We almost hesitate to publish this article. The race card and the identity politics of victim/blame is everywhere. It has even replaced The Muller Report as Story One in the news and is pulling our nation apart. Still, the topic is almost too sensitive to touch. To many, especially white Americans, being called a racist is tantamount to blacks being called the “N” word.
Growing Acceptance of The Race Card
I googled Racism In The News as part of doing research for this article. Page one listed 14 articles on the topic, including:
- NAACP Sues School Over Racist Names
- Trump Labels Elijah Cummings as Racist
- Americans Fear Political Violence (Surrounding Aggressive Language From Candidates)
- Tape Reveals Regan Made Racist Remark About Tasmanian Delegation Dancing
- Trump Inspired a Mass Shooting As a Result of His Racist Statements
- Racism Linked to Teen Smoking – Science Daily
- Etc, Etc, Etc…
- Even a piece on NPR.org explaining how Dr. Seuss books are now considered racist.
Is The Race Card Effective?
A black professor raised in Jamaica who later moved to the U.S., wrote this opinion article published in Psychology Today. It does an excellent job of discussing the Race Card and its ineffectiveness for both persons of color and whites:
No one can win with the ‘race card’ and yet there it is: Ready to be ‘played’ and everyone in fear of what will happen when it does get played. A stand-off much colder and more volatile than the Cold War…Ruth C. White Ph.D.
…So when I moved to Canada as a teenager and then to the USA as an adult, I was always reading race ‘wrong’. What to me seemed like someone’s innocent mistake was ‘racism’. It is not that I did not see obvious, blatant racism….. that was easy. But the stuff of which white people get nervous because they do not want to be called the ‘R’ word and the stuff of which black people said it was so obviously the R word. The word against which there is no defense because denial simply means that “you don’t get it” and makes one even more of a racist than when the word was first lobbed at them. And so this fear silences people – both black and white.
All of this is not to suggest that some real racism does not exist or that it is not abhorrent. However, today’s constant overuse of the race card, identity politics, and the culture of victim/blame is pulling our country apart. Moreover, no one can effectively tackle real problems in our society if everybody goes around fearing the “R word.”
What is Racism?
Racism definition – a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism
The definition of racism, and hence the Race Card has evolved over the last year or two. The Webster definition above indicates that racism is the general belief that race is the factor that determines who is superior/inferior, or who you like. More recent uses of the term suggest that any statement that reflects on a group of people in less than flattering terms or causes some to be offended, is racist per se.
(Oh god I know this is going to really tick people off…)
Under this definition, if one were to say, for example: While the police ought to be more respectful and judicious with their use of force, Black Lives Matter would be more successful in saving the lives of black males if it focused less on racism and more of Its efforts on convincing them to adopt a less confrontational manner when approached by law enforcement or complying with orders to “halt” vs. running away, etc.
If people are to be honest, they know that there is some truth to the above statement. Because anyone who would ever even think of suggesting such a thing would be labeled a blatant racist, the idea is never to be given a hint of credence. (BTW, like many of my white friends, I grew up believing that anyone who failed to obey a police officer’s order to “halt” would be shot. If the police pull over the average white person, the offender will likely open the window spewing apologies even before he or she knows what they have done.)
New Racism Definition
I recently listened with some interest to an NPR interview with author, Ibram X Kendi, In it he espoused that racism is represented in any discussion where someone says anything about a set of persons as a general whole. Examples would include: using the term “black culture”, or “asians often do this or that”, “migrants should do this”, etc.) . He has also suggested that so long as there are economic variances between persons of different ethnicities, we live in a racist nation. Finally, he makes a case for Slavery Reparations.
Interestingly, he indicated that President Obama used racist terms when he suggested that black fathers need to stay with their families; then in another speech where he said that some young black people had succumbed to A Legacy of Defeat needing to (in essence), strive to raise themselves up.
I know that I will be turning off some of our more conservative readers when I tell you that I greatly admire President Obama. He served our country (all of us) well. What has disappointed me about him is that he has not stood up like he did above more often, making more appeals to people of color to help themselves, abandon identity politics, and stop seeing themselves as victims. Mr. Obama could do every bit as much for his people (and the nation) in this way than he did as president. In an “R Word” world, it is virtually impossible for others to openly discuss important social issues.
We Must Find Solutions
The marginalized have many problems for which we must find solutions. One need only take a drive “across the tracks” to see it. Living conditions are extremely difficult. Moreover, crime is rampant, family ties are weak, law enforcement activities are ineffective and seen as unfair/disrespectful, education is not considered important, drugs are everywhere, and gangster culture has taken grip. Garnering the financial resources needed to “rise up” is tough, and even the yearning to do so is impaired by needs of the moment.
Yes, some of those problems have been greatly exacerbated by past (and even current) racism, however labeling people and the politics of victim/blame is disempowering and is to turn a blind eye to much of what can be done. Living life as part of A Legacy of Defeat is not going to do much for people of color. The nation can make (and many would argue, has made) enormous efforts to change the economic and social prospects of the marginalized, however real change will only come when people are empowered from within. Using the race card and labeling people as racists who look to focus on what people can do for themselves or at cause and effect is counter productive.
The Race Card In Politics and The Media
It seems that everyone is pulling out the race card as a part of reporting or campaigning. Everything is viewed through that lens. Moreover, as discussed in a NPR Op Ed highlighted in an earlier post on Political Absurdity, journalists now regularly refer to people as racists as a statement of fact, vs. as a matter of opinion, even in regular “news” articles.
Trump falls victim to this more than anyone (deservedly or not). Look at any news article (not just op eds anymore) and you will almost assuredly see what I mean. Maybe Trump is a racist, however the way the card is being tossed around in the media is not consistent with the Webster definition above.
Trump has learned the trick too, recently pulling out the race card on Elijah Cummings, a black congressman from Maryland.
One of the biggest users of the card and identity politics is Black Lives Matter, which suggests that most every police involved shooting of a black man is racially motivated. The movement’s accusations seem undeterred by the specific circumstances of the shooting, or by the terrifying conditions that policemen work under in the field, especially in dangerous neighborhoods.
Check out this video:
What is most interesting about the video is that it communicates the real terror police officers face in such situations. Perhaps as interesting is the complete unwillingness of the bystanders to move away as ordered.
Police Bias and The Race Card
Undoubtedly our left leaning friends would rush to point out that blacks suffer the consequences of over-policing in their communities and racial biases amongst law enforcement personnel. Maybe – however two studies might lead readers to reach alternate conclusions related to any such bias and what should be done about it.
The first is described in this 2019 article in The Economist wherein researchers found that, “white police officers were no more likely to shoot minority citizens than non-white officers.”
A second is outlined in a book published by James Forman, Jr. entitled Locking Up Our Own. The book documents how the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers.
Neither of these two studies suggests that whites and non-whites are treated the same by law enforcement. Still, they each point to other factors that impact the statistics and possible solutions. That said, the Race Card has stifled most all reasonable discourse related to law enforcement and mass incarceration other than that promulgated by the left.
#Me Too is another form of pulling the race card, except that it involves gender vs. skin color. Women do deserve to be allowed to work in environments where they feel safe. Still, pulling out the #Me Too moniker can act as a free pass around due process and other civil liberties, virtually assuring the end to a person’s path forward if so accused.
Identity Politics Is Tearing Us Apart
Perhaps worse than all of the above is what this situation is doing to our nation. The Democrats and the media are sooo anxious to demonstrate that President Trump is dividing the nation. Maybe he is, however as was pointed out in this Wall Street Journal Op Ed, Trump is not the worst offender. See link in our post from this earlier this month).
Playing The Card Is Not Working
Does the Democratic party and the media really think that they are building opposition to Trump or doing anything to help cure racism by constantly pulling out the race card? Sorry guys, but everyone on that side is already on the boat! The rest of us are just plain disgusted. In fact I would go so far as to say that the race card has done more to stoke the fires of racism in this country over the last two years than the KKK over the last twenty.
I am begging you, stop, please. Wake up! The more you do it, the more damage is done. I swear I would prostrate myself in front of Rachel Maddow herself if it would make any difference!
I submit, as I did in our initial Political Absurdity post, Donald Trump and his election is a product of the left. If the left and the media want to see him re-elected they only need to continue on the path of calling everyone who disagrees with them or does not communicate in politically correct terms a racist.
What Do You Think?
Tell us if you agree, think we are crazy or perhaps should be kicked off the internet by joining the conversation and commenting at the bottom of the page!
By Political Absurdity Counter -Person – Tater, Antonia Ottawa Litigious
(Learn more about AOL here)
Chris you stupid white male identifying racist bigot! We almost feel sorry for you you’re so ignorant.
Trump Is Obviously A Racist and IS The One Dividing Us
You people have finally gotten what you wanted. (In point of fact, being a Republican is racist in and of itself.) It wasn’t enough to have the other Republicans in office, who for the most part kept their racist tendencies undercover, you put an outright admitted and flagrant card carrying KKK Nazi in the White House.
This country has a long history of enslaving people of color, first in a literal terms and now through economics, suppression of opportunity and police brutality.
Police Brutality and Criminal “Justice”
Come on, did you even look at the video you posted? Did you see the he/she/they person of color laying on the ground? Why were the police still shooting at them? Why are police persons given bullet proof vests and not drug dealers? Did you ever think about that??
Turn your attention to this Op Ed from the Washington Post dispelling your silly theories/excuses.
Furthermore, why would Black Lives Matter waste Its breath telling young male identifiers to obey laws enacted by bigots for the express purpose of keeping persons of color down? Look at what happens to humans of color who are ultimately arrested. They are imprisoned at a tremendously higher rate than white people and even put to death at an outrageous ratio in comparison, especially if the “victim” was white!
Reparation Payments are the only way to cure what is dividing us and to dig this country, commonly known as the united states, out of the hole that it has dug on the backs of Persons of Color (as well as other Minorities, including Latin Immigrants, Native Americans, and Gays). If the trillions of dollars needed to do so brings down a few greedy corporations and fat rich white people, so be it and so it should be. What is right is right!
No One Is “Playing” The Race Card
People are talking about racism because it is everywhere. Naturally you and your white friends want it stopped because you are the racists!
What Do You Think?
Tell us if you agree, think we are crazy, or perhaps should be kicked off the internet by joining the conversation and commenting at the bottom of the page!