July 26, 2010

A question about the Shirley Sherrod incident and taking things out of context.

Don't we constantly extract quotes and clips from larger contexts? I do blog posts by that method all the time. I find the juiciest line and quote it often deliberately out of context or with intent to misdirect for humorous or shocking effect. It's the reader's responsibility to figure out what to do with it. I'm not ashamed to operate that way. For one thing, I give links, so you have a path to the larger context. And, more important, by depriving you of a pat, self-contained package, I'm forcing you to read critically and keep going.

There's always more to the story. When we purport to put something "in context," it's never the whole context. We're choosing the frame of information that serves our interests, interests that may include but are rarely limited to the pure understanding of the truth. Traditional newspapers may have led their readers to think that they'd processed all the information and digested it into a simple-to-read article, and they often abused their readers' trust. The web doesn't work like that. The web activates its readers, and I think that's for the good.

With that in mind, let's look at the Andrew Breitbart post — "Video Proof: The NAACP Awards Racism–2010" — that started the sequence of events around Shirley Sherrod.
Ironically, the post began: "Context is everything." The context Breitbart chose was the NAACP's impugning of some of the people in the Tea Party movement as racists.
The constant calls to “repudiate the racists from your ranks” have not only been insulting, but have also served to force a false standard upon America’s fastest-growing and most vibrant political movement that no other group could ever live up to nor would ever be asked to live up to.
Breitbart reminds us of the claims that Tea Party people spit on black congressmen:
Congressional Black Caucus members staged a walk through the Tea Party crowd in front of the capitol the day before the health care vote.  They claimed they were threatened by a violent mob and were subjected to the vile N word slur fifteen times. With the unpopularity of the toxic health care bill that the majority of Americans did not want, the Democrats needed a November strategy. Neutralizing the growing Tea Party movement with charges of racism was clearly its post-health care reform vote priority.
Breitbart details his own efforts to prove that story was phony and the failure of mainstream media to follow up.

That was the important context to Breitbart as he offered up the vido clip. He identifies Sherrod as USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development, speaking a the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia, giving a "meandering speech to what appears to be an all-black audience." He misstates (and later corrects) that she's talking about how she treats white people today, in her current job. That's an atrocious, blatant error, which, as we all found out, is easily refuted by watching the video of the full speech. (I should say, more accurately, the speech minus the gap that "an NAACP spokesman" said occurred "when the tape was switched in the recording." Really? They use tapes to record? Tapes that are inadequate to hold a speech of less than an hour? My pocket digital cameras have better video capacity that than. I'm skeptical.)

Back to Breitbart:
Sherrod’s racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement. Hardly the behavior of the group now holding itself up as the supreme judge of another groups’ racial tolerance.
So part of the context to Breitbart is about the present-day audience, responding positively to Sherrod's account of feeling conflicted about helping a white man who wasn't giving her the deference warranted by her power. The speaker and the audience shared a feeling of understanding a sort of stereotypical white attitude.

Breitbart features a second quote from the speech in which Sherrod "nearly begs black men and women into taking government jobs at USDA — because they won’t get fired." He concludes that the Democratic Party and the NAACP are "scared." And then, it seems, they really were scared, because the NAACP immediately denounced Sherrod and the Obama Administration fired her. They impulsively did what seemed like the most obvious thing to avert the bad press they saw coming. Then, they acted ashamed of doing that, apologized, and seemed to hope that — with the aid of a willing mainstream press — we'd all want to concentrate our attention on bad Mr. Breitbart.

We learned much more about Shirley Sherrod, but we don't know everything. The context frame was widened, to her full speech, her life story as she chose to tell it. But there are gaps even in that (even aside from the tape-switch gap). I want to know more, and I don't think we know the whole story about why she was fired. The official story is pretty embarrassing for the administration, and I don't quite believe it. They jumped because of the Breitbart post? What are they hiding? I suspect that they don't want us delving into the inner workings of the USDA, and they don't want us listening to all the various things Shirley Sherrod has said and will say. Why wasn't she on any of the Sunday talk shows?

***

Context is important, but we can and do speak before we have the whole context. We are in the middle of a conversation. At any given point in a conversation, somebody may be happy with the state of development of the context, and it may be clear that the narrower context was deceptive. But that doesn't mean the context can't be opened up even further. I'm skeptical. I want to keep reading and thinking, and I hope you do too.

UPDATE: The link to Breitbart's "Video Proof" post no longer works. Here's a link to Memeorandum, linking to may commentators who, like me, wrote about it.

277 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 277 of 277
GMay said...

Ritmo Bra said: "If you want to have a mature discussion about race and racism in America, you have to first accept that the predominant issue is one of numbers, power and privilege. A minority can oppress a majority, I suppose. A majority is much more capable of oppressing a minority, and that's what the right never gets. It's a relative thing but you never see what is relative to what."


Ya know, I checked three different sources that define "racism" and not a single mention of "numbers", "power", "privilege", or "oppression".

Note the ironically juvenile remark about "maturity" when setting up an argument whose premise relies on the very redefinition of common words.

Such is the intellectual bankruptcy of the modern leftist that they must now draw new meaning from long-defined words to fund their ideological deficit.

Freeman Hunt said...

Ritmo, how does apartheid fit into your schematic?

c3 said...

Ok, call me stupid for even responding but...

Ritmo;
If you want to have a mature discussion about race and racism in America, you have to first accept that the predominant issue is one of numbers, power and privilege. A minority can oppress a majority, I suppose. A majority is much more capable of oppressing a minority, and that's what the right never gets. It's a relative thing but you never see what is relative to what.

Once you come to terms with the right's "Southern Strategy" and exorcise the other demons lurking from a blind denial of white privilege, I think the left would have a much easier time getting rid of affirmative action. What's so hard about understanding simple quid pro quo? At some point it's not even clear what you're fighting about, let alone whom you're fighting.


So if I understand you correctly, anyone who seeks white, southern voters is pursuing a "southern strategy"/ So I can assume that any southern white voter who votes democratic isn't a racist and any such voter who votes Republican is doing so out of racial sentiments.

And yes I know its a well worn argument but I've got to mention it, the Democratic Party pursuing a similar race-based strategy for black votes.

As I look at the black vote over the past three presidential election, though consistently democratic it appears that the presence of a black candidate, and one who's voting record (it could be argued) was/is more liberal than the "average black voter" received far more black votes than the liberal John Kerry.

And the power of that vote did much to put Barack Obama in the White House. So tell me again how numbers and power are the key elements of racism and that how they only apply to whites and the Republican Party?

Revenant said...

Ritmo, how does apartheid fit into your schematic?

Shh, don't trouble the man with real life scenarios. He's busy building a world in which only he can be right.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

One thing though Ritmo, once the whites become the minority you and you kind can no longer throw the race card at them and they can be as racist as they want, with impunity.

No. But I can say, Hell! Paybacks are a bitch! (at least to the ignoble white conservative-traditionalists who want to deny that racism was a pernicious force in American life or that it did not go away simply by enacting LBJ's legislation in 1965).

Related: Why is racism an all-or-nothing thing? Why can't people have attitudes that reflect more or less on people they deem similar to or different from themselves, be they negative, positive or neutral, without that being an all-or-nothing thing? Skin color is beside the point. Are there not degrees of sentiment, judgment and separation that you bestow on groups of people?

You guys draw distinctions between yourselves and Muslims all the time. Sure, creeds and beliefs matter and can be debated more freely than biology (at least in some places it can be). But to pretend that you see the world in culturally universal terms is the biggest damn conceit that I find here. And if racism isn't a part of the same tribalism that reinforces the same ideas that cultural distinctions do (whether they are relevant or not), then I don't know what it is.

Just be honest, please. And try to see the larger point, for once.

Methadras said...

So Schtickmo, tell me, who's side are you on within the context of race? Do you believe that Sherrod is a racist for saying what she did, even within context? Also, do you think that the WH fired her for the fear that the video she is presented in, considering the same context they also saw was going to impugn the narrative of white racism vs. black racism if it ever got to Glen Beck? Even regardless of the fact that Beck defended her?

I think you are more about trying to smear whitey with the broad brush of racism, than you are about looking at the overall context, tone, language, and meaning of what this woman said and did in her capacities. Even when certain whitey's defend her. Is she worthy of defense or are you just defending the indefensible. Again.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Let's remember who fucking fired Shirley Sherrod: The racist Barack Obama.

He fired her because he has a white mother and she has a black mother.

If Barack's mother had been black, there's no way he would have fired Shirley. Because his mother would have been moppin' floors instead of sending her kids to fucking Harvard.

Barack Obama is a racist cracker.

That's why Shirl got canned.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Ritmo, how does apartheid fit into your schematic?

I dunno. How does the former South African constitution fit into the schematic of the U.S. constitution?

South Africa was a place where the colonizers remained outnumbered and instead of importing blacks as slave labor, found themselves to be right in their midst. They came with greater force and superior technology and overcame greater numbers. Is this so hard to understand?

And if you're ridiculous enough to not get that basic little piece of history then why even characterize what I'm saying as a "schematic". It's a basic point. You're trying to invert it with examples that don't matter.

But at least you got me to thinking that an attempted comparison between American whites and South African, apartheid-era blacks might be in the works. So that was interesting. In a demented way, of course.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

GMay's not worth responding to as he took words that apply, out of context, and pretended that they had to exist within the definition of one concept in order to have contextual meaning as a part of that concept.

No dice. Removing the context doesn't mean that context can't apply.

Next thing you know, GMay will engage in thought-policing and propose that we make racist attitudes illegal - regardless of how they are implemented or the implications of how they are enacted.

Freeman Hunt said...

Ritmo wrote: A minority can oppress a majority, I suppose.

It's not theoretical.

As for power and privilege, yes. Much easier with privilege. Privilege like say, for example, having a high government position where you can oversee the disbursement of funds? Or are you arguing that only a white person could inflict racism from a position like that?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

So if I understand you correctly, anyone who seeks white, southern voters is pursuing a "southern strategy"/

Nope. You do not understand correctly. Read Lee Atwater's words on the matter. This was not about getting white, Southern voters. It was about luring people with racist motivations.

So I can assume that any southern white voter who votes democratic isn't a racist and any such voter who votes Republican is doing so out of racial sentiments.

Nope. You are oversimplifying it.

And yes I know its a well worn argument but I've got to mention it, the Democratic Party pursuing a similar race-based strategy for black votes.

So?

As I look at the black vote over the past three presidential election, though consistently democratic it appears that the presence of a black candidate, and one who's voting record (it could be argued) was/is more liberal than the "average black voter" received far more black votes than the liberal John Kerry.

You are only looking at results then, and you would be doing so at the expense of the arguments deployed in attracting those votes.

And the power of that vote did much to put Barack Obama in the White House. So tell me again how numbers and power are the key elements of racism and that how they only apply to whites and the Republican Party?

I didn't say that. I said that the fact that whites have vastly outnumbered blacks and other non-whites is a fact that you aren't capable of appreciating in terms of its political implications.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

It's not theoretical.

I didn't say it was.

As for power and privilege, yes. Much easier with privilege. Privilege like say, for example, having a high government position where you can oversee the disbursement of funds?

Of course, this is the only type of privilege you recognize. Would that be a fair assessment or a theoretical presumption? I have every reason to believe that you will fight to the death in denying that inherited wealth and greater, more long-standing access to legitimate political networks constitute a form of privilege, but I'll let you shoot yourself in the foot and put that in your own words.

Or are you arguing that only a white person could inflict racism from a position like that?

This is not the salient point, though. The salient point was put to you above. But of course, since it involves more history and reality than can be boiled down into talking points, I'm not sure how you'll choose to grapple with it.

Freeman Hunt said...

Of course, this is the only type of privilege you recognize.

And it seems to be the only type that you don't. The other types would offer easier routes to get to such a position or to influence someone else in it. Here you are confronted with the idea of a racist able to directly exercise such power. But because the person is black, your standard is lower. You think perhaps that racism is okay in that instance. Soft bigotry of low expectations.

Revenant said...

If you're white and under retirement age, for your entire adult life you have belonged to the only race it is legal to discriminate against. If you are black and under retirement age, the government has been discriminating in your favor your entire adult life.

So I have to smile when people talk about "white privilege". :)

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Soft bigotry of low expectations.

More talking points. There you go. Surely you must be capable of an original thought on this matter, but perhaps I'm mistaken.

And it seems to be the only type that you don't.

Did I not, now? Where?

Ok. So we're at a stand-off. You refuse to recognize the form of privilege I raise to you and then presumptively blame me for not recognizing a very simple one that you bang on and on about.

Of course, the middle of the electorate (not to mention the coming non-white majority) can see through this bullshit of yours and concede two sides of an issue, and perhaps even get beyond that, beyond refusing to weigh the meaning of both points. Which is why you will lose.

It's not about Sherrod or the rightness or wrongness of actions based on attitudes that are obviously too complex for you to come to terms with realistically. It's about your obsession with a simplified dualistic perspective that only allows for the answer which got your approval before you considered the argument.

This is how shallow the right has become. They need to invent and approve the narrative that conforms beforehand to the conclusive talking point. Everything else: Deny. Deny. Deny. Surely the sign of a fragile or even imploded politics.

Freeman Hunt said...

You refuse to recognize the form of privilege I raise to you

I do? Maybe you should read my last comment again.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Then where's the argument? I already said this wasn't about Sherrod but about how you choose to see the episode and/or how the right believes it can become meme-worthy.

As for low expectations, I could just as easily say that you have rather high expectations of how much historical, yet relatively recent and often institutionalized abuse you expect blacks in America to so quickly disregard.

Either way, it's obvious that you're more interested in a stand-off than in a narrative that works for the country.

GMay said...

Ritmo Bra said:

"GMay's not worth responding to as he took words that apply, out of context, and pretended that they had to exist within the definition of one concept in order to have contextual meaning as a part of that concept.

No dice. Removing the context doesn't mean that context can't apply."


Please be honest Ritmo, it's not that you said I'm not worth responding to (but then did), it's that you're unable to in a way that you're able to defend. I'm sure you'd like to believe your views are intellectually mature and well-expressed, but they just don't stand up to the most basic of scrutiny.

Words have meaning my friend, and if we are to communicate in any meaningful way, these words must have a meaning we can all understand. You are asking everyone to accept a definition of "racism" that is concocted from what appears to be years of leftist indoctrination, instead of a common understanding of language which is easily referenced.

This is not "context", but linguistic fraud. You don't get to reinvent language to illustrate a concept and expect to be taken seriously, no matter how much you burden the thread with your pseudo-intellectual fluff. Your entire argument hinges on this sort of dishonesty. If you need to mangle the language to conceptualize, your premise is flawed.

"Next thing you know, GMay will engage in thought-policing and propose that we make racist attitudes illegal - regardless of how they are implemented or the implications of how they are enacted."

Don't confuse calling you out on your linguistic contortions to be the sort of leftist projection you mention here.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I don't respond to liars, G-unit.

You tell me where I said that the definition of racism had to include reference to what I spoke of as being relevant to racism first.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

If we take G-Unit's decontextualized bullshit to its conclusion, a narcissistic and muscular midget stands as great a chance at knocking out Mike Tyson as did Evander Holyfield.

You know. Because, why take height and weight classes into context. They're not in the definition of what it takes to box well.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And I know that didn't sound like a very intellectual point, but it was probably pedestrian enough for G-Unit to not feel threatened by it.

BTW, I'm not responding to G-Unit directly (it seems he thinks he's too good for that), but making an example of how stupid (and pseudo-intellectual) his own point really is.

Seven Machos said...

Ritmo Urban Dribbler wants to keep talking about race, and his dream world where people of African and Latin American origin will somehow create some froward Jim Crow world.

To Meadowlark and his ilk, the material world is some kind of pizza of rights that you divide up among permanent, unchanging races of people. If the "white race" gets less of the pizza, that means the "black race" or some other group gets more.

The idea of a society that has moved beyond race, or a bigger pizza, or just no pizza altogether eludes morons like Ritmo Curly Legend (or, as he would say, alludes him).

Anyway, Freeman, let's just forget all this boring race stuff and run off to Florence.

GMay said...

Right Ritmo, I'm lying about the English language.

"Context"

"Liar"

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The idea of a society that has moved beyond race, or a bigger pizza, or just no pizza altogether eludes morons like Ritmo Curly Legend (or, as he would say, alludes him).

You keep calling me a moron. Would you call Lee Atwater a moron?

Keep confusing rights with privilege, moron.

And also keep confusing what you or anyone else wants or wishes were so with what anyone can observe as it exists.

Seven Machos said...

I'd call Lee Atwater a reasonably competent large-scale political campaign adviser, much like David Axelrod or Karl Rove.

Try speed instead of marijuana, Curly. It will really help you focus. Trust me.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Anyway, Freeman, let's just forget all this boring race stuff and run off to Florence.

Might as well. Is this your way of saying she hasn't gotten anywhere with her argument and might as well abandon it? What a subtle and gentle way to let your friend in on what you've probably had to admit under your breath all along.

Ritmo Urban Dribbler wants to keep talking about race

Althouse chose the topic, moron. Not me. Blame Althouse. As I did.

Seven Machos said...

And the leftists here prove they have no sense of humor whatsoever, Episode #23,231,123,564

roesch-voltaire said...

Reading this blog I have to laugh, probably because I get to take thinks out of context concluding all the white folks here are not racist and that Shirley Sherrod, if not a racist, is for sure a leftist and therefore Brietbart was justified in simply doing what all bloggers do-- take things out of context- except he didn't brother to provide the link to the full text-- oh well I am sure he will next time.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

There's no surer way to know Machos has lost an argument than he starts droning on with the ad hominems.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Humor's great. Just admit you're wrong first.

I love how humor became an excuse for being horribly wrong.

No really! I didn't actually mean what I said! I was just being funny!

Ha ha.

Seven Machos said...

Meadowlark -- I have not been arguing with you. How, therefore, could I have lost?

Dribble me that, Curly.

Revenant said...

You keep calling me a moron. Would you call Lee Atwater a moron?

I would call Lee Atwater "dead for 19 years". I would be surprised if he had much to say about modern politics.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Obviously you're irked at me for something. I figure you're sympathetic to agnostic to Freeman's position and/or whatever Breitbart has to say in support of it. Maybe you divide the labor by giving the arguments to her, while you take on the ad hominems. Pretty sneaky, Machos.

Wasn't I the one who first said this a dumb, beat-to-death horse?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

19 years, eh? You don't say.

I promise I won't refer to Lee Atwater if Republicans never again refer to Reagan!

Freeman Hunt said...

Ritmo, I didn't even think Sherrod was being racist. My objection is to your absurd, and yet popular, redefinition of "racism."

Racism is racism, and a history of oppression doesn't excuse it. One can be racist, but one has an obligation not to be if one is going to assume governmental power.

I don't think these expectations are high. It is 2010. I expect the same of all, including, for example, women as regards sexism.

David said...

Freeman Hunt said...
" . . . . For all you people know, I'm a 600 pound man who uses snapshots of his sister for his avatars."

Oh, wow, I hope Titus isn't listening.

c3 said...

But I can say, Hell! Paybacks are a bitch!

Racist

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I never redefined racism. I merely stressed that some forms of racism are quite measurably less pernicious than others.

I figured such context helps determine where indignation makes for a more sensible response, and where it doesn't.

That said, a racist or sexist response to more pernicious forms of racism or sexism might be incredibly counter-productive, especially depending on who receives it. But in general, I try not to get all that pissed about wounded, former victims moaning and letting off steam. Some responses have more bark than the initial bite.

I'm not pissed that Sherrod got a comeuppance and that this episode was made an example of. I just don't see it as the rallying cry that others might. I think this speaks to my view of the comparative perniciousness of black racism versus the centuries of white racism that were accepted as not only natural, but naturally dominative.

Michael said...

Freeman Hunt: You are not going to win this one against Ritmo with your antiquated view of racism being a two way street. The flow of history will have to wash this anguish. The white liberals are mostly too young to have participated in the civil rights movement and have a romantic view of a time and struggle that was anything but romantic and anything but easy to lay aside. Young blacks, too young to have experienced the racism their fathers and mothers experienced, are caught in the emotional gap of honoring a movement without fully understanding it. Add in some hyper educated Ritmo with an ability to deconstruct with the best and sling lingo and you are a loser. No, it is not the same thing. No, racism is not a two way street. No, it is not going to go away in your lifetime. No, Shirley whatever he name is, calling Andrew Breibart a racist is not the same thing as knowing that your mother or your grandparent could not go to the Memphis zoo on any day but Wed. unless accompanied by a white child. Begin to understand?

Seven Machos said...

hyper educated Ritmo

That's some funny dribbling right there. Meadowlark is just stoned and full of pretense.

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

the Sherrod story gets more interesting all the time.

Pogo said...

"...my view of the comparative perniciousness of black racism versus the centuries of white racism..."

In which another leftist admits there are no principles or basic truths involved, just power and bitching about whose ox is being gored.

That is, pure political convenience.
Bullshit, nothing more.

Revenant said...

I promise I won't refer to Lee Atwater if Republicans never again refer to Reagan!

You're welcome to refer to Atwater. Particularly since he noted, 30 years ago, that it wasn't really possible to target white racists in elections.

Personally I find it amusing the the smoking gun in your little racial conspiracy theory is (a) from thirty years ago and (b) points out that the behavior you accuse conservatives of is impossible.

Now, if you want to see some good old-fashioned appeals to racism, take a look at this year's ninth district race in Tennessee. Or the 2008 race, for that matter.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh Christ, Michael. I've seen exaggerated responses to discrimination. Ever hear of the organization BAMN!?

Flow of history and all, that's nice. I think the flow of history also accounts for differentiating between a scampering whimper and a clenched fist. Give me a break, man. How else are today's youth supposed to learn about the most important differences between what went on before 1965 and what followed it if it weren't for constant reminders of those differences?

Breitbart isn't a racist, he's a publisher/pundit/provocateur with not much substance beyond what he chooses to funnel into his own political fortunes.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

In which another leftist admits there are no principles or basic truths involved, just power and bitching about whose ox is being gored.

That is, pure political convenience.


Nice to hear a conservative claim that faith in a principle alone obviates power. When did that become one of the tenets, the "basic truths" of what you believe?

Probably about the same time you decide to overthrow Saddam Hussein in order to make the world safe for democracy.

Bullshit, nothing more.

Ahem.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Part of what makes me leery of the Breitbartistes, actually, is what made me leery of BAMN.

As with racism, exaggerated responses are the not sole province of either right or left, black or white.

Chew on that one a while.

I see in this white oppression-mongering the same phenomenon that I saw in BAMN.

Michael said...

Ritmo: Couldn't agree more about Briebart. But young blacks are learning nothing in the instant, just drivel from their elders, mad shit from their teachers, crap from their culture, music, sports. The world does not, at the end of the day, give one little shit about them or what they learn or don't learn. That time is past. And the white young liberals will never, ever, get a chance to stand up and be counted. They can only rave on the internet and call other people racists. And they do not have a clue. We have come to this.

Pogo said...

"Nice to hear a conservative claim that faith in a principle alone obviates power. "

Nice to see Ritmo continue to erect strawmen to strike down, and blame his statements on others.

In logic they call it a fallacy.
In cards they call it solitaire.
In sex they call that masturbation.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Michael:

Other than being deliberately flippant (i.e. "white oppression") I have called no one here a racist. I have called quite a few ignorant of what differentiates black racist attitudes and practices of today from white racist attitudes and practices of yesteryear, yes. And I want to know why conservatives feel that societies don't change overnight, but that the dynamic between which of those forms of racism was more pernicious, does.

That's really all I'm trying to get at.

As far as self-destructive (perhaps you might say "suicidal") cultural practices, I think those things have a way of weeding themselves out. As do over-exaggerated "counter-racist" responses to what had been the case for so long that it is impossible to know if we can yet discount it fully. I just feel we should have an undefensive appreciation for what the racism of of everything through segregation was before we can say that it can never again be a problem, let alone a potentially greater problem.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Geez Pogo. Just because you're too confused to make a clear and realistic point doesn't mean I would be averse to reading it - if you ever came up with one.

You'll have to forgive me for attempting to fill in the gaps in your sloganeering with appeals to what you must have meant.

Old Dad said...

Ritmo wrote:

"You'll have to forgive me for attempting to fill in the gaps in your sloganeering with appeals to what you must have meant."

You do understand that that makes no sense?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

It makes sense to anyone who can properly diagram a complex sentence and deal with a dependent clause.

HDHouse said...

Revenant said...
"So I have to smile when people talk about "white privilege". :)"

You're right Rev..that's just the silliest thing. I was talking about it a few years back outside my white's only school, you know next to the soda fountain that had that "no coloreds" sign in the window, just down the block from that "whites only" public drinking fountain and park, next to the sign that said literacy test for coloreds on the 29th of February from 7p-715p....law! Ms. Scarlet, sure is sumpthin' yassah.

Pogo said...

Oh, my arguments are quite clear.

But you've been crafting obfuscatory nonresponses for so long, it would take you an hour to tell your Mom that yes, you did take out the garbage, and in that interval you called her a racist.

Same old MUL; different name and Avatar.

Fen said...

Ritmo has been discredited.

No more points awarded.

HDHouse said...

ahhhh Pogo and Fen..the Bopsie Twins of Illogic. together at last.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

It's good to know that your arguments are as clear as your knowledge is blurry. You'll have to forgive me for expecting some basic knowledge of American and intellectual history on your part, Pogo.

It's almost as if Palin has you convinced that your love of America requires a certain refusal to acknowledge its own history.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Bravo, Ann.

The audience's reaction was always Breitbart's point.

Speaking of edits and splices, Obama presented a video to the NetRoots gathering which was replete with clips of Rachel Maddow extolling his presidential accomplishments. The clips were clearly edited and there was no context. Only bizarre breathlessness.

Remember Obama's disdain for our "antipathy" towards those who are "not like" us"? Where does the Tea Party fit into his anti-antipathy narrative?

Luke Lea said...

No, Ann.

Pogo said...

"the Bopsie Twins of Illogic"

Jesus on a stick, hdhouse.
The "Bopsie" Twins?


Are your Depends still on fire?

P.S. to MUL/Ritmo: weak insult, dude. Try again.

Alex said...

Look you dolts deserve all you get for going 'round and 'round the mulberry bush with Ritmo. Fucking masochists.

Alex said...

Rational person to Ritmo - but Sherrod really is saying horrible racist things

Ritmo - centuries of white racism dude.

Alex said...

Rinse and repeat.

lucid said...

@Althouse

I think that this is a brilliant and profound and deeply enlivening post, the best thing I have read that you have written. Really wonderful.

jr565 said...

Ritmo wrote:

No. But I can say, Hell! Paybacks are a bitch! (at least to the ignoble white conservative-traditionalists who want to deny that racism was a pernicious force in American life or that it did not go away simply by enacting LBJ's legislation in 1965).


What conservatives are denying that racism was a pernicious force in American life? Clearly there was slavery and then there as segregation. The point though is that that was a long time ago and this country has changed. Now does this mean that there is no racism anywhere? Of course not. You'll never stamp out racism completely but that doesn't mean that it hasn't therefore gotten better. Despite all the talk about conservative racism there has been surprisngly little directed at Obama. Certianly there has been anger, but are you honestly going to stand here and say that if it was Hillary Clinton trying to ienact the same things that Obama enacted that somehow conservatives wouldn't be similarly angry?
Similarly if George Bush enacted the same policies he did, but was black do you think that democrats would be angry because he's black and not simply because of the policies they despise (even though then had similar policies in their own administrations and even though, at least when it comes to the War on Terrorism Obama is largely carrying out the same policies)? Yet, literally on day one we had people like Jeaninine Garofolo saying that any disuting of Obama's programs was not an honest disagreement but simply racism. You had dems saying in Congress that opposition to various bills was simply racism or nazism. Down the line the dems and libs have been invoking the race card over and over simply because they have been disingenous in their arguments.


"Related: Why is racism an all-or-nothing thing? Why can't people have attitudes that reflect more or less on people they deem similar to or different from themselves, be they negative, positive or neutral, without that being an all-or-nothing thing? Skin color is beside the point. Are there not degrees of sentiment, judgment and separation that you bestow on groups of people?"


I don't know what you're arguing here. Is that saying such feelings are or are not racism. Whatever, do you think such feelings belong solely to white people? If you say that it's natural for say black people to associate with people like themselves and it's not considered racism, then is it racism if white's do the same? Likewise, what does it say about this county where despite this fundamental trait of humans (the desire to surround themselves with people like themselves) that around the country blacks and whites work together and barely anyone bats an eye. But there is not systemic racism on the state level that denies blacks from going to restaurants or stores that whites go to for example. And without that barrier, what more do you really want?

But it's very funny hearing the dems talk about how the republicans are denying racism in america and saying that they're racists because from where I stand, it's the dems that are racists. We kept hearing that Obama was ushering in a post racial america. Yet what does that mean? Doesnt' that fundamentally mean that the questions of race are largely irrelevant? Yet which party divides all its members into their respective ethnic groups which each foster their separate grievances based on what else, race? That's the secret that dems don't want to hear. They are the ones who can never move to a postracial society because they can never get past the race of their members or the need to use the races as a wedge to spread discord and get themselves elected.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Ann must be conservative because she has gone to the incendiary frame here, that of "context," a conservative and a bad person because the proper Pravda frame, cf. NPR, is to wonder about 'fast paced media' and ,anonymous bloggers;' take that Andrew Breitbart; you just think you have a name.

I wonder if others have the same reaction. These, the NPR types, are the intellectuals and have among the highest dollars per reported word ratio in the business and they can't find the 'context.' Ron Rosenbaum, has a pajamas media piece attacking the Tea Partyers for racism, now months old in Pj media, his last piece. On Althouse last week, we some nice, smart black guys get Vatican curial about racism in the Tea Party in their podcast. HEllO; this 'racism' is the artillery to hit the Picket's charge. 'Papers, you don't need no stinking papers.' Yes you do because you need to find your ass; it's right next to those papers in your back pocket. The context is that the NAACP is the pot calling the kettle black about charges of racism in the Tea Party. Does that do it for you? I couldn't be more nauseated by the NPR Pravda unframing.

Revenant said...

You're right Rev..that's just the silliest thing. I was talking about it a few years back outside my white's only school, you know next to the soda fountain that had that "no coloreds" sign in the window [etc]

Apparently HDHouse hit his head on something hard and imagined he was back in the 1950s.

Does anybody know his address? We might want to dispatch an ambulance just in case.

jr565 said...

Hd House wrote:
You're right Rev..that's just the silliest thing. I was talking about it a few years back outside my white's only school, you know next to the soda fountain that had that "no coloreds" sign in the window, just down the block from that "whites only" public drinking fountain and park, next to the sign that said literacy test for coloreds on the 29th of February from 7p-715p....law! Ms. Scarlet, sure is sumpthin' yassah.

A few years back? We're talking ancient history here.
I was actually thinking about this the other day when I was downloading the new Beatles Remastered albums. Do you realize that Sgt Pepper is almost 45 years old? That two of the guys who made it are dead and the others are about to cash their social security checks? Yet, because of the Beatles place in the music pantheon and because of record companies need to make cash they will constantly resell the same stuff, and people will still buy it. Yet, 45 years is a long time and in certain ways Sgt.Pepper is almost like an artifact.
If you listen to old Robert Johnson records it sounds like another world. There are all these cracks and pops and the equipment used to record it is ancient. But it sounds ancient.The Beatles are well on their way to becoming an artifcat just like Mozart is an artifact. yes people still listen to Mozart, but who makes music like mozart nowadays? Mozart is history (by the way Chuck Berry wrote a song about it called Roll Over Beethhoven saying that that old time music was old and tired and that rock was the new thing). And of course, ironically, now Chuck Berry is the oldie and his music is old.
It's nostalgia. Which is why all the songs from the sixties appears on oldies stations.
And think about how much has changed from the time that Robert Johnson recorded his music to the time that the Beatles recorded theirs. It's a completley different world. If HG Wells was travelling through time and started in the late 1800's and stopped in 1960 he'd be wondering if he somehow was still in the same world. Yet, the same thing has happened from the 60's till now. The world has completley changed. While it may seem that segregation only happened yesterday, in fact it happened a long long time ago. People bring up slavery as a source of America's shame yet there are no slaves alive anymore so noone can actually relate first hand experiences of being slaves. Likewise, in maybe another 10 to do years people there will likewise be very few people if any who can relate first hand experiences of segregated america. Beacause history has moved on and that's all it is. History.
Yet all these groups have endless grievances about things that happened 40 to 150 years ago. Perhaps, they are the ones who can't get past racism and not the ones who are simply trying to live in the present. This is not to discount the grievance, only to suggest that people like Charles Sherrod are arguing points that may have been relevant back in the 60's but become less so in 2010 where we have a black president, Oprah Winfrey, Clarence Thomas, Tiger Woods and any number of black people who have been successful in this country and achieved unbelievable wealth and prosperity, the kind that used to be reserved to royalty or kings. If America was so racist, it simply could not have happened.

Greg said...

Modern liberals never had any decency to begin with. Between letting pedophiles prey on kids (as long as they're gay) and trying to shame the current generation for acting like everyone else does, their denunciations and threats have lost all meaning. Go ahead, demonstrate, burn the cities, riot...who cares? Calling me a fascist or racist isn't going to swing my vote in November, you can bet on that.

Chase said...

Freeman,

Don't worry for a moment about Ritmo or Michael or anyone's vain and useless and ultimately empty arguments. Just remember that some people are educated beyond their inteliigence level.

HDHouse said...

Greg said...
..." isn't going to swing my vote in November, you can bet on that."

assuming of course that you can:

1. read a ballot
2. pull a lever
3. not get your fur caught in the voting booth curtain...

by the way, which state do you come from? I'm not aware of the vote being extended to something outside the species.

Meade said...

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: July 25, 2010


The Political Times column last Sunday, about a generational divide over racial attitudes, erroneously linked one example of a racially charged statement to the Tea Party movement. While Tea Party supporters have been connected to a number of such statements, there is no evidence that epithets reportedly directed in March at Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, outside the Capitol, came from Tea Party members.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/us/politics/18bai.html?scp=2&sq=matt%20bai&st=cse

HDHouse said...

Meade meade meade...

go back to bed. It is way too early there for you to try and think.

Alex said...

Greg - you're a life long reich-winger so nobody cares about what you say.

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