Monday, October 13, 2008

Racism, racism everywhere

On an email list I'm on, someone accused conservative arguments against Obama of being all about race instead of about the issues.

Needless to say, I disagree vehemently.

Those of you know me "in person" know that I am not white. I have lived in several countries: in Asia & Europe as well as here in the US. My siblings have lived in several more. I have experienced real racism from the subtle to the overt -- as in being called names and having stones thrown at me because of my race. I can honestly say that the US is far less racist than any other country / culture my siblings and I have lived in.

From where I sit, all these cries of "Racism!" from the Obama camp are sounding a lot like the boy who cried "Wolf!"

As a culture we are so afraid of being racist that far too many of us allow ourselves to be cowed even by the totally unsubstantiated charge of racism.

The reality is that most of the racism in America today comes not from the "right" but from the "left", in the form of Affirmative Action and even generally in welfare policy. Not to mention the Rev. Wright and his numerous ideological compatriots.

The cry of "racism" is just getting ridiculous. For example, all of the following have been denounced as racist:
  • President Bush saying that a person's race should not be a factor in college admissions.
  • Sarah Palin saying that Obama palled around with terrorists -- an obvious reference to Bill "Weatherman" Ayers -- who is white. (Democrat strategist Jenny Backus calling Palin "the fluffy bunny" in her response is not to be construed as sexism, however.)
  • Republican attempts to regulate and clean up the Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac "irregularities" back in ~2005. This is how Democrats shut down the cleanup that might have prevented the present royal mess.
  • Bill Clinton saying that Obama is like a "fairy tale".
  • Basically anyone questioning anything in Obama's background, like his non-participation in reform in Chicago politics, his 20 year friendship with Rev. Wright and Rev. Pfleger, his alliances with Ayers, ACORN, the Joyce Foundation ....

I am not sure what other people have been reading / watching, but I have yet to come across a conservative argument against Obama that has anything to do with race. They have uniformly focused on the issues. May I suggest National Review Online as a resource for those who want to consider the merits of the arguments on the issues and not simply assume that racism is behind them.

To me it seems that yelling "racism!" has simply become and easy way to AVOID debate on the real issues.

Issues like the protection of innocent life, which the Church reminds us are "preeminent" and where we must "begin". Issues like marriage, which as our Church reminds us, is the foundation of society. Issues like freedom of conscience, which would be denied by FOCA. Issues like parental rights, which would be usurped by a UN committee if the "Convention on the Rights of the Child" were to be ratified.

Obama's race is irrelevant -- as is McCain's. That Todd Palin is part Y'upik is interesting, but likewise irrelevant. I neither know nor know of anyone who plans to vote against Obama because of his race. However, the opposite does seem to be a reality -- i.e. people voting for him wanting to "make history" because of his race or because "it's about time" for a black person to be President. Excuse me for saying so, but that's racist, too.

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