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June 19, 2015

Comments

I'm not seeing any denial either in my google searches.

With the singular exception of Lindsey Graham, people are not denying that Roof was racially motivated. I'm not claiming that they are denying that he was racially motivated.

I'm pointing out that prominent conservative commentators are *not discussing his racial motivations at all*. They are, instead, talking about every other aspect of the event, including aspects that have nothing to do with the event at all, and which appear to simply be things they want to talk about.

To the degree that I refer to "denial" in this thread, it's in the dreaded liberal psycho-babble sense of "ignoring things you don't want to think about".

But even that is a bit of a mind-read on my part. I don't know why they want to talk about everything BUT Roof's racism.

So, I thought I would ask.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if a liberal wrote it to fan the flames

Hey Eric, having read the rest of your comment, I will now invite you to piss up a rope. Up your nose with a rubber hose. Or, more plainly, kiss my ass.

Dig?

Thanks for playing.

I grew up in Memphis, Eric. I think some of my dirt poor ancestors might have fought for the South, but I'd have to check with my sister who knows more of the family history. Your south vs north guilt contest is rrelevant to me--I have no problem admitting that white racism is a nationwide problem. But people who glorify the Confederacy are part of the problem, though maybe some are dumb enough to believe their own propaganda that it early wasn't about slavery. I supposed someone that ignorant might be innocent of racism, but it's more likely to be just Lost Cause BS

I enjoyed reading about the Civil War, but some of my white southern friends were racist about it when I was a child and apparently some people are still like that. They talked about the war as though it was a shame the south lost. Which is utterly asinine at best.

And do you know what the Southern Strategy is? I grew up watching it in action. My father said the south was traditionally Dmocratic, which confused me as a child because some of my white friends were racist as hell and their parents were Republican.

Yes, I meant from Islam. A part of my decision to go to bed.

"I'm pointing out that prominent conservative commentators are *not discussing his racial motivations at all*."

Aside from that not really being true, not focusing like a laser on his racial motivations is sensible. Again, if racial motivations alone made you into a killer, (Rather than just determining WHO you kill.) we'd all be dead. There are too many racists, and not nearly enough deadly rampages, for that to be the only, or even the primary, factor.

So, this is kind of like gun control. Somebody kills, yes, with a gun. Liberals go mad about the gun. Conservatives point out that for every person with a gun who kills, there are hundreds, thousands, who don't. And want to know why he killed, not what he killed with.

Ok, so a racist decided to kill blacks. Out of the insane belief that, if he just did so publicly, he could start a race war. As mentioned up-thread, there are blacks who kill whites because of their race. Proportionately, a hell of a lot more of them than whites who kill blacks. But you don't want to talk about that.

This isn't about what made Root kill. This is just about another excuse to claim Republicans are racists. And I don't feel like cooperating in the farce.

Now, excuse me, I have to sneak off and buy the ingredients for waffles, and then get back to bed, because my son plans to make me waffles for breakfast.

The topic was "Why are so many prominent conservatives denying that Root was motivated by racism?

So the topic of discussion is the motivation of those conservatives--not Root's motivations, or Islam, and so on.

Or one could be on topic and argue that some prominent conservatives are not denying Roots' racism, and there are a few examples of that.

My own opinion, is that after using fear of the other, which includes racist dog whistles as a subset, as one of the Republican party's main selling points for decades, it is embarrassing to Republican politicians that someone would take their message to its logical conclusion. After all, Republican politicians were not advocating that black people be shot: just marginalized in other ways including having their votes suppressed. And the Republican efforts to marginalize their fellow Americans could be excused as not specifically racist since they are perfectly happy to marginalize people who are not black. Right to work for less, voter suppression, blaming and shaming disabled people, destroying universities, creating deficits to use as a excuse to cut the life supports out from under the working poor--it doesn't really matter to Republicans if the people they hurt are black or not. So I think that Republican policies are not specifically racist.

However to manipulate voters into voting against the well being of their nation and their neighbors a racist message implicit within a message that says "You are the real American and deserving of government programs which you shouldn't have to pay for, and all those other people are to blame for everything that results fro your desire to get something for nothing, so vote for us because we will smite those other people for you because you are the real American and those other people must not be allowed to take over" is necessary.

Thus the embarrassment and denial when some stupid mean young man takes it all very seriously and decides to do the smiting on his own.

Actually, it's the Democratic party that's using fear of the other. Desperately trying to convince blacks that Republicans are just Roots in Suits, and that the only thing protecting blacks from genocide is the Democratic party.

Desperate, because if blacks don't turn out for the white shrew with ethics problems the way they did for The One, Democrats are going to lose control of both elected branches at the same time. The desperation is understandable.

The tactics are deplorable.

The war between the states had less to do with slavery/racism than you want to make believe it did.

Orly? The actual political entities that succeeded likely would not have agreed with your revisionist apologia...

[Georgia] The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. [...]

...

A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. [...]

...

[South Carolina] [...]We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection. [...]

...

[Texas] [...]Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?[...]

...

THE SECESSION ORDINANCE. AN ORDINANCE TO REPEAL THE RATIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BY THE STATE OF VIRGINIA, AND TO RESUME ALL THE RIGHTS AND POWERS GRANTED UNDER SAID CONSTITUTION.

The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the powers granted under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression; and the Federal Government, having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern Slaveholding States. [...]

As an aside, might someone with the wherewithal to check IPs have a look at Eric's? I may be seeing shadows, but there are certain aspects of his writing style which - as he writes more and more - cannot but increasingly recall the writings of a certain Blackhawk, and that fine soul has not yet discharged their sacred duty - to wit, the duty to enlighten the benighted fools at ObWi following each and every major racial in the US - as it pertains to the SC shootings.

and this is where i leave.

Could someone check the spam filter? You're free to leave my comment there if you feel it wanders too far afield, but if nothing else consider the meta-comment in the final paragraph.

(And if that comment is gone, when I carefully considered and decided against backing it up, I will be thoroughly annoyed and like as not only replicate that last paragraph.)

The topic was "Why are so many prominent conservatives denying that Root was motivated by racism?

No.

The topic is not why are conservatives DENYING Root's racist motivations. The topic is why are prominent conservatives FAILING TO ACKNOWLEDGE Root's racist motivations.

Those are not the same thing.

What struck me in the conservative response to the shootings was the plethora of aspects of it that they chose to discuss, which included almost everything imaginable including Caitlyn Jenner, EXCEPT for his obvious and blatant animus toward black people. And others, but the ones he actually shot were black.

It would be like, for example, discussing the bombing of Wall Street by Galleanist anarchists in 1920 and failing to note that the bombers were motivated by animosity toward wealthy people and capitalism.

Right?

Brett offers his opinion that not focusing on his racial motivations is sensible, because there are lots of racists but most of them don't kill people. Which I guess makes sense if the question on the table was "why did Roof kill them, as opposed to just call them names?", but that really wasn't the question. Nonetheless, I appreciate the reply.

What I don't appreciate are claims that my asking the question is just another attempt to call conservatives racists.

I AM NOT CALLING CONSERVATIVES RACISTS. I know lots of conservative people, and lots of not-conservative people, and both groups of people include folks at a wide variety of points along the "racist" spectrum.

To be honest, I don't think it's possible at this point in time to discuss stuff like this candidly, so perhaps it's best to just withdraw the question. I'm not gonna close the thread, though, if folks want to continue to discuss.

Hey NV, I just checked the comment stream and I'm sorry to say that I don't see your post there.

Sorry, just reading through the comments and found the earlier posts from Eric Newhill.

it makes sense for a racist to want to distance her/himself from a murderer because murder is not typical of those who hold racist views.

This actually does make sense to me, but it assumes that the folks who don't want to acknowledge Roof's racism are themselves racist, which I'm not sure is so.

there is a war going on in this country and it's take no quarter given on all sides.

No, there isn't a war going on in this country. And most folks, overwhelmingly, don't want there to be a war going on in this country.

No worries; it was mostly just lol-orly-ing Eric's revisionist apologia about the "real" causes of the American Civil War and then unsportingly throwing out blockquotes from the actual text of the statements of succession to back up my incredulity, but we can do without the blockquotes; the link is plenty damning w/o inlining it.

The other matter, and this might be me being nasty, mean-spirited, and suspicious but... there was a major racially-contentious event in the US; we are therefore due to be blessed with a denunciatory visit from Blackhawk/etc. Again, ungenerous thought here, but perhaps someone who is able might want to verify that, uh, we haven't already received it? As he's gone on longer, there are certain aspects of Eric's writing style which cannot but begin to recall to me that esteemed personage...

Grumble, grumble. Two down, and this one vanished into the ether just as I had remembered to copy it. Fool me once, etc. Well, I'll be succinct and split it in two.

There was a major contentious racial incident in the US; tradition dictates that we're therefore due a visit from Blackhawk/etc. Um, I may be paranoid, but perhaps someone should look at IPs and ensure we haven't already received it, as certain aspects of Eric's style seemed a bit familiar the longer he went on. I may be being unreasonable and uncharitable in saying that, but...

Grumble, grumble. Two down, and this one vanished into the ether just as I had remembered to copy it. Fool me once, etc. Well, I'll be succinct and split it in two. (Make that three, but I actually saved this one!)

There was a major contentious racial incident in the US; tradition dictates that we're therefore due a visit from a certain darkened raptor who pointedly roosts on thin walls (I'm wondering if naming he-who-shall-not-be-named may have been related to my posts vanishing; as the preceding line shows, I'm sufficiently superstitious as to entertain that line of thought). Um, I may be paranoid, but perhaps someone should look at IPs and ensure we haven't already received it, as certain aspects of Eric's style seemed a bit familiar the longer he went on. I may be being unreasonable and uncharitable in saying that, but...

"I'm pointing out that prominent conservative commentators are *not discussing his racial motivations at all*. They are, instead, talking about every other aspect of the event, including aspects that have nothing to do with the event at all.."

Well, here's a possible explanation for what confuses you, Russell; Once or twice every so often since Columbine we have these mass shooting perpetrated by little sissy gamers with dumb hair cuts. This last time, and only this time, the little sissy with the dumb hair cut was apparently spouting racist crap. Otherwise, he is almost exactly the as all the other little sissies. He even looks like he could be Lanza's or Kliebold's brother. The others, well their motivations have ranged from revenge for alleged "bullying" to emulating "the Joker" to "remains unknown". So some people want to understand this phenomenon from a broader perspective. Others, like you, want to focus in on the racist element in this specific case; I suspect because it fits neatly with your politics.

Personally, I find Roofs racist ideology to be abhorrent. But I acknowledge that most racists don't murder. So I focus on the psychological and or other factors that drove Roof to commit an atrocity.

The war between the states had less to do with slavery/racism than you want to make believe it did.

Lol orly? I'll spare readers who are familiar with these august documents the unsightlyness of blockquoting them in-line, but let's just say that the actual texts of the various states' statements of succession don't really line up with your revisionist apologia...

Ok Russell, they all agree he was racist and the killings were primarily racially motivated. What is the next sentence about that you are looking for? What us left to discuss?

The other things: Christian targets, he could have shot any 9 random black people so why a church?

Was he stoned or crazy, lots of people are racist, why kill people?

Should a crazy stoner gave a gun, how did he get one?

There can be a hundred things to discuss, the racial motivation is a given.

Okay, really, I'm seeing more and more shades of [email protected]@wk. I know that particular strain isn't unique, but an IP check wouldn't be the worst idea.

Historically these are major pillars of the community, and if he was looking to "spark a race war", he wanted it to feel hurtful, plus get a large, non-mixed-race crowd of targets. Nothing suggests it was - let alone had to be - motivated by anti-Christian sentiments.

Conservatives don't want to recognize racism because they fear we all will try to solve the racism problem. The most notorious solution so far has been affirmative action, but reparations for slavery keeps popping up, too.

If we try to address racism via affirmative action we will cut into white privilege, something conservatives cannot abide. They even deny it exists.

So it's better for them to deny that racism matters, or to try to redefine "racist" to mean "anyone who mentions race or racial problems."

(@Marty's "The other things: Christian targets, he could have shot any 9 random black people so why a church?")

Good point NV. I was curious to know if he knew or had had contact with the Pastor/ State Senator. As a young and well respected leader in the community I thought he might have been a particular target, terrorists often target highly visible people.

If we try to address racism via affirmative action we will cut into white privilege, something conservatives cannot abide. They even deny it exists.

These days, affirmative action seems to cut more into Asian "privilege."

"terrorists often target highly visible people.

An apt choice of wording. Historically, terrorists are members/believers/followers/hangers-on of a political and/or social movement that has a political belief system, and political goals.

How is it that the movement that this young man is associated with goes unremarked in conservative circles?

And now we know why we don't discuss it. It's not racism or a nut, he's just another conservative.

There's your answer Russell.

Eric makes an interesting point above: mass shootings are getting common enough that one can ask "how do they differ", and "what features do they have in common"?

A federal law that prohibits possession by "young males with bad haircuts" is long overdue, it seems.

..that's FIREARMS possession...

If you go with designating Roof as a "terrorist", then you start asking the same questions that one asks about other "terrorists".

Like: "how did they become radicalized?"


There is most certainly a radical racist element in this country. They aren't Republican radicals or conservative radicals, or even southern radicals. They are racists, they have existed in this country for hundreds of years, for a lot of that time they were ignored, if not supported, by the authorities. That is much less today, though it still exists. But to become s radical racist doesn't require much more than becoming s radical terrorist of any kind. An inclination and an internet connection.

The kid had a manifesto of some sort. I haven't read it, but I'm guessing if he were after Christians, it would be in there, and that would have made the news by now.

The other thing about this is that the kid was steeped in traditional white-supremacist symbols and ideas. He didn't make it up out of whole cloth all by himself. I'm not sure why asking further questions about why this happened and how his racism brought him to murder 9 people is so controversial.

The discussion has been going on for less than a week. Is that so undue?

Conservatives point out that for every person with a gun who kills, there are hundreds, thousands, who don't. And want to know why he killed, not what he killed with.

But here's the thing. If we don't look at guns as the problem, and controlling them as the solution, where are we? It seems like, if we thing that the insanity (or other mental health problems) of the attacker are the problem, we have only two options:
1) we can decide that we will do an extensive mental health program. (AKA, at least for conservatives, as government mind control.) or
2) we can decide that we are just as happy to live with the current situation.

Is there a third option? One that would address the "real problem" of why he killed?

wj, in no way a real answer to your question, when people here talk about 9/11 and other terrorist activity and the governments response it is very often to mock the response as unhelpful and "theater. More than once someone has described Americans as wimps. Other countries have terrorist attacks with significantly less reaction. So their answer is, to some extent we live with the risk to have a free society.

Some of those same people take the opportunity in homegrown mass killing situations to advocate a significant intrusion of rights by the government, banning of guns. The impact of that would be somewhat greater, but still statistically pretty small.

The other side takes the opposite two contrary positions.

It's an odd discussion.

I'm not sure discussing other countries is the best way to make the point that proposed gun-control measures would be "theater" or that free societies must have lax gun laws. If anything, doing so would tend to make the usual American conservative positions on terrorism and guns look far more contradictory than the positions usually taken by American liberals.

Marty,
if the response to domestic terrorists were the same as for 9/11, the US would be doing drone strikes on FOX news and Limbaugh as "propagandists", and invading someplace that had nothing to do with the attack.

IIRC, much of the 9/11 response from the non-hawkish left, roundly mocked by BushCo, was that the correct way to deal with terrorism is in the context of a police/law enforcement response.

There are various types of hate filled ideologies in the world--neo-Nazis, radical Islamists, radical Hindu nationalists, Burmese nationalists who hate the Royhinga, white power types, etc...

And I think it is safe to say that only a fraction of the adherents of any particular hateful ideology actually go on to murder someone. And yes, sometimes it is important to determine why some take that next step, but until this thread I never saw people arguing vehemently that since most radical haters of ideology X don't kill people, we shouldn't be saying that ideology X is not the primary cause for the crimes that some adherents do commit.

There is a mistake above I can't blame on my IPad, but I'm guessing what I meant is clear enough--I meant people who hate because of some ideology, and not people who hate the ideology. Only a small percentage of haters of any variety go on to commit murder, but we don't usually make a big point of absolving the ideology for the crime. But since appeals to racism have been a subtext of a lot ( not all) conservative thinking and Republican Party campaigning for decades, there is a need to establish distance between the crime and the ideology.

I sure hope Iowans and Texans don't take offense at Ted Cruz comparing the South Carolinian racist murderer to master gun controllers like them:

"You know the great thing about the state of Iowa is, I'm pretty sure you all define gun control the same way we do in Texas -- hitting what you aim at," Cruz said at a town hall meeting Friday in Red Oak.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Arpaio is sending his posses to churches today whether they like or not:

http://www.12news.com/story/news/local/valley/2015/06/19/arpaio-to-send-armed-posse-to-african-american-churches/28968479/

No word on whether the posses will search/frisk churchgoers for firearms BEFORE they enter the church as a judicious preventative measure or whether they'll wait until the shooting starts to piss their pants.

Maybe they'll just let the people WITH guns in as a sort of Sunday go-to-meeting local Russian roulette.

He didn't seem too concerned when armed racist wanna-be murderers showed up at a local Mosque a month ago, natch:

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/05/30/3664337/armed-protesters-stage-anti-muslim-demonstration-phoenix/

One possible reason to choose that specific location could have been that the pastor was also an elected representative with a D attached to his name and certain positions on firearms. That the church itself had played a historical role racists disapprove of might have just been the icing on the cake. If it had just been the latter, he could have chosen arson as the traditional means of expression of his disapproval.

The above is speculation on my part and should not be interpreted as claims of hard facts.

"But here's the thing. If we don't look at guns as the problem, and controlling them as the solution, where are we?"

Looking at why one person wants to kill another?

Seriously, if in your fantasy world, you'd managed to keep an adult who was able to get drugs from getting a gun, what would have kept him from just driving into the church parking lot after mass, and running people over?

The ultimate cause of people being murdered is people wanting to murder, not the means they used, which are capable of substitution, and in any event difficult to control. What are you aiming for here, anyway? A country full of frustrated would be mass murderers, who are seething with the desire to kill, but just somehow kept from getting any of the many means of doing that?

Is that what you want? If not, why are you focusing on one particular means, and not motive?

Because it's a means you want to take away from the innocent, and Roof just provided you with an excuse for what you wanted to do anyway.

Has it ever occurred to you, Brett, that if people didn't shoot each other, no one would care about anyone else having guns? People shooting each other isn't the excuse for gun control; it's the reason.

Please explain why we don't already have high murder-by-vehicle rates, since vehicles are ubiquitous. Please also explain why militaries around the world don't run their enemies over with cars when engaged in battle. Please also tell use how many people were killed by the homicidal maniac in China who used knife in an attempt at mass murder a few years ago.

Is that what you want? If not, why are you focusing on one particular means, and not motive?

OK, so we focus on the motive. What do we do about it, if anything, once we figure it out?

If the motive is racism, we shouldn't bother, because it's not the only cause. The means is irrelevant, and so is the motive. Let it be.

I can't help but wonder, though, why we have to choose between looking into the motive and looking at the means. I have this crazy idea that you can do both.

Many conservative politicians must know they have racist supporters. What could they possibly gain by criticizing racist behavior? It's better to change the subject if at all possible.

NV:

I think I got all your comments out of the spam filter.

And your instincts about Eric were correct. That IP is blocked, now.

"Has it ever occurred to you, Brett, that if people didn't shoot each other, no one would care about anyone else having guns? People shooting each other isn't the excuse for gun control; it's the reason."

Not gonna go there. I'm actually trying to not hijack this into a gun control thread. Or, rather, to not cooperate into so hijacking it.


"OK, so we focus on the motive. What do we do about it, if anything, once we figure it out?"

I don't think motive is precisely where we ought to focus, either. Motive, too, is vastly more common than murder. Most people, given motive, don't kill anyway. My view of Islam, for instance, which distresses Donald so much, is very common in the US. Mosques, conspicuously, are not getting attacked left and right.

One person, pissed off, seethes for a bit, and then calms down and drops it. Another person, pissed off, decides to kill. What's the difference between them?

Morality. The problem is not an excess of guns, it is a deficit of morality.

In some ways that's not a very happy answer, because it's not all that evident how you can fix a morality deficit by passing a law, and a lot of people want passing a law to be the answer to everything.

But I think it's an answer which has the virtue of being true, and you need to know the nature of a problem before you have any hope of fixing it.

We're not successfully passing morality on to too many people. Why? Forgotten how to teach it? Some subtle virus inducing sociopathy? (Not a joke, that could be.)

This is where, IMO, we need to concentrate. Why do so many people not blink at killing?

Brett,

"But here's the thing. If we don't look at guns as the problem, and controlling them as the solution, where are we?"

Looking at why one person wants to kill another?

Seriously, if in your fantasy world, you'd managed to keep an adult who was able to get drugs from getting a gun, what would have kept him from just driving into the church parking lot after mass, and running people over?

Indeed. It is very important to look at why one person wants to kill another, or several. I couldn't agree more.

So here is the question Russell is asking. Why are there so many prominent conservatives who seem to be unable to say what is plain as day - Roof killed these people because he hates blacks - he is a racist. Not because he wanted to kill Christians, not for the mysterious unknown reasons alluded to by Haley and others. Because he hates black people. Pretty simple. Pretty obvious. I mean, he said so, among other evidence.

In other words why are people refusing to look at what you say they should be looking at?

Morality. The problem is not an excess of guns, it is a deficit of morality.
...
We're not successfully passing morality on to too many people. Why? Forgotten how to teach it? Some subtle virus inducing sociopathy?

This assumes that there was a past Golden Age of morality in the South, in which Blacks and Whites lived in peace and harmony, and the problem is a failure to pass along those wonderful values.

Delusional. Racism isn't new. Racist violence isn't new. It's less accepted now than previously, except that one. political. party. wants to change the subject whenever it comes up. Why?

Ok, first of all, I think I've already said that it's not JUST a case of him killing those people because of racism, because, as has already been conceded, there are just too many racists around who don't go on similar rampages.

Roof killed those people because of racism. He probably didn't kill people because of racism. He killed people because he was the sort of person who didn't have any objection to killing people. Might even have become a racist because he was looking for an excuse to kill people.

Now, it would be nice, unquestionably, if we could eliminate racism. I don't see it happening any time soon, not the least because racism is politically useful. And, bluntly, not just useful for one party, as pleasant as somebody might find believing that is. Useful for both parties.

If racism isn't going away, maybe we ought to direct our attention at what makes the difference between a racist who doesn't kill, and a racist who does.

And, maybe that's why Republicans won't go along with the pretense that Roof did this just because he was a racist.

Because it's likely not true, and not terribly useful in any case, because you'd get way too many false positives if you looked for potential killers on the basis of who was a racist.

OK, I can see the idea that the problem is a deficit of morality. So how do we teach that?

Or, to put it another way, how did we used to teach morality? My understanding is that, when we used to teach it, the lessons were heavily based on religion. Specifically, on Christainity. So do we expand to lessons based on all the various religions present in our schools today? (And even if we do that, how do we teach morality to those who don't subscribe to any particular religion?)

Or do we need to find some other basis than religion on which to craft the lessons? And if so, what might be useful?

"This assumes that there was a past Golden Age of morality in the South, in which Blacks and Whites lived in peace and harmony, and the problem is a failure to pass along those wonderful values."

I don't particularly care if Blacks and Whites live in peace and harmony. I care if People live in peace and harmony.

But, to a large extent you're right. Mass killings like this are a tiny, tiny fraction of the murder rate. And the murder rate is DOWN, not UP. If there's a golden age, we're in it.

We're suffering under an illusion that we have an increasing problem, because each separate instance is getting more and more publicity as time goes on.

But, you know, while killings like Roof committed are a small fraction of a declining problem, they're still worth doing something about, so long as it's sensible. So, let me suggest something:

Mass killers do it for the publicity. Deny them the publicity. Just start referring to mass killers as "that asshole", instead of by name, in all but court records. Refuse to publicize their agendas and statements.

Take away their big reason for doing it. And take away the trigger for chains of copy-cat killings.

You want to attack a civil liberty to deal with people like Roof? I think you picked the wrong one.

Brett, I appreciate your not hijacking the thread or assisting me in doing so.

That aside, who do you think believes that the only reason this ass-hat shot 9 people was racism? Of course there were other factors involved. Racism alone is neither necessary nor sufficient for someone to commit murder.

But there's no doubt this guy killed these people out of racist motives. He said so himself. It's a painfully obvious fact. Why don't some people want to talk about that? Why do think his choosing these particular people, as opposed to others, because of racism makes it such a non-subject? It's a very strange, abstract distinction to be making.

If someone kills another to steal his wallet, would you say theft wasn't the motive, simply because other people kill for other reasons or because other people steal people's wallets without killing them? This whole line of reasoning strikes me as being very pretzel-like.

hsh,

If someone kills another to steal his wallet, would you say theft wasn't the motive, simply because other people kill for other reasons or because other people steal people's wallets without killing them? This whole line of reasoning strikes me as being very pretzel-like.

Exactly.

And who will be the arbiter of morality?
I always wonder who is worse, the bigot preaching inhuman morals he himself does not believe in or the saint who really embodies the same (the list of saints contains a significant number of genocidal maniacs and instigators of other genocodal maniacs)? Racism and genocide have been sold as moral successfully for ages and their absence as grave sin.

And there is no set of axioms that cannot be twisted into pure evil.
1) Love thy neighbour as you love yourself
2) Love of self = Selfishness = bad
----
=(2)=> 3) Do not love yourself
=(1)=> 4) Do not love your neighbour

If I might engage in a short aside, only tangentially relevant to the post, I went to the store about an hour ago. In the parking lot, I saw a car with a bunch of bumper stickers on the back. I'll list the ones I took note of in a particular order.

One read, "Obama sucks!" Not necessarily racist.

Another read, "If Obama ran a city, it would look like Detroit." A bit more possibly racist.

The next was a confederate flag. Even more possibly racist, especially in the context of the others.

The last read, "Don't blame me. I voted for the white guy." Not as overtly racist as, say, "I didn't vote for the n****r," but still pretty strong.

What I wonder about is whether or not the owner of the car considers himself or herself to be racist. I somehow see the possiblilty that this person doesn't necessarily, even though I don't understand how.

How is pretty simple.

Even people we would all consider to be racists are aware that being one, or labeled as one, is a "bad thing." Which is part of why they work so hard at denying that they (or their friends and associates) are racists.

Oops. Left off the final sentence:

Even to themselves.

Pretty much everybody is aware that being a racist, or being labeled as one, is a "bad thing". Which is part of why people who don't like somebody else's views so frequently resort to labeling them "racists", even if, in strict definition, they aren't.

This isn't one of those things where the only people denying they're one are the people who are one. This is one of those things where false accusations are common currency.

racism is politically useful. And, bluntly, not just useful for one party, as pleasant as somebody might find believing that is. Useful for both parties.

Useful for ONE party to get the racist vote, and useful for the OTHER to say "vote for us, we oppose racists"?

If that's what you mean as "useful for both parties", okay. Is that what you mean?

No, that's not what I mean. I mean what I said: Both parties find racism useful, and in their own constituencies.

Liberals are fond of specious definitions of racism, revolving around nominal power relations, designed to make sure that their favored groups can't be 'racist'. They've got 'racism' so bizarrely defined that it's 'racist' to demand that people NOT discriminate on the basis of race, to treat people entirely on their merits, without regard to race.

Nobody else falls for this self-serving definition.

After discussion, we've blocked Brett for a short period of time, which will be followed by a longer period, and subsquently a longer one, so on, until it is no longer useful to keep track of how long. This is not to encourage a pile on, so we'd really prefer everyone keep their observations about this to themselves, this is simply to let everyone know what's happening so they aren't spending a lot of time responding to things that can't be responded to.

A bit different slant.

Russell, I understand your dilemma -- I have the same question as you. I’m not now, and never have been a conservative. But I work in a field surrounded by a large number of what were once called “country club conservatives.” They’ve been talking about this issue some in the lounge.

I think the prominent GOP politicians dancing around the issue is best explained as political calculation. They’re simply pandering to their base and trying to escape unscathed from the whole event. What they truly believe is hard to say, although for a few of them like Santorum they may actually believe the nonsense they put out.

I think your average republican is indignant at being called racist (all the time, in their view), even if the effect of the policies they support is demonstrably racist. What those around me believe is that racism is declining. They point to legal school desegregation (even though schools are still quite segregated), the Civil Rights Act (even though recently gutted by the Supreme Court), and to the fact that the current and past attorney generals and the president are African American. They regard the Charleston tragedy as the actions of a demented psychopath who just happened to be a racist.

They believe strident demands from the Left to confront racism NOW will derail all this great progress (sic) we’ve made. They think it’s like provoking a hibernating bear or a rattlesnake by poking them with a stick. They acknowledge racism is there, but they believe if we just be quiet about it things will continue (sic again) to get better and racism will ultimately fade away on its own. I think they’re wrong -- history is not on their side -- but there you have it.

Regarding all the Civil War subtexts in this, I’ve also talked with a few from this country club GOP faction who are also annoyed at the turn the historical consensus has taken in the past couple of decades. Even though it’s clear to historians the Civil War was about slavery, acknowledging this means recognizing the deep and dreadful stain in our past, the effects of which persist into the present. I don’t live in the South, but I think a lot of the denial of General Grant’s pithy observation (quoted upthread) comes from that.

Of course anecdotes are not data, etc.

I think Donald Johnson touched on this upthread. But I think conservatives have a hard time dealing with violent racists because they cannot admit they themselves are racist. I mean when a violent Muslim or Marxists kills in the name of the ideology, there are millions of Marxist and Muslims saying, “Hey, no, s/he does not represent me. I am a Marxist/Muslim and I would never do that.”

Where are the racists who are saying, “Hey, no, s/he does not represent me. I am a racist and I would never do that.”

Instead, you avoid admitting that you’re a relatively non-violent racist unlike that violent radical.

Actually, what they say is "I'm a conservative and I would never do that." Of course, most of them are nothing of the kind. Even though they have sold their followers on embracing the label. Beats having to stand before the world and admit what they really are.

Happily, real conservatives (i.e. those who are not radical reactionaries under a false flag) don't have that problem. Which lets us agree that folks like Roof are racist scum. No problem -- it's reality, after all.

Now if we could just reclaim the term from those other guys....

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/22/us/campaign-donations-linked-to-white-supremacist.html?_r=0

I wonder why they don't give that money to the Emanuel A.M.E. Church instead of refunding it?

lj: yes, I thought the same thing. Perhaps it's in the federal rules for campaign funds, but somehow I doubt it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/22/us/campaign-donations-linked-to-white-supremacist.html?partner=socialflow&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=1

Oops. I did it again. I need to stop reading threads from the bottom up.

We can go on and on about the ugly history of white supremacy in America but could this Charleston tragedy really just be a 'butterfly effect' of George being overly curious about what Trevon was up to?

at least one of the GOP candidates has no trouble seeing the racism:

Not everything is about race in this country. But when it is about race, then it just is. So when a guy who has been depicted wearing a jacket featuring an apartheid-era Rhodesian flag walks into a historic black church and guns down nine African-American worshipers at a Bible study meeting, common sense leads one to believe his motivations are based in racism. When the sole adult survivor of the ordeal reports that the killer shouted before opening fire, "You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go" — well, that sounds to me a lot like racial hatred.

Let's call this sickness what it is, so we can get on with the healing. If this were a medical disease, and all the doctors recognized the symptoms but refused to make the diagnosis for fear of offending the patient, we could call it madness. But there are people who are claiming that they can lead this country who dare not call this tragedy an act of racism, a hate crime, for fear of offending a particular segment of the electorate.

but not being a white man, he's probably biased.

What might be the butterfly effect of following John Oliver's advise? http://crooksandliars.com/cltv/2015/06/john-oliver-has-suggestion-states#start=8Z7VVvZK|283

The problem is not an excess of guns, it is a deficit of morality.

Too vague. Besides, racism is immoral, is it not? So part of that deficit is due to racism.

In some ways that's not a very happy answer, because it's not all that evident how you can fix a morality deficit by passing a law, and a lot of people want passing a law to be the answer to everything.

You can in fact fix a morality deficit, or at least reduce its consequences, by passing a law. Wanting to steal is immoral. Laws against theft help deter would-be thieves.

Of course law is not the only weapon, though it is a weapon. Public condemnation of immoral acts helps too. Consider that driving while drunk is surely immoral. Attitudes changed enormously over time, with the result that the practice is much less common, and certainly not admired. Indeed, the law followed, rather than led, on this issue.

So it is useful to have leaders speak out firmly and clearly, to influence public opinion, to make it clear that some things are intolerable. So let's hear it.

jeff:

'butterfly effect' of George being overly curious about what Trevon was up to

... I have no idea what you're talking about. Who's Trevon? Who's George?

Trayvon

sorry for being stupid this morning

at least one of the GOP candidates has no trouble seeing the racism

Which may well have something to do with Dr Carson having probably had first hand experience being on the receiving end of racism himself. (Real racism. Not the "whites are being picked on by affirmative action" kind.)

So it is useful to have leaders speak out firmly and clearly, to influence public opinion, to make it clear that some things are intolerable. So let's hear it.

Maybe the thread has come full circle back to the original post, after all the meandering. This is really what it's about, if not necessarily passing some new law or other, be it about hate crimes or gun control or whatever. It's about leaders leading in an effort to make this a better country, or failing to do so.

If talking about race or condenming racism is seen merely as a Democratic talking point, implying that racism is a non-problem, or at least not worthy of discussion - even in the wake of a racially motivated mass shooting - is that the fault of the Democrats for talking about it, or does the fault lie elsewhere?

I suppose one reasonable statement by a Republican Presidential candidate might be the beginning of a trend, but given the utterly batsh*t lying statements that have been puking from Dr. Carson's mouth over the past year or so, I don't think so:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/03/ben-carson-nazi-germany-slavery_n_6263508.html

How would he rank these murders, as the third worst thing since slavery, but still edged out by a nose by Obamacare?

I suspect his campaign's recent disarray has cocked his desperate tin ear to some clever political strategist who has advised triangulating against the tiresome, but clumsily malevolent and racist misdirections of his cohort clowns trying to get the nomination.

The Carson statement linked to by cleek has a certain polished, professional whiff of oily, Machiavellian maneuvering to it that brings to mind Francis Underwood in House of Cards.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ben-carsons-campaign-faces-turmoil-after-staff-exits-and-super-pac-chaos/2015/06/05/ce08f9b2-0ba8-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html

If you have the facility to do so, read Carson's statement aloud to yourselves with the unctuous (I'm going to get this right this time), false flag sincerity and charming southern lilt Kevin Spacey affects in the role of Underwood.

A Republican candidate for any office will step over or, alternatively, mourn any dead bodies he or she needs to to get their taxes eliminated and further the Civil War they declared against liberalism.

I believe Carson likes to called F.U. by his associates, just like Underwood.

I'm basically chalking this post up as a failed experiment.

I don't think conservatives are uniformly racist, or likely that much more racist than any other group of people.

I think that conservatives have a particular analysis of why black (and other) people find themselves at a disadvantage in US society, and I think that analysis tends in the direction of what I would consider blaming the victim.

And think that leads not-conservative people to see conservatives as racist. And, I think that leads to a tendency toward defensiveness on their part when the topic of race comes up.

And, I *suspect* that that is the likely reason for the (to me) remarkable avoidance of discussing Roof's obvious racism in the Charleston shootings.

But, I don't know that, so I thought I would ask. Both because the phenomenon itself - the failure to acknowledge Roof's obvious racism - seems so glaring to me, and also because I thought the events presented a possible opportunity to talk about how different folks here in the US see the race issue.

It was probably a bad occasion to try the "can we talk about race..?" thing, and that's on me. Because nine people are dead. It was an error in judgement, and it was my error in judgement.

In any case, I'm chalking this up as a failed experiment, a mis-judged attempt to try to have a candid conversation about a sensitive topic.

Next time I'll try to pick a less fraught occasion for bringing up problematic issues.

Sorry folks.

Roof isn't just a racist, though he clearly is that. He is disordered. Severely disordered. Is anyone on the left acknowledging this in a meaningful way?

Conservative pundits and politicians are as much victims of their narratives as progressives are of theirs.

It is a rare conservative that can do a racial mea culpa to the general approval of progressives. Whatever is said, it isn't enough.

If ten conservatives acknowledge that Roof was a racist, it's those who try to fit this horror into their narrative who are the only conservatives of record.

From the left, racism, sexism and militarism are what define America, past, present and future. This is as wrong as denying that racism, sexism and militarism exist. Neither side will give, so we have this bellowing at each other across a wide abyss.

The sanctimony and opportunism from many on the left is wearing. It really is.

Yes, Roof is a messed up individual. I'm not sure anyone neglected to acknowledge that, nor do I hear anyone saying the he is typical of conservatives.

I sure as hell am not doing so.

The sanctimony and opportunism from many on the left is wearing. It really is.

I'll just speak for myself.

This post was my best shot at trying to talk about out differing understandings of the problem of race in the US, without pointing fingers, and without making any assumptions or judgements.

I found the failure to at least acknowledge Roof's racism among prominent conservatives to be remarkable, so I wanted to ask about it.

It wasn't a trick question, or a "gotcha" opportunity. It was, simply, me saying "this is weird", and me asking "can somebody talk about this?".

In general, I think the country is profoundly divided, and I think it's nigh unto impossible to have anything remotely approaching a candid conversation without everybody thinking the other parties are being some version of assholes.

Sometimes my understanding of things is incorrect, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

My first instinct appears to have been correct, this just isn't a topic we can talk about. At least not today.

More and more I think the whole USA project may be somewhat past it's sell-by date. It might be time to carve it up into regional entities that can at least find enough internal agreement to get the basic functions of public life done.

I know I sure am sick of arguing about the stupid crap that we all seem to end up arguing about.

We won't get to be a superpower anymore, but you can't have everything. I'd be happy just to keep the bridges from falling down without having to have a great big freaking argument about it.

In any case, apologies for pushing folks' buttons, it was not intended. It just seemed like an obvious question to ask.

He is disordered. Severely disordered. Is anyone on the left acknowledging this in a meaningful way?

anyone who kills a stranger for no [good] reason can be fairly described as 'disordered'. personally, i think that goes without saying.

but the stats tell us we are up to our holsters in disordered individual, here in the US. since 2001, we are seeing a mass shooting every 64 days, on average.

so, that's a problem. one we're not allowed to discuss because "conservatives" need their guns.

so, that off the table, what else is there to say about Roof? well, in addition to being disordered, Roof is a vocal racist.

but "conservatives" don't want to talk about that either. they, just as Brett did and just as you are, deflect back to their favorite target: the left.

I have seen no reaction from the left denying that the kid* was eff'ed up. What I have seen is a refusal (on the left) to reduce the whole affair to him being that and the opposite from parts of the Right.
The mainstream analyis was afaict that we have a kid with severe personal issues that got fed dangerous racist crap and (independently) got handed a gun by someone who knew** that he had issues.

Unstable person, given a target and given the means => Kaboom! aka The Fire Triangle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_triangle)

Absent the racist poison he might have killed himself or 'just' some relatives, absent a gun he might have stuck to racist rants or hitting (weaker) blacks in the face (and absent the personal issues we would have probably never heard of him at all unless he ran for office as part of some RW outfit).

*I know that he is not a teenager anymore
**according to statements on record by said person

The sanctimony and opportunism from many on the left is wearing. It really is.

Well, then...we musts be winning! ;)

Nice try, though, Russell. Perhaps the question was framed in such a way as to put conservatives immediately on the defensive...so, no movement. The reparations thread was better in this regard.

And tex, it goes both ways. Really, it does. Give it some thought.

Hope you enjoyed finish at Chambers.

What I got out of this discussion is that everybody agrees that Roof was crazy (however they phrased that diagnosis). Because no matter what your opinions are, on any subject, sane people just don't go out and kill a bunch of other people. (Wars possibly excluded.)

However some (but only some) conservatives seem to have a problem saying that he was also a racist. Other conservatives are definitely saying that he was. Still, as the original post noted, a lot of the Republicans running for their party's Presidential nomination seem to be having a lot of trouble figuring out what to say and how. Indeed, some of them are trying to blame anything but racism for his actions.

It also should be noted that there are conservatives who are making that same point: that anyone who wants to be President ought to be acknowledging that racism was a major factor. And condemning that racism.

It also should be noted that there are conservatives who are making that same point

So noted.

Thanks wj.

Because no matter what your opinions are, on any subject, sane people just don't go out and kill a bunch of other people. (Wars possibly excluded.)

...except there's no "possibly" about this as far as American popular opinion is concerned. There is a unequivocal and oft-stated opinion in the US, certainly loudest on the right, that it is absolutely not a priori "disordered", let alone "severely disordered", to hold the opinion that there are classes of people who need to be killed, and wanting to be the one to kill them may therefore be presented as wanting to do one's duty so long as one isn't so impolitic as to openly make a connection between wanting to do their duty and the uncomfortable fact that they're hold their duty to be largely or foremost said killing. There is sometimes a countervailing opinion accompanying opinion that it's still good and just and right to want the people "needing" killed to be killed, but anyone who does the killing is necessarily damaged if not disordered... but that's a view that is more widely held on the left than the right, and in fact is sometimes used by the right as a bludgeon against real or imagined leftist anti-military/"anti-troop" sentiments; on the right it is more typical to reserve such judgement until and unless an individual is so gauche as to express an explicit desire to carry out the killing rather than simply a willingness (even if they define killing those who "need to die" as part of their duty, and show enthusiasm for "doing their duty").

So no, I can't agree with the assertion that everyone agrees only "deranged" individuals kill or want to kill. I flat-out deny that assertion. I personally feel that at a minimum anyone who desires and is willing to kill other people has a dearth of empathy and has successfully dehumanized certain categories of people, but sadly that really is a pretty normal way of thinking, and not in and of itself held to be "disordered" unless the individual doesn't limit themself to dehumanizing socially acceptable targets.

"I found the failure to at least acknowledge Roof's racism among prominent conservatives to be remarkable, so I wanted to ask about it."

Problem being you never showed a single example of someone not acknowledging it. Days later. When asked you said you wouldn't google. I did, didn't find anyone not acknowledging it. So you found what you wanted, or someone else wanted you to.

NV, all I was trying to say was that some people think that killing a bunch of other people is always wrong, while others would make an exception for at least some wars. (And, admittedly, some glorify war to the point that they would like to start more so that more of those they dislike/fear can be killed.)

I admit that there is at least some difference, when discussing the topic, between "wrong" and "deranged." But not, I suspect, an enormous difference -- especially in the minds of those opposed to wars.

Problem being you never showed a single example of someone not acknowledging it.

presuming Ben Carson isn't a liberal stooge, who is he talking about in his USA Today op-ed ?

Well, my point was an overly-long statement that it's common for a lot of the US to view the killing of "bad people" as not just acceptable, but desirable or even noble. I really find it difficult to believe the occurrence of such thought would be viewed as uncommon (albeit likely fairly unreflective). And once we've conceded that there exist "bad people" who need to be killed, unless we're openly condemning those who would volunteer to carry out such acts (whether possibly or definitely), well... we've already established that it's acceptable and within normal bounds of mental health to volunteer to kill people; we're just quibbling over which people need killed.

Conservative leadership on racism would sound like: "We don't want racists in our party. We don't want their vote, we don't want their donations, we don't want THEM. They are invited to take hold of their favorite handgun and self-deport to Hel."

What one hears is very different.

Problem being you never showed a single example of someone not acknowledging it. Days later

Seriously, is that the objection?

Lindsey Graham stated that, while there were racists, Roof wasn't motivated by racism, but was just a messed up kid.

Rick Perry started out with it being an "accident", then figured out that it was a hate crime after a day or two.

Huckabee thought that what was really needed was more good guys with guns.

Santorum pronounced the attack an "assault on religious liberty".

Rubio and Paul didn't say much of anything other than that they were sad and upset.

Over on Fox and Friends, they were all about the assault on religion, but didn't want to "jump to any conclusions" about the race aspect.

Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush acknowledged that there was a racial aspect to the killing.

I didn't go Google all of this up for you all because it hardly seemed like something that needed doing.

Wrong again.

In any case, I'm done with this topic. I'm kinda feeling done with the whole "let's try to have a conversation and understand each other" project, to be honest.

After trying to have these same conversations for almost fifteen years now, I'm tired of having to demonstrate, over and over and over again, that I'm not trying to trick anybody or call anybody names.

Prominent conservatives had many things to say about the Charleston shootings. Bush and Cruz managed to acknowledge that Roof was motivated by race. Carlson was the only one who expressed any sense that the killing was related in any way to broader issues of race in society.

I found that curious, so I asked the freaking question.

You all don't want to discuss it beyond saying (a) the problem doesn't exist, (b) I'm just making the whole thing up, or (c) you lefties are a bunch of superior self-righteous assholes.

So, f*** it. Let's talk about recipes.

Over and out.

Even Ben Carson accused some of his fellow Republican presidential candidates of dancing around the part that race played in those murders. I think it's safe to assume that his perception is not based on his being a liberal.

Brett's constant refrain "I know you are but what am I" as he changes the subject on thread after thread "but what about the knockout game?" takes me right back to junior high--and that's a heck of a long distance to travel at this point.

Cleek, you see an attack on the left every time someone parts from leftish orthodoxy. I'm happy to debate gun control. Tell me your plan and I'll tell you why it won't work unless you propose wholesale confiscation. Even that won't work, but it would come the closest.

Hartmut et al--f'd up and severely disordered are separate concepts. Mel Gibson is f'd up. "Severely disorderd" is a clinical diagnosis. Some severely disordered people will kill X number of people for whatever reason. Here, the reason was race. If Roof had grown up being taught and believing that racism was the worst thing in the world, but if he was still severely disordered, his victims might have looked a lot more like conservatives than African Americans.

BP, I agree it goes both ways. I think a part of the right'ish narrative makes acknowledging racism very difficult. There are a lot of reasons for this, some being pretty venal. This was the discussion that Russell wanted to have, albeit he wanted a one-sided discussion. As you point out, both sides do it. A lot of Republican reticence has its roots in liberal rhetoric (and vice versa) but that was defined as off limits. The discussion got sidetracked for various reasons, some of which I alluded to above.

I'm conflicted on the finish. I am a Spieth and a Johnson fan. Johnson seems to have cleaned up his act, which I respect, and I've always admired his equanimity in the face that chickenshit at Whistling Straits. I'd much rather see someone win a tournament with a great shot than lose it when he should win or force a play off.

You've played Chambers, I assume. The course looked pretty ragged to me. What's the story there?

we've already established that it's acceptable and within normal bounds of mental health to volunteer to kill people; we're just quibbling over which people need killed.

I probably should have quoted the entire thing. Seriously? What are you getting at? There are bad people (Osama Bin Laden) who need to be brought to justice. Does that make the people who volunteer to do so no different than Roof? If that is not what you are saying, then who are these 'bad people' and who is volunteering to kill them?

Snarki, I agree.

Liberal leadership on racism would sound like: racism is a fact of life. Much less so today than at any time in our past, but still a fact of life. Today, racism along with a truly sick mind produced another tragedy in a long list of tragedies. We mourn that tragedy and extend our hands to those victims. But, for those who seek to advance other interests using this as their lever, we say no. We will not exploit emotions to score policy or political points. Further, we say, this is America. Few people face an obstacle-free life. Racism is a fact, but it is not an excuse nor is it insurmountable. Millions of Americans, despite or regardless of skin color, have realized the American dream. What happened today or fifty years ago or 200 years ago is no excuse for any American to ignore the opportunity this country offers, from free education to freedom itself.

Cleek, you see an attack on the left every time someone parts from leftish orthodoxy.

seems unlikely. but, you know me better than i do, so who's to argue?

This was the discussion that Russell wanted to have, albeit he wanted a one-sided discussion.

Bullshit.

If you have something to say, say it. Don't tell me what I think.

If you find something I say objectionable, explain your objection. Or, maybe even extend the benefit of the doubt and assume, for one tiny moment, based on years of interaction here, that I might be acting in good faith, and ask me to unpack what I'm saying to see if in fact whether I'm really being a jerk, or you're just misunderstanding me.

Right?

How many times do I have to make this simple request?

Don't try to read my mind, because you can't. Don't make assumptions about my secret intentions and motivations, because they probably don't exist.

I'm here because the topics that get discussed here are important to me, and I'd like to try to have a conversation with people who *don't agree with me*.

If I wanted to just blab away and have everybody say "amen" I'd hang out somewhere else.

Believe it or not, this *is not* a knee-jerk liberal joint.

Did you read the freaking original post? How many times and how many ways do I have to state that I'm *not* trying to call anybody racist, and *not* trying to play "gotcha", and *not* making any assumptions about anybody's motives or point of view?

I just don't think this is a topic that folks can talk about. Period.

So be it.

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