Tag Archives: Bill O’Reilly

Race to the Most Racist-est

I’ll be happy one day if I can truly say that my children are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. But I think that day is a long way off. And I’m afraid I won’t live to see it.

Thursday, Southern Mississippi University made headlines. Not for their season-ending loss to the basketball powerhouse Kansas; but for the racist and very offensive chanting of some of their band members during that loss. These students – who were attending the game as representatives of Southern Mississippi University – felt they were entitled to chant “where’s your green card” at Mr. Angel Rodriguez as he was taking some free throws during the first half.

The school acted swiftly and precisely. The punishment was almost exactly what I would have done. The students have been stripped of their scholarships, are out of the pep band, and have to undergo sensitivity training. I must credit Southern Miss’ school officials for their swift reproach of these students’ behavior.

In the face of anti-immigrant harassment (misdirected as it might have been to Puerto Rican Rodriguez), voter identification laws (that disproportionately affect minorities), and questionable immigration reforms in the south, the growing tree of evidence of a reversal of racial equality and cultural tolerance in America is virtually undeniable. In this supposedly “post racial” America, what does this say about the state of race relations in this country?

Up until a few days ago, one could purchase bumper stickers referring to the President of the United States as a nigger. Of course, the purveyor of this despicable product, Paula Smith, denies all racist connotation. She claims that the President isn’t even black. She also claims that putting one of the most offensive, racially-motivated words in the English language on a bumper sticker referring to our black President is not racist. Yeah. Right.

So many people have jumped on the [non] racist, anti-Obama band wagon the last year. The fact is, much of the opposition to Obama’s presidency from its very inception has been motivated by Barack Obama’s race. We’ve heard him referred to as the “food stamp president”, we’ve heard accusations of Obama  “chugging 40s” instead of doing his job, he’s criticized for “entertaining rappers,” he’s derided as having a “hip-hop BBQ” at the White House. It seems no matter what President Barack Obama does – and he does just about the same things that previous presidents did (except play a mean game of basketball) – pundits who don’t like him routinely stage their disapproval in race-tinged cultural terms. And racist sewage circles the internet drain in chain emails that even pop up out of the offices of the judicial branch.

If it’s not racism, what is it? These people like O’Reilly, Beck and Boortz know exactly what they are doing. They are well versed by now in the art of the covert racial message.  One would be remiss to claim that their euphemisms are not carefully crafted and their responses – if they offer any acknowledgement whatsoever of their slander –  to the predictable fallout are not premeditated. These mass double entendre serve as a call to arms – fuel for the fire for their political lynching of a honorable man.

Embattled Birth Control?

On August 1st, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced historic new requirements for insurers on services for women that should be covered by new insurance plans at no cost (i.e. – without a copay). To determine what medical care would be covered, the Institute of Medicine was charged with reporting to the DHHS what services and screenings for women are needed to fill gaps in recommended preventative care. In the IOM report, “Clinical Preventative Services for Women, Closing the Gap“, the committee defines preventative services as,

measures—including medications, procedures, devices, tests, education and counseling—shown to improve well-being, and/or decrease the likelihood or delay the onset of a targeted disease or condition.

The services recommended by the IOM include common sense stuff:

  • well-woman visits;
  • screening for gestational diabetes;
  • human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for women 30 years and older;
  • sexually-transmitted infection counseling;
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and counseling;
  • FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling;
  • breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; and
  • domestic violence screening and counseling.
Well, unless you live under a rock or are completely unconcerned with women’s reproductive issues, the fall out from the release of these new HHS guidelines has been epic. Both for it’s greatness, and for it’s sheer moronic misogyny. As expected, the National Women’s Law Center, Feminist Majority Foundation, National Organization for Women, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (P2) have all come out in support of the new guidelines. Representatives from many organizations are commending the HHS for actually listening to and implementing the recommendations of real medical experts and scientists. Some of the reaction has been beyond epic, such as this Bollywood-inspired song and dance routine made for Planned Parenthood:
Any feminist woman knows the depths of Bill O’Reilly’s misogyny. But he feels he continually needs to remind the world how low his opinion of women. On his awful, bias-as-hell show back in July, O’Reilly spoke to a fake liberal woman and a conservative woman about the HHS’s mandate for insurers to cover birth control. (Any liberal who was asked the question as he stated it would have pointed out that O’Reilly’s description of the regulations was inaccurate.) The conversation was completely biased, as O’Reilly asks “liberal” contributor Leslie Marshall if the government should pay for “everybody’s birth control…in the world”. Even leaving out the fact that O’Reilly misrepresents the DHHS requirements (that private insurers pay for birth control for private policy holders, not the government!), he goes on to insult every female birth control user by saying they are “to blasted out of their minds to use it anyway”. Since O’Reilly doesn’t care to actually engage women in a substantive manner, he obviously doesn’t know that the 56 million women who use highly-effective birth control don’t take it when they are “blasted out of their minds”. In addition, he attacks the “health care deal for the ladies” talking to Lou Dobbs, saying we ‘all’ will have to pay for this. Someone should call him up and explain how, we are all ALREADY paying for it!
Although the regulation includes an exception for religious institutions, the Family Research Council argues that the regulation “undermines the conscience rights of many Americans.” Um, yeah, he must mean the less than 1% who don’t use any contraceptive method whatsoever. (I argue that women working for religious institutions should not be subject to their beliefs if not shared, and should have an alternative option for contraceptive coverage.) A spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, says “pregnancy is not a disease, and fertility is not a pathological condition to be suppressed by any means technically possible.” Someone should let him know that no one said pregnancy was a disease. But there are,however, many conditions and diseases associated with pregnancy, many of them fatal for the pregnant woman. Oh, but wait, the Catholic church doesn’t care about the pregnant woman. I forgot.
The arguments against prohibiting cost sharing for preventative services only gets more ridiculous. Stephen Colbert can state it much more hilariously than I. And Jon Stewart breaks it down on the Daily Show. The arguments of opponents to this mandate are not rooted in science or medicine. They are solely rooted in religion. The catholics say the rules are “messing with God”. Other conservatives say giving away free birth control will result in rampant promiscuity. And conspiracy theorists argue that free birth control is just the first step in the government’s assertion of complete control over the reproductive lives of the citizenry for population control purposes. Um, communist China anyone?
These arguments become especially irreverent when you consider that of women of reproductive age who do not want to become pregnant, 99% use a contraceptive method other than natural family planning, and two-thirds of us take a highly-effective method (i.e. – sterilization, the pill, IUD, etc.) regardless of our religious beliefs. And these conservative, anti-choice pundits seem to forget about the fact that not all women using contraceptives are unmarried young people, contraceptive use helps breastfeeding women breastfeed longer by helping them space their pregnancies and increases the socio-economic status of women who are consequently able to delay pregnancy, preventing unplanned pregnancy reduces the need for abortion, couples are less likely to separate after a planned pregnancy than an unplanned pregnancy, contraceptives help prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted infections and HIV, and some women are prescribed contraceptives for reasons other than pregnancy prevention (such as endometriosis). I could go on, but I think I made my point.
The DHHS will be taking public comments on the new regulations through the end of September. Personally, “unrestricted, unlimited sex, anytime, anywhere” sounds pretty damned fun to me. (I hope my husband is up to the challenge!) Plus, I am TOTALLY DOWN with becoming a 4-star General in Obama’s Army of Flesh Thirsty Young Sluts! And, seriously, who would compare domestic violence counseling and breastfeeding advice to getting a pedicure? Oh, wait…