late and a Liberty Dollar short–mea culpa for succumbing to illness at such an inopportune time).

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Slacker Friday: “Islamophobia Promotion Week”; Breast Cancer Is Sexier (And More Marketable) Than Domestic Violence UPDATED 10.27

by matttbastard

Earlier this year, the upstanding, freedom-loving folks at FrontPage magazine and the Terrorism Awareness Project proudly announced that, from Oct 22-28th, that ever-so-lovable wing-nutty Islamophobe modern-day Cassandra, David Horowitz, would valiantly and courageously shine the spotlight on the evil evilness of stupid neologismsIslamo-Fascism” in a surge of Islamophobic idiocy Horowitz cleverly dubbed Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. Apparently this existentially-threatening scourge is being unwittingly enabled–nay, directly and deliberately aided and abetted–by *gasp* stateside liberalpinkosocialistfeminazi fifth columnists like Michael Moore (who is fat and Communist), in concert with “THE ANTI-AMERICAN CURRICULUM OF THE TENURED LEFT [sic] which teaches that America is a racist, sexist, homophobic, imperialist “Great Satan” whose little Eichmanns deserve what they get at the hands of Medieval religious fanatics armed with the latest technologies of death.”

Be still my Merika-hatin’ heart.

According to Hatewatch, Horowitz has been “traveling to American university campuses to attack those who criticize the “War on Terror” and — parenthetically — those who see global warming as a major world threat.” Global Warming?! Yeah, betcha didn’t know Osama and Al Gore were homeboys; reportedly they bonded years ago over a shared interest in hatin’ ur Americaz and a deep, abiding affection for the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers.

(No word on whether BNP head honcho Nick Griffin’s recent campus speaking tour was at all affiliated with Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, nor whether Griffin also decided to throw in some superfluous anti-climate change propaganda just for the hell of it.)

Alas, as the folks at Sadly, No! pointed out back in late September, Horowitz has nagging issues reconciling paranoid bigotry and eliminationist rhetoric with the deadliest weapon in the fifth column’s arsenal: reality.

Goddamn facts – how maddeningly inconvenient.

More: Channelling Tom Lehrer, Kieren Healy of Crooked Timber has penned a tribute in verse to honour these brave warriorz 4 freedumz; Josh Marshall of TPM provides a tongue-in-cheek investigative video report on David Horowitz and Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. Also check out this statement from Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, which accuses Horowitz and co. of adopting “a calculated strategy to inflame fear of Muslims and ultimately to soften up the American public to support the next assault in the “War on Terror:” war against Iran” (gee, ya think?) Oh, and you know this week-long exercise in excruciating eliminationist hysteria is a bust when even Uncle Jimbo sez Horowitz’s anti-Sharia sideshow “sucked Hoover.”

[Update: Oh hell no – he didn’t just go there, did he? Watch the footage, then check this instant-classic post Mandolin wrote earlier this year. To paraphrase, criticism !=nooses.]

[Update 2 – 10.27: Chet Scoville believes that tactics like those utilized by the students @ Emory only play into the hands of professional martyrs like Horowitz:

…these sorts of protests worked well forty years ago, when neither the media nor political figures knew what to do about them. Now they know; they have the skill to spin them and fit them into their own narratives. The way to disrupt their message is to do something that doesn’t fit their narratives — like emptying the campus for a day and having them speak to an empty auditorium. Now that would have made for crappy footage, and it wouldn’t have been shown.]

Related: In case y’all weren’t aware, some of the Islamophobes are apparently down with teh Belgian racist right, to the (dubiously admirable) consternation of LGF head honcho Charles Johnson, who isn’t quite ready to make a logical ideological progression. Still, good old fashioned non-Islamic fascism seems to be a-ok with Pamela Geller, Paul Weyrich and Co. (even Roger Scruton…? Jesus), as long as teh Brownshirts from Brussels feign mad love for teh j00s and pay lip-service to the Holocaust (oh, and most importantly, phear teh Muslims)

Talk about the ultimate marriage of convenience.

[Update 3 – 10.27: Oooo, the spat between Johnson and Geller is gettingood /popcorn

To quoth D. Aristophanes, “When Johnson actually addressed a topic other than the latest truck backfiring in Damascus, it was as if he had suddenly ripped an IV from his arm that had been pumping 9/11 freakout juice into his veins for the past six years.” Hell, Johnson unequivocally effing OWNS here.  And now I’m going to go wait for the inevitable collapse of the known universe.]

Elsewhere:

– Lucinda Marshall, founder of the indispensable, superlative Feminist Peace Network, has a must-read article up @ AlterNet detailing how women’s magazines use breast cancer as a cheap marketing ploy–while domestic violence against women receives little focus:

October means falling leaves, ghosts and goblins, and pink, lots of Pepto-Pink as we observe National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). From Campbell’s Soup to Breast Cancer Barbie, it seems as if just about everyone has jumped on the pinkified bandwagon. And although October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), we’d much rather be aware of breasts, even sick ones, than talk about black eyes and things that aren’t supposed to go on behind closed doors. That point is reflected in women’s magazines, which devote much more space in their October issues to breast cancer than they do to domestic violence.

Of nine publications that I recently found on a grocery store magazine rack, all of which advertised breast cancer articles on the covers of their October issues, only two also contained coverage of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (and mentioned that on their covers).* And, what’s worse, of the coverage dedicated to breast cancer, much of it was offensive, superficial, misleading, or flat-out wrong.

This year there is even called Beyond Breast Cancer that cheerfully proclaims that there are “10 Good Things About Breast Cancer.” Who knew? And just what are the pluses of getting this dreaded disease? According to the bubblegum-colored magazine, one perk is a pair of new boobs that “will face the horizon, not the South Pole.’ Better yet, they will be paid for by insurance. Oh, and you get lots of cards and flowers.

[…]

While it is questionable that additional awareness of breast cancer is useful, in the case of domestic violence, more coverage would be helpful. Domestic violence is the most common type of violence experienced by women both globally and in the United States. The Family Violence Prevention Fund reports that one out of every three women worldwide is “beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.” Here in the United States, the rate is one in four. In 2005 (the latest year for which statistics are available), 976 women in the United States were killed by by men that they knew. Yet because we tend to see this violence as a private, shameful issue, only 20 percent of rapes and 25 percent of physical assaults against women in this country are reported to the police.

Related:

stop_violence.jpg

  • Be bold, be brave, be red. Wear red on October 31, 2007. Take a picture or video of yourself and friends wearing red. Send it to: beboldbered@gmail.com. We’ll post it!
  • Take Your Red to the Streets! Know of a location where violence occurred against a woman of color? Have a public location where you feel women of color are often ignored? Make violence against women of color visible by decorating the space in red. Be sure to send us pictures and or video of your display!
  • Rally! Gather your friends, family, and community to rally. Check out the Document the Silence website for the litany we’re asking participants to read together on October 31st. Be sure to send us pictures and/or video of the event! You could even gather where you created a display!

More details on how you can participate @ Document the Silence.

(h/t FPN and The Thin Black Duke)

– Dana @ The Galloping Beaver on cognitive dissonance and Afghanistan:

At the same time Rickie is saying 10 more years and Stevie is saying 4 more years there is a former United Nations High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from Great Britain who says, “We have lost, I think, and success is now unlikely.”

And on the same day Britain’s most senior armed forces leader, Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup said: “There is a common misperception that the issues in Afghanistan, and indeed elsewhere around the world, can be dealt with by military means. That’s a false perception.”

Regardless of how long is deemed necessary to delay the inevitable (perhaps close to 40 years, according to Brigadier John Lorimer, commander of UK forces in Helmand), the wide gap between Hilliar’s estimate on how long it will take to train Afghan security forces and that of the PMO is indicative of just how desperate the effort to maintain the illusion of progress has become for the Stephen Harper Party.

Dave @ TGB:

The fact is, Hillier’s assessment is believable because it’s based on the current metrics. Whether the ANA kandaks being trained by the Canadian Army are, in fact, “top-notch” doesn’t really enter the picture. What is true is that it takes three years to train a single Afghan infantry battalion and we’re only half-way there. That doesn’t even take into account that the ANA has virtually nothing in the way of combat support and logistical support elements. Adding those in would make Hillier’s assessment optimistic.

Hillier has forwarded something which the Harperites know will cause Canadians to balk: the idea of war-without-end. If the ANA is unable to deal with security situation in Afghanistan on its own, the dismal picture being presented is that Canadian troops will continue to be involved in the same kind of asymmetrical warfare they are now engaged in and will continue to suffer losses – unless we can convince other allies to take on that part of the mission – even for a while.

– Antigone Magazine updates Uncle Steve’s ongoing war on the Canadian womens movement and offers the following defiant postscript:

After publishing this post I realized that there was something that I forgot to add. Ah, yes…. They can take away our funding but they can’t take away our feminisms! (and the political pie will wind up on their face!). That was my idea of a war cry. Let it reverberate through the blog0sphere!

PREACH!

– Last but definitely not least, please extend a warm welcome to the newest member of the bastard.logic family, the inimitable sassywho, who has graciously agreed to help expand our humble crime-fighting trio to a more-foreboding quartet. Check out her intro post and first three offerings and feel free to show her some comment love–or, conversely, level baseless accusations of hatin’ teh babiez. Hey, c’mon now – we here at bastard.logic absolutely adore pre-bornz – especially marinaded overnight in brown-sugar hickory sauce, grilled lightly on both sides and served on a bed of wild rice garnished with fresh cilantro.

On that note, dinner.

Happy Friday!

Recommend this post @ Progressive Bloggers

Jena 6 Update: Memo To Alanis – THIS Is Ironic (I Really Do Think)

by matttbastard

x-posted @ Comments From Left Field

Jena, LA Mayor Murphy McMillin: not the sharpest fishhook in the tacklebox:

McMillin has insisted that his town is being unfairly portrayed as racist—an assertion the mayor repeated in an interview with Richard Barrett, the leader of the Nationalist Movement, a white supremacist group based in Learned, Miss., who asked McMillin to “set aside some place for those opposing the colored folks.”

“I am not endorsing any demonstrations, but I do appreciate what you are trying to do,” Barrett quoted McMillin as saying. “Your moral support means a lot.

(H/T Peek)

(FYI, This is the same Richard Barrett who also interviewed Justin Barker, after allegedly fudging his racist pedigree when questioned by Barker’s family).

Oh, and remember when I predicted that the noose is going to experience a resurgence in iconic significance among the white power set? I can sure call ’em, sometimes. More details on the ongoing pushback are provided by David Neiwert (who also offers incontrovertible evidence that my old buddy John Gibson is indeed an odious sack of sea lion shit – if there was ever any doubt).

Elsewhere: via The Thin Black Duke, M (aka The Blogger Formerly Known As Sylvia) guesting @ Kai Chang’s place:

Very simply, the Jena Six is not a matter of guilt or innocence. If you think this case is about dancing and singing with Al Sharpton in Jena while wearing black, go home or bury some soap or something. If you view this case as a stepping stone for your own self-aggrandizement here there and everywhere, sit at home and think a few seconds before stepping back out again. If you think this case is only about freeing these young men, you’re half-steppin’. If you view the Jena Six incident as uppity newcomer Negroes wanting to start some ruckus, then please go back to your guard post under your bridge. Denial about a person’s criminal actions in a case is unwanted. This fight is not about what we can do to stop people from being criminals (though there’s no denying that goal is important); it is about what happens when those people are already within the criminal justice system and cannot afford an OJ-style legal Dream Team.

Kevin also points to this post by elle, phd, who notices history repeating in the predictably (and pathetically) defensive reaction of the (white) blogosphere after it was justifiably called out for collective indifference towards Jena (remember: Race is tough!).

Related: David Margolick looks back at Elizabeth Eckford, Hazel Bryan and the photo that captured what became an iconic moment in the civil rights movement.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers