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And spell my name right now and then while you're at it, 'kay?


Yr Wonkette was visited by a History Expert last week, and that genius taught us a thing or two about some important history knowledge from American history, in response to our story last Saturday about Joy Reid's Bible Fight with Trump-loving "pastor" Mark Burns, who thinks Jesus loves Americans First. Like many rightwingers, commenter "GoldBell" wanted to clarify that in real reality, Democrats don't actually care about black people, as if black Democrats weren't the very voters who less than a month ago kept child-molesty racist Roy Moore from a US Senate seat.

Ah, but "GoldBell" had a more novel twist in the topic than the old "Democrat plantation" welfare-dependency line! We had a scholar of history here:

Democrats do not give a damn about Black America.

ABSOLUTE PROOF -

All the way back to Booker T Washington and WEB De Bois debates, Black Americans have always been hurt way more than any other group by Over Immigration.

Yep, that W.E.B. De Bois, the great hero of civil rights at the turn of the last century, who disagreed with Booker T. Washington on the Atlanta Compromise and the best course of action for improving black education, and who probably insisted on spelling his name "Du Bois" most of the time, too. He was a great man, and if you haven't read his debates with Booker T. Washington, you are not as well-educated as "GoldBell," even if you're a gooder speller. Our visitor had little patience for those who hadn't read the transcripts of those debates:

  • Just post you never read the debates or about them and could care less.
  • Just post you do not know one of the most important chapters of black and American history, what it was about, and could care less.

Shame on you clueless liberals who presume to say you care about black people but haven't even studied black history like "GoldBell" has! Your ignorance betrays you! Could you be any more condescending, you monsters?

In fact, the news of these debates between Washington and Du Bois were news to Yr Doktor Zoom: I'll readily admit I'm no African-American Studies major. I know the broad outlines, and that Du Bois is seen as advocating a more activist, less accommodationist approach to overcoming segregation than Washington did, and that where Washington advocated vocational education as a practical means of black economic advancement, Du Bois thought black schools and universities should focus on the liberal arts, and that the "talented tenth" of high-achieving African-Americans could serve to advance the interests of equality and desegregation. But I was briefly embarrassed that I'd never known the two had debated face to face.

At least until I went looking for the text of those debates and didn't find any mention of the two holding any such debate -- as far as I can tell, they never stood onstage like Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to debate each other about the real causes of the Civil War: illegal immigration, tariff rates, and why Andrew Jackson hadn't prevented the Civil War in the first place. [Before you yell at me in the comments: Yes, I know very well that it was Stephen Douglas who debated Lincoln in 1858, and that the topic was whether the Louisiana Purchase proved the earth was round. Jeeze, so much nit-picking!] The "debate" was largely between supporters of Washington and Du Bois, although yes, Du Bois also critiqued Washington in print. If the two had ever actually held a formal series of debates, most sources I've seen haven't mentioned them, for some reason. Probably liberal PC censorship.

"GoldBell" sure seemed pretty sure DuBois and Washington were angry at Mexicans, though:

It had nothing to do with Irish immigrants, but by all means, keep showing your privileged white liberal ignorance.

And when someone else pointed out that today's Democrats weren't exactly the folks setting immigration policy at the time, our intrepid historian wasn't about to buy that distraction from the real cause of black people's troubles at the time:

Lame deflection of what too much immigration was doing to black Americans.

Gee. Wonder if maybe anything else might have presented a setback to black political and economic advancement at the time, like maybe Jim Crow and lynching, little things like that? A Wonker pointed that out, and "GoldBell" was ready:

THAT debate was the one Washington and De Bois already did.

If privileged white liberals actually read any black history instead of just some sound bites, they would know that.

And then the question of how to fight Jim Crow was all settled, in that "debate," we guess. We honestly don't know where "GoldBell" is cribbing history from, but at least the chronology is sort of right -- Du Bois's most well-known critique of Washington was published in essay form in 1901, then revised and collected as a chapter in 1903's The Souls of Black Folk, so there's that.

And yes, both Washington and Du Bois had problems with immigration -- though not necessarily for the reasons your average rightwinger today would argue. The rightwing "Center for Immigration Studies" think tank, which likes to play fast and loose with the facts, certainly does its best to rope the two into its anti-immigrant agenda, historical context be damned. They cite this passage from a 1907 book co-authored by Du Bois and Washington, The Negro in the South, to suggest it's only natural for blacks to oppose immigration, forever:

The voice that calls foreign immigrants southward today is not single but double. First, the exploiter of common labor wishes to exploit this new labor just as formerly he exploited Negro labor . . . the second object of the immigration philosopher is to make sure that, when the rights of the laborer come to be recognized in the South, that laborer will be white, and just so far as possible the black laborer will still be forced down below the white laborer until he becomes thoroughly demoralized or extinct . . . one element remains to be considered, and this is political power. If the black workman is to remain disfranchised while the white native and immigrant not only has the economic defense of the ballot, but the power to use it so as to hem in the Negro competitor, cow and humiliate him and force him to a lower plane, then the Negro will suffer from immigration.

It is becoming distinctly obvious to Negroes that today, in modern economic organization, the one thing that is giving the workman a chance is intelligence and political power, and that it is utterly impossible for a moment to suppose that the Negro in the South is going to hold his own in the new competition with immigrants if, on the one hand, the immigrant has access to the best schools of the community and has equal political power with other men to defend his rights and to assert his wishes, while, on the other hand, his black competitor is not only weighed down by past degradation, but has few or no schools and is disfranchised.

That isn't really an argument against immigration per se, of course -- it's an argument about white supremacy and the willingness of white power structures to advantage white immigrants as a means of further excluding black people from political and economic power. Way to make honest use of your sources, huh?

On top of that, there's the dubious notion that some noted historical figure would obviously agree with rightwing Republicans today, which is a tad problematic. In the course of preparing today's Dear ShitFerBrains I also came across this thing from the National Review which tries to enlist Martin Luther King as an obvious opponent of rights for immigrants, even though King himself never said much on the matter. It's full of what King "would have" said, if only he'd had the chance, since of course King wanted rights for American citizens, not criminal immigrants. That strikes us as... unlikely. You can't just pluck someone out of history and assume that if they had lived through the last decades (or over a century), their own views would remain fixed.

Not that "GoldBell" was even trying, of course, since a cartoon version of history works just fine:

  • Democrats and their endless open door policy for cheap labor has been destroying the black family for decades now.
  • Father of Sociology WEB De Bois -- Black Americans lack of opportunity from too much cheap labor immigration. Read it.
  • Take visa workers as one example. Black children were encouraged to study STEM areas and get degrees. They did but who got hired instead of them? Visa workers from India and Pakistan.

    Cheap foreing labor flooding the USA has always harmed black America the most. Stats are part of history. Proven since days of WEB De Bois, the father of US Sociology.

And finally, "GoldBell" got to the Democrat Plantation, though not quite invoking that term, after someone suggested they were peddling racist arguments:

The accusation of racism has been used to manipulate black America by white privileged liberals way past its due date.

Well there you go: Black people are incapable of thinking for themselves, so obviously, duplicitous white liberals have tricked them into voting for Democrats just by accusing Republicans of being racists. Although... suggesting that blacks have all been tricked into thinking racism is still a problem is kind of racist, isn't it?

Since "GoldBell's" comment history is set to "private," we weren't able to see whether this is something they argue all the time, but a bit of searching their rather unusual username brought us some enlightening results. Not surprisingly, "GoldBell" isn't buying the claim that Jorge Garcia, the Detroit father of two who was deported earlier this month, had a "no criminal record." On another site, "GoldBell" explains Garcia was actually a career criminal, and anyone who says otherwise is a racist who thinks Messicans should be allowed to break the law:

  • He is a Career Criminal. The ONLY way he could have been supported that many decades inside the US illegally would be by breaking one law after another, from federal to state to local.
  • You are the racist. You think people should be allowed to break laws because of their race or ethnicity.

But wait -- "GoldBell" has other thoughts on racism! Mostly, "GoldBell" doesn't like how blacks are so racist. In a comment after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the murder of Trayvon Martin, "GoldBell" explained that Trayvon was killed by his own racism, in fact:

Black America has a serious problem in teaching racism to their children.

Their hate filled reaction to a man proven to be innocent is teaching it even more.

Trayvon used a racial slur and was the attacker.

Zimmerman used self defense.

Racist Black America is urging more black teens to hate and commit violence just like Trayvon did.

Yup, those privileged white liberals really need to learn a thing or two about history and racial equality from this guy. Still, we'll give "GoldBell" credit for this much: We took a brief refresher course on W.E.B. Du Bois this weekend, and that was actually far more worthwhile than anything "Goldbell" said. So, thanks, jerk.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click here to send us money, and we'll send you a video of the Booker T Washington / W.E.B. Du Bois debates, as soon as we find one.

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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