Monday, April 7, 2014

Race and the Obama Presidency...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Race, always the deepest and most volatile fault line in American history, has now become the primal grievance in our politics, the source of a narrative of persecution each side uses to make sense of the world. Liberals dwell in a world of paranoia of a white racism that has seeped out of American history in the Obama years and lurks everywhere, mostly undetectable. Conservatives dwell in a paranoia of their own, in which racism is used as a cudgel to delegitimize their core beliefs. And the horrible thing is that both of these forms of paranoia are right.

The above words from The Color of His Presidency ring true to the thoughtful as well as honest person. Please take the time if you have not already done so to read the entire article BELLOW THE FOLD. It will be well worth your time.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. I thought the article was well balanced and explored all sides of the issue. And it concluded with this very thoughtful observation: "In the long run, generational changes grind inexorably away. The rising cohort of Americans holds far more liberal views than their parents and grandparents on race, and everything else (though of course what you think about “race” and what you think about “everything else” are now interchangeable). We are living through the angry pangs of a new nation not yet fully born."

  2. In 1940, the black poverty rate was 87% and the black illegitimacy rate was 19%. Today those numbers have essentially flipped (27% and 73%) and I don't think that it takes a Dick Tracy to figure out that somewhere therein the problem lies.

    1. What does that have to do with RN's post? Several years ago I warned that you were spending far too much time on right-wing websites. Detox bro. What are you even saying? Dick Tracy? He was a detective, Sherlock. Talk about a non-sequitur! It doesn't take a detective. It takes a kook who has been continually bombarded by racist propaganda, such as yourself, just what RN is trying to say does not constitute the opposition to president Obama.

    2. I don't even know where to go with this one. a) I don't go on right-wing web sites (this from a clown who probably resides 24/7 on the HuffPo) and b) these are facts, Jack. The African-American family was largely intact for close to 100 years after the abolition of slavery and it was only when you and your fellow leftist morons took over that it started to disintegrate. And it wasn't a nonsequitur, you uneducated buffoon, in that right in the first paragraph it talks about "grievances", "persecution", and "racism". Open your damned eyes, for Christ sakes.

    3. Will:: It almost seemed like Flying had someone else entirely different from you in mind. That rant didn't really apply to you at all.

    4. If Will had read the Jonathan Chait article, he might have discovered the utility of word substitution as a kind of litmus test to determine inherent bigotry imbedded within a statement. Let’s put Will’s comment to the test:

      In 1940, the black poverty rate was 87% and the black illegitimacy rate was 19%. Today those numbers have essentially flipped (27% and 73%) and I don't think that it takes a Dick Tracy to figure out that somewhere therein the problem lies [structurally suggestive of racism].

      In 1940, the Hispanic poverty rate was 87% and the Hispanic illegitimacy rate was 19%. Today those numbers have essentially flipped (27% and 73%) and I don't think that it takes a Dick Tracy to figure out that somewhere therein the problem lies [structurally suggestive of anti-Hispanic bigotry].

      In 1940, the Jewish poverty rate was 87% and the Jewish illegitimacy rate was 19%. Today those numbers have essentially flipped (27% and 73%) and I don't think that it takes a Dick Tracy to figure out that somewhere therein the problem lies [structurally suggestive of anti-Semitism].

      In other words, Will-the-Shrill-Shill has created a structurally bigoted statement no matter what kind of word substitution is employed. Herein lies the pitfall of leveling gratuitous generalizations about groups of people without forethought. It leaves a commenter open to charges of bigotry (and "off-topic troll") – and deservedly so.

      BTW, an honest and conscientious commenter usually provides a citation. Where’s yours, Will-the-Shrill-Shill?

    5. Disagree with a ignoramus leftist stooge and automatically get branded a bigot. How completely and utterly predictable.

    6. Black illegitimacy rate - 72% (I had thought that everybody with a brain already knew this but, whatever) - As for the black poverty rate being 87% in 1940, my sources for that are the Stephen Therstrom (Harvard historian) book, "Black and White in America" and Thomas Sowell's "Economic Facts and Fallacies". And, come on, man, the current 27% black poverty rate is common frigging knowledge, for Christ sakes.

    7. Hey, dmarks, these are the same types of idiots who 50 years ago referred to Daniel Patrick Moynihan as a racist for his having brought up up the fact that the black illegitimacy rate had risen from 19% to what was then an alarming 25%. Same old, same old.

    8. “leftist morons”
      “you uneducated buffoon”
      “ignoramus leftist stooge”

      No matter whom you address, no matter what topic or context, your problem, Will, is that you are the most uncivil, uncouth, unethical and offensive commenter on this site, bar none! Your constant drizzle of invective, vituperation, verbal abuse, putdowns, and sneer and jeer speaks of serious anger management problems and less than good character.

    9. (O)CT(O)PUS, given the number of times I have attempted to get jmj to refrain from referring to libertarians, conservatives, and republcans as stupid, idiots, clueless, etc. I felt fair was fair. whatever fair actually means.

      Having said this Will Octo is right, there are infinately better ways to express honest differences of opinion. Be the better person, rise above it.

      Octo, perhaps you can work on jmj? I like the guy and Don't want to have to censor him... Thanks

    10. They call people racist (for agreeing with Bill Cosby and Don Lemon), a troll, mischaracterize their views, and then become indignant when blowback occurs. I'm sorry, Les, but these folks are the bottom of the barrel.

    11. I guess what your implication boils down to is this, what is good for the goose is NOT good for the gander. Fair (whatever that means) enough as it is correct to say this is not limited to just the left or the right.

      My point is the use of demeaning, disrespectful, or derogatory words to describe an entire group because of their adherence to a particular political ideology is not the best approach. Attack the ideology or view as crazy, idiotic, moronic, foolish, short sighted etc. and explain why it is so. Attack the message, not the messenger.

      It can be difficult, especially with the wd types I know. We all should attempt to remain on the high ground.

    12. Will: “these folks are the bottom of the barrel.”

      Just because Will says it, does this mean his ad hominem characterizations are true? This is how Will treats all folks who hold an opinion different than his:

      “leftist morons”
      “you uneducated buffoon”
      “ignoramus leftist stooge”
      “bottom of the barrel”

      See, here is a problem with blanket stereotypes: Just because it may apply to one or a handful of people, are these characterizations true of every member of the same group?

      Another term is “unintended by-catch,” a term among fisherman who cast an overly wide net and catch air-breathing marine mammals in addition to edible fish. Are all liberals, or all conservatives, “bottom of the barrel? Or only liberals just because they hold a different opinion?

      In my neighborhood, there are people of all persuasions. There are liberals and conservatives, alike, who pay their taxes, pay their bills, do their civic duty, and help their neighbors – regardless of political persuasion and with no preconditions.

      Speaking for myself, I raised one daughter who chose a career in the U.S. Army. A Lieutenant Colonel to be exact, a recipient of TWO Bronze Stars and SEVEN distinguished Service Citations who deploys next week to Afghanistan. Like me, she is liberal and progressive and votes accordingly. Does this mean Lieutenant Colonel Daughter is “bottom of the barrel,” according to Will-the-Shrill who takes no prisoners and tolerates no opinion other than his own?

      You see, Will, there really are racists and anti-Semites in this world. Yesterday, for instance, THIS MAN thought he was targeting Jews but killed two Methodists instead.

      Oops. Unintended by-catch.

    13. Nowhere did I ever say that there weren't ACTUAL racists (yet another mischaracterization) and nowhere did I ever say that ALL progressives were the "bottom of the barrel". My only point (prior to having had the damned race card thrown in my face by a couple of people who don't know a thing a bout me; that 4 of my top 5 favorite Presidents are Democrats, that I haven't voted Republican for President since 1988, that I was once banned from for criticizing Sarah Palin - just a few examples) was that the problems in the black community have significantly more to do with the breakdown of the family than they do with poverty (the fact that the poverty rate has gone down 69% in the black community while at the same time the illegitimacy rate has nearly quadrupled). It is an opinion that Bill Cosby, Thomas Sowell, and Walter E. Williams also have and I fully resent being called a racist by a bunch of people whose viewpoints I consider exceedingly doctrinaire and hackneyed.

    14. Will,
      Did I ever accuse you of racism? I accused you of constructing your sentences in a manner suggestive of racism, prejudice towards Hispanics, or anti-Semitism as demonstrated by simple word substitution. I have also observed that you have a terrible anger management problem and are an accomplished verbal abuser. Your words speak for themselves: Your comments are often infused with a clear anti-liberal bias, and your past voting record doesn't exonerate you.

    15. The words would not substitute because the numbers for each of those group are different.......And it was Flying Junior who stared it by calling me a "kook who gets bombarded by racist propaganda and who spend way too much time on right-wing web sites." Forgive me for having a problem with that.......And a "shill", a shill! Who the hell am I shilling for? I voted for Obama in 2008 (which I continue to stand by in that, while I respect McCain, I tend to see him as unstable) and Johnson in 2012 and I strongly detest both parties.

    16. Will, rise above it. Let it go. We both know the one thing a true dyed in the wool partisan (from either the left or the right) can never do is admit any fault or error.

      Mirrors are no friend of the partisan.

    17. To assuage any concerns that I may have accused Will of racism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of bigotry, let me to clarify.

      If you re-read my above comments, you will see that they pertain to errors in writing that might lead to trouble. If you take the same sentence and substitute the words "African-American" for "Hispanic" or "Jew" - you will see that the sentence is structurally biased based on simple word substitution. In two comments, I repeated the phrase "suggestive of structural bias" to reinforce this point.

      Perhaps there is another point I should make. If Bill Cosby were the writer of the exact same sentence, an average reader might infer that Cosby wants better for them and, in essence, merely admonishes them to "get their act together."

      If a known extremist had made the exact same statement, there would be an uproar with regards to motive and a hidden agenda – perhaps even rightfully so.

      My point: Interpretation not only depends upon the structure of the sentence, it also depends upon who is making the statement. The speakers informs how we interpret a sentence – whether his motives are meant to be benign or malicious. Context explains why “its okay for him to say it but not me.” Our Interpretation is also framed by the context of the speaker.

      Consider this a lesson in expository writing on how to avoid ambiguities and pitfalls that might you get slammed.

      I hope this clears up any misunderstanding.

    18. And, perception is often reality. Ones real life experiences understandably will color a person's perceptions.

      Things often are not as they seem to be.

      There is however little doubt, at least in my mind, but what people will continue to be judgemental of others. Often without taking the time to think it through so to speak.

      T truly understand another try putting yourself in their shoes and walking around in them awhile. It may change your perception.

      And so it goes...

    19. "It may change your perception."

      Let's just say, when commenters rage online with personal attacks and partisan slurs, it detracts from the blogging experience. You, of all people, should know this by now.

  3. I'm surprised Les liked this.

    This is silliness, more insecure conservative projection, popular now on the professional Right as they desperately look for way to unhook minorities and women from the Democrats.

    It won't work.

    The logic is flawed, forced and strained, really, kind of pathetic, and currently a popular source of jokes from the Left.

    I just took a look back at polls over the past couple years and race is not a blip on the radar save for immigration, which, let's face it, has a lot to do with race, but also jobs and other things, and it's very Mexican-centric. Neither, really, are grievances major polling issues. People are worried about jobs, education, healthcare, war, etc. They're not really demanding much more than growing the economy here at home. I don't think that's a "grievance." I call it good sense.

    What this silly person doesn't understand is that it is not liberals thinking about these issues all the time. Really, among liberals, those issues are pretty plain and clear, taken for granted, automatic. Obama did not win the Presidency because he was black, he won because a large and growing number of Americans didn't care that he was black.

    This has further implications conservatives are going to have a hard time facing. Liberals don't care about a whole bunch of stuff, including victim-less crime, religion, endless wars, and whether gay people can finally get the respect and dignity they deserve.

    We are, however, sick of the whining from the Right about race. Get over it. Blacks and Hispanics and young people and women are not stupid, and they certainly deserve better than anything the Right has to offer.


    1. I simply ask;

      1) Did you read the full article?
      2) If so did you understand my reason for running it?
      3) is your partisan passion causing you to miss the larger picture?

      Shaw got it, I believe Flying Junior did as well, and Will probably will rethink his comment in relation to this post. Will you jmj?

  4. I don't think either position is true, really. I just don't see race as a significant issue these days.


  5. Why did this particular tweet [the Cheerios ad featuring a biracial family], of all things, make Republicans snap? It exposed a sense in which their entire party is being written out of the American civic religion (Jonathan Chait The Color of His Presidency).

    In response to the Jonathan Chait article, Ed Kilgore said this in You Don't Have to Be a Racist to Practice Racism:

    So much as I would like to find common ground with conservatives, and much as I know many of them have fine (subjective) motives: when I see racism, I’m going to call it what it is. Just avoiding the subject is not just bad politics: it is (subjectively, for me) an evasion and a lie.

    I offer a third perspective. The “distemper and polarization” of our political life is not merely expressed in racism. Vituperation has metastasized cancer-like across the entire spectrum of policy debates:

    Legitimate rape;

    Drug mules with calves the size of cantaloupes;

    In my day women put aspirin between their knees;

    The bill from the Last Supper:

    Equates reproductive rights with the Holocaust and contraception to baby pesticides;

    Al Qaeda is state sponsored by Zionist Jews;

    Jew me down;

    If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder?

    Racism, anti-Hispanic bigotry, sexism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, anti-Gay discrimination, and more … here is the public face of today’s GOP. Since the Tea Party takeover of 2010, it has morphed itself into a party of hatred, obstruction, nullification, and nihilism. No wonder why conservatives of conscience have left the party in droves.

    If, as Jonathan Chait observes, “their entire party is being written out of the American civic religion,” let’s just say Republicans have done this to themselves.

  6. Hatred is not representative of the many good conservative, libertarian, and republicans I personally know.

    I acknowledge some republicans hate, some in the leadership some in the rank and file. Same can be said of liberals and dems. But I simply have lost the passion to argue.

    It is what it is. It is time for my single malt Scotch and a movie with the finer half of my life.

    1. RN: "Hatred is not representative of the many good conservative, libertarian, and republicans I personally know."

      Nor the ones I know. If you haven't noticed, there is a link imbedded in the phrase "left the party in droves."


As this site encourages free speech and expression any and all honest political commentary is acceptable. Comments with cursing or vulgar language will not be posted.

Effective 3/4/18 Anonymous commenting has been disabled and this site has reverted to comment moderation. This unfortunate action is necessary due to the volume of Anonymous comments that are either off topic or irrelevant to the post subject.

While we appreciate and encourage all political viewpoints we feel no obligation to post comments that fail to rise to the standards of decency and decorum we have set for Rational Nation USA.

Thank you for your understanding... The management.