Derp and Fail. [Updated!]

So let me get this straight: A blogger who regularly traffics in perceived racial slights and calls herself Angry Black Lady is shocked, SHOCKED that she elicits racially-tinged and/or racist comments. And she wants everybody to knock it off. Except for her.

This is a big reason why I always skip over any post with her name attached to it. But I guess that makes me a hater too.

I guess the ban will commence in 3…2…1…

On reading this, the umpteenth example of a race-baiting post by the non-ironically named Angry Black Lady, I have to conclude that Angry Black Lady really hates being black. Sorry, no two ways around it.

You’re the daughter of a mixed-race couple? Then you’re not really an angry Black lady, are you? You’re an angry biracial lady, and I think you owe all true angry black ladies an apology. You’re certainly in no position to be demanding an apology on behalf of a racial group to which you don’t actually belong except if one accepts the sketchy standards of racist slaveholders.

By the way, it is fucking funny.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again:

I have a pituitary tumor, hence the “Angry.”

I’m black, hence the “Black.”

I have a vagina, hence the “Lady.”

Also, what Michael Moore said was racist.  Full stop.  It’s not up for debate.

Also, too, there’s a difference between “being a racist” and “saying racist shit.”

Here’s your 500 comment thread.

(One of these days I’m going to just write “Black” in a post and see how many idiotic comments I can elicit. THere’s got to be a way I can make money off the derp, I just haven’t figured it out yet.)

UPDATE: TNC agrees with me:

Via Angry Black Lady, I know Michael Moore and Bill Maher think this is a great line:

I went into the polls voting for the black guy, and what I got was the white guy…

But it really isn’t. Let’s just say — it’s racist, and Michael Moore would do well to stop repeating it. It really is no better than the Kenyan anti-colonial bit, and in fact is good deal worse. I said this yesterday on twitter, but it would be as if my Jewish accountant messed up my taxes and I said, “Dude, you’re Jewish, what the hell?!?!”

In fact, I’d be getting exactly what I deserved. If you paid more attention to Obama’s skin color, than to his speeches, the voluminous amounts of journalism noting his moderation, his two books which are, themselves, exercises in moderation, than you have chosen to be ignorant.

You are now being punished for that ignorance. No one should feel sorry for you. Try not being racist.






369 replies
  1. 1
    MAJeff says:

    Also, what Michael Moore said was racist. Full stop. It’s not up for debate.

    TNC offered a great parallel:

    I said this yesterday on twitter, but it would be as if my Jewish accountant messed up my taxes and I said, “Dude, your Jewish, what the hell?!?!”

  2. 2
    sherifffruitfly says:

    Wow the sand in those guys’ vaginas must really be painful.

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    THere’s got to be a way I can make money off the derp, I just haven’t figured it out yet.

    Well, Cole does sell ad space, so presumably there’s some (small) amount of money from all the pageviews.

  4. 4
    Swishalicious says:

    Thanks for this informative and thought-provoking post. As always.

    How long will Cole let you troll the front page, I wonder.

  5. 5
    cleek says:

    yay. more personal spat meta-blogging.

  6. 6
    ruemara says:

    You can’t heal stupid. Case in point, Swishalicious.

  7. 7
    burnspbesq says:

    Just so there can be something useful in this thread …

    Con Law geeks may be interested in this conference on the constitutionality of Obamacare, being presented at Duke Law tomorrow. Apparently it will be webcast live.

    http://www.law.duke.edu/news/s.....&u=11

  8. 8

    Moore’s comment associates a particular character trait with a particular skin color. Of course it’s racist.

    And I’ve not gone back to see the authors of those comments, but here without IDs, they do sound like they came from the same hand. Perhaps that’s just my CT acting up. Whenever the weather cools down, my CT always acts up.

    ETA: For example, compare the three posts above with “Swichalicious.”

  9. 9
    Emma says:

    After wading in the cesspool yesterday I realized that we had been given a clear example of why race is the third rail in America. You can’t talk about it without even the most supposedly liberal people start looking for cover.

  10. 10
    gnomedad says:

    Also, too, there’s a difference between “being a racist” and “saying racist shit.”

    Seriously, thank you.

    You’re the daughter of a mixed-race couple? Then you’re not really an angry Black lady, are you? You’re an angry biracial lady

    So kind of whoever the hell that was to clear that up for you. I wonder if s/he believes you can dress yourself.

    ETA: For the gazillionth time, peeps, electrons are cheap. Just move along. No one but you and your mouse will know.

  11. 11
    boss bitch says:

    (One of these days I’m going to just write “Black” in a post and see how many idiotic comments I can elicit.

    Do that, close the comments and include colored text that looks like links. It will drive them mad. :)

  12. 12
    LGRooney says:

    What’s a derp?

  13. 13
    Egilsson says:

    The real problem is that ABL is a lousy blogger who doesn’t actually have any smart takes other than the same stupid crap she’s always recycling – involving standards she definitely does not apply to herself. That’s the FAIL here (to use ABL-ese).

    Does my email get traced now?

  14. 14
    Steve says:

    Did someone really say a half-black person can’t identify as black if they want to? That’s on par with Rush Limbaugh and his “Halfrican” crap, and I’d wager that person doesn’t even realize it.

  15. 15
    Allan says:

    Yesterday one of your less rabid critics sniffed that you should really try harder to emulate Ta-Nehisi Coates.

    Who just gave a full-throated endorsement of your original point.

  16. 16
    parenthetical says:

    Black? More like brown, I’d say. Why do you have to be so absolutist (and angry and *black*)? Either way, should you really be getting so worked up over this? As a white person, I’m really not that affected by racism, so why should you be? Aren’t there more *important* things to worry about? You know, important to *me*? #whitesplaininghalloffame

  17. 17
    singfoom says:

    Yeah, that thread was full of awful shit. I agree that it was full of awful shit and what Moore and Maher said was awful, but we gain what exactly from a continuation of that flamewar?

  18. 18
    danimal says:

    @Swishalicious: She makes a good point.

    Also, too, Cole regularly trolls the front page. You must be new here.

  19. 19
    CJWhite says:

    I’ll always love you ABL, no matter how “A” you get at the idiots. Ruemara is right, you can’t heal stupid. As a high school teacher in rural school in the middle of Texas, FSM knows I’ve tried.

  20. 20
    Paul in KY says:

    @LGRooney: If you look around the table & can’t figure out who the derp is, then…

  21. 21
    ABL says:

    @Allan: holy shit. i’m kind of blown over!

  22. 22
    Gex says:

    You can’t figure out how to make money just by saying black? Because the Republicans sure as hell have. They’ve been raking it in since the CRA.

    ETA: Oh, you have morals that constrain what you will and will not do for money. That’s always the kicker.

  23. 23
    Paul in KY says:

    @Egilsson: I strongly disagree. If you think ‘blogging’ is so easy, then why don’t you start one up? You could call yourself SND.

  24. 24
    aisce says:

    1. why do you continue to subject yourself to this, abl? if you can’t convince people that anybody talking about the president’s stereotypical “black characteristics” vs. his stereotypical “white characteristics” is being racist, then I just don’t know.

    2. why relitigate? especially on a morning when the site was bustling as it is?

  25. 25

    @Allan: Oh, that’s perfect. Too bad the person (well, this particular person) who was telling ABL she should be black differently probably won’t notice or care.

  26. 26
    MattR says:

    It is truly terrible that you have to deal with a tumor and I hope that any available treatment options are working well.

    However, regardless of that, there is in fact a stereotype about angry black women and I regret to inform you that your use of that moniker reinforces that stereotype, even if unintentionally. Therefore if we enforce the standards that you have previously set, it is inappropriate and racially insensitive for you to be using it.

    @aisce: Because, despite her protestations, it seems that she enjoys the drama.

  27. 27

    @MattR: Put the shovel down and step out of the hole already. Jesus.

  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    Black
    Black
    Black
    Blackedity
    Black
    Black
    Blackilicious
    Black
    Blackerrific
    Black

    you rock ABL

    keep on, keeping on, my Sista.

    for White folks who don’t understand what was wrong with what Moore said..

    fuck them

    tired of explaining shyt to wilfully ignorant people.

    they’re grown folks.

    catch a damn clue.

  29. 29
    david mizner says:

    Yeah, I have to admit that when Obama supporters started talking about racism on the part of Obama critics, I viewed it as a attempt to shut down criticism — that’s certainly the case sometimes — but I’ve come to see that most of the time they’re talking about racism because some Obama critics, including prominent ones, say stupid racist shit. Why is it so hard to for some white people to criticize this deeply mediocre president without making racially charged charges?

  30. 30
    bergman says:

    That simple statement at the end is so key, at least in my experience. I do racist shit often, and wish I didn’t. Usually not in things I say but in assumptions I make, which lead to actions I generally don’t take (like reaching out for common ground). It’s nothing better or worse than racism, but it doesn’t define me.

  31. 31
    MattR says:

    @TooManyJens: Which part of my comment do you think is crap? Do you disagree that her moniker reinforces the stereotype? Or is it acceptable for her to do so because that is not her intent?

  32. 32
    Susan S says:

    Dear ABL.. When I fell in love with a cute, brilliant man in my Chinese language class in 1967, my life suddenly was infinitely more complex and intelligent. I say that because before I met Luc, my children’s father, I had no idea. Period. My small town America parents were delighted with my choice, since he was their first son-in-law with a college degree and above all, had the “brown eyes and curly hair” my mother had always wanted for her family. When my daughter was born, my Republican mother’s first words, having seen the infant’s straight black baby locks, were “You cannot possibly have strong enough genes to straighten out that poor baby’s hair!” I am delighted to say my daughter, now in her 40’s, never has messed with her beautiful hair. I tell my kids I went to a lot of trouble to make sure they never needed permanents or tans. My daughter went to one of the finest liberal arts colleges on the East coast..she called one night to tell me about one of the worst moments. A very drunk twit asked that stupid question, based on her beautiful skin..”what are you?” She gave him her standard answer..”A human being.” So he spit on her….. As I was prepared to rush to the airport and kill said ass..she added ” But Mom, his friends were so mortified and so apologetic..it was okay, they made me feel better.” My daughter had one answer for the idiots who thought she was in their class due to affirmative action..”Mom, I just dust them.” ABL, you dust these fools every time you post. Their ignorance is terrifying, because it is so common. But you write in a marvelous style and I love your posts. I wish it were easier for your friends and admirers to gather round after one of these idiots have “spit” and let you know how much we like you, your topics, your style. Your post on Maher was too true..oh and by the way, bet your pale parent has never regretted loving the brown eyes and curly hair..cause that’s what added your intelligence and humor to our world. Happy Day, lady. Please ignore the bedbugs.

  33. 33
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    I hear you, ABL, and I’m loving what I read. Keep it up!

    Edit: I second Rikyrah!

  34. 34
    harlana says:

    I have a pituitary tumor, hence the “Angry.”

    bless your heart (sorry, I’m southern), I think it’s beautiful how you accept who you are and don’t let others’ misinformed perceptions rattle you or make you question your own passion and righteousness b/c that can, indeed, make one, not just angry, but mad.

  35. 35
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @burnspbesq: Ooh, thanks for that!

  36. 36
    geg6 says:

    Also, too, there’s a difference between “being a racist” and “saying racist shit.”

    Word. I know many, many clueless white people (I know, they’re my people but just the same…) who unthinkingly say the most racist shit. They aren’t really racists in any material way. They just can’t get past their geography and sociology.

    @boss bitch:

    Do that, close the comments and include colored text that looks like links. It will drive them mad. :)

    Love that. Just love it. What makes me laugh regularly about ABL threads is a couple of things. First, the privilege of my fellow whites becomes all too clear and their whiny assed butthurt over their fee fees at being called out by a black woman is really not much different than the rednecks screaming at little black girls who dared invade their schoolhouses back in the 50s and 60s (or the 70s if you’re from Boston). Cowards, every single one of them. What jokes they are. And second, the fact that the vast majority of assholes in these threads are people with screen names I’ve never seen before or only see in ABL threads. Either they are all trolls too afraid to let on which BJer it is or they are trolls who come here just to scream their cowardly butthurt at ABL. Either way, they are cowards who think it’s fun and games to gang up on the black blogger. Not a real man or woman among them.

  37. 37

    @ABL:

    Please keep writing precisely the way you have been and on your own schedule and with as much grace as possible in the face of denial and the anger that goes along with it.

  38. 38
    LM says:

    I don’t get it. You’re among the few bloggers (I can practically count them on one finger) whose posts always make me say “Damn right!” And I sure didn’t see any room to disagree with the one yesterday.
    Trust some commenters to make room, I guess. There seems to be a contingent here (and on kos, which I’m boycotting this week) that believes any complaint along these lines should be met with that Republican-like I’m-rubber-you’re glue thing, as in, “Your [whomever/whatever] isn’t being harmed/dissed, so quit playing victim–I’m the real victim… of your saying X is a victim.” And did you know there’s a war on Christmas?

  39. 39
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    I have a perhaps pedantic, but sincere, question for ABL. When you say you have a pituitary tumor, hence the “angry,” are you indicating that you’re angry about having said tumor, or because of it? I ask having an actual pituitary tumor (quite tiny, thank FSM) myself, and that was the good news from the MRI which showed it.

  40. 40
    soonergrunt says:

    @Allan: Let the Two Minutes’ Hate against TNC commence in 5…4…3…2…

  41. 41
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    What’s wrong with telling a crappy joke poorly again? This is only as offensive as when black comedians make jokes about how uptight white guys are. *Its the same joke*, isn’t it? (other than the dynamics of majority/minority, which isn’t a small aspect, mind you)

    Curb your Enthusiasm did a whole episode about jewish lawyers, and how larry fired a guy because he had non “jewish” characteristics and hired a lawyer who ended up being really crappy, because larry thought he was jewish.

  42. 42
    Amir Khalid says:

    @aisce:
    But flame warz is FUN!! (To watch, anyway.)

    Seriously, in my country we got a category of taboo issues that is called “sensitive topics”. You touch on any one of these, the warning goes, you’ll end up in a flame war — sometimes with real flames — so don’t play-play*. And of course, in Malaysia race is one of those sensitive issues. Nice to see that at least one thing is the same all over.

    (*Malaysian English: don’t mess around with that)

  43. 43
    ABL says:

    @aisce: when i bail out of a 400+ comment thread, i still tend to read most of the comments (from those who i haven’t pied) and when I see the same pernicious comment repeated by different people, about my moniker or my personal background, i like to address it.

  44. 44
    Matt says:

    I don’t always agree with Angry Black Lady (plus she clogs up my Twitter feed, heh), but I love that she pisses so many people off for no reason. Keep it up, ABL!

  45. 45
    Trinity says:

    @ABL You are full of win sis.

    Haters gonna hate.

  46. 46
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    I guess the problem here is that TNC is just a much better writer than ABL, and not so self-conscious about his “brand.” That fact, coupled with the often incoherent, stream-of-consciousness blather that frequently characterizes ABL postings, is why I tend to skip over anything with an ABL byline.

    Sorry, ABL. Esp. since your point about Moore and Maher is nonetheless valid.

  47. 47
    stuckinred says:

    I’m sorry but I need a clarification. You are angry because you have the tumor or is it more complicated than that?

  48. 48
    Guster says:

    I’m with you on this, except if someone said, “Hey, you’re Jewish, what the hell? If I wanted to pay retail, I would’ve gone with the goy,” that just makes me laugh.

  49. 49
    gnomedad says:

    @david mizner:

    Why is it so hard to for some white people to criticize this deeply mediocre president without making racially charged charges?

    I dunno, why is it so hard for some white people to criticize Obama without characterizing him as not merely wrong but “deeply mediocre”?

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    P.S. let me say that I’m really trying to understand why Moore is deserving of scorn while other comedians who make the same (yes stupid) joke aren’t.

  52. 52
    sixers says:

    I agree for once with ABL that Moore and Maher made stupid racist statements BUT the reason ABL gets as much shit as she does is not because people are racist or insensitive to racism. Its because she’s a poor writer. Sorry but its true. Her posts are constantly updated to explain what she actually meant because it was written originally in a way that could be misconstrued. Also no other writer confident in their arguements needs to update a post with “look! so and so agrees with me!”.

  53. 53
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    I should add, the downside is that these issues serioisly need discussion and resolution, because they keep blowing up in our faces every so often.

  54. 54
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    <3 ABL.

    Keep pissing off these morans. I love the rope-a-dope, just let these idiots try to defend the casual racism and hang themselves out to dry.

    Racist behavior is far too often excused because the person committing the act is "not racist". Always best to call it likes you sees it (Whale Biologist) and move on better informed.

  55. 55
    ABL says:

    @Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods: you skip my posts, except for when you don’t, eh?

    i get it. some people don’t like my writing. some people think i’m a lousy blogger. that’s fine. that’s life. it doesn’t bother me. everyone has their own taste. that you pop in specifically to make this point says more about you than it does me.

  56. 56
    MattR says:

    @gnomedad:

    I dunno, why is it so hard for some white people to criticize Obama without characterizing him as not merely wrong but “deeply mediocre”

    Why is it supporters of Obama can’t handle him being called “deeply mediocre” without bringing the race of the critic into it?

  57. 57
    fasteddie9318 says:

    I really can’t believe this turned into a thing. I mean, usually I can’t believe that these topics turn into things, but this time, really, WTF? What Maher and then Moore said is racist. What’s the controversy?

  58. 58
    different church-lady says:

    [scratches head] — discussing stupid racial statements made by others is now ‘race bating?’

    (One of these days I’m going to just write “Black” in a post and see how many idiotic comments I can elicit.

    You should just make an entirely blank post and see how many people call you a shitty blogger for it.

  59. 59
    ABL says:

    @sixers: i’m not a “poor writer.” not in the slightest.

    now you say “are too.” and i’ll say “am not” and so on.

    :)

  60. 60
    Corey says:

    @LM: I know there were folks defending what Michael Moore said in the last thread. I thought it was racist and offensive. Let me say that clearly, first.

    What upset me, personally, about the post wasn’t that ABL called out a racist statement, but it was the rather hamfisted attempt to link an individual’s racism with the broader “left”, by which she means folks critical of Obama (i.e., the first sentence of the post).

    An idiot’s awkward, offensive comment on the Bill Maher show does not constitute racism from “the left”.

  61. 61
    david mizner says:

    @gnomedad:

    By saying deeply mediocre, I was being generous.

    Anyway, to tell the truth about those in power, even if it hurts some people’s fee-fees — important, for example, to point out that Obama’s drone-heavy policies are killing children and that his decisions on ozone will kill people. Euphemism be damned.

    And I wrote that graph without questioning the authenticity of his blackness.

  62. 62
    Hal says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac:

    P.S. let me say that I’m really trying to understand why Moore is deserving of scorn while other comedians who make the same (yes stupid) joke aren’t.

    Michael Moore is a comedian? (Or are you being facetious?)

  63. 63
    Short Bus Bully says:

    The fact that you come on a supposedly “liberal” site and get this much STUPID SHIT from equally stupid progressives has been so educational to me as a white liberal democrat. One of my best buddies at work, very kind liberal dude, etc.; locks his keys in his car. Walks up to the only black dude in our class right in front of everyone and asks him if he knows how to break into a car.

    /facepalm

    He didn’t even realize why it was insulting, embarrassing, humiliating, and racist. And I’m sure that if someone tried to tell him that he totally fucked up he would get all huffy and pissy about it.

    People NEED to have this shit explained to them. ABL you do a great service to this blog by dragging this stuff out into the open and having it out. So many people don’t realize the affect of what they say and they need to be confronted with the fact that while they might not actually be racist, WHAT THEY ARE SAYING IS RACIST.

    Keep on keepin’ on. These posts are needed, especially around here.

  64. 64
    Steve says:

    Before I saw the video, I thought Moore’s point was that he thought Obama would be on the side of the downtrodden and instead he’s more often on the side of the oppressors. Setting aside the merits of that criticism, obviously that wasn’t his point anyway.

    If that had actually been his point, do you think his quote would still be racist?

  65. 65
    MattR says:

    @ABL:

    One of these days I’m going to just write “Black” in a post and see how many idiotic comments I can elicit.

    Geez. I can’t imagine why somebody who doesn’t like your writing style would want to make sure to comment in this post to clarify that it has nothing to do with your race.

  66. 66
    Redleg says:

    I’m not black so I don’t know how I’d feel about those comments as a black person. As a white guy, I don’t think the comments are at all funny. I don’t know much about what Maher and Moore have said and done regarding race but it seems to me, at least at first blush, that those comments fit more into “saying racist shit” rather than “being racist.”

    I assume that words/deeds fall somewhere on a continuum of “not even remotely racist” to “completely racist” and that “saying racist shit” is closer to the racist end than to the other end. Now if someone spouts “racist-sounding shit” all the time, I would have to say that there is a pretty good probability the person is actually a racist. If a person makes a stupid comment about race once in a blue moon then I have to infer that their intentions are not racist but that they had their heads up their asses or didn’t realize how insensitive or inflammatory their remarks are.

    That’s my two cents worth. I am a firm believer that racist or racist-sounding remarks tend to fall much heavier on blacks and other minority groups precisely because of the long history in this country of treating them like shit. Those same comments directed toward a white male would not likely have the same emotional weight.

  67. 67
    different church-lady says:

    @sixers:

    BUT the reason ABL gets as much shit as she does is not because people are racist or insensitive to racism. Its because she’s a poor writer writes in a style I don’t like or get.

    I don’t seem to have the same problems as you in construing her meaning, whether I agree with it or not.

  68. 68
    Guster says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac: Because Moore’s not a comedian talking politics, he’s a political activist who uses humor?

    Context matters. If ABL makes a Jewish joke, that’s cool with me. If Rick Perry makes a Jewish joke, no. If I make a black joke, that’s probably not cool with ABL. I think there’s probably a very good reason for that. I tease a gay friend about his awful taste and an Irish friend about his drunk family–they both tease me about being a miserly, neurotic Jew. It’s not like this shit either is or is not offensive. (Usually.) Michael Moore, apparently, can’t pull this off. Maybe that’s not fair, boo hoo, but it’s also not an opinion: judging by the responses, he simply, factually, can’t.

  69. 69
    eemom says:

    1. I was seriously astounded last night to see people on this blog who I’ve respected insisting over and over that attributing a “positive” quality — i.e., tough ass street fighter — to Obama because he’s black is not racist.

    Shocked. Floored.

    2. It’s a minor example, but I do believe the first time in my life I have approached an understanding of what it means to be the target of bigotry — yes, even mere thoughtless bigotry as opposed to malicious hatred — was on that Greek thread the other day.

    And anyone who wants to laugh at me about it can GFY. What would the reaction have been to a post where people blamed “the Mexicans” for the drug wars?

  70. 70

    @MattR:

    Do you disagree that her moniker reinforces the stereotype?

    Yeah, I do. Or at least, I think that whether or not it does, she gets to make the choice about whether to apply that moniker to herself. There’s a big difference between that and other people applying the “angry black man/woman” stereotype to whatever black person they’re trying to make a point about.

  71. 71
    ABL says:

    @Short Bus Bully: thanks. and thanks, generally, to those who understood my point yesterday and also to those who questioned my point in good faith without acting like a clown.

    i’ve got some volunteer training for my literacy non-profit today, so i’ll be scarce until late afternoon.

  72. 72
    gnomedad says:

    @MattR:

    Why is it supporters of Obama can’t handle him being called “deeply mediocre” without bringing the race of the critic into it?

    Perhaps I overdid my riff on david’s remark. But however wrong or wrong-headed you may think Obama is, I don’t see how he can be viewed as “mediocre”. Especially compared to recent presidents. It’s a variant on the teleprompter bullshit.

  73. 73
    pete says:

    @Corey: Uh, Moore is not on the left?

    Gimme a break. Saying the racist bullshit was coming “from the left” is not the same as saying that everyone on the left is a racist bullshitter.

    Also, ABL was careful to say that Moore made a racist statement for which he should apologize. You really should apologize for your “hamfisted attempt” to accuse her of something she did not do.

  74. 74
    Mojotron says:

    I’ve been critical of several of ABL’s pieces before and I’d like to think my criticism was justified, but it gets lost in the sea of dogwhistles and outright racism that her posts bring out. Too bad I’ll never get to hear why poster “Earl Butz” chose the name “Earl Butz” cus I hurt his fee-fees by calling him a racist, I’m sure it’s because he admired his pro-corn policies. my loss.

  75. 75
    Corey says:

    @pete: he is on the left, but he is not the left. Not sure what I accused her of that she didn’t do, the sentence about “racism from the left” is literally the first one of the post.

  76. 76
    Scott says:

    People who say ABL is a poor writer are just showing off how little they know about writing.

    And the fact that they scream about her so hard just shows how much they dislike uppity black people.

    There, I said it, and it’s so.

  77. 77
    eemom says:

    @ABL:

    To state the blindingly obvious — again — poor writers don’t inspire passionate responses, whether positive or negative.

    Fucking idiots.

  78. 78
    Beauzeaux says:

    So caught out, the trolls resort to “I’m not a racist. She’s a terrible writer.”

    I love ABL because she points out white privilege. Some people seem to think that if you don’t actually call the President an uppity nigra, you can’t be saying racist shit about him.

    Some can’t see that a racist “joke” coming from Michael Moore deserves MORE citicism than if it came from Rush Limbaugh.

    And she’s a damn fine writer — she can stir folks up. And does.

  79. 79
    Pat says:

    The vain attempts at labeling racist any mention of Obama’s shortcomings are petulant and tone deaf. I suppose now Capt. Cueball will now be in the loyalists’ sights.

    If you have an “A” game (no evidence here,) please send it to the Prez asap.

  80. 80
    MattR says:

    @TooManyJens: Thank you for the answer though I both disagree and think you have couched the options a bit too narrowly. I go back to the Super Bowl Doritos ad which did not directly apply the steroetype that black women are abusive to their significant others. Nobody was trying to make a point about that stereotype as part of the commercial. However to ABL and others, there was a clear reference to that stereotype being made.

    IMO, I actually agree with you that “she gets to make the choice about whether to apply that moniker to herself.”. But based on her behavior which includes condemning that Super Bowl ad before she knew the race of its creators or whether they were aware that such a stereotype existed (which they didn’t), it is hypocrtical for her to use a moniker that can easily be seen by others who don’t know the full story as reinforcing a negative stereotype.

  81. 81
    MattR says:

    @eemom:

    To state the blindingly obvious—again—poor writers don’t inspire passionate responses, whether positive or negative.

    Apparently there are not too many poor writers at Free Republic or Daily Kos.

  82. 82
    different church-lady says:

    RE: comparisons to TNC…

    He was big–a bit overweight for most of his career–pigeon-toed and aggressive, and when something roused him, he could be loud, cutting the ears of sprotswriters and umpires with a knifing tenor. Once in an almost empty Braves Field in Boston, I heard him ride an umpire named Frank Dascoli into the sod.

    The Braves were batting against the Brooklyn Dodgers and Dascoli called the first pitch a ball. “Do the best you can, Frank,” Jackie Robinson cried from his position near second base. The Boston franchise was dying. The grandstands were empty. You could have heard a hiccup from the field.

    Ball two. Another close pitch. Again Robinson shouted, “Do the best you can.” Ball three. Now Robinson piped shrilly: “Forget that, Frank. Just do the worst you can.”

    We all laughed, but Dascoli didn’t laugh, and it may be superfluous to point out that the umpire called the next Dodger pitch ball four.

    “Why does he have to do that?” one of the reporters said in the press box. “Why is he opening his mouth all the time. Why can’t he be like the others? You know. A good guy.”

    “What others?”

    “Roy Campanella,” the reporter said.

  83. 83

    I know I should probably just walk on by, but …

    It seems to me that this whole blog-storm is the result of two different questions being conflated.

    Question 1: Was what Moore and Maher said racist?

    Answer: Yes, obviously. They were expressing surprise that Obama was not displaying character traits that they expected to have solely on account of his race.

    Question: 2: Are all racist comments equally bad?

    Answer: I’m not sure. I do think that racism, in any form, is wrong. However, I don’t know that saying “I was surprised to learn that [random black guy] couldn’t play basketball and had no rhythm” is as bad as saying “I was surprised to learn that [random black guy] was a Rhodes Scholar, as I’d have assumed he was more likely to be a crack addict and a welfare cheat, but I guess he must have used affirmative action to get bumped ahead of a more worthy white guy.”

    The first comment deserves eye-rolling and perhaps a stern lecture. The second is not merely racist but hateful bigotry and deserves to be exposed as such to the never-ending shame of the speaker. With that in mind, the “liberal racist critique” of Obama seems to be something along the lines of “I am especially disappointed to see a black man selling out the Democratic Party to the GOP,” which is racist but not nearly as bad as the “conservative racist critique” of Obama which is more along the lines of “I am not surprised to see that our first black president is a soshulist who hates white people, who only got where he is due to affirmative action and white guilt, and who can’t possibly be smart enough to give a speech without a teleprompter.”

    As for myself, I never expected Obama to be particularly liberal due to his skin color since (a) I listened to the man’s speeches and (b) I am aware of the existence of black men like Alan Keyes, Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain. I am a bit surprised and disappointed to see a black man with his particular background and upbringing (born of an interracial couple with very left-wing politics, raised for a time by a single mother getting by on food stamps, working for many years as a community organizer in predominantly black neighborhoods of Chicago) pursue political centrism almost to the point of being a crypto-Reaganite and also be so obsessed with somehow achieving comity with the GOP that bipartisanship is allowed to trump every other issue. But I certainly don’t see that as a racial issue.

  84. 84
    MAJeff says:

    @Pat:

    The vain attempts at labeling racist any mention of Obama’s shortcomings are petulant and tone deaf.

    Particularly when such “mention” is done in explicitly racial terms using racial stereotypes? Come on. At least try.

  85. 85
    jron says:

    ABL- this moderately annoyed white man agrees with you.

  86. 86

    @TooManyJens: It just like how I use the word ‘gimp’ in my own name. It’s called making fun of a stereotype, or irony. I’m amazed at how many people don’t get it.

  87. 87
    Ben Cisco says:

    ABL: Love it, go ahead and put the pedal to the floor.
    __

    One of these days I’m going to just write “Black” in a post and see how many idiotic comments I can elicit.

    When you do, don’t forget the soundtrack.

  88. 88
    metricpenny says:

    ABL I love your spirit and your writing. Keep doing what you do, just the way you’re doing it.

  89. 89
    Pat says:

    @84

    Exactly why no one takes complaints of the blindly obedient seriously. You’re setting traps but the game is elsewhere.

  90. 90
    Blogger FKA Maimonides says:

    And people wonder why I quit blogging. (It’s the stupid stupid comments one has to deal with)

  91. 91
    lawguy says:

    Well, it may be racist. And since I voted for him assuming that he was someone who would be different, I guess that makes me racist. Perhaps I didn’t look far enough beyond his skin color to see a paid up member of the plutocracy.

    Jokes on me I guess.

  92. 92
    bin Lurkin' says:

    I can see how a person who wrote a book called “Stupid White Men” could be a racist.

  93. 93
    Dennis SGMM says:

    I don’t watch TV much so I didn’t know what Moore and Maher had said until you you posted. That’s a shit remark. I stopped paying attention to Maher some time ago because he seemed to appreciate his own wit far more than anyone else could. Moore has done some good work and his use of that line says to me that any of us, and that includes me, can say stupid, racist things and still not think of ourselves as racists.

  94. 94
    eemom says:

    @MattR:

    I don’t read those places, so I can’t really comment. But I meant responses to the writer, not to the issue being discussed.

    One of the reasons ABL is a good and very effective writer is that her writing is ALIVE. She puts herself into her words. The clowns here who say it’s “all about her” have it backwards.

  95. 95
    Crusty Dem says:

    I have a pituitary tumor, hence the “Angry.”

    After reading half the comments yesterday (and some today), I’d say you don’t really need an excuse.

    Keep it up.

  96. 96
    AlphaLiberal says:

    If Michael Moore had not used the unfortunate joke from Bill Maher, ABL would still have bashed him over something else because he criticized Obama.

    At least you have stopped falsely accusing him of saying Obama should go all gangster. But it is still a disingenuous attack on an Obama critic. Period.

    The Obamabots clearly want to shut up the Obama critics. In response, I will criticize Obama more.

    Obama needs to man up and fight back and stop kowtowing to Republicans. he has started to do so for a few days but we have no idea if we can count on him to stop playing Charlie Brown to their Lucy.

    Many thanks to Michael Moore for being consistently in support of working people, as opposed to that Great Deficit fighter Barack Obama, who only now got religion on jobs.

    yawn. you’re getting on my nerves and i’m done reading your bullshit. see you tomorrow. -ABL

  97. 97
    different church-lady says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Moore has done some good work and his use of that line says to me that any of us, and that includes me, can say stupid, racist things and still not think of ourselves as racists.

    Exactly. Which gets us back to the actual topic. Which is: I thought Micheal Moore was smarter than that.

  98. 98
    Hal says:

    @MattR:

    Do you disagree that her moniker reinforces the stereotype?

    No. And, ABL and all other black folks are not responsible for other peoples steotyping of black people, or their prejudices. I am not the black people police, running up to a woman in the movie theater (if she’s black) cause she’s on her cell phone, and OMG! that’s so stereotypical. People will think what they think, and if you are always attributing specific behaviors to specific people, that’s your issue.

    Also, on the question of mediocre. I guess for me I can say I can’t help but react like; “why mediocre?” I think many African Americans are sensitive to the idea that Obama gets judged more harshly because he is supposed to be this magician. Walk on water, cure cancer, he’s ok. Anything less than that, he’s mediocre. Succeed where the beloved Bill Clinton failed? Sorry, you blow. But that Bill Clinton! If only he could run again.

  99. 99
    gnomedad says:

    @bin Lurkin’:

    I can see how a person who wrote a book called “Stupid White Men” could be a racist.

    Read. What. She. Wrote.

    Also, too, there’s a difference between “being a racist” and “saying racist shit.”

  100. 100
    Julie Raffety says:

    I love ABL.

  101. 101
    MattR says:

    @eemom: Fair enough. Clarification makes sense to me.

    (My belated new year’s resolution is to do a better job of acknowledging valid, logical arguments in response to me – whether I agree with them or not)

  102. 102
    JWL says:

    You are eminently human, ABL. You dislike being contradicted.

  103. 103
    AlphaLiberal says:

    Clearly, this was all Michael Moore’s fault. Because Barack Obama has never made a mistake:

    The Mistaken Pivot To Deficits: The Obama Administration’s Biggest Unforced Error

    Will someone please explain to all those unemployed people that all will be well because the President crowded the Republicans on the deficit issue!

    So, yeah, sorry about you having trouble putting food on your family and, shit, but never ever criticize Barack Obama just because he made the deficit a bigger issue than jobs and turned his back on working people to please the pundits!

  104. 104
    different church-lady says:

    @AlphaLiberal: I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but among people with average faculties of intellect it is possible to hold all three of these thoughts in one’s head at the same time:

    1) That Obama has deep faults.

    2) That Michael Moore fights the good fight.

    3) That Moore said a deeply, deeply stupid thing.

  105. 105
    lacp says:

    So, “you people all look alike” is offensive and racist, but “you people all think alike” isn’t? Interesting.

  106. 106
    Pat says:

    Just because you’re not a racist doesn’t mean that Barack Obama is delivering what he sold us.

  107. 107
    dan says:

    Your handle is ABL to play off the stereotype. The fact that you are any or all 3 of those things is not why you chose that handle. You are also an attorney and possibly a bowler with peanut allergies, but you don’t include the other aspects of your life in your handle because you choose to be the “Angry Black Lady.”

  108. 108
    Earl Butz says:

    I have a pituitary tumor, hence the “Angry.”

    Watch the blood pressure, I get pissed off a lot and that doesn’t help mine any.

  109. 109
    MattR says:

    @Hal: I am clearly behind the times. I thought the stereotype was that black people talk at the movies in general and that it was a separate stereotype that young people use their phones at the movies. Shows what I know. As for the rest of your comment, I pretty much addressed it in a reply to TooManyJens above.

  110. 110
    MAJeff says:

    @Pat:

    Just because you’re not a racist doesn’t mean that Barack Obama is delivering what he sold us.

    Which is a completely different issue than whether or not a particular critique, using racial stereotypes, was a racist statement. Moore can make that claim, and there are plenty of folks who have criticisms of the President but don’t make them in racist ways.

    Not all criticism is equivalent, and playing on racial stereotypes, rather than focusing on an actual issue and substantive criticism, doesn’t do anything of value. But, just keep on with the disingenuousness you’ve already displayed here.

  111. 111
    Gus says:

    Of course Moore’s/Maher’s statement is racist. I don’t see how that can be disputed.

  112. 112
    Joe Bauers says:

    Also, what Michael Moore said was racist.

    Yep. It just was, and deserves to be criticized. I don’t think Moore is a racist, but what he said was.

    As I whitey I don’t speak from experience but I imagine it would suck to have someone who’s ostensibly on your side just casually say something racist like Moore did. I mean, if a dude in a Klan robe calls you a name, at least it’s not a surprise.

    Also too, since every ABL post now seems to be a referendum on ABL, I want to add that I value her perspective. I don’t know many black people in real life and none well enough to talk about difficult issues, so we don’t. Reading ABL (and TNC and others) lets me see things in a way I wouldn’t otherwise. Not to minimize anybody’s contributions, but I usually have a good idea what white male liberals think because I am one. Hearing from people who aren’t just like me is part of what I seek online.

  113. 113
    AlphaLiberal says:

    Ironically, the fiercest Obama backers are the most divisive. And rather thick-headed about politics.

    Here many on the left have been applauding Obama showing signs of fight on jobs, even if we’re underwhelmed by his actual bill. Many of us have been holding back. Paul Krugman, another target of ABL’s, has said nice things about the plan and the President.

    But that’ not enough for you guys. You insist on dividing the Obama camp, demanding complete blind servility and driving people away. In the process you undermine Obama’s efforts to unite his base. It’s self-defeating!

    Drop the Obama Loyalty Enforcement schtick already.

    i’ve never written one word about paul krugman. if you’re going to troll, don’t lie about what i have or have not written. you can live to troll another day… tomorrow. -ABL

  114. 114
    Mattminus says:

    If this innocuous little joke is the most horribly racist thing ABL has ever seen, I hope she NEVER watches a black standup comedian. She might have a heart attack.

    I know, I know, my failure to appreciate her shitty blogging makes me racist, sexist and pituitaryist.

    I also don’t see what the big deal about TNC is either, so you can make mine a double. He’s not as shitty as ABL, but I wouldn’t describe him as anything better than “bog standard”.

  115. 115
    Emma says:

    To all of you who keep saying “I don’t like her because of her commentary about color, I don’t like her because she’s a lousy writer”: you’re not convincing anyone.

    And for those of you who say “well, Moore meant this and that and isn’t that better”: No. It isn’t. Moore played into one of THE MOST common stereotypes about black men. Stupid behavior. A really good example of engaging mouth before brain.

  116. 116
    somegayname says:

    only read the title. NEEDS MOAR MEMES!!!1!

  117. 117
    rb says:

    @Short Bus Bully: Hear hear, SBB. Every word of it.

  118. 118
    Lynn Dee says:

    @MAJeff: I don’t see the two comments as comparable. Here’s why: If you make the comment to your accountant, it’s between the two of you. It sounds affectionate to me and like you’re inviting your accountant to engage in a little self-deprecating humor. (It could feel entirely different to you and your accountant, of course, depending on the relationship you two share. But that’s how it sounds to me.)

    Moore’s quoting of Maher’s comment wasn’t made to Obama; it was made about Obama (as, of course, was Maher’s original comment). And it doesn’t sound affectionate at all to me. It sounds disparaging of mixed race couples and their children in general, and of Obama in particular. I didn’t like it when I heard Maher say it, and I still don’t like it when I hear Moore say it.

  119. 119
    lawguy says:

    After thinking about the statement, I can certainly see it as racist. It assumes that all black people because of generations of being screwed over by the white ruling classes would not in fact identify with that class, but rather identify with the abused and under classes of whatever race. Kind a King like thing.

    But what the statement presumes is that all African Americans should react in the same way to oppression. It denies the individual the opportunity to be a prick and screw over those who haven’t made it to the top once they do.

  120. 120
    different church-lady says:

    If this innocuous little joke is the most horribly racist thing ABL has ever seen…

    Mr. Cole has something to say to you (penultimate ‘graph).

  121. 121
    gwangung says:

    @AlphaLiberal: Dude, ease off. The trolling is pretty obvious now.

  122. 122
    Trabb's Boy says:

    Whether or not you like her writing style (I do), you have to agree that ABL accomplishes two things here very well. She gets white people to think about race issues more often than they probably would bother to do because it doesn’t affect them personally. And she elicits the kinds of comments that make it very clear who is not even worth listening to, and may safely be replaced with pie.

  123. 123
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @Scott:

    That’s it exactly.

    So caught out, the trolls resort to “I’m not a racist. She’s a terrible writer.” I love ABL because she points out white privilege

    Ditto. A thousand times DITTO.

    P.S. – Blockquote fail…

  124. 124
    Emma says:

    @AlphaLiberal: If Michael Moore had not used the unfortunate joke from Bill Maher, ABL would still have bashed him over something else because he criticized Obama.

    Not only the last real honest leftist but a mind reader.
    Oh Lord, what have we done to deserve your presence among us lowly humans?

  125. 125
    AlphaLiberal says:

    @Emma: “Moore played into one of THE MOST common stereotypes about black men. Stupid behavior. ”

    What are you talking about? You don’t even know. He said nothing negative about black men. not a thing. Stop lying!

    Look, the guy was criticizing WHITE MEN in politics. As he has done in the past. White men are criticized all the time!

  126. 126
    nancydarling says:

    @Short Bus Bully: This. I can’t recount the number of times I have witnessed shit like this.

    ABL, you just keep on truckin’. I wish these conversations weren’t needed, but they are. So bless you for grasping the nettle which is white male privilege.

  127. 127
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @singfoom: It’s not a continuation of the flame war. We have to have this discussion, and us whites need to start realizing that some things we say are racists. And the appropriate response when pointed out is not to hunker down and say “Well, your mom wears combat boots!” It’s to realize what we said, apologize, and remember it so that we don’t do it as often in the future.

    It flies in the face of what we believe, that us liberals could still make racist comments. But we shouldn’t be defensive. I personally don’t get hurt admitting I was wrong.

  128. 128

    @Mattminus: So, the joke doesn’t meet your standard of “racist enough to care about.” Ducky. So don’t care about it. It’s interesting, though, that ABL complaining about it does rise to your standard of “worth caring about.”

  129. 129
    different church-lady says:

    @AlphaLiberal: Wow.

    Just… wow.

  130. 130
    AlphaLiberal says:

    @Emma: ABL’s track record of bashing anyone who criticizes Obama and, in the process inventing motives (see: Jane Hamsher and the bus ad) is well known. It’s what they call a “pattern.”

    As you well know.

  131. 131
    Lynn Dee says:

    @AlphaLiberal: So recognizing and commenting on racism when one hears it is “Obama Loyalty Enforcement schtick”? Gosh, I’m just gonna have to disagree with that.

  132. 132
    Shade Tail says:

    You know, I am almost as white as it is possible to be. About half of me came from England, and most of the remaining about-half came from Saxony before Bismark unified Germany under Willhelm. So I am *literally* Anglo-Saxon.

    And even I get this.

    If I can understand this racism shit, then all you other white folk indulging in your white privilege, misconstruing what ABL writes, and then sniffing how she is a “bad” writer, really have no excuse.

    No excuse. At all. For any of you.

    Well, unless you really are as stupid as you act. Then I guess you simply can’t help yourselves.

  133. 133
    realbtl says:

    ABL- As an old Native American/white guy who has been lurking here since Cole was a “reasonable conservative” (don’t know who called him that but that’s what led me here), I say keep it up. If we could convert him there may be hope for some of the more educable here

  134. 134
    Mattminus says:

    I see the rule of the game now. So…

    If you think ABL is a good writer, it’s clear that you’re a child molester. The more you protest,the more convinced I become that you drive a windowless white van stocked with several rolls of electrical tape.

  135. 135
    different church-lady says:

    @AlphaLiberal: So anyone who dares to criticize your heroes is a shitty blogger, eh?

    There: now you know what it feels like to read one of your comments.

  136. 136
    Shade Tail says:

    @AlphaLiberal:

    You are lying.

    As you well know.

  137. 137
  138. 138
    different church-lady says:

    @Shade Tail:

    Well, unless you really are as stupid as you act.

    Occam’s razor, all that all that…

  139. 139
    MattR says:

    @TooManyJens: Really not very interesting or surprising. If I see nothing strange or out of the ordinary about comment A I wont care about it. If somebody else makes a comment B that I find ridiculous, I will care about it regardless of whether comment B references or critiques comment A. We criticize the media all the time for blowing an issue out of proporion (ie. making multiple comment B’s about a comment A that we don’t care about to begin with)

  140. 140
    Lynn Dee says:

    @Shade Tail: Same here. Doesn’t take a lot of thought to recognize racism when I hear it. What does take some thought, what I do find myself wondering about, is what it means that there are such blind spots in people you would think know better.

    It’s not even so much the comment itself as that disappointment in Obama, or in particular decisions by Obama, immediately finds expression in a reference to race. I don’t quite get how that works — the connection between a feeling like disappointment or anger or whatever, and the urge to grab for a reference to race.

  141. 141
    Mattminus says:

    @TooManyJens:

    No, I don’t think it’s racist at all. Lots of humor trades on racial issues without being racist. I don’t think it’s racist when Richard Pryor does the “white voice” either.

  142. 142
    different church-lady says:

    @Shade Tail:

    If I can understand this racism shit, then all you other white folk indulging in your white privilege, misconstruing what ABL writes, and then sniffing how she is a “bad” writer, really have no excuse.

    Tangentially you’ve helped me realize something:

    Having white privilege is one thing.

    Choosing to actively exercise white privilege is quite another.

  143. 143
    different church-lady says:

    Nothing he said can be construed this way.

    You’re just not fooling anyone here. Except yourself.

  144. 144
    Lynn Dee says:

    @AlphaLiberal: How did I set up a strawman? I was directly quoting the person I was responding to, and then disagreeing with what he or she said.

    Quote: “Nothing he said can be construed this way. She completely invented that.”

    Are you new to the planet? To this country? But let’s try it this way: What do you think Maher was getting at? How do you construe his words?

  145. 145
    MAJeff says:

    @AlphaLiberal:

    He is no racist.

    From the post itself:

    Also, what Michael Moore said was racist. Full stop. It’s not up for debate.
    Also, too, there’s a difference between “being a racist” and “saying racist shit.”

    So, as for setting up strawmen…..

  146. 146

    @Mattminus: Fine, that’s your opinion, but when ABL differs she gets a 500-comment thread, at least half of which is people telling her that she shouldn’t be complaining about the joke because it doesn’t offend them or it’s not really racist (because of course they know more about racism than she does). Maybe a little more disagreeing-and-moving-on would be in order there. But people just CAN’T. They have to tell ABL, and tell her, and tell her, that she’s wrong about racism and they know better. It’s just fucking gross.

  147. 147
    different church-lady says:

    @MAJeff: Hey, you seem to have that knack for getting quasi-graph breaks within blockquotes. What’s the trick? I keep forgetting.

  148. 148
    MAJeff says:

    @different church-lady:

    @MAJeff: Hey, you seem to have that knack for getting quasi-graph breaks within blockquotes. What’s the trick? I keep forgetting.

    I just deleted the extra blank line/return in between paragraphs. That seemed to do it.

  149. 149
    SteveinSC says:

    @AlphaLiberal:

    Many of us have been holding back.

    As much as it would pain the hysterical obots here, I would be back supporting Obama if he simply replaced “congress” in his speeches with “republicans.”

  150. 150
    different church-lady says:

    @MAJeff: Thanks.

    Paragraph 1.
    Paragraph 2.

    Yup, that seems to be it!

  151. 151
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Mattminus:

    If this innocuous little joke is the most horribly racist thing ABL has ever seen, I hope she NEVER watches a black standup comedian.

    If this is really what you think she wrote, I hope someday you lern to reed guder.

  152. 152
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m always surprised when a politically tuned-in American — well, tuned-in enough to follow Balloon Juice — professes surprise and disappointment that Obama isn’t as far to the left as he was cracked up to be. Didn’t these people read The Audacity of Hope? Or his presidential campaign manifesto, Change We Can Believe In? His approach to politics is laid out in these books as clearly as anyone could wish.

    From what I’ve seen, he’s done as good a job of sticking to his principles as anyone could have, given the difficult circumstances he’s had to work with — in particular, weak-kneed Democrats in Congress and the nihilistic opposition of the Republican party.

    Whether a comment is racist shouldn’t be judged by intent of the person saying it, I feel, but by how it’s taken by members of the class the person is speaking about. Generalizations about a socioeconomic class or race group or faith community or any kind of group, when made by an outsider, can be offensive or even wounding in unintended ways. They’re not your raw nerves, so you don’t know when you’ve hit them. You need somebody else to tell you you’ve done that.

    We all get defensive when we realize we’re the offending party. I suspect this is what’s behind some BJers’ complaint that ABL keeps harping on racism. (Me, I don’t think she’s overdoing it at all.) But we should remember: that we didn’t intend to hurt is not really a defense, not to the person we just hurt.

  153. 153
    the fenian says:

    This I know.
    Had Moore said something similar in the midst of a full-throated defense of everything accomplished by this most accomplished of presidents — “Damn, Barack went gangsta on their ass over that Lilly Ledbetter Act. Glad we elected a black guy.” — this argument would not exist on this website. Sorry. The first half of the first sentence of the original post…

    “Here comes Michael Moore with his “I’m so disappointed coulda-shoulda-woulda armchair quarterbacking” bullshit”

    …was the tell.

  154. 154
    WeeBey says:

    @eemom:

    We’re on the same side of the argument, but that’s patently wrong.

    Tom Friedman, in addition to being a putz, is a very poor writer.

    His awful mixed metaphors make my blood boil almost as much as his bad logic.

  155. 155
    Lynn Dee says:

    @SteveinSC: What’s your point? I mean, your support/non-support appears to be a little volatile, but that’s not under discussion here so I’m not sure why you raised it. Nor is the disappointment in Obama of either Maher or Moore under discussion. What’s being discussed is the racism of their words.

  156. 156
    different church-lady says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Didn’t these people read The Audacity of Hope?

    I read the title, reacted to the word “Audacity” and assumed he meant what I felt that word meant. What, I was supposed to go deeper?

  157. 157
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @SteveinSC:

    I would be back supporting Obama if he simply replaced “congress” in his speeches with “republicans.”

    Even though a scant one post ago it was pointed out that Democrats in that Congress are also huge obstacles to what Obama wants to accomplish? Because, if I’m Obama, I for damn sure mean to say _Congress_ is fucking with my agenda, including the Republican part of that Congress, AND a big chunk of the Democratic part of that Congress. Ergo, “Congress.” They suck, and that suckitude causes hellacious problems.

  158. 158
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    I have a vagina, hence the “Lady.”

    There you go, being a vagina supremacists.

    But yes, that “Obama is white” line is pure racism. Perhaps Mr Moore and Mayher might want to explain how the cooler of one’s skin leads to certain social behavior in homo-sapiens?

  159. 159
    MattR says:

    @different church-lady: Two underscores on the blank line between paragraphs will block quote the whole thing

  160. 160
    Ben Cisco says:

    @SteveinSC: Gotta account for the Blew Dogs too.

  161. 161
    Karlisle says:

    Yeah, what Moore said was racist. He may not be a racist, but he still opened his big fat white mouth and said something stupid and offensive.

    You know I’m a big fan of yours, ABL, but I can’t help but sympathize with Moore’s sentiment. My entire Presidents have disgusted me (Bush) or disappointed me (Clinton).

    So when I get disappointed by Obama, it’s a sick feeling that I’ve felt before. but I’m USED to being disappointed by rich white men, so I felt doubly bad by getting disappointed by Obama.

    I guess the difference between me and Moore is that I drew the conclusion “I guess black politicians aren’t that different from white ones after all.” Moore decided that Obama must not really be black.

    I’m very mad at Obama, but I want to smack both Moore and Maher. If they have legitimate criticisms (and they do) then say them. But you spout shit like this and you give everyone a reason to not take you seriously.

  162. 162
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @SteveinSC:

    As much as it would pain the hysterical obots here, I would be back supporting Obama if he simply replaced “congress” in his speeches with “republicans.”

    I realize I’m piling on, but Landrieu, Manchin, Lieberman, Nelson, Pryor, Webb, Carper, Schuler, and company are often plenty happy to kneecap any progressive agenda well before the Republicans become the problem.

  163. 163
    Billy Rae Valentine says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac:

    who says those comedians are at all let off the hook? i personally can’t stand it when black comics do that cliche bit about corny, stiff, can’t dance white people without street smarts and cool, street-smart black people. so you think there’s some kind of double standard but i don’t think there is. since i’m not part of a monolith i can’t speak for every other human who disapproves of Moore and Maher’s joke. but i see no double standard except that, just as you admit, minority-majority power dynamics play a role in how people forgive in the one instance.

    Chris Rock once had a bit about how poor people make fun of the rich but it’s not cool for the rich to make fun of the poor. ugly people make fun of the beautiful but it’s hurtful for the beautiful to make fun of the ugly. and so on. anyway, you see where i’m going with that. it doesn’t make any of it right for me and never has.

  164. 164
    mantis says:

    In her first post bashing Moore, ABL very dishonestly accused Michael Moore of this:

    So, the black part of Obama is the gangster part, and there’s some internal struggle going on and the white side is winning?

    Nothing he said can be construed this way. She completely invented that.

    No she didn’t, and she even explained it in an update to the original post:

    I’m embarrassed for some of you. I truly am. Some of you have lost the plot entirely. For those who have taken issue with my using the word “gangsta,” Bill Maher (who Moore quoted) has used that term to describe President Obama on TV and Moore’s presence. I’m not just making this shit up. Bill Maher has done this repeatedly, both in the context of “Woo! Obama! (see video below) and “Boo! Obama! (see this post)” Criticize his policies. Lay off the racial shit. Why is that so hard to understand?

    Following the link to Maher’s comment:

    “And you know why it’s so disappointing, I thought when we elected a black president, I thought two years in, I would be making jokes about “What a bad ass gangsta he was…”

    Because blacks are gangsta, and Obama is disappointing for Bill because he’s acting like a pussy white boy, for whom Moore provides advice, “With all due respect, it’s time to take off the pink tutu.”

    Gee, there’s just no way Moore’s comments could be construed that way! The suggestion they could is simply outrageous!

    What a load of shit. Maher and Moore are clearly trafficking in racist and other offensive stereotypes because they think it’s funny. If you aren’t seeing that, you are blind.

  165. 165
    SteveinSC says:

    @Ben Cisco:

    replaced “congress” in his speeches with “republicans and blew Dogs.”

    I’m in with that.

  166. 166
  167. 167
    MattR says:

    @Billy Rae Valentine:

    Chris Rock once had a bit about how poor people make fun of the rich but it’s not cool for the rich to make fun of the poor. ugly people make fun of the beautiful but it’s hurtful for the beautiful to make fun of the ugly. and so on. anyway, you see where i’m going with that. it doesn’t make any of it right for me and never has.

    One of my least favorite bits from Rock. The only one that is clearly worse is his “shouldn’t it be ok to call someone faggot if they are acting like a faggot” which also includes the nugget that if you are in a fight with someone it is ok to use epithets to hurt them

  168. 168
    MattR says:

    Duplicate deleted – attempting to get out of moderation. No idea what word in the previous post triggered it. FYWP

  169. 169
    RJPJR says:

    First of all- anyone who feels entitled to deem that something is racist and that it is not up for debate needs a serious wake up call. I would understand if a slur or a malicious negative stereotype was being used, but in this case it isn’t. This type of attitude does nothing but trivialize instances of actual racism when they do occur.

    Secondly- the comment itself was meant to illustrate the point that one would have expected that an African American with all the richness of their experiences, would fundamentally view many issues differently than would a white person who has not shared those experiences. That at least is the argument that is made when we try to justify diversity in the workplace, college admissions, on the Supreme Court, or elsewhere. The type of thinking that would deem this comment racist is also the kind of thinking that would prohibit affirmative action and any other diversity policy because they would be deemed racist too.

    I think many people had hoped Obama’s unique life experiences would make him a different kind of President. They voted for him because he had been a community organizer, not a Wall Street lawyer; and had hoped that those experiences; as well as the experiences he had growing up as a racial minority who had to face discrimination would make him more sensitive to the interests of the disadvantaged than any other president. That has not turned out to be the case, and in fact he has been far too like all of the previous “white guys” who have been President before him. Rather than deal with that fact, his defenders simply continue to do what they have always done and level charges of racism at anyone who dare speaks the truth about Obama.

  170. 170
    kindness says:

    Jesus ABL….you gotta post this shit again????

    Look…if you are going to repeat threads that provoke the participants, do it on your own blog.

    I almost always support you but on this one….you’re wrong. What Moore said wasn’t racist in my opinion and my opinion means more to me than your opinion does.

    Moore wasn’t racist and the 15 minutes of fame from this post was YESTERDAYS!!!! Let it go & move on.

  171. 171
    Amir Khalid says:

    @different church-lady:
    You didn’t go beyond the title? Tsk, tsk. At the very least, you missed the story where President George W Bush shook Senator Barack Obama’s hand for the first time, and then immediately used hand sanitizer.

  172. 172
    ItAintEazy says:

    Sorry, even as a black guy, I just find it hard to get very angry or emotional over Michael Moore’s comment. I guess I’m like Whoopie Goldberg in the video. You saw her expression, she was about to say something but then just said to herself “You know what, fuck it. I had to watch Ted Danson shuck and kingfish while wearing burnt cork. I’ve seen worse.”

  173. 173
    MattR says:

    moderation test – can I say fag?
    (and the answer is no. mystery solved). and now to post the comment for the fourth time with the hope that it will actually post

  174. 174
    ABL says:

    @kindness: um, no thanks. i think i’ll do it here, as is my right since cole gave me the keys.

    you?

    you’re nothing. nobody. irrelevant.

    capiche?

  175. 175
    MattR says:

    @Billy Rae Valentine:

    Chris Rock once had a bit about how poor people make fun of the rich but it’s not cool for the rich to make fun of the poor. ugly people make fun of the beautiful but it’s hurtful for the beautiful to make fun of the ugly. and so on. anyway, you see where i’m going with that. it doesn’t make any of it right for me and never has.

    One of my least favorite bits from Rock. The only one that is clearly worse is his “shouldn’t it be ok to call someone f*gg*t if they are acting like a f*gg*t” which also includes the nugget that if you are in a fight with someone it is ok to use epithets to hurt them

    (Whoever handles moderated comments, feel free to delete my previous attempts to get this through the filters)

  176. 176
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @kindness:

    What Moore said wasn’t racist in my opinion and my opinion means more to me than your opinion does.

    So when someone tells you; “You just hurt my feelings and insulted me by what you said, even if you didn’t intend it that way…” you just tell them to fuck off right?

    That’s cool.

  177. 177
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @RJPJR:

    This type of attitude does nothing but trivialize instances of actual racism when they do occur.

    Do you really think all instances of racism are only the overt ones? That’s sort of like saying that the only type of sexual harassment is the touching and crude jokes. That completely leaves out the “Let me do that math calculation for you, honey” said by a man to his female coworker.

    Personally, I hope she posts these kinds of things every day until everyone gets that statements can be racists, and they cause just as much of a problem as “Whites Only” signs.

  178. 178
    Mattminus says:

    @ABL:

    This must be the awesome writing ability that I’m too racist to see as anything but bush league forum trolling.

  179. 179

    @kindness:

    What Moore said wasn’t racist in my opinion and my opinion means more to me than your opinion does.

    This is the Platonic ideal of about half the comments that have been made in these threads. God, if only you were snarking.

  180. 180
    Dave says:

    Seriously? My god, what Moore was saying was “I voted for the black guy i.e., Obama, democrat, hope, change, etc., but got the white guy – i.e., McCain, no change, republican policies, etc. – instead”. Racist? Hardly. If he had said “I voted for A black guy, but got A white guy instead I could see your point. But not here.

  181. 181
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @kindness:

    What Moore said wasn’t racist in my opinion and my opinion means more to me than your opinion does.

    I realize that by the second half of this sentence you have decided not to learn anything, but…
    What Moore said was racist, because it used the color of Obama’s skin to make a value judgement. And, if you ask a large number of blacks, I bet most would tell you it is racist. And it doesn’t require you to believe it’s racist for it to be racist any more than a sexist remark requires your approval to be sexist. If a reasonable person would deem it racist, it is.

  182. 182

    @RJPJR:

    This type of attitude does nothing but trivialize instances of actual racism when they do occur.

    Who gets to decide what counts as “actual” racism?

  183. 183
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Dave: Huh?

  184. 184
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @Dave:
    Dave you are dum.

    Since when does Moore or Maher get to define what being “black” means to anyone, much less the president of the United States? Why do they feel comfortable making comments about someone’s “blackness”? Because they voted democrat in 2008?

    Why do they have to pull out a comment about the color of someone’s skin instead of comment on the man’s policies or decision-making process?

    Why are they associating “blackness” with acting or talking in a certain way, as if it’s a dictionary definition that you can look up and understand in a sentence or two?

    In short; WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY THINKING SAYING STUPID SHIT LIKE THAT?

  185. 185
    fuckwit says:

    +1 for “blew dogs”.

    I like ABL’s stuff. I get that she’s angry. I also get that she’s going for humor most of the time too.

    Being angry and in-your-face is a great way to raise awareness of being a victim of privilege and injustice (c.f. Amanda Marcotte, early-1970s-era feminists, etc.).

    However, it doesn’t really solve it. The opposite of racism isn’t upping the ante on anger and rage, it’s generating understanding and self-awareness.

    Obama’s approach– instead of screaming about race or being angry, he calls a “beer summit” and tries to teach rationalism and understanding– is more productive for all humans in the long run.

  186. 186
    Mattminus says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Duh, ABL and only ABL. I thought we had already established that.

  187. 187
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Who gets to decide what counts as “actual” racism?

    The people who get called racist, duh!

    Cuz lord knows if we left the definition of that up to the folks most likely to be actually offended by, you know, racist comments and the like, we might be forced to make some uncomfortable looks in the mirror and perhaps learn a thing or two along the way.

    And that would suck, amirite?

  188. 188
    boss bitch says:

    @ABL: Coates agrees with and so does Adam Serwer. Wrote about it at Mother Jones

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/20.....onvergence

  189. 189
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    OK, I never thought I would see so many people on a liberal blog act like Republicans: “I don’t see what’s wrong with it, so why are other people getting bent out of shape?”

    Sorry, that’s not how you interpret this, folks. It’s exactly what other reasonable people think, and reasonable does not equate to white.

    Imagine if it had been said of Bill Clinton “I thought I elected a white guy, but I got a black one instead.” Sorry, that’s a racist statement. (And before anyone starts to quote THE QUOTE about Clinton, make sure you go look up the actual quote first.)

  190. 190
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    @RJPJR: Well said. If anyone has listened to Moore over the past 2 years, you KNOW this is what his statement was implying based on the context of what Moore has been talking about (poverty, crime, healthcare, etc). Moore was never complaining about race, he was complaining that Obama ran on his life history, and then abandoned that when he became president.

    To call it racist is to know the heart and mind (and even subconsious at this point) of Moore.

  191. 191
    pk says:

    It is a stupid racist comment. They (Moore and Maher)are saying that they voted for a black guy, thought they would get a thug type in your face houdlum who would figuratively beat up all the republicans. Instead they got Obama’s wimpy white half. Yeah nothing racist here! Lets write a thousand comments justifying it. Could easily have said the man talks a big game, but is a usual appeaser Democrat. But no, they chose to frame it in terms of skin color. I don’t believe for a minute either Moore or Maher are racist, but the comment certainly is. No amount of hating ABL changes that.

  192. 192
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @fuckwit:
    Thanks for telling ABL how she should react to things that upset her.

    Because after all, denying the legitimacy of someone’s honest feelings is the best way to demonstrate the seriousness of yours, eh?

  193. 193
    MattR says:

    @Short Bus Bully: Why is this a one way street. A while back ABL captioned a picture by saying something like “I love that the brown girl is all ‘ROWWR’ and the white girl is all ‘huh, whatever'” and then ABL and others insisted out that the white and brown terms were just descriptive to explain which was which. Given this, how is it unacceptable that Moore might have referred to Obama as the “black one” to contrast him with McCain (the white one)?

    For the record, I think there was more to Moore’s comment than just a way to differentiate, but it is not an absurd argument on its face.

    @Short Bus Bully:

    The people who get called racist, duh!

    Does this work for all forms of discrimination? I surely do not cede power to the ADL to determine what is anti-Semitic.

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): If Clinton had just run against and defeated a black guy, the situation might be similar.

  194. 194
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    @ABL:

    is why I tend to skip over anything with an ABL byline.

    The operative phrase was “tend to.” Not “always.” Sometimes the topic of your posting interests me. Other times, I follow a link to your posting (in this case, from TNC or thereabouts).

    Can I help it if you see absolutes where they often don’t exist? Wait, don’t answer that…

  195. 195
    mike in dc says:

    IF you think ABL is a bad writer/blogger, and
    IF you think she’s doing “bush league forum trolling”,
    THEN why not just skip her posts? Why continue to participate in discussion/comment threads under her posts? What’s in it for you? It doesn’t seem to be terribly effective at persuading ABL or those who support her that they are in the wrong. It often doesn’t come across well, and in fact often triggers more of the very behavior you condemn as trolling and bad blogging.
    Is it just plain stupidity, is it obstinacy, is it a-holery, reverse inverse trolling, or something else?

  196. 196
    MAJeff says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac:

    To call it racist is to know the heart and mind (and even subconsious at this point) of Moore.

    No, to call Moore racist would be to do so. To call a comment racist does no such thing.

  197. 197
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @RJPJR:
    No, your post is a crock of shit.

    …the comment itself was meant to illustrate the point that one would have expected that an African American with all the richness of their experiences, would fundamentally view many issues differently than would a white person who has not shared those experiences.

    How the FUCK do you know what Obama’s experiences are? Because you read his book? How do you know enough about the “black” experience to say that Obama ain’t it?

    You know about YOUR experience, just like I know about MY experience and that’s it.

    Have the respect for other people’s experience to allow them to define it and realize as they so choose and leave your “expectations” at the door.

  198. 198
    Mattminus says:

    @mike in dc:

    It’s really disruptive to the echo chamber, isn’t it?

  199. 199
    lawguy says:

    @pk: Well I thought it meant that they thought he would empathize more with the down trodden and poor instead of the wealthy ruling class (all most all of which is white by the way).

    More like Martin Luther King and less like Barry Goldwater, but I guess I was misinformed.

  200. 200
    Bobby D says:

    Black white green or purple, angry sad glad or bad, I just don’t perceive any value added from ABL as far as site content. YMMV.

    Can say the same about Freddy the Bore…dilution of quality content, no value add. But opinions differ.

  201. 201
    Barry says:

    Hey ABL, it’s perfectly okay for you to call out Michael Moore for his language, but I’ve got a different point:

    You and just about everyone else in this benighted cradle of ignorance we call our country use the word ‘racist’ incorrectly.
    The act of judging by the group is prejudice. A person who does so is prejudiced, or a bigot, a cracker, or a fucking Johnny depending on how strong a statement you want to make about their behavior.
    Racism refers to social institutions: government, businesses, churches, institutions with power or influence in a society, ordering their affairs in a way that benefits one group and disadvantages another group.

    Thanks,
    Barry

  202. 202
    Mattminus says:

    @Barry:

    Look at the cracker using his white male privilege to tell ABL what words mean.

    Words mean what ABL says they mean!

  203. 203
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @MattR:

    …how is it unacceptable that Moore might have referred to Obama as the “black one” to contrast him with McCain (the white one)?

    First of all he never mentioned McCain. Second of all he’s claiming that Obama is not sufficiently “black”. Explain, please, how that is not an insult? Third, what is Moore and Maher associating with “blackness” that Obama doesn’t have in their opinion?

    That he’s not a “thug” as Maher has said on previous occassions? Is that cool for you that Maher has an operating definition of blackness in America that has the word and concept “thug” associated with it?

    Get it now?

  204. 204
    sherifffruitfly says:

    It’s sometimes fun reading these threads, which more or less amount to simply “white folks can’t STAND listening to black folks”.

    And these are the “GOOD” white folks.

    lols

  205. 205
    MAJeff says:

    @Barry:

    Racism refers to social institutions: government, businesses, churches, institutions with power or influence in a society, ordering their affairs in a way that benefits one group and disadvantages another group.

    Sorry Barry, that’s “institutional racism” not “racism” more broadly.

  206. 206
    lawguy says:

    @Short Bus Bully: Absolutely right. Therefore, he can define his experiences as part of the class the rules this country. It is racist to assume that a member of an abused group of people would help other members of that group once he got power rather than turn around and identify with the ones who have the power.

  207. 207
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: I don’t know if Pres. Obama was thinking the Republicans would offer only scorched earth & derision when he wrote those books.

    I have never thought of Pres. Obama as a liberal, although some of his campaign rhetoric seemed to riff on ideas that I would call ‘liberal’ (in the American political context).

  208. 208
    mike in dc says:

    @mattminus

    Deflection much? I’m glad you could be here to be the brave voice of truth in the echo chamber of the cult of ABL. Or something.

    How about giving us a substantive example of what you consider bad writing or forum trolling instead?

  209. 209
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @Barry:
    Thanks for attempting to reduce a real conversation to a boring semantical debate. Great contribution.

  210. 210
    kindness says:

    OK…so many of us don’t agree.

    But why the second thread on the same stuff? Does this really need to be dragged out to another one? No. No it doesn’t.

    capiche? Damn….

  211. 211
    Barry says:

    @Short Bus Bully: always glad to help

  212. 212
    Mattminus says:

    @mike in dc:

    Scroll all the way up. There’s your answer.

  213. 213
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    @mike in dc: Why the fuck do you care?

  214. 214

    Boy, you think Al Gore is fat…

    That Michael Moore is a real tub.

    Why does anyone take them seriously when there are real men with puffed out chests we can follow? I’ll never understand liberals.

  215. 215
    Monala says:

    @Dave:
    If they’d meant that, they could have said it. “I thought I was voting for Obama, but instead I got McCain.” We could then argue about whether or not Obama really is no different than McCain, but the statement would not be racist.

    The statement as it stands, is.

  216. 216
    somegayname says:

    @ABL:

    @kindness: um, no thanks. i think i’ll do it here, as is my right since cole gave me the keys. you? you’re nothing. nobody. irrelevant. capiche?

    EPIC PWNAGE!!1 Should I start using TOR since ABL can see my IP? and is prolly a l34t haxor?

  217. 217
    kindness says:

    @sherifffruitfly: No. I was raised by parents who did not condone racism even though both of their parents were racists. When a person charges another person with racism, that’s a serious thing. Not something to take lightly. When a minority accuses someone of racism it’s same thing but of an even higher order. You don’t throw charges of racism around lightly. It’s kinda like the term treason….you want people to take it seriously.

    Michael Moore wasn’t racist even though he used stereotypes to make his point. Even though the person he was using stereotypes to lodge a complaint about is a minority. Micheal Moore was using humor and sarcasm to make a point that he feels that President Obama is too ‘moderate’. That isn’t racism, that is using an metaphore, using sarcasm to make a very serious point.

    And overlooking the point entirely and calling him racist is chicken shit and I expect better from anyone who posts here.

    Sorry ABL…..I don’t agree with you. And please,,,,don’t capiche me.

  218. 218
    Johnny Gentle (famous crooner) says:

    Why do people find “derp” to be both hilarious and socially acceptable? For those who don’t know, it’s basically the same as calling something “retarded.” See, because retarded people make funny noises like “derp.” Just like Chinese people say “Ching chong.” Terrific stuff.

  219. 219
    Paula says:

    IT’S GOT-DAMN TIME FOR THAT ILL-DOC VIDEO.

    http://www.illdoctrine.com/200.....sound.html

    My god, the motherfuckers on this thread … I don’t give a rat shit whether YOU (or Moore or Maher) are racist in your heart but the shit coming out of your mouth is offensive and, yes, racist.

    There ain’t a dime’s worth of difference between what Maher and Moore (and “Obama is an Uncle Tom” Nader) are saying and some Republican singing about a Magical Negro or Oreos. Also, if Michael stupid fucking Moore voted for Barack Obama just because he was black, then he really does believe in the Magical Negro. Which is a racist thing to do.

    Thank christ for the pie filter because I’m probably avoiding the worst shit in here.

  220. 220
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Barry:
    Are we to argue over dictionary definitions of “racist” now? Because I wouldn’t agree with yours. As I use the adjective, it means biased toward a race group, however defined, whether expressed by a single person or by a social institution of any kind. That bias is usually expressed as the attribution of certain (usually negative) characteristics to the race group as a whole(which I would call “prejudice”), and/or by (usually unfavorable) discrimination toward them.

  221. 221
    ABL says:

    @Barry: oh wow! let me write that down. so glad to have this information.

    thank you SO much!

  222. 222
    Barry says:

    @Mattminus: Hey Matt,
    how do you know I’m a dude? I’ve known two chicks in my life named “Barrie”. I could be one of them and just be having trouble with me keyboard.

  223. 223
    Paula says:

    @gnomedad:

    Cuz ya know, a black president with all the riches of his experiences is going to have to fart rainbows just to be considered just as good as a mediocre white president.

    Cuz Bill Clinton was all liberal and had a backbone to stand up to Republicans.

    BLACK TAX INDEED.

  224. 224
    Barry says:

    @ABL: U R (very) LCome!

  225. 225
    Honest Abe says:

    BTW, when ABL: includes this line in her post,

    You are now being punished for that ignorance. No one should feel sorry for you. Try not being racist.

    It gives the lie to this disingenuous statement:

    Also, too, there’s a difference between “being a racist” and “saying racist shit.”

  226. 226
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Prejudice on the basis of race isn’t racism anymore?

  227. 227
    Jeff says:

    ABL, I think you need to do some serious reflection about what the goal of your posts on these topics is. If your intent is catharsis for yourself and those who are already very close to your views, then you’re doing good.

    But, if your intent is to persuade people who don’t see things exactly the same way you do, I think you need to take a step back and reconsider the way you approach these issues, and probably blogging generally. To be frank, you come off in many of your posts as a very unpleasant, abrasive person, and in so doing, actually make whatever you’re criticizing more attractive, simply because you don’t like it.

    Heck, I more or less agree with you about the Maher/Moore remark – but my first impulse was to jump in and defend them because I found your original post so dislikable. You’re not even preaching to the choir – you’re preaching to PART of the choir, while the rest of us stand around awkwardly wishing our beliefs diverged from yours enough that we could oppose you without making a circular firing squad. Now think how your posts look to people who DON’T already agree with you.

    ABL, you can do better – and please try, because you and I both know that our society still has important issues of race and prejudice to be dealt with.

  228. 228
    Mattminus says:

    @Barry:

    My white-unity powers activated. Real recognize real.

  229. 229
    ABL says:

    @Jeff: don’t patronize me. i don’t need to do any serious reflection on anything.

    thanks for your concern.

  230. 230
    Paula says:

    Also, LEARN HOW TO USE THE SCROLL WHEEL YOU DUMB ASSHOLES. Apparently I don’t need to read a single post by Freddie deBoer on this site and you, similarly, do not need to read and troll any of ABL’s posts.

  231. 231
    ABL says:

    @Paula: the pie filter is king.

    Mattminus – September 15, 2011 | 2:45 pm · Link

    I’m not really sure why I like pies so much. The roundness? The delicious crust? I dunno, man, I dunno.

    MattR – September 15, 2011 | 2:12 pm · Link

    I don’t know about all this stuff, guys, but I do know that I like pie.

    both of you can give up. i learned long ago to ignore you both. certainly continue if you relish being batted around by the other commenters, but i don’t read or care about what you have to say.

    cheers!

  232. 232
    Corey says:

    @ABL:

    i don’t need to do any serious reflection on anything.

    Yep, that’s pretty much you in a nutshell!

  233. 233
    MAJeff says:

    White resentment politics is just as ugly among “liberals” as it is among the teabaggers.

  234. 234
    Mattminus says:

    @ABL:

    You know you’re good when folks can’t even see what you said, but still feel the need to respond.

    (Takes a bow)

  235. 235
    ABL says:

    @kindness:

    Micheal Moore was using humor and sarcasm to make a point that he feels that President Obama is too ‘moderate’. That isn’t racism, that is using an metaphore, using sarcasm to make a very serious point.

    sorry, pal. tie goes to me. i say it’s racist.

    this notion that one has to prove the elements of racism like one has to prove the elements of a cause of action in a lawsuit is ridiculous.

    what he said was racist. full stop. that you are actually arguing that my saying michael moore said something racist is equivalent to charging him with treason is unrelentingly stupid.

    it’s also patently wrong.

    moore was using a racist trope to make a point about how obama should govern. he spent a few minutes talking about obama’s penchant for “compromise” and then playing off of what bill maher has said about wanting obama to be gangsta, said “i voted for the black guy. what i got was the white guy.” that assumes that white folks compromise and black folks bust caps.

    stop defending it. what do you gain from defending moore’s statements so staunchly?

    again, I DID NOT CALL MICHAEL MOORE RACIST.

    as for my comments about your irrelevance, they related to your demand regarding the subject of my posts. in that regard, you are absolutely irrelevant. you don’t get to tell me what and when i post.

    as for my point about michael moore, disagree with me all you want. that is your right. but you’re fucking WRONG.

    WRONG.

    WRONG.

    capiche?

    (edited)

  236. 236
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @Jeff:
    So ABL offends your delicate fee fees and uses words that make you retreat to the fainting couch?

    And SHE needs to change?

    Perhaps you should just grow a sack and deal.

  237. 237
    JC says:

    “i don’t need to do any serious reflection on anything”.

    As much as I like ABL’s voice, even when used for the power of beating up one of our own, I think that statement lies at the heart of these 400 comment fights. (That and the just the predictability of it all).

    Not much you can do, if ABL can’t even do some self-reflection.

    “Heck, I more or less agree with you about the Maher/Moore remark – but my first impulse was to jump in and defend them because I found your original post so dislikable”.

    I had that same reaction – the post was simply not coming from a good place. Now, true, I’ve been a huge Moore fan for a long time, so my natural point of view is to defend him, try to explain his statement.

  238. 238
    MattR says:

    @ABL: Unlike Jeff, I am not trying to change your opinion. I am trying to point out your inconsistencies to the rest of the crowd. Your use of the pie filter is a major help since it leaves my critiques out there unanswered by the person who can best challenge them.

    (Of course, I have very little faith that you actually use the pie filter. Like with many other things, it is the threat that you enjoy more than the action)

  239. 239
    Mattminus says:

    @Short Bus Bully:

    This comment is eunuchist.

  240. 240

    You’re the daughter of a mixed-race couple? Then you’re not really an angry Black lady, are you? You’re an angry biracial lady, and I think you owe all true angry black ladies an apology. You’re certainly in no position to be demanding an apology on behalf of a racial group to which you don’t actually belong except if one accepts the sketchy standards of racist slaveholders.

    I love this one most of all!

    Do you think that a mob of white supremacists runs a DNA test on their candidates for lynching? Do you think a cop in Exclusive White Suburb, USA can tell by reading a license plate if the person he’s about to pull over for DWB has a caucasian parent?

  241. 241
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @JC:

    I had that same reaction – the post was simply not coming from a good place.

    Oh, so sad!

    I think what we are seeing here is why people like MLK better than Malcolm X. “That man was just so… angry! He sceerd me!”

    Bullshit.

  242. 242

    Fuck solar! Someone figure out how to harness the awesome power of whitesplaining!

    It’s clearly an abundant, renewable and sustainable resource.

  243. 243
    sfHeath says:

    @Jeff: I offer a third hypothesis of how you can take ABL’s posts (ignoring whatever ABL’s actual intention is, as I have no method of guessing it), rather than 1. catharsis or 2. persuasion: how about 3. informative.

    When I read ABL’s posts, I always think “Wow, I didn’t think of it that way. What is it about my privilege that prevents me from knowing other people would have this perspective?”

    Whether I agree with ABL or not, I always examine my own back yard first. If your first reaction was knee-jerk defense because you found ABL’s post “dislikable”, perhaps you should examine that knee-jerk defense more closely before you request that ABL not provoke knee-jerk defenses in you.

    Just a suggestion.

  244. 244
    Jeff says:

    ABL – Your posts are generally getting the results you want then?

    @ABL: don’t patronize me. i don’t need to do any serious reflection on anything.

  245. 245
    eemom says:

    @Mattminus:

    no, you know you suck when folks don’t need to see what you said because you’re always saying the same dumb shit.

  246. 246
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @sfHeath:
    Holy fuck, winning post wins the thread!

    Good on you!

  247. 247
    Elie says:

    Keep on with it, ABL… you are doing a major service for all of us.

    I give credit to one of the commenters on yesterday’s post on Maher and Moore (can’t remember first part of her handle but the second part was “formerly anovent). She said very wisely that we need to talk about this stuff — we need to desensitize the aversion to talk about it..NOT desensitize ourselves to racism or other types of hurting each other through various tribal calls, but make ourselves confront ourselves.

    There is no doubt that we all house the genetic memory of our tribal past.. we are all territorial and acquisitive by nature. The only way we can overcome that is by “higher synaptic input” to the cerebrum — said more simply, learn by informed exposure and awareness, to overlay the primitive with the evolved state.

    There is a great community energy on this site, thanks to John Cole and the folks that he has attracted here to talk and share about everything from the political, to pets, food, entertainment and sociology. We have what it takes to pull this issue out and into the light.

  248. 248

    @ABL – As a white man, I like you. I think of you as ABL in an RHBL way (Oscar Brown Jr.’s “Rowdy, Hot, and Black”). Sorry about the haters, but they want to hold on to their 40 acres and their mules.

    IMHO – Moore tried to say something pithy and memorable, but put his foot in it. May I rephrase for him: “We voted for someone who, from his personal experience and the racial identity imposed on him by society, should be able to identify with the disenfranchised and act on their behalf, but instead we got someone who is more sympathetic to, and seems to identify more with the enfranchised classes who are unwilling or unable to empathize with the less well-off.” Doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker though.

    An apology from Moore is in order, but he was kinda right. Racial identity continues to be tied to economic status. I’d love to be in a color-blind society, but we ain’t there yet.

  249. 249
    Paula says:

    @Jeff:

    Based on the amount of butthurt in this thread, I would say yeah.

    As a progressive brown person, it’s really informative to know what goes in the heads of fellow progressives, be they white or brown or black or yellow.

  250. 250
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    Once again, as the duly elected Spokesperson for All Black People, ABL is correct. All white people have exactly the same history and culture as black people, and therefore must be expected to act, dress, speak, think, and govern in exactly the same way.

    Folks, the key word here is exactly.
    .
    .

  251. 251
    sfHeath says:

    @Short Bus Bully: wow, SBB, thanks for the ups! I appreciate your voice on this thread, so that means a lot to me. (honest, not snark)

  252. 252
    somegayname says:

    @Short Bus Bully: Isn’t this the argument of Moore supporters?

  253. 253
    JC says:

    @Short Bus Bully:

    Again, attacking Moore, with a ‘that’s a racist statement” without simply saying “Come on Roger, this isn’t the way to get your point across”, was a choice.

    I still believe that choice was to render Moore’s point about Rethugs hitting the olive branch out of Obama’s hand, invalid, by a backhand criticism of this fast back and forth quote.

    The fact is, ABL enjoys this – she enjoys the blast of picking and choosing her fights, then doing a hitjob on what various people say. It has it’s place. But why she does that to people who are on the same side as her, I have no idea. For attention? To simply stir things up?

    It’s unpleasant and a selective hit job, is the problem.

    In the end, it’s a very Fox News tactic. It’s a tactic of emoprogs. It fits for the internet, I suppose. But it should be used on the bad guys.

  254. 254
    Jeff says:

    @Short Bus Bully: I’m not hung up on civility and clean language. I’d be 100% fine with every single thing in ABL’s post, if I thought the final product was effective messaging.

    I could have balls the side of texas and that wouldn’t change a damn thing in my assessment, though I would be probably a bit too worried about my health to comment…

  255. 255

    @sfHeath: Can I say I just adore the pucker effect ABL has on people here..It’s about time folks were rocked out of their comfort zones regarding the stealth racism that permeates this fucking country, period, much less across the political spectrum…

    Liberals? Racist? UNPOSSIBLE!! is just so comical…one hardly knows where to begin..”angry” is a great place to start…it’s direct…mockingly angry, even better…

  256. 256
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @sfHeath:

    I offer a third hypothesis of how you can take ABL’s posts (ignoring whatever ABL’s actual intention is, as I have no method of guessing it), rather than 1. catharsis or 2. persuasion: how about 3. informative.

    You forgot one hypothesis: grifting. She’s making a name for herself on the internet and is currently in the process of cashing in on it.
    .
    .

  257. 257
    Elie says:

    @BenTheTipsyBear:

    Let me ask you something, since you seem well meaning and all.

    Should a white President be expected to have a certain sympathy or point of view a priori, just because he or she is white?

    Well, No. There is nothing imparted in being white — even a poor or rich white, that you would say would predict just on that person’s superficial white identify, what they should or should not support.

    You did that however, with Obama. He is black, therefore he should believe x.

    Do you see what you did?

  258. 258
    MattR says:

    @sfHeath: Now try and respond to what Jeff actually wrote – which was how does ABL want the posts to be taken? You could argue that she wants a third thing, to be informative, but IMO whether you are just trying to inform them or if you are trying to persuade them, the same criticisms hold. Either way you are trying to reach a “new” audience and the way that you do so matters.

  259. 259
    Jeff says:

    @Paula: I see your point, though I’m not sure that deliberately provoking a circular firing squad at regular intervals is the best way to produce that insight. :P

  260. 260
    mike in dc says:

    @Mattminus:

    Yeah, you’re gonna have to do better than that. What about it, specifically, makes it trolling and/or an example of bad writing? It doesn’t seem to be glaringly obvious to me, but perhaps, as a guy with a creative writing degree and a JD, I’m just not qualified to have an informed opinion about the subtle distinctions between good and bad writing.

  261. 261
    Elie says:

    @JC:

    Well, what have you learned from this?

    My experience has been that while we learn from both good and bad experiences, its the bad experiences that really linger in the mind. With your statement that you find it all so unpleasant, there must be something you can take away that will change how you communicate about this issue, right?

  262. 262
    sfHeath says:

    You may have evidence for that argument when her book hits the stores, her prime-time cable show premieres, or she walks away from a governorship because it’s doesn’t pay enough.

    [oh, and if ABL does get published, I’ll probably drop by the local bookstore and pick it up, if it’s reasonably priced)

  263. 263

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    You forgot one hypothesis: grifting. She’s making a name for herself on the internet and is currently in the process of cashing in on it.

    Yep. She makes $10,000 per hit on every one of her posts, with a $5,000 bonus for every comment made.

    ETA: But she spreads it around to her sycophants. I’m her very well-paid pool boy. Keep those comments comin’, UCT!

  264. 264
    Mattminus says:

    @mike in dc:

    Why does every prick with a JD think that’s impressive? And a creative writing degree to boot? Sounds like you’re just no good at math.

  265. 265
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @ABL:

    i don’t need to do any serious reflection on anything.

    Oh. My. God.

    The biggest part of the poster’s problem laid out in her own words: She alone among all humans, has no need for self-reflection; no room for self improvement in any area of her life.

    George W Bush + ABL = Peas in a pod.

  266. 266
    MattR says:

    @Elie:

    You did that however, with Obama. He is black, therefore he should believe x.

    I disagree. In his comment, BenTheTipsyBear made assumptions about Obama based on his background not on his skin color, even though that background was shaped by his skin color. To me there is a difference between saying that “because Obama is black, he should be symapthetic to X” and saying “because Obama suffered the racism associated with being black, he should be sympathetic to X”

  267. 267
    geg6 says:

    @60th Street:

    Can I say I just adore the pucker effect ABL has on people here..It’s about time folks were rocked out of their comfort zones regarding the stealth racism that permeates this fucking country, period, much less across the political spectrum…

    Yeah, me too. It’s what makes all of ABL’s posts so fascinating. It happens even when what she is posting about has nothing to do with race. It’s…fascinating the is the only word I can come up with to describe it. I can’t seem to turn away from them even though so many of the comments sicken me and make me embarrassed to be a white person, let alone a white liberal. Thankfully, I’m not a white male, so at least I don’t have that further embarrassment to deal with.

  268. 268
    Paula says:

    @Jeff:

    Well, I realize you’re trying to be lighthearted here, but the thing about being brown (or a woman, or a person with disabilities, or LGBTQ) is that the people who profess to be on “your side” are very often *not* because of the sheer amount of ignorance that needs to be overcome. At that point, it’s not a “circular firing squad” — you’re just trying to protect yourself, not attempting to “build bridges” or “educate people”.

    Don’t be so quick to assume I’m on “your” side just because we share a few of the same values.

  269. 269
    sfHeath says:

    @MattR: You’re asking me to read ABL’s mind, and I won’t make the attempt. I wasn’t arguing what ABL wanted to do, I was offering Jeff a third way of reading her, which I have found very effective. I learned a lot about it by reading Feminism 101 and I find that those tools transfer to ABL posts very well.

    I disagree with you that persuasion and information require the same tactics from the writer. Informational writing requires power, credibility, and authority, all of which I think ABL has lots of. The consumer of informational material has to bring a willingness to learn, to listen.

  270. 270
    Jeff says:

    @mike in dc:

    Coming from a communications perspective, the main criteria for evaluating its quality would be something along the lines of “does it provoke the intended response from its target audience”.

    If we assume the catharsis goal, it’s probably great.
    If we assume the persuasion goal, it doesn’t look too good.
    If we assume the informative goal shHeath proposed above, I’d give it a middling – most of us now know that the incident occurred and that ABL doesn’t like it, but neither point is terribly useful to most of us.

  271. 271
    Paula says:

    @MattR:

    Uh, in that statement one is assuming that all black people should respond to racism in the same way.

  272. 272
    MattR says:

    @sfHeath: I am not asking you to read ABL’s mind. I am asking you not to respond to Jeff’s comment asking what ABL’s goals for her posts are by telling him how he should read them.

    Also, I never said that you need the same tactics for persuasive writing as for informative writing. I said that the style of writing matters and that the same criticisms hold (perhaps I should have been clearer that I was referring to the ones that Jeff made)

  273. 273
    different church-lady says:

    @Mattminus:

    You know you’re good on the internet when folks can’t even see what you said, but still feel the need to respond.

    6, 20, 6, 25.

  274. 274
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Elie: LOL

    this site is FOXnews left……except for the token glibertarian frontpagers i guess.
    the juicitariat doesnt give a shit about the material either.

  275. 275
    different church-lady says:

    Hmmmm… methinks a “certain someone’s” handle has been either banished or has been programmed to be filtered out.

    Any post I make with that certain someone’s handle in it evaporates into the ether without any acknowledgment that it’s in moderation.

  276. 276
    mike in dc says:

    @Jeff:
    I’d have to know what criteria you’re using for “persuasive” here. There’s an underlying assumption that those resisting ABL’s argument are persuadable, which has yet to be demonstrated.

  277. 277
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @somegayname:

    Isn’t this the argument of Moore supporters?

    Stupid ones.

    If you think that questioning someone’s “blackness” (as a white man) is on par with saying you don’t like the way that someone writes, than I guess you’re correct.

    Fuck me…

  278. 278
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @JC:
    You’re full of shit.

    Again, attacking Moore, with a ‘that’s a racist statement” without simply saying “Come on Roger, this isn’t the way to get your point across”, was a choice.

    Damn right it was a choice. It was a CHOICE for Moore to bring up Obama’s race instead of saying something like “he’s just as bad as McCain would have been!” No, he chose to make it about race and I’m calling him on his racist statement, pure and simple.

    The fact is, ABL enjoys this – she enjoys the blast of picking and choosing her fights, then doing a hitjob on what various people say. It has it’s place. But why she does that to people who are on the same side as her, I have no idea. For attention? To simply stir things up? It’s unpleasant and a selective hit job, is the problem. In the end, it’s a very Fox News tactic. It’s a tactic of emoprogs. It fits for the internet, I suppose. But it should be used on the bad guys.

    You don’t know ABL at all and you feel comfortable dumping all this very specific shit out about her personal motivation? What a crock.

  279. 279
    MattR says:

    @Paula: I disagree. It is assuming that all people subjected to bigotry and discrimination (of which racism is but one example) to act the same way (which is a generalization, but not one directly based on the race of the individual)

  280. 280
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @Jeff:

    I’m not hung up on civility and clean language. I’d be 100% fine with every single thing in ABL’s post, if I thought the final product was effective messaging.

    Why don’t you let ABL worry about that herself instead of trying to shoehorn her into what YOU think she should do/say?

  281. 281
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    the juicitariat doesnt give a shit about the material either.

    We don’t care about what the front-pagers post, so we argue and argue about it in threads that run to 500 comments or more. Yes, I can see how that would make sense to you.

  282. 282
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:
    Worst.troll.evar.

    Things are really going down around here if this is the best our under-bridge dwelling posters can muster.

  283. 283
    Thymezone says:

    I agreed with the original Michael Moore post and I still agree with it. What he said was racist, it was stupid, it was shitty, and it was harmful. My only caveat is that he is a total asshole and everything he says must be viewed in that light.

    That’s not to say that his films aren’t worthwhile, they are. Roger and Me was a great piece of work, raised the bar on the genre, and all that. And just plain fun to watch, as many times as you like. Not many films reach that level. But that doesn’t change the fact that Moore is just a completely arrogant and insensitive asshole with an ego that dwarfs his unsightly huge butt. And he deserves to be called on his boneheaded remark.

    Lastly, if you are looking for approval or validation, you would be better off to take up swimming with alligators than to hang around this god-forsaken place with its cast of miscreants, and its fascination with pet bowel movements. A blog where the owner could post a video of himself pulling back his butt crack and at least twenty people would tell him how great he looked. This is not a happy place. It used to be sort of cool and miserable, but now it is just miserable. It is desperately in need of decent moderation, but it thinks that moderation is a filter that zaps your post that contains the word “sociaIism” …. in this day and age. I mean, that fact alone should tip most people off that this blog is really just a practical joke.

  284. 284
    Paula says:

    @MattR:

    Ah ok. I can tell you that being subjected to discrimination of any kind does not automatically make you a magnanimous person. For example, the suggestion in here that I should respond to people’s ignorance on race by being kind and non-inflammatory is making me very angry indeed.

    Poverty, discrimination, cruelty visited on an individual do not automatically bestow grace and goodwill. Stop being naive.

  285. 285
    sfHeath says:

    @MattR: Ok, I apologize for not replying to Jeff in the way that you wanted. I was merely offering a suggestion that I’ve found useful; YMMV and I should have included that in my original post.

    I continue to disagree with you about Jeff’s criticisms holding, no matter how the text is read. If one approaches ABL’s post as providing an insight into how people with different perspectives perceive and react to racist statements, then one doesn’t need to argue that her writing should be made in a different way. Especially if one agrees with the thesis, as Jeff said he did: “Heck, I more or less agree with you about the Maher/Moore remark”

  286. 286
    somegayname says:

    @Short Bus Bully:

    If you think that questioning someone’s “blackness” (as a white man) is on par with saying you don’t like the way that someone writes, than I guess you’re correct.

    I don’t even know what that word salad is referring to. I meant this part:

    …offends your delicate fee fees and uses words that make you retreat to the fainting couch? … Perhaps you should just grow a sack and deal.

    When do we empathize with the offended and when do they just have to ‘deal with it’? I am not aware of all internet traditions, but sexist tropes are OK? Can I infer from the title that the mentally challenged are still fair game as well?

  287. 287
    Jeff says:

    @mike in dc: Almost everyone is persuadable, eventually. In 1953, 6% of Americans approved of interracial marriage, now we’re up to 86%, and while some of that shift came from opposed folks dying, a lot of it came from people changing their minds.

    In the case of this issue, I don’t presume to speak to ABL’s intent, but if I were writing a persuasive piece on the topic, my goal would be to get them to understand and emphasize with (even if they don’t personally share) my feelings about the line being used by Maher/Moore, and thus move them incrementally closer to a position where they will refrain from such remarks themselves, and ideally express disapproval of such remarks by others.

    You could also construct a logic (rather than empathy) based argument for the same thing – “If we tolerate this sort of remarks by people who are supposed to be our friends, how can we criticize them when they come from our enemies?” – but this sort of writing is so author/reader relationship dependent (and most of our audience is sufficiently avowedly anti-racism, even if some of them have unacknowledged prejudices, etc.), that I think the more empathy-based approach would probably work better.

  288. 288
  289. 289
    Jeff says:

    @Short Bus Bully: Why don’t you let ABL worry about that herself instead of trying to shoehorn her into what YOU think she should do/say?

    Because I would like to see her/our side win, and ineffective (or counterproductive) messaging doesn’t help that.

  290. 290
    Thymezone says:

    Almost everyone is persuadable, eventually. In 1953, 6% of Americans approved of interracial marriage, now we’re up to 86%, and while some of that shift came from opposed folks dying, a lot of it came from people changing their minds.

    Most of the respondents from 1953 are dead or too old to answer the phone. That was 58 years ago. Those people have not been persuaded, they have been replaced.

    Just out of curiosity, who was polling for gay marriage in 1953?

  291. 291
    sfHeath says:

    Jeff, did you agree that the Maher/Moore statement was racist before or after you read ABL’s post? Did you know of it from a different source before you came here?

  292. 292
    MattR says:

    @Paula: You seem to think that I am making an argument that I am not. I am explaining a comment upthread and how it was not intrinsically racist. That does not mean that I believe the original comment to be accurate or insightful. It also has nothing to be with magnanimous or rising above it all. I don’t think there is anything too uncommon, abnormal or unrealistic to think that a person who has gone through an experience will have more empathy for others who are in a similar experience. As an example, (and not trying to Godwin things) the experience of the Holocaust does in fact impact the way a lot of Jews look towards other minority groups.

    @sfHeath: I think the difference is we are looking at it from opposite perspectives. The issue is not how people approach ABL’s post that will allow them to get what she means. The issue is how ABL can write a post that will get more “average joe” reader’s to read it and understand what she means what she means. (If the issue was hypothetically that ABL was too vulgar, you are focusing on what the readers should do to overlook the vulgarity. I am focusing on how ABL could change her style to get her point across without turning off those opposed to vulgarity) It is not that I disagree with you, but I think they are separate points.

  293. 293
    mike in dc says:

    @Jeff: Jeff, I’m not you, but I would have led off with that critique instead of the unintentionally patronizing, nonspecific one you started with–it’s more on point, and is more constructive, without the element of “talking down”. I also don’t know that ABL sees her role here as to educate the librul white folks about how and why some things piss her and other POC off. If she wants to do that, more power to her, though based on some of these threads I’d have to say that seems like a thankless job.

  294. 294
    Jeff says:

    @sfHeath:”If one approaches ABL’s post as providing an insight into how people with different perspectives perceive and react to racist statements, then one doesn’t need to argue that her writing should be made in a different way. Especially if one agrees with the thesis, as Jeff said he did: “Heck, I more or less agree with you about the Maher/Moore remark”

    You’re right. But since ABL seems to be displeased by people who disagree with her, one would expect her to have some interest in making a persuasive case as well.

  295. 295
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @MattR: Ahh, the glory of white privilege– you see, “average joe” is always a white guy.

  296. 296
    geg6 says:

    @Jeff:

    You really are a patronizing ass, Jeff. You don’t like how ABL writes, don’t read her posts. What makes you think she’s trying to persuade anyone of anything? All I can tell is that she writes about things that catch her attention and then writes a post about how she feels about it. Why do you insist she should be doing what you think she should be doing with her writing?

    And this:

    Almost everyone is persuadable, eventually.

    is simply laughable. Especially when it comes to persuading white people, especially white males, to examine their privilege.

    Jeebus. What a bunch of pompous-assed whiteys. Make me embarrassed to be white. Oh, well. At least I’m not a white male.

  297. 297
    Thymezone says:

    Whoops, misread. Disregard my last sentence. Now that I see it correctly, I have to question the entire premise of the subject post. I don’t equate interracial marriage and gay marriage in quite the facile way you do.

  298. 298
    MattR says:

    @Ivan Ivanovich Renko:

    Ahh, the glory of white privilege—you see, “average joe” is always a white guy

    Nope. average joe, means random anybody. You are the one reading race and gender into an innocuous phrase.

    @geg6: If you notice, Jeff actually started out by asking ABL what her intent was. Unless you start from the proposition that Jeff hates ABL, his criticism was mild and reasonable yet people are jumping in him as if he was demanding that ABL conform to his whims.

  299. 299
    Amir Khalid says:

    My own take on Michael Moore is that his heart is in more or less the right place. But he’s not a particularly careful journalist in his films. He doesn’t always let the facts speak for themselves, and he’s vain enough to keep inserting himself into the story. These things give viewers unsympathetic to his politics a clear excuse for dismissing what he has to say.

    As for what he said about Obama, it struck me as clumsy rather than malicious. As others have point out upthread, Obama’s being black doesn’t really enter into the criticism Moore was trying to make, and tying the two together made an arguably valid point come out sounding racist. Quite naturally, that kind of thing ticks black people off, especially from the lips of a white man. ABL is entirely right to call Moore out on it.

    @Jeff:
    If you agree with the essence of ABL’s comment on Michael Moore’s remark, then it would seem that her messaging was effective — on you, anyway.

  300. 300
    geg6 says:

    @MattR:

    So people of color and women have trouble reading and understanding ABL’s posts because they can’t relate to her just like white men? That all us “average joes,” “average janes,” and “average jamals” are all just too freaked out by her style to get the message?

    Seriously?

  301. 301
    sfHeath says:

    @MattR: Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I think your analysis is correct and I’ll try to restate it to see if I understand it correctly, please tell me where I am misled: My argument is that the reader has a responsibility to examine their own pre-conceived notions when dealing with issues of privilege. Your argument is that the writer has a responsibility to avoid triggering negative reactions from those who are privileged in order to discuss issues of privilege.

  302. 302
    geg6 says:

    @MattR:

    I really don’t think ABL needs to tell us her intent. Does anyone ask John Cole his intent when he posts?

  303. 303
    Jeff says:

    @sfHeath: I was not previously aware of it, but had I read it elsewhere first, I’m pretty sure I would have interpreted it the same way, though sans the knee-jerk reaction from context (eg. ABL’s original post).

    @mike in dc: Possibly, though I think my original post was more on point in terms of addressing issues about ABL’s blogging style generally rather than focusing on this issue specifically. And frankly, nothing I’ve seen convinces me that this analysis would have been much better received.

  304. 304
    Thymezone says:

    “Quite naturally, that kind of thing ticks black people off”

    Sigh. Another totally wasted thread. The remark pisses me off, and I am so white that you have to look at me through one of those things your science teacher made so you could look at an eclipse.

    Apologies to Rosie O’Donnell, I think that was her line.

    But anyway, really? Really? Racist crap only pisses off black people?

  305. 305
    Paula says:

    @MattR:

    ahahahaha … No, it may not be racist, but it makes one sound stupid. So fine, it’s not inherently racist, but it’s inherently stupid. Whatever.

    Also, re Holocaust survivors see Art Spielgelman’s Maus — about how Spiegelman’s father was not necessarily a kinder, better, less discriminatory man for having been through hell.

    @Jeff:

    “(and most of our audience is sufficiently avowedly anti-racism, even if some of them have unacknowledged prejudices, etc.)”

    The point of ragging on Maher/Moore and all the stupid people on this thread is that they are examples of how the above statement can be rendered meaningless and even untrue if so many of you seem like you cannot tell the difference between what is a racist statement and what is not.

    The beam in thine own eye, etc.

    And its not even that we are all expected to be perfect. I found myself thinking about primary candidate Obama in certain racialized terms a la MLK and Cosby and whatnot. But at some point, YOU CHECK YOURSELF, preferably before you speak or enter the voting booth. Because you are expected to be mature and realistic and knowledgeable about racialized generalizations.

  306. 306
    Thymezone says:

    @geg6:

    No, because Cole is usually quite clear that he is posting mainly to piss of his commenters. An agenda which I totally support, as luck would have it.

  307. 307
    MattR says:

    @sfHeath: I would argue that we should strive for both.

    @geg6: Holy fuck. All this over saying average joe? It meant a random person who did not normall read ABL. They might be male, female, balck, white, yellow, red, green, etc.

    @geg6: Sure. She doesn’t have to do it and she does not owe it to anyone to do so. I saw Jeff’s comment as a reasonable way to enter the dialogue and to try and understand where she was coming from so he could tailor his comments, and he is getting slammed for it.

  308. 308
    Jeff says:

    @Amir Khalid: Though I obviously have no way to test this, my best guess is that I most likely would’ve had an equal or better reaction had I encountered the same remark without the context of ABL’s post.

    So, ABL’s messaging was successful, on me, only to the extent that she didn’t manage to flip me from agreeing with her to arguing the other side out of pique, but that’s a pretty low bar to clear.

  309. 309
    JC says:

    @Short Bus Bully:

    No, he chose to make it about race and I’m calling him on his racist statement, pure and simple

    Yes, viciously calling him out, is a choice. And a bad choice, considering he’s been fighting the good fight for decades. I disagree with that choice.

    You don’t know ABL at all and you feel comfortable dumping all this very specific shit out about her personal motivation

    I’m reporting on observable actions in her posts, not internal motivations. In fact, I ask immediately afterwards, ‘But why she does that to people who are on the same side as her, I have no idea”?

    So why are you saying ‘specific shit about her personal motivation?” What about how I described a modus operandi, utilized by ABL, and observable (why do you THINK there are these 400 comments fights?), is describing personal motivation?

  310. 310
    geg6 says:

    @Thymezone:

    Heh.

    Well, perhaps ABL’s intent is to expose all the jackasses wallowing in their patronizing white, male privilege here in the commentariat. Heaven knows, she certainly is successful at it.

  311. 311
    MattR says:

    @Paula:

    ahahahaha … No, it may not be racist, but it makes one sound stupid. So fine, it’s not inherently racist, but it’s inherently stupid. Whatever.

    You act like there is no difference between the two.

    Also, re Holocaust survivors see Art Spielgelman’s Maus—about how Spiegelman’s father was not necessarily a kinder, better, less discriminatory man for having been through hell.

    Yes. This is why it is foolish to expect any person to act in a specific way because of their background. But that also does not make the generalizaion untrue.

  312. 312
    mike in dc says:

    @Jeff:
    As a writer(when I write, that is), I find that other writers(and myself) respond more favorably to constructive criticism when it is prefaced by an acknowledgement of the writer’s strengths, and the validity of their point of view. This doesn’t mean kissing ass, per se, but it does mean coming at the writer from a position of respect and at their level(rather than appearing to be dictating downward to an errant student). If you read your original post closely, and put yourself in ABL’s shoes(as a well-educated attorney and at least somewhat experienced blogger), you should be able to see where some of the language you used could come across as patronizing.

  313. 313
    Arclite says:

    Heh, ABL stirrin’ shit up again.

    Also, too: TNC is a fucking god.

  314. 314
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    Nope. average joe, means random anybody.

    “Average Joe” has always meant “average white man.” Trust me, no phrase that originated in the mid-19th century is inclusive of gender and race, much as you might want it to be.

    This is what people keep trying to tell you — most of our society is built around the idea that white men are normal (“average”) and everyone else is abnormal. Pretending that language that has always referred only to white men is actually inclusive is part of what is making people think you’re being deliberately obtuse.

  315. 315
    sfHeath says:

    @Jeff: “You’re right. But since ABL seems to be displeased by people who disagree with her, one would expect her to have some interest in making a persuasive case as well.”

    I would argue that one needs to be willing to accept the information that racism exists, that privilege acts on the privileged in a way that is sometimes hard to see, and to recognize knee-jerk responses as intrinsic obstacles instead of external influences *before* being persuadable.

    I was justly cautioned yesterday on Pundit Kitchen about reasoning from my assumption of other’s intentions, and I think the reminder might be worthwhile here with regards to your comments about ABL’s post.

  316. 316
    geg6 says:

    @MattR:

    @geg6: Holy fuck. All this over saying average joe? It meant a random person who did not normall read ABL. They might be male, female, balck, white, yellow, red, green, etc.

    Then perhaps a better choice of words would be “a random person who did not normally read ABL.” Do we have to go over what white privilege and male privilege are again?

  317. 317
    Jeff says:

    @Paula: Did you even read my post? All I was implying with that line is that, for effective messaging targeting this audience, you probably don’t have to start a discussion of an issue like this with a logical analysis of why tolerating racism is bad.

  318. 318
    MattR says:

    @MattR: @sfHeath: To add to my previous response. I did not read your comment carefully enough the first time. My comments are not specific to issue of privilege or trying to communicate to the privileged class. They are intended to be much more general.

  319. 319
    sfHeath says:

    @Jeff: It’s possible that you would have had the same assessment, but since it’s counterfactual, only you can evaluate the possibility. The available evidence suggests that Amir Khalid at least has a good point.

  320. 320
    Paula says:

    @MattR:

    But that also does not make the generalizaion untrue.

    So what brand of logic are you using that an example refuting a generalization means that the generalization is still true (and yeah, I don’t need Art Spiegelman’s dad — I can count myself, my parents, my uncles, my aunts, Teabagger retirees living on medicare and food stamps, and poor whites in rural areas as well).

    As to the rest of this thread …

    There was a dust-up over race at my university when I was an undergrad. Things were tense for a while. At one point, a (brown) kid mused (though not in an “angry” way), “Why is it that brown kids are expected to be the ones always explaining race to white people?” As in, why is it our job? Why is it our responsibility? I didn’t sign on to be anyone’s counselor or hold anyone’s hand.

  321. 321
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Thymezone:
    I wasn’t saying anything at all about white people’s reaction toward racism directed at black people. I was saying that black people are quite naturally offended when they hear something racist said about black people, even if the racism is inadvertent and not characteristic of the person uttering it. I know perfectly well that such racism offends white people too. (I am myself brown, not white or black.)

  322. 322
    Jeff says:

    @sfHeath: Fair enough. Will try not to assume constructive intent by bloggers in the future. ;)

  323. 323
    Paula says:

    @Jeff:

    Hahaha … well, you clearly didn’t read mine. Because I say that you cannot make the assumption that everyone understands why “this” kind of racism — the passive aggressive liberal kind — is bad. There is not the platonic brand of “Racism” flying around — there are only specific instances. How can you be against racism when you don’t have a clear understanding of what it actually looks like?

  324. 324
    MattR says:

    @geg6: That you read average joe and assume that it has to be a white male being referenced goes beyond hyper sensitive and into crazy.

    @Paula: I guess I used the wrong word then. By generalization, I meant something that is generally true for the group as a while while not necessarily applying to each member of the group individually.

  325. 325
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JC:

    Yes, viciously calling him out, is a choice. And a bad choice, considering he’s been fighting the good fight for decades. I disagree with that choice.

    So we should just let him continue on saying racist stuff that he doesn’t realize is offending people? Sweep it under the rug, don’t let him know that he’s pissing people off because, what, it might hurt his feelings?

    Sorry, but as someone who has been called out for saying stupid, ugly, hurtful shit that I didn’t realize was stupid, ugly and hurtful until it was out of my mouth, it’s far worse to find out later that someone decided that you were so hopelessly racist that you weren’t worth calling out.

    Yes, it hurts at the time to be called out, and you get defensive because you feel like the world’s biggest asshole, but if you can’t move beyond feeling defensive and insist that you (or your friend/admired one) is the real victim because it was mean to point out that you/your friend said something stupid and hurtful, you will never, ever learn anything.

    A “They Might Be Giants” song for everyone. Can’t shake the devil’s hand and say you’re only kidding.

  326. 326
    Jeff says:

    @mike in dc: You make a good point, and I will try to approach such things in the future with that in mind.

    On the flip side, is it unfair for me to have higher expectations for ABL’s writing BECAUSE she is, as you put it, a “well-educated attorney and at least somewhat experienced blogger”?

  327. 327
    sfHeath says:

    @MattR: Then isn’t your point somewhat irrelevant to this thread, which is about this particular ABL post and racism? I completely agree with you about general communication, when it’s on a level playing field and about issues not steeped in power structures, (such as a book club, or video game forum). I think that issues of privilege, such as those dealing with racism, operate under a subset of rules that demands more of the listener.

  328. 328
    Ash Can says:

    @geg6:

    perhaps ABL’s intent is to expose all the jackasses wallowing in their patronizing white, male privilege here in the commentariat. Heaven knows, she certainly is successful at it.

    Heh, indeedy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there are an awful lot of people here who just can’t tolerate a black female point of view (emphasis on the “black”).

  329. 329
    mike in dc says:

    @Jeff:
    Not necessarily, but you have to consider that there are many different kinds and styles of bloggers out there–and I couldn’t really typecast them by profession or education. TBogg is a really smart guy, and so is Michael Berube, but I don’t expect them to express themselves in quite the same fashion, even on the same subject matter.

  330. 330
    MattR says:

    @sfHeath:

    I think that issues of privilege, such as those dealing with racism, operate under a subset of rules that demands more of the listener.

    I don’t disagree with this. I just saw Jeff’s original comment to ABL being a general question, not one specific to this topic. (Though I guess you could say that since ABL mostly posts on issues of privilege that it was implicit that the conversation should be limited to that subset)

    (EDIT: You could also argue that given the baggage the average privileged reader will have, more should be demanded of the writer as well when it comes to issues of privilege)

  331. 331
    MariedeGournay says:

    I’ve been resisting responding to these threads, because I didn’t think I could summarize my thoughts in a few off the cuff lines. However, at the risk of being pedantic, I feel the need to write this out and hear what others have to say.

    First off, I agree with ABL that Moore and Maher’s comments were boneheaded and betrayed a racial insensitivity that’s insulting to President Obama, insulting to their political supporters, and hinders the larger and quite useful debate among liberals/democrats about how the administration should precede in regard the economy. They should apologize immediately, and even more, explain why they think they descended into stupid and useless racial stereotypes. I hope for the former more than the latter. Time will tell.

    I find Moore repeating of Maher’s ‘joke’ particularly troubling, because quite frankly I like Moore. His advocacy on behalf of the working class through his movies has been admirable, particularly in is absolute refusal to give any ground to the mantra of “this is how the economy/world/US works now grow up/get over it.” “Roger and Me” actually convinced my father (a religious fundamentalist) to vote for fairly liberal candidates at least on the state and local tickets based upon their records on labor. And I found “Sicko” to be very effective in moving the national conversation on health care to how people with insurance are in danger. (It’s my favorite of his movies, because he really humanized the often abstract arguments about ‘healthcare’. I’ve come to think much of Moore’s politics is conservative in the best sense: a desire to strengthen families, communities, and other institutions that lend stability to our lives.)

    However, one of the problems I’ve had with Moore these last few years is how his defensive political persona has cut against his overall message. You see this problem in many of his films, even his best ones. (“Capitalism A Love Story” didn’t really work because of it.) Moore’s agitator/voice of the working man persona has been and is useful, but it is also extremely limiting. One of his recent appearances on KO made me really cringe, not because of anything he said per se, but because of how he presented himself: showing a pair of handcuffs to the camera to warn the CEOs of the major banks that they should be in prison. Again, I agree with the policy/politics, but it just felt off, and a little desperate.

    Moore always seems a little desperate to me these days. I don’t know if that’s because the stakes have gotten just that much higher, or how the efficiency with which our political discourse enforces the our political personae has gotten that much stronger. Moore gets on TV and immediately the Desire to please fans, strike out at foes, make hay, be remembered, at at all costs be how and what he thinks others thinks he is delimits the possibilities of what he can do.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I think the fragmenting of our political community has further solidified the personae we consciously and unconsciously adopt. We act and speak in certain ways because it’s what is expected of us, and in turn we enforce, indeed help make the personae of others because that’s what we expect. Personae are inescapable; it’s an effect of politics, but I can’t shake this creeping feeling of being trapped. Maybe I’m just getting old.

  332. 332
    Thymezone says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Okay. But in this atmosphere, clarity is a blessing. “Racist remarks are offensive … especially offensive to black people” as opposed to “Racist remarks are offensive to black people.”

    Subtle but worthwhile difference. Just my never-humble opinion. It doesn’t cost anything to be mindful of the various ways these things can be heard … which is the lesson that Michael Moore apparently has not learned. Among his old buddies from the watering holes of Flint, MI, his remark might have been seen as ordinary. But that’s the whole problem. It shouldn’t be ordinary to toss off a racial putdown especially for a guy in his position. I got news for Michael, America didn’t elect “the black guy,” it elected the best guy.

  333. 333
    Paula says:

    Meh. I get the feeling many of you need “malicious intent” for something offensive to qualify as racism (or any other ism).

    Racism can be the result of ignorance and vice versa, and both of those can exist without malicious intent on the part of the person expressing them.

    Moore or Maher don’t necessarily need to actually mean malice to anyone to partake of ignorant statements or racist statements. But it doesn’t change the fact that those need to be called out.

  334. 334
    Paula says:

    @MariedeGournay:

    The problem with having a “schtick” is that sooner or later people will find a way to be innoculated against it. Moore has never been subtle, and IMO that’s contributed to his general ineffectiveness in the political realm.

    Which, as one of the few progressives actually known to mainstream audiences, is pretty devastating for other progressives pushing the same goals but in non-media ways.

  335. 335
    whitney says:

    @Corey: and yet, a large contingent of voices from dkos has disappeared or boycotts for that very reason.

    sorry, but it’s feeling a little endemic to many of us.

  336. 336
    taylormattd says:

    @david mizner: David, wow. I am very surprised at your comment, and having said that, let me apologize to you for being surprised.

    Honestly, this stuff is so upsetting to me now, that when I see a person who I know to be a frequent (understandably so, mind you) critic of people perceived to be overly supportive of Obama, actually acknowledging this white privilege shit, I get kind of misty about it. Thank you so much for saying this out loud.

  337. 337
    MattR says:

    @Paula:

    I get the feeling many of you need “malicious intent” for something offensive to qualify as racism (or any other ism).

    Speaking only for myself, I don’t think mailcious intent is a requirement for racism. However I do think that malicious intent should be a factor in the response to that racism. I would be much more forgiving of someone who naively did not know better than I would of the average joe, who in turn I would be more forgiving of than I would be of David Duke. To me this is not limited to matters of discrimination. It is nearly universal.

    (By saying this I do not mean to imply that you, or ABL, were treating all racism the same or were asking for Michael Moore’s head on a pike over these statements)

  338. 338
    taylormattd says:

    @Mattminus: Hey dumbfuck, the racists in the thread yesterday already played the Rush Limbaugh-esque “BUT TEH BLACKS USE THE N WORD TOOOOO” card.

    Find a new right wing schtick for this thread please.

  339. 339
    harlana says:

    Amazing, no post on BJ can generate a 500-comment thread like an ABL post on racism! Guess it shows we still have a lot of work to do! I could say that, at least we are having a conversation about race, that could be a good thing, but not sure if this particular process is as enlightening as it should be. But then, that is the pretty much the nature of blog “discussions”, esp on subjects considered to be controversial. Carry on.

  340. 340
    taylormattd says:

    @TooManyJens: Well duh, the answer is, of course, white self-labeled “progressives” on blogs.

  341. 341
    Triassic Sands says:

    One of these days I’m going to just write “Black” in a post and see how many idiotic comments I can elicit.

    That seems to be the main purpose of your presence at BJ — to elicit trouble and argument. That’s why I generally glance at your posts and move on. There’s no real informative element — just an effort to start trouble, which seems both childish and incredibly boring.

  342. 342
    taylormattd says:

    @MattR: and now you are seamlessly transitioning from pretending Moore’s comment wasn’t racist to pretending ABL wrote a post saying Moore doesn’t deserve forgiveness.

    Just fuck off already. You people are fucking pathetic.

  343. 343
    Mattminus says:

    I like how the brown blogger is all “raaaaaaaaawwwwwwwrrrrrr” and the white commenters are all like ” uh, hi mom. I’m a woman so I’ve only got 50% privilege, and I once gave a black guy a handjob in a dormitory bathroom so it’s 43% privilege, tops.”

    Begun the Oppression Olympics have.

  344. 344
    eemom says:

    @Thymezone:

    I wish you’d come back around more often. You crack me up with your pithily worded critiques.

    A blog where the owner could post a video of himself pulling back his butt crack and at least twenty people would tell him how great he looked.

    It used to be sort of cool and miserable, but now it is just miserable.

    for examples.

  345. 345
    whitney says:

    @ABL: i fucking love you so much. roflmao

  346. 346
    MattR says:

    @taylormattd:

    and now you are seamlessly transitioning from pretending Moore’s comment wasn’t racist to pretending ABL wrote a post saying Moore doesn’t deserve forgiveness.

    This is complete bullshit and the exact opposite of what I actually wrote. I offered my perspective to Paula about the role I think ‘malicious intent’ should have since she introduced it into the conversation.

    I said yesteday that Moore’s comment was racist. I think it was pretty clear that both he and Maher want Obama to be a tough, take no prisoners fighter and they used the black/gangster/street thug reference to make that point. IMO, it was done as lazy, shorthand to get the point across but was not done with the intent to maliciously slander Obama as a gangster or scare people with that thought or even actively reinforce a racist stereotype.

  347. 347
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    It may be about horses, not people, but a quote from Black Beauty has stuck with me throughout my life:

    “Only ignorance! only ignorance! how can you talk about only ignorance? Don’t you know that it is the worst thing in the world, next to wickedness? — and which does the most mischief heaven only knows. If people can say, `Oh! I did not know, I did not mean any harm,’ they think it is all right.”

    The actual harm someone does through ignorance is no less than the actual harm done through malice. The only difference is that, presumably, the ignorant person can learn from his/her mistake and do better next time, but that doesn’t do anything to mitigate the harm itself.

  348. 348
    harlana says:

    I never expected the President to necessarily be a “transformative” leader because he was a person of color.

    Like Colbert, “I don’t see color”

    /snark

    But seriously, I never looked at Obama as a black or biracial man, I just saw and see him as a man, and a moderate one at that. Whether his presidency is transformative remains to be seen. His election certainly was historic and, I’ll be honest, when I went to vote and saw so many elderly Africa Americans standing in line, and yes some with walkers, I got kinda choked up. That’s the only time I thought about his race.

    I’m not saying that to sound all “pure” or anything, but I certainly did not expect him to go in and just start kicking ass because he was black.

    Of course, we all wish he would, right about now, but that’s not his style. But actually, I think he’s doing it in his own way, in the only way he can, he may be kicking more ass than we know. At least, I hope so.

  349. 349
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The actual harm someone does through ignorance is no less than the actual harm done through malice. The only difference is that, presumably, the ignorant person can learn from his/her mistake and do better next time, but that doesn’t do anything to mitigate the harm itself.

    I agree and disagree. If you think of the harm as the action and its immediate consequences, then ‘yes’ there is no difference between an accident and an intentional act. The window is still been broken, the person is still dead, the words have been said and feelings have been wounded. But in terms of the emotional damage the victims suffer, I do think there is a difference.

  350. 350
    harlana says:

    Makes me wonder if either of these guys ever had a black authority figure in their lives. I have. Just sayin’

  351. 351
    brantl says:

    @eemom: Limbaugh evokes passionate responses, and he couldn’t right with his dick, in the snow, now, could he?

  352. 352
    Elie says:

    @MattR:

    shut up.

    Just shut up.

    Let folks answer for themselves.

  353. 353
    No one of importance says:

    @sherifffruitfly:

    Wow the sand in those guys’ vaginas must really be painful.

    Yeah, because if a *man* behaves like a nasty entitled arsehole, it must be because he’s a *woman* inside. Because *men* are never dickheads because they have, ya know, *dicks*.

    You’re not helping, you sexist fool.

    ABL, girl, you so don’t deserve these people.

  354. 354
    brantl says:

    @Mattminus: Dear MattMinus, please start blowing yourself SOMEWHERE ELSE.

  355. 355
    MattR says:

    @Elie: You do realize this is a blog, right? If you want to have a one on one conversation you are in the wrong place.

  356. 356
    dan says:

    @lawguy: NO NO NO. It is a riff on black comics saying black people are like this and white people are like that, then doing some lame imitation of some uptight nerd. Which is how Obama comes off. Like an uptight nerd. Didn’t you ever see Def Comedy Jam???

  357. 357
    MattMinus says:

    @brantl:

    If only I could blow myself. Then I guess I’d be kind of a little gay, reducing my privilege levels to somewhere in the 80th percentile and giving my arguments more credibility.

  358. 358
    MattR says:

    @MattMinus: I don’t think it’s all its cracked up to be. To paraphrase Joe Rogan – “Ron Jeremy used to be able to blow himself but then he gained weight so he no longer can. How great can it be if Ron Jeremy essentially chose cheesburgers instead?”

  359. 359
    MattMinus says:

    @MattR:

    Interesting perspective. This is the most thought provoking post in the thread.

  360. 360

    For post #360, I’ll just say TL;DR.

    In the time it took all of you schmoes to bitch one way or another about the original mangina looking for an apology from a white guy, Barack O’Bush probably gave 2-3 more presidential orders to blow the shit out of brown folks VERY FAR AWAY.

    Mission accomplished. Barry still acts like Dubya. You guys will still be masturbating in the comments. Non-white folks will still die.

    Happy?

    -Drunky (DRINK.)

  361. 361
    HerpDerp says:

    Maybe I’m reading between the lines here, but I read MM’s second-hand joke as “I went into the polls voting for the black guy (Senator Obama), and what I got was the white guy (John McCain, circa 2000ish)… So still mildly racist, but not OMG GOVERN LIKE A BLACK racist.

  362. 362
    Elie says:

    @MattR:

    talk for yrself. simple. The person I addressed was not you. Or was it?

    Unless you are doing sock pupet stand ins for a number of commenters.

    Hmmmmm.

  363. 363
    MattR says:

    @Elie: Says the person who was responding to a comment that was not addressed to her. Or was it? Unless you are doing sock puppet stand ins for ABL. Hmmmmm.

  364. 364
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    “At least I’m not a white male” — Geg6 @296.

    Hmmm… Substitute one word a few times. Might the result piss you off?

    At least I’m not a black male.

    At least I’m not a white female.

    At least I’m not Mexican.

    At least I’m not gay.

    At least I’m not a woman.

    Would such comments help or hurt the discussion? Are all white males now guilty of crimes so reprehensible that non white-males can smugly say, “At least I’m not a white male”?

    Fuck off.

  365. 365
    Hbin says:

    @Allan:

    Not to mention quoting from BJ’s comments. That sort of surprised me, not that he reads ABL (who wouldn’t? She’s awesome!), but he reads the comments here. I mean hey, I like it most of the time, but it does degenerate into free-for-all food fight, so different than his own comment section.

  366. 366
    Hbin says:

    @Jeff:

    One of the most patronizing comment I’ve ever read here. Who the heck are you to tell her what her “goal” should be? And if your opinion of what is wrong and right is affected by who stands in which corner and how you feel about their personality, loudness, unpleasantness, abrasiveness etc etc, you must not have a very good sense of ethics and morality. Sorry to get so personal and patronizing and all.

  367. 367
    Hbin says:

    @Jeff:

    Why is “effective messaging” her job? Because it’s black people’s job to plead and convince white people not to become racist assholes or say racist things?

  368. 368
    Hbin says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    If you agree with the essence of ABL’s comment on Michael Moore’s remark, then it would seem that her messaging was effective — on you, anyway.

    But no, no, as Jeff mentioned, ABL’s abrasiveness and general unpleasantness is making him ashamed to be on the same side as her on the issue. Never knew ABL is that powerful.

  369. 369
    raptusregaliter says:

    No sockpuppet here. Just a longtime lurker who rarely participates in the comments section because I consider the whole “you suck” “no, YOU suck” dynamic a huge fucking waste of time. However, since ABL plucked my comment out of its relative obscurity so that she could once again ride her favorite hobby horse, I’ll say it again: Those who spend their time looking for ways to be offended will never run out of grist for their mill. My post was actually elevated as the gateway comment for a whole new thread, allowing ABL to play the victim once again (“look what I have to deal with”) and guarantee her EVEN MORE outrages. That, my friend, is Trolling 101. John may not think so, but he is hardly a standard-bearer for intelligence or rational thought (seriously, John: I grew up in Atlanta in the 1960s. I know what it’s like to be a young boy fearing potential race riots after Daddy King’s wife was shot dead in Ebenezer Baptist Church. I work with black people all the time, and the best boss I ever had was black. So I’ll be sure to let you know when I need your “I sometimes see black people on TV” opinions about racial issues.

    Back to you, ABL: You can now call me a moron or a racist (or both), but you’ve already lost the debate. And since so many of your upthread comments make you look really small and petty, you might just want to stop digging. Or not. Makes no difference to me.

    Oh, and just so you know: Having a vagina doesn’t make you a lady. It only makes you a woman. Becoming a lady requires certain skill sets which often elude those who are most in need of them. You would think that a lawyer would understand the difference since their whole profession is based on precision in language, but I guess this proves that even fuzzy thinkers can occasionally pass the bar.

    Anyways, I wish your clients the best of luck. From what I’ve seen of your intellectual output, I believe they’ll need it.

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