Cite, and Move On

Can Identity Politics Continue to Divide Liberals?

I don't know. I'm just a white guy.

Everybody's talking at Melissa Harris-Perry about her article in The Nation, Black President, Double Standard: Why White Liberals Are Abandoning Obama. Now, Harris-Perry isn't a white liberal, she's a black liberal who writes a column called Sister Citizen for the high-profile card-carrying liberal magazine. And if you don't know that all of these facts put together equal one big brouhaha, then you aren't familiar with liberals. Let the games begin.

The post title comes from Joan Walsh's mention of's original, and defining, slogan: "Censure, and move on." (Did you remember the censure part?) I'm not going to make much of any arguments, just cite a few pieces, all from the white liberal world, admittedly, and move on. There is something to see here, though, for those who want to linger. Have at it.

American Extremists - Primary colors
Primary colors
Walsh writes a very good article, Are white liberals abandoning the president? (Although I hate the question marked hed, and she's a previous managing editor of, so I assume she wrote it.) I agree with almost all of it, the exception being her interpretation of what Cornell West said about President Obama in the previous liberal much ado about race.

Another white liberal writer, David Sirota, also does a good job rebutting Harris-Perry, Why white liberals are (really) ditching Obama.

Finally, another white liberal guy - but he has his own blog, so that's diversity - Bob Somerby, gets the hat tip for pointing me to both articles. He's a fierce critic of Walsh, along with 99% of the lame stream media. When he says an article is a must-read, negatively in this case, you should read it. He wrote one of his incomparable series on Harris-Perry's article: Part One, Two, Three and Four.

Okay, two white guys and a white gal, all over-privileged media-savvy bloggers. Harris-Perry, whatcha got? The Epistemology of Race Talk. That title is a really bad sign, but read it yourself. I'm moving on.

UPDATE: I managed to run into one further dust up about Harris-Perry, stereotypically from Gene Lyons wrote an article about President Obama, which used Harris-Perry's article as the news hook. Lyons made fun of Harris-Perry and contrasted how smart Obama's appearance was at the I-75 Bridge linking Kentucky and Ohio - Speaker Boehner's and Senate Minority Leader McConnell's home turfs. (Sure it's smart, but does it matter at all? No.) The first five graphs are about Harris-Perry, so that will just take a second to read.

Those words prompted a retort from Elon James White, who writes at This Week in Blackness. Read it if you like. I'll only note that White called Harris-Perry "one of the great Black public intellectuals of our time." I know a few black public intellectuals, not personally of course, who would dispute that statement. So then Lyons says he took it too far, here are the places I was wrong, but here are the really obvious problems with Harris-Perry's piece. Done. Can we get back to Obamanauts vs. DFH's now?

PS: Some younger black intellectuals. If you're best known for being on TV, then I'd question the "intellectual" label. As of October 10, Harris-Perry has not responded at The Nation to her critics, besides the really bad blog post listed above.