Patterico's Pontifications


Bergdahl Trade Racist?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 am

Nicole Mullen:

. . . I’m the only one who noticed how racist the Bergdahl trade was.

I want to make it clear that I’m not criticizing the president for his decision to rescue Bergdahl, but there’s something that the white left is afraid to talk about here. When Obama traded five men of color for one white man – he made a very clear statement about race.

. . . .

Think for a second – if Bush had made that trade, is there any doubt that we would be calling him out for how outrageously racist it was? If a white man had traded five brown men for one white man, we would be quick to see it for what it was – an affirmation of white privilege and power. But, because Obama is a man of color himself, it seems as if no one noticed.

I can only imagine the struggle Obama, a man of people of color, must have felt as he authorized that trade. He was betraying himself – the black part of himself – while simultaneously affirming the privilege and power structures inherent in the white part of himself. The courage it took to make that decision is remarkable, and again, I feel like he made the right choice, but we should really look at this situation and use it as a way to reflect on our cultural attitudes to the devaluation and reductive characterization of colorful men that we objectify through cisrace projections of cultural self-worth.

This passage is from a piece of well-written satire. (When I say that, I am not being ironic.) If you have any doubt about that, read this:

As a leftist myself, I was quick to dismiss any notion of Bergdahl’s traitorous behavior, nor did I take exception to Obama’s decision to circumvent congressional approval when he released five terrorists from Gitmo. I simply read that a trade occurred, googled to find out how the right felt about it, and then blindly argued against every single point that they made. Is Bergdahl a deserter? Of course not, he’s a hero. What evidence do I have of that? None. Who cares? I’m right and you’re wrong.

The brilliance of it is that the initial quote I gave you is simultaneously a) utterly ridiculous and b) plausible as a statement by a crazed race-obsessed leftist. Which is the point. The nature of race in this country is that people who want to accuse others of racism can say any absurd thing they like, and it will be published somewhere — to the point where even obvious satire starts to look like a “serious” argument.

Well done, Ms. Mullen.

44 Responses to “Bergdahl Trade Racist?”

  1. And the comments are too funny for words!

    Texas Annie (e66f37)

  2. Yes, there are some great comments.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. Damn, the satire is subtle enough that a variety of liberals (and some overly literal-minded conservatives) will either nod warily in agreement or feel resentment that one of their own is making themselves question the wonderfulness and humaneness of Barack Obama. Or some on the right will sputter “how can a liberal be so dumb — and stereotypical — and yet also so self-aware at the same time?!”

    Mark (99b8fd)

  4. This trade is not really racist (especially when you consider that these men are quite whit, or as the Census Bureau says, Caucasian. Afghanistan is not part of the Indian subcontinent.)

    What it is, is placing the value of American lives above those of everybody else.

    Only U.S. citizens count.

    That’s the way Obama wants us to think. And American soldiers like Bergdahl – veterans – are worth more than anybody else. That’s how Obama wants us to think. (That’s why he built him up as a veteran with honorable service.)

    Because while he could make a claim that these five men are not too likely to be involved in the deaths of American soldiers, — he can’t make the same claim for Afghan civilians!

    Sammy Finkelman (e280e6)

  5. This reminds me of the feminist academic who set out a few years ago to write about Israeli soldiers raping Arab women. One can easily imagine the book she intended to write, and the propaganda that would result. Execpt that she couldn’t find any cases. In the IDF’s 65-year history there doesn’t seem to be even a single case of a soldier raping an enemy civilian. So she decided that this was evidence of racism!

    Milhouse (b95258)

  6. There are a number of great nuggets hidden in this piece. Here was my favorite (emphasis is mine):

    But when they _ethnically_ process the trade with their minds of color, they can’t help but feel shame.

    I am going to have to check back in with Ms. Mullen’s blog from time to time.

    JVW (feb406)

  7. Re: the comments. The commenter “dagny” who is schooling all the leftists who aren’t in on the joke often comments at NRO. It would be great if we could get him/her to weigh in here once in a while. Good stuff always.

    JVW (feb406)

  8. I think that we should count the brown people as 3/5 of one American soldier.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  9. i am waiting for the inevitable claim that calling Bergdahl a deserter is part of the heteronormative patriarchal attitudes about manliness.

    Come to think of it, i have an idea for a comment…

    Aaron "Worthing" Walker (23789b)

  10. Isn’t it racist against Latinos to lump their skin color in with Arabs?

    Distinctions must be made.

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  11. Fart Noises.

    Glenn (647d76)

  12. And the comment is placed. Hopefully this will link to it.

    Aaron "Worthing" Walker (23789b)

  13. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the number of commenters who believe this is serious. Loved the response to Aaron’s comment, using micro-aggressions.

    rochf (f3fbb0)

  14. You’d have sort of thought that the blogger’s own comment that she “teaches at a retarded school” would have been, you know, a clue to the readers. But sadly, no.

    elissa (01a218)

  15. Q: What’s the difference between a liberal argument and a parody of a liberal argument?

    A: Self-awareness.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  16. Don’t blame Obama, he’s only testing the waters in prep for future trades… he needs to see what may be an acceptable ratio when the bad guys start taking hostages and he uses the trades to facilitate emptying Guantanamo.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  17. Rush called it ‘replenishing the enemy,’ from the previous thread, Ahmed Rashid, the acknowledged Taliban expert, did mention three of those fellows, Nabi, Fazi and Khairkwa almost in passing on pgs 120-121, of On the Brink, his fourth book, he probably agrees with the trade, however, he’s not so effusive about it,

    narciso (3fec35)

  18. President lackluster should go on the campaigning\golfing tour.
    Far less damage, when he is just burning your money.

    mg (31009b)

  19. JVW – Props on the (Cher,2002) reference. Well played, sir!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  20. It’s all George Bush’s fault.

    No, really, it is. President Bush should have declared the Guantanamo detainees as prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions, which would mean no serious interrogations, but their information was mostly stale anyway, and that we could have kept them in prison until the war against Islamism was over . . . by which time they would all be stone-cold graveyard dead.

    Had President Bush done that, even someone as stupid as President Obama would have known that you don’t release enemy soldiers while there is a war to which they can return to fight you; they are only released after the war is over. And that’s not just the fighters: it includes the cooks, the radiomen, the nurses, everyone.

    The realistic Dana (3e4784)

  21. 17. The “quitting” seems to mean that Ron Fournier’s sources that are close to the Democratic Party (Members of Congress, consultants, pollsters, lobbyists, and executives at think tanks)have quit trying to defend his actions as correct to Ron Fournier.

    They are instead, making excuses for him: (he’s a great campaigner, and he could be or have been a great president, except for his inattention to details of governing; disengagement from the political process and from the public; unwillingness to learn on the job; and failure to surround himself with top-shelf advisers who are willing to challenge their boss as well as their own preconceived notions.)

    This is not just now – this has been going on for a while. It was already going on when he first started his column 18 months ago. But now, last Wednesday, at 9:41 p.m, he got an e-mail from someone, who apparently knows he has been defending him even when others didn’t, saying “Even I have had enough.”

    He was talking about the PR rollout.

    Ron Fournier thinks either these Democrats are not telling Obama all these things that they are telling him, or Obama is not listening.

    Sammy Finkelman (2d4607)

  22. Do I need to remind you, of the Levick Group strategy, funded by Kuwaiti, Saudi, and Qatari interests,

    narciso (3fec35)

  23. On another subject the LA Fishwrap has smeared the wx-marinebeing held captive by the Mexican government. Weasel Zippers reference below

    R Solomon (14f611)

  24. 22. I don’t know anything about this, and I am not sure anybody else does.

    Google turned up this when Levick Group strategy was searched for

    It seems like the Levick Group was doing something related to Gitmo – now they
    vve been replaced by Potomac Strategies.

    There’s an intresting comment in that thread:

    Susan Rice, who on Sunday said Bergdahl served the United States with “honor and distinction,” told CNN in an interview that she was speaking about the fact the Idaho native enlisted and went to Afghanistan in the service of his country.

    “I realize there has been lots of discussion and controversy around this,” Rice said. “But what I was referring to was the fact that this was a young man who volunteered to serve his country in uniform at a time of war. That, in and of itself, is a very honorable thing.”

    “Served with honor and distinction” becomes “enlisted.” Okay, to be nice let’s give her the “enlisting is honorable” part. Where does distinction come in? How do you enlist with distinction?

    It’s all ridiculous.

    Posted by: Porchlight | June 06, 2014 at 05:37 PM

    Sammy Finkelman (2d4607)

  25. Potomac Square, as it turns out, represented by Joe Trippi, took over the job of lobbying to release
    Kuwait detainees, like Khalid Awda, and Kandari

    narciso (3fec35)

  26. Irony and satire generally speaking are lost on the chattering classes and its absurd demographics. The irony of that condition also generally speaking is lost on the chattering classes. It’s a negative feedback loop.

    In any event, the Bergdahl fiasco is so fully retarded it’s actually difficult to mock. This Mullen character does a pretty good job of it.

    The really scary thing is that in the 11th hour of this catastrophe of a presidency shit will happen that’ll make the Berghahl trade appear sentient and effective. Count on it.

    Lawrence Westlake (4fc30a)

  27. This must be from The Onion. Hilarious.

    The Emperor (08c3d2)

  28. But she missed the point. Barack Obama is as White as his Mama.
    He only appears darker because he is so full of
    If you were to prick him, it would all spill out into a smelly mess.

    Neo (d1c681)

  29. Using this same logic, the Israelis are super duper racists!
    Exchanging 1000 Palestinians for one Jewish soldier is damnable. I denounce them! Lol!

    The Emperor (d356d4)

  30. Q : What does the military call 5 Taliban firing stinger missiles at US choppers.

    A : Dead Tangos.

    Q: Does the POTUS call 5 Taliban firing stinger missiles at US choppers.

    A: A deal.

    Drider (04c3d8)

  31. Any trade is a bad one, in 1983, Israel made the first such prisoner exchange, Gibreel (sic) they released most of the future leaders of the Intifada, including the late sheik Yassin of Hamas, subsequent exchanges have not done better,

    Gitmo detainees released by the Levick, CCR machinery include Al Shehri, Rubbaish al Ghamdi (AQAP)
    founder of Ansar Al Sharia (Abu Sufyan Qumu, leading officials in the Vilayat Kavkaz, that’s the Chechen militia, yadda yadda,

    narciso (3fec35)

  32. I’ve actually already made two comments during the past week commenting that I’m surprised that charges of “racism !!!!!!!!!!!” have not yet been thrown about regarding the fact that one white American was traded for FIVE Arabs.
    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  33. The NYT takes a cheap shot and slanders Bergdahl’s platoon… all in an effort to give the incompetent Obama some cover. What a shocker.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  34. I just gotta say
    this Marie Harf makes me barf
    nitwit Valley Girl

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  35. 32. Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 6/9/2014 @ 5:30 pm

    …I’m surprised that charges of “racism !!!!!!!!!!!” have not yet been thrown about regarding the fact that one white American was traded for FIVE Arabs. Or something.

    Only CAIR argues that Arabs are non-white, but they are not getting anywhere. “Caucasian” they were and “Caucasian” they shall remain.

    So, no racism.

    What’s more – these people released from Gitmo weren’t even Arabs.

    They speak Pashtun, I think, and that is an Indo-European language similiar to Persian.

    Sammy Finkelman (2d4607)

  36. Regardless of what the “race” of the Jihadi 5 happens to be, I totally understand that Persians are Caucasian, b-b-b ut Sammy, why are we always accused of “racism !!!” when it comes to fighting terrorists ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  37. Marie Harf really does not know what she is doing. Her whole career it imitating Jay Carney snark without the suspect experience of her role model. Wearing the big nerd glasses doesn’t help.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  38. By the way, when was the last time you saw a person of color speak for the administration, other than Susan Rice or the President? I ask because Rice is a senior administration official and the President is, well, the President. Can’t they find a qualified minority to comment for them or do they just follow the Media Matters model? Snarking minds want to know!

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  39. bump bump bump… another one under the bus
    bump bump bump… another one under the bus
    and another one’s thrown and another one’s thrown
    another one under the bus
    Hey, Chuck Hagel, another one under the bus

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  40. That parody of leftist blather is simply sublime.

    JD (0eecb0)

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