Skip to comments.The Great Lie of Racism
Posted on 09/04/2012 4:24:17 AM PDT by expat1000
Once upon a time racism used to be relatively easy to pin down. It was segregated lunch counters and slave ships, it was nooses and chains, it was the legal oppression of a group of people on account of the color of their skin. Then racism stopped being a set of laws and became an abstraction, first a set of attitudes and then a set of attitudes implying another set of attitudes.
Racism changed from laws that deliberately discriminate against black people to policies that serve to disadvantage black people, whether or not that is their intent. In 1971, 17 years after its landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling, the Supreme Court decided that schools shouldn't just not be forcibly segregated, but that they could be forcibly desegregated with the use of busing, even if there was no actual intent to segregate and where the racial differences were the result of geography. That same year in Griggs v. Duke Power Co., the Court ruled that a high school diploma job requirement was racially discriminatory because fewer black people possessed them.
From an attempt to overturn racist laws, the war on racism had shifted to forcibly legislating big government's idea of racial equality. The goal was no longer removing inequality, but artificially creating a desired statistical outcome.
In 1965, LBJ introduced Affirmative Action as the "next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights". The new goal was "not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result." And manufacturing equality first required manufacturing inequality to achieve a perfect balance. Equal opportunity in the free market was traded for an equal result in a planned racial economy. And it worked about as well as all planned economies do.
In the process, racism was conflated with socialism. Principled civil rights objections to government laws were the new racism. Obstructing the unlimited power of the Federal government had become the equivalent of bigotry. To truly support racial equality, one had to support racial inequality and to show one's opposition to past government racial laws, one had to support the new government racial laws meant to redress those laws... even 60 years later.
Racism had not only become an abstraction, it had become the abstraction of an abstraction, transcending race to fuse with attitudes toward government power returning to the old Civil War Republican formula of Federalism as anti-racism and States' Rights as racism. 150 years after the Civil War, federalism as anti-racism is a false formula imposed on a debate going back to the Washington Administration about where the center of political power should rest.
That formula is the one still being used to tar Republicans, who invented the formula of Federalism as Anti-Racism. In 1872, Thomas Nash was smearing abolitionist Horace Greeley as a racist for resisting Grant's Republican Federalism. In 2012, Nast's even nastier ideological descendants are treating any challenge to unlimited Federal power from Republicans as a cross burning on the White House lawn. If Nash was at least operating within a historical framework where Federal power was used to restrain racial violence, 140 years later those same attacks are the clothes of power worn over the frame of a naked cynicism.
Obama is neither Grant nor Eisenhower. When he wields unlimited power, race is only there to disguise the power of the naked emperor and his naked empire. Throughout the 20th Century, Democrats searched around for a compelling justification for seizing and wielding unlimited power the way that their Republican predecessors had.
President Wilson did it in the name of a global crusade, imprisoning critics of his intervention in World War I. FDR did it in the name of an economic crisis and the underclass, even as he put his boot on small business and targeted Jewish and Italian immigrants for raids and show trials for economic crimes. But his Democratic successors zeroed in on race and made it their own, abusing power in the name of combating racism.
Like Wilson, Obama abuses power in the name of wartime contingencies. Like FDR, he abuses power to combat an economic crisis. But mostly he uses the same excuse that his white predecessors used. Race.
Racism is no longer about race. Not when Bill Clinton was the first black president and Allen West is a racist for bringing fried chicken to a Congressional Black Caucus meeting. Liberalism is the new race, and it is a category that transcends and encompasses race. Liberalism defines race, allowing white liberals to be defined as black and black conservatives to be defined as white.
The race in racism is nothing but a symbol now, but since most people still assume that racism means hating black people, rather than questioning government power, it helps to have a half-black man around as a symbol of why abuses of government power are justified for the greater good of race relations.
Most people, black and white, don't understand the switch that has been pulled on them or that the racism being talked about is not the kind that involves a white man hitting a black man, but a debate over unlimited political power between two political parties, both of whom have at one time eroded the "States" part and emphasized the "United" part with a variety of justifications, among them that of treating black people as wards of the Federal government.
Racism accusations are delivered by white people speaking on behalf of black people and black people speaking on behalf of white people for an agenda that is not about race, but about power and wealth. These accusations have become increasingly ludicrous as they have become disconnected from actual racism and even from race.
On MSNBC, Lawrence O'Donnell insisted that "golfer" is a racial stereotype and Chris Matthews dubbed "Chicago" a racial codeword. Besides the obvious display of hackery, the search for codewords is a sign of how abstract racism has become. Racism is no longer a slur or a stereotype of a black man, but a criticism directed at a Democrat who happens to be black.
The decline of racism and the unholy union of race and government has turned it into a wholly abstract thing that may still be nourished by fond memories of civil rights marches and opposition to the DAR, but actually means nothing at all. The language of racism no longer has a coherent grammar. Racial accusations are everywhere, but they no longer mean anything because they have lost even their most tenuous connections to race.
Say any word often enough and it begins to lose its meaning, look at it long enough and it begins to look misspelled. In a world where "Chicago golfer" is a racial slur and a racial slur is in one of the country's bestselling songs, racial slurs no longer mean what they used to. The national grammar of race has shifted and while liberals talk incessantly about race, they have nothing to actually say about it.
Racism, for the most part, was never really about race, it was about power. It was about power when slave votes and slave labor were being used to shift the balance of power. And it is about power when black votes and accusations of racism are used to shift the balance of power. And in one of history's great ironies that renders PBS pieties so absurd, the same Party was responsible for both sets of actions. The ideology, whether that of the permanent racial inferiority of black people of yesterday's Democratic Party or the permanent social inferiority of black people in today's Democratic Party, was and is just the clothing that the naked emperor wears on his power trips.
Racism still endures in the nooks and crannies of the country, but it isn't the kind of racism that's talked about in the news. It's the unextraordinary and unexceptional bigotry of small petty men, of any color and creed, who practice their small mean-spirited acts outside the law. This is not the political racism that we talk about as a national phenomenon. That political racism is not about a man being beaten outside a bar, it's about the power of the bar's lawyers to wield unlimited authority in the name of a problem that can never go away, no matter how abstract it becomes, because they have turned it into the source of their power.
Real racism is slowly dying out, but political racism can never go away. Instead it is rediscovered in ordinary words, in "Golfer" and in "Chicago." The more it declines, the more it emerges everywhere in dog whistles and hidden codes that become more and more abstract until no one can find it anymore.
'Civil rights' became an industry, and THEN by golly... there were careers to be made!
After 40+ years of affirmative action, billions of dollars of programs (and counting), putting the thing behind us is OUT OF THE QUESTION now. How can so many politicians, teachers, writers, media personnel, etc. rake in gargantuan salaries trumping up a lie that no longer exists if they are exposed??!!
Trillions, not billions.
The “boy who cried ‘wolf’” in modern times is the liberal who cried ‘racism’. They don’t have to think as hard, apparently, when anyone who disagrees with them can be dismissed as a racist. Has it lost its meaning? We know it has negative connotations but the specifics are getting a little blurry. If I’m opposed to high taxes, I’m a racist because tax money helps minorities (supposedly). It works like that.
Then there’s what’s happening on the ground.....
Im 64, I remember the segregated water fountains and bathrooms. There was no black middle class.
Look around you now. You see many, many black families out for lunch at local restaurants. You see what they drive-the same cars middle class whites drive.
Twenty years ago, if you saw an interracial couple, the male would be black and the female white. Now you can see black females with white men.
Notice how criminal gangs are multi-racial now? And not just on TV.
I remember times when, if you saw blacks and whites together in any form, it was because they were thrust together by laws. Now what you see is by choice.
I dont know how blacks can look around and not see that yes, there are obstacles, but whitey is not the one in their way. At some point, there should be a catharsis, an event or series of events that create a catharsis, a realization of the absurdity of continuing to wallow in a manufactured victimhood that is so culturally debilitating.
I dont think that game-changing moment will occur during this election, theres such an emotional investment in the first black President on the part of blacks.
But it will come soon.
Say what you will about Romney, but he went to the NAACP and he didnt pander to them. Thats what has to happen more often.
Many blacks, like Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Larry Elder, Star Parker, Angela McGlowan, Allen West, Reverend Peterson, Bill Cosby, and now Mia Love are attempting to tell their brothers and sisters that they have exchanged one plantation for another-that government dependency is the new plantation. The eureka moment will take place within this analogy, IMHO.
Add please .. my fave columnist !
Will do, and it's about time! ;-)
“.......I dont know how blacks can look around and not see....”
Jackson, Sharpton, Wright, etc., etc., etc. They have made careers, and vast wealth keeping their own on the Democrat plantation.
That is very well stated.
“There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the negro race before the public. Some of these people do not want the negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well.” - Booker T. Washington
I actually kicked a friend, real nice guy, to the curb after being a racist one too many times.
It sucks and bugs me to this day because otherwise he couldn’t be a nicer guy and someone I had fun drinking with.
But, he had no absolutely no conscience using that word in some of the most benign conversations many which had no possibility of race as even a nonsequitor topic, implication or ?????
Cuz I can’t figure it out.
"There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don't want the patient to get well." - Booker T. Washington
Just read down and saw I’m repeating #12. Oh, well...
Great post. I hope you are right. Logic would dictate this outcome. But in the short term the Democrat Party will keep pushing revisionist history and promoting emotions over logic. They will keep stirring the cauldron and fanning the flames. And they will need to keep a permanent subclass hoodwinked, angry and ignorant.