Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Who's the Coward?
“Hello fellow cowards,” said Ward Connerly after stepping up to the mike at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) last month. Thousands in the crowd with me laughed uproariously. He was referring to what President Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, said the previous week - that we are “a nation of cowards” because we don’t talk about race enough. He wants to “foster a dialogue between the races.”
I couldn’t disagree more. I got tired of talking about race decades ago and most people I know are tired of it too. Remember 1997 when President Clinton began his second term saying we needed a “national dialogue on race”? I was thinking, “Oh boy. Not again.” We talk about race way too much, but Democrats are obsessed with it - so on and on it goes. Where it stops, nobody knows.
On two different forms this school year, government asked my students to categorize themselves by “race,” even though that same government outlaws racial discrimination. Everybody in America is forced to do this over and over again in an ordinary lifetime. Government is obsessed with race but ordinary people are moving well beyond it. It compiles statistics endlessly about how “African Americans” score on tests, are infected with HIV, own their own homes, are aborted, are imprisoned, what their average life expectancy is, and on and on. If there are discrepancies between how blacks are doing and how whites are doing on anything, it’s assumed to be the result of racial discrimination by whites against blacks. Democrats in government proclaim that “Affirmative Action” is necessary to “remedy” the situation.
That generally takes the form of racial quotas in hiring, awarding contracts, admission to universities, and, most recently - writing sub-prime mortgages, according to economist Thomas Sowell. Community organizers like President Obama’s buddies at ACORN threatened to sue banks if they didn’t lend to “minority” applicants who too often couldn’t afford the kind of house they wanted to buy. This sort of “affirmative action” is at the root of the economic debacle we’re currently facing, but such a discussion is not the kind of dialogue Attorney General Holder wants to have - and I’ll probably be accused of racism for writing about it.
Democrats think their racial discrimination is benevolent. They tell themselves and everyone else that granting jobs, contracts, and college admissions to women, blacks, and other minorities over white and Asian males isn’t discrimination at all. Such doublethink is their stock in trade. That’s why they get 95% of the black vote and 75% of the Hispanic vote.
With the exception of conservative black men such as Ward Connerly and Thomas Sowell quoted above, there’s little or no inclination among most so-called black “leaders” to scrap the racial discrimination euphemistically known as “affirmative action.” Even though much was made of Barack Obama’s election as the first black president, and his appointment of Eric Holder as the first black Attorney General, those two men are making sure they play the same old victim tune previous unsuccessful black candidates like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton make their livings on.
Speaking to a group called the “State of the Black Union” two weeks ago, President Obama said, “You know that tough times for America often mean tougher times for African Americans. This recession has been no exception.” He obviously intends to continue affirmative action, saying that he is “closing the gap between the nation we are and the nation we can be,” by including it in his “economic stimulus” bill.
About the jobs in that bill, Obama’s chief economic advisor, Robert Reich said, “I am concerned, as I’m sure many of you are, that these jobs not simply go to high-skilled people who are already professionals, or to white male construction workers.”
Victim mentality pervades the 95% of blacks who voted for Obama and other Democrats. They don’t tend to think of themselves as Americans first. They’re “black” first, and Americans second. Hence the now ubiquitous term “African American.” The dysfunctional numbers gathered for blacks by a race-obsessed government show a lead in nearly every negative category: illegitimate births, crime, unemployment, HIV infection, lowest life expectancy, and so forth. Black “leaders” and liberal Democrats desperately want something else to blame for all this and avoid examining their own culpability. Slavery and white racism kept blacks down for centuries, but the above-listed issues cannot be explained that way. Most flared up after the Civil Rights Act - and after Democrat “War on Poverty” subsidies nearly destroyed the black family, and after a gangster subculture began filling the vacuum created.
The Civil Rights Act was intended to outlaw discrimination and equalize public and private treatment of people regardless of race. Liberal Democrats, however, used it to substitute one form of discrimination for another, then masked it by calling it Affirmative Action. Hence the title of Ward Connerly’s latest book, “Creating Equal,” in which he argues for an end to it. He wants bookstores to take it out of their “African American Department” and include with all their other books.
If Eric Holder wants to talk about these issues, fine. But we know they’d be off the table because cowards like him are afraid to address them.