Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fox News... Making Racism Cute

I saw this video link on Daily Kos. They are talking about how a study about senile dementia in Sweden and Finland doesn't apply here because "Swedes have pure genes" and Americans "marry other species." First, of all I can tell you, as a Scandinavian American, that cross ethnic marriage is good not bad for genetic problems. Scandinavians have some of the highest rates of birth defects in the world despite excellent health care and environmental protection....why? "Pure genes." My father's family is Danish. They are also rather inbred. His family is part of a network of families that have been marrying into each other for generations - they even married each other back in Denmark before they came over so this cousins marrying cousins thing has probably been going for a 1000 years or more. Anyway, he always said he married my mother for her "genes" (she's of appropriately multi-ethnic American heritage - sorry - multi-species). I suspect he was also talking about how she looked in jeans but that's another story.

This kind of pseudo-intellectual style combined with matter of fact statements of the most mind blowing ignorance is what is wrong with the American conservative movement. These are Palin's people. Her "real America" if you will. These are the people who go to "Tea Parties" and get angry about big city Ivy League types like Obama. It makes me sick just to think of it. How do we confront this problem?


Anonymous said...

When my mother was dying we were "getting straight" with each other, blunt no BS.

My first question was "why was the woman screaming?" She said, "you weren't two years old, the woman on the next farm had a defective baby, the old women took it outside and exposed it with no food or water until it died. It's brutal but you have good genes. You can't breed too close to the bone."

Raised By Republicans said...

Ah, the good old days of family values and minimal government involvement in health care.

Dr. Strangelove said...

We should note in fairness that the other two talking heads on the show openly and immediately ridiculed the man who spoke of "pure" and marrying "other species." The female host had a sustained look of disbelief on her face, and asked the man if he were suffering from senile dementia.

Of course there is nothing "pure" about Swedish genes or those of any other nation. The word "pure" carries unwarranted positive connotations. The gene pool in Sweden is statistically marginally less diverse, that's all.

It is also worth mentioning that there is no reason to believe the slight relative genetic homogeneity of the populations sampled, compared to that in the US, had any affect on the study's results.

The way to confront this problem is to do as the other hosts of the show did: point it out immediately and ridicule the idea. It would be better still to make the sorts of comments RbR has made. It is possible that this was done, but not captured in the clip--the video excerpt only lasts about a minute.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Let me clarify that the charge of "racism" should have been made explicitly... It was sort of implicit in the mockery but some viewers may have missed it, as the banter on the show tends to be humorous and informal anyway.

Raised By Republicans said...

It's that tip toeing around overtly racist comments that I think is most dangerous. I have relatives to will - when in what they think is a friendly atmosphere - relax their filter and say horrendous things. When people giggle and say, "Oh, that's terrible" and just wave it off as eccentricities or misspeaking, it encourages people to think its appropriate.

I agree with you Dr. S. that the host of the show wasn't as explicitly racist but her reaction was to laugh it off - and the sound effects guy make a cutesy little boing noise.

I'll bet you the guy who talked about "species" will keep his job/ contributor status with Fox too.

Raised By Republicans said...

Something else,...

This increasingly overt racism from increasingly prominent conservatives started during the 2008 presidential election (remember those horrible fliers the Republicans were putting out in California and Virginia?). The flier about Judge Satomayor is a continuation of it.

Some of the hateful things said about immigrants by Representative King (R-IA) from Council Bluffs is another example.

This is a direct result of Bush's transformation of the Republican party. As LTG has pointed out in several earlier postings and comments, the so-called "Christian" Right is made up by the same demographic that produced the KKK and the Know-nothings. By concentrating entirely on satisfying that one constituency, the Republicans have alienated educated and suburban voters who may be fiscally moderate to conservative but who fear the populist right as much as we do.

With the massive electoral defeats in 2006 and 2008, the Republican party has been diminished to this anti-modern, populist and racist rump of a party.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I wasn't sure if the other hosts were ridiculing him or embarrassed that he said in public what you know you're not supposed to say in public, even if it's true.

Raised By Republicans said...

Yes, LTG, my experience is that many of this sort of conservative has a fundamentally racist world view but has learned that they get into trouble from other people in the room if they openly express it except around people they are confident agree with them.

They also deeply resent this constraint and will sometimes rail against political correctness as a proxy for racist tirades.

Pombat said...

The kind of racism I particularly hate is the kind that is expressed by "non-racists": to whit, "I'm not racist, but -insert ethnic group- always -insert objectionable behaviour-".

It irritates me because these are clearly people who know that their views are objectionable, but think that caveating them by claiming to not be racists makes it ok to express them. On the plus side, their reactions are always amusing once I call them out on it.

Loud public condemnation, criticism outrage and mocking of these views is the only way to go. Ditto any other -ist views.

Bob said...

In addition to the comments made above, I think part of the answer to RbR's question ("How do we confront this problem?") is to not let yesterday's howler fall down the memory hole, so to speak. The speaker's racist (or just false) comment should be brought up every time his name comes up, until he publicly disavows it or no one wants to bring his name up anymore.

(I note that in addition to the racism, RbR seemed to me to refer to "matter of fact statements of the most mind blowing ignorance"; I think the same tactics can be used to confront climate change denials, convictions that health care reform is socialism, etc.)

In addition to not letting it go for an individual, some rhetorical assault on the big tent seems appropriate. Other conservatives should be asked: do you believe this? Do you agree with Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter or George Will about ...?

I think that at a personal level, there's a lot of people who are conservative in some sense or another, who grew up voting Republican, but who don't actually agree with the extreme version of the Right that has taken over the discourse. Those people need to be informed (and challenged) about what the people "on their side" are saying. If they don't like high taxes and don't want a lot of big-government or big-business interference in their lives, maybe they can be convinced that these aren't the spokespeople and news outlets that are really speaking for them.