Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

10/28/2005

Gilliard

I wouldn't have supposed that anyone was particularly eager to hear my take on the Gilliard/Sambo/Kaine/Sullivan brouhaha (background here, here, here, and here), but apparently I was wrong.

Long story short: Steve Gilliard posts a Photoshopped picture of a black politician done up in blackface, as in a minstrel show. Andrew Sullivan and others accuse Gilliard of racism. White politician who had bought ads on Gilliard's site asks that the ads be removed, presumably to distance himself from any potential controversy. Gilliard and Kos call the white politician a coward.

Ezra Klein says, basically, what do you expect? And Oliver Willis thinks Gilliard is being a dumbass. And Eric Cowperthwaite demands that I condemn Gilliard:
Any left wing blogger who continues to support, link to, or otherwise agree with Steve Gilliard, in light of this piece of ..... garbage* post is an out and out hypocrite. Gilliard is a race baiting piece of junk. If I wasn't vehemently opposed to coercion ....

And yes, DadaHead, you specifically are one of the people I mean. You have supported Gilliard's outrages in the past, will you stand by this one too?

* I'm tempted to use much stronger language. This is incredibly racist and that is incredibly disgusting. The last time we saw images and words like this used publicly against blacks it was by the Klan and their ilk. Welcome to their ranks Gilliard, you piece of trash.

(...)

I've challenged him to denounce Gilliard for the piece of trash that he is. We shall see what happens. If he doesn't ... he'll be coming off my blogroll. This is the last time I will ever link to Gilliard. Oh yeah, it doesn't matter one bit to me that the author of the post is black. It's horrific and racist.
Well, y'all know I aim to please, but I'm afraid I'm not going to denounce Gilliard as "trash" for his post. So, do what you gotta do.

I read the post when it was originally published, and to tell you the truth I barely took note of the picture (I was more bothered by the cheap shot at Sherrod Brown). If memory serves, Steve has used this kind of imagery before, so it didn't strike me as particularly noteworthy. But apparently others had a different reaction, and Steve was inundated with commenters accusing him of racism. A number of bloggers made the same accusation.

So why won't I condemn him? Short answer: I'm not in the habit of telling black people which symbols of racism they are allowed to appropriate. I'm also not all that interested in listening to conservatives complain about racism. Sorry, but I'm just not buying the outrage.

For the record, I don't blame the Kaine campaign for pulling their ads. They had absolutely nothing to gain by being associated with this type of controversy, and a hell of a lot to lose. Steve says he's not mad that the ad was pulled, but rather that they didn't ask him his side of the story. Fair enough. As far as I'm concerned, there's really nothing more of interest here.


UPDATE: Gilliard has some additional thoughts:
Two kinds of people responded to my post on Simple Sambo. One, white racists with mock concern who wanted to lecture me on race, which I could give a fuck about. In their world, black Democrats are on the plantation and people like Steele are heroes.

...The other is from black Marylanders, none of whom defended Steele and all of whom complimented me.

Why?

Because Michael Steele has 5 percent of the vote in Baltimore. Black Marylanders hold him in contempt ... I didn't say anything that most black residents of Maryland say openly about him. The difference is that I said it in a public way and people picked it up.

...Black Republicans, who hold few political offices, have little black support and are widely and openly despised ... the GOP panders to racists and expects blacks to go along with this. As I said. Jackie Robinson was a Republican. So was Sen. Edward Brooke from Massachusetts. They didn't leave the GOP, it left them. Up until 1960, memebership in both parties was nearly equal. Nixon got sizable black support and no one was called an Uncle Tom for considering voting for him.

When you have a black Republican on with a black Democrat, you are basically giving credence to 2 percent of the population versus 98 percent of the population. All day long, reporters were surprised that I made my comments, although the AP reporter was clued in to the open hostility that the GOP engenders among black people by his black editors.

Trust me, this is only news to white people.

...blacks who join this Republican Party are supporting policies which are harmful to the majority of Americans, but especially black people. Black Americans make rational, logical political decisions. It is a failure of the GOP that they cannot appeal to more African Americans. Not a failure for rejecting them.

Black Republicans are eager allies in the GOP's war on the unwhite. Well, it's time people fought back and exposed these frauds for what they are, self-serving opportunists who denigrate and harm black people for financial gain.

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