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Tennessee GOP creates a stir

Talk about being ahead of the curve!

Hands down, the award this week goes to the top officials of the Tennessee Republican Party.

Even before conservative radio talk show host Bill Cunningham on Tuesday dramatically upped his national name recognition by making sure to invoke Barack Obama's middle name as part of a tirade against him, the Tennessee GOP leaders had employed the technique in a release criticizing the Democratic presidential contender.

And the release spotlighted words of unsolicited praise Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan had showered upon Obama -- even before the candidate was forced to grapple with the issue during his debate Tuesday night with Hillary Clinton.

The release, headlined "Anti-Semites for Obama," was issued Monday, and it sought to make the case that, in the words of Robin Smith, head of the Volunteer State's GOP, "an Obama presidency will view Israel as a problem rather than a partner for peace in the Middle East."

Obama, of course, would hotly dispute such an assertion. And the foreign policy section on his website lists ensuring "a strong U.S.-Israel partnership," supporting "Israel's right to self defense" and backing "foreign assistance to Israel" as three of his prime goals.

The Knoxville News Standard ...

published a piece about the release today, reporting that Smith stood by it.

The publicity over it, though, did force some alterations.

A clarification at the bottom notes that it "originally referenced a photo of Sen. Obama and incorrectly termed it to be 'Muslim' garb. It is, in fact, Somali tribal garb, hence, we have deleted the photo."

This would be the much-publicized picture that appeared on the Drudge Report earlier this week.

Another fix was made to Republican release in Tennessee, as the clarification explained: "Also, in order to diffuse attempts by Democrats and the left to divert attention from the main point of this release -- that Sen. Obama has surrounded himself with advisers and recieved (sic) endorsements from people who are anti-Semitic and anti-Israel -- we have deleted the use of Barack Obama’s middle name."

You can read the entire release here.

Upon learning of the missive, presumed GOP presidential nominee John McCain distanced himself from it, as he had Cunningham's comments.

Bottom line: fasten your seat belt; looks like it's going to be a bumpy general election campaign.

-- Don Frederick

Comments () | Archives (4)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I think Obama and his campaign is making this an issue. Why can't we call his real name. I still cannot comprehend why we cannot call a black man black when we can call a white man anything which comes out of our mouth?

think Obama and his campaign is making this an issue. Why can't we call his real name. I still cannot comprehend why we cannot call a black man black when we can call a white man anything which comes out of our mouth?

Posted by: Ismail Saadiq |

They won’t post this but here it is anyway:

Well, while 99.99% if Americans are like Stephen Colbert and "don’t see race," - there are a few unwashed out there who use political shorthand to allow innuendo and rumor to continue to obfuscate the issues.

If there were FOUR Barack Obama's in this campaign, then using his middle name would make rational sense.

We must not accept stupidity and lazy racism lying down. Just cause someone didn’t say Nappy heady ho', doesn’t mean they aren't acting sexist.

We must ask: why use his full name this time? Why now? Why didn't Cunningham include Junior, as well? Technically that’s his full name?

Well, Ish, I think we all could guess the answer.

Let's not be stupid. Let's not accept it.

Who says most Americans don't see race . . . I'm afraid those who observe see nothing but . . .

Re: legislation proposing DNA sampling upon a mere arrest (as revised) (also blogged and transmitted to the President, Tennessee Congressmen and Senators, the Attorney General, candidates for the Presidency of the United States, candidates for representative office in the state of Tennessee, media representatives and interested others)
May 6, 2008

I am opposed to this legislation and any other which is drafted with the intention of delivering as many Black heads as possible on a platter. This proposal is an unconstitutional search and seizure, proposed by power hungry Christian Right GOPs who desire to single handedly dictate the destiny of others. Extreme right Prosecutors and Judges often convict; and trigger happy officers often arrest Blacks for no reason other than the fact that they “dare to act like citizens while Black.”

Whatever the founding fathers really intended, they acknowledged that “all men are created equal.” Of course, they characterized some men and women as only 3/5ths of a person; however, that was solely to justify treating them as lucrative chattel - not persons entitled to the rights and benefits of citizens. Even today, propagandists analogize Blacks with monkeys and apes, dehumanizing them to every extent possible. For example, the Tennessean boldly offers select people “Monkey Free Jobs,” using illustrations that are frequently associated with the broadly perpetuated stereotype of “shiftless Blacks“, while Wal-Mart’s DVD website directed Blacks searching for ethnic movies to ”The Planet of the Apes,” and a shooting gallery/arcade in Kansas City offered “swashbuckling adventure” to its gun toting patrons (many Christian), who pretended to “hunt” the indigenous people of Africa.

I oppose this and all legislation that attempts to unravel hundreds of years of progress toward fulfilling “our” founding fathers “stated” intentions. I am appalled that the GOP Christian Right are so intent upon re-instituting slavery that they compromise due process and ignore the concept of probable cause solely for the purpose of institutionalizing as many Blacks as possible - even middle schoolers - in order to “take back the streets” as proposed in the GOP Contract with America, while negligently and intentionally leaving many other targeted children behind. I am equally disturbed about their cloaked efforts to (1) tame the beast with faith and grace, (2) sport the severed head of the Blackamoor and (3) fulfill the Prayer of Jabez by expanding wealth and territory, as a result of successful missions like the Crusades.

Even more frightening is the fact that these objectives are currently, albeit blindly, being embraced by an entire faith of people. Even naïve or self-serving Blacks, who suck up to the powers that be, fail to realize the far reaching and personal adverse affects of their own words and deeds.

. . .


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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