Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

September 16, 2009

Are Defenders of Racists Ignorant of History or Deliberately Dissembling?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 5:52 am

I was fascinated to see the sadly defective, or deliberately decetiful attacks on my praise for the Civil Rights movment. Rather than address the issue, as I’d actually put it:

“…I don’t hear of many other conservatives expressing regret that their movement stood in solidarity with racists and continues to profit from Southern strategy racism.”

They were fixated onthe fact that Southern Democrats (many of whom found a friendly home in the post-60s GOP) were racists. No kidding. But now most of the racists among them vote Republican. The “Southern Strategy” at work.

Let me reprint a reply I made to one of the commenters taken up in ditto fashion by others (the ones who weren’t adding anti-semitism to their racist repertoire–some of those I’ll single out in subsequent posts as a way of demonstrting the all-spectrum repulsiveness of racists. Scratch a racist and you find a Jew-hater under the hood)

But what got to me was that instead of giving credit to liberals of all parties for the great moral movement for civil rights, they assumed I was attacking Republicans, not the conservative enablers of Southern racism.(who can do no wrong). But why is it that so many contemporary racists identify themselves as Republicans? it doesn’t mean all Republicans are racists, but from what I see in the comments the obverse may be true: racists defending the GOP) So as not to repeat myself, here’s my comment on the comment:

“Since many subsequent commenters take up the same obvious distortion (I wonder why?), let me point out that anyone who reads my post will see it’s not about Democrats and Republicans, it’s about conservatives and liberals. Lincoln, who feed the slaves was a Republican–duh! All honor goes to Republicans who, in his wake, supported the civil right movement, all shame to those who betrayed his legacy. The Southern Democratic racists who opposed civil rights were not liberals, even though they were Democrats, they were conservatives. Got that straight? It’s not that difficult if you took history in high school. You almost have to be willfully deceitful (or just thickheaded) not to understand the distinction . Strom Thurman who was a Dem, and then a Repub. was a conservative and a racist in both parties.
The point is that conservatives of both parties found reasons to oppose one of the great moral and political movements in American history; liberals of both parties supported it, and those among Jews for whom the prophetic tradtion of social justice is central saw this clearly.”

What none of the defenders of Republicans (back when they voted for civil rights legislation) has been able to defend is the continuing efficacy of the Southern strategy, which I characterized as “racism lite”. Why do you think the former Confederate, segregationist states suddenly switched to the GOP after the 60’s? Why did so many Democratic office holders in the South switch to the GOP? It’s pretty obvious: it’s because by that time the national Democratic party had become identified with the civil rights movment and the GOP in the south became a haven for racists. That’s not to say the GOP candidates and officeholders themselves were racists, but they benefited from racism. That’s the “Southern strategy”.

Those who seek to avoid the question by saying Southern Dems were racist in the past (duh, again) are afraid to face the facts.

And let me point out since there are so many reading-challenged commenters among the anti-semites and racists, I am not condemning the contemporary South as a whole, (or ignoring racism in the North), just pointing out that those who exploit or benefit from the South’s residual racism are mainly conservative Republicans..

But I must admit the number of unashamed racists and anti-semites who post comments is remarkable. Check that; they’re not entirely unashamed. That’s why they use cowardly anonymous screen names. If they used their real names no civilized person would invite these braying spittle flecked ranters and haters into their homes.



  1. This debate is not about liberals or conservatives, racists or diversity, it is about populism. There is more unifying the elites, whether they be Obama or Cheney, than any connection with the rest of us. It is the obliviousness of the elites which sends young people to die in faraway lands while denying mortgage relief to their parents at home that creates the double-edged sword of populism: a brew of fear, helplessness, alienation and anger that manifests itself eventually in bigotry and violence. The Southern racists were as diverse as any other American group: the salon pacifist, Fulbright; the economically liberal Richard Russell; the race baiter Wallace; the superhawk Stennis; the playboy pal of JFK Smathers; the Longs, Huey, Russell, and Earl, three daffy ducks. What we are seeing now is the determination of the elites and their media enablers to preserve their perquisites, which the ideology of meritocracy grants them in their perpetual vanity, at all costs. Why is every Supreme Court nominee a graduate of Harvard or Yale Law Schools? Why are the Admiral Mullens and the General Jim Jones covered in military salad polished with the same doilies with which they wipe their marble asses? Why are the solons of financial ruin, Rubin, Paulson, Summers, Geithner, servants of different administrations, the same hydra-headed Medusa of Goldman Sachs? These diamond spangled freaks of elite mediocrity did not acknowledge or learn from their mistakes. They would rather deliver the dollar down to China and Gazprom and the emir of Qatar, then give a family a quarter of a percent break on a mortgage. Or have you not read that the Walleyed Streeters have amped up the speed of trading to the millisecond? Have you not read that the rules for mortgage refinancing are so strict is to rule out everybody? Have you not read of the “liberal” advisers like Daschle and his cronies taking the insurance money gold and killing off single payer? Because these elites have learned nothing and continue to grind the backs of working people into grotesque hunches, there will be another crash, and soon, one so momentous that the USA which we love and hold to the high standards of its founding documents, will cease to exist, be forced to find its laborers in Mexico and its resources in Canada by brokering a grand new North American country. It pains me deeply, very deeply, deeply into the souls of my heroes, Phil Ochs, Bayard Rustin, Germaine Greer, Lenny Bruce, Dan Ellsberg, Whitney Young, Emma Goldman, Henry Miller. Cesar Chavez, Gene McCarthy, Al Lowenstein, Grace Slick, Charlie Mingus, Joni Mitchell, Eric Gutkind, Elizabthe Bishop, Robert Rauschenberg, to say this, but there is not a dime’s worth of difference between W Bush and Barry Obama. Prove me wrong, Barack!!!

    Comment by charlie finch — September 16, 2009 @ 9:16 am | Reply

  2. “And let me point out since there are so many reading-challenged commenters among the anti-semites and racists, I am not condemning the contemporary South as a whole, (or ignoring racism in the North), just pointing out that those who exploit or benefit from the South’s residual racism are mainly conservative Republicans..”

    Where is the residual racism? Name ONE instance in detail please of this alleged “residual racism” that demonstrates that Republicans/Conservatives are practicing institutional racism as a core tenet of their beliefs.

    It is the Democrats and the Liberal left that has enslaved black Americans for 50 years and used them as political human shields. The Great Society and War on Poverty destroyed 3 generations of the black family. Conservatives see Americans as Americans. Liberals/Dems see them as hyphenate-Americans.

    Democratically controlled states and cities have failed minorities miserably with corrupt policies on every level and have alienated them to accept assimilation into the melting pot. They need them as victims to remain in power. It is, in fact, slavery.

    You seem like a smart guy, Ron. Too bad you’re not smart enough to see through the same old tired lefty bromides.

    Comment by J.J. Sefton — September 16, 2009 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

  3. He didn’t accuse the Republicans of institutional racism, rather generously. He only said they enjoy the fruits of the Southern Strategy, which is the harvesting of grass-roots racism. So you’re point never really gets off the ground, dude.

    Comment by Tim Rinaldi — September 16, 2009 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  4. How do they enjoy the fruits of institutional racism? Again, give me an example of this. It was Jimmy Carter when he ran for governor who used code words and messages in his ads to drum up racism and fear of blacks to get elected. He was proud of Lester Maddox’s support. The Democrats are the party of slavery and Jim Crow. Lincoln was a REPUBLICAN,” dude.”

    It is the Democrats and liberals who have sold out the very people they claim to be defending and protecting. Anywhere a Democratic or liberal government runs a city or state, crime, unemployment, misery are through the roof. They believe the poison being fed them continually that they are victims and all their failings are a result of whites, big business, Jews, etc. ad nauseum.

    Comment by J.J. Sefton — September 17, 2009 @ 9:57 am | Reply

  5. Well, I have to sidestep your second paragraph. It is a spitty rant. Anger is the wind that blows out the candle of the mind, like they say. As for your first paragraph, I will write it again: Rosenbaum did not accuse the Republicans of institutional racism. It is not clear to me whether you are still confused about that.

    But I suppose I did imply it with the phrase “rather generously”. And that was loose of me. I cannot find any concrete proof for that, although I feel like I am may be onto something when I think of the the uneven racial applications of the death penalty, the Rockefeller drugs laws, the so called 100-to-1 drug ratio (used to sentence crack users more harshly than coke users), and the fact that I have never visited a ghetto that was not physically run-down and obviously suffering from budget neglect (and we all know that those who live in ghettos never vote for Republicans). So, hopefully you recognize genuine scrupulousness when you see it. I doubt you do, but again, I speculate.

    And as for this business about Lincoln, I wish I could say I was shocked to see a man who by all appearances seems to be about the age of my father messing around with such transparently specious reasoning, but alas I have known many of your kind, and have to come to expect it along with the spit showers and jabbering tirades. By your logic–since the United States (and not just the Democrats) was the country of slavery–we ought to brand it as incorrigibly evil, too, right? Wrong. Maybe we should limit our examples to the era when women are to allowed to wear pants.

    You would do well to go to slower and take a few deep breaths as you write. Also read these posts more carefully before you respond. You are misquoting all over the place.

    Comment by Tim Rinaldi — September 17, 2009 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  6. “The Southern Democratic racists who opposed civil rights were not liberals, even though they were Democrats, they were conservatives.”

    That was over forty years ago. As you point out yourself, it is history. Does it ever occur to you that things that have changed once might have changed again? I was born in 1965. I became a consciously conservative about ten years ago. I don´t give a damn about race. I´m not the one with a problem.

    Most people who are obsessed with race today are liberals and Democrats. They use it to feel good about themselves and they use it to divide the American people against each other for political gain. It is obvious and therefore has to be pointed out constantly.

    If modern liberalism is so good for blacks, why did Michelle Obama constantly moan (uncontradicted) about what a hopeless rathole Chicago is? It having been run by her Party for decades?

    Comment by El Gordo — October 23, 2009 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

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