Matthew Whitaker and the redefinition of racism

posted at 8:30 am on August 10, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

One of the lasting, defining hallmarks of all forms of discrimination may have less to do with religion, race, gender or age than something much more universal. The classic characteristic of racism and all related biases is the tendency toward generalization. When placed in the context of modern racial stereotypes, the analogies come easily. That black teenage man in the hoodie pausing outside your condo might be a burglar up to no good. Then again, he might be someone who has been out looking for his lost cat for the last few hours and is on the point of giving up in despair. Or does he have a gun?

The funny thing about generalization is that it can cut across all social lines. We had the chance to witness this earlier in the week when Matthew C. Whitaker took to the pages of CNN to pen an editorial focusing on some protesters who showed up on his home turf in Phoenix, Arizona to voice their displeasure over President Obama’s policies when he arrived there to give a speech.

The political culture in Arizona, my home state, is often coarse, racialized and divisive. President Barack Obama’s visit there Tuesday gave the world another opportunity to see it. At times it seems as though the most bigoted individuals in America’s 48th state save their most raucous and prejudiced behavior for the 44th president.

The Arizona Republic reported that hundreds of dissenters chose to model their insulting and extremist behavior before some of Phoenix’s youngest residents. Assembled outside Desert Vista High School, they mocked Obama’s race, singing “Bye Bye Black Sheep” in spirited synchronization. One “patriot” went so far as to deprecate our commander in chief by pronouncing him “47 percent Negro,” while another, Deanne Bartram, held a sign that read, “Impeach the Half-White Muslim!”

While the live reports don’t provide much in the way of documented support for the claims, I have no doubt they are true. There was, I’m sure, somebody there yelling “47 percent Negro” and some people may have sung Bye Bye Black Sheep. An event like this will attract those elements the media love to focus on. (Never mind that the video report of the event which Whitaker himself cites features some of the most reasonable people from both sides of the spectrum you’d ever care to see.) We have our odd ducks, as do all groups. It’s the same reason that conservatives find such easy targets at Occupy events, where protesters are filmed defecating on police vehicles and chased down after raping tourists in makeshift tent cities.

But wait!” the progressives cry. Those are anarchists, criminals and the homeless who gravitate toward large crowds and cause a stir.

Yes, we know. We get them too.

The truly revealing pattern in Whitaker’s column is the need to define everyone by some universal, generalized standard. Never mind that many of the protesters seemed to have sincere complaints with some of the policies endorsed by and attitudes reflected in this administration. In his world, nothing makes sense unless everyone who disagrees with him shares some common thread of defective personality traits. In order to be wrong, they must be deranged, evil and an active, poison pill in the well of humanity.

I am reminded of a comedy routine performed by George Lopez shortly after President Obama’s election. He spoke of low income black youths working at fast food restaurants, complaining about how The Man was keeping them from getting a good job. He advised everyone to carry a picture of Barack Obama in their back pocket and, upon hearing these protests, to whip out the photo, show it to them, and declare that the playing field had finally been leveled.

It should have been rooted in far more fact than comedy. Barack Obama was not born to great wealth or social advantage, yet he rose to the most powerful position in the land; a feat which would have remained unthinkable without the incredible progress we have made in terms of advancing equality in our society. But there is no example powerful enough for some people to admit that significant changes have taken place. The battle must always be framed as one of this skin color versus another rather than a debate of policies or values. And apparently, at least for spokesmen such as Whitaker, the advantages of generalizing the opponent are far too precious to forgo.


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Over

Bmore on August 11, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Interesting.

rogerb on August 11, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Previous posts/thread by other individuals taken at face value.

Bubba Redneck on August 11, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Can you be specific?

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Read up thread.

Bubba Redneck on August 11, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Do you understand how to do searches that involve this site and the commenters nom? If yes, get busy, if no, learn.

Bmore on August 11, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Wasn’t talking to your highness, your highness.

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Read up thread.

Bubba Redneck on August 11, 2013 at 4:38 PM

I read down it, but didn’t see anything supported by any sort of evidence.

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Do you understand how to do searches that involve this site and the commenters nom? If yes, get busy, if no, learn.

Bmore on August 11, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Wasn’t talking to your highness, your highness.

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 4:44 PM

…typical troll!

KOOLAID2 on August 11, 2013 at 4:59 PM

…typical troll!

KOOLAID2 on August 11, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Dude that stung! Here I thought we were friends.

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Read up thread.

Bubba Redneck on August 11, 2013 at 4:38 PM

I read down it, but didn’t see anything supported by any sort of evidence.

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Not my problem.
This below.

Do you understand how to do searches that involve this site and the commenters nom? If yes, get busy, if no, learn.

Bmore on August 11, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Bubba Redneck on August 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Of course, we all know that the only “bigots” are Southern White Rethuglicans…Pork Chop told us so!

Buddhists attack mosque in Sri Lanka

A Buddhist mob has attacked a mosque in the Grandpass area of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, leaving at least five people injured.

Buddhists and Muslims clashed after the attack, and police imposed a curfew in the area.

Last month, a group of Buddhist monks had protested near the mosque, demanding it be relocated.

In recent months, hardline Buddhist groups have mounted a campaign against Muslim and Christian targets.

Del Dolemonte on August 11, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Not my problem.
This below.

Bubba Redneck on August 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM

So you got nothing

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

So you got nothing

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Actually that’d be you.

Bubba Redneck on August 11, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Actually that’d be you.

Bubba Redneck on August 11, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Are we in kindergarten again?

You made an assertion that one commenter was another previously banned commenter. Can you support that assertion with any actual evidence?

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 5:16 PM

You made an assertion that one commenter was another previously banned commenter. Can you support that assertion with any actual evidence?

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Seriously ahole..don’t want to be called a liberal troll. Don’t act like one. You are capable of using google aren’t you?

Both bmore and roger pointed you in the direction of the evidence.

The level of histrionic squealing about the bigots at HotAir is identical. Both arbitrarily designated themselves as the “moral authority” of what and who is a bigot at HotAir. Both lack self-awareness of their own bigotry towards tea party members, Christians and those who live in “red” states. Both like to use homosexuality as an slur or insult towards other commenters while decrying that commenters homo-phobia.

Both claim to be from CA and a “business” owner.

Their phrasing, manner of insulting, condesceding attitude based in ignorance….are the same. Not to mention…ZERO comments on anything other than what “it” perceives as bigotry.

Some of the race cards typical comments. Compare and contrast to Capitalist Hog.

What, no bitter, sexist remarks about her looks? This is not the Hot Air I knew.

The Race Card on May 21, 2010 at 5:18 PM

You know you’re one of my favorite racial-provocateurs, don’t you?

Would you do a favor for me? Say, “some of my best friends are…”

Aw come on, just once.

The Race Card on May 21, 2010 at 6:26 PM

You have proved yourself to be about as dumb a cluck as possible and still be able to type.

Here’s a simple exercise for ya. Google “Mike Honcho on” for this site. Google “The Race Card on” If HA is not my favorite site, it must be your nemesis. Clearly this is trivial, but highly amusing.

You have an open forum to prove yourself correct or admit that you’re a liar.

I’ve been here since the earliest of early days. I’ve written for the Green Room. HA keeps my browser from boring me to death while working or studying.

You’re late to the party kid as far as backbiters go, but I’ll toss you a consolation-bone.

The Race Card on May 22, 2010 at 5:11 PM

You’re a bigot in need of a serious ass-kicking. That is not a threat, it’s an opinion. So don’t get your Underoos all twisted.

The Race Card on December 16, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Actually, after reading about TRC writing for the Green Room maybe…TRC = Captialist Hog = Madison Conservative

HumpBot Salvation on August 11, 2013 at 5:22 PM

HumpBot Salvation on August 11, 2013 at 5:22 PM

So in summary

“They share similar views unlike my own, therefore they must be the same person.”

Is that the case?

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Wasn’t talking to your highness, your highness.

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Trust me on this one thing. I am fully aware of those negatives associated with your nom. Next time you want to refer to me as “your highnesss” capitalize it and bow. And while your down there put those purdy lips to use.

Bmore on August 11, 2013 at 5:37 PM

But he’s not wearing the white gloves . . .

Bubba Redneck on August 11, 2013 at 3:02 PM

‘Cause he’s part-time. ;)

Solaratov on August 11, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Now, DarkCurrent anything else you want to say to me while I take a break?

Bmore on August 11, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Trust me on this one thing. I am fully aware of those negatives associated with your nom. Next time you want to refer to me as “your highnesss” capitalize it and bow. And while your down there put those purdy lips to use.

Bmore on August 11, 2013 at 5:37 PM

You’ll have to excuse me, I don’t go for the sour wilted ones

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 5:40 PM

So in summary

“They share similar views unlike my own, therefore they must be the same person.”

Is that the case?

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Yeah, that’s it. Thanks for confirming.

HumpBot Salvation on August 11, 2013 at 5:43 PM

And there you have it for all to see, permanent like. I’ll take that as ” You got nothing” Now bow your sorry ass down.

Bmore on August 11, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Interesting.

rogerb on August 11, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Beautiful work as always my friend. ; )

Bmore on August 11, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Or what? You gonna squish me?

To me it seems reasonable to ask a person making an assertion to provide some actual evidence to back it up.

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 6:00 PM

crazy I know

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Lazy like water.

Bmore on August 11, 2013 at 6:06 PM

For the record I don’t care one way or the other, and I’m much more interested in the pending donation to our children’s hospital.

rogerb on August 11, 2013 at 6:08 PM

For the record I don’t care one way or the other, and I’m much more interested in the pending donation to our children’s hospital.

rogerb on August 11, 2013 at 6:08 PM

What’s that about roger?

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Wasn’t talking to your highness, your highness.

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Trust me on this one thing. I am fully aware of those negatives associated with your nom. Next time you want to refer to me as “your highnesss” capitalize it and bow. And while your down there put those purdy lips to use.

Bmore on August 11, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Unless you are a chinese communist bureaucrat his heart won’t be in it.

Bubba Redneck on August 11, 2013 at 6:10 PM

If it squeals like a pig, acts like a pig, smells like a pig, singularly focused like a pig, claims the same exact things as another pig, probably a pig.

Freaking crazy.

HumpBot Salvation on August 11, 2013 at 6:12 PM

For the record I don’t care one way or the other, and I’m much more interested in the pending donation to our children’s hospital.

rogerb on August 11, 2013 at 6:08 PM

That will happen after my questions get answered . . .

Bubba Redneck on August 11, 2013 at 6:13 PM

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 3:12 PM

How could there be evidence. I don’t know if it is or not but the themes are the same. Just pops in to tell us all what racists and bigots. Boring.

Cindy Munford on August 11, 2013 at 6:33 PM

For the record I don’t care one way or the other, and I’m much more interested in the pending donation to our children’s hospital.
 
rogerb on August 11, 2013 at 6:08 PM

What’s that about roger?
 
DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 6:09 PM

 

$100k to the person who can prove that DD did not use the n-word in the past 24 hours. We know he’s used it since Obama’s election. He uses it regularly in his personal life.

Capitalist Hog on August 10, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Neat. So is Paypal okay with you?
 
If not, I’m fine with an in-kind donation to our local hospital. I can give the address and specific department after you screen grab that you’ve actually got the funds available.
 
Not that I’m suggesting a tendency towards exaggeration and wild hyperbole or anything…

 
rogerb on August 10, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Your fly is open.
 
Capitalist Hog on August 10, 2013 at 7:24 PM

That was odd.
 
The subject was your wager and subsequent donation to my local childrens hospital (assuming you had the funds and honesty).
 
Try again, please.
 
rogerb on August 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM

So nothing more about your wager? It was just a lie?
 
rogerb on August 10, 2013 at 7:59 PM

 
Apparently it was all wild hyperbole and exaggeration (or a lie if you’d rather).
 
“Your fly is open” is one of the most bizarre responses I’ve ever seen here, too. Zero responses after that, btw.
 
A shame, really. I was truly interested in a hypercritical outspoken OMG-there’s-racists-here!!! gay man’s take on Bukowski’s writing re:women. Probably a neat conversation with someone capable of having it.
 
It’s good to know for future conversations, though. Credibility and what-not.

rogerb on August 11, 2013 at 6:35 PM

How could there be evidence. I don’t know if it is or not but the themes are the same. Just pops in to tell us all what racists and bigots. Boring.

Cindy Munford on August 11, 2013 at 6:33 PM

And ‘enablers’. Can’t forget that. That was the beastie’s word of the day.

Liam on August 11, 2013 at 6:36 PM

HumpBot Salvation on August 11, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Definitely not Madison Conservative. First, I’ve seen the two tangle (in text). Second, Mad Con NEVER NEVER runs away. He will argue and argue and argue. CH is a coward.

Cindy Munford on August 11, 2013 at 6:36 PM

How Paula Deen and Martin Luther King, Jr. were ever put in the same poll is beyond me. I will say that I imagine a lot of Republicans and Tea Partyers sympathize with her for being labelled a racist and a bigot over a word she used twenty years ago. Anyone who isn’t a liberal has had that charge thrown at them along with the rush to call any current event crazy to be included into the fold. That’s backfired so many times you would think they might stop trying.

Cindy Munford on August 11, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Dude that stung! Here I thought we were friends.

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM

…sure!…’keep your enemies close’…or something!

KOOLAID2 on August 11, 2013 at 7:08 PM

…S O O I E !

KOOLAID2 on August 11, 2013 at 7:11 PM

What’s that about roger?
DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 6:09

PM

You do not know?
You said you read the thread.

Troll and a liar.

Bubba Redneck on August 11, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Troll and a liar.

Bubba Redneck on August 11, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Iza Neck

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 7:48 PM

or whatever her black-ass name is.

Bubba Redneck on August 10, 2013 at 6:23 PM

What was this stuff about

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2013 at 7:50 PM

itsspideyman on August 10, 2013 at 11:02 PM

I thought HAL got the full ban: for good. As a matter of fact, another troll blamed me for it. *LOL*

CH is is HAL, JR. That’s for sure. I get a sense that, with enough prodding or disregard, CH will lose it and get banned, too. It started toward hysterics earlier, but managed to rein itself in.

Liam on August 10, 2013 at 11:06 PM

Thanks Liam.

HAL was definitely much weaker after the first ban-hammer. At some point the race-baiting rhetoric has the same bland sameness, and even worse for him, made him look plain silly.

I don’t mind a smart troll, but the name-calling is just an excuse for a weak argument.

Looks like CH is on that train.

itsspideyman on August 11, 2013 at 8:59 PM

While the live reports don’t provide much in the way of documented support for the claims, I have no doubt they are true.

REALLY? You “have no doubt they are true,” when we already have a very long list of lies regarding what the Tea Party has done at rallies, along with multiple DOCUMENTED cases where the media has altered audio, video and photographic evidence to perpetrate those lies?

SERIOUSLY? Anyone who doesn’t “doubt” EVERYTHING THAT IS REPORTED should have their head examined, that is, after they pull it out of their dark space!

STOP believing “news” reports. From every source. Question everything. Your own eyes are the only verification worthy of trust anymore.

mountainaires on August 12, 2013 at 8:50 AM

I am reminded of a comedy routine performed by George Lopez shortly after President Obama’s election. He spoke of low income black youths working at fast food restaurants, complaining about how The Man was keeping them from getting a good job. He advised everyone to carry a picture of Barack Obama in their back pocket and, upon hearing these protests, to whip out the photo, show it to them, and declare that the playing field had finally been leveled.

I advise everyone to copy this card, put it in your wallet and whip it out every time you hear the progressive communist charging racism to silence your First Amendment right to dissent:

http://specfriggintacular.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/card1.jpg

mountainaires on August 12, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Remember, I’m not the guy who slurs Latinos, Gays, Blacks and/or Muslims.
Capitalist Hog on August 11, 2013 at 4:06 AM

The second word in your screen name IS a slur to Muslims. You’re just too stupid to figure that out.
Del Dolemonte on August 11, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Brilliant response!

bluegill on August 12, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Capitalist Hog on August 10, 2013 at 7:24 PM

 

The subject was your wager and subsequent donation to my local childrens hospital (assuming you had the funds and honesty).

 
rogerb on August 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM

 
A (D)ead thread?
 
How odd. Why, who would’ve ever imagined something like that would happen?
 
On the bright side, maybe a response will get posted two weeks later after a quote is pulled and he realizes how bad the thread looks. Or wants the last word, I suppose.

rogerb on August 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Barack Obama was not born to great wealth or social advantage, yet he rose to the most powerful position in the land; a feat which would have remained unthinkable without the incredible progress we have made in terms of advancing equality in our society.

Barack Obama Jr. was sent to elite private schools in the island paradise of Hawaii by his rich white grandmother, after which he started dreaming of his socialist revolutionary Kenyan father (who ditched his son as a toddler). In pursuit of that dream, he proceeded to inflict his nightmare on the rest of us.

A better example of what is possible is a little black girl who grew up in segregationist Mississippi, who went on to become Secretary of State under a Republican President: Condoleezza Rice.

Steve Z on August 12, 2013 at 1:30 PM

On the bright side, maybe a response will get posted two weeks later after a quote is pulled and he realizes how bad the thread looks. Or wants the last word, I suppose.

rogerb on August 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Excellent work as always rogerb!

Foxhound on August 12, 2013 at 3:54 PM

rogerb on August 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Haven’t checked yet on its most recent post. You?

Bmore on August 12, 2013 at 10:24 PM

(I’ll post my response in two weeks.)

rogerb on August 13, 2013 at 6:10 AM

; )

Bmore on August 13, 2013 at 9:13 AM

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