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Fri Nov 8, 2013, 03:03 PM

How much will it cost to make these racist old men go away?




One of America’s foremost problems is that old racist white men are still a very powerful and entrenched force, and as they get older, they are only getting madder and more racist. They do not seem to have much of a desire to simply go away on their own. In some cases, as distasteful as it will be, we will have to give them an incentive. Today, I will examine two of those cases, and try to determine what it will take to get rid of Richard Cohen and Ray Kelly.

There is a sort of general internet consensus, I think, that The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates is the best. He is the most thoughtful, the most incisive, the most honest, the rightest commentator we have. The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen is the opposite of Ta-Nehisi Coates. When the Eternal Gamer was deciding on the Madden player ratings for American current events columnists, he gave Cohen zeroes for insight and maxed him out on laziness and incuriosity. That is why it was a bit alarming, but not particularly surprising, to see Cohen write this, this week: (Emphasis mine.)

I sometimes think I have spent years unlearning what I learned earlier in my life. For instance, it was not George A. Custer who was attacked at the Little Bighorn. It was Custer — in a bad career move — who attacked the Indians. Much more important, slavery was not a benign institution in which mostly benevolent whites owned innocent and grateful blacks. Slavery was a lifetime’s condemnation to an often violent hell in which people were deprived of life, liberty and, too often, their own children. Happiness could not be pursued after that.

Yes, Richard Cohen, a journalist and columnist for nearly half a century, a college-educated, award-winning commentator, thought slavery was not such a bad thing until he saw a movie about it in 2013. Richard Cohen admits, in a major American newspaper, that until this month, he believed an archaic, widely discredited “Lost Cause” white supremacist myth. And in his nearly 70 years of literacy, he has not seen or heard or read anything to challenge that myth until he saw a Hollywood film on the subject. This is ignorance on a staggering scale. That paragraph should only preface a retirement announcement. “I am a deeply ignorant and cloistered old man,” should be the next sentence, “and no one should pay me for my views and opinions, because they are worthless.”


http://www.salon.com/2013/11/08/how_much_will_it_cost_to_make_these_racist_old_men_go_away/

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