Erick Erickson: as Vile and Stupid as Ever

Erick EricksonThis tweet came to my attention via the great Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns & Money, The Environment in Which Trump Can Thrive. I don’t follow Erick Erickson, because he is not only a vile man, he’s also an idiot. He’s the sort of guy who would never have a writing job if he were liberal. He’s the poster-child of conservative affirmative action. The last time I wrote about him was all the way back in 2013, when he was saying if only the Republicans had kept the government shutdown going another day, week, month, year, then they would win!

But this tweet is a level vileness and stupidity that, while not exactly shocking coming from Erickson, is at least notable:

There are two issues here. The first took me a moment to see, because it is so part of the conservative ethos that it tends to be invisible. It’s racism. This has nothing to do with World War II or “December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy.” It is just throwing together a huge group of people and blaming them for Pearl Harbor. The fact that Erickson’s parents would feel this way is understandable, I suppose. What is only explicable because Erickson is a vile and stupid man, is why he would proudly repeat this bit of bigotry.

It’s also worth noting that Erickson was born in 1975. So his parents are almost certainly not from the Silent Generation, but from the Baby Boomers. If Erickson’s mother was 30 when she had him, she would have been born just in time for the end of the World War II. If that is a child of World War II, then we are all children of World War II. (And to some extent, we are; that makes Erickson’s claim all the more silly.) In addition, this has to be in the late 1970s and early 1980s. That’s a real grudge to hold.

But the second issue is the real reason I’m writing this. It was Japan that attacked on on this date 74 years ago, not “Asia.” In fact, China was an ally and was savagely abused by Japan — costing the lives of 14 million Chinese people during the war. Now maybe Erickson means “Japanese food.” After all, he seems to have come from a somewhat affluent family (they moved to Dubai when he was five). But as Lemieux noted, “I would bet dollars to beef and broccoli lunch specials that the ‘Asian food’ the Ericksons were abstaining from was Chinese food.”

Right. You know: food that kinda sorta comes from the country that was our ally in the war that Erickson’s parents were children of. This reminds me of the way that bigots during that time equated Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, and so on. And now they equate Arabs, Persians, Indians, and so on. But it is amazing that someone so important in the conservative movement would make this kind of mistake. You may remember that the conservative movement used to have people like William Buckley.


As I write this, Wikipedia has already integrated this tweet into his bio. It sounds to me like it was done by someone ridiculing him. But it could instead have been added by someone who simply has no idea about narrative flow:

Erickson was born in Jackson in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates when he was five, and returned to Jackson when he was fifteen. Erickson’s parents refused to let his family eat Asian food on December 7th, the anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Navy. Erickson attended the American School of Dubai, previously known as the Jumeirah American School.

It’s kind of like: “Eric was born in Louisiana. He had a turtle named ‘Prigsby’! He went to school in Dubai.”

17 thoughts on “Erick Erickson: as Vile and Stupid as Ever

  1. I am so glad I am refusing to be part of his slacker generation.
    Annoyingly my mom freaked out when I mentioned I was going to get a Hyundai for my first car. She first said it was wrong because they attacked us at Pearl Harbor then changed to complain about the Korean war when I told her it was a Korean company. I did what I normally do when she goes off on her racist tangents and ignored it.

    SEK gathered together some of the funnier tweets in response:

    My favorite is the one that points out he is unpatriotic for not shooting the food. Because ‘Merica!

    • Also, Hyundai is a South Korean company. But I do think there is something deeper there. Were we really there to help the South Koreans? Of course not! We were there to fight the Chinese.

      I had no idea this had exploded so. And even now it has less than 200 retweets. I guess it is just us political junkies who love it. You really are an SEK fan! He is great, although I would generally like more comment from him. But he’s typical of the LGM crowd in being so smart he often thinks things need no comment. In this case, he’s probably right.

      So much great stuff in the article! I loved the photoshopped headline. Also: “So what you’re saying is, xeonophobia is *learned*…” Faz Fazzler provides all the response anyone could want, “So your parents were not only racist, but also idiots?” But most of all, I am so envious of the absolute brilliance of Daniel Lam, “Never forget when Chinese forces under General Tso attacked Pearl Harbor.” I can only add: it was the act of a chicken.

      Thanks. I laughed a lot.

      • Oh good, glad you laughed a lot. You need more humor in your life.

        I am friends with him on Facebook so I see a lot of his links to articles and his commentary on life in general. He has this serious of random posts called Oldman Cat based on his old cats:

        SEK: Don’t worry you peed on what?
        SEK: Why?
        SEK: They ARE bills.
        SEK: You got ’em?
        SEK: You do realize there are two clean litter boxes.
        SEK: I know, but your urine belongs in the litter box.
        SEK: You know I’m the one who has to clean that up, don’t you?

        Absolutely hysterical to go along with his life that is apparently very weird.

        • Yeah, I see those because LGM is in my RSS feed. Like most things in life, I discovered RSS about 10 years after everyone else.

            • Well, the great thing is that I have this Chrome plugin (RSS Feed Reader), and when there is a feed available, it provides a little + symbol. It’s very simple. Of course, the weird thing is that I’ve always understood the underlying technology. But somehow, that makes me more resistant to using it. Part of it is a kind of macho nerd BS, which I very much fall into. “Word processors are for sissies! I edit in vi, process it with TeX, and print it out with GhostScript — on an OS I bootstrapped myself!” Actually, I’m no so much like that. But I definitely used to be. And I do still use vi and TeX for a lot of work. But that’s because it’s easier for me at this point.

              • I am sure my dad could understand that. To me it is “Dad stuff.” Which probably just made you feel really old.

                I can usually manage to download something onto a computer but that is about as techy as I can get. Weird for someone who was the daughter of a guy who was on the interwebz before it became public. However Dad never wanted to teach any of his daughters how to use a computer. Part of it was “girls don’t do that” and I think part of it was “ugh, spend time with my boring ass kids?”

                • No. My teeth never let me forget how old I am.

                  I don’t know how old your father is, but for people working in the 60s and 70s, it was just work. They might be really into it. But it wasn’t sexy. (“Sexy” is an actual computer term. Really!)

                  • Nah, Dad was a twenty year Navy dude so he only was doing the computer stuff from about ’85 to now so starting when I was six. He could have taught me since I liked computer games starting at a very early age (my favorite was a spelling game for the Mac called Popcorn) but again, we were annoying little money sinks so he didn’t bother.

                    Since I have mostly dated computer nerds, I am well aware of the drooling induced by things like Alienware computers.

                    • Your father must be almost exactly my age. I got my first computer around that time (in college). But I was very into computers. In a sense, I still am. But I almost never code anymore.

                      So your boyfriends didn’t teach you anything either? I’m skeptical of your claimed ignorance.

                    • Dad is 70. So unless your Wikipedia page (I am soooooo jealous!) is grossly inaccurate, you are almost 20 years younger than him. Dad worked for the DOD starting a few years after he retired from the navy though.

                      As for my gentleman callers…nope, never came up. 13 tried to at least explain a little bit of the stuff he was doing but by then I found it as dull as he found my detailed hyper enthusiastic prattle about the law.

                    • Ah, the page. If only it would go away. But when I first learned of it, I was thrilled. We are now on Frank v 3.01 — a minor bug fix from the standard v 3.0 of 2010…

                      I find the law fascinating. But it’s like economics: it makes my brain hurt.

                    • Weirdly I find the law to be mostly easy to understand. Sometimes difficult to explain but easy to understand.

                    • I already have trouble remembering things I know I can look up easily…now I have to worry about not understanding the law anymore?! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo

                    • I am immensely relieved I can continue to be dull for the rest of my life! *jumps up and down with excitement*

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