Patterico's Pontifications

12/6/2009

Is This Racism?

Filed under: Race — Patterico @ 3:28 pm



In my last post, I quoted an article and asked whether this is racism:

On the one hand, Ebonie Johnson Cooper doesn’t care that Tiger Woods’ wife and alleged mistresses are white because Woods is “quote-unquote not really black.”

“But at the same time we still see him as a black man with a white woman, and it makes a difference,” said Johnson Cooper, a 26-year-old African-American from New York City. “There’s just this preservation thing we have among one another. We like to see each other with each other.”

. . . .

“Had Barack had a white wife, I would have thought twice about voting for him,” Johnson Cooper said.

Most of you agreed that this was racist. Now, tell me whether you consider this to be an equally racist statement:

As Steffgen predicted, the media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion. The white person who does not mind transacting business with a black bank clerk may yet be averse to accepting the clerk as his sisterinlaw, and THIS IS NOT RACISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Washington tell us.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument* that a white person said this. Is it “racist”? Or “racialist”? Or something else?

And if you’re inclined to excuse this quote as non-racist, tell me this: how is it meaningfully different from what Ebonie Johnson Cooper said?

*For now, let’s treat this question as phrased: as a hypothetical. In a different post we can discuss whether someone actually said the quote. (Many will confidently claim that its provenance has been denied, but I’m not so sure about that. If someone says you said x and y — and you forthrightly deny x and issue vague statements about y, you haven’t denied y. But again, let’s save that debate for another post.) For now, the hypothetical question is: if someone said this, would it be racist?

If it’s context you’re looking for, the full context of the alleged quote is here.

149 Responses to “Is This Racism?”

  1. “Some of my best friends are xxx, but I wouldn’t want my sister to marry one.”

    Traditionally that was considered a classic example of racism.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  2. Cue hordes of people who:

    a) Refuse to answer the question as the hypothetical that I posed, and

    b) Assert without specific evidence that the quote has been denied.

    By the way, if you and I have a private e-mail exchange and you post my e-mail to your site called “Joe’s Rantblog,” I can deny that I ever posted to Joe’s Rantblog. Doesn’t mean I didn’t say what you posted there.

    But that’s just a pre-emptive reply to the inevitable comments that ignore what I am asking in the post. I would really prefer comments to stay on topic and answer what I asked, no matter how uncomfortable the answer may be to give.

    Patterico (64318f)

  3. Steven Den Beste,

    I tend to agree, but I will listen to other points of view.

    Patterico (64318f)

  4. I’d definitely rather have my sister in law be black than a white supremacist. With those gross white supremacist tattoos all over.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  5. It’s like prison, much?

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  6. I think it is racist, but as some have shown, the race and the political leanings of the speaker seem to change some people’s calculus. If it was a white person, it is clearly racist. A Minority, it has been judged to be, at worst, intellectually racist.

    JD (f483eb)

  7. The way to end racial discrimination is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.

    The necessary cost of identity politics is that it not only permits, but REQUIRES, that discrimination.

    In government conduct, it’s illegal. Private conduct and attitudes are subject to different standards, and I’m not arguing for that to be changed or for government to penalize private attitudes on grounds that they’re motivated by racism. But let’s not pretend that racial discrimination is anything other than what it is when we’re making social or moral judgments about that private conduct.

    Beldar (8179a0)

  8. There’s a Levi’s Jean commercial running now that at the end of the commercial shows a young white girl making out with a black man. It might be the most overt attempt to stoke controversy I’ve seen from business in a while, but honestly, to me it’s nothing. I live in California, maybe that’s why – maybe in Detroit or some other southern locale it might sting some people. I think the real story is that it may well inspire anger from more black people than white people.

    Shane (732598)

  9. Of course it is racist. Racking my brain to find some way that one would not think it is racist…and my poor little brain gives up.

    rls (e58293)

  10. To actually answer your questions, Patterico: Yes, I think that Ebonie Johnson Cooper’s statements are racist, and that the quote from Wheeler is too. That doesn’t mean that all of these statements, or all of these people, are morally blameworthy to exactly the same degree.

    Beldar (8179a0)

  11. It’s racist to judge people by the color of their skin so not wanting any black sister-in-law is per se racism. It’s not racist to discourage your brother from marrying a particular black woman if your reasons are based on reasons that are not related to her race.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  12. (I also should have said, “the quote attributed to McCain in the Wheeler article you linked.”)

    Beldar (8179a0)

  13. Yep, it’s racist.

    Old Coot (166f79)

  14. I think it is racist. Without the “natural revulsion” part I’d be inclined to think that maybe the “averse to accepting” part referred to cultural differences, possible difficulties in the marriage regarding whether other family members / the community would accept the pair, etc. But the “natural revulsion” part takes that out of play.

    Cory J (e9e07a)

  15. Well, read the whole context in the link I have provided. I have researched this further and found that the author does not actually deny the quote but rather says it has been taken out of context. So make sure to read the whole context if you have any question about it.

    Patterico (64318f)

  16. Follow-up: I’d emphasize the “maybe” part. Averse is a very strong word.

    Cory J (e9e07a)

  17. I agree with JD.

    But the rest of the country would disagree. Every week I watch Amazing Race, and this white man with his black wife, both very nice people and in love, mentions time after time that he’s trying to prove himself to the wife’s family, who object to their marriage because he’s white. How is that not racism by her family!?

    Patricia (b05e7f)

  18. I agree with JD.

    But the rest of the country would disagree. Every week I watch Amazing Race, and this white man with his black wife, both very nice people and in love, mentions time after time that he’s trying to prove himself to the wife’s family, who object to their marriage because he’s white. How is that not racism by her family!?

    I think most people would consider it “understandable” racism because they have been conditioned to think that racism is a white man’s sin. The history of racism by other peoples is ignored and even actively suppressed. I see this at my local State U. Just like Rev. Wright’s rants are “understandable” racism, seeing how his tribe have been the victims of racism in the past. It’s tribalism and defeats individualism and Enlightenment values.

    Patricia (b05e7f)

  19. It’s racist to judge people by the color of their skin so not wanting any black sister-in-law is per se racism. It’s not racist to discourage your brother from marrying a particular black woman if your reasons are based on reasons that are not related to her race.

    Of course not, DRJ.

    But how about describing people reacting to images of interracial marriage with a “natural revulsion”?

    Patterico (64318f)

  20. It’s racist.

    oneisnotprime (e25cc0)

  21. “The way to end racial discrimination is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

    Thanks Beldar, for stealing from me what I have previously stolen from CJ Roberts.
    Heh!

    Seriously though, absent de jure discrimination, what does all this matter.
    Only the perceived ostracization by others will change the heart (if it is even changeable) of individuals who evidence bias against those they consider inferior to themselves.
    And, there is always someone, no matter who we are, that we feel is inferior to ourselves. It is to our credit that we don’t give action to these feelings, for the most part.
    Our disgust needs to be reserved for those who allow their feelings to dictate their actions, and to those who paint with such a broad brush that they deny the reality that surrounds them to the progress that has been made, and is made each and every day.
    Will we ever have a perfect society?
    Right, that will happen just after we all become Gods!
    To paraphrase Mr.Madison, we take these actions to form a more perfect union, since in the realm of human endeavor, nothing can ever be perfect.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f2588c)

  22. Well, of course it is racist. Or racialist, if you prefer. I just don’t get it.

    Now you can object to your sister dating 50 Cent. But that isn’t a race thing; it’s an anti-thug thing. Would you feel the same about your sister dating Will Smith (for example).

    I see it more as socioeconomic than racial.

    But there is racism, of course. Heck, I briefly dated a Japanese woman in college whose parents disapproved because I was white. I dated an Israeli girl, and I wasn’t Jewish…you get the picture.

    Most of all, I remember a former girlfriend of mine from high school, dating a black guy. My father—product of his times—was all upset. I pointed out that this guy’s father was a surgeon in a major hospital, and his mother taught English Literature at the local Cal State.

    He was whiter than we were, I suggested.

    But it didn’t matter to him, much as I love my father. I’m certainly not outraged by interracial couples. Why would I be? I don’t know the people involved.

    It’s the person who matters. But we have worked so very hard to convince people that the “content of one’s character” matters less than melanin content. So should we be surprised?

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  23. But how about describing people reacting to images of interracial marriage with a “natural revulsion”?

    To me, that’s just as unacceptable as the black woman’s family who experienced “natural revulsion” at the idea of her marrying a white man. I really do want to know why some people think that’s different; is there something “natural” about this feeling because it involves marriage or sexuality or what?

    Patricia (b05e7f)

  24. Natural learned revulsion.

    The statement in question in this post is as racist as Ebonie’s statement was.

    Dana (e9ba20)

  25. It might be racism but it’s nobody else’s call. There has to be a line where your reasons for not liking somebody are not subject to review by the Politically Incorrect Police. If it were my sister-in-law, my brother, or my father, or my father could tell me to butt out, but nobody else.

    If it were my wife, nobody else.

    nk (df76d4)

  26. BTW, is this statement racist?

    God Damn all slave takers, slave traders, slave ship crews, and slave owners. May they all burn in Hell forever.

    nk (df76d4)

  27. Again, I just don’t get it. If someone acts all thuggish, I can see people being all worried. Just like someone being all super nerdy would be a negative.e

    But that is how a person presents themselves, not who they are.

    I mean, I remember a very nice girl from when I was in junior high school. Her father was black, her mother was white. The white kids would’t play with her, nor would the black kids.

    My father saw me talking with her, and became upset. It was the first time I defied him. No, I wasn’t dating the young lady (she was much better than I was as a person), but I sure enjoyed talking with her…and I was furious with how other people were treating her. They didn’t even know her.

    The same thing can be true for “thuggish” people, as I think of it. We don’t really know the people involved.

    Getting back to the point: yes, the comment was racist. I don’t see how else to interpret it.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  28. I don’t know, nk, but I do know one thing I do consider racist: claiming that “white America” “invented” HIV to kill black people.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  29. What if I added, “For bringing them to America”?

    nk (df76d4)

  30. Small children never consider the color of their playmates – they just want someone to play with. It’s very uncomplicated.

    Any natural revulsion (even by jr. high time per #27’s comment) comes way of a learned and practiced response based on what has been exampled to the child by their parents and community. It then transforms from something easy and uncomplicated to something very complex and burdensome.

    Dana (e9ba20)

  31. My six year old said this to me, just the other day:

    (Name of a friend) has dark skin. So does (another friend). I have white skin. So what?

    Then my oldest quoted MLK about the content of one’s character.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  32. But how about describing people reacting to images of interracial marriage with a “natural revulsion”?

    I think that is racist per se because it is based solely on skin color. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been taught to feel that way or if it’s a “natural” (genetic or cultural) reaction, it’s still racist.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  33. Simple.
    If Sarah Palin said it, it’s racist.
    If Barack Obama said it. it’s not.
    ‘smatter with you wingnutz?

    Dr Carlo Lombardi (eac69e)

  34. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been taught to feel that way or if it’s a “natural” (genetic or cultural) reaction

    Wouldn’t the cultural be a learned reaction, otherwise, it seems as if you are implying that one can be born racist? How does one have a “natural” revulsion – if it’ not learned, where did it originate and how did it become a natural part of one’s make-up; and why is it not in every person?

    I’m confused by the genetic reaction…

    Dana (e9ba20)

  35. Also, nk, the last time I checked, every “racial group” on the planet was involved in slave holding or slave selling at one point or the other. Even today, in a couple of Muslim countries. But we must not say that. Nope, only evil Westerners did that.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  36. I skimmed through that Southern League thread. That guy Wheeler who was serving as an editor and promoting a separate state for blacks and whites came across as a complete nutball to me. McCain had perhaps 6-8 comments on the entire thread, all of them disagreeing with Wheeler’s bigoted positions.

    I took the quote you pull from McCain more as his plain observation of the way society was than his opinion of how things should work. Is it racist to relate what you view as societal norms or should you disguise them or remain silent because you are afraid of backlash as many liberals do?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  37. If the opinion is formed on the irrelevant basis of race then it’s racist. Both quotes self-evidently do this, so both are racist comments.

    The word “racist” has become so completely damning these days that some people will deny the obvious racism in a comment because they do not wish to condemn the speaker that strongly, as if the speaker were wholly without any redeeming qualities whatsoever.

    But this is not usually the case: people are more complex than that, and we respect and love others in spite of their flaws, generally preferring persuasion and tolerance over blanket condemnation. And through that preference we can end up with an emotional need to deny the racism in some comments, though it be plain as day.

    ras (1d003b)

  38. “As Steffgen predicted, the media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion.”

    Yeah?

    I strongly suspect that there is nothing natural about it, that the revulsion is learned, and that it is racist as hell.

    If you want to be racist, that’s basically your business (ain’t no law against it), but at least be honest about it.

    Dave Surls (b4aee7)

  39. I may have been misunderstanding you or responding to prior threads, nk. Sorry about that. From what I can see, I don’t think we disagree much on this subject.

    I really dislike this weird mutant version of aristocracy we are creating in this country—where your parentage matters more than your own actions.

    I call a developing “ethnocracy.”

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  40. Yes, it’s racist.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  41. Dave Surls – What makes it seem out of context is that McCain spends his time arguing against the more rabid seccessionist neoConfederates and racists on the thread and in the comment from which this quote was pulled.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  42. BTW, I denounce and condemn all of you RACISTS.

    JD (91f065)

  43. I took the quote you pull from McCain more as his plain observation of the way society was than his opinion of how things should work. — daleyrocks

    I guess you and I read it differently. Can you explain more how the quote about “natural revulsion” and the declaration that “THIS IS NOT RACISM” fit into this theory of yours?

    Patterico (64318f)

  44. Dr. Lombardi is right about double standards. Double standards are a lot powerful in their capacity to drain issues of their fraughtness.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  45. #40 Eric Blair:

    I call it a developing “ethnocracy.”

    It’s not developing, it’s here among us and has been for a very long time.

    As a supervisor, the last time I had to jerk somebody up short for white on black racism was in the early 1980s. Not nearly so long ago for somebody display black on anybody else racism.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  46. #46 EW1: … somebody displaying

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  47. Can someone define “Natural Revulsion”??? It’s bandied about and in the quote, but what exactly makes it “natural”???

    Dana (e9ba20)

  48. I wonder who came up with;

    “Birds of a feather should flock together”?

    And why?

    Oh shit, that was probably a racist comment.

    AS to the hypothetical, no, not racist, just making an observation about birds. Hence natural uncomfortableness, not revulsion.

    TC (0b9ca4)

  49. I think he’s saying it’s like mixing giraffe garanimals with the hippopotamus garanimals… it’s a total and willful defiance of the natural order.

    You’re not going out like that are you?

    Yeah. So?

    You look stupid.

    I don’t care I gotta be me.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  50. Dana,

    Can someone define “Natural Revulsion”???

    I suspect it refers obliquely to the tendency of most people to prefer those to whom they can relate. Coupled w/the tyranny of the visual (some cortexes are simply more equal than others) there is a tendency for people to prefer those who resemble themselves, which would also promote the Darwinian advantage of favoring one’s own kin over outsiders, and so sustain itself, at least somewhat.

    Mind you, that’s really just a guess on my part as to what other people might mean by the term when they use it. I can only speculate.

    ras (1d003b)

  51. happyfeet,

    Indeed. Wearing clothes that clash seems totally like interracial dating.

    Patterico (64318f)

  52. Analogies are hard, Mr. P.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  53. Analogies are hard, Mr. P.

    Let’s skip the analogies, then.

    That quote in the post: would you describe it as racist?

    Patterico (64318f)

  54. Yes. I already said… no wait… I didn’t. Yes I think it’s racist and also weird.

    Weird because it dishonors freedom even more than it dishonors equality.

    He’s saying that it’s ok to constrain people’s pursuit of happiness with your disapproval.

    That’s really not o.k. in the little country I like to think I live in.

    I think that’s right evil.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  55. ras, if that’s so, then do you feel that it justifies if not explains, self-segregation? And, to take it another step further, used to discriminate against those that do not look the same, or are outsiders?

    In reading the linked article where the quote came from, it’s not clear that this is what they mean. It seems as if the term is being loosely used to pack in a whole boatload of prejudices and historical discriminations as givens. Convenient and lazy language usage without context.

    Dana (e9ba20)

  56. That guy Wheeler who was serving as an editor and promoting a separate state for blacks and whites came across as a complete nutball to me.

    So true.

    Patricia (b05e7f)

  57. I think people should be given a wide degree of latitude.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  58. “Can you explain more how the quote about “natural revulsion” and the declaration that “THIS IS NOT RACISM” fit into this theory of yours?”

    Patterico – Since I am not inside the mind of the writer I am unable to oblige you on your request. Perhaps you should ask somebody from Madison Avenue, Hollywood or Washington.

    I do find it interesting that McCain and Waltrip, the guy with the interracial marriage on the thread who keeps blowing up a Wheeler, seem mostly in agreement (early at least), but that should not matter.

    My conclusion is a)it is intended as an observation of current race relations re:Steffgen, not an opinion and reading it as racist is out of context with the rest of McCain’s comments on the thread or b)if readers McCain believe worded this portion of his comment inartfully in a broader discussion of interracial
    marriage and race relations suggesting a racist attitude on the part of McCain, that was not my impression of his other comments on the thread.

    Obviously, your mileage may vary.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  59. Dana,

    We know some behaviors have genetic components. There’s even a field called behavioral genetics. I don’t see why that might not also be true of racism.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  60. feets – Go garanimals have feets on them?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  61. I have to say I came to my decision without rading the whole thing cause I’m at the office and…

    Time: Sun Dec 6 20:52:13 2009
    URL: spiritwaterblood.com/docs/greatsouthernleaguera cedebate.html
    Category: Hate Speech
    Ticket ID: {24…

    This is how people get fired.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  62. I mean, I remember a very nice girl from when I was in junior high school. Her father was black, her mother was white. The white kids would’t play with her, nor would the black kids.

    This is off topic (I’ll address the question asked in a minute) but I wanted to make this observation. Glenn Beck said Barack Obama hated white people. In my view, Obama doesn’t hate whites but what he has done is split off his being white. BO and I share a mixed race heritage and while we are not the same mixture, I, too, had a white mother and a very dark complected father (Mexican and Tarahumara Indian) and just for the record my father is much darker in color than Obama.

    When you are mixed-race it can be very tough growing up because you are so different. And kids notice. I have no doubt that it must have been very painful in many ways for BO to grow up as he did, especially given that fact that his dad abandoned him so early in life. It is just my view that in order to deal with that pain of not being accepted as white, Obama sought refuge with his black side, which is why most of his mentors, like Rev. Wright, Emil Jones and his wife are black. Anyway just a thought for what it is worth.
    D
    o I see racism in either of the comments (E.J. Cooper or Robert S. McCain) posted by Patterico? No. What I see are people expressing very human (and yes and to some degree stupid) sentiments about people or situations that make them uncomfortable. I have made similar comments myself. I am not proud of that, but I won’t run from it either. I have yet to meet anyone who has not.

    BTW, I have read Charles Johnson’s take on R. S. McCain on LGF and he thinks that McCain is a racist. I have to say that by reading the link that Patterico provided, my take on McCain is now much more favorable and not the same as Johnson’s.

    BT (74cbec)

  63. Do

    daleyrocks (718861)

  64. oh. *reading* I mean.

    I think Obama sought refuge in drugs mostly. Drugs and marxism. It’s his thing.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  65. Perhaps you should ask somebody from Madison Avenue, Hollywood or Washington.

    That makes no sense. I could ask the writer himself (and as you will see in a future post, I have — only to have my comment not be published) . . . but the opinions of people from Madison Avenue, Hollywood, or Washington have nothing whatever to do with the question I asked.

    Since the writer will not expound for us, we are left to read his words and reach our best judgment. Towards that end, I ask you this:

    My conclusion is a)it is intended as an observation of current race relations re:Steffgen, not an opinion

    Can you elaborate with a little more clarity and specificity, referring to McCain’s text as you do so?

    I’m looking for something like this:

    “When McCain said that people feel a natural revulsion upon looking at images of interracial marriage, he didn’t mean that the revulsion they feel is natural or even justifiable, because . . . [fill in the blank].”

    Or:

    “When McCain said ‘THIS IS NOT RACISM’ and took care to put it in all capital letters, he meant of course that it is racism, and I show this by . . . [fill in the blank].”

    I doubt your ability to pull this off convincingly — but what the hell. Give it a shot.

    Patterico (64318f)

  66. DRJ, I’m well aware of behavioral genetics. I was attempting to find the relationship between what is deemed “natural” and it’s definition in the quote, and when you used it also w/cultural and genetic. Defining the terms makes a difference in a clear understanding… I guess I’m not explaining myself clearly. I’ll step down now.

    Dana (e9ba20)

  67. I remember garanimals had footie pajamas to where you could shuffle your feet over the carpet and shock people until they got mad. Mine were blue.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  68. A lot of commentary about racism, but are we all working from the same definition of racism? Is racism any decision or impression in which race plays any part? Is racism any decision or impression in which race plays only negative part? Is racism any decision or impression in which race plays a negative part, but only if concerning a traditionally discriminated against group?

    The linguistically-challenged Dana (474dfc)

  69. This is how people get fired.

    Well, that would be very unfair to say the least. I don’t even feel that I should put up a warning because this is a legitimate post linking legitimate source documents and it’s ridiculous to suggest that someone is a hate speech type person because they’re interested in the issue and want to examine the source documentation.

    Patterico (64318f)

  70. ok I’m gonna go home and read the whole thing.

    Did I just call Mr. McCain a racist?

    That wasn’t something I was planning on doing today.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  71. oh… I was just kidding about getting fired. I collect all the blockings – Weapons, Violence, Adult, Hate Speech, Streaming Media… you name it… every week probably. They only look at this stuff if they’re going to fire you anyway.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  72. Dana,

    I didn’t give that statement a lot of thought so don’t read too much into it. Some psychologists believe there is a genetic component or predisposition to fear and phobias. A “natural revulsion” reminds me of a fear or phobia, so I assume there could be a genetic component to that as well. But it certainly could be true that all revulsions are learned.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  73. “And let me say this to those who insist upon an outspoken doctrine of white superiority: You should also believe that, by a code of Christian chivalry, the superior should be kind and merciful to the inferior, even as Christ is kind and merciful to us. Should the greater hate and fear the lesser? Fear, suspicion and hatred should be alien to the Christian heart. Nor should a Christian wish to make a man fear, suspect and hate him, yet that is what you do if you taunt a black person with claims of your racial superiority. If you are superior, you don’t have to say it, since you should be able to prove it by your everyday actions.”

    [He is talking about Wheeler and some others]

    “Now some folks want to create an SL party line on race relations and I say “NO!” As long as we render unto Caesar those things which are Caesar’s, live honorable Christian lives and diligently seek truth, we need no such “party line,” for racial conflict will rapidly become unknown where people black and white live according to the precepts of the Gospel. And the Leninist concept of “democratic centralization,” in which a central committee determines a rigid ideology for the benighted masses, is alien to Southern culture.”

    Both of the above were from the above linked thread by RSM on 8/28/96.

    The following paragraphs are from RSM’s 8/23/96 post in the thread and include the excerpt pulled above. They make it clear that RSM does not think the government should make rules for relations between races.

    “Affirmative action, preferences, quotas and setasides were the obvious implication federal intervention to bring about economic equality between the races. If the black race were now actually to be the FAVORED race in the eyes of the government, Steffgen pondered, how would whites react? Survival is the first law, and as if possessing prophetic powers, Steffgen foresaw the rise of “14 words” racialist doctrine:

    “President Johnson’s ‘Great Society’ … is an interracial society…. If this is what Americans wanted, they will have their chance to buy it now. A Negro will appear in every advertisement and televised audience scene. The cast of characters in major Hollywood productions will conform to the ‘racial balance’ requirement of the Federal government…. [Am I the only one thinking of ‘Montel’ here?]

    “Americans will be told, in effect, that they must make a choice between their own heritage and prejudice toward Negroes. That is the way the Communists have it rigged. Ten thousand interracial themes will not beat a path to brotherhood but into the moral sewers which, in turn, will open up a market for the advocation of pure race doctrines from coast to coast and border to border for the first time in U.S. history. The cry will go up that subversive elements are trying to turn the United States into a nation of mulattoes and aboriginal gatherers. Having been partially submerged and withdrawn from the academic halls with the rise of progressive education during the thirties, physical anthropology, eugenics and the biological sciences will reappear and begin a renewed defence of the United States as a Europeanstyle civilization (which, of course, it is). After first *creating* the race issue, the Communists will now capitalize on their creation thus provoking a more or less logical reaction from Americans everywhere….

    “It can be said with fair accuracy that while Americans don’t regard themselves as ‘racists in the sense the Communists and their allies are exploiting the term today, the vast majority .. [are] ‘race conscious’ to the extent that they practice selective association and seek out members of their own race and culture to marry; … and are conscious of their Caucasian and AngloSaxon ancestry…. To take pride in one’s heritage is not to entertain a hatred for someone else’s, other than by the twisted jargon of Communism. Nonetheless, it is this centurieslong code of traditional values and beliefs which will now be assailed and downgraded in order to bring the ‘social revolution’ of the Great Society into conformity with the laws an invertebrate Congress has already enacted.”

    Fairly prescient, I would say, for something written in 1966. And we must beware, I believe, of reacting to the programme of our adversaries in ways which help them attain their goals. Their central goal, don’t forget, is to wield tyrannical worldwide power. Steffgen here calls our adversaries “Communists,” which tends to provoke laughter as evidence of paranoid McCarthyism, until we remember that communism is not a party or an agency, but an ideological doctrine. And anyone with a clear mind can see that this ideology is very prevalent in elite America today. Communists RULE America’s universities and communication media.

    To say that one wishes better racial relations in a real sense is not to endorse the prevailing view of “diversity through homogenization.” I recently saw a young black woman that I had once knew when I was a smalltown sportswriter and she was a high school track star. She is originally from New York and had just gotten out of the Air Force a few months earlier and returned to Georgia. After some friendly banter, I asked her if she thought race relations were better or worse in the South than elsewhere in the country. About the same, she said, but then she immediately began a discussion of interracial relationships and how these are less accepted in the South.

    This struck me as odd: Why should attitudes toward dating/marriage between the races be considered a litmus test of racial harmony? After all, as she later made clear, many blacks are extremely disapproving of such relationships. And yet an acceptance of “Jungle Fever” (Spike Lee movie about blackwhite dating, for those who’ve missed their multicultural sensitivity training sessions) is held out to us as the ultimate test of whether or not we’re “racists.”

    As Steffgen predicted, the media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion. The white person who does not mind transacting business with a black bank clerk may yet be averse to accepting the clerk as his sisterinlaw, and THIS IS NOT RACISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Washington tell us.

    And so when we see an overreaction to this programme, with people urging a return to Jim Crow or even advocating the formation of separate racial nations, the first thing we must understand is that we’re looking at a reaction that is not entirely illogical. What is necessary is to realize what is causing the reaction and to realize how emotionalism may prevent us from properly combatting the programme. WE MUST BE RATIONAL AND PRAGMATIC, for our adversaries are extremely rational and pragmatic in pursuing our destruction.

    One final note: I majored in theatre in college. After reading Steffgen, I conceived of a oneact play dealing with this problem a play I’ll probably never write, of course. But the opening scene is of two high school students, a black male and white female. The black teen asks the white girl for a date. When she refuses, the boy answers: “Oh, so you’re a racist?” If this is the test, then, she can refute the accusation in only one way, correct? And, as you probably know, our modern education system is very laudatory of those who “combat racism.” Think about it.”

    daleyrocks (718861)

  74. Having been part of a couple relationships of that type, I am certain that both of those quotes are racist to the core.

    Although Mr Cooper’s racism is blatant, because it is uncivil most people would avoid it no matter what they think. But there are a lot of folks who would very much rather the mixed race couple in the restaurant were in a booth in the back.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  75. “That makes no sense. I could ask the writer himself (and as you will see in a future post, I have — only to have my comment not be published)”

    Patterico – I was under the impression that when RSM came under attack by the left and people like Charles Johnson, that he defended himself. I have not searched out those defenses, but they may be worth perusing. The racism charges are stale at this point, having arisen I beleive several months ago.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  76. OK, daleyrocks, you have now block-quoted that which I linked to.

    Now make the argument. Specifically explaining the quotes set forth in this post.

    As Steffgen predicted, the media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion.

    Not racist because . . . why, again?

    Patterico (64318f)

  77. thanks, daley…

    yup… I think that’s very racisty stuff. Scary. The Think about it really sells it.

    That’s too bad.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  78. Patterico – I was under the impression that when RSM came under attack by the left and people like Charles Johnson, that he defended himself. I have not searched out those defenses, but they may be worth perusing.

    They’re getting perused in my next post, which proves that he has admitted the quote and tried to justify it by reference to context. So we’re back to content and context — and I’m waiting for you to make your argument.

    The racism charges are stale at this point, having arisen I bel[ie]ve several months ago.

    Can you cite me the exact statute of limitations on racism?

    This reeks of desperation.

    Patterico (64318f)

  79. It is just my view that in order to deal with that pain of not being accepted as white, Obama sought refuge with his black side, which is why most of his mentors, like Rev. Wright, Emil Jones and his wife are black

    I’d say it’s far more likely that his brain is wired to the left. And since he’s rather deficient in the area of common sense and logic, that diagnosis is hardly surprising. That’s even truer since our current president certainly is old enough to have grown past the naivete and idiocy of youthful, college-aged politics. IOW, he’s a good example of what happens when a person defies the saying of:

    Any man who is under 30 and is not a liberal has no heart; and any man who is over 30 and is not a conservative has no brains.

    Mark (411533)

  80. Re: McCain’s quote:

    As Steffgen predicted, the media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion. The white person who does not mind transacting business with a black bank clerk may yet be averse to accepting the clerk as his sisterinlaw, and THIS IS NOT RACISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Washington tell us.

    I’ve read most of the material at the link. The most charitable analysis I could give this excerpt is that if it’s not overt racism, it’s nevertheless prejudiced.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  81. It’s the inane paranoia that’s so cringe-inducing more than anything. Not that paranoia is a bad thing but it’s how he revels in it.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  82. I’ve read most of the material at the link. The most charitable analysis I could give this excerpt is that if it’s not overt racism, it’s nevertheless prejudiced.

    Yeah, and it’s his. I’m doing a post on it but the short answer is here.

    Patterico (64318f)

  83. thanks, daley…

    yup… I think that’s very racisty stuff. Scary. The Think about it really sells it.

    That’s too bad.

    Uh, I can’t tell if this is sarcasm or not.

    If it is sarcasm, try confronting the quotes in this post.

    Patterico (64318f)

  84. Honestly if I had known who we were talking about I would have gone home and watched episodic broadcast network television programming. That’s not very brave, is it? Mr. McCain is a friend of people what are good people. I did give him sort of a hard time for an overwrought post about Adam Lambert he did at Hot Air last week or so.

    This is very uncomfortable.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  85. I meant it was very racist I thought.

    I’m on board with the yes it’s racist judgment.

    Am I really that sarcastic all the time? I should tone that down maybe.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  86. Maybe he doesn’t hold these views anymore, hf. We all live and learn.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  87. “I doubt your ability to pull this off convincingly — but what the hell. Give it a shot.”

    Patterico – I have no intention of trying to do it convincingly. I’ve merely been taking the point which you made in your post that there is a lot of context involved in evaluating RSM’s quote. The post in which it is made is devoted to examining a used copy of Steffgen’s 1966 analysis of the Civil Rights movement, “The Bondage of the Free” which he purchased, and the negative things it predicted for future race relations.

    By expanding the quote ro paragraph above and below it I think that makes it clear. Do some people have an aversion to interracial dating and/or marriage? I think it is fair to say some do, perhaps even a natural aversion. Heck, you even provided a strong quote in aversion to interracial marriage and RSM was debating white supremacists on the thread as I pointed out above. I have not seen any evidence that RSM is one of those people, but I have not been searching for evidence.

    “THIS IS NOT RACISM” – No clue, perhaps he means freedom of association is protected, so how can it be racism.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  88. That’s a good point. Hopefully he will acquit himself. He seems like a nice guy even if he has Adam Lambert issues.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  89. It’s uncomfortable for me too, happy. And when I do the post tomorrow morning that proves that he said this, I’m not planning to get all self-righteous and chest-beaty about it, because I have always kind of liked the guy. I don’t even know that one racist (or prejudiced) comment brands you as a bigot for all time. But I think that, since this has been raised in the blogosphere, we should set the record straight about it. I think Mr. McCain has been a little evasive about it — and I understand why — but I think he should clearly repudiate such sentiments.

    Patterico (64318f)

  90. I was reminded of it — despite the staleness of it all — because of what Ebonie said.

    And I have looked into this before and only found inconclusive material. Until tonight, when I found more evidence of his admitting it.

    Patterico (64318f)

  91. That seems right and I think the charges of racism have been persistently in the background long enough to where the status quo isn’t really tenable for anyone.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  92. “This reeks of desperation.”

    Patterico – Heh. I’m all about the context not the content since I cannot say what he meant with certainty. I’m not desperate to defend him but I can evaluate what he said in the rest of the thread and against the other wackadoodles on there. If that’s desperation, then we disagree.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  93. And to be perfectly frank, when I was a child I was good friends with a rank racist in Fort Worth, Texas who used the N-word regularly. But he was 90. He went to my church and we both liked collecting coins and he was a nice man. And a racist.

    And what’s weird is that you can be both. It doesn’t mean I admire the racist part of you — and nowadays, it’s hard to imagine myself voluntarily associating with a racist such as the man I’m describing — and yet, there it is. I liked him. He was a good man with a good heart and yet he had this ugly side to him.

    Patterico (64318f)

  94. Patterico – Heh. I’m all about the context not the content since I cannot say what he meant with certainty. I’m not desperate to defend him but I can evaluate what he said in the rest of the thread and against the other wackadoodles on there. If that’s desperation, then we disagree.

    He said some other stuff on there that was fighting the racists to a degree, I’ll give you that. Maybe Ebonie has nice things to say about white people if you press her. But none of them made it into that article.

    Patterico (64318f)

  95. #87 DRJ:

    Maybe he doesn’t hold these views anymore, hf. We all live and learn.

    I mentioned an episode in my past in my comment at #46, where I had threatened to discipline a subordinate for his racist behavior. I would be hard pressed to have described him as anything but racist Southern cracker, born and raised in the deep South. Then.

    A few years ago, he thanked me for rocking him back on his heels and changing his life. And change he did…we are fast friends today. So people can learn.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  96. If people have such a “natural revulsion” to interracial marriage, why does it take place so often?

    I agree that one racist comment doesn’t mean someone is racist, but let’s hear RSM explain what he meant by it.

    Good on you, Patterico, for being willing to comment on this even though it could make your “side” look bad. Avoiding the all-too-common double standard is a hallmark of integrity.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  97. I first looked into it when Charles Johnson was excoriating Hot Air for the allegedly racist comments on their site. I felt (and continue to feel) that he was being unfair. But he was clearly upset at being attacked by McCain from Hot Air — so I looked into Charles’s charges. I couldn’t substantiate many of them, but I remembered them — and this particular one concerned me. Though at the time I thought Charles’s evidence was flimsy, his recording of McCain’s interview with Alan Colmes was bizarre and remains to me inexplicable.

    This will all be in tomorrow’s post.

    Patterico (64318f)

  98. Good on you, Patterico, for being willing to comment on this even though it could make your “side” look bad. Avoiding the all-too-common double standard is a hallmark of integrity.

    Well, I could be ostracized for this, as McCain appears quite popular. As I say, I always liked him. But once I found the evidence that locked him in, I couldn’t stay quiet. It’s not in my nature.

    Patterico (64318f)

  99. Ironic how racist conservatives get savaged from both sides of the aisle, but it is just an “intellectual” issue for a leftist? This is a pile of hooey. If RSM is a racist, that is all on him, not me, Patterico, or anyone other than RSM. We do not have to answer for anything anyone else said, no matter how many times some douchenozzle like timb tries to smear everyone with it. It is doubly ironic that the enlightened leftists like to try to make racism, an individual action, indicative of the collective. They will continue to attempt to smear all conservatives with the actions of indviduals, with their happy little MSM helping them out. It is their “collective” mindset. Apparently it is lost on them that using the actions of an individual to tar an entire group is wrong, but to them, only under certain circumstances.

    I apologize for the only tangentially on-topic rant.

    All you racist misogynistic jingoistic xenophobic capitalistic imperialistic warmongering homophobes are denounced and condemned.

    JD (e9e883)

  100. It depends. What did the people who wrote the ad/commissioned the add had in mind.
    Did they want us to think that they were socially acceptable because they showed us an interracial couple? If so, then that is definitely racism.
    If they created the ad without any moral/social connotation in mind, then it was not racism.

    Barney15e (d25f4a)

  101. Patterico – If you scroll down to Update II at the link you provided in comment 83, the guys from Founding Bloggers or whatever looked into the same stuff and decided the racism allegations were baseless for whatever it’s worth.

    I’ve been assuming all along he wasn’t disputing the quote. It just seemed out of place with the rest of the stuff he was saying, unless he was deliberately tweaking the white supremacists on the thread.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  102. Patterico – If you scroll down to Update II at the link you provided in comment 83, the guys from Founding Bloggers or whatever looked into the same stuff and decided the racism allegations were baseless for whatever it’s worth.

    Sort of. They appear desperate to give him the benefit of the doubt, and I want to as well — as far as the truth will allow.

    But I think I’m a little more willing to call it like it is than the Founding Bloggers were.

    As I say, I’m not writing the guy off entirely. But believe it or not, I think most people thought he didn’t really say the quote I have set forth here. But he did. You can make of it what you will. But let’s be clear: he said it.

    Patterico (64318f)

  103. I first looked into it when Charles Johnson was excoriating Hot Air for the allegedly racist comments on their site.

    Considering the history of his site, Johnson would certainly be the right person to recognize racism.

    Another Chris (470967)

  104. Considering the history of his site, Johnson would certainly be the right person to recognize racism.

    There’s no question that his latest little crusade is bizarre in light of the history of the site.

    Patterico (64318f)

  105. I don’t often agree with Barney Frank but I think this quote is right and it could apply here:

    “Almost without exception, when someone in my business says , ‘I was quoted out of context,’ he means, ‘I wish I hadn’t said that.'”

    DRJ (dee47d)

  106. Charles Johnson is an unmitigated fruit loop. He makes the Internet worse than it would otherwise be if he wasn’t on it.

    Plus also he’s fun anemic.

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  107. I never thought I would live to see the day where I agreed with Bahney Fwank.

    JD (3bccda)

  108. Tiger is half black/half Asian and he’s not black, but the president is half white/half Arab and they consider him black. I think they have a short circuit between the ears.

    Scrapiron (4e0dda)

  109. Gentlemen, Ladies, and Southrons, this discussion is futile and self defeating. Let it end and let us purge from ourselves individuals of a despicable ilk that cause division and disenfranchisement among our hallowed members. Let us revoke our bonds from them and send them on their way. We need neither their Yankeefied ideals, nor their heathen philosophies to disrupt our Holy cause. Let us send Lucifer and his minions elsewhere, for what does light share with darkness, and what does the Holy share with the unclean. Away and to Hell with them, may they rot as they deserve!!!

    Dorks. It’s like if Dungeon and Dragons were set in Dixieland and it’s Friday night in Jefferson Davis Whatever’s mother’s basement.

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  110. or is that Dungeons and Dragons? That sounds right I think. There’s this group of really sort of unfortunate guys that meet at the robot store between here and work on Friday nights. It breaks your heart to walk past.

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  111. I’ve met Stacy, and his coblogger Smitty is an old childhood friend of mine. I consider Smitty’s judgement to be impeccable – he simply would not associate with a racist. And as Smitty considers Stacy a friend, so do I.

    So, Is declaring a “natural revulsion” against interracial relationships “NOT RACIST”, racist?

    Hmm, the “natural revulsion” seems to be common. Your pull quote from Ms. Cooper stands as exhibit one. Have you seen how Japanese treat Koreans, to this day? Someone here mentioned dating a Jewish girl – and the parents didn’t approve, same with his Japanese girlfriend’s parents. So, is it racism if everyone does it? Yes, and no. Yes, it’s racial, but it’s also cultural. You still get similar resistance if say, an Italian dates an Englishman, even if that doesn’t stop them from conducting other transactions.

    Inasmuch as we are all Americans, “white” culture and “black” culture have coexisted together yet somewhat separately, and there is an amount of distrust between the two groups. It may be that this “revulsion” (and I think it’s overstated), stems more from cultural assumptions than racism purely by the color of one’s skin.

    Jeff Weimer (952d52)

  112. Now here’s what I got from it, coming from the outside. And mind you, it might not even be worth a ha’penny…

    In my context, I’m racist. I admit it. I believe that the Chinese race and people (and culture, mostly culture or mindset, but not the Commie one) is superior to all other races. My father (jokingly, maybe, I never could process subtext) relates that my sister can marry whoever she wants… but not a black guy, nor a white guy, nor any Muslim or non-Christian for that matter.

    I said to him that it limited her choices to pretty much Chinese; his reply was that he was perfectly fine with Vietnamese, Koreans and Japanese, even Mongolians. Like I said, probably he was joking.

    I think RSM was trying to write in a Pauline method – essentially by taking the points made by the segregationists and doing a reductio ad absurdum kind of thing on them. I think he is also pissed off by the use of a particular ‘action’, as he describes, in a sort of litmus test.

    You need to take the two sentences and parse them separately.

    1. Steffgen predicts X, and indeed it is observed that this is so.

    2. Interacting with someone (of a different race) in an arms-length transaction is different from interacting with the same said someone (of a different race) in a more intimate, familial setting, and hence the one but not the other cannot be ascribed to simple racism.

    As for (1), well, it’s true. Although for myself, it’s different religions rather than races, but the revulsion is exactly the same. You can argue ‘natural’ as genetic or environmental or learned or whatever, but blast it all, that’s too damned pedantic.

    And as for (2), well blast it all, that’s true too. The fact that I can work professionally and socialise with a gay colleague, but at the same time won’t be too comfortable with us sharing a hotel room together doesn’t make me a heterosexist or somesuch, now does it? And if it does, then fine, whatever, but bear in mind I don’t agree with your definition.

    Mind you, my definition of racist is along the lines of “No Dogs or chinamen allowed”, or “Whites only”, or “Judenrein”, or “Back of the bus, Negro!” or “Asian applicants may face discrimination in the admission process”.

    The fact that I might not mind speaking to Rajesh from Wipro, Bangalore when I call Dell Support Services (and indeed might be quite happy with his technical knowhow and troubleshooting skills) and still won’t want him to marry my sister (if she were still single) shouldn’t be the defining point for me to be called a racist. It may make me discriminatory, but not racist.

    The fact that I consider him, as a non-Chinese, to be by definition inferior to a Chinese (unless he was adopted or otherwise acculturated by Chinese), now *that* makes me a racist.

    Gregory (f7735e)

  113. Ooh, and happyfeet, what the Sam Hill do you have against D&D players? We go out, we work hard, we play hard, we smoke (well, not me, but others), we drink, we bleed red, heck we even vote red.

    So once a week we come together and become wizards and moon elves and rangers. It’s not exactly a sentence of doom, you know? Some of us even have girlfriends (well, again, not me, but the fact that I’m pushing 250lb has more to do with that). My colleague and fellow gamer is even getting married next year!

    Gregory (f7735e)

  114. ok but what about this?

    And let me say this to those who insist upon an outspoken doctrine of white superiority: You should also believe that, by a code of Christian chivalry, the superior should be kind and merciful to the inferior, even as Christ is kind and merciful to us. Should the greater hate and fear the lesser? Fear, suspicion and hatred should be alien to the Christian heart. Nor should a Christian wish to make a man fear, suspect and hate him, yet that is what you do if you taunt a black person with claims of your racial superiority. If you are superior, you don’t have to say it, since you should be able to prove it by your everyday actions.

    That’s not cool. It’s… wrong. That’s just not the way we talk.

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  115. Sorry Gregory that was insensitive. Mr. Instapundit had some exciting news about vinegar last week.

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  116. #103 Patterico:

    As I say, I’m not writing the guy off entirely. But believe it or not, I think most people thought he didn’t really say the quote I have set forth here. But he did. You can make of it what you will. But let’s be clear: he said it.

    RSM only came to my attention because of the controversy recently regarding his racism or lack of.

    To be fair, I made my judgment of the comment you proffered before clicking through to see if there was any mitigating material. And it is a racist comment, no doubt. But is there any substantiation that RSM is a practicing racist along the lines of, say, Robert Byrd? I don’t think so. Just in the last few days I stumbled across an exchange in the blogosphere between RSM and a fledgling black conservative blogger that was not only amiable but wherein the fledgling blogger appeared to be crediting RSM with the inspiration for starting his blog.

    It may be that RSM, growing up in the South had been exposed to a casual racism all his life and wasn’t even really aware of it until it was challenged. But I certainly don’t see him darting about the Internet preaching racial hatred the way that a Reverend Wright, or Jackson, or a Sharpton does.

    So, are you calling him on the comment because you think he is an active racist damaging to conservatives as a group,or because you aren’t satisfied that he hasn’t specifically said “I wish I hadn’t said that,” or is there some other reason?

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  117. #117 EW1: To be fair to Wright, Jackson, and Sharpton, they don’t dart about the Internet spreading their hatred because they have the megaphone of the popular press to use instead.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  118. #108 JD:

    I never thought I would live to see the day where I agreed with Bahney Fwank.

    The stopped clock phenomenon in action.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  119. […] today I asked whether this quote is racist: As Steffgen predicted, the media now force interracial images into […]

    Patterico's Pontifications » That Quote Most of You Called “Racist” Was Written by Robert Stacy McCain (e4ab32)

  120. But is there any substantiation that RSM is a practicing racist along the lines of, say, Robert Byrd?

    No… I don’t think there’s any such substantiation. This guy has been obsessed with Mr. McCain. He’s a very dogged person. He doesn’t have anything remotely current that would show Mr. McCain to be pursuing a racist agenda these days. In this post he engages Mr. McCain directly.

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  121. Well, sort of directly.

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  122. Secondly, it seems to me that black Americans are defacto Southern people, far more so than collectivist carpetbaggers and socialist scalawags among whites.

    Mr. McCain says that on that same page. That seems friendly and inclusive and not-racist I think.

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  123. happyfeet, I disagree. That sounds ridiculous. Black Americans are not defacto southern people. It seems friendly and inclusive and patronizing and desperately stupid.

    I realize your general point is right. RSM is not preaching racism with any regularity. He’s a good blogger who works hard to generate content, and I always assumed this attack was bullshit because he’s clearly a smart person who understands where the lines are drawn.

    I guess he was being too clever by half, though. I think he, like many, is generally a good person who has at least one serious blindspot. Revulsion? At a black sister in law? Golly.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  124. Hate and racism are not the same. Love and racism are not mutually exclusive.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  125. There is a huge, huge, HUGE difference between, on the one hand, a particular statement or instinct being racist and, on the other, a person being a racist. The latter implies a thorough-going permeation of racism into one’s character such that it reflexively and more or less continuously dictates not only one’s first instincts, but one’s considered views and one’s conduct.

    I’ve had reactions and made statements that I immediately recognized as being racist. I don’t beat myself up over that; I don’t deny that; but I certainly don’t celebrate that and, instead, I try to understand it and then get beyond it.

    In my daily life — and most especially, in my parenting (four kids who are products of the Houston Independent School District at “rainbow” schools — I try, not always successfully, to avoid taking racist perspectives and attitudes.

    And I’d say all these same things about sexism and discrimination based on sexual preference. Heck, I even try to keep myself from systematically discriminating against liberals and idiots.

    So I would reject — and take offense at — being labeled a “racist.” And because “racist” is an insult that is still taken seriously (and I think that actually is appropriate), I try to be careful and sparing in my use of that term to describe someone (as opposed to someone’s statements, reaction, or behavior on a specific occasion).

    I don’t regularly read McCain’s blogging, and I just don’t know that much about him. But I would certainly not slap a label like “racist” on him — as opposed to a particular statement of his — without much, much more proof.

    Beldar (8179a0)

  126. happyfeet:

    ok but what about this?

    Like I said, reductio ad absurdum. RSM is, in effect, ridiculing the segregationists by saying that even if they really, really felt sperior to ‘dem nigrahs’, the Christian attitude (which they profess, mind you!) is to shut up about it and not show it, because you don’t have to keep saying you’re superior and they’re inferior, which should be self-evident.

    I usually take the same rhetorical stance. If homosexuality is genetic, then X, thus it’s wrong. If it is not genetic, then Y, thus it’s wrong. If you’re an evolutionist, N, thus homosexuality is wrong. If you’re a creationist, I, thus homosexuality is wrong. Essentially, it goes “Even if A is true, B is also true but you’re doing C so you’re wrong either way.”

    I’m not arguing this stance, merely illustrating it in action. It does work, well, as well as any other form of rhetorical argumentation, anyway.

    Look, this is ridiculous. He’s made a grand total of ONE statement, which MAYBE could have been better phrased, but Patterico, I think I’ve illustrated that it doesn’t necessarily have to be racist.

    And yeah, happyfeet, you’re forgiven for your dig against D&D geeks. 🙂

    Gregory (f7735e)

  127. Following up on EW1(SG)’s excellent comment, as recently as the early 1970s, white families in my community worried about how neighborhood integration would affect property values. Forty years later, there are black and brown families living in every neighborhood and probably every block. It’s not an issue and hasn’t been for 10-20 years or more. Similarly, I suspect many of the people who had concerns or even “natural revulsion” at interracial dating and marriage 10, 20 or 40 years ago may not feel that way today. Times change and people do, too.

    I also agree with Beldar’s point that a racist statement doesn’t make someone a racist.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  128. […] from Hospital – UPDATE: Facial Lacerations Caused by Wife? Patterico’s Pontifications: Is This Racism? and Yes, There Is Racism in America and What? No Sex Clause? and TMZ: Tiger’s Wife Caused Those […]

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  129. Liberals who claim not to be racist are some of the biggest racists on the planet. They view everything from the stand point of race.

    A racist focuses on the color of the women Woods is straying with rather than the wrong Woods is committing by straying.

    It is not the color of your skin, it is the content of your character, and the character of many Liberals is severely malignant!

    I used to watch Tyra Banks’ talkfest until I realized how racist she was.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  130. […] The issue at hand is a short quotation by conservative Robert Stacy McCain (no relation, so far as I know); you can read Patterico’s original post here. […]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Racial Ratiocination (e4ab32)

  131. Well, first of all, RS McCain is speaking is putting that attitude in the minds of another, hypothetical person. He is dealing in the first person plural, as the quote exhibits.

    Second, Daffyd is absolutely right about ‘natural’ — in the McCain context it doesn’t mean ‘good’ necessarily.

    But third, I think its a shame that either the black woman’s statement or the McCain’s imputed statement are blameworthy. Jews, orthodox Jews, are often quite vocal about marrying within their group — its preservation (and please let’s not talk about that’s not being the same, being Jewish is 99.9% of the time an ethnic/racial thing)

    Likewise some of us want to preserve our group’s unique genetic heritage. We are the only ones with any significant amount proportion of blue eyed people, of blonde haired people, of red haired people. Elin Woods destroyed her diluted her biological heritage for at least a generation. Her daughter is cute , most little girls are, but not unique. I don’t think it is coincidence that her mother was a left wing politician, an “integration’ minister in Sweden, i.e. a person helping destroy the traditional cultural and biological heritage of that society.

    To sum up, I think the premise of the question is wrong. Today the summum malum is a generalized ‘racism’ — even for conservatives who hail from the south. Well there is the racism of slavery, the racism of the events of WWII, and then there is preservation. I refuse to believe the third is blameworthy. It is, in fact, admirable — and conservative.

    a concerned conservative (11d38a)

  132. Forty years later, there are black and brown families living in every neighborhood and probably every block.

    Ah, no. And the neighborhoods where they are not present are generally the higher priced ones. Not a hard and fast rule, just a general, empirically verifiable trend.

    a concerned conservative (11d38a)

  133. If people have such a “natural revulsion” to interracial marriage, why does it take place so often?

    It doesn’t, despite 50 years of propaganda. Especially black/white parings, they are something like 4% of married couples.

    Small children never consider the color of their playmates – they just want someone to play with. It’s very uncomplicated.

    Actually that is not true, research finds that 3 year olds recognize race, and they tend to group themselves into races when playing etc.

    a concerned conservative (11d38a)

  134. concerned conservative, you are full of shit.

    [note: released from moderation filter. –Stashiu]

    nk (df76d4)

  135. […] & Cancels Meeting with State Troopers for Third Time Patterico’s Pontifications: Is This Racism? and Yes, There Is Racism in America and What? No Sex Clause? and TMZ: Tiger’s Wife Caused Those […]

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  136. […] things that can be construed as racist by “reasonable” people once they’ve been removed from their context and repackaged for contemporary […]

    On blogging and its discontents. (38c333)

  137. Let’s assume for the sake of argument* that a white person said this. Is it “racist”? Or “racialist”? Or something else?

    Something else. More specifically, it’s naively giving someone else a pass for holding views that are themselves racist. McCain hasn’t endorsed the revulsion in question, he merely denied the obvious in stating that the obviously racist views underlying that revulsion are not racist.

    Xrlq (1cd5bb)

  138. […] yes, I think Patterico was being a dick when posted something that was written years ago (hence not news) and asked the […]

    And the colored girls go doo doo, doo doo doo… « Smash Mouth Politics (88a07c)

  139. I can’t believe that Patterico could be doing almost anything…. including hastening the demise of the LA Times…. and he chooses to spend cycles on this old and hammered down drizzley nothing.

    Baldilocks has got it down when she notes:

    ” How about we stop looking for racists under every bed or behind every computer screen the way he seems to? How about you all stop flogging yourselves and each other for his loss and for being fooled by him?

    I’m over it.”

    Patterico needs to get recentered. This whole hobby horse of his is clearly not happening.

    vanderleun (444f85)

  140. I know about blogging regrets, Mr. Vanderleun. I foolishly relied on one of your posts (via GM’s Place) that I had to retract.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  141. Oh! OUCH! That one’s gotta hurt!

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  142. i am a white woman married to a black man and i think all racism needs to stop we all bleed the same color and we all breath the same air so whats the problem our kids are not deformed because of us being an interracial couple so why discriminate against us

    krystal (8f69a8)

  143. I don’t see how anyone could say this isn’t racist. The bank teller example removes all doubt. If you’re averse to somebody being your sister, because of their skin color, you’re a racist. He’s not talking about personality, behavior, character or anything else of substance. He’s talking about superficial skin color.

    StickeeNotes (2e9fe0)

  144. […] & Cancels Meeting with State Troopers for Third Time Patterico’s Pontifications: Is This Racism? and Yes, There Is Racism in America and What? No Sex Clause? and TMZ: Tiger’s Wife Caused Those […]

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  145. […] Woods While Participating In The Mass Bashing Of Sarah Palin Patterico’s Pontifications: Is This Racism? and Yes, There Is Racism in America and What? No Sex Clause? and TMZ: Tiger’s Wife Caused Those […]

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  146. […] Helped Him Find Women Patterico’s Pontifications: Brit Hume’s Advice to Tiger Woods and Is This Racism? and Yes, There Is Racism in America and What? No Sex Clause? and TMZ: Tiger’s Wife Caused Those […]

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  147. […] The most AWESOME athlete Patterico’s Pontifications: Brit Hume’s Advice to Tiger Woods and Is This Racism? and Yes, There Is Racism in America and What? No Sex Clause? and TMZ: Tiger’s Wife Caused Those […]

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  148. […] Pontifications: The Creepy Nike-Tiger Woods Ad and Brit Hume’s Advice to Tiger Woods and Is This Racism? and Yes, There Is Racism in America and What? No Sex Clause? and TMZ: Tiger’s Wife Caused Those […]

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