Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
The Deceptive Side of Bob Herbert
Posted by: Jon Henke on Tuesday, September 25, 2007

McQ's post about Bob Herbert didn't cover all of the objectionable or deceptive content in his article. This item deserves attention:
In one of the vilest moves in modern presidential politics, Ronald Reagan, the ultimate hero of this latter-day Republican Party, went out of his way to kick off his general election campaign in 1980 in that very same Philadelphia, Miss. He was not there to send the message that he stood solidly for the values of Andrew Goodman. He was there to assure the bigots that he was with them.

“I believe in states’ rights,” said Mr. Reagan. The crowd roared.
In response to which, I'll note what I wrote on this subject two years ago... (with minor edits to make it relevant to this case)


Here's the thing: Reagan launched his 1980 campaign at the Neshoba County Fair. The Neshoba County Fair is not in Philadelphia, Mississippi. It's near it, certainly, but about 10-20 miles outside of Philadelphia. If you look at a map of the Neshoba County Fairgrounds, you'll see a highway running by it with the annotation: "Highway 21 TO Philadelphia".

The fair is, if not actually in Philadelphia, usually associated with Philadelphia. So, to be perfectly fair, Mr Reagan did give a speech which was close to a place that had seen the murder of civil rights workers.

More important is the image that Bob Herbert is trying to paint: the idea that Reagan went to Philadelphia, Mississippi because "three young civil rights activists [were] shot to death by rabid racists" in Philadelphia, MS.

That is wildly deceptive. The Neshoba County Fair, where Reagan actually spoke, is the premiere political event in Mississippi. It is very similar to the Shad Planking in Virginia, which is an absolute requirement for Virginia politicians - and occurs in Wakefield, Virginia, which has a population of 1038, and is most notable for being the home of a National Weather Service office.

Saying Reagan went to Neshoba because of the murder of African-Americans, or to pander to racists, is like saying Virginia politicians go to Wakefield for the all-important National Weather Service vote.

Reagan did speak there, and he did mention State's right. Naturally, Herbert fails to mention the rest of that statement: "I believe in states' rights; I believe in people doing as much as they can at the private level." States' rights were an integral part of his stump speech - a point he made there and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the Schedule of Political Speakers at the most recent Neshoba County Fair included more than 40 Democrats.


It is possible that Bob Herbert is ignorant of these facts. He's got a convenient narrative, why mess it up with research? It is also possible that Bob Herbert knows...and just doesn't care. It is certain, however, that Bob Herbert and the New York Times do a disservice to their readers when they misrepresent history in order to do exactly what they deceptively accused Reagan of doing - promulgating racial tension and division.


UPDATE: one more Herbert omission is worth pointing out. He writes:
In 1981, during the first year of Mr. Reagan’s presidency, the late Lee Atwater gave an interview to a political science professor at Case Western Reserve University, explaining the evolution of the Southern strategy: “You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘N*****, n*****, n*****,’” [edited, because I won't have that word posted here] said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘n*****’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”
Oh my. It looks like a clear admission from Atwater.

But if you suspect Bob Herbert may have left something out...well, you've been paying attention. Here is context. Atwater is clearly disavowing the "Southern Strategy", and arguing that when you've gotten so abstract that you'll argue that "fiscal conservatism" is a stand-in for previously open racism, then racism is becoming less of a problem.
Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry Dent and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn’t have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he’s campaigned on since 1964… and that’s fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster…

Questioner: But the fact is, isn’t it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps…?

Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, 'N*****, n*****, n*****.' By 1968 you can't say 'n*****' - that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me - because obviously sitting around saying, 'We want to cut this,' is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than 'n*****, n*****.'
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
I first heard this story in college, courtesy of Roger Wilkins @ GMU. I wish I had been better informed at the time...Thanks for the context.
 
Written By: pmm
URL: http://
Or he knows, and is actively trying to obfuscate the truth...

Six of one, half a dozen of another...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Details, details. This trivial nitpicking serves only to obscure the greater truth, namely that all Republicans are troglodytic rascist, fascist, sexist, bigoted, greedy, earthraping, insensitive, crude,illiterate,uncultured, ignorant, sexually repressed, thouroughly nasty people who should be severely spanked with a braided elk-leather cat o’ nine tails while shackled in chrome-plated hand and ankle cuffs to a pair of iron poles, gagged with a black leather gag, and wearing tight black leather pants with suitable cutouts, in a darkened and poorly lit dungeon with suitably eerie and ominous background music. Worst of all, they should also be limitied to dialup internet access.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
McQ’s post about Bob Herbert didn’t cover all of the objectionable or deceptive content in his article.


In fairness to Bruce, I doubt many people could write such an article, that would be so all inclusive. It’s been my experience that Herbert generates what might laughingly be termed a target rich environment.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
"She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards and is collecting veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names."

Seems pretty gosh-darned corporeal to me.
 
Written By: Andy Vance
URL: http://
I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other.
I could swear I heard similar clap-trap on one of the major networks just this past week.

Republicans are racist because they favor policies which do not discriminate based on race, gender, or sexual preferences.

Democrats are not racist because they favor policies which do discriminate based on race, gender, or sexual preferences.

That is the rationality that only a modern liberal could display...
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
SMACK!!!

Oh yeah, I forget...

It’s equality of outcome the modern liberal is pushing for, not equality of opportunity...
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Gerard Alexander has been doing excellent work at debunking the myths about racist Republicans at the Claremont Institute and the Weekly Standard.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Jon’s right that the geography of the Mississippi appearance cannot be considered defacto evidence of pandering to racists, nor can the positions of fiscal conservatism, and I don’t believe for a second that Ronald Reagan was a racist. However, he was a politician, and the way he couched his position on welfare was, in my opinion, extremely racist.


"She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards and is collecting veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names."
Over a period of about five years, Reagan told the story of the "Chicago welfare queen" who had 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards, and collected benefits for "four nonexisting deceased husbands," bilking the government out of "over $150,000." The real welfare recipient to whom Reagan referred was actually convicted for using two different aliases to collect $8,000. Reagan continued to use his version of the story even after the press pointed out the actual facts of the case to him.
If you you want to argue that this description was intended to do anything but evoke images of negative racial stereotypes I would have to question whether you are being honest to yourself, or me.

This, IMHO was a clear appeal to the Southern Strategy. While I think that there is an argument to support the suggestion that Reagan’s use of the loaded phrase "states rights" was an appeal to racist elements, it’s also easy enough to deny, with the truth only known within the confines of Reagan’s mind.

To some extent, the motivation could be argued on the welfare queen narrative, but this narrative is just so clearly evocative, as well as being false, that it defies reason to argue that this clearly racially evocative narrative was purely coincidental.

I think it was politics, a non-Racist, Reagan, pandering for the votes of racists.

And it think it happens all the time.



 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
What’s the difference between racism and xenophobia again? Mr. Tancredo? Anyone?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
racism and xenophobia
Quite a bit, actually.
That’s why we have different words for them.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The Neshoba County Fair is not in Philadelphia, Mississippi.

Ahem.

 
Written By: Andy Vance
URL: http://
"If you you want to argue that this description was intended to do anything but evoke images of negative racial stereotypes I would have to question whether you are being honest to yourself, or me."
Why does it necessarily evoke racial stereotypes? Why can’t it just evoke a stereotype of a welfare recipient gaming the system? Why does color have anything to do with it? Weren’t there many whites on welfare in the 80’s?
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
I dunno. Seems to me that anybody who assumes Reagan’s apocryphal welfare queen had to be a black woman, there’s your racist.
 
Written By: spongeworthy
URL: http://
Looker, you mean like spade and shovel?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Captain, you can see here that Reagan didn’t even refer to race when he told his welfare queen story, at least according to this source, which given the title (Welfare Racism: Playing the Race Card Against America’s Poor) seems reliable. So you and those authors are assuming race was intended. That seems foolish.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
What’s the difference between racism and xenophobia again? Mr. Tancredo? Anyone?
If all strangers were from a different race, Retief, you might have a point. But I suspect you’re being disingenuous here.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Why does it necessarily evoke racial stereotypes?

Good question. First, the example Reagan used again and again was, um, a black woman.

As has been amply documented, Aid to Dependent Children was at first given only to "worthy white widows." When black single mothers were allowed to draw benefits, opponents quickly started using the term "welfare queen," which was explicitly modeled upon the Jezebel and Mammy stereotypes of sexually promiscuity, laziness and failure to adopt responsibility for one’s own children.
 
Written By: Andy Vance
URL: http://
Quit playing the ’your hatin on Mexicans’ card if you’re talking about illegal aliens.
After all, ALL illegal aliens are from Mexico, as we well know, right?
As opposed to being foreigners in the country illegally.

And yeah Retief, there is a difference between a spade and a shovel.

A shovel has what’s called a lift, or "goose neck," right behind the blade, a spade does not, instead, when the blade of the tool is laid on the ground, the handle lies flat rather than rising to mid-thigh.

Shovels are made for moving dirt, spades are meant for working the soil, and prying it loose, not moving it. While a shovel can be used as a spade, a spade is a lousy replacement for a shovel, and they aren’t the same.

I repeat, that’s why we have different words for them....



 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Andy, can you point me to a source that shows Reagan was describing a black woman? From what I’ve seen, he didn’t. For example, see my source above in an earlier comment. Based on the title and viewpoint of that source, I assume that if he had explicitly described a "black woman" the authors would have said so. In fact, they explicitly said he did not.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Is it disingenuous to suggest that republicans’ claims about their absence of racism are given the lie when republicans make Fear of the Brown Menace a major plank in their campaigns?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
looker, I will gladly acknowledge that Republican Racism (which doesn’t exist) and Republican Xenophobia (which does and is celebrated) are as different from each other as spades are different from shovels. You’ve convinced me.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Yes, and Lee "Mr. Abstraction" Atwater never once said that Willie Horton was not of Caucasoid ethnicity. [For those too young to remember, Linda Taylor was a national cause celebre in the media and GOP Schreckgespenst for years, beginning with her arrest in 1973. It was no secret who he was referring to; that’s why he alluded to the case].

Is this really the best defense of St. Ronnie? Yikes.
 
Written By: Andy Vance
URL: http://
Is it disingenuous to suggest that republicans’ claims about their absence of racism are given the lie when republicans make Fear of the Brown Menace a major plank in their campaigns?
Assumes facts not in evidence. Opposition to illegal immigration is not the same thing as opposition to immigration, nor is it "fear of the brown menace".

Prove your assertions, otherwise the answer is, "Yes, you are being disingenuous."
Yes, and Lee "Mr. Abstraction" Atwater never once said that Willie Horton was not of Caucasoid ethnicity.
And Atwater wasn’t the person who raised the Willie Horton issue in the 1988 campaign.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Atwater wasn’t the person who raised the Willie Horton issue in the 1988 campaign.

I never said he did. I said he never said Willie Horton was black.

Ain’t this game fun?
 
Written By: Andy Vance
URL: http://
Opposition to illegal immigration is not the same thing as opposition to immigration, nor is it "fear of the brown menace".
What was that you said? I couldn’t quite make it out over the screaming from Michelle Malkin and VDARE about La Raza and Aztlan.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
I never said he did. I said he never said Willie Horton was black.
Are you going to claim that your citing of this wasn’t an attempt to show a racial angle to the Willie Horton issue? Because you’re not fooling anyone here if that’s your claim.
What was that you said? I couldn’t quite make it out over the screaming from Michelle Malkin and VDARE about La Raza and Aztlan.
Michelle Malkin and VDARE are no more the Republican Party than you are the Democratic Party.

Try again, Retief. Prove that an opposition to illegal immigration is a "fear of the brown menace". Go ahead and try. Otherwise, shut up.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Are you going to claim that your citing of this wasn’t an attempt to show a racial angle to the Willie Horton issue?

Are you claiming that I claimed Atwater tried to make a racial issue out of Willie Horton? I said he didn’t say he was black. I was defending his honor. Honest.

Jeez, now I’m totally confused. My brain is hanging upside down. (Speaking of which, Kolmeshöhe Cemetery isn’t actually in Bitburg, so let’s shut that canard down right now).
 
Written By: Andy Vance
URL: http://
"If you you want to argue that this description was intended to do anything but evoke images of negative racial stereotypes I would have to question whether you are being honest to yourself, or me."

You are starting to sound a bit Erb-like there. But, not being a mind reader myself, I can’t absolutely say what he intended. Nor can you. However, given the totality of what I have seen and heard of his speeches and writings, and what other less biased people who knew him have written about him, I would conclude that he didn’t intend to evoke those images. And don’t just ’question’, either say it or shut up.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Retief,

Imagine a Venn diagram. One large circle is labeled "anti-illegal immigration" another smaller circle is labeled "anti-immigration" and yet another smaller circle is labeled "racist."

These three circles do overlap, as there are indeed racists who oppose both legal and illegal immigration. They might even be members of the GOP (but just as likely Dems if you ask me.) But you really need to be careful not to assume that someone who opposed illegal immigration or just immigration in general is also a racist.

Keep in mind that many blacks oppose even legal immigration...are they racists then?

Funny anecdote: Walked into a Sikh owned liquor store...owner is watching Clinton on TV and says he hates him. I ask why. Answer: He’s letting too many foreigners into the country. Was he pulling my leg? He sounded pretty serious. And technically, to make it a "funny" comment, you sort of had to be racist almost "but you are a foreigner yourself" thing. It was a weird moment.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
In actuality, I don’t need to read Bob Herbert anymore since you can run the herbert o matic column generator and it writes columns that sound exactly like him.

Below is an example:
No End in Sight
By "Automatic Bob" Herbert

Right now there is no viable plan for securing the peace in Iraq, and no exit strategy.
George W. Bush has no strategy, no real plan, for winning the war in Iraq. So we’re stuck in a murderous quagmire without even the suggestion of an end in sight.

The sad truth about Iraq is that one year after President Bush gaudily proclaimed victory with his Top Gun moment aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, we don’t know what we’re doing in Iraq. The president’s giddily choreographed Top Gun spectacle was designed to take full public relations advantage of his triumphant announcement that "major combat operations in Iraq" had ended. When the president challenged Iraqi militants last summer with the now-famous taunt "bring ’em on," he betrayed a fundamental lack of understanding of the horror of war.
You can forget the chatter about an exit strategy for American troops. There isn’t one.

George W. Bush had no such concerns. In fact, he joked about his failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Like a frat boy making cracks about a bad bet on a football game, Mr. Bush displayed what he felt was a hilarious set of photos during a spoof that he performed at the annual dinner of the Radio and Television Correspondents Association in March 2004.

The photos showed the president peering behind curtains and looking under furniture in the Oval Office for the missing weapons. Mr. Bush offered mock captions for the photos, saying, "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere." And, "Nope, no weapons over there, maybe under here."

Mr. Bush cannot explain our mission in Iraq and has nothing resembling an exit strategy. It’s exactly what we should expect from the president and his supporters, who seem always to exist in a fantasy realm far removed from such ugly realities as war and suffering.

Condoleezza Rice, for example, gave us nightmare fantasies of mushroom clouds and declared on television that aluminum tubes seized en route to Iraq "were only really suited for nuclear weapons programs." Condoleezza Rice went on television to say with a straight face, "We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

The Bush people were never big on reality, so sooner or later they were bound to be blindsided by it.
Amazing, isn’t it?
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Retief
Interesting observation of racist ’opponents’ when you’re peddling racist propaganda by forcing the meme all illegal immigrants are ’brown’.

And further interesting defense of yourself position by referring to a group who’s name - literally translated means "The Race" or "The Breed".

And Aztlan - the legendary ancestral home of the Nahua, which, I presume means us europeans, of any race, ain’t welcome here no more (but leave the stuff we built behind I suppose).

Bet you wouldn’t decry Michelle Malkin complaining about the Aryan Nation though. Pity you can’t see the basic similarities between the two movements.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Interesting observation of racist ’opponents’ when you’re peddling racist propaganda by forcing the meme all illegal immigrants are ’brown’.
Moi? Am I the party suggesting that the appropriate response to illegal immigration is to build a wall across our border with Mexico? Am I the one celebrating the nutballs taking potshots at people on the southern border? Am I the one who Bush was trying to molify by deploying national guard troops to the Mexican border?

Open your eyes.

Harun, I don’t disagree with your Venn diagram. When politicians take illegal immigration, a problem that is not new, is not large, and is not ammenable to solution by the remedies proposed, and elevate it to the center of their campaigns, they do it to appeal to what they beleive is a large xenophobic base.

You’d better watch yourself suggesting that Blacks aren’t racist, somebody’ll revoke you conservative membership card.

Also what kind of lapsed Sikh runs a liquor store? Was he here claiming asylum for "religious persecution"?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Moi? Am I the party suggesting that the appropriate response to illegal immigration is to build a wall across our border with Mexico? Am I the one celebrating the nutballs taking potshots at people on the southern border? Am I the one who Bush was trying to molify by deploying national guard troops to the Mexican border?
Ah, so, substance to your thoughts.
The southern border, though shorter, seems to provide a higher volume of illegal crossings, does it not? So, if we’re trying to keep out illegals, which border makes more sense to place emphasis on first?

The Party - are you referring to the two party system here? In which case I recall both sides voting to build "the wall" (though no one seems interested in actually funding it).

Celebrating? I got the general sense hereabouts it was a demonstration of illegal behavior, but maybe because I’m such a radical I just saw it that way, and missed the celebrations that someone was trying to kill people extralegally for simply walking across the magic line instead of applying to walk across it.

And you were the one who suggested xenophobia and racisim were the same, I merely pointed out they are different things -not all xenophobes are racists (and no shovel is a spade).

But when you claim that I’m complaining that the reason I don’t like illegals is because they are brown, you’re the one presuming I think they’re all brown, not me.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Also what kind of lapsed Sikh runs a liquor store?
More stereotyping?

Could it be they have proscriptions against drinking it, but not against selling it to those who do?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"...they do it to appeal to what they beleive is a large xenophobic base."
Retief, you are a fool.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Am I the one celebrating the nutballs taking potshots at people on the southern border?
No doubt you are, since most of the lead flys northward.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider