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Friday, June 07, 2013

Government is the New Race

MSNBC is to news channels as Ringling Bros' Clown College is to Harvard University. There's a certain distant resemblance. Everyone sits behind desks and reads from teleprompters. And that's where the resemblance ends.

The cable news version of Air America only has two topics. 1. How Congressional Republicans are obstructing some bill or measure that would finally end discrimination against the designated victim group that MSNBC has decided to care about this moment. 2. Racism. Which is to say that it actually only has one interconnected topic.

While you might think that it would be impossible to run an entire cable news network around accusing people of racism, MSNBC has taken your bet and now expects you to buy it coffee for a month. It would be impossible for reasonable people to constantly talk about racism. But unreasonable people racialize everything.

On Wednesday, Martin Bashir declared that IRS was the new N word; which would mean that IRS is now the unpronounceable I word. "Three letters that sound so innocent, but we know what you mean," Bashir said. I don't know anyone who associates those particular three letters with innocence, except Obama's media defenders for whom a giant ruthless government agency is the innocent victim of a Republican hate crime.

As supporting evidence Bashir quoted the widely misrepresented Lee Atwater interview. In the interview, Atwater was saying that politics was becoming deracialized because even racist voters were backing non-racist agendas, even if for racist reasons, making racist politics abstract.

That quote has been endlessly misquoted to "prove" that when Republicans support lower taxes, it's really coded racism. Atwater clumsily said that racial politics were becoming abstract, and the left responded by racializing all politics, including the politics of the IRS.

Atwater was right that racism in politics has become abstract, but he was wrong in assuming that it was going anywhere. Real racism in politics is hard to find, but the political abstraction of racism is everywhere. Any attack on Obama is immediately racist, whether it's calling him a Socialist or demanding an investigation of IRS abuses, because Obama is, in Bashir's words, "the black man in the White House."

That and nothing else.

Rather than bringing the racial healing that some expected, the Obama years so dramatically racialized national politics that even IRS is now a racial slur. And that racialization reveals how dependent on race the entire liberal program has become.

Liberalism racialized itself by defining itself entirely in terms of social justice. To oppose the liberal expansion of government was to be a racist.

The process has gone so far that it is hard to remember that at one point it stood for big ideas. Today the only big liberal idea is big government and that idea is armored with a system of racial subsidies and privileges that uses black people as human shields against government critics. But the racial privileges and subsidies aren't the point; they just provide the moral legitimacy for the trillion dollar deficits that end up in the bedroom communities around Washington D.C.

Racism has become the mask that liberalism wears. And liberalism has become the mask that big government wears. Underneath the mask of the social justice crusader is a government bureaucrat with a photo of Martin Luther King on the wall.

The abstraction of political racism from real racism and social justice from the actual interests of the black community has gone so far that an administration that has presided over record black unemployment is always defended in racial terms.

Liberalism has not only become identified with racial politics, it has swallowed racial politics so completely that they no longer exist on a national level. National racial politics is just liberalism misspelled and when an MSNBC anchor equates IRS with a racial slur, it becomes rather clear that there is no longer any race in racism. Racism in politics has become so abstract that it no longer has anything to do with black people.

The latest administration boondoggle, illegal alien amnesty is expected to economically devastate the black community. If there was ever a policy that deserved to be criticized on racial grounds, it's the proposal to bring in huge numbers of unskilled workers at a time when 1 in 7 African-Americans are unemployed. But it won't be, because racism no longer refers to policies that disadvantage black people, but policies that limit the power and scope of big government.

If there's anything that ought to be equated with the N Word, it's not the IRS; it’s Amnesty. Amnesty is the code for the economic and political disenfranchisement of African-Americans across the country. But it's also a code word that can't be spoken. The IRS can be decoded to reveal the abstract inner racism of its critics, but a bill that would put millions of black people out of work is being passed off as the greatest civil rights achievement in a generation.

Amnesty is a disaster for African-Americans, but it is meant to protect the political fortunes of the Democratic Party and large numbers of African-Americans have accepted that they should be willing to make any sacrifice for the welfare of the Democratic Party.

African-American leaders mortgaged their history and their interests to the Democratic Party and got back affirmative action and a few community grants. And now their history has been foreclosed on. It has been so detached from them that it can be used as PR spin for any government organization. Even the IRS.

It isn't the Republicans who have abstracted racism. The Democrats built up a politics of racism and then adopted the mantle of racist anti-racism when it became convenient, pivoting from States' Rights to Federalism and then claiming credit for the century-long Federal civil rights project of the Republican Party. And when that was done, they stole the history of the people they had enslaved and oppressed.

Obama represents the culmination of that abstraction of race and its identification with liberalism. His race, like so much else about him, is symbolic. His role isn't to usher in racial healing, but to further hijack a racial legacy that he was never part of and turn it into political fodder for the party of big government.

Race for Obama is abstract. His identity isn't racial, it's political. Race is only a tool for his politics, it doesn't define his politics. In this he is no different than the rest of the left for whom race, gender, class, profession and any other aspect of identity are tools to be used to promote the ideas and policies of the left, but can never be allowed to truly define those policies.

Obama represents the symbolic union of racial grievance and leftist politics; but there is no doubt which one of these is in the driver's seat.

The left played the black community, bribed their leaders, tossed a few trinkets to the masses and then plundered their heritage and history. The economic potential of the black community was destroyed to leave them with few options but to serve as the cannon fodder of big government. Black history and politics have been so thoroughly hijacked that a media personality on the propaganda channel of big government can claim with a straight face that IRS is a racial slur.

Unpacking Bashir's meaning leads us to the inevitable conclusion that the real victims of racism are
big government organizations. And that reduces the civil rights movement to an apologetic for the uncontrolled expansion of government. It turns "I Have a Dream" into "I Have a Government Office" and the Selma to Montgomery March into a commute to a Washington D.C. bedroom community that most of the black population of the city can't afford to live in.

Black history has become a commodity. It was mortgaged to the Democratic Party which turned it over to the IRS. And when history turns into a commodity, it is cut off from the flows and currents of a culture. It is reduced to an item of intellectual property to be exploited, developed and then finally discarded. In this state, it cannot grow or change. It does not reflect the soul of a people. And without it, the soul of a people grows stifled and musty. Without control over their own history, a people are unable to grow and change.

The only way this will change is if the black community makes the decision to reclaim its history and its interests from parties and political organizations.

9 comments:

Geoffrey Britain said...

"you might think that it would be impossible to run an entire cable news network around accusing people of racism"

And so it has proven to be, their ratings are in the caca recepticle.

"The only way this will change is if the black community makes the decision to reclaim its history and its interests from parties and political organizations."

The black community would rather be a pawn than an imagined second class citizen. The chains are of their own making and those are always the hardest to break.

Tim Michael said...

Unfortunately the "bigotization" of everything has insecure people BROW-beaten into submission to the liberal agenda (see gay rights), and unwilling to speak up or speak out because they will be immediately vilified and shouted down. The media lead this charge in order to control the narrative and the political landscape. They have been pushing buttons of conservatives (I think) in hopes that they can woo just one conservative to do something really stupid and forever crush their opposition. Well, the eunuchs are too impotent to be loyal opposition, so ironically THEY gave BIRTH to the Tea Party who was (absent ANY valid proof) immediately labeled - wait for it - RACISTS! We (conservatives) can't win this argument or elections unless we do one thing: Turn out more "racists" than they do cheaters.

IgorR said...

They've made race into a sacred cow, and now, by association, they are trying to make hard-line leftist activism into a sacred cow. If you can make it acceptable to defend anything with charges of racism, you've made that thing logically unassailable.

Dennis Latham said...

The Black race will reclaim itself about the same time Alex Trebek will hear: Alex, I would like Caucasian Authors for 500. In other words it will never happen.

DenisO said...

The worst thing the Demorat Party has done to the blacks is to destroy whatever work ethic they had. Today, an inner city black feels "entitled", and expecting him to go to work every day, is unreasonable. Mexicans, as a rule, are grateful for work, dependable, and generally honest; they'll have no trouble finding work.
For the same reason, Union shops will find they are getting less work. Today, Unions are privileged groups, politically, and that will prove a disadvantage when the pendulum swings back.
Denis

Empress Trudy said...

When soon the Latino minority far far outstrips the African American minority in size, wealth, political clout, and our President is a primarily Spanish speaking son of illegal aliens it will be interesting to see who the African American community blames for their stagnation. Will it be the Whites? The Latinos? The Jews? Anyone but them I imagine.

Sarah Rolph said...

Beautifully said. This essay is an enormous contribution to the serious discussion of saving and reclaiming our culture.

I'd like to offer an additional perspective on these closing lines:

"The only way this will change is if the black community makes the decision to reclaim its history and its interests from parties and political organizations."

Although I think this is quite true, in a sense, I think perhaps one might also question the premise that there is or ought to be a black community that has interests to reclaim. The people I see as leaders of what might be called a black community are also part of what I consider to be my community: Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Stephen L. Carter, Shelby Steele... I don't know whether these people would identify themselves as part of a black community or what they would see as its interests. I guess there are communities within communities.

I always thought growing up that the reason for raising our consciousness, if you will, about racism, was to get to the point where we really do relate to one another based on the content of our character rather than the color of our skin. And I guess I imagined that this would make us all one community. I never considered the possibility that society would reject the concept of character altogether and embrace racism.

But then I never imagined people would relate to one another based on the color of their political affiliation, either, as if we are two tribes.

So sorry you are spending time in hospitals, Daniel. May you find strength and solace during this difficult time.

Inane Rambler said...

African-Americans have sold their soul to the Democrat Party, and they deserve every second of getting screwed in the ass by the Democrats that they get.

The few African-Americans who tell the Democrats to fuck off are certainly not the ones that are going to lose out to amnesty, while the ones who slavishly follow the Democrat Party line are the ones who fully support the government leviathan, and a large portion of that group is going to feel the competition from amnesty.

Inane Rambler said...

People like Clarence Thomas and Thomas Sowell are certainly African-American, and indeed they both rose from "disadvantaged" backgrounds similiar to those many African-Americans still come from today. But I wouldn't call them leaders of the African-American community, that is certain.

Clarence Thomas might (or might not) consider himself part of the community, but the community doesn't consider him a part of them, I'm sure of that.

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