Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 25, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

REPUBLICANS AND RACE....Bob Herbert looks at the recent antics of the Republican Party and decides it's time for a history lesson:

The G.O.P. has spent the last 40 years insulting, disenfranchising and otherwise stomping on the interests of black Americans....This is the party of the Southern strategy — the party that ran, like panting dogs, after the votes of segregationist whites who were repelled by the very idea of giving equal treatment to blacks.

....In 1981, during the first year of Mr. Reagan's presidency, the late Lee Atwater gave an interview to a political science professor at Case Western Reserve University, explaining the evolution of the Southern strategy:

"You start out in 1954 by saying, 'Nigger, nigger, nigger,' " said Atwater. "By 1968, you can't say 'nigger' — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights, and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites."

Lovely man, Lee Atwater.

In related news, today is the 50th anniversary of school integration in Little Rock, Arkansas, an event memorialized for all time in the photo on the right, taken by Arkansas Democrat photographer Will Counts. Vanity Fair has a terrific piece up on their website framed around that photograph and the two high school students it captured: Elizabeth Eckford, one of the original Little Rock Nine, and Hazel Bryan, the white student screaming at her in the background. It's worth a read.

Kevin Drum 2:16 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (150)

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Great column!

That's as combative as I've ever seen Herbert. Maybe the attention has pumped him up!

Posted by: chris on September 25, 2007 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

But I'm sure you will have lots of people writing that it is different today. And that the media never reports the story correctly anyways.

Or that such things never happened.

Best will be the people trying to find an acceptable way to complain about political correctness, just like those brave high school students.

The white ones.

Posted by: uh_uh on September 25, 2007 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for pointing to that Vanity Fair article. I hope many people follow your advice and read it. It's mostly depressing, but also in some ways uplifting. I just wonder why the good folks have to be so few and far between.

Posted by: John de Hoog on September 25, 2007 at 3:21 AM | PERMALINK

And the Republicans will try it again, not with intellectual arguments but by putting stereotype buzzwords and concepts in the same sentence as a black man's name (look how well the technique worked with "saddam" and "al qaeda" and/or "9/11").

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/054019.php

Lazy, shiftless, loose, easy. Black man!

Let's hope the racist lizardbrain this will work on is on the wane. I'm not so sure....

Posted by: blatherskite on September 25, 2007 at 3:58 AM | PERMALINK

Those people protesting Iran's president remind me of Hazel Bryan and the other Little Rock students. This is what happens when people fall into a crowd mentality.

Posted by: John de Hoog on September 25, 2007 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK

Has anyone read the book. The Black man's guide to voting. It's a very short read.

Rule#1 Never trust a Republican

Rule #2 Never ever ever trust a Black republican.

The end.

Posted by: Langx on September 25, 2007 at 4:48 AM | PERMALINK

What's disgusting to me about the whole "Why is Bob Herbert boring?" flap is that it was clearly timed to coincide with the anniversary of Little Rock. There's a word for that.

I note that Drum didn't bring up the key point in Herbert's piece, the call for a civil rights march against the Republican National Committee.

Instead he writes about Atwood as if he's the outlier. Give me a break.

I always read Herbert. Herbert is my wife's favorite columnist. He writes about the subjects that can't be turned into "cute" or watered down with irony.

Krugman's column yesterday in the NYTimes, "Politics in Black and White" hits the spot also, and please don't tell me again why more people read Krugman. Who cares?

Everything, simply everything in this country, even serious commentary, has been turned into entertainment and celebrity contests. Which is to say that everything has been turned into money.

I lost a lot of respect for Drum in this episode. The Washington Monthly subscription I have will not be renewed.

Posted by: Dan Beauchamp on September 25, 2007 at 5:23 AM | PERMALINK

We already have a winner - come on down, Al.

'...intergration (sic) is wrong because it is racist and racial discrimination.'

That's right, integration is wrong because by forcing Americans to at least superficially follow the law demanding employment or rental agreements be color blind, it prevents Martin Luther King 's vision from being possible.

I assume he means this -
'A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: "This is not just."'

Or maybe Al means this -
"Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children."

How is that working in Jena, Al? Satisfied? Somehow, I doubt Martin Luther King, Jr. would be.

Posted by: uh_uh on September 25, 2007 at 5:40 AM | PERMALINK

Bob Herbert's piece is entitled "The Ugly Side of the G.O.P.". The immediate question in my mind was: "Is there a non-ugly side?"

Posted by: Daniel Kim on September 25, 2007 at 6:33 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Liberals forget that it was a Republican, President Eisenhower, who ordered federal troops into Arkansas to enforce school integration, after the Democrat governor tried to stop it.

Posted by: Egbert on September 25, 2007 at 6:49 AM | PERMALINK

Egbert: Good point. We should always remember that the racist Southern Republicans of today were racist Southern Democrats of the 50s (or their intellectual heirs).

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on September 25, 2007 at 7:02 AM | PERMALINK

Wurlitzer Prize winning wingnut Bill Sammon quoted a "senior White House official" as recently saying Barack Obama is too lazy to be President. Apparently the Republicans want us to think of Barack Obama being a shiftless rascal with an easy smile and quick retort, but not much more. The NRC followed Sammon up by calling Obama all razzle dazzle. If we don't respond to the framing a lot of people will thing of Obama as a sweet talking but lazy player. Racist framing 101.

You don't think they frame. The same RNC bunch has already framed John Edwards as a pretty boy hypocrite.

The talk we ought to be having is how do we call bullshit on racist and other ugly Republican framing. If we don't a large part of the public is going to believe Obama is a glib talking but lazy black player who just doesn't work hard enough to be President.

Posted by: corpus juris on September 25, 2007 at 7:38 AM | PERMALINK

Oh Egbert, you fucking asshole. All the racist Democrats just became Republicans when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act. But you know that.

While I'm here, I'd just like to say that not only am I glad Lee Atwater is dead, I'm glad he died young and glad he died, drooling into his porrige, of a brain tumor.

He was an even biger asshole than you, Egbert.

Posted by: expatjourno on September 25, 2007 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

"cutting taxes helps both blacks and whites because then people who work get to keep their money instead of giving it to welfare queens."

Have you no sense of decency, you pathetic little racist shit?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 25, 2007 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

A lesson from America's racial past, especially Little Rock, is that hatred is corrosive, especially to those doing the hating.

That's a universal truth, hatred destroys the hater even more so than the subject of the hatred.

Something for many of the commentators on this site to ponder...

Posted by: Seppo on September 25, 2007 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

Neither woman has been able to rise above her very human failings. Odd but they both attained their greatest "success" when forty years later they became friends. Alas the friendship couldn't last, not because one was white and one was black, but because one was Hazel and the other Elizabeth.

Posted by: corpus juris on September 25, 2007 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Any Republican candidates would have to be desperate or insane to appear in front of a group of Democratic voting blacks. There is no upside to the appearance. The best any candidate could hope for would be not embarrass himself.

The downside include saying something stupid and gets replayed endlessly or pandering so much to the black audience that the candidate alienates white middle class Republican voters.

Also, the idea that anyone has claimed that Republicans would benefit from speaking directly to blacks is a strawman argument. Virtually all Republicans know that the black vote is a lost cause. That is why Karl Rove kept telling President Bush to pander to Hispanics and we all know how well that worked out.

Posted by: superdestroyer on September 25, 2007 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

Welfare queens? Does that meme even live anymore? Pathetic.

What the past seven years has revealed that the military industrial complex (yes, the one that Eisenhower warned against) is the biggest welfare queen.

Eisenhower was the last Republican president who could be rightly identified as being of the party of Lincoln.

The current Republican party runs on fear and greed, with a core assumption that possesion of money equals moral right. Mr. "I'm the decider" exemplifies that viewpoint.

Posted by: Neal on September 25, 2007 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

"Virtually all Republicans know that the black vote is a lost cause."

And why would that be? Because racism gets them more votes than it costs them?

Posted by: jussumbody on September 25, 2007 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

["... We should always remember that the racist Southern Republicans of today were racist Southern Democrats of the 50s (or their intellectual heirs)".]
***
See Dan T. Carter, "From George Wallace to Newt Gingrich, Race in the Conservative Counterrevolution 1963-1994".

Posted by: Tosh on September 25, 2007 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

"cutting taxes helps both blacks and whites because then people who work get to keep their money instead of giving it to welfare queens."

Welfare queens like Blackwater? Halliburton?

Posted by: Jean Arf on September 25, 2007 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

Because racism gets them more votes than it costs them? jussumbody.

They have until now, but times they are achangin

Posted by: corpus juris on September 25, 2007 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

The Vanity Fair article is excellent, thoughtful, reflective. It is hard reading at first, revisiting the overt racism of that period--the threats of violence, the hatred, the vicious acts, the emotional fall-out for these children. It is also affecting to read how Elizabeth Eckford's life worked out. Interesting, too, to read it in light of the ugliness in Jena, LA.

But what I found more fascinating was the story of Hazel Bryan and what her story tells us both about the paralysis of American race relations and the success of the Republican southern strategy.

In 1963, Hazel called Elizabeth and apologised. In the 1990s, Hazel and Elizabeth considered themselves friends. "Hazel has apologized—and apologized, and apologized, and apologized." But the friendship fell apart. People were suspicious of Hazel's motives; She was accused of insincerity, publicity seeking, hypocrisy. "Hazel forever felt on the defensive. Blacks were skeptical of her; whites (particularly younger white students), judgmental. She found herself apologizing incessantly for herself or for her parents. Meanwhile, Elizabeth was souring on her.... Elizabeth came to think that Hazel was seeking forgiveness on the cheap, without any pain or introspection...An exhibitionist, she has called her. A profiteer. A white supremacist. A born-again bigot" Now Hazel refuses to give interviews. She has told friends that her attempt at reconciliation was a mistake and caused her irreparable damage.

So the question that comes to my mind is "What are the Hazels of America supposed to do?" It seems to me that America is as stuck in a particular paradigm of white racism and black victimization as Hazel and Elizabeth are stuck in this picture from 1957. Racism is real, but "victory" over racism in America is as ill-defined as victory over terrorism or victory in Iraq. What benchmarks should be counted? What counts as progress?

It seems to me that Democrats continue to heap scorn on the Hazels of America because apologies and attempts at friendship are not sufficient evidence of change, and the Republicans and their Southern Strategy have flourished because they promise that no change is necessary (and obtaining the votes of 10-15% of the population that are hard-core racists offsets the 10-15% of the lost African-American votes.)

It interested me that Herbert's column ended with "Blacks have been remarkably quiet about this sustained mistreatment by the Republican Party, which says a great deal about the quality of black leadership in the U.S" Surely he meant to say, "[Democrats] have been remarkably quiet about this sustained mistreatment by the Republican Party, which says a great deal about the quality of [Democratic] leadership in the U.S.? I know this column is supposed to be about the wickedness of the Republicans--and God knows they ARE evil bastards--but it is a yin-yang situation. Maybe if our Democratic leadership genuinely sought to attack systemic Republican attacks on Americans (not because they are black, but because they are citizens) maybe the Republicans would be forced to adapt?

Posted by: PTate (back in MN, sigh) on September 25, 2007 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

Orwell, I know that intellectual activity is hard for a conservative, but you might try reading the vanity fair article. You would find out just what happened to both women in the picture. Both stories are sad. Oh, not that it matters, but neither is a lesbian.

Posted by: corpus juris on September 25, 2007 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

The best way to protest Atwater would be to repeal his bantustan congressional districting bill, that has given us William Jefferson, Alcee Hastings, etc. But for this perverse jujitsu on the Democratic Party Dick Gephardt would have been Speaker of the House for at least a couple of Congressional terms.

Posted by: minion on September 25, 2007 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

corpus juris

The demographic trends of the U.S. will eventually make the Republican party irrelevant. so the question that everyone should be asking is what will the U.S. be like as a one party state. No one inside the Democratic Party is going to walk away from being in the majority but eventually all of the current Republican voters will start voting in the Democratic Primary.

How will that affect black voters when they are a small minority in the one politicial party?

Posted by: superdestroyer on September 25, 2007 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Ever seen a liberal administration have a black secretary of state? No?

Case closed.

Heh, good one, Orwell. We put a colored gal in that job and no one will notice there ain't a single Republican in the black congressional caucus. Look! Over here! One appointed black person! And it's a lady, too!

Posted by: Republican Party on September 25, 2007 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites."

It is an interesting thing to note, that through their anti government ideology, libertarians are the useful dupes of the Republican southern strategy. Fellow travellers if you will. It's outrageous and you would think that serious libertarian thinkers in America would adjust their stance in light of this manipulation. We're still waiting.

Posted by: Northern Observer on September 25, 2007 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

The appointment of minorities and women to high positions in this administration has nothing to do with color or gender blindness.

The reason why is that it takes a hotter firestorm to overtake the minority in the position.

It's not because of the tolerant nature of the Republicans, it's part of a cynical strategy to tamp the criticism to a dull roar because, heavens forfend, a black woman, a black man, or a hispanic lawyer might be criticized and that criticism migh be subverted into a charge of racism.

Posted by: Neal on September 25, 2007 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

Great post, PTate.

It's worth noting that Bill Clinton cites Litte Rock Central High as one of his primary inspirations for a career in politics.

Posted by: Tracer Hand on September 25, 2007 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

If you're an American voter who is hurting financially, getting mad at blacks isn't going fatten your wallet, they don't control resources and trade, not in America. You have to vote for candidates who want to help you fatten YOUR wallet.

Posted by: ferd on September 25, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Everyone knows that Nixon had an anti-black Southern strategy 26 years ago. This isn't news; it's history. Another bit of history is that Democrats fought to retain slavery and to promote Jim Crow. Neither of these historical embarassments has anything to do with today's situation.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 25, 2007 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

For starters, Herbert used the same quote two years ago. Proves that nothing is more preening or predictable that liberals and their love for self-congratulations.

But this time Herbert left off what immediately preceded and followed the quote he uses:

-----------------------------
"As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry Dent and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn’t have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he’s campaigned on since 1964… and that’s fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster…"

Questioner: But the fact is, isn’t it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps…?

-----------------------------
[Herbert's quote]

Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, 'Nigger, nigger, nigger.' By 1968 you can't say 'nigger' - that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.
-----------------------------

"And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me - because obviously sitting around saying, 'We want to cut this,' is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than 'Nigger, nigger.'"
-----------------------------

In other words, Atwater was arguing that whatever the early history of the 'southern strategy,' the various policy debates associated with it had gotten so abstract and broad that it had really de-linked itself from racial issues. It is the questioner who asks, regardless of Reagan's racial motivations (or lack thereof), don't his policies de facto speak to the racist, Wallace voter. Atwater said that it might subconsciously, but that the debate has shifted so much that you really can't tie it back to the overt appeals to souther white voters that constituted that original 'souther strategy.' Atwater is saying the precise opposite of what Herbert is claiming he 'admitted' in the interview.

This time around, Herbert would have us believe that the GOP rejected call for DC to have a seat in the House because they hate black people. While this certainly makes liberals feel superior, it is far more reasonable to believe that (1) the GOP doesn't want a solidly liberal city to gain a seat in the House (and invariable two in the Senate) for purely political reasons and (2) the GOP takes the Constitution for what it is and believes for ideological reasons that if you want DC to become a State, the proper Constitutional process of amendments should be followed.

And you know what, if DC was populated 90% by white, conservative voters, the Dems would be arguing the same thing. And not because "they hate white people."

Posted by: Hacksaw on September 25, 2007 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

...and yet we can still "see" the rethug efforts to divide and conquer. The Dems may have the majority but the R's still control the message: it is more important to appeal the the base than to do anything else. Witness the Moveon condemnation, witness the hohum Vitter results. The majority still wets its pants when the R's confront them with a straw man argument.

the ghost of Atwater scares the Dems to this day...

Posted by: bobbywally on September 25, 2007 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Neither of these historical embarassments has anything to do with today's situation.

This one sentence shows how completely ignorant you are of politics in this country. Apparently you didn't read the Atwater quote either.

Do you know what the CCC is? There aren't any liberals, Democrats, or minorities in it, and it's very much alive and well today.

Posted by: haha on September 25, 2007 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

In other words, Atwater was arguing that whatever the early history of the 'southern strategy,' the various policy debates associated with it had gotten so abstract and broad that it had really de-linked itself from racial issues.

Was the Willie Horton ad part of that "de-linking"?
LOL

Posted by: haha on September 25, 2007 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

**

Posted by: mhr on September 25, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK
The demographic trends of the U.S. will eventually make the Republican party irrelevant. so the question that everyone should be asking is what will the U.S. be like as a one party state.

The US political system virtually guarantees a realignment to a fairly balanced (numerically) two-party system when an imbalance occurs, whether through shift in orientation of an existing party or displacement of an existing party. When the Whig party collapsed, the US didn't end up as a one-party state, and it won't if the Republican Party collapses, either.

The only way durable one-party dominance happens in the US is if a major party fails to challenge the other major party substantially on policy despite near numerical parity (see the modern Democratic Party for a vivid example.)

Posted by: cmdicely on September 25, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

And the Republicans will try it again, not with intellectual arguments but by putting stereotype buzzwords and concepts in the same sentence as a black man's name . . . Posted by: blatherskite

It's already happened with Bush's comment that Obama was "lazy intellectually." Pretty much code in my book for "Lazy, shiftless, no good ni- . . . "

Posted by: JeffII on September 25, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

haha brings up the Willie Horton ad as alleged evidence of racism. I think it's appropriate to criticize a candidate for his past blunders. It was surely a blunder for the Dukakis Administration to furlough vicious murderer Willie Horton.

Why does haha think the Horton ad was racist? Maybe he thinks minority criminals should get some sort of forgiveness. Thomas Sowell criticizes this idea in his latest column.

Back in the 1950s, when the federal courts began striking down the Jim Crow laws in the South, one of the rising demands across the country was that the discriminators and segregationists obey "the law of the land."

But, somewhere along the way, the idea also arose and spread that not everybody was supposed to obey "the law of the land."

Violations of law by people with approved victim status like minorities, or self-righteous crusaders like environmentalists, were to be met with minimal resistance -- if any resistance at all -- and any punishment of them beyond a wrist-slap was "over-reacting."


Posted by: ex-liberal on September 25, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

For whatever it's worth, here are a few observations from someone who grew up in Arkansas during this period.

To try today to make the Little Rock crisis in '57 a party issue back then requires some context. There were virtually no Republican office holders in the state at the time. Orval Faubus, the governor who tried to block integration, was a Democrat, but so was Brooks Hayes, the Little Rock congressman who opposed Faubus' efforts. For this, Hayes was voted out of office and replaced by another Democrat. Eisenhower was very reluctant to take action in 1957, and did nothing a year later when Faubus closed down every public school in the state to block integration (although Faubus said it was to protect public safety).

Up to that point, the state overall was not considered to be as rabidly racist as its neighbors. The first two schools in the country to go to court to fight for the right to voluntariy segregate were in Arkansas, shortly after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Many thought Arkansas would go the more moderate route of Kentucky - another border state. But Kentucky had a stronger, more enlightened governor, while Arkansas was stuck with Faubus, a first-termer who had narrowly won office. Not a recipe for courage. And the fires of Little Rock were stoked by armies of organized protestors from Tennessee and Mississippi who flocked across the border and played to the lowest common denominator. Interestingly, one of the leaders of those agitators was the father of Wesley Pruden, the current executive editor at the GOP favorite Washington Times.

The Republicans didn't really get going in the state until Winthrop Rockefeller moved here and pushed a more progressive agenda (for those liberals among you who think that Democrat, liberal and progressive are interchangeable terms, this is worth keeping in mind). As a child, I went door to door handing out Rockefeller literature and bumper stickers, only to be threatened or denounced by everyone from local rednecks to my own school teachers.

Rockefeller ran against the Faubus machine, served two terms as governor, and left a legacy of a more inclusive government. A generation of progressive young Democrats like Dale Bumpers and David Pryor used the years that the Democrats were out of the governor's mansion to launch a revolt against the Faubus machine within their own party. They succeeded in voting Rockefeller out after two terms so they could regain control of the state capitol, but they were committed to the same inclusive objectives.

This angered the old-line segregationists. By the time Bill Clinton was governor, most of them - including Orval Faubus - had become Republicans a la the "southern strategy." With their help, Clinton was defeated after one term as governor and had to win back the office.

It was during this period that I noticed that the people who used to threaten and denounce me years earlier had all gone over to the GOP, and that the folks I respected from the Rockefeller years were getting nowhere in their efforts to urge the party to be more inclusive.

I became a Democrat.

Posted by: realist on September 25, 2007 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

So Atwater says the GOP racial thing is "subconscious, abstract and coded" and that therefore it's going away.

The problem with that statement is that for people who know the code, the GOP racism is neither abstract or subconscious. Atwater was trying to find a way to say "But we're not like that anymore" when he knew they damn well were.

Posted by: tomeck on September 25, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

ooh, never-was-a-liberal resorts to strawman arguments and quotes with additional strawman arguments.

how original.

Posted by: haha on September 25, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

So first we recycle Vietnam, now we recycle the race issues of the 60s.

The "racism industry" (Jesse Jackson, etc.) jumped eagerly on the Jena incident after having their faces flattened on the Duke lacrosse player fiasco. The merits and facts of the case one way or the other were almost beside the point. This was another chance to get back into the 60s mode again. You can even get back into calling people the "[name of town][number]" again!

Without racism, real or invented, Jackson and the others are out of a job, and it's getting pretty damn close. You might have noticed they aren't exactly swinging a lot of weight in the current election cycle.

Posted by: harry on September 25, 2007 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

It's probably worth making the distinction between LEGAL discrimination and other forms of racism. Failing to make that distinction rubs a lot of people the wrong way.

It'd be an interesting thought experiment to consciously put folks into the context of 1957 to test 'if we knew then what we know now', although I suppose it would be better to forward to 1967, or even 1965.

The thing about Jim Crow was that it was LEGAL to discriminate against African Americans, in fact in many circumstances (e.g., segregation) it was required. So folks aren't wrong to note that whatever else may be true, it was righteous to outlaw what had previously been required.

But many folks still confuse the diminished fact of racism with the older, harsher facts of life. That's a mistake. It is not a small thing that we have laws against racism.

I learned something today that I did not know -- several of the Little Rock 9 married white people, and have interracial kids. I like that -- and I sorta like that they won't take pix of all of 'em together WITH their families or kids, so as not to dilute the message.

But only sorta.

The Jena Six looks to me like a paradigm of sorts -- it was a mistake to allow there to be informally white and black areas around the school, and the apparently heroic kids are the ones who challenged that by sitting under the forbidden tree. But everything after that just gets stoopider -- where was the outrage when the nooses were hung? And the guy with the shotgun? It sure as hell sounds like acting harshly EARLIER could have done some good, but no amount of bitching that the kids who beat hell out of a guy they ganged up on should have been treated more leniently makes it any better.

Isn't there a kind of continuum between Jim Crow on one end, a color blind system of law in the middle, anti-discrimination laws somewhere close by, and affirmative action laws somewhere toward the other end?

As I understand it, the phrase "affirmative action" was coined for an obligation to hire organized labor, which in Jim Crow days meant discrimination against blacks. Right?

The later use of affirmative action starting with LBJ was to denote the effort to counter the decades of legal discrimination, the shackled at the starting line metaphor. That had an OBJECTIVE -- and it was not creating a self-sustaining industry.

I wonder if folks think that, if we knew then what we know now, affirmative action should have been time-limited, say to the generation who grew up under Jim Crow, that no one born after 1965 (or outside of the United States) could qualify for help to correct something that had never affected them.

NOT doing that has surely altered the way affirmative action works (e.g., counting folks born in Africa for help that was intended to help folks born here, who then DON'T GET IT) in a way that seems calculated NOT to ever work.

Note that I'm not talking about illegally discriminating against anybody: if somebody doesn't hire me cuz I'm black or a woman, then my proper recourse is a lawsuit, not an affirmative action program. So anybody born after 1965 or outside the United States who thinks they've got a case: let 'em make it.

I expect a lot of what progressives think of as a diluted but still virulent racism includes a heavy base of old-fashioned anti-elitism, the resentment that many people properly feel when they are accused in a way that nobody understands, of being "Hazel", when they're not, and never were.

Diversity is a good thing -- "hybrid vigor", botanists call it. But it's NOT the same as "affirmative action", and it is DEFINITELY not the same as anti-discrimination laws.

If you can't make distinctions, you won't make sense.

Posted by: theAmericanist on September 25, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

tomeck:

Atwater was saying precisely the opposite of what you are suggesting. His point was that the fact that the debate over the 'southern strategy' had shifted from overt examples more and more into abstract or coded examples and this indicated that the racial aspects of the debate were going away.

In other words, school choice in 1950s Arkansas may have been an overt appeal to racist white voters but in the 1990s was completely different (an appeal to anyone who didn't want their kids educated in government schools, for example). This is why opponents of conservative efforts increasingly had to rely on accusations of "coded" or "subconscious" appeals to racism because the linkage was not immediately clear. Atwater's point was that as this debate becomes increasingly abstract (i.e. is calling for tax cuts really all about Republicans hating black people?), this is an indication that the racial thing (i.e. the 'southern strategy') has really gone away.

Haha provides an excellent example of the problem Atwater was describing. Bush 41 ran an ad criticizing Dukakis' furlough program in which Horton, escaped while on furlough following a murder conviction, and raped a woman. Dukakis' supporters were unable to respond effectively to the charge implicit in the ad (Dukakis as "weak on crime") so the threw out the race card. But a far more reasonable view is that the ad was about crime not race. This is why the critics had to talk about "coded" messages about what the ad "was really about." Yet another example of what Atwater was talking about.

Posted by: Hacksaw on September 25, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

So, Hairy, how many white kids involved in a school yard fight in Louisianna have been charged with attempted murder?

Violations of law by people with approved victim status like minorities, or self-righteous crusaders like environmentalists, were to be met with minimal resistance -- if any resistance at all -- and any punishment of them beyond a wrist-slap was "over-reacting."

OK ex-lib, try comparing outcomes for white suburban kids caught with cocaine to black inner city kids caught with crack-cocaine. Then tell us again about whose wrists are getting slapped.

Posted by: tomeck on September 25, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal & his bullshit references to "alleged racism." It's not as if either party has bent over backwards to do a whole lot for anyone with brown skin, but the difference is that Republicans actively pursue strategies to disenfranchise black voters. You need look no further than the 2000 election to see this. Whether by striking them from voter lists completely (http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2000/11/floridavote.html), or using intimidation to prevent them from coming to the polls (http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0048,fridgeway,20205,1.html), the goal was to completely erase the Fifteenth Amendment.

"Alleged," my ass.

Posted by: junebug on September 25, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, hacksaw, I don't buy your arguement. If Bush was pushing tax cuts and balancing that by eliminating the mortgage deduction that would be one thing. But when you push the tax cuts and cut programs that aid the poor, you may not be shouting nigger but we know what you're saying.

Posted by: tomeck on September 25, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

One might wish to engage Mr. Herbert, but what would be the point. Never mind that to give DC cong. representation requires a constitutional amendment. It's just too damn hard, and the toothless incestuous racists who are the GOP will simply thwart the will of the people in their eternal determination to subjugate the black man.And by the way, if its unfair, it's unconstitutional. This writing isn't boring, or "riled up", or intellectually lazy. It's intellectually empty--meaning, stupid.

Posted by: arthurize on September 25, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

like a demonstration chant, hey hey, republicans are racists, we are saints. how pathetic.

but do you not know, race decides everything? now change for me and pay me. race today is solely a political and monetary issue. neither dems or blacks care a whit about the decency of rational people who judge people solely by the content of their character. for blacks and dems today it is solely the politics of power. not once has any black or democrat advanced a single positive proposal that would promote decency between peoples of different colors. simply put no people use the irrational emotional judgments of race differences more than backs and their totalitarian democrat partners.

could you seriously suggest the Bob Herbert cares to improve human relations? please, gimme a break. that is like asking democrats to lower poverty rates ..... like they would limit their voter base?

oh, and Bob, the reason DC does not have voting senators or congressmen is because DC is not a state. DC, as it was intended, was never intended to be a state. lastly there is no reason to change the status of DC except to help one political side leverage over another. his phony pious nature is no better than the rest of the left's race pimps. users all. decency, nada. bastante of racist blacks and their white masters in the democrat party. they hold no moral highground.

Posted by: gcblues on September 25, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

junebug: It's not as if either party has bent over backwards to do a whole lot for anyone with brown skin,

I disagree. Both parties have done an enormous amount, and appropratiately so. The list of what has been done and is being done is enormous. It includes:

-- Eisenhower desegregating schools
-- LBJ Civil Rights Act
-- Voting Rights Act
-- End of legalized housing segregation
-- Preferences for universty and professional school admissions
-- Preferences for various jobs
-- Money and effort for inner city schools

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 25, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Meck says: "But when you push the tax cuts and cut programs that aid the poor, you may not be shouting nigger but we know what you're saying...."

Um, how about 'we reward those who vote for us, and punish those who don't?'

Hack sez: "Bush 41 ran an ad criticizing Dukakis' furlough program in which Horton escaped while on furlough following a murder conviction, and raped a woman...the ad was about crime not race. This is why the critics had to talk about "coded" messages about what the ad "was really about." Yet another example of what Atwater was talking about."

Yeah, but it's not quite what you think. Atwater wasn't a fool, yanno.

Ya gotta ask if they'd have run Willie Horton's picture if he looked like Donnie Osmond. Ya think...?

Why run his picture at all?

Because -- since it was Horton, who looked like exactly what he was, a mean sumbitch -- the ad was more effective WITH the pic. That Horton is black is part of who he is, so face it: it's also part of what made him menacing to folks who saw it. It wasn't exactly code, Hack.

Ya wanna know what coded references look like? Here's one.

Reagan announced one of his campaigns in Philadelphia, Mississippi, which had previously been known for exactly ONE thing: the murder of civil rights workers. Pat Buchanan picked the spot (and Reagan agreed) because he knew that Democrats would complain about it... and THAT complaint would broadcast not only the message that Reagan wanted, but ALSO give Republicans the anti-elitist, pro New South card to play.

So the lesson is: don't play that.

Posted by: theAmericanist on September 25, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw: "... a far more reasonable view is that the (Willie Horton) ad was about crime not race."

No. If that were the case, then there wouldn't have been any need for the Bush campaign (or the RNC, or whoever) to include a picture of Willie Horton in the ad. The narration in the advertisement makes clear the facts of the crime. This wasn't enough for Republicans, though. They needed to underscore the fact that it was a black man who perpetrated the crime. The abstract message isn't so abstract, after all -- "Vote for Bush, and he'll keep you safe by locking up all the big, bad, black men."

Posted by: junebug on September 25, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

It's amazing that the moderators aren't yet sufficiently annoyed at "ex-liberal"'s bad-faith posting.

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Americanist

My son was born in 1980. Compare him to a black kid born on the same day, with a father who shared my 1951 birthday.

I was able to take advantage of the good side of a segregated society. Got a good education in high school and college, had good job opportunities, built a good life. I passed on the importance of education to my son, who also got his college degree and is working now in law enforcement.

But that black dad who was born like me in 1951 didn't have those same educational and job opportunites. He probably lived in substandard housing. Perhaps he was able to get a job as a laborer, but his family most likely lived from paycheck to paycheck. In 1990, he couldn't use his own life as a model for his 10 year old son to follow. What lessons did the son learn?

My son enjoys a privileged position as a direct result of of the legal discrimination that existed in this country long before he was born. He recognizes that and he doesn't mind extending a helping hand to those who weren't so fortunate.

What neither he nor I like are those around us who look back at very recent history, the history of our own lives, and refuse to accept responsibility for it.

Posted by: tomeck on September 25, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

....In 1981, during the first year of Mr. Reagan's presidency, the late Lee Atwater gave an interview to a political science professor at Case Western Reserve University, explaining the evolution of the Southern strategy:


"You start out in 1954 by saying, 'Nigger, nigger, nigger,' " said Atwater. "By 1968, you can't say 'nigger' — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights, and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites."

Wow- from their own mouths. I wish every black Republican could see this. I'm sure it's getting spread around already, since it's in Herbert's column.

Posted by: Swan on September 25, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "Both parties have done an enormous amount, and appropratiately so..."

Ignoring for the moment the fact that significant gaps in equality remain, and that Republicans continue to pursue racist strategies for electoral gains, the fact that you claim that both parties have implemented legislation promoting equality is absolutely hilarious. Where does the Republican Party figure in your list, once you get past Eisenhower?

Posted by: junebug on September 25, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Ya wanna know what coded references look like? Here's one.

I've got another for you -- the loathsome push poll in the 2000 South Caroline primary that insinuated that John McCain's adopted south Asian daughter was his illegitimate black love child.

"ex-liberal" loves to post transparently false bad faith arguments as an insult, but his upthread insinuation that Nixon's odious Southern Strategy, or the en masse defection of the Southern racist vote from the Democratic Party that shunned them to the Republican Party that welcomed them with open arms, is somehow not relevant today must have given him a special, sick thrill.

The sad thing is, who can even tell if it's the most blatant lie "ex-liberal" has posted in these forums?

Hack's defense of the GOP's racist tactics is one thing, but why Kevin's moderator(s) tolerate "ex-liberal''s constant insults is a mystery.

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Atwater’s end was sad. He developed a terminal brain tumor, and most of his old Washington friends ignored him (so much for Christian values). The exception was his Democratic counterpart, Ron Brown, who went out of his way to lend aid and comfort to Atwater during his difficult last days. Atwater underwent a deathbed conversion of sorts, apologizing for all the hurt he caused with his divisive political ads. To this day I wonder if his apology was a sincere request for forgiveness, or just the pathetic response of a guy who realized he had wasted his life supporting an unworthy cause.

Posted by: fafner1 on September 25, 2007 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

junebug: Where does the Republican Party figure in your list, once you get past Eisenhower?

For over 20 years civil rights legislation had pretty much had bipartisan support. But, if you want specific Republican actions since Eisenhower, here's a list:

More Republicans than Democrats voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In fact, Democratic Senators tried to kill it with a filibuster.

Reagan signed a 25 year extetnsion of the Voting Rights Act.

GOP presidents Gerald Ford in 1975 and Ronald Reagan in 1982 promoted Daniel James and Roscoe Robinson to become, respectively, the Air Force's and Army's first black four-star generals.

November 2, 1983: President Reagan established Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a national holiday, the first such honor for a black American.

President Reagan named Colin Powell America's first black national-security adviser while GOP President George W. Bush appointed him our first black secretary of state.

President G.W. Bush named Condoleezza Rice America's first black female NSC chief, then our second (consecutive) black secretary of State.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 25, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

fafner1 "Atwater's end was sad."

Okay, if you think so, but color me skeptical. These kinds of "deathbed conversions" have less to do with a sincere desire to make amends, and more to do with the sudden realization that you're about to face The Flying Spaghetti Monster and have lots of 'splainin' to do.

Posted by: junebug on September 25, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Notice how "ex-liberal" is still dishonestly citing the Dixiecrat opposition to civil rights, even though Nixon's odious Southern Strategy was all about welcoming this racist faction with open arms? But then, "ex-liberal" is here to comment in bad faith.

Still, "ex-liberal"'s list is pretty thin beer, isn't it? Given the recent employ of dog-whistle politics as recently as GWB's 2000 primary compaign, not to mention ongoing Republican efforts to disenfranchise black voters, it smacks of tokenism.

"ex-liberal" likes to insult the readers of this forum with hsi egregiously obviosu bad faith postings, but his phony defense of the GOP's racism -- from someone who claims to have once been a civil rights liberal, yet! -- is truly disgusting.

Some might even find it sufficiently annoying.

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

If you are a Republican, you are either a racist, or you don't mind cohorting with racists...

Posted by: elmo on September 25, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Ex lib

Your first two are good answers to the question, but the rest of it is window dressing. That's not to downplay the achievements of those individuals (except maybe Condi's), but pulling black families out of poverty is what should be on the agenda, not promoting a few talented individuals.

Posted by: tomeck on September 25, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

But Gregory, the southern leaders of segregation were NOT shunned by the Democratic Party. They all died Democrats--Richard Russell, Clinton's hero and sponsor J.Wm. Fulbright, et al. The list goes on and on. What the left conveniently overlooks, in their insistence on casting republicans as Simon Legree, is that the transfer of allegiances of many who had been democrats,north as well as south, also coincided with the Vietnam War.Blue collar and lower and middle class whites departed the democratic party in droves when they perceived it to be anti-military (the south in particular had and to some degree still has a definite pro-military bent). A very strong case can be made that it is just that, but boy, do they howl when that case is made. Calling Republicans racists, of course, is fair game. ps to Junebug--it was congressional republicans who gave LBJ the votes he needed to pass the legislation.That's how they get on the list.

Posted by: arthurize on September 25, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- wow, Meck: Way to prove my point.

First, you tell me how you're morally superior. Then, you tell me your SON is morally superior. Man, I am, like soooo persuaded.

Next time, perhaps you'd try paying attention?

You wrote: "What neither he nor I like are those around us who look back at very recent history, the history of our own lives, and refuse to accept responsibility for it."

The short response is "fuck you", but I'll show you something, anyway.

Since you were born in 1951, you were 14 when Jim Crow was abolished. So a black guy born the same year as you would have qualified for affirmative action as LBJ sold it, a way to counter LEGAL discrimination before 1965.

But I noted that if you can't make distinctions, you won't make sense. Is that why you can't make distinctions?

Tell you what, let me show you an example of blatantly anti-American racism: "that black dad who was born like me in 1951 didn't have those same educational and job opportunites. He probably lived in substandard housing. Perhaps he was able to get a job as a laborer, but his family most likely lived from paycheck to paycheck. In 1990, he couldn't use his own life as a model for his 10 year old son to follow. What lessons did the son learn?"

I think most folks would want their son to learn that working for a living and raising a family is what makes a good person, particularly a good man, that life isn't just about material things, that you should live within your means even if that means 'living from paycheck to paycheck' -- and, oh yeah, that 'nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent', as Eleanor Roosevelt put it.

Unlike you, Meck, I think most folks would want their kid to look at them as parents and SEE a model for their lives in the ways that count -- but obviously, you disagree.

Ya see, Meck, it was folks like you describe as the OPPOSITE of a role model, who actually killed Jim Crow. You could be describing Emmet Till's mother, yanno, living in substandard housing, working 'as a laborer' -- oh, but you're SO morally superior, you know that she would have never wanted her child, had he lived, so use HER life as a model.

But I would. I remember Marianne Anderson, whose mom washed floors. Martin Luther King, Jr, loved to tell the story about how Anderson would describe her mom working 10 hour days so that the daughter could get the singing lessons that helped her God-given talent along, bringing her fame and fortune. King asked her when they met, so the story goes, gee, you've sung for the President of the United States, before packed houses all over the world, you sang at the Lincoln Memorial when they wouldn't let you in the DAR -- what was the proudest moment of your life?

And Marianne Anderson said: "When I got my first recording contract, and I said, Momma, you don't have to wash floors anymore."

LOL -- face it, dude: you're the EPITOME of a progressive bigot. You created an example of an African-American family to suit YOUR prejudices and, not incidentally, to feed your moral vanity.

But your example doesn't serve that purpose, not really.

That laborer you talk about -- supposing his kid doesn't get a high school degree. Know why he will have trouble getting the same kind of hardworking job that pays the bills and raises a family, the way his father raised him? Cuz those jobs are generally filled by immigrants, NOT by African Americans. A good example are janitors in LA. Forty years ago, it was a highly unionized field, full of African Americans who made decent wages. Now, it is full of folks who were not born here, who aren't unionized, and who make squat.

Maybe the kid gets a GED, say, and applies for an affirmative action slot at a community college -- but, oops! it goes to a guy from Senegal, or Nigeria. How does THAT help the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, neither of which affected the immigrant families who benefit, but which hurts YOUR OWN EXAMPLE?

Suppose the kid DOES get a college degree, or even grad school. Is it a good idea to teach him that he (like you) is morally superior to his father? The way you talk, Meck, sounds remarkably like former Attorney General Gonzalez, who recalled how his father had worked his ass off his whole life to raise a family, but for his disgraced son, 'my worst day was better than his best day.'

Some values you represent there, Meck.


Posted by: theAmericanist on September 25, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "More Republicans than Democrats voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In fact, Democratic Senators tried to kill it with a filibuster."

Congratulations on discovering the Dixiecrat party. This is what the Republican Party's southern strategy was all about, and this is why the South is reliably Republican now. Those Republicans you refer to are now Democrats, and those Democrats you refer to are now Republicans. But you already knew that.

"Reagan signed a 25 year extetnsion of the Voting Rights Act."

This, from the man who opposed the Voting Rights Act in 1965 because it was "humiliating to the South." Apparently, though, there's nothing humiliating about African-Americans being denied the vote.

"November 2, 1983: President Reagan established Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a national holiday, the first such honor for a black American."

This is a choice bit, even for you. Reagan OPPOSED the holiday, and relented only after Congress passed the King Day bill with a veto proof majority. You really are a disgusting piece of shit.

Posted by: junebug on September 25, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Tomeck:

You wrote "But when you push the tax cuts and cut programs that aid the poor, you may not be shouting nigger but we know what you're saying." I know a lot of liberals share this thought but I think it is utterly indefensible. What you are essentially saying that it is impossible for someone to oppose government welfare programs as they currently exist unless that someone also hates black people.

Junebug - is it not possible that they reason they used Horton was that his crime while on furlough was particularly awful? Did you know Dukakis fired back with an ad featuring a hispanic convict who raped and killed a woman after escaping from a federal facility? Does this mean Dukakis was racist as well?

Gregory - I certainly don't intend to defend the racist tactics of any political party. While I don't accept all of the 'Southern strategy' claims, I think it is perfectly clear that in the 60s and into the early 70s, the GOP was willing to exploit racial divisions to draw in white voters. That is a shameful legacy that the party must live with (much as the Democrat's legacy in previous decades is something they need to live with). What I object to is the claim that this past means that any conservative agenda item, no matter how removed from the debates of the 1950s and 1960s, is unavoidably and inarguably laced with racism.

The basic fact that liberals need to accept is that you can oppose DC statehood or support tax cuts and still be every bit as racially conscious as a textbook 60s liberal.

Posted by: Hacksaw on September 25, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Americanist

I don't know why people complain about ex lib with the likes of you around.

First, the point which you ignored is that drawing a line at 1965 means the kid doesn't qualify as being hurt by racism under your scheme. I say it's still there.

Next, I didn't say a word about anyone being morally superior to anyone. But did you ever think that maybe the lesson the black kid learned was that no matter how good, hardworking and law-abiding his dad was, he saw that the white society wouldn't give him a fair break. And maybe the kid thought about that when he was confronted by ignorant assholes like you who think that just because Jim Crow is outlawed that everybody has equal opportunity.

Posted by: tomeck on September 25, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa, look at that little woman screaming in the background of the pic. I wonder if she was pleasant to know when she wasn't flipping out about black people. Maybe she was.

Posted by: Swan on September 25, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw: "is it not possible that they reason they used Horton was that his crime while on furlough was particularly awful?"

That doesn't address the issue raised. An image of his face doesn't do anything to support the idea of the awfulness of his crime. It does, though, make the not so veiled suggestion that there's a connection between black men & violent crime.

"Did you know Dukakis fired back with an ad featuring a hispanic convict who raped and killed a woman after escaping from a federal facility? Does this mean Dukakis was racist as well?"

No, I didn't, and maybe it does. I don't know. I haven't seen it. I'd be much obliged to you for a link, though.

Posted by: junebug on September 25, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

tomeck: pulling black families out of poverty is what should be on the agenda,

I agree, but there's a lot of controversy of how to do this. E.g., welfare had unintended negative consequences. Welfare Reform appears to have helped many disadvantaged people to escape the welfare trap and get into the workforce. Bill Clinton deserves credit for signing welfare reform, however grudgingly, but this was basically a Republican idea.

Welfare encouraged single-parent families, which can't be as good for the children. I don't know whether there's any way to recreate the old norm of two-parent families.

Education is a key. Today, many schools use "social promotion" to graduate students who can't read and do arithmetic. Bush/Kennedy NCLB is quite radical in insisting that every child get adequate education. Despite all its flaws, this law could wind up doing a great deal for blacks.

Crime is another a key. The black crime rate is extremely high, meaning many blacks are on the wrong side of the law. Honest blacks also suffer from crime, since most victims of black crime are also black. Neither party seems to have an answer to this problem. In fact, it's not politically correct to even mention how high the black crime rate is.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 25, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

....In 1981, during the first year of Mr. Reagan's presidency, the late Lee Atwater gave an interview.

And 7 years later Atwater abstractly talked about crime and just happned to use Willie Horton. Nothing personal. Except for that incident after the election.

Atwater sat on the board of trustees at Howard University. The students staged a massive protest which forced Atwater to resign. Obviously Lee didn't phrase it abstract enough to avoid their notice.

It's not new.

Reagan: Welfare Queen

Nixon: Law and Order

The South during the civil rights movement: States Rights

You can still get elected Gov of Miss or Senator of Tennessee with a little race baiting. Although the Corker ad was a little more obvious, no doubt Lee would still approve.

These aren't isolated incidents you can pick and choose to make a case. It's a systematic machine that started in the democratic party but migrated to Republican after the CRA and VRA were signed into law. Mind you it didn't immediately uproot the moderate and liberal wings of the Repub party but it was only a matter of time.

How you phrase the code words is irrelevent. The point is that right now,the Southern Strategy is one of the foundations of the Repub party and it looks like they have no plans to cut ties with it. The fact that they are in "denial" tells you all you need to know.

Posted by: Daryl on September 25, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa, look at that little woman screaming in the background of the pic. I wonder if she was pleasant to know when she wasn't flipping out about black people. Maybe she was.

why don't you try clicking the link and discovering that the whole story is about these two women? jesus christ.

Posted by: bored masses on September 25, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Junebug:

If you Google "Angel Medrano" and Dukakis, you'll get plenty of links to the ad, including this one from a NY Times story from October 1988:

''I stand fully behind these ads,'' [Bush] told reporters on Air Force Two. He cited the Dukakis campaign's rebuttal commercial about a heroin dealer, Angel Medrano, who escaped from a Federal treatment program in Arizona and raped and murdered a mother of two."

''What about their ad about the halfway house?'' Mr. Bush asked. ''Is that racism against Hispanics? That's what I think.'

Posted by: Hacksaw on September 25, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "Reagan signed a 25 year extetnsion of the Voting Rights Act."

Actually, it was President Gerald Ford who signed that extension back in 1975, not Ronald Reagan. President Reagan, however, did veto the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988, and Congress quite decisively overrode him.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 25, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

I would say in response, Daryl, that you can still win elections in the south, such as several that have been won here in Louisiana, by accusing your republican opponent of racism (of course, when the democrats ran an ad with a picture of Jindal in northern La., they darkened his face and called him by his indian name. Nice touch, that). And the code words are just the converse: "heartless", "doesn't care about the poor when his corporate masters jerk his leash", "wants children to starve", "hoped Katrina would wipe out the black population", all accompanied by pictures of african americans. But that's ok, right, because it's true when you say it? (of course, saying that someone doesn't support the troops is way out of bounds). The truth is that there is hardly an election that the democratic party would have won in the last 20 years if it didn't command 90% of the african american vote, and so it therefore thinks its critical to take this tack, fully understanding that being called a racist, or someone too stupid to even know that you're a racist, is something that lots of voters might have resented.But this will get us to racial harmony? Sure it will.

Posted by: arthurize on September 25, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Hack wrote: I certainly don't intend to defend the racist tactics of any political party

Funny how it turns out that way, then, isn't it?

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Donald: The VRA was originally enacted for a 5-year period but it has been both extended and expanded to introduce new requirements, such as the provision of bilingual election materials. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed a 25-year extension of the VRA. "The right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties," he said, "and we will not see its luster diminished."

http://usinfo.state.gov/scv/Archive/2005/Aug/15-884794.html

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 25, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory - I'll admit I chuckled at your response, even if it wasn't meant to be funny.

On a more serious note, it is incredibly frustrating as a conservative to constantly fend off these vague and ominous allegations of "code words" that allegedly prove that everything I believe is grounded in racism. I am a solid conservative who has spent an awful lot of time with other conservatives and have never, not even in the smoke-filled back rooms that liberals imagine we hatch our evil plots in, heard anyone present or defend a position on the grounds that it will keep the blacks down or some such nonsense.

Does this mean that I don't believe that racist whites are more likely to vote for the GOP than the Dems? No, I suspect that is true just as I suspect separationist minority voters would be more likely to vote Democrat. But their ignorance is their problem. If I support tax cuts or oppose DC statehood for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with race, I don't particularly care that some ignorant, racist, jackass happens to think the same thing is cool because its bad for blacks. That person's stupidity doesn't invalidate my own reasons for supporting or opposing a policy. And that person's racism does not attach to me even if we happen to support the same action, because our reasons for supporting them are completely different. That is what I wish liberals would understand about conservatives.

Posted by: Hacksaw on September 25, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

So which is it, ex-liberal? Is the Voting Rights Act "humiliating to the South," or is it "the crown jewel of American liberties?" (Hint: the man who launched his 1980 election campaign in Philadelphia, MS, the scene of the brutal murders of three civil rights workers in 1964, to talk about states' rights & curbing the power of the federal government must've been talking "liberty" in the sense of redneck's God-given right to string up agitators.)

Posted by: junebug on September 25, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

First, the quote of the day on this matter: "I have just handed the country over to the GOP for the next 50 years." - LBJ, 1964, to a young assistant, as he passed a pen he was signing the Civil Rights Act.

Now a twist on the current discourse: As the son of a gleeful Northern bigot, I think it's time for white Northerners to render an apology to our white Southern brothers and sisters, as we have convincingly demonstrated ourselves to be as bad as our Southerners. Today, New York State is more racially segregated than any state in the South. No, really. Hold that thought. It's time we Northerners knocked off our smug attitude. We'll never progress until we Northern whites come to grips with our own racism. As John Edwards* and others have figured out, in the hearts of many white Southerners is a blue-stater just wanting to burst out.

*"You've been voting Republican for 40 years now. What do you have to show for it?" - Edwards to white Southern audiences

Posted by: MaxGowan on September 25, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, it's not politically correct to even mention how high the black crime rate is.

Ex lib

I disagree. I live in very liberal Minneapolis and black crime is an issue for blacks as well as whites. I'd say it's not politically correct (or intellectually honest) to use black crime as an excuse for not trying to eliminate poverty (I'm not saying you do that, but some do).

Racism is alive and well, though not in Jim Crow form. Until we admit that, we're not going to solve it.

Posted by: tomeck on September 25, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

(2) the GOP takes the Constitution for what it is

Bwahahahaha. No really, Hacksaw what's the real reason.

Posted by: ckelly on September 25, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the Google suggestion, Hacksaw, but I wasn't able to find a link to any video of that particular ad. It would be nice to see the actual piece in question, but it may not exist anymore. The vibe I was able to get from what I read on the other links suggests that it was, at the very least, stupid on Dukakis's part, and may have been racist. The fundamental difference between this ad (or what I'm able to gather about the ad) & the Willie Horton example is that it doesn't exist against a backdrop of discriminatory legislation & electoral strategies against the larger Latino population.

I can appreciate your frustration at having to fend off allegations & assumptions that, as a conservative, you must have racist tendencies. I'd be pissed, too. It's not fair, but it's not surprising, either, when the party to which you belong continues to exploit race in order to achieve & maintain power.

Posted by: junebug on September 25, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

I am a solid conservative

Code for: "I am a racist"

Posted by: elmo on September 25, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Hack wrote: it is incredibly frustrating as a conservative to constantly fend off these vague and ominous allegations of "code words" that allegedly prove that everything I believe is grounded in racism

Nice straw man there, Hack. No one's saying that evfeyrthing you believe is grounded in racisim; we're saying the political survival of the Party you enthusiastically support is grounded in racism. From Nixon's odious Southern Strategy to the disenfranchisement of black voters in Florida to the loathsome push-poll that gained bush the crucial South Carolina primary in 2000,

What liberals understand about conservatives is not your alliance with voters of disagreeable personal beliefs, but rather your alliance with a Party that panders to those voters of disagreeable political beliefs. McCain may have said ths morning on NPR that he regrets supporting the Confederate flag, but support it he did.

Since you ally yourself with the Republican Party and its disgusting racist tactics -- and there's nothing vague about it, Hack; Lee Atwater admitted to them, and his protegee Rove certainly continues them -- who gives a damn if you claim to have solid, so-called principled conservative reasons for your beliefs? Your proteststations that the alignment of your stances with the racist wing of your Party have nothing to do with racism on your part is pretty thin beer, Hack. You still support the Republicans, and that's to your shame.

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

And by the way, Hack, your support of tax cuts doesn't mean you're a racist, just that you're a feckless, irresponsible idiot. The Party you support has rejected any restraint on spending, and that spending has to be paid for somehow. You and I both know that eventually the Democrats will do the right thing and raise taxes, giving the Republican Party a chance to get elected again on the very basis of its own crapulence.

But, you may protest, as a "solid conservative," you believe in less government spending too? Save it. We've seen what a unified Republican government gets us -- tax cuts for the wealthy, income distribution upward, massive spending and massive deficits. And you vote for them. QED.

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

junebug -

Yeah, I wasn't able to find any video of it either. For what it's worth, I don't think either ad is racist. I also take issue with the notion that Dukakis' ad is fundamentally different because his party doesn't carry baggage against Hispanics. This is of course what underlies the whole "coded" racism charge - that the Dems are holier than though on racial issues and therefore the evil "Repugs" should be judged on a different set of measures. So it's no longer about what the ad actually says or shows but it is all about who the people behind the ad really are. Well then why bother talking about the ad at all.

If Bush showing a black criminal is racist but Dukakis showing a Hispanic criminal is not, simply because Bush if a Republican, well then let's stop using the ads as evidence. Bush's crime, by this logic, is not in running the ad but in being a Republican in the first place. It all comes back to the presumption that Republicans must all be racist. This is circular logic in which the ad proves nothing but a continued preconceived notion about Republicans.

You may claim that "the party to which you belong continues to exploit race in order to achieve & maintain power" but I would argue that that case is far more clear when it comes to the Democrat party and its efforts to exploit race to gain and maintain power. There were no code words in the ad the NAACP ran in 2000 in which James Byrd's daughter said Bush vetoing hate crimes legislation (which there are plenty of non-racist reasons for doing) was like watching her father die all over again. Comparing a political act to a brutal lynching, while the screen showed a truck dragging chains (which is how Byrd was murdered) is not some subtle allusion to racial issues as it alleged in the Horton ad but a blatant attempt to stir racial passions for political gain. So I'd be more caution before claiming the high horse for the Dems when it comes to exploiting racial issues for political gain.

Posted by: Hacksaw on September 25, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Code for: "I am a racist"

That isn't fair, elmo; Hack has been thoroughly reprehensible in his water carrying for the mendacious, feckless, incompetent, corrupt and authoritarian Republican Party, but I haven't seen any postings that makes your charge a fair one.

But as I said, if Hack is upset as having the taint of the Republican Party's institutional racism rub off on him, it's his own fault for his unbridled and enthusiastic support of the Republcian Party, racist tactics and all. It's interesting to see, as in his "fend off these vague and ominous allegations of "code words" that allegedly prove that everything I believe is grounded in racism" post above, how unable or unwilling he is to confront the fact of his Party's racist tactics, and he's quite rightly faulted for that without accusing him of overt and active racism.

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

For what it's worth, I don't think either ad is racist.

Well, Hack, you've demonstrated pretty clearly that what you think is racist and isn't isn't worth a bucket of piss, so there we go.

And it's Democratic party, jackass. Way to make me regret my defending you to elmo, Hack.

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory -

I certainly prefer "feckless, irresponsible idiot" to "racist bigot" when it comes to debating tax cuts! At least we could have a facts-based discussion of whether or not tax cuts are indeed irresponsible. Throwing out the race card offer no possibility of sane conversation.

As for the performance of a unified Republican government when it comes to fiscal responsibility, you'll get no argument from me as to their irresponsibility. I wish there were a credible alternative - either within the GOP or among the Dems. Conservatism (particularly regarding fiscal policies and national security) used to have its allies within the Democrat party but they've gone away. I'm sure you will disagree but then again I am looking at it from a conservative perspective.

Lastly, I think you continue to wildly exaggerate the "racist tactics" of the GOP. Let's face it, white males are a big part of the party's base so the party will appeal to their issues. This is no different than the Dems appealing to minority issues because a large portion of their base is minorities. On the margins, both parties take advantage of racial issues for partisan gains. I thinks its retarded that Republicans 'have' to go to Bob Jones university just as I find it retarded that Democrats have to suck up to Al Sharpton. But I would not argue that because the Dems suck up to Al Sharpton, your views on affirmative action are rooted in a hatred of white people.

Posted by: Hacksaw on September 25, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry 'bout that Gregory, bad habit.

Posted by: Hacksaw on September 25, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

Many states and cities currently function as one party political systems. There is not reason to believe that the U.S. could not function as a whole much like DC, Chicago, Mass., or Maryland current function. If you look at California, it will soon be a one party poltical system (and virtually is now).

What would any group splinter off from the Democratic Party? The political will evolve to where election are meaningless or that the Democratic Primary will be the hard fought election. Looking at Demographic trends I believe that elections will become irrelevant to the political process. Just look at the low voter turnout in places like the DC or Baltimore City elections to see the future.

Posted by: superdestroyer on September 25, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

I would recommend that everyone click on the link to the article about the 1957 photo showing a white student (Hazel Bryan) screaming at a black girl (Elizabeth Eckford) who was trying to integrate Little Rock High School.

The article reveals that the photo captured a moment in their lives that scarred them forever. They have both suffered over the years and their attempts at reconciliation show how difficult racial healing will be in this country.

The story of what happened to them at that time, and every day since, reminded me of a quote I once found that explains the complexity of all our lives:

You always have to look at everyone with kind eyes because there’s a war going on inside everyone.

Posted by: emmarose on September 25, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

To go even further Gregory, I have no doubt that there are Republican strategists who even now try to figure out what to exploit racial issues, including subtle or not so subtle appeals to racist whites, in order to win. That there are strategists among the DemocratIC party who will similarly exploit racial divisions to further their party's success in no way makes this OK.

What I object to is people extrapolating from this that anything that a Republican supports must be laced with racist appeals. This is no fairer than me claiming that anyone who votes for Hillary automatically embraces the race-baiting tactics of Sharpton or the 2000 NAACP ad.

Posted by: Hacksaw on September 25, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Well, context matters, Hacksaw. Dukakis's decision to run the ad smacks of racism because he ran it in the Southwest, presumably hoping to appeal to white Southwesterners fear/resentment of Latinos. That's on him & his campaign. But unless you've got evidence to the contrary, there isn't a history of this kind of stuff -- of Democratic candidates getting out their vote by slurring or marginalizing Hispanics. That's been a significant part of Republicans electoral strategy, wrt African-American voters. And that was Atwater's point.

Re: your other point, there's no question but there are those with legitimate concerns about hate crimes laws, but Bush isn't one of them, as the reason he opposed that particular bill in Texas was because -- as written -- it covered gay men & women, as well as other minorities. Nice touch, that. Can't help but wonder how Mary Cheney felt about that rationale.

Posted by: junebug on September 25, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

What I object to is people extrapolating from this that anything that a Republican supports must be laced with racist appeals.

Sigh...again, Hack, you're arguing with a straw man. There's simply no question that the GOP does, in fact, use racist code -- Lee Atwater said, quite plainly, that's what GOP strategy entailed. And there's plenty of overt racism on the part of the GOP -- again, I point you to the disgusting push poll implyingthat John McCain's adopted daughter was his illegitimate black love child. No one needs to imagine your support of the GOP is motivated by some lurking racist subtext; your overt support of this foul Party despite its disgusting tactics is shameful enough.

And sure, Hack, I'm sure you would like to think I'm "wildly exaggerat[ing] the "racist tactics" of the GOP." But look a the record: The disgusting push poll that secured Bush the nomination. The disenfranchisement of black voters in Florida and elsewhere. McCain's pandering support of the Confederate Flag. The entire Southern Strategy to begin with! That's just it, Hack, you don't need to take my word for it; Atwater comes right out and admits that racism is a core element of the GOP's appeal, not "on the margins."

And you shrug it off with "Let's face it, white males are a big part of the party's base so the party will appeal to their issues." How dare you imply that all white males are as bigoted as the ones the GOP panders to. Shame on you, Hack. But again -- you're pretty clearly demonstrating how unqualified you are to stand in judgment of what's racist and what's not, and it certainly sounds like you're apologizing for the GOP's racism again. And you vote for them, and more, you support them here. Too bad if you don't like the GOP's stink rubbing off on you; you wallow in it.

Intellectually dishonest straw man arguments do you no credit either. Speaking of which:

you'll get no argument from me as to their irresponsibility. I wish there were a credible alternative - either within the GOP or among the Dems. Conservatism (particularly regarding fiscal policies and national security) used to have its allies within the Democrat party but they've gone away. I'm sure you will disagree but then again I am looking at it from a conservative perspective.

I've already pointed out that, while you may not prefer higher spending balanced with higher taxes, it's definitely more responsible than the GOP mortgaging the country to China. Face facts, Hack: You know the GOP is irresponsible, but they serve up those sweet, sweet tax cuts, so you vote for them. I'm glad you prefer "feckless idiot," because it suits you well.

It's just lovely to see your embracing fiscal irresponsibility -- pushing off the bills for the GOP's spending bills on our children -- as a principle of "strong conservatism."

The GOP's racism and fiscal irresponsibility may embarrass you, Hack, but the bottom line is, you vote for them, and you support them here, and that alone shames you.

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Junebug -

No, the Dems have not had a history since the 1960s of "getting out their vote by slurring or marginalizing Hispanics" or other minorities. They have no need to, since they are part of the Democrat's base. Rather, the Dems have gotten out the vote, in part, by exploiting their own set of racial issues (i.e. sucking up to Sharpton, the NAACP ad, just to name the ones I used before). I'm not sure that it is fair to consider one form of racial manipulation better or worse than the other.

Posted by: Hacksaw on September 25, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Meck, you're a genius. You've done it again -- folks, a round of applause for perhaps the perfect summation of progressive counterfactual, countervalue bullshit: "did you ever think that maybe the lesson the black kid learned was that no matter how good, hardworking and law-abiding his dad was, he saw that the white society wouldn't give him a fair break. And maybe the kid thought about that when he was confronted by ignorant assholes like you who think that just because Jim Crow is outlawed that everybody has equal opportunity."

In reverse order:

1) I never said that because Jim Crow was outlawed folks had equal opportunity, and frankly, only a goddam fool WOULD, which is doubtless why it was the first thing Meck reverted to. A smarter and less morally obtuse person would see this as the place to START the distinctions I mentioned, which leaves Meck out: all those shackles he has to drag to the starting line.

2) "maybe the lesson the kid learned..." is a priceless projection of liberal guilt. Ask yourself, Meck: is this projection of yours a GOOD lesson, for a kid whom you KNOW is legally protected against racial discrimination?

Think about it -- you're a political and moral dope, but you're not a complete idiot, Meck. The lesson you are proposing the kid take is a moral hazard of the first order: virtually ALL of us have setbacks in our lives -- we don't get into our first choice school, we don't get a job we want, we lose a job we liked. Kids who are raised right don't look to be fools when somebody stiffs 'em, but to BE raised right, they have to be taught to accept responsibility for their failures and missed breaks, to recognize that life ain't fair, and to MOVE AHEAD.

But not your guy. You want him to learn the lesson that his father worked for a living his whole life, say without a high school diploma, and apply that lesson to HIS life -- when the kid has doors open to him EVERYWHERE that were closed to his dad... and for him, only BY LAW until he was 14.

A good man teaches his son to carry his own weight without bitching about it. To teach the kid that "white society won't give him a fair break" [tense change deliberate, to show more clear thinking than Meck is capable of] is the WORST sort of bullshit imaginable.

It's contemptible. You're teaching the kid to fail, and blame others for his failures, just so you can pretend to yourself that you're morally superior to folks who know better.

Posted by: theAmericanist on September 25, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure that it is fair to consider one form of racial manipulation better or worse than the other.

How many whites do the Democrats kick off voters rolls wholesale, Hack?

You're trying to draw an equivalence between the racism practiced by the GOP as a matter of course -- again, as Lee Atwater admitted -- and the Democratic Party. Your contention reslies on two lies -- downplaying the racism of the GOP, while overemphasizing that of the Democratic Party. That dog won't hunt.

As I pointed out before -- you tried to claim that racist tactics are at the margins of both parties. But Atwater's history -- to say nothing of the GOP record in South Carolina, Florida and elsewhere in the South -- shows that just isn't so, Hack. Your argument is based on a false premise, and you're drawing a false euqivalence from it. It does you no credit at all, Hack.

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa, look at that little woman screaming in the background of the pic. I wonder if she was pleasant to know when she wasn't flipping out about black people. Maybe she was.

Sheer mind-boggling dipshittery from the resident dipshit.

Click the fucking link, you nimrod. Jesus you are one annoying little fuckwit.

GO. AWAY.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on September 25, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

Sorry, but that simply is not what Atwater said. Look at the comments that Herbert left out:

"As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry Dent and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn’t have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he’s campaigned on since 1964… and that’s fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster…"

In other words, Atwater accepted that in 1968 opposition to the VRA (i.e. appealing to the Dixiecrats) was a key to victory. But in 1980, the political landscape had changed so that what mattered was NOT appeals along racial issues but rather along core conservative issues that had nothing to do with race (balancing the budget, tax cuts, etc.). In effect, Atwater was saying that racism was an element to the GOP's appeal in 1968 but is no longer. Now you may feel free to argue otherwise, but stop putting words in Atwater's mouth.

It is you that have assumed that the GOP appealing to it's core of white male voters means that these voters are bigoted. I made no such claim. Rather, like Atwater, I argued that in appealing to those core voters, the GOP is pushing a range of conservative issues that have nothing to do with Dixiecrats, Wallace voters, or racism.

Now when it comes to tactics, I have already made it perfectly clear that where racist appeals have occurred it is reprehensible (mind you I am not buying the slate of things you have charged but I am also not pretending these things do not happen). But, as I wrote to junebug, let's not pretend the Democrats don't abuse race and racism in their own tactics. How about the persistent rumors about the GOP wanting to cancel the Voting Rights Act and thus depriving blacks of the right to vote? Are you OK with that? Are you fine with your party leaders cozying up with Sharpton? Do you think the 2000 NAACP ad was a fine and noble act representing the core value of your party? At least one of us has accepted and condemned the racial tactics his party has at times used. And hasn't accused you of race-baiting just because you happen to have an ideological affinity with a party that uses such tactics.

Posted by: Hacksaw on September 25, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, you wrote: "Your contention relies on two lies -- downplaying the racism of the GOP, while overemphasizing that of the Democratic Party. That dog won't hunt."

My argument in a nutshell is that the Democratic politicians using racial overtures to scare minorities into voting for the Dems is in fact just as bad a GOP politicians using racial overtures to scare white folks into voting for the GOP. And I think both tactics are racist and both further racial tensions in this country.

How can you argue that lies about McCain having a black child is worse that lies about the GOP trying to revoke the black right to vote?

Posted by: Hacksaw on September 25, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

The AmericINNist

No, actually, you're putting a ball and chain on your competition and then you're just so proud you won the 100 yard dash.

Note that I'm not talking about illegally discriminating against anybody: if somebody doesn't hire me cuz I'm black or a woman, then my proper recourse is a lawsuit, not an affirmative action program. So anybody born after 1965 or outside the United States who thinks they've got a case: let 'em make it.

Please make your case that legal discrimination ended in 1965. Show us the evidence. Please make your case that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn't continue for those born after 1965. Show us the evidence.

for a kid whom you KNOW is legally protected against racial discrimination?

You KNOW the kid is not protected from racial discrimination. You KNOW that kids are born in ghettos and slums because their parents and grandparents were legally excluded from sharing in the prosperity of this land. You KNOW that even today the difference in resources between white suburban schools and black inner city schools is huge. You KNOW that racists like yourself are so proud to talk about how we've gotten beyond racism yet you try to dismantle every program that helps poor people. You KNOW that the bar is set extremely high now to prove discrimination in court, so that's why you approve of lawsuits instead of law and real programs.

Keep up the moral outrage, asshat, it suits you so well.


Posted by: tomeck on September 25, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- so much for treating this guy with respect.

1) "Please make your case that legal discrimination ended in 1965." The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Surely you've heard of 'em? They were in all the papers.

2) "Please make your case that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn't continue for those born after 1965."

Why would I do something so stooopid? Oddly enough, Meck, you do talk to folks now and then who are smarter than you are. Strive to RISE, instead of dragging 'em down to the level of bullshit that you're used to.

Slavery, f'r instance, was abolished with the 13th amendment. Its effects linger in ways you actually EXEMPLIFY, you pompous knucklehead, but that doesn't mean the peculiar institution hasn't ceased to EXIST. So it's simply wrongheaded to bring it up without making those distinctions that allow folks to make sense.

I have argued for years (notably to the late Barbara Jordan, so it's not like YOU intimidate me) that much of what we call racism in the United States is not so much racism as such, but the legacy of slavery -- which was a racist institution to be sure, but the subtle distinction matters. An example of the distinction is the different patterns of economic and demographic development of folks who are direct descendants of the Middle Passage HERE, and those whose ancestors were taken to the Caribbean, f'r instance, and then CHOSE to come to the US voluntarily. Both groups of African-Americans are equally at risk to racism of all sorts -- but the latter tends to follow the classic immigrant pattern, while the former does not.

Can't blame that on racism, dude.

Likewise with the steady stream of immigration from Africa that I played an infinitesimal role in starting nearly 20 years ago. Do you suppose it is 'racism', Meck, that causes Ethiopians to object to checking the box marked "black" on the old standard forms?

3) I point out that a kid born after 1965 is not subject to LEGAL discrimination -- and Meck blithely changes that to complain "the kid is not protected from racial discrimination."

Obviously, you don't see the difference: if you can't make distinctions, you won't make sense, Meck.

So you don't make sense.

4) "You KNOW that kids are born in ghettos and slums because their parents and grandparents were legally excluded from sharing in the prosperity of this land."

And just how would anybody KNOW this, Meck?

Consider -- the United States took in about half a million refugees from Eastern Europe in the 1950s, whose parents and grandparents were excluded from sharing in the prosperity of this land. Were THEIR kids born in ghettos and slums? Sure, lots of 'em -- my mom grew up in a place called The Hollow, which is and always has been a friggin' dangerous place.

Did they STAY there? Why not?

I live in the county that has the largest percentage of middle class African Americans in the country, Meck. Perhaps you should get out more.

5) "racists like yourself are so proud to talk about how we've gotten beyond racism yet you try to dismantle every program that helps poor people..."

Oy, this gets tiresome. Meck, I've got more and better liberal Democratic credentials than most folks who post here -- I used to work for a progressive Senator, then one of the most liberal members of the House; I worked for the late Barbara Jordan, blah blah blah... with an onion in my belt.

How DARE you call me a racist: what on earth have I said here that REMOTELY justifies such a slur? Give us something between quotation marks -- and i you can't (which you can't) and don't apologize: observe your own moral blindness, as well as the holier than thou crap you hallucinate is healthful.

But, LOL, the funny thing is your notion that I've spent any time at all trying "to dismantle every program that helps poor people..."

Projection: you figure everybody you talk to, or about, has to repeat your fondest image of yourself. But it's bullshit, dude.

I've spent a considerable chunk of my career fighting for stuff like UDAG, and Section 8, and the earned tax credit; I spent the early 1980s fighting Reagan's budget cuts, and the late 80s raising hell about Sam Pierce. WTF are you TALKING about, Meck?

Consider the sheer stupidity of Meck's replies: he doesn't know what he's saying. He doesn't know what's been said to him. He insults every working stiff in the country, AND demands that generations be raised to believe that their failures are someone else's fault... and he calls those with more experience, more knowledge and who ask better questions the worst name he can think of.

Fuck you, Meck.

Posted by: theAmericanist on September 25, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

tomeck: You KNOW the kid is not protected from racial discrimination. You KNOW that kids are born in ghettos and slums because their parents and grandparents were legally excluded from sharing in the prosperity of this land. You KNOW that even today the difference in resources between white suburban schools and black inner city schools is huge. You KNOW that racists like yourself are so proud to talk about how we've gotten beyond racism yet you try to dismantle every program that helps poor people. You KNOW that the bar is set extremely high now to prove discrimination in court, so that's why you approve of lawsuits instead of law and real programs.

Forty years ago, legal racial discrimination was on the way out and racial preferences were coming in. Today's black parents and grandparents didn't suffer from legal racial discrimination. In fact, they may have benefited from preferences. So, there must be some other reason for continuation of the underclass.

I believe the reason is that many Great Society programs have been counter-productive. They taught people to be dependent, rather than independent. They encouraged single-parent families, since a husband might make the family ineligible for welfare.

Before the Great Society, blacks had been making excellent progress in income, education, etc. After enactment of the Great Society, progress continued but at a slower rate. With the best of intentions, we have created an underclass that lacks confidence in their ability to move into mainstream society. (Note that the combination of government largess and control has harmed Navive Americans in the same way.)

A second enormous problem is the lack of success in inner city education. should have a voucher program so that poor black parents could direct their children's education. Children could be moved away from failing schools. Also, even non-failing schools might be failing individual students. Vouchers would provide alternatives.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 25, 2007 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-Liberal: should have a voucher program so that poor black parents could direct their children's education. Children could be moved away from failing schools.

Please don't be ridiculous. There are simply not enough schools to accommodate everyone who would like to "direct their children's education," and if schools with too many applicants have to make a choice, they'll either accept on a first-come, first-served basis, or they'll prefer kids who haven't been crippled by years of underfunded, falling-apart schools. People who cry, "Vouchers!" are, quite frankly, idiots--accidentally or willfully.

If you disagree, give me 15 minutes and I'll amass so much hard evidence against this magical incantation of yours (Vouchers! Yay!) that you'll either cry "Uncle" or admit that you don't know anything at all about the public school system.

Posted by: AuntieSlats on September 25, 2007 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

AuntieSlats, there may not be enough schools, but a customer base of students with tuition money available would lead to the creation of more schools and expansion of existing ones.

When my daughter was in 4th grade, her school was not working for her. Although my wife and I were strong public school supporters, we temporarily moved her to a private school. It worked much better for her.

All children, rich or poor, should have the same opportunity my children did.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 25, 2007 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Forty years ago, legal racial discrimination was on the way out and racial preferences were coming in. Today's black parents and grandparents didn't suffer from legal racial discrimination.

Why don't you think that one over, ex-lib. I'm 56, younger than many grandparents, and was born in 1951. Are you saying that blacks born in 1951 or even 1961 didn't suffer from legal racial discrimination?

You and our over-the-top friend, AmericanSuperHero, are also using the term "legal discrimination." Yes, various forms of discrimination started getting outlawed in the 1960. Did that stop racial discrimination in housing, employment and education? No. Did it magically eliminate the effects of slavery and Jim Crowe laws on black families? Certainly not.

My main point is that discrimination did not disappearn in the 1960's, 70' or even yesterday. You may not like the Great Society programs (and I disagree with you analsis of progress for blacks before and after) but don't you agree it's unfair to pretend everything is just fine.

By the way, it's good to know we have something in common. I moved my son out of a public school to a private school in 8th grade. He was going to have the same English teacher that he had in 7th grade and I felt that would be a disaster for his education. Yes, some of us can take advantage of those opportunities. But do you think that if 20,000 black elementary students in Minneapolis had vouchers that you'd see a rush to build private schools throughout the city and suburbs? I'm afraid not.

Posted by: tomeck on September 25, 2007 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Assholist

Thank you for your commentary. It will be studied with attention it deserves. Fuck you very much.

Posted by: tomeck on September 25, 2007 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

In other words, Atwater accepted that in 1968 opposition to the VRA (i.e. appealing to the Dixiecrats) was a key to victory. But in 1980, the political landscape had changed so that what mattered was NOT appeals along racial issues but rather along core conservative issues that had nothing to do with race (balancing the budget, tax cuts, etc.). In effect, Atwater was saying that racism was an element to the GOP's appeal in 1968 but is no longer. Now you may feel free to argue otherwise, but stop putting words in Atwater's mouth.

Suuuuuuuure, Hack, that's why Reagan kicked his campaign in Philadelphia, mississippi.

I argued that in appealing to those core voters, the GOP is pushing a range of conservative issues that have nothing to do with Dixiecrats, Wallace voters, or racism

Yeah....it's just too bad that the history of the Party you carry water for refutes you.

mind you I am not buying the slate of things you have charged but I am also not pretending these things do not happen

Oh, that's rich, Hack! you are "not buying the slate" of recent racist tactics by the GOP, because it undercuts your attempts to claim that the GOP's racism is largely a thing of the past, and merely a fringe of the Party's activity.

As for putting words in Atwaters mouth, jackass, he apologized for his actions more or less on his deathbed, any bogus justification you may have croibbed from a dishonest conserative Web site notwithstanding.

My argument in a nutshell is that the Democratic politicians using racial overtures to scare minorities into voting for the Dems is in fact just as bad a GOP politicians using racial overtures to scare white folks into voting for the GOP.

Thank you for admitting that you're trying to draw a false equivalence between the Republican racism and any that the Democrats may exhibit. Since we've abundantly demonstrated the GOp's ongoing history of racist tactics, even if you don't want to buy into them (and you certainly haven't even begun to contest them), we can consider your protestations unpersuasive.

How can you argue that lies about McCain having a black child is worse that lies about the GOP trying to revoke the black right to vote?

Well, that's yet another one of your straw men, but we're used to your feeble false equivalences by now. I could point out, though, that Rove's racist Hail Mary did secure Bush's nomination, and from there the presidency, and most Americans agree that's been an utter disaster.

My statement -- that "Your contention relies on two lies -- downplaying the racism of the GOP, while overemphasizing that of the Democratic Party." -- stands. That dog still won't hunt, Hack. But now we know -- not that you had anyone fooled, of course -- that you aren't arguing in good faith.

All children, rich or poor, should have the same opportunity my children did.

With a disgusting, dishonest, bloodthirsty, authoritarian neocon hack in the family? No, thank you.

Please don't be ridiculous.

"ex-liberal"'s purpose is to be ridiculous; to post the most fatuous, transparently bogus, discredited neocon talking points he can think of. "ex-liberal"'s purpose is to insult Kevin and his readership by repeatin the same bullshit, in bad faith, no matter how many time's he's refuted. The more obvious -- or ridiculous --- his bullshit, the better. Why Kevin's moderators don't find his pissing on the floor in here sufficiently annoying is a mystery -- but remember this thread next time the neocon toad "ex-liberal" claims to have been a civil rights liberal.

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

tomeck: Are you saying that blacks born in 1951 or even 1961 didn't suffer from legal racial discrimination?

I'm saying that from the Great Society forward, these cohorts have been given more and more preferences and there's less and less racial discrimination. Blaming too much on discrimination today is hurting blacks IMHO. It suggests adding even more anti-discrimination laws, when the more effective remedy lies elsewhere.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 25, 2007 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: a customer base of students with tuition money available would lead to the creation of more schools and expansion of existing ones.wrong with your brain?

ex-liberal: we temporarily moved her to a private school. It worked much better for her.

Questions answered. I prefer to avoid rudeness, but if you can't see the inherent contradictions in that single post, you are a willful idiot.

Posted by: AuntieSlats on September 25, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Apologies for my previous, half-deleted comment. Here is the full text:

ex-liberal: a customer base of students with tuition money available would lead to the creation of more schools and expansion of existing ones.

How? With the money from vouchers? Explain, please. Are you saying that the $2,000 to $3,000 (probably less) that low-income parents will get from the government will not only cover their kids' education, but also pay for new schools? For new facilities, land, equipment, faculty, staff, school lunches, technology, books (classroom and library), buses and bus drivers, special services (required by IDEA and Section 504) with associated professionals, mandated testing (which is scored by paid testing companies, not by in-house personnel), security, supplies, meals . . . ? What is wrong with your brain?

ex-liberal: we temporarily moved her to a private school. It worked much better for her.

Questions answered. I prefer to avoid rudeness, but if you can't see the inherent contradictions in that single post, you are a willful idiot.

Posted by: AuntieSlats on September 25, 2007 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, I actually am more worried that Ex-Liberal is all too representative of the worst know-nothings in the country. He can't think beyond talking points. I actually think everyone in his country deserves a far better education than he received and is presumable providing for his children. After all, he believes that:

1) Demand always produces the Products Demanded: If I have two or three thousand dollars, and I want a good school, the market will fall over itself providing me with a good school! Because the market doesn't care at all about profits, it only cares about meeting consumer demand!

2) If your school isn't working, you should just send your child to a private school. Temporarily. It would work much better for him/her.

You're right, Gregory. Sorry I fed the troll.

Posted by: AuntieSlats on September 25, 2007 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

AuntieSlats - you are correct. I should have said I was contemplating more substantial vouchers, comparable to the cost of educating a student at a public school. That's the way vouchers were recommended by Milton Friedman.

Private schools can have substantial economies over public schools. Because they're non-union and because they're often pleasant places to work, good quality teachers will often work in private schools for low salaries. Parochial schools have special cost advantages, but consider this:

"The average annual cost to educate a student is $3,500 in a Boston-area parochial school -- 1/3 to 1/2 the average cost to educate a student in a Massachusetts public school. "

http://www.csfboston.org/programs_services/our_schools_icsf.asp

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 25, 2007 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

All right, Ex-Lib; if you're willing to really talk about this, I will apologize sincerely for any rude comments I've made. I've looked over the Web site you posted, but I still have some questions.

First, I do not think "average cost" means what you think it means. If this parochial school is only charging students $3,500 per year in tuition, I will sincerely shut up about vouchers forever. But the actual tuition is considerably higher, is it not? Yes, they provide scholarships do deserving children. But they also have an endowment, and continue with active fundraising efforts. Why is tuition so high, and why do they still have designated professional employees whose sole purpose is to raise more money?

Also, let's say I'm a poor, inner-city Boston mom who feels her local public school is not meeting my child's needs, and I've got my $3,500 voucher in my hand. Will that automatically get my kid into one of the Boston-area parochial schools? If they don't have enough room in the existing schools, and there are 1200 of us moms with $3500 vouchers, will the Diocese of Boston build a new school for us?

Please explain.

Posted by: AuntieSlats on September 25, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Also, I would like to know where you get your statistics about good-quality teachers preferring to work for lower pay in private schools. In North Carolina, we are actually seeing an exodus of teachers from private schools into good-quality public schools, because thanks in part to the North Carolina Association of Educators (this is a right-to-work state, so we are NOT required to join the union, nor can the NCAE negotiate contracts, but it has been instrumental--along with our Democratic governor--in bringing NC teacher salaries into spitting distance of the national average).

Still, be that as it may. I don't think you can find me a single study that convincingly suggests that private schools are necessarily "better places for teachers to work," or that teachers in private schools are higher quality.

Your voucher example is simply inadequate. Kozol and others have documented, over and over, vouchers will not grant true educational autonomy to those who cannot supplement them from their personal resources.

Posted by: AuntieSlats on September 25, 2007 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

think it is more than a little on the prejudicial side for Herbert to think that today’s GOP Bushism is ultimately an anti-black issue. Bushism is anti democratic – poor hating and robust with contempt that affects a great many people – not aimed at, nor secluding the black per say – but indeed most US citizens. Martin Luther King, Jr surely would not have made the distinction that Bush precludes blacks – indeed Bushism is inherently color-blind. Katrina was not a black issues as much as it were a poverty issue.

Posted by: Me_again on September 25, 2007 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

AuntieSlats, as you point out, there's ambiguity in the comment, "The average annual cost to educate a student is $3,500 in a Boston-area parochial school." It's not clear whether it means average tuition or average cost to the school. Regarding the average for public schools, they obviously mean cost to the school, since there is no tuition. So, their parochial school average logically ought to be on the same basis, but who knows?

My comment about good quality teachers being willing to work at pleasant, but badly paying private schools is a generalization based on actual teachers I know.

I don't disagree with the rest of your comments. Private schools are not necessarily better places to work. Private school teachers aren't necessarily better teachers. However, if they don't have tenure, it's easier to weed out the dead wood. As you say, vouchers won't grant true educational autonomy to some poor families. They're not a cure-all.

Nevertheless, my belief is that vouchers could do a lot of good for a lot of poor children who are now stuck in situations that are not working for them.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 25, 2007 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Sigh. Well, thanks, Ex-Lib, for engaging me in debate. Even though I am a teacher, I rather agree with you about tenure. Can we apply the same standards to administrators and school boards? I suppose not.

We will probably never agree about vouchers, for this simple reason: They will not help the most needy children to go to better schools. At best, they will help middle-class parents send their kids to better schools, and wealthier parents to subsidize private schools. If George W. Bush had been an inner-city kid (of any race), with his grades, would he have gotten into Yale? Talk to me honestly about "Legacy" admissions to private schools, and we might begin to see eye-to-eye.

Because poverty remains disproportionately the lot of racial minorities, vouchers will, in my opinion, increase de facto educational segregation. I simply do not see, and I don't think you have explained, how vouchers will do a lot of good for a lot of poor children.

Still, thank you for the discussion.

Best,
Auntie

Posted by: AuntieSlats on September 25, 2007 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

I prefer to avoid rudeness

You better get that out of your system...

Posted by: elmo on September 25, 2007 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you, Auntie, for a pleasant and informative discussion.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 25, 2007 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

It's important to understand, also, that merely for a society to have people who are poor relative to the rest of society isn't necessarily a cosmically bad thing, any more than BEING poor is necessarily a sign of immorality or something.

It's when generations of people remain poor that's a bad thing, when poverty seems to have somehow become HEREDITARY. That is a very different dynamic than the 'it's all about race' hallucination that so many can't get out of.

The idea is that in this country, it really shouldn't matter who your parents were. Your dad may have worked in a mill, like John Edwards, but you can become a rich lawyer, get elected to the Senate and run for President: only in America.

What happened with the abolition of Jim Crow, among other things, is that middle class African Americans who in previous generations would have been stuck in the same segregated neighborhoods as low-income and unemployed folks, simply LEFT. So communities -- and they were communities -- of ethnically homogenous but economically and intellectually diverse people became economically and intellectually homogenous AS WELL AS ethnically.

Throw on the great liberal errors of public housing (which was practically a scientific experiment in concentrating pathologies), the misguided genius of urban renewal (which destroyed whole neighborhoods in many cities), and then the politics of knuckleheads like Meck -- and it's a wonder we're not much worse off.

In a sense, it lets Republicans off the hook to accuse 'em of POLICIES that are racist in essence. The fact is, political parties exist to promote policies that benefit the supporters of the policies. Since Republicans don't get many African American votes, it's like saying that water flows downhill to note that when there's a choice, Republicans choose policies that benefit anybody else at the expense of African Americans.

What's a bit sharper in the barb is to note the times that Republicans have SUPPORTED policies (like gerrymandering to create majority minority districts) that SEEM to help African Americans, viz. the tripling of the Congressional Black Caucus, but in fact benefit Republicans: it was the VRA extension brokered by Bob Dole in the 1980s that gave the Republicans the House in the 1990s, after all. More majority minority districts all over the South meant a few more African Americans in Congress, and NO moderate white Southern Democrats. Do the math: a net loss of 24 House Democrats, IIRC.

That's why Meck's morality is so misplaced: by telling kids who grew up in an America where racial discrimination is illegal that it is the ONLY cause for their failures, which are after all not their fault because the white man will never treat them fairly, is to guarantee that we will concentrate and nurture social pathologies, in fact will create and sustain the politics that REQUIRE these pathologies in order to renew themselves.

It's not a good thing, any more than the politics that argues it is better to be dominant in 12 House districts than to be decisive in 60, is a good thing.

What IS a good thing is the way millions of people of color, notably immigrants, have entered at the bottom rung of the economy -- and moved up.

It simply does no good to scoff, and insist (as Meck does) that this fact somehow denies... well, what, exactly? That people are responsible for their own lives? That if a kid, or a culture, in America insists on being treated as if NOTHING is their responsibility, we should reject that as a political dynamic, cuz it's debilitating?

What on earth do we lose, as progressives, if we wake up and catch on -- it's not 1968 anymore, and just maybe SOME of us have learned something.

Posted by: theAmericanist on September 25, 2007 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

The talk we ought to be having is how do we call bullshit on racist and other ugly Republican framing.

As I noted in another thread, that frame began with pseudo lefties casting about for slurs to throw at Obama. The "lazy" slur is just a variation of the "not serious" slur which is a variation of the "not experienced" slur. We shouldn't be surprised that the wingnuts are now picking up on it. In fact I predicted as much when the above mentioned pseudo lefties started road testing the slurs when talk about an Obama campaign first emerged.

See any Matt Stoller post beginning last Fall and Winter at MYDD for examples. And of course there are the usual suspects who have been promulgating the slurs in this forum.

Posted by: Disputo on September 25, 2007 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus Christ Americanistambull...

Do you always have to write a book?

Posted by: elmo on September 25, 2007 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

What on earth do we lose, as progressives?

As if! You fuckn' posser...

Posted by: elmo on September 25, 2007 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

Congratulations, you have just set the record for misrepresneting another person's opinion. I won't argue as that's a useless enterprise with someone like you. But you do realize that everyone here knows you're full of shit, right?

Enjoy your evening.

Posted by: tomeck on September 25, 2007 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget the latest code word in suburbia: gangs. As in "we don't want gangs in our schools" or "we are worried about gang members hanging around the basketball court" or "we don't want gangs hanging around the shopping mall". Substitute the "n" word for "gangs" and the effect is the same.

Posted by: sublime33 on September 26, 2007 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Just wanted to make a comment about Will Counts' photo and the title of the topic above it and the irony... "Feel the Love". It would be a perfect title of his photograph if it was displayed in an art gallery. Another observation: The expression on Hazel Bryan's face... it expresses the same histrionic outrage that typifies Cable News.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on September 26, 2007 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

to Me- Again: re: Katrina, let me say that I live in New Orleans, and have lived here all my life, as did my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. With all due respect and cordiality, I'm afraid you don't know what you're talking about. You'll never know the number of people, not living in anything resembling poverty--in fact, quite successful and comfortable--who lost everything they owned.They will never be acknowledged, much less counted, largely because they do not fit the parameters of "victims" to people like Gregory. Join him and be happy in your work.

Posted by: arthurize on September 26, 2007 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

Thank you, Auntie, for a pleasant and informative discussion.

Translation: Thank you for presuming my comments are in good faith. Sucker!

Posted by: Gregory on September 26, 2007 at 5:05 AM | PERMALINK

arthurize:

Jindal didn't deserve that. Now point to the other southern states where this Jindalization happened. I suspect not many (if any). It doesn't change the fact that the machine belongs to the Repubs. No one is claiming the dem party is free of any or all prejudice but they are way ahead of Repubs who pretend they are free of all prejudice while pulling out the "son of Willie ads" when needed.

Now you personally maybe against the tactics no matter who does it (good deal) but the modern Repub party does not agree. Over 40 years ago they bought the pig, the poke, the mud that goes with it. If you are not sure just ask yourself where is the Ed Brooke of the Repub party today? As a matter of fact where are any Black elected Repubs?

Posted by: Daryl on September 26, 2007 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Let's just show Meck who he really is, going backwards: He complains that I was "misrepresneting another person's opinion".

I wonder if this is because I called him out to back up his charge that I'm a racist, with something I've said between quotation marks?

So how is that misrepresenting you? I asked you to back up a charge you made. You can't do it -- and you won't apologize: no guts, no class.

This is how backing up what you say is done, dude, observe:

When I noted that Meck is the epitome of a racist progressive, projecting his narcissist vision of his own moral superiority onto everything he talks about, he huffed "I didn't say a word about anyone being morally superior to anyone."

But wasn't this the same guy who posted that he taught his son not to "mind extending a helping hand to those who weren't so fortunate..", and who explained how HE, Meck, had "passed on the importance of education to my son", in contrast to "But that black dad who was born like me in 1951. ... couldn't use his own life as a model for his 10 year old son to follow. What lessons did the son learn?"

What do you think REAL racism looks like, Meck? Try a mirror.

So that's what this guy talks about -- the legend he is, in his own mind, not untypical of a certain thread in progressivism.

Let's look at points raised that he DIDN'T speak to, cuz he's SO morally superior:

1) Meck says: "But when you push the tax cuts and cut programs that aid the poor, you may not be shouting nigger but we know what you're saying...."

I asked: Um, how about 'we reward those who vote for us, and punish those who don't?'

Politics 101 -- did Meck speak to it? Nope. The actual mechanics of democracy don't fit his mirror morality. The pity is that it misses how real racist appeals work.

2)Also from my first post: "Ya wanna know what coded references look like? Here's one.

Reagan announced one of his campaigns in Philadelphia, Mississippi, which had previously been known for exactly ONE thing: the murder of civil rights workers. Pat Buchanan picked the spot (and Reagan agreed) because he knew that Democrats would complain about it... and THAT complaint would broadcast not only the message that Reagan wanted, but ALSO give Republicans the anti-elitist, pro New South card to play.

So the lesson is: don't play that."

But it's the only way Meck knows how to play. I posted the insight -- so he calls MEa racist. What a fucking idjit.

3) "I think most folks would want their son to learn that working for a living and raising a family is what makes a good person, particularly a good man, that life isn't just about material things, that you should live within your means even if that means 'living from paycheck to paycheck' -- and, oh yeah, that 'nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent', as Eleanor Roosevelt put it.

Unlike you, Meck, I think most folks would want their kid to look at them as parents and SEE a model for their lives in the ways that count -- but obviously, you disagree."

Did Meck speak to this? Nope. A smarter and more honest person would have said, gee, no, I don't disagree, parents MUST teach their kids these basic things, but...

'Course, to do that, Meck would have to stop posing in his moral mirror, and READ. But mirror morality doesn't allow for learning anything.

4) "much of what we call racism in the United States is not so much racism as such, but the legacy of slavery -- which was a racist institution to be sure, but the subtle distinction matters. An example of the distinction is the different pattern of economic and demographic development of folks who are direct descendants of the Middle Passage HERE, and those whose ancestors were taken to the Caribbean, f'r instance, and then CHOSE to come to the US voluntarily. Both groups of African-Americans are equally at risk to racism of all sorts -- but the latter tends to follow the classic immigrant pattern, while the former does not."

I suspect Meck has never even heard of this demographic touchstone, which is simple ignorance. But of course it's the great land mine in the politics of race. Colin Powell smoothly injected it into the speculation about his Presidential hopes back in the day, when his cousin told Newsweek: "You know why we Caribbean immigrants do better than native blacks? No inferiority complex."

But, hey: it doesn't fit Meck's mirror morality projection, so it must not exist, folks must never talk about it, I couldn't have mentioned it. It's not in his mirror.

5) "That laborer you talk about -- supposing his kid doesn't get a high school degree. Know why he will have trouble getting the same kind of hardworking job that pays the bills and raises a family, the way his father raised him? Cuz those jobs are generally filled by immigrants, NOT by African Americans. A good example are janitors in LA. Forty years ago, it was a highly unionized field, full of African Americans who made decent wages. Now, it is full of folks who were not born here, who aren't unionized, and who make squat."

Another chunk of reality that doesn't fit Meck's mirror morality; no wonder he ignored it. But lots of good working stiff jobs that used to be how US born folks with little education made a good living don't exist any more, or through union busting by a foreign born (often illegal) workforce, are no longer such good jobs, e.g., meatpacking.

What's Meck got to say about it? Nada.

7) "Maybe the kid gets a GED, say, and applies for an affirmative action slot at a community college -- but, oops! it goes to a guy from Senegal, or Nigeria. How does THAT help the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, neither of which affected the immigrant families who benefit, but which hurts YOUR OWN EXAMPLE?"

(crickets chirping)

8) After Meck accused me of not merely being a racist, but of trying "to dismantle every program that helps poor people..." I pointed out that I've spent a considerable chunk of my career fighting for stuff like UDAG, and Section 8, and the earned tax credit; I spent the early 1980s fighting Reagan's budget cuts, and the late 80s raising hell about Sam Pierce.

So I asked, WTF are you TALKING about, Meck?

He had nothing to say, except how I somehow "misrepresented" him. So I asked him to back it up: he can't, cuz he lied; he's caught and won't admit it. It really IS all about character.

Ya see, Meck, this is how progressives WIN arguments. We know what we're talking about. We understand what the arguments ARE -- including the ones the other guy makes. We use facts. We quote people and hold them responsible for what they ACTUALLY say, and we don't make shit up and pretend they said it. We don't use mirror morality -- we go out and FIND out.

I commend the practice to you -- and I suggest you start here by either backing up your despicable charge that I'm a racist, or publicly apologizing, you fucking worm.

Posted by: theAmericanist on September 26, 2007 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

I suggest you start here by either backing up your despicable charge that I'm a racist, or publicly apologizing, you fucking worm.

I've got better things to do than argue against what you say I said.

And I suggest you tell your doctor he needs to up the dosage on your meds.

Have a nice day, clown.

Posted by: tomeck on September 26, 2007 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

"what you say I said."

That's what quotation marks are for: kinda illustrates your lack of character, huh?

Posted by: theAmericanist on September 26, 2007 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist: You are a moron. Nobody is saying racism or the effects of legal racial discrimination is the ONLY reason for the problems we are discussing here. Enough with the strawman.

Posted by: GOD on September 26, 2007 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

By the way, do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

Posted by: tomeck on September 26, 2007 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

ROFL -- unable to conduct his own defense, Meck decides to literally play God: "Nobody is saying racism or the effects of legal racial discrimination is the ONLY reason for the problems we are discussing here."

Kindly show us, Meck, where you've said ANYTHING else. Once again, I suggest you use quotation marks.

Grow some class. If necessary, seek instruction.

This isn't THAT hard, yanno. It's a kind of fraud to respond when someone observes, as I did, that it's useful to make the distinction between discrimination that is legal, and that which is not, as if that means denying ILLEGAL discrimination (which you accused me of doing), much less to charge that I'm a racist cuz I can make the distinctions without which one cannot make sense.

But even worse than fraud, is the self-deception of responding to every fact, insight and observation by altering it to be something stooopid, and then responding to THAT, as if your own mirror morality counts a damn. (N.B. -- I noted that the 1965 Act abolished LEGAL discrimination, so Meck promptly claimed that I had said "racial discrimination" no longer existed. I pointed this error out to him -- and it's one more sensible point he never picked up on.)

I gave you the chance to act like a man, Meck, to swallow your pride and apologize, along the lines of 'gee, you never did say anything remotely racist, but I kept mis-stating and mis-representing what you DID say and leaping to conclusions that had nothing to do with how you identified Reagan's announcement in Philadelphia, MS as a coded appeal to racism, or how you worked for EFFECTIVE social programs like UDAG and Section 8 and against corruption like Sam Pierce at HUD, much less the promotion of African immigration in the 1990 Act, so I'm sorry I called you a racist.'

Hell, I even gave you the opportunity to say WHY you'd made such a fucking stooopid claim: cuz as your words consistently show, in post after post, you're all about the mirror morality of your narcissism, rather than, say, real life in the county with the highest percentage of middle class African Americans in the country.

Since you didn't do it, I didn't merely call, I IDENTIFIED you, as a "fucking worm".

See how to use quotation marks to accurately denote what someone said, and what it means? I commend the practice to you.

Posted by: theAmericanist on September 26, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

It's been fun, Americanclown. But really, I have no overwhelming need to justify myself to a shrill moron like yourself. Still, I'd like to keep the conversation going and see just how ridiculous and offensive you can get. I'm sure your posts have been attracting a lot of fans.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: tomeck on September 26, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Nobody is saying racism or the effects of legal racial discrimination is the ONLY reason for the problems we are discussing here."

Kindly show us, Meck, where you've said ANYTHING else.

Posted by: etc on September 26, 2007 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Can there still be any controversy about any of this? Hey, how'd that WWII end, anyway? Was it a close call?

Posted by: Kenji on September 26, 2007 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- dunno, I think there are only about 43 hours left in the Burns documentary to let us know.

But you're right -- only idjits like Meck argue this way, and it is a serious burden on progressives. It tells folks that: 1) We haven't learned ANYTHING from the failures of liberal programs like public housing, even though everybody else has long since figured out that concentrating pathologies is bad, and

2) as a political movement/culture, progressives are better at name calling than trying this, then that, before working on the other thing, to figure out what WORKS.

This plays into Republicans and conservatives' hands a lot, because they do wedge issues and code stuff (like Philadelphia, Mississippi) better than we do.

It is simply NOT an effective political tactic to complain that lower tax rates are racist, for example, as Meck did way upthread. Folks who would pay less have a direct reason to LIKE the idea which has nothing to do with race -- and if you don't know THAT, well, you're probably ineducable.

Like Meck.

Posted by: theAmericanist on September 26, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Nobody is saying racism or the effects of legal racial discrimination is the ONLY reason for the problems we are discussing here."

Kindly show us, Meck, where you've said ANYTHING else.

Ok, Mr Quotation Marks, please note that "God" said that, sort of, in his post at 9:17. Pay attention, will you, chump.

Posted by: tomeck on September 26, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- Meck, you oughta learn the difference between a straw man argument and a delusion: "Nobody is saying racism or the effects of legal racial discrimination is the ONLY reason for the problems we are discussing here..."

So what?

It's not even "sort of". To say 'nobody is saying X', does not mean that ANYBODY said "y".

I was specifically asking when you had affirmatively said ANYTHING else.

You merely admitted that when you were pretending to be God... you didn't. When even "God" says only that nobody ever said that Jim Crow was the only bad thing in America, it doesn't show that YOU said anything else... cuz you didn't.

Don't you even know HOW?

Posted by: theAmericanist on September 26, 2007 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry chump, I only use one name. Like the other things you said I said, I didn't say it. It must have been one of your other fans.

Have a nice sleep, clown, with your dreams of what a tough guy you are.

Posted by: tomeck on September 26, 2007 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Gonna commit quotation marks on this guy again:

I asked: " where YOU've said ANYTHING else..." (emphasis added)

to which Meck replied :"Mr Quotation Marks, please note that "God" said..."

Posted by: theAmericanist on September 26, 2007 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

All Meck's quotes by the Americanist are accurate; I looked 'em up. Curious that he won't defend 'em, forwards OR backwards: speaking as his mirror, I deserve better.

Posted by: Meck's Mirror on September 27, 2007 at 8:03 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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