Archive for the ‘Race’ Category
Lambert and Vastleft at Corrente are always complaining that they’re not PUMAs or racists, but instead trying to critique Barack Obama from the left. Funny, then, that they continue to let Carolyn Kay post on the front page. Kay, or “Caro” as she’s known online, posts a daily blog roundup. Of course, most if not all of her recommendations are PUMA blogs, and one in particular (let’s just say that if you don’t read the Confluence, you’d still get to read most of their writing via her posts). This is harmless enough on its own, but recently it’s come out that she’s a hard core Birther.
Take today’s post, for instance. Caro notes the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari for Leo Donofrio’s crazy “natural born citizen” lawsuit with the kind of self-centered pith she’s become (in)famous for:
This decision confirms my belief that the Republican powers that be WANT Obama in the presidency. They must think they have a better chance of discrediting him and the Democratic Party with Obama at the helm.
It’s not that Donofrio’s suit has merit. It’s that the Republicans are engaged in a giant conspiracy to make the Democrats looks bad by…well, by…electing a Democratic president? Caro has gone so crazy that she’s gone down the rabbit hole and come out the other side. She’s spouting a racist right-wing conspiracy theory, blaming right-wingers for not expelling Obama from the presidency. She’s convinced herself that Obama will somehow discredit Democrats forever, so her ideal solution to protect Democrats is to elect a Republican. This is a special kind of crazy. It’s supporting Democrats via Rube Goldberg device.
This ranting isn’t by any means, though, a progressive critique of the President-Elect, which is what Corrente is supposedly all about. So Lambert and Vastleft, I’ll follow your lead and issue a self-righteous ultimatium: I’ll start taking you seriously when you shitcan Caro. Your tolerance of her right-wing bloviations undermines everything you claim to represent, and a dedicated reader of Corrente such as myself deserves nothing less than an end to this bullshit. What say ye?
UPDATE: Edited for clarity.
Let it be noted, yea blogosphere, that on Sunday, December 7th in the Year of Our Lord 2008, the Confluence fully embraced Birther conspiracy theories. Imaginary Hillary Clinton, in all her splendor and PUMAnosity, immediately let shtuey know she was pleased by appearing in public in a navy blue pantsuit.
For a site that originally renounced rumors and conspiracy theories about the President-Elect, the Confluence has certainly come a long way. It’s worth it, then, to restate the essential truth about the various Obama birth certificate/dual citizenship/etc. conspiracy theories: they are all fundamentally racist arguments.
To explain I’m going to need a little help from Melissa McEwan and the other writers at Shakesville. They have a long-running series of post entitled the “Obama Racism/Muslim/Unpatriotic/Scary Black Dude Watch“. The title is so slashed not because McEwan & Co. are individually chronicling mentions of Obama drenched in racism, or the times he’s called a Muslim or unpatriotic, etc. The Shakers are instead making the point that these different attacks are the same exact argument. It’s all about casting Barack Obama as “the other”.
Birther conspiracy theories follow in this dubious tradition. PUMAs and crazy right wingers want to “other”-ize Obama, but are afraid of risking the opprobium that explicit racism would bring down on them. So instead they speak in code: he’s a secret Muslim, he doesn’t wear a flag pin, he’s into black liberation theology, he’s a Black Panther, ad nauseum. “He’s not American” is simply one more way to say “he’s a [n-word], he’s not one of us”. Their goal isn’t so much to convince anyone (they’d need actual evidence for that), but to signal to other racists that Obama is not to be trusted. At its heart, it’s an effort to keep the faithful riled up.
The Confluence apparently wants to go down this road, which is sad, but not at all shocking. The quicker they out themselves as fringe racists, the quicker anyone of consequence will cease to take them seriously.
From No Quarter:
And yet PUMAs are constantly mystified why people accuse them of racism. Ye gods.
Gary ChapelHill at the Confluence:
The AP is reporting that Barack Obama is back to his old tricks of implying that anyone who does not support him, or dare criticize him is a horrible racist. I think this time though, he may have gone too far.
I have never been one of those to overtly proclaim my patriotism or wield it as a weapon against people who disagree with me politically, much like Bush did in the 2004 election. And I’ve never agreed with those who would make flag-burning un-constitutional. But I do love my country, and I do expect anyone even considering running for President to not only be patriotic in the extreme, but to respect our country’s history, symbols, and the sacrifices of the men and women who founded it, and continue to protect it.
Obama may think he found a clever way to imply that anyone who opposes him is racist. His lackeys have been going out of their way to do the same thing. Just take a look at what the exalted atrios posted on his site yesterday (although I always thought that he, along with digby, have always been prime examples of the snobbery and elitism that has made the “progressive blogosphere” insufferable–who knew he was a race-baiting tool too):
He’s An Uppity Negro Who Wants To Fuck Your SisterIt is the path that the McCain camp has chosen. They’re allowed. But if the word “presumptuous” comes out of the mouth of a journalist one more time I’m gonna go Elvis on the teevee.
Veeery classy, asshole. I’m thinking he gets his kicks by being able to say such racist crap due to the atmosphere created by the Obama campaign. This sort of nastiness is spreading, and contrary to what they say, it is not an “open discussion about race”. A caller on NO WE WON’T last night mentioned Whoopi Goldberg’s disgusting tirade recently on The View. What on Earth was she thinking? If you don’t want other people using racial epithets, how bout not using it repeatedly on a popular daytime program when CHILDREN are apt to be watching you. Jeez these people are about as tone deaf as a doorknob.
So today we got a twofer from Barack. He plays the race card and bashes America’s founding fathers in one fell swoop. It begs the question, if Obama is so repulsed by Washington, the presidency and the country, why does he want the job other than to destroy it? This man does not deserve to be anywhere remotely close to the White House.
vs. Shaker Abby, via Melissa McEwan:
I’ve been thinking about the recent McCain ad – the one with Paris and Britney in it – and some of the conservative reactions to the ad and to Obama’s reactions to the ad. It occurred to me that this could be a strategy to poke at Obama with “hidden” racism (the kind that doesn’t fit the conservative framework on the topic, which believes that most racism is eliminated and that which remains is the fault of individual bad actors, not systems or institutions) and forcing him to call that racism out. At that point, the conservatives can then turn around and accuse Obama of being “too sensitive” and “hysterical” and “unable to take a joke” – accusations that we’ve heard leveled at feminists and disability rights advocates, etc. Of course, the underlying racist message will still get out, allowing McCain to have his racist cake and make fun of Obama for being too sensitive to racism at the same time.
I do think McCain sees it as a bonus that the underlying racist message will be disseminated and may influence some people, but it seems like the main purpose of the ad could have been to force Obama to respond to its racism so that he could then be marginalized. (If he’s so upset about a campaign ad, he’s clearly too sensitive to deal with world issues! He can’t take any criticism at all without complaining that it’s racism!) See, for example, this post on The Corner: “If nothing else, the ‘Celeb’ ad forced Obama into a major error yesterday [by forcing him to disclaim it as racism]”. And this one: “It’s clear he’s going to play the race card all the way to November, and maybe beyond. If you criticize him, you’re a racist, to one degree or another. Obama is the uncriticizable, unopposable candidate: If you breathe a word against him, you must don the scarlet R (for you know what).”
While a clever technique, it seems to be a pretty morally bereft tactic.
I think this speaks for itself.
FOLLOW UP: Melissa McEwan’s piece on dog whistles at the Guardian’s Comment Is Free. I sincerely feel that PUMA as a movement denies this sort of shit because it serves their purposes to do so, which is disgraceful.
This is some racist shit, right here:
So, by declaring that Barack–the man with a white mother and white grandparents–is talking down to “black” folk, are you ready to make the case that Barack is a honky hiding as a black man. Man up, dude. Just admit that for you told the truth and you liked how it felt. Made my day.
Let’s face it. Jesse Jackson is from Chicago and knows Chicago politics. He knows Barack–good and bad. And today Jesse was pointing out the fact that when it comes to the African American community Barack is a poseur. He is not really leading black people or fighting on their behalf; and he is certainly not ready to lead America.
Like Ralph Nader before him, Larry Johnson of Obama-hate site No Quarter knows what’s best for African-Americans. Worse than Nader, though, he also supposes himself to be an arbiter of blackness. Flowbee, from his privileged enlightened position as a middle-aged white man apparently is best positioned to determine who is “black enough” and who is not, and he’s found the presumptive Democratic nominee wanting.
PUMAs seem to think that it’s only racism if someone uses the n-word, so obviously no one will be rushing to remove No Quarter from their blogrolls anytime soon (check around the PUMAsphere, NQ is on every single blogroll). If PUMAs want to stop being unfairly tarred as racists, they would do well to not associate with racists! Or, as the Specials say:
Via Pam Spaulding at Pandagon, I see that the race/IQ warriors are having themselves a conference, in the DC area no less. No word yet on whether Andrew Sullivan will be attending.
Part One in an Continuing Series
Jim Manzi at The American Scene has written an excellent post where he actually takes a look at the whole of the scientific evidence on race and intelligence, and comes away saying that these issues are so complex and that the data is so small and inconclusive that you would have to be a fool to draw any sort of definitive conclusions. Read the whole thing.
Andrew Sullivan, who is such a fool, reads Manzi’s post and is apparently not chastised. To wit:
I’ve read a lot about this over the years, but this is one of the best and fairest analyses of the debate I’ve come across. And it’s highly disappointing if you’re hoping for some sort of resolution.
Shouldn’t Sullivan be highly disappointed? He’s been writing about this research as if it’s Gospel truth since the mid-nineties. I’m sorry, but you can’t take back racist proclamations simply because you like Obama.
Stay tuned, this series should continue shortly. I’m just waiting for the next example of Sullivan disparaging other Christian beliefs as illogical and anti-scientific, while claiming his religious beliefs are the paragon of reason.