I view this as tragic, in so many ways. Brent Staples himself is apparently the victim of the cultural poison he is peddling, that every failure, misfortune or criticism of an African American must be presumptively rooted in racial animus rather than the shortcomings or fault of the black citizen involved. Others who use this strategy of race-baiting as a political weapon are not as sincere as Staples—he writes this kind of thing in editorial columns all the time—but they have joined with him to do terrible damage to race relations, all in defense of a President whose incompetence is too painful for his supporters to accept.
I realized that this would be an unethical political weapon Democrats could not resist using back in 2008, when Obama was running against John McCain. I warned against it then. The Democrats were arguing that Obama was so clearly the only choice for voters that he could only be defeated by racism, for only racists would oppose him. I wrote..
This strategy would be unethical even if the Democrats weren’t the party nominating an eloquent abstraction with less governing experience than any Chief Executive within memory. It is insanely irresponsible when used to back a candidate about whom there are many legitimate doubts, mysteries and questions. Both parties deserve respect; both candidates deserve respect. And the democratic system deserves the most respect of all.
But is the Democratic message wrong if party decision-makers and faithful really believe it? Yes, because the belief is unsupported by hard, persuasive, un-slanted facts, and that makes it irresponsible and unfair…A belief alone is not enough to justify claiming victory for an untested leader with plenty of holes in his resume. Belief alone is not sufficient justification to lay the groundwork for race-baiting in the wake of an electoral loss in November.
I’m a rational, informed voter who does his research and knows the issues, and I may choose not to vote for Barack Obama for any number of legitimate reasons—including the offensive attitude of his party—that have nothing whatsoever to do with his race. How dare the Democratic Party, Obama, or anyone shout to the media that my vote is motivated by racism? This is playing with societal dynamite.
The Democratic message that the election is a slam dunk for Obama if America can only avoid bigotry and election fraud is a recipe for civil unrest, racial tension, and the unraveling of public faith in our institutions. It is reckless and offensive, and, take note, Democrats, idiotic.
Now we have had almost eight years of Democrats, the mainstream media and progressive activists throwing that “societal dynamite” in all directions, an activity made essential because Barack Obama has been a disappointing, divisive and incompetent President. Lo and behold, “civil unrest, racial tension, and the unraveling of public faith in our institutions” is the legacy of his Presidency, and yet the tactic continues still. Staples’ irresponsible and scurrilous tweet shows what a reflex crying racism has become for defenders any time things don’t go Barack Obama’s way, and this is a particularly unjustified example of it. In this political climate, with so many critical and controversial issues facing the Supreme Court, with it sharply and evenly divided as it now is with Scalia’s subtraction, either party would behave exactly as the Republicans are now, no matter what race or hue the President was. We know that, because the parties have proven it with their past behavior.
In 1960, the Democrats passed a resolution to keep that well-known African-American Dwight David Eisenhower from using a recess appointment to fill a Supreme Court vacancy as a national election loomed. in 2007, Senator Chuck Schumer told an audience that if any new Supreme Court vacancies opened up, Democrats should not allow Bush the chance to fill it “except in extraordinary circumstances.”
“We should reverse the presumption of confirmation,” Schumer said at the time. “The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.” Yet on the Sunday morning talk shows this week, Shumer condemned the same strategy being used now by Republicans in the aftermath of Scalia’s death.
Never mind. Staples has his mind made up, and the vast majority of blacks believe along with him. In an earlier tweet, he wrote,
“Historians will one day pronounce the GOP’s treatment of Obama as what it is: An example of blatant, unadulterated racism.”
He could not be more deluded. In the perspective of history, when it will be so clear that partisan opposition to Barack Obama was no less intense than what Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and other Presidents endured, the main significance of Staples’ vicious race-baiting will be that it will be seen as a clue to the ironic mystery of why racial trust and progress began going backwards during the administration of the first black President.
I see that Staples has taken down his tweet, probably at the behest of his employers. He needn’t have bothered. It was just a small drop in the flood of race-baiting that has been used to make excuses for Barack Obama.
Pointer: Instapundit. Prof Glenn Reynolds responded to Staples’ now pulled tweet, which Reynolds properly called “a disgrace, particularly for someone who purports to be a first-rank journalist,” by tweeting…
Once, this would have been an accurate assessment, but Staples and his familiars now have been conditioned to use the race-baiting tactic first, whether other, more legitimate arguments are available or not.
27 thoughts on “Unethical Tweet Of The Month: New York Times Journalist Brent Staples”
Is this properly categorized as an ethics breach, when it’s so obviously the “brain droppings” of an idiot? This guy probably thinks Whitey is responsible for the color of snow.
He’s part of a collective ethics breach, and one of the most damaging I know.
Jack Marshall said, “He’s part of a collective ethics breach, and one of the most damaging I know.”
True! He is representing the utter moral bankruptcy that has enveloped the ignorant sheeple within the masses of the political left.
joed68 said, “…the “brain droppings” of an idiot?”
Oh how I wish that were true!
I think he knows exactly how to pander to his targeted audience which are clearly the same ignorant sheeple within the masses of the political left that I mentioned a couple of minutes ago.
“an eloquent abstraction”
Perfect. Better than how I described Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign as “a living Rorschach test” because he campaigned as a well lit but blank canvas onto which anyone and everyone could project what they wanted him to be. A brilliant, if terribly cynical campaign strategy cooked up, presumably, by David Axelrod.
I also told anyone who might listen the then Senator Obama would make Jimmy Carter look like Winston Churchill.
And sadly, he’s turned out to be even worse than I feared. Rather than being just an ineffectual cipher, he’s been downright maliciously destructive.
In other words, his entire worldview is “give the blacks whatever they want, or you’re a racist.” I used to think the idea of a race war was crackpot hatemongering. Now I’m not so sure. You can only spew so much hate at the other side before they say “screw this, I’m coming for you.”
Also, shoot blacks with weapons who resist arrest, convict blacks who have committed crimes…yes, this is my worry, that constant repetition of this theme will finally tear the social fabric completely. The white privilege weapon we discussed last week is part of it…A group that insists that it must have special privileges and is immune from criticism or accountability is essentially proclaiming superior status, and the brilliant privilege handcuffs argues that no matter what happens, it will always be a justified special status.
Damn straight. I think it’s already frayed to the point where it will tear. The next Republican president (and I’m thinking it’s about even money now that Trump is close to imploding) will not be able to walk in the inaugural parade without eggs and garbage being thrown at him.
This did happen in this nation’s history before.
The people demanding it wore costumes that looked like bedsheets, I heard.
> shoot blacks with weapons who resist arrest
I think people are more upset about the use of lethal force against unarmed citizens, and how many officers have lied about suspects resisting arrest.
> convict blacks who have committed crimes
I think the issue that upsets people is that black people are sentenced to higher rates for the same crimes as white people, not the fact that they’re being convicted at all . Even one of the most prominent conservative publication around is acknowledging that America’s criminal justice system is dripping with racism- intentional or not.
 – http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324432004578304463789858002
I’m not talking about what people may or may not be “upset” about. The shooting of Mike Brown, among other incidents, is still cited by BLM as a proof of official racism for no reason other than the colors of the officer and the deceased. “I think people are more upset about the use of lethal force against unarmed citizens, and how many officers have lied about suspects resisting arrest.” is a dishonest characterization of the controversies that have led to protests and dead police officers: the overwhelming bulk of the incidents focused on by the news media and activists is the use of lethal force against unarmed citizens who were black, and who in most cases were resisting arrest, not white unarmed citizens. Near where I live, an unarmed white man was shot dead in the doorway of his home; the police delayed any action for over a year, and the shooting seemed unjustified. It wasn’t a national issue, nor were there any organized protests, riots or visits from Loretta Lynch.You’re spinning.
“the issue that upsets people is that black people are sentenced to higher rates for the same crimes as white people, not the fact that they’re being convicted at all.” Two separate issues. What the candidates and activists are taking about is “mass incarceration,” not unjust incarceration.
There is bias in the justice system that disproportionately harms blacks, in arrests, trials, legal representation and sentencing. No question. Bias isn’t racism.
The political left has absolutely no interest in doing what is right for the United States of America, none whatsoever; their only interest is the total destruction of the GOP, silencing any and all opposing opinions, and single party dominance from extremes of the political left.
For those that support the today’s morally bankrupt political left, ethics seem to only exist when looking outward; otherwise, the ends justify the means. I’m wondering how many psychologists and psychiatrists are tactically advising the Obama administration and the ruling elite on the political left? The Obama administration promised change, the Obama administration has delivered change; they have literally divided the population into little segments, race being one of them, these divisional changes have been happening right under our noses. The tactics are rooted in the old divide and conquer and the political left is actively achieving it. How is it that so many are so blindly ignorant to these things?
I firmly believe that the tracks have been laid, the train has left the station and the 2016 Presidential election could very well be the apex of major turning point in the history of the United States of America. If rational minds do not prevail in 2016-17, I expect a major political upheaval before the end of 2017 or certainly by the end of 2018. We could be in for a very rough ride!
That is because the leftist leadership hates America and all that it stands for. They were the ones who wanted North Vietnam to win the Vietnam War.
George W. Bush loved America, and that was why they hated him.
Yes. The default starting point for so many Americans is “The U.S. is bad, the rest of the world is good.” Really crazy. I think they’re mostly second children annoyed with their older siblings and parents. I’m a big believer in birth order. Plus, I’m a second child. But I grew out of it at some point.
I keep hoping that the vast majority of Americans will keep going to work and doing their jobs and paying their bills and their taxes and their mortgages and a lot of this insanity will settle down. One of my mother’s sayings was “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” We’ve got a lot of squeaky wheels (amplified by the internet) requiring a lot of grease but at some point the people driving the wagon will get wise and begin ignoring the squeaks and they’ll subside..At least that’s my hope.
There’s also a Japanese saying that the nail that sticks up must be hammered down.
Pretty much the obverse.
In Russia, squeaky wheel gets purged.
You should read the comments here.
Key rule of thumb, fairly generally applicable:
If the Democrats are crying about something that the Republicans are doing, or are accusing the Republicans of doing something that they actually aren’t, or are complaining about negative conditions, there’s about a 97% likelihood they already did it, are doing it, or caused the conditions.
Schumer video is here.
ZOLTAR Spake Thus: “The political left has absolutely no interest in doing what is right for the United States of America, none whatsoever; their only interest is the total destruction of the GOP, silencing any and all opposing opinions, and single party dominance from extremes of the political left.”
I have to say, though I do desire to torture the Warriors of Righteousness as much as the next guy, that this is a nutty statement. Why? Because those on the Left – people walking around out there – hold the beliefs and understandings they do in good faith. To say they ‘have no interest in doing what is right for the United States’ is I think more of a demonological position, likely supported by a specific metaphysic.
It seems so much more necessary to define some sort of ‘sane’ base for a political ideology, and to understand how it has come about that the US as a massive entity has deviated so substantially that – and I think people begin to recognise and internalise this – a catastrophe looms. The chickens have come home to roost and the henhouse descends toward political and social psychosis. What IS the ‘United States’? Who holds the ultimate definition? And what if – (I suggest this is likely) – that to really become conservative, to function from a really conservative base, must involve taking a radical stand against much of what the US has become. Who can even explain what that would look like? Who can accurately and convincingly describe ‘what happened’ and how things have come to this impasse?
What one gets at that point is something like what ZOLTAR offers: a tendentious, emotional branding of ‘the other’ that avoids the look in the mirror that is required. Again, a ‘real conservatism’ would (for all I have been able to see and understand) freak out at seeing what ‘conservatives; say and do these days.
ZOLTAR Spake On: “For those that support the today’s morally bankrupt political left, ethics seem to only exist when looking outward; otherwise, the ends justify the means. I’m wondering how many psychologists and psychiatrists are tactically advising the Obama administration and the ruling elite on the political left? The Obama administration promised change, the Obama administration has delivered change; they have literally divided the population into little segments, race being one of them, these divisional changes have been happening right under our noses. The tactics are rooted in the old divide and conquer and the political left is actively achieving it. How is it that so many are so blindly ignorant to these things?
Morally bankrupt? What a tired cliche. And valueless as such. The political scene is a consortium of corrupt individuals functioning in a decadence and rottenness that is spread all around. Isn’t that a more reasoned statement? And a place to start from in analysing the present? When folks start speaking in those terms (‘moral bankruptcy’) it functions within a demonological metaphysic since, by definition, you just have to locate the bankrupt and do away with them somehow.
How does one define moral value? How does one demand that a nation of astounding power and influence as the US, and yet one that according to some standards of value (defined by conservatives) is sunken into something more similar to nihilism and a reckless materialism/commercialism that is totally out of control, who shall define ‘morality’? The very father of Leftist destructiveness labeled the attack on Iraq and the million of dead that resulted as ‘the greatest crime of the century’, and yet who speak of it in those terms? Who ‘morally’ holds the US to task? Is it true? or is it false?
I would suggest that if ‘morality’ as classically understood is really the topic, that a very different and more penetrating, a more demanding conversation, would result.
ZOLTAR Continues: “I firmly believe that the tracks have been laid, the train has left the station and the 2016 Presidential election could very well be the apex of major turning point in the history of the United States of America. If rational minds do not prevail in 2016-17, I expect a major political upheaval before the end of 2017 or certainly by the end of 2018. We could be in for a very rough ride!”
Yes, and everyone is saying that, Left and Right. Next week the sky is going to catch on fire. Or an unexpected comet will careen across the firmament. A woman in the midwest will birth the antichrist. It’s THAT WEIRD. There seems to be a vast and bottomless confusion about value and morality and no one seems to have a clear idea how to decide the questions.
For someone like me – outside of the political arena and new to even thinking about ‘the nation’ as a single entity – what I mostly hear is people spouting (like mini-volcanoes!) all sort of OPINION. Yet they do not seem to me to be speaking from a defined and rationally communicable base in value.
Another one of your stalking rants attacking the Zoltar Speaks! messenger, I thought you’d give up on this obsession of yours? Oh well, I did dangled the bait.
I’m absolutely honored that my comments can draw such a unique reaction from someone like you, it’s such an inspiring addition to the comment thread.
How cool. I feared you might take it wrong.
Other Bill wrote: “And sadly, he’s turned out to be even worse than I feared. Rather than being just an ineffectual cipher, he’s been downright maliciously destructive.”
It seems to be that the impetus of a ‘democratic enterprise’ such as that of the US will inevitably produce the conditions that lead to a self-cannibalisation, a turning against oneself, and conditions that seem to point to the emergence of a civil strife.
It really does seem inevitable in a culture which had once chained a race to the wheel of service and then, thinking better of it, reversed itself and desired to incorporate that enslaved group, that that group would when given the opportunity make it its goal to exact retribution. Doesn’t such animus start at a physiological/psychological level? It is essentially a sentiment, isn’t it? I don’t think it is rational but rather is an irrationality that masks itself in rationality-of-a-sort.
How could one begin to talk about the power and the effect of intense resentment and a poisonous hatred as it spreads into the social body? Where will it go? Where will it end?
Who is capable of talking about ‘what is really going on’ and why? Such a conversation is impossible and it is only a group or a faction that will send up its ‘interpretation’ of events. And one interpretation is opposed by another interpretation.