Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama

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At National Review, historian Jonathan Bean has a very provocative article celebrating the ideas and achievements of the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass, tied to the 157th anniversary of Douglass' justly celebrated "Fourth of July Oration." As Bean argues:

Douglass unfailingly opposed any man's exercising control over another, and he would be appalled, his writings suggest, by the new spirit of dependency and control ushered in with the Age of Obama. Douglass championed limited constitutional government, colorblind law, capitalism, hard work, and self-help. His principles are not the stuff of "New New Deals" but rather a brief for a "New Independence Day" based on small-government principles.

Read the rest here. I celebrate Douglass' libertarian legacy here.

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  1. They don’t make public figures like they used to.

  2. Douglass championed limited constitutional government, colorblind law, capitalism, hard work, and self-help.

    Sounds almost quaint these days.

  3. oppose black-on-black rhetoric

  4. How would Douglass would be characterized by the MSM if he was alive today?

  5. It’s so cute how Bean ends with the notion that the Republican Party should return to Douglass’ principles, as if a modern political party were even capable of principle.

  6. Douglass championed limited constitutional government, colorblind law, capitalism, hard work, and self-help.

    Raaaaciiiiist!!

  7. I think there’s a great degree of bullshit in this. I imagine Douglass would be delighted that this nation has an African-American President, Supreme Court Justice, etc., and that only about 22% of African-Americans live in poverty, and that they live and work side by side with whites. And I think he’d realize that government iniatives had a lot to do with all of that…

    1. You should read his speech “What the Black man wants.”

      Pay close attention when he speaks about justice and “help”. I think you’ll be quite suprised. Even men like MLK Jr. pale in comparison to the great Frederick Douglass.

  8. And I think he’d realize that government iniatives had a lot to do with all of that…

    MNG, far be it for me to minimize the role of the federal government in the Civil Rights Era of the ’50s and ’60s (even as I type I’m also reminded of the negativity of COINTELPRO, with the Feds wiretapping MLK, Jr.), but I’m wondering about the ratio of credit/scorn the gov’t deserves from the 1970s onward…
    If I had my “research papers”, I’d be prepared to debate you. 😉

  9. How did Douglass feel about the Freedman’s Bureau and related government programs, because that was “big government” in its day?

  10. I think there’s a great degree of bullshit in this. I imagine Douglass…

    Beautiful. Hey, please stop imagining and write your own counter-article that’s stuffed with quotes and interpretations of the man’s work.

  11. OK TAO, look right above your post. Douglass supported the Freedman’s Bureau, which, as W.E.B. described in a chapter in Souls of Black Folks, was a massive government undertaking for its time. It’s also noted by con law scholars as evidence that the Fourteenth Amenment’s ratifiers certainly had no problem with race specific government programs. So, article fail.

  12. As for the article in question’s quotes, well, I could give you many quotes from Jesse Jackson, or MLK, or hell Barak Obama that emphasize black self-reliance, entrepeneurship and all that shit. So are they small government conservatives too? The article is a joke…

  13. Douglass supported the Freedman’s Bureau, which, as W.E.B. described in a chapter in Souls of Black Folks, was a massive government undertaking for its time.

    That’s your evidence? Support for a government program that was charged with mopping up messes caused by a war? Shit, even I support that. That’s an MNG Fail.

    Tell you what: if you want to convince anybody, debunk Bean and write a counter article. The Freedman’s Bureau thing is underwhelming at best.

  14. well, I could give you many quotes from Jesse Jackson, or MLK, or hell Barak Obama that emphasize black self-reliance, entrepeneurship and all that shit. So are they small government conservatives too?

    OK, go read the fucking article. this is getting old.

  15. Also, given even common knowledge of Douglass, can anyone here maintain with a straight face that he would not be pleased as punch to see that African-Americans had come so far as to be Presidents and Supreme Court Justices? You really think, given his life, that he would nobly shake his head and a la Stephen Colbert say “Bah, I don’t see race, that matters not to me!” Jesus Christ, TAO, try planet Earth for a little while…

  16. And I think he’d realize that government iniatives had a lot to do with all of that…

    Government is a lag filter.

  17. Are you crazy? The Freedman’s Bureau was a massive, massive government program that sought to feed, clothe, teach, provide legal advice, etc., etc., for hundreds of thousands of impoverished black folks. Conservatives of the day decried it as big government, federal intermeddling, violation of states rights, etc.. And Douglass was all for it. So I’m afraid he wasn’t the Clarence Thomas or black male Ayn Rand of his day fella….

  18. “That’s your evidence? Support for a government program that was charged with mopping up messes caused by a war? Shit, even I support that.”

    TAO, I never noticed that you are such a big supporter of Obama’s economic policies.

  19. MNG,

    Considering the disgusting actions by local gov’t in the South before and during reconstruction, I’m sure intervention was necessary at that time.

    to see that African-Americans had come so far as to be Presidents and Supreme Court Justices? You really think, given his life, that he would nobly shake his head and a la Stephen Colbert say “Bah, I don’t see race, that matters not to me!”

    I don’t think the ideals attributed to Douglass above would preclude him from acknowledging that people come in different races (and genders!).

  20. brotherben
    Don’t tease TAO, he’s upset because it looks like Douglass won’t be his “black friend” after all…

  21. You really think, given his life, that he would nobly shake his head and a la Stephen Colbert say “Bah, I don’t see race, that matters not to me!”

    “I conceive that there is no division of races. God Almighty made but one race…You may say that Frederick Douglass considers himself a member of the one race that exists.” Frederick Douglass.

    I told you to go read the article, and now you just made yourself look really stupid.

    More from the article:

    “”What shall we do with the Negro?”…Do nothing with us…your doing with us has already played the mischief with us..If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength…let them fall…And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also.”

    So much for all that.

  22. the only thing I am upset about is that you engaged in reflexive liberalism about the subject without reading. the. fucking. article. Like I knew you would. you fancy yourself “intellectual” and you declare the article “bullshit” sight-unseen.

  23. TAO, I never noticed that you are such a big supporter of Obama’s economic policies.

    Get your lazy ass off to get a job.

    But, seriously, on what planet would call raising the debt to 80% of yearly GDP mere “clean-up”?

  24. So I’m afraid he wasn’t the Clarence Thomas or black male Ayn Rand of his day fella….

    I’m still don’t think that means he’d be a fan of the modern welfare state.

  25. I* as in I do know grammar.

  26. It’s so cute how Bean ends with the notion that the Republican Party should return to Douglass’ principles, as if a modern political party were even capable of principle.

    National Review: “If only the right people were in charge!”

    I can’t believe I used to read it. Today their webpage is dominated by speculation about what Palin’s resignation means for her future and that of the GOP. As if this bit of news and the magazine’s professed ideology are somehow related.

  27. Does Jesse Jackson want to cut off Frederick Douglass’ nuts?

  28. Get your lazy ass off to get a job.

    Seriously, I wish unemployment weren’t so high, but it sure looks as if federal gov’t intervention can’t do much about that.

  29. I should apologize for that crack against brotherben. Accept my apologies.

  30. “Get your lazy ass off to get a job.”

    TAO, okay, but tell me what job I should do. I have a high school education with a job history of truck driving and sawmill work and a few odd jobs in between. I have severe chronic debilitating pain. I have loss of bowel control. I take vicodin and lyrica as well as flexeril at nite. I can’t stand, sit or walk more than a few minutes at a time and I have to lay down many times a day due to pain. I have no financial resources for more schooling and a delinquent student loan.
    The surgery I need has been refused by the insurance company covering work comp at the job where I was injured. The prognosis is for my condition to worsen without the surgery and even with it I have just a 50/50 shot of any improvement.

    So tell me, and I will gladly take the job that works with my situation.

  31. Don’t apologize for a damn thing. There needs to be some sort of pushback for all the Obamatrons congratulating each other for making stupid and irrelevant comments.

  32. TAO
    What’s your “job?” Keeping seats at an Ohio Law School warm?

    But as to the article, I did read it. It’s laughable. It takes some quotes from Douglass on how he was for self-reliance and “beyond” race. Of course, in his actions and words he also supported a massive government welfare program aimed specifically to help blacks (I note you’ve backed down off of this, wise choice).

    Hell, EVERY black leader in the past 200 years has this kind of rhetoric.

    “There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America .”

    “Our goal is to have a country that’s not divided by race.”

    Barack Obama

  33. In 1860 America of course black leaders used color blind rhetoric, moving from a society which uses your race against you to one that uses race less would be a good thing. Of course pretty much every black leader also is willing to support programs and attempts to go a full 180 and specifically promote the interests of their race. Douglass, MLK, Obama, all have used color blind rhetoric AND supported specific efforts to help people of their color.

    So TAO and other right leaning folks, keep on looking for that heoric black leader who thinks your way and makes you feel better about your ideology. He’s coming, soon, soon…

  34. the new spirit of dependency and control ushered in with the Age of Obama.

    That spirit was around long before Obama first ran for public office. The disease of dependency has the “Age of Obama” is a symptom, not the cause.

    Also, I don’t see any articles criticizing George Bush for not following the political philosophy of Thomas Jefferson, when they were both white. Not playing the race card or anything, but you should think twice about your motivations for comparison.

  35. apology accepted.

    Trust me, I love driving truck and I was taking home a grand a week doing it. Not every unemployed person is just lazy. My situation is extreme for sure, but I am fairly certain that I am not the only one basically incapable of work.

    I agree with you guys about a lot of things and do see a lot of folks not willing to make their own way. I have to ask this: if my politics and religion were in line with yours, would you be so critical of my unemployment?

  36. Funny how the real civil rights fighters like Douglass and Elizabeth Cady Stanton tended to lean to the right. Of course the left celebrates “heroes” like Jesse Jackson or Gloria Steinem who got involved only after the battles were largely over. And guess which figures schoolkids know more about?

  37. Shut the fuck up, MNG.

  38. In 1860 America of course black leaders used color blind rhetoric, moving from a society which uses your race against you to one that uses race less would be a good thing.

    Oh, of course, Frederick Douglass must have been suffering from false consciousness when he said that “Colbert-esque” thing you immediately conjectured he would not say.

    All I am seeing as a rejoinder from you is “He didn’t really mean it! Of COURSE he wanted big government programs!”

    So TAO and other right leaning folks, keep on looking for that heoric black leader who thinks your way

    I’m not in any way emotionally invested in Frederick Douglass, so drop your psychologizing bullshit. And I see that you’re still absolutely dedicated to fitting me into a “right leaning” box, despite all of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Whatever helps you sleep at night, nancy.

  39. if my politics and religion were in line with yours, would you be so critical of my unemployment?

    To a certain extent, probably, because I am just a dick like that. On the other hand, the problem with the Welfare State is (and I’ve been harping on this for years) is that it fosters resentment and (as Fluffy stated a while ago) a Hobbesian war of “all against all”. So it tends to get personal when we talk about entitlements because of the personal nature of those entitlements.

  40. Of course he did.

    Do you dispute that he supported the Freedman’s Bureau programs TAO?

    How about the Obama quotes. Is he your new color-blind, anti-dependancy black leader? He doesn’t see race just like you! He extols self-reliance in speeches just like Douglass! He’s your man TAO! Your ideology’s “black friend!”

  41. f my politics and religion were in line with yours, would you be so critical of my unemployment?

    Maybe if you weren’t such an irritating and full of himself commenter, he wouldn’t be.

    Tip: if you’re going to get sarcastic as you did in this comment:

    TAO, I never noticed that you are such a big supporter of Obama’s economic policies.

    you’d better make sure the comparison actually makes sense. What situation even remotely comparable to the aftermath of the Civil War is Obama dealing with?

  42. alright, MNG, keep being dumb. It’s no skin off of my nose. If you really want to feel like Frederick Douglass just has to have been lying to all of us when he said ‘there is but one race’, then fine. Knock yourself out.

  43. The Freedman’s Bureau is not equivalent to Reconstruction guys. Read a book not published by the Cato Institute once and a while…

  44. MNG,

    Your cynicism is unbecoming. To me, time does make a difference because unlike the time of Douglass or Booker T. Washington or MLK, Jim Crow and all the other mechanisms of oppressing blacks (particularly in the South)are no longer the order of the day.

  45. Tulpa, the comparison has to do with economic instability from the trillion or so dollars spent on the war in Iraq by the Bush administration. Obama’s economic policies are in part due to that war. That would be the situation in comparison.

  46. The Freedman’s Bureau is not equivalent to Reconstruction guys. Read a book not published by the Cato Institute once and a while…

    MNG, I repeat that I do think you’re being overly cynical. And I guess I do have time to debate you after all.

  47. Tulpa, as far as me being irritating and full of myself goes, you’ll get no argument from me on that front.

  48. brotherben – I haven’t seen anything demonstrating that economic “instability” can be attributed to Iraq War spending. If anything, the Iraq War is a Keynesian wet dream of “stimulus”.

  49. brotherben,

    Not a civil (domestic) war, so I think the comparison largely pales. The South was all torn up…(yeah, yeah Sherman definitely deserves some “credit”, too).

  50. Jim Crow and all the other mechanisms of oppressing blacks (particularly in the South)are no longer the order of the day.

    Oh, Art, poor you. MNG is just going to launch into his “Everyday is Selma, 1965!” line of argumentation wherein shadow racism and misogyny are keeping all of the Democratic Party’s select constituencies “down”.

  51. The sales pitch from Obama was and is that the Bush team screwed it all up and he (obama) has to do these things to fix it back.

    We can argue about the accuracy and necessity of it all just as, I assume, people argued about the government’s involvement after the civil war.

    The snarky comment I made to TAO was questioning his willingness to support one and not the other.

    Apples and oranges I suppose.

  52. For TAO no day is, or was, Selma 1965…That shit was in a galaxy far, far away…

    I can put this slowly again for TAO

    Douglass used color-blind and black self-reliance rhetoric, but supported big government race consciouss programs. You seem very impressed with that color-blind and black self-reliance rhetoric, as if it proves the article’s point about him, but as I’ve said, Obama uses such rhetoric too, as did MLK, etc.,. And you surely don’t see them as Conservative’s Black Friend…

  53. In Douglass vs. Obama = Douglass would totally kick his ass.

    Douglass vs. Spiderman = Spiderman would win by decision

  54. Tulpa, the comparison has to do with economic instability from the trillion or so dollars spent on the war in Iraq by the Bush administration.

    More like $800 billion through the middle of 2009 (keep it reality-based, folks) and I’m not sure how much of that represents additional spending because of the war, and how much would have been spent on the units posted to Iraq anyway.

    If government spending is the cause of the recession, then why are we being told government spending is the cure for the recession?

  55. Art
    How am I being cynical? In what way?

  56. not all “government programs” are big-government programs, MNG, and they are not all of the same type, character or purpose. The Freedmen’s Bureau wasn’t race-conscious, it was oh shit we just released a bunch of people-conscious. your comparisons are false and therefore, so is your analogy.

  57. Dude, MNG, please: cynicism isn’t just something you do, it’s something you ARE. you tear down just about everything in sight.

  58. Dude, MNG, please: cynicism isn’t just something you do, it’s something you ARE.

    Hey, don’t lump the rest of us cynics in with that guy.

  59. How am I being cynical? In what way?

    It seems like you’re saying ‘if anyone supported a big government program at any time, all their talk of self-reliance and self-help is hollow rhetoric’. That doesn’t seem cynical to you?

  60. Tulpa, the comparison has to do with economic instability from the trillion or so dollars spent on the war in Iraq by the Bush administration.

    lol, I thought that’s what you meant. No, it’s not even remotely comparable to the post-Civil War mess, and you should be ashamed for even trying to compare them. This is the Obamatron equivalent of the dragons eating each other at the end of Reign of Fire.

  61. MNG is only selectively cynical, just like every other partisan hack.

  62. The Freedman’s Bureau wasn’t race consciouss? Huh? It explicitly set out to help impoverished blacks, not whites. It stated explicitly it was about black uplift (free blacks could get the services too). It was a huge federal undertaking at the time. It was amazingly comprehensive in its programs: it provided legal advice, appeared as “next friend” in suits, schooling, hygeine promotion/instruction, land redistribution and just plain “giving out checks.”

    You don’t know wtf you’re talking about here, just admit it…

  63. This is the Obamatron equivalent of the dragons eating each other at the end of Reign of Fire.

    Huh, never heard that analogy before :D.

  64. The Freedman’s Bureau wasn’t race consciouss? Huh? It explicitly set out to help impoverished blacks, not whites.

    Uh, MNG, I think TAO was saying the program was only incidentally race-conscious. I think everyone here is acknowledging that slavery was an overtly racist convention in the American South.

  65. In other words, I *get* what TAO’s saying, and it’s far from bullshit.

  66. “you tear down just about everything in sight.”

    Oh Lord, you’re not going to cry again are you? Boo hoo, you’re so negative, all you do is tear down, boo hoo, why can’t you ever build up :(. And I’m supposed to be the pansy liberal, sheesh…

  67. thank you, Art!

    MNG, your typification of the Freedmen’s Bureau being a “race-conscious program” is akin to stating that the Marshall Plan was a “Eurocentric, German-conscious program”.

  68. Tulpa, call me stupid or whatever, but I fail completely trying to draw the connection between my suggestion and cannabilistic dragons. Cut a dullard some slack and briefly explain please.

  69. no, MNG, you (again) misread rage that I had when I said that. you don’t believe in anything, and that’s a far worse thing than my boisterous emotionality about certain subjects.

    whatever. at this point, I am realizing that you’re dishonest beyond belief.

  70. Art
    The Freedman’s Bureau was a program to help only black people, and yes, everyone was aware that black people needed such help because they had been impoverished by slavery. Heck, that’s the motivation to help black people now, that they are more impoverished as a group because of slavery, Jim Crow, etc.

  71. If government spending is the cause of the recession, then why are we being told government spending is the cure for the recession?

    Because now it is the Obama right kind of spending, unlike all of that Bush wrong kind of spending.

  72. see, Art, it’s all so simple! “Immediate management of refugees unjustly enslaved by their government” is TOTALLY EQUAL to “2009 Affirmative Action programs”.

    Awww, yeah…that’s not a dishonest or shallow analysis at all.

  73. MNG,

    I like you, man, but I think you’re off-base with your comments toward TAO (they’re really not constructive IMO).

  74. An analogous post-WWII example would be a program to explicitly help Jews in Europe after the war.

  75. TAO
    You;ve found your black friend after all 😉

  76. tell me, MNG, would a black person from say, England be entitled to help from the Freedmen’s Bureau if he traveled to the South in 1866?

  77. MNG – no, an analogous program would be one to help concentration camp victims after WWII.

  78. It’s not dishonest in that ALL race-consciouss programs intend to redress what are seen as the effects of negative treatment of the race in question. Duh, you think its done for shits n’ giggles?

  79. Except free blacks could recieve the benefits too, you know that right?

  80. You;ve found your black friend after all 😉

    Oh, did Larry Elder, Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell not count?

  81. Heck, that’s the motivation to help black people now, that they are more impoverished as a group because of slavery, Jim Crow, etc.

    When will it stop? When do the programs become counterproductive? I think they already should’ve stopped and I think they’ve already counterproductive FWIW. Trying to help overcome the horrible disadvantage slaves were at after emancipation was, IMO, noble. Trying to legislatively guarantee equal outcomes now is certainly not.

  82. “MNG | July 6, 2009, 12:31pm | #

    TAO
    You;ve found your black friend after all;)”

    This bugs me as much as this:
    “Get your lazy ass off to get a job.”

  83. Except free blacks could recieve the benefits too, you know that right?

    I’ll need a cite that states that was the specific purpose of the program, and not just incidental error…

    And just how many free blacks, by happenstance, were wandering around the South at the time anyway?

    Again, you’re being astonishingly dishonest.

  84. Art P.O.G.,

    I have no quarrel with programs that actually help the poor to better themselves. The current programs, at least here in Alabama,are open-ended, keep folks in poverty, and punish any attempt at self improvement with a decrease in benefits. The help given needs to be completely restructured. The whole “teach a man to fish” thing comes to mind.

  85. Except free blacks could recieve the benefits too, you know that right?

    Meh. I didn’t read the bill.

    It’s not dishonest in that ALL race-consciouss programs intend to redress what are seen as the effects of negative treatment of the race in question

    Oh, I thought they were done to get votes.

  86. TAO, wiki has a pretty thorough explanation of the workings and goals of the freedmen’s bureau fwiw.

  87. I just want everyone to see what’s happening here: there was a much-needed program for the management of millions of refugees who went literally overnight from “slave” to “free”, and that is somehow equivalent to ANY AND ALL race-based programs that help minorities get ahead, because, you know, that was the “purpose” of the former, so all those programs are OK. That’s MNG’s position here: that all programs that serve blacks, regardless of their scope, extent, purpose or reason, are the same, and therefore, Frederick Douglass was a lying hypocrite.

  88. brotherben,

    Good points.


  89. Except free blacks could recieve the benefits too, you know that right?

    Post-civil war, all blacks were free blacks.

  90. IIRC the rhetoric surrounding the Freedman’s Bureau was about general uplifting of blacks, but of course they were also aware and explicit that the uplifting was needed because of slavery.

    But this is true of every race consciouss program I can think ot. The proponents of them (like William Douglass) find them necessary to remedy or offset some racial injustice or its effects.

    BTW Art, I’m not a proponent of race consciouss programs (in fact I’m a pretty active opponent, I belong to Ward Connerly’s organization, used to belong to Roger Clegg’s [it went off the rails imo] and have worked hard at getting MD and VA, at different times in my life, to effectuate something like California’s Civil Rights Initiative). I don’t support race specific programs. But William Douglass did. So did MLK, and other champions of color-blind rhetoric…

  91. so yes, a refugee/slave management bureau is all the same as the EEOC and therefore, Frederick Douglass was lying to all of us.

    Right, MNG? Holy fuck.

  92. I don’t have to equate the Freedman’s Bureau with New Haven 2009. It’s just a simple fact that the Freedman’s Bureau programs were government programs that helped only black Americans. It was a race-consciouss program.

    And I’m not sure Douglass was being a hypocrite at all, any more than MLK or Obama are hypocrites for using colorblind language while supporting race-specific programs.

  93. Both the EEOC and the Freedman’s Bureau involve
    1. Large government expenditures
    2. to set up large bureacracies
    3. to be active in providing multiple services and protections
    4. to combat what are seen as racial injustices

    One difference is that the EEOC is not race-specific (even TAO could get help from it if discriminated against), but the Freedman’s Bureau limited its benefits to black Americans, whether they were slaves or not btw.

  94. Better analogies would be specific race consciouss programs such as minority businessperson services, affirmative action programs, etc. They may be different in the degree of the need that motivated them, but they are certainly properly classified as race consciouss.

  95. sure, OK, the fact that you keep saying that the Freedmen’s Bureau was “race-conscious” doesn’t make it any more true.

  96. MNG,

    There were a lot of people, including Douglass himself, who were free men, but definitely former slaves. I’m sure that had something to do with freemen being able to benefit from the bureau.

    You state that you don’t support modern race-conscious programs. This is well and good. At the same time, you seem to downplay the message of self-reliance and self-sufficiency in black political rhetoric. Maybe that message doesn’t get out enough, but I don’t see why you seemed so dismissive of this article highlighting that message in Douglass’ words.

  97. Did it serve whites TAO?

  98. There were programs that provided aid during Reconstruction to white and black alike.

    The Freedman’s Bureau twon’t one of them…

  99. Did the Marshall Plan serve Americans?

  100. MNG,

    The political status quo has not been particularly beneficent to the poor more recently, has it? There are a lot of people not particularly suited to upward economic mobility, but the gov’t can’t practically *make* them economic movers-n-shakers.

  101. Terrible analogy as I noted.

    The Freedman’s Bureau was a domestic program that, while carried out in the midst of white Americans in need explicitly served only black Americans.

    The Marshall Plan was a foriegn aid program carried out in another nation far from Americans. It provided benefits for all the relevant foriegn groups of the nations it served.

    Keep trying though!

  102. MNG,

    It seems like you’re being pedantic now re: race-consciousness of Freedman’s Bureau. Can we move on?

  103. This is from the Alabama dept. of archives and history website. note the rations to blacks AND whites.

    “On March 3, 1865, the United States Congress established the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. This federal agency helped ex-slaves with food, medical aid, education, and legal advice. General Wager Swayne was appointed assistant commissioner in Alabama and, after 1866, district military commander over the federal troops who occupied the state. Under his direction, the Freedmen’s Bureau distributed rations to thousands of blacks and whites in the “starving time” of 1865-66.”

  104. Also, in the congressional act that set up the freedmen’s bureau, it mentions aid for “refugees and freedmen, but never once does it specify race.

  105. Art
    Huh? My argument is simple. Whatever Douglass said, he supported programs that were created to help blacks explicitly. Such programs are as “race concsciouss” or “race specific” as you are going to get. Which part of that argument do you find to be pedantic?

  106. See brotherben’s posts above, MNG.

    Also, what is your argument, exactly? We’ve already established how inapt the comparisons between Douglass and most post-King/Malcom X Civil Rights leaders are.

  107. BB
    Since all of the freedmen were black and none of them were white, I’m not sure where you’re going with that…

  108. “MNG | July 6, 2009, 1:11pm | #

    Terrible analogy as I noted.

    The Freedman’s Bureau was a domestic program that, while carried out in the midst of white Americans in need explicitly served only black Americans”

    I was simply going right here.

  109. Did we establish that Art? My argument is that whatever Douglass said he had no problem supporting a massive governmental effort to help black people.

    Massive-check, it was a huge undertaking (again I refer folks to Ch. 2 of DuBois Souls of Black Folks for a good description, but Eric Foner has better academic explorations)

    Government program-check, though it was intertwined with private charities the use of tax dollars, government employees and that godawful government coercion was present

    Help black people-all of the freedmen were of course black people

  110. BB
    In the midst of starving people I imagine that FB employees might have handed out food to white folks too. But obviously this was outside of the purposes, goals and usual practice of the organization.

  111. mng, you argued that the freedmen’s bureau served only blacks and I presented historical data that proved that statement to be incorrect.
    As I stated above, it was set up to aid freedmen AND refugees from the war. It does not state a color preferance.

  112. It certainly wasn’t the “Ex-Confederate Citizens Aid Bureau,” though those people were hurting like crazy after the war (and many of them were refugees in the truest sense)

  113. BB
    Many of the freedmen (literally freed slaves) were also refugees. The goal, purpose and practice of the FB was not concerned with aiding ex-confederate citizen refugees. The idea for the bill came about when Union forces had to kind of just “take control” over massive numbers of “freedmen refugees” who just came to them for help. Again, see Dubois and Foner on this.

  114. I just want to interject again: MNG is using sparse historical data to call “bullshit” on an article that he didn’t read until I called him on it. You guys are officially wasting your time arguing with him.

  115. Ok… I’ve read through all these comments… Sorry to come late to the party, (blame my West Coast time-zone and all…) but MNG, you are being startlingly dishonest.

    First off, there is no comparison to be made what-so-ever in the Freedman’s Bureau and modern programs like Affirmative Action, etc.

    They are fundamentally different at a root level not only in their treatment of race but in their overall aims. The primary mistake you seem to be making is the same one as not recognizing the difference between force used defensively and offensively.

    The “Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands” is “race conscious”, sure… because the whole slavery thing was race-conscious… Duh.

    TAO made the right point, if you were to compare that program to any other refugee assistance program, say helping the recently released victims of concentration camps post WWII, then you’d be making an accurate analogy – but you’re not. You’re comparing a Reconstruction era program designed to help a large group of people who had just attained freedom, and as such, refugee-status with getting on their feet. Refugees who, it’s also important to note, were made so by the government.

    There’s plenty of apt historical parallels and I doubt many libertarians would oppose governments making restitution for their own crimes – in fact… we tend to support that kind of thing pretty strongly. What we don’t support is the idea of a race-oriented welfare state that gives special benefits to people based on the color of their skin.

    Helping refugees (regardless of race)/making restitution for injustice ? Preferential treatment for non-victims based solely on race

    ANYWAY… The question you need to be asking yourself is not whether Douglass supported the Freedmen’s Bureau, but whether or not he’d have supported a similar program for any human being in a similar circumstance. I think it’s clear that he would…

    Extrapolating; it’s not at all about race, but about what actions were taken against a group of people by government, and what they needed to do to clean up the mess. There is simply no comparison between helping refugees and recently freed slaves and the current welfare state.

  116. Is it your contention that the Freedman’s Bureau was set up to address, and in practice ordinarily attended to, both the needs of white ex-Confederate citizens (or for that matter white Northern citizens) and the needs of black freedmen and refugees?

  117. “designed to help a large group of people who had just attained freedom”

    All of whom were black and none of whom were white.

    Of course Sean while the refugee problem precipitated the forming of the FB it was not just for helping refugees, now was it? SO maybe that’s why I don’t think the only analogy is a refugee assistance program…

  118. MNG, did you state that the freedmen’s bureau did not aid whites?

    Did I provide proof that it did, in fact, aid whites?

    You can argue till you are blue in the face about its intent, but the fact is that it did aid whites.

  119. “whether or not he’d have supported a similar program for any human being in a similar circumstance”

    But there were. Most white ex-Confederate citizens and some Northern whites were devastated by the war, and many were refugees. But they were not the focus of the FB. It was not “for” them.

  120. MNG,

    Earlier you asked how you were being cynical and now you ask how you are being pedantic. I’d think both of these statements would be self-evident, but maybe this is just your rhetorical style. I will make a note to check out, or re-check DuBois’ and Foner’s literature on The Freedmen’s Bureau.

    I’ll give you credit for knowing some background on the subject, but I still say that you’re refusing to acknowledge some differences in historical context. You almost seem to be evaluating Frederick Douglass anachronistically rather than just putting his words in a more modern context.

  121. let’s say that in Alternate Universe Land, Frederick Douglass is black, and all slaves are green-skinned with diamonds on their foreheads.

    Would Douglass support the Freedman’s Bureau if it aided recently released Diamondheads? uhh, yes, which demonstrates that it’s not about race and that the FB was not about race, it was about assisting slaves.

  122. SO maybe that’s why I don’t think the only analogy is a refugee assistance program…

    The slaves were deliberately kept illiterate and their family structures were in many instances completely broken. You’re damn right slaves deserved attention many of the (yes, still-devastated) white southerners didn’t. Sheesh, MNG.

  123. Art
    Here is why I don’t understand.

    I readily acknowedge the differences between what the Freedman’s Bureau was trying to address and what, say, the New Haven City Council was trying to address. I more than acknowledge it, I AGREE about it. You see, as I noted, I’m opposed to pretty much every current “race consciouss” program” I’ve heard of. But I would have supported the Freedman’s Bureau (heck, even TAO said he would, which is kind of like Lenin saying he would support this or that aspect of capitalist banking). Why? Because I think the need so much greater at that time.

    So I, and you, would find that current conditions don’t warrant any race conscsiouss programs but conditions in 1863 sure did. My point is that Douglass, for all of his “color blind” and “self-reliance” rhetoric, surely did not fail to support, just as we would have supported, a government program designed to assist black people in their plight.

    You and I don’t advocate current race based programs because we don’t see “their plight” today as being as bad as “their plight” was then.

  124. heck, even TAO said he would, which is kind of like Lenin saying he would support this or that aspect of capitalist banking

    Read Sean Malone’s posts for the actual reasons why, and then die in a fire.

  125. But TAO, as I said numerous times already, noone advocates helping blacks for shits or giggles.

    If Obama were purple, and there were a group of green people who had higher rates of poverty, unemployment, etc., he would support programs to assist JUST those green people. Now let’s make them purple too. He still would I’m sure. Why? Not because they were green or purple, but because of the percieved need.

    Now, I know, you don’t see the need today as being as great as the need in 1860. Duh, I agree! But that’s not the point. The point is that Douglass and Obama, despite both of their oft-color-blind rhetoric could get behind programs that, in their opinion, help a particular race with their problems.

    And SOOOOO, the article, which presumes to guess how Douglass would feel about current programs based on quoting some of his color blind rhetoric is weakly argued.

    Or in another word, bullshit!

  126. OKK…. MNG.

    There were plenty of Reconstruction programs to help “whites”, and I’m sure Douglass supported quite a number of them as well. You’re setting up the most ridiculous straw-man I’ve ever seen you invent, in order to turn Fredrick Douglass into some kind of Farrakhan style race-baiter.

    This makes no sense, and you are still fundamentally confused because you’re conflating what is essentially a necessary correction to injustice with programs that are new injustices!

    Freedom is not slavery, hate is not love and words and ideas mean things you dipshit.

    If someone attacks you, beats you up, imprisons you, forces you to work for 10 years because of your race – then after 10 years those same people are made to pay you restitution and help you get your life back together… Well, yes the restitution is going to have something to do with your race, but only in-so-far as your imprisonment had to do with that. The restitution actually rests on the actions that were done to you.

    And my point was that Douglass clearly would have supported similar Reconstruction-era help to any group of people similarly treated – NOT because of their race, but because of their treatment.

    That you can’t see the difference is shockingly stupid.

    So what if some programs during the reconstruction were just for blacks – it was just the blacks who were slaves… So… uhh…. AGAIN: Duh. That’s hardly a compelling argument that therefore Fredrick Douglass would support racist special benefits today, or that he was a civil-war era Jesse Jackson.

    Add to that that brotherben quickly and easily demolished your claim that the Freedmen’s Bureau was exclusively for blacks, then you just look like a retard.

  127. “in order to turn Fredrick Douglass into some kind of Farrakhan style race-baiter.”

    WTF? Er, no…But my favorite thing about your post is this schizophrenic debate you’re having with yourself:

    “There were plenty of Reconstruction programs to help “whites”,

    “Add to that that brotherben quickly and easily demolished your claim that the Freedmen’s Bureau was exclusively for blacks”

    “So what if some programs during the reconstruction were just for blacks – it was just the blacks who were slaves… So… uhh…. AGAIN: Duh.”

  128. And lest we forget, Sean, MNG’s 180 degree turn in this debate, where he has gone from “Douglass would never make a Colbert like remark about race!” to Uhh, he didn’t really mean that, because “Of course pretty much every black leader also is willing to support programs and attempts to go a full 180 and specifically promote the interests of their race” i.e. Douglass didn’t really mean to say he was race-neutral.

  129. So they were all about helping just blacks because, DUH!, the slaves were blacks. But they were for helping out white people too.

    Or something.

  130. And SOOOOO, the article, which presumes to guess how Douglass would feel about current programs based on quoting some of his color blind rhetoric is weakly argued.

    Or in another word, bullshit!

    Actually, MNG, your argument is way weaker than the article.

  131. And thus… NO, you moron, there were not “whites” in a similar circumstance at the time!

    Are you seriously just that dumb or are you being dishonest. I can’t tell anymore… The “similar circumstance” was enslaved, and now freed people – not simply people who’s homes had been destroyed. Those people had other programs during reconstruction to help them… But when you name something the “Freedmen’s Bureau”, one might reasonably expect it to help… you know… freed slaves, specifically.

    That they were all black, while being culturally significant, is pretty damn irrelevant to the desirability of a program like that.

    If we allowed say, 50,000 Sudanese refugees to come to the US en masse, one might favor a special government program to handle that assimilation. Gosh, they’d mostly be black, would that also be a racist program? What if Russia had actually taken over Georgia last year and we got a bunch of Georgian refugees… they’d be “white”, would that be a racial problem?

    You’re conflating things at the most absurd level I’ve ever seen and for what purpose, I have yet to determine.

  132. Not your finest work, MNG.

  133. But don’t worry, not even Jordan could hit every shot.

  134. The purpose, Sean, is the following: If it turns out that, god forbid, libertarians or conservatives get a black spokesperson, well, that would just threaten the liberal strangehold on that community, and it would (and this is a SORT OF legitimate point) give libertarians the “black friend” (which is why MNG said that phrase three times in this thread), which might legitimize what he perceives to be our “racism”.

    There are a lot of assumptions and strawmen that you have to follow to get there, but if “Frederick Douglass = libertarian, then anti-AA libertarians now are somehow legitimate”

  135. I don’t have a time machine (yet), so we can never go back and get old Fred and bring him into out time to see what he thinks of various programs.

    My point is that you have this article which claims he would be against all these programs because he used colorblind and black self-reliance rhetoric. As I pointed out, that is an incredibly weak argument because:

    1. Pretty much ever mainstream major black figure in our history used or uses colorblind and black self-reliance rhetoric and most of them ALSO supported most modern civil rights programs.

    2. Frederick Douglass himself supported a big government program that had as its goal and purpose to alleviate the problems of black people

    I’m not sure what’s controversial about all of this. Was the FB not a big govenment program? Did it not aim to help alleviate the suffering of black people in particular? Did not MLK, DuBois, Obama, etc use color blind and black self-reliance rhetoric while supporting all of these programs?

  136. How is my argument weaker Art? Look at my last post. There it is.

  137. If you go back and read what I wrote (I know reading comprehension is tough for you MNG, but try hard on this one), then you’ll notice that there was no contradiction.

    Hypothetically: “So what if some programs during the reconstruction were just for blacks – it was just the blacks who were slaves… So… uhh…. AGAIN: Duh.”

    Factually: “”Add to that that brotherben quickly and easily demolished your claim that the Freedmen’s Bureau was exclusively for blacks”

    (Nice way to re-organize the order of those quotes, btw, but no… still fail)

    The point, in case you missed it is that hypothetically speaking there’s nothing wrong with programs “only for blacks” when it was just blacks who were victims. However, factually speaking your specific example was bullshit anyway.

    Thus you’re wrong in two distinct ways –

    1. That a refugee/freedmen’s aid program is the same thing as modern affirmative action or welfare programs (again, one is based on making reparations for a crime committed against one group who happened to be the same race and the other is specifically a racist program designed to give preferential treatment based on race.)

    and
    2. That the refugee-aid program you specifically cite was by itself, racist.

    FAIL, FAIL, FAIL, FAIL, FAIL.

  138. 2. Frederick Douglass himself supported a big government program that had as its goal and purpose to alleviate the problems of black people freed slaves

    FTFY.

  139. “2. Frederick Douglass himself supported a big government program that had as its goal and purpose to alleviate the problems of black people recently freed slaves”

    FTFY

  140. I surely see it differntly TAO. Right leaning libertarians such as yourself hold positions which most blacks currently, and most black spokespersons throughout history historically, hold to be detrimental to black well being (at best, and racist at worst).

    Nobody wants to think they hold such positions, everyone wants to think they are “really the friends” of this and that minority. And it helps if you can find blacks who will tell you that, despite the fact that most blacks think your views are crazy and hurtful, that you really do have views that would be helpful to the black community. Since you’re kind ain’t going to get many blacks to say that you start looking for some Famous Black Champion who REALLY actually agreed with you. This is why conservatives rarely fail to cite MLK on colorblindness.

    Of course it’s all nonsense. Blacks as a group massively reject conservative and libertarian views for a good reason; they know that such arguments would be harmful to their interests. And so finding a Famous Black Champion that agrees with that view is, yes, going to take some dishonesty and some bullshit arguing like we found in that article.

  141. Let Sean Malone answer Sean Malone:

    “”2. Frederick Douglass himself supported a big government program that had as its goal and purpose to alleviate the problems of black people recently freed slaves”

    FTFY”

    “some programs during the reconstruction were just for blacks – it was just the blacks who were slaves… So… uhh…. AGAIN: Duh”

  142. God, I hate to bring this up. IIRC the black liberation theology the rev Wright’s church was based upon was all about hard work, self relience and personal responsibility in the black community. Very libertarian in many respects.

  143. Sean – nice cross post. We’re going to have to archive this one for posterity.

    And Sean, you can now see that yes, MNG is worried that if there is a black libertarian out there, that will legitimize our criticisms of things like Affirmative Action and ergo destroy the interests of blacks.

    So, MNG has to tear down Frederick Douglass because he’s ascared of black libertarians like Larry Elder, Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell and Janice Rogers Brown. It’s the reason why white liberals and black racebaiters call Clarence Thomas an Uncle Tom: because they all perceive the welfare state as the only way blacks can get ahead, and those five I just listed have the audacity to break with the racist and ridiculous CBC and its obsequious hangers-on.

    Like I said, MNG, die in a fire.

  144. Douglass supported a program that would help the victims of slavery, who were also all black people, just like MLK supported affirmative action programs to help the victims of Jim Crow, who were also all black people.

  145. I don’t know who else I’m speaking for, but I’ve never considered it a virtue to be a “friend to a minority”. I’m a friend to liberty, rational thought and prosperity. Those things have a solid historical track-record of being great for everyone. Race really doesn’t enter into the equation… I doubt very much that Williams or Sowell see themselves any differently. Ideas are ideas, people are people, and it’s the individual character of each which determines value. That most “blacks” believe that dumbass economic policy is helpful to them, is no different than that most people on the planet believe in really ridiculously irrational policy that bites them in the ass over & over. I.e. not as surprise

  146. Where in the world are you people getting the idea that I am tearing down Douglass? As I said upthread I don’t think he is being a hypocrite in using color blind and self reliance rhetoric and then supporting government assistance to his people. YOU GUYS would think he were a hypocrite if this dawned upon you, but then you guys have some quirky ideas about race…

  147. the only thing I want from MNG now is for him to officially state that he was wrong when he said that Frederick Douglass would never assert “human race is the only race” as a proposition. He said it, MNG, and you were wrong, so own up.

  148. we have “quirky” ideas about race like “race doesn’t mean anything” and “content of character” kinda stuff. We’re so damn quirky!

  149. “I’m a friend to liberty, rational thought and prosperity.”

    Wow, that is so sanctimonious its almost hilarious.

    “It’s the reason why white liberals and black racebaiters call Clarence Thomas an Uncle Tom:”

    Maybe they call them that because, like most other black people, they find the policies they advocate to be harmful to blacks? Oh, that’s right, 95% of blacks are just crazy and don’t know what’s really good for them…You do.

  150. Yes Stephen Colbert, I mean TAO, mighty quirky!

  151. Are you arguing that Douglass, as evidenced by his support for the freedmen’s bureau, couldn’t possibly have had any libertarian tendencies? Is that why you called bullshit on the article way up top?

  152. “the only thing I want from MNG now is for him to officially state that he was wrong when he said that Frederick Douglass would never assert “human race is the only race” as a proposition. He said it, MNG, and you were wrong, so own up.”

    Let’s go to the tape for this, shall we TAO?
    MNG | July 6, 2009, 10:47am | #

    “I imagine Douglass would be delighted that this nation has an African-American President, Supreme Court Justice, etc., and that only about 22% of African-Americans live in poverty, and that they live and work side by side with whites. And I think he’d realize that government iniatives had a lot to do with all of that…”

    Hmm, I don’t think I said that Douglass would never say something like that…

  153. Blacks as a group massively reject conservative and libertarian views for a good reason; they know that such arguments would be harmful to their interests.

    MNG, IMHO, groupthink and short-sighted self-interest are two of the grimmest realities of the American political process and possibly of democracy itself.
    Also, by presenting views along demographic lines you, intentionally or not, marginalize countervailing or contrary opinions.
    And guess, what? Black people are like everyone else in that, among black people like among the general public, large swaths of voters are fucking drones.

  154. No, this is how this conversation went:

    MNG | July 6, 2009, 11:08am
    You really think, given his life, that he would nobly shake his head and a la Stephen Colbert say “Bah, I don’t see race, that matters not to me!”

    And then?

    “I conceive that there is no division of races. God Almighty made but one race…You may say that Frederick Douglass considers himself a member of the one race that exists.” Frederick Douglass.

  155. Wow MNG… You are really desperate to turn what I said into a contradiction aren’t you?

    I guess it’d be funny… Nah, strike that, it is funny.

    There’s probably no point, but the fact that all the freed people were black is incidental to the point that the correction was designed to help “freed people”, and not “black people”. Given the history, that they were black is… again, a given. Thus: “Duh”.

    You’re still missing the point though, somehow. There’s no contradiction to say that, “because all the freed slaves were black, seeing some programs support only blacks is not surprising” and that “the programs were about helping freed people because they’d been enslaved, not because they were black.”…

    That is, unless your warped sense of cause & effect has you thinking that they were now free because they were black….. as opposed to, you know, because the state finally recognized them as people and decided differences of race shouldn’t allow some people to own other people.

  156. BB
    I called bullshit on the idea that we can deduce that Douglass would frown on the modern civil rights apparatus/mindset by showing some of his quotes using color-blind rhetoric, and that you could deduce that he would condemn current government programs to blacks based on pointing to self-reliance rhetoric he used.

    My argument is that such rhetoric can’t establish how he would fee about these programs because many black leaders both use such rhetoric and support such programs/mindsets.

    And that he, in his lifetime, supported a big government program which had as its goal to assist his people also makes the article’s claims even more tenuous.

  157. Maybe they call them that because, like most other black people, they find the policies they advocate to be harmful to blacks? Oh, that’s right, 95% of blacks are just crazy and don’t know what’s really good for them…You do.

    you are just as ignorantly collectivist as the Southerners you routinely slam. you’re the other side of the redneck coin: a redneck with a degree, hellbent on a crusade to stereotype people.

  158. Maybe they call them that because, like most other black people, they find the policies they advocate to be harmful to blacks? Oh, that’s right, 95% of blacks are just crazy and don’t know what’s really good for them…You do.

    Appeals to popularity will get you nowhere. Doesn’t Nickelback sell a lot of records and didn’t Friends get really good ratings?

  159. But Sean, for the MILLIONTH time: no one supports programs to help blacks simply because the people are black! Douglass supported a program to help blacks because it was blacks that were the victims of slavery; MLK supported affirmative action for blacks because it was blacks who were the victims of Jim Crow; Obama supports programs to help blacks because he feels they still suffer from the effects of Jim Crow; etc., etc.,

  160. Truth hurts, eh TAO?

    If only those 95% of black people weren’t so crazy and could see what a friend folks with your views are to them…

  161. Also… Being perceived as sanctimonious is, in my view, a far cry better than being an idiot. And a lot better than an idiot who is perpetually on the wrong side of history.

    So no worries MNG… call me any derivation of that word you want.

  162. But, let’s get it specifically, point by point.

    Yes or no, Obama, MLK, and other black leaders BOTH use color-blind language AND support(ed) programs to help blacks.

  163. go ahead, MNG, call any black libertarian an Uncle Tom. you seem to think that’s justified. Go on, do it.

  164. YOU GUYS would think he were a hypocrite if this dawned upon you, but then you guys have some quirky ideas about race…

    I really don’t think most people know much about libertarianism, to tell you the truth. I told my sister last year that even though I’m a registered independent, I lean libertarian, and she says (and she’s a pretty smart person…Master’s degree, all that jazz), “libertarians, aren’t those those guys who are racist?”

    I don’t think most people are that politically savvy, MNG. I’m not even politically savvy.

    Also, Malone made the point at 2:21, people will buy shit.

  165. The Freedman’s Bureau: government program to provide assistance, or not?

  166. “”libertarians, aren’t those those guys who are racist?””

    I think people that have that view are not so minsinformed Art…Racists are attracted to libertarianism. Like I’v long said, some libertarians are libertarians because they think government programs hurt blacks, and some are because they think government programs help blacks.

    And those who are certainly not racist hold views that most blacks rightly find harmful to blacks, which wouldn’t be much better I would guess…

  167. see, Art, MNG thinks it’s OK to call you an Uncle Tom.

  168. Obama supports programs to help blacks because he feels they still suffer from the effects of Jim Crow; etc., etc.,

    Hold on, friendo. How do you know Obama doesn’t support those programs because they’re politically expedient? Because it sure pushes the bounds of plausibility that he thinks these gov’t programs can have an effect on the (psychological?) vestiges of Jim Crow. But, hey, MNG, I’m sure that (5%?) that go against the popular beliefs that a Negroe should have? are the “insane” ones, and all the other 95%(?) reached their political views through a careful and principled evaluation of all the political options available. While I’m pretty sure many liberals have, I don’t think that statistic means much other than that the Dems have done a good job pandering to black Americans.

  169. Look, I’ll help you guys.

    Douglass said some things about colorblindness and self reliance over government assistance. But so did MLK, DuBois, Obama, etc., and we all agree they supported non-colorblind programs and government assistance programs. So my point that you cannot conclude, from that rhetoric, that Douglass would hate on those programs is pretty unassailable.

    And to make it stronger, the man did support a program that was a big government assistance program. One that helped blacks.

    Like I said, feel free to argue that the FB did not invovle government assistance. Or that MLK, DuBois and Obama did not use color-blind rhetoric while supporting non-colorblind programs. Try your best.

  170. we’ll try to help you: the FB was only incidentally about race, not race-focused.

  171. “programs to help black people” are not ALL THE SAME FUCKING THING!

    Your intellectual failure here is the same everytime MNG! You keep conflating things into groups that are fundamentally different. You also use bullshit terms when you do it which many of us here would object to from the start. The Freedmen’s Bureau wasn’t designed to “help black people”, but to correct for injustices done against recently freed people. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. Learn it. Understand it.

    I also reject the notion that most programs with the expressed intention of helping this or that race remotely succeed in those aims. I think I’ve told you before to read the State Against the Blacks, and I’m quite sure you still haven’t.

  172. I haven’t called anyone, Clarence Thomas or Art an uncle tom. You said “this is why liberals hate black libertarians and conservatives so much and why they call them uncle tom.” And I said “maybe they call them uncle tom because they advocate policy which 95% of blacks see as harmful to blacks.”

    Sure, Walter Williams might be right, or Art, and 95% of blacks wrong, on the issue of what is best for black people. But myself, I find those numbers telling of something…And to be honest, I think folks like TAO do too…And it makes them mad, and insecure, so they engage in this kind of labored revisionism to find Famous Black People who really, really agreed with them…

  173. Sean, why would MNG need to read that? you can see that Walter Williams, according to MNG, holds views that would harm blacks, and is therefore an Uncle Tom, or a racist. I’m not sure which just yet. But MNG’s religion will tell us shortly, I am sure.

  174. “I will make a note to check out, or re-check DuBois’ and Foner’s literature on The Freedmen’s Bureau.”

    The Souls of Black Folk:

    http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=DubSoul.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=1&division=div1

  175. TAO
    I’ve noticed you pedaled away from the “caught you” stuff. You’re going to wear the tread out on your tires from all the pedaling in this thread…

  176. You said “this is why liberals hate black libertarians and conservatives so much and why they call them uncle tom.” And I said “maybe they call them uncle tom because they advocate policy which 95% of blacks see as harmful to blacks.”

    And you’re certainly not sad about those epithets or anything.

  177. “The Freedmen’s Bureau wasn’t designed to “help black people”, but to correct for injustices done against recently freed people.”

    And affirmative action programs as supported by MLK weren’t desigend to “help black people” but to correct for injustices done against people under segregation.

    Those people happened to be black btw.

  178. no, MNG, I still “caught you”. You said that Douglass would never make a Colbert-esque “Race doesn’t matter”, Colorblind-based statement, and he, in fact, did. You then changed it to “well, a lot of black leaders said stuff like that, and then acted differently.” But the statement that Douglass said, which you said he would never say, remains said, and you have yet to admit you were wrong.


  179. You and I don’t advocate current race based programs because we don’t see “their plight” today as being as bad as “their plight” was then.”

    Today, they are slaves of their own making.

  180. “Walter Williams, according to MNG, holds views that would harm blacks”

    Well, and according to about 95% of blacks. That’s more pertinent I should think.

  181. Over and over on these boards MNG, you fail to make crucial distinctions and subsequently fail to understand what you’re talking about in any meaningful way.

    Freedmen’s Bureau ? AA ? EOE ? etc. etc.

  182. OK TAO, it’s been a half hour since you made that charge, so reproduce my post saying that.

  183. Let’s be clear on this, right.

    Have black leaders not used color-blind rhetoric, and urged black self-reliance, while at the same time supporting government programs to assist blacks? Yes they have, or no they haven’t?

    TAO? Mr. Malone?

  184. you said, at 11:08:

    You really think, given his life, that he would nobly shake his head and a la Stephen Colbert say “Bah, I don’t see race, that matters not to me!

    And I provided this:

    “I conceive that there is no division of races. God Almighty made but one race”

    – Frederick Douglass –

  185. MNG | July 6, 2009, 11:08am | #

    Also, given even common knowledge of Douglass, can anyone here maintain with a straight face that he would not be pleased as punch to see that African-Americans had come so far as to be Presidents and Supreme Court Justices? You really think, given his life, that he would nobly shake his head and a la Stephen Colbert say “Bah, I don’t see race, that matters not to me!” Jesus Christ, TAO, try planet Earth for a little while…

  186. …Racists are attracted to libertarianism.

    Even if this is true, that doesn’t mean there’s any veracity to the opposite. Meaning: libertarians are *not* (for the most part) attracted to racism.

    And those who are certainly not racist hold views that most blacks rightly find harmful to blacks, which wouldn’t be much better I would guess…

    Yes, but these views are not ipso facto harmful to blacks so how much credence do you lend the popular opinion?

  187. MNG, no more. all you’ve done is rampantly conflate things that are not the same. your simplistic “yes or no? huh…HUH???! J’accuse!” schtick is simultaneously vapid and ignoring the point. oh well, so much the worse for you.

  188. And so the mere fact that black leader Douglass used such rhetoric is probably not very conclusive on how he would feel about government programs to assist blacks, yes or no?

  189. yes, it’s conclusive, because the Freedmen’s Bureau is not the simplistic program you’re making it out to be. Discussion over.

  190. Yes, were Douglass to be transported to our time and see Clarence Thomas and Barak Obama, I think it’s absurd to think he would say “Bah, I don’t see race, that matters not to me!”

    But duh to the fact that he would use color-blind rhetoric (which was TAO’s immediate retort), as I’ve demonstrated MLK, Obama, DuBois, etc., did too, but I’m guessing I know how they would feel to see a black justice or prez…

  191. I’ve been ignorant before, why stop now. That being said, I see a huge difference between Douglass supporting a govt program that gives a man 40 acres with the ability to buy it in 3 years, and education for illiterates, and MLK and Obama supporting a govt program that keeps the poor subject to the govt. One offers true freedom, the other, not so much.

  192. “we have “quirky” ideas about race like “race doesn’t mean anything” and “content of character” kinda stuff. We’re so damn quirky!”

    What’s REALLY quirky is that we are both repeatedly told that we’re all the same and forced to celebrate “cultural diversity”.

  193. TAO
    You’re not very bright today.

    I wasn’t even mentioning the FB. I was going with my first argument, that such language could hardly be conclusive considering the number of black leaders who use similar language while supporting government assistance to blacks.

    But I understand you know when you’re licked…

  194. like I said, that hinges on you equating a refugee program with affirmative action, which we have repeatedly demonstrated is a dishonest and intentionally superficial analysis.

    Poor baby.

  195. BB
    I think you stepped into it now.

    In fact, a program which expropriates 40 acres and the equivalent of a tractor and gives it to every poor black man is of a factor much greater than the kind of things Obama supports to help blacks!

    Can you imagine if Obama suggested land redistribution for blacks?

    Of course, aside from that Obama clearly doesn’t see the programs he supports as keeping the poor subject to the government.

  196. “Obama supports programs to help blacks because he feels they still suffer from the effects of Jim Crow; etc., etc.,”

    [citation needed]

  197. TAO
    Can you not read?

    Let me see if you can acknowledge the following black marks:

    You
    Can’t
    Conclude
    From His Color-blind
    And Self-Reliance
    Rhetoric
    Douglass’ Opposition
    to government assistance
    Considering how many
    Black leaders
    supported such
    Programs while
    Using such Rhetoric

    There, can you get that? Nothing about the Freedman’s Bureau, I’ve already spanked you on that. I’m just talking about the argument above.

  198. Well, and according to about 95% of blacks. That’s more pertinent I should think.

    Nickelback sells more albums than Devin Townsend. Soula Boy Tell ‘Em is more famous than Busdriver.

    Have black leaders not used color-blind rhetoric, and urged black self-reliance, while at the same time supporting government programs to assist blacks? Yes they have, or no they haven’t?

    Point?

    The funny thing is to be called an Uncle Tom for not falling into lockstep with what’s popular or to Adopt the Views That an African-American should have?. If the thought of it doesn’t bother you, MNG, you haven’t thought about it hard enough.

  199. Other than one having a war, the situations are exactly the same, MNG.

  200. “Point?”

    See my last post.

    As I’ve said before, my initial conclusion that the article is bullshit can rest comfortably on just the argument from my last post. Douglass’ support of the FB was just the cherry on an already scrumptious sundae of an argument…

  201. “And affirmative action programs as supported by MLK weren’t desigend to “help black people” but to correct for injustices done against people under segregation.

    Those people happened to be black btw.”

    And today this includes Hispanics, women and Pacific islanders, but for some reason not the Asians.

  202. You
    Can’t
    Conclude
    From His Color-blind
    And Self-Reliance
    Rhetoric
    Douglass’ Opposition
    to government assistance
    Considering how many
    Black leaders
    supported such
    Programs while
    Using such Rhetoric

    or: They all look the same to me.

  203. MNG,

    It’s telling that you can’t take Douglass at his word, and that you insist on lumping him in with mainstream black leaders from more recent times.

    It’s almost…nahhhh

  204. That 95% of black people support minimum wage laws doesn’t make minimum wage laws any more a contributor to a higher rate of unemployment among blacks. It’s actually pretty easy to understand, and ironic to some degree, but the fact that originally the prominent supporters of

    The popularity of the idea has dick-all to do with their results, and an awful lot to do with simplistic rhetoric pimped day in and day out by the political class. Same deal with how Obama’s lovely stimulus isn’t all that stimulating, and how it’s virtually indistinguishable from the various attempts Bush made, but with Obama, it’s all good, wise, benevolent and very very cool, and with Bush it was dumb, evil and square.

    There is a reason classical logic has the argumentum ad populum fallacy prominently featured as a bad thing.

  205. BB
    You’re right. And so am I, see?

    Douglass and MLK and Obama supported programs to help blacks in need. The need being more pronounced in Douglass’ time, he sought a bigger amoung of help. And so with Obama, the need being obviously less, he seeks smaller help.

    But they all are looking to help blacks in need through government assistance.

    Which makes the supposition that Douglass would be opposed to government assistance to blacks, based solely on some rhetoric he used, all the sillier, eh?

  206. Democrats can’t be racist.

  207. “brotherben | July 6, 2009, 2:58pm”

    Exactly.

  208. It’s telling that you can’t take Douglass at his word, and that you insist on lumping him in with mainstream black leaders from more recent times.

    It’s almost…nahhhh

    Oh yes, Art, that’s exactly what it is.

  209. It has nothing to do with lumping Art.

    Say you found a historical liberal who talked pacifist talk, and from that you conclude that he would oppose all wars.

    And then say you found out that historically many liberals would talk pacifistic talk while also supporting some wars.

    Then how stupid would you be to still think that the first liberal’s pacificistic talk means you can conclude he opposed war, even the wars of today?

  210. Still waiting on ya TAO.

    If MLK, Obama, DuBois, etc., could use color blind and self reliance rhetoric while supporting government assistance programs for blacks, then how can you conclude from Douglass’ similar rhetoric that he must oppose such programs?

    Is he special in your eyes? Surely you can give a reason.

  211. I mean, given that it’s fairly common for a black leader to use that kind of rhetoric while still supporting government assistance programs it seems, well, a bit retarded to think that black leader Douglass must have been against such programs because he used such rhetoric…

  212. If MLK, Obama, DuBois, etc., could use color blind and self reliance rhetoric while supporting government assistance programs for blacks, then how can you conclude from Douglass’ similar rhetoric that he must oppose such programs?

    Because, unlike you, I don’t think all black people are the same.

  213. Hey TAO, I’ve got to go read some comics now (Marvel 1602 Fantastik Four sequel), so you can come out now and try to refute my argument (let me help, not the FB based argument, the rhetoric one).

    Everyone else: about the popularity argument, perhaps 95% of blacks have it wrong about what is good for blacks, and Walter Williams et al., have it right. But, to borrow a very libertarian idea, that people know their own interests better than other parties do, I know which way I’m betting 😉

  214. Oh, he tried. I have to reply:

    OK TAO, but like I said, what makes him special?

    His sparkling eyes?

  215. That’s too small a sample size, MNG. And even if that pattern you’re talking about is the standard, some people would still run counter to it. So obviously, the take in this article is every bit as valid as yours.

  216. the rhetoric speaks for itself. care to refute it without saying that all black leaders are the same?

  217. their own interests

    Kind of crumbles when one involves collectivism, doesn’t it?

  218. How do YOU, or more importantly the author of the NRO article, know that Douglass wasn’t just doing what MLK or Dubois did? I mean, all you have is his rhetoric. I mean, we have that for MLK and DuBois too, and it seems to indicate zippo there.

    So, why so special?

    Whey the need to BELEIVE he was different and on your side? I think I know why…

  219. I like that MNG keeps asserting that he’s “winning”, all evidence to the contrary.

    Not only does MNG seem to think all black people are the same, he also strangely believes that one program “to help black people in need” is identical to all others as well… Thus reconstruction era restitution for crimes committed against specific people is, I must conclude, the same as instituting a quota-system pushing marginally qualified blacks into colleges or various employment schemes, or mandating wages for descendant of those people 6 generations later.

  220. Or when one *invokes collectivism.

  221. again, MNG, all you’re doing is saying “there were some black leaders who said this and did this, ergo, Douglass did the same thing.”

    that’s not proof, that’s just being ignorant.

  222. I don’t need to refute it. The article makes a claim based on the rhetoric. I’ve shown amply that one can use such rhetoric while supporting government assistance programs, so that’s not a good basis for any conclusion.

    Hell, I even added to it by showing his actual support for a government assistance program (let’s ignore that it was a race-specific one, it was a government assistance program, wasn’t it? One that makes our modern welfare seem a bit modest actually)

    Now the ball is in your court.

  223. “But, to borrow a very libertarian idea, that people know their own interests better than other parties do, I know which way I’m betting ;)”

    Not with generational brainwashing they don’t.

    Many, many blacks are trained to be victims and hate whites from the moment of their birth.

  224. “The article makes a claim based on the rhetoric. I’ve shown amply that one can use such rhetoric while supporting government assistance programs, so that’s not a good basis for any conclusion.”

  225. “The article makes a claim based on the rhetoric. I’ve shown amply that one can use such rhetoric while supporting government assistance programs, so that’s not a good basis for any conclusion.”

  226. And MNG, you keep invoking DuBois and MLK as if they were the be-all and end-all of black Civil Rights leaders.

  227. Had to post that a few times to increase chances you guys would read it.

    See, hanging the conclusion that he would oppose government assistance programs on that rhetoric is a pretty thin reed. Sure, maybe the rhetoric means that he would. But he surely would not have to oppose such programs because he used that rhetoric. That one can has already been established.

  228. MNG, your intellectual dishonesty re: the Freeman’s Bureau is actually infuriating to me.

  229. No, no, Art, just as examples of how it is totally possible to use such rhetoric and still support government assistance programs. Since its totally possible, in fact empirically frequent, concluding Douglass would oppose them from the rhetoric alone is quite stupid…

  230. MNG,

    I already got that. I just didn’t find it particularly compelling.

  231. There’s no differentiation between Douglass and Jesse Jackson and Obama and MLK as there is no differentiation between programs designed to help people who mostly (or even entirely) happen to be a certain race, and programs designed to help people with race as a specific criterion.

    No differentiation at all… everything is the same.

    And now, for the magical link into MNG’s other instances of being a moron… Because everything is basically the same, regardless of whether or not force is initiated or being used to protect others or make restitution for other crimes, he would naturally see no difference between the thief who acquires $1,000 from robbing a house and the judge who takes that $1,000 back and returns it to it’s original owner. In both cases, the money was taken “by force”, right?

    This applies to taxes too… There’s no difference between an individual voluntarily paying for say, schools or roads, and that same money being taken by force to pay for such things. In both cases, the money was used to build roads and schools, right?

    The Freedmen’s Bureau and AA both “help black people”, right?

  232. The odd thing to me is that you state you largely oppose racially-conscious entitlement programs, but then you defend the popularity of the mainstream left (and its support of these programs) with most black voters.

    If it’s OK for you to oppose these programs on principled grounds, why is it not OK for people of different political persuasions to question if not oppose social programs of the left (or the right for that matter)?

  233. Actually,

    the innominate one | July 6, 2009, 10:37am | #

    He lampooned the problem with this line of thinking perfectly, right off the bat.

  234. U.S. Capitol is too white, say critics
    By Reid Wilson
    The staff on Capitol Hill is too white.

    That’s what a group of frustrated members, lobbyists and aides are claiming as they press congressional leaders to adopt a version of the so-called Rooney rule.

    The rule, named after Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, has been credited with significantly increasing the number of African-American coaches in the National Football League.

    http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/u.s.-capitol-is-too-white-say-critics-2009-06-25.html

  235. And in fact, if libertarianism is so appealing to racists, why not solve that problem by flooding the party and its forums with minorities? 😀

  236. innominate one, that would make a good t-shirt or bumper sticker, actually.

  237. Another observation: not all the problems of the poor, or poor black people, are the problems of the middle class, or the black middle class.

  238. It’s so cute how Bean ends with the notion that the Republican Party should return to Douglass’ principles, as if a modern political party were even capable of principle.

    They can not return to where they have never been.

    That’s what a group of frustrated members, lobbyists and aides are claiming as they press congressional leaders to adopt a version of the so-called Rooney rule.

    The rule, named after Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, has been credited with significantly increasing the number of African-American coaches in the National Football League.

    http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/u.s.-capitol-is-too-white-say-critics-2009-06-25.html

    Chiefs of staffs tend to be appointed from the inner circles of elected officials.

    In fact, a program which expropriates 40 acres and the equivalent of a tractor and gives it to every poor black man is of a factor much greater than the kind of things Obama supports to help blacks!

    That particular program was for newly freed slaves.

  239. This is like that one thread where everyone pwned Mad Max, except this time it’s MNG.

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