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What The Clintons Did For Feminism

[Note: I've bumped this post from yesterday to the top, because it has some new content today, and is getting a lot of commentary]

Could Obama do for race relations? It is a situation, with a history, steeped in irony.

Younger people might not be aware, but there was a time, back in the early nineties, when feminist principles like opposition to sexual harassment in the workplace (including consensual sexual relations between people of widely disparate power relations) were viewed with widespread societal approval, and even made subject to civil law suits. It was considered intolerable by many to have any physical contact in the work place whatsoever. Beyond that, women who accused men of sexual impropriety were to be protected and provided with credibility, not derided and slandered in an attempt to reduce their credibility. Whether one agrees with it or not, this was the cultural norm, and became established law.

Then came Bill and Hillary Clinton, ostensible supporters of all of this. became inconvenient for them. Oh, they continue to pay it lip service, but when Gennifer Flowers accused Bill of having a twelve-year affair with him, and had audio tape to prove it, she was attacked as a liar and a slut, by the Clintons' henchmen (and henchwomen), masterminded by Hillary. When Paula Jones, a lowly state employee, came forth with a story of being escorted by a state policeman to Governor Clinton's hotel suite, whereupon he demanded that she fellate him, she was called "trailer trash," and her lawsuit (perfectly legitimate) was fought on the basis that she had no right to bring a kingpresident to trial. When Kathleen Willey complained that she had been groped in the Oval Office when she came to ask the president for a job after her husband had committed suicide, she was essentially called a liar by the president's lawyer. Her tires were slashed, her children were threatened, and her family cat was found dead. When Monica Lewinski's activities were exposed, there was a back-channel whispering campaign by people like Sid Blumenthal that she was a "stalker," and mentally unstable, and not to be believed. This campaign would no doubt have continued ad infinitum had she not taken Linda Tripp's sage advice and hung on to the blue-stained dress, which ultimately revealed who was really the liar in the affair.

In each and every case, in order to quell (in the campaign and White House's own words) a "bimbo eruption," the "bimbos" were considered fair game.

This is hypocritical and appalling enough in its own right, but what is much worse, at least for the people who originally developed and defended those feminist ideals that were trampled by the Clintons, was the degree to which, like Hillary, they were cynically willing to completely abandon them in order to defend not only the first "black president," but the first "feminist" one. Gloria Steinem, yes the Gloria Steinem, wrote a famous piece in the New York Times in which she in essence said that the president was entitled to one free grope. Because it was the Clintons, the "sluts and nuts" defense became acceptable to the formerly easily oh-so-outraged gender warriors.

This sordid tale of hypocrisy, and destruction of feminist idealism by this cynical devotion to the Clintons was described extensively by libertarian feminist Cathy Young almost ten years ago.

Well, the Clintons have aged, and grown tiresome, and the media and the movement have "moved on" (so to speak), tossed the Clintons out like yesterday's news, and found a new paramour--a young, fresh face, in the form of an attractive (to many) articulate person of color, even if the hue is less than full due to the taint of his white ancestry. They don't need a faux black president, as Bill was--they can get a real one this time. Almost, anyway.

The parallels with the Clintons are in fact quite striking, in terms of the media love affair, the willingness to run interference for potential scandals, and now, in their willingness to toss overboard more supposed "liberal" shibboleths, in the interest of keeping his candidacy alive, just as they were willing to destroy feminism in order to save it, to keep a pro-abortion president in office (even though he would have been replaced with another pro-abortion president in the person of Al Gore had he been removed).

This time, it's race, as Victor Davis Hanson explains:

...Wright's speech on black-right brainers, white-left brainers -- replete with bogus stereotypes and crude voice imitations -- was about as racist as they come and at one time antithetical to what the NAACP was once all about. Again, the Obama campaign and its appendages have set back racial relations a generation. Just ten years ago, any candidate, black or white, would have rejected Wright making a speech about genetic differences in respective black and white brains. Now it's given to civil rights organizations by the possible next President's pastor and spiritual advisor -- and done to wild applause for an organization founded on the idea that we are innately the same, while being gushed over by ignorant "commentators."

As I said before, between Wright's racism and hatred, and Obama's contextualization of what he has said, we have so lowered the bar that the next racist (and he won't necessarily be black) who evokes hatred of other races and then offers a mish-mash pop theory of genetic differences will have plenty of "context" to ward off public fury.

And the amazing thing (or it would be if it hadn't become so depressingly familiar) is that the press doesn't merely acquiesce to such destruction of heretofore liberal ideals--it actively cheers it, through empty-headed mouthpieces like Soledad O'Brien. Because their hero, Barack Obama, will not separate himself from his former pastor, they choose not the solution of abandoning their hero. No, instead, they are compelled to make a new hero of, and treat like a rock star, a bigoted, paranoid scientific ignoramus. And in so doing, to turn their backs on, and leave in shreds, what they once thought were racially enlightened ideals.

But I would reassure Professor Hanson on one point. If the next ignoramus to come down the chute turns out to be a white man, opposing racism will become fashionable once again, with all the continuing attendant hypocrisy.

[Update in the evening]

In response to some questions in comments, here's an interesting quote from Reverend Wright, sure to put some soothing salve on the wounds of the nation's racial divide:

"Louis said 20 years ago that Zionism, not Judaism, was a gutter religion. He was talking about the same thing United Nations resolutions say, the same thing now that President Carter's being vilified for and Bishop Tutu's being vilified for. And everybody wants to paint me as if I'm anti-Semitic because of what Louis Farrakhan said 20 years ago. He is one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century; that's what I think about him. . . . Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains, he did not put me in slavery, and he didn't make me this color."

Let's leave aside for the moment the ludicrous hyperbole that Reverend Wright was ever put in chains, and ever put in slavery. Of course, no one living today put Reverend Wright, or any member of his flock, in chains or slavery. The closest slave to Reverend Wright would probably be his grandfather, if not his great-grandfather. And that person was at least two generations, and probably more, from being put into chains and being sold into that state.

But here's the most ironic part. Louis is a Muslim, or so he claims. Anyone familiar with the history of the slave trade knows the religion of the people who sold blacks into slavery to be sent to the New World. Hint: it was not Christian. For the most part, the slaves were sold in Africa to the British slavers by (Islamic) Arabs, who remain one of the most racist peoples on earth to this day.

Yet Reverend Wright defends the hateful (and racist--and he did call Judaism a "gutter religion," regardless of false denials that it was "only" about "Zionism") Farrakhan by attacking white people living today, who have put no one in chains, and sold no one into slavery. I wonder what he has to say about the real slavery, that continues today, in Sudan and other places (predominantly Islamic and Arabic)?

Be sure to read the Wright/Obama-defending insanity in the comments at Milbanks' post as well.

[Tuesday morning update]

Joe Katzman, on the mendacity and fascist nature of the Obama campaign and cult.

Errrr...but Joe? Just for the record, "belief" actually is a noun, not a verb.

One other thought. If Jeremiah Wright really does represent "the black church" and his beliefs mirror those of the black community, America is in trouble, and black America is in very deep trouble.

Fortunately, I think (and certainly fervently hope) that there are many black Americans who are as repulsed by Wright's racist beliefs and words as the rest of us are, and recognize what a disaster they have been for their community. But we (and even more, they) need a lot more Bill Cosbys, and many fewer Reverend Wrights.

[Update a couple minutes later]

From a comment at Joe's post, a good point. Obama has a much bigger problem than his pastor. He could have the mother of all Sister Souljah moments with Jeremiah Wright, and perhaps turn this around. But he can't disown his wife.

[8:30 AM update]

I didn't listen to Wright's whole speech, but Lileks did, so we don't have to:

Turns out that was just the warm-up act. I heard the entire Rev. Wright speech today, so I'm not talking anything out of context - unless there was some peculiar non-verbal aspect, like an aura or a thick cloud overhead that formed instructive and helpful shapes, the endorsement of Farrakhan, the attacks on "Zionism" in the context of UN resolutions, and the explanations of the effect on racially-distinctive brain structure on marching-band styles was pretty hard to misconstrue.

The most amusing response, aside from the sort of obdurate denial you might find in someone who just created a fantastic beach sculpture and sees a tsunami on the horizon, is the Conspiracy Theory. Who? Jews! Of course! On the radio today I heard someone who managed to combine the far trailing tips of leftist and right-wing nuttery, and tie them into a neat bow. The JEWS were doing this to shake Obama loose from Rev. Wright; the JEWS were the ones who had devised this non-issue and pushed it to the front through their tentacular media control. Apparently a team of crack Jewish Ninja Hypnotists got Rev. Wright to make these recent appearances, too.

Sorry, but there is no "context" that can change my opinion of the nuttiness, paranoia, and mindless anger of the excerpts that I've read and heard. I'm long on record of thinking that Obama can't win in November, and this only reinforces that view. Even if he Sister Souljahed Wright now, it's too late. It raises too many questions. How could he have associated with this man for twenty years, knowing what he believes, and preaches? Alternately, how could he have done so, and not known? He is either sympathetic to these views, or he's clueless. Either way, he'll be too thoroughly unacceptable to too many Americans at this point to be in any way electable.

I just hope that the Dems don't figure it out. Fortunately, based on a lot of the commentary from Obama defenders, both here and other places, they may remain in denial, right up until the convention and beyond. And if they do figure it out, they'll lose the black and youth vote. They are royally screwed, and it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of identity-politics mongers.


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Oh boy, Wright's rhetoric on racial brain differences could resurrect the flap over "The Bell Curve."

whiteyfresh wrote:

Oh, so cause this guy from the National Review says Wright messed up, we're supposed to believe him? You all realize, don't you, that the National Review is one of the most slanderous, right wing, opinion based(as opposed to fact based), trashy rags out there, don't you?

Michelle Malkin has YouTube video of Wright's speech on racial brain differences.

Note that Wright didn't originate this brain theory - he cites several sources during the speech. Gonna have to Google those names...

dennis wrote:


I've read NR and NRO for years. They're about as far from trashy or slanderous as any opinion magazine or website that exists. In this case, for example, they did the horrible, horrible thing of posting the full content of a number of Wright's sermons....

Hanson is exactly correct about Wright. If any non-Black person said what Wright did, they would have immediately (and rightfully) been branded as racists.

mongrel19 wrote:


You're joking, right?

So you think Pastor Wright is spot-on with is analysis of left/right brain differences, racial variance in regards to clapping, not to mention all that which has come to light regarding his opinion about AIDS, etc.?

Attacking the messenger is not the same as having a conversation about the message. Do you think Mr. Hansen's analysis is off?

Kathy Rages wrote:

" ... there was a time, back in the early nineties, that feminist principles like opposition to sexual harassment in the workplace ... were viewed with opprobrium, and even made subject to civil law suits."

I don't think this sentence means what you intended it to mean.

Rand Simberg wrote:

You're right, Kathy. I had two different thoughts going on there. Fixed now, thanks.

Ilya wrote:

mongrel19 wrote:

You're joking, right?

So you think Pastor Wright is spot-on with is analysis of left/right brain differences, racial variance in regards to clapping, not to mention all that which has come to light regarding his opinion about AIDS, etc.?

Attacking the messenger is not the same as having a conversation about the message. Do you think Mr. Hansen's analysis is off?

Whiteyfish seems to imply that Wright said none of these things, and that National Review and Hanson made them up.

Ilya wrote:

Of course, in whiteyfish social circles, it is not even necessary to accuse National Review of lying. Anything NR, "one of the most slanderous, right wing, opinion based (as opposed to fact based), trashy rags out there" says can be simply ignored without the bothersome tasks of checking whether it is true.

Robert wrote:

I listened to the whole NAACP speech. Rev. Wright was talking about culture, not genetics.

Mr. Hansen and Ms. Malkin are wrong when when they say otherwise.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Anything NR, "one of the most slanderous, right wing, opinion based (as opposed to fact based), trashy rags out there" says can be simply ignored without the bothersome tasks of checking whether it is true.

Yes, even when the cited columnist happens to be a Democrat, bemoaning the self-beclowning of his own (or at least his former) party.

Rand Simberg wrote:

I listened to the whole NAACP speech. Rev. Wright was talking about culture, not genetics.

Assuming, just for the sake of the argument, that this is true. So what? It doesn't get a white man off the hook when he says similar things. You can guarantee that these people would be accusing him of racism. Just as "Zionism is racism."

pst314 wrote:

How long until we hear Rev. Wright claiming authority based on blood-and-soil arguments?

Robert wrote:

Rand, It is indeed true: I did listen to the whole speech. :-)

Seriously, we needn't assume for the sake of the argument that Rev Wright was talking about culture and not genetics - listen to his speech and decide for yourself.

But to the heart of your comment: It doesn't get a white man off the hook when he says similar things.

I think you're basically correct. Some white people could pull it off - A "white" man who grew up in steeped in black culture would have an easier time of it - but most white people wouldn't be off the hook.

That's not so terrible, and it doesn't mean Wright is a racist. I'm Jewish - and I can often say things about Jewish people that aren't offensive - because people know I'm Jewish - but wouldn't be ok if someone else said it. I can say things about Americans - because I'm American - that I would find annoying if said by a foreigner. In both cases, the non-Jew or non-American might not be bigots, but they might more susceptible to being perceived as such.

Furthermore, these categories aren't clear-cut. Is being "Jewish" a cultural identity, a religious identity, a genetic group identity, or something else? It usually depends on the context. Being "black" is the same way, although racists will tell you otherwise.

Rand, you recently made me chuckle when you said something about how you were going to answer a question with a question, in homage to your Jewish ancestor(s). It doesn't matter to me whether you are Jewish or not - that tip of the hat to your own background took, for me, any and all sting out of that little bit of cultural stereotyping that might have been there had someone without a Jewish background said it. But then again, if someone familiar with Jewish culture had said it, I wouldn't have cared either. When a person makes comments that involve cultural/ethnic/racial stereotyping, they are stepping out on thin ice, and they are trusting that the listener will understand the intent. One way to signal non-malicious intent which is often (but not always) reliable is to show that any criticism would be self-criticism, and any stereotyping would be self-stereotyping.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Seriously, we needn't assume for the sake of the argument that Rev Wright was talking about culture and not genetics - listen to his speech and decide for yourself.

Actually, it doesn't really matter. One could completely throw that statement about left and right brains down the memory hole. Reverend Wright would still have provided an overabundance of material with which to make Professor Hanson's point, and will no doubt continue to in the future.

Jonathan wrote:

I posted some thoughts re the Clintons here.

Anonymous wrote:

Twenty-five years ago, NBC was trashed for even daring to bring up the question in a documentary on whether or not there were genetic differences between white and black athletes. The reason was that the PC police feared that if you said yes, there are differences in athlete's bodies due to race, that you could then justify saying there were also mental differences between the races, which would play into the hands of white supremacists.

Wright's comments, and the reception they received at the NAACP event, opens the door to that exact problem, though I'm sure the same people clapping wildly over this are the same ones who believe only whites can be racists. In their mind, the loopy ideas touting black superiority that sprung out of the Black Nationalist movement of the 1960s are perfectly OK, but anyone using the same genetic basis to start questioning IQ score differences is still a racist. You can't have it both ways in the general population, but at this point, I don't think Wright really cares if everyone else thinks he's a hypocrite.

Robert wrote:

Rand: Be data-driven. I can't find any Wright material which makes Hansen's point. Can you?

Anonymous: You are wrong. Wright was not referring to genetic differences.

Rand Simberg wrote:

I can't find any Wright material which makes Hansen's point. Can you?

Hanson's point is that Wright is setting back race relations in this country. Do you really think that there's no evidence that this is the case? Really?

Robert wrote:

Focusing on the speech in question: I thought it was quite good, and did no harm to race relations.

Reviewers of his speech such as Hansen and Malkin who didn't understand what Wright was saying might actually be harming race relations a bit.

Wright's left brain/right brain reference was unfortunate because people misunderstood Wright to be referring to genetic differences, but research on lateral differences in brain function is always getting misapplied in the way Wright did it. For those who haven't heard the speech, Wright did nothing more heinous than someone who says "Oh, show me a graph instead of the numerical values because 'I'm a right brain person'". Inaccurate in terms of cognitive science, but harmless in a non-technical conversation.

The overall message of Wright's speech, by the way, was that we are all the same (the NAACP's message) in the sense that we all have idiosyncratic differences but these differences don't make us better or worse than one another. For example, Wright pointed out that JFK (and people from Boston in general) have non-standard pronunciation of some English words, but JFK's pronunciation wasn't bad, just different. The message was remarkably non-controversial considering all the fuss the speech is receiving.

Rand Simberg wrote:

I thought it was quite good, and did no harm to race relations.

With all due respect, it doesn't matter what "Robert" thinks, any more than it matters that so many worshiped and praised Obama's "speech about race relations," in which he called his grandmother a racist in an attempt to deflect attention from what his long-time minister and mentor had been saying. What "Robert" thinks about it is not going to change in any way Victor Davis Hanson's reaction to it, whether reasoned or visceral.

And he is only one person. What really matters is the net effect on the country and how it thinks about race. Many people have now been exposed to many ugly things that Reverend Wright has been saying for years, the ugly ways in which he says them, and they are being told that his "black theology" thoughts are mainstream within the black community. If you think that's good for race relations, you're nuts.

Robert wrote:

Hey, Rand, that's the second time you've put my pseudonym in scare quotes. I interpret it as criticism. What is your policy? You've complained on your blog about people who leave the name field blank (and thus end up as "anonymous"), but are you complaining about people who use psudonyms too? You don't think there is really a guy from Scandinavia who is actually named "Habitat Hermit", but you value his contributions, right?

Robert wrote:

Anyway, Wright has said ugly things about the USA (for example, that it may have deliberately developed the HIV virus) but I'm no longer sure that he has said anything racist. I can find quotes from him that discuss race but they quotes don't denigrate anyone because of their race.

Can anyone find a racist quote from Rev. Wright?

Rand Simberg wrote:

I interpret it as criticism.

You falsely interpret it. But when someone doesn't use a last name, I don't necessarily assume that the first name is real, so I quote it. I have no objections to pseudonymous posts, per se, unless the pseudonym chosen is a "clever" (i.e., generally idiotic) way of making a point.

My criticism of people who don't leave names is restricted to people who drive by and take pot shots at me, but are too cowardly to leave their names. I have no problem with any of your posts, or your unwillingness to use your last name, if Robert is indeed your first name. Which is not to say that I agree with them, and don't occasionally find them unintentionally amusing.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Can anyone find a racist quote from Rev. Wright?

I have no time to dredge through all the muck from Reverend Wright, but does "garlic-nosed Italians" count?

Deb K wrote:

Robert, you seem to be completely missing the point. Wright says that BLACK children and WHITE children learn differently -- one racial group is left-brained, one is right-brained. No matter how he wanted it perceived in his talk, this is a GENETIC statement. Culture does not determine either a persons race NOR his or her brain-dominance-- genetics does. And where does this leave mixed-race children? Are they middle-brained? I don't care who did this analysis, it makes no sense. And the context he puts it in is as an excuse for why Blacks aren't doing so well in school. How did the "European dominated" education hurt him? Obviously not much since he is highly educated -- same for Obama, his wife, or thousands of other successful, well-educated Blacks in this country. This is the classic bigotry of low expectations --- sadly being espoused by a Black man! He did the same thing by suggesting that a Boston accent is the same as using Black slang! He is the master of comparing apples and oranges and gets away with it over and over again.

And a racist quote from Rev. Wright? Give me a break, there are tons of them -- how about his comments about "The Italians for the most part looked down their garlic noses at the Galileans.", or his comment about "white man's greed" ruining the world etc. When you make huge negative generalizations about a specific race you are being racist. He also makes the wink-wink comment about how Blacks get quiet when Israel is mentioned. If you don't understand what that means you're burying your head in the sand. Today at the Nat'l Pres Club he defended Farrakhan as only being against Zionism when he has said these sorts of things:
“Do you know some of these satanic Jews have taken over BET?… Everything that we built, they have. " Please sir. Stop being an apologist for this guy. Why are people so afraid of calling a person who is Black a racist? What more does the guy have to say?

davod wrote:

Setting back race relations started with Obama's much acclaimed Philadelphia speech. In his attempt to explain away Wright's extreme statements, Obama threw all Black churches under the bus with his White grandmother.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Sorry for this off-topic post, it's all about my identity etc. so well... keeping it short.

Robert, jeg forstaar skepsisen din saa jeg skal proeve aa gi en veldig kort forklarelse: navnet mitt er unikt. Hadde jeg hett Jens Olsen eller noe saant saa hadde jeg nok ikke brydd meg men siden jeg ikke gjoer det...

Have fun with that, it's like a decryption challenge ^_^ (used aa and oe as replacement characters since the preview showed garbled text, no ae's in the text).

And I wouldn't presume too much about how my comments are perceived, I do try to not be too annoying (to everyone, and not just here) but I'm sure I fail at times (like right now ^_^;).

Harry Bergeron wrote:

I remind you that Prof. Shockley got run out of Berkeley 30 years ago for suggesting that a difference between black and white brains be researched.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Don't worry, HH, your amusement/annoyance ratio is quite high. :-)

Denny, Alaska wrote:

I'm sorry: Sen. Obama (D-Buyer's Remorse) is still in the race?

Who knew?

Fat Man wrote:

If Bill had the decency to resign in January of 1999 (just after the Senate Impeachment trial had begun), Al Gore would be concluding his tenth year as POTUS.

And Dems wondered why we trashed Clinton. Now they know.

Robert wrote:

Habitat Hermit: That was a fun challenge, but I may need a further hint. Do all instances of "aa" get replaced by an "a" with a little circle above it, and all instances of "oe" get repalced with an "o" with a slash through it? Oh, and is this Nynorsk or Bokmaal or Samnorsk? (That's my attempt at a translation of Monty Python's joke about the airspeed of an unladen swallow. "Is that an African or European swallow?")

So far, the online translation program only gives me this: "Robert , I see doubt din saw I do be about attempt to afford a awfully abrupt name mine am unique. Owned I hett Jens Olsen or any such saw owned I enough no matter awkward my but afterwards I no matter gjoer facts."

To which I can only say:

JEG alltid glede seg over hva du si inne Engelske!

Tood wrote:

The thing is, Wright is far more white ancestry than black. He is no more than 30-40% black.

Foreigners look at amazement at an America where black leaders can become millionaires by pretending to be oppressed victims, even while they live in mansions and trvel by private jet. That someone who is more white than black can do the same is even more astounding. The world asks - are white Americans truly this gullible?

tom swift wrote:

"and he didn't make me this color."

Whatever happened to "black is beautiful"?

Anonymous wrote:

Wi n0t trei a h0liday in Sweden thi yer?

Mike G in Corvallis wrote:

See the løveli lakes
The wonderful telephøne system
And mani interesting furry animals
Including the majestic møøse

A Møøse once bit my sister ...

(I hope this doesn't count as hijacking the thread. Rand, you can put quotes around my name if you want ...)

H. Bergeron's point is an excellent one. Shockley became the poster boy for the thesis that Reactionary White Scientists Are Evil, for suggesting that there might be genetic differences in mental abilities between races, and that it could be a legitimate topic of research to see whether there was any evidence for this. But now it's all right for Wright to make the same claim, but as Scientific Truth ...

Mike G in Corvallis wrote:

A bit off topic, but ... We know what Wright thinks of the "9/11 Truth" movement -- In Lileks' immprtal words, he's not only drunk the Kool-Aid, he's ordered up another gallon as a high colonic. But has anyone ever asked Obama what he thinks of the Troofers? Either a positive or a negative response could alienate half of his base ...

OldMan wrote:

I'm beginning to see in the Obama candidacy a repeat of the O.J. Simpson affair.

We "typical white persons" see an open and shut case of actions that would not be acceptable in majority the "white" community being embraced in the African American community. We see these actions supported by the progressive intelligentsia because the "typical white person" cannot understand what it is like being African American. In the OJ Simpson case, it was ignoring the evidence against an obvious murderer - the social narrative was more important; in this case, it is ignoring Obama's remaining as part of an obviously toxic church - the political narrative is more important. Twenty years is a long time to remain ignorant.

Given what we have seen of any opposition to or criticism of Obama being couched as racism, and given the vitriol of the Obamaites towards anyone who doesn't agree with them, I see an Obama victory will end up as divisive as the OJ Simpson acquittal. As with OJ, it will not do anything to improve race relations and four years of hearing this type of Ad Hominem attack against any criticism will regress race relations.

I must emphasize the term "majority". There will be a portion the white community who have views that are a distorted fun house mirror image of Reverend Wright's. They are not the majority of the population nor are they given full voice and approval by what ever is the "white" community equivalent of the NAACP. I don't want a counter example of some fringe group as a reason to accept Obama's behavior. I do not accept Falwell; I do not accept Farrikan. I do not accept it in anyone regardless of race, color, or creed.

Fletcher Christian wrote:


"are white Americans truly this gullible?"

Well, just maybe they are Some of them anyway. After all, this is the country where "evangelists" can say with a straight face on TV that they desperately need Americans' money to "spread the gospel" - while riding around in top-end Mercedes and wearing $2000 suits - and get it.

Some of the people who actually fall for this are America's poorest. TV "evangelists" resemble real Christians about as much as does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Jimmy Page wrote:

Back in the 6th grade (1971) my class had an absurd discussion about why black people didn't seem to like to swim. "Did you ever notice how they never go swimming in the ocean?",they said. Several ignorant classmates of mine swore it was because their bodies were different and they tended to sink!
Wright's theories about learning differences seem about as idiotic as that debate back in 6th grade.

Theo wrote:

This man is a damn racist.
Black people think with the right half of the brain. White people think with the left side of the brain.
Of course it is racist and genetic. If you are a black you think different than a white BECAUSE OF YOUR RACE.
From this to Nazism, there is a short step.
I call bull-shit on any idea that all whites, or all blacks or all whatever are the same. Much more so when coming down to genetic characteristics, like which side of the brain a person uses more...according to their color.

Racist trash. One step away from Hitler.

jwaugh wrote:

"Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains, he did not put me in slavery, and he didn't make me this color."

Does this imply the person who made him black is his enemy?

Gunga wrote:

Barakians remind me ever so much of Ronulans.

I listened to the whole NAACP speech. Rev. Wright was talking about culture, not genetics.

So did I. I was always under the impression that the right-brained vs. left-brained phenomenon had to do with physiology.

"Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains, he did not put me in slavery, and he didn't make me this color."

I never enchained, enslaved, or emblackened Jeremiah Wright either. Does that make me his friend?

Jim Harris wrote:

But we (and even more, they) need a lot more Bill Cosbys, and many fewer Reverend Wrights.

For once I agree with you. While Jeremiah Wright is deliberately embarrassing Barack Obama --- a "crazy uncle" at his worst --- the Cosbys have donated thousands of dollars to Obama's presidential campaign, as well as to Charles Rangel, Barbara Lee, Denise Majette, Jesse Jackson Jr, and once to Hillary Clinton. Wright donated to an Obama campaign only once, and not when he was running for president. So yes, America needs more Bill Cosbys and fewer Reverend Wrights. Bob Herbert made exactly the same point in his column today.

Rand Simberg wrote:

In other words, Jim, you agree with me, but for a stupid reason. You think that we need more Bill Cosbys because he contributes to Obama, whereas I think that we need more despite that.

Jim Harris wrote:

It's very simple, Rand. Bill Cosby has good judgment and Jeremiah Wright doesn't. Actually, since you said that you wanted to see chaos in the Democratic camp, you should be happy with Wright. He's probably won himself hours of loving airtime on Fox News.

Mac wrote:

jwaugh wrote...
"Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains, he did not put me in slavery, and he didn't make me this color."

Does this imply the person who made him black is his enemy?

Not only does he imply that, he implies that there's something wrong with being dark skinned. "He didn't make me this color." implies there's something wrong with being that color. Granted, he's talking about the hardships blacks have faced, but still.

Now, to read someone with a real vision on what's going on, AND black...

Sorry, I love this guy, I really do.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Bill Cosby has good judgment

Apparently not when it comes to political donations, if what you write is true.

Actually, since you said that you wanted to see chaos in the Democratic camp, you should be happy with Wright.

I'm not happy about the fact that he's probably set race relations back years for this country. But then, you probably wouldn't understand anything about putting concerns for the country ahead of partisan advantage.

In any event, the Democrats are certainly getting what they deserve, and have deserved for decades of nurturing and encouraging this kind of toxic identity politics.

Mac wrote:

Cosby is the kind of Democrat I actually like. He's not pushy. He supports who he supports and has his opinions, just like everyone else. The major difference is that he doesn't seem to talk down at anyone. He uses a lifetime of experience to bring across his points. I've always believed that we need the left side because the debate over issues is important. However, except for a few like Cosby, no one on the left debates anymore because the ideas they have aren't new and they don't care. Its not about ideas for them, its about power, and that's a shame.

Robert wrote:

I'm looking forward to posting at least one more comment on this thread, in at least partial defense of Wright, from a non-racist perspective. Work has to come first. My colleague says if I don't stop posting in 60 seconds, he'll kill me.

For now, I just want to post the links to the transcripts of two of Wright's very recent speeches for anyone who does want to take a look:
This was the speech to the NAACP in Detroit, in which he discussed left brain/right brain learning styles. I want to argue that while Wright might be wrong on the research, he was not talking about neurology or genetics but about a learned cultural phenomenon.You can just search for "brain" and decide for yourself (I acknowledge the case isn't open and shut, but I think he was careful to talk about "learning styles" while citing a reference to an education and linguistics professor - this made me think he was talking about cultural and thus learned behavior. It doesn't mean he is right, just that he is talking about culture and not genetics.) You can also see his larger rhetorical structure - he was looking for differences to make a rather benign philosophical point. The truth matters, but this guy isn't even in the soft sciences.
As the link indicates, this is the national press club speech. It was the question and answer section at the end where he talked about Farrakhan, etc, and thus completely lost me.

I do look forward to commenting again today (and thanks for the comments about the noses.)

Rand Simberg wrote:

I'm looking forward to posting at least one more comment on this thread, in at least partial defense of Wright, from a non-racist perspective.

Why? Why is it so important to you to defend Wright on this one charge, when there are so many others? Do you imagine that anyone's mind will be changed?

Leland wrote:

I saw much of the National Press Club discussion, particularly the question in answer. Yesterday, Wright removed any reasonable doubt I had that he was a racist.

Leland wrote:

Apparently, Obama agrees with me:

"His comments were not only divisive ... but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate,"

joel wrote:

This is just music to the ears of Republicans. The Democratic party, shredded along race and gender lines, might just rediscover the virtues of individuality.

BTW, anybody who lived through the OJ trial and its aftermath is not surprised at all by the attitude of blacks in this country. Remember the nationwide celebrations at OJ's acquittal? There is not even any shame now, now that everyone more or less agrees he butchered two people.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Robert since the Norwegian stuff is so completely off-topic (probably pining for the fjords! ^_^) I'll paste that over here (including translations).

I really like the idea of a black US president, it's extremely shallow but I've got to be honest about it and if that's as far as their attention goes then I can understand why so many support Obama, and particularly young people.

However "like" is no way to choose a person for such an important job. By now I wish Obama wouldn't even have gotten close to being nominated. He's got disastrous policies that (when they differ) are worse than Clinton's and even worse than Kerry's nightmarish ideas about North Korea four years ago (ideas that have somehow at least partially slipped in under the Bush administration, while they're obviously not publicly available I hope there are some truly sensible reasons for that).

All that aside I've got to hope this Wright mess will become the final straw for a great majority of black Americans and that if they weren't already they'll get fed up with this kind of "leaders".

Thomas Sowell/Walter Williams 2008!

(That would certainly be preferable to a McCain candidacy.)

Leland wrote:

Thomas Sowell/Walter Williams 2008!

I'd vote for that team, though I rather have Walter Williams at the top of the ticket. Considering McCain's weakness on the economy, he would do good to pick either as a running mate.

tehag wrote:

"Note that Wright didn't originate this brain theory - he cites several sources during the speech."

The NY Times ran an approving story about Hall?, in 1983 or 1984, I think. It was the first time I'd ever heard a theory on how black brains (which learned by rhyme) were different from white brains (which learned by rote) from a source that wasn't a racist. Oh, wait. No, publishing this trash made the NYT a racist newspaper.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on April 29, 2008 5:23 AM.

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