Monday, March 22, 2010

Wolf at RedState attempts to school Carson and Lewis on civil rights

Somewhat predictably, certain bloggers on the right are claiming that protesters in Washington actually did not hurl racial epithets at congressmen on Saturday.

RedState's Leon H. Wolf's evidence for this claim is the following video:

You can read his post and watch the video here.

"The specific accusation most often repeated," Wolf writes, "is that when Andre Carson (D-IN) and John Lewis (D-Ga) left the Cannon House Office Building yesterday, they were met with a crowd that chanted the 'n-word' at them repeatedly." According to Wolf, "It turns out, it’s not just that there’s a lack of evidence that this ever happened, there’s actually video evidence of the scene in question which absolutely proves that Carson and Lewis are full of crap."

What is the problem with Wolf's argument?

Wolf is obviously assuming that if Carson's and Lewis's story were true, the n-word would have been audible on the video. Now, is this assumption true? Carson and Lewis cover a lot of ground on the video. Are we really expected to believe that this single recording device would have captured anything of interest? How stupid does Wolf think we are?

Wolf infers from the video that Carson and Lewis are liars. And that's not all:
I don’t know if these two idiots are just unaware that protesters and activists tend to carry video cameras everywhere they go now in order to catch news as it happens, or if (more likely) they just figured that their completely fabricated story fit a pre-existing narrative the media would be happy to credulously pass on. The sad thing is that it appears to have worked. I won’t hold my breath for all the media who slandered the Tea Party protesters to retract and publicly these two out [sic] for the liars they are, though.

Really, it’s sad in a way. Racism still does exist in this country, but political crooks like Carson and Lewis have turned the owrd [sic] into a joke for the sake of their own political gain. Well done, fellas - way to serve the cause.
Carson and Lewis, according to Wolf, are idiots as well. In fact, Wolf's post is entitled, "Lying Bastards Lie." So, according to Wolf, Carson and Lewis are (1) liars, (2) idiots, and (3) bastards. Is it really a stretch to think that Wolf and others like him would use the n-word to refer to them as well? No.

What's more likely?
  • No one in the crowd used a racial epithet, but Carson and Lewis claimed falsely that someone did, knowing that there were plenty of witnesses, some with video recording equipment, who would contradict them;
  • Someone in the crowd used a racial epithet, but the single video recording device failed to capture it. 
Why believe that Carson and Lewis are lying? Why not just believe their story, since "[r]acism still does exist in this country"?  Here's my guess: Wolf is probably thinking that, well, there's just something that's not quite right about those two, Carson and Lewis.  Gee, what could it be?  Well, whatever it is, many of their readers probably noticed it as well and were therefore more likely to accept Wolf's lame argument.  I mean, what else would someone who reads RedState expect from these two congressmen who don't quite look right, who seem unsavory somehow? 

What is both completely laughable and offensive is Wolf's admonishment of Lewis and Carson in the final paragraph, as if Wolf is actually an authority on the cause or even cares about the cause. Lewis was part of the civil rights movement in the previous century; Wolf is some asshole who contributes to a blog. Spare me.

Update: RedState's Martin Knight is presenting the same flawed argument.  It's there alongside some rather irrational ranting:
There has not been a single competitive election, legislative battle or even debate on the issues in the past four decades that Democrats have parachuted charges of racism and “hate.”

It is what Democrats use as shorthand for “I disagree”; it’s what they call their kids when they don’t do their homework. How does anyone think it became racist for one to be pro-life, or pro-school vouchers when the vast majority of black parents support school choice?
I think that in his hysteria, Knight said the opposite of what he meant to say in the first paragraph.  In the second, he infers from the fact that many of us are calling the protesters who hurled racist epithets "racist" that we think that being pro-life and supporting pro-school vouchers is racist.  I don't think that being pro-life or supporting pro-school vouchers is racist; I think referring to African Americans with the n-word is racist.  Martin, get a grip.

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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson