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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Night Card Game (Tea Parties Are Not Racist and Think Progress Is Not Homophobic)

This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

The Mother of All Race Cards was played this week as two years of agitation by the MSM and nutroots seeking to paint critics of Obama as racist and violent came together in a fit of accusations and hyperbole outside the Capitol just before the health care vote.

First, some "facts." The allegations were that a crowd yelled racial epithets and spit at black Congressmen. The MSM and left-wing blogs went crazy, to put it mildly. And if the incident did take place as reported, then outrage would have been justified.

But through the diligent work of numerous bloggers, the facts were investigated and it turns out either that the incident did not take place at all, or if it did, it was a very isolated incident completely unrepresentative of the "crowd" of over 20,000 people.

There were dozens of video cameras on the scene, including some held by Congressmen towards whom the epithets allegedly were hurled, and so far no one has come up with any evidence of racial slurs being shouted or anyone spitting at a Congressman:
Andrew Breitbart has offered to make a $10,000 donation to the United Negro College Fund if anyone can present proof of racial slurs being shouted; as of this writing, there were no takers.

But those are facts, and if there is anything I have learned from the past year and one-half of blogging, it is that when it comes to the race card, facts do not matter.

If a single person made an objectionable slur, that certainly would be grounds for criticising that person, but was it grounds for smearing millions of people as racist?

Let's try this hypothetical. Suppose there were a popular blog which was a mouthpiece for a major political party, and the commenters to that blog made derogatory statements about transgendered people, using the term "tranny" as a pejorative.

Would that make the proprietors of the blog, its readers, and the political party transgender-phobic? Should hundreds if not thousands of people somehow affiliated with that blog be maligned?

The hypothetical is not hypothetical. The blog in question is the powerful Think Progress blog, a mouthpiece for Democratic Party operatives and a mover and shaker in formulating public discourse to the Democrats' liking.

Think Progress regularly and systematically seeks to portray Tea Party participants and opponents of Obamacare as racist extremists prone to inciting if not participating in violence.

Here is just a small sampling of some of the comments posted at Think Progress regarding the violent shutdown by liberal student groups of Ann Coulter's speech in Canada:
  • My, my. How the transgendered have fallen (with apologies to the patriotic American members of the transgendered community, who I know would kick those Canadians asses if they had to).
  • i wonder how long it is before angry trannie annie claims it’s a squashing of his first ammendment rights. tough tittie trannie, canadians don’t have to adhere to our first ammendment.
  • Oh Canada…something something something…I know there’s something about “we stand on guard for thee”. Or maybe it’s “we slammed on that trannie…..”
  • Good, they canceled the Neo-Conservative Drag Queen. These people should be denied every outlet for them to spread their LIES and DISCONTENT. Judging by her last photo, I think it’s time for here to shave that “ADAMS APPLE”, in her neck again.
  • I don’t really think that the transgender community wants to claim Ann Coulter as their own, guys…:-\
Who made these comments? Don't know. Were they real or trolls planting comments for the purpose of making Think Progress look bad (which was done to Sarah Palin during the campaign)? Don't know.

Even if made by regular Think Progress readers, would the comments reflect on Think Progress or its other readers? That I do know, and the answer is No.

There is no more basis to smear Think Progress, its employees and readers for what some (anonymous) person says in the Comments than there is to smear the various Tea Party groups, supporters and attendees for what some (anonymous) person at a rally allegedly shouted.

Yet Think Progress and its progeny will take isolated and anonymous comments at a Tea Party rally, or an isolated sign held at a rally, and use it to smear millions of people as racist or violent. Indeed, that is why Think Progress sends photographers and reporters to Tea Party rallies, in the hope of finding someone whose sign or commentary can be used to smear all Tea Partiers.

A union teacher recently hung Obama in effigy, but that no more reflected teachers or union members in general than did the alleged actions of a very small number of people at the Capitol.

There does appear to be evidence that someone shouted "fag" at Barney Frank. The crowd's reaction was very telling, as reported by Politico (emphasis mine):

Frank, who is gay, was leaving the Longworth House Office Building when a man yelled a charged homophobic slur at the Massachusetts lawmaker.

Other protesters quickly admonished the shouter, with one woman yelling back, "We don't need that."

Back in October 2008 I warned that the use of the race card by team Obama was an ominous sign, and a warning for the future:
The suppression of legitimate political expression through false accusations of racism by the Obama campaign and its supporters is the defining theme of the 2008 campaign.
And so it has come to pass this week that the Mother of All Race Cards was played, regurgitated by the MSM, and trumpeted by the nutroots.

These people do not understand how much damage they have done to this nation, and even if they understood, they would not care.

Related Posts:
Saturday Night Card Game
SPLC's Democratic Party Mission
Think Progress Targets Scott Brown Over IRS Plane Attack

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  1. Facts don't matter and denial is proof.

  2. Professor Jacobson,

    I think you are wrong in one respect. The Obama administration and its supporters do not believe their opponents are violent racists and homophobes because of anything they think they may have done. Rather, they are portrayed as violent racists and homophobes because they oppose Obama - period. If you oppose Obama and are guilty of having a pulse, that alone makes you a dangerous monster even if you never utter a public word against Him.

    This is how the Left thinks: it would be politically useful to Obama and His supporters if the Tea Party protestors really were murderous terrorists. Therefore it must be true that they are in fact terrorists. Proof and evidence are trumped by passionate belief in what is useful.

  3. Transphobia is alive and well, and permeates the gay movement - as well as much of the Left.

    Comments on sites are one thing, and you can't tell the trolls from the genuine article.

    But posts on the other hand...


    Rob McKenna is no more transsexual than Ann Coulter. That doesn't matter. The accusation that one is Trans - like the accusation that someone is only "passing for white" used to be - is part of the arsenal to denigrate one's opponent.

    The poisonous partisanship on both sides is becoming insane. It's getting worse, not better.

    Perhaps my views are "coloured by my experience". Technically I'm Intersexed, but Transsexual is close enough, the fact that my somatic change was a natural process rather than planned makes no difference.

    So I know whereof I speak. Not all of the transphobic comments at Think Progress are mobies, and neither are the racist ones at Free Republic. There's genuine sickness there.

  4. You left out the very real racial epithets that were screamed at that black Tea Party man as the SEIU thugs beat him in, what was it, Missouri? Racism and violence, all in one package, and all from the Left. Does this make all Leftists (or at least SEIU thugs) violent racists? Probably not, but I don't recall hearing say, Jessee Jackson decrying theis vile violent racists or anyone calling on the SEIU to reject violence and condemn them.

  5. "The suppression of legitimate political expression through false accusations of racism by the Obama campaign and its supporters is the defining theme of the 2008 campaign."

    Exactly right, and Obama was flashing that card at least as far back as December of 2006, when he told an ecstatic New Hampshire crowd:

    “Are some voters not going to vote for me because I’m African-American? Those are the same voters who probably wouldn’t vote for me because of my politics.”

    More in my blogpost at the time, "Did Obama just call me a racist?"


  6. I dont know about the rest of you, but "racism" ceased to be a charged word for me a long time ago. Jesse, Al and the rest of the race hustlers got greedy and drained it of meaning through overuse. Now it's just . . . white noise.

  7. False accusations of racism are nearly as destructive and deplorable as real instances of it. If these Congressmen intentionally lied about hearing racist abuse in order to gain partisan political advantage, which seems by far the most plausible likelihood at this moment, then they should be denounced by Americans across the political spectrum. Racial scab-picking based out out-and-out lies should have no place in our politics.

  8. There is a reason why leftists reflexively and predictably hurl charges such as “racist!” at those on the right.

    The left has two animating ideologies to which they cling to this day: socialism (in some form or another) as a domestic policy and pacifism as an international policy. However, the events of the 20th century thoroughly refuted the claims of both of these ideas.

    Socialism did not bring prosperity to the masses -- rather, where it was practiced fully and consistently, it brought mass death by starvation to the masses (See the U.S.S.R., Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, Nazi Germany, etc.) and where it was practiced only partially it brought economic ruin and stagnation (see England). Likewise, pacifism did not bring about world peace -- rather, it invited the horrific aggressions of two world wars that saw the murder of millions of innocents and the eventual enslavement of millions more under Communism throughout the “cold war”.

    So the left has no valid arguments to offer in support of its ideas -- no empirical evidence to make anyone believe the ideas will work. And lacking valid arguments, the left simply resorts to invalid ones, such as the ad hominem of calling those on the right, “racist”.

    The charge is false, but more importantly, it is irrelevant. Even if every tea partier was a racist, this would not invalidate their arguments against government expansion and would not justify Obama’s massive looting of America’s most productive individuals.

    It is elementary logic that the truth or falsehood of an argument does not depend on the character of the person making the argument. But today’s angry left has never heard of logic, elementary or otherwise. Thus, they go on repeating the fallacy of ad hominem, which remains a fallacy no matter how loudly or how often the left screams it.

    Ad hominem is a desperate tactic employed by the intellectually bankrupt -- and the right would do well to point this out at every opportunity.

  9. Zoe Brain: I always tell my kids that the names people call you say more about the people calling you names than they do about you, simply because their words are more closely related to their thoughts than to your reality. I've noticed that people who use transgressing gender boundaries as a slur tend to be insecure about their own portrayals of gender norms.

    Same goes for racism.

  10. Professor, Andrew Breitbart has increased his offer to $100,000.

  11. With the left presently in control of the state instruments of coercion, why wouldn't it be interested in creating "incidents"?