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Jan. 11 2010 - 12:47 pm | 529 views | 1 recommendation | 3 comments

Donald Douglas Answers My Questions and Then Some

Having gotten into a dispute a while back with Donald Douglas of the prominent conservative blog American Power, I last week posted seven questions for Douglas regarding Robert Stacy McCain’s white supremacist activities, which Douglas, of course, does not recognize as such. Still, he has been kind enough to answer me, as well as to throw in some additional content. For instance:

Unfortunately, Brown doesn’t read well or comprehend sophisticated racial dialogue, and he selectively quoted my essay without delving into the real issues involved — and that’s not to mention his claim that I attacked him as an “atheist,” when what I really attacked is his smear merchandizing [sic].

Let us set aside the irony of someone claiming that his opponent “doesn’t read well” or “comprehend” particular brands of “dialogue” before going on to misspell a common word. After all, Douglas is correct that what he “really attacked is [my] smear merchandizing [sic].” I mean, he really did do that, which is why I spent the vast majority of my response addressing  the topic of my alleged, uh, smear merchandising, as anyone can see for himself unless he suffers from the considerable handicap of being Donald Douglas.  Insomuch as that the “real issues involved” are thus the ones that I addressed, one might protest that it is a bit unfair of Douglas to assert that I responded to his essay “without delving into the real issues involved” as, again, I did indeed delve into those issues, and in fact did almost nothing else. On the other hand, protests are rarely effective, so let us instead simply note very calmly and without undue assembly that Douglas is not even good at being dishonest.

Still, he continues to practice at it, characterizing it as my “claim” that Douglas “attacked [me] as an ‘atheist,’” as if this were something that I had perhaps just made up. In fact,  Douglas spent a portion of  the post in question doing just that:

And Barrett Brown is listed as “Communications Director” at Enlighten the Vote. So, what kind of organization is this? Enlighten the Vote is a political action committee of the American atheist movement. The PAC is apparently so bad that no one — and I mean absolutely no one — wants anything to do with them.

I would think that this constitutes an attack on my atheism, insomuch as that the only reason it is discussed is that I run the evil atheist propaganda portion of the organization, and insomuch as that nothing is noted about it other than that it involves atheism. Incidentally, the assertion that we are so bad that no one wants anything to do with us – except for the various high-profile congressmen who happily pose for pictures with EV president Ellen Johnson, I guess – involves the idiotic Elizabeth Dole campaign commercial in which the since-defeated former senator tried to depict her opponent as an atheist because she had once been in the same room as one of our PAC’s operatives. The person whose reluctance to have been misidentified as an atheist apparently proves that no one wants anything to do with our PAC, Rick Stone, was a theology student at Harvard Divinity School. Yeah, that’s right; absolutely no one – not even a Christian who studies theology at a divinity school – wants to be wrongly identified as being involved in our atheism-oriented PAC in the course of a dishonest campaign ploy pulled off by a Christian senator. Take that, our PAC!

Still, I did address his attack on my atheism in my post,  having begun one of the seven questions with the sentence, “You attack me as an atheist.” Douglas, meanwhile, spent an entire paragraph on the subject including a link to further reading and followed up by a big screenshot proving the non-secret that I am director of communications for the PAC in question – which is to say that Douglas brought up the topic of my atheism, I responded with a single sentence to the topic that he brought up, and then Douglas goes on to criticize me for not “delving into the real issues involved” because I briefly responded to a topic he himself had brought up after having spent the rest of my post delving into the issues that Douglas claims I was not delving into. Say what you will about Stacy McCain, but at least he’s not as transparently incompetent as this ridiculous mediocrity.

Ah, the answers to my questions! Let’s take a look at how he’s managed to deal with them:

1. Why do you think McCain chose the name “Dabney” for his alter ego?

Obviously the name refers to Robert Lewis Dabney, a Confederate Army chaplain. Dabney’s wife was a first cousin to Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. Dabney defended the South after the Civil War, including the theological support for slavery. I do not know why McCain chose him, except that perhaps he was a prolific defender of the Confederate cause after the war.

2.What is it about Robert Lewis Dabney that McCain admires, in your opinion?

I do not know for sure. Possible reasons: Dabney was a Confederate and McCain is a Confederate descendant; Dabney was a Christian and so is McCain; Dabney was a prolific defender of the South and so is McCain. I am absolutely sure, however, that it is not because McCain wants to restore slavery to the Southern states. The truth is, you are merely searching for a “gotcha,” a smoking gun that will enable you to finally label McCain and file him away in the ideological filing cabinet of your mind.

3. Are you aware that Dabney is known today almost exclusively for his theological defense of slavery?

I am aware of that. The Bible does indeed provide a defense of slavery. Slavery was largely unquestioned for 3,000 years and only started to be questioned with the advent of democracy. Socrates and many other past philosophers, theologians and politicians believed that slavery was part of the natural order of things. Even Jesus accepted it (indeed, there was no other paradigm from which to refer), as did Abraham and many other Biblical characters.

So what are you implying? That the Biblical defenses of slavery do not exist, or should be repudiated, or that people of prior generations with different social mores, cultures, beliefs and situations should be denounced for not holding 21st century views, even though they never lived in modern times?

4. Are you familiar with the publication American Renaissance?

Yes. I used to subscribe to it.

5. Do you consider the publication to be white supremacist in nature?

Not entirely. Any “white supremacy” may be implied but I never saw it overtly expressed. There are white supremacists who take the publication because they like the discussion about race and crime. The founder of that publication does not believe that whites are “superior” to Asians, as Asians have a provably higher IQ than whites. He once asked if that made him a “yellow supremacist.” The publication was generally objective and useful in discussing race and crime, political correctness, IQ and other factors as they vary by race. I stopped taking it, however, when I became aware that neo-Nazis love the publication and when it began running selected stories about non-white crime, which I felt were not really representative and had no purpose other than to stoke race prejudice. The short answer is that I do not recommend American Renaissance.

6. What do you think it says about McCain that he wrote an article for that publication in which he warns about white “race suicide” and did so under a pen name inspired by a fellow who is known almost exclusively for his theological defense of slavery?

I haven’t read the article and have no reason to believe that McCain did any such thing. Where is your proof?

7. You attack me for being an atheist. Is it better to ascribe to the Old Testament, which explains that one may beat one’s slave so long as the slave does not die within a few days afterwards?

I don’t know which Old Testament scripture you refer to, so cannot honestly respond. In any case, the Old Testament does not apply to Christians. However, I can observe that atheism as practiced by Nazis and Communists led the way to genocide of millions simply because the Nazis and Communists felt they would never be held accountable by a just God.

Most of these answers will necessitate a more thorough response that I can give now, as I was yesterday asked to give a lecture at Rutgers tomorrow morning and am obligated to prepare for that today in addition to a few other things that need doing, but for now I will note that Douglas here writes that he has not read McCain’s article for American Renaissance and has “no reason to believe that McCain did any such thing.” But a few weeks ago, Douglas wrote the following:

And let me disabuse Barret [sic] Brown of his notion that “the totality of the evidence” that he’s offered “unambiguously” convicts Robert Stacy McCain as “a white supremacist with significant past ties to the neo-Nazi community.” It does nothing of the sort. I’ve looked through everything he’s linked. I’ve visited American Renaissance, and I long ago dismissed those of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Michelangelo Signorile as race and sexual-orientation shakedown artists who’d make Jesse Jackson proud.

I’ve added italics for emphasis, as dishonesty merits particular attention. If Douglas had actually looked through everything to which I’ve linked, he would not be presently mystified at being told that McCain wrote the “race suicide” article for American Renaissance – as I have linked to it here and here, for instance, and mentioned it in many of my other pieces for both True/Slant and Huffington Post, usually linking back to one of my other articles which in turn link directly to McCain’s notorious article, which he does not deny writing and which he of course signed with his “Dabney” pen name.

Either Douglas was lying when he claimed to have gone through all of my pieces on McCain and clicked on all of the links, or he somehow managed to read all of these articles while apparently failing to understand at least half a dozen easily-understandable references to an incident of which he now claims to be entirely unaware – and even to have actually clicked through to the article in question at least twice without having been quite up to the challenge of figuring out exactly what all of these words mean and how they might all fit together.

Douglas – You are either a liar or incapable of assessing basic information when it’s right in front of your face. If it’s the latter, you might want to stop accusing people such as myself as not being able to “read well” or “comprehend sophisticated racial dialogue.” Either way, please refrain from wasting my time in the future by debating me without having done even basic preparation beforehand. My schedule doesn’t allow for me to hold your  hand through things that you’ve either lied about having read or simply don’t understand because great portions of your mind are engaged solely in thinking about gay people and how their legitimate aspirations may be confounded.

As for your disingenuous little line about how I responded to your essay “about a month later,”  which you put between dashes for emphasis as if this were indicative of something, you know perfectly well – or perhaps you don’t, since this information was written in a prominent location in my essay and you appear to have problems taking in the substance of my work, even when such substance is repeated or linked to some dozen fucking times – that my delay in responding to you was due to my obligation to finish my book. As you may be aware, one chapter deals with your buddy Robert Stacy McCain; I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, even if you don’t manage to retain anything you read therein.

I will note one more time, especially for you, Donald, that Robert Stacy McCain wrote an article for American Renaissance in 2002 and under his little pen name inspired by a slavery-adoring little fascist. I will get to the rest of your answers later in the week after I’ve – QUICK, WHO WAS IT THAT WROTE AN ARTICLE FOR AMERICAN RENAISSANCE IN 2002 WARNING AGAINST “RACE SUICIDE” AMONG WHITES? Look, I’m just trying to help. You might also make some flash cards in the meantime.

Update

Incidentally, I’m aware that the conservative commentator Doug Hagin has just challenged me to a debate in the most flamboyant language possible:

So, the challenge is there Mr. Brown, an honest, open debate. Bring it on! You want to bash the South? And Stacy McCain and others who defend it? BRING IT ON!

YEAH! BRING IT ON! THROW DOWN! CAN YOU SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKING?!

I’ll debate you on Wednesday via e-mail exchange, you exuberant  fellow, you. You can start perhaps by pointing out the specific historical errors you claim I have made. Perhaps you could even quote them. I look forward to seeing these non-existent things.


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    About Me

    I'm the author of Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design, and the Easter Bunny; my second book, Hot, Fat & Clouded: The Amazing and Amusing Failures of America’s Chattering Class (Being a Partial Record of the Incompetence of Our Republic's Mainstream Pundits, Most of Whom Deserve to be Exiled or at Least Have Their Cars Vandalized), will be released in 2010. I'm a contributor to Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, Skeptic, and The Onion, and my work has appeared in dozens of other publications and outlets. I also serve as director of communications for Enlighten the Vote, a political action committee dedicated to the advancement of the Establishment Clause.

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