We’re still racist

by Pete Talbot

I read this Mallard Fillmore cartoon in the local paper last Saturday.

First, it was not based on fact. A quick look at the news that day had many stories on the Dow Jones industrial average. I couldn’t find one story or column on America being a racist nation. But more troubling is the strip’s denial of racism. Mallard Fillmore is the Rush Limbaugh of comics: inaccurate as hell, shallow and mean-spirited.

But it got me thinking. Having elected Barack Obama as president, are we no longer a racist nation?

Unfortunately, my experiences over the past few days would suggest otherwise.

First, there were comments I heard during Thanksgiving in Billings, hosted by in-laws, that were deeply derisive of blacks, Indians and our president-elect. I’m sure these folks don’t consider themselves racist but their language was thoughtless and hurtful. Then there was this conversation overheard in Caldwell, Mont. (You’ll have to scroll down a bit in the piece I’ve linked to. It’s under An unpleasant aside.)

But the most telling was this thread over at Missoulapolis that concerns the holiday stampede and employee death at Wal-Mart. I visit the conservative sites from time-to-time to glean other perspectives. Often, the debate is articulate and civil, but not always, and in this particular case it was downright nasty.

What I found exceptionally disappointing was the fact that so few people challenged an obviously racist remark.

I won’t be visiting that site for quite awhile. It’s too painful.

Racism dead in America? We’ve got a ways to go yet, folks.

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  1. When I was a kid living in Joplin Missouri in 1972, I started thinking my name was ‘Whitey’ – yes, it goes both ways, everyday.

    I don’t find the conversation you overheard offensive, I just consider it part of the language that those guys probably use every day.

    They aren’t going to change the way they talk, just to sell you a big gulp.

    Do you think they should?

  2. petetalbot

    Yes, Eric, I do. But you’re right, they probably won’t. I still think it’s important to try to take hurtful language out of common usage.

    Look, on the flip side, every so often someone commenting at 4&20 calls a Republican lawmaker a Nazi. I find this offensive and will call them on it. Do you think I should?

    By the way, they may have been calling you Whitey but I’ll bet they weren’t burning crosses on your lawn.

  3. JC

    So Eric, because you were called names 36 years ago, you feel it is OK for people to engage in racist behavior today?

    Dude, maybe if you grew up, you’d see things a bit different.

  4. That conversation really wasn’t racist though –

    And JC – I’m not yet an old man, but not quite a young man either at 46, but I consider myself grown up.

    And if you’d like to see racism, the next time you go east, stop in at the convenience store in Lame Deer and see the attitude the local crowd has about you – methinks you need to get out of Missoula once in a while – LOL

  5. JC

    I’ve seen and experienced plenty of racism Eric. I was raised in a racist environment, have contributed to racist group acts, and used racist language in my youth. And I get out enough to see first hand racism at work.

    But part of growing up recognizes that we reject the racist culture and actions that misinformed our early behaviors and judgments. And that we not allow others’ racist actions serve to justify and/or vindicate racism that we see elsewhere or in ourselves.

    This phony, Mallard-Fillmoron notion of “if I see so and so engaging in racism, then it makes it ok for me to be racist back” just has to stop. It is so juvenile and exploitive.

    What you see as “just part of the language that those guys probably use every day” another sees as racist language. There’s just no justification for using the “n” word any more. And ignorance is no excuse.

  6. Freeranger

    Pete, when I saw Carol had put up that pic of the shoppers and that they were mostly black and Carol had made no comment, I knew not to look in the comments section. I closed the browser window and will not return to Missoulapolis. In particular, her presenting the photo without comment spoke loudly in that code that conservatives have developed.

  7. I have to say that this election freed us from the notion that we’re living in a post-racist world, like many conservatives claimed before the election. And a lot of folks who worked for Obama who probably bought into that realized how wrong that illusion was. And it’s one thing to know that racism is out there, it’s another to go out into the streets, as a white guy on behalf of an African-American candidate and have the racism turned against you. For me, it made me realize how easily I slip past all this crap before. As a white guy, you normally never see this sh*t. For a lot of folks, this is a way of life, a toxicity you never can escape from.

  8. Jim Lang

    I am a racist. I am also lazy, greedy, selfish, conceited, overbearing and condescending. But I do my best to not let these traits determine my behavior, reasoning or attitudes.

    It is by recognizing the negative qualities within us – being aware of our own shortcomings – that we can begin to attempt to overcome them – not by denying their reality.

  9. What killed me, Pete, was Carol’s unbelievably immature and shallow response concerning her obviously racist commenter(s): she thinks supporting ‘free speech’ is important because otherwise people wouldn’t find her interesting. That’s the same as inviting Prussian Blue to perform at a party because it’ll make a social splash and won’t that be fun!

    Regardless, Steve T. was correct in his comment. Rook/Check/Checker is the same troll that has been around for many moons now. If Carol feels like a big wig because she gives him safe haven, so be it. It isn’t about racism at that point. It’s about Republidinks needy search for acceptance in anyway possible.

  10. it’s always there- lurking just beneath the surface but racism does not like the light so we must shine a light to drive it back underground. good job pete. it is important to confront racism. important not to be afraid of it or of the practitioners of racism. the more you confront them, the more you realize that individually, they are cowards at heart and really quite pathetic. there is no place in decent society for racism or those who give it sanctuary.period.

  11. Word in the trees is that a former Missoula Independent writer recently resigned over racist (anti-indian) editorial policies in the newsroom.

    Me and all my squirrel pals were quite concerned about this.

    The Native Americans have treated me and my fellow squirrels very well over the years before ignorant white folks showed up, took their land, and started hunting us with .22’s for fun.

    Hopefully this will change.

    Also Pete, no disrespect was intended in my last post. I understand you have fed my kind with delicious sugary treats over the years, and we appreciate that. It was very patriotic of you. Plus, a diet of nuts is very limiting.

    I like you Pete, because I am Freedom Squirrel, here with a positive message about American Indians.

    If (the rest of) you don’t like it, climb a tree.

  12. Racism seems to be one of those topics that drives us back into our camps. We gather the wagons, pat each other on the back, and demonize the other side with labels (‘PC police”, “Republidinks”, etc)

    Me? I think blog owners do need show a little hospitality, but they also need to escort someone off the property when things get out of hand. Creating a forum for discourse is not easy, but so crucially necessary.

    While some folks seem to go over-the-top, there is also value in noting the awkwardness of this topic. Still. In starting topics (on the Walmart death, and on the Mallard comic), we begin to think out loud. We say things many would prefer unsaid, equally that many are thinking unsaid.

    I don’t think the average American quite knows what to make of racism today. It was a powerful card in the election, on both sides. It influenced people’s vote. But, racism/nationalism/favoritism are hard topics to figure out. They are emotional, some might say primal (fear of the stranger), and offensive.

    So, while difficult I think we must discuss these topics, and blogs are another public forum in which we will see them discussed. We should be prepared to be insulted, challenged, challenging, and respectful all at once, and tell one another when we feel that way.

  13. Lizard

    white privilege is something a white person like myself has to actively acknowledge because it consists of stuff we’re not at first aware of, due to the cultural pass of pale skin.

    white privilege means not being scrutinized in department stores, or watching the white woman obviously cross the street to avoid walking near a dangerous black man. it means not being as attuned to body language, looking for discrepancies between how a member of the white majority speaks versus how they act.

    that said, racism is just prejudice put into conscious action, but you can be prejudice without being a racist, and lots of people have prejudicial dispositions because the range of our experiences of other races is often limited, especially in a wonderbread state like montana.

    it doesn’t help certain football teams have a fondness for athletic black men with behavioral issues. the thug stereotype is just a modern manifestation of a deep seated fear that one day the subjugated hordes of dark people will take revenge for the colonial crimes of our ancestors.

    personally, i think it would be a lot more constructive to focus on issues of class, which uses institutional racism as just one component of a much broader subjugation of the general public.

  14. We gather the wagons, pat each other on the back, and demonize the other side with labels (’PC police”, “Republidinks”, etc)

    Bunk, Binky. One of the major failings of the “liberal” mindset is how stridently we avoid factual truth in pursuit of some universal “truth”. Labels have purpose, and when they fit it should be acknowledged, not shied from.

    These are the absolute facts, and I defy you to show me otherwise: Carol has comments which lay blame for frenzied behavior on the skin color of those pictured. When called on the obvious tripe of that commentary, Carol defends it with a plea to support her own popularity through shock value. Now, you can call for us all to be forgiving and enlightened, but I’m a simple kind of guy. I simply find Carol’s comments and her reaction to them to be bullshit. You’re welcome to lecture me about “labels”, just as I’m welcome to laugh at you for doing so.

    One of the great liberal failings is this: A fundamental confusion that thinks that ‘conflict avoidance’ is the same as ‘conflict resolution’.

  15. goof houlihan

    I’m not confirming on a little anecdotal evidence. However, it’s a little like saying “we’re still human”. We certainly are a long way from world peace too.

    Since all know the rook name is a fly by troll, why would anyone respond to that? Why respond to drunks and trolls? They’re just seeking attention, and here you are, rewarding that behavior.

    Now, I understand the temptation, occasionally I break down and comment on a poster here that I’ve sworn to avoid.

    But for the most part, I remember what a wise ole lawyer told me, “son, you can sue, and you can win, but if you get in a pissing match with a skunk, you’re not gonna come out smelling like rose petals.”

  16. petetalbot

    No, goof, I didn’t know Rook was a fly by troll. I don’t keep current on this sort of stuff.

    It doesn’t make any difference to me, though.

    I don’t know if I can make it any clearer. I didn’t judge the picture over at Missoulapolis or the site itself. What I found most offensive was the one comment: “Just look at the faces in the picture and you’ll understand everything.”

    It is a blatantly racist comment. There’s no doubt. What was also disturbing were the number of comments supporting Rook and a lack of indignation by the site’s administrator.

    It’s that simple.

  17. klemz

    From StuffWhitePeopleLike.com:

    #101 Being Offended

    To be offended is usually a rather unpleasant experience, one that can expose a person to intolerance, cultural misunderstandings, and even evoke the scars of the past. This is such an unpleasant experience that many people develop a thick skin and try to only be offended in the most egregious and awful situations. In many circumstances, they can allow smaller offenses to slip by as fighting them is a waste of time and energy. But white people, blessed with both time and energy, are not these kind of people. In fact there are few things white people love more than being offended.

    Naturally, white people do not get offended by statements directed at white people. In fact, they don’t even have a problem making offensive statements about other white people (ask a white person about “flyover states”). As a rule, white people strongly prefer to get offended on behalf of other people.

    It is also valuable to know that white people spend a significant portion of their time preparing for the moment when they will be offended. They read magazines, books, and watch documentaries all in hopes that one day they will encounter a person who will say something offensive. When this happens, they can leap into action with quotes, statistics, and historical examples. Once they have finished lecturing another white person about how it’s wrong to use the term “black” instead of “African-American,” they can sit back and relax in the knowledge that they have made a difference.

    White people also get excited at the opportunity to be offended at things that are sexist and/or homophobic. Both cases offering ample opportunities for lectures, complaints, graduate classes, lengthy discussions and workshops. All of which do an excellent job of raising awareness among white people who hope to change their status from “not racist” to “super not racist.”

    Another thing worth noting is that the threshold for being offended is a very important tool for judging and ranking white people. Missing an opportunity to be outraged is like missing a reference to Derrida-it’s social death.

    If you ever need to make a white person feel indebted to you, wait for them to mention a book, film, or television show that features a character who is the same race as you, then say “the representation of was offensive and if you can’t see that, well, you need to do some soul searching.” After they return from their hastily booked trip to land of your ancestors, they will be desperate to make it up to you. At this point, it is acceptable to ask them to help you paint your house.

  18. petetalbot

    My sister gave me a copy of the book that’s based on that website. For the most part, it is quite amusing. Got to admit that I saw myself in a number of the book’s entries.

    To my mind, klemz, there’s a huge difference between being “politically correct” (i.e. black v. African-American, Native American v. tribal member, Latino v. Hispanic, etc.) and calling someone a nigger, redskin, or wetback.

    It galls the hell out of me when I call someone out for using the ‘n’ word or for calling somebody a “fag,” and I’m accused of being too “politically correct.”

    That’s as ridiculous as me calling someone a bigot who uses the term ‘black’ instead of ‘African-American.’

    I think that deep down, we all know when someone is being a racist.

  19. “it doesn’t help certain football teams have a fondness for athletic black men with behavioral issues”

    Hey lizard – quit making fun of my beloved Oakland Raiders! – LOL

    I know we seem to only be able to beat Denver this year, but there’s always next year!

    That’s what our problem is I think – racism. Last week, Jamarcus Russell got the ball, and before he threw it a big white guy ran up and knocked him down……. it’s been happening all season.

    I was blaming it on Al Davis, poor coaching, and a lack of cohesiveness within the team….do you think I’m on to something with my new theory? ROFL

  20. Pogo Possum

    I am just curious here. How many people expressing their personal outrage against Carol because she “…made no comment…” (even though she did) against one lone troll on Missoulapolis took the same energy to denounce Bill Vaughn’s attack on Bill Nooney’s religion? (Partial credit goes to Problembear and Pronghorn who at least made a belated response once the issue was pointed out.)

    Where was the uproar over “…the lack of indignation by the site’s administrator” on this blog?

    Do Freeranger, who “….made no comment…” on Vaugn’s bigotry and others also plan to boycott the Dark Acres site? Does Wulfgar share the same criticism of 4and20 for giving Bill Vaughn “…safe haven”?

    Is religious bigotry an acceptable position on 4and20 or is it just something enlightened people like Wulfgar tolerate?

  21. i don’t think the analogy fits pogo. first of all, vaughns views stem from personal animosity toward one individual, which makes it easy to dismiss. secondly, there is no way to comment on his site so we have no way to compare the two.

    hatred however, does spring from a common root- towit; the inability (due to ignorance) or the refusal (due to stubbornness) to see things from another’s point of view.

    there are common elements in religious animosity and racial animosities but comparing these two blogs is impossible. Carol’s blog is far better simply because she allows comments. one can always debate the many moral implications of each person’s blog, but none of us can really sit in judgement. we all live in glass houses and we all have rocks.

  22. Jim Lang

    ^^ I’m a bit confused by this comment. What exactly are you talking about? I may not read every post here but I am a pretty regular reader… I guess I missed the religious bigotry somehow… when was religious bigotry posted on this website? can you provide a link? Or are you somehow claiming that this website is responsible for something posted on some other website?

    Please explain. Because your comment makes no sense to me.

  23. Pogo Possum

    Problembear
    There is an exact analogy. 4and20 linked readers to Vaughn’s site where he made derogatory comments on Nooney’s religion. 4and20 readers had ample opportunity to comment. Very few did. I give you credit because you were one of very very few who took the time to criticize Vaughn. “…vilifying someone with their personal lives, marriages, religion etc. that is very much over the top.”
    https://4and20blackbirds.wordpress.com/2008/09/22/vaughn-on-nooney-me-on-crumley/

    I am certain you are not implying it is OK to make attacks on one “individual’s” religion anymore than it is OK to make racist comments against one individual no matter how much you dislike him/her.

    The irony is that numerous people attacked Carol for comments made by a troll on her site.
    By comparison, Pete said, in encouraging people to read Vaughn’s web page attack: “I believe allowing the opposition the opportunity to weigh in goes a long way toward site legitimacy and civil discourse.” and “The occasional personal rant, on the other hand, can be quite informative.”

    I respect Pete. I just disagree with blasting one person’s blog for not offering someone’s opinion of the politically correct response to a troll comment and endorsing another web site spouting religious bigotry as being “quite informative.”

  24. I can’t speak for pete. we barely know each other at all. i do not in any way consider carol a racist. i doubt if anyone here does. carol’s blog is important in missoula. commenters come and go but carol usually puts some significant viewpoints in her posts which i appreciate whether or not i agree with her.

    i do however view the frenzy post as hanging a rotting piece of meat out in august and being surprised when yellowjackets gather. i am not a fan of yellowjackets.

    bill vaughn’s site is so weird it would be hard to compare it to anything other than maybe hunter s thompson and he’s not blogging these days. comparing carol’s blog with vaugh’s just isn’t possible. they are too different and i think to do so would be an insult to carol.

  25. Pogo Possum

    You are right Jim, it would have helped if I provided a few links for those who haven’t followed some of the previous threads.

    I would link you to Vaughn’s previous direct comments but he has a habit of slinging mud then removing the web page a few weeks later.

    Here is the one still on his site:

    “…Oh, plus, Missoula County Commissioner Barbara Evans should be publicly flogged, the entertainment value of which would be the first time this Mormon eyesore will have provided her constituents something useful.”
    https://4and20blackbirds.wordpress.com/2008/12/01/were-still-racist/#comment-48685

    Here is a link to the thread on 4and20 referencing Vaughn’s comments on Nooney:

    “…a bloated fat cat Mormon…” https://4and20blackbirds.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/midweek-musings/

    My point in all of this, as I mentioned to Problembear, is that I find it ironic to attack one blog administrator for troll comments made on her site while previously linking readers to a site that uses derogatory religious statements to attack foes and the frequent commentators either stay silent or defend it as “informative.”

  26. Pogo Possum

    Well said Problembear.

  27. Pogo Possum

    Sorry Jim. Let me try to give you the correct link to darkacres:

    http://www.darkacres.com/Oddments_jump.html

  28. Jim Lang

    I went to that website once, a long time ago. It didn’t allow comments, and the owner didn’t have anything interesting or insightful to say. So I never went back and have no desire to do so now.

  29. goof houlihan

    You nailed that one, Jim, but the point remains that deliberately linking to a bigot is worse than (not even) ignoring a troll.

    Calling out the mote in our neighbor’s eye without re-examining the sawdust pile in our own is as common as any of the other weaknesses we share as humans.

  30. Just curious…but do folks really equate bigoted statements against a person’s religion with a person’s race?

    For one, religions are associated with belief and behavior. So, for example, making fun of a Mormon’s “magic underpants,” say, couldn’t be considered mocking a stereotype, but of an actual practice of religion. And making a sweeping generalization about Christian conservatives, for example, is acceptable because what holds Christian conservatives together are their shared beliefs. While making generalizations based on race is bogus, because it implies skin color determines behavior or belief.

    For another, a person’s religion is self-selected. That is, someone who’s a Mormon, say, willfully accepts the tenets and beliefs of that religion, and voluntarily associates themselves with the history and ideology associated with it. You don’t choose skin color.

  31. Which is not to say that bigotry against religion is so hot, either. I think dismissing someone because they belong to a particular religion is silly, or worse.

  32. So we shouldn’t dismiss someone, like our pal Roger Koopman, who believes the Earth is only 4,000 years old? I agree with our Governor, Jay: people who choose to be ignorant don’t belong anywhere near government. I’m all for dismissal.

  33. goof houlihan

    yep, age, race, gender, religion, they’re all in the mix, now, aren’t they? your argument that some bigotry isn’t as bad as others is more worthy of mocking than anything Carol said.

    The slaughters of the ages due to religious bigotry just for example, show how important our tolerance of each individual’s religion really is.

    Fundamentalism in any shape or form IS bigotry because it refuses to acknowledge freedom of conscience. Politics is all about compromise, and fundamentalism brooks no compromise, which is one reason the two are incompatible.

    And as a consequence, Jefferson’s wall is meant to keep religion out of government, as is the anti establishment clause of the constitution.

    Koopman’s an interesting subject. I’ve known him for many years and I know him and his family as human beings separate from the devil those with their own agendas have painted him. He’s far from ignorant, that’s not one of his weaknesses. I’ve yet to see a direct quote from Roger on the “4000 year old earth”, only some sly mocking from the governor. There’s a guy whose glass house is already full of holes.

    Mocking “mormon underwear” is no different from mocking “big lips smacking over watermelon”. The law makes no such distinction and neither does an enlightened human being.

  34. The longer this thread gets, the more “KLEMZ” has nailed it.

    I don’t think you guys realize how silly it is for a bunch of white folks who choose to live in such a sheltered place devoid of colored folks and swarming with independently wealthy white people from other places pretend to be so enlightened on race.

    Every comment makes Klemz’ witty observations more true, and more funny.

    Makes me remember how funny white people are when they’re worked-up about melo-dramatic stuff like this, just to look like they’re enlightened.

    You’re in Missoula folks. Gay people get their heads kicked in here for looking gay on the street, and Indians can’t get jobs. Migrant Asian mushroom pickers get shot-at, and all the Mexicans who come here to pick your cherries, huckleberries, and build your houses don’t seem to stick around too long when the season’s over. It’s because they’re scared.

    And despite all your concern for the poor Mormons, I get the feeling they’re fitting in just fine here.

    And their underwear, is, funny. That is an objective fact.

    Mormon underwear is funny.

    I voted for Obama, and I’ll take funny Mormon underwear to my grave.

  35. Mr. Theo Huxtable,

    How dare you make fun of our underwear!

    My husband and I don’t think our Mormon Underwear is verry funny at all–except when he leaves skiddies I find when doing his laundry.

    How about your worldy underwear beliefs? Thong bikini underwear that rides so high up a ladies bottom that it acts like anal dental floss. Or how about so-called “boxer-briefs” that promote one of the most violent sports your secular culture has created. Or maybe those fancy push-up bras to help womens pectoral muscles become larger for military and athletic ladies.

    I don’t know about you, but scripture doesn’t say anything about using bras to get petter at calistenic exercises.

    So before you go on with your promulgating against our underwear, take a look at the picture I’ve linked my name to of me and my husband.

    That’s not so strange is it?

  36. Freeranger

    I live in Oakland, California where my blond head is often the only such hair color wherever I go. I spent years living in Seattle’s black neighborhood. I spent a year living in Beijing, China. I am sure that many of the folks commenting here, while now living in Western Montana, may have spent parts of their lives living where there is more diversity.

    It is never silly to call out racism no matter where you live or what your background is. For Montanans, we have a lot of work to do confronting the racism that is directed at Native Americans.

    Pogo, I was disappointed with Carol because in her original post she simply presented the photo with no explanation or thoughts of her own. Like problembear said, hanging rotting meat out for the vultures. If Carol had offered some comments about why she was starting this post, what the picture meant to her, it might have helped direct the comments. Like I said, I did not open the comment thread because I knew that that picture would bring out the worst in her commenters and I didn’t want to read that kind of crap.

    I enjoy Carol’s blog when she focuses on local government, land use issues and housing. Hers is a common local viewpoint in these arenas. I stay away when she looks to issues outside Montana. Generally the latter comments are underinformed and stereotypical.

  37. Pogo Possum

    Let’s see. Jay thinks religious bigotry is “silly” but OK since religion is self selected, Theo thinks its “funny” and Rebecca thinks people who have religious beliefs different than her own “…don’t belong anywhere near government.”

    I am still waiting for the moral outrage on this site populated by enlightend readers.

  38. Freeranger

    Sorry, Pogo, trying to change the conversation won’t work. We’re still waiting for your moral outrage or whatever opinion you might have about the topic at the top of this thread.

  39. Hope you enjoy the blind wait, pogo. That’s all you’re left with when you build strawmen and expect others to smack them down.

    Jay never said that religious bigotry was “silly”. He said it was silly to equate comments concerning religious practices (some of which are damned silly) with racial bigotry (Dem blackies be riotin! BE AFRAID!) Your equating of the two is bone-ignorant, but at least it’s amusing.

    And Rebecca is absolutely correct. People who choose to be ignorant don’t belong anywhere near government. Koopman denies 500 years of scientific method when he claims that creationism and/or intelligent design should be taught as ‘science’ alongside evolutionary theory in our schools. (Now, Goof, you want to tell me he hasn’t supported that? I’ll call bullshit in a heartbeat, and you know I’m right.) That is ignorance of science, ignorance of faith and ignorance of the separation between the two. And it belongs no where near the halls of government. ‘Enlightened’ people actually know that. Why don’t you, Pogo?

    Oh that’s right. You’re being an elitist, using your vaunted powers of dismissal in place of real facts or argument. Perhaps, given your awesome powers, you can explain to me what’s incorrect about making fun of a religion that ‘settled’ a state through theft and murder. What exactly shouldn’t I find silly about an organized religion that preached until the late seventies that if black people converted they would turn white … just like Micheal Jackson!?

    No Pogo. All you’re doing is misdirecting from the topic at hand, just like “Theo” and “Mormon Mom” (who could well be the same troll for all anybody here knows).

    Now Goof, on the other hand, is much better at shoveling the … fertilizer.

    Mocking “mormon underwear” is no different from mocking “big lips smacking over watermelon”. The law makes no such distinction and neither does an enlightened human being.

    See, no one made jokes at Carol’s site about watermelon and fried chicken. They fostered real live actual fear, that black people would riot and be ‘frenzied’ and good God above save us from their savagery! That’s not bigoted poking fun; that’s out and out racism. Goof is welcome to dismiss it with watermelon jokes, but I still trust that whatever shred of human decency is left him from engaging in public service will leave him uncomfortable with equating the relatively harmless with the deeply harmful.

    And for the record, I do and have noticed that not a one of you folk pointing fingers of hypocrisy at the rest of us have dealt at all with Carol’s reaction. Her response, simply put, was : ‘Bring on the racism and the outrage over it, because it makes me feel important’. Do any of you actually find that to be in the least bit moral? If you do, oh great and wise defenders of religiosity, allow me to remind you that the first sin in all Judeo-Christian-Muslim faiths, the ultimate sin, was the sin of pride. The true hypocrisy here is not the reaction of 4 & 20 folk, but rather those who would defend Carol’s reaction by defending sin itself.

  40. Mormon Mom, I just wanted to respectfully clarify that it’s your underwear I think is funny, not your religion.

    I like living in a country where any religion can be practiced without anyone giving a hoot. But the underwear is a different thing, and I don’t think those pasty-panties were one of the holigraphic images that appeared to Joseph Smith under that tree all those years back.

    I appreciate the picture. And I agree with you about what you called our “worldly underwear beliefs.”

    I just think it’s a little awkward to have sex with someone without taking off my clothes. Especially having to slip it through that little hole in the front… it just seems like it sterilizes the act of making love. But I am no judge about how you do it; that is your business. It’s the undies I think are funny.

    But, with all do respect, I think your culture’s underwear is funny for the same reason I agree with you about women’s thong bikkinis. Believe it or not, I’ve found a different version of “skiddies” in my girlfriend’s thong, so it’s a two-way street.

    You and I share those puzzling moments near the washing machine. So despite our underwear, we share something bigger in common.

  41. goof houlihan

    Wulfgar!, two things. The gold standard for new earthers is >6000 years. Not 4000, and I’d oppose any attempt to teach new earth religious beliefs as science.

    I’d support teaching comparative religion though. I guess Roger’s belief isn’t that off from my favorite, “turtles all the way down”, which at least has an existential question, “to where?”.

    However, your second point I’ll take more seriously. Pete didn’t link the anti mormon website as a joke, either, but as part of a campaign and election. I don’t consider that “tee hee underwear”, but, instead, as equally serious. The underwear comment in the comments rated the watermelon comparison, and no, it wasn’t a “watermelon joke”.

    “Don’t vote for the (insert racial slur here) or (don’t vote for the Catholic, Mormon, atheist, etc), are both legally and philosophically the same kind of bigotry. In the past election season, we’ve seen both anti mormon and anti black bigotry. The unfunniest part of that is, the religious bigotry is actually a backsliding; nobody gave a rip about dad George’s mormonism.

    For those other than Wulfgar!, I guess “mormon underwear” is funny in a Beavis and Butthead, “heh heh heh he said underwear” kind of way. Step right up and volunteer to be either.

  42. petetalbot

    I’ve been on the road so I’m a bit tardy in my response to some of the comments above, but here goes.

    I don’t condone Vaughn’s “Mormon” criticism of Nooney. I thought it was a cheap shot and said so in one of my comments. I link to Vaughn because:

    1) I think he’s an entertaining writer (although, obviously, not everyone shares my view) and I’ve linked to him on a number of different topics.

    2) He did do a lot of research on Nooney’s voting record that I thought people might find informative.

    Finally, and I’m not sure I can make this much clearer, my outrage at Carol’s post was the comment by Rook 1 to “look at the people in the picture and you’ll understand everything.” That’s racist. I was also disappointed in folks’ defense of Rook’s statement.

    Case closed.




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