July 29th, 2007

VDB Reluctantly Calls AlterNet Author Scott Thill on “Unwitting” Racism; Thill Responds in Mysteriously Blithe Fashion

by Philip Baruth

In case you missed it, on Friday we bypassed the current Obama/Clinton dust-up, in order to focus on another stray attack on the Illinois Senator we found much more unsettling. Much more.

hillary, obama

At issue was an article published over at AlterNet by a guy named Scott Thill. Although Thill’s piece focused on the instability of hedge funds, it managed to twist around unexpectedly and disparage Obama.

And not just disparage the man: the last few paragraphs of Thill’s piece displayed an oddly casual sort of racism, and we said so.

In no uncertain terms.

Within a few hours, we had mail from Scott Thill, and we braced ourselves for explanations, counter-arguments, indignation, rhetorical tap-dancing, the usual get-back.

But Scott Thill’s email is in a class all its own. To wit:


Thanks for spotlighting my hedge piece, and the analysis on my Barack crack. Good stuff, and fun. If you want to talk more about it someday, hit me at this email addy. Thanks again!


scott thill

For such a short response, it raised a host of questions for us here at VDB.

In what sense might being labeled an (unwitting) racist be considered not only “Good stuff” but “fun”? Had Thill even read the post, or was he simply cutting and pasting the same inane response into any blog that happened to link to the AlterNet article?

By referring to the Obama material in his own piece as “my Barack crack,” was Thill copping to a certain inappropriateness, or was he arguing implicitly that the section in question was light-hearted in nature and not to be taken too seriously?


And most crucially, was the phrase “hit me at this email addy” embarrassingly sophomoric or blindingly hip, the sort of thing that people at AlterNet remark to one another on the way out the door for sashimi?

All good questions, none of which will ever be answered.

Unless, of course, Thill peaces back in, and hits us again at our email addy. Which would be good stuff, and fun.