Wilson, West Prove that Rude Isn't Racial

Laura Hollis

9/15/2009 2:35:54 PM - Laura Hollis

Of all the absurd accusations being tossed around in the wake of Congressman Joe Wilson's outburst during President Obama's address to Congress last week, the most ridiculous is that of New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd (surprise, surprise) and others, who have accused Wilson of being a racist. Dowd's accusations were the most inflammatory, since she decided to create additional words out of thin air, saying that she "heard" Wilson say, "You lie, boy!," something he never said, and a word she chose to make up deliberately, fraught as it is with discriminatory overtones nearly as repulsive as the dreaded "n" word. This is the most despicable and irresponsible excuse for "journalism" I have ever seen.

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But it is all too common. As I have written elsewhere, the Left's favorite slight-of-hand is to get everyone talking about intentions, and state of mind. Intentions can never be refuted, and state of mind can never be disproven, which is why the Left loves to argue that way. Saying, "I intend to eliminate poverty!" or "You only oppose the President's policies because you hate black people," is nothing more than a distraction. When it comes to writing law, what matters is not the drafters' intentions, but the law's results, which regressives never want to discuss, even when they're obvious. And you can accuse anyone of thinking anything - how on earth could this ever be disproven? More to the point, it puts the accused on the defensive, and takes the argument away from the real issues - also the objective of the hard Left in all matters political.

Everyone who opposes the President's leftist agenda has discovered that the "racist!" epithet is the desperate gasp of those who absolutely cannot refute the arguments on the merits. (And, as we saw with last weekend's non-coverage of hundreds of thousands of Americans protesting in Washington, the media's other favorite tactic is simply to ignore things: "If we don't cover it, it didn't happen.")

Thousands of words have been printed already, demonstrating that the assertions President Obama was making during his address were, in fact, untrue, and Congress' quick scurrying to close the loophole that would permit illegal aliens to receive free medical care on the American taxpayers' dime further proves it.

President Obama has declined to fan the flames of Nancy Pelosi's and the liberal media's manufactured outrage, accepting Congressman Wilson's immediate apology, and the White House issued a subsequent statement saying that they did not believe any racial animus was behind Wilson's outburst.

But the media will never be satisfied with that. So I want to give a big shout out to performer Kanye West, whose rude interruption of country singer Taylor Swift's acceptance of the "Best Female Video" award at the MTV Video Music Awards two nights ago was the perfect bookend to Congressman Joe Wilson's conduct, and an ironic smackdown to the liberal media who have tried to deflect attention from the legitimate concerns about the government takeover of health care by demonizing Wilson.

During the awards ceremony, Taylor Swift, who is white, had just received her award. Kanye West, who is black, leapt onto the stage where Swift was speaking. Taking the microphone away from her, he said, "Yo Taylor, I'm really happy for you, I'll let you finish, but Beyoncé [Knowles, also a nominee] has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!"

Swift was speechless. Beyoncé, when the camera panned the crowd, looked mortified. To their credit, the crowd responded with boos. The whole incident was embarrassing for everyone. Even President Obama reportedly called West a "jackass" off the record for his boorish conduct.

Like Joe Wilson, Kanye West immediately apologized, privately and publicly.

So where are the chattering media heads now? Are they sounding the alarm, accusing West of being a racist? Accusing everyone who thought Beyoncé should have won of actually harboring insidious thoughts against white singers? Are they attributing unseen motivations to West, insisting that he couldn't stand to see a white girl win over his black friend, Beyoncé Knowles?

Nope. Same hypocrisy as we see with the Lefty media all the time.

But in this case, I'm glad. I am not accusing West of being a racist, and I hope no one else does. He was impolite, and boorish, and impulsive, and probably overly enthusiastic in support of his friend, Beyoncé. But racist? That's absurd.

And Beyoncé herself was the epitome of grace and dignity, even offering the podium to Taylor Swift during her own acceptance speech later in the event, so that Swift could finish her remarks. What a lady.

The VMA awards should be a lesson to the media. As with Kanye West, Joe Wilson's outburst may have been heartfelt, but the sentiment he expressed was done the wrong way, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Inappropriate? Sure. Racist? Bunk.

Kanye West did Joe Wilson - and the rest of us - a big favor, pointing out once again the inherent equality of all human beings: grace and decency are found in people of all colors. And rudeness is an equal opportunity error.