Can't Be A Reactionary Without Reacting

« February 2009 »

Memo to Rush Limbaugh, Bill Willingham, Gary Graham, and All The Rest: YOU'VE BEEN TROLLERIZED.

Fuck them. Every time they say something that gets the left-wing blogs in a tizzy, asshole Republicans always pull out the same old canard. "Boy, you must have been really right to get them yelling like that!". Well, by conservative online pundit standards, Eric Holder is the most accurate man in the universe. I knew, the instant I read his statement from Wednesday, that I'd be writing a column like this sooner rather than later, and oh, they did not disappoint. Let's get this down for the record, though, what Eric Holder actually said.

"Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been, and we, I believe, continue to be, in too many ways, a nation of cowards. Though race related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issue in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about things racial."

See, there are two things reactionary assholes handle poorly - nuance, and words. Holder had a fair amount of both. He's speaking generally, he's speaking culturally, and he's speaking in the context of the Justice Department's role in enforcing discrimination protections. But none of that matters, because a black man said "racial" and "cowards", and that was all that was necessary to set the usual suspects squealing like stuck pigfuckers.

No discussion of squealing pigfuckers would be complete without a mention of Rush Limbaugh, of course. How did America's number one drug-addled anti-patriot take Holder's remarks? Why, as narcissistically and personally as is humanly possible, of course. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"In fact, I show bravery on race. I am totally willing to discuss it openly and honestly. How does one show bravery on race as I have? You talk about media bias, you talk about slavish media coverage of Black quarter backs in the National Football League. Then see what happens."

There is a subtle difference between openly and honestly talking about race, and openly and honestly being racist. The latter is a subset of the former, to be more accurate. And yes, Limbaugh's open and honest discussion of how he openly and honestly feels black quarterbacks are inferior to their white counterparts is an important part of the national dialogue. But he wasn't being paid by ESPN to be an important part of the national dialogue, or to be an open and honest racist, so he got his ass fired. That's what happens. And I'm pretty sure "bravery" means accepting your consequences like a man, not whining about it six years later when everyone else on the planet needs to look it up on Wikipedia to remember what the fuck happened.

Of course, when I want true, instantaneous, gut reactions by morons to a complicated political issue, the place I turn to without fail is the comments section of the Star Tribune, where reader "rejump" expressed the general sentiment by white commenters that all those people of color need to move beyond race, and did so with a ridiculous question.

"Over and over people state that the US has a black president, but he is 50% white, why is he not considered a white president? Why is Tiger Woods considered a black golfer, when he is 25% black and 50% Thai (Asian?), and 25% American Indian. Why not a Thai golfer? All of us need to drop the color of our skin as a designation of who we are."

It's very simple. So simple even a Strib commentator should be able to understand it. "Race" isn't a genetic concept, it's a social one. Ergo, one's genetic heritage doesn't matter, you are the race you are treated as by society. It's the cab driver rule. If you're trying to catch a cab at two in the morning, and you're 50% Thai and 25% Native American, and the cabbie doesn't pick you up because you're 25% black, then you're 100% black. That's why Obama is the first black president, and why he's probably incredibly happy that he'll never have to hail a cab for the rest of his life.

And finally, I couldn't have a proper survey of wingnut overreaction without my new best friends over at Big Hollywood. First there's Bill Willingham, who would have the biggest entertainment industry career of anyone at BH if it weren't in comic books. Willingham's a known conservative, but I hadn't thought he was all that... insane. In defense of my wrongness in this matter, I plead lack of sufficient evidence, which I will now rectify."In my experience, anyone who doesn’t immediately and enthusiastically subscribe to the idea that all American whites are active oppressors against other races is an irredeemable racist. Of course if you do agree you’re still a racist, just one of the self confessed variety. In the interests of full and fair disclosure, I’m apparently also a misogynist, a homophobe, and a Nazi, this according to folks (some of whom were friends and colleagues) upon finding out that I have problems with feminism, gay marriage, and gun control."

Bill, Bill, Bill. You make the all-too-common fallacy of assuming that comments about white society as a whole, throughout history, must apply to you in your personal life every second of every day. And that's not true. I'll even give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that most of time, you're only passive-oppressive.

And second, opposing feminism does make you a misogynist. That you think it doesn't only makes you a stupid misogynist. Same with gay marriage and homophobia. Now, if any liberals called you a Nazi because you opposed gun control, that's a legitimate beef, and I apologize on behalf of whatever stupid fuck said that to you, assuming they actually exist. But all the rest of it? Fuck off. It's not our fault you don't like how words are defined.

Gary Graham went further than Willingham, presumably because Willingham has actual work that takes actual time, whereas Graham has many hours to kill, on account of it taking producers only a few seconds to hang up on your pitch for an Alien Nation reunion movie. Graham plays his well-worn Broad Sarcasm card.

"I am appalled. I just found out that I am a racist and a coward and I did not know it... How could I have been so self-deluded?" Well, Gary, all evidence points to that self-delusion as the only reason Big Hollywood publishes your shit in the first place, so try not to lose it now that you've finally become aware of it.

The rest of the article, in true self-deluded style, is Gary Graham defending himself against things Eric Holder never accused him of, with an argument that boils down to "Some of my best friends are black, even though they stare at me like the crazy fucking cracker that I am when I tell them I don't believe in Black History Month." You've heard the rest before, the context-free, history-ignoring paean of the white conservative male.

I think it's gracious of pallid conservatives to tell us that they've singlehandedly defeated racism through their own enlightened views, and therefore Eric Holder is a crazy darkie who should be ignored. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it's mighty... something of them.