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race and reparations
Bernie Sanders’ Freudian Slip
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  • Pete

    After the trillions spent trying to uplift them, they still want more!!!

    Will it ever end?

    • Dale Fayda

      Never. A loser is a loser and a failure is a failure.

  • ronetc

    A bit of false dichotomy here: “Roosevelt’s New Deal Democrats had to make peace with Southern white supremacists in order to push through programs like Social Security.” It should read “Roosevelt’s New Deal Democrats had to make peace with DEMOCRAT Southern white supremacists in order to push through programs like Social Security.”

  • Anthony

    Reading linked Atlantic piece, Coates is arguing (as he ever has since his public recognition) against concept of “white supremacy” not Bernie Sanders per se. That is, he posits that Radicalism (and that what some identify a declared socialist agenda as) expands the political imagination and ought to prevent “incrementalism” from becoming a virtue. He argues less about Sanders (he claims to have reached out to Sanders and campaign prior to essay but got no response) than about his view that Radicalism in Sanders’s case fails to see white supremacy for what it remains. He certainly does not presume to argue that racism and socialism are necessarily compatible. As an illustration, “some months ago, black radicals in the Black Lives Matters movement protested Sanders. They were, in the main, jeered by the white left for their efforts. But judged by his platform, Sanders should be directly confronted and asked why his political imagination is so active against plutocracy, but so limited against white supremacy.”

    Bernie hasn’t had a Freudian slip and Coates continues to question how an ascribed radical candidate for president deals with the American historical dilemma of race.

  • jeburke

    Coates is just the latest advocate of “Black power.” The Black nationalist agenda has for more than 100 years been at odds with that of ths socialist-integrationist left. As a veteran of both the American socialist movement and thd 60s civil rights movement, Bernie can’t help but assume that a radical redistribution of wealth would solve the race problem. Not so, in the minds of such Black folks as the highly paid actors, directors and others who are now demanding, in effect, a Black quota for Oscar nominations.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Coates would be performing more of a service to ask any Republican in office anywhere about his or her view on reparations. He has to know that nothing is improved in politics by suggesting that black voters might as well vote for Donald Trump and have their Supreme Court filled up with a few more Clarence Thomas’s. That’s all the Atlantic piece is good for.

    • Jim__L

      A Republican would probably be helped by coming out in public against reparations.

      • Angel Martin

        A Republican who endorsed reparations would probably face a primary challenge.

        This whole article is bizarre. You know you have entered the twilight zone when Bernie Sanders is the sensible centrist.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Which is why it is beyond absurd for Coates to have amplified this issue as he did in election season. Republicans (here) are having a dandy time teasing Sanders for not supporting something that none of them support. The psychology and optics of this whole thing are just nuts.

        • Jim__L

          Not so — Obama has demonstrated that something that a majority of Americans are against can be crammed through as legislation so long as enough Democrats can be bullied into supporting it. Coates is simply leading the charge for his hobbyhorse. He expects Bernie to cave, whether this is according to Bernie’s principles or not.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Coates is basically being a stooge by misreading the tea leaves.

            OF COURSE he can make a sound argument for reparations. And OF COURSE he does not have the Congress to pass them. Beating on Sanders about that is just crazy.

          • Jim__L

            It’s a matter up for debate whether any “sound argument” can be made for punishing people for a crime they had no hand in committing.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Which means that you, like me, believe that Coates had no good reason to be knocking Sanders on this issue—–EXCEPT—-that this all makes an awkward scene which you seem to be enjoying for the sake of the awkwardness rather than on any merits.

          • Andrew Allison

            Rubbish. Coates is a nothing but a race hustler and, as I wrote, there’s no conceivable rationale for reparations.

          • Andrew Allison

            I don’t think it’s debatable at all.

          • Andrew Allison

            Sorry, but there is NO sound argument for reparations (as opposed to all the social welfare already being devoted to Blacks). The rest of the USA is not in any way shape or form responsible for the sins of the now-distant past. Even if the sins of the Father we to be visited upon their offspring, what percentage of the current population would the latter represent? Coates is a charlatan.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Okay, if we agree there is no sound argument for reparations, why is TAI celebrating that Bernie Sanders declined to go along with the idea? I also think Coates was nuts for dwelling on this. (I do think he can make a case for why reparations might be due because of what was stolen from black people in several hundred years of slavery plus Jim Crow, but he knows as well as you, me or anyone that “it ain’t happening”. Trying to blame Sanders for this is really stupid.

          • Andrew Allison

            We all make mistakes (like voting for the racist-in-chief not once, but twice). As I and others have pointed out, there’s no case for reparations.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I would have preferred that Coates leave this in the realm of the theoretical——the only place the reparations debate will ever be.
            As it is, it’s really hard to understand why a guy like Coates, who presumably is not trying to elect the GOP, is blaming Sanders. Plumb goofy.

    • Anthony

      Contrasting Bernie Sanders’s left-populist economic politics to a right-populist racist politics, an observer noted (given our quadrennial affair): “today’s Republican crisis was thus engineered by the party leadership’s step-by-step capitulation to a politics of unreason, a policy of silence toward the most extreme and wild charges against Obama, and a lifting up of resentment and anger over policy and ideas as the party’s lodestars.” Coates has nothing to do with any of that.

      • FriendlyGoat

        The Republican party is going to wake up and realize it must play to the voters it has, not to the voters it wishes it had or thinks it ought to have had. This is why “the party” will switch to Trump, leaving all the more traditional GOP candidates to wonder what the heck happened and where their backroom supporters suddenly went. The people who want tax cuts and dereg will hop on whatever fast horse they think they see in the stable—-whether it is one of the horses of “unreason” or not, no?

        • Anthony

          My apologies FG (each time I acted to respond a virtual siege [from a four day old post] momentarily distracted). The piece in the Prospect infers as much but Nationally where does such rigidity leave us – beyond 2016 election.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, the rigidity and crazy stuff need to go into reverse, but I don’t know the catalyst for that. One thing which has come up and “may” represent an opportunity is the Palin endorsement of Trump. I rather think Trump cannot be elected without the support of a lot of women. Now may be the time to suggest that women are either “following Sarah”—–or—–they’re not. Maybe the women of America WILL lead us right off the cliff in a parade after Sarah Palin, or maybe they won’t, but we had better not wait to find out without challenging them directly on that point. Donald has attached himself to a skirt-tail and we all need to be talking about it. Never mind “him”, ladies. Are you following “her”? We might as well have that showdown this year.

          • Anthony

            I’m not sure how much advantage Palin brings beyond primaries. More importantly, FG, no votes, delegates, or nomination has happen yet. So, be patient – but your inference is valid the party may be reconfigured after 2016 as a showdown seems inevitable. Here’s a take that may interest you: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/01/21/the_whole_gop_goes_rogue_129389.html

          • FriendlyGoat

            If Donald is nominated, I was dreaming we might turn Sarah into a liability for the general election. Let’s put it this way. If she is an asset to him in the general election, he would become president. We really can’t have any majority of women following Palin at all and predict any other result.

          • Anthony

            FG, I may be totally afield here but I don’t see Palin having much effect (she was a VP candidate and demographics may have been more favorable then). On the other hand, you may have insight to her attraction that I miss – the convention is in the summer and we’ll see how it all plays out.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I live in New Mexico, a state which in the past has been rather blue. Even now, our small delegation to Congress is two senators and only three members of the House (because we are a small-population state). Of the five, four are solid liberal Dems and one is a hard conservative from the southern district which is always more conservative than the rest of the state.

            Bill Richardson, former Energy Secretary in the Clinton administration, was Dem governor for two terms here 2003-2010. He had a strong female Lt. Governor, Diane Denish, during those years who ran on the Dem side to replace him in Nov. 2010 and was widely expected to win.

            Enter Sarah Palin. Although she is from Alaska, her “shtick” plays to the crazy end of the conservatives almost anywhere. In the 2010 gubernatorial race here, there were five GOP candidates, three of them well-known men, one obscure man, and one female prosecuting attorney, Susana Martinez, from the conservative south region of the state (Las Cruces). Most people in the state had never heard of her.

            To make a long story short, Palin came into New Mexico several times to campaign for Susana Martinez, drawing huge crowds and putting Martinez “on the map” so to speak. She was elected governor in 2010, knocking out the GOP men and the popular female Dem Lt. Governor in the general election. Without Palin, it absolutely would not have happened. A similar story exists with respect to Joni Ernst, the famous hog-castrating GOP senator from Iowa who was elected there in 2014 to replace a six-term Dem, Tom Harkin, who retired.

            Never underestimate the effects of what Palin has done and might do again, EVEN THOUGH she lost with McCain and resigned in Alaska. I think she is a complete nut, of course, but she has her followers—-both male and female—-who just love that “kick-A$$” style of hers. If Trump is nominated and runs against either Clinton or Sanders, the FEMALE vote in key states is going to determine the outcome. The women there are either going to follow PALIN’S lead—-or they aren’t. I think that Sarah (who we might regard as just a “blast from the past”) is going to suddenly again be a big dang deal in all of it. The sooner women are asked point-blank whether or not they are “Sarah-bots”, the better. It is not wise to ignore this—-based on New Mexico and Iowa history.

          • Anthony

            I’m familiar with those past electoral dynamics in New Mexico (a find state by the way). You give Palin to much credit in my opinion – you need 270 electoral votes. You are out West and in some spots her celebrity may play better than others (I don’t know). Peggy Noonan has an interesting piece on Palin and Trumpism (as she labels it) in today’s Wall Street Journal (I don’t need to link it); check it out.

          • FriendlyGoat

            It’s hard for me to imagine that the 2016 general is going to be decided differently than in the past, where Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania either make 270 possible or not possible with most of the traditional red and blue states remaining red and blue. The dynamic of women is going to be big with some both for and hard against Hillary, some maybe mad if Sanders is nominated instead, some very possibly following a female VP chosen by Trump—–and THEN, this Palin factor.

          • Anthony

            You think Sarah Palin is more substantial (from women’s point of view) than Hillary Clinton?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Of course not—-in the “substance” of the word “substantial”. But “I’m tellin’ ya” (as they say-grin) that the Palin shtick is not something to be ignored. Those of us who think she’s a Wasilla hillbilly (etc.) NEED to be aware that Duck Dynasty has not been on TV for “nuthin” all these years. The state elections of 10, 12, and 14 should tell us something. Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Rick Snyder in Michigan. Women have participated in this stuff or it would not have happened. Those outcomes were an indicator that many people did not exactly repudiate “Palinism”.

          • Anthony

            I doubt if the Palin shtick (as you identify it) is discounted where it matters. I cannot get too worked up over probabilities whose outcomes depend on human variability at one level and events/circumstances yet to unfold on another. The country needs better than tiny minds and grey faces – keep on reminding not to ignore.

  • iconoclast

    Race-hustler is a better description of those who demand reparations.

  • qet

    Coates is certainly getting the most from his 15 minutes, inserting himself and his reparations calling card into every political discussion he can. He’s bidding to become an intellectual version of Al Sharpton–the first responder in any actual or potential racial conflagration, the one authentic voice of blacks as blacks in any and all debates that can be cast in a racial light (which is approaching all of them). No doubt he still has a ways to go–it is unlikely that any political campaign would ignore a summons from Sharpton as Anthony reports Sanders did to Coates.

    A couple of things to notice about the brief Coates excerpt given here (over and above the presumption in his “reaching out” to the Sanders campaign): (i) Coates’ horizon is limited to black and white. The above excerpt considers no other racial categories in its analysis. In the America of 2015, this seems to be an unpardonable omission, utterly disingenuous. What of Hispanics and other Latinos, East Asians, South Asians, North Africans, Arabs? How do they fit into Coates’ scheme? Is the only relevant wage gap that between white and black? What about between black and Asian? Does that gap, if there is one, have any bearing on the issue of “supremacy”? Coates prefers to simplify his universe the way an economist simplifies his model.

    (ii) “White supremacy” is a nifty piece of rhetoric and one hears it more and more these days from multiple quarters. It’s easy to say; and if there is one thing we have learned from the recent BLM and college protests, it is that the kids today will only do easy. But there is no longer any such thing. White supremacy is not a statistical wage disparity nor a residential pattern. White supremacy is the firehose and attack dogs on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. White supremacy is Orville Faubus standing in the school doorway; it is the Klan in Meridian, Mississippi in 1870. Not to mention the entire antebellum. White supremacy was finally vanquished in the 1960s. MLK and his peers were the culmination of decades of struggle by blacks against real white supremacy–real struggle, against real danger, involving routine risk of life and limb. Some echoes from the death rattle of white supremacy persisted into the 1970s and early 80s and today’s “activists” imagine they can still hear them. But scattered n-words, Halloween costumes, “micro-aggressions” (how Medgar Evers would have settled for merely a micro-aggression!) and sporadic police outrages do not resurrect white supremacy’s ghost let alone its substance. The fact that a handful of bigots still get together and put on their white hoods is no more evidence for the existence of the Klan than the LARPers in their Confederate gray is evidence that Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia is still threatening Washington. Reading Coates and his contemporaries, what becomes blindingly obvious is that “white supremacy” to them means simply white presence. In every direction they look they see white people and this offends them.

    (iii) applying a scientific analysis, Coates’ hypothesis of white supremacy in the America of 2015 is constantly being falsified. In the era of real white supremacy there were no black billionaire business moguls like Robert L. Johnson and Dr. Dre, for example. That blacks have succeeded in every kind of occupation proves that it can be done, which was an impossibility when white supremacy ruled the land. The difference between impossible and difficult makes all the difference. And again, tying back to my first point: the question of white supremacy today cannot even be conceived solely in terms of black and white as Coates does. What does the success of other racial groups mean for the white supremacy hypothesis?

    I get why so many on the Left today really really want and need white supremacy to exist, to be a self-evident given from which all manner of prescriptions for further regulating ordinary life can be deduced. I get why the assumption of white supremacy is necessary to the Left’s model of society and to its political logic. But all that logical necessity does not change its character as an assumption.

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