Race and Racism: What’s the Connection?

We have reached the astonishing point where there is no apparent connection between race and racism. How can that be? Barack Obama explains:

“I accepted Harry’s apology without question because I’ve known him for years, I’ve seen the passionate leadership he’s shown on issues of social justice and I know what’s in his heart,” Obama said in a written statement. “As far as I am concerned, the book is closed.”

So, even though Harry Reid made absurdly racist comments about Barack Obama, he is absolved because of his “passionate leadership” on “issues of social justice.” Which is to say, he is a liberal. So a liberal, by definition, cannot be guilty of racism. Whereas a conservative–someone who attends a Tea Party rally, say–by definition is a racist, even though his or her political actions have nothing whatsoever to do with race.
i guess that’s what is meant by a “post-racial” America: neither charges of racism, nor absolution from such charges, need relate in any way to race.
It’s a strange world we live in, but the logical consequence is that the concept of racism, having been denuded of any possible meaning, should be done away with.
PAUL adds: My take is somewhat different. In my view, Reid’s statement about Obama — that he is “light skinned” and “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one” — is not racist. The statements are true and arguably relevant to assessing the electoral prospects of a black presidential candidate. To be sure,Reid’s comments assume that certain racial characteristics matter to some voters, but that’s probably a fair assumption. Would it be sexist for a political pro to say that Sarah Palin is attractive and speaks with whatever that accent is that she speaks with? I don’t think so.
I agree with John, however, that there’s a scam being played out here, and at several levels. At the first level, conduct that isn’t really racist is sucked into that category. This increases the reach of political correctness and the ability of the likes of President Obama and Jesse Jackson to pass judgment on whites who aren’t sufficiently careful. At the second level, the useful liberal is absolved of “racism,” where the conservative would not be.

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