The race card

21 09 2009

This article in today’s Australian (full front page article in A2 section) discusses the supposed prevalence of racism in the USA and it’s effect on Obama’s popularity. 

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,26100736-26397,00.html

I assume this article originates from “The Sunday Times” in the UK, but the Australian doesn’t specify which Sunday Times – there must be hundreds. 

What a pity that Australian considers this type of discussion worthwhile.  Race should simply be irrelevant to politics. 

As reported, Jimmy Carter made this public statement: 

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man … That racism inclination still exists.

“And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the south but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.”

Unfortunately people actually took Carter’s crap seriously and bothered to report it.   

The article also cites two poster messages from recent rallies presumably against Obamacare:

We came unarmed (this time)” read one poster in Washington last weekend

One of the most common signs last weekend said simply, “I want my country back”.

Then the article uses these as evidence for racism!?  Are people aware of history? Are they aware of the US constitution and bill of rights?  Are they aware the Boston tea party was a protest over taxation?  How do those placards imply racism?  These posters are clearly a protest over the ever increasing government socialism in the US. 
Personally, I think that only people that could get any possible meaning out of “A change we can believe in” could think that the above placard messages are racist. 

It seems that some people due to intellectual ignorance or laziness simply write off pro-freedom protests such as the town hall debates and the tea party protests as racism. 

What a weak, pathetic attempt to avoid an actual argument. 

IMO, this is a classic example of a lazy, outdated, intellectually stunted, biased mainstream media.   

And those accusing US citizens of basing their decisions on racist ideas, don’t even seem to be aware that their argument works both ways.  If people are so stupid that their political decisions are indeed based on erroneous racist opinions (as lefties like Carter are suggesting) – then this could easily work in reverse.  ie: political correctness and fear of being branded a racist could spare Obama’s policies the examination and condemnation they deserve.  There is already plenty of evidence for the media treating Obama and Bush quite differently even though they have enacted the same policies.  Here’s an example blogged about at NoodleFood

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204731804574391183769432284.html

“This scant media attention is all the more incredible given that, as Americans United for Separation of Church and State has noted, Mr. Obama has left “the entire architecture of the Bush Faith-Based Initiative intact—every rule, every regulation, every executive order.” More controversially, the office has become a major hub of political outreach. In frequent conference calls, the administration informs faith-based leaders of its policy initiatives, as when it recently asked rabbis around the country to give sermons on health-care reform during the coming high holiday season. Representatives from politically important religious groups have been appointed to a 25-member religious advisory council. The office was also involved in drafting President Obama’s June speech delivered from Cairo calling for alliances with ­Muslims.”

“Barry Lynn, head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, was a vocal critic of Mr. Bush’s faith-based office. Now, under Mr. Obama, he serves on the advisory council’s task force to improve the functioning of the office. Explaining his turnaround, he said he doesn’t view Mr. Obama’s office as partisan—the way Mr. Bush’s was. But acknowledging that there was no substantive difference between the offices yet, Mr. Lynn said: “We have a guarded optimism that when the advisory council, Justice and the White House act and get down to the nitty gritty, they will make this a constitutionally protected program. However, we have no proof of that and no guarantee.”

Another example is how Obama has approved the sending of more troops to Afghanistan with little media condemnation.  And how Obama has been unable to close Guantanamo. 

I particularly like this line from Nancy Morgan (whom I do not always agree with) http://www.brookesnews.com/092109obamaracism_print.html

“Despite having elected a black president, the left would have us believe that the millions of whites who voted for Obama still hate black people”

As the Australian article notes, Limbaugh is claiming the reverse of Carter.  He is claiming racism against white people and is (IMO accurately) noting the damage that comes from political correctness. 
However I don’t really care all that much and I don’t see the need for the media focus on the race issue. 

Surely most people are smart enough to disregard race issues.  
I know that there are certainly many people that do exactly this, and ignore the collectivist fallacy of categorizing by race in politics.  In fact, it’s thinking in collectives that is the real problem and not recognising individual rights. 

But I guess this is yet another downside to popularity politics – where the state does not have its powers checked and where populism is everything.  Where’s the mainstream media article about that? – I’ve never seen one.   

Personally I think it’s telling if someone places too much importance on race.   I’m certainly sceptical of anyone to whom the issue of race preoccupies their simplistic political thinking.  At Obama’s election I did have friends telling me how cool it was to have a black president.  I think this is a stupid opinion.  I don’t care what colour he is and I don’t think the current generation has any responsibility for past racism.  Surely only a collectivist or someone who believes in the power of ancestors from the afterlife (supernaturalism) could possibly think differently.  Perhaps a subjectivist?   

Despite his accusations, Carter is of course the one playing the race card.  And IMO, he’s doing this in order to dismiss real world concerns such as this: 

http://ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=337909690110379

“Two of every three practicing physicians oppose the medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington, and hundreds of thousands would think about shutting down their practices or retiring early if it were adopted, a new IBD/TIPP Poll has found.”

What’s that Carter?  These doctors are just racists?  Guess who I think is more respectable.  Valuable hard working docotrs, or the washed up Carter?   

IMO, the real interesting and concerning question is why is Carter getting media attention in the first place?  And why does the non-Fox network mainstream media refer to Carter in a positive light and Limbaugh (who is possibly just as stupid, I don’t know) in a negative light?

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