Clarifying the Racist Card

Part of not being around as much, includes not being able to clarify and focus the conversation. I'd like to follow up on this. Commenter ABK asks the following:

The way I look at this is, Barbour said something factually wrong, possibly stupid, and possibly self-preening. He can be singled out for that. But why is it necessary to play the Race Card on that statement at this point?

To be clear I was talking The Racist Card not The Race Card. The Race Card is David Paterson defending his poor performance by pointing to mythical attacks on his race. The Racist Card is William Jacobsen defending Haley Barbour by pointing to mythical assertions that Haley Barbour a racist.

This is very important: Not a single liberal blogger of note has called Barbour a racist in this instance. A discussion that proceeds from this point, while citing no evidence of it happening, is little more then strawmanning. The attention paid to claims of racism, which no one is lodging, while sidestepping actual spouting of ignorance, which Haley Barbour consistently lodges, is telling.

People who wish to defend Barbour, or who claim to be critiquing the criticism of him should be serious enough to produce some evidence. Bigfoot may well exist. But repeatedly asserting his existence is not evidence of such.


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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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