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April 26, 2010

The Governing Class' Childish and Vicious Definition of Racism

As Gabe posted below, Obama is urging all Americans to turn out for the polls in November to create a historic level of participation among all colors, races and creeds.

Well, not so much, of course. He wants "young people, blacks, Lations and women" to show up at the polls. White men needn't bother.

Is this racist? If the liberals' typical definition of racism were applied consistently, of course it would be racist. But of course it's not applied consistently. Racism is something white people, and Republican white people in particular, do. Liberals and especially black liberals are incapable of being racist.

If Obama's exhortations for only some of the electorate to participate in democracy sounds racist to you, why, that's probably a defect in you character -- and, in fact, probably evidence of a deep-seated, subconscious streak of racism in you yourself.

But that's just the standard-issue double-standard we all know and loathe. There's another disturbing element to it -- the automatic presumption among the privileged class that wherever blacks and whites diverge in political thought, it must be whites who are in the wrong, and not only in the wrong, but almost certainly motivated by racism.

But if it's not racist or wrong for blacks to generally vote according to the perceived "black economic interest," why is it wrong for whites to do the same? This is rarely explained, and when it is explained, it usually amounts to little more than rationalized ipse dixit restatement of the double-standard. It's wrong for whites to vote according to their perceived economic interest because they benefit from "white skin privilege" and they are the "dominant social group," upon whom a greater burden of acting for the greater good is placed, etc. Asked to defend the huge assumption of the rightness of a racial double-standard, academics tend to simply dream up closely-related assumptions and assert them (and claim those assumptions, in turn, "prove" the assumption they were asked to prove in the first place).

Let's not be childish about this. We are instructed every day that blacks are poorer than whites. There is no lack of evidence for this fact. It is therefore no surprise at all that blacks should generally favor wealth redistributionist policies more than whites, as blacks, being poorer, will tend to pay less into such a regime and receive more benefits out of it. Nor is it any surprise that whites should generally oppose such policies, as whites, being richer, will tend to pay more into such a regime and receive less.

There is hardly any cause here for liberals interested in honest, civil debate -- which they all to a man assure me is all they care about lately -- to scream "racism" over differences in white and black opinions over Obama's wealth-redistributionist agenda. You can call opponents of it greedy (but then, how are poorer blacks who are to be favored under that system any less greedy than whites, given that both are acting according to the precise same factor -- perceived personal net-economic self-interest?), but you can hardly brand someone "racist" for wanting to have an extra two or three thousand dollars.

Everyone wants an extra two or three thousand dollars. Politics, famously played within the 40-yard-lines in America, is 90% about who shall have an extra two or three thousand dollars and from whom shall be forcibly extracted that "free" two or three thousand dollars.

It is only an intellectual thug or "hater" who could assert that someone's quite-rational and utterly-understandable desire to keep two or three thousand dollars that he earned in the first place is evidence of racism and a vicious animosity towards blacks, rather than just wanting a fucking Sea-Doo this year.

This is as clear-cut an example as possible of a political position having nothing at all to do with race, as a formal matter, nevertheless causing a sharp divide between the races.

Another example -- cutting government payrolls. If my experiences at the DMV are any guide, there are a lot more blacks, as a fraction of the black population, working government jobs than whites (again, as a fraction of the white population).

If everyone in America, say, cares enough about ten other people enough that they take those other people's economic situations into account at all when making political decisions, we would find (and I am just making these numbers up out of whole cloth for illustrative purposes) that the average white guy might have a 1.5 people in his group of ten that he cares about with a public job, whereas the average black guy might have 2.3 people in his group of ten.

And that causes big disagreements between the races on cutting government payrolls. For the white guy, it's more upside -- he gets to lower the costs of government for himself, and only 1.5 of the people he knows could be adversely affected by the cuts. For the black guy, on the other hand, while he too would get the benefit of a cheaper and leaner government, he now has to worry about 2.3 people in his circle of close friends who will be harmed by that choice. Black enthusiasm for slashing government payrolls will thus be dampened.

Again, at no point in this topic was race explicitly a factor. This isn't about civil rights or interracial marriage or affirmative action. It's about as non-racial a subject as you could think of, and yet the races will have, due to different circumstances, noticeably differing levels of support for the policy.

And, again, simple economic self-interest perfectly explains both the voting behaviors of whites and blacks on this issue. But even though whites' voting behavior is easily and completely explained by morally-neutral economic concerns -- "Hey, if I cut government's costs, I'll have more money for myself and my family" -- the left and the media (BIRM) insists on supplementing that explanation with the cry of racism.

And when it comes to explicitly racial policies like affirmative action quotas and "plus factors"? Forget about it. Obviously a white man who opposes affirmative action quotas is a racist. It's simply not possible that he could see affirmative action quotas as by design making it harder for him to get key things in the one life God has granted him -- a good job, a plum promotion, a slot in an elite college -- and therefore opposes it simply because it disadvantages him and, indeed, harms him.

No, the only possible explanation as to why he should not want his employers, colleges, and own government discriminating against him is his hatred of the black race.

Once upon a time, charges of "racism" would chiefly be expected to fly in issues which explicitly reference race, such as affirmative action, or, lately, illegal immigration. The left's major innovation in the past 15 years is to apply that exact same paradigm to issues having nothing superficially to do with race such as tax policy, heath care policy, and, Dear Lord, even environmental policy.

Now, regarding Obama: In my own mind, what he did here is not racist. There is a very simple reason he wants blacks, Latinos, and women to turn out to the polls in great numbers: those cohorts vote for him. The man doesn't have to be a racist to understand that the more minorities and women show up for the polls, the better the odds the Democrats avoid an electoral Chernobyl.

On the other hand -- imagine the reaction if a Republican specifically urged white men to turn out at the polls like they've never done before.

In both cases -- in Obama's and the hypothetical Republican's -- it would be a case of the men acting not out of any particular racial impulse but instead doing simple statistics and deciding that if a group votes more for you than your opponent, you want more of that group voting -- obviously! -- but in only one case, of course, would the charge of racism attach.

And Obama and the Obama-loving media will never explain why this should be the case, but friends of his like Louis "Skip" Gates -- last glimpsed in the vicinity of a white officer who was "acting stupidly" in the sage opinion of our president -- will offer you a bunch of jargonized just-because-I-said-so twaddle about why double-standards are not only acceptable, but morally obligatory.

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posted by Ace at 06:04 PM

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