It's almost 2012, and we have a black president, yet the white ghost of racial tensions still haunts our national politics. Will it ever end?
Far too many liberals continue to paint conservatives as racists based on their ideological leanings and party affiliation. Some believe it; others know better but milk it for their political gain. Still others selfishly and recklessly cling to this view to make themselves feel morally superior, wholly indifferent to their own immorality in impugning a category of people in the same way racists categorically impugn entire races of people and wholly indifferent to the facts.
Columnist Tony Norman recently argued that "most blacks" are amazed that some blacks can make so many white conservatives feel comfortable with them. These blacks do so, in Norman's opinion, by blaming themselves for their own plight. No one, says Norman, has perfected this art more than Herman Cain.
It's the same old song; nothing has changed for those who are too embittered to quit singing it or who refuse to consider the possibility that their prejudicial assessments are wrong. Nothing (SET ITAL) will be allowed to change (END ITAL) by others who profit politically and financially for exploiting racial acrimony.
Will any liberals criticize Norman for saying that white conservatives will only accept blacks who pander to them? It can't be that conservatives embrace Cain because he's a charismatic, competent conservative with proven leadership credentials, can it?
Will they give Norman a pass for implying that Cain is a panderer, presumably because he preaches a conservative message that resonates with conservatives? It can't be that Cain actually believes in the principles he's espousing, the expression of which requires far more courage than adopting the pat liberal line, can it?
Are conservatives allowed to take exception to Norman's categorical condemnation? How many "white conservatives" does he know? How does he know they are racists? Is it because of the policies they support? Does he know Herman Cain or what motivates Cain to support the conservative agenda?
Juan Williams, a liberal and also a man of color, objects to the patronizing treatment Cain is receiving at the hands of his fellow liberals. Williams says: "The whole idea is he's a token; he's a puppet; he's being manipulated; he's someone who is being used by white people. I mean, it's unbelievable. They would deny this man his own independent intelligence, his will, his own success. It is an outrage."
According to Norman, 99 percent of blacks had a falling out with the Republican Party "after it was taken over by Dixiecrats and Southern defectors from the Democratic Party during the height of the civil rights struggle."
Without debating that point, why do such an overwhelming majority of blacks continue to vote Democratic? Is it that they buy into the malicious propaganda that conservatives are racist or that their policies result in harming blacks?
If it's the former, there's not much I can say other than, "It's not true, and shame on those who perpetrate that lie to the detriment of so many." If it's the latter, what policies are we talking about?
Are conservatives racist because they are ardent capitalists and support welfare reform and school choice -- and other policies encouraging self-reliance -- and oppose affirmative action? Or is it because they find it repugnant that liberals insist we always view things through a racial lens rather than aspire to colorblindness?
It seems to me that the conservative approach is more egalitarian in both spirit and practice than the liberal one. Conservative policies reflect their belief in the equal dignity of every person irrespective of race, ethnicity or religion, as well as their dedication to promoting equal opportunity for all.
How about results? Look at the smashing success of welfare reform, which Bill Clinton had to be browbeaten into signing. President Obama, despite uncontroverted evidence proving it reduced black childhood poverty and illegitimacy, partially reversed it. Obama Democrats also oppose school choice, though it has been shown to help liberate minorities from inner-city schools.
But it's Obama's record itself that is the most damning. The black unemployment rate, at 16.7 percent, is nearly double that of the national average. Obama's response to blacks: "Stop complaining and fight."
Conservatives believe in a safety net, but we don't support policies in the name of compassion that are cynically designed to expand the dependency class but that, in practice, only expand Democratic voter rolls, such as 99-week extensions of unemployment benefits, which exacerbate unemployment, and mandating mortgages for people who can't afford them.
Even if some can't overcome their ill will toward conservatives based on false charges of racism, could we at least see a little more fairness, beginning with a refusal to continue to indulge the despicable abuse of black conservatives by liberal elites who depict them as Aunt Jemima in their art or who call them demeaning names in their writings. Actual racist slurs by liberals make their phony charges of racism against conservatives that much harder to stomach.