Give ‘em hell, Andy! (As in, Andrew Breitbart)by Don on Jul. 22, 2010, under Uncategorized
Tucson has Jim Kelley; the rest of the conservative world has Andrew Breitbart. This conservative says YEE-HA to that!
To be sure, Breitbart is not every conservative’s cup of tea. Some conservatives, in fact, are downright uncomfortable with the bombastic conservative activist who runs Big Hollywood, Big Government, Big Peace, Big Journalism and Breitbart TV.
You have to admit, though—the man not only knows how to throw a rock in a political fight; he hits his targets. Ask ACORN. Or the NAACP.
And I must admit—I’m loving it! You see, I remember when being a “racist” was a horrible thing to be. Now, thanks to the NAACP, it’s another word for “conservative.” And, we’re all worse off for that.
I’m sure I’m not the only conservative who feels that the NAACP, whose agents gave us the James Byrd ad just ten years ago, has been way too willing to loan the heroic legacy of the civil rights movement to the Democratic Party for political purposes.
You think I’m exaggerating? Apparently Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent magazine thinks that legacy is his to use as he pleases:
In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.
Spencer Ackerman is as white as I am. What makes him think he can use the ephithet “racist” against his political opponents so casually? Oh yeah…he’s a liberal. As, apparently, is the NAACP.
I wonder what (or who) makes Ackerman think he can use that kind of language…
More important, what happens when words that really DO describe bad things—like racism—lose their potency because they’ve been misused for so long?
From Fred Barnes, one of Ackerman’s nominees for the Racist Du Jour: (Emphasis added):
What was particularly pathetic about the scheme to smear Mr. Obama’s critics was labeling them as racists. The accusation has been made so frequently in recent years, without evidence to back it up, that it has little effect. It’s now the last refuge of liberal scoundrels.
This reminds me of the debate over flying the Confederate flag. No, really.
Born in Maryland, raised in Virginia, I know that the Stars and Bars has positive meanings for many people. It evokes feeling of regional pride, pride in the courage of one’s ancestors, and a sense of rebellion that’s always been part of the American spirit.
Neverthless, it’s a lot harder to defend flying the Stars and Bars publicly nowadays, because “yahoos” took control of it in the 20th century. Those “yahoos” were the KKK and other racists groups that opposed the civil rights movement. They took it as their symbol.
“Yahoos” isn’t my word; it’s Shelby Foote’s. Foote, the author of an iconic three-part history of the Civil War and one of the lead commentators in Ken Burn’s also-iconic documentary on the Civil War, lamented—but acknowledged—the fact that an important symbol of America’s Southern heritage had been forever stained, because it hadn’t been defended from misuse:
The flag is a symbol my great grandfather fought under and in defense of. I am for flying it anywhere anybody wants to fly it. I do know perfectly well what pain it causes my black friends, but I think that pain is not necessary if they would read the confederate constitution and knew what the confederacy really stood for. This country has two grievous sins on its hands. One of them is slavery – whether we’ll ever be cured of it, I don’t know. The other one is emancipation – they told 4 million people, you’re free, hit the road, and they drifted back into a form of peonage that in some ways is worse than slavery. These things have got to be understood before they’re condemned. They’re condemned on the face of it because they take that flag to represent what those yahoos represent as – in their protest against civil rights things. But the people who knew what that flag really stood for should have stopped those yahoos from using it as a symbol of what they stood for. But we didn’t – and now you had this problem of the confederate flag being identified as sort of a roughneck thing, which it is not.
What happens when the word “racist” becomes identified as sort of a liberal insult to those who disagree with them?
(Note: I posted Foote’s full quote, to ensure that nothing gets taken out of context; I bold-faced the parts of his quote that, IMO, are key to the point I’m making).