Written by Daniel Greenfield
Last week, Congressman Clyburn reached into his deck, discarded the queens, aces and jokers, and played the 'Race Card'. "The fact of the matter is, the president’s problems are in large measure because of the color of his skin," quoth Clyburn. Not the economy, an unwanted war or a politician who acts like a social butterfly while his constituents shovel spam from jars and dine on government cheese. It's the color of his skin.
But does anyone seriously think that if Obama had brained himself with a golf club early in his term, that Biden wouldn't be equally besieged by angry voters and the political opposition? And unless Biden successfully pulled a Clinton, and claimed to be America's third black president, he would have had to do it all without the benefit of a race card.
We have discovered that just about anything you can say about Obama, besides 'Messiah' is some sort of racist code word. Two years it was revealed that calling him a socialist is racist. This week we learned that calling him European is also a slur. Calling him a 'European Socialist' might just qualify as a hate crime.
This isn't really about racism. If it were, much more overtly racist comments made in private by top Democrats like Harry 'light-skinned with no negro dialect' Reid or Bill 'Obama would be getting us coffee' Clinton, would have lasted for more than a 5 minute news cycle of outrage. It's about the political uses of race. The bigotry farming that makes racism into a constant part of the political landscape.
To Democrats, racism isn't a problem. It's a solution. Their speeches about looking forward to the end of racism, are as genuine as oil executives talking about the day when we get all our energy from the sun. Sure it sounds good in theory, but it would also put them out of business. One day we'll all join hands and sing about brotherhood. But today we've got to go on MSNBC and explain how objecting to higher taxes is coded racism.
The Democrats have played both sides of the racial divide going on a century and a half. They have been the Klansmen and the civil rights activists. The bully club boys and the reformers. If you can think of a position on race, you can find a Democrat hiding behind it. In politics they call that 'divide and conquer'. And from segregation to desegregation, that has been their game. Create and exploit divisions. Then promise to heal them.
The civil rights legacy of the Democratic party is one of pandering to white and black racists. From George Wallace to Al Sharpton, the Democratic party has played host to racists of both colors. And Asa Earl Carter who penned Wallace's 'Segregation Forever' lines, also wrote Oprah's favorite book about a little Indian boy suffering from discrimination. Over the course of two decades, the party reinvented itself along with George Wallace as the 'anti-racists'. But this was a change in orientation, not in ideology.
Depression era economic malaise had served the big government agenda under FDR. But economic boom times forced the party to shift their narrative from the economy to race. Eisenhower showed that the Republicans couldn't be beaten on the old economic social justice line anymore. But healing racial conflict was another matter.
The Democratic party had no more interest in repairing the racial divide, than they had in repairing the economy. What they wanted was an issue that would allow them to broaden government control over the states and lock in a voting base in a state of perpetual poverty. And so they began the transition from poverty hucksters to racial hucksters. Just as today the party is moving from racial hucksterism to environmental hucksterism. Forget the first black president and stay tuned for the rise of the very first green president.
The successful capitalization of race has created fortunes, but not for those most affected by it. It deepened racial tensions, as it was designed to do. At no juncture did the Democratic party really try to make things better. What they did best was pose and preen against the backdrop of suffering. That is still what they do today. The entire industry of declaring things racist, that occasionally shows up on MSNBC is the perpetuation of George Wallace's old segregationism under new colors.
The unreason of it isn't limited to the United States. In England, Camden decided to rename Selous Street after Nelson Mandela. Why Selous Street? Because there was a Fredrick Selous, who was an African explorer and colonialist, even if Selous Street wasn't actually named after him, but the painter Henry Courtney Selous. The painter Selous had to have his name purged, because it was the same as that of another man entirely, to make way for a politically correct terrorist.
Like Cinna the Poet, in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, the politically correct mob cries, what matter if he's Selous the Colonialist or Selous the Painter. It is no matter, his name is Selous. Tear him apart for his paintings, if not his colonialism. The dialogue on Obama is equally irrational. Distant connections are made with the one aim of proving that his critics are racists. Birthers have nothing on Racers, who can turn anything from Socialist to European into racial invective.
Was it racist when Gingrich called Obama the "food stamp president". The discussion itself is a tangent, because regardless of what you think of Gingrich or Obama-- 47 million Americans are still on food stamps. The Newspeak of political correctness obsessively parses language, while ignoring consequences. It would rather rename streets, than take on the poverty and social dysfunction living on them. It pretends to be concerned about racism, when it is only concerned about the political exploitation of race.
No sooner does a Republican candidate rise up, then the media rings the race bell. Even if it's as pathetic as accusing Romney of slurring Obama by calling him a European. An obvious reference to the nation's long history of anti-European racism. But while the bell keeps ringing, the dogs have stopped salivating. The stimulus reflex has been broken and cries of racism only lead to yawns. That is the final tragic legacy of the Democratic party's exploitation of racism. Their exploitation has killed any interest in actual racism. They have spent so much time crying wolf, that no one pays attention anymore.
America's racial problems have always been economic at heart, whether it was plantation owners realizing that African slaves they never had to set free were a better deal than indentured Irish servants , or the net effect of black migration to northern cities in search of jobs that vanished when the soldiers began coming home, or the present day segregated government subsidized economy that provides selective opportunities to minorities while cutting them off from the larger marketplace. The rise of Mexican illegal immigration and its impact on both whites and blacks is part of that same economic narrative.
The Democratic party used race to build socialism. Rather than aiming for a post-racial society, they exploited segregation and deepened racial tensions, to implement their long term agenda. That agenda is passing through one final phase. The race card is being played out. And when that's done, the party will turn its focus elsewhere. And black people will once again be left behind by a party that no longer has any use for them.
From NY to Jerusalem , Daniel Greenfield Covers the Stories Behind the News. Daniel Greenfield is a blogger, author and columnists covering international affairs, the rising threat of terrorism and the growing problems of socialism. His daily blog can be viewed at Sultan Knish.