Skip to main content

Thursday on The Rachel Maddow Show, Washington Post columnistEugene Robinson, although still his genial self, asked Rachel for permission to "rant a little bit." Go below the fold to see what pissed Gene off so much. You know you want to.

Eugene's irritation springs from the efforts by the GOP to whitewash(so to speak...maybe I should say "colorwash") its troubled history, in regards to the civil-rights era and subsequent attempts to "scare white people' into the militarist arms of the GOP.

It's happened before. Consider the outbreak of denial among conservatives about the causes and effects of The Southern Strategy. The article I've cited calls the Southern Strategy a "myth" designed to "demonize" white Southerners for their commitment to family values and overt expressions of patriotism. I would have read more, but my digestion is already delicate.

This time, however, the speaker in question was none other than Haley Barbour, president of the Republican Governors' Association, and one of a small army of "credible" GOP contenders for the White House in 2012.  Nor is Mr Barbour, born in 1947, too young to remember the worst excesses of segregated life. But as Rachel and Gene talk about in the segment, Barbour claims he went to "integrated college" and never thought twice about it, which is real news to Robinson, born black in the South in 1955.

Gene's hometown, Orangeburg S.C., was famously the site of a clash betweenstudent demonstrators and police over segregation in a local bowling alley,in the mid-sixties so of course he finds Barbour's "it was all over with for us" tone ludicrous.

I don't mean to suggest that Barbour is some kind of Grand Wizard. Privilege exists mostly because its recipients don't examine the assumptions that lead to it and most people don't like to upset their apple carts, especially when they get most of the apples.(Robert Byrd did it. Lyndon Johnson definitely did it, and our subsequent society remains forever in their debt.) It could be that Barbour was just some lazy shallow frat boy who enjoyed having people to take shit out on(but we would never elect someone like that, right?) but the fact that he is willing to lie and insult our collective intelligence this much two years out should even give those I'm-not-a-racist-but "suburban white independents" pause.

Originally posted to chicating on Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 10:28 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site