This post One of Instapundit’s favorite blogs speaks on race by Glenn Greenwald at Salon has obviously hurt some feelings on the Right,
Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds today linked to what he called “EASTER THOUGHTS” from one of his favorite right-wing blogs gers, his namesake, “Instapunk.” That Easter post has a large picture of a crucified Christ along with a lovely religious poem.
Immediately beneath that righteous celebration of Easter is a somewhat less charitable post purporting to take up Barack Obama’s invitation to speak about race. After listing a few black entertainers and sports figures he says he likes, here are some of the thoughts Instapunk offers on race:
The Rightie bloggers in a rabid rush to defend Reynolds, the likes of which we haven’t seen since they defended Michelle Malkin to police the nation’s counter tops have decided as usual, not to argue so much with Greenwald’s point, but to play misdirect. Pointing out that Greenwald went to another post rather then the one Reynolds linked to directly, thus Reynolds is not guilty of perpetuating or approving of the racist post Greenwald uses as his example. Glenn writes plainly enough unless you’re a Conservative with reading comprehension problems, “Immediately beneath that righteous celebration of Easter is a somewhat less charitable post”. Reynolds (Instapundit) did link directly to another post at the far Right Instapunk which Greenwald excerpts and includes the following,
* Barack Obama “is none of us”;
* “in his heart of hearts Obama understands nothing and no one, because he has never belonged anywhere or truly participated in anything”;
* “It’s Michelle Obama who hates America”
If not pure racism, then the usual eliminationism that the Right has practiced vigorously for years – America and Americans are only those things and people that Conservatives in all their infinite wisdom decide meet their very narrow criteria for looks, behavior and beliefs. Glenn Reynolds (links at the Salon post) doesn’t think multiple links to the blog in question plus others that have some personal issues related to race and prejudice is in itself racist – linking can admittedly be a tricky business, but as Instapundit does it on the Right and Atrios on the progressive side links are generally considered an endorsement( In several posts Reynolds deals with e-mail from bloggers who complain about the lack of links precisely because they know he drives traffic to their sites/posts). Mark Kleiman thinks that there might be a little case of Greenwald saying that Instapundit is guilty by association. Kleiman might in other circumstances have a point, but much of the reason for the existence of Instapundit is as Conservative net traffic director; linking to posts that Reynolds think exemplify the thoughts of Conservatives on any issue or breaking news is his cause and SOP. Since Instapunk has multiple racist screeds posted and Instapundit has linked to the site ( which has several posters) multiple times it takes a certain level of rationalization to deny that Reynolds has by his linkage not at least tacitly endorsed the general editorial stance of Instapunk. Reynolds has as far as I can see posted no caveats about the Instapunk site or wrote any mitigating additions to his links. Reynolds probably does honestly believe that he is not a racist because he has multiple links to a racist tinged blog, but that is the case with many Conservative racists. They write things like “the suspicion that black people in America are, and have long been, a fifth column” or “It’s Michelle Obama who hates America” (part of a post Reynolds linked to directly without criticism) and thinks they’re merely being intellectually honest and sharp eyed observers of American culture. Conservatives who write doggerel like Punks while including how much they like Michael Jordan and Bill Cosby haven’t mustered up the courage to confront their racism. They think that because they would never consider dawning a white robe and lighting up a cross on someone’s lawn that they’re not real racists. Glenn Greenwald excerpt from the Conservative Instapunk is telling,
Every day I see young black males wearing tee shirts down to their knees — and jeans belted just above their knees. I’m an old guy. I want to smack them. All of them. They are egregious stereotypes. It’s impossible not to think the unthinkable N-Word when they roll up beside you at a stoplight in their trashed old Hondas with 19-inch spinner wheels and rap recordings that shake the foundations of the buildings. . . .
Here’s the dirty secret all of us know and no one will admit to. There ARE niggers. Black people know it. White people know it.
The Instapunk writer says he lives around the Mason-Dixon Line and refers to his age. I wonder if he’s ever been to a salon in Texas or Oklahoma on a Saturday and noted the sea of tight jeans – on both men and women the purpose of which is to advertise one’s equipment as it were. No complaints about cleavage from white women, polyester pants and day glow knit shirts, nothing about guys that have never seen a cow wearing thousand dollars boots with toes pointed enough to to kill bugs in the tightest corners or Republican vice-presidential wives that write lesbian porn, clean cut married Republicans that pay for sex. Punk doesn’t find the southern born mullet frightening – most of us want to cross to the other side of the street. I’m not being overly judgmental the examples are only to point out how clothing choices and Instapunk’s flames of disapproval have found a convenient residence in urban youth culture – this is partly one suspects a generational thing too – but finds no fault in the clothing choices and other cultural facets of white good old boys. Let’s say that a prominent liberal to moderate blogger wrote the following,
Every day I see young white males wearing tight shirts advertising their favorite brand of liquor or chewing tobacco — and jeans so tight you can see the outline of their tighty whities. I’m an old guy. I want to smack them. All of them. They are egregious stereotypes. I’m tired of picking up their empty beer cans off my lawn and walking into puddles of their snuff spit. It’s impossible not to think the unthinkable Red-neck Whitetrash when they roll up beside you at a stoplight in their trashed old Chevy trucks with Rush is Right bumper sticker and no talent red neck has been Ted Nugent recordings that shake the foundations of the buildings. . . .
Here’s the dirty secret all of us know and no one will admit to. There ARE red-neck racist right-wing whitetrash. African-Americans know it. White people know it.
If I had wrote this passage as a straight up post rather then satire there is the distinct possibility I would be accused of being racist, of unthinking stereotyping.
Instapundit’s only rebuttal so far to the Salon piece is linking to a post by another right-wing blogger that accuses, with out any supporting evidence, Greenwald of playing sock puppet once and then in the very same post complaining that someone is using his name in a comments section. Conservatives just don’t get irony.