The Corner

The Scary Legacy of the 2008 Democratic Primary

One of the strangest things about the NAACP Wright pseudo-scientific speech on learning, and its enthusiastic CNN coverage and analysis, was the abject racialism of Wright. It was sort of an inverse Bell-Curve presentation, based on assumed DNA differences.

His convoluted explanation of African-American right-brain ‘oral’ culture as more creative, musical, and spontaneous versus European left-brain traditional analysis could never have been given by someone white to that audience without justifiably earning booing and catcalls.

Three comments: this was just the sort of racist ‘genetic’ difference that most Americans learned to shun, now apparently quite acceptable again, and part of the mainstream.

Second, there is no evidence that so-called Europeans could not “rap” or create an oral literature as well as Africans — remember, oral poetry as we know it , began with bards like Homer somewhere in the southeastern Aegean and continued into modern times in the Balkans.

Three, some of the most accomplished speakers of English and analytical thinkers are African-Americans, a fact everyone immediately recognizes from what they read and with whom they speak.

In short, Wright’s speech on black-right brainers, white-left brainers — replete with bogus stereotypes and crude voice imitations — was about as racist as they come and at one time antithetical to what the NAACP was once all about. Again, the Obama campaign and its appendages have set back racial relations a generation. Just ten years ago, any candidate, black or white, would have rejected Wright making a speech about genetic differences in respective black and white brains. Now it’s given to civil rights organizations by the possible next President’s pastor and spiritual advisor — and done to wild applause for an organization founded on the idea that we are innately the same, while being gushed over by ignorant “commentators.”

As I said before, between Wright’s racism and hatred, and Obama’s contextualization of what he has said, we have so lowered the bar that the next racist (and he won’t necessarily be black) who evokes hatred of other races and then offers a mish-mash pop theory of genetic differences will have plenty of “context” to ward off public fury.

Orwellian times.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

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