Read Michelle's narrative about the background here
thought of a way for Glenn Reynolds to sufficiently apologize.
The Reader's Digest version is this. Glenn Reynolds (a.k.a. Instapundit
) bought a shirt that says "Celebrate Diversity," and there is a picture of eighteen different kinds of pistols. As much as it pains me to do, let me explain the joke. (BTW, I told my wife what the shirt looks like before telling her any other part of the story, and asked he to explain the joke to me, and she came up with the same answer I had. So I know I'm not the only one who gets it). Liberals like to use the mantra of "diversity." Some conservatives thought it would be funny to satirize that mantra by referring to a diverse selection of guns. Liberals - generally - don't like guns, or favor strict gun control (note: I met a guy at a Borders who claims he is very liberal, and owns several AK-47s. I'm just speaking in generalities, here). Therefore, ha ha, the joke is I, the shirt-wearer, am poking fun at your definition of diversity. End of story. I don't find it particularly funny, but at least I get the joke.
Atrios thinks the shirt is racist. Fine. He has a right to be an idiot.
I'm writing this post because this guy
thinks Atrios didn't go far enough. So, you know, we're dealing with a really stable person. And I was prompted to fisk Gillard's post because Akefa, a commenter at Ace of Spades
linked the page and said, "Go to this website if you need some enlightened discourse. But I guess you're too wimpy to challenge yourselves?" And soon thereafter, "Maybe you'll understand why Bush has to be fired."
Akefa's whole premise collapses quite readily when it is observed that George W. Bush did not make the shirt. He did not design the shirt. He does not sell the shirt. He did not ask Glenn to wear the shirt. There is, therefore, no logical connection whatsoever between that shirt and George W. Bush. Therefore, the conclusion that Bush should be fired because of that shirt is a complete non sequitur.
Now let's get to Gilliard's post, which is supposed to provide "enlightened discourse."
"I think Atrios is being far too kind about this."
Okay, in what way is Atrios being too kind? Ah, by not pointing out that Frank J (who is not Glen Reynolds, by the way) used the word "monkeys," indicating that he really meant the word "niggers." If you are now lost, that might be for one of two reasons. First of all, what Frank J says about monkeys has absolutely no bearing on what Glenn Reynolds thinks about black people. Second, Frank J was clearly making a joke about - well, about monkeys. As in, the animal. As in, you're a complete idiot if you read anything racist into Frank J's comment about the shirt, "ThoseShirts.com has not only some of the highest quality shirts I've ever seen, but they also deflect bullets, give you super strength, and ward off monkeys. I hate monkeys." Note again, Frank J does not say that the "Celebrate Diversity" shirt wards off monkeys, he says shirts from a web site ward off monkeys. Here's one example
of such a shirt. If Gilliard can somehow demonstrate that this shirt is racist, then he has superhuman powers. And yet it is the kind of shirt to which Frank J was referring.
In summary, there are just so many things wrong with Gilliard's very first sentence
that I can't even write a cogent paragraph about it. I jump from one topic to another, absolutely amazed at the profound ignorance displayed. Wow.
"I think Glenn Reynolds is either the most clueless law professor at the University of Tennessee or the kind of sick racist who doesn't have the balls to wear a Klan robe or burn a cross. There are thousands of gun shirts."
But Glenn is not just wearing "a gun shirt," he is wearing a gun shirt that is poking fun at liberal conceptions of diversity.
"But that noxious shirt is one no decent person would wear, because there is no joke in it."
Translation: because I can't see any humor in it, no one can. Therefore it is noxious. That's a very ego-centric approach to reality, bud. The problem is that there is, in fact, a joke there. You might not think it's a very good
joke, and you might disagree with the policital premise of the joke, but it's clearly a joke. And Pollack jokes can be both racist and jokes at the same time. They might be inappropriate. They might not be funny. They might even be offensive. But that doesn't mean they aren't jokes.
"A number of handguns and 'celebrate diversity' on it implies something pretty dark and evil."
That's a hoot - I thought liberals didn't believe in evil.
"Especially with the colors used on the white shirt, red, yellow and green."
But as Atrios reluctantly acknowledged, Glenn Reynolds' shirt does not, in fact, have red, yellow and green. It is black, with white and yellow lettering. Oh well, minor technicality. Incidentally, the socks that Steve Gilliard is wearing today, if made out of human skin, would make him one sick piece of crap. That would imply something pretty dark and evil. No matter that his socks are not, technically, made out of human skin - they're close enough that the implication is still there (when I recklessly and without any foundation whatsoever make that implication).
"You would have to be a moron not to see the pan-African connotation with."
Note that the above is not, technically, a sentence. Also please note that the colors on the shirt to which Gilliard, Atrios and Akefa so strenuously object
is red, orange, yellow and green. Oops, what's that orange doing in there? Crud. I guess it's not really pan-African anymore, is it? Therefore I dare say you would have to be a complete moron to see some kind of reference to Africa.
"That shirt is the kind of thing you see at Klan and militia rallies."
I wouldn't know. I've never been to a Klan or a militia rally. But Gilliard seems surprisingly familiar with Klan rally dress codes. Why is that?
"It isn't about political correctness either, because it implies the only kind of diveristy is a heavily armed one which is clearly anti-black in tenor and temperment."
Both tenor and
temperment? Wow, that shirt sure does run the gamut. I don't know how it implies that there is only one kind of diversity. On the contrary, liberals tend to assume the only kind of diversity that is to be tolerated is the non-conservative type of diversity.
"And why would a law professor, who has diverse classes make such a public statement."
Why should a law professor be lambasted as a racist for wearing a shirt that opposes gun control? Incidentally, I have law professors who I know differ radically from me on political issues, but I've never once worried about their fairness. Know why? Because some
people in this world can disagree with a political view in a civil manner, without resorting to hyperventilating character attacks based on a shirt that is not, technically, the offending shirt, but you know, close enough.
"Reynolds has said any number of biased, unfair and truly repellent things on his site."
"I think it's time we start asking people, like his boss, how his views and public statements coincide with the education provided by the University of Tennessee."
Indeed. If you don't like his politics, don't bother responding to them. Just attack his livelihood. Great plan.
After posting several e-mail addresses so people can more effectively harass Mr. Reynolds, Gilliard continues:
"Just ask them if they agree that a professor at the state's public university should be advertising a shirt which opposes diversity."
Yes, that's a wonderfully phrased question. While you're at it, ask them whether they've stopped beating their spouses, or whether they ever talked to anyone about their pedophilia problems.
"Do they find the message on the shirt representative of both the school and the state's policy of allowing access for all citizens to it's law school, especially after the state's regretable history of racial bias and segregation."
Or do they instead support a policy of silencing political opponents, contra First Amendment protections, in the name of "diversity"?
"I don't think anyone should call for him getting fired or shutting down his website or anything draconian like that. Just inquire as to whether they share his beliefs, if he is a fitting representative of the University of Tennessee's College of Law, and if that shirt and his public association as a professor at that school represents the values and ethos of his employer, the state of Tennessee."
That's a subtle little trick. You don't have to ask for the man to be fired, just phrase your question so that it is unmistakably implied. Smooth.
"After all public employees across the United States have been sanctioned for expressing racially hostile opinions."
In summary, we have here a complaint about a shirt Glenn Reynolds is not actually wearing, a comment said by someone other then Glenn Reynolds, a color scheme that doesn't actually fit with Gilliard's thesis, an assumption that what Gilliard doesn't find funny must necessarily be "noxious," and then a few indirect suggestions for how to get a man fired or silenced for his political views. All of this, I am told by Akefa, is supposed to amount to "enlightened discourse."