The Spectacle Blog

A Challenge To TNR’s Christopher Orr

By on 10.29.08 | 5:25PM

Lefty Racial Obsessions

Enough is enough is enough is way too much. I don't know Christoper Orr of The New Republic, and he may be a perfectly nice guy, but to me he has just entered the realm of the smearmongering loonies a-feared of the boogeyman -- in this case, the boogeyman of the secret racist who supposedly lives inside every white conservative. I swear, what is WRONG with these lefties who see EVERYTHING through the prism of race?!?

For the record, and especially for people like Orr who seem too dim to get it unless it is repeated multiple times: Culture and race are not one and the same. Culture and race are not one and the same. Criticisms of a black man for being radical have nothing to do with him being black. Criticisms of a black man for being radical have nothing to do with him being black. Conservatives do not dislike candidates just because they are "dark-skinned [men] with a foreign-sounding name." Conservatives do not dislike candidates just because they are "dark-skinned [men] with a foreign-sounding name."

Okay, enough with the repetition. If, pray tell, conservatives don't like dark-skinned men, how in the Lord's name did we elect Jindal in the first place? And why is Jindal one of the most popular people in all of conservative politics?

For the record, Jindal would have been elected governor in 2003, not 2007, if it weren't for a huge swing of white Democrats in NE LA away from him in the final days of that first campaign, as the result of a racially based whisper campaign. But even the racist white Democrats came around in 2007.

For the record, it was a white conservative, Bob Livingston, who provided the crucial support for Jindal in 2003 in a field full of other Republicans. It was a white conservative, Jim McCrery, who first recognized Jindal's talent and pushed him for state-level Cabinet office in 1995, with Livingston immediately joining in support.

What people like Orr can't seem to get through their thick heads is that most conservatives, and certainly the overwhelmingly vast majority of conservative activists, don't care one bit about race. It is not an added benefit when assessing somebody, nor is it a detractor. It just doesn't matter. We're colorblind.

And I have good ground to stand on when I write this. I was a founding board member of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism, the group quite literally internationally acclaimed for its essential work against the political rise of David Duke. I also was an advocate -- in a column at The New Republic Online itself -- for the election of the first black mayor (a Democrat) in the history of white-majority Mobile, AL, running against a white Republican. I know more about southern conservative politics and about southern racial views than Orr could ever dream about, and I recognize and fight real racists whenever they raise their ugly heads; and I can assure Orr that Jindal would have no problem, repeat zero problem, based on the hue of his skin, with gaining support for the presidency.

It is the left, not the right, that is obsessed with race. And it's high time the left stop smearing us with the accusation otherwise. There's an expression for such an accusation: Them's fighting words.

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