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View Diary: We continue to overplay the race card (226 comments)

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  •  Your first mistake... (20+ / 0-)

    lies in failing to address your own issues before attempting to deal with others' perceived faults.

    Your second mistake was in trying to address racism on a semi-anonymous blog. I am increasingly convinced that this is not an effective method for dealing with the complex, emotion-stirring issues of race and privilege.

    I have come to believe that it is such a divisive, emotionally charged issue that it can only be dealt with under the most thoughtful, careful conditions. Clearly most diaries around here do meet that standard. I seriously doubt you put in the amount of work on this diary recommended in the FAQ.

    Your third mistake was underestimating the underlying racism in the teabaggers or conservatives in general. Your reasoning is sloppy and your comparisons poorly drawn.

    Your fourth mistake was in raising the issue of "playing the race card". I'm sure there is some non-African-American person out there with the gravitas to address this, but I have not met him or her. I am increasingly convinced that only a person of color can delve into this issue. IMO, the minute you use that expression, you immediately place yourself in the position of having to prove you are not a racist. So you lose.

    Ultimately I gave your tip jar an HR for stirring shit up. Issues of race have become the proverbial third rail at DKos--"you touch it, you die". The worst possible thing anyone can do is attempt to approach any of the complex issues related to race in America capriciously or without the most serious level of research, writing, and editing.

    FAIL.

    Not even "massive" or "epic" fail. Just everyday, ignorant, blundering, pathetic fail.

    "[The GOP wanting to debate Obama is like saying] 'Let's see how tough Aquaman is when we get him in the water.' " --Seth Meyers

    by homogenius on Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 08:39:33 AM PST

    •  Clarification re: "your fourth mistake". (5+ / 0-)

      I should have gone further. What I should have said is that I don't think a non-African-American can USE the expression "playing the race card" because I am increasingly convinced that it can only lead to misunderstanding and increased rancor.

      Over the past year and a half I have come to believe that when white people use the term they often mean one thing while many African-Americans hear quite another. I can't speak to all instances, all people, or all motivations, but my perception is that it is often used to describe a political tactic of preemptively raising a charge of racism for strategic advantage in a discussion. While it's true that any party to a debate or discussion may do this to further their side of things, I think many people may not realize how charged a term this is. I won't presume to speak for people of color, but I gather from comments I have read that this is taken to be assertion of white privilege, a denial that racism exists, or further devaluation of what they have to say. It says "I can't be bothered to consider your concerns." It may not be meant that way, but that's what charged words do--they bring with them historical baggage.

      This subject could take an entire diary--indeed a major academic paper. But the point is this--DON'T USE IT!  It's that simple--don't touch it, don't go near it. If people of color choose to use it towards each other, that's their business. But I think it's inadvisable otherwise. It doesn't mean you can't challenge someone for their position. It just means you shouldn't be lazy. Using a term that has proven to be divisive is dumb. We are creatures of habit--but if you think someone is over-emphazing race in an argument or inferring racism in an instance where you don't think it's justified, take the time to explain what you mean, don't just drop the "race card" bomb because it will blow up in your face.

      There's so much more that needs to be written about this and not "one-the-fly" in a comment. The bottom line is that it's dumb to use this term and the height of folly to do so in a diary headline.

      "[The GOP wanting to debate Obama is like saying] 'Let's see how tough Aquaman is when we get him in the water.' " --Seth Meyers

      by homogenius on Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 10:08:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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