Monday, July 26, 2010

Racism and Us

What is racism? That’s a good question these days. It might be easier to define the meaning of life in one sentence.

Americans are already overwhelmed about race. Ethnic studies and diversity seminars are as much a part of contemporary university campuses as the football team. Every week our government and media masters inform the peasantry that we require a (new) Conversation on Race and someone the other day told me that we now have our first black president.

What we know about racism is like what George Orwell said about fascism, that it ‘has no meaning except in so far as it signifies something not desirable.’

We have been particularly bombarded with “evidence” of “racism” lately.

There is still smoke emanating from the Shirley Sherrod-firing-rehiring fiasco. New Black Panther Samir Shabazz’s clarion call to kill cracker babies still shocks anyone except those familiar with the New Black Panthers.

Everyday for awhile it seemed like another vulgar recording of Mel Gibson surfaced with Mel using another one of those words.

His rants were more painful than shocking, but they were also words in what was meant to be a private conversation.

This is bandied about by the tolerance-mongers as proof that Mel is a racist. Of course, the faster one denounces Mel and calls him a dirty racist, the more racially enlightened one is, or so the logic would seem.

Even Shirley Sherrod’s case is an exercise in silliness. Although she’s been exonerated, mostly by a liberal press embarrassed to have been snookered by some simple editing from Andrew Breitbart, the infamous video still catches her imputing racism to President Obama’s opponents. Even then, it’s hard to see how her own purported racism would affect her performance as a USDA state director of rural development, a bureaucratic post that should probably be eliminated anyway.

But there is certainly more than thought crimes going on.

A political appointee is about to be rewarded with a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land and it seems normal. Chris Dodd, one of the chief clowns who both perpetuated and benefited from the housing scam gets to write the “financial reform bill” with nary a peep. Meanwhile, July ends as the deadliest month in a nine year war. Like racism, the national interest in Afghanistan seems to have as protean a definition.

Of particular importance to Americans should be what this all says us.

The sad truth is that charges of racism are not likely to end anytime soon. Not only is it hopeless (and bloody) to attempt perfecting mankind, but because charging someone with racism is simply too valuable, convenient, and probably fun for any of its users to surrender.

The ruling class definitely has no intention of letting racism, real or imagined, fade into memory – to its own benefit.

The fastest way to silence opposition, the race racket gets outright encouragement from our overlords. We contaminate political discussion ourselves when we launch into self-righteous diatribes. Out go questions about constitutionality - in comes whether some minutiae in a speech pandering to Muslims means President Obama is secretly a Muslim.

Democrats, who were once the party of segregation, have been the masters of this but Republicans, and many of their partisans who have joined this highly-received but poorly-written farce, are catching up.

It’s not too surprising. There are few satisfactions greater than getting to assail someone else as a racist. It’s a not-so-thinly veiled pat-on-the-back.

But it is for all these reasons that our ruling class cherishes these squabbles. Instead of Nero fiddling while Rome burned it’s the citizenry.

Maybe Americans aren’t actually interested in citizenship and civic responsibility. Maybe politics and current events are just another form of entertainment and playing the racist game is just everyone’s favorite episode.

As a game, it’s just another way for a dreadfully narcissistic culture to fall further in love with itself and where a Republican or Democrat winning office is no more impactful than which Kardashian sister is dating which sports star.

Instead of issues like the Constitution, natural rights, and peace consuming our creative energies, perhaps this is the republic we actually want.

And get.

1 comment:

Law and Order Teacher said...

I agree that the ruling class (both parties) is delighted when we are distracted by name-calling. The party most threantened seems to be the most strident. In this case the Dems are in a full-court press. They are using racism as a distracting mechanism to divert attention from the grab at biggest government. Exempt most from taxes, stigmatize your opponents, set off on a class warfare strategy and maybe, just maybe they can minimize their losses.

The problem for us is that mostly they will be replaced by Repubs who will once again engage in a spending spree and exacerbate the problem. It seems to be a never ending cycle, no?

I hope you enjoy the book.