?What you’ll often hear from conservatives like me is that the left’s solutions to the problems that ail minority communities are themselves racist, since they operate on the fundamental premise that minorities are incapable. There’s almost nothing, according to Democrats, that minorities are cable of accomplishing without the help of the government. To hear some Democrats speak, minorities are incapable of doing just about anything without a handout or a leg up.
?Believing – as white and black conservatives alike do– that minorities don’t need anyone’s help to get ahead in life may be naïve, or unrealistic, but it is not racist. And certainly not as racist as the notion underpinning Democratic policy: That minorities can’t make it in this world without free money, special scholarships, quotas, affirmative action, lower admissions standards, and any other mechanism employed to propel them forward. After all, isn’t racism defined as a belief in the inherent inferiority of a group of people based on their skin color? And yet it is somehow, inexplicably, not racist, if your intention are good – not to hold them down but to help them out.
Thus, black and white Republicans find ourselves labeled racist, Uncle Toms, race traitors, and for daring to say no, no, no, they don’t need anyone’s – much less the government’s – help to get ahead in life. We live in a world where saying that we’re all equal and no one deserves a handout more than the person sitting next to us makes us a racist.
?The litany of accusations can reach absurd proportions. Want to emphasize teaching about this nation’s founding in our public schools more than the history of Swahili in Africa? You’re a racist. Want the government to stop handing out our tax dollars to companies simply because they’re run by blacks or Hispanics or women? You must be a racist. Want to keep health insurance the way it is, and not turn it all over to politicians and bureaucrats in Washington? You must be a racist. It sure gets tiresome, doesn’t it?
?It all gets back to the lack of tolerance of others’ beliefs regardless of race, and the failure to exercise patience in order to understand why Republicans of all colors believe as they do.
?Tolerance, or rather the lack thereof is my point. By automatically labeling one whole segment of the political spectrum as racist, the left has attempted to de legitimize all conservative thought. It’s a red herring. Rather than listen to and consider the true merits or flaws of conservatism, especially in regards to how policies will affect minorities, every idea is labeled as racially insensitive and therefore, inherently bad.
?The virtue of tolerance demands that you check your prejudices at the door and consider the person and their beliefs based on their merits. We ask that all people do this when dealing with someone of a different race, yet how quickly we forget to exercise the same ideal when discussing politics.
?Let us take the 2011 health care bill. The prevailing assumption throughout the debate was that Republicans were acting as a monolith – all of them rich, well-to-do whites who themselves, of course, couldn’t possibly have known anyone who lacked health – and that their opposition to running a health-care system for more than 300 million people out of Washington couldn’t have stemmed from a different understanding of economics or public policy. It had to have been motivated by the drive to keep minorities out of their hospitals.
?Likewise, during the financial regulation debate, opposition to the Democrats’ legislation couldn’t have possibly stemmed from fear of over regulation or of stifling the economy, but instead must have had its origin in the massive, white Republican monolith’s need to protect its own kind: white bankers on Wall Street. As if Republicans had no skin in the game, and only black and Hispanic Democrats lost their homes and saw their 401k’s cut in half as a result of the crash!
?How can we accomplish anything of major national importance – whether it's helping the uninsured get health coverage or overhauling the financial system – if those who stand on one side of the divide are assumed to be acting and thinking out of a deep hatred for people of color?