Friday, August 18, 2006


Howling Latina is going to chime in...

Why is the media even talking about Andrew Young's comments defending Wal-Mart?

Certainly one can see the truth of his remarks. Hell, it's not only mom-and-pop retailers who rip-off local denizens, neighborhood mom-and-pop insurance agencies do it as well; sign right up and pay twice as much -- convenience has a price for all.

Here is the sum of Young's so-called racist comments when asked to respond to charges that local economies are hurt when Wal-Mart moves in because local stores are forced to close shop:
"Well, I think they should; they ran the `mom and pop' stores out of my nieghborhood," the paper quoted Young as saying. "But you see, those are the people who have been overcharging us, selling us stale bread and bad meat and wilted vegetables. And they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs; very few black people own these stores."

Why is referring to someone's ethnicity racist?

Framing, newscasting and hyping this non-story cheapens the other real stories about real racist comments from real racists types.

I could not disagree more.

In reaching for some way to defend WalMart against growing criticism of their economic model and allegations of corporate discrimination against minority employees, Young fell into behavior he's criticized in others ... repetition of irrelevant religious, ethnic and racial stereotypes.

His language (and Allen's) reflect the growing divisions in this country, along ethnic and racial lines, where suddenly the term "immigrant" means folks (mostly people of color) who've come here in the last decade rather than all Americans who came here from somewhere else during the entire history of our great nation. It is this kind of intemperate and inflammatory language about which I expressed concern in recent posts on my blog, and Bacon's Rebellion.

You demean yourself by trying to distinguish Young's words from Allen's words. Their offenses are equivalent, except that Allen's behavior clearly was, in part, that of school yard bully which gave his offense extra weight, particularly when judging his fitness for higher office.

But their language is cut from the same cloth ... a cloth of intolerance and fear of other.

The ethnic and religious background of people who exploited the poor was irrelevant to Young's principle point ... that there have always been people ready to rip off the poor by providing poor quality goods and services at higher than average prices (see, e.g., pay day lenders) and that the Walmart effect (driving small businesses, including these alleged exploiters, out of the marketplace) isn't a bad thing.

Young's unnecessary reference to the race, ethnicity and religion of some of these people, however, reflected a personal predjudice -- nothing more, nothing less.

As to your last question, would you describe the term "spic" as a term of endearment?

Using ethnic stereotypes isn't properly classified as "racist" but it certainly is intolerant, and can, as in this case, reflect deep-seated prejudice.

oh, you make an excellent point to support my argument.

Did Young refer to the previous shop owners as Himies, Chinks and Sand Niggers?

No...and that makes all the difference.

I called a dear friend of mine who is Jewish and he agreed with my opinion, Young's comments were not offensive, at least from his Jewish perspective.

I guarantee you that any Asian or Arab with an open mind and no agenda (i.e. not a GOP backbencher) would agree with my Jewish friend.
And, of course, your dear friend is right and these national leaders quoted in the NYTimes are all Republicans:

"His remarks drew forceful condemnation from Arab, Jewish and Asian leaders.

The national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham H. Foxman, called the comments “very hurtful.”

“The sad part,” he said, is that “even people of color and even minorities who suffered discrimination and prejudice are not immune from being bigoted and racist and even anti-Semitic.” "

Perspective is an important trait and an essential element of credibility even for strong partisans.

You struggle to defend the indefensible here just as some Republican bloggers sought lamely to defend GFA.
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