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The Shifting Ground of Race



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From my column today:

Still, I find the whole thing fascinating. Here are West and Clyburn, two of the most influential black people in America, bitterly clinging, as Obama might say, to ideologically racial views — He’s not black enough! He’s too black for racist Americans! — that have less and less relevance. This is not to say that there is no racial animus against Obama. Of course there is. But is it significant, as Clyburn suggests? Well, certainly not enough to keep him from being elected president of the United States (!) or being the establishment favorite to be re-elected.

Clyburn’s take strikes me as the left-wing version of the right-wing theory — popularized by Dinesh D’Souza — that everything Obama does can be explained by his “post-colonial” worldview. Simpler explanations are available. Obama is a liberal Democrat. He does things a white liberal Democrat would do, and he receives mostly the same opposition a white liberal Democrat would receive. If a Pres. John Edwards (shudder) had rammed through the economic stimulus or “EdwardsCare” the same way Obama did, Republicans wouldn’t say, “Well, since he’s white, it’s okay.”

Take the tea parties, which have been accused of racism by the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, mainstream-media outlets, and entertainer-activists such as Janeane Garofalo, who proclaimed they are “about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up.” So, after nearly two years of “experts” telling us that the typical tea-party member is two holes in a white sheet shy of being a Klansman, guess who is arguably the most popular tea-party candidate for president? Herman Cain, a black businessman.



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