Lucid Conversation on Racism


…Over at Ann Althouse’s place. The Professor posits the following:

Imagine if, before last year’s election, someone had argued: If a black man becomes President, anyone who dares to criticize him will be called a racist.

1. I would have viewed that argument itself as racist. If that is really true, I would have said, then it means that we have to vote against the candidate because he is black, since it is not acceptable to have a President who can’t be criticized.

2. I would also have said: It is racist to say that it’s racist to criticize a black President, because you are being patronizing and you are saying that a black person needs to be coddled and protected in some special way that doesn’t apply to white people.

The whole post is well done but the crux of the matter is her two points listed above. Her commenters then take the ball and run with it. They do a terrific job of debating the issue, and the thread contains one of the most insightful remarks I’ve read on the subject by commenter Lucid:

The culture of affirmative action is a major part of the reason we are hearing the nonsense that criticisms of Obama are motivated by racism.

Affirmative action policies displace fairness with unfair preferences for “protected” groups. Beneficiaries of affirmative action therefore have a strong vested interest in its continuation–ask any appplicant to a competitive college, law, or medical school.

But the continuation of affirmative action policies requires a victim and an oppressor. Thus, the continuation of affirmative action requires not an end to racism, but its perpetuation in the myths and narratives of the culture. And one of the best ways to do this is by accusing white folks of racism.

Those who benefit from afirmative action literally cannot afford to not accuse others of a pervasive racism. And at this point in our history, the truth is that racism among blacks against whites is much, much more extensive than white racism about blacks. Blacks often don’t even recognize it. This is why Obama could sit for 20 years listening to Jeremiah Wright’s racist rants and think it was no big deal. Because in the black community, it is no big deal.

The advantage of the discussion we are having now–and of Obama’s election as president–is that it opens up the secret, hermetically sealed racism of the black community, and its unwarranted sense of special entitlements and dispensations, to the frictive and dissolving effects of free speech. But expect the beneficiaries of affirmative action and of the mythos of racism to scream bloody murder

Althouse and her commenters (or at least most of them) are definitely a cut above average, and well worth reading. So go. Read.



One Response to Lucid Conversation on Racism

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