The Watering Hole, Saturday, June 20, 2015: Blame Anything But Racism

By 1852, the State of South Carolina was fed up with the Government of the United States and voted to secede from the Union. They forbore exercising the right of secession they claimed “in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States.” That was from the first sentence of South Carolina’s Declaration of Secession. They felt that Slavery was one of their “domestic institutions” and that the refusal of the Northern States to return runaway slaves, as actually required by the Constitution, constituted a breach of the agreement of the original thirteen colonies to be governed under it. So they declared their Independence in much the same manner (and at times quoting) as the Colonies did in our famous Declaration of Independence. (Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Nicholas Cage stole it once and pinned the theft on another guy.) There is no question that Slavery was a part of the Southern Heritage they defend to this day. And to defend Slavery is to defend the idea that some people, in particular black people, are less than human and can be treated morally and legally as property. That heritage is represented to this day by the Confederate Flag, in one form or another. (The “Stars and bars” come in various forms. One was the official National Flag, while another variation formed the Battle Flag.) To many of us, when you proudly display the Confederate Flag, you are insisting that the South was right on Slavery and the North was wrong. This is why the South has the reputation it does for being the home of racists. That does not mean, nor does anyone in the North truly believe, that everybody in the South is a dyed-in-the-wool racist. It does mean that racists can live in the South and not be bothered over their views.

So when a young white supremacist decided to callously murder nine unsuspecting, unarmed black citizens in one of the most famous landmark black churches in American history just because they were black, and for no other reason, the conversation ought to include the subject of racism, and why it is so acceptable to so many people in the South. (Whether or not examples of racism can be found in other parts of the country is completely irrelevant and beside the point. The discussion needs to be about the openly accepted racism in the South.) But conservatives are trying to divert from that topic and blame anything but racism as the reason Dylann Storm Roof killed all those people. People who hadn’t done a thing wrong to him. People who let him sit among them before he told them, “You have to go.” Once pictures of him wearing flags of the white-ruled nations of South Africa and Rhodesia went public, there was no doubt in any right-thinking person’s mind that this massacre was motivated by racial hatred. So it should come as no surprise that Conservatives reject the racism motivation and cling to their guns and bibles, to borrow a phrase.

[NOTE: FTR, what I am about to write I fully intended to write before I sat down to watch Friday night’s Bill Maher show. I didn’t get the idea from him any more than he got his idea from me.]

“We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” [President Obama] said at the White House. Besides the clearly displayed racism shown in the massacre, guns are another issue the Right Wing refuses to discuss openly and fairly. But we can get to what the National Rifle Association (NAMBLA) has to say another time.

And quoting the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after four black girls were killed in the bombing of a black church in Birmingham, Ala., 52 years ago, he said the lessons of this tragedy must extend beyond one city and one church. He cited Dr. King’s words that their deaths were a demand to “substitute courage for caution,” and urging people to ask not just who did the killing but “about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.”

It seems Dr. Martin Luther King’s niece and Fox News Channel contributor, Alveda King, would disagree. [NOTE: Full disclosure/confession/cry-for-help. For reasons surpassing all logical thought, Alveda King decided to follow me on The Twitter. I’m guessing after I questioned her there she’ll be re-thinking that decision. Cool.] She made a truly bizarre leap of logic to conclude that the Charleston Massacre was linked to abortion. You heard me right. Abortion. Okay, maybe you didn’t hear me. Maybe you heard a voice in your head you thought was mine. You should get that checked. And Alveda King should get hers checked, too. Is there something they’re serving in the green rooms at Fox that makes their contributors come out and say bat shit crazy things on live television?

There is no doubt at all that this massacre was motivated solely by racism. None. Zero. But Rick Perry cautions us to wait, we don’t have all the facts. It may turn out drugs were involved. You heard me right. Drugs. (Maybe the drugs are why you can hear me. I know that’s why I can hear you.) That’s after he “misspoke” and called the massacre an “accident”.

Sweater vest aficionado and Presidential Delusions-Filled former Senator Rick Santorum believed it was an attack on our religious liberty, even though at the time he said that it was known this was a purely race-motivated attack. US Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham, currently running for First Lady, sat down with other women on The View to stress the shooting was an attack on Christianity (it most certainly was not), though he seemed to express doubts about whether or not race had anything to do with it (it most certainly did).

Fox & Friends invited Bishop E.W. Jackson who jumped to the conclusion that because this happened in a church, it’s clearly an attack on Christianity. They completely ignore the comments the killer made prior to opening fire on almost everyone in the church (reloading several times) and cold-bloodedly telling one survivor that he was letting her live so she could tell everyone what happened. Which she did. And she said he did it because they were black, and for no other reason.

Also believing the motivation was unknown, SC Gov Nikki Haley emphasized the fact that the shooting took place in a house of worship, without mentioning the racism openly displayed by the killer. NRA Board Member Charles Cotton even went so far as to blame Pastor and SC State Senator Clementa Pinckney for the dead saying his opposition to guns prevented them from being saved. The leaders of Gun Owners of America, father-son duo Larry and Erich Pratt, also blamed Rev Pinckney.

But none of these people on the right want to blame the murders on Racism. Some allow that it may or may not have been a factor (Yes. It clearly was. The killer himself said so to the person he let live so she could tell us why he did it.), but they always reach for something else to blame. And the only logical reason I can think of for why they do it, is because deep down, they don’t want to admit they feel the same way Dylann Storm Roof did. They sympathize with Roof’s racist rantings, but they can never say so publicly. Others probably will. (I’m guessing Rush Limbaugh is going to cross the line on this one sooner or later.) Because they don’t want the South’s history with Slavery and their undying support of it, their view of it as one of their domestic institutions, to come under scrutiny again.

South Carolina still proudly flies the battle flag their army followed when they killed more US Soldiers than any other army in our nation’s history. Maybe we should reconsider our decision to stop them from seceding. And they can take all those people who think racism isn’t a problem with them. The United States will recognize the birthright citizenship of any SC citizen who wishes to remain here in the states. Racists need not apply.

UPDATE: The Perry campaign insists that from the context, it’s clear Governor Perry meant to say “incident,” not “accident.”

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to talk about Racism or any other topic you want, in case that one is a little too uncomfortable for you.

54 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, June 20, 2015: Blame Anything But Racism

  1. “White Supremacy” — the most definitive oxymoron ever dreamed up.

    I’ve been hanging out here on this planet for the better part of 73 years now, and the one constant I can recall is the fact that for every step forward this country takes, it takes at least a dozen in the opposite — backward — direction. The end result of that reality is that over the years my respect of and hopes for this country, the country of my birth, have diminished steadily and consistently until today, this day, it’s the approximate equivalent of the number of angels that care to dance on the sharp end of a needle.

    Nearly a century ago, William Mather Lewis (at the time, the President of George Washington University) put it this way: “Today the world is the victim of propaganda because people are not intellectually competent. More than anything the United States needs effective citizens competent to do their own thinking.” Still true today, but without any hint of progress whatsoever. The downhill trek continues to pick up speed. One quick glance at the occupants of the Republican Clown Car explains why that is even as it offers proof that Friedrich Schiller was spot-on correct when he wrote, “Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.”

    • My landlord gave me a Trump Taj Mahal baseball cap that I have decided to wear when I go out. This cap represents a new depth of depravity for the Republican party after seeing the ultimate staging for the greatness of greed in the hands of professional propagandists.

      Yes, I’m inviting interaction with strangers so I can tell them how difficult it was to replace my Emmett Kelly hat, but now that Trump’s a candidate for President I have to respect the newest clown around.

    • The part that still amazes me, though it probably shouldn’t, is that every time there’s a revolution that makes more information available there are apparently fewer people who take advantage of it. On the contrary; with each new advance there are more people who stubbornly reject anything they might learn.

      • I think the nuts and bolts of that problem go back to the fact that one of the main functions of tyranny — be it religious, political, military, take your pick — is to dumb-down the ‘people’ to the point where facts no longer matter, only the propaganda does. That little tidbit worked well for both fascists and communists in the first half of the last century, and today the Amurkkkan GOP is using the best ideas of both Hitler and Stalin to pave their path to glory. And we can’t ignore religion either — see ISIL and pHuckabee et al.

  2. Caitlyn caused it.

    Erick Erickson’s Demented View Of The Charleston Killings

    . . . we descend into partisan conversations where everything is political and neither side can concede or acknowledge the other’s points. Everyone and everything gets blamed while ignoring the actual person who killed.

    I realize now why that is. I realize why we will never have the conversation we should have.

    A society that looks at a 65 year old male Olympian and, with a straight face, declares him a her and “a new normal” cannot have a conversation about mental health or evil because that society no longer distinguishes normal from crazy and evil from good. Our American society has a mental illness — overwhelming narcissism and delusion — and so cannot recognize what crazy or evil looks like.

    • They pitch a hissy fit even if they happen to spot Obama eating a lunch or suspect he might be taking a leak. It all means he’s a Marxist-commie-fascist-Nazi-Muslim and that he hates Amurkkka. And fifty millions of “we the people” accept and believe every word of it.

  3. (By the bye, I am linking to this post in my own, over at The Quantum of Explanation, which will be up in a couple of days (slow writer.) I mention this because you’ll get a ping-back on it through WP.)

      • I haven’t been on the laptop in several days. I did check it on the phone. Lol tiny.
        I posted it to a LA tv station Facebook page and got nasty replies including “ignorant” far left website” “all lies” ad nauseum. Every one came from white makes ( from what I could tell)

  4. I have linked my Twitter and FB accounts to this blog, so that anytime ANYONE publishes a public post here, a link will go to my FB page and to my Twitter account. Anyone who has Twitter and FB accounts can do the same. Just remember that everyone’s posts will go there, not just your own. If everyone does this, especially those with Twitter, we’ll get more exposure here and more people may stop by and pay us a visit. Which could be even more fun.

    • I’m confused. Do you mean this post goes to your face-twit pages or if I post a link here the link goes to your twit-face pages or both?

      Does anyone know the answer? Herstein? Herstein? Herstein?

      • Only a link to the post itself, not any of the comments, goes to my FB page, the same as any link would on anyone’s FB page. The main thing is it isn’t just my posts that go to my FB page, it’s all posts (not comments.) A link to the post will also go to my Twitter feed regardless of who wrote it, not just mine. I’m encouraging the other authors who post here to do likewise if we would like to attract other liberals to join the conversation.

        Not that there’s anything wrong with the wonderful group of commenters we have now. 🙂

      • Wayne explained it, but I almost didn’t notice that you were taking my name in vain (rather than artery). For my part, unless there are explicitly declared (and rigorously established!) firewalls, you must assume that everything here is public. For example, Google has not yet indexed this thread, but doing a search on “pachy confused herstein 2015” brought up posts from last May. This most definitely includes the sub-comments, well below the primary thread.

  5. Goofy Louie:

    Gohmert: Buddhists Atheists And Muslims Can Live Here; Just Don’t Take Over Country From Christians

    Why, thank you, it is nice to know that in a secular, free country you give we of no-faith, or other faiths permission to reside!

    • “The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. 0.85)

      So, if indeed his goal was to start a race war, it would seem to fall within the statutory definition of “terrorism”.

  6. Lengthy, but quite telling. “White Supremacy” explained. Sort of.

    Dylann Roof’s racist manifesto


    In a modern history class it is always emphasized that, when talking about “bad” things Whites have done in history, they were White. But when we lern about the numerous, almost countless wonderful things Whites have done, it is never pointed out that these people were White. Yet when we learn about anything important done by a black person in history, it is always pointed out repeatedly that they were black. For example when we learn about how George Washington carver was the first nigger smart enough to open a peanut.

    • Yeah, this isn’t about race at all. I was the minority in a 90% black high school, and no one picked on me, ever.

    • …because we’ve cried ‘wolf’ one too many times…

      Oh for the love of peanut butter – she has NO clue about the real problem.
      Racism is racism. Until the conservative dimwits come back to reality we’ll have to deal with the idiocy of their lame excuses.

  7. The US Open is being held in Washington. Those greens look more like ‘browns’ on my TV.

    Nascar’s decision to start tonight’s race at Chicago at 8:30pm central, looks like they planned it to be postponed by weather, and so it was. Tropical Depression Bill is making sure of that.

    • Thank you, Zooey. I appreciate that.

      As I explained above, I went into the Zoo’s admin settings and set it so it tweets a link to whatever column is posted here under my own name on The Twitter (and you and other twitter users can do the same for yours) and also does the same on my FB page which, likewise, all of you can do, too. Of course, as several of us posters are FB Friends, we’ll each get several copies of the same post in our FB feeds, but we all have different sets of friends there, so more exposure (i.e., free advertising) for The Zoo. I’m hoping this would attract more visitors to The Zoo and enhance the great community we already have. I have 5,000+ followers on Twitter, so that might bring some visitors. I’ve done it for my own blog’s posts (automatically tweet a link to my new posts), and now I have more than 100 followers on my b,log which, I don’t mind telling you, far exceeds anything I thought my happen. Hell, I was happy many of the Critters and Zoosters follow it,. But I’m attempting to use my limited access to social media to invite new visitors. I hope that’s okay. It’s easy for anyone else (Admin) to do.

      • I still haven’t joined the Twitter-verse yet. Don’t know if I will. This and facebook steal enough of my time already!

  8. Pingback: Anti-Intellectualism and Racism? | The Quantum of Explanation

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