The scenario usually plays out this way.
A white person says something about a nonwhite person -- a statement perceived as racially insensitive, purportedly reinforcing a stereotype, or otherwise considered racist.
"Black leaders" or members of the "civil rights community" pitch a fit and make demands. Off with his head! The offender apologizes, denies that the comment reflects how he "truly feels," agrees to take racial sensitivity courses, grovels and then often ends up losing his job anyway.
Recognizing and accepting that sometimes people say silly, stupid, illogical or disagreeable things won't do. Writing someone off as wrongheaded isn't enough. He or she must pay.
Golfer and widely known jokester Fuzzy Zoeller lost millions in endorsements after making a fried-chicken joke about Tiger Woods. Sports analyst Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder, in a pub -- after downing a few too many -- gave a captured-on-video explanation of why black athletes often dominate. His contorted anthropological answer cost him his job. The list of those whose careers suffered or ended because of "racist" remarks includes former Sen. Trent Lott, talk show host Don Imus, former ESPN commentator (and talk radio host of some note) Rush Limbaugh, former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Al Campanis, former Major League Baseball player John Rocker, former Sen. George "Macaca" Allen and many more.
This brings us to popular Fox News host Glenn Beck.
Beck, on the morning show "Fox & Friends," called President Barack Obama a "racist." He further said the President has a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture." In making his case, Beck considered comments made by Obama-nominated Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor that a "wise Latina woman" would make better decisions than a "white male." Also, there's Obama's 20-year association with a bigoted pastor whom the President once referred to as his "spiritual adviser." And the President suggested the Cambridge police engaged in racial profiling -- despite the lack of evidence.
How this adds up to Obama's being a racist escapes me. Indeed, when Beck made the comment, one of the "Fox & Friends" hosts strongly took issue: "You can't say he doesn't like white people. David Axelrod's white. Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, is white. I think 70 percent of the people we see every day are white. Robert Gibbs is white." The host might have added, among other things, "His mother was white. For a time, his white maternal grandparents raised him."