Progressives Lost in Time …

Back in the days of America’s civil rights revolution, liberals were on the right side of history. Conservatives were on the wrong side.

Liberals believed that black people should be able to vote, eat at any lunch counter, drink out of any water fountain, stay at any hotel, and sit anywhere they wanted on a city bus.

Did conservatives – most of them Southern Democrats – really believe that this was not so much about race but about states’ rights? Did they really believe that states had the right to treat white people one way and black people another? Well, yes, they did. Their position not only was wrong, it was indecent.

So, in those days the word “racism” meant something. Maybe not to the racists. Nothing could shame them. But in civilized society, the word carried power. No more.

Today the word is thrown around promiscuously, mainly by liberals. You’re a racist if … you’re against affirmative action as it’s currently practiced. You’re a racist if … you think the government is spending too much money on all sorts of questionable programs …

It sounds like Jeff Foxworthy’s redneck routine: You’re a redneck if … You think the last words to the national anthem are “Gentlemen, start your engines.” You’re a redneck if … You’ve been married three times and still have the same in-laws.”

That stuff made you laugh. The racism routine makes you want to cry.

Back in the bad old days of real racism, who could have foreseen a time when liberals – the ones who fought so hard for civil rights – would be the ones who would cheapen the word and render it meaningless?

Enter card-carrying progressive Lawrence O’Donnell, who took over for Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. The other night, O’Donnell spotted another case of “racism” in America. He was interviewing Jennifer Granholm, the former Democratic governor of Michigan, when he said this:

“Governor, I want you to listen to that last line of that Republican attack ad against President Obama one more time.” He then ran the ad, which ended with this: “Stop Obama and his union bosses today. The Republican National Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.”

In case you didn’t see the racism in those words, we’ll leave it to Mr. O’Donnell to explain: “The Republican Party is saying that the President of the United States has bosses; that the union bosses this President around, the unions boss him around. Does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that, of course, of course a black man can’t be the real boss?”

Never mind that Republicans have been saying pretty much the same thing about Democrats ever since unions came into existence in this country. It used to be called politics. Now, apparently it’s called racism — because, as everyone knows, “of course a black man can’t be the real boss.”

And I thought Olbermann was nuts!

Even a liberal like Granholm was caught off guard. “Wow, I hadn’t thought about the racial overtones,” she said, before changing the subject.

One of the many problems with so-called progressives is that they haven’t progressed very much over the past 50 or 60 years, at least not when the subject involves race. Instead, they’re hopelessly mired in the past. Someone needs to tell Lawrence O’Donnell, and his progressive pals, that America has changed. It’s no longer 1965, and we’re not in Selma anymore.

You can cry wolf just so many times before people stop paying attention.  And that’s the real crime of the  progressive Left.  If we call every slight, real or imagined, racism, if even honest disagreements are portrayed as racist,  what should we call the real thing when it shows its ugly head?

And by the way, the mayor of Selma these days is a black man.

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  • Research American Family InsuranceAgents

    @jesusosamachrist . Haha retards?. Please no more play in game …

  • Dr. Christian Chan

    From Chinese in Asia: USA must elect a American Nationalist who will legally and ruthlessly PURGE the USA of its evil Leftist Progressives from your government news media and education! If not they in time will PURGE you!
    Progressive = Oppressive

    • Paul Courtney

      Doctor, after that, who would purge the purgers?

      • Jack

        Of course the purgers don’t need purging.

  • Dan Farfan

    Every member of the cabinet is a boss and Obama put them there.
    Heck, except for a few “advisers” every person in every “advise and consent” position in Obama’s Executive branch is a boss. They are all Obama’s. They are all bosses.

    Oh the shame of the Federal government. ( lol )

    Maybe the shame is how MANY bosses there are, not whose they are or what anyone’s skin color, party affiliation or shoe size is.

    Dan

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    Rosie, Christine, and Lawrence … hmm … off the top of my head, no sane O’Donnell comes to mind.

  • stmichrick

    ‘Back in the bad old days of real racism, who could have foreseen a time when liberals – the ones who fought so hard for civil rights – would be the ones who would cheapen the word and render it meaningless?’

    Bernie; it’s not the same liberals throwing the term around. It’s the next generation, the offspring of the ‘Greatest Generation,’ who are desperate for an insult to throw at people with some standards and sense of responsible behavior who are pointing out the foibles of ‘progressivism’ and leftism. They aspire to have the same moral standing but do not.

  • Saul Weinberg

    Paul Beal, I suspect that there may be some degree of hypocrisy with Jewish conservatives on this site. We will agree with the racism related aspect of your comments but will bristle at the anti-semitic related aspect of it. But i dare say you you may have a point. Both are tossed about too easily.

  • begbie

    Bernie, thanks for pointing out O’Donnell. He will take his place among the vanquished in that time slot. I try to watch everyone to maintain perspective and to hear both sides of the story. But he’s really out there, maybe worse than Olbermann.

    Is he really up against O’Reilly? Again, I ask, how long will it take for Comcast to get rid of that hunk of dead weight? Good job on this one, Bernie.

  • http://n/a Hated English Police

    Bernie m’luv — where is your copy editor?
    Paragraph 3: “Did conservatives – most of them Southern Democrats – really believe that this was not so much about race but about state’s rights? Did they really believe that state’s had the right to treat white people one way and black people another?”
    Ya gotta watch those apostrophes. First STATE’S should read STATES’ and the second apostrophe should be removed as your use is a simple plural. You did use your spell check. Otherwise the column is perfect, grammar-wise, and as always, excellent.

    • begbie

      I think “Ya gotta” has also been adopted as acceptable grammer in our public schools. So don’t retort, Bernie!

    • Kevin M. Temple

      Bernie had it correct on both counts.

  • Shirl

    The only things liberals are liberal about are sex and drugs; is sure isn’t common sense.

  • EddieD_Boston

    The race card…don’t leave home without it.

    Seriously, liberals like O’Donnell are complete loons and their foolishness only plays to the looney fringe. (See: Burns, Wil)

    Nobody else takes them seriously. But they take themselves very seriously. They sound silly. Ever hear of the boy who cried wolf?

    They have nothing else to say so they toss their favorite word around in an effort to stifle debate.

    When will they grow up?

    • http://www.eschatonblog.com/ Wil Burns

      Eddie, I’l bet you believe everything Glenn Beck, Hannity and Bill O’Reilly tell you. You know the looney right!

      • begbie

        Just look at the ratings, Wil. Or are all these millions of viewers too stupid to choose to watch O’Donnell?

        Better question…..how long will it be before Comcast decides to fire O’Donnell too?

        • Bruce A.

          If O’Donnell is fired, then Comcast should also clean house. This is the same losing format which keeps the MSNBC ratings in the tank. Ratings are facts.

        • http://www.eschatonblog.com/ Wil Burns

          Huge ratings huh? Britney Spears CD’s outsell that of Beethoven…..which one is more viable music?

          ’nuff said!

          • begbie

            Wow. I can’t believe that’s your arguement. What about the TV ratings? They are on an even keel, both cable networks have the same saturation all over the country. One is the clear winner and one is losing terribly, not only to the other news networks, but to other genres as well!

            When’s the last time you saw a video on MTV for Beethoven? And will Britney Spears be remembered hundreds of years after her death? Good grief, Wil. ‘Nuff said indeed!

          • EddieD_Boston

            Who has a better bum, Spears or Beethovan? Beyond that dimwit, Beethovan has been dead for 100 years. Try drawing an analogy b/w Spears and Dave Mathews. You’d sound like less of an idiot.

          • Henry

            Wil, this has nothing to do with popularity. Beethoven’s music will always stand the test of time, just like conservatism will always stand the test of time!

          • MarioP

            begbie,

            You are proud that a Conservative network has high ratings? Is that really something to be proud of? To me it looks like the Conservatives can’t generate a thought of their own and need to plaster themselves in front of their TV to absorb, and not generate, ideas. Without Fox News, the Right would not know how to think.

          • begbie

            Never said I was proud, just commenting on Wil’s post. I’m an independant. Re-read my post, MarioP.

          • Jack

            And Will retorts with ……a non sequitur. How delightful.

          • Jack

            begbie, there were two political parties at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. They were the Federalists and the anti-Federalists. Extrapolated to contemporary politics that would be the conservatives and the libertarians, respectively. Be proud.

            The modern democrap party couldn’t come into existence until after Marx and Engels wrote their manifesto, ca. 1848. It finally became manifest with presidents Wilson and FDR.

            Finally, one has to be careful to differentiate between modern liberalism and classical liberalism. Classical liberalism is the liberalism of the Founders: free enterprise economy, property rights, firearms rights, religious rights, limited government, liberty loving, etc. Modern liberalism is synonymous with marxism and keynesianism. F.A. Hayek, in his 1944 book: The Road to Serfdom, laments this corruption and states that today, at least in the United States, classical liberalism resides in conservatism.

          • Jack

            EddieD, you are absolutely correct. One of the books on liberal bias that I have, it may have been one of Bernie’s, pointed out that for the far left, normal people will appear “right wing”, or “far Right.” This is most likely why the left has such contempt for regular American people who are center-right. The poor, uneducated twits, don’t ya know. This is how they judge FOX NEWS to be biased to the right, and why FOX NEWS is the most watched by the populace.

            Incidentally, I don’t have cable, so don’t watch FOX NEWS, and I’ve been engaged in this Culture War the left launched against the U.S. for 45 years, go figure.

      • EddieD_Boston

        I don’t watch Hannity or Beck. If you think O’Reilly is a right-wing zealot it’s b/c you don’t watch him and you get your information from the DailyKook.
        The difference b/t you and me is I got out of the house after the street lights went on. I get it and you and all other liberals don’t.
        What do EJ Dionne, O’Donnell and Keith Olberman all have in common? They are all little sweet peas that got beat up for their lunch money.

        • David

          I consider myself as conservative as it gets. So much so that I feel OReilly is to the left. Many other conservatives feel the same. Beck is in the game for himself and is doing the Christian thing. That is not conservatism and most feel he is a nut. Hannity is ok, but he still wants government control over our lives and can not see the stupidity in the TSA. So, really, none of these people are speaking for the conservatives. Now get me a talking head that wants to take us back to 1860, and I will be for him.

  • Ron Kean

    ‘The racism routine makes you want to cry.’

    No. It makes me angry.

    • Paul Beal

      I completely agree. One cannot critically examine issues to do with welfare reform without some fool bringing charges of racism. Additionally, one cannot have a serious discussion on Israel and its policy without fools bringing up charges of anti-semitism. I think those people that are very quick to see racism and anti-semitism really have an inbred mental defect. They should be told that nobody wants to hear their rubbish. We should be free to object to Obama’s policies without fear of being labeled anti-black and free to criticise Israel without being labeled anti-semitic. Both labels are frequently being rendered meaningless!

      • Ron Kean

        True to a great extent. Like Christianity and unlike Islam, Judaism has a wide spectrum of adherents all with a seemingly certain pride and connection. The J-Street crew would like to say they represent Jews as they lobby for anti-Israel measures. The very religious like isolation and have a special affinity for very religious pro-Israel Christians.

        And then there are many in the middle who take pride in personal identity mostly and are more sensitive and vocal in confronting the media and world happenings hostile to Jews. Best example was the ruckus over Glenn Beck bringing up the past of George Soros. We cannot judge unusual behavior at self preservation but in Beck’s case it was more political than anything else. Liberal Jews against iconic conservative spokesperson.

        Back to your comment. Many feel it’s just not fair to criticize Israel who by comparison to most all in that neighborhood is angelic. The double standard is alive. Arabs can live in Israel but… Arabs can build where they want but… Christians are being murdered in a lot of middle eastern countries but… Criticism of Israel is ubiquitous but… It’s not fair but anti-Israel and antisemitic sentiment is growing. A Helen Thomas or a Mel Gibson will get busted but that’s just pebbles on the beach. Republican congresspeople are Israel’s only friends.

        So go ahead and complain about Israel. Join the chorus. It won’t matter.

        • Paul Beal

          I am somewhat perplexed by your response. I will try to reason it out, so please bear with me. I thought the principle being established in Bernie’s column is that groups (or their sympathisers) that have historically been the subject of discrimination are now frivolously alleging a discriminative bias or intent against those that criticise policies of a person or persons that comes from that historically much maligned group. I will call this principle the Bernie principle. You seemed to agree with that principle to the extent that it applies to blacks (or their “liberal” sympathisers).

          Your argument seems to suggest that it does not and should not apply to anti semitism because “anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment is growing”. This suggests to me, that your principle is now that exceptions to to the core Bernie principle should apply where discrimination towards a maligned group is growing. However, I am sure you are aware that in present day America it is still more common for un armed blacks to be indiscriminately killed by police officers and to be given more draconian sentences than whites for the same crime. Unemployment is highest in the black community than any other sub group. Consequently, one can still say that “anti black sentiment is still very high in America today and may be growing”. I would hasten to add that anti-black sentiment is more of a problem in America than anti-semitism. I do however concede that both are evil.

          With that said, both Jews and blacks have historically suffered discrimination and both groups feel that such sentiment is either still very present or is growing. You however did express your repugnance to the racism charge by saying “it makes me mad” but when applied to the excessive use of anti-semitism charge you believe it is warranted because the “anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment is growing”. So what explains the different standards you have applied to the Bernie Principle. I will suggest either you (1) disagree with the Bernie Principle generally but thinks it should be applied blacks or their sympathisers. This will mean that you have an inherent anti-black bias and you are in fact a racist; (2) agree with the Bernie Principle but believe it should not apply to Israel because such is an attack on Jews as a group. Which would mean that you think that Jewish people should not be subject to the standards applied to others. This does not make you anti black but would betray a belief in the inherent superiority of the Jewish race. You will therefore have a similar belief system of the Nazi party. The belief in the notion of a superior race or (3) You have no principled position either way, you hate Obama either because he is liberal or black or both and you unquestionably support Israeli policies because you are Jewish or you hate Arabs or all the above.

          The next issue then goes to Israel and what really is it. Are all Israeli Jews historically Jewish and are all Palestinians historically Arab? It is fair to say a lot of modern Jews of European descent converted to Judaism over the 8-10 century. Others are ethnically Jewish and have intermarried with European over the years and now look white so to speak. The Palestinian are themselves ethnically Jewish but are either Christians or Muslims by faith now. As you are aware, during the Roman conquest of ancient Israel, many Hebrews were forced by Rome to leave. Most Hebrews left whilst others converted from Judaism to Christianity in order to avoid the forced eviction. These (former Jews) then later converted to Islam in order to ensure their self preservation during the Ottoman Empire conquest. http://riverscrap.typepad.com/home/2009/08/oy-vey-90-of-palestinians-have-jewish-heritage.html . They have since intermarried with Arabs, Greeks and blacks just as their European cousins (modern day ashkenazi jews) intermarried with Europeans. Palestinians are not descendants of Ishmael, they are descendant of Isaac and they are ethnically Jewish but are not practitioners of the Jewish faith.

          The issue now is, how can critical examination of the policies of the state of Israel automatically make a person anti-Jewish or anti Semitic when both sides to the issue relate to essentially to the same people that happen to practice different religions. But I digress. I think my point is made and only you can determine what your actual principled position is on the Bernie Principle. What is sure, however, is that it is definitely not consistent.

          • Paul Courtney

            I don’t understand the “Bernie Principal” to hold that all complaints of racism are cries of wolf. When you bring Israel into it, it does not hold that every criticism of Israel automatically makes you anti-semitic. Don’t wear yourself out slashing at this strawman, though, you’ve got important work to do. Go over there and ‘splain to those Palestinians that they’re really Jews, and after you’ve persuaded them, tell the Israelis that they’re… well, they’re not Jewish, anyway, and once they’re persuaded, why, you’ll have achieved peace! And L. O’Donnell will have to go back to hating the Brits, on his new gig @ Current tv.

          • Ron Kean

            You seem to imply that blacks are arrested and imprisoned disproportionally because of racism. I think it’s because they broke laws.

            Nobody to my knowledge ever wanted to kill every last black person. And the Islamic threat is obvious.

            Huge atrocities are happening all over the world right now. North Korea, Zimbabwe…you know them all.

            When the whole world condemns Israel for building apartments, it goes beyond racism. It’s insanity. Of course the country is imperfect and people can criticize it. But it’s always been in a fight for it’s survival since the UN ok’d the partition. And self defense is a rationale for extreme action.

            Israel takes on buffer zones from multiple wars of self defense so the knife is that much farther from its throat. Also, arabs build in Israel so Israelis should be able to build in neighboring lands. For this, the whole world condemns it. Its neighbors want every single demand met before they will talk as they throw their children and women in front of bullets.

            Let’s look at it another way. Blacks are progressing. There’s a president, representatives, judges, world leaders etc. Islam is progressing. There are places in European cities that practice sharia law. Both the black and Islamic populations are growing at a faster rate than other groups. Good for them. I have no beef with that if French people and Scandinavians don’t.

            Jews are shrinking and more and more governments are willing to condemn Israel over stupid things. It’s insane. But it’s common, pervasive and ubiquitous that Israel and Jews are the object of more vitriol than any group. People talk about Jewish money. Many big money Jews are fierce critics of Israel.

            So I was just venting frustration that the world will gang up on Jews and tiny Israel and people will still think its just like every other ethnic group. I never called you an anti-semite. I just said you or anyone can criticize anything you want. I just see it as more than ordinary multi-cultural bias. It’s bigger and deeper and always has been and some of us are more sensitive than others.

          • Paul Beal

            Ron,

            I am still at a loss with your comments vis a vis the different standards you have applied to black related charges of racism and Jewish related charges of anti-semitism. In trying to understand your exception to the Bernie Principle, I stated that unarmed blacks are still likely (i)to be shot by Police officers during the process of arrest (Oakland case comes to mind) (2) to be given longer prison sentences than whites for the SAME crime and (3) to have a higher proportion of their members unemployed when compared to other groups (even if we take people of similar qualifications). Blacks are sometimes imprisoned because they broke the laws many others are imprisoned because they are framed and others are imprisoned because certain laws are more rigorously pursued than others. It is fair to say that there is hardly any person of the age of 30 that has not broken the laws of the state at some point in time. If I wanted prisons to be predominantly Jewish or white or Asian, all one needs to do is the aggressively police and enforce those areas or laws where people of those groups tend to commit infractions. It may be focusing more on white collar crime, insider dealing, investment fraud, selling and consumption of ecstasy drugs or Indian hemp etc. The system has tended to focus more aggressively on crimes committed by blacks and have given blacks more draconian sentences for those crimes committed vis a vis other racial groups. Their position is not as simplistic as you would want to think. Now, on Israel, the issue is not merely building new apartments. The issue is there have been a huge swathe of people that have been rendered stateless because of the collateral damage done to the Palestinians as a result the UN decision of 1948 (because of the need to give some kind of comfort to the Jews in response to their recent suffering in Germany).

            The issue now is how can some just outcome be managed. The building of settlements impinges on the ability of both sides to reach a just settlement. That is the issue. North Korea, Burma, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain are all countries that have felt the wrath of the international community for the way they treat their citizens. Israel (whether it be tiny or not) must be subject to the rules of the international community like anyone else. Israeli problems relate to the disgraceful way that government treats the Palestinians! It has used weapons that have been banned by the world in its military actions in Gaza. Those actions would ordinarily constitute war crimes. That is way many members of the Israeli government cannot go the Europe for fear of being arraigned for war crimes. The process is being commenced against Qaddafi too now for Libya’s actions against its own citizens.

            In America, there are more Jewish senators in the senate than blacks (i doubt that there is even a black senator in the US senate at this moment) despite the fact that blacks account for 5 times the population of Jews in the US. In the supreme court, Jews account for 33 percent of the justices. Blacks have one justice of the supreme court. Again, blacks represent 5 times the population of Jews in the US. In all accounts Blacks will give the last leg to be subject to the type of anti-semitism that you complain Jews are subjected as opposed to the type of racism they still have to deal with. I am also sure you would not be so unkind on your fellow Jews as to trade the current Jewish experience in America for the the current black experience in America! Yes, there is a black president but he is really half black and half white. He spends most of his time talking harshly to blacks and preaching personal responsibility to them and is far more scared of the Jewish lobby. Obama is nothing more than a psychological relief to blacks and nothing more. By all accounts, American Jews have it made (especially when compared to black America experience).

            In relation to the shrinking nature of the Jewish population, Ethnic Jews are not shrinking. Some have stopped practicing the faith or have married out of the faith so to speak. Secondly, conversion to Judaism is markedly more difficult than conversion to other major religions. I believe there is a law being proposed in Israel that would make Rabbis in Israel the sole determinants of who a Jew is. You may not even pass that test!! Any faith that raises the bar to entry will by nature restrict its own size.

            You seem incapable of rationally processing the American experience of black people despite the fact that they got their civil rights enshrined in law in 1968 (23 years after the demise of Hitler). You are however very able to retain empathy for the Jewish people despite its great strides and the powerful position they hold in the US. Yes the lives of blacks are improving but they are by no measure as comparable as the living standards or influence of American Jews. The double standard applied by you to the Bernie Principle and your recent rationale highlights very strongly (to any reasonable person) an innate anti black and a Jewish superiority bias. You probably are a racist! The sad thing about it is, you are in denial about it! Coming from a white conservative American, that is indeed an indictment!!

          • Paul Courtney

            Mr Beal, you begin by decrying those who abuse the term “racism”, and end by abusing the term “racism”. You say Kean is probably a racist because he doesn’t agree that racism is holding back blacks, and because he doesn’t buy into the arab propaganda you seem to have swallowed whole. “Whole swath of people rendered stateless” indeed. There are arab israeli citizens to this day, and the “refugees” would be, too, if they had simply stayed put. Do you wonder why they left? Israeli officials don’t travel to Europe, not because war crimes occurred, but because feckless euros caved in to arab oil blackmail years ago. Simply put, blacks are sensitive to racism (sometimes justifiably so, sometimes not), but white libs like O’Donnell are just “putting on airs” when their rabbit ears detect racism (and, predictably, detecting it very badly). This is not the same as jews who wonder why Israel gets blamed for conditions that are almost entirely due to arab intransigence. Jews are sensitive to anti-semitism (sometimes justified, sometimes not) but there are no L. O’Donnells in the MSM trying to show their pro-israeli bona fides by putting up rabbit ears to detect beyond-sublime anti-semitism. That’s a double standard for you.

          • Saul Weinberg

            Paul,

            Stop being stupid. Mr Kean sounded more and more stupid with each subsequent post he made. At its most charitable, he came across as hypocritical. At its worst he came across as a whinning, subtle racist, person with a persecution complex. The best thing Kean did was keep quiet and stop digging!.

          • Paul Courtney

            Sorry, Saul, I don’t see any stupidity in it. Mr. Beal took a piece on false claims of racism and injected false claims of anti-semitism into the discussion, equating the two. Mr. Kean should be able to assert the two are not the same without being tagged a racist. Mr. Beal got a bit pedantic on us, clinging to a “Bernie Principal” of his own making. His point that blacks are not doing as well as jews may be a reason not to lump these things together in a single principal, Bernie’s or Beal’s. In any event, we’re not calling him an anti-semite for arguing his positions-that would be stupid. Before you and Mr. Beal again suggest someone is probably a racist, you should try reading the column at the top.

          • Carl McMahon

            Is it me or did P. Courtney just insinuate that blacks cannot allege racism but jews can because jews are more successful?? I guess one should not look at the act anymore but focus on the the race of the people complaining!! No wonder Mr Courtney “protests too much”!

            Saul,

            Courtney is obviously not that intelligent. Don’t waste any time on him! Mr Beal obviously has not!

          • Paul Courtney

            Mr. McMahon, I’ve re-read my post, and still can’t fathom this insinuation you grasped. Say what you like about my intelligence, but I’ve said nothing unfair to any group. Mr. Beal was going into the success of jews and how blacks would “give their last leg”, but what was his point? Well, I may protest too much, but if you’re implying racism, you’d be committing what we would call an “O’Donnell”, if L O’Donnell mattered. Thank you for wasting time on me.

          • Darren lloyd

            I was going through the blog between Paul Beal and Mr Kean and I think I can help P Courtney’s understanding. First, Kean states that he hates people crying racism when certain topics are discussed. Secondly, Beal agrees saying he hates people crying racism and anti semitism when certain topics are discussed. Thirdly, Kean takes exception to the anti semitism angle. He claims that, by implication, jews have a dwindling population and there is so much growing hate in relation to jews. This, he feels, justifies Jews being cut more slack than blacks deserve because according to Kean blacks now have “world leaders, representatives, judges” etc. Fourthly, Beal disagrees that Jews should be cut any more slack than blacks because Jews are far more affluent, more powerful as a lobby and have greater representation (when compared to blacks) in the senate and the Supreme court notwithstanding the far higher number of blacks relative to jews in the US. Fifthly, Beal formed the view that there was no good reason for the double standard applied to similar complaints. He then inferred that Kean is “probably a racist”.

            P.Courtney may have simply misunderstood the arguments or was pre-disposed to a certain view without fully understanding the dialogue between Kean and Beal. His attack on Beal was laced with sarcasm. He accused Beal of laping up Palestinian propaganda. He can also be accussed of laping up Israeli propganda! Whichever the side a person finds more logical, I can understand why Beal chose to ignore his many posts on the subject.

            I agree with Saul though. I interpreted Kean’s remarks in the less charitable explanation inferred by Saul.

          • Paul Courtney

            Darren, thanks for the review. I was very sarcastic with Mr. Beal, and still feel Kean’s views (which I understood to be that anti-semitism is growing, racism is receding, so crying “anti-semite” is mostly justified while crying “racist” is often not) do not justify the “probably a racist” remark. Inconsistent, maybe. Kean and I do seem to lean pro-Israel, and Kean may be more sensitive to discrimination of jews than blacks, but we should be able to discuss whether there are differences between claims of racism and anti-semitism from such groups without inferring some sublime racism. For crying out loud, what was the topic of Bernie’s column? Maybe my pro-Israel disposition prevents me from seeing something in Mr. Kean’s remarks that you fellows see, but I still think Mr. Beal was out of line. In any event, Iappreciate your remarks, they were thoughtful and help me chew on this tough subject.

          • Brian Cole

            P. Courtney, In Mr Keans case, his arguments are very hollow. Racism in America is still very high (not as high as before) but still MUCH more common place in present day America than anti-semitism. The inference ascribed to Kean was by carefully reading of his posts and comparing the strength and intensity of language at the start in relation to racism (and almost justification of some parts of it (such as the very high incarceration rate especially for non violent crimes for blacks and the more lenient sentences given to whites for the same crimes)) to his resort to excuses he profers when things jewish comes to mind. It is like seeing two people walking to work in the morning and a crazed person stabs both individuals. The police then designate as an “assault” the stabing of victim 1 because it feels attacks on people like victim 1 are increasing and designates the stabing of victim 2 as a “fight” because victim 2 seemed a stronger person and should be able to handle it by now. The act was the same and the intention behind the act of stabing was the same. Similarly, the intention and act of racism and anti-semitism is very much the same. A hatred or adverse bias towards its victim based on cultural and physical characteristics of the recipient. It is the act that is the important factor to consider not the make up of the victim.

            I have to say i came to the same inference as Beal, saul and Darren here! The inference is drawn from the actual statements made by Kean himself. The most hateful people are often the most sensitive to the dirt they dish out!

          • Jack

            Ron, Libertarians (big L) are anti-semitic. They are also isolationist, pro drugs, atheist, anti-corporation, anarchists, etc. Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan and Lew Rockwell types.

  • BVF

    O’Donnell is loopy – did anyone see his interview with Congressman West? If it wasn’t so saaaaddd it would be funneeee!! I wonder if he was disagreeing with Mr West because he’s a r………t Another right on article Bernie.

  • Bruce A.

    Lawrence O’Donnell in the same time slot as O’Reilly. Switching out one progressive with terrible ratings(and rantings) for another progressive with rantings (no ratings yet). Seems like a losing formula for the execs. at MSNBC. That in itself seems irrational to me, but then again liberal rants all seem the same to me.

  • joe from louisiana

    The article was a good one and well written but I am uncomfortable with how the rest of the US has washed their hands of our civil rights history. I do agree the Boll Weevils were the most strident racists but certainly there was a strong sin of omission by virtually all. This is why we never read of the Cincinatti(1829,1841), Omaha, Springfield(1908), Philly(1917),East St Louis(1917), Detroit(1943) race riots, the draft riots of NYC in 1863, the red summer of 1919. We don’t like to speak honestly of our past but we like to call each others names. Of course, we haven’t touched the Chinese and Native American massacres out west because we are so single minded on race. Still, with all of our warts this nation set the mold on improving the plights of marginalized peoples. People that find discrimination in everything are either disingenuous or just dullards.

    • Bob Hadley

      joe from Louisiana,

      I agree completely with what I think you’re saying. I’ve spent a lot of time in the South and have traveled throughout the South. But, the most intense racial hatred I’ve seen was in Boston, MA, where I once lived for four years. There were even race riots there, arising from an incident one summer where some blacks attempted to enjoy a public beach in an Irish neighborhood there. I was working on a ground crew just outside Boston that summer with one black worker among us. The head of our crew disallowed that black worker from coming with us on a job in the heart of Boston because of the racial tension there at the time. He said he did not want to be responsible for any incidents. That black worker had absolutely no problem with this.

      According to Martin Luther King JR., Selma, Alabama was a Sunday picnic compared to the raw racial hatred and violence of southern Chicago. My Mom was raised a Baptist in North Carolina. In the mid and late 1940′s she was active with the Freedom Fighters as a student at the Univ. of South Carolina and tried to desegregate the South Carolina YWCA (as its president) during the same time period. She also spent an entire summer working in a factory in Chicago–near the Univ. of Chicago–as part of an outreach/self-education effort during this time period. She said that to her dismay a lot of whties in Chicago, even those affiliated with the university there, told her that whites down south knew how to treat blacks (i.e., enact racially discriminatory laws).

      There’s some truth to the old adage that southern whites love blacks as individuals but hate them as a race, while northern whites love blacks as a race but hate them as individuals. Much of what I’ve seen supports this adage, but of course it greatly over-simplifies a complex set of phenomena.

  • http://www.eschatonblog.com/ Wil Burns

    Bernie, Conservatives and the Republican Party have in the past and at present been adamantly against every real family value? They rail against collective bargaining, minimum wage laws, universal health care, public schools, the separation clause of the 1st Amendment, family leave and gun controls. All the while defining themselves as the purveyors of family values.

    When was it that hate, intolerance, selfishness, bigotry, gun waving and a callous disregard became the nub of our value system? What happened? How did we let them define the worst of human foibles as the best of American values? How did it happen? Who’s to blame?

    • Ron Kean

      You are to blame. Because of you and people like you with ignorance and pride in being uninformed and being loud about it, the United States of America is in trouble. Without you and your whiny fellow travelers, this nation would be much better off.

      Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of the rich and the poor, the Jew and the Gentile, the white and the black being all together and one. He’s our hero. But divisive class warriors like people like you try to break up the nation into people who you hope will dislike each other. You may think it’s the poor against the rich. But your leaders, the rich liberals who are in it for power use you like Bernie uses you.

      You’re being used. You’ve been manipulated into being a spokesperson for a group of power hungry power seekers who use class division to gain power and money. They wouldn’t even talk to you. They might even laugh at you dragging the red herring for them. You’ve swallowed the line and a bunch of people are using you and you can’t even see it. And you think you have something worthwhile to say.

      I don’t think so.

      • http://www.eschatonblog.com/ Wil Burns

        I’m quickly coming to the conclusion you’re all idiotic pawns.

        • Paul Courtney

          And this idiotic pawn is ever so grateful to you for stooping from the heights and sprinkling your pearls of wisdom before such swine. If we’re going to enter the brave, new world built by progressives, we’ll certainly need your type in the elite leadership vanguard to make sure we don’t get misinformed by some so-called “news” organization. So which czar position you want, or shall we just make a new one?

    • Jim

      Self reliance is a family value – collective bargaining is not.

      • http://www.eschatonblog.com/ Wil Burns

        Jim, let’s point out that big business has unions too.
        The US Chamber of Commerce and the Business Round Table.

      • http://www.eschatonblog.com/ Wil Burns

        It is if you have to actually work for a living! Remember, We wouldn’t be a country today, if it wasn’t for collective bargaining and fighting against King Geroge!

        • Jack

          “We wouldn’t be a country today, if it wasn’t for collective bargaining”

          LMAO…liberals have to be born insane.

    • begbie

      Wil Burns…..Collective bargaining for public unions doesn’t make sense. It’s the taxpayers money we’re talking about; not some cigar smoking, golf course trotting, fat cat from wall street. They are bargaining with my money which makes them against me and YOU.

      Every one of the things you listed are not “family values”. The government cannot make a family happy or successful. I agree that there should be some protections, but with minimal government involvement.

      • http://www.eschatonblog.com/ Wil Burns

        begbie, Just how much taxes do you pay? And as far as your money, everyone pays for everyone’s salary, by taxes or the cost of every day items you buy.

        • begbie

          Ok, Wil….I pay too much in taxes, as everyone else does. I loose more than 30% of my hard earned dollars every pay period to the government. I loose it to the feds mostly. I loose it to the state. Than after that, I loose it in personnal propety taxes plus a few others to the local government. I could go on.

          I’d rather pay for the everyday items to take care of everyone’s salaries in the form of products and services. Abolish the IRS and you will see prosperity for everyone, as everyone will have more of their hard earned cash available to support other hard working peoples’ salaries. The IRS is nothing more than a set of laws enacted to enable legal theft by our government.

          “everyone pays for everyone’s salary” Yes, that’s right. Capitolism, my friend. You’re agreeing with me and you didn’t even know it.

    • Jack

      Will defines himself superbly as a leftwing wingnut. I think lack of comprehension is a requisite for belonging to that club.

  • http://www.eschatonblog.com/ Wil Burns

    Sheryl, Oh, I see it now, it’s all the Democrats, unions and the liberals fault, that the American dream is lost. And remember, the budget only went out of control at 12:00 noon on Jan. 20, 2009. Until that precise moment everything was just fine in right-wingnut world…

    • Ron Kean

      Bernie is giving you a gift by letting you be here.

      Say, ‘Thank you , Bernie’.

    • Juliet V.

      Wil- Your remark sounds like a comeback from a 10 year-old. The Democrats, the union leaders who keep the cash flowing to them, and the libs are not to blame for everything that’s wrong with America. But has Dem/Liberal leadership made ANYTHING better? Has running away from their responsibilities in WI and IN helped anyone? Tax-paying friends & relatives in both states aren’t too hyped over whiney, spoiled public workers and union members demanding more goodies from them. These cry-babies are losing support every day– especially amongst those who are footing their bill.

  • http://lillian-davis.blogspot.com/ Lily

    When every thought or spoken word becomes fodder for the race card freedom is lost. The day we truly lose free speech is the day we lose all freedoms.

    I can’t remember who said it (but it was a Hollywood liberal), in today’s climate we could not run shows like All In The Family or even the Smothers Brothers or Laugh-In. We are all way too sensitive to perceived slights. It’s time to grow up.

  • Kathie Ampela

    “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser” – Socrates

  • Sheryl

    You can tell Lawrence O’Donnell anything you like. You can back it up with page after page of fact. Progressives are small minds thinking small. Their minds are a closed loop of propaganda. They aren’t rational and they’re angry. This combination is what makes them dangerous. They have neutered the word racism, with the help of the minority groups they profess to advocate for. I think the ride ahead will be bumpy but thanks for continuing to call attention to the hypocrisy.

    • Jim

      They think with their heart and not their brain. Consequently, they find it almost impossible to articulate a logical explanation for their views.

      • Jack

        Jim, actually, when you take into account the ramifications to society by their socialist programs and social engineering, they have no heart either.

    • http://www.eschatonblog.com/ Wil Burns

      The Five Basic Conservative Values:

      1) Hating Liberals!!

      2) Caring about little other than themselves and their wallets.

      3) Demeaning minorities, immigrants and foreigners.

      4) Promoting the discrimination against homosexuals.

      5) Promoting the proliferation of handguns and assault rifles.

      ’nuff said!

      • Jack

        You’re either a child or you’re a liberal since your comprehension level is at such a low level.

        1) yep I hate liberalism (marxism), because it’s an extreme danger to liberty and the United States. If the people who profess liberalism (leftism) are called liberals I hate them too. Our Constitution essentially outlaws marxism/socialism. The purpose the Founders said: was Limited Government.

        2) Previous anecdotal studies and now a comprehensive scientific study, hi-lited on 20-20 proved beyond a doubt that liberals are very niggardly people. The study found that conservatives were far ahead of liberals in charitable giving, with the poorest evangelical Christians giving more to charity than the richest liberals. It appears that liberals are only generous with other people’s money. Also, since conservatives, by study, have the highest employment rate and the highest annual income earnings, conservatives pay the most taxes and therefore are carrying the country on their backs. Not to speak of conservatives who produce jobs, products and services.

        3) Our nation is made up of immigrants/foreigners and the U.S. became a great nation through a process known as the ‘Great Melting Pot’. Now however, it is being torn apart by a liberal social engineering process known as diversity and multiculturalism. Do no confuse, due to lack of knowledge or on purpose, immigrants with illegal aliens. There is nothing wrong with minorities as long as they act like minorities of the past, e.g., italians, irish, etc., pull their own weight and don’t demand to be taken care of or have special treatment just because they are a so-called minority. And especially, become Americans in every sense of the world, fully supporting its institutions, constitution, laws, and Flag. Finally, our Constitution provides that the minority voice be a part of the debate, but we don’t abdicate majority rule, unless that being debated and passed is in conflict with said constitution.

        4) If homo’s go about their business in a candid manner, and don’t push their lifestyles on people, don’t demand to be a protected class, don’t push atheism, or homo marriage, they should have little trouble. Under these terms, they didn’t for many years. If they think normal people are going to jump up and cheer for their ungodly lifestyle, they’re looney tunes.

        5) True assault rifles were outlawed in 1934. What the left mischaracterizes as assault weapons today are semi-auto weapons, used for self-defense, hunting, recreational shooting, etc. And of course for the purpose that the Founders set down with the Second Amendment to the Constitution, that being to offset the possible tyranny of an abitrary government and a standing army. Handguns of course fall under the 2nd Amendment as well. The cause of crime is not law-abiding American gunowners, the cause of crime is criminals, suprising as that may seem to the uncomprehending. And there have been many criminology studies that show that recidivism is the leading cause of crime. Studies show that 99% of all the guns in the country are never used in a crime in any given year. The most comprehensive study found that law-abiding gunowners used their firearms 2.5 million times a year to drive off or kill a criminal attacker. Most of the time, the gun only needed to be produced to effect this. I have many guns, never has one jumped up and gone out and committed a crime. Of course the High Court has upheld the 2nd Amenment right of Americans to own firearms, so conservatives are on the right side of the Constitution as always.

        Let this maxim by thine:

        Fear a politician, political party, or government that fears an armed citizenry.