December 19, 2002
The Republican "Base"

Uppity-Negro.com has some words about the Republican "base" that writes in to National Review--you know, the magazine that claims that when Strom Thurmond said "What I want to tell you...Ladies and Gentlemen...That there's not enough troops in the Army...to force the southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theatres, into our swimming pools, into our homes and into our churches..." he was critiquing not the goals but the undemocratic methods of the Civil Rights movement.


Uppity-Negro.com: A Projekt Records fansite: Done: From The Corner on National Review Online:

LOTT: THE OTHER SIDE [John Derbyshire]
I've had a number of e-mails along the following lines, and I assume every other NRO staffer has, too. The following quote isn't one of those e-mails, it's a compound I've put together by distilling the essence of several. I don't say you have to like it; but it's a strong vein of opinion out there among NRO readers. Here you go: "I am sick and disgusted with all this hammering on Lott. What do we have to do to appease these race lobbies? How long shall we be expected to keep apologizing? We de-segregated--fair enough. Then we had to swallow Affirmative Action, MLK day, Rodney King, O.J. Simpson, and all the posturing, hypocrisy, and fake anger about 'racial profiling.' Still it goes on, and we are still supposed to be cringing, apologizing, beating our breasts and moaning: 'Guilty! Guilty! We are all guilty!' Black politicians can say anything they like about us--the most hateful, ignorant things--and nobody turns a hair. Yet when some white guy makes an ambiguous, incidental remark like Lott's, he's torn to pieces by a howling mob of white media liberals--every one of whom, if he had been living in the South in 1948, would have been a segregationist. Heck, every white Southerner was."

Emphasis added. No, really. I would have added more, but it seemed like overkill.

And remember, that's the ones with enough brainpower and disposable income to have access to e-mail.

That's the sort of person I associate with the Republicans.

And possibly -- I can really only speak for myself, you know -- possibly, other Black people do as well, and this is the reason we avoid the fuckers like the plague. Not because of any great love of the Democrats, but because the Republicans are more openly, blatantly racist.

Posted by DeLong at December 19, 2002 09:51 AM | Trackback

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Comments

“Not because of any great love of the Democrats, but because the Republicans are more openly, blatantly racist.”

What in heaven’s name is “Uppity-Negro” talking about? There is absolutely nothing objectionable in these quoted comments! “Uppity-Negro” needs to take a chill pill and get his/her head on straight. This person is making a fool of themselves.

Posted by: David Thomson on December 19, 2002 10:06 AM

>>This person is making a fool of themselves.<,

I don't think so...

Posted by: Brad DeLong on December 19, 2002 10:12 AM

"I don't think so..."

Please provide specifics. Simply asserting “I don’t think so” is not sufficient.

Posted by: David Thomson on December 19, 2002 10:22 AM

This person making fools of themselves?

BTW - Nothing wrong with the comments (of Derbyshire)?


How about:

'Fake anger about racial profiling:' How will a white person feel if they were 'profiled', pulled over, cuffed?

'Heck, every white Southerner was (segregationist)' Are they still? If this is true, should we be suspicious of 'every white southerner' in their 60s now?

gimme a break!

Posted by: on December 19, 2002 10:51 AM

There is absolutely nothing objectionable in these quoted comments!

Of course, that statement classes you with that cadre of National Review readers.

Let's put it quite simply, so that it penetrates your thick skull: you just don't get it.

Posted by: on December 19, 2002 10:53 AM

Brad,

You are deteriorating into a partisan hack. "That's the sort of person I associate with the Republicans"? Based on one idiot that writes into the National Review? And "avoid the fuckers like the plague"? C'mon now. I don't like Republicans or Democrats, quite frankly, because they are politicians spending other peoples' money, but I wouldn't call either group as a whole racists.

Posted by: John L. on December 19, 2002 11:03 AM

John L.,

Time to work on those reading skills or do a little investigation before you start calling Brad DeLong names. The content from "Emphasis added." to "Republicans are more openly, blatantly racist." was written by Aaron on the uppity-negro.com website.

To be fair this is a nested comment (From outside-in, Brad DeLong, then Aaron, then John Derbyshire). And maybe another "HR" type tag would have been helpful. But still, I would double check before wildly calling the admin of a forum a "partisan hack".

BTW might I suggest posters not engage David Thomson? He already has stated in a pervious thread how he doesn't trust that the diploma's of african americans are worth the ink they are printed on. In my opinion, arguing with him over what constitutes a racist statement is about as worthwhile as trying to convince him that there is more to economic theory than the works of Ayn Rand. I mean, unless you have a lot of time on your hands...

vsa

Posted by: vsa on December 19, 2002 11:40 AM

John L. is mistaken, and I almost made the same mistake. Everything after the intro paragraph including the words after Derbyshire's NRO post is from the other website, Uppity-Negro. Professor DeLong didn't write "That's the sort of person I associate with the Republicans" or "avoid the f**kers like the plague." While he is quoting these words, they are not his, and there is a significant difference. I think the whole purpose Brad cited from Uppity-Negro was to show you how a person who is black reacts to the reaction at NRO of the Lott incident.

David Thompson - I get the impression your are not highly regarded on this website, but that's just my opinion. Anyway, as a person who is (nearly) completely against affirmative action, I can tell you that there is much objectionable content in the NRO post. First of all, lumping affirmative action (probably bad), MLK day (good), Rodney King (horrible incident but irrefutable evidence of modern racism), OJ Simpson (what?) and racial profiling (bad) makes no sense. They are wholly different issues involving wholly different aspects of life, and should not be taken as all of a piece with excessive kowtowing to black victimology. Obviously, there is still racism, and until there is not, some people will always exaggerate its prevalence. Also as long as there is racism, the people who downplay its prevalence will incur the wrath of those who have an on-the-level view AND those who exaggerate it. There are no fine lines, but the people who downplay racism deserve the shit they get.

Posted by: on December 19, 2002 11:51 AM

Dave-

Put a sock in it. This site and it's opinions clearly aren't your cup of tea. go somewhere you'll feel more welcome, like the KKK or something.

Posted by: Dennis O'Dea on December 19, 2002 12:08 PM

My apologies. I did misread the passage. You could see why I might respond that way if those were indeed Brad's words.

Posted by: John L. on December 19, 2002 12:40 PM

My apologies. I did misread the passage. You could (hopefully) see why I might respond that way if those were indeed Brad's words.

Posted by: John L. on December 19, 2002 12:41 PM

My apologies. I did misread the passage. You could (hopefully) see why I might respond that way if those were indeed Brad's words.

I suppose the uppity negroes are entitled to smear anyone they chose.

Posted by: John L. on December 19, 2002 12:43 PM

Brad,

On what basis do you impute to National Review a revisionist interpretation of Thurmond's candidacy? One NR writer after another has lambasted Lott and called for his ouster as majority leader -- how is that making excuses for Thurmond? In particular, let me quote from David Frum's NR blog on the morning of December 9, quite early in the life of this scandal:

"What came out of his [Lott's] mouth was the most emphatic repudiation of desegregation to be heard from a national political figure since George Wallace’s first presidential campaign. Lott’s words suggest that one of the three most powerful and visible Republicans in the nation privately thinks that desegregation, civil rights, and equal voting rights were all a big mistake.

"These would be disgraceful thoughts to think, if Lott thought them. If Lott thought them, any Republican who accepted his leadership would share in the disgrace. So Lott needs to make it clear that he does not in fact think them. He owes his party, his state, his country, and his conscience something more – something much more – than a curt “I am sorry if you were offended.” If he can’t do that, Republicans need to make it clear that Lott no longer speaks for us."

Frum has been followed by a chorus of NR voices singing the same tune. So what's the basis for slamming NR as apologists for racists? The fact that some NR readers are idiots? Do you really believe we're responsible for who reads us?

The fact is that the majority of conservative heavyweights, on NR's pages and elsewhere, have been mercilessly critical of Lott in this affair. I don't consider myself a conservative, but your suggestion that conservatism's premier magazine makes excuses for Dixiecrat racism strikes me as grotesquely unfair.

Best,
Brink

Posted by: Brink on December 19, 2002 01:24 PM

Growing up on a farm in Mid-Missouri, I've been up to my redneck in conservative racists all my life.

Not just the crusty neighbors, but the residents of the small (~3400 white people, ~20 black people) nearby town where I went to school. My friends were racist, their parents were racists, the teachers were racists, on and on and on. I learned pretty early to keep my mouth shut, or be labeled a "n*gger-lover".

Now I live in St. Louis, and last weekend went camping and shooting with some old high school buddies and friends of theirs I didn't know. The politics of this crowd were very conservative, I wasn't surprised to hear the same old racist bullshit come to the surface again and again.

The only thing that would surprise me about conservative southerners and racism, would be to show me one that isn't. Every one I know, and I know a lot of them, is a racist. Maybe there are some conservative southerners who are virtual MLKs, but I haven't met them.

Posted by: Ras_Nesta on December 19, 2002 01:51 PM

Brink: Thurmond revisionism abounds on the NR: "And Strom Thurmond has done more for blacks in South Carolina than he has received credit for. He opposed the liberal civil-rights movement because it sought to force radical change. He opposed not its goals, but its tactics." Yeah right.

Posted by: Dennis O'Dea on December 19, 2002 02:11 PM

Dennis,

Who wrote the words you quoted?

Posted by: Brink on December 19, 2002 02:13 PM

““BTW might I suggest posters not engage David Thomson? He already has stated in a pervious thread how he doesn't trust that the diploma's of african americans are worth the ink they are printed on. In my opinion...”

I’m sorry but this is not my fault. You should instead blame the Liberals who dropped the standards to make it easier for blacks to enter the universities. A logical person has every right to question the validity of their degrees.

“...arguing with him over what constitutes a racist statement is about as worthwhile as trying to convince him that there is more to economic theory than the works of Ayn Rand. I mean, unless you have a lot of time on your hands...”

I have long ridiculed Ayn Rand’s brand of Libertarianism. So much so, that some of her ardent admirers have sometimes sent me angry e-mails. In a book review I wrote awhile back, I described Rand as an immature thinker.

Posted by: David Thomson on December 19, 2002 02:16 PM

"A logical person has every right to question the validity of their degrees. "

No, actually, they don't. Degrees and entrance or not connected, logically, in any way. Entrance standards are related to work done before entering the college. Degrees are measures of the work done in and only in college. They have no connection.

Posted by: kevin on December 19, 2002 02:38 PM

“There are no fine lines, but the people who downplay racism deserve the shit they get.”

One can also say that the people who exaggerate the problem of race “deserve the shit they get.”

You mentioned a number of incidents that need to be addressed:

“First of all, lumping affirmative action (probably bad)”

I have mixed emotions concerning affirmative action. However, I often support the concept if the minority candidate is chosen only after everything else is equal.

“MLK day (good)”

I support The Martin Luther King holiday. But some others wondered if this was necessary. It is not racist to question whether our country needed another holiday.

“Rodney King (horrible incident but irrefutable evidence of modern racism)”

The Rodney King had nothing to do with race! He was an out of control individual who truly threatened the officers. I curse the television station that dishonestly edited the video tape. There would have never been a riot if the viewers had seen the whole film clip.

“OJ Simpson (what?)”

You must be kidding. The O.J. simpson trial was the quintessential example of black self pity and indulgence in victimization. This murderer got off only because the jury was racist. These disgusting people were no different than the racist southern white juries who refused to convict members of the KKK.

“...and racial profiling (bad) makes no sense.”

Profiling based solely on race is indeed senseless. However, intelligent profiling that may include race as a factor is entirely sensible.

Posted by: David Thomson on December 19, 2002 02:42 PM

"No, actually, they don't. Degrees and entrance or not connected, logically, in any way. Entrance standards are related to work done before entering the college. Degrees are measures of the work done in and only in college. They have no connection."

You already concede that the standards were dropped to let them into the door. Why should anyone believe that the favoritism immediate ceased at this point? This problem would have never occurred if they had adhered to my definition of affirmative action.

Posted by: David Thomson on December 19, 2002 02:50 PM

Two Chinese friends have independantly complained to me that affirmative action denies qualified Asian students by giving deference to under-performing white students. Absent affirmative action, I would be self-empowered to get up off my white ass and compete like a real Asian.

The beauty of racism is that it gathers disparate race-related issues and globs them into a single ugly category. Remember "welfare queens?" I bet you know exactly what they look like, also. We don't know how many there were, but certainly they were eveywhere, which is to say that they were all of them.

Sentiments like these, and like those of the NRO readership, are destructive and powerful.

Posted by: Saam Barrager on December 19, 2002 03:06 PM

Brink: James Edwards Junior, on Dec 5 2002, "Thurmond's Century", in the NR.

Dave: you make it sound ilke increased availability of college educations is a bad thing. Let me clue you in: it's not. Widespread college education is possible the very best thing we can do for our country. That may end up meaning certain colleges are easier to get into than others. Fine. Mistrust those degrees from Oakton Community College if you feel like. But don't earned that people who graduate from prestigious universities earned it like anyone else.

Posted by: Dennis O'Dea on December 19, 2002 03:17 PM

"You already concede that the standards were dropped to let them into the door. Why should anyone believe that the favoritism immediate ceased at this point?"

No, I did not. I accepted none of your suppositions, only pointed out that your statement made no sense, despite your protestations, regardless of the truth of your initial assumption.

Even granting your assumption (which, btw, I do not. You have offered nothing resembling proof, and there is no reason to think that considering race as a factor leads to lower standards than considering legacy status or athletic ability, to name just two other admissions factors not related to SAT scores) I am supposed to believe that the majority of the tenured professors out there give the African American students higher grades....

Do black helicopters follow you to work, too?

Posted by: kevin on December 19, 2002 03:28 PM

>>I don't consider myself a conservative, but your suggestion that conservatism's premier magazine makes excuses for Dixiecrat racism strikes me as grotesquely unfair.<<

Then you'll be able to get a full and public retraction by _National Review_ of , won't you?

I wouldn't bet on it. Buckley has a very ugly soul.


Brad DeLong

Posted by: Brad DeLong on December 19, 2002 03:31 PM

Brad,

A retraction of what?

Posted by: Brink on December 19, 2002 03:43 PM

A prominent Democratic strategist, Donna Brazile, is openly contemplating a "favorite sons" campaign in several states, out of a desire to thwart the campaign of Al Sharpton, who she fears will otherwise gain considerable support. Since Al Sharpton is indisputably an anti-semite whose advocacy of violent terror against Jews, employing such charming codewords as "diamond merchants", has resulted in the murder, by firebombing, of innocent people, are we to take it, if Donna Brazile's concerns are correct, that a substantial percentage of the Democrats are jew-baiting advocates of violent terror? Will Prof. Delong be running a piece by a Jew explaining why he just can't trust those Democratic fuckers? What would the reaction be if a Republican strategist felt it necessary to have a "favorite sons" campaign to stave off the candidacy of a white man who had, within the last ten years, advocated the lynching of "coons", and a lynching had in fact occurred? If he runs, Al Sharpton will likely get a speaking engagement at the Democratic National Convention. What would Prof. Delong say if the Republicans allowed a white person who had incited the murders of blacks within the past decade to speak at their convention? This continued effort by Prof. Delong to illustrate the moral bankruptcy of the Republicans, while ignoring the moral bankruptcy of the people he prefers to associate with, says more about Prof. Delong than anything else.

Posted by: Will Allen on December 19, 2002 03:55 PM

Now Prof. Delong engages in judgement of the aesthetic quality of people's souls. Tell us, please, Prof. Delong, what is the aesthetic quality of a soul that would invent boyhood memories of black church burnings, just to grab a few more lousy votes? What of the aesthetic quality of a soul that would choose to work for such a person? Gosh, that's the problem with judging souls; there's always more work to do....

Posted by: Will Allen on December 19, 2002 04:08 PM

umm, Will, you're misreading the attributions of the various quotes in this post.

Posted by: Dennis O'Dea on December 19, 2002 04:13 PM

No, I'm not. I said that Prof. Delong ran a piece, presumably by a black man, that made comments on a piece originally run in NR. I then simply asked if Prof. Delong would run a piece, using similar language about Democrats, by a Jew who might object to Al Sharpton's level of support within the Democratic Party, given Mr. Sharpton's recent history of advocating violent terror against Jews. I then commented upon the remarkable act of passing judgement on people's souls, which Prof. Delong did himself; it really is a very tricky business, and unless the good Prof. can surf the marvelous California waves without aid of a board, he likely would be better off avoiding such activity.

Posted by: Will Allen on December 19, 2002 04:26 PM

The Rodney King had nothing to do with race! He was an out of control individual who truly threatened the officers. I curse the television station that dishonestly edited the video tape. There would have never been a riot if the viewers had seen the whole film clip.

I fail to see how King rushing the officers, which he did do, makes it ok for law enforcement to throw him to the ground and beat the living shit out of him. Of course there still would have been a riot on his acquittal.

I then simply asked if Prof. Delong would run a piece, using similar language about Democrats, by a Jew who might object to Al Sharpton's level of support within the Democratic Party, given Mr. Sharpton's recent history of advocating violent terror against Jews.

An interesting question: what is the Jewish opinion of Al Sharpton? I sure haven't noticed much hostility towards him from 'em; why is that?

Posted by: Jason McCullough on December 19, 2002 04:56 PM

I wouldn't ask Ed Koch, he might disagree with you, Jason. Tell me, Jason, if the Republican party had a speaker at their convention who had, within the past 15 years, employed racial epithets while inciting the murder of innocent people, what do you suppose Prof. Delong's reaction would be? What would your reaction be? What does it say about the base of the Democrats that a prominent strategist like Brazile believes that there is a need to make remarkable, unprecedented in recent history, electoral effort to thwart the possible campaign of a Democrat who has a recent history of using racial epithets to incite murder, murder which did in fact occur? Personally, I don't think it means much more than the rather obvious fact that any large political party is inevitably morally bankrupt, and while such parties are necessary evils, their necessity doesn't lessen their evil, so to have strong supporters of any such party rail solely against the moral bankruptcy of the other, to the point of passing judgement on souls (!), is really grotesque.

Posted by: Will Allen on December 19, 2002 05:09 PM

To support the comments by others, admission and graduation are in no way linked in the University system. Graduation is based grades received for work performed in college courses. Once you set foot on campus, your SAT, ACT, high school GPA and 'permanent record' are meaningless and never considered again. (Interestingly, in almost all cases the same is true about college GPA once you graduate and enter the workforce.) And there is no affirmative access program for honorary titles bestowed on high GPA graduates. Those "high scorers" earned their laurels through hard work.

I have to wonder if David has even been to college, since he has the contempt I normal hear from suburbanites who never progressed beyond high school.

-vsa

ps. Apology to John L. if i was overly harsh, since apparently many people had difficulty with the formating of this thread's source article.

Posted by: vsa on December 19, 2002 05:30 PM

OK, I checked out the Edwards article in NRO -- yuck. Here then are the facts as I presently understand them. National Review published one deplorable article whitewashing Thurmond's segregationism on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Then, after the Lott gaffe, the magazine published scads upon scads of anti-Lott (and anti-Thurmond) pieces denouncing Lott and the segregationist cause he appeared to endorse.

I'm not excusing the decision to publish the Edwards piece -- that article was wretched and offensive in its trivialization of Thurmond's sins. But I still maintain that it was grossly unfair of Brad to characterize the magazine as a whole as an apologist for Thurmond, when quite clearly the overwhelming thrust of its articles relating to him over the past three weeks have been thunderously negative.

I know some people on the left find it comforting to believe that the people who disagree with them are racists or otherwise endowed with "ugly souls." But the manifest truth is that most of the leading voices of the conservative movement have condemned Lott and Thurmond in no uncertain terms -- and indeed led the charge before the story exploded.

Brad, I know it burns your toast when right wingers distort the facts or bury inconvenient evidence. When they do that, you realize that you can't take them seriously. Brad, do you want to be taken seriously by people who disagree with you -- or do you just want to play for cheap applause from people already on your side?

Posted by: Brink on December 19, 2002 05:37 PM

I don't find your argument at all compelling, Brink. You are ecstactic over a deathbed conversion. Why did it take the NRO all these years to say, without obfuscation, what is wrong with Ole Strom? Huh? Come again? Can't hear you.

I am glad the NRO is suddenly listening to its good angel. However, I will not overlook the years of deafness that preceded the last three weeks.

Before some itchy person scratches my metaphor above, I am not saying the NRO itself is on its deathbed. One of its basic tenets, that the civil rights movement is an anachronism because society is now colorblind, is on life support thanks to Chester from Mississippi.

Posted by: Mac Diva on December 19, 2002 06:52 PM

May we also "question the validity" of college degrees awarded to those who were admitted to universities because of family connections, rather than by merit, however defined?

If we're going to demand pure meritocracy, then let's be consistent, and call Baxter Hatcher Thatcher III's (a name I think Calvin Trillin made up) degree worthless too. (And what about G.W. Bush, while we're at it?)

Funny that all these arguments about how preferential admissions, etc. hurt blacks are never deployed against those who benefit from wealth and privilege, only those who benefit from skin color.

How about it, David?

Posted by: Bernard Yomtov on December 19, 2002 07:15 PM

May we also "question the validity" of college degrees awarded to those who were admitted to universities because of family connections, rather than by merit, however defined?<<

Considering that Montanans and cellists, just to name two random groups, also get preferential marks added to their records at most schools, I propose that we get rid of all subjective measures of a person's worth, including personal achievements, relative difficulty of work, and other achievements, and only admit people to college based on their GPA and standardized test scores.

Oh, and we should smoke crack, too.

Posted by: jesse on December 19, 2002 08:13 PM

"How about it, David?"

We are on the same page. I completely agree with you. Why would you think that I might advocate favoritism for anybody? I have also blamed conservatives for the college athlete nonsense. It is very doubtful that the radical Left is responsible for the recruitment of dumb jocks who can barely spell their own name!

Posted by: David Thomson on December 19, 2002 08:35 PM

Dumb.

It's just dumb to pick on the one comment in the NRO Corner - the one out of about 50, that was halfway supportive of Lott (though in truth it was anti-Lott-attackers, rather than pro-Lott which isn't the same thing) - and say that one comment indicates the NRO position on something. Every article I've seen on NRO, including the official editorial position, demands that Lott must go.

I don't know preciselyl what the NRO position is on Strom Thurmond, but I do ask this: all the Thurmond haters out there should be PRECISELY as negative on Robert "white nigger" Byrd when he retires. Maybe Senator Byrd never ran for President on a segregationist platform as Thurmond did, but Byrd was a KKK member through and through, and even Thurmond never went that far into the cesspool.

Posted by: Anarchus on December 19, 2002 08:45 PM

Maybe Senator Byrd never ran for President on a segregationist platform as Thurmond did, but Byrd was a KKK member through and through, and even Thurmond never went that far into the cesspool.<<

Can I be the one to point out that first, the criticism isn't that Lott is a friend of Thurmond or praised him at all - but that he explicitly praised a segregationist campaign, and that second, Byrd has renounced his ties to the KKK and all that symbolized repeatedly.

I'll take this as a "principled misreading" of the critiques of Lott instead of as the deliberate dodge it reads like.

Posted by: jesse on December 19, 2002 08:50 PM

Brink: Excusing the Edwards article is exactly what you are doing. You say, yes the NR was terrible when it published it, but it's changed it's mind now. You ignore the fact that before this uproar, the view expressed by Edwards ws exactly the view of the Republican party. They only changed their mind after Lott get them in hot water. Despite the fact theat there may be non-racist republicans out there, the party has run on a crypto-racist platform since the 40s. Edwards's article is not exception: it's what they really believe. And that should concern you. Not the fact that people continue to harp on this topic, "playing for cheap applause." This isn't a little blip on the radar; this is a key issue that if left unresolved will continue to tear at the fabric of our nation. We need to be talking about this. If the republican party is racist, that fact needs to be made apparent to everyone. It is of the upmost importance.

Posted by: Dennis O'Dea on December 19, 2002 08:56 PM

Jesse: no excuses for nobody on this stuff.

I am not making any excuses for Lott or for Thurmond or for the one near-defense of Lott coming out of NRO. No excuse for any of that. None. And "deliberate dodge" is just wrong.

HOWEVER. This idea that Byrd is OK because he's repeatedly denounced his KKK membership is deliberate dodging. Ok, that was decades ago. But Senator Byrd's totally bizarre "white nigger" comments on television happened only one or two years ago. No one can ever know what is in a man's heart, I will admit.

But. I personally believe that whatever is in Senator Byrd's heart is vile. Just as I believe that Senator Thurmond, if he has a heart, has a vile one. Lott too, probably.

Posted by: Anarchus on December 19, 2002 09:03 PM

>>But I still maintain that it was grossly unfair of Brad to characterize the magazine as a whole as an apologist for Thurmond, when quite clearly the overwhelming thrust of its articles relating to him over the past three weeks have been thunderously negative.<<

Would you be happier if I replaced:

"you know, the magazine that claims that when Strom Thurmond said "What I want to tell you...Ladies and Gentlemen...That there's not enough troops in the Army...to force the southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theatres, into our swimming pools, into our homes and into our churches..." he was critiquing not the goals but the undemocratic methods of the Civil Rights movement."

with:

"you know, the magazine that--until its sudden, instantaneous, complete, and total conversion three weeks ago when on the Road to Damascus it suddenly saw the Light--claimed that when Strom Thurmond said "What I want to tell you...Ladies and Gentlemen...That there's not enough troops in the Army...to force the southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theatres, into our swimming pools, into our homes and into our churches..." he was critiquing not the goals but the undemocratic methods of the Civil Rights movement" ?

I want to be even grouchier than this, and demand of David Frum and company that they produce attacks on Lott and company that are more than three weeks old if they want me to believe in their good faith, and to ask David Frum just what, exactly, he is referring to when he talks about more than three decades of conservative colorblind activism: Ronald Reagan in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1980? Ronald Reagan when he hired Pat Buchanan as his press secretary? George W. Bush in South Carolina in 2002? Lee Atwater? Richard Nixon's promise to Strom Thurmond to do everything he could to halt enforcement of the Civil Rights Act?

But I realize in my politics-is-the-art-of-the-possible moments that I shouldn't be grouchy--that David and company are mounting a bold intellectual attack to try to reclaim the Republican Party from those who would like to get jiggy with segregationists, that if they fail their intellectual power and chances of high federal office in the future decline, and that they have waited until now to strike on the grounds that one does trust in the Lord, but one also keeps one's powder dry and waits until the enemy is looking in the other direction before firing...


Brad DeLong

Posted by: Brad DeLong on December 19, 2002 09:53 PM

>>OK, I checked out the Edwards article in NRO -- yuck. Here then are the facts as I presently understand them. National Review published one deplorable article whitewashing Thurmond's segregationism on the occasion of his 100th birthday.... I'm not excusing the decision to publish the Edwards piece -- that article was wretched and offensive in its trivialization of Thurmond's sins. But I still maintain that it was grossly unfair of Brad to characterize the magazine as a whole as an apologist for Thurmond.<<

There are a *lot* of people at _National Review_ who when they looked at Edwards's article should have said, "We can't publish this." I've kept my ear to the ground, and I've heard *nothing* about any internal dissent from the decision to publish Edwards. Has anyone?

Posted by: Brad DeLong on December 19, 2002 10:00 PM

I think this little gem got missed in the noise ...

>>In a book review I wrote awhile back, I described Rand as an immature thinker<<

For heaven's sake, David, stop pretending that you read books. After your debacles over Chomsky, Derrida and Rawls, you have quite simply lost credibility. And so has your degree certificate, if you have one.

Posted by: dsquared on December 19, 2002 11:18 PM

I wouldn't ask Ed Koch, he might disagree with you, Jason. Tell me, Jason, if the Republican party had a speaker at their convention who had, within the past 15 years, employed racial epithets while inciting the murder of innocent people, what do you suppose Prof. Delong's reaction would be? What would your reaction be?

I don't know much about Sharpton. However, since Jews don't appear to care much about him, Ed Koch not withstanding, there must be a difference; finding it is left as an exercise for the reader.

HOWEVER. This idea that Byrd is OK because he's repeatedly denounced his KKK membership is deliberate dodging. Ok, that was decades ago. But Senator Byrd's totally bizarre "white nigger" comments on television happened only one or two years ago. No one can ever know what is in a man's heart, I will admit.

I'm going to attempt the impossible, and explain why his comment is actually a typical example of an ex-racist trying to make amends. Bear with me.

Here's the actual exchange: Snow asks Byrd about the state of race relations in the Unitd States. Byrd's response:

"They are much, much better than they've ever been in my lifetime," Byrd said. "I think we talk about race too much. I think those problems are largely behind us...I just think we talk so much about it that we help to create somewhat of an illusion. I think we try to have good will. My old mom told me, 'Robert, you can't go to heaven if you hate anybody.' We practice that."

"There are white niggers. I've seen a lot of white niggers in my time; I'm going to use that word. We just need to work together to make our country a better country, and I'd just as soon quit talking about it so much."

Now, how does the second paragraph relate to the first? On casual inspection, they don't appear to at all. However, note that something you often hear from ex-racists as something of a rationalizing fallback is that "nigger just means a bad black person"; why, that's what they meant all those times they used it! It becomes, in their mind, a derogatory term for bad members of a race like "white trash," instead of the all-encompassing term for a race that it actually is. Of course, they're wrong, but they don't know that.

Now why would Byrd talk about white niggers in this context? Well, under the assumption that its just a reference to bad members of a black race, the use of the phrase "white nigger" is a backhanded attempt to point out that being a bad person is independent of race.

There you go: Byrd was being incredibly clumsy and insensitive, but at least his intensions count for something. Explanation expanded upon from analysis in Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word, By Randall Kennedy.

That said: yes, Byrd still hasn't fully figured out what's going on. However, he's an anachronism in the Democratic party, unlike the goddamn Senate Majority Leader.

Don't conservatives normally complain about analysis based on moral equivalence?

Posted by: Jason McCullough on December 20, 2002 12:04 AM

I see Jason is on record as saying the incitement of murder is a relatively small affair, because gee whiz, the Jews don't seem to mind! Oh well. Please answer the other question, Jason; what does it say about the Democrats that one of their prominent strategists thinks it may be necessary to run an extraordinary electoral effort to stave off the Presidential candidacy of a Democrat who incites murderous fire-bombings? If the Jew-baiting advocate of violent terror had negligible support, would Brazile be contemplating such a move? Tell me which is worse, papering over the racist nature of the Dixiecrat's 1948 Presidential campaign, and vilely suggesting that it would have been good if they had prevailed, or inciting people to commit murder within the past decade? What is more vile, to have numbers of people within a political party vote for and tolerate a racist who holds nostalgia for what he apparently thinks are the good ol' days, or to have numbers of people within a political party vote for and tolerate an anti-semite who has in the recent past actually advocated terroristic violence, and has had that advocacy result in murder? How long are you going to try to ride that high horse?

Posted by: Will Allen on December 20, 2002 12:50 AM

“But I realize in my politics-is-the-art-of-the-possible moments that I shouldn't be grouchy--that David and company are mounting a bold intellectual attack to try to reclaim the Republican Party from those who would like to get jiggy with segregationists, that if they fail their intellectual power and chances of high federal office in the future decline, and that they have waited until now to strike on the grounds that one does trust in the Lord, but one also keeps one's powder dry and waits until the enemy is looking in the other direction before firing...”

The Democrats try to reach out to the Anne Bradens and other Communist fellow travelers---and the Republicans do likewise with those finding it difficult to accommodate themselves to a new era of multiethnic and multiracial consciousness. Is Brad DeLong ready to condemn Ann Braden? Also, doesn't Angela Davis teach somewhere in California? Why the double standard? When is Brad DeLong going to take to task the Californian politicians like Willie Brown who recently kissed Fidel Castro’s rear end?

It is totally ludicrous to believe that the segregationists have any real power in the Republican Party. Rarely do you find a blatant segregationist. At most, there are a number of folks who delude themselves about the actual reality of the South’s Confederate past. Most of the ardent supporters of the Confederate flag, for instance, claim that racism has nothing to do with their zeal. Brad DeLong makes much ado about Richard Nixon’s alleged alliance with the racists, but conveniently overlooks the fact that the Nixon administration did a lot for civil rights. When is the last time that Professor DeLong has visited the South for any substantial period of time? I suggest that he put down outdated novels like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and attempt to learn about how real current day southerners live.

Posted by: David Thomson on December 20, 2002 05:22 AM

“Dave-

Put a sock in it. This site and it's opinions clearly aren't your cup of tea. go somewhere you'll feel more welcome, like the KKK or something.
Posted by Dennis O'Dea at December 19, 2002 12:08 PM”

Dear Dennis O’Dea,

I normally don’t respond to cowardly cheap shots. However, I am willing to make an exception is your case. Why is that? It turns out that you teach Economics 102 at the University of Illinois. You are supposedly among the best and brightest that this school has to offer. Therefore, may I suggest that either you be more specific in your criticisms ---or kindly just keep your mouth shut. Do you really wish to continue embarrassing the folks associated with this esteemed institution?

Cheers,

David Thomson
Houston, Texas

Posted by: David Thomson on December 20, 2002 05:38 AM

>>I suggest that he put down outdated novels like “To Kill a Mockingbird” <<

Another book you haven't read, "Intellectual Integrity"?

Posted by: dsquared on December 20, 2002 06:16 AM

HOWEVER. This idea that Byrd is OK because he's repeatedly denounced his KKK membership is deliberate dodging. Ok, that was decades ago. But Senator Byrd's totally bizarre "white nigger" comments on television happened only one or two years ago.<<

It was a stupid and disgusting statement, but if you look at the whole statement, you understand he was making a bass-ackwards point about the fact that bad, ignorant, undesirable people of all races exist. Conservatives criticizing Byrd tend to miss this and zero in on "white nigger" as if he just hopped on the Bill O'Reilly set, yelled it, and scampered off, giggling.

Posted by: jesse on December 20, 2002 07:16 AM

I don't have the energy to argue about any
of this, but Byrd's comment about "white
niggers" reminds me of a sermon I once heard
when I was a boy in Georgia in the 1960s.
At that time, segregation was officially over,
but not in practice. There was a restaurant
near our home that had a sign reading "Private Club---Members Only", and my parents told me
that that was just a sneaky way of saying
"no black people allowed".

Back to the sermon. At our church (Methodist,
by the way) the minister was telling an
incredibly long-winded story (like this post,
I guess) about the Civil War: After the war,
a certain slave-owning family told their black
housekeeper: "You're free now. You can go
whereever you want to go, and do whatever
you want to do." The housekeeper, who was
still a teenager, responded "I don't care
what the government says---I want to stay
with the family I love." And so she stayed.

I don't know exactly what the minister's
moral lesson was supposed to be, but his
concluding words were: "Inside her heart,
that young woman was whiter than you or me."
I think he meant something profound by that,
but it struck me as profoundly weird.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on December 20, 2002 08:11 AM

Daryl, I don't think people of color liked Sen. Byrd tossing the n-word around. However, as Brad astutely observes, the context made it less offensive than it is when the word is normally used. Also, Byrd hasn't been in a leadership position in years. It makes no sense to compare him to a Majority Leader. I said elsewhere that in my experience there is a continuum of racism among white Americans, from none to a Lott. On that continuum, based on their records and remarks, Byrd is at least at the midpoint. Lott? Guess.

Posted by: Mac Diva on December 20, 2002 01:22 PM

Dave: You want me to be more specifc? Sure, no problem. It sounds to me like your views would find a friendly reception among people who are openly racist, like the KKK, or something, rather than here, where it seems the majority or people, and certainly our host, are neither openly racist nor crypto-racist. Embarassing The U of I is not my major concern when talking to folks such as yourself; being honest, accurate, and fair is.

Posted by: Dennis O'Dea on December 20, 2002 01:51 PM

There has been some back and forth on several threads as to whether preferential admissions into college then leads to preferential grading.

I can think of a couple of reasons why it might - having struggled to recruit minority students, at least some members of the faculty might feel a certain pressure not to flunk them out. And, if a white student is unhappy with a grade, can they complain to the dean that the prof is unfair to whites?

But those are just hypotheses which I am not able to test. And yes, I suppose I sound deplorably racist simply identifying the possibilities. Perhaps a few quick denunciations, and we can get back on topic?

Here are two articles on the subject. I have never heard of Nicholas Stix; this may be my chance to learn that he is a noted member of the Klan.

Thomas Sowell is probably not a Klan member.

Both authors seem to believe that preferential grading follows preferential admissions, primarily for the first reason I guessed at.

Happy Holidays

Posted by: Tom Maguire on December 20, 2002 02:25 PM

'How long are you going to try to ride that high horse?'

How about you put down that polearm? I said I don't know anything about Sharpton.

Posted by: Jason McCullough on December 20, 2002 04:08 PM

“It sounds to me like your views would find a friendly reception among people who are openly racist, like the KKK, or something, rather than here, where it seems the majority or people, and certainly our host, are neither openly racist nor crypto-racist.”

I demand an immediate apology. That is an outrageous slander. There is nothing I’ve ever said on this discussion board which even comes close to racism. Once again, please offer specifics. But of course that is impossible. What is your real gripe? Your problem almost certainly is that you lack guts and refuse to think twice about the politically correct drivel probably required to obtain a position at the University of Illinois. There is one thing that you should learn in the immediate future: stay out of the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat. You’re likely a Liberal because you lack the courage to be a man. It’s the safer and easier path to make it in the world of academe. Do you even possess a shred of self respect?

Posted by: David Thomson on December 20, 2002 04:21 PM

Brave Liberals like Michael Harrington and Anne Braden deserve our respect. You should read Maurice Isserman's "The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington" and Catherine Fosl's "Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South." They put their rear ends on the line to do what they thought was best for humanity. Today's Liberals, however, are often gutless wonders who know which way the wind blows. They are not anti-establishment--they are the establishment!

Posted by: David Thomson on December 20, 2002 04:48 PM

I have seen no evidence of preferential grading, in either college, graduate school or law school. However, in the third, at least, I did encounter professors who harassed students of color, especially if the students were particularly bright. They were obviously threatened by minority students who did not conform to their notions of what blacks and Hispanics are 'like.' In my reading and interaction with others, I have come across episodes of that kind of thing again and again. Also, it is no accident that challenges to affirmative action usually come from professors at the schools involved, though in the names of rejected white applicants. The ones who hate affirmative action find said applicants and groom them.

As for black and Hispanic instructors, they are often badly treated by both students and their fellow faculty members.

I know these view don't comport with the Myth of the Politically Correct College Campus. But, these are the kinds of things that actually occur.

Dennis, you are being much too kind to the creep. I think he should go soak his head in toilet Trent Lott just used.

Posted by: Mac Diva on December 20, 2002 08:16 PM

>but I do ask this: all the Thurmond haters out >there should be PRECISELY as negative on >Robert "white nigger" Byrd when he retires.

Sure thing. Hell, I'll be precisely as negative right now, why wait?


>However, as Brad astutely observes, the context >made it less offensive than it is when the word >is normally used.

Nonsense. Its context was a mendacious pretense that the word means other than in it does, while using it to mean precisely what it means.

Which only goes to show what at least one person of color, i.e. me, always suspected.

Posted by: khia on December 21, 2002 05:19 AM

Jason, I apologize for the perhaps too-hostile tone, but the continual efforts by many Democrats recently to fatuously paint their opponents in the other major political party as the sole, or overwhelmingly predominant, bastion of bigotry is really appalling, much as it is appalling when Republicans do the same to their opponents in regards to failing to uphold "family values", or other nonsense. If one wishes to label Trent Lott a more than normal racist (I think nearly everyone on the planet is a racist in some regard; there probably was some evolutionary advantage at one time to fear and distrust those that didn't appear to be part of the social group) and an incompetent twit, I have no objection, just as I have no objection to those who believe, on balance, that Bill Clinton is probably a rapist. What I object to is those who extrapolate from those hideous individuals the notion that their hideous nature can also be attributed to a very large group of individuals, which inevitably involves overlooking the grave shortcomings of the people the extrapolaters do choose to associate with. Thus, we read grave intonations regarding the moral failings of a major political party (duh), as if the other doesn't have it's own problems to be addressed. Trent Lott is representative of why Brad Delong can't be a Republican, but he can tolerate being in a party where the likes of Al Sharpton has considerabe support. Bill Clinton is supposedly indicative of the rotten moral core of the Democrats, never mind the creeps resident in the GOP. As to the condition of people's souls, I don't think rendering opinions on the subject is wise or fruitful, and don't think any judgement can be rendered as to which party has people with souls in better condition. If one wants to fight racism and other types of moral failings, one should go forth and do so, but canning the smug, sanctimonious, attitude would be wise.

Posted by: Will Allen on December 21, 2002 05:26 AM

>>>but I do ask this: all the Thurmond haters out
>there should be PRECISELY as negative on
>Robert "white nigger" Byrd when he retires.

Sure thing. Hell, I'll be precisely as negative right now, why wait?<<

I agree. Why wait? Byrd's serving in the senate disgraces the country.


Brad DeLong


Posted by: Brad DeLong on December 21, 2002 08:24 AM

Khia, why do I get a sense that you are a (snicker) Republican of color?

Posted by: Mac Diva on December 21, 2002 03:16 PM

Hi there.

Posted by: Boris on December 21, 2002 06:47 PM

Hi there.

Posted by: Boris on December 21, 2002 06:47 PM

For anyone who's interested, I have some comments about this thread (and another race-issues-relevant column) on my blog. Quick summary: we need more bipartisan opposition to racism and race-baiting.

Posted by: Alan K. Henderson on December 22, 2002 09:32 AM

To Brink: anyone who thinks that "America's premier conservative magazine" hasn't had a long career of virulent racism hasn't looked at it very damn hard. Consider W.H. Von Dreele's constant shower of verses in its pages since 1960. (In 1978, he was still comparing Martin Luther King to Father Divine and announcing that Earl Warren deserved to burn in hell because he wanted the South to "INTEGRATE", to quote W.H.'s capital letters.) And between 1969 and 1979, they printed, and ecstatically praised, a whole shower of bizarre pieces by self-described "racist nihilist" anthropology professor John Greenway -- as well as enthusiastically praising French writer Jean Raspail's equally bizarre pro-genocidal-racism novel "The Camp of the Saints". (Greenway's highlights, incidentally, include describing all opposition to Southern slavery as "etiolated puritanism" in the magazine, and his 1969 piece "Will the Indians Get Whitey?", which NR chucklingly introduced with the comment "Did the white race exterminate the Indians? No, but it should have." The pinnacle of his career, however, is probably his Sept. 1976 review of Susan Sheehan's "A Welfare Mother", which must be read to be believed.)

By then Buckley himself had radically changed his tune -- in 1976 he described Lester Maddox as a "racist Neanderthal", and by the early Eighties he was coming out in favor of King's birthday as a national holiday. But according to Garry Wills, by then his connection with the magazine had been absolutely minimal for some time; its content was mostly decided by William Rusher, who was pushing George Wallace for Vice President in 1976.

So: has NR outgrown all this charming stuff (to say nothing of its equally frequently expressed and open praise for fascism, right down to its tearful epitaph for Ferdinand Marcos)? Obviously not completely.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on December 26, 2002 06:09 AM

Postscript to David Thomson: are we really supposed to believe that people who furiously favor restoring a really big Stars and Bars to the Georgia and Mississippi flags (with Sonny Perdue aiming his entire gubernatorial campaign at the former, and winning) aren't strongly nostalgic about racism, simply because they deny it publicly? Good God. No doubt any Germans who favor restoring the swastika to the German flag are only concerned with preserving Germany's Historical Heritage (after all, consider the millions of Germans who died selflessly in the pursuit of THAT Lost Cause). And no doubt Joerg Haider isn't a Nazi sympathizer (after all, he SAYS he isn't).

Anyone who denies that white racists are still rife in the Deep South is also left with the problem of explaining why half the whites in both South Carolina and Alabama voted to keep interracial marriage illegal in 1998 and 2000 referendums. Yes, there are black racists in this country -- but the white racists are still much more powerful, simply because there are nine times more whites than blacks in this country. You'll never find Sharpton or Cynthia McKinney getting elected to statewide office -- let alone becoming U.S. Attorney General or leader of their party in the Senate.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on December 26, 2002 06:19 AM
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