Sunday, November 06, 2011

Idiot of the week: Dorian Warren

Doug Henwood likes a good whore. Scream "racist!" without backing it up and Doug will book you. We were reminded of that on the latest Behind The News again as another great show got derailed when I-know-nothing-about-the-Tea-Party Dorian Warren began tarring and feathering. The assistant professor at Columbia reminded why Behind The News is no longer an essential: You don't need to know a damn thing to be on the show.

dorian t. warren

And you don't need to be honest. Warren offered one lie after another to explain away the White-ness of the OWS movement. It was most laughable when he declared, "I have gone to about three people of color caucus meetings [in New York]. They're very active, they're like 50 people at these meetings. If you look at Oakland, if you look at -- " He couldn't name another Occupy. And his faculty bio notes, "Warren specializes in the study of inequality and American politics, focusing on the political organization of marginalized groups." Again, laughable when he says he really doesn't care "if a bunch of White anarchists" started OWS or calls to stop using "Occupy" because it's offensive to groups like Native Americans. He cares about marginalized groups . . . except when they're standing between him and what he wants. Got it.

Warren likes Occupy Wall Street and sees it as all good and beautiful and he hates the Tea Party and sees it as racist and evil. Henwood chuckles, Henwood self-embarrasses. Explain to us how either Warren or Henwood thought they were talking about a 99% (of the people) movement when they repeatedly excluded those they disagree with politically -- excuse us, when they repeatedly demonized those they disagree with politically. As Bob Somerby pointed out last month, "People in Occupy see things are wrong. So do some people in the tea party. All are in the 99 percent. Or have we already discarded the math upon which this new movement is based?" Warren insisted, "I think we should try to take the 99% as far as it goes" -- while at the same time rushing to demonize others in the 99%.

We like Doug, but we're damn sick of the tribalism. As Bob Somerby has noted, you can cherry pick -- as some on the left did -- anything to make a group of people look bad. As Somerby has also noted, you should be very careful when applying any term to a large group of people. The fact that they are your political enemies doesn't change that rule.

Dorian Warren is part of the continued decline of Columbia University. It's a shame that he's also part of the continued decline of Behind The News. Doug would do well to book Bob Somerby as a guest and discuss tribalism with him -- and how it hurts We The People and keeps us from ever getting ahead. Many of Bob's points echo points Doug himself once made.
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