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

 
Stupid and booze don’t mix
Posted by: McQ on Monday, April 14, 2008

Yes, I'm assuming there was booze present without it being mentioned in the article, as that actually gives Rep. Geoff Davis an excuse he may not deserve for being this stupid:
Congressman Geoff Davis, took the criticisms of Mr. Obama a few steps further, likening the change slogan to the pitch of a “snake oil salesman.” He then relayed to the audience that he had taken party in a “highly classified, national security simulation” with Obama.

“I’m going to tell you something: That boy’s finger does not need to be on the button,” Mr. Davis said. “He could not make a decision in that simulation that related to a nuclear threat to this country.”
A) Do politicians really think they can say something, anything, inflammatory in a public setting - even if they think it is private - and get away with it? [Apparently so because the continue to pull dumb stunts like this.]

B) Do the Republicans realize that saying something stupid like this only draws attention away from the self-destructive cycle the Democrats are going through?

C) Is there anyone, anywhere, that doesn't understand that using the term 'boy' to refer to a black man is UNACCEPTABLE? Anyone?

So I hope Davis was hammered. And I hope he has a hell of a hangover, because unless he does, I can only write this off to abject stupidity on his part.

And btw, I don't want Obama near any sorts of triggers either, especially if he shoots like he bowls (yeah, I know it was about the nuclear trigger, but I couldn't resist the line).
_________

Linked by Comments from Left Field and Oliver Willis - Thanks!
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
I guess Obama might launch a preemptive gutter ball?

It irks me that Davis could have said "boy" about a white man several years his junior, and hardly raised a stir. Still, he should have said "kid", giving grousing fodder to no one.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
As a white Southern male who is always presumed guilty if anyone could possibly take anything we say in the wrong way, it does go without saying that it was insensitive to use that term in reference to Obama. Davis should have known better.

I do have to point out that among ourselves we call everyone "boy". We’re all good ol’ boys ourselves (particularly those of us in Texas where "cowboy", is anything but a term of derision), and frankly, anytime we’re talking about a younger male who shows a singular lack or experience or maturity, calling him a "boy" is a calculated insult, but not one related to race. That usage seems what’s at issue here.

 
Written By: Strick
URL: http://
I realize that "boy" is a derogitory term for blacks, but You really think that’s what this OLD GUY was infering in his comments about a YOUNGER MAN?

And frankly, aside from "boy", there isn’t anything I disagree with in his comment. I don’t think Obama COULD make that call, and he SHOULDN’T be the one with his finger on that button...

And even then, I only have issue with "boy" in that "I understand that it COULD be offensive, but I REALLY doubt that’s how it was meant" sort of way...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I realize that "boy" is a derogitory term for blacks, but You really think that’s what this OLD GUY was infering in his comments about a YOUNGER MAN?
It doesn’t matter what he was or wasn’t inferring, the fact remains that it is and has been unacceptable for about 5 decades to refer to a black man as ’boy’.

Period.

End of discussion.

And he knows that or he is dead-stump stupid.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Two words about the ’boy’ thing. James Carville.

Would they be raising racial insinuation questions about him?

No, I don’t think so, either... And Carville uses the word as a matter of routine.. and words far more offensive than this. Then this one... this Davis... likely doesn’t deserve the abuse, either.

But of course, he’s a Republican, and he’ll get the abuse, by the truckload, because this will get used as political fodder, which is all the taking offense at ’boy’ is ever about anymore, is people looking for an excuse to take offense.

More than granted... Davis is stupid for opening himself up to this nonsense. But, let’s be honest enough to say that it IS nonsense.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
"Two words about the ’boy’ thing"

Mountain, molehill, etc.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
1) Would you prefer to go varmint hunting with Hillary?

2) What sort of simulation would this have been?

3) You may need to upgrade the spam filters.
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
James Carville.
I’m sorry, I must have missed Carville’s election to the Congress. When did that happen?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
It doesn’t matter what he was or wasn’t inferring, the fact remains that it is and has been unacceptable for about 5 decades to refer to a black man as ’boy’.

Period.

End of discussion.


High five, McQ. Well done.
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreet.wordpress.com
C) Is there anyone, anywhere, that doesn’t understand that using the term ’boy’ to refer to a black man is UNACCEPTABLE? Anyone?

Here’s a weird moment - I’ve actually been defending this guy on Matt Yglesias’ blog. I really thought this was racism hype, rather than racism. I mean, I’ve been called "boy" a bunch by white people, pejoratively, and never thought they were calling me black.

The fact that I’m seeing you condemn this guy suggests that maybe there’s something large here I just don’t know a whole lot about. I suspect, however, that a lot of young folk from the north don’t know much about this context.

So maybe it was racist. But maybe it was just racially ignorant, or racially insensitive.

But anyway, your survey is answered.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
When I say "defending" this guy, I was still calling him a jerk, just not neccesarily a racist one.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Oh brother. Going out in search of Davis’s age — 49 — I found Marc Ambinder on the top of the Google heap, posing this question:
When was the last time you called someone three years younger than you a boy?
Oh brother again. For miles and miles and miles from where I sit, "that boy" is practically the default reference by any native son to any other male on the planet, wholly without regard to age, so far as I can tell. If your mother’s great-uncle, the retired admiral, keels over at his 95th birthday party, it’s because that boy didn’t need to be having all that good a time.

But where age — and station and wealth and accomplishment — are generally ignored when designating a guy as that boy, race is not, for obvious and good reason. Who isn’t aware of the history wherein "boy" said of or to a black man by a white conveyed, with impunity, a failure and unwillingness to acknowledge equal status? Everybody’s aware of that, including the people who aren’t aware that, in some huge geographic areas, calling a (non-black) guy who’s three years younger or even thirty years older "that boy" is commonplace among millions of people. No insult intended.

My take is that Davis was being both colorblind and carelessly colloquial, in a most unguarded sort of way. And, yeah, probably a little drunk, too, which he might as well have mentioned in his apology, along with the suggestion that he suffered some sort of petit mal seizure during his speech. His actual apology, lacking all that, is posted at the link and destined to do him no good at all.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Frankly, I WOULD have liked to have heard that line, but instead of "boy" use "child"... I mean, come on...
"I’m going to tell you something: That child’s finger does not need to be on the button," Mr. Davis said. "He could not make a decision in that simulation that related to a nuclear threat to this country."
Isn’t way WAY more insulting?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I’m sorry, I must have missed Carville’s election to the Congress. When did that happen?
Why would that matter?
Watch, Bruce; the ones who will be complaining the loudest about this will be the ones who hold Carville to be of greater import than any Republican Congresscritter.

Understand me, Bruce... (God help me, but) I’m with Glasnost, here. The guy’s a jerk, but he’s also no racist. The racial ambulance chasers we are about to see claiming it was, aren’t offended by racism as they claim; they’re simply opportunistic.





 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Why would that matter?
Because we’re talking about a politician(s), that’s why.

And why is your defense a version of tu quoque, something I’ve seen you slam others for using?
The guy’s a jerk, but he’s also no racist.
I never called him a racist - I called him abjectly stupid, didn’t I? And I asked a question - who doesn’t know that you don’t call a black man "boy"?

Trust me, he’s not one of those who doesn’t know that.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
that a lot of young folk from the north don’t know much about this context.
This young guy from MD didnt have a clue it was racist in any sense.
"that boy" is commonplace among millions of people. No insult intended.
While i understand your point, i disagree, it is indeed meant o be insulting in some cases, such as this one. Obama is definitely not a boy and calling him one is to put him down, just not racially, more about maturity and wisdom in a way.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
I never called him a racist - I called him abjectly stupid, didn’t I? And I asked a question - who doesn’t know that you don’t call a black man "boy"?
But why is that an issue, Bruce?
Because it’s supposedly racist, right?

But.... you admit he’s NOT a racist.... we apparently agree there.

So what are we worried about? So what is the fear, here, then?

Of course the fear is of the opportunistic reaction to it.

What I’m saying is that we agree, he should not have said that. What I’m suggesting also, however is that the reason WHY he shouldn’t have said it, is different than will be cast about it.

And I guess frankly, I’m wondering, of the two, which is the larger problem for society... that such statements are still made, however innocently, or that there’s a bunch of racial ambulance chasers out there ready to leap into the frey screaming ’racist’ wherever there’s the slightest chance of gaining any political ground for themselves in the screaming sessions afterward. We have a group of people out there... seeking legitimacy and thereby, power, by way of searching out and reacting to keywords, regardless of the context in which they’re spoken.

That way, for example, lies Jeremiah Wright, Julian Bond, and Jessee Jackson, Al Sharpton, and so on.


 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Fact is, he has apologized directly to Obama, and that should end everyone else’s caterwauling about this issue.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
But why is that an issue, Bruce?
Did you bother to read the post?
B) Do the Republicans realize that saying something stupid like this only draws attention away from the self-destructive cycle the Democrats are going through?
And:
But.... you admit he’s NOT a racist.... we apparently agree there.
I didn’t "admit" anything. I said I called him abjectly stupid for saying what he said. I, like you, have no idea whether he meant it in a racist connotation. But there is no question it was a stupid thing to say and "B" is the reason it was so stupid.

That’s why it’s an issue.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Fact is, he has apologized directly to Obama, and that should end everyone else’s caterwauling about this issue.
Oh, yeah, that makes it all better (seems he understood how d@mn stupid the remark was and why, even if half the commenters here don’t).

Kind of like when Rockefeller apologized directly to McCain, all the caterwauling on the right immediately stopped, didn’t it, Keith?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
It doesn’t matter what he was or wasn’t inferring [sic, implying], the fact remains that it is and has been unacceptable for about 5 decades to refer to a black man as ’boy’.
And the fact also remains that it is and has been acceptable for a lot longer than that to refer to a juvenile male of any race as a boy. There’s also a subtle distinction between addressing someone as "boy," which Davis did not do, and referring to an immature individual as a boy, as he did do. But I gather that you don’t do subtle, so I suppose it would be a complete waste of time to point out that the non-boy in question is half-white, and the other half has never been anywhere near any plantation. "African-American," real African-American, what’s the diff?
"I’m sorry, I must have missed Carville’s election to the Congress."
Either that or the point. Carville was a high-ranking figure in the Clinton Administration, which answered to the entire country. He may not have been directly accountable to the American people, but his boss sure as hell was, and it’s not as though Carville ever got any grief from the Administration he was defending (or, as often as not, on whose behalf he was offending). And far from a tu quoque, Carville’s inflamamatory statements were not caused by carelessness or stupidity, as Davis’s arguably were. Carville was intentionally inflammatory, more on the level of being warned "don’t call me boy" and then turning around and calling the guy "boy" anyway.

Carville answered to the entire U.S. population. Davis answers to roughly one-sixth of Kentucky. As a resident of Non-Kentucky, I should care what he says ... why, exactly?
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
And the fact also remains that it is and has been acceptable for a lot longer than that to refer to a juvenile male of any race as a boy.
Rationalization at its finest. Verbal contortions truly worthy of a lawyer.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Bruce:
But there is no question it was a stupid thing to say and "B" is the reason it was so stupid.

That’s why it’s an issue.
Well, think on this for a moment, Bruce... Absent the (predicted) opportunistic reaction, would it even BE an issue? I wonder about that.

Kind of like when Rockefeller apologized directly to McCain, all the caterwauling on the right immediately stopped, didn’t it, Keith?


True... Very true.

And and I’ve been thinking about comparisons like that since my intial comment last night. There’s opportunism on both sides, certainly, and there’s also legit beefs on both sides. Yet, how do we determine if there’s a genuine beef with a given statement, or that it’s simply a great tool to beat up the political opposition with?

Such questions, to my mind, come down to the one question... the of motivation of the speaker at issue. Does Rockefeller think that way, or are we taking his words out of the context of a lifetime? Same question for Davis’ comment. For that matter, same question for the ’bitterness’ comments of Obama, the other day.

For the record, in the case of Obama, I’d say there’s enough of a pattern in his political history to aver that yes, he really DOES think that way... and similarly, jay Rockefeller. Davis, I don’t have enough history on, and so can’t make that judgement, but it seems to me if the man were a flaming racist, we’d have discussed him prevously.

But what we see in the case of Davis is a judgement process that doesn’t seem to work within a context of the person’s history, or of the subject(s) at hand, but rather work strictly on the basis of the presensce of individual words. That smacks to me of at best knee jerk reactions and in truth, opportunism of the worst kind.


 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Well, think on this for a moment, Bruce... Absent the (predicted) opportunistic reaction, would it even BE an issue? I wonder about that.
It would for me, and that’s why it is up on this blog.

You don’t call black men "boy" where I live and everyone here knows precisely what it means when you do. And it is no different in KY.

So you folks can play this rationalization game all you want, claim ignorance of the insult, and pretend it’s all a big blowup over nothing - but it isn’t.

Jeremiah Wright talking about "greedy white people" is no less racially inflammatory and insensitive than a US Congressman calling a black man "boy" in whatever context. Whether either of them meant it in a racist connotation is something none of us know for certain since we can’t get inside their heads. But it is certainly well-known that both of their utterances are considered to be racially inflammatory/insensitive and why.

Those pretending otherwise are simply playing the same game that they accuse the other side of engaging in when one of their people says something stupid and they try to spin it away - and that’s precisely what I’m seeing here.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I would not worry about Obama’s finger on the button. One of his stated national security policies is to stand down our nuclear alert forces - bombers, missiles and submarines. He also wants to stop strategic defense initiative and end development on a replacement for the B61, our 30 year old nuclear warhead and cut 10s of billions from defense while we are in a shooting war.

Winston Churchill he is not.
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
I am surprised and disappointed that a republican member of Congress would make an idiotic statement like calling a black "boy." It is the kind of remark that could be expected from democrats such as Robert Byrd or James Carville.

Democrats created the three institutions most detrimental to blacks - slavery, segregation and welfare.

Republicans abolished slavery, ended segregation and substituted employment for welfare. Words matter, especially this year when the democrats are again ready to demonstrate that they pander to blacks and take their votes for granted.
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
Those pretending otherwise are simply playing the same game that they accuse the other side of engaging in when one of their people says something stupid and they try to spin it away - and that’s precisely what I’m seeing here.
Then you misunderstand my point, or perhaps I’m not relating my thoughts well; I’m not spinning anything away. I’m suggesting that most of the anger displayed over the comments is in itself, spin.
Whether either of them meant it in a racist connotation is something none of us know for certain since we can’t get inside their heads. But it is certainly well-known that both of their utterances are considered to be racially inflammatory/insensitive and why.
Well, as I’ve suggested, the speaker’s history has lots to say about that, and gves us a decent clue in the matter. But perhaps we need to step back, and as opposed to getting angry over words supposedly showing racism, perhaps actual racism is the issue. If there is no racism, (As we have apparently agreed) but merely words that COULD show racism, why are we so angry? Isn’t real racism, the problem we’re supposedly fighting?

Perhaps I’m not expressing this well, as happens often enough, and for that I’m sorry.

But it seems to me that to too strongly credit Davis’ comments as racism, gives far too much control to the race huxters over our very means of expression, thus worsening the situation surrounding REAL racism. And control is what this little storm is all about.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Kind of like when Rockefeller apologized directly to McCain, all the caterwauling on the right immediately stopped, didn’t it, Keith?
Well, there are apologies and then there are empty apologies. Does Rockefeller’s past actions indicate he was truly sorry for wrongly disparaging McCain? Considering the previous positive statements about McCain from Rockefeller, either he’s being a partisan political opportunist now, or he was then. Either way, that tells me all I need to know about Rockefeller.

In the end, this is an issue between, Davis, and Obama, and the people who elected Davis.

I’m not the final arbiter of all things racially sensitive.

I don’t get particularly flummoxed when an older man calls me boy, or a younger person calls me sir. It may irritate me, but that’s about it. Hell, I’ve been called a redneck (even though I grew up in CT, and graduated college with a computer science degree,) and it doesn’t much bother me.

If we are to get past color, then shouldn’t the same rules apply to all. And shouldn’t we look past words, and look at the character of a person.

I don’t know a single thing about Davis, other then what I looked up on wikipedia. He’s certainly not a stranger to making politically charged statements.

Other then that, I have not the power to look into a mans heart. I can only judge them by their actions.

And frankly, I thought worrying about political correctness was the liberal/progressive/democrats job...
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I don’t get particularly flummoxed when an older man calls me boy ...
There’s no reason for you to do so, is there Keith? Because there’s no connotation that can be attached to it when it is done to you, except, perhaps, the speaker thinks you’re being juvenile.

That isn’t the only connotation that attaches to the use of the word when it is spoken about a grown black man, and if you don’t know that, I can’t help you understand how insensitive/inflammatory such an utterance is.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I understand it perfectly.

If we can only speak in a manner which is not "insensitive/inflammatory" then life would be tremendously boring, don’t you think.

What I see in this country, especially with regards to politicians, is that Democrats get a pass for saying things far worse then what Republicans say. Because I guess, Democrats hearts are pure with respect to race, class, and sexuality, and Republicans always have a secret motive to oppress.

So, yes, what Davis said was rude, but people have a right to be rude. And I’m not here defending Davis, or standing up for Obama.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
What I see in this country, especially with regards to politicians, is that Democrats get a pass for saying things far worse then what Republicans say.
I certainly don’t give them a pass and even if that’s true, it doesn’t mean I have to give a Republican a pass when he says something inflammatory or stupid.
So, yes, what Davis said was rude, but people have a right to be rude.
Yes they do, just as I have a right to hold him accountable for being rude and/or inflammatory.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Well, perhaps we should just reinstate dueling, so that those parties with actual grievances can hold each other accountable.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Well, perhaps we should just reinstate dueling, so that those parties with actual grievances can hold each other accountable.
Or perhaps, instead, we could invent something called "blogs."

Oh, wait ... ;)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I think people would be more polite if rudeness and stupidity were terminal.

Although, I suppose, the rules could change so that the offended could choose any "sport" to duel with.

Of course, doesn’t dueling protocol state that the aggrieved must accept an apology???

We lost much when chivalry died out and being a gentleman is not the norm.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
That’s it...

Wet CAT-5 cables at dawn.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Re shoots as well as he bowls, he hasn’t shot anybody in the face, so his record is pretty good compared to the current administration’s.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
You don’t call black men "boy" where I live and everyone here knows precisely what it means when you do.

You’re mixing up different parts of speech. "Boy" is racist in the vocative case especially if combined with a directive, but it’s fine as a object.

Example of the vocative case:

"May I help you, sir?"

Example of an object:

"Dave’s a big boy." — Dave is a black guy who happens to be 300 lb, benches more, and would let you know if he disapproved.

The fact is that it may as well be another word when it’s used as a different part of speech. For example, "sir" isn’t commonly used as an object, although you get "the sir" a lot in the military.

I’d avoid it in politics, especially given the artificial stink over "niggardly," and I think it’s impolite (overly familiar) for any politician to refer to another as a child, but it’s not racist.
 
Written By: Ben
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