Thursday, February 18, 2010

Leave it to the tone deaf white guys...

I've been enjoying Jonathan Chait's material recently, particularly on the Health Care Debate, where he's been enlightening and insightful.

But that doesn't mean he's insightful 100% of the time on all things.

Take this photo of the President talking to his (all white in this case) advisers while his feet are up on the Resolute Desk. It's gotten all the necessary umbrage from the Wingnut bloggers, about the President's "attitude"

Wonkette blasted right back, showing a photo of George Bush doing the same thing to the same desk (of course with different, but similarly colored, advisers), and said: "But don’t worry, it’s still okay if the white guy does it."

Jonathan Chait then decried accusations of racism.

It's a good slam. But why must it be accompanied by an accusation of racism? Oh, sure, it's entirely possible that many of the people forwarding this email have created a double standard based on racism. But isn't it more likely that they've created a double standard based on partisanship? It's not as if racial animus is the only explanation for wildly hypocritical right-wing attacks on a Democratic president. I could certainly imagine the same outraged emails being circulated if Bill Clinton were president.

Jonathan, I got some news for you.

You can call something racism, if it's actually racism.

I'm not at all surprised Jonathan Chait didn't pick up on this because...let's face it...he's a white guy who's never had to deal with racism at all, much less the subtle knife in the back kind that...frankly, I deal with every damn day of my life.

Even Keith Olbermann pointed this out a couple of weeks ago, and mad props to him for doing so. In speaking about Black men in particular, when they, in this case the wingnuts, say "arrogant" or decry "attitude" they are really decrying the fact that this Black man does not know his proper place. And black people know what they're really trying to say, all without saying it.

Chait's ears are not tuned. Mine are. My Dad's are. Every black man or woman you know has their ears tuned to @#$% this.

When you say "arrogant", or "uppity", we know you mean "n----r".

We've been listening to white folks for three-hundred years. For us, it's been a matter of survival. We know what you mean, when you say it. We have to.