Contributed by: filbert Wednesday, July 14 2010 @ 08:15 AM CST
I am saddened by the NAACP’s claim that patriotic Americans who stand up for the United States of America’s Constitutional rights are somehow “racists.” The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling, and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand.
President Reagan called America’s past racism “a legacy of evil” against which we have seen the long struggle of minority citizens for equal rights. He condemned any sort of racism, as all good and decent people do today. He also called it a “point of pride for all Americans” that as a nation, we have successfully struggled to overcome this evil. Reagan rightly declared that “there is no room for racism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of ethnic and racial hatred in this country,” and he warned that we must never go back to the racism of our past.
. . .
On this subject, I can recommend the statement issued by a man I was proud to endorse, Tim Scott, the GOP candidate from South Carolina’s First Congressional District. Tim, poised to become the first African-American Republican Congressman from the former Confederacy since Reconstruction, is himself a sign of a hopeful, truly post-racial future for our country. It gives added meaning to his warning that “the NAACP is making a grave mistake in stereotyping a diverse group of Americans who care deeply about their country and who contribute their time, energy and resources to make a difference.”
The only purpose of such an unfair accusation of racism is to dissuade good Americans from joining the Tea Party movement or listening to the common sense message of Tea Party Americans who simply want government to abide by our Constitution, live within its means, and not borrow and spend away our children’s futures. Red and yellow, black and white, this message is precious in all our sights. All decent Americans abhor racism. No one wants to be associated with any organization that is in any way racist in sentiment or origin. I certainly don’t want to be. Thankfully, the Tea Party movement is not racist or motivated by racism. It is motivated by love of country and all that is good and honest about our proud and diverse nation.
Like President Reagan, Tea Party Americans believe that “the glory of this land has been its capacity for transcending the moral evils of our past.” Isn’t it time we put aside the divisive politics of the past once and for all and celebrate the fact that neither race nor gender is any longer a barrier to achieving success in America – even in achieving the highest office in the land?
Why is it that Sarah Palin consistently–consistently makes more sense, and sounds more unifying and–dare I say–Presidential–than the current occupant of that office, who seems to be daily shrinking in stature as the cold, implacable force of reality continues to impose itself on his lofty dreams of Hope and Change?
There are those on the right who are–with some justification–outraged by the broad-brush dismissal of the Tea Party movement of the NAACP as “racist.” (And no, don’t try to quibble that the NAACP was accusing “some elements” of racism. This was intended to smear the entire pro-liberty, small-government movement, and in many circles it has done so.)
I can think of few strategies that would be more effective in creating actual racism among white Americans than falsely accusing them of racism. How would you feel if, in some public meeting, someone in the corner stood up and accused you of something both false and vile–and many in the room actually believed the accusation? A natural human reaction is anger–anger at the person accusing you. From there, it is a short step from being angry at an individual to being angry at the group to which the individual belongs. The urge to form tribal groups is very strong in human beings, and this tribal urge is the source of so much hatred, envy, anger, tragedy and misery in the world. And no person–no one— on this Earth, regardless of skin melanin content or political views, is immune to this tribal urge.
I am outraged by what the NAACP has done. But after the first flush of anger, my sentiment after even a moment’s consideration changed to sorrow–which I posted yesterday. I deeply regret that there are so many in the black communities of this country who believe–because that’s what they’re told, over and over and over and over again–that a major reason they can’t get ahead in life is an overwhelming, pervasive racism within the white communities of this country.
I have lived in several of those majority-white communities. I know some level of racism exists, but it is not rampant, and it is generally rather vigorously opposed–by other whites in the community when it occurs. But racism exists in every community. The attempts by minorities to place a veneer of “power-wielding” over the simple concept of racism demeans and diminishes the serious and ultimately undesirable, if not self-destructive nature of the tribal impulse.
Over the past forty years, race has become a marginal issue–or not an issue at all–for most whites. It is difficult (given the subculture in which they live) for blacks to believe, but most white people go through their entire day without once giving a second thought to the race of the people they deal with–blacks, Asians, whatever. The main reason race in this country remains as big an issue as it is, is there is a prominent and vocal segment of the minority black community who along with their other leftist allies and enablers, insist on ripping open the old wounds–loudly claiming all the while that they’re doing it to speed the healing process between the races.
The reason why it is impossible to hold a serious conversation with blacks about the problems of tribalism (Or, according to Attorney General Holder, why we are a “Nation of Cowards”) is exactly, precisely, because many blacks insist that it is impossible for a black person to be racist–and some of those same people insist that it is impossible for a white person to not be racist.
This of course is mere sophistry. (That’s a word that means “bullshit” but sounds a lot more erudite and polite.) And it is dangerous, perilous sophistry for a minority to engage in, because it presumes that the target population will react with equanimity, calm, and grace to the continued slanders and insinuations–if not actively agree with them, bow their collective heads, and vow to be better.
This is a hand that has now been quite overplayed. Where the accusation of “racist” does not evoke a positive “giggle factor” among those that blacks and their leftist allies accuse, it simply makes people angry. The word “racist” has simply become as unproductive in discussion of racial issues as the word “nigger” has become–and for many of the same reasons. It is no longer a descriptive term. It is merely an epithet.
If the NAACP, the President, other prominent black individuals and organizations, and their leftist allies persist in these reckless characterizations of widespread, rampant white racism in the political right, they will re-ignite the tribal instinct of white Americans that has–to a great extent–been suppressed since the early 1960’s.
Do they really, really want to go there? I don’t. I want a world where we have better things to do than worry about how much melanin people have in their skin.
I was a young boy when Martin Luther King gave his speech where he implored people to judge others by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. I listened, and I thought that was a good idea. I didn’t care how much melanin he had in his skin, I cared about the quality of ideas in his head.
It seems that all too many leftists and blacks have decided that skin color should be more important than character.
Only the most naive person would dare to say that racism does not exist, and only a fool would say that racism is a good thing. Racism is a terrible waste of people’s time–people’s energy–people’s lives. We have better things to do than to engage in racism, and we have better things to do than accuse people (if not directly, than by association) of racism.
Moving forward on this issue requires a general agreement on several points:
1: Anyone can succumb to tribal prejudice–call it “racism” if you want, but we all know what it is, and there is no amount of melanin in your skin which can make you immune to it;
2: It’s a bad thing to judge people merely by their appearance;
3: It will be a better world if we judge people by what they do, not what they look like.
There. That wasn’t hard, was it?
UPDATE: Edited for clarity and coherence.