Misplaced Left Wing Blame For Right Wing Murder

Rob Kall over at opednews.com has a theory that it’s not only Hannity, Savage, Beck and Limbaugh-the right wing-but the left as well, that is fueling the right wing killing spree. He theorizes that it is the sharp media characterizations of the ‘other side’ that are inflaming millions of Americans, many of them mentally ill, who have the potential to kill. Any serious political formation first and foremost should be willing to criticize itself. So hat tip to Rob Kall for engaging in any kind of self criticism. Unfortunately his audience is correct but he aims at the wrong thing.

Any one paying attention has long understood the right wing’s role in fear/hatemongering. Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, O’Reilly, Boortz and many others have had listenerships in the collective tens of millions for many years now. So when white, right wingers get their guns and kill perhaps you can place blame at the doorstep of the right wing media that foments fear and hate every night. The interesting aspect Kall brings is the blaming of the left wing of US politics in this dynamic.

Every day the right wing bends the ear of millions of mainstream US citizens to its message. If there is one mainstream left (NOT LIBERAL) commentary outlet that reaches even a 100,000 listeners I haven’t heard of it. So to compare the actions of the left to those of right wing commentary doesn’t add up.

Rob Kall starts off his piece saying that it may piss off some of his white liberal/left readership. And I’m sure he’s right. Some will be upset to hear that their daily pasttime of heading over to DailyKos, Democratic Underground or his site, OpedNews to rip Sean Hannity a new one isn’t necessarily the most helpful thing for them to be doing. But there is another more important critique that I thought Kall was going to make that he didn’t touch that would is more appropriate and would surely upset the opednews.com faithful. When I read the link to Kall’s piece, ‘Wingnut Murder Spree or Are WE The Problem’, the ‘WE’ in his title fooled me into thinking he was going to address the much more salient issue of left and liberal whites complicity in the racial hatred expressed more overtly by the right wing. The left preaches tolerance and diversity but more often than not lives racial segregation and division. Unlike their right wing counterparts, left and liberal whites are more willing to live in relative proximity to non-whites. Sociologists call this gentrification. But this tolerance doesn’t translate into significant interracial living. Black cashiers at Publix, Target and Trader Joes doesn’t count. Left and left-leaning whites disagree SHARPLY with the rhetoric of the right wing. To be clear on this, liberal, progressive and left whites disagree very strongly with the right wing when it comes to hate speech, theories and violent rhetoric aimed at nonwhites. However, the theoretical and rhetorical disagreements are lost in the translation into real life. Consequently, as a good example, the bright line of right wing hate, interracial co-mingling, marriage, sex and children seems to be shared by many white liberals and leftists. It is in this way that I think the white left, the WE Rob Kall refers to, actually does bear some responsibility. Attorney General Eric Holder kicked this message in his Black History to the Department of Justice where he called [white] America a ‘nation of cowards’ when it comes to dealing with white racism. He wasn’t just talking to the right wing. In fact, he logically had to be talking more to the white liberals and leftists than white conservatives.

Conservatives in 2009 are still a long ways away from being able to deal with the historical reality of the United States of America, no less actually engage in productive white anti-racism work and living. The liberal and left white population therefore is who he and others with Holder’s critique refer to. And therefore when the racial cauldron boils over some and racial murder is the result it is white liberals and leftists that must bear a portion of the blame for the antiracism work and living they agree needs to happen but that they continue to decline to actually do. I wish Rob Kall would talk about this. But he never does.

None of the white left talks seriously about this issue. They feed themselves, and us nonwhite folk on the left, the same regurged tracts about diversity and tolerance and multiculturalism and good intentions etc. But those same liberal and left intellectuals lead lives that are almost as segregated and racially isolated as many of their right wing counterparts they excoriate on paper, in books, andĀ  on blogs and websites. Rob Kall and others essentially talk to themselves about the racial situation and to each other, the logic of morally upright racial rhetoric, divorced from the actions of their daily liberal lives, adds up.

To the rest of us, its just blather. Dangerous blather.

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One Response to “Misplaced Left Wing Blame For Right Wing Murder”

  1. Very nicely put. Being a white male who grew up in Baltimore city proper, this has always been a tough subject for me. I was a very liberal Democrat in my younger years, now very libertarian and I would never presume to speak on the issue of race (as you do) especially considering I grew up white. I will never know this issue the way you do. I am not an apologist for our country’s past nor for actions of others. I do feel we need to be honest and say I just don’t know what I don’t know. I find my white liberal friend who live in the suburbs think they know, I try to tell them they don’t. Your comments are right on and need to be said, even if they hurt. More over we need more people of color to show the way out of this mess. I don’t know who can do that. The more I have read of Dr. King the more I wish he were here.
    Thank you for the chance to speak. I am glad you can’t hold your tongue some things need to be said.

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