That said, the liberal world’s intellectual squalor is all around us these days. Consider the silliest child in town, Salon’s Alex “Kid” Pareene. On Tuesday, when we went to Salon, these headlines sat at the top of the site, announcing a featured story. Once again, the Kid was playing his silly-boy games, with his editor’s blessing:
Barack Obama’s favorite columnists are awful
The president reads Thomas Friedman, David Brooks, and other out-of-touch old white guys
We’ve written about the peculiar, white-on-white racial denigration which is becoming so hip and so chic in some pseudo-liberal circles. The Kid is one of the very dumbest when it comes to this type of aspersion. Joan’s hireling struck his latest pose at the end of his piece:
PAREENE: E.J. Dionne is an unoffensive old liberal. Joe Klein is guilty of various heinous crimes against journalism and retains his cushy job only because of inertia. Gerald Seib is a reliable purveyor of Washington conventional wisdom for an increasingly dishonestly edited Murdoch paper. Anyone who reads these (old, white) men to understand politics will come away with very limited and distorted understanding of the world.
Anyone who reads this (young, inept) boy sees how eager the “liberal” world is to behave like (low-IQ) droogs.
The good news: Many readers complained about this pose—before others showed up, as they will when encouraged, to talk about gays and Jews. The fourth commenter offered a tart critique. He used a well-chosen word—sad:
COMMENT TO SALON (10/26/10): Using White Guys as a slur
“other out-of-touch old white guys”
Really, I am beginning to think you really are a race baiter.
How many times have you used Old White Guys as a slur now?
It's just sad.
It is just sad. But then, so was the very next comment, taking us where we always go when nits like Pareene lead the way:
COMMENT TO SALON: It's a code word for the "J" word which nobody can say or use because of Rick Sanchez.
Was “old white guys” a code word for “Jews?” We would assume it wasn’t. But this is where the world quickly goes when racial heroes like Joan Walsh hire kids like Pareene.
Wait, Kid Pareene, not all that?
Golly, it was C.I. who made that point while Bob was praising the 'kid' not all that long ago. (They were mirror opposites that day, C.I. and Bob.)
That's my first point. My second?
I went back and forth on last night's post and originally included "White" in it. I also had written it with choice words in it that I try not to use currently (but I do write it that way and go back and pull it in the final draft). I do understand that no matter how many times I say, "Not you," to a reader, they do feel like maybe it is them.
Now, from where I'm coming from, I've been discriminated against for my skin color and my sexuality. And I do feel anger over certain things. And I probably am lashing out, honestly, when I'm hurling "Honky" or worse.
But Betty, blessed Betty (Betty really is a child of God and I mean that in the most angelic way possible), asks when do we let it go? Not to forget it but to stop it from holding us back. Betty's very aware of our race's history.
And she's right. And readers who e-mail, readers who are White, and are offended that I'm throwing around the word are right too.
ANd I can say, "It's been unfair for my people and" whatever else. But, right or wrong, some White person using the n-word to hurt (some White people wrongly use the n-word thinking they are a part of the African-American community, I don't like it and I don't use the n-word but I do understand it's not used to hurt) could probably argue the same thing.
And I think about this story. 2nd graders. In an aunt's school. Two brothers, Black, one little boy, White. All the same age. Calling each other names as kids will do and comparing each other to food and when the brothers compared the White kid to white food, it was ignored by the teachers but when the White kid came back with a comparison to a black food (dark colored food), half the teachers had a fit. (My aunt wasn't one of the ones having a fit. She was one of the ones trying to reason with her peers that this wasn't what they were leaping to.)
We're not segregated. Our grandparents (or maybe our parents, or maybe our great-grandparents, depending on your age) had to live in that world. But we do have a chance to interact, all races, and I don't want to be the one putting up racial barriers. So my apologies.
I do think it's important to note race. (And Somerby's not saying it's not.) For example, if I did what Ava and C.I. do each week (analyze TV), I'd need to be following trends and noting whose stories got told and whose did not. Or if I reviewed movies or music. But that's not what's going on.
There's a real attack on White people. And I don't want to act like I'm part of that or to be part of it. So I'm trying real hard to get beyond those words.
Can you imagine if you saw "old Black men" how outraged you'd be?
I can remember seeing that by the way, when certain elements of my community wouldn't rush to embrace Barack. Attacks on our elderly, claims that they couldn't admit that the Civil Rights struggle was over (it's not over).
That offended me.
And reading Bob today really brought home a lot of things I'm working on on my end.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"