by Melissa Clouthier | July 22, 2010 7:26 am
Racism has been about this:
Mary Frances Berry Professor of American Social Thought and History, U. Penn. :
Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness.
Racism has been a tool to marginalize ideological opponents, foment discontent, and garner Democrat votes. And it works. Over and over, it works.
The notion that President Obama would create a post-racial presidency is laughable. He subtly manipulated racial insecurity throughout his campaign noting that he didn’t look like guys on your money. Yeah, he’s not what…a Founder? Oh, that’s right, he’s not white.
And so for all the hand wringing about the state of race, I’d just like to point out that living in perfect harmony would not serve the Left’s purpose.
Ben Smith, Journolist member, and writer for The Politico writes:
The election of Barack Obama, America’s first black president, was supposed to be a sign of our national maturity, a chance to transform the charged, stilted “national conversation” about race into a smarter and more authentic dialogue, led by a president who was also one of the nation’s subtlest thinkers and writers on the topic.
Instead, the conversation just got dumber.×
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The America of 2010 is dominated by racial images out of farce and parody, caricatures not seen since the glory days of Shaft. Fox News often stars a leather-clad New Black Panther, while MSNBC scours the tea party movement for racist elements, which one could probably find in any mass organization in America. Obama’s own, sole foray into the issue of race involved calling a police officer “stupid,” and regretting his own words. Conservative leaders and the NAACP, the venerable civil-rights group, recently engaged in a round of bitter name-calling that left both groups wounded and crying foul. Political correctness continues to reign in parts of the left, and now has a match in the belligerent grievance of conservatives demanding that hair-trigger allegations of racism be proven.
He’s concerned about the stupidity of the race conversation? That’s because the conversation is no longer about race, but power. Screeching “RACIST!” has been a knee-jerk tool to shut up the “other” and gain power. And it’s worked.
Please understand: I fully recognize that racism still exists. I’m under no illusions that America is a post-racial society.
My point is that yelling racist in recent years has not been about eliminating racism at all. It’s been, as Mary Francis Berry so aptly demonstrates, a tool to achieve power.
From over at Breitbart:
The fact is, those who capriciously take words out of context for political purposes were warned about “context” at the beginning of Breitbart’s Monday post, were never told that Ms. Sherrod caused harm to the farmers (except through Ms. Sherrod’s own words), and were even given the proper context:
In the first video, Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates against a white farmer. She describes how she is torn over how much she will choose to help him. And, she admits that she doesn’t do everything she can for him, because he is white. Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help. But she decides that he should get help from “one of his own kind”. She refers him to a white lawyer.
The problem for both the NAACP and the White House was that they took it out of context on their own and reacted as any victim of an Alinsky-style tactic might–by overreacting. However, in so doing, they also threw Shirley Sherrod under their bus. In other words, they got beaten at their own game, with their own bat, and they chose the politically expedient way out of it.
Racism is a nasty invective when misused. It has the power to even get a person wrongfully fired. It has the power to intimidate and abuse. It is a serious claim and shouldn’t be misused and abused the way it’s been used and abused.
America is not post-racial, in part, because race is a powerful tool. In fact, it’s a great tool to acquire power.
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