Meme Alert – Happy For The Scott Brown Victory = Racist.

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A number of bloggers are freaking out over something Alvin Felzenberg wrote over at National Review Online:

Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts is more than just a defeat for President Obama and the priorities his administration has established during his first year in office. It is an outright rejection of the “identity” politics he and his party have championed for more than a generation.

A friend of mine put it best when he asked me when the Democratic party ceased voicing the concerns of ordinary Americans, working-class Americans, ethnic voters, and people trying not just to make ends meet, but to actually get ahead? I told him 1972. That was the year the Democrats nominated George McGovern. They treated themselves to one heck of a convention at which group after group championed its “rights” and voiced its “grievances.” Come fall, Nixon won 49 states. Massachusetts was the sole state McGovern carried, along with the District of Columbia. Tonight Massachusetts finally caught up with the rest of the country. How Obama reacts will determine the fate of his presidency, along with that of the country.

First, we have Spencer Ackerman, who starts out telling us that he thought Felzenberg was a nice guy:

I dealt with Al Felzenberg a lot in 2004. Felzenberg was the communications director of the 9/11 Commission. I was reporting on the 9/11 Commission. He was astonishingly helpful. It turned out we even both went to Rutgers. I haven’t spoken to him in years, but I thought he was a genuinely nice guy, and he was even kind enough to send me a copy of his book.

So I’m stunned to see him react this way to the Brown victory. (Via Adam Serwer.)

OK, here it comes. Ackerman realizes Felzenberg is NOT a nice guy because:

Felzenberg’s construction works under one condition and one condition only: you have to read “ordinary Americans” as excluding “black people” and “Hispanic people” and “Asian people” and ”gay people” and “actual working-class people.”…

Why? Because you say so? You start with a false premise inserted via your original source, Adam Serwer, who writes:

So Felzberg, says, Brown’s victory was a win for the white working class and a loss for “identity politics,” which continues the proud conservative tradition of pretending white identity politics don’t exist while invoking them in as explicit terms as possible.

Wait, isn’t the notice that someone is “white” also identity politics??? There is nothing in the original quote that suggests that those sub-groups listed by Ackerman, those Americans are somehow excluded. That is a bias inserted by the responding bloggers Serwer and Ackerman.

Here is another Felzenberg quote that draws ire:

All parties, including the professor, maintained at the time that the professor had been anything but “cooperative” with the officer who had answered a neighbor’s call. For weeks, the nation engaged in yet another of its periodic “conversations” about race. It was a scene worthy of The Bonfire of the Vanities: A white Cambridge police officer, having been praised for his work to promote diversity and tolerance, residing in a modest home, becomes a nationally known figure, courtesy of the president of the United States. Meanwhile, the African-American professor, reported to own more than one European-made luxury car, as well as a summer home in Martha’s Vineyard, talks of pending book deals and PBS documentaries about the case. The endless “dialogue” ended in a celebrated “beer summit,” with the officer carefully “muzzled” by his union handlers.

Serwer responds:

I’m really not sure how to respond to this because I think it speaks for itself. Felzberg thinks there’s something outrageous about Gates, an “African-American professor,” owning “more than one European-made luxury car,” while a white guy like Crowley has to work for a living.

There is something funny in the way something speaks for itself. If it does, then you don’t have to tell us what you think the author thinks. Why could the author Felzenberg not be commenting on the over-reaction of the whole case, due to the fact that the cop who arrested the black guy was white? If the roles were reversed, the black cop arrested the white guy, would the nation have gone into a three week convulsion? In other words, Felzenberg is more likely commenting on the over-reaction of this incident because of racial overtones, not on how horrible it is that the black guy is rich and the white guy is poor-er.

Though I don’t agree that this is “the end” of identity politics, I just don’t see where the critics get the “white” inference when reading this editorial. But, if that game is to be played, well, then… Let’s Get It On!

“He’s driving his truck around the commonwealth — (laughter) — ” = suspicious white hick, drivin’ through your neighborhood.

” Forget the truck. (Laughter.) Everybody can buy a truck. (Laughter.)… … I’d think long and hard about getting in that truck with Martha’s opponent. (Laughter.) It might not take you where you want to go…. ” = Rapist!

“She’s got your back. Her opponent has got Wall Street’s back. ” = women are honest and pure, white men are greedy bastards who run Wall Street…. Oh, no, wait, that one is true.

Identity Politics – You Gotta Love It!

FOOTNOTE: Ackerman closes with this comment:

One last thing. The man who wrote this piece is named Alvin Felzenberg. It wasn’t long ago that someone with that name would have been viewed as precisely as alien to white America as Al portrays… well, he doesn’t have the balls to say who exactly, but you know who he means. It makes me sick that there are Jews in this country who think their climb out of poverty and marginalization removes them from any obligation to seek social justice. Social justice is the truest Jewish political tradition there is.

Now THAT speaks for itself!

1 Comment to “Meme Alert – Happy For The Scott Brown Victory = Racist.”

  1. By Jeff Alberts, January 22, 2010 @ 3:24 am

    I think all these people need to get over themselves.

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