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Friday, September 3, 2010

Does White Blindspot equal Racist?

Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 10:53:36 AM PDT
Yesterday's diary was titled Keith Olberman's White Blindspot. In it I criticized a Countdown segment the night before about Alan Simpson, our vets and Agent Orange for doing what MSM always does, ignore the victims of our recent wars who are, as certainly was the case in Vietnam, generally people of color. Immediately a number of people condemned me for calling Keith Olbermann a racist. And that is what the discussion was all about. Thus a discussion of the real questions I was raising: 1. The vast majority of people suffering from AO are Vietnamese, 2. MSM including KO consistently ignore that when discussing AO, and 3. The role of white chauvinism in this contradiction.

It would seem that #3 can not be discussed at the DailyKos because people will charge you with calling someone a racist. For example to even suggest that KO not covering this very important aspect of the AO story has anything to do with his position as a relatively privileged white male and, you're calling KO a racist. How Dare You! And the real discussion is avoided.

In response to this I wrote in the comments to this diary yesterday:

I think Keith Olbermann is the strongest advocate for racial justice and against white privilege in MSM today and I include the corporate Tavis Similey in that group. Frankly, he is a lot more advanced in this area than a lot of my white 'socialist' friends that think themselves far to the left of KO. So no, I don't think he's a racist.

I said he has a white blindspot. That's not saying he's a racist. Saying you have a blindspot isn't even saying you're a bad driver. It's just pointing out a bit of reality of which you must remain aware.

Saying KO has a white blindspot on this issue, the effect of AO on the Vietnamese, is first of all saying that he doesn't even see the issue. A racist is one who is fully aware of the effect of AO on the Vietnamese, and just doesn't give a damn, or worst. Secondly, it is saying that his blindspot is a white blindspot. I am saying that it is very much related to the white privileged culture in which he is embedded.

So no, I will not change the title! And I will not be sidetracked by accusations that I called KO a racist! This is nothing more than a sleazy trick to obscure the important questions. So now, if you even suggest that someone's viewpoint is influenced by white privilege you are calling him a racist. Is that the logic at work here? Because I don't see any other.
having white blindspot = being a racist.

Now you have a position you can really condemn. Now that you have put words in my mouth, it's HOW DARE YOU CALL KO A RACIST! Because we all know it's a simple question of black and white. Either you are a racist or there's no problem. We don't have to look at the subtle influences of a culture that has been built on a bedrock of white supremacy. Suggesting those influences is tantamount to calling someone a racist. End of discussion.

The story last night was about Alan Simpson, AO only came up to critique him, but the story here is about AO effects on the Vietnamese, and that is a much more important story.

That story is little reported in this country and if I have given it a little more light and air with today's diary, then I have done what I set out to do. Now if my critic can just point me to some DKos diaries that handled this question in a better way, I will happily learn from them.

KO can take the hit, he's not perfect but I'll keep on working on making him perfect.

I see that as yet nobody has responded to it. In view of that, I would like to use today's diary specifically to call out the following people and ask them to justify their conclusions.
jethrock your premise that Keith Olbermann is a white supremacist.
You should be thanking him for his story... not calling him a racist.
raptavio HRed for trying to call Keith Olbermann a racist
Colorado is the Shiznit Just because he didn't cover it in last night's segment doesn't mean he's inherintly racist.
DiegoUK When you say he has a 'White Blindspot' you are calling him racist. For that, I think you're an ass.
And, again, thanks for calling him a racist. Classy.

If you are not building a straw man so you can burn it down by putting words in my mouth. Then will each of you please show us where I said KO was a racist or explain the logic by which you have concluded that it is synonymous with anything I have said?

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