An old ploy of the left is being implemented on the comment threads of this website (and elsewhere) to discredit the honest and open discussion of race relations.
For decades the left has discredited conservatism by its oddballs, benefiting by caricaturing "right-wing extremists." One such personification of conservatism when I was growing up was the "little old lady in tennis shoes," a mythic wraith who was supposed to badger candidates with demented questions from a... right of center perspective, let's say. Until conservatism came into its own in the 1980s, the little old lady did plenty to undermine and discredit the movement. (Claims that she was based on a real character from Orange County, CA may well be apocryphal.)
There's no lack of other "right-wing" stereotypes -- crazed military men ("Have you ever heard of... fluoridation, Mandrake?"), backwoods Neanderthals, the hordes of "bitter clingers." But the perennial favorite among the left, both within media and without, is the racist.
Now, it has been pointed out a thousand times that the Democrats are the actual party of racism. The "Solid South," based on segregation, exploitation, and keeping the nigras down, was a Democratic South. All the notorious American racists -- Orval Faubus, Theo Bilbo, Lester Maddox, and George Wallace -- were Democrats. The last Klansman to serve in the U.S. Congress, Robert Byrd, was a leading Donkey as well as being kleagle for the West Virginia Klan.
In opposition, we have no less than Martin Luther King, a registered Republican, along with many black leaders of the era. As the party of Lincoln, the GOP long had a lock on the black vote. Allowing itself to be stooged out of it (by a clown like Lyndon B. Johnson, no less), is one of the greatest errors the party ever made.
But simple denial won't do. Racism has been pinned on conservatives using every method from blatant media propaganda, Democratic campaign libel, and bogus political analysis (e.g. Kevin Phillips, who decades ago made a name for himself by claiming that the GOP's Southern Strategy was based on racism -- that is, that Richard M. Nixon, the man who federalized affirmative action, was at the same time playing Imperial Wizard south of the line. That's a little too convoluted even for Tricky Dick.)
Accusations of racism are not to be taken lightly. They must be actively and constantly fought. And conservatives have fought, largely by assuring that active racism of the white sheet variety has been absent from the movement. Though he himself accepted the premises of segregation for far too long, William F. Buckley made a point of running the true crazies out of the conservative coalition. Buckley insisted that Klansmen and neo-Nazis had no place in the fold. So dominant was his opinion that such types simply gave up and wandered off to northern Idaho.
But Buckley is long gone, and the conservative movement is no longer a phenomenon of the coastal elites. With the advent of the Tea Parties, conservative activism has spread nationwide. Along with opportunities, this also creates hazards, including renewed efforts at infiltration from the more repellent corners of politics.
We've seen this lately at AT, in the comment threads above all. I've written several recent articles on race -- a topic of serious urgency at the moment, I think we will all agree -- and it's truly disturbing how many overt racists have appeared on the threads. A few examples:
JOURNEY appears to be the Grand Wizard of this crew. Apart from borrowing the name of a 70s logo rock band, Journey is a racist of the old school, one who believes the foulest myths about other ethnicities no matter how dubious the source:
Read Negoes [sic] in Negroland = reports of widespread cannibalism in the 1800's even though surrounded by ample food. So very revolting.
As a matter of course, he characterizes blacks only by the worst examples. There are no educated or civil blacks in Journey's world:
Actually, at times animals are more intelligent. At least they have a purpose for their actions...
Now, the creatures, you are referring are worse than animals because they know the difference between right and wrong but intentional [sic] disregard it.
His solution to current problems is straightforward:
Totally useless in an advanced society. Deportation is long over due back to their motherland = less crime, less racial issues, less tax dollars wasted, no more AA, etc = a win win situation. Even for the blacks, no more pressure to perform in a white society!
Journey is well aware of what he is. As he replied to one leftist who found his way to AT:
racists = truth tellers especially of the painful truths...
I am proud to be a racist. A racist is not afraid to speak the truth and refuses to be brainwashed by the left/communist garbage.
Along with racism, he's also an anti-Semite:
Read what the Communism did to Russians et.al. Follow the trail, Communism was installed in Russia by this country, Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb, & Co.
Along with all this, he's a fan of primitive conspiracy theories involving the Masons ("As for Freemasonry, one cannot just join that organization.") and Skull and Bones, and an admirer of David Duke. (And Diana West, though making a point of that would be cruel.)
He's also convinced that I'm a communist. ("The article was actually cleverly done as Communist propaganda to keep the blacks in power so as to keep the confusion and chaos going.")
There's one in every crowd. It might be best simply to turn our backs, except... There's not just one. Playing an eager Plato to Journey's Socrates is somebody named "HAL K." Though he agrees with Journey in most things, Hal's particular obsession is something he calls "white identity politics" i.e., racism:
"...it is whites who need to free themselves by embracing explicit white identity politics."
Some of Hal's thinking is a little difficult to follow:
"Whites have been suppressing the group identity of the cores of their nations for a long time. This is how a smaller country grows into a larger country (usually at least). This happened in the U.S. and the U.K., for example. This only worked until white countries tried to assimilate the unassimilable."
But the basic tendency is clear. Hal K's major stance is, ironically enough, a plea for fair play for racists - full equality, no more prejudice, no more back of the bus:
The whole problem with mainstream conservatism today is that it puts up a wall and says anyone to the right of the wall is "beyond the pale." Mainstream conservatism only weakens itself when it does this.... Don't denounce supposed white "racists"... start being positive rather than negative.
Others who have crossed the line into explicit racism - though perhaps not to the extent of these two - include "BLACKELKSPEAKS," who praises Journey as follows:
You've done a fine job of challenging the left-wing shibboleths... about King, the "civil rights movement," and black racism, incompetence, and criminality that must be recognized to understand the truth about the social pathologies, murder, and mayhem that pervades the black community today.
"DR. MAX HATHAWAY:"
As far as I can tell, Obama'sand MLK's highest achievements were learning to mimic white people in order to defraud them.
"JACOBITE" (whose specialty is anti-Semitism):
Not only are today's elites much more like Jews, but, hey, many of them are Jews (and most Jews are members).
For comic relief, we have "ROBERT GOWAN," who wants us to know:
We also found out where the guy who pulls his [Obama's] strings is hiding. Lord Jacob Rothschild the richest man in the world is hiding in plane [sic] sight aka Prince Charles.
And bringing up the rear, there's "SMOKES," who, though having no discernable opinions of his own, is eager to lend support to those of others:
Spot on, Jacobite. It won't be a happy ending here, either. They've made another mess.
There are also one or two veteran AT readers who have erred to the extent of offering support to these clowns, but we will let that go as examples of human weakness.
These people are here to trade ideas, to make contacts, to recruit the unwary or ignorant, and to muddy the waters as much as possible. They hope to undercut modern conservatism in the post-Reagan mode, to ridicule and contradict AT writers in hopes of posing as the sole "real" conservatives, to suggest that they alone have the answers -- namely a return to the white hood and the blazing cross -- and to bully and harass readers with a superior sense of tolerance and decency. (Journey to a reader arguing for black intellectual equality: "extremely bizarre responses throughout this thread from 'joy rose'.")
There are ways of thinking, connected to methods of action, that are so harmful and so insidious that they need to be restricted. Jihadism and child exploitation are examples. Racism is another. (And let's not overlook the fact that at least some of these people are provocateurs paid from one slush fund or another financed by billionaire bucks.)
The race card works. Not as well as it once did, and it's losing its mana steadily. But we need only ask Paula Deen how potent it remains. Deen was a victim at second hand -- the real target was her brother. Her ordeal was a blatant example of legal pressure. The accuser -- a former employee of her brother -- was not even black. But none of that mattered. Deen was vulnerable, and the race card was used to take her down. This can happen to anybody, under the proper circumstances. Such circumstances include consorting or accepting active racists at any time and to any degree.
A second point is that you don't want racists around. Racism is almost always a symptom of deep personality problems. The individual in question is often emotionally unstable, paranoid, a victim of personal setbacks who has settled on race as an excuse on which to hang his troubles. There's an example in my neighborhood -- a man who has placed a desk on his front lawn facing the street and who sits behind it putting away beer after beer and haranguing passersby on the evils of the Joos. You do not, needless to say, want such people either on your website or in your political organization.
(I hasten to add that I'm not referring to victims such as John Derbyshire, who was sacrificed to the gods of political correctness by the current leadership of the National Review. Derbyshire has his oddities, but his crime was simply discussing the white version of The Talk -- sitting down your adolescent children to point out that a good method of assuring personal safety is to avoid certain people and certain milieus, among them black criminals and their hangouts. This is not racism. The black version of The Talk, in which children are warned against white racism, is referred to constantly in all media forums without anyone losing their job. Otherwise Eric Holder would be reviewing his résumé.)
Lastly, it provides no answer to our current racial difficulties. It has been pointed out, here and elsewhere, that the liberal attitude toward race is simply an involuted and perfumed form of traditional racism. Its unspoken basis is that the poor blacks are simply too dumb to take care of themselves and must be looked after by smart whities with [D]s after their names. How does this stance differ in any serious way from that of the plantation overseer musing about the lives of his darkies? And we're supposed to counter this with a pure blast of the real thing? This is the philosophy of the madhouse.
AT editors can't be all places at all times. We need the help of readers. That comes down to alerting the moderators. Flagging an item in Disqus isn't that tricky. Run your cursor over the offending comment and a small Flag icon or drop-down arrow with the "Flag Comment" option will appear in the upper right hand corner. Click on it and confirm the comment as inappropriate.
Yes, this is censorship. But as conservatives we know some things deserve to be censored on private forums. Racism is prominent among them.
To allow racism any contact with millennial conservatism would be to spit in the faces of such giants as Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Clarence Thomas, and Dr. Benjamin Carson, to turn our backs on the abilities and promise of Allen West, Mia Love, and Tim Scott. (Not to mention Colion Noir.) Blacks have contributed much to American conservatism. They will contribute more as their disgust and impatience with liberalism grows.