Reader Jerry sent me some links and, ay dios mio, I clicked on one of them at PJ media. The subject is yet another disquisition on how thinking Obama is a bad president doesn’t make the writer a racist. I’ll let you read it if you’re so inclined. Be prepared for plenty of defensiveness, victimization and straw men, leading to the conclusion that racism is “beginning to lose its social power”.
The other day I was commenting on a local conservative message board. The conservatives around here and I both agree that the local paper is a pretty poor excuse for a journalistic endeavor, so there’s some shared ground, otherwise I wouldn’t bother. I mentioned in passing that nobody would take them seriously as long as they allowed avatars like this on their site:
I called the avatar (not the person posting) “racist”, in the context of making the point that it made it really easy for the newspaper to ignore anything emanating from that board because it allowed crap like that. That was the end of rational discussion. How did I know what was in the heart of the person who used that avatar? I was a typical liberal, throwing around charges of racism, when everyone knows that racism is in the eye of the beholder, and that anyone can find racism in anything if they look hard enough. Plus, and this is always the trump card, someone photoshopped GWB into a pimp outfit once on the Internet so anything they did was OK.
I don’t spend much time reading PJ Media bloggers or reading posts on conservative forums, but as far as I could tell, these guys believe that any charge of racism is illegitmate, so any comment about the possible offensiveness of an image or statement is immediately dismissed. Maybe that’s obvious to some of you who spend more times reading that stuff, but it was an eye-opener for me.
Years ago, I worked at a job in the South with a bunch of racists who thought, because they’d attended college, they weren’t racist. That racists were those awful lower-class types who’d don white robes and burn crosses and lynch blacks, and they weren’t like that at all. They’d never engage in such low-class behavior. They just happened to think along the same lines.
“….last night there were skinheads on my lawn.” ;)
It’s weird how so many front pagers here spend their free time swimming thru shit on winger sites, and then breathlessly post updates about how amazed and offended they are at having discovered a turd in their mouth.
To say again, racist never think they are racist. Ask any one of them.
@cathyx: You can ask the one right here. Fucking pigs & cowards to boot.
@Clime Acts: What, otherwise, is the point of blogging?
Reporting back on predictable, stupid behavior from morons on the far side of the OTHER side, so that one’s fellow tribal members can point and laugh is the only function you can imagine for a blog?
Villago Delenda Est
Seriously. I mean, duh.
Culture of Truth
I would still vote the guy in that avatar over Mitt Romney
Love the title! CVB forever!
You’re right, you’re clearly overpaying for Balloon Juice content.
@redshirt: One of my favourite shows of all time was CvB and Blake Babies.
It’s fairly obvious to me, having read PJMedia often enough. What you need to remember is simply that you pointing out their offensive behavior is a worse crime than them behaving offensively – and that holds true all across the board, not just when it comes to race. Like someone else here said a little while ago, to these guys being American means never having to say you’re sorry.
I wonder if it comes from living a double life in socially repressive environments. When I expored fundiegelicalism in college, most of the kids behaved just like the rest of the college kids – they smoked, they drank, they had sex, etc. But it was all done with a wink and a nudge and an understood subtext of “don’t tell the pastor” – you still have to LOOK like you’re living the virtuous Christian life. I imagine that’s even more true in all-wingnut environments than it was at my liberal East Coast college.
It would make sense if that sort of environment bred the kind of unspoken rules where it’s beyond the pale and a violation of omerta to actually identify someone as a sinner (in this case, a racist or a xenophobe) even if everyone knows he is one.
@Clime Acts: Not exclusively, but if the fronpagers spent all of their time patting theirselves on their back for their virtue, I would stop visiting.
@Clime Acts: Also, too, Mad men, zzzzz.
No, this site also provides a valuable outlet for you to vent your frustrations, instead of beating your luckless partner to death for being a “botulist” (whatever that means).
johnny gentle famous crooner
That’s what you get for posting on that kind of site. No one there gives a shit that you can find common ground on one small point. Don’t bother trying to play the “reasonable liberal.” Just leave them to their fever swamp.
In fairness, I felt the same way toward the exceedingly rare republican who used to venture into dKos or other Dem blogs. They’d concede some trivial point, then spew the usual republican pablum (albeit politely). Don’t even bother. Leave us alone here, and we’ll leave you alone on RedState or whatever.
I think the blindness of that defense is interesting. They’re made a picture combining Obama with an insulting and specifically black stereotype. If he was white, the picture would have very little power as an image, because it would clash with the stereotype. Doesn’t that make the picture by definition racist? You don’t have to hunt for who you’re offending or what anyone meant, here. There is no value here as anything other than a racial stereotype.
The true expression of their post-modern linguistic beauty is turning accusations of racism against the accuser and saying YOU’RE the one who’s racist. That avatar provides an excellent opportunity to do just that, and I’m surprised they didn’t take it…amateurs.
To wit, when pointing out the avatar is racist because it depicts a black man as a pimp, which has been a traditional attack by whites, they’ll say it does no such thing and instead it’s merely depicting him wearing a giant gold dollar sign because he wants to spend the people’s money, which is also reflected by his fancy clothes. In fact, we never said he was a pimp, you said that, and just because that’s the connection you made in your mind doesn’t make us racist it makes you racist.
I got an email from a conservative friend of GWB dressed as a pimp. The header was “President Bush at Obama’s inauguration”.
Its the Same Thing!
“leading to the conclusion that racism is “beginning to lose its social power”.”
I spend a fair bit of time irritating conservatives in newspaper comments, and this is a frequent point they make. Conservatives are desperately trying to convince everyone that calling someone a racist is no longer effective or meaningful.
I take this to mean that calling them racists is very effective and meaningful, and I do it whenever they say or do racist things.
I remember when this ridiculous photo-shopped picture of George Bush posing on an aircraft carrier in a AF pilots’ costume, complete with a stuffed codpiece and a “Mission Accomplished” banner, was posted all over the internets to make him look like an idiot for claiming he’d just won the war in Iraq! So, the left-wing media does the same thing.
Oh, wait a minute…
For Conservatives, racism does not seem to be a real thing — let alone a problem. It is rather simply a charge to throw around and debate.
Come here often?
According to right wingers, racism still exists, it’s just practiced exclusively by black people.
I, for one, would never go bowling with these dopes.