Adam Serwer

Conservative Racial Victimhood, Ctd.

This is an exchange between Fox and Friends Co-Hosts Alisyn Camerota and Steve Doocy on Shirley Sherrod, the day before Andrew Breitbart's truncated video clip was revealed to have shown the opposite of what actually occurred:

Camerota: She admits there that because the farmer was white, she doesn't extend her full helping hand to him, and she's touting this in this anecdote "touting this in this anecdote as though this is, you know, a feather in her cap, somehow, for her to be congratulated. I mean it's really a shocking admission. ... Perhaps everyone needs a refresher course on what racism looks like, I mean that is...

Potts On Douthat.

Monica Potts sat down and read the study Ross Douthat cited in his New York Times op-ed that led him to the conclusion that "the gatekeepers of elite education seem to incline against candidates who seem too stereotypically rural or right-wing or “Red America." Potts spoke to one of the authors and ultimately found a somewhat different conclusion:

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery.

A few months ago, I wrote that Andy McCarthy had crafted a "perfect mission statement for the torture wing of the GOP," in response to his argument against building the Islamic Center near Ground Zero that "in Mecca and Medina, there are not only no Christian churches, no synagogues, there are no non-Muslims, they’re closed cities." I wrote:

Dems Folding On Gitmo.

There are a couple of things to think about in regards to Steny Hoyer's Gitmo cynicism. The first is that closing Gitmo, like passing health-care reform, is not something the president can do through sheer force of will. The second is that the complete lack of urgency in attempting to close Gitmo, from the administration and Democrats in Congress, cements the notion on the right that the Bush administration was unfairly smeared for lawless and counterproductive national-security policies and that hyperbolic criticisms of said policies from Democrats were nothing more than unprincipled, bare-knuckle politics.

Marginalizing The Formerly Incarcerated Is Expensive.

The New York Times editorial page is a real bright spot when it comes to criminal-justice issues, and today's editorial on recently passed laws in several states that make it easier to hire the formerly incarcerated is no different:

Sherrod's Honesty Is Sorely Lacking In Our National Conversation On Race.

The place once known as "Bad" Baker County, Georgia, Historian Taylor Branch explains in the first book of his three-volume history of the civil-rights movement, is where a rather infamous chapter in civil-rights history took place. It involves the establishment of a legal precedent adopted through the kind of pretzel logic typical of attempts at legal reasoning involving black people prior to the 1950s. An all-white federal jury convicted white Sheriff Claude Screws of conspiring to violate Robert Hall's civil rights when he murdered him.

Netroots Nation.

I'll be traveling to Netroots Nation today, so there won't be as much blogging. In the meantime, you should check out my story on what happened to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

"Rightly Or Wrongly."

Ed O'Keefe provides some insight into the administration's decision making in the firing of Shirley Sherrod:

When this department was established in 1862 by Abraham Lincoln, he referred to it as the people's department," Vilsack told colleague Krissah Thompson in Feburary. "In order to be consistent with that legacy, it's necessary that our programs and our approach reflect an appreciation for everyone's rights. We took a look at [these] prior issues and are in the process of trying to address each of them."

A Summer Of Cowards.

For all the left's mocking of Andrew Breitbart, in the post-ACORN era the Obama administration seems to have taken a reflexive supine position on any selectively edited "bombshell" stories he happens to produce. In this case, Breitbart responded to the NAACP's request that the Tea Party purge the racist elements of its movement by releasing a selectively edited video (Breitbart claims he didn't edit it himself) of Shirley Sherrod, the USDA's development director of Georgia, telling an audience at an NAACP gathering she discriminated against a white farmer because he was white.


The administration's handling of the Shirley Sherrod matter is truly embarrassing.

The NAACP's response wasn't any better. Didn't we learn anything from the ACORN controversy?

Y'all have killed the funniness of the Old Spice guy.

More On Lower-Class Whites And Affirmative Action.

Yesterday I wrote about Ross Douthat's column implicitly endorsing a calculus that reinforces the sort of racial resentment that benefits Republicans politically and often undermines liberal attempts to expand the social safety net (characterizing attempts to extend health insurance to an uninsured population that is almost half white is "reparations"). Dan Foster purports to respond, only to prove my point:

Stop-And-Frisk, Worse Than You Thought.

After my post on New York Gov. David Paterson signing a law getting rid of the NYPD's stop-and-frisk database, a reader e-mailed me to say that my statement that 80 percent of those stopped are black and Latino might actually be low. According to The New York Times' graph, the number is actually 87 percent.

"Segregated" Schools.

John McWhorter, in a recent BloggingHeads episode, talks to Richard Thompson Ford about the "acting white" phenomenon.

More Falsehoods About the Islamic Center Near Ground Zero.

Conservatives have sought to portray the plan to build an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero as a kind of end-zone dance on the part of Muslims worldwide, a celebration of the deaths caused by the 9/11 attacks. This doesn't really make much sense -- the organization building the center, the Cordoba House, is a moderate organization, and its leader, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, is known for his attempts to reconcile being a Muslim and being American. The necessary conclusion that one draws from the conservative argument is that there's no distinction between average Muslims and terrorists.