Karen Finney, director of communications for the Democratic National Committee, recently met in France with “young leaders” who are “of color.” According to her report, these young minority Frenchmen and women were of the view that, given the election of Barack Obama, the U.S. had moved beyond the serious racial problems of the past. That would seem to be a reasonable view; a nation that has serious problems with race does not turn power over to a member of the racial minority as to which these problems have, in the past, been most pronounced.
Finney was having none of this, however. Though she acknowledged that the election of Obama was “a significant step,” she insisted that we still have far to go before we put our racism behind us. According to Finney, her French audience was surprised to hear this.
One of the virtues of electing Barack Obama was said to be that it would cause the rest of the world to believe that the U.S. had moved beyond its racist past. But now an official of the Democratic party has “corrected” (Finney’s term) foreigners who have embraced that belief.
Finney’s remarks should be read in conjunction with President Obama’s. The president apologizes to foreign audiences for America’s past sins; the DNC communications director assures these audiences that the one sin for which we should be apologetic (though not to foreigners) isn’t really in the past.
This has to be the Democratic position, given its radical agenda. If the Dems don’t conflate economic inequality with ongoing racism, it will be difficult to push its redistributionist agenda.
UPDATE: There is more going on than just the quest for income redistribution. As Bill Otis puts it:
When your whole schtick depends on portraying yourself as the victim, you cannot relinquish victim status no matter what. The claim to the moral high ground, justified arrogance, and most importantly to other people’s money, depends on it.