Missing the boat

Subhead: In which the editorial staff at the Chicago Tribune demonstrates its inability to grasp simple concepts about race and racism

Exhibit One: Steve Chapman speaking about hate crime legislation:

It is intended to provide extra penalties for criminals who think incorrect thoughts.

Hate crime legislation does not provide extra penalties for criminals “who think incorrect thoughts.” Rather, criminals must have evidenced that bias was their motive. In most cases, this is when hate speech has occurred simultaneously with violence. Obviously, there is no way to prove a criminal was motivated by bias unless he or she directly expresses same.

Exhibit Two: Clarence Page commenting on Bill O’Reilly’s comment about how civilized black people eating at Sylvia’s (a famous NY restaurant) were:

No, ignorance about race might not make you a racist. It only makes you ignorant. That’s why I think O’Reilly deserves a break. When someone is ignorant you should try to teach them. Instead, a lot of otherwise good-hearted, fair-minded and charitable people want to tar and feather O’Reilly.

Peace, people. I know O’Reilly. I’ve argued with him about various topics on his radio and TV shows. I relish a good “gotcha” moment against inflated egos as much as anyone does. But I also believe that this Sylvia’s kerfuffle is a bum rap.

Of course, this completely ignores the fact that ignorance and racism are not mutually exclusive. Not only that, but this type of ignorance often informs people’s actions. When people have these types of entrenched erroneous beliefs, they tend to guide their actions and behavior. Additionally, believe it or not, O’Reilly is nodded along with by a huge audience, all of whom are happily swallowing his swill.¬† People nod along with Page as well, especially since his blackness can justify their own racism.

I’ve never liked Clarence Page, liked him even less after reading his book, but this recent piece of crap surprised even me. Among other things, he wrote that Media Matters “vilified” O’Reilly, when it simply printed what O’Reilly said. Sounds like Page is taking a page from Michelle Malkin.

Anyway, take a look at the columnists. Notice anything about the majority of those smiling faces?

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