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The Coming End of Liberals Who “Cry ‘Racism’ at Every Turn”?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:00 am - April 29, 2010.
Filed under: New Media

Back in 1996, I had a telling conversation with a liberal acquaintance over Proposition 209, then pending before the voters of California.  The initiative provided that the state “state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

When I defended the proposition, holding that the state should not discriminate on the basis of minority status, my interlocutor told me that its passage meant that public universities in the Golden State would as a result be overwhelmingly Asian.  So, I replied, if that’s the demographic breakdown you get when you judge by merit, then so be it.

He was stunned, assuming that I had supported Prop 209 for racial reasons.  He assumed I had wanted a mostly white student body at California public universities.  (I identified one of this man’s prejudiced assumptions.  See if you can spot another.)

This conversation came to mind when I read today a Christian Science Monitor article linked on at least two of my favorite blogs.

“A bright line was crossed on the 20th [of March],” says Christina Botteri, a spokeswoman for the Tea Party Federation. “The left constantly attacks conservatives as racist, as dumb, as evil, but what happened on the 20th is a sitting congressman, with the full voice and credibility of the House of Representatives, accused a group of citizens with whom he philosophically disagrees of assault and then refused to help find the persons responsible. They need to help us find the people responsible or apologize for making it up.”

Emphasis added. It seems, as Elizabeth Scalia puts it, “strange how Democrats in power seem to be incapable of doing anything, anymore, but cry “racism” at every turn? This is not the sign of a party (or an ideology) secure in itself.”

And maybe now we’re seeing what some have called a “paradigm shift” with conservatives having gained the media clout to stand up to the oft-repeated and long inaccurate accusation.  From the Monitor:

Some in the mainstream press have conceded tea partyers may have a point. Washington Post reporter David Weigel has said the March 20 incident is a “paradigm shift” that shows conservatives how the media accept attacks on the right without doing due diligence. Politico’s Ben Smith, who keeps a close eye on the tea party movement, Tweeted a response to [Andrew] Breitbart about the lack of takers on the bounty: “I think you’ve pretty much won this one, no?”

There seems to be an incredible ignorance among media folk about the ideas undergirding American conservatism.  They just assume that the movement had its roots in the opposition to the Civil Rights movement and its followers seek to restore a pre-desegregation America.

Why did Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) march through the crowd of Tea Party protesters last month bearing two video cameras?  It seems he just knew he’d capture some racist epithet because that, he believes, is what conservatives do, hurl such epithets, even if he has no evidence that all but the most deranged of conservatives eschew such name-calling.

Perhaps, thanks to new media, we are seeing a paradigm shift, but then again I’m an optimist.  But, at least, we’re seeing the mainstream media pick up on the liberal use (double meaning intended) of this inaccurate accusation.  It may not be the end, but at least it’s a start.

Or, perhaps as Churchill might put it, it’s the end of the beginning.

SOMEWHAT RELATED:  Just caught this: “ROGER SIMON: ‘The real reason liberals accuse Tea Partiers of racism is that contemporary American-style liberalism is in rigor mortis. Liberals have nothing else to say or do. Accusations of racism are their last resort.'”



  1. The progressive left has to redefine language constantly to conform to its worldview. “Racist” now means “someone who is winning an argument with a liberal.” Just like torture means “any discomfort a terrorist complains about while a Republican is president.”

    Also, since “Pay-Go” passed, the Democrats have redefined the word “Emergency” to mean “an excuse to spend money.”

    Comment by V the K — April 29, 2010 @ 6:44 am - April 29, 2010

  2. For that matter, the word “extremist” just means “someone whose opinions I don’t agree with.”

    Comment by V the K — April 29, 2010 @ 6:59 am - April 29, 2010

  3. James Taranto had this in the WSJ recently:

    * “Even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us–the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of ‘anything goes.’ Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America–there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America–there’s the United States of America.”–state senator Barack Obama, Democratic National Convention, July 27, 2004

    * “In the video message to his supporters, [President] Obama said his administration’s success depends on the outcome of this fall’s elections and warned that if Republicans regain control of Congress, they could ‘undo all that we have accomplished.’ ‘This year, the stakes are higher than ever,’ he said, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by Democratic officials. ‘It will be up to each of you to make sure that young people, African Americans, Latinos and women who powered our victory in 2008 stand together once again. . . .’ “–Washington Post, April 26, 2010

    Without question, the real Barack Obama was pulling boilerplate taffy in the first soaring rhetoric goose bump inducing bit of hokum. Now we have the real Barack Obama cutting to the chase and telling his minions to call out the minorities and do what it takes to maintain power.

    The Democrats have decided that the “fringe” gays and “fringe” Jews and “fringe” blacks can now drop off and not vote or go Republican. They are focusing their race baiting, gravy train pandering on the Latinos. They are hot for votes from illegals, prisoners, and any other “X” they can get on the ballot for the Democrat without regard to “who” cast it.

    Nothing has been done about ACORN. They are primed with laundered stimulus money and much of TARP has been held until it is needed for the 2012 election fiasco.

    The whole Obama reaction toward the Arizona law over illegal aliens is clear evidence that the real Obama wants to demagogue the Latino vote rather than protect the borders.

    Meanwhile, the leftist gays, the black poverty pimps and the wretched feminists will still kiss the Democrat ring because they have a stake in plantation politics. All of them will scream about “civil rights” and inequality because that is who they are. They are like whores who complain about not being respected.

    If there has been a “paradigm shift” it is from the demagoguery of the old victim groups and concentrating on demagoguery of the rapidly growing Latino population. Sorry, blacks, Jews, gays and feminists, but there is election gold in them that Hispanic barrios.

    At least the latinos admit it is all about race: Viva La Raza. (Press 2 for English.)

    Comment by heliotrope — April 29, 2010 @ 8:33 am - April 29, 2010

  4. The second racist assumption I spotted in your liberal friend’s response was that blacks and Hispanic students can’t get into the university without government quotas. He thinks people of those races aren’t smart enough. It’s George W. Bush’s accusation of “bigotry of low expectations” in action.

    Comment by Louise B — April 29, 2010 @ 9:35 am - April 29, 2010

  5. [Committed lefties] just assume that the [conservative] movement had its roots in the opposition to the Civil Rights movement and its followers seek to restore a pre-desegregation America.

    History shows that actually that was, um, the Democrats.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 29, 2010 @ 9:48 am - April 29, 2010

  6. through Jon Stewart, here are some finer points about Conservative contributions and the paradigm shift.

    Comment by rusty — April 29, 2010 @ 11:32 am - April 29, 2010

  7. Louise B, yup, that’s it.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — April 29, 2010 @ 2:02 pm - April 29, 2010

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  9. Helio…that is one of the best and most articulate statements I have ever read in my short 55 years. I wish Gillie had half the ability to write about his position as you do about yours.

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