Poor Richard Cohen. He was just trying to accuse the Tea Party of being a bunch of racists when he ended up being accused of racism.
Writing about “Christie’s Tea Party Problem”, another one of those boring “Christie would be a great candidate but the radical right wing won’t let him” that once he becomes the candidate will transition predictably to “Christie used to be moderate, but he became a right-wing nut job to appeal to the Tea Party”, Richard threw in the usual stuff.
1. Palin is illiterate
2. Ted Cruz and his dad are bigots who hate gay people
3. The Tea Party are the new Dixiecrats
4. Republicans are old and out of touch and fear their way of life is vanishing
It was the last part that got him in trouble.
“Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.”
But while Richard Cohen was taking some safe phoned-in potshots at the Republican Party, the left, which constantly gins up its own RACISM outrages, decided to use him the way that he had used the Tea Party.
The false accuser became the falsely accused.
The Huffington Post slapped a big photo of Cohen, 72, on its media page and roared, “Dear Washington Post: Please Fire This Man.”
There was more critical coverage, from, among others, the Atlantic, Salon, Gawker, Slate, MSNBC.com
Salon.com’s columnist, Alex Pareene, suggested that Cohen’s notion that “conventional” people “gag” at the sight of the de Blasios “reveal a man very much out of touch with this era and deeply discomfited by it. (They also reveal a man who is terrified of black people.)”
Richard Cohen was confused because he was just trying to accuse Republicans of racism based on the flimsiest of premises. Why was he suddenly the one being accused of racism?
“I don’t understand it,” said the columnist, who lives in New York City. “What I was doing was expressing not my own views but those of extreme right-wing Republican tea party people. I don’t have a problem with interracial marriage or same-sex marriage. In fact, I exult in them. It’s a slander” to suggest otherwise. “This is just below the belt. It’s a purposeful misreading of what I wrote.”
Well of course it’s a purposeful misreading. That’s what 90 percent of mainstream racism accusations are.
The Huffington Post, Atlantic, Salon, Gawker, Slate, MSNBC, etc knew exactly what Richard Cohen meant, even if his writing was sloppy. They chose to misread it for the same reason that he chose to misread Republicans.
Liberalism’s main weapon now is its false accusations of racism. Richard Cohen is not as left as HuffPo, Gawker, Salon, etc think he should be. So they start chewing him up. It’s the old left-on-liberal bloodsport with the liberals usually too stupid to fight back; which is how we ended up with Obama in the White House.
I don’t have much sympathy for Cohen who ended up on the receiving end of the same dishonest treatment he was dishing out to others. Richard Cohen isn’t a racist. Neither is the Tea Party.
And once you start lazily using racism accusations as political ammo, the white privilege revolution ends up devouring its own children.