Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The racism of the liberal plantation

…My problem with Barack Obama is that he’s a white liberal.

All right, I’ve cracked this joke at least twice before – once in Welcome To Obamaland and once in 365 Ways To Drive A Liberal Crazy – but it’s always worth repeating for at least two good reasons. 1. It’s true. 2. It annoys the hell out of all those liberal-lefties who love to pretend that attacks on their pet president are racially motivated. As, predictably, many of them did below my last blog post O’Bama? Oh puh-lease!

Here’s one of the paragraphs they found so offensive:

Except, when he’s in Africa, of course, when he disappears into the dry ice and re-emerges with a grass skirt and a bone through his nose and declares himself to be Mandingo, Prince of the Bloodline of the Bonga People, Drinker of Cattle Urine, Father of A Thousand Warrior Sons, Keeper of King Solomon’s Mines, Barehanded Slayer of Lions, Undaunted Victim of the Evil Colonial British Empire.

Is this racist? I’d say not. I’d call it satire. But then, one of the clever things about the term “racist” in its modern, catch-all sense is that it’s a bit like witchcraft in the 17th century: denial just constitutes further proof of guilt. That’s why liberals like Twitterer DCPlod – who branded me yesterday with the hashtag “racistpig” – so enjoy deploying the deadly “R” word against their ideological opponents. It enables them to play judge, jury and executioner without having to go through any of the tedium or intellectual challenge of offering their antagonists a fair trial.

For the record, though, I probably am a teeny bit racist. For example, I have to confess that I have a slight bias towards black conservatives and libertarians over white ones. It’s harsh and unfair, I know. Poor Rush Limbaugh and Mark Steyn and Dennis Miller and G Gordon Liddy and PJ O’Rourke and all the other right-wing whiteys I like are probably never going to get over the fact that I don’t respect and admire them quite as much as I do, say, Thomas Sowell. But I’m afraid that’s just the way it is. Sowell is black and the fact that he is black makes him that little bit more impressive in my eyes because in order to become one of the world’s greatest right-leaning economists and commentators he had so much more baggage to overcome. Any black person can be a liberal-leftie; indeed as we saw from voting patterns in the last US presidential election it’s almost de rigueur. To be a black conservative, on the other hand, now that requires some cojones.

Consider the case of Pastor CL Bryant on fiery form in this video. (H/T Julie Erickson; Breitbart TV)As he admits in the course of his speech to a tiny audience, he could have been one of the great black contenders. After all, he had all the right credentials: 25 years ago he was radical leader of the America’s most powerful race-based caucus groups – the National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People (NAACP). His rabble-rousing grievance-mongering, identity-politicking could have carried him to the top, perhaps even as high as the presidency itself. But then Bryant had a personal revelation: if he carried on playing that game he wouldn’t really be advancing the cause of black people at all; rather he would be doing the work of their “slave masters” – white liberals.

He’s quite right, of course. I’ll wager a good deal of money that the vast majority of those commenters who branded me with the “r” word yesterday were not black people who felt insulted by my obviously flippant pastiche version of Africa, but white liberals taking umbrage on their behalf, as white liberals so often do in it that superior, patronising way of theirs. It’s as if they think black people are far too stupid and inarticulate and helpless to stick up for themselves, so they must therefore step in to help them and nurse them at every turn, be it through welfare handouts or affirmative action or special events directing them how best to celebrate their culture.

Take Black History Month: was there ever an event more patronising? “Black people” runs the subtext, “Are so dumb, so preoccupied by skin colour, so prejudiced and so hypersensitive that they cannot take their history served to them straight. It has to be adapted to their special needs. A whole month has to be put aside in order to big up a few minor-league historical players – not because what they achieved was necessarily that notable (if it were, they wouldn’t be Black History, would they? They’d just be History) but because they happened to come from the appropriate minority background.”

This approach is a nonsense. In fact it’s so demeaning to black people I’d say it qualifies as racism. It implies that they are not free-thinking individuals capable of a range of nuanced views, career options, intellectual achievements and lifestyle choices but a lumpen mass defined largely by their skin colour.

And this, disgracefully, is exactly the kind of game President Obama plays, and why I was inspired the other day to satirise his pathetic attempts at being the world’s Great Race Chameleon, with his amazing ability to change his identity in accordance with the audience he’s addressing: an Irishman for the Irish; an African for the Africans; a Muslim for the Muslims; and so on.

Can he really not see how much damage this does? Does he not get that this approach plays into the hands of some of the world’s nastiest extremists: the Islamists who believe every single Muslim in the world should owe his loyalties not to his host culture but to the Umma; the white (and black) supremacists; the separatist terrorists from Ireland to the Basque country to Chechnya to Kashmir?

The truly great black people are not those who play the race card, as Obama so frequently does, but those who choose to forego the easy path of identity politics and strive after what is true rather than settle for what is expedient. I’m thinking of people like the marvellous Allen West, who I hope one day will campaign for the White House, not on a ticket representing “black Americans” but simply “Americans”; and – on this side of the Atlantic – of people like Katharine Birbalsingh and Tony Sewell. And, of course, of Thomas Sowell – who transcended his humble beginnings to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard, not because anyone saw the colour of his skin and felt sorry for him but because he’s a clever guy who works hard and knows how to use his brain.

Here’s a sample of Sowell at his considerable best: (H/T Eureferendum)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love James Delingpole. I hope you read his piece--"Oh Puh-Lease Obama" in the Daily telegraph. It is linked on my site--yesterday's post--"The Soap Salesman".