This is a followup to yesterday’s post, “Has There Ever Been a Nastier Party Than This?” which you might want to read first.
The GOP’s vanilla frosting/vanilla cake birthday insult to the President
I repost on The Moderate Voice, and there was a sudden flurry of comments on the post that I will deal with here.
If the cake had been chocolate with chocolate icing, would that have also been an instance of subtle racism or would it be overt racism? How about a yellow cake, or a chocolate and vanilla marble cake? Just askin’
If harmless jokes based on current political advertisements are able to rouse our indignation to the exploding point, perhaps we all need to chill out just a little? Sorry, but this all seems a little too contrived.
If anyone wants to understand the subtle and not so subtle racism in the Republican party, there are no end of examples to choose from. I fail to see this as one of them.
ditto. I made a very similar comment to yours on this thread earlier this morning, but it has disappeared.
I can’t visualize any cake / icing combination that would have been “safe”.
Not racist at all, right?
“But crapping on someone’s birthday with a racist cake?”
I think it is debatable as to whether the cake itself is racist, but this is yet another in a long line of unprecedented things that I can’t help but think might have something to do with the blackness of the President…
Another non-racist meme from the Right
The oddity here is that impassioned defense is given to the notion that vanilla cake/vanilla frosting ISN’T meant to be a sly racial insult.
Everything else about the cake is insulting. No defense is offered. But, magically, it is divined that this doubling up on “vanilla” can’t POSSIBLY be racial code.
Think about that for a minute.
Why such an impassioned defense that ONE element can’t be insulting when it is tacitly admitted that all other parts are an intentional insult? And, the Defenders of Vanilla/Vanilla seem to have no problem with that.
This isn’t a criminal court, in which the burden of proof would be “beyond a reasonable doubt.” It’s not even a civil court, in which the burden would merely be “preponderance of evidence.” (I think I could win in that forum.)
No: this is the court of public opinion and I’ll say this again: When your actions are indistinguishable from that of a Grand Kleagle of the KKK, the burden of proof isn’t on me to prove racism. The burden is on the Kleagle Clone to prove that it ISN’T.
And Arizona has been so racially tolerant
Again, WHY such a passionate defense: “I can’t visualize any cake / icing combination that would have been “safe”.”
The defense itself depends on the notion that if the writer can’t visualize it, it can’t be visualized. This is, prima facie, specious.
Marble cake. Cheesecake. Carrot cake. Spice cake. Angel food cake with cherry icing: all of these are not telling. Even chocolate cake with chocolate icing can be argued as non-controversial, since it is the most common birthday cake configuration. But vanilla/vanilla is far more so.
Indeed, vanilla/vanilla is a somewhat unusual cake choice, as anyone who’s shopped for birthday cakes will attest. It is an outlier.
Given the endless attempts to deny President Obama his very personhood, any reasonable observer would conclude that the subtle insult was part and parcel to the overt insult. Or don’t you think they put this together carefully?
The evidence suggests otherwise.
Nothing racial in this political criticism.
Probably didn’t have a stuffed unicorn.
Somehow, making explicit what seems self-evidently implicit has called up a firestorm of defense … that it’s NOT racist?
The insult to the person and the office seem to cause not a bit of trepidation, which rather undercuts this defense. People who don’t want to see what it in front of their eyes can always find a series of seemingly-rational equivocations to cast doubt on the conclusion, but to assume that the “racist” conclusion is THE only portion of my analysis that requires refutation is, itself, telling.
We do not live in a world of deductive logic. We live in a world of inductive reasoning, and I included the charge because it seems entirely reasonable, given the extraordinarily well-known background of this “cake attack.”
Squall all you want, but my inference from the evidence seems less refuted than buttressed by this quite narrowly delineated faux-outrage.
Pure skepticism is a rhetorical dead end, since pure skepticism allows me to conclude that no one actually exists, and, therefore I don’t have to listen to anything anyone has to say.
Bonus points if you know the term that characterizes the stance delineated in the previous paragraph.
And this reply from the second commenter:
Come on Hart. Seriously? You are surprised that people would respond to the charge of racism when you put up a burning cross?
Be honest — You would have written exactly the same thing had the cake been chocolate, with chocolate frosting. (Worse with light or dark chocolate?) And one can only imagine the reaction to… say… a vanilla cake with chocolate icing.
And lemon? It would have been a backhanded slap against the car industry or something. And labor.
I mean… at some point, the sheer ridiculousness of all this has got to become obvious.
Sometimes, a rose is just a rose. Or icing is just icing.
If you are trying to make the case that there were outrageous, egregious messages carried by the vehicle itself (ie the cake), your message got buried in the icing someplace.
Again, no bigotry involved in this “ground zero mosque”
mailer from the NY GOP
And this somewhat sorrowful reply (because logical debate has vanished from public discourse):
Restating the same argument in longer form is NOT responding to an argument.
Neither is it a particularly logical response. All of your points are dealt with explicitly in my previous comment.
“Come on,” and “Seriously” are not rational arguments. In fact, they’re not actually arguments at all.
Ironically, the most important portion of the post — the incredible “collectivist” energy necessary just to create the insult cake’s frosting — is NOT addressed by any. You’d think, given the “Al Gore invented the internet” nature of what the GOP’s picked as their Autumn Meme, they’d try to at least address the argument. But no.
From a Right wing “action figure” website:
Obama Joker Action Figure.
Only one per Customer.
Vanilla/vanilla=racist code is based on the question of “severability,” that is, if the entire cake is a monstrous and uncivil insult, HOW can one claim to be able to “sever” vanilla/vanilla as “meaningless” or “coincidence” or “seriously”?
The argument remains unaddressed.
Not exactly surprising.
* Note, all the racist insult images featured here are just things I found quickly in my blog archives. The actual number of such images and amount of such imagery is exponentially greater and WORSE than what I’ve featured here. No rational person can sensibly deny that anti-Obama straight up racism doesn’t exist in abundance.
The GOP knows this, but chose to go ahead, anyway. Hoping, no doubt, that such passionate “defenses” of the indefensible would be made. As have they been here.