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I think this should be widely distributed

If you don't know what this is about, don't worry about it. If you do: I don't think the Tea Party is in its essence racist. I don't think the NAACP is in its essence racist. It's time, it's far, far past time, for all of us to stop actively looking for occasions to call each other racist, and making them up when they can't be found.

The constant resort to a questionable charge of racism is a deadly poison in our system. Those who use it for short-term political advantage are playing with fire.

UPDATE: I'm pulled between wanting to say more about this whole thing, which I've been thinking about a lot recently, and Why bother?—it's not as though this obscure blog has any great influence. Lack of time trumps both, though. And as often happens when I have something to say about politics, I find that someone else has already said it for me. In this case, Elizabeth Scalia aka The Anchoress:

This whole sordid mess of a story–which is clearly not over–may tell us that it is past time for people of good will to stop tolerating politically-expedient charges of racism, regardless of whether they originate from genuinely from overzealous, malicious bloggers or from Congressmen who are confident that any charge they make will be deemed insta-credible, or from journalists who ignore real racism while trying to ignite the charge elsewhere, for the advancement of their own partisan agendas, or from the rightly marginalized, fringe-living, stupid people who every sensible person condemns.

The NAACP’s maneuver last week was an attempt at cynical manipulation, a lazy card they thought they could play, because it’s always taken the pot, before. They ticked off Breitbart, who upped the ante, but appears to have done so recklessly.

Everyone’s credibility is now strained, and perhaps that is a good thing. Perhaps the left should finally leave behind the smug instinct to sniff, “racism, straight up” over sincere disagreements on policy. If they can manage that, then perhaps the right can stop feeling so defensive.

The whole thing is here. You really should go read it, if you're much interested in this matter (and Americans ought to be, because it's poisoning our society), because she has much more to say, and a number of phrases in the above are links to examples of what she's talking about.


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On my way home this evening, I turned on the radio and Michael Savage (don't care for him) was talking about this story and he was playing parts of the tape. From his commentary it was clear that he thought he was playing the parts that all the other talk show hosts were playing, but what the audience was hearing was the part that talks about the story in this article. I was thinking that what I was hearing gave the lie to all the hype I'd been hearing earlier. I thought it was fascinating.


The charge of RACISM is already so overused that I pay no attention to it whatsoever. I just assume that the person using it has no rational basis for anything they say at all.

Don't know much about the Tea Party movement really, but isn't it just a bunch of people who are sick of the guvvermint pissing their taxes up the wall? If so, I empathise.

I'm reading Belloc's "Survivals and New Arrivals" atm and all this use of mere slogan and repeated (and normally unfounded) accusations of "RACIST" (or "homophobe" or "bigot" etc) is just part and parcel of "The Modern Mind" which Belloc tears to shreds. Not an ounce of logic or rationale to it - just lots of repetition.

Well, it works here, Louise, at least to some degree. It's the reflexive tool of the left and it's often effective. The Tea Party movement (yeah, you described it pretty accurately) has been on the defensive against that charge from the moment it appeared. In the media's eyes, that's the story--not anything the TP has to say about taxes etc., but whether it can prove it's not racist.

But it has a side effect that is not to the left's advantage, I mean aside from the general poisoning of the environment, which is basically the old boy-who-cried-wolf pattern. As you describe yourself doing, a lot of people begin to reflexively dismiss the charge, and eventually the weapon begins to lose its effectiveness. I think this has happened a lot, in a quiet way.

OK, so without going into details none of us wants to know (!) I'll be going into hospital any time within the next 12 hours (there being a defined limit on how much longer this baby remains in utero). So, please say a little prayer for me and the baby.

Many thanks and God bless y'all.

As you describe yourself doing, a lot of people begin to reflexively dismiss the charge, and eventually the weapon begins to lose its effectiveness.

Yep. Agreed.

Best wishes and prayers, Louise.

The one time I was accused of racism was in a student election, when I questioned whether one of the candidates (a Greek) really had fluent enough English to represent us at governing body meetings.

It was very bizarre. The immediate response was "I don't think that matters. Reeta did a very good job last year." (Reeta being Indian.) To which I replied, "Yes, but Reeta speaks perfect English." It was then that I was told not to be racist. I was left speechless by the illogicality of the accusation, but I have no doubt that the Greeks were in good faith, rather than using it as a cynical ploy. They must have sincerely believed either that any reason to prefer an alternative candidate must mask anti-Greek prejudice, or that it was simply prejudiced to expect one's representative to speak good English, so that "equal opportunities", at least for Greeks in England, should apply not only to differences in ethnicity but also to differences in capability.

Will keep you and baby in my prayers, Louise.

I think Paul's story illustrates how meaningless the word "racist" has become. Greeks are racially closer to Englishmen than are Indians.

Yes, that's completely nuts. I don't believe "Greek" has ever been considered a race, in the usual sense of the term. I suppose they could have been using it in the narrower sense that people like Belloc often did.

""equal opportunities", at least for Greeks in England, should apply not only to differences in ethnicity but also to differences in capability"

This sounds pretty familiar. It receives frequent but selective application here. We do not, for instance, apply it to sports. Well, we don't officially apply it to differences in capability anyway, but in practice it certainly happens.

Louise has had her baby, by the way (announcement on Facebook), so any petitions being offered can be thanksgivings now. Hope it's not poor etiquette to share the news before she does!

I think it's funny that the announcement of Louise's baby should appear on a thread called, "I think this should be widely distributed."


Congratulations to her! (to you, Louise, if you should read this, which I don't expect to happen). I doubt she would mind this announcement. I hadn't seen the fb one--I usually hit fb only once every 24-48 hours, and then pretty quickly. I'm sort of overwhelmed by the volume of stuff there.

Isn't it funny how threads wander?

Thanks, Paul. I'm not on fb. Boy or girl? Name?

Boy. Felix Martin.


Thankyou everyone and I don't mind in the slightest that our good news was passed on here. We are now back at home and Felix is fitting right in!

Congratulations again, Louise. Glad to hear y'all are doing well, though I dare say things are sometimes a bit hectic...:-)

hectic - yes!

egg, bacon, sausage and ?

Oh - now it's gone!

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