July 27, 2009
As Racists Go, We are Rank AmateursBy C. Edmund Wright
Mr. President, history and reality teach us that as racists go, we are, frankly, rank amateurs. And I am sick and tired of Ivy League elites like you and Professor Gates pretending otherwise.
What? You think I'm crazy?
Look at it this way. If we were worth a damn as racist whites, would we fall all over ourselves everyday to voluntarily watch, cheer for, emulate, take advice from and enrich folks named Tiger and Oprah?
Those are, after all, the two people that white racist America has anointed as the top cultural icons in our society. Ever heard about "the Oprah effect" or the ad campaign "I am Tiger Woods?" Let me translate for you: white Americans absolutely love these two black folks above any other athlete, actor, singer or even American Idol contestant on the planet -- and big business in search of evil profits -- knows it.
And by love, I mean whitey will pay to go see, pay to watch, pay to read and pay to do pretty much anything these two non-white folks do, eat, watch, read or wear. To be blunt about it, this is a bigger white to black money transfer than any of your big government schemes. This is spreading the wealth around that the Joe the Plumbers of the world can love.
This is hope and change that we can believe in -- because it is real and does not require a doggone thing from you, Jeremiah Wright or the nutty Professor Gates. (By the way, I lump Wright and Gates together because much of Gate's African American studies is simply a secular version of Wright's "black separatism.")
To reiterate Mr. President - the white love of Tiger and Oprah indicates that as racists go, we are rank amateurs.
And for the record, this is not new. Sometime before your first memoir, back when black cultural icons needed two names, whites felt the same way and poured millions and millions of dollars into the hands of Michael Jordan and Bill Cosby. Ever hear of "I want to be like Mike?" It was an ad campaign aimed at white kids. You must have heard -- being the athletic politician from Chicago and all. Or were you still suffering in Hawaii at the time?
The point is, not only are we rank amateurs as racists now, we have been that way for a few decades. The Cosby's were welcomed into more white living rooms than Sidney Poitier ever dreamt. We even now have a black guy starring as the "Wild Wild West." And I think he's pretty good at it. That is progress, though you won't hear about it in Al Sharpton's fund raising letters.
Sure, there are racists among us. I say some are among your staff, those in the pulpit at Trinity United Church and the Harvard faculty for instance. That's not the point. As a nation, we are decidedly NOT racist when compared to other nations. And if you're talking about a nation, that's the sole intellectually honest measure.
Consider: Would a Kurd ever reach icon status in Saddam Hussein's Iraq? Has there ever been a Mayan who captured the hearts and minds of Mexico? Would Ukrainians ever buy millions of books simply because a Chechen said to do so?
Heck no -- and these are folks who look much more alike than black Americans and white Americans. We can't even tell these folks apart "without a program" so to speak. Note the term is "balkanization" and not "Americanization."
And speaking of folks who kind of look alike but cannot stand each other, have you noticed that even the "friends" of the Palestinians do not want them living anywhere near them? So-called "supporters" of the Palestinians want to live with them about as much as Fred Sanford wanted to live next to Julio the Puerto Rican -- for the same "there goes the neighborhood" reasoning.
Of course Sanford wasn't racist -- because blacks can't be.
Meanwhile, tribal wars still rage across Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, The Congo, Darfur and much of Africa where pre-teen boys are conscripted as soldiers and pre-teen girls are taken as their "child mothers." Tribal wars is just a nice way of saying race wars between races that look essentially the same.
Nothing like this has ever happened in our country and certainly is not happening today. Yet, Gates is all worried about racist cops and being burdened with being a "black man in America."
He should spend an afternoon as the white guy paired with Tiger, the Cablinasian-American.
The point is -- the United States -- all 57 of them -- have done more to correct our own racial wrongs than any nation in world history. We are way ahead of many nations much older than our little experiment in freedom and self-governance. Painful steps like the Civil War and the Republican led Civil Rights Act were forced corrections that simply moved the country more in line with our Constitutional principles of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
And the result is a country where whites and blacks are free to choose their own heroes and heroines. It works. Currently the best way for a white author to sell books to a white audience is to get added to a black woman's book club.
And nothing government did -- nothing that Jeremiah Wright preached -- or Professor Gates taught -- is relevant here at all. Or if it is relevant, it is only so as a negative force.
These are whites and blacks pursuing their own life, liberty and happiness through mutual associations. And while I think the country is making a really good choice in Tiger and a bad one with Oprah, the fact is I celebrate the fact that this is freedom in action. Free enterprise. Free markets. Free association. Even a little evil profit motive thrown in.
So how can you and Mr. Gates and Pastor Wright be so wrong about our country?
How is it that you are so stunned by the reaction to your stupid cop comment?
Perhaps in your Ivy League-Beltway- Media elite universe you are so surrounded by racists of all colors you are blind to the fact that the rest of us are working it out pretty well without your help. (Ok, we'll call them "race focused.")
After all, we know the Democratic Party was glad to finally have a "clean articulate black guy" like you on the ticket. We heard it from a brilliant government employee of some 40 years. I think he picked it up in that diner that had been closed for 29 years.
We've seen scared Republicans like Lindsay Graham pretend your Supreme Court Nominee -- that wise Latina woman -- is not "race-focused." We've seen erudite and enlightened luminaries like Colin Powell, Christopher Buckley and Peggy Noonan fall under your spell as well - preferring you to a white hick governor from Alaska.
Come to think of it, maybe there IS a racist America after all. I think it can be found among the media elites, the civil rights activists, the magnificent centrist pundits, Ivy League faculties, scared CEO's, liberals in congress and moderate Republicans in the areas of Washington and New York.
Allow me to apologize for our country.