I ride to work with a young liberal co-worker. Hes pretty moderate. Today he put his radio on a liberal talk show. I dont know who they were. There were three black commentators and they were making the argument President Carter made, people are giving Obama such a hard time because we cant accept he is black. Joe Wilson called him a liar because he is a racist southerner and Obama is black. Bringing down Van Jones had nothing to do with him being an openly admitted communist, it was because he was black. It boiled my blood, but also steamed my liberal friend. He yelled back at the radio, bull crap!
We took the conversation to another co-worker, a black liberal. He also thinks everyone is a racist and Obama is being treated badly because he is black. He carries a grudge because his ancestors were slaves. I told him race relations will never progress if the black community cant not get past this, and the race card argument is a cop-out argument people fall back on when they cant put forward valid facts against their critics. He got pretty passionate, but later he came and admitted that I was right.
[I]f everybody’s racist, is anyone?
The word is being sprayed in all directions, creating a hall of mirrors that is draining the scarlet R of its meaning and its power, turning it into more of a spitball than a stigma.
“It gets to the point where we don’t have a word that we use to call people racist who actually are,” said John McWhorter, who studies race and language at the conservative Manhattan Institute…
[It’s] an easy charge to make against the rare individual carrying an “Obamacare” sign depicting the president as an African witch doctor with a bone through his nose. But it’s almost impossible to prove — or refute — assertions that bias, and not raw politics, fuels opposition to Obama.
“You have to be very careful about going down that road. You’ve cried wolf,” said Sean Wilentz, a Princeton University professor who studies U.S. political and social history.
Ric Locke explains very well the problem with the race card being thrown around too often and loosely.
The accusation “Racist!” has for a long time been the nuclear weapon of American political rhetoric. Using it — especially when it had some tenuous connection to reality, as happened more often than not — had a strong tendency to shut down the conversation in favor of the one hurling the epithet, and when it didn’t shut the target up it did prejudice the audience in favor of the one issuing it. Unfortunately too many people have noted that effect and attempted to take advantage of it, with the result that the connection between the real racism (that does, in fact, continue to exist) and the charge becomes more and more tenuous.
Now, of course, we are advised that any least contradiction of the programs, proposals, and policies of the Obama Administration is and can only be “Racist!” This is fatuous in the extreme. Denying that a racist component exists would be equally fatuous, but (for instance) a charge of “Racist!” against the “stimulus” falls flat, especially from someone who loudly criticized the Bush Administration for deficit-financing the Iraq Adventure. Dissent is either sedition or “the highest form of patriotism”; it cannot be both, and it is not and cannot be the one for one political ideology and the other for another, different ideal.
Repeated charges of “Racist!” when the racial component is trivial or nonexistent do not convert the target, they convert the charge, which becomes itself trivial or lacking in substantive meaning. The stage is thus set for “racist” to become the new “redneck”, adopted by people who may or may not be substantively racist, but disagree with Democratic Party proposals on grounds widely divergent from race. Real racists — who do exist; never doubt it or minimize the problem — will then use the defanged term as cover, and the people who suffer from unfair discrimination based on race — there are a lot of them; never doubt or minimize that, either — will lose a valuable weapon in the dispute.
Charles Krauthammer explains in similar tones the same basic argument.
The false charge of racism wont change that reality, but it may well, if pursued, turn legislative defeats into political catastrophes for a generation. How strange that with large majorities in the House and Senate, with a president who just months ago enjoyed 70 percent approval ratings, and with a compliant and influential press, the Democratic party cannot pass its own legislation and instead is detouring to label most middle-class voters of all beliefs racists. It is as if a group of political advisers got together and brainstormed how in theory to ruin the best liberal landscape in generations.