Sunday, August 19, 2012

More Fun With "Colorblind" Racism Online: "What Did Pressure for Obama to Release His Birth Certificate Have to do With White Privilege?"

Before I go watch the remaining hours of the Chicago Air and Water Show, I wanted to share the following gem with you. 

Apparently, my open letter to black conservative Kira Davis got the attention of some of her supplicants and handlers. I am not that into Twitter--apparently my friend Gordon Gartrelle is doing his thing there, so do check him out--but they sent me some "tweets" that I proceeded to respond to here

Kira is a lost soul. Her website features a cabal of semi-professional black conservative Right-wing race hustlers. Much of their writing is bad comedy. Alas, I could not save Kira from her quest to be the next Michelle Malkin; but if another young person of color takes my advice, I will count that as a win. 

Also, she and her peeps won't respond to my simple request for an interview. Funny. Too bad. 

Last week, I wrote about how I am collecting examples of colorblind conservative racism from political websites and blogs for use in one of my classes on "race in America" (as well as for an article that I would like to write in the near future). In tracking down some of the links from Kira's site, I came upon this gem by Chuck Morse who writes for the blog, "A Whig Manifesto". 

It is always fun to see yourself quoted, and one's arguments filtered through the prism of talking point Tea Party GOP conservatism. The distortions can be epic, what are a type of low rent political cubism or amateurish surrealism.

Moreover, the standing priors and worldview of talking point conservatives are so fundamentally disconnected from political and social reality, that the whole mess would be funny, if not for what it suggested about the health of our civic culture and educational system. 

I will leave you all to annotate and deconstruct the following passages (Morse's essay is here in its entirety). Whenever I encounter work such as this, I marvel, truly I do, at the effectiveness of the Right-wing propaganda machine at disseminating information, crafting an alternative reality, and then reinforcing their talking points through repetition. 

As Chomsky and others have deftly pointed out, the Right-wing propagandists created a lie that the media is somehow "liberal" or "biased" against them. This untruth is accepted as fact. Therefore, it encourages (and legitimates) a willful misrepresentation of the facts by conservatives because such distortions are now reframed as being somehow "fair and balanced." 

Because the Right-wing media machine also circulates and creates conspiranoid fantasies in the Age of Obama, the more you try to correct those who are part of this cult--that word is used intentionally; the New Right and populist conservatism share many of the traits common to a religion--the more a belief in their righteousness and truth-telling is reinforced. In total, the populist Right is a closed community whose political worldview is prefaced upon tautological, closed circle, reasoning.

Ultimately, the Right-wing media industrial complex rivals that of the official state media in China or the former Soviet Union. Impressive. Most impressive.
Chauncey DeVega, a columnist for the left-wing online publication AlterNet, wrote an article on April 29, 2011 entitled 10 Ways That the Birthers Are an Object Lesson in White Privilege. This article, written in response to President Obama’s release of his birth certificate, serves as a rich illustration of a left-wing view of race in America, and how race is used as a political football by the left. Significant portions of the article are reprinted here with commentary.
DeVega begins with the highly sarcastic assertion that: In an era of racism without racists, the Tea Party GOP Birther brigands provide one more lesson in the permanence of the social evil known as White privilege. The author defines our era as one of racism without racists and at first glance this appears to be a sarcastic rejoinder to the assertion by conservatives that they are not racists. Yet this comment raises the question of whether America is a society of racism without racists. Going one step further, this comment begs the question regarding how racism is defined in America today. Who is a racist? What did pressure for Obama to release his birth certificate and other classified information have to do with White privilege?
Of course there are racists in America today as the term has been classically defined. There are still KKK men who parade around in white sheets and who burn crosses on lawns. There still are fringe organizations, neo-Nazi groups come to mind, which adhere to white supremacy which was mainstream in America before World War II and even into the mid 1960’s in some quarters. The image of George Wallace, the Democratic Governor of Alabama, blocking the school door to stop an African-American child from attending school comes to mind as does the Birmingham Alabama police chief Bull Connor turning water hoses on civil rights protesters. In 1968, the Republican civil rights leader, the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, was brutally murdered, shot down in the prime of his life and at the peak of his creativity, by a white supremacist. Lynching was a not an infrequent practice in America until the 1950’s.
As a bonus, here is Morse's analysis of Sarah Palin and her "real talk," "I am not an elitist" appeal to the Right-wing mouth-breathing classes: 
Sarah Palin is an easy target for scorn from the left and the ugly attack against her has more than a whiff of sexism. Palin didn’t attend an Ivy League College and she doesn’t talk like, walk like, or look like your typical liberal eastern seaboard liberal establishment type. President Obama, on the other hand, has the Ivy League College cred, the language, the look, and the walk of the liberal establishment type down to a tee. Like many conservatives before her, Palin is marginalized by the left as “stupid” and therefore as a person who is not to be listened to or taken seriously.
With the type of scorn that has been heaped upon her, it is easy for the left to take the next step and label her as a racist and DeVega performs this hit is classic left-wing style with snide and indirect references to her engaging in racial resentment while calling her a witch on a broomstick to boot. The very idea of actually taking what Palin has to say seriously is not considered as she is instead denounced in classic left-wing agitprop fashion. Palin, who in her at times awkward way is a plain spoken truth teller, poses as a threat to the edifice of left-wing ideology. The populism that she at times espouses is universal to all Americans and that is socially conservative values, limited and honest government, low taxes, and national sovereignty. 
Wow, that last sentence is rich with semiotic and discursive possibilities: it is a political burrito wrapped up in bacon, battered, refried, and then slathered with cheese.


OTB said...

From the book "Bias" to documentation from the Media Research Center to a daily read of the headlines at Real Clear Politics to a sampling of the panels on Sunday morning shows to the chyrons run beneath network news stories to the political donations of both Hollywood and those in the media to a look at various awards (Pulitzer, Grammy)to various studies on pro-left stories vs anti-right stories, a case could be well made that there is a liberal slant to the media.

What's the other side of this argument?

Anonymous said...


[A]a cabal of semi-professional black conservative Right-wing race hustlers??????!!

That's a mouthfull. Does such a animal actually exist? I mean I get out every now and then, but I guess I've never heard it put quite this way. Isn't black conservative an oxymoron?


SabrinaBee said...

It is awesome. Democrats can only wish they practiced the same sort of mind control as Republicans have over their bible belt base.

chaunceydevega said...

2OTB. You should be an expert on the type of fictions presented above. The book Bias is put out by a Right-wing group called the MRC. They are part of the liberal bias myth machine.

This could take a long time to explain; Summerslam is coming on and I am about to fry up some pork chops so I will keep it simple for you.

1. There is no liberal media. That is an invented term that came out of right wing think tanks in the 1970s/1980s. There is a corporate media--3 companies own all the major news outlets in this country.

2. The person assembling cars on the floor of a plant has no say in the design of the vehicle. Reporters do not write their own copy. They could be Nazis, Communists, Libertarians, or conservative liberals, it wouldn't matter in terms of what we call "the agenda setting function" of the news.

3. Fox News is the single greatest propaganda and misinformation broker, likely, on the planet. They have admitted as much. Murdoch even had to admit in hearing in the UK to get on their airwaves that he runs a news propaganda operation and not a "news" outlet.

4. Check out some of the very balanced and neutral reporting on the political ideology of the guests who are on the Sunday and weekly shows (republicans overrepresented) and for the type of "slant" or "bias" in news reporting. Again, it leans corporate-right. There are some other very reliable and well vetted studies on the damaging effects of watching Fox News as well--viewers of that network are more likely to actually believe things that are not true, factually untrue about politics and current events, the longer they watch that network. Frightening.

@Glenn. Not an oxymoron. A lucrative hustle. Ask Larry Elder about the 20k he was gonna get for doing a hit piece on Obama as "a respectable, articulate, black conservative."

@Sabrina. Wouldn't work. Conservatives' political personalities skew towards authoritarianism. Their brain structures are also different from the rest of us. They are primed for these types of binary, emotion over reason appeals. The fear centers of conservatives are also overdeveloped too. There is some good research out there on those matters.

Black Sage said...

The populism that she (Sarah Palin) at times espouses is universal to all Americans and that is socially conservative values, limited and honest government, low taxes, and national sovereignty. – Chuck Morse

I highly encourage this Morse fellow to immediately commence to drinking decaffeinated coffee first thing in the morning. He appears to be too damn hyped with nonsense:

“Palin espouses what is universal to all Americans and that is socially conservative values”
In reply – Morse really wanted to say Palin supports White values only and denounces the values of Black and Brown Americans.

“Limited and honest government”
In reply – This country has never had a limited and honest government. What Morse really wanted to say, is that the rights of the states trump the rights of the federal government so that the states could further restrict the rights of minorities to the point of morphing into a contiguous apartheid country. In other words, if the states choose to re-institute slavery and have slaves toil in the fields for multi-billion dollar corporations from sun up until sun down, from childhood, until adulthood and then death, so be it!

“Low taxes”
In reply – Sure....., low taxes for millionaires and billionaires. Obviously, Morse has had a lapse in short-term and long-term memory. He forgot that we’ve had a preview of this already with Bush II’s grotesquely twisted tax policies leaning and subsequently favoring the rich and multi-national corporations.

“National sovereignty”
In reply – This is an easy one, Morse meant to say, White sovereignty and that this country should always be ruled by Whites ONLY (the presidency).

OTB said...


Facts are such pesky things.

I didn't say there is a liberal media. I said a case could be made that based on many sources there is a liberal slant to the media. Your words, despite my request for an argument to the contrary, do nothing to counter this premise.

Media Research Center is only one of many sources I cited. While I don't watch the "weekly shows", I do watch the Sunday shows, and keep tabs on the balance. It is decidedly left, sometimes by a two to one margin. Documentation to the contrary is welcome. (If you reply, please stay on topic).

Finally. Bias, by Bernard Goldberg
was published by Regnery Publishing, established in 1947. The Media Research Center was founded in 1987. MRC did NOT publish Bias, and I cannot find any link between Regnery and MRC.

BTW: Did you even read Bias?

chaunceydevega said...


Not hard to find, up your game, get out of your echo chamber son:

Don't tell me to stay on topic on my own site. You are on thin ice as it is here. Don't push your luck. I am indulging you because I don't want to watch the Sheamus Del Rio match on WWE.

You wrote: "I do watch the Sunday shows, and keep tabs on the balance. It is decidedly left, sometimes by a two to one margin. "

That is not systematic research on the topic. Once you have a few hundred cases coded and subject to tests for randomness and intercoder reliability then we can talk. Moreover, your cognitive skills and relationship to reality is already very suspect.

You have my response. There is no substantial, systematic evidence to support your claim. To my knowledge, this is from memory, he has also worked for that group. His book is not very rigorous, lots of anecdotes and rumor mongering in keeping with what I said above.

If you can find some research from reputable groups that document some pattern of "bias"--again you need to define that term too. Please share it. The other challenge here is one of false equivalence. It could be that there is no "anti-right" bias conspiracy from the evil libberrallll media, it could simply be that conservative, republican policy positions on a range of issues are very problematic and not moored in reality as of late.

How do you talk about the nonsense that is trickle down economics or the Laffer curve? If you have an expert explain it for the bs it is, is that unfair "bias" against conservatives?

Also, let's say you are having a discussion on global warming--what is a consensus and scientific fact among the mainstream of science, do you have some fool on who denies it? Again, creating the appearance that there is some 50-50 split on the issue?

What about evolution? Do you have some nut on who believes in creationism and magic to debate an evolutionary biologist?

I would say no, as that would be irresponsible journalism.

What do you think of your fellow colorblind racist brother's essay that I shared here? Sounds like something you would write--maybe the two of you should form a support group?

OTB said...


I'm not in any echo chamber. I speak for myself.

Thanks for the link. It does not match my personal experience. When I count the parties on each side, the slant is to the left. When ABC has Stephanie Cutter, Donna Brazile and Paul Krugman (and George Stephanopoulos) vs. George Will and Eric Fehrnstrom one day, and George hosting Cokie Roberts, Katrina VandenHeuvel and Melody Barnes vs Paul Gigot and Kevin Madden (on women's issues), I see a slant. Here (from Wikipedia):

The Roundtable typically includes four panelists along with the moderator. George Will is almost always a panelist. Other recurring panelists include Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson, Fareed Zakaria, Martha Raddatz, Peggy Noonan, Torie Clarke, Donna Brazile, Paul Krugman, Jay Carney, Claire Shipman, E.J. Dionne, Jr., Robert Reich, David Corn, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Mark Halperin, Joe Klein, David Brooks, Matthew Dowd, and Ed Gillespie. What do you think?

With all due respect, I asked that we stay on topic, as you sometimes go afield. See paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 in your first response, and 3, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 in your second response.
(I'm trying to avoid any unnecessary exhaustion here.)

True, my data is based on personal "research" via actual experience. A bit more credible than the "research" by which you define me, no? Without taking up lots of space here, I can also provide data (again Wikipedia, with cited references) showing that there is a liberal bias in media. Again. "Bias" was not put out by MRC, contrary to your claim. And the personal experience of Goldberg working for decades in the industry should certainly trump the lowly and distant opinions of either you or me, right?

chaunceydevega said...

@OTB. You don't count as research. Wikipedia, which is edited and messed over by an unqualified public. Please. Up your game. Go to the sources I provided--real pros. Final warning, don't tell me how to proceed on my own site. Understand?

No answer for rebuttals. Typical. You don't really provide any responses or reasoned interaction. Answer up to some of those questions/examples or be gone.

Razor said...


Out of genuine concern, I need to ask you.....when you are sure that you are all hear any voices? What are those little voices saying? Really.

Bruto Alto said...

Your not helping your case by using Bernard Goldberg, Regnery Publishing, or any other right wing media. Have you been to Goldberg's site? Fox and O'Rielly are next to his name in the title.

Here's a list of articles on Bernard Goldberg done by MRC

CDv used REAL data taken from REAL experts out of the process. Your counting things you watched on TV. (Not real data or quality stats)

If you want answers ask better questions. Bias was published in 2001 well within the years of the MRC but they didn't publish the book. Henry Regnery on the other hand did Conservative and anti-Communist books from 1947-1977 His next generation of kids stayed in the same path "Alfred Regnery has subsequently left his post as President of Regnery Publishing to become the publisher of The American Spectator magazine.[10] His books are now published by Threshold Editions, the conservative imprint of CBS-owned Simon & Schuster which is run by Republican strategist Mary Matalin."

The "Slant" you see is a trick your brain fell for. Your not using facts, your using bias feelings. Bring more to the table than that. Also stop with the insults. If you are right then prove it, but don't answer a question with a new question or a sideline part true fact.

Oh Yeah did you post with a picture of Hitler as a child?

OTB said...

@Bruno Alto:

My original post asked for arguments on the other side. Fair?

The point on Regnery is that MRC did not put out the book.

My brain works hard not to fall for slants, which is why I often take notes to see what actually happens. When I hear comments -- from either side -- I ask (often out loud) Is that fair?

What insults? I see nothing in my words that could distantly be called an insult (unless you refer to both CDV and myself being far removed from the world Goldberg actually spent decades in.) Please show me where I insulted anyone.

Unknown said...

Sorry, but it's very hard to take seriously anyone who claims there's a "liberal media bias." First, go read Eric Alterman's WHAT Liberal Media? Next, try to come to grips with what legitimately counts as "liberal" or "progressive" before ticking off the names of who is a regular guest on ABC. Then, try counting all the major news outlets on television. When you eliminate those that most informed people would call "middle of the road," and when you consider how often nearly EVERY major media outlet EXCEPT for Fox bends over backwards to make sure that if they accidentally present anyone who is somewhat left of center, they include a host of stuff from the radical right, even if the sources are not particularly legitimate or on a par with the "liberal."

What you may discover is that there are a few truly and consistently voices on television, and nearly every single one of them is on MSNBC. On the other hand, not only do we have the starkly and unbalanced right-wing insanity of Fox, but there are plenty of right-wing and extremely right-wing bloviators on the major broadcast networks. And CNN, often called "liberal" by people who couldn't find a piece of wood in the NY Yankee's bat rack, is so ridiculously slanted towards the right these days (with a few exceptions) that it's embarrassing. The attempted hatchet job/ambush on Diane Ravitch on Friday was so appalling, so ignorant, so much a clear cut case of corporatist conservative and neo-liberal (which ain't progressive, my friend) bias that the whole thing seemed to have been orchestrated by Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and the rest of the folks licking their chops over profits from public education. That wasn't any LIBERAL media bias, not by a damn sight.

Half the problem is that George Stephanopoulos is now considered radically left wing. Hell, I imagine so is Wolf Blitzer. And that simply nonsensical. So when people who no serious progressive considers even vaguely liberal are now lumped in with the few progressives on television (e.g., Maddow and some of her colleagues, plus Jon Stewart and Stephan Colbert), that's supposed to demonstrate a left-wing bias. When the New York Times is now viewed as glaringly left-wing (try telling that to NYC teachers, for starters), I suppose we'll hear next that the Wall Street Journal is a liberal bastion.

In brief, you don't seem to know progressive politics, hence you see a bias that exists only in your imagination and that of the Tea Party.

Bruto Alto said...

O.K. I'll walk you through each of your questions

1."My original post asked for arguments on the other side."

CDv's 3rd answer is more than enough. I gives an argument on the right slant. He gives you Legal reasons and the stat does exist..(you should look it up)

2. "The point on Regnery is that MRC did not put out the book."

Not really the point you started with. You found something wrong and ran with it. The point was Bias was published by a right-slanted house. I gave you the history of that family and their publishing. You deflected to MRC only to keep from Regnery's history.

"And the personal experience of Goldberg working for decades in the industry should certainly trump the lowly and distant opinions of either you or me, right"

No CDv again used REAL stats and SCIENCE!!!!!!!! Not works of fiction by Goldberg. Again see my point on MRC and Goldberg.

"Facts are such pesky things", "Did you even read Bias?" and "Thanks for the link. It does not match my personal experience"

These aren't needed to prove your point, it's for insults.

Now you can pick this apart for more silly questions that deflect from the idea that your personal feelings keep you from seeing more than the standard talking points.