It is the ninth month of the year 2009 of the reign of what was supposed to be our post-racial administration, and racism is a more common topic than ever. Where before racism applied to individuals, now opposing government policies has itself become a racist act.
At the New York Times, Maureen Dowd wrote, "what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!" Which is a lot like the patient who studies a series of Rorschach ink blots and comes up with increasingly racist interpretations of them. When the psychiatrist finally calls him on it, he exclaims, "I'm prejudiced? You're the one with all the racist cartoons!"
When the collective wisdom of the liberal media finds racism where there isn't any, it's fair to ask whether the racism they're finding is imaginary or in their own heads. And by fair, of course I mean it's unacceptably racist. But that's the kind of polarization that living in a black and white world gets you. You're either racist or you're not. And the only way to not be a racist is to be a visibly condescending liberal who makes a point of talking about how much of a racist he or she isn't.
Political correctness has spent a long time defining liberalism, and the attitudes that go with it, as the opposite of racism. The result is a thermometer that instead of running from -40 to 50 degrees Celsius, instead runs from liberal to racist. The more liberal you are, the less racist you can be judged as. The less liberal you are, the more likely you are to be considered a racist. Actual racist content has very little to do with it, or an ex-President from Georgia who called Obama a "black boy" would not be trotted out to denounce an Obama opponent as a racist in the first place. Nor would a Klansman on the Democratic side of the aisle still be sitting in the Senate.
So Maureen Dowd who couldn't hear Jimmy Carter say "black boy" when he did, heard Joe Wilson say, "boy", when he didn't. Because it's not what you actually say that counts, but what the New York Times columnists and op ed writers decide you really meant. Accordingly Ex-Klansman Senator Byrd's use of a racial slur was completely harmless, while a Tea Party protester condemning deficit spending is a bigot. It's not the crime of bigotry that we're dealing with here, but the thoughtcrime. The thing which your opponents, who conveniently enough happened to be the New York Times columnists and op ed writers, think you really meant.
What we are talking about then is actual prejudice and bigotry vs political racism or the race card. Actual bigots spout racial slurs, discriminate against, abuse and assault people for their race or national or religious background. Political bigotry by contrast is the modern day version of the witchhunt that involves denouncing someone you don't like as a racist or a witch.
When denouncing someone for political bigotry, you don't actually need to get your facts straight. You don't even need any facts. All you need is a vague feeling that he probably might and could very well be bigoted, as proven by your politically correct seventh sense tingling with the warning that there's a "boy" at the end of his sentence. It was the classic Soviet way of doing things. And it still works.
Before Democrats had been forced to subsist on borrowed Mau-Mauing. Today with Obama in the White House it has become childishly easy to condemn anyone in the opposition for racism. After all they're in the opposition, and why would they be in the opposition... unless they had problems with a black man in the White House? This kind of reductio ad absurdum racial argument has become the default party line when dealing with political opponents. "There's only one possible reason they could oppose our wholly reasonable political program, because they're racists."
Democrats had spent eight years calling Bush a liar. Eight years. But calling Obama a liar is now a hate crime. Drawing a cartoon of him is a hate crime. Attending a rally protesting his policies is of course a hate crime. Voting while Republican is also naturally a hate crime. Essentially being on the opposite side of Obama has become a hate crime, by the convenient logical trick of presuming that Obama is equivalent to all black people, and that therefore opposition to him is equivalent to opposing all black people.
Taking that argument to the next level, since Obama is also half-white, anyone black or white who opposes him, is a bigot. And FDR's opponents probably just hated disabled people. JFK's opponents hated the Irish. And Al Gore lost the election, because Joe Lieberman was Jewish. While there's humor in that absurdity, there is also the ominous stench of dictatorship.
It's Un-American to ban political dissent, unless you define all political dissent as bigotry. And next thing you know, your secret ballot has been determined to make you a statistically probable candidate for domestic terrorism. After all it's just a small hop from not wanting a government boondoggle of a health care program to being a racist to blowing up FBI buildings. That's the way liberal logic runs and that's who runs the Justice Department now.
We have now entered the golden post-racial age in which it is proof positive of racism to call a politician a liar. So long as the politician is a democrat and of a race different than yours. Yet if anything 2008 proved that Americans were willing and even eager to vote for a black man. But 2008 did not birth the post-racial society, it was there for a long time already.
That isn't to say that prejudice is dead. Most human beings have their prejudices, acknowledged and unacknowledged, which is what gives liberal accusations of racism such power. But most people also have long ago put aside those prejudices when it comes to working, going to school, living side by side with, and yes voting into office. We have been living in a post-racial country for some time now. The old divisions have the most power when interested parties begin playing them like an organ, because for all their talk about overcoming prejudice they are determined that we go on living in a black and white world, because it suits them. Because it gives them power.
The opposition to Obama has not come over racial issues, with only the exception in the Gates case. It has come over political issues, over the key question of how much power government can wield over people. It is in the interests of those wielding that power to frame the question as a racial one, rather than a political one, in order to delegitimize those daring to ask the question. It is in their interest to play the race card, because then instead of being forced to explain their misconduct, they can successfully force their critics to account for that invisible "boy" at the end of a sentence.
Criticizing the government is not a hate crime, being suspicious of politicians is a great American tradition and the essence of democracy, and opposing Obama is not a hate crime. Much as the talking heads and the op ed writers may try to spin dissent as racism, dissent is not racism, it is simply dissent. Without the right to dissent, there would be no civil rights movement. Without the right to dissent, there will be no America.
If Jimmy Carter, one of the most egregious racists running around these days, can convince everyone that hating Obama's policies is racist, then he can, in that uniquely obtuse process of inversion that his ilk wallows in, frame is so that the criticism of his equally destructive policies was also racist, thereby framing himself as the victim.ReplyDelete
The logic is impeccable in its insanity.
So glad you blogged on this today. Last night, I was watching some late coverage of events in America with increasing astonishment, as I tried to fathom where this 'racism' was. All I could see were various people passionately opposed to Obama's healthcare reforms.ReplyDelete
Of course, when I learned that Carter - who has apparently never met a terrorist he hasn't liked - was behind this latest absurdity, I realised what was happening.
The assertion that America is still somehow inherently racist is LUNACY. Obama never would have got in if that was the case!
Yes, of course *some* vile people, in all societies, are racist. But as you so accurately note, dissent in and of itself is NOT 'racism'.
I can only guess that today many American are feeling increasingly wary about expressing their views, for fear of being wrongly labelled a 'racist'.
What a hideous situation.
indeed sam, if opposing obama is racist, then opposing carter and all liberals is racist tooReplyDelete
then being a republican or a libertarian is racist
Yes it's essentially suppression in order to intimidate people into keeping quiet and not speaking out.
Do you know how many brownie points you can get with this word? Attacking someone with this word is POWER. The person is stunned, can't defend himself, he starts to appologize, disengage himself from anyone who may be guilty by association, he is ready to atone (not to talk about the money which will come the attackers way, or political perks). The media especially loves to uncover "racists" so they can bow and scrape to Al Sharpton (remember the idiot Imus?) to raise his profile and to make the media look oh so righteous. I'm disgusted.ReplyDelete
I watched a clip of Jimmy Carter's speech on TV. Interestingly, nobody in the audience (mixed races) applauded or cheered his comment about Wilson's comment being racist.ReplyDelete
Even Obama is saying Wilson's comment wasn't racially motivated and the White House is distancing itself from Carter.
Carter is an anti-Semite and his attempt at race baiting failed miserably. Oh course there was no dangling invisible "boy" at the end of the "You Lie." And if Wilson were truly a racist and speaking in the heat of anger as with most whites he probably would haved dropped the N-word. That's the truth.
When racist whites are fed up with blacks the typical excited utterance is the N-word not "you lie." Every ethnic group, race, and religion has stereotypes and slurs that are spewed out when people get made.
You lie simply isn't one of them.
This is very disturbing and disgusting. Very much like Russia where apparently it is illegal to defame or ridicule politicians.
Political dissent in the US being branded hate speech?? How long will it be until hate speech while still free speech becomes a hate crime? The thought police will just know that a demeaning "boy" follows "you lie."
The thought police will be expert at reading between the lines and viola--jail cell.
As for Wilson's outburst--not such a big deal if you've ever watched the Canadian or British parliments on TV, which I have.
The only reason people like Carter are upset over Wilson's comments is that he had the courage to publicly say what a good deal of Americans are thinking--Obama lies and can't be trusted.ReplyDelete
"At the New York Times, Maureen Dowd wrote, "what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!"ReplyDelete
I have Dowd's syndrome myself. Everytime Obama speaks, I hear it appended with ", kulak."
How truly racist is it for the left to protect our first black president from criticism by using the race card? It is only an extension of "affirmative action" and denigrates Obama as not being able to withstand the same criticisms that all presidents before him have had to endure. It is typical of the left to do and say exactly what they claim not to be doing or saying.ReplyDelete
exactly, racism is the inherent idea behind liberal racial protectionismReplyDelete
It worked in the General Election and they will milk it as long as they can. Was Kanye West's jumping up on stage and saying Beyounce is better than the white girl who won, a racist act? They said he was a "jackass" for doing it but no one called him a racist. Racism works both ways. I have seen a definite double standard going on: Blacks are not being "racist" when they call out whites for real or imagined slights, yet so many pre-determine that all whites are racist and anything that is said is taken to mean 'racism'. If that is your frame of reference, everywhere you go, you will see racism. If you wear pink lenses, everything you see will be pink.ReplyDelete
Sultan, I want to wish you and all who celebrate a very Happy, Peaceful and Joyous New Year. Thanks for these enlightening and intelligent articles. L'shana Tovah!
Thank you Susan,ReplyDelete
The way "racism" is used by the media and the government is something very different from actual Racism. Real Racism is bigotry that can come from anywhere. Their form of political racism is a political lever. So black racism is treated as non-existent, because it isn't a useful political tool. On the other hand creating constant paranoia over supposed racism by white people is a handy tool for intimidating people.
Besides in leftist ideology, bigotry is wrong only when practiced by the "empowered" against the "disempowered". So black racism is considered a non-issue, since the left has classified black people as disempowered. White people are by contrast classified as empowered, which is why anti-semitism in turn is also not taken seriously. Or hate crimes against Asians, who are also considered empowered.
Lengthy but good article about Obama and the ACORN connection.ReplyDelete
Weariness overtakes one with this rave card agenda of theirs. Anything to get the peoples mind off of what really is going down, and that Barack Hussein Obama is still a liar. Lying not only to the "white" people -but blacks as well. If anyone is a a racist it is he. I have NO respect for this man called Obama. The Lord says have to pray for him personally. But I sure as heck, like Rush L. said? Do NOT wish him success in his agendas to socialize and destroy America.ReplyDelete
Actually, in their constant knee-jerk deployment of the word "racist", the Obama-ites have finally managed to completely devalue it. Who gives a damn about being called "racist" any more?ReplyDelete