As President Barack Obama continues to half-heartedly make the case for war to a Congress and public that aren’t interested, some conservatives have snarked that all the principled anti-war activists so prominent throughout the Bush years—Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, etc.—must have been kidnapped. That’s the only way to account for their silence.
Ed Asner has another explanation, however: They’re all afraid of being called a racist for daring to oppose Barack Obama.
Conor Friedersdorf has a good post up today looking at the progressive media’s reaction to the recent New York Times story on the massive fraud committed by hucksters making fake claims of racial discrimination. I just want to hone in one particular point that hearkens back to something I wrote a few weeks back on the story.
In it, I noted that one of the few congressman who stood up to the fraudulent payouts said that almost no one else would join him. “Never underestimate the fear of being called racist,” he said. As Conor writes, leading liberal lights like Adam Serwer were content to level just such charges as the case was bubbling up through the conservative media: “the pervasiveness of conservative anger over the Pigford settlement augurs a new low for conservative anti-anti-racism, in which remedying an exhaustively documented instance of racial discrimination is objectionable not because the claim itself is illegitimate but because it represents a transfer of income from whites to nonwhites.”
In 2010, 2011, and 2012, the lesson was a simple one for conservatives (and, tangentially, members of the media at large):
A week ago, I noted a smart essay in the AV Club on the fact that white film critics, afraid of being called “racist,” have long watered down their criticisms of Tyler Perry. The stakes in that case were relatively low: film criticism is, after all, just film criticism. Don’t get me wrong, I love dabbling in the form. If I had to write about politics all the time, I’d go insane (for reasons you’ll see tout de suite). And it’s important to note that we lose some indefinable-but-important thing as a society when we are afraid to address certain issues. The public square becomes intellectually impoverished, even if it’s over something as trivial as the ability to say “Tyler Perry sucks, hard,” over fear of an idiotic backlash whipped up by grievance-mongers looking to slake their thirst for a daily outrage.
Sometimes the stakes are less trivial, however. Sometimes, the grievance-mongers whip up more than angry comments and get in response more than an empty apology. Sometimes—aided by Democrats looking to help client groups receive a free handout from the government for harm they did not endure—it ends up costing us all billions of dollars. The New York Times catalogued one such instance in an absolutely epic story today explaining how the Obama Administration (and the Clinton Administration before it) enabled immoral parasites to leach billions of dollars off the public.
And they got away with it because politicians who could have stopped it were afraid of being called racist. Better surrender billions in funding—hey, it’s not your money!—than risk having to deal with the Jesse Jacksons and the Al Sharptons of the world calling you a bigot. Writes the Times:
Last night on Hardball, MSNBC Executive Editor Richard Wolffe levied the charge that Senator John McCain’s opposition to Ambassador Susan Rice’s potential nomination to Secretary of State was based on racial prejudice.
Vice President Joe Biden has unshackled a number of racially charged statements in the past.
The Obama surrogate who blamed the president’s falling poll numbers in Virginia on racist tactics by Republicans has a history of crying racism.
Obama’s campaign and administration emphasize different parts of Obamacare to different audiences depending on their racial makeup, according to a report in Politico.
Morgan Freeman has given President Barack Obama $1,000,000 to combat the conservatives he has branded as racist.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Orthodox Jews in the largely Hasidic enclave of Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood could soon find themselves represented in Congress by a politician who routinely uses anti-Semitic rhetoric and believes that Israel should never have been created.
Joe Williams, the reporter suspended by Politico for his offensive, borderline racist remarks about Mitt Romney, has announced Friday he is leaving the news outlet for good.