As political races loom and gloom sets in among democrats, the topic of racism heats up. Race warfare is the weapon you grab when it looks really, really bad. The sad part: it works!
While racism exists (everywhere), the notion that it drives all behavior and activity seems now a religion bordering on cult-like devotion.
If you choose to believe, you cannot un-believe, and you work the crowd entirely on faith. You could have voted for Obama once, and not voted for him again – and that decision not to vote had to be racist. It’s a smear against both the candidate and the voter. You diminish the candidate’s ideas and the voter’s intent. But it’s all the desperate leftists have left. Ideas were never their strong point.
But look: We all have faults. On the right, we rely on certain mechanisms to rally the base.
But nothing comes as close, in terms of shameless dishonesty, as race.
Words become more inflammatory than action. As twitchy activists scour the landscape for any semblance of outrage, they ignore bigger ticket miseries – rapes of girls, mass kidnappings, publicized execution. A bad joke on Twitter will get a petition; a horrible crime will not.
Elsewhere, we see what anger blended with envy creates: spasms of violence, crusades of brutality, a seemingly endless cascade of horribles. The rise of radical Islam is simply an agreement among angry men that everyone else “has it coming.” And the enraged – victimized and righteous – are going to mete out punishment. It’s not a religion, it’s a punitive exercise meant to soothe the wounds of monumental failures.
Divisiveness feeds this behavior. Pitting human against human is, typically, not a road toward unity. Which is why it’s used. To prevent debate.
Rather than argue coherently over an issue, a target must spend his time denying he is racist or sexist. In some places – he never gets a chance to deny.
To paraphrase an MSNBC host (the one whose engagement party was blessed with a President Obama visit), calling everyone racist is probably bad… unless it wins elections. If it gets out the vote, so be it, she said (again, I paraphrase Ms. Wagner, but it’s all there, if you wish to look it up).
This would make sense if you believed that winning an election was the only result you would get from racial politics. Race baiting, however, is not like voting twice, or getting the dead to vote. There are other consequences, and they are deep, long lasting, and potentially catastrophic.
If you continue to repeat the idea that one segment of society is victimized by another, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the perceived victims will act out? If one constantly hears that he is being ripped off by that corner shopkeeper, how long before a brick comes flying through that shopkeeper’s window?
We’ve seen this happen before: gin up the rage and watch things burn. Al Sharpton is the master of ceremonies for such events.
So, is that the intended goal? Racial unrest.
Or do the Alex Wagner’s of the world really only think five days ahead? Do they understand that the methods you implicitly approve of actually leave scars – and operate in ways that undermine civil society?
Racial politics is no different than viral panic – introducing a fear that spreads until it turns to anger. Using Ebola to win elections – that’s bad. But using race, in my opinion, is worse.
This is a country grown weary of division – a land that is willing to concede whatever gripes you have – if only that lets us get to work and get on with our lives.
The ideology of strife – a stew of blame and demand – has become so relentless and common that the initial complaint is rendered meaningless. The more you cry wolf, the less you care about wolves. Pity victims of real racism and sexism – for they are ignored – in favor of the easier battles played out on social networks.
We now live in a time where every single person reading these very words has been called a racist. If you haven’t yet, you will. Look at Bill Maher, the good leftist – now being devoured by his own ilk. Never mind that his criticism toward Islam is not racist (he and Sam Harris were criticizing a set of ideas, not a race), as long as you violate the universal code of tolerance (a shield for many abysmal behaviors occurring around the world right now), you’re a bigot. I find no pleasure in Maher’s predicament. I only wish he’d understand ours.
As filmmakers of modest talent make videos of young children swearing – in the name of sexism – young girls are dying in countries many so-called activists would likely defend in the name of tolerance. As filmmakers of minimal talent make videos of catcalling creeps sitting idly at NYC storefronts, there are women being stoned to death for falling in love with someone their father finds inferior. True – a lame catcaller annoys you with sad language – flinging words like “Hey,” or “What’s up.” But these are not rocks. Go after those who throw the rocks, for God’s sake.
The end result of identity obsession is grim: we select easy enemies domestically, regard punitive action as achievement (whether it be an apology or a job termination or suspension), and avoid calling out real, absolute evil. Remember Boku Haram? Most people don’t. Funny or Die is too busy coming up with something to smear conservatives. The funny thing about Funny or Die are their priorities. Imagine what they could do if they chased real, bona fide evil – and not the stuff that earns a pat on the back from their famous friends in politics.
And so, we are in danger of losing a generation of people to an effort-draining exercise that saps a country of will and the desire needed to face real battles.
The only remedy really is a call for unity – a necessary voice, or group of voices who plead for a ceasefire in this identity warfare.
Last week it was Bill Clinton who spoke up. Might there be more?