Frank Rich's Reckless Slander

A funny thing happened to me after I sent in my annual donations to GMHC and God's Love We Deliver. I was very graphically told by Frank Rich of the New York Times that because I oppose Obama's health care law, I must be homophobic

By the way, the aforementioned groups reach out to gay people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses. How could I be homophobic and send in donations to assist gay people? How could I, as a professor of English composition, hate gays when I recently received the most heartfelt essay, written by a student who thanked me for "giving [him] the challenge to speak out [about his gay lifestyle]"? Seems paradoxical to me, but hey, what do I know?

Then another peculiar thing occurred. I read Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell, and Lloyd Marcus -- all of whom are articulate, reasoned black Americans who clearly state the dangers to our economy and our liberties under ObamaCare -- only to discover that according to Rich, the only reason we oppose Obama's bill is because it would "sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority," by which he means the white community. So what does this make me? I agree with black thinkers, and last time I looked, I would be categorized as white. I do not know if I can bear this schizophrenic dichotomy. What am I? Am I a secret Oreo or a white-hating Caucasian? Methinks this is a dizzying situation!

On top of this, I was informed by op-ed columnist Frank Rich that because I found offensive the "wise Latina on the Supreme Court" who parades her ethnicity instead of demonstrating judicial prudence and objectivity, I am not only a racist, but also a misogynist. What a dither I am in. Do I hate women, considering I am a woman? My, my, such enlightenment on the part of Mr. Rich!

But the pièce de résistance came when Frank Rich compared me and other like-minded Americans to a mob that "doesn't recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht." So, now as a Jewish, white woman, who has instructed hundreds of students about the evolution of the Shoah and the vile genocide of Jews, gypsies, and gays, I am now a card-carrying member of the SS. About the only thing that Mr. Rich and I can agree upon is that there is a "current surge of anger." Indeed, I am riled by these false and reckless assertions by a New York Times correspondent!

How dare this impudent man brush aside genuine concerns of people who can see beyond the shade of their neighbor's skin -- people who don't really care about what goes on in the privacy of someone's bedroom and believe that dealing with racism through racism is disingenuous at best?

Mr. Rich's article is a sophomoric display of sloppy thinking and callous indifference to the facts. But more than that, it is a deceptive exercise in specious thinking. He is guilty of the most elementary of logical fallacies; these are usually taught in an introductory ethics class. 

He introduces irrelevant issues such as the "Civil Rights Act of 1964" in order to divert attention from the subject under discussion; thus, he uses a red herring to sidetrack the reader from the real issues. In addition, Rich engages in an ad hominem fallacy, whereby he attacks a person rather than deal with the real issues in dispute. Thus, John Boehner's incisive explanations of what is lurking in this health care law are now described as "apoplectic." When the bill was originally being considered, I watched with admiration as Boehner carefully read out all the provisions in the bill and stated his concerns, but Rich sees this as "instant fodder for a new viral video."

For shame. 

The genuine concerns about ObamaCare, and Mr. Obama in general, fall under a few clear-cut rubrics. They have been noted time and again by clear-minded pundits such as Charles Krauthammer. Yet Mr. Rich seems to ignore the manner in which ObamaCare was jammed through the Congress, the statistic that over 67% of Americans do not want the huge overhaul that this new legislation will bring, the very real fears about the sustainability of funding, the massive expenditures and tax burdens on future generations, and the fact that there are less expensive, less intrusive ways to ensure that uninsured Americans get medical care instead of destroying a system that surpasses any other in the world. 

Does Mr. Rich address these concerns? No, instead he impugns the intelligence and moral clarity of decent, law-abiding, concerned Americans who see danger and deceit at every corner with Obama's manipulation and strong-arm tactics. The "anxieties" that Rich writes about have nothing to do with race, except in his mind. They do have everything to do with the clear perception that black, brown, and white Americans alike are getting a bum rap.

Active in the 1970s writing campaign to free Russian Jewish refuseniks, Eileen continues to speak out against tyranny. She can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.
A funny thing happened to me after I sent in my annual donations to GMHC and God's Love We Deliver. I was very graphically told by Frank Rich of the New York Times that because I oppose Obama's health care law, I must be homophobic

By the way, the aforementioned groups reach out to gay people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses. How could I be homophobic and send in donations to assist gay people? How could I, as a professor of English composition, hate gays when I recently received the most heartfelt essay, written by a student who thanked me for "giving [him] the challenge to speak out [about his gay lifestyle]"? Seems paradoxical to me, but hey, what do I know?

Then another peculiar thing occurred. I read Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell, and Lloyd Marcus -- all of whom are articulate, reasoned black Americans who clearly state the dangers to our economy and our liberties under ObamaCare -- only to discover that according to Rich, the only reason we oppose Obama's bill is because it would "sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority," by which he means the white community. So what does this make me? I agree with black thinkers, and last time I looked, I would be categorized as white. I do not know if I can bear this schizophrenic dichotomy. What am I? Am I a secret Oreo or a white-hating Caucasian? Methinks this is a dizzying situation!

On top of this, I was informed by op-ed columnist Frank Rich that because I found offensive the "wise Latina on the Supreme Court" who parades her ethnicity instead of demonstrating judicial prudence and objectivity, I am not only a racist, but also a misogynist. What a dither I am in. Do I hate women, considering I am a woman? My, my, such enlightenment on the part of Mr. Rich!

But the pièce de résistance came when Frank Rich compared me and other like-minded Americans to a mob that "doesn't recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht." So, now as a Jewish, white woman, who has instructed hundreds of students about the evolution of the Shoah and the vile genocide of Jews, gypsies, and gays, I am now a card-carrying member of the SS. About the only thing that Mr. Rich and I can agree upon is that there is a "current surge of anger." Indeed, I am riled by these false and reckless assertions by a New York Times correspondent!

How dare this impudent man brush aside genuine concerns of people who can see beyond the shade of their neighbor's skin -- people who don't really care about what goes on in the privacy of someone's bedroom and believe that dealing with racism through racism is disingenuous at best?

Mr. Rich's article is a sophomoric display of sloppy thinking and callous indifference to the facts. But more than that, it is a deceptive exercise in specious thinking. He is guilty of the most elementary of logical fallacies; these are usually taught in an introductory ethics class. 

He introduces irrelevant issues such as the "Civil Rights Act of 1964" in order to divert attention from the subject under discussion; thus, he uses a red herring to sidetrack the reader from the real issues. In addition, Rich engages in an ad hominem fallacy, whereby he attacks a person rather than deal with the real issues in dispute. Thus, John Boehner's incisive explanations of what is lurking in this health care law are now described as "apoplectic." When the bill was originally being considered, I watched with admiration as Boehner carefully read out all the provisions in the bill and stated his concerns, but Rich sees this as "instant fodder for a new viral video."

For shame. 

The genuine concerns about ObamaCare, and Mr. Obama in general, fall under a few clear-cut rubrics. They have been noted time and again by clear-minded pundits such as Charles Krauthammer. Yet Mr. Rich seems to ignore the manner in which ObamaCare was jammed through the Congress, the statistic that over 67% of Americans do not want the huge overhaul that this new legislation will bring, the very real fears about the sustainability of funding, the massive expenditures and tax burdens on future generations, and the fact that there are less expensive, less intrusive ways to ensure that uninsured Americans get medical care instead of destroying a system that surpasses any other in the world. 

Does Mr. Rich address these concerns? No, instead he impugns the intelligence and moral clarity of decent, law-abiding, concerned Americans who see danger and deceit at every corner with Obama's manipulation and strong-arm tactics. The "anxieties" that Rich writes about have nothing to do with race, except in his mind. They do have everything to do with the clear perception that black, brown, and white Americans alike are getting a bum rap.

Active in the 1970s writing campaign to free Russian Jewish refuseniks, Eileen continues to speak out against tyranny. She can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.