Resolving Any Doubts……

Does anyone seriously doubt the persistence of racism in America? Or the influence of that racism on our politics?

Phyllis Schlafly–never a subtle communicator–responded to news that minority births in the US had outnumbered Caucasian ones by explaining that this is a calamity because “those people” don’t “share our values.”  

I devoutly hope they don’t share hers.

A lone statement by a woman who has long been loony-tunes, of course, wouldn’t confirm the persistence of anything. But Schlafly is hardly alone.

Just in the last week, we’ve learned about the gazillionaire from Chicago who was planning to bankroll a SuperPac ad campaign focused upon President Obama’s links to his former Pastor, the not-so-reverend Jeremiah Wright. According to information about the plan leaked to the media, the ads had a decidedly racist cast.

And we mustn’t forget the news that Arizona’s Attorney General is debating whether to place the President’s name on that state’s November ballot, since the AG “isn’t sure” Obama was born in the United States.

The question of Obama’s place of birth is another one of those dog whistles. Most of us hear “place of birth,” but the intended audience hears “doesn’t look like us.” He’s “other.” Not a “real American.”

Look–it is absolutely possible to disagree with Barack Obama on specific policy issues. It is absolutely possible to argue that he has mishandled some governmental function. But most of the crap that gets thrown at this President has absolutely nothing to do with the normal give and take of policy or political disputes. “He’s trying to change America!” “He’s a socialist!” “He’s an elitist!”–all boil down to variants of “he’s black.”

And black people, you know, “don’t share our values.”


  1. The part I’m starting to figure out is this never, ever ends does it? Whether Pakistan and Indians, Arabs and Jews, Hatfields and McCoys…..

    You never, ever will get pure examination of an issue at hand, evaluating a candidate based on record of success or prospective affinity for resolving an issue. Somebody will say any objections are really, truly (“I mean c’mon now…”) because of race, party, gender, religion….

    That’s what’s so discouraging to me about the election of President Obama. It’s not the accomplishment you thought it would be to elect someone different from all who proceeded him in office. What was gained if he can’t also be held accountable for his failures- like his predecessors?

    It’s like old Star Trek episodes of different planets or civilizations that have feuded: forever.

  2. “Bring me your tired, your poor, you huddled masses longing to have values exactly like according to my definition of what they should be to be truly American.” – [Engraving on a replica of the Statue of Liberty posing with Phyllis Schaffley in the front offices of The Eagle Forum]

  3. According to the 2012 spring issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report magazine there are 1,018 known active hate groups in this country plus a great number of so-called Patriot Groups (generally anti-government). Indiana has several known active Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, White Nationalist, Racist Skinhead, Neo-Confederate and Patriot groups. The key word here is “known”; no way to know how many groups there are that are still hidden and uncounted. How can anyone seriously doubt the persistence of racism in this country! Centuries ago, someone decided that any person with one drop of black blood anywhere in their ancestry is to be considered a member of the black race. President Barack Obama is biracial; as are three of my great-grandchildren but they are all considered “black”, completely negating 50% of their heritage. The GOP can use any terminology they please trying to rid the White House of our duly elected and highly qualified president but we all know they are skirting around using the “n” word to be perceived as being politically correct. Something I have found confusing for many years is why the white race, while looking down on and belittling darker skinned races, spend millions of dollars annually trying to turn themselves the very color they denigate. As the King of Siam so often stated, “Is a puzzlement!”

  4. JoAnn, I learned from the Yahoo website that the woman with the extreme tanning problem has ‘tanorexia’ (among her other problems). You may have seen her on TV with her badly charred skin that she calls ‘tan’. There is some question about whether or not she took her child in the tanning booth/bed with her. I really hope she did not.

    Schlafly and others are still hung up on two facts they just cannot deal with: He’s STILL black (bi-racial, actually) and he’s STILL the President of the United States.

    Just get ready for the junk to fly. They’ve had four years to stock up. Now, they’re ready to unload and it won’t be nice.

    Thanks for all you do, Sheila. You’re entitled to a day off!

  5. I hear worse than that on Amos Brown every day.

    Seriously though, there’s a reason why these ridiculous statements are always coming from the older baby boomer crowd. We are becoming more and more post-racial as a society. People I meet of my age group (X/Yish) have radically different views on race relations than my parents and older friends. Younger people tend to put less stock in something out of the Southern Poverty Law Center because they believe racism MUST be institutional, so it only goes one way. That’s why, IMHO, people can call into Amos and talk about Jews running our state legislature without being called into question, use separatist language a la “ask for somebody who looks like us,” etc. I even hear Uncle Tom used pervasively and yet NOBODY has the nerve to call him or his audience to the carpet. THAT is much more ‘institutionally’ racist because it’s ACCEPTED. We tend to look at the NOI, the KKK, etc. equally.

    My experience is that the older generation is much more divisive and PC on these race issues, and in their mind you’re either a racist bigot if you don’t believe in quota and race-based affirmative action, or you’re one of “those people” if you do. The Rodney King incident is a perfect example of that.

    My generation is significantly more likely to have seen the entire unredacted, unedited video. We are also much more likely to understand that the riots coincided much more directly with Soon Ja Du than Rodney King. We also understand the PC train wreck that followed. A lot of that has to do with the left using the “R” word too much, anybody who’s ethnocentric, or decidedly NOT xenocentric, is a racist. I’m not trying to sound pro-youth but knowledge is power, and whether the older generation wants to face the music or not, their beliefs are fading into the woodwork.

  6. I also see one other factor in the birther movement — the un-American refusal to accept the results of the election. I may still say that George W. Bush was elected by an immoral 5 to 4 vote, but that 5 to 4 vote made him President and I never questioned his right to serve in that office. I see the birthers as refusing to accept that a “Black man” won. I would say it is as simple as that, but it really isn’t simple.

  7. The question of racism comes home too much to Indiana. Over the last few years I have heard people from my state refer to themselves as coming from a 3R state, people who proudly carry their “White Cards” with pride. So I asked what they were talking about, turns our the 3Rs stood for Redneck, Republican and Racist and that the “White Cards” were their KKK membership cards. There are actually businesses in Indiana that supposedly grant special discounts for showing those cards now. The republicans wanted to turn back the clocks to the 50s a few years ago when Newt was running, in Indiana, I’m afraid that it worked to some extent. I hear people talking about their hate for Obama everyday, but they don’t know why, or aren’t willing to admit why, some will say they don’t hate him because he’s black, but rather because he’s muslim, they don’t know what their reasoning is. I think they hate him because they have been told to hate him, and they fear the authority that told them to hate him. Unwilling to think it out for themselves, they just go alone with the flow. Unfortunate

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