The White House Press Corps gives her the privileged seat, allows her to act like a jackass for years, and then her apologists want us to say “God bless Helen Thomas.” No, no, no, God damn Helen Thomas, that’s in the Bible.
June 11, 2010
July 20, 2008
Jesse Jackson has recently come under fire for off the record comments he made in a FoxNews interview. First we learned that he expressed a desire to castrate Barack Obama, and now we learn that he also said the n-word in that same interview. This is a partial defense of the latter.
As a general rule, “using the n-word” is a serious matter. Some argue that it’s OK for blacks to use it since the word is directed at them rather than anyone else. In theory, I could accept that, if all blacks agreed that they wanted to “own” the word to strip it of its derogatory meaning, much as gays have done with words like “queer,” “homo” and, for that matter, “gay,” or as gun nuts have done with phrases like, well, “gun nut.” But if blacks as a group wanted to go that route, allowing the rest of us to use the word in the same harmless vein would largely follow as a matter of course. Once thousands of gays banded together as “Queer Nation” and five appeared on a TV show called “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” they pretty well gave up the right to tell the rest of us not to call them queers. And once I self-identify as a “gun nut,” I give up the right to criticize gunophobes for applying the term to others. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton understand this, which is why they, like many others, call on blacks and whites alike to renounce the word.
That said, a little common sense is in order. As surely as the word dog never bit anyone, there is using the n-word, and then there is really using the n-word. Simply uttering it in any context is not necessarily it. Off the top of my head, I can think of four discrete ways to “use” the n-word, in descending order of offensiveness:
- Using the N-word as a racial slur. This occurs any time a person of any race utters the n-word in reference to another human being whom he believes to be black. Robert Byrd probably used the word this way countless times when he was in the Klan. Rappers do it all the time today. A few unrepentant, hard-core white racists continue to do so, as well, while the rest of us rightly abhor it.
- Using the N-word as an all-purpose epithet. There is a school of non-thought in which “nigger means stupid.” No, dumbass, it doesn’t. From the days of the Roman Empire, “niger” has always meant black. It has never meant “stupid” (did you really think that Niger is so named because they consider themselves a nation of dumbasses?!), nor has it always had any negative connotation at all. But whether the original niger or its progeny was used in a good, bad or neutral way, it has always meant black. So when Robert Byrd infamously announced that there were “white niggers,” he may have been about one-tenth less of an asshole than he had been back in his Klan days, but what he lacked in asshole-hood he made up in abject stupidity.
- Using the N-word to insult someone other than the referent. A big part of the reason why the n-word has such horrible connotations today, while its Latin origin and its existing Latinate cognates do not, is its close connection with slavery. However, not all references to slavery are slights against the proverbial slave. In a culture that rightly abhors slavery, many such references are really intended to insult the proverbial slave-driver, not the putative slave. One of the two times in my adult life in which I recall using the n-word was when I was in my mid-20s, and my parents employed a nanny who could barely speak English. They paid her all right, generally treated her well, and even helped her enroll in community college classes, but my mother absolutely connipted when the nanny had the audacity to quit her job and pursue other opportunities elsewhere. She called me to vent about it, and I responded with something along the lines of “Good God, Mom, you sound like a plantation owner who can’t figure out why his nigger just left him.” She never complained about the departed nanny again, at least, not in my presence. Cf. Sacramento Bee cartoonist Dennis Renault’s brilliant 1994 cartoon, in which one Klansman turned to another and said, in reference to Louis Farrakhan, that “that nigger makes a lot of sense.”
- Discussing the n-word itself. Example: “Now listen, Johnny. ‘Nigger’ is very a bad word. Don’t use it.” Unless it’s deliberately overdone, this one should not offend at all.
FoxNews has thus far declined to release a transcript of the actual exchange, so the best we can do is extrapolate from the reported news stories what was probably said. Per CBS:
In additional comments from that same conversation, first reported by the blog TVNewser, Jackson is reported to have said Obama was “talking down to black people,” and referred to blacks with the N-word when he said Obama was telling them “how to behave.”
Note that they didn’t report that Jackson called Obama himself the n-word; rather, he accused him of talking down to other blacks and effectively treating them as lowly n-words. Big difference. Still offensive, still unfair, but hardly equivalent to using the word in sense #1 above. It’s more like #3; a bit insult to Obama as the proverbial slavedriver, no insult at all to blacks as a race.
November 7, 2007
If this is to be believed, it seems Duane “Dog” Chapman used the N-word because he thought he was black himself. Either that, or he heard so many black rappers and fellow inmates say the N-word that he thought they must be cool with it. Oops.
December 28, 2005
In 1889, a Paiute Indian named Jack Wilson decided he was the Messiah and created a new movement called the Ghost Dance Religion. It was based on hating the White Man.** Several of the early converts were from the Sioux Nation. While Sitting Bull, leader of the Sioux, was not one of the Ghost Dancers, he nevertheless tolerated their wacky religion.
This turn of events made the US government nervous, and so some federal agents tried to bring in Sitting Bull on December 15, 1890; a gun battle ensued, and Sitting Bull was killed. The new leader of the Sioux and his followers met up with the 7th Cavalry in Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Apparently, both sides were trying to make peace, and so the Sioux all but surrendered to the Army.
On the morning of Dec. 29, 1890, while the US Army was attempting to disarm the Sioux, a gun evidently went off, chaos ensued, 153 Indians and 25 Cavalrymen were killed. And so it has been called the Battle of Wounded Knee.
Insane Progressives — but I repeat myself — however, apparently can’t view historical events such as this merely as what happened before, and see America for what she is today. Instead, these Progs have to continually dredge up whatever past so-called injustices they can find and beat everyone about the head with them. Mark Anthony Rolo, writing in the Anniston (Alabama) Star, is one such lunatic lefty:
For American Indians, however, that snowy South Dakota morning proved to be one of the most significant days in their history. The deadly events at Wounded Knee brought to an end what was once known as the Indian Wars Period, in which Indian tribes resisted efforts by the U.S. military to force their people into prison-like land parcels in order to clear the way for white settlers.
Today, the massacre at Wounded Knee is mythologized and memorialized as just one of a number of tragic, ugly stories of how this country was formed. But for generations of American Indians, Wounded Knee has meant more than mere history. The massacre has passed down scars of suspicion and badges of bitterness toward the white man.
Question: Why are Progressives so obsessed with race?
Cross-posted at Cardinal Martini (my home blog)
This post has been linked at Diggers Realm’s “Around the Blogosphere #31″.
** In the comments, Clark Smith makes me think I should clarify something. In its original conception, the Ghost Dance Religion may have focused on the glory of Indian culture, rather than solely on “hating the white man”. (Although I have my doubts that it was truly about “pining for their own culture as preceded the arrival of the white man” considering the Ghost Dance doctrine contains a lot of Christian symbolism and themes — most notably that there is only one true God.) So, perhaps I was unfair in suggesting Jack Wilson himself created it merely with the intention of formalizing a hatred of the white man. Nevertheless, it is clear to me based upon what I know of the pertinent events that the Sioux who joined the Religion, and eventually were “massacred” by the Army, did so because they hated whites and believed the Religion accurately predicted a coming destruction of the whites.
December 27, 2005
When a number of teenage Australian girls were subjected to hours of sexual degradation during a spate of gang rapes in Sydney that occurred between 1998 and 2002, the perpetrators of these assaults framed their rationale in ethnic terms. The young victims were informed that they were “sluts” and “Aussie pigs” while they were being hunted down and abused.
In Australia’s New South Wales Supreme Court in December 2005, a visiting Pakistani rapist testified that his victims had no right to say no, because they were not wearing a headscarf.
And one more excerpt:
And earlier this year Australians were outraged when Lebanese Sheik Faiz Mohammed gave a lecture in Sydney where he informed his audience that rape victims had no one to blame but themselves. Women, he said, who wore skimpy clothing, invited men to rape them.
A few months earlier, in Copenhagen, Islamic mufti and scholar, Shahid Mehdi created uproar when – like his peer in Australia – he stated that women who did not wear a headscarf were asking to be raped.
And with haunting synchronicity in 2004, the London Telegraph reported that visiting Egyptian scholar Sheik Yusaf al-Qaradawi claimed female rape victims should be punished if they were dressed immodestly when they were raped. He added, “For her to be absolved from guilt, a raped woman must have shown good conduct.”
This is sick stuff, and there’s a lot more of it over at Frontpage.
September 6, 2005
I rarely do public de-linkings, and as a general rule, am more like inclined to mock than to follow those who do. I’m making an exception for VDare, however, as I’ve been a frequent critic of phony, hair-trigger charges of racism in the past, and therefore feel I owe it to the truth to harp just as loudly on the real thing when it raises its ugly head. Just last week, I pissed a lot of race-baiters off by defending the Associated Press against the looting vs. finding canard. I’m not too worried about any regular readers mistaking me for a shill of the Ass. Press, but I am concerned by the possibility that my frequent criticism of phony charges of racism could be construed to mean I think all charges of racism are phony. They aren’t. Most are, I suspect, but that doesn’t make the real cases any less real or any less worthy of condemnation. One such example appears in today’s article by Steve Sailer of VDare which was, until today, on my blogroll:
In contrast to New Orleans, there was only minimal looting after the horrendous 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan — because, when you get down to it, Japanese aren’t blacks.
There you have it, straight from the horse’s
ass mouth: the world is divided not into Americans and non-Americans, rich vs. poor, civilized vs. uncivilized or even educated vs. non-educated, but but between blacks and non-blacks. It doesn’t get any uglier than that, folks.
While conservatives and common-sense border control advocates scramble to distance ourselves from this idiot, watch for the illegal immigrant lobby to make all the hay in world out of it. I can hear the line already: “See, we told you that talk of border control is really just a ‘code word’ for racism. That Sailer dude just screwed up by saying out loud what everyone else in the movement really means!”
Adding insult to injury, Sailer’s racist remarks are directed at a non-immigrant segment of society, and therefore don’t even have the potential to promote the border control cause. No, I’m not suggesting that racism directed at Hispanics would be any less odious than racism directed at blacks. What I am saying is that to the extent a person is obsessed with the border control issue – as VDare appears to be – one can almost understand some of them going a little overboard with their cause and making a semi-racist statement directed at the groups that tend to immigrate illegally in large numbers. Blacks are not part of that group, however, so a racist statement against them does not even have that fig leaf of an excuse. It wasn’t racism for the cause; it was racism for racism’s sake.
The only silver lining here, if indeed there is one, is that this blatantly racist comment against a class of native Americans may cause Professor Bainbridge to re-think his knee-jerk habit of applying the word “nativist” to just about anyone who opposes open borders. Maybe now he’ll finally stop calling us nativists and start calling us racists instead! Oh, wait, I guess that wouldn’t be much of an improvement, would it? Never mind…
UPDATE: Rather than apologize for his idiocy, Sailer non-explains his scapegoating by whining how everyone but him is guilty of “Stevegoating” instead. Lame, lame and double-lame. Meanwhile, Radley Balko, with whom I’ve differed in the past (to put it lightly), gets this one exactly right:
I have never understood why Steve Sailer gets taken seriously. Even by people I respect.
One can only hope that after this vile screed, said serious-taking will cease.
UPDATE x2: Sailor has linked back to this entry, so now it’s troll time. Enjoy. And yes, I do know that he spells his own name “Sailer” rather than “Sailor.” He also spells the name of this blog (which he attributes to me rather than to the blog itself) is “damnus absque injuria,” so I’m taking his orthography with a grain of salt. So much for that superior white intellect.
UPDATE x3: If I had any doubt that de-linking VDare over one bad apple was a mistake, this response pretty much seals it. According to Sailer’s co-blogger, John Brimelow (who, to his credit, can at least spell the word damnum, publicly criticizing a web site constitutes “wimping out,” and linking directly to the offending entry to explain why it’s offensive constitutes an attempt to “ban your readers from seeing the offending material.” That’s right, if you can read this entry, I just banned you from ever enjoying the wit and/or wisdom of VDare. Don’t you feel repressed already? He also compares me to Victor Davis Hanson, which presumably was intended to be an insult, and claims I had recently been “trying to widen [my] appeal by some mild harrumping on the immigration and race issues.” In fact, I’ve been giving both issues their due (which, admittedly, is less than what may seem “due” from the perspective of someone obsessed with the issues) for as long as this blog has existed, and for many years before that on Usenet and in other forums. My first blog entry on affirmative action was posted on Christmas Eve of 2002, when this blog was less than three weeks old. It took a few more months to get around to illegal immigration, but I did blog about it during the lead-up to the recall election and for an “Administration cheerleading blog,” I was pretty quick to pounce on the Bush Administration’s non-amnesty amnesty proposal, long before I’d heard of, let alone linked to, these Vdaredevils.
UPDATE x4: John Hawkins has more on this moron.
April 13, 2005
LaShawn Barber has the gory details. Acthole, as usual, defends the indefensible in comments.
March 2, 2005
This guy is simply too dumb to fisk. ‘Hat tip: Uncly Wuncly.
February 19, 2005
UPDATE (5/17): Just when I thought this scumbag had gone as low as any person could go, yesterday he took things to yet another level, by attempting to fake his own murder – by two unnamed soldiers, of course.
October 14, 2004
CNS News reports that Jesse Jackson (h/t: Media Crapola) accused President Bush of supporting “ideology of the Confederacy.” My first thought upon hearing the soundbite was plausible deniability – get your audience riled up with something that sounds like a reference to the slave states in the Civil War, but reserve the right to say later “oh, no, I didn’t mean that confederacy, I was talking about the anti-federalist mentality behind the Articles of Confederation.” Based on the vagaries of his earlier “confederacy” remark last June, I was even half-prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, until I read this quote which leaves no doubt for Jackson to benefit from:
“[Bush is pursuing] the states’ rights ideology, in contrast to the Union; the embrace of [former Confederate President] Jefferson Davis rather than Abraham Lincoln,” Jackson told CNSNews.com .
O-kay. So according to the Reverend Jackson, President Bush either supports slavery, or he supports the right of the states to secede from the union, or both. Jackson’s not running for office himself, so it might not be that big of a deal what he said if he were not part of the Kerry campaign, or if the rest of the Kerry campaign would at least distance itself from these outrageous remarks. No dice. Quoth DNC strongman Terry McAuliffe:
Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said he was going to let Reverend Jackson speak for himself. “The Reverend Jackson has spoken for himself his entire life and does a very effective job doing that,” McAuliffe told CNSNews.com .
OEstrich went one better, attempting to spin Jackson’s remarks big time:
I think what Reverend Jackson is saying — translated into votes– is you didn’t hear President Bush speak to African-Americans tonight. I think the point of it was when it came to issue of race, the president punted.
OK, OK, so maybe one group supported the right of white people to own black people, while the other led a bloody war to end that abhorrent practice and now presides over the highest rate of minority home ownership in history. Details. What matters is that President Bush didn’t say what the Rainbow/PUSH/NAALCP wanted to hear, therefore, President Bush wants to own slaves. I get it. The only thing I don’t get is this: between Estrich, her former co-worker Erwin Chemerinsky, Franklin Zimring, Michael Vitiello, Linda Hamilton Krieger and Tobias Wolff, can just anyone get a job as a law professor these days?