DIVISION AND CONQUEST: Red and blue together losing ground!


Interlude—Clinton among The Others: In this morning’s New York Times, Anne Lowrey keeps presenting gloomy new economic data.

Bill O’Reilly cited these same new data on his Fox program last night:
LOWREY (9/18/13): Despite the addition of more than two million jobs last year, soaring corporate profits and continuing economic growth, income for the typical American household did not rise in 2012 and poverty failed to fall, new data from the Census Bureau show.


Over a longer perspective, the figures reveal that the income of the median American household today, adjusted for inflation, is no higher than it was for the equivalent household in the late 1980s.

For all but the most highly educated and affluent Americans, incomes have stagnated, or worse, for more than a decade. The census report found that median household income, adjusted for inflation, was $51,017 in 2012, down about 9 percent from an inflation-adjusted peak of $56,080 in 1999, mostly as a result of the longest and most damaging recession since the Depression. Most people have had no gains since the economy hit bottom in 2009.
Later, Lowrey restated the general point she reported last week: “Since the recession ended in 2009, income gains have accrued almost entirely to the top earners, the Census Bureau found.”

Meanwhile, your Daily Howler keeps getting results! “The census report looks only at money income, not income measured after taxes are taken out or tax credits are added in,” she wrote, bringing additional clarity to her report.

We’ll simply repeat our same old point. The stagnation (or drop) in incomes affects red and blue voters alike. In recent decades, the bottom 99 percent has been struggling across the board.

Red and blue together! Conservative voters have struggled in Kansas. Liberal voters have struggled in blue states.

That said, we live in highly tribalized times. O’Reilly’s explanation of the drop in median income was different from the explanation one might have heard from a host on MSNBC, had a host on that channel been discussing these data.

In times as tribalized as these, it’s hard to reach across tribal lines to find points of common interest or common understanding. How might those with progressive views communicate to others in The Lower 99—to people who are perhaps being looted by the powerful influence of those in the top 0.1 percent?

You’re asking an excellent question! That said, we’re off today on a mission of national import. For that reason, we’ll simply review a bit of old material.

How might someone get a hearing from those with whom he might not share am obvious tribal tie? Let’s review something Bill Clinton said in his lengthy 2004 book, My Life.

For our money, the most interesting part of Clinton’s book starts with his trip to Haiti in 1975, which he describes as his honeymoon trip. Why did Clinton discuss that trip, during which he witnessed a voodoo ceremony? In this passage, he explains:
CLINTON (page 237): I describe my brief foray into the world of voodoo because I’ve always been fascinated by the way different cultures try to make sense of life, nature, and the virtually universal belief that there is a nonphysical spirit force at work in the world that existed before humanity and will be here when we all are gone. Haitians’ understanding of how God is manifested in our lives is very different from that of most Christians, Jews, or Muslims, but their documented experiences certainly prove the old adage that the Lord works in mysterious ways.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the way different cultures try to make sense of life,” Clinton wrote. As he continued this part of his book, we learn that this fascination extends to people in his own country, even those in his own state.

Clinton returned from his trip to Haiti to campaign for attorney general of Arkansas. “As I traveled the state, I had to contend with the rise of a new political force, the Moral Majority, founded by the Reverend Jerry Falwell,” he writes.

“In any part of the state, I might find myself shaking hands with someone who would ask if I was a Christian. When I said yes, I would be asked if I was a born-again Christian. When I said yes, there would be several more questions, apparently supplied by Falwell’s organization.”

Without meaning to criticize the voters Clinton describes, here we see the possible instinct toward the creation of tribal divisions. We’ll guess that we humans all share this instinct to greater or lesser degree.

Faced with questions designed to trip him up on religious grounds, Clinton puzzled about how to proceed. “I didn’t know what to do,” he writes. “I wasn’t about to answer a question about religion falsely, but I didn’t want to keep losing votes.”

Clinton describes some advice he received from Dale Bumpers, then the governor of Arkansas. The young pol went on to win his election. At this point, he describes some experiences he had while in office.

“I got around the state as much as I could,” Clinton writes, “to broaden my contacts and strengthen my organization for the next election.” Soon, he’s attending a black church event in which the Reverend Robert Jenkins is inaugurated as pastor of Morning Star Baptist:
CLINTON (page 249): As Robert got into his sermon, the temperature seemed to rise. All of a sudden an older lady sitting near me stood up, shaking and shouting, seized by the spirit of the Lord. A moment later a man got up in an even louder and more uncontrollable state. When he couldn’t calm down, a couple of the churchmen escorted him to a little room in the back of the church that held the church robes and closed the door. He continued to shout something unintelligible and bang against the walls. I turned around just in time to see him literally tear the door off its hinges, throw it down, and run out into the churchyard screaming. It reminded me of the scene at Max Beauvoir’s in Haiti, except that these people believed they had been moved by Jesus.
Is Clinton allowed to say that? Is he allowed to attend a black church event and say it reminded him of that other event in Haiti?

We’re going to suggest that he is! In this part of his book, Clinton wasn’t done with his review of religion-and-politics in Arkansas. “Not long afterward, I saw white Christians have similar experiences,” he writes, “when my finance officer...invited me to the annual summer camp meeting of the Pentecostals in Redfield, about thirty miles south of Little Rock.”

Clinton describes a life-long interest that grew from that first experience with these white Pentecostals. “I made that summer camp meeting every summer but one between 1977 and 1992,” he writes. “Every year I witnessed some amazing new manifestations of the Pentecostals’ faith.”

The passage which started in Haiti has now extended all the way to this annual camp meeting in Arkansas. But for Clinton, it wasn’t the ecstatic experiences of these Arkansans that seemed to matter the most. In the following passage, we would suggest that Clinton reveals the breadth of spirit that helps explain how he got to the White House:
CLINTON (page 251): Far more important than what I saw the Pentecostals do were the friendships I made among them. I liked and admired them because they lived their faith. They are strictly anti-abortion, but unlike some others, they will make sure that any unwanted baby, regardless of race or disability, has a loving home. They disagreed with me on abortion and gay rights, but they still followed Christ’s admonition to love their neighbors.
Is Clinton allowed to say that?

Bill Clinton “liked and admired” these people, who weren’t necessarily inclined to support him. They disagreed with him on abortion and gay rights—but Clinton says he admired the way they lived their beliefs. As he continues, Clinton explains his view of these inspiring Arkansans. “Besides being true to their faith, the Pentecostals I knew were good citizens,” he writes. “They thought it was a sin not to vote.”

After describing a compromise he reached with Pentecostal ministers about the licensing of church-run child-care centers, Clinton concludes the rumination that began with that trip to Haiti:
CLINTON (page 252): Knowing the Pentecostals has enriched and changed my life. Whatever your religious views, or lack of them, seeing people live their faith in a spirit of love toward all people, not just your own, is beautiful to behold. If you ever get a chance to go to a Pentecostal service, don’t miss it.
We’ll repeat what we said at the time. This is the most interesting part of Clinton’s very long book.

How did Clinton end up being president? Despite decades of crackpot demonization, why is he still able to communicate across tribal lines a bit better than most others?

We would suggest that we consider the ability to “like and admire” those with whom he doesn’t share obvious tribal ties. Those who may not be inclined to share his views at first blush.

“If you ever get a chance to go to a Pentecostal service, don’t miss it,” Clinton wrote. For a modern-day liberal, that was a very unusual thing to say.

But then, the oddest statements of the last century were made by that century’s highest achievers. As one example, we think of the way Dr. King urged angry people in Montgomery to love the people who had just bombed his home with his wife and baby daughter inside.

Why would someone say something like that? What could have been in Dr. King’s mind?

For detailed text: What could have been in Dr. King’s mind? For detailed text of what he said, you can just click here.


  1. Well, maybe whats in their minds is . . . insincerity? Thats an old saying, isn't it, that if you can fake sincerity you've got it made?

    Maybe MLK urged that "love" because he knew it would sound good and get him praise? Is that not possible? (Even likely, since thats been the official, much repeated take on it ever since.) Maybe MLK didn't really believe it but saw an opportunity?

    Maybe Clinton says he "likes and admires" those religious folk because it makes him look good? Maybe he went to those religious outings because he was "schmoozing" those folks and it got him some votes from people who decided they liked him personally? For some reason I once got a card from George and Laura Bush with a picture of them and their dog and, you know, it actually did give me a more favorable perception of them. Thats just human. Aww, they sent me a card. Thats why the Bush family has some enormous Christmas card list.

    Theres a huge self-interest in these Clinton/King examples. I'm very skeptical that Clinton was actually giving those religious folk any real "hearing" and I'm very skeptical that MLK "loved" his opponents (seems like schmalz, frankly, and am surprised that dailyhowler doesn't see that King had a self-interest in coming off as "saintly.")

    1. Lionel, consider that if King did act out of "self-interest" it was for the right and natural interest of freedom. It was for his ability to stand as a free and equal man among other men.

      Consider too that the "self-interest" of a nonviolent and loving response to such hatred is not at all indicative of an easy and obsequious flattery. Dr. King and company didn't finesse the people who did not want them at their lunch counters, or who struck them with their fists, they poured themselves out to them. Through tears and blood they earned their self-interested desire for equal treatment under the law.

    2. Cecelia,
      Within in a few years there were murderous riots all over the country. The Newark riots were in 1967, the year before King was killed - though why anyone would think that King's assassination was a good explanation for rioting is a mystery. Theres a lot written about RFK's speech in Indianapolis the night King died forestalled a riot; why would anyone think there would be a riot because King was killed?

      So, heres how I look at that "love" stuff: It is sneaky, "tricky" as Jackie Kennedy called King. He's claiming the goody goody role with the "I love you" stuff and black people are getting the message that they are the goodies and thus entitled. Entitled to riot? I take the "love" business as smug and disrespectful of the opponent. They aren't allowed to make their case because, oh, look how good and loving King is towards them! How can they not go along with what he wants? He loves them.


      The other side had a side. You can research it if you aren't convinced by the current evidence of violence and criminality in black culture. The other side wanted separation because of the crime and violence. Rather than hold blacks to account for that situation of crime and violence, the rhetoric pandered to them, the rhetoric that the "civil rights movement" was about non-violence and love.

      We are overwhelmed with media spin and self-serving politicians who trot out simplistic baloney of course and for the most part people don't bother to argue. And then theres how they live.

    3. Another thing about the people who are to be "loved" -- just the ones who set fire to King's house? Or was that admonition to "love" extended to everyone who disagreed with King and his movement and/or tactics, i.e., people innocent of any crime. They didn't agree with King, had taken no action against him, didn't need or want his love, didn't like the demonstrations, felt it wasn't good for their interests.

      I'm sure it was obnoxious as all hell.

    4. Lionel, I'm afraid yours is the simplistic baloney.

      Black entertainers making the record labels tons of money didn't have to enter the hotels and clubs through the back door because of black crime.

      Blacks didn't have separate water fountains due to crime.

      My point is that King may have been as flawed a man as there could be but he walked the walk. No matter how much you doubt the sincerity of his belief in nonviolence and turning the other cheek, he bore the brunt of the physical threats and violence that it took to make the stand that he took.

      That, you should be able to admire. The quest for equality, you should be able to admire. You can do that without suggesting that King was a perfect man, and without forfeiting the right to critically ponder the effects of politics and policy that have come about since.

      The logical connection as to the merits of nonviolent resistance and a willingness to listen and to hope for the best in our fellow citizens should be understandable to you as well.

      Though you doubt the sincerity of man who called for peace and understanding after an attempt to blow his family to bits, and though you may doubt the effectiveness of King's philosophy in all situations, you can glean the argument that this was, and is, a better way.

  2. Bob, I went and read the old Howler you linked to with fuller text of what King said. At the end he says that the people who seek to preserve segregation are doing what their local "folkways" told them was right.

    Just a fact: it wasn't local "folkways" that motivated those people, it was fear of crime and violence. They saw a danger of crime and violence from black people and that belief no doubt had historical reasons and no doubt has been borne out by the succeeding 50 odd years.

    And that is just a fact. The horrible, deadly riots in Newark, Detroit, etc etc. were in the same decade that King made those remarks.

    No, Martin Luther King did not respect his opponents.

    1. Lionel,

      So it was fear of crime and violence that led southern states to deny suffrage to black citizens? To segregate public facilities? To lynch black people for alleged offenses and refuse to convict white defendants for the murder of black victims?

      Jim Crow started his career almost a century before the riots in Newark and Detroit.

      And how about you leave off reading MLK's mind and engage in a little introspection?

    2. deadrat,
      Among the lynched, a third where white. Some lynchers were black. Look it up. Some lynchees were cattle rustlers. Lots of vigilante justice in the history of this country.

      Why must people pretend to be so damned dumb?

      Martin Luther King's sainthood was a promotion. There is plenty of stuff out in the public domain to dispute his saintliness, let alone the stuff that is for some mysterious reason sealed away.

      And of course we should use our own judgement and common sense to evaluate public people. Thats pretty outrageous that you'd tell someone they have to buy the mainstream media and self promotion pablum rather than think for themselves.

    3. I write this with complete sincerity. I find Lionel's candor refreshing. He's not dressing up his views to suit an audience. I mean it. Bob speaks of "Lionels" as if he actually knows any or actually interacts with them --- when he's not watching msnbc for hours on end. For Bob, "Lionels" are abstractions. Well, here's a real Lionel. Get working on that joint venture, Bob!

    4. Thanks Confused! You are right. I just can't see any reason to be disingenuous or "politically correct" as an anonymous commenter. I hold my views because I think they're right, not because I think thats what I'm supposed to believe to have other anonymous internet posters say they like me.

      Of course, in real life, best to avoid all that.

    5. Lioniel,

      I don't know why people pretend to be dumb. In your case, I'm assuming it's not a pretense.

      Among the lynched in the states that were the Confederacy, almost three-quarters of the victims were black, and that's where most of the lynchings took place. If memory serves, only three states recorded no lynchings at all during what I call the Golden Age of Lynching (ca 1870 - ca 1940), so you're right that there was "lots of vigilante justice." In no other region in the country, however, was lynching an instrument of terror employed with the connivance of the legal authorities to enforce a system of de facto apartheid.

      MLK was not a saint. There aren't such people, and if we wait for saints to lead us to a better society, we'll wait forever. MLK is revered for the principles he espoused and the way he acted in the public arena in support of those principle. This in spite of his faults and notwithstanding any political calculations he may have made.

      It's ironic to hear someone condemning pablum and then serve us a heaping helping in the admonition to "use"our own judgment and common sense." Good judgment and sense are not available to you from the depths of your abyssal ignorance. It's worse than pathetic that you're actually proud of this ignorance, which you excuse because you think you're right. You're in good company. In fact your name is legion. Perhaps you ought to look around you. That is, if you have enough breath left after patting yourself on the back because you're so "politically incorrect."

    6. deadrat,
      My opinion of you is that your opinions are just a regurgitation of what you read/hear from mainstream pontificating and your capacity and/or interest to think beyond is very shallow, sorry to say. Even when things don't make sense, you stick to what you've been told.

      Normally I wouldn't be so blunt but you probably appreciate it that I reply in kind, I think, right?
      I think you must want to know what I honestly think of your thinking so there it is.

    7. Lionel,

      Please rest assured that the opinion of me held by ignorant racists such as you matters not in the slightest to me. I neither want to know nor care to know. Obviously, you're free to express yourself as you wish about me or about any other subject.

      You lack the ability to determine my own intellectual capacity from the depths of your misunderstandings. I can assure you that when the topic is the Zimmerman trial, I read the relevant Florida statutes for myself. When the topic is lynching, I likewise read the Tuskegee Institute study for myself.

      You, on the other hand, think that the population of Los Angeles is mostly black, that the lynching of cattle rustlers in the Arizona Territory excuses Jim Crow, that it's significant that the DoJ doesn't investigate all murders, that third-hand hearsay is reliable, and that Bull Connor was OK because Obama is black.

      I might have got that last one partially wrong. But there it is.

    8. Deadrat,
      Are we back to your claim that my writing "New Orleans, LA" is a reference to Los Angeles? I didn't reply to that when you said it the first time because it was so trivial but its a big deal to you apparently. "LA" is the abbreviation for "Louisiana." You didn't know that? Its New Orleans thats majority black.

      Obama is surely worse - has less humanity than Bull Connor had - and a big mystery that you can't see it. Oh, well. Drone bombing 7 - 9 year old boys collecting firewood, drone bombing Awlaki's 16 year old son at a barbecue in Yemen (never explained BTW), destroying the civilian infrastructure of Libya and leaving it ruled by armed gangs. Obama's cruelty is like some horrible monarch in the Old Testament. Who did Bull Connor kill? I asked that question and never got an answer.

    9. Anyone? Did Bull Connor kill anyone? Honest question.

    10. Lionel,

      Sorry, but our dialog is over. it's too depressing to deal with trolls and incorrigible racists. You're certainly the latter and probably the former. I don't mean the term "racist" as a synonym for bad person in general or person who doesn't like Obama or person who doesn't agree with me. I mean someone who contemns groups of people based on skin color, and who is willing to believe the worst about the group on the basis of suspect evidence and impossible logic. (Example: because some black people rioted in 1968, black people are bad, including those who marched in civil rights protests in earlier in the decade.)

      I make an exception to this decision to acknowledge that I read LA as Los Angeles and that you claim you meant Louisiana.

  3. Does it physically hurt to be that much of a moron, Lionel?

    Or is the pain from having to contort your body to fit under your bed where you hide from all the scary blacks and their crime?

    1. How foolish you look to attack an anonymous internet poster, Marcus.

    2. Lionel,

      It's unlikely that Marcus knows you from Adam. Marcus is attacking your ignorance. Try to keep up.

  4. Rick,
    You have this wonderful tool of the internet at your disposal to do research rather than talk off the top of your head. You can find information from the 1800s to the present day about black crime and violence.

    But I am sure you will not do that. I am sure you like to hug yourself for how much better and more noble you are than other people.

    The 3 times that I bought a house I looked only in overwhelmingly white neighborhoods and that was for one reason ONLY: safety.

  5. Lionel, stay on the line. Bob has a joint venture he'd like to get working on with you.

    1. Confused,
      I am sure you know that I am by no means an anomaly. Its not 1% of the population that actually believes the pablum though most don't actively dispute it because they don't think about it. And thats probably wise on their part. But see how they live.

      Goody-two-shoes internet commenters are obvious hypocrites, of course. They don't give away everything above their needs to charity or saving lives. Heck, they don't even do blood donations. They hug themselves for what they say they believe. Pathetic.

    2. Lionel,

      As someone who routinely, and without fanfare for self-congratulation, engages with people with whom I disagree, I know from personal experience that your views are in no away an anomaly.

      You have also made a very salient point, one supported by research: conservatives do give more of their time and treasure to charity than my fellow liberals do.

      I also, admittedly weirdly, agree with you about MLK, but coming from a completely different viewpoint. Bob has turned MLK into a Hallmark card. He was not only, or entirely, a loving "turn the other cheek" guy. He damned America with the ferocity of Rev. Wright --- you could look it up! --- and turned increasingly radical on war and economic issues.

      Bob's King is selectively remembered and rather quaint. Bob's King also serves....Bob's agenda.

    3. I don't know what Bob's agenda is, honestly. Just nice to have someone bringing up topics and being able to comment. As for Martin Luther King, the proof is in the pudding: the horrible crime rates and the hellhole status of Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, etc etc etc. Maybe there was an opportunity for black people to become fully part of the country; I don't know. If there was an opportunity it was lost and the narrative of victimization doesn't help most black people. Very good for the elites, though, and they're never going to give it up. Appalling to hear Holder and Obama whining about their hurt feelings as young people or Oprah Winfrey complaining she wasn't shown a $40,000 handbag because of "racism."

      Jackie Kennedy said her own husband told her about surveillance that King was setting up an orgy the night before the March on Washington and that Bobby Kennedy told her that King ridiculed JFK's funeral. Plenty of reports from King's own associates that he was a loathesome character, actually. If Anthony Weiner is loathesome, well, so was Martin Luther King.

      I don't see myself as a "conservative!" Ha. Calling out phoniness in self-styled "liberals" (who are pretty totalitarian in most internet conversations I've had with them) doesn't make one a conservative.

    4. Lionel,

      Of course you don't know Bob's agenda because, honestly, you're not here to actually read what Bob says over an over to the point of tedium. You're here to spew your racist bile and congratulate yourself on how brave you are to buck political correctness.

      What does MLK have to do with the implosion of Detroit? Nothing. Detroit was a booming success when MLK was alive. But hey! At least you're concerned about how much black people are hurt by the narrative of victimization.

      Jackie said she was told by other people about illegal FBI surveillance that showed King trying to organize an "orgy"? Well, that's totally reliable. Did J Edgar show up in a dress?

    5. Jackie Kennedy said her own husband told her about surveillance that King was setting up an orgy the night before the March on Washington and that Bobby Kennedy told her that King ridiculed JFK's funeral. Plenty of reports from King's own associates that he was a loathesome character, actually. If Anthony Weiner is loathesome, well, so was Martin Luther King.

      This is perhaps the most loathsome comment I have seen on this blog. Even if everything you have said about King is true, which may not be the case since we have never heard the tapes, he was still a moral giant, and maybe the best man our country ever produced. He is the single man most responsible for ending segregation in America (yes, he was only one amongst so many brave people, but his leadership was indispensable). Talk about straining out a gnat, while swallowing a camel.

    6. Jackie was told by her own husband, the president of the United States, that King was organizing an orgy the night before the March on Washington. Thats not "other people." RFK listened to the wiretaps and told Jackie that King ridiculed JFK's funeral. The Kennedys thought King was a phony.

      I don't think King was a good person and I don't think he was good for black people.

    7. Lionel:

      Like I said, I want to hear the tapes for myself. I don't think your reply deserves a further comment. I hope you will think about changing your mind. If I were believer, I would pray for you.

    8. "I don't think King was a good person and I don't think he was good for black people.'

      I don't think Lionel has a clue about what he writes here, and I don't think anyone should pay a wit of attention to his nonsense.
      As for his 'candor", I wish. Let him write here that black people were terrible for wanting to have a voice in the in the debate about where this nation was going. "Candor"?, more like "coward".


    9. Berto and hardindr,

      I have a hunch that you don't even realize that all you're saying is that you don't like people having the right to speech or that since you close your mind others should do the same.

      Lots of evidence in front of you: Deadly riots all over the country in the 60's (and again in '92 in Los Angeles, over 50 people killed); a culture of violence, the "gangsta" crap; 75% of violent crime in NYC committed by blacks; the amazing rate of births to unmarried women and resultant inevitable problems; the statistics on interracial rape - you guys will be covering your ears and yodeling to keep from knowing those, of course; and on and on.

      You are in a comfortable place and thnk you are better than other people, I guess. I don't find it the least bit hard to understand that white southerners feared crime and violence and the heavy hand of the federal government coming down on them with armed troops was a big mistake as was the mainstream media sanctimonious promotion of characters like Martin Luther King et al. The proof is in the pudding.

    10. Lionel,
      That is NOT at all what I'm saying. I'm saying you're a nitwit who spews nonsense (protected by the First amendment, just as mine is in calling you the nitwit you are/ play on the internet).

      Crime, you say? How many of the bankers who crashed the world's economy through fraud were black? if the majority were white, let's just use whites as criminals (as you did in Newark. Everyone in Newark was black?). So where are we now? Oh yeah, Lionel is blaming blacks and only blacks for crime. Yes, you have freedom of speech to back you up, just not ANY facts.

      BTW, saying I'm better than other people is a slight exaggeration. Let's just agree that I'm better than you (who isn't?).

      So southerners feared black crime (more like black penis, but I digress), and having blacks drink from separate water fountains, eat at separate diners, and being disenfranchised from participating in representative democracy through voting protected them? Do you even realize you're insulting southerners with your nonsense?

      Finally, MLK had more integrity in his big black penis (I just use that phrase to keep you scared of blacks) than you have in your entire body.


  6. Rick,
    Well that settles it, you are not going to inform yourself about anything you don't want to know.

  7. At 11:28am Lionel wrote:

    >>>>>Just a fact: it wasn't local "folkways" that motivated those people, it was fear of crime and violence. They saw a danger of crime and violence from black people and that belief no doubt had historical reasons and no doubt has been borne out by the succeeding 50 odd years.

    And that is just a fact. The horrible, deadly riots in Newark, Detroit, etc etc. were in the same decade that King made those remarks.

    Claims of a history of black crime sprees in the South after the Civil War and into the middle of the twentieth century may have been passed along in folk tales and provided cover for certain folk ways but they have no basis in fact. Douglas Blackmon, a reporter who is currently the Wall Street Journal's Atlanta bureau chief has studied the issue, including going through local courthouse records in several municipalities, and he presents the conclusion in his Slavery by Another Name that what actually there were were sprees of arrests of blacks in the Jim Crow South for crimes like walking along railroad tracks, loitering, and being unemployed which were used as a justification to impress blacks into chain gangs through the early decades of the twentieth century.

    Through "this wonderful tool of the internet" you don't have to read Blackmon's book to get an introduction to this chapter of American history, instead you can go here and listen to him explain it.

  8. The 3 times that I bought a house I looked only in overwhelmingly white neighborhoods and that was for one reason ONLY: safety.

    One reason: safety and ignorance, ignorance and safety. Two reasons are safety, ignorance, and an abiding racism. Three reasons safety, ignorance, racism, and almost complete inability to depart from misconception. Four ... no Amongst the reasons are safety, ignorance, ....

    I'll come in again.

  9. I wonder if it would be considered tribal of me to point out that this post is based on survey data form the American Community Survey, an update of the US Census which the Republican House has voted to eliminate.

  10. Cecilia,
    I can't get the reply screen to come up above.

    Maybe I can make the point with an analogy.

    Say you're a supporter of legal abortion and you're trying to have a legal abortion but the clinic is blocked by protestors claiming they "love" you and they want to change the law to restrict or forbid abortion because of their "love" for everybody. What would you think of them? Personally, I'd want to tell them to go to hell.

    Of the people who "love" gay people and want to change them to being straight because they "love" them.

    Does that make it clearer? Martin Luther King, in my opinion, was using this "love" crap to deny other people their right to express themselves. Its very smug and disingenuous. "I want you to do what I want because I love you. I'm the good one, acting out of love. You are ignorant, prejudiced, base, vile, whatever, not a rational thinking human being who gets to have and express an opinion."

    The proof is in the pudding. Most of those white people understood that they weren't being treated with respect and it was futile so they left and found ways to live their lives.

    1. Lionel,

      I'll bet you didn't do too well on the analogy sections of those standardized tests we all had to take.

      MLK used his philosophical stance of loving even his enemies to prevent the corrosive effects of hatred on himself and to forswear the use of violence even in the face of violence. That was an internal discipline he practiced and which he urged on his followers. Nothing in his preaching had any capacity to deny other people the right to express themselves. And his political and social opponents spewed their opinions of him, his associates, and his movement all through the time of the civil rights movement as unimpeded in expressing their vile opinions as you are in expressing yours now.

      Most of "those white people" valued not the respect of their black fellow citizens. They didn't leave, but for the most part tried to find ways to retain their lives under Jim Crow.

    2. Oh, Lord, deadrat. Weren't you the one admonishing against reading King's mind?

      You WANT to believe King had a "philosophical stance of loving even his enemies;" I don't even think its your opinion. Its your wish. There is plenty of information in the public domain that he was a man of low character, even physically abusive of women. IOW worse than Anthony Weiner. (Weiner was a great one for claiming moral high ground, too, when he was in Congress. He was always on TV claiming the best of motives fro himself.)

      The abortion protestor analogy is a pretty darned good one. Those people think abortion is killing children.

      White people cleared out of places like Birmingham after the 60's and set up suburban communities that were amenable to their interests. They had no obligation to sacrifice and they took their financial, educational and social capital with them. That happened all over the country and those white people were acting within their rights. I'm sure you don't want the US to be the kind of totalitarian place that would have stopped them.

    3. Lionel, I have no doubt that the people who attacked the nonviolent protesters of the Civil Rights Era found King's words on love and forgiveness as condescending as hell.

      Afterall, if you don't think a black man should have the right to sit next to you at a lunch counter, you certainly are going to take great offense at this presumptuous boy saying that HE forgives YOU when you knock him off a stool for not knowing his place.

      How King's approach denied these people the right to express themselves is not so clear to me. Express themselves they did, at the top of their lungs, and with fists, and hoses, right on national television.

      And the rest of the country began to respond in the decent and good way that King and company had hoped....had faith...had known...that they would.

    4. LIonel,

      A stance is something you take, not something confined to your thoughts. MLK articulated his philosophy and strategy, acted upon his words, and urged his followers to do the same. I suppose he could have done all this and still harbored hatred in his heart, but I judge him and what he said and did.

      There is evidence that King was a serial adulterer. To approve his public actions is not to approve his betrayal of his marriage vows. There is no evidence at all that MLK was physically abusive to women. Rumors of such are often attributed to Ralph Abernathy, but nothing Abernathy ever said or wrote confirms this.

      The abortion protestor analogy fails in every respect. Anti-abortion activists want to stop women from exercising their right to control their own bodies. Some employ illegal tactics from harassment to murder to accomplish their goals. Civil rights protesters did not aim to take anything from anybody else. They tried to gain for themselves the right to vote and use public accommodations, and they did so using Constitutionally protected means.

      No one is arguing that people have any obligation to live in integrated neighborhoods, so stop pretending that anyone espouses this.

    5. "Civil rights protesters did not aim to take anything from anybody else."

      That might not have been their aim, but in the eyes of the Lionels of the world, they certainly think they lost something.
      Lionel's argument is the same one that people who hate political correctness use. People like Lionel and PC critics feel they have LOST THEIR RIGHT to use the term "nigger" in public without repercussions.


    6. Anonymous,
      I've always lived in the NY Metro area and had never been to the South during the segregation era.

      Just my opinion, of course, but as I genuinely have good will towards other people I like to think I make an effort to understand what they are/were thinking/feeling, what their interests might be and how they might have a point of view that makes sense. (I kind of think thats the point of this Daily Howler article, though I disagreed with Bob that Bill Clinton and Martin Luther King sincerely respected any opponents.)

      Of course there were many people who disagreed with Martin Luther King who did not "attack" him and they certainly had a right to disagree with him, no? I think its very possible that their judgement was better than his: Look at the results. And I don't know about the rest of the country. I've lived on Long Island --- very, very segregated (Look up Westbury Diner crime; no one on LI who was an adult at the time - 1982 - has ever forgotten that.). Now I live in New Jersey --- very, very segregated. Watch what they do, not what they say.

      Abortion protestors think that abortion is the murder/killing of a child. According to Obama, thats the height of moral causes, no? Much worse than segregation.

  11. Deadrat, Cecilia, hardindr, Berto,

    Think of it this way: Condoleeza Rice could, would and does whip out some high dudgeon over the civil rights movement and Birmingham church bombing.

    Condoleeza Rice.

    Blood dripping from her fangs, the monster still gets paraded before us to tsk tsk about events 50 years ago.

    You are being gulled.

    1. Lionel, scripture is not rendered meritless simply because the devil may quote it.

    2. Lionel,

      Condoleeza Rice and the Birmingham church bombing have nothing to do with each other. The bombing was a reprehensible act no matter what Rice did decades after the fact. I don't need Rice to tell me that. I'm not sure why you do.

    3. Are we not at least agreed that the Iraq War of only a few years ago was worse than segregation? (beginning 2003 and is it even over now? Theres car bombs going off over there every day it seems and sectarian violence that makes not being allowed to sit at Woolworth's lunch counter look more trivial than a paper cut.)

      All the elites slink away from that horror but how many days did they spend on the 50 year anniversary of King's speech. Less than 50 years before that speech was WWI which killed so many millions so horribly (before antibiotics - think of that) but no one was still wringing their hands about it in 1963, I assure you.

    4. Deadrat,
      Just the other day I saw Rice on TV yapping about the Birmingham bombing. Theres another angle to how wrong it is to keep bringing up that incident: the monster Rice feels possessed of moral certitude that lets her bomb and kill by the hundreds of thousands because she is (sees herself) one of the goodie-goodies regarding that "civil rights" chapter of the 60's.

      She's surely not the only one. Hate bringing Hitler into anything, Godwin's Law and all, but just the other day I read that Hitler was a victim of poison gas as a soldier in WWI. Theres something there, surely, a moral certitude psychosis thing that kills empathy. People who think they "suffered" something and now everything they do is righteous. Whew. Dangerous.

    5. And here we had heard that her moral certitude came from neocon imperialism and oil lust.

      What, oh what hath Dr. King wrought...

      Next thing you know those goody-two-shoes Freedom Riders will be responsible for causing their hypocritical admirers to draw a red line on Iraq.

      (Troll alert...)

    6. (self-appointed comments monitor alert)

    7. Cecelia,
      "Troll alert" means you have no argument, right? Thats OK. This is probably the first time you've encountered a challenge to the mainstream pablum about the "civil rights" era.

    8. I hate to speak for Cecilia, but I think what she's trying to say is this: those whites from Birmingham, who moved to the suburbs, caused the Iraq War. It sure makes as much sense as the shit you've been spouting here.

    9. No, Lionel, I'm merely saying that you're a particularly inept troll.


    10. Cecelia,
      So, why all the replies to me????

      Really, think about how churlish you look to sling out a personal insult when you have no argument. You're better than that (or I thought you were). Deadrat slings the personal insults from the get-go so I take it as his/her persona, always pretending to go off in a huff.

  12. CeceliaMc,

    The next thing we know is that Hitler wasn't responsible for his crimes. It was all because he was gassed in the trenches during World War I. And Condoleeza Rice. Or something.

    Hitler claimed he was temporarily blinded by a British gas attack. That story, like most of his tales of action in the trenches, he made up. Much like Lionel. Could it be that Lionel actually is Hitler? No one has every reported seeing them in different places at the same time.

    Whew. Dangerous.

    No, not dangerous. What's that other thing?

    Oh, yeah. Stupid.

    If Lionel isn't a troll, then he's just Godwinned himself. I'm done with him. I'll wait for his book Mein Hirntot Kampf.

    1. Not to be confused with Mein Apallisches-Syndrom Kampf.

    2. Well, I put it into a search and came up with a DailyMail article that does not seem to prove Hitler wasn't a victim of poison gas. They certainly did use poison gas in WWI.

      Are you trying to make Hitler look better, that he was mentally ill and delusional, not a psychopath?