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September 16, 2009

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Limbaugh is a motherfucker. Pity our dialog's all coarsened an' shit these days, because I mean for that statement to have the kind of impact it would have had if you'd screamed it out in a white Tennessee church in 1955.

Spiny - our posting rules limit profanity. I don't want to be over-censoring, so I'll just request that you and others don't. We try to keep the threads civil here.

It's of course all Rosa Park's fault.
[/sarcasm]

Yes, more civilly, Rush Limbaugh is a @#$@# who likes to @#$@ @#&* in the back of a &*$@ and $@*% *&#% %*@&# *%(# english muffins.

No, I really don't believe those things. I don't even think Limbaugh is much of a racist. Smart people usually aren't. I think he just found a shiny button that gets him a bunch of attention and listeners every time he presses it, and God help him he just can't stop pressing that button. Kind of an addiction, you could say.

Of course, another problem is that neither he nor any of his followers care what publius or anyone else outside his bubble thinks. In fact, to them fierce dissent is a sure sign that his 'tactics' are 'effective' in 'opposing' the 'Left' or whatever.

And I'm not sure 'they get to race-bait' is such a winning condition. I mean, it's kind of sad that it's happening, but I wouldn't call it winning. And if that's true, then option 1 (ignoring) seems the better strategy.

Limbaugh is self-aware enough that he recorded songs about him being an assh0le and a nazi. Iirc those were at first assumed to be hoaxes using either a voice imitator or carefully selected o-tones but Rush later insisted that they were genuine.

Is there a way to talk about this without highlighting racial tensions? Something like:

The Rush Limbaugh wing of the Republican party is desperate to criticize Obama for anything - now they're blaming him for high school bullying. A week ago they didn't want him to tell kids to work hard in school and warned that he was trying to indoctrinate school kids, and now when a bully hits another kid it's Obama's fault. They picked out a case where the bully was a black kid, and somehow that means that bullying is a symptom of "Obama's America." It's ridiculous.

There is a third option to being quite about Limbaugh's [and others'] race baiting or to being publicly critical of it. That is to be critical of it privately, but in a widely dissiminated manner. We can do this by forwarding criticism, such as that by Publius, to our various email lists. Send it to friends and not-friends, and especially to those we know to be ditto heads and racists.

"If the Limbaughs of the world are going to . . . blame, with no logical grounds whatsoever, a black president for black-on-white violence,"

Ok, I'm going to be blunt about this: I have been, for years, with no logical grounds whatsoever, blamed for the racist acts of mostly long dead whites. It's the sort of thing whites in this country are used to being subjected to, it's the basis for a lot of our race conscious public policy.

Did you really think racial collective guilt could be applied to whites, without it being applied in turn to blacks?

Really, Brett? You call that blunt?

I grew up in the Deep South during segregation...and I've NEVER been held accountable - or blamed in any way - for the past bad acts of other white people.

If YOU are being held so responsible, I can only surmise it's due to your OWN racism leaking out - despite you thinking you have a handle on it.

When I was growing up, I was taught that, if I didn't like what others were directing at me, I should take a look at myself, to see what *I* was doing to bring it on.

I suggest you try it - before you work your way any deeper. (How's that for blunt?)

Of course, these are the same people who oppose anti-bullying laws, and in some cases won't even allow them to come up for votes (e.g., MI Senate). The takeaway, I suppose, is that beating the crap out of someone is okay if the someone is black, or Asian, or gay.

"When I was growing up, I was taught that, if I didn't like what others were directing at me, I should take a look at myself, to see what *I* was doing to bring it on."

Yeah, I got that "blame the victim" line, too, when I was growing up. Sounds like you aborbed it, instead of finally shrugging it off.

Being right doesn't sell. Being first, and most provocative; those things sell.

Just quit buying, already.

But no, it's like a pyramid o' gossip. Rush is the chief neighborhood gossip, who comes by and stirs up some outrage, and then more gossip gets generated, and then the auxiliary gossips get into the mix.

This is one of the reasons why I no longer post things: because there's this temptation to get in on whatever current story is going around, and I found out that I didn't like just passing things around. Plus, the quality of original thinking over here was distinctly lacking, particularly in comparison with hilzoy.

The racial angle to one side, though (and I realize this is pretty much all that is interesting about this situation to some) I think they ought to have suspended some of the students who were standing around cheering. They weren't fighting, but they were the reason for the fight.

A fight isn't much of an event without spectators. A bully doesn't get credit for trashing someone if no one sees it.

I'm going out on a limb, but I think when Brett talks about being 'blamed', it might be when someone wants to do something like change the name of a park from Nathanial Bedford Forrest park or something similar, Brett expresses his opposition to changing the name and he gets accused of racism which may escalate to being 'blamed' for various things. A quick google shows something like this might be defended vociferously and the responses interpreted as being 'blamed' for something.

I have no doubt Brett, given his rhetoric here on list, has been on the receiving end of some harsh comments, but I have a hard time arguing that this is some sort of 'assignment' of blame and just fightin' words delivered to get a rise. I believe that Brett has strongly argued that any consideration of race in any decision moves in the opposite direction of a color blind society, and has strongly rejected any arguments that current structural facts about society are, in and of themselves, racist. This refusal to at least admit the possibility leads to people making more and more pointed observations which are interpreted by Brett as 'blaming' him for the current state of affairs. On reflection, I'm not really sure how you 'blame' someone for something that happened in the distant past. You can claim that they continue to maintain the same thought patterns that resulted in the past state of affairs, but 'blaming' seems to imply some causal relationship, which in this case would require an ability to time travel. Which, for the record, I don't think Brett has.

I should add that I really don't know if Brett would support or reject the possibility of a name change in the link above, I just chose that as an example. I'm sure that there are a number of points of contention that I could have dredged up from the archives, and perhaps I should have gone to that, but often times, past debates have evolved to a point where they are more about the way people interact rather than the actual point in contention.

The reasoning as I understand it for "blame":

Race-related affirmative action is often justified straightforwardly by the plain fact that black people in the US are historically disadvantaged by slavery and by the century-plus of discrimination and disadvantage that followed slavery. White people in the US are much more likely to have ancestors who were given wealth-creating opportunities because of their race, while black people in the US are much more likely to have ancestors who were denied or turned away from wealth-creating opportunities because of their race - so that (even disregarding the issue of present-day racism) the issue of racist discrimination from generations ago cannot be disregarded.

This cartoon illustrates this neatly:

http://www.thbook.org/lightofthemoon/pics/Brief%20history%20of%20race%20relations%20in%20the%20US.jpg>

Many white racists interpret this as "OMG YOU'RE BLAMING ME FOR SLAVERY!"

A nice illustration of Faulkner's 'The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.'

Limbaug is still hurting from his "sportscastor" days.

Limbaugh resigns from NFL show

He think's he does race, but I think what he does is racism.

From Publius:

But even if it was racially motivated, what on earth does Obama have to do with it? The answer is nothing other race.

From Tom Maguire:

Is Obama Smart Enough To Duck This?

Yet another racially charged incident - black students beat up a white student on a bus. Drudge is headlining it, so the story will have legs. Obama is Commander-in-Chief, not Police Chief or school superintendent - will he be smart enough to duck this, as he should have ducked the Skip Gates debacle? Or will a simple "I don't have all the facts but it looked like the white kid sat in the wrong seat" suffice?

So I am saying this is Obama's fault? I think the reality basis for that is pretty slim.

I also linked to the Gateway Pundit, who wanted to see whether Al Sharpton would get involved, as he did with the Jena Six.

Clown show.

Brett,

I don’t know the “expiration date” is on historical events. However, we still discuss history (The Constitution, The Civil War, Taft-Hartley, WW1 & 2, Ragtime, the Puritans migrating from England, economic theories) as if it had some sort of effect on today.

Claiming that the purty events of the past are all that matters is a bit naive? Childish? Dare I say, racist?

The Rush Limbaugh wing of the Republican party is desperate to criticize Obama for anything

Sorry, but there is no such thing as the Limbaugh wing of the GOP. The GOP owns him; if you're a Republican, you at least tacitly tolerate his views.

Racism is one of those no tolerance issues. It's not some policy issues like tax reform or free trade where one can have widely differing views, yet share the same general agenda. Instead, it's an issue where there's a bright, shining line.

I'm going to restrain myself and let Rush Limbaugh win the thread.

Brett, there are still millions of Americans who cheerfully wave the battle banner of the Confederacy. They are racists. They have not let history go. They are still making excuses for slavery and Jim Crow. This is not some totally unfair retelling of history. It is a fact of life today.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You are not a victim. If you want to see how the effects of racism still linger, look at the unemployment rates of African-Americans at any educational level. Then you will know who the victims still are.

Meanwhile, we've got a grown man fantasizing about beating up black teenagers, and a bunch of white people feeling absolutely comfortable dropping n-bombs about Kanye West on Twitter, and one of the teabagger leads calling the President "an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and racist in chief" on television, and we're all supposed to be distracted into discussing the feelings of poor, put-upon Brett Bellmore because he refused to understand or acknowledge that institutional racism sometimes only cuts one way?

Well, here's something special just for you, Brett:

Here's a fun project for someone: How many times has the word "uppity" been used in major op-eds, both on television and in print, in some context in relation to this president? How many times has it ever been used in relation to any other president, ever?

The Republican Party made an intentional decision to appeal to racists four decades ago. Instead of celebrating that Democrats had finally stopped bowing to the racists and let the racists become increasingly irrelevent, they chose instead to bring them in. The GOP sold its heritage for a few electoral victories.

Well, they got their victories, but the stench of racism has become more pronounced in the GOP so it is really impossible for any Republican to say that the GOP is not beholden to racists. With a little luck, the Republicans will become nothing more than a cranky old party that represents the Klan. There is no active anti-racist wing in the GOP any more, there are the racists and the fellow-travelers, nothing else.

The conceptual problem with Jes' cartoon is that it shows the same white person who's exploited a black person refuse to help him. In reality, the situation is complicated by the fact that we're talking about generations here. Our ancestors have benefited from exploiting other people's ancestors, even though we might now find their behaviour repugnant. (Though I'm not an American, I have slave-owners in my own ancestry).

The problem is what do we do now? It's not feasible to undo all the individual wrongs that our ancestors committed. That means that a lot of people don't want to admit what has happened, because it can't easily be remedied. But I think as a minimum what white people can do is be willing to admit what happened in the past, and also to think twice about their own history before they make comments about black people.

Brett's statement is that it's unfair he's being blamed for what other whites have done, and blacks can have that now. The implicit message is that black people have never before been unfairly blamed for what other black people do. If he stopped to think about it, maybe he'd realise that that is a ridiculous thing to imagine. But maybe that requires thinking a bit more about other peoples' experiences than is comfortable for some people.

Me: "When I was growing up, I was taught that, if I didn't like what others were directing at me, I should take a look at myself, to see what *I* was doing to bring it on."

Brett: "Yeah, I got that "blame the victim" line, too, when I was growing up. Sounds like you aborbed it, instead of finally shrugging it off."

Obviously, you did not receive a traditional conservative Christian upbringing like I did. "Blame the victim"? About race?? From MY PARENTS??? Absent any sense from you on the topic, I'll have to assume you're delusional.

Maybe you're just grooving this improperly: if you act like a jerk and a bully, you're going to get flack from the other kids, from the teachers, and from your friends' parents; this does not translate into you being a victim OR being blamed. You may not like it, but that in no way means you haven't earned it thru your own efforts. (not calling you names or accusing you: hypothetical example is hypothetical, for me)

One of the great things about living in the US after 9/11 - and especially in the age of Obama - is that racial tensions have eased off tremendously, with dramatically less suspicion; if you have not experienced this refreshing change in tone between the races, I not only feel sorry for you, I have to wonder what is it about YOU that prevents your seeing it....

"Blame the victim"...jeez, that's *rich*! Telling the officers that she asked for it, dressing like that, THAT is blaming the victim. Claiming your beating of the other guy is justified because he was black & in your neighborhood is *also* blaming the victim. Being an angry white guy with a chip on his shoulder - and getting noticed - doesn't make you a victim, and it doesn't get you blamed for the racism of the past unless you fight to defend the racism of the past. Or that of the present.

Ian MacKaye agrees with Brett: he too is Guilty of Being White:

---

I'm sorry
For something that I didn't do
Lynched somebody
But I don't know who
You blame me for slavery
A hundred years before I was born

Guilty of being white

I'm a convict
Of a racist crime
I've only served
Nineteen years of my time

Guilty of being white

---

tempting to think of that as a racist song. but it's really just the reaction of a high school kid sitting in history class learning about slavery.

back to the subject... yeah, Limbaugh's a straight up race baiter - and Malkin, and Drudge, and all the rest. there is no reason, other than race, that anyone outside of the town where it happened should know anything about this. "kids fight on a school bus" is not news. those who trumpet this story are obviously (even if they won't admit it when challenged) are playing on racist fears in order to attack Obama.

it's shameful, disgusting, and perfectly unsurprising. the GOP is a cesspool. its stars are merely the bits floating on top.

Rush is still winning the thread.

I'm willing to bet the the black kid, the bully in the school bus video, will be showing up years from now with his fellow republican bullies with a big honking weapon outside of Democratic town-hall meetings to protest unarmed citizens discussing yet another attempt to insure the uninsured.

Even as Rush and Michelle and FOX use the kid as current fodder, they are eyeing him for bigger and better things. They know their own bullying ilk when they see them.

It's republican outreach.

@Tom Maguire -- There was no need to mention Obama at all. It was a completely gratuitous reference that ties Obama to this incident. Not to mention the Al Sharpton reference.

I don't even think Limbaugh is much of a racist.

He is something quite a bit worse than a racist.

It seems to me that Tom Maguire's point is that given past recent events, Obama will be asked to comment on the situation, and if he were wise, he would not comment at all, since it's not his job to get involved.

Just because you have low reading comprehension abilities doesn't mean you have to resort to charges of race baiting when none exists.

Yeah, I got that "blame the victim" line, too, when I was growing up. Sounds like you aborbed it, instead of finally shrugging it off.

There is a difference between being aware of how others perceive one's actions and blindly assuming that others' actions are correct. If you've been for years being "blamed for the racist acts of mostly long dead whites", it behooves you to consider whether your actions could reasonably give cause for someone to assume you are sympathetic to past racism. This isn't blaming yourself, it's being other than completely self-absorbed. You can't claim to be a victim unless there truly is "no logical ground" for a reasonable person to conclude from your speech or actions that you do in fact harbor such attitudes, and you can't conclude this without considering how others perceive your behavior.

Which is to say, if you refuse to critically examine your actions, you don't get to describe your refusal to do so as avoiding blaming the victim.

Race-related affirmative action is often justified straightforwardly by the plain fact that black people in the US are historically disadvantaged by slavery and by the century-plus of discrimination and disadvantage that followed slavery. White people in the US are much more likely to have ancestors who were given wealth-creating opportunities because of their race, while black people in the US are much more likely to have ancestors who were denied or turned away from wealth-creating opportunities because of their race - so that (even disregarding the issue of present-day racism) the issue of racist discrimination from generations ago cannot be disregarded....

...Many white racists interpret this as "OMG YOU'RE BLAMING ME FOR SLAVERY!"

Jes, a few points.

1. I'm not white (so I have no white privelege to leave at the door ;-p) I'm not american (so I believe I can claim neutral observer status as opposed to having vested interests) and I believe that I'm not racist. (Though according to you, my opposition to affirmative action means that I must be one. Must be my nasty libertarian false consciousness)

2. Yes, the cartoon seems to work very well. Having the cheek to talk about equality before the law etc now that you've got a leg up is galling. But that cartoon is just polemics. Once you realise that the cartoon is representing what happenned in different genreations (I'm for now ignoring present day discrimination) as if it was all perpetrated by 1 person, you get even more pissed off, but this time at the cartoon. Its just manipulating you. What theory of justice, may I ask, demands reparation to people in virtue of belonging to a group which was subject to terrible treatment (discrimination and slavery) by another group in the past, even though the person who is being compensated was not the one actually mistreated?

3.I will concede that given property rights properly rely on just transfer etc. Property rights which would have been transfered to the current beneficiaries, but which did not because unjust discriminatory laws denied forcibly and unjustly transfered that property to the ancestors of the current anglo majority. This means that I favour direct wealth transfers. (maybe evn over and above any minimum basic income that the poor get) Job quotas, educaiton quotas, variable standards? those look extremely dodgy to me) But you can understand the distinction right? Your argument is that african americans belong to a historically disadvantaged group. While my argument is that there was an uncompensated violation in property rights.

4. That we're talking about probable ancestors and probable descendants, instead of actual ancestors and descendants, things may look a bit muddier, and should give us pause before we propose any corrective measure for past discrimination. Correcting the injustice is a right making feature of the transfer. Contributing to further injustice (by transferring from individual anglos whose ancestors were not advantaged by discrimination) is a wrong making feature of the situation. This may take some balancing out.

5. Given that discrimination was quite recent (Jim Crow laws) statute of limitations doesnt apply.

6. Affirmative action in order to remedy current discrimination is bizarre. I would reccommend lawsuit lawsuit lawsuit, or even prosecute, prosecute prosecute. So, to say that it might be justified by current discrimination leaves me confused. (Im adressing this pre-emptively even though Jes said that she would leave aside for now, so I'm not accusing Jes of actually making the argument)

7. Oh Yeah, Rush Limbaugh's an a****** That's beyond debate.

Please address me as Murali

What does Obama have to do with the incident, even if it were racist? (Which, on the evidence so far, it was not.)

I think it's actually pretty simple: There are folks who are upset because, in the America of their dreams, someone like Obama (i.e. non-white) would not be President. The fact that he is means, in their minds, that a different race is in control. So anywhere that someone of another race gives anyone of their race anything but deference, it is all related.

It's not that they blame Obama for causing racially-motivated incidents. Just that they see him as a symbol of the changes which, they think, have made such incidents -- at least against their group -- happen.

" Limbaugh's a straight up race baiter

[...]

it's shameful, disgusting, and perfectly unsurprising."

It is indeed. As it is when Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and Skip Gates do the same thing. The good news is that we have almost gained racial equality in the vitriol of race baiting. Some would say that's progress, I think of it as a fail on both sides.

Given that Tom Maguire is visiting and has written a bit more, I wonder how he would classify the comments to his original post and if the people who make comments like

Let's hear what Gates and Jackson and Rangel and Sharpton have to say....

and

Whitey got what he deserved.

and

Didn't Obama cover this shit in his speech to the chilrun?

are regulars or not.

As it is when Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and Skip Gates do the same thing.

anyone else see a pattern here ?

wj - nail on head.

Limbaugh is scum, duh.

Brett - that chip on your shoulder must be pretty heavy.

I submit that you have misinterpreted some things in a hyper-defensive way. You are (I imagine) convinced that you have *not* benifitted unfairly in our society b/c you're white, and you interpret things like AA as attacks/accusations against you.

Don't take it so personally. It's not about you.

It seems to me that Tom Maguire's point is that given past recent events, Obama will be asked to comment on the situation, and if he were wise, he would not comment at all, since it's not his job to get involved.

Well, it seems to me that Tom Maguire is disingenuously trying to hide the dog whistle behind his back. But, y'know, I'm black, which, according to bizarro backlash logic, makes me a racist commie ACORN jackboot. So: grain of salt.

Anyway, my apologies for the digression -- I believe we were once again listening to poor wittle Bwett kvetch as he yet again hijacks a thread about race and makes it all about him. Oh, and Marty was Brodering about (conflated caricatures of) Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson (and Skip Gates -- am sure he'll feel honoured to have been unceremoniously added to the elite canon of uppity negroes whose names are now epithets). Bowing out now before the inevitable debate over affirmative action heats up.

Wheeee I so love this new post-racial era!!1

Murali

I'm not white (so I have no white privelege to leave at the door ;-p) I'm not american (so I believe I can claim neutral observer status as opposed to having vested interests) and I believe that I'm not racist

I'm not going to speak for Jes, but your identification of being non-white suggests that you at least process sets of different characteristics as racially based and I would argue that anyone who does this (and I think it is hard to imagine someone who doesn't do this) is "racist", because humans always have to view things in terms of in groups and out groups. It's part of human nature, and the challenge is to try and overcome that. Sartre said that saying a Jew is smart is just as racist as saying that a Jew is greedy. Racist is not simply thinking bad things about people who are grouped into one race, it is drawing conclusions about people based on race, which you have done for yourself already.

(ps I'm aware that being Jewish is not a racial category, but the Satre observation is too good to pass up)

"As it is when Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and Skip Gates do the same thing.

anyone else see a pattern here ?"

Got something to say?

Dreher: He's plainly trying to rally white conservatives into thinking that now that we have a black president, blacks are rising up to attack white kids!

Dreher's use of the phrase "rising up" to characterize where black kids would have to come from to attack white kids is fascinating. For once I followed a link and read the whole piece (Dreher seems to be doing what he's doing every time I hear about him: "I'm brave enough to talk about what political correctness says I shouldn't" -- and it's always something negative about LGBT people or issues, or abortion-related issues, or in this case black people).

But what I can't tell even now is whether the phrase conveys his own unconscious attitudes, or he's consciously attributing that framing to "white conservatives." Or what.

The fear that angry venegeful black people will raise up and attack white people has been at the back of our national consciouness for a long time. Back in slave holding days fear of slave rebellions was a significant factor in the organization of life in the slave holding regions: passes for slaves, laws forbidding slaves to congregate in large numbers, systems to spread the alarm of a rebellion , etc.

During the dark ages of race relations prior to the CIvil Rights era white terrorism against black people was justified as necesary to protect white people, particularly white women and children.

We are in a new era of race relations, one that is particlularly complex and subtle; however,the underlying fear that black people might want revenge is still there along with the more common fear that nonwhites are taking over or unfairly beating whites in competition for limited resources. This is complicated by the fact that there really are racially motivated attacks on nonblacks by blacks every now and then.

Limbaugh is tapping into a vein; how big the vein is these days, I don't know.

"Skip Gates -- am sure he'll feel honoured to have been unceremoniously added to the elite canon of uppity negroes whose names are now epithets)"

Long before any of the recent events, Skip Gates has a distinguished history as a race baiter.

I am really too tired of this discussion to even be incensed that no one here is willing to talk about the reality that this story could very well have been a huge headline if the colors of the actors had been reversed. Racism is a a two way discussion, too bad we are only allowed to discuss one side of it in this forum. Or, of course, we are racists.

Limbaugh is an ass; wow, did that solve the problem?

American capitalism, in its unfettered genius, has created a radio demagogue who is both above common decency and too big to fail. The way to rein in monsters like Limbaugh is to re-regulate their bully pulpits, not helplessly wring our hands.

Got something to say?

i thought it would be obvious to the one doing it... alas.

you, Brett and Tom Maguire all responded to the accusations of GOP racism with lame tu quoque arguments.

you can't defend Limbaugh/Drudge/Malkin so you just attack someone else. "Al Sharpton did it first! (wahh)" isn't really much of a defense of the state of the current GOP.

i realize there's no good way to defend it, though.

On the one hand, there's nothing ambiguous about this. It's straight-up George Wallace-style race-baiting. It's an intentional attempt to stir racial prejudices.


"kids fight on a school bus" is not news. those who trumpet this story are obviously (even if they won't admit it when challenged) are playing on racist fears in order to attack Obama.

it's shameful, disgusting, and perfectly unsurprising. the GOP is a cesspool. its stars are merely the bits floating on top.

I think Thullen is right but for the wrong reasons. Publius, you didn't link the whole transcript. I wonder if that's because you didn't actually read the whole Limbaugh quote. I didn't hear it (I don't often listen to Rush) but know he often uses satire.

If you read the entire transcript , you get this snippet at the end:


(interruption) What do you mean you can't look at everything through a racial prism? Obama does. And his media is looking at everything through a racial prism. The left looks at everything through a racial prism. Hey, they hit us; we hit back twice as hard. Greetings, folks, Rush Limbaugh behind the Golden EIB Microphone and the telephone number . . .

I'm assuming the interruption was from his sidekick/producer. And Rush makes it clear that everything before was explicitly seen through a racial prism. As in sarcasm.

And everyone's reaction (save Brett) here just proves Limbaugh's point. You can even comment sarcastically on the racial prism that seems to be dominating the left's view of any number of issues and BAM!!! the racial hammer drops awful fast. I think that was Rush's point.

If I'm wrong, point it out to me. I promise to even listen if you tell me it's just my latent racism making me think this way ;).


"you, Brett and Tom Maguire all responded to the accusations of GOP racism with lame tu quoque arguments."

I certainly didn't defend it, others brought up Skip Gates. So how do you think we should have a discussion about racism without discussing it? Should we all just get on here and say Rush is an ass and then go to the next topic? ok, I'm good with that. Wasn't that a meaaningful discourse?

I really doubt if a fight between high school kids on a bus would get to be national news if the white kids won. There wold have to be more drama to it than that: someone dead, something overty like a swastika.

On the other hand, if you are trying to make the case that black racism toward whites sometimes exists and sometimes results in violence--well, sure. What, however,does that have to do with Obama?

Besides, Limbaugh and the rest of the Noise Machine aren't promotinng this stgory becaue they want a reasoned and insightful discussion. They just want to change the subject from Joe Wilson and the obvious nastiness of the crowd on the mall the other day.

There's a long history of local politics being writ large on a national level in the U.S., where bad instincts were permitted to be legislated under cover of law and policy (segregation is the star example here) and Constitutional levers were used to justify such legislation, as though local politics were good enough for a larger polity and that democracy was all about catering to such bad instincts. Unfortunately, the bitterness of such politics is hard to wash away when certain types of people were at the receiving end of it, still feel at least the backwash of it, and on occasion a tidal wave (like right now).

So, while space permits, I'll try as best I can for as nuanced a stance as possible: I agree that Brett has probably, as the Australian side of my family would say (my dad was American and my mum was Australian, yes), copped more than his fair share of stick with residual sands of unjustified blame and accusation for carrying a racist heritage simply by virtue of being white. Like Liberal Japonicus, I too feel that it is ridiculous to impute a sense of a racist heritage entirely 'in the skin', and on that tack, I can understand why Brett feels put upon.

What Rush has done is an outrage because here is a man who has never felt, even once, the weight of having to live under laws crafted from someone else's bad instincts about race, ethnicity or heritage, yet claims the same sense of hurt from such a weight, and what is worse - is manufacturing it for a vendetta against a political opposition that, on top of all of that, he personifies in one man. In other words, the sting of prejudice is just another match to play with, a flame that with a flick of the hand you can wave off when the fire goes too low on the wick right next to your thumb.

It's one thing to have a backwash with race in it come lapping up to your shore around your feet, as unpleasant as it is. It's another to have to live with the weight having been, if not directly on you, on people you knew, people in your family, and not all that long ago, and with the distinct sense that there are still those out there who would turn the clock back if they could. The history of the U.S. is steeped in this, and it's naive to think that just because some people have moved on from it, the rest will follow. This is the price of a history of racism - it makes everybody pay. It's just that it invariably makes some pay more than others. The thing to ask yourself is how much have you really had to pay, and has the law ever placed the weight of that debt on your shoulders?

"well, sure. What, however,does that have to do with Obama?"

Not a thing, he should in fact, if asked, say it was a school kid fight, not in his portfolio to address. Then we would see if he gets to say that without left or right criticism.

Two brief things:

First, as a point of fact affirmative action was not instituted as "payback" or restitution for past sins. It was instituted to address contemporary racism.

Second:

Sorry, but there is no such thing as the Limbaugh wing of the GOP. The GOP owns him

I rather think it's the other way around.

bc, you seem to be arguing that Rush is engaging in some sort of performance art. Obviously, the story was discussed beforehand so it wasn't just an offhand remark by Rush, so I hope we can agree that it was planned. However, I would interpret the attribution to Obama's racial prism (as well as the 'we hit back twice as hard', what does that mean?) as more like attributing a mindset that is so firmly planted in Rush's mind that it is a given, at least for him, that everyone else thinks exactly as he does. Rush was the first, or one of the first, to report this, and the first order of business is to tie it to Obama. Everything that happens in America is seen thru the prism of Obama is black to Rush. It seems like that in and of itself tells a lot more about Rush than it does about Obama or anyone commenting here.

It seems to me everyone has lost the real point. After reading the original newstory, viewing the video from the bus and reading the comments that went with the video posting, it isn't necessarily about race at all, but discrimination sure enough. The original article said that this student had been harrassed on this bus as a pattern. Why this was not originally dealt with by the bus driver and/or the school authorities is a separate but important question.

The real deal is that this student was being harrassed for being "different". The suggestion was he was a "nerd". Well, he could have been gay as well, or accused of being gay because of his non-conformity. However the perponderance and tacit acceptance of bullying is at the base of this. This is the issue which should be being discussed.

The race baiting of Limbaugh is despicable and should be called out for what it is. However, the issue here is bullying and no one seems to address it.

Just my opinion. You may want to view the video. It is very enlightening.

Yeah, when it comes to playing the victim card Limbaugh can't be beat. Poor old rich boy Rush, from the safety of his life of upscale access to all of America's goodies, is the victim of the liberals and black people who, out of sheer malice, unfairly burden him with guilt! Waah! Waah! With Rush it always comes down to "Poor. poor. pitiful me". And by implication, his poor, poor, pitiful listeners.

What does Obama have to do with the incident, even if it were racist? (Which, on the evidence so far, it was not.)

What did Obama have to do with a suspected break-in in Cambridge? Or with Kanye West? Yet incredibly, people asked him about it and he jumped in. Your position as I understand it is that I am race-baiting for wondering whether a story pushed by Drudge (and later Limbaugh) will eventually prompt a question to Obama or Gibbs, and advising them to stay away from it? Absurd.

Well, it seems to me that Tom Maguire is disingenuously trying to hide the dog whistle behind his back.

Yeah, my experience is that when Drudge, Limbaugh and I all push a story it develops legs. You see right through me.

you, Brett and Tom Maguire all responded to the accusations of GOP racism with lame tu quoque arguments.

you can't defend Limbaugh/Drudge/Malkin so you just attack someone else.

Ahh, it is OK if I defend myself?

And to whoever wanted to reprint Just One Minute comments here for discussion, hmm - that seems awfully meta. Would the point be that some of my regulars (if that is what they were) said something that someone here wants me to defend over here? Pass.

As to whether this incident was racist or racially motivated, try to guess the reaction if a negative of the same video were released, with white kids cheering while two white kids beat up a nerdy black student. THAT, I am quite sure, would push even Kanye off the front page and be a stain on our nation's soul.

Acknowledging any of the hateful bile spewing out Rush Limbaugh's bloated
airways may seem, to some, to merely lend this hate-monger the legitimacy he
begs for. But some things cannot go unchecked.

Rush Limbaugh needs to be relegated to the same disgusting class of people that includes white supremacists and other hate groups. His use of Scottsboro Boys-like tactics to attempt to pit angry white people against black Americans reveals him to be a stone cold racist. Anyone lending any future credibility to anything Rush Limbaugh says - other than to spotlight, document, and utlimately ridicule the hatred this man feels towards so many Americans - would in fact be aiding and abetting a cowardly, amoral, anti-American racist thug.

So please, mainstream media, stop treating Limbaugh as anything more than he is: A hateful race-baiting extremist.

"and has the law ever placed the weight of that debt on your shoulders?"

Well, yes, it has. For thirty years, most of my adult life, the law has squarely placed the burden of Affirmative Action and any number of other preferential programs on the backs of middle class white people who have watched their children have less opportunity (particularly lower middle class families). Good or bad from a cultural standpoint? I lean toward good overall. But, yes is the answer to the question.

Rush: What do you mean you can't look at everything through a racial prism? Obama does.

this is another one of those ideas the GOP seems to repeat every chance they get but which makes no sense at all to me. how is Obama racist ? i've Googled a bit, but all i find are articles which try to tie unrelated events back to Obama.

i get that it's a very easy way to attack him and defend yourself: claim the other guy is a racist, then when you want to be racist, whine "but he did it first!" but for it to really work, the other really has to do it first. and i just don't see it.

no, what i see is the GOP doing exactly what it accuses the left of doing: seeing everything through a racial prism while using "he's a racist" as a defense.

--

So how do you think we should have a discussion about racism without discussing it?

this isn't a discussion about race. it's a discussion about Limbaugh, Malkin, Drudge and the rest of the GOPs mouths. you can tell by reading the article publius wrote, above.

"Two brief things:

First, as a point of fact affirmative action was not instituted as "payback" or restitution for past sins. It was instituted to address contemporary racism."

No, it was instituted to address the trailing effects of historical racism. Thats a slightly different concept. It was implemented as a preference program beyond that concept.

Marty, I thought you were Canadian. Apologies if I am wrong, but if that's the case, there are a number of confounding factors to bring in before you can simply map US rhetoric to the Canadian situation.

Well, yes, it has. For thirty years, most of my adult life, the law has squarely placed the burden of Affirmative Action and any number of other preferential programs on the backs of middle class white people who have watched their children have less opportunity (particularly lower middle class families).

Squarely on your shoulders? Jeebus Marty, do you have any idea how limited affirmative action programs are? How small an effect they really have? And how they can be satisified by hiring qualified and overqualified minorities, such that it's not really a burden or unfair to anyone?

Get to grips my man. And get some facts.

bc- LJ is onto something here that I want to expand upon.

Rush's meat-and-potatoes rhetorical move is to be outrageous and inflammatory ahead of the break, come back from the break with a quick, quiet explanation of why his outrageousness isn't serious and then move on to his next topic. He's done it for years.

He's also observed his faithful listeners picking up the inflammatory parts and repeating them -- without the part from after the break -- for years.

If the part after the break was most important to Rush he would have changed his schtick in order to better make his point. He hasn't. That tells me as much as I need to know about Rush Limbaugh's rhetoric.

For thirty years, most of my adult life, the law has squarely placed the burden of Affirmative Action and any number of other preferential programs on the backs of middle class white people who have watched their children have less opportunity...

...than they would have had if a whole segment of the population continued to be excluded from the chance to participate.

It would have been much better to leave the burden where it always was, on the backs of black people who watched their children get systematically excluded from good schools, good neighborhoods, and good jobs for generation after generation. What's one more generation, after all? And then another, and another after that.

Tom Maguire,
sorry to be so meta, but if your comment section is composed of people who think talking about Obama's 'chilrun' is just a bland observation, it suggests that this is not a recommendation that Obama avoid the subject but a dog whistle.

No, it was instituted to address the trailing effects of historical racism.

No, not even close. When the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were passed, Jim Crow laws were STILL IN EFFECT THROUGHOUT THE SOUTH. How on earth can you refer to that as "historical racism?" Affirmative action programs were designed to address institutionalized, legalized anti-black racism that was occurring AT THE TIME.

Publius, clean up on aisle 5

I mean, for pete's sake, Marty, Kennedy's "affirmative action" memo, the first such Executive Order of its kind, was issued in 1961; only four years prior to that, in 1957, the Arkansas National Guard was lining up to keep black kids out of schools. If we're relegating the passage of four years to the dustbin of history, we must have institutional Alzheimer's or something.

About a generation ago, or at least up to WW2, one could not be part of the mainstream unless one was racist. It was the obvious and natural way in which a modern civilized nation operated. By the 1950s conservatives were the primary advocates of maintaining the "traditional" view of racial relationships while leftists and liberals were adjusting race, ethnicity and culture. Not that it didn't morph into other forms of social organizing.

Anyway, considering the way society organized itself, as a result of these views, I can't think of a way to ignore that long and distiguished history.

I am going to tell a story. It's probably a story any of uus could tell, but here goes: an acquaitance of mine, John,, grew up in a separated and unequal community in the South. His parents were openly racist. Time passed, society changed, and the community grew less separated and more equal. Race issues became genreally better but also more complex.

One day John took his small granddaughter to the public pool to play. She splashed around and accidentally knocked another little girl off her feet. The othger girl's mother immediately rose up in defense of her child, face, body language ane voice full of wrath. John thinks he can spot a potential race incidennt when he sees one so he grabbed is grandchild and left.

John is a nice guy. he didn't tell this story to play the victim card. He has enough insight into the history of his community to understand why an AA woman might assume that her daughter was a victim of a racsim and might want to leap to her daughter's defense even though the assumption that he and his granddaughter were racists was unfair to them.

We are at a point in race relations where all kinds of kinnds of contradictory things can be true at the same time: black men are demonized and fear and one got elected President, there is racism and yet a new lack of racism that opens unpresidennted opportunity; some black people are unduely paranoid about race and some have good to reason be, some white people do feel guilty about history and some feel put upon becuase they feel a guilt they put on themselves and some have really been blamed for things they did not do, there are black people who cross the line between being assertive and being paranoid and there are whites who unconsciously interpete any kind of assertiveness from a black person as an attack on white entitlement and so on. We are in an immensley complicated point of our histopry mademore commplicated by the fact that different generaltions perceive things different ways.

So we all need to be patient with each other through this time of change and try to be good communicators. Which is exactly what Limbaugh does not want to do. He wants to ennd communication, to inflame the worst in his listeners and to do so for partisan benefit. I really don't care if he personally is a racist or not. His inntentkion is to worsen race realtions and that constitutes race baiting.

Sorry about all the typos but i have to run to work now.

Cleanup in aisle three. Pity the nick is from a monty python sketch.

"Get to grips my man. And get some facts."

Just answering the question. Have any of your kids been denied access to a college or a job due to Affirmative Action, or not qualifying for other programs? Please note, I expressed a positive view of most of the outcomes, but the answer to the question was yes.

However, I would interpret the attribution to Obama's racial prism (as well as the 'we hit back twice as hard', what does that mean?)

LJ: I thought it meant what the White House said about attacks on the proposed health care plan. It shows the nature of his satire.

Everything that happens in America is seen thru the prism of Obama is black to Rush. It seems like that in and of itself tells a lot more about Rush than it does about Obama or anyone commenting here. .

I don't know if that is true or not. I don't listen to Rush enough to know. I do know that when I do listen (usually when I'm driving long distances through the mountains and I can only pick up a.m. and I've forgotten my Ipod) there is a lot of satire that is often taken out of context. Like here.

no, what i see is the GOP doing exactly what it accuses the left of doing: seeing everything through a racial prism while using "he's a racist" as a defense.

At least you say that after reading the whole transcript. Google the issue and you'll see a lot of left sites aren't quoting the entire transcript. My main point wasn't to defend Rush on the merits of "Obama's America" because that wasn't Rush's main point either.

bc- LJ is onto something here that I want to expand upon.

Nous: I don't think LJ was on to it at all. You are. At least you recognize the satire and are moving beyond that to what does the satire mean. And I think it's a good point. I don't know whether or not Rush deliberately waits until after the break to "reveal" is satire because it is obvious just from reading the part before the break. It seems to me that everyone's brains turn off when Rush is mentioned and the discussion becomes awful shallow and knee-jerk in character.

At the outset, this discussion was simply about the satire as truth. Which seems still to prove Rush's point. It's all about race.

I think satire plays an important place with tough issues. It can help discuss the merits. It doesn't help when satire is only taken as "truth" and we don't get to the merits.

No, it was instituted to address the trailing effects of historical racism. Thats a slightly different concept.

I beg to differ.

The historical legacy was slavery and Plessy-sanctioned "separate but equal" laws. In other words, explicit, legally sanctioned racism.

The actual phenomena that affirmative action was intended to address, as explicitly stated in the executive orders and other documents that established it, was then-current discrimination in hiring and promotion in violation of standing civil rights law.

"Discrimination" here refers not just to discrimination on the basis of race, but also national origin and religion, and eventually was extended to gender.

But discrimination based on race -- which is to say, racism -- was certainly a large, I would say prominent, part of the motivation.

Would that the conditions that motivated AA were no longer in existence.

Marty: For thirty years, most of my adult life, the law has squarely placed the burden of Affirmative Action and any number of other preferential programs on the backs of middle class white people who have watched their children have less opportunity...

JanieM: ...than they would have had if a whole segment of the population continued to be excluded from the chance to participate.

My guess is that there may be small-scale and short-term instances of white people not getting something or other because of Affirmative Action, but that, overall, everyone, including whites, benefits in the long run. Opportunity is not a zero-sum game, and taking advantage of under-utilized talent and potential helps us all, I think. Maybe a black doctor who might otherwise not have gotten into medical school but for AA will save Marty's life and he'll feel less burdened.

Just answering the question. Have any of your kids been denied access to a college or a job due to Affirmative Action, or not qualifying for other programs? Please note, I expressed a positive view of most of the outcomes, but the answer to the question was yes.

Marty,

I grew up in a rich, ultra white suburb of NYC. What I saw were kids with mediocre grades and SAT scores go to Ivy League and other near Ivy schools (Georgetown, Johns Hopkins etc) ahead of other kids with much, much better grades/test scores.

It was common knowledge that legacy parents were extremely generous in terms of donations and had very good connections (frequent refrain: guess they just built a [insert name of kid who got accepted way above his merit] wing at [insert really good school]), and that this got their kids in the school.

And those grades and test scores were mediocre despite having food in their stomachs, a relaxed, peaceful environment to attend school, access to the best teachers, access to the best tutors, access to expensive Test prep courses.

So, really, why don't you focus on a more unjust outcome in terms of preferences rather than a far more justifiable and understandable program.

"I mean, for pete's sake, Marty, Kennedy's "affirmative action" memo, the first such Executive Order of its kind, was issued in 1961; only four years prior to that, in 1957, the Arkansas National Guard was lining up to keep black kids out of schools. If we're relegating the passage of four years to the dustbin of history, we must have institutional Alzheimer's or something."

I said "for the last thirty years or so" on purpose. The Kennedy Memo, the legislation, Johnsons followup and even Nixons memo do fall into, at waning levels, correction of both past and present injury. The expansion over the years beyond Federal contracts, then to anyone who got federal money, to quotas in education trailed all of those by many years.

My apologies for using the term loosely.

Bowing out now before the inevitable debate over affirmative action heats up.

Clearly, you are aware of all internet traditions.

Check this out . Sullivan links to TPM which links to Media Matters who leaves out the part that makes it clear it is satire. And this is an honest discussion how?

And, Publius, did you read or listen to the entire exchange, or just get it from the three sources you link to, none of whom actually quotes the entire passage?

The expansion over the years beyond Federal contracts, then to anyone who got federal money, to quotas in education trailed all of those by many years.

Quotas in higher education were banned by the SCOTUS in the Bakke decision in 1978. What are you referring to, Marty?

Please note, I expressed a positive view of most of the outcomes, but the answer to the question was yes.

The rain falls on the just and the unjust. My guess is that that is not news to you.

I'm not being flip or a smart-aleck. Sometimes it costs us something to make the right things happen, that's all.

bc,
an unsourced comment from a private meeting during the height of the townhall meetings, a month and a half ago? Rather tenuous, don't you think?

And reading the transcript leaves me more, not less disgusted. It's hard to tell who was responsible for the title, and the pictures, but the claim that people are claiming that attacks on Kayne West are racist seems to be really out there, but was carefully woven into the monologue. The show is carefully constructed to make a specific point, and it is hard to believe that he somehow was just doing a improv and then pulled it all together for his listening audience. The structure is carefully set, I wouldn't be surprised if the phone calls are previously recorded ('cueing up 17, 18 and 19) and cut so Rush can springboard off them to the greatest effect. Interpreting them as just an off hand chat is a big mistake.

"I grew up in a rich, ultra white suburb of NYC. What I saw were kids with mediocre grades and SAT scores go to Ivy League and other near Ivy schools (Georgetown, Johns Hopkins etc) ahead of other kids with much, much better grades/test scores."

I was pretty sure this was true. So let me tell you I grew up in a dirt poor part of Texas, never got less than an A, SAT's anyone would have been happy to get and there were no Ivy League schools looking to recruit me. My version of affirmative action was three years in the army and night school helped out by the VA. Six years behind my peers in getting a degree and working 60 hours a week for $9000 a year to make ends meet. In those days, affirmative action hadn't come to higher ed very much so my experience wasn't dissimilar to others I knew.

Over the next thirty years those experiences diverged substantially for my kids generation. Both getting in and getting it paid for were not an equal proposition for the lower middle class.

Call me when it has effected you in any way. Otherwise don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about. I have actually lived it and worked hard enough that I managed to help them get through.

But the answer to the question was yes.

Just for clarity, all this discussion is from this question posed

"The thing to ask yourself is how much have you really had to pay, and has the law ever placed the weight of that debt on your shoulders?"

to which the answer, factually, is yes. I find myself becoming more animated on the subject as people try to say the answer is no. I didn't object that much in the first place, there were some excesses but in generl it was ok with me.

Now I am irritated that the facts seem uncomfortable to the people here enough to do everything except deny them.

"Quotas in higher education were banned by the SCOTUS in the Bakke decision in 1978. What are you referring to, Marty?"

Reality

Call me when it has effected you in any way.

Um, why wouldn't it have affected me? Why you and not me? I don't get it. Wouldn't I be disadvantaged by it? Why not?

And Marty:

I responded because of you saying the burden fell squarely on your shoulders, when really it is but a mere glancing blow at best.

I grow animated by people that blow it out of proportion.

Over the next thirty years those experiences diverged substantially for my kids generation. Both getting in and getting it paid for were not an equal proposition for the lower middle class.

And you have what evidence that, if true, this was due in a significant way to Affirmative Action?

FWIW, I would favor socio-economic AA, which would help disadvantaged people regardless of their group (aside from socio-economic grouping), thereby helping groups of people to the extent that a given group has socio-economically disadvantaged members.

Dirt poor white kids (Marty)could start, along with dirt poor black kids, displacing rich white kids (Eric) and rich black kids at universities. (I'm being half-funny here. Pick whichever half you think is offensive.)

I didn't object that much in the first place, there were some excesses but in generl it was ok with me.

I'd say nobody could ask for more than that.

I was pretty sure this was true. So let me tell you I grew up in a dirt poor part of Texas, never got less than an A, SAT's anyone would have been happy to get and there were no Ivy League schools looking to recruit me.

Marty, I'm not sure how old you are, but interpreting lack of interest for active discrimination is pretty bizarre. And if you were going to school at the same time I was, certainly, schools were looking for minority candidates, but positing that because they did that and didn't go looking for you really misunderstands the college selection process. In fact, now, because schools work towards geographic diversity as well, if you were in the same situation today, you'd have a much better chance than a comparable candidate from say Boston or New York.

The simple act of looking to increase diversity is taken as discriminating against the majority. I don't think I could come up with a better example.

Marty: Long before any of the recent events, Skip Gates has a distinguished history as a race baiter.

BUAHAHAHHAHAHA Skip Gates? Skip Gates?!?!

Marty, prior to the Harvard incident, had you ever even heard of Henry Louis Gates, Jr? Because only someone who has blindly swallowed the steady stream of racist wingnut agitprop that transformed someone who is (or was) the epitome of the post-racial apologist into the second coming of H Rap Brown would say something so unremittingly ignorant. There's a reason why blackademia responded with collective shock when reports first surfaced that Skip Gates (Skip Gates?!) had actually called out someone for racism.

bc - "I don't think LJ was on to it at all."

But I think he was. Rush is attuned to what will get his listener's attention, and part of that is saying things that he knows will piss off Those Other People TM. LJ is simply pointing out that when he pitches his outrage he almost always takes aim at a minority or at feminists or takes a shot at effete liberals or the ACLU or Europeans and immigrants. I've never heard him take a similar shot at Christians or Southerners.

Limbaugh's schtick takes the form of satire, but it doesn't work like satire because the pleasure of outrage completely overshadows the effectiveness of the irony. His clarifications only serve to excuse the outrage, they seldom enlighten because the thing he treats as ironic is usually untrue.

Dave Chapelle did similar things, but he changed things up when he heard stupid people repeating his soundbites without getting the irony.

"I responded because of you saying the burden fell squarely on your shoulders, when really it is but a mere glancing blow at best.

I grow animated by people that blow it out of proportion."

I didn't blow it out of porportion, you did.

displacing rich white kids (Eric)

For the record, my parents shoehorned us in sideways into said town (small house at the very edge of the school district). I was not anything like rich, but I still consider myself extremely blessed and fortunate for that.

"FWIW, I would favor socio-economic AA, which would help disadvantaged people regardless of their group (aside from socio-economic grouping), thereby helping groups of people to the extent that a given group has socio-economically disadvantaged members."

Me too.

Shorter Tom Maguire:

"I wasn't race-bating; I was concern-trolling."

Or race-baiting, even.

And you have what evidence that, if true, this was due in a significant way to Affirmative Action?

I'm not gonna wade in a speak for Marty here because he does a very good job of speaking for himself.

What I will say is that it's foolish to denigrate the cost that gets paid by somebody, somewhere whenever we try to level any of the various playing fields that we operate under.

IMO there's a good case to be made that AA, frex, is worth the cost. But the case that should be made is that, net/net, it's worth it, rather than that the cost doesn't exist.

the law has squarely placed the burden of Affirmative Action and any number of other preferential programs on the backs of middle class white people who have watched their children have less opportunity (particularly lower middle class families

What you are doing here, is that you are taking 30 years of the economic decline of the lower middle class in this country, and you're blaming it on the blacks.

hairshirthedonist: "FWIW, I would favor socio-economic AA, which would help disadvantaged people regardless of their group (aside from socio-economic grouping), thereby helping groups of people to the extent that a given group has socio-economically disadvantaged members."

Marty: Me too.

Me too. Three of us, it's a movement! What shall we call it?

But I do wonder: how is forcible (via mandated AA programs) redistribution of opportunity different from forcible (via taxes) redistribution of wealth, a lot of the concentration of which was helped along (as Eric points out) by unequal distribution of opportunity in the first place?

And Marty, favoring socio-economic AA but not race-based AA implies that the problem with race-based AA in your eyes isn't the AA part, but the race part. But if race and poverty are linked in this country, then what you're really saying is that AA needs some adjusting, but mostly it's moving us in the right direction. It needs to include more people from the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum, and exclude rich blacks, and then it would be fine?

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