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    “a discussion with the likes of Brad DeLong is not productive”

    “a discussion with the likes of Brad DeLong is not productive”

    That’s the title of a post by Law Professor Stephen Bainbridge about Economics Professor Brad DeLong, of U.Cal Berkeley, in which Bainbridge collects links about DeLong from a variety of academic bloggers who have had the misfortune of having to deal with DeLong.

    I really don’t know much about DeLong, except that everytime I read about him someone is pointing out what an offensive person he is.

    So I guess I should be flattered that DeLong has written a blog post entitled “Cornell University Has Some Explaining To Do: Why Oh Why Can’t We Have Better Academics?/William Jacobson Edition.”

    Prof. Bainbridge ended his post with this wish about Prof. DeLong:

    “With luck, this’ll be the last time his toxic style of intellectual thuggery and execrable personality will be mentioned in these pages.”

    Me too.  Except somehow, I doubt it.

    (By the way, other than the invective, the DeLong post consists mostly of regurgitating a piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which I refute here.)

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    Comments


    I have read Prof. Jacobson's original piece, in which he posts:
    "[Y]ou say that someone has an "affection" for a white supremacist organization, or shares such ideology, aren't you calling them a racist? That is the tactic I so despise in Yglesias' attack on Barbour." [emphasis added]

    The answer to Prof. Jacobson's question is that Mr. Yglesias is asserting that Gov. Barbour's statement:
    "You heard of the Citizens Councils? Up north they think it was like the KKK. Where I come from it was an organization of town leaders. In Yazoo City they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. If you had a job, you’d lose it. If you had a store, they’d see nobody shopped there. We didn’t have a problem with the Klan in Yazoo City.” is, in fact, a statement of affection for the Yazoo City Citizens Council. Reading Barbour's words, I'd say that Mr. Yglesias's description is accurate. This reads like a statement of affection for the Yazoo City Citizens Council. Prof. Jacobson (through two posts and four updates) has yet to explain why he believes it is not.

    Bear in mind that that Gov. Barbour did not see fit to note (in the words of commenter "dr. li") the fundamental difference between the Yazoo City Citizens Council and the KKK was that the Yazoo City Citizens Council "favored economic and political intimidation of blacks over outright violence."

    So, let me ask: Can Prof. Jacobson explain why his tactic — expressly leveling the unsubstantiated accusation that Mr. Yglesias intended to imply that Gov. Barbour is a racist — is any less despicable than what he accuses Mr. Yglesias of doing?

    Best,
    Jim Bales

    Barbour said: "You heard of the Citizens Councils? Up north they think it was like the KKK. Where I come from it was an organization of town leaders."

    Barbour says the Citizens Council is not like the KKK? His implication: KKK is bad. Instead, he says the Citizens Council is like "town leaders." Read: Good.

    Barbour is obviously proud of the job performed by his town leaders otherwise known as the Citizens Council. Yet we've seen clear evidence that the Citizens Council was, to all intents and purposes, the local KKK.

    Hence Yglesias is quite accurate in portraying Barbour as expressing affection for an organization that quite clearly was racist in intent and action.

    @donttread2010 – your grandmother was wise, but it's easier said than done.

    @JimBales and Captain – nice try. I think it was quite clear what the point of Yglesias' post was as Yglesias himself noted in the tweet included in my prior post, that he was claiming Barbour had "affection" not just for the organization but also for the white supremacist policies.

    I understand Mr.Jacobson is defending Haley Barbour from the specific charges made by Matthew Yglesias. Fine. Is Mr. Jacobson willing to give his opinion concerning the activity of the White Citizens Councils in general, and the Yazoo chapter of this organization in particular?

    @awol – that is easy, I agree with the statement of Barbour released in response to the Yglesias post and others accusing him of having "affection" for the Councils, "the ‘Citizens Council,’ is totally indefensible, as is segregation."

    At least you understood the difference between defending Barbour against a specific charge, and defending the Councils.


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