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Jewish World Review
January 15, 2010/ 29 Teves 5770
The Myth That Keeps on Giving
The racial flap surrounding Harry Reid once again reveals the not-so-secret double-standard with regard to stupid racial comments: make one as a Republican and you're toast, make one as a Democrat and it's "time to move on to more important things." How do Democrats get away with it? Besides an in-the-tank media willing to cover their behinds, Democrats have successfully maintained one of the biggest lies in American politics: they, and they alone, are the party looking out for black America's interests. What interests? The maintenance of a victimist mentality and an expansion of the welfare state.
In a sane world, the idea that helping people to remain dependent on government is something to be proud of, would be ridiculed for the insanity make that racist insanity it truly is. Vote for us, so you can keep getting food stamps, or a welfare check? Vote for us so you can keep getting a substandard education for your children, because we're in political hock to the teachers' unions? Vote for us so you can maintain the myth that every problem in your life is due to white racism? Vote for us because we're going to make it better for you?
Forty-six years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed after 54 days of filibustering by Senate Democrats to prevent its passage one would think that at least some black Americans might wonder why so many of their fellow blacks still live in crime-infested neighborhoods, still lag other ethnic groups with respect to educational achievement, and still have an out-of-wedlock birthrate approaching 80%. One would think forty-six years of being told by the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton that "things are as bad as they ever were" might lead some to conclude that hitching one's star to the Democratic party to achieve racial progress isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Alas, some myths die hard, and with good reason: no other ethnic or racial group in America practices self-censorship with more enthusiasm than black Americans. Disagreeing with Democrat dogma in most black communities is tantamount to heresy. This self-inflicted dogmatic rigidity is so pervasive that the elevation of non-liberal blacks to high places is met with derision and contempt by those who see the likes of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice and others as "race traitors," "house niggers," and "Uncle Toms." Comedian Bill Cosby is vilified for suggesting black Americans face and solve their own problems. Ward Connerly is pilloried for believing that affirmative action is demeaning if one truly believes in a colorblind, meritocratic society.
Black culture aids and abets the victimist mentality as well. It is no secret that, in many black neighborhoods, gangsterism, misogyny, rage and hopelessness are seen as necessary components of black "authenticity." In schools, "acting white" is the term of derision used by black students to pressure their fellow blacks into resisting academic achievement. And despite its nearly universal censorship by every other group in America, the word "nigger" still remains an integral part of black conversations and self-identity.
Should black Americans become Republicans? That's up to them. But after four-plus decades of unwavering support for Democrats often resulting in Democrats taking black Americans completely for granted one is tempted to ask, "how's that working out for you?" How do you like the seemingly endless welfare state, victimist status quo forty six years later? How do you like Harry Reid and his "light skin" and "Negro dialect" comments? How do you like former president Bill Clinton referring to Barack Obama as the guy who "a few years ago…would have been getting us coffee," in a conversation with Ted Kennedy?
Democrats insist it's all no big deal. I suppose they're right, as long as one is willing to buy into the original presumption that, because Democrats are always looking out for black interests, they deserve a special exemption for their "innocent" faux pas. In for a penny, in for a pound as they say.
Still, one is tempted to ask when the Democrat political establishment might be inclined to embrace Martin Luther King's idea people should be judged "not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Perhaps black Americans should ask themselves the same question assuming they truly embrace a color-blind society.
On the outside looking in, it is hard to say with any certainty. It is an ugly truth of American politics that victimhood is a mighty squeaky wheel with a phalanx of politicians lining up to administer grease. No doubt for many blacks, standing on one's own two feet seems like a sucker's bet when so many guilty whites and race-hustling blacks offer a far easier, government-supported way around life's ups-and-downs.
One hopes that someday, more than a few black Americans will realize that the biggest casualty of embracing Democrats' victimist, welfare state approach to race is the loss of personal integrity. People with personal integrity make lousy victims and lousy dependents.
They don't make very good black Democrats either.
Cynically, the Democrat party knows it.
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© 2010, Arnold Ahlert