Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More on the subject of Mr. Schoeneman's post about racism

My earlier response to response to Brian Schoeneman's post "What’s worse? Racism or using racism as a political weapon?" at Bearing Drift seems to have stirred up a little controversy. Allow me to further elaborate.

Does anyone seriously believe that these were the only two e-mails of this nature ever sent by members of the VB Republican leadership? Or, as seems more likely, are these the only two that have somehow made their way into the possession of a Democratic blogger?

The thing I find so offensive about Mr. Schoeneman's post is that he accuses Lowell Feld--and by extension other Democrats--of "using racism as a political weapon," when in fact all we have ever done is call attention to racist behavior that even Mr. Schoeneman claims to disapprove of. We are reacting, not acting.

Somehow, in Mr. Schoeneman's mind, calling out someone (who is a member of the GOP) for their racist actions is somehow worse than the racism itself if that calling out has adverse political consequence for the racist (and the GOP).

Does Mr. Schoeneman understand that being racist and being against racism are not the same thing?

It is entirely a secondary matter to point out that Lowell Feld would not have these e-mails if there weren't someone in the Republican camp willing to forward them. Someone in the VB GOP's e-mail chain--and I'm guessing it wasn't Mr. Schoeneman--felt strongly enough about these e-mails to use them to bring down the people who sent them.

What were the motives of that person? I have no idea. Were they sincerely concerned about racism in the GOP? Possibly. Or could it have been the result of someone wishing to further an agenda that has nothing to do with fighting racism? Also possible. But those motivations reside with the leaker, and not with Lowell Feld or Blue Virginia.

Lowell Feld and Blue Virginia were merely the conduit. The leaked e-mails are, on their face, evidence of racist sentiment among the VB GOP leadership. Lowell apparently published them right after he received them, but what if he didn't? What if he had held them for a time and place of his own choosing? Does Mr. Schoeneman argue that Lowell Feld owed some sort of duty to Mr. Bartholomew to out him in a timely fashion?

Mr. Schoeneman's accusation that Blue Virginia was "using racism as a political weapon" is incorrect from both an ideological standpoint (opposing racism is not worse than racism) as well as from an agency standpoint (Lowell Feld didn't out Bartholomew's racism, the GOP leaker outed Bartholomew's racism).

I can certainly understand why Mr. Schoeneman and other Republicans are upset by these leaks, but if they want someone to blame for this scandal, they need to look a little closer to home.

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