Sean Wilentz: Response to Orlando Patterson's essays on the Clinton campaign's use of race
[Mr. Wilentz is a professor of history at Princeton.]
Orlando Patterson's reply is as unpersuasive as his original op-ed essay. His op-ed--a fanciful interpretation of Hillary Clinton's 3 A.M. campaign ad as racist--provides no facts to back up its assertions, thereby making refutation literally impossible. Now, in his reply, Patterson offers more groundless speculation. He also fails to concede that his original essay contained a gross falsehood that is now a matter of record--a falsehood that, once revealed, demolishes his basic argument. And his account of my writing about Obama's charges of racism creates a straw man that has absolutely nothing to do with what I have actually written.
Patterson evades the real subject of
Patterson takes as gospel the Obama campaign's allegations
about Bill Clinton's supposed race-baiting during the
Patterson goes on to state flatly, without a shred of
evidence, that most older, less educated white Democratic voters of
In his op-ed and his reply, Patterson's entire argument
rests on his assertion that the
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Heinrich Schitten - 3/18/2008
Wilentz needs to show the fundamental intellectual honesty expected of our profession and disclose his longtime personal support of the Clintons when he writes an attack on Obama.
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