Have you stopped being a racist yet? I never thought I had a problem with racism. Most of us probably don’t. What we think and do doesn’t always make a difference, though. Sometimes we are wrongly blamed for things because we are in the wrong place at the wrong time, like America in the age of Obama. Is America seething with racial tension, or does painting that picture serve the needs of a pack of abusive, opportunity-seeking liberal Democrats lucky enough to have a voice because they hold elected office?
Do liberal Democrats make America racist?
Is it offensive to blame the entire country for one racially charged incident? Ask Illinois Representative Bobby Rush, who conjured images of slavery to negatively generalize about America in the wake of the Brown shooting:
The American system of oppressive conditioning still persist [sic] and will continue if we allow it. Although, physical chains no longer exist the police activity across this country is reminiscent of a southern plantation.1
Racism is too good for politicians to let go of. It can be used for many things, including conditioning Americans to rely on the government to fix lack of opportunity blamed on racial inequality. The Department of Education managed to include it in the push for universal preschool (see: Universal Preschool: Civil Rights and Race, or Bad Kids?). It can even be used to advocate a government takeover of local law enforcement, as suggested by Michigan’s John Conyers while looters sacked stores and violence erupted in Ferguson:
Removal of the St. Louis County Police Department from any involvement in the policing of Ferguson is an important step towards restoring peace and allowing for an independent, thorough investigation to take place. The people of Ferguson deserve nothing less.”2
Is racism really behind murders in America?
There is no question that there is a racial element in violence, though it doesn’t match the tragic picture drawn by Florida Representative Frederica Wilson:
I am tired of burying young black boys. I am tired of watching them suffer at the hands of those who fear them and despise them.3
Do African Americans fear and despise each other? It has never been a big secret that most murders are intraracial. Oft-quoted Justice Department figures showed that through 2008 93% of African American murder victims were killed by other blacks, just as most white victims were killed by whites.4 Two-thirds of justifiable police homicides were intraracial5, despite the furor over white police officers killing black youth. Through 2011 the homicide rate for African American males was nine times higher than for whites,6 but primarily at the hands of members of their own race. Liberal activists may try to argue with these figures, but even with a tremendous margin of error the Justice Department’s own numbers speak for themselves. Why, then, are elected officials so determined to cast America as a country where the situation in Missouri represents the state of race relations nationwide?
The worst kind of racism is this kind
The worst kind of racism falsely manipulates race to influence public policy. Not only does it negatively impact how we perceive race relations and the American people, it undermines confidence and leads to dependence among those said to be victims of racism. When you have an entire nation to blame for your plight, what better mechanism than government to step in and offer a helping hand?
The Justice Department’s mission is to “… ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”7 Attorney General Holder’s recent remarks sound more like negative generalizing that hints at racism:
But in my conversations with dozens of people in Ferguson, it was clear that this shooting incident has brought to the surface underlying tensions that have existed for some time; tensions with a history that still simmers in communities across the country.8
Sadly, there is no benefit to the Obama administration to not inflame race relations in America. Perhaps the worst, most flagrant kind of racism isn’t the scourge elected officials are talking about, but those officials using their position to benefit from a race problem they are determined to publicize and make worse.