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Thursday, September 2, 2004
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Of the many things that one could accuse Zell Miller’s speech of being, I am at a loss as to how anyone could accuse it of racism. Yet, that is what some are doing.

For example:

  • Matthew Yglesias

    I’ve long thought it a bit odd that Bush-lovers would follow Walter Russell Mead in proclaiming their boy the heir of Andrew Jackson’s legacy of racism-infused militarism and casual disregard for the US constitution

  • Andrew Sullivan:
    Then you see Zell Miller, his face rigid with anger, his eyes blazing with years of frustration as his Dixiecrat vision became slowly eclipsed among the Democrats. Remember who this man is: once a proud supporter of racial segregation, a man who lambasted LBJ for selling his soul to the negroes. His speech tonight was in this vein, a classic Dixiecrat speech, jammed with bald lies, straw men, and hateful rhetoric. As an immigrant to this country and as someone who has been to many Southern states and enjoyed astonishing hospitality and warmth and sophistication, I long dismissed some of the Northern stereotypes about the South. But Miller did his best to revive them. The man’s speech was not merely crude; it added whole universes to the word crude.

    I can accept honest criticism that the speech was angry and even crude, but the racial element is wholly lost on me.

  • Ken Layne, with whom I am unfamiliar, uses language that I prefer not to reproduce here.

Quite frankly, it seems to me that prejudice here is that which is typically directed at the south: if a southern does something that someone wishes to criticize, well then there is probably racism somewhere on the part of said southerner. I find that rather offensive, to be honest. It is also intellectually lazy, which is worse.

Hat tips: Daly Thoughts and Dean’s World.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: US Politics, 2004 Campaign | |

9 Comments

  1. I was referring to Miller’s first two campaigns for public office in Georgia, during both of which he attacked his opponents for being too favorable to, respectively, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. In the mid-1960s he denounced LBJ as a traitor to the South. Having lost those races he then went to work in the executive office of governor Lester Maddox, a leading segregationist politician.

    Comment by Matthew Yglesias — Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 12:46 pm

  2. Fair enough, and I can’t argue with your criticism of those statements. Nonethless, I read your post as linking said racism to last night’s speech–a link that I find wanting.

    Comment by Steven Taylor — Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 12:51 pm

  3. Sullie Soils Himself
    Give-Em-Hell Zell made poor old Andrew Sullivan pee his panties with visions of burning crosses, Picket’s Charge, and George Wallace in the schoolhouse door.. . . as someone who has been to many Southern states and enjoyed astonishing hospitality and …

    Trackback by RIGHT ON RED >> — Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 1:10 pm

  4. Isn’t the last desperate act of a losing Democrat to scream racism at the top of his lungs? It’s a shame to see Andrew Sullivan on board, but he has become so single issue, I think his mind is clouded.

    Comment by Erick-Woods Erickson — Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 1:11 pm

  5. Another Sign They Are Losing
    Another sign that Democrats are losing is when they scream racism….

    Trackback by Confessions Of A Political Junkie — Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 1:12 pm

  6. Well we all know that once a racist always a racist, unless your Robert Byrd. Cause no man ever changed after 40 years.

    Comment by Rob M — Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 1:25 pm

  7. Matt certainly knows all about Miller’s record, which was just fine with Matt as long as Miller towed the party line. Apologists for unreformed racists like Robert Byrd can’t believe that others changed.

    BTW, don’t worry Matt, the delegates won’t hurt you.

    Comment by Randy Rogers — Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 4:05 pm

  8. LAST WORD ON ZELL
    What irritated me about some of the furious reactions to Zell Miller’s speech was the attempt to link the Georgia senator to racism as if he were promoting a segregationist platform last night. No, he talked about national security and

    Trackback by Peaktalk — Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 6:30 pm

  9. THE LAST WORD ON ZELL
    What irritated me about some of the furious reactions to Zell Miller’s speech was the attempt to link the Georgia senator to racism as if he were promoting a segregationist platform last night. No, he talked about national security and

    Trackback by Peaktalk — Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 8:02 pm

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