Racialist Tim Wise Attacks Greg Gutfeld and “Code Language”
By AR Ward
Tim Wise (a professional racialist) has written a straw man filled criticism of Greg Gutfeld titled “A Kick in the Gut(feld) [get it, Gut-feld? lolz, I hope Wise doesn’t go on to insult Gutfeld’s wit]: Racism, Welfare Dependence, and FOX’s Clown Prince of Prejudice”. Wise’s main arguments are against statements Gutfeld never said, and supposed (imaginary) implications of what Gutfeld said.
Like many of Wise’s articles, he starts off by trying way too hard to needlessly insult his target. This time he tries to make fun of Gutfeld, saying, “[Gutfeld’s] most important accomplishment was an accident of timing (he just so happened to go to high school with Barry Bonds)”, along with criticizing Gutfeld for mispronouncing “infantilize” and often reading from a “cheat sheet” while on air, thus showing a lack of wit.
This the same Greg Gutfeld who hosts a late night show that regularly has better ratings than all other prime time cable news network programs and is a co-host of another show that dominates its time slot in prime time cable news.
These weird criticisms from Tim Wise are not out of the ordinary. He once publicly (Tim, a grown man mind you) mocked me for having too few Facebook friends. He has also said that gay republicans deserve to be called f**gots and called pretty much everyone on the right, nazi’s, racists, etc. and wished a few of them death. And then there is one of his major claims to fame: saying that he wanted Andrew Breitbart’s family to suffer (this was said before Breitbart’s death). Other than that, he’s a delight.
Wise and I have actually engaged in a written debate. The debate is not published yet, as he has yet to respond to my last entry 4 months ago. In this debate you will find many of the same arguments Tim puts forth in his recent criticism of Gutfeld (sometimes verbatim). Unfortunately I don’t have the time to address all the gems in Wise’s recent article here.
So what has Wise worked up this time? This statement by Greg Gutfeld:
GUTFELD: “[Utah GOP congressional candidate Mia Love is] a black conservative woman. The only thing that scares liberals and the New York Times editorial board more is Israel and an arugula shortage. This woman — I love her name, it sounds like it’s from a Richard Roundtree movie, Mia Love – she’s the best shot the Republicans have to remind America that [Abraham] Lincoln was a Republican and that all the policies from the Democrats have done nothing but infantilize an entire race and made them addicted to crappy programs.”
Wise took particular exception to the last part, “Democrats have done nothing but infantilize an entire race and made them addicted to crappy programs.” Of course, Gutfeld is absolutely correct. Liberals are the ones who have been condescending to Black Americans since the 1960s. It’s Liberals that think the only way for Blacks to catch up economically as a group is for white people to catch them up (Affirmative Action, Reparations, massive government programs etc.). Gutfeld is also correct regarding the addiction to government programs that accomplish nothing. There have been dozens and dozens and dozens of federal government programs (food, housing, medical care, and social services for the poor) since 1964, the spending on these programs have increased 17-fold since 1964 adjusted for inflation. Yet, the poverty rate today is nearly identical to what it was in the 1960’s. A great man once asked, “shouldn’t we expect government to read the score to us once in awhile?”
What was Wise’s response? Tim devoted 1000s of words to two government programs, and for one of them its effects after it was reformed. He manages to bring up the TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) program that was created in 1997, after massive welfare reform. He proudly concludes that because only 358,000 black adults received TANF benefits in 2010 then welfare is really reaching very few Black Americans. But, TANF only accounts for less than $50 billion of the over $925 billion combined federal and state spending on means-tested welfare (not including Social Security and Medicare). This means Wise is being deceptive. He refuses to account for the vast majority of welfare spending.
But all of this is a giant straw man anyway because Gutfeld didn’t even mention welfare, rather he spoke of government programs in general. If Wise wanted to actually respond to Gutfeld he wouldn’t have chosen a total of two government programs, which account for very little.
The second government program Wise attempted to type about was SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Wise believes that because only 5.7% of Black Americans according to a “Congressional definition of dependence”, are dependant on this program, it’s not a big deal. But in reality SNAP is one of 12 government food assistance programs. SNAP also has recently skyrocketed in usage, now with over 45 million participants. Approximately 25% of them being Black Americans according to the Census. Wise’s “5.7%” figure was from a 2008 report. Since then Food Stamp usage has more than doubled. Again, Wise doesn’t address the larger issue. Rather, he tries to find a single program that might make his point, but he can’t even do that.
Wise refuses to imagine that one can talk about the problems of welfare and also separately talk about the harm and failure of government programs among Black Americans. To Wise, it’s all racist.
Wise thinks that Gutfeld is casting “negative and judgmental aspersions upon African Americans as a group” by implying that Blacks must be weak to be infantilized by a political party. This seems strange coming from the ideology that advocates lower standards for Black Americans. It doesn’t imply Black Americans are weak to be damaged by a system, it only implies that the system is damaging. It also doesn’t imply that Black Americans are stupid for not realizing how the Democratic Party’s programs have harmed them. Should we assume that Wise believes the reverse for groups that vote Republican?
Where Wise really thinks he’s nailed Gutfeld was when he asked:
“Why do social programs cripple black people but not Nordic types? I wait with baited breath for an answer to this question that won’t be by definition racist. So, ya know, good luck with that Greg.”
Strangely this is what Wise asked me in our debate:
“Why does welfare not cause Nordic types such trouble? I wait with baited breath for your answer on this one, and specifically, how you manage to answer it without making an argument that is, by definition, racist. Good luck with that.”
Kind of weird, right? Remember when he criticized Gutfeld for using a “cheat sheet”? I suppose he waits a lot with “baited” breath. Anyway, my response was/is that the welfare explosion in Nordic states in the 1970’s unequivocally harmed those countries, having very similar effects to youth unemployment and illegitimacy rates. I thought it was a little embarrassing for Wise to so confidently ask this question of conservatives, since he must be unaware that conservatives very often point to Nordic countries as examples. But that he would use this zinger again, even after I’ve pointed this out to him, is perplexing. I guess he assumes his readers won’t ever look up the conservative response.
From Gutfelds comment, Wise believes he’s found a smoking gun that the right is using dog whistles, as Wise explains: “let us on the one hand thank Greg Gutfeld for brutally eviscerating the veil of disingenuous denial placed over the welfare discussion heretofore by the Republican Party and conservatives of all stripes in this election cycle. Up to now, whenever those of us on the left would point out the inherent racial subtext of their welfare-bashing, folks like Gutfeld would scream and bellow that we were playing the race card, and that welfare had nothing to do with race. We were, according to them, hearing things.”
It’s amazing what passes as critical thinking on the left. First of all, as I said before, Gutfeld didn’t mention welfare. Secondly, even if Gutfeld was referring to welfare, talking about how welfare has affected Black Americans doesn’t mean any time the right talks about welfare it’s really about Black Americans. Thirdly, Gutfeld was clearly trying to make the case for why Black Americans should become Republicans. This is the smoking gun for secret coded anti-black dog whistles? Gutfeld trying to appeal to Blacks?
Let me make one thing clear: If you believe conservatives are sending secret coded anti-black messages to gain support from racists, you’re not a serious thinker. I’m sorry, but there is no way around it. It means that you’re so far deep into conspiracies that you can no longer view the obvious for what it is.
When Republicans talk about welfare reform, how should we interpret this?
On the one hand we can believe the motives are what the Republicans say: that they believe it’s a measure that encourages good behavior and would ease the crippling deficits. We could take their word for it that they aren’t just talking about Black Americans. After all, most people who receive welfare aren’t black. Again, they also say it’s true for every race and often point to Nordic countries as examples, and at any rate they believe it helps those on the program (just look at the numbers of people that rose out of poverty after welfare reform). Giving the Republicans the benefit of the doubt in this regard shouldn’t end the debate, should it? There are actually counter arguments to conservative positions aside from the charge of racism right? Let me ask you this, if we accept that it’s at all conceivable to want work-for-welfare requirements for noble or at least innocent motives, how should Republicans phrase the debate? The answer is exactly how they have been phrasing the debate. The fact of the matter is it’s impossible for Republicans to bring up any type of welfare reform without being charged with racism.
Now let’s look at the other interpretation of Republicans talking about welfare. Get your tin foil hat on. The welfare conversation is apparently secret coded dog whistles, trying to appeal to racists, along with saying words like “Chicago,” and “PGA Golf Tour”. With how clever and deliberate the Republicans supposedly are, you’d think they would realize that they’re running against a Black President, and that there would be absolutely no reason to try to appeal to anti-black voters, even if they wanted to.
Better answer: leftists like Wise are unserious thinkers who are out of arguments. Wise is incapable of making good arguments, or even thinking seriously about conservative ideas, so he becomes vile.