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Are McCain’s associations with Senate bigots fair game?

10/08/2008 5:13 am 98 comments

During the Democratic primary, I wrote a column for about how easy it is for any candidate to tar and feather another about their associations with less-than-acceptable figures. Sen. Hillary Clinton tried to blast Sen. Barack Obama for unsolicited comments made by Nation of Islam leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, and folks like Fox News’ Sean “Little Ball of Hate” Hannity were happy to run with it, saying it was evidence that the junior senator from Illinois was unfit for president. But weaklings like Hannity never bothered to raise the issue of former Republican VP candidate Jack Kemp praising Farrakhan for his focus on self-help. Not only that, nearly everyone in the media was afraid to bring up the fact that Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell had high praise for Farrakhan when he was mayor of Philadelphia, even as the Muslim leader sat just 20 feet away! Again, blasting one person’s associations can come back to bite you. We now see Gov. Sarah Palin and the McCain campaign trying to stir the pot by invoking William Ayers, a 1960s radical who was a major figure in the Weather Underground, a group that bombed the Pentagon and committed other unspeakable acts of terrorism against their own country. Palin has been hammering home the point on the campaign trail that Obama and Ayers were friends, “palling around” the Windy City, even though Ayers committed these crimes when Obama was just eight years old. And never mind the fact Ayers and Obama were involved in a multimillion dollar education grant that was funded by right wing Republican, media magnate Walter Annenberg. Do you here any of them castigating this late Republican pillar? The McCain camp, along with their right wing media comrades, want to convince you that Obama should not have decided to serve with Ayers, who was named the Citizen of the Year in Chicago in 1987 for his education work, and who was a professor at the University of Chicago. Now, if someone was seen as an acceptable figure by business, political and education figures, many whom support Democrats and Republicans, should Obama be faulted for sitting on a board with the guy? So, let’s use that same logic and apply it to McCain. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., a Democrat from Chicago who serves as one of the national co-chairs for Obama, told me today on The Tom Joyner Morning Show that if we are to use the association tag as evidence of a candidate being unfit for president, what about McCain serving and working alongside virulent bigots like Sens. Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond and Robert Byrd? Do we have evidence that these individuals committed specific acts against African Americans during Jim Crow? No. But we do know that their hateful words, and willingness to uphold laws that were absolutely anti-American, did not represent the best of this nation. Bombing the Pentagon is horrible and indefensible. But declaring yourself a patriot while you speak such hateful and venemous words against your own countrymen, who just happen to be black, and then try to oppress them, is just as hateful and venemous. So, did McCain work with them? Did he not speak with them? Should McCain have declared that he would not work alongside these men because of their past? Should the self-described maverick who believes in integrity and character have taken the honorable stance of resigning from the Senate to protest these hateful characters serving in the U.S. Senate? No. And this is why this association argument is so weak and impotent. For goodness sakes, Byrd was once a member of Ku Klux Klan, a domestic terrorist organization! Now, if Ayers was involved in these despicable acts today – or Byrd and his late Senate colleagues – then it is fair game. But no candidate should have to be held responsible for the actions of someone else, that took place years ago. I fundamentally believe that this is nothing but a smokescreen and effort to ignore the real issues we face. Nobody should care about any of this when they are losing their jobs, getting their homes foreclosed on, not able to afford to send their kids to college and unable to get access to healthcare. What I find to be more deplorable is to listen to McCain advisers say they don’t want this election to be about the issues, and want to turn the page to anything but the issue number one – the economy. If that kind of talk is coming from the camp of a guy who wants to be president, then that is something to be afraid of, not a candidate’s association with Ayers, or Thurmond, Helms or Byrd.

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  • Wyle E.Coyote-”Genius”

    W.Johnson…too bad there’s no truth to your madness and comment. The McCain Campaign at this point no longer has legs to stand on…and as the 3rd and final presidential debate approaches, you’re gonna see and hopefully you’re sharp or bright enough to understand that the McCain Campaign won’t have any arms to swing with either…and you can take that to the bank!!…ooops…the bank is now closed down.
    Sen.Obama will be our next U.S President…just accept it and live with it. I guarantee, you’ll benefit from that just the same as the rest of us. Be well and be encouraged!!

  • Wyle E.Coyote-”Genius”

    W.Johnson…too bad there’s no truth to your madness or comment!

  • Karen Lewis

    In regards to sarah palins attempt at character asassination of Barack Obama…and please note i typed “attempt” as it has been unsucessful…mccain and his sidekick betty boopsie aka sarah palin are futilely throwing a boomerang of mud at a man of character and integrity…and like all boomerangs it returns to the one throwing it…we all know the history of mccains indiscretion and how he wound up married to cindy…and the unstable temperment of mccain who wants to answer the phone at the White House at 3 am…i sincerely believe that will not materialize at least not in the peoples White House…

    In Barack Obama we will have a President who truly understands the need for change so desperately needed by our nation…and his courage to follow his moral compass for what is right and fair and just for all inspires a inner hope…yes yes we can…

  • Geno

    Why is my comments not showing up on here…,

  • Geno

    W.Johnson…it’s too bad your comment has no truth to it.

    This is for certain…the McCain Campaign no longer has any legs to stand on, and after the 3rd and final presidential debate, the McCain Campaign will no longer have arms to swing with…and you can take that to the bank!! Oops!! The bank was closed down due to economic hardship.

    God Bless America and may He protect our troops!!

  • Geno

    Roland…as usual, you are right on point. Thank you Jesse Jackson Jr. for educating many of us and bringing the comparison up on the tom joyner show.

  • Lee

    Mr. Martin, there is a flaw in your logic about guilt by association. Thurmond, Helms and Byrd were not members of any domestic terrorist organization. While you (and I) might categorize the KKK as such today it was not, at the time, considered by the government to be a terrorist organization. Furthermore, neither Thurmond, Helms nor Byrd ever tried to BLOW UP THE PENTAGON nor did they denounce and work against their own government. Bill Ayers DID do all of those things and as recently as a couple of months ago said he was proud of his actions and didn’t think they did enough. Not only this but he was a founding member of that organization. Essentially the difference you conveniently overlook is that the senators may have been racists but they were not TRAITORS which is a title for which Mr. Ayers most definitely qualifies. This is why the Ayers association is different. And frankly, combined with his other associations with other radical socialists and men who are every bit as racist as Thurmond, Helms and Byrd I think we have a pretty good picture of what Mr. Obama thinks behind his flowery rhetoric. Being a combat veteran and having given my oath to defend this country agains all enemies foreign and domestic……I think Ayers should be hung for treason and Mr. Obama is very suspicious at best. Basically, I’ve spent a lot of years learning and being trained how to spot an enemy…….both of these guys qualify in my estimation. In contrast, McCain, whom I disagree with on many things is if nothing else an honorable man who has spent his entire life serving this nation and also swore that oath. I don’t trust Obama. Not because of his skin color but because of his record of being a liberal socialist whom I think would be Jimmy Carter on steroids in regard to the damage that he will do if elected.

  • W Johnson

    Karen, admit it.

    You love Osama because he is only 1/2 white and will follow him like a lemming.

  • Private Eye

    Hey Will is that you? AKA W Johnson. You must looooooove us black folk. Just can’t get enough of us eh? I know most of your type envy us, but sorry……….YOU’RE STILL A TROLL!!

  • andre


    I’m an artist supporting the Obama campaign by using my talent. I created a painting of President Obama. It is called WE BELIEVE., please check it out at.

    Prints are available.

    Thanks for your support,
    Andre Harris
    Obama/Biden 08

  • Mertis

    Roland, no one in America would be fit to be President if guilt by association is the yard stick used to measure the person. We will never find a person without some questionable associations in their past.

    A better why would be to look at the history of the individual themselves although frankly, under those circumstances there would be a great deal of our current elected officials who would have never been allowed to serve.

    People in glass houses…

  • bdenita

    Roland – nice article. Where were you last night after the debate – didn’t see you at the huge table of pundits.

  • BJ

    W Johnson -either you are didactically incoherent or you are prejudiced. Choose.

    The man’s name is Obama not osama. Your hatred is clear. You’d like to burn a cross in a yard. Oh – the good old days.

    BTW – I guess your name should be “W”hite supremacist Johnson.

    You to will reach the end of your days like others regretting the ignorancy of your mind but not today – oh not today.

  • Angie

    Roland Martin is laughable at best as a “journalist.” He makes the most ignorant points I have ever seen. Obama is black and that’s all it has to take for Roland. Your arguments are idiotic and I for the life of me don’t see how any one can take you seriously. You are the Emmit Smith of broadcasting. CNN, what were you thinking?????

  • boe

    roland, is it me but i didn’t hear anyone speak of the cold shoulder that mccain and his bimbo wife pulled last night. He only shook the hands few people and she put her hands behind her back as to say don’t touch me. What kind of people are they. the veep he has running with him is crazy and racist as is mccain. “that one” reference is the sign of a grumpy old man who is out of touch. and did missy palin finally read a newspaper or magazine or did she go to the old video files to pull this stuff out. i wonder where does she get her information and will someone tell the mcsain campaign that all of this stuff, ayers and rev. wright are old and did not stick and can not stick. here is one other thought, close colleague of mine who is a well respected professor, noted that “if you are the smartest person in your clique then you need to get a new clique.” mcsain has surrounded himself with many of the bush idiots that got us in to this war and financial mess. Barack has surrounded himself with some of the smartest people in politics, economics and finance. this says alot about the man as he knows he will need to the help of these very smart and well respected people. also did anyone notice how neither mcsain or palin are able to make a complete sentence.

  • DLMA

    Hello Roland, I do not know which way to go. I am happy for you. You are going places and doing new things. This website is outdated. You have information here from 2007. I think you need to clean house and update your web page. What about us “USTREAM” followers? Maybe you could post your television appearances on here.

    To W. Johnson: If you are speaking about the senator from Illinois his name is O-B-A-M-A I am sorry that you can not spell or read:)

  • Dianne

    Suggesting the Mr. Obama is a terriorist, unamerican and people yelling “kill him” is a very dangeous situation. This is worst than David Duke. He hold “rallies” and Mrs. Palin and Mr. McCain doing compaigns speechs. They are showing a “hate to the bone” attitude towards Mr. Obama. Mrs. Palin has not had much contact with “Black” people from where she is from and this is not a good approach. If she considers Mr. Obama UNAMERICAN what about everyone here that migrated to these United States. Mr. Biden lose his mother-in-law and Mrs. Palin…attacked him as usual even though he was attending his mother-in-law funeral. On National television he showed his (Mr. McCain) hate for Mr. Obama..”THIS ONE.” Mr. Obama is a Senator just as he is and at no time durning this compaign has Mr. Obama or Mr. Biden disrespected Mr. McCain or Mrs. Palin. Mr. McCain even disrespected a registered voter (Black) in the audiance by not remembering his name and insulted his knowledge “you probably never heard of fannie mae..etc. This situation has brought back memories of the 50’s and 60’s era of David Duke and George Wallace. Mrs. Palin is (to me) insiting a riot at each spot she speaks at, as if she is trying to get the crowd angry enough for someone to kill Mr. Obama. This is not a Presidential election anymore this is a KKK reunion.

  • Dianne

    The Whole world is watching this election. At this time we are showing our true colors and it is not RED, WHITE AND BLUE. This so embarassing. If he is not elected due to losing in the poles, let it be drag this human being down the gutter that McCain and Plain has created (which is LIES) is very sad. Together We Stand, Divided We Fall and in the eyes of the world we are looking very sad at this point. “THIS ONE,” I MEAN THIS WAS EMBARASSING COMING FROM A EDUCATED PERSON OF THE GOVERNMENT. He dropped all his education and put on his HATRED FACE last night.

  • W Johnson

    andre, he’ll be President because he is only 1/2 white?

    Yo hate da whiteys dat much, bro?

    As bad a Bush has been, what be happenin’ to our country when he lower da standards to yo level?

    Well, we survived Bush, Pearl Harbor, 9-11, the Great Depresion – I guess we can survive 4 years of Ebonics and handouts for da coloreds.

    Welcome to the United States of France!

  • SB

    Get your head outta the sand, W Johnson…..his name is Obama. Maybe once you do you will see the fallacy of your argument. Barack knows full well what politics are about. He’s not really complaining about the attacks being unfair; neither is Roland in his blog or many other Americans. The real problem with the attacks are that they are ignorant, distorted, and untrue. It’s like calling a tiger a dog simply b/c you saw it around a few dogs.

    And not that this has anything to do with political attacks, does him being half Black insulate him from discrimination or racism? To many people, he bears no resemblence to White, so what would stop someone from treating him in a discriminatory manner?

  • yogi



  • Janice Harvey

    When you say welcome to the United States of France what are you saying? Isn’t the United States a place where any race can come to seek the American dream? When this Country was found, there were only the Indian race living here. So everybody else that is here, was brought here some means or another.

    I don’t understand, why is there is still prejudice people here that hate others, because of their skin color. You don’t get to choose your skin, God does that before hand. Why do some family like to carry this same ungly, nasty bad habit to the next generations. I thought, we as human being are supposed to evolve to a better future and not regress backwards?

    This election is so important to the many people who has suffered. I personaly have never seen so many people suffer before in my his in my life, that I hope I’ll never see this again! This election this time is life or death and I take it very serious this is not a game as some people seem to think it. It is my hope that my Lord will have a say this time!

    Oh, Great drawings Andrea! I really adore the black and white, can you do Obama in the same color? God Bless us All and may he put the right person in office this election! Amen

  • DDKW

    “[O]ne day, people will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Sound familiar? The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that. But rather than allow legitimate questions re Obama’s character, you just deflect by highlighting associates of John McCain, hoping we would forget that you never squarely address Obama. Rendell, McCain, et al. may be entirely culpable in their associations, but that does not make Obama less wrong about his.

    Tony Rezko (convicted felon), Jeremiah Wright (hate-spewing racist), Bill Ayers (unrepentant terrorist who even now says he wished he had done more than he did against the gov’t), the list goes on and on. LEGITIMATE questions about Obama’s character arise from the friends he keeps.

    Don’t tell me this doesn’t matter or that it’s distracting from “the real issues,” whatever they may be. I judge Obama not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character. That is why, with all of McCain’s flaws, I will vote for him over Barack Obama.

  • Darlene

    I have been reading information that touches on Todd Palin connections with the AIP, I read that the AIP is against America.

    I found that interesting since I remember one of Todd Palin’s first interview being interviewed by someone on Greta Van Susteren show when I wonder why he made a statement that about Alaskians and Americans like they were from two different countries. If you get your investigative reporters to do a little research and they will be able to pull it up.

  • Terry


    Jerome Corsi is a renowned conspiracy theorist who claimed that Obama released a fake birth certificate. We’ve debunked that twice now. And, as our colleagues at found, many of the themes in “The Obama Nation” are reworked versions of bogus chain e-mail smears.
    * Logically, any argument should rise or fall on its own merits, not the reputation of the person making it. A logical fallacy – known as the “genetic fallacy” – occurs when someone rejects an argument based on its origins. The correctness of a claim should be judged by the relationship the claim has with the rest of the world.
    * Nevertheless, a practical rule of thumb for everyday living is to rely on sources that have proven themselves to be trustworthy, and to check even on those when an issue is in dispute.
    * In Corsi’s case, we judge that both his reputation and his latest book fall short when measured by the standards of good scholarship, or even of mediocre journalism.

  • http:// Somchic

    yes it is fair game, but for some reason the msm is afraid to go there, this is really getting out of control. Sarah Palin keeps saying she doesnt know Barack Obama my question to her where has she been for the last two years he’s been in all the papers and on every television station and cable news. that goes to show either she’s lying about the knowledge she knows or she is not part of mainstream america like she and her followers claim. let’s bring up that Todd Palin was part of this independant party that wanted to seperate fron the u.s. lets bring up all the racist that McCain has “PALLED” around with. I’m going to stop typing now because my blood is starting to boil. You may not agree with Barack Obama but my God let’s be respectful of your fellow colleuge.

  • DR.Shark

    Roland – are the Republican conservertives trying to start a race war in the US, 2008?

  • Cynthia, TX

    Words to live by…..

    “A lot of people are apathetic about campaigns because you see a lot of the garbage that goes on in campaigns and the personal attacks and the character assassinations that are so unnecessary,” she said. “They’re useless; they detract from the issues.” Sarah Palin, Fairbanks Daily News Miner Editorial Board Interview, 2006

  • Todd Shaw

    I don’t care where you stand on politics or which pawn you back – but as a CHRISTIAN (and Mr. Roland S. Martin calls himself one) when you hear Louis Farrakan not comparing or alluding but stating with certainty and conviction that Barack Obama IS the Messiah – you HAVE to step forward and draw the line in the sand calling this what it is – blasphemy.

    Otherwise your silence is tantamount to agreement with the statement.

    Now – I know in the past the my buddy Roland S. Martin has censored me time and again on here – I would love to hear his reaction to this one. What is in the water there in Chicago??

    View the article and video here and decide for yourself:

  • Reign

    Wow, how ignorant, backwards and vicious people are. What is it that bring out such hatred and viciousness in Republicans and their supporters. It’s really demonic and deformed thinking. This country and this world has changed and the majority of people are sick of you hate filled people. You’re negative, you’re hateful, you’re vicious, your uneducated, you’re backwards thinking and there’s not a progressive bone in your sick bodies. Your lives must be extremely miserable to continually spew venom as you do. Only an uneducated, mentally deformed, lacking in self esteem monster could keep up such insanity. We’re the only country with so many disturbed beings. True, every country has its crazies, but the US has the highest degree of demons. And we’re always pointing the finger at other countries and calling them terrorists when the most vial, vicious behavior exist right here in this country. This country committed the worse sin against humanity with the slave trade and the descendants of those monsters are who we’re hearing from. Your time is up, change is coming because this earth is sick and tired of your illness. Senator Obama is just one of the change agents, technology is another and there’s more. All of you miserable uneducated demons need to just kill yourselves. Life is hard enough without the likes of you.

  • Marsha Jews

    Roland, thank you for being our voice. In this incredible insanity we need you to keep the information “real” and balanced.

    This whole business of McCain and Palin instigating these extremist during their speeches and rallies is really frightening. It is truly reminiscent of the 1950/60s lynch mobs. How can people who are supposed to be “so patriotic and American” allow this type of behavior to occur during their rallies and not ask their security to have them removed.
    Their rallies are bringing out the worst in their supporters…people who not only hate themselves – but Black people… I am certainly afraid that if the McCain/Palin and Republican machine wins this election – they are looking for Black people to go back into slavery – thus, not another Black man will get this close to the WHITE House. God Bless Obama and his Family and God Bless America — this behavior cannot be ignored. Marsha, 56 in Catonsville (An African American Woman who has seen the vile side of people like those in the McCain/Palin Camp)

  • Deidre

    This is a campaign John Kerry has set up to have John McCain and Sarah Palin disqualified from this process for trying to spread HATE. (Click on link above)

    Please print, Make signs for yards and businesses, Make patches put them on tour cars, and put them all over.

    Truth Fights Back ::: Stop the Smears | No to Smear Politics

  • M Stone

    To W Johnson I would like to think you have an IQ, but, your ignorance is plain. As well as your obvious inability to get over your racism and your bigotry. Whoever any one of us endorses should be based on what issues are in line with your own. In your case W Johnson, it’s purely racial. Sad to see how quickly this country can go backward.

  • Will Rosenberg

    By Wilgëens “AfroLatino” Rosenberg.

    Take a look at Mc.Cain’s unwavering stance on Iraq today compare to his hypocritical stance then on Haiti & Somalia. Did Haiti & Somalia not deserve the very same unwavering commitment for success he is showing for Iraq?

    Mc.Cain claims that our staying in Iraq is until success is achieved… No problem. So why the desire for success when US Troops were in poor Black nations like Haiti and Somalia was not as strong the desires Mc.Cain himself wishes to see in Iraq today? How about the wrongful foreign policies the US have towards other American nations in the Latin Americas in our very own hemisphere, needless to even mention the situation in Darfur, Africa…? Talking about flip flopping and double talk… but a Straight talk express he is not.

    Take a look at these videos and you be the judge of what Mc. Cain real call of judgement is.
    (Copy & Paste the links in your URL query if they are not clickable or hypertext ).

    Mc.Cain on HAITI:

    Mc.Cain on SOMALIA:

    Hmm, now Mc.Cain on IRAQ:
    Well, we all know what his stance is on “Profitable” Iraq today… along with his other flip flops on Affirmative Action, Immigration, Off Shore Drilling and so forth, you name it… In the words of Joe Biden, “A Maverick He Is Not” because here, you can see more of “flip Mc.Cain flops” for yourself in those videos bellow.

    Some “straight talk” huh? Yeah right… Sounds more like “Double Talk” of usual politics to me. In other words, sounds like “More Of The Same” to me. Do you not think so?

    As a US Soldier, a 2 times Iraq Veteran and a US Citizen, I would like to get some answers before I cast my Ballot comes November.

  • Jay

    “What is objectionable, what is dangerous, about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.”
    – Robert Francis Kennedy

  • JEL

    Though at current I am not an Obama support I agree with you entirely that we should not disqualifiy a person for the connections to someone who in their distant past or during their youth made choices to take actions against the law. That said, I don’ believe that candidates and better, yet the media (who typically loves doing so, but has for biased reasons obstained from doing so in Obama’s case) should not BRING UP the face that such ties exist. Normally, its the media’s job to reveal or investigate such stories (hmmm, whatever happened to investigative, indepth reporting in America) and I question why they haven’t done so very much in Obama’s case. And it is another thing when a candidate has multiple ties to persons who whether in the past or near present has questionable beliefs, actions, etc., such as is the case for Obama.

    All this said though, let’s be real and frank, there’s a HUGE difference between being a member of the radical KKK (unless he was a member with a branch that killed someone) and being a member of a group that bombed and committed other similar acts against a group or nation. (And yes, we can argue all day about the power of words versus action, since the Bible makes it clear that sin begins in the heart and comes outward.) Even if Ayers and Byrd were a part of such groups when young or younger, again you’d need to know just how implicated they were in their organization, as some people join a group due to the shared ideology they have with other members and some join to actually DO something due to their shared vision.

    The final point, Obama seems to have or have had close relations with a number of persons who have questionable convictions, and who knows, likely McCain as well, but somehow we haven’t had too many such stories come up about McCain, and knowing how much the media loves Obama and wants him to win, if they haven’t dug anything up, I figure there’s a good reason, like perhaps he doesn’t have too many or few such relationships.

    And that, matters and is worth thinking about when you choose a candidate. Personally, I believe the saying that you know a person by the friends (close business associations as well) they keep. How about someone REALLY looking at that issue concerning the candidates.

  • E Human

    Hey W johnson, are you afraid of “carma” getting ready to rear its “fair and balanced” head??? Too, bad because no matter how many so-called racist remarks you may try to incite negative emotions with…you can’t stop “CAHNGE”. Are you AFRAID that you may reap some of the carma that is sure to happen because of all of the unpunished actions your ancestors committed against a race of people???? Believe me…it won’t be because “OBAMA” will be president, it will be because it’s well over due and it just has to happen. So if you believe in a power higher than yourself, then you better start praying now to try to avert some of the unknown painful and hateful long-suffering that you and the decendents of of the oppressors are getting ready to experience. It WILL happen and again…OBAMA will have NOTHING to do with it. So while you’re wasting your pitiful little time and life trying to spit out your little meaningless and immature rantings, you better be putting on your “shield” from your God so that you can be able to bear that which is surely to come!!!!!!!!! GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS.

  • (Howard M.) “My Opinion”

    Hello Mr. R. Martin,

    “BARAK” is in the Bible
    Wolf Blitzer and Barak Obama have same name in Hebrew

    The following is information on the Name BARAK which may help folks who are blinded by speeches full of lies by ommission, concerning Senator Barak Obama’s first name. I don’t write disengenuous or mean comments. My comments are straight up and frank. I was attempting to send this also to CNN NEWS, but CNN NEWS has blocked recieving my comments. If you wish no further interaction from myself please do let me know. CNN NEWS keeps blocking me. I do write good opinions to CNN NEWS and I get my information from CNN NEWS by recording their programs. CNN NEWS is quite remarkable when eternally reporting silly issues such as pigment color and Barak’s name.

    CNN NEWS in general is quite remarkable when they claim for themselves Honesty, Integrity and reporting just the Facts. If CNN NEWS reported “just the facts” why do they continue to report unverified political stories that poison? (retorical)

    I couldn’t believe CNN had to hire outside help from FACT Research Businesses, when a reporter is to verify information first instead of reporting false data and later correct only a couple of times. Mean while for days and weeks every 15 minutes they report political trash, saturating the airwaves toxic trash talk about the next President “Barak Obama.”

    Thank you for your time, and I thank you for reading this. God’s speed to you Brother.

    Respectfully yours- Howard M.
    P.S. Dominus Vobiscum
    Deus det Nobis Suam Pacem.
    Amen Brother Martin.
    Sunday October 12, 2008

    Senator Barak Obama & (Wolf) Blitzer are Linked

    This is information on the Name “BARAK”, after My Opinion(very short).

    Hollywood’s Opinion: Barak is a Hebrew Name, a Jewish Name, and would CNN NEWS verify this data first then every fifteen minutes report “Barak Obama’s” first Name “Barak” is Hebrew and Jewish in origin. Thanks CNN NEWS and I have sent this info to other News Media Outlets.
    By the way- How come no one at CNN NEWS for over two years of this Presidential Campaign reported the truth that Wolf Blitzer’s first name in Hebrew is Barak?

    Ze’ev Barak, pseudonym used by CNN NEWS Situation Room “Wolf Blitzer” (being the Hebrew translation of his name)

    Wolf Blitzer of CNN NEWS is the author of two books:
    Between Washington and Jerusalem: A Reporter’s Notebook (Oxford University Press, 1985) and Territory of Lies (Harper and Row, 1989).

    Territory of Lies, a nonfiction book about Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, was included in The New York Times list of “Notable Books of the Year” for 1989.[9]

    During the 1970s, Wolf Blitzer wrote for Hebrew-language newspapers using aliases. Blitzer wrote for Al Ha-Mishmar, a newspaper affiliated with the left-wing Mapam political party under the name Ze’ev Blitzer.

    Wolf Blitzer also wrote for Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s most widely-read paper, under the name Ze’ev Barak.

    “Ze’ev” and “Barak” are both Hebrew names; the former means “Wolf”, while the latter “Barak” means “lightning”, the German word for which is “Blitz”.[3]

    Barak (Hebrew: ???????, “Lightning”), the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, was a military general in the Book of Judges in the Bible. He was the Commander of the army of Deborah, the prophetess and heroine of the Hebrew Bible.

    Barak and Deborah are credited with defeating the Canaanite armies led by Sisera, who for twenty years had oppressed the Israelites.

    The story of the defeat of Canaanites under the prophetic leadership of Deborah and the military leadership of Barak, is related in prose (chapter 4) and repeated in poetry (chapter 5, which is known as the Song of Deborah).

    Chapter 4 makes the chief enemy Jabin, king of Hazor (present Tell el-Qedah, about three miles southwest of Hula Basin), though a prominent part is played by his commander-in-chief, Sisera of Harosheth-ha-goiim (possibly Tell el-’Amr, approximately 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Megiddo).

    Deborah said that Barak would win, but Sisera would be killed by a woman. In the battle at Mount Tabor, a cloudburst occurred, causing the river to flood, thus limiting the maneuverability of the Canaanite chariots. Sisera fled, seeking refuge in the tent of a Kenite woman, Jael. Jael gave Sisera a drink of milk and he fell asleep from weariness. Then she pounded a tent peg through his head. When Barak came along, she let him see Sisera dead in her tent. Later Israel slew King Jabin.

    To CNN NEWS: Here are other areas where the name Barak has been used.

    Barak was a military general in the Book of Judges in the Old Testament of the Bible.

    Barak may also refer to:

    ·Barak River, a river in India and Bangladesh
    Barak Valley, the valley through which it flows
    ·Barak, Afghanistan
    ·Barak, Israel, a moshav in Israel
    ·Barak, Lublin Voivodeship (east Poland)
    ·Barak SAM, an Israeli missile system
    ·Barak Armored Brigade, an Israeli regular armor brigade, under command of the Northern Command
    ·The SP-21 pistol
    ·Zadik Barak Levin syndrome
    ·Barak (dog breed), a dog breed from Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosanski Oštrodlaki Goni?)
    ·Barak, a character in The Belgariad fantasy novel series by David Eddings

    People named Barak:
    ·Ze’ev Barak, pseudonym used by Wolf Blitzer (being the Hebrew translation of his name)
    ·Aharon Barak, former President of the Supreme Court of Israel
    ·Daphne Barak, Israeli-American interviewer
    ·Ehud Barak, former Israeli Prime Minister
    ·Josef Barák (1833–1883), Czech politician, journalist, and poet
    ·William Barak (or Beruk), the last traditional elder of the Wurundjeri-willam clan
    ·Barak Yitzhaki, Israeli footballer

    Respectfully yours- Hollywood’s Opinion

  • M. Burns

    I am a white, upper-middle class, upper middle-aged male who has voted for conservative candidates in seven of the nine Presidential elections in which I have participated. I apologize for that trite introduction, but I felt it necessary because of the volatility of what I’m about to say. I grow weary of the narrow-mindedness of many American people, and their narrow definitions of patriotism and treachery.

    While I personally tend to choose my patriots from the ranks of the honored and decorated, it is woefully unfair, and I realize that more and more frequently as I grow older. I consider Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Norman Schwartkopf, numerous young men and women in our armed forces and John McCain all patriots, and it is very safe to do so. But, there may be others.

    While I could never personally bring myself to think of William Ayers as a patriot, there might be those who could. Who is more Jeffersonian, a man who slaps two metal-flake American Flags and a “Love It or Leave It” bumper sticker on his pickup truck or a man who puts his life, his liberty and his very existence in jeopardy to fight against a war and a government he perceives as self-interested, immoral and unresponsive to the wishes of the American people. I concede that William Ayers may not be the best example for this illustration due to other character flaws, but let’s look back in history.

    As a child of the sixties, I clearly remember the extraordinary effort on the part of Federal Law Enforcement officials to portray Martin Luther King as a Communist, agitator and traitor. We now know that none of that was true. At different times in history “real Americans” have been fearful and outraged at the actions of Frederick Douglass, John Brown, those who would dare to organize American labor, FDR, the Kennedy brothers, Cesar Chevez and Abbie Hoffman. The list goes on, and even though none of the aforementioned examples are without flaws, in retrospect their various “crimes” against the status-quo tend to ferment and age into something less sinister than originally perceived.

    I believe the time has come for us to stop slapping derogatory labels on people, and attempt take a longer, wider view the sentiments and actions of the people who live here. Maybe someday, the thoughts and convictions of those we label in a derogatory manner now, could bring us closer to our salvation.

  • Blake

    First, I would like to say that I agree with you Roland. I have been making similar observations for a couple of weeks now and think you are on target. Secondly, I am concerned that some of you think this is a joke while others do not understand the seriousness of the comparisons. The KKK lynched people, used a reign of terror to keep part of the human raise down, professed hatred to everyone (including Jews) that was not like them, set of bombs that killed babies, and on and on and on and which was part of their IDEOLOGY. Yet, you don’t think the comparison is reasonable and as you compare this to William Ayers and his bombings that only killed members of their own organization. You want to tar and feather obama for his ties to him on a charitable board but it okay that McCain served with individuals that at least an equally dispicable background. Give me a break.

  • Nell

    These last few weeks we need to brace ourselves. I won’t be surprised by any last minute attacks by the McCain Campaign. But they have to be careful they don’t backfire, and this thing gets even worse and becomes a landslide! Roland you need to use a smaller font for your statements. It needs to fit neatly on the screen so people can easily read it.

    Well, its almost over for me. I got my absentee ballot in the mail yesterday, I voted for Obama at my dinning room table, and I will drop it in the mail in the morning. . . As far as I can see, there is no structured campaign in Black communities to get out the vote. By now the heavy hitters would have finished with the seniors, the handicapped, and the committed with absentee ballots, and would be now focused on getting buses and vans, hiring street people, and coordinating with everyone who can round people up for early voting, and election day. . . Everything is helter skelter and unorganized. . . The ground people think it is about being important, its not, its about the NUMBERS. . .

  • Chuck

    I agree with your analysis. If we continue to play this ‘guilty by association’ game, I think in the end everyone will lose. To be honest part of me is surprised at how McCain is behaving and conducting his campaign but now these attacks are just dispicable.

  • C. Allen

    Let me get this straight. Obama is supposed to represent change. So, to justify his association with Ayers, you have compared Bush, McCain, etc., with bigots, the KKK, etc. So, how does that clear Obama of his socialist ties with known thugs and killers?? Sounds to me like the only thing you have justified is that if everyone else is quilty why not join the gang. You have not cleared Obama’s name. You have simply justified his desire to associate with known terrorists and radicals. Give me a break…Obama thought Ayers had repented ??? KKK is worse that Ayers ?? So, if the KKK is worse, Ayers is okay ?? We have now justified Obama’s association with socialist terrorists by degrees.

    But, you know what….life is good! Pelosi is going to give me more money, Obama is going to give me a tax break and make my employer give me health insurance. Shoot, I might even be fined if I don’t provide my kids with insurance. Boy, keep those printing presses running. Never mind that it was not Bush who alone wrecked this economy…how about us everyday folks who did not save a dime, maxed out at least 10 credit cards each, depended on Big Government to bail us out, and refused to Buy American vs going to Walmart and buying tires from Japan. We have met the enemy and it is us. Glad I am not one of the 633,000 small business owners in this country who will see taxes increase…just what we need during these times…let’s tax the few water holes we have left in the desert. Good grief!! Life is good….and it is going to get better. Heck, don’t worry about working, Big Brother will take care of you. Just set on the porch and wait for The Check. Even better, if you are in the 40% who do not even pay taxes, I guess you are going to get a rebate check or something. The remaining 5% will pick up the tab. No wonder we keep losing companies to overseas locations. But, we can feel better if we pay more taxes because it is patriotic. Good grief !! Oh, almost forgot good ole Barney Frank…he may even try another social engineering trick and cause all you good folks to lose just a ton of money in the stock market. Good ole Barney…the Elite Eastern Press gives him and Dodd a wonderful break, don’t they while Bush takes the heat.

    Obama, since you have bought our votes, do not pull the oldest political trick in the world and appear next year and tell me you just can’t deliver the goods because of whatever reason. You bought the votes….you have to deliver the goods. Good luck. Ain’t going to happen and he knows it will not happen.

  • Reign

    I think it was on PBS or one of those educational channels about a week ago that the highest concentration of hate filled, white supremacist groups are located in Arizona…that’s where McCain is from, right? Do we find it interesting? I’d love to hear someone in the mainstream bring this up and ask McCain about it. And why is it that these groups can still continue to exist in 2008. America has absolutely no problem finding any Black or group of color that’s out there (and usually these groups are not even about hate, like the Panthers weren’t) and dismantle and destroy them in the most inhumane manner, but white groups who we ALL know exist for the sole purpose of hate and destruction remain in tact? When McCain and Palin allow their supporters to behave so irresponsibility and inhumanely, they are promoting bad behavior. I realize that politics brings out the passion and emotions, but we all know that they’re going in the wrong direction with this mess. If anything happens that is racially motivated from this political race, I hope the victim(s) sue McCain and Palin for instigating. We DO NOT need to do or say anything that promotes Hate! There’s enough madness on this planet without having to revisit KKK related insanity…that’s exactly why this country requires change and the change is being initiated from a spiritual realm, therefore, it will happen and we’re going to make this country the awesome nation it should be.

  • Jermyn Shannon El

    Roland, I wish to commend you for your diligence and contributions to politics in America at such a critical Time in our-story. We have a lot of work to do, but it make things a hell of a lot easier when we have the vision and balance with the “naysayers” who never thought a Black man would guide this country. Keep your head high, your heart humble, and your ears full of wisdom. We look forward to your presence in Blacksonville, I mean Jacksonville, Florida for the Black Expo on the 25th. Peace.

  • Juan Cruz

    The issue of Obama character or his being a muslim existed during Hillary’s campaign, not only during John McCain’s. It is an issue that does not go away after Hillary is gone or even after Obama becomes president. Roland, you don’t even know what is in Obama’s heart and mind, because Obama keeps a secret of what he did in college, and he has proven ties to the muslim faith. I don’t know what church he goes to now after he broke off from the church of his Pastor Wright. In muslim law, a son of a muslim is an automatic muslim, so technically, Obama is one, plus that fact that he voluntarily changed his name from Barry to Barack, is for me enough intent to be a muslim, plus pictures of his trip to Kenya. You seem to forget that 9/11 was carried out by muslims, and probably you do not know that the Quoran clearly tells its followers to kill infidels. If Casius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali and practiced Islam, all that Obama needs to do is to tell us that he has been practicing Islam, since he already changed his name.

  • Mary

    I am appauled at the McCain/Palin campaign in their intollerable references of tying Obama to a terrorist e.i. (Palling with a Terrorist)and the people in the rallys calling Obama a terrorist. I deplore what Ayers said and did over 40 years ago and in no way condome this behavior. But what disturbs me most is when I heard on a tv cable station, a student at the Illinois University ask if he is now a terrorist too. That because he has taken classes with Ayers, (an english professor at Illinois University, whom has received many awards), and has spent more time with Ayers than Obama. What about the other professors, the student body, the reputation of the University, who no doubt FULLY VETTED/did background check on Ayers prior to employing him. Are they all terrorists and “PALL WITH A TERRORIST!”. McCain states he is a man of honor because he served in the military, but if he is the man of honor he states he is, he would NEVER allow such gutter statements in his campaign.

    What angers me most is that NO ONE, ON ONE IN THE MEDIA has said “ENOUGH”! If not for the safety of this country for all the hatred that is being insighted by McCain/Palin and campaign, to say “ENOUGH” for all the students and staff at Illinois Univeristy and parents and families associated with the Univeristy. The media should have the GUTS to take a stand and protect the integrety of the University and students involved. McCain is not a man of honor, not any more, especially with all his dispicable associations that are many times worse than any of Obama’s guilt by associations . McCain lost that title when he stooped to garbage politics. Especially the latest of insighting hatred and fear at his rallys and NOT controlling the people at his/Palins rallys, to win a campaign regardless of who is hurt. And if anything, God forbid, happens to Obama because of what McCain/Palin has instigated and with the media blasting their hateful statements and their rallys over and over day in and day out without denouncing this dispicable behavior will all be held accountable! A parent of 4 college students.

  • tracy

    Roland Why dont we hear anything about the palins connection with the AIP. they are radicals. Thier words are do what you have to do to infiltrate for thier cause. Change yourself from an independent to a democrat or a republican if that gets you in.

  • Bsm

    I want to share this letter with you that I wrote to the View today. I am so upset over what Palin and John McCaing is doing. They know exactly what they doing and it is very dangerous.

    Hello All,I really enjoy your watching your show. I would like to comment on Monday show Oct. 13, 2008. Elizabeth stated that Senator Obama work with Ayers for 20 years. First, let state the facts, he was asked to serve on that broad who endorse John McCain by way. Elizabeth, I grew up in Mississippi about 20 minutes from John McCain family’s plantation. Do you know what happen on plantation? Black people were slaves for 100 years on plantations. We are not talking about working on a board with someone we are talking about Senator John McCain Family. Does that make him (Senator McCain) a killer because his family owned a plantation? Should we call him a slave master, a racist or a bigot because his family had slaves? The answer is No!!! We can’t hold him accountable for another person action even if they are him family. Should we investigate Senator McCain to see if he participated in the operations of his family plantation? Just like we shouldn’t call Senator Obama a terrorist because he served on a broad with someone who protested the Vietnam War by bombing. Senator Obama was only 8 years old 40 years ago. Plantations owners rape and killed my people for over 100 years. During the civil rights movement whites killed many innocent people because they wanted to excise their constitutional rights. Your party is wrong for sowing seeds of hate and I hope that they haven’t started something that will hurt us all. I can’t sleep at night and I find myself in tears because I knew the first day that Sarah Palin said he paling around with terrorist she had put his life in danger. After 911 President Bush and this country vowed that they would kill any terrorist that they believe would harm the United States. The American people believe that Senator Obama is a terrorist or that he pals around with terrorist. What do you think this could cause? The damage has been done. Rep John Lewis knows exactly what can happen if this continues that is why made the statement about Senator McCain and Gov. Palin. After all he has a plate in his head from the beating he received on the Selma Bridge where he almost lost his life. I asked that we pray for Senator Obama and his wife safety because Senator McCain and Gov Palin have certainly put their life in great danger. Do they want to win the White House this bad? John McCain is the heir of a plantation and should know better. Just one more thing Elizabeth please checkout fact checks. org because you are speaking to hundred of people everyday on the show and you need to have your facts right after all not having the facts right is damaging and you didn’t have your facts right today on the show. I would like to know where was John McCain Born? A loyal viewer

  • Denise

    Dear Roland. Could you please have someone moderate the comments here. The haters who are posting calling Senator Barack Obama, “Osama” should be deleted – and their email addresses forwarded to the Secret Service.

    Hate speech is unacceptable. I love reading your blog, but don’t need to see this filth along with my morning coffee. Thank you.

  • nate

    I want to hear from Rolan why Obama wants to take from the rich and give to the poor??? Roland everybody in America knows you and your buds would play the race card to hell and back if McCain started talking about Obama’s past preacher. Obama is going to be called upon again and again to explain things like the award bestowed on Louis Farrakhan, “G*d d*mn America!”, “the US of KKK-a,” and blaming America for 9/11. ROLAND can you tell me why he sat in a church for 20 years and listened to things like this?? AND then tell me why you would vote for a person that listens to a preacher like this?? I want to see what you say ROLAND…

  • Josh G

    So to sum up all you are saying here is that you can associate with a Nation of Islam leader and a Terrorist (who should be executed as an example) Bill Ayers as long as the other party is OK with it. How Stupid has the real Americans become. If the choice is between a man who wants to clean up Washington and will protect our country from terrorist OR a man who want to grow Washington and still has close ties with terrorist and has no problem with killing a baby in the 9th month…. Give me the Real American. Its not a Racist vote.. its an American vote. You all need to check your Constitution, you want change from it, move to Mexico.

  • R Brown

    I want to know why no one is talking about Sarah Palin and her ties to this right wing faction AIP. There is a video of her addressing this organization just this year. This groups mission is to become a seperate and independent nation from America according to their website. While she herself was never a member her husband Todd was a member from 2002-2005. Now Mrs. Palin spends her days accusing Obama of being anti American and unpatriotic. So who is the real Sarah Palin and why are the American People not being introduced to this Sarah Palin? Here is a link of her address to AIP.

  • Laura from Willis, TX.

    I just would like to say, Roland, that I enjoy watching you on CNN. I respect your integrity, honesty, candor and ease of “telling it like it is”. Please keep up your excellent reporting.
    As for Mc Cain/Palin and their “imaginations”, well, all I can see is that they are missing all points. They are to me, the epitome of Racism and Bigotry. Thanks for listening.

  • babyfat

    hopefully when obama wins whites can use more of the english language such as you people which is considered racial if spoken by whites but you seem to have no problem using it during your talk in fayetteville but of course you are black. palin and obama are both inexperienced, oops, sorry, i forgot obama was a black man. well any way when the white jeremiah wrights get going i believe the truth will set all of you free. long live civil rights and good luck king family with the lawsuit.

  • Rodney

    W Johnson you are one ignorant person. You can’t possibly have a advanced level of education neither sense. The way that you are talking describes yourself as a person whom only has a level education right above the 9th grade maybe with two D.A.R.E essays written. You should know better than that man. I’ve met white people whom I have grown up with talking that same way. You are your surroundings man. Where ever you grow up at whether its New York or Southern Louisiana you will talk, walk, and display yourself according to the people and surroundings you grow up in. So if you want to downgrade people the way that you are doing now, ( at that on the internet), you need to get a LIFE! Now to address some of the issues that we face today. I see it this way. I am an African American just so that you know. I see McCain talk about the struggles that he has had with being a POW, knowing what it meant not to have hope, not to have faith, being in the War and starved for the years that he was a POW. I’m here to let McCain know something no one has probably thought of or addressed. I have 8 siblings whom I was raised with. WE had the same struggles, knew what it was not to have hope, nor faith, nor food to eat, nor anyone to lean on, nor money, a prisoner to the world. Supposedly a free world. I can write a book and compare the same struggles that McCain has at 74 to my age of 25. A big difference in age but, not in life. I’ve seen it, did it, been through it, and paid for it. I just wish he stops talking about him knowing about these things not realizing that there are families going through the same things that he’s gone through. Not just African Americans but, all races. Get away from the negative and get to the positive talk about what we want and what we need. What there is to do and what should be done. My vote is going to OBAMA because I feel like he has had those same struggles. He is the right one for this country. Although I wouldn’t have never approved the $700 billion. We need to let these companies suffer for putting us here. I’m not afraid because really….going through what I’ve gone through….I was made for it. I know how to survive. OBAMA 08.

  • MW Browne

    Roland, I’ve heard it all! I think that we are falling for John McCain’s dirty tactics, I really do believe
    that that was a “plant” in John McCain’s audiance who stated that Senator Obama is an Arab.
    Consider this, this faceless woman said what John McCain couldn’t say. the point was to
    put-it-out-there and then make believe he really objected to the statement. GENIUS! AND WE
    Just an opinion.


    I think it is ATROCIOUS and DESPICABLE the atmosphere Mccain/Palin campaign has recently created at their rallies.It is totally mind boggling that that they would resort to such tactics stroking the strings of hatred and then turn a blind eye to the bigtry and ignorance that is being display by their supporters.And what really gets me angry is EVERYONE knows and realize that this an attempt to inject RACE into the race but some media pundit and right wing nuts continue deny the fact.Sometimes I really believe they think we the american people are that naive,gullible and stupid well atleast some of the mccain/palin supporters has displayed they are.

  • Margaret

    Roland, yes I believe from the political standpoint Senator McCains past and present associations are fair game, if thats the way he wants to run his campaign. That also includes the running mate because he or she is suppose to have the exact same qualifications.
    What I like to bring up in case anyone is interested, his name is JESUS. This man in the face of adversity and his life being in danger, went out of his way to befriend those whose character was in question. Remember that scripture in reference to the adultress “he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone” and no one could stone the woman.
    Well Obama has met people from all walks of life since attending school and moving to Illnios, to his credit he did not demonize them. Some of them chose to break the law, Obama was not apart of these errors in their individual judgment.
    Do we look at what these people chose to do before or after Obama knew them and blame him, which is a piece of the picture?
    No we should know the full association, like Rezco BEFORE he got greedy was a small part of a big effort to build up a community that was being systemically stripped away or Ayers and his association by being on the same committee that was instrumental in funding some educational effforts.
    All this other stuff is a waste of energy and fuels hatred. That is not of Jesus.

  • thenounproject

    McCain Transition Chief Aided Saddam In Lobbying Effort

    William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.

    The two lobbyists who Timmons worked closely with over a five year period on the lobbying campaign later either pleaded guilty to or were convicted of federal criminal charges that they had acted as unregistered agents of Saddam Hussein’s government.


    During the same period beginning in 1992, Timmons worked closely with the two lobbyists, Samir Vincent and Tongsun Park, on a previously unreported prospective deal with the Iraqis in which they hoped to be awarded a contract to purchase and resell Iraqi oil. Timmons, Vincent, and Park stood to share at least $45 million if the business deal went through.

  • thenounproject

    Todd Palin’s Past Political Associations A Likely Security Clearance Disqualifier

    Although Sarah Palin smack talks Barack Obama for “palling around with terrorists,” it turns out that the Palin family has its own history of palling around with Alaska’s own unique brand of America-haters. Palin’s husband Todd was once an actual member of the secessionist Alaskan Independence Party (AIP). Palin herself was not a member of AIP — but many AIP luminaries claim her as a kindred spirit and “one of their own.”

    A charitable characterization of AIP might be “quirky down-home Alaska politics.” However, the security processes that govern access to our defense and national security institutions might not look so kindly on Todd Palin’s past political associations. Indeed, if Todd Palin were applying for a job in the US government or at a contractor that required access to sensitive classified information — a security clearance — he would very likely be ineligible.

    What’s so bad about the AIP? The party officially renounces violence and disloyalty to the United States, even though its members often do not. The AIP has long been aligned closely with paramilitary militia groups — the kind that fear black helicopters and a United Nations takeover of the US. Indeed, under the leadership of AIP’s tough-talking founder, Joe Vogler, AIP allied itself with the Islamic dictatorship in Iran in 1993 so that Vogler could appear at the United Nations to appeal for Alaska’s freedom from US “tyranny.” A fellow AIP member murdered Vogler before he could take the UN stage. The current AIP chairwoman, Lynnette Clark, believes that Vogler’s killer was framed and all but blames the Federal government for Vogler’s “execution.”



  • TWLee

    Goof Balls will say he, McCain, should not work with “that” type of people….Dhu…”those type” of people were to their particular states about electing them. This is a whole lot different river you are trying to float on. Your Momma……said, People know you by those you associate with not what you say.

  • “The Alabama Bloger”

    Putting “Country First” at the OBAMA bashing “Town Hall” meetings are out of control. In the middle we have a Presidential Candidate on national television looking, sounding and acting like a hateful, sore losing bitter old man. Personally, when the negative outburst from his supporters evolved, he should have immediately used the same steady hands he plans to use on the tiller, and end the dangerous erratic behavior (character) not a week later. On one side” Jane 6 pack” husband, Todd (once AIP member) wanted Alaska to be its own country. On the other side, “Menopause Barbie” (Cyndi McCain) -had to give her small “Easter Speech” about her son in Iraq. The campaign staff did not want her to feel left out. Obviously, appeared to be under the influence of something! Curious to know, why there are no concerns with course descriptions and objectives of classes instructed by Ayers. Professors daily educate and shape the minds of our future (things that make you say umm). Justice- with several witnesses (entire world), how and why was he not convicted? I am so grateful the Students, Staff and Neighbors of Ayers are not “Palling Around”. However, I’m trying to remember why Obama’s associations are questionable!!!!!!

  • JaiNishia

    Barrack Obama Is My Candidate!

    Barrack Obama is the strongest candidate who is running for the upcoming presidential election in November. Why cant Americas see pass the color of his skin. Who cares if he is an Africa American Male? Are we no longer equal? What are saying by not electing him for president? That African Americans will never be quailed enough because of his their skin color and or gender? If that’s not racism in full effect, I don’t know what is? The sad part about it, unlike an employer he could file a discrimination lawsuit against them, but the American people what he is supposed to do?

    Americans are tried of false statements and their promises being deferred, we a ready for change, we are ready for Barrack Obama.

    If you have any questions email me perosnally @


  • jax08


  • Mike

    You know why they are hard pressed to find anyone bad tied to McCain? All of his friends are dead!

    But in all seriousness, watching McCain’s flailing in the final debate last night was hilarious. He tried to go after Obama’s character, but was rebuked on both Acorn and Ayers . Then to top it off, he cried about what John Lewis said even though the only real association Obama and he share is that they are both black and in congress. When is he going to brow beat his running mate for accusing Obama of “palling around with terrorist”? Whatever, in just a few weeks, we won’t have to see these mouth breathers on TV ever again.

  • Just Deb

    This is awful. Do you now know how to use paragraphs and a decent font? I just saw you on CNN and you are obnoxious, pushy and will cut another off just so you can be heard. Next time, the TV will be turned off when you are present.

  • Terry

    We thought that it was very “interesting” how John McCain knew so much about this “Joe the Plumber”, so we did a little research. Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacker or aka “Joe the Plumber, is hardly an “UNDECIDED” voter. It has been found out that Joe the Plumber’s father is a big donor to the GOP, and is the SON IN LAW TO CHARLES KEATING!!!! LOL!! Joe the Plumber’s father even worked at Lincoln Savings and Loan, when all h*ll broke loose with Keating! Also, Joe the Plumber is also a tax deadbeat!! LOL!!! The McCain campaign have decided to use this “Joe the Plumber”, for a way for him to talk about the economy.

  • J.R. in Plano, TX

    Who cares about the KKk or Ayers or any of that junk. Here is what I have to say. If you want more government, vote Obama, he will take what little money anyone has and be sure to spread it around to someone who doesn’t deserve it. If you want to keep more of your money, vote McCain.

  • W Johnson

    People are losing their homes, Ro Ro, because they got in WAY OVER THEIR HEADS!!! They bought homes they couldn’t afford.

    Why should the taxpayer have to pay their mortgages for them?!

  • MW Browne

    Roland there are also LOTS and LOTS of people that are losing their homes because of job loss!
    So let’s not blame everyone for getting way over their heads, it’s just not fair when you have
    companies closing and/or eliminating people’s livelihood every day.
    When you lose your job now, it can take up three to four months to land another!

  • Taz

    There has only been a little coverage of Mr. Palin’s association with a group that wants Alaska to separate from America. He was associated with this group as recently as 2004 (don’t quote me on the year). And she has the audacity to try to attack Obama’s association and give speeches with a banner stating “Country First” on her podium. American politics at it’s finest.

  • M Deen

    W Johnson needs to take a look in the mirror. He is probably the one who voted for and supports the man/men who is directly responsible for policies that create 300% profits for oil companies (Did we ever get the final word on price gouging during hurricane Katrine and other natural disasters?), The lies that caused the war in Iraq (Why did we go and Why are we still there? What is our mission? How many lives will it cost us to get out?) and the fall of our economy. If our leaders can so easily agree to use tax dollars to bail out the Airline Industry, Wall Street, and Iraq on behalf of its people then please use my money to help my less fortunate brothers and sisters, whomever it may be BLACK or WHITE. EVEN YOU W. JOHNSON. You are welcome in advance.

  • Hollywood’s Opinion

    Grettings Mr. Roland Martin,

    It’s called the “Double Standard” that McCain is using and doing, yet no one reports this underscore of McCain’s words.

    Obama associated with bad people so that makes him bad too? what?
    But anyone McCain associated with that is bad is some hw magically okay? Strange thinking.

    - Hollywood’s Opinion

  • Ryan Field

    This registered Democrat just voted for McCain through absentee ballot. It wasn’t easy, my hand almost shook because I’ve never voted Republican in my life. But I did it and have no regrets. I was undecided (leaning toward Obama) until I heard Colin Powell’s endorsement. Funny, Colin, that conservative fake who thought the war was justified but is now endorsing Obama, made me vote for McCain. And I’m not the only one who feels this way…there are millions of us.

    Sorry Roland, you told me “suck it up” last summer when I complained about how unfairly Hillary Clinton was treated (while she was winning PA in a landslide primary election, CNN was counting how many delegates Obama needed to be dragged over the finish line). Well I didn’t forget and I didn’t “suck it up.”

  • W Johnson

    Ryan – Praise Jesus!!

    Colin Powell is voting for Osama ONLY because Osama is only 1/2 white! His analysis was so NEBULOUS!!

    Powell did not win the 1st Iraq war, Gen. Schwarzkopf won it! Powell was Schwarzkopf’s admin. Schwarzkopf called Powell he needed this and that and Powell went to the admin and asked for it.

    I had a trememdous amount of respect for Powell until he turned his back on his party merely to vote for a 1/2 black.

  • W Johnson

    Catching Wild Pigs
    A chemistry professor in a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.

    The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government.
    In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, ‘Do you know how to catch wild pigs?’

    The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punchline. The young man said this was no joke. ‘You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in The last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

    Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

    The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to Ame rica. The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc.. While we continually lose our freedoms — just a little at a time.

    One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

    Also, if you see that all of this wonderful government ‘help’ is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America, you might want to send this on to your friends. If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life then you will probably delete this email, but God help you when the gate slams shut!
    In this ‘very important’ election year, listen closely to what the candidates are promising you !!

    Just maybe you will be able to tell who is about to slam the gate on America.

    ‘A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have’

    Thomas Jefferson

  • T walker

    Hi Ryan,
    I am so sorry that Mr. Powell’s endorsement swayed you and that you still are not at peace with how you feel Hillary was treated. I was not a Hillary supporter and grew to dislike her immensely over time, but had she won the nomination, I would have supported her because the issues are bigger than me and so I was prepared to suck it up. Honestly, I might have been okay with McCain if it were not for Palin. She really scares me because for starters I know she is not speaking to me or about me in a way that would benefit me. So I guess NcCain’s endorsement of her made me know that I could not vote for him.

    W. Johnson, I wish that I could respond to you, but there is venom in your words and I know you are not in a position to consider fairly anything that I might say. So I just wish you well.

  • rosa

    POWs Alive in Vietnam and Laos
    Posted on April 13, 2007

    This book has been over 8 years in the making. Buy a copy and learn more facts about live POWs than anyone thought existed. Former Congressman Billy Hendon has been in the POW/MIA files as a congressman and in SE Asia looking for live POWs. He has the evidence way beyond reasonable doubt that live POWs are waiting to come home.

    Danny “Greasy” Belcher, Executive Director
    Task Force Omega of KY Inc.
    Vietnam Infantry Sgt. 68-69
    “D” Troop 7th Sqdn. 1st Air Cav

    —– Original Message —–
    Sent: Friday, April 13, 2007 11:13 AM

    FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2007




    Indeed, the abandonment of 600 of our living American Prisoners-of-War in 1973 was – and still is – an enormous crime. And that is the title of the single best book – ever written – about the criminal behavior of our government beginning 35 years ago and continuing right up to the present.

    On Memorial Day, AN ENORMOUS CRIME; The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in Southeast Asia, written by Former Congressman Bill Hendon and Beth Stewart, will be published by St. Martin’s Press.

    The first reviews – enclosed below – summarize this meticulously-researched book: From Publishers Weekly: “Controversial former North Carolina Congressman Hendon and attorney Stewart make the case that the U.S. knowingly left hundreds of POWs in Vietnam and Laos in 1973, and that every presidential administration since then has covered it up.”

    And from Kirkus Reviews: “A sprawling indictment of eight U.S. administrations…a convincing, urgent argument.”

    I have been involved with this book since its inception; I have read every draft and am very familiar with the research done by Bill Hendon and Beth Stewart. The beauty of this book is that it is based totally on US Government documents. In fact, Hendon and Stewart spent years in the National Archives digging out previously-classified and never-before-published documents. So, when USG officials and former officials try to attack this book they are going to have a difficult time: the book isn’t Hendon and Stewart’s opinions; it is from the intelligence gathered through radio intercepts, satellite and aerial imagery, and thousands of reports from HUMINT sources (human intelligence) – and given to all our high-level officials from the Oval Office on down.

    In other words, they all knew.

    And they have all lied and covered-up the existence of our POWs to this day.

    They all knew that the USG knowingly left 600 POWs behind – and this crime has been systematically covered up ever since by officials from both parties in every administration.

    AN ENORMOUS CRIME is based on 66,000 pages of never-before-published USG intelligence reports. A companion web site will allow readers – and critics – to see all these documents and judge for themselves. Every intelligence report and government memorandum mentioned or discussed in the book will appear in its entirety on the web site for every reader to read and study – and decide for him/herself who is telling the truth about live POWs: the intelligence sources or those who have debunked the intelligence and covered up the existence of live pows through eight presidential administrations. This web site will also contain other information not contained in the book.

    Here is what I am asking you to do:

    1) Spread the word about this book to everyone you know who cares about our abandoned brothers;

    2) Go to Amazon – here is the direct link — – and pre-order this book;

    You can read the rest of this article ,and more topics at

  • rosa

    19 POWs-Reason not to trade with communist Vietnam
    Posted on July 12, 2006

    The following is from Vietnam ex-POW Larry Stark and the Natl. Alliance of Families. We should not let communist Vietnam have WTO or trade with them in any way tell they account for our POW/MIA that they had in their hands at the end of the war.
    Danny “Greasy” Belcher, Executive Director
    Task Force Omega of KY Inc.
    Vietnam Infantry Sgt. 68-69
    “D” Troop 7th Sqdn. 1st Air Cav

    In my opinion, the forwarded email from Lynn can and should be used as a basis for denying the Vietnamese WTO status. When you add to the information she proviided the 55 plus guys that VN earlier had said died in captivity, and most of these men have not been accounted for, it should be enough to put VNs application on hold indefinitely. Remember, these are men that Viet Nam said Died in Captivity.
    The problem is getting the above information into the hands of some one who will be willing to run with it. I am thinking of some one like Duncan Hunter or Sam Johnson or one of our other friends in Congress. For you poker playing friends of mine, this is an “All In” hand, if we lose, we lose it all, if we win we live to play another hand. To my song loving friends, if we lose its, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over”. And in case you are neither, if we can not stop WTO for Viet Nam, you might as well “Kiss the Boys Good Bye”.
    GBU Larry

    National Alliance of Families
    For The Return of America’s Missing Servicemen
    World War II – Korea – Cold War – Vietnam – Gulf Wars Dolores Alfond – 425-881-1499
    Lynn O’Shea — 718-846-4350
    Web Site

    June 24, 2006 Bits N Pieces Special

    19 New POW Cases

    “My review of JCRC casualty files has surfaced several messages which list a total of nine American servicemen Vietnam has acknowledged were captured alive, all of whom are listed by DOD as having been declared dead while missing. None are officially listed as ever having been a POW. This information has come from Vietnamese officials a piece at a time over the past two years. I suspect we will learn about more such cases as time goes on. While the precise fate of the nine is not clear, it appears likely they died in captivity in southern Vietnam and this is the first admission from Vietnam that these nine were captured alive.” So reads a memo titled “Vietnamese reports about U.S. POWs not previously known by the Defense Department,” and dated July 22, 1992, prepared by Sedgwick D. Tourison, Jr. during his tenure as an investigator with the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.

    In the memo Mr. Tourison speculates on the reason this information was not discussed during the 24 – 25 June 1992 hearing before the Senate Committee in which General John Vessey, along with representatives of DIA and JTF testified. Mr. Tourison offers the following: “… two obvious explaination (sic) could be that (a) it would be irresponsible to discuss such information prior to investigating it fully, (b) they do not want to publicly discuss active cases still under investigation, and (c) they may not believe Vietnamese assertions.”

    The memo continued; “A fourth explanation is that the Administration is too embarrassed at this point to even want to have this information made public. After all, it must be clear to the Administration that the Vessey/DOD-ISA “lists” have led to a relatively inflexible investigation schedule which is being directly controlled from Washington and with little seeming flexibility on the part of those on the ground to react to changing conditions. This is a direct repeat of the criticism levied at DOD/JCS/White House in its inept prosecution of the war two plus decades ago and it is evident that Viet Nam is well aware of these modalities and these new “POW” reports could well represent Viet Nam’s own effort to tie up the Administration.”

    The nine servicemen acknowledged by the Vietnamese as “captured alive” are: Carlos Ashlock, James T. Egan, Jr., Robert L. Greer, Roger D. Hamilton, Gregory J. Harris, Donald S. Newton, Madison A. Strohlein, Robert L. Platt and Fred Schreckengost. Remains for both Greer and Schreckengost were recovered. Commenting on Greer and Schreckengost, Tourison notes; “During the recovery of their remains in 1990 Vietnamese officials acknowledged they had been captured alive and killed in captivity. The U.S. Marine Corps still does not list them as having died in captivity but to have died while in a MIA status.”

    Of the 7 remaining “new POWs” Tourison offers the following information:

    You can read the rest of this article at

  • rosa

    Independent Counsel to Investigate the POW/MIA Issus
    Posted on September 29, 2008

    Below is the resolution which Kentucky state Senator Dan Seum is pre-filing. Representative Tim Moore is also filing the same in the House in Kentucky. So far, Senator Walter Blevins and Representative Richard Henderson are signed on. We need to contact all Kentucky Senators and Representatives and ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor. Your senator needs to contact Senator Dan Seum and sign on to the resolution asking for an independent counsel to be appointed in Washington, DC to investigate the POW/MIA issue. Also contact your Kentucky representative and ask that they contact Representative Tim Moore and co-sponsor.

    Several other states (Michigan, Rhode Island, Indiana, and other states) already have the same resolution. Please contact your nearest POW/MIA or veterans organization for more information. If they do not know, then maybe they need to be doing something.

    If you live in Kentucky and do not know who your Sentator or Representative in Frankfort, KY is, call your County Judge-Executive and ask them who they are.

    Call the toll free number in Frankfort, KY (1-800-372-7181) and ask to leave a message for your senator. The person answering will need your name, address and phone number. Leave the message for your senator to contact Sen. Dan Seum and to be a co-sponsor on the resolution asking that an independent counsel be appointed in Washington, DC to investigate the POW/MIA issue. Also leave the same message for your representative to contact Representative Tim Moore and to be a co-sponsor on the resolution asking that an independent counsel be appointed in Washington, DC to investigate the POW/MIA issue.

    At our next Task Force Omega of KY meeting we will go down the line asking each one present if they called their representative and senator and if they got any feed back. It is time for action and less talk. Our old abandoned POW/MIAs deserve this at least.

    Danny “Greasy” Belcher, Executive Director
    Task Force Omega of KY Inc.
    Vietnam Infantry Sgt. 68-69
    “D” Troop 7th Sqdn. 1st Air Cav

    09 RS BR 142

    A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION urging the United States Congress to appoint an independent counsel to investigate the issue of American prisoners of war and those missing in action.

    WHERAS, the issue of prisoners of war and those missing in action (POW/MIA) has been a national dilemma since the end of WWII; and

    WHERAS, there is a strong need for an independent investigation into all unresolved matters relating to any United States personnel unaccounted for from the Vietnam era, the Korean conflict, World War II, Cold War missions, or the Gulf War, including MIAs and POWs; and

    WHERAS, it is the responsibility and the duty of the United States government to bring home Americans missing in action from the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Korean War, World War II, and the Gulf War; and

    WHERAS; as of July 2005, the Government Accountability Office listed 88,115 service men and women unaccounted for from World War II, the Korean and Cold War conflicts, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and other conflicts; and

    WHERAS, American POWs and their missing comrades have demonstrated the true spirit of our nation and should never be forgotten; and

    WHERAS; the families of these inspiring Americans deserve to know what truly happened to their loved ones; and

    WHERAS; Americas from every generation have answered the call to duty with dedication and valor; these brave Americans deserve the respect and gratitude of our nation and all efforts should be made to resolve the POW/MIA issue in their honor;


    Be it resolved by the Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the House of Representatives concurring therein:

    >Section 1. Both the Kentucky Senate and the House of Representatives strongly urge the United States Congress to appoint an independent counsel to investigate the POW/MIA issue.

    >Section 2. Copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the presiding officers of each chamber of Congress of the United States and to each member of the Kentucky congressional delegation.

    More topics at–

  • rosa

    McCain and the POW Cover-up
    The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam
    Research support provided by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute. This is an expanded version, with primary documents attached, of a story that appears in the October 6, 2008 issue of The Nation.

    By Sydney H. Schanberg
    September 18, 2008

    John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

    Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain’s role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain’s military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn’t talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

    The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that “men were left behind.” This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number—the documents indicate probably hundreds—of the US prisoners held by Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain.

    Mass of Evidence

    The Pentagon had been withholding significant information from POW families for years. What’s more, the Pentagon’s POW/MIA operation had been publicly shamed by internal whistleblowers and POW families for holding back documents as part of a policy of “debunking” POW intelligence even when the information was obviously credible.

    The pressure from the families and Vietnam veterans finally forced the creation, in late 1991, of a Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. The chairman was John Kerry. McCain, as a former POW, was its most pivotal member. In the end, the committee became part of the debunking machine.

    One of the sharpest critics of the Pentagon’s performance was an insider, Air Force Lieut. Gen. Eugene Tighe, who headed the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) during the 1970s. He openly challenged the Pentagon’s position that no live prisoners existed, saying that the evidence proved otherwise. McCain was a bitter opponent of Tighe, who was eventually pushed into retirement.

    Included in the evidence that McCain and his government allies suppressed or sought to discredit is a transcript of a senior North Vietnamese general’s briefing of the Hanoi politburo, discovered in Soviet archives by an American scholar in 1993. The briefing took place only four months before the 1973 peace accords. The general, Tran Van Quang, told the politburo members that Hanoi was holding 1,205 American prisoners but would keep many of them at war’s end as leverage to ensure getting war reparations from Washington.

    You can read the rest at :

    Documents are included with this article.

  • LaToya

    Roland, I couldn’t agree with you more!! Every person has ties to someone that has done something that you disapprove of. Every single politician has corrupt ties!!! Just because you know someone who committed a crime doesn’t mean that you participated.

    Sadly to say, now the republican ticket has been very racist towards not only Obama but Colin Powell too! So, yes I do think that we need to talk about McCain’s ties to people that were in the KKK and Palin and her husband wanting to secede from the US. Racist, it is hard not to see them as such when this is the image they are painting each and every day on the campaign trial. They are both racist bigots and I do not want to be a part of their so called “REAL America.” Because if that’s the America want, I don’t want any part of it!! They will take our country back to the times of segregation and Jim Crow. But not just for Blacks, but for anyone who is not like “them” you know the REAL “pro-Americans.” They are slowly dividing this country and the outcome does not look good, either way the election goes!!

  • In2Itiv

    Is this small town America? WOW…

    All of this is – False Education Appearing Real (Fear). Fear of just another seismic shift as America grows up.


    The 19th Amendment – Women’s Right to vote

    Civil Rights Act of 1964 and National Voting Rights Act of 1965 – The desegregation of Schools

    2009 – 56th Presidential Inauguration of Barack H. Obama – 1st African American President

  • W Johnson

    For ALL you who want to blame the white man for the black man’s inability to get ahead…

    Slavery in the USA ended 150 years ago (it still exists in Africa), Jim Crow 40 years ago…black man’s inhumanity to his brother black man……still exists:

    Woman: ‘They wanted to destroy my body and spirit’
    Story Highlights
    Activist says a new type of war is being fought on the bodies of women

    Congo war is bloodiest since World War II, UNICEF says

    Rape victims try to turn “pain into power”
    By John Blake
    (CNN) — Eve Ensler can’t find the right words to describe what she’s seen and heard.

    “Obscene. Horrible. Out of control….” The activist tosses out a cluster of angry words, trying to describe what is, in some ways, indescribable.

    She talks about a woman being gang-raped by 15 soldiers. Some violated with sticks and knives. Cannibalism. She has returned from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where thousands of women and girls have been systematically raped during a 10-year war that some say has cost more lives than any other war since World War II.

    “It’s ‘femicide,’ ” Ensler says, using another word to describe the treatment of Congolese women. “It’s the systematic destruction of women. It’s an economic war fought on the bodies of women. It’s the destruction of the Congolese people and life itself.”

    Ensler and others are trying to stop the gruesome attacks against women by launching a series of campaigns that pivot on what Ensler says is a debatable premise — people will care what happens to dark-skinned Africans.

    The centerpiece of Ensler’s campaign is “The City of Joy,” an all-female village in Congo where rape victims can recover from their physical and psychological wounds. Other groups such as UNICEF have mounted similar efforts to empower Congolese women and encourage the world to act.

    The world’s reaction has been muted so far and Ensler, best-known as the playwright of “The Vagina Monologues,” says she knows why.

    “A lot of it is flat-out racism,” she says. “When we see conflicts that involve white people, the world responds faster. Bosnia is a perfect example.”

    Other Congo activists say the world hasn’t acted because they don’t know. People will respond once they hear the terrible stories, says Candice Knezevic, the “RAISE Hope for Congo” campaign manager for the Enough project, a group founded to end genocide and crimes against humanity.

    “They are astonished and they care when you tell them,” Knezevic says. “I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t care about what’s happening in the Congo. The problem is so few know about it.”

    Congo has long, bloody history

    There seems to be so much to know. The history of Congo is as tangled and bloody as the complex war that engulfs it today.

    Belguim ruled Congo from 1885 until it gained its independence in 1960. According to the CIA World Factbook, Congo has long been “marred by political and social instability.”

    The Factbook’s dry description does not do justice to Congo’s gory history. Adam Hochschild, author of the prize-winning book, “King Leopold’s Ghost,” wrote that Belgian King Leopold murdered up to 8 million Congolese while robbing the country of ore and rubber at the beginning of the 20th century.

    The struggle for control of Congo’s rich natural resources — the CIA Factbook says it is “endowed with vast potential wealth” in diamonds, gold and cobalt — has fueled much of the violence today, activists say.

    Since 1998, various armed factions — tribal, rebel and militia — have fought for control of the country and its resources. UNICEF says the war has cost more lives than any other war since World War II.

    Rape has become a primary weapon in that war, says Geoffrey Keele, a UNICEF spokesman. Keele says rape is designed to destroy the Congolese community. Husbands, families and villages often shun rape victims. A weak and divided community is easier to conquer.

    “Rape is designed not just to injure and dehumanize the women but impact their families and communities,” Keele says.

    Keele says UNICEF has established at least 90 forums throughout eastern Congo this year to educate women about their rights and encourage rape victims to talk about their abuse.

    Congolese women have traditionally held such low status that many expect violence from their husbands and men, Keele says.

    “A lot of the women we talked to had said that this is just their lot in life and it is something to be endured,” he says.

    Turning ‘pain into power’

    The City of Joy is designed to change that attitude. It is the product of a partnership with UNICEF and V-Day, a global movement Ensler launched to end violence against women and girls. The city, which Ensler hopes to open in September 2009, will offer counseling, education and entrepreneurial training to rape victims.

    Ensler says she’s met plenty of Congolese women who are primed to “turn their pain into power.” Some are already risking their lives to report their rape and stand up to men, she says.

    “These are the strongest and most incredible women on the planet,” Ensler says.

    They are women like Lumo Furaha who recently told V-Day why she decided to talk publicly about the time scores of armed men raped her repeatedly.

    “They wanted to destroy me; destroy my body and kill my spirit,” she recalled. “I am speaking out because I don’t want any child of the next generation to have to live through what I have lived through.”

    It may be too late, however, for Furaha’s wish to come true. Congo’s next generation is already being twisted, Ensler says.

    She says many boys have been forced to watch their mothers and sisters raped. She wonders what kind of men these boys will become if no one helps them sort through what they’ve seen.

    “There is no place in the culture for a boy to say, ‘I feel powerless and broken,’ ” she says. “He becomes violent.”

    Ensler says she saw a frightening example of that ripple effect during her last trip to Congo. She was in a hospital when nurses brought in a 3-year-old girl who had been raped — by two 10-year-old boys.

    Congo’s future, she says, may look even more frightening than its past.

    “What’s going on in the Congo is so extreme and so out of control,” she says, “that if we don’t intervene on behalf of women there, it will spread and something much more horrible will happen.

    “You cannot let something that inhuman go on.”

  • Matt

    Give me a break associations and judgements mean everything. This Obama is shady at best. Even throwing out his way left agenda his associations speaks volumes. Roland and the rest of of the left media may be in denial but I think the majority of people question it and if you don’t question it you just choose to ignore it like a 9/11 ever happening in our country or Democrats pleading that there were no problems with Fannie or Freddie, its a blame game, there is no more doing what is right for the country, its all about doing right for numero uno or a political party. Shame on you and shame on the liberal media who truely are not representing two sides. One Nation Under ? That is our problem and we love unethical behavior which is rampet on both sides. Sure does make a good story. The founding fathers of this coutry have to be embarrassed. Let’s just change to Socialism that’ll cure it.

  • M Smith

    The inhumanity of BLACK AMERICA is nothing compared to the inability of WHITE AMERIKKKA to accept the facts that BLACKS have done just as much as WHITES. You can sit here and preach your hatred towards the fact that Obama is doing something that most of your kind can not handle or control. The strength of AMERICA comes from within the walls of hope, integrity and determination. Which by the way Obama has at this time…Face the facts Mr. Johnson, McCain can never be that good with America. Then again, why should we vote for a man who didn’t want to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Does that make him a true racist or just someone who doesn’t appreciate the things that a King can do and has done for the world. Sad when you have someone who claims to be intelligent and a leader of the people, but don’t recognize the little things that BLACK AMERICANS have done to preserve the integrity of this country we call the United States of America….What a joke….

  • Kevin

    I love the comments Roland leaves! It is some of the best comedy available. Have you seen the cover of his book too? Where he is dressed like some spiritual elder, angel, pastor or something? LOL! This guy talks about his Christianity, and supports Obama? LOL again!!! I thought this word of God he talks about was guiding his decisions. He’s a glaring example of why Christianity is such a joke. He makes up his principles up as he goes. That’s why he can write something like this… where he attacks political mud-slinging, by mudslinging! More comedy! Thanks, Roland! We need village idiots like you to keep us laughing in times like these. Can’t wait until your next post!

  • Stephen Maynard Caliendo

    One of the negative ramifications of Obama’s candidacy (and, if he wins, his presidency), will be that progressive-minded white folks will start to believe, like one of the men or women who has posted above, that there is no such thing as racism anymore because a black man secured a major-party nomination. White supremacists are starting to feel more comfortable leaving posts on mainstream blogs and websites like this one, and hits on white supremacist websites have increased ever since Obama secured the nomination. Obama’s candidacy and, if he wins, his presidency, will bring about meaningful progress in the long run, but those of us who dedicate our lives to fighting for social justice and increased equality of opportunity should be braced for a bit of a backlash in the coming years.

    It’s not just the semi-anonymity of posters like we see above, but these folks are more and more comfortable showing up at rallies with Obama monkeys and being filmed shouting racial slurs. It is as if all the myths about American meritocracy are validated because one man has risen to the top of our governmental structure. Progressives must be prepared to battle disgusting displays of hatred that have not been seen on this wide (and public) of a scale since the 1960s. The good news is that as more white folks get out of their small towns and are exposed to the values of justice promoted at most institutions of higher education, this sort of ignorance becomes unacceptable to them. The old implicit racist messages aren’t working this year as they have in the past because folks are wiser than they used to be.

    Hatred is combated by truth, so keep on shining the light, Mr. Martin. You’ve got a good platform and you’re using it well. In the end, love’s going to win out. It has to. The concept of “peace” doesn’t only refer to foreign policy. Too many folks live in emotional and economic terror on a daily basis — only someone who hasn’t experienced it would dare to belittle it. America can be better than this, and if we all pull in the same direction, it will be.

    Best wishes to all.

    If you’re so inclined, please read and subscribe to THIS WEEK IN RACE:

  • Frank Frisina

    I received a mailer yesterday from the Colorado Republican Party insinuating that Obama is a terrorist. However this is not the most outrageous part of it. I posted a scan of what I received on my blog.

    It appears as if they used darkened photos of Obama. Reminded me of the Time/Newsweek covers of the OJ Simpson mug shot. You really need to see it to believe it. I am not sure if this has been brought to the attention of the Obama campaign but I think it should be. John McCain should be held responsible and made to apologize and stop them from being sent out!

    Roland… Hopefully you can mention this on CNN and let the public know this is going on.

  • Dale

    It is fair game, when your in the political spotlight.

    My whole life I have taken pride in myself for not judging anyone by the color of their skin. Until, I caught myself doing it.

    One day my wife asked me How my day at work was. I replied ” It was good, I was mentoring this new guy. A black fella”…………Right there! Why did I have to discribe the new guy as a black fella…Why couldn’t he have been the guy from Boston, or the guy from Harvard, or the guy with a nice suit, or the guy with long hair?

    Race is just another division (or difference) between people that we (as a society) need to get past. Why can we not get past identifing someone by the color of their skin or which nation they come from. We are all human beings, each with something to offer the world around us. And each with our own faults as well.

    Whites as well as African Americans, will never progress as a society, until we can look past our differences and find what we have in common.

    This is why this election is so very important…Not only to America, but to the world. If we, can elect a person that is “different” then we are taking the first step to becoming a non-racist society.

    But it has to start with me in my home and you in your home. Only then can we say that we are not racist or bigots. We are all Americans and have taken pride in our progression over the past 200+ years.

    I hope that America does indeed elect Sen. Obama, not because he will be the first African American to be elected. Rather, because he is the man for the job.

  • al

    why is it that people fail to see the true hatred of a man because of the color of his skin …????how does this woman sarah palin continue to attack mr obama when she has a s.a.t. score of less than 900 [and thats by the old standards when she was in school .] ok at least mr obama can say that he went on in life to accomplish a few degrees … and to keep on about someone that was a part of a persons past is like an old broken record ..they act like they have commited no sins when they speak of this man named ayers …….then they turn around and tell us that it is his experience that scares them …hmmmmmm lets look at the years of experience that has us in this mess we are in today …yup 30 years worth of mccain looking out for us oh gee thanks if that is my champion watchdog i guess he needs the same as old yeller .. , lets bail them out and move on is his answer and dont look into it too close .hmmmmm…i have lived in chicago and followed you for years with the defender [smile] and found you when i moved back to missouri . i thank you for this blog …

  • zach

    martin tere are some things that are either intresting or cannot be explained, someone once said that youcan sell anything if the sales person is determined. i am plcing this urgument in relation to politics today. Over summertime Obama was “a celebrity, out of touch” and was then compared to paris hilton people bought into that andi saw obama polls decline. less than 10 days to go i see hussleback on the trail with palin and nobody says nothing does it mean its okey? or that there is nobody to talk about it or that the repuplicans can sell water as milk and stand by it even when we know that its water an there is nothing that we can do about it?

  • Mrs. H in New Jersey

    I would like to hear more about Black Conservatives/Republicans and where they are standing in this election. What is excactly the definition, in your view, of a Black Conservative/Republican. I saw you on a post for the “Young Turks” and was entriged by your comments on abortion and sex education. I am a black christian who wants to see an end to abortion except for occasions in which the mothers life is in danger. Due to the war and my christian values I voted for Bush in the last election, although I had never voted republican before. Then, I watched in horror Bush’s response to Katrina and heard no condemnation of his actions during and after the disaster by the James Dobson and focus on the family or any of the white evangelicals who had been adament in their support of Bush for his christian conservative values. This is the same reason the Dobson organization is supporting Palin (McCain-not so much). I stopped listening to Dobson and other white evangelicals after this event. I did not know anything about Obama at the time of my decision. His being black was a plus, but Bush’s response told me all I needed to know about being black and supporting a republican.

  • Vanessa

    DL HUGHLEY…..this show is a disgrace and needs to be discontinued. Who had the great idea to put these sambo acting character on the air. CNN disappointed me tremendously with this show. Get rid of it quickly. I will not watch this and I encourage other intelligent blacks not to entertain this mess. DL Hughley show has proven to show how much of a moron he is. UNBELIEVABLE.

  • Ryan Field

    D.H. Hughley was wonderful on CNN the other night. If you watch him closely you can learn a great deal. What a wonderful opportunity, Roland, to be able to see such talent and professionalism in D.H. Hughley and learn from it so closely.


    Roland, I am so glad this campaign is coming to a close. I have heard it all and seen enough. I am so glad Sarah Moose Palin is going back to Alaska to vote for herself and McFool, and I hope that thang never raises it head again. John McCain did this country, he claims to love so much, and I do believe he loves this country, a dis-service and an injustice when he grabbed that junk out of the box. The McCain camp is calling her a WHACK, true. I said it in the beginning, and I am saying it now, when this is over, the Republican mob is going to send her back to Alaska with nothing (TAKE OFF THOSE CLOTHES), not even her name, and now look, she is on her way back (supposedly to vote – but we all know the truth). Next, IMPEACHMENT. She has destroyed John McCains campaign, image and probably ruined it for him in the Senate, and believe it, she is going to pay – dearly. When the Republican mob is finished with her, she will not only look like a fool, but feel like a fool. But, she brought this on herself. She came out as an ATTACK dog on Obama, and it back fired. I can only say to Sarah, she needs to take a look at the OBAMA COLLEGE plan, and go back to college and get a real degree in History and Political Science, if she expects to hang with the BIG BOYS AND GIRLS in that game. Instead of going to HOCKEY GAMES, go to college and learn about real politics. PRESIDENT OBAMA will help you pay for it, just do some COMMUNITY service. Honestly folks, that fool couldn’t debate Cindy McCain, and Cindy is dumber than Sarah. Hey, hey, I’m just telling you what I saw over the time of this campaign. Oh, and Sarah, take an English course too. You need it.

  • Brook Marlowe

    GREAT comment tonight on CNN in response to Obama mentioning conservative values in his “infomercial.” Family values are an American standard, and I’m sick of the Republican party trying to lay sole claim to them. Thank you for responding immediately to the other commentator.

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