I've always thought of myself as pretty fuckin progressive in my set of values and positions. In fact I pretty much AM. Until a bit after 9/11 I wasn't a registered Democratic even....I was an independent because I saw the Democratic Party as way too close to the Republicans and way too tied to corporatism much as the opposite side is (but obviously to a much less degree). I registered as a Democratic as the primaries were nearing and I haven't looked back.....I might be more "Green" than Democratic when it comes to actual politicans taking action....but the Democratic party that I support is one that I think WE are regardless of what many of our elected people do nowadays. I'm a Democratic to the core now...and this site was instrumental in bringing me to join and see the light of unifying us as one.
That said.....I have something to say that pains me.
I'm a solid Democratic supporter to the core....and ....I'm a racist.
I'll explain below the fold. Follow me there, please.
If you're not familiar with Steve Gilliard's issue with Tim Kaine's people pulling their ads....go to Steve's post before reading the rest....it won't make real sense otherwise.
This could have been (and started out as) a comment to Armando's diary regarding Steve Gilliard's post. I felt it deserved its own diary because it made me see myself in a very very odd and uncomfortable way and one that hit me pretty hard to the point that my mind has been reeling ever since.
Upon first read of the whole thing via Markos, Armando, and Steve Gilliard....I agreed with those three in attacking Kaine on his alleged cowardice in pulling the ads without comment on reason or rationale. After reading the comments in Armando's diary though, I've changed my mind completely. Armando was correct imo about knowing waht you're getting into by advertising on blogs....make the decision knowing that your ad dollars are going to place an ad at places that are free speechers....saying whatever they want to say from the conviction of their principled opionions. He is right on with that. But I have to agree now with the majority of commenters in Armando's diary (or so it seems to be a majority to me.....my comp is slow as fuck and it took 10 minutes to get 500 or so loaded and I finally hit "stop" to just read it) who are defending Kaine in the realm of a smart move in the votes. When it comes right down to it, this is about getting elected. That's the aim of Daily Kos from Markos' own fingers....getting Dems elected. If Kaine's staffers thought it would avoid a Swift Boat type attack by association (false and wrong in its implications though it would be) then I support them in that decision. We need to get Kaine elected more so than we need to stand behind a principle of supporting bloggers and their words. That takes it back to Armando's caveat emptor statement of knowing what your'e getting into with blogads and making that decision ready to take what comes.
On the other hand....I very much agree with Steve (and disagree with the commenters who say the Kaine team should owe him no rationale or reason behind their decision) that they should have been straight forward with a reason for doing so. Someone in Armando's diary commented that it's no different than a politician pulling an ad from the Washington Post in a similar way. I completely disagree. Candidates do not buy ads with blogs for the same reason that they buy ads with the RWCM imo. They buy them to directly tap into a decidely liberal activist group of individuals who will act on their behalf be it to garner contributions or to garner networking style word of mouth communications that are unmatchable via any other medium.
In that respect I have to agree with Steve in his most recent post on the topic:
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Let me clear this up
Sic 'em. Them Republicans are stealing our
Kos posted up on this
I am not mad they pulled the ad.
What I am outraged about is that his people didn't ask my side of the story first. They just reacted to a Sullivan e-mail campaign WITHOUT TALKING TO ME.
All they had to do was send an e-mail saying "Steve, we have a problem with the Steele picture, "
I've worked in campaigns, I know they would have pulled the ad, just to avoid controversy by association. WHICH I AGREE WITH. I don't want anyone to think I expected them to keep the ad up after the crap they got. I'm hardly that full of myself. I'm not going to censor myself, but they don't have to keep their ads on if it hurts them. Although that seems to be OK for Republicans.
But this is ridiculous. How many blogs will be attacked this way? No one pulls ads from the racist Malkin or LGF, hell Charles Johnson is forming Pajamas Media with people like David Corn. But we're supposed to be suppine when something comes up.
Look, I know I write things which sometimes make people squirm. And I certainly didn't expect any advertiser to endorse my words.
But what I do expect is to treated like an adult. And when adults have problems, they discuss them. Too many people, especially in politics, think all bloggers are 20-something kids ranting. I've been writing for 20 years, I know when I will give offense. A couple of days ago it was on homework.
If they had even given me the courtesy of an explaination, which they didn't, I would have explained why the ad was gone and that would be that.
It's not about the money, or the pull, but the utter lack of respect shown by the Kaine campaign. This site supports Democrats and liberals, which is why they bought the ad. My goal is not to harm campaigns. But I am not 20 years old. I am an adult and I would expect that the Kaine campaign would show me basic courtesy in explaining their actions. It was absolutely cowardly to handle it in such a way, and I think Mr. Rohrbach understands that now.
Now what do they have, thanks to Andrew Sullivan. Stories in both the WaPo and Baltimore Sun about this. Why? Well, after Michael Steele called me a racist I needed to defend my good name. I was going to not speak to the reporters, to not make this any worse. I think they got enough crap for one day. But because they backed away and Steele attacked me, as a tool of the Dems no less, a person who doesn't even campaign for candidates he likes, much less raise money, well it's silly, but I changed my mind. I think Lt. Gov. Steele will regret his intemperant comments, because I am going to be quoted on how he defended racists and why he has no support among black voters.
Campaigns need to contact blogs when there is a problem. My goal was not to give the Kaine campaign problems until they took the side of a racist and didn't care about mine. Support is a two-way street. When you treat your supporters as disposable, they can cause you problems as well.
Oh, and to all the Sullivan readers calling me a racist: ROTFLMAO.
I know you don't like black people to begin with, much less want to hear their opinions. Your mock outrage is amusing, following the lead of Andrew Sullivan. If he told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it? You would probably call Steele a nigger under your breath if you could. Don't act like you care, because you don't. You know you aren't going to vote for him, the fate of all black Republican candidates. So save the outrage. I don't really care.
If you valued black people as humans, you would hardly read his site.
posted by Steve
As to his first post on the topic.....and the actual topic of this diary.....I'm embarassed and ashamed in a way.....because I'm one of those that got called out appropriately by Steve...and it's given me much to think about:
But there's something more pernicious than that. The assumption many people make is that I'm a white man. Now, people have done this in other cases, but in this case it's well, pretty fucking stupid.
What white progressive or liberal would feel free enough to make fun of a black man by putting him in blackface? No one. I can't imagine one doing so. Just the art alone would indicate I wasn't worried about being seen as racist, and hint, hint, I might be black.
But why do people assume I'm white? Because many people simply cannot imagine a black man blogging, much less expressing his opinions on a range of topics. It isn't what they are trained to think. Sports, ok, but politics, nope. It amuses me some days, but it does get other people in trouble
I've always pictured Steve as a white dude....why...I don't know. I went head to head with someone awhile back (forget who but they'll remember I'm sure) about their direct accusation that anyone who supports the troops staying in Iraq because we need to stay until they are stable is "inherently racist" by not assuming that the Iraqis can do it on their own (basically on the assumption that the assertion that we need to stay to bring the stability rests on the assumption that Americans can do the job while they can't.).
I fought that charge (even though I'm one who supports the troops leaving immediately and have been against this war since the beginning due to many reasons...one of which is an implicit racism in the war on the middle east that the neocons are engaging in ...imo) hard and it got a bit nasty.
But now after reading Steve's post.....I have to question my own prejudices. I'm not a racist person in the least bit consciously....quite the opposite...hell, I even support some of Farrakhan's ideas even though I think he's a cult leader and most of his ideas are bunk to make money off of people. But I thought Steve was white....in fact I never even really thought about race in any facit of reading his blog.....I just assumed I guess that he was.
For that, I am ashamed and it's made me think a lot and it will continue to. I've got a lot of thinkin to do as I've probably applied that automatic thought to every blogger that hasn't been overt in their race......for that I'm ashamed....very much so. I'm glad he brought it to the forefront of my thoughts. Steve's one of my favorite bloggers without a doubt....the fact that he put my mind into a bit of a conundrum is more points to him. Race is something that imo shouldn't be a blind issue at this stage....it should but it shouldn't....I support affirmative action...very much so. OTOH race should be a blind aspect because it should only be considered in terms of where things are going wrong....which Steve's picture and post point out very clearly (albeit in a way that might not be good for a campaign to be associated with).
So the title of this diary is not snarky in the least bit....it's sincere even though I'm not "racist" in the sense that people probably normally perceive the word...but it pains me nonetheless because my perception of Steve as a white dude without even really thinking about it consciously at any point in time says something about my perceptions subconsciously in a way that merits consideration to why ..... and if race is something to be considered subsconciously .....why.....and why on many fronts....the major stickler with me right now on many levels and with many questions is "why". It's given me a lot to think about.
Yeah my poll will probably get me troll rated by some for the "black" rather than "african american" but I see the term African American as degrading in a way.....I'm not black so I'm less than not qualified to make a judgement call there. But it connects every person called such to slavery imo....maybe justly so....I don't know.....I probably am friends with more blacks than whites and I never hear the African American term coming out of their mouths except when it comes to events and fliers and taht kinda thing. If anyone takes offense then let me know why and such.....I'm open minded but I'm opinionated.....willing to hear other points of view no doubt as Steve's p.o.v. made me ache physically inside tonight.
Thanks for reading.....hopefully if you understand where I'm coming from or even if you vehemently disagree, you'll leave a comment so I can grow more through what I've experienced tonight.
And thanks to you, Steve, for pointing out something that needed to be said. You've made me think like no other post has made me really think introspectively in weeks or months. Thank you for making me reconsider the way I, for some reason, was thinking ....without knowing why I was thinking that way (and not even realizing how inherently wrong my somehow conditioned way of thinking was soooo off kilter as to be offensive to myself upon realization). Hopefully it will lead to some change in my subconscious mind ....I'm fearful of it not changing to be honest. It's obviously something deep set in my way of thinking....and something I really hope your post will put a dent in. Thank you.