If My Wife Were the NAACP, and I The Tea Party

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The NAACP claims these images from its website were taken at Tea Party rallies

From the website of the NAACP:

Today, NAACP delegates passed a resolution to condemn extremist elements within the Tea Party, calling on Tea Party leaders to repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches.

The resolution came after a year of high-profile media coverage of attendees of Tea Party marches using vial, antagonistic racial slurs & images.

(The statement then goes on to reference the incident reported by the Washington Post in a March 20, 2010 article titled, “Tea Party Protesters Accused of Spitting on Lawmakers, Using Slurs”.)

Mark Williams, a national Tea Party spokesman, responded to the NAACP’s resolution by saying:

I don’t recall the NAACP speaking out when George Bush was portrayed as Curious George or as The Joker. … You’re dealing with people who are professional race-baiters, who make a very good living off this kind of thing. They make more money off of race than any slave trader ever. It’s time groups like the NAACP went to the trash heap of history where they belong with all the other vile racist groups that emerged in our history. [Read more of the NPR story from which this quote was taken.]

Sarah Palin also rushed to the defense of Tea Partiers, by posting a note on her Facebook page that in part reads:

I am saddened by the NAACP’s claim that patriotic Americans who stand up for the United States of America’s Constitutional rights are somehow “racists.” The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling, and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand. … The only purpose of such an unfair accusation of racism is to dissuade good Americans from joining the Tea Party …. It is time to end the divisive politics.

Hmmm.

So let’s imagine that after giving it some real thought, my wife came to me, and said, “John, you really hurt my feelings by calling me a bimbo.”

Which of the following would be my best, most honorable response to her?

  1. “I didn’t hear you complaining when your sister’s husband was calling her a bimbo. And I’ve heard you call someone a bimbo before. So you have no right to complain.”
  2. “It’s morally offensive for you to suggest that I, a perfect husband, would ever say anything like that. Shame on you.”
  3. “I never called you a bimbo — and you know it. You’re just being a manipulative, bald-faced liar.”
  4. “I’m so sorry. I got carried away in the moment, and acted shamefully. It was totally thoughtless of me. Thanks for letting me know I hurt you. I promise it won’t happen again. And if I ever do say anything that stupid again, please let me know ASAP so I can do my best to make it right.”

C’mon, Tea Partiers. No one’s saying you have to be perfect. But about this you’d do well to man up a little.

Related post: If You’ve Ever Said Any of These Six Things, You Might Be a Racist.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Jim Henderson

    Man up? Let's see, say someone calls my wife a liberal lesbian, so in order to protect her dignity I step right up to this individual and say , "Man up there, that statement is a fabrication…"

    You see, Mr Shore, in your world there is no proper defense against the fabrication when it serves your ends.

    It doesn't matter that it's a fabrication, or that the fabricator is an unreliable source, or has a history of pliable morality.

    What matters to you is prevaricating to bend the truth to your version of the truth.

    However transparent that version may be.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Oh, good. The sanity's begun.

    • Elizabeth

      @Jim: With all due respect, what?

      I've got liberal lesbians (really the only kind of lesbian to be, I suppose), pliable morality fabricators (as opposed to the the rigid kind), and transparent, bendable truth. If you weren't clearly an upstanding conservative Christian man, I'd suggest that you drop the acid after you type your comments.

      • http://www.aviewfromtheedge.net/blog Nicole Longstreath

        re: liberal lesbians

        Believe it or not, I know some conservative gays – weird, huh?

        To each his (or her) own.

        • Diana

          I don't know any conservative gays, but I've heard of them. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. They remind me of those women who make careers out of telling other women not to have careers.

        • amelia

          @Diana, that depends on how you define liberal and conservative.

          • Diana

            True. I probably should have kept my opinions to myself on this one.

          • Don Whitt

            Hey folks – check this out, if you're not familiar with Log Cabin Republicans:
            http://online.logcabin.org/

            I don't think being conservative is antithetical to being gay. I understand why one might presume a gay is more likely to be on the left side of issues, but I also think that's antiquated, one-dimensional thinking.

          • Ace

            Social conservatives =/= fiscal conservatives.

            Same with the liberal side of things.

            That’s the real problem with this country’s 2-party system, they cover less than 50% of the political spectrum by linking social and fiscal issues together so you can only vote all-liberal or all-conservative, and don’t really represent the feelings of a whole lot of people very well. Probably one of the resons behind the chronic low voter turn-out in this nation: too many people simply feel they have no good options on the ballot anyway.

        • Elizabeth

          With all of the breath-taking racism and ignorance on this page, I don't know how I pulled the straw to correct misconceptions of gender politics, but there you have it. I'm always fighting the unpopular battle. Really unpleasant when I should be in bed with a cough.

          Lesbian ≠ gay.

          Don Whitt eloquently described the "antiquated, one-dimensional thinking" of assuming gays are politically liberal. He’s good like that. I would expect nothing less. And he posted a lovely link which I honestly enjoyed exploring. "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage" is quite good.

          None of which applies to the comment I made in response to Mr. Henderson's intended epithet: "(S)omeone calls my wife a liberal lesbian, so [I have] to protect her dignity…" I picked up the term liberal lesbian, thought about it, and decided I could run with it.

          Lesbian ≠ gay. They are not interchangeable terms. Ever. Comparing the political, socio-economic, and professional experiences of lesbian women and gay men will always show them more different than similar. I put together what I thought was a nice précis on the subject in the comments, below.

          I never had to work that hard, though. Although the Mission Statement advocates "equal rights for all Americans, including gays and lesbians," one look at the Log Cabin Republicans’ Board of Directors dispels any notion of true lesbian representation. I dare you to find another political action group with a board so uniformly male (and white, to boot.) A group genuinely interested in including lesbian voices would have a token woman. Is that grandstanding? Yep. Does it still matter? Hell, yeah. If they can’t bother taking lesbians seriously in their image-making, how can we hope that they will when the going gets tough, in their policy-making?

          Lesbian ≠ gay. Gay is no longer useful as an umbrella term precisely because it leads to these kinds of misunderstandings. That is why the appropriate term these days is LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.) Or GLBT (‘cause we care about splitting hairs like that.) Or LGBTQ (add queer.) Or LGBTI (replace queer with intersex.) Unless you are one of the people carried away by arguments like mine that you think gay rights and lesbian rights are so incompatible that they should be never be grouped together at all. I am not making this up. Check out the Wikipedia listing. It’s not the fever making me dizzy. It’s alphabet soup over there.

          Lesbian ≠ gay. I don't know how to make it any easier, folks. I meant what I wrote; I wrote about lesbians. I took a bigot’s mistaken epithet and made it a vessel of truth. OK, now I might be hallucinating. But all the rest of the comments on gender are interesting, to me anyway, and 100% beside the point.

          And at the risk of sowing more division, I feel I should confess that I am a heterosexual feminist Christian woman. In my taste for personal relationships, I am about as mainstream as I can be. I am not getting on my soapbox because I’m angry, or marginalized, or castrating, or butch. I’m on my soapbox because I think the way we use the language, what we call one another, what we call ourselves, really matters. To all of us.

          • amelia

            Very well said, Elizabeth. And you're in my prayers to feel better soon. No fun with a cold ever, but especially in July. O,_o

      • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

        Oh THANK YOU Elizabeth. You just gave me my first laugh out loud for the day!

    • Berkshire

      How telling that you would see either the term liberal or lesbian as an assault on someone's dignity. The only thing undignified (about 'liberal') is a person choosing to use such simplistic terminology to sum up something as complex as a world-view.

      You assault your own dignity when you profess to know something about Mr Shore's "world", then just as quickly demonstrate how little you actually do.

      And btw, prevaricate essentially means 'to bend the truth', so a little redundancy there.

      Calling Mr Shore a dishonest person (which you essentially did), amounts to an ad hominem fallacy. And just so you know, when you go there–you just lost the argument.

    • http://none Don Rappe

      I'm old and can remember when it was the NAACP against the KKK. Even then the NAACP was unreliable and had pliable morality. Whats the name of that new opposing group again?

      • Don Whitt

        @Don Rappe asked " Whats the name of that new opposing group again?"

        I'm pretty sure you're referring to the newest coalition of liberal political/human rights groups called "One Nation".

    • DR

      What?

    • Sherry G

      So I suppose all the photographic evidence and videos of Tea Partiers shouting racist slurs is what…our imagination? Or propaganda put together by the left? I suppose you think there were no concentration camps in WWII and that all those people weren't really murdered.

      • Tim

        Perception and truth are often at odds. Any sound byte can be played out of context. Any saboteur from either side of the political spectrum can jump out of a car stand in a group and have a photo-op.

        We know the truth about the Holocaust because of the preponderance of evidence. A photo here and there doesn't necessarily make the Tea Partiers any more racist than a video clip of NBPP member King Shabazz make the DOJ, NAACP, or any other left-leaning organizations, guilty by association.

  • http://www.aviewfromtheedge.net/blog Nicole Longstreath

    Jim – you're way off-point.

    What John is saying is that, if Tea-Partiers want to be taken seriously, they need to learn to LISTEN to their opponents. When they flatly reject the notion that some people take offense to their signs that reference monkeys, witch doctors and "niggars," they're just being obtuse.

    The Tea Party has a choice here: either "man up" and acknowledge that some in their group are ignorant racists and try and clean up their image – or – continue to deny what is blatantly obvious and remain on the fringe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

    A topic near and dear to my my heart. I'm a Libertarian and I often get called a racist for being venomously against the Obama administration.

    It's not racism. That is total bullshit. The NAACP is one of the most racist groups out there, they have no room to talk. There are far more black people in the Tea Party movement than there are white people in the NAACP. The Tea Party movement is about being angry about the government's total lack of regard for the Constitution. The skin color of the current president has nothing to do with it. There is nothing to apologize for.

    So what exactly is your point with this post? What exactly should we man up about?

    • http://www.aviewfromtheedge.net/blog Nicole Longstreath

      "I'm not a racist, you're a racist!"

      "No – I'm not a racist, YOU'RE a racist!"

      "No, you're a racist!"

      "No, you are!"

      That's basically what you just said. Is that productive? Not really.

      And what's with being "venomously angry?" When you boil it down, this administration is just like all the others, with some slight policy differences from the last. Guess what, this happens every 4-8 years. You really have nothing to be venomously angry about regarding this administration.

      Finally, you sound like you're angry because you think some liberties that are being taken away, right? When they re-instate the draft, then you can be venomously angry.

      • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

        You cannot be productive with people like that. The goal is not to listen to them or to converse with them, but too make people realize just how bad the government is screwing us all (except the poor people, they will be the only ones who gain in the end).

        The introduction of more socialism is what really gets me. I'm sick of it. This country is going to look like the decayed European countries soon if things do not change. Balance the budget and stop trying to socialize everything and I will be happy. Just so you know, I was against the war mongering Bush administration also.

        I want all liberties back and I want to decide how I spend my own money. When that happens, I will stop bitching about the government.

        Legitimate government only serves 1 purpose: To protect the rights of it's citizens. Anything else they do is an illegal action.

        • http://www.whitenoisemetal.com Brian Shields

          I wish Obama was a socialist and not a guy obviously afraid of telling irresponsible free-marketeers off.

          I want to live in a country where regulators don't allow oil companies to pollute the waters, where government bureaucrats don't let bankers feed bubbles, where there's a Consumer Product Safety Commission that won't let toy makers sell poison toys to our children. How many children and birds have to die and how many people have to lose their homes and jobs while we wait for the "market" to correct things? Too damn many.

          • Diana

            Indeed!

          • Tim

            Children and birds aren't the only ones suffering. Maybe they seem the most sympathetic, but for my money, birds are only good for shitting on my newly washed car and keeping my home from being over-run with spiders and bugs.

            I don't think the answer is going to come from a person…let alone a socialist person. Point to one socialist culture or regime that has succeeded and is not completely corrupt. If Obama is afraid, he's got good reason. You can't take the wheels off a soap box derby car while speeding down a 15% grade….that is unless it has wings and enough lift to get the wheels off the ground. Maybe Obama will somehow make our deathtrap soap box derby car economy take to the sky, but I wouldn't count on it. Politics As Usual.

        • http://www.aviewfromtheedge.net/blog Nicole Longstreath

          "Legitimate government only serves 1 purpose: To protect the rights of it’s citizens. Anything else they do is an illegal action." Dude – you can't just make up a rule for the government. LOL, seriously …

          I can completely understand the desire to control one's own destiny but the Tea-Partiers are taking a concept from 200 years ago (Liberty – which made sense then) and applying it to today.

          It worked for 13 colonies, but it doesn't work for the largest, most powerful nation on the planet.

        • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

          Dude, free market does not mean no regulations, stop being retarded. The bubbles were caused by government intervention, not helped by it. You should read The Economist and brush up on your facts before you make comments like that. We have not had free markets in the country for over 100 years.

          Stick to things you know about.

          • DR

            I read the Economist every week and I had no idea that they've been targeting the government. I'm shocked, though I really am only interested in trhe naked pictures of Dick Cheney.

          • Berkshire

            Are you sure that was The Economist and not Cook's Digest–'cause that's tooooo yummy.

            Meooow.

        • http://www.whitenoisemetal.com Brian Shields

          "Dude"

          As soon as you go ad hominem, that means your argument is lost.

          You don't even know the meanings of the words you're using.

          • Roybe

            Looks like the Huffpo is infiltrating the forums! :P Ad Hominem advice AND suggestions of illiteracy. I know this adds nothing to the discussion, sorry. but that was just an amazing exchange

        • Robert Meek

          "I want all liberties back and I want to decide how I spend my own money. When that happens, I will stop bitching about the government. Legitimate government only serves 1 purpose: To protect the rights of it’s citizens. Anything else they do is an illegal action."

          What the hell does that mean, Mr. Ely!? "I want all liberties back…" ALL? And exactly what "liberties" have you been stripped of, pray tell?

          "I want to decide how I spend my own money" – so you don't want holes in roads fixed, bridges repaired so they don't fall apart, infrastructure maintained, and updated so you have water, electricity, a working sewer system, and all of that?

          If YOU and ONLY you decide how to spend your money, that means you want no taxes, it would seem.

          How do you propose those and related things are paid for, then?

          And if the "Legitimate government only serves 1 purpose: To protect the rights of it’s citizens. Anything else they do is an illegal action" then you seem to think they should not tax and finance, with our money, these and other equally important things.

          How would you propose that the United States of America maintain the best military in the world, if not by taxing your money, and the government, not you, deciding how to spend it, then?

          Donations, like in churches, perhaps?

          • http://www.whitenoisemetal.com Brian Shields

            Robert: We could invite William over to dinner to talk about these things but then he would have to drive on our socialist roads… and that would never do. ;)

    • Berkshire

      I'm curious where you found such intriguing statistics–the ones about how many persons of color are members of the tea party movement vs. how many white people are members of the NAACP. I'm not aware of any such census having been taken within the tea party movement. Would be very interested to see that.

      Nevertheless, the argument that fewer white people in the NAACP means its racists is kind of silly (if it's true, there must be some other, stronger evidence you could present). Few numbers of white people in the NAACP might only mean that racism still exists to a large degree among white people, as they feel no desire to join the struggle for equality.

      I don't know if that's the case or not, btw. I just think it's interesting how people so often interpret things in ways designed to confirm their existing view point.

    • Shelley W

      “There are far more black people in the Tea Party movement than there are white people in the NAACP.”

      Are you just ignorant/mistaken or are you fully aware that you’re lying/wrong? Whites have been part of the NAACP since its inception.

      Venomously angry tends to make people say stupid s**t, so you might want to avoid it.

    • Ace

      “except the poor people, they will be the only ones who gain in the end”

      Oh my gosh! What a horrible notion, helping the poor! Those evil poor people, how dare they EXIST in the first place? They should all die and leave us rich people to spend our money on Hummers!

      (that’s sarcasm, by the way. And yes, you deserve it)

      • Ace

        Also, quit reading Ayn Rand, it's clearly warped your perception of reality. Well, do read the new biography of Rand, *that* is quite enlightening.

      • Ace

        Also, everything I said in the other thread a couple days ago about rich white boys and “more than” vs “equal to” applies 100% here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

    I have been to 3 rallies and saw no signs even remotely racist. This is either a lie or they took pictures of a Republican rally and called it a Tea Party rally.

    • DR

      So then it's true. Given you've been to three rallies in I what presume to be your general location of your home, we should write off the hundreds of images and videos from rallies all around the country like the ones in this post as something other than what they are. It's the Liberal media and/or the Rachel Maddow cloning machines we've got in all major metropolitan cities (and you thought the ACORN offices were just for fraudulent voting shenanigans!

  • http://www.whitenoisemetal.com Brian Shields

    The most, no the only, amusing part of the whole tea party movement is monitoring "Teabonics"… the misspelling and misuse of common English words on the signs of Tea Partiers.

    I don't know how else to interpret signs like "I Voted for the Real American" and the whole Birther insanity than to ascribe it to racism, unless you want to just mark the whole movement down to stupidity.

    Unfortunately stupidity and racism have combined before in history and the results have always been horrifying.

  • amelia

    @William. Oh, so your response to your wife would be #1 (no apology because you're just as bad), or #3 (no apology because it never happened)? Either way, your lack of apology (and the reasoning behind it) seems pretty flaccid.

    • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

      Talking to your wife has no bearing on political groups.

      I am saying that the Tea Party does not represent racism and the NAACP represents racism exclusively.

      If anyone was racist, then they should apologize for their actions, but the Tea Party as a group does not represent racist ideas so no apology is required.

      • http://www.whitenoisemetal.com Brian Shields

        You obviously need to look up the meaning of the word racism. Racism is when members of a majority group use racial bigotry to maintain their powerful position, not when members of oppressed minorities and their supporters call them out on it. There may be bigots in the NAACP but not racists.

    • http://luwandi.wordpress.com Beth Luwandi

      love the use of "flaccid" amelia. very nice.

      Also enjoying seeing Robert Meek and Brian Shields back in the fray :) amused

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    William: What Brian S indicates is true: when you so quickly reduce yourself to things like calling people "retarded"–and especially if you direct that kind of childishness to someone of Mr. Shield's caliber–you pretty wholly forfeit your right to be taken seriously. You can do better than that.

  • Jill

    I'm sorry – I just don't get it. Where is the racism on these posters? Monkeys? A play on Monkey see, monkey do, or a commentary that the poster bearer (well, probably his parents) think that Obama doesn't think for himself, but spends willy nilly. Where's the racism?

    The next poster makes a comparison between the taxpayer-congress relationship being like the slave-slaveowner relationship. Of course, the guy doesn't even know how to spell his racial epithets, but whatever, that's just advertising oneself as stupid.

    The third poster says "Mack Daddy" which I had to look up. It means a variety of things, among them, 'pimp' or 'playboy', probably indicating that the poster bearer feels that the Obama administration doesn't honor the taxpayer's money or spend it in the way they believe is correct.

    The last poster refers to the '80s show Diff'rent Strokes which starred Gary Coleman frequently expressed surprise and dismay at his brother's antics by saying "Watchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" and, follows this with 'spending my money', so I draw the conclusion that the bearer wants to express his surprise and dismay at how the Obama Administration is spending the taxpayer's money.

    Racism, or any other negative commentary should be understood within the context of the person who has expressed it, not simply from the point of view of the offended person. The world is peppered with people who see it as their sole purpose in life the grab offense from the jaws of compliment. While obviously these people mean no compliment, whether they mean racial offense is not exactly clear. However, if people want to get all upset because someone references a common or uncommon colloquialism, or somebody gets upset about references to monkeys or witch doctors, isn't that their problem?

    As far as "niggar", it wasn't a reference to Obama, or the administration, but to the taxpayer, taxpayers which come in all colors, I believe. So, since they are using a racial slur to refer to a group of people represented by all races, what could the point possibly be? We've established that the fellow holding the poster isn't exactly the best speller, so perhaps he also expresses himself passionately, or uses words to shock, along with his shocking lack of spelling skills (I mean, if you can't spell epithets, what good are you?).

    I disagree with you John. I don't think that just because someone points a finger, automatically means they are guilty. And apologizing for something you did not do is equal to admitting that you did it, which, in most cases would be a lie. Like anyone else, Tea Partiers have little control over the the actions of their individual members, and, like everywhere else, there's one in every crowd (usually two – or more).

    It is actually possible for someone to oppose the positions of the Obama Administration without being racist. And frankly, it is racism to continue the associations of monkeys and pimps with black people, so, they should stop. If all you can think of to intereact with others with is racism, then, like the hammer nail analogy, everything starts to look offensive. But in reality, the idea that others could be prejudiced against you creates at least as many problems – it becomes the filter through which you can see nothing else.

    • http://www.aviewfromtheedge.net/blog Nicole Longstreath

      Jill – I think you're being naive. It's common knowledge that all those things you listed are associated with black culture. Not that long ago, newspaper cartoonists were still drawing blacks as monkeys. Everyone knows that – that's why it's offensive.

      Same thing for witch doctors, Kool Aid, watermelons, etc. It's really irritating when people act like, "What?! I'm only saying 'monkey-see, monkey-do!" C'mon. They (and you) know very well that it's intended to be offensive.

      It's absolutely possible to disagree with a (partially) black president and not be racist. It's racism when people sink low enough to use historically defamatory references in their criticism.

      • Sarah

        @Nicole: Kool Aid and watermelons? (Insert confused tone of voice) I obviously missed what connected those things to anything racial. If anything, I would connect watermelons to farmers and the country.

        I do agree though that if you (and I mean you in the general sense of the word) are using symbols and things that were widely used as a racist (or discriminatory) tool at any point, they should be avoided. It's not just about being politically correct, it's about representing yourself and your cause in such a way that your meaning is clear. Therefore connotations and context should be taken into account.

        • http://www.aviewfromtheedge.net/blog Nicole Longstreath

          @Sarah – It may be a Southern thing – the references to Kool Aid and watermelon – but they are most definitely associated (in a bad way) with blacks. I could list more, which you may recognize, but I'd rather not.

          • Diana

            I'd never heard of the Kool Aid one, but I have heard of the watermelons and monkeys. I think there is a such thing as being willfully naive and even though it could be argued that the above signs have nothing to do with race, I could see the racial connotations fairly easily.

        • http://luwandi.wordpress.com Beth Luwandi

          For Realsie? Is this Sarah Palin? I’m a Northerner and I know that. But I think the central issue is in HEARING a group say, “hey, we don’t like the connotations of these images/words/etc.”

          I like that John compares the dynamics between the groups to a love relationship; after all, Tea Partiers do largely claim to be “Christian” right? And we all know Christians distinguish them/ourselves by love for our fellow humans…..(get the tone) Or am I just naive about that?

          Sorry if you can’t get my tone– rare mood inspired by sugar OD! ;)

          • Sarah

            “But I think the central issue is in HEARING a group say, ‘hey, we don’t like the connotations of these images/words/etc.’”

            That is spot on.

      • http://www.whitenoisemetal.com Brian Shields

        Spot on, Nicole. Well said.

        • http://www.aviewfromtheedge.net/blog Nicole Longstreath

          Thanks, cracker.

          What? I'm talking about Saltines …

          • http://www.whitenoisemetal.com Brian Shields

            I'm not White, just Melanin-deficient

            ;)

          • Berkshire

            Oh, the saltines made my sides hurt from laughing. Most excellent snarkery! Well done!

        • amelia

          @Nicole, great posts and I visited your blog which is wonderful. @Brian as always, you rock.

    • amelia

      so your response is #3 (no apology because racism just isn’t there)? You really look at those photos and honestly believe that, if we had a white president in office, they would say the same thing???

    • DR

      This is a joke, right? This can’t be serious.

    • DR

      I’m torn between two lovers here; I want to say in denial and believe this is the work of a brilliant satirist, or I want to reply with how sick and scary this comment is if it’s real.

      This is exactly what is so frightening about Christianity in America right now. Not that people are conservstive potically or those who dont like Obama, I dont care about that. I don’t even mind ignorance, because we all have things to learn, we all have our blind spots.

      But this ignorsnce coupled with the aggressive then defensive posturing is a position I see so many Christians take. It’s terrifying, no wonder so many non -Christians are getting aggressive in the face of it. This kind of thinking gets voted in and there is absolutely no stopping it because people like this so often just refuse to be educated; they are convinced the way they see things is God’s Truth. It runs so deeply that I doubt in their ability to change, their terror in having anything taken away from them, their belief that everything should be comfortable and their terror in being or being wrong are for them, mortal sin.

      • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

        “As far as “niggar”, it wasn’t a reference to Obama, or the administration, but to the taxpayer, taxpayers which come in all colors, I believe.”

        OK. I’m a moron. This line gives it away. Well played Jill. Unfortunately people actually do believe this kind of thing and shout it from the roof tops. Clearly this is a joke, no one could be this ignorant but that we even took it seriously shows that people are offering this kind of thing quite earnestly and it’s not going away. Ugh.

    • Berkshire

      "And apologizing for something you did not do is equal to admitting that you did it, which, in most cases would be a lie."

      I guess it's about intent–that is, when we think someone has accused us of malicious intent, we don't like that. Sometimes, we're not even aware of our intentions, or aware that despite our intentions, we can hurt people. But if you accidentally slammed a door on someone's hand, you'd apologize, wouldn't you? You didn't intend to (hopefully), but you did, so most would have no problem apologizing.

      Even for tea-party members who aren't racist, but are aware of the racist people in their ranks (especially those who bring signs demonstrating their racism), an apology is not inappropriate or a lie. An apology for failing to be more vocal and weed out the racists in their ranks would also be in order, along with a willingness to examine what they're doing that they could do better. In fact, I would never expect a racist to apologize, even though they should. It's those who create a safe environment for the expression of such hateful sentiments who should consider it. In their silence about it–or even worse, their condoning and defense of it–they are culpable. If they will not speak out against it within the movement, what kind of job will they do combating it within the ranks of a government charged with protecting our civil rights? It would seem the only people whose rights they're concerned with are people who look and think just like them.

      But then, standing up to angry people isn't easy.

      When protesting the potential for war with Iraq, I remember seeing people with hateful signs, too. I said something to someone with a Hitler-ized George Bush sign, asking how they thought that would get anyone to listen to rational arguments against going to war, and reminding him of how it diminishes the potency of Hitler's arch-villain status when one makes such hyperbolic comparisons rather willy-nilly.

      He didn't like that so much. Told me to go F*** myself.

      Again, not sure how he thought that would bring me over to his way of thinking.

      And never quite sure how I'm to accomplish such a directive, either. Would that I knew.

      [sigh]

      Anyway, for people who have difficulty saying they're sorry, feeling it an ego-crushing admission of wrongdoing rather than a compassionate, reparative gesture when someone has obviously been hurt, try out this one that Buddhists are fond of: "I was unskillful." I find it far less threatening to say in my more defensive moments, and it's usually accurate anyway.

  • Jeremy

    lol at Sarah Palin calling out the NAACP for being "divisive". The pot/kettle detector just exploded after that statement.

  • nelma e.

    You spelled 'vile' wrong…('vial').

  • Don Whitt

    I think William Ely is representing the Tea Party very well here – he’s very angry.

    And what are we when we’re angry? Rational? No. Respectful? No. Seeking understanding? Nope.

    When we’re angry, we’re fed-up and not going to take it anymore. We want to reach out and hurt the people that represent the things that make us angry.

    And what’s at the root of anger? Fear. Fear of change, fear of difference, fear of losing what little you think you have or think you deserve. Fear of becoming enmeshed in a competitive global economy. Fear of being crushed by and losing to all those “intellectuals”, and “homos” and “foreigners”.

    Charles Krauthammer just wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post entitled, “Obama doing whatever he can to ensure we don’t feel special”. I’ll spare you the details, but the title sums-up a lot of what I believe is driving people into the Tea Party – it’s becoming more and more evident that Americans aren’t that special anymore.

    And it’s true. Perhaps our last decade’s “specialness” has been more of special idiocy – Iraq, Afghanistan, Wall Street and Bank thefts, childhood obesity, decay of education, vapid celebrities, VP’s dropping dimes on our own CIA operatives and political candidates like Palin who are proud of their ignorance.

    It’s time for us to stop worrying about being special and start being exceptionally good.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      I would like to marry this comment.

    • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

      Ok, I am going to call out one of the new meanings of the word special. It doesn't mean highly intelligent, capable of making wise decisions, or containing any real skills. It does, more and more go in line with those who are in need of remedial education or what is called special education and ride to school in buses of less then normal length.

      Yes I know it is derogatory towards members of our community who are physically or emotionally disabled, but considering Don's comment about us wanting to be special, I couldn't help but make the connection. I do wonder if people in other nations think that this country is as lacking of vibrant brain matter as we sometimes seem.

      I do agree with us being exceptionally good is the preferred goal we should achieve as a nation, and to do so humbly.

      • Don Whitt

        @SylvieG:

        Humbly. Amen.

  • Elizabeth

    Just try not to love a comment thread where the insinuation that a statement is drug-induced is the mildest reproach. You can’t do it. You guys are the best.

    @Nicole, Diana, and amelia:
    My first couple of jobs after college were with lobbyists in DC, and I knew several gay men (n>5) who were self-described conservatives. By that, they meant Republican, fiscally cautious, and against the perceived welfare state’s political agenda. This was the late 1990s. When talking to them, I got the sense that the choice was politically expedient. Then again, if you spend enough time in DC, you start to feel that way about everyone, even the people on your own side.

    By comparison, despite knowing easily fifty times as many lesbians, I’ve never met one that self-identified as conservative in any sense. Surely part of it is circumstantial; much of my sample is lesbian students in New York, which will never be comparable to gay male federal employees in DC.

    If you want to get into it, though, gay men don’t have much in common with lesbians, ever. Health and longevity, reproduction, family and social structure, incidence of violence and abuse, professional connections, and, especially, the socio-economics are all entirely different. The top echelon of business is still overwhelmingly male, as is government. Men still make approximately $1 to women’s $.80, gay or straight, and at the end of the day, many people vote their pocketbooks. If women are poorer, lesbian or not, they will have a different appreciation of welfare, unemployment, public education, Social Security, and the public healthcare system — the bedrock issues of the so-called liberal agenda.

    So I did think a little before I wrote that line. I hope the rest of my sarcasm doesn’t meet such scrutiny. I’m sure, somewhere, that a conservative lesbian exists. But if a conservative gay man is unusual, a conservative lesbian is far rarer still.

  • Talia

    Well, I'm not a fan of the term "man up" AT ALL [since when is "manliness" the standard for good and courageous behavior? Talk like that only serves to perpetuate stereotypes and myths about gender], but if I mentally substitute the phrase "pony up," this becomes a really, really decent post.

    • Don Whitt

      At one time, manliness was equated with being good and being courageous. However, manhood is currently "under deconstruction".

      It's ironic. Ask 10 people what misogyny means and6-8 Americans will know. Ask the same 10 what misandry means and they'll all scratch their heads. Yet, we live in a culture where men suffer more unemployment, homelessness, lower levels of education, higher levels of disease and incarceration.

      And men are cannon fodder for our follies in the arena of war. I often think that the best way to end wars would be to put American women on the front lines and show videos of them being shredded by enemy gunfire. We wouldn't tolerate it for longer than a week. There would be task forces and marches protesting the grotesque inhumanity.

      We are one of the most misandric cultures on the planet. Indeed, "Man-up" is a misnomer in America. Man-down is the standard.

      • Don Whitt

        And "pony-up's" cool with me, too.

      • Ace

        If you think women have it so much better than men, I'd love to know what universe you are living in.

        Women are still more commonly victims of violence (I can't even walk down the damned street "unchaperoned" or apparently I am *asking* to be raped), women still make $0.80 to every man's $1.00, men still hold the majority of positions of power in both corporations and government in this nation.

        As for cannon fodder, men have been waging war on one another for thousands of years. Women were barred (by our male-dominated military and government) from active service in our military until quite recently. The powerful men in nations' governments typically start the wars, wage them and end them and women and children are usually just on the receiving end of wartime violence (murder, rape, gang-rape in many countries).

        Men are not suffering more unemployment because they are *actively discriminated against* as women are. The unemployment issue is the result of male-dominated industries like construction and manufacturing declining in our nation while healthcare and other "girly" service industries remain fairly healthy.

        I know what "misandry" means but American society is not an example of it. The fact that toxic "machismo" culture is cultivated and perpetuated *by men* is not the fault of women. In fact, I'd be the first to see the back of it and cheer.

        • Don Whitt

          I understand your perspective. Rather than go back and forth on this here and bore people, I direct you to the CDC's most recently published research on domestic violence. Check it out online. You'll be very surprised what you read. It's a good starting point for understanding some of the popular myths about males propagated by the media and our culture. And I live in the same universe as you, believe me. I love men and women and want us to all get along and respect each other.

          • Ace

            http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/vio

            This is what I found linked to on CDC's page here: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/intimatepar

            Yea, I read it.

            First paragraph:

            "One of the most common forms of violence against

            women is that performed by a husband or an

            intimate male partner. This is in stark contrast to the

            situation for men, who in general are much more

            likely to be attacked by a stranger or acquaintance

            than by someone within their close circle of

            relationships (1–5)."

            Second verse, same as the first…

            Men can be victims of domestic violence as well, and in some cases are, but domestic violence isn't the only issue. But thanks for condescending tone, the derailing attempt and general dismissal of my comment.

            The fact is that men are in the position of greater power in culture, in government and in the household, as well as generally being physically larger than women. Men dominate the cultural values (religion & related), the media and pretty much everything else across the globe.

          • Don Whitt

            I don't believe that's the latest for which they published data. I'm talking about the one completed in 2007 that they just pub'd – looking for the link right now to share. It is fascinating.

            In a nutshell:

            25% of all domestic partnerships expereince domestic violence. (Incredible – sickening)

            In 75% of those, the violence is initiated by both partners. (Surprising, really)

            Of those where one partner initiates violence, women are (20%?) more likely to be the instigator of violence. (Shocking).

            Here's an interesting publication re. the fact that the domestic violence equilibrium has been changing pretty significantly for years.

            Abused men: the hidden side of domestic violence

            By Philip W. Cook

            The author isn't some fanatical misogynist men's rights crackpot. This is a serious study of partner abuse and covers the gamut.

            Women, as they've gained more freedom and power have also become more abusive. While abuse by men is decreasing, abuse by women is increasing. Just like smoking, crime and high risk behavior. It actually makes sense. Power is a narcotic and women are no better or worse than men.

          • Ace

            "But what about the men who have abusive girlfriends?"

            "But what about reverse discrimination against white people?"

            Are you sure we're reading the same blog? Because you're a perfect example wrapped up in a bow of what Shore is talking about.

            Okay, domestic violence against men. Yes it happens. BUT AGAIN THAT IS NOT WHAT I AM SPEAKING OF. I REPEAT. NOT. THE. POINT.

            You're deflecting again, and missing the point entirely. Violence is increasing across the board in society, for a variety of reasons (social, economical, etc) and it has nothing to do with them evil uppity wimmins getting jobs and not staying in the kitchen where they belong!

            CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION, sorry.

            SYSTEMATIC DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN is not the same as men and women both sometimes finding themselves in abusive relationships.

            Men are NOT systematically excluded from promotions they are qualified for in favor of men, higher pay (again, $0.80 to every man's $1.00), both elected and appointed government positions, and media influence.

            Men are NOT systematically pushed out of social discourse and marginalized and trivialized.

            And while men may sometimes end up in abusive relationships as well, women as a whole are not *actively encouraged* to treat the partners abusively (whereas western, and indeed most cultures dictate men are not supposed to "be whipped" or allow their wives/girlfriends to make decisions that affect them) and always at least appear if not be completely dominant in their relationships.

            Men who don't follow such "rules" are generally insulted by comparing them *to women* – "what a pussy" etc. Homosexual men, again, are insulted by comparing them *to women* – "princess" "fairy" etc, because in our *extremely misogynist* culture, the worst thing you can do to a man is reduce him to the status of a "weak, submissive" *woman*.

            And frankly a lot of what you may identify as "misandry" is part and parcel of that concept which anti-feminists so love to make fun of, the infamous "Patriarchy" – Which is really a Kyriarchy, that not only exists to keep women from gaining any real power, but also the poor, people of color and pretty much anyone else who isn't white, male, straight and wealthy – which does in fact exist and it *hurts everybody* including men not lucky enough to fit into the aformentioned categories.

            Anyway, thanks for illustrating the point I made a few posts back about privileged individuals freaking out about losing their privilege and not being happy with "equal to" and only being happy with "more than" because, frankly, your male privilege is out flapping in the breeze at the moment. Might want to zip that up.

  • Ace

    I’m basically just sitting around waiting for the Tea Party to implode on itself and be buried under its own vile filth at this point.

    They may have some legitmate points about government spending (I don’t agree with them all but I can understand the point of view) but they lose that message entirely in all the bile the spew.

    When you have enough members who act like the worst sort of stereotypical “redneck” that’s what people are going to focus on, and people like Sarah Palin do nothing to ameliorate that image. They’re only hurting themselves with this sort of discourse.

    Well, that’s my 2 cents anyway.

  • Don Whitt

    So much of what you're stating is so, so wrong, so angry, so insulting, so missing my point and ignoring so many things that are changed and changing. And, gee, do you have to be such a "DICK" about it?

    • Ace

      O RLY?

      Crying: The new alternative to presenting persuasive evidence to back up one's position in a debate.

      Well, it's been fun.

      • Don Whitt

        Ace – you win. You have argued me into complete agreement.

        • Ace

          Ooh, do I get a pony?


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