Thursday, December 09, 2004

Accusations of Racism: A Conservative Political Tool

The conservatives in America continue to brilliantly control the political discussion in the media. If it weren't for the fact that they are lying to the American people in order to push through an agenda that will destroy everything worthwhile about this country, I would almost admire what they're doing. Machiavelli would be proud.

One of the right's continuing ways of distorting the truth reared its ugly head again this week. On Meet the Press this Sunday, incoming Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was asked about whether he would support Clarence Thomas for Chief Justice.

Reid said: "I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I think that his opinions are poorly written. I don't -- I just don't think that he's done a good job as a Supreme Court justice."

Naturally, it took about a minute for the Republican distortion machine to come on line and start calling Reid a racist. What a great trick! The Republicans nominate minority arch-conservatives in order that when Democrats oppose them, on the basis that they are to the right of Hitler, the Republicans can say, "They're opposing this candidate because of his race. Not because he wants to execute gay people."

Just look at how brilliant this is. First off, it undercuts minority support for Democrats by making them appear racist. Secondly, it makes Republicans look like they're the party of inclusion and are minority-friendly, even though the only time they care about minorities is on election day and the rest of the time minorities can screw off. And third, if the candidate gets confirmed, they can bring up the racist charge each and every time the Democrats oppose their far-right agenda. Brilliant!

And, of course, like the "so-called liberal media" the conservatives have invented, if you say something long and loud enough, it becomes the truth, no matter what was actually said. Look again at what Reid said: He thinks Thomas has done a poor job as a Justice. A lot of people, including many lawyers, agree. In order to agree with the conservative claims of racism, you have to believe, a priori, that criticizing the performance of a minority is racist.

But the Republicans obviously don't believe that. They criticize minorities all the time, both as a group, and as individuals. Hmm... that word hypocrisy comes up again...

Conservatives are also trying to say that, because Reid has less problem with Scalia as Chief Justice than Thomas (which, frankly, I have a problem with, but not a racism problem), Reid must prefer Scalia over Thomas due to race. But you would, just as above, have to believe a priori that any time a person chooses a white over a black for a job it is racism. But, of course, if this were true, Bush is a racist many times over, because he has all kinds of whites in appointed positions that could have been given to blacks.

Also, if conservatives really believed this to be true, then either they would support affirmative action, since every choice of a white over a black is a priori due to racism, or they would have to admit that they support racism by not supporting affirmative action.

So, which is it, conservatives? Are you on board with affirmative action, or you all about the racism? (Hint: They aren't on board for affirmative action.)


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