• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Obama’s Speech: Poisoning the Well

One of the major strains of reaction to Barack Obama’s “More Perfect Union” speech is that those who are not persuaded by it are therefore racist or at least unreasoning fools. Poisoning the well in this manner may be an effective rhetorical device but it undercuts the very message of the speech, which is that race remains a very complicated issue in American culture and that we must tolerate a wide range of expressions on the subject.

Andrew Sullivan began sowing the race seed before the speech and after it adds “some are immune to the grace and hope and civility that Reagan summoned at his best; the anger and bitterness is so palpably fueled by fear and racism it really does mark a moment of revelation to me.”

Steve M. argues that “the premises [the speech] lays out require you to be an adult, and I’m not convinced that most Americans are adults, at least when looking for a candidate to support.”

Barbara O’Brien seconds this:

I think the question about the speech, articulated by Rachel Maddow on David Gregory’s new MSNBC program, is whether white America will step up and receive the speech in the same spirit in which it was given. Obama’s speech was challenging. He assumed that his audience could hear his words and and think about them. He assumed people could get beyond simple narratives, sound bytes, and jerking knees.

Glenn Greenwald adds,

But in Obama’s faith in the average American voter lies one of the greatest weaknesses of his campaign. His faith in the ability and willingness of Americans to rise above manipulative political tactics seems drastically to understate both the efficacy of such tactics and the deafening amplification they receive from our establishment press. Even Americans who authentically believe that they want a “new, better politics” may be swayed by the same old Drudgian sewerage because it is powerful and ubiquitous.

Finally, Michael Froomkin observes, “whether this is Obama’s breakthrough moment, as it deserves to be, or his Adlai Stevenson moment depends on two things: first, whether the gatekeepers of old media, few if any of whom are friendly to Democrats, allow his rich and complex statements anywhere near a voter. . . . The second chance comes from the Internet, which allows the candidate to bypass the filter. But will anyone outside the choir come to hear the preacher?

Now, I think all of these writers are expressing their honest frustration that Obama’s message won’t get through. And, fundamentally, I agree that it’s difficult to make an argument in paragraph form in a venue dominated by the sound byte. At the same time, however, it’s difficult to argue that people interested in hearing or reading Obama’s speech don’t have plenty of avenues for doing so.

The fact that we live in a sound byte world requires that those wishing to get their message out adapt their strategy accordingly. Obama has done so masterfully. Indeed, he’s light years ahead of both Hillary Clinton and John McCain in this regard. While he has detailed policy platforms available to those who want them, he’s built his campaign around bumper sticker slogans. That frustrates those who are trying to beat him with more nuanced messages but that’s too bad.

Unless he’s a much dumber tactician than I give him credit for, Obama knew full well that yesterday morning’s speech was merely the beginning of a dialog. Even those of us who are political junkies mostly missed the live presentation, given that it was delivered during peak working hours. But opinion leaders have or will read and/or listen to the speech and talk about it for the next week or more.

Like Greenwald, I viewed the Wright controversy as “relatively petty.” But others have the right to disagree.

Obama’s youth, energy, charisma, and oratorical skill could easily propel him to the White House. I wouldn’t be shocked if he won several states that went “Red” in 2000 and 2004 and thus contributed to a realignment of American politics. But a personality based campaign can implode if people doubt the character of the candidate. Fundamentally, this is a visceral issue rather than an intellectual one. Either you trust Obama and regard him as a uniting force or you don’t. And falling into the latter camp doesn’t make you venal or stupid.

UPDATE: Kevin Drum disagrees on two scores:

As good as Obama’s speech was, it’s naive not to also understand it as the political tool it was meant to be. And on that score, I’d say that the Obama supporters James points to are doing precisely what Obama intended: trying to take Jeremiah Wright’s incendiary comments off the table by implying that anyone who still insists on talking about them must be either a simpleton or a racist. He’s basically daring the Sean Hannitys of the world to continue demagoging Wright, and making a savvy bet that the rest of the press will line up behind him to agree that the real issue isn’t Wright, it’s racism and its complex historical legacy. And anyone who doesn’t agree is either a partisan hack or a hopeless primitive.

If so, it’s a losing bet. Calling half the country simpletons and racists is not a way to win an election. It may stifle the debate, because of the powerful chilling effect of the race card in American political discourse, but it’ll resonate quite differently in the privacy of the voting booth.

Obama has embraced Wright while distancing himself from his most incendiary comments. That’s fine. But people have a right not to be satisfied with a very convoluted explanation about why he sat in those pews for two decades.

On James’s second point, though, I disagree. I think Obama’s fervent hope is that his speech pretty much closes the issue of race in this campaign. It just flatly doesn’t help him in any way to keep it on the front burner. Like NAFTA, which dropped off the radar after Ohio, I expect that after a couple of days Obama will also drop the subject of race if he possibly can. We’ll know by next week.

I can’t predict media cycles. Issues come and go and the press often drops them in mid story if distracted, never to return again. (See: Levy, Chandra.) Then again, this is a political campaign. Obama’s opponents certainly have a stake in seeing this one live on.

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. [...] are a lot of writers who have great things to say about the speech, and communicate it in a way I don’t need to replicate. However, [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Obama’s speech “A More Perfect Union” was just brilliant. Most impressive was his ability stand with one foot in his White heritage and the other in his Black heritage and speak frankly about race in a way neither a Black or White man ever could.

    Even more impressive for me, is that after 8 years with a slack-jawed dufus in the White House, we can look forward to not only a President that can string a 6 word sentence together without drooling on himself, but he can actually WRITE such an elequent speech.

    That’s right – Obama wrote that speech he gave. By Himself. This speech, being lauded over by both critics and pundits alike as “Historical”, was written by Senator Obama. He gets it. Without being told what to say and think by polls and advisors – he really gets it.

    The man is impressive and uniquely qualified to lead our country in these Dark times.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Triumph says:

    Obama’s speech “A More Perfect Union” was just brilliant. Most impressive was his ability stand with one foot in his White heritage and the other in his Black heritage and speak frankly about race in a way neither a Black or White man ever could.

    It looks like the Ron Paulians have shifted their spamming technique to the Hussein camp.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. SavageView says:

    Fundamentally, this is a visceral issue rather than an intellectual one. Either you trust Obama and regard him as a uniting force or you don’t. And falling into the latter camp doesn’t make you venal or stupid.

    Your side of the aisle often ascribes both venality and stupidity to those of us who didn’t believe that Bush was a uniting force in either 2000 or 2004. We have, however, the large advantage of being correct.

    Despite this, presumably being a “uniting force” was one of the bases on which you judged Bush in 2000 and, perhaps, in 2004.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. James Joyner says:

    Your side of the aisle often ascribes both venality and stupidity to those of us who didn’t believe that Bush was a uniting force in either 2000 or 2004.

    Ah, the classic rubber-glue gambit.

    I’m not making a blanket statement here about the Left or even the bloggers in question, whose motives I explicitly don’t challenge. I merely contend that they start from a premise from which dialog is difficult.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. peter says:

    The Audacity of Hate; Barack Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ’s Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A Wright with his Racist Sermons & his Racist Supporters.

    Imagine if Hillary Clinton’s church proclaimed on its website that it is “unashamedly white.” The media would pounce, and Clinton’s presidential candidacy would be over. Yet that is exactly what Barack Obama’s church says on its web site — except in reverse.

    “Wright on Israel: “The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for over 40 years now. Divestment has now hit the table again as a strategy to wake the business community and wake up Americans concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism.

    For the same reason why I would not vote for any candidate that attended The David Duke Church of Christ is the same reason why I cannot vote for anyone who sat for twenty (20) years in the Trinity united Church of Christ.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    I understand A. Hitler was a hell of s speaker also. B. Hussein Obama’s inability or unwillingness to divorce himself from the hate spewing Rev. J. Wright shows his lack of judgment. His comparison of Wright to that of a blood relative, who he mentions for the first time in this campaign with codicil of having uttered racist statements show his deftness of tongue, yet we are asked to accept his association with Wright as well as his disagreement with him on unknown opinions held by Wright. We are left to decide on our own which of these opinions and statements Obama disagrees with. When Wright spoke at a gathering attended by Colin Powell, when Wright started to speak, Powell walked out. I once knew a woman who could perform wonder oral sex, but I would not marry her based upon that. Obama gives good speech, but that in no way qualifies him to be President. Message to Rev. Wright. White people did not sell black people into slavery, Black people did. What were Obama’s ancestors up to?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Obama’s Politics…

    OBAMA’S POLITICS…James Joyner makes a couple of comments about yesterday’s big race address from Barack Obama:One of the major strains of reaction to Barack Obama’s “More Perfect Union” speech is that those who are not persuaded by it are theref…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Alex Knapp says:

    Peter,

    “The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for over 40 years now. Divestment has now hit the table again as a strategy to wake the business community and wake up Americans concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism.”

    What’s racist about this statement, exactly?

    Imagine if Hillary Clinton’s church proclaimed on its website that it is “unashamedly white.” The media would pounce, and Clinton’s presidential candidacy would be over. Yet that is exactly what Barack Obama’s church says on its web site — except in reverse.

    My understanding of the Trinity UCC is that they are striving to preserve the unique characteristics of African-American culture in their church, not that they are promoting an agenda of one race being superior to another. To some extent, as Obama pointed out yesterday, this desire has been expressed in some angry and ugly ways. But as far as I can tell in my research, the Church’s work has by and large been positive in the community, and the Church itself is frequented by many Chicago-area politicians and upper class, such as Oprah Winfrey. It’s hardly in the same category as a church espousing a white supremacist doctrine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Michael says:

    The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for over 40 years now.

    That is the general consensus of world legal opinion on the matter, Rev. Wright is far from being in the minority there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Michael says:

    Imagine if Hillary Clinton’s church proclaimed on its website that it is “unashamedly white.” The media would pounce, and Clinton’s presidential candidacy would be over.

    My church claims to be “unashamedly christian”, does that make us anti-semites?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Hal says:

    Fundamentally, this is a visceral issue rather than an intellectual one. Either you trust Obama and regard him as a uniting force or you don’t. And falling into the latter camp doesn’t make you venal or stupid.

    Of course it doesn’t. But it’s also simply naive to believe that race still isn’t a huge issue in american politics. Speaking personally, I witnessed with horror as a black family was forced to sit in the back of a frickin’ Baptist church during the wedding of my sister in law – a family she had invited to participate in her wedding. Then I was treated to the discussion about “those people” at dinner with my inlaws.

    This was in 2000, in North Carolina.

    I’m sure there’s a shit load of reasons not to trust Obama that have nothing to do with race. But to substitute one’s own rational thoughts on the manner as a proxy for the rash of crap that has spewed out about this issue on the right is simply playing one’s self as a stooge for a rather ugly part of what goes on in this culture.

    I’m stunned that Fawell, Robertson and scores of other high profile white uber religious types can literally say that god is damning America, that America deserved 9/11 and on and on and on and we have Alex Knapp apologizing for calling McCain on the floor for actively – nay, aggressively – pursuing their support. But with Wright and Obama, it’s somehow a symbol of “racism” and visceral hatred of this fine country of ours.

    I know you don’t hold these views, seeing as how you have had a relatively balanced commentary on the subject (although why the number of posts about Wright/Obama far outnumbers the Hagee/McCain posts is so is still rather telling of the quite reasonable bias of a McCain supporter). But it’s pretty clear from the way this is being discussed on the majority of the right wing blogs that it isn’t the case that your view point is common. And looking across the landscape and claiming that Greenwald, et. al., are “poisoning the well”…. well, one might correctly conclude that it is you, James, that is poisoining the well by implying that issues the vast majority of people who have issues with Obama and the Wright affair which is clearly out of line with what they’re actually saying.

    You’re in the minority, James. And that makes what Greenwald, etc, are saying quite reasonable, and not an attempt to poison the well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Alex Knapp says:

    I’m stunned that Fawell, Robertson and scores of other high profile white uber religious types can literally say that god is damning America, that America deserved 9/11 and on and on and on and we have Alex Knapp apologizing for calling McCain on the floor for actively – nay, aggressively – pursuing their support.

    I was only apologizing because I don’t know enough about Hagee and Parsley to judge whether they live up to their sound bytes. If John McCain is courting Robertson, I’d definitely condemn that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Hal says:

    If John McCain is courting Robertson, I’d definitely condemn that.

    As I mentioned on the other thread, there’s plenty of unfiltered Hagee material out there to judge for yourself. I have to believe you just haven’t looked for it at this point. But okay. I mean you could listen to Terri Gross (hardly an assassin) interview the guy on her show. Or you can watch the Hagee greatest hits mashup done by TPM – admitedly biased, but it’s Hagee talking for himself, though. No wacky editing or out of context clips.

    But what about McCain’s visit to Bob Jones university? I mean, segregated dating? Geebus. And then there’s the fact that these guys aren’t exactly unitarians, either.

    So… I just don’t know where you’re coming from. Hagee’s record is at least as clear as Wrights. But we somehow believe it’s pretty clear on one side of this issue, but very “muddled” on the other side.

    How odd.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. legion says:

    Well said, Hal. About the only thing I could add is to try to boil it down to one thing:

    those who are not persuaded by it are therefore racist or at least unreasoning fools

    No, those who are not persuaded are not racist per se, but do not believe racism still exists in our society or believe how pervasive it really is.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, after eight years of Republican sleaze and lie-based attack politics, the Obama camp has learned how to respond appropriately. The Clinton camp has only learned how to imitate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Hal says:

    No, those who are not persuaded are not racist per se, but do not believe racism still exists in our society or believe how pervasive it really is.

    And this really is the meta issue here. I have no doubt that James doesn’t have a racist bone in his body but he seems to subscribe to the view that because he doesn’t that racism must be dead and something that is a non-issue and that anyone who brings it up is only one of those PC liberals trying to poison the well of an otherwise sane discussion about how racist Wright is.

    It’s just weird. It’s one thing to not be a racist. It’s quite another to believe that there aren’t a lot of others who are. I mean, racism, religious bigotry, national hatred, etc have been omnipresent throughout human history. Heck, we were stringing up blacks in the south as recently as 30 years ago. Even if you believe that racism was somehow purged with the passage of the civil rights act, you’re just being blind to what has been a consistent constant throughout all history of humans on this planet. It’s something that’s going to take more than a handshake and a hearty laugh to deal with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. mzkitty07 says:

    Well, as the world moves forward to end racism, we now are realizing how deep the hatred goes toward white people by some blacks. None of this could have been good for Barak Obama. No matter what he says now, he has lost so much support. Are we so stupid that we do not believe this has become the norm. Get even with the white folk for what their great, great granddaddy did to us. Oh please.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. mzkitty07 says:

    Hey Michael, give me a break. Israel obtained the land in a war. Can you name another middle eastern country that has ever been asked to give back land or that would even consider it? No one has been in control of the Palestine land for 1900 years prior to Israel taking back it’s land. Rev. Wright is anti-semantic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. sam says:

    Rev. Wright is anti-semantic.

    Throw the book at him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Christopher says:

    Hal,

    You are so full of BS it stinks. Why is it liberals have to lie to further their own ends? I guess because they have no leg to stand on, so that have to resort to lies. Just like Obamessiah. You and him are peas in a pod.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Hal says:

    Chris, merely spewing ad hominems does not an argument make. I mean, rail against me all you want. It’s just ASCII spew with HTML sugar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. jones says:

    Niggling point, but you “sow” seeds, you don’t usually “sew” them. [Fixed! -jhj]

    Otherwise I agree. Something all the hard core political junkies, liberal apologists and commentators are missing: the normal, non-political junkie didn’t hear Obama’s speech. They might have heard he gave one. Politicians always give speeches. They fall on deaf ears. No speech since the Checkers speech has gotten a politician out of a bind.

    However, a vast majority of voters have heard, and will hear of “God Damn America” and the AIDS claim and the 9-11 claim. And it will damn Obama as a race hustler as bad as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, and we know what white middle class America think of them.

    I read the scoffing of liberals over at Ezra Klien’s whistling past the graveyard about how this actually helped Obama.

    I predict a 20 point + loss in Penn. over this, and a tanking of Obama’s national numbers vs. Hillary and McCain. We’re already seeing some of it. Obama hit exactly the wrong note with “you’re with me or you’re a racist”.

    It may be too late for the Dems to deny this damaged candidate the nomination, and it will be disaster in November. He’s so damaged, I’d venture he’d gladly take the VP slot were it offered to him now, but Clinton would be mad to offer it.

    Obama is done as a national candidate. I’ve rarely seen such a fall, well, since last week with Spitzer, anyway ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Michael says:

    Israel obtained the land in a war.

    I don’t believe they ever annexed the land they captured in 1967, so while it is under their control, they have not claimed it as part of Israel.

    No one has been in control of the Palestine land for 1900 years prior to Israel taking back it’s land.

    Rome/Byzantium, followed by half a dozen Muslim dynasties, then the Crusaders for a time, then the Ottomans, finally the British. What, did you think it was just empty for nearly 2000 years?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. Dodd says:

    Obama has embraced Wright while distancing himself from his most incendiary comments

    I think this is a bit closer to the intent than Drum’s formulation, but Drum is nonetheless onto something. The speech, given as it was under a large measure duress, is quite obviously a “political tool.” And Drum is right about that part: It’s being weilded in the trenches as a very heavy is bludgeon to ir-revocably remove the Wright issue from the table.

    I haven’t seen too much of the darker strain he alludes to (‘if you still want to talk about Wright, you must be a racist’) but I have seen the less vehement version: A large-scale willingness to drink yet more Messiah Brand Kool-Aid (one person I know said this speech surpasses the Emancipation Proclamation in importance!) and unilaterally declare the issue closed and anyone who isn’t totally convinced by the speech either unsupportably cynical or stupid.

    And it will work. Wright is now pretty much a dead letter. Anyone questioning the speech is being derided hourly from every rooftop. And if anyone tries to bring this up in the general, it’ll just be dismissed as old news (with the ready acquiescence of the establishment press).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. Tom says:

    a very convoluted explanation

    It’s not convoluted at all – it’s very simple. Wright is the man who converted him, married him, and baptized his kids. Obama tolerates him because he tolerates those who disagree with him in general. That has been his campaign theme all along.

    If it’s wrong for Democratic activists to call “racism” – which it is – then it’s also wrong of you to claim Obama’s explanation was convoluted when it wasn’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. mzkitty07 says:

    Israel obtained the land…. The Jews have been living in Palestine since 2000 years BC. In 586, King Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. Palestine has never been a state is what I meant say. They have only had “rulers” They should have their land back and anyone that has the attitude that Rev. Wright has should be looked at a the bigot he is. I hope Obama gets as far away from him as possible. I fear it is to late for our “great black hope.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. just me says:

    I think Obama’s problem is that Wright’s words aren’t going to play well to most white Americans. Obama didn’t have the racists to begin with, but having hate spewed in your direction if you aren’t racist, and you strive to avoid being offensive, being lumped in with the racists is irritating.

    If so, it’s a losing bet. Calling half the country simpletons and racists is not a way to win an election. It may stifle the debate, because of the powerful chilling effect of the race card in American political discourse, but it’ll resonate quite differently in the privacy of the voting booth.

    And I absolutely agree with this.

    The way to court votes and appeal to a broad range of voters isn’t to call many of them racist.

    The way to encourage and open dialogue on race isn’t to announce that the white particpants are racist.

    Race is a tough issue in our current society, but I don’t see how the Wright’s of this world make that discussion any easier, better or more open. It puts up a wall from the get go, and leaves little room for free and open discussion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. jodie says:

    The people posting against Obama and singing with joy his eulogies would never have voted for him anyway.

    Guys, this isn’t over till the fat lady sings.

    Why don’t you all hold off on the gleeful eulogies till Billary or McCain are actually dancing on Obama’s corpse?

    Then it will be more war, more poverty, more pollution and more people without decent health care.

    Then it will be all the international corporate rich people of the world (white, black, Asian and every other stripe of the ethnic rainbow) who will be laughing at America on their way to the bank.

    And Obama would be right after all in his speech’s dire predictions for the American future unless we all don’t come together for the common good as the United States of America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. [...] James Joyner: One of the major strains of reaction to Barack Obama’s “More Perfect Union” speech is that those who are not persuaded by it are therefore racist or at least unreasoning fools. Poisoning the well in this manner may be an effective rhetorical device but it undercuts the very message of the speech, which is that race remains a very complicated issue in American culture and that we must tolerate a wide range of expressions on the subject. [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. bains says:

    …and the Church itself is frequented by many Chicago-area politicians and upper class…

    At 6000+, this is a big church, and in fact the largest UCC church in the nation. Of course Chicago movers and shakers will show their face there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. SavageView says:

    Ah, the classic rubber-glue gambit.

    Ah, the infinite elasticity excuse. My premises are sound; yours are not. Quite a site you have here. You must be very proud.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. James Joyner says:

    My premises are sound; yours are not.

    You don’t seem to have any premises beyond “Bush bad.” Which isn’t even related to the topic under discussion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Bithead says:

    If so, it’s a losing bet. Calling half the country simpletons and racists is not a way to win an election

    You’re kidding, right?

    I mean, the Democrats have been doing exactly that for a generation and more. It’s gotten so even their own pundits make the same noises. Take, as an example, your own quote of Greenwald:

    But in Obama’s faith in the average American voter lies one of the greatest weaknesses of his campaign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. Bithead says:

    And, Hal,
    I will ask you straight up: Do you think Racism flows in one direction only?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. Hal says:

    I will ask you straight up: Do you think Racism flows in one direction only?

    I have to think you haven’t read what I’ve said if you’re even asking that question, considering that I’ve stated that racism has been omnipresent in all cultures since the dawn of history and since that statement includes ALL HUMANITY, it’s kind of hard to understand how you deduced that I believe that racism flows in one direction only.

    But to be redundant, the answer is no. I believe racism is OMNIPRESENT and something that all people partake in, regardless of their race, religion, color, class or sex. The issue isn’t whether I think racism is the exclusive provenience of teh white people. The question really is how the f*ck do you define “racism”. According to y’all on the right here, saying “damn america” is racism. Saying “USKKKK of A” is racism. This is pure and simple bullshit on the order of 10^3 Goldbergs (unit of complete and utter idiocy in the pretense of scholarly wisdom). Is this crap offensive? Sure. But it certainly isn’t *racism*. Do I think black people can be racists? Sure. Do I think Wright is spewing “racist” rhetoric? Well, from what I’ve heard so far, no. Maybe he has spewed racist rhetoric, but the stuff we’re discussing – the stuff that we actually have on the record clearly doesn’t meet the definition of racism unless you subscribe to the Jonah Goldberg school of “racism is anything I find offensive”.

    I mean, you people really need to start getting an education and understanding that words actually have meaning and if you want to just play the “rubber and glue” game where by you try the reverse backflip with a triple gainer in the attempt to say “I know you are but what am I”, you’re just going to wallow in pig shit while being blissfully ignorant.

    Sorry if I’m being offensive – I mean, “racist” – but this crap is getting pretty tiring and y’all keep spewing it like you have explosive diarrhea or think that by repeatedly projectile vomiting up this shit will make it true or something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. davod says:

    For those of you discussing Israel and the occupied territories a Little history lesson:

    In 1947, the UN voted to revoke the British Mandate for Palestine and proposed a two state solution.

    The Jews in Israel accepted the two state solution and declared an independent Israel in 1948.

    Syria, Egypt and Jordan immediately attacked Israel. When hostilities died down Israel was still there. There was no peace treaty.

    Here is the important part. Jordan, Egypt and Syria never left the parts of the old Palestinian Mandate which was supposed to be the new Palestinian state. The Palestinians were occupied by their Arab neighbors (No complaints either).

    After the 1967 war Israel took over parts of Egypt, Jordan and Syria and the East and West Bank. There was no peace treaty.

    Egypt and Jordan finally signed peace treaties and their land was returned.

    To whom were the Israelis supposed to return the East and West bank?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. davod says:

    PS:

    My last sentence should have been:

    To whom were the Israelis supposed to return the East and West bank? The 1947 residents of the East and West Bank did not accept the two state solution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. Bithead says:

    I have to think you haven’t read what I’ve said if you’re even asking that question, considering that I’ve stated that racism has been omnipresent in all cultures since the dawn of history and since that statement includes ALL HUMANITY, it’s kind of hard to understand how you deduced that I believe that racism flows in one direction only.

    I ask to establish something, because it seems to me that there seems to me much embeeded in the context of this statement:

    It’s just weird. It’s one thing to not be a racist. It’s quite another to believe that there aren’t a lot of others who are. I mean, racism, religious bigotry, national hatred, etc have been omnipresent throughout human history. Heck, we were stringing up blacks in the south as recently as 30 years ago. Even if you believe that racism was somehow purged with the passage of the civil rights act, you’re just being blind to what has been a consistent constant throughout all history of humans on this planet. It’s something that’s going to take more than a handshake and a hearty laugh to deal with.

    Here’s the thing; Taking Wright and Cone and other lack Liberation Thologists (And their followers, of course) at their word, the ones saying that there’s no more racism, are white.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. Hal says:

    And btw, for the record, racism is defined as “The belief that one ‘racial group’ is inferior to another and the practices of the dominant group to maintain the inferior position of the dominated group. Often defined as a combination of power, prejudice and discrimination”.

    Spewing hate isn’t racism, per se. Spewing hate is certainly something that racists do, but just because Al McCogan is dead doesn’t make all dead people Al McCogan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. Hal says:

    Here’s the thing; Taking Wright and Cone and other lack Liberation Thologists (And their followers, of course) at their word, the ones saying that there’s no more racism, are white.

    Clearly, you’re completely lacking any context in which those statements are uttered. Here in the US and for black people, the racist *are* white. I’m sure the Chinese felt much the same way simply because white people are omnipresent in our country until very recently. If we had a society of half white and a privileged Latino class included in that, and if the Latinos had engaged in Slavery. organize lynching, segregation and systematic disenfranchisement, then I’m quite sure that the stuff you’re pointing to would include *both* whites and Latinos in it.

    I mean, really? What’s your point?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. Michael says:

    Here is the important part. Jordan, Egypt and Syria never left the parts of the old Palestinian Mandate which was supposed to be the new Palestinian state. The Palestinians were occupied by their Arab neighbors (No complaints either).

    They did this because they felt that if they declared those parts to be an independent State of Palestine, then they would lose their claim to all of the mandate land as belonging to Palestine. That is the same reason Palestine has not been declared a state to this day. It is not, as your comment seemed to imply, because the Arab nations didn’t want to give it back to the Palestinians.

    To whom were the Israelis supposed to return the East and West bank? The 1947 residents of the East and West Bank did not accept the two state solution.

    Israel never claimed the land in Gaza and the West Bank as theirs, they only setup a military authority to administer it, and later transferred administration to the Palestinian Authority. What needs to be “given back” in the non-Israeli land on which settlements have been built, and they can give that back to the Palestinian Authority.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. davod says:

    “They did this because they felt that if they declared those parts to be an independent State of Palestine, then they would lose their claim to all of the mandate land as belonging to Palestine. That is the same reason Palestine has not been declared a state to this day. It is not, as your comment seemed to imply, because the Arab nations didn’t want to give it back to the Palestinians.”

    I do not understand what you are saying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. Bithead says:

    Hal;
    AHA! So, racism CAN only run one way, then. Let us subject this to a test:

    Run this statement…

    Clearly, you’re completely lacking any context in which those statements are uttered. Here in the US and for black people, the racist *are* white.

    … through this filter….

    “Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him.”

    “The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy.”

    “The time has come for white America to be silent and listen to black people.”

    “All white men are responsible for white oppression. ”

    “Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man ‘the devil.’”

    “Any advice from whites to blacks on how to deal with white oppression is automatically under suspicion as a clever device to further enslavement.”

    “Black suffering is getting worse, not better. . . . White supremacy is so clever and evasive that we can hardly name it.”

    “What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. ”

    ” Jesus Christ is black therefore not because of some cultural or psychological need of black people, but because and only because Christ really enters into our world where the poor were despised and the black are, disclosing that he is with them enduring humiliation and pain and transforming oppressed slaves into liberating servants.”

    … recalculate your statement and get back to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. Michael says:

    I do not understand what you are saying.

    If an official State of Palestine were established on the lands occupied by Egypt, Syria and Jordan after 1948, then they would have lost their claim to any land that was outside of those borders.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. Hal says:

    Geebus, you really are just an insufferable Goldberg wannabe. You’re precisely like the dweeb who sat in the back of my early EE classes and didn’t understand rounding who pounced with

    Want to get into theological comparisons? Let’s investigate white evangelicals and the crap they spew out on a constant, non stop basis. Let’s investigate the writings of anyone in the Christian militia movement. Hell, let’s just take it out of the religious realm and do content analysis of right wing blogs regarding their statements about Islamofascists.

    Again, what is your point? That they make outrageous statements? That they have a huge grudge against the people who held their ancestors slaves and haven’t dealt with that in any constructive manner?

    Grow up. Get a life and start working on the boards in your own eyes instead of walking around worrying about the motes in others.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. Hal says:

    Oh, and btw, Bithead. None of what you quoted fits the definition of “racisism”. Let’s remember that Christians believe that anyone of them who isn’t a Christian is damned and going to hell for an eternity of suffering. They routinely call people devils, characterize people as corrupt, evil and even classify whole sectors of the population as devils. They completely believe god is on their side and that everyone else is f*cked.

    It is offensive, but it isn’t *racist*. You *really* need to get a dictionary out and start learning what these words mean.

    Seriously. Stop this insanity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. Bandit says:

    Good job Hal – spend more time defending hate filled racists – it’s your thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. Hal says:

    Geebus christ, you guys really tools. Just pure tools.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. davod says:

    Hal:

    I believe Bitheads quotes come from the church guidelines. Change all the Black to white and you would be complaining. This is one of the largest, if not the largest, black church in Chicago and these are the tenets of the church.

    I challenge you to find a mainstream non black church with the equivilent charter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. Hal says:

    Look Davod, where in the ##$#$$@$ argument did I say that I was just fine with these statements. What you can’t seem to squeeze into those 2 conservative neurons that are desperately trying to fire is that I DO find them offensive. I haven’t said otherwise and have gone out of my way to say so. Repeatedly. Using words with one syllable.

    What I have repeatedly said and which you (apparent) morons can’t seem to comprehend is that what I’m saying is that it IS NOT RACISM.

    I mean, really. How hard is it to comprehend this very trivially simple point? Apparently it’s like trying to grasp Differential Geometry or non linear mechanics or something. Really dudes, just get a grip and rub those two neurons together before you write another comment which completely misses a very simple point.

    If you have a problem with my characterization – or negative characterization, as the case may be – then ARGUE AGAINST THAT. There’s a wealth of discussion about the characterization of “racism” that you simply cannot seem to comprehend.

    Geebus. It’s like trying to argue with 2 year olds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. Grewgills says:

    Bit,
    Why no attribution to those quotes? Why no dates?
    Could it be that they all come from Cone’s books of 1969 and 1970?
    Cone and Wright are products of a time when police dogs, fire hoses, and lynchings were among the dominant responses to African Americans who demanded their rights as citizens, yet you are shocked that their words in response are hateful.

    To take but two of the quotes you present,

    All white men are responsible for white oppression.

    was directly related to Karl Jaspers quote

    There exists among men, because they are men, a solidarity through which each shares responsibility for every injustice and every wrong committed in the world, and especially for crimes that are committed in his presence or of which he cannot be ignorant.

    in the book from which it was taken and,

    The demonic forces of racism are real for the black man. Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man “the devil.”

    was immediately followed by,

    The white structure of this American society, personified in every racist, must be at least part of what the New Testament meant by the demonic forces.

    In the context of the late sixties, when these thoughts were formulated and these books written, these are definitely understandable. I grew up in the 70′s and 80′s in Alabama and they were an understandable response then and there.

    Certainly in a perfect world people would put the police dogs, fire hoses, and lynchings that occurred in their youth behind them and embrace the society that has come so far since then, but that is far easier said than done.

    It is time for a different message now but you are certainly old enough to understand why these men speak the way they do, to pretend otherwise is disingenuous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. Bithead says:

    I believe Bitheads quotes come from the church guidelines

    No. They come from the church’s founder, the father of black liberation theology, a guy named “Cone”.

    And tell me, how they vary from what Wright is recorded as saying, please. Also, tell us… At what point did Cone, Wright, or Obama dismiss such words, prior to being called out on it?

    My original point was and remains that Hal isn’t willing to admit blacks can be racist. I was curious how far he was willing to go along that line. No amount of backpeddling now, is going to alter the corner he’s backed himself into. He’s unwilling to admit those writings are racist because they come from the mouth of a black man.

    Can you imagine any WHITE Candidate being an integral part of enabling racists the way Obama has been, being this close to being nominated? I’m telling you, gang… The Theology Obama has been pouring his time, talent and money into for two decades, make David Duke on his worst day, look like a big tenter.

    And Hal, apparently doesn’t label that racism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. Grewgills says:

    The Theology Obama has been pouring his time, talent and money into for two decades, make David Duke on his worst day, look like a big tenter.

    Is this intentional hyperbole, or do you actually believe this?

    Do you really find Duke more inclusive?

    or do you simply believe that more people in America subscribe to Duke’s brand of hate than to Wright’s?*

    * on that score you are most certainly correct

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. Grewgills says:

    No. They come from the church’s founder, the father of black liberation theology, a guy named “Cone”

    Cone was not the founder of TUCC or any other church. He was one of the founders of Black theology.
    From the admittedly not so authoritative wiki,

    The modern American origins of contemporary black liberation theology can be traced to July 31, 1966, when an ad hoc group of 51 black pastors, calling themselves the National Committee of Negro Churchmen (NCNC), bought a full page ad in the New York Times to publish their “Black Power Statement,” which proposed a more aggressive approach to combating racism using the Bible for inspiration.[1]

    James Cone and Dwight Hopkins are considered the leading theologians of this system of belief, although now there are may scholars who have contributed a great deal to the field. It was Cone who in the spring of 1969 published the seminal work that systemized black liberation theology, Black Theology and Black Power (1969).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. Grewgills says:

    Bit,
    Some questions for you.
    When does hatred of an oppressor become racism?
    Were slaves who hated there white masters for enslaving them and allowed that hatred to extend to all whites racists?
    How about blacks living under Jim Crow that saw their friends and neighbors lynched and let that color there view of all whites?

    Those eras have passed, but there are still plenty of people who lived through Jim Crowe and carry those wounds with them and will likely carry them to their graves. While I disagree with the world that has created in some it is a far cry from the likes of David Duke.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. Bithead says:

    Do you really find Duke more inclusive?

    No, I actually find them equally offensive, which is exactly the point I’ve been making. One might argue that even Duke didn’t call blacks ‘the enemy’, but I’m not getting into that discussion. The point is, the hate each espouses, are both based in RACE. That is by definition, racist. That Hal ingores this most basic definition smacks to me of fingers in the ears chanting “nah, nah, nah nah, I can’t hear you”.

    Can I make that any clearer for you?

    When does hatred of an oppressor become racism?

    Such a question tries to apply an unwarranted assumption to the current context; That blacks are currently being oppressed. As even you admit:Those eras have passed.

    Try dealing in reality, today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  57. Hal says:

    Can I make that any clearer for you?

    Well, all you’re doing is proving that you have no grasp of basic logic and argument construction.

    This is precisely the same dufus move that Goldberg uses:

    Al McCogan is dead. Therefore all dead people are Al McCogan.

    Any first semester Philosophy student can demolish such an argument without even exercising a brain cell.Here, let me rephrase it for the intellectually challenged:

    Racist people spew hate targeted at a specific race. Therefore anyone spewing hate targeted at a specific race is a Racist.

    I mean, really. I’m not the one with my ears plugged. So far, I’ve consistently engaged you and have gone out of my way to provide backup for my argumentation. You’ve done jack. You’re now just resorting to taunting in the vain hope that you’ll somehow humilate me into accepting that your argument true.

    Dude, go to some remedial classes in logic and argument construction. It’ll do everyone a world of good.

    Racism isn’t hatred of people of a specific race. Look it up. Use Wikipedia for christ’s sake.

    Racism has many definitions, the correct being that members of one racial group consider themselves intrinsically superior to members of other racial groups. Racism inherently starts with the assumption that there are taxonomic differences between different groups of people. Without this assumption, prejudices against different peoples would be catagorised as being prejudices related to national or regional origin, religion, occupation, social status or some other distinction.

    Do your research and start figuring out that words have meaning apart from what you may think they mean.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  58. Bithead says:

    Arguing against the obvious, isn’t usually a good thing, Hal, as a rule. Your sticking a ‘logic’ label on it make you out a fool.

    Do your research

    I already have. But I tend to use the dictinoary. (Gee, bet you never thought of THAT one, huh?) Welcome to ‘words mean things’.

    rac·ism —noun

    1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

    2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.

    3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

    Note, in particular, definition 3, in light of the quotes provided earlier, and tell me how they don’t qualify as racism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  59. Hal says:

    Wow. A DICTIONARY. Who’d of thought of that. But guess what, the third definition isn’t the accepted meaning and I’m guessing you don’t even know why these definitions are ranked in a dictionary. It’s usually what the word has come to mean in the normal degredation of meaning by integration into common usage. Kind of like “fascism” which really does have a very precise political meaning, but thanks to you masters of language and definitions on the right, it has been relegated the simply mean “authoritarian”. Or vegetarian, if you’re Jonah Goldberg.

    Oh well, if this is your defense – i.e. the THIRD definition of a word in a DICTIONARY you don’t even provide a link to – well, I feel pretty sorry for you dude.

    That’s pretty weak tea and I’m glad you think you’ve found a truffle cause it’s pretty much all you’ve got. It’s pretty clear that from even a casual content analysis of actual usage by – you know – people who actually deal with racism as their actual job, that your definition you have somehow decided is THE BASIC DEFINITION OF RACISM, despite being the the last definition in some random dictionary you found isn’t the one that anyone else uses.

    So, dance your victory dance. You found something that verifies your world view.

    Woo hoo. You are master debater.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  60. Bithead says:

    No, I didn’t “something that verifies my world view”. My view on this particular matter, as with most things, is based on established principle and meaning, and definition. No wonder liberals find my arguments so… umm…. restrictive. Welcome to ‘words mean things”.

    Oh, as to the link, it got broken. (My fault. I keep forgetting I’m working through a proxy, here.) Try the word at Dictionary.com. I use that one as the first line, since it’s pretty much the fastest resource of it’s type.

    With all that established, perhaps we can move on:

    When does hatred of an oppressor become racism?

    When the hatred still exists, even when the oppression does not. Also, when the hatred is not directed at the oppressors per se; IE individuals, but ALL peple of a particualr racial group, simply for their being a part of said racial group. As in:

    “Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man ‘the devil.’”

    That’s not hatred for a particular oppressor, that’s hatred for a race, and is as racist as saying black people are the devil. IE; It is, by it’s very definition, Racism.

    Are you getting this, yet?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  61. Hal says:

    Apparently too many links in my comments for Jame’s spam bot – even in plain text. So, apologies for not including them.

    No wonder liberals find my arguments so… umm…. restrictive. Welcome to ‘words mean things”.

    Geebus. One would simply classify this as restricting the definition so that it agreees with your point. As I said, even your example shows that this isn’t the commonly accepted definition. You just chose it because it fits your world view. And it’s quite clear from doing even a casual search on other dictionaries that your definition doesn’t even show up. For example, Merriam Webster(1)

    1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
    2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

    Or Oxford(2)

    1 the belief that there are characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to each race. 2 discrimination against or antagonism towards other races.

    Or Cambridge

    the belief that people’s qualities are influenced by their race and that the members of other races are not as good as the members of your own, or the resulting unfair treatment of members of other races:

    So why Dictionary.com? Is it some gold standard compared to the Webster which has been around for generations, or Oxford which has been around since the 1850s or Cambridge, which has been around longer than the US has been a country? Of course not. It just happens to be something on the web that confirms your worldview. And even your source doesn’t feel necessary to list it as the first or second definition. This is a classic case of Confirmation Bias in full display.

    Truly, a master debater.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  62. Bithead says:

    One would simply classify this as restricting the definition so that it agreees with your point

    Sure they would… if they were trying to deny the definition exsted so as to give their own twisting more creds.

    As to the service mentioned, Look up a few words on it, and you’ll find it cross references several sounces on most words, including those you ask about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  63. Hal says:

    Sure they would… if they were trying to deny the definition exsted so as to give their own twisting more creds.

    yes. My definition is well in line with your source’s first two and agrees with the overwhelming consensus of other sources almost perfectly. you, on the other hand have a single reference in a third hand source well below the first two definitions.

    Therefore, you are correct!

    Dude, hate is obviously a part of racism, but it isn’t the *defining* characteristic of racism. Israelis hate Arabs because of all the bombings and killings and the fact that that Arabs have collectively called for their extermination. And the Israeli statements by not just their government, but by their leaders, their great thinkers, their people, all fit the definition of racism that you are trying to promulgate. Now, if you’re going to insist on defining Wright, et. al. as racist, then you are pretty much forced to define the Israelis as racists. I’m pretty sure that even now you’re starting to hem and haw about how that’s a completely different case and the actions of the Arabs justify the Israeli’s hatred of the Arabs, etc, etc, etc.

    Which is precisely GWillis’ point which you seem incapable of getting because you are pretty much wed to your “definition” of racism because of your politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  64. Hal says:

    I mean, there’s the concept of “necessary and sufficient”. I’ll clearly grant that your definition is a necessary component of racism, but it isn’t sufficient. And your entire argument rests on the premise that it is sufficient.

    It’s not. Prejudice is not racism. Hatred of people who have f*cked you over for generations is not racism. Racism is the inherent belief that a race is inferior simply because of their race. That includes a lot of hate, but simply hating isn’t racism.

    But in your world, bithead, you grab onto a single component and – much like Goldberg – make the leap in logic that because another group shares the same component that they must in fact be the same thing.

    It’s just shoddy logic any way you look about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  65. Bithead says:

    Would a back guy … one of higher education levels than either of us, noting that Wright’s comments are racist add any weight, do you suppose?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  66. Bithead says:

    Prejudice is not racism. Hatred of people who have f*cked you over for generations is not racism.

    Trouble is, Hal, that’s not happened. You said it yourself, this is a new era.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  67. Bithead says:

    The black guy I’m referring to, of course is Thomas Sowell, who labels Wright’s comments as racism.

    But even if there were no tapes, and even if Obama never heard from other members of the church what their pastor was saying, he spent 20 years in that church, not just as an ordinary member but also as someone who once donated $20,000 to the church.

    There was no way that he didn’t know about Jeremiah Wright’s anti-American and racist diatribes from the pulpit.

    Exactly.
    I suppose and expect this gent to know more of what constitutes racism than the two of us put together.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  68. Grewgills says:

    No, I actually find them equally offensive, which is exactly the point I’ve been making.

    Then why say,

    The Theology Obama has been pouring his time, talent and money into for two decades, make David Duke on his worst day, look like a big tenter.

    That blacks are currently being oppressed. As even you admit:Those eras have passed.

    Not exactly. The era of slavery has passed, as has the time of Jim Crowe, that does not mean that there is no more oppression* of African Americans. There is a continuum. We can argue about where exactly we are on that continuum. Any reasonable person would agree that we are on the proper side of Jim Crowe on that continuum, but most reasonable people realize that we have not reached full and true equality. Is the oppression of today the same in scope and severity as that of 50 or even 20 years ago? No. Is it still present in ways that many African Americans feel in their daily lives? Yes.

    When the hatred still exists, even when the oppression does not.

    As stated above the oppression, while considerably less has not ended.

    Also, when the hatred is not directed at the oppressors per se; IE individuals, but ALL peple of a particualr racial group, simply for their being a part of said racial group. As in:

    “Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man ‘the devil.’”

    Again you ignore the context of the quote provided above.

    The white structure of this American society, personified in every racist, must be at least part of what the New Testament meant by the demonic forces.

    Clearly this is speaking of white power structures of the late sixties, you know the ones with the dogs and fire hoses. Hatred of a power structure that is doing you and your race harm is not racism in any meaningful sense.

    Try dealing in reality, today.

    When referencing quotes from nearly 40 years ago that is hardly the appropriate standard. These things were written in the heat of the struggle for civil rights when abuse was wide and the lives of civil rights protesters were not safe in parts of the country. To ignore this context is at best willfully ignorant.

    And Bit that one or several other people are misusing a word does not mean that the sloppy or incorrect usage is any more correct.

    * Webster: 1. unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0