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« Who's Whistling Dixie? | Main | Help me help ConvergeSouth 2010! »

Monday, January 11, 2010

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Grant

I suspect Lott was just trying to say something nice on the man's100th birthday

I find that a bit hard to swallow.

Dan

No, I was aware of that. The fact that Lott kept saying that in Thurmond's presence was supposedly the smoking gun that proved that he really meant that the country would have been better off segregated.

I just don't consider that an ipso facto conclusion about segregation per se.

Now to me, that kind of pandering Neanderthal Southern populism disqualifies a candidate from the privilege of receiving my vote. But is it enough to warrant having to resign from the Senate leadership? Hell, as a liberal, I would have happily left Lott in the leadership, where people would just shake their heads at his cluelessness (of which I think this represents definitive proof). The White House was smart enough to do that math, and as I remember it this is why Lott was shown the door.

But did we (liberals) hound him on racism as if it were a foregone conclusion? Probably. Conservatives insist that their opposition to civil rights is based on legalistic interpretations of states' rights in the constitution, and while we might suspect there's a lot of coded racism in that stance, do we really need to assert a one-to-one correspondence? Isn't it enough, politically, to assert that whatever the "intent" of states' rights conservatism over the past 60 years, the effect of all that rhetoric has been to fight integration?

If we accuse individual Republicans of racism, then the conversation turns into a series of pointless arguments about intent, and political correctness, and it doesn't sell well with white people anyway. If we talk about how Republicans have been on the wrong side of practically every civil rights issue since the 1950s, then I think we keep the focus where it belongs.

I'm surrounded by white conservatives whom I do not consider to be personally racist. I think they support policies that work against racial justice, equality and harmony. That doesn't make them racist. It makes them unconverted to what I consider to be better logic.

I'd rather we started appealing to the better angels of their nature.

As for the true, died-in-the-wool bigots among us, the trolls and the troublemakers, well I really don't care what they think. I'm not reaching out to them, and I don't want them on our team. They're the GOP's problem, and I want them to face up to that and stop providing them mainstream cover.

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