As someone who has been a conservative since his mid-twenties, I am used to being called a racist. Indeed, it is fairly common to hear conservatives being called racists – one of the main charges against the Tea Party by the left is that it is motivated by racism. One can understand the association, because as we all know, when the Klu Klux Klan wasn’t terrorizing black people in the south and burning crosses, it was wrangling over budget deficits and tax policy.
What is surprising however is to find that we conservatives aren’t alone in our racist tendencies. It turns out, at least according to a professor writing for The Nation that liberals are racists as well. As Melissa Harris-Perry, a professor of political science at Tulane University explains it, the disappointment white liberals are expressing towards Obama is a product of their inherent racist tendencies:
These comparisons are neither an attack on the Clinton administration nor an apology for the Obama administration. They are comparisons of two centrist Democratic presidents who faced hostile Republican majorities in the second half of their first terms, forcing a number of political compromises. One president is white. The other is black…
President Obama has experienced a swift and steep decline in support among white Americans—from 61 percent in 2009 to 33 percent now. I believe much of that decline can be attributed to their disappointment that choosing a black man for president did not prove to be salvific for them or the nation. His record is, at the very least, comparable to that of President Clinton, who was enthusiastically re-elected. The 2012 election is a test of whether Obama will be held to standards never before imposed on an incumbent. If he is, it may be possible to read that result as the triumph of a more subtle form of racism.
It is not possible of course that white Americans are less favorable towards Obama than they were towards Clinton because the latter had an infinitely better record economically, so race must be the factor that determines the difference.
The problem with that is it isn’t just white Americans who are complaining about Obama.
Here is Tavis Smiley, black commentator on PBS commenting on Obama’s failure to help black Americans:
So if being disappointed by Obama makes one a racist, then apparently Smiley is a racist too.
Another black (and apparently racist) Obama complainer is Congressperson Maxine Waters, responding to President Obama’s recent talk to the Congressional Black Caucus, as reported here in the Huffington Post:
Rep. Maxine Waters says she’s not sure who President Barack Obama was talking to when he told black Americans to quit complaining and follow him into the battle for jobs and opportunity.
The California Democrat, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, says she found the president’s language “a bit curious.” She says Obama didn’t address Hispanics in such a blunt manner and would never use that language in a speech to a gathering of gays or Jews.
Of course she is noting that President Obama himself is treating a group of blacks differently than he would treat other groups – making him…a racist.
So if you haven’t been keeping count, this appears conservatives are racists, liberals are racists, black liberals are racists, and our transracial president is also racist.
Given that there appears to be no one left who isn’t racist, we either have to come to the conclusion that the word no longer has any meaning, or it is being used improperly – or that everyone is a racist.
Either way, it would seem to make accusations of racism irrelevant with regard to the upcoming Presidential election. And that is a good thing given we have much more pressing issues to consider.