What Racism?

The preferred tactic of conservatives when it comes to dealing with the rampant racism on their side is to change the subject, or failing that, deny it even exists. Por ejemplo:

Media Bubble, Oct. 8 — John McCain’s bid for the Oval Office suffered another stunning blow yesterday when the Arizona senator referred to Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, as “my opponent.” The campaign-shattering remark came during a vicious, Hitlerian speech before an audience of drooling right-wing drones in one of those states in the middle, possibly rectangular.

“I believe that we should do things one way,” McSame sneered, his shrunken, twisted body and hideous visage producing overwhelming revulsion in all sane people who beheld him. “But my opponent feels we should do things a different way.”

Ha! Get it? Anyone taking issue with McCain-Palin supporters wielding monkey dolls or calling black news photographers “uppity Negroes” is just hypersensitive and reaching.

That reflex to trivialize bigotry raises an interesting question: are these people sympathetic to racism, oblivious to it, or just unwilling to call out their ideological brethren?

UPDATE: A commenter actually posted this in complete seriousness.

I understand Black people wanting this historic moment. I like that aspect of it myself. But (and you knew that was coming), Obama is not the man he should be. Colin Powell, Alan Keyes, Bill Cosby…now these are Black men of solid experience and inner conviction. You don’t want just any old Black man up there. You naturally want one that you can be proud of. At least I think you do. I would. If the situation were flipped about, and it was the first white president, I’d want someone that even his opponents were forced to grudgingly admit had great skill and moral integrity.

If you had Powell, you’d have a certified genius, and the architect of a brilliant war. With Keyes, you’d have a man on fire with love for God and his country, and full of courage. With Cosby, you’d have a man able to speak truth even when it hurts which is the most important time and a very good actor (which is an important skill for pols and our last actor, Reagan won the Cold War so thats not bad at all).


Ay Dios mio.

22 thoughts on “What Racism?

  1. ladyfresshh October 13, 2008 at 8:50 am Reply

    I believe the preferred tactic has become an offensive defense. The ‘shock and anger’ they claim to have at the very insult of being labeled a racist far supercedes the actual issue, because the claim naturally patently false they then in turn claim that obama and democrats are race baiting.

    This to me is jawdropping.

  2. Typical white man October 13, 2008 at 10:52 am Reply

    It is fair to point out real instances of individuals who engage in racist actions or utter racist words. It has no place in civilized society and they should be called out on it and condemned. But lets get a couple of things straight: 1.) I, for one, am just as intolerant of minorities and others on the left who constantly play the race card as I am of those who display hate or ignorance. You are every bit as poisonous. 2.) Anyone who maintains that one cannot be a racist if a minority because of the imbalance of power is a cowardly, weepy, nitwit. This kind of thinking may help people bully their way through but it does nothing to advance the cause of race relations. This kind of stuff is a cheap power play which preys on the good nature and decency of most people who abhor racism, but the more people engage in contrived victimization and accept double standards the more hollow talk of real healing and the notion of fair play sounds to people.

    To answer your post, the Democrats have been shamelessly race baiting ever since the primary.

  3. verdeluz October 13, 2008 at 11:16 am Reply

    TWM, would you share some examples of the race baiting and victimization you’re referring to? The cases cited in the post are pretty unambiguous, using classic racist imagery and speech- is acknowledging that playing the race card, or calling a spade a spade?

    Moreover, setting aside for the moment that you’re making a point that is unrelated to the topic of this post- certainly, pointing out someone else’s bigotry is not, in itself, bigotry- where are you seeing this supposed reverse racism? From this blog? From the Obama camp? What are some examples?

  4. G.D. October 13, 2008 at 11:17 am Reply

    TWM: How, exactly, does one draw the conclusion that Obama campaign is ‘playing the race card’ when someone takes issue with the Obama-is-a-Muslim meme among conservatives? Or with some guy holding up a plush monkey with Obama’s name on it to the cheers and ‘good-natured’ encouragement of his fellow McCain supporters? Are you suggesting that that guy was just an Obama plant?

    (Taking issue with the racial animus that has been a bedrock of conservatism is playing the race card, but playing to those racial appeals is not? Good to know.)

    This gets to the clumsy conservative jujitsu I posted about; no one here, to my knowledge, ‘maintains that one cannot be a racist if a minority.’ (Who or what, exactly, are you talking about? You clearly don’t know your audience.) That does not mean, however, that we have the same racial histories in this country, or that racism affects every American in equal or proportionate ways.

    the Democrats have been shamelessly race baiting ever since the primary.

    Care to provide some examples?

  5. LH October 13, 2008 at 11:40 am Reply

    “[A]re these people sympathetic to racism, oblivious to it, or just unwilling to call out their ideological brethren?”

    I think some of the people you’re referring to aren’t racists at all, which is not tantamount to saying that racism doesn’t exist.

    I think some are racists and empathetic toward other racists with whom they share a “cause.”

    I imagine some feign obliviousness to racism, but that those who aren’t are content not to call out the racists in their midst because, to their way of thinking (see above), it’s justified.

    It would be interesting to see what would happen if the same people who spend their time beating back charges of racism by either denying that it exists or playing the equivocation game instead challenged their peers to stop being intellectually lazy. That is, prompt them to be honest about the motivation behind their racism, especially when the people they support don’t connect with them outside of ideology (which doesn’t put people to work or lower taxes).

    Saying that the Democrats race bait just says that both they and the Republicans do, not that Republicans don’t. Is that the best we can do?

  6. LH October 13, 2008 at 11:43 am Reply

    “I imagine some feign obliviousness to racism, but that those who aren’t are content not to call out the racists in their midst because, to their way of thinking (see above), it’s justified.”

    This should read: “I imagine some feign obliviousness to racism, but that those who DON’T are content not to call out the racists in their midst because, to their way of thinking (see above), it’s justified.”

  7. ladyfresshh October 13, 2008 at 12:12 pm Reply

    …aaand i believe TWM just proved my point.

  8. PR October 13, 2008 at 2:38 pm Reply

    actually ladyfresshh, you just proved his point.

  9. shani-o October 13, 2008 at 6:57 pm Reply

    Gotta second LF. The people who claim to be shocked and offended by those who point out race-baiting are just as bad as the race-baiters.

    TWM said it’s fair to point out ‘racist actions’ and ‘racist words.’ Based on that statement (and I could be wrong) he seems like the type who thinks the only way to be racist is to lynch someone or call a black person a ‘nigger.’

    With that said, people of color can be racist, and women can be sexist. No one is denying that.

  10. Bird October 13, 2008 at 7:57 pm Reply

    I fail to see how calling one’s opponent in any sort of competition, whether for the Presidency or otherwise, by the term “opponent” is racist.

    I also fail to see how the term “that one” is racist.

    I think you’re reaching here.

    For the record, the slurs about McCain and his appearance are pretty appalling. I expected better of the Democrats this election, but yet again have been shown that it’s perfectly acceptable to call a fairly normal looking for his age man any number of insults, yet it is unacceptable to call the DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE (not President, as your little quote says, it’s still October) by the word opponent or anything that could be remotely considered racist if you’re really reaching for it.

    People like the one you quoted and some of your commenters are why I’m voting Independent this election.

  11. G.D. October 13, 2008 at 8:06 pm Reply

    Bird: you might want to read the post from whence the quote came. It’s central joke was that any and all references to Obama by McCain and his supporters were being irrationally painted as racist.

    The problem is, McCain-Palin supporters have been making racist references to Obama —- to say nothing of the ‘kill him’ exhortations or the shouts of ‘terrorist!’

    And again, where did anyone on this blog make a reference to McCain’s “that one” comment being racist? You might want to have those hallucinations checked out.

  12. Tennwriter October 13, 2008 at 9:41 pm Reply

    Rampant racism?

    What? Where?

    I’ve heard Black Liberation Theology claim that God fights on the side of the black person against the white. I understand this is what was taught to Senator Obama for twenty years in his church.

    I know that the only member of Congress who’s been a KKK Grand Wizard is Robert Byrd, Democrat.

    The Democrats were for slavery. Abe Lincoln-Republican-was against it.

    The Democrats resisted Civil Rights. More Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964?? (I think thats the right year.)

    Democrats currently favor Affirmative Action which is racial preferences, and thus inherently racist.

    Obama says things about ‘People aren’t used to electing people that look like me.’ which is a reference to his color. McCain on the other hand does not deal with color at all.

    Sure, there are a few idiots, but how many of those idiots are 1)Being misquoted by a media that is eager to manufacture incidents to boost ratings and help Obama? (Yes, Obama pals around with a terrorist, no he is not A Terrorist. He just has real bad judgement on who his friends are.) 2)Actual ‘Moby’s’, that is Democrats who pretend to be vile, racist Rethuglicans in hope of provoking approval from the Republicans. This usually doesn’t work because it sounds inauthentic, and because most Republicans are not vile racists. And there is a third group, the ones you decide to ‘take a pisser’. If you’re told over and over again, you’re a vile racist, it becomes tempting to engage in some dark humor, to play to the stereotype. And there is a fourth group, real racists, and not just people who have an occasional thought they’re not proud of.

    Speaking of which….

    We Republicans had a jerk, David Duke. Guess what? The local Republicans and national R punditry helped the Democrats beat Duke even though Duke called himself a Republican. When was the last time a local Democratic party tried to help the Republicans beat some obvious bad apple (and don’t tell me the Dems don’t have any obvious bad apples, or I’ll be forced to laugh heartily.)

    There is a racist party…its the Democrats.

    The worst thing you can accuse the Republicans of,in general, is apathy.

    And I’ve certainly seen people say that Black people can’t be racist because a power imbalance exists. I’m glad this blog realizes this is complete nonsense. I don’t know how popular this nonsense is in the general Democratic community.

    I’ve given this more time than it deserves (there’s my white apathy.)

    I understand Black people wanting this historic moment. I like that aspect of it myself. But (and you knew that was coming), Obama is not the man he should be. Colin Powell, Alan Keyes, Bill Cosby…now these are Black men of solid experience and inner conviction. You don’t want just any old Black man up there. You naturally want one that you can be proud of. At least I think you do. I would. If the situation were flipped about, and it was the first white president, I’d want someone that even his opponents were forced to grudgingly admit had great skill and moral integrity.

    If you had Powell, you’d have a certified genius, and the architect of a brilliant war. With Keyes, you’d have a man on fire with love for God and his country, and full of courage. With Cosby, you’d have a man able to speak truth even when it hurts which is the most important time and a very good actor (which is an important skill for pols and our last actor, Reagan won the Cold War so thats not bad at all).

    With Obama, well, some of us Republicans fear you have an empty suit. Others fear he’s a Chicago pol (aka a crook), and others fear he’s a radical leftwinger.Hardly nobody gets too excited about his race on the Right.

  13. shani-o October 14, 2008 at 5:01 am Reply

    Tennwriter- you can’t have it both ways. The democratic party of today isn’t the same democratic party of the sixties. Republicans don’t exist inside a vacuum. You have noticed that the deep south, which is Red was formerly Blue, right? That means many of the ppl in your party used to be the racist Democrats.

    Affirmative action isn’t racist. It’s not the answer, but it isn’t racist. Your (presumably white) mother and sisters and aunts are all more likely to benefit from AA than a black male is.

    That’s all the refutation I have the energy for, assuming you’re not a troll.

    G.D.- do people do a google search for ‘Obama’ and ‘racism’ and go from site to site responding angrily? And how is ‘I’m not a racist, you’re a racist!’ a valid response??

  14. geo October 14, 2008 at 8:09 am Reply

    LMAO@ revering Alan Keyes.

    you HAVE GOT to be joking.

  15. ladyfresshh October 14, 2008 at 3:23 pm Reply

    @ PR my point was made first and subsequently underscored and highlighted by TWM

    @ Tennwriter – I understand Black people wanting this historic moment. I like that aspect of it myself. But (and you knew that was coming), Obama is not the man he should be. Colin Powell, Alan Keyes, Bill Cosby…now these are Black men of solid experience and inner conviction. You don’t want just any old Black man up there. You naturally want one that you can be proud of. At least I think you do. I would. If the situation were flipped about, and it was the first white president, I’d want someone that even his opponents were forced to grudgingly admit had great skill and moral integrity.

    obviously you don’t understand
    here is where you went really wrong
    as opposed to the misguided kinda wrong of the rest of what you said.

    1. who are you to say who is and is not of solid ‘black’ male experience and conviction?

    You might want to focus on the past few years of white politicians and presidents and their character before you start creatin hitherto measuring stick for which little current and almost no previous politicians live up to

    2. the major problem with this statement is the inherent racist, yup i said it and ill say it again, racist illusion that a black candidate needs to supercede the paltry middling experience and character of any other candidate in order for YOU to consider him/her qualified

    frankly dearie he doesn’t
    at the moment he is a candidate of average political background, above average intellgent, excellent character which is more than can be said for his opponents.

    as for bill cosby, colin powell and alan keyes fitting your desciption of solid experience and inner conviction this is more telling about what little black people of public office you know and you partisan leanings

    now you really need to begin to reach alot deeper for ‘understanding black people’ and a whole lot deeper for understanding yourself because it’s quite clear you lack any true understanding of self and no understanding of anyone else

  16. simply scott October 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm Reply

    Yeah, late to this one, but it seems there’s one point no one anywhere seems willing to make, or rather one little detail everyone is forgetting, which might undo all this “racism” against or for Obama. Um, folks, his mama is white. Or did I get that wrong somewhere down the line.

    So, then, where do we stand on the first African-American (yeah, his dad is actually from Africa, so I’ll use the hyphenated title that I think is otherwise troubling) candidate for President? (I won’t even go there with Jesse’s bid years ago.) The GOP is raising hell over a black man with an Arab middle name. The Dems are pushing “black” to get votes. (Exit polls showed that 97% of blacks in MS voted for Obama simply because he was black.)

    Race shouldn’t be an issue?

    Just like when Bill Clinton was the “first black President”?

    Folks, everyone is going to use the race thing anyway they can for their benefit, including Obama. That said, being nasty about it is uncalled for, but let’s don’t pretend race isn’t in play here. It is. And both sides are to blame.

    What would happen is Obama started reminding everyone he’s half-white? Or is it half-black? What does that do to the black Dem vote? How does that affect the racist undertones of some of McCain’s supporters?

    Race will only stop being an issue when people stop worrying about it altogether.

  17. shani-o October 14, 2008 at 3:33 pm Reply

    Exit polls showed that 97% of blacks in MS voted for Obama simply because he was black.

    Whoa now, let’s see some backup for that data point, SS.

  18. ladyfresshh October 14, 2008 at 3:49 pm Reply

    @ scott – Yeah, late to this one, but it seems there’s one point no one anywhere seems willing to make, or rather one little detail everyone is forgetting, which might undo all this “racism” against or for Obama. Um, folks, his mama is white. Or did I get that wrong somewhere down the line.

    scot sadly american views on race still adhere to the ‘one drop rule’ so you’ll get very little leeway on this (see halle berry) on either side

    as to ‘pretending race is not in play’ who has done that?

    with regards to it stopping ‘when worrying about it altogether’ that is a long way aways and at this point in time and absolutely cannot equate the democrats using race in support of a candidate to the republican sly commentary to rile a public not to vote for a candidate. i simply do not understand how you cannot see this difference.

  19. simply scott October 15, 2008 at 7:07 am Reply

    So what you are saying, ladyfreshh, is that it’s ok to use race for one thing, but not ok for another. It’s ok for one party to use race to get people to vote, but it’s not ok for another party to say ‘don’t vote’ because of race.

    Ok, I get it. One is negative and the other is positive. I get it. But we’re still using race as a tool on both sides in this example. The point is that race shouldn’t be an issue. If we don’t want it to be an issue, we shouldn’t keep making it an issue. It’s all fine and good to say that no one else is gonna stop, but someone somewhere has to decide to stop. Wouldn’t you think it would be the Dems? No, they want to win this election, so they use race to encourage people to vote. “You are black; vote for him — he’s black, too.” Come on. It’s really simple. And it’s honest. And it’s true. Don’t tell me there aren’t organizations out there in this country making sure blacks get to the polls and vote by using that line, or one similar. The McCain campaign is doing the same thing: “Don’t vote for that guy; he’s black.” That’s pretty fucked up, and really not on the same level as the Dems’ efforts, but both are still using race as a tool in this scenario, not talking about the issues.

    As much as I wanted to vote for McCain, he’s totally fallen victim to his party and the far right wing with an especially poor choice for a running mate. As much as I wasn’t sure about Obama because of his lack of experience, I do appreciate his intelligence, his freshness and his enthusiasm. I think as long as he keeps to the center and doesn’t go far left, he’ll do great. In the end, I’m an independent.

    Now, shani-o, here’s an article (not the original one that I read) that tells us that (at least) 90% of blacks in Mississippi voted for Obama: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/11/politics/main3924934.shtml. Here’s the quote: “The exit polls showed a racially divided electorate. While nine in 10 blacks lined up behind Obama, seven in 10 whites supported Clinton.” I apologize for not being able to find the original article.

  20. shani-o October 15, 2008 at 7:58 am Reply

    Now, shani-o, here’s an article (not the original one that I read) that tells us that (at least) 90% of blacks in Mississippi voted for Obama: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/11/politics/main3924934.shtml. Here’s the quote: “The exit polls showed a racially divided electorate. While nine in 10 blacks lined up behind Obama, seven in 10 whites supported Clinton.” I apologize for not being able to find the original article.

    That’s different from what you originally said, which is that black people voted for Obama because he’s black. I see you made that point to LF, but I must take issue with it. If it’s not apparent, I’m black, and I cannot tell you how much it irritated me during the primaries when I was told by Hillary supporters that I was supporting Obama because he was black. My issues with that assertion, and yours are as follows:

    1. The MS primary took place after Bill, Gerry, and other Clinton surrogates started race-baiting. You may or may not remember that before the South Carolina primary, there was a slate of articles asking if black people would vote for Hillary due to Clinton-era loyalties, or for Barack because he’s black. It took black people a minute to warm up to him. Clinton had black support from the outset, and Obama had to work his ass off to get it (he was helped by Bill’s ill-advised comments post-SC).

    2. If it was about race, then Jesse Jackson would have been the first democratic nominee. So would Al Sharpton. And for that matter, Cynthia McKinney would be giving McCain a run for his money.

    3. Blacks vote Democratic. That’s the way it is. Obama ran a better campaign than Hillary, and everyone likes to back a winning horse. Also, I know die-hard black Hillary supporters who have only turned to Obama because their candidate isn’t in play any longer. And many of these people supported Hillary during the primaries because they didn’t like being told they should support a black candidate because he’s black.

    4. Why is it that the first time the U.S. gets a viable black candidate who is a member of a liberal party, when black people support him they’re accused of race-based voting? Wtf have white people been doing for the last few centuries? Voting based on qualifications, not race?

    At any rate, you’re sorta new, so welcome to PB, and thanks for not being a troll (as far as I can tell :-))

  21. G.D. October 15, 2008 at 9:45 am Reply

    simply scott: how, exactly, did blacks vote before Obama?

    in 2000, Bush only captured 8 percent of the black vote. In 2004, he managed to nab a whopping 11. The difference is in how many black voters there are this time around — a bump in turnout not entirely unlike the way evangelicals flocked to the polls to vote for Bush.

  22. ladyfresshh October 15, 2008 at 3:51 pm Reply

    @ scott – this sounds worrisomely similar to if it’s ignored it’ll go away type approach

    If we don’t want it to be an issue, we shouldn’t keep making it an issue.

    which i’m sure you don’t mean, but please confirm. Race is an issue, it has been a more subtle but unacknowledged issue in the past decade but it is still an issue. But again how it has been used i still say is key.

    no one is handing obama a presidency solely on the basis of his skin color. He has had to prove his qualifications in unprecedented manners to a majority of the population. This still is no comparison to say sarah palin which is a way more disturbing choice if you want to take issue with regards to race/gender and use of such in politics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: