Monday, July 29, 2013

Has President Obama Deepened The Racial Divide In America?

Rob Miller at the Watcher's Council invited me to contribute to the Council's discussion on the question of whether "President Obama has deepened the racial divide." My response is below:

Historically, nothing has more poisoned our society than racism and the "racial divide" caused thereby. Today, half the equation - white racism - no longer prevails in society. But the "racial divide" is still deep. It is a divide carefully tended by the far left. For some of the blacks who have bought into it, there is money and power. There are the race baiters like Al Sharpton and Jessee Jackson. There are the tenured professorships at every university in ethnic studies programs that teach nothing but racial grievance. And there are the far left politician, every one of them of whatever color, including President Obama. They depend on keeping that racial divide wide since it is, for them, not merely a route to political power, but a foundational element of it.

Blacks, starting with Goldwater's incredibly ill advised opposition to the Civil Rights Act, have been convinced that their interests lay with the left. And blacks have ever since proven to be a monolithic voting block like none ever before seen in our nation. Over 90% of every black vote since the mid-60's has gone for Democrats. If the left ever loses that block of votes, they will be in deep, deep electoral trouble.

So is it any surprise at all that President Obama has tried to poison the well of race relations at every turn? No administration in history has ever played the race card like the Obama administration. Want to prevent voter fraud - you're racist. Oppose Obama's spending - you're a neo-confederate "tea bagger." Oppose Obamacare - you might as well be standing next to Bull Connor in Selma setting the dogs loose on MLK.

When Obama had a chance to actually address the problems in the black community a few days ago, he told us that Trayvon Martin was Baracky Jr. He told us how bad it was, based on his personal experience, to be a black man in America and be 'profiled' because of his skin color. Lest there be any question that he was saying that racism - as opposed to rationality about black violence and criminality - was the cause, Obama expounded further. As to dysfunction in the black community - the violence, single mothers, cyclical poverty, substandard education - Obama told us that those things must be put in "historical context."

There is no question that, in the short run, Obama has worsened race relations in our nation. But I would submit that, in the end, the efforts of him and his administration is only adding straws to a proverbial camel's back. At some point, it will break - to the immense benefit of our nation and the black community in particular. It has to because all the imperatives that gave rise to the black Civil Rights movement have flipped.

In the 1960's, blacks were the subject of white racism. In 2013, racism has been wholly driven from mainstream society. Our society has revolutionized, and done so in only three generations, like no other in recorded history. To the extent racism exists today, it is on the margins. When you see a woman at one of race hustler Al Sharpton's rallies hold up a sign that says "Racism's stll alive. They Just Be Hiding It," that tells you all you need to know about the absence of racism in mainstream society.

Two, the moral high ground no longer rests with blacks. The most significant problems besetting black society - criminality, violence, breakdown of the family with three out of every four black children born to single mothers - those are problems internal to black society. They are not caused by white racism. Moreover, to the extent that the government contributes to the problems of the black community, it is ultimately because, one, addressing the problems of black society honestly would break the monolithic voting block on which the left relies, and in the case of education, would mean taking on teachers unions that provide the single greatest source of funding for the Democrats. That still, today, so many blacks refuse to acknowledge this is surreal. The real travesty of all this is that Republicans, despite the urging of such luminaries as Thomas Sowell, have not made any concerted effort to point out these truths to the black community and seek their votes.

Lastly, since whites make up the majority of society, the success of the racial grievance industry ultimately rests on the existence of white guilt. But with racism no longer endemic to society, white guilt is fast fading. The race card is becoming ever less effective, and at some point, the constant claim that anything the left doesn't like is motivated by conservative's racism is not merely going to be ineffective, it is going to engender outright anger.

We are inexorably moving to the day when blacks stop their monolithic support of the far left. That will mean that they have joined American society and are no longer claiming to be perpetual victims of it. It will be the day the racial divide ends - and President Obama, with his administration's overuse of the race card, will have, wholly unintentionally, done his part to end it.


billm99uk said...

And blacks have ever since proven to be a monolithic voting block like none ever before seen in our nation. Over 90% of every black vote since the mid-60's has gone for Democrats.

It's similar to the way the white working class in Britain voted for Labour in the pre-Thatcher era. If you considered yourself working class (as my family did), you voted Labour and that was that. When my Uncle joined the Conservative Party immediately post-WWII (after being de-mobbed from the Royal Navy), he wasn't spoken to by his elder brothers for thirty years. That didn't change until Margaret Thatcher came along in the late seventies. Because she wasn't drawn from the upper classes and projected an aspirational message for all sectors of society, she was able to draw support from the English working classes as well as traditional Tory voters.
So I guess what I'm saying is the Republicans need an American Thatcher-figure ;)

GW said...

Fascinating. Actually, my immediate family is conservative, my extended family is not. We get along well, however, mostly because we studiously avoid politics. Or to be more precise, their idiotic political beliefs.

As to needing a Thacher, we have plenty of people on the right who are self made and, in a rational society, would appeal to both left and right. But the politics of demonization today are simply unreal. Our entire media is essentially The Guardian writ large.