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A hearty welcome

A new group blog is now up and running. It's called "The Conservative Brotherhood," and it's made up exclusively of conservative black writers.

The countdown for David S. Anderson's head to explode and Oliver Willis to start screaming about "Uncle Toms," "race traitors," "self-haters," and the like begins in 5... 4... 3... 2...

J.


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» ISOU linked with You got me all wrong Jay

» baldilocks linked with Associations

» Cobb linked with It's OK If You Don't Get It

» Ramblings' Journal linked with Justifying The Brotherhood

» Uncle Sam's Cabin linked with Rolling with the Brotherhood

» La Shawn Barber's Corner linked with The Conservative Brotherhood Expands

» Tapscott's Copy Desk linked with Black Righters Form Conservative Blog

» Nykola.com linked with Linkology

» The Waterglass linked with The Conservative Brotherhood

» Parableman linked with Conservative Brotherhood Controversy

» Parableman linked with Conservative Brotherhood Controversy

Comments (80)

I would love to read this b... (Below threshold)
MIke Roark:

I would love to read this blog. Tell them to set up an RSS feed. That would be a big help. Mike

Tell them yourself, Mike. I... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Tell them yourself, Mike. I'm not a member there. I kinda lack certain qualifications.

J.

Actually, they've been aliv... (Below threshold)

Actually, they've been alive and kicking for a while. They've just added new members a couple of days ago.

And it isn't an actual blog. It's more like a blogroll; that's about it.

Lol @ J Tea's non-membershi... (Below threshold)

Lol @ J Tea's non-membership.

Jay, I answered you on my B... (Below threshold)

Jay, I answered you on my Blog. My head is far from exploding.

I won't be joining the Cong... (Below threshold)
McCain:

I won't be joining the Congressional Black Caucus either. Why do folks continue to think that their race is all that important to their opinions? Liberals have been destroying the melting pot for years, insisting that we celebrate physical traits they call "diversity." Why would conservatives join them in diminishing the importance of each individual?

The list starts out with th... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

The list starts out with the Progressives all time favorite Aunt Tom. who runs a very good blog. Ive been there many times. She and Osama the Progressive from Ill (New Senator whos real name escapes me) are on different sides of most issues.
There are some Progressive blogs devoted exclusively to LaShawn Barber and what a "sell out" she is.

I have never called anybody... (Below threshold)

I have never called anybody an "Uncle Tom" or a "race traitor".

I have! And, I will not apo... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

I have! And, I will not apologies for it!

Everytime the subject of Black Conservatives come up, the Right whines that it's simply the Left attacking their political views.

Wrong. And, when I counter with evidence of white racists aligned with the GOP in the South and the avowed segregationist Republican candidate for Congress in Tennessee, I get silence. (Or, forty year old stories about Robert Byrd!)

I'm wondering how *certain ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I'm wondering how *certain people* would react if there was a WHITE CONSERVATIVE BROTHERHOOD blog (or even, blogROLL) started?

Just asking...

I mean, if racial type of o... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I mean, if racial type of one sort (exclusively, as in, vs. others) indicates a membership requirement within a socio-political area of opinion and dedication...just asking.

Wait, you mean their heads ... (Below threshold)

Wait, you mean their heads explode in 5, 4, 3, 2... etc., not that the countdown begins.

Surely the countdown began when you started counting down? Unless that was a countdown to the real head-exploding countdown.

-S-It's a black co... (Below threshold)

-S-

It's a black conservative blogroll/informal blog club. In case you didn't notice, black conservatives are rather small in number and we merely got together to promote the conservative point of view from our unique perspective. The CB founder, Cobb and I also belong to another informal conservative blog club, the Bear Flag League, composed of native Califonians. Should people who have never lived in California feel excluded?

I am also a MilBlogger (21 years in the AF/AFR). Should civilians feel excluded?

Just asking (and remembering that, sometimes, people are going to find fault no matter what).

And what David Anderson say... (Below threshold)

And what David Anderson says is true: we've always had a good blog relationship.

Can't speak for Oliver though.

One can't always peg these things.

Juliette: What you DID NOT... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Juliette: What you DID NOT notice is that you are a group of people organized based upon a racial requirement. Secondarily, you are conservatrives. But, the primary organizational characteristic is "black." That's a racial requirement.

Thus, I posed an alternative. As in, similar organizational memberhsip requirement of another raciall type, as in, "White" (Caucasian is more accurate).

You nor anyone else has offered up much of any reaonable explanation as to why a "WHITE Conservative blogroll" or group of any sort (bloggers or not) would NOT be offensive, so, again, I'm just asking.

And, yes, I DID notice what you suggest I "failed to," despite your self-professed powers of supposed omnipotent vision out through your monitor as to my awareness and observational abilities and scope.

The formulation of "black" whatevers seems to be jsut fine and dandy but pose "white" in there and the "conservative" brotherhood disintegrates.

Whether conservative or not conservative, your grouping is still a racist one. To my view. Unless, of course, "White Conservative Bloggers" would not be, in YOUR perspective.

Why not "Conservative blogg... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Why not "Conservative bloggers" or blogroll, whatever. Why the racist theme, membership requirement? And, is that REALLY a characteristic anyone can be assured of as to who joins? Not like you can discern racial type by User I.D., typing, etc. Perhaps you are also suggesting that "black" conservatives display distinct communication skills? And that "white" ones do, too?

I mean, the entire premise is embarrassingly racist. Be conservatives but drop the elitist racist tags. It's embarrassing for the rest of us...conservatives of any/all racial types.

What you DID NOT notice... (Below threshold)

What you DID NOT notice is that you are a group of people organized based upon a racial requirement.

You mean to tell me that we're all the same race. OH MY GOD I HAD NO IDEA!!!!

Would you like to integrate the group?

You're going to propose an alternative? Raise conservative awareness among white people? Be my guest.

Seriously, if some Italian-Americans decided to start an Italian political club and wouldn't let me in because I have no Italian blood, I wouldn't have a cow. (Bet they'd let Franco Harris in though; if you don't know who that is, Google him.)

Face it, you're up in arms about this because of the history of exclusively white groups in this country, most of which preach the genetic inferiority of other groups and demonize them. So, yes, I'd probably look at such a group in askance at first.

However, since many of us in the conservative brotherhood have a reputations in the blogosphere as conservatives and non-racists, feel free not to worry about us burning a cross on your lawn (or whatever it is that black racist groups do). I dare you to find a post suggesting that we separate ourselves from "da man" or any other such nonsesnse.

You're just looking for a reason to call names. And yes, I'm embarassed: for you.

Juliette, why is race so im... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Juliette, why is race so important to your thoughts? The power of superior ideas is what marks good conservative writing.

By the way, you have separated yourselves from "da man" by way of an irrelevant physical characteristic, the act of which is the very antithesis of conservative ideals.

Rod, The list of m... (Below threshold)

Rod,

The list of members starts out with LaShawn because it is in alphabetical order by last name.

Juliette, why is race so... (Below threshold)

Juliette, why is race so important to your thoughts? Juliette, why is race so important to your thoughts?

Have you read any of the blogs, including mine? If you have, I'm not sure why you're asking this question. Where did I or any of the members say or imply that race was related to writing ability?

Culture, on the other hand, is a different story.

By the way, you have separated yourselves from "da man" by way of an irrelevant physical characteristic, the act of which is the very antithesis of conservative ideals.

Merely saying this does not make it true. Can you tell me *how* we are separating ourselves from other people by having a website that merely points to us and our (possibly) unique cultural points of view? Since when did people forming an association with each other on cultural and political commonalities become at odds with conservative ideas if they are not advocating separation from other people?

Tell me: if we were, say, Samoans for Bush or RightWing Vietnamese Americans, would you turn a hair?

Just asking.

"Racist" = Quite pos... (Below threshold)

"Racist" = Quite possibly the most over-used, over-generalized, mis-appropriated, boy who cried wolf verbiage of the 21st century.

"I'm wondering how *certain people* would react if there was a WHITE CONSERVATIVE BROTHERHOOD blog (or even, blogROLL) started?"

Hello? See every conservative blogroll. Click on every blog on there. I guarantee that the majority will be white and good deal of them will be male. Don't debate me on this, Joe at the Evangelical Outpost, Kevin Drum, and many others have made the same observation.

While, I intensely dislike Peggy McIntosh, her socialist tendencies, her liberal elitist attitude, and her dumb white privilege essay, I'll still give her #1 of her "acclaimed" essay:

I [a white person] can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

Blah-dow.

Now let's go back to the basics...Affinity groups come about based on need. Anytime there's a lack or commonality between a select group of people, groups are formed. We all do it naturally. It happens in the high school, middle school, and elementary school lunchrooms across the country. It happens at work. It happens at church. It happens in politics. Get over it.

Women who have kids (AKA mothers) have support groups to which non-childbearers aren't generally invited. That doesn't make them uterists.

Point being, "Black conservatives" have something in common. Besides there being a complete lack thereof, we also come from a common cultural perspective which (and here is where I speak for Ambra and not the group) I don't feel Conservatives--specifically Republicans--address frequently enough. Yet they wonder why they can't snag the black vote...Moreover, we deal with being in the philosophical minority WITHIN our own race. The goal here isn't about exlusion, it's about meeting a specifical goal, specific to black people, for the greater good of conservative thought. A discerning individual would recognize this and be glad.

But of course, America is full of crabs in a crabpot, and introverts who get superhuman gall to say flippant things on the internet.

No matter how hard I try, I can never fully understand the plight associated with being a man. Nor do I want to. They can however, understand and support each other better than I ever could. That's why men's support groups evolved. Being male unifies them. Having a penis is the qualifer there. I don't have one, therefore my participatory abilities are limited. That doesn't make it sexist. That makes it male.

If you want to go start a white conservative brotherhood, go ahead. It wouldn't be offensive; it would however be dumb (that's a technical term). Why? Because the current face of conservative thought is the white brotherhood. We're out to change that. Such groups generally evolve out of a minority (the numerical term) or a need to share a unified experience. If white conservatives truly feel that need, then by all means, conserve your own brotherhood. I'm sure you'll have no problem growing your membership.

But again, if the bothersome aspect for you is skin color, well then you are evidence of the manifestation of America's hypersensitivity about race (black people included). For this reason, among many others, the CB exists. Deal.

I still say we ought to abandon race and start going by tribes...

As Ambra points out, the te... (Below threshold)

As Ambra points out, the term "conservative blogger" usually implies "white" and usually implies "male." Toss out the term "black" in a political, economic or sociological conversation, and you almost always end up with the thought that the black person in question is liberal.

The Conservative Brotherhood is simply a collection of bloggers whose political, economic and/or sociological ideologies are more conservative in nature. It is not a blog in and of itself, it is a blogroll. And much as organizations like Jesse Peterson's BOND or Project 21 or others are black conservative organizations devoted to showing that there are schools of thought in the black community that lie outside the "mainstream" that we are spoonfed by the evening news, both to the powerbrokers in Washington, as well as the public at large, the Conservative Brotherhood provides blogs whose writers are black, and whose thought processes are different than the traditional liberal mindset that many blacks subscribe to.

Among us are writers whose work is well known on the web, some of us have made media appearances in both radio and television.

To address the notion of a "white conservative blogroll," again, as I've mentioned, the thought among most is that if there is a list of conservative bloggers, invariably, the list is mostly (if not completely) white and male. But if someone wanted to start one, I'd say more power to 'em. Personally, I don't think there would be a compelling reason to read such a list, as the natural thought about such a list would have the members leaning toward a white supremacist mindset. But...more power to 'em. It's their business.

As for the constant carping by what I term the "soul patrol" - i.e., those who get off on tossing the "sellout" and "oreo" and "uncle tom" names about - I simply ask why. Why does our existance and presence offend you? Why do you think that all blacks are required to think and speak alike? Why do you insist that those of us who are black and conservative do not have the best interests of our community at heart and mind? Why do you feel it necessary to verbally attack and insult us? And no, answering with yet another insult or a question of your own doesn't count.

I'm proud of being an American; I'm proud of being black; I'm proud of being conservative. All of us who are part of The Conservative Brotherhood feel the same way. We aren't the "evil boogieman," we aren't the "spook who sat by the door." We have something to say, and TCB is a means to get more people to find and hear our message. And if that's so blasted and bloody offensive, tough. You don't have to read it. I'll still be here tomorrow.

What's fascinating about ha... (Below threshold)
Cobb:

What's fascinating about half of this discussion is the attribution of racism without any basis in reality or even in theory. Whatever effort is required to click a mouse button and read the stated core values of the group has proven to be too much effort. And why exactly should anyone bother to clear out the cobwebs in their head if they can say 'black conservative' = anything they damned well please without checking the source? This is the burden of being a black conservative, one we dutifully and cheerfully bear. There are as many answers to the details of who, why, how and to what extent as any mind could possibly bear; about 20 man years of blogging daily blogging by the authors themselves.

However if it were simple to understand or explain the depth and variety of black political thought, then anyone's guess would be as good as anyone elses. Fortunately, most Americans tend to believe that self-representation is a good idea for democracy. So long as we believe it to be the case, we will continue to express ourselves unabated, undiluted and unconcerned with thoughtless criticism.

Pardon me if this is redund... (Below threshold)

Pardon me if this is redundant, but the "Conservative Brotherhood" is not a blog, nor is it new. We have new members, but we've been in existence since last year. We're a group of black conservatives/moderates, each with our own blogs except for one member.

I don't feel the need to defend against charges of racism. Whether blacks, whites, men, women, etc., want to form their own group, they have the constitutional freedom to do so. I defend the rights of an "all-white" group the same way I defend those of an "all-Chicano" group or an "all-homosexual" group.

My position on this issue i... (Below threshold)

My position on this issue is a little different from some of my Conservative Brotherhood blogmates above.

Our blog's (Booker Rising) primary goal is to promote black conservative and moderate thought, and expand political dialogue among black folks. We often argue that black moderates and especially black conservatives spend too much time on FOX News Channel, and not nearly enough time on Black Entertainment Television, black newspapers, on the ground in black communities, etc. getting the message out to our target audience where they are likeliest to hear it. Our blog seek to help change this dynamic, and increase blackness in conservatism and centrism.

Our blog isn't here to serve white conservatives (or any other white folks) and their whines about yet another black group. If you like our blog, great. But our eyes are on reaching black folks. So I won't apologize for belonging to an ad-hoc group of BLACK bloggers, which has helped Booker Rising get out our message to our target audience. Since it started last summer, TCB has led to a national article for us, an invite for me to do a radio interview in my hometown, an interview with the National Urban League's young professional magazine, and we may even be included in an upcoming book about Booker T. Washington (the inspiration for our blog).

So for those of you who don't like TCB's focus on blackness, tough. When you equally complain about groups of Irish-American writers, Italian-American writers, etc. then come back and we'll talk.

Far be it from me to defend... (Below threshold)

Far be it from me to defend these guys as I only regularly read (and agree with) one of em, but the act of identifying themselves as "black" does not inherently make it racist. If you're over the age of, say, seven, and you live in the world, you can appreciate the need for a minority to glom together for a little mutual support. Freedom of assembly and all that. But judge them by their content, simple flock. If they be espousing racial superiority (or denigrating other races), then you can holler "racist."

That said, Juliette, you must realize that the difference between TCB and TBFL (or military blogs) is that just about anyone can become a member of the latter bloggroup. TCB is not only exclusive, but exclusive based on a criteria that is an accident of birth (God's Plan notwithstanding ;-).

*shrugs*

Really, what is the big deal?

Wow...I never thought I wou... (Below threshold)
Hirez:

Wow...I never thought I would read a group of conservatives complaining about black individuals trying to get more blacks into camp!

Hahaha...

You all are hillarious, demographically speaking, the numbers of black conservatives are statistically irrelevent...obviously your "Superior Idea's" and "Writings" aren't that superior to the vast number of African Americans whom feel marginalized and feel their needs are not being met by the republican Agenda...

Even though 50% of what these so-called Conservative blacks write I disagree with, from a purely political standpoint, what they are doing is relevent and necessary to the republican party as the national demographics change at such a rapid pace...

Down here in Nebraska (I am black) I gave our Representative Lee Terry a full proof way of creating an increased conservative base in the black community, and it has nothing to do with your ehtereal 'superior thought' haha...

But because both polarizations are subject to gooniness, antiquited philosophy, and narrow minded rhetoric spewing hippies and yuppies, I remain independent...


GO CONSERVATIVE BROTHERHOOD!

Who said everyone in The Co... (Below threshold)

Who said everyone in The Conservative Brotherhood were all Republican? Most of my blogmates are independents. Although my blog focuses on both black moderates and conservatives, I'm a moderate libertarian. In last year's election, I voted 56% for **Democratic** candidates and 44% for Republican ones. While I consider myself an independent voter, if anything I lean Democratic.

By the way, the last Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies poll shows that 27% of black Americans identify as conservative. Not to mention President Bush's black support significantly jumped in the battleground states where the GOP actually put in some resources. This jump was fueled by growing discontent by black cultural conservatives. Like it or not, Black America is growing more ideologically diverse by the day.

Irrespective of how you fee... (Below threshold)

Irrespective of how you feel about the racial angle, please take a look at these blogs.

They contain some of the best political/cultural commentary that you'll find on the web. I believe that some of them are a touch above the average blog.

Okay, all who have a proble... (Below threshold)
Greg:

Okay, all who have a problem with a black conservative blogroll, fess up. Are you also willing to go protest the boyscouts for not allowing girls? How about protesting at Augusta Golf Club?

Is the issue that they won't let white people on the blogroll? If so, would it make you happier to be the first white on that blogroll? Maybe they'll let you be their token white.

I understand all the "we should be colorblind", blah blah blah. If a group of bloggers has more than one thing in common, what business is it of yours if they want to associate? No one is stopping you from starting a blogroll for German-American Christians.

Okay. I have studied the c... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Okay. I have studied the comments on this thread, and will respond to a few:

Nobody is questioning this groups "right" to assemble. You have the "right" to form a black conservative group, just as I can form a white conservative group. One has the right to diminish their message any way they see fit. And I DO see it as diminishing an important conservative message, which is that the individual is sovereign over groups.

Forgive me for remaining in deniable about a "black culture." It seems to me that the recognition of its influence is to recognize that there really ARE important differences between the races. If there is a "black America," that means there is a white America and Hispanic and Asian Americas. No thanks. I'll idealistically bury my head under the sands of one America, where each person is valued based on the content of his character rather than the color of his skin.

But perhaps it is so that black Americans will listen more intently to black writers. I hope that isn't the case. It shouldn't be the case. I am already aware of the statistics cited in an earlier post, which is that there are already MANY self-described black conservatives. This is heartening. Did they require black writers for enlightenment?

Again, this group is separating ideas based on race. It implies that black conservatives have something different to say than all other conservatives. It says that their race is important to their message. Sorry, but I am inclined to reject that notion. And just to be clear, I don't find the group's separation necessarily a racist one. I only find it wrong.

All of this said, part of me wishes your group the best of luck. Any writing that helps individuals see the light is worth penning. I only challenge the bad idea that a conservative message of individual liberty and personal responsibility cannot be colorblind; that this powerful idea is inseparable from the messenger. For that reason, I would be delighted for your group to find itself entirely ineffective and disband someday. But good luck.

McCain: Being in denial of ... (Below threshold)

McCain: Being in denial of reality doesn't the change reality that everyone else must live with. However, since you are admittedly in denial about there being subcultures within the larger American culture, it's a bit difficult to respond to you. It's as if there's been a whole America out there existing--not just a black one--but you operate under the illusion that every thing is totally homogenous from sea to shining sea. (You must not live in California.)

Your admitted mental block defined: you have been trained to think of black people grouped together as something that is bad and that will lead to the fragmenting of society as we know it. I certainly get that. But time and societies aren't static.

Do you think that any other grouping of people will have the same effect? Are Chinatowns and Little Russias the harbingers of the USA's downfall? No? Then why would a dozen or so black conservatives forming a writing conclave bring about all this dread about in your heart? You might want to sit down and ask yourself why you're not making a big deal about other ethnic groupings.

Even when someone tells you that there are subcultures within the American culture, it's as though you can't quite wrap your mind around it. So instead of exploring it, you insert your own suppositions about the phenomenon (one that has existed since the country has existed) from the democrat description of what blacks are all about politically:

1. That we're relating skin color to writing ability.

2. That we formed the group to assert some sort of "rights."

3. That we formed the group to assign value to skin color;

4. That we're saying that the challenge of individual liberty and personal responsibility cannot be colorblind;

Please. It's not 1865 or even 1965. You are the one with the problem. However, I have this simple bit of advice: relax, it's not that serious.

1. That we're relating s... (Below threshold)
McCain:

1. That we're relating skin color to writing ability.
I am not saying that at all. What I am saying is that you are relating skin color to message, to ideas. I am saying that is quite un-conservative, and it IS.

2. That we formed the group to assert some sort of "rights."
No. My comment was in response to others who misunderstood the criticism. They said you have the right to do it as some sort of defense. Of course you do. It isn't the point.

3. That we formed the group to assign value to skin color;
No. You are associating skin color with ideas. That isn't necessarily "value". I already said that your group isn't necessarily racist. You would be racist if you were assigning value to skin color.

4. That we're saying that the challenge of individual liberty and personal responsibility cannot be colorblind;
Yes. From what I said, you got only this one right.


And whether or not it is IMPORTANT to recognize subcultures from sea to shining sea, I am saying that the big ideas of conservatism (and liberalism for that matter) are irrelevant to race. In other words, I am saying that different philosophies are homogeneously understood in American culture. Since you disagree, tell me why the conservative message needs altered by you. Why don't you think it stands on its own, appealing to all individuals alike?

McCain, you have yet to poi... (Below threshold)
Cobb:

McCain, you have yet to point to anything anyone in TCB has *written* on *any subject* to give the slightest credibility to your claim #1 or claim #3. Are you telepathic or just lazy?

I am truly proud to be an A... (Below threshold)

I am truly proud to be an American. So proud that after coming back home from War the first time. I went right back to the heart of Iraq. Why? becuase as long as my brothers were still there. I will be there with them be there with them. All this carping about the Conservative brotherhood don't really mean jack crap to me. Because when you are in war the enemy could care less what color you are. The color he wants to see is red and you all know what that is.

It is an honor to be part of the Conservative Brotherhood.
Miss me with all this racist small talk.....

I guess it's time for me to... (Below threshold)

I guess it's time for me to wade in now. I'm curious. Just how much reading have you done of the writings of those in the Brotherhood? How much do you know about those in the Brotherhood? We're not separating ideas based on race. We're saying that people within our race have these ideas too. And when most of those who are supposed to be your own people are going to rake you over the coals for having those ideas it's nice to know that at least you're not the only one. I don't think the sky is going to fall or American society collapse because a bunch of mostly like minded black folk got together and said "yeah we believe this."

"an irrelevant physical... (Below threshold)

"an irrelevant physical characteristic"
There is nothing about me, physical or otherwise, that is irrelevant thank you very much.

Oh, please! It's great that... (Below threshold)

Oh, please! It's great that conservative black writers got together to blog (or blogroll)! Has anyone gone to their site and read their core values? Solid! Absolutely solid! They're stronger for banding together, too. They can support each other as they are targeted by the liberals for daring to be conservative. They sure have my support and gratitude!

Thanks Peggy. I'm glad some... (Below threshold)

Thanks Peggy. I'm glad someone actually reading instead of using one's own preconceived notions to form their conclusions.

And thanks to the Wizbang c... (Below threshold)

And thanks to the Wizbang crew for starting stuff! ;-)

It's quite clear that most ... (Below threshold)

It's quite clear that most of the detractors in this conversation are operating on presumption and as Cobb pointed out, have failed to read the actual blogs of the folks represented here.

McCain wrote: "I am saying that the big ideas of conservatism (and liberalism for that matter) are irrelevant to race. In other words, I am saying that different philosophies are homogeneously understood in American culture."

I would say this is true for a spiritual belief system, but certainly not political ideologies. Political philosophy manifested in the United States is COMPLETELY relevant to race.

Since you disagree, tell me why the conservative message needs altered by you. Why don't you think it stands on its own, appealing to all individuals alike?"

Why doesn't it stand on its own, appealing to all individuals alike? You're not asking me, but I'll answer with another question.

IS the message appealing to all indivudals alike? If it is, then we should all hang up our laptops now and call it Utopia. Or shall we continue doing the same thing expecting different results.

I'm interested in your proposed solutions to our colorless society, McCain?

I was going to give this up... (Below threshold)
McCain:

I was going to give this up, but at the urging of some (and against my better judgement) I paid a visit to the site. I first looked for any nationally known conservative black writers. Finding none, I selected one blogger at random. The post happened to be about this Wizbang thread.

The writer begins with this unenlightened little zinger:

"Some people get nervous when too many blacks gather in one place."

Who is nervous? I don't see nervous bloggers here. I see mostly bloggers who support you and a few that think you are bastardizing conservative principles. Why do you think your blackness is important to my criticism of you? If you were a self-proclaimed white conservative group, I would criticize you even more vociferously. I say "more" because then it would be cool to do. Morally, however, your group is the equivalent.

Later, he continues ludicrously down the road less taken:

"Perhaps the reaction to the Conservative Brotherhood has a far simpler explanation; in the minds of some, anything that is all-black brings unconscious negative connotations. Hence the “cutting yourselves off” assumption and the totally ridiculous assertion that we were equating race with writing ability."

Where did this come from? Nobody on this thread has said anything remotely to suggest such such a statement. It is a complete cop-out to dismiss criticism of you by hiding behind race. That is, in fact, my primary criticism of your silly club -- that you equate race with thought. Ideas are independent of race, and conservative ideology is independent of race.

Conservative principles are colorblind. That is the message that people need to hear.

Personally, I like the fact... (Below threshold)
Jared White:

Personally, I like the fact that there are various subcultures within America. I don't believe that there's one America -- in fact, I don't even believe that there's one "white". I'm a mixture of a lot of European peoples, and also Jewish. My Irish ancestors and my Swedish ancestors probably had very few cultural similarities going back. As for my Jewish side, that's quite different for sure!

If I decided to join a Jewish-America Conservative group, or an Irish-American Conservative group, what's wrong with that? Since the term "black" seems be causing such a row, think of it as the "African-American" Conservative Brotherhood. I really think people need to stop confusing racism with correctly recognizing the vast differences between ethnic groups. I don't consider any ethnic group "beneath" me or "inferior" to me, but I certainly know that a lot of them seem totally foreign to me!

Ideas are absolutely NOT independent of ethnicity (I'm not using the term race). Everyone has their own unique cultural heritage that informs their thoughts and deeds to some extent. That's actually a good thing -- what a boring world it'd be if everyone were exactly the same!

Regards,

Jared

McCain:Aside from ... (Below threshold)

McCain:

Aside from the fact that some people actually do get nervous when blacks form groups, I don't see any nervous bloggers here either, McCain. A nervous commenter is another story. And the blogger you're quoting isn't a 'he.'

Hence the “cutting yourselves off” assumption and the totally ridiculous assertion that we were equating race with writing ability."

Where did this come from? Nobody on this thread has said anything remotely to suggest such such a statement.

McCain on 4/11/05 at 2:20 AM: Juliette, why is race so important to your thoughts? The power of superior ideas is what marks good conservative writing.

By the way, you have separated yourselves from "da man" by way of an irrelevant physical characteristic, the act of which is the very antithesis of conservative ideals.

Do you ever get any facts straight or remember what you say?

"Conservative principles ar... (Below threshold)
PDN:

"Conservative principles are colorblind. That is the message that people need to hear."

McCain,

At NRO's "The Corner" you will find so many different perspectives about 'conservative principles' your head will spin. Contributors bring their own life experiences, religion, philosophy, ethnic background, education, marital status, etc. to the situation. This provides the reader the opportunity to delve deeper into conservative ideology without having to 'search' for intellectual conservatives with varying backgrounds (including ethnicity), and furthers understanding.

In todays world, there is a desire to understand why so many black americans support democrats, rather than republicans. Why is the congressional black caucus filled with democrats? Why are so many black americans with strong 'conservative' values voting for liberal politicians? Why do black americans --- who share similar values, religion, education, family background, work ethic, and life experiences with white conservative americans --- seem wary of conservative motivation? Given this unique demographic, it is entirely appropriate to have a website that gathers together a group of black conservatives to provide additional perspectives on 'conservative principles' based on their life experiences, religion, philosophy,ethnic background, education, marital status, professional status, etc.. It provides the reader an opportunity to delve deeper into conservative ideology without having to 'search' for intellectual conservatives with varying backgrounds (within a specific demographic), and furthers understanding.

Conservative principles may be colorblind - but human perspective is not. And only humans can promote conservative ideology within the public realm.

McCain, you have yet to ... (Below threshold)

McCain, you have yet to point to anything anyone in TCB has *written* on *any subject* to give the slightest credibility to your claim #1 or claim #3. Are you telepathic or just lazy?

Well, now, that's just the thing, innit Cobb. McCain hears "Conservative Brotherhood," hears it's black and the assumptions (and conclusions) flow from there. Click and ye shall find, McCain.

Well, that's what I get for... (Below threshold)

Well, that's what I get for not hitting the "post" button the night before, then doing it first thing in the morning without first checking to see if there's been some response. Lazy Negro.

Not surprisingly, your response shows you're still lazier than me. I strongly suggest this thread end right here, that no one from TCB bother respond anymore. All has been said. If you're new to the thread, read/scan it all (including a few of the TCB sites), analyze and draw your own conclusion: McCain is an out-of-context-snipping, preconceived axe-grinding troll.

I'm going to go out on a li... (Below threshold)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and reverse the charges. I'm quite convinced that it's racist to say that it's racist to form such groups. I do think that there are racist reasons to form a group to be isolated from others. That's clearly not what's going on here. At least half of the bloggers in question have primarily white readers, so it's not about isolation. I also think it could be racist to join a group because you feel superior and want to be with other people who are superior. If you look at the views in question, you'll see how that's not the case. What other motivations would be racist? I can't think of any.

The assumption here is that it's racist to recognize race. Here's why that view is racist. There are realities in our society that have to do with race. Anyone who denies that is furthering racism, not necessarily an attitudinal racist but still a perpetuator or racist practices and racist forces in society. This is what scholars call institutional racism. We're all part of those forces, so we can be involved in this kind of racism without intending to. Involuntary responses to people in a negative way, simply because of their race, are residual racism, and I think every American has some of that, even if their desire is to overcome it. Harmful practices in society that innocent intents promote are racist in the more general institutional sense.

So with that theoretical background of how the term 'racist' is actually used in ordinary English, I think it's easy to see how the attitude that it's immoral to organize with people in any sense and for any motivation is a racist attitude. It promotes the idea that it's wrong to organize with those who are part of an oppressed group to seek better treatment. It's pretty clear that the group in question faces some level of persecution. They're called Uncle Toms and race traitors. They're assumed to be getting paid for holding their views. They're said to be holding such views only because they're rich and want to stay rich, when in reality many of them are dirt poor or at least have known what it's like to be dirt poor and hold the views they have because they want to help those who are struggling to advance beyond their situation.

So a group of these oppressed and persecuted people bands together to show that people who are black and conservative don't fit that false stereotype, to encourage each other in their struggles, to feed ideas off each other, and so on. As they do this, they haven't isolated each other. They're just taken note of each other and become allies, with a central location that links to all of them. Then someone comes along and calls them racist. Why? Because they care about race. If we say it's racist to care about race, then we're not going to care about race, and that's going to feed into all the problems that come when you ignore the real racial problems in this country. That, my friends, is catering to institutional and residual racism. It's thus part of the complex social forces that perpetuate racial problems. It's thus racism.

There is a popular percepti... (Below threshold)
Greg:

There is a popular perception amongst liberals: blacks vote democratic.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were a group of blacks who could make the case for conservatism?

Yes, it really is that simple.

Done.... (Below threshold)

Done.

I'm quite convinced that... (Below threshold)

I'm quite convinced that it's racist to say that it's racist to form such groups.

A weak argument if I've ever seen one. Please.

Long live the Brotherhood!

Jeremy - you just proferred... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Jeremy - you just proferred an illogical fallacy. Even if I were saying you are a racist group, it would NOT be racist to accuse you of being racist. It is NOT necessarily racist for your club to separate yourselves from others based on irrelevant skin characteristics -- it is only dangerous. It would be racist for you to assign value to those characteristics.

PDN & Jared - You make good points, but there is something different about clubs based on national origin or hobbies, and clubs based on race. The obvious reason is that the recognition of race in this country has lead to very bad consequences going back to and including slavery. All too often, people have placed value on these irrelevant skin differences. I am saying that the conservative message should not propagate the myth that race matters. This group perpetuates what is a dangerous and medieval notion, that race is somehow important to how a person thinks.

Juliette - YOU ARE the person equating race with thought by the very nature of your club. YOU ARE the person separating yourself from others based on race. You either don't get it, or you are being deliberately disengenuous. Once again, ideas are what matter, not race.

memer - you embarrass yourself and then want to run away?

And you're the one who rais... (Below threshold)
Shana Barrow:

And you're the one who raised the point in the first place that there's something WRONG about conservatives who happen to be black getting together to form a bloggers' group, McCain. Can you not see that you're the one who keeps harping about the fact that the members of this group all happen to be black?

The Conservative Brotherhood share the same history and spiritual connections, and they've pointed out repeatedly in this thread that blacks are seen as a Democratic voting bloc and that the face of the conservative movement is usually white. You're making it seem like changing this is a bad thing.

By all means, start a White... (Below threshold)
Shana Barrow:

By all means, start a White Conservative bloggers group if that makes you feel better about yourself. I'll do the same and start a "Samoans for Bush" club. There will only be two rules: 1)You must be at least a half-blooded Samoan to join, and 2)You must be a conservative. You cannot be associated to a Samoan or have a Samoan friend or wife or lover to join - you must be one.

Obviously the members of the Conservative Brotherhood are very proud of their heritage as blacks and conservatives. I'm so sorry you aren't, though.

If you can't tell already, this isn't about race as you're claiming it is. It's about being proud of their ethnic heritage and standing up for their political beliefs instead of taking shit for being an "Uncle Tom" or a traitor to their race for going against the norm.

"And you're the one who rai... (Below threshold)
McCain:

"And you're the one who raised the point in the first place that there's something WRONG about conservatives who happen to be black getting together to form a bloggers' group, McCain."

That is a wonderful sounding statement, but the group's members don't simply "happen" do be black. It is not a mere coincidence. On the contrary, you have intentionally selected membership based on race, no different than Augusta National selecting members based on race. You created an exclusive club where the color of one's skin is more important than the content of their thoughts.

And a white conservative group wouldn't make me feel good. It would make me feel bad because it would be no different than what you are doing, which is equating race with thought.


"The Conservative Brotherhood share the same history and spiritual connections, and they've pointed out repeatedly in this thread that blacks are seen as a Democratic voting bloc and that the face of the conservative movement is usually white. You're making it seem like changing this is a bad thing."

The face of the conservative movement should be colorblind. Just in case you didn't realize it, there are ALREADY prominent black conservatives who write A LOT. They don't find it important to separate themselves.

McCain, what group do you t... (Below threshold)

McCain, what group do you think I am? I'm not a group, so I'm not sure how I could be a racist group.

Your claims are just empirically false. You've failed to distinguish between legitimate reasons for forming a group and illegitimate reasons to form the same group. There are both kinds of reasons why people might form a group that focuses on racial issues. The reasons in this case are wholly legitimate.

You've also assumed that, because it's immoral to focus on race in one way, it must be immoral to focus on it in another way. The way that's clearly immoral is to assign value to people because of race, to consider them morally more important or less important because of race, or to think that their inherent abilities will be better or worse merely because of their racial classificiation. The way that's clearly not immoral is to acknowledge that someone has been mistreated because of a racial classification. Acknowledging such mistreatments is not just not immoral. It's a moral obligation that we have. Therefore, the myth of colorblindness is what's dangerous. People who pretend they can be colorblind when they can't are the dangerous ones.

Also, there's no separation that's gone on here. Most of the readers of most of the blogs in the CB are white. Most of the blogs in their blogrolls are by white people. Most of the blogs each one frequents are probably white. That's not separatism. Therefore, whatever it is that the CB bloggers are joining together for, it's obvious that it's not to be separate from white people.

The gathering here is for moral support in the same way Christians gather in congregations for fellowship and feeding into each other, for accountability and teaching by those who think alike and then going off to live lives of freidnship and service to anyone, especially nonbelievers. Well, here we have much of the same thing, learning through idea exchange and encouragement in an uphill battle. Then there's a going forth into the world for most of life to be part of America as Americans and not simply as black conservatives. The gathering is not exclusionary. It's a matter of connecting with those who have similar views from the same background, a group who tends to be ostracized and marginalized merely for being both black and conservative.

When people connect for race and it doesn't have those purposes but is merely to complain about other people, I worry. That's not what's going on here, though. When people gather to feel superior, I worry. That's not the issue here. When people gather to be separate and isolated, I worry. They're not doing that. So I can't think of why there should be anything troubling at all here, unless it's immoral even to acknowledge race. But that's a view that just furthers racially harmful structures in society by ignoring the unconscious and unintentional forces that are harmful to black people (and those of other races), so I can't endorse that principle.

"You've failed to distin... (Below threshold)
McCain:

"You've failed to distinguish between legitimate reasons for forming a group and illegitimate reasons to form the same group."

Exactly, because I don't believe there is ANY legitimate reason for a group to associate thoughts with race. Just because you claim some legitimacy for this group isn't convincing.


"You've also assumed that, because it's immoral to focus on race in one way, it must be immoral to focus on it in another way."

I actually agree with most of your sentiment in the paragraph that follow this thought, however I am not assuming that the group is immoral. I am saying it is morally equivalent to a golf club with a race requirement. Acts are not immoral unless there are consequences to others. I am saying only that the group is illegitimate and wrong, and that the classification of people this way is counter to conservative principles.


"People who pretend they can be colorblind when they can't are the dangerous ones."

I would say people who are not colorblind are the dangerous ones.


Lastly, I also appreciate the sentiments in your last two paragraphs. I don't know what sociologists have concluded about it, but empirically it appears to me that people are more comfortable associating with others who are most like themselves. I am simply saying that this behavior should be resisted rather than embraced.


Ok, y'know what, we'll just... (Below threshold)

Ok, y'know what, we'll just take this step by step. Play along at home, kids.

McCain: do you believe it was a good idea for the Negro Leagues to be formed (baseball)?

Yes (boy, gang, I guess I must admit there are some circumstances where it's "legit" to form a group based on race; that the real consideration whether or not they espouse/support racial superiority)

or

No (I persist in the idea that any race-based grouping is a bad idea in any and all circumstances)

The comparison is moot beca... (Below threshold)
McCain:

The comparison is moot because there are NO such barriers preventing you from expressing thoughts on paper as a human being. You are CHOOSING to separate yourselves based on your race Black baseball players have no choice.

So the answer to your question is neither. Integration was better. Get it? That is the whole point.

that is, black baseball pla... (Below threshold)
McCain:

that is, black baseball players had no choice.

Your weak little trap was about as bad as your last post, by the way. You are not someone who appears able to exchange ideas thoughtfully.

Just wanted to take a secon... (Below threshold)

Just wanted to take a second, and point out that the majority of liberal bloggers are white males as well. And -by odd coincidence- gay blogs are universally male as well. It's a conspiracy, I tell you!

Thank goodness they haven't infiltrated the lesbian blog community yet...

McCain is really amusing in his own churlish way, especially when he insists on calling Juliette "he." Apparently he didn't see the photo of that lovely, smiling face in the upper left-hand corner on baldilocks. Or (God forbid) he thought that was a man. I suppose it would have been too much trouble to click on the "about" link...

Mac, here's a different tack for you: visualize yourself as a conservative with a dark skin. Then, visualize the reaction every time you espoused your values in public. "You're a conservative? But, but, you're black!" (or African-American, or a "person of color," or...)

In my case, should I feel compelled (as a white southwestern Ohio male) to fervidly follow college basketball, or get pumped up about NASCAR? Hell, I was born in Cincinnati and I honestly don't care how the Bearcats do every year. But then I'd rather talk about music, the theatre, or politics. Should I hand in my redneck(tm) card now? Or should I hold onto it, because I like country music, and think the eleven-bush guys serving in the Army and the Marines are some of the best citizens this country has every produced?

I'll repeat what several others have said: if you go to the Brotherhood site, and read their mission statement, and you still don't get it... I doubt all the explanation in the world will help you.

Juliette nailed it on her blog when she asked if other groups are racist when they combine due to a common interest.

I guess that means Blackfive is racist as well, then... Heh.

I've already addressed the ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

I've already addressed the substantive portion of your post - what is and isn't racist, the difference between coincidental association and willing association by race, the important difference between hobbies and race, the problem with separating oneself based on skin color, etc. Nothing really new in your post, including attributing beliefs to me that I haven't asserted.

I still haven't seen a dece... (Below threshold)

I still haven't seen a decent argument that a blog alliance counts as separation in any morally relevant sense, particularly when it's one blog association among many that have nothing to do with race. It's just insane to count it as separatism or to use any language of separation. That's not what it is.

I also haven't seen anyone address the point that black conservatism is a genuine philosophical tradition that arises of out black experiences and therefore isn't going to come from white people. I think that claim is demonstrably true. This blog alliance is dedicated to that tradition of conservatism, which tends to have arguments that about racial issues that I think are better than white conservatives' arguments but are for the same conclusions. Because I'm not black, I'm not part of that tradition. My work in that area has been from knowing black people and listening to them, not from having experienced any of this firsthand.

The result is that white people are epistemically challenged on political issues related to black people. We don't have the experiences that would allow us to know what it's like to be black in America today, to know what it's like to be treated the way black people are treated. The colorblindness ideal pretends there are no such facts, but only an ignorant white person could espouse such an ideal, because only an ignorant white person could fail to see that life really is different if you're black. That's why I think the notion of colorblindness is part of parcel of a whole social structure that's inherently racist, and promoting it is thus giving in to institutional racism. Ideally, over time, this will decrease, as it has decreased already, but pretending it's not there, I say, is dangerous and basically tolerance of a deep evil within the hearts of every human being, the tendency to make illegitimate distinctions according to race.

The fact is that colorblind white people will have policies that don't recognize race, but they'll still lock their car doors when they see some young black man dressed a certain way. They'll still hesitate at the idea of their daughter marry a black man. They'll still guard their wallet more carefully when in a corner store with a black youth roaming the aisles. They'll still call someone who is black who doesn't speak the standard black American accent "articulate". They'll still be taken aback when a black student shows interest in things like Russian history or philosophy for their own sake. This is how race affects everyone, and pretending you're colorblind won't change the fact that you're not. We need to acknowledge race, and colorblindness policies hide the fact that we do. They're an illusion. The key is to figure out which ways of acknowledging race are harmful, which ones involve a moral evaluation, which ones involve a stereotype, etc. and which ones are purely positive in recognizing the good in those of a racial group. The latter is what's going on here.

Ah, so there ARE circumstan... (Below threshold)

Ah, so there ARE circumstances where it's ok for Black folk to assemble based on race. But now it's about "choice," eh? What's the next criteria, that they have to have a "famous" writer among them? Pick a leg to stand on McCain.

It's all nice that you dream of the colorblind society, McCain, but when the rubber meets the road, you also need to address the world as it actually is first, or your ideas risk irrelevance. Too bad you lack the imagination to see how the TCB can be an agent for the change you wish to see come about.

Your no-exceptions Black Group = Negative Force formula is tired and regressive. You assume that by merely identifying an already obvious physical trait, it automatically MEANS that they desire separation from (as in inherently superior to) society as a whole and that others should automatically interpret it that way as well.

I imagine that the utopian colorblind society has the strength to look past skin color and investigate the content of character (and blogs). You see what you want.

Jeremy, In that last respon... (Below threshold)
Cobb:

Jeremy, In that last response, I think you are saying precisely what I might have.

For some time, I have been a proponent of the concept that colorblindness is the moral equivalent of racism in this society, and I continue to hold that position. It has caused some great consternation in persons of the equivalent philosphy as the guy who runs Discriminations.us. But that gent is narrowly focused on racial preferences in institutions rather than matters of culture, politics. There are certainly broad areas of American life in which color is and should be a marginal matter, but very few where in should not be an issue of any concern whatsoever. I would advise any student of race to be aware of that and avoid broad sweeping generalizations of the type McCain seems to be making.

I would only add to this that there is a deep and long tradition of social commentary on matters of culture & politics and the specifics of race which we in the Brotherhood take up from time to time. It is a matter of intellectual inheritance as a cultural aspect of black consciousness, as well as the more widely discussed aspect of 'the black experience'. I think the distinction is important. Every black person is not equally qualified to speak out, and the wide variety of black experiences lead people to an equally wide variety of conclusions. I think the Conservative Brotherhood's existence and persistence is very important in that it demonstrates that there is a diversity and even a diversion of opinion within those black experiential and intellectual traditions. I speak particularly about the 'Old School' because within African America it is indeed well-known that an organic development of political and cultural thought is strikingly different from that which white liberals have successfully meliorated in concert with blacks during the Civil Rights era. Or simply stated, Malcolm X didn't want Affirmative Action and he wasn't out of line to differ.

Obviously this discussion could go on indefinitely, and it does at our respective blogs, but I definitely want to thank the good folks at Whizbang for the welcome. I feel that more than anything else.

Just one clarification.... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Just one clarification.

Nowhere have I said that we live in a colorblind society. Only a fool would fail to recognize the weaknesses of humans, nurtured for generations to fear & hate, and the consequences of these prejudices on people. What some are doing here is creating a caricature of those who think this group is a bad idea, because it is easier to create a strawman than to converse with real people.

I am saying specifically the following:

1) That a colorblind society is THE moral goal, where the color of one's skin is as unimportant as the color of one's hair.

2) That conservative principles need to be, and in fact ARE, colorblind, and therefore, that conservatism furthers the moral goal.

3) That this group is, therefore, an affront to conservative principles by suggesting that race should be a factor in communicating them. Race is not a valid factor in organizing ideas.

4) That being black is not a qualification for speaking well to black people, nor is being brown a disqualification for speaking to black people. Cobb recognizes this fact in his post. And just as he notes that black writers have a variety of opinions, black readers also have a variety of opinion. It is the opinion itself that is important, to both the writer and the reader, not the vessel that communicates it.

"...colorblindness is th... (Below threshold)

"...colorblindness is the moral equivalent of racism in this society"

What a sad statement on the poor state of affairs in our land today.

NOTE: Your level of "colorblindness" can be measured by noting how intrinsically important the concept of "race" is to you. It is NOT failing to recognize and respec the varying cultural differences between the races. It's a matter of perspective.

It might be helpful for you... (Below threshold)

It might be helpful for you in resolving your colorblind issues to read these and this.

Kelso, <a href="http://www.... (Below threshold)
Cobb:

Kelso, This bud's for you.

(Excerpt)

What I have been arguing in this paper is that the RPI is best seen as a move within the conservative movement to redefine the nation�s position on race. I have suggested that the bulk of the RPI�s support among conservatives comes from those who have strong libertarian leanings and also from those who do not self-identify with libertarians but who continue to believe, as Goldwaterites believed in the 1960s and 1970s, that government should not recognize race or be engaged in racial issues at all�except perhaps to the extent of having laws prohibiting racial discrimination that are nevertheless so weak as to be virtually unenforceable. If I am right about this, then it is surely a matter of concern, not so much for the opponents of the initiative, but for those Republicans who are concerned about the marginalization of the GOP in California politics. The GOP is already on the defensive in California on the issue of race. The last thing it needs is to be identified with a movement to overthrow the civil rights paradigm of the 1960s, as embodied above all in the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964.

So let's bring it home shall we? Raise your hand if you think Ward Connorly is superior to MLK, and then write your essay explaining why. Furthermore, give your advice on the actions you believe African American voters should take up in furthering their social and political agendas vis a vis the Republican Party with reference to the conflict between Connorly and Wood (see Cobb's link above)

I'm not sure if Samantha's ... (Below threshold)

I'm not sure if Samantha's comments above were directed to me or not so I won't comment directly other that to say I agree with much of what her husband says (but not all.)

I guess it's normal to want to be with the "in crowd," but I must be honest: I have no colorblindness nor race issues. I'm sorry, but race has never been all that important to me.

Don't worry, I got a whole bunch of other faults to compensate.

I leave you with something to ponder: Would black people be clamoring to bury the idea of colorblindness if the 1950's came back? Do black people really want to do all of the stupid things that a whole bunch of white people did in the past? Must we go through all of that crap again?

Thank you, Mr. Cobb for get... (Below threshold)

Thank you, Mr. Cobb for getting to the very morrow of the issue. The constitution recognizes neither race nor group rights. The government MUST treat all people as INDIVIDUALS - statistics can NEVER prove discrimination.

No government on the face of the earth has ever classified its citizens for the good of all. Race has never be used for justice for all.

Ward Connorly is superior to MLK when it comes to colorblindness if I am to believe MLK's follower's interpretation of his words. If they are to be believed - MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech is a lie.

If not now, when? If not us, who?

Heh. I didn't think Cobb co... (Below threshold)

Heh. I didn't think Cobb could hold back his superior qualifications for long.

McCain, re the clarifications:

#1 -- sure
#2 -- sure (in an ideal world)
#4 -- It is the opinion itself that is important, to both the writer and the reader, not the vessel that communicates it... That's our point, innit? That you need to look past color before you judge? Get it?

Which leads us to #3
You have failed, imho, to show how TCB's mere existence, without knowing what it is about, will likely lead to an increase in racism.

What do you suppose will happen?

If a borderline racist White person (if it's possible to be borderlin), upon hearing the name of this group, will think, "oh, my god -- they've got a website now!" and go racist hardcore?

Is it not just as likely that person may investigate on their own and discover what it's really about (presumably quelling rabid Black Nationalist fears)?

Why does it not matter what the group is about? Please explain your fear.

I do suppose the one thing we agree on is that racism is bad. We only disagree on which route to take re this particular fork in the road. Anyway, as long as the end-goal is the same; meetcha back in Utopia, buddee.

Memer, sorry to jump (it'll... (Below threshold)

Memer, sorry to jump (it'll be quick.)

The only Utopia is Heaven, but we can surely find a way to a more perfect society. If we want one.

The thing is, that I've bee... (Below threshold)
Cobb:

The thing is, that I've been around too long. I know that you cannot manage what you cannot measure, and that people respond to incentives and threats. So how does one recognize racism, if one cannot measure it? How does one fight it? By wishing it away?

The RPI (Racial Privacy Initiative) failed for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that it put Connorly on the spot as poster-boy when he had to go head to head with a real policy wonk like Thomas Wood, who wrote Proposition 209.

The straight out problem with colorblindness is that it is a racial 'dont ask dont tell' policy, except that it isn't even logically consistent enough to be a real policy, which is the nub of Wood's complaint above.

I would expect that most lay people wouldn't even be able to tell you who was behind California's Prop 209 much less the differences between them.

Those suckered by the dual fallacies of colorblindness and diversity are ill-prepared and probably unsuitable for dealing with the rigors of racism, much less anti-discrimination. The law says count noses, and because we do, we understand something about racism. Statistics don't cause it, statistics confirm it or deny it. And I must confess how astounded I..naw I'm not astounded, nor surprised, just consistently disappointed at how peoples brains turn to illogical and sentimental putty when it comes to applying logic and math to matters of race.

How many times have I heard it said that when a police officer uses force to make an arrest it is not 'violence' but when an institution uses discrimination for the purposes of inclusion it's 'racism'. You're giving my inner Tuvok conniptions.

The constitution does not recognize race - the constitution also does not include the phrase 'sexual assault'. So should we ignore both? The constitution is about the establishment of rights in the ideal, but it is politics and policy that create incentives and punishments. Anyway... Without institutions and money and movement and motivation sufficient to get things done (incentives and punishments) the constitution is no more meaningful than the rantings of street people. The marrow is meaningless without a pumping heart.

The Constitution says the g... (Below threshold)

The Constitution says the government is not allowed to deny equal protection of the laws or due process based on race. It doesn't say it can't recognize race for any purpose whatsoever. It also doesn't say what private citizens should or shouldn't do, so it's consistent with everything the Constitution says that we be morally obligated to recognize race.

I also want to say that everything I've said is consistent with opposing affirmative action. It's just that you can't use the cheesy justification for doing so, that it's harmful to whites. You have to base it on the real problems of affirmative action, that it's harmful to the people it's supposed to help.

Cobb: Mark Twain - "There a... (Below threshold)

Cobb: Mark Twain - "There are three kind of lies: Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics." The RPI failed because of racial demagoguery and falsehoods meant to scare. The idea is just and it will not go away.

Jeremy: The fact that you could consider the equal protection under law of white people as "cheesy" says a lot about the mess we've gotten ourselves into. It IS important; let's not create some new "Jim Crow" please.

P.S. AA is more likely to adversly effect Jews and Orientals before it would affect white people.

I never said equal protecti... (Below threshold)

I never said equal protection of white people is cheesy, and it reflects on your character that you would even go there. What I said is that it's cheesy to attack affirmative action on those grounds, because it ignores the standard argument for affirmative action. Any argument against a view that ignores the standard argument for that view is cheesy, regardless of how good the principle that argument is based on is.

Since you don't seem aware of the argument, here it is. The equal protection clause prevents discrimination against a group on the basis of race, provided there's not legitimate reason for discriminating against that group. It's pretty obvious that I could reject a white person who tries out for a part for Malcolm X, and I could do it simply because the person doesn't look the part. This is making a decision on the basis of race, but it doesn't violate equal protection because in that case race is a qualification. I'm thus not lowering standards to accept a black person because one of my standards, indeed a necessary standard, is that the person playing the part is black. The automatically increases the level of qualification of someone who seeks the part.

People who favor affirmative action argue that race can count as a qualification in other ways. For instance, a job involving counseling kids who are dealing with racial prejudice might well be better served by someone who has experience exactly the same sort of prejudice, and thus being black is a qualification. For similar reasons, teaching in an inner city might be a situation where race will count as a qualification. In none of these cases would it be grounds for caring only about race, but race might count as a qualification that would justifiably increase the interest of an employer in the candidate, especially if it's harder to get black employees in that area given the desirability of having at least some.

With college professors, endless good can be done if both black and white students see intelligent and caring black professors who are real people. The amount of racial stereotypes this can help overcome is surely worth colleges going a little out of their way to seek black faculty. The same might be true at lower levels of education, and if black students can see that you can be black and a physicist or mathematician, that will do wonders for overcoming the racial narrative assumed by a number of black people (even if many of them wouldn't say it) that those subjects aren't for black people.

If one of the goals of an institute of higher learning is to provide an atmosphere where people of different backgrounds can interact and learn from each other, then surely race counts as a qualification there too.

There are other ways that would take a lot longer to explain, but this is some sense of what the argument is. In the end, I don't think this is much justification for lowering what we standardly think of the standards for college admissions by as much as they do lower them, but I do think it's not in principle wrong and in fact even a good idea to be willing to relax those standards somewhat because of these other qualifications. That's why I think the equal protection argument is cheesy. It ignores these considerations. Maybe you can argument against these considerations entirely, as some try to do, but that takes argument and not simple dismissal of them as violating equal protection. Something simply doesn't violate equal protection if there's a legitimate level of qualification that race can count as contributing toward so that the other qualifications don't have to be as high.

My character is just fine, ... (Below threshold)

My character is just fine, at least in this area. The purpose of the 14th Amendment was to make black people equal citizens in America and guareentee equal protection.

You can avoid the discrimination based on race all you want, that does not change its validity.

I agree with your view that AA adversely effects those who it is supposed to benefit, but can an average human being reject free goodies? Can the bad feelings created over the discrimination of the past be so easily overcome?

You will have to forgive me if I do not trust those who run modern universities. I don't. If you can have such a leftist run amok university such as Berkeley be called hopelessly racist by the very people that the university is bending the rules for, I suggest to you that this web of double standards is NOT working.

We want many of the same things, I suspect that we are just are searching down different roads.

I'm not sure you understand... (Below threshold)

I'm not sure you understand what I said. I said I'm against affirmative action.

I know. Like I said, we agr... (Below threshold)

I know. Like I said, we agree on a lot.




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