The conservative reaction to Barack Obama’s speech on the Zimmerman case was immediately hysterical, hyperbolic and all too predictable. Pundits on the right launched into quick attacks accusing Obama of promoting divisiveness and discord. The defenders of white privilege, who seem to believe racism is dead unless it is people of color attacking white people, doubled down on charges of “reverse racism” with clueless comments that could only come from people who are willfully ignorant of American history.
White victimhood has become the cause du jour for many on the political right and nowhere was it more evident than in a tweet from influential conservative blogger Dan Riehl who tweeted “If you ever had any doubts, Obama is the first Racist in Chief.” In the delusional white mind of Mr. Riehl no president in our history has ever been as racist as Mr. Obama whose apparent verbal hate crime is that he had the temerity to point out that 35 years ago he was a black teenager. Wow, has any President ever done anything so racist in the history of our nation? Well, actually yes. Worse even. Much worse.
Perhaps Mr. Riehl maybe has not heard of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, James Polk or Zachary Taylor. All eight of these men owned black slaves while they were President. However, in Riehl’s world maybe there is nothing racist about owning people as chattel property based on the color of their skin. Maybe Mr. Riehl is also oblivious to presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren forcibly removing 15,000 American Indians from their homes in the Trail of Tears.
In addition, Dan Riehl is no doubt unaware that Woodrow Wilson screened the pro Ku Klux Klan movie “Birth of the Nation” at the White House and gave it enthusiastic reviews. Two thumbs up from the then Racist in Chief. Maybe Dan also forgot that FDR signed an executive order to put Japanese Americans in internment camps. I suppose Mr. Riehl has been so isolated from access to historical documents that he also never heard Richard Nixon on tape spewing racist venom.
And let us not leave out Dan Riehl’s presidential hero, Ronald Reagan who stereotyped black “welfare queens” to rally aggrieved racist white voters to embrace his campaign. Prior to becoming President, Reagan opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, calling them “humiliating” to the South. According to Lisa Mcgirr, in the book Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right, when Reagan campaigned for governor of California in 1966 he vowed to eliminate the state’s Fair Housing Act proclaiming that “if an individual wants to discriminate against Negroes or others in selling or renting his house, he has a right to do so.”
Apparently Dan Riehl and many of his fellow white conservatives have never recognized the racism of past presidents because the racial animus has never been directed at pale-faced people like him. Yes, the founding fathers and the faces that grace Mr. Rushmore were racists.
Riehl regularly says ugly things:
It was near midnight on April 14 when the Chevy Cavalier carrying Dave Forster and Marjon Rostami rolled to a stop at a red light in Norfolk, Va. As the pair waited, one of a crowd of teenagers on the sidewalk threw a rock at the passenger seat window, prompting Forster to get out of the car and confront the aggressor.
That’s when the beating began.
Forster later said the crowd swarmed, taking turns punching and kicking him in the ribs and face. When Rostami got out to help, the attackers moved on to her, pulling her hair and dealing one blow after another. Police eventually arrived, the crowd dispersed, and the victims were left shaken and bruised, but not gravely injured. Local authorities wrote it off as an all-too-routine assault in a city whose violent crime rate is well above the state average. Even the Norfolk newspaper where the victims worked, the Virginian-Pilot, skipped the story, which the editor deemed un-newsworthy. That was before Bill O’Reilly found out about it.
The Fox News host turned the incident into national news by adding one detail: The attackers were black, and the victims were white.
If you’ve spent much time consuming conservative media lately, you’ve probably learned about a slow-burning “race war” going on in America today. Sewing together disparate data points and compelling anecdotes like the attack in Norfolk, conservative bloggers and opinion-makers are driving the narrative with increasing frequency. Their message: Black-on-white violence is spiking — and the mainstream media is trying to cover it up.
This notion isn’t necessarily new to the right, which has long complained about stifling political correctness in the media and the rising tide of “reverse racism.” But the race war narrative has gained renewed traction during the Obama years, as various factors — from liberals’ efforts to paint the Tea Party as racist, to the widely-covered Trayvon Martin shooting — have left conservatives feeling unfairly maligned, and combative.
But while Norfolk may be the most high-profile chapter yet in the “race war,” it’s hardly the only one conservatives have highlighted. Over the past four years, the Drudge Report has run dozens of headlines chronicling acts of violence against white victims — often by black youths.
In one particularly memorable Drudge front page last year, the site culled the newswires for articles about “urban” crime that took place over Memorial Day weekend, and then grouped them together. Among the headlines: “Miami ‘war zone’ during urban weekend;” “Rib fest at Rochester beach turns rowdy;” and “Unruly urban crowd shuts down Nashville water park.”
And on September 15, 2009, Drudge led with the headline, “WHITE STUDENT BEATEN ON BUS; CROWD CHEERS.” The story — which showed video of a black teenager in Illinois beating up a white classmate — went viral in the right-wing blogosphere, prompting Rush Limbaugh to weigh in.
"In Obama’s America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering," Limbaugh declared.
Conservative Media’s narrative of “white people (and black conservatives) are being persecuted” will grow even bigger in the next few years.H/T: McKay Coppins at BuzzFeed
Over the last 48 hours, there has been a sustained effort to smear Trayvon Martin, the 17-year old African-American who was shot dead by George Zimmerman a month ago. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said, “They killed my son, now they’re trying to kill his reputation.”
Thus far these attacks have fallen into two categories: false and irrelevant. Much of this leaked information seems intended to play into stereotypes about young African-American males. Here’s what everyone should know:
1. Prominent conservative websites published fake photos of Martin. Twitchy, a new website run by prominent conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, promoted a photo — purportedly from Martin’s Facebook page — that shows Martin in saggy pants and flipping the bird. The photo, which spread quickly on conservative websites and Twitter, is intended to paint Martin as a thug. As Twitchy later acknowledged, it is not a photo of Trayvon Martin. [Examiner]
2. The Sanford Police selectively leaked irrelevant, negative information about Martin. The authorities told the Orlando Sentinel this morning that Trayvon was suspended from school for ten days “after being found with an empty marijuana baggie.” There is no evidence that Martin was under the influence of drugs at the time of his death, nor would prior possession of marijuana be a reason for killing him. It’s unclear what the relevance of the leak was, other than to smear Martin. [Orlando Sentinel]
3. On Fox News, Geraldo said that Martin was dressed “like a wannabe gangster.” Bill O’Reilly agreed with him. The sole evidence is that Martin was wearing a hoodie. Geraldo added that “everyone that ever stuck up a convenience store” was wearing a hoodie. [ThinkProgress; The Blaze]
4. Without any evidence, prominent right-wing bloggers suggested that Martin was a drug dealer. Right-wing blogger Dan Riehl advances the theory, also advanced in a widely linked peice on a site called Wagist. There does not appear to be any evidence to support this claim whatsoever. [Riehl World View]
5. Without any evidence, a right-wing columnist alleged that Martin assaulted a bus driver. Unlike Zimmerman, Trayvon has no documented history of violence. This allegation continues to be advanced by a blogger on the Examiner even after the real reason was leaked to the police and confirmed by the family. [Miami Herald; Examiner]
6. Zimmerman’s friend says Martin was to blame because he was disrespectful to Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s friend Joe Oliver said that Martin would not have been shot to death if Trayvon had just said “I’m staying with my parents.” Of course, Zimmerman was not a police officer, and Trayvon had no duty to tell him who he was or where he was going. [NBC News]
The final part of the effort to smear Trayvon Martin is to link him and his supporters to irresponsible fringe groups like the New Black Panthers and marginal provocateurs like Louis Farrakhan. Threats by these groups are serious and should be investigated, but they have nothing to do with Martin or his supporters. The leader of the effort to associate Martin with these groups is Matt Drudge. You can see how he is framing the story today here.
Ultimately, whether Martin was a perfect person is irrelevant to whether Zimmerman’s conduct that night was justified.
Breitbrat Dan Riehl on #TrayvonMartin: Blacks are Being ‘Lead Down a Path Through a Cotton Field of Ignorance’
LGF blogger Charles Johnson has finally made it fully into the arms of the left with his post attacking me, which gives him enough links and attention to result in this.
What’s sad is how willing Johnson has been to throw away everything he seemed to once understand about the media and turn on so many once friends to do it. Worse is the race-based ignorance of so many blacks I’m seeing in attacking me, when they should be criticizing the media, instead.
Ah yes… the cotton field of ignorance. That’s my favorite cotton field. I once walked the path through the cotton field of ignorance. I was startled when I got to the Reverse Racism Roundabout. You see that’s where all the white folks who are being unfairly accused of being Racist turn around and accuse black people of being The Real Racists™. I don’t know how it happens — it’s some sort of rift in the fabric of race and time. We’re still looking into it.
Now you’re probably asking yourself, why I would allow myself to be led down Cotton Field Lane by race-baiting black leaders like Al Sharpton and President Obama? Well, what had happened was, I had heard a story that there’s a grape drank fountain of youth in the cotton field of ignorance. Grape Drank is my kryptonite.
Today’s loony wingnut conspiracy theory comes from Breitbart.com blogger Dan Riehl, who has yet another BOMBSHELL REVELATION to report: As Media Reports Conflict, Why Was Trayvon Martin Photo Altered?
Yes, Riehl has uncovered another media plot to drum up sympathy for Trayvon Martin — the photo of Trayvon being shown in the mainstream media has been ALTERED! BOMBSHELL!Riehl isn’t the only Breitbrat pushing this idiotic non-story; CNN contributor Dana Loesch is also raving about it on her radio show, in addition to making all kinds of other weird, racist claims.From the 03.23.2012 edition of KFTK’s The Dana Show:
Yet another day in the office for Breitbart.com hacks like Dana Loesch, Dan Riehl, Lee Stranahan, and others to lead the Media Matters Derangement Syndrome attacks. One of Loesch’s henchmen, Dan Riehl, blogged in Big Journalism and falsely accuses “MMFA of assaulting Dana Loesch’s right to free speech.”
If there’s anything shameful in what only antisemitic Media Matters apparently still feels is an ongoing Sandra Fluke debate, it’s the way antisemitic Media Matters continues it’s un-American, Soros-funded war on free speech in America.
While they may be especially focused on coming for the Jews in certain areas, anyone on the Right is ultimately fair game for the crew at antisemitic Media Matters. As far as they’re concerned, antisemitism is just fine, but if one dares speak out against a leftist policy of Barack Obama’s, all bets are off and they will lie and stretch any truth to silence you.
Yesterday’s attack targets Big Journalism’s Dana Loesch. Not coincidentally, Dana was written up at length today by Tricia Romano at the Daily Beast. Point being, if you’re of the Right, the higher one’s profile rises, the more vicious and dishonest are Eric Boehlert’s and antisemitic Media Matters’s attacks.
Antisemitic Media Matters posts an audio clip of Dana Loesch’s FM radio show. Listening to it, Dana talks about many associated topics. In between she discusses the left’s war on religion by attempting to force the Catholic church to purchase and distribute birth control. That’s the heart of the matter and little more.
Among several other related remarks, Loesch suggests House Speaker John Boehner “just got out of the tanning bed, he’s a little bit dizzy,” going on to ask if Boehner is “an agent for Obama.” Now, are we supposed to take that literally, as Media Matters would suddenly like us to with regard to pretty typical talk radio comments on Sandra Fluke? No, of course not.
What Media Matters is actually engaged in is a grossly un-American hate campaign to silence critics of the Left, Media Matters itself and Barack Obama. Such campaigns are as dirty and malignant and un-American as one might find on the Internet, or elsewhere. They deserve to be condemned, marginalized, if not wholly ignored, and little more. It’s that they always come in a purely political context that makes them as pathetic, as they are un-American. If Media Matters, a reportedly bizarre and erratic David Brock and Eric Boehlert had their way, only those who agree with them would be allowed to speak in America. Now, back to your bunker, boys - and take merry little band of paid storm trooper hacks along with you.
No, Mr. Riehl, Loesch’s “free speech” hasn’t been assaulted because MMFA was right to call her out on her constant attacks against Sandra Fluke. And for the 10,000th time, Eric Boehlert and MMFA are NOT “Anti-Semitic.”
Bret Baier, the host of Fixed Noise’s Special Report, misleadingly stated that “there were no examples of our hosts saying Barack Obama is a ‘Muslim.’” Totally false, as several FNC/FBN personalities (including Baier and his program) have questioned Obama’s faith and alleged that he was a “Muslim”, a “fake Christian,” or even “[Godless] atheist.”
Special Report On Obama: “Islam Or Isn’t He?”
During a June 2009 segment, Special Report aired a quote by Obama foreign policy adviser Denis McDonough, in which he talked about how Obama “experienced Islam on three continents” and spent part of his childhood in Indonesia with a Muslim father. Special Report included this question above the quote: “Islam Or Isn’t He?” [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 6/3/09]
Fox Hosted “Conservative Comedian” Who Claimed Obama Is “Faking” Being Christian.
Fox & Friends hosted “conservative comedian” Brad Stine, who said of the president: “If Santorum doesn’t want to question his Christianity, I will, because he’s not really part of that.” Stine continued, “why can’t Obama be slammed for faking [Christianity]?” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/20/12]
Ms. Loesch, you have lost this round to David Corn, and he’s more truthful than you.
After a week in which the conservative media have defended Herman Cain against sexual harassment allegations by alleging that progressives are racist, conservative blogger Dan Riehl has shown what a racial attack really looks like. Riehl called Cain a “jive talking huckster.”
From a post on Riehl World View:
It’s been clear that Conservatism has lacked for strong political leadership for some years. Fortunately, there are several bright young stars coming up that offer hope for Conservatism’s future. I’m by no means writing it off completely as a movement. But that so many conservatives, driven by nothing more than negative emotions, would allow themselves to be drawn in by a jive talking huckster with silly cobbled together at the last minute plans designed more for pizza box sloganeering, than governing a great nation, is embarrassing.