The R-word fifteen years on

by John Quiggin on July 20, 2019

Back in 2004, I wrote that

There is only one real instance of political correctness in Australia today and that is that you are never, ever allowed to call anyone a racist. It’s OK to say that Adolf Hitler was a racist, and that apartheid was racist, but the idea that any actual Australian could be a racist is utterly taboo.

Of course, the same was true in the US. But after two and a half years of an openly racist Trump Presidency in the US, the taboo seems finally to be open to challenge. Opinion writers and individual Democratic politicians have been calling out Trump’s racism for some time, but news reports have stuck with lame euphemisms like “racially charged”, or saying that “critics have called it racist”

In the wake of the House resolution condemning Trump latest racist tweets, the ground may have shifted, at least a little. Quite a few news organizations have used the R-word, in their own voice, to describe Trump’s “go back to where you came from” tweets, and others have tiptoed towards the line.

Most notably. CNN and Washington Post political reports are now referring to Trump’s racist tweets in matter-of-fact terms, noting that Trump sees them as politically advantageous and discussing the implications for the 2020 campaign. (Hat tip: Daniel Quiggin). 

There’s still quite a few steps to go before the taboo is ended. Even moving from “Trump’s racist tweets” to “Trump’s racism” will take a fair bit of courage. And so far only CNN has used the word routinely. The NY Times hasn’t even got past “widely seen as racist.” . (For that matter, it’s still calling Trump’s lies “falsehoods” to avoid feeding ” the mistaken notion that we’re taking political sides.”

This isn’t just a matter of rhetoric. It’s difficult to do any kind of political analysis clearly if one of the main political tendencies can’t be named. Trump’s re-election hopes depend to a large extent on motivating racist Republicans to vote and on peeling off the remaining racists from the Democratic Party. Try to make this obvious point without using the R word and you end up with obfuscation or worse, such as the use of”working class” as code for racism.  

{ 87 comments }

1

Aardvark Cheeselog 07.21.19 at 2:20 am

As Confucius observed, nothing can be accomplished until you start calling things by their right names.

2

Gabriel 07.21.19 at 2:47 am

Here in New Zealand, a racially Chinese Kiwi family was subjected to an extended attack by a white man which included threatening with a pit-bull and running them off the road (during which children were thrown clear of the vehicle). All of this was accompanied by racist ranting, at both the victims and at bystanders.

When sentencing the racist, the NZ judge said ‘It would be quite wrong to call this a hate crime.’ What. The. Actual. Fuck.

So, at least here, the problem extends well past the media.

3

hac 07.21.19 at 7:13 am

Many brown folks, myself included, are glad at Trump’s refreshing honesty:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/19/why-im-glad-about-trumps-latest-twitter-tirade

It felt like being stuck in a Harold Pinter play with the miasmic deceit thick enough to cut with a knife before Roy Cohn’s spiritual son brought clarity to the proceedings with his “Angry Old Man” shtick.

The taboo against the F-word also needs to be challenged, esp. when it comes to the brave “Free Speech Warriors” just interested in “Open Exchange of Ideas”(tm):

https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/youtube-far-right-influencers-1202946918

4

Thomas Beale 07.21.19 at 9:27 am

If we are talking about the recent Trump tweets about the ‘gang of four’, unless the word ‘racist’ has been completely redefined in the last couple of weeks, these tweets are not obviously racist, they’re xenophobic if anything – he’s clearly going on about ‘foreigners’ from countries with terrible regimes, not racial or ethnic groups. Mostly the tweets are just stupid in the usual witless way of Trump.

Who knows whether Trump really is a racist in the sense of believing that other races are innately inferior. My impression is that he cares no more for white people than people of colour, or African people or Indians or whoever he is supposed to hate, simply because he doesn’t appear to care about anyone at all, other than himself.

The firestorm about ‘racism’ here seems entirely misplaced, and will only serve to obscure possibly useful debates about real racism, by (along with CNN etc) helping to destroy any definitional clarity the word might have had.

5

ccc 07.21.19 at 9:33 am

> This isn’t just a matter of rhetoric. It’s difficult to do any kind of political analysis clearly if one of the main political tendencies can’t be named.

From the POV of doing political analysis (rather than political action) does it really matter much if th analysis uses the term ‘racism’ or ‘R word’ or ‘racially charged’ or some such? Compare: Trump’s re-election hopes depend to a large extent on motivating racially charged language attracted Republicans to vote and on peeling off the remaining racially charged language attracted individuals from the Democratic Party. The underlying psychological states and behaviours can be described anyway. What matters for analysis is descriptively getting data on those states/behaviours and figuring out what actions can affect them in what way and then normatively evaluating such actions.

> There is only one real instance of political correctness in Australia today […]

I could argue against, but I respect the taboo against me doing so here.

6

SusanC 07.21.19 at 9:35 am

On the one hand: yes, there does seem to be a taboo against calling out racism for what it is.

On the other hand: in journalism, there’s a lot to be said in favour of a reporting style that states the verifiable facts (such as something Trump has said in public) and leaves the reader to draw the obvious conclusion. The implied point of the story – why the journalist and their editor think it’s newsworthy – “that guy is a racist”, but what the story reports is the concrete evidence for drawing that conclusion.

7

nastywoman 07.21.19 at 10:23 am

@3
As we -(International Non-Profits) are currently running a… let’s call it ”experiment” –
about ”How to counter Racism” -(and all off these – lately very frightening successful -”strategies” of racist morons like Von Clownsticks)
We would ask ”the honourable commenters of this blog” for HELP –
too.

There is this Internet Platform called the Intercept – where ”sadly” a lot of commenters resided -(and still reside) – who – before the last election helped to create a ”narrative” about: ”Not voting for some lesser Evil” – and as we know ALL know – that this narrative helped to ”erect” the ”Proven Racist Moron” – could any of you guys occasionally show up there – in the comment sections of the ”racism-threads” -( like for example in this one: ”Racism Is an Impeachable Offense” – and post – what doesn’t have to be posted thus urgently anymore in any ”Echo-Chambers”?

Thank Y’all!

8

ph 07.21.19 at 10:52 am

Interesting. Hyphenation to non-hyphenation is one metric and perhaps a good one. I just watched Mark Schmidt, Bob Wright, and Sarah Posner discuss 2020. All three managed to be totally wrong about 2016 and only Bob Wright had the slightest sense that “race” means something different to different people and that the meaning of the word changes over time. “I’m not saying you’re racist (yet), but…” is how Kamala Harris attacked her Democratic rival Joe Biden on national TV in July, 2018 Biden, of course, is the, you know, “not racist” who served as 44’s vice-president for 8 years.

So, if a lifelong Democrat who served loyally, we assume, as vice-president to America’s first African-American president is on the receiving end of “I’m not saying you’re racist (yet), but…” my guess is that pretty much anyone who’s ever done anything to lift people up can expect a public admonition which begins with “I’m not saying you’re racist…”

I’m looking right now at a Google search 1980-2000 and the word “racist” and Clinton” and we find the Clinton administration accused of racism by Aristide, president of Haiti. Maxine Waters “branded” H. W. Bush a racist who had polarized the races in this country.” That’s from the LA times. The New Yorker has an article from 1994 in which Hillary Clinton’s efforts to improve teaching standards in Arkansas by supporting a teachers’ test: “According to a key member of Clinton’s staff, it was Hillary who proposed the idea. Kai Erickson told me, “There was a great schism. The idea of a teacher test was understood to have appeal to those white parents who felt that black teachers were not competent. The black teachers, though, felt that it was racist.”

And that’s just skimming the surface in the US. If we examine other societies, we discover racism of different sorts. The crisis in Libya prior to the “not racist-not a war of choice” waged by Canada, France, the UK, and America was one in which ethnicity played a major role. The losers in the that ‘shit-show’ are now being sold in slave markets thanks to the “not racist” indifference to outcomes of at least one self-described progressive administration.

Indeed, there’s a gigantic memory hole in liberal discourse, in which the un-personning of Geraldine Ferraro (first female VP candidate and lifelong Democrat) on spurious charges of “racism” for merely mentioning that some voters might be excited by the arrival of a young, attractive, articulate African-American candidate running for president. Her remark was repackaged as: old, white woman calls post-racial candidate “boy.” Bye-bye Geraldine. She’s still on the ash-heap of history.

So, from my point of view, what has happened is that a large number of people are extremely unhappy living in a pc world where anyone, including Joe Biden, must be ready at all time to have their lives turned upside down by the charge of “racist.” I’ve little doubt that many here would be mortified to be on the receiving end of the charge, but you’re no longer the voting majority.

UK citizens were routinely slimed as “racists” just for suggesting the nation hold a referendum on EU membership. Rather than back down, the “racists’ doubled down, GOTV, and is now in the process of removing the UK from the EU. Charges of “racist” were hurled at any and all Trump supporters throughout 2015 and after. Voters who voted for Obama twice ignored the charges and handed the “racist” candidate the presidency, which has been one long exercise in applied racism, which he seems to have bungled somehow by reducing Hispanic and African-American unemployment to record lows.

JQ raises a good question. I’m not at all sure many are going to like some of the possible answers. I’ve mentioned RCP. This weekend there are a number of articles addressing the same question as John. he difference is that these authors claim the term has lost its valency owing to over-use. I think they have a point.

9

John Quiggin 07.21.19 at 11:53 am

Thomas B “any definitional clarity the word might have had.” How can a word have definitional clarity if you are never allowed to use it?

ccc “Does it really matter”. If it doesn’t, why does it raise such concern? Why do you bother to comment?

ph – you prove the point you are arguing against about the taboo on “racist”. Almost every instance you cite is in scare quotes, attributed to some unspecified person, used in reference to unspecified people etc. AFAICT, you have to go back thirty years to find a single instance of an (obscure/fringe) elected official using the term to describe another.

10

nastywoman 07.21.19 at 12:09 pm

– and after @8 has written what @8 has written –
y’all might understand how important it has become – to comment on every possible comment section in reach –

Against ”Racism” and all efforts to redefine that t –
(after Von Clownstick was so successful redefining what ”grabbing” means)
– as let’s quote from another thread:

We can’t wait to wake up and smell the ”Racists” when some lunatic kills Ilhan Omar…

11

nastywoman 07.21.19 at 12:19 pm

– and if it’s allowed?

”’Go Back to Your Country,’ a Supercut of Racism Featuring Trump | NowThis”
https://youtu.be/SkDUFUZrVLg

12

Hidari 07.21.19 at 12:29 pm

Given that we are talking about what Trump thinks about #TheSquad it might be wise to look at what he actually said, which is mysteriously difficult amidst all the pearl clutching in the ‘liberal’ media.

Here’s what Trump actually said, with what I see as being the key points (almost universally not noted in the ‘liberal’ media) in bold.

‘When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!’

‘If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.’

‘So sad to see the Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion. Whenever confronted, they call their adversaries, including Nancy Pelosi, “RACIST.” Their disgusting language…..’

Also, Mike Pence (retweeted by Trump)

‘When our President stands up to radical Democrats who accuse Border Patrol of running concentration camps, use anti-Semitic slurs to denounce support for Israel, and continually attack America, we stand with the President. ‘

Trump is a simple soul and always states very clearly what he means. It’s strange the liberal media seem to be unable to parse the meaning of these simple (and simplistic) screeds.

13

nastywoman 07.21.19 at 12:33 pm

and@4

”Who knows whether Trump really is a racist in the sense of believing that other races are innately inferior”.

You will find (not all) – the people – who know it very well – in an article of The Atlantic
with the title:

”Trump’s Racism: An Oral History”

14

steven t johnson 07.21.19 at 1:30 pm

hac@3 endorses Trump. This is not just one commenter’s opinion. “The black voter turnout rate declined for the first time in 20 years in a presidential election, falling to 59.6% in 2016 after reaching a record-high 66.6% in 2012.”https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/05/12/black-voter-turnout-fell-in-2016-even-as-a-record-number-of-americans-cast-ballots/

Quite clearly, millions of black voters thought there was no difference between Trump and Clinton. It is hard to justify ever using the R-word when the R-word means spiritual defects, rather than concrete political actions, since to a first approximation every white person has unconscious biases. It is unlikely that the assumption it’s only white people who suffer from this can be solidly supported but fortunately it need not be supported at all, which means there is no point to going into boring details about policy. Plus almost all people deny structural racism for exactly the same reasons they deny the existence of Marxian social classes, a commitment to individual psychology as the cause of pretty much everything.

The use of the R-word is fairly irrelevant, because the R-word applies to everyone but black candidates, as it is used now.

15

Thomas Beale 07.21.19 at 3:10 pm

JQ@9
I agree that people should be allowed to use it, but like the other modern -ist and -phobe castigations, it needs to be actually understood and then used carefully in thoughtful reporting or discussion, not casually thrown around. And it’s actually quite hard to determine if someone really is (in their mind and belief) a true racist.

Most instances of what appears to be racism I think boil down to the psychology of resentment (you need someone on whom to project the resentment, people of the wrong colour, speaking funny or who look different are always good for that) and/or low self- or cultural esteem (monkey chants in Russian football stadiums). The most boorish expressions of racism are usually articulated by those with the least education – just one of the many ways such people find to be offensive.

The racism that really matters I would argue is of the institutional kind, deeply embedded in society.

16

Kiwanda 07.21.19 at 3:24 pm

The difference between saying that a person is racist and saying that a statement is racist is that the former requires knowledge of state of mind. Trump doesn’t explicitly say “I believe white people are superior”, indeed he specifically claims not to be racist, so any given statement by him can be defended, dismissed, talked around.

There is a left-identitarian tactic of condemnation of people as monsters, via uncharitable interpretation of isolated statements, mind-reading, and healthy doses of bigotry. This enables a defense of people at times: claims against them are just one more instance of this tactic.

But Trump’s record of racist statements and actions is extensive and decades-long: there can be no doubt, he is a racist. His recent attacks on four members of the House are only the most recent appalling example of his racism. The most charitable interpretation of this recent stuff is that it is *only* demagoguery, yet another case where Trump chooses petty personal vindictiveness and political expediency over facts and principles. But even in the unlikely case that this interpretation is the right one, it’s a bitter consolation, of the same sort as the observation that Trump’s laziness, stupidity, and incompetence give us some protection from his traitorous corruption, cronyism, and brutality.

17

Dr. Hilarius 07.21.19 at 5:03 pm

Consider the two phrases “go back where you came from” and “love it or leave it.” I, being white of Irish/Swedish descent, have been told “to love it or leave it.” I have never been told to “go back where I came from” and never expect to be so told. I am assumed to be a real American and not some other here on sufferance of good conduct.

18

Heliopause 07.21.19 at 6:31 pm

45%
In 2008 the Republicans were as deep in the septic tank as it’s possible for a US political party to be. Iraq, political ethics, New Orleans, the entire economy. You name it, they destroyed it. Then their presidential candidate named a running joke as running mate. They still got 45%.

Gallup just came out with a poll that has Trump’s favorability at 45%.

So assuming we all start using the R-word correctly I wonder what you all think the next step is. Seems like 45% of the voting population being irredeemable and immovable is a wee bit of a bigger problem than the words we use to describe them.

19

novakant 07.21.19 at 6:32 pm

# 4

Actually Adorno redefined racism some 70 years ago – check out “cultural racism”. Also Suart Hall / Etienne Balibar / “racism without race”.

I find this type (faux?) naivete when it comes to discussions of racism astounding.

20

JimV 07.21.19 at 6:53 pm

I guess much is possible. It might just be that the black people of equal economic status and references to a control sample of white people who got apartments, were all turned down for apartments in Trump properties (several years ago when the Civil Rights Commission was testing such things) because of unknown but legitimate concerns; and that if a group of white teen-agers were wrongly convicted of a horrible crime, he would have bought a full-page newspaper add calling for their death penalty and refused to change his position after they were found innocent; and that the predominant skin color of Sweden has nothing to do with his preference for only admitting immigrants from that country; and so on. However, personally, at this point I think the burden has shifted to him to show by words and action that he is not a racist.

We all have tribal instincts, but some of us try to restrain them for the sake of fairness and from the desire to be part of a peaceful civilization. Restraint is not something Trump does voluntarily.

21

The Dissident 07.21.19 at 7:03 pm

Ahem, it hasn’t been taboo to call anyone racist in a long while. In fact, the word has been so overused by the left it’s practically useless in the American lexicon. That’s why it’s so funny when you come across “raciss™” — it means nothing now and to be accused of being a racist has come to mean on the right side of an issue.

I’m not even sure why you chose to use the “R-word” in your title. And I don’t believe for one second you actually believe what you just wrote. The left has long tried and been exposed for attempting to social engineer society through so-called “moral” bullying, labeling, libeling and downright terrorizing.

Ph, has the details.

22

Kenny Easwaran 07.21.19 at 7:27 pm

Thomas Beale – How is it xenophobic to attack Americans born in the United States? If it’s xenophobia, it’s only because he assumes they’re immigrants. But why would you assume someone born and raised in the Bronx (AOC), or born and raised in Boston (Pressley), or born and raised in Detroit (Tlaib), is an immigrant? Unless it’s because there’s some unspoken inference from skin color to national status. Which sounds like r—-m to me.

23

Patrick 07.21.19 at 8:21 pm

“It’s difficult to do any kind of political analysis clearly if one of the main political tendencies can’t be named.”

You’re dreaming. You can’t have a term simultaneously function as a powerful epithet and condemnation, and also a term of dispassionate political analysis.

I think we have to call Trump’s comments racist because he’s pushed us past the tipping point to territory where the norm at issue is doing more harm than good. So I guess the norm has to go.

But as with so many of the norms Trump is ruining, we are losing something in the process, and we will NOT be obtaining the meager gains for which you hope. We might be a little better at political analysis specifically related to Trump, but, we will be even worse at it going forward into the indefinite future.

Has political analysis been aided by discussing the 90s crime bill in terms of racism? Of course not, it’s been the opposite. The same with busing. The same with loads of issues. Those will be the standard case, going forward.

I don’t know what else to do because norms rely on their environment in order to exist. “Don’t imprison politicians who lose elections” works because our politicians have historically not engaged in the sorts of crimes, and the sorts of coverups, that require removal from office and prosecution by their successors. Change that, and the norm stops working.

“Don’t call major politicians racist” works if major politicians avoid being overtly racist. Well, they stopped doing that. So I guess the norm dies.

But it isn’t going to be good for us, and political analysis will lose out in the long run.

24

Dipper 07.21.19 at 8:44 pm

Viewing this from the UK, it would be a mistake to call Trump a racist now, even if his behaviour can reasonably be described as racist.

Most of the people the Democrats need to win over to win are working class whites (so I believe). Trump knows if he can get the gang of four to be the face of the Democrats and make race the dividing line, he wins the next presidential election.

What the Democrats need to do is say these four women are part of the Democratic family just as labourers in agricultural areas are part of the democratic family and workers in industries in rust-belt states are part of the Democratic family. We represent them all and will work to get the best outcomes for each and every one of our broad Democratic family.

25

John Quiggin 07.21.19 at 9:00 pm

Obviously, a situation where 40+ per cent of the population is prepared to vote for an overt racist, and where more than half of those are cheering him on for his racism is a bad one. But facing it squarely is better than pretending that (a large number of) Trump’s supporters can be reached by combining progressive economic policies with a soft-soap approach to racism.

“Has political analysis been aided by discussing the 90s crime bill in terms of racism? Of course not, it’s been the opposite. The same with busing. “

This makes no sense to me. It seems obvious that what progress has been made on ending the Drug War depended very much on the understanding (driven by the opioids crisis) that the anti-drug extremism of the 1980s and 1990s had been largely driven by racism. As for busing, I have no idea how else it could be discussed other than in terms of race and racism.

26

nastywoman 07.21.19 at 9:33 pm

– and somehow – silly me? – I thought the entire comment section of CT is/was a ”echo chamber” for the fight against ”racism”?
And then such surprises…
@14
”The use of the R-word is fairly irrelevant, because the R-word applies to everyone but black candidates, as it is used now”.
and –
@21
”it means nothing now and to be accused of being a racist has come to mean on the right side of an issue”.

Really?

Is that the reason why America elected such an obvious ”racist”? as Trump? –
and why the NYT never posted any comments about the ”fact” that Trump ”IS A RACIST” – from the moment Von Clownstick came out as a ”Racist Birther”?

And what does it mean that where I#m in Europe right now it has become ”common knowledge” – that the US President is – indeed ”a Racist” –
and that such… how should we call it?… ”political analysis”? – made me think from the beginning that (racism) should be ”good” enough to disqualified any candidate for the US Presidency… until… until somebody – who (used) to know Von Clownstick pretty well – told us:

”Well – it was just this put-down by somebody of Obamas Race – which made Trump President of the US of A. -(in order – trying to reverse every single ”thing” somebody of ”Obamas Race” ever made)

And if this is true – don’t y’all accept that ”Racism” means a lot now??!

27

nastywoman 07.21.19 at 9:46 pm

– OR does:
”It means nothing now” -(concerning ”Racism”)
just follow the same… ”phenomena?”… that concerning Trump – any accusations of ”grabbing” – ”sticking his tongue into any women’s mouth” or ”raping somebody” –
means nothing now –
as – perhaps? –
there were so many (rightful?) accusations – and so few reactions of ”the people” – that it means nothing –
anymore?!

28

ph 07.21.19 at 11:20 pm

Hi John, your criticisms are entirely fair. I’ll reply with more later in the day, if I may.

29

Chetan Murthy 07.22.19 at 1:31 am

Thomas Beale @ 4:

a racist in the sense of believing that other races are innately inferior.

Nice rhetorical trick there. Actually, *two* nice rhetorical tricks:

(1) Indeed, who knows what any of us feels, inside? It’s a mystery, isn’t it? That’s why we judge these things based on -actions-, not on “deep inner thoughts”. He acts like a racist would act, right down to his “one black friend” trick.

(2) But there’s another trick you’re playing. You’ve chosen the wrong definition of racist. The right definition is more along the lines of “denies the legitimacy, equality and agency of someone else, based on their race”. As many have pointed out, Shitler would have never said “go back to your original country” about John Kerry. Or Elizabeth Warren. And Shitler does this in spades, from the Central Park Five, to tenant applicants at his father’s apartment buildings, to Judge Curiel, and the list goes on and on.

Just by the by, you seem to have skipped right past the fact that three of the Squad are native-born Americans. And one of them, Rep. Pressley, has a far greater claim to being an American than Shitler can ever marshal.

I’ll bet there a ton of other howlers in your comments, but I’ll stop here, b/c why bother with someone who argues in such bad faith.

30

Patrick 07.22.19 at 2:05 am

“It seems obvious that what progress has been made on ending the Drug War depended very much on the understanding (driven by the opioids crisis) that the anti-drug extremism of the 1980s and 1990s had been largely driven by racism.”

Progress in ending it has certainly been driven by a myth based understanding of the drug war as fueled by racism. The myth has certainly been unifying and motivating.

Progress in understanding a fear of crime and a desire for punitive and police based responses that transcended party and race? The opposite. The myth has required erasing a lot of real history and the opinions of a lot of real people, and has left us in a position where we can’t truthfully discuss a lot of the politics of the past because doing so truthfully is treated as betraying the myth.

It’s sad. In theory, the idea of “systemic racism” was supposed to free of us this. It was supposed to be a tool with which we could discuss racially disparate outcomes driven by processes that didn’t necessarily result from racist motivations, but which did result from the effect of otherwise neutral policies on racial groups beginning in different places. But academia utterly failed at this, because, like I said, you can’t have a word be an epithet and a source of dispassionate analysis at the same time, because the dispassionate analysis will always lose.

“As for busing, I have no idea how else it could be discussed other than in terms of race and racism.”

There is a difference between “some white people opposed busing because they didn’t want their kids going to school with black kids” and “opposition to busing was driven by racism.” The latter erases all the other reasons people might oppose busing, as well as all the black voters who didn’t support it. The public conversation closer to the latter than the former, and eagerness to obtain the power of the “racism” epithet is exactly why we’ve lost that clarity.

Same for the crime bill.

Have you ever, even once, heard someone say, “Well, it is systemic racism, but it’s fine.”? In theory, that should be an entirely plausible, cogent, and moral position. There’s a black/white computer access gap, and you’re writing on a blog! But no one says that, because “racism” is an epithet.

31

nastywoman 07.22.19 at 2:18 am

and
@21
”The left has long tried and been exposed for attempting to social engineer society through so-called “moral” bullying, labeling, libeling and downright terrorizing”.

I happen to have all these friends who have absolutely nothing – NADA – to do with ”the left” but they show all kind of brown – or even black in their skin – which somehow and sometimes had them being ”bullied, labeled, up to downright terrorized” even if they spoke the local dialect and acted as ”non-leftist” as possible?

And as they use to live – most of the time – in areas where there are so few brown or even black faces around – I always thought it was because ”Blonds” like me – where in the majority – and we are just not used to such faces – and so stupidly might say:
”Go back where you came from”?

And I found a very easy solution for this problem.
Let’s import so many brown and black faces – that WE are NOT in the majority anymore and nobody will think anymore that brown and black faces have to go anywhere.

Or even better WE have to be in the minority and then WE get told:

Go back where you came from!

32

nastywoman 07.22.19 at 2:41 am

AND to illustrate further what I mean –
my grandparents grew up in Hancock Park LA and when the first ”Black Person” – Nat King Cole – moved in – they really were happy that such a musician moved into their neighbourhood – and even that they knew he was from Alabama – they never asked him to ”go back where he came from” and that’s why I probably like London so much – and not so much Tokyo – because in London there are so many ”brown” and even ”black” faces that I right away feel at home –
dipper and ph!

33

faustusnotes 07.22.19 at 2:55 am

Thanks to Hidari’s quoting of Trump’s tweets in comment 12 we can see that Trump repeatedly called “the Squad” racist. Yet no one anywhere has raised an issue with his use of the R-word. How is it that the media only get exercised when left wing people call right-wing people racist, and not the other way round? Whyever could that be?

34

ph 07.22.19 at 3:12 am

“ph – you prove the point you are arguing against about the taboo on “racist”. Almost every instance you cite is in scare quotes, attributed to some unspecified person, used in reference to unspecified people etc. AFAICT, you have to go back thirty years to find a single instance of an (obscure/fringe) elected official using the term to describe another.”

Thanks, John. I apologize for the confusing use of quotations and for referring in general terms to the practice of branding others as racist in various arenas.

You and others are free to brand large segments of the population as racist. (I’ll forego all use of quotes except to refer to specific quotations.) Calling others racist is an entirely acceptable discourse mode and is presented routinely as objective observation and/or speaking a form of truth. That appears to be how you use the term racist and please correct me if I’m wrong.

Proof that any individual is racist varies according to those making the assessment. You and others argue that the balance of evidence confirms that 45 is racist. Fair enough. That his supporters all 40 million plus are racist is a much more problematic question, and one the most sober-minded might approach with some measure of caution, which I think you recognize. That’s one part of what I see as the current discussion.

The assertion that charges of racism are objective and grounded in fact, however, is complicated by other observable phenomena. Namely, Kamala Harris’s “I’m not saying you’re a racist, but…” tactical deployment of the term racist in a televised debate.

You may or may not believe Biden is racist, but very few Democratic party politicians will be happy to accept such a charge. No university academic can easily survive such a charge. Few corporations will employ an individual deemed racist by colleagues or customers.

The charge of racism carries a heavy penalty, but making the charge can be made relatively freely against anyone to the political right of Bernie Sanders, and even Bernie has problems avoiding the old white guy stigma. There is no reputational or career penalty for making the charge within an increasingly small community of the like-minded.

I find the charge extremely offensive and believe that some/many deploy the charge as a mode of discourse control, and/or for virtue signalling. I’m certain I’m not alone. We even have a term for the phenomena “playing the race-card.”

I contend there are two factors at work in 2019-20 1. Overuse of the term racist means the term is losing its valency with some audiences. That’s claim in the RCP articles 2. A number of people believe the term is used cynically to avoid dealing with legitimate criticism and arguments. The number of people in community 2 is likely growing in my view, although I’ve no evidence to support this belief. There’s little doubt that group 2 exists. I contend that the two phenomena have both causal and coincidental relationships depending on the individuals involved.

My position is that convincing economic arguments and clear messaging are the most effective way to win elections. Had ‘more of the same’ looked better to voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania the current president would be a different person.

Hope this is clearer.

35

hac 07.22.19 at 4:29 am

steven t johnson @14. I have no idea how you interpreted what I wrote as an endorsement. Trump is a POS, but the Democrats aren’t much better and if nothing else his giving vent to the American id is a refreshing change from the silver-tongued politicos of the latter persuasion. In Modi’s India, Bolsinaro’s Brazil, Putin’s Russia, Netanyahu’s Israel, Duerte’s Philippines, and many other states where minorities are stuck between a rock and a hard place, they often may even end up voting for tactical (usually local) reasons for someone from the party that’s oppressing them without even making a pretense of doing otherwise. A Palestinian man put it clearly about why he prefers openly racist Israeli leaders to word-salad spewing “Labor” Party hacks:

If the Labor Party wins, it will not be so good. There is not much difference between Labor and Likud, and we actually prefer Likud. The Labor Party has better public relations in the world, but they do the same things. They do not promote peace, they build settlements and walls and make wars, but they get legitimacy for this from the world. For us in the Occupied Territories, Lieberman is probably best, as he together with Netanyahu damages Israeli foreign affairs … We don’t want Labor, as we don’t want another Peres who will just help to ease the pressure on Israel.

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n06/yonatan-mendel/diary

36

nastywoman 07.22.19 at 5:26 am

@
How is it that the media only get exercised when left wing people call right-wing people racist, and not the other way round? Whyever could that be?

Because – everybody is used to – that racists tend to be ”right-wing” and not ”the left”?

37

nastywoman 07.22.19 at 5:33 am

@35
”Trump is a POS, but the Democrats aren’t much better”

Aha!
Here we have exhibit A –
one of these very confused people who helped the ”POS” to get elected – by telling ”the people” that the Democrats aren’t much better –
while I -(Me-We) – never have met any Democrats –
never have talked to any Democrats –
or have read about ANY Democrats who were NOT a lot better –
in NOT being as racist than ”the POS”!

38

nastywoman 07.22.19 at 5:50 am

@34
”My position is that convincing economic arguments and clear messaging are the most effective way to win elections”.

How… strange?
That is my position too… but about:
”Had ‘more of the same’ looked better to voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania the current president would be a different person”

The current President ALSO would be a different person – if there would have been a lot less voters who liked Trump so much because HE like Obama so little because of Obamas Race!

Hope this is clearer.

39

Hidari 07.22.19 at 6:00 am

@33

Again it’s almost impossible to find reference to it in the liberal media, but the actual words that Trump spoke that provoked the ‘send them back’ chants were these:

‘Obviously and importantly,

Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic creeds. ‘ (by which he means attacks on Israel, of course).

(Crowd begin to chant ‘send her back’ ‘send her back’ ‘send her back’)

So, as you point out, the key point in that rally was Trump accusing Ilhan Omar of being racist or (covertly) ‘arguing’ that any attacks on Israel are always and in all cases motivated by racism.

(Not to mention the time that Trump (recently) talked about ‘our country’ when talking about Israel)

What’s particularly ironic is that Omar understands precisely what Trump is talking about, and understands fully what this ‘debate’ is really about, given that she has now doubled down on her ‘pro-BDS’ position, as a, so to speak, ‘response’ to Trump’s position, which I am sure will please Nancy Pelosi greatly.

It’s not edifying to watch liberals attempting to understand this ‘debate’ and becoming wilfully confused by the lexical ambiguities of Donald Trump (!!!).

This is an exaggeration but it’s not much of one.

Trump: ‘Isreal Israel Israel Israel Israel Israel Israel, anti-semitism, hates America, Al-Aqueda, Muslim, terrorism, Israel Israel Israel Israel Israel Israel, hijab, Muslim, Osama Bin Laden, Israel Israel Israel Israel Israel anti-semitism Israel Israel Israel Israel Israel (repeats ‘Isreal’ a further 10 million times).”

Liberal 1; ‘What could he possibly be talking about?’

Liberal 2: ‘No idea. Immigration?”

40

bad Jim 07.22.19 at 7:24 am

When Trump tells American Jews that Netanyahu is their prime minister, how is this not racist? You can’t object that Jews aren’t a race, since the very notion of race is discredited. The distinction, however, is well understood: us and them. The president clearly considers Jews as others, just as he does Africans, Asians and Latin Americans.

There’s a time to call a spade a gardening implement, and a time to call it a fucking shovel.

41

ph 07.22.19 at 7:46 am

On Henry’s “Lavatories of Democracy” I offered my initial assessment of the initial “Love it, or Leave it” tweets which triggered this twitter storm which successfully derailed/delayed? Joe Biden’s relaunch as the working class civil rights advocate, Senate steady-hand, and loyal VP wingman to America’s first African-American president. I earlier observed that Dems, after successfully alienating white-working class voters, along with enough African-Americans and Hispanics to ensure 45’s initial election, they had only Jewish folks left to offend. We now have two debates raging: whether the “final solution” rhetoric on America’s concentration camps on the US border employed by AOC is winning over the Democrats’ Jewish supporters; and whether the squad hates Jews, or just Israel. Liberals believe their base is rock-solid. It’s not.

Thanks very much to Hidari for pointing out the obvious. The only folks unable to grasp 45’s messaging are liberals, who evidently believe 45 blundered into his latest debasement of civil debate by accident.

The coming election will make 2015-16 seem positively pastoral by comparison, and this time Dems best be ready to absorb some serious punishment. If you haven’t yet seen the viral videos of a prominent “squad” member melting down and being hauled out of a 2016 Detroit MAGA rally by the Secret Service, you’re sure to in 45′ GOTV efforts. The first Dem debates have Bob Wright, and a number of other 45 foes shitting bricks. Silly them!

All this Trump actually has a brain stuff is probably too much for some to grapple with, so let’s simplify things: He wants you to call him, and his supporters, “racists.” And, you are.

Is that much clear?

Thanks, JQ – great questions. Good luck with the answers, seriously.

42

ccc 07.22.19 at 8:01 am

@9 John Quiggin:

“ccc “Does it really matter”. If it doesn’t, why does it raise such concern? Why do you bother to comment?”

Huh? What raises what concern? I commented since I don’t immediately accept your claim that clear political analysis is difficult without using the term racism (because I think the psychological states and behaviours involved, and ways to change them, can also be clearly described using other terms) and I’m therefore curious if you have argument for your claim that I have missed.

43

nastywoman 07.22.19 at 8:12 am

@39
”This is an exaggeration but it’s not much of one”.

Trump: I just hate these uppity n…..! and as I (Von Clownstick) like the ”money making jews” much better…
(and he actually once said something like that) –
Let’s use ‘Israel Israel Israel to ”own the Libs”!

Confused Hidari; ‘What could he possibly be talking about?’

ME: Firstly ”that Trump believes that NO black person should belong in America as they should NOT belong to any crew of his Casinos.
-(that’s why ”the darker looking employees” always were hidden when Trump showed up)

AND second – and utmost important –
Immigration!Immigration!Immigration!!!

44

Thomas Beale 07.22.19 at 8:15 am

Kenny Easwaran@22
is it xenophobic to attack Americans born in the United States? If it’s xenophobia, it’s only because he assumes they’re immigrants.

Exactly. He sees them as not-white, and for him that equals not-from-here.

But why would you assume someone born and raised in the Bronx (AOC), or born and raised in Boston (Pressley), or born and raised in Detroit (Tlaib), is an immigrant? Unless it’s because there’s some unspoken inference from skin color to national status.

You meant to say ‘why would Trump assume …’ (a question that answers itself). Of course he doesn’t know where they were born. He regularly calls John Bolton ‘Mike’ because he mixes him up with Michael Bolton. He hardly knows what he’s saying.

Which sounds like r—-m to me.

Not to those for whom ‘race’ and ‘racism’ retain their original meanings. From your point of view, the common English abuse of Irish workers in the UK over the last 100+ years (epithets + go home) are instances of racism. Or even the institutional bias in Northern Ireland against Catholics holding government jobs etc. Normally understood these are instances of xenophobia and/or ethnic/religious bigotry.

This appears to be the point of view of novakant@19 as well; and of Etienne Balibar / “racism without race” he refers to – an intentional redefinition of ‘race’.

There’s a big difference between denigrating someone because they belong to an identifiable group you think is biologically inferior, and because (you assume) they come from somewhere else or practice the wrong religion etc (which would make the situation of Muslims in India one of racism).

I don’t personally mind if people want to smear all these definitions together. Much of the press does this already, so expectations for clarity are low. But then, what term will you use to talk about specifically about what was going on in the US South, or South Africa during apartheid, or the basis for eugenics?

The issue for me is that the real problems with Trump and his recent tweets are much more to do with immigrants/immigration, normalising xenophobia etc – just as Brexit has done here in the UK where the witless now feel free on the street to tell any Asian (i.e. Indian sub-continent) looking person to ‘go home’. Trying to examine all that in terms of ‘racism’ is a real error in my view. (Real instances of Trump-racism should of course be examined on that basis).

45

Alex SL 07.22.19 at 9:34 am

Hidari,

Context is important, sure. But surely consistent past behaviour, the established meaning of code phrases, and who the code phrases are and are not used against also matter when arriving at a conclusion about what is going on?

46

nastywoman 07.22.19 at 10:28 am

@41
”The coming election will make 2015-16 seem positively pastoral by comparison, and this time Dems best be ready to absorb some serious punishment”.

– and if the (European) Non-Profit I’m working for is allowed to ask this here?
As ph was such a ”Sure Predictor” at the last election – would he –
would YOU ph be willing to bet?

As we have offered now so many Fans of von Clownstick 3 -(in words ”three) nights in a ”Non-Trump First Class Manhattan Hotel” if Von Clownstick will win –
BUT whoever bets with us has to pay us three nights if Trump is ”the loser”.
-(and we don’t mean ”losing by winning”)

AND mysteriously we haven’t found a single Fan of Von Clownstick yet who would be willing to take the bet -(even with the promise that ”he will be on Teevee”)

And just think – if we can report (to the Press?) that on CT there was ”somebody” -(without any value judgement attached) – who was wiling to take such a bet – from a Group of European Racist Researcher?

47

Faustusnotes 07.22.19 at 10:53 am

Thomas Beale is using the trump defense of “he’s too dumb to know what he’s saying.” That says all you need to know about Beale’s intellectual honesty.

48

steven t johnson 07.22.19 at 11:04 am

hac@35 expresses approval for Trump’s refreshing honesty but denies that is an endorsement. I disagree. Nor does hac find any differences worth remarking in policies. hac’s authoritative opinion is that all whites are racist. This does make singling out any white person a case of pot/kettle, hence entirely irrelevant.

Approving of Trump’s honesty seems to be about the satisfying proof that all white people are racist, apparently on the grounds that Trump won the election. The facts that Trump didn’t win the election but won the Electoral College and that millions of black repudiated the Democratic Party is deemed irrelevant. Racism defined as an incurable psychic perversion means there is no possible common ground between races. Inasmuch as blacks are not a majority it still seems impractical to commit to a politics of the convenient disappearance of the hopelessly racist whites. In the meantime, it appears that the really nice thing about Trump is that it’s largely Muslims and Latinos actually suffering at the moment. (And I think antisemitism is really ramping up under Trump, as Christian- Zionism-means-Jews-have-their-country-somewhere-else is a form of antisemitism.)

The quote cited is a piece of nonsense: Netanyahu is not weakening the Zionist state and the almost certain outcome of an impending collapse will be open resort to mass ethnic cleansing and/or nuclear holocaust of Arabs. It is often claimed that the Communist Party brought Hitler to power with a crazy policy of “After Hitler, us!” I don’t think this is true at all. For a start, it takes only one to make a quarrel and it takes two to make an alliance. The Social Democrats were not eager for a united front, to say the least. (Fire up the Netflix for Babylon Berlin and see a dramatization of how much the Social Democrats wanted to ally with Communists.)

The thing about using the R-word is not whether it is true. After all, racism as a mental disposition is inaccessible to anyone, not even the racist, given the limited power of introspection. The thing about using the R-word is that it commits to absolute total rejection of the target, who is the enemy, and not really human, like all enemies.

49

nastywoman 07.22.19 at 11:06 am

@44
”Of course he doesn’t know where they were born. He regularly calls John Bolton ‘Mike’ because he mixes him up with Michael Bolton. He hardly knows what he’s saying”.

As this is OUR main theory – not only expressed in the endlessly repetition of the name Jon Stewart found for Trump=FF von Clownstick – and as you have kind of… let’s say ”complicated” the use of ”Basic American Racism” by bringing up ”the common English abuse of Irish workers in the UK and etc. etc.

Just as a reminder.

For very ”Simple Racist Americans” – and especially the ones who don’t know what they are saying – it’s enough to just see a dark brown or ”black” face in ”the crowd” and then react like some kind of Pavlov’s dog with all kind of ”old-fashioned stereotypical” racism”

AND we have proof of that – as we have a lot of it on video.
So the reaction you will see -(like in the video we also posted on this thread) are NOT ”smearing all these definitions together”

It’s just ”Racism” in it’s purest and utmost direct form – being recognised by everybody who has ears to hear and eyes to watch – right away.
-(and it hardly can be excused by saying – that ”the racist didn’t know what he was saying)

50

Hidari 07.22.19 at 11:30 am

@45 ‘ But surely consistent past behaviour, the established meaning of code phrases, and who the code phrases are and are not used against also matter when arriving at a conclusion about what is going on?’

The only ‘code phrase’ that Trump uses is the standard extreme right wing trope (to coin a phrase) of ‘anti-semitism’ meaning ‘hostility to the Netanyahu regime’. Apart from that: he’s thick as pig shit. He says what he means, because he lacks the intellect to do otherwise. If he says it’s all about Israel (and he does, although white American liberals are desperate to deny this)….it’s all about Israel.

Does this mean I’m saying it’s not all about race?

Au contraire.

51

Belle Waring 07.22.19 at 4:28 pm

Holy shit. Trump voters are delicate flowers awaiting a gentle, hand wrapped in velvet-stroked appeal to their honest, dirt under their nails working class economic concerns? This old routine? (Pro tip: the crucial group here is above-average income suburbanites but nobody interviews them.) So gentle that if progressives introduce that word than which there is no other more brutal and less fair under any circumstances and so overused as to bleach its salience and yet an egregiously unfair slur that is worse than actually calling someone a n****r, they will all spurn the embrace of a progressive political platform crafted to help white people in West Virginia and run to the welcoming arms of a racist-ass demagogue who consistently serves the interest of the boring tax cut Republican agenda rather than any working-class interests at all? But not for racial or xenophobic reasons at all, not even a little bit, not even some good old “he’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting”? Saying that Joe Biden appears to have been a racist when his fight against bussing required him to make out with Eugene fucking Talmadge and he was all, “more tongue”? This is unreasonable? Kamala Harris is the real racist? This is legit the worst comment thread I have read since Washington Post comments on whether it was more unfair to use “racism infused”, “racially ombre”, “racially spatter-painted”, or “with generous lashings of racially tinged clotted cream”, all of which make you a million times worse than Hitler.

52

Chip Daniels 07.22.19 at 4:50 pm

There is an old cliche about men who have sex with other men but insist they are not homosexual. Because in their minds, they don’t conform to the image of gay men, so they mentally cancel out every instance of their homosexual acts with some excuse or another.

Racism in America is a bit like that, where polite people go to absurd lengths to ascribe their hostility to other racial groups as anything other than hostility to other racial groups.
Xenophobia, economic insecurity, cultural Marxism, populism…these all get trotted out to describe the phenomenon.

But the game is given away by the mad twists and turns that their policies take.
Sometimes they want heavy government intervention reminiscent of New Deal, other times draconian free market policies, sometimes appeals to hearth and home, sometimes appeals to free swinging libertinism, sometimes ruthless Law and Order, sometimes Due Process.

There is only one straight line that connects all the policies of the Trumpists, and that is whatever protects and comforts the white herrenvolk, while disadvantaging the brown skinned outgroup.

53

Orange Watch 07.22.19 at 5:11 pm

BW@47:

(Pro tip: the crucial group here is above-average income suburbanites but nobody interviews them.)
[…]
they will all spurn the embrace of a progressive political platform crafted to help white people in West Virginia and run to the welcoming arms of a racist-ass demagogue who consistently serves the interest of the boring tax cut Republican agenda rather than any working-class interests at all? But not for racial or xenophobic reasons at all, not even a little bit

The problem with the ‘it’s all racism’ analysis that (appears to) underpin you comment is implicit in the above. Rejecting a claiming that it’s not all racism is too often (and seems to be here) taken as necessarily claiming it’s all – or at least predominantly – racism, where greed, self-interest (perceived or real), cynical race-bait-baiting, and single-minded culture-war-as-sport seems at least as plausible as racism as primary causes, and if we’re willing to admit there’s no Unified Theory of Conservative Voting, we’ve wandered straight into admitting that all of the above are important, that none is necessarily universal, nor even present in every voter, and that lesser-evilism according to one or more of the above standards is enough to get e,g, a poor racist to support a rich kleptocrat who doesn’t advance white nationalism – or a rich libertarian to support a racist demagogue.

Admitting that class issues (to include aspirational class issues) are a factor in determining how people vote makes an absolute desire to place race front and center, always and without exception, seem a bit off. Although it does somewhat highlight how in American political debate, the c-word is often just as charged as the r-word.

54

Donald 07.22.19 at 5:17 pm

Trump’s supporters are largely Romney’s supporters or so I have read. To the extent this includes the white working class, I don’t see what the big mystery is— rich conservatives want to destroy any possibility of a unified working class movement by using race to divide the working class. Poor whites get the consolation prize of having someone they can look down on. This goes back to Civil War days and before. Use anything and everything to distract people from noticing that they are being screwed by the rich. I thought this was Something Everyone Knew, at least until 2016, but now one commonly sees people claiming that it has to be racism behind much of Trump’s support and never ever any trace of economic insecurity. Why can’t it be both, at least with some of the voters in Rust Belt states? And sure, this does not apply to affluent middle class bigots.

I happen to be friends of two Trump supporters, neither of them poor. One accepts climate science, has no trace of bigotry visible to my admittedly white middle class eyes, supports gay marriage, but she is also a devout Catholic, has conservative economic views and is very anti- abortion. Trump was the lesser evil to her. She is middle class but has a huge college debt to pay off. My point is that knowing people in real life should make one suspicious of stereotypes.

The other one has been a close friend for decades and still is like a brother to me if I want to be corny about it, but his mind has been turned to jello by Fox News and various rightwing internet sites. He really is close to the stereotype of a Trump supporter. Fanatical Islamophobe. I find it difficult to talk to him about current events without yelling. He is the calm one. And segueing to a point Hidari made, he is very very pro Israel.

Israel is that subject American liberals ( not sure about things in Britain) don’t like to talk
about much and when they do they like to act like Netanyahu is the only problem there, but it’s not some accident that people on the far right, Christian and Jewish, unite over Israel. It’s not a Faustian bargain as Michelle Goldberg tried to claim in a recent NYT column. It’s a match made in heaven, or maybe the other place, but it just isn’t that much of a stretch to see ethno- nationalists in the US siding with ethno nationalists in Israel.

Hidari— Liberals don’t like to talk about it because they want Trump’s comments to be solely about the Squad’s skin color. The liberal trope is that Omar said something anti-Semitic when she criticized the Lobby and the legislative efforts to condemn the BDS movement, and they don’t want that issue brought up again because it is divisive. In a way, and no sarcasm intended, I can see the point of trying to unify all decent people against Trump’s racism and not letting it be about BDS. So yes, unify against Trump. I can’t quarrel with that.

But once again the Palestinian issue gets thrown under the bus.

55

hac 07.22.19 at 5:47 pm

#39

Liberals:

56

Lupita 07.22.19 at 5:58 pm

Since we are talking about the racist implications of “Send them home”, I think it is also pertinent to comment on expressions such as “brown voices” and “women of color”. Who’s the brown voice here, members of the US congress with certain physical characteristics who, following the Democratic leadership, supported the US backed coup attempt in Venezuela or Mexican president López Obrador who, following the Mexican constitution, opposed an intervention in a sovereign country by a foreign power?

Do foreign populations represent themselves or are they represented by Americans of a similar phenotype who are members of Congress? Regarding foreign policy, many Americans who believe in races, brown and black voices, and people of color, that is, practically all, think that having a congress that is visually representative of the global population is the equivalent global democracy and thus serves to legitimize US supremacism just like 19th century race theories served to legitimize the Atlantic slave trade.

57

Belle Waring 07.22.19 at 6:13 pm

Maybe the fact that Stephen Miller agrees with you guys should be just a teeny tiny clue that you’re wrong?

Miller began by saying he thinks the word racist has “become a label that is too often deployed by the left, Democrats in this country, simply to try to silence and punish and suppress people they disagree with, speech that they don’t want to hear.” Miller also said that he disagrees “with the view that if you disagree with somebody and they happen to be of a different color of skin, that that makes it a racial criticism.” He went on to say that “if you want to have a colorblind society, it means you can criticize immigration policy, you can criticize people’s views, you can ask questions about where they’re born and not have it be seen as racial.”

58

mary s 07.22.19 at 6:51 pm

I agree completely with Belle Waring. Wow, this thread is awful. Truly awful.

p.s. Individual racism and structural racism are . . . very much related. People on the “white” side of the color line rarely consider themselves to be racist. Take, for example, my uncle, a “heartland” farmer who died a few years ago. Back in the 1990s, he had no clue that it was racist to use a variant of the n-word (the one that begins with “d”). He thought that was what black people were called. And, sadly, he was kinda right about that!

Anyway, people are likely to feel defensive if/when someone brings up the racist implications (or worse) of something they said or did or sang or whatever. That is human nature. What happens after that? It depends. Sometimes people rethink — and sometimes, but not always, this rethinking leads to a change of views. A lot of the time, however, the people using the r-word are said to be pretty much equivalent to the people who use the n-word because they are having a chilling effect, silencing people who don’t have a racist bone in their bodies.

Personally, I think a little more silence — that is, a little more listening and a lot less dismissiveness — would be nice. But in our public discourse, it seems like the need to listen and understand only goes one way — I keep reading about how challenges to white supremacy (some of them more relevant than others, IMHO, but pretty much all of them squarely within the bounds of so-called civil discourse) are driving people into the arms of the Republican Party. Even when this pearl clutching is done in a “realpolitik” kind of way, it’s BS.

59

hac 07.22.19 at 7:20 pm

“At least he’s honest (about being completely full of sh*t)”

60

nastywoman 07.22.19 at 7:51 pm

@55
”Liberals”
and
@
59
It might be time to not focus on the past anymore?

61

Chetan Murthy 07.22.19 at 9:37 pm

Thank you, Ms. Waring, for cutting thru the B.S. with a plasma torch. Indeed, when Gauleiter Stephen Miller is on one’s side, one should reconsider one’s position. When it emerged that indeed, the concentration camps for children were both sites of torture and of rape (and other horrors), I thought to myself: “well, those three Trumpists I unfriended must really be regretting their votes now”. Nobody with eyes to see and any sort of sense of historical memory, any sense of decency, can dispute that Shitmidas is a racist now. It just doesn’t matter -what- their parents did: it really, really doesn’t. The idea that somehow one can balance a policy on the backs of children (some of them preliterate) is ….. morally imbecilic, and anyone who even pretends to defend such a thing, as opposed to wishing to squash the perpetrators into neutronium, is a racist.

62

J-D 07.22.19 at 10:10 pm

Aardvark Cheeselog

As Confucius observed, nothing can be accomplished until you start calling things by their right names.

Is ‘Confucius’ a ‘right name’?

63

Marc 07.23.19 at 1:54 am

Yes, there are racists. As noted above, there are also a lot of people who react very negatively to accusations of racism. To be precise, this second group consists of…pretty much everyone. The list of people who sit there and think “gee, maybe I really am evil” is short. The list of people who are enraged is long. Some are, in fact, bigots. Others, whether fanatics can accept this or not, really aren’t.

Unless you’re prepared to deal with the consequences of antagonizing the second group, and making the first group look like victims, it’s entirely fair to ask whether leveling the charge achieves its intended end. This is especially true when the charge is leveled casually, at large groups of people, and it’s asserted as the sole reason why the despised other do what they do.

64

arcseconds 07.23.19 at 3:51 am

Let’s assume, just as an armchair exercise, that some people really don’t like people with brown skin, think they’re dangerous outsiders, and like attacking them, and enjoy it when they’re attacked.

Let’s also assume that ‘racist’ is a word that no-one wants applied to them.

Let’s also assume that there’s a group of nice, reasonable people who just want to maintain some important definitions and give people the benefit of the doubt.

Let’s also assume that some of the brown-peope-haters are prepared to be less than honest.

What do you suppose would be a good strategy to continue attacking brown people, yet not have to accept the slur of being a ‘racist’?

Well, just make sure you don’t say anything that indicates you fall into some textbook definition of being a racist! Just practice avoiding universal quantification might even be enough. Or be marginally inventive with your confabulations, and suggest different reasons for hating on brown people: it’s not that they’re brown, it’s that they’re not ‘from here’. It’s not that they’re brown, it’s that the ‘ones we get’ are the bad ones. It’s not that they’re brown, it’s that they adhere to a fundamentalist religion! So long as everyone you deal with is reasonable and charitable, no-one will think you’re racist at all, and in fact will defend your lack of racism to the hilt!

If they are reasonable and charitable enough, you could perhaps attack brown people as much as you like, and be quite blatantly inconsistent with how you treat white people (if they’re an immigrant or a member of a fundamentalist religion – great! we need more people like that).

Obviously this is absurd. I mean, no reasonable person would fall for this for very long. You’d only get the benefit of the doubt for a while before they’ve worked out your trick… I mean, there’s absolutely no way they’d continue to hem and haw for very long after they’ve seen you consistently attack brown people, after all they are reasonable people…

Plus it’s not like anyone would actually do anything like this.

I mean, people are always so very honest about their motivations , and it wouldn’t advantage them much, because they’d have to also consistently behave in a non-racist way.

Also, obviously we are living in a post-racial society where racism is extremely rare, it practically doesn’t exist these days. After all, every time it kind of looks like someone might be racist, there always seems to be some other explanation for it, it’s just like UFOs really.

So because the number of people who would need or be able to pursue such a strategy is so very low, and it wouldn’t work anyway, I have to conclude that no-one is actually following it, ergo Trump isn’t racist.

65

Hidari 07.23.19 at 8:34 am

It’s worthwhile also pointing out that this entire clusterfuck only came about as (as, again, Trump reminded us with his mention of Pelosi) because when the Right came for #thesquad with the smear du jour (anti-Semitism) the Democrats lined up to throw them under a bus, and all of them were forced to back down and engage in the act of Maoist self-criticism (and self-humiliation) that anyone who dares to question the right of Israel to shoot Arabs has to go through to be considered ‘serious’. Trump’s an idiot, but he smells blood and weakness like a shark. As Andrew O’Hehir points out in the current edition of Salon magazine: ‘… the Democratic Party — constitutionally uncertain about what it stands for or whom it represents — (has descended) into internal bickering over how best to resist Trump or defeat him. It has landed for now on what Democratic leaders appear to view as the least risky strategy: Doing as little as possible while running out the clock on the presidential election, in order to protect their newfound House majority (with which they will continue to do as little as possible in the future)….

It’s clear enough that Pelosi was irritated by the Squad members’ refusal to vote for the controversial border-security bill that she herself was eager to see recede in the rear-view mirror. It’s also clear, as I wrote last week, that urban machine Democrats — including, in particular, several of Ocasio-Cortez’s neighbors in the New York congressional delegation — perceive her and the Justice Democrats (the reform group co-founded by her chief of staff) as an existential threat to their entire system of power.

…progressives have correctly observed that Pelosi holds the gavel and nearly all the power, and has decided to punish and marginalize a small group of leftists — who supported her in the speakership battle — far more vigorously than she has ever gone after the larger group of “Blue Dogs” or “Problem Solvers” who openly opposed her. Furthermore, Pelosi has the enthusiastic or perhaps panicked backing of numerous commentators, reporters and editors in the mainstream media, who appear to have ingested the unproven notion that vigorous internal debate over policies and priorities will damage the Democrats’ prospects in 2020.”

It is this Democratic split (like almost all wounds the Democrats bear, almost entirely self-inflicted) that Trump is trying to widen. If Pelosi et al hadn’t stabbed #thesquad in the back, Trump would not have perceived them as being weak, and we would not now be having this conversation.

@54 yes precisely. Trump’s racism is only ‘activated’ so to speak, when the victims of it say things that he doesn’t like (especially about Israel). Does Ben Carson get any racist abuse? Maybe, a bit, but not much.

All Ilhan Omar has to do to make the racism go away is do what most of her colleagues in the Democrats have done: adopt Trumpist talking points but in a more genteel fashion, bewail the absence of ‘civility’, insist on the presence of ‘nuance’, and genuflect to Tel Aviv. Problem solved!

I disagree with the OP incidentally. You absolutely ARE allowed to accuse people of racism in Australian and American and British public life. It’s just that the only people you are allowed to accuse are the left, the only kind of racism that you are allowed to accuse people of is anti-Semitism, and you are only able to do this if it’s not true. Indeed fraudulent accusations of anti-Semitism are not only not frowned upon, they are positively encouraged (cf Trump, who has literally spent the last week doing nothing but accusing his political enemies of racism…and it’s worth noting that practically no one in the media has called him out on this, pretending to ignore it and pretend it’s not happening).

It’s only accusing the Right of racism based on the colour of people’s skins that is frowned upon.

66

nastywoman 07.23.19 at 8:39 am

thank you @61
”and anyone who even pretends to defend such a thing, as opposed to wishing to squash the perpetrators into neutronium, is a racist”.

which could bring US to the ”Let’s assume” comment @64

No – let’s NOT assume and especially NOT a sjust as an armchair exercise, that some people really don’t like people with brown skin, think they’re dangerous outsiders, and like attacking them, and enjoy it when they’re attacked.

Let’s take it as the undeniable fact it is:
that ‘racist’ is a word that no-one wants applied to them.

Let’s also take it as an undeniable fact that there’s a group of nice, reasonable people who just want to maintain some important definitions and give people the benefit of the doubt.

Let’s also take it as a fact that some of the brown-peope-haters are prepared to be less than honest.

What do you suppose would be a good strategy to continue attacking brown people, yet not have to accept the slur of being a ‘racist’?

Everything else what is being mentioned @64
and thank you too!

67

Marc 07.23.19 at 10:39 am

The platonic question of whether someone is really, truly a racist is different from the question of whether calling them one is a good idea.

Someone with a body mass index of 40 is probably fat, but calling them a fatso and telling them to lose weight is unlikely to be either useful or well received. Believing this to be true does not require me to think that there is no such thing as obesity.

68

Michael Connolly 07.23.19 at 2:21 pm

I am working with an interesting woman at Boston College who uses the phrase “White Fragility,” which I have found illuminating. The first 2 paragraphs of the New Yorker review of Robert diAngelo’s book on that topic are appended below. This thread has persuaded me to read the book….

” In more than twenty years of running diversity-training and cultural-competency workshops for American companies, the academic and educator Robin DiAngelo has noticed that white people are sensationally, histrionically bad at discussing racism. Like waves on sand, their reactions form predictable patterns: they will insist that they “were taught to treat everyone the same,” that they are “color-blind,” that they “don’t care if you are pink, purple, or polka-dotted.” They will point to friends and family members of color, a history of civil-rights activism, or a more “salient” issue, such as class or gender. They will shout and bluster. They will cry. In 2011, DiAngelo coined the term “white fragility” to describe the disbelieving defensiveness that white people exhibit when their ideas about race and racism are challenged—and particularly when they feel implicated in white supremacy. Why, she wondered, did her feedback prompt such resistance, as if the mention of racism were more offensive than the fact or practice of it?

In a new book, “White Fragility,” DiAngelo attempts to explicate the phenomenon of white people’s paper-thin skin. She argues that our largely segregated society is set up to insulate whites from racial discomfort, so that they fall to pieces at the first application of stress—such as, for instance, when someone suggests that “flesh-toned” may not be an appropriate name for a beige crayon. Unused to unpleasantness (more than unused to it—racial hierarchies tell white people that they are entitled to peace and deference), they lack the “racial stamina” to engage in difficult conversations. This leads them to respond to “racial triggers”—the show “Dear White People,” the term “wypipo”—with “emotions such as anger, fear and guilt,” DiAngelo writes, “and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and withdrawal from the stress-inducing situation…”

https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/a-sociologist-examines-the-white-fragility-that-prevents-white-americans-from-confronting-racism

69

Orange Watch 07.23.19 at 4:44 pm

Donald@54:

Use anything and everything to distract people from noticing that they are being screwed by the rich. I thought this was Something Everyone Knew, at least until 2016, but now one commonly sees people claiming that it has to be racism behind much of Trump’s support and never ever any trace of economic insecurity.

Well (and calmly) said. Particularly the parts about Israel. As usual.

The sharp pivot to “it must ALL be racism” occurring immediately after 2016 has looked a lot to me like an opportunistic expansion of old-fashioned liberal identity politics by centrists which was eagerly signal-boosted by the theory-sodden portion of progressives as a way to climb the political hierarchy on the left. Certainly, when you look at how centrist capitalist liberals punch left right now, there is a familiar message of “the DFHs are childish and naive” alongside the new hotness “brosocialists are all crypto-fascist crypto-racist crypto-misogynist traitor-bros (did I mention they’re only ever white men?)”. In the US, Clinton’s loss was psychologically devastating to a whole lot of comfortable white cisgender straight middle-class #resistance liberals who haven’t felt any particular pain from Trump’s presidency, but who had been crowing in fall 2016 of the impending long-term onset of (centrist) Democratic one-party rule in the US. Since then, the unifying theme of discourse coming out of this bloc* has been that the Democrats must not let the near enemy seize control of the party from the Adults In The Room even after they lost – Clinton didn’t really lose so her loss can’t be used as evidence of lack of centrist electability, centrism is the only electable option on the left, and anyone who tries to pull the party to the left is a mole trying to destroy the party from within to aid the fascists. This last bit is where an absolutist theory of racism becomes useful: if supporting a racist – for whatever reason – is racist, then failing to declare racism the only political factor that matters is giving cover (i.e., support) to a racist, and is therefore itself racist, and thus anyone who does it is irredeemably evil like all racists, and must be rejected and vilified even if they seem reasonable in other ways. Above all, such evil and insidious racists must not be allowed any position of power in the Democratic party.

It’s also true that calling all your opponents racist lets you declare they only oppose you because they’re evil, which is not only very convenient politically (no power sharing! no concessions!) but also extremely cathartic – which can help cement loyalty to you if you can convince people that only you have the courage to speak truth to power, and other so-called leftist factions (because horseshoe, amirite?) would force them to be mealy-mouth PC cowards – wait, no, wrong talking point. Mealy-mouthed fascist-coddling crypto-racist cowards.

*The best example of this genre in my experience is Lawyers, Guns, and Money. Their frontpagers exemplify it, but the bulk of their commentariat take its logic to its appalling yet logical conclusion.

70

Belle Waring 07.23.19 at 5:33 pm

I know that my childhood in South Carolina may give me beliefs about racism that are mildly unreasonable, such as a conviction that all Republicans are racist to the damn bone, to the last man, and Democrats may be whited sepulchres. I’m willing to extend a charitable deference to the rest of the country and say that only 80% of Republicans in, like, Minnesota or something if that’s a real state, are racist. (Not West Virginia, though, I’ve spent time there are boo howdy are things rough, especially considering the state’s official motto, “Not a Lot of Active Military Support For Chattel Slavery.” OK I made that up, but still.) Why? Because the explanatory power of attributing things to racism is very strong. Poor whites are willing to vote for cuts to programs that benefit them, and benefit more whites than blacks, just because it would hurt black people. This is the ‘pretty soon you’re getting abstract and talking about tax cuts’ that Lee Atwater explained would transmute bald racism to bland economic concerns.

And the racial aspect of the War on Drugs is very real. The 90s were a time when the crack epidemic was addressed by throwing black citizens into the maw of prison and never letting them out. Babies were torn from their mothers, possession of crack cocaine was penalized at stupidly higher rates than cocaine–and why, other than because more black people would end up in prison? The opiate crisis, by contrast, is being addressed with treatment facilities, comparatively negligible prison terms, etc. etc. Can we all think of an obvious difference between the victims of these two crises?

And bussing wasn’t about race? This is so wrong that I don’t even know what to say other than think about it a little harder and get back to me. Maybe look at that picture of the white man stabbing a black man with an American flag during a demonstration over bussing? Maybe think of what happened in the south when integration was…honestly ‘tried’ is too strong a word. ‘Threatened,’ maybe. Private “Christian” schools were opened and all the white kids in the district went there, leaving the public schools all black. I attended a whites-only (in practical terms) school in Georgetown, S.C. because the all-black public school, being starved of resources, wasn’t good. In short, you’ve heard the Belle Waring spiel about how everyone is racist, but I’m still right from before. When people do or say racist things you should say, “hey that was racist.” Clarity in discourse is a good thing, and fearful quailing before how people will faint when they are correctly called racist is stupid.

PS I knew Lee Atwater irl when I was a kid since he was a friend of my step-father and I always want everyone to know that he was the kind of person who perved on 13-year-olds when drunk at parties.

71

nastywoman 07.23.19 at 6:28 pm

@
”When people do or say racist things you should say, “hey that was racist.”

And it really works –
as just a few month ago – an American from Germany and South Carolina – who had a ”Brother” as his father and still has a White (German) Mother” and a ”Natural Blond German” were in a restaurant in North Carolina – and as the American from Germany and South Carolina grew up in Germany and speaks English with a heavy German accent the waitress got a bit confused – and asked us -(very friendly) where we’re from the American from Germany and South Carolina – said: From Germany –
(what he always does – because he lived in Germany nearly his whole life)

And then the waitress -(very friendly) joked: ”Hey – you don’t look the part –
and then the ”Natural Blond” – perhaps jokingly? said:

”Hey – that was racist”!

And guess what the waitress said?

”Ups – isn’t that true – I was just not thinking”!

Like:
”Clarity in discourse is a good thing, and fearful quailing before how people will faint when they are correctly called racist is stupid”.

72

Ogden Wernstrom 07.23.19 at 7:03 pm

Seeing the title of this, I asked myself, “Which R-word?”

There are two Wheel-Of-Fortune-style messages which may illustrate my dilemma, if I can get the HTML right:

DONALD TRUMP
IS A RA_IST

-or is it-

DONALD TRUM_
IS A RA_IST

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ph 07.23.19 at 9:19 pm

Thanks, Belle. Here’s Kevin Drum, Obama supporter in 2008 (Mojo,Washington Monthly, etc.)

” the current attempts to tar Hillary as a racist have gone way, way over the top. They’re revolting. Back before the South Carolina primary, the Clinton campaign and its surrogates really did seem to be making a few too many racially charged comments for it to be just a coincidence (though even then some of the accusations were bogus), but after South Carolina it pretty much stopped. I can’t say whether it stopped for reasons of politics or reasons of principle, but it stopped.

But the accusations of racism haven’t. They’ve just gotten more ridiculous. Last week a commenter at Daily Kos claimed that the Clinton campaign had concocted an ad that deliberately darkened Obama’s face (to make him scarier) and changed the image’s aspect ratio (to make his nose broader). They hadn’t. After a 60 Minutes appearance, Hillary got slammed for supposedly implying the Obama might be a Muslim. As Eric Boehlert points out, this is patently absurd. Then, a couple of days ago, a legion of bloggers started locking onto the inane meme that talk of Obama as Hillary’s VP was like asking him to “ride in the back of the bus.” Finally, today, Orlando Patterson, in an apparent attempt to make parody obsolete, writes that when he saw Hillary’s “3 am” ad, “I couldn’t help but think of D. W. Griffith’s ‘Birth of a Nation,’ the racist movie epic that helped revive the Ku Klux Klan, with its portrayal of black men lurking in the bushes around white society.” Hell, even I fell for the racism meme a couple of weeks ago, getting suckered into passing along a Drudge slander about Hillary’s campaign supposedly circulating a photo of Obama in “Muslim” garb.Paul Krugman is right: a large part of the progressive movement seems to have lost its sanity.”

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2008/03/11/the-hillary-feeding-frenzy/

Dem vs. enemy politics, according to one Obama supporter. Good thing that’s over!

74

John Quiggin 07.24.19 at 4:45 am

@ph You keep giving evidence of the strength of the taboo. The article you cite doesn’t say “Hillary Clinton is a racist”. Nor does it cite (by name or otherwise) anyone who says she is or was a racist. Rather, it presumes that the taboo is so strong that any hint to that effect is automatically an accusation of racism, and therefore automatically evidence of insanity. After running through the usual targets (unnamed commenters and bloggers), criticising various aspects of Clinton’s campaign, the article names one person saying that an attack ad put out by the Clinton campaign against Obama reminded him of a racist film.

75

John Quiggin 07.24.19 at 4:57 am

The one thing all Trump’s supporters say they like about him is that he says what he thinks. That isn’t really true (he says what suits him at the time, and doesn’t think much about whether he believes it or not), but Trump is certainly unconstrained by any concern about offending people, particularly those who won’t vote for him in any case. But the modal comment above seems to be “we mustn’t tell the truth about Trump or (a large body of) his supporters, because they might be offended”. How does this work?

76

John Quiggin 07.24.19 at 5:01 am

@Hidari ” the only people you are allowed to accuse are the left, the only kind of racism that you are allowed to accuse people of is anti-Semitism, and you are only able to do this if it’s not true”

Agreed.

That said, I’d prefer we leave discussion this issue to a post that’s directly on-topic, of which we have had quite a few at CT. It tends to rapid derailment.

77

nastywoman 07.24.19 at 6:25 am

@71
and every other comment –

doing a lot of research about ”the Archaeology of Racism” – a very good ”countermeasure” – indeed – seems – having as much different ”races” –
(and – Yes! also ”as much different religious beliefs as possible”) –
in a society.

It makes ”the people” – somehow finally get used to it -(even if there might be a lot of tension for some time?)
And so –
Again! – the best way to cure so called ”homogeneous societies” from ”Racism” is ultimately to bring in ALL the different races and cultures we can get.
-(and that nobody looks ”the part” anymore)
And THAT will make US -(and the UK) truly… finally be –
”beautiful”
-(like Bojos BLACK hair)

78

ph 07.24.19 at 7:49 am

Hi John, thanks for posting my penultimate. I apologize for my approach. I thought my point would be easier to grasp and more pristine if I allowed famed American lefty blogger and editor Kevin Drum to collect the names. There are lots of links in the original piece, if you cared to click through. Your point regarding pairing Clinton and racist is spot-on, and effectively meaningless. What was heard was heard, as Drum concretely describes. You may believe that bell isn’t still ringing. Fair enough. Marc above makes basically the same point.

Accusing people of racism by implication or innuendo is too often a double-fail. Branding someone a racist no longer carries the weight to sway those fundamentally indifferent to political rhetoric. Yet, the term is still plenty offensive enough to cause real long-lasting pain. I believe everything I’ve posted is on topic, but I’ve said my piece. Cheers.

79

J-D 07.24.19 at 8:47 am

John Quiggin

The one thing all Trump’s supporters say they like about him is that he says what he thinks. That isn’t really true (he says what suits him at the time, and doesn’t think much about whether he believes it or not), but Trump is certainly unconstrained by any concern about offending people, particularly those who won’t vote for him in any case. But the modal comment above seems to be “we mustn’t tell the truth about Trump or (a large body of) his supporters, because they might be offended”. How does this work?

Donald Trump’s behaviour is unconstrained by any concern about the prospect of giving offence.

This is one of the things about him that many of his supporters like. Some of them like it a lot. On the other hand, this is also one of the things about him that many of his opponents dislike. Some of them dislike it a lot.

I think anybody who behaves in the same way, unconstrained by any concern about the prospect of giving offence, would produce similar results: some people would like it a lot and some would dislike it a lot.

80

ph 07.24.19 at 10:03 am

Hi John, I’m winding the day down, but came across this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/06/10/oberlin-college-gibsons-bakery-libel-million-racist/?utm_term=.f5a7119c0dbc

I don’t know if the link will work, or if you think this is of interest, but the Gibsons’ Bakery case illustrates the risks of buying into accusations of racism, often made too freely, and then re-cycled without thought or investigation.

81

nastywoman 07.24.19 at 12:27 pm

@78
”Hi John, thanks for posting my penultimate”.

That should be not for free –
as what’s about putting a bit of ”(monetary) substance” behind your words?

Remember ”THE BET”?
You are NOT chickening out? – Or are you?

82

Orange Watch 07.24.19 at 3:56 pm

bw@70:

Clarity in discourse is a good thing, and fearful quailing before how people will faint when they are correctly called racist is stupid.

So for the sake of clarity… if Kamala Harris blitzes the Democratic primaries with a supermajority, and the day after she clinches holds a press conference where she declares she’s reviewed Roe v. Wade and DC v. Heller at length, and concluded that the former was the worst SCOTUS decision in history and needs overturned ASAP while the latter was the best decision ever to come out of SCOTUS (except that it wasn’t expansive enough) and pledges to nominate judges that would work towards those judicial goals while simultaneously vetoing any and all legislation and budgets that don’t likewise support those ends… you’re suggesting that Trump would not lose GOP voters because she’s a brown-skinned daughter of immigrants?

83

Chetan Murthy 07.25.19 at 12:51 am

ph @ 78:

I know you’re stupid, so I’ll use small words and small sentences. To make it easier, I’ll set it out in numbered bullet-points. You can imagine they’re three-to-a-Powerpoint-slide:

(1) Yes, Hillary did and said some racist things in her 2008 primary campaign
(2) But guess what? Everybody is somewhat racist. Everybody. Everybody.
(3) The question is: “how racist are you?”
(4) NOBODY with a brain (guess that leaves you out) would say that Hillary is a big-ass racist. She’s demonstrated over and over, that she isn’t. That sure, she has some racist moments, but her record and her friends and associations all show that she’s not a racist.
(5) WHEREAS, it is clear that notwithstanding a few “black friends”, Mango Mousselini has been a stone racist HIS ENTIRE ADULT LIFE. Every chance he gets, he’s taken the racist choice. Every. One.

Now, I hope that wasn’t too complicated for your little wee head. Don’t read it all at once. Maybe take it one point at a time, and spend a few hours with a cooling beverage, an ice pack to the forehead. We wouldn’t want you to stroke out from too much neurons burning glucose.

84

SusanC 07.25.19 at 9:04 am

[blockquote]But the modal comment above seems to be “we mustn’t tell the truth about Trump or (a large body of) his supporters, because they might be offended”. How does this work?[/block quote]

I think it’s logically consistent for a Trump opponent to suppose that Trump and his supporters are both (a) hyper-sensitive to taking offense; and (b) deliberately offend other people. E.g., they’re narcissists… The Trumpists doing this aren’t themselves being consistent, but their opponents can note that this is the situation we’re dealing with, and stratgeize accordingly.

85

Hidari 07.25.19 at 9:16 am

‘ Everybody is somewhat racist. Everybody. Everybody.’

Everybody who is white. People with brown and black skin seem to manage it just fine.

86

nastywoman 07.25.19 at 9:30 am

@83
”I know you’re stupid”,

and wouldn’t it be much better to call ph ”confused” – as everything points to the… let’s call it ”possibility” that he is not ”stupid” -(at least not as ”stupid” as his ”leader” Baron von Clownstick.

And as we know that ph resides in Japan – and I have found out that WE -(people who are not Japanese) – can get really REALLY ”confused” in Japan – especially how to find ”the way” – couldn’t we settle for:

Really Confused?-
(especially as gets distracted so easily and constantly comes up with all kind of ”other stuff”) and pn – do you know that in a lot of ”Japanese Benihana – Restaurants there are NOT even real ”Japanese” anymore…
and what’s about our bet?

87

hac 07.25.19 at 4:28 pm

The quasi-theological tone of some debaters above reminded me of a salient question raised in an article I read last year: Was Hitler “really” an anti-Semite?

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/30/how-american-racism-influenced-hitler

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