Sunday, September 20, 2009

You can play the race card, but the game is over

Like those Japanese soldiers on remote Pacific islands still fighting for Emperor Hirohito while Americans were watching ads for Toyotas on Sony color TVs, the race warriors are determined to carry on the fight. Perhaps fight is the wrong word: they are like Pavlov's dogs, demonstrating conditioned reflex.

We'll pass over Jimmy Carter, whose unstill mouth and inoperative brain have been reported widely enough in the past week that he needs no further comment. Let us pause to examine a couple of other examples of racial pathology that the mainstream media, in their moribund delirium, have published in an effort to save America's soul for their fossilized version of liberalism.


You don't have to be a Yank to play this game. Consider Dani Garavelli, in Scotland on Sunday:
THE very fact Jimmy Carter's suggestion – that some of the opposition to President Barack Obama's policy is driven by the colour of his skin – has caused such ructions is a reminder of just how close to the surface racism in America lies.

I mean, on one level, it's not very contentious is it? To suggest that, in a country the size of the USA – a country whose entire history is based on racial oppression – a proportion of the population might have an inherent bias against an African-American president?
Er, what level is that where such a statement is "not very contentious"? A level somewhere near the floor of the Marianas Trench where dwell the blind bottom feeders who believe America is a country "whose entire history is based on racial oppression"? Inherent bias, indeed. Pot. Kettle. Black. Oops, there I go, my unconscious racism rising half a millimeter to the surface and making an unconscious (for once) play on words.
... there are other undercurrents which seem to suggest there are groups or individuals seeking to make an issue of Obama's colour.

There's nothing very ambiguous about the Photoshop image of Obama in tribal dress which has been circulating on the net, nor about right-wing chat show host Rush Limbaugh's reference to "Obama's America: where white kids get beat up on buses while the black kids cheer on." (Limbaugh was referring to an incident in which children had been fighting over a particular seat in a bus.) And then there are all the references to Obama being a socialist – an accusation which seems innocuous enough on this side of the Atlantic, but which has a potency in the States, given that it's the term used to try to discredit civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr.

Many of those who have joined the "tea party" protests are genuinely concerned about big government, higher taxes and the fiscal stimulus package, but, as a predominantly white movement, they are being joined by white supremacist hangers-on with slogans such as "I want my country back" and placards reading "White slavery".
Here is Rush Limbaugh's account; take it or leave it. I don't know. But Ms. Garavelli would place "socialist" outside the bounds of legitimate controversy because it was (she says) used to discredit civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King. We cannot carry signs that say "I want my country back" without revealing ourselves as white supremacist hangers-on. I was at the Washington tea party (has she ever been to one?) and saw no signs reading "White slavery."

Presumably, since all of us white brutes have internal racism jamming our circuits, we should restrict any criticism of the Messianic Warbler to something along the lines of, "Excuse me, Mr. President, begging your pardon -- I have your permission to speak? Thank you, thank you -- I wonder if I might raise a question about your last statement."


Our next witness is Raina Kelley in Newsweek, the dentist waiting-room magazine which recently assured us that witchcraft is -- excuse me, I mean racism is so insidious that even babies emerge from the womb ready to shout "Get to the back of the bus!" if only they could form the words.

Ms. Kelley's column is headlined, "Play the Race Card: Why Avoiding the Issue Won't Help." Avoiding the issue? Would it were so, on all sides! If there is any issue that has not been avoided for the past 40 years, primarily by the likes of Ms. Kelley, it's hard to imagine what it would be.
Let me say this clearly so there are no misunderstandings: some of the protests against President Obama are howls of rage at the fact that we have an African-American head of state. I'm sick of all the code words used when this subject comes up, so be assured that I am saying exactly what I mean. Oh, and in response to the inevitable complaints that I am playing the race card—race isn't a political parlor game. It is a powerful fault line in a nation that bears the scars of slavery, a civil war, Jim Crow, a mind-numbing number of assassinations, and too many riots to count. It is naive and disingenuous to say otherwise.
Naive and disingenuous -- aren't those words rather self-contradictory? -- though I may be, I'm quite willing to concede she is saying just what she means. Whatever that is. Apparently when anyone "inevitably" complains that she is playing the race card, her comeback is that she is entitled to play it. Trumps, she wins!
When "Tea Party" leader Mark Williams appears on CNN and speaks of "working-class people" taking "their" country back from a lawfully elected president, he is not just protesting Obama's politics; he is griping over the fact that this country's most powerful positions are no longer just for white men.
Tell it like it is, Ms. Kelley! Besides her analytical powers, she is psychic, able to look into Mr. Williams's mind and know what evil lurks there.
No, I do not believe that everyone who disagrees with Obama is racist. But racists do exist in this country, and they don't like having a black president.
But Brutus says Caesar was non-racist, and Brutus is an honorable man.
So color me [are you sure you want to use this expression? -- Editor] a little offended when the "mainstream media" suddenly discovered that there might be a racial element to the attacks on Obama.
Suddenly discovered? They've been beating that drum since Obama emerged from the Chicago Vote Manufacturing Co. and became their ikon.
There are few souls brave enough to say what they think about race relations outside the privacy of their homes or the anonymity of the Internet.
Maybe that's because few people want to lose their jobs trying to speak their minds or be cursed by people like you as racists.
But rather than deal with the discomfort of talking about race, we've continued to follow outdated rules about what words can be said by whom or, even worse, to stay silent.
All right, Ms. Kelley. Consider the above my little contribution to overturning outdated rules about what words can be said by whom. And if you think I'm griping over the fact that this country's most powerful positions are no longer just for white men, I can't help myself. I'm a victim of Racist Birth Syndrome.



Terry Morris said...

But racists do exist in this country, and they don't like having a black president.

Hmm. It occurs to me that some racists who exist in this country rather like having a black president.

I be rea sorry do boss. We tries t'be good lil chillens but we caint heps't we was bone dissa way.

Rick Darby said...


Thanks for commenting. I can't approve of the black dialect parody, though. We can oppose black racism without descending to that sort of thing.

MaryJ said...

a mind-numbing number of assassinations,
The only race-related assassination in our history that I can think of is Martin Luther King's. Is she saying that the assassinations of William McKinley or James Garfield by two white men are race-related somehow?

A lazy and confused opinionator who is just mindlessly checking the boxes.

The professional race-baiters are really running out of ideological steam.

Anonymous said...


I use newsweek as firestarter from my office! Please in the future do not disparage dentists for having that piece of trash in our waiting rooms because it is insulting! To me! Which is all that matters! Because I am a sensitive alpha male which may make me a beta? Or whatever! Great column, it is awesome to be the opposition for a change but I believe he is the antichrist!!