Book of the Month

tmccarthy0's picture

In Defense of Prof. Melissa Harris Perry - Updated Links.

It all began with a Michael Moore visit to the View. It was nothing short of appalling. So we will call it Exhibit 1:

 

 

 

For the longest time I just didn't know what to say about that clip, I'd certainly read all of the criticism of Moore after this episode. I've been formulating what I want to say since then, and reading as much as possible about onslaught of commentary that followed his outburst of what can only be called blatant racism. And in a sense I think Professor Harris Perry (ProfHP), was really responding to this, after being exposed to much of the diva outbursts that attempt to denigrate the Presidency of Barack Obama, in the so-called progressive blogsophere. I am going to introduce this clip as the penultimate example of racism in the so-called progressive community, and I am using Moore's gaff first because it is a blatant example of employing a stereotype to describe ones disappointment in the President. Does Moore really believe this?    Moore definitely caused an avalanche virtual debate.  I did read much of it. However as a white person, I still believe I have much to learn about racism and how it manifests in the most blatant and subtle ways. Ultimately in order to bridge our racial divide white people have to listen. But in a deeper sense first and foremost ProfHP does have some real hard evidence of racism in the so-called progressive community and that begins with Michael Moore's statement on The View. That does constitute evidence, it really does.   Why would you stoop to a stereotype to register your already well-known disappointment in the President? So we have one significant piece of evidence or outright racism, because unlike what Joan Walsh writes, evidence that is not in the form of a poll can also be relevant and serve as examples of racism at work, because most progressives don't believe they are racist! They would never admit to it to a pollster, and that means we have to have other means of gathering data, come on, this isn't that hard.

Exhibit 2: So after ProfHP's original piece appeared in The Nation, Joan Walsh weighed in, with an okay blog, but it didn't tell the entire story, and her blog required proof of racism via poll data.  Poll responses about subtle racism cannot be supported without actual working evidence, which is often the things people say and write. Joan Walsh used the conservative talking point, there is no evidence to conclude such things, when in fact there is evidence, first and foremost Michael Moore.

Exhibit 3: The leader of the group New Progressive Alliance, Anthony Noel, told an African-American blogger to get over being black and to start debating like a human. What? OMG, I don't know how to respond to that kind of racism and I can't believe this is actually happening and this does constitute evidence, cold hard factual evidence of racism among the so-called progressive blogosphere.

Exhibit 4: David Sirota's response to ProfHP: Boy that guy is one mad upper middle class employed talk show radio host isn't he, I had never read him prior to this, so I delved into his stream of consciousness, and that is what it was a stream of consciousness wrapped in white-hot anger. So let's get to Sirota's criticism, to which he claims not one person has taken on his so-called facts to challenge him, people have just called him a racist. Well Dave if the shoe fits buddy, I guess you will have to wear it. Sirota wrote this:

By seeing this record and then explaining away declining liberal support for President Obama as a product of bigotry, Harris-Perry exhibits the ultimate form of both denialism and elitism.

But does she really exhibit the "ultimate" form of both denialism (which is not a word for the record) and elitism, (hello pot, meet kettle). Because there is ample evidence of her thesis. Sirota doesn't want to acknowledge it, but that doesn't mean there isn't evidence. First of course this elitism crap is being carried too far, Sirota by definition is a liberal elitist, he should quit pulling the faux populism card.  But what does account for the declining support of so-called progressives? Hell according to politifact.com the President has accomplished many of his campaign promises, in fact he has accomplished 147 of his campaign promises. Why are his accomplishments never acknowledged or if they are they are written off as tiny and not worthwhile and doesn't make him progressive etc and so on. The list of his accomplishments are here: Politifact.com.  Was Clinton a surrender monkey when his health care bill failed and he never talked about universal health care again? Health Care was huge, and because of it more people are covered.

Let's go over more examples of racism in the Progressive community and these do constitute proof, the proof folks like Walsh, Sirota and Lyons are demanding.

Exhibit 5: 2011 article by Robert Kuttner: Black and Bleak

The problem is less Obama's failure to target black unemployment per se than his weakness on the jobs issue generally. Race comes into the equation because of an almost pathological aversion to conflict on Obama's part, which has been widely attributed to his wish to bridge racial and ideological gaps.

What? It is as though Kuttner doesn't realize that the President through policy implementation has successfully "strengthened  Small Business Administration programs that provide capital to minority-owned businesses, support outreach programs that help minority business owners apply for loans, and work to encourage the growth and capacity of minority firms."  So actually the President is working to help minority communities by supporting the growth of business, which can only serve to help any given community by providing more jobs. So that makes Kuttner's analysis not just wrong, but weird. Is it direct racism? Maybe not, but it is subtle, if Kuttner had done his homework he would see the President is implementing the same kind of policies the Clinton Admin for minority owned business. These were programs that were immediately ended when Bush took office.  No doubt African-Americans have suffered a great deal during this terrible recession, greatly. However, this is a statistic that never changes, it doesn't matter who is in office or what his color might be. African-Americans have always suffered more during economic downturns and as a people we should attempt to address and make corrections. It is all our responsibility, and we should start by getting Republicans out of congress.   So  when I read this particular line made me feel uncomfortable; is it subtle racism? It makes me think Kuttner believes the President is just looking for approval of white, protestant men, otherwise, why is up with the sloppy statement based on some sort of ESP?

Race comes into the equation because of an almost pathological aversion to conflict on Obama's part, which has been widely attributed to his wish to bridge racial and ideological gaps.

Exhibit 6: FDL sometimes is a hotbed for subtle and outright racism. Case in point: This is a blog post about labor unions, but then there is this the last line in the blog:

The basic problem is that the Rich ate all the pie. What do you intend to do about it? Snuggle up to their Democratic Party incarnation some more in the hope of getting some crumbs? There used to be a term for that, on the plantations. House N****r.

No one is going to tell me this isn't evidence of racism amongst so-called progressives. Was it necessary to  head directly to plantation talk? Was it? How can anyone write that there is no evidence of some divisive racial language used by some people on the left?

Exhibit 7: Now let's get to Gene Lyons, who perhaps responded like a bully and then pulled his own race card.  Lyons in retaliation asserted that ProfHP was a fool, and that was bad enough, but then came the most troubling paragraph:

Furthermore, unless you’re black, you can’t possibly understand. Yada, yada, yada. This unfortunate obsession increasingly resembles a photo negative of KKK racial thought. It’s useful for intimidating tenure committees staffed by Ph.D.s trained to find racist symbols in the passing clouds. Otherwise, Harris-Perry’s becoming a left-wing Michele Bachmann, an attractive woman seeking fame and fortune by saying silly things on cable TV.

If I didn't know better, I would have figured this was written by one Rush Limbaugh, not just denigrating the Professors expertise but making a claim that she used her blackness to intimidate tenure committees, OMG, and yet there is no racism in the so-called white progressive community.  This type of commentary makes me nearly speechless. I said nearly.  When the President was elected I was naive enough to believe that so-called progressives would never ever stoop to racially insensitive speech. I.Was.Wrong.

(Updated with link and video embedding corrections) Thanks to Barth and AA.

Cross Posted at TheAngriestLiberal

Your Joan Walsh link got pasted broken, here it is in full:

http://politics.salon.com/2011/09/26/white_liberals_obama/singleton/

Thanks for putting this alltogether; I wasn't aware of it going on.

I had been blissfully unaware of it as well (and although I say "blissfully" I thank tmc for curing my ignorance). I think Joan says far better what I would say. I think that here at dagblog we have a pretty good sample of many of those "white liberals" (and "black liberals") who are disappointed with Obama. Some of us liberals criticize him regularly, but know that we will vote for him in 2012 anyway, because the alternative is unthinkable (at least in the abstract - if a miracle happens and the Republican candidate somehow believably repudiates most of the stuff the Republican party has convinced us they believe in, then I won't rule anything out). Some of us liberals criticize him regularly and are quite adamant that they can't vote for him in 2012, some of whom will acknowledge that this makes a Republican victory more likely. One liberal here won't criticize him, because she doesn't want to give any ammunition to his opponents. Those previous statements were meant to be statements of fact and not of judgment, and I apologize to anyone who thinks I've misrepresented him/her.

My statement of judgment is that I think that for the vast majority of these liberals, in whichever camp I just mentioned, it's not about his race. For most of those for which race is a factor, I think, sure, there might be a double standard-they expected so much more out of him because he was "black", and so they're that much more disappointed. I'm not trying to defend that double standard, but to explain it, and to say, even so, that I think that for most liberals, even those so disappointed they can't imagine voting for him in 2012, it doesn't apply.

Hey VA, I mostly don't think those writers or even Michael Moore is a typical racist, but I do believe they've turned to an insidious kind of speech when they talk about this President and far too often their criticism boils down to the uncle tom, plantation, want to be like his white overlords, meme, and it is an old and tired meme that needs to be ended. People who identify as progressive should never stoop to such irrelevant criticism. It makes me uncomfortable to say the least.

And you are correct, I do not criticize the Pres online,  ever.  Republicans have enough ammo and use everything they can against the President, just like they would do to any Democrat, they do not need any reinforcement from me. I do not think you have misrepresented that at all.

I did not write this as a commentary about members of the DAG community though, this was really about the controversy out there.

Yes, I think Moore's comment underscored that double standard that arose because of a "positive racism" (a true oxymoron, emphasis on moron) that held Obama to a higher standard because he was black. Like you say, it's not typical racism, but it is an insidious kind of speech and worse, it displays an insidious kind of thinking. Worse yet are those liberals who know not to employ that insidious kind of speech, but who still have that insidious kind of thinking. I might be underestimating how many of those there are because there's truly no way to identify them, not even by their actions, at least not with any certainty. That is, if we were able to run controlled experiments we could identify statistical behavioral patterns associated with that kind of thinking, but unless they're careless (like Moore here), you can't really identify them.

Thanks for the link AA, Salon just changed the layout again and I think that was screwing me up. So I appreciate it greatly and did change the link in the blog.

I'm a fan of ProfHP. I reacted the same way you did. I am glad you pointed all this out. Great post.

Thanks Momoe.

Your link to Moore on the View is also no good and just gets me a commercial for Chase bank.

Barth, thanks! Damn I was having linky problems today, for some reason the hulu embed was just giving the commercial.. oh well I did find the video at youtube and replaced it, thanks for letting me know!

The divergent views between many of those whites in the Professional Left and many in the Black community goes back to some of the rants we heard from Geraldine Ferraro and others during Primary season. 

The tone that comes from the Professional Left essentially asking what is wrong with the black community for continuing to support Obama is no different from what we hear from the Right regarding being on the Democratic plantation. The rejection that the Rush Limbaugh and Herman Cain get from the black community is no different than the rejection that Jane Hamsher ( of dumb MFs fame) and Cornel West receive.

Black voters make up their own minds about what the like and what they reject. For the most part black voters reject the Right and the Professional Left. There is a massive assault on black voting rights across the country and the Professional Left spends their time attacking Obama.

 

the rants we heard from Geraldine Ferraro

Hah! I think I'm pretty good at a lot of dejas vus allover again stuff but that's one I forgot all about. So thanks for the bad memories! wink

Yes, I think you are correct rmrd.  Thanks for weighing in.

Well first and foremost I will say that I think Melissa Harris Perry is a brilliant woman.  I love hearing from her and I hope she gets a consistent national platform to help inform the public. 

Second,  I generally like Michael Moore and appreciate his efforts but this was incredibly stupid and a racist comment.  There is obviously ignorant racism that shows up to some extent on the left.  I am glad this presidency is shining light on racism.

Third I have a lot of issues with the president and the choices he has made and I am disappointed.  I am also very concerned that he is not a strong enough candidate for a multitude of reasons and we are in for the fight of our life next year.  I have compassion for the circumstances he faces on many fronts but I am also thinking big picture about our country and what is realistic.  As so many others are willing to bet all their marbles on his ability to win next year... I am 'forced' to.  I can only 'hope' that they are right.  I can't help that from my perspective I can't see what they see.

And while there has to be some inclusion of race in discussing this president and it was bound to bring out the best and worst of our country to elect our first black president,  I don't place expectations on him based on race one way or another.  I just want him to be the absolutely best president he can be. 

For me, the way he has dealt with republicans so far has been mostly weak and ineffective, the way he has dealt with his base has been mostly self destructive...  So I see him bearing a great deal of responsibility for leading us to where we are right now.  Maybe he can pull a rabbit out of his hat, maybe he will shift gears enough in connecting with the majority of Americans that he can pull this off.  But you can't kick your dog every day for a year and then expect him not to bite you when you go to pet him.

But you never stoop to that level synch ever. You frame your disappointment in a way that is not racially offensive and that is the way criticism from our side should be framed.

My point of course is that some out there with some power are not framing their disappointing with measure, but they go right to charged language that seeks to divide us all, and keep progressive ideals from ever being implemented., because they keep us divided by race.

Anyway I am off to see the Sexy Liberal Comedy Show. See you all later!

I understand and while it is disappointing that there are those on the left making racist remarks and there should and must be outrage and acknowledgement of this, I am not shocked that it happens on the left because there is ignorance of varying degrees on the left and the right.

Racism is something that has to be understood and it is something to evolve beyond, not all of us will be at the same level of human evolution on the right or the left or in the north and the south etc.  I think its good to call it out. 

I am not disagreeing with you although I would say the lack of evolution on racism appears to be more prevalent among conservatives.  I guess what I'm really thinking here is that it's not something that the 'left' should be 'better' about although that would be ideal but that human beings should be 'better' and until they are, I see it as a lack of intelligence and maturity no matter what  party or ideology they belong to.

 

Comedy sounds fun.  Have a great time!

.....But you can't kick your dog every day for a year and then expect him not to bite you when you go to pet him.

I understand your disappointment, but the G-O-Tea Party has spent a  great deal of effort destroying the President and Democrats. Most in the black community see the GOP as the real enemy. Get rid of the GOP control of Congress. Find more Progressive Democrats, if you can.

Just as the demonstrations on Wall Street are being downplayed by the media, the anger in the Black community about the Professional Left is not being addressed. Blacks are expected to understand the white Professional Left's disappointment while the white Professional Left ignores the feelings of the majority of black voters.

Jane Hamsher's comments about the dumb MFs who support Obama and the recent purge of black bloggers at DailyKos confirm for many politically active blacks that the Professional Left simply cannot be trusted.

If blacks have to listen to your disappointment, you have to listen to ours. Simply ignoring the divide will not help anyone.

tmcarthy is to be congratulated for this post. Some of us feel that her points about the underlying racism from some in the Professional Left will be missed.

Again I take the placement of your comment as your interpretation that I disagree with her?  Why is that?  Because I don't.

Is there anything in what I've said that indicates I am not willing to listen to disappointment from the black community.  Because minorities are hit hardest by what is going on with our economy I would expect them to be angry.  I am angry about what is happening to them too.  And racism is racism no matter where it is coming from.

Please don't project onto me something that isn't there. Is this an assumption that if I express disappointment in the president that I don't care what is happening to the black and minority communities?  That's just not true. 

From the moment laws to supress voters have been passed I was one of the people writing to all the organizations around asking what they are going to do about it, asking them to be proactive. Those laws don't affect me personally.   Seriously, where in the heck do you get me ignoring the divide?! 

When I used "you" I was speaking of Progressives in general. The disappointment that many Progressives feel about Obama has been front and center. When black disappointment with Progressives is mentioned, the tendency is to be dismissive. Boyce Watkins and other voices in the academy are used to suggest that because this black guy agrees with Progressive criticism, we Progressives can ignore other blacks who disagree with our position.

Perceptions are different. Ralph Nader is seen as a non-entity on issues regarding race in the black community, so when he makes a statement that touches on race and Obama, he is not taken seriously. When the black community thinks of Nader, the idea that Nader is a spokesman for Civil Rights is non-existent. It turns out that Donna Edwards the Progressive African-American US Representative from Maryland worked for a Nader organization, but searching for connections between blacks and Nader is like looking for hen's teeth.

On the issue of voting rights, the perception is that blacks are in this fight by themselves. The Professional Left (Hamsher, Sirota, Greenwald, Walsh, etc) are spending more time criticizing than acting on issues.

Lurking in the background is the backlash that the black community got from the Professional Left for the Gay marriage vote in California, even though black voters in DC voted in favor of Gay marriage. There is also the laughable backlash that the black community received because only 80% of black voters in Ohio voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate.

Blacks were as supportive of Bill Clinton during the impeachment scandal as we are of Obama today. Contrary to Herman Cain's belief that blacks are on the Democratic plantation because of brainwashing, our gluteus maximii are still sore from being kicked out of the Republican party by Goldwater's State's Rights platform and the Southern Strategy.

Hamsher is busy right now with Occupy Wall Street.  When not trying to promote candidates & liberal fundraising.

http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2011/10/02/live-blog-of-occupywallstreet-day-sixteen-aftermath-of-700-arrested-on-the-brooklyn-bridge/

Okay so your comment was not really directed at me.... it was just there because...

 

I feel you.  It's okay... but I am not the problem.

Has anyone else noticed or pointed out that Michael Moore was quoting Bill Maher in that interview? That it was Maher who said “I went into the polls voting for the black guy, and what I got was the white guy…”? Did it slip by everyone that in the background of the MM clip, one of  the hosts said "Be careful quoting that guy." referring to comedian Maher?
And really, if MM was being any degree of racist, do you think Whoopee Goldberg would let him get away unscathed?

Please, give that clip another, close, listen.

I knew who he was quoting flower, but the real question is did he have to go there, did he have to bring race into his criticism of the President, because he was saying he agreed with Maher. I just don't think he had to go there and in doing so it portrays him as sloppy, unable to discern what is appropriate criticism and what is not appropriate, in that he quoted Maher he was saying he agreed with the statement. Is he a racist, I doubt it, but he was willing to use racial stereotypes to voice his disappointment with the President. It isn't appropriate, even when you are just repeating a Bill Maher line.

Then that question should have been brought up in the piece.

Attributing the quote to Maher was not made evident, not only in your piece, but in many of the links I followed to read people's reactions. All the comments that I read indicate that people believe those were Michael Moore's words, not Bill Maher's.

Why let that misconception stand?

Was it questionable taste on MM's part to utter that quote? I'd tend to agree with that idea. Blatant racism? I'd tend to disagree. If one has to work so hard to find something awful that half the story is left untold to make it seem worse, blatant isn't the word to use. I'd go with unintentional racism in MM's case, if I had to choose.

I'm going to offer that we are interpreting the Maher quote in different ways as well as MM's usage of that quote.

On Melissa Harris Perry's point of racism in the progressive blogosphere? I'd say, definitely, she has a valid point. The taint of racism infiltrates just about everything and having our first African-American President is just so.... new. People are very resistant to change. Even progressives.

Racism in the progressive blogosphere is, however, not as big of a point as that a lot of support has fallen away because of the stalled economic situation and the fact that the military complex is still as voracious as ever.  Clear those two lil ole things up and we'll all turn plaid.
 

For what it's worth.  I got it immediately that Michael was quoting someone else.  But I still felt that it was a poor and careless quote to repeat.  I am sure there are better ways to frame that we want the president to take a stand on issues that are important for the majority of Americans using better quotes.  I think he pulled it out of his hat as an example and it was an unfortunate one.  Maybe Whoopie didn't nail him for it or question him for using it because she didn't feel like it was worth making a big deal about at that point... perhaps trying to allow him to make his broader point.

 

btw  Hi!  Hope you are doing well!!:)

Hi, Sink! Yep, doing great, bizzy, and all that. Hope you are doing well, too! See you in chat sometime? cool

Yes! Now that I've finally listened to it, you are very correct to point it out and I will add more.

If this is what started it it's sort of like a teeny firecracker developing into a nuke as it was passed along the line, isn't it? I am not a big fan of Moore, but I thought his appearance here was quite skillful, actually. He was trying to make his pitch about Obama not living up to expectations while not trying to offend any one group, even Republican leaners. His point by quoting Bill Maher about wanting to see more of Obama's black half when he was elected was referring to the expectations of change from those who voted for him--i.e., not just another in a long line of white guys. That's the kind of joke that really is no longer taboo in our society EXCEPT by the "white guys are the only ones that are picked on anymore" contingent. If anyone should be upset, it's white guys.

Definitely he did a better presentation for a general audience, which that show is, than the producer. I was more surprised that the producer clearly had the applause sign go on when Michael Moore answered the question about voting that he wasn't go to vote for a Republican. Now that's a really stupid thing to do, it makes all the wingers dreams come true about liberal television bias. Moore himself made a point to say some respectful things about Republicans in general; he's much more savvy than he used to be.

I should make it clear that I do not want to minimize some of the offensiveness that came after Moore's appearance in the discussion of it. I am quite aware of how the whole "oreo" thing is hurtful and also of the political games being played with that and Obama's presidency. I just thought it was clear to me that Moore didn't intend it that way. Seems like it acted like a catalyst to bring a lot of hurts and anger to the fore, though. Which is precisely why I appreciated TMac's post, because it informed me about the debate that was happening.

YES!

Besides West; I wish Wattree would show up!

Well done TMac! I didn't think you could sustain it (the smearing of the progressives, that is) but I shouldn't have underestimated you! 

I mean, who knew? That so many progressives... were all so deeply racist... so much so that this could "account for the declining support of so-called progressives." Wow.
Personally, I most enjoyed​ the way you got out your hatchet for Robert Kuttner.  I mean, sure, the guy's roots only run 40 or 50 years deep into his work, and surely there's no way he'd ever wander back here to read your stuff and call you out. Still, it takes courage to call him out as a racist on the basis of him arguing that Obama should have gone after the jobs issue more generally.... or because he failed to mention that SBA program for minorities. Now that was creative. 
And I especially liked the elbow grease you put on your swing, saying it wasn't directly racist so much as weirdly racist, and subtly racist. The ability to make fine distinctions like that must be essential to writing quality smear.
I remember back when you started this little routine up, running in one night shouting about the terrible racism you'd seen and heard amongst unnamed progressive commenters on other sites. It grew over time, and people must have become accustomed to your face, because nowadays nobody seems to show up to argue with you anymore. Which means now you can more happily move on to the business of naming racist after racist after racist after racist after racist (how many in this list? only 7? can't wait to hear the rest!!!) And one might think it a bit personally risky to stake one's reputation on naming others like that (certainly based on the fact that so many other columnists have avoided that "naming names" business) but not you! So brave, so true!
Sure, some will doubt - cavil even! - given that you've publicly (and repeatedly) admitted to being a propagandist. That is, one will never ever EVER admit to Obama and the Adminstration ever doing anything wrong, and thus, one who refuses to deal in open and truthful debate. Said doubters (and cavilettes) will undoubtedly (see the way I did that?) mention that that might even make you a bit of an odd ducky, being so bold about the name-calling and truth-telling, while admitting you'd be (theoretically) willing to lie through your face if it came to a debate about the Administration's weaknesses and failures. Which - drumroll please!!! - this very debate happens to be! Naughty you!!!!
Be that as it may! (And Cavaliers to the rear!) I'm sure it feels good to crown your efforts with this piece, one that not only names the names of so many "so-called progressives" as racists, but then makes the master step (heck, Master LEAP!) of linking that to a broad decline in support by progressives for Obama. At last, all those nasty issues around housing and the banks and the unemployed and wars and drones and torture - banished! 
Because - second drumroll please!!! - the decline in support can clearly be accounted for RACISM. Well done, you!
With so much accomplished, the best I can do - as my own small attempt to buttress your grand expose - is perhaps to quote once more the portion which I regarded as easily the most racist part of this entire, horror-filled, piece. A quote that showed such callousness, a quote so lacking in historical or political sense, a quote so devoid of economic insight that one could not imagine a politician even a quarterways savvy uttering it. Not a George W Bush nor a Rick Perry. Nay, not even Rush or a Beck would dare utter something so completely contemptuous of African Americans as a people, so counter to the insights and dreams of great leaders such as the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., and so plainly against even the plans and wishes of the first African American President, Barack Obama, himself.
 
Those frightful words?
 
"No doubt African Americans have suffered a great deal during this terrible recession, greatly. However, this is a statistic that never changes, it doesn't matter who is in office, or what his color might be."
 
I think when it comes to the racist mindset, those words say it all.
 
Don't you?

 

I do everything here just to get attention from you Q,. So I guess my mission is accomplished.

It's the new and current McCarthy ism

Instead of fearing the socialists, fear the racist, they're lurking everywhere.

I think so , too.  It reminds me of patronizing enablement, or a condescension that robs a person or group of power, by playing into stereotypes and status quo, in this case, political status quo.

The Congressional Black Caucus seems to be willing to be afraid to reach out and reclaim their innate and promised power, and Harris-Perry is a willing accomplice (and Maddow, et.al. at the putatively 'liberal' MSNBC (save that doggoned Libertarian, Dylan Ratigan (gasp in unison, please)..

It's much the same dynamic as Richard Trumka and Andy Stern: so captured by the Democratic Party as their Only Possible Party Home, that all their huffing and puffing amounts to nothing; today's headlines were all about 'Trumka Endorses Occupy Wall Street'.  Great following and posturing, but the real unions (and locals) are on the streets, not on the President's Jobs Council, rubbing elbows at the table with Bill Daley, et. al.  Fakery, IMO.  Good enough for ...something?  Re-election?

'Settling', and pretending the plight of African Americans is 'how it's always been', while an unimaginative (or way worse) Education Secretary doubles down on Bush policies, and ADDS corporate testing/corporate control called 'partnership', and pretends funding  Charter Schools is some Magic Bullet that will pull AA's out of the unemployment doldrums is...craven, at best.

But to demand that African Americans, because their rate of unemployment is double that of whites, even given equal education and work experience,  to stop complaining is..nasty, and shallow.

I won't even trot out links to black thinkers and writers who really do want to make sure that ALL of us have access to economic justice, without which, there is not true justice, but MH-P...doesn't begin to be the one to be on the side of history to achieve it, encourage it, or provide the incentive for others to fight for it.  She wants to claim that Progressives (an even, or especially) who find Obama's policies counter-productive for all of us, blacks include...racist.

Well said. Even sounds like calling those who take Israeli policies to task as being anti-semitic.

Yep; I just spent a few days being sick over the impending 'Free Trade Deals' about to be enacted, and the administration's continual failure to choose Wall Street over  the 90-whatever-% rest of us, trading away the 'Bush (now Obama) tax cuts for nothing, enlarging the security apparatus to the tune of literally billions per year, ramping up bogus wars for decreased safety from 'terrorism', on and on...and witnessing this President whom I believed in, worked hard for, had such hope for in the name of ALL of us, and cut enormous amounts of slack for far too long...impoverish most all of us, rob of us our financial futures, including minorities...and I am ill and depressed, and working to find ways to gin folks up to no longer feel weak in the face of it all.

 

And here we are again; making excuses, like: Progressives Who Criticize Obama are..racists at heart.  Stunningly soul-weakening...and sad.

Interesting analogy.  I've often seen arguments from some on the left bordering on the anti-semitic when it comes to Israel, kind of like the comment you just made in another blog about Israel getting what it wants by calling itself a victim.  That's a typical barrage leveled at Jews, whining victim-mongers.  So perhaps you know not what you write.

In any event, that's not my main point.  I think there's racism on the left and I think there's racism on the right.  I think it manifests itself in all different ways.  The notion that anyone on the left is entitled to a bye when it comes to racism is just so old school in my never so humble opinion. 

That said, I see little evidence, when it comes to Obama, that there is a significant swath of those on the left who don't like him on the basis of his race.  But I think it's fair to raise the issue against folks on the left or the right.  We should call 'em as we seez 'em.

I go by actions and behavior only and don't cut anyone any slack.

On that we are two peas in a pod then.

I had the same response to the above comment. I was it was also interesting that Cornel West included "our dear Jewish brothers" (paraphrasing) in his attack on Obama's disconnect from "strong black men."

Jamsher's words spoke volumes. The DailyKos purge followed suit.

At the end of the day, black voters will continue to support Obama because they realize the political situation he (Obama) is in and they see no rational option in the GOP or a nonexistent third party challenge.

The Professional Left is not expected to support Obama. Ralph Nader has even praised Sarah Palin.

http://politics.salon.com/2011/09/19/nader_palin/

 

tmcarthy is being attacked for merely posting about an article written by Professor Harris Perry. The viewpoint express is identical to that heard on black media network call-in shows every day. The inability of the Professional Left to address concerns of the majority of black voters on how Obama is treated is identical to tone deafness on the Right.

 

Related; thought of both you and this thread when I read it:

http://www.ibishblog.com/blog/hibish/2011/10/01/gilad_atzmon_and_john_me...

He's the former Communications Director for the Arab-American Anti-discrimination Committee and now with the American Task Force on Palestine. Josh Marshall had one of the reporters at TPM interview him on the al-Awlaki story. Suspicious wink, I went to his blog to check him out. I found the above was his latest post.

This has nothing to do with "calling 'em as we seez 'em," Bruce, or giving anybody a "bye."

Let's tell some home truths.

This thing about "progressives" and their "racism" is being raised now because of the opposition of those progressives to Obama and how close we are to an election. We both know that Michael Moore's deep racism and Robert Kuttner's deep racism (really?) wouldn't be being amped up and lumped together and then smeared across all "progressives" other than for very particular, intra-party, pre-election reasons.

You know, and I know, how these games are played - whether it's with Jews or with progressives. Just as Progressives are being made to = Racists, so too have all Jews been made to equal = _______.

How about we try this instead. How about we be colour-blind about who the President is for a moment, and instead look at some policies that might be discussed as possibly being racially-imbalanced. For instance, at the million or so immigrants shipped out of the country... the unemployment rate amongst African-Americans... the colour of those being killed in our wars overseas.

Now, by rights, and ignoring who the President is for the moment, I could raise those issues as being both personally-experienced, felt racism, but also as empirically-measurable racist impacts - and all as perpetrated by the Government, right?

We could then debate whether or not the Government had done more to reduce these sufferings or to increase them, whether they were deliberately driven by racist tendencies or whether it was inadvertent or unconscious, or which parts and persons within Government did them - and so on. 

In other words, we could genuinely have a debate about the racial impact of Government and its policies within the US today. And you know what? I think there would be real cases being made on both sides that these actions were, or weren't, racist. For myself, I believe they do not weigh or value the lives of African-Americans and other minorities as much as those of whites (and in particular, as much as those of wealthier whites.)

But instead of a debate around substance, and ways forward, what we see is something quite different. And of note is the fact that the President's defenders (such as here today) periodically pull a maneuver whereby not only can they avoid debating the issues of systemic racism in the form of racially-linked poverty and immigration and war, but rather, can turn the guns on the critics by claiming that they are personally racist.

And the thing is, undoubtedly, they (the critics) and we (and me) ARE racist. I find it hard to believe ANY of us have shaken off all the racist crap we were raised in. But more interesting is why are we identifying these particular individuals from this particular group as the most terrible sinful appalling boggling-the-mind racists RIGHT NOW?

Let's be serious. Does Robert Kuttner's column talking about African American unemployment really qualify as a deeply racist part of the equation here? Does it even compare to those he's being accused by  here today, who sweep the entire issue of African-American poverty under the rug as being part of the way things have always been, and will always be?

Surely, Bruce, you can see the politically-motivated hit job being done here? This is no different than the sorts of cons being run on other blogs that you've called out. So why not call it out here? e.g. In this little gem of a quote - 

"No doubt African Americans have suffered a great deal during this terrible recession, greatly.

However, this is a statistic that never changes, it doesn't matter who is in office, or what his color might be."

 

Why are progressives allowed to be regularly tarred as racists (with seven (7) alone making McCarthy's list here just today) and nobody raises a damned peep, even when it goes to the ludicrous extremes of the Kuttner example?

And what's all this about nobody getting a bye on their racism, but then... when it comes to this blogger... who is seemingly happiest making lists and calling names... why do people come down shy all of a sudden? Because it feels a bit too harsh, a bit too personal? Even though many just happily signed on to a blog accusing 7 named progressive leaders as being "appallingly" racist, etc.? 

Shouldn't there at least be a bit more CARE taken in compiling and reviewing the evidence against individuals, before smearing them as racists and then extending it to "progressives?"

People were driven off this site because of this sort of thing. So I'll say again now what I said then. This sort of blog is a smear job, and it comes from someone who repeatedly trafficks in smears. They have made clear that they attack for purely, 100%, never to waver, political purposes, and the actual truth and the actual facts are of secondary importance to a primary, party political, commitment.

And if they happen to smear the good names of hard-working public figures on the left, that is of no more consequence than when this sort of hit job was done on your fellow bloggers here. 

Quinn, this is an issue--if that's the thing to call it--that I hadn't focused on or was even aware of.   And I have no doubt that some of Obama's supporters have used and will continue to use the race card.  Hell I'm still stung by intimations of racism directed at Hillary supporters like me back in '08.  I understand politics and what it brings out in people, and I know you do too.  

On the other hand, I stand by my principal point that racism exists to our left and to our right; it's societal and it's deep-seeded, so much so that we often don't see it in those close to us and certainly never in ourselves.   And I think folks should be called on it, regardless of their politics.  That said, I think I wrote above and I would reiterate that I see no basis for assuming that critics of the president to his left are in any significant way motivated by race.  But critics or supporters alike should be vigilant in expressing their positions in a race neutral way.  And personally I think Michael Moore was wrong to quote Maher the way he did, but still there is no way I think that Moore's problems with the president have anything to do with the president's race.   

I hope that makes some sense.

Bruce

P.S. I don't want to get in the middle of a simmering dispute between you and TMC which I find disheartening.  I think TMC has made it clear that she will never say anything bad about Obama on the web, and I don't condone that view at all.  Indeed I disagree with it.  If this is being brought up by TMC to smear Obama's critics on the left in the aggregate, then that is wrong and very wrong and indefensible.  And thinking about as I write this I do believe t's a fair challenge you have posed to her which deserves a response--from TMC.  

Thanks Bruce. I agree that racism is everywhere, and it needs to be called. But the thing is, when something is everywhere, we also need to ponder why it is identified in a particular person or place at a particular time. Sometimes it's because that person or group has said some egregiously racist things. Other times... it's because it suits a political purpose. 

Also, no problem with you gracefully removing yourself from this little to-do.

Which, I may take as a hint myself - since my initial, extended, entry (above) was read as a purely personal commentary.

Ciao all.

Bravo to Quinn and Bruce! I was dismayed at what I was reading until I came across your colloquy here. An island of sanity in what otherwise seems to be a long-winded and disingenuous attempt to discredit others personally for purpose of discounting their arguments as well. Sure beats having to defend ones own nonsense (or not nonsense, for that matter!) against any challenge. Again, Bravo!

Thank you SJ.  I just wish our very own mighty Quinn would stick around long enough for some more colloquy, but he keeps on heading on back to that rye he used to write about or some place like that!

Best to you Bruce (and Sleepin!), but sometimes the dynamics of people and places and groups change in a way which makes further discussion more about who is who than what is what.

So.... we'll catch you on the rebound, or in NYC, whichever comes first. 

Q

 

Well Quinn, best to you too until next time, and I mean that.  Candidly I hope you find another comfortable place to blog where I would feel comfortable stopping by for a hello or two.  I went over to one of your recent blogs at kgb's place and was surprised to see former regulars here who quit: (a) obsessing over political points made by people at dagblog; and (b) getting nice and personal with me and with AA, and with a couple of others.  I was sorry to see that, but I don't hold you responsible for what I consider to have been a very sad and pathetic spectacle.   I'm sure you'd agree that if you're going to move on from a place that you no longer find comfortable, you probably should really move on and cease obsessing over arrogant pricks like me.  Anyway that was not the theme of your blog and I do wish you only good things, particularly at home right now.

Bruce

 

Wow I didn't know that Progressives were a race or ethnic heritage. I didn't know you born that way and couldn't change. So now that I've been educated, how come  I never saw you speak up when Richard Day smeared the Republican race day in and day out?

Myself, I wish I didn't know which commenters were of the Progressive race and which were of the Democratic race. Then I could be colorblind and pick on them for being rude or nasty! (I think I even did that once to TMac on TPMCafe.devil)

People were driven off this site because of this sort of thing.

Or maybe they just stopped coming by so much because they wanted to go somewhere where people talked more often about the same things they did.

I even did that for a while.

Or maybe they just couldn't take so many of the Moderate race being so verbal all of sudden instead of just lurking in fear of all the immoderation.

Either that or they have a very thin skin to be posting on politics on the internet.

Geez I really really don't get this tribal stuff. Facebook friending writ large. Bleh. I really don't get you getting all riled up over insults to a generalization like "Progressives." Assorted progressives, liberals and Democrats actually invented many blogs to do it to Republicans all the time. And vice versa. Granted, it's boring. But boringest is whining about victimhood in defense of one of those tribes.

P.S. re: nobody raises a damned peep

To be honest with you, I've learned not to pay much attention to TMac's spin. And like I said, I appreciated her informing on this brouhaha going on with a list of links, with which I could make my own interpretation.

I don't see any reason to argue with her spin, either. Because I've learned she's pretty set in her ways, got her mind all made up about things. And she also seems to have a bit of a temper, an added reason to stay away from attempts at discussion.

It was remarkably the same with stardust, except for the temper part. She often produced a bunch of good links about something I missed and added a bunch of her spin. I ignored her spin. She seemed to very much have her mind made up about whatever she was posting on and would select stories to back her spin. When she'd try to drag me into that, I try avoidance. Because I don't see any benefit in it. Like with TMac, I appreciated knowing about what she found, though.

In this post, I thought TMac actually presented a sort of chronology of several different opinions as they happened. She didn't select out that much to benefit her spin. I like that.

I really don't get how personally you take this stuff, it's like you are stuck in a bubble or think every damn post in the blogosphere is waaaay more important than it is. Get a grip, it's really just a glorified bulletin board. If Melissa Perris Harry and Joan Walsh can disagree publicly on sites with huge audiences and still have lunch together, you can handle Dagblog without freaking out like your sister has been raped because somebody dissed a group labeled Progressives. A label that nobody can truthfully define WTF that means, for crying out loud.

"... without freaking out like your sister has been raped."

​Ah yes, I'd forgotten what a charmer you were, AA. 

Hey ArtA.

Just to say, I wish you the best. 

I don't think I'm wrong in what I'm seeing, nor in what I'm saying, but clearly, the personal or group dynamics are such that my participating in discussions here isn't a positive anymore. 

Anyway. We'll let this all wash away and be forgotten, and hoping things are better for everyone in the future.

 

Q

A president that’s been the best republican since Richard Nixon and a democratic party that would  make Everett Dirksen and Barry Goldwater proud.

If someone's over-reacting here, it's you, Q. Read her response to my comment above. She's not claiming that the majority of people who criticize Obama are racist. She's just pointing out that racism does exist in the "Professional Left" (whatever-the-f that means), and unless you disagree with that, you're not disagreeing with her primary point. A secondary point, which I doubt you'd disagree with, is that there is some reaction to this from many in the "black community" (put in scare quotes because I hardly think one can characterize it as monolithic). Finally, a point that I don't think she's making, but that mirrors your own, is that for some people, the reaction is the over-reaction that you seem to be incorrectly implying that TMC is making (egads, that's a poorly written sentence, but I hope it's understandable).

"She's just pointing out that racism does exist in the "Professional Left" (whatever-the-f that means),"

This is a bit naive, isn't it? If I say "some gays in the military are bad soldiers" or "some gay parents abuse their children", the odds are that I can find a couple of examples. But that is just because some percentage of soldiers are bad soldiers and some parents are bad parents. I could go on with examples that you may find more or less comparable, but you get the gist - you can make claims that are true thanks to the law of averages, but they can be pretty damn insulting. And one's point in making the arguably blandly true statement above is to smear gays, and discredit them as soldiers and as parents.

Same here, it is a pretty transparent cheap shot. And it comes from someone who is a self-confessed Obama propagandist, who openly admits that she does not say what she believes true in general, but selects only those assertions that will promote Obama's reelection. But it's nice to see everyone applaud her in her endeavors.

But it's nice to see everyone applaud her in her endeavors.

Ack!

Um, you just did the same thing, yes Pug? Thanks for lumping me and "everyone" attempting a respectful disagreement in together. Soooooooooooooo............

Dang, this is getting silly. I think folks maybe need to lighten up a bit.

I swear the trolls at TPMDC are easier to understand. Think I'll go whack a few. Chicken out. 

(hugs)

Ha. Missed your comment, Chicken. Sorry. And now I see Genghis getting involved. So I take that back.

Nice to see people pushing back. 

Take what back? That you're sorry? You have no call to be sorry to me, so...

But wow, I wish I hadn't gone to KGBs link. The daggers don't deserve this animosity. I'm very sad and ashamed of my friends. This is grade school spite. Very GOP.

Bad form, people. 

Bad form.

I hope you folks will see how your behavior has hurt people that respect you. I really do.

Signing off for now, in the hopes that fences get mended, and folks get over things, if I can help, you all know I'm at bwakfat at yahoo. I'll do my best. This is beyond silly. 

I'm one disappointed chicken. Just remember, you're all very nice people. Be good to each other.

:(

I read you over at kgb's place.  You do seem to know quite a bit about cheap shots.  I don't agree with this blogpost and I think it was unfairly inflammatory, but at least I know that Tmac isn't writing one thing here and one thing somewhere else.  That would make her a hypocrite too.  Dig?

You're implying that something I said over there is inconsistent with what I said here. Want to elaborate, or just smear?

Interesting tactic.  Attack the person you've attacked.  I'll tell you one thing Obey, I may be a jerk to some, but I have never, ever written anything about anyone on here that I didn't write directly to them.  So here, let's just link to your little colloquy and we can let others decide whether you have standing to judge anyone's manners on the internet.

Here's Obey, the one who doesn't judge.  PSHAW!

http://kgblogz.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=48:im-just-sayin...

 

Hm. Thanks for that Bruce.

Yes, not very pretty I guess, looking back. Sorry for the harsh language concerning AA, but probably not as harsh as I've been on the boards with her here and at TPM.

As for the other possibly hurtful remark (as far as I can see), the tone and snark is probably too acerbic, so apologies for that. I was venting. But my point - that the Dag establishment, as it were, agrees with Obama's policies, is one I stand by.

Anyway, thanks Bruce, again. Good to be reminded that even new blog sites with four readers can have lurkers, and that no online conversation is private. I forget at times.

I might as well take this opportunity, as my more personal feelings are getting involuntarily aired, that, yes, I've had a lot of hard feelings for many participants here, not for their views, but for their involvement, or studied non-involvement as the case may be, in the events leading up to the great purge of this summer. There were many people that I considered friends, after long interaction at the Café, who suddenly seemed happy to see the back of me. And that hurt at the time.

But feelings take time to settle into any definite shape, but now this feels like the end of the road. So let me say goodbye properly - first to Bruce, who I admire greatly whatever my snarky comments may indicate, and even if I find this little move a wee bit dickish. Though perhaps for the best. And perhaps deserved. I'll mull on that. Your one heartfelt - non-cerebral - ranting defense of Israel that you deleted in embarrassment pretty immediately (remember that one?), that comment/blog did more to change my views on Israel than all the history books and punditry I've read, because all of a sudden the emotional core of it all - your deep love for the country - resonated. Take that for what its worth.

And to the former TPM crowd - you were my first community online and it was an exhilarating experience, and a wonderful welcome. So thanks guys, it was fun while it lasted.

And to the Dag headliners - whatever I may have said in the heat of the moment, you're great writers and run a fine establishment (even if your moderation judgment needs adjusting). A-man, you should write more of the personal travel logs. They're truly awesome. Genghis, I look forward to your next book.

And to all of you - I truly wish you all the best. Take care.

O.B.

Obey, please.  I am not asking you to leave by any stretch of the imagination.  And I wasn't lurking; it's just that kgb linked to his blog, which I had never seen and I went over and checked it out last night and the rest is history--it was weird.

And I am not asking for an apology.  Let he who has not sinned . . . Geez.  Can't we just friggin' post about things and can't we ALL, myself included, try to work harder at writing about what we feel instead of writing about what other people who disagree with us feel or think or are motivated by?  

Listen, we did have a really comprehensive discussion about due process issues on the other thread where I probably overstated my prowess as a constitutional scholar, and we are forming a consensus on this thread and that is a good thing.  It's all good.

I have never asked anyone to leave a blog, except for MJ Rosenberg, and he didn't listen to me.   

Hope you stick around.

 

O.B., I was quite surprised and disappointed when you left dagblog. We had never moderated any of your comments, nor had the slightest cause to, and I believe that we put every post that you ever wrote here on the front page. You have been one of the most intelligent and articulate contributors here, and far from being unwelcome, both Articleman and I had great appreciation for your writing.

But like Bruce, I stumbled across your comments regarding dagblog and its writers on someone else's blog a couple of months ago, and I was appalled. If you and others aren't happy with dagblog's moderation policies and prefer not to contribute here, that's a shame, but I respect the decision. But when you came here to comment anonymously while at the same time publicly badmouthing our site and its bloggers somewhere else, that was much harder for me to stomach and to forgive.

Should you ever choose to return to dagblog in good faith, your writing and your opinions would be welcome as they were before, but speaking for myself, you have some bridges to mend first.

Mike

Thanks for the response, Genghis.

There is no need for bridge building, but nevertheless, please do accept my sincere apologies for any hurtful comment on one of those threads. I can't remember what was said, but if you can find it in your heart, try to remember that they were uttered in a moment of feeling unfairly treated at dag, a sense of betrayal by old friends, and in anger and frustration at the way people I cared about had been dealt with, good people, some in difficult personal circumstances, who imho deserved better. Not an excuse, but it may make it slightly easier to forgive or understand.

Best of luck with the site and your very promising writing career!

O.B.

I accept and truly appreciate the apology, O.B. I'm sorry you feel that you and your friends were treated unfairly.

I know that we have differences about the neutrality of the moderation that probably cannot be reconciled, but please believe me when I say that we never wanted you or the others to leave the site, nor to suppress your political opinions. Our objective has always been to maintain an atmosphere of decorum and mutual respect with as limited interference from the moderators as possible. If we have failed in that, it was a failure of execution, not intention.

For what it's worth, I always felt that your comments and blog posts strongly contributed to spirit of the constructive debate at dagblog, without exception, and that your leaving was a loss to the site.

In any case, thank you for the warm wishes. I likewise wish you the best of luck in life and with your own writing. And I do sincerely hope that you decide to return dagblog sometime in the future.

Oh the humanity! devil

Oy, been there done that much worse long ago, (if memory serves correct it was close to dante's seventh circle):

& learned my lesson:

The "get a life" j'accuse has a long history on internet forums, because inevitably some people start role playing high school in the background. (With health care costs over the last decade, they can't afford professional role play therapy, or somethin'?) Anyhew, the characters in the drama virtually never reflect reality so no harm to those not participating even though their names might be used. Doesn't bother me a wit. And I really really really don't want to relive high school agin'. Never agin'.

TMC, I can easily tell something in the video has lit a short fuse with you. However, I can't view the video ... it's blocked because of international copyright do-flingys. So it's difficult for me to get a grasp of what's making you so angry. I'm sure it's not trivial.

On the flip-side, my inability to gather all the necessary information I require to make an informed decision is hampered by said international copyright laws, readings and mutual understandings.

Intellectual property trumps public access and freedom of information.

The video problem must be something on your end, with your browser. Because it's playing for me as I type. I don't like videos because I don't have a super fast connection (cellular,) so I didn't try it until you said you had a problem. Perhaps you tried to download it instead of streaming it? (Probably not because I got the option to download if I want, too.) I'm not real knowledgeable about this stuff, all I know is that I clicked on it and it started playing. BTW, Firefox works much better on this site than Internet Explorer does. I actually prefer IE, but I use Firefox for here.

It played straight through with no delays, that's unusual for my connection. And there was no commercial at the start, that's also unusual.

No, it's because Beetle is not in America. I have the same problem with videos hosted in Europe.

I suppose it's possible to find said clip somewhere on youtube that was uploaded in England, or that isn't a reload of the abc.com clip. But, maybe not. I wouldn't think the view is very popular outside of the US.

 

Germany has a very restrictive internet usage policy for viewing video clips, full length videos, and listening to music. There are ways to work around their censorship, but this particular video clip is locked down tight. That said, my input is a subtle hint people need to be a little more verbose because many on the receiving side experience denial of service because of international legalese on intellectual property being shared regardless the forum.

Ah, makes sense as the youtubes I ran into problems with were posted by someone in Germany. Did you know Code and Paige are in Germany and that they got married? You should hook up. I'm sure it would be a good time.

=)

"penultimate" means next to last, dumbass. Who is the last racist?

As for the rest of your drivel, in your desperate little world, I'm a "racist" because I sure as shit ain't voting for that republican ass-kisser again -- he put Social Security and Medicare on the table, something no "democrat" has ever done before, and certainly something bush-baby never did either -- spin that one. I depend on SS, so as I said I won't vote for that traitor and sell-out again.

What............. evidently you have something against the black President?

Some deep seated hatred and you're only using excuses to deny your true feelings.

I don't think you're racist if you don't vote for President Obama.  But I do say it's a bit meshugana if: (a) you depend on SS and (b) you think social security and medicaire will be better protected by any GOP candidate on the face of the planet.  I mean that's downright fakakta.

It does seem to fall into the category of cutting off ones nose to spite ones face, for sure.

 

You still got a nose? I lost mine the last time around on the grinding wheel to get Obama elected the first time.

Give me another democratic nominee so I don't have to have my body parts abused.

This president can't run on his record. His promises are worthless, he speaks with a forked tongue.

Oh, my beak will withstand a lot of grinding.

I know you feel that way, Resistance, but I just do not see it that way. I see a man with unprecedented obstruction still managing to enact progressive legislation. 

I think the best any of us can do is work to remove the obstruction. Elect socialists. 

 

Bwak, are you grinding your beak into teeth?

Progressive legislation is good 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Party_(United_States,_1912)

 

Heh, looks like my ex.

Stay strong, Resistance.

We thought we were getting someone who could relate to the suffering.

We thought we found that person in Obama. He could surely understand slavery in its most current form; couldn’t he?  He was black, and we all knew how blacks were maltreated in this country.  

Moses was here,  “look over there, the new Messiah Obama, has come forward to deliver us”

A man born of the dirt, a man who could relate to the downtrodden those oppressed by the corporate masters.

The old stereotype that a man of color could never be elected, WE, of all colors overturned that prejudice when the final vote was tallied.

It appears to me the comment is reverse discrimination.

We didn’t get the black President we thought we were getting, someone who understood the ugliness of wage/slavery and racism, the ugliness of having to ask the master for anything.

FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST we elected a man we thought understood the significance of an electorate who wanted to be FREE AT LAST from corporate masters.

He told us he would change NAFTA,  “See” we working class voters said “ He’s one of us”  “Go get em Tiger” “ You better run you wage/ slave owners, theirs a new sheriff in town looking to kick some….”  

Instead we got the “Dreaded” white man” the protector of the banker class, the plantation owner. The MASTER CLASS

To say we voted for the black and we got the white.

We didn’t get the guy who understood the plight of the little guy; we got the guy who was more in tune with the oppressor. The Master, the banker class, the wage/slave owner class.  

Nothing racist about it, we just hate getting screwed over.

I saw Maher make the quote that Moore used on the view. Maher is a comedian, (just sayin',) and likes to say things for their shock value. He also tends to use shortcuts to make a point. His last show this weekend included Van Jones, and he asked him , since he "had a black guy on the panel" for his take on President Obamas speech to the CBC as well as Cains brainwashing comment.

Was that racist? Possibly, but I'd call Mahers shorthand way of getting to the point refreshing. He doesn't tiptoe around these issues, and I'm sure he and Moore would be glad that their questionable terms brought about a conversation of the plight of African-Americans.  

Race is an issue, and it should be discussed so that solutions and policies can be implemented to fix these inequalities. Not used as a hammer to dis one group or another. That is others using this issue for their own agenda, and doesn't seem to be helpful. To any one.

Part of the problem is that if you see a subgroup as being insensitive or dismissive on an issue to issues regarding race, how do you go about discussing he issue without honing in on that subgroup. Even when Hamsher, Markos, Walsh and Sirota are mentioned by name, many others get offended. Using a term like "Professional Left" is an attempt to focus on a subgroup. The terms many/most Blacks has been used to acknowledged that not all blacks feel that the criticism of Obama from the Professional Left is race based.

On one hand we are supposed to except excuses for Mahrer and Moore, but on the other the feelings about how "white guy (polite) for the black guy ("gangsta") comes across is to different groups is to be ignored. The purge over at DailyKos which focused on people largely based on ethnicity as gone un-addressed as has Hamsher's "stupid MFs" commentary.

How do you talk about an issue by not talking about an issue?

Didn't Maher and Moore bring up the issue? Is it forbidden for people who are a different race to bring up the plight of another race now?

Talk about purity tests, that one seems extremely counter-productive. People use shorthand mostly because walking on eggshells takes too long for most peoples attention spans. I think intent and context need to be taken into account lest we allow cherry-picking to corrupt honest attempts for real conversations and awareness.

OK you're right, that was dismissive. I will ponder this more, and try to be a better chicken. 

Or at least a more sensitive human.

 

LOL

Tmac, there are several ways you could have approached this topic. You might have presented a thoughtful analysis of Perry's article. Alternatively, you might have carefully explained how Moore's comment evinces a subtle form of racism.

I think Perry's article has some tremendous flaws, but it would have been interesting to read an intelligent defense. As for Moore's comment, I sort of see where you going, but it didn't strike me as racist--certainly not compared to the sort of shit that I've heard many times from Limbaugh--and I would have been interested to hear in more detail why you thought it was so despicable.

But thoughtful analysis of an explosive topic does not seem to have been your object. Instead, this post reads like an outraged prophet self-righteously denouncing the "so-called progressive blogosphere," which is why it has generated such a strong reaction on a progressive blog, surprise surprise. If someone implied that you or those with whom you identified were fake progressives whose beliefs were likely motivated by racism, I think that you might be a little pissed off yourself.

Now, if you're going to stand up, point your finger, and say in so many words, "These people are devils!" you'd better have some damn convincing evidence. What you've amassed here is not even close. It won't convince anyone except those who lust for finding devils, and so it amounts to little more than inflammatory words designed to piss people off. And I think that you know how much we love inflammatory words at dagblog.

FOOD FIGHT!

(*splat*)

TMac. Just to conclude this discussion from my end.

I know perfectly well you're not some sort of horrendous racist. That's for starters. Like Bruce said, we all struggle, at some level, with our own racism.

The reason I pulled out your quote and called it racist is that we can all spend time hunting out racist phrases or moments from each other... then line up all the ones from progressives or liberals or party-line-voting Democrats or Obama-backers... and then produce lists of racists amongst subgroup x, y or z. 

The thing is, I'm not sure where that gets us. 

But I'm certain that then using those racist lists (which, again, we'll likely find in anyone) to condemn a whole swath of often-Democratic voters is politically counter-productive. 

And it's doubly problematic when it creates a mood which enables other bloggers to be tarred the same way. 

To be clear, where there are individuals with platforms and organizations who make clearly racist comments, then they should be called on it. And perhaps as importantly (or moreso), where organizations themselves, or their proposed policies, have strongly negative racial implications, then these should be identified and debated and changed. 

I think we all deal with racism in our lives - I know I do.

But creating names and lists of racists just looks to me like a form of modern witch-hunting.

I also know that you want a strong Democratic Party and a strong Democratic President. So do I. I think pretty much everyone here does. I would love it if Obama grew into that place (though I don't see him there. Yet.)

I'm just not sure if levelling harsh attacks on doubters and challengers within the ranks, and effectively driving them out under clouded charges (such as racist) is the best way to build. And yes, actually, I know a hell of a lot about building political parties and winning elections, "progressive" though I may be.

Even about governing. With luck, this week will see my Modern Prairie Socialists win their 4th straight majority government. And in Nova Scotia, my party grew from nothing to majority government in my adult lifetime. My guys have also won - and governed - through multiple terms, in the UK, over London, in the dear old USA back in the 90's. 

I mention this to say, people with other views sometimes drive our political parties, and sometimes, those other methods and strategies and policies.... win. And sometimes, they even govern well. And win again. Other times, one has to challenge, and produce change - either from the leaders, or from new leaders. Sometimes one drives change from within a party's core, sometimes from the grassroots, sometimes as an outside challenge, and sometimes by splitting and leaving. 

This doesn't, however, make the people involved on either side into monsters.

That said, I'll be stepping out now, and so, you won't be getting any more hassle on your blogs. And I wish you great things with your political work, with your family and in your adventures. 

Best,

Q

Q, I have nothing to add except that I really respect this comment and the intentions behind it.

@Genghis, I agree with your criticism of my piece, I should have been more careful, the Gene Lyons blog did push me to bother to blog about this subject, but in retrospect you are correct, @bslev and others,  yes I think you all are probably more correct than not and it was a pleasure to read everything you all wrote and for the most part there has been an interesting discussion, @flower, yes I will agree with you on your point I should have included Maher, I guess I give him an out because he is a comedian, but in all fairness  I should not have, @ArtA, you made me laugh so hard when you wrote you didn't take my tone seriously, I think my husband has had the same attitude for the past 27 years, I laughed so hard.

Who knew there was a gossip blog about DAG and her contributors! We are famous! WooHoo! Wait, wat?

That said, I am working on my next blog, which will most assuredly not attract the same amount of attention this one has.

Thanks for considering my reaction, tmac. I look forward to your next blog.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRU6tQdyYqQ

 

Latest Comments