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Anatomy of how a racism lie spread half way around the world

Anatomy of how a racism lie spread half way around the world

Saturday Night Card Game

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

That quote, erroneously and ironically attributed to Mark Twain, is reflected in a false accusation of racism spread recently regarding Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, a/k/a “Joe the Plumber.”

Wurzelbacher is hardly the household name he was back in the 2008 campaign, when he asked Obama some difficult questions and complained about government regulation during an Obama campaign stop.

For the unforgiveable sin of saying something negative about Obama, Wurzelbacher immediately came under attack on a scale seen by few, including having government employees illegally search Ohio records trying to dig up dirt on him.

While Wurzelbacher ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2012, he hardly is a central political figure.  But the urge to get him and demonize him lives on in the left blogosphere and media.

Wurzelbacher recently cross-posted a column written by Kevin Jackson at The Black Sphere.

Kevin Jackson The Black Sphere

The original Jackson column was titled America Needs a White Republican President, a provocative title but espousing a fairly conventional theory — that fear of being accused of racism has stifled the ability to have an open dialogue regarding Obama’s many faults.  And in the case of the Black community, Jackson argued, free rein has been give to black race card players.  The column ends (large lettering in original):

Blacksphere America Needs a White Republican President

Nobody wants to discuss it, because racism by black Liberals has been  sanctioned by the Left, even encouraged. Black racists get a pass, as black  race-baiters are unchallenged on the most idiotic ideas and statements.

MSNBC’s Touré said that using the word “angry”  to describe Obama is racist. Juan Williams of Fox News said that mentioning the  Constitution is racist, and the list goes on.

But it gets worse. These Lefty racists do a far bigger disservice to blacks  and America in general, as they rationalize Obama’s (and the Left’s) inability  to create opportunity. When their policies wreak havoc, they pose insane  arguments. They say that Republicans are trying to starve people by reducing the  welfare rolls that Liberals have happily increased by 16M Americans.

Race-baiting, poverty-pimp Al Sharpton argued recently to keep 3M known deadbeats  on welfare.

Black racists don’t complain when black people are marginalized and insulted  with policies that dumb down black America, like the lessening of academic standards. They are  fine telling black youths that those youths are less smart than all other ethnic  groups. Certainly no future ramifications from that policy, said nobody  ever.

These same racists allow for black children to be cheated in education and  ultimately, opportunity, as their enablers—guilty white Liberal racists—turn a  blind eye.

I long for the days of a white president, because under white presidents, at  least black people had pride. Liberals have stolen pride from blacks, and they  have no intention of giving it back.

At least if we had a white president,  black people might have a shot of regaining a modicum of respect.

Whether you agree with Jackson or not, it certainly was not a racist column. The literary device of claiming to want a white president was an expression of frustration with race card players, not an expression of anti-Black sentiment.  Any fair-minded person reading Jackson’s column would see that.

When Wurzelbacher cross-posted the column, he did it the way many people do (and how we do it at Legal Insurrection), post an excerpt and prominently link over to the original.  Wurzelbacher could have been more explicit that it was written by someone else, but it didn’t take much to figure it out when looking at the cross-post.

JoeForAmerica America Needs a White Republican President

After quoting the opening paragraphs from Jackson’s column, Wurzelbacher made clear the source of the writing:

JoeForAmerica read the rest as blacksphere

Just another cross-post, albeit with a provocative title.

The post quickly got attention in the left-blogosphere.  The appropriately named Crooks and Liars did a post about it on October 11, not mentioning the true source of the article.

But the Wurzelbacher cross-post didn’t go viral until a post about it by Taegan Goddard at Political Wire, which completely ignored the true author of the article, and cryptically stated that it was “posted” “a new post” by on Wurzelbacher’s website with a limited quote:

Remember Joe the Plumber

Joe Wurzelbacher, the everyman used by John McCain in the 2008 presidential campaign, has a new post on his website, “America needs a white Republican president.”

“Admit it. You want a white Republican president again. Now before you start feeling like you’re a racist, understand you are not. Wanting a white Republican president doesn’t make you racist, it just makes you American.”

A number of people, including me, called Goddard’s attention to the fact that it was a post written by Jackson:

Goddard then doubled-down:

Goddard’s post and its implicit if not explicit theme that Wurzelbacher had written a racist post was picked up by Huffington Post with an explicit hat tip to Goddard.

HuffPo ht Political Wire re Joe the Plumber

The meme went viral and was cited as an example of Tea Party racism, among many other places, in the post by Roger Simon at Politico about Ted Cruz and John Boehner drowning to save the country.

HuffPo, however, had the good sense to issue a Correction to the original post, with the proper context after it realized that the meme was wrong:

HuffPo correction Joe The Plumber

Goddard has not updated or corrected his post, however, as far as I can tell.  (This is not the first time I have had that issue with him.)  I emailed Goddard for comment, but he didn’t respond.

Wurzelbacher, for his part, has been left to wondering how it is that he has been called a racist for quoting one black person’s criticism of another black person:

Joe The Plumber Facebook Oct 13 9 a.m.

Wurzelbacher noted the irony:

So an African-American writer pens a blog on how it used to be okay to criticize the president without fear of being called a racist. Naturally, the Huffington Post calls me a racist for posting it.

This is a model of how it takes so little for a false accusation of racism to travel half-way around the world, or in the case of the Tea Party, all the way around the world before the truth comes out.

Of course, by the time the truth comes out, the world has moved on, and the lie remains.

I don’t care whether you like “Joe the Plumber” or not.  He didn’t deserve to have a cross-post taken out of context and inaccurately described in order to gin up an accusation of racism.

There but for fortune could go you or I.


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I always thought he would have been a good person in congress and hope he runs again.

toddlouisgreen | October 19, 2013 at 9:36 pm

So a black guy can say he wants a white Republican president and it’s edgy, but if a white guy says it, it’s racist? Does that make “white Republican president” the new N-word?

And am I now racist for asking? Or do you need to know whether I’m black or white before you can answer that?

    Progressives: “If you are white you are racist. If you are black you are not. We hope that clears things up for you.”

    “PS- If you are black and Conservative you are an Uncle Tom Step-n-Fetch-it race traitor.”

      Juba Doobai! in reply to JohnC. | October 20, 2013 at 4:29 am

      It sucks to be me, then, Aunt Jemima.

      Permit me to go the extra mile and tell you something else, too. I don’t live in an all black neighborhood, and I don’t want to. Been there, done that, never been mugged, but heard the gun shots, and saw the end result of blackout riots.

      Anyway, where Jackson of The Black Sphere is coming from is totally comprehensible to anyone with two brain cells rattling around in his skull. There is no honesty in our discourse anymore, no openness. When you can level a charge of racism at a man for linking and making a small comment, you have taken discourse to a Stalinist place. There is no free speech anymore. All there is is invective and vicious smearing that is deliberately intended to stifle our First Amendment right to speak freely on all matter,s especially the political.

      If we cannot call that inept, incompetent, and vicious thug Barack Obama an inept, incompetent and vicious thug without being called racist, but we can so label GWB; if we cannot call Obama a monkey (he looks a bit like one) without being called a racist, but we can so label GWB; if we can say nothing negative about Obama or his policies, if we cannot speak the truth as we see it about Obama without being labeled racist, then we have been effectively silenced so his Communist agenda can advance without let or hindrance.

      That is the end goal. That is the purpose of the game. Stifle the opposition and make America Communist. Dissent is no longer patriotic; it is now racist. The point of such a charge is “sit down and STFU!”

      By this means we have come to the unraveling of America with the consent of both parties and the viciously LSM.

        Amen! And when a sitting Representative to the people’s House can call those who disagree with him “domestic enemies” and not be called on it, we are toast.

          a6z in reply to JoAnne. | October 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm

          Well, he is being “called on it,” by you among others. What he is not being is displaced in the next election–certainly not for this. And he knows it.

        No, no, no. We never say the word “Communist”, not even to ourselves, not even in our dreams. Nor even “socialist”. Those are things that Americans unambiguously reject, whereas we are the beloved of Americans, whether they know it or not.

        We don’t even like political labels (for ourselves), though some of us tolerate “Progressive”. We’re basically just decent people without a political agenda.

        It’s the other guys, the ones who aren’t decent, for whom we have a zillion labels, whose agenda is political. Notably, they want to stop our (non-political, merely decent) agenda of free good things for all.

      a6z in reply to JohnC. | October 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      You say that as if it were a bad thing. Your tone proves you are a racist.

      (I’m not making this up. There are people who actually think this way.)

    “So a black guy can say [what] he wants [about] a white Republican president[, so long as it’s negative] and it’s edgy, but if a white guy says it, it’s racist?”

    Yes, that’s the convention.

    “Does that make “white Republican president” the new N-word?”

    Sort-of-like, but no. The N-word is sui generis. Nothing even competes for horribleness. By comparison, falsely calling someone a child molester is just playful banter. That, too, is the convention.

    “And am I now racist for asking?”

    Oh, absolutely.

    “Or do you need to know whether I’m black or white before you can answer that?”

    Not really. If you’re black you’re a race traitor and don’t count.

    You see, in modern times everything is about race; but nothing, not even race, is really about race. It’s about what side you’re on.

    healthguyfsu in reply to toddlouisgreen. | October 20, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    The bitter irony of all of this is that Kevin Jackson’s point in his post is being proved blatantly by the liberals by these very actions against Joe.

    The problem is they are proving it so loudly that the subtle wisdom required to recognize blatant, obnoxious foolishness is lost on a substantial voting portion of America.

    Sigh, Idiocracy.

We (old white guys) are all racists now. Sigh. (Hangs head, shuffles away)

    GrumpyOne in reply to Chuck912. | October 19, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    This is one old white geezer who ain’t about to shuffle away.

    I’ll spout the truth until my dyin’ day…

    Chris Matthews hated Ronald Reagan because he was white

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Neo. | October 20, 2013 at 4:36 am

      Chris Matthew’s is a vicious racist. If all you can see when you look and talk to someone is the color of their skin or their race, if you have to tell yourself that you forgot the guy’ space when you were talking to him, then you ARE a racist SOB.

      The nice thing about knocking around the world is that you make all sorts of friends from all across the racial spectrum. You don’t get into this deal where you are constantly reminding yourself that your friend or partner in conversation is Indian, African, Chinese, British, brown, black, yellow, white, blahdeblah. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the ideas and that the person can be trusted.

      Obviously, Chris Matthew’s has never made it that far with any non-white person. Racist bastard!

        Uncle Samuel in reply to Juba Doobai!. | October 20, 2013 at 5:37 am

        Matthew’s brain cells, neurons, glia and synapses are all tangled up and misfiring, suffering damage because of the disconnect of his words, thoughts and beliefs from actual truth and reality. He’s got serious cognitive dysfunction and dissonance from constantly lying to the world and to himself.

      a6z in reply to Neo. | October 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      No, Chris Matthews hated Ronald Reagan because he was conservative and effective.

      After all, Matthews himself is white, and he seems to like himself pretty well.

    Don’t even joke about hanging your head and shuffling away. That’s what they want from you. That and everything you’ve got.

I want a white or black or brown president who will be a true conservative president.

I do not want a white or black or brown president who is a left-wing crapweasel like Obama or Benghazi Hillary.

Even Meghan Kelly on FOX fell for it on her new show.

She went from Zero to Idiot in about 30 seconds

Raise your hands if you’ve ever heard of the Deacons for Defense and Justice.

The Deacons formed black self-defense militias made up mostly of veterans of World War II and Korea (often carrying the weapons they had smuggled back from the wars) who protected the advocates of non-violent resistance. Ironic, huh? We’ve all heard of Martin Luther King’s Gandhian principles, but few know that when he came to my adopted home town of Birmingham he slept soundly and safely because armed men like Condoleeza Rice’s father guarded him with firearms in the hands and determination in their hearts.

I do not know nor do I care what tweets evolve from a leftist website since almost all of them will most certainly be offensive. I honestly have never heard of this guy who screams “racist.”

So with all the news happening in the world, why does Legal Insurrection have to turn to the immature and senseless garbage generated from the medium that we call twitter?

Perhaps I need to expand my world by associating with college age kids – and then the light will pop on.

    Valerie in reply to gad-fly. | October 20, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Unfortunately, I can answer that one. People buy into this cr@p. You need to know what’s being said about you, if you are to have any effect at all in the larger public debate. People who lie must be called on it, or it will become “common knowledge.”

    If you want to go find a comfortable, little hole, and hide, coming out from time to time to bitch about what ball-less wonders the Republican Senators are, then by all means go hide, but don’t expect to ever win anything.

    The simple fact is that the policies espoused by the Republicans right now are economically sound, and better for all of us, very much including the blacks, who have suffered disproportionately under the present administration. That is precisely why Democratic talking heads hop up and down and scream “racist” at every juncture — to change the subject from their failed policies to their false charges of racism.

    The answer is a quiet one: “If you want to change the subject, if you want to talk about racism, we can talk about how seriously bad Democractic social policy is for the black families, we can go there. The black middle class was making strides towards parity with whites under Bush, and all that progress, along with nearly the whole black middle class, was lost under this administration. The impact has been disparate. Under the Democrats’ own standard, their policies are racist in effect, whether originally intended to be so, or not.”

      JoAnne in reply to Valerie. | October 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      Exactly. Look what happened to Sarah Palin. I have to correct people all the time who really think she said she could see Russia from her house.

Heard Kevin Jackson (The Black Sphere) talking about this in a radio interview Thursday. He is hilarious and sharp!

PersonFromPorlock | October 20, 2013 at 9:00 am

The underlying problem is that Progressives don’t do political discourse, unless howler monkeys do political discourse.

[…] Legal Insurrection opines about a racist lie that spread […]

If you think back on it, Wurzelbacher, or, rather, Mugabe-bama’s unscripted reaction to his questions, was the first “canary in the coal mine” incident in which Mugabe-bama’s vile Leftist beliefs were revealed and given some attention, in the midst of the ceaseless mass adulation and fervor surrounding his candidacy, and, his marketing himself (for the most part, successfully) as a pragmatic, unifying, centrist “moderate.” Of course, “Reverend” Wright’s venom-spewing “God Damn America” speech was another such moment. Too bad the populace wasn’t smart enough to resist the greasy charms of this consummate hustler, if not in 2008, then, at least by 2012.

Democrats can’t let blacks off the plantation.
Slaveholders were and remain Democrats.

So leftists are going about their usual work of spreading lies, taking things out of context, and generally doing everything they can to make the world a colder, darker place with no hope for improvement.

The biggest problem conservatives have with the left is not that they continue to oppose us, but that we continue to grant them legitimacy. We continue to pretend that they have anything valid to say. Our response to them should be comprised of disdain, ridicule, disgust, and dismissal.

There is no percentage in trying to make nice with rabid vermin.

I’m planning on having a medical melanization procedure so that I can still exercise my first amendment rights without incurring a label.

I’m just waiting on someone to invent the procedure.

Goddard is a not very smart guy with a mediocre academic and professional record who is married to the step-daughter of a former Guardian political columnist. They live a suburban Connecticut life happily insulated from everyday people, and probably don’t know any plumbers. Goddard starts every day trying to troll his readers with red meat posts and get the blood pumping, and, when the world doesn’t give him a good story, he apparently decides to make it up. He’s sort of the Joe Biden of bloggers.

thelastminstrel | October 21, 2013 at 11:16 am

“Hell, I know I’m a Prima Dona, I admit it. What I can’t stand about Monty is He Won’t admit it.” Gen. Patton
Race-Baiters pound the accusation in that we aren’t perfect.
OK, I’ll readily acknowledge the point; “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.”
Why won’t they?
Are they so incredibly obtuse as to claim perfection for themselves?

[…] LegalInsurrection on what happened with black blogger Kevin Jackson wrote a post called “America Needs a White Republican President” — and “Joe the Plumber” reposted it. […]

Notmybrotherskeeper2 | October 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Most have been aware of this tactic commonly used by the left for years now, you know….if in disagreement, claim racism is somehow involved. And of course not only is it completely juvenile and renders the “accuser” meritless its also irresponsible in a way that has the ability to bring out the violent side in the less intelligent who don’t know when they’re being taking advantage of thus a lot of black-on-white crime is in the news much more often lately……just shameful.

I’ve been a Kevin Jackson / “Blacksphere” fan since before the 2008.

I’ve been a Joe fan since his 2008 news item

Black Conservatives are routinely verbally attacked and sometimes physically attacked with different tools than those used against whites.

If there’s anything I …massively overwhelmingly ..dislike [We don’t want to use the “H” word] It’s ‘False Premise” arguments.

“Racist” attacks about people arguing against BHO are very troubling to me because he has no American “Slave” ancestors and DOES have African Slave Trader ancestors in Kenya [Kenyan ancestors who captured inland Africans and sold as Slaves, In the nineteenth century AND the twentieth Century.

Given the extent to which he and the AG have gone

Joseph Corlett | October 23, 2013 at 11:47 pm

“@politicalwire There’s a big difference between a black conservative’s comments on race and politics and a white guy’s.”

Sorry, ad hominem circumstantial logical fallacy at best, racism at worst.