Video: Left not sure if Lou Dobbs using the phrase “cotton-picking” is racist or not

posted at 6:35 pm on March 31, 2008 by Allahpundit

They want it to be, but, as with Tony Snow’s use of the phrase “hugging the tar baby,” this falls tragically into that twilight zone of demagoguery that’s so profoundly stupid even they can’t race-bait with a straight face. TPM, the vanguard of dishonest racial accusations, can’t muster more than an arched eyebrow in describing it. Thank god for HuffPo, which transforms this magically from Dobbs using an innocent colloquialism like “cotton-picking” — and catching himself, surely because he knew what the left would do with it — into a charge that he “almost” called Condoleezza Rice herself a “cotton-picker.” Batten down the hatches, Maverick; once they’re done calling Hillary a racist at every opportunity, you’ll be getting crap like this by the bucketful.

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Based on my extensive reading of DU over the years, it cannot be a racist statement because Condi is not black.

rw on March 31, 2008 at 6:41 PM

Funny how the Left never minded Dobbs when he was bashing Bush the entire time in 2006.

BuzzCrutcher on March 31, 2008 at 6:42 PM

if he nearly called CONDOLEZZA RICE a cotton picker, he should get membership and a blog from DU/HuffPo

Defector01 on March 31, 2008 at 6:42 PM

I remember seeing a transcript at AT of Lou Dobbs talking frankly about race and saying that someone would eventually label him a racist because he speaks his mind. He was right, but the left doesn’t care. That’s one more reasonable person they have an excuse not to take seriously.

jimmy the notable on March 31, 2008 at 6:42 PM

This is just another example of PC gone wild. As a black man, the term “cotton pickin’ hands” was never viewed as racist. Just a stern rebuke one uses against meddlesome people. Then again I’ve always found the phrase, “I know plenty of Black people”, to be quite offensive.

Zaire67 on March 31, 2008 at 6:46 PM

Are we now the nation of the Perpetually Offended?

Is being “Red Faced” like Dobbs considered a racist comment?

Kini on March 31, 2008 at 6:47 PM

Blame America.

budorob on March 31, 2008 at 6:47 PM

Krykee. It don’t take much for these leftist-utopians to soil their nappies….

Clean-up in moral authority!

locomotivebreath1901 on March 31, 2008 at 6:47 PM

Larry Elders bravely wrote a book titled “Stupid Black Men: How To Play The Race Card – And Lose.”

It helped me see the artificial outrage of the Vogue magazine cover controversy for what it was; stupid, dishonest and non-productive.

I’m a minority, racially, and I am frustrated that the people who share my skin tone utilize little courage when it comes to standing up to those who abuse the race card argument. I applaud Larry Elders.

geckomon on March 31, 2008 at 6:48 PM

I thought Condi wasn’t even legitimately black anyway?

AbaddonsReign on March 31, 2008 at 6:56 PM

He just proved in his own argument that you cant say anything without thinking twice about it.

Vigilante on March 31, 2008 at 6:58 PM

There’s nothing racist about saying “These cotton picking politicians”. The Huffington Post and other similar disgraceful outfits are always trying to find racism in everything. Even when there is no racism there.

SoulGlo on March 31, 2008 at 7:01 PM

“Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small…the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

-Dr. Theodore Dalrymple

RushBaby on March 31, 2008 at 7:08 PM

A few sessions in Room 101 will and he will be free from that thought-crime.

pedestrian on March 31, 2008 at 7:08 PM

After all the racist lingo that the brain-damaged collection of self-important crud the MSM laughingly calls the “African-American leadership” uses on a daily basis, I don’t think that people who live in glass houses should ever throw stones…

Of course, I just live out here in Hymietown.

TexasJew on March 31, 2008 at 7:14 PM


RACIST! /Protein Wisdom meme

baldilocks on March 31, 2008 at 7:17 PM

This is a ridiculous issue. One would hope that the people who emit these moronic thoughts are not as stupid as the ideas they espouse.

rplat on March 31, 2008 at 7:22 PM

He should’ve followed through with the whole phrase and “dared” anyone to make an issue of it. And, of course, when they did he should have put that side by side with clips from the so called “Reverend” J. Wright – who is the real racist.
We need to be thankful for the exposure of J. Wright (and his ilk) as it allows all Americans to see who the real racists are. It also allows Americans of other ethnic/racial make-ups to now play the same game that has been played on them for so many decades. Now all we need to do is hold up our picture of J. Wright and company when someone is trying to stick the racist brand on us.
My hope is that eventually we’ll all just be able to turn the whole racial thing into something humorous and characteristically Americana. Like Dobbs was trying to say, something to be proud of.
Or as one great American once said, “Caint We All Jist Git Along?” DD

Darvin Dowdy on March 31, 2008 at 7:23 PM

Racist and racism have become nothing more than handy-dandy pejoratives used by hatemongers to attack people with whom they disagree. I find the terms as offensive as many claim the “N” word to be. I don’t believe in banning words, but if the “N” word is to be banned, so should those “R” words.

Diane C. Russell on March 31, 2008 at 7:24 PM

The chickens have come home to roost…… on Lou Dobbs.

Based on where and when Condi grew up, she has a right to the opinion of racial discord in America. Just don’t use a wide enough brush to paint all Americans, and four decades later with that image.

Hening on March 31, 2008 at 7:29 PM

See any similarities between DU/HuffPo & Radical Islamists?


PappaMac on March 31, 2008 at 7:39 PM

I’m trying to think of a way to work niggardly into my comment here…

Cicero43 on March 31, 2008 at 7:45 PM

Niggard please.

The Race Card on March 31, 2008 at 7:54 PM

The Race Card

Where ya been?

baldilocks on March 31, 2008 at 7:55 PM

The Race Card, missed you. This is the time to be here. Welcome back,

Entelechy on March 31, 2008 at 8:00 PM

Are there any garlic nosed cotton pickers?

Aristotle on March 31, 2008 at 8:01 PM

This is even too funny to be absurd.

oakpack on March 31, 2008 at 8:09 PM

I tell my kids to keep their “cotton pickin’ hands” off my stuff all the time. I never knew I was racially offending them.

ctmom on March 31, 2008 at 8:37 PM

Ironically, Dobbs was in the middle of ranting about our difficulty in talking abut race. You could see him wince at himself as he stopped mid-sentence to muffle the word “pickin'”. Funniest thing I’ve seen all week. Yeah, I know we’re just beginning the week, but still…

NorthernCross on March 31, 2008 at 8:47 PM

Dobbs was also referring to Obama as well as Rice in the cotton pickin phase. If it were a Fox commentator, a conservative talk show host who said it, it would be all over the evening news. The initials CNN at the bottom of the screen is Slovakian for pass.
Dobb should be taken to the woodpile–oops I mean woodshed.

wepeople on March 31, 2008 at 8:57 PM

Man, this is a real tar baby.

tlynch001 on March 31, 2008 at 9:08 PM

Damn, I’m a sucker for comment love. Here’s a big Hey! right back at Baldilocks and Entelechy.

It’s been a little while indeed.

I’ve been busy with a couple of new clients who require extreme hand-holding and are willing to pay. I’ve been to Disneyland. A friend died. And I’ve been teaching my daughter to read.

The Race Card on March 31, 2008 at 9:15 PM

Until we get rid of the nonsense that one race can say a word or phrase that another race can’t. There will never be an intelligent discussion on race in America.

Hog Wild on March 31, 2008 at 9:31 PM

As a southerner (Md and Va), I say that “cotton-pickin'” is a adjective denoting that the target person is low-class. Only lower economic strata men and women picked cotton by hand. The insult can be used against both black and white.


chsw on March 31, 2008 at 9:33 PM

HA. That’s what you get Lou, for joining the liberal bandwaggon and bashing Condi to comfort Obama.

Slavery was a “birth defect”. Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, even Lincoln said as much. But we grew out of it. Condi went on to confirm as much.

Slavery has nothing to do with the myriad other problems regarding race. Not voter rights, employment, housing, etc. Slavery has nothing to do with “racism”.

This is the greatest country on earth. We kicked Slavery after 100 years, when blacks were British slaves for the previous 300 years (in America). Before that Africans were slaves for thousands of years.


Agrippa2k on March 31, 2008 at 9:44 PM

And you “conservatives” and “Republicans” with your knee jerk reactions to Condi’s statement better check yourself. You only exacerbate these race themed attacks on Republicans.

All of this talk about “race” is having a negative effect on Republicans. We cower in fear when it is brought up, and turn on our own.

If we ever needed a black Republican party leader, now is the time. We will need a real Democrat hating, brawler. I may have to run for President myself.

Agrippa2k on March 31, 2008 at 9:50 PM

The Race Card on March 31, 2008 at 9:15 PM

How dare you actually have a real life! Sorry about your friend.

baldilocks on March 31, 2008 at 9:50 PM

Slavery was a “birth defect”. Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, even Lincoln said as much. But we grew out of it. Condi went on to confirm as much.

Actually, it was some rather painful Reconstructive surgery, decades of denial, and a painful round of therapy.

njcommuter on March 31, 2008 at 10:20 PM

I know Third World missionaries, medical relief workers and anthropologists who still cringe at the term “missionary stew” so what should be their consolation prize? RIP Michael Rockefeller.

Last month my girlfriend mopped the kitchen with Spic and Span before heading to a February White Sale at the mall then ordered dark meat chicken later that day at a restaurant. Do those all balance out or is she in deep trouble? For her office Easter party there was a white “sheet cake” served and some Planter’s Punch, too. I think there’s a package or two of oreos and cracker jack in the pantry… probably some Uncle Ben’s rice too… so I’d better go wolf those down before Revrum Wright’s crackpot congregation kicks the front door down and hauls us both of to socialist re-education camps (or worse).

viking01 on March 31, 2008 at 10:42 PM

Bugs Bunny used to say “cotton-pickin'” all the time…

wacist wabbit!!

D2Boston on March 31, 2008 at 11:27 PM

All my white Okie in-laws that used to pick cotton would love to know that there’s a racial overtone to that job.

TexasDan on March 31, 2008 at 11:33 PM

Damn, I’m a sucker for comment love.

The Race Card on March 31, 2008 at 9:15 PM


Also, sorry about the loss of your friend. With sympathy,

Entelechy on April 1, 2008 at 12:24 AM

It seems likely that “cotton-picking” originated as a substitute for “mother-fvcking,” in much the same way that “gee whiz” is a substitute for “Jesus” and “dadgummit” is a substitute for “goddammit.”

Kralizec on April 1, 2008 at 1:00 AM

What do I know? I’m just a typical white person.

waterfall on April 1, 2008 at 1:17 AM

Lou’s old enough to have seen countless Warner Brothers cartoons like I have (I’m younger, though – my exposure was every day on Ch 5 in NYC). They said “cotton-pickin'” practically every other word. Geez – get over it.

“Kill da wabbit… Kill da wabbit…”

Captain Scarlet on April 1, 2008 at 8:42 AM

The term was probably originally racist, but has attained other meanings over the years. “Cotton picking” is a method of fingerstyle guitar playing. We used the term as kids growing up in the Midwest in the 1960s, never giving a thought as to its origins. That is could be interpreted as racist only occurred to me in recent years, and only because I’ve spent most of my adult life living and working in DC.

I’ve seen older black women wearing little “pickaninny” doll pins. Are they being racist? Would I be racist for wearing one?

Who got the memo on all this?

manwithblackhat on April 1, 2008 at 9:03 AM