Richard Cohen is guilty of bad writing, but is he guilty of racism?

Richard Cohen, resident facepalm-inducing op-ed writer, who routinely makes me wonder how these folks get their jobs.
Richard Cohen, resident facepalm-inducing op-ed writer at the Washington Post, who routinely makes me wonder how these folks get their jobs.

Richard Cohen will never be accused of being a progressive on race politics: one need only look to his ham-fisted defense of New York City’s “Stop and Frisk” policy as evidence. This was an article wherein Cohen matter-of-factly stated, “The same holds for racial profiling. The numbers are proof not of racism but of a lamentable fact: Black and Hispanic men are disproportionately stopped because they are disproportionally the perpetrators of gun crime.”

Black people are criminal, argues Cohen, and we should treat them as such. Here, Cohen’s position on the supposed criminality (and therefore the humanity) of Black men is obvious. So, with this in mind, I cannot defend Cohen’s racial outlook: there is already ample published evidence suggesting that he has internalized a misguided and intolerant fear of African Americans that should not be tolerated.

But, is every article that Cohen guilty of that same overt racism simply by virtue of its author?  Today, Cohen wrote a brief op-ed in the Washington Post examining Governor Chris Christie’s chances in the Iowa caucus. That article has sparked massive Internet outrage, culminating in cries for him to be fired from the writing staff of the Washington Post.

While I’m not a fan of Cohen, I can’t help but wonder if this reaction is one I fully agree with?

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Asian Americans helped deliver McAuliffe victory in VA in Election 2013, despite reports of voting rights violations at polls

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Yesterday marked a critical election day for the nation, despite being an off-year election with only a handful of “headline-worthy” races. Nonetheless, Election Day 2013 took place in the wake of a two-week shutdown of the federal government that most voters blamed on the Tea Party. It also occurred amid controversy regarding the troubled online launch of Healthcare.gov, the Obama administration’s cornerstone website for implementation of the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare).

Many pundits have viewed (or spun) last night’s election as a referendum on both the Tea Party and Obamacare. In that light, it is interesting to assess how the American voter responded, in general, on the night’s key races. More importantly (at least to readers of this blog), many of the night’s key races occurred in cities and states — New York City, New Jersey and Virginia — with relatively high populations of Asian American voters, and where Asian American voters helped propel President Obama to his 2012 re-election.

Thus, last night’s election results not only speak to the general attitude of all voters, but can also be used to assess the attitudes of the Asian American voter within the larger political landscape of the American voter. And, looking at the results, we see some pretty interesting trends.

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