Earlier today I was struck by yet another instance of amplified conservatives gleefully and without merit chiding other conservatives with whom they disagree as “RACIST!” The post made several important points relative to Trump, Bush, the merits of using English in the United States — and of course related thoughts on conservatives who increasingly call other conservatives “RACIST!” without what I perceive as any real thought let alone foundation. If you’ve not yet, I’d encourage you to read that piece which you can do by clicking this link: “Appreciation For English Is ‘RACIST!'”. (A new window will open so you can keep your place on this follow-up post, as well.)
The amplified conservative voice who I would later refer to as the catalyst for that writing, was — after some snark which on Twitter is I guess kind of like dogs who don’t know each other sniffing each others’ asses — good enough to offer up some additional thinking based on what I had written.
You can view the actual exchange by clicking here (again, another new window will open) but to save you time it’s also captured in the screenshots below…
Here’s my response…
Foremost, as implied earlier, I do appreciate the sincerity of his response. As I’d written about just the other day, too often those more amplified voices in the conservative movement resort to less substantive means of dealing with those in the grassroots who challenge them.
Moving on from that expression of appreciation…
I initially sensed something else going on in @ThomasHCrown’s attack on Breitbart.com and the piece/writer he called “RACIST!” (Note: I sensed the same amid those other amplified voices — @baseballcrank and @DrewMTips — who rallied around his accusation of “RACIST!”, but they didn’t respond so I didn’t audit their Twitter timelines as I did @ThomasHCrown’s, below.) So while I do appreciate the thoughtfulness of @ThomasHCrown’s explanation…I wanted to find out if my initial sense that something else was at play was accurate before digging in just on the merits of his reply.
And it appears that sense was in fact accurate…
Lots of hostility there stemming back several months.
No need to share all the screen shots capturing what’s to follow — but consistent with the commitment to intellectual honesty I hope to maintain here and elsewhere, a few points…
1). Hostility doesn’t mean bad intentions. If someone, for example, came up and punched me in the face, I’d be pretty hostile — and with good reason. If @ThomasHCrown legitimately sees Breitbart.com as a scourge on the conservative movement, then if he cares at all about that advancing that conservative movement in a positive way…not only is his hostility founded at least as a function of his perception, but it’d be irresponsible not to assert that hostility.
2). Going back further in @ThomasHCrown’s Twitter timeline, you’ll find at least a good handful of perfectly agreeable references to the work done at Breitbart.com, and you can even see what was agreeable become disappointed but still hopeful before ultimately becoming hostile.
3). As he and others had noted, they feel Breitbart.com’s namesake, the great and sadly late Andrew Breitbart, was a real champion who — like them — would also be disappointed in the turn Brietbart.com has taken since Andrew’s death. A turn one can easily argue, based on his timeline, that @ThomasHCrown was by no means quick to level their way…but that which happened slowly over time, only eventually netting what appears to be irreparable dissatisfaction with the Breitbart.com operation.
I include these qualifiers, again, because I aim to be intellectually honest at a time when our nation and conservative movement sorely lack that enormous quality.
Setting all this aside for the moment and responding solely on the merits of @ThomasHCrown’s reply to me, I note the following…
Of the conclusions he asserted (either “RACIST!” or unchivalrous), I think his hostility got the best of him because he had plenty of space in his initial tweet to offer that “or unchivalrous,” but chose not to.
He goes on to suggest: “That he chooses to note in the article that she’s better in Spanish than English supports either conclusion.”
I’ve got to disagree. When I read that portion of Munro’s piece (which mind you I’d not have had I not stumbled on @baseballcrank’s Twitter profile), it just struck me as a totally useless inclusion. Yeah, of course she’s better in Spanish…it’s her first language. What I didn’t and still don’t see however is support for either conclusion, though I’ll grant @ThomasHCrown that Munro’s attacks were useless and yes of course if the bar is never saying anything bad about a woman no matter how useless it might be in it’s efficacy…then Munro is guilty there, too.
But what’s particularly painful to me as noted in my initial writing about this, was @ThomasHCrown’s express and knee-jerk “RACIST!” accusation. That is what I see as the most egregious component here, an that is why I bothered to write, at all…
There is real racism in the US. It is destroying not only individual US citizens who are robbed however willingly their liberty as a result, but our nation as a whole as we’re deprived the meaningful contribution of all our citizens. That racism/bigotry/celebrated segregation does come from the left who for 50 years have only perpetuated division, disparity and destruction by shouting “RACIST!” at their opposition when there in fact was none.
Rather than exposing and combating these paramount realities, I see Jeb and others on the right adopt that exact page right out of the Democrats’ playbook. At a time when the GOP could and I emphatically insist must start leading yet another in our long line of meaningful civil rights pushes…our most amplified voices from the establishment GOP to our media be it social or otherwise, are instead exacerbating the problem.
For virtually all of them, it’s because they simply don’t see the opportunity we on the right have to lead both socially and culturally — as opposed to exclusively legislatively as we did in 1863 and 1964 — in this regard.
@ThomasHCrown goes on to suggest that my “post somehow suggests that all of this is about English as our national language.”
One thing that sucks about having a blog as opposed to more visible, credible web real estate…is that I can go back and edit things any time I want and few if any would notice. But I assure you, while the title of the post and certainly a large portion of it is rightly dedicated to chiding Jeb for shouting “RACIST!” when someone suggests leading by example and speaking English at a time when more and more people living here can’t and refuse to learn…the lion’s share with respect to @ThomasHCrown and his squeeing pals was about their own unfounded accusations of “RACIST!” And I think that was validated when he gave us the “racist or unchivalrous” qualifier.
All of these facets which existed in my initial piece…
1). Chiding Jeb for shouting “RACIST!” when it was suggested he use English,
2). Noting that there is no greater conduit for ‘unity’ in the United States than the English language, and
3). Chiding other amplified conservative voices like @ThomasHCrown’s for also shouting “RACIST” perhaps as carelessly as had Jeb
…not only tie together, but do so symbiotically with regard to my biggest point.
Shouting “RACIST!” as a knee-jerk and unfounded attack is regressive. It is when the left does it. It is when Jeb does it. And it is when the amplified conservative voices who sometimes steer but always inspire our movement do it.
I’m grateful to @ThomasHCrown for having given me the opportunity to better understand his thinking, but I do maintain that the charge of “RACIST!” here was an unfounded one — and also that it was perhaps driven more by his dislike of Breitbart.com at the enterprise level than it was the sincerity or thoughtfulness he’s afforded me. And based on the sincerity and thoughtfulness he’s afforded me, I withdraw my “douchey” assertion as it relates to him. Do I expect or need a concession on his part that I might be right about this? Not at all. But I would ask with absolute sincerity that whether he pretends this follow-up piece was never written, goes ahead and writes his own in response, or anything in between…that without admitting anything as it relates to this, he be more mindful not to level “RACIST!” when there’s a real chance there is none. I still don’t see even a hint of racism in Neil Munro’s piece, but if not being nice enough about a GOP politician’s wife merits scorn…@ThomasHCrown has more than enough ground to level it. From my seat, particularly when that GOP politician is running for POTUS and says it’s “RACIST!” to suggest he speak English…both Munro and @ThomasHCrown are ultimately swinging wildly at entirely transparent targets.
In conclusion, I rate @ThomasHCrown’s defense and reply as I aspire to rate all of those I encounter: Not my place to rate it, but I’m sure as sh*t free to share my thoughts about it.
And while it may have taken around 500 additional words to call him “not douchey” than it did to call him “douchey,” I mean every one of these words. Namely, those wherein I’m pleading with him and others to think more carefully about not only the opportunity we have as a movement to combat actual bigotry that’s rampantly destroying our nation from the left — but at how badly off the mark we are when we instead carelessly level the charge at each other. Don’t tell anyone. Don’t write about it. Don’t admit to it. Just try, please, to stop doing it…and maybe start capitalizing on asserting the charge of “RACIST!” where it belongs: The historically-consistent Democrat party and left who today celebrate self-segregation as a merit while pursuing metaphoric slavery amid the otherwise powerful individuals they relegate to perpetually-aggrieved groups. And that certainly includes Hispanics.
Editor’s note, 9/17/15 at 9:02AM EST: It appears I missed two of @ThomasHCrown’s replies. They were wedged between two of his other replies that I did include, and are captured below. As for the substance of these newly included replies, they inspire no new thoughts but do serve to further reinforce my enterprise point: Stop calling other conservatives “RACIST!”