Obama, Racism...and Digby--with Update

Cross-posted at Alegre's Corner and my own blog, Pol Culture

Like many others, I was appalled by Obama's decision to conduct a support rally for himself in Berlin last week. The only U.S. political figure who has any business conducting political rallies on foreign soil is the President or a President-approved proxy, and even then only with the endorsement of that country's government. Obama is not the President, and Angela Merkel would have stopped this if she could have--the decision to allow this spectacle was made by the municipal government in Berlin. Foreign nationals should stay out of U.S. politics, whether it is Elton John at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser, or the German citizenry at the Obama rally Thursday.

In a short essay last week, posted Wednesday on my blog Pol Culture and cross-posted as a diary on Alegre's Corner, I wrote that I considered Obama the same sort of callow narcissist as George W. Bush: a man with little interest in public policy who sees the Presidency as the brass ring in his quest for self-aggrandizement. I wrote that I didn't want to see his equivalent of Operation Flightsuit. I believe we may have seen the first version of it Thursday, with the allusions to Reagan's 1987 Brandenburg speech serving as the requisite Spinal Tap cucumber.

My disdain for Obama's conduct Thursday, which violated the spirit, if not the letter of federal law, has been echoed by many online and in the traditional press. As Bob Cesca at The Huffington Post noted (given the source, please find your own link), many of the complaints in the press tended to have one thing in common: they all pushed the meme that Obama is being "presumptuous." Nothing too surprising there; the press is notoriously lazy, and they're most likely recycling language from a press release from either the McCain campaign or one of its proxies. And it's no big deal; being presumptuous is synonymous with hubris, and questions of hubris should always be on one's mind when considering the conduct of political leaders.

But then along came Digby. Now Digby is one of our leading liberal bloggers, and her reputation is such that even in these dark, divided days of the liberal blogosphere she is generally held in regard by all. Among many (including myself) she is seen as a voice of wisdom, and even if we no longer visit the sites where "What Digby Said" was a frequent link tag, we still appreciate the sentiment. However, in an extremely unfortunate post Friday, she revives one of the most odious tactics of the Obama campaign during the primary season: deconstructing perfectly reasonable--even factual--statements by Obama critics into racist statements or racist appeals. Here's the offending paragraph:

Keep in mijnd [sic] that the GOP does not do this stuff for a knock out [sic]. They operate on the death of a thousand cuts. Little criticisms, relentlessly played, dribbled out over time designed to create a running theme. This one is obvious: elitist, aloof, and --- presumptuous. That last carries quite an amazing amount of freight --- presumptuous, uppity, doesn't know his place. It applies neatly to any Democrat who deigns to lead Broderville but the historical, subliminal American memory that attaches to such a word when the person in question is black is particularly powerful. (I smell the mark of Rove on that --- he's really good at stuff like this.)

That's right. If you think Obama's rally in Berlin arrogantly crossed the bounds of propriety, or if you find Obama himself a study in hubris, it's because deep down--deeper than you may even know--you're a racist. And to criticize Obama for arrogant conduct is to fan the flames of racism in others.

Digby has apparently decided to turn this into her own little meme. An ironic reference to Obama as "the Presumptuous Uppity One" appears in a subsequent post, and in a third, she uses this language to impute race-baiting motives on the part of McCain in his criticisms of his opponent:

[McCain]'s saying that Obama is more interested in "others" than he is Real Americans. Typical elite. Uppity at that. It's hard to know if this approach will work, but it makesa [sic] certain amount of sense for Republicans. People are in a sour mood. They want to blame somebody. Why not a young, black guy?
I've personally asked Digby to stop this in the comments section of her blog. All she's doing in the name of fighting this alleged race-baiting is to sow the seeds of hatred against those who dare to criticize Obama. Calling someone a racist in the U.S. today is akin to calling them a child molester, and fringe groups like the Klan and Aryan Nation are held in much the same regard as NAMBLA. We've seen this tactic before from Obama supporters, most notoriously after the time Bill Clinton outlined Obama's shifting positions on the Iraq War and called the depiction of Obama as a steadfast opponent of Bush on Iraq "the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen." Well, no, the Obama supporters claimed. Bill Clinton isn't calling the depiction Obama's position on the Iraq War a fairy tale. You have to read between the lines; you have to "deconstruct." What's he's really doing is calling the notion that a black man could successfully run for President a fairy tale. Bill Clinton is a racist! (Those looking for a recap of that whole sorry episode, click here.)

Depending on what part of the country you're from, you're long familiar with these sort of tactics. I come from the Detroit metropolitan area, which has been one of the most racially polarized regions in the country for the last few decades. I grew up watching local African-American politicians, most notably Coleman Young, Detroit's mayor between 1974 and 1993, reflexively yell racism every time something didn't go their way. The goal is to rally African-Americans and the non-AA liberals behind them while intimidating the opposition into silence. If you want a more recent local example, look no further than Detroit's current mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, and his responses to the situation that resulted in the eight felony indictments brought against him in March.

In the short term, the strategy works. However, in the long term, it does enormous injury to the body politic, and you end up with places as polarized as the Detroit area, where one side sees the other as racists, and the other side sees the first as fools. Hate-mongering of the sort Obama, Digby, and others are engaging in needs to stop, and it needs to be aggressively called out when it occurs. These tactics are just as divisive as true racist appeals and tactics such as Nixon's "Southern strategy,"Reagan's assorted "innocent mistakes," and George Bush the Elder's use of Willie Horton in his 1988 Presidential campaign. In the United States of 2008, they may be even more divisive.

Personally, I have no idea what Digby even knows about racism and race relations in this country. She's a white resident of white-bread Santa Monica, California, where the African-American population is less than four percent, and she writes as if all her knowledge of the subject comes from books or news reports. There's no sense in her writing that she has any firsthand knowledge or experience of racism in this country. Has she ever lived in a predominantly black or racially mixed working-class community? (I emphasize working class, because an affluent African-American who doesn't affect identifications with working class blacks, is, in the words of Archie Bunker, "one of the good ones.") Does she know firsthand what it's like to live in a racially polarized area where politicians cynically stoke racial divisions for their own benefit? I don't know, but my impression is that her knowledge of racism is entirely in the abstract. Perhaps it's for the best if she restrict her criticism of racism to overt expressions and actions. Interpretations not rooted in experience tend towards the solipsistic.

As for what to do about Digby, my recommendation is to let her know how you feel about her peddling this garbage. You can write her--be polite--at . I also recommend dropping her from your blog rolls until she stops this hateful behavior and apologizes for it. I know I will. The opportunity to let this pass quietly in the night is gone.

[Note: The update reflects repairs to some technical coding glitches in the post. The text has not changed.]

UPDATE: Digby has informed me in an e-mail that she has no intention of halting or backing off the statements criticized in this diary. I shouldn't have expected better, but I always hope.

Tags: Barack Obama, Blogosphere Issues, Election 2008, John McCain, Racism in America (all tags)

Comments

87 Comments

The website you meant to post this at is

right here.

Or maybe you meant this group of your fellow travelers or maybe this one.

Because you clearly didn't mean to post this piece of rightwing filth at a Democratic website, where you obviously have no place.

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: The website you meant to post this at is

Beyond the Presidential contest, in which I refuse to vote, I plan to vote Democratic across the board, as I've pretty much done since I first began voting in 1988. The only exceptions were for the Michigan Secretary of State races in 1994 and 1998, when I voted for GOP candidate (and later incumbent) Candice Miller. The first time was because the Dem incumbent was obviously senile, and the second time was because Miller did an absolutely phenomenal job, which anyone who lived in Michigan at the time can attest.

If you go to my site, I think you'll agree that beyond my disdain for Obama, it's pretty pro-Democratic.

by Pol C 2008-07-28 10:02AM | 0 recs
No thanks, don't want to give

 you the traffic.  I'll just judge you by your objectively pro-Republican and anti-Democrat postings here.

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 10:05AM | 0 recs
A very well written

attack that channels redstate wonderfully....

What I find particularly funny is the reference to the Logan Act which according to the proposed interpretation would have been violated by every Presidential Candidate in the last 45 years.  There has been no prosecution under the Logan Act in over 200 Years.

None of these facts matter to the PUMA crowd.  Facts stopped being relevant to them long ago...

by fladem 2008-07-28 09:04AM | 0 recs
This one's just a Republican creep.

But, I guess we have to respect this as dissent or some crap like that, for fear of offending people who have dedicated their lives to trashing Barack Obama.

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: This one's just a Republican creep.

That's right, don't you purity trolls go trampling on anyone's freedom of speech :-)

Posts like this are part of what makes Mydd 'rock the house'.
</snark>

by Maori 2008-07-28 12:05PM | 0 recs
Well I suppose reasonable people can disagree.

I thought the speech in Germany was great, and a great idea to boot.  I enjoyed the speech, enjoyed the response and didn't find anything inappropriate or controversial in it, much less arrogant or 'uppity' or a sign of hubris or whatever other tag you use for the ame meme.

To me it showcased his diplomatic skills and previewed the instant increase in global legitimacy that an Oboma victory would bring about.

But then again, I don't buy all this 'only the President can do X' crap.  I guess it's because I've seen Preznit Fucktard who claims divine powers for the last several years - I no longer believe that ANYTHING is the sole prerogative of the president.

About the race-baiting charges - well on some level I'm sure that's there, but I think it also was about the hasn't-paid-his-dues mentality that McCain has (and Clinton as well); this guy just comes up and steals all the oxygen when - dammit - McCain has been kissing Bushie ass for the last 7 years and it isn't FAIR!

That's the vibe I got at least.  In any event, I'll take Obama over McCain any day.  McCain is a fucking evil psycho.  Seriously, he's fucking sick in the head and he's about as bad of a representation of the States as you can get who isn't already in the Bush Administration or Arkham Asylum.

by teknofyl 2008-07-28 09:09AM | 0 recs
You're just sad that he's a well respected U.S.

Senator, and you're a joke, deal with it and move on.

by Dog Chains 2008-07-28 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

You're comparing Kirkpatrick to Obama?  You're way, way off base here.

Whole lotta words to say a whole lotta nothing.  Try harder next time, and you might make some sense.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-07-28 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

Obama's not the buffoon Kilpatrick is, I'll grant that. I was using Kilpatrick as an example of a politician in my home area who engages in these sort of tactics, and that these tactics are a commonplace where I live.

by Pol C 2008-07-28 12:03PM | 0 recs
What I find

curious, and in the end suspicious about all of this is the lack of any attention to McCain.

McCain voted against the MLK Holiday, and today came out against affirmative action.  

Why no outrage at him?  Aren't these two examples of far more outrageous racial politics than anything Obama has engaged in>

by fladem 2008-07-28 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

The comparison is odious at best.  Kilpatrick is just about as corrupt a pol as you can find, though it is my experience that many mayors are, be they black, white, latino, male or female.

There is always room for criticism, but if you post approvingly from Alegre, a once respected blogger gone insane, you're gonna get flamed.

Now, what is your point here?

by NewOaklandDem 2008-07-28 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

Dissent?

Hardly.

Maybe L.Whitey Johnson has a spot for you in his lineup.

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-28 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

Just a couple of points

You do know there are over a quarter of a million US citizens in Germany who can vote in this election. The largest ex-pat community any where overseas. So holding a campaign event, if that's what you want to call it, seems to make sense.

Personally I was just happy there were people in Europe happy to see an American pol as opposed to burning the flag and booing him.

As to the Logan Act where or how did he violate it. Meeting foriegn dignitaries is not a violation.

by jsfox 2008-07-28 09:19AM | 0 recs
Hey dipshit!

Did you notice that John McCain gave a political speech in Canada a few months back?  That he's publically visited quite a few foreign leaders after he locked up the Republican nomination?

Narcissist?  Maybe so.  But it ain't his fault that the press and the Europeans cared more about his trip than they did about McCain's.

Go cry someplace else.  But get educated first.

And no, calling Obama a narcissist based on this spurious crap doesn't make you a racist in the slightest.  It does suggest a rather remarkable lack of sophistication on your part.

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-07-28 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Hey dipshit!
Calling a diarist/commenter "dipshit" is acceptable discourse from the MyDD community, let alone mojo worthy?
I don't think that's discourse.
by ChitownDenny 2008-07-28 09:47AM | 0 recs
Eh, trolls shouldn't expect

to be treated as anything other than trolls.

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 10:01AM | 0 recs
A counter-question might be

when are we allowed to wonder if racism is involved? Never? Does an actual slur have to be involved?

I think if a woman candidate were called "too aggressive", that would send some sexism flags waving. It's a criticism that plays into the stereotype.

In a similar vein, the concept that a Black Man should "know his place" is a clear racist meme. Surely, when a Harvard/Princeton Presidential candidate is accused of "arrogance", surely this resonates with that meme? For such a person, in such a position, a certain amount of arrogance is assumed - or it would be if he were white.

How about when people impugn Michelle Obama for $600 earrings, but do not comment on Cindy McCain's private plane. Is this a problem with her "knowing her place?". If not, why isn't Cindy subject to the same criticism?  More importantly, why can't we ask the question?

Perhaps you live in a country where all vestiges of racism and sexism are expunged. I don't. Vigilance, on both fronts, requires the willingness to question our motives, in even seemingly inconsequential matters.

by Neef 2008-07-28 09:22AM | 0 recs
Racism is okay as long as it's

expressed in code.

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Racism is okay as long as it's

Problem is, many of these PUMAs flunked coding.

They are too damn east to read

by wrb 2008-07-28 11:59AM | 0 recs
psychologist provide helpful answers

Regarding whether a candidate is egotistical there are psychological standards for that so I recommend checking with a psychologist to determine if someone is egotistical. Race, gender, etc. has nothing to do with it. Rather, what a person says and does should determine that.

Also, isn't it considered bad to attack bloggers personally on this board?

by Nancy Kallitechnis 2008-07-28 09:32AM | 0 recs
Not necessarily

I think the general consensus is that if you called a woman "vindictive and conniving", you would clearly be straying into sexism memes. Unless, of course, you could prove it.

Arrogance is in the eye of the beholder (some might call it confidence), and as such speaks to the viewers perceptions.

by Neef 2008-07-28 09:41AM | 0 recs
psychological diagnosis of narcissim

I disagree that ego issues are subjective. I think that it can be said that some people seem to have a bigger ego than others. Psychologists have studied this phenomenon and have gained some insight. For example there is a mental illness called Narcissistic Personality Disorder which is diagnosed by observing a person's ego:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-R), the diagnostic classification system used in the United States, as "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy."

The narcissist is described as turning inward for gratification rather than depending on others and as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power and prestige. Narcissistic personality disorder can be caused by receiving excessive praise and criticism in childhood, particularly from parental figures
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissisti c_Personality_Disorder

by Nancy Kallitechnis 2008-07-28 10:02AM | 0 recs
There's a word for people

with giant egos who think that the world depends on them to solve its problems.

The clinical term is "politician."

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 10:04AM | 0 recs
politicians

I assume you're joking but just in case you are half-serious I think some politicians would probably exhibit the symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder but that others would not. And I think that some politicians are more concerned with benefitting their image than benefitting the public while other politicians are humble and seek to serve others more than themselves.

by Nancy Kallitechnis 2008-07-28 10:43AM | 0 recs
If a politician doesn't think the world

needs his/her help to solve its problems, they don't run for President.

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 10:45AM | 0 recs
I'm not disagreeing with

A trained professional's diagnosis. I am disagreeing that Joe Blogger is such a professional. 0% of the "Obama is arrogant" crew are psychologists who've had him on their couch. In such cases, I'm comfortable in believing "arrogance" is what they percieve, not necessarily what exists.

For the record, I do think O has a big ego. Truly humble people don't come as far as he has, and certainly not as fast. I also believe he does he level best to backcheck himself, and keep his ego in check. That is evident from watching him interact with any close associate.

Of course, that's my opinion of his mindset, which carries as much weight as the hater's opinions - basically none.

by Neef 2008-07-28 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm not disagreeing with

I'm not disagreeing with a trained professional's diagnosis

Perhaps HRC and Obama should get analyzed so we can put this matter to rest.

Truly humble people don't come as far as he has, and certainly not as fast.

I disagree because humble servants seek to help others, that is their motivation and it is a powerful motivation. I have read many accounts of people who were in trouble and they said the only thing that made them survive was knowing that others depended on them. I suspect that service towards others is the most powerful motivator.

I was fascinated to learn Margaret Thatcher's reason for seeking the Party Leader job. She had very different political ideas than the current Tory party leader Ted Heath. Thatcher had sat in Heath's cabinet for years watching how his leadership kept weakening the party. Heath had lost three elections and many of his policies were disastrous. Thatcher had been a kind of dissident in Heath's government and a close ally of Keith Joseph who shared her opinions. It was expected that Joseph would challenge Heath because they were on opposite sides of the Tory Party and Joseph was I believe the highest level person on Thatcher's side. But the press started harassing Joseph because of a speech he made and they camped at his house so Joseph told Thatcher he would not run. When Thatcher heard him she was crushed and at that moment she said she heard herself telling Joseph that she would run against Heath. It was surreal. Her plan to run was spontaneous and motivated by the desire to help the Party be reborn from the wreckage of the Heath administration.  Thatcher said...

Ted had impaled the Party on an extremely painful hook from which it would be my unenviable task to set it free (page 322).

Thatcher was the only woman in Heath's cabinet. There had never been a female Prime MInister.  This was the 1970's. Also Heath had a way of dealing with competitors that was politically extremely brutal. She knew that if she ran and lost her political career would be over. When Thatcher told her husband she was going to run he said...

You must be out of your mind. You haven't got a hope (page 266).

Against all odds, facing an almost certain political death, Thatcher walked to Heath's office and told him she would run against him. That is bravery and it was not motivated by ego but by the desire to help others. The rest is history.

by Nancy Kallitechnis 2008-07-28 04:51PM | 0 recs
Re: psychological diagnosis of narcissim

Yep and Hillary lost due to arrogant overconfidence.

She thought the presidency was hers, and her due.

Barack took a more humble approach, worked and organized, and won.

Sure you gotta have an ego to be a politician but to suggest that Hillary's isn't at least as big as Barack's is silly.

by wrb 2008-07-28 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: psychological diagnosis of narcissim

Hillary lost due to arrogant overconfidence.

She thought the presidency was hers, and her due.

Having watched HRC throughout the campaign I got the impression she thinks she is the best candidate. She is the best candidate so she would be right.

Barack took a more humble approach, worked and organized, and won.

Barack Obama was given an unfair advantage by the DNC and the media. Long before the end of the primaries the DNC tried to push HRC out, regarding Rule 11.A they took away all the delegates from states where HRC was polling well (FL/MI) and gavea  waiver to states that broke the rule where Obama had been polling well. The media viciously attacked HRC with hate speech while the DNC remained silent and the media heavily promoted Obama.

I have no doubt both candidates worked hard, but Obama's job was made much easier by the DNC and the media which are enormously powerful in influencing a campaign.  HRC worked hard dodging the non-stop attacks from the DNC and the media. The odds were stacked against her by people who did not want to see this woman break the highest political glass ceiling. She fought and she fought and she fought to improve Americans' lives while the DNC and the media were throwing rose petals in front of Obama making his job as easy as possible. That's just the way it was.  God bless Hillary Clinton. All good deeds will be rewarded eventually.

And I don't know who has the greatest ego but I do know HRC is a better public servant then Obama. She serves others and there is humility in that in my opinion. Here is a brief list of HRC's public service:

http://www.allseasonsgallery.info/hrc/hr c.accomplishments.html

by Nancy Kallitechnis 2008-07-28 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: psychologist provide helpful answers

"Also, isn't it considered bad to attack bloggers personally on this board?"

Is this SNARK?
Seriously?

by nogo postal 2008-07-28 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: psychologist provide helpful answers

MOJO'd for the discourse.

by ChitownDenny 2008-07-28 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby
You are fortunate, indeed, to have this site, and it's tolerance for dissent, to post what I can only call Obama-hate.  I do not tolerate Hillary-hate; I will not tolerate Obama-hate.
Delete this diary, or at the very least, write a diary that considers its audience, Democrats.
by ChitownDenny 2008-07-28 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

If I have, at times, been overly harsh with you I sincerely apologize.  I'm not being snarky, either.

Given the number of actual trolls here, I have at times been too quick to judge.  If I've offended, I'm sorry for my heated words.

Oh, and to answer your last question:

I just did a 41 mile ride on Saturday.  It was incredible.

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-07-28 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

IMO, your behavior has been unacceptable.  Looking forward to a new MO.

by ChitownDenny 2008-07-28 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

I'll try to be more respectful but diarists who post stuff like this will get my ire.

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-07-28 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

Good job!  Heck, 41 miles in my car wears me out!  :)

by ChitownDenny 2008-07-28 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

Ya shoulda just stayed on the Corner.
This neighborhood isn't interested.

Oh, and since you found it too hard to do so, I will provide several links to The Huffington Post for yer lazy ass.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/24 /obama-berlin-speech-compa_n_114816.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/ the-barbeque-media-wants_b_114843.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-johns on/who-sent-you----the-comin_b_114175.ht ml
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-ostert ag/update-sending-your-obama_b_111573.ht ml

Now, do us all a favor...take your ball and go home.
We don't want to play with you.

by Kysen 2008-07-28 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

Heh...forgot to note that the only reason I added that last link was that this bit made me chuckle:

Meanwhile a statement from a group called PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) appeared, purporting to use the principled stands which Obama supporter-critics are taking to launch an effort to revive the Clinton campaign. Everything about this group, their rhetoric, and their Web site suggests that this may indeed be a Republican troll operation. At any rate, their statements are so outrageous as to discredit them, no matter who they are or what motivations they have.

For example, one Web site associated with PUMA is No Quarter. The site, which rabidly attacks Obama and promotes Clinton with articles such as "White Like Us?", identifies its contact person as Larry C. Johnson, who "works with US military commands in scripting terrorism exercises, briefs on terrorist trends, and conducts undercover investigations on counterfeiting, smuggling and money laundering."

This diary is just another example of 'statements that are so outrageous as to discredit them, no matter who they are or what motivations they have'.

by Kysen 2008-07-28 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

I'm not affiliated with PUMA and I don't support it. I'm sympathetic to a point, but as far as Obama v. Clinton goes, it's been time to move on for a while now. My attitude towards this election and McCain and Obama is a plague on both their houses.

by Pol C 2008-07-28 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

Alegre is PUMA.  You cross post there.  Thus you are PUMA.

Ptretty simple, huh?

by NewOaklandDem 2008-07-28 10:00AM | 0 recs
Trashing Diby because she's unfair to

John McCain and Republicans while making false accuastionas of illegal behavior against Obama also indicates that this one is a "Republicanus obscurus" subspecies of the PUMA genus, as opposed to the "Democratus bitterus" variety.

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

I don't link to The Huffington Post because the site traffics in libel and propaganda. The only exception I'll make is when a post there is the primary source for a piece of hard news. It's the liberal answer to The Drudge Report, and beyond political affiliations, it's no better. Their dishonest headline writing actually managed to make me feel sorry for Dick Cheney once.

by Pol C 2008-07-28 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

I don't link to The Huffington Post because the site traffics in libel and propaganda.

Yet, you link to, AND post on, Alegre's Corner.
Laughable.

There is no reason for any MYDD'ers to waste time discrediting you....you do a dandy job of that yourself.

by Kysen 2008-07-28 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby
Heh...I'm honored!
2maddogs created a MYDD account just to TR me!
I musta really gotten him/her 'foaming at the mouth'.
It's funny to see what a dose of reality will do to some folks.  :)
by Kysen 2008-07-28 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

Cross-posted at Alegre's Corner

Well done.  It's very rare that we see a post that identifies itself as complete garbage within the first five words.

by mistersite 2008-07-28 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

I about choked on my Rice-Krispy Treat after reading that.

Thanks!

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-07-28 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

Rice Krispy Treats?

Did you bring enough for the whole class?

by freedom78 2008-07-28 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

You bring something cross-posted at Alegre's dark damp Basement?

You wanna trash Obama again cool..
But don't come here trashing Digby..
Go back to your 4th rate hack Alegre and post your 5th rate diaries there...

By your attacks on one of the most respected bloggers around you..again..just expose yourself as the pinhead/needle brain know nothing/do nothings
that have already become meaningless.
After January..when the nation rolls up our sleeves in a real hard work effort to turn
you can continue doing what you are doing now..
...ah nothing..
snap yer fingers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzct2wY4q Yg

by nogo postal 2008-07-28 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

Actually I thought this diary was an interesting read and dead on in places. Most here won't get it but they don't see the hypocritical streak a mile wide we got here in our own fair party. We're not a homogenous group and we certainly are not monolithic in our beliefs. I point to the recent issues between the Congressional Black Caucus and the gay and lesbian community as an example.

by Iceblinkjm 2008-07-28 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

We see the hypocritical streak - several people have already mentioned that McCain has made two campaign trips abroad already.

by Jess81 2008-07-28 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

Bill Clinton was race baiting with several comments he made.  He is not a racist but he is an old style dixiecrat politician who uses race with certain segments of democrats.  It has been that way forever.  

Digby is right to point out the racism inherent in the repug party and in some segments of the democratic party.  You sound like you might be in that segment.  I may be wrong and if I am I apologize.

by Spanky 2008-07-28 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

I disagree but than I have already accepted Mr.Obama's apology on the issue and have since moved on. I think people saw what they wanted to see in President Clinton's statements. He handedly summarized my feelings when he blew up at that reporter just after the accusations started flying about. Least of all that they were in response to Obama's own boneheaded comments which implied that Hillary was nothing more than a glorified housewife having tea at the Embassy.

Anyhow the DNC and Obama have lost any credibility on such issues with me due to the recent issues problems between the DNC, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Gay and Lesbian wing of the party.

P.S.-  I find your southern dixiecrat comments racist and bigoted in themselves and the fact that you applied it to Bill Clinton tells me that you really don't know the meaning of the word or the history the South.  

by Iceblinkjm 2008-07-28 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

The 'first black president" is suddenly a racist?  I'm not going to argue the primaries with you.  But I will leave you to your thoughts about the smears that now give you free will to call Bill Clinton a racist.

by ChitownDenny 2008-07-28 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

Read it again, and retract your tr.  Unless you want to open yourself to getting trollrated for criticizing a politician.

by Jess81 2008-07-28 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

I notice that the Digby commentary was directed at the GOP.  So should I assume that tag applies to you, since you're so offended?

by freedom78 2008-07-28 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

oh yeah..
When I went to the place I first visit every time I go on line..

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/

I looked for you in the comments section.
Did not see you there.
Did you comment under a different name?

by nogo postal 2008-07-28 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

Maybe you should be more diligent and look in the comments section of the post from which the first quote was posted. Digby likely saw it before she wrote the other crap.

by Pol C 2008-07-28 12:26PM | 0 recs
I know what this diary is lacking:

by Kysen 2008-07-28 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

"my recommendation is to let her know how you feel about her peddling this garbage"

Asking others to do what you yourself won't do?

Stunned...Shocked..Floored..

by nogo postal 2008-07-28 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

So now the anti-Obama crowd is turning against Digby. They withdraw more from reality every day.  That is encouraging to the rest of us. Maybe someday soon they will start blackballing mydd. One can only hope.                        

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-28 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

As usual, the comments are pretty darn revealing.  It seems to me that if people don't want to engage the diary, they'd do better just to ignore it than to try and find the most creative way to call the diarist a racist.  The problem is that it's just much, much easier to dismiss someone as a racist than to actually have a discussion, and in the company of numerous partisans who think the same way, it's easier just to fall back into that lazy habit.

To me, it's rather obvious that Obama has done a lot more to present himself as a world-historical figure (even as he affects a charming "aw shucks" sort of attitude when the question is explicitly raised) than most politicians or presidential candidates.  I respect the right of others to disagree with me on this; frankly, I don't find it worthy of much more than a raised eyebrow, so it's not that big a deal.  But what I don't respect is the right of people to call me a racist for holding this belief.  Quite simply, there are legitimate reasons why someone might perceive Barack Obama as arrogant that have nothing to do with race.

If people find it easier to hurl accusations of racism right and left rather than to come to terms with the reasons why not everyone is as enthused about their candidate as they are, maybe I shouldn't blame them.  It probably is a lot easier, after all.  Doesn't really get us anywhere, and makes it harder to address issues of real racism, but it's obvious a lot of people are way past the point of worrying about crying wolf.  I don't know what words you're going to have left to describe Harriet Christian, though, if you insist on lumping every single person who finds Obama offputting into the same category as her.

Like the diarist, I am also from metro Detroit, so I understand completely the place that this diary comes from.  (My own diary, much more charitable towards Obama, can be found here.)  I dunno, maybe you have to see your hometown completely destroyed by racial politics and its effects to understand.  But even if I'm the only one, and I certainly disagree with a lot of what's said in this diary, I know that it is written from a perspective of good faith.  And I have to respect the diarist for being able to endure the sort of rotten tomatoes and other non-constructive responses that come from posting at this site.

by Steve M 2008-07-28 10:49AM | 0 recs
Dude, what &quot;real racism&quot;?

What do you think it looks like, burning crosses? Hey, maybe a lot of employers "just aren't enthused" by their Black job candidates. Maybe cops have "valid reasons" for pulling over Black men in nice cars/neighborhoods. Yes, really there probably are circumstances where it's warranted, but the diarist is trying to act like it's never racial. Like it's scandalous to even wonder if some of this crazed Obama hatred is racial.

How much Hillary hate was sexist? None, to judge by the tone of the diarist and his ilk, and it's insulting to even imply any of her detractors were sexist. Doesn't sound so high-minded now, does it?

by Neef 2008-07-28 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Dude, what &quot;real racism&quot;?

The responses to this diary do not strike me as "wondering" if the diary was motivated by racism, nor do they seem to be arguing the nuance that maybe there's some grain of truth beneath the blanket accusation.

The problem is that some people like to hurl around accusations of racism as if there's no conceivable downside to making a false accusation, but somehow if anyone ever gets away with harboring a secret racist motivation and we don't call them out then the world will end.  I would gladly stipulate that some of the people who find Obama offputting on a personal level are put off by his race either consciously or subconsciously.  That doesn't warrant labelling everyone who doesn't like Obama as racist and letting God sort 'em out.

We can do something about racial disparities in employment or law enforcement.  Unless you've invented a mindreading device, however, we will have a hard time pinning down whether a given person who dislikes Obama is motivated by racism or not.  So I suggest it's rather unproductive to even play the game in the first place, let alone indulge the attitude that we might as well call them all racist just in case.

by Steve M 2008-07-28 11:27AM | 0 recs
Quote the responses that accuse

the diarist of racism.

Good luck finding them.

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Quote the responses that accuse

Oh, right, you accused the diarist of belonging to the "party of Willie Horton ads and anti-immigrant xenophobia," but you didn't call him a racist.  Well played, indeed.

by Steve M 2008-07-28 11:37AM | 0 recs
Reading comprehension 101:

The person calls for people to drop Digby from their blogrolls.  Because she's unfair to the party of Willie Horton ads and anti-immigrant xenophobia.

It would be helpful if you responded to people said instead of what you want to pretend they said.

You see, the statement above in no way accuses the diarist of being a racist.

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Dude, what &quot;real racism&quot;?

We can do something about racial disparities in employment or law enforcement. Unless you've invented a mindreading device, however, we will have a hard time pinning down whether a given person who dislikes Obama is motivated by racism or not.

If racism were so clear cut in employment and law enforcement, we'd have done away with them a decade ago. The "mindreading problem" is instrinsic to discrimination, be it gender, color or sexual orientation. You can't prove I won't rent to gays. There's no photo of my mind you can show to a jury.

But back to Obama. Note that I am not decrying people who dislike him. Nowhere do you see me say that. I am defending my right (and the rights of others) to consider racism as a possible source of that dislike. See, the diarist would like for the accusation to go away completely. In his world, racism towards Obama cannot be discussed, and therefore does not exist.

Sorry, I don't buy that. There are lots of reasons to dislike the man, but if your reasons boil down to "cause I just don't like him", then as a rational adult I am going to wonder...why? If his personality "just grates" on you, then sure, I am going to wonder why. YOU should wonder (not you Steve M, you in general).

Now, the other end of the scale is that racism towards Obama is assumed. I'd agree that's equally damaging. But when I see people nail Michelle Obama for earrings, while NOT nailing Cindy for a jet...what am I supposed to think? Anything but racism, apparently.

by Neef 2008-07-28 11:53AM | 0 recs
Bah, that should be

"done away with it"

My kingdom for an edit...

by Neef 2008-07-28 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Dude, what &quot;real racism&quot;?

As the guilty white liberal I am, I naturally spend time considering if race has anything to do with my opinion of Obama.  But I can read my own mind.  I can't read other people's.

If we accept that there are at least some people who believe Obama is arrogant because they think black people should stick to the servant quarters, and there are at least some people who believe Obama is arrogant based solely on his actions and having nothing to do with race, then I don't see how much further we can take the discussion.  Trying to assign a given blog poster to one category or the other strikes me as completely unproductive.  And it also strikes me as an attempt to tar people with the toxic charge of racism by saying hey, I'm not saying you're racist or not racist, but you're saying the same thing that some racists have said!  And, you know, Hitler probably wouldn't have voted for Obama, so you know what that says about people who don't vote for Obama.

If someone were to describe Obama as "angry," I'd think that they probably need to take a hard look inside their own psyche, because I can't imagine how anyone could ever come to that conclusion unless some deep-seated racial stereotype took them there.  But there's quite obviously plenty of factual predicates out there for people to consider Obama arrogant even if they have no racial animus whatsoever.  So why should we go around assuming the worst of such people, or demanding that they demonstrate their racial bona fides?

Personally, I am always up for a round of deep introspection because I am a guilty liberal.  I don't think most people feel that way, and I don't think we do Obama any favors with the electorate when we try to create this atmosphere of "watch what you say, because it might be racist."  People are allowed to dislike Barack Obama and I'm not sure why you're so obsessed with identifying which of those people are the racists in the bunch.

by Steve M 2008-07-28 12:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Dude, what &quot;real racism&quot;?

by Neef 2008-07-28 01:06PM | 0 recs
It seems your argument

is essentially "You can't tell for sure who's racist, so stop trying". Or "assume no one is". It may seem a trivial thing to distinguish between people who dislike you for a reason versus people who dislike you because you're black. Perhaps it should be a trivial thing. But it's not.

People who dislike Obama because he's whatever, just dislike Obama. People who dislike him for racial reasons dislike everyone like him, to some degree. I generally want those people clearly identified, with wide zones around them. So yeah, it does matter, but that's just my view. We can agree to disagree.

by Neef 2008-07-28 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Dude, what &quot;real racism&quot;?

How many times does one have to claim that they're a liberal before others start to think they're trying just a little to hard to convice people. You see I always view people who just started posting here with SUSPICION.

by venician 2008-07-28 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Dude, what &quot;real racism&quot;?

I never wrote it's "never racial." I wrote that Digby was making irresponisble and insufficiently grounded accusations, and I know from experience that throwing around accusations like that can be like igniting a palette of C4. Do it judiciously or don't do it. This isn't a case of systematic workplace discrimination or DWB, and I'm more than happy to join the protests in those situations when it's warranted, like the time former Detroit mayor Dennis Archer's son was pulled over without probable cause. What Digby engaged in was a tendentious reading of other people's criticisms of Obama in order to discredit them.

A fair amount of Hillary hate was sexist, or expressed itself directly in gender-based terms. And you didn't need to read between the lines to see it. Criticism of Obama for hubris--a potential failing of all political leaders, against which we must be forever vigilant--is not racist unless you're thinking like a complete idiot.

by Pol C 2008-07-28 12:23PM | 0 recs
No, you *implied* never racial

Q: If the GOP can't possibly be race-baiting, then who can be?

A: No one

But the big problem is, instead of rebutting the accusation, you attacked the blogger's right to even speculate (in fairly vague terms) about it. You took a musing, which does have some basis in historical fact, and turned it into a mortal insult.

Digby didn't even name anyone (that I saw), she descried a tactic. You tried to shut down criticism of that tactic for good or ill. Justified or not.

by Neef 2008-07-28 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

MOJO'd, for the discourse.

by ChitownDenny 2008-07-28 11:21AM | 0 recs
This was not a good faith attempt

at dialogue.  It is a hit piece against not only Barack Obama, but anyone willing to object to rightwing racism.

The person calls for people to drop Digby from their blogrolls.  Because she's unfair to the party of Willie Horton ads and anti-immigrant xenophobia.

People aren't calling the diarist a racist. They're calling it a PUMA troll.  

I would bet money you wouldn't defend a diary calling for people to drop Digby from their blogrolls because she objected to veiled sexism being directed at Clinton.  

Not everyone who complains about Obama's 'hubris' or 'attitude' or 'arrogance' is a racist.  But, some are.  And a lot of white people are blind to racism in other white people.

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: This was not a good faith attempt

I don't think I have ever seen you acknowledge a single anti-Obama diary as a good faith attempt at dialogue, so I hardly expected you to start here.

While I fully expect the GOP to race-bait from here until Judgment Day, I frankly don't know who the Obama supporters are who have standing to call them out on it any more, given the disgraceful way false accusations of race-baiting were thrown around in the primary like confetti at a parade.

by Steve M 2008-07-28 11:33AM | 0 recs
Classic ad hom argument from you.

To recap, the diarist:

1)  Attacks the Democratic nominee's character;

2)  Accuses him of violating federal law;

3)  Falsely accuses him of 'hate-mongering' (if you disagree that it's false, you need to post documentation)

4)  Accuses one of the very best bloggers on our side of hate-mongering, compares her to the creators of the Willie Horton ads, and calls for her to be blacklisted;

And you think this is a good faith attempt at dialogue.

Moreover, you quite clearly are incapable of perceiving much racism, given your absurd denial that Ralph Nader was playing racial politics when he said this:

He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically, he's coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it's corporate or whether it's simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up.

and this:

I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a black American politician aspiring to the presidency should be is to candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor is going to be defended by the law, is going to be protected by the law and is going to be liberated by the law

To me, that is proof that unless there's a cross burning, you simply are incapable of seeing racism.

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Classic ad hom argument from you.

I do, in fact, think that white voters respond better to a politician who gives the impression that he is not going to disturb the white power structure.  That actually strikes me as a rather standard liberal belief.

But look, it's obvious to me that you come from a place where Barack Obama has tried with every ounce of energy to keep race from playing any sort of role in his campaign, and anyone who so much as brings up the words "white" or "black" in relation to him is just a flat-out David Duke style racist.

I'm not going to bother responding to your posts any more, because they all say the same thing, and I'm tired of being told that I don't understand racism because I don't see it lurking around every single corner.  You've truly become a parody of yourself.

by Steve M 2008-07-28 11:55AM | 0 recs
You were in the fringe minority of people

who argued that Nader's statements were in no way racist.

But, to show you I can make distinctions:

Not racist:  This diary.

Racist:  Obama talks white to take advantage of white guilt instead of running the campaign a black candidate should run.

Question:  Would you feel comfortable saying that Obama is 'talking white' in polite company?  In a room full of black Democrats?

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: This was not a good faith attempt

Maybe if you'd been here for over then a month, you might have seen it.

by venician 2008-07-28 01:10PM | 0 recs
And, if you think stuff like this:

In a short essay last week, posted Wednesday on my blog Pol Culture and cross-posted as a diary on Alegre's Corner, I wrote that I considered Obama the same sort of callow narcissist as George W. Bush: a man with little interest in public policy who sees the Presidency as the brass ring in his quest for self-aggrandizement. I wrote that I didn't want to see his equivalent of Operation Flightsuit.eve we may have seen the first version of it Thursday, with the allusions to Reagan's 1987 Brandenburg speech serving as the requisite Spinal Tap cucumber.

My disdain for Obama's conduct Thursday, which violated the spirit, if not the letter of federal law, has been echoed by many online and in the traditional press.

Hate-mongering of the sort Obama, Digby, and others are engaging in needs to stop, and it needs to be aggressively called out when it occurs. These tactics are just as divisive as true racist appeals and tactics such as Nixon's "Southern strategy," Reagan's assorted "innocent mistakes," and George Bush the Elder's use of Willie Horton in his 1988 Presidential campaign. In the United States of 2008, they may be even more divisive.

is offered in good faith, you really have no idea what the term means.

To say that Obama is engaged in 'hate mongering' is a gross lie.  To say that he violated federal law is a gross lie.  To call for blacklisting Digby because she calls out racist code is trolling.

Character assassination and repeating of GOP talking points--while tarring critics of racism as Al Sharpton's--is not a good faith effort at dialogue.

by Geekesque 2008-07-28 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

All this discussion of what is and isn't race baiting and racism.

I wonder how many here are African American?

by yungblakman 2008-07-28 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

I live in Jackson Mississippi, 70% AA.  Your diary is a weak attempt to point out racism.  very weak.

by Countificus 2008-07-28 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Racism...and Digby

I don't think you have to live in a racially polarized city to be cognizant of racism. Racism is a part of American culture. I think so many people relate racism to violence or overt acts they are oblivious to what racism is and their own prejudices.

I don't understand the comment about foreign nationals should stay out of U.S. politics. This country has cultural and ancestral ties around the globe. What happens in this country also has global implications. Noone forced the German people and others to attend the rally in Berlin. I listened to the speech and in my opinion he was speaking as a "citizen of the world". It was not new or different but typical of the progressive view of global politics.

The "presumptuous" label disturbs me in ways the Clinton's comments about elitism, fairytale, Johnson/King, and Jesse Jackson did not. By no stretch of my imagination could I believe the Clintons were race-baiting or racists.

I think Digby has an important point but it should not be applied with a broad brush. However when Republicans assign labels they do it with a purpose. I wondered if they were saying who does he think he is? The press and blogosphere are not exempt from bringing the same attitudes to the coverage of Obama.

It has been a long time since I've heard the utterances uppity Negro and Negroes not knowing their place but it is a tried-and-true meme of the racists in this country. The history of Nixon's southern strategy, Willie Horton, and John McCain's black child smear are clear indicators that racism is a part of a winning strategy.

I could understand the presumptuous label if he had gone on this trip and attempted to make policy or usurp the power of the POTUS and authority of the U.S. government, but there was no indication of that in my opinion. John McCain went on a similar tour and the world barely noticed.

by feelfree 2008-07-28 01:07PM | 0 recs
It really burns your ass

that Obama's overseas trip was so succesful doesn't it?

by Same As It Ever Was 2008-07-29 05:53AM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads