Friday, January 5, 2007

Checking for accuracy and good sense in a previous post

The fizzling-out of the rightwingers' self-generated flap on the AP story quoting Jamil Hussein reminded me of a post I did last year criticizing columnist Kathleen Parker over a piece she wrote on the Duke rape case.  Now that the district attorney has dropped the rape charges (but not some others) and seems to have committed some kind of prosecutorial misconduct, I wondered if I would be embarrassed by what I wrote then.

I was pleased to see that I'm not.  That post focused on Parker's ideological usage of the case.  I'm satisfied that my comments on the facts of the case were appropriately cautious.  I even noted, "I haven't researched the lacrosse rape case. And I probably won't."  And also, " This is why we have courts and trials, so cases like this can be decided based on some kind of legal standard and not based on speculation in the newspapers."

Speaking of Kathleen Parker, she did a year-end 2006 white-folks-whine:  Mea culpa, tua culpa, everybody gotta culpa Orlando Sentinel 12/31/06.  Also at Jewish World News 12/29/06).

It starts off with this kind of stuff:

In the annual spirit of compulsive declarations, summations and resolutions, let me just say, I'm sorry.

For everything. The Crusades, destruction of the Mayan temples, the Spanish Inquisition, (really sorry for that), the Bay of Pigs and, not least, typing the word "possom" when I really meant "possum."

But. You knew this was coming: I was sexually abused by a Catholic priest as a teenager and I'm an alcoholic.

I am also a gay columnist.

OK, I wasn't and I'm not. Nyet. None of the above.

And it winds up with - what else? - an evil-Negro story.

Political scientists make a distinction between "Jim Crow racism" and "symbolic racism".  "Symbolic" just doesn't do stuff like Kathleen Parker's columns justice.  "Neosegregationist" is my preferred term.

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