Accusation and counter-accusation
0 comment Monday, October 20, 2014 |
Some of you will have noticed that one of my pet peeves is the favorite Republican mantra: ''liberals are the real racists.''
This meme has been in existence among Republicans for a number of years now, but it seems to have become a frequently-resorted-to phrase since the last presidential campaign, especially.
Do a search on the phrase 'liberals real racists' and you will get many, many hits. Too many to read through, as I found when I searched on that phrase.
It is pretty obvious to me that the phrase was cooked up by some Republican 'wit' who had just been called the r-word (racist, not Republican) by some liberal/multicultist. It amounts to the schoolyard retort, ''I know you are, but what am I?'' It is just about as intelligent.
The end result of this accusation being flung at lefties and diversity cultists is that now we have twice as many White folks calling each other ''racist!" back and forth, endlessly. Way to go.
It surely must amuse the diversities that Whites are now calling each other their favorite term of abuse. Now they can take some time off, and let us call each other the 'r-word' while they sit back and watch and laugh.
We are doing their job for them. They don't need to race-bait anymore; we are doing it to each other.
I decided some years ago that I won't use the word 'racist' or 'racism' except in an ironic sense. I won't write it here without scare quotes. So you won't find me joining in the counter-accusations against our lefty/multicultist foes. I can think of many other names, mostly unflattering, that fit them, but I can think of no good reason to join in the race-baiting.
First, I think it serves no useful purpose. Do the people who employ that tactic think it will shock some leftist or politically correct brainwash-ee into an epiphany? Do we think it will shame them into admitting that they harbor racist thoughts?
If a leftist were brutally honest with himself, he would admit that by claiming that Whites are congenitally bigoted against nonwhites, then he himself must be just as guilty as the Republicans whom he loathes. White privilege makes us all guilty, according to the leftists and nonwhites. So by that line of thought, liberals and 'conservatives' are equally guilty of the 'White original sin.'
But are liberals or progressives 'racists' as most people understand that word? If their definition is true, if 'racist' means anybody who 1) notices race and/or 2) believes the races differ in some intrinsic way, then what do we call the liberals who see the races as different in ways that flatter nonwhites, and who believe that all the problems of nonwhites, being caused by Whites, must be rectified by Whites?
I understand that Republicans and 'colorblind conservatives' are trying to make the case that the do-gooder Whites who are perpetually tending to nonwhites are being paternalistic. Paternalism can be interpreted as meaning that nonwhites are incapable of taking care of themselves, or even of defending themselves verbally. For example, liberals will jump to the defense of nonwhites when they sniff out any hint of 'bigotry' from a fellow White. They will argue in the name of the nonwhite as if that nonwhite cannot defend himself. I suppose this is their rather deluded idea of chivalry - which in its true form calls for defending the weak and the lame and the halt. But I think it bizarre that they haven't noticed that nonwhites can and do defend themselves loudly, vociferously, and stridently. Why White liberals imagine that they need to act as lawyers for their favorite victim groups, (mascots, as Thomas Sowell put it) is beyond me.
The liberals' client groups are certainly able to speak up for themselves; they are not weak at all in that sense. And they have the media 110 percent on their side; the media, being made up of leftists of one stripe or another, does little but defend the perceived downtrodden victim groups. It is a leftist fallacy that 'minorities' are 'underserved populations' or that their 'voices are excluded from the public discourse.' That notion is laugh-out-loud funny.
But does paternalism imply a sense of superiority, or a dominant/subservient relationship between the person helping and those being helped? I don't think so. I think that most leftists have convinced themselves that they are the possessors of something called 'White privilege' which makes them the beneficiaries of many un-earned benefits. They think these benefits are taken directly from nonwhites and given, unjustly, to us. So they think they are righting a wrong.
If they want to be self-abasing altruists who are willing to serve others at their own expense, that's their choice -- but where it goes badly wrong is when they enshrine that altruism in public policy, making it the law of the land. And where it goes really, really wrong is when they force the rest of us, essentially, to participate in this racial self-abasement and penance.
You cannot coerce people into loving their neighbor, or even liking their neighbor.
As for the allegation made by the Republicans that 'liberals keep minorities on the plantation; they keep them dependent, they don't want them to succeed', this is carried to absurd lengths. For example on Free Republic, whenever some social scientists' list of 'the ten worst cities' is posted, and the worst cities are all, ahem, 'diverse', the FReepers solemnly insist that ''all those cities have Democrat government. That's why they are crime-ridden, bankrupt, corrupt, and unlivable.'' On some blog or other, when a picture of the infamous ruins of Detroit was posted, the 'colorblind conservatives' lived up to their epithet by intoning that 'that's what happens when you elect Democrats.' Some of them even blamed the Katrina disaster on 'Democrat rule.'
According to that school of thought, if only Democrats would stop creating welfare dependency and bad schools, nonwhites would be able to prosper and become exemplary citizens everywhere. If only nonwhites could learn that 'conservatism' would cure all their ills, they would be fine. Unfortunately no one, apparently, has told them about the conservative panacea, so they remain shackled by the liberals -- who are the real racists. QED.
Mind you, I think welfare dependency and social pathologies are exacerbated by liberal policies, but to believe that they alone are the cause of the 'achievement gap' or the social gulf between the races is silly. This denies the possibility of innate differences of ability and potential as an explanation.
George W. Bush had that famous phrase about 'soft bigotry of low expectations', which was just a more florid way of saying 'liberals are the real racists.' The idea behind that phrase about the soft bigotry is that if we expect nonwhites to become top achievers, they will, eventually. It's all a matter of positive thinking and 'encouraging their potential and boosting their self-esteem.' Yes, compassionate conservatism, as it styled itself, had a great many presuppositions in common with old-fashioned liberalism.
The 'colorblind', compassionate conservatives share this presupposition with the left: that it is Whitey, ultimately, who is keeping the black folk down. They just disagree on which Whitey is doing this: is it the mean, bigoted, hateful Republican r-words, or is it, rather, the paternalistic Democrat r-words?
Notice the agreement with Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al that is implicit here? Whites calling each other racists simply cements the belief that all Whites are, in fact, racists, whether they admit it, or especially, if they deny it.
Now we have the Tea Partiers, in many cases, jumping through hoops to prove just how really, really NOT racist they are, all the while pointing the finger at the left, who are again accusing the right. This has all become the theatre of the absurd.
When we descend to this tactic of name-calling, of tu quoque, of "he did it first!", when we descend to using the increasingly meaningless word 'racist', we are further debasing the language, not to mention further degrading what passes for political dialogue in this country.
And above all, this tactic does not work; it is going nowhere.
This constant use of the word 'racist' does nothing but keep the racial kettle on the boil; it puts nonwhites at the center of everything -- which in a sense they are. But it puts them in the coveted position of having their favor and approval courted by both sides.
Moreover, in the eagerness to prove who is the 'real racist' Republicans are digging themselves deeper into the PC hole. They will probably follow up on all the talk by pandering even more, as if appointing Steele was not pandering enough. Next, in the ''who's the real racist'' contest, it will be necessary to offer an affirmative action presidential candidate. That is in the cards, unless the Republicans get off this merry-go-round.

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