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Is There A Film About Interracial Marriage Richard Cohen Can Watch?

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Richard Cohen evidently is part of a bet to see if there’s anything he can write about race that won’t get him fired:

Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.

Gag reflex, eh? Given that one can assume Cohen thinks he holds conventional views himself, I think this makes him unusually qualified to judge whether other institutions are racist.

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  • I really don’t know how Richard Cohen gets through a week without someone hitting him with a tire iron.

    • David Hunt

      That’s actually quite obvious. He surrounds himself with people who never change their own tires and, thus, do not possess any tire irons to hit him with.

    • Informant

      He uses the same high quality private security firm that David Broder did?

    • Ed K

      Absolutely nobody wants to go to jail over this steaming pile of human shit? That’s the only thing I can come up with.

    • CD

      This is Cohen’s schtick. He’s been doing this for decades. This is why he’s writing for the Washington Post.

  • Ronan

    Jesus tonight

  • Joey Maloney

    Cohen’s gagging on DeBlasio shoving his lesbian wife down his throat? What?

  • Malaclypse

    Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?

    No. It is none of anybody’s business.

    This has been today’s edition of SASQ.

    • It’s BdB’s business, but I think he knows.

    • John (not McCain)

      He might want to mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife could be bisexual. Such persons do, I am given to understand, exist.

      • steve

        Nonsense! You choose to be a lesbian and then choose to become heterosexual!

        • Ian

          Clearly the problem began when she chose to have two X chromosomes.

        • Jon H

          Once the Sorting Hat makes its decision, that’s final!

          • Don’t hate me because I’m a Slytherin! Sorting hat’s gotta sort!

        • (the other) Davis

          Sometimes over the course of the same night!

      • Darkrose

        Nope. Bisexuals are like unicorns. Especially bisexual people of color. Nothing to see here. Move along.

      • I enjoy making fun of bigots as much as the next Godless Liberal, but I quail at the thought of Cohen opining on bisexuality.

        “The conventional view is that the avant-garde phenomenon of bisexuality is evidence of a deeply confused psyche and people should just make up their minds.”

    • She’s part of the Avant Garde, I guess.

      • EH

        “Elect me like one of your French girls.”

    • Halloween Jack

      The way that he just had to put that in there reminds me of how some dudebros claim to have “converted” a lesbian. Guy, no, you didn’t. (Although Cohen may also be trying to imply that Bill wasn’t really getting any, which would be just about little Dickie’s speed.)

  • Pseudonym

    Conventional views, like opposing miscegenation? But surely that’s not racist. Also, as I am not a New Yorker, is Chirlane McCray actually a former lesbian turned straight, or just a bisexual who decided to settle down with a partner she loved?

    • Manny Kant

      According to Wikipedia, she published an essay in Essence in 1979 titled “I Am a Lesbian.” Her comment on the matter: “In the 1970s, I identified as a lesbian and wrote about it. In 1991, I met the love of my life, married him.”

      • LeftWingFox

        That describes one couple in my immediate circle of friends. They had an open relationship to accommodate for that. Still managed to have a couple of kids despite their best efforts.

      • Lee Rudolph

        I’m sure that Richard Cohen could find a film to watch about a man who converts a lesbian!!!

      • Hob

        With adjustments to the dates, this basically describes half a dozen of my closest friends, as well as my fiancée. None of them “turned” into anything, nor were they confused, they were just using a word that made sense for their experience at the time– and being bold enough to state it openly at times when keeping quiet and letting people assume they were straight would’ve been easier. I’m very lucky to live in a community where you can call yourself whatever the hell you want and most people will roll with it.

        • anthrofred

          This. We need to get away from conversion narratives as well as any insistence that a word is forever. “Lesbian”, “gay”, “queer”, etc are about more than just who one sleeps with anyway, though I doubt the right will ever understand this.

          • GoDeep

            “Lesbian”, “gay”, “queer”, etc are about more than just who one sleeps with anyway, though I doubt the right will ever understand this.

            To be honest I don’t think most people understand that, even most folks on the Left. If you’re a feminist, LGBTQ, or have studied queer theory you might get it, but unfortunately I don’t think most ppl get it in the slightest. We have socially constructed labels & individually constructed labels & no one said they had to intersect.

            • Mike Schilling

              Or we could just say “It’s none of my damned business.”

          • DrDick

            Exactly. Human sexuality is incredibly diverse (far more than just gay-straight) and at least potentially fluid. We arbitrarily try to stuff that diversity into a handful of arbitrary categories and then think they will explain everything.

        • Halloween Jack
          • Yeah we could spill a lot of ink (or electrons) on that bullshit, too.

    • As a NYer, who knows? She’s not really a public figure. BdB is, and I don’t care about his sex life either.

      We had Ed Koch, who was either asexual or a deeply closeted gay, as mayor for 12 years and no one wrote editorials about his sex life. Because – and this is news to Cohen – the mayor does not perform his or her job USING GENITALIA.

      • TribalistMeathead

        Ed Koch did not come out for several years after leaving office. Also, whisper campaigns about an unmarried male politican’s sexual orientation weren’t as common in the 1980s.

        • snarkout

          It worked for Dennis Vacco and Guy Molinari in 1994, though.

      • Julian

        I can think of one candidate from the primary who would have proven you wrong.

        • Halloween Jack

          Not the job that we’re talking about (hopefully).

      • Hogan

        Except in San Diego.

      • Harvey Jerkwater

        Because – and this is news to Cohen – the mayor does not perform his or her job USING GENITALIA.

        WELL MAYBE HE OR SHE SHOULD.

        BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE COOL.

        • Think of how much Lemon Pledge they would have to buy at City Hall. Just think of it.

    • JL
  • Manny Kant

    Aren’t people with “conventional views” supposed to be happy about formerly gay people becoming straight?

    Also, anyone who “must repress a gag reflex” at people in interracial marriages is a horrible, horrible person. Do these people repress the same gag reflex when considering Clarence and Virginia Thomas?

    • Derelict

      Do these people repress the same gag reflex when considering Clarence and Virginia Thomas?
      No because IOKIYAR.

      • Helmut Monotreme

        No because IOKIYAR.

        No I think its more “La La La I can’t hear you!” shouted at the top of their lungs when anyone forces them to consider it.

        • Crunchy Frog

          Clarence Thomas is the guy they have to pretend to tolerate because he’s such a good servant to the conservative causes, and has been dating back to before his mismanagement of the EEOC under a GOP administration. The conservatives who are bothered by biracial marriages are also bothered by black SCOTUS judges – they’ve learned to tolerate both in this case.

          • Thomas’s marriage to Ginny proves that they aren’t racist, like Thomas’s Republicanism proves that the party isn’t racist. You might say the approach to Thomas is grounded in self love, on the part of the individual and the party.

    • joe from Lowell

      I’ll bet quite a few of them do, in his presence, and have a few choice words after he leaves.

    • Sharon

      No, because Ginny Thomas might drunk dial them if she heard that they were gossiping about her marriage.

    • Another Holocene Human
    • wjts

      Do these people repress the same gag reflex when considering Clarence and Virginia Thomas?

      I do, because the thought of Clarence Thomas Sexy Times is enough to give me fits.

  • joe from Lowell

    I’m not as sure as you are that Cohen was including himself among those “people with conventional views,” since the entire piece is his description of how conservatives are thinking, but it sure is odd to see opposition to mixed-race marriage as “conventional.”

    Not even “old-fashioned” or “conservative” or even “traditional,” all of which indicate an older viewpoint. “Conventional” indicates something mainstream or ordinary.

    Cohen thinks that most ordinary people feel that way?

    • Hogan

      Cohen thinks ordinary people’s reaction to the thought of interracial marriage arises from the lizard brain–it’s not a view or an opinion so much as an involuntary physical response. Unless he shares that response, I’m not clear on how he presumes to know that. Looks like there’s some third form of bigotry at work here. Hat trick!

    • anthrofred

      It’s an example of the most boneheaded word choice possible and never should have gotten past his editor. Does Cohen include himself? Maybe not, but this fits with the incredibly irritating style of his other columns (“until I saw a movie in 2013, I thought slavery might possibly have not been so bad!”) which seem designed to reassure bigots.

      • Cervantino

        They have editors?

      • Cohen is his own taxicab driver.

        • This!

        • CD

          I’ve chatted with hundreds of DC taxi drivers over the years and I don’t think any of them were that bad.

    • Royko

      Yes, it’s the conventional view to have a not just discomfort, but an actual visceral disgust (to the point of needing to repress a gag reflex) against interracial marriage. Now this isn’t racism, mind you, just an aesthetic reaction to the mainstreaming of an avante garde social arrangement.

      I don’t think Richard Cohen is a racist because he thinks there are people in Iowa may have issues with interracial marriage. I think he’s a racist because this bizarre string of ideas (that conventional Iowans are nauseated by interracial marriage, but that is not evidence of racism) is how he characterizes that fact.

      • CJColucci

        The extremely charitable view of this is that Cohen can’t write.

  • Josh G.

    Matthew Yglesias pointed out that, in fact, there’s nothing “conventional” about disapproving of interracial marriage, not even in Cohen’s age group.

    Who knows – maybe Cohen is contemplating retirement anyway, so he feels he has nothing to lose by letting his freak flag fly at full mast.

    • Richard Hershberger

      As an anecdatum, I live in a row of six townhouses. Three of these are occupied by inter-racial couples. This is in a very Republican county, and all three of these couples are middle aged. If anyone one the street thinks there is anything wrong with this, they have the good sense to keep their mouths shut about it. I think we have turned the corner on this.

  • TribalistMeathead

    Are we sure Cohen shares these views? Because that’s not how I’m reading it.

    • Manny Kant

      I don’t think he’s saying he shares those views, but is he saying that opposition to interracial marriage is “conventional.”

      • Yes. And it’s nauseating.

      • Vance Maverick

        And he doesn’t just dryly call it “opposition” either, he makes it sound physiological, natural. The veil of deniability is there, but thin.

        • Manny Kant

          Good point. The idea that revulsion at interracial marriage is some kind of involuntary physical response is what makes the passage so gross.

        • Cervantino

          Yes. He coined the phrase, as it were. He must identify with to a large degree.

      • Mike Schilling

        It’s the Blackwhite convention. South bids four no-trump, and if North has at least one ace, he vomits.

        • BubbaDave

          But only if you’re playing Edmund Pettis Bridge?

          • ruviana

            +1

    • Origami Isopod

      What difference does it make? He’s spreading these views. I don’t GAF what’s ~~in his heart. Racist is as racist does.

      • I don’t GAF what’s ~~in his heart.

        What about a dagger?

        • Origami Isopod

          We should be so lucky.

          Note to the right wing: This is known as hyperbole; e.g., “heads on sticks.” I disavow any wish that Cohen actually be stabbed.

          • It would be wrong for that to happen.

            I would never say “Ha! Serves the bigoted piece of shit right!”

            • Bartleby

              I agree, it would be poor form to give voice to those thoughts.

              • Anonymous

                We can Cohenize those thoughts to make them acceptable.

                “The conventional view feels Richard Cohen should be stabbed and his head would be jolly stunning on a spike.”

                • Anna in PDX

                  I endorse this view (with votes, as they say on Wonkette)

                  I just am kind of reeling that he still has a job. How many shitty things like this has he proudly trumpeted in his waste of column space and what the hell does it take to fire him?

      • Hogan

        David St. Hubbins: We say, “Love your brother.” We don’t say it really, but…

        Nigel Tufnel: We don’t literally say it.

        David St. Hubbins: No, we don’t say it.

        Nigel Tufnel: We don’t really, literally mean it.

        David St. Hubbins: No, we don’t believe it either, but…

        Nigel Tufnel: But we’re not racists.

        David St. Hubbins: But that message should be clear, anyway.

        Nigel Tufnel: We’re anything but racists.

        • Uncle Ebeneezer

          I just forced my wife to finally watch Spinal Tap the other night. I’ve seen it countless times, but it was the first time I listened to that whole exchange in full because it gets a little buried by cross-talk and background noise. It really does perfectly fit the attitude of Republicans, especially since Obama’s election.

        • Is there any part of that movie that isn’t sheer, unadulterated genius?

          • Joseph Slater

            That’s like asking if the album cover could be any more black.

            • Halloween Jack

              The whole movie goes up to 11.

          • Cheap Wino

            Watch the 2000 DVD release. It has a ‘commentary’ track with Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer commenting in character — as if they’re watching the documentary. There are a few parts where you can tell they haven’t seen the movie in a while and they give it away with some laughing but it is must watch for any fan of the film. Like a sequel.

      • Troll with Crush on Origami

        In fact we need special camps for nasty white racists like Cohen, where they could be reeducated in the correct views of race!

        Counterrevolutionary racists, heterosexists, homophobes, and transphobes must be reeducated or crushed! There is no room for bigotry. Free speech does not mean freedom to hate.

        • Karen

          Where they will be required to listen to Duke Ellington and show tunes all day, get better hairstyles, and sit in rooms where the sofas and chairs actuall match.

        • Hob

          Oh, name-stealing troll, don’t ever change.

          • Karen

            Now the Troll has me obsessed with designing a liberal re-education camp. Do we require bong hits? Fedoras? Of course we replace the showers with vat of patchouli oil; that’s given. Do we read Darwin, in French, over the loudspeakers?

        • I’m planning to marry them all, and convert them that way.

          • anthrofred

            If you end up with spare toasters, mine is on the fritz.

            • I believe, sir, that is a slur on those of the Germanic persuasion.

              • Der’oh.

              • anthrofred

                I’m one of those self-hating Germans.

    • He says that being opposed to interracial marriages is both not racist and conventional. He is definitely talking about other people holding these views, but the fact that he finds said views to be benign and normal strongly suggests that he is in fact a racist. No, he doesn’t wear a hood, burn crosses, or go lynchin’ on Sundays, but are we really going to accept the conservative redefinition of racism to only include these edge cases?

      • Origami Isopod

        but are we really going to accept the conservative redefinition of racism to only include these edge cases?

        Exactly. The idea that you have to wear a hood and burn a cross in order to be a racist is a huge obstacle to addressing institutional racism in the U.S.

        • David Hunt

          If conservative forces had there way, a prerequisite to being racist would murdering Medger Evers.

      • Troll with Crush on Origami

        In fact we need a massive investigation into white people’s political views on race to take out racist elements in our nation root-and-branch and reeducate them.

        • Origami Isopod

          ^^^ Not me. Get a new hobby, JenBob.

          • anthrofred

            Yikes, JB’s sock-puppeting us now?

            Still, you should be at least a little flattered.

            • Malaclypse

              He’s done it to many of us at one time or another.

              • Hogan

                And yet all of you obstinately refuse to fuck him. That’s leftists for you.

              • anthrofred

                Man, how many days of antibiotics do you need after that?

      • ChrisTS

        Early in the semester, I had a student in my office, fussing with his laptop. I was looking at some comment on Volokh, I think, and was so stunned I read it aloud: “It’s not racism unless you intend to harm someone.”

        Realizing I had spoken aloud, I looked at my student. Still staring at his laptop, he said, “Yeah, no, I don’t think so.”

    • Scott Lemieux

      Are we sure Cohen shares these views? Because that’s not how I’m reading it.

      You seem to be missing how he explicitly says that revulsion towards interracial marriage isn’t racist.

      • Bartleby

        Oh, sure, take his word for it. But how do we know that’s how he feels?

        And, though I can’t accurately describe the difference between sarcasm and satire, I’m hopeful that you will take this comment as one of them, which I’m fairly sure it is. Perhaps.

      • DrDick

        And how he explicitly describes racist attitudes as “conventional.”

      • drkrick

        It’s my guess that he meant for all of those statements to be in the voice of his Iowa cab driver, not statements of his own beliefs. The fact that a professional writer of 50 years standing can’t construct his sentences well enough for us not to have to guess is a separate issues. Bezos is going to need to hire someone with the title “Augean Cleanup” to deal with that oped page.

  • Bitter Scribe

    I don’t think Cohen is racist. I do think he contorts himself to a ridiculous degree to avoid acknowledging the painfully obvious racism of others, and this is what happens when you do that.

    (I also note that he wasn’t nearly as forgiving about Jesse Jackson’s anti-Jewish remarks.)

    • Origami Isopod

      I don’t think Cohen is racist.

      As I said above, racist is as racist does.

      I have no idea why so many liberals find it necessary to split hairs in order to get down to what’s “in someone’s heart” when they spew bigoted crap.

      • Bitter Scribe

        Yeah, you have a point. When some liberals tried to use that rationalization about Jackson’s “Hymietown” remarks, Cohen sneered at that as “the CAT-scan theory of anti-Semitism.” I get really annoyed with people who demand, implicitly or otherwise, understanding that they’re not willing to extend to others. And at some point, you have to stop giving people breaks, especially so-called journalists who use words for a living and are supposed to understand what they mean.

        • Origami Isopod

          Yep.

          especially so-called journalists who use words for a living and are supposed to understand what they mean.

          And have a disproportionately large soapbox.

          • In a city where, if Cohen is to be believed, the millions of visitors from Conventional America reel around clutching their mouths as they struggle with their gag reflexes.

            We have more than a couple of mixed race couples here and for some reason there are no laws that prevent them from walking around outside, where they give Conventional American tourists, members of the military, students and so on and so forth, the dry heaves.

      • witless chum

        I have no idea why so many liberals find it necessary to split hairs in order to get down to what’s “in someone’s heart” when they spew bigoted crap.

        Yes, screw that notion right in its Richard Cohen. We don’t actually have a racism detector that’ll beep and boop when we point a probe at someone, so we’ll just have to use people’s repeated, published work to figure out what they think of black people.

        The most charitable explanation is that Cohen is just misinformed about attitudes toward interracial marriage and too lazy to check. He should be fired for that. It’s possible for someone who occasionally spews racism to write interesting things and have some value as a columnist. It’s impossible for someone who sucks as much as Cohen at figuring things out to have any such value.

        • Anna in PDX

          Thanks. I was all ready to post some sort of screed saying much the same thing, much less elegantly. He should be fired because he is a really lousy writer. Whether he personally espouses dreadful views he explicates in his column is not even the point here.

          I’ve been angry about this article most of the morning because I have this really dear friend and co-worker who is white and her fiance is black and I am hoping she does not see this article because it will be very hurtful for her. And I know several other people and their children who would be really shocked and/or hurt that someone actually wrote down that “conventional” people are physically made ill by miscegenation, in 2013.

          • I can’t speak for anyone else, but my overall response is “Oh goodie, another racist fucktoad.”

            People being shitty or weird about mixed race relationships is not rare. There are places not to far from D.C. my husband and I just won’t go because the dickheads are so obvious even we notice.

            However, when I checked earlier, the comments to the article were overwhelmingly anti-Cohen, anti-Post and anti-racism. Even most of the the trolls were trying to change the topic rather than agree with or one up him.

    • JoyfulA

      Which I took at the time as “Jaime Town.”

      • Me too!

        Thought I was alone, for decades, but now…

    • LeftWingFox
      • Tiny Hermaphrodites, Esq.

        I really liked your Oglaf avatar best. Carry on.

        • LeftWingFox

          It may be returning. I’m over my Studio Killerz obsession.

    • Ronan

      Well, racist or stupid. Not a great choice

      • Why not both?

        • Ronan

          i want to give him the benefit of the doubt on something

          • BigHank53

            Dwell on the size of his soapbox (and paycheck) for a while and that urge will go away. With power comes responsibility…unless you’re Richard Cohen.

            • Ronan

              I wish

        • Ronan

          But is he right about this silent majority?

          vhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2493491/White-supremacist-Craig-Cobbs-DNA-test-reveals-hes-14-African.html

    • Njorl

      I think Cohen would prefer not to be a racist. It’s just a little too hard for him. It would require thinking, introspection, and admitting difficult truths about himself. It probably just doesn’t seem worth the effort.

      • And you know, not being a racist.

  • Cheap Wino

    Hey! I get a gag reflex too, every time I’m exposed to Richard Cohen’s writing. So it really is true, both sides do it. Who knew?

  • Jeff

    I am surprised DiBlasio did not do more to turn this former lesbian wife thing to his advantage in the campaign. Sort of like a turn around specialist, no challenge too large.

    • Vance Maverick

      The problem (assuming you’re not joking) is that that only bigots would see it that way, and evidently, unlike Cohen, De Blasio isn’t interested in the bigot vote.

    • Another Holocene Human

      If you thought about that for 3 seconds you wouldn’t say that. deBlasio has been a perfect gentleman, and he and his team have completely refrained from condescending comments of that nature. However, Quinn, who is an out lesbian and was originally expected to corner the LGBT vote b/c of her record as an elected official serving that community, made nasty comments about Chirlane McCray which she then had to walk back clumsily. At the end of the day, deBlasio won the LGBT vote in the primary.

      Lesbian and bisexual women are not property to be ‘owned’ by one ‘side’ or the other.

      Btw, just try asking my wife about that. You may have to wait a few minutes for the outraged screaming to die down. Seriously, guys, gals, don’t even go there.

      • Lesbian and bisexual women are not property to be ‘owned’ by one ‘side’ or the other.

        That’s a radical idea you’ve got there.

        • Glenn

          Should put it in a movie so Cohen can learn about it.

      • JL

        Lesbian and bisexual women are not property to be ‘owned’ by one ‘side’ or the other.

        Yep.

        I am really tired of the way so many people talk about McCray, even liberals attempting to satirize conservatives. I’m bi and it’s very irritating.

    • Origami Isopod

      WTF even is this comment.

      Aside from the implications that Another Holocene Human has pointed out, what were you hoping, that by doing so BdB would gain the enormous and influential “ex-gay” vote in NYC?

      • Njorl

        Does the NY mayoral race have an Iowa primary?

        • I so wish it did.

        • Pakistani Jenny McCarthy

          No, but Staten Island gets to vote in the primary and the general.

      • Walt

        I do believe we are witnessing that rare Internet phenomenon known as “a joke”.

        • Jo

          And it must follow, as the night the day, the corresponding not-so-rare internet phenomenon…

        • Origami Isopod

          Ah, right, if something is deemed to be “just a joke,” it is magically exempt from criticism.

          • Walt

            It’s fine to criticize a joke, but you clearly didn’t get that’s what it was.

  • Does this sack of shit know who sits behind the desk in the Oval Office?

    Christ, what a racist piece of shit and no, he can’t hide behind the passive voice this time.

    The breathlessly gossipy tone, as if he’s conveying information that only he knows, is exactly like the dumbwads who keep trying to find a way to let us know Obama isn’t blond haired and blue eyed.

    • You mean Barack HUSSEIN (!!!!!!1111) Obama?

      • Did you know his father was Kenyan? Which is in Africa. Which is a key exporter of BLACK PEOPLE?!?!

        • Tiny Hermaphrodites, Esq.

          It exported black people in the past to the Americas to make white people look racist.

      • Patricia Kayden

        Cue scary organ music.

    • Origami Isopod

      The breathlessly gossipy tone, as if he’s conveying information that only he knows, is exactly like the dumbwads who keep trying to find a way to let us know Obama isn’t blond haired and blue eyed.

      Curtain twitchers. The sorts who used to whisper loudly about so-and-so being a “divorcé” or having “children out of wedlock.”

      And, not coincidentally, things like, “Did you know that her daughter married a [‘polite’ slur goes here] last year?”

      • Origami Isopod

        S/b “divorcée” there.

    • UserGoogol

      Well, a lot of moralistic disgust is motivated by the act of sexual intercourse in particular, so people are more disgusted by “the black ram tupping the white ewe” than the actual human beings who result from that act. (People have an “emotional response” to Barack Obama being president too, but it’s different kind of racism I think.)

      • Cohen is nauseated by the entire set, as it were.

        a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children

        It really is quite ugly.

    • NonyNony

      Does this sack of shit know who sits behind the desk in the Oval Office?

      Ah, but see Barack Obama is the child of a black father and a white mother. The problem there isn’t “gag reflex”, it’s just the natural fear of black men “stealing” white women. A fear that has been deeply ingrained into US culture for so long that many people don’t even realize it exists. (I hope to Grod that it is diminishing – I think it has in the younger generations, but I’m not sure).

      Cohen’s gag reflex comment comes specifically with a reference to a white man marrying a black woman, not the other way around. I think that might actually be important. Black man marrying a white woman? Fear. White man marrying a black woman? Revulsion. That may very well speak to something particularly disgusting in Cohen’s character.

      • it’s just the natural fear of black men “stealing” white women.

        [Raises eyebrow]

        You’re trying to parse fear/disgust ratios white people experience when confronted by different combos in mixed race relationships, which doesn’t seem possible unless you take a grossly simplistic view of the world.

        For example does a white woman fear being stolen by a black man more or less than a white man fears having his women stolen? Or does she feel more disgust for the white woman in the relationship? Do white women look at mixed race couples in which the man is white and feel fear because a white man is being stolen? What does the white man think of the same relationship?

        But both are deeply ingrained.

        • ADHDJ

          In my experience there is a definite difference in the way that black man/white woman and black woman/white man relationships are perceived. Black man/white woman is probably most common interracial relationship shown in TV and movies. There is an assumption both in the black and white community that of course black men go for white women, and vice versa.

          As Chris Rock noted, when you see a black woman with a white man, it must be because she’s broke. Black women aren’t supposed to be attracted to men outside their own race; black men are expected to.

          Nobody blinks an eye when a white guy (eg yours truly) dates an Asian or Hispanic woman. White man/black woman is perceived as “dating down” by both communities and is odd or noteworthy in away other permutations are not.

          My favorite statistic about interracial marriage: “Black wife/White husband marriages are 44% less likely to end in divorce than White wife/White husband couples over the same period.”

          Black wife/white husband marriages are the only type of interracial marriage that has a lower divorce rate than same race marriages, and significantly so. Maybe that’s why the dramatically lower divorce rate — if it works, it must be true love.

  • What the hell?

    This man is so clueless he prolly tells racist jokes to black folks then wonders why they’re not laughing. I mean…geez.

  • People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.

    Yeah, nothing racist at all about the urge to vomit at the thought of an interracial marriage.

    Others have alleged that Cohen himself doesn’t share this view, but is simply explaining the thought processes of “ordinary” people. This may be, but it sure as hell says a lot about Cohen’s own thought processes that he considers nausea at the idea of miscegenation to be normal and “conventional.”

    • Yep, it couldn’t be the type of chickenshittery of a bigot who really, really, really wants to share his offensive thoughts but is smart enough to know they need a rhetorical fig leaf.

      Hence wingnuts often treat us to such gems as
      “It is an accepted fact that liberals are morally inferior.” Or
      “The majority of people agree that homosexuality is a sin.”
      Or “No one could dispute the damage working mothers do to the development of their children.”

      What? Why so upset? He’s just repeating what other people are saying! (Citations available upon in-person request at the bottom of the Marianas Trench on the 3rd Tuesday of alternate Julys).

    • elm

      Yeah, I’m gonna say that feeling nauseous at the thought of interracial marriage is close to the very definition of ‘racist.’

    • All vomiting aside–and I really picked the wrong day to keep reading Richard Cohen and to stop sniffing glue–I really am curious about the function of the word “must” in that sentence.

      People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.

      Are we to understsand it as the empathetic “must” as in ” must be hard to lose a parent?” Or some kind of factual statement “I must say…” or some kind of mini imperative “We must go…” Or some kind of guesstimate “It must be because…”

      You wish you could have been the editor, if any, and leaned back and asked “Really, Richard? Conventional people MUST suppress a gag? Must they because otherwise they’d vomit, or must they because its socially a little awkward to be so damned racist in 2013? Or do you mean that you don’t know for sure but you intuit that they must because those views are so conventional?

      • Hogan

        Reminds me of the dialogue in a W. C. Fields movie where he offers the excuse (for what I don’t remember) that his mother-in-law has died.

        “Oh, it must be hard to lose a mother-in-law.”

        “Yes, it is hard. Very hard. Almost impossible.”

      • KmCO

        Editing aside, the onus is first and foremost on (Dick) Cohen as the author to make the distinction clearly and coherently. Cohen obviously failed that task here, and the NYT editing staff either missed it or just didn’t give a fuck.

        • KmCO

          Er, make that Wapo editing staff, not NYT.

      • This and and your analysis of his attempt to distinguish troubled Republicans (they’re just excitable boys!) from real racists really highlight his special way with words.

        As for the hypothetical editor, given the state of newspapers I think this person read it with an eye towards how many page hits it would generate.

        I keep forgetting that the Washington Post is no longer this region’s paper of record and revenue from page hits is just as good as revenue from subscriptions.

    • Tehanu

      …it sure as hell says a lot about Cohen’s own thought processes that he considers nausea at the idea of miscegenation to be normal and “conventional.”

      This, exactly! And it’s not just the “miscegenation” part; it’s the very existence of the children. If I were one of those kids I’d be really wounded by this. What kind of slimeball spews this kind of crap on children?

  • I’d also note the the Op-Ed is about the fact Chris Christie can’t win with Iowan Republicans because he isn’t hardcore enough.

    What does the new Democratic mayor of NYC have to do with the presidential prospects of the current Republican governor of NJ?

    Anyone?

    The paragraph about DeBlasio’s family and the fact Mrs. DeB is bi is 100% unadulterated gratuitous racism with a big dollop of homophobia that lots of people want to give him a pass on because he didn’t stand on his chair and say “I personally wanna puke when I see this family of mixed race freaks!”

    • What does the new Democratic mayor of NYC have to do with the presidential prospects of the current Republican governor of NJ?

      Why did JenBob have to change his underwear last night talking about BdB? Same reason: his election allows them to simultaneously red-bait, hate on NYC, and pull in McCray for some racism as the cherry on the shit sundae.

    • Malaclypse

      a big dollop of homophobia

      I read it as the rather pathetic “know what I mean? Nudge, nudge” that Eric Idle did brilliantly. Except Cohen wasn’t being ironic.

      • But what, especially in the context of an article about C. Christie, would the nudge, nudge, accomplish other than to give some lame-os who don’t have access to the internet’s five bazillion petaflops of lesbian porn a tingle?

        So he’s reducing women to objects of titillation.

        Add being a sexist douchewaffle to the list of reasons he needs to be shoved out of the door.

        • Malaclypse

          So he’s reducing women to objects of titillation.

          Well, yes.

    • CD

      Part of it surely is that DeB scored a thumping victory as a leftish Democrat, winning a high-profile office occupied by Republicans for many years. And he did it partly by speaking to race in a way a lot of people found convincing.

      So Cohen has to find a maneuver to contain this.

  • Jo

    He’s definitely saying that interracial marriage “used to be part of the avant-garde,” whatever his own views on it are. I’ve always thought Thomas Jefferson was ahead of his time! Oh, wait…

    • ajay

      He’s definitely saying that interracial marriage “used to be part of the avant-garde”

      ..and restricted to such notable avant-gardistes as King Solomon, circa 970 BC.

      • ajay

        Seriously. He hasn’t noticed that the only bit of love poetry in the entire Tanakh is a book-length celebration of an interracial relationship? Didn’t he pay attention at school?

        • He was too busy learning that slavery wasn’t that bad for most slaves.

          • ajay

            He was too busy learning that slavery wasn’t that bad for most slaves.

            That, too, is something that you can get from bible study.

      • Lurker

        Yep. The original grand master of freemasons is leftist avant-garde. Makes sense, if you want to roll back enlightment.

    • Oh, I thought he meant with DiBlasio in power it will be Piss Christ’s on every street corner.

      • Origami Isopod

        Don’t get my hopes up.

  • Troll with Crush on Origami

    We must liquidate the heterosexual white male as a class.

    • Hogan

      Some eggs were made to be broken.

      • If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.

        • ADHDJ

          Why do we break into eggs? Because that’s where the yolks are.

          • CD

            And to make delicious pancakes!

    • Jo

      It’s already happening! And through the power of love, rather than hate…

    • Cervantino

      Are you saying sell off their assets for cash?

      You know, that would go a long way towards paying down the national debt. Great idea!

    • Well, not all of them, JennBob… but you know, the NSA knows where you live…

    • Lurker

      It will happen, though not in our lifetime. In a few centuries, “pure” whites will be as uncommon as aborigines, restricted to isolated communities. Thus, white males will also be eliminated.

      However, this will not eliminate social problems, misuse of power or even racism.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        (shrugs) probably a good start, though

    • Origami Isopod

      Your keyboard wishes you would stop liquidating onto it while you read LGM.

  • Daniel

    As always, the remarkable thing about Cohen isn’t his retrograde views, but that he is dim enough to broadcast them so widely.

    • So, we’re on an asymptotic curve towards infinite stupidity?

    • CD

      I repeat myself, but that’s his job. The Washington Post is a white newspaper in a black city.

  • calling all toasters

    The only thing one can learn from Cohen is exactly what level of racism, chauvinism, and general retrograde thinking is considered OK in the WaPo newsroom.

  • Karate Bearfighter

    There is a film about interracial marriage Cohen could watch — it’s called “Guess Who?”, and in it Ashton Kutcher helps Bernie Mac learn that black people who question white people’s claims to color-blindness are the real racists.

    On second thought, he may have already seen that.

  • Davis X. Machina

    Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled…

    In related news, there is virtually no cannibalism in the Royal Navy.

    • I guess he thinks “racism” is a thing that people deliberately choose, knowing its wrong, wherease the Republlican party is merely suffering, it is “troubled” by discovering that time has marched on and left its “conventional” views marginalized, its artistic tastes have been made into mere kitsch while creepy avant garde fetishism (the public mention of lesbians, even) has been mainstreamed. Racists are victimizers, but Iowans are victims. In other words Cohen sees an opposition between the category “racist” and the category “Republican” because one is deliberate, unnatural, unjust and pretty harsh while the “troubled” state of the Republican is emminenlty natural, just, reasonable, and just difficult for them to go through. No one wants to have to suppress gagging when they see a gorgeous multi culti family. Its hard, people. So, so hard! Show some empathy, like Cohen does!

  • tsam

    Expansion of government, immigration and secularism were “avante-garde” in the 18th century, bro.

  • tsam

    The GOP is not racist? [citation needed]

    • You’ll be waiting a while.

  • herr doktor bimler

    People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York

    They could practice for a while by considering gherkins.

    • Or liver with whipped cream?

      • That came out weird. Of for an edit button.

  • Richard Cohen is from Far Rockaway, not exactly a hotbed of white supremacy (but not exactly integrated, either). In fact, he attended Far Rock high School with Bernie Madoff.

    Plus, he was graduated from Hunter College, part of the CUNY system, while Hunter was in its “open enrollment, free tuition” phase, which means he met a lot of minority students.

    And to top it off, he attended Columbia. Up in West Harlem. Where it’s probable he knew at least one and possibly several interracial couples.

    So how the FUCK did he become this fucking bigot???

  • J R in WV

    Well, the thread seems dead – I have things to do and so can’t be online all the time, darn it.

    But it seems obvious that anyone who thinks it is conventional to gag at the sight of a mixed race couple is deeply disturbed. And the editor’s remark in defence of Cohen, that the editor missed the possibility that the remark “might be misunderstood” and failed to ask Cohen to make the remark more specific in some undefined way… well, it also shows a deep incomprehension of the banal evil of racism and Cohen’s participation in that evil.

    I can’t think of any editing that can save Cohen’s work from being successfully identified as totally racist… anyone?

    Talk about inciting a gag reflex. I’m about done with the Washington Post. I wish it were done with us, but I think that’s coming. Hoping it’s coming.

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