ABC News has a good rundown of the content of that encounter, but a standout for me is this poignant statement by Gates:
Sergeant Crowley and I, through an accident of time and place, have been cast together, inextricably, as characters – as metaphors, really – in a thousand narratives about race over which he and I have absolutely no control.“
It isn’t about Crowley and Gates. It’s about how American society continues to deny that racial profiling even exists.
But back to this specific incident, Crowley doesn’t seem to have seen how profoundly wrong his actions were, that is, if we are to be guided by his statements at the Beer Summit:
Crowley was asked if the controversy was a “teachable moment” for the sergeant, as President Obama said he’d hoped this would become?
He said it was.
And the lesson?
“The media can find you, no matter where you live,” he said.
Wow, glad you learned something there Sergeant Crowley!
I think it’s awesome that the results of some camera man fucking around with freeze frame controls can make news. My respect for mainstream media has just increased exponentially.
I wonder if anybody else besides me just realized that video about a non story about piggy world leaders is more important to mainstream news than pretty much every story VL has ever covered about coups, military interventions, immigration, violence against women….
In parts of Latin America, calling someone negrito(a) can be a term of endearment however, I doubt that was the intention of Chancellor of Honduras, Enrique Ortez, in this interview. Although, I don’t know if the subtitled translation is exactly accurate either. Given how Ortez is playing up President Obama’s ignorance on Latin America in general, and specifically his knowledge of Honduras, I would be more likely to translate the use of “negrito” as the N word.
U.S. President Obama met with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and was asked about the U.S.’s role in the 1973 coup that ousted democratically elected Salvador Allende and led to 17 years of military dictatorship.
Obama was asked about CIA involvement in Latin America such as the coup that brought Augusto Pinochet into power. Despite admitting that errors have been made in the past, Obama emphasized the need to move ahead in U.S.-Latin America relations:
“I’m interested in going forward, not looking backward,” said Obama, who has pledged to reinvigorate ties with Latin America, after what his advisors believe was neglect during the previous Bush administration.
“I think that the United States has been an enormous force for good in the world. I think there have been times where we’ve made mistakes,” Obama said in the Oval Office.
“But I think that what is important is looking at what our policies are today, and what my administration intends to do in cooperating with the region.
In a pretty weak gesture toward the gay community, President Barack Obama — rather than extending a firm handshake of collaboration in policy — has instead decided to throw yet another tiny bone. A fishbone, almost. It appears he’s holding some kind of improvised event in the East Room of the White House to commemorate Pride.
Obama invited hundreds of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to a first-of-its-kind East Room reception marking the 40th anniversary of the start of the gay rights movement.
“To me, today’s event is more than just a reception honoring LGBT Pride Month,” said Brian Bond, the openly gay deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement in a message posted on the White House blog. “It is an opportunity for the Administration to provide the world with a snapshot of the real heroes across the country that do the day-to-day work fighting for equality,” Bond added.
But the gathering also comes as many in the gay community are angered over seeing little movement toward doing away with the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, or the Defense Of Marriage Act which says states don’t have to recognize same-sex marriages consummated in other states.
Obama plans to tell the group his administration is currently working on an effort to repeal DOMA.
But there is still much anger among many in the gay and lesbian community over the language Obama’s Justice Department used in a legal brief filed this month in support of the act.
I’m afraid that Obama’s LGBT supporters — some of whom worked his campaign with the sweat of their brow and/or their pocketbooks — aren’t going to just sit down and take the fishbone of saying he’s “working on” repealing DOMA. Fulfilling campaign promises to his LGBT supporters would be, at the very least, a presidential push for the establishment of civil unions at the Federal level, if the term “marriage” is too racy for the president. Why is the *Federal* nuance so important? Because it’s the only way that same sex couples will ever really be able to have (almost) equal rights under the law, including the right to immigration and family reunification.
Pero Obama no se moja.
This month marks Pride, celebrated far and wide, in small and large events in the U.S. and worldwide. And while prominent members of the LGBT community are invited to an event at the White House, in the words of NYT columnist Frank Rich, 40 years later, still second-class Americans.
Some of us don’t need to be pushed, as it’s part of our everyday operating standards but what I found most interesting about the push is how it’s being labeled specifically as:
NOT a direct reflection of some advocates’ disatisfaction with President Barack Obama’s deliberate approach to immigration reform. [Emphasis mine]
Except for some of us it is. For example, yesterday President Obama has a press conference where he discussed Iran, health care reform, the economy, and even his smoking but couldn’t be bothered to even breath a word on immigration.
Mainstream media really knows how to blow up a relatively insignificant piece of data. Case in point: the newswires are all a-flutter with “news” that Obama is the U.S. president that has appointed the most Latinos ever to his administration. How many? A whopping 11% for posts requiring Senate confirmation:
The Houston Chronicle reported Sunday that Obama has tapped significant numbers of Latinos from California and Texas to serve in his administration.
Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said he credits California’s large Latino population, its quality educational system and its concentration of “more progressive Latinos” for its high number of Obama administration picks.
While this is nothing to wince at, it’s not anything to marvel over either. Obama is being compared to former President George W. Bush with 5.5% and former President Bill Clinton with a paltry 4.5%.
These appointments are welcomed, but let us not forget that Latinos now account for 17% of the U.S. population, and that is only counting those residents recognized by the U.S. Census.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro doesn’t have all that much to say these days about the U.S., but he did have some reflections to make on Obama’s now famous speech in Cairo. On the one hand, he admits that Obama isn’t the babbling idiot that former president George W. Bush was with regard to speechmaking, but when it comes to the content of said speech, he differs in opinion. In his weekly column “Reflexiones”, Castro says:
“If you take into account how long the speech was, without even using notes, the number of pauses isn’t important if compared to his predecessor (George Bush), who made mistakes at every paragraph. He has a great ability to communicate. However, the policies that the U.S. has followed for the past 7 decades is “in contradiction” with his words, since it was a history of “interventions” and “wars”, said Castro.
He expressed that although Obama started his speech saying that no nation has the right to impose its system or its form of governance on any other, he quickly contradicted himself “with a declaration of faith that makes the United States the supreme judge of democratic values and human rights.”
This doesn’t sound familiar to me. Does anyone know statement Castro is referring to here?
The fact is Castro does have a point. America has a way of wandering into countries or regions and telling people how to run their societies when the U.S. has a history of not following its own rhetoric…to say the very least.