The New Liberal Racism
Last week we witnessed repeated efforts by Democrats to polarize the country along racial lines. Eric Holder, speaking at Al Sharpton's conference, implied that he and the President are being treated harshly because they are black. Then Nancy Pelosi claimed that Republicans are refusing to support an immigration bill because they don't like Hispanics. She actually said, "I've heard them [Republicans] say to the Irish, if this were just you, it would be easy." The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair, Rep. Steve Israel, was asked on CNN whether his Republican colleagues are racist. He answered, "Not all of them, no…But to a significant extent the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism, and that's unfortunate."
This is more than election year politics. It is worse than a crass attempt to manipulate black voters with fear of Republicans. It is the insidious new racism of liberal elites who masquerade as champions of racial justice. The old racism is obvious and unacceptable. However, the new liberal racism is camouflaged as a cure when it is in fact a far more deadly strain of the disease. It is time to expose and denounce it.
The Republican base that Steve Israel says is animated by racism, nominated me -- an American of African descent and a great grandson of slaves -- for Lt. Governor of Virginia. They embraced me warmly, treated me respectfully and supported me enthusiastically. The liberal media on the other hand set out to destroy me. My white Democrat opponent was even caught on camera refusing to shake my hand. The new racism is very different in style from the old, but the same in substance. The old racists liked blacks who knew their place and stayed in it. The new racists behave exactly the same, but define our “place” as the Democrat liberal camp.
When I won the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor of Virginia, the Washington Post and the Richmond Times Dispatch dedicated themselves to discrediting me. As a child, I lived in a foster home which had no indoor bathroom. Liberal reporters said that since they could not prove there was no indoor bathroom, I must have lied. I served as a Chaplain for the Boston Red Sox, but they said I must have made up that story because nearly twenty-five years later the Red Sox had no record of it. The press was not interested in Benghazi or the IRS scandal, but they combed through the minutiae of my life looking for something to diminish my achievements.
Today’s liberal elites are the new virulent racists. When you agree with them, they honor you as an African-American. When you contradict their orthodoxy, they abuse you like a dog. Even liberal Juan Williams felt their wrath when he went off message.
Yet, neither Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, nor the liberal elites who prop them up represent the true values of the black community. Most black folks oppose abortion, support traditional marriage and favor school choice. Black leaders ignore these facts and dance to the tune of their liberal benefactors. My convictions come from my proud black father who took me out of foster care, raised me as a single Dad and never took a dime of government assistance. They come from my church upbringing which taught me to trust God, not government. Black conservatives want to break the cycle of poverty in the black community, not use it to perpetuate the grievance industry. Who are the real sell-outs? Who are the real racists?"
After seventy percent of black voters supported California’s Proposition 8, defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, they were called homophobes, bigots and ingrates. The black community’s support of Proposition 8 was characterized as a “betrayal” of those who claimed a right to their loyalty -- the liberal establishment.
One hundred and fifty years after slavery, a new generation now claims ownership of the thoughts and behavior of Americans of African descent. These ersatz masters believe they deserve absolute fealty. Slave owners usually think themselves beneficent, but those who thirst for freedom have a different perspective.
We have largely rid ourselves of the old racism. It is time to rid ourselves of the new form. The burden is on the liberal elites in the Democrat Party and the media to end the paternalism and condescension with which they treat the black community, and renounce the hateful attempts to destroy black conservatives. They need to stop pointing the finger of racism at others and take a hard look at themselves. They are not the racial conscience of the country, but the cause of racial regression.
I have been calling for unity across racial and cultural lines for decades, reminding audiences of the last line of our Pledge of Allegiance - "one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all." It is time for Democrat elites to stop dividing us and start bringing us together in fulfillment of that pledge.
E.W. Jackson is the former Republican Nominee for Lt. Governor of Virginia. He is a Marine Corps Veteran, graduate of Harvard Law School, President of STAND, Bishop of The Called Church and Senior Fellow of the Family Research Council.