The Promiscuous Use of the R Word

Let’s count the number of people who think Donald Trump is a racist. On second thought, let’s not. We’ll be here all day. But a short list includes Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, David Letterman, Bob Schieffer, some guy named Ed Schultz who screams a lot on MSNBC, and Chris Mathews who says Trump is appealing to “right-wing rubes” who “just don’t like him [Obama] because he’s black.” Even Seth Meyers, the comedian who hosted the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday night, took a jab at The Donald, who was in the audience. “Trump said recently that he has a great relationship with the blacks,” Meyers told the crowd. “But unless the Blacks are a family of white people, I’ll bet he’s mistaken.”

Yes, they’re all liberals and liberals tend to see racism all over the place. It’s one of the things that make them feel morally superior to everyone who doesn’t see racism all over the place. It’s one of the ways liberals tell black people, “We’re the good white people. So please don’t blame us for the past.”

The ammo Trump handed his critics started with his fascination with Barack Obama’s birth certificate. At the Correspondents’ dinner, Mr. Obama, Comedian-in-Chief for the evening, returned the fire. “Donald Trump is here tonight,” the president said. “Now I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is prouder to put this birth certifcate to rest than The Donald. Now he can get to focusing on the issues that matter. Like, did we fake the moon landing.”

Big laughs from the journalists and their guests.

But some others who had The Donald in their cross-hairs weren’t laughing — not after Trump said that Mr. Obama should get “off his basketball court or whatever he is doing at the time” and pressure OPEC to lower gas prices. And not when he wondered out loud whether Barack Obama got crummy grades at Columbia and still managed, somehow, to get into Harvard Law. Can you say affirmative action?

On the View, Joy Behar said, “It’s very racist. He can’t fathom that a black man could be that smart. That’s what’s behind this.”

Whoopi Goldberg said, “I’m getting tired of trying to find reasons not to think of stuff as being racist. Being black, when you say, ‘You know, this is racist,’ 9,000 people say, ‘Oh, no, you’re just playing the race card!’ Well, you know what? I’m playing the damn card now!”

Bob Schieffer of CBS News said, “That’s just code for saying he got into law school because he’s black. This is an ugly strain of racism that’s running through this whole thing.”

David Letterman said, “It’s all fun, it’s all a circus, it’s all a rodeo, until it starts to smack of racism. And then it’s no longer fun.”

Ed Shultz kept it short and sweet: “I think Donald Trump is a racist.”

Let’s see if I have this right: It’s racist if Donald Trump questions Barack Obama’s academic credentials, if he wonders what kind of grades he got in college — but it was perfectly okay for liberals to make fun of President Bush because of his so-so grades at Yale. Really?

Of course it’s not just what Donald Trump said about Mr. Obama’s grades. The fact is if you say just about anything negative about President Obama there’s a good chance you’re going to be called a racist. Against his stimulus bill? You’re probably a racist. Against ObamaCare. Yup, you’re a racist. And it started even before he was elected.

Back in 2008, when Mr. Obama was running for president, Jacob Weisberg wrote a piece for Slate, the online magazine, which ran under this headline:

If Obama Loses

Racism is the only reason McCain might beat him

Are there some racists out there who hate Barack Obama simply because he’s black. Sadly, yes. Are the birthers, especially the ones who still don’t believe Barack Obama was born in the United States, unbearably stupid. Yes again. In a country of more than 300 million people, there are going to be some stupid bigots in the crowd. But the haters don’t begin to represent all, or most, or even a significant percentage of the president’s critics. The nuts and the haters play at the fringe. And whatever one may think of Donald Trump, he is no racist. His many New York liberal friends would have spotted it years ago if he was, and would have dropped him like the proverbial bad habit.

Yet, even smart liberals apparently can’t fathom that it might be Mr.Obama’s liberal policies that Donald Trump and the vast majority of conservatives don’t like, not the color of his skin. So let’s make it easy for my liberal friends. Let’s play pretend.

Let’s pretend that two years ago voters elected America’s first black president. Except this one is a Republican and as conservative as Rush Limbaugh. Let’s call him President Smith.

President Smith is against raising taxes on the wealthy. He’s against massive healthcare reform that forces everyone who can afford it to buy an insurance policy. He’s against going on a world tour apologizing for America’s supposed sins. He’s for lowering taxes on individuals and businesses. He’s for cutting federal spending to get control of both the short term deficit and the long term national debt. He thinks citizens should have the right to own a gun and he’s against any federal money going to pay for abortions – or NPR.

Okay, here’s the question: Are we supposed to think that Donald Trump or any other critic of President Obama would condemn our pretend President Smith because he’s an African-American? I don’t think so. Not even if he had a Muslim-sounding first and middle name. Not even if his father was born in Kenya. Not even if he had questionable grades way back in college and liked to play basketball. My guess is the overwhelming percentage of conservatives would be thrilled that they finally, at long last, had a true-blue conservative back in the White House and couldn’t care less if he was black.

And who would be criticizing our make-believe President Smith for his hard right positions. Not Donald Trump. Liberals would, that’s who. Does that make them racists? After all, Mr. Smith is black?

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  • Rick007

    The denders of Liberation Theology, Reverend Wright, Father Phleger, and Obama’s other extreme-left friends use the R-accusation because they have no legitimate defense. Unlike the IRA/Shin Fein which at least attempted to keep the terrorists in the IRA and the non-violent politicians in Shin Fein, Liberation Theology has no such divide. The terrorists, activists, and politicians are all part of the same movement. The use of violence, harassment, or legal means is just a matter of strategy or convenience. Obama uses harsh words against the Jews and against Israel, but people who are undeniably his close friends help plan, fund, and execute terrorist attacks against Jews. LT is one giant criminal enterprise that basically aims to kill rich people and steal their stuff. It seems to transcend race, religion, and national boundaries except that Jews are considered the enemy even when they are poor.

  • http://obamacartoon.blogspot.com Ron Russell

    The racist term has been so freely used by those on the left that its losing it true meaning. Enough said!

    • Daniel

      Bernie, you are the smartest guest Bill O’Reilly has on his show.”Weekdays with Bernie” on Mondays is my favorite segment on the O’Reilly factor. You always offer your point of view from a standpoint that CLEARLY states itself. Even when I disagree with you, your argument still at least makes sense. You also are not afraid to tell O’Reilly when boldly when you disagree with him. Dude, you rock.

  • the dominator

    among the people mentioned in bernie’s article- whoopi goldberg, i remember seeing recently that fox did a thing where they showed her back in 2005 doing a little standup routine where she was ripping then pres. bush for being stupid and then a clip more recently on the view where she was ripping those who dare to mock today’s president saying how shameful it is and that the rest of of the world thinks you guys are insane or something to that amount.
    gee whiz whoopi- why the change of heart? has your outlook on life changed that much so soon? it couldn’t possibly be that the president in charge now happens to be a like-minded liberal could it?
    i’m sure it must be a coincidence and when a non-democrat is back in charge you will keep up your defense of the new guy just like you are doing now.

  • Rick

    Your a rasist!

    • CCNV

      Only THREE words, and your spelling is horrendous! Go away!

    • bernie goldberg

      At least you got “a” right, Rick

      • Paul Courtney

        Bernie: Your ability to accentuate the positive will surely give this guy’s self-esteem a boost.

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  • matt

    I just watched your appearance on the Oreilly factor and you were talking about the word assassination. You mentioned great leaders who were assassinated such as Kennedy and MLK. Then you assumed that bad people such as Bin Laden are not assassinated but shot. It was a racist thing to even mention Tupac Shukur with those kind of people. Tupac’s music was inspirational and he was a man who stood up for his rights. Just because he was black and rapped does not mean he was bad. He grew up in an unfair society that favored white people and gave hope to poor people so that maybe one day the poor can get on their feet and overcome the way society is set up where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

    • bernie goldberg

      Matt

      Thanks, but I suggest you take it up with my pal Chris Rock. He’s the one who said it first. You think he’s a racist, too?

      Bernie

      Chris Rock: “I’m watching the news … Tupac Shakur was assassinated, Biggie Smalls assassinated, struck down by assassin’s bullets … no, they wasn’t. Martin Luther King was assassinated, Malcolm X was assassinated, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Them two niggas got shot! Shit, I love Tupac, I love Biggie, but school will be open on their birthday.”

      • robert

        really bernie?!

        You’re pals with Chris Rock? And that Chris Rock, a comedian, used those lines in his stand-up is what you are using to support your argument?

        By the way, Rock compared Tupac to Biggie Smalls, not Bin Laden.

        I’ll bet your “pal,” Chris Rock was tickled to have the opportunity to support your thoughts…

  • Paul Courtney

    Bernie: Am anxious for your take on UBL killing and the press. I would say something like, “if Bush did this, after the initial euphoria, the MSM would start with Questions about targeted killings and international law, and in a few months call for indictments, and AG resignation, running daily stories on what J. Ashcroft knew and when he knew it”, but who would listen. Instead, I’ll say this. What has NYTimes said in past re targeted killings of enemy (in Gaza, maybe), legitimate self defense or war crime? What’s Eric Holder said re targeted killing, before he was AG? I’m pretty sure neither will accuse the President of a war crime (that might be racist!), but will either one say this is a nation’s right to self defense, a perfectly lawful act? ‘Cause if they do, then the Times might have to explain why Israel must play under different rules, and Holder will completely lose his lefty cred.

    • Paul Kagan

      Be an American for the day and stop comparing OBAMA to the butcher of Tel Aviv.

      • Paul Courtney

        You may have missed my post on Bernie’s March 24 column, but that’s ok. Saw reports yesterday that Holder said it’s lawful, no equivocation, so today I’m eating crow (good thing lent is over). We can all rally round Obama on this, my beef is with NYTimes and MSM, where slanted reporting gets absorbed by folks like you, who think Israelis are butchers for targeted attacks that even Eric Holder (by inference) defends, even B. Obama orders, and even you and I support.

  • http://www.bigbureaucracy.com/ Ellie Velinska

    What is really amusing is that the same people who cry the R word today were Trump’s BFF until he dared to utter the O word.

    • JDO

      Amusing, but not surprising. They’re always quick to throw someone under the bus if they step outside the “groupthink.”

  • Kathie Ampela

    Even though I did not vote for President Obama, I want to thank him (and U.S. forces, CIA, of course) for finally getting Bin Laden. I was 4 blocks from the WTC on 9/11/01 and this was LONG overdue! This has nothing to do with Bernie’s column, but today is a special day..let’s stop partisan fighting just for today and celebrate!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/osama-bin-laden-is-killed-by-us-forces-in-pakistan/2011/05/01/AFXMZyVF_story.html

    • Bob Hadley

      Yes, Kathie! I agree. We should just be Americans, for today anyway.

    • Ron Kean

      It was a victory.

  • Kathie Ampela

    Whether Donald Trump is truly a concerned citizen seeking higher office or a self promoting opportunist remains to be seen, but the idea that he is a racist is laughable. He has been a major contributor to the democratic party for years; he’s given to Harry Reid, Hilary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Ted Kennedy, Charles Rangel and most recently to Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral campaign in Chicago. He’s taken investment money from George Soros to save his failing Trump tower in Chicago. He’s an admirer of Nancy Pelosi. He’s trashed George W. Bush. And he has made a fortune in uber liberal NYC (I live here, Trump is synonymous with New York) I agree with what Rand Paul said the other day; I’d like to see him produce his long form RNC credentials to prove he’s really a republican ;-)

    What Trump has done is merely what no one else in the RNC has had the spine to do…put Obama on the defensive. A purely political move and the Left are injecting race into it. No one else in the RNC would play this game because they knew the Left would inject race into it. I’m personally offended that Obama didn’t release the long form bc years ago. I didn’t vote for Obama because of his far left history. I didn’t think it was a good idea for the country to have a President with a far left worldview and I didn’t care what color he was. Period, end of story. Race is being injected into this debate for all the wrong reasons. Ironically, Allen West launched a blistering attack against Obama around the same time this birth certificate stuff was going on. I find him to be a more viable candidate for 2012 than Trump..yet all we are hearing about is how racist Trump is. Why? With respect to Obama’s academic records, I don’t consider that to be off limits either. I’d just love to see Hillary Clinton’s college thesis on Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, wouldn’t you? I mean a future first lady writing a book report on political thuggery (and the book was dedicated to Lucifer, no less), c’mon! A feast for the eyes ;-) Obama’s thesis at Columbia was supposedly about Soviet nuclear disarmament/America’s nuclear negotiations with the Soviet Union, a hot topic in the 1980′s. See here: http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2008/07/obamas_missing_thesis_1.asp
    It’s certainly a relevant question to ask what a future president’s worldview on foreign policy was. What does race have to do with that?

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    Trump is a racist. All that anti-Texan bigotry on display during the Bush years was pretty appalling, too.

    • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

      PS: If, all other things being equal, Bill Clinton had been black, can you imagine the deafening outcry over his “racist” impeachment?

  • Scott

    It seems to me that race relations have gotten worse since Obama was elected. It’s not because that some whites don’t like the guy simply because he’s black (you’re a fool if you don’t think that this is true). The reason that race relations have gotten worse is because of the Left! They are the true racists of this country because EVERYTHING to them, as it relates to Obama, is seen through the prism of his skin color first. Nothing else matters. I truly believe that white Leftists feel better about their own latent racism when they levy that same charge against others.

    • Ron Kean

      I agree. The use of ‘racism’ and calling a person ‘racist’ is a tool to divide rather than unify the country. It is no coincidence that liberals are consistently banging on that drum. Liberals want people to hate ‘those’ who they say hate others. But ‘those’ of which they speak don’t necessarily hate anybody. ‘Those’ people could just be curious, let’s say, of the President’s background no more so than of any other president’s background.

      Everyone knows that the left will be silent when a Republican or a conservative who is a person of color gets slammed with vile insults. Condi Rice was brutalized. Allen West is getting it now. Edward Kennedy was harsh on Clarence Thomas about the treatment of a woman. That was going a bridge too far.

      The subject of racism is a tactic to divide and conquer. A vetting process is going on now because the process was absent when the president was running for office. That’s why people like Donald Trump are just asking questions. That’s all they’re doing. People didn’t want the vetting process for the president in the beginning and they don’t like it now so they try to demonize those who are curious.

  • Konrad Lau

    “Let’s pretend that two years ago voters elected America’s first black president. Except this one is a Republican and as conservative as Rush Limbaugh. Let’s call him President Smith.
    President Smith is against raising taxes on the wealthy. He’s against massive healthcare reform that forces everyone who can afford it to buy an insurance policy. He’s against going on a world tour apologizing for America’s supposed sins. He’s for lowering taxes on individuals and businesses. He’s for cutting federal spending to get control of both the short term deficit and the long term national debt. He thinks citizens should have the right to own a gun and he’s against any federal money going to pay for abortions – or NPR.”

    I wouldn’t care if this candidate was male, female, black, brown, red, green or purple polka dotted, they would have my vote any day. Would that make me a racist towards white folks?

    • David Hayes

      Let’s pretend we had a black presidential candidate who loafed through a few colleges for underachievers. Opened his mouth on television and seemed uneducated and uninformed on most issues. Had a teenage daughter who got pregnant out of wedlock. Quit his job in politics to go on the preaching circuit and do reality TV.

      Yeah, doesn’t make any sense. A black guy like that wouldn’t be taken seriously or get very far in politics. Unless he was pro gun, and lower taxes. And maybe from Alaska.

      • Paul Courtney

        Looked up “elitism” in the American Heritage dictionary, and saw this post! And it’s just like racism, but directed at people whom Mr. Hayes is “better than”, so it’s ok.

        • David Hayes

          It’s funny, but I can never understand the anti-elitism crowd. It’s okay to be an elitist like George Bush and send your children to the same ivy league universities you attended. As long as you pretend to be suspicious of elite education, and clear brush wearing a cowboy hat. That’s apparently enough to convince people you’re not an elitist, I guess.

  • Tim

    A good step would be an end to affirmative action. Then there would be no questions pertaining to admission to any college.

    • Bob Hadley

      It wouldn’t eliminate questions pertaining to VIP admissions, as for example with President GW Bush’s admissions to Yale or to Harvard Business School. BTW, I’m not one who thinks he’s daft. But, academically he appear to have been an under-achiever at least much of the time. Another is Trump’s son in-law who was admitted to Harvard. The list is endless.

      • David Hayes

        I love how guys like Trump want to examine every possible way a guy like Obama might have gotten into Columbia or Harvard Law because there might be some kind of racial favoritism involved. Because Obama just seems not so smart.

        But Trump’s daughter gets into Wharton–probably the most competitive business school in the world, and it never occurs to him that perhaps there might be other factors that helped her gain admission, rather than merit. That’s out of bounds because white advantages are unassailable. How the world works. If he says Ivanka is smart and deserves to be admitted, that’s the end of the story.

        • Tim Ned

          You guys have absolutely never actually been involved in the tuition process have you. I have been a big supporter of three large colleges financially and the last person you want making a recomendation is me! Do you really believe these professors and admissions personnel permit donors like me to slip someone through the process? You have no idea. And credit these schools, they don’t permit the political influence . If the Trump kids were admitted, they deserved it.

          • Bob Hadley

            Give me a break! Many elite colleges say in their admisssions brochures that they give alum children special consideration. And it’s hardly a secret that many of these same schools have an affirmative action admissions program for VIPs (or their children).

          • David Hayes

            Tim, that’s exactly my point. If a wealthy white person is admitted to an elite university, there’s no shortage of white people who will respond exactly the way you did. The deserved it!

            In truth, I would imagine that your idea of being a big supporter financially of three colleges is not on the grand scale of the kind that really do have influence in admissions. Especially if you think it has anything to do with the “tuition process.”

            The ivies have endowments large enough where they could afford to admit all students tuition-free. Donald Trump may not be able to get a son (let’s say Gump Trump) into a school he has no business even trying for. But lots of students are on the qualifying fence and not everyone is offered a spot. That’s where a capital gift comes into play. Please trust me when I tell you that the super wealthy make their giving intentions clear in subtle ways when a child is applying. Sometimes, it’s not even necessary, as there are uncommunicated expectations on both sides.

            I will say this, however. Legacies and gift giving is nothing like it was when GW Bush was hopping from Andover to Yale to Harvard B School!

          • Tim Ned

            David, alum’s kids get considerations and that is clear and documented. But you are dreaming! If you believe an admissions staff of professors in our colleges are pressured by donors you are out of your mind. I can’t speak for all schools but I can for two big ten and some smaller regional colleges. And the fact is it doesn’t make a difference who your daddy is. You don’t meet the standards and you don’t get in. That includes the grandchildren of one of the big tens greatest coaches. But he knows that if he ever put pressure on to get them in it would be a guarantee they would be turned down.

          • David Hayes

            I don’t think you understand that professors are only part of the admissions process. I’d be happy to enlighten you, as I sit on the board of trustees at a major university with an endowment in the billions. (But I do dream in meetings–mostly of a day when faculty have more of a say in admissions!)

  • Bob Z

    Dear Bernie, I have honestly been saying since the beginning of this birth certificate issue that he was born in Hawaii. No one could challege his birth announcement in the newspaper. Like people said, could his parents be forecasting the possibility that Barack would one day be President of the United States, and that they better leave Kenya real fast and get to Hawaii and place the announcement in the newspaper (and at least laying he ground work and worrying about getting a birth certificate sometime later)… of course that’s ridiculous.
    What I do think though is that the Obama Adiministration kept this issue alive to aggitate those in the Right Wing who don’t like him or his policies, hence giving them something to latch on to making them look “Racist” or “Off their Rockers”. They may have even brought Michelle Obama into this when she came out and said that Kenya was her husbands “Homeland’, intentionally charging up Birthers again.
    This is politics, my thinking is this birth certificate issue was used to deligitimize the Tea Party by using the Birthers who are in the Tea Party which is associated with the Republican Party, this is a classic Saul Alinsky tactic. With the media helping as cheerleaders this worked, until I believe what Trump did, which was to flush out the real Birth Certificate, and ending this Obama tactic once and for all. The Obama Administration will have to move on to something else now to smear the Right Wing.

  • Judyann J

    Bernie, that’s not Presiden Smith you just described, it’s Rep. Allen West (R-Florida)

    He is one of our most active freshman, (Tea Party Candidate) Congressmen who fully embraces each and every of the Conservative principles you mention. Some people might call him a black American… We The People simply call him American…an yes, HE has been called an Uncle Tom, a house N-word (by other blacks), and yes, a racist. He has also been the target of MANY death threats by Liberals.
    So, using the logic of your article, those liberals who are calling Allen West all these names are racists and bigots. Got it.

    BTW, there is actually a very big effort draft Col. West to run for President in 2012. This “racist” woman intends to bang on every door on his behalf, not because he’s black but because he is exactly the sort of Conservative man WITH A SPINE, that we need in the White House.

    • Nancy

      Couldn’t agree with you more Judyann!
      Col. West represents the best of America. I would love to see him on the ticket for 2012!

  • BARB

    Well. I’m one of the 5% of blacks that did not vote for Obama…so I guess I’m a racist. Here’s another one of my favorite “racist”..Larry Pinkney of BlackCommentor.com on Obama:

    This is a man who has enjoyed the fruits of America at the blood and expense of Black Americans and others, but who has paid virtually no dues.

    This is a man whose father had also enjoyed the fruits of university schooling in America but subsequently returned to his native Kenya.

    This is a man, who also like his father before him, neither served in a branch of the US military nor in any organization in America opposed to US military adventurism.

    This is a man who as a deeply corporate military industrial complex US Presidential candidate, has called for “unilateral” US military actions in other nations. [And why not? After-all, his father, himself, or his wife and children were not and will not be the ones killing and being killed.]

    This is a man who, in Chicago, pretended to support the human rights of the Palestinian people but who is now known to be a huge supporter of the apartheid Zionists and their powerful and insidious political lobby in America.

    This is a man who dares opportunistically to feign admiration for the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but does not share the collective memory, pain and deep concerns of Black America, other people of color, or even of numerous white Americans for that matter – in the ongoing struggle for equality and justice in this nation.

    This is a man who has de facto contempt for the past supreme sacrifices made by thousands of activists from so-called “militant” organizations such the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), the Student National Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Black Panther Party (BPP), Students For A Democratic Society (SDS), the American Indian Movement (AIM), the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), etc.

    This is a man who is silent about the need for reparations for Black American descendants of slaves and the genocide of the indigenous so-called “Indian” peoples on this continent. He is the consummate opportunist who, in reality, cares nothing about the horrors inflicted upon Black, Brown, and Red peoples in this nation, and has repeatedly signaled that he plans to inflict even more “unilateral” military horrors upon various nations and peoples of the world.

    This man, Barack Obama, is but a more articulate, younger, and shinier version of the current and infamous US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, adorning himself dangerously and abundantly in superficiality and double-speak.

  • http://paul-borden.blogspot.com Paul Borden

    I’d say you just described President Sowell, not President Smith.

    • Bruce A.

      Check out Herman Cain. I believe he was the former chairman of Godfathers Pizza, a successful business person who knows the value of a dollar.

      • Henry

        Ahh yes, Herman Cain…REAL change you can believe in! :)

  • Carlo

    If people want to call each other racists go ahead. It will not stop me from ignoring them crying wolf. I will exercise my right to choose whomever I want for President and though I can’t control what people think I am or am not, At the same time, I no longer care. I want what’s good for America, not three ridiculous hostesses on the View. Frankly and ironically, these people harbor some of the deepest hatred of other Americans I have ever witnessed. I have got news for alot of folks, we are all getting along pretty well out here.

  • Alan

    Just for fun, here’s another scenario:

    90% of blacks vote for a white democrat, instead of for Mr. Smith. Are these folks racist for voting against a black candidate?

    • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernard Goldberg

      re Alan’s post

      BINGO!

      • David Hayes

        By the way, Bernie, congrats on the Emmy. That story truly deserved the recognition. Well done.

  • Alan

    You forgot one of the fundamental rules of the left: party transcends gender and race. For them, it’s impossible to be racist against a republican, because he’s just a republican.

    I do love that leftists inject race into every argument imaginable, but I’m the racist for opposing policy.

  • Bob Hadley

    I largely agree with Bernie on this one. Although I can see why some blacks might see the birther non-sense and some of Trump’s rantings as racially motivated, and I can even see why certain whites might at least initially see such antics as such, there is no specific evidence that all of this—or any of this—is intended racially.

    I agree with Bernie’s analysis of a black conservative president. After all, how many conservatives have tried to stigmatize Clarence Thomas? Much the same visceral hatred of President Obama was also spewed at President Clinton. The hatred was undeniably personal, but it was not based on race. If the 1990’s counter-parts of the birthers could have reasonably made a tenable case that Clinton was born abroad, they would not have hesitated. With Obama, as with Clinton, the hatred is because he is President of the United States, he is at least a moderately liberal Democrat and perhaps some other reasons that have not yet been identified. And many in the GOP think they’re entitled to the White House.

    Donald Trump is a snake oil salesman and a demagogue. He knows how to play the various “news” media. And these media eat it up. They feed on each other. It’s possible that Trump’s off-handed, snide remark about President Obama and basketball was intended racially, but there is no specific evidence. Trump’s birther rantings and his denigrating remarks about Obama’s academic qualifications and achievements were obviously intended to attract attention and to stigmatize Trump’s opposition—Obama.. It’s possible that the latter remarks were intended to conjure up images of an affirmative action flunky, but here again there is no specific evidence.

    Trump was trying to stigmatize Obama, not because he is black but because Obama is in Trump’s sights. I think Trump was merely being Trump—a snake oil salesman and a demagogue.

    On the other hand, I have experienced a contrary set of phenomena: whites seeing almost all their dealings with non-whites in terms of racial animus and racial prejudice. Here in Hawaii the majority is non-white and of mixed race and is strongly represented in almost all professions and socio-economic levels. The culture here is flavored with we call “local style.” I have spoken to scores—perhaps hundreds—of white mainland U. S. “transplants” who cry racism at the drop of hat or at the crossing of a brow. They will often cry racism when they interact with anyone who is non-white (store clerks, bank tellers, businessmen, politicians, judges, etc.) and who they think even looks at them cross-eyed or who is not as gracious as to how they’re accustomed. They will get defensive and sometimes hostile when they are given a slew of other possibilities based on the specifics of their bitter complaints—they’re having a bad day, they’re distracted, they’re only doing their job, the whites are acting inappropriately.

    See the irony? Blacks on the mainland U. S. (and what was to become the mainland U. S.) have centuries of pervasive, brutal, systemic and systematic oppression. The situation is far better now, but some effects linger on. Of course, there’s going to be some over-sensitivity. Whites, on the other hand, have no such history of oppression here or on the mainland. And look at the over-sensitivity a lot of whites have when they find themselves in the minority!

    The reason, I think, that many—especially blacks—see all this as racially motivated is because the first black president, who they and their children look to as inspiration, is essentially being “carded,” being stigmatized. And blatantly unfairly so. Obama is being asked for his papers.

    Trump’s rantings can and should be assailed on many grounds, but I don’t think they are racially motivated. But, of course, he should be held accountable for the foreseeable effects of what he says and how he says it. Here, it is possible that he has been racially insensitive at times. Maybe and maybe not. But, i think it’s clear that Trump is playing us for fools. And he’s making headway.

    It’s an over-reaction to say that whites who see what’s being done to Obama is racially motivated are generally on a liberal guilt trip and are trying to ingratiate themselves with blacks. While true of many, where’s the evidence that it is geneally true? Thinking with their emotions, as Bernie sometimes does, yes.

    BTW Bernie, are the “proverbial bad habits” exclusive to nuns? j/k :)

    • David Hayes

      Well, Bernie is right about the majority of conservatives who would be thrilled about a “President Smith” in the White House. We already know how they feel about Clarence Thomas–a thoroughly unaccomplished beneficiary of affirmative-action who was cynically appointed by George Bush I so that whites would have racial cover for the angry, troubled justice who’d become a hit man against blacks from the bench. (Even Justice Scalia will not defend some of Thomas’ lone dissents in race-based cases.)

      And to be clear, we should all be careful about the difference between labeling the Hillarys and the Donalds as racists, and merely pointing out that some of their words pander to cheap themes designed to stir racial emotion.

      • Bob Hadley

        Have you read Thomas’ auto “My Grandfaher’s Son” or heard him speak? Although I disagree with many decisions he has joined or written, I think he’s a person of substance. Can you name the dissenrts that you indicate are indefensible? I’d like to read them.

        • David Hayes

          I think it’s difficult to tell if he’s a person of substance from opinions written by clerks, and books written by ghostwriters. There have been stories written about him where colleagues on both sided of the fence described him as simply a mediocre mind. Mediocre doesn’t bother me, though.

          Here’s an 8-1 vote over forced strip search of a 13 year old girl. Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion.

          http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/08pdf/08-479.pdf

          • Bob Hadley

            Thanks for the link! I’ll read it as soon as I have time.

            Law clerks frequently write the opinions for all appellate court judges, at all levels. Sometimes the only addition a judge will give is something like a semi-colon. But the opinion is written after having thoroughly discussed it with the judge in question.

            I dislike much of Thomas’ world view as i suspect you do also. But, we have to be fair.

            If you have links to the criticisms of Thomas from colleagues, I’d appreciate it.

            Thanks again.

          • Bob Hadley

            David Hayes,

            I just read that decision in its entirety. I have questions about Thomas’ concurrence in part and dissent in part. But I also agree with some of his criticism of the majority decision. That is beside the point, however. The question is whether a decision is clearly written and is made pursuant to an analysis of the pertinent law and is based on the facts of the specific case. I think all the opinions met that standard–in all, I think there were 4 or 5 different opinions.

            I’m concerned because I think Thomas has been subjected to abuse fom left wing zealots. As far as i can tell, he is a man of high integrity and principal. He also seems to be a particularly caring person. I say this based on his auto and on seeing him speak before various audiences, not only his words but his demeanor.

            I think the left wing zealots are doing much the same to Thomas as the right wing zealots are doing to President Obama. Although, admittedly Obama is being abused much more intensely, over the last two years anyway. I think left wing zealots hold him to an impossibly high standard that no one could meet, i.e. they’ll explain away anything that points in his favor. Sound familiar?

            Of course, as i said earlier, i oppose much of his worlld view. But i refuse to lower myself to attack him personally. As far as I can tell, nothing Thomas has said or done that warrants personal attacks. I could possibly change my view of Thomas if i had more information. But i avoid personal attacks personal attacks unless clearly warranted, e.g. someone inserts his character into the political arena.

        • David Hayes

          I’ve read excerpts of his book. Honestly not interested in reading any more. I’ve read many, many of his opinions. Disagree with most. Some I find absolutely abhorrent, as have many unbiased legal scholars. And I suspect that there will be some great books somewhere down the road about what the Justices think of his opinions. Right now, their 8-1 votes speak volumes. Some refuse to even acknowledge his dissents because they are so far to the extreme in legal opinion.

          Also, when I listen to Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas, I believe Hill. I think Clarence Thomas has a self-hatred and a disdain for blacks that spills over into his opinions. And that part I got from his book, too.

          • Bob Hadley

            Could you name at least one case in which Justice Thomas’ opinions was absolutely abhorrent to you and to many unbiased scholars? I want to read any such case you can name. In the case you sent me SAFFORD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT #1, ET AL., PETITIONERS v. APRIL REDDING Thomas gave a lone opinion dissenting is part and concurring in part. But guess what? In that very same case Justice Ginsberg also gave a lone opinion dissenting in part and concurring in part. Big deal!

            I don’t know about you, but I want a justice to have the guts to stand up for what he believes even if he stands alone. Of course, I’d rather Thomas believe differently about many cases, but that’s another matter. Yes, I disagree with many of the opinions he has either joined or written. I disagee with many of the opinions of other justices, as well. I haven’t read many opinions specifcally written by Thomas, but of those i have read, none have been unworthy (even though i disagree with them).

            I don’t think an 8-1 vote, in and of itself, says anything other than that one justice disagreed with the other 8. Haven’t you ever been the lone dissenter in the room? Is a lone dissenter’s opinion necessarily abhorrent? Are you that strict of a conformist? Did you think the same of Justice Brennan back when he was a lone dissenter?

            Who refuses to acknowledge his dissents because they are so extreme? Other justices? Legal scholars? And what do you mean by acknowledgment? As you surely know, dissenting opinions in general are greatly de-emphasized because they have no legal weight.

            I saw the Anita Hill hearings, and, yes, I thought Thomas wasn’t completely candid. I can’t be sure exactly what went on between him and Hill, but it was something untoward. I think Hill’s testimony was at least partially true.

            But I also believed Paula Jones’ allegations about President Clinton, and they were more serious than Hill’s accusations against Thomas. What does that mean about Clinton’s performance as president? What does that mean as far as his politics or policies?

            “I think Clarence Thomas has a self-hatred and a disdain for blacks that spills over into his opinions. And that part I got from his book, too.” Can you substantiate that statement? Or can you at least give examples? I heard a lot of vile accusations directed at Thomas over the years by people of the Left. But I have heard no specifics. Admittedly, I have done no systematic research on this. But now you have me curious. As far as I’m concerned, no self-respecting person would make such vile accusations without the readiness to provide specifics.

    • David Hayes

      At this point, Bob. I have to bow out. I get the sense you’re genuine, and I know you have internet access, but this is a little time consuming! I think the purpose of these forums for every idiot to state his opinion and not be expected to links and footnotes. I know if I read something, I’ll research it myself and then respond.

      On the other hand, I commend you on your thoughtfulness. Personally, I don’t get upset about Scalia’s or Roberts’ dissents because they are usually consistent and interesting. Clarence Thomas I have formed an opinion about. As for one opinion of his that I find abhorrent, I’ll start with the last one he did, even though it was the majority. I’d urge you to read the story before Thomas’ opinion because he distorts and omits some of the facts in the case.

      http://www.worldwidehippies.com/2011/04/03/clarence-thomas-writes-one-of-the-meanest-supreme-court-decisions-ever/

      I admire Justice John Harlan’s lone dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson, but I recognize the other 8 votes were a product of the times. So I don’t despise them for setting back race relations 100 years.

      • Bob Hadley

        “I think Clarence Thomas has a self-hatred and a disdain for blacks that spills over into his opinions. And that part I got from his book, too.”

        David Hayes,

        I’ve given you every opportunity to substantiate your vile remarks about Clarence Thomas, to no avail. I think certain members of the Left are bigoted toward Thomas, although I’m not sure why. Like you, they hurl vile accusations at Thomas’ character, but fail to provide any specifics. Maybe they hold Thomas to the standards of his predecessor–Justice Marshall. Or maybe their bigotry stems from an attitude that because Thomas is black, he should think like them.

        As far as i can tell, Thomas is very caring about blacks. His approach is often more one of “tough love” though, as with other justices. Demonstrating tough love does not mean that you don’t care. I tend to think think that your attitude toward Thomas is laced with bigotry. I don’t say this lightly.

        If I’m wrong, show specifics. Specifically show how you came to your conclusions. And show how you’re not holding Thomas to a different standard from other recent and current conservative justices. Yes, you ccan point to certain of his faults (e.g. Anita Hill), but this does not justify your remarks. None of your links justify your remarks, either.

        Again, I don’t see how any self-respecting person can make such vile accusations about someone without a readiness to provide specifics.

  • David Hayes

    When “real racism” shows its ugly face, it’s taken very seriously in this country. We have laws and Supreme Court decisions that give protection to all citizens that we didn’t have back in the times of the “Greatest Generation.” We should worry more about the subtle appeals to racism, like a presidential candidate making his first stump speech of 1980 in Philadelphia, Mississippi where three civil rights workers were murdered, and making countless references to “states’ rights.” Or a presidential candidate today (like Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or whoever) who allows garbage like Obama being a Muslim to fester for their own possible political gain. No Americans gain anything with that kind of ignorance.

  • David Hayes

    Bernie, all you have to do is look at the 2008 election results in Southern states to understand exactly why the right continues to defend the failed birther movement. The majority of Americans delivered a landslide victory to Obama, who won more states by greater margins than any Democrat since Clinton. Yet, in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, Obama fared worse than Kerry and Gore!! How is that possible? (You know how.)

    Southern Strategy. The right will try to stir up race and hope it resonates in other states, and count on bright guys like you to deflect and defend the bottom feeders like Trump and Bachmann, with the usual, “No, no, it’s actually liberal reverse racism!”

    • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernard Goldberg

      David,

      I have never defended Trump (but I don’t believe for a second that he’s a racist) and I have never written a word about Bachman, good or bad. I just think too many on the Left cry racist in much the same was as the boy who cried wolf. When real racism shows its ugly face, no one will take it seriously.

    • stmichrick

      David; I would be willing to bet a bunch that each of those states would flip if a Herman Cain or Bobby Jindal ran. You cannot escape the fact that Obama’s left-of-Kerry and Gore positions, disastrous appointments and failed leadership skills are to blame for his predicament.

      • David Hayes

        Most leftists I know regret not voting for Hillary because they think Obama is too moderate! As far as disastrous appointments and failed leadership skills, I think that’s clouded by your politics. If you want to look at disastrous appointments and failed leadership skills, just look back three years to the Harriet Miers, Good Job, Brownie, Rumsfeld days. And that’s not even taking into account Bush’s nearly turning this country into a barter economy. Obama started in a great big hole thanks to the proven failed policies of the right. Your grandchildren’s children will be reading about it.

    • Paul Courtney

      Speaking of subtle racism, Mr. Hayes, how is your crack about Clarence Thomas as a beneficiary of aff. action any different than Trump questioning Obama’s grades?

      • David Hayes

        Well, let’s assume that both Clarence and Barack got into ivy league schools on merit alone. And let’s take it as a given that both men have ascended to very impressive and important positions in government. One of them was elected. The other has benefitted by the affirmative action he deplores. Do you see why only one of them smiles?

        • Paul Courtney

          A swwwwing and a miss. Based on your assumption, neither one benefited from aff. action, though you still say Thomas benefited from it to get his appointment. Trump merely suggests that aff. action got Obama into ivy league, so he’s a racist. My question was not, what’s the difference between Pres and Justice of SC, but what’s the difference between you and Trump? I can see why you would want to change the subject.

          • David Hayes

            Maybe this will be easier for you to understand. If Donald Trump said that Clarence Thomas got into Yale Law School because of Affirmative Action, I’d think he was as big a jackass as I do for saying it about Obama. It’s lazy thinking, but I don’t have high expectations. (I never said Trump was a racist. That’s lazy, too.)

            I’m trying to explain to you that it’s ironic in Thomas’ case, because he was not a high performing student at Yale, and did not receive offers to top law firms the way other blacks in his class did. Naturally, Thomas played the race card, turned away from the Black Panthers and “Power to the People” movement and recognized his value as a black man who rejected his blackness. Naturally, there were some powerful whites out there who could use the racial cover of a black man with political views along the lines of Strom Thurmond. THAT’S where Thomas’ affirmative action came in. There was suddenly plenty of room for his mediocre legal mind.

  • CCNV

    I’m sure no one in this country dislikes obama because he’s incompetent… God forbid you ask for your coffee black, use a spade for digging, dance a jig, or look through rose colored glasses…ALL racist innuendos, according to libs.

    I enjoy watching Trump. He ignores all the ‘political correct’ crap that has turned this country into a bunch of irresponsible, sniveling crybabies!