As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, May 01, 2009

You're A Racist For Calling Me A Racist!

So Byron York both embarrassed and revealed himself by basically advocating for a return to the 3/5 compromise.

[Obama's] sky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of his positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are. Asked whether their opinion of the president is favorable or unfavorable, 49 percent of whites in the Times poll say they have a favorable opinion of Obama. Among blacks the number is 80 percent. Twenty-one percent of whites say their view of the president is unfavorable, while the number of blacks with unfavorable opinions of Obama is too small to measure.

As Adam Serwer notes, this is "If Only Those People Weren't Here" conservatism. Conservatives like to write black people out of electoral politics like this were 1866 and they don't deserve a vote, and then claim "If you set aside 10% of the population, X is popular/unpopular and X can win/lose!"

It reminds me somewhat of the absence of black people in most non-dystopian science fiction, except the subtextual desire in York's column is far more deliberate: If black people weren't able to vote, Republicans would win more elections. And Ann Coulter, at the very least, has had the chutzpah to say directly what she's really thinking: "If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president.

York responded to this complaint by showing offense at being called a racist. Which is of course a classic conservative maneuver to change the subject. I think Ta-Nehisi Coates says what needs to be said here.

We spend a lot of time attacking people for playing the race-card--I've done my share. But what largely animates this idea that crying racism is an overused tactic (as opposed to say crying antisemitism) is this notion that among polite, thinking people, there are no employers of racism. Racism is the trade of the American savage--the man who flies the Confederate flag, has an undiscovered dead dog under the porch, and lives in West Virginia. This man doesn't walk among the civilized.

But here is your political correctness run amok:

James Watson argues, not simply that there may be a biological explanation for IQ differences, but says of notions of intellectual equality, "people who have to deal with black employees find this not to be true," and be held up as a truth-teller.

A series of newsletters entitled the Ron Paul Freedom Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report, The Ron Paul Politcal Report are revealed to be incredibly racist. ("Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks" Martin Luther King "seduced underaged girls and boys.") But Paul knows nothing about them, and is the farthest thing from a racist. ("Ron thinks Martin Luther King is a hero.") [...]

We live in a country that may well be offended by racism, but it's equally offended that anyone might actually charge as much.

Conservatives always want to rush to an "end of racism" so they can be freed to make, frankly, racist statements, and then scold their critics for calling them racist in this post-racial era. It's a tiresome argument that usually never works, as most people judge these things on the merits. So whine away, Byron, whine away.

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