We Don't Care If You Like Us

Joe Conason raps Hillary for her stupid hard-working, white people crack. But then comes the obligatory "not a racist" defense:

The tragedy is that neither Clinton carries even the slightest racial animus, as their many African-American friends and colleagues would testify, no doubt. Bill Clinton's first and most dedicated political adversary in Arkansas was "Justice Jim" Johnson, a Klan-backed Democrat turned Republican who was that state's version of Wallace. The Clintons spent years working to defeat Johnson and everything he represented, and he repaid them with years of plotting, scheming and smearing as a cog in the Arkansas Project. He hated them, first and foremost, because they represented the Democratic Party's rejection of white supremacy in the South. As governor, it was Bill Clinton who erased the last vestiges of Jim Crow from the Arkansas Constitution.

So the Clintons probably understand the essential evil of racism better than most white politicians. They have certainly done more than most of today's white politicians to combat that evil. That is why, as they contemplate the conclusion of this campaign, they deserve better from themselves than to encourage doubt about their decency and character.

Dog, we don't care whether you have any "racial animus" or whether you "understand the essential evil of racism." If you're willing to feed the fears of those who have "racial animus," how are you any better? Indeed, Intentionally playing into racist stereotypes--which you know not to be true--is arguably WORSE than actually believing them. At least the believer is being honest, and perhaps, can be talked off the ledge. What Conason is proferring is an immoral "knowledge without responsibility" standard, in which those who knowingly stoke and benefit from evil are somehow morally superior to those who blindly do evil. Dude, to paraphrase Anthony Lane, break me a fucking give.