Lying to the races

Richard Cohen doesn’t even understand how political racism works:

Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.

Republican dog whistles are about strapping young bucks buying T-bone steaks with their welfare checks, not about middle-class black women marrying middle-class white men and raising a family together. I’m not excusing the wingers who vote against their own economic interests in order to deprive imaginary strapping young bucks of their imaginary gubmint flatscreen tvs, but I will admit that such wingers do probably comprise a majority of the Republican party. They certainly comprise a majority of the conservatives I know.

But I don’t think that opposing interracial marriage — especially, let’s be honest, when it’s a black woman and a white man — is anything like a conventional view anymore (yes, people suck, but American voters did elect a black president twice, so let’s not go overboard). And whether it’s a conventional view or not, how on earth can we say that the people who hold it aren’t racist?

Update. Just to be clear, what Cohen said is offensive not only because he’s excusing racist attitudes but also because he’s saying “conventional Iowans” have crazy racist attitudes that they probably don’t have for the most part. They may have some weird, fearful ideas about race — caused in part by constant exposure to stereotyping and fear-mongering in certain parts of the media — but this is not a nation of Klansmen. Not anymore. The attitude about marriage he describes is crazy, racist, and (fortunately) fringy too.






149 replies
  1. 1
    pharniel says:

    IOKIYAAR

  2. 2
    Chris says:

    We’ve been giving racists the benefit of the doubt forever, so of course people will continue to say that people who hold racist views aren’t racist.

    I still have relatives married to the “you younguns don’t understand! We weren’t racist, it’s just that racism was okay back then!” outlook. (Then they’ll start bitching about moral relativism).

  3. 3
    Woodrow/asim says:

    If WaPo was an even mildly enlightened paper, they’d know to let Cohen go ASAP. He’s just deciding to be racist for the hell of it at this point, and no good will come to them by keeping his ass around.

  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    70 million people managed to repress that gag reflex in November of 2008. Or, maybe, didn’t experience it.

  5. 5
    Soonergrunt says:

    Between this and last weeks “I watched a movie and learned that black people didn’t like to be slaves and were treated abominably as disposable property” article, I should think (but I’m not holding my breath) that Richard Cohen’s column space will soon be given over to advertising.

  6. 6
    Hill Dweller says:

    There is a wealth of polling clearly proving the Tea Party is racist.

    Also, too, in wingnut world “expanding government” = giving “those people” free stuff.

  7. 7
    blueskies says:

    “People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.”

    Hell, even in rural Georgia people (MOST people) don’t gag over this any more. Those people who DO, however, are racists. In my experience.

    And what the fuck does Richard Cohen know about New Yorkers anyway? Fuck ‘im. He should try writing about something he knows.

  8. 8
    scav says:

    Why aren’t all the conventional people repressing gag reflexes when they see unjailed bankers and hedge fund managers walking on city sidewalks openly being catered to? There are about, what is it, 10%? of us that don’t gag at the sight of Congressmen. Don’t we have rights?

  9. 9
    dpm (dread pirate mistermix) says:

    I need to suppress my gag reflex when I contemplate the fact that this fucker is still employed by the Washington Post.

  10. 10
    April says:

    Conventional views are to gag over a mixed marriage? Maybe fifty years ago, but only an out and out racist has an issue with mixed marriages now.

  11. 11
    Penon says:

    Dear Doug,

    What are you on about? The only point that should be taken away from your Cohen quote is that if anyone has to repress their gag reflex when faced with a white man being married to a black woman, then they are racist. Pure, simple, fact.

  12. 12
    Jay C says:

    mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde“? SRSLY?

    Like “conventional” museumgoers griping about how Art had all gone to hell since they let that Pollock guy hang his drippy Extract-Abcessionalism stuff up with those comic-book paintings and the soup cans, and why can’t you find a decent landscape any more??

    How about a “Fixt” for Mr. Cohen:

    Richard Cohen doesn’t even understand how political racism works.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    That anyone in a high profile position at a major publication in the year 2013 would submit that, and that it would be accepted for publication, is disgraceful, repugnant and inhumane.

    Period.

  14. 14
    Belafon says:

    Daily Kos points out that support for interracial marriage is now at 87%. So it’s only a conventional view in Cohen’s privileged head.

    And you left out the part afterwards:

    (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?)

  15. 15
    HinTN says:

    Here in bright red south-middle Tennessee, nobody in the Wal-Mart parking lot even blinks when they see an interracial couple.

  16. 16
    beltane says:

    @blueskies: Being that De Blasio won by something like 50 pts, I think it’s safe to say that “conventional” views are pretty unconventional, if not outright deviant, in New York city. Maybe Richard Cohen should visit there some time.

  17. 17
    Mullah DougJ says:

    @blueskies:

    Exactly, when I lived in Georgia, I had a friend from a very right-wing white family whose brother had a son with black woman and her family wasn’t fazed by it.

  18. 18
    Mullah DougJ says:

    @Penon:

    But it’s also not a conventional view, it’s a fringe view. I hate it when people pretend that this country is a racist shithole.

  19. 19
    Brian R. says:

    Nobody tell Cohen about that edgy new program that’s premiered on TV this fall. I believe it’s called “The Jeffersons”?

    Anyway, they’ve got a white guy on there and, get this, he’s married to a black lady, and get this!, they’re totally open about it. They live in the same apartment and they go out to dinners together in public and everything! And it’s set in that conservative town of New York City too! Such a scandal!

  20. 20
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @blueskies:

    Fuck ‘im. He should try writing about something he knows.

    But his knowledge base is limited: sexual harassment (how to), adultery (ditto – he shtupped Peter Jennings’ wife), and racism.

    The only reason he has a job is to legitimize really stupid decisions because EvenTheLiberal Richard Cohen supports them.

    There’s a difference between EvenTheLiberal and actually liberal, but plenty of dim bulbs don’t know the difference.

  21. 21
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Penon: He’s mocking as needed.

    OT, but the earlier thread I posted this in is dead except for someone whining about charities not wanted his broken down shit:

    Missing Worlds Media has posted several links for helping the Filipino taifun victims, and there are more in the comments.

    We are heroes; this is what we do.

  22. 22
    Ash Can says:

    I’m with Penon. That last sentence is worded very, very strangely.

  23. 23

    the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde

    What in God’s holy name are you blathering about? I’m not fluent in Idiot, but I don’t think he’s using “avant-garde” to mean what it means to most of us. I certainly don’t think he’s talking about art.

  24. 24
    Redshirt says:

    Here’s what I learned from Dicky Cohen in the past week:

    1. Slavery might have been kinda bad for blacks. Maybe. I saw a movie and it made me think – you know?
    2. Blacks and whites kissing and such is GROSS!

    Thanks, WaPO! Truly enlightening stuff.

  25. 25
    El Cid says:

    I know that if I owned a powerful media outlet like the Washington Post, I could search the entire nation over several times, and out of our teeming hundreds of millions no one could find anyone smarter, more informed, and more useful to hear from than Richard Cohen. Our nation’s universities, publications, broadcasters, and private companies all summed together could not yield such as this man. Else, why would he be where he is? Our nation’s billion dollar media institutions don’t just sit around hiring jackasses. Why, they’re thriving meritocracies, because else why would they advocate such reforms to our nation’s schools so as to supposedly create the meritocracies they believe in?

  26. 26
    MikeJ says:

    I’m reminded of some right wing columnist who a few years ago wrote something like, “if I’m polite to a black bank teller, it doesn’t make me a racist to not want my sister to marry a black person.” Who was that? McCain? Somebody at the Wash Times, IIRC.

  27. 27
    different-church-lady says:

    I don’t usually indulge in cheap agism jokes, but perhaps it actually is time Mr. Cohen retired to the porch and took a very long nap in his rocking chair.

  28. 28
    Ken says:

    But I don’t think that opposing interracial marriage — especially, let’s be honest, when it’s a black woman and a white man — is anything like a conventional view anymore

    I don’t know how you would define “conventional” but i do know this – in 2011, 46% of Mississippi Republican voters said interracial marriage should be illegal, with an additional 14% “not sure”

    I strongly suspect the numbers would be similar for other nearby states

  29. 29
    srv says:

    DougJ, the archbishops appear to turning towards the middle:

    BALTIMORE — The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops on Tuesday elected Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., a prelate who has earned a reputation as a consensus-seeker, president of their conference on the first ballot.

    Archbishop Kurtz, who served as vice president the last three years, will succeed Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, who finishes his three-year term at the conclusion of the bishops’ meeting this week.

    In a closely watched decision, the bishops elected Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston as vice president from a slate of 10 candidates. In the runoff vote, they passed over Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, a razor-sharp writer who often weighs in on politics from a markedly conservative point of view.

    The bishops customarily elevate their vice president to president, so the election for this post often determines their leadership for years to come. Among the other candidates defeated for vice president were Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, who has led the bishops’ religious liberty campaign to fend off what they see as serious threats to religious freedom, and Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, an immigrant from Mexico and an outspoken advocate for immigration reform.

    Cardinal DiNardo is the first archbishop of Galveston-Houston to be made a cardinal, a recognition by the Vatican of the growth of the church in the American South with the influx of Hispanic immigrants.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mullah DougJ:

    The problem is that the Village is filled with racist shitstains like Cohen.

    Another reason to wipe them out, all of them.

  31. 31
    Aji says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Fuck me. I had to go and look at that thread. Shoulda known it would be someone describing himself as being from my former profession.

    Also, too, what a dick.

  32. 32
    IowaOldLady says:

    Holy crap. Who’s Cohen hanging out with that he thinks that’s a “conventional” person’s view?

  33. 33
    Redshirt says:

    @MikeJ: Maybe you’re thinking of O’Reilly’s anecdote going to a black owned restaurant and being shocked everyone was professional and the food was good? I mean, it was like they were normal people!

  34. 34
    MikeJ says:

    @Redshirt: Where’s my motherfuckin’ iced tea?!?!

  35. 35
    Aaron Baker says:

    I don’t really have anything to add to what’s been said above–just reinforcement. There’s nothing “conventional” any longer about repressing a gag, or gagging, at an interracial couple. Where the fuck has this guy been for the last 40 years? He already made a fool of himself with his remarks on slavery.

  36. 36
    Mullah DougJ says:

    @Ash Can:

    Sorry, I fixed it for clarity.

  37. 37
    Felonius Monk says:

    When WaPo publishes a column by Richard Cohen, it is essentially “mooning” its readers by blatantly exposing its asshole.

  38. 38
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Richard Cohen is a fucking weirdo.

  39. 39
    shortstop says:

    Well, I think he’s going to have to hit-and-run a bicyclist with his Corvette before they let him go. This sure as hell isn’t going to do it.

  40. 40
    Butch says:

    How do I find a job like this where I can be consistently offensive and outright wrong with absolutely no consequences?

  41. 41
    Aji says:

    @Butch: Are you cool with pimping yourself out to Sally Quinn?

  42. 42
    Belafon says:

    Could Hillary divorce Bill and marry Morgan Freeman before she runs for office? I just want to see Cohen’s head explode. I’ll even help pay for the orbital camera because the image would be awesome.

  43. 43
    Mullah DougJ says:

    @Ken:

    That’s less than half of Republicans in the state that’s probably the worst of the worst on this. That doesn’t make it “conventional” IMHO. (Though I see your point that it’s somewhat prevalent in some areas.)

  44. 44
    MikeJ says:

    @Redshirt: Found the one I was thinking of:

    As Steffgen predicted, the media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion. The white person who does not mind transacting business with a black bank clerk may yet be averse to accepting the clerk as his sisterinlaw, and THIS IS NOT RACISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Washington tell us.

    Robert Stacey McCain
    http://spiritwaterblood.com/do.....ebate.html

    In looking for it I discovered that McCain stills whines because people read that drivel and decide he’s a racist.

  45. 45
    C.V. Danes says:

    People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.

    If you have to repress a gag reflex over a white man married to a black women and with two biracial children then you are, by definition, a racist.

    These really are the worst people in the world.

  46. 46
    bemused says:

    My 90 years plus inlaws don’t even think or talk like Cohen and he’s only 72. There’s a lot of “I’m not racist” denial going on with Cohen and his crowd. They see the demographics changing not in favor of their white “real” America world but they don’t seem to believe it or think if they fight hard enough they can magically reverse the trend of tolerance and diversity. I’ve lost count of the wingnut letters to the ed and online comments I’ve read with the firm belief that the majority pf Americans are just like them, racist, misogynist, anti-lgbt, pretty much anti anything that smells progressive. They will lie, cheat, bully to avoid facing reality and their own miserable hearts.

  47. 47
    max says:

    Richard Cohen:

    People with conventional views I, Richard Cohen, must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.

    Just to make it clearer.

    At which point one must ask, just exactly how fucked up do you have to be to gag at the idea of biracial children?

    max
    [‘I am pretty sure even the Klan ain’t that bad. Hitler maybe, he might be that bad, but even the Klan thinks biracial children are ‘half white’.’]

  48. 48
    beltane says:

    @Mullah DougJ: A poll of Mississippi Republicans on a whole range of issues would most likely reveal attitudes that are far outside the mainstream of American society, if not of Richard Cohen’s social circle.

  49. 49

    @April:

    Conventional views are to gag over a mixed marriage?

    Conventional in the sense of conventional in the time and place Richard Cohen was developing his views.

  50. 50
    Redshirt says:

    @MikeJ: Ah, the worse McCain. Not so surprising an opinion from him.

  51. 51
    Tokyokie says:

    @blueskies: And what, prithee, might that be?

  52. 52
    Ash Can says:

    @Mullah DougJ: Yes, it’s much better now. I have the feeling you had meant to type “even” before the word “if” in the original sentence. Omitting that one word changed the meaning of the sentence completely.

  53. 53
    GregB says:

    IOKIYAADBC.

    It’s OK if you are a douche-bag columnist.

  54. 54
    Chris says:

    @bemused:

    There’s a lot of “I’m not racist” denial going on with Cohen and his crowd.

    Which is basically on the same level as the six year old who knows not to put his hand in the cookie jar, or at least not to get caught putting his hand in the cookie jar. They understand not to do it because it upsets Mom and Dad, but they don’t understand why (yet – the six year olds at least usually learn) and if they can do it while no one’s looking, they will. (And bitch with their fellow six year olds at mean old Mommy and Daddy who don’t want me to have cookies because they don’t love me).

  55. 55
    Amir Khalid says:

    A quick look at the comment thread under Richard Cohen’s column suggests his readers are horrified. Has the Washngton Post had anything to say yet?

  56. 56

    @MikeJ: Robert Stacey McCain

    Christ, what an asshole.

    THIS IS NOT RACISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Washington tell us.

    I learned a new phrase today: “Ipse dixit.”

  57. 57

    @Amir Khalid: Has the Washngton Post had anything to say yet?

    “We are sorry if anyone was offended.”

  58. 58
    hoodie says:

    I think we can all agree that Richard Cohen qualifies for the title of the Dumbest Sumbitch on the Planet, Pundit Division. In his defense, I think he may be a victim of really shitty editing, e.g., he may have meant “traditional”, not “conventional.” The rest of his piece seems to indicate that he thinks it’s a view confined to places where cows provide the gateway to sexual experience, namely Iowa. That, of course, is almost as inaccurate as saying it’s a conventional view, and people who hold such views are undoubtedlly racists. It’s a nugget of fermented corn in the stupid, superficial pile of shit that the column constitutes, which is simply repeating conventional wisdom that Christie has limited appeal to GOP voters outside of the Northeast. It shows the same cluelessness as his piece on 12 Years, stuff like “2 million people watched a Merle Haggard youtube video!’ Two million people would watch a dwarf take a dump.

  59. 59
    Suffern ACE says:

    @different-church-lady: He could even spend time golfing at the country club. One that in his 20s would have had no problem eliminating someone with the last name of Cohen from consideration as a member.

  60. 60
    SFAW says:

    @blueskies:

    He should try writing about something he knows.

    I think there’s not a very large market for him writing about how far his head is up his ass. One, maybe one-and-a-half columns. And then, only for the “colonoscopies are fun!” set.

  61. 61
    JPL says:

    Mr. Cohen, Please explain wtf do you mean by cultural conservatives?

  62. 62
  63. 63
  64. 64
    Tokyokie says:

    @hoodie: My experience is that copy editors’ leeway in editing big-name editorial columnists is pretty much limited to repairing spelling and grammar. Changes in word choices would likely have to be approved by the writer himself, and I’m guessing that Cohen is such a dick, that the copy editors would prefer not to deal with him and instead hang his crappy writing around his neck like a garland of garlic.

  65. 65
    nineone says:

    Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled

    Strngely enough that’s what Massah said also too.

    People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.

    Okay, now that’s racist. Full stop.

    @Belafon:

    Could Hillary divorce Bill?

    No.Fucking.Way.

    You’re welcome.

  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Aaron Baker:

    There’s nothing “conventional” any longer about repressing a gag, or gagging, at an interracial couple. Where the fuck has this guy been for the last 40 years?

    Here’s my supposition (and it’s only a supposition): I have a feeling that Cohen doesn’t have that same “gag” feeling when he sees a black man married to a white woman, because that’s “natural.” That’s the way it should be, because everyone knows that white women are naturally the most attractive. It’s only when he sees a white man demeaning himself by marrying — not just fooling around with, but actually marrying — a black woman that the gag reflex kicks in.

  67. 67
    srv says:

    Hey, would one of you web friendlies grab this before it disappears?

    https://twitter.com/weymouthk

    Brilliant: richard Cohen on why Cruz beats Christie in iowa: http://wapo.st/1bwCzT7

    She is the fucking publisher.

  68. 68
    Tom Levenson says:

    Great minds and all that — I’ve been writing a post on this for the last little bit. Rather than clog up threads here — I’ve just posted ir at my home joint, if anyone cares. Nice painting of a horse would be the bonus, I guess. URL: http://inversesquare.wordpress.....d-pundits/

  69. 69
    Gordon, the Big Express Engine says:

    @HinTN: I’ve been to that Walmart in shelbyville many times… Struth!

  70. 70
    hoodie says:

    @Tokyokie: That, or they just seized on a golden opportunity to send him to Golden Pond. I would not be that surprised to seem him put out to pasture after the turds he’s laid in the last couple of weeks.

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    @hoodie:

    Iowa has gay marriage now. I’m guessing that they’re also able to handle the concept of interracial marriage without collapsing into tears.

  72. 72
    gelfling545 says:

    @different-church-lady: I agree. As a person of advanced years myself, I would also suggest that his loved ones get him in for a check up. Granted, I’m not well versed in the Cohen oeuvre, but he certainly seems to be writing some odd things lately.

  73. 73
    Gypsy Howell says:

    I wonder if it’s possible that WaPo has completely turned off their editing function for Cohen, allowing him to let his freak flag fly, so that when Jeff Bezos shitcans him, no one will question why.

    OK, you’re right, that’s probably a too-generous reading of the situation.

  74. 74
    srv says:

    @Tom Levenson: linky no worky

  75. 75
    MikeJ says:

    @Cris (without an H):

    I learned a new phrase today: “Ipse dixit.”

    Or in his case, ipse dixie.

  76. 76
    hoodie says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, you have to think Cohen is too stupid/lazy to know that or find it out before characterizing Iowa’s citizens as 50’s era racists. My guess is you might find a goodly number of “traditional” thinkers in the Iowa GOP, seeing as they have produced such exemplars of tolerance as Steve King, but Cohen has no idea of what he’s talking about. He’s like a dementia patient babbling in an empty room about his days in the Big Band Era.

  77. 77
    Gypsy Howell says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    See now, I would have thought it would be the exact opposite: it’s fine for a white guy to marry a black women(black women being only a step up from servitude anyway) than to countenance a black man “taking one of our own”. They lynched black men for much much less.

  78. 78
    taylormattd says:

    Not that I think it will matter in the slightest, but I just contacted the Post ombudsman about this.

    I mean enough is enough. This fucker needs to be shitcanned.

  79. 79
    Jim, Foolish LIteralist says:

    @gelfling545: Not just lately, he defended his support of the Iraq War after the fact by saying he needed “therapeutic violence” after 9/11, agreed with Larry Summers that girls aren’t, in fact, good at math; said Al Gore had won the popular vote but should concede because Republicans are really mean and standing in their way is bad for the country. I’m sure there’s more.

    Besides the projection here, there’s the interesting phenomenon of how Establishment Tote-baggers view the Heartlanders they love to rhapsodize about. Not quite noble savages, more regrettable but still sympathetic mouth-breathers whose mouth-breathiness we must indulge, because to do otherwise would be very elitist.

  80. 80
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Cris (without an H):
    @Redshirt:
    @MikeJ:

    Ipse dixit

    That’s just how you say “oops” in the South.

  81. 81
    Gypsy Howell says:

    @hoodie:
    I have to say, offensiveness aside, reading his column I was depressed to conclude that he probably characterized the typical Iowa republican correctly.

  82. 82
    MikeJ says:

    @srv: Here, in case it gets pulled: http://imgur.com/jwUGKst

    Of course that would mean a little self awareness. Do you think that anybody at WaPo is capable of shame?

  83. 83
    gbear says:

    Maybe each of us should send the WaPo a box of Cheerios, Attn: Richard Cohen.

  84. 84
    Jim, Foolish LIteralist says:

    @srv: Hey! do you know how many of her first cousins Katherine Weymouth had to beat in the competition to find out which of Katherine Graham’s grandchildren was gonna get Uncle Donnie’s job?

  85. 85
    Gypsy Howell says:

    @Jim, Foolish LIteralist:
    I retract my comment at #73. You’re right- he’s been letting his freak flag fly for years.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gypsy Howell:

    They lynched black men for much much less.

    Well, yes, but those were also the days when rape was a property crime — those black men were being punished for (supposedly) ruining someone else’s property, not because rape was a horrible crime in itself. The woman’s value on the marriage market was diminished — they might even be stuck with her as a spinster at home for the rest of her life once her “shame” was known.

    Plenty of white men were willing to sleep with and even impregnate black women, but marry them? Like it or not, marriage confers a specific social status on a couple. White women were sometimes willing to accept the lower social status that marrying a black man gave them (see James McBride’s The Color of Water), but white men usually were not willing to do that to marry a black woman.

  87. 87
    srv says:

    @Jim, Foolish LIteralist:

    Hey! do you know how many of her first cousins Katherine Weymouth had to beat

    They were probably all inter-racial or gay

  88. 88
    handsmile says:

    I think we’re being far too mean to the enfeebled Mr. Cohen who, as a number of commenters above have pointed, only came to the realization last week after seeing 12 Years a Slave (Captain Phillips apparently having sold out) that human bondage was cruel, vicious, and dishonorable. 148 years after the end of the Civil War.

    Loving v. Virginia, the landmark Supreme Court case that invalidated US anti-miscegenation laws, was decided a mere 46 years ago. Sufficient time has simply not elapsed for Mr. Cohen to amend his “conventional” views on interracial marriage in this country.

    Moreover, the completely extraneous remark in his column about Chirlane McCray’s sexuality would suggest that it’s not just the blahs (and the white men who marry them) that cause the delicate Mr. Cohen to gag.

  89. 89
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tom Levenson: Pretty pony.

  90. 90
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    The Washington Post has become like what would happen if somebody gave all of the crazy uncles in the country their own newspaper.

  91. 91
    Jeremy says:

    I don’t understand why he is trying to paint Iowa as a conservative place. Yes there are conservative areas in the state but democrats have been winning the state and Iowa set the course for President Obama’s nomination and election.

  92. 92
    nancy darling says:

    I’m pretty sure the WaPo has just taken down Cohen’s column. It was there several minutes ago, and now I can’t link to it or find it in his archives.

  93. 93
    flukebucket says:

    @hoodie:

    “2 million people watched a Merle Haggard youtube video!’

    And the damn song he references is 31 years old. Merle was singing that song back when Ronald Reagan was first elected. Damn.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @handsmile:

    Moreover, the completely extraneous remark in his column about Chirlane McCray’s sexuality would suggest that it’s not just the blahs (and the white men who marry them) that cause the delicate Mr. Cohen to gag.

    That’s kind of what I was saying in the thread down below. Cohen understands why black men want to marry white women — after all, aren’t white women the pinnacle of feminine attractiveness? But to not just idly find a black woman attractive, but to actually marry her and have children with her? Eeeeeeewwwwwww!

  95. 95
  96. 96
    Jim, Foolish LIteralist says:

    @Mnemosyne: also, the way he introduces the matter, “(Should I mention…?)”, manages to straddle “I know it’s not politically correct to point this out, but…” and “wink, nudge! say no more!”

  97. 97
    Citizen_X says:

    @Butch:

    How do I find a job like this where I can be consistently offensive and outright wrong with absolutely no consequences?

    Join the NFL?

  98. 98
    Amir Khalid says:

    @srv:
    Leaving aside Cohen’s offhand racism towards the de Blasios, his political analysis is of an event two years from now, whose previous iterations haven’t been very good lately at predicting the Republican nominee for President. Pointless to begin with, and absurdly premature. Besides, Ted Cruz is a limelight hog, Chris Christie a lout. The higher their profiles rise, the more people will notice these unlovely traits. One could as justifiably argue that in two years, neither will be in the running.

  99. 99
    Gene108 says:

    The average white person in this country is the product of racial/cultural bastardization.

    Irish-Italian or part English-Russian-Hungarian or whatever else combinations of disparate people make up white America.

    Whites screwed the pooch on maintaining racial purity a long time ago.

    Anyway I read the whole thing and he is basically using the Strom’s Dixie-Crat run for President to justify current right-wing politics as standing up for ideals over winning.

    The interracial comment among the less bizar bits of contorted logic used.

  100. 100
    MikeJ says:

    @Gene108:

    Whites screwed the pooch on maintaining racial purity a long time ago.

    Some of us didn’t even know we were supposed to be trying.

  101. 101
    nancy darling says:

    @MikeJ: Me too, Mike. I was in error!

  102. 102
    Woodrow/asim says:

    @Mnemosyne: Exactly. Strom Thurmond had a love child with the very kind of person he was teaching people to hate on, which is exactly the kind of hypocrisy at the base of political White Supremacy.

  103. 103
    nineone says:

    but this is not a nation of Klansmen

    One could have said the same thing a century ago, and yet…

    Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we are a half-Nation of KlansVolk, judging by the results of the past two Presidential elections. There was something different about those, but I forget what, ‘cos freedumb.

    Having said that, the similarity between this dick-headed statement from an enemy

    Today’s GOP is not racist

    and this one from an ally

    but this is not a nation of Klansmen. Not anymore.

    gives a bit of a clue as to how these racist motherfuckers still get away with this shit to this very day, even with a Halfrican Magic Negro as the leader of the motherfucking free world.

  104. 104
    handsmile says:

    @Gene108:

    “Screwing the pooch” may not be the most felicitous phrase to use when discussing whites failure to “maintain racial purity.”

    (if my snarkometer needs some fine-tuning, my apologies. anyways, it made me laugh!)

  105. 105
    cleek says:

    but also because he’s saying “conventional Iowans” have crazy racist attitudes

    i don’t think that’s what he meant to say. in context, he’s talking about conventional tea-party/conservative/GOP views.

  106. 106
    Butch says:

    @Citizen_X: Definitely as one of the NFL commentators.

  107. 107
    nineone says:

    @Butch:

    How do I find a job like this where I can be consistently offensive and outright wrong with absolutely no consequences?

    Annex the Sudetenland?

  108. 108
    Tom Levenson says:

    @srv: Fix’t.

  109. 109
    LAC says:

    I don’t know what is more tiresome: some old white feeb working out his racial issues in a paper, or a paper so devoid of substance that it does print it.

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cleek:

    i don’t think that’s what he meant to say. in context, he’s talking about conventional tea-party/conservative/GOP views.

    Possibly, but tea-party/conservative/GOP folks have those views all over the country, not just in Midwestern states like Iowa. I guarantee you that Cohen can find people with the same attitudes right here in good old blue California.

    It’s not the region that’s the problem, it’s the beliefs.

  111. 111
    boatboy_srq says:

    Just to be clear, what Cohen said is offensive not only because he’s excusing racist attitudes but also because he’s saying “conventional Iowans” have crazy racist attitudes that they probably don’t have for the most part.

    SO: racist and statist, all at once. That’s Reichwing efficiency for you.

  112. 112
    nineone says:

    @LAC: All of ’em, Katie.

  113. 113
    Trinity says:

    @LAC: This.

  114. 114
    PurpleGirl says:

    @gbear: I like that Cheerios commercial. The little girl is cute and adorable and the way she puts all those Cheerios on her Daddy as he naps is so sweet. Also sweet is how she asks her Mommy to confirm that Cheerios are healthy. (It wasn’t until my third viewing of the commercial that the colors of Mommy, Daddy and little girl registered with me. Such a typical American family.)

  115. 115
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    I’m sure he thinks fourth graders in Klan hoods for Halloween is cute, also too.

  116. 116

    @Cris (without an H):

    I learned a new phrase today: “Ipse dixit.”

    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur. (That’s Latin for “Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound”.)

  117. 117
    NotMax says:

    @Roger Moore

    Case in point:

    Vis cum illo fries?

  118. 118
    jayackroyd says:

    @scav:Funny. I’m typing this across the street from Blankfein’s apartment building. There’s a small OWS contingent settled there trying to elicit a gag reflex, or something.

  119. 119
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @PurpleGirl: I’m familiar with the commercial, but somehow completely didn’t notice the actors’ skin colors. Are they different?

  120. 120
    Betty Cracker says:

    @nineone:

    Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we are a half-Nation of KlansVolk, judging by the results of the past two Presidential elections.

    Just want to make sure I’m understanding you here: You’re saying that the results of the last two presidential elections indicate that around 50% of the US population (or electorate, at any rate) are white supremacists?

  121. 121

    @Tom Levenson:

    Nice painting of a horse would be the bonus, I guess.

    Wrong view of the horse to correctly represent Mr. Cohen.

    @Gene108:

    Whites screwed the pooch on maintaining racial purity a long time ago.

    I think screwing the pooch wouldn’t do much about racial purity, since it’s unlikely to produce viable offspring. It’s screwing Those People that’s done a number on racial purity.

  122. 122
    Tone in DC says:

    @Belafon:

    Could Hillary divorce Bill and marry Morgan Freeman before she runs for office? I just want to see Cohen’s head explode. I’ll even help pay for the orbital camera because the image would be awesome.

    LULz. You could see that blast from Jupiter, most likely.

  123. 123
    Redshirt says:

    Paging Davis X. Machina – we have Latin jokes going down in this thread.

  124. 124
    jayackroyd says:

    And no, while the national gag reflex may have been induced by the Uhura Kirk scene, I think conventional people have moved beyond that. I’m reading Rule and Ruin, still in the Sixties, where the “conventional” people might have been upset. But, really?

  125. 125
    jayackroyd says:

    I guess this shows Warren Harding’s fears were well-founded, though.

  126. 126
    Chris says:

    @Gene108:

    Whites screwed the pooch on maintaining racial purity a long time ago.

    The racial purity pooch was screwed the moment people thought there was any objective value to it rather than being purely a social construct (see also the headache-inducing gymastics of which people are considered “white” at which point in history).

    Even if they’d avoided all the Irish and Russians and Hungarians and kept it, say, English-only – “English” is a hodgepodge of descendants of Celts who lived there in the old days + Romans who invaded Celtic Britain + Saxons who invaded Roman Britain + Normans who invaded Saxon Britain. Racial theory’s just totally made-up all around.

  127. 127
    Cacti says:

    Cohen reminds me of my late grandmother. She thought people like the Klan were racist, but didn’t see any problem with her own private use of the “N” word.

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris:

    If you’ve ever read Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man, he dryly comments at one point about how very remarkable it was that every scientist decided that his own nationality was at the top of the heap. So French scientists declared that the French were at the pinnacle of evolution, German scientists declared that Germans were the pinnacle, British scientists declared that Britons were clearly the best, etc.

  129. 129
    fuckwit says:

    isn’t mocking pundits kind of easy and cheap? like teasing a dog “cmere i got food for ya…. no i dom’t!”

    they’re pundits. every word they say is like a turd dropping into my drink

  130. 130
    Li says:

    I think he may be confusing Iowa with Kansas. I’ve traveled far and wide, and never have I seen a place that evinced racial, sexual and religious tolerance and brotherly love more than Iowa. The people there are all-right.

  131. 131
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    “If you’re not Scottish, you’re crap!”

  132. 132
    billgerat says:

    @nancy darling: Nope, it’s still there.

  133. 133
    scav says:

    Cute detail from the man who just discovered slavery wasn’t a picnic. “The word racist is truly hurtful,”

    Richard Cohen Defends Column

    swoons. Priorities evident, Miss Scarlet. And Fred “editing” Hiatt? You get what paid for — attention.

  134. 134
    MikeJ says:

    @scav: If there’s anything on earth worse than racism, it’s being called a racist.

  135. 135
    Wally Ballou says:

    @Mnemosyne: Let’s not forget that there’s also a not-inconsiderable number of black people, most of them loyal Democrats, who aren’t real big on interracial marriage.

  136. 136
    Betty Cracker says:

    @scav: From that link:

    Fred Hiatt, the Washington Post editorial page editor, also defended the column Tuesday, but said that he could have edited it “more carefully.”

    “Anyone reading Richard’s entire column will see he is just saying that some Americans still have a hard time dealing with interracial marriage,” he said. “I erred in not editing that one sentence more carefully to make sure it could not be misinterpreted.”

    It sounds like neither one of them gets what the problem is. Cohen is an awful, terrible, no good writer, so his columns are often misunderstood, and that’s his fault for being such a heinous hack and Hiatt’s fault for continuing to run his columns. But I don’t think most critics are saying Cohen himself pukes when he sees an interracial family: The problem is that Cohen says straight up that people who are nauseated by interracial marriage merely hold “conventional” views rather than being stone-cold racists. He’s at best excusing that inexcusable view and at worst oblivious to it because he shares it.

  137. 137
    PIGL says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: good to see you back in form. And no, I don’t disagree. To paraphrase a great Canadian Prime Minister, not necessarily by firing squads, but by firing squads if necessary.

  138. 138
    MikeJ says:

    @Betty Cracker: And in his explanation Cohen is now explicitly saying that what he meant was many teabaggers are racists, but as a professional writer he just couldn’t figure out how to say that in his column.

  139. 139

    @Wally Ballou:
    Black people, as a group, are more accepting of interracial marriage than whites, and they have been for as long as anyone has been surveying. Approval of interracial marriage is something like 96% among blacks, which means that they’re more likely to vote Republican than to disapprove of interracial marriage. Of course approval of interracial marriage is up into the 80+% range for non-Hispanic whites, so we’re also more likely to vote Republican than to disapprove of interracial marriage.

  140. 140
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MikeJ: Understandable! Stringing nouns, adjectives and verbs together is every bit as hard as rocket surgery!

  141. 141
    Mullah DougJ says:

    @nineone:

    The bottom line is that, even though there’s too much racism in this country, it’s important to frame racism as part of the unacceptable fringe. We’re not at the point where screaming about strapping young bucks is considered unacceptable (yet) but we are at the point where screaming about interracial marriage is. We can’t let idiots like Cohen take us back to when it was acceptable.

  142. 142
    nineone says:

    @Betty Cracker: I suppose that depends on what you consider to be a “white supremacist”. Personally 1% (or even one for that matter ) is too many. There’s a reason why this shit still exists, and even thrives. And although Black Folks are responsible for their share of stupidity amongst the Human Race, White Supremacy ain’t one of ’em. I’m sick of these idiots getting cover from the Public at-large, and institutions that should be there for all of us, but just never seem to get it right. Regardless, fuck those racist motherfuckers however many there are, and whomever they are.

    @Mullah DougJ:

    We can’t let idiots like Cohen take us back to when it was acceptable.

    Who is “us”? Be specific. Show your work.

  143. 143
    Mullah DougJ says:

    @nineone:

    “Us” is this country. It used to be acceptable to say, publicly, that you opposed interracial marriage. Now, it’s not.

  144. 144
    The Other Chuck says:

    So Fred Hiatt himself has come to defend Cohen.

    It’s time to get Color of Change on board. Say goodbye to your advertisers WaPo

  145. 145
    El Cid says:

    @Betty Cracker: First, it’s a terrible defense for a writer to repeatedly claim he’s unfairly being misinterpreted, because that at some point becomes prima facie evidence that he is a bad writer.

    Second, where does Cohen even suggest an attempt to define “conventional,” or show that the term has some sort of worthwhile empirical basis?

    It entirely is used as an undefined term suggesting normality, an average, or perhaps even wholesomeness.

    I really wish these billion dollar media corporation leaders could be dragged into a room and forced to argue that their selections of writers really represents the absolute best this nation has to offer.

    I take that back — these people by fault of their position get handed ‘journalism’ prizes all the time, so never mind. It’s a self-approving circle.

  146. 146
    handsmile says:

    [thread back-checking…]

    @Roger Moore:

    That comment was a thing of beauty. Thanks.

  147. 147
    nineone says:

    @Mullah DougJ: I get it. We’ve come a long way, baby. Still a long way to go. Thanks for trying. I suppose I should have said “what do you mean “us”, Paleface?

  148. 148
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Just want to make sure I’m understanding you here: You’re saying that the results of the last two presidential elections indicate that around 50% of the US population (or electorate, at any rate) are white supremacists?

    … seems low, actually.

    I don’t mean that a majority of white people are white supremacists in the sense that they’re putting on hoods and burning crosses on weekends. But I think a whole lot of white people have an unexamined belief that white people are “naturally” better than other races. Which is why my (non-Klansman) mom will say things like, Aren’t you embarrassed to have the Obamas representing us to the whole world? And my response was, Huh? Because, no, I don’t think it’s somehow “lesser” or embarrassing for us to have an African-American family representing the United States. But she does. It’s the way she was raised.

    Somebody in another thread said that a relative of theirs in a Southern state was going to refuse to get health insurance through the exchanges because she had been raised to never accept charity from a black person. That’s white supremacism — thinking that it’s somehow shameful to accept charity from someone of another race because you’re better than they are so you should be ashamed to accept charity from them.

  149. 149
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’d consider both of those examples straight-up racism / white supremacy, no burning crosses or hoods required. I don’t doubt that there are way too many people who feel that way — I personally know some of them! Half the country though? Seems a tad…pessimistic. Even in my benighted little backwater, I’d put the percentage of straight-up, in-your-face racists like the ones you described at closer to the dreaded 27%.

    The problem is they team up with other assholes like religious fanatics, fetus fetishists and morons who consistently vote against their economic interests because they don’t realize they’re being fleeced to form a majority, take over statehouses and send blithering nitwits like Ted Yoho to Congress. It’s a problem, for sure.

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