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November 04, 2005

Comments

I'd agree, though I have the sinking feeling this will be the new Ward Churchill moment. Liberals -- who find the display just as disgusting as conservatives and have condemned it -- will have this guy's name shoved in their face by talking heads and right-wing bloggers for the next two years as proof that 'Liberals are really racist.'

The David Dukes of the right -- people who are genuine crypto-racists -- will be ignored and shrugged off while Gillard will be treated as 'Representative of the Left.'

Mind you, the same problem can go both ways. The 'left' seems to get less slack, though. Radical anarchists, for example, are routinely lumped in with 'liberals' while white supremacist groups are rarely grouped with garden variety 'conservatives.' Perhaps it's just my imagination.

That said, though, the event Gilliard was protesting DOES raise important questions. A black man with no objections to a country club that excludes blacks? It's not exactly rocket science that he would be called to task. I don't think it's fair to call that particular attack an 'attack on black conservatism' -- unless of course you feel that conservatism and racial segregation are one and the same. I can't imagine you thinking that, though. I have a great deal of respect for you and certainly enjoy your writing here.

But more than one commentator has suggested that Charles somehow erred in repeating Steve Gilliard's picture of Mr. Steele, who is black, in blackface.* I don't see why.

FWIW, Von: my main objection to Charles repeating that picture is his publishing it above the fold. As other commenters have pointed out, it's not worksafe for many offices. It would have been better to put it below the fold with a note above the fold to say it was there.

Perhaps Katherine or hilzoy would be so kind as to repost the torture photos again. I'd like to be reminded of the stupid. They could lead off this time with a photo of Bush and Rumsfeld.

Incidentally, I do sympathize with those who have work-related concerns, i.e., the nosy gossip ninja in cubicle 4J. But I don't think that's an excuse for shying away from showing this picture. Not everything is comfortable, and we can't use the "frailest egg" standard in deciding what to write about.

I am not arguing that Gilliard shouldn't be written about, or linked to, on this issue -- if you think the image he photoshopped is an important subject of discussion, you should absolutely draw attention to it. On the particular issue of what I've always understood Obsidian Wings' style to be, and the reasons for that style, don't you guys have a 'no profanity' rule so as not to make it difficult to read from work? If someone said something immensely stupid and disagreeable, but also laden with explicit obscenity, my guess is that you would link, if you wanted to publicize and discuss the stupidity, rather than quote an obscene screed on the front page of ObWi for that reason. I really wish the picture would come down -- put it up on a separate page and link to it, describe it vividly, berate Gilliard, but having the picture up on the front page is completely NSFW.

Substantively, I'm not sure what I think about it. The image is obscenely absuive, but I've never been all that much for the PC regulation of speech -- the question is what is the obscene abuse expressing? If it's expressing racism, that's a terrible thing, but no one is suggesting that Gilliard, a black man who is publicly concerned with issues of racial justice is an anti-black racist in any simple sense (or, if anyone is, they're loons). Gilliard is abusing Steele for having done something that Gilliard is terribly offended by - condoning a campaign event held in a country club with a history of refusing to admit non-white members. I have to agree with Gilliard that Steele's conduct was offensive.

Now, while Gilliard would probably have objected to the same conduct from a white person, he certanly wouldn't have objected in the same way -- the abuse he directed at Steele is explicitly racially charged, a graphic accusation that Steele is conforming to a negative black stereotype, that of the subservient black man who curries favor with powerful white people. I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable making an attack on Steele in those terms, but I'm not certain that it's different in kind from, for example, what Bill Cosby does when he berates blacks for behaving in ways that conform to other negative racial stereotypes. As a white person, I couldn't say either what Cosby says, or what Gilliard says, but I'm not sure that I can rule either of them out of line.

On the third hand, the graphic is obscene enough that that I can't affirmatively defend its use. So I'm not sure what I think about it.

So, von, the Washington Post's emphatic assertion of their IP rights in the original photo, and the fact that Charles isn't mounting the photo at ObWi but is instead leeching bandwidth from Michelle Malkin . . . not factors at all? I mean, OK, I can see if you want to carve out an IP fair-use thing for parody or education or whatever, but using other people's bandwidth without their explicit consent is generally considered a no-no.

And whatever problems I have with Gilliard -- trust me, from what little I've read from him, they're legion -- I don't see how what he did to the photo, stupid as it may be, contains the least little bit of "cognitave dissonences [sic], self-irony, and ahistorical idiocy." I imagine Gilliard knows full well the historic, racial and sociiological implications of a black man putting on blackface, and deployed the imagery in full knowledge of them.

How is Charles leeching Malkin's bandwidth? So far as I can tell, the picture is posted directly on ObWi's serves.

I can't comment on the potential copyright claim that you raise because I don't know whether the WaPo is a current client of the firm.

Charles isn't mounting the photo at ObWi but is instead leeching bandwidth from Michelle Malkin

crap. you mean every time i hit ObWi for the next 5 days, i'm going to be contributing to that demon's hit count ?

blast.

von, the image address, if you right-click and view its properties (or Ctrl-click on a Mac and do "Copy Image Address") is:

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/images/steelesmeared.jpg

How is Charles leeching Malkin's bandwidth?

if you do a View Source on the ObWi main page, you'll see that picture's URL is:

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/images/steelesmeared.jpg

Jinx!

I've considered registering over at Redstate and condemning stupid by repeating stupid by quoting full front-page posts in my comments, but time constrains, so stupid lives.

But I repeat myself.

I really didn't have a problem with Charles publishing the photo (I'm not at a workplace), but I am curious about the intent motivating the post. Did he expect someone to argue Gilliard's point, word for word?

Why not confront Gilliard head-on at his place and chew him a new one, instead of arguing the point here? Or was this like when my cat occasionally smuggles half a mouse into the house and presents it to me,lovingly laying it at my feet, as if to say, I know that you like half-eaten mice, too. C'mon, admit it. They are pests, but you've developed a taste, haven't you? she purrs.

Or is this really like the torture photos? Do Charles and Sebastian, and Von consider the torture photos something rubbed in their faces? Though it would be refreshing, for argument's sake, if someone said they really get into torture.

Wait a minute! Again with the Redstate.

Now, look, I make my comments long and wordy so no one is tempted to repeat them verbatim as a way of bringing attention to stupidity ... the genus said.

And, by the way, I'm all for leeching Michelle Malkin's bandwidth. Maybe she'll run out.

Alright, I'll say it: Boo, blackface! Blackface bad! Are we done here?

We can wail about Steve Gilliard for quite some time - and that lengthy series of finger-wagging posts about Amnesty International's "gulag" reference tells me "we" will - but it won't purge the Republican Party of former and current policies which hurt blacks as a group, exploit the racial divide, and shred the poor to benefit the rich.

Iron Lungfish,

Exactly right. Once again the Republicans are saying that if they scream loud enough about the way the message is sent, this constitutes a response to the actual message.

If it's expressing racism, that's a terrible thing, but no one is suggesting that Gilliard, a black man who is publicly concerned with issues of racial justice is an anti-black racist in any simple sense (or, if anyone is, they're loons).

Gilliard is basically calling Steele a traitor to his race (as Charles pointed out), and doing it in a way that suggests unnatural (whatever that might mean in the mind of the bigot in question) loyalty to another race. It's more or less the equivalent of a white man calling another white man a "n**ger lover." IOW, Gilliard is expressing his contempt for Steele by using rhetoric that is by definition racist against whites. Also, observation suggests to me that a lot of white liberals behave as if the use by lefty blacks of this type of discourse gives them "permission" to use it too, with the result that I've heard a lot of white liberals calling Clarence Thomas, et al, an "oreo." Given the chain of reasoning above, I'll leave it to the PC linguistics experts in this forum whether whites who use this sort of language are engaging in some kind of weird chimeral form of racism, or if they're just deeply retarded.

Gilliard is basically calling Steele a traitor to his race (as Charles pointed out), and doing it in a way that suggests unnatural (whatever that might mean in the mind of the bigot in question) loyalty to another race. It's more or less the equivalent of a white man calling another white man a "n**ger lover."

Sorry, but I don't buy that. I do not find this at all objectionable, given the long history of the term (since at least the 50s and 60s). Nor do I find it convincing to argue that Gilliard is engaging in behavior that is inherently anti-white. That's making the assumption that black/white relationships lie on a bidirectional scale and that to be pro-black is to be automatically anti-white. While there are some people who indeed think that way, and Gilliard may think that way, this term is not an example of that type of thinking.

"whether whites who use this sort of language are engaging in some kind of weird chimeral form of racism, or if they're just deeply retarded"

any other choices? how 'bout just mildly retarded? idiot savant? Asperger's Syndrome?

Indeed, it is not repetition of stupidity that causes harm; it is acceptance of stupidity
Just to point out, von, whether you meant to imply this or not - stating that the image shouldn't be on the front page is not the same thing as accepting it.

For my part, I don't care; the image is self-refuting. It's idiocy and lack of substance is immediately apparent, so I don't care what you guys do with it. But it would be unfair to say that those who clearly disagreed with Gilliard were somehow accepting stupidity by also arguing that it should not be propagated.

News flash: man who says outrageous things to attract attention has said something outrageous.

I can understand why Republicans might want to change the subject, but this is ridiculous. Not one Maryland vote will be changed by Gilliard's post or use of this picture. I think it's in bad taste, but then I think a whole lot of things are in bad taste, and, in fact, I think the 'other faith' has such a large bad taste advantage that really I don't want to waste any attention at all on listening to them whine about bad taste that they don't like.

Shorter: I don't have to listen to any Republican complain about incivility so long as Karl Rove is employed. (I said the same about Lee Atwater, in case anyone thinks it has to do with any recent episodes).

I don't plan to vote for the Lt. Gov., if anyone was wondering. I don't expect he'd think I'd change my mind about this because of pity, or outrage about what some blogger in NYC, with no connection of any kind with the the candidates who will be running, has said or done.

A black man with no objections to a country club that excludes blacks?

Wrong. There are no black members of this particular country club. It does not follow from this that they purposefully or implicitly "exclude blacks." In fact, the leadership of the club in question has explicitly stated that they do no such thing; and the various Democrats who have held events there over the years seem to have understood this.

This all stems from a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the usual lefty suspects, who hear the term "Republican," "country club," and "all white," and leap to the conclusions to which their prejudices impel them.

I don't have to listen to any Republican complain about incivility so long as Karl Rove is employed.

How profoundly lazy.

WILKERSON: I'm privy to the paperwork, both classified and unclassified, that the secretary of State asked me to assemble on how this all got started, what the audit trail was, and when I began to assemble this paperwork, which I no longer have access to, it was clear to me that there was a visible audit trail from the vice president's office through the secretary of Defense down to the commanders in the field that in carefully couched terms -- I'll give you that -- that to a soldier in the field meant two things: We're not getting enough good intelligence and you need to get that evidence, and, oh, by the way, here's some ways you probably can get it. And even some of the ways that they detailed were not in accordance with the spirit of the Geneva Conventions and the law of war.

"Shorter: I don't have to listen to any Republican complain about incivility so long as Karl Rove is employed. (I said the same about Lee Atwater, in case anyone thinks it has to do with any recent episodes)."

Or to put it another way, on a day when the New Jersey Republican candidate for governor runs an ad with the Democratic candidate's ex-wife saying that he "let his family down, and he'll probably let New Jersey down, too", complaining about what a small-time blogger says seems out of proportion.

I'm curious about Scott's suggestion of equivalency between charges of betraying one's race when directed at blacks vs. whites. Setting aside questions of the appropriateness or good taste of the charge, Scott, are you saying that blackface or minstrel-show imagery is more or less equivalent to the white epithet of "nigger-lover"?

If so, I would challenge that assertion. I don't think there is a white equivalent to the minstrel show. I don't think there is a white equivalent to the "house slave". These sorts of roles are purely the domain of the disenfranchised. A "nigger-lover" did not betray his race by selling out his oppressed brethren for special privileges. He did so (according to his detractors, at least) by undermining the code of racial superiority which held his kind in greater legal and social regard. There is no equivalency between these two things.

Again, I'm not addressing whether Gilliard's commentary is justified or in good taste.

Oops, sorry, wrong window.

Dantheman: Or in an election cycle in which the Republican candidate for Virginia governor ran an ad accusing his Democratic opponent of being soft on Hitler.

How profoundly lazy

a three word comment complaining about the laziness of another poster ?

"a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the usual lefty suspects"

"How profoundly lazy"

time for my trademarked Tacitus comment verification checklist:

pithy? check
rude and/or ad hominem? check
essentially irrelevant to the underlying post? check
engages in gross stereotyping? check
likely to lead to a threadjack about the merits of Tacitus as a commenter? No Comment.

yup, no false flag here. Identity confirmed; comment is 100% pure Tacitus drivel.

"How profoundly lazy."

Like Mycroft Holmes or Diogenes or the character on the target range in Catch 22, it has always been my ambition to turn vice into virtue and revaluate sloth as wisdom.
Can't have potential if you use it all up, I always say. It's a calling.

pithy? check
rude and/or ad hominem? check
essentially irrelevant to the underlying post? check
engages in gross stereotyping? check
likely to lead to a threadjack...

Oh, its about Tacitus. I thought you were codifying the Obsidian Wings posting guidelines.

Unremarkable that the laziness of CharleyCarp's stance needs explaining. Unremarkable, yet pitiable.

Speaking of pitiable: Francis, no, it's not "essentially irrelevant to the underlying post" -- it's a direct response to the author's own summation of that post. Nor is it an example of "stereotyping" -- I suggest looking the word up.

Instead of dragging us through this same conflict all over again, why don't you guys just grit your teeth and instead take up the conversation of why a country club in a city with a population that was 64% black as of 2000 just happens to have never had a black member, ever.

Or go do something else for a while, if you can't ignore what annoys you. Just lets leave the personality conflicts out of this.

Please, I should add.

Candidates don't even have to be Republican to have this kind of junk used against them:

The Detroit Mayoral race is about the ugliest example of this stuff. Bear in mind that both candidates are black Democrats.

A Kos diarist notes that this ad was placed in the Rosa Parks commemorative edition of the newspaper.

That's pretty sick.

The way Detroit's elections are run is pretty sick as well.

lauraw over at Ace's place is who drew this to my attention.

Wrong. There are no black members of this particular country club. It does not follow from this that they purposefully or implicitly "exclude blacks." In fact, the leadership of the club in question has explicitly stated that they do no such thing; and the various Democrats who have held events there over the years seem to have understood this.

I agree with Tacitus! It's hardly the country club's fault that no black people play golf in Maryland. They've scoured the state, searched every school, done everything short of admitting a black man to admit a black man.

How DARE you claim that they're "whites only" merely because every member happens to be white? Why are you trusting "facts" and "data" when you have the club spokesman earnestly assuring you that their pristinely white membership is a mere artifact of chance?

The nerve of you people!

Dave, I don't see how that's even remotely comparable; bad as it may be, the ad you link to isn't targeting either of the black candidates, it's one of the candidates' supporters targeting the media.

Why is it that discussions of civility always seem to become the nastiest of all?

from Yahoo!'s online dictionary:

stereotype -- "A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception"

Tacitus sez: "This all stems from a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the usual lefty suspects"

Whether the definition applies to the comment is left as an exercise to the reader.

re: use of "pitiable". ye gods, you are just plain rude.

To the kitten: I was banished from this blog for a few days many months ago for calling into question the character of Tacitus. I hereby request that similar treatment be doled out.

If not, I request permission for the authority to re-open old wounds without risk of sanction. As I'm being insulted, I'd like the opportunity to return the favor without be banned again.

(from the same dictionary source, pitiable means "arousing disdainful pity". Synonyms include: pathetic, pitiful, piteous & lamentable)

von, you are spot-on in describing my motivations for front-paging the despicable image which came from Gilliard's worthless blog.

von,
Trying to sidestep another meta Chas thread (and really trying to avoid a meta Tacitus thread), I have to ask:

Person A uses something that is not his to use and the company asks him to take it down.

Person B then uses it under the theory that the company hasn't specifically asked him not to.

Is this how IP works? I would suggest that if this were the case, then simply having a set up cut outs to disseminate the IP while being able to plausibly claim that they are unconnected to the original would constitute legal and ethical behavior. That this has often been the case in recent memory with the Republican party does not make it so.

I would also point out that if the ObWi hive mind has to deal with the WaPo, Chas has suggested that 'the troika' will take care of it. This seems like a prime example of current conservativism, which is to make a mess and expect other people to clean it up.

If so, I would challenge that assertion. I don't think there is a white equivalent to the minstrel show. I don't think there is a white equivalent to the "house slave". These sorts of roles are purely the domain of the disenfranchised. A "nigger-lover" did not betray his race by selling out his oppressed brethren for special privileges. He did so (according to his detractors, at least) by undermining the code of racial superiority which held his kind in greater legal and social regard. There is no equivalency between these two things.

I'm saying that both are manifestations of the "race traitor" concept. I'm saying that they serve a similar function in that they are aimed at degrading the individual they are directed at, as well as attempting to intimidate them and those who might choose to emulate them (the implicit "licensing" of this type of slur--by comments such as "oreo"-- to liberal whites by liberal blacks increases the intimidation effect by denying conservative blacks the now-current social sanctions directed at whites who direct public bigotry at blacks)*. I'm also saying that the remarkable intellectual gymnastics that are being exercised by various individuals to defend this prerogative--or at least to decline to defend it--is due to an implicit recognition that it benefits them politicallly. Of course, there are few whites apart from those favoring hooded evening wear who would defend using "n**ger lover" as acceptable public discourse--it's a little disappointing to see that there are all too many who will stand in Mr. Gilliard's corner or turn a blind eye to his behavior.

Of course, for anyone who this comment does not fit, I would like it if they would come out and say so--it would be a nice moment.

*--Mental exercise: If a conservative newspaper had editorialized that Justice Souter should have an asterisk after his name because he did not represent the political persuasion of most whites in the country, speculate on what the reaction would be.

Widespread giggling.

M. Scott: I'm saying that both are manifestations of the "race traitor" concept.

And in a country where black people and white people had always had equal opportunities of discriminating against each other, they would carry equal weight.

And in a country where black people and white people had always had equal opportunities of discriminating against each other, they would carry equal weight.

Ah, yes--the "only white people can be racist" meme. Allow me to state at this point that if the DNC chooses to make this an overt theme in their campaigning, I will pose absolutely no objections--though I might join Lizardbreath in giggling before taking notes for the attack ads that would follow.

von, you are spot-on in describing my motivations for front-paging the despicable image which came from Gilliard's worthless blog.

That's amusing there, Charles. It claims my blog -- which I haven't bothered posting to in a month or so and gets maybe 20 hits a day is worth 70k. I suspect someone hard-coded Steve's to zero.

Actually, "suspect" is the wrong term. "Know" is probably more accurate.

Useless information: If that silly blog valuation site was functioning for Gilliard's site as it does for other blogs, it would currently value it at $779,767.84 (1,381 links at Technorati x $564.64/link).

It seems to me that use of the picture is fine, and the complaints about it groundless, except perhaps the point about it being above the fold and creating a work place issue (not something I have to worry about, being self-employed).

Although at the end of the day, the picture is about Gilliard being a fool, and not much else.

And the post itself, while making a valid point about improper language concernig black conservatives, is hypocritical in its condemnation. If the issue is ugly language impuning members of the other party, such ugly language is so much a part of the Republican mainstream message these days, that maybe Charles should focus on that much greater evil and not trivial examples about black conservatives.

Such as the drumbeat about liberals or wr opponents being traitors, etc. Or any of Rove's comments. This is much more ugly and damaging than anything regarding foul language about black conservatives.

BIOKIYAR

M. Scott Eiland: I'm saying that both are manifestations of the "race traitor" concept.

Sure, as would be calling a Jew a Nazi collaborator in 1930's Warsaw. I'm sure, on the other hand, that anti-semitic Germans had some choice epithets for those who aided the Jews. But surely you recognize that the stakes are very different in each of these cases? Power relationships matter.

*--Mental exercise: If a conservative newspaper had editorialized that Justice Souter should have an asterisk after his name because he did not represent the political persuasion of most whites in the country, speculate on what the reaction would be.

Are you implying that Souter is nearly as unpopular with whites as Thomas is with blacks?

Ah, yes--the "only white people can be racist" meme.

I think this comment shows just how tone-deaf you are being on this issue. Jes isn't saying this at all. She's saying that the consequences of racism depend on the respective power of the parties involved.

Scott,
I'm a professed linguist, though I don't know if I am the 'PC linguist' you are looking for, but there is a question here of majority versus minority when you try to make out a case of oreo being equal to n. lover. Every minority has a term for those who reject the minority and cast their lot with the majority (Native Americans>apple, British Indians/Pakistanis> coconut, Asian Americans>banana) The fact that all of these are foods suggests that identification with a larger group is more fundamental to minorities than it is to the majority, which is a pretty obvious point, I think.

However, if you would like to discuss the use of the term oreo by white liberals, I think it is incumbent on you to provide some examples. In my experience, if you are white, you definitely do not have license to use the term oreo et. al. (and the fact that most people are completely unaware of the other terms I mentioned suggests that a knowledge of the term oreo does not mean an understanding of it) This extends to terms like Uncle Tom, Sambo, Stepin Fetchit and Crab-In-A-Barrel

This doesn't deny that there are whites who may use it, but I believe that if they do, they are automatically demonstrating that they have no contact with the culture. In fact, there is a nascent movement that promotes being a 'race traitor' as an appropriate response. (Here is a counter-response)
(I should also point out that my viewpoint on this is decidedly agnostic, in that I have enough problems determining what my own identity should be without having the moxie to dictate what other people's identity should be) A quick google suggests that it is rightwing sites that are most commonly complaining about oreo rather than liberals using it to describe. And don't forget that one of the reasons that this fight has been so nasty is that Andrew Sullivan apparently assumed that Gilliard was white, which underlines my point, I think.

The comment about a Souter asterisk is interesting, as I know you are a die hard sports fan from reading you at Tacitus, and this seems to be harkening back to the Roger Maris asterisk. Of course, I have to ask, though, do you have an example of a liberal newspaper editorializing that Thomas should have an asterisk next to his name? The point is not that he should be marked, but that he shouldn't have been elevated at all.

You might also remember this incident with Derek Jeter. While it initially sounds like a black person was writing the letter, it is relatively clear (from the "castrated, shot or set on fire" threat) that they were from a white person or group, which suggests that the notion has been adopted by the extreme right rather than the liberal left.

I'd be very interested to know if you have some examples of whites accusing blacks of being 'race traitors' or 'oreos' as a legitimate (from their point of view) criticism. My own feeling is those kinds of discussions are 'family' discussions, and just like I can't dictate to parents how they should raise their kids, I can't dictate to minorities how they should behave in regards to their own identity.

FYI, I'm respectfully declining any further comment regarding the IP issues associated with the Mr. Gilliard's photograph, save to state that the ObWi Kitty's current position is that this is a legitimate reproduction. The Kitty will, of course, consider contrary claims by interested parties who believe that they have been harmed by the Kitty's reproduction of the image. So that such claims can be properly verified, however, the Kitty will only reply to such claims if they are raised by e-mail. Claims or assertions in the comments will not be addressed.

My apologies, folks.

Tacitus,

Your point (despite all the other responses) is taken. Thanks for pointing out that the country club in question has not, as far as we know, banned blacks from joning or explicitly excluded them. "All-white country club in the middle of a predominantly black community" is straightforward enough.

My use of the word 'excludes' was based on lazy typing and quick pre-commute commenting, rather than an assumption about Republicans. To the best of my knowledge, priviledged racist country club members do not discriminate based on political party.

Perhaps, in this atmosphere of horrible slander-filled backbiting and diminished civility, you'd be willing to give me the benefit of the doubt, and assume that I'd misunderstood a summary of the news story in question. Rather than assuming that I'm an Evul Ign'ran Librul.

Thanks. :-)

Noted that it is now considered OK by ObWi to use other people's bandwidth out of sheer laziness. I think I'll use up some of yours, see if maybe I can jack up your hosting costs. Maybe then, you'll reconsider.

What's funny is that it would have been absolutely trivial -- a matter of moments -- to do right-click, "Save as . . .," then save it on the ObWi server.

Noted that it is now considered OK by ObWi to use other people's bandwidth out of sheer laziness.

Personally, I hope this leeching of bandwidth is due to lack of know-how, and not laziness. Either way, it doesn't reflect well on the kitty.

d-p-u, at the risk of treading the line of incivility, considering who we're talking about, it's kind of a coin-flip.

For those who still don't get it, start here.

Either way, it doesn't reflect well on the kitty.

What will we tell the kitty?

Ah, just found a feature in Firefox that at least allows me to display ObWi's main page with either leeching or getting me into trouble. Right-click on the image and select the option that blocks all images from Michelle Malkin's site.

Should have done that months ago anyway.

"Like Mycroft Holmes or Diogenes or the character on the target range in Catch 22, it has always been my ambition to turn vice into virtue and revaluate sloth as wisdom.
Can't have potential if you use it all up, I always say. It's a calling."

I was going to sign up, but....

Since Gary Farber hasn't played the Gary Farber role in this thread, someone else needs to:

Cognitive dissonance.

For the love of pete, von, spellcheck! At least in a sentence that flings the term 'idiocy' at someone else's work.

I'm a professed linguist, though I don't know if I am the 'PC linguist' you are looking for, but there is a question here of majority versus minority when you try to make out a case of oreo being equal to n. lover.

I know that the distinction is asserted--I just don't accept its validity.

Every minority has a term for those who reject the minority and cast their lot with the majority (Native Americans>apple, British Indians/Pakistanis> coconut, Asian Americans>banana) The fact that all of these are foods suggests that identification with a larger group is more fundamental to minorities than it is to the majority, which is a pretty obvious point, I think.

Well, that's one interpretation. Another might be that food of certain types constitute obvious known examples of things that are different-colored inside than out, and that given the lack of intellectual firepower among those who promulgate and seriously accept "race traitor" rhetoric, making the slurs food items make it easier for them to remember. YMMV.

However, if you would like to discuss the use of the term oreo by white liberals, I think it is incumbent on you to provide some examples.

Hmmm--what would you consider adequate proof? Given our prior go-around about Japanese-American internment, I have no intention of going link-mining or even writing up anecdotes if you're just going to sneer at them. A detailed request, please, and I'll answer based on it.

In my experience, if you are white, you definitely do not have license to use the term oreo et. al. (and the fact that most people are completely unaware of the other terms I mentioned suggests that a knowledge of the term oreo does not mean an understanding of it) This extends to terms like Uncle Tom, Sambo, Stepin Fetchit and Crab-In-A-Barrel

That has not been my experience.

This doesn't deny that there are whites who may use it, but I believe that if they do, they are automatically demonstrating that they have no contact with the culture.

Or that they've picked up on subtle clues that suggest that they'll get away with it.

A quick google suggests that it is rightwing sites that are most commonly complaining about oreo rather than liberals using it to describe.

And the conservatives are reacting to. . .? Come on, connect the dots.


And don't forget that one of the reasons that this fight has been so nasty is that Andrew Sullivan apparently assumed that Gilliard was white, which underlines my point, I think.

How? It might equally suggest that Sullivan was offended that anyone would use the term, and that he reacted in the absence of any specific information that Gilliard was black. Since I had a similar reaction before I was informed he was black, I find that scenario extremely plausible.

The comment about a Souter asterisk is interesting, as I know you are a die hard sports fan from reading you at Tacitus, and this seems to be harkening back to the Roger Maris asterisk. Of course, I have to ask, though, do you have an example of a liberal newspaper editorializing that Thomas should have an asterisk next to his name? The point is not that he should be marked, but that he shouldn't have been elevated at all.

You must have missed this from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

In losing a woman, the court with Alito would feature seven white men, one white woman and a black man, who deserves an asterisk because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America.

The MSM playing Ford Frick (the idiotic later version, not the courageous version who aided Jackie Robinson in 1947)--how charming.


You might also remember this incident with Derek Jeter. While it initially sounds like a black person was writing the letter, it is relatively clear (from the "castrated, shot or set on fire" threat) that they were from a white person or group, which suggests that the notion has been adopted by the extreme right rather than the liberal left.

You'll have to lend me your decoder glasses that allowed you to infer all of that. From what I read, it could just as easily be a black woman ticked off that Jeter dates white girls. Spike Lee famously commented that when he sees a black man with a white woman that he "stares daggers" at them, and in "Jungle Fever," one of the themes is the anger black women feel about black men who pass them over for white women. Respectfully, I think this is weak support for any argument you're making.

I'd be very interested to know if you have some examples of whites accusing blacks of being 'race traitors' or 'oreos' as a legitimate (from their point of view) criticism.

Again, tell me what you're looking for and I'll try to accomodate you.

My own feeling is those kinds of discussions are 'family' discussions, and just like I can't dictate to parents how they should raise their kids, I can't dictate to minorities how they should behave in regards to their own identity.

Interesting--so, should we just ignore this? After all, if the misfits in the black community want to make it difficult for those there who really want to study and learn and become productive members of society, it really isn't any of our business, right? It's a "family" thing.


Shorter M Scott Eiland: "I've got nothing".

FRM: Say wha? I don't agree with most of what Scott wrote, but it's hardly "nothing".

I just consider the source and move on, Anarch.

I guess you can consider pointedly evading the issues, "something", if you choose.

I guess you can consider pointedly evading the issues, "something", if you choose.

Just consider the source and move on, Felix.

Scott,
to take things in the order your wrote
Well, that's one interpretation. Another might be that food of certain types constitute obvious known examples of things that are different-colored inside than out, and that given the lack of intellectual firepower among those who promulgate and seriously accept "race traitor" rhetoric, making the slurs food items make it easier for them to remember. YMMV.

So the lexical item that is a food and represents people who are white on the outside and non-white on the inside is...? I should point out that modern linguistics avoids claiming that language patterns are based on the intelligence of the users. I should also suggest that terms of endearment (honey, sweetie, sugar, pumpkin) are also food terms, and I would hesitate to claim that this is due to some 'lack of intellectual firepower'.

Hmmm--what would you consider adequate proof? Given our prior go-around about Japanese-American internment, I have no intention of going link-mining or even writing up anecdotes if you're just going to sneer at them. A detailed request, please, and I'll answer based on it.

I have to assume that you are talking about this thread, but there were no links provided by you in that comment thread, nor any anecdotes. As for sneering, when I point out that unlike Gitmo, Bagram and Abu Grahib, there were no systematic programs of torture of Japanese-Americans in WWII internment camps and you equate that with calling them 'Club Meds', well, I certainly think that you are asking for it.

I wrote:
In my experience, if you are white, you definitely do not have license to use the term oreo et. al. (and the fact that most people are completely unaware of the other terms I mentioned suggests that a knowledge of the term oreo does not mean an understanding of it) This extends to terms like Uncle Tom, Sambo, Stepin Fetchit and Crab-In-A-Barrel

and you replied
That has not been my experience.

It is at this point that some anecdotes would permit me to understand your argument. Did you call someone a Stepin Fetchit and you were overwhelmed with support from your African-American friends? Or did you see a white liberal call someone a Sambo and saw that s/he was defended from attack by African-Americans who said that s/he had the standing to determine such points of identity?

A quick google suggests that it is rightwing sites that are most commonly complaining about oreo rather than liberals using it to describe.

And the conservatives are reacting to. . .? Come on, connect the dots.

If mild mannered conservatives are utilizing something that is common currency, then it should be quite simple to produce a large number of detailed examples of liberals laying the foundation. (and suggesting that Ted Rall represents all liberals won't cut it, I'm afraid)

How? It might equally suggest that Sullivan was offended that anyone would use the term, and that he reacted in the absence of any specific information that Gilliard was black. Since I had a similar reaction before I was informed he was black, I find that scenario extremely plausible.

If you are referring to your Tacitus comments on this subject, respectfully, I think that there are some other things going on there.

You must have missed this from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
snip
The MSM playing Ford Frick

Thanks, I did miss this, but equating the Journal-Sentinel (in that center of Afro-American culture, Milwaukee) with the MSM is a bit of a reach, don't you think?

You'll have to lend me your decoder glasses that allowed you to infer all of that. From what I read, it could just as easily be a black woman ticked off that Jeter dates white girls. Spike Lee famously commented that when he sees a black man with a white woman that he "stares daggers" at them, and in "Jungle Fever," one of the themes is the anger black women feel about black men who pass them over for white women. Respectfully, I think this is weak support for any argument you're making.

And respectfully, it seems you are imagining black women as harpies who would stop at nothing. Ironically, the two most famous instances of castration would be a Japanese woman and a Latin-American woman. Spike Lee famously named his production company '40 acres and a mule', so if you think that 'staring daggers' is somehow equivalent to lynching, I don't think you realize the weight that lynching has in the historical memory of African-Americans. As a starting point, you may want to try and see this movie about the song Strange Fruit (unless you think the food metaphor represents a 'lack of intellectual firepower')

Interesting--so, should we just ignore this[black identity claims interfereing with educational achievement]? After all, if the misfits in the black community want to make it difficult for those there who really want to study and learn and become productive members of society, it really isn't any of our business, right? It's a "family" thing.

No, because education takes place in the public sphere. Your formulation seems to ignore the persistant presence of racial disparities and discrimination in education and suggests that it is strictly the fault of the 'family' rather than of society at large. I disagree.

This passage, while a bit academic-y, underlines the point.

Black students make choices if they stifle academic achievement because they care whether their peers feel that doing well in school compromises their black identity. What leads some blacks to construct academic effort, the use of standard English, or earning good grades as threats to their social identity as black people? Individual black students exercise their agency when they silence themselves in an AP classroom or disidentify with academic achievement in response to a race cue before testing. What transforms spotlight anxiety into a fear that, given their full effort to achieve, anything less than a brilliant performance will validate the stereotype of black intellectual inferiority and smear The Race? The answer is racial discrimination manifested in the collective historical experience of blacks in America since slavery including decades of lynchings, the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, and dual school systems; in contemporary racist stereotypes and representations such as those in The Bell Curve or the Senate’s former majority leader’s wistful yearning for the Dixiecrat Party’s segregationist agenda; in racially discriminatory treatment of people of color by the judicial system, the electoral system, the health care system, the labor market, the housing market, even the supermarket, andFnot leastFin the isolation of the chilly, white top academic tracks of most high schools and flagship university campuses, an isolation which signals the ‘‘otherness’’ of blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans. (pp 1075-76)

Unfortunately, I believe concentrating on black identity as the or a main cause of black underachievement is mistaken, and I recommend Jonathan Kozol's book Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools as an entree to the root problems. However, bringing in education as a reason to dictate to black young people what their identity should is, IMO, just an weak attempt to change the topic. You are certainly welcome to your opinion, but personally I'd much rather read your essays on sports than your musings on black identity.

Incidentally - and please see this less as a threadjack and more as a request for discussion of something that's actually more important than Steve Gilliard - can we get a post on the latest plan to slash funding for food stamps? This stuff isn't sexy, but it is pretty damn important, and helps answer one of the more persistently irritating questions of the initial Gilliard thread ("why oh why don't more blacks vote for Republicans?").

Fixed the typo, Nell. I'm not sure how it diluted my claim that Gilliard's post was idiotic, though ....

Personally, I hope this leeching of bandwidth is due to lack of know-how, and not laziness. Either way, it doesn't reflect well on the kitty.

If you check again, you'll see that bandwidth leeching claim is no longer an issue.

If a conservative newspaper had editorialized that Justice Souter should have an asterisk after his name because he did not represent the political persuasion of most whites in the country, speculate on what the reaction would be.

Muted, I'll wager, because the political persuasion of most whites is represented quite well by other white members of the court. The Milwaukee editorial was simply stating that in the context of representative diversity (which is what the piece was, you know, about), it would not be accurate to take Mr. Thomas' skin color as a shorthand for his political persuasion, as his views significantly diverge from those held by an overwhelming majority of his fellow African-Americans. Nowhere do the authors state that Mr. Thomas is therefore "less black," or "not really black." That, I'm afraid, is an gloss that the offended Right has chosen to place on the piece. A somewhat ironic gloss, really.

And as for all the white liberals of your acquaintance walking around calling Thomas an Oreo, I am sorry you know such people. I, for my part, have never met anyone like that. Amazing, considering that you report having encountered so many.

I appreciate strong images in the service of a strong point, strongly made. And so I objected not to either Steve's or Charles' use of Steele in blackface.

Steve seemed pretty pissed at Steele so his post was a bit over the top. Such displays don't often lend themselves to good argument and it's on that level that I would criticize it. Trying to fit a racist motive to Steve's post is a bit of a stretch unless the focus is on appearences. If that's the case then gentle advice would probably be more useful in changing Steve's behavior. I guess Charles has as much right to get pissed as Steve, and there's no reason he shouldn't be as over the top.

Blackface has a loaded history in race relations in American history. In one way it represents the theft of black identity. It was certainly used to belittle blacks in the hugely popular Minstral shows. I remember Ben Vareen's much criticized homage to Bert Willians who was much criticised for working in black face. It's an example of one of the crazy ironies of America's racial history that a black man was better accepted in black face than his own.

My relationships with the many, many African-Americans I know, work with or live near is pretty good, I think. There's two arguments I use that nearly always drives them nuts. One is that Sambo was actually a strong black archetype. He represents somebody getting over on the man by feigning shiftlessness. The act, admittedly, is somewhat humiliating, but so is every act performed in forced servitude. At least Sambo has some control.

My other argument is that Elvis was a good thing for black music. Before Elvis, very little radio exposure for black entertainers on the major stations. After Elvis, wide acceptance of black music throughout the media.

I get nowhere with either. I know that Elvis and Sambo mean something way different to them then they do to me.

And so Steve and Charles aren't likely to even understand each other on the subject of Mr. Steele.

So the lexical item that is a food and represents people who are white on the outside and non-white on the inside is...?

OMG, I think I've found a party game for this afternoon! Thanks, LJ!

[I'm currently going with "caramel apple" and "powdered donut", but I'm sure there are better ones out there!]

If mild mannered conservatives are utilizing something that is common currency, then it should be quite simple to produce a large number of detailed examples of liberals laying the foundation.

I too would be interested in a wealth of examples, or heck, even a few major examples, of white liberals referring to African Americans as "Sambo", "Uncle Tom" or anything like that. I don't know about elsewhere, but around here any black folks I know would frickin' break you in half if you tried it -- irrespective of your political persuasion, I might add.

equating the Journal-Sentinel (in that center of Afro-American culture, Milwaukee) with the MSM is a bit of a reach...

To be fair, it is the center of African-American culture in Wisconsin. Which isn't exactly saying much, but still.

You must have missed this from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel...

Unless I misremember, and it's entirely possible that I do, the MJS didn't want Thomas elevated at all; the asterisk is more a later softening of an earlier position than it is a position held ab initio. Not sure what, if anything, that proves, though.

I too am eagerly awaiting Mr. Eiland's anecdotes relating to his experiences with the racially insensitive white left.

A bit of advice: despite what you may have been told, bald caucasians wearing '88' tee-shirts and covered in swastika tats don't usually self-identify as 'liberal'.

But overall I'd say the online concern expressed by some (right-leaning) white folks over how we neegros conduct our affairs is so thoughtful - shows y'all Repubs really do have our best interests at heart.

Honestly - I'm touched.

I'll make sure the bruthas at the NAACP (sorry - we'll do our best to find another less-inflammatory organization to represent the community-at-large) draw up a list of potential black leaders (don't worry, white people are eligible - no reverse discrimination here), statements and slang for y'all to look over.

Feel free to strike anybody or anything you find offensive/overly uppity.

d-p-u, at the risk of treading the line of incivility, considering who we're talking about, it's kind of a coin-flip.

Prejudice is not a pretty thing, Phil. FTR, I forgot about the file upload function on Typepad and, now that I've learned a few more things in this thread, I won't forget to use that feature in future posts. Redstate doesn't have that feature and I don't know how to save files to their server or wherever it is they store files. You would be better off if you assumed that I'm a computer user--and not a very good at that--not a computer geek.

So the lexical item that is a food and represents people who are white on the outside and non-white on the inside is...?

a Berliner.

Emphatically embraced as an identification by none other than President Kennedy.

Sorry to intrude on a serious conversation, but I couldn't resist. Please return to your regularly scheduled Conservative-led misdirection-fest.

I remember Ben Vareen's much criticized homage to Bert Willians who was much criticised for working in black face.

Synchronicity alert! Caryl Phillips, whose works deal with the question of identity, has just written a novelization of Bert Williams life, with the brilliant title of _Dancing in the Dark_. Here is a page of review links.

I don't know that "knowing how to save a photo" and "knowing not to hardlink to photos on other people's servers" rises to the level of geekery, Charles,but fair enough. My apologies for being snippy about it.

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