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Progressives Who See Racism Everywhere ...
Whether it's real or imagined.
Unless you’ve been in a coma for a while you’ve probably noticed that death and taxes aren’t the only certainties in life. Another one is that if you’re a Republican and so much as look sideways at someone who is black, there’s an excellent chance you will be called a racist.
If you’re a liberal, you can call Ronald Reagan stupid — “an amiable dunce” is how they put it — and you’ll get high fives from the lefty peanut gallery. Try calling a black politician stupid and there’s a good chance the left will portray you as the second coming of George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door.
You can (with some justification) call Donald Trump a thug. But you can’t even call black looters thugs and come out of it with you reputation intact.
Which brings us to presidential candidate Nikki Haley, a woman of color as you know, who made a reasonable observation about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and in no time flat found herself in the crosshairs of a progressive journalist who is constantly on the lookout for racists and racism — real or imagined.
Haley recently posted on X (formerly Twitter) this message: “…everyone in America can see Joe Biden's decline and have concerns about his ability to serve a second term. They know a vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Kamala Harris. The media needs to stop protecting Biden and tell America the truth."
You may agree with that, or not — but why is it racist to point out that Kamala Harris does not instill the kind of confidence a lot of Americans — and not only Republicans — expect in a president. And that’s a nice way of saying the very idea of Kamala Harris sitting down with China’s President Xi, or having to respond from the Oval Office to something dangerously proactive that Putin is doing, is downright frightening. Which is also a nice way of saying, she can’t put two words together that make sense.
Yet, because she’s a conservative Republican — being woman of color doesn’t count when you’re a conservative Republican — Nikki Haley’s social media shot at the vice president brought on the not-so-surprising accusation of racism.
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Jemele Hill, a progressive journalist who writes for the Atlantic magazine and was an on-air reporter for ESPN, saw Haley’s tweet and responded that “part of the reason racism is such a terrible sickness in this country is because politicians know they can rally a certain base with the fear of OH MY GOD A BLACK WOMAN MIGHT BE PRESIDENT IF YOU DON’T VOTE FOR ME.”
If you’re not buying that, be assured you’re not alone. In a piece for National Review, Zach Kissel, a political journalist, wasn’t buying any of it either.
“Framing all criticism of black politicians as racism isn’t a new tactic,” he wrote. Former Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) once suggested that GOP opposition to the Obama administration’s policies was because of the 44th president’s race. Representative Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.) claimed that Republicans were against Obamacare ‘because a black man created it’ and that conservatives have warned against the dangers of big government only ‘since a black man became president.’ Even a former president, Jimmy Carter, accused Republicans of opposing Obama’s health-care plan because of racism. These are all, of course, ridiculous contentions; it is not racist to oppose policies simply because their proponent is black.”
And with thanks to Zach Kissel, I offer you some legitimate reasons to oppose Kamala Harris — and none have to do with the color of her skin. What follows is a collection of Harris’s not-so-great verbal hits:
On Ukraine: “I am here, standing here on the northern flank, on the eastern flank, talking about what we have in terms of the eastern flank and our NATO allies, and what is at stake at this very moment, what is at stake at this very moment are some of the guiding principles . . .”
On the Biden administration’s Covid strategy: “It is time for us to do what we have been doing. And that time is every day. Every day it is time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down.”
On significance, and on the passage of time: “The significance of the passage of time, right? The significance of the passage of time. So when you think about it, there is great significance to the passage of time . . . there is such great significance to the passage of time.”
On working together: “We must together work together to see where we are, where we are going, where we are headed, and our vision for where we should be. But also see it as a moment to, together, address the challenges and to work on the opportunities.”
Let me know when your head stops spinning.
Joe Biden is 80. He’ll be 82 on Election Day. He’d be 86 if he serves a full second term, which is highly unlikely. That’s why Nikki Haley was onto something obvious when she tweeted that a vote for Biden would amount to a vote for Kamala Harris. Haley’s tweet had nothing to do with Harris’ race and everything to do with her word-salad gibberish.
None of this is to suggest that racism doesn’t exist in America. It does. Unfortunately. And if Jamele Hill, who is black, goes after real racists, I’m on her side. But if progressives are going to build a moat around black people and keep them insulated from criticism, no matter how legitimate, well, that sounds more than a little like patronizing. It sounds like progressives are saying black folks are hothouse flowers, too fragile to take criticism.
The bad news is that liberals and progressives have stacked the deck. Here’s how it works: If you say “I’m not a racist,” this is proof that you are a racist — because racism (we’re told) is everywhere, and if you don’t know that you’re too dense to notice the obvious. Or maybe too bigoted. Heads they win, tails you lose.
The good news is that a lot of Americans — not only conservative Republicans — are tired of it. Tired of hearing that math is racist because in some schools pushing students to find the right answers to math problems promotes white supremacy.
Tired of hearing that if you expect employees to show up on time for work, you’re a racist, because being on time supposedly is part of a white supremacy culture.
Tired of hearing that even capitalism is racist because, as some see it, it’s a tool for power and oppression.
Tired of hearing that Tim Scott, the black senator running for president, is today’s version of Uncle Tom, because Sen. Scott has to gall to be a Republican and doesn’t believe America is a racist country.
And I suspect they’re also tired of progressives who have turned “racism,” a once powerful word, into mush, into nothing more than a tired left-wing trope, one that fewer and fewer Americans are taking seriously. That’s what happens when you throw the R word around in a sloppy, cavalier way. It’s like the boy who cried wolf — people stop listening. And worse … they’re less likely to take real racism seriously.
But, of course, if you believe any of that … there’s a good chance you’re a racist.
This Thursday: A Special No BS Zone!
You read that right! New York Times columnist David French will be joining Bernie and John this week on the No BS Zone! This episode will go online at a little different time than you’re used to: Thursday, in the late morning (you’ll receive an email the moment it drops).
You won’t want to miss it!