Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stop it. Just stop it.

First we had People So Bold! and UU Mom repeating "This is Your Nation on White Privilege", a diatribe that claims that ordinary political hypocrisy, practiced by every party in every election everywhere, (plus a lot of bias by the author) is proof of white privilege. Then there's The Eclectic Cleric saying "This is how racism works". All of them are basically saying the same thing as CNN's Jack Cafferty : "The differences between Barack Obama and John McCain couldn't be more well-defined. Obama wants to change Washington. McCain is a part of Washington and a part of the Bush legacy. Yet the polls remain close. Doesn't make sense…unless it's race." Stop it. It's worse than just nonsense; it's hateful, willfully ignorant nonsense.

Try to set the emotionalism aside for a moment and think back four years ago. If you forget vague platitudes like unspecified "change" and look at the specific issues, the differences between Bush and Kerry were actually greater than those now between McCain and Obama. The outrage over the war was much higher- today, you can't even find it in the news if you look. The personal venom was even higher- remember "swift boats"? And yet the polls remained close. And they were both WASPs. Those numbers have been frozen in place for decades. Look at the winning margins of the last four elections:
Bush 2004 50.7%
Bush 2000 47.9%
Clinton 1996 49.2%
Clinton 1992 43.0%

"But... but... but..." you sputter? "But this year is different- Bush was awful" Yeah? Well so was Nixon. And the Republican who ran in 1976 had voted with Nixon 90% of the time before his impeachment, then pardoned Nixon after he took office, then gaffed badly in the debates- and over foreign policy, during the cold war. And yet Carter won by only 50.1%

This nation is deeply, deeply divided- by party. Trying to claim it's because of the race of the candidate is foolish when the numbers haven't changed by a single point even when both candidates are the same race. Worse, it's illogical- would people so racist that they'll vote against their own interests over race have voted for a candidate with a child of color, and welcomed a running mate who married a mixed-race man? Worse yet, it's unseemly for a man of the cloth to show such contempt for his fellow man that the first thing that leaps to his mind when the whole country doesn't agree with him is racism.


Robin Edgar said...

I would have thought by now that you were very well acquainted with the hateful, willfully ignorant nonsense of the U*Us Joel. . .

Here is the comment that I submitted to the "moderated" aka censored blog of The Eclectic Cleric -

"This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference."

So what do you call covering up, rationalizing and minimizing positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizing negative qualities in another when there is no color difference Eclectic Cleric?

end quote

It is unlikely to see the light of day in light of the fact that the U*Ucliquetic Cleric censors pretty much every comment that I submit to his blog.

BTW I will be doing a post parodying "This is Your Nation on White Privilege" titled -

"This is Your Religion on Clergy Privilege"

In fact it was pretty much completed yesterday but I got distracted by other U*U BS. Such as U*U Mom's stunningly willfully ignorant comment -

"Have you ever heard a person of color brag about being a gun enthusiast? What would people think?"

I had a barrel of fun with that spectacular outbreak of U*U foot-in-mouth disease. And that's the Truth. . . ;-)

Chalicechick said...

Robin, though you're right that UU Mom wasn't very clear, I think I know what she meant, though, in that yes, gangsta rap about guns is popular among some urban african-american teenagers, but middle-class rural whites of all ages tend to make rather a big point of their gun ownership in a way that urban people of any color generally don't.

I can imagine a rural white politician talking about loving the song I linked to, for example, but I don't think you're going to see an urban african-american politician talking about how he loves gangsta rap. If you can find one, OK, but you won't find many.

That said, I think this line is more on city/country lines than race ones and made that point to UU Mom, citing JC Watts' speech at the NRA convention as an example.

Joel, I think you're right in what you write here, though I wouldn't have phrased some of it in exactly the same way. What bothers me about this sudden "racism means Obama's going to lose" trend is that it seems like people are giving up hope for an Obama win long before they have any reason to do so. Of the six national polls taken over the last week tracked at Real Clear Politics, four show a 2-5 point Obama lead, one shows a tie, and one shows a one-point lead for McCain.


Chuck B. said...

Because in the fun house mirror view of your world there never is a privilage issue. Not really sure where you get the bias since the original author is white, but why let facts stop you now? YOUR whole rant is skewed in relation to the point of the post.

Why don't YOU try to set aside your rage at having your white privilage attacked, and being forced to really accept others? You know, kinda what your Faith as a UU expects of you.

Being angry at any idea that suggests you have an edge:There's the hate. Because your reaction certainly doesn't jibe with the UU idea of an open and accepting society that reaches out to help the oppressed.

"But...but...but" YOU splutter "I'm just being conservative" No Joel. You're not. At the very best you are being a contrarian with no sensitivity or compassion for groups of people who have been villified, humiliated, and oppressed for 4 centuries in our country. At the very worst, you are being a bigot.

In either case, I would like to know how your rage at "This is your nation..." jibes with the UU ideas of justice for the traditionally oppressed. Because this empty stat quote is just silly.

And please don't trot out the tired inverse begging the question argument of victimhood. That's like saying a woman in a short skirt was asking for rape or a Jew who didn't leave Nazi germany was asking for the Holocost.

Joel Monka said...

Chuck B- it's facts I am looking at. I'll start by clearing up one misconception; you make several: the author's bias I was speaking of was political bias, not racial- I'm well aware the author is white; I read his work.

Your second misconception is that I'm in a rage because my white privilege is being attacked. No, I'm disgusted by people assuming that anyone who disagrees with them is evil, and then stretch the facts to try to prove it. The entire argument that race is the issue in this race is based on Senator Obama not polling as well as he should be. That assumption is simply wrong. As I demonstrated, he is polling EXACTLY where the white candidates before him polled. There is no discrepancy to be explained. In fact, he is polling well ABOVE where Clinton was in 1992- absent Ross Perot, Clinton would have lost in a landslide.

How can you claim that Senator Obama's lousy poll numbers are caused by racism when he's polling EQUAL TO OR BETTER THAN every Democrat before him? To any objective observer, race has been no factor here. How is it being a bigot to demonstrate by actual numbers that Senator Obama is more popular than then-Governor Clinton? What poll numbers did you expect him to have? If he took 90% of the votes, would you claim that 10% of the nation is racist?

Robin Edgar said...

"No, I'm disgusted by people assuming that anyone who disagrees with them is evil, and then stretch the facts to try to prove it."

You mean you're disgusted with all those U*Us who assume that I am evil, and then stretch the "facts" (i.e twist the truth or outright lie) to try to prove it Joel? I hate to have to say so, but that seems to be a disturbing pattern amongst U*Us and I am far from being the only victim of such behavior by U*Us. Sometimes I am tempted to refer to myself as the "white nigger of the U*U World" but I know just how well that would go over with U*Us. . .

Joel Monka said...

Robin- that reminded me of a song by Yoko Ono. That was cruel. I'd rather listen to an entire album of "Tom Petty covers ABBA" than have an Ono song running through my head.

Chalicechick said...

I'd say your next post punished us all for Robin's misdeed.


Robin Edgar said...

How about just one song by Nick Lowe Joel?

Robin Edgar said...

Oh what the hell. . .