The two authors quoted differ substantially in their political and cultural outlooks, which makes it all the more serendipitous to me.
The quoted author from the conservative magazine American Spectator is unsurprisingly conservative, but the other quoted author is considered to be liberal. Here's a good description of his world view, from the article:
"John told me that among his favorite writers was the Spanish poet and philosopher Juan Ramón Jiménez and quoted a line from Jiménez that expressed his own sentiments: “Foot in one’s accidental or elected homeland; heart, head in the world’s air.”Yet, both lament the same thing. Now, younger people may call that lamenting progress, and that is correct to a degree. But, is it good progress? That, I nor anyone else knows not for sure. Only time will tell.
I don't know how this connects exactly with today's big story about former Georgia USDA employee Sharon Sherrod, but I believe it does. I immediately doubted that the clip on Breitbart's Big Government website was the whole story. It was something in her voice. Sure enough, there was more. Monday night, I heard all the news channels playing along with the surface explanation, but I felt there was something differently deeper. Tuesday, we all learned the video clip was just that, and that she was really telling a story of Rodney King redemption, aka Can't-we-all-just-get-along? (which I catch myself asking all too frequently).
We also learned why Breitbart had deliberately run just the provocative clip: because it contained a racist attitude against whites on the part of Sherrod's audience as they listened to her describe how she discriminated against a white farmer at first (then went back and corrected that and helped him in the end). Breitbart has had a standing offer to pay $50,000 for video of Tea Partiers actually doing what Congressional Black Dems have accused during that march on Washington earlier this year (spitting on them as they walked up the Capitol Steps, for example)
Breitbart used this Sherrod clip to bait the NAACP, who had been accusing the Tea Party of harboring racist members. For Breitbart, this appears to be *war*, and people like Sherrod are casualties of that war, be it friendly fire or collateral damage. His response to how dare you do that is, yeah, so what? This is what you did to the Tea Partiers. Stop doing that and I'll stop, I did not start this, you did. I'm just defending the Truth in baiting your behavior, in hopes that you will exhibit the same behavior you trash us for.
Something like that, but more partisan on his end, of course.
On one hand, I do admire him. He has taken on a few of the ugly, nasty situations that illustrate how sad our race relations are. ACORN, anyone remember the fake white prostitute and pimp videos? That was, if not a Breitbart production, it was a Breitbart promotion. And it turned the tide of opinion against ACORN, forcing an eventual bankruptcy. But, now we are hearing snippets of liberal media covering, asserting now that the whole entire was fake controversy. And there is Breitbart, telling people you are missing the point. The point is how ACORN reacted. They exposed their corrupt ways, and there was nothing fake about that.
Here, we have Breitbart attempting much the same thing. And, if the standard is to show that every group has a racist element and don't just pick on the Tea Party, then Breitbart succeeded again. Anderson Cooper tried every single thing he could on his show tonight to lay the entire fault at Breitbart's door, yet there was still that pesky behavior of the audience in the clip, still the knee jerk reaction of the Obama Admin, the NAACP, and the entire press. And left exposed, many of the media decided to blame it on the Right. And even scold the Obama Admin thru Robert Gibbs for letting Fox News run the show because the knee-jerking was in fear of being skewered on Glen Beck that evening.
I guess the lesson I am left with is, when we try to force political correctness on everyone and in an unequitable way, those who comply become clones of sameness and dishonesty, and those who do not become freaks...racists, for example. Mixing in politics at best turns both sides into the equivalent of child siblings on a road trip in the backseat, aka Bill Cosby's Parenthood routine ("She's touching me!"), and at worst takes us to perhaps the brink of nastiness I don't even wanna contemplate.
Two things happening about this time 2 years ago -- my reading Saul Alensky's Rules for Radicals and my reaction to Obama's Reverend Wright Under the Bus speech -- pretty much helped me decide to support McCain. I had the really awful fear that Obama would encourage the unleashing of racial frustrations and then let them form their own chaotic directions. And to this day I believe I was right about it, so this entire unfolding of events is so uncomfortable to me. It's not not blacks, it is also Hispanics with the border issues.
But I have problems with Breitbart's mercenary ways, just as I do with Team Obama's mercenary ways (Tea partiers are racist, violent...Congressional Repubs don't want to extend unemployment and help Americans just because the GOP wants it paid for out of the unused stimulus and the Dems won't agree to pay for it at all.)
Rodney King had it right when he asked us to all just get along, each of us as we are.