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, and 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:
On the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling, interviews and records show, the Obama administration’s political appointees at the Justice and Agriculture Departments engineered a stunning turnabout: they committed $1.33 billion to compensate not just the 91 plaintiffs but thousands of Hispanic and female farmers who had never claimed bias in court.
The deal, several current and former government officials said, was fashioned in White House meetings despite the vehement objections — until now undisclosed — of career lawyers and agency officials who had argued that there was no credible evidence of widespread discrimination. What is more, some protested, the template for the deal — the $50,000 payouts to black farmers — had proved a magnet for fraud.
"I think a lot of people were disappointed," said J. Michael Kelly, who retired last year as the Agriculture Department’s associate general counsel. "You can’t spend a lot of years trying to defend those cases honestly, then have the tables turned on you and not question the wisdom of settling them in a broad sweep."
The compensation effort sprang from a desire to redress what the government and a federal judge agreed was a painful legacy of bias against African-Americans by the Agriculture Department. But an examination by The New York Times shows that it became a runaway train, driven by racial politics, pressure from influential members of Congress and law firms that stand to gain more than $130 million in fees. In the past five years, it has grown to encompass a second group of African-Americans as well as Hispanic, female and Native American farmers. In all, more than 90,000 people have filed claims. The total cost could top $4.4 billion. …
Mr. Boyd said Mr. Obama’s support led him to throw the backing of his 109,000-member black farmers’ association behind the Obama presidential primary campaign. Hilary Shelton, the N.A.A.C.P.’s chief lobbyist, said Mr. Obama’s stance helped establish him as a defender of the concerns of rural African-American communities.
Public criticism came primarily from conservative news outlets like Breitbart.com and from Congressional conservatives like Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, who described the program as rife with fraud. Few Republicans or Democrats supported him. Asked why, Mr. King said, "Never underestimate the fear of being called a racist." [Emphasis mine.]
Apologies for the lengthy excerpt, but it's really just a smidge of the whole story; I insist you read the whole thing to get a full sense of the graft, the corruption, and the sickening double-dealing that took place throughout government, throughout administrations, and throughout horrible, parasitic communities looking for a handout.
Am I angry? Yeah. A bit.
In a way, it's stunning. In another, more realistic way, it's not stunning at all. Barack Obama's presidency has been one handout after another to client groups: green energy firms, trial lawyers, and racial grievance-mongers have all, in one way or another, gotten something from the president. Sometimes it's huge handouts. Sometimes it's absurd equal pay laws. Sometimes it's a sit down in the oval office, pressure applied out of the camera's glare and off the books.
And how does he get away with it?
"Never underestimate the fear of being called racist."
That fear, coupled with the greed of politicians, has cost us billions. It has inflated the coffers of the undeserving. And, perhaps worst of all, it isn't likely to go away any time soon.