…but perhaps not for the reasons he thinks.
Americans might need to have a candid conversation on race — but honestly, if we’re going to talk about race vis-a-vis anything, we need to talk about why it is so many folks on the left are so damn eager to throw out the “RACIST!” accusation every time some person or group comes out opposing various presidential initiatives, such as government health care, or cap-and-trade. I particularly loved (well, okay, maybe not) the way Page spun this:
In some cases, the nuances as to what’s racist or what isn’t draw distinctions without much of a significant difference. Take, for example, the anti-Obama billboard that auto dealer Phil Wolf erected recently in Wheat Ridge, Colo. In big letters it says, “BIRTH CERTIFICATE” and “PROVE IT,” a reference to the goofy movement that questions Obama’s natural-born citizenship despite overwhelming evidence. It also features two cartoonish images of Obama wearing a turban and reads, “President or Jihad?” and “Wake Up America! Remember Ft. Hood.”
In interviews, Wolf has said he’s convinced Obama is a secret Muslim, a view that Pew Research Center polls have shown about 11 percent of the population shares. Would they feel that way about a white president with Obama’s background? Frankly, it’s not hard to imagine, considering the paranoid streak in American politics that has nurtured worse myths than that about previous presidents.
Maybe that’s what my friend and MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews was thinking when he blurted out during coverage of the 1,500 people waiting for Palin in a Grand Rapids, Mich., bookstore that “They look like a white crowd to me” and “not that there’s anything wrong with it, but it is pretty monochromatic up there” and “I think there is a tribal aspect to this thing, in other words, white vs. other people.”
Conservative bloggers took umbrage at that, for all the understandable reasons of racial ambiguity that I listed above. You’re not a racist just because everybody around you happens to be of the same race as you. Yet, as political demographics take shape, there is a tribal aspect to politics. Birds of a feather flock together, social scientists tell us, and so do people.
Well, no. I would put money on the proposition that conservative (and libertarian) bloggers (and non-bloggers too!) took umbrage at that because it was a filthy slander from an Obama-fellating pansy who has nothing of substance to say in response to why there’s, well, ANY opposition at all to his Dear Leader. And if we’re going to talk about all the white folks banding together, then we need to take a good, long, hard look at the black, brown, and yellow folks doing it too. Really, though, we need to break away from Black vs. White, and move on to Pink vs. Grey, as the peerless Bill Whittle put it once upon a time. If you haven’t read that linked BW essay, I very, very highly recommend you do so, but I particularly loved this line:
“Let’s not talk about Black and White tribes… I know more pathetic, hateful, racists and more decent, capable and kind people of both colors for that to make any sense at all. Do you not? Do you not know corrupt, ignorant, violent people, both black and white, to cure you of this elementary idiocy? Have you not met and talked and laughed with people who were funny, decent, upright, honest and honorable of every shade so that the very idea of racial politics should just seem like a desperate and divisive and just plain evil tactic to hold power?”
Why yes, Bill. I know good and bad people of all colors. And yes, the very idea of racial politics IS evil. Those who engage in it are going to have much to answer for, I believe.