Sunday, July 27, 2008

GOP Unfairly Branded as White Supremist

Christopher Bodenner, writing at the Daily Dish, was impressed with Shelby Steele's recent analysis of Barack Obama's racial politics at the Wall Street Journal - and for good reason. Next to Juan Williams, Steele's the most thoughtful commentator on the pathologies of black victimology in America today.

But what really got me interested was Bodenner's link to an essay by Margaret Kimberley, "
Freedom Rider: Shelby Steele Loves White Supremacy."

Kimberley, writing at The Black Commentator, says:

Shelby Steele is a well known black conservative, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, a leading right wing think tank. Steele has made a lucrative career for himself by lambasting black people and praising white people. He says that racism is all in the past, that all is right with the world and it is up to black people to admit it and stop complaining.

Recently on the opinion pages of the
Wall Street Journal Steele outdid himself. Steele lamented that white people just aren’t as vicious as they used to be. He believes that the legacy of slavery, segregation and American imperialism left a terrible legacy on white people. Of course, the worst impact was on the oppressed and subjugated, but Steele isn’t very worried about the legacy the past left on them.
Kimberley stretches too far when she goes off on the Iraq war as "racist." Yet, she's clear in making the radical left-wing case for an alleged entrenched, undending white supremacy in the GOP today:

Steele’s confusion is so great that one has to wonder if he even reads the newspaper or watches the news. “There are no serious advocates of white supremacy in America today, because whites see this idea as morally repugnant”....

Steele’s assertion that there are no advocates of white supremacy is truly difficult to fathom ... If he thinks white supremacists have disappeared he need only look in the mirror. He has achieved the rare feat of being a man of color who cheerleads for an idea that has murdered and otherwise destroyed the lives of millions of people he should identify with. He believes in manifest destiny, imperialism and white skin privilege. Consequently, he exults in shame and hatred of his own people ....

The Wall Street Journal and Steele have had a long running love affair. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the onslaught of federal government inaction that created so much suffering...
The Black Commentator announces it's committed to the "struggle" for "peace" and "social justice," Marxist revolutionary code language, but Kimberley's ideas are common on the left today.

For example, we saw a left-wing backlash in response to Bruce Bartlett's recent article, "
The GOP Is the Party of Civil Rights."

Crooked Timber, for instance, attacked Bartlett's necrophilia, that is, his love of "dead" Republicans:

Bartlett does not even claim, in the op-ed, that there are living Republicans who deserve the support of African-Americans, due to their support for civil rights. The most recent instance he cites is Richard Nixon, who supported affirmative action as a way of busting racist unions. He is, apparently, seriously arguing that African-Americans should consider voting for dead people.
Lawyers, Guns and Money also attacks Bartlett:

The problems with Bruce Bartlett's pseudo-historical WSJ piece are almost too numerous to contemplate. For starters, it's laughable for him to suggest ... that the varieties of racism [marking] the pre-civil rights era have somehow been "buried"...
The left's outrage with Shelby Steele, as well as with writers like Bruce Bartlett, reflects the nihilist tendency to smear all Republicans as unequivocally racist.

These attacks are unprincipled and outrageous. Republicans (or conservatives) historically stress traditional values, such as equal treatment under the law. They argue that society should be organized around excellence and achievement, not handouts, quotas, and racial recrimination.

Douglas MacKinnon, a longstanding GOP operative, argued last week that the
GOP is unfairly branded as racist:

As a Republican with a conservative point of view, I have written more on the greatness of black America, and the need for my party to reach out to that community, than just about anyone I know....

And yet as much as I and other Republicans try to increase the dialogue, correct the record and derail the hateful rhetoric that divides us, others choose to deliberately ignore heartfelt efforts. As one example, last September, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert wrote a column titled “
The Ugly Side of the GOP.”

In a somewhat rambling piece that was syndicated all over the nation, Herbert said, “Last week the Republicans showed once again just how anti-black their party really is”...
MacKinnon wrote a column in response these claims, and then forwarded it to Herbert. To which MacKinnon notes, "Unfortunately, he chose to ignore my outreach..."

Herbert's non-response is no surprise.

The meme that America is irredeemably racist - and especially that the GOP is the bastion of today's Jim Crow ideology - provides the far left-wing of the Democratic Party a powerful tool of guilt-mongering and racial victimology.

Jesse Jackson blew the mask off this meme, however, with
his totally corrupt double-standard on Barack Obama, when he announced that the Illinois Senator should be castrated for allegedly talking down to black Americans about personal responsibility.

Note how Fox News was branded as "
racist" for just broadcasting these issues.

As I've noted many times this year, to the extent that we've seen outright racism in election 2008, it's been on the Democratic Party side (see, "
Barack Obama and the Political Psychology of Race").

If we see genuine white supremacy on the right, it's at the margins, among people associated with
Stormfront and extreme right-wing Paulbots, as well as racist vigiliante blogs on the redneck wilderness.

One extremist blogger announced recently that Sherri Shepard of the View should be kicked to the curb, which reflects the kind of white supremist hatred depicted in films such as American History X:
Elisabeth Hasselbeck got baited into a discussion she can not win, not on the air, not in a liberal minded show and not being as sweet as she is. She needed to get up and grab that dumb bitch by her horse hair weave and curb stomp her ass.
It's true that vile views like these can be readily found on the extremist right-wing fringe, but as we've seen in Bartlett and MacKinnon's essays above, mainstream Republicans have repudiated this hatred time and again.

This will continue to be a challenge for the GOP (who are not only slurred by the left as racist, but "pseudo fascist" as well), although the party's eminently better positioned - on the basis of history and basic values of decency and fair play - to lead the country toward the colorblind society that is rightfully America's bounty.

See also, The Next Right, "
How John McCain Should Respond To Racism."

Related: Classical Values, "The Fascists Are Still Coming!