Gray Flannel Dwarf

5/8/2005

Free Repugnance

Ok, I’ll admit it. I read Free Republic.

I read it, not to troll it (I’d get censored there anyway, as they are apt to do), or otherwise participate, and I don’t get particularly pissed off at it — they’re so far out there that it’s comical. It’s more to observe the social aspects of it.

Everytime I read it, though, I just picture FR as one big, angry hornets’ nest. There is a lot of downright irrational thought and ad hominem, Republican-for-name’s-sake showmanship. There are a few more traditional GOPers there, but they’re totally outnumbered by those who ardently back anything — anything that is voiced by the neocons. While not indicative of the GOP as a whole, it’s very telling as to where the more extreme elements of the party are looking. It’s like they are pacified by the site; it’s their outlet, but they’re still angry, pissed off hornets who might converge on a victim at any moment.

The other thing that there is a lot of, on FR, though, is thinly-veiled racism. Maybe this is obvious to some… perhaps it’s not even worth mentioning, but these thoughts came from an initial observation, and I waited until I saw the pattern repeated over and over again, to say anything.

Now, Free Republic won’t generally stand for outright racial slandering, as far as I have seen — that kind of thing, if posted at all, tends to get removed just as fast as physical threats posted (the Schiavo thing had the moderators quite busy). Nor does one even see a lot of blatant stereotyping.

The real mindset of not all, but many, of the Freepers is evident, though, when race is even remotely an issue. If it is an issue of clearing a minority’s name, obvious “indifference” is stated. The term “race baiting” gets bandied about… and it’s very obvious that anything that can be deemed as a “minority” story — political or not! — takes on a whole different flavour at Free Republic than, say, some place like dKos.

You can hear the underground buzzing of the swarm really amplify.

I first noted this a while back, when the topic of boxer Jack Johnson came up (see below), and have been watching ever since to see if this was just an abberation, or if my hunch was correct. Sure enough, it seems to happen just about every time.

Some examples follow.

10/07/2004 – BOXER JACK JOHNSON PRESEDENTIAL (sic) PARDON:

Expressed:

“Clinton and his stupid precedents. This nonsense could go on forever. The dead are all innocent, they’re certainly beyond the reach of law. Let this dumb idea die with Clinton.”

“OK, but he only gets pardoned when everyone who was the clear victim of racism is posthumously pardoned[...]” [same author]

Implied: “Who cares — it’s some old black dude.”

1/20/2005 – America, not Johnson needs pardon (black boxer Jack Johnson):

Expressed:

“What’s done is done. There are a lot of people who lived out similar circumstances and we will never hear of their stories. What are you going to do really? It’s 2005 and America is a VERY different place from 1913.”

“As long as we’re pardoning dead people, I’d like to see Attila the Hun pardoned for his myriad human rights abuses. After all, Attila was abused as a child. /sarcasm”

Implied: “It’s some old black dude. Again, who cares”

Expressed:

“Spilt milk aimed at white liberal guilt. What a steaming crock …”

Implied: “Oh, it’s the race card again”

So at this point, one may be thinking that I am reading into these statements. Well, I did an examination of my own thoughts, and before stating anything, I waited to see if it came out of the woodwork again. Sure enough, it did…

05/04/2005 Source: FBI to Exhume Emmett Till’s Body

Expressed:

“Let the dead rest.”

“I suppose that it is much better to have the FBI doing something like this that is political correct rather than doing anything constructive..LIKE GOING AFTER THE GOD-D@MN TERRORISTS THAT ARE CROSSING OUR BORDERS DAILY!!.
Oh well, another fine example of our government in action.”

Implied: (It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?)

Oh, and then there’s this gem of a red herring

“This is horrible. But only half as horrible as a mostly black jury acquitting OJ. He savagely killed two people.”

Then you have the more visible slurs in this discussion about Foxy Brown:
05/07/2005 – Foxy Brown Rejects Plea Offer (Rap Thug Assaults Two In Nail Salon)

Expressed:

“This former welfare beeyatch needs to be put in her place.”

Implied: (obvious)

or this…

Expressed:

“This person is twisted. She doesn’t deserve any recognition. Acting out her fantasy about being better than anyone else will catch up with her one of these days.”

Implied: “Damned uppity negro!”

I could go on and on with these, but this ought to be enough. Furthermore, there are a lot of references that I didn’t bring up, implying that most of these “race” cases have a common purpose in vilifying the GOP and/or the South. I didn’t mention those, because that’s not the purpose of this piece. That same “indifference” is always there, a recurring theme, in these types of stories. “Why does it matter” is a not-so-subtle way of saying “Why do they matter?”, and off-the-cuff references to lifestyle choices.

In any case – admittedly, this is just a sampling, and it’s not necessarily indicative of the whole thread, or even of all Freepers, much less the GOP as a whole. Regardless, I do find it kind of odd that stuff like this stays up, when often even remotely dissenting opinion is quickly struck from the record. The majority of the GOP no longer believes such things, but the fact that they continue to tolerate them is yet another political sellout to gain voters. Both parties do it, I don’t deny that… but catering to this constituency, to any degree, is vile.

Zell Miller always goes on about the Democratic party not being the party it used to be. Well, there you go, Mr. Miller, you can see where your “traditional” Democrats went. Go play with the GOP beekeepers.


cswiii @ 1:57 am

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