Sunday, May 4, 2008

Guess Who's On the Naughty List!?!?

I heard about bloggers having "on-line fights" before (usually involving someone attacking Abdul at Indiana Barrister), but I didn't expect to be in the thick of one so soon after opening for business.

Today I posted a comment in response to Advance Indiana's story on Marvin Harrison, and Gary Welsh removed my comment and threatened to ban me if I said anything else "defamatory" (No word on whether he consulted with Woody Myers' lawyer on my post).

Okay, I admit that Gary Welsh and I arguing on-line isn't exactly 50 Cent and The Game, but you should break out the George Foreman grills, folks, because we've definitely got beef now. By removing my post, he gives the impression I said much worse than I believe. But I'm open-minded. I'll let you all tell me.

Here's a synopsis of what I said (which I have to tersely paraphrase because I posted directly into Advance Indiana and don't remember all of it):

Advance Indiana has transformed into an anti-black blog. In the past two weeks, the dominant coverage has been anti-Carson, anti-Obama, anti-Amos Brown, anti-black minister and black church, pro-John Linehan (the D coroner candidate who Advance strongly suggests got hosed by the Democrats to put a black doctor, Frank Lloyd, Jr., in the slot), and even anti-Marvin Harrison.

Even though Advance is a political blog, Mr. Welsh actually used space today to question Marvin Harrison's account of events surrounding the shooting outside his car wash, even though Mr. Harrison's account has not yet been contradicted by police. I pointed out that the headline made reference to the Harrison "fistfight" with the latter word in quotes, as if to say it was much more than that for Mr. Harrison.

I then said that while Advance is hardly Tony Zirkle, I felt that Mr. Welsh was in real jeopardy of becoming the Lou Dobbs of the blogosphere. Many people who agree with Dobbs on the concerns he raises about illegal immigration can't come on board because but his commentary has turned so vitriolic, it's hard not to wonder if he really has some deep-seated hatred of Mexicans.

As Mr. Welsh had previously advised me that he has also criticized people like Eric Miller and some of the other white religious right, I suggested that in the future, he throw us a bone for balance by saying, for example, "Andre Carson is beholden to special interests, and he's an idiot....just like Eric Miller."

I also solicited contact information from Mr. Welsh for his "best friend who is black." I figured if I could talk to him/her, I might learn about the "real" Gary Welsh, and in the future, I wouldn't be so compelled to draw a negative conclusion when he so consistently rags on black people.

I'd like to take a second to point out that EVERYBODY has prejudices. You can't avoid them because our minds are wired to differentiate and categorize for self-protection. If the first three Chinese restaurants I eat at result in illness, I might never eat Chinese again, even if 8,000 other restaurants are all absolutely fine. So when people make negative comments about a group based on our own limited experience or based on skewed information we got from grandparents, parents, peers, or the media, you get a lot of subconscious prejudices. This phenomen crosses all classes of people - all races, incomes, ages, genders, and religions. Even Jesse Jackson said a young black man approach him at night might prompt him to cross the street. No one is immune from media influences.

But the difference is that almost every white person denies having these feelings. It amazes me that America kept black people as second-class citizens BY LAW until 1968, and outside of some skinheads, you can't find anybody who will admit they're racist or even have racist thoughts. (It reminds me of how the Dukes of Hazzard was rated tops by Nielson even though I could never find someone who would admit watching it). Anyway, apparently these segregation laws must have passed themselves.

This is our national problem, and this is why people like Reverend Wrong have a following. Many of us (white Americans) are like the alcoholics who can't get healed because we won't admit there's a problem. And when we're told there IS a problem, we act about the same, too. We lash out at the person leading the intervention and tell them they're ignoring "our progress."

Obama critics dwell on how he MUST hate America because his pastor did. How many white people reading this have parents or grandparents who are prejudiced? And somehow those people heard racist comments BY FAMILY and want me to belief those remarks and sharing of a worldview didn't have even a subconscioius effect. But at the same time, I'm supposed to accept that Obama absorbed everything his pastor said?

I know blogs aren't "journalism" in the Walter Cronkite "And so it goes..." sense of the word, but I think if we want credibility, we have to at least confront our own biases, both real and perceived. So, that's why I called Gary out. He ran an article last week accusing Maureen Groppe on being "pro-Carson." What's wrong with asking somebody to check the mirror every once in a while for their own biases? We're ALL works in progress.



Anonymous said...

Fuck off and take your race card with you.

Marti said...

LOL. IPOPA, I gotta love ya, cause you've hit pay dirt so fast. AI used to get a lot of GLB traffic, but I don't know one GLBt person that takes it seriously anymore.

Seems like the anonymous posters have already started to find their way over here. They are legion.

Anonymous said...

TDW blog got into the habit of removing its hyperlink to AI beginning two weeks before any election until a week after, sometimes even longer if Gary was still off in the deep end. Smart cookie, that Jen!

Anonymous said...

1:01, My sentiments exactly.
IPOPA was way off base with Gary.
Gary is not racist by any stretch of the imagination and I've known him for a long long time.

Anonymous said...

Join the club....I listed on AI a list of several African Americans that AI routinely bashes starting with Julia[even after her death] and Andre Carson, was deleted....if you look at the few postings now being made on AI, you will notice more deletions than actual comments......AI has become the sewer that IndyUndervcover was and I think it is time to ignore it in hopes that it will go away. Congratulations though, he even bashes you by your real name and not just your blog name.

Anonymous said...

What gets me is that all this started over Harrison. Gary was absolutely right for calling out the Star's coverage. Friends in the news media say, essentially, Marvin is screwed -- and Gary is the only one covering what police in Philadelphia *know*. This has nothing to do with race. It has to do with the fact that Gary often blogs what insiders already know -- and the public just doesn't want to hear about -- or believe. (With a few forays into abject paranoia.) It just happens that many corrupt/problematic/political targets are black. Doesn't make it racist.

Anonymous said...

Is it okay to believe that Obama does not adhere to his spiritual adviser's and father figure's opinions but at the same time believe that Obama is lying when he says he didn't know that Wright was saying such things? Every time I question an Obama supporter about this I get a tirade about do you agree with everything everyone you know say? Of course, my response is I may not but I do not deny I knew they said it. Especially someone who I was so close to for 20 years. Of course now Obama claims now that Wright was not his spiritual adviser.

Wilson46201 said...

Gary Welsh is such an obvious racist that even the few vocal Black conservatives locally have called him out for it. He is notorious for bashing RiShawn Biddle, Darla Williams, Abdul Hakim-Shabazz and others. Black Democrats however are especially excoriated.

Gary grew up in a small Illinois town that is over 98% Caucasian and he has never overcome his smalltown ignorance and prejudice. Sad...

He has also become rather delusional, accusing me of all sorts of imagined activites. At the rate he's going, I predict a serious crackup soon.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to see where this blog's coming from.
Another TDW with a dash of salt.
Objective? I suppose, in a Fox news kind of way.

Chris Worden said...

First off, I NEVER said Gary was racist. I have no idea what's in the man's heart, and if people (like Anon 5:34) who know him better than I say he doesn't have issues with black people, they'd know better than I would.

BUT what I did say is that his coverage has become noticeably anti-black to me (and I'm a white guy saying this!). At some point, you have to wonder. When there are so many political figures and topics to choose from (even coming only from a conservative Republican perspective), why are most of the subjects of his ire black people.

As I've said before, in some cases it's totally warranted. I hammered Ackles and Gray, Kim Brown, and Andre and Woody when they needed it. But bias is shown in over- or under-emphasis. When AI says Maureen Groppe is "biased," it's because she finds all the negatives on Woody but none on Andre. I bet she can justify why she wrote each story the way she did, but in the aggregate, one might start wondering, just as AI did.

Also, Anon 7:16, you're so wrong on the Harrison thing. Harrison was questioned about the shooting, but as the Boston Globe reported yesterday, NOBODY is a suspect according to THE POLICE.

In other words, AI wanted to churn something inaccurate about a generally humble black man. I've seen him out a few times in town, and he's always been reserved.

But as for how people respond when somebody even SUGGESTS that subconscious racial issues affect their thinking, see Anon 1:01 as Exhibit A.

Anonymous said...

I think the meltdown has already happened!!!

varangianguard said...

Just a personal observation. All humans are prejudiced to some extent or another. It's hard-wired into our psyches.

People who can minimize (not mask) their prejudices are the ones who we should look up to.

Anonymous said...

The first rule of blogging in Indianapolis is that you can expect Gary Welsh to get all pissy at you eventually. I think he'd be happiest if his was the only blog in existence. Every other blog is 'out to get him' at some point, just like every reporter in Indy gets all their info from him but never gives him credit.

He's lost his mind.

Oh, and he'll be threatening you with a lawsuit soon.

John M said...

In light of this post, I had to chuckle about today's post, clearing implying something improper about the African-Americans being transported to the City-County building, and finding something sinister in a few people having to be reminded to take their photo IDs with them. I early voted, and while the process ran efficiently, it's a bit more involved than voting at a precinct. I nearly walked off without my driver's license myself.