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January 09, 2005

Why are Conservatives Obsessed with Black "Racism"?

After the attack on Steve Gilliard as a "racist" for his view on Armstrong Williams, this Freerepublic attack on a Boondocks strip as "racist" reflects this odd obsession by whites to call blacks "racist." Here's the offending strip:

It's hardly different from the gentle ethnic stereotyping you'd hear from black AND white comics any night of the week, but the Freepers are outraged.

What's amazing about the Freeper thread is that there is no discusion about what the horrible social effects of such an image would be -- the focus of actual concerns about real racism in society. An image portraying blacks as crack addicts matters when the powder cocaine addiction of whites is ignored and the results are sentencing laws with massive racial disparity in imprisonment.

But this lack of discussion of societal effects of "racism" is the point. Conservatives going on about "black racism" has the goal of keeping the focus on rhetoric, thereby devaluing all real discussion of racism that examines the policy effects of prejudice. They want to promote the idea that "everyone does it", meaning rhetorical prejudice, so racism by the white majority able to enact their prejudices into law is seen as no different from the views of those without political power.

Power matters. A joke made by those with power can be deadly. Discussions of "racism" without discussions of policy consequences are just a diversionary tactic.

Posted by Nathan at January 9, 2005 12:14 PM