Saturday, July 24, 2010

The poisonous effects of the race card

Bookworm offers her take on the Sherrod story: Knee jerk jerks — or, the current state of racism in America

Breitbart held onto that video clip until the NAACP announced that, in the absence of any evidence showing Tea Party racism, it was going to denounce Tea Party racism. In the face of the NAACP’s knee jerk attack to policies with which it disagrees, Breitbart published the video.

It turned out, though, that Breitbart might have been knee jerking it too, since the video turned out to be part of a longer presentation during which Sherrod had confessed that she had abandoned her old racist ways. To the extent that he was trying to highlight NAACP conduct, not Sherrod’s, Breitbart still had a point with that knowing laughter the audience gave during Sherrod’s confession. Be that as it may, it looked as if Breitbart owed Sherrod an apology.

Interestingly, the NAACP was so panicked by the video — despite the fact that it had the entire speech in its possession — that it immediately denounced Sherrod. This was yet another example of knee jerk idiocy, giving the NAACP two knee jerk points, the first for attacking the Tea Party, and the second for trying to disassociate itself from Sherrod before taking 15 minutes to get the facts.

The Obama administration also went into knee jerk mode, explicitly claiming fear of Fox and Glenn Beck. Without bothering to investigate, it humiliated and then fired Sherrod. When the whole video transcript came out, the administration had to engage in a massive belly crawl to Sherrod. No surprise here. Almost two years of Obamaness has shown us that the administration is focused on its goals, but a little hazy on the details.

Fascinatingly, for all the scorn the left heaps on "Faux News", they seem to consider it incredibly authoritative. All you have to do is hint that something might be on Fox News, and it will be taken as gospel.

It turns out that, remorseful confession notwithstanding, Sherrod is still a race sinner, whose default, knee jerk setting is to cry racism. Check it out. She’s no rose and she’s not repentant. When push comes to shove, Sherrod is every bit as bad as the rest of them.

Race in America is poisonous, not because most Americans are racists, but because the Left believes that most Americans are racists. I am reminded of Maria Van Trapp’s autobiography, which I read decades ago. Before she fell into the hands of the “good” nuns, the ones who achieved Hollywood fame, Maria was sent to a school run by fairly sadistic nuns. These nuns beat the children daily on the principle that children were inherently evil and, whether or not one caught them making mischief, one could assume that they had made mischief, so they should be punished accordingly.

My father had a similar experience with nuns back in Berlin in 1924, when he was 5....

Both Maria and my father had the exact same response to the experience of all punishment, no crime: They concluded that, if they were going to be beaten for being bad, whether or not they had, in fact, been bad, they might as well be bad. At least then the beating would have meaning and maybe they’d have some fun along the way.

If you constantly castigate honorable Americans as racists, they will eventually confirm to your standards. That’s all.

And they will do this for two reasons. First, in many cases, it takes extra effort to make sure you're including everyone who needs to be included, and avoid accidentally discriminating against people. If you're not going to get credit for making the effort, why bother? Second, "in for a penny, in for a pound." If you're going to be condemned as a racist, you might as well get whatever benefit you can from it.

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