When he got a gig doing political commentary for CNN, hate-blogger Erick Erickson assured Howard Kurtz that he had realized that "I had to grow up in how I write." And Erickson convinced the New York Times that he had become a kinder, gentler pundit.
But hating is what Erickson does. That's why it's unsurprising to find him on his blog (7/13/10) whipping up racial animus in the crudest possible terms, using the sort of rhetoric associated with actual brownshirts like David Duke. In the post, Erickson urged the Republicans to turn the New Black Panther "scandal" into the "21st century Willie Horton"–the ginned-up controversy being that the Obama administration failed to prosecute two members of a fringe Afrocentrist group for hanging around a polling place in a black neighborhood last November.
Look at the language Erickson uses to describe this:
The Democrats will scream racism. Let them. Republicans are not going to pick up significant black support anyway. But here's the thing: everyone but the Democrats will understand this is not racism. This isn't even about race. This is about the judgment of an administration that would rather prosecute Arizona for doing what the feds won't do than prosecuting violent thugs who would deny you and me the right to vote while killing our kids.
Is there anything more incendiary, more irresponsible than publicly hallucinating about "violent thugs…killing our kids"?
It's obvious from the context of his statement that by "you and me" he means "white people," and "our kids" are "white kids."
Yet it's not about race–and certainly not about racism. It never is.