Hit & Run

Rush Limbaugh, Meet Jayson Blair


The NY Post's Robert George has an interesting piece in Salon (enduring a stupid ad for free entry required) about Rush Limbaugh, blacks, and conservatives. A snippet:

Rush's fall may provide another lesson. It actually underscores the similarities in the way that blacks and conservatives have, as subcultures, often been misrepresented in the dominant culture: Blacks are stereotypically portrayed as less intelligent, buffoonish and often criminal. Conservatives are stereotypically portrayed as selfish, mean and venal.

The black person and the conservative person feel like outsiders, both distrusting and envying the mainstream.

Each group needs to see its reality reflected in the dominant culture.

Each group creates its own media and ancillary organizations to support and amplify its unique experience and point of view.

Each group cheers when one of its own appears to become accepted by the mainstream and excels. It's never enough to be successful just within the context of one's own community.

Then, as the individual representative appears to fail in the mainstream culture, a sense of shame and disgrace envelops the entire group.

Rush Limbaugh, meet Jayson Blair.

Whole thing here.

George wrote about this year's Supreme Court's decisions on affirmative action for Reason here.

NEXT: The California of the Midwest

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  1. It must really suck to be both black AND conservative.

    Oh, wait....it does.

  2. I look stupid and I smell my own farts and...oh, wait, wrong day. Sorry.

  3. All of those characteristics could easily apply to ANY group, not just "conservatives" or "blacks". Right?

  4. The guy's a regular Eric Hoffer.


  5. Calling blacks a subculture for comparative reason makes a bit of sense, since they comprise 10-12% of the population compared to the nearly 70% that is white (this is what I assume they meant by mainstream, unless it was just everyone not black).

    But to call conservatives a subculture, outside of the mainstream seems a bit peculiar. About 40% of the population identify as conservative, whereas a similar amount identify as liberal, give or take a few. What then is the mainstream here? You could say anyone not conservative, but then you are left with a group hardly 50% greater (60:40) than the cons, this is not really what thinks of as a subculture. But more likely, you'd have to compare to the other largest group and they are close to equal. It just doesn't work.

  6. Until the honkies catch on that being black in America is not like being "another kind of white," race relations are going to improve slowly, if at all.

    It has been fashionable for any group that perceives itself as downtrodden to identify themselves with black people. Hell, the Beats made a movement out of it. But the reality of racial inequality and inequity remains -- and if you don't believe me, look at rates of prison incarceration for whites vs. blacks and tell me something aint wrong.

  7. Please explain how differing amounts of melanin affect anything.

    Poverty and culture are one thing. Ethnicity is something completely different.

  8. Frenk writes:

    "...and if you don't believe me, look at rates of prison incarceration for whites vs. blacks and tell me something aint wrong."

    The War on Drugs is partly to blame for this phenomenon. One hardly has to do a 500-page dissertation to see that a larger percentage of a given racial group will seek the immense profit in a black market, when it is readily apparent, even inadvertently promoted by some media, and offers the only apparent means of wealth in poor communities.

    Since poor communities in urban areas tend to be populated mostly by minorities, it isn?t surprising that a higher percentage of those jailed are from these communities, and therefore, we have a disproportionate population distribution in prisons. There is a correlation to be sure, but this should be confused with causation.

    Accepting this fact isn?t difficult, defending its reality is quite another. The relationship of crime (robbery and theft) and the less obvious "crime" of drug dealing is more prevalent for minorities not because of an intrinsic failure of genes, but of simple socio-economic geography determined long before their births.

    What to do?

  9. Didn't mean to post the above as anonymous ... sorry.


  10. Steve,
    I see where you're coming from, and you are dead on about the immoral and inhumane drug war (something I have blogged on about at great length).

    Purpose is another matter. To really understand the purpose of a social phenomenon like the drug war, one can only look at the effects. The effect IS the real cause; the in-between stuff is the excuse. And as someone wise once said, "There is always an excuse to do what you want." This is an unpleasant truth particularly valuable for analysis of the modern American political scene, where dishonesty and dissembling are routinely rewarded. One must disregard the words and look at the facts.

    You are right that correlation is not causation. The cause lies elsewhere; correlation is the symptom.

    My original point remains: being black in the USA is not "like" being a member of some predominately white group. Until white people disabuse themselves of that notion, our problems are going to remain.

  11. A quick read of the posts above from all involved reveals the real root cause of the problem: Group Identitity. I do not see how people can expect others to not identify and judge them based on a perception of a group identity when they base their judgement of themselves on that group.

    I do not consider myself to be a part of group. If you chose to label me as such and judge me accordingly the fault is yours.

  12. Mike,

    Having more melanin causes people to treat you differently; not always, but enough to make a diffrerence, and to create an issue, or the perception of an issue, or the possibility of an issue.

    But the bigger problem is not contemporary overt discrimination. It is a tendency for the racial barrier to serve as a boundary across which social and professional networks tend not to cross.

  13. Was anyone offended when Frenk wrote "the honkies?" I've seen racists present this word as the equivalent of the n word. I think it's a little silly, and that's about it. Anyone?

  14. Joe and Frenk,

    No, I was not offended by "honkies," I got a chuckle out of it. Very dated. I am sorry, but Frenk reads to me like a white guy trying to pass for black online.

  15. So now you're claiming "outsider" status? 😉

  16. But are all blacks in America not like some other form of white? Even factoring in some discrimination, is it really worse to be a middle class black in America than the poorest of the poor whites?

  17. Despite controlling much of politics, certain conservatives will feel like outsiders. If they're the Christian Coalition type, they'll feel like the country's going to hell in a handbasket: all these hippies fighting prayer in public schools; Godless pro-abortion monsters thirsty for the blood of the unborn (ok, my wording is a little extreme here:); everyone touting this idea of "separation of church and state" when the founding fathers really had no such intention; pornography everywhere!; homosexuals gaining acceptance rather than being stoned to death as it commands in the Bible (Leviticus 20:13)*1; etc.

    When you've got strong moral imperatives clearly dilineating right from wrong, partial victory might feel like catastrophic failure. Same reason some Objectivists hate Libertarianism. Haven't you read "The Cult of Moral Grayness"?!!*2

    1. Le 20:13 (KJV) - If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    2. In morality, "black" is predominantly the result of attempting to pretend to oneself that one is merely "gray".

  18. Jeff Clothier: I am not trying to pass as anything (I'm not even sure where you got that idea from). Nor am I black. The "honkies" thing was a bit of the old tongue in cheek. Of course it's "dated," you doofus.

    Joe is right on about the color of your skin: it affects how people treat you. This is something that white people have a hard time understanding. This difficulty is why so many white people argue that racism doesn't exist anymore. But an objective look at statistical rates of incarceration and the like will show that something is definitely going on.

    This is not an argument for any particular point of policy, and I am not sure that I can accept any of the solutions that have been batted around. But a simple admission that racism exists would do a lot to improve things.

    And trying to pretend that being a member of some group of white people is "like" being black is itself a denial of how racism really works.

  19. Not claiming outsider status. Simply stating that I am an individual. I will judge you accordingly and ask you to do the same.

  20. Prior to leading the United States Senate through "our long national nightmare," Sam Erin, the nononsense North Carolinian, once explained that a "city lawyer learns more and more about less and less until he knows nothing," while a "country lawyer learns less and less about more and more until he knows nothing." Those prophetic words aptly punctuated the final chapter of Richard Nixon's unmitigated rampage from the California penumbra to the Washington eclipse. After RN's last rank of mulish followers retreated to the Capital in preparation for the trial of the century--and of democracy--the world's most powerful legislators and their people stood, silent--but united--in an unmitigated resolve first spoken nearly one hundred fifty years by the perhaps the greatest American ever.

    Perhaps the most tumultuous event in the history of American democracy. But no votes were cast. No debates were conducted. No bills were signed, Rather, a short handwritten noted was handcarried from the White House to Congress. Oh, and Nixon did speak. Dethroned and revealed as American's worst President, we listened as he gave his farewell. He knew nothing. So he said nothing. Some disjointed words were uttered, but none were heard. Instead as he raised his arm one last time for one last "V" wave, followed by that infamous doubled armed , double "V" thrust. We hear somewhere in the background and from the past those haltingly eerie words of contrived reassurance -- of reassurance, "Your President is not a crook."

    Two hundred million Americans. One hundred United States Senators. One Failed President. But no votes. Constitutional democracy to perfection. The will of the people. Pure and simple. No votes. No speech. Just a two hundred year old document written by attorneys. One experienced lawyer against a legal document. And Nixon is silent? A no-nothing attorney, obviously. What about saying nothing? If alive today, perhaps Senator Sam might explain as follows?:

    What is the difference between a Republican Politician and a Democratic Politician. The Republican talks more and more until he says less and less, until he says nothing. The Democrat talks more and more until he says less and less , until he says noting. Well, huh, what's the difference. Stupid voters, the one who spends the most money wins the election.

    Triple V's, hmmmmm, yeah... Victory of the people. Victory by the people. Victory for the people. Those brave men did not die in vain. They died of vanity. Of Nixon's, of Reagan's., of Bush's. Two hundred million Americans. One hundred United States Senators. No votes, and one deelected President.

    But what about the last election. By a vote of five to four, the United States Supreme Court ion Gore v. Bush orders the State of Florida to stop the recount. The deciding vote. Clarence Thomas. Yes, that same jurist who created the famous line, "Is that a public hair on your coke can?" The same jurist who was introduced by current Attorney General John Ashcroft as the "most qualified jurist in the country." Yeah. Right. Professor Harris was right. One mediocre lawyer decides that the world's most powerful leader should be declared by yelling "when" when your team's ahead. That man's on both crack and coke. And I bet he told Anita Hill he was like a rock. Come now, you don't really think I was making a sexual innuendo. I meant like the rock of Gibraltar. Hmmmmm, you know, like, He who controls the Rock of Clarence controls the world. No more election, no more books, no more democracy dirty looks.

    The Supreme Court lead by Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Cock. Now thats the real high tech lynching ole Car. was probably talking about during the confirmation hearing. One uppity African American jurist neutralizes eight Ivy Leaguers. And at his discretion, he can sexually harass all the women he wants. Intercourse? If Clarence wants it, he gets it. Hey, and ladies, don't even worry about getting pregnant. Just sit back and enjoy it. No more abortions. In In Twenty Eight Middle Aged Women and a Ho v. Clarence Thomas (1-0 decision, anemones) the United States Supreme Court will declares that the equal protection. clause prohibits abortions unless the putative father performs it. (See King James Bible (2000 B.C.--that stands for "before Clarence"--("The man is the King of the House)(as an aside, the United States Supreme Court shall be hereafter called the Court of Last Clarence, and shall commence with "Hearye, Hearye, all those with business before this Honorable Court enter and draw thigh).

    And if you visit him, don't you dear ask for a Pepsi. He's hired Billy Murray of Saturday Night Greek Restaurant fame to take your orders. No Pepsi, Cock (that's coke with a Greek accent). And don't respond further. "no, no cock." (Remember, there's Dan Ackyroyd, too). And then. don't

  21. A note from Doofus: Satire is a tricky business.

  22. Well now I don't need a coffee. Sheesh.

  23. After the first paragraph, I looked for an author. When I saw no one was willing to take responsibility for it, I stopped reading.

  24. Maybe they're now providing internet access at mental institutions.

  25. Who am I kidding? I work for the government; of course I need a coffee!

  26. Mr. Clothier: point well taken. Future satirical remarks will be noted with the tilde (~).~

    What is up with that Clarence Thomas thing?

  27. This has got to be one of the most ignorant pieces I've seen lately.

    1) Conservatives feel like outsiders? I mean, conservatives control the presidency, both houses of congress, most state governments, considerable media (all of radio, the Fox network, and significant other portions), many rich and powerful private organizations, and a disproportiante part of the nation's private wealth. Some outsiders.

    2) A person CHOOSES to be conservative.

    3) The operative fact about Limbaugh is not that he's conservative but that he's a blackguard. This is not George Will we are talking about here. This is not William F Buckley or William Bennet or Milton Friedman. This is a guy who deliberately poisons the nation's political discourse, makes up his facts, engages in egregious character assasination, and who paved the way for the likes of Anne Coulter and Michael Savage.

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