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Falling for the Left’s Racial Politics

July 22nd, 2010 at 10:41 am | 38 Comments |

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I occasionally write for Andrew Breitbart’s website, purchase and agree with him that the media blasting him for inaccuracy (and the Tea Party for racism) while steadily ignoring the New Black Panther Party or similar organizations is frustrating and silly. However, two wrongs don’t make a right, and “he started it” is a miserable justification for something. Yes, the Left engages in perpetual victim-mongering and yes, they sling charges of “racism” at their opponents while ignoring it on their own side.

But didn’t Breitbart notice how much those practices contributed to their banishment from American politics? Didn’t he notice how Bill Clinton calling out Sister Souljah for being a hypocrite contributed to his success, or how Obama deliberately sold himself as a non-angry, non-paranoid non-Al Sharpton when he was running (whatever he’s become now)? And if Breitbart did notice these things, just what gave him the idea that mimicking this practice was a good, or a conservative, idea, when it was already being marginalized? I recognize the need to go on offense sometimes, but that doesn’t have to mean slinging exactly the same charge at your opponent. Hypocrisy is the live question in areas of Leftist racism, and burying it under the tired former charge is not the best approach.

Besides chilling free discussion of controversial ideas almost to a freezing point on both Right and Left, this practice validates the falsehood that racism/sexism are central to the American experience, and American discourse generally. This would, in turn, lead many Americans to conclude that being openly racist is no big deal, given that there will always be some media establishment somewhere that will defend you, if you only hold the right political affiliation. The net result? Less of an incentive to avoid racism, and voila, racial hypocrisy is legitimized.

Don’t get me wrong – hypocrisy is ugly, no matter who does it, but racism as a charge should be returned to its rightful home in the abyss of Leftist irrelevance and ethnic studies departments. Breitbart may survive, but racism as an ad hominem should not.

Recent Posts by Mytheos Holt



38 Comments so far ↓

  • Superdave12

    You’re trying to create symmetry between the right and the left here; between Breitbart and the left. But there really isn’t any symmetry. What is true is that the left does rely on charges of racism frequently, which aggravates both sides and isn’t helpful. But on the right, particularly on Fox, which amped up Breitbart’s coverage and is just as guilty as Breitbart of failing to check the video’s authenticity, there is an ugly theme of racially charged coverage.

    This is a pattern of deceitful coverage of racially charged subjects by Fox. This list includes the bogus “New Black Panther Party,” which consists of two crackpots and have never stopped anybody from voting. This list includes the video of Shirley Sherrod, which was doctored and deceitful.

    It also includes Fox’s coverage of ACORN, which is really a story about racial anxiety. All of the videos were proven to be false, yet Fox has not issued a correction. The individuals in the videos who worked for ACORN did not have their reputations restored after Fox’s coverage was proven false. This is an invidious pattern by Fox. It is a tactic used to stir the feelings of anxiety among the elderly population that watches Fox and it really has to stop.

    When will Fox issue a correction?

  • Watusie

    I’ll tell you what is silly – silly is pretending that the Tea Party and the New Black Panther Party are equivalent. Silly is also pretending that you don’t know that the head of the NAACP absolutely, without reservation, denounced the NBPP, whereas the Tea Party people are still pretending that they have no racists within their ranks.

  • LauraNo

    You are both correct! Tea Party does not equal a disdained New Black Panther party. But I guess when you take a position with no real defense for it, silly things will come out. As for FOX, it is more even than ACORN and Sherrod. It is Van Jones, Rev. Wright, Sotomayor, things like the hype they gave backwards “b” for a minute there and then pretended they never said it, just like they are doing with this Sherrod thing, Bill O’Reilly excepted. Some on the left do see racism everywhere but I can’t think of anyone whose career was ruined by them, those with ruined careers did/ said racist things as far as I can remember. Meanwhile Rush and FOX and friends have been inserting race into nearly every topic since Obama became a viable candidate. Funny how those ‘conservatives’ are always doing the things they claim to abhor. Never standing on any real principle it seems.

  • easton

    Wow, in your world are their fairy riding unicorns dancing in dragonflower fields? It sure as hell is not our world. To equate the multi million member Tea party with the new black panther party (how many members? a few hundred marginalized loonies?) is beyond absurd. This is like saying the left has a hangnail, and the right has cancer so both are the same because both are sick.

    I agree with you that racism or sexism is not the central experience for white males, but because this is true does not mean it is not true for many minorities or women. Are you really this stupid?

    A place I worked at in Jersey for many years had many minorities on the factory floor, yet not one in any office position ever. This was in Jersey, not the deep South, and I found many, many small businesses that operated the same way. Holt, I suppose, has no clue as to the world as it exists with small business. The owners of a small business might hire everyone for the grunt work, but feel most comfortable hiring people in the office that they feel most comfortable with. This is not even conscious racism, but the end result is the same.

  • TerryF98

    Is this supposed to be grown up writing because it fails in so many respects. Facts are stubborn things.

  • Oskar

    Watusie, the NBPP has been canonized by the Justice Department-they are untouchable. Who amongst our Frankfurt School power structure has ever displayed anything but contempt for the various TPs?

  • evensteve

    Following on Easton’s point…

    “this practice validates the falsehood that racism/sexism are central to the American experience”.

    Has it ever occurred to the white guy from Big Sur that his ‘American Experience’ might not be the same as everyone else’s?

    By that logic, cancer does not exist because I’ve never experienced it.

  • rbottoms

    Does David Frum read the columnists who contribute to this site? Because for the most part they are busy defending the stupidity that is the GOP, blaming everything on the mean hippies who are driving Gov. Rick Perry to secession talk.

    The NBPP is a bunch of guys dressed like they are living in a parody video of Public Enemy. In the paranoid fantasies of the Right, his scruffy band of trash talkers is the political equivalent of the Brown Shirts of 1939.

    If you asked ten black people to name the city where all this commotion is taking place or the name of even one of the infamous NBPP they couldn’t. Rush has terrified white folks into thinking these guys have setup shop in the West Wing of the White House, that they they better keep buying out their local gun stores because The Revolution against whitey is happening. Now!!!!!

    It must leave anyone who isn’t a lunatic Republican with a sinking feeling to know that the ONLY way to keep their party alive is to stage the equivalent of the 1939 War of the Worlds hoax broadcast night after night after night.

    Blacks in their Great Machines are coming for your women. Gather your armies and follow Zombie Lincoln into the fray.

  • balconesfault

    Watusie, the NBPP has been canonized by the Justice Department-they are untouchable.

    lol – you mean the Bush Justice Department which had originally decided not to press charges against the two idiots who didn’t actually intimidate any voters (here’s a hint – if a couple black guys want to menace voters, they shouldn’t stand outside a precinct in a neighborhood filled with black guys – they should go pick a white suburban location, don’t you think? This would be like the KKK deciding to influence elections by going to a precinct dominated by white bubbas driving Ford F-150′s.)

    If you keep throwing that canard out there, you can’t be taken seriously as anything but a race-baiter, as bad as anyone who would defend the actions of the NPBB.

  • Watusie

    Oskar, this is for you:
    David Webb, co-founder of Tea Party 365, confronted NAACP president Ben Jealous about the New Black Panther Party Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation.

    “I have a serious objection with is his selective condemnation of racism when he will not condemn the New Black Panther Party for saying that they want to kill crackers and kill cracker babies, whereas he would condemn the KKK or any element that shows up in and claims that they are a part of the Tea Party,” said Webb.

    “The reality here is that the New Black Panther Party is like 12 people, 13 people,” responded Jealous. “They don’t say these things at the NAACP. If they did, we would take them on.”

    “I said three times on a show with you last week so hear me this time. You know, bigots come in all colors. We absolutely denounce the New Black Panther Party. But they aren’t in our group. These folks are in your groups,” said Jealous.

    Game,set and match to Ben Jealous, the NAACP, and all people who see through your bs.

    And, just to underline the point made in the previous comment – the criminal prosecution against the the NBPP members was dropped by the Bush Administration. So WTF are you talking about?

  • JJWFromME

    I don’t have to “sling charges of racism” at the right. I can let Lee Atwater and Kevin Phillips do that for me:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Atwater#Atwater_on_the_Southern_Strategy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy#Introduction

  • CentristNYer

    Neither side has clean hands on the issue of race. They’ve both baited at one point or another, making the discussion of it incendiary.

    But the reason that the mainstream media “ignores” the New Black Panther Party is simply that they have no following. It’s a tiny, ragtag group with no influence, few members and zero credibility. The Tea Party Movement, on the other hand, is significantly large and has sway over many members of congress, as well as candidates on the ballot this November.

    For Breitbart to whine that he’s only trying to even the score is pathetic. For a contributor at FrumForum to justify his whining is even more so.

  • forgetn

    MYTHEOS HOLT you’re on the list@!

    Yeah, the list of bozo I will not read anymore. Lets see Tea Party: 120,000 members NBPP 12 members, yep that’s the same thing.

    Asshat all over again

  • jakester

    Fine,
    we all know that the NBPP is a small fringe element. But fringe or not, what they did in Philly was wrong & Holder was derelict in his duties by dropping the case. Even if it was just one person out there with a club, it was a crime.

  • Oskar

    The Bush Administration DOJ was as rotten as the Obama Administration DOJ. So what is your point?

  • LFC

    Oskar said… Watusie, the NBPP has been canonized by the Justice Department-they are untouchable.

    Aaaaaand once again a right-wingnut cries in anguish because facts don’t justify the outcome they desire.

    It must be so much easier living in a world where you know the proper outcome before you know much of anything about what actually happened. Facts and thought are hard.

  • Watusie

    Oskar considers not pursuing cases that are unsupported by actual evidence to be a sign of rottenness. What more is there to say about Oskar?

  • LFC

    The Bush Administration DOJ was as rotten as the Obama Administration DOJ.

    You mean that a DOJ that fired attorneys because they refused to prosecute bogus charges against Democrats shortly before elections, and who gutted the Civil Rights Division so that they wouldn’t uphold the law, is the same as a DOJ that decided that literally one nitwit with a club who didn’t block anybody wasn’t a conspiracy? I guess when you just “KNOW” what happened, you should prosecute even without any evidence.

    What’s it like living in there? [taps Oskar's forehead]

  • Oldskool

    I occasionally write for Andrew Breitbart’s website, and agree with him that the media blasting him for inaccuracy (and the Tea Party for racism) while steadily ignoring the New Black Panther Party or similar organizations is frustrating and silly.

    When you start a column with such a bad comparison it doens’t help your case.

    You compare “inaccuracy” (a charitable word in Breitbart’s case) to something that is in no way related; “ignoring”, specifically, a group best described as fringe .

    Breitbart misrepresented the FACTS of his argument while no one I’m aware of has described the NBPP as anything but a small gang of yahoos.

    Two different things.

  • Oskar

    LFC. the Obama DOJ has refused to prosecute anyone from the Bush DOJ. All part of the duopoly looking out for each other.

  • Cashmoney

    Oskar,

    What’s with all this Frankfurt School nonsense? You sound like a grad student at some 4th rate school in the boonies who missed the memo that no one reads Marcuse or Adorno anymore. Or like someone’s grandfather yammering on about stuff the rest of us consider passe.

    Try citing someone more cutting edge. Like Che Guevara.

  • Oskar

    Cashmoney, who do you think is behind affirmative action quotas, speech codes, sensitivity training aka thought control?

  • busboy33

    @Oldskool:

    “no one I’m aware of [who isn't a paranoid whackjob] has described the NBPP as anything but a small gang of yahoos.”

    Fixed that typo for you.

  • busboy33

    @Oskar:

    Free advice — you might be taken more seriously if you didn’t use terms like “thought control”.

    Just a suggestion.

  • bamboozer

    I live near Philadelphia and never , ever heard of any “New Black Panther Party” and certainly never heard of any attempt at voter intimidation. Much like Breitbart himself this is an utter and contemptable lie and quit typical of many of the stories that appear on Frum Forum. If you feel the need to defend liars and a very near criminal at least attempt to do so in a credible fashion.

  • busboy33

    @bamboozer:

    Then I guess you don’t watch Fox News. According to them, the NBPP is a bigger story than the oil spill.

  • Oskar

    busboy33, what would you call it when people are taken to task for having opinions?

  • Cashmoney

    Oskar,

    I don’t know but it wasn’t a bunch of German social theorists.

    I promise, Oskar, if you spend an afternoon reading their stuff, you’ll see it has nothing to do with anything that concerns us here.

  • Cashmoney

    Oskar,

    I take people to task all the time for their opinions. Don’t you?

  • easton

    cashmoney, right, my mouth dropped when I read that. Having opinions, of course, is not the issue, it is the sheer idiocy of the issues that people take Oskar to task for. “thought control” “duopoly”
    “tiny martians invading our brains” etc. (Ok, i made the last one up, but I would not be too surprised if he said “see, someone else knows it too”)

  • busboy33

    “what would you call it when people are taken to task for having opinions?”

    Well, I call it a discussion, but I’m a hippie.

    I guess it depends on what you call “taking to task”. Do people beat you into agreeing with them? Or are people pointing out that you’re out-of-your-god-damn-mind? There IS a difference.

  • Oskar

    busboy22, how does forcing people into sensitivity training a discussion? How are speech codes a discussion? Obviously you are a god-damned hypocrite. As to hippies, George Meany of the AFL-CIO said it best years ago: A hippie is Jack that looks like a Jill and smells like a john.

  • busboy33

    busboy22?

    Really?

    I suppose it is a step up from “StinkyFace McStupid”, so kudos to you.

    Seriously though, either you’re new at this troll job or you need some medical help. I understand you disagree and that’s fine, but when you finally go postal I want to be able to say “I did warn him”.

  • Oskar

    busboy33, sorry for the typo. Oh and thanks oh so very much for condescending to poor little me and oh so graciously granting that I might be allowed to disagree with you.

  • busboy33

    Knock yourself out Oskar. I stopped believing anything you type right after the “I’m for eugenics and Socialism” comment.

    Like I said before, you’re either the worst troll I’ve ever seen on the intertubes (worst in talent, not in intensity), or seriously mentally ill. I’m not going to engage with you, because I have a “don’t feed the trolls” policy and I get the impression that you’re not actually as crazy as you act.

    I’ll read your next comment, so you can have the last word and feel all special, but no more replies from me. You are a waste of electricity.

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