Wednesday, December 15, 2010


""The truth is that there was very little that was subconscious about the G.O.P.'s relentless appeal to racist whites."

Racist Democrat poster
When anyone criticized, questioned, or disagreed with President Obama even as early as this spring, someone would always leap up and cry racism. Just one of thousands of examples is Maureen Dowd's typically juvenile New York Times column on congressman Joe Wilson's undignified "You lie!" cry during the president's State of the Union speech. To be sure, the president was lying but that was inappropriate and disrespectful. But that wasn't Dowd's concern, no she knew there was a secret truth behind it that leftists always could discern:
But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!
Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.
Because there's no chance he actually was lying, it had to be rank bigotry and hatred of a black president that drove any disagreement or criticism. Well times have changed. Now its the Democrats who are yelling at the president.

A Democrat recently was quoted (anonymously) as growling "F*** the president" and plenty on the left are at least as critical of him as those on the right have always been. They seem to be waking up to the fact that he's just not a very good president and is kind of a jerk on top of it all.

At the Washingon Examiner, Noie Emery writes:
It was fun while it lasted, but now that those on the left are also mad at Obama on matters of policy, it is becoming more and more obvious that the attempt of the left to describe opposition as rooted in bias was a self-serving fraud all along.
And that's mostly true, but not entirely. The left will never be declared to be racist because they disagree with President Obama even if they use exactly the same (or worse) language about exactly the same policies and events as the right - who will be condemned.

The truth is, the left considers its self beyond racism, and presumes that this is never, ever a trait that they can be criticized for; the left believes it cannot be racist because they are enlightened. Conversely, the left believes that the right is almost always racist, because they are unenlightened and disagree with leftist policy and ideals.

But it goes deeper than that. Conservatism has, all to successfully, been painted as innately racist and bigoted, as a platform of klansmen and hate-filled thugs who despise everyone but white Anglo Saxon protestants. This isn't just based on a smear campaign, many on the right really and truly believe it to be true. They think words like "limited government" and "tax cuts" are secret code for racism, a wink to bigots and (especially southern) voters that they're all in on the white supremacy thing.

I'll use a 2007 New York Times article by Bob Herbert who in a 2007 to explain how this works. Herbert quoted from a book in which Lee Atwater allegedly said:
You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."
Atwater is talking about political enemies here - conservatives - who as a mainline establishment conservative he greatly dislikes. Lee Atwater opposed Reagans wildly successful economic policies, he disliked the concept of small government and fiscal conservatism. He was George Bush the elder's campaign manager, and like Bush was much more moderate. Atwater's advice to Bush was to pretend to be Reagan II to win and then govern to the middle like he always wanted.

So when Lee Atwater tries to characterize fiscal conservatism as harmful to blacks and based in racism, this isn't the inside secret voice of a right winger Reaganite whispering insider information. Its the voice of an upset RINO smearing his political enemies in the party. But that's all it took for the left to be convinced that conservatism was a sort of "dog whistle" to racists:
Dog-Whistle Racism is political campaigning or policy-making that uses coded words and themes to appeal to conscious or subconscious racist concepts and frames. For example, the concepts ‘welfare queen,’ ’states’ rights,’ ‘Islamic terrorist,’ ‘uppity,’ 'thug,' 'tough on crime,' and ‘illegal alien’ all activate racist concepts that that have already been planted in the public consciousness and now are being activated by purposeful or accidental campaign activities, media coverage, public policy and cultural traditions. So, what’s dog whistle racism? It’s pure political theater to push buttons to win elections and policies.
Herbert's article alleges that since racially awful things happened in Philadelphia Mississippi and Reagan started his campaign there, then Reagan was "vile" and appealing to southern racism. If a Democrat had done so, he likely would have been lauded by the same man as racially healing and appealing to the thousands of black residents there. Why? Because leftists are never racist, but the right - especially conservatives - secretly are.

The idea that conservatives hold these positions because they believe they are better, more constructive, closer to the original ideals of the Founding Fathers, and more proper is dismissed by some on the left. Its a secret racist plot to hurt blacks and gain power, they say. When you say "cut spending" you actually mean "keep the black man down"; when you say "cut taxes" you actually mean "vote for me, fellow bigot, I hate the voting rights act, too."

This sort of calumny - the presumption of evil in someone else - is common in politics, but it has been crafted to a stunningly effective art form by the left. Blacks have been convinced for decades that Republicans and particularly conservatives hate them and want to hurt them. The Democratic Party has lied its way into a 90% average support level with blacks for decades and there's no signs of it changing.

Even more frustrating, that narrative has clung to the American left, and they've exported it so forcefully that nations far more racist than the US consider America a hotbed of racial hatred which they are so free of.

So when Democrats attack president Obama as viciously as they did Bush, Reagan, and all other Republicans for over a century, don't expect anyone to call them racist for it. The racist charge almost never had the slightest thing to do with criticism of Obama to begin with. When it wasn't just calculated political manipulation it was calumny. And you don't do that with allies.

1 comment:

eric said...

Last year around Christmas-time there was a store in a very hispanic part of Oklahoma City where you could get really cool and high quality leather products dirt cheap... gun cases, shaving wallets, carry-all bags, women's purses...etc, all about half the price you would find them anywhere else. I found out about this place online, checked it out, bought a few things for my wife and for my dad for Christmas.

Later, I was telling a friend about it. This friend is a rural blue-collar redneck type, very conservative, very Southern Baptist. He wanted to get a nice leather carrier for his deer rifle. I told him where this place was, and his words were something akin to, "I can't believe you are gonna send me to the damn Barrio to trade with a bunch of tortilla-eating wetbacks. They'll probably make me pony up 100 pesos before they'll speak to me in English."
I grimaced a little, told him that was the price of getting a good deal on a leather gun case, and went on about my day. That weekend he called me and told me he'd gone there and found the perfect gun case at a great price.

Later, I was talking to one of my cousins who is very liberal and always carefully politically correct. He was talking about wanting to get his dad, who travels a lot for business, a nice dop kit for his suitcase. I remebered seeing a kit just like he described at this leather store, for like $15, so I told him about the place, and where it was located. His words: "Wow... That part of town is pretty... uh... hispanic... isn't it? I don't know if I'd feel comfortable walking around down there."
I grimaced a little and told him that was the price of getting a good deal on a dop kit and went on about my day. He got his dad a $60 Made In China dop kit from the mall.

Last week I was in OKC and thought I'd drop by that store and do some Christmas shopping. No longer in business. I bet the histpanic store owner would have been happy to have a few more conservative redneck racists around, and a few less racially sensitive liberals.