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Racism, Redux

| 67 Comments | 7 TrackBacks
As a follow-up to my earlier blog post on Our Watchful Media, I just made a quick pass through the newspapers and blogs, and noticed that the flap over Rep. Corrine Brown's racist remarks seems to be overwhelming the newspapers - or not. New York Times - still nothing Los Angeles Times - still nothing Washington Post - still nothing [See Update, below] And because I'm feeling kind of snarky...
Josh Marshall - nothing (actually he quotes her in a 2000 post about the Florida 'undervote' brouhaha, so he knows who she is... Kos - nope Tbogg - nope Atrios - yes, kinda - the comments were 'intemperate'. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to go Google his comments about Trent Lott, and see if he excuses them as 'intemperate'. Calpundit, absolutely stood up on this, and since we all read each other's stuff, it's damn unlikely that none of these bloggers knows about it; they just think it's unimportant, or 'intemperate'. Sadly, they're wrong. This isn't some community organizer, struggling against The Man. This is a woman who speaks with the authority of the House of Representatives of the United States, and who writes laws that I have to live under. And so far, she's gotten a 'bye' on it. Someone explain to me how I can demand, with a straight face, that Dixiecrat Trent Lott or Jew-baiter (and MBNA shill) James Moran be punished when she isn't, or how I can give moral - as opposed to political - standing to those who only bust one side for the same crime. [Update - just got pointed to a 2/27 mention in Al Kamen's column in the Post; I have no idea how my site search for "Corinne Brown" missed it, but I have to admit it did. Digesting this now to see if it changes my views...]

7 TrackBacks

Tracked: February 29, 2004 3:34 PM
Political Rhetoric of the Good People from porphyrogenitus.net
Excerpt: If there is one thing that last night's Panderpalooza! event in LA showed most clearly, it is that the home of intemperate rhetoric aimed at demonizing the opposition and treating its positions and views with undisguised scorn and contempt is
Tracked: February 29, 2004 4:28 PM
Armed Liberal Discusses from Random Nuclear Strikes
Excerpt: The sound of silence...
Tracked: February 29, 2004 4:32 PM
Armed Liberal Discusses from Random Nuclear Strikes
Excerpt: The sound of silence hypocrisy Just made a quick pass through the newspapers and blogs, and noticed that the Rep. Corrine Brown flap seems to be overwhelming the newspapers - or not. New York Times - still nothing Los Angeles...
Tracked: February 29, 2004 5:51 PM
Here We Go Again from Matthew Yglesias
Excerpt: Oh God, not this again. Look, I condemned her. As far as I know she's not in charge of Haiti policy in the US or in the Democratic Party and rightly so. Bloggers, moreover, are not under some divine obligation...
Tracked: February 29, 2004 11:05 PM
Thoughts On A Sunday Afternoon from Weekend Pundit
Excerpt: It seems that Old Man Winter is being held at bay over the next couple of days. It was in the 50's yesterday and here...
Tracked: March 1, 2004 2:41 PM
Good Question from Ipse Dixit
Excerpt: The media's double standards for conservatives and liberals stopped being a surprise a long time ago, of course. But that...
Tracked: March 5, 2004 1:37 AM
Excerpt: And the devil is in the details, as is the undoing of the Old Media, in a story of racism, free speech, and coverage. In the process of covering two separate stories, one media sinks further, while the other proves...

67 Comments

She is a Democrat. The same reason Dirty Byrd got away with his comments. The same reasons Condit and Clinton never resigned. There is an enormous lack of honesty within the media.

The media will not harm their "Chosen" for the "Chosen People" control the media.

Maybe we should send her a copy of Dickerson's book.

How is there not video footage of this exchange? Where is the footage? It should be on repeat on every channel.

As mentioned above, she is a Democrat. She is also a liberal Democrat and a member of a minority group. She gets a "pass" in the ethnic slur department.

Meantime, I had no idea that Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell were "white men".

I breathlessly await a Dowd Column ("Rummy!""Bushie!""Condi!") on this subject.

(/snark off)

Also, Matthew Yglesias called her comments "dumb," but nothing more.

What brouhaha. US Haitian policy is racist. The representatives are a bunch of white men (Belafonte was right about Powell and I'd have to see a swab on Condi to verify gender). All said during a closed door meeting? Hmmm..wonder what those white men say behind closed doors that no one blabs.

I specifically asked Oliver Willis ("Like Kryptonite to Stupid") what effect kryptonite had on Corrine Brown in the comments on his thread labelled "Libertarian Oliver" - but, sadly, he has chosen not to address the subject.

hesiod at http://www.counterspin.blogspot.com/ mentions that she should be censured. In the same post, he equivocates at length by putting forth some convoluted argument that folks should not consider what she said to Noriega as necessarily worthy of censure because Mexicans can be white. Therefore, taking umbrage with Brown's comment to Noriega about white men in the white house and sympathizing with Noriega's reaction makes one just as stupid and racist as Brown.

hesiod has made overtly racist condemnations of Colin Powell, and is a particularly virulent Bush/Republican hater, so his stance is personal, but it may offer some insight into how some of the left side bloggers armed liberal mentions in this post can rationalize Brown's comments.

Lost in preview edit:

Whether this is indeed how the bloggers see it, a great many comments to atrios' and Kevin Drum's posts show that many of their regular comments buy into hesiod's rationalization or something similar.

buy in? I think it's rank hypocrisy and rationalization at play, after all, they're agents for good, so nothing they say or do should matter - ends justifying their digusting means.....but hey, that's just IMHO

Someone explain to me how I can demand, with a straight face, that Dixiecrat Trent Lott or Jew-baiter (and MBNA shill) James Moran be punished when she isn't, or how I can give moral - as opposed to political - standing to those who only bust one side for the same crime.

OK. Here's a start. Then, move on to this. Nothing really comperable with American white people (nor Mexican-Americans, on the off chance we don't all look the same to you, as we apparently do to Rep. Brown.)

Brown is an absolute idiot, but that's really all she is, and the only harm she's done is turn a serious policy debate into a silly referendum on "who's white" to score cheap political points. She shouldn't be in Congress. But comparing her to people who try to marginalize historically oppressed minorities for political gain is just as silly.

Andrew,

Though a sense of perspective is indeed necessary, your use of the term "marginalize historicaly oppressed minorities" troubles me, and not just because it sounds like lefty cant. How does a group become "historically oppressed"? Does that mean that some victim groups are more worthy than other victims if they have a longer history of being oppressed? This has the whiff of fashionable compassion about it. Also, it embraces the faulty idea that racism can only be practiced by those in power.

Though you indeed cited the Holocaust as one of your examples, many commentators, include some on the left, have written about the increase in Jew-hatred and the tolerance thereof from today's left. Many on the left have rationalized excluding Jews for the list of "historicaly oppressed minorities" because of alleged bad behavior by Israel and its supporters. In the immediate wake of the Holocaust, though, when the nascent state of Israel was dominated by socialists, Jews were considered members in good standing of the historicaly oppressed minorities club.

Bigotry and racism is wrong, no matter who does it.

To all the apologists, as a white man I can easily understand the comments made by that poor frustrated little chocolate cupcake. We all know how members of that sex can be when angry, especially during that time of the month.

If that statement would not require a quick and genuine apology, I will agree she doesn’t need to either.

Hey, Hillary Clinton can rip on GANDHI for crying out loud, and as we've seen in only this thread somehow being black is an ideological position, not a genetic one to some people.

It's just a case of politics, and this is hardly the first time. The left has long, long been the bastion of racism in the form of affirmative action and policies that keep minorities on the Democrat plantation rather than helping them.

So how do you propose Brown be "punished"? Lott had to resign his leadership position in the Senate. But Brown is an obscure congresswoman from the minority party. Do you think she should resign her seat? That's never been a standard punishment for saying stupid things, has it?

She's being treated exactly like people like Bob Dornan were treated when they said moronic things--denunciation from their ideological opponents.

This reminds me of what Dinesh DSouza wrote concerning his debates with the left Reverend Jesse Shakedown Jackson. Jackson was apt to refer to himself during the debates and his family as oppressed victims of an insensitive and unjust society. DSouza would just stare at this multi-millionaire, with a son in Congress, who could be seen on TV every month and who wields tremendous influence with the media, thinking "I wish I could have some of your 'oppression.' "

I feel the same way about the vile racist bigot, Rep. Brown. She has a pension for life, power to make laws, power to allocate my tax money, power, power, power. In her company, she would look down on me as an underling, while simultaneously depising me for my "life of privelege" as a white Christian man. Yeah, tell it to my family when my dad worked two jobs to pay for my mom's medical bills. When our phone and electricity got cut because we were overwhelmed. I would bet Mr Noriega, Sec Powell, Ms. Rice, and many others that her hypocritical troglodytic disparage as sellouts have overcome greater difficulties with more grace and more ability.
Rep. Brown deserves punishment, real punishment for her comments. She's a hypocrite. Haiti is a mess much thanks to the democrats, she can't blame Pres. Bush for this. A rebel incursion in a third-world country: what a surprise. Are they the 51st state or something? A national security threat or terrorist supporter like Iraq? No, they're black, and so Bush is a racist for not immediately sending troops unilaterally.

Wisdom is justified by her children.

"Haiti is a mess much thanks to the democrats"

Sometimes I consider myself a Republican while at others I don't. But for now, lets assume we both prefer that course.

Don't stoop to the Democrats level whereby absolutely everything negative that happens anywhere in the world is the fault of either Bush or Republicans generally. Haiti's fucked up primarily because of Hatians. If there were an easy solution to the problem either party would have found it. The only easy solutions are in fantasy land, which apparently is where John Kerry is residing this week.

The most annoying thing about political discussions is the divorce from reality of so many participants. Lefties may fantasize that we overreacted to 9/11 because they will never be faced with proof of what would have ocurred had we chosen their policies, thus they can pretend the obvious would never have taken place. Living in this fantasy land costs them tremendously in general elections. Moderates and independents don't fall for this crap like college students do.

Don't slip into such fallacies. Not only does it blind you to the appropriate course of action, it also fails to differentiate us from them.

A Democrat gets away with something that would have had a Republican flayed alive and dragged across the Utah Salt Flats behind a team of horses.

This is news?

Is anyone still surprised by this continuing hypocrisy?

See also: Robert "white nigger" Byrd.

A.L.,

I used to occasionally get in a huff about the failure of right-wing bloggers to address what I considered important topics, but I decided about a year ago that I'm not going to do that anymore. The number of things that a blogger doesn't address in a given period of time is infinite, so we're all open to these kind of accusations. This week, I posted maybe 3 or 4 times. It doesn't mean that I'm unconcerned about every event, article, or argument, or tragedy that I didn't post about.

Besides, the sort of things that are tossed out in this kind of argument are generally lead-pipe cinches, morally. When a Congressperson says something really offensive, partisans on the opposite side rarely slouch to point it out. Bloggers on the same side rarely point it out. We can argue that Atrios didn't denounce Corrine Brown/ Instapundit didn't denounce Bob Dornan because they have a double standard. We can even insinuate that they're secretly racists themselves.

Or, we can give the other side some credit for having a moral compass, even if they disagree with us politically. Maybe they just didn't have anything interesting to say about it. Maybe they felt that the subject in question had been adequately covered. Maybe they don't want to turn their blog into the Daily Ass-Covering. ("On this date, here are today's denuncuations:...")

Anyway, just because I feel this way doesn't mean that I expect you to. I just thought I'd throw it out. In the end, no one can post about everything, so we're all vulnerable to this kind of argument.

"Someone explain to me how I can demand, with a straight face, that Dixiecrat Trent Lott or Jew-baiter (and MBNA shill) James Moran be punished when she isn't"

Moran was punished? His comments were publicized within the mainstream media, but as far as I know he was never censured, nor did he lose seats on important committees. I don't even think he'll face an effective primary challenge.

I'd be delighted to hear that I was wrong on any of the above statements.

Sincerely yours,
Jeffrey "happily no longer in his district" Boulier

Ted - I should have (and sadly didn't) made the point that no one - no blogger, anyway - is under obligation to cover anything except what strikes them as interesting. I didn't mean for this to be a major ding on Marshall, Tbogg, Kos, or Atrios (a minor ding, yes - since we're in the Catholic universe this month, a sin of omission, as it were). But it's the silence of the population as a whole.

And here's my problem with it; first, that it devalues the moral standing I thought we had when we condemned Trent Lott and James Moran. They did something that, in this age, was flatly wrong; they deserved criticism and consequences.

But here's the rub; if Brown gets a 'bye', then what this is about isn't a moral stand but racial interest politics - it's only wrong when my ox is gored, when yours is, that's just fine.

I have both personal problems with this - it's immoral - and strategic political problems. I'm optimistic enough to believe that people respond to genuine, consistent morality. We (those of us opposed to racism) lose than when we give Brown and her cohorts a pass.

How's that?

A.L.

Still waiting for that Armed Liberal post about leaving the "blood libel" line in Mel Gibson's movie.

praktike -

You'll notice that I haven't said squat about the Gibson movie; I don't have a TV, don't go to many movies, and don't go to church. There's a broader issue about archaic religious views to discuss, but it's lost in the noise right now.

And, to be honest, from my POV, it's just a movie (disclaimer: I'm working on something about the importance of movies and media in establishing and maintaining culture, so I'm kinda self-contradicting here), and I'm prepared to cut artists and actors a lot of slack for their beliefs and behavior - while offering elected officials with the power to change my life a lot less.

A.L.

OK, so you decided not to write about it for a variety of reasons...just like all of those bloggers who chose not to write about Brown.

praktike -

C'mon, that's just silly. The blogosphere as a whole hasn't been silent about it - which is part of why I'm not too interested in adding my voice to a loud and crowded dialog.

As noted above, I should have made the point that I was doing a quick sample of the blogs that had been active in criticizing Trent Lott, and not dinging individual bloggers as much as I was pointing out trends in the population.

A.L.

You know, I'm having a hard time figuring out how calling people "a bunch of white men", while exceedingly assinine, is in any way as dangerous as publicly paying homage to a man's career as a racist and segregationist, or bringing up the spectre of vast Jewish conspiracies shaping government policy. Maybe some kind soul can help me see through the lefty cant here.

So, Andrew, you're suggesting that only 'advantaged' groups - empowered groups as it were - can be racist, while the oppressed - the 'disadvantaged' can't be, or if they are, are excused?

Note that I'm not talking about policy designed to remedy disadvantage, but rather moral frameworks that are hung on groups by virtue of race or color, as opposed to anything else.

A.L.

A.L.

You all look alike to me, Andrew.

OK, I hate this identity politics stuff, which is why I rarely if ever post about it on my own site, but allow me to expand a bit on my thoughts here.

Brown's remarks were offensive and wrong. Anything the Democratic party hierarchy can do to punish her, it should do. If she holds any leadership positions, Pelosi should take them away. Maybe Brown should even resign.

At the very least, she ought to issue a real apology. But at the end of the day I guess I believe that voters in her district should decide whether they want a bigoted idiot representing them.

In an ideal world, liberals who denounced Lott would all denounce Brown as well.

However, those who imply some sort of moral equivalence between her remarks and Lott's advocating segregation are mistaken. Both remarks are wrong and worthy of censure, but there's a crucial difference between them: the role of history.

The history of segregation is replete with lynchings, beatings, denial of the right to vote, separate and unequal facilities. Jim Crow is not a regime that anyone should be pining for, not matter what the occasion.

Moreover, as I've pointed out ad nauseum, Trent Lott is still the Chairman of the powerful Senate Rules Committee, as well as a member of several other committees. He's no longer Majority Leader, but he still meets regularly with Frist and Santorum. And the White House was tired of him anyway, because they thought he was ineffective in pushing their agenda. They were more than happy to subtly advance Mr. Perfect, Dr. Bill Frist.

The writers on this blog, most of whom I would label "neoconservative" or "neoliberal," are all stand-up guys, as are 99% of the commenters. It was great that you denounced Lott, and that you denounce Brown now. I admire in particular your devotion to human rights around the world, your relative non-partisanship, and your willingness to push positions for which neither party has the stomach.

But I think you'd be kidding yourselves if you think you represent anything but a tiny enlightened minority of those who lean right in this country. Those of you who vote for Republicans are aligning yourselves with millions of voters who aren't as enlightened as you are. As influential as neoconservative journals like the Weekly Standard may be, they don't represent a vast constituency the way, say, the CBN, Michael Savage, or Rush Limbaugh does. And that constituency, by and large, is not a tolerant one.

In fairness, there many people on the left who I find repugnant as well. For instance, I detest Greenpeace, the PIRGS, Public Citizen, ANSWER, the ELF, the Chomskyites, and all of that ilk. But they aren't in power, and therefore they don't threaten me nearly as much as Trent Lott, John Ashcroft, Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, and their supporters. If the aforemention lefty nutcase groups show signs of strength, I'll oppose them with every fiber in my body. For now, I'll save my energies for the Christian Right and the Pro-Segregation Right.

So, Andrew, you're suggesting that only 'advantaged' groups - empowered groups as it were - can be racist, while the oppressed - the 'disadvantaged' can't be, or if they are, are excused?

Interestingly, no, that's not what I'm saying. I'm actually saying what I said. Why can't you give a straight answer? Here it is again: how are Corrine Brown's comments (calling Condi Rice, Mr. Noreiga, and Colin Powell, among others of assorted genders, races, and ethnicities, "a bunch of white men" who "all look the same to her") in any way as offensive as celebrating the segregated South or trafficking in Jewish conspiracy theories? This is the analogy on which you've hung all your outrage, so it's clearly something you believe very strongly (and is certainly not at all something you're just using to accuse people you don't agree with of hypocrisy), so maybe you'd take the time to explain yourself.

We (those of us opposed to racism) lose than when we give Brown and her cohorts a pass.

Well, yes. As far as I can tell, "those of us opposed to racism" haven't given Brown a pass, unless you conflate "those of us opposed to racism" with "top Democratic bloggers" or "the mainstream media". Which conflation I think is a mistake. (Not that these groups are racist, but that they see racism as relative and political, more than as absolute and moral.)

Andrew

You're conflating racism with the effects of racism. Are we to believe that racism is OK as long as there is no effect? Not that there is no effect in this case, but if it is lesser, so what? I don't see anyone claiming that Brown's statements were worse than Lott's.

I'll stick with racism is wrong and incompatible with public service.

FWIW, Telemundo and Univision gave this event rather heavy coverage. I saw the exchange on newcasts on both networks.

I could be wrong, but at least from what I can find in Google I can't locate either your comments on Sue Myrick's recent bigot eruption. And, more to the point, I can't find a similar catalog of right wingers who failed to comment on it.

strange.

Are we to believe that racism is OK as long as there is no effect? Not that there is no effect in this case, but if it is lesser, so what?

Ask Sam Hose. Or Anne Frank. They might think it merits more than "so what".

All of which is assuming that Brown's statements were racist, which is possible, although I just found them odd, childish, and inappropriate, and my non-professional advice is that she should dial down her medication. If someone were to call me a hispanic man, (I'm not) would I then be the victim of a racial slur? I think I'd probably just feel confused.

Actually jeanne, one could argue that A.L.'s side is the one being relativist here because he's pushing a sort of equality between all racist acts, regardless of their real consequences.

SAO, its only natural that you would say this. Considering your complete indifference to terrorism that you display on Tacitus, I'm certain blatant racism doesn't even regester in your view.

What Corrine Brown should have said was that this CIA-backed coup was necessary to restore democracy to a troubled land. And that any refugees seeking asylum in America should be shot on sight. Clearly, the Tonton Macoutes love America more than Aristede.

None of this is as important as the hurt feelings of a rightwing blowhard though, so I expect an apology from her in due haste.

Still waiting for A.L. to answer Andrew's question.

Andrew,

Your post makes no sense at all. I stated that I am against racism in all its forms. To any reasonable person this includes opposition to the holocaust and lynching. You are the one drawing a line between racism you accept and that you don't. Your distinction has no bearing on my beliefs, so I'm not sure how you could possibly arrive at the idea that your examples of racism in any way relate to my comment.

You appear to be fumbling toward the idea that opposition to less harmful expressions of racism somehow demeans the more serious events. If this is the case I simply disagree. Refusal to countenance any racism in whatever form honors the victims rather than demeaning them.

I disagree, mj. The equivication of less harmful forms of racism with more serious forms demeans the more serious events. Both should be condemned, but not equally.

I'd say Lott losing his leadership post (I don't see him being exciled to Siberia or anything) was about right, allthough I think the method we used to shame him was pretty sleazy. Rep. Brown seems to have issued an <a href="http://www.house.gov/corrinebrown/press108/pr040226R.htm" apology of sorts . Maybe she could do a humiliating grovel session on Country Music Television as well?

What worries me about both these cases is that we seem to be shooting the messengers. Lott's statements reflected the general attitutes of a sizable portion of our white population. Brown reflects part of her consitutuency's racist feelings as well. I think as a whole, part of the reason we've been so quick to condemn Lott, is because we don't want to examine some of the uglier residue from the civil rights era. We'd rather sit back and watch a few Denzel Washington flicks that reduce racism to morally clear, black & white situations that are far more simplistic than the racial tension we might experience in real life.

You appear to be fumbling toward the idea that opposition to less harmful expressions of racism somehow demeans the more serious events.

No, I'm explicitly saying that painting bizarre and eliptical possible expressions of racism (I'm still trying to see how calling Condi Rice a "white man" is an example of racism, as opposed to an example of mental illness, but it's possible, I supppose) as equally worthy of attention as serious examples of blatant racism tied to a long history of genocidal violence in order to score points on your political opponents does most certainly demean the more serious events. AL's post is not condemning Corrine Brown's racism; it's condemning other people for not treating it as equally deserving of condemnation as Trent Lott's. Much as everyone would like me to be saying that some racism is okay, it is quite certainly not what I'm saying. (One of the first clues that this is so is that I never said it, and never implied it.) I'm saying that there are clearly instances of racism which are far, far worse than others. Weird tirades about how a group of whites, hispanics and black people "all look the same", while highly bizarre (and possibly racist, although someone will have to draw me a picture), just aren't as worthy of note as wishing Strom Thurmond had won the Presidency on a platform of enforcing racial segregation. Pretending they are is silly, and insulting to everyone's intelligence.

I specifically asked Oliver Willis ("Like Kryptonite to Stupid") what effect kryptonite had on Corrine Brown in the comments on his thread labelled "Libertarian Oliver" - but, sadly, he has chosen not to address the subject.

Uhh, dude he called her an "idiot" and a "dumbass" just a few precious posts earlier you dumbass.

Oh, btw, for the rest of y'all cough Barbara Cubin cough. How curious that her name is not mentioned on this blog or on Instapundit's site eh?

So listen up little pups, you really don't want to get into a contest about which side has more idiotic remarks coming from their backbenchers or which side chastises it's own more for saying stupid crap.

Geez, AL, I'm a WOC contributor (albeit only once a month) and I condemned her comments:

Allow me to add my voice to the other democrats, liberals and thoughtful writers taking Florida Congresswoman Corinne Brown for her stupidly intemperate comments to Assistant Secretary of State for Hemispheric Affairs, Roger Noriega yesterday. She needs to apologize now and not use the classic weasel phrase "I'm sorry if I offended anyone." She knows she offended someone; he told her as much. She also hasn't helped Haiti's cause in the halls of US power.

Apparently to some in my comments section calling her remarks stupidly intemperate was "charitable," but we all know the old saying about opinions . . .

In any event, you need to click my name on the sidebar a little more often!

North Bay Leviathan has a funny thread on this:

northbayleviathan.blogspot.com

Gryn's right; Barbara Cubin is a good comparison. If y'all didn't read the link about Barbara Cubin, here's what she said.

"My sons are 25 and 30," Representative Barbara Cubin (R-Wyoming) said on the House floor a few days ago. "They are blond-haired and blue-eyed. One amendment today said we could not sell guns to anybody under drug treatment. So does that mean if you go into a black community, you cannot sell a gun to any black person, or does that mean because my ... "

She thinks that you can assume that black people are under drug treatment. Charming.

Now, I could go around, find big right-wing bloggers who didn't bother to condemn this, and name and shame them. But I'm willing to assume, absent contrary evidence, that these sentiments are universally condemned. I'm not going to say that right-wing bloggers are hypocrites, or deny that they meant their condemnations of Trent Lott, if they didn't happen to jump on Barbara Cubin. I wish that the same courtesy was extended on both sides.

The whole "bunch of white men" comment highlights a real problem for the Republican party-- the perception that they are more a party of white men than the Democrats. (Never mind that the Clinton administration had plenty of white men in positions of power-- Warren Christopher anyone? And that Colin and Condi-- two of the most powerful people in the world-- are not exactly white.) When the Republican party does highlight how it has become more "diverse"(diversity here meaning skin pigmentation not ideas, experiences, talents which may or may not correlate to pigmentation) the party is savaged for putting on a "minstral show" George Bush's efforts to reach out to the Hispanic community? That's called cynical. So what is the Republican party supposed to do?

Hi.

"Noriega later told Brown: "As a Mexican-American, I deeply resent being called a racist and branded a white man," according to three participants."

It's natural for him to resent being branded a white man, since that's a morally negative category. It's natural for him to put his Mexican-American status up-front and center, since that gives him credibility to speak on accusations of racism.

And it's equally natural for Brown to emphasize her morally superior category status rather than his.

When everybody is playing the same game the same way, why is this supposed to be a foul, or a story?

Atrios needs to keep to his word and call Brown a good person for her remarks. See, racism isn't really a problem in America. It's only useful as a wedge issue.

Andrew, SAO -

Just got home, and have to feed the kids. I do owe you an amplification and explanation of why I find your positions unconvincing and will try to get to it tonight.

A.L.

Ok, good luck with the critters.

Andrew & SOA,

She directly linked a "racist" policy to an administration of "white men". The fact that she was wrong on both counts tells us that she wasn't describing the facts.

Perhaps you don't keep up with trends, but it should be obvious this the white men comment was intended as an insult. It was a racist comment, and saying they all look alike was another deliberate insult.

You say equivocating less serious crimes with more serious ones demeans the more serious crimes. OK. I'd like to know why you have no problem considering someone's comments the equivalent of murdering 6 million people.

Perhaps you didn't think out your defense clearly enough. Lott's comments are a hell of a lot closer to Brown's than they were the holocaust or a lynching.

Lastly, to clarity. I didn't say the actions of Brown and Lott were equivalent. I said we should oppose all racists. Apparently, this is controversial. Who knew?

Leftist spin is fun! I wondered what hypocritical, asinine attempts would surface to pretend this was no big deal. So far we have "it wasn't that bad" and "sometimes the right wasn't punished ten times as bad as the left when this happens," "They really are white people even though they would be called black if they were leftists," and the final one "its not racist if you are ripping on white people." Any other attempts?

AL - Look forward to it.

mj - I'm afraid I can see no point in continuing this conversation with someone who so pointedly advocates manditory child molestation in public schools. You should be ashamed of yourself, and I hope God can forgive you for what you have done; I cannot. (You may be wondering when you actually did advocate this - it was around about the same time as I put forth the notion that racism was good, or that racist comments are the equivalent of mass murder. Remember that? Me neither.)

Well, there's one key issue I'd have in making a camparison with Barbara Cubin - that pesky Washington Post editorial on April 11, 2003. Since the point of my post was the silence of the mainstream media on this one, as opposed to similar gaffes by the white right, can we call this an 'own goal' by Ted, Andrew, and company? From the Post:
IT WAS LESS THAN four months ago that Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott lost his job as majority leader, and deservedly so, after praising the segregationist presidential campaign of Strom Thurmond. Now another lawmaker, Republican Rep. Barbara Cubin of Wyoming, has out-Lotted Mr. Lott. Mrs. Cubin's remarks came not in a birthday tribute to a centenarian but on the floor of the House of Representatives, in the midst of a serious debate on a gun measure. No historical memory is needed to adequately appreciate their bald racism. And unlike in the case of Mr. Lott, Mrs. Cubin's remarks seem to have provoked barely a word of protest from her Republican colleagues.
Next?

A.L.

Since the point of my post was the silence of the mainstream media on this one, as opposed to similar gaffes by the white right, can we call this an 'own goal' by Ted, Andrew, and company?

Sure, let's, even though I never mentioned it. This doesn't seem to be a requirement on this board. My question remains unanswered and unacknowledged, and I'm probably as tired of saying the same thing over and over again as you are of thinking up things you can pretend I said instead. Real impressive work, man, real impressive. I'll leave you to it, then. Night.

Andrew, answering your post is going to take something long enought to be a post itself; you're asking one of the central questions that I think differentiates two schools of thought around race and deserves to be approached with some care. No hard feelings, but I'm taking on the easy questions first.

In the meantime, see my immediate response to you for a sense of where I'm coming in on the issue.

A.L.

Andrew -

I'll see your Sam Hose, and raise. Note that this site lists brutal lynchings of whites, Native Americans, Mexicans, and African-Americans.

And go talk to an Armenian or a Romany about the Holocaust.

Brutality and injustice have, sadly, been the basic human condition for most of history.
That doesn't mean I accept it, but that I don't give overwhelming, unanswerable weight to claims of past mistreatment requiring redress (as opposed to claims about what we can do now to try and remedy it).

A.L.

Ted,

You wrote:

"Now, I could go around, find big right-wing bloggers who didn't bother to condemn this, and name and shame them. But I'm willing to assume, absent contrary evidence, that these sentiments are universally condemned. I'm not going to say that right-wing bloggers are hypocrites, or deny that they meant their condemnations of Trent Lott, if they didn't happen to jump on Barbara Cubin. I wish that the same courtesy was extended on both sides."

I'm going to have to disagree with you because I think you've missed the point of Armed Liberal's post. The issue is whether a commentator (of whatever political persuasion) makes a point of going after those on the "other side" who make racially-offensive statements while soft-pedaling or even passing altogether on racially-offensive statements made by those on the "same side." (This assumes, of course, that the offensive remarks are given sufficient media coverage such that one may reasonably assume commentators have been made aware of the remarks.)

That's what Armed Liberal's post is about, not whether there are right-wing bloggers who criticized Trent Lott but failed to criticize Barbara Cubin.

If there are indeed right-wing bloggers who didn't, for example, criticize Trent Lott but who are up in arms over Brown's remarks, you SHOULD criticize them (forgive the capitalization; I don't know how to italicize remarks). That goes equally for left-wing bloggers who went after Trent Lott but who have little or nothing to say about Brown. It seems clear that such people are not motivated by principled opposition, but rather a desire to score political points.

If anyone but a black person said "you all look alike to me", to members of another race, that person would be lambasted to hell and back.

The fact that certain bloggers are ignoring the story suggests that they are hoping it will simply go away. Facing it head on, like a person of integrity, might threaten some of their favorite platitudes.

AL,

Should our criticism be proportional to the official position of the speaker, the influence of the speaker or the level of vapidity of the comments? You of all people should know that what Corrine Brown or Barbara Cubin has to say is of lesser consequence than what Trent Lott had to say, both by merit of position and by measure of influence. To deny otherwise is to plead political ignorance which I don't think you have.

SPF -

And while it's less consequential than what Trent Lott has to say, it's certainly in the top .5% of the people in the country.

Do we rate what the 'moral weight' of what bloggers have to say by their traffic?

A.L.

Not morality, A.L., power. Corrine Brown is a mover and shaker compared to Citizen Joe Schmoe, but not compared to Trent Lott. You know that!

Do we rate what the 'moral weight' of what bloggers have to say by their traffic?

No, but we react to them based on their traffic. If Glenn Reynolds were to endorse some insulting comments about Muslims.. oh wait, he already has. OK, say he said something insulting about American Jews, you could expect a greater response to Glenn, from more bloggers than to say, I dunno, Dan Drezner. Would that reflect a moral failure of bloggers? (along the lines of your original claim) I think not.

Note that this doesn't address the fact that Lott's comments were arguably more racist than Brown's. While Andrew can't seem to find the racism in her recent flap (ridiculous), I'd say they were pretty blatant in their immediate context, but nowhere near as severe as Lott's were in their subtext.

Again, I wish the nation as a whole would have slowed down and examined the deeper ramifications of what Lott said and how many people share his feelings. I think it's time we stopped covering that up.

Update - just got pointed to a 2/27 mention in Al Kamen's column in the Post; I have no idea how my site search for "Corinne Brown" missed it, but I have to admit it did

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not, but since you managed to spell her first name correctly elsewhere in the post, surely you know by now that this search would NOT have turned up information on Corrine Brown.

Brittain - nope, just a typo in the post - I did check the spelling (from her own website) when I did the searches.

A.L.

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