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."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Time To Ban The R-Word

Here's something that happens way too often.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Leaders of the country's largest civil rights organization accused tea party activists on Tuesday of tolerating bigotry and approved a resolution condemning racism within the political movement.
The resolution was adopted during the annual convention in Kansas City of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, spokesman Chris Fleming said. Local tea party organizers disputed claims of racism and called on the NAACP to withdraw the resolution.
It was not immediately clear how the resolution was amended during the debate, which was mostly closed to the public.

Look, maybe the tea party is racist and maybe they aren't. But that is not the point, and claiming they are racist distracts from the main issue here, which is how radical their policies are. Not only that, but if you make an attack like that, it is easy to deflect and may actually draw people to their side. Heck, even Sarah Palin (well, okay, whoever ghost-writes her Twitter feed) knows how to deflect this kind of criticism.

To reiterate: STOP CALLING PEOPLE RACISTS. It didn't work when Glenn Beck called Obama racist. It doesn't help when people call Rand Paul racist. The counterattack is too easy and it distracts from what's important. Everyone got it?


Raised By Republicans said...

With the qualification that there extremely rare cases when it is appropriate I do agree calling people racists (or Nazis) should not be a regular part of our political discourse.

I get so sick of people replacing argument with shrill rhetoric. I expect it from people like Glenn Beck. The NAACP should know better.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I get that calling racist people racist doesn't seem to persuade middle-of-the-road voters to take a second look at those persons' politics. But there is a lot of racism out there. Some of it is quite pernicious. If the likelihood of getting the death penalty were much, much higher for whites who killed blacks than the reverse, we'd have no death penalty. If whites were killed by police with the proportionate frequency that blacks are, there would be rioting- no, take that back: it would be stopped. There's also much more concern about making sure that the descendants of European Jews get their grandparents' artwork than making sure that the descendants of slaves get a penny in compensation for the labor stolen from their families.

I can see how 'racist' doesn't work rhetorically. But let's not think it's not true. Maybe we just stick with 'bigot.'

Raised By Republicans said...

The Tea Party is such an amorphous group that it's hard to say anything other than "there are racists in that group" which is kind of like saying "some people are racists."

I do think though that there is an atmosphere of not just tolerance but amusement with the racist signage one sees at many tea party events. Really, it was the Tea Party events that amped up the rhetoric to such highly charged levels (with over the top comparisons to NAZIs and Communists, Obama portrayed as an African shaman or monkey etc).

That said, there was no reason for the NAACP to take the bait.

I have to say that I'm often frustrated by the rhetoric from the right. How should we respond to the flat out lies and inappropriate accusations and name calling from the political opposition? I'd say "ignore it" but all of the major news networks give them enormous air time without any critique or analysis in the name of balance.

Raised By Republicans said...

just to clarify: the atmosphere of amusement at racist signage that I alluded to is within the tea party movement.

The Law Talking Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Law Talking Guy said...

I think it's fair to say that Tea Party members (largely homeowning middle class white persons) are universally unsympathetic to the plight of groups that have been historically marginalized and disadvantaged, even to blaming those very groups for tea party members' own economic insecurity. When, of course, the blame lies with the conservative policies they espouse, policies that encourage third-world social structures.

bell curve said...

On the other hand, this is certainly not how to deal with the "racist" accusation.

Raised By Republicans said...

Bell Curve,

That blog by Mark Williams is exactly how the far right thinks though. My right wing relatives frequently say stuff like that when they think they are in "safe" company.

One thing that the tea party crowd does is egg each other on. This exposes the most radical elements of their thinking.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Tea Partiers don't have filters. That's why they're mostly not regular politicians. You can admire that if you like, but what it really means is that they are like normal Republicans, only you can see it.

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