The main thing for me, of course, is the hypocrisy (Democrats are actually the biggest racists, but they scream the loudest with allegations of racism). Of course, hardly anyone's debating the actual substance of the Reid's comments. Is it racist or simply politically incorrect to use the word "negro" when talking about blacks. And of course, before Obama snagged the Democratic nomination in 2008, it was those in the black community who were saying that Obama wasn't really black. In fact, a good case in point is Earl Ofari Hutchinson. In January 2007 Hutchinson wrote, "Why Blacks Won't Necessarily Back Obama," arguing that Obama wasn't really a "brother." And then just today Hutchinson's got a piece up defending Harry Reid, "Reid Spoke the Awful Truth about Obama´s Racial Exceptionalism":
His race neutral campaign was widely perceived as a soothing departure from the race baiting antics of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. But others liked him because of, and were plainly fascinated by his racially exotic background. It supposedly didn't fit that of the typical African American. This was Reid´s point.Earl Ofari Hutchinson is black. It's thus (apparently) totally kosher for him to comment on shades of black political acceptability. But what about a white guy, say Robert Stacy McCain? Well, it turns out McCain's said the same thing:
We’re at a teachable moment here and we ought to begin by acknowledging the fundamental truth of what Harry Reid was awkwardly trying to say: Barack Obama is “less black,” both racially and culturally, than Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. If Reid was trying to explain why Obama was electable in a way that Sharpton and Jackson were not, then he hit the nail quite nearly on the head.So, would a coincidence like this insulate McCain from charges of "racism"? Absolutely not. If folks like Charles Johnson have something to gain by making scurrilous allegations of racism and "white supremacy," they'll make them. There's a lot of political currency to be had for trumpeting the left's racial grievance shibboleths. So, morally bankrupt brain-addled commentators routinely level the charges.
And that brings me to Barrett Brown, who has responded -- about a month later -- to an essay I wroted debunking Brown's own stupid racist smears. Unfortunately, Brown doesn't read well or comprehend sophisticated racial dialogue, and he selectively quoted my essay without delving into the real issues involved -- and that's not to mention his claim that I attacked him as an "atheist," when what I really attacked is his smear merchandizing. So here's Barrett's latest flop, "Seven Questions for Donald Douglas on the Question of R.S. McCain’s Racism." Folks can read the whole essay for themselves. It's the same old worthless allegations ... In fact, I was actually going to ignore 'em. But since I had just spent the day with Robert Stacy McCain last week (and Brown's been reading my blog, suggesting that I'm "very close" with McCain), I thought I'd send the entry over to my good buddy Stogie at Saber Point. To my surprise, Stogie sent back a point-by-point rebuttal to Brown's "seven questions" (questions by the way which are themselves based in unsubstantiated assertions). So, here you go, in any case:
Barrett Brown concluded his essay by saying he hoped that I'd "choose to answer these questions." Well, Stogie's answered them eminently well here, and I wouldn't have done so too much differently. But again I probably wouldn't have bothered to answer them at all, since Barrett Brown obviously didn't take care to address what I'd written in the first place (I've read American Renaissance, for example, and said what I thought about it already). Frankly, Brown stonewalled and mischaracterized my post, and I doubt he has the kind of decency that I'd expect in one worth engaging at a serious, substantive level altogether.
1. Why do you think McCain chose the name “Dabney” for his alter ego?
Obviously the name refers to Robert Lewis Dabney, a Confederate Army chaplain. Dabney's wife was a first cousin to Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. Dabney defended the South after the Civil War, including the theological support for slavery. I do not know why McCain chose him, except that perhaps he was a prolific defender of the Confederate cause after the war.
2.What is it about Robert Lewis Dabney that McCain admires, in your opinion?
I do not know for sure. Possible reasons: Dabney was a Confederate and McCain is a Confederate descendant; Dabney was a Christian and so is McCain; Dabney was a prolific defender of the South and so is McCain. I am absolutely sure, however, that it is not because McCain wants to restore slavery to the Southern states. The truth is, you are merely searching for a "gotcha," a smoking gun that will enable you to finally label McCain and file him away in the ideological filing cabinet of your mind.
3. Are you aware that Dabney is known today almost exclusively for his theological defense of slavery?
I am aware of that. The Bible does indeed provide a defense of slavery. Slavery was largely unquestioned for 3,000 years and only started to be questioned with the advent of democracy. Socrates and many other past philosophers, theologians and politicians believed that slavery was part of the natural order of things. Even Jesus accepted it (indeed, there was no other paradigm from which to refer), as did Abraham and many other Biblical characters.
So what are you implying? That the Biblical defenses of slavery do not exist, or should be repudiated, or that people of prior generations with different social mores, cultures, beliefs and situations should be denounced for not holding 21st century views, even though they never lived in modern times?
4. Are you familiar with the publication American Renaissance?
Yes. I used to subscribe to it.
5. Do you consider the publication to be white supremacist in nature?
Not entirely. Any "white supremacy" may be implied but I never saw it overtly expressed. There are white supremacists who take the publication because they like the discussion about race and crime. The founder of that publication does not believe that whites are "superior" to Asians, as Asians have a provably higher IQ than whites. He once asked if that made him a "yellow supremacist." The publication was generally objective and useful in discussing race and crime, political correctness, IQ and other factors as they vary by race. I stopped taking it, however, when I became aware that neo-Nazis love the publication and when it began running selected stories about non-white crime, which I felt were not really representative and had no purpose other than to stoke race prejudice. The short answer is that I do not recommend American Renaissance.
6. What do you think it says about McCain that he wrote an article for that publication in which he warns about white “race suicide” and did so under a pen name inspired by a fellow who is known almost exclusively for his theological defense of slavery?
I haven't read the article and have no reason to believe that McCain did any such thing. Where is your proof?
7. You attack me for being an atheist. Is it better to ascribe to the Old Testament, which explains that one may beat one’s slave so long as the slave does not die within a few days afterwards?
I don't know which Old Testament scripture you refer to, so cannot honestly respond. In any case, the Old Testament does not apply to Christians. However, I can observe that atheism as practiced by Nazis and Communists led the way to genocide of millions simply because the Nazis and Communists felt they would never be held accountable by a just God.
Thanks to Stogie at Saber Point for going above and beyond the call of duty on that one.
Added: Patterico's apparently jumping into this phase of the Reid debate to put the digs into R.S. McCain -- again!! And that's after he already tried to walk back his first round or racist allegations! So just think: Radical Barret Brown and LGF-wannabe Patterico as brothers in arms? Now that's what I'm taking about! It's not the substance of the claims themselves, it's what you can get out of milking 'em!!
Also, in my in-box, from The Daley Gator, "An Open Challenge to a Historically Clueless Douchebag."