The New And Improved Affirmative Action

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by IJ Reilly, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #1
    I'm not going to reprint a single word of the latest spew from Ann Coulter (you can read it yourself here -- because I find it that vile and loathsome -- but I've retitled as I think it ought to have been in the first place. Apparently according to this new, right wing theory of affirmative action, it's automatically racist to question the qualifications of any black person for any position -- at least if that person happens to be a black conservative (black liberals are fair game of course). The irony is so thick you can cut it with a knife.
     
  2. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #2
    I have always wondered if Ms. Coulter really believes the stuff she spews, or if she has merely realized that a lot of money and power is to be had by rhetoric(I wonder that with a lot of the pundit corps). If the latter is true, then it represents the height of cynicism, which I suppose is better than if the former is true.

    Regardless, it seems that this is another in a long line of diversionary tactics, where the relevant underlying question (in this case, person X's competence for X position) is lost over marginally-related issues of procedure, partisan motives or personality (yay alliteration).

    I hate this. The argument is cleverly diverted and transmuted so that a side can gain victory over an argument that wasn't even asked.

    Ultimately, this derives from the punditry's amazing political power, that is not tempered by accontability, so that they are never culpable for what the advocate.

    They can largely do (and say) whatever they want with impunity and without recognition of the complexity and compromise of the practice of Politics.

    They can deal with moral absolutes, or more accurately pass off as moral, what is merely moralistic and santimonious, and therefor, ultimately irrelevant and counter-productive.

    And we poor bastards have to sit around watching and listening to it. To me, it is the #1 reason that our country is becoming the mess it is today.

    bah.
     
  3. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #3
    "You are who you pretend to be, so beware who you pretend to be," wrote Kurt Vonnegut many years ago (probably slightly paraphrased from memory). There's much truth to be found in that statement. What Coulter actually believes is kind of academic -- she is what she pretends to be. We might expect conservatives to be putting as much daylight as possible between themselves and this little goose-stepper, but we'd be wrong. She's already appeared on O'Reilly spouting these very inanities, and there was O'Reilly, enthusiastically licking her face. So there you go.
     
  4. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Okay, she's really heavy on the sarcasm.

    However, I've read some of the comments about Rice. I've seen a couple of the political cartoons.

    With that in mind, Coulter is factually correct as to the behavior of some Democrats.

    The "Aunt Jemima" comment from the left wing radio guy wasn't racist? SOME of the others' phrasings which knocked Rice weren't couched in terms that had implicit racism within them? That's not hypocrisy, when it comes from official people of a political party which actively touts its do-gooding for ethnic minorities in general and blacks in particular?

    "On the Sean Hannity radio show, Democratic pundit Pat Halpin defended Sen. Reid's laughable attack on Thomas by citing Bob Woodward's book "The Brethren," which – according to Halpin – vividly portrays Thomas as a nincompoop."

    Is this factual? Halpin cited that book?

    ""The Brethren" came out a decade before Thomas was even nominated to the Supreme Court. The only black Supreme Court justice discussed in "The Brethren" is Thurgood Marshall."

    Is this factual? The book did indeed come out that many years back?

    With that sort of goings on, why would not one expect sarcasm?

    Shame that she wasted her efforts on such low-rent sleazoids, though. Creatures of that sort are best ignored...

    'Rat
     
  5. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #5
    tisk tisk rat, careful, this is not a "no spin zone!" :p
     
  6. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #6
    Read again. Coulter is labeling anyone who questions the qualifications of a black Republican as racist. The argument is undiluted demagoguery.
     
  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #7
    "Coulter is labeling anyone who questions the qualifications of a black Republican as racist."

    I didn't happen to see it that way, but no matter: Broad-brush "all" isn't righteous. I generally try to avoid that, myownself.

    But lemme say this about that, as to questioning Rice's qualifications: I saw no commentary which questioned her qualifications which was not to some degree scornful. Some, to me, had racist overtones. That includes the NYT and the WashPost in several opinion articles.

    Personally, when I first read a bio sketch back in 2000, hey! I was severely impressed! Definitely one sharp lady! IMO, Dubya was more likely to defer to her in discussion of issues than she to him.

    Separately: Spin? Hey, the only radio talk show I listen to, and only on an occasional basis and generally for just part of his show, is Good Ol' Rush. He's funny and having fun doing his thing. His obvious weak spots of knowledge don't keep him from being entertaining. With digital radio in my truck, I can easily go away when some doofus calls in, or Rush gets to ranting for too long a time.

    All the rest of them that I've ever heard take themselves just way too seriously. Or they're just full of BS. Although Liddy is occasionally hilarious, when he gets to yakking about his Corvette vs. his wife and all that stuff; not enough to hang around waiting, though.

    As to the print-media crowd, I'm more interested in reading that some event happened. I'm commonly at odds with the conclusions reached by left, middle or right. The old sequence: Did this really happen? Is this really the way it happened? If so, what is the range of conclusions?

    Night-bye...

    'Rat

    'Rat
     
  8. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #8
    I agree with the assertion. Coulter is reaching to find a reason to label Democrats as racists.

    This tactic has been around for a while but no one is buying it.

    Who did African Americans vote for again this last election?

    Smarter than your average Bush voter.
     
  9. Roger1 macrumors 65816

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  10. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Well, lemme play with this from a bit of a different direction.

    I'm thinking of bits and pieces over a couple of decades. Talking head stuff on Sunday mornings; some editorials, here and there. IOW, a bit of a pattern.

    It seems to me that some liberals are unconciously racist. To me, it shows up in an attitude of puzzlement about conservative blacks: "How can they reject us when we've done so much for them?"

    (If you've read "The Fountainhead" and remember Peter's eminently forgettable girlfriend? When she and Toohey visited the projects and she was complaining about the resentment on the part of the residents towards her and others like her? Same question.)

    To me, implicit in "...we've done so much for them..." is an attitude of "We know what's best for you." I guess it depends on one's point of view whether that's racist and elitist, or just elitist. At any rate, those who go around trying to define others' realities when promoting governmental programs to solve social problems will regularly find resentment instead of thanks.

    'Rat
     
  11. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #11
    Republicans aren't trying to convince black voters. They're trying to convince those white voters who are uncomfortable with racism that the party isn't racist.
     
  12. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Probably both, Bush has appointed lots of African Americans, in fact, they make a point of doing it.

    And I've heard the African American vote being discussed on the AM radio frequently. They really are trying to project a new image, but it's just that.
     
  13. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #13
    True enough. It's even happening in Iraq.
     
  14. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #14
    skunk, you're absolutely correct. Question: Which is "best for them"? A bloody-handed dictator, or some form of representative republic? Is the idea of "better" being some democratic format of government a Bad Thing?

    'Rat
     
  15. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

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    But we've "done so much for them" already! :rolleyes:
     
  16. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #16
    It's so easy to get the answer you want if you frame the question in a way that determines the answer.
     
  17. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #17
    I don't believe what's "best for them" entered into the discussions, except as a selling point. And in answer to your second question: democratic does not equal better.
     
  18. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    You sir, speak heresy.

    Apostate.

    Standby for re-education.
     
  19. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #19
    Coulter's argument contains a logical flaw large enough to sink the Titanic. Reading what she's written, it's clear she can find no actual racism in the critiques of black Republicans she cites, so she goes straight into heavy imputation mode. It's isn't what someone says, but what she thinks they meant to say that counts.

    This "subconscious racism" line reminds me eerily of the arguments used by left wing academics during the '60s to support their assertions of institutional and cultural discrimination and the need for every remedy from affirmative action to reparations. I wonder if conservatives recognize how completely they've absorbed the lessons of deconstruction that they once claimed were at the very root of moral and intellectual decay. Based on what I've been hearing, not at all. The irony just hasn't sunk in.
     
  20. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #20
    Ready when you are, bud!
     
  21. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #21
    IJ, I think that all of us have certain prejudices, or certain amounts of prejudice. Avoiding that is sort of a self-training thing, isn't it? Anyhow, it seems to me that some folks are aware of their own prejudices and try to work it out. Others just don't realize. Maybe, for me, these notions come from having lived mostly in the South, and have watched older people's behavior as well a the not-so-old...

    I've always tried to deal with my own foibles by being a bit of a stickler for "fair play and courtesy". Say I have some dislike for a stranger which is based upon nothing more than some physical difference; say, color. Okay, if I am courteous, and treat that person as fairly as I would my own friends, at worst I inflict no harm. I don't know how else to behave in such a situation.

    So anyhow, maybe "racist" isn't the correct word. But what do you call it when Whitey says that since blacks can't do for themselves, Whitey's gonna come up with laws and government programs to make life all better? Race-norming of test scores, e.g., isn't racist? Implications that Rice COULD not have achieved her high position except that she's a black woman isn't racist? So, what's a more accurate word?

    'Rat
     
  22. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #22
    Why would you have a dislike based on colour? What's that about? :confused:
     
  23. Ugg macrumors 68000

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    #23
    Absolutely, we all have prejudices, it can't be helped. I've known a fair number of southerners and few if any weren't prejudiced against blacks. It goes so deeply that those of us who grew up outside of the south have a hard time fathoming it. Growing up in Montana, a state 20-30 years ago virtually devoid of ethnic/cultural diversity, the only comparable prejudice was towards Native Americans. While I pride myself on my non-judgemental attitude towards those who don't look, act, talk like me, deep down inside there is still that little kernel of prejudice towards Native Americans. It's dormant but it's still there and while I never have shown any outward sign of it it's one of those things that all the politesse in the world ain't ever gonna cover up because it can be sensed.


    I really have a problem with people who refuse to recognize what affirmative action is and was all about. It was put into place to right the wrongs that were inflicted in the 100+ years after the civil war when the freedoms of the largest minority in the US were seriously compromised. The problem with government programs is that by and large they never end and I think that the problem would be a lot less if there were a 100 year limit on the thing. But, in the end, 40 years is not enough to right the wrongs of 100 + years of discrimination. The fact that Condaleeza got a boost is not indicative of anything other than that her grandparents were the property of Whitey. Yeah, affirmative action is unfair to all those mediocre white kids but it's a hell of lot less unfair than slavery was.

    It's not racism, 'Rat, it's simply a way of making amends for the evilness of slaveholding society in the US as well as the US' less than stellar behaviour towards anyone with a dark skin. Would you rather we not make amends?
     
  24. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #24
    It's less of a question of "we know what's best for them" than "look at the what the other side wants to do to you!" On domestic policies, especially those pertaining to the pocketbook, it is not difficult to discern what stances benefit various individuals' economic interests.
     
  25. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #25
    Ugg, I have no problem with the original, fundamental concepts of affirmative action. Yes, efforts to make amends are Good Things. I think that when it first began it was serious effort toward making amends. I don't think that idealism lasted very long, however. Too many people began using the system as a way to make a living--whether bureaucrats or Jesse Jackson. It's become twisted well away from what I supported back there in the 1960s.

    'Rat
     

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