(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

I try not to pay much attention to Andrew Sullivan, or to engage in much intra-blogworld nyah-nyah. But occasionally something comes along that makes me unable to stop myself. Here's the latest. The following passages appeared within three inches of each other on Sullivan's site today:
The equation of opposition to affirmative action or hate-crime laws or any other number of leftist policies with racism strikes me as a massively cheap shot
MR. LOTT, HE GONE: And the critical sign is, as Josh Marshall notes, he just "absolutely" endorsed affirmative action. He is the worst of all possible worlds: once a devotee of the old racism; now an enthusiast for the new racism.
So now I'm a racist because I believe in good faith that many of the varied policies that someone decided some decades ago to call "affirmative action" are a good idea? But it would be a massively cheap shot for me to call someone who opposes those policies a racist, even when I believe that most (not all) of the people who oppose them, do so because in their heart of hearts they want white people to have more of the good stuff? This makes sense? I'm willing to save the word "racist" for those who believe in the superiority of one race over another, if you are. If Sullivan et al. want to use the word in a looser sense, then I'm prepared to play that way too, and to toss the word around more freely. But somebody who's aggressive about policing other people's use of the word "racism", as Sullivan is, shouldn't be using the word in an idiosyncratic sense himself in order to score political points.

Seems to me like this would be a great instance for Sullivan to write the 2 most rarely-written sentences in all of blogdom: "I'm sorry. I was wrong."

posted by sam 2:21 PM 0 comments


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