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We can all breathe a little easier. Journalistic movie star Matt Bai, fresh from his cameo appearance in House of Cards (possibly the most cynical and depressing take on American politics ever reduced to a miniseries) has effectively declared racism a vestige of the past, best forgotten, and certainly not something to be injected into the modern political debate.  

Reacting to the recent acknowledgement by some leading Democrats that the rabid demonization of everything this President has done and said since taking office has been motivated either consciously or subconsciously by an overweening racist impulse in the GOP, Mr. Bai has once again blessed us with his carefully cultivated detachment, in which he glides above the landscape dispensing pearls of political wisdom like a sorrowful, reluctant sage.

The concern runneth over:

[I]t's not the reaction of Republicans that Democrats should probably have some concern about. It's the way American voters, and a lot of younger voters in particular, may view a return to the polarizing racial debate that existed before Obama was ever elected.
Bai wrinkles his nose at the smelly idea that a party whose geographic base miraculously falls largely within the same boundaries as the Old Confederacy may actually be acting out of...racism.  His main argument is that the Democrats' reaction to racism itself is really generational--that the "old guard" Boomer Democrats represented by the likes of Steven Israel and Nancy Pelosi, growing up as children of the Civil Rights movement, have internalized the racial divide to an extent not shared by later generations, especially the current generation. And he chides them for this, albeit oh so patiently.  Because it's really, really not just racism--there are profound principles involved:
[C]onservatives do have profound and principled disagreements with Obama's view of expansive government. And it's worth noting that racial resentment has been a part of the partisan divide for at least 50 years now; it's doubtful that "birther" types hate Obama any more than they did Bill Clinton (whom they accused of serial murder, among other things).
True, a few "birther types" did say such things about Clinton. And they said the same about Hillary. But what Bai inexplicably forgets is that those who did so were generally not permitted the option of dragging the nation to the brink of default with their ideology, did not wield absolute veto power over the entire Republican caucus and were rightly perceived and treated as cranks and outliers by a media far more attuned and engaged in examining the real-world consequences of their policies. In short, the entire Republican Party has been high-stepping in time with the "birther types" since the moment this President took office.  The opposition has been incessant and seamless--to the point where any Republican deemed insufficiently hateful of anything proposed by Obama is now labeled a moderate and summarily drummed out of office by an amorphous entity called the "Tea Party."

But Bai's point is that Republicans have "principles" too. Fair enough (though Bai doesn't tell us what they are). That doesn't mean their motivational impulse is anything less than racist with this President.  Bai might be forgiven for misunderstanding this. But he can't be forgiven for equating the virulent behavior of the GOP to the Democrats' reaction to the real horrors foisted upon us by George W. Bush:

I don't recall Pelosi or Israel making a version of that same speech when the highly educated liberals who despised George W. Bush circulated emails, after their defeat in 2004, depicting a red map of the "United States of Jesusland" and blaring, "F--- the South." Bigotry in our politics now takes myriad forms.
That argument and that comparison is, in a word, bullshit.

I paid quite a bit of attention during the Bush years and I don't recall "Fuck The South" becoming anything close to a "meme."  The "Jesusland" reference is to a single viral email that made its way through social media, humorously pointing to the Bible belt as an unshakable bastion for the right wing.  The idea that Nancy Pelosi would be required to "call out" any email cartoon that happened to pop on the web is frankly preposterous and reeks of false equivalence.  The vehemence of Democrats' reaction to Bush was tied directly to his heinous policies and cannot by any leap of logic be equated with "bigotry."  There was plenty of anger, yes. Given what he actually did to the country--lying us into a war, wrecking the economy, destroying our international reputation, letting a city drown--anger was a perfectly justified response.

This image, on the other hand, was one of the Tea Parties' favorites. Its presence was ubiquitous in 2008-2010, well before and after the President's election:

              obama joker photo: Obama Joker Face Poster ObamaJoker.jpg

As was this, posted prominently on the Drudge report:

          obama photo: Obama obama.jpg

This:

           obama cigarette photo: Obama smoking a cigarette BarackObamasmokingacigarette.jpg

and this:

       obama photo: obama obamination15.jpg

How many of us can forget John McCain having to correct that woman who declared with certainty that Obama was not a "real American?"  Not to drag you down memory lane, Matt, but maybe you should have paid more attention to what your own colleagues were writing about the astonishing disrespect and malignant rhetoric aimed at this President:

 

There has been a racist undertone to many of the Republican attacks leveled against President Obama for the last three years, and in this dawning presidential campaign.

You can detect this undertone in the level of disrespect for this president that would be unthinkable were he not an African-American. Some earlier examples include: Rep. Joe Wilson shouting “you lie” at one of Mr. Obama’s first appearances before Congress, and House Speaker John Boehner rejecting Mr. Obama’s request to speak to a joint session of Congress—the first such denial in the history of our republic.

*   *   *
More recently, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, in a conversation overheard at Reagan National Airport in Washington, said of Michelle Obama: “She lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself.”
*  *   *
Sometimes the racism is more oblique. Newt Gingrich was prattling on the other day about giving “poor children” in “housing projects” jobs cleaning toilets in public schools to teach them there is an alternative to becoming a pimp or a drug dealer. These children, he said, have no work ethic. If there’s anyone out there who doesn’t get that poor kids in housing projects is code for minorities, he or she hasn’t been paying attention to American politics for the last 50 years. Mr. Gingrich is also fond of calling Mr. Obama “the greatest food stamp President in American history.”
Bai believes that Obama voters can be divided into generational categories--the Pelosis, Holders and Israels, elders and late Boomers all, described above; a middle generation aware of the history of the civil rights movement but raised in an environment of "political correctness" (a phrase Bai throws out apparently without understanding what it actually means); and a younger generation, for whom racism is now apparently a foreign concept:
Millennials, who have grown up in a vastly different, more racially complex country. The racial recrimination that felt inescapable 30 years ago is as far removed from their experience as the Red Scare was to Obama's and mine. It's telling to hear today's college students campaign against the hurtful slights (or biased compliments) they call "microaggressions." Even the terminology suggests that all the larger racial battles have already been fought.
The picture of Millennials one gathers from Bai is that of a harmonious bloc of young adults who have transcended racism.  Bai actually suggests the Democrats are wasting their time disturbing the colorblind coexistence he imagines these young people are enjoying:
And so you can imagine that the sudden outburst from party leaders about racism did little to advance their cause with these voters, who are, just by the way, crucial to the Democrats' electoral math for years to come. The politics of racial grievance and identity feels about as contemporary to millennials as a floppy disk.
But some things aren't just about politics, but about the way things are:
Applied Research Center, the nation’s leading think tank on racial justice, today released a 40-page study on the racial attitudes of young people, whom many pollsters and commentators have prematurely labeled as "post-racial."

Although the “Millennial Generation” (born post-1980, ages 18-30) is the largest, most racially and ethnically diverse generation the US has ever known, it is clear that race continues to play a role in their lives.

“Contrary to widespread labeling of the millennial generation as 'post-racial,' young people actually see a lot of racial problems. Many are concerned that race continues to impact outcomes in society, and they want to talk about it," said ARC President & Executive Director Rinku Sen. "What's more, the gap in perception between how white millennials and millennials of color see race points to continued racial conflict, demonstrating how important these conversations are."

(The full  ARC study is here).

Denise Oliver Velez has written about race and young people here:

Hate is alive and well and targets blacks, Jews, Muslims, LBGTs, immigrants, women and all people of color. The new cadres of organizers and perpetrators are not old and gray. They are youthful, white and educated. They attend tea party functions and conventions like the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). They form bands and play concerts at political rallies and state fairs.
And maybe Matt Bai could even understand this:
So what is "hipster racism"? West identifies it with catchphrases like "#whitepeopleproblems," ironic use of the N-word, Urban Outfitters' "Navajo Hipster Panties" and "Stuff White People Like."  

Pointing to millennial phenomena like "Blackface Jesus" and "Kill Whitey" parties, Gawker's Read says "'hipster racism' acts like a behavioral flannel jacket or a trucker cap, a rejection of perceived upper-middle-class values, still wrapped in enough layers of irony to create a distance from the mythical rednecks or hillbillies it's thought to be emulating." (Others have accused Gawker Media of its own hipster racism).

If all this sounds insular and obscure, that's because it is -- think Brooklyn or Logan Square in Chicago -- except to the black or Asian or Native American millennials who find themselves on the other side of a race gap that never really disappeared after their parents grew up.

So no, Matt, we're not wasting our time pointing out where racism shows its ugly face in the Republican Party. You're the one who's wasting time pretending it doesn't still exist.

Originally posted to Dartagnan on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 05:42 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The dude clearly doesn't understand the concept (29+ / 0-)

    of 'microaggression' and its significance.  

    It's telling to hear today's college students campaign against the hurtful slights (or biased compliments) they call "microaggressions." Even the terminology suggests that all the larger racial battles have already been fought.
    What a joke.

    (Adopting self-serious tone) "So we now hear today's college professor's who teach about "microeconomics".  Even the terminology signals the end of macroeconomics as a theoretically valid field".

    "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

    by Calvino Partigiani on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 05:55:28 PM PDT

    •  Y'Know the Larger Battle of Shock & Awe Had (12+ / 0-)

      already been fought after a few weeks.

      Those lesser remaining battles though can be a real bitch.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 06:06:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What in god's name is microaggression..? /nt (6+ / 0-)

      TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D). Senate ratings map (as of 3/10/14)

      by Le Champignon on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 06:08:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well Wikipedia isn't god, but here's its (25+ / 0-)

        definition of what are essentially interpersonal acts of racism:

        brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people.”

        "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

        by Calvino Partigiani on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 06:27:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  None of which (15+ / 0-)

          should be forgiven or excused, no matter how brief or commonplace.

          'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

          by janis b on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 06:34:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  even if "unintentional" ??? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nextstep

            I really don't get that part I guess.  Is a white infant racist because it responds more quickly to the faces of white females in a psychological test?

            •  An example of unintential (24+ / 0-)

              Me, black girl, and white lady are waiting for a cashier to help us.  I was there first.

              The cashier arrives but did not see who was there first.

              The cashier turns to the white lady and begins helping her first, without simply asking, "Hi, who's next?".  

              White lady checks out first, while knowing she wasn't first.

              Line jumping isn't racial, just rude.  But taking advantage of race tinged assumptions is a form of microaggression.

              •  But that happens to everyone (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SherrieLudwig, whaddaya

                Sometimes it's random, sometimes they may unconsciously be giving an age preference, sometimes it's whoever catches their eye first, often because some people are just better than others at doing that.  And sometimes it's an unconscious racial preference.  When you remove all those other "background" causes, the remaining fraction is probably racially based.  It's certainly very real, but it's very hard to know what that fraction is.

                •  See but (7+ / 0-)

                  I think this is exactly an example of unconscious racism.

                  I don't think the cashier thought, "I'm going to wait on the white lady first, blacks are trash", or any similar overt racist thing.

                  I think she came up to the register and just "naturally" approached the white person first.  The same way if you saw a puppy most people would naturally smile.

                  I think the social conditioning of "white is normal" and "white is better" runs so deep in this country that people just act on that assumption without malice or thought.

                  So what happens, is that people of color, on a daily basis are "assaulted" by these unconscious biases by people, who if called on it, would swear on their mother's grave that they aren't racist.

                  •  But as I said, this happens all the time (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    whaddaya

                    in a white and white situation, or, for that matter I would guess it happens all the time in black and black situations.  These sort of everyday random, or at least not race-based, occurrences are going on all the time. '

                    So why attribute any particular situation in which one customer is black and another white and in which the "wrong" customer is chosen to go next as always being about race when in fact only a fraction may be attributable to race?  Say the wrong customer is chosen next in 30% of similar situations for white and white customer pairs with a white employee (not an unreasonable estimate).  Therefore, any fraction attributable to racial factors would only start at the proportion of times this happens to a black customer that is in excess of 30%, all other factors held equal (age, race of employee, sex, etc).

                    I don't think I've ever heard a satisfactory response to this.

                    •  you will never get an answer (14+ / 0-)

                      because there isn't one.

                      I couldn't read the cashier's mind, nor she mine.  So there was no way for me to know with 100% certainty why she didn't help me first.  

                      However, as a black person moving through life in this country, such situations occur many times, more times than it is possible to count or recall.  And because it happens with such frequency, I can with confidence say that a good portion of these are race based.

                      Do I have hard evidence that I can PROVE it to you with slides and such.  No.  And no one can, because no one is a mind reader.  So you have to rely on my experiences.

                      Do I think that every single time someone was dismissive or unkind to me that it was race based? No.  Could be a bad day, could be I reminded them of their ex wife, or whatever.  But I do know that a good number of them are, you get that six sense about these things when you have to walk around in this skin.

                      •  Keep Count (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        whaddaya

                        Just a simple hash mark type thing.  If it happens more often than not, I think you could statistically assume that there's something racial going on.  It won't be pleasant to keep score and may make you pretty cynical, but you'd have a statistic to cite that would counteract the "oh, it's just coincidence" people.  I think you're right, personally.
                         I've lived in Hawai'i for 8 yrs now, but I'm white so will always be assumed to be a tourist.  If I tell people I live here, they assume it's in one of the affluent areas.  Nope---working class all the way for us!  And we have great neighbors.

                    •  There are few as articulate or eloquent (6+ / 0-)

                      in explaining with refreshingly clear and direct honesty the long, ugly history of American racism toward the black person than the incomparable James Baldwin.

                      "Human history began with an act of disobedience, and it is not unlikely that it will be terminated by an act of obedience." Erich Fromm

                      by thirty three and a third on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:45:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  when this happens again and again (8+ / 0-)

                you can deduce it's a race based action to take the white lady first. It's always the dilemma though to know for sure if each individual case is race based, I'd think. Maybe in this case you calling yourself a girl and her a lady makes me think you are younger than the woman- theoretically, I thought, it could be age. Maybe it's something you could sense over time.

                I can't tell how often-probably the majority of the time for me-the cashier doesn't ask who's first. I notice this because I've a foot issue and it hurts me to stand...I need/want to get out of that line ASAP so when in the 50% of times the person picks the other person arbitrarily (see, I'm white so have the privilege to assume it is arbitrary) she forces me to say "excuse me I was first in line" which feels awkward and even a bit petty. Sometimes then I get a glare from the cashier and the other customer as if I broke some societal rule for my "pettyness" in mentioning it-as if I'm being a bitch. Then I judge them as stupid for not imagining a Reason why someone with a cane might be in a hurry not to stand in line...

                Anyway I digress. I am sure going through your day bombarded with microaggressions wears one down. I oftentimes see white people's micro-aggressions against Black people in the form of little whiffs of attitude..a comradely glance to me when we are interacting mutually with a Black person. a brief flash of the eyes. I refuse to play that game. Was severely bullied in high school-refuse to participate to the extent I can.

              •  That happens to me all the time... (14+ / 0-)

                ...so I'm alert for it, around a month ago was the last time. Even in racially diverse ABQ with an hispanic clerk. It's one of the dubious "perks" of being a middle-aged white guy. I point to the person who is actually first in line.  "No, she's next. And then him. I'm last."

                To remove racism and bigotry from our society is the responsibility of everyone, even in small things.

                Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

                by rbird on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 09:28:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Example of microaggresion against women (11+ / 0-)

              Female lead in an action movie is called "sexy," "slinky," "leather-clad," and "seductive" in virtually every review (including in mainstream publications) even though she wears normal clothing or Kevlar, doesn't seduce anyone, is never once photographed or gets a musical cue that invites the male gaze, and spends the entire film trying to set up the male lead with compatible dates instead of banging him herself.  It's as if she HAS to be seen and described a certain way even though the cast, producers, cinematographers, writers, and everyone else involved bent over backwards to AVOID the stereotyped portrayal of the Hot Chick in Leather Kicking Ass and Falling in Love with the Hero trope.

              This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

              by Ellid on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 06:41:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And oh yeah (12+ / 0-)

                The comments about the said actress being a sexpot and a leather-clad seductress are pretty much the ONLY things the reviewers say about her performance.  And no, we are not talking about someone who can't act, or who is a model or martial arts star turned actress.  We're talking about Scarlet Johansson, who is almost always described in action roles in terms of her appearance and sex appeal, not her actual performance.

                I've been reading film reviews for over forty years, beginning when my aunt got a subscription to the New Yorker in the early 70's.  Not only did reviewers actually take actresses (especially of Johansson's stature) more seriously then, they've backslid within the past few years.

                It's appalling, and I am sick unto death of it.  Men may not see it (or, more likely, not WANT to see it), but it's there.  

                This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

                by Ellid on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 06:47:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And let's not forget to mention (6+ / 0-)

                  that there are very FEW female movie reviewers in the MSM.
                  This is an area where the glass ceiling remains firmly in tact. This is a big part of the problem you discuss. Women and men experience movies differently in many ways.

                  "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                  by StellaRay on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:38:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I thought right away of Pauline Kael & Manohla (4+ / 0-)

                    Dargis, but you're right.  From the List of Film Critics on Wikipedia, I categorized about 20 that I consider to be well known and not ancient.  Of these, there are only 3-4 women.

                    •  Your frame of reference is interesting (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jayfrenchstudios

                      It proves that the practice of tokenism, as a defense of sexism or racism works effectively on you, in that you explain that your immediate, unconscious, knee-jerk response that the claim made by StellaRay must be untrue, because you could immediatly think of two women reviewers.  

                      To your credit, you did a little bit of easy research, but you misrepresented the results in Wikipedia, based, again on your personal subcategorization, to come up with a 15-20% representation rate for women, rather than in their list of approximately 100 "Notable Journalistic Critics" which lists less, like 10% women.  

                      In either event, that you would not find this statistically bizarre, that one gender would be over-represented by either 30% to 40% in a field where one assumes both men and women see films, and that there is no physical difference which might account for this weird over-representation.  

                      I would have expected, based on the non de plume you chose for yourself, that this would cause you to rethink your knee-jerk skepticism of the claims of bias that are not "proven to your (personal) satisfaction" by looking at statistical data that removes the possible "personal" biases and examines the proof in data patterns.  

                      I would have thought you would have had an "ah ha" moment and turned your skepticism about the individual and persona claims of women or people of color shared here to a sincere and data-driven look with equal skepticism at your own personal knee jerk responses to claims you do not personally believe can possibly be true, because it does not fit with your personal experience or assumptions.

                      You are free to research data on the impacts of racism on groups of people.  You can look at statistical reports on the rates of discrimination in lending, housing, hiring, arrests...You say you want proof to your satisfaction? You can find it there.  And in decades of, including current, legal cases, legislation, and academic studies. But your caution to "Be Skeptical" seems very passive, you wish others to prove to you what you could easily find yourself by taking more than just a moment to scan Wikipedia (!) and actually learn something about an area you profess to know very little about.

                      It should be illuminating to you.  Which is a good thing.  Because I do think healthy skepticism is a good thing when applied to others, but mostly as a continuous and on-going lens utilized as deeply on oneself.  If applied only to others, and never to one's own beliefs, it is arrogance and hubris, if applied to oneself as well, it is intellectual honesty and actual learning with the goal to find and face truth rather than simply a sophomoric quest to prove dishonesty in others.

                      Good luck.  

                      "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

                      by Uncle Moji on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 04:56:42 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I hadn't been to church in years (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        greenbell

                        I suppose I needed a sermon.

                        Sorry I didn't adequately prostrate myself when I actually agreed with the comment about women movie critics, and that I didn't express adequate shock when I noted the very small number of women in the group I informally classed as the most prominent.  I suppose you think my self-confessed personal sample is biased.  I just picked the ones I am most familiar with, so I would think that women's exclusion would be even more evident in this more prominent group, but thank god you did a little more easy Wikipedia research and came up with the shocking statistic that it is not 15-20% but only 10%!!  Truly shocking!!!  Truly demonstrates how I willfully slanted the data to grossly underestimate the bias.  Of course, I made no statistical estimate at all, which would be ridiculous using that "sample," but that's really beside the point.

                        The example given above of unintentional microaggressive racism was the cashier's treatment of the white woman and the black girl (her terms).  Readers have given this post 24 recs.  As I stated, in fact this occurs to white, Asian, black, American Indian, young, old, sick, rich, assholes and saints every day, and that any assumption that an individual's experience of such an incident is evidence of microracism is flawed.  To some people it happens all the time, to most people only sometimes.

                        You assume that I "do not personally believe [such claims of racism] can possibly be true."  Yet I wrote:

                        When you remove all those other "background" causes, the remaining fraction is probably racially based.  It's certainly very real, but it's very hard to know what that fraction is.
                        I certainly agree that when this happens again and again then the "background" non-racial explanations are undoubtedly responsible for a much smaller fraction.  I am familiar with studies on discrimination in housing, hiring, arrests, etc.  Some are good. Some are weak.  For what it's worth I analyze data for a living and often review academic research articles for peer-reviewed journal publication.  

                        It just bothers me when someone provides an anecdotal example that is so widely accepted as a clear demonstration of unintentional racism that is so insubstantial.  

                        I actually had a bit of an "Aha" moment last night, just a few hours after that exchange of comments.  I was at the deli service counter and there was only one customer there, but she had a multi-part order that was taking some time to fill.  I got a text and stepped back slightly to a spot where there was a little less glare on my screen. Though still in front of the deli counter, my presence may have been slightly obscured to someone at the other end.  During that brief moment another customer came up to the deli section.  The long order of the current customer being near completion, I moved a little closer to the glass to position myself, as any savvy urban deli customer in a hurry would do.  Shortly thereafter, the deli worker called out "Who's next?" without looking up from the cheese she was slicing. I gave a quick glance and slight smile at the other customer, a commonly employed non-verbal "That's me" look, and called out my order.  The other waiting customer was black.  What did that man think?  Did he assume he had just suffered a microaggressive act by the deli worker? By me? Did he recognize I had been next?  Did he think we should have negotiated the queue order in some fashion?  Maybe we'll read about it here.  

                        •  You seemed smart but apparently (0+ / 0-)

                          I was mistaken, because you still miss a very obvious point, so the sermon was a failure.  You continue to look at oppression (and degrees of oppression) anecdotally (even as you dismiss others who also use anecdote to prove a point you disagree with), so you can dismiss or create a position based on your opinion of whether sufficient proof exists for your personal threshold, or you can create a "global fact"based on one interaction you had one day.  

                          I am not sure why don't seem to be able to understand that you are engaging in sophomoric reasoning based solely on what is a remarkably self-centered universe of proof - you believe it or you don't and that is the acceptable proof to you that turns your opinion into a fact and others' into not.  And you bizarrely evidence no intellectual curiosity about the reams of evidence that exist that disprove you anecdotally based universe, by continuing to claim "they haven't proved" it statistically - the statistics are out there if you care to find them.

                          Not sure why you seem remarkably wedded to the very non-rigorous "prove it to me" nonsense of a younger generation, instead of on fact-based, research-based knowledge.  I appear to have made a mistake about your interest in objective truth, facts, research, and data by taking you at your word.

                          Have a good day, anyway.  There's always tomorrow.

                          "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

                          by Uncle Moji on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 01:33:12 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  Watch the 1st 60 seconds of "Lost in Translation" (0+ / 0-)

                  and tell me Scarlett Johansson didn't use her sex appeal to launch her career.  She's a great actor, undeniably, but it's the rare viewer who is immune  to her physical charms.  I don't expect reviews of action movies to dwell much on the acting anyhow.  

                  I understand the concept, but to insert the word "aggression," as in your example, seems a reach.

                  •  So? Is that the ONLY thing she did in that film? (7+ / 0-)

                    Her character, and her character's actions, are critical to the plot of both The Avengers and Captain America:  The Winter Soldier.  She never once, in either film, trades on her sex appeal, and there is not a single shot that trades on her looks or appeals to the male gaze.  Women have gone nuts over how finally there's a strong, smart, non-sexualized female action star who is treated like a professional by the other characters AND the filmmakers.  

                    And yet read the reviews of both films, and what is the ONLY thing that we see?  Johansson is a "sex kitten in leather" (even though her uniform is clearly made of a ballistic fabric, not leather).  She's "sexy" (even though she's wearing body armor that is no tighter, or more revealing, than that worn by Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, or Jeremy Renner).  She's there as "eye candy" (even though her actions advance the plot repeatedly in both films).   If she's mentioned at all (which she frequently isn't), it's invariably in reference to her appearance, nothing more.

                    Worse, Johansson always, always, ALWAYS gets the questions about her appearance and her diet during press junkets.  She spent six months training and learning stunt choreography for one film, and the only questions was asked concerned her diet and whether she wore a bra under her costume.  It got so bad that she actually called out a couple of reporters on it - and was promptly called bitchy and ungrateful by the press.

                    The only way it's going to stop is if she gains fifty pounds for a part - and then she'll be excoriated for "letting herself go."  

                    She can't win, and neither can any other actress.  It's appalling, and it shouldn't be happening in 2014.

                    This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

                    by Ellid on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 12:03:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And oh yeah - I wasn't talking about (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BMScott

                      Lost in Translation.  I was talking about Johansson's action roles, when she is most emphatically NOT supposed to be a sex kitten unless you find the idea of her bashing terrorists in the head and trying to break Sebastian Stan's neck with a martial arts move erotic.....

                      snark

                      This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

                      by Ellid on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 12:05:37 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  lots of anti women microaggressions on DK (9+ / 0-)

                  mostly if the conversation is about women/a woman. And when the are politely pointed out, sometimes it doesn't remain that "micro". I'm not at all saying it is worse here...just a cross section. I think I expected it to be better, safer from that.

                  •  transphobic and ableist microaggressions, too. (0+ / 0-)

                    When the scribbling devil is got into a man's head, he falls to writing and publishing, which gets him as much fame as money, and as much money as fame. ~ Cervantes

                    by scribblingTiresias on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 09:17:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  did i just walk onto a tumblr sjw page? (0+ / 0-)
                      •  Ooh, we're soooooo scairt of being called SJWs!!!! (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        ozsea1

                        Cause if you call out whites on racism, men on sexism, straights on homophobia, cis people on transphobia, on a form of media that for once is not majority straight-white-male - that makes you a Social Justice Warrior and to be dismissed.

                        I really, really love how "SJWs lol" has replaced "n[word]-lovers" in some white guys' vocabulary.

                        Thank God, the Bob Fosse Kid is here! - Colin Mochrie

                        by gardnerhill on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 03:32:26 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  it's not the calling out (0+ / 0-)

                          It's the hypersensitivity and constant calls to 'check your privilege'... Which really just means 'shut up and stop disagreeing with me, your only allowed to listen, not speak, unless you agree with me.

                          •  wow you are doing what Republicans do! (0+ / 0-)

                            My original comment was surprise at sexist comments on DK and the defensiveness I get when I point them out.

                            So here we are commenting in general and you made a comment slapping this general idea down.

                            I'm not the one slapping you back so hard (I'm not in agreement with "how"gh did that), but I hope you see that in not believing that someone could really perceive something you do not, you are being like the worst right wingers.

                            We perceive their racism, and call it out. I think many times they truly just can't see it (it is imbedded in their subconscious, like it is even in my own). Since they can't perceive it themselves, it must be not true. Therefore, they conclude that people who call it out are either "hypersensitive" or  "playing the race card".

                            You are doing the same thing. You have decided it seems that anyone who perceives a bias you don't see and points it out must therefore have an ulterior motive-they must only be doing it to shut you up.

                            Probably someone has done that before. But you've decided it must usually be the case. Because so often people seem to see things you don't, you think we must just have this ulterior motive. Just like Republicans.

                            By the way, I"m not a feminist (my original post was surprise at finding anti-women comments so much on DK) except as it should really be used-I think women's value is equal to mens. I've not encountered sexism much in my life and it hasn't effected my life much (If I were ten years older or more it'd been different). That is part of my surprise at seeing it on DK-not expected. I think it is because people keep themselves in check more in person/in real life.

                            I don't perceive the "ableist" microaggressions that gh does. Unlike, it seems, yourself, I don't assume they are not there. I assume I am not aware of it because I haven't had to be.

                          •  social justice warrior (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Be Skeptical

                            They fight ridiculous social justice fights like for people with headmates. If you don't know what a head mate is then your a normal human being. Basically headmates is a fake, self diagnosed version of multiple personalities except it's fun. Just look up 'tumblrisms' on YouTube to get an idea of the crazy.

            •  yes, white infants are racist (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greengemini

              Favoring one race over another is pretty much the definition of racism, no matter what excuses you make for it.  Those same experiments suggest that socialization with people of other races cannot begin early enough.

              Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

              by Visceral on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:31:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ridiculous............................eom (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                anime1973
              •  Babies are biased not racist (0+ / 0-)

                Racism involves the exertion of power which is rooted in a racist ideology. I dare say that babies favor whoever feeds them the most.

                "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will."

                by never forget 2000 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:37:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  No it's not. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                novapsyche, ozsea1
                Favoring one race over another is pretty much the definition of racism,
                The dictionary definition is really on point:
                the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
                I'm sick and tired of the idea of favoring individuals or even talking about anything about the races or varieties of people as racist. That is what allows people to put down groups like the NAACP who work for the advancement of 'Colored People' but don't as a group say or push any idea that ALL white people are, well anything as a group.

                That some studies show that at some ages babies favor familiar faces where color is certainly a distinction doesn't mean they are racist. Such use of the term deprives it of meaning.

                I agree that early socialization is desirable but it doesn't prevent actual racism for some people. Teaching to see people as individuals rather than groups and accepting differences as interesting rather than scary is a big help.

                I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

                by samddobermann on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:53:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Probably not infants. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              samddobermann

              They are just looking at macro features to identify folks.

              However, it was recently discovered that racial bias in pain perception appears among children as young as seven.

              Dore and her colleagues conducted their investigation by testing children at ages 5, 7 and 10. The children were asked to rate the severity of pain that they believed would be felt by other children of the same gender in different situations, such as bumping their head, or slamming a hand in a door. When shown pictures of black children, the 7- and 10-year-olds tended to rate the pain as being less severe than when they were shown pictures of white children.
          •  Baloney. Let's try an experiment: you monitor (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Ellid
            Hidden by:
            scribblingTiresias

            your every last word, thought, and action for a whole day and then assign appropriate punishment for each offense. "I didn't mean it" will not be an excuse and you cannot hope, or ask, for forgiveness. Oh, and when you hear or read any racist remarks from non-whites, you must prostrate yourself before them and invite them to kick you somewhere painful...while you abjectly proclaim your forgiveness of them.

            Unless you were being sarcastic.....

          •  My comment (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calvino Partigiani, novapsyche

            is in response to how I feel about the 'microaggressions' ... the actions themselves, not the people. I am sure that there are times when a person's actions, although genuinely unintended to be hurtful, are experienced by the other as hurtful, and need to be respected as that person's genuine experience of the action. I would hope that we would be willing to forgive the person, but not excuse the act without addressing the racial bias inherent in it.

            'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

            by janis b on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:28:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Intent and Impact (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              novapsyche, janis b, ozsea1, RockyMtnLib

              I am not sure why we spend so much time worrying about the feelings of the person who unintentionally harms other person rather than on the person harmed.  

              This focus away from the recipient of harm, the victim of harm, to center on the feelings of the person who caused the harm is evidence to me of the success of the FoxWorld Perpetrator/Victim re-framing of fact.  

              Golly, it's nice to be concerned about the hurt feelings of the person who didn't intend to hurt in someone else, but not that it should interrupt the responsibility of that person to the harm they caused.  If they were as nice and as thoughtful as you are (and I applaud what you did there with the grace of politeness), they would have never thought it was great fun to laugh at the expense of group of people who can be fired from a job in 37 states simply because their boss suspects they are queer.  

              Sometimes learning takes embarrassment.  I've been there, I've done it.  I've been both the recipient and the person who caused harm.  I've apologized for making mistakes that caused harm to others, even if I didn't "mean" it, because it is an adult moment, a moment to realize that my frame is off, that my empathy has failed, that I evidence, as much as anyone else, the enculturation of a society that is provably institutionally racist, sexist, classist, anti-semitic, and homophobic.  This is my journey that I have to take responsibility for, if I am to be a truthful and effective agent of social justice and change.

              "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

              by Uncle Moji on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 05:19:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you Uncle Moji (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ozsea1

                for your thoughtful and wise response. It is such a liberating experience to take responsibility for all that we say and all that we do, and for me personally it makes life so much simpler and more rewarding. How else do you get to the heart of things and the understanding that comes from there.

                To quote you-
                'This is my journey that I have to take responsibility for, if I am to be a truthful and effective agent of social justice and change.'

                Oh, and I always enjoyed your comments in yellowfroggyattack's diaries on Japanese culture.

                'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

                by janis b on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 02:30:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Computers are dead! (5+ / 0-)

      While the past saw the development of the mainframe, the post-60s "microchip" shows that technology is dying.

    •  So, now it's microaggression (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pootie, anon004

      Yet, we've heard more dropping of the N bomb in political discourse amongst the rank and file of the GOP than at any time in history since the civil war.

      Meanwhile, we still have birthers out there, amazingly. We still have drones going on and on about socialism, despite the fact that these drones can't define what socialism is.
      We have armed militias ready to engage in actual battle against "That Kenyan".

      But, there's no problem. Nothing to see here, folks, move along.

  •  What's going on? (22+ / 0-)

    First Johnathan Chait, now this guy, trying to drum up sympathy for those 'poor, innocent' people that deny they're being racist and that racism still lives.

    'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

    by janis b on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 06:19:05 PM PDT

  •  the GOP is not racist (12+ / 0-)

    Vote GOP, they are not racist.

    If you wanted medical care, so what, the GOP is not racist, vote GOP.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 06:41:21 PM PDT

    •  Nearly all Scandinavians are white (0+ / 0-)

      Does that make them racist?

      QED!

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 05:28:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes it does (0+ / 0-)
        Nearly all Scandinavians are white.  Does that make them racist?
        They are beneficiaries of white privilege and Western imperialism and acting "normally" for them means continuing to benefit from and perpetuate these things.  Even Scandinavians have to actively work to equalize society.

        Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

        by Visceral on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:34:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  also ridiculous.........................eom (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenbell, anime1973
        •  The hell we do (0+ / 0-)

          I can just see you trying this white privilege bullshit out in Tim Walz's MN-01.  But hey, I'm sure you got some new math that's going to help him win the district with  ONE PERCENT African Americans making up for losing the Scandinavian vote.

          Breaking news, the folks are damn proud of being Scandinavian when they aren't damn proud of being Irish or German and when it comes to equalizing we work in good Garrison Keillor style to equalize the church suppers between the Norwegian Lutherans and the German Catholics.  And one thing I'll bet we can get about 100% agreement on between the Lutherans and the Catholics -- we aren't apologizing for being white, dontcha know, you betcha we are not.

          OMG, do some folks not get how many white votes you've got to lose and you are falling right into the trap the Republicans are setting for you.

        •  I meant IN Scandinavia! (0+ / 0-)

          How exactly are they to be seen as racist for historically being white, which they had no control over? I suspect that they've been a lot more fair towards non-Scandinavians than we've been to non-whites.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 12:50:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's shameful (16+ / 0-)

    that people dare to pose as victims in a world of their own creation.

    'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

    by janis b on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 06:55:23 PM PDT

  •  Excellent post. (14+ / 0-)

    How do you spell white privilege and deliberate blindness to racist oppression?  Matt Bai.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 07:49:19 PM PDT

  •  Maybe the guy doesn't see much overt (24+ / 0-)

    personal racism so not being terribly empathetic, imaginative or intelligent, he ignores the pervasive institutional racism.  And with the hubris of his ilk dare not admit he doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.  He's an all seeing big time columnist.  He has got to know it all - even that which is beyond his myopic sight.

    Ta-Nehisis Coates quoted Baldwin in an article about Chait's comments and it is also appropriate here:

    Jonathan Chait is arguably the sharpest political writer of his generation. If even he subscribes to a sophomoric feel-good rendering of his country's past, what does that say about the broader American imagination?

    And none of this is even new:

       The record is there for all to read. It resounds all over the world. It might as well be written in the sky. One wishes that–Americans—white Americans—would read, for their own sakes, this record and stop defending themselves against it. Only then will they be enabled to change their lives. The fact that they have not yet been able to do this—to face their history to change their lives—hideously menaces this country. Indeed, it menaces the entire world.
    James Baldwin was not being cute here. If you can not bring yourself to grapple with that which literally built your capitol, then you are not truly grappling with your country. And if you are not truly grappling with your country, then your beliefs in its role in the greater world (exporter of democracy, for instance) are built on sand. Confronting the black experience means confronting the limits of America, and perhaps, humanity itself. That is the confrontation that graduates us out of the ranks of national cheerleading and into the school of hard students.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/...

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 07:59:12 PM PDT

    •  He and Chait are hired hack tools for the GOP. (7+ / 0-)

      Doesn't matter what they "really think" or "really feel."

      I don't even want to know, because I know it will be something very empty and painful and wealthy and hideous and ugly. What I do know is they are hired hands, hired to push a line, for a purpose. Everything else is all clouds of GOP obfuscation. Fortunately, I don't think Bai has a feel for young folks, except for GOP Young Republican wealthy frat boys. His arguments simply aren't convincing to young people, I think that's guaranteed. He doesn't even know how to play the pc card properly. He bungles it. If he had a shred of understanding of those who are concerned about supposed pcisms, he wouldn't write such drivel.

      •  I don't think they are hacks for the GOP (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        samddobermann

        Witnessing the reaction to President Obama over the last five years has been a real eye-opener for me, and I have to admit being naive about the depth of racism and ethnic insecurity on the part of most of white America.  At the same time, being here on this site, as well as simply being in a major metropolis over this period, has given me a little more insight to what James Baldwin is writing about, above.

        I don't think it's hopeless, but we have a very long way to go. I don't think Bai or Chait are hopeless either, or hacks, just people with blind spots.  I'm quite convinced that they have this wrong though.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 02:42:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't agree at all. Especially Bai is for sure (0+ / 0-)

          on the GOP payroll. These pundits are placed by both parties into these media outlets, and it's been that way since Reagan. They display the coordinated talking points of the week and/or day from the infamous Wed. morning Norquist meetings, and don't show much independence.

  •  Matt Bai, the Greil Marcus of Politics (3+ / 0-)

    I'm sure his writing is underpinned by the political genius of Patrick Caddell.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 08:16:11 PM PDT

  •  It's indefensible (29+ / 0-)

    The man who shot Trayvon Martin was not a Boomer. The kids who lynched James Byrd of the Matthew Shepard James Byrd hate crime bill by tying him to their truck and dragging them to his death were not Boomers. The teen who sodomized 16 year old Mexican-American David Ritcheson with a lawn umbrella while yelling racial slurs was himself a teen and not a Boomer. Tumblr and Facebook and Twitter are full of kids ready to come to the defense of Zimmerman, or defend the confederate flag as a mere heritage, not hate.

    The people who are currently the racial targets of micro and actual aggression, know that the same virulent strain of racism that was alive and well in the 60's, still beats in the hearts of enough millennials for people to stop declaring how astronomically enlightened and racially progressive millennials are.

    Talk to the millennials that Matt Bai does not belong to and ask them how far we've come racially in this country.

    "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

    by FiredUpInCA on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 08:22:57 PM PDT

  •  Bai may have been trolling for pageviews . . . (8+ / 0-)

    and doing so quite successfully -- over 30,000 comments on his piece on the Yahoo site.

    The premise is absurd on its face.  It's hard to tell sometimes if columnists/ reporters like him actually believe what they write, or whether it is just a cynical attempt to stir the pot.  Racial attitudes have definitely changed, and at least in some parts of the country racism isn't as overt or as toxic, but I wonder how open the guy's eyes are, or where he spends most of his time.

  •  Maybe the guy's been paying attention to (0+ / 0-)

    NPR. Or here.

  •  As if the legacies (7+ / 0-)

    of American Indian genocide and of black slavery are done and buried, nothing more to see there!

    Had Bai pegged back at the first YearlyKos in 2006:

    Professional journalists and bloggers are still talking past each other, and it was there for all to see in this panel. Matt Bai, whose New York Times weekly commentary the panel merrily recommended, took offense with bloggers associating him with the "cocktail weenie set."  

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 01:28:16 AM PDT

  •  Matt Bai must not spend any time on Twitter (10+ / 0-)

    I will be 33 this year.

    the vast majority of racists I encounter---and given who I chat with and what i chat about I run into quite a few---are far younger than me.

    Twitter though is a younger crowd though.

    Matt Bai isn't looking, that's for sure. Millenials have the same problems with race their Boomer parents do. What i'm seeing now though, at least in the wild streets of Twitter, is where their Boomer parents are more circumspect about racism, conservative (and a surprising number of liberal) millenials sure as frak aren't.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:23:46 AM PDT

  •  Fact free commentary (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, TomP, nellgwen, Val, KJG52, anon004

       Bai wrote that entire article without showing one verifiable fact. There were no surveys or studies to back up his opinion. He's obviously just pulling this out of his ass.

  •  So much of what people say (10+ / 0-)

    about racism "not existing" is wishful thinking. They really HOPE these new kids are blind to the affects of racism (white kids mainly. nobody cares what the black/Latino kids say).

    It must give a person a HUGE headache trying to reconcile "post racial, colorblind America" that the young white folks think exists with the fact that these same white millenial kids support LGBT rights in numbers that indicate that a revolution is going down. lol

    Silly old GOP. They do that to everybody. Blacks are the REAL racists. Nancy Pelosi is the REAL political dinosaur. lol Oh, please, Grand OLD Party. Go sell that bullshit somewhere else.

    "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

    by GenXangster on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:54:26 AM PDT

    •  It's not so much that no one cares (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GenXangster

      what young blacks & Latinos have to say.  It's more like the privileged whites cannot imagine anyone would feel anything for them but admiration.  It's just like the jocks & nerds in high school...  All the "cool kids" can't imagine they might be resented for bullying...  Everyone wants to be them!

  •  He's another whitesplaining a$$ho!e (7+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:58:10 AM PDT

  •  "Yes or no, President Clinton: have you stopped (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, Matt Z

    being a mass murderer?"

  •  Another Mourning Schmoe regular speaks! (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, Matt Z, TomP, a2nite, nellgwen, KJG52, carrps

    Smarter things have come out of a monkey's ass than this guy's mouth.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 05:24:12 AM PDT

  •  Ummmm (8+ / 0-)
    And it's worth noting that racial resentment has been a part of the partisan divide for at least 50 years now; it's doubtful that "birther" types hate Obama any more than they did Bill Clinton (whom they accused of serial murder, among other things). What's happened over that time is that the presidency has become increasingly personality-based, and the country more culturally cleft, so that each successive president becomes subject to an ever more irrational kind of attack on his very legitimacy as a leader.
    At least 50 years - that is, going back to 1964?  That's it?  Unless the argument is that neither party cared about nonwhites until then, I don't see how he can argue that America's politicized racial tensions only emerged after the March on Washington.

    And there was a radical Clinton-hating group, to be sure, but even though Bill was white, there was always a distinct racial tinge to the radical anti-Clinton movement.  

    Finally, I have no idea where he gets the idea that the presidency became increasingly personality-based just in time for 2008.  Ronald Reagan?  JFK?  Teddy Roosevelt?  Those guys were what, technocrats?

    •  actually, it wouldn't surprise me if this were so (0+ / 0-)
      And it's worth noting that racial resentment has been a part of the partisan divide for at least 50 years now;
      At least 50 years - that is, going back to 1964? Unless the argument is that neither party cared about nonwhites until then, I don't see how he can argue that America's politicized racial tensions only emerged after the March on Washington.
      It wouldn't be hard to argue that this is pretty much how it was: for better or worse, non-whites were not explicitly part of either party's identity or platform.  On the right hand, when white supremacy is totally institutionalized and taken for granted, there's no need to defend it.  On the left hand, when you subscribe to an old-school Marxist conception of society, it's not necessary (or desirable) to single out minorities.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:56:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A plank calling for civil rights (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ozsea1

        legislation for AAs was put into the Democratic Party platform by Hubert Humphrey. Truman didn't want it and Strom Thurmon bolted because of it.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 04:08:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  " I don't see how he can argue that America's (3+ / 0-)

      politicized racial tensions only emerged after the March on Washington. "

      It became tense for whites for the first time when blacks started demanding and obtaining their rights.  Before that, at least for white people, it was pretty relaxing knowing the social order that put them on top would be ruthlessly enforced without hesitation by the government at whatever level.  He's just showing is bias that the society is about white people because their discomfort trumps the rights of black people.

  •  Matt Bai has always been an idiot (10+ / 0-)

    One of the things that always burned my ass was that Netroots Nation let him co-moderate the  presidential forum in 2007.

    Inexcusable and inexplicable.

  •  Maybe I'd care (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, dumpster, bluezen, laurak

    If I knew who this was.

    No, I wouldn't.

    http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

    by DAISHI on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 06:41:57 AM PDT

  •  guy cluelessly reveals his true nature (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, terrypinder, KJG52

    He's pulling what millennials "feel" and "think" from thin air. One can only deduce it is what HE himself feels and thinks-he's projecting.

    I live and work surrounded by people under 30 or so. I've never detected ennui or resentment of the calling out of racism. In fact, it is millennials in my experience who more uniformly are sensitive to and perceive racism and other "isms". Those same young people who Bai mentions are disturbed by race base microaggressions can  detect the macro-aggressions against Obama and minority people(s) much more readily. This is, of course, also only logical and shows how illogical he's being about millennials.

    How embarrassing it is to be him right now.

  •  I have heard similar thoughts (9+ / 0-)

    from young women who don't think gender inequality is an issue any more. Of course they are at the beginning of their careers and far from the glass ceiling many will still eventually bump their heads on, while being paid less than the guy who does the same job.

    "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

    by StellaRay on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:51:49 AM PDT

  •  Who??? NT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluezen

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:11:05 AM PDT

  •  Byebye Bai (0+ / 0-)

    Just another example of Bai's poor reporting.

    Another reason to not read the NYTimes.

  •  Yes, we live in a post-racist society now... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deereigna, KJG52, anon004

    ...just as Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, James Byrd or the victims of the shooting in Kansas last week.  

    Oh, wait...that's right, you can't ask them because they were all killed by racists.

    Feel trickled on yet?

    by War4Sale on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:09:22 AM PDT

  •  Why Are Conservatives (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anon004

    such haters, racists and bigots?

  •  I have a question I need answered. (8+ / 0-)

    I realize that my question may cause me to receive some back lash, but I'm going to ask it here anyway. Mainly because I have tried so hard that I don't know what to do, and have recently began to think that maybe it isn't just me.
    I was raised in a suburb of Tulsa, OK, and things like the race riots of Greenwood and Archer were largely ignored and not taught in our schools, although I think they should have been. My father had moved our family there in the 50's to take a job with McDonnell Douglas, and eventually went to work with Rockwell on projects for NASA. My High School had 2 black people in it. A boy that was a football star in our community, and a girl that the other girls in my class fell all over themselves trying to be friends with so they could be part of the "cool" group. Being a descendant of Cherokee heritage, I never understood, because my father always told me that we were all the same inside, regardless of our skin color, something that I took to heart. Growing up, I didn't get many opportunities to befriend people other than white people, and a few other native Americans that I knew. As I grew older, I began to meet a more diverse group, and went to their houses for dinner, invited them to my home, and made it known that anyone who had a problem with it didn't have to show up. I didn't seem to have any problems with my ideals until I got much older and, for some reason racial tensions became more prominent. I was born in 64, and graduated high school in 82, so I'm not talking about the time period directly after the riots, but many years later when I thought (mistakenly) that that type of behavior was in the past. That we had made a giant leap from the days that a white man's vote was worth the votes of 7 black men, and that Native Americans had no vote. I relished in how far we had come, and hoped that it would only get better with time. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do as a Christian, and that our country had taken a step in the right direction and that it could never happen again. To see what my state is doing now is sickening to me. Makes me want to move if I knew I could and make it somewhere else. However something happened to me recently that I didn't know what to think of.
    My best friend was kidnapped and murdered in April of 1987. She had drove her car to her apartment laundry mat, and in front of the building, with people out and about everywhere on a warm sunny spring day, she was grabbed from her vehicle, and taken to an area, strangled and killed, and thrown off a cliff. Her death did a number on me. It made me cautious of every person approaching me regardless of color. Her murderer was never caught, although I have my own ideas about who may have done it that also have nothing to do with race, and more to do with the divorce she was going through. Still yet, I carried a 45 around in my purse for nearly 3 years after the incident. It frightened me to my very core. I became more aware of my surroundings than I had ever been, and kept a vigilant eye on those around me.
    Just as my tension began to ease from this, an incident happened to me that upset me because of how it was perceived by a man who had no idea about what I had been through. I had drove to a local country store on the outskirts of the community I currently live in. I live in the country, and it's the nearest store to my house. It was in an old building with a poorly lit parking lot, but I had all but forgotten my fears that were so prominent shortly after my friend's death. I went in the store, and came out without looking at who was in the parking lot, or being worried about my safety. I didn't even notice the man by the gas pumps. I jumped into my car, opened my pack of cigarettes, lit one, and reached for my open car door to shut it. Just as I started to pull on the long and heavy door of the 96 Ford Thunderbird I was driving, something stopped the door and pushed it back open. I immediately started shaking as I turned to look to see who had pushed it back open. An extremely large black man (his shoulders were wider than the length of my car door) stuck his face down below the roof of my car and asked if he could borrow my lighter. I reached for it, still shaking, and handed it to him, relieved to think it was just someone asking for a lighter, but at the same time, still leery about the way he did it. He reached for the lighter, and saw my hand shaking, and he went OFF. Started calling me a racist bitch, and saying I wouldn't have reacted the same if he was a white man. That is NOT true. At the time I started to shake, I didn't even know what color he was yet. He could have been white, yellow, red, or chartreuse, I would have reacted the same that night. But to him, I was racist, and was scared because he was a black man. I tried to tell him that but he wouldn't let me finish. He threw my lighter back at me, and stomped back to his car calling me a crazy racist white bitch. (Most people don't realize I'm Cherokee.)
    My question is, how do you handle something like that, and shouldn't he have realized that he was a 250+ pound man that had just pushed the door open of a 120 pound woman who had no ideas what his intentions were? Why does everything have to be perceived as being racial? I have looked for that man because once I got past the initial reaction, and had a minute to think, I wanted to tell him what I thought about his actions that night. I haven't seen him since. However that incident stuck with me.
    I see myself as Progressive, and want to see all people as equal. This was something that this man had no idea about me. Yet he took a reaction I had come by through a tragedy in my life, and turned it from fear of anyone who would have approached me in such a manner to my being racist. It isn't right, nor was it a right assumption. Anyone who has a tendency to begin shaking because of a trigger like that can tell you that the shaking from the adrenaline doesn't just stop because you look up and realize that it's okay. It takes a few minutes to stop it. So does that make me a racist bitch?

    Tired of living in a "RED" state... Colorado here I come!!

    by deereigna on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 12:27:08 PM PDT

    •  You encountered a creepy asshole (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BMScott, indedave, samddobermann

      whose behavior was grossly inappropriate.  

      Cut yourself some slack.

      •  Thank you for that, I felt that way too. (0+ / 0-)

        However, my story isn't the only one I've heard where someone was accused of being racist for something that was taken out of context like this. I'll grant you, Oklahoma is full of racist assholes, but I try to stay away from them. Many of the people who I don't believe to be racist have had experiences similar to this though. Maybe not because of a tragedy like I had, but because of something that was beyond their control. Like for instance, a friend who dated a black guy that didn't want to take him home to her parents. Not because she was racist, but because she knew her parents were. She didn't want to subject him to the wrath that was her parents. She loved him and was heartbroken when he broke up with her over it. She would rather walk away from her family to be with him, than to put him through what she knew her family would act like and do if she had brought him home. He thought she was ashamed of him. She wasn't. The only ones who didn't know she was dating him were her parents. They thought he was just part of a group she hung around with. Everyone else knew, and was keeping it from her parents because we all knew how they acted. Her parents even came down on mine when I was young because my parents allowed me to watch black people on TV.

        Tired of living in a "RED" state... Colorado here I come!!

        by deereigna on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 01:34:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think part of the problem is that many black men (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical

      when they think of discrimination think of it in terms of racial bigotry, because that is what they encounter so often.  I think it can be difficult for men of any racial or ethnic background to put himself in the shoes of a woman to get some understanding of the threat assessment women must calculate all the time; however, I think it is even more so the case with nonwhite men, as they are so used to a racial/ethnic lens being the determiner of social interactions & clashes that they fail to recognize other reactions that may appear similar but have nothing to do with bigotry.

      I ran into a guy on the bus this week, an African American man to whom I'd given bus fare when it was obvious that he had too large a bill for the machine to accept.  He saw me the next day & we began an exchange.  He said he was thinking of setting down roots in the city (Ann Arbor) as it appears tolerant & more liberal than what he had anticipated.  This was especially true on the racial front.  He said he didn't see college-aged women clutching their purses or crossing the street when they saw him coming, that they weren't afraid of the "scary black man" approaching.

      I acknowledged that I had no idea what it must be like to be on "the other side of that equation" (though I too am black, it is miles better in American society as a black female than a black male, in terms of inciting fear & attracting negative attention, especially from the authorities).  However, I did try to spread some light on the fact that women in general have to constantly size strangers but especially strange men to ensure that said men will not assault them, that this assessment is due to the basic physical power differential that exists between the average male & female.  I think that may have had some impact.  Still, the fact that I, a near-40-year-old woman was imparting this to a 60-year-old (or so) male is eye-opening.  He apparently had never contemplated that before.

  •  We're attempting to become post-racial (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    janis b, anon004

    but it's ruined by those who will never find a reason to become post-racist.

    The continual, ongoing disrespect shown to the Obamas has only increased. Nothing will change.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 12:50:09 PM PDT

  •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War4Sale, bluezen, anon004

    I don't know who Matt Bai is and after reading this am pretty sure I don't give a shit about him or what he has to say.

  •  Textbook Whitesplainin. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, KJG52, bluezen, anon004, Eric K

    What a fucking wanker.

  •  Maybe it is me (8+ / 0-)

    But I am tired--sick and tired--of white men telling me about something they have never experienced.

    As long as Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis are killed with impunity by men who judge them by the color of their skin, racism is still here.

    As long as the constitutional rights of black and brown citizens are violated routinely, racism is still here.

    Whites who claim that a person is not racist or our society no longer tolerates racism I would ask: How would you know? What do you think a racist 'looks' like?

    Bai is no better that the 'illustrative' panel on the Five or Brit Hume and Bill O'Reilly. It has always been very uncomfortable for Bai and Washington media type to accept that a large portion of the incivility and animus displayed by the GOP/Tea Party is based in racism. It is much easier to blame Obama for not using the bully pulpit, or backslapping John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. Can you imagine Bob Dole or Newt Gingrich refusing to come to a White House function? Boehner and McConnell get away with it because they know that there will be no blowback for disrepecting this president.

    "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will."

    by never forget 2000 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:08:26 PM PDT

  •  More lying republican liars (3+ / 0-)

    lying republican lies. Classic GOP lies, when being a known racist political party and unable to deny it, what do you do. You accuse the other political party of the same thing, create smoke and mirrors to try to hide your lies and hate and then point at the others guys and say " them too ". Not denying anything because they can't, just subterfuge and bobbing and weaving. The GOP party of lying liars and haters, lying GOP lies and hating with a smile. It really does not ever end.

  •  I'm white, middle-aged and female (9+ / 0-)

    And I would accept that Matt Bai or any other Republican had genuine policy differences if they could just come up with some.  Policies even, let alone differences.  When you say you don't like the ACA, and try try to repeal it fifty times, okay, but what different policies do you propose?  Nothing.  When you say that, even without boots on the ground (unlike your guy), Obama was too aggressive in Libya or Egypt, okay, but then don't say he's being wimpy for not invading the Ukraine to push back Russian aggression.  Don't tell me he's a black-power Christian and a secret devout Muslim at the same time.  Don't tell me he's weak and ineffectual one day and a power-hungry dictator trampling all our freedoms the next.  And whatever you do, please, please don't get your panties in a bunch because the law you proudly proclaim you didn't vote for, that you've tried to repeal fifty times, that you never want to see implemented has parts of it that are being delayed in implementation.  I've seen more consistency in toddlers.  And all of this makes me wonder, just what it is that you you have a problem with regarding this President.  And from where I sit, the one thing it isn't is his policies.

  •  false equivalency (4+ / 0-)

    To even try to compare what Obama has endured in terms of name-calling and demonizing with what any of his predecessors went through is malevolently unconscionable.  To find a comparison, you have to go way back to the 1860 election.  

    Furthermore, I pay a lot of attention to politics and the discourse surrounding it, and I never heard the term "United States of Jesusland" or "F....the South."  So if those things were used somewhere, it sounds like they were more one-offs than in general currency.

    I'm really sick and tired of this "one's as bad as the other" nonsense.  No, one side is much, much worse, and it's scraping the bottom of the mud bucket right now.  (I blame Reagan.  It was during his administration that civility started going downhill.)  No surprise that's it's his party doing the dirty work now.

  •  Oh goodie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samddobermann, gardnerhill

    another white guy informing us racism is "over" and like, no big deal, man.

    White privilege Matt, you're soaking in it.

    •  yeah. but us white people are sick of being called (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell

      assholes for being born white and in a system that we never created. We're sick of being told to "check our privilege" and to hear endless complaints of "micro-aggressions". Complaints of racism, so small, that it warrants the prefix "micro".

      The fact is, is that there is no cure for microaggressions. I hate that the language of social justice is just being used to yell at people that disagree with you and to give you a platform to feel morally superior to those white/male/hetero/cis/ableists.

      •  Someone called you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric K, virginwoolf

        an asshole for being white?

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 07:06:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Does this happen to you a lot? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        novapsyche, virginwoolf

        I'm a white male and yet I don't feel threatened or assaulted by people who are not white men the way you seem to be.  

        Do you often find yourself accused of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.?

      •  So you're suggesting apathy towards racism (0+ / 0-)

        is the way to go?

        Please tell me you are not trying to reframe the situation as one that should be focused on the subsequent hurt feelings of the aggressors for being called out.

        (P.S.:  I'm not calling all white people aggressors.  I'm calling those who use bigotry as means to enforce cultural power plays as aggressors.  That a Venn diagram will show an overlap in some of these populations does not mean that they are or should be assumed to be automatically conflated.)

      •  Speak for yourself, whitey. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        virginwoolf, twocrows1023

        For some of us on the whiter shade of pale, being called on racist comments that we might not be aware are racist is not assault, it's education. Open your heart, your mind and your damn ears and realize how much of what you know is based on your point of view.

        But you're not railing against an actual injustice here - you're just mad about losing your white male privilege, and not automatically having your POV validated over everyone else's in the room for that reason.

        Thank God, the Bob Fosse Kid is here! - Colin Mochrie

        by gardnerhill on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 03:43:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Disrespect (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, twocrows1023

    This President has been subjected to some of the most disrespectful reporting and behaviors than any in recent memory.  Shouting "you lie" at the state of the union speech was disgraceful but when one of President G. W. Bush's former press spokespeople goes on Fox News and calls the president a "Jerk," the disrespect has reached whole new levels.  It is difficult to imagine that comments like these would have been made or would have escaped censure if they were directed at a white man.  The Tea Baggers and their co-conspirators have decided that not only the man but the office itself is to be disrespected.  Calling them racist is merely stating the obvious and not amount of excuses will invalidate that fact.  By their actions shall ye know them.

  •  Money (0+ / 0-)

    America is about money.  Money defines our values, our beliefs. Times have changed, and class has taken priority over race as an excuse for divisiveness. Hate speech against the poor is considered entirely acceptable, regardless of race.  We bow to the rich, regardless of race.

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