aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
If you are a racist, go ahead and vote for the Republicans
How is it I can so agree with Mudcat Saunders:
Although we are not at the “top of the mountain” that Dr. King talked about, we are moving. I know few Southern white people who don’t have a great black friend and visa versus. There is little, if any, tolerance for racist groups anymore. In the South, where most of us have a huge affection for the Almighty, we’re beginning to see racial wedges as what they areÃ¢â‚¬Â¦dividing God’s children. Believe it or not, the overwhelming majority of actual voters (and I didn’t say all) deplore racism. To many of us in the South, the racially-benign portions of our heritage are still sacred, but that’s not to say that we believe the right side didn’t win the war. There are also many Southerners, like myself, who embrace their culture but not at the expense of dividing God’s children. A great example is the flag out on Columbia’s Gervais Street in front of the Capitol. That flag has dragged our heritage into further controversy. We need no further tarnishing of our culture.
On race, I say it’s time to hit the Republicans straight on. When they use race-baiting to divide God’s children, let’s call them on it. It’s now been 27 years since Lee Atwater introduced one of the most effective great lies in political history-the “Welfare Queen”. Yet we have not even hit that one in the mouth. I say let’s shout out with the fury of hell, “If you are a racist, go ahead and vote for the Republicans.” That kind of strong message will hit home to more than just a few good Southerners.
To unify a Republican Party composed of both Wall Street bankers and heartland preachers - the profits-plus-pulpits coalition - the GOP has created the perfect foil: a ubiquitous and nefarious “liberal elite” that is somehow blamed for orchestrating America’s cultural and spiritual demise. The Democrats need their own “them,” and the social conservatives who are the bedrock of southern politics provide the most obvious and burdensome stone to hang around the Republicans’ necks.
As simply as I can put it, the former is telling it like it is. Outing racists. The latter is a strategic use of racism as a means to a political end. A political end that, in its full 300 page majesty (supplemented by Southern bashing blog posts, articles and television appearances), proposes writing off the South and choosing instead to win over the Mountain red states while relying on the dependable East and West.
Just as some Democrats are smitten with the idea of a “soft partition” of Iraq, there has been a solid core of Democrats smitten with Schaller’s suggestion for what looks to me like a soft partition of these United States.
To address Schaller’s analogy more directly, the GOP didn’t abandon the home regions of the demonized liberal elites. Rather, a good number of the Republicans’ brightest lights came from and grew to prominence in those regions. They’ve also had more than their fair share of Republican governors, mayors and local pols. Last I checked, two of the top three leading Republican presidential candidates were from the Northeast.
Even if aping the Republicans is the best we can do, that all sounds more Mudcat than Schaller to me.
RELATED: It won’t surprise you to read that I am no fan of the Bush Dog attacks on our own.
West Side Story 50 today
SEE ALSO: Guy love, “When I say I love you...it’s not what it implies… there’s nothing gay about it:”
On the O’Reilly/Media Matters contretemps
I’m glad I missed it. While, generally speaking, I shy away from calling people racist, had I seen it I may have been swept up in it.
I am no fan of Bill O’Reilly; I am a fan of Media Matters.
I only caught up and tuned in when I happened on to this morning’s Matt Lauer Today Show interview of Media Matters’ Paul Waldman. I was wholly unimpressed with Waldman. When asked by Lauer about the possibility that O’Reilly’s comments could be understood in a more benign light, Waldman said:
WALDMAN: Well that’s fine for [O’Reilly] to give that message but what I think is really instructive was the reaction that he had when people started to raise some objections or raise their eyebrows at this… he lashed out… he criticized Media Matters. He said we smeared him just because we put up his words on a website…
LAUER: Well wait a second are you criticizing now for his reaction to the controversy? Shouldn’t we stick to the controversy in the first place?
WALDMAN:..and he attacked CNN and he attacked MSNBC and NBC. This is what Fox News does. They reacted as though they were partisan political actors and not somebody, people who are trying to be a legitimate news organization. They said it was all liberal news outlets who were trying to drum up ratings.
Forgive me, but don’t we have here a pot calling a kettle black? I’m all for liberals calling out Conservatives for any racist proclivities, but I am not looking to manufacture faux controversies by taking advantage of or purposefully misconstruing someone’s words.
Waldman never claimed there was anything demonstrably racist in what O’Reilly said - in fact, he specifically said, “it’s not about whether he’s making racist statements” - he kept the focus on O’Reilly’s incendiary reaction. That is a tried and true Right Wing media strategy; and not one I admire or respect. It’s not legitimate and not something I like seeing my liberal fellows mimic.
We claim we want a dialog on race but then pounce on anyone who dares to try. That is not a recipe for successfully addressing the race problem in America.
LATER: Crooks and Liars disagrees. And has the video.