The shamefully cold-blooded marriage between progressivism and race.
“I think it’s based on racism. There is an inherent feeling
among many in this country that an African-American should not be
president. Those kind of things are not just casual outcomes of a
sincere debate on whether we should have a national program on
health care. It’s deeper than that.”
— Former President Jimmy Carter on Congressman Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” healthcare outburst during the Obama speech to Congress.
“Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and
will never accept it.”
—New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd
They are ham and eggs.
In political America progressivism and racism go together in history past and present, a philosophical pairing as symbiotic as peanut butter and jelly or champagne and caviar. Or, perhaps more appropriately, the classic relationship between pimp and prostitute.
There is nothing new here with the recent remarks on race of either former President Jimmy Carter or New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. As we have previously referred to Ms. Dowd as “White Mo” (see “The Unbearable Whiteness of Being Maureen Dowd”), racial descriptions will henceforth apply in this space to every “progressive” who steps forward to continue defending the idea of judging others by race. This would make the 39th president “Mistuh. Jimmy,” a term the segregated black tenant farmers on the Carter properties of the day bestowed on the son of “Mistuh. Earl” Carter.
What troubles is that here we are in the 21st century, where the most beloved (and by runaway margins the wealthiest) television personality is Oprah Winfrey and the most powerful man by popular election is Barack Obama. Yet to criticize on substance or even use the “L” word (as in “lie”, a term regularly hurled at George W. Bush ) about Mr. Obama is cause to race pimp by an American progressive who was president and a progressive columnist for America’s progressive flagship newspaper. Breaking the rules of the House of Representatives, as did South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson, is unacceptable regardless of who is president. But racism? Sniffed White Mo: “But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!”
Interesting. Telling, actually. Since Wilson’s breaking of House rules involved just two words — “You lie!” — what would ever possess White Mo to hear a word never uttered, the racially derogatory “boy”?
It is important here to lift this conversation out of the realm of not-so-clever schoolyard taunts. As of the “you’re a race-baiting racist,” “Am not,” “Are too! So’s your old lady” variety. Contrary to the impression of some that what happens today has no relation to what happened yesterday, understanding history is in fact not simply necessary to context (not to mention the future), it is everything.
Fair or not (to borrow from White Mo) in the context of history one is led to the inescapable conclusion that, yet again, Mistuh Jimmy and White Mo are race pimping. What is a race pimp? A pimp, of course, is someone who solicits customers for sex in return for economic gain. A race pimp uses race to solicit votes or political support in return for political power and sometimes economic gain as well. That’s a stiff charge, no?
In playing the role of race pimps, both Mistuh Jimmy and White Mo have provided an extremely useful reminder of the malignant marriage that has been that of progressives and racism. This pairing, the use of race pimping to carry the day for the favorite progressive ideas of the moment, has a long if distinctively odious — make that rancid — history. Neither Mistuh. Jimmy or White Mo are by any means the first progressives to wave their hoods on this path. They are only the latest.
How does this malignant marriage work? Let’s walk through what might be called “The Idiots Guide to Progressives, Race, and the Art of Race Pimping.”
First, you need to be putting forth a progressive policy proposal or proposals plural. In prostitution this would be the role of the hooker. The babe, the call girl, the escort. Just drop dead sexy, warm, and inviting in the extreme. There’s a cost, though, but hey. Wanna have some fun? But this is politics, so these policies are invariably sexed up as warm, inviting reforms that in some fashion or another always involve the sexy come-on of enlarging the scope and control of government, be that government federal, state, or local. As with the hookers, there is a cost here too. But hey. It all sounds so good! It’s justice, man! Favorites are expanding the role of government in the economy, education, agriculture and quite specifically embracing this bigger government in the name of “the poor” and various subsets thereof (both real and imagined) such as the elderly, veterans, schoolchildren, or, in recent decades, “minorities.” Using the federal courts to do this is a favorite as well. Correspondingly, this requires sharp condemnations of those who are targeted for control by these proposed expansions of government. Among others this includes “the rich” (always the rich) and various subsets thereof (here too both real and imagined) such as bankers, corporations, agribusiness, “Big Business,” and so on. As we are seeing right this minute, the desired end result of this drive to expand Big Government is nothing less than an obsession to control just about anyone who breathes these days in some form or fashion.
Next, after your hooker is on the streets, you pimp your customers for these “progressive” proposals with direct, vividly racial appeals to a targeted race. The particular race doesn’t matter as long as you get elected, sell papers, get good PR, make a few bucks. Whatever. While it was once a simple matter to play this game when “race” was defined as white and black, in today’s America with whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans the field has broadened considerably.
Once you’ve absorbed these “how-to’s” you’re ready to pimp in high style as both Mistuh Jimmy and White Mo are pimping today. Remember that while the pimps in this game are usually elected politicians or politicians seeking elective office, in fact the race pimping game is regularly played by other progressives ranging from non-elected politicians to journalists like White Mo to activists like — does this name ring a bell? — ACORN.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?