Sunday, October 24, 2010

Everything you need to know, The Ultimate Edition

Updated Okay, I've done it. I've found an example of Everything You Need to Know in a single word. A use of a word so revealing of the person that additional explication is unnecessary.

The person in question is Bob Somerby. I have lost interest in Somerby and his increasingly obvious intent to demonstrate he is a realer, truer, liberal than anyone else on the planet and that most liberals have "low IQs" - meaning they disagree with him. So I emphasize that I came across this quite by chance, following a link to a link to a link.

So what's the word, the Everything You Need to Know about Bob Somerby word? On Tuesday, in writing about "interpreting the crazy," he reasonably says that "sometimes, The Crazy is just The Crazy; it isn’t The Crazy and Racist." And then, immediately after, he says
Presumably, racism still exists in the land.
What th- Presumably?? That's as far as he can drag himself? Presumably there is still racism? How much more revealing can a single word be?

Somerby has repeatedly striven to minimize racism as a political issue and attacked "liberals" and columnists for raising it; he's so hypersensitive to it as to insist that calling conservatives racist "is the only political concept found in [liberals'] tiny small brains."

And now he can barely bring himself to admit - indirectly - that racism even exists? WTF?

I've had my problems with Somerby on various issues, but this is beyond the pale. Now, I am quite confident that Bob Somerby is not a racist. But I am equally confident that he embraces a liberal version of the GOPper's infamous Southern Strategy of "get the white vote" (he pointedly notes that "in 2008, the electorate was 74 percent white") and if that means telling minorities to fend for themselves politically while embracing the meme of whites as economically and socially victimized by "those people" - if that means deliberately turning a blind eye to the very real (not "presumed") existence of racism - well, hey, that's the way it goes.

That is reprehensible. Somerby is correct that not everything coming from the right is based on racism. Some of it is based on selfishness. Some of it is based on ignorance. And a lot of it is based on cynical exploitation of all three. But his bottom-line contention that race is essentially irrelevant and that racism (which merely "presumably" exists) must be ignored in order to pursue white voters is not only insulting to those white voters (who are, apparently, incapable of addressing the issue), it is ethically and morally contemptible.

Contrary to the "novelized tale" Bob Somerby is peddling, real progress, progress that takes root and persists, is never built on lies. And denying the importance of racism is a lie.

Updated with a Footnote: I wasn't going to address this but I changed my mind. Somerby's main argument for "sometimes, The Crazy is just The Crazy" is to point to Bill Clinton. There was craziness about him - so clearly that had nothing at all to do with race!

Is he joking? He can't be that uninformed. So has he forgotten - or does he just not care - how Toni Morrison, with tongue in cheek, called Clinton "the first black president" - and more importantly how the term was eagerly embraced by Clinton supporters?

Has he forgotten - or does he just not care - how the black community embraced Clinton, sensing his relationship with that community "was at least partly in his heart, as well as in his head?" Has he forgotten - or does he just not care - that as a result there was enough concern about the notion that as president he would be somehow "too solicitous" of minorities that the campaign found it necessary to stage the eponymous "Sister Souljah moment" because he had to prove he would "stand up to the minorities?"

Obviously, Bill Clinton isn't black. But the idea that The Crazy surrounding his presidency was wholly unrelated to the exploitation of white racial fears is itself crazy. The example of Bill Clinton does not support Somerby's thesis, it rebuts it.


dpirate said...

I'm guessing you often tear around wailing and flapping your arms.

LarryE said...

I have no idea what that is supposed to mean and I suspect that neither do you.

I could take it as meaning you are dismissive of the post and therefore unconcerned with the continued existence of racism - but I'm hoping that's not it.

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