Friday, June 7, 2013

James T. Harris's Followers Have An Unsettling Obsession With Racism

Posted By on Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 3:00 PM

If you read this week's Editor's Note or Dan Gibson's blog post yesterday, you might have noticed that there appears to be a slight, uh, "disagreement" between local conservative talk show host James T. Harris and the editor of Tucson Weekly, a conclusion to which Harris is trying to duck like Floyd Mayweather did Manny Pacquiao.

Obviously, this is a thing I find completely hilarious for a number of reasons, not the least of which is Harris's somewhat deluded thinking that he's like Tucson's conservative, radio version of Jon Stewart (the catch, of course, would be that Jon Stewart is actually somewhat funny).

But Harris's sense of humor ("Obama is gay, lol") and obsession with making references to the Matrix aside (because there's nothing fresher than constantly making references to 14 year old films that influenced the half-baked philosophies of many a high schooler in the early 2000s), I've gotta say this:

The dude's fans are starting to pull out this weird fixation on race, apparently owing to the fact that Dan is a white male (shock!) and Harris is a black male (gasp!).

Starting with the Arizona Daily Independent, who mention the conservative conservatism of conservative Harris a few conservative times in accusing Dan of hating a conservative black conservative:

The only way a simple mind can reconcile the fact that a conservative can be funny, bright, conservative, and black is to hate him. For most bright people, dissonance rarely creeps in because they understand that two different truths can occupy the same space.

Then this comment from that ADI opinion:

  • Arizona Daily Independent

Then these, from Harris's Facebook page:

  • Facebook

Well, obviously.
  • Facebook
  • Well, obviously.

Now, let's be honest here: There's no way to lightly accuse someone of racism, particularly in this day and age — yet it seems to be the first fall-back when two people of different races disagree. In this case, it seems fairly out of place. After all, a person's skin color doesn't necessarily correlate with how competent they are at their job.

As Michael Jackson sang, "it don't matter if you're black or white, so long as you make an effort to not be shitty at your job."*

One last note to tie the whole thing together (race, politics and Harris's lack of interest in dialogue); let's check out a 2008 CNN clip in which Harris was asked to discuss race and politics within the frame of his status as a prominent black conservative:

If you please, start up the video above at 3:20 for the relevant point here:

I would really appreciate it if people would just back up off of the name-calling, because it gets nowhere in the dialogue ... I'm all for back and forth, I'm all for dialogue, I'm not for name calling ... I don't call people who vote for Barack Obama names. That is their choice. I'm sick and tired of people bleeding all over me for their insecurities.

Now then, from Harris's blog:

It reminds me of a scene from the movie “Tropic Thunder” because ‘I, I ma-ma-ma-made Dan confused.’ Yes, Simple Jack. The movie within the movie. The James T. Harris Show is stuck in Simple Dan’s head and is making his head hur, hur, hur, hurt.

So to be clear James, it looks like you're all for name-calling when it suits your purpose — you're willing to step aside and let your listeners drag people who disagree with them through the mud, and you're all about alluding to someone being retarded when they disagree with your baseless accusations.

At least it makes sense that you're unwilling to #hugitout with Dan about this, judging from your CNN appearance: apparently you learned that it's way easier to run away from a dialogue when you don't let it start in the first place.

*I might have gotten those lyrics wrong — it's been some time since I listened to Dangerous.

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