Just today I read two separate essays, one by a self-styled crusader against racism, and another by a columnist at a major university, who both treated it as a foregone conclusion that any insufficiencies in the federal response were due to racism on the part of the president. The university writer essentially argued, with astonishingly unreflective certainty, that political conservatism is inherently racist.
If people in positions of apparent legitimacy make such obscene allegations in public forums, then significant numbers of people are bound to believe they are true. Where is the compassion in modern liberalism when it devotes so much of its polemic energy not to mending race relations and other divisions in our society but to fanning the flames of suspicion and distrust? What kind of recklessness is it that countenances the public airing of the abominable lie that virtually half the people in the country -- conservatives -- don't care about certain people: minorities and the poor?
And please don't casually dismiss or underestimate the seriousness of the charges being leveled here. Don't just brush them off as harmless. The accusers might as well be accusing the president and his people of manslaughter. There's no other way to translate the implied syllogism whose conclusion is: "President Bush, because of his prejudice against blacks and the poor, permitted victims to die in New Orleans when he could have saved them because they were mostly black and poor."
As Howard Dean and his misanthropic band of race-baiters well know, whatever factors may have contributed to difficulties and delays in the federal rescue effort, they had nothing to do with racial or class prejudice -- nothing. No exceptions.
Regrettably, too many people worship at the altar of their own political power and are transparently willing to destroy and divide people in furtherance of their self-aggrandizement.
One can only hope that one day their tactics will backfire when just a small additional percentage of the very groups they are exploiting migrate to the other side for political sanctuary. It's hardly inconceivable.