"Likewise, Calling President Obama A 'Spineless, Lying Weasel' Could Engender Memories Of The Days When African-Americans Were Whipped For Lying. And Had Nothing To Eat But Weasels."

How to criticize Obama without being a racist:  a four step guide from the Daily Kos, which is undergoing a series of "purges" due to accusations of racism against members who, three years later, are having second thoughts about Barack Obama.

Short answer: There are ways to criticize Obama without being a racist (as opposed to being called a racist), and there are negative things that one can say about the man that, objectively, are not racist.  We're just not going to tell you what those are.

A sample:

Do keep in mind that positive references based on Obama's race are generally acceptable. We don't have to always talk about Obama in non-racial terms. After all, whenever we speak of the "historic" nature of his Presidency, it's usually an explicit reference to the fact that he is the first black President. Clearly there's nothing wrong with that.

But even that can get dicey, however, because you open the door to a negative race-based criticism. Some have argued that President Obama cannot confront the Republicans the way many of us would like because he can't afford to fall into the "angry black man" trap. Well, OK, but does that mean that those of us who want a "fighter" for our side as President should never consider voting for a black man?

What happens when dissent arises in the midst of a community that, in large part, defines itself by ad hominem attacks on those who disagree with its political views as racist, fascist, and the like?  A community of which a sizeable number are actively hostile to free speech as an ideal?

The results aren't pretty, but they're amusing.

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White

Comments

  1. says

    Back in the 60s, when I was at university, the totalitarian nature of the left and its discourse really bothered me. I found that my anger was useless in the face of their absolute certainty that they were right and anyone who disagreed was morally corrupt and politically to the right of Hitler.

    Then I learned to laugh at it. This was good. Laughing at the morons may introduce its own moral quandary, but it was not only very effective in deflating egos, but also felt quite nice.

  2. PLW says

    Let's give credit where credit's due. Ken has some awesome posts, but Patrick's the genius behind this one.

  3. Richard Hershberger says

    Laughing at DailyKos is easy. It frequently is a clown show. But keep in mind that it is at the far edge of anything that can plausibly be considered mainstream in what passes for the American Left nowadays. Compare this with the clown show that is the Tea Party. Any Republican running for high office has to frantically pretend to be as clownish as they are. A Democrat running for high office may toss a bone in the general direction of the Kos crowd, but they don't rate anything like the level of pandering as do the Tea Party.

  4. mojo says

    "The statement "The President has no balls" is OBVIOUSLY sexist, assuming as it does that those without testicles cannot do a good job."

    Honestly. You couldn't make this stuff up.

  5. Davey says

    I like "asshole". It's equal-opportunity and non-denominational. I settled on that after reading "The No Asshole Rule" by Robert I. Sutton. Based on Sutton's criteria, our President shows signs of being a certified asshole.

  6. Patrick says

    According to linguist George Clinton (c.f. "Theme From the Black Hole"), asshole has racial connotations.

  7. tomd says

    "What happens when dissent arises in the midst of a community that, in large part, defines itself by ad hominem attacks on those who disagree with its political views as racist, fascist, and the like?"

    So they ran an article about how to criticize Obama with out being racist/being accused of racism. OK. Maybe I should read it, but it sounds like a pretty hopeless endeavor.

    (I should note that my guess is that I'm probably as much a leftie as a typical Kos participant, I don't spend any time there – choir preaching isn't very interesting.)

    But here's a parallel: When your political opponents really do widely and endemically use racism to further their political ends, (and some of them probably personally ARE racists), how to you critique their racist methods without being accused of engaging in ad hominem attacks?

    Similarly, when your political opponents really do use slivers of fascism in their politics, how do you point that out without being accused of calling everyone a Nazi?

  8. Patrick says

    when your political opponents really do use slivers of fascism in their politics

    This idea needs elaboration. Could you kindly explain what you mean by a "sliver" of fascism?