March 26, 2010
To a Truther, denial of a false charge is proof of guilt!
What does it take these days to rebut or debunk a lie? Maybe I am living on another planet from some of my fellow citizens, but I thought the claim that Tea Party protesters shouted the N-word at a congressman had been thoroughly debunked by people who simply took time to review the numerous videos of the entire "incident" which are all over the Internet. As no one ever posted any video which showed the N-word being used, I figured that was the end of it. Sure, there will remain unreasonable bloggers on the left, just as there are Birth Certificate Truthers on the right.
I guess Leonard Pitts, Jr. is a sort of "Tea Party racism Truther" for he not only acts as if the story was never debunked, but he claims the denial of it proves that the Tea Partiers are inherent racists, like the Klansmen of the 1960s.
His piece bears at least three titles. The one in my local paper is not available at the Detroit Free Press website, but its title is: "Apologies don't excuse the rottenness within Tea Party protests." Elsewhere, it is titled "Tea party and racists -- 'isolated incidents' no more" and "Racists will never admit their racism."
Apparently unaware that it has been debunked, Pitts begins by asserting that the N-word incident actually happened:
So it turns out that, contrary to what I argued in this space a few weeks back, racism is not "a major component" of the so-called tea party movement. I am informed of this by dozens of tea party activists indignant and insulted that I would even suggest such a thing.A discussion of Lewis's inspiring struggle during the Civil Rights Movement follows. He was one of those guys who was there when things were violent and ugly, and he braved the Klan. And while there is no denying his heroism, I cannot understand how that could give "bittersweet resonance" to an "incident" many decades later which has never been shown to have happened at all.
What I cannot figure out is whether Pitt even knows about the video that refutes the allegation. He says nothing about the video, and instead misconstrues Amy Kremer's initial remarks as a dismissal, and as an apology:
Amy Kremer, coordinator of the Tea Party Express, went on Fox News to dismiss what she called an "isolated" incident. Your first instinct may be to cede the benefit of the doubt on that one. It seems unfair to tar nine reasonable people with the hateful behavior of one lunatic.First of all, if something did not happen, no disavowal or apology is needed. And how often have Tea Partiers been groundlessly accused of racism? If you are often falsely accused of something, doesn't it stand to reason that you will be often forced to deny it? By what logic is denial of an allegation proof that it it is true?
The only "logic" that comes to mind is the Truther "logic" of paranoid conspiracy theorists.
Bad Pitts takes this paranoid illogic a step further. He says that the denial proves the Tea Partiers are really just like the Klansmen who attacked John Lewis during the Civil Rights era:
Not that the denial surprises.Is it possible that Pitts never heard that this story was debunked? After all, he doesn't even address the issue.
He is not some ideologically driven left wing blogger; he's a major syndicated columnist, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Presumably a member of that elite club of people with access to layers of fact checkers. You would think that either he or someone working for him might at least have watched the video.
But maybe the absence of the N-word in the video wouldn't matter. I mean, if you think that denying something proves its existence, then its absence in the video probably proves that it is actually present in the video.
I don't know how you could have a discussion with people who think like that. They'd probably call you a racist or a child molester, and any denial would be proof of the accusation.
(Yeah, yeah, I know that racists and child molesters are not moral equivalents, so please don't dump on my for that bit of hyperbole. After all, we all know that Roman Polanski is a far greater villain than the Tea Partiers..... Right?)
AFTERTHOUGHT: As to why Pitts and so many of his fellow leftists are relentlessly promoting the Big Lie that Tea Parties are racist, it makes a lot of sense if the policy goal is containment. I think there may be a fear in liberal circles that the Tea Party Movement has gotten too big, and they may have decided that the best way to frighten ordinary people away and keep attendance down is by having as many prominent media people as possible hammering away at the racist meme as frequently and as often as possible -- the hope being that people will start thinking that if so many people are saying this it must be true.
And because racism is the last thing anyone wants to be associated with, then merely making the association by way of allegations ought to (it is hoped) be enough to scare ordinary people away.
MORE: Andrew Breitbart is offering $10,000 to anyone who can prove the N-word was used against Lewis even once:
It's time for the allegedly pristine character of Rep. John Lewis to put up or shut up. Therefore, I am offering $10,000 of my own money to provide hard evidence that the N- word was hurled at him not 15 times, as his colleague reported, but just once. Surely one of those two cameras wielded by members of his entourage will prove his point.(Via Glenn Reynolds.)
posted by Eric on 03.26.10 at 01:21 PM
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