The “N-word” has rightly been banished from polite conversation (gansta rap falling outside the bounds of polite conversation), and with many states in a headlong rush to embrace gay marriage and the federal government refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage as between one man and one woman the term “homophobe” has faded into irrelevance.
With the U. S. military having abolished its antiquated “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy (an invention of the Clinton administration, by the way) and finally accepting women officially into combat positions, indeed, we can virtually safely say that we’re a certified non-sexist LGBT-friendly society.
Yet the sting of “racist” still persists, generally applied by a person of the left to a person of the right when the person of the left cannot conjure a coherent counter to an argument for smaller government, balancing the books, passing a budget, reducing the annual deficit or the national debt, or enforcing laws already on the books regarding, say, illegal immigration or voter identification.
Favor stiffer sentences for dealing crack cocaine? Why, that’s racist, because it would reputedly have a disparate impact on Americans of African origin. Want to enforce the laws against illegal immigration, as the States of Arizona and Alabama tried to do? Well, that’s racist too, because it would have a disparate impact on residents of Mexican origin.
How about closing some public schools in Chicago, which has lost nearly 100,000 students out of its former 300,000 student base and 100 or so schools sit empty or near to it? That’s also racist, because a majority of the schools no longer needed formerly served the children of African-Americans, some 200,000 of whom deserted the city between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
But the highest-handed race card is applied whenever anyone on the right dares to question the wisdom of any policy of the Obama administration, whether it’s pandering to the ayatollahs of Iran, showing more “flexibility” to Vladimir Putin’s Russia in arms talks, or spending the country into oblivion with annual trillion-dollar deficits. No rational person could oppose such policies on purely political or philosophical grounds, in the view of the left, so conservatives must a fortiori hate the President because he’s black.
Among the latest to make this hoary charge is New York Times Book Review Editor Sam Tanenhaus in his article for the February 10, 2013, New Republic, “Original Sin: Why the GOP is and Will Continue to be the Party of White People.” National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru and Jonah Goldberg do a thorough job of debunking Tanenhaus’s diatribe in “Sam’s Smear: Preposterous history from The New Republic” in the March 25, 2013 issue of their own magazine, but it remains worthwhile asking why people of the left are so quick to raise this smear against anyone who disagrees with their public policy views.
Is it because they so thoroughly embrace the tenets of consummate community organizer Saul Alinsky that they automatically apply his fifth and thirteenth rules, “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon” and “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it”? Is it because they really don’t think rationally themselves and have no other way of responding? It is because of their own self-assurance that they are so indisputably correct in their views that anyone who disagrees with them must be evil? Or is it because they project their own racist views on others?
Consider who it is, for example, who wishes to classify people by race and to allocate everything from corporate board seats to NFL head coaching positions to seats in Congress on the basis of “race.” Consider who it was who ran for a U. S. Senate seat on the claim that she was “Native American” based on her high cheekbones and family folklore.
And consider still how hard it is even to determine what “race” someone is when young people today seem neither to notice nor care about the color of the skin or the height of the cheekbones of the beaus they date, marry, and have children with (not necessarily in that order), and scientists cannot even agree on what race means.
I had lunch recently with a friend of mine, a Democrat, a judge, and an Obama supporter. “The President isn’t black,” he claimed. “He was born of a white mother and raised by white grand-parents. You can’t say this but I can, because I’m a liberal: he’s an Oreo – black on the outside and white on the inside.”
If race still matters – and it shouldn’t – then it is not conservatives who are racist.