Crouch’s liberal dementia

The other day I said that Richard Cohen has gone so far in his irrational bigotry against conservatives that it’s not necessary to notice or respond to him any more, since he discredits himself in the eyes of any rational person reading him.

However, Cohen’s semi-dementia is small stuff compared to the all-out variety of the disease displayed by New York Daily News columnist Stanley Crouch, who, believe it or not, was once seen by New York neoconservatives as one of them. As I remember, he did make some moves in a conservative direction years ago (though I forget at the moment what they were), but then, apparently horrified by what he saw in the land of dragons, reverted back to a super conservativeophobia. Here I quote excerpts from Crouch’s August 30 column about Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally in which he repeatedly calls Beck, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Partiers bigots similar to the Ku Klux Klan:

Drowning out the hate hustlers: Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck cannot steal America’s soul
Stanley Crouch
August 30, 2010

Now that irresponsible opportunists have brought many of the misled to Washington, we can begin to contemplate what makes bigotry so appealing. Surely, being able to exclude is one of the great joys of the species because it can give a grand identity to the average person.

That identity as one of the elect made the red glow in Southern white necks. They felt part of a civilization in which they were looked down upon until they put on their costumes, screamed loudly at mob gatherings and committed acts of violence.

While bigotry is as American as apple pie, its shelf life is now rather short. The easily dismissed lies that Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich have used to fire up the true believers will not work. After race-baiting as clearly as they could on the issue of a proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero, all of them have attempted to “clarify” what they actually meant.

[ … ]

The majority of Americans know what the likes of Beck and Palin are really about, no matter how loudly they ring out their message from the propaganda fount we call Fox News. Being seen as a moose-hunting career woman with spunk—or a passionate commentator who loves America so much that he routinely breaks down and cries on air—will only persuade like-minded bigots. These bottom feeders have swum as low as they can. The pressure of deep water will crush them sooner or later.

[ … ]

Those on the right will gain nothing if they continue selling out to the redneck agenda that arose with Richard Nixon’s divisive “Southern strategy” and persists today. Nixon’s intention was to welcome swine who had left the Democratic Party, which they could no longer stomach due to its liberal ideas. Of course, they didn’t stop reeking of garbage just because lipstick was applied.

These are some trying times, but the American soul will come through. Soon it will not matter what religion one believes in as long as the rule of law is respected, and those superficially unlike ourselves will not suffer from manipulative hysteria. In the end, as Melville suggests in his novel, we are all unique but defined by our human commonality.

Acknowledging that complexity is an identity that Americans love, and will continue to use as a shield against the constant march of bigotry as futile as it is intense.

- end of initial entry -

Richard W. writes:

Crouch’s main claim to fame as a conservative was pointing out the degradation and objectification of woman in gangsta rap a decade ago. Other than that one small break with hipster-nihilism his politics have always been left of center.

C-Span did three hour book notes on him, and what I got was that he obsessively sees everything through the lens of race. He held W.E.B. Dubois’s “The Soul of Black Folks” as if it was the Bible and he a preacher.

A while back you wrote that Eugene Robinson’s columns could be summed up as “Black, black, black. Blackity black. Black black blackity black.” Crouch is saved from this fate only by the fact that he is a conscientious music critic. When he moves into politics it’s all racial, all the time.

And again, most glaringly, what is up with the strange double standard of both he and his publisher that they feel no shame in throwing around racist white terms and imagery: “made the red glow in Southern white necks.”

One can only imagine his outrage were someone to use similar terms to describe a describe a group of blacks. “The members of the black caucus had a shine to their faces as bright as patent leather shoes”.

It is disappointing to see one of the few plausible black public intellectuals fail so miserably to live up to his own standards.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 24, 2010 08:24 AM | Send

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