Of Course He Wants Me To Make A Big Deal About This

Now, I’m aware that as one of Wilson’s “Intoleristas,” I am expected to shout and holler about his response to the criticism levied against him this week by the Southern Poverty Law Center. I’m happy to oblige, really. Because the insensitivity to charges of being a racist — his insistence on acting like a drunken frat boy who says things just to piss people off — is most un-pastoral.

I don’t know if “Tar Baby” is still all that offensive these days, although, as a pejorative term used against Blacks for generations, and used by good Christians who thought nothing of dehumanizing Blacks, it was quite ugly. But what’s instructive here is Wilson’s gleeful taunting that because a civil rights organization MIGHT see the word as racist, and others reading his blog MIGHT agree, it’s incumbent upon him to toss it out again — just because. Just because it’ll further annoy them, just because it’s his own blog, just because he’s Douglas Wilson and he gets to.

That I find as despicable as the racism held by many of his followers — an insouciance toward tone and tenor when discussing race, and a marked tendency to mock other believers when they suggest that he speak with more sensitivity. If he’s not, himself, a racist, he is at the very least a comfortable, affluent, privileged white man who is so wrapped in privilege that the plight of others concerns him not much at all, and the concern of others offended by his attitude really just more evidence for the plight of evangelicalism.

But he’ll have to answer one day to the Judge who will ask for an account of every careless word we utter. In the meantime, ask yourself if this is a terrific example of pastoral behavior.

Blog and Mablog, October 29, 2009
Tarbaby Twice
Topic: Moscow Diversity Cleansing

The Southern Poverty Law Center, the world’s richest civil rights organization, has devoted a recent Hatewatch article to humble moi. The logo for Hatewatch is, appropriately, what looks like an eyeball peeping through somebody’s keyhole. It is probably the keyhole to your bedroom, and they are just making sure the government stays out of it. Very reassuring, don’t you think?

There are four ways to deal with Intolerista slanders like this. The first is not to click on the link (that I have helpfully provided for you to not click on), and go your merry way. Second, for those who are concerned, you could always get out your snow shovel, and work through the archives of this blog, in which every related lie is answered three or four times. Third, if the SPLC decides to dedicate more of its massive wealth and financial holdings in pursuit of me and my hateful ways, I may just have to answer them point by point. But I would only do this if it appeared that I could teach them how to play a fun little game that I like to call Tarbaby. And fourth, if you don’t want to spend a lot of time on their feverish imagination, you could just read through the article, and every tenth word or so, just yell false! That is not an infallible method, but it should at least keep you in the ballpark.

It just now occurs to me that my use of Tarbaby above may have been insensitive in their eyes, especially coming from someone accused of racism by an august institution like Sanctimonious Pests Libeling Christians (SPLC), and so I would like to conclude this brief post by saying Tarbaby again.

2 Responses to “Of Course He Wants Me To Make A Big Deal About This”

  1. Ashwin says:

    I do not know how pastors are supposed to behave but I thought Mr. Wilson gave a terrific response to a slanderous article.

    Did you read the SPLC article? It illustrates very well the saying: “To the jaundiced eye, the whole world looks yellow.” i.e. it is very easy to confirm one’s biases.

    Anyone who follows Douglas Wilson’s blog knows he is not racist.

    The points about sensitivity to a particular subculture are well taken. It is good to take reasonable steps to avoid insulting people.

    But the charge of racism has been so recklessly applied that it has lost its potency. There probably exists for the charge of racism the equivalent of Godwin’s law for nazism.

    Mr. Wilson is right to disregard it.

  2. Yes, I did read the SPLC article, and I believe they’re correct. Read their analysis of his pro-slavery booklet, later amended — but still offensive — in “Black and Tan.” I support the SPLC and have for many years, long before I met Wilson. I agree that charges of racism can and have been carelessly applied. When applied to Wilson, however, it’s not unreasonable. If racism offended him, Ashwin, he could take steps to demonstrate not only that he abhors racism, but that he is not one himself. He can’t seem to do that without currying yet again the suspicion that he’s utterly unconcerned about the seriousness of the issue.

    I find that deplorable. I wish you did. Tell me — if you’ve read the original “Southern Slavery” booklet, didn’t your heart sink? I really would like to know.


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