I have to confess that I was entirely apathetic about the midterm election, insofar as I believe both parties are pawns of moneyed interests with plans to turn the nation into an economic facsimile of Brazil where drugged-out proles play Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy all day and mobility between the classes is murdered with extreme prejudice. Mr. Obama’s milquetoast pretensions to watered-down pseudo-populism have proven to be completely ephermal and under his supposedly Democratic administrations the holders of capital in this country have experienced a new Gilded Age while the government openly fiddles the numbers in order to turn the tens of millions of healthy and competent but utterly unemployable men in this country into nonpersons.
Still, I was pleased to wake up this morning and see that American voters had delivered a hammer to the back of Mr. Obama’s head with a staggering repudiation of his administration and his nonexistent accomplishments. It cannot be helped that most of the politicians who benefited from this ballots-not-bullets revolution are scarcely any different from the ones they replaced. What is important is that the country reaffirmed its willingness to eject major percentages of sitting elected officials for low performance.
What a surprise, then, to find that it’s really all about that racism and stuff.
Salon’s front page today is a mountain of incomprehensible garbage, as is that of the New York Times. The Times, which earlier this week openly argues that midterms should be canceled because African-Americans don’t bother to vote in them — an assertion that is racist in two separate yet equal ways — today ran a front page of mourning similar to what they put up on September 12, 2001. No fewer than three of the articles on and linked from that page referenced race.
Yet it’s still Salon that takes the cake with an article of astounding stupidity. The premise of the article is this: The percentage of white Americans who think white Americans are not currently responsible for the poverty of black Americans has increased in the past fourteen years, and that percentage is higher…
…in areas where white and black Americans live side-by-side.
Awwww shit. It’s almost like the white people who live in integrated areas know more about black people than the inhabitants of Fairfax County or Chelsea or Berkeley. It’s almost like white people who live around black people tend to see them as people and not a distant conclave of handicapped nonhumans who require consistent attention and love and direction from their Great White Fathers in the Hamptons.
Of course, if you read the article you won’t see that spelled out explicitly. Instead, you’ll see a lot of mumbo-jumbo about the racist South and how the Republican rebound in 2014 is entirely racism-related.
Never mind that this country elected an African-American president pretty much solely because he had an African father. It was literally the only thing he had on his resume besides being a community organizer and scholarship recipient and it was enough to make him the President. Never mind that 96% of African-Americans voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 and 93% of them voted for him in 2012, a percentage so staggering that it can only be accounted for by deep-seated racism in African-American voters. Never mind that white women vote for Mr. Obama at a rate that transcends party affiliation. In fact, you cannot shuffle the voting numbers in any way that do not indicate a strong preference for African-American presidential candidates among all races in the past two elections.
(Try to ignore for a moment that Alan Keyes and Hermain Cain, both of whom had two black parents, were marginalized and ridiculed by the media and left-leaning voters in the vilest terms possible. Racism is a tool to be used by progressive interests when it serves their purposes.)
If you think America is deeply racist, you might want to talk to Hilary Clinton. I bet she’s still wondering how she got sidelined by a freshman Senator. In what KKK-racist world does a white woman with letter-perfect progressive credentials get shoved aside by Barack Obama?
Forget all of that. The new barometer of racism, as defined by Salon, is this: If you do not believe that white Americans are responsible for the majority of the problems encountered in 2014 by people of color, you’re a racist. If you vote Republican, you’re a racist. If you oppose Democratic Party actions such as the attacks on black GOP candidates, you are a racist. If you ever ordered a Godfather’s Pizza, you’re racist, but not anti-Italian racist. If you enjoyed “I’m So Fancy” by Iggy Azalea, you’re a racist, even if you’re a black rapper, you’re a racist.
Right now the only tool progressives appear to have in their box is racism, so everything looks like a nail. But the problem with that is when you call everything racist, you are effectively calling nothing racist — effectively inoculating the American people against legitimate allegations of racist and preferential behavior.
I find it especially frustrating because there is much in the progressive agenda that could be emphasized instead: closing the wage gap, fixing healthcare, addressing major problems of inequality and corporate privilege in America. Instead, they’ve decided that they are the party of race.
It’s a dead end, and although it may be comforting to white liberals to think that racism is responsible for the defeat of white Democratic candidates, they longer they believe it, the longer it will be until there are genuine and valid progressive voices in the American mainstream. Which is a shame, even if you don’t believe in progressive principles. What we need in this country is a debate on real issues, and we aren’t getting it.