Those racist conservatives Posted by: Dale Franks
on Saturday, January 08, 2005
The left must love it when black conservatives get caught doing something wrong. It's the only time they get to use the N-word when referring to a black person.
Case in point: The odious Steve Gilliard. His reaction to the news that Armstrong Williams, a conservative pundit who happens to be black, took money from the White House to flog the No Child Left Behind act give him an opportunity to gleefully trot out every racist stereotype about black people he can cram into a single post.
It starts in the post title, "Massa, I sure do likes No Child Left Behind". How charmingly droll. Now, Mr. Gilliard is also a black man, so he explains that it's not racist for him to use this kind of rhetoric.
Further, he explains [I have edited his remarks, both because I find the N-word itself objectionable, and also because I have no interest whatever in having the N-word available for googling to QandO. I will also delete the comments of any commentor who uses it. A word to the wise.--EDF]:
Brother, them white folks is gonna jump up on your ass like you were a trampoline. You'll be lucky to avoid jail. The conservative lynching is already starting.
It's like that line from Trading Places: "Of course I would never let a n****r run our company" Well, of course, if Williams is a crook, they would never defend his lying n****r ass.
Well, actually, I would hope that, if they thought he was a crook, they wouldn't defend him, any more than they would defend a white man who turned out to be a crook. A crook is a crook, irrespctive of their color.
You see, here's the thing. They way you can tell about the moral seriousness of a group is whether or not they are willing to condemn their own for unethical or immoral acts. Defending someone you know to have done wrong, simply because he's an ideological ally, is hypocrisy. That's not a sign of racism, that's a sign of probity.
Mr. Gilliard's position is, apparently, that the proper response would be for conservatives to defend Mr. Armstrong's wrongdoing because he's conservative, too. So, the basis of determing whether or not one should be defended is one's ideological affiliation, not an independent evaluation of the rightness of their actions.
Not, that that's a surprise, of course. That was essentially the sole reason for the Left's defense of President Clinton during that whole impeachment unpleasantness.
But Mr. Gilliard apprently doesn't grasp that there might be a principled objection to Mr. William's actions. No, if white conservatives object, it must be solely because Mr. Williams is black, because white conservatives are, ipso facto, racist.
Well, no racial stereotyping there.
Indeed, a perusal of Mr, Gilliards blog is interesting on a number of levels. Apparently, he sees racism fairly often. For instance, he's convinced that the staff of National Review are all racists.
I have to admit, Goldberg's indignation about Williams was comical at best. They coddle all manner of corrupt stooge at NRO, so what is one more.
Oh yeah, he's a n****r.
Now, do you really think they don't use that word around NRO's offices. Maybe not around the boss, because I think his sister-in-law is black, but when it's just white folks talking? Please. Those folks have contempt for Black Republicans, they just hate the rest of us colored folk. They don't give a good goddamn about us, except to create problems for the Dems.
So, there you have it. The staff of NRO clearly goes about at all times, except when their boss--who has a black family member--is around, gleefully tossing out the N-word at every available opportunity.
I was amused at this line from his post though:
This is the letter I sent to Jonah Goldberg. Like I give a f*ck what he thinks over at that coven of warmongers and racists.
That's just too precious for words. Yes, he has not a care what those "warmongers and racists" think. None at all. Yet, he still couldn't help but write them a letter, to, you know, let them know how much he doesn't care. Because he doesn't. Not at all. Heck, if he doesn't care what they think, then what I think is probably totally beneath his notice.
So, I expect I'll be hearing from him fairly soon.
But you have to love this:
The thing about blogging that has been reenforced over the year is the futility of appeasing the right. They're gonna come after you anyway, no matter what you say or do, so standing up to them is the rule of the day. Those people only mean me ill. Pretending that there is a common ground is futile.
Congress can't act like that because they have to do things. But what the f*ck are Rich Lowry and Jonah Goldberg gonna do for me? Not one f*cking thing. I won't play tit for tat with them. I consider them little better than racist scum and I don't really consider their opinions/ They're just clowns to me. I know some people want to debate them and exchange ideas. I don't. I have more readers than that racist rag of a magazine does.
More readers than NRO? I mean, maybe so, but you'd think that with his massive readership, his blog would be higher on the TTLB Ecosystem than #321. I mean, I'm just wondering where all that readership is.
I'm sure he'll tell me, though. Although, just to be clear, he has no interest whatsoever in what I think at all.
Now, I don't know anything about Mr. Gilliard. I never even heard of him before today. In fact, the only reason I know about him at all is because I saw a reference to him in--you guessed it--The Corner, where, apparently they've never heard of him either, despite his massive Internet readership.
In any event, perhaps Mr. Gilliard has had all sorts of bad reactions from white conservatives. And from the sound of it, he ascribes these bad reactions to racism. But, you know, people don't respond to you solely on the basis of race. Mostly, they respond to you as a person.
Perhaps people react badly to him because he's an an asshole.
He's gone further than "making this an issue of race", IMO.
Is there anything on his site that can't be found in the comments sections of Kos or Atrios (seriously)? I'm sure there's an audience for "angry liberal who talks tough when they're behind a keyboard, yeah look at me call people names, boy!", (which goes for the right, as well) but since they're so easily found in the more popular lefty blogs' comments, why would someone read an entire blog full of useless vitriol?
Does it really make folks feel better about themselves to see someone type nasty names about people they disagree with politically but would never in a million years have guts enough to say to their faces?
I would think that would be an example of the bottom-feeding brand of debate.......perhaps I over-estimated the readership of the blogosphere.
Gilliard's paranoid and racist commentary aside, I must admit that I am a bit baffled by the deep opprobrium exhibited by the Right in this matter. While I agree that Armstrong Williams should have disclosed the PR contract with Ketchum (sp?), I don't think his failure to do so warrants the reaction it's received.
It seems to me that there are actually three problems here: (1) Use of public funds to "promote" government programs; (2) advertising government programs in the form of news stories when they are really commercials; and (3) receiving a benefit from the government to promote the program without disclosing the benefit to the public.
With regard to the first two problems, Williams had nothing to do with that, and it is a problem that began long before the Bush Administration (IIRC, in the 80's the gov't had a program to make people feel better about their cars -- at the same time it was bailing out the US Automakers Industry). Of course it does beg the question as to whether such a policy would be necessary if there wasn't such a pervasive slant to the "news", especially with respect to NCLB, but I digress.
As to the discloure problem, Williams has admitted his mistake, and he isn't making excuses (despite what the truncated quotes attributed to him might lead you to believe). Moreover, the contract he had with the Dept. of Ed., through Ketchum, was basically to raise awareness of the issue and to provide media opportunities for Rod Paige. Such a contract doesn't look in any way illegal to me, and I don't understand the argument that it possibly could be (although I remain willing to be convinced otherwise). Willimas was also paid to make one-minute announcements about the NCLB Act, which he absolutely should have disclosed.
What the contract with Williams did not do, AFAIK or anyone has explained, was put words into Williams' mouth or provide any particular talking points to be discussed. It is precisely because Williams was already a vocal and influential advocate of NCLB that he was chosen for the contract, not because his opinion was for sale. Frankly I don't think it's fair to charge otherwise.
In the end, Williams did an unethical thing in failing to disclose payments to his media company for promoting NCLB and providing media opportunities to Rod Paige. That was wrong, he admitted it, and most likely there will be a return of some (if not all) of the funds. However, Williams did not sell his opinion (which is what he's being accused of in many places) nor did actually harm anyone other than himself. I'm quite sure that many of the conservatives upbraiding him are upset that he has drawn (legitimate) fire on the Bush Administration (although it is questionable that they had anything to do with the contract). However, the penalty should fit the crime, and in this case I believe Williams is getting the short end of the stick, especially for someone who has owned up to his mistake and accepted full responsibility.
As I mentioned above, I am willing to be convinced otherwise, but this just looks like much ado about nothing to me.
When I was in college living offsite in an apartment, I always used to get into shouting matches with my African American neighbor over garbage cans. (I am white.) He would always push HIS garbage cans into my parking spot while I was out because he wanted to have more clearance behind his back door. Yadda yadda, the joys of city living and all that. One day, (when we were actually pushing the same garbage can from opposite sides !-) he shouted at me, completely out of the blue, "You're just a racist pig. You're a member of the KKK!"
From now on, whenever I encounter views like those of Gillard, I think of all of the real actual suffering of African Americans ripped from their roots in Africa, brought over to the Americas on slave ships with great losses during the journey, the years of oppression and apartheid and Jim Crow since the war to end slavery ended, and indeed the terrorism of the KKK itself, all of the guilt and the rage being brought down upon me like the mighty hammer of John Henry: over a garbage can.
If I were an African American, I think I would be very angry at the likes of Gillard for diluting the anger and outrage directed at REAL racism and injustice that still exists. What a gasbag.