Oliver Willis made this post about Michael Steele (Lt Governor-R in MD) and I quick challenged him by posting a comment. As has happened numerous times before, my comment was deleted within 15 minutes. Oliver has since followed up with another, more comprehensive post on the subject of how using positive adjectives to describe a person can be offensive. I've commented there as well. This time, however - I've saved the comment here on ARC.
Race & Blogging
As anyone can see from a simple cursory glance at my picture, I happen to be black. That shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, though if you’ve only ever heard my voice: trust me, I can understand. Now one of the interesting things about blogging is that I got into it very early and have made it to the point where people know who I am, whether they like me or not. I made a conscious decision early on that I wouldn’t be a “black blogger”, that is I made it clear that I was not going to be the blogger of record on racial issues (there are people much more gifted than I writing such material). Over the 5 years that I’ve written my blog, less than 1/10 of 1% of my writing could be remotely considered an opinion on race. One reason I’ve stayed away from that is that my opinion on issues of race are considerably more conservative and in the minority among black Americans. Let’s just say I share more ideology with Bill Cosby than Michael Eric Dyson. And I don’t want to be the “voice of black America” because quite frankly I’m not.
But that doesn’t change what people will decide to pigeonhole you with anyway. I’ve written two posts about what I think is a clear indictment of the insular and relatively monochromatic world that conservative bloggers inhabit, and the usual cackling from the cons is that I am a racist. I’ve had this idiotic label applied to me before from many of these same folks, and I sort of understand that I should go ahead and talk about these things because even if I may not be in the mainstream of black American opinion on these issues, it sure makes more sense coming from me than a guilt-ridden white liberal.
So yeah, I’ll reiterate - “stuck on stupid” has long been used by black Americans and the giddy school girl novelty that it’s been greeted with in the con world is indicative of their inability to echo beyond the same usual idiotic outlets while slapping each other on the back for being enlightened.
And yes, declaring that being “articulate” is a black politician’s virtue sounds bad regardless of whether the speaker had any racial intent or not. There are too many black professionals and politicians in this country in this day and age to have the fact that they all don’t sound like they come out of the ghetto be treated as a miracle of some sorts. And I’m going to say it.
4 Responses to “Race & Blogging”
4. stwendeler Says:September 21st, 2005 at 10:43 pm
Bush = Inarticulate (HAHA)
Steele = Articulate (RACIST!!!)
Yep, makes sense… To Orwell perhaps. (By the way, you’re very articulate as well… unfortunately, the ideas that you so clearly and expressively convey are totally bonkers…. or, to borrow a phrase, Stuck on Stupid.)
Please don’t delete this comment like you’ve deleted all the others. Don’t you like a debate with various points of view?
Oh, and congrats on the Redskins’ win on Monday… ruined my pickem pool. ;-) (Can’t believe you root for that offensively named team…)
St Wendeler# stwendeler Says:
September 22nd, 2005 at 11:24 am
“Articulate” does not mean knowledeable, passionate, or humorous. The one thing these words share in common is that they are positive attributes.
Perhaps you would prefer an Orwellian re-write of the sentence:
“Reagan was articulate, knowledgeable, passionate, and humorous. Steele, unlike Bush, shares all of those qualities.”
Jeff Goldstein and Ace are on this one... I should know better than to try and post a comment on an intolerant lefty's blog.
ARC: St Wendeler