All The News That Fits

Racism Knows No Party Lines

Posted by necessarygrace on September 15, 2009

Over the weekend I posted on my personal blog about attending the 9/12 rally. That post resulted in a new commentor coming by, hippieprof. As you might guess from the name, hippieprof is a liberal. But unlike most liberals I “see” on the internet, he appears genuinely interested in having intelligent discourse. Because of that, I’ve invited him to come over here, (where I try to keep my political posts for the most part) to join me in a real discussion. I hope many of you will join us – Conservative, Liberal, Independent or Whatever Label You Choose – and share your thoughts and opinions. As long as we can stay respectful, I think we could have a very good time!

To kick off our discussion, I’ll be breaking down a comment HippieProf left on my blog. The first subject we’ll tackle is Racism – are Conservatives racist? Is racism a welcome component of our movement?

hippieprof wrote…

What I am really bothered by is the overtly racist quality in this movement. In fact, that is probably why I am taking the time to talk about this. Note – I AM NOT ACCUSING YOU OF RACISM – I SEE NONE OF THAT IN YOUR POST. I also believe that people can have honest disagreements with Obama for reasons other than race.

I do believe, however, that there is a substantial racist component to your movement. When the “express” came through here a week or so ago, signs read “Impeach the Muslim Marxist Bastard” – for now, lets ignore the fact that Obama is neither Muslim nor Marxist nor a bastard – nor has he done anything worthy of impeachment – but what is the point (apart from racism) of claiming he is Muslim?

Almost every time I see photos of tea party protests someone is carrying a racist sign.

Racism isn’t patriotism even if you are shouting “USA!”

I wish that reasonable people on your side (and I am taking you to be one) would call these people out and tell them they are unwelcome in your group. Frankly, they undermine your message.

Is hippieprof right? Is there a “substantial racist component” to the Conservative movement?

First, let me start off by saying that there ARE racists who call themselves Conservatives. I know this because I have seen comments on conservative blogs. These commenters are almost always immediately rebuked by other conservative commenters. But they do exist.

And I’m sure out of the hundreds of thousands of people at the Capitol on Saturday there were a few who hold racist viewpoints. It would be hard to point them out though, because there were no racist caricatures of our president, no racist slogans, no racist chants. Even the type of sign that hippieprof references about Obama’s muslim background was in short supply. (I didn’t see any – My husband said he saw one. Out of the *thousands* of signs we saw that day.) I would argue (and in fact will argue, in another post) that referencing Obama’s middle name or accusing him of being a muslim is not necessarily a racial issue, but a political one, but regardless it was not the issue of the day, by any stretch of the imagination.

To point to that one sign and say it was a “substial component” of the march on Saturday would be a gross exaggeration at best, and more accurately, a lie. And when Democrats or the media say that people are speaking out against Obama and the democrats in Congress because they are racist, it shows an absolute ignorance of what Conservatives believe and what we are arguing for.

Limited government. Liberty. Freedom. How are these racist values? We don’t want the government to take over every private enterprise in America. Is that a racist statement? We believe Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the others are taking this country in the wrong direction and that we as American citizens are seeing our freedoms eroding more and more each day. We are concerned. We are angry. And it has absolutely NOTHING to do with race.

No, racism is not a conservative (or Republican) value. Is it a liberal one? What if I hold up the mirror and ask hippieprof (and any other liberals who care to answer) the same question?

Consider the way that Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Justice Clarence Thomas, and Michael Steele have been treated by liberals at all levels of political discourse. Accused of being “Uncle Toms”, the target of disgusting blatantly racist caricatures dressed up as political cartoons, insulted and dismissed as African Americans just because they had the audacity to hold views in opposition to liberals.

Even worse, in my opinion, is the way the Democratic party views minorities as a whole. Democratic leadership (black and white) has repeatedly made American blacks victims and themselves the saviors. Social programs with nice sounding names that do nothing but keep people in poverty. Tax laws and government contracts that give preference based on race, rather than merit. How are these things not racist? Truth be told, does the Democratic party not in fact have a long history of racism against blacks?

When will the liberals stand up and speak out against the racism they see in their own party?

The sad truth is, racism is alive and well in America. You will find racists at conservative events, and you will find them at liberal ones. You will find racists in every political party, and among those who claim no political party. Furthermore, racism is not a white – black issue. Racists come in every skin color, and they hate on every skin color. I wish it did not exist. I wish ALL people would see beyond melotonin levels and ancestry and do as Dr. King dreamed – judge one another on the content of our character.

For the record, I think we are a lot closer to this dream than we’ve ever been before. But that progress will not continue – it may even be reversed – if people who hold contrary views are constantly accused of racism. Such baseless accusations do nothing to further the political discourse and serve only to inflame racial tensions – or even create them where they previously didn’t even exist. We should ALWAYS refute racism whenever and wherever we are confronted with it. But let’s not infuse it into a discussion where it does not belong. The issues of the day are about healthcare, the economy, the size of the federal government, and the war in the middle east. They are issues that affect every American, regardless of race. Let us have enough respect for one another to take our viewpoints at face value and have a real, rational debate. Racism has no place in our world – let us not give it a place at the table.

UPDATE: Michael Williams, a conservative running for senate in Texas posted this response to Former President Carter’s accusations of racism leveled at tea partiers.

“As a black man from the South, I take exception to the notion that my opposition – or the opposition of millions of Americans to the president’s healthcare proposal – is rooted in racial politics. It is a sad day when genuine disagreement is smeared by such an incendiary characterization. I oppose the president’s plan because it will explode the deficit, allow further government intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship, and continue to insulate healthcare consumers from the true cost of their care….

Americans who have honest concerns about increasing government control of healthcare, and the overall direction of this nation, deserve answers instead of scorn, respect instead of reviling accusations of racism. If this president is going to change the tone in Washington, he better first change the tactics of his supporters.”

Read the full statement.


4 Responses to “Racism Knows No Party Lines”

  1. Katie said

    Well said, Christina! You touched on every argument that I would have made. I have said on my blog before that, as the mother of a biracial child, it is my most sincere hope that he gets wherever he goes in life thanks to the content of his character and not what social programs can do for him.

    Interestingly, Eric Holder has made a point from his confirmation to insist that the Justice department will start focusing on prosecuting “traditional” civil rights issues instead of wasting times on the things the Bush administration set up. As best as I can tell, this means more focusing on race in the USA and less trying to prevent things like, oh, underage girls from El Salvador being trafficked into this country to work as prostitutes. But there is no connection between those things right now, right?

  2. phoenixinquirer said

    Outstanding work. I said the same a couple of days ago:

  3. hippieprof said

    Hi Christina (and all)….

    I hadn’t noticed that you had posted this before – just saw it today because someone came to my blog from here. Sorry for the delayed response.

    You are very correct that I am interested in honest conversation about the issues. There is a lot of mistrust going around these days from all sides – and I think if we talk together rationally we will discover that we are a lot more similar that we might have otherwise realized. Sure – we will still disagree on lots of points – but we can also disagree while respecting each other.

    I would absolutely agree that there is racism on both sides of the political aisle. I think, for example, that some white liberals on my side are perfectly happy to use African Americans to achieve their political goals. This is indeed a form of racism.

    Curiously, perhaps, I do not think that African Americans (and other minorities) can be accused of racism – or at least not with the same connotations as when the term is used to describe whites. I will take the risk and link to my blog because the point is somewhat complex and I just wrote a long post on it earlier today.

    (warning – the rhetoric does get a little heavy…. 😉

    I am curious what you think. I am claiming that it is almost semantically impossible to accuse an African American of racism. Do you agree with my logic? Why or why not?

    Thanks again for the conversation….

    — hippieprof

  4. Hop Over To These Guys…

    […]Racism Knows No Party Lines « All The News That Fits[…]…

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