The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Callous Racism From A Pennsylvania News Organization

Pennsylvania newspaper uses this historic and shameful reality as an analogy to cramped airline seat leg room. 
If you are skeptical about our persistent posits about the regressive social norms that accompany GOP 'race based politics' think deeper.   

We as a nation have lived with slow erosion of past social (racial) tolerance and the promise of a diverse inclusive society. Slow erosion became heightened inertia in early 2009. Since Barack Obama became president, overt racism directed at the president has been accompanied by creeping subtle racism, shameful overt racism, instances of unequal law enforcement and the much more common callous racism. "Callous" racism is an intriguing phenomenon albeit unsurprising and frankly, expected. Despite the false perception of our nation as a nation equal for all and "exceptional" for all, "callous" racism permeates our lives as surely as highway billboards offers deep messaging at a glance.

How often since January 2009, have you come across a public apology or admission of guilt with race at the core of the offense? On a comparative basis, do you recall a time when issues of race so prominently dominated our news coverage? The question is rhetorical; the answer is unarguable. Inception of the GOP Southern Strategy during the Nixon years and taken to a pinnacle level via Reagan's Lee Atwater, has metastasize to the point of social erosion that permeates throughout our society. The deleterious outgrowth of political policy carefully crafted and re-tooled to generate and solidify votes has proven effective for the GOP: The GOP Southern Strategy and Strategy Map.

The following graphic is true to form with each national election.

The results of the 2012 General election looked like this:

The GOP has a piston like repeating vice grip on the US South, Midwest and Plains States. The party has so thoroughly cultivated and nurtured its complete dominance of Red states, the party could figuratively win an election it failed to even run a candidate. If you take a quick look at a US map just before the US Civil War, you will find striking similarity with the two nascent political maps above.

With exception for Washington State, New Mexico, and Colorado, the modern political maps could show an effective evolution of the US Confederacy. An evolution only possible via concerted political strategy and national malfeasance. An evolution with a common thread: race and its influence on our nation. 

Before a clear example of "callous racism", we offer a reminder of the extent to which the GOP fails to provide services and benefits for its (safe vote) geographic swaths.

Huffington Post (July 2014)

Today, 25.7 percent of all Americans live in such areas, up from 18.1 percent in 2000, according to the report. Having a quarter of the nation living this way is a problem: Poverty areas are typically marked by "higher crime rates, poor housing conditions, and fewer job opportunities," the report points out. 
This map, created by plugging Census data into the Datawrapper mapping tool, shows the rise was not exactly spread evenly across the country:

Note that Southern states were five of the six biggest gainers. This should not be much of a shock, as Southern states consistently lag the rest of the country in good things like wages, economic mobility and access to health care, while leading it in bad things like poverty, obesity and general unhappiness. Another thing Southern states have in common is Republican political leaders that have spent the past decade shrinking the social safety net. 
Bucking the trend, two Southern states, Louisiana and West Virginia, actually saw the number of people living in poverty areas shrink during the decade. 
And the region that saw the biggest overall rise in the number of people living in poverty areas between 2000 and 2010 was the Midwest, not the South. That may be because the Midwest had relatively low numbers to start. Its numbers are still relatively low -- though it now has more people living in poverty areas than the Northeast, which fared pretty well during the recession and recovery. As you can see from this Census graph, the South started out with very high rates of people living in poverty areas and got even higher, with nearly a third of all Southerners living in poverty areas:
poverty regions
And this Census map highlights the difference between regions even more starkly. Look at that solid, grim block of poverty:
poverty regions 2

Poverty is not a matter to be taken lightly. We as a nation now have citizens who are former employees with a bi-weekly paycheck who have been thrown into poverty via failed economic policy. Chronic poverty has existed for many years, but failed GOP economic policy coupled with effective congressional legislative obstruction against a president has driven poverty rates to unacceptable levels. Yet, people who are most vulnerable to GOP economic policy vote GOP as surely as they tune to Fox news each and every evening. They tune to a network that perpetuates GOP social policy and those viewers stand as a formidable voting bloc and consumer market. They learn the callousness of racism from media as adroit at exploiting GOP policy as it is at hiring leggy female on-air ass candy personalities. 

Yes, Bob Beckel was correct and everyone who has complained about his frank comment also know of Gretchen Carlson's statements regarding "no pants" policies at Fox News. I believe we can assume Fox News male reporters and host are allowed to wear pants on the set. I digress for proof of the analogy of media exploitation as an adjunct to GOP policy.

My opine regarding GOP policy, conservative media (Fox News) and illustration of economic policy supported poverty, all contribute to the personal perception of a social atmosphere that has contributed to media running "fast and furious" loose with catchy portrayals. The following is an example of an editorial cartoon that would never have worked its way into the mind and psyche of the writer if the writer felt any apprehension about her/his words.

A few days ago a Pennsylvania state (not a historic Red State) newspaper took "callous racism" to another level.  The publication ran an editorial cartoon about reduced airline seat legroom analogous to the horrors of bound slaves subjected to forced immigration and the slave trade "Middle Passage."


Penn. Paper Apologizes For Cartoon Comparing Planes To Slave Ships

AP Photo

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