Whitewash Will

June 25, 2007

Continuing to explore new frontiers in falsehood, George F. Will uses his column to float the idea that George Wallace — the howling racist who built his political career on opposition to civil rights legislation — was actually giving a voice to Merkins who were angry about the hippies and their flag-burnin’, free-lovin’ ways.

I almost filed this one under Leonard Shelby Syndrome, but what Will is trying to do is turn bald-faced lies about our recent history into conventional wisdom. I don’t know what real purpose is served by turning Wallace into an outraged populist instead of a foam-flecked race baiter, unless Will has trouble coping with the fact that laws and federal government intrusion were necessary to get Wallace and his constituents to stop treating black people like animals. Deal with it, George, or get yourself a contract to write one of those lying, forked-tongue “Politically Incorrect” guides to Merkin history that are so popular with the NewsMax crowd.  


2 Responses to “Whitewash Will”

  1. Hank Kalet Says:

    Will is not completely wrong, though completely disingenuous. Wallace used the language of populist outrage and defense of the little man against an overreaching government to camouflage his real concerns — a defense of segregation and opposition to any movement on civil rights. Ronald Reagan perfected this approach almost simultaneously in his first run for governor of California and later in his run for president.

    Wallace faded from public view as the world changed in the 1970s, until making a short-lived comeback in 1982. He built a coalition of blacks and poor whites in 1982 to retake the statehouse, running against corporate power and the Reagan agenda.

    He was not the same force and his racist past would remain the most important aspect of his legacy. To view Wallace in any other way is to attempt to rewrite history.

  2. […] Kalet correctly points out in the comments below that there was a vein of populism running through Wallace’s rhetoric, and in his later years […]

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