Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An Overdrawn Race Card

Update: Even The Daily Show is recognizing that the race card is overdrawn:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Race Card Is Maxed Out
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Thomas Sowell, in his recent essay, "Race Card Fraud," takes the left to task for using unfounded charges of racism for political purposes. Equally, he takes Obama to task for merely promising to lead us to some new "post-racial" America while, in actuality, leading us in another direction. As Sowell opines:

. . . Among people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, those who are likely to be most disappointed are those who thought that they were voting for a new post-racial era. There was absolutely nothing in Obama’s past to lead to any such expectation, and much to suggest the exact opposite. But the man’s rhetoric and demeanor during the election campaign enabled this and many other illusions to flourish.

Still, it was an honest mistake of the kind that decent people have often made when dealing with people whose agendas are not constrained by decency, but only by what they think they can get away with. . . .

Racial issues are more of the same. You want a government where all citizens are treated alike, regardless of race or ethnicity? Obama will say that. Then he will advocate appointing judges with “empathy” for particular segments of the population, such as racial minorities. “Empathy” is just a pretty word for the ugly reality of bias.

Obama’s first nomination of a Supreme Court justice was a classic example of someone with empathy for some racial groups, but not others. As a Circuit Court judge, Sonia Sotomayor voted to dismiss a case involving white firefighters who had been denied the promotions for which they qualified, because not enough blacks or Hispanics passed the same test that they did.

A fellow Hispanic judge protested the way the white firefighters’ case was dismissed, rather than adjudicated. Moreover, the Supreme Court not only took the case, it ruled in favor of the firefighters.

Obama’s injecting himself into a local police matter in Massachusetts, despite admitting that he didn’t know the facts, to say that a white policeman was in the wrong in arresting a black professor who was a friend of Obama, was more of the same. So is Obama’s Justice Department overlooking blatant voter intimidation by thugs who happen to be black.

There is not now, nor has there ever been, anything post-racial about Barack Obama, except for the people who voted for him in the mistaken belief that he shared their desire to be post-racial. When he leaves office, especially if it is after one term, he will leave this country more racially polarized than before.

Hopefully, he may also leave the voters wiser, though sadder, after they learn from painful experience that you can’t judge politicians by their rhetoric, or ignore their past because of your hopes for the future. Voters may even wise up to race-card fraud.

This is one of those rare occasions when I think Dr. Sowell may be wrong. I think Obama may in fact - wholly inadvertently - take us down the road to a post-racial America. And I think it may well be because Middle America is very quickly wising up to race-card fraud.

Decades ago, the vast majority of people in post WWII America signed up for the equality of all races and genders. Admittedly, Southern Democrats were forced to sign on the dotted line at the point of a gun, particularly in Little Rock, but in the end, they did. Equality in America didn't happen overnight, nor did it happen without bloodshed, but, as Dennis Prager recently pointed out, America is today "the least racist country in the world." And indeed, while racism will occasionally show its ugly face, and while some remnant of racism will always exist on the far fringes of our nation amongst all races, it is not tolerated in the least in the mainstream.

Since the Civil Rights movement won out half a half century ago, the minority population of America, particularly the black population, has evolved into roughly three groups. The largest group has joined the middle class and embraced the gifts America has to offer. They are us, they are our friends and neighbors, our employees and employers, our family members, and in any and all cases, our fellow Americans. A second group has fully embraced the left's classification of them as victims. These people are the Al Sharptons, Jesse Jacksons, Jeremiah Wrights and Henry Louis Gates's of our country as well as their followers. They live for, and make a living on, the left's utterly distorting fantasy that racism (or whatever -ism) is rampant throughout America. Many occupy positions in academia, teaching the utter canard of critical race theory and loudly demanding reparations based on a very selective and highly myopic view of history. Yet others preach a gospel of separatism and reverse racism under the guises of Islam and Black Liberation Theology. And lastly are those many blacks still mired in poverty in the inner cities. They are approximately 25% of the black population. This is an intractable problem that the far left, despite all of their claims to the contrary, is not seriously interested in solving.

It is important to understand how we, as a nation, got to where we are today. The far left, in the 1960's, following the death of Martin Luther King, co-opted the Civil Rights movement as their rasion d'etre and married it with their own politics of Karl Marx. No longer was the Civil Rights movement about equality. Instead, people were categorized into permanent victim classes entitled to special treatment. While equality and an end to racism in America remained the ostensible goals of the movement, they were in reality replaced by the goals of reworking society into a socialist utopia and, above all, attaining money and political power.

This movement, devoid of intellectual honesty and moraly bankrupt, had only one real weapon in its inventory - the race card. Any criticism of a member of a victim class for virtually any reason was recast by the far left as a racial attack. The far left and newly minted "civil rights leaders" quickly learned to use the race card to circumvent debate and demonize political opponents. And, of course, they waged brutal attacks against any "victims" in the public square who did not embrace their victimhood. It has been an incredibly effective weapon for the far left over the past four decades. That is because the generation that came of age as the Civil Rights movement reached its zenith in the 1960's carried with them the collective guilt of large scale racism and sexism in America.

But the people of age today are a different generation. They grew up in a time when the Civil Rights movement was ascendant. They are blacks, whites, hispanics, asians and others who interact freely. These people today are not racist or sexist. In the case of whites, they do not feel the collective guilt of their progenitors. In the case of minorities, they do not hold hatred and nurse the distant historic wounds the left would have them nurture. And as to all of this generation, whether or not they voted for Obama in 2008, all accepted the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency irrespective of the color of his skin.

While Middle America signed on for equality a half century ago, they did not sign up to be subject to reverse racism, or to have their voices delegitimized by false charges of racism, or to tolerate unequal enforcement of the law, or in the case of minorities themselves, to be ruthlessly demonized on racist or sexist grounds for daring not to accept their status as victims. That said, for the past four decades, Middle America has virtually ignored what was going on in the rotting underbelly of the left's world of permanent victims.

All that changed during the Presidential campaign of 2008 with the shocking revelation that Obama's pastor of two decades, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was a rabid racist and anti-semite who reveled in anti-Americanism.

It further changed as America watched the left's brutal, sexist war on Sarah Palin. The blinds were pulled aside on the utter rot at the core of the left. The left won the battles - the MSM pushed Wright out of the news as quickly as possible and they succeeded in demonizing the self-made woman who is Palin. But it is clear now that the window into the rot of the underbelly of the left exposed during the campaign was not forgotten by Middle America, merely filed away.

During the eighteen months since the Obama administration came to power, much more evidence of that rot has surfaced. It started on election day with the New Black Panthers. A few months later, Eric Holder outrageously called all of America “cowards” on the issue of race. Then there was the incident with Henry Louis Gates and Obama's support for Gates. Not long after, Obama's DOJ dropped the charges against the New Black Panthers in what seemed an act inexplicable on any grounds but racial favoritism. Moreover, Obama's DOJ decided it was above the law and refused to answer lawful subpoenas on the matter. Then just recently came the deeply troubling allegations that Obama's DOJ is refusing to apply all voting laws equally to all races. Add to that Obama and the left's push to add yet more racial preferences and quotas into our laws. You can find numerous other racially charged incidents perpetrated by the Obama administration and the left catalgoued in an article by David Limbaugh in the Washington Examiner.

All of that has been important in calling into question the validity of the race card. But the single most important factor has been the rise of the Tea Party movement and the left's efforts to destroy it.

Critically, the Tea Party is a grass roots movement thoroughly anchored in Middle America. It is a decentralized, amorphous movement that opposes Obama and the left on purely ideological grounds. There is no one Tea Party leader for the left to demonize. So instead, the left has relentlessly and falsely attempted to demonize and delegitimize the entire Tea Party movement as racist. It is a move of tactical brilliance worthy of Gen. George Armstrong Custer. The left has managed to personalize their race wars for a huge swath of America that long ago embraced the concept of equality.

Perhaps the stupidest thing that the left could have done was manufacture false incidents of racism. But that is precisely what happened when, during the vote on Obamacare, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) marched through the Tea Party protesters on Capitol Hill in a blatant effort to solicit racist taunts. When none were forthcoming, Rep. Clyburn and others made them up. The problem for the CBC - everyone and his brother, including Jesse Jackson, Jr., was taping the protests that day, in addition to taping every single step of the CBC march. Not a single instance of anything racial was caught on tape, despite offers of rewards of $100,000 by Andrew Breitbart for such proof.

Then to add more fuel to the fire the left has lit at its own feet, last week, the NAACP voted to smear the Tea Party, citing the discredited CBC allegations of racism as justification. Moreover, the First Lady, Michelle Obama, appeared at the NAACP's convention and gave a speech on the eve of the NAACP's well publicized vote. The First Lady did not join in the NAACP's slander, but she did not need to. She gave legitimacy and the blessing of the White House by appearing before the NAACP as their keynote speaker on the eve of their vote.

In the long term, the sum of all this spells doom for the far left. Their entire power base is centered on the twin pillars of maintaining victim classes and mining white guilt. But their device is laid bare and the guilt is dwindling to nothingness. It is happening before our eyes.

White support for Obama is melting away like a candle lit at both ends and in the middle. All of this despite the repeated use of the race card to delegitimize Obama's grass roots opposition. Ten years ago this ploy of the left would have worked. But despite the best efforts of today's MSM, it is sputtering and failing.

Today, with the race card no longer working for them as it has in the past, the left and their MSM cheerleaders are scared indeed. You can see it in the headlines. You can see it in the days events.

Just yesterday, the headline on Drudge was “Race Mess.” Articles are appearing among the MSM decrying the rise of “racial tension” in America and, in essence, telling Middle America to get back in line. Typical is the Reuters article of yesterday, "Race issues beset Obama's "post-racial" presidency.” The authors detail this new racial tension, then quote Paul Krugman and other similar left wing "experts" on the issues. Krugman, weighing in on the allegations of racially motivated unequal application of the laws, helpfully tells the reader that:

"When the right-wing noise machine starts promoting another alleged scandal, you shouldn't suspect that it's fake -- you should presume that it's fake, until further evidence becomes available," columnist Paul Krugman wrote in The New York Times.

And if that were insufficient, Reuters tries to shift part of the blame for this “racial tension” onto the right:

Both the right and left accuse each other of injecting race into the political discourse. Experts say that's inevitable given Obama's position as the first non-white U.S. president. Obama's father was Kenyan and his mother a white American.

That is pure bull of course. Nothing Middle America did over the past two years injected “race” into the political discourse. What racial tension there is today wholly derives from acts of the left and the left's increasingly shrill and desperate cries of racism. What is different now is that, for the first time, Middle America is pushing back.

Politico adds an additional spin to this story, attributing this new “racial tension” in America to Fox News and MSNBC:

The America of 2010 is dominated by racial images out of farce and parody, caricatures not seen since the glory days of Shaft. Fox News often stars a leather-clad New Black Panther, while MSNBC scours the tea party movement for racist elements, which one could probably find in any mass organization in America.

This is moral equivalency at its worst. The acts of Fox News are in no way equivalent to those of MSNBC. Fox News is reporting on a blatant violation of the voting rights act that there is strong reason to believe was dropped by the Dept. of Justice as part of a larger, unlawful and racially motivated refusal to enforce laws equally. That is an incredibly serious charge – and indeed, a violation of the oath of office of Obama, Eric Holder, and the other involved attorneys at DOJ. MSNBC, on the other hand, is looking for anything that it can use to delegitimze the Tea Party movement as a whole so that the left need not engage them in a contest of ideology and ideas. There is nothing even remotely moral or intellectually honest about what MSNBC is doing.

It is not only in the press that we see evidence of the seismic change in the landscape. Without doubt, the clearest evidence of that change is the utterly bizarre case of Shirley Sherrod, the Dept. of Agriculture employee fired after a video of a portion of her remarks at an NAACP meeting were posted online by Andrew Breitbart. In the video, Sherrod admits to an act of reverse racism, though she later goes on to say that through the incident she grew in office, that the world is not all about white versus black, but rich versus poor. The NAACP immediately denounced Sherrod and the Dept. of Agriculture immediately fired her, neither apparently realizing that her admission of an act of reverse racism was only part of the story. (That said, Sherrod since then has shown herself a race baiter of the highest order. See Rhymes With Right and Gay Patriot (H/T Instapundit))

When was the last time you saw a left wing organization not merely come down against one of its own for showing something akin to reverse racism, but doing so as a knee jerk reaction? Indeed, prior to Sherrod, such remarks were virtually always either studiously ignored or quickly forgiven by the left. Now it seems there is a new zero tolerance policy at the NAACP.

And when was the last time you saw the Obama administration act with such alacrity to punish an apparent act of reverse racism? Indeed, there are many in Obama's administration today who have a history of reverse racism. And do recall that it was only two years ago when Obama gave his speech on race, stating that he could "no more disown Rev. Wright" than he could disown his white grandmother. It would seem that some in his administration, if not Obama himself, may have recently experienced an epiphany.

I think it fair to assume that the NAACP's knee jerk reaction has its genesis in the push back that they are getting for their scurrilous decision to slime the Tea Party movement as racist. It is equally as reasonable to assume that the decision to fire Sherrod comes from an administration in panic over whites fleeing from support of the administration en masse, perhaps coupled with realization of the very real potential ramifications that the DOJ is picking and choosing which laws to prosecute on the basis of race. And I think it fair to assume the articles we are now seeing decrying “racial tension” in America are in surprise and horror that the race card is no longer working the way it has for the last half century.

The left has suddenly found that they are deeply overdrawn on the race card account. The race card has been a deeply divisive tactic used to distort our body politic for over four decades. The left has lived by the race card; it is fair to forecast that the far left as a serious movement will die by it. If I am right in my assessment, that process has started. When the process ends, it will mark a great advancement for our nation as a whole - and for minorities in particular.

Update: Today, Dem. Sen. Jim Webb, writing in the WSJ, crosses a bright line in American politics that, once, would have brought race cards flying at him at light speed. He calls for an end to most affirmative action programs - the golden goose at the center of the far left's power base. Moreover, he does so on the ground that the programs have stopped being remedial and are now a means to discriminate against white males.

Webb has picked a topic that has wide national support. Polls last year found that a significat majority of Americans support an end to affirmative action for all but the disabled. That support was extremely strong among Republicans and Independents, but only at 33% among Democrats.

But why now? Either Webb is a lone wolf in the Dem. Party on this matter, or he is part of a larger strategy to stem Obama's loss of support by throwing out a red herring to Middle America that the left has no intention of acting upon. To the contrary, the far left has been busy over the past eighteen months legislating ever more affirmative action type policies. Indeed, it is beyond any doubt that the far left, whose very existence is centered on special treatment of victim classes, would defend affirmative action with all the furor of the Nazis defending Berlin in the last days of WWII.

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WAKE UP said...

The spectacle of a President who is half-black/half white, but pretending to be wholly black, apart from being pathetic and unedifying, is not “post-racial”. Quite the opposite, in fact. This is actually the most racially-obsessed Administration I’ve ever seen.

WAKE UP said...

Guess who said this, in a speech at a public rally in Manhattan, about two weeks after the Kennedy assassination? :

“The American government is trying to trick her twenty-two million ex-slaves with false promises that she never intends to keep. The crooked politicians in government are working with the Negro civil rights leaders, but not to solve the race problem. The greedy politicians who run this government give lip-service to the civil rights struggle, only to further their own selfish interests, and their main interest as politicians is to stay in power. In this deceitful game of power politics, the Negroes are nothing but tools.”

...he also said, in the same speech:

“The only permanent solution to America’s race problem is the complete separation of these twenty-two million ex-slaves from our White Slavemaster, and the return of these ex-slaves to our own land, where we can then live in peace and security among our own people…”

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that those congressmen walked through the crowd twice. When nothing happened they used an underground passageway to get back to the office building so they could do the walk again. But the second time they walked as close as they could to the ropes in a transparent attempt to incite. I am so happy and pround no one took the bait. However I am not suprised at all that the Democrats stooped to lying about it.

OBloodyHell said...

> ...where we can then live in peace and security among our own people…

Oh, yeah, that's working out real well for Liberia, ain't it?

From the wiki:

A military-led coup in 1980 overthrew then-president William R. Tolbert, which marked the beginning of a period of instability that eventually led to two civil wars that left hundreds of thousands of people dead and devastated the country's economy. Today, Liberia is recovering from the lingering effects of the civil war and related economic dislocation. Statistics indicate that about 85% of the population live on less than $1.25 a day.

Sad, but it makes MX's statement out for the ludicrous assertion that it is.

Bonus Points: Anyone able to name the only sub-Saharan nation that has ever had any kind of long-term (>25 years) real stability and prosperity?