Jonah Goldberg

But let's get back to her question. One high-minded response might be that conservatives are bringing race into this discussion because they are simply doing what has been asked of them by Reid and countless others, including the president and the attorney general: They're trying to have that coveted "national conversation about race." Of course, the conversation that the conversation-mongers want is entirely one-sided; they only want to talk about why their ideological enemies are racists. Any other discussion is an incomprehensible and unjustifiable tangent distracting us from what they want to hear and say.

But the truth is, that's not what is going on. To the extent that people are bringing up race it is to turn the tables, rhetorically at least, on people like Reid and her MSNBC colleagues for their relentless -- some might say shameless and disgusting -- effort to exploit the George Zimmerman murder trial.

Recall that there was no evidence Zimmerman was motivated by racial animus, a fact so inconvenient to NBC News that it unethically edited Zimmerman's 911 call to make it sound like he was racist. (NBC later apologized and Zimmerman is rightly suing.) This inconvenient truth was also why numerous news outlets insisted on describing Zimmerman as a "white Hispanic" -- to bend the facts to fit the preferred narrative.

Australian and British newspapers -- which do not care about imposing a monolithic liberal narrative on race -- are reporting that Lane's alleged murderers may have been driven by motives other than boredom. But even if the initial reporting proves accurate and these thugs were just trying to break the monotony of the dog days of summer, the lesson for the MSNBC crowd should be the same.

From Obama down to his cheerleaders in the press, liberals have declared unremitting war on their ideological opponents, cynically polarizing the country along racial -- and, when possible, gender -- lines. They, not conservatives, have been the ones dragging race into any and every political dispute they can. This disgusting strategy has worked well for them, galvanizing minority voters and tarring the Republican brand. I don't particularly welcome the fact that conservatives are fighting fire with fire, but you can hardly blame them given how liberals like Reid have been asking for it for so long.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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