Being a leftist is like having a get-out-of-jail-free card. Without the scrutiny of a hostile media, the left has never been forced to purge its racist elements, as the right has. Thus the left has become something of a refuge for racist elements that are largely extinct elsewhere. And that applies not just to the fashionable forms of racism, just as hatred of whites, Asians, and Jews, either. If you’re on the left, it seems you can refer to a prominent black man as a “monkey” and a “minstrel”, provided he is a conservative.
UPDATE: Ed Morrissey contrasts Alternet’s tolerance — nay, promotion — of racism with CPAC, which ran off a white-supremacist recruiter.