[lbo-talk] Are Conservatives Racist?

SA s11131978 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 18 22:31:28 PDT 2011

> From a conservative website defending conservative Senator Tom Coburn
> against the charge of racism, is the following transcript of Coburn's
> remarks in Oklahoma yesterday.
> http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/08/18/matthews-falsely-accuses-sen-coburn-making-racist-remark-about-obama
> ---Joanne
> Asked if he thinks Obama's policies show he wants to destroy the
> country, Coburn said:
> "No, I don't... He's a very bright man. But think about his life. And
> think about what he was exposed to and what he saw in America. He's
> only relating what his experience in life was...
> "His intent isn't to destroy. It's to create dependency because it
> worked so well for him. I don't say that critically. Look at people
> for what they are. Don't assume ulterior motives. I don't think he
> doesn't love our country. I think he does.
> "As an African American male, coming through the progress of
> everything he experienced, he got tremendous benefit through a lot of
> these programs. So he believes in them. I just don't believe they work
> overall and in the long run they don't help our country. But he
> doesn't know that because his life experience is something different.
> So it's very important not to get mad at the man. And I understand,
> his philosophy "there's nothing wrong with his philosophy other than
> it's goofy and wrong [laughter] -- but that doesn't make him a bad
> person."

If I understand this, Coburn is saying that Obama, "as an African American," benefited from certain programs that "create dependency" - which in Obama's particular case helped him succeed, but which "overall and in the long run" don't work for most people. Since these programs worked in his particular case, Obama, being a sincere man, wants to create more of them, since he believes they help people. But they don't, and that's why Coburn disagrees with Obama.

I can see how this is, as Dennis said, fucking stupid. But I can't see what you gain from applying the word racist to it. It seems like the sincere expression of a sort of Calvinist-individualist, anti-welfare state philosophy. Is anyone suggesting that Coburn only believes this stuff when it applies to blacks?


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list