You may have noticed the controversy over last week’s Voice cover story, “White America Has Lost Its Mind” by Steven Thrasher. The story has drawn at this writing more than a thousand comments, many of them devoted to proving Thrasher’s proposition by example.
Among the more choice reader contributions: “Of course white people have lost their minds. they have to live with inferior niggers and leftie white trash…” “You’ve just proved to everyone who reads this that you and your fellow members of Diversity Gang are anti-white morons…” “The Democratic Party is an anti-white hate party… Look folks, if you’re white, the left and the Democratic Party HATE YOUR GUTS…”
Surprised? We weren’t. In the years we’ve been covering rightbloggers, we’ve seen these themes come up time and again, though usually in subtler forms.
The means of expression are diverse, but they tend to stick to three basic approaches which over time become easy to recognize.
1.) The “Race Card” Card. When confronted by accusations of racism — real or imaginary — rightbloggers often counter-accuse their accusers of “playing the race card” — that is, using claims of racism as a phony excuse to get over.
Just this past weekend, for example, we had rightblogger posts imputing the playing of this card to a TV personality (“Race Card Playing Lefturd Bill Maher Calls GOP ‘A Deadly Enemy'”), a Congresswoman (“Rep. Loretta Sanchez [D] Embraces the Race Card“), a basketball player (“LeBron James’ Race Card”), and of course President Obama (“America’s Half-White President Plays His Race Card“), among others.
Rightbloggers love the term so much that they sometimes use it even when it has little to do with the subject. Last week, for example, lawyer Gloria Allred claimed California GOP candidate Meg Whitman had knowingly retained an illegal immigrant as a nanny. That the nanny was Latina captured rightblogger imaginations. Legal Insurrection accused Allred of “use of the race card for political gain” and “race card politics,” and said she was “jumping the race card shark,” etc. “Could they be even more transparent about playing the race card in order to get the Hispanic vote?” asked 24Ahead.
This outraged reaction to even inferred accusations of bigotry reflects a longstanding conservative notion (as expressed by such experts as Ann Coulter) that there’s no racism in America any more — at least, not racism practiced against blacks.
Rightbloggers have internalized this message to the point where they find just about any claim of racial prejudice risible, which has led to their mocking alternative spellings of RAAACIST, RAAAAACIST and RAAAACIST. Thus, if some guy puts up a sign that says “Obama’s plan for health-care: Nigger rig it,” that may be a bad thing, but if you say aloud that it offends you, you definitely have some kind of problem.
Now liberals don’t even have to actually say anything for rightbloggers to go on defense. This week, for example, The Mad Jewess headlined, “Tom Sowell (Black) A ‘Racist’ For Telling Obama To RESIGN?” The Mad Jewess didn’t say who called Sowell a racist; the video clip she included didn’t explain it either.
But why would she bother? She and her readers are probably sure someone out there had done so. To paraphrase the old saying, it’s always RAAACIST somewhere.
2.) There is No Such Thing as Diversity. Rightbloggers are allergic to certain touchy-feely terms they associate with liberalism — for instance, “tolerance” (as in, “The word ‘tolerance’ is being (over)used to justify the building of a mosque at Ground Zero,” etc).
“Diversity” is one that really set their teeth on edge — particularly when it comes to large public events.
Rightbloggers have been hypersensitive to charges that their tea party rallies haven’t exactly been brimming with black people. While tea party bankrollers have been addressing the issue with a “DiverseTea” initiative, their rightblogger fans have tried to refute the charge by running lots of pictures and videos of the few people of color who attend these things.
But their most reliable defense has been to claim that liberals aren’t any better, and are perhaps worse — as in the claim by Bruce Majors that “the flaks and cogs of the Obama regime all choose to live in lily white neighborhoods.” (Majors, oddly enough, is the guy who wrote the guide telling out-of-towners coming to the big Beck rally to avoid Washington’s black neighborhoods.)
So you can imagine that the October 2 One Nation Rally in DC, which was chock-full of black people and other minority group members, would throw them a little.
How did they respond? Some were content to make fun of the diverse weirdos at the rally. Glenn Beck’s The Blaze reported the noteworthy finding that “‘ONE NATION’ RALLY WELCOMED ALL SEXUALITIES INCLUDING ‘QUESTIONING.'” “It is clear that the ‘One Nation’ rally was a very big tent of inclusion,” they concluded, which commenters took as a cue to launch their jokes about the gay menace (“pretty soon my kindergarten grandson will be bringing home school notices not only – one in Spanish and one in English but one is rainbow colors”).
But the more ambitious ones found a new angle: That the racial and gender-pref diversity didn’t matter because the rally lacked political diversity.
“Looking around the rally, there were Teamsters Local 311, Service Employees International Union Local 1199, Communications Workers of America Local 2336, American Federation of Teachers Local 1, United Auto Workers Amalgamated Local 171, Transport Workers Union Local 100, and representatives of many, many other unions,” wrote Byron York. “That’s a lot of diversity.”
York did acknowledge the racial component at one point, noting a “sign that was ubiquitous at the rally. It had a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. and said STAND AGAINST WAR & RACISM — JOBS NOT WAR.” The sign, though, was sponsored by ANSWER, he reported, which consisted of “old-style Communists, supporters of just about every awful regime on the planet.” As union members and Communists are the same thing, this was further proof of the rally’s lack of real diversity.
The rally “made me realize the sad state of the word ‘diversity’ among many of those on the left side of the spectrum,” said Redistributing Knowledge, because “diversity is so much more than skin color — so incredibly much more.” This incredible much-moreness, he explained, meant resistance to “groupthink” and openness to a diversity of opinions — for example, the idea that “racism and other beliefs that separate people based on their skin color are all founded in collectivism.” And yet, there wasn’t anyone at the rally willing to champion that, the bigots!
Pirate’s Cove, angered by a protest sign comparing trickle-down economics to a golden shower, sneered, “I thought this was about progressive values of diversity and unity?” “Most diverse march in our history?” asked Jammie Wearing Fool. “Sure. We’ve got the left, hard left, far left, kook left, angry left and leftover left. Sure seems diverse to me.” “I ask you,” intoned The Virtuous Republic in bold face type, “are quotas and diversity the purview of Republicans or the Democrats? The only people interested in group rights are the left.”
If you are moved to ask how this rally was any less diverse than the unfailingly right-wing tea parties, you are asking the wrong (though reasonable) question. We’re more inclined to ask: Does a movement that works hard to change the accepted meanings of words to something more politically advantageous to themselves remind you of any famous English novels?
(Extra effort points go to DUmmie Funnies, who contended that the real lack of diversity was that the rally had too many black people.)
3.) Rightbloggers will tell you who the real racists are. This is perhaps the most popular gambit of the three — the idea that white people are totally chill with black folk, but black folk and Democrats hate whitey.
Conservatives are convinced that black people get all the breaks in this country, and perpetrate racism against white folks which goes unpunished. Rod Dreher, for example, often talks about the “inflexible and harsh p.c. codes inside corporate America,” and how “if you violate them, you run the very real risk of being demoted, sanctioned or even fired by corporations.” It’s gotten so a fella actually has to worry about making racist comments around black people, because he might get in trouble.
Even the mighty Rush Limbaugh has complained that “there are certain areas in the business… where I cannot work” because he has been “stigmatized” by liberals as a bigot (though he is in actuality “America’s Real Civil Rights Leader”). And if black people and their liberal buddies can oppress Rush, can you imagine what they can do to you?
The charge is founded in the old reverse-racism argument that any imbalance seeming to favor black people is unjust, even in a racially-imbalanced society.
You can see it in the Washington Times‘ recent accusation of “racialism” against Attorney General Eric Holder, made because Holder didn’t pursue enough civil rights cases in defense of white people to suit them — adding in lexicographic triumph that “by the precise definition used in the American Heritage dictionary, the department is racialist.” (Everyone knows recourse to the dictionary is a sure sign of a winning argument.)
This displacement allows rightbloggers who find themselves on the wrong side of oh-no-he-didn’t to write off their embarrassing situation as just another example of the topsy-turvy p.c. world created by black and liberal racists.
That’s how you get guys like Angry White Dude, who recently explained high black drop-out rates with “acting white (i.e. responsible, courteous, having a positive future) is the worst thing to aspire to for a young pimp!” — and in the same post accused an NAACP spokesperson who did not share his POV of being a “professional racist.” (Such people think that if any racism is going on, it’s not coming from them, so it must be coming from the people who pointed it out. It’s the “he who smelt it, dealt it” school of analysis.)
That’s how you get videos like this one, which has Obama saying the words “white people are racist” (“Likely out of context, but who knows?” adds the poster) and has spread like wildfire, much like reports of the infamous, non-existent Michelle Obama “Whitey Tape.”
That’s how you get people like RedState’s Moe Lane who, when Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee messed up the geography of Vietnam in a speech, sputtered, “Rep. Jackson-Lee is what happens when you mandate gerrymandering as a tool of social policy for forty years.”
Lane then hurried to add — for appearances’ sake, perhaps? Or due to a flare-up of what was left of his sense of shame? — “Note that I did not say ‘racial gerrymandering,’ although that’s essentially what majority-minority districting is.” He then expostulated: “If we were drawing up election maps to concentrate as many green-eyed voters in a particular district as possible and waited half a century we’d end up with stunningly idiotic green-eyed Members of Congress, too.”
Lane really seemed to believe this bagatelle redeemed his assertion that majority-black districts naturally elect stupid Representatives. But we suppose just pointing this out means we’re the real racist.
Well, that’s about it. Think of this when you receive another forwarded racist email (or see the sender elected Republican nominee for Governor of New York), or see another web image of Obama as a gangsta or a shoeshine boy, etc. And if you haven’t been noticing these things up to now, expect to notice them more in the future. Because the kind of comments that Voice story got are just the tip of the iceberg.