And There They Go Again — Liberals Play the Race Card - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
And There They Go Again — Liberals Play the Race Card

There they go again indeed, right on schedule. From MSNBC to the Georgia Senate election to a memo from an ex-Obama pollster, the age-old race card has reared its ugly head again.

The difference this time? An increasing number of Americans, some of them prominent, are calling out the perpetrators.

Let’s start with MSNBC. Take a look at this from Bill O’Reilly who opened his Fox show the other night with a clip from — where else? — Chris Matthews’s Hardball. As Matthews sits on-camera quietly sipping something from a cup during a discussion on Ebola and ISIS, MSNBC regular Howard Fineman, once upon a time of the late Newsweek and now of the Huffington Post, calmly plays the race card. “Can I mention race here?” Fineman asks Matthews, who of course answers in the affirmative: “You may.” And off they go:

FINEMAN: Let’s put the cards on the table here. 

MATTHEWS: You mean the word Africa? 

FINEMAN: No. The brown people coming from the south, the Arab people coming from the east, the black people coming from Africa, nobody’s saying that in so many words. Nobody’s saying it at all, but it’s in the background of this whole discussion, and anybody who would deny that doesn’t know how this country operates. It’s not the only way this country operates. We’re bigger than that in the end, but that’s definitely a subtext of a lot of what’s going on here. There’s just no question about it. And I’ll say it if other people won’t. 

MATTHEWS: It is the arrival of them, even though African-Americans, hint hint, have been here before we got here.

(Question: Who is “we” here in Matthews formulation? This being America, everyone is “we.”)

O’Reilly — to his vast credit — took Fineman on directly, targeting his phrase that this is how “the country operates.” 

O’REILLY: Well, I deny it and I know how the country operates. We are not a racist nation. He is full of you-know-what. Laws and high level decisions are not based on skin color anymore. But in order to drive African-Americans to the polls, the race card is now being played with just two weeks before the election — thus, that disgraceful exhibition. 

For Democrats to keep power in the Senate, they need African-Americans to once again vote as a bloc and to turn out in great numbers on November 4th. That is why liberal zealots are trying to demonize their country by playing the race card.

Take note of O’Reilly’s reference to the fact that “laws and high-level decisions are not based on skin color anymore.” Underscoring an unmentioned hard fact that when those decisions were based on skin color it was because of laws enacted by the Democratic Party, which used the most blatant of racist policies to support its progressive agenda.

Move now from the all-racism-all-the-time studios of MSNBC to Georgia, where Democrats are desperate to elect Michelle Nunn to an open GOP Senate seat in the home state of Chris Matthews’s old boss, Jimmy Carter. So Georgia Democrats have created a flyer that shows a black youth on his knees in a burning Ferguson, Missouri, hands in the air — as, goes the allegation, were those of the late Michael Brown. Stamped across the flyer is the word “VOTE” and in lower case: “It’s up to you to make change happen.” Inside the flyer is a picture of two small black kids holding homemade signs reading “Don’t shoot,” with the caption, “If you want to prevent another Ferguson in their future….” Then comes a page urging early voting.

Fox’s Brit Hume took a look at this, saying with disgust: “It’s a very crude piece of literature, very crude,” but intentional. “It wasn’t done inadvertently,” said Hume. “This is where we are now.” Hume and Megyn Kelly pointed to this story in the New York Times that cited a memo by Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher underlining the importance of a race-based turnout this fall. The Times headline: “Black Vote Seen as Last Hope for Democrats to Hold Senate.”

The story began:

WASHINGTON — The confidential memo from a former pollster for President Obama contained a blunt warning for Democrats. Written this month with an eye toward Election Day, it predicted “crushing Democratic losses across the country” if the party did not do more to get black voters to the polls.

“African-American surge voters came out in force in 2008 and 2012, but they are not well positioned to do so again in 2014,” Cornell Belcher, the pollster, wrote in the memo, dated Oct. 1. “In fact, over half aren’t even sure when the midterm elections are taking place.”

Mr. Belcher’s assessment points to an urgent imperative for Democrats: To keep Republicans from taking control of the Senate, as many are predicting, they need black voters in at least four key states. Yet the one politician guaranteed to generate enthusiasm among African Americans is the same man many Democratic candidates want to avoid: Mr. Obama

Hume pointed out that the Georgia flyer carries no names of candidates — just the message to vote…assuming that African Americans are synonymous with Democrats.

Now. This is typical — not to mention indefensible.

To start with, as made plain this very week in the Washington Post among other outlets, autopsy results are now indicating that Michael Brown did not have his hands raised — and for a very simple reason. Brown, suggests the autopsy, had been shot in the hand as he tried to wrest Officer Darren Wilson’s gun away from the police officer. Says the Post:

Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco who reviewed the autopsy for the Post-Dispatch, told the paper that one of the officer’s shots hit Brown’s forearm and traveled from the back of the arm to the inner arm, which means Brown’s palms could not have been facing Wilson, as some witnesses have said. That trajectory shows Brown probably was not taking a standard surrender position with arms above the shoulders and palms out when he was shot outside the officer’s car, she said.

In other words? The flyer being distributed by Georgia Democrats is not only playing the race card — it is factually wrong about what happened in Ferguson. Will the flyer be withdrawn? Not a prayer. It is, bluntly, a prime example of the whatever-it-takes mentality of the Left.

Back in the stone age of 2009, I discussed in this space how Georgia gubernatorial candidate Jimmy Carter played the race card to win the state’s 1970 Democratic primary, as discussed by former New York Times reporter James Wooten in his 1978 biography, Dasher: The Roots and The Rising of Jimmy Carter. In Carter’s case it involved using race to drive white segregationist turnout, a goal attained by an alliance with a notorious white supremacist Democrat boss named Roy Harris. Wooten told the story in detail, quoting Harris’s views on race as follows: 

Ni–ers are ni–ers and no amount of crossbreeding is going to help them any. The tiniest drop of ni–er blood will spoil a man. History shows that. Everybody knows that, and those who don’t know that have probably got some ni–er blood in them, that’s all.

Lovely. And Carter’s was hardly alone: prominent Georgia Democrats with names like Senators Tom Watson and Richard Russell, and Governors Hoke Smith, Eugene Talmadge, and Lester Maddox were all race card players par excellence, using the apparatus of the state party to beat the drums of racism. 

Now comes this latest round of on behalf of Michelle Nunn. Noted here is that the Nunn campaign has sought the services of a “former member of the racist Black Panther Party” as a fundraiser. Then there’s the already infamous Ferguson flyer. Is she denouncing it? Calling for her party to withdraw the flyer? Of course not. As seen here over at Real Clear Politics, Nunn is leading by 2 percent in a new poll.

Is all of this disgraceful? Yes. Is it to be expected? Yes. The good news? This endless race talk at MSNBC has helped tanked the network’s ratings. Says Bill O’Reilly:

MSNBC’s ratings cannot really get much lower…No one’s watching them during the day, and very, very few at night. It’s not a news organization, alright? It’s a cable channel that promotes left-wing causes. Not a news organization. What I am amazed at is that NBC just doesn’t pull the plug. I mean, once you fall behind CNN — which they have, CNN is now beating them — where is there to go on this thing?”

It is now clear that progressives are no longer going to be allowed a clear field. Some — like O’Reilly and Hume — are speaking up. And it isn’t ratings gold either.

It couldn’t happen to a more deserving network. Or a more deserving political party.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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