Donald Ian Rankin (1000+ posts) Wed Feb-25-09 06:04 PM
Don't confuse "racist" and "right wing".
There have been two recent big arguments on DU: one about whether or not the cartoon suggesting that the stimulus bill had been written by a berserk chimpanzee was racist, and the other about whether drawing attention to the fact that Bobby Jindal was born "Piyush" was racist.
I think that the former fairly clearly isn't racist, while the latter fairly clearly is.
The test I apply in both cases is "would this happen if all the participants were the same race", and I think it very likely indeed that Republican columnists would have used a berserk chimpanzee being shot as an opportunity to criticise Democratic policies if the president were a white Democrat (after all, they use everything else that way...), while I'm quite sure that far fewer DUers would give a damn about what Jindal's given name was if it weren't for the racial angle.
All of which makes me suspect that a lot of opposition to racist is based more on factionalism than on actual principle - when something rightwing can be labelled racist, that's a good way to attack it, but it probably doesn't go deeper than that.