This is really a pretty straight forward question regardless of whether we're talking about Joe or Hillary. To whit: is the use of historical racist caricatures legitimate and acceptable in our political discourse? I'd say no.
Of course the devil, as always, is in the details. Applying this principle will always be contentious because the question of what constitutes racism in a given instance can be open to debate.
This caveat clearly doesn't apply to minstrel show imagery in the hands of white folks. This tradition in American popular culture has always been overtly racist in that it was a means of reducing black people to comedic cyphers for the amusement of white audiences.
Moreover, the point in both Hamsher and Muir's examples is more than a little obsured by the racial context. Black face isn't about pandering to the group being caricatured, it's about pandering to the bigotry directed towards the group being caricatured.
Somehow, I don't think that was either Hamsher or Muir's intent in using black face but it is the caricature's content. The argument for "context" actually works against both of them unless we actually ignore any context other than subjectve political bias.
I would add that I'm opposed to banning or otherwise suppressing any historical examples of such racism (re: Holiday Inn). Closing our eyes to the sins of our history is the most direct route to repeating them.Comment Posted By W.B. Reeves On 27.04.2007 @ 12:25
Rick, Did you intentionally compare Pres.Bush to Jesus Christ or was that a subconscious slip? Bush's critics "... know not what they do" indeed.
For the record, I don't have any strong personal feelings about Bush as an individual, unless you count finding the idea of having a beer with him excruciating.
I don't have any particular sympathy for him either. He is, in the final analysis, a victim of his own choices which, as we all know, have consequences. My sympathy is entirely reserved for the collateral victims of his colosal bad judgement. The ones who won't be retiring to their private ranch two years hence to enjoy a well heeled retirement.
To be sure it is good to know that Bush has enough human feeling to respond appropriately on so sad and solemn and occaision. However, the fact remains that this event was about a brave,heroic soldier who gave his own life rather than sacrificing the lives of others. Shouldn't he and his bereaved family be the focus?
It strikes me as more than a little unseemly to use this event in an attempt to garner sympathy for a beleagered politician who has been the architect of his own sufferings which, need it be added, pale to insignificance compared to the sacrifice of this soldier and his loved ones.
Certainly the thought of the President cracking under the strain of office is a sobering one. Nevertheless, Bush applied for the job. If he wasn't up to it that's unfortunate but the responsibility is his and one he eagerly embraced so long as he could ride rough shod over his opponents. Now that he's come a cropper the weight is beginning to tell.
Sad? Yes. Far more sad though, is the wider human costs of his inadequacy.Comment Posted By W.B. Reeves On 14.01.2007 @ 15:29
Get a good night sleep Rick, you're going to need your strength.Comment Posted By W.B. Reeves On 7.11.2006 @ 23:19
Let me preface by saying that my mother died when I was 11 years old. She suffered a cerebral aneurysm (brain hemorrhage), fell into a coma and after two weeks was taken off life support. That decision was my father's. No one who knew either he or she would doubt that this decision cost him dearly or that he would have died himself rather than to have made it. However, he had four motherless children to care for.
The truth is that he never really recovered from her death.
As you may imagine, I have intense convictions about the Schiavo tragedy and the political/media farce that it engendered. These convictions lead me to agree far more with John Cole than with Rick Moran.
That said, I found Rick's piece to be thoughtful, measured and relatively evenhanded, though by no means objective. I found it almost convincing.
Then I read the update with the excerpt from Mona's comment. I then came here and read her full comment.
It's troubling that Rick chose to raise the gratuitous suggestion that Mona might, just possibly, believe in euthanizing the profoundly retarded. The suggestion seemingly inspired by by her work as a volunteer care giver for such folks. That and the fact that she is on the opposite side of the issue from Moran.
The revelation that her son is being cared for by the same facility where she volunteers seems to quash whatever curious chain of logic Rick was pursuing. That is,unless he cares to raise another gratuitous suggestion.
To reiterate: I found Rick's tone almost convincing. Almost.Comment Posted By W.B. Reeves On 16.06.2005 @ 20:59
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