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Right Intention: Liberals Are Racist, Too

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Liberals Are Racist, Too

A few days ago in the Washington Post, Colbert King asks the question: Why the Crass Remarks About Rice?

Despite being a Black man, Colbert is no Rice apologist.

...Saddam Hussein clearly was not the threat Rice had proclaimed. Her paper trail of misstatements virtually invited a congressional attack on her record...
...My disagreement with the Bush administration on Iraq has been spelled out in past columns. I'm also a member of an editorial board that has been critical of administration policies -- and by extension, Rice -- on several foreign policy fronts...
...A senator who believes the Bush administration lied about the war, made a mess of postwar reconstruction and ruined relations with long-standing allies would be justified in holding Rice accountable, and in my view, in voting against her confirmation. Senate Foreign Relations Committee members Boxer and John Kerry did as much...

So what does he find offensive? Barbara Boxer implies that she thinks Condi is an idiot who mindlessly parrots Bush's position.

It's hard to imagine a more demeaning and offensive caricature of a prospective secretary of state, let alone the most senior official on the national security staff. It's equally difficult to understand what prompted Boxer to imply that Rice is little more than a diligent echo of Bush's thoughts. There's nothing in Rice's background or in her performance to suggest that she is a mindless follower of presidential orders. In fact, Rice comes across as just the opposite.

As I was leaving a Post dining room after participating in my first off-the-record session with Rice and other Post editors and reporters a couple of years ago, it struck me that Rice could be where Bush gets it from. Subsequent meetings only have reinforced that supposition. Rice's notions of preemption, unilateralism and America's responsibilities as the dominant power in the world are not hand-me-downs from Bush. They strike me as very much her own.

Wonder why Rice stayed close to Bush's policies in her hearings? Consider the possibility that the administration's policies happen to be hers too. Consider too the likelihood that years of study and work in foreign affairs, both as an academic and as a senior foreign policy wonk, are what inform her views -- not George W. Bush.

Colbert, I am also a Black man. And it's about time we stop dancing around the issue. The evidence is piling up and the answer is obvious. Liberals are racist, too.

Over the last few years, I've become quite disappointed with the Democratic party on a number of fronts. I believe the party is too reactionary and offers up no ideas of its own. They more or less just oppose whatever the Republicans want to do. I believe the party is too soft on national defense, and is more worried about opinion polls in France than defending the country. I believe that the Democrats are more worried about pleasing certain special interest groups than implementing worthwhile ideas (teacher's unions vs. school vouchers). And so forth.

But nothing has surprised or saddened me more than to see the overt racism from the left.

Examples? Fine. Let's start with Pat Oliphant's cartoon. It's pretty clear that Oliphant believes that Rice is a brainless step 'n fetch it Black.

Here's a good one. Jeff Danziger portrays Condi Rice as the stereotype of an uneducated Black woman who has too many children. Oh, and she can't speak properly. Somehow, this cartoon is supposed to be about the aluminum tube controversy.

Ted Rall had the best one, however. He called Condi Rice a "house nigger". Ted Rall, who I've heard say he is offended by anti-French commentary- I guess he's of French descent- apparently sees nothing wrong with calling the National Security Advisor and future Secretary of State a "nigger". Kind of reminds me of a joke I used to hear in the 70s:

Q: What do you call a Black person with a PHD in Physics from MIT?
A: A Nigger!

But I was gratified to hear the Democratic leadership loudly condemn these people and say there is no place for this in the party. Didn't hear the Democrats do that, you say? Neither did I. I guess since these attacks were aimed at a Black Republican it was okay.

Let's go on. Michael Moore thinks that 9/11 could have been prevented had there been more Blacks on the hijacked airplanes.

"Moore went into a rant about how the passengers on the Sept. 11 planes were scaredy cats because they were mostly white," Alibhai-Brown writes. "If the passengers had included black men, he claimed, those killers, with their puny bodies and unimpressive small knives, would have been crushed by the dudes, who as we all know take no disrespect from anybody."

Tell that to Todd Beamer's wife.

Maybe I'm being too sensitive. Perhaps I should enjoy being stereotyped as a raging brute that is useful to have around to protect White people from terrorists. Better to be feared than respected, I suppose.

And who could forget Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's month long assault on Clarence Thomas's intelligence? Here he is on Meet The Press:

Russert: Let me turn to judicial nominations. Again, Harry Reid on National Public Radio, Nov. 19: "If they"--the Bush White House--"for example, gave us Clarence Thomas as chief justice, I personally feel that would be wrong. If they give us Antonin Scalia, that's a little different question. I may not agree with some of his opinions, but I agree with the brilliance of his mind."...

So Scalia is smart and Thomas is stupid according to Reid. But, in case it wasn't clear enough:

Russert: Why couldn't you accept Clarence Thomas?

Reid: I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I think that his opinions are poorly written. I don't--I just don't think that he's done a good job as a Supreme Court justice.

Does Reid have any evidence to back up his assertion of Thomas's lack of intelligence?

Henry: When you were asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" whether or not you could support Justice Thomas to be chief justice you said quote, "I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I think that his opinions are poorly written." Could you name one of those opinions that you think is poorly written?

Reid: Oh sure, that's easy to do. You take the Hillside Dairy case. In that case you had a dissent written by Scalia and a dissent written by Thomas. There--it's like looking at an eighth-grade dissertation compared to somebody who just graduated from Harvard.

Scalia's is well reasoned. He doesn't want to turn stare decisis precedent on its head. That's what Thomas wants to do. So yes, I think he has written a very poor opinion there and he's written other opinions that are not very good.

Go to the site and read Thomas's opinion. It won't take long. The entire thing is all of one paragraph.

It's pretty clear that Reid doesn't know what he's talking about. Reid simply assumes that Clarence Thomas is stupid because he is Black. And because Thomas is conservative, these types of comments are fair game.

But it's not all bad. If you're Black and a Democrat, then you are lionized. Take the case of Barack Obama, freshly minted Senator and keynote speaker at last year's Democratic convention. He hasn't really done anything yet, but he's already being touted as a future Presidential candidate.

Look, Obama is an impressive individual with great credentials. And I hope he develops into Presidential material. But I think it's a little early to give this much adulation to someone who lost a Congressional race in 2000 in Illinois as a Democrat. How difficult is that?

Now, if you are White and a reformed racist, then it's okay as long as you are, once again, a Democrat. Take the case of Robert Byrd, Democratic Senator from West Virginia and former Klansman. Here's what Christopher Dodd said
early in 2004:

Senator Christopher Dodd, said in a tribute to Robert Byrd, that he would be a "great leader" for any portion of American history. In fact Dodd went on to elaborate that Byrd would have been a great leader at the founding of this country. He said he would have been a great leader in the present days of turmoil. He went so far as to say that he (Dodd) could not think of a time when Robert Byrd would not have been a great leader for our nation. Dodd even cited the era of the civil war specifically.

Do you remember the outrage that followed Dodd saying this? Neither do I. In fact, I'll bet you didn't even know that Dodd said this. Let's continue:

In his youth Byrd was an active member of the Ku Klux Klan. You know...the organization that during the civil war era raped black slave girls, tortured black slave men, and mutilated the bodies of any who resisted. The KKK burned bodies of disobedient blacks, burned the houses of their loved ones, and burned crosses on the front yards of any who would show sympathy to the maltreatment of blacks. And Senator Dodd said Byrd would have been a "great leader" for America during the time of the civil war?

But his youth was not the only place where Byrd showed great agitation towards African Americans. In the midst of the 1960's as America was facing the truth about its darkest secret, the civil rights movement took center stage. As a nation confessed its sin and after far too long put the issue of equality and freedom for all back into its core of public policy Mr. Byrd was again lined up against these principles. As an elected democrat, when the civil rights act came to the floor for a vote, Byrd found himself advancing the cause of a filibuster to prevent African Americans from enjoying the same civil rights that he enjoyed.

Fast forward to the later part of the Senator's career. In 2001 one would have thought that Senator Robert Byrd would have learned his lesson. After all these many years of having made mistake after mistake on the issue of the equal treatment of men created in the image of God, he struck again. Appearing on a nationally broadcast television news show Robert Byrd dropped the always offensive "N" bomb right into America's living room.

I guess a leopard can't change his spots. But as long as he's a Democrat, it's okay.

Compare and contrast what happened to Trent Lott:

Now remember with me if you will the episode of December 6, 2002. Making an appearance at a private birthday gathering (not paid for by tax-payers), then Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott spoke words of praise to Strom Thurmond. Thurmond, who was turning one hundred years old was praised by Lott as someone that "more Americans should have voted for" when he had run for president on a segregationist ticket at the peak of segregation. Lott's remarks went unnoticed for two days by the media but eventually created such a stir that Republican leadership recognized the pain his comments had caused thousands of Americans and thus removed him from his leadership post.

In only two days the story had jumped onto the front pages of American newspapers. Black Entertainment Television aired special programming relating to the issue - including bringing Lott on to try to explain. And within a two week time period Lott was out as leader and replaced by Senator Frist, a man whose record on race has no question marks above it.

So the Republicans removed Lott from his leadership post while Byrd is considered the Dean of the Democratic party and is widely respected.

But Democrats need Blacks to vote for them in disproportionate numbers or else they will lose elections. So to the ones who don't stray from the "plantation", the Democratic strategy is to just keep us riled up during election season, with disingenuous commercials and bogus claims of disenfranchisement.

And then after the election, we are more or less ignored. But then, like clockwork, every two years Democrats try to elicit a Pavlovian response with these tactics to ensure voting loyalty.

So here's what I think, based on what I've observed over the last few years. Democrats do not hold the moral high ground over Republicans on racism. For the most part, you do not hear the racist bile spewed from high profile Republicans that you hear from Democrats. Even if Republicans believe these things, they do not say it out loud. On the other hand, when Democrats make racist statements, there is no criticism from fellow Democrats. The silence is deafening. It's more than hypocrisy; it's a fundamental lack of respect. And it makes the Democratic cry of "Racism!" when an unapproved person makes a remark look like little more than public posturing for a voting block they can ill afford to lose.

One of these days, we Black Americans need to seriously reassess our allegiance to the Democratic party. I know I have.


Blogger neo-neocon said...

I think what you describe is a subset of the fact that the Democrats have been outed as hypocrites in general. So, no surprise that they've been hypocrites on this topic, too. As a former liberal also (now middle-of-the-roader-sort-of-neoconish-person), I have to say that this knowledge and observation of liberal Democrat hypocrisy shouldn't surprise me, although I guess it still does.

I think one of the things that drives the phenomenon vis a vis racism is that liberals think their liberal history on civil rights, etc., should earn them a pass on the subject. They think they should be allowed to do or say anything if it serves their strategic purposes (which, as far as I can see, now begin and end with defeating Bush and other Republican conservatives), and that the injured parties (in this case, black people as a whole) will understand and forgive. Or, alternatively, they have become so insensitive to the racist implications of what they are doing and saying that they haven't a clue what message they are sending.

All in all, a discouraging situation for someone such as myself who actually used to think Democrats were better than that. And yes, one of the worst things is the failure of other Democrats to condemn what Boxer, et. al., were doing.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Dan Farmer said...

I would like to see some enterprising person, with access to the newspapers in Byrd’s hometown, match up the lynchings in Byrd’s district (or what ever the KKK Kleagel rule over). Then ask him directly if he attended them. His claim that he joined the KKK as an anticommunist is obviously a dodge. I want to see him confronted with the name of a victim and see him bluster out a denial of his inciting, participating or viewing the lynching of a fellow US citizen. I'm sure he can launch into a long babble to excuse or deflect his responsibility, but it would generate some great sound bites, and further demonstrate the Dems' hypocrisy for not chasing this ass out of their party.

12:57 PM  
Blogger roman thomas said...

Just take a note from the hispanic community. Slowly they are learning the truth of the Democrats.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Dorothy said...

It's funny ... the Republicans started out as the party of progress as far as racial equality, while the Democrats remained obstructionists for years. Then after the mid-60's and LBJ's Great Society, the Dems assumed the mantle while Republicans were painted as greedy business people who cared nothing for the poor. Now it's come full circle with the Republicans being the ones obviously promoting substantial progress - that is, real equality of opportunity. The Republicans are putting their money where their mouth is. And the Democrats are sandbagging once more by shamelessly pandering to long-outmoded notions of what it means to be black or white in this country. They're trying to continue forment bad feelings between black and white purely for political purposes. I think this strategy is ill-advised and will backfire on the Democrats badly; in fact, I think this has already starting to happen. As if they don't already have enough problems.

2:46 PM  
Blogger ed said...


One of the primary reasons why things got switched around for Republicans is the DNC's program of essentially buying African-American voters with various anti-poverty programs and the dominance of the MSM.

To the list above you can also add Senator Byrd using the "ni**er" word in a speech and Lt. Gov Cruse Bustamante, of California, use of the same word in a speech in front of a couple hundred African-Americans.

Never fails to amaze me.

I think perhaps the true tragedy of the 1960's wasn't the assassination of JFK but the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. When Dr. King died, he left behind such a moral and philosophical vacuum that nobody else has been able to fill it. Each one that has tried, has failed and failed miserably. Instead there has grown an industry of fear-mongers.

Is it even possible to believe that Al Sharpton was one of the better, at least more personable, Democratic Presidential Candidate in 2004?

10:39 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...


10:44 PM  
Blogger om/ar said...

As an Arab-American/Latino, I pretty much agree with your article. However, I must ask why you have to view politics through the false dichotomy of liberal democrat v. conservative republican. I hate democrats as much as I hate Republicans, and for the life of me can't figure why the former are still around--unless it is to add a veneer of legitimacy to a pretty flawed democracy. Right now, the US is caught up in "with us or against us" type thinking. It follows that if you are not with us, you espouse the ideologies of those I label as against us. This is limiting and unlikely to reveal any truth. There's alot of other political movements going on out there; you needn't become Republican just because you hate Democrats. Its okay to hate them both.

11:10 PM  
Blogger cjm said...

if you think democrat racism is bad now (which it is) just wait until african-americans start deserting the party in ever larger numbers. what would be really funny to see, is if sen. obama barak switched parties.

12:39 AM  
Blogger om/ar said...

Well, after reading some more of your blog, I realize that you are not the brightest bulb in the blogoshpere. Specifically, the US is not Superman entry: the fact that you think this excellent is truly incredible. No intelligent dissenter has ever argued there were not problems in Iraq or Vietnam; the problem we have is with the way those problems were addressed and the false urgency with which the actions were undertaken, at the cost of tens of thousands of lives in Iraq and millions in Vietnam. And maybe, by the most cynical calculation, it would have been worth it if the problem were fixed. But Iraq and Vietnam are worse off for the US efforts, with a legacy of instability that will last for generations. Likewise, no one in El Salvador was clamoring for the US to prolong their civil war for 12 years. As for the Phillipines reference--does that mean the Phillipines should thank the US for making it a colony.

You follow the Bush tradition of reducing your opponents ideology to straw men and then ridiculing the ideas that you yourself have created. What is the point? You're representatives are in power; you, and others like you (little green footballs, etc.,) act as if you lost the election, as if we are in danger of having to withdraw from Iraq, as if two-dimensional thinking and anti-illectualism were not catching on. Why instead, don't you pat yourself on the back; you've won, you've proven war is the answer to everything.

2:28 AM  
Blogger AnotherIdea said...

In his youth Byrd was an active member of the Ku Klux Klan. You know...the organization that during the civil war era raped black slave girls, tortured black slave men, and mutilated the bodies of any who resisted. The KKK burned bodies of disobedient blacks, burned the houses of their loved ones, and burned crosses on the front yards of any who would show sympathy to the maltreatment of blacks.Ummm, correct me if I am wrong, but did not the KKK start out with a far more reasonable, responsible, and moderate position on things? I thought the overt oppression and racism started with the revival of it in the 10s or 20s after a period of about 20-30 years of dormancy...?

Not to dispute any other aspect of the overall thesis, either Dodd's or this one...

7:11 AM  
Blogger Seth said...

I agree--many liberals are racist and they get away with it. I have another problem with them, though. One charge the left raises against the Christian right is that they are the western equivalent of Muslim extremists. Well, if you compare all three groups (libs, conserv. Christians, and Muslim extrmsts) I believe the LIBS are closer to the Muslim extremists. I'd be interested to hear your response. I post in depth at:

9:52 PM  
Blogger Mexigogue said...

During the 1996 election I (a Latino) was speaking with a black woman in my office about a particular political issue. A white democrat interrupted and asked if we were familiar with so-and-so candidate's political views. We said we were not. He said "This guy has great views! He's FOR affirmative action!"

We just stared at him until he got uncomfortable and walked away. What gave him license to presume that we were myopic one-issue voters? What gave him license to presume that we were both FOR affirmative action? And did I miss my cue? Was I supposed to say OLAY! and order a round of burritos?

THIS type of racial presumption bothers me just as much as the more overt stuff! I guess if Condi cannot think for herself as a politician I suppose we're not supposed to be able to think for ourselves as voters either. Maybe we need a white Moses to come lead us to the promised land. Ha!

1:30 PM  
Blogger USMC_Vet said...

That post is simply awesome!

Well said, my friend. Well said indeed!

Mexigogue, you and RD are new heroes to me.

Wow, what a day of reading I have had in the past 24 hours. I have never come across such a cluster of 4 Must Read posts or articles as I have this day.

Thanks for what you write, RD.

This article is getting linked forthwith, post-haste and...ummm....real fast like, too.


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