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White Men Just Can’t Catch A Break

[ 122 ] May 2, 2012 |

Glad that Republicans are still valiantly standing up for the only oppressed group in America, Christian white men.

The arguments that Sonia Sotomayor was unqualified for the Supreme Court remain my favorite recent example of this crap.

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  1. Malaclypse says:

    Then I ran across a Boston Herald (the original source of the whole story) column by a certain Howie Carr…

    Many years ago, I was stuck in a car with a friend who listened to talk radio. Howie had a show back then. And one item that was in the news back then was the flawed mirror in the Hubble Space Telescope.

    Howie spent a good hour ranting and raving about WHY the HELL is this BROKEN PIECE OF GOVERNMENT JUNK named after CLINTON’S LAWYER, Webster Hubble? And why is the LAMESTREAM MEDIA not investigating this? THIS IS A COVERUP AS BAD AS WATERGATE!

    And in the hour it took until we, mercifully, drove out of reception range of the station, not a single caller brought up Edwin Hubble.

    • Erik Loomis says:

      The Hubble Telescope is totally named after Webster Hubble. That’s awesome.

      • Warren Terra says:

        Get it right … the Hubble Space Telescope is obviously named after Webster Hubbell.

        And Mobile, Alabama is named after Exxon-Mobil.

        • DrDick says:

          Tuskaloosa Mingo would like a word with you.

          • Warren Terra says:

            Mobile/Mobil was the best I could do on the spur of a moment for an item or institution sharing the name of something else (vaguely disreputable) that was (1) spelled differently and (2) became famous at a later date than the item or institution with which it shared a name.

            In the case of the Hubble Space Telescope, leaving old Edwin aside, and leaving the spelling aside, it would really have been awfully odd if in 1990 the administration of George H W Bush had named the telescope after an obscure friend of the opposing-party governor of Arkansas.

          • Warren Terra says:

            On the other hand, “Tuskaloosa Mingo would like a word with you” is a conjuringly intimidating phrase.

            • DrDick says:

              It should be. In his time he could have had you killed out of hand. He was paramount chief of a large and powerful chiefdom with pretty much autocratic power.

          • joe from Lowell says:

            That is the most awesome band name I’ve seen in a long time.

            “Tuskaloosa Mingo? Oh, yeah, I bought their first CD the day it came out. Not, not “Fools Gold for Desperate Liberals,” I mean the EP, the one they released before everyone knew about them. You’ve probably never heard it.”

            /hipster

    • MAJeff says:

      Howie is an odious human being, utterly without any redeeming qualities.

    • Davis X. Machina says:

      My Howie moment was when he volunteered to throw the switch on Dedric Owens, the 5-year-old in Michigan who shot and killed a classmate with a gun he brought from his fantastically ill-ordered home.

      Howie’s theory was basically if you don’t do it now, you’re only going to have to do it later, when he’s older and does it again.

    • mark f says:

      Christ. I knew this came from the Herald, but I didn’t know til now that it came from Carr.

      The last thing I read by him was about Patrick Kennedy’s engagement. Carr’s column was about how Kennedy was an addict who’d probably drive his fiancee’s toddler off a bridge. LOL!

    • JL says:

      Perhaps I should have read the comments before leaving my own comment further down about how terrible Howie Carr is. I could have put it in this subthread instead.

      Oh well. If you look down the comments far enough you’ll see my own Howie-Carr-is-terrible contribution.

  2. So Scott Brown is smearing Elizabeth Warren? Really? What did you expect him to do, argue policy differences?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Elizabeth Warren as an Indian?

    Really?

    What a crook. What a fuckin’ crook. By her definition, everybody’s a minority.

    Crook

  4. BradP says:

    Anyone looking at Barack Obama or Elizabeth Warren and immediately seeing the beneficiary of a “spoils racket” is just deranged beyond redemption—or perhaps, in Carr’s case, just cynical beyond belief.

    While this is certainly true, I don’t find much sympathy for Elizabeth Warren.

    Racial issues are gonna be a problem in our society no matter what, and every solution is going to be flawed. The last thing we need (other than racists) are opportunists exploiting and undermining controversial solutions.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

      Again, where’s the exploitation and opportunism? Warren never used her Native American status to gain employment or any other advantage. What “controversial solutions” (to what problems?) have been “undermined”?

      This is just huffing and puffing and pearlclutching about absolutely nothing.

      Twenty years ago, in a way that had nothing to do with her gaining any advantage, Elizabeth Warren referred to her Native American ancestry publicly.

      What is wrong with this?

      • lawguy says:

        What is wrong with this. My god man what will we tell the children. Oh wait, that was Clinton. Just a minute I will figure it out.

      • Furious Jorge says:

        Just because nobody can actually name a single advantage Warren may have gotten with her self-identification, that won’t stop the race-baiters from trying to smear her with it.

        (And just to be clear, I’m not including BradP in that category, even though he’s engaging in the same kind of fact-free commentary that the race-baiters are.)

        • BradP says:

          Just because nobody can actually name a single advantage Warren may have gotten with her self-identification, that won’t stop the race-baiters from trying to smear her with it.

          Whether or not she got an advantage is irrelevant (I’m more than convinced she deserved her position), the important question is whether she thought dubiously claiming minority status would improve her career path.

          That she claimed minority status at Texas and Penn, but then stopped once she got to Harvard ought to make one suspicious.

          • owlbear1 says:

            …the important question is whether she thought dubiously claiming minority status would improve her career path.

            HAHAHAHAHAAHA

            Holy shit, what an incredibly frightening fucking world you live in…

          • Honorable.....BOB says:

            …the important question is whether she thought dubiously claiming minority status would improve her career path.

            Name one….JUST ONE….other explanation why anyone would do this.

            • DocAmazing says:

              Pride in one’s ancestry?

              • Malaclypse says:

                Jennie can’t imagine non-whites being proud of their ancestry.

              • BradP says:

                Pride in one’s ancestry?

                Then one must ask why she all of a sudden lost that pride in 1995 and stopped mentioning altogether.

                • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

                  ‘Cause what possible negative social and political consequences could there be from her mentioning that ancestry, right BradP? It’s not like there’s any racism in this country!

            • BradP says:

              Name one….JUST ONE….other explanation why anyone would do this.

              Elizabeth Warren claims she included the information to make social acquaintances, which doesn’t make any sense either.

              • Malaclypse says:

                Shorter Brad: I have never seen an Italian-American Club, and the existence of one would make no sense.

                • BradP says:

                  Shorter Brad: I have never seen an Italian-American Club, and the existence of one would make no sense.

                  It doesn’t make sense because the AALS listing only publicly listed her as a minority faculty member, but never made reference to what minority.

                • Hogan says:

                  So she’s exploiting her alleged Native American heritage by not mentioning her alleged Native American heritage?

                  Is the AALS directory the only place she ever mentioned her Native American heritage?

              • JL says:

                *shrug* I’m a white-looking twentysomething woman with Sephardic (Spanish Jews who ended up distributed through the Middle East and Latin America), Native American, and Romani (Gypsy) heritage (that together adds up to a little under half my ancestry, but none of the relevant fractions are really big). I don’t have as much trouble relating to her going back and forth, including this info, etc, as apparently you do. In fact, I can relate quite easily, as I’ve gone back and forth a few times on whether I consider myself white. There’s always this tension between not wanting to claim oppression that you have little experience with, and not wanting to erase parts of your background. There’s also always the issue of wanting to connect more with, learn more about, publicly acknowledge, the parts of your background that your parents or grandparents maybe suppressed, now that we’ve made at least a little progress on race in this country. And similarly, wanting to stand up for, and stand in solidarity with, your ancestors who may have been racially persecuted. Plus, yes, ethnic identity can definitely help with making acquaintances – ever seen how Jewish communities function?

                I’m not trying to attack you or anything. I get that what for lack of a better term I’ll call multiracial whiteness – the situation of people who have mixed backgrounds but look white and are perhaps socialized into whiteness – is not something that most people, anywhere on the political spectrum, have context for. But I am saying that as another “multiracial white” person (and also, a Massachusetts voter) I see nothing odd about her trajectory of self-identification, and I’m trying to explain that perspective. Though this sort of thing makes me wonder how screwed I would be if I ran for office someday.

                Lest you respond that I have more “minority” ancestry than she does, I will point out what several others have, that according to federal and Cherokee tribal law she can legitimately call herself Cherokee.

          • Stag Party Palin says:

            For a guy who can tie his own shoes (I assume) you sure are talking like a paranoid race-baiting fathead (no offence)on this one. Back then, and even now sometimes, you filled out a lot of forms that asked for your race. In those innocent times you might have wanted to answer truthfully – nowadays a simple ‘fuck off’ will do nicely, but I digress. So, my assumption is that she answered a question put to her as best she could, not that she was planning some infamy. Later on she changed her mind.

            You’re making it all up Brad.

            • BradP says:

              For a guy who can tie his own shoes (I assume) you sure are talking like a paranoid race-baiting fathead (no offence)on this one. Back then, and even now sometimes, you filled out a lot of forms that asked for your race. In those innocent times you might have wanted to answer truthfully – nowadays a simple ‘fuck off’ will do nicely, but I digress. So, my assumption is that she answered a question put to her as best she could, not that she was planning some infamy. Later on she changed her mind.

              1) She is 1/32 native american. She is caucasian.

              2) She added it as unnecessary information on a major professional listing.

              • Hogan says:

                She added it as unnecessary information on a major professional listing.

                On a what now?

                • BradP says:


                  On a what now?

                  The Association of American Law Schools Directory of Law Teachers.

                  Its a self-reported directory amongst participating institutions, and her name shows up under a listing of minority professors from 1986 to 1995. Thats the duration of her time at Texas and Penn, and abruptly ending after gaining a position at Harvard.

                  Harvard then repeatedly used her minority status to refute claims of a lack of diversity in the Harvard Crimson.

                  Here is a Harvard Crimson article from 1996 that really puts a lot of suspicion to the idea that her native american heritage had no role in her professional career:

                  http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1996/10/22/survey-diversity-lacking-at-hls-pa/

                  Of 71 current Law School professors and assistant professors, 11 are women, five are black, one is Native American and one is Hispanic, said Mike Chmura, spokesperson for the Law School.

                  Although the conventional wisdom among students and faculty is that the Law School faculty includes no minority women, Chmura said Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren is Native American.

                  In response to criticism of the current administration, Chmura pointed to “good progress in recent years.”

                • joe from Lowell says:

                  Wait a second, Brad.

                  That Harvard mentioned her background puts a lot of suspicion to the idea that her native american heritage had no role in her professional career?

                  Brad, that is some racial paranoia right there.

                • BradP says:

                  That Harvard mentioned her background puts a lot of suspicion to the idea that her native american heritage had no role in her professional career?

                  Brad, that is some racial paranoia right there.

                  I thought it was paranoia over scummy university administrators.

                • Hogan says:

                  Its a self-reported directory amongst participating institutions, and her name shows up under a listing of minority professors from 1986 to 1995. Thats the duration of her time at Texas and Penn, and abruptly ending after gaining a position at Harvard.

                  Ah, so when she got the job at Harvard and updated her directory information, it occurred to her that the minority listing wasn’t performing the function she thought it might (when she first created it *in Texas*) and took it out, although not before some Harvard flak noticed it and brought it up sixteen years ago, which is why we can’t trust her today.

                • joe from Lowell says:

                  I thought it was paranoia over scummy university administrators.

                  They only appear “scummy” because of your racial paranoia.

              • Malaclypse says:

                1) She is 1/32 native american. She is caucasian.

                Did you use a paper bag to decide this?

          • DrDick says:

            Why? She has fully explained that and, as a matter of tribal and federal law, she has the right (which the NYT apparently fact checked) to claim to be Cherokee. There is no minimum blood quantum requirement for membership in the tribe. Lots and lots of people in Oklahoma, Arkansas,Missouri, and Kansas take pride in their Cherokee heritage. I say this as someone whose son is half Cherokee and an enrolled tribal member.

        • BradP says:

          Whether or not she got an advantage is irrelevant (I’m more than convinced she deserved her position), the important question is whether she thought dubiously claiming minority status would improve her career path.

          That she claimed minority status at Texas and Penn, but then stopped once she got to Harvard ought to make one suspicious.

          • Bill Murray says:

            how exactly was she dubiously claiming to be a minority?

            • DrDick says:

              She is not dubiously anything. There is documentation of her Cherokee ancestry and the Cherokee Nation has no minimum blood quantum requirement, so she is eligible to enroll in the tribe, whether she has done so or not. The Cherokee Nation decided on its own (and against the advice of the Bureau of Indian Affairs) to eliminate the blood quantum requirement. Today there are many Cherokees with even lower blood quantum than she has. There are also 13,000 native speakers of Cherokee.

      • BradP says:

        What “controversial solutions” (to what problems?) have been “undermined”?

        Any direct attempt to counteract systematic underrepresentation of minority groups in academia and other fields.

        Twenty years ago, in a way that had nothing to do with her gaining any advantage, Elizabeth Warren referred to her Native American ancestry publicly.

        For a decade Warren listed herself in a professional listing as native-american. After she basically reached the likely pinnacle of her academic career, at a point when Harvard began using her 1/32 native ancestry to promote a more diverse faculty than they really had.

        • BradP says:

          For a decade Warren listed herself in a professional listing as native-american. After she basically reached the likely pinnacle of her academic career, at a point when Harvard began using her 1/32 native ancestry to promote a more diverse faculty than they really had, she stopped listing herself as a minority.

          • Steve LaBonne says:

            That sounds like a GOOD deed- not letting them use her ancestry to put an undeserved gloss on their diversity efforts. And why the fuck do YOU care, anyway? You’re usually smarter than this.

            • BradP says:

              That sounds like a GOOD deed- not letting them use her ancestry to put an undeserved gloss on their diversity efforts. And why the fuck do YOU care, anyway? You’re usually smarter than this.

              No, Harvard did count her as minority faculty. When the Harvard Crimson ran a peice about student concerns over a lack of diversity, they specifically listed Warren as a native american.

            • BradP says:

              And why the fuck do YOU care, anyway?

              I’m wondering why you wouldn’t be concerned about an extremely prominent senate candidate making dubious claims about her ancestry.

              • Malaclypse says:

                I’m wondering why you wouldn’t be concerned about an extremely prominent senate candidate making dubious claims about her ancestry.

                Ahem.

                • BradP says:

                  1) She is 1/32 native american with apparently no cultural link.

                  2) She flatly denied ever touting her “native heritage” in a professional manner, even though she self-reported herself as a minority in an AALS listing(as professional as it gets) 8 straight years.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  I look forward to your outrage about Scott Brown claiming to be middle-class.

                • joe from Lowell says:

                  1) I’ve never seen her with feathers in a headband, doing a rain dance in a desert, so therefore, there is no cultural ink at all.

                  2) Your theory is that she was “touting her heritage in a professional manner” by checking a box on a listing-magazine form, but that she just plumb forgot to do so every single time she applied for a job?

                • DrDick says:

                  She is 1/32 native american with apparently no cultural link.

                  That describes a large number of legally enrolled Cherokees. For that matter, I have known full-bloods with no apparent cultural link to their tribes. Do you even have a point here?

              • Steve LaBonne says:

                As already noted, if your “point” is that the “claims” are unfounded, that’s bullshit. We await your retraction (yeah, right.)

          • Bill Murray says:

            one assumes they still listed her as a woman

  5. BradP says:

    Why are all my replies waiting on moderation?

    • DrDick says:

      One of mine upthread also got caught in moderation, so I don’t think it is personal.

      • BradP says:

        Yeah, I figured if our gracious hosts were going to single out my posts, I would have given them enough material long before now.

        I’ve been a little under the weather for the last few days and thought I might have missed something.

    • Ben says:

      A few of mine were waiting earlier, too.

      I think davenoon is threatened by the confident and virile uppercase B’s.

      (I know that doesn’t make sense, but it’s an Althouse reference. I don’t think it can make sense.)

    • Murc says:

      It happens sometimes for arcane reasons. We’ve all been there. Robert usually does a drive-by once a day or so and cleans everything up.

    • Warren Terra says:

      I had a comment Moderated earlier that contained no html, no obvious trigger words, and was only about fifteen words long. I figured it was moderated on account of its being my second comment in the thread in a minute or so (I’ve known some sites to have automation telling commenters to slow down if they’re commenting too much), or maybe the site was just feeling tetchy.

  6. Manju says:

    I’m going to defer judgment until Johnny Depp weighs in.

    However, just between you and I, I’ve never viewed Warren as a Churchillian figure.

  7. Steve LaBonne says:

    I’ll remember this bullshit from BradP the next time he tries to claim that “enlightened” libertarians like him are not just typical followers of the latest ridiculous Republican line.

  8. joe from Lowell says:

    The best of of this is that never, at any point in Elizabeth Warren’s political career, did anyone suggest that she was the slightest bit unqualified for the positions she’s held…until the right-wingers discovered that she has some non-white ancestry, and which point they “discovered” that she must owe her success to affirmative action.

    But they’re not racist, heavens no! The racists are the people who think that one can be less than 100% white and still be capable of earning a high position on your merits.

    • BradP says:

      The best of of this is that never, at any point in Elizabeth Warren’s political career, did anyone suggest that she was the slightest bit unqualified for the positions she’s held…until the right-wingers discovered that she has some non-white ancestry, and which point they “discovered” that she must owe her success to affirmative action.

      I’m pretty sure most of questioning is over her motivation for listing herself as a minority lawprof, not over whether it actually advanced her career.

      The two guys I have read that are really hammering down on this (a guy at Volokh and the guy at legal insurrection) completely acknowledge that she was more than qualified through her work up to that point.

      • joe from Lowell says:

        I’m pretty sure most of questioning is over her motivation for listing herself as a minority lawprof, not over whether it actually advanced her career.

        I’m pretty sure that the “questioning” has lurched from this argument to that, each weaker than the last. I’m pretty sure that this “questioning” consists of arguments so transparently weak and false as to make it blindingly obvious that the people doing the “questioning” are just groping for excuses to bring up the subject – and people who have a Pavolvian response to such groping.

      • mark f says:

        the guy at legal insurrection completely acknowledge[s] that she was more than qualified

        . . . but she uses fancy unamerican mustard?

      • Hogan says:

        And way more people read those two blogs than read the Boston Herald, so no worries there.

    • Steve LaBonne says:

      Not only racist, but clearly desperate. They know the Playgirl model is toast.

      • joe from Lowell says:

        I never agreed with the guy on much, but I always liked that he didn’t take the low road in the 2008 campaign. That he’s doing so now is a pretty clear sign of desperation.

        To put a finer point on it, they’re worried about how working class white males will vote. That is the key swing demo in this race, and people have been pointing that out for months.

        And now the Brown campaign is talking about affirmative action.

        • Steve LaBonne says:

          There are days when I feel like the voters who fall for this crap deserve to get it up the ass. Except, of course, that the rest of us get it at the same time.

  9. ajay says:

    As noted elsewhere, large numbers of US senators have spent a long time trying to get Warren to shut up forever and go somewhere a long way away and stop bothering their campaign contributors by interfering with their efforts to make money in as rapacious and unbridled a way as possible, which isn’t a million miles from the Native American experience.

  10. JL says:

    Howie Carr, who wrote the referenced Boston Herald piece, is a total a-hole and has been for ages. This is the same scumbag who printed the mugshots of people arrested – and in some cases injured – in the Occupy Boston raid, in order to mock them (and claim that it was why they had no jobs, which a bunch of them did) for not being aesthetically pleasing to him.

    I realize there’s a larger issue with Republicans here that goes beyond Howie Carr. But I just wanted to throw how terrible Howie Carr is out there.

  11. BradP says:

    So I’m reading that the 1/32nd link has grown extremely tenuous, and that the husband of the link was actually a member of a militia that helped round up Cherokee.

    Any truth to that?

    • Malaclypse says:

      So I’m reading that the 1/32nd link has grown extremely tenuous, and that the husband of the link was actually a member of a militia that helped round up Cherokee.

      I “know” many things about my great-grandparents. I would not be at all surprised if much beyond their names turned out to be inaccurate to varying degrees. Keep in mind that my father’s side is Mormon enough to actually do genealogical research, which probably puts me above-average in actual great-grand-parental knowledge. Do you think you really know everything about your great-grandparents?

  12. Billy Bob says:

    Im guessing all you commentators have no social lives at all,as a matter of fact,I’d say if a person of the opposite sex approached and/or touched any of you…you’d pass out.

  13. Katya says:

    Actually, you can. There is zero evidence that Warren ever claimed any benefit based on her Cherokee ancestry. None. Her colleagues have made it perfectly clear that it had nothing to do with her professional achievements. But it’s fun to be a dick, isn’t it?

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