Monday, August 27, 2012

None dare call it racism

I feel like this should just be a continuing feature.

The New York Times, commenting on Romney's "birth certificate" joke:

Mr. Romney's chances hinged to a large degree on running up his advantage among white voters in swing states who show deep strains of opposition to Mr. Obama but do not yet trust Mr. Romney to look out for their interests, Republican strategists say.

Many of those voters are economically disaffected, and the Romney campaign has been trying to reach them with appeals built around an assertion that Mr. Obama is making it easier for welfare recipients to avoid work. The Romney campaign is airing an advertisement falsely charging that Mr. Obama has "quietly announced" plans to eliminate work and job training requirements for welfare beneficiaries, a message Mr.

Romney's aides said resonates with working-class voters who see government as doing nothing for them.  The moves reflect a campaign infused with a sharper edge and overtones of class and race. On Friday, Mr. Romney said at a rally that no one had ever had to ask him about his birth certificate, and Mr. Ryan invoked his Catholicism and love of hunting. Democrats angrily said Mr. Romney's remark associated him with the fringe "birther" camp seeking falsely to portray Mr. Obama as not American.

 When I lived in southern Illinois I often drove to Clayton, MO, the county seat of St. Louis County.  I took to watching the traffic stops, because I noticed that I never saw the white police officers pull over a white driver.  Whenever I saw a car stopped with a police vehicle behind it, lights flashing, the driver was always black.

Every.  Time.

I've never been randomly stopped, either, or asked for my driver's license except when I was speeding.  And my wife is almost jealous of my ability to talk my way out of tickets.  No one has ever asked me for my birth certificate, either.

But that's because I share one salient characteristic with Mitt Romney, which he knows he doesn't share with Barack Obama.

And yet the most we can say is that this indicates a "sharper edge" and "overtones of class and race."

When what it really indicates couldn't be more obvious.


  1. I guess we think alike, for what it's worth. When I read Romney's remarks, all I could think of was "I betcha nobody's pulled you over for a DWB either".

    But I could go on and on about selective enforcement of traffic rules in ways that actually have nothing to do with race ...

  2. BTW, am I the only one who finds it odd from an economic point of view that working class voters would not want it easier to avoid work? Fewer people competing for the same or similar jobs means higher wages, higher rates of employment, etc.

    Even ignoring the elephant of racism in the room, anti-welfare rhetoric is playing on people's resentments, which is disturbing in itself. And yet I am certain even the liberal media will be more comfortable with a GOP candidate playing on class resentments than a Democratic candidate "using class warfare".

  3. In some Orwellian way, it has become worse to accuse someone of racism than it is to actually *be* a racist....

  4. Sherri11:03 AM

    And yet I still have friends who, despite all evidence to the contrary, refuse to believe that racism is playing a significant role in the opposition to President Obama. I guess because we don't call people racists in polite company anymore, until they put on a robe and burn a cross.

  5. One man we know, a "good Christian" fella, who home-schools his children to keep their minds from being contaminated by attending public schools, told Tom that he would sooner vote for a monkey than Obama. I presume the "good Christian" thinks contaminating his children's minds with racism is fine. Sometimes the racism around here is overt, and sometimes veiled, but the anger at having a black president comes through loud and clear.

  6. Windhorse7:25 PM

    Racism cuts both ways....

    Bwahahahahaaa! We're you really able to paste that link with a straight face? Obama is the REAL racist because...Henry Gates? Jeremiah Wright is racist and so is Obama by association because Wright criticized the country like, I don't know - every practically Biblical prophet criticized Israel? Like Martin Luther King offered righteous condemnation of the racism in America? Like Niebuhr's criticisms of nationalism and civic idolatry? Like Pat Robertson does every time it rains and pronounces it the judgment of God upon America?

    Loved the bit about white folks being the true heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, by the way. Self-awareness is not even on your radar, is it?

    You came poorly armed to the wrong arena. This is a big-boy blog. RealClearPolitics is down the Internet to the right - far to to the right. But thanks for the passive-aggressive outburst! I've been missing my aunt's Chihuahua and now it's like I'm right there with it.

  7. Let me clarify, lest I be misunderstood. When I said, " Sometimes the racism around here is overt...", I did not mean at Adventus; I meant in my home town.

  8. Thanks, Windhorse, for saving me the trouble. I didn't even have to follow the link.

    Digby has the Chris Matthews take on this (and thank goodness this is getting out), but Tom Brokaw has to be sure we understand there are no racists here. I'm not as nice as Digby. I think the American public is not going to be "fed up" with both parties; I think they're going to be disgusted by the overt racism, the "Nixon strategy," finally being used against an African-American President.

    Notice the crowd reaction is far more behind Chris than they are behind Brokaw.

  9. Mimi--Thanks for clarifying, but I don't think there was ever any danger of you being misunderstood.

    Well, maybe by "Anonymous"....

  10. Thanks, Windhorse....

    Anonymous (what? too afraid to sign a name--even a pseudonym--to your opinions?)--in sociology and political science, "racism" has a specific meaning. Racism does NOT "cut both ways." It can only be practiced by those in power (i.e., white people in this culture). People of color can be prejudiced, but they lack the power and control to be racists.

    Sorry to burst your bubble....


  11. Well, maybe by "Anonymous"....


  12. Windhorse9:01 PM

    For a nice summary, see....

    Yeah, no. Read it, thanks. Besides being nothing but a fabulus narrative spun around the most ridiculously inane issues (black professor is arrested by white cop in case of racial profiling - how does this relate to Obama???) your entire "argument" rests on the the following premises:

    1) if Obama expresses sympathy with a black person he is racist, regardless of the facts of the case
    2) if Obama is tangentially related to a controversial issue or person he is racist, regardless of the facts of the case

    Clearly, these are ridiculous arguments, meant to whip up emotions of resentment with whites by obfuscating the real issues. I believe the technical terms for it is "smear."

    And if "both sides do it," where is your PAC against racist whites? Waiting, waiting....

    And as I said in the earlier post, your entire laughable endeavor is an example of ironically unaware racism. Racebaiter, heal thyself!

  13. I can't take anyone seriously who tries to tell me Barack Obama is a racist.

    Not that I don't appreciate Windhorse and Doxy doing it for me. But I even tried to exercise some dudgeon on behalf of my pastoral colleaque Jeremiah Wright (we share the same denomination). Couldn't do it.

    Windhorse and Doxy did it for me; that was enough.