He Said/She Said Who Can Say?

by digby

Christ on a cracker. Is this for real?

Everybody's racist, it seems.

Republican Rep. Joe Wilson? Racist, because he shouted "You lie!" at the first black president. Health care protesters, affirmative action supporters? Racist. And Barack Obama? He's the "Racist in Chief," wrote a leader of the recent conservative protest in Washington.

But if everybody's racist, is anyone?

The word is being sprayed in all directions, creating a hall of mirrors that is draining the scarlet R of its meaning and its power, turning it into more of a spitball than a stigma.

And isn't that stupid statement goddamned convenient for the actual racists?

This isn't difficult to sort out at all, although the AP seems to be having a real problem with it, which means the villagers are feeling all funny about their own feelings.

Here's something I wrote a couple of months ago when this came up during the Sotomayor hearings:

Not Your Grandfather's Bigotry

Liberals who follow politics closely are no doubt disoriented to see someone as accomplished as Sonia Sotomayor attacked for being a bullying racist by a bunch of racist bullies, but I think we should probably get a grip and understand that this is what racism looks like in 2009. The assertion of white male privilege through whining victimization is one of the main ways it will be manifested going forward. And it's quite effective --- it appeals to people's own hidden prejudices in a way that doesn't socially embarrass them and allows them to use fairness as a weapon, which is a great relief to bigots who have been on the defensive for decades.

But it's important to remind good people who are possible recruits to the reverse discrimination claims that the world is still overwhelmingly run by wealthy white men and any protestation that they need affirmative action is laughable

Rule of thumb: the people who are telling their millions of fervent followers that we need to go back to segregating buses and claiming that Obama hates white people? They're the racists. Easy as pie.