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« Isn't that special | Main | Meeting with Mitch »

Feb 23, 2007

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jc

The biggest losers are going to be the taxpayers of Greensboro.

City or former city EE's will be suing the city. The City will be appealing or defending the lawsuits by former city EE's. Wow! That really seems like lose-lose to me. How long will drag on?

There will always be skeptics and critics of the the city manager and city council and the GPD as long as Hinson and James are still in uniform.

This whole saga stinks to high HELL!

Greensboro deserves better than the leadership we have. They are all dividers. They pusha certain agenda. They are wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and there is no let up in sight. We need a new city manager, mayor, and all new council members. For a lot of people, they can't be trusted to do the right thing. I'm fed up with all of them.

Fred Gregory

What JC said !

Joe Killian

Did that guy really just say that Wray was no more a racist than Abraham Lincoln?

Does he not realize or is he just completely ignoring the fact that Abraham Lincoln was, in point of fact, a huge ideological white supremacist?

I get what he's saying - but talk about ignoring your history...

Joe Killian

Oh man. That's going to start a long, stupid, off-topic argument.

Will just go ahead and post this, from the third Lincoln/Douglas debate, as ironclad proof that you don't ever, under any circumstances, want to say that someone is only as racist as Abraham Lincoln. Unless you're trying to insult them.

Saying that Lincoln freed the slaves, that he was a man on principal, that he was one of and perhaps the greatest presidents the nation has ever had, is not the same as saying he was not a racist. An important distinction we shouldn't ignore.

"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything."

Joe Killian

Principle.

All right. Coffee now.

Bubba

You need to put it in context, Joe.

Lincoln was a moderate for his time, and his viewpoint was considered enlightened compared to many of his day.

The most ardent of pre-war abolitionists would be considered racist today.

Lincoln was not a "racist" in his day....neither is Wray today.

Joe Killian

A racist is a racist is a racist.

There is no "in his day" for the term racist. The word has a meaning that does not change. Lincoln may indeed have been far less racist than some of his day. He may have been less racist than many people today. But he still believed there was an essential difference between the racists, that one had to be superior and one inferior and that being the case white people should be superior. That makes him a racist in his time and a racist today. There were people in Lincoln's time just as passionately arguing for the equality of the races and the superiority of none as there are today. There were people doing so before Lincoln's time. He wasn't one of them and he doesn't get a pass on that because most of the rest of the country was racist as well.

David Wray may be the least racist person in Greensboro. I've never met the man and certainly don't claim to know anything about the condition of his soul. I just think his lawyer said a demonstrably ridiculous thing he wouldn't have said had he either really thought about it or really studied his history. Unless, of course, he meant to say "the entire society is racist and nearly everyone believes that white people are superior. So does David Wray. So did Lincoln. So what?"

I don't think that's what he meant. I don't think any reasonable person does think that's what he meant. But as a writer I'm a big fan of saying what you do mean and as a student of political science and history I'm a big fan of our not forgetting or whitewashing our past.

Joe Killian

Also...a big fan of typos.

Bubba

(sigh)

Fine, Joe.

Sue

Isn't being more or less of a racist sorta like being a "little bit pregnant?"

Bubba

"Isn't being more or less of a racist sorta like being a 'little bit pregnant?'"

Only if you see the world and society as absolute in every respect.

David Hoggard

Which you tend to do most of the time herabouts, Bubba.

Bubba

"Which you tend to do most of the time herabouts, Bubba."

Only in the face of the absurdities we read here from time to time.

David Hoggard

So, was Sue's comment one of those times? Do you believe a person can only be a little bit racist?

Brenda Bowers

I have come to wondering just what a racist is. I have been called a racist because I say what I believe. I said it to Whites for years when I thought they were wrong, and now here in Greensboro I am saying it to Blacks because they are wrong. Greensboro has a core of Black Racist who have taken over the city and county governments, this includes the GPD. Whites are running scare of this core group and bending over backwards to appease them. It is wrong! And using your power for personal gain and/or to force others to accept criminals is wrong. Black, White or Brown. So am I a racist? I would never have believed so. Not when I marched and not when I was arrested and dragged thru the crowd and not when I was spit on. But the values we faught for have been twisted into a desire for vengeance and pay back by a generation who never even lived during the bad times for Blacks.


Oh, yes I was surprised by the Lincoln bit too. How could anyone who has had even high school history have made that mistake? Talk about one's most embarrassing moments!

Joe Killian

I would refer you to the masterwork that is "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" from the Broadway puppet musical "Avenue Q."

I agree that there are or can be different degrees of racism. People who recognize (and proclaim) absolutely no racism in themselves need to take a long, hard second look. But racism is also a recognizable, quantifiable thing and people who proclaim opinions that are racist (in whatever age) are, in fact, racist. While their racism may be more understandable in the context of the time they are not excused from that classification by pervasive racism.

Ardent pre-war abolitionists who were also white supremacists would of course seem racist by comparison to the average modern day American. But plenty of them did not hold racist views, even by the standard of their day. This isn't a guess. We have the documentation of their thoughts and actions. There were, even then, plenty of people whose ideas may have been radical at the time but are now considered mainstream (i.e. "Black people are humans, they have rights, they should be societal equals, they can date and marry whomever they like.") Let's not short-change those people and elevate people who could have held those ideas then but did not by re-writing history and grading on a curve.

Fred Gregory

I wasn't surprised by the Lincoln quote. I used it in a term paper at Chapel.

But Joe check this out from the SPLC:

Lincoln

Joe Killian

Weird.

People who persist in transforming historical figures who were humans with good and bad bits, inspiring stories and horribly embarrassing moments into cartoon characters who are either messianic or snarling devils always frustrate me.

History is so much less interesting that way and the nation's story so much smaller and less important.

Bubba

"Do you believe a person can only be a little bit racist?"

Are you angling for your comments to be considered one of those time-to-time absurdities I mentioned above, David?

Or are you just looking to cause trouble?

Jeffrey Sykes

As a student of history, Joe should know that while Lincoln may have espoused those views quoted above in 1856, his thought, like many of his countrymen, evolved during the course of the Civil War.
A more applicable quote to what Lincoln's legacy is, as opposed to what he said at one time to appease more conservative Illinois voters who were worried what his anti-slavery stance would mean to their state if Lincoln won election to the US Senate, comes from the Second Inaugural:

"The Almighty has His own purposes. 'Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.' If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

So I think one could argue that Lincoln is not, in fact, viewed by history as a racist any more than the Apostle Paul is viewed as a persecutor of the Christian faith or Benedict Arnold is viewed as a great American.

David Hoggard

Just a simple answer, Bubba. No hidden agenda, no hidden meaning, and I promise... no wise-ass comeback from me.

Do you believe a person can be just a little bit racist?

Joe Killian

I'm not arguing Lincoln is viewed by history as a racist. Having read many (even many sympathetic) biographies of him I think he probably should be, but I don't think he is.

Should his personal racism be his legacy? Of course not. But it shouldn't be ignored either.

sean coon

brenda, the day you realize why "white" and "black" aren't proper nouns, is the day you'll probably realize why people once called you a racist.

Fec Stench

Thanks, Sean. I need all the camo I can get. I'm definitely a racist and spend most of my time hating white people when I can find one.

sean coon

heh.

The CA

Fec, OTS, I am trying to post something on your site, but it won't take. Please send me your email, and I'll send it to your directly.

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