Steve G.

Todd Andrew Barnett condemns LP Senate candidate Sonny Landham for anti-Arab remarks

In Libertarian on July 25, 2008 at 8:48 pm

The following was written by or on behalf of Boston Tea Party Vice Chairman Todd Andrew Barnett, and is reproduced here with permission.

For Immediate Release
POC, Todd Andrew Barnett, Vice-Chair
(586) 725-9218

New Baltimore, MI — Boston Tea Party Vice-Chair candidate Todd Andrew Barnett, who’s currently serving as the Boston Tea Party’s Vice-Chairman, condemns the racist, anti-Arab remarks made by Kentuckian Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate Sonny Landham. In the days following the racial epiphets first given by Landham to Courier-Journal columnist Joseph Gerth who broke the story on the candidate’s anti-Arab comments, Barnett blasts the former actor-turned-standard bearer of the LP’s U.S. Senate ticket, calling them “disgusting,” “totally irresponsible,” and “characteristic of a psychotic nutjob.”

The controversy was ignited on July 21 when Landham was asked by Gerth about his position on high energy prices. Landham responded by saying that we should release oil from the strategic oil reserve, drill in areas of the U.S. currently off-limits to the oil companies, and attempt to persuade OPEC to slash the price of oil. If that fails, Landham suggests that we use the military to confiscate the oil. To be more specific, he said, “We should go and bomb those camel-dung shovelers back into the sand.” Obviously believing his racial epithet was cute, he further said, “I said ‘camel-dung shovelers.’ Make sure you put that in the newspaper.”

“The fact that Mr. Landham seemed to think that it was funny, cute, and clever to denigrate, demonize, and smear a myriad of Arabs in the Middle Eastern communities in the United States and the Middle East is unsettling,” Barnett said. “It’s actually worse that he used these racially-charged slurs against these peoples in his official capacity as a nominated Libertarian candidate for the United States Senate. What he’s done is disgusting, totally irresponsible, and characteristic of a psychopathic nutjob.”

Landham made the matter worse by defending his racist comments on Ben Goodman’s The Weekly Filibuster, a political talk radio show on Blog Talk Radio on July 23. When Goodman asked him about his interview comments, Landham sardonically and nastily replied, “Would they have appreciated it better if I called them ‘camel jockeys?’” Then, when asked how he could justify those remarks, he said, “Look. Now, I’m an American. I’m a pro-American all the way. The Arabs, the camel dung-shovelers, the camel jockeys, whichever you wanna call ‘em, are terrorist. And they are doing a terrorist act on this country with the high gas prices. They’re about to wreck this economy, not only our economy, but the world economy.”

“It is outrageous and offensive that Sonny Landham would refer to Muslim-practicing Arabs in the United States and the Middle East as ‘camel jockeys,’ ‘camel-dung shovelers,’ or even ‘terrorists,’” said Barnett. “He even does this in such a catty, cavalier, and callous way. Anyone who accuses an ethnic group of people committing terrorist acts via high enery prices should be shamed in public and even ostracized for their hateful, vile, and disgusting comments and not be taken seriously as well.”

Barnett even notes that Landham’s racist rhetoric is full of holes. “Mr. Landham’s claims are nothing but lies,” he said. “Not all Arabs are ‘terrorists’ and committing ‘terrorist acts’ on this country,” he said. “It’s been almost seven years since the September 11th attacks, and, if anything, most Muslim-practicing Arab-Americans and Arabs do not believe in violence whatsoever. Yes, there are violent radical Islamists in Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq, but that’s because of our vile and diabolical foreign policy of interventionism and the War on Terror, not our ‘freedoms’ and ‘values,’ that have mostly energized the fundamentalists together and against our country. More importantly, our decades-long foreign policy of interventionism has harbored a great deal of acrimony and animosity from the terrorist organizations, groups, and the Arab peoples in those regions. What will it take for Mr. Landham to understand that?”

The key to the problems, Barnett notes, is returning our foreign policy to one of non-interventionism, ending the War on Terror, repealing our energy policy, and repeal (or at least slash) taxes on the purchase of gasoline, and regulations restricting and controlling the release of oil from ANWR, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the launching of new oil start-ups. “If we got the federal government out of all these affairs, we can save billions of dollars without the need to go to war, have a war on terror, and tax and regulate the hell out of the oil industry,” he said.

As for Landham, Barnett notes, he’s not a libertarian, even if he bears the Libertarian designation on his campaign literature. “He doesn’t subscribe to the non-agression principle, and he certainly believes the goverment can run your life, Libertarian style,” he said. “He’s using the pro-freedom language to cover up what he really believes: economic fascism, Landham-style. Anyone who buys into his claims is a fool indeed. The Boston Tea Party opposes racism and economic fascism, especially anti-liberty Libertarian candidates like Mr. Landham. And this Vice-Chair will challenge him at every turn to prove how allegedly pro-American and pro-liberty he is.”

Formed in 2006, the Boston Tea Party is the fastest growing libertarian alternative, having 10 affiliates under its belt with more than 20 in development. Its World’s Smallest Political Platform reads as of the following:

The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.

  1. While I appreciate TAB standing up for what’s right, it’s a bit too late for Libertarians to do this. We already said racism was OK when most rushed to apologize for the Ron Paul newsletters. Landham is just latching onto the Ron Paul tradition here, and leveraging what worked well for Dr. Paul’s campaign in that part of the country.

  2. If Landham were a Boston Tea Party candidate, the national or state committee that endorsed him would remove that endorsement faster than you could say “camel dung shoveler.” I wish other parties such as the LP would hold candidates as accountable.

  3. It’s nice to see Todd condemn these remarks, but it would hold more weight coming from a LIBERTARIAN, not as an out-of-state resident of an insignificant party (Insignificant in that 99.999% of people haven’t even heard of the BTP) seeking election to a party office.

    Now, as a long time LP member/activist, I also strongly condemn Mr. Landham’s hateful, divisive and flat-out racist remarks. They do not, or have they ever, represented what the Libertarian Party stands for, nor the libertarian philosophy.

  4. This is what happens when you have people who think running a celebrity is a good idea. I suppose it could be worse. Landham could also be lined up with the prominent LNC member who told me to my face that there is no such a people as “Palestinians”.

  5. Gene:

    I hate to burst your bubble, but you’re pipe dreaming here. What Libertarian party officeholder or candidate for any public office would, for that matter, condemn Landham’s remarks? Do you honestly believe that anyone in a position of power in your failed political party has the temerity to speak out against that man’s pathetic, atrocious, and disgusting racist crap? Does anyone really believe that that LIBERTARIAN would have spoken out against this man? Where was THAT LIBERTARIAN when Bob Barr urged people “to stop and thank God for the life and work of Jessie Helms”?

    Give me a break.

    As for me being a so-called “out-of-state resident of an insigificant party,” I find that pretty laughable. The BTP has accomplished a hell of a lot more than the LP ever will. That’s reality for you. Since I am the first party insider of a third party to comment on this debacle, I can assure you that, if I hadn’t said anything, someone would have. And I don’t believe for a second that any one of your party’s officers (even if it’s a LP Headquarters staffer or an LNC officer).

    That’s all I’m gonna say on this subject…..for now.

    Yours in Liberty,

    Todd Andrew Barnett

  6. George, which prominent LNC member said there are no Palestinians?

  7. well at least these comments are not as bad as Ron Paul’s newsletter….

  8. The Thing Is this man needs to say he is sorry

  9. […] Todd Andrew Barnett condemns LP Senate candidate Sonny Landham for anti-Arab remarks […]

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