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Here We Go Again: The Ginned Up Race War of 2012 (Bucket suggested)
ColorLines ^ | May 29, 2012 | Sally Kohn

Posted on 05/29/2012 8:02:13 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

“The secret of Republican political success since the rise of the right is not, as many liberals believe, that they play no-rules hardball. Instead, it’s their skill at projection—at accusing Democrats of doing what they are doing themselves, or are planning to do, or have done.” —Michael Tomasky, Daily Beast

Nothing stirs up white racial anxiety in an election year like a black-against-white race war. Never mind the fact that there isn’t one. When has that ever stopped the inventive right wing?

Those of us living in the world of objective facts and reality might be mistaken for thinking that the United States remains an at best well-intentioned, but nonetheless deeply hostile nation toward its communities of color. In New York City, reports have shown that in 2011, police conducted 685,724 street stop and frisks (up from 97,000 in 2002). Young black and Latino men between the ages of 14 and 24 accounted for 41.6 percent of those stopped—although they are only 4.7 percent of the city’s population. In Missouri, a black man named George Allen has been in prison for almost 30 years for allegedly murdering a white woman, a crime that mounting evidence suggests Allen did not commit. Last month, a black woman named Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a single warning shot into the kitchen ceiling of her home to warn off her abusive husband and protect her three children.

But according to conservative media, exactly the opposite is occurring. Conservatives allege there is a growing but underreported black-versus-white race war in America.

There’s no data, of course, just some strung together anecdotes—namely, one about two white newspaper reporters who, while driving through Norfolk, Va., were attacked by a group of young black kids. The media didn’t pounce on the story—even the reporters’ own newspaper, the Virginian-Pilot, only mentioned the incident in an opinion piece two weeks later.

Conservatives, who actually love to talk about race and racism when they can do so with their fingers pointing at people of color and liberals, pounced on the story as evidence of media bias. The lamestream media was all over the Travyon Martin story but ignored the beating of whites by black kids. That, conservatives screamed, is racial bias.

Mind you, the two reporters in the Virginia incident weren’t hospitalized for their injuries, let alone killed. Local police moved quickly to investigate and three days after the incident was first reported by the paper, police arrested one teen, charging him with throwing a rock at the reporters’ car (a felony) as well as related misdemeanors. By comparison, George Zimmerman wasn’t arrested until almost two months after he shot Trayvon Martin, and only then as a result of community pressure. Only those desperate to distract from productive conversations about racial bias and injustice and return American attention to reinforcing racial stereotypes and hierarchies could manage to find anything comparable between the Trayvon Martin case and the Virginia incident.

Even most white conservatives know better than to use the term “race war” to describe this concocted, black-against-white threat. Fortunately, conservatives have Thomas Sowell. In a widely circulated, syndicated column for the National Review entitled “The Censored Race War,” the black conservative wrote:

What the authorities and the media seem determined to suppress is that the hoodlum elements in many ghettoes launch coordinated attacks on whites in public places. If there is anything worse than a one-sided race war, it is a two-sided race war, especially when one of the races outnumbers the other several times over.

Sowell is either intentionally feeding the idea that blacks like himself are more dangerous and violent than whites or unwittingly providing cover for those who seek to do so.

The root of inequality is the simple but sinister idea that some people are inherently inferior to others. I’ll give Sowell and other conservative media figureheads the benefit of the doubt that they do not personally believe young black men are inherently more dangerous and violent, but that’s all the more reason not to play into such biases and fan the flames of white racial anxiety. Sowell and others should understand that, in America today, this is how racism operates—not primarily through explicit epithets and force but through subtle winks and nods to the prejudices on which our society remains built.

The Virginia case specifically and the manufactured race war in general conveniently feed a larger conservative narrative this election year—reminding white America of how dangerous and scary black men are and how white people, especially white men, are the victims. Despite the fact that, yes, a lot of white folks voted for President Obama in 2008, most didn’t and according to a post-election study by a researcher at Harvard, racial animus cost Obama anywhere from three to five percentage points in the 2008 popular vote. In what is shaping up to a be a tight re-election battle, a few percentage points can really matter.

In addition, the 2012 election will likely be less about independent voters (who polls indicate may split fairly evenly between Romney and Obama) than about voter turnout in each party’s base. Republicans know they have an enthusiasm gap—even now that the primaries are over, Republicans say the main reason they support Romney simply because he’s “not Obama.” Yet in 2008 exit polling, 24 percent of American voters said they were “scared” by the prospect of Barack Obama being elected president. Of those, 95 percent voted Republican. Gin up fear, win the election.

I’m not saying racial animus is the only way to stoke white conservative fear in an election. But it’s sure a popular choice, one we have already seen that Republican Super PACs are pursuing. And we can see this at play in other campaigns too, including the fact that Scott Brown has tried far harder to portray Elizabeth Warren as a person of color than she ever did herself, desperately hoping to increase his own margin of the racial animus vote.

Things really are bad for most white men in America today, just like they are for the rest of us. Jobs are disappearing and so are the public benefits that have traditionally supported them in times of need. And if the present seems bad, the future seems even worse, as public schools implode and college tuition gets further out of reach. Anger is a powerful motivator.

Republicans can’t risk white voters realizing that conservative policies have caused their suffering. And though President Obama’s own record isn’t strong, for the majority of voters middle class tax cuts, affordable health care and fairly centrist policies from education reform to the military aren’t exactly the stuff of fire and brimstone. But the president is black. I’m not arguing that conservatives are attacking the president only because of his race, but they are certainly guilty of tapping into and fanning racial resentment to ignite their critiques. In that sense, sadly, by inventing a fake black-versus-white race war, conservatives are reinforcing and exploiting the divisive white-versus-black racial dynamics in America that they should be instead helping to fix.


Sally Kohn is a regular contributor to She is a progressive activist, writer and Fox News contributor. You can find her online at or on Twitter @sallykohn.

TOPICS: Conspiracy; Government; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: georgezimmerman; racewar; thomassowell; trayvon; trayvonmartin; zimmerman
No mention, of course, of the Mobile, Alabama incident or any number of others.
1 posted on 05/29/2012 8:02:18 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Just another angry liberal lesbian.

2 posted on 05/29/2012 8:08:22 PM PDT by WILLIALAL
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Of course not, they live in either an alternate universe or simply think it’s O.K. that whites get murdered, raped, mugged and carjacked by blacks. After all, weren’t these “poor” people enslaved?

3 posted on 05/29/2012 8:11:59 PM PDT by Amberdawn
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“the United States remains an at best well-intentioned, but nonetheless deeply hostile nation toward its communities of color”

These people are stupefyingly stupid. You can’t be well-intentioned and deeply hostile towards something at the same time, that’s just not possible.

4 posted on 05/29/2012 8:16:13 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Just wait until this Summer.

5 posted on 05/29/2012 8:21:39 PM PDT by TheRhinelander
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It seems Scott Brown is showing Elizabeth Warren as an Affirmative Action fraudster, there’s no racism in that. Affirmative Action = state sponsored anti-white male racism. For racism look to the FBI, whose stats show racial violence is mainly black on white and not the other way around.

6 posted on 05/29/2012 8:26:11 PM PDT by wrencher
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Of course . . . For the past fifty years Progressives have had to gin up a race war in order to even contend in elections.

7 posted on 05/29/2012 8:29:30 PM PDT by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Well, I sent HER a piece of my mind. Let’s see if it gets published. Probably not.

8 posted on 05/29/2012 8:30:58 PM PDT by Amberdawn
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What is also not mentioned are two devastating truths:

1) While blacks monolithically support Obama politically, they are far less unified over his agenda, and not unified at all about the radicalism of his cronies or their desire for race and class warfare.

2) Those that do support riot and violence are pretty much contained in these efforts to their own neighborhoods, and their non-black neighbors are intensely aware of this, and in no mood to become the victims of riot, arson, violence and looting.

Though the administration might support their actions by omission, state and local governments and the rest of the public are more than willing to put down such rioters like rabid dogs.

So the bottom line is while the racial agitators want to keep blacks feeling victimized and oppressed, they are doing so just to maintain their own power and wealth, especially the large subsidies from guilty white liberals and supporters of chaos, despair and national ruin like George Soros and The Tides Foundation.

9 posted on 05/29/2012 8:34:50 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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Kohn met her partner, Sarah Hansen, at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2003. Hansen works as an activist and consultant, and is the former Executive Director of the Environmental Grantmakers Association. They have a 3 year old daughter, Willa Eliza Hansen-Kohn.

Sarah currently serves as program advisor to the Elias Foundation in Westchester County, N.Y., which seeks to promote a more equitable society by supporting community organizing. She also leads an initiative at the Ford Foundation to increase the impact of social justice community philanthropy.

10 posted on 05/29/2012 8:34:54 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Sally Kohn is a community organizer turned political commentator. Currently, Sally is a Fox News Contributor, having previously appeared on CNN and MSNBC. A contributing writer to the American Prospect, Sally’s op-eds and essays have appeared in the Washington Post, USA Today, Time Magazine, US News and World Report, Politico, Reuters and the Guardian among other outlets. Sally also works as a grassroots strategist and consultant, actively engaged in movement building for equality and justice.

11 posted on 05/29/2012 8:44:54 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I am so sick and tired of hearing about race and I am especially tired of hearing about how racist conservatives are. The only people who I hear bringing it up are “progressives”. They are obsessed with race. I honestly don’t know what they would do if everyone woke up one morning the same color. They would be devastated. To place so much attention on an accidental and nonessential characteristic such as genetic heritage is utter irrationality. This whole obsession with ethnicity and skin color is a crystal clear window on the basic philosophical principles of “progressive”. When someone starts complaining about racism that is it for me. I want nothing to do with them not because of their genes but because they are irrational. These people who obsess over skin color want to take us all back a millennium to a tribal existence.

12 posted on 05/29/2012 10:29:23 PM PDT by albionin (A gawn fit's eye gettin.)
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To: kcvl

FOX is UNWATACHABLE when Sally is on.......I turn the channel.

13 posted on 05/30/2012 1:30:02 AM PDT by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

There’s no data, of course, just some strung together anecdotes

This as she started her “writing” with anecdotes trying to support the opposite is happening.

14 posted on 05/30/2012 3:27:39 AM PDT by pas
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To: pas

Instead, it’s their skill at projection—at accusing Democrats of doing what they are doing themselves, or are planning to do, or have done.”


She has it nailed. ONLY BACKWARDS.

What a tool.

15 posted on 05/30/2012 3:51:15 AM PDT by Venturer
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