Monday, April 14, 2008

Best Line Ever

"Race seems to inspire a fanatical indolence among some right-wing writers."

Jim Henley over at Unqualified Offerings. The whole essay is great but the point that he is making is made most simply in that one line. For right wing propagandists Racism as in something white people do to people of color doesn't exist, is over, maybe never existed, can't be detected. To the extent that non whites think its a problem they are wrong--hey, its "heritage, not hate" or "likeism" or "lookism" or "I prefer gated communities" or "my kid needed a better school." Search engines that target what the viewer wants, using algorithims that reveal that middle aged white guys surf different sites than middle aged women? Totally natural and not sexist, just giving the consumer what he wants. Whatever it is its not a bad thing, just a natural outgrowth of personal preferences. Except when non white people are thought to be expressing the same kinds of personal preferences, then suddenly its a problem. Search engines that attempt to discern what a middle aged black guy wants and that might take him to different sites than the middle aged white guy? A sign of fanatical seperatism and ghettoization because even though the white guy professes to think that there's no such thing as racism or race if the black guy were only to associate with other black guys he'd probably start acting as though there were.

Oh, and OT --or maybe not OT--but today in a Boston Globe article today " Clinton, Obama discuss faith" Clinton's religiosity is unmarked and Obama's highly marked in this capsule description:

"Clinton is a Methodist. Obama is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago." [emphasis mine]. See, Clinton is a normal Christian getting together with other normal Christians. Obama's same normality is expressed as a kind of separatism. Clinton's church that she actually goes to? We don't even inquire into its specificity. Obama's church and its isolation from some mythical mainstream christian community? embedded right in the language of the description. I don't think "fanatical indolence" is actually limited to right wing propagandists anymore.