"freedom to think what they want to think"

Anyone who thinks that Andrew Breitbart is the inflexible and rigid "authoritarian" that John Dean says he is should read his Newsweek interview:

If Sherrod wanted to meet with you, what would you tell her?

I'd have a long discussion with her, and I'd tell her that I'm not one of these people in this country that thinks racism doesn't exist. And that I'm not one of these people who says that she hasn't suffered from racism. And that the scars of her racism aren't warranted. But I'd also tell her that my passion in life and my political trajectory from left to right was born from watching the Clarence Thomas hearings. I didn't understand how he NAACP sat on its hands while privileged white gentlemen hammered him mercilessly and humiliated him and the media and the NAACP allowed for it to happen.

What do you say to people who call you a racist?

I'll tell them that this weekend I'm going to the Uni-Tea minority-based Tea Party in what was a preplanned event long before this. I'm going to tell the crowd that their investment in the American experiment of limited government and individual rights, that their stance on those worthwhile ideals is going to save this country. I have no bigger goal than to eradicate racism, to grant Americans who have a different color of skin the right to disagree against the left's style of orthodoxy.

So your broader effort is to tap the minority vote that historically has been helpful to Democrats?

Yes. It may be a task that's so Herculean, but I think it's a worthy goal to try to open up America to individuals who just so happen to have a different skin color, that they have every right and every freedom to think what they want to think. That's my battle, it's my goal.

It's my goal too!

Breitbart has touched on something very important, and it has long been one of my pet peeves about identity politics. Regardless of whether you're liberal, conservative, libertarian, communitarian, religious, atheist, if you are not allowed to think what you think about a given issue, then you are simply less than a free citizen. I have repeatedly argued that to the extent gays are not free to take whatever positions they want on issues, they are second-class citizens, and to see Breitbart saying essentially the same thing about black people confirms in my mind that not only is he not a racist, but he's about as far from being a racist as it's possible to be.

For the umpteenth time, if you don't have the freedom to make up your mind independently, you are less than a free citizen.

I wrote this post because I think Breitbart's remarks will be spun by the left only as a sort of shilling for the cause black conservatism, for he obviously supports black conservatives, and the left is very threatened by that.

But that would be wrong, for it misses the larger (and even more threatening to the left) issue of citizens being free to make up their own minds.

(No minor point. I've been carping about it for over seven years....)

UPDATE: Thanks to Memeorandum for the link!

posted by Eric on 07.30.10 at 10:36 PM










Comments

Breitbart can think as he pleases, say what he pleases, and publish what he pleases. However, if he defames someone, he is liable to civil suit. This is part of "the rule of law" that so many of today's faux conservatives claim to respect, until it produces results they don't like.

Classical Liberal   ·  July 31, 2010 3:47 PM

Well, classical liberal is on a tear, though his target calls the accuracy of his tag into question.

You claim libel. Would you elaborate?

Brett   ·  July 31, 2010 5:13 PM

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