The Great Lie of Racism

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Racism accusations are delivered by white people speaking on behalf of black people and black people speaking on behalf of white people for an agenda that is not about race, but about power and wealth. These accusations have become increasingly ludicrous as they have become disconnected from actual racism and even from race.

On MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell insisted that “golfer” is a racial stereotype and Chris Matthews dubbed “Chicago” a racial codeword. Besides the obvious display of hackery, the search for codewords is a sign of how abstract racism has become. Racism is no longer a slur or a stereotype of a black man, but any criticism directed at a Democrat who happens to be black.

The decline of racism and the unholy union of race and government have turned it into a wholly abstract thing that means nothing at all. The language of racism no longer has a coherent grammar. Racial accusations are everywhere, but they no longer mean anything because they have lost even their most tenuous connections to race. The national grammar of race has shifted and while liberals talk incessantly about race, they have nothing to actually say about it.

Racism was never really about race, it was about power. It was about power when slave votes and slave labor were being used to shift the balance of power. And it is about power when black votes and accusations of racism are used to shift the balance of power. And in one of history’s great ironies, the same Party was responsible for both sets of actions. The ideology, whether that of the permanent racial inferiority of black people of yesterday’s Democratic Party or the permanent social inferiority of black people in today’s Democratic Party, was and is just the clothing that the naked emperor wears on his power trips.

Racism still endures in the nooks and crannies of the country, but it isn’t the kind of racism that’s talked about in the news. It’s the unextraordinary and unexceptional bigotry of small petty men, of any color and creed, who practice their small mean-spirited acts outside the law. This is not the political racism that we talk about as a national phenomenon. That political racism is not about a man being beaten outside a bar, it’s about the power of the bar’s lawyers to wield unlimited authority in the name of a problem that can never go away, no matter how abstract it becomes, because they have turned it into the source of their power.

Real racism is slowly dying out, but political racism can never go away. Instead it is rediscovered in ordinary words, in “Golfer” and in “Chicago.” The more it declines, the more it emerges everywhere in dogwhistles and hidden codes that become more and more abstract until no one can find it anymore.

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  • Stephan

    Great. This shows that in the near future liberals will claim that it is discriminatory if an illiterate is not allowed to run the New York Times. Maybe it already happened.

    • Mr Lewis

      IT has already happened. In Detroit liberals said that not electing an Illiterate school board PRESIDENT was RACIST. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zti_508FRrE

    • LIBERTYSINCURSION

      They do stuff like that all the time. Just recently the city of Phoenix decided that they wanted to hire more African Americans as Life Guards. So they put on their Affirmative Action thinking caps and went public with the fact that their number one qualifier to be hired as a lifeguard was no longer going to be that you need to be able to swim, no the number one qualifier was now the color of your skin. It sounds so ridiculous you'd swear that someone was just making this up, but they literally said they will hire any black people who show up even if they can't swim.

  • pierce

    You know, it is funny, I would not go across the street to see Chris Mathews, in fact I don;t watch MSNBC. Any how racism and class envy are just too much for me to deal with any more, so I delete from my agenda.

    • EdwinS

      Too often Chris is a fool on TV – but I once saw him speak at a meet-the-author event – his warmth and humanity comes right thru when he appears in person..
      All this is to say 'nobody is perfect'….

  • davarino

    Mathews looks like Teddy Keneddy on a bender.

    Oh, and hes nuts, but still fun to watch occasionally

    • Larry

      You mean he looks like Teddy Kennedy looked all the time.

  • https://www.facebook.com/sean.porbin Sean Porbin

    Believing in the INDIVIDUAL over "group" has become racism. At the DNC it is more important to be "black" than and individual. Every nametag @ DNC should have your victim group underneath it and your listed grievence on a ribbon. Oh… It seems that the buttens they wear do just that.

  • SFLBIB

    Re: " … political racism can never go away. Instead it is rediscovered in ordinary words, in 'Golfer' and in 'Chicago'.”

    It is even in our Beer. http://washingtonexaminer.com/state-dept-mag-blac

  • jemaasjr

    >>Racism was never really about race, it was about power — You know, if you think about it that has always been true. In pre-modern times just about everybody everywhere had slavery or less severe but similar institutions. Subordination was the method of organizing in non capitalist, not industrial societies. The original colonials experimented with different groups, and ended up making slaves of blacks not because of race but because it worked out well. The Spanish all but exterminated some Indian races because they were not durable when worked as slaves. The Irish war captives and the Northern Indian populations proved unaccommodating, and so they ended up using black Africans.

  • Schlomotion

    Since Mr. Greenfield is good at understanding racism, shouldn't it be easy for him to stop being one?

    • Drakken

      Take your race card and shove it where the sun don't shine puzzy.

      • Schlomotion

        The sun shines everywhere on me. No kidding. Look me up when you get back from Afghanistan.

        • Wideband

          The usual resident trolls – amused and Jim C. – often have a central theme, however incorrect, to their ramblings. This guy just says stupid stuff.

        • Jarhead68

          Just post your address…if you dare.

    • Jarhead68

      You proved his point in one sentence. Thank you, racist person.

  • PaulRevereNow

    Great article. "Democrats…abusing power in the name of combatting racism." That says it all.

  • judahlevi

    Democrats are the party of support for slavery and created the militant group KKK. They wrote the Jim Crow laws in the South, and for over one hundred years fought against any civil rights act. When the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, it was done over the objections of Democrats, such as Robert Byrd, and voted proportionately in greater numbers by Republicans than Democrats.

    The party with the best record of civil rights is the Republican party – hands down.

    And Chris Matthews is a racist. Anyone who defines people only by their skin color and assigns values to them because of it, is a racist.

  • Ghostwriter

    Sadly,racism is being used incorrectly. It's being used as a club to beat up those with whom they disagree. Why don't we save the term for when there's REAL racism,not IMAGINED racism.

    • Maxie

      Because it's far more effective for the Left to use it as a club. Always keep in mind that POWER is their drug and whatever it takes to get, use and keep power is what drives them. They are, above all, hypocrits and liars. They manufacture problems ("crises") to keep themselves in power. SOLVING problems is not important it's the faux effort to do so that's important. Blaming the GOP for the failure to solve problems to extinction is an added bonus. It's all symbol over substance. The GOP is too out-of-it to realize what's going on.

  • Alvaro

    Very good analysis. I enjoy reading your articles.

  • GUESSEDworker

    ASIA FOR THE ASIANS, AFRICA FOR THE AFRICANS, WHITE COUNTRIES FOR EVERYBODY!

    Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

    The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

    Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.

    What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

    How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

    And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

    • Ghostwriter

      I hope I never meet you on the street,GUESSEDworker. Your ideas are frightening to say the least. You sound like a neo-Nazi,rambling on against black people. I wouldn't be surprised if you served jail time for assaulting blacks. You're a bigot,GUESSEDworker. You make other conservatives look bad just by your mere presence.

      • LIBERTYSINCURSION

        So,,,,,,,,,, just to be clear here Ghostwriter. What exactly is it within that comment that makes GUESSEDworker a bigot in your eyes? No offense friend, but it sounds to me like you may have misunderstood certain parts of his comment.