What He Said

I hope Dave Wiegel and others pay attention to TNC:

It’s been asked in comments, a few times, what good has come of the NAACP’s resolution. I would not endeavor to speak for anyone but myself when I say that I owe the NAACP a debt of gratitude. I have, in my writing, a tendency to become theoretically cute, and overly enamored with my own fair-mindedness. Such vanity has lately been manifested in the form of phrases like “it’s worth saying” and “it strikes me that…” or “respectfully…”

When engaging your adversaries, that approach has its place. But it’s worth saying that there are other approaches and other places. Among them–respectfully administering the occasional reminder as to the precise nature of the motherfuckers you are dealing with. It strikes me that this is a most appropriate role for the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.

I understand Dave’s point– if you call them names they will just get their dander up more, but sometimes the only thing you can do is to, as TNC notes, call racists what they are and forget about engagement. Frankly, I don’t give a shit if it upsets Williams to be called a racist.






45 replies
  1. 1
    AhabTRuler says:

    Did I miss the post where you said you were taking a break from blogging?

    Also, damn what anyone else say, the Steve Miller Band’s Book of Dreams holds up pretty well as an album.

    As for the rest of it, what moran would criticize the NAACP for calling out racism? To do so means that you are wasting the breath you could be using to point out to racists that they are being unhelpful.

  2. 2
    demo woman says:

    Local media covered the story by interviewing two black members of the local tea party. In defense though they did show several racist signs and the billboard in Iowa.

  3. 3
    spudvol says:

    OT- So this is what West Virginia looks like.

  4. 4
    Corner Stone says:

    Dave Weigel. Hasn’t that dude’s 15 minutes ran out by now?

  5. 5
    Xero says:

    The best sentence written about this whole episode;

    Among them—respectfully administering the occasional reminder as to the precise nature of the motherfuckers you are dealing with.

    Not for the expletive specifically, but the spirit in which it is used.

  6. 6
    flounder says:

    As I mentioned in another thread, Dave Wiegel has indicated that he has read and understands Rick Perlstein’s “Nixonland” book, which is largely about how Nixon affected the “Southern Strategy”.
    The fact that Wiegel is saying that the NAACP should be pretending that the race-baiting doesn’t exist, instead of kicking the hornets nest, makes me rather disappointed in the man.

  7. 7
    Mike E says:

    @Xero: Indeed, when dealing with the perpetually offended, it is always wise to not mince words because you don’t want to let these motherfuckers down–if they are not clutching at their pearls, they are way too eager to dress up in their bleached white costumes to impress each other. They just can’t keep from making asses out of themselves.

  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    Coates began one of his terrific posts on this by listing a series of insults against the President, his family, and some Black politicians. I pointed out that he had left out a few, but understood, because there too many to choose from.

    they are who we thought they were, and that the NAACP is calling them what they were – BRAVO TO THEM. it’s about time.

  9. 9
    GregB says:

    On epistemic closure. I had a debate with a conservative friend and his entire premise on race issues was that Republicans were the party responsible for the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    It didn’t matter what president signed the bill and it didn’t matter that a majority of the House and Senate were Democrats.

    It was the GOP that passed the Civil Rights bill.

  10. 10

    If they’re upset about confronting their own racist behaviors they should take the easy way out, and stop doing and saying racist shit.

    I realize they won’t, but still.

  11. 11
    Bella Q says:

    The point Jay Smooth makes so well is that when you just call someone a racist, it’s too easy to set up the “I am not” / Yes you are” pointless disagreement. It’s pointless because what you are gets into things that can’t be proven. Or as he puts it so well that debate devolves into a “rhetorical Bermuda Triangle where everything drowns in a sea of empty posturing until somebody just blames it all on hip hop and we forget the whole thing ever happened.”

    It seems like a link to that wonderful piece was posted recently, but if I’m hallucinating, it’s here.

  12. 12

    NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous at the opening press conference of the NAACP national convention in Kansas City on July 10th:

    “….And there are, there is once again an insurgent movement in this country to tear this country apart. And if we pull off the veneer what we see behind them are wealthy law firms and fancy lobbyists like Dick Armey, this faux populist rage represented by the Tea Party. There is nothing new, and what is new is that this group of people is smaller than they have ever been in our society, smaller than the White Citizens Council, smaller than the Klan of the nineteen-twenties, but divisive and dangerous….”

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    See, the wingers think to themselves– “If only the colored behaved just like us, there wouldn’t be any problem.” And, after all, only a fake American wouldn’t want to behave just like them… Am I right?

  14. 14
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    I’m really not seeing a downside to getting the dander up these people.

  15. 15
    ruemara says:

    @spudvol:

    Needs more doggies and gardening in that video. Cole is also much thinner than his blog posts have led me to believe.

  16. 16

    @Bella Q:

    After hearing Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Ben Jealous and the media Q and A on Wednesday afternoon I remained in the room to download photos and audio to my laptop. Almost everyone had left, only three or four people remained. As I got up to leave a reporter called out to me and said (conversation paraphrased from memory), “I don’t get it. They seem to be walking this back. They were practically delirious over the story earlier.” I replied, “You’re here, aren’t you, covering this? They’re winning the news cycle.”

    There’s the old LBJ story: “I don’t want to call my opponent a [fill in the blank], I just want to hear him deny it.”

    There you go. We’re hearing and watching the teabaggers scrambling to deny it, and not very well, either.

  17. 17
    dj spellchecka says:

    @GregB…well actually the argument i’ve heard is that the gop is the party of civil rights because most of the opposition to the bill came from democrats..which has the plus of being true…the part that gets left out is that as soon as lbj signed the bill, the southern democratic voters started their disengagment with the party…which led to the type of northern gop moderates that did vote for the bill starting THEIR extinction event…

    nevermind that republican presidental candidate goldwater was opposed to the bill and won four southern states for his efforts…which led to the southern strategy…which led to the spectacle of someone like jeff sessions being a ranking member of a major committe and on teevee a lot…etc

    every person who makes that argument conviently acts like the parties that existed in ’64 still resemble the parties today…and points out that byrd was in the klan…

  18. 18
    John Arbuthnot Fisher says:

    I have a little “tempest in teapots” test for these sorts of things. Every time a Ron Fournier written, Cavuto-marked story like “Will NAACP condemnation of Tea Party resurface as Obama October surprise?” surfaces, I try to determine the probability that this particular nontroversy (hat tip: a smart BJ commenter I cannot remember?) will actually be an actual issue in an actual election. Almost inevitably, they never really are (anyone heard from Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright or Henry Louis Gates lately?).

    To flounder’s point on race baiting, these stories exist for one purpose: to perpetually remind White America that a young black Democrat is president of the United States. So when the Liberal Media drop the usual “some say…” or “on the other hand…”, remember that this is absolutely their most nefarious role in politics – dignifying even openly disgusting rhetoric from the leadership of the Republican Party in the interest of representing The Middle. Minute non-stories are elevated into tinder for incredibly deep-run racist paranoia across America.

    They know what they are doing. I do not think they know the consequences.

  19. 19
    shortstop says:

    every person who makes that argument conviently acts like the parties that existed in ‘64 still resemble the parties today…and points out that byrd was in the klan…

    dj nails it. “The GOP is the true party of civil rights” BS making the rounds in winger circles omits the Southern Strategy, Byrd’s renouncement of his heinous racism (with a sterling follow-up voting record to match) and all the rest of the story. In their defense, they’re not leaving that stuff out on purpose. Rush and Glenn didn’t even mention those parts, so how could the wingparrots be expected to know them? You want them to read history or something?

  20. 20
    El Cid says:

    Who gives a shit if they get their dander up? If it weren’t for the billion dollar media kissing their god-damned asses, who would pay attention to these fucktards?

  21. 21
    El Cid says:

    @shortstop: The only reason the neo-Confederates hate Robert Byrd is that the repudiated his racist origins. Had he been a Strom Thurmond or Jesse Helms, they would have loved him forever.

  22. 22
    slag says:

    I understand Dave’s point- if you call them names they will just get their dander up more, but sometimes the only thing you can do is to, as TNC notes, call racists what they are and forget about engagement. Frankly, I don’t give a shit if it upsets Williams to be called a racist.

    Obviously, conservatives would love to have this country continually debate the value of Jim Crow laws, the origins of the Civil War, the Voting Rights Act, and the FHA. For the same reason they would love for us to continually debate the nature of climate change, the value of torture, and the presumed right to privacy. Because when certain fundamental issues become not debatable anymore, then we would have to move on to debating other issues. And the thought of debating other issues scares the hell out of members of the establishment class.

    So, there’s nothing more threatening to people like David Brooks and other members of the Adult Party than putting a stake in the ground and seeing and speaking plain simple truths. Doing so means progress. And we simply can’t have that.

    Of course, we all know this. But sometimes I like to remind myself where all the wankery in the world really comes from. Fear.

  23. 23
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @GregB:

    On epistemic closure. I had a debate with a conservative friend and his entire premise on race issues was that Republicans were the party responsible for the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    I have the strangest memory of a rather Dr. Suess-like story – featuring a black convict and a GOP elephant who was the only one that could hear or see him. “Willie Horton hears a whodunnit”, I think it was called. Sometime back in 1988.

  24. 24
    danimal says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil: @El Cid: Count me in on the “I don’t give a damn if their fee-fees are hurt” caucus. Let ’em get their dander up; they don’t do well when reminded of their own stupid words and actions.

  25. 25
    Hal says:

    So when do people like Dave Wiegel think it’s ok to actually confront someone for their obvious racism?

  26. 26
    matoko_chan says:

    Cole

    I understand Dave’s point- if you call them names they will just get their dander up more

    pardon me but that’s bullshytt.
    it is not the NAACP’s to make nice with racists so they can reform easier….its the NAACP’s job to call out racism.
    Its Weigel’s job to reform the teabaggers.
    This is more of the same crap sandwich Douthat and McMeghan tried to feed out over Dr. Tiller. If we just let them have what they want…..like overturn Roe…… they will get sane.
    Weigel and Douthat are TNC’s homies….I guess that means TNC supports this crapology too.
    It is the conservative intelligentsia’s job to reform the conservative base…but they don’t have the nads.
    Say what you like about Sully, he represents.
    The truth is Chunky Reese Witherspoon Douthat and McMegan are exponentially worse than Beck and Rush. Instead of calling out the crazipants, they enable it.
    or….perhaps they know they can’t reform the base…..because the conservative base is only responsive to fear and demagoguery.
    That still doesn’t mean we have to help them.
    I say let them burn.
    so what if conservatism goes down to the demographic timer?
    Evo theory of culture dictates a political philosophy will evolve to take its place…..likely something better.

  27. 27
    matoko_chan says:

    @Bella Q: thats more bs whankery. let jay smooth reform his base.
    aint our job.

  28. 28
    Midnight Marauder says:

    I understand Dave’s point- if you call them names they will just get their dander up more

    Dave’s “point” is a bunch of acquiescing, mealy mouthed bullshit. All he is saying is that the feelings of racists and people who promote and champion policies that are racist, are more important than combating actual racism. Again, this guy is an “expert” on the conservative movement and has supposedly read Nixonland (a book I am a quarter of the way through now, and am eternally grateful for its existence)?

    He’s a joke, Cole. And more importantly, his vaunted knowledge of the conservative movement looks more and more overhyped with each passing day.

  29. 29
    Kryptik says:

    Slightly OT but related as well:

    It should be no surprise honestly, but it looks like WaPo Ombudsman Andrew Alexander thinks there’s something to this New Black Panther Party thing and says it warrants more coverage, apologizing for the WaPo’s ‘silence’ on the matter.

    Oh, and he calls out LIberal Bloggers as well, and the liberal media. Because they’re all one big fucking conspiracy that he has to fight as a lone voice for the truth in the WaPo.

    Dumbfuck.

  30. 30
    Martin says:

    Wait, isn’t the most efficient and effective way to make your point whether or not someone is a racist is to get their dander up? Racism manifests itself in speech and behavior – if the racist isn’t doing something, how do you know they’re a racist? The letter to Lincoln was *precisely* the outcome the NAACP was looking for – how better to prove your case than force the racists to respond to you?

  31. 31
    Bill Murray says:

    @John Arbuthnot Fisher:

    To flounder’s point on race baiting, these stories exist for one purpose: to perpetually remind White America that a young black Democrat is president of the United States.

    Isn’t this why Steele is still head of the RNC?

  32. 32
    Bella Q says:

    @Martin:

    Racism manifests itself in speech and behavior – if the racist isn’t doing something, how do you know they’re a racist? The letter to Lincoln was precisely the outcome the NAACP was looking for – how better to prove your case than force the racists to respond to you?

    Exactly, and that what makes TNC’s point below so apt:

    But it’s worth saying that there are other approaches and other places. Among them—respectfully administering the occasional reminder as to the precise nature of the motherfuckers you are dealing with. It strikes me that this is a most appropriate role for the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.

    Which of course, for me, if not for others, proves Jay Smooth’s point about how to best control the narrative with an individual- I don’t care what you are, but I intend to hold you responsible for what you did. Got your feelings hurt by my calling your behavior bad? Perhaps you should behave differently. And Williams’s letter in response simply demonstrated to anyone who might have missed it, just how the TP folks view the question – unseriously.

  33. 33
    whiterosebuddy says:

    @GregB:

    Well, your conservative friend is correct. However, he also needs to be reminded that it was not the current GOP party that did that. The Democrats had the majority and they did pass the bill as well, due to LBJ’s arm twisting.

    Your conservative friend needs to be reminded that after the passage of the bill…all those Dems, aka Dixicrats defected from the Democratic party and became Republicans because they were so outraged over the passage.

    IOW’s all those bigots dominate the GOP today…so yes, those Republicans then who voted for the Civil Rights Bill would not even be considered Republicans by todays GOP standards. They were moderates.

  34. 34
    whiterosebuddy says:

    @Martin:

    I agree Martin@3:30pm writes:

    “how better to prove your case than force the racists to respond to you?”

    Precisely. This is just like when Obama said he wanted to be, unlike Clinton, a transformative President like Reagan.

    He forced HRC’s hand. She came out swingin…and Obama not only took the blows…but shined the light on what Clinton was truly not, while forcing the voters to recognize she was inDEED running on Clinton’s coattails…she protested strongly that “Bill was not running,she was”…and Obama lowered the boom, sayin ” It’s hard to tell the difference as to who the candidate is”

    KaPOW!!

    When you put out statements …you just sit back and watch these morons implode.

    Wiegel is doing the NAACP’s work for them. Showing his true face of HATE!

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    @El Cid:

    Who gives a shit if they get their dander up?

    Because they are arguing in good faith. They really, honestly believe they aren’t racists and we should engage them because of how earnest and honest their belief system is.

  36. 36
    Jennifer says:

    I have a saying I employ whenever anyone gets butthurt because I or someone else tells the truth about them:

    They’ll either get over it or they won’t.

    In other words, I’ve said my piece, I’m right, I’m not going to walk it back, and it’s up to the other party to deal with it in whatever way they like. I really don’t care, because it won’t change the fact that I’m right, that I’ve told the truth, I’ve said what I thought, and no amount of complaining on their part about what I’ve said is going to change my mind, make me wrong, or make what I’ve said untrue.

    The teabaggers are unreconstructed racists. If it hurts their feelings to be called out for what they are, they should stop being unreconstructed racists. Beyond that, I don’t give a flying f*ck how they feel about it.

  37. 37
    whiterosebuddy says:

    @Corner Stone:

    @CornerStone 4:24pm

    “Because they are arguing in good faith. They really, honestly believe they aren’t racists and we should engage them because of how earnest and honest their belief system is. ”

    Um, NO!! Belief systems are not facts. That is the problem. Folks have some mistaken idea, generally nitwits and numbnuts, that because they beleive something it makes it true. NO. IT. DOESN’t.

    Who cares if they earnestly believe it!

    They need to be disabused of those false beliefs and have them turned on their head..and the light shined on their white entitlement MYTHS, FALSEHOODS and other disingenuous beliefs.

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    @whiterosebuddy:

    Um, NO!! Belief systems are not facts. That is the problem. Folks have some mistaken idea, generally nitwits and numbnuts, that because they beleive something it makes it true. NO. IT. DOESN’t.

    Who cares if they earnestly believe it!

    If someone really believes in something, and makes statements that derive from this belief set, shouldn’t we engage in civil discourse with them? Isn’t it our responsibility to understand their position?

  39. 39
    Platonicspoof says:

    Frankly, I don’t give a shit if it upsets Williams to be called a racist.

    I watched Williams on John King yesterday and he didn’t seem upset at all.
    If anything, he seemed pleased to be getting the exposure for his
    T.P. Express.
    King did keep asking Williams if he thought his satirical letter was a mistake and if he wanted to apologize, but Williams’ responses culminated in “what I did was successful”.

    I’m also curious what Williams was saying/implying when he said:
    “And I was there for the bussing rides and I was one of the people on the streets between the school buses and idiots with the Molotov cocktails as a kid.”
    Is this a history that he has written/spoken about before?
    Was he a segregation protester, or riding a bus to school, or what?

  40. 40
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Dave Weigel. Hasn’t that dude’s 15 minutes ran out by now?

    How can it with Balloon Juice blogging about him every fourteen minutes?

    Honest question for anybody who can answer it: why the sudden obsession with Weigel? I get that he made a slightly contentious post over at Andrew Sullivan’s — as if 500 vastly dumber things don’t pop up over there every month — so is there a reason this blog is suddenly Dave Weigel Watch?

  41. 41
    Bernard says:

    “shouldn’t we engage in civil discourse with them? Isn’t it our responsibility to understand their position?”

    you can’t. that’s the problem here. Civil discourse is impossible when there are “beliefs” to be taken as fact, this “belief system” requires respect if accepted as is.

    to acknowledge the right that, “we know the truth” and “it shall set you free” of guilt or error, is what we have here. and besides some religions give a “get out of jail card” in their tenets.

    Remember Faith Based Reality under Bush? it didn’t go away.

    this is a religious belief in so many respects. there are not a whole lots of facts involved. that various parts of their “belief system” are dependent upon some facts and not all, leads to what i call the “faith based reality” of the Right wing.

    i can’t say what is exactly incorrect about the “facts” in their belief system, cause i can’t follow the reasoning. I can assure you this “belief system” is not questioned at all. for me, i gather it is like Ignorance is bliss, or willful ignorance

    what is for sure is, their “reality” is much different from most others. which leads to arguing in the same realms as those of Religious tenets. civility goes out the window a lot of time with Religious discourse.

    we have a semi-religious, if not outright religious, belief system here. Questioning their beliefs is akin to questioning someone’s religious beliefs. after a certain point, it is all faith based.

    that’s what we are dealing with here. the “myths” are stronger than the facts used to attack the beliefs.

  42. 42

    @Corner Stone:

    If someone really believes in something, and makes statements that derive from this belief set, shouldn’t we engage in civil discourse with them? Isn’t it our responsibility to understand their position?

    Hell naw. 9 times out of 10 that’s what the canny motherfuckers want in the first place. There is really no way to engage with silly ideas (creationism, WMDism, bigots and racists and homophobes) without laughing. Reason doesn’t work, or they wouldn’t believe such unreasonable bullshit. You can be civil while you explain how their idea is not worthy of serious consideration or debate, but still, there’s no sense in letting them think they have any kind of point at all.

  43. 43
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bernard:

    you can’t. that’s the problem here. Civil discourse is impossible when there are “beliefs” to be taken as fact, this “belief system” requires respect if accepted as is.

    But don’t you think we should think about what they think is the truth?
    Shouldn’t their good faith beliefs be given some thought by the thoughtful among us?
    They argue that things they believe to be true are in fact true, and therefore the things we think to be true may not be.
    I think that’s worth thinking about.

  44. 44
    matoko_chan says:

    The science of political cognitive dissonance.
    backfire effect, where contradictory data intensifies the salience of the source, is only observed in conservatives.

  45. 45
    4jkb4ia says:

    That post is another reason why I must consider TNC a kindred spirit.

Comments are closed.