Moving beyond the mountaintop

Shannon Love:

Obama’s close association with Rev. Wright may have destroyed his political ambitions by undermining the perception that he is a new kind of African-American politician, who does not see white Americans as evil. It called into question the sincerity of his views about the majority of Americans and American institutions. How can he represent, protect and lead the white Americans that his long-time minister, confidant and mentor sees as evil people?Leftist African-Americans like Rev. Wright take it as axiomatic that they cannot trust white Americans due to their evil and corrupt nature. Yet they seem puzzled and angered that white Americans do not trust them in return.

Trust is a two-way street. To be trusted, one must give trust. Let us hope that one day, those on the Left learn that lesson.

I have often argued that it is a grave mistake, and one commonly made by conservatives who do not think deeply enough into the matter, to insist that white-black dialogue, sensibilities and even policies be mirror images of each other. This is urged only as the appropriate policymaking premise for “color-blindness,” but the appropriate standard for interpersonal relations. Thus certain whites pretend to be offended when black comedians imitate whites, or fume over black expressions of themselves as people who, surprise, insist that they experience a different cultural experience as Americans from that of typical whites.

This is simply a lack of sensitivity disguised as fairness. It is different when you are the majority. You can be teased. You can be the butt of jokes. It is not really offensive to be made fun of for being white, and the people pretending offense know this. This is a simplistic conception of how to react to the overplaying of the victimization card, and those who insist on it are not advancing either the discussion or the solution in any sense.

There is also a flip side to this argument, which is what Shannon is pointing out here. If blacks as a group, at this stage of the game, expect their group identity, their legitimate shared experiences and perceptions, and their interests to be taken seriously, they have got to stop playing the game she has described. Not because I say so, or she does, or a judge will, but because the majority will not have it. The concept that people are wicked for being who they are is not only ironic when applied by blacks, once considered by some satanic themselves simply because of their negritude. It is not only morally and logically unsupportable. It is a loser of an argument. Liberalism is premised largely on guilt; but that much guilt is not being distributed through the water supply.

There will be no political maturity, no Promised Land, until black leaders accept, teach and preach that Pharaoh and his minions are dead on the shore of the Red Sea, and that we are all here, on the other side, together.

Cross-posted on Likelihood of Success.

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