Tuesday, July 20, 2010

on refuting, refudiating, and repudiating racism

last week, delegates for the NAACP passed a resolution calling on the tea party to repudiate racism. the resolution doesn't accuse all tea partiers of racism, as some would have you believe; it simply points out the well-documented history of racists showing up at tea party events, and asks tea partiers to "make clear there is no place for racism & anti-Semitism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry in their movement."

now, when someone asks you to repudiate racism, the correct response is... to repudiate racism. it's pretty simple. tea party leaders could've simply issued a response like this:

we absolutely repudiate racism and other forms of bigotry, and if bigots do turn up at our events, know that they do not speak for us and we don't share their views.

easy, right? had the tea party done this, the story would've been gone in a day, plus the tea party would be insulated against any future accusations of racism—we repudiated racism months ago!

but this being the tea party, they instead went berserk. they accused the NAACP of hypocrisy. they claimed that the "real racists" were the NAACP, not them. and in a development that was probably inevitable, some responded to accusations of racism by becoming even more racist!

that's what happened to mark williams, spokesman for the tea party express. williams first responded by saying that the NAACP makes "more money off of race than any slave trader, ever" and belongs "in the trash heap [...] along with all the other vile, racist groups that emerged in our history."

then, apparently unsatisfied, williams penned possibly the most racist blog post ever, in which he mocked the NAACP for having the word "colored" in their name, then went on to adopt the persona of "tom's nephew", using plainly offensive language to repeat all sorts of horrible stereotypes about african-americans.

the post was so beyond-the-pale, over-the-top offensive that williams was soon forced to take it down, but the damage was already done. williams was demoted; his group was expelled from the tea party federation and denounced by other tea party groups.

so in the end, the NAACP resolution was a partial success: it resulted in the tea party denouncing one of its own leaders.

still, many wingnuts continue to ignore the williams debacle, pretending that there are no racists in the tea party movement and that the NAACP is full of hateful hypocrites. melyssa "miss ann" donaghy—who you'll be either pleased or bemused to learn recently resurrected her blog—tried to pretend that all the racists at tea party events are leftist "infiltrators" sent "to pose as racists". she also suggested that the NAACP were hypocrites because they didn't speak up when a black conservative got beat up this one time, stating that "I hope it is ok by the NAACP to be black and conservative in America!"

apparently to melyssa, the NAACP are hypocrites if they don't specifically and individually denounce every incidence of racism ever, even if they've never heard of it. of course, given the opportunity, they would gladly denounce racist violence against kenneth gladley or anyone else, just as benjamin jealous had no problem denouncing the new black panther party on this week's meet the press. (also, note to melyssa: michael steele, RNC chair, is a longtime NAACP member.)

at least melyssa admits that racists have attended tea party events. gary welsh couldn't even bring himself to do that. first he tried to pin the resolution on michelle obama, simply because she was present at the meeting. (she was actually there to discuss childhood obesity.)

he also trotted out an out-of-context video that's been making the rounds of a black USDA official confessing to having stuggled with racism while performing her job, citing it as proof that the NAACP, not tea partiers, are the real racists. (the NAACP quickly condemned the official, but naturally that's not good enough for gary, who's just looking for an excuse call andre carson a liar.)

gary, and people like him, have a shockingly naive view of racism and bigotry. he has no trouble identifying bigotry when directed at People Like Him by People Not Like Him (though he seems to have completely stopped discussing homophobia—supposedly one of his blog's signature issues), yet he seemingly defines white racism as dressing up in a sheet and lynching folks. and since he and his fellow right-wingers aren't out burning crosses (well... most of them aren't), they therefore aren't racists and their actions are thus not racist. this is why gary doesn't understand when others call him out for racist attitudes in his blog. he assumes that he isn't a racist and is thus incapable of racist thought, so when others point out problematic content, he assumes they must be political opponents who are trying to discredit him. he never bothers to analyze what he's written and why it might be offensive—and perhaps he never will.

of course, everyone has racist or bigoted thoughts from time to time. the key to overcoming bigotry is to recognize these thoughts for what they are and act accordingly.

update: unsurprisingly, the USDA official's story becomes a lot less damning when viewed in context.

2nd update: NAACP has issued a new statement:

With regard to the initial media coverage of the resignation of USDA official Shirley Sherrod, we have come to the conclusion we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias.

Having reviewed the full tape, spoken to Ms. Sherrod, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans.

The fact is Ms. Sherrod did help the white farmers mentioned in her speech. They personally credit her with helping to save their family farm.

Moreover, this incident and the lesson it prompted occurred more that 20 years before she went to work for USDA.

Finally, she was sharing this account as part of a story of transformation and redemption. In the full video, Ms.Sherrod says she realized that the dislocation of farmers is about "haves and have nots." "It's not just about black people, it's about poor people," says Sherrod in the speech. "We have to get to the point where race exists but it doesn't matter."


Wilson46201 said...

once again, you hit it right out of the ballpark!


M Theory said...

Good job stAllio...they've got you right where they want you. You are pitiching in and doing your part to divide America. You are serving the agenda of the elites.

While I have nothing to do with the current Tea Party movement, I am on their mailing lists.

From the beginning every rally announcement I've received made it clear that racism is not tolerated.

Had you actually researched your column before publishing a warped form of guesswork, you would know the stance on racism as communicated by numerous Tea Party documents.

Did you ever read the announcements? Are you in the tea party communication loops? Have you attended a tea party? Have you personally interviewed the leadership? Have you talked to any black tea party participants?

As for the rallies I put on in 2007, it did not even occur to me that race was an issue, since at one point about a quarter to a third of the activist leadership in our ranks were black citizens.

The entire agenda of the tea party movement is based on policy to obey the constitution and bring about small, accountable government.

There is an agenda from above even the presidency to divide America anyway possible. The people can be defeated if we are divided.

Race is one such way they attempt to divide us. Politics is another. They've got you believing that there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats when both are obviously controlled by the same people. People who don't care about you or me.

Most Americans aren't racists. And columns like yours serve not to defeat racism, but to divide Americans. You point a racist finger at people who are not bigots and try to make others believe they are.

Fortunately, the readership of this blog is small. And with columns like this, it is no mystery why.

I'd love to see you use your skills to help unite, not divide people. It is a shame you believe you have to be hateful. Ask yourself this. What thing of value are you bringing about with this blog? I've looked and all I see is a person more hateful and bitter than Gary Welsh is on his worst day.

M Theory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M Theory said...

The Kenneth Gladney case is big. It was shocking. And you would have heard it if you didn't get your news solely from left wing sources.

The whole incident is on you tube and was viewed millions of times. What happened is shocking.

A black guy was selling Don't Tread on Me Gadsen flags at a health care town hall in Missouri. The SEIU people were bused in to support health care reform.

Anyway they saw Kenneth said "What kind of N are you?" Then they beat him up and sent him to the hospital.

Had the NAACP denounced the SEIU for its treatment of Kenneth Gladney, I would respect their stance on racism. However, I don't think the NAACP cares as much about race as it does politics. I think the organization is less than honest about who it is and who it serves.

If NAACP was truly serving the advancement of colored people, it would have stood up for Kenneth Gladney.

Here's an interview with Gladney with Cavuto after the incident. If you really care about the truth and you care about racism as you say you do, then you'll watch the video and educate yourself on this well documented and unfortunate incident of racism.


stAllio! said...

melyssa: do you repudiate the blatantly racist statements made by mark williams?

do you denounce the vicious smear that was perpetrated against shirley sherrod?

if you can't answer "yes" to both those questions, then i really have nothing else to say to you on this issue.

M Theory said...

I think it is a set up. I think people like you are being set up to divide America. You are so full of hate that you fall for it. But I don't know. I'm so far from the inside on these cases I am not going to comment other than to say I don't think all is as it appears.

From where I sit and what I read on this blog it looks like you will do or say anything to perpetuate divide and hatred.

I wish you put half as much energy into uniting people as you do dividing them.

stAllio! said...

if we can't unite against racism then how can we unite at all?

here i'm giving you an opportunity to show that we're on the same side of even one issue, but you refuse to do so!

is it really that hard to say, "yes, mark williams wrote some offensive garbage"? or "yes, shirley sherrod was smeared unfairly"?

M Theory said...

There's no place in my heart for racism OR hypocrisy. Honestly, I don't know which is worse, for they both suck at the soul of humanity.

I don't take seriously the racist accusations from hypocrites.

Incidents of physical violence, intimidation, and racism coming from the left happened several times last year and yet the NAACP or the left said nothing. They went out of their way to ignore or, it worse, blame the victims!

Then all of a sudden they want to label the tea party goers as racist. Sorry, doesn't fly with me. They are hypocrites.

stAllio! said...

you clearly didn't read the resolution. it doesn't "label the tea party goers as racist."

at any rate, i don't see why alleged NAACP hypocrisy would render you unable to condemn mark williams' racist words or the smear on shirley sherrod.

M Theory said...

I've spoken about those incidents elsewhere. I do not need to dignify your hatefulness by bowing to your hypocritical demands here.

I find you to be egotistical, hateful, and every bit what you accuse others of being. Why would I do anything you ask.

My views on race and what humanity needs to do to get beyond it are abundantly clear on the blog I publish.

As for my own views, my acts in the world and my personal relationships speak volumes as to my character.

Obeying your hate filled demands here does nothing to change who I am or justify my character.

Try kindness for a change. It might get you somewhere in life.

stAllio! said...

your past statements about shirley sherrod have been shown to be false. i have given you a chance to acknowledge your mistake, yet you refuse.

i'm not aware of you commenting on the mark williams saga. i suspect that's because you haven't actually done so.

M Theory said...

stAllio...you are not my judge and I don't answer to you. How is that you don't get that fact? Are you really so egotistical that you think I'm going to obey your commands?

Try kindness. It gets you and those around you further down the enlightenment road.

stAllio! said...

i never once commanded you to do anything.

i have requested—or you could say challenged—you to state an opinion on the story of mark williams, tea party express spokeman who got in trouble and eventually fired for his racist statements. you have blustered and written about everything but the question at hand.

your fellow tea partiers had no trouble denouncing williams and distancing the movement from him. i don't know why you're having so much trouble doing the same, despite your repeated claims that you don't tolerate racism. but i do find your obstinance amusing. so by all means, keep coming back here and dodging the question. i'm not the one who looks foolish when you do.

M Theory said...

You look so foolish trying to order me about! I am simply not going to obey your commands. You are not my ruler and I don't owe you the satisfaction of kneeling when you bark.

I will leave you with this that sums up how I feel about race in America. It was written by Walter Williams, a black professor of Economics.

M Theory said...


A black or white person, now dead, who lived during the civil rights struggles of the 1930s, '40s or '50s, might very well be appalled and disgusted by black behavior accepted today. Yesteryear, it was the Klan or White Citizens Council who showed up at polling places to intimidate black voters. During the 2008 elections, it was the New Black Panthers who showed up at a Philadelphia polling place to intimidate white voters and tell them, "You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker." What's worse is the U.S. Department of Justice has decided to not to prosecute.

Black intimidation of voters, to my knowledge, is rare, but black intimidation of Asians is not. Recent reports out of Philadelphia and San Francisco tell of black students beating up Asian students. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, in the wake of serious black-on-Asian violence at South Philadelphia High School, charged the district with "deliberate indifference" to the harassment of Asian students and with "intentional disregard" for their welfare.

The violence is not restricted to Asian youngsters. Asian adults are included, such as the recent bludgeoning to death of an 83-year-old Chinese man in San Francisco and the pushing of a 57-year-old Asian lady onto Muni subway tracks.

A white Charleston, S.C. teacher frequently complained of black students calling her: white b----, white m-----f-----, white c--- and white ho. Most people would judge that to be racism and demand it to end. Charleston school officials told the teacher this racially charged profanity was simply part of the students' culture, and if she couldn't handle it, she was in the wrong school. The teacher brought a harassment suit and the school district settled out of court for $200,000.

What about black youngsters who hit the books and study after school instead of hitting the streets? Sometimes they are ridiculed as being incog-negro or acting white and the ridicule is often accompanied with life-threatening physical violence. Many blacks, particularly black males, have arrived at the devastating conclusion that academic excellence is a betrayal of their black identity.

The pathology seen among a large segment of the black population is not likely to change because it's not seen for what it is. It has little to do with slavery, poverty and racial discrimination. Let's look at it. Today's black illegitimacy rate is about 70 percent. When I was a youngster, during the 1940s, illegitimacy was around 15 percent. In the same period, about 80 percent of black children were born inside marriage. In fact, historian Herbert Gutman, in "Persistent Myths about the Afro-American Family" in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History (Autumn 1975), reports the percentage of black two-parent families, depending on the city, ranged 75 to 90 percent. Today, only 35 percent of black children are raised in two-parent households. The importance of these and other statistics showing greater stability and less pathology among blacks in earlier periods is that they put a lie to today's excuses. Namely, at a time when blacks were closer to slavery, faced far more discrimination, more poverty and had fewer opportunities, there was not the kind of chaos, violence, family breakdown and black racism that we see today.

M Theory said...

I think your problem with me is that you don't like it that I'm not a whining libtard who looks to government to solve my problems.

The author of that column I posted is far more educated and experienced in matters of race than you or me and he is rational.

Are you saying that this black author, who has lived for decades as a black American is racist against his own people?

Because you just said I was racist and I have the same belief system as Walter Williams.

I'd like to know. Is it just me that is racist or is Walter Williams racist too since we hold the same beliefs?

stAllio! said...

it actually is possible for a black man to hold racist beliefs about other blacks. but of course, that's not what i'm saying.

you said that article "sums up how I feel about race in America". not just that you agree with it, but that it sums up your beliefs. as in, the entirety of your opinion on race is that black folks used to behave better under jim crow.

of course, all this is just a distraction from the real issue, which is your adamant refusal to defend your past erroneous statements.

stAllio! said...

just for kicks, let's review all of melyssa's excuses for why she can neither retract nor defend her past statements about shirley sherrod, nor denounce the racist words of mark williams:

1. race is just a wedge that the elites (read: zionists) use to keep us divided.
2. the tea party isn't racist.
3. she doesn't respect the NAACP.
4. she's "too far from the inside" to comment. [note that this didn't stop her from branding sherrod a racist in the first place.]
5. NAACP and the left are hypocrites because they supposedly didn't denounce kenneth gladney's attackers.
6. she won't respond to my questions because i am a hateful jerk.
7. she has commented on these issues elsewhere. [her comments on sherrod have been shown to be false, and she hasn't actually commented on mark williams.]
8. she refuses to obey my commands and i can't make her!
9. black folks don't know how to act (and used to act better under jim crow), which proves racism isn't a big deal.

did i miss any?

out of all of these, i must say that #8 is the most astonishing. i don't think i've ever seen a political argument where one side outright refused to defend its position, and insisted it could not be forced to do so.

imagine a political candidate using that excuse during a debate: "i won't answer that and you can't make me!" imagine how outraged melyssa would be! imagine the irate blog post she'd write about that!

M Theory said...

Politicians are public SERVANTS by consent. In no way have I ever consented to serve your requests. I owe you nothing. We don't have a contract. I'm not a politician, nor am I your servant.

On the other hand Andre Carson has submitted his consent to be my servant, he IS under contract, and he IS in the taxpayers employ.

Just for fun...here's a clip of our public servant and employee Andre Carson refusing acknowledge a taxpayer to discuss his baseless accusations against the tea party activists.


Fox59 invited me to participate in their new debate forum on the subject of race and these accusations of racism directed at tea party participants. I agreed to do the debate. The NAACP did not return their calls and emails.

Left Admits: Racism Charges Against Tea Parties a Tactic, Not a Truth


stAllio! said...

gee, i wonder why he wouldn't want to speak to some asshole with a camera accusing him of being a liar.

also, i would've loved to see you debating the NAACP on tv. it would've been hilarious watching you refuse to answer any difficult questions. i'm not your servant, NAACP, and you can't make me answer!

M Theory said...

No, the difference would be that I would give my CONSENT to Fox59. I don't consent to you.

Curious why I won't consent to you?

The kid wanting questions answered was not an asshole.

He's the BOSS of Andre Carson.

He's Carson's employer.

Carson by CONSENT to be his public servant owes him an answer.

The kid was polite. Far more polite than you.

stAllio! said...

yeah, i get it. i'm an asshole. so why are you still here?

you do realize that by playing your little games and refusing to account for your errors, you're proving me right, don't you?

you talk big about how you don't tolerate racism or hypocrisy, yet when offered a chance to stand up for your alleged principles, you demur and eventually refuse.

the fact is that you do a damn fine job tolerating racism when it comes from people you think are on your side.

M Theory said...

I offered to publicly stand up and debate this issue as former tea party leader on local Fox59 because I trust and respect their producers. I've worked with them before to know they are fair and impartial and have no political agenda (unlike cable FoxNews)

On the contrary, NAACP would not acknowledge their request.

I don't offer to do so for you because I believe you are someone who is not impartial and you are certainly not worthy of my trust.

If you were genuine in your search to unite people, fair and impartial, you would demand that Andre Carson answer the questions posed to him by the people to whom he consents.

There's $100k reward for the video showing a tea party member calling him the N-word (repeatedly) as Carson alleges. Carson had his own camera people there. Many in the crowd had cameras. Yet no one h as stepped up to get that $100k.

That's cause the event was fiction.

stAllio! said...

whatever. go ahead and keep pretending that the reason you're avoiding my questions is because you're making a principled stand against... rudeness or something.

you're not fooling anyone.