Joe Wilson’s rude outburst gave ammunition to the race-baiters–well, it actually didn’t, but that didn’t stop the race-baiters from playing the race card, injecting a racial tone into the whole conversation. It’s despicable; it’s unAmerican; it’s godless. But there were some of the usual hacks:
– Jimmy Carter–the little president who cried “race”–is either a liar or a loon (here’s the video). I’m honestly not sure which; he may be getting senile, I don’t know, and I’m honestly not trying to be mean–but when one says what Mr. Carter has, he’s either just lying through his teeth, or he’s just losing his mind. How else can one read his inane comments?
– Maureen Dowd, who’s never been too worried about accuracy or fairness; she hears “an unspoken word in the air: ‘You lie, boy‘”. Well, hmmm, Ms. Dowd, wonder why you hear it? Maybe it’s what you’re listening for? Maybe you’ve got those ears trained to detect what isn’t there, because you’ve been schooled well in playing that race card every time things get a little hot for your leftist of choice, if he happens to be black? Thank you, by the way, for mentioning that “no Democrat ever shouted ‘liar’ at W.”, a fact as irrelevant as it is misleading (“lying with the truth”, is what I’m coming to call it); it may be technically true, of course, but to paint a picture of Democrats being genteel and warm toward the ex-Prez is, as we all know, total malarkey.
Funny: when I think of liberals, I’m reminded of a rude/hilarious remark by Jack Nicholson in As Good as it Gets: remember the scene on the elevator with the lady who compliments Nicholson’s gruff, insufferably rude character on his abilities? “How do you write women so well”, she asks (and I paraphrase). “Well”, Nicholson says, “when I want to think of a woman, I think of a man, and then subtract reason and accountability”. OK, it’s crude and unfair, and my female readers probably hate me for referencing it–but you gotta admit, it’s a funny line. My point is that it must be nice to be a liberal and not have to really concern oneself with things like factuality and consistency.
– Certain U.S representatives who follow right along, all too eager to make political hay by making ugly allegations, despite a dearth of evidence.
And so a few thoughts:
1. Racism is an ugly, egregious, godless evil. It is inexcusable, a remnant of our fallen nature. Any civilized society must continue to work until racism is shamed out of existence.
2. Racism is practiced by people of all colors, ethnicities, and political sensibilities. White conservatives do not have a corner on the racism market. Yes, it is racist to take the color of an individual into account when voting. It is racist to vote against a black man (or woman) just because of the color of the person’s skin. It is also racist to vote for a black candidate simply because of the color of that person’s skin. Those of us with half a brain know that there were people on both sides of the coin in the last election, people who voted against President Obama because he was black, and others who voted for him because he was black. Both are wrong, any way you slice it.
How come folks in the latter camp get away with their racism?
3. Racism is still alive in America. Anyone who suggests otherwise is, of course, out to lunch. There are nutjobs among the Teaparty movement, racists who make graphic, inappropriate signage. There are nutjobs among the liberal elite as well, less likely to espouse in-your-face bigotry, but more likely to espouse “the soft bigotry of low expectations”. When we fail to hold people to equal account despite skin color, and the basis for our failure is skin color, we engage in that “soft bigotry”.
4. We have made great strides in this country in the area of racism in the last 50 years. If you don’t understand or agree with that, please stop reading this post and learn some history.
Nothing else I say will matter to you until you do, and nothing has already, probably.
5. The Jimmy Carters, Jeanine Garofalos, and Maureen Dowds of the world set back racial progress every time they turn an event like the Joe Wilson comment into a racial thing. There is enough real racism that we ought to continue to combat that to find it where it is not there is the equivalent of the little boy who cried wolf. One is tempted to draw the obvious conclusion: when you’re losing the argument, attack the opposition. The liberal argument is being lost–as it is every time it finds itself exposed to the light of day and seen for what it is. And so you’ve got these simpletons whipping out the race card and playing it. How will we know when we’ve put racism to bed once and for all? I doubt we’ll ever fully do that, of course, but it’ll be a good sign when no longer do the Carters and their ilk pull out that card and play it at every opportunity.
6 (and final). Political dissent does not prove racism. It doesn’t even suggest racism. It doesn’t have anything whatsoever to do with racism (at least by its simple existence). I opposed most of Mr. Carter’s policies, Mr. Clinton’s policies, and frankly, a good deal of W.’s policies (particularly the longer he stayed in office). I suppose I was racist against these guys? Right. Where y’all getting the really good stuff? ‘Cause you’re sure smoking it…
Look, Barack Obama proved an extraordinary candidate and swept into office; though I don’t like his policies, he’s a great politician who made it to the top, regardless of color. Now that he’s there, he must be held to account for what he does. To do otherwise, just because he’s black (half-black/half-white, actually, but that’s irrelevant, of course), is to engage in that soft bigotry, and that’s every bit as bad–and more insidious–than the clowns in the white robes. Do we believe that people are “created equal”? Either we do, or we don’t. I do.
I’m not convinced that Mr. Carter really does.