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Surprise: JournoList Reveals Left Uses Race as a Political Football


1:18 PM, Jul 20, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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And, that last sentence is the key, isn't it? Barack Obama has always been more than happy to outsource his accusations of racism, smearing of entire activist communities, and flat-out fabrications to surrogate liberal activists and media happy to do it for him. When questioned specifically, he or an administration official will always give a perfunctory "of course we don't think all of our political opponents are racists" answer. But when, for instance, the First Lady is called upon to address the NAACP minutes before it is to vote on a resolution condemning the Tea Party movement's racism, not a finger is lifted to engender that post-racial spirit of unity Obama is perfectly positioned to encourage in close allies.

Liberals do it because it works. In a standard that works rather conveniently for liberals, and has been embraced by much of the media during the post-Obama Tea Party era, white conservatives and their allies are considered racists for merely being white conservatives. No video evidence is necessary to condemn, and no number of repuditations is sufficient to clear conservatives of this taint. On the other hand, when black leaders and liberal allies are caught on tape being racist or hateful, as in the case of Wright, Jones, the New Black Panthers, or NAACP leaders, it is also racist to point out that racism.

A bit of a Catch-22 for someone like, say, Fred Barnes or Karl Rove, who will be accused of racism regardless of the evidence, and who may raise no evidence against accusers.

Jules Crittenden calls it "race-baitism." It's a very powerful political weapon with very little downside (Unless you're Glenn Beck, in which case the potential price for crying "racist" without reason turns out to be rather high.), and it's often those who profess to be most concerned about racial discord who deploy it without consideration:

Because while racism is something no responsible party or people wants to be associated with, race-baiting is a free throw...The president whose historic election was supposed to help us get past this hasn’t shown a lot of interest in disputing any of it, though I think he did get in an offhand dismissal of the idea in a TV interview a while back. He seems to have settled for just being the first black president as his niche in history, rather than being someone who tried to actually do anything about racial tensions.

Too bad. I don’t know about you, but I wish we could all just get along, and stick to arguing about things we actually disgree about.

I think we're finally getting to a point where the overuse of the "racism" charge since Barack Obama became president has weakened its sting. This story should weaken it further, as it reveals how comfortable some of our most passionate racism watchdogs are with sowing racial discord for partisan advantage.

I think this is healthy—for those falsely accused, for the political process, for race relations, and for those who suffer real racism of the sort that's not immediately politically useful to a listserv of mostly white journalists in Washington, D.C.

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