Friday, September 18, 2009

The Solves Everything Cop Out

The Left has developed a bulletproof response to every policy objection the Right might care to raise: it's all a result of racism. This neatly ends the need to discover whether or not points should be discussed - let alone the possibility of having such a discussion - because now, instead of discussing the original point of debate, you're discussing whether or not the argument is racially motivated. The very fact that a charge of racism can so easily derail any conversation should, itself, be a testament to how far we have come in race relations - Would the accusation be so explosive or insulting if there truly were as many racists as the accusers claim? Do you honestly believe that if you accused, for example, the average KKK member of being racist, that person would be insulted? - but instead it is being used to drive us backward. If you don't think people can develop racist tendencies by being constantly falsely accused of such then you don't know much about psychology or sociology.
Is there a racial overtone (or undertone) to the objections against President Obama's policies? Interestingly, Obama himself doesn't think so, not that this is doing a thing to slow down the accusers. Of course, it could be that Obama is just taking the politically expedient route. He is, after all, a politician. So what about the accusations themselves? Do they hold up? Why don't we look at a few and find out?

"Representative Joe Wilson calling President Obama a liar last week was ALL about race -- the race of the illegal immigrants both the President and Mr. Wilson were referring to."

This is one of the biggest and one of the easiest to dismiss. This could actually be an entire posting subject on its own, but I'll try to keep it brief. For starters, this argument demonstrates that there is nothing new with improperly inserting racial accusations into a policy debate. There are many people on one side of the illegal immigration debate who insist on making it a racial debate instead of a law and immigration debate. According to them, if you support enforcing (and even toughening) illegal immigration laws then you are a racist. End of discussion. Never mind the fact that immigration laws do not concern a specific race or that supporting such laws doesn't say a thing about your opinion on legal immigration. According to the thinking of this group, it is racist because one racial group makes up the majority of illegal immigrants in this country. Seriously? Is it my fault one race breaks this particular law more often than any other? If one racial group made up most of the thieves in a given country (please note that I am not suggesting this to be the case nor do I believe it to be so - I'm only giving a stupidly exaggerated example) would it then become racist to enforce anti-stealing laws? Of course not! Who would suggest such silliness? Why then is it suggested in this other area of law?

"Also, if it is not racism why carry swastika signs or call President Obama all kinds of unsavory names, and carry loaded guns to the meetings or protest marches?"

Do you even know what racism is about? Here's a hint: "I don't like you, you're stupid," is not a racist comment. It doesn't matter if I'm purple and you're green, it's still not a racist comment. If you're going to accuse someone of racism, can you at least use racial examples to support your accusation?

"Why all the rascist signs at these meetings calling Obama Hitler and Muslim and using every deragatory comment based on religion and race? As a black female seeing that I call it rasism (sic)."

Again, an accusation of racism while citing examples that do not support the accusation. Muslim is a religion, not a race and comparing Obama (black) to Hitler (white supremacist) strikes me as a rather absurd way to go about racism. You are aware of the fact that many true racists would not consider comparisons to Hitler to be a bad thing, right?
I've collected another comment that says pretty much the same thing as this one but includes the phrase "Indonesian Muslim" instead of just "Muslim". If you aren't aware of the fact that the "Indonesian" portion of that particular accusation is an assertion on whether or not Obama is legally eligible to hold the office of president (no comment here on the irrationality of that assertion - that would be a different post) and not a racial slur against Indonesians then you haven't been paying enough attention to current events to really warrant making a comment.

"There is a huge element of racism in how many Republicans, white working-class people, and those on the religious right see the Democratic Party as a whole. I know religious people who seethe at the very thought of their tax money going to welfare cheats (i.e., blacks), who are full of anger at having to deal with resentful, boorish, fat, lazy, long-nailed government clerks (black women), and who burn with hatred at the anti-social low-lifes whose very presence drives down property values, ruins neighborhoods, and contaminates everything they touch (blacks again). For many of them the words "welfare", "socialism", "Obama", and "Democrat" are just code words for black, black, black, and black."

Are you familiar with the psychological term "projecting"? Just because you claim that these things are code words for "black" doesn't mean that they are. Personally, most of the welfare cheats that I have known or seen in my life have been white. Most of the boorish, lazy government workers I have known or seen in my life have been white. Most of the people complaining about these people that I have known in my life have been just as demonstrably angry about the "white trash" examples as at any other examples. Frankly, what does it say about you that you assume these things mean "black"? In short, this is another accusation without foundation. Because the accuser assumes the person in question means "black" does not in any way demonstrate or prove that this is actually the case.
What needs to be said here is that this is most of the current debate on racism. It is made up almost entirely of people assuming racism with no evidence to support the accusation. Are there racists involved in this debate? Absolutely, and anyone who suggests otherwise is too foolish to be involved in the debate. Are those racists the majority of the Right side of the debate? There is no evidence to support this assumption and I find it highly doubtful. The fact of the matter is that the Left, on the whole, assumes that you are racist if you don't support welfare, affirmative action, or entitlement policies in general or if you do support such things as enforcement of illegal immigration laws - in short, if you're not on the Left - so you are guilty before you have even done anything. This makes it easier for them because, if you are just a hateful little racist, they don't have to waste time discussing policy differences with you.
There is a continuing problem with racism in this country, but you cannot solve that problem by throwing everything you disagree with into the same pot and calling it all racism. People can disagree with spending decisions without having a racial motivation. People can believe there is no Constitutional justification for government involvement in healthcare without having racial motivations. People can believe that current plans under discussion will harm their own healthcare without having racial motivations. The very fact that these differences can legitimately exist indicates that you should be discussing them instead of dismissing them as racism and pretending they don't exist.
The fact that you refuse to discuss them does not say good things about your side of the argument.

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