I wrote a diary the other day because I was disturbed at the regular use of the phrase "playing the race card" by a few white progressives who were claiming, loud and long, that they were under attack as racists simply because they criticized Obama. The response to the diary was overwhelming and surprising, and it motivated me to do some further research on the subject.
I wrote a diary the other day because I was disturbed at the regular use of the phrase "playing the race card" by a few white progressives who were claiming, loud and long, that they were under attack as racists simply because they criticized Obama. I found the repetition of the phrase mighty strange, especially since it was levied against African American progressives and liberals -- it was being used to imply that these African Americans (and possibly some of their white allies) were manipulating Obama critics by applying the pressure of White Guilt to shut down discussion.
I was puzzled in large part because I habitually read a lot of DK diaries, and I read most of the comments, and I just didn't see why the complainants felt like they were under siege. First of all, I saw virtually no indication, even by implication, that critiques of Obama were generally, or even frequently, or even occasionally judged on racial grounds -- I'd have to go with "rarely" as an accurate descriptive adjective. I've also read a lot of anti-Obama rants -- especially lately, since there are plenty of disappointments to go around -- but race rarely came up in the comments -- even in long, involved discussions like those that developed around Kos's recent rant: Obama Grovels at the feet of the Captains of Industry. That was an Obama-slamming whack-fest, for sure, but I read every single one of the comments, and the only time that racism came up was when a couple of posters -- with zero provocation and seemingly out of the blue -- asked if Kos was now a racist because he criticized Obama. Nobody took them up on it and said yes and the threads died.
When I wrote my diary about "the race card," I was simply concerned about the repetition of the phrase and its implications. I wrote a similar post about "reverse racism" a while ago. I write generally low-key, reflective diaries, mostly about right wing rhetoric, but sometimes focusing on race and gender issues because these are my concerns as a scholar and an activist. Usually only a few people read them, and we have a good discussion, and that's that. So I was pretty surprised when I found myself swamped with hundreds of comments, the diary hit the Rec List and everything turned into a circus. Suddenly, the comments section of my diary became a forum for people who wanted to insist that they were being oppressed and silenced by being called racists after criticizing Obama. I responded with some puzzlement, and eventually some asperity, because I found the comments to be not only non sequuntur, but to embody exactly the sort of problematic "I'm being oppressed because you call me a racist" rhetoric that progressives critique the Tea Party for employing. Apparently, though, this case of what I can only call white hysteria had been building for a while, and I walked in on it unawares. Hell apparently hath no fury like a white liberal scorned, because there was sure some over-the-top rhetoric being spouted. It reminded me of that Monty Python & the Holy Grail scene where the peasants are screaming, "Help! Help! I'm being repressed! See the repression inherent in the system!" and, to an outsider, it looked exactly that ridiculous.
In the course of the discussion, I was first excused from being a member of some alleged cabal by those claiming they were being called racist, and then later accused of somehow using up my "good faith" and belonging to the mysterious cabal. This charge came from a group -- perhaps better described as a DK mutual appreciation society -- of posters who all swirled around each other's comments, recommending, HR'ing & kibbitzing in their mini-sub-thread "neighborhoods" and sallying forth into the more general threads to do battle -- like manic Musketeers -- with anyone who suggested that their claim to being called racists wasn't valid. Notably, examples of the alleged insult were not provided, though they were regularly requested. Apparently, comments in which they were called racists outright were in short supply, but that didn't stop them from posting scores of affirmations of their persecution, dominating the comment section and swelling it out of control. I HR'ed one or two of the most outrageous comments, before someone mentioned I wasn't supposed to HR in my own diary -- something I hadn't known, because it actually had never come up before. Aside from the hysteria, what bothered me most was the utter rudeness of this group, who were alternately hostile, supercilious, defensive, offensive, and downright unkind. I do try, in all my writing, to maintain a certain level of decorum and courtesy, especially when dealing with sensitive topics like gender and race, because I don't feel rampaging ever clarifies the issues or solves the problem, and it certainly doesn't let us hear each other. In my estimation, their behavior and tone was causing almost as much trouble as the lies they were repeating.
I responded to the situation the way a lot of Kossacks probably respond when they make the Rec list for the first time -- I sat there in front of the computer typing and trying to keep up for almost ten hours straight. Eventually, my husband pried my hands from the keyboard and insisted I get some sleep, which, by that time, was a Very Good Idea. But I twisted and turned all night, thinking about what I'd read, and then I decided to try and figure out what was going on. As a social scientist and historian, of course, I headed straight for the archives. And that's what I've been doing ever since -- reading every diary and comment for as far back as I can, in which the words "Obama" and "racist" appear in proximity. And what I've found are hundreds of comments by a relatively small group of posters claiming that they are being called racists whenever they criticize Obama, and claiming that anyone who criticized Obama is always and inevitably called a racist. They say things like:
The pattern is to consistently refuse to engage with any critiques of racist framing, and to go to utterly extraordinary lengths to dominate the comment session. In one recent diary I examined, the "you called me a racist!" swarm went into an unbelievably lengthy digression dedicated to pushing the very worst of the white supremacist apologias for slavery. The desperation of the commenter to make his point that white people really aren't the worst people in the world chased him down the corridors of history until his defense devolved to an assertion that Native Americans really weren't any better than white people because they exterminated buffaloes by chasing them off cliffs. When a bemused poster pointed out that it was white people who had actually exterminated the buffalo, and that the claim that native Americans had driven large north American mammals extinct didn't seem supported by evidence, the argument -- I kid you not -- continued all the way back to the Mastodon (mis-spelled "mastadon" if you want to do a search). Any tactic to avoid the issue at hand...
There's a core group of these folks, but there are also always a few who are happy to jump on the bandwagon. What I have not found, however, is a similar trove of posts calling critics of Obama racist, or even implying that they are racist. I'm not done with my full survey yet, but so far I'm finding no evidence of anything near the level of critique that some folks claim exist. In short, my survey makes it clear (and you can verify this, empirically, with the same data) that claims of being called racist for critiquing Obama outnumber even intimations that racism might have something to do with critiquing Obama by such a large number that the latter have almost no statistical significance.
These folks are bent out of shape because they imagine they're being persecuted by being called racists, so I'm happy to give them something to actually cry about. Being an Obama critic myself, I don't give a damn about how vociferously they run Obama down for his lousy policy stances. What I do give a damn about is their swaggering entry into any and all recent discussions about race, and their racist -- yes, I did say racist -- determination to derail discussions among people of color and their allies by screaming, "Help, help, I'm being repressed!" I hope they are happy now, because they now have documented evidence that someone has called them racists. They know who they are. In fact, everyone who has been caught up in one of these absurd "I'm oppressed!" go-rounds knows exactly who they are.
Let me be clear about this: "racist" is exactly the word to use when a group's behaviors enforce inequality and injustice. I call them racist the exact same way I'd call a small group of men who consistently invade and disrupt discussions of sexism among feminists and their allies with loud complaints that "men are oppressed too!" Here's a head's up: If you weren't previously conscious that this was racist behavior, you no longer have that excuse. Now, if you do it, people should have zero compunction about labeling you as you deserve.
"Racist" is legitimate word to describe an existing phenomenon -- one that progressives, ideologically, vehemently oppose. I think it's a great thing that the word "racist" has accrued enough currency in contemporary culture to be feared by those it describes -- it's a reason to continue using it, fairly and judiciously. And there's very good reason not to be intimidated by the people who claim we "use it as a weapon" and that the application of the word "hurts so much" that it overwhelms the commission of the racist deed. If it hurts, good. It means you have a conscience and that you know racism is wrong, and maybe you'll think about it and change your behavior.
But the truth is that labeling racists "racists" doesn't usually change their ideology -- and that's not the intent of the label. The intent of the label is to identify behavior for all others to see -- it's a tool to instruct the home audience, not to change the motivation and basic beliefs of the person performing racist acts. Racists change for many reasons, but not usually because someone calls them a racist. I know I'm not going to change the people I'm talking about -- that's not the point of this diary. The point is to alert everyone who does care about racist behavior that a particular racist meme is in play, so that those who prioritize equality and fairness can come up with strategies for dealing with the eruption.
Evidence of the self-absorption of this group can be found in their comments, scattered throughout various diaries in which race is discussed, in the very discussions they tried to disrupt. Before the "You're A Racist If You Critize Obama" meme took hold, a number of the folks transmitting it clearly did not pay attention to discussions about race on DK. In fact, some maintain vociferously that discussions about race & white privilege didn't actually take place before the minions of Obama started calling them racist, which was "the genesis of the overall topic at this site." Some seem to truly believe that any and all current discussions of race on DK are initiated with the intent to persecute them. Of course, discussions on race and white privilege have been ongoing on DK since jump, but these people did not notice them because, previously, they did not have a personal stake in them. Now, however, the promoters of this meme claim to be increasingly persecuted by "Obama and his supporters," whose strategies of repression they claim have escalated,
morphing through charges of purism, sanctimony, and the character of progressives as whiny white racists. All of this has been designed to deny us a seat at the table.
The choice of the phrase "a seat at the table" -- a phrase often used by civil rights activists to describe the goals of black folks in the movement -- further illuminates the underlying beliefs of this group: "real" progressives are the "new blacks." Scholars of race have talked about the problem with this kind of trope ("the student as nigger," "woman is the nigger of the world," Mailer's "White Negro", etc.), pointing out that it's hard to claim you've replaced black people at the bottom of the ladder when, by every standard of objective measurement, blacks have not yet risen beyond the lower rungs. (If being called a "whiny white racist" is the worst that this class of "real progressives" has to endure, I'd say that's pretty privileged. Don't talk to me until you can't catch a cab on the streets of Chicago because the driver can tell you're a "real progressive.") But this is at the root of the self-construction of this allegedly persecuted group -- they are the "real" progressives, and anyone who supports that "traitor" Obama has betrayed progressivism and everything for which it stands.
The links that this small group of self-proclaimed persecuted Kossacks include in their posts and comments are few and far between, and primarily lead back to the writing of a very small number of not particularly prominent Kossack diarists who have indeed suggested that race may be a factor in the way that critiques of Obama are framed. None of the latter claim that critiques are inherently racist, and most of them have explicitly said in diaries or comments that they do not consider all (or even most) critiques of Obama's policies racist. When they discuss racism, it is in terms of relatively broad generalities (like white privilege) or in narrow examples of racial framing (like the emphasis on Obama's lack of "balls"/masculinity). There was a kiss-off diary or two by African Americans who said they were leaving because they were sick of racism on DK, and of the language and tone of those who continuously trash Obama. Some of these writers mentioned the fact that DK is an overwhelmingly white site. None of this seemed incendiary -- and, after 30 years dealing with white reactions to black discussions of race -- I have a pretty good sense of what generally sets progressive white people off. So the frenzy was still puzzling to me because I hadn't found its source.
Eventually, though, I made my way to a diary written by RainbowGirl, titled "Poverty, Principles, Tribalism & Tax Cuts. It was a fascinating read because it promotes a wild conspiracy theory, charging that it is a deliberate tactic of the Obama administration, engineered by race-puppeteer David Axelrod, to claim that progressive opponents of Obama are racist and thus to destroy the credibility of "real progressives."
I must underline that there is not a shred of evidence to support this claim. The "argument" is built wholly on conjecture and is entirely circumstantial. In fact, when asked, by a number of commenters, to produce evidence, RainbowGirl could summon none, and defended her charges by coyly claiming it was just her "opinion." The diary clearly violates DK Rule #15:
Diaries which engage in wild speculation without any proof are strongly discouraged. Repeatedly posting diaries consisting largely or entirely of wild speculation is an abuse of site policy. Bear in mind that that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
If this were a diary by a white Kossack, I think all hell would have broken loose, but RainbowGirl begins with a claim to be a person of color who lives in the "projects" and who has been unemployed for years and into the foreseeable future. Her poverty and race confer the level of authenticity and "street cred" that is necessary if she's going to make these charges, since the same claims, made by a white Kossack, would look like white racial hysteria. All of the characteristics of her life are listed like qualifications, one after another, starting with her "ethnic minority status" and ending with a description of her 575 square foot apartment in the "ghetto." She affirms her lifelong commitment to Progressivism and states: "I am willing to sacrifice my own wishes, even sometimes my own needs, so that justice is done and progress is served." Such impeccable credentials seem to demand one give serious consideration to what she has to say, although they ring less than true for several readers who query her on their accuracy. RainbowGirl has this to say to one of them:
I'm sure you would like to know precisely what my background is, or where the checks are from and how much they are. You think I don't know how some people would use such information against me? Come on. I'm poor, not dumb.
But her narrative of disappointment with Obama will certainly resonate with many DK readers. It resonated with me. I was with her in her litany of betrayal all the way through the tax cuts, and up until the point when I bumped into her very, very jarring use of the word "tribalism" -- a word she used to describe the way Obama's allies allegedly engaged
in a cynical, calculated way to try to quash dissent among justifiably shocked and outraged liberals and progressives throughout the country.
I had to read that section four or five times before I could believe that it was actually printed on the screen. Tribalism? Really? Isn't that the word the left blogosphere uses to describe Tea Party identity politics a la digby? To turn that around and use it against Obama, to name the alleged "ganging up" of "the tribe" of Obama supporters on the "true progressives" is appalling. It's an outright racist framing of a manipulated and manipulating President, his white Svengali, and the band of brain-washed African Americans and fellow travelers who act as his thuggish enforcers. But RainbowGirl dismisses critiques of the term in the comments by insisting we accept the term "has nothing to do with Africa, etc. It's a word with a definition that fits what I am trying to convey in the diary. If there is a better word, then I'll be happy to use that."
To document the alleged rash of attacks on Obama critics, RainbowGirl lists three fairly mild articles that caution white progressives against alienating the base of African American support for the president -- the King, and Blow articles -- and the Reed article that reminds white progressive critics that Obama's apparent inability to get righteously angry needs to be read through the lens of the stereotype of the "angry black man." RainbowGirl proceeds as if the pitch of these articles is far higher than it is, calling them "threats," "distractions with a racial bent" and attempts to "Shut the Progressive wing of the Democratic party up," when they are actually relatively moderate cautions. This demonizing of moderately toned attempts on the part of a few black intellectuals to point out that white progressives might want to think through the ramifications of certain critiques, or consider the effects of primarying Obama, also reflects a racist dismissal of a position held by 90% of black Americans. Instead of engaging with the very important question of why the black community remains overwhelmingly committed to a President who has failed to meet many of his promises to them and to us, RainbowGirl's conspiracy theory reduces the black community to the status of dupes and pawns and enemies of progressivism.
NOTE: I'D LIKE TO REMOVE THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH BECAUSE IT PROVIDES THE WRONG LINK TO THE VIDEO, AND IT CLAIMS THAT IT WAS KOSSACK DIARISTS WHO PRODUCED AND PROMOTED THE VIDEO. HOWEVER, THIS IN NOT THE CASE. THE VIDEO REFERRED TO IN THE PARAGRAPH BELOW WAS MADE BY A THIRD PARTY. IT REPRODUCES THE MEME, BUT DOES NOT IMPLICATE KOSSACK DIARISTS IN ANY FASHION. BUT I DON'T WANT TO DELETE THE PARAGRAPH, BECAUSE I'LL BE ACCUSED OF 'HIDING MY MISTAKE', SO I'M LEAVING IT IN, BUT BRACKETING IT.
[Other Kossacks who buy into this rhetoric amplify and refine the message in their own blogs and comments. A popular video that made the rounds among them -- a video they seemed to unanimously think is "hilarious" and "true" -- shows a conversation between a light-skinned and a dark-skinned cartoon character. The dark-skinned character mindlessly and robotically repeats inane defenses of Obama, while the light-skinned character presents a verbal deluge of objective, factual, well-documented arguments to rebut all of the dark-skinned character's "points." In the end, the dark-skinned character is lampooned by his failure to summon any defense other than that Obama has a nice chest, and Michelle has great arms. None of the promoters of the "You're A Racist If You Criticize Obama" meme seem to recognize the problem of the light/dark framing, or of the attribution of "objectivity & rationality" to the light-skinned character, in opposition to the childishness and emotionalism of the dark-skinned character. I would characterize this a a racist cartoon -- the choice of character skin color was not "accidental," though one might argue that it may not have been strictly "conscious." The bottom line is that it mirrors and recapitulates the framing of RainbowGirl's diary, and of the trend in the meme-promoters' comments, perfectly.]
RainbowGirl insinuates that Obama rose to power through Axelrod's machinations, either as a puppet or a malevolent co-conspirator dependent upon Axelrod's experience with race politics in Chicago, where he learned to help black candidates "do well with white voters." She claims that "community organizing... pressure tactics" are now being used against "allies," who have become "targets of a cynical political strategy that might include calling any dissenters, no matter how well-intentioned, "racists"." (Weirdly reminiscent of the slams of "Alinsky tactics" that were part of the right wing's attacks on Obama.) And she implies that Axelrod is sending out people "to various sites on the internet" (by implication DK) to "'rein-in' those damned progressives -- many of them white - who are incredibly upset that the man he advises, President Obama, wants to give $700 billion to the rich when people like me have nothing." She implies that Obama is aware of this and approves of such pressure tactics. There's an amen chorus in the comments, where meme-promoters insist that the fact that the Obama campaign was involved -- like many other campaigns -- in sharing its views and ideas on blogs is somehow "proof" of this awful conspiracy.
McCarthy-like, she issues this charge:
It is my contention that Team Obama is playing a very disturbing game of racial politics at the moment, in an effort to quell dissent to their obscene tax "deal." I see what I feel are instances of crude but systematized propaganda on this and many other sites. Don't ask me to name names, I have already made my feelings known in previous comments.
I know this isn't a term of art, but I'd describe this diary as "creepy." And I'm not the only one who found it so -- there are several commenters who also felt the arguments were summed up in that word. It sets up a situation where anyone who objects to any criticisms of Obama is suspected of being an "Axelrodian plant," and in which questions about race simply cannot be raised without RainbowGirl and her coterie of supporters claiming this is "proof" of the existence of the shadowy plot. There are definite shadows of the anticommunist hysteria of the Manchurian Candidate here.
The craziness of this construction can't be over-emphasized. It depends on so many racist myths that it's truly difficult to believe it could have been penned by a person of color who calls herself a lifelong progressive. Then again, I feel the same sense of irreality when I read the opinions that Clarence Thomas writes, and he's all too real. The identity of the author is neither here nor there -- she could be exactly who she says she is, or a sock puppet, and it wouldn't make a difference -- because it is her words that matter. Here are the ideas she's promoting:
- Accusing people of racism is an effective method of getting your way.
- Reverse racism is now the strategy of a sitting African American president.
- Our African American president has employed a race-baiting white puppeteer to pull the strings on him and us.
- There's some sort of equivalence between black people offering critiques of racist frames, and the Teabaggers who portray Obama as a cannibal with a bone through his nose.
- The 95% of African American Democrats who support Obama do not qualify as "real progressives" because they support Obama.
In RainbowGirl's nutty story, David Axelrod is not only the manipulator behind Obama, but also the Pied Piper behind the allegedly coded messages of black intellectuals like Reed, King, and Blow, and anyone else who doesn't agree that a qualification for being a "real progressive" is abandoning Obama. Because black people, of course, can't think for themselves. This reminds me of the conspiracy theorists who wrote books claiming that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a dupe of the Communists, and that all his Black supporters were ultimately manipulated by the Party, because, you know, those black people couldn't possibly have formed opinions on their own. In the face of all of this, her brave rhetoric that she's not racist because she criticizes Obama where criticism is due starts to sound a bit tinny.
"But wait!" I can hear some readers thinking. RainbowGirl can't be racist! She's has "ethnic minority status! To which I will say, "Clarence Thomas has 'ethnic minority status' too." As do every single one of the black shills for white supremacy who churn out books for right wing propaganda mills like Regnery Press, or who are invited to speak out against affirmative action for the Heritage Foundation. It is not your identity that determines whether or not you are racist. It is your identification with the social structures that promote, sustain and affirm inequality. Black people can support white supremacy, and women can support patriarchy, and we can criticize the hell out of them when they do. We shouldn't get personal about it -- because it's basically none of our business why these people decide to promote their oppressor's interest over the interests of their own groups -- but we sure can call them on their behavior. So I am not afraid of saying that RainbowGirl's diary is racist, and that it feeds the racism that is floating under the surface in some members of the white progressive community. White people pick the black people they decide to pal around with, and the black community is diverse enough so that you can find "a black person" to support just about any view you've got, no matter how fringe and crazy. And that's a racist tactic too -- find a black person to "authenticate" your claims and protect yourself from the charge of racism. Well, that won't work here. RainbowGirl is welcome to think and write what she likes, and to associate with whomever she likes, but her approval lends zero credence to a racist meme.
Of course, I could be part of this disinformation scheme. I'm ready for that charge. Although I, personally, never worked for Obama's campaign because I was living in Europe at the time, I did in fact vote for him, and I wrote some things suggesting other people vote for him. So it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to claim that I'm part of some vast international conspiracy to call people who critique Obama "racists."
The funny thing, though, is that I am as deeply disappointed in Obama as RainbowGirl claims to be. I was just as pissed off about the tax cut deal. I'm thrilled DADT finally passed, but I always thought Obama should make like Truman and wipe out that discriminatory crap with a stroke of his pen. I think he's surrounded himself with slick Wall Streeters and I don't forgive him for marginalizing progressive economists like Krugman. His positions on national security and privacy and a dozen other issues simply suck. And the wars in Afghanistan & Iraq make me sick. I'd like to primary the guy just to let him know he can't count on progressives to sit on their hands while he moves to the right.
I also know, however, that my AA peers who support Obama are not fools, and do it for reasons that are sound in their eyes and their community's eyes. I know that they are not manipulated puppets, but thinking people with a shared set of values, but sometimes a different set of priorities. I tend to agree more with some of the AA critics of Obama, than with his supporters, but even AA critics understand why they're fighting an upstream battle. And I am absolutely not going to demonize the President and his supporters -- not only would it be morally wrong, but on a pragmatic level I can't afford to, because if it comes down to a choice between Obama and Palin, for example, I'm not going to allow Palin to win because I've destroyed the relationship between white progressives and the majority of the AA community. On the macro-scale, I don't give a damn about Obama, but I care tremendously about equity for African Americans and the absolute necessity of building a progressive movement with full African American participation.
Strangely, I don't feel the need to defend my critical views of Obama by falsely claiming I'm being oppressed by the mysterious and sneaky minions of his administration. For all my vocal complaints, no one has ever called me a racist. Which might be -- and I like to think it is -- because I'm an anti-racist activist who has devoted her life to trying to educate other white people about race and who doesn't tend to say things that strike people as racist when I'm criticizing the President or anyone else. But, hey, if there actually is a cabal out there waiting to call me a racist for my critique of Obama, hit me! Come on and out yourselves! I'm waiting. And I'm sure that next year I'll still be waiting. There is no Santa Claus, there is no Tooth Fairy, and there is no cabal.
Finally, I'd like to address what I think we should do about the promoters of this absurd and damaging meme. If DK were my site, I'd ban their butts, just like I'd throw out the guys who regularly disrupt discussions on women's rights with their "I'm oppressed!" complaints. I think it's crucial for progressives to formulate zero tolerance policies for racist and sexist and homophobic behavior because it's utterly unreasonable to think that minorities, women, or queers can make common cause on equal ground with people who just don't think you're as human as they are. But it's not my site, and I play by the same rules everybody plays by here, so this is my suggestion.
Whenever someone invokes the "You're Racist If You Criticize Obama" meme, call it out as a racist strategy. Don't be shy: just call it racist, because it is. Feel free to refer them to this diary. Then, when the inevitable stream of self-justification and accusation issues forth... ignore it. If you feel you must read those comments, HR them when they violate DK rules, but otherwise, don't spend one second of your incredibly valuable time and energy on them. These people should not take any of our energy away from our own discussions with each other and with our allies. And it also makes it quite clear what they're about when they're forced to talk only among themselves. Then take all the extra time and energy that you have saved by refusing to engage with their Insane Troll Logic, and use it to do something good in the world.
Peace, love & hugs,
UPDATE: There is some confusion about the video link. A copy of the one that I saw is here, on youtube:
I would swear, when I clicked the link in the diary I mentioned, that I was brought to that youtube page. But that was apparently my mistake, so for the purposes of this argument, I'll simply withdraw the claim that the video was posted on this diary and apologize to the diarist, msbluecow, who was an unwitting victim of my error. It doesn't diminish the racist trope of the video, but I cannot argue that the same characters are involved in making it, as are involved in promoting the meme on DK. I did not switch the race of the characters in this video, as you can see.
Fortunately, that was a 1-paragraph point in a very long diary with a lot of other supporting evidence. Feel free to check the other links. I apologize for my apparent error -- and I withdraw my charge that links were changed. I was stunned and blurted it out in haste, and that was simply the wrong thing to do.
My argument stands, however. The meme is racist, and it should be quashed.
UPDATE #2: Once again, the raced theme of the diary seems to have attracted hordes of people like a magnet. I've been reading comments all day, and I need to walk the dog and call it a night. The comment thread is so large and knotty that I just can't keep up with it anymore. Whatever time it is in your part of the world, I wish you a good day and a pleasant evening. And to those out there battling the racist meme -- don't drive yourself into the ground. Make sure and save some energy for enjoyable and renewing activities. :)
UPDATE #3: Rainbow Girl did indeed turn out to be a fraud -- a previously banned user (a white woman) who fabricated her minority identity to make political hay.