Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Identity Politics 101

Jimmy Carter accuses conservatives of racism for resisting much of what Barack Obama supports.

"That racism inclination still exists, and I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of belief among many white people -- not just in the South but around the country -- that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply."
There are few charges that can be made against anyone these days that are more personally condemnable than that of being a racist. It is the new leprosy.

It is a huge mistake for Democrats to accuse conservatives of being racists for several reasons. First of all, while it may be true in some instances, by and large the resistance to Obama's policies is due to disagreements on principle. The same people that dislike Obama's governance are just as resistant to the ideas of Noseholes Waxman and Snakeskin Pelosi. When an accusation of racism is charged it is only interpretable by the person against whom the charge is made. If it is true the racist cares little about the accusation. If it is false it exposes the accuser of being full of crap.

Secondly, racism is a charge that needs to be reserved for racists. Ugly words with ugly meanings must remain ugly or they soon lose their meaning. The term sexual predator or sexual deviant used to mean something and with it came the proper revulsion. Now, in selected locations around the country, these labels can be applied to pre-teens for showing the poor judgment of spanking members of the opposite sex on the bottom, or indiscriminately showered on lacrosse players before trial who stand accused of rape without a shred of proof.

When terminology is allowed to rot or erode the meaning and purpose of language disassembles with it. People who hate racism need the word racist to mean something other than 'political opponent.'

Finally, identity politics is a powerful tool that is being used here to bludgeon opponents of Barack Obama into shutting up. Racism is a charge that is so ugly that most people will take a step back when the insult is thrown. They step back not because the charge is true but rather they want so diligently to be unattached to such an ugly accusation. This is a tactic that can only be successful against non-racists. Racists care little about such accusations and will keep on protesting. Non-racists who continue to resist must do so under a shroud of undeserved condemnation. No wonder it works so often.

Thankfully most people have stopped long ago worrying about the accusations of a man quite universally recognized as our worst ex-President.

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