Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Why I Am Not A Democrat (Part 2)
Once again, Mr. Gilliard "represents" wonderful, reasoned, intellectual discourse from the Left.
(WARNING: Be careful clicking on this if you are at work.)
File under category of: "Racist Imagery -- It's OK If You Are A Liberal"
Thanks to an African-American woman named Valerie who gave me the heads-up on this.
She writes: "I live in Maryland and I am an independent. I don’t support Michael Steele but this is appalling to me.
He wouldn’t do this to anyone else but a black candidate. He sure as hell wouldn’t do it to a candidate who is Jewish or Hispanic...And they wonder why younger blacks are leaving the Democratic Party."
UPDATE: Welcome, Michelle Malkin readers! Enjoy your stay around these parts!
UPDATE II (10/27/05, 1:15 a.m): To respond to some themes that came up in the comments:
1) Yes, I know that Steve Gilliard is black (this isn't the first time that we have sparred over racial language; this post has links to some of our previous exchanges). That doesn't change the fact that, in my view, he was happily trading in racist imagery as an attack against Michael Steele. Rather than try to even consider Steele on issues, it is far easier to mock and denounce his very existence as a black man who chooses to be Republican.
2) A few people raise the question as to whether it is truly "racist" for a black man to call another "Sambo." Well, if we want to "go there," as they say, then that means an entirely new discussion of whether certain words are only "OK" if they are uttered by a member of the ethnic/racial group that would be most likely offended if certain words were uttered. So, that would suggest that "Sambo" is now supposed to be in the same category as "nigger" or its hip-hop inspired variations ("OK" if uttered by a black person -- regardless of the circumstance; sometimes OK when used by a non-black person to another non-black; most usually inappropriate when uttered by a non-black to a black person, but assessed on a case-by-case basis). Hmm...if that is the case then, the black community had better get, uh, crackin' on figuring out how all those previously-insulting words can be adopted. Interestingly, of course, in this case of "Sambo," the word doesn't really have the dual or ambiguous sense that the "N-word" does.
3) I know full well that Jewish comics can get away with making jokes that might otherwise be considered anti-Semitic. Black folks can crack jokes -- often crudely -- about one another, without being considered racist. But those comments invariably come out in a setting where their ultimate benign nature is understood. There is nothing benign about Mr. Gilliard's image -- or view -- of Steele.
4) The title of this post should probably have been, “Why Am I (Still) Not a Democrat, Part 2.” Gilliard is not the reason why I became a Republican. However, his approach to political debate helps make it far easier to stay in the GOP, regardless of whatever doubts or concerns I might have. On the most basic level, seeing this brutal manner of engaging blacks who choose a different sort of politics than the traditional liberal Democrat way, just gets my stubborn streak going. The “Sambo” is from a bygone era where the white racist ruling culture had no problem depicting Negroes – who were said to “all look alike” – in demeaning perversely stereotypical caricature. How ironic that the image is now being wielded by a black man to punish in the public sphere another black man who seemingly “doesn’t know his place” and clearly just “doesn’t think alike.”
5) I mentioned Valerie's race and gender, because it was appropriate to the discussion. She had already identified herself as a Maryland resident -- and not a supporter of Michael Steele. Given the subject, I thought it important to be as comprehensive as possible in identifying the person who sent the e-mail. It is not meant to give either her or myself some extra "pass" to push a particular view. It was there to demonstrate that some of the very people Mr. Gilliard should most want to attract politically are turned off by this despicable over-the-top sort of rhetoric.
UPDATE III (10/27/05, 12:15 PM): The latest developments involving Steve, Tim Kaine and the RAGGED guy.