Saturday, July 28, 2012

Black Americans Know Quite a Bit More Than Mitt Romney About That "Special" Anglo-American Relationship

Jonathan Chait has a nice piece exploring the Romney campaign's efforts to "blacken up" Barack Obama as part of a larger strategy to gin up white racial resentment against the United States' first black president. It is well worth checking out.

Mitt Romney's mouth piece adviser's suggestion that President Obama is incapable of understanding the "special" Anglo-American relationship because he is not of the "right" "racial stock" is prefaced upon a narrow understanding of who is an American and who is not. Among the general public, it is assumed that to be American is to be white. This is a repeated finding from public opinion surveys and other research. 

By proxy, these racially driven attacks on Barack Obama are really an assault on Black Americans. We are positioned in the White Conservative political imagination as perennial outsiders and second class citizens. As the late Joel Olson smartly observed, in the American political tradition, and in a country founded as a herrenvolk society, to be black means to be an "anti-citizen." 

Romney and the Tea Party GOP's efforts to use racially coded speech, dog whistles, and naked racism to mobilize white voters against Barack Obama work only to the degree that the target audience can locate the president relative to the African American community. Thus, hostility to black folks, stereotypes about them, and other negative sentiment, is transferred on to Barack Obama. 

In all, the real America/American exceptionalism talk (both are intimates) that Romney and other Right-wing populists have deployed is a exclusionary one.

"American exceptionalism" is code for white American exceptionalism.

"Real America" is code for white America.

Of course, this ignores the presence of black Americans and other people of color in a multicultural, pluralist democracy. It also quite literally white washes away our unique contributions to America's civic, cultural, social, and political life. Nevertheless, it is a comforting lie and fiction for the White Right. To those loyal to the Tea Party GOP, a noble white America is a necessary lie upon which their particular brand of reactionary white conservatism is dependent for life and fuel. 

Their historical and political worldview precludes black and brown folks from being part of the "unique" Anglo-American relationship which President Obama is apparently incapable of understanding: it ignores the long and shared history between black Americans and the United Kingdom. 

The relationship between Black Americans and the British is complex, deep, and rich. 

1. The United Kingdom was one of the foremost traffickers of human cargo during the Transatlantic slave trade or Maafa. Southerners (and others) looked to the British plantation system in the Caribbean as a model for their own profitable experiment in the Black Holocaust. In fact, the slave codes that were put in place across the Southern slaveocracy were inspired by those of Barbados--which were written by none other than the legendary political philosopher John Locke. The British were the world's preeminent military and economic power, and kept tens of millions of black and brown folks under the boot of empire.

History is full of contradictions. For military and political reasons the British Navy made a marginal (and largely symbolic) effort to end the Transatlantic slave trade. The Abolitionist movement was a political powerhouse in the United Kingdom and worked in parallel with their compatriots in the United States. The United Kingdom banned slavery in the home islands in the early part of the 19th century, but permitted it abroad. As is well known, runaway slaves would also follow the North Star to freedom in Canada

2. Despite all of the lofty rhetoric about freedom and democracy during the Revolutionary War, the colonies (and later the United States) were slave societies. While many black Americans took the promise of American freedom and democracy in the Declaration and the Constitution and used it to rationalize their joining the Colonial militia, more black Americans fought for the British than the colonists. 

For example, one of my favorite historical figures, Colonel Tye was a cavalry scout and commando who rained hell down on white colonials throughout the Northeast. 

The British promised manumission and freedom. Rational actors would most certainly prefer that condition over the most certain chains of slavery, death, rape, and bondage in America's fledgling "democracy." The ability of the British to follow through on this promise was uneven, with some blacks being returned to slavery during and after the war. Nevertheless, after the war many thousand black Americans and former slaves would be evacuated to Nova Scotia and others parts of the British Empire.

3. Black Americans fought valiantly in defense of Britain (and western Europe's security) during World War One and World War Two. African American volunteers also served with the famed Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. Blacks from the Caribbean and Africa also flew combat missions with the RAF. As happened with France during World War One, many black soldiers would find Britain a far more welcoming place than Jim and Jane Crow America (with its rampant white supremacy). African American GI's were very popular with the British people. In response, the United States military made a concerted effort to teach white Brits the American way of anti-black racism. Black soldiers were also quite liked by white British some cases much more so than white GI's. 

4. There are many famous (and widely influential) Black Americans who can trace their family lineage back to the English-speaking Caribbean. These notables include Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Colin Powell, Stokley Carmichael, James Weldon Johnson, and Shirley Chisholm.

Even as offered by this basic list, the facts are quite plain: Black Americans have a deeper, more recent, and more "special" history with the British than Mitt Romney and his clan. As I have written elsewhere, Mitt Romney is a "White" candidate who is the presidential nominee for the United States' de facto White political party. Therefore, any allusion to the United States' racial complexity is inconvenient for an American identity which considers all white folks to be quintessentially "apple pie" and "Uncle Sam," while people of color are viewed as contingent citizens, perpetual alien Others.

As with other matters, the facts are not kind to Mitt Romney and the Tea Party GOP's version of American history and life. Black and brown folks are central to the American story--and that includes any references to "special" or "unique" relationships across the pond.


OTB said...

I'm curious: Your early link about Romney's adviser's comments:
"President Obama is incapable of understanding the "special" Anglo-American relationship" would seem to oppose your position (and this from a Brit):

"It is surely fair game, though, to draw attention to Obama’s anti-British prejudices (see here for the full charge-sheet). It is fair game, too, to posit a connection between Obama’s dislike of Britain and his contempt for those US institutions – the common law, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights – that were inherited from Britain."
and its link:
"There's no getting away from it: Barack Obama doesn't much like Limeys."

Did you intend for this link to support or oppose your position?

Or do you see a racial tone in these words? And if so, please point it out.

chaunceydevega said...

@OTB. I will humor you. I always try to include a range of perspectives. So what if that columnist is British? If you follow the British or Aussie press they too have columnists in bed with the white Tea Party GOP. Plus, there were folks in the British Press who also picked up on Romney's racial tribalism.

See my earlier comments on race and Mitt Romney's American exceptionalims meme that I posted to you below.

I can't help the blind see if they are unwilling to open their eyes to the obvious. Perhaps some folks more patient than I will help you out there.

OTB said...

@chaunceydevega: Thanks so much for the good humor. The note that the writer was a Brit was an aside and not the main point.

My question to you is: Did you intend for your link to support or oppose your contention? It seems a fair question as it does the latter.

There likely were people in the British press who "picked up on Romney's (as yet unspecified) tribalism". Government leaders also castigated him for a thoughtful answer to a question from an NBC commentator, without bothering to look at the context, the actual full text, or the fact that his words reflected views in that same British press.

None of that alters my question.

Martin Wisse said...

One of the best examples of the ties African-Americans have with the UK is the simple fact that Gil Scott-Heron's Jamaican father was the first Black football player for Celtic, in Glasgow.

fred c said...

I could write several paragraphs about the general ill will that I feel toward our erstwhile lords, but I refrain in the spirit of love.

My own heritage is English in large part. It was my great-grandfather who came over from London. I never heard any of my relatives express any love of the ancestral homeland, nor any desire to visit.

If there is any Special Relationship between the U.K. and America it exists because the Brits see us as some kind of Golem that they can say magic words over and control, sending us out to destroy their enemies.

Englishmen in the bowels of the working class can be very fraternal and friendly, but anyone with an education and two nickles to rub together will begin condescending almost immediately upon discovering that one is American. You should hear the way they talk about Thais to me, a stranger, this is guys who live here more or less, and they do it within earshot of their Thai trophy wives, whom they treat little better than dogs.

Don't think for a minute that they think more highly of Black Americans than of Whites; that would be a mighty stretch right there.

This "special relationship" routine was, in this instance, merely a convenient dog-whistle for the American Birchers. Anyone who believes for a moment that our two countries have a special relationship, or even that we are particularly friendly, is delusional.

nomad said...

"Even as offered by this basic list, the facts are quite plain: Black Americans have a deeper, more recent, and more "special" history with the British than Mitt Romney and his clan."

Well, okay. Black Americans have a special *history* with the British. Basically the same as they have with white Americans. Which, in turn is kind of like the history native Americans have with white Americans. History does not equate to affinity for. Histories can be violent; relationships abusive. So it can be argued that blacks have a closer historical relationship to the UK than the particular clan of white men men Romney belongs to. But to what end? Alas it is true: Blood is thicker than water. And while Barama is black like me, Mitt is white like Brit. And, while Brits can't seem to stomach him certainly he would be more comfortable in London than Harlem. Mitt is evoking his ethnic heritage and simultaneously smearing Barama. Standard racial mudslinging fare in presidential campaigns. Remember Willie Horton and Sister Souljah? Well I think this ad is in that class. A diabolical racial dogwhistle that's, to be honest, quite effective. If I were an undecided white entrepreneur I would certainly be saying WTF.
It's hard to believe a person who is trying so hard to distance himself from a black agenda could make such a gaff.
Hoisted with his own black denying petard.

chaunceydevega said...

@Fred C. Romney? The Koch brothers? Bircherism? What lies you spread! Good white conservatives would run you out of town!

@Martin. I didn't know that. Who else can we add to the list?

@Nomad. I agree. History does not equal affinity which is why I made sure to talk about the slave trade. That was a huge foot in mouth moment for Obama even without the selective and dishonest editing by Romney and the Fox News operatives.

Razor said...

I believe that in 1942 being treated as persons seen worthy of a good measure of respect, dignity and decency, as well as appreciation in the war effort merited the term "special and unique" from a black sodier"s. Fresh from the lynching fields of the US to freely having fun with British girls who appeared to like the blacks over the white GIs.

Meanwhile, disollutioned white GIs whose egos have been artificially and superficially inflated at the expense of black super-masculinity wilted in the absence of white militarized affirmative action in the area of free-style social interaction. "White women freely walking out with black men" The scariest thought for a group who have raped black women for cneturies.

Adam H said...

Great piece. It's always nice to get a basic history lesson on these points.

nomad said...

"That was a huge foot in mouth moment for Obama even without the selective and dishonest editing by Romney and the Fox News operatives."

You're certainly right about the selective editing. I hadn't seen the original quote. My apologies to Obama. It wasn't really a gaffe. He wasn't talking about the businesses but the infrastructure. My compliments to the makers of the ad. Dishonest, like the Horton and Souljah episodes, but also like them, quite effective. I should have known better than to think Obama would have made such an anti-entrepreneur gaffe.

OTB said...

Just curious to know what the readers here think of Obama's words that preceded the "you didn't build that" snippet:

"They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there."

chaunceydevega said...

@OTB. This may be a newsflash to you.

The vast majority of wealth in this country is inherited. Most successful business people had significant social and economic capital to begin with. The ability to leverage the country's infrastructure as well as "public goods" like education, protection from the military, support by police, fire departments, are crucial for success.

Nevermind that many folks--like Romney--also got low interest loans from the government or gov't contracts to do their work.

Nevermind how the military industrial security state de facto subsidizes whole communities in this country.

Look up the concept called "the submerged state."

You got to get off of that first grade civic's class indoctrination you received. It doesn't help you to understand the real complexities of American politics and society. If you get a chance read the books The Meritocracy Myth and also The Myth of Individualism.

You have been socialized into a set of beliefs that are not true. Every society has necessary lies and fictions. America is a capitalist society where market democracy (not full dynamic civicly minded or engaged citizenship) is the norm.

This necessary lie keeps the sheeple in line...for now. But, that consensus is breaking and will soon fracture.

Simply put, nothing President Obama said in his speech is a surprise to anyone who is a serious student of political economy.

chaunceydevega said...

@Nomad. The game is deep. The fourth estate has totally failed in being a check or monitor on Romney's repeated lies. The game is deep. There is something else going on too with all this Obama slave blood dna stuff.

@Adam. We need to get that drink we keep talking about. email me.

OTB said...

@chaunceydevega: Thanks for the "vast" newsflash, as well as your assumptions on my education. Sorry, I think both miss the mark.

The submerged state does affect the country, but it does not control what's inside the people who take risks and build businesses. Obama devalued both intelligence and hard work in his statements. Perhaps some of those who are less than successful have done the same.

I'll leave with this quote from another of our Presidents:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

PS: You enjoy the success of your blog / writing. Who built that, other than you?

chaunceydevega said...


Where is this success at? Please send a brother a check ;) More seriously.

I don't make assumptions about your education. I am responding to the lack of critical thinking you have shown on this and other issues as well. That could be mean you were superbly trained and didn't pay attention; alternatively you could be self-taught (poorly). Or somewhere in between. I don't know. I just respond to the hand you show.

The government and the military built the Internet. Your point is? No one is an island onto themselves. Conservative libertarian types want to claim that crap all the while they suck on the government tit. I am just more honest about it.

Obama never said that entrepreneurs don't take risks or that they shouldn't be rewarded. You are stuck on some Right-wing out of context talking points. People, in society, are embedded in many relationships with one another just is. Maybe I am just an old school Durkheim type. I don't know what is so controversial about such a statement.

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. "

What a joke and a nice slogan for a t-shirt or for kids to learn in the first grade. I will tell that to all of the persistent hard workers I know who aren't rich or successful or are members of the working poor. I will also share it with the trustafarians who got lucky to be expelled by a woman's vagina into a family or connection with a baby daddy who happened to have money.

Do you really believe such self-help silly slogans?

nomad said...

Re the struggle of black working people. There was an old saying they had that encapsulated what it takes to be successful in this inequitable world. "It's not what you know, it's who you know."

OTB said...


I also value critical thinking. I'd likewise appreciate your dealing with the hand I show. I never mentioned the internet. I asked for reactions to Obama's own words, for which you denigrate my intelligence. I shouldn't feel bad: you give Coolidge a similar put-down.

What can you possibly have against persistence and determination? You've challenged others to match yours and create their own blogs.

There are poor people who've used their brains and their hard work to get ahead. Do you accept Obama's contention that their smarts and their sweats didn't make the difference?

Comrade Physioprof said...

I always knew these right wing fuckes were fucken liars about everything, but I am learning more and more about how deep their lies are embedded in white DNA from your thoroughly researched posts.

chaunceydevega said...

@Coolidge. Goodness. Do you like Hoover too?

I didn't put down your intelligence. I think you are likely a bright person. But, you are very much a talking point conservative. You are also naive/dishonest as revealed by your "innocent" claim that Romney didn't give his inside adviser the wink to continue their anti-black Obama other meme.

You have my response. Take your slogans and bring it to the working poor and trustifarians and see how such nice slogans are wholly outside of the structural realities which impact individual life chances, structures, and the like.

Place and fortune of birth matters a hell of a lot more than individual initiative in 21st century America. Hell, France has higher rates of intergenerational class mobility than the U.S.--which is 13th I believe.

My point on the internet was intentional--if the gov't, the tax payers, and others didn't subsidize the internet we would not be here having this conversation. That was Obama's point. Just as his points on infrastructure, SBA loans, public goods, etc.

Please explain how Obama is outside of the American tradition and doesn't understand how "capitalism" works? Please. If so inclined write a guest post for WARN and I will post it.

OTB said...


I take "naive/dishonest, blind, come into the light, first grade civics", etc as a put down of intelligence. I take your allegation that I claimed Romney didn't give his adviser a wink as a derailed detour, as I see no evidence that I made such a statement. I didn't say that Obama is outside the tradition -- I asked for perspective here on his comments that smarts and sweat don't count in creating success (his words, not mine).

That's my question, and I'm sticking to it. Rather than attack the legitimacy of the question, why not answer it. And it's not a slogan, it's an exact quote from Obama, which directly preceded his "you didn't build that" comment.

Working poor, trustifarians, middle class slogs, joe public, et al: either working harder and working smarter are assets and can set them apart from others, or not. I think reality says it makes a difference, despite Obama's words to the contrary.

Finally, as to the success that YOU built, you asked for a check. Where would such check be sent?

chaunceydevega said...

@OTB. Nothing to do with intelligence my friend. I know lots of "smart" naive, foolish, ideologues, who have deluded themselves on any number of issues. This holds on both the Left and Right. Like I said, you are likely a bright person. You are just misdirected.

You wrote:

"Would it be fair to rate both candidates based on their own words, rather than the words of "advisers", often taken out of context (and sometimes those "advisers" are not even named)? "

That is mighty, mighty, mighty, naive as others pointed out.

Obama never said that working hard, being innovative, and the like didn't matter. He offered context for the structures that help enable success. Why are you so resistant to such a basic point? Like I said, I am offering you up a platform to develop your anti-Obama hates entrepreneurs thesis. I rarely do this.

Funny thing. Few conservatives or others ever take me up on the offer. Sell your wares. I am an honest broker and will not post anything you write without your approval and agreed upon edits. Bring it. Or are you afraid to put your thesis up in the marketplace of ideas?

chaunceydevega said...

@OTB. How could I miss your kind invite? Use the paypal link for donations up top. I messed up and fixed it--thus it wasn't working for quite a bit. Make a donation to our slavery project and I will deduct your amount for personal enrichment--just make a note in the paypal link.

I will do a thorough accounting of the drinks, movie, and other sundries I spend your kind monies on ;)

More seriously, that is a fair point. In the next iteration of the site there will be a proper donations link--as I said WARN is evolving thanks to the help of folks like you who comment and contribute. I have long said I would not do advertising of donations. Someone with much more experience made a very compelling argument for why I should do otherwise.

Don't get me wrong. I may disagree with you. However, I appreciate your comments and the spirit with which they are offered.

OTB said...


Despite all the detours, here again is my question:

Just curious to know what the readers here think of Obama's words that preceded the "you didn't build that" snippet:

"They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there."

CNu said...

Obama told the truth, period.

As a frustrated entrepreneur, I've witnessed firsthand the levels of gatekeeping, funds-withholding, and special access privileges afforded to those selected by the local "powers that be" to move ahead.

Very, very rarely is the combination of smarts, means, persistence, and luck sufficient to the cause of great wealth building in America.

Far more often than not, someone must offer a capital hand-up to make your smarts, means, persistence, and hard work pay off. That's just the truth of the matter.

chaunceydevega said...

@Cnu. Never-mind insider trading and other quasi-legal things that folks with access to capital and information can parlay to their own benefit. In these conversations many conservatives and others are loathe to admit that there are many inefficient, should be failing, raggedy as hell ventures that are kept alive by knowing how to play the system. I too have seen how gatekeepers and friends with money can make or break a person. Hard work matters, but who you know and what they can do for you matters even more these days.

Obama told the truth--a basic one. Unfortunately, the mouth-breathing classes can't accept that fact.

TreadingWater said...

@OTB Why do you edit out the next paragraph before the "you didn't build that" statement.

"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

Notice that the preceding statement referred to infrastructure and the American business system, which individual entrepreneurs didn't build. You can't have a business without roads and infrastructure to ship your product, an education system to train your workers in basic skills, and a legal system to protect your safety and rights. It's willful ignorance to proclaim that that statement makes President Obama anti-entrepreneur.

Anonymous said...

I am a white guy in the south - so I see some things. I fear the black vote will not be strong enough come November, and it will be more from apathy than draconian voter ID laws. You can bet the tea party vote will be strong. How do you propose to maximize the black vote? It will be critical.

OTB said...

I didn't "edit out" anything. As stated, I offered the paragraph preceding the one that included "you didn't build that". Since the rest of that paragraph has already been quoted endlessly, I saw no reason to take up even more space with it. I was asking for responses to a paragraph (which preceded the "you didn't build that" one) since it also sounds to diminish individual smarts and effort as causes of success.

I'm well aware of the entirety of the "you didn't build that" paragraph. I assume most people are at this point. It is willful ignorance of you to claim I said something I did not say. I asked about the preceding paragraph. I'm still asking. Thanks for staying on topic and avoiding diversions.

Oblio said...

Really excellent history lesson-ette. My 10-year-old Grandson has become intrigued with history and in particular, the Civil War. He would appreciate this info, as do I. Many thanks!

chaunceydevega said...

@OTB. You are playing with Confederate money here. You are trying to imply by dishonestly excising one part of a speech the whole intent of Obama's comments on entrepreneurship. Not gonna fly here.

@TW. Context matters. But with all of the selective editing and outright lies that are being used by the Right in their propaganda/New Speak campaign anything apparently goes.

@Oblio. Got to get them and keep them reading early.

OTB said...

@chaunceydevega: I despise dishonesty, no matter who is guilty of it. I did not dishonestly excise anything. I also didn't make implications in my twice repeated question. I asked for reactions to the paragraph from Obama that immediately preceded the "you didn't build that" segment, the entire text of which has now been debated nearly to death -- which is why I asked about the preceding question. Your characterization (and that of TW) as to my intent are off base. Kindly read what I wrote.

My context was clear. I asked about a particular paragraph, and referenced the one it preceded -- seeing no need to reprint it in its entirety, since it's already well known. You are trying to imply something I clearly did not try to imply. If you check my words, your accusation does not fly.

chaunceydevega said...

@OTB. As I kindly offered up before. It seems that you have a thesis about Obama and his understanding of entrepreneurship and by implication his relationship to American exceptionalism. Make a clear direct claim and write it up. I will post it. Alternatively, make such a claim here so we know exactly what you want to advance.

OTB said...


Non sequitur.

I asked for responses to a quoted paragraph, provided in full, and referenced to a following statement that has been debated ad nauseum.

It seems you have misread my words. It seems you have a thesis about my beliefs and by implication their relationship to my ability to think clearly.

As I have kindly offered up, I prefer that people be considered for what they actually say, not for what someone imagines they might have meant.

HolidayinCambodia said...

@OTB: you did edit out a large paragraph that was relevant to the comment you want us to comment on. You say that you did that because we all know that paragraph. But then, why did you include the first paragraph at all? It seems to me that you were dishonestly quoting the President.

Be that as it may, there is nothing in the President's statement that, when taken in context, is at all false or controversial to any real-life person.

Is there?

CNu said...

phuuuuuug OTB...,

{colorbind's second life ain't working out any better CDV. Stop playing, and just pull the trigger on disqus commenting so you can kick these oxygen-thieving, digital nut-huggers to the curb}

OTB said...


Nothing I did was dishonest. I gave an entire paragraph that was not being discussed, and cited the one that was. I didn't say Obama's words were false. I asked what people thought of the quote that wasn't in the media. And just so we're clear, I'm asking for comments on the FIRST of the following two paragraphs:

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

Those words are directly from the White House site. Please forgive me because I had to edit out SEVENTY-FIVE other paragraphs. I hope you'll understand this "editing".

Go ahead. Look at the full text for my question, and tell me how I'm dishonest. Thanks.

Razor said...

CNu, excellent forensic work. I think you may have nabbed a masquerading trool.

chaunceydevega said...

@Cnu and @Razor. That is the funny thing isn't it? Why do they go through the trouble? What pleasure do they get from it? Fascinating.

OTB said...

Some people believe that a civil question should get a civil answer.

I, for one, have obeyed your new standards. You might consider a standard that people move things forward by addressing the question at hand, rather than quibbling over how much of a quote is copied (one could never recreate an entire quote here without taking over the page -- something some of us have already noted) -- or questioning the honesty or intelligence or maturity of someone merely because they ask an honest question. (Seems to me that those actions would constitute trolling).

One would think that people would not be assailed for following your standards, while others who violate them get your endorsement.

And, personally, I see no pleasure in entering a civil discussion and being treated uncivilly for it.

CNu said...

CDV/Abstentus - what're the odds that these Racism 2.0 busters have codified their scholastic discursive MO into a memetic framework that genuinely convinces them of the logical and moral propriety of their ways?

To us, they come across as obviously and conspicuously insane as we objectively know them to be, but to one another, they come across as "good people" not in any way like those bad knuckle-dragging racists of days gone by?

Abstentus summary of Racism 2.0 may bear repeating here; Racism 2.0 says,"Racists are bad people. And I am not a bad person. No matter what racist nonsense I believe. Therefore I am not a racist."

Substitute "bigot" for "racist" to make it extensible to homosexuality and it remains the fulcrum of the issue.

chaunceydevega said...

Cnu. It is all one big intellectual circle jerk where they touch on each other's substandard genitals and talk about how mammoth they are.

OTB. My final points. I have offered you the chance to make a claim about what you think Obama actually means. You have not. You seem to keep begging for someone to answer your intellectually dishonest question. No one is interested because the premise of your inquiry is based on a fallacy. Quite frankly, you do not come across as an honest interlocutor or agent. Why waste the time engaging you when it is pretty clear that you already have reached a conclusion but for whatever reason will not share it.

I am generous and will try to give you an example. You want to ask people what they think about a whole movie but you want them to generalize from one minute of a 2 hour movie. Instead you should be asking for the totality of a thing. What do you think of the whole film and how it is synthesized.

Your fixation on Obama's speech is akin to focusing on one small part out of dozens of paragraphs as opposed to dealing with the whole theme and argument presented. And as cnu and others have tried to explain to you there is not one damn thing in Obama's speech that is not true.

The burden is on you to disprove Obama's claims. You have brought no evidence nor have you made any sufficient or substantial claim in that regard.

Please move the convo forward onto other things.

OTB said...

@Chaunceydevega: I'm happy to move onto other things, after clearing this up. My question had no agenda. I never claimed anything in Obama's speech was untrue. I did not make the claims attributed to me. There is nothing dishonest about posting a quote and asking for opinions on it. (In the interest of space saving, I did not print the entire two paragraphs (or the entire 77, if you want to go to the the extreme end of your reasoning.)

I did not post to disprove anything. I posted to ask for the opinions of your readers on part of the speech that had not been dissected.

I speak independently and with no collaboration of others -- seemingly the opposite of the "circle jerk" you refer to, which could describe the words of others who echo the same opinions.

There is nothing dishonest in what I wrote here. There is a degree of dishonesty in attributing to me words I that I did not use. I asked, with no agenda, for honest answers to a simple question.

I asked for opinions. I said as little as I could while putting forth that question.

You cannot demonstrate any dishonesty in what I have written. Integrity is of the utmost importance to me. I wish more people felt the same way.

You're right. Enough time spent on this. No answers were given to a straight forward question. Let's move on and see if we can all have a civil and honest conversation, in keeping with the standards you have promoted for this site.