White evangelicals: Three critiques and a clueless open letter

I’m about to share three harsh, but truthful, criticisms from three different people. Each is directed toward a slightly different audience, but each says essentially the same thing.

Kevin Drum is addressing Republicans; Chris Hayes is addressing Republicans as influenced by white Christianity; and William D. Lindsey is addressing white Christians.

But before we turn to those posts, I first want to share this astonishing “open letter,” written by white evangelical Michael L. Brown and published on The Christian Post under the headline: “White Evangelical Asks Black Evangelicals Why They Re-elected Obama.”

Brown is the president/founder/pope/CEO of something called ICN Ministries (which stands for Israel, the Church and the Nations). He’s the author of many books including The Real Kosher Jesus, A Queer Thing Happened to America, and Revolution: The Call to Holy War.

Brown seems to regard his “open letter” as a generous gesture — offering black Christians the opportunity to confess their sin and to beg forgiveness for having voted for Barack Obama.

Are you guilty, on any level, of blind allegiance to the Democratic party? And, on Election Day, did any of you compromise your convictions out of racial solidarity?

Michael L. Brown wants black Christians to know that God is merciful, and if they repent, God will forgive them for voting for a black president.

… Was there no moral compromise involved in voting for him? Are there no issues that could disqualify him in your eyes? And must Barack Obama be elected and then reelected in order to make up for past injustices, as one black evangelical woman claimed?

… One black pastor explained to me that he is convinced that “many African American believers compromised God’s Word during the election in the name of Obama Care and social program such as foods stamps etc.” Is there any truth to this?

… In 2008, I warned my listeners that Mr. Obama, if elected, would support the goals of gay activism, including redefining marriage, but many listeners did not believe me. Now that President Obama has actually abused the teaching and example of Jesus to advocate same-sex marriage, how could you vote for him again?

OK. So that happened. And now, having read that, you don’t have to wonder if Drum, Hayes and Lindsey are overstating anything in the posts below.

Kevin Drum is specifically speaking of Republicans, but I think everything he says here is something that a particular sub-set of Republicans — white evangelicals — should particularly heed:

Lightening up on immigration won’t be enough. Like it or not, conservatives are going to need a much more thorough housecleaning if they want to survive in an increasingly diverse future. No more gratuitous ethnic mockery. No more pretense that reverse racism is the real racism. No more suggestions that minorities just want a handout. No more screeching about the incipient threat of Sharia law. No more saturation coverage of the pathetic New Black Panthers. No more complaining that blacks get to use the N word but whites don’t. No more summers of hate on Fox News. No more tolerance for Dinesh D’Souza and his “roots of Obama’s rage” schtick; or for Glenn Beck saying Obama has a “deep-seated hatred of white people”; or for Rush Limbaugh claiming that “Obama’s entire economic program is reparations.” No more jeering at the mere concept of “diversity.” And no more too-clever-by-half attempts to say all this stuff without really saying it, and then pretending to be shocked when you’re called on it. Pretending might make you feel virtuous, but it doesn’t fool anyone and it won’t win you any new supporters.

That’s just a start. One way or another, the Republican Party simply has to stamp this out. And not just because they need to do it to survive, but because it’s the right thing to do. That still counts, doesn’t it?

Chris Hayes says “Conservatives Are Creating Their Own Electoral Enemies,” and he traces that problem to the “anxieties and fears of white Christians”:

The beating heart of modern conservatism is its visceral appeal to anxieties and fears of white Christians. This is a different statement than saying the beating heart of modern conservatism is white racism or white supremacy. It’s not, or not principally. It is simply white “identity” politics, with all of the pathos and ugliness that implies. And if you don’t believe that, go read some conservative comment threads, or click over to the Drudge Report or Fox News, two outlets with a preternatural sense of the deepest anxieties of the modern conservative base.

Look at the ceaseless coverage of the New Black panthers, and voter fraud and immigrants living high on the hog off government welfare, and the absolute frenzy the right whipped up over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque.

Once you understand this then you can see that the Republican party’s problems are deeper than, say, Republican opposition to comprehensive immigration reform, or even the far less controversial DREAM Act. That policy opposition is a symptom of the problem, not the cause. The deeper issue is that for conservative politicians and networks and websites there is simply too much to be gained by feeding the sense of persecution and siege that many white Christians feel down to their toes. I’m not sure what is going to shift those incentives, because that insecurity, as an emotional fact is real and isn’t going away.

And finally, here is William D. Lindsey on “Race Matters and 2012 Elections.” He’s specifically addressing white Christians, but everything he says also applies, I think, to the rest of the party to which those white Christians have pledged allegiance:

Since the cousin most fervently sharing these messages hasn’t darkened the door of any church in years and cares little at all for religion (or the Bible whose pictures she plastered across her Facebook page in the lead-up to the elections), I have to assume that there’s some other explanatory factor for her new-found zeal for Jesus and crucifixes and Bibles and patriotic schoolchildren and God-serving soldiers.

And I know full well what that explanatory factor is. It’s race.  … She has responded to the demographic changes in her county with fury about the loss of control of “her” county. “Her” county voted, in fact, for Obama in this election, as did the county in which I live and as did all the counties along the Mississippi River in the Arkansas Delta — counties with a large majority of African Americans. The rest of the state went solidly red.

It went solidly red this election cycle, and, with lavish infusions of Koch brothers money, swept into office everywhere in the state an astonishing assortment of tea party knaves, fools, and bible-pounding con men, for one reason and one reason alone: race. All this was in direct relation to — in direct reaction to — the election of the nation’s first African American president in 2008 and his impending re-election in 2012.

This in a state with churches on every corner in every nook and cranny of the state. A story replicated all across the American South.

 

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  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Are you guilty, on any level, of blind allegiance to the Democratic
    party? And, on Election Day, did any of you compromise your convictions
    out of racial solidarity?

    Why am I not surprised that some white, well-off, male douchebag wrote this?

    Talk about whitesplaining.

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    I just want to “Find & Replace” the word “black” in that letter & swap it for “white” & then resubmit it to him about Romney.

  • Tricksterson

    If you read the whole article he’s also criticized white evangelicals for supporting Romney…because he’s also prejudiced against Mormons.

  • PollyAmory

    So…anyone who didn’t write in “Jesus” is faulted, in his eyes?

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

    That open letter is something else.

    There will always be people who, due to ignorance or presupposition, view black Americans as inscrutable alien group. But the amazing part is how many of those people also believe that they have some deeper understanding of black America. Presumably, it traces back to the not-at-all-racist belief that while is the default or neutral race, and therefore white people are the only people with truly objective clarity on issues of race.

  • aunursa

    I know Michael Brown as the author of the 5-volume book series: Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus.  He was a secular Jew who converted to Christianity as a teenager and now spends much of his time proselytizing Jews and debating rabbis.  I exchanged a few emails with him about a decade ago.

  • aunursa

    It does seem rather bizarre for him to open his letter with…

    I am not writing this letter to accuse but rather to advance understanding.

    …and then follow that with…

    Are you guilty, on any level, of blind allegiance to the Democratic party? And, on Election Day, did any of you compromise your convictions out of racial solidarity?

    Was there no moral compromise involved in voting for him?

  • Magic_Cracker

    He should have cut to the chase:

    “Dear Brothers in Christ,

    Why did you black assholes vote for that black asshole Obama? Is it because he’s black? Or because you’re assholes?

    Yours in Christ,
    Whiteguy Von Butthurt

  • PollyAmory

    J’Accuse you of being racist for not voting for my candidate who I largely voted for because of his race, in other words. 

  • JustoneK

    And now to lol for several minutes.

  • Hilary

    OK I have a question.  What is the current social term for an American citizen of ethnic European background who voted for Obama?  I know I’m not a real ‘white’ white voter since I’m a homosexual Jew, but still, if 60% of white voters went for Romney, then 40% went for Obama.  Or are you only a Real White Voter (RWV) TM if you voted for Romney, with no relation to the actual amount of melanin in your epidermal tissue? 

    If a straight, older Christian male vietnam era vet votes for Obama, is he no longer white?  I speaking of someone I actually know. Very pale skin, blond, burns easily, very cool guy though.

    So then what are we?  Any good links to the analysis of Obama’s white support and vote?  Because 4 out of 10 white votes is not a small amount. 

    Hilary

  • histrogeek

     I prefer “sane” as a self-identifier. “Not-an-asshole” is also a popular label.

  • banancat

    I am not sane because I have a mental illness, but I am white and liberal and I voted for Obama. So you can use sane as your level, but you are excluding me even if you didn’t intend to. Further, unexamined privilege and bigotry are not the same as insanity. Must Republicans are quite sane; they just choose to be selfish assholes.

  • histrogeek

    I actually have a mental illness as well. After many years of dealing with it, I really don’t even think of sane or insane as clinical terms at all. Sorry about that.
    So maybe “not-an-asshole” is the best identifier.

  • banancat

    It something about our culture that the idea of mental illness equating badness is so prevalent that we don’t even notice the words we use. I’m sensitive to it though because my dad used to use my mom’s depression as a way to emotionally abuse her.

    Anyway, the simple fact that you were able to consider my side of it without getting mad at me shows how you are different than many conservatives. So maybe our label should be empathetic or self-aware.

  • Hawker40

    histrogeek: “I prefer “sane” as a self-identifier. “Not-an-asshole” is also a popular label.”

    I won’t claim sanity, or even ‘not-an-asshole’.  I will say that I try very hard not to be a jerk, and (misquoting Kipling) “Hawker ain’t no bloody fool, you bet that Hawker sees.”

  • Katie

     I think that the correct term is ‘women’.  I’m only half-joking here, although I did see a commentator who seriously suggested that the Republicans didn’t have a ‘woman problem’ because Romney won white women by 14%, which was roughly half of his win with white men.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Very pale skin, blond, burns easily, very cool guy though.

    Sounds like you friend could be Irish. They’ve only been white for a century now.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

     What is the current social term for an American citizen of ethnic European background who voted for Obama?
    Depends on what part of Europe. As already mentioned, Irish only counts as white for the last century; Greeks and Spaniards are on shaky ground as well. Poles are pretty iffy too, and don’t get me started on the Romany! 

    If a straight, older Christian male vietnam era vet votes for Obama, is he no longer white?
    Well, since he was alive during the 60’s and didn’t vote for Romney, he’s obviously a hippy. I bet he opposed the Afghan and Iraq wars too, big peace-nic that he is! 

    So he’s not white, he’s a hippy. I mean, they’re “white”, but not in the way that counts.

  • fraser

     I thought of this when Bill O’Reilly was bitching about how 20 years ago, the “white establishment” would never have let Obama get elected. Yeah, but 100 years ago, they wouldn’t have been terribly nice to O’Reilly either.

  • Hilary

    I didn’t know vietnam vets could be hippies.  But then again he goes to a UCC church, so maybe he isn’t ‘really Christian’ /snark

    Hilary

  • Tricksterson

    “But then again he goes to a UCC church so maybe he isn’t really Christian'”

    Brown and his ilk would probably say “Amen” to that.  They tend to have a very narrow definition of the term “Christian”/

  • veejayem

    Christ definitely wouldn’t have qualified.

  • Lori

     

    I didn’t know vietnam vets could be hippies.  

    Quite a few vets became DFHs when they came home from Viet Nam. When the establishment has thoroughly f’ed up your life in a horrible, pointless, loser of a war the other guys can look pretty dang good.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Er, “DFH”? *is not clued in on some of the terminology*

  • Lori

    Dirty F’ing Hippie

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ah.

  • cminus

    What is the current social term for an American citizen of ethnic European background who voted for Obama?

    “Woman”.

    (Somewhat less unseriously, how about “Yankee”?  Or possibly just “non-southerner”, since while the only part of the country where Obama won the white vote was the northeast, he did come very close among white westerners and midwesterners.)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    What is the current social term for an American citizen of ethnic European background who voted for Obama?

    “Woman”.

    Or “young adult”.

  • P J Evans

    he did come very close among white westerners

    Thanks for telling the West Coast how you think we voted.

  • cminus

    Okay, fine, the analyses of the 2012 election that I have read so far indicate that Obama won white northeasterners and came very close among white westerners and midwesterners.  The clearest breakdown was in an NYT article I can’t look up because I’ve used up my allotment of free articles, but http://www.tnr.com/blog/electionate/110039/the-gop-has-problems-white-voters-too kind of gets to the same point.

  • P J Evans

    Here, have a decent map of the election results. It’s big enough to appreciate.
    http://www.saltwaterwitch.com/img/WhatAmericaLooksLike-2012Election-ChrisHoward.jpg

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I am pleased to know that my county (right there in the middle of western Washington state in the upper-left) is pretty darkly blue. And I assure you, there are plenty of white people here (plenty of non-white people here too, but you get the idea.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1222923733 Linda Wood Turner

    CMinus:  Please see my reply to Hilary above. You are allowed to change your answer. Once.  I already use the term Woman to refer to myself, but please note that I live in the South. I don’t want to be lumped with all those *other* people. You know, The RWV’s , simply because of my geographical location and the melanin content of my outer dermal layer.   Taking from another comment about I could add the qualifier “sane”, but my therapist might have a problem with that.  Oh, here’s another thing. I am married to a legal alien. He’s from Canada. Does that make a difference?  And he’s 10 years younger than me, and a social-worker to boot!  Oh, I am digging it deep, now…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    The correct term for whites like you, your veteran friend, and myself is “race traitor,” of course.  It fills me with such shame, having violated the oath I took upon being born and finding myself white.

    (I’m having some trouble with Poe’s Law here, it seems, so just to make sure: yes, I’m being quite sarcastic.)

  • Ipneorama

     Actually, I would like a response to this as well. As a straight-white-married-with-children-40something-male-professional who voted for Obama, I do need a shorter honorific.  Perhaps “citizen” will be sufficient.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1222923733 Linda Wood Turner

    Hilary – if anyone answers your question, will you please share that answer with me? I too am not a RWV, and would like to know how to properly refer to myself in future discussions. I am a 50 yo of female persuasion whose heritage is Irish, English, Scottish, Germanic, and maybe some native American (nobody in the family wants to answer THAT question yet) and I voted for Obama. Again. And I live in a small blue dot in a really red state called Alabama.

  • PollyAmory

    That depends who is doing the naming. If it is Brown doing the naming, “race traitor” probably.

    Although I’m not in a position to speak, not being gay, but being both Jewish and an Obama voter. 

  • histrogeek

    As a white male, I feel I should translate part of Michael Brown’s letter. I realize that many people also know this dialect of whitemale (referred to academic linguists by as Southern Dipshitistani), but as a courtesy to anyone who doesn’t.

    “Are you guilty, on any level, of blind allegiance to not being white? And, on Election Day, did any of you not vote correctly
    out of racial solidarity?


    Was there no moral compromise involved in disagreeing with your white superiors? Are there no
    issues that could get you to vote for representatives of the 1% who are white? And must Barack Obama be
    elected and then reelected because of blah-blah racism, blah-blah slavery, blah-blah whatever other silly complaint you idiots have about the second-class citizenship you deserve, as some stupid chick I once heard babble something claimed?”

    I hope that clears things up for anyone who was confused.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

    You know how social conservatives have been asking questions, trying to figure out why white evangelicals (mostly younger) might vote for Obama? They don’t seem to be asking those questions about black evangelicals.

    I can’t imagine why that would be.

  • Nelson Rudolph

    Well , 1 thing everybody is missing while calling him ‘white’ is that he isn’t european in ethnicity; he is Jewish. He’s doing other people’s dirty work for them. I know one of hi students who is also with Jews for Jesus. His student believes the letter was improper because it should be a black evangelical who if anyone should have written it. Again, he never mentions being Jewish in the letter. Jews and blacks have been very close on civil rights. He was being a Herman Cain.

  • http://nwrickert.wordpress.com/ Neil Rickert

    Thanks, Fred, for a great summary of how people see the problem.

    I found that 73% to 26% vote among Asian Americans particularly interesting.  For that is in the same ball park as I believe Americans as a whole would have voted, were racism not involved.

    Those critiques by Hayes and Drum seem very much to the point.  Regrettably, I see it as unlikely that the Republicans will take the advice given.

  • Thrownaway

    “Are you now, or have you ever been, a Ford owner?”

    Or for a touch of Scientology, “What are your crimes?”

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Oh goodness… the original letter was posted at ClownHall, dumping ground for right-wing detritus. (with an emphasis on “dump”)

    “…as one black evangelical woman claimed…”
    “…some of these black Christians have told me…”
    “One black pastor explained to me…”
    “One caller to my program…”

    Wow. It sure is odd that this fellow needs to write an “open letter” asking questions, when he already knows so many black people who are willing to talk to him. Puzzling, that.

  • Soblessed1017

    They are probably black republicans who are in denial.

  • PollyAmory

    Well, obviously. He can’t be racist. He has black friends.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-White/1605859612 Sue White

    Are you guilty, on any level, of blind allegiance to the Democratic party?

    Maybe he ought to have a doctor take a look at that plank in his own eye.

  • Magic_Cracker

    That’s no plank. It’s the last of the giant sequoias.

  • Matri

    That makes his eye a U.N. Heritage Site.

  • Launcifer

    That’s no plank. It’s the last of the giant sequoias.

    I’m on some incredibly potent medication at the moment (my excuse and I’m sticking with it) and read that as “the last of the giant squidopus”. Therefore, it is my belief that Mr Brown’s eye is not, in fact, a world heritage site as Matri suggested: it’s the gateway to R’yleh.

    Funny how this crap always makes me think of Eldritch Abominations, innit?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I am normally not given to affecting a sneer of disgust when exposed to something, but that Micheal Brown writing certainly plastered one across my face.  

    Jesus, it seems like something L&J would write in their fiction, something that depends on having absolutely no idea why other people might think the way they do, taking at best awkward guesses based on fallacious assumptions.  

  • Jeff Weskamp

    Michael L. Brown’s column reminds me of Rush Limbaugh asking what it would take for blacks and women to vote for the Republican Party.  Both men evince that same level of utter cluelessness about the people they are addressing.  Here is a link to Matt Taibbi’s analysis of Rush’s butt-hurt queries:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/hey-rush-limbaugh-starting-an-abortion-industry-wont-win-you-female-voters-20121108

  • Carstonio

    Excellent analysis. Only one point of disagreement – the “traditional conservative message of self-reliance and fiscal responsibility.” Going back almost to the Gilded Age, those terms have been euphemisms for preserving wealth and power for a tiny elite. These simply acquired another layer of meaning with the advent of the Southern Strategy.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Excellent analysis. Only one point of disagreement – the “traditional conservative message of self-reliance and fiscal responsibility.” Going back almost to the Gilded Age, those terms have been euphemisms for preserving wealth and power for a tiny elite. These simply acquired another layer of meaning with the advent of the Southern Strategy.

    Strip away the euphemistic subtext of those terms though, and I can see where it is appealing to young voters.  Take some of the issues close to them, like cost control for student loans and easy access to reproductive control and health.  I would think that a lot of students going to college with government assistance (in various forms) would hardly think of themselves as takers, leeches, or wanting handouts.  Going to college requires effort, moreso if you are on an assistance program than if you have entirely private funding, and they have to put some work into their education.  They expect to repay what assistance they get by getting gainful employment after graduation and putting money back into the economy through consumption and taxation.  Birth control is something important to young people like that, as it allows them much more agency in determining when and if they start a family.  They have careers in mind that they want to establish, assets to lockdown, before they start bringing children into the picture, and an unexpected pregnancy can upset that. 

    I think of such people are very responsible.  They have a plan, they put in the work to realize that plan, and they make use of the tools and opportunities available to them in the process.  Such people would value ideals of self-reliance and fiscal responsibility, and consider themselves to be doing such.  The government assistance in this case simply expands the scope of opportunities so that those who would not otherwise get a chance have a chance.  Heck, I would argue that such a thing helps teach and encourage responsibility in those who otherwise would not have had an environment which leaves them with much to be responsible for.  

    Unfortunately, when “self-reliance and fiscal responsibility” means something like “I got mine, screw you,” then of course such young people will find a candidate espousing such to be unappealing.  

  • Carstonio

     Very true. “Self-reliance and fiscal responsibility” as a political slogan has almost never been about equality of opportunity, or leveling the playing field. Most often it’s been about people born on third base acting like they’ve hit a triple, first in economic terms, and later in racial and sexual terms as well.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Brown’s open letter reveals another bit of odd reasoning.

    He makes a few concessions to reality, namely that “Evangelicals are reluctant to vote for Romney, and I understand why” and that the Republican party hasn’t done a very good job reaching out to African-Americans. So he clearly understands why they wouldn’t vote for Romney, but to his reasoning, that means that they shouldn’t vote at all!  Interesting, that.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

     So he clearly understands why they wouldn’t vote for Romney, but to his reasoning, that means that they shouldn’t vote at all!  Interesting, that.

    That seems to be the going theme in the post-election analyses: Republicans expected that there’d be a lot of Democrats who weren’t as happy with Obama as they were 4 years ago, so they’d just stay home.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Lots and lots of us (Democrats, third party members, and unaffiliated voters) are less happy with 2012 Obama than with 2008 Obama.

    Thing is, all the things Obama’s done to piss us off? Romney wouldn’t stop doing them. Or he’d do them more. And meanwhile Romney would be fucking us all six ways to Sunday on matters that Obama’s doing well on. No thank you.

  • SisterCoyote

    Additionally, Republicans have not done much to win the confidence of black Americans, he noted.
    But he still can’t understand why most black voters backed Obama…

    I’m… uh, sensing a lack of empathy. A serious lack of empathy.

    (I know. A white evangelical media figure showing a lack of empathy? SHOCK AND HORROR.)

  • Katie

    Although I do like the suggestion of ‘sane’ and ‘not an asshole’, it looks like another possible answer is QUILTBAG.  http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/15/gay-vote-seen-as-crucial-in-obamas-victory/?gwh=E80B953D23DD40DA3B93B7044A702287

  • Hilary

    Although I do like the suggestion of ‘sane’ and ‘not an asshole’, it looks like another possible answer is QUILTBAG.  http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.n

    That’s cool.  Thanks again, Nate!

  • http://amavra.wordpress.com/ MotherDemeter

    I think it is a bit odd that he assumes that a majority of black evangelicals are especially anti- gay rights.  There are vocal black church leaders who side with white evangelicals about gay rights and abortion, but it seems fairly rare for those issues to be anywhere close to the most important with most black evangelicals.  That he is baffled by this difference in priorities is telling.

    I don’t know the statistics on that, but even if a majority of black evangelicals would vote against gay marriage given a choice, I doubt very much that it is the issue they identify with most, as a citizen or a Christian.  That it seems to be such a cornerstone in white evangelical faith is rather sad.  

    Sort of like how a slight majority of Catholics voted for Obama.  The abortion/ gay marriage thing just isn’t the most important issue for everyone no matter what the church higher ups say.  Not sure how much clearer we can make it for these guys.

  • Anton_Mates

    I don’t know the statistics on that, but even if a majority of black evangelicals would vote against gay marriage given a choice, I doubt very much that it is the issue they identify with most, as a citizen or a Christian.

    Dunno about black evangelicals in particular, but as of 2007, Pew found black Protestants in general to fall about midway between white evangelicals and white mainline Protestants on abortion and gay rights.  More recent polls have found a rapid increase in support for SSM among African-Americans over the last couple of years, and currently they seem to be split 50/50 or so–and an exit poll from this election found a significant majority of black voters supporting SSM.

    As for the importance of the issue, this guy says it doesn’t even come up when he’s polling African Americans about their political priorities.  Unemployment and the state of the economy are wayyy more important.

    So, yeah, this guy has no clue about the opinions of the people he’s lecturing.

  • PollyAmory

    When your life is pretty much set, you have the luxury of worrying about where other people stick their sexy bits. When a full one tenth of your community is mowed under by the prison-industrial complex, you have other priorities. 

  • Asha

    I always feel like I have to defend the fact that not all Southerners voted for Romney. Yeah, a lot did, but some of us aren’t assholes. Really. And we even try to change other people’s minds, too. 

  • D. Potter

    <facetious> Why yes, Mr. Brown, I voted my race.

    I am human.  President Obama is human.

    Mr. Romney is an android. </facetious>

  • Hilary

    Like!

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Why yes, Mr. Brown, I voted my race.

    I am human.  President Obama is human.

    Mr. Romney is an android.

    Hey, do not get all anthropocentric speciest on us now!  

    I have always felt like an android trapped in a human’s body.  Unfortunately, medical science is not yet advanced enough to surgically turn the me on the outside into the me on the inside.  One day though, one day…

  • Tricksterson

    You have my sympathy.  I’m am otherkin who idetifies as troll.  Was very dissapointed at the lack of elven and dwarven births in 2011 but still have hopes for 2021

  • Hilary

    So what is a White American? Does it have any actual relationship to epidermal melanin?  If women, hippies, gays, Yankee’s, Jews, and other various and sundry non-Christians aren’t ‘really white’ and Catholics, Italians, Irish, Poles, Greeks, and Spaniards haven’t been White for very long, what is it?  Is it just White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP)?  I bred parasitical wasps one summer in an entomology internship, which my Rabbi joked was an interesting job for a Jew. 

    Is race traiter like a blood traiter in the Wizarding World, like the Weasely’s not caring about pure-blood vs mudblood status?  If that is the case, sign me up for one traiterous helping of dinner over at the Burrow.

    Does anybody else feel like we were voting for the Huxtables over the Cleavers?

    Hilary

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Is race traiter like a blood traiter in the Wizarding World, like the Weasely’s not caring about pure-blood vs mudblood status?  If that is the case, sign me up for one traiterous helping of dinner over at the Burrow.

    Exactly. It’s more than likely that’s precisely what Rowling was shooting for. Assuming you’re not being facetious, that someone has to go to a Harry Potter reference to define that particular phrase really gives me hope.

  • Hilary

    “Assuming you’re not being facetious, that someone has to go to a Harry Potter reference to define that particular phrase really gives me hope.”

    I wasn’t being facetious, I honestly had to think about it.  But considering that I am a liberal Jew, raised with liberal Catholic grandparents (my mom converted) my father was a kindergarten teacher in inner city schools while I grew up, and I fell in love with a woman from a liberal Protestant background (UCC) who converted to Judaism, and I live in the Twin Cities, MN, a very liberal metro area, me having to think about being a race traitor is like a fish having to think about being in water. Oh, and I went to public schools and I take the bus to work sometimes, even worse perhaps.

    Hilary 

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    So what is a White American? Does it have any actual relationship to epidermal melanin?

    No. And it never has. While people with “too much” epidermal melanin may be always excluded from the group, to be included, you have to be rich enough and evince the correct ideas and family structure. If you’re a woman, you also have to wear enough makeup (of the correct sort), do your hair a certain way, wear quite high heels (but not “too” high), have the correct sexual history (not involving any non-white partners, though you can have had sex before marriage if it was within a certain type of relationship, particularly if you say you regret it), and be the correct body type — neither too tall nor too fat. 

    Some of the lightest-skinned people in the world have traditionally been excluded from whiteness. Their admittance to the group is still on sufferance, and anyone can be excluded at any time. 

  • Jenny Islander

    Some of these factors fluctuate.  I’ve noticed that in Alaska, fat women are admitted to whiteness more often than they are in, say, L.A.  Also the acceptable religiosity for whiteness varies by region.

    The level below whiteness, for white people, is generally (but not always) “white trash.”

  • Albanaeon

    “Does anybody else feel like we were voting for the Huxtables over the Cleavers?”

    Only if you are referring to the knives…

  • Beroli

     As Marc suggested, I’m reasonably certain Rowling meant “blood traitor” as a callback to the Nazi term “race traitor.”

  • Carolyn

     no…maybe the huxtables over Archie Bunker?  Although Leave it to Beaver never really investigated prejudice, Ward didn’t seem like the type of guy who would be racist…who knows?

  • Tricksterson

    Minorites rarely appeared on TV back then and when they did they were seriously stereotyped.  A mexican? kid appeared in one episode of Leave It To Beaver mostly so Eddie could be even more of a dick than usualm contrast to the sortanotquite liberal Cleavers but that was it IIRC.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Also, even programs which were deliberately trying to be sympathetic to minorities tended to be so patronizing that to a modern audience, they come off as even more racist than the programs which just flat out ignored the existence of non-white folks.

    (It’s been a bit of a recurring theme for me re-watchign TV shows from my childhood, to discover that thingswhich were considered progressive in their day tend to come off even worse than things that weren’t, by virtue of the fact that they keep calling attention to themselves)

  • Loquat

    I can’t help but wonder how Michael L. Brown would react if asked, by a young person appearing to be ignorant of Christ, whether Christianity involved anything beyond opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

    His open letter sure as hell suggests his answer is “no”.

  • kisekileia

    Of course Christianity isn’t just about opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. It’s anti-porn and anti-straight-non-marital-sex, too! [/facetious]

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    That letter is so terrible it’s art.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It still boggles my mind how on the one hand, Mitt Romney can utter things Republicans would clutch pearls over, and then a few weeks later, some dickbag can come along and whitesplain to blacks in far less conciliatory language that they should have voted for Romney.

    I do seem to recall an aphorism about attracting flies with honey here.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    Thought this was an interesting observation by Alex Koppelman:

    “Conservatives have constructed a myth that says certain groups—blacks, Hispanics, women, young people—vote Democratic because they’re stupid, because they’re lazy, and because they can be purchased with trinkets and baubles. It’d be one thing if they kept that myth a secret, but instead they shout it from the rooftops. Then, when it’s over, they wonder why those people voted Democratic again.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/11/romney-blames-obama-gifts-for-loss.html

  • PollyAmory

    This reminds me of a comment thread I got into at Gawker. One commenter couldn’t understand what was wrong with the justification given by Romney for his loss during his conference calls with the donors.

    And I explained that he — and the rest of that lot — is attempting to construct a narrative in which everyone who voted for Romney did so for some nebulous “right” reasons, while the Democratic voters were just out for what they could get.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It’s funny how fulsome the praise is for democracy among Republicans – unless you vote for Democrats, in which case it means you’re obviously some moocher. (>_<)

  • http://twitter.com/wonderbink SheilaTheWonderbink

    Now that President Obama has actually abused the teaching and example of Jesus to advocate same-sex marriage, how could you vote for him again?

    Fixed that for ya.

  • Sindragosa

    It’s telling that showing less racism is being advocated as a politically expedient thing to do, as opposed to being less racist because it’s the right thing to do.

    Fits right in with my view on christians however. 

  • AnonymousSam

    Hey, uh, Sindragosa? Here’s a fun little exercise for you to try sometime: Try replacing the word “Christians” with the phrase “black people;” see how well the constant rhetoric of blanket group demonization syncs up. You might learn a something about yourself.

  • Mary Kaye

    My gosh, that map raises more questions than it answers, at least for me.  What is the blue strip horizontally across the South?  What is the blue blob west of the Great Lakes?  I know small blue blobs are urban centers but both of those are *huge*.

  • EllieMurasaki

    The blue strip is where the coastline was in…dinosaur era? I don’t recall offhand, but something about the ex-coastline made the soil really good for cotton. Cotton -> slaves. Slaves -> black voters. Dunno about up by the Great Lakes, though.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The blue up by the G.L. is probably Obama’s famed “union firewall”. You’re looking at what would be serious rust belt territory if it hadn’t been for the auto sector bailouts.

  • Arresi

    And I think Madison, WI is in the upper right corner of that patch.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    That area by the Great Lakes is Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois.  There are not a whole lot of factories of any sort out that way.  It’s mostly farmland.

    The rust belt is farther east, around Lakes Erie and Ontario.

    There are a couple of college towns in that area and also Rochester, Minnesota, home of the Mayo Clinic.

  • AnonaMiss

    Some of it has to do with union strongholds along the Mississippi river;  but for the most part, it’s just the northern midwest tradition of progressivism (which non-natives tend to find surprising for some reason). There are a lot of notoriously left-leaning liberal arts schools and state universities throughout Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, for example: UW Madison, UIUC, Grinnell, Lawrence University, and a lot of less well-known ones. 
    Also, historically these states were major supporters of abolition and prohibition – I suppose you could call it the Second Great Awakening Belt.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Well then they just have the good taste to vote Democratic then. :D

  • reynard61

    “In an open letter to black evangelicals, Michael Brown candidly asks whether they compromised their beliefs by voting for the re-election of President Barack Obama.

    (…)

    “‘I simply do not understand how my black evangelical friends who so staunchly oppose same-sex marriage and who stand against abortion could cast their vote for the most radically pro-abortion, pro-gay-activist president in our history,’ he said as a fellow evangelical.”

    Well, maybe it’s not *all* about the abortion thing or the gay thing anymore. Maybe it’s about the Economy thing — y’know; Jobs, putting food on the table, paying the heating and electricity bills, being able to pay the Doctor bills, being able to pay for school for the kids (especially if they can’t get in on scholarships), etc., etc.

    God supposedly helps those who help themselves, and maybe your black evangelical “brothers” (and sisters — women can vote too now!) decided that since white evangelical Republicans weren’t exactly rushing to help them (or even paying lip service to doing so) they decided that they might just have better luck with the black man in the White House who has actually put forward *plans* to help them economically. (Even as the mostly white guys* who run the House have obstructed his every effort to help them since his first inauguration.)

    So I ask you, Pastor Brown; *why* the hell are you so surprised that your black evangelical “friends” voted for a “radically pro-abortion, pro-gay-activist president”?

    *Yes, Allen West is black and Michele Bachmann is a woman — and they’re both batshit insane, so no help there…

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    Well, maybe it’s not *all* about the abortion thing or the gay
    thing anymore. Maybe it’s about the Economy thing — y’know; Jobs,
    putting food on the table, paying the heating and electricity bills,
    being able to pay the Doctor bills, being able to pay for school for the
    kids (especially if they can’t get in on scholarships), etc., etc.

    Remember, the Received Wisdom is that NO ONE disagrees with the republicans that Obama is bad for the economy and Romney would have been good for it.

    Therefore, no one could have voted for Obama *because* of the economy, only *in spite of* it.

  • MJB

    This Michael J. Brown has to say that he finds the comments by Michael L. Brown to be absolutely repugnant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Ritchie/1199343350 Robert Ritchie
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Ritchie/1199343350 Robert Ritchie

    ICN Ministries – Guidestar.org
    2010 IRS Form 990 – Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax
    http://www2.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2010/521/864/2010-521864520-07b990a4-9.pdf

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1299740607 Diane Ollie

    “…how could you vote for him again?”
    Because you are phuqtards.

  • J_

    Went through the link to Christian Post . . .

    *Immediately* SpyBot and Symantec started going wild:

    “001 Dragon Toolkit attack detected”
    “002 Dragon Toolkit attack detected”
    “003 Dragon Toolkit attack detected”
    “004 Dragon Toolkit attack detected”

    Christian Post’s website is trying to do to my computer what Christians try to do to my mind.

  • abombt1

    Micheal Brown’s book “A queer thing happened to America” suggests that gay Christians masturbate to fantasies of penetrating a naked Jesus on the cross.

    The guy is pyscho.

  • Tricksterson

    Projection much?

  • http://twitter.com/pooserville Dave Pooser

    I got called a traitor to my race while canvassing for Obama in Ohio in ’08.  Somehow I survived….

  • Damanoid

    ‘ … One black pastor explained to me that he is convinced that “many
    African American believers compromised God’s Word during the election in
    the name of Obama Care and social program such as foods stamps etc.” Is
    there any truth to this?’

    No, it’s not true.  You never spoke to any black pastor who said any such thing.

  • Rowen

    I didn’t realize that one can have a mental illness and not be considered sane. While I realize that there are times that the lines are blurred, having one does not negate having the other.

  • Jesus

    Hi, this is Jesus,
    I really don’t care who wins just as long as who wins cares.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You’re gonna have to define your terms, buddy, because a lot of the people who won this go-round and a lot more of those who tried to win are absolutely certain that they’re following to the letter your instruction to love God above all and their neighbors as themselves. They’re just using a considerably narrower definition of ‘neighbor’ than the rest of us are, and loving a particularly vicious god.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1039672277 Christopher Heyn

    I’ve had a few direct online interactions with Michael Brown, and I have friends who have interacted with him personally.  He’s a bully, plain and simple.  (Just look at his ministerial history and how many times he’s had to move on to new pastures.)

    He’s always claiming to want “dialogue” with the GLBT community, but his idea of dialogue is getting you to agree with him.  As long as he can sucker some well-meaning GLBT people into sitting down with him over dinner thinking he’s genuine, he’ll use that as an example of how “inclusive” he is.  But when asked direct questions, he folds like a cheap tent.

    Back when he first started his “Love Has a Better Way” campaign in Charlotte, I asked him a simple question on his Facebook page:  “Is it demonstrating the love of Jesus to take away a gay person’s health insurance?”  He talked around the question but would never answer it.

    That told me all I needed to know about him.  

  • Dorthealynn

    I will tell you exactly why I, a Spirit-filled Christian, and seminary-trained minister voted for Barak Obama.  The final authority for all Christian values and conduct is not white evangelical Christians, it is the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.  He has stated that the final basis for judgement is not being a Republican and believing oneself to be superior to others, as so many of you have demonstrated that you do.  Rather, whether or not we are a sheep or a goat, and ushered into the presence of God, or not, is based upon how we treated those who deemed to be the “least.”  According to Jesus, what we do for the least, we do for Him.

    The President and the Democratic party leadership are not pastors, responsible for shepherding our souls.  Those of us who are believers have pastors.  What the Democratic party has consistently done in my lifetime is speak up on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves, which the Word of God commands us to do.  However, the Word also commands us as Christians to become all things to all people, that we may win all.  No one is being won by the words or witness, i.e. the ungodly conduct, of so many members of the Republican party.

    Many Republican Party members have somehow convinced themselves that they are the keepers of morality in this nation.  Yet, I have never seen such a demonstration of hatred, vitriol, racism, lying, mean-spirited behavior, willingness to deny basic rights to others, etc.  There is nothing godly about standing up for privileges for the few, while the many suffer.   There is nothing godly about attacking the President becuase of words spoken by his pastor, but failing to address many of the teachings of the church attended by his opponent, which do not line up with basic principles of Scripture.  There is nothing godly about being a Bishop in a church that teaches that black people are cursed of God.

    I have seen more graciousness of spirit in the President that I have seen in many white, Evangelical Christians and I believe that God has used his election to surface the evil that is in so many of your hearts.  I will continue to pray that this President will have the spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might.  I firmly suggest that many of our white Evangelical Christians stop judging other people and questioning our motives and re-read the Bible. 

    As a seminary trained minister, I understand that John Calvin taught that we are able to identify God’s elect because they are blessed and prosperous.  However, I again point to the ministry of Jesus, the Son of God, as the final authority.  His life and ministry indicate that there is a special place in the heart of God for the poor, the needy and those who recognized that they have not lived up to the standards of God, and who ask for mercy.  Those who stand before God and proclaim their own righteousness are not justified.

    To my white Evangelical friends I say, take the log out of your own eyes and then you will see to take the specks out of the eyes of others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pointblank009 Chris Stevenson

    Drum beat on all the right’s slick nuances very clearly: “No more gratuitous ethnic mockery. No more pretense that reverse racism is the real racism. No more suggestions that minorities just want a handout. No more screeching about the incipient threat of Sharia law. No more saturation coverage of the pathetic New Black Panthers. No more complaining that blacks get to use the N word but whites don’t. No more summers of hate on Fox News. No more tolerance for Dinesh D’Souza and his “roots of Obama’s rage” schtick; or for Glenn Beck saying Obama has a “deep-seated hatred of white people”; or for Rush Limbaugh claiming that “Obama’s entire economic program is reparations.” No more jeering at the mere concept of “diversity.” And no more too-clever-by-half attempts to say all this stuff without really saying it, and then pretending to be shocked when you’re called on it. Pretending might make you feel virtuous, but it doesn’t fool anyone and it won’t win you any new supporters.
    That’s just a start. One way or another, the Republican Party simply has to stamp this out. And not just because they need to do it to survive, but because it’s the right thing to do. That still counts, doesn’t it?” Slam Dunk!

  • Ginny Bain Allen

    First off, remember Obama is only partially black, so those who voted for him were, in truth, voting for a black/white man. How anyone can vote for someone who has taken us so far off the rails of financial wisdom and security is beyond me!

    Secondly, the poll where my mother has worked during numerous elections was host to quite a few blacks who had never before voted in their entire lives……until Obama was a candidate.    Upon their arrival at the poll, they asked my mother what party the black man was representing because they wanted to vote for him.  Sadly, many of them could not even sign their own name.

    Thirdly, many so-called Christian blacks voted for Obama.  How pathetic that their devotion to skin color outweighed their devotion to their Lord, Master and Saviour.  Oh, wait a minute, Jamie Foxx did refer to Obama as our Lord and Saviour, silly me.

    But, of course, no blacks are racist.  Only white Christians, particularly males, the least of the least in the eyes of the anti-Christs among us.  Of course, when whites aren’t willing to vote for a black man, it necessarily indicates racism.   

    Get real, phonies!

  • VMink

    Trolling the back-catalog of articles?  Fine, I’ll bite.

    What should the punishment be for a woman who gets an abortion in a jurisdiction where abortion is illegal?

  • Ginny Bain Allen

    Who is the one trolling here now, VM?  Have you made relevant comments to this particular essay?