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Wherever Someone Needs to Defend White Supremacy, the National Review Will be There

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174_2317_1_lgHeritage, Not Hate

Edward Baptist, author of the superb The Half Has Never Been Told, had a series of tweets yesterday (usefully compiled here) laying out the history of the Confederacy and the Confederate flag. As I said yesterday, the Confederate flag “originated as a symbol of treason in defense of slavery that was repurposed as a defense of apartheid during the massive resistance to Brown v Board of Education.” It’s really not terribly complicated.

Which won’t stop people from trying! Given its history, you will not be surprised that the National Review stepped up to the plate, with Ian Tuttle sniffing that “It’s not a straightforward topic, whatever Vox may say.” So what, exactly, is the difficulty?

But with respect to Ms. Kendall, this hateful man’s use of a slogan is no proof that the slogan itself is hateful. Elected leaders make this distinction constantly when it comes to Islamic terrorism, after all: The teachings of Muhammad, the Koran, the black flag with the Shahada (the flag of ISIS) — they have been “hijacked” and “perverted.” Why hasn’t Dylann Roof merely “hijacked” or “perverted” the main symbol of the Confederacy?

Well, yes, in itself the fact a white supremacist killer found the Confederacy an attractive symbol does not prove that the Confederate flag is a white supremacist symbol. What makes the Confederate a white supremacist symbol is that the Confederacy was explicitly founded to protect slavery, and the Confederate flag was then revived as a symbol supporting private and state violence to maintain white supremacy in the South during the Civil Rights era. It’s pretty hard to argue that someone engaging in white supremacist violence is “hijacking” or “perverting” the “main symbol of the Confederacy” when white supremacist violence is what the Confederacy and its main symbol are all about. (This defense is made even more ridiculous when you find out that Tuttle is willing to suggest that Muslims do bear responsibility for Islamic terrorism.)

To that the obvious answer would be, Because the flag in question is the symbol of a cause rooted in hatred and racial oppression. But it is exactly that point on which persons of good faith can — and do — disagree. One does not need to think the Civil War was the “War of Northern Aggression” to think that the “Blood-Stained Banner” represents something more than visceral racial hatred.

At this point, one might expect some kind of argument for what the Confederate flag represents other than a commitment to white supremacy defended through violence, given its unambiguous history of association with white supremacy defended through violence.  But there isn’t one.  Tuttle doesn’t explain what the Confederacy stands for other than white supremacy; he has no explanation for why the Confederate flag was revived as a symbol when it was.  There’s nothing but bare assertion.

Amazingly, it gets worse:

Yet much of the reason the Confederate flag is so contentious is because objections to it are not raised in good faith. Many opponents of Confederate symbols demonstrate not to promote the reduction of racial tensions and the advancement of a shared good, but out of a desire to impose their own moral outlook on dissenters — because it suits their present-day interests. Racial identity and the interests of one’s own racial group are of outsize importance in leftwing politics. Those interests are furthered when history can be invoked in one’s favor; thus today’s “racial activists” are keen to cast the the Civil War as a simple contest of Good-versus-Evil — even though it is obvious that, pace Ta-Nehisi Coates, the American South was not analogous to Nazi Germany, and the Confederate flag is not the Third Reich’s swastika. Arguments to the contrary have in mind not a proper interpretation of past events, but the manipulation of those events to bolster a present-day agenda.

So we have some vacuous blah-blah-blahing about “identity politics” — something certainly not practiced by White Southerners who proudly display white supremacist symbols, but only by people who opposed them. And then we have a bare assertion, making not the slightest attempt to engage with the historical record, that the Confederate flag is not analogous to the swasitka, with no argument beyond “it is obvious.” It is not!

Presumably, they’re drawing straws at the NRO to determine who will get to argue that Roof is an agent provocateur acting on behalf of ACORN and the Black Panthers.

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  • MAJeff

    Given its history, I also wonder if the National Review will defend the use of the Apartheid South African and Rhodesian flags.

    • J. Otto Pohl

      To be honest the current South African flag is from a purely aesthtic point of view horrible. I realize they had to politically make a compromise regarding the new flag. But, from a design point of view I think they should have just used the ANC flag.

      • joe from Lowell

        Yikes, you aren’t kidding. It’s like the Cosby sweater of national flags.

        • ThrottleJockey

          OK, Coogi sweaters were cool back in the day. I still think they’re cool. And I like the flag, so I don’t get what your’e talking about.

          The National Review on the other hand. I’m thinking about getting a subscription. That Charmin is getting expensive.

          • burnt

            I subscribed for at least 17 years (“know thy enemy” and all that). I let my subscription lapse after the May 9, 2005 issue was delivered. It was the somewhat famous “We’re Winning” cover as written by Rich Lowry that did it for me. Ten years later I think it still stands as the worst article written about the war.

            • Jay B

              That would actually be a worthwhile, if soul-crushing, endeavor to partake. Who’s article was the worst? I mean Sullivan, Kelly, Friedman, Goldberg, Krauthammer, Hitchens…I mean it’s endless.

            • joe from Lowell

              I used to read NRO every day, for the same reason.

              Yes, it’s a lot of work, but I got to be there in real time for KJL’s one-handed blogging on Flight Suit Day.

              You think the Lowry “starbursts” piece was something? If you weren’t paying attention to NRO, you don’t even know…

      • Richard Gadsden

        I always thought it looked like a colour-pattern for Y-fronts.

      • rm

        I like it. I guess because it resembles the superbly-designed Ohio flag. And my South African neighbors flew it during the 2010 World Cup. You can get used to anything.

        • joe from Lowell

          I really like the Ohio flag.

          Ours looks like letterhead.

          • rea

            Back in ’08, rightwing nuts were complaining about Ohio displaying the Obama flag.

          • KadeKo

            The MA state flag isn’t on a field of blue, at least. That makes it a bit rare.

            What bemuses me are watching the flags of newer countries during the Olympics. All the simple designs of the popular colors are taken, and there are some places coming in with what might as well be “Chico’s Bail Bonds”.

          • ThrottleJockey

            In your defense it was created before flag technology had matured. Sucks to be on the bleeding edge.

      • Philip

        I’ve always kinda liked it. But then again, I grew up seeing it a lot (my dad’s family were white anti-apartheid activists who fled to the US in the 60s, and the first majority-rule election was less than a year and a half after I was born.)

        • J. Otto Pohl

          You honestly think the current South African flag looks better than the ANC flag? I mean the RSA flag is the old apartheid flag merged with the ANC flag and merging those two symbols works about as well as one would expect, not at all.

          http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/za%7Danc.html

          • That ANC flag is outstanding.

            • Lee Rudolph

              The only way it could be made better would be for that pike to have a head on it!

            • rea

              A flag showing a picture of a flag . . .

              • Ahuitzotl

                now if only it showed a picture of a flag showing a picture of a flag showing a picture of a flag …

                • Jay B

                  Then you could hang it at the Whitney.

          • ThrottleJockey

            Its a pretty cool flag. I love the motif. I hate the color scheme. Should’ve gone with red, not yellow…That said, Jamaica’s flag manages to pull together black, green and yellow rather cooly.

            Question: Is that the wheel of a cannon? That’s what I thought at first.

          • Philip

            Nope, I like the current flag, but not more than the ANC flag.

    • Dylann Roof merely “hijacked” or “perverted” the main symbols of Apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia.

  • urdsama

    The bigger, and sadder, issue is what the end result will be of the current debate about this horrible event.

    I hope Jon Stewart is incorrect, but I have a bad feeling he is on the mark in that nothing will really change.

    Eventually things will get so bad the entire system will crack and change will come, but it will be utter chaos. A similar pattern is occurring with climate change.

    Why do human societies seem incapable of fixing real, systemic problems before they spiral out of control?

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      “Why do human societies seem incapable of fixing real, systemic problems before they spiral out of control?”

      Because GOP, or their equivalent in other societies.

      • The USA loves “Crisis Management”. A Crisis often brings out the best in people, it gives leaders a chance to shine, and encourages people -both politicians & public- to give lots of $$$.

        Planning ahead to stop a crisis isn’t openly, dramatically rewarding. In fact, stupid people (conservatives) often insist there never was a imminent problem/danger: such as the worldwide bird flu epidemic that governments STOPPED. Now people are saying it was a false alarm, there never was a threat. Asses.

        Many governments, especially ours, would rather have a Pearl Harbor-9/11 situation to deal with. Its exciting, sexy, fun, and a good chance to further oppress our oppressed classes, impose more police-state crap, and of course MAKE LOTS OF MONEY for already sickeningly rich people.

    • advocatethis

      From what I see on my twitter and tumblr feeds it seems that more and more people are calling bullshit on the non-racist framing of events like this. I don’t know how, where, or when that translates into action, though. I’m hopefully conceding the if, though; that it will translate into action.

    • rm

      Flipped by Fox Propaganda and lingered for as long as I could stand last night. The argument was that gun control has nothing to do with preventing these tragedies. They were attacking Obama’s statement that other advanced societies don’t have this problem. Because look, there have been a few mass shootings in other countries once in a while!

    • Ahuitzotl

      Not only will nothing really change, there isnt even really a debate. One side is going, this is horrible, racist terrorism and we should try to figure out what to do. The other side is going, this is horrible, we are the real victims – oh look, a pony!

    • Fortunado

      When you say “nothing will really change”, I assume you mean displays of the confederate flag will continue? I’m not so sure this isn’t a tipping point. Paul Krugman once wrote about how all the neighborhood lawn jockey’s were repainted from black to white in the span of a few weeks into the summer when he was a kid.

      • urdsama

        No, I mean attitudes and reactions by the MSM, the government, and society in general.

        I don’t think this is a tipping point. This is not the first act of horrible violence in the US based on racism. And yet, here we are again. What makes this more of an issue than before? I hope I’m wrong, but especially with everything else going on, the racism and “fear of the other” that was always present seems to be getting a boost from the sorry state of the economy.

        In my mind what Paul Krugman references is not real change in the hearts of people, but the acknowledgement that certain behaviors and actions might “look bad”. Many times these are the same people that claim they can’t be racist because they have black friends.

  • Nubby

    The spruce family of coniferous evergreens see what you did there.

  • joe from Lowell

    Now THAT is a graphic.

    What makes the Confederate a white supremacist symbol is that the Confederacy was explicitly founded to protect slavery, and the Confederate flag was then revived as a symbol supporting private and state violence to maintain white supremacy in the South during the Civil Rights era.

    It’s that second part that really clinches it. Flags can take on different meanings over time, depending on how they’re used. There are a lot of flags in the world that feature, for example, a coat of arms. Such flags were adopted in order to symbolize the founding of a nation with House Whatever as its monarchs, yet when Americans descended from immigrants who came from that nation fly the flag, it doesn’t represent the notion that House Whatever has a divine right to sit on the throne of Whateverburg. It’s a symbol of their ethnic heritage. It would be silly to accuse people of monarchist sympathies for flying that flag.

    But say that flag was adopted in the mid-20th century as the emblem of a political movement devoted to the racist oppression of some minority from Whateverburg, one that the old government had ruthlessly oppressed. And say some members of that movement actually killed a number of people in that minority group. What that shows is that the meaning of the flag really hadn’t changed over time.

    But even this is too kind to the Confederate flag, because in between the Civil War and Brown, no one was flying it, like my proud Whateverish family. They only brought it back to make it a symbol of segregation, and now they’re bitching that it’s seen as a symbol of segregation?

    • tsam

      They only brought it back to make it a symbol of segregation, and now they’re bitching that it’s seen as a symbol of segregation?

      I’m forever amused in a stabby sort of way that the buzz phrase now is “Heritage, not hate!”, because this is a case where two different words with differing definitions mean precisely the same thing.

      • Barry Freed

        It’s a heritage of hate.

  • joe from Lowell

    The above comment double-posted somehow.

    • Ahuitzotl

      it was good enough to stand repetition, or whatever

      • Fortunado

        +1 Just to reiterate: “They only brought it back to make it a symbol of segregation, and now they’re bitching that it’s seen as a symbol of segregation?”

  • mds

    Presumably, they’re drawing straws at the NRO to determine who will get to argue that Roof is an agent provocateur acting on behalf of ACORN and the Black Panthers.

    If so, they’re too late. Republican presidential candidates and Fox News have already made it clear that this is all inspired by liberal attacks on Christianity.

  • ploeg

    Everybody knows that the reason why they they fly the Confederate Flag at the South Carolina state capitol building, why even the governor by law does not have discretion even to lower the flag to half staff, is obviously because of all the groovy vibes that everybody feels down there about smoking weed and listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd records back in the ’70s.

    • rea

      Not only does the governor not have discretion to lower it to half-staff, but the flagpole is physically rigged so the flag can’t be lowered except from the top of the pole.

    • somethingblue

      If the governor and legislators of South Carolina left here tomorrow, would we still remember them?

      • toberdog

        I see what you did there.

  • D.N. Nation

    Nice of the racists at the NRO to really let their freak flag fly, pun intended. Gotta ask, fellas- why do you HAVE to have that piece of trash flying in Capitol grounds? Why MUST you have it? Of all things, why IT?

    Statues and flags and art and crap get moved all the time in official buildings. Why go to the mat for the TIDOS flag?

    I wonder, I wonder.

  • Riggsveda

    One does not need to think the Civil War was the “War of Northern Aggression” to think that the “Blood-Stained Banner” represents something more than visceral racial hatred.

    One good quote deserves another. From Wikipedia, with footnoted verifications at the source:

    The flag is also known as “the Stainless Banner” and was designed by William T. Thompson, a newspaper editor and writer based in Savannah, Georgia, with assistance from William Ross Postell, a Confederate blockade runner.[1][2][4][5][6][7] The nickname “stainless” referred to the pure white field which took up a large part of the flag’s design, although W.T. Thompson, the flag’s designer, referred to his design as “The White Man’s Flag”.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] In referring to the white field that comprised a large part of the flag’s design elements, Thompson stated that its color symbolized the “supremacy of the white man”:

    As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause.
    —William T. Thompson (April 23, 1863), Daily Morning News

    It couldn’t be anymore obvious, coming from the creator himself. But as Larry Wilmore knows, direct quotes from perpetrators don’t cut any ice with Fox adherents.

    • Lee Rudolph

      But as Larry Wilmore knows, direct quotes from perpetrators don’t cut any ice with Fox adherents.

      Yessirree, when it comes to being a hive of scum and postmodern death-of-the-author sentiment, there’s nothing that can beat FoxWorld!

    • Ahuitzotl

      I can only think a pure, unsullied white flag, lacking any other colour at all, would be even more emblematic of their cause.

  • gmack

    One does not need to think the Civil War was the “War of Northern Aggression” to think that the “Blood-Stained Banner” represents something more than visceral racial hatred.

    Note the elision here. “Visceral racial hatred” is not the same as “white supremacy.” Most obviously, visceral racial hatred refers to an internal attitude or belief, whereas white supremacy refers to a political system premised on establishing whites as possessing superior moral and political status. It is, I suppose, quite plausible to say that the Confederacy was not dedicated to “visceral racial hatred,” but there is no serious analysis that could conclude that it wasn’t a white supremacist state.

    • Karen24

      Eliding one thing into a much different thing is a standard right wing trick, and it needs to be noted a lot more often. I remember when Rush Limbaugh actually had a somewhat mainstream following. One of his tricks was to ask a rhetorical question suggesting something horrible, go to a commercial, then return to a completely different subject. The deluded listeners filled in the blanks in their heads but he could never be accused of actually saying what he suggested.

  • SgtGymBunny

    Tuttle doesn’t explain what the Confederacy stands for other than white supremacy

    Which is sad because more could be said about other historical uses of the swastika. Yet right-minded people still err on the side of caution about adding little swastikas to their decorative motifs.

    • Ahuitzotl

      OT: not always, I saw a wedding party in London where the design motif was a mix of swastikas and stars (5point not 6), designed by some bright-eyed young thing who – apparently honestly – completely missed any symbology and thought the swastikas looked striking. Which they did, I suppose.

      • SgtGymBunny

        Granted, when an unintentional swastika design rears it’s ugly little head, most people have the good sense to apologize profusely and remove it from circulation. Unlike the yokels who just scream “Nuh uhhhh!!!!” and double down on stars and bars adornments.

      • MikeN

        I met a (warning:locationism) California airhead on the beach in Goa who was flying out of India to Germany, and showed me all these cool clothes she had bought to sell there, with this very spiritual sun-symbol all over them.

  • Baptist calls the battle flag the stars and bars, but the stars and bars was a different flag. /itsnotfullyautomaticitssemiautomatic

    None of those flags should ever be displayed.

    This is just all so f*cking depressing.

  • Lee Rudolph

    Wherever Someone Needs to Defend White Supremacy, the National Review Will be There

    Damn you, Lemieux. Now I’ve got an “I Dreamed I Saw Bill Buckley Last Night (As Live As You Or Me)” earworm.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      that’s no earworm, that’s a damned *nightmare*!

    • Randy

      I was thinking of the ending of “Grapes of Wrath.”

  • keta

    Gosh, given all the disingenuous commentary coming from the right one could almost argue that a sizable portion of the American citizenry clings to guns and religion when they get bitter or angry.

    Huh.

  • Drexciya

    I’m not convinced that defending white supremacy is substantively different from practicing it, and I’m weary of the pretense that lily white liberal blogs have a podium that justifies the kind of self-righteously casual sneering evident in Scott’s post. I’d normally leave this complaint alone, separate the wheat from the tare, as they say, and go my way except…I think a guy defending the Confederate flag is the first time I’ve ever seen Mikki Kendall’s existence acknowledged on this blog.

    I wouldn’t say that fact is damning, but it’s certainly striking. There’s a deeper bench for incisive racial commentary than Jamelle Bouie, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jelani Cobb and a predictable assortment of “White Professionals I Trust To Reflect My Racial Views.” Aside from the clear noxiousness of that post, I was most struck by seeing a conservative writer at a blog with more people of color than this one make an effort to engage them.

    “Being right” isn’t enough from liberal blogs. And in generally white spaces, with generally white writers, it’s a suspect posture, fostered by the uncritical and bankrupt repetition of a deeply insufficient moral frame that’s largely reinforced by the absence of left-critical voices of color and black people. Or, to put it differently, if a lionshare of your racial commentary is pointing to another group of white people and writing “We’re better than that!” I think there’s room for a meatier, more appropriate, and decidedly more inclusive political discussion and I’d be less struck if I were more likely to see it.

    • This comment fairly well sums up why the left is a failure in this country.

      • Shakezula

        Please change the title of this post. It should be:

        Wherever Someone Needs Tries to Defend Discuss White Supremacy, the National Review Some Morally Depraved Clown Will be There to Pour Whitewash Down Its Pants

    • tsam

      THIS COMMENT IS SO FANCY I HAD TO PUT A SECOND MONOCLE ON TO READ IT.

      GUD 1 BRO

      • Randy

        I would have been more impressed if he had said “wheat from the chaff.” “Tare” is the weight of a container. How frightfully infra dig, old chap!

      • gratuitous

        The amazing thing (to me) is how nuanced and subtle conservative arguments suddenly get in the wake of something so (Dare I say it? I dare!) black and white as Mr. Roof’s kill spree. If you think critical analysis from a post-modern, neo-Marxist, fourth wave feminist point of view gets deep into the weeds, our good friends on the other side put them to shame with their parsing of words, actions, symbols, their interplay, and epistemological roots. You can almost overlook the nine corpses Roof left behind at Emanuel AME.

        • tsam

          Nuanced and subtle, yes, but I get a little insulted that they seem to think we don’t have the reading skills to parse the message out of the bullshit they’re trying to baffle us with…

      • trollhattan

        THIS COMMENT IS SO FANCY I HAD TO PUT A SECOND MONOCLE ON TO READ IT.

        [‘Spensive Fair Trade] Coffee being wiped from twin monitors. Curses on this brief yet unwelcome disruption of my Caucasoid lifestyle.

        • tsam

          Ha! sorry!

    • sharculese

      Why can’t people be against white supremacist manchildren the way I demand then be?

      • wjts

        Maybe this guy and Freddie de Boer could start a club together? They could publish a newsletter explaining how we’re all doing Leftism incorrectly. Proposed title: The Sigh.

        • tsam

          Objection! It shall be Le Sigh

          • toberdog

            My God. Where did that “Le Sigh” thing come from, anyway? There a guy in my FB feed who uses it regularly.

            • Hogan

              Pepe LePew, I think.

              • tsam

                Yes, and it’s very popular on those crudely drawn internet cartoons called Rage Comics.

                See here (if ya want to)

              • Everything I know about romance I learned from Pepe.

                • Hogan

                  That’s about all I know too.

      • Drexciya

        Yeah, no. I reserve the privilege to ask “that’s it?” when the brave position of summoning enough history to oppose the confederate flag is the strongest thing I can read about racism from this blog on Juneteenth. I reserve the privilege to observe what dynamics make that courageous stance sufficient.

        I want more. I got what I expected.

        • sharculese

          You can reserve the right to do that makes you feel important, but you didn’t really ask anything. You kind of tedious and without art sighed about how we just weren’t dong it right while utterly failing to be constructive. At least the thing you’re huffily insisting you’re better than had content.

          I want more. I got what I expected.

          To the contrary, I think you got exactly what you wanted. You spilled your thousand and one not-well-chosen words and got a reaction that confirms in your small mind that we really don’t get it, so you can scuttle back to whatever blank space you nest in self-satisfied that you get it, and those fuckers don’t.

          The delicious irony is that this is the exact the brand of caddish self-reverence you imagine you’re taking us to task for, but you lack the self-awareness to realize that or improve on it.

          • Drexciya

            I think you have me wrong. I dig this blog, I’m not trolling. I will continue to dig it long after this conversation is done. But this Scott post is shallow and emphasizing the racism of conservative blogs is not just easy, it avoids reflection and avoids the meaningful engagement with black culture and developing black political thought that I think would benefit progressive commentary (or at least make the disparity between my twitter feed and sites like this less stark).

            There’s no meaningful substance to be gleaned from these lazy racism 101 conversations. There just isn’t. And it will continue to be interesting to me that a conservative blog with a writer defending the Confederate flag was more willing to engage with a separate tier of writers (Kendall, DeVega, etc) than I’ve seen from ones that want to pose as something other than an enemy to my interests.

            • “There’s no meaningful substance to be gleaned from these lazy racism 101 conversations”

              If these conversations here and everywhere start putting pressure on South Carolina to get rid of the Confederate flag, they sure as hell have meaningful substance.

              I mean not as much as navel-gazing theoretical conversations about the state of whiteness that reach no one in society at all, but still.

              • Drexciya

                You’ll forgive me if I count South Carolina as a situation where the symbolic isn’t that substantive to me. I’ll feel differently next week, perhaps, but right now? No. That’s not enough.

                And it’s not navel-gazing to demand more black voices in spaces that want to benefit from being pro-black while having no visible black people in sight. Greater representation of writers and voices on this blog is something you can do right now. Something that better reflects the black community’s hurt and anger is something you can do right now.

                “OMG NRO DEFENDED THE AMERICAN FLAG. WATCH ME OPPOSE IT” is deeply, deeply insufficient. Insultingly so.

                • Shakezula

                  It’s ye olde “You can’t write issue that affects Y because you’re not Y!!!”

                  It’s two objectives are to derail the conversation, generate hostility towards the group it supposedly represents by being an asshole and –

                  It’s three objectives are …

                • joe from Lowell

                  “OMG NRO DEFENDED THE AMERICAN FLAG. WATCH ME OPPOSE IT” is deeply, deeply insufficient. Insultingly so.

                  You know, if you ignore everything else that’s appeared on LGM about the South Carolina shootings, and pretend this is the only post, you can say that LGM’s commentary is deeply, deeply insufficient.

                  But, then, if we pretend that your comments on this thread are the only thing you’ve had to say on that topic, you’re pretty insufficient yourself. But what kind of person would do that?

                • Scott Lemieux

                  deeply, deeply insufficient.

                  Insufficient for what?

                • wjts

                  Insufficient for what?

                  For Drexciya’s Profound Moral Seriousness.

                • Insufficient for what?

                  It doesn’t even begin to address Fermat’s Last Theorem.

                • Jackov

                  Oddest guest poster audition ever.

                • Lee Rudolph

                  It’s called … THE ARISTOCRATS!

        • joe from Lowell

          You’re full of crap. Before you commented today, on June 19th, they had already posted the Friday Links with a piece putting the shooting into historical perspective, the Rhodesia piece, and the reaction to the WSJ piece on institutional racism.

          • Drexciya

            That, too, is lazy “anti-racism 101.” The WSJ post was just mockingly pointing to conservatives who are more racist than white liberals. Again, I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I find this analytical standard low. The “Friday Links” are just compilations, usually without commentary and certainly without the sheer argumentative effort you see on display here.

            To Scott: For me, for meaningful or critical racial commentary, for meaningful political action at a semi-influential blog, and I find the disassociation from white racism that such posts allow a little disconcerting. Again, I can’t overstate the paucity of “we oppose the Confederate flag” in the face of black grief about this. I can’t overstate the paucity of only having that grief filtered through a small number of establishment writers from publications that, themselves, have similarly bad representational issues. I can’t overstate the paucity of having an anti-racist, anti-confederate flag post being the primary thing you offer at this moment, and I can’t overstate how inhibiting it is that your masthead makes it so that it’s pretty much all that can be offered. My reaction is, and has been so far “this is it?”

            And yes, that a white conservative defending a confederate flag is quoting a wider range of black commentary than I’ve seen here is something that makes this insufficiency more annoying.

            • Has anyone ever called you tiresome before? Just wondering.

              • Lee Rudolph

                I eagerly await and entirely support Drexciya’s pending ascension to Front Pager status.

                It will give me a reason, finally, to read the sports threads.

                • postmodulator

                  I thought that was going to be Dilan. We’d get some 600-comment threads going there, sure enough.

            • Malaclypse

              Again, I can’t overstate the paucity of “we oppose the Confederate flag” in the face of black grief about this.

              Between yesterday and today, the front-pagers put up 10 posts on Charlestown/racism. This is one of those posts.

            • postmodulator

              That, too, is lazy “anti-racism 101.”

              I like these goalposts, because the wheels on the bottom of them are big time-savers.

            • joe from Lowell

              That, too, is lazy “anti-racism 101.”

              You didn’t even have to know what they were to call them that. You didn’t even have to know they existed. The moment an inconvenient fact comes up, you try to bludgeon it with a pre-ordained set of power words that we’re all supposed to bow down to.

              You’re full of shit.

    • Nick056

      You got lost. Tumblr is over that way.

    • Karen24

      I’m quite sure that “lion’s share” should be two words.

    • Barry_D

      ” Or, to put it differently, if a lionshare of your racial commentary is pointing to another group of white people and writing “We’re better than that!” I think there’s room for a meatier, more appropriate, and decidedly more inclusive political discussion and I’d be less struck if I were more likely to see it.”

      Wow.

      • Shakezula

        It makes me wonder what Doug J has been up to recently.

    • brad

      So it doesn’t matter what’s said, just who is saying it.

      Mmmkay. Very progressive indeed.

      • Drexciya

        It matters that black people meaningfully exist, are meaningfully courted and have meaningful representation on the mastheads of liberal/leftish sites, yes. Especially ones that want to benefit from the pose of being more righteous than white conservatives. It matters that a wider variety of articles and commentary exists than the commentary that comes from first tier liberalish publications (that, themselves, have a shameful dearth of black writers and black female writers in particular). Their general absence from sites like this also matters.

        • brad

          Agreed, and it’s not an attempt to excuse when I say I expect the folk behind this site are all too aware of that limit to the commentary offered here.
          But to imply that means white folk can’t call out bad arguments meant to enable racism is just plain silly. And it would be… problematic to find someone to offer posting privileges just because of their racial background.
          There is a real lack of black voices in all media, but that doesn’t mean white people can’t talk about race.

          • Drexciya

            It’s not more problematic than a liberal site that’s ostensibly dedicated to black equality having no black writers. It’s not more problematic than such a site being critical of another white group’s racism while having scant introspection or efforts to correct its own. It’s difficult to overstate how grating the tone of this post is when combined with this site’s actions and the limits of its racial commentary. I don’t think it’s overstepping to hold white liberals to a higher standard.

            • brad

              Well, then be more constructive yourself, frankly. There’s a distinct holier than thou element to some of what you say. Are they supposed to offer Throttlejockey a chance to write posts that no one would agree with simply because he’s black and a regular who tries to challenge the almost solely unconscious groupthought you mention?
              We’re white liberal mostly academic types here. If you can make a good argument to us about how we are dismissing or ignoring “outsider” perspectives then most of us would be honestly glad for the chance to learn. But if a post like this by SL is somehow shallow, how is you just telling us we don’t get it not equally so? I’m not concern trolling and saying you can only mention problems you can personally fix, but what you’re doing is venting, not offering anything constructive. And you’re perfectly allowed to do so, n despite the partially deserved snark you’re getting I hope I’m not the only one to notice you’re not the first POC commenter here to say something similar regarding how you feel your perspective is… valued? here. But when all you do is vent there remains a mildly hypocritical element.

              • Drexciya

                How is saying “link more black writers than the five black writers at big publications, follow and engage with black twitter, black tumblr and their ilk more, have and make an effort to court more black writers and/or writers of color” not substantive? We exist, but white conservatives get considerably more attention and are more closely followed and engaged with than the people this site wants to pretend it’s allies with.

                If Scott and Erik want to play more-anti-racist-than-thou with white conservatives, it’d bother me a whole lot less if they did it with at /least/ one other black writer. I grant that my posts are venting, but I reject the notion that it’s unproductive or that it has no basis on this site’s perfectly correctable practices.

                This stuff is easy to correct. It doesn’t require interacting with the government, it doesn’t require waiting for the right to weaken, it doesn’t require restructuring society towards justice. It merely requires living the equality liberal sites prefer to pay lip-service too. And today, more than most days, I’m frustrated with how deficient that lip-service is.

                • brad

                  I want to respond that LGM is mildly less of a community oriented blog than BJ and more about the founding group finding people who both expand and yet reflect the underlying original positions, but you’re mostly right. I’m not excusing myself from it when I agree that sometimes the tone of both comments and posts here can be shallowly self-righteous about issues which many if not most of us don’t directly live in any way. It’s a flaw of both humanity and the white academic mindset in particular. That we laugh at Freddie’s BONERS for it doesn’t make us free of it.
                  This is where I’m supposed to say “but” and effectively backtrack on all that, but nope. It’s true that you’ll be more likely to be listened to if you include constructive steps and links and names and so on, but you’re also right that there’s a condescending and lazy element to that.

                • tsam

                  1) You’re being very sanctimonious

                  2) Are you African American? There is a nifty comment section (you’re soaking in it) right on this blog where you are encouraged and invited to participate in the discussion and add your own perspective.

                  3) This blog is not having these discussions at the exclusion of black people. You cited Coates above, and he is cited in the OP and numerous times in the past. So at least one authoritative voice from an African American intellectual makes the headers from time to time.

                • joe from Lowell

                  That’s a great theory, except that up above, you had to list all the black writers and bloggers that the site regularly engage with, and then use some lame little rhetorical shrug to pretend they don’t count.

                • Drexciya

                  There is no such thing as an authoritative black voice. He embodies one perspective, from a historically rooted angle, at a generally white publication where the limits of what can be said and the boundaries he can work within are perfectly outlined. He has things he says, things he doesn’t feel the need to say, things he won’t. Other black writers have different boundaries and different strengths. It would be nice to see them. If only because black people and black perspectives are encompassed by a little more than one middle aged black dude.

                  Yes, I’m black. And while I’m being particularly indulgent today, I probably won’t be here tomorrow, which I can’t say for the problem I identified. I have limits to how many discussions like this I can try to have and as I said before, this is not my responsibility.

                  That you find my comments sanctimonious isn’t my problem.

                • tsam

                  Just can’t get no satisfaction, huh?

                  Well, have it your way then. Be mad as hell and don’t fucking take it anymore!

                • Scott Lemieux

                  This stuff is easy to correct.

                  This is really quite a remarkable statement, given that you are demanding of me an absolutely staggering amount of uncompensated labor. First of all, I have a responsibility to actively recruit, mentor, and retain writers to a position that essentially doesn’t pay anything and also doesn’t offer a great deal of status. And second of all, I am expected to read…not some suggested writers, but “black twitter, black tumblr and their ilk.” Either of these — let alone both — would be a full-time job for something that is a very low-paying sideline to my day job and my actual paying writing jobs. Do you think this is remotely realistic?

                  Really, your apparent assumption that the way this hobby enterprise puts its masthead together is in any comparable to the way that the Atlantic or NYRB puts its masthead together is more than a little specious. These are differences in not merely degree but kind, both in terms of the resources available and the consequence of who occupies the positions.

                  Needless to say, if you find what I do write about to have little value, that’s your privilege. There are obviously many people, some of whom I have read and many more of whom I have not, who are writing stuff about Charleston that is much more valuable. I strongly recommend reading them. If you have something to recommend to us, that would be great, although I myself am disinclined to tell people what they should do with their spare time. This site is simply not going to be a one-stop resource for people who want to find the best writing about everything.

            • SgtGymBunny

              I’ll second Brad…

              Drexciya, you are more than welcome to share with us the additional black voices that you feel this blog is lacking. Really. Nobody will hate you if you post a link or two in your comments. That’s how ideas are spread.

              • Drexciya

                A mild post about the small number of black writers linked here and about the limitations of the racial analysis Scott offered (especially in contrast to the nonexistent presence of black writers) was met with unanimous, unresponsive mockery until I bit my tongue, ignored the disrespect and kept responding. That’s a basic point, in keeping with liberal premises of equality and that’s how it was received and that’s how I had to behave in order to get a better reception.

                That is not in any way the sum total of my politics, or the politics of those I’d like to link. It’s literally my most basic request and demand from white blogs. But it’s difficult to make myself stay in a place where that’s my experience for articulating that request and I have a difficult time justifying linking other black people, just to expose them to the same. When there’s no basic social or political integration and that deficit is reflected in the masthead, comments like the ones I got are quite a bit more common. Are these acceptable wages for “not doing better?” And if they are, why should any black person be here?

                • Drexciya

                  The work is not just mine to do. Shuffling the responsibility of making white liberal blogs less racist onto people of color is an essential practice of white racism. It’s born from a troubling disassociation from implicitly accepted practice and a troubling lack of empathy.

                  It’s Juneteenth, nine black people are shot dead because they followed the black tradition of peacefully welcoming white people into our spaces, and I’m the one that’s supposed to be “constructive?” Why? Why is this request so easy for you to make? In addition to dealing with racism why should black people also accept the role of shepherding white people into basic decency? If you want to be seen as substantively anti-racist, I reserve the privilege to ask you to prove it and to not engage until you think this is something you should do. “Having black writers” is the most basic possible precondition. “Linking a wider variety of black writers” is the easiest. It should be enough – especially after acknowledgment of its truth – to say this standard isn’t being met and leave it at that.

                • thebewilderness

                  Now you are straight up lying.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I don’t understand why any of you people are the slightest bit fooled by this person.

                • brad

                  Because we can all be self righteous assholes, sometimes, Joe, and a high horse doesn’t preclude having a point.

                • SgtGymBunny

                  Personally, this request is easy for me to make because if there is some point that white liberal bloggers/commentors might be overlooking, I have no qualms about saying so myself. My black female self is here, so I might as well put it out there and at little to no cost to myself. Folks may not agree, but the conversation has been broadened with an alternative perspective. This is what they mean by being “constructive”. People genuinely and sincerely do not know what they don’t know, and it’s not like white people come equipped with divining rods to suss this stuff out on their own. And honestly, that method rather scares me because (no offense, white people) I would question how they came to said ideas without a little bit of shepherding from black people.

                  If anything, your willingness to provide links/references/what have you may have brought other black people into the conversation to second you. You’re talking as if there’s some Cave of Wonders on black thought, as yet unexplored, but you’re not telling anyone what or where it is. And I, as a black person, am genuinely curious to know about these ideas, too (if I haven’t already heard of them).

        • Are you volunteering?

          • Drexciya

            I highly doubt that’s viable. This is my first time posting here. It may be my last. But the problem will remain long after me if it’s not corrected.

            • That’s fair. The impression I get is that most LGM writers got there by already being readers or commenters, or being friends of the existing writers who desired an outlet. I’ve always seen it as more of just a community writing deal than an activist site along the lines of Daily Kos.

              I don’t believe there is any such thing as an LGM editorial position; a right-winger would probably not be chosen to write here but the impression I get is that if you actually forced the writers here to write comprehensively about political issues not of their choosing you’d see many more disagreements than you do now. That is to say: Lemieux has his own hobby-horses, Campos has his own hobby-horses, etc. and they mostly leave the others to their own interests; the chief unifying political principle under the LGM masthead is “boy, Republicans stink.”

              That said, there has been controversy in the past over the site’s lack of representation of women, and I feel like it was treated with a lot more respect than your point was. That’s a shame. It’s an issue worth considering. There are black readers and commenters of LGM who are very interesting, & I can think of some I would enjoy seeing with a byline here.

              • Lee Rudolph

                Lemieux has his own hobby-horses, Campos has his own hobby-horses,

                and Loomis has dead hobby-horses; but no one has a hobby-horse of a different color.

                • Davis X. Machina

                  This thread has run long enough that we’re now flogging dead hobby horses of a different color, in midstream.

                • ep11

                  But you can’t make them drink.

                • ep11

                  Unless you’re on a high horse.

                • Lee Rudolph

                  Or high on horse.

                • ep11

                  Or maybe until you come down off your high horse, you can’t make different-colored dead hobby-horses drink in midstream.

              • Drexciya

                I appreciate your welcome, I really do and I may consider it, but I’ve had awful experiences doing stuff like this in the past and the response you saw to me is reflective of precisely the reason why I’m reluctant to do it in the future.

                The responsibility for making this site more welcome to black people or more receptive to views that flow from developing black thought isn’t, shouldn’t and can’t be mine and I won’t suffer unwarranted mockery just to compel white liberals act the way they’re supposed to.

                • Nick056

                  You were hostile and dismissive. You are actually still being hostile and dismissive as well as sanctimonious. Why doesn’t LGM have any black contributors, if they’re so invested in issues of race? is a good question. Why does LGM tend to limit its linking to black authors vetted and hired by major publications, especially if they don’t have the same approach with white writers? is another good question.

                  But “where do you get off feeling self-satisfied that you can talk about the Confederate flag, when you link insufficiently to black twitter and black tumblr? that’s just insulting! (oh and let me quietly suggest your whole project here is necessarily an extension of white supremacy because your 101 anti-racism is self-flattering and basic. PS mock me not).” is, as Erik said, the reason why the left loses so much in this country. You are, as you’ve said, a left-critical “voice” in a white “space” suggesting that until white spaces diversify appropriately, they shouldn’t talk about race, because to do so is insulting. Magazines with too few black writers, under this rubric, are implicitly white spaces. That is not a way forward. That is way to fractious splinter groups vying for true authority (i.e., control over the agenda).

                  For one, twitter and tumblr are platforms, not publications, so suggesting people “engage” with them as shorthand is like asking them to “engage” with New York City. It gives rise to the suggestion that by “engagement” you mean “read and discuss people in my feed who don’t get published nationally, to earn your own right to be a voice.” You don’t see this as … Problematic?

                • Drexciya

                  “But “where do you get off feeling self-satisfied that you can talk about the Confederate flag, when you link insufficiently to black twitter and black tumblr? that’s just insulting! (oh and let me quietly suggest your whole project here is necessarily an extension of white supremacy because your 101 anti-racism is self-flattering and basic. PS mock me not).” is, as Erik said, the reason why the left loses so much in this country. You are, as you’ve said, a left-critical “voice” in a white “space” suggesting that until white spaces diversify appropriately, they shouldn’t talk about race, because to do so is insulting. Magazines with too few black writers, under this rubric, are implicitly white spaces. That is not a way forward. That is way to fractious splinter groups vying for true authority (i.e., control over the agenda).”

                  This paragraph is the most interesting part of a similarly interesting post.

                  I want to note the deceptive way unity is being deployed here, as well as the willful disingenuousness about power/representational dynamics in both liberal blogs and especially liberal publications environments. When your magazine/paper/site is owned by a white person, when all or most of its editors are white, when a vast majority of its writers are white and when its presumed audience reflects the assumption that its readers will share the homogeneity of that writer’s/editor’s social circle and political conception, then yes, it’s a totally white space. When black people and black readers aren’t meaningfully included, when they’re absent or have no internal organizational power in board rooms or and no/limited say in how “important topics” are framed and decieded, you get what TNR was before it hired a black editor and started courting writers of color and readers of color while being legitimately introspective about how it got into its position.

                  A minor amount of black voices (or worse: none) isn’t sufficient for changing the fact of white dominance or to correct the innumerable ways white-centric perspectives filter (and thus limit) the kind and amount of POC voices they end up listening to and promoting. It just isn’t.

                  But more insidious than your denial of that reality is that you’re making the acceptance of a totally artificial and entirely correctable white dominance the precondition for substantive, True Left engagement. You’re defining an effort to problematize a white dominance that’s entirely rooted in comfort with how white supremacy plays out with “fracturing the left.” If that’s the case, then you should reconsider the degree to which we share a “side,” and the degree to which you’re actually interested in meaningful equality for me and mine.

                  Speaking for me is not representation. Writing about other people’s racism when your own is perfectly open to addressing doesn’t impress me. And while it’s true it doesn’t have to, it’s also true that I’m free to weigh that decision and its implications. Racism in a terrible place right now and I’m well within my lane to say that those who bask in the pretense of knowing better should make a considerably stronger effort to do better.

                  Addendum: I’m not comparing 90’s TNR to LGM.

                • Nick056

                  When your magazine/paper/site is owned by a white person, when all or most of its editors are white, when a vast majority of its writers are white and when its presumed audience reflects the assumption that its readers will share the homogeneity of that writer’s/editor’s social circle and political conception, then yes, it’s a totally white space.

                  Consider the Atlantic. I would venture to say most of these descriptions apply to the Atlantic. Coates is certainly the only regular and prominent black contributor, whereas I can mention several fairly prominent white contributors — Fallows and Molly Ball are just a few. Chris Orr writes for them now too, if I remember right. But. In publishing Coates, the Atlantic has not just published his blog, it has published Fear of a Black President and the Reparations piece. Two cover pieces from one writer are not enough to make the magazine “diverse” in the way that Twitter or tumblr can be.

                  However, the Atlantic is, absolutely, not a “totally white space.” This isn’t something we can fight over. If you say it, you’re lying. You’re imputing total homogeny on a publication that’s put award-winning reportage from a black writer on its cover. Even saying that “when most of its editors are white” it is a “totally white space” is remarkably dishonest. It’s why the linguistic politics of Twitter and tumblr are so often atrocious. How can a “space” be “totally white” if it includes black people in staff and managerial roles? You can’t actually speak in this idealogical shorthand in the midst of, say, Title VII workplace lawsuits.

                  The same, of course, applies to the New Yorker and Slate, where Cobb and Bouie write. I could say I suspect you’re saying that by being writers at largely white publications with an audience where the presumed center of attention is mainstream white liberals, they are not performing their public blackness in the way you accept. How else can you justify saying their publications are “totally white spaces?”

                  But more insidious than your denial of that reality is that you’re making the acceptance of a totally artificial and entirely correctable white dominance the precondition for substantive, True Left engagement. You’re defining an effort to problematize a white dominance that’s entirely rooted in comfort with how white supremacy plays out with “fracturing the left.” If that’s the case, then you should reconsider the degree to which we share a “side,” and the degree to which you’re actually interested in meaningful equality for me and mine.

                  Let me be clear here. You have come into this thread and essentially accused everyone who writes for LGM, in your opening shot, of “practicing white supremacy” by engaging in “lily-white casual sneering.” You averred that this was a “mild” criticism. You are restating the charge again here by saying I am indifferent to white supremacy or “meaningful equality for you and yours,” apparently because I won’t actually concede that a publication with insufficient diversity is necessarily a “white space,” full stop, no further analysis required. That’s grossly insulting in a way the OP never even touched.

                  Minority ownership, recruitment, and promotion in magazines is really not “important” in the sense of being a nice idea. It’s important in that it is a prerequisite to have a meaningful conversation and for the minority writers or editors who are in those places not to feel diminished or isolated. But you want to go much further. You want to deny the diversity of engagement that exists today in order to claim as much authority for you and yours as you possibly can. And no, I don’t support that, not only because you seem to be cheapening the experience of people you disagree with in an astonishing way. Telling me that means I don’t support equal treatment is the type of dismissive and inflammatory rhetoric you’ve used throughout your posts, although you will strike the pose of being mocked, ridiculed and attacked only for making mild criticisms. It’s dishonest. It’ too much tumblr, too much problematizing, and too little readiness to listen to the people you’re talking to.

                • Drexciya

                  “I could say I suspect you’re saying that by being writers at largely white publications with an audience where the presumed center of attention is mainstream white liberals, they are not performing their public blackness in the way you accept. How else can you justify saying their publications are “totally white spaces?”

                  Because their presence is entirely the consequence of and entirely subject to the degrees and limits of white largesse. Because they’re pebbles in an ocean that swirls around them and easily can and does swirl past them. Because as single writers, often speaking truths all by their lonesome, they can play the unfairly foisted upon role of racial spokesmanship which relies on them being weighed against and particularized by a circumstance where they’re substantively, politically and culturally “other.” And in single-black-person situations, the adaptation is largely happening one way.

                  By simplistically hinging your objections on a lack of qualification, you’re just reveling in a circumstance where power and where the practice of existing within and deferring to that power only has to go one way. That’s a factor that’s facilitated by basing substantive diversity on immoral technicalities like “Well, this site with DOZENS of white writers and reporters has one black person, so…diverse!” No. Not at all. I refuse to accept it. If that requires denying that one or two black people fails to adhere to the spirit or letter of diversity, I have no issues with that. It doesn’t. If you have one black person on your staff, your staff isn’t diverse. I’m not going to pretend like bread crumbs are meals just because they satisfy you. I will only say that having one black person is a little better than having none.

                  (and, speaking personally, being the only black person in professional/political meetings where nearly everyone else is white is often an uncomfortable, tedious experience and my presence does nothing whatsoever to shift my sense of exclusion. This dynamic gets reflected on the internet and feels the exact same there.. I suspect it’s much easier to feel and overstate the value of “one’s enough!” when the expectation of representation is something that can be taken for granted.)

                • Drexciya

                  “Let me be clear here. You have come into this thread and essentially accused everyone who writes for LGM, in your opening shot, of “practicing white supremacy” by engaging in “lily-white casual sneering.” You averred that this was a “mild” criticism. You are restating the charge again here by saying I am indifferent to white supremacy or “meaningful equality for you and yours,” apparently because I won’t actually concede that a publication with insufficient diversity is necessarily a “white space,” full stop, no further analysis required. That’s grossly insulting in a way the OP never even touched.”

                  I’m deeply unmoved by this. You’ll get over it. It is mild criticism. How is this site’s masthead not lily-white? Why do you think this has no inherently negative implications? Why do you think this doesn’t filter the variety and trajectory of left-black thinking right now that gets supported and processed? What, exactly, should I come here and be satisfied with when my timeline is covering this from dozens of different angles and all you have is perfunctory “gee, this is bad, how sad, look at how racist the Republicans are!”? If you’re fine with this, say so, but I have no obligation to be. This masthead is too white to sneer at Republicans under the pretense that current practices are beyond reproach and don’t warrant considerably more introspection than I’m seeing.

                • Nick056

                  That’s a factor that’s facilitated by basing substantive diversity on immoral technicalities like “Well, this site with DOZENS of white writers and reporters has one black person, so…diverse!” No. Not at all. I refuse to accept it.

                  Nobody here is saying that. In fact, I was just saying the opposite — having one or two black writers on “the race beat” does not make a publication diverse. It doesn’t even necessarily mean it’s not a “white space.” But it does mean it’s really not a “totally white space” — not via immoral technicalities but by actually doing a head count of the people in the room. But I never said that just because an organization is not entirely homogenous, it’s diverse. In fact, I just said that one of the benefits of greater diversity is that the minority employees will feel less diminished and isolated. That avoids someone …

                  … being the only black person in professional/political meetings where nearly everyone else is white is often an uncomfortable, tedious experience and my presence does nothing whatsoever to shift my sense of exclusion.

                  Which is a far more stressful and demanding way to go through your professional life than if you were one of several black people (or POCs) at the table. But I can’t tell you how strongly I object to the hand waiving you’re committing here with regard to the diversity of voices in mainstream media that we do have. I agree with some of what you say, but you’re essentially saying that because the leading black writers at major publications get shouldered with burdens they are not seeking and which could possibly affect their output, their publications are “entirely white spaces.” As I said above, that level of denial is just not reflective of reality. It’s not about “one is enough.” It’s about not sweeping the diversity that does exist aside in an effort to demand more representation. It devalues the work. It devalues the individuals.

                  As to your last point, you have very specifically said that practicing white supremacy via a white masthead is “not substantively different” from defending white supremacy via apologetics for the Confederate Flag. Of course that’s not a mild criticism. It’s a complex and loaded allegation of racism and functional equivalence. And that’s fine — although, yes, I think it does lean toward the old ‘if you aren’t Y, you can’t say Y, and even if you are Y, you’re circumscribed by power structures such that your voice is really co-opted by white supremacy.”

                  But you say that, then you want to be put off by the reaction you got, as though you didn’t come out swinging. And that’s not fine. You got a lot of people responding to you in good faith, even though your posts made some long-time commenters flat out refuse to believe you were even being genuine.

              • There are black readers and commenters of LGM who are very interesting, & I can think of some I would enjoy seeing with a byline here.

                It’s worth listing them by name. This was done in the past for e.g., bspenser. I don’t know if it was causal in her apotheosis, but it probably didn’t hurt!

                I know one thing that inhibits effective expansion of the front pagers is that there isn’t a ton of funding. So attracting new voices isn’t trivial.

                That said, the day Noon decides to drop his gig as never posting benchwarmer…I’m there to fill his shoes!

                I’d also happily cover the Iranian-American-Naturalized Brit writer’s block beat.

                • Shakezula

                  It’s worth listing them by name.

                  Eh. No. I’d say if people want to identify themselves to this person, they can do that. Giving out the handles of women and minorities to every shitbird who shows up here and throws a tantrum about lefty-cred is the opposite of a good idea.

                  This was done in the past for e.g., bspenser.

                  If I recall correctly she commented here for a long time. She did not kick the doors open and shout Where the women at?! But I could be wrong.

                • Eh. No. I’d say if people want to identify themselves to this person,

                  It’s not about identifying folks to Drexciya, but identifying them to the rest of us. stepped pyramids is a regular and if they have commenters they’d like to see as headliners it’s good to identify such to the other headliners.

                  they can do that. Giving out the handles of women and minorities to every shitbird who shows up here and throws a tantrum about lefty-cred is the opposite of a good idea.

                  Again, it’s not about responding to Drexciya, but taking this opportunity to do something constructive for the rest of us. Maybe it would be counterproductive? But I don’t see harm in talking about our favourite fellow commenters (e.g., I will happily wax passionate about my love of your comments or my feeling that JL is always must read or my growing regard for SgtGymBunny, to pick three :); if I see any of your names in the side bar, I click on it regardless if the post interested me).

                  If I recall correctly she commented here for a long time. She did not kick the doors open and shout Where the women at?! But I could be wrong.

                  You aren’t wrong, but I’m proposing we do the same thing: if stepped pyramid has commenters they think would be good front pagers, they should say who they are when they have the opportunity. (In a very mild sense of “should” :))

              • Linnaeus

                I agree here, too. It’s always worth asking oneself if one can do better in realizing one’s ideals, and in that vein, I think Drexciya’s point about bringing in some other perspectives in LGM’s links, posts, and considering new writers is a fair one to make.

        • Shakezula

          Especially ones that want to benefit from the pose of being more righteous than white conservatives.

          LOL.

    • J. Otto Pohl

      I am in basic agreement with your first paragaph even though I am on the far right not the left. I really did not become aware of just how isolated most white American liberals were from any black people until I moved to Ghana to work in 2011. I don’t think there is any solution not because it wouldn’t be easy to solve, but because white liberals don’t actually want to engage with real black people. They want to use their political position on race in the US merely as a cudgel against Republicans. Hence their almost non-existent interest in Africa. Technically since I am the only writer my blog is an all white space. But, I have been living in majority non-white enviornments since 2007.

      http://jpohl.blogspot.com/

      • You are truly without shame.

        • Malaclypse

          As the One Righteous White Dude, J Otto need feel no shame, ever.

  • tsam

    Yet much of the reason the Confederate flag is so contentious is because objections to it are not raised in good faith.

    U WOT M8??

    So the objections over the Confederacy, slavery and the Civil War are what? Hyperbolic? Irrelevant? HOW THE FUCK IS SLAVERY NOT A GOOD FAITH ARGUMENT?

    Good lord. I need a drink after looking at all that stupid.

  • KmCO

    And then we have a bare assertion, making not the slightest attempt to engage with the historical record, that the Confederate flag is not analogous to the swasitka, with no argument beyond “it is obvious.” It is not!

    At heart, that’s the movement conservative defense tactic for any position they take: “it is because I say so. QED.”

    • brad

      It’s also, not that there isn’t a massive overlap, the same “tactic” used by MRAs and the like, tho they tend to take a few thousand more words to say it.
      It’s almost like authoritarian tendencies lack logical, or humane, underpinnings.

  • DrDick

    the Confederate flag is not the Third Reich’s swastika.

    Speaking as someone who grew up in the South and attended segregated schools for the first 3 years, let set the record straight. In modern America, regardless of anything in the past, they are indeed exactly the same thing and are overt expressions of white supremacy, as witnessed by the widespread use of the Confederate flag outside of the historic Confederacy in places like Michigan and New York state.

    • thebewilderness

      In Europe where the swastika is banned the white supremacists use the Confederate States of America white supremacist flag. For obvious reasons.

      • J. Otto Pohl

        I thought they used the Celtic Cross?

        • wjts
          • Davis X. Machina

            The identification is well-understood and widespread enough that the German Strafgesetzbuch 86a shit-list now has the celtic cross on it.

  • Linnaeus

    Racial identity and the interests of one’s own racial group are of outsize importance in leftwing politics.

    As opposed to the lack of concern for racial identity and the interests of one’s one racial group to be found in this crime.

  • JustRuss

    .. the American South was not analogous to Nazi Germany,

    Is there a rhetorical expression like “strawman” that means “setting the bar unfuckingbelievably low”?

  • Shakezula

    But it is exactly that point on which persons of good faith can — and do — disagree.

    Provided you exclude all persons who’ve read the articles of secession from the conversation. And anyone who might ask why white supremacists in the deep South and beyond have adopted it as a symbol.

    In good faith, of course.

    Up next: Good faith arguments that many slave owners were kind to their slaves because they were valuable property.

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  • thebewilderness

    I have been astonished at the number of politicians and corporate media talkers who have been pretending for the past two days that they have never heard of the oldest terrorist groups on the North American Continent. White supremacists.
    Although I dare say that calling a massacre of six women and three men an accidental shooting probably takes the white supremacist prize.

  • Here’s some facts:

    http://splcenter.org/blog/2015/06/20/charleston-shooters-alleged-manifesto-reveals-hate-group-helped-to-radicalize-him-online/

    With regard to this particular post, you’d be surprised at how many people still seem to think that the confederate flag flying on the Columbia, SC capitol means nothing. Fox News devoted an hour of the Megyn Kelly slot to arguing exactly that, featuring Kurtz and Lowry and others. The couldn’t even get the black Republican Senator from South Carolina to make one tiny “tut.” Your license plate image says more than that whole Fox hour. This is an excellent post, and Drex’s criticism is pretty far off the intended target.

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