Malaka Of The Week: Richard Cohen

Richard Cohen has been a columnist at the WaPo for eons. He’s never been a pundit I bothered to read, but he’s gotten in some well-deserved trouble recently with his reactionary and odious views on interracial marriage. And that’s why he’s malaka of the week.Here’s the money quote from a column about 2016 GOP politics:

Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte
alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the
expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the
mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with
conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the
mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with
two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife,
Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?)

I first saw the quote in a piece by Salon’s resident cranky young man Alex Pareene. He hates Cohen and most people over 45, but in this case he’s right. Cohen’s reference to “conventional views” is OTT bizarre. Those may have been conventional views back when Woodrow Wilson was applying Jim Crow laws to the District of Columbia but they’re not any more. We call them racist views in 2013, sir. Ever heard of Loving v. Virgina?

I was also gobsmacked by Cohen’s reference to DeBlasio’s spouse as a “former lesbian.” I have no idea what that means other than making Cohen an equal opportunity bigot. And this is what passes for an old school liberal at the WaPo these days. Lord have mercy.

I *almost* felt sorry for Cohen last week when Pareene referred to him as a racist old man. I objected to the age-ist part of the post but Cohen extinguished any pity I had for him when he used the term “gag reflex” while contemplating DiBlasio’s bi-racial children. I guess we should be grateful that he didn’t call them mulattoes or launch into a harangue about how miscegenation was mongrelizing the white race ala Theordore Bilboor Gene Talmadge.

Cohen’s sell by date as a pundit has clearly expired. He might want to consider retiring before new owner Jeff Bezos notices that he’s bad for the bottom line. Racism doesn’t sell and that’s one of many reasons Richard Cohen is malaka of the week.

4 thoughts on “Malaka Of The Week: Richard Cohen

  1. ” the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde”
    Uh, isn’t that the way society has changed ever since the cave men?

  2. I’ve been sampling reaction around the internets (Ta-Nehisi Coates is very good, as usual), and I’ve read all kinds of “explanations” about what Cohen “meant” to say, or what the “context” of his column is. Some of those attempts have been downright valiant in their creativity.
    But here’s the thing for me: Richard Cohen is supposed to be a professional writer, paid lots of money to put words on paper. If he is so inept at his craft that nobody can tell what he’s trying to say, and it appears that he said something really racist, and now Cohen’s all butt-hurt that people are calling him a racist, then maybe it’s time for him to look for another job?

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