Battlepanda: Filling the dumb pundit gap


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Filling the dumb pundit gap

With NY Times about to take away free access to Friedman et. al., what's a blogger to do when news are slow and the urge to stomp on some stupidity builds?

I have a feeling the L.A. Times op-eds should fill gap more than nicely. Here's David Gelernter:
Equality doesn't mean you get a pass or special privileges just because your skin is dark or you appear Middle Eastern.

You might argue that dark-skinned people are a special case, given the way the United States has treated them. I agree — we have treated them so solicitously, and worked so hard to suppress racial prejudice, that dark-skinned people owe their country the benefit of the doubt.
The emphasis is mine. "We" versus "them". Light-skinned versus dark-skinned. Americans versus people who live here.

I suppose "dark-skinned people" ought to be so grateful for getting treated almost as well as the white folks around here that it would take a special kind of impertinance to ask for the privilege of being allowed to go about their business without being singled out for harrassment.

As for Gelernter's astonishing assertion that the U.S. government "worked so hard to suppress racial prejudice" that non-whites ought to cut them a little slack when it comes to civil rights infringements, that is shamelessness on par with a wife-beater justifying slaps to the face on the grounds that he has "worked so hard" to suppress his urges to land punches that would put her in hospital. I don't want to deny Americans the good feelings that accompanies progress -- the abolition of slavery, the repeal of Jim Crow laws. But behind the justifiable pride must lay the acknowledgement that those improvements has been a long time coming. The fact that the British abolished slavery before the Land of the Free will forever be besmirch our history, as does the continuation of segregation well into the 60's. Is it too much to ask of crypto-racists like Gelernter to lay off the self-congratulation for how "solicitous" the treatment of colored people have been in this country?

Thanks to Brad Delong for pointing out the utter stupidity.