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Monday, November 21, 2005

Racist Liberals? You're kidding.

I'm shocked. Surely these are not liberals attacking someone with whom they disagree not on the merits of their ideas, but on their skin color, appearance, family, etc. But they're tolerant! Oh, wait, being free from racist insults is one of the perks of joining the liberal "club". If you're not in the "club" you're fair game. I personally am not a big fan of Malkin all the time. I think she has the occasional tendency to stray into Coulter-land, valuing shock over substance, and bomb throwing over speaking the modest truth. However, this is unconscienable.


Sure, there are racist liberals. But I would say that the venom that gets directed at Malkin is about the same as that directed at liberal commentators. I just don't see the point of reaching out and addressing the lunatic frings, as opposed to, say, rational, solid critiques:
You sound like a total lunatic. Yes, it's awful for someone to attack Malkin in a racial manner, but you're creating straw men and making ridiculous generalizations about the left. I even detect a hint of delusions of persecution. You should be embarrassed by this kind of "logic."
First, the point of the "lunatic fringe" is that these attacks are far more mainstream than people would like to admit. And ignoring it is not right. Sure there are rational critiques. I'm not addressing those here, though, because I think this issue is a deeper problem with civility in our discourse. And not just incivility (which of course conservatives like Malkin are guilty of as well), but racial epithets, something I find unconscienable. And vergasy, if opposing racism against political opponents is something that defines a lunatic, then size me up for a straitjacket. This is the absolute antithesis of straw men. People actually said and did these things. You might think it doesn't represent the mainstream. The left loves to quote Coulter and Pat Robertson when they say stupid things. Delusions of persecution? What are you talking about? I wasn't attacked. I was pointing out a problem in our society, which you are either in denial about, or just tacitly accept. And "logic"? What kind of logic do you think I was using. I wasn't trying to get from "A" to "B". Here was my logic, see if you can find the hole. Some liberals are using racial epithets. Such epithets are bad for society and our political discourse. The end.
Jmag--you pretty much made my point. Liberals do quote Pat Robertson and Ann Coulter when they say stupid things. They have a big soapbox, a lot of listeners, and are very influential. It's the same reason I wouldn't mind you pointing out all the stupid things Atrios or Kos or Michael Moore say (and they say plenty of stupid things), because they're influential. People who comment on blogs, though, are usually emblematic of the lunatic fringe. If they weren't, they'd have a better platform than blog commenting.

As regards "Some liberals are using racial epithets. Such epithets are bad for society and our political discourse. The end." I agree. I would just replace 'liberals' with 'people.'
Get off your high horse: the bulk of your original post isn’t about attacking the use of racial slurs. Instead, you're using racial slurs by a few leftists to generally attack (via sarcastic insinuation) leftists as racists. Making broad generalizations from single anecdotes IS bad logic. That's as unfair to the left as it is to attribute Pat Robertson's words to everyone on the political right.

Moreover, you don’t stop there: you then say leftists are apologists for racists or otherwise condone racism in certain contexts. Here's your straw man argument: who on the left has said that they condone racism or that it's ok to attack conservatives with racial slurs?

Your message entails much more than "some leftists make racist comments and racist comments are bad.” Instead, you said something ridiculous. You got called on it. Now you're backing down from all but the last 3 words of your original post.
Wow, a really short, pretty much harmless post gets blown all out of proportion, Jmag is labeled a total lunatic with delusions of persecution. In response to the last comment, I really don't think that Jmag was insinuating that all leftists are racists or anything even close to that. I haven't read the Malkin piece originally linked to, so I cannot really comment on it, but I would point to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal's characterization of Clarence Thomas as "a black man, who deserves an asterisk because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America.”
Yeah, the and the mainstream left is at peace with the race issue.
Ivan, I can appreciate your point. I would say that there are many examples of liberal leaders who are in fact at least somewhat racist. For an example, I would call your attention to some of the furor over the Maryland Lt. Gov., and some of the rhetoric involving black conservatives. However, that was not the point of the original post. It was not to paint everyone, but the people who did this. Sure, I poked a little fun, but it was at the idea that one party or another has a monopoly on "tolerance" (a nebulous concept as it is).

Anyway, on to vergasy. No, I'm not backing down, I'm clarifying. I was attacking those people who were attacking Malkin (and it is a much larger group than just bloggers or blog commenters, and if you'd like I'll find some examples). The straw man was not of my construction but of yours to attack the purpose of my post. I didn't paint the liberal party as the "racist" party. At most I was chiding some liberals for an undercurrent in their movement that exists (obviously only among a minority of followers) and that is not often commented on, especially by liberals. Somehow you translated that into an attack on you and your ideas. Who has the persecution complex here, exactly?
Yeah, you're probably right: I don't know how I ever interpreted "being free from racist insults is one of the perks of joining the liberal 'club.' If you're not in the 'club' you're fair fame" as a demonization of the left generally rather than the nuanced denunciation of a handful of ne'er-do-wells that it is.
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