The Politics of Hate?

The Politics of Hate?

The Politics of Hate?

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
Jan. 30 2006 6:10 PM

The Politics of Hate?

Are Republicans more likely to harbor racist feelings toward blacks? Bloggers are debating a controversial new study. They're also discussing Bob Woodruff's injuries and a proposal to ban protesters at funerals.

The politics of hate?: A Washington Post article about research into politics and psychology includes a tidbit about a study that suggests that Republican voters are more likely than their Democrat counterparts to harbor "biases against blacks." Liberal bloggers are saying "I told you so," while conservatives are suspicious of the study's objectives and conclusions about what Dave Price of Dean's World has named "the perfect article to make people angry on a Monday morning."

Torie Bosch Torie Bosch

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, New America, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies. 

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"This said of a President that has appointed more blacks to high positions of power than any President in history," says "twofaucets" of the agriculture and conservative blog Thumb Thoughts – From Michigan. Other conservative bloggers attack the researchers' motives. At The Tension, founder Stephen Moyer of Washington, D.C., has two main issues: It's hard to critique a study that has not yet been published, and two of the researchers have donated to Democratic causes.

Many liberal bloggers are giving the article the one-line treatment. "In related news, the sun also rises," deadpans Fred W, a Christian Democrat, on his blog Mad as Hell. The feminist blog Bitch Lab's extensive post about the study is especially peeved that the article allowed a Republican National Committee spokesman to combat the findings. "The logical rebuttal to scientific findings are people within the scientific community, NOT the flipping RNC (or the Dems, were this about them!)" the post huffs.

The wise Ann Althouse is staying above the fray. Noting that a study mentioned in the article that suggests people accept facts that support their beliefs, she quips, "Do you find yourself thinking of lots of ways to discount the study? Is it because you're a Bush partisan? And if you're thinking the study is pretty good, well, aren't you a Bush opponent?"

Read more about the study. Debra Dickerson wrote this article about her own racist instincts for Slate in 2004.

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Woodruff injured in Iraq: ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt were injured in a roadside bombing in Iraq over the weekend. Thanks, perhaps, to body armor, both are in serious but stable condition. Though there is no shortage of bloggers wishing both a speedy recovery, there's still plenty of fodder for debate. 

Jamie Jeffords, a South Carolinian, is irked by a lack of attention from his fellow conservative bloggers. He writes at Eye of Polyphemus that Woodruff and Vogt were hurt covering "the good news in Iraq, like the successful training of Iraqi military forces," a story that conservative bloggers often argue is underreported. "Isn't that worth noticing?"

Cori Daubter, an associate professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and the author of Ranting Profs did indeed notice that fact. But in a later post, Daubter is irritated by what she sees as the superior attitude of the news media. "The attack on the anchor, merely because he is an anchor, in other words, is to be taken as a representative anecdote for the state of affairs in Iraq. Don't tell us about progress. Don't tell us about things getting better. … Because an anchor was hurt, and really, what else do we need to know?" she says in a reaction to this article from New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley.

Some liberal bloggers think this incident is indicative of conditions in Iraq. "[T]he fact that such a prominent figure as the co-anchor of ABC's "World News Tonight" was seriously injured (and nearly killed) by a roadside bomb is quite revealing as to just how bad the situation seems to be in Iraq," Beyond the Punchline's Kevin, a Canadian writer, says.

Read more about Woodruff and Vogt.

Banning funeral protests: Several states are considering banning protesters at funerals after the controversial Rev. Fred Phelps and members of his church began protesting America's tolerance of gays and lesbians by demonstrating the funerals of people killed in the war in Iraq. Phelps has also protested at the funerals of Matthew Shephard and Mister Rogers, as well as a memorial service for the miners who died in the Sago Mine disaster. In an open letter to war protester Cindy Sheehan, Phelps and his followers said that her son and other soldiers died because they were supporting a too-accepting America. "They turned America over to fags; now they're coming home in body bags," the letter says

Bloggers are having difficulties reconciling their hatred of Phelps' tactics and their desire to protect free speech. On Bark Bark Woof Woof, liberal blogger Mustang Bobby says that the bans would infringe on the First Amendment and that Phelps will talk himself into irrelevance. "Let the world see that not only are these people nothing but a small collection of hateful bigots," he writes. On The Grape's Vine,which falls on the other side of the political spectrum, Kannafoot agrees. "It's all too easy to demand 'there ought to be a law' when we see this type of outrageous behavior. … Unfortunately, any attempt to ban his nonsense weakens, not Phelps, but rather the Constitution of the United States," he asserts.

On Patriotic Mom, conservative homemaker Pamela Reece is more concerned about the families of the fallen soldiers. "Do they not have a right to have bury their loved one with the peace and respect our fallen heroes deserve?" she asks.

Read more about the proposed bans.