Then, we came for ourselves: Should the Washington Post have started a front-page news report today with the following statement?
PARKER, BADE AND WAGNER (7/16/19): President Trump on Monday defended his racist remarks about four minority lawmakers by alleging that they “hate our country” and should leave if they are unhappy—leading the Democratic congresswomen to respond by offering a competing vision of America that they said was based on inclusiveness.We're going to vote for no. However obvious the highlighted usage may seem in the present moment, the judgment that Trump's remarks were "racist" remains a statement of opinion.
Post columnist Margaret Sullivan takes the opposite view in today's Style section.
She starts by applauding modern journalists for calling a "lie" a "lie." She then begins to outline her rationale for calling Trump's statements "racist:"
SULLIVAN (7/16/19): Now the question is the word “racist.”Can Trump's baldly inaccurate, inflammatory comments be objectively described as racist? Sullivan seems to think that "everyone's eyes and ears" saw his comments that way.
Were Trump’s tweets portraying Democratic legislators of color as foreigners merely “racially tinged”? Were they just sprinkled with racially tinted pixie dust?
And should descriptions of what Trump stands for be put only in the mouths of his critics—a step removed from the journalists themselves?
Or should stronger language and sharper focus be used?
It depends on only one thing: whether journalists want to be clear about saying what’s right there in front of everyone’s eyes and ears.
That, of course, isn't true. Later, she settles on this:
SULLIVAN: It makes good sense for media organizations to be careful and noninflammatory in their news coverage. That kind of caution continues to be a virtue.Sullivan thinks the Post was simply being "accurate" when it went with "racist" in its front-page news report. She seems to think it's a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion or judgment, when Trump's irrational, inflammatory remarks are described that way.
But a crucial part of being careful is being accurate, clear and direct. When confronted with racism and lying, we can’t run and hide in the name of neutrality and impartiality. To do that is a dereliction of duty.
Be careful what you wish for! In the last few days before Trump went off, our fearless liberal/progressive activists had begun dropping variants of the R-bomb on the heads of quite a few other members of our team and tribe.
Even worse, members of The Squad had begun subjecting us to the ultimate indignity. They'd begun dropping bombs on other Dems' heads, then piously insisting that they hadn't done so at all.
That's what Trump constantly does! Be careful what you wish for when tribal stampedes, and cultural revolutions, have begun taking place!
In the last day or so, pundits have been in a type of Olympic competition to see who could be more ardent in their assertion of Trump's racism. It often seems to us that these brave, bold modern journalists are perhaps protesting too much.
If we had lived the lives they've lived, we might feel that we've been complicit in Trump's success too. We too might feel a need to convince ourselves of our own moral goodness.
Plus, The Squad had already come for the gay Native American and for the Congressional Black Caucus! Might some pundits be afraid that The Squad might come for them next? Careers are hanging in the balance! Good jobs at good pay!
For many people out there in this broad, sprawling nation, the racism Sullivan saw in those comments wasn't "right there in front of [their] eyes and ears." But then, our tribe has specialized, for many years, in acting like Those Others don't count, don't even seem to exist.
We cocoon with our favorite reporters and friends, with whom We All Say The Same Things.
The brains of our species are wired this way, top anthropologists tell us. This helps explain the endless tribal wars of our floundering species, or so these top experts say.
We liberals! We've begin devouring ourselves with our bombs! Trump's craziness created a distraction this time, but who will be racist next?
"Sullivan thinks the Post was simply being "accurate" when it went with "racist" in its front-page news report."ReplyDelete
She's deeply confused, I'm afraid. Wapo is simply being what it is: a liberal-zombie neocon goebbelsian trash-rag.
But of course she herself most likely is a goebbelsian liberal zombie hack, so her statement is not remarkable at all. The dog bites man sort of thing.
Orange man standard-issue piece of shit Conservative.Delete
Go back to where you came from, Mao. You hate our country.Delete
Dembot, I didn't know you fancy your zombie cult as a "country".Delete
Rest assured I'm not in it.
"Rest assured I'm not in it."Delete
Too much (i.e any) equality between the races?
" Sullivan seems to think that "everyone's eyes and ears" saw his comments that way."ReplyDelete
The standard for whether Trump's words were racist or not is NOT whether everyone agrees with that characterization. There is a definition and the standard is whether his words meet that definition.
Those who are motivated to curry favor and support the president would not necessarily agree about his words, whether they were truly racist or not.
More than Trump's words, his actions demonstrate his racism. Further, these recent remarks must be interpreted in the context of his other beliefs and actions, which are racist.
It is not a matter of opinion whether Trump is racist or not. It is a matter of observable behavior that can be evaluated and compared against a standard of what constitutes racism, to anyone's satisfaction. That doesn't mean everyone will agree. They don't have to in order for it to be factually obvious that Trump is a racist.
"The standard for whether Trump's words were racist or not is NOT whether everyone agrees with that characterization. "Delete
That is the standard Sullivan presented.
Whether a comment is racist or not depends on the speaker's politics. When conservative Donald Trump criticizes "The Squad", that's racist. When liberal Nancy Pelosi criticizes "The Squad", that's not racist.Delete
DinC, you can be faulted for missing the story, since Somerby only obliquely refers to it, but the “squad”, specifically AOC, did accuse Pelosi of singling out women “of color.” That’s why Somerby said we’ve begun “devouring ourselves with our bombs.”Delete
Unfortunately they've really overplayed the racism thing.Delete
Everything is racist, Nancy Pelosi is racist, owning a dog is racist, they have even claimed that the concept of time is racist
It's the story of the left who cried racist, no one cares anymore.
On the contrary. Republicans have overplayed the racism thing. There is a huge backlash developing that is not good for the GOP. Even some Republicans are speaking out this time.Delete
Fair point, @6:01. However, many media are calling Trump's comments "racist" as a fact, including the PBS Newshour just 5 minutes ago. No media are calling Pelosi's comments "racist" AFAIK.Delete
Honestly, how many times are you going to fall for this shit?
How long are you going on losing and losing and losing?
There is a huge backlash developing according to the bubble in which you receive your information. And then there's the real world ...
I’ll be sure and let the House Dem majority know that they didn’t really win in 2018. Would that make you feel better? And Trump is trying, but the GOP still won’t admit they are racists. Why deny it? The truth shall set you free.
The best reasons for denying it are:Delete
It's bad politics
It's gains you nothing
It shuts down any chance of persuasion
It makes you and your party look like fools
It obscures bigger issues of corruption that affect both sides of the aisle.
I know you've hung your hat on that one though partner. Good luck with it.
But I was referring to the huge backlash. How long are you going to fall that shit?Delete
What do you envision coming from the huge backlash? Tell me more about this huge backlash.
There's no backlashes. There's not even small backlashes.
"Even some Republicans are speaking out this time."
So - where are those Republican's going to go? To the party to whom you just said were undeniable racists?
Do you see how this works? No, you don't, I know you don't but - this is how it works:
A. When you call a swath of hundreds of millions of Americans undeniable racists:
B. No backlash or circumstance will ever bring them to your side,
ie - Trump has carte blache to do and say whatever he wants because there is ZERO chance any of his supporters will go across the aisle to the side who stupidly calls them racist.
C. Therefore, Trump always wins because you are dumb as dirt.
Sleep tight. Great House victory there, Sparky.
"It shuts down any chance of persuasion"Delete
Ha ha ha ha ha.
D. It's not politically correct.Delete
if you call Republicans "racists", you risk the guy who forwarded you an email of a photoshopped Obama with a bone through his nose, not voting for the Democrat in 2020.Delete
If you call Republicans "racists", you lose. If you call Republicans "racists", you are a prisoner.Delete
Accusations of racism is politically correct in liberal circles. It's practically the only things liberals do.Delete
Accusations of racism is politcally mandatory to you losers.
If you call Republicans "racists", you're too obvious. Try branching out into something controversial.Delete
“We've begin devouring ourselves with our bombs!”ReplyDelete
Ah yes. “Dems in Disarray.” Somerby has now implicitly adopted *that* favorite media talking point.
He likes to warn Dems against doing whatever it is they’re doing, because he thinks it just gains more votes for Trump.
Like when Somerby spent two months explaining why Roy Moore’s dating habits were aok, and that he only molested two of the five women who found him creepy. Moore lost.
Or when, in 2018, Somerby urged us to listen to conservative Bret Stephens, who was certain that Dems had blown their chances of a blue wave by their supposedly despicable behavior in the Kavanaugh hearings. Dems went on to a major blowout of the GOP in the House, and Somerby spent the following month downplaying the victory.
Not sure what exactly he is saying about the “Squad”, although he seems to worry that their behavior will also lead to some dire thing or other. We note that these representatives are being who they are, which is who they were when they were elected by the voters in their districts. They should be allowed to speak their minds, as should Pelosi and the old guard. It’s a dialogue worth having, and the liberal party ought to be big enough to accommodate multiple views. And it’s a little tiresome to keep hearing from all the media armchair quarterbacks, including Somerby, who think their advice is worth two cents.
No one could have predicted Somerby would repeat Right-wing nonsense memes.Delete
He never said Moore's dating habits were ok. Just very common. And he was correcting the record, because the media was continually claiming that all of the women were accusing him of sex crimes. Just the two, and one was doubtful.Delete
@4:21 -- Trump's comments were awful in several ways, but they do not satisfy the definition of racism:ReplyDelete
1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior...
2. a policy, system of government, etc.,..
3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
Trump's objectionable comments satisfied none of these three definitions.
He told women who were born here to go away. That is hatred and intolerance.Delete
He has accused them of supporting terrorism on no basis beyond skin color. That satisfies #1.
Two out of 3 criteria met.
Bigoted. Not racist.Delete
The worst thing about them -- which is being completely ignored -- is that Trump is denying people the right to dissent. Love It or Leave It.
I think we can compromise here, and all agree that what Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, tweeted was racist - but, he is too much of an ignorant dumb fuck to realize it.Delete
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has written specific rules that protect people, mostly immigrants, against employment discrimination on the basis of their national origin. The agency is responsible for enforcing laws that prohibit discrimination and harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age and disability.
“Ethnic slurs and other verbal or physical conduct because of nationality are illegal if they are severe or pervasive and create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, interfere with work performance, or negatively affect job opportunities,” the commission said on its website to describe harassment based on national origin.
“Examples of potentially unlawful conduct include insults, taunting, or ethnic epithets, such as making fun of a person’s foreign accent or comments like, ‘Go back to where you came from,’ whether made by supervisors or co-workers,” it continued.
This is so cool, and a refreshing break from all this stultifying political correctness the right wing crazytowners have been suffering under for so long. Donald J Chickenshit has been so liberating to all you racist pricks, you can come out of the closet now, he has given you permission.
This is gonna be one hell of an election year coming up.
mm - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzDelete
Trump will trounce whoever. You are way out of touch and the people to whom you turn for information are corporate shills or also have their head in their ass. No offense.
Who is going to beat Trump???? Harris?? Mayor Pete kiss ass who can't even run his own little town?
You have to understand it doesn't matter how bad or racist Trump is, for a majority of Americans the alternative is Democrats and so, so many Americans HATE Democrats and liberals. Far more than you realize thanks to the bubble you are in.
Yeah, mm. Sooooo many Americans HATE Democrats that Trump won the popular vote in 2016, and his party kept control of the House of Representatives in 2018.Delete
No, wait. I might have that wrong.
Of course. The Establishment has Trump;'s back BIG TIME.
Hopefully the Democrats will overplay their hand and offer equality to minorities to assure Trump's victory.
"offer equality to minorities" ?Delete
What does that mean? Why have they not done that already?
They are busy anyway doing to each other all Dems know how to do - calling each other racists.
"Who is going to beat Trump???? Harris?? Mayor Pete kiss ass who can't even run his own little town? "Delete
crickets from the Identitarians.
If no one can beat Trump, what's the point of not calling his racism "racist"?Delete
Because one of the reasons no one can beat Trump is because of the indulgent, absolute foolishness off which you speak - recklessly slinging around accusations of racism.Delete
The sad part is there are so, so many real issues to hang him on. That's the astonishing part of the story.
It's already too late. 2020 is over. Dems have already lost and it's partially your fault. Although I know you do this through ignorance and laziness not malice, so I forgive you.
"The sad part is there are so, so many real issues to hang him on. That's the astonishing part of the story."Delete
I'll bite. What are the many real issues that will persuade Trump voters from 2016, to cast their vote for a Democrat in the future?
You can't think of any?????? Seriously????????!!!!!!!!Delete
If only Trump voters knew in 2016 that Trump was a failed businessman, who stiffed his contractors, had zero understanding of how the government works, or heard that Trump is a self-admitted sexual predator, they would have never cast a vote for him.Delete
At least, that's what people who deny what the Republican Party actually is say.
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
So you feel he connected with voters because of their mutual racism and nothing else?Delete
Think about some of the promises he made re draining the swamp etc and you will have a start.
But I'm starting to believe you are truly daft.
Just hang on for the ride. All Republicans are racists. There's nothing you can do. Your are helpless against the enemy tribe of racists.
I'm happy to leave it at that.
Unless i missed when Trump called for reparations for slavery, Like you, I seriously can't think of one.Delete
"Think about some of the promises he made re draining the swamp etc and you will have a start."Delete
Okay, I thought of that, and still can't come up with anything but the racism.
Perhaps you can point me to the Trump voters protest when he put Wall Street in charge of the Treasury, DeVos in charge of Education, Andrew Wheeler and Scott Pruitt in charge of the EPA, etc.
"I'm happy to leave it at that."
I notice you haven't left anything to back up your claim.
"All Republicans are racists."Delete
That's only because anyone who isn't a racist left the Republican party by the mid-90s.
I'm happy to leave it at all Republicans are racists. Have a good day!Delete
The curious (and amusing) behavior by the bigots and racists at this site is their unwillingness to own up to their true beliefs.ReplyDelete
To quote Robert Nesta Marley-"You running and you running away; but you can't run away from yourself".
The republican political dog whistles have been heard since Barry Goldwater but their responses have always been: "it wasn't me"!
See Obama was "born in Kenya and I have proof".ReplyDelete
Trump is a racist sack of shit. A liar, and a thief.
In Trump's defense he's no more racist than any other Conservative.ReplyDelete
Not in his defense, he's no less racist than any other Conservative either.
Republican politicians know that implicit calls for racist behavior wins elections in large portions of our country. As Bob knows, these implicit calls win elections and will always be used to win elections.Delete
Go ahead and lie to yourself Bob.
"Trump is a racist sack of shit. A liar, and a thief."ReplyDelete
True, but no more so than any other Conservative.
Conservatives hate political correctness right up until you tell them the truth about themselves.ReplyDelete
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Trump is a racist, and with their votes, all but 4 Republicans in the House are officially on record as being racists as well.ReplyDelete
I'm in the Squid Squad.ReplyDelete
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