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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Maureen Dowd, "Slaves to Prejudice": Why Be Troubled by Double Standards?

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Slaves to Prejudice" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/opinion/sunday/dowd-slaves-to-prejudice.html?ref=maureendowd&_r=0), Maureen Dowd begins by observing:

"WHEN a cranky anarchist in a cowboy hat starts a sentence saying 'I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,' you can be dang sure it’s going downhill from there.

The unsettling thing about Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s ugly rant on the Virgin River on Saturday, The Times’s Adam Nagourney told me, was that there was no negative reaction from the semicircle of gun-toting and conspiracy-minded supporters who had gathered round to hear it. The oblivious 67-year-old Bundy, who has refused for 20 years to pay for his cattle to graze on our land, offered a nostalgic ode to slavery.

Recalling that he saw African-Americans sitting on the porch of a public-housing project in North Las Vegas who seemed to have 'nothing to do,' Bundy declaimed: 'They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?'"

Yes, this is horrifying, racist rot. Indeed, Fox News owes the nation an apology for eulogizing Bundy.

And yet I can't help thinking back to 2008, when much of the media conveniently chose to ignore presidential candidate Obama's 20-year relationship with a bigot. At the time, Dowd wrote in an op-ed entitled "Praying and Preying" (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/opinion/30dowd.html):

"Obama, of course, will only ratchet up the skepticism of those who don’t understand why he stayed in the church for 20 years if his belief system is so diametrically opposed to [Rev. Jeremiah]Wright’s.

He’s back on the tricky path he faced as a child, navigating between two racial cultures. At Trinity, he may have ignored what he should have heard because he was trying to assimilate to black culture. Now, he may be outraged by what he belatedly heard because he’s trying to relate to the white lunch-pail set."

Dowd's attempt at the time of rationalizing away Obama's "error"? I didn't buy it then, I don't buy it now.

Obama's association with Wright should have ruled him out as a presidential candidate. It didn't.

But why should I be troubled by double standards? Whoever said the world is fair?

3 comments:

  1. hahaha- I guess you din't vote for Obama, and no guess about it the fact that you don't see the difference between the circumstances shows your prejudice, and you put it in writing- hahaha

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  2. So if we follow your logic here, then Rand Paul should be removed from office or disqualified as a presidential candidate (or both)?

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    Replies
    1. I also object to Rand Paul and do not believe that he is qualified to serve as POTUS.

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