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Old 12-28-2005, 10:11 AM   #1
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Slurs Fly From The Left

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/edi...e_left?mode=PF

By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | December 28, 2005

Nothing brings out racist slurs like an ambitious black man who doesn't know his ''place." So when Maryland's lieutenant governor, Michael Steele, announced his candidacy for the US Senate recently, the bigots reared up. On one popular website, The News Blog, Steele's picture was grotesquely doctored, making him look like a minstrel-show caricature. ''I's Simple Sambo and I's Running for the Big House," read the insulting headline accompanying the picture.

This wasn't some white supremacist slime from the right-wing fringe. The News Blog is a liberal site, and the reason for its racist attack on Steele, a former chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, is that he is a conservative. Specifically, a black conservative. As far as too many liberals are concerned, blacks who reject liberalism deserve to be smeared as Sambos and worse.

''Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael Steele . . . are fair because he is a conservative Republican," The Washington Times reported. ''Such attacks . . . include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an 'Uncle Tom,' and depicting him as a blackfaced minstrel."

Once upon a time, segregationists excoriated white liberals as ''nigger lovers." Today, racist insults in the political arena are more likely to come from the left -- and to target black conservatives. When Harry Belafonte was asked in August about the fact that black Americans hold prominent positions in the Bush administration, his response was to call them ''black tyrants" -- and then to make a sickening (and ignorant) comparison: ''Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich."

While Belafonte's odious remarks drew virtually no media attention, there was plenty of coverage a few weeks later when televangelist Pat Robertson suggested that Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez be assassinated. And while few if any liberal or Democratic voices were heard to condemn Belafonte, Robertson was publicly slammed by leading conservatives and Republicans, such as former presidential candidate Bob Dole (''ludicrous, ridiculous, irresponsible"), National Review senior editor Richard Brookhiser (''what an offense that this man was a serious candidate for the presidency"), and US Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota (''incredibly stupid").

It's an old story. For years I have devoted an annual column to the hate speech in which mainstream liberals traffic all too readily, and to the double standard that tolerates such poison when it comes from the left, while erupting in outrage when it is heard on the right.

By ''hate speech," I don't mean the sharp put-downs that are an inevitable part of vigorous public debate. What I have in mind are the disgusting calumnies and malicious demonizations that should have no place in political discourse. Like University of Michigan historian Juan Cole, a frequent TV talking head, asserting falsely that Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes ''has fond visions of rounding up Muslim Americans and putting them in concentration camps." Or US Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont accusing the Bush family of planning to ''start another war . . . next year, probably in Iran" in order ''to get their son" -- Florida Governor Jeb Bush -- ''elected president" in the next election.

If this kind of toxic rhetoric came only from crackpots, it would be easy enough to dismiss. When it comes from pundits, celebrities, and politicians -- people whose views tend to get respectful attention -- it does real damage, and should be universally condemned.

But there was no universal condemnation this year for:

Antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan, who denounced President Bush as an ''evil maniac" and ''Führer" and said his administration -- ''the biggest terrorist outfit in the world" -- is committing ''blatant genocide" in Iraq.

Syndicated cartoonist Pat Oliphant, who depicted Bush imploring a cosmetic surgeon to make him ''look like a leader" whom the ''herd" will ''follow . . . blindly and without question." The surgeon transforms him into a Hitler lookalike.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie of the Union for Reformed Judaism, another liberal who blithely compares conservatives to Nazis. Just as the religious right today opposes same-sex marriage, Yoffie said last month, ''we cannot forget that when Hitler came to power in 1933, one of the first things that he did was ban gay organizations."

People who label those they disagree with ''Hitler" and ''Sambo" traffic in foul, foul stuff, as repugnant as anything ever uttered by Joe McCarthy or George Wallace. Of all people, it is liberals who should be most outraged by such illiberal slanders and smears. When will they put a stop to hate speech uttered in their name?
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:30 AM   #2
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A very poorly written article.

Quote:
''Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael Steele . . . are fair because he is a conservative Republican," The Washington Times reported. ''Such attacks . . . include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an 'Uncle Tom,' and depicting him as a blackfaced minstrel."
I would have liked to have seen the full context.

Quote:
While Belafonte's odious remarks drew virtually no media attention, there was plenty of coverage a few weeks later when televangelist Pat Robertson suggested that Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez be assassinated.
Big difference in calling someone a tyrant and calling for one's assasination.

Quote:
Today, racist insults in the political arena are more likely to come from the left
And this is just down right funny.



I agree both sides have racism, far too much considering the time and day we live in. But the suggestions that this article are making are pure bullshit.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
And this is just down right funny.

I agree both sides have racism, far too much considering the time and day we live in. But the suggestions that this article are making are pure bullshit.
I guess having data would be helpful before either side pointed the finger at the other.

There is, however, a racist notion that African Americans should think a certain way (as in, should support the Democrats). JC Watts and Alan Keyes both faced similar accusations.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


There is, however, a racist notion that African Americans should think a certain way
I agree, but we do this with all groups. Christians should vote Republican, minorities should vote Democrat, parents should vote Republican, athiest should vote Democrat, rich should vote Republican, poor should vote Democrat...the list goes on and on.
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Old 12-28-2005, 01:51 PM   #5
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I read about the Steele thing a while back, this is the only article I could find right now

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...120300879.html

"Like black Republican candidates elsewhere, Mr. Steele has been attacked by some black Democrats who suggest -- outrageously -- that the fact of his party membership constitutes a betrayal and an affront to African Americans. As former NAACP chief and congressman Kweise Mfume, himself a candidate for the Democratic Senate nomination, pointed out in the Washington Times, "Black bigotry can be just as cruel and evil as white bigotry."


Jeff Jacoby is a good writer, he is a conservative voice amongst "liberal" oped writers, they even admit he was chosen for that reason in his bio..

Jeff Jacoby became an op-ed columnist for The Boston Globe in February 1994. Seeking a conservative voice to balance its famously liberal roster of commentators, the Globe hired him away from the Boston Herald, where he had been chief editorial writer since 1987.

The Boston Phoenix has dubbed his twice-weekly essays a "a must-read," describing Jacoby as "the region's preeminent spokesman for Conservative Nation."
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:11 PM   #6
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Re: Slurs Fly From The Left

Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Rabbi Eric Yoffie of the Union for Reformed Judaism, another liberal who blithely compares conservatives to Nazis. Just as the religious right today opposes same-sex marriage, Yoffie said last month, ''we cannot forget that when Hitler came to power in 1933, one of the first things that he did was ban gay organizations."
While I would agree that most all of the comments are out-of-line, I don't see what's so wrong with this one. What the Rabbi says here is correct. If conservatives don't want to be compared to Nazis, then maybe they need to stop acting like them at times. A good step in the right direction would be to stop scapegoating an unpopular minority for all the nation's "moral ills." A lot of homophobic stereotypes were once stereotypes leveled at Jews, so I can see where the Rabbi here is coming from.

And you know what? If conservatives don't like to hear that, then change. But so far, the Religious Right is acting reprehensibly, and they are a complete dishonor to Christianity.

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Old 12-28-2005, 07:14 PM   #7
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Wow. Yeah, if there are indeed people from the left out there who are throwing those kinds of comments at Michael Steele, that's flat out wrong and they need to get a reality check. He doesn't deserve any of that.

BVS is right, though-both sides have been quite guilty of all these sorts of things in the past. I guess it's too idealistic to ask both political sides to grow up and quit acting like babies?

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Old 12-28-2005, 07:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


I agree, but we do this with all groups. Christians should vote Republican, minorities should vote Democrat, parents should vote Republican, athiest should vote Democrat, rich should vote Republican, poor should vote Democrat...the list goes on and on.
True enough - stereotypes seem to make the world go round. It's a sad state of affairs.
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:43 PM   #9
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Both sides can be extreme and ridiculous in discussing the opposition. Groups get stereotyped, and then someone who defies the stereotype can really catch hell. I think some of the criticism of Condi Rice is from liberals who are outraged that an African-American woman is a conservative and Bush ally. Not that she doesn't deserve criticism, but I do think that's happened.
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:51 PM   #10
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Wait a minute, are you telling me that when a leftist labels Condoleeza Rice a "house nigger" it isn't a subtle jab at an ideological towing of the line within the Bush administration
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