Free Markets, Free People


Race relations – oh, much better, you bet …

So much for "post-racial".

I’m sure you’ve been watching the goings on for the last few months – the race baiting, the Black Panther case – or lack thereof – the NAACP calling the Tea Party "racist" with little or no proof, the "journolist" appeal to call those on the right "racist" in order to blunt criticism of Obama and finally, the Shirley Sherrod case.

Essentially, both sides need to take a breath. But even with a breath, it is clear that there is nothing "post-racial" about the climate in this country.  Ben Smith’s take:

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.

Yeah, heaven forbid that proof be demanded – in the past all it’s taken is yelling “racist” and the deed is done.  Now suddenly, proof of the word is demanded?  Outrageous.

But to the bigger point – if this is a ‘national conversation’ about race, I’d sure see it when we’re yelling at each other.  The absurdity of all of this has gotten beyond amusing.  It’s now destructive.

“I thought we were going to move beyond this,” said Abigail Thernstrom, a conservative historian of race and a Bush appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, who called the current racial climate “a catastrophe.”

“There’s a kind of heightened racial consciousness that’s very worrisome. It’s not good for us, it’s not good for the very fabric of American society,” she said, objecting in particular to the claims of racism against the tea party movement.

Yup – I think there were a lot of us who hoped we were beyond this.  But for some, racism and race is big business.  Take Jesse Jackson.  In fact take Jesse Jackson recently on the LeBron James kerfuffle.  It was he who made the comparison to plantation owners and slaves.  Nothing the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers had said that remotely reminded anyone of someone talking about a “runaway slave” as Jackson portrayed it.  But Jackson’s mind is focused on one area and one area only – everything is racial to him, even a business disagreement. 

While there may be plenty to criticize in the way Dan Gilbert handled the situation and what he said about James, but to an impartial observer, it had nothing to do with race.  It was a tantrum by an owner who felt this particular players hadn’t played up to his potential in the playoffs and blasted him.  But “plantation owner” and “runaway slave”?  Give me a freakin’ break.

One of the things I said would help sooth racial tensions was the passing of my parent’s generation – they may have been the “greatest generation” because of WWII, but there was a lot of bigotry within that generation as well (my parents being a very interesting exception).  Now I’m of the opinion that a lot of this will begin to cool when the generation of race hustlers, like Jackson, and race baiters, like Al Sharpton, meet their reward.

It’s a pity really – this should be old news.  We should be watching documentaries about this and shaking our heads sadly.

Instead, we have a new 21st century race war going on.  And I believe much of the blame falls on the Obama administration and Holder’s DoJ.  

Regardless though, it’s pitiful.

~McQ

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24 Responses to Race relations – oh, much better, you bet …

  • “Regardless though, it’s pitiful”
    Yep agree on that McQ.  The NAACP is acting like they want to remain a fringe group, with their main aim to maintain a permanent racial wedge in blacks vs whites.   Even though I have witnessed quite a bit of racial hatred from whites to blacks, I have witnessed equal amounts of blacks to whites.  Interestingly enough my parents were also not bigots in any shape, form,or fashion.    The NAACP will finally totally exit from discussions concerning easing race relations, if they keep up this constant rant of bigotry and offer little if any concrete proof.   The leadership of the NAACP needs to change and quickly if they hope to survive and be taken seriously by the vast majority of folks, black and white, that aren’t bigots.

    • The NAACP is acting like they want to remain a fringe group, with their main aim to maintain a permanent racial wedge in blacks vs whites.

      I think that there is something to that.  Many groups and individuals who are at the forefront of discussion and debate on race relations would probably become irrelevant if we reached an acceptable level of racial tolerance.  While those groups and individuals will insist that they would be happy to fade into the background if that were to happen, I don’t think that it’s true for many of them.  There’s money and power to be had, and if that requires that you fan the flames and make the problem seem worse than it is, so be it.

  • I just don’t see it going away, at least until the victim mentality goes away and that is taught in schools, media, courts and the government itself on both sides( I seem to recall McCain calling me a racist not to awful long ago and Bush called me misogynist during a Supreme Court pick fight). An entire generation is being raised to believe everyone and everything has to do with some sort of victim hood.

    • If I was shocked by anything in the past couple of years, it is the racism within the Black community.  Sure, there were the Panthers and their ilk, but these were minorities .. I thought.
      I’ve always believed that culturally MTV had leveled the playing field, but the Black community clings to it’s victimhood with more conviction than a virgin clings to …
      The only way to crack the “victim” status requires that we address reparations … there will be none .. never.
      All the slave owners and their slaves that bedeviled Abraham Lincoln are dead.  Get over it.

  • Racism needs to be plucked out…root and branch…of our national life.  But that will take some doing, as today it is enshrined as never before in law and regulation that sweeps all across America.  It is part of the Obamic agenda.

    It is a racial discrimination is feature in the new steaming mega-bills piles of crap.

  • “both sides need to take a breath.”

    Perhaps (Dare I say it?) some benign neglect is called for?

      “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”

    Both sides are making accusations, therefore both sides are wrong. How Erbian. One might even call it blaming the victim (of slanderous accusations).

  • The take away from the Shirley Sherrod story, isn’t Sherrod.  Its who the audience was and how they reacted to her discrimination, in the lead up before she shared that she had a ‘revelation’ it wasn’t race warfare but mostly class warfare that was the problem. 

  • This is a good thing – it is (I hope) the precursor to the badly needed and long-delayed REAL conversation on race.  Before the “conversation” was 1 sided:  The left yelling RACIST RACIST RACIST RACIST!!  Now that the right is finally telling them to put up or shut up, and the charge of racism has become a worn out useless joke, we can have progress. This is the first sputterings of the car engine beginning to start and warm up

  • It wouldn’t be so bad if there weren’t two factors tossed into the mix -
    1) The reigning expressed philosophy from the left (and many colored spokespeople) that ONLY whites can be racists.
    2 ) The sneaking suspicion among many that Our Dear Golfer President and his wife are racist (obviously to consider the second you must disregard the first) based on 20 years of affiliation with a markedly racist pastor in a markedly racist church.

    Racism, like ignorance, knows no racial limitations, alas frequently our ‘betters’ hold otherwise.

  • McQEssentially, both sides need to take a breath.

    I disagree.  ONE side needs to stop using race as a political weapon.  ONE side needs to stop using race as a gravy train.  ONE side needs to stop using race for cheap publicity.  ONE side needs to stop using race as an excuse for failure.  ONE sides needs to stop using race as  wedge to fracture our country. ONE side needs to stop using race as a campaign slogan.

    That side is the left.

    sharkBefore the “conversation” was 1 sided:  The left yelling RACIST RACIST RACIST RACIST!!  Now that the right is finally telling them to put up or shut up, and the charge of racism has become a worn out useless joke, we can have progress.

    How do you define “progress”?  Progress toward what?  If it’s a totally color-blind society, then I think you’re in for quite a long wait: some people AS INDIVIDUALS  are going to be bigots no matter what the attitude of the broader society.

    And I think that the attitude of our broader society is generally pretty damned good.  There is no pervasive, calculated, quasi-legal racism in our country.  We’ve got a black president, fer cryin’ out loud.  My boss – who has a PhD from the University of North Carolina (i.e. one of the finest universities in the country) – is black, as is our production supervisor.  One of our VP’s is Indian… and none of us gives a damn about their color.  It has been this way in every place I’ve worked since I got out of college: people don’t give a damn about color any more.*

    Having a “national conversation” about race, for most people, would be like having a national conversation about the color of the sky: it’s not something people worry much about.

    That crap from Holder was not a lament about race relations: it was an attempt to keep the pot stirred.  I’m sick of it.  I don’t want to see people treated differently, either to their advantage or harm, based on WHAT they are.  I think that the vast majority of my fellow Americans feel the same way.  We don’t need a national conversation any more than we need to be hectored by professional race baiters who are interested solely in using the sins of our fathers to line their own pockets.

    —-

    (*) Consider the jobs that would have been available to these folks fifty or a hundred years ago.  Maid?  Washer woman?  Picker?  Sweeping up the plant or loading / unloading rail cars?  We’ve come a long way, baby, and I’m damned glad of it.

  • <a href=”http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2122″>Indeed</a>.

  • How do you define “progress”?  Progress toward what?  If it’s a totally color-blind society, then I think you’re in for quite a long wait: some people AS INDIVIDUALS  are going to be bigots no matter what the attitude of the broader society.

    >>> Progress towards HONESTY.  If people want to hate based on race, ADMIT IT, and lets all be comfy with it. Some will choose to do so, some will not.  You wanna hate? This is America, you’re ALLOWED to hate.  I’d prefer the guy who hates me to be out in the open with it as opposed to grinning to my face and stabbing me in the back.

    • If we could attain a race-neutral legal, regulatory, educational and employment regime, that would be great.
      As you note, Shark, individual people will always harbor hate…along with every other evil.
      But, as a nation, we should not continence race-based any freaking thing in law, regulation, or practice.

  • Instead, we have a new 21st century race war going on.
    No, really we don’t.  We have a philosophical war.  It looks like a race war because one race has, in an almost unified block, decided to throw itself behind one side.

  • This is actually all the fault of the Democratic Party. They have been using racial and class warfare from the very beginning in the early 19th century.  The preferred groups have changed, but the tactics are the same.  If racial divisiveness disappeared they would have no coalition left.

    It remains in their party’s interest to continue to divide us and continue to whip up resentment.

  • Can’t wait until the geezers die off?  Gee whiz, utopia at last.

  • This isn’t really about race relations.

    This is about throwing around the charge of racism with little to justify it.  Because up to now, accusations of racism are guilty until proven innocent.  So much so, people are willing to toss allies and like minded people under the bus.

    Tea Party – no racism, massive racist accusations on fabricated grounds.

    Shirley Sherrod – some actual racism with later recanting – Some conservative media cherry picking the more salacious portions of her speech to maximize the charge of racism against her and by proxy the WH.  White house over-reacting to the charge of racism with no vetting.

    What appears to be a ‘race relations’ issue, is all about the charge of racism not requiring proof and vetting and that fact being abused.  That phase of the issue where guilty until proven innocent might have done some good overall, are long gone if they ever were.