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View Diary: They Claim Frederick Douglass as a Hero But Today's (Black) Republicans Would Keep Him From Voting (59 comments)

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  •  The fact that (0+ / 0-)

    any American party, let alone a very small one, is organized largely by whites, grouchy or otherwise, isn't exactly evidence of racism, nor would be the fact that whatever crowd they yell at is diverse be evidence that their disagreement is over race.
    I have seen that characterization endlessly repeated, but the primary support for it is the bare fact that that the TP wants to see Obama out of office. That is not prima facie evidence that it is hatred of Obama's race that motivates them, as opposed to his policies. I note that the TP finds itself at odds with mainstream, traditional Republicans, largely white, who also wish to see Obama defeated and who began planning to see him vanquished the day after the election as well. Does this make them also racists, merely of some different stripe than the TP? I would argue that it does not.

    So, no, not remotely the end of the story.

    •  please stop, the data does not at all support (4+ / 0-)

      any of your claims. what is to be gained by such deflections? look at theda skocpol's new book on the tea party john birchers, or any of the research from u of w by chris parker. there is other stuff out there too. hell, look at their signs and "real america" nativist racist talk.

      •  Reading suggestions (0+ / 0-)

        I've looked at Skocpol, who I have to confess I think is an almost complete fool--but this is also based on personal acquaintance from back in my grad school days. In any case, I thought the book was a travesty of the worst tendencies of academic sociology, married to a clear-cut agenda that directed the "research." The book was essentially political Lysenkoism--first decide your conclusions and then amass the "evidence." FWIW, I trained in academic political science. Skocpol's methodologies are laughable, and that would be true no matter what her political sympathies.

        •  training is worth what the trained make of it... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Free Jazz at High Noon

          ...I look forward to a demonstration of yours.

          Cheers.

        •  you clearly do not know what you are talking (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Free Jazz at High Noon

          about to smear Skocpol that way. Wow.

          •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

            it is precisely because I know what I am talking about that I am competent to assess Skocpol. I don't find her particularly competent, but then I think most of what passes for political science research is piss-poor pseudo-science, and I was happy to no longer have been a member of the APSA by the time she was made president. However, my assertions regarding Skocpol are just bare opinion here, worthless without supporting analysis, and that's not going to happen in this immediate context. By the same token, I can't imagine that there is any DK audience for that kind of academic disquisition.

            You cautioned me to be wary of stereotypes. Allow me to caution in turn against rushing to embrace so-called social science essentially because it agrees with views you had already arrived at.

            •  You can offer a substantive take on her work, (0+ / 0-)

              please do so. Disagreement is welcome. Your tone suggests utter dismissal of someone highly respected in the discipline--and as you noted former president of the APSA.

              you called Theda a "fool." own it. what evidence do you have for these claims? personal beef or something substantive?

              your dismissal of the obvious racism and white racial resentment at the heart of the New Right is mighty suspicious to begin with making your conclusions already questionable.

              since the 1970s conservatism and racism have become increasingly intertwined; their leaders owned this fact and admitted to crafting the strategy. explain that one away if you can.

              •  Conservatism and racism (0+ / 0-)

                I find your own claim problematic. You offer the characterization "obvious" to describe racism and resentment that you claim is the very essence of something called the New Right. But that is a catch-all category into which any number of things get crammed. Nor does "conservatism" offer much of anything solid.
                To begin with, there would need to be a demonstration that both defined these things and then showed racism to be at their hearts. I will tell you straight up that I do not think much of the simplistic equation of opposition to, say, racial hiring quotas to be prima facie racism.
                To pick just one conservative, Wm Buckley opposed much of the civil rights agenda of the '60s and '70s, but his opposition was based largely on his understanding of the Constitution. He later changed his mind and concluded that some sort of affirmative action was necessary to remedy pervasive political discrimination. That was a political judgment on his part. But I think it would be absurd to claim that his original position was motivated by racism and that his revised opinion was due to his having been somehow cured of that racism.
                I'm not looking to support Buckley (or, for that matter, any conservative position) merely to use him to illustrate that opposition to a position favorable to some group is not tantamount to hatred of that group. This, I believe, is about the level of discussion upon which the claims of Tea Party racism is founded.
                For many years there were blue laws where I live that forced businesses to close on Sundays. These were clearly motivated by Christian beliefs about their day of worship. Those laws also had the effect of forcing pious Jews to close shops both Saturday and Sunday. Now, there are plenty of Christians who dislike Jews, but that still does not support the characterization of Sunday blue laws as essentially anti-semitic.
                I've studied the Tea Party since its inception. I've done so as part of my work, in which I teach courses in political theory. To the extent that I can determine, I think it is mistaken to say that the movement is founded on racism. There may be some racists in the movement, but is not the Klan or anything even remotely like the Klan or the Aryan Nation, and to the extent that we dismiss these people as simply another bunch of ignorant racists who can be dismissed on that ground, I believe that we fail to fully understand the roots of a significant political movement.

                •  if you claim to be a political theorist then (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Free Jazz at High Noon

                  you most certainly understand the idea that racism evolves and that the tea party is a herrenvolk group. it is childish to use the kkk as a barometer for white racism. it is a strawman. feagin, bonilla silva, omi and winant, goldberg and others can help you here. white racial resentment works through and is activated by "race neutral" concepts such as "small government." there is a great article out on white racial resentment and how romney's anti-welfare lie activates those sentiments for conservatives.

                  again, you called Theda a fool. you have little credibility until you explain such a claim.

                  i would also look at some of the empirical research on the Tea Party as well as its mighty interesting connection to the Koch family, one of whose elders helped to create the John Birch society.

                  the splc and other groups have documented the infiltration of the tea party by white nationalists. again, why hang your flag on such a pathetic and disreputable group of white reactionaries? sympathetic to them?

                  Buckley was a bigot. As we Goldwater. Check out the book when How in America Conservatism and Racism are One and the Same. Good empirical work and then we can talk.

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